A/N: Okay, a lot of people are skeptical of this.  If you're even reading this author's note, I want to say thatnk you for giving me a chance.  What can I say?  I love D, and I love Tolkien.  Special thanks go out to Julie, and all my love to Andy, for proofreading this for me.  Please, please leave me a review.  Constructive criticism is appreciated, but flames will be used to roast my haggis.  J  Thanks!

Oh, and special thanks to Lifehouse for inspiring me to write this with their song, to all the cast and crew of VHD 2000 for such a wonderful movie.  No money is being made, no infringement intended, blah blah blah…  This is a romance, so there will at least be references to sexual situations, but anything explicit will be posted separately.

Falling Into Grace

"And I am falling into grace,

to the unknown, to where you are."


            Even a mechanical horse could wear down if ridden too hard.  He knew this.  And that was why, even as he kicked his heels harder into the horse's sides, he thought of what he would do if the horse broke down.

            There was no way he would be able to keep up with his game on foot, not even him.  It was fast, amazingly fast.  This chase would be lost.  He'd have to start again tomorrow, with a new horse.  As he urged the beast even faster, he pondered where would be the nearest place he could purchase a new mount.

            And all the while, sharp black eyes were focused on that bit of darkness just a little darker than the rest of the night, which always seemed to be just out of his reach.

            He cursed his luck that this particular vampire was not theatrical enough to use a carriage, but rode his own mount, which was at least as fast, if not faster, than the hunter's.  Things were not looking good.  He had already been tracking the creature for weeks, and success was most definitely not on the horizon.

            Perhaps desperate measures were called for.

            It was not something he experienced as if he were outside himself.  No.  He was painfully aware of the darkness that enveloped him, aware of his vision clouding momentarily, aware of the sudden sharpness of unnaturally long canines against his lower lip…

            He felt the tendrils of power reaching out towards his game, preparing to pull him down, to pull him back, to stun him and make him momentarily helpless.  That moment was all the hunter needed, before his sword would be unsheathed and the vampire's terror would be ended.

            It was close now; he could almost see the darkness about to reach his prey…

            There was a blinding flash of white, and his concentration was broken.  The tendrils of power he had been slowly sending out came back to him with such force that it nearly knocked him from his saddle.  When his vision cleared, when he regained his balance, he was aware of a jagged white light, floating, hovering above the ground…a tear, as if the air had been rent apart by a dull knife.

            It was through that tear, that portal, it seemed, that he saw the vampire, silhouetted in black against the intense light, ride straight through for only a moment before he disappeared.

            The hunter hesitated, slowed to a stop, paused momentarily, uncertain of what to do next.  Then the portal began to close, and his mind was made up.  He could not risk losing the vampire to another dimension.  Kicking his heels hard into the horse's sides, he leapt forward into the blinding light.  Flaring out behind him, the tip of his cape was pulled through moments before the light disappeared completely, and the Earth was once again plunged into darkness.

            Already in some world other than his own, the hunter did not hear the soft, menacing laughter from just behind where the portal had closed.