Nikki didn't watch as Erik left. Instead, she clung to his shirt, holding on to it as the last link to her childhood, a time when things were simpler. Not quite innocent, and never precisely safe, but a time when she didn't know about vampires or demons, a time when the worst that could happen would be getting beat up or maybe shot. A time when she couldn't imagine anything terrible enough to turn someone against her, or send Erik away in fear.

Erik would never try to hurt her. But there was something different now, more than just the sharp teeth that he'd had, or the strength. It was changing him inside, eroding his confidence. She had faith in Erik, but Erik was losing faith in himself, and becoming afraid. Of course, if it was her, she'd probably be afraid too, but it wasn't her. It was Erik.

Nikki felt almost sick as she held his shirt close to her. She would miss Erik, miss having someone to watch out for her, someone to talk to about the things out in the darkness. Hot tears slipped forth, spilling into her pillow. If only she would have some way to remember him, something that couldn't simply be misplaced, or have the scent worn and washed away. If only she could keep something of Erik with her always.

Nikki started to worry when the faintly ill feeling persisted. She felt too hot at night, and sleepy in the daytime. Foods tasted slightly off, not quite wrong, but not quite right. But she figured that it was grief, that it was just from missing Erik.

Right up to the point where she missed her period.

It turned out that she would have something to remember Erik by. Nikki Wood was pregnant. Her parents were furious – she was too young, she wasn't married, how could she be so irresponsible… As for Henner, he almost had a fit. But Nikki stood firm about her baby. She was going to have her baby, going to keep him or her and love them take the best care of them that she could.

Staring out the window, Nikki considered names. Not after her parents or Henner, not with those reactions. She didn't want her baby to replace Erik, only to keep the memory alive. Her baby would need a new name, a name that was just for him or her. Something full of hope, something positive. The grass gleamed after the rain, and a few birds hopped over it, searching for worms and bugs. Nikki's eyes settled on one of them, and she smiled.

A Robin, the symbol of spring and new beginnings. It would be the perfect name for her child, the perfect way to remember the past and hope for the future. Resting her hand on her expanding stomach, she whispered "Welcome to my life, baby Robin."

End epilog.

End the Question of Blood.