Disclaimer: I don't own Kolchak, the Night Stalker.

Author's Note: This is a different bent for me for several reasons, one being my first full on lemon, so patience, two, me writing something live action as I've been writing on animation that I have memorized backwards and forwards, and three, for someone special to me, who I'll get to in a minute. I only hope I can do Kolchak justice. I'm taking a few liberties (particularly with my subject matter, which truthfully, is being made up by everyone as they go along, Matheson's brilliance notwithstanding) and cutting the meat of the piece, as given guidelines but I'll post the uncut version elsewhere (check my profile) and it is available on request.

Dedication: For the one woman whose charged ways have changed my ways and my views on life, and no more words, least of all public, can outline her brilliance and grace, MoonbeamDancer. Happy birthday, love.

Forgive my betas as they have life to attend to.

Timeline: in the final minutes of The Vampire.

Ready Go!

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As a lone rental car climbed uphill of a mountain looming overhead of Los Angeles, rising above the notorious smog of Los Angeles, the intrepid Chicago reporter, Carl Kolchak continued to ruminate about his quarry, the vampire hooker, Katherine Rawlins and her attacks. He drove higher into the darkness of the descended night as he mused further about her most recent attack.

'She certainly did a 180. I thought she was going to rip my head, and various other body parts off but she didn't…why? She acted like she was…torn, like she was coming out of a dissociate fugue. As if she was…human. I thought vampires all acted the same. Perhaps not.' He began to remember his first actual encounter with the vampire.

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'10:43 P.M. Tackle Hugo Maltz and the famous Rams' "Godzilla Gang" arrived at the home of Stacker Shoemaker to give their amorous teammate what Maltz had called one hellacious surprise. The surprise was all theirs.'

Carl, after fishing information from Rawlins' employer of her whereabouts, arrived to the home of the famous quarterback Clayton "Stacker" Shoemaker, where Rawlins' rampage of the "Godzilla Gang" had already commenced. Los Angeles' finest, full grown football players were tossed aside like rag dolls. Carl entered the living room as a player was flung right by him, out a windowed door and then he ducked to avoid another one.

'Need to improve the odds, I need to make a cross, and fast.' He quickly scanned the room and found two pokers lying side by side on a nightstand.

'Perfect. Now just having to get…' He made a break for the pokers, as a player came to consciousness and attempted to tackle the vampire but she picked him up like Atlas lifting the heavens and chucked him out of her sight and he landed on the scrambling reporter. Carl wished he had the physical strength to match his unflagging mental strength as the 250 pound man on him continued to make fine kindling on his bones. The pain was amplified as the pokers were just within in reach.

'Suddenly wishing I had the strength of a spider than that of a slightly out of shape reporter right about now.'

Katherine hissed and came between him and the pokers. He finally had a chance to get a close look at his current nemesis.

'As loathe as I have to admit, you ignore the fangs and the fact she kills, she's quite attractive. I wonder what she was before she was bitten, was she a good person or was she like the people who live here and Vegas and rather wallow in their own filth and dried sexuality and just rolled with the vampirism. I choose the oddest times for an afterthought reflection but if I'm going to be done in, at least I'll have something pleasant to look at. Surprised I made it this long.'

She growled, her fangs glistening with blood ready to strike, she stared at the reporter for a few minutes, sniffing.

'Great, so I'm going to die or become a vampire, with bad B.O. What a way to go.'

She hissed and grabbed the unconscious player and launched him across the room, Carl tried to crawl for the pokers when the vampire grabbed by the collar and dragged him to eye level. He couldn't even see his reflection in her blackened emerald eyes. She resumed her sniffing and glared harshly at the reporter as he futilely struggled.

'What is she waiting for? Before, she was tearing through five musclebound jocks like a bull in a china shop without as much as a second glance, but she's hesitating or studying me would be better to say. So what is she going to do to me?'

She hissed loudly and for an instant, Carl thought he saw a flicker of life in her deadened eyes. She shoved him on the floor and climbed on top of him, not once stray her eyes off of him. He continued to struggle as she pinned him, he still noticed her eyes, black as charcoal.

'If I'm going to be a blood bag, I'll do it with my eyes closed. Not particular on making my blood gush forth and lapped up by a vampire, (albeit a…attractive one) the last thing my eyes will ever see.'

He closed his eyes shut with vise like strength and waiting for the ensuing dénouement. A few minutes passed and he felt nothing at all but Katherine's breaths on his cheek.

'Wait, no ripping of flesh, no dismemberment, no draining of fluids. Why am I not dead?' He slowly opened his eyes and saw Katherine hesitating, her blank eyes showing signs of life once again, they were almost blazing.

'She's almost frozen, I don't understand, why?' She began to whisper, with a tinge of fear to her voice. If they weren't so close he wouldn't have heard a thing.

"What is this? The scent, from before, from him, but it's on you, why? But it's not the same, it's different. How? How did you get the scent? What does this mean?" She lifted him and grabbed him by the shoulders.

"What does this mean?" She screamed.

Carl was trying to think what she was talking about while trying to get away. 'If only that call girl from the motel who called Katherine quiet could hear her now. But who is she talking about when she said 'him'? Got to think.'

"Answer me!" Her grip was a vice.

'Time to be the most creative I've ever been.' "Well…well, it could be the Andromeda strain syndrome to your vampire senses as I am not from around here plus a mix of all the testosterone in the room. Could make for a potent odor, and I wouldn't put pass anything by the smog around here. Perhaps you should see a doctor if there is such a thing. I could help you if you could put me down. I have connections, connections to the underground. You'd be surprised to what I can find out. Well…maybe not. But to the most important point of all: if you let me live, I can help you." 'If this works, I can lead her into the hotel room and trap her. Hell, if this works, I'll sing 'you're the tops' on top of Shea Stadium. I hope I get the chance to live and make a fool out of myself, again.'

She hissed loudly. "I have no alternatives; I'll spare you and go with you." She released him slowly. Her eyes still retained the spark of life; Carl began to loathe himself for admiring her eyes.

'Stop staring into her eyes, fool. You look anymore, and you'll end up asking her out on a date.'

"You've made a wise choice, my friend and I…promise to do my best to help you." He suddenly felt rather guilty.

'Before, I thought her pure evil, but now…I don't know. Why am I feeling like this? I didn't have this problem before.' She began to loosen up and calm down and walked to the shattered windowed door, the reporter admired her slender legs.

"Come."

'And I didn't have that problem before either.'

He wanted to grab the pokers but if he went for them, it would shatter the new found trust he made with her, but he couldn't go without some form of defense.

"Why are you hesitating?" She began to form a cold glare.

"I…nothing. Coming. Just surveying the scene, you do…interesting work."

"You can compliment me later, let's go." She came to grab his hand. He swore they were ice cold at first but then started to warm.

'I'm sure she could control her body temperature. She'd have to be warm blooded to be in her work. But they do feel…warm and the less said about the softness, the better. Good God, I'm acting like an adolescent.'

"Right, right." 'Still wished I know what she was talking about by 'him'. Wonder if I should broach the subject since we seem to be best friends. Or if I do, will she rip my head off, literally and figuratively. But I can't pass this up.'

"Where do you think you have caught that scent before? If you wouldn't mind telling me, I'd like to know, as I'm going to need to know if I'm going to help you." 'Even though I have my suspicions.' She was silent for a moment as they reached the door.

'Here it comes.' He eyed the pokers in his peripheral vision and the vampire stared at him for a moment, her viridian eyes full of pain and the spark of life was slowly growing in intensity.

"I suppose the time for secrets is rather moot. It's been so long since I thought about that or anything before I woke up." She sucked in a breath and her eyes took on a soft gaze.

"I'm not pressuring, just some clarification would be nice."

She almost stared straight through him, as if her eyes were glaring into his soul and then they softened. "I think, I think, it was the last place I remembered being at, Las Vegas. Yes. I…remember seeing a man, on a hidden northern road I use right outside the city as I was driving home one night and offered him a ride. He was a tall, dark man, over looming me, touching me, scraping his teeth on my…neck and pressing them against me…and all I could do is watch as…I…was…" Carl realized the truth.

'A tall, dark over looming man in Las Vegas pressing his teeth against her? I should have known, Janos Skorzeny, he was in Las Vegas around the time Katherine was declared missing there. Even though he didn't come to Vegas until April in his ruse as a cop, Helmsley, that doesn't mean he wouldn't try to scout the place beforehand. And she did say it was a northern road outside of Vegas, which makes sense as he was in Canada before. Beyond Skorzeny, there were no other vampire attacks at the west coast. The timing is just too right, why didn't I see this before?' Carl recalled of Janos Skorzeny, the Rumanian vampire who traveled cross-country using his vast resources to infiltrate and acquire victims for his distillery and thirst for blood. He and Skorzeny clashed in Las Vegas as four young women were drained of their blood and the reporter discovered the truth of the immortal vampire as Skorzeny targeted a fifth victim.

'And I missed one, she must be the sixth. How could I miss this?' Carl didn't muse further as he thought she was on the verge of tears and she hunched over and massaged her temples.

'Oh great. Good job on pissing off the vampire who could have killed you a thousand times already with your search for truth.' He began to run to the pokers.

"Weak! I was weak and he made me strong...and I…" She descended into an animalistic rage and returned to the hissing vampire and lunged at him. He once again tripped by the nightstand and grabbed the pokers and held like a cross. Katherine held her hands up defensively in fear and gave a frightened growl. A rapid knock on the door interrupted and distracted the two and two police officers stormed the scene. Carl noticed the officers and turned back to the hunched over Katherine and found the vampire hooker had vanished.

He just gave a sigh.

'This case keeps getting better and better.'

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After being grilled by Lt. Jack Mateo and his censoring of the word 'vampire', Carl was ordered to vacate the city on the next day. With borrowed time, he and his current acquaintance, former NC student journalist turned realtor, Fay Kruger, searched the real estate offices to find any leads to the vampire and found one on top of a mountain with a monolithic cross landmark, ironically. As the night lingered, he drove up, prepared this time, yet with a trace of guilt of his mind.

'Well, dissociate fugue or not, I can't feel this way. Just because the monster here has a pretty face doesn't mind she isn't any less dangerous. Not after with what she did to the Godzilla Gang. And for all I know, it could all be just a façade.' He paused.

'So if it's a façade then why I am beginning to fall for it?' He sighed harshly as he mused that for a few minutes.

'Enough of this, time to focus of business. Hopefully that should get her out of my thoughts.' The reporter tried to suppress her soft touch, her vibrant viridian eyesand her voice on the verge of tears, and the seemingly confused, frightened woman underneath the sexuality and consumption.

'I'm hopeless. Think of a dead horse, think of a dead horse. Moving on, God willing.' He sighed harshly again as he was almost up the mountain.

'It turned out that Los Angeles has nearly as many real estate offices as it has traffic jams. Poor Fay Kruger and I spent 10 straight hours on the phone til we finally had some luck. If you can call it luck. By the time Katherine Rawlins' house had been located, the sun had gone down and if I waited for daylight, I'd find myself on an eastbound jet, compliments of the police and Katherine would be thousands of miles behind me, slumbering, waiting for the next in an endless number of dark, quiet nights.' He finally reached his destination as he arrived at the top of the mountain, stopped the car, got out and opened the trunk.

'The multiple listings had described Katherine's house as a baronial retreat. It was actually a decayed turn-of-the-century mansion awaiting to be replaced by a condominium, and it would appeal to a special type of client, someone unconcerned with earthly comforts, and it was secluded.' Carl walked and placed a gallon of gasoline and two sticks drenched in the same by the monolithic cross landmark he glanced at earlier in the day. He then went out with his paper bag full of specialty items in one hand and a trusty flashlight in the other.

'Who would go near it? Only a vampire…or some fool looking for her.' The reporter hesitantly ventured to the gothic mansion, waiting amongst the shrubs and rotting mason work.

'Don't have to worry about pouring gasoline around the perimeter of the cross; the shrubs will do the job as kindling nicely. At least one thing I can say about Los Angeles, the buildings, even the rotting ones, is eye-catching. I wonder how much this set her back. Although given her power base with Grace catering, I don't think she'd ever have to worry about not having a roof over her head.'

He walked to a buttress in one of the cloisters and tried to view the roof and a rising spire. He entered an atrium and noticed an ominous Victorian style barred gate covering a door in the left corner of his peripheral vision; he peered through with his flashlight to no avail.

'Can't see. Although tinted windows wouldn't be a leap, given what she did with the car and all that tape.' He then craned his head and noticed several crates near another buttress.

'Transylvanian trinkets, I suppose.' He opened a crate and didn't bother to muse about the contents as he kept looking over his shoulder, waiting if Rawlins would strike. He then observed the gate and a set of barred windows above; the structure of the barred windows appeared to mimic a platform.

'Well, a bird's eye view would help get the lay of the land and hopefully get the drop on Katherine before she gets the drop on, or if she had her way, drops of blood out of me. One good thing about vampires, at least they don't fly…yet.'

Carl left the paper bag on the floor, crammed the flashlight on the rim of his pants, and slowly climbed up the gate. He began to climb on the windows when a loud hiss and a twig snap were heard; he stopped, stood on the main gate and pulled out his flashlight and scanned the atrium.

'Damn echo, whoops!' He nearly slipped his foot off the main gate, and gripped the window bars. He still looked around with his flashlight but also resumed his climb and peeked through the blackened window with the light.

'So much for that idea, can't even get in and can't risk a sneak attack now, not without my only protection against her.'

He climbed gingerly down, picked up his paper bag and went further into the atrium. He found another barred door with keys in the lock.

'That's a might too convenient but I can't afford to pass it up.'

The reporter jiggled the lock when he heard the same sharp hiss, but louder. He jerked himself around and tried to scan the atrium again. 'Too close, much too close.' He attempted to jiggle the lock again when a loud growl pierced his ears; he quickly turned around and ended up shining his flashlight in Katherine's face, and but Carl was more focused on her razor sharp fangs.

'The face that would launch a thousand deaths, sorry, thousand and one if I'm not cautious.' He tried to run faster than a bat out of perdition when he tripped on the floor and Katherine swooped in for the kill.

She tried to bite his neck while he grabbed his paper bag and whipped out a silver cross and pressed it against her side. She backed off, cringed in fear, hissing as he extended his arm to put the cross between him and her. He flashed the flashlight behind the cross to create a unique effect which had the vampire hunched and still cringing.

'As fun as this is, can't stay like this all night. Have to get her to follow me to the cross landmark.' He slowly backed himself away in the opposite direction, maintaining the cross effect and then resumed his fleeing out of the atrium with Katherine in hot pursuit, her hissing loudly.

'That's one thing I hate about vampires, no off switch to that hissing.'

The reporter kept trying not to trip on the various mounds of earth throughout the mountain as he ran to the cross landmark.

'Almost there.' Carl almost reached his destination when he suddenly tripped on another mound of earth and Katherine lunged at him, climbing on top of him as she was ready to feed. Carl screamed for his life as the vampire inched to his neck.

'What was it about her was I falling over again?'

"Ahh! Get away! Ahh!" He was pinned by the vampire hooker when he wiggled his arm out and pressed the silver cross on her back.

"Get away! Get away!"

The cross charred her flesh and she rolled off him on to her back, where the artifact burned an imprint on her back as she squirmed in pain.

"The pain!" Katherine yelled; Carl hesitated for a second. "The pain! Please!" She cried with an almost sincerity in her voice.

'No, can't believe her. It's a ruse. She's done it before with all those clients. I'm not going to be like the others.'

She howled in pain, "Please!"

"I'm not like your gentleman callers, I won't be so deceived." He about bolted to the cross.

"But you're the one who deceived me! I vowed to spare you as you promised to help me! You lied to me! Like the other men…!" She sobbed from the spasms of pain, he hesitated once again.

"But you're the one who attacked me back at Shoemaker's place. Doesn't seem equitable." He rationalized.

She finally rolled off the cross, her beige vest cascaded off her, and her flesh still charred from the imprint, the reporter resumed his fleeing.

"Wait!" The vampire shouted.

"Why should I? You'll tear me limb from limb. I have to stop you before you claim another victim." He dashed to the gasoline gallon. He turned to see Katherine still in place from where she rolled on the ground.

"I was fine until you made me think back, and I dwelled on my helplessness and then rage, and that with my confusion because of your scent, my bloodlust turned on. In my…zest, I forgot to say that I…can't control myself at times, as the…bloodlust piques and with that spike…the fangs and my hissing." She was almost embarrassed and stood her ground. "That being said, I don't have any personal desire to kill you. It was the bloodlust and the confusion. I was…finally clear for the first time since I awakened, because of your unique scent, from him. And I didn't think that was possible to have such a scent and that's why I was confused. It's a unique mix, of…conquest and freedom."

"That's quite the paradox." Carl dug into his pocket, with his lighter at the ready.

"As I said, it's a unique scent. I've been so attached to mechanical sex and stale semen; I didn't think I could be sated in my other abilities, like my nose as you did."

"Other abilities? I know of the superhuman strength and the invulnerability but not much else."

"I have heightened other senses, which makes the byproduct of my profession more enticing than thought possible." Katherine smirked.

He blushed. "At least you're honest about it but enough of a philosophical debate, I have other matters." He drew out the lighter and began to ignite it.

"You know, I could have killed you already. Twice. I didn't back there and I didn't now. I could have passed this fallen cross already. I honored my word while you panicked and broke yours." The vampire glared.

"Well, after the last vampire I encountered with, the one you make reference to, you can imagine my fear. But you are different; you seem to have a schism to you, the animal/vampire side, which is what I thought you are, and this…human side." He slightly loosened himself.

"I was so busy indulging with my new found abilities and more to it, my need to survive as I needed to feed, I lost track of myself. Bloodlust can blind you. It did for me."

"Your condition aside from before, if you were fine then, why did you go into…vampire mode and your…bloodlust?"

"There was an intruder who I couldn't see to check, what would you do? My bloodlust kicked in as I thought I would feed on my burglar. It wasn't until the pain of your cross and your scent combined did I come to my senses. Just in time, judging from where you're going."

"Go, go where?" He said innocently.

"You think I don't know the terrain? Unfortunately the giant cross was the tradeoff for seclusion in this damn city."

"Of that we can agree on." The reporter quipped lightly.

"But nonetheless, I gave my word that I wouldn't kill you, or trying my best, but you, seem like the rest of the males, offer everything and give nothing."

Carl began to seethe; he may be a manipulative, pathological lying son of a bitch but only because of the story and the search and need for truth. He always maintained his integrity despite his Machiavellian tactics, or despite any enemies or obstacles he comes in contact with. Despite her lapse into her bloodlusts, she maintained her word and tried her best to spare him, now could he return the favor?

"I suppose you did, I originally thought you were pure evil, now…"

"Now?"

"Now I'm not sure but pardon me if I keep my distance all the same."

"It seems that to make you from not killing me with the giant cross you're running to, I have to give an offer of proof. I'll back off and you take back your cross. And around and around we go, particularly as you lied about helping me, I'll have to assume there is no one who can help me, is there?" She said, accusatory.

"No, it was the only thing I can think of as to get you to refrain from killing me or making me one of you."

"And what were you going to do with me as you led me by the nose?"

Carl wasn't about to give his real answer. "I'm not sure, play it by ear."

She just snorted. "Typical man."

"Not that typical."

"No, not with that scent, I'm curious on how you got it from him. You're not a vampire, so that's out, but you were in close contact with him. How did you interact with him?" He almost saw her eyes sparkle in the darkness.

"Let's say I witnessed him in action, and become captivated by him and his…aura." 'Damn Faye and that guru.' "I was there with when I saw the poor man take in his last breath." He recalled the Las Vegas' police's attack on Skorzeny, and his invulnerability and when Carl drove that stake into the immortal vampire's heart.

"Really? Before I ask more, take your cross." She walked away and stopped with her back to him, the reporter was in contemplation.

'I should go ignite the cross and end her reign once and for all but then, unlike Skorzeny and his deceptions and over looming terror, she seems like an actual person, except for the fact she drinks blood and kills people, she seems alright and seems to have her vampire side under control. I wonder…there could be a story to this, maybe an interview…' He rationalized as he kept staring at her shapely womanly figure.

'Who am I kidding? I'm such the schoolboy around her and I don't know why…besides what would I call the interview anyway? Interview with a Vampire? That sounds like someone writing for the cheapest tabloid or novel there is. Like I should cast the first stone?'

"My dear, I may be many things called by a great many people but the one thing Carl Kolchak isn't, is a man who goes back on his word. I did say that to you but you'll pardon me if I would like some sprinting distance in case your vampire side takes over again." Carl took the sticks with him and walked down to the cross.

"If you're worried, you shouldn't be. That only happens when I'm truly hungry or when I'm threatened and I'm not either with you…yet. However, pissing me off by your lying won't help you either." Katherine gave a sideways glance.

"Duly noted." He picked up the cross and turned on his flashlight to light on his watch.

'2:00 A.M. Quite some time to go before sunup. What to do, I never had this problem before. I never had a…conversation with one of them before. But she does seem sincere, seems anyway. Might as see how this plays out. Besides, I don't relish standing here all night in case her vampire side takes over and be off guard with me being on my feet. And hopefully get a good look into the house.' "So shall we stay out here and catch our daily requirement of smog standing or retire to your humble abode, that hopefully has some chairs and resume?" He picked up the discarded paper bag and placed the cross inside. He also noticed her dirtied vest and yanked it off the ground.

'What's the worst case scenario? We'll end up repeating ourselves. Sun comes up and I can stop her via the sunrise, right before Mateo catapults me out of here.'

"Fine. Although it's been so long since I had…actual company. Least of all, here." She turned to face him and stare at his hazel eyes.

"I wouldn't worry; I don't keep score over the usual pleasantries. Except for the many forms of good bye." His eyes danced as he softened.

"Shut up." She shook her head and walked back to the mansion.

'What mess have I gotten myself into this time?' Carl trudged along and followed her.

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"Forgive the mess. I haven't been in here for…years, I think?" Katherine opened the gated door and turned to see Carl several feet away.

"You're taking this sprinting distance a little too seriously."

"Just preventive medicine."

She rolled her eyes, went inside and searched for a candelabrum. "I need to find some matches, and light some candles. I don't have electricity." She spoke louder so he could hear her.

"Leave the candle by the door and I'll light them with my lighter." He yelled as he flashed out his lighter, standing by the door. He heard her walking and backed away several feet from the door.

"Here." She retreated into the darkness. He gingerly walked to the door and found the candelabrum glistening in the moonlight. He lit the candles and found Katherine standing before him.

"You're quite paranoid, you know that?"

"Ahhh! Don't do that!" He shrieked.

"Oh hush. I'm not going to bite you…maybe." She grinned.

"You're not giving me a lot of confidence about my not trying to kill you here, you know."

"I know, but if we're going to get anywhere, you should relax."

"I would if you couldn't kill me by waving your pretty little pinky."

She grinned again. "At least we agree on another thing."

"What?"

"That my fingers are pretty. My vest, please?" She had a Cheshire cat grin on her face as she lightly touched his hand.

'She's teasing me? What kind of a vampire is she?' The reporter hid his blush and offered the fallen garment.

"I'll…take your word for it."

"You do that, I should be a hostess but I don't have much to offer to eat or drink." She tossed the vest on a chair, walked away, and sat down by a massive staircase descending like a waterfall. The vermillion carpeting in the candlelit view made it like blood was gushing forward from the floor.

"I'm fine. I ate before I came here. Besides having blood isn't my version of high wining and dining, so do speak."

"Bite your tongue." She walked up a long Victorian style staircase and sat down at the top. "I'll be here, this is should give you all the distance you need." She said sardonically as Carl slowly sat down on a nearby chair, watching her eyeing him.

"Right." 'At least she's not going spastic; I keep forgetting to act more gingerly towards her. I seem to act more…natural with her apparently.' "You said you wanted to ask me more of him?" He wondered how truthful should he be about his answers in case her bloodlust spikes and have a repeat of her attack in Shoemaker's house.

"I did. I'm just thinking what to ask. How did you know him?"

'Should I tell the truth? Considering he made her into a victim with his bloodlust, it could be fair to tell her. Fill in the gaps and give her that measure of peace before I complete my true function. As…off putting as it's becoming to be for me. The truth should always be told, even if it's to an enemy to enlighten.'

"Well, I didn't know him personally, but only his reputation. His name was Janos Skorzeny, I knew he was from Rumania at the end of 19th century, had rich parents and become a globetrotter. He left his marks on Europe, England, Canada and lastly Las Vegas." Carl waited a moment for her reaction; she gave no response and resumed his monologue.

"After he arrived, four young women died, drained of blood and sometimes killed in physically impossible places, and the occasionally blood bank robbery. It was the second murder that called my attention to think…more of the supernatural. After a confrontation by the police, in which they were…quite ill-equipped to handle him, I figured I should take on the job myself. My friend from the FBI, who I enlisted, helped me from being another victim and we cornered the vampire in his own house and I drove a stake into his heart as he was being weakened by the sunlight. He and his victims were cremated. And I tried to report the story and found I'd be arrested for murder if I did. So I put it behind me and moved on. In many ways." Carl then suppressed his ensuing feelings for Gail Foster, who he was going to propose to before she ran off. The vampire eyed him curiously.

"That would explain how you got his scent. I sensed…his strength from you, yet…stronger when mixed with you. As if you know how to use such strength properly. His strength is one the things I recall back when he…"

"You don't need to finish that." He said with concern, for her ironically.

"I know but I should. How else am I going to get over this?" She said with practicality.

"I don't remember much after he touched, pressed himself into me. The draining he made, taking my blood, is a feeling I would never forget. I heard my car driving away and all I could see then was darkness. Then I slept for so long until I smell a drop of blood. Then I awakened." She suppressed the bloodlust coursing within her.

"Then you left to Erie, Good Springs, and Barstow on coming to Los Angeles. Leaving a trail behind."

"I am not the most thought out person, I admit. I think for the now, and worry the future later."

"Indeed." 'Certainly a counter to Skorzeny, he was quite meticulous in draining his victims. Her impulses seem to be her weakness.'

"I can understand that actually."

"You do?"

"Yes, worrying about your next…feeding and wondering if that would be enough to stave off life and death, if only for a few hours, a day, for someone now immortal, time still betrays you." 'Time to see if all those damn Dear Emily letters have paid off.'

"You seem so much more knowledgeable than most." She said in an admiring tone.

He nearly blushed again. "Well, I've been around. Maybe too much."

"Experience is always a good thing; many men I've seen do not have it. They claim it, but they don't have it. Not like you." She purred.

'What is she doing?' "Well, I do pride myself on being unique."

"Indeed. Why else have you lasted this long?" She said coyly.

"Well…experience does beat out over dumb luck."

"So is that how you became so experienced?" She barbed lightly.

"No." He said sheepishly.

"Liar." She teased again, he just sighed.

'All the vampires in the world and I had to pick the tittering schoolgirl.' "Well, at any rate, I'm still here."

"That you are but of course that depends on how long you remain my guest, doesn't it?"

"Well…I suppose, more or less, yes."

"You know what they say, 'live today, for you may not have tomorrow.'" She said, amused.

'Oh great, way to defy yourself into getting killed.' "Whatever happened to waking up to a new day?" He was digging his paper bag.

"You don't need to do that. I was simply making a joke. But…I don't blame you. Forgive my morbid practical humor."

"That's the second time you teased me with that! You'd have a lovely shtick in LA, 'the funny vampire.'" He stopped his search.

"I'll have to try that, since no use being a prostitute now. That is over with, thanks to your discovery. Of course now without a steady supply of blood from well deserving victims, I…don't know what I'm going to…feed on." Her tone turned a reflecting one and suddenly she clenched her eyes tight and gripped her head as her bloodlust was trying to surge forth again.

'I could use this as my chance as she's lapsing but…it wouldn't be right, not like this…not when she was acting human.' "You can't let that stop you, you'll find another way, don't become the monster. Don't become Skorzeny. He's the one who used you, not the others."

She growled and hissed again. "Yes! He's the one who did this to me, just…"

"Katherine, you fought to live, you fought to wake up. You can beat the bloodlust." She screeched a haunting scream that Carl will take with him to his grave.

She fell to her knees, nearly sobbing. He almost ran up the stairs to her. "Stop!" She bellowed and he halted in his tracks.

"Perhaps you were right about distance, as I can't seem to be able to keep the lid on my bloodlust. I'm…sorry, I didn't mean to sound…give in to the hunger but…my options are dwindling now, now with you in the picture, I don't know what to do. I guess my frustration is rising." She said exhausted with a taint of frustration.

"You sounded more frustrated if anything."

"Yes, from the hunger to come. I'm turning into such the animal anymore. Any more taunting and any shreds of what's left of me will be gone to the wind. You have the cross, and given my lack of clearness when I'm like this, I'll forget about the giant cross as well." The vampire sounded almost maudlin as she rebuilding her strength. Carl leaned against the wall, staring upward.

"We'll see. You were rather lucid just a minute ago."

"I can be, if I have enough control to be. It's just I use control on all but myself."

"Part of the vampire's life, I'm sure."

"More like my job and what my clients expected of me, then and now. And now, it's even more difficult to let myself go. As I'm sure you can testify to." Katherine suddenly wished she could stare into those piercing hazel eyes.

"I think…when it comes to control, you only tell yourself you're in control of your life just so you can function, despite the contrary." The most honest statement he ever said.

"Who came up with that stupid arraignment?"

"It's called…life I think."

"Life is overrated."

"Yes, sometimes, often."

"How reassuring."

"I'd say it beats the alternative, but…you already licked that." He said sheepishly, she smiled softly.

"True but I wouldn't call that an achievement, it was more…wrong place, wrong time." Her tone shifted to a tinge of regret.

'Have to choose my next words carefully. Or at least digress.' "At least it has given you another chance, to start over a new life, literally and figuratively."

"True but right now, I don't suppose my choices have been the best, or you wouldn't be trying to kill me, would you? Tell me the truth."

Carl assessed his options. 'In for a penny…' "I think your initial choices have been questionable. Particularly in that of your quest to feed. But…if the hunger is that strong, I don't suppose I wouldn't attempt to do the same." 'Did I just rationalize for her?'

"Given how elaborate you're being with the cross and the gasoline, I find that a surprise." She perked up when she heard that.

"I don't usually interact with them, they're too busy trying to kill me or suck my blood, but with you…I'm not sure what to think anymore. You're not like what I thought you would be."

"As a vampire?"

"Yes."

"I always try to be full of surprises and not fall into routines. Especially myself, I haven't talked this long to anyone before, then or now, and certainly to no one like you."

"Like what?"

"Smart, insightful, funny and your control, your holding back, you could have killed me already or tried to, but you're unsure. The men I've been with were all the same: dull, selfish men who didn't care about anything but their own pleasure. In that respect, it was fun draining their blood and a few less Johns for girls to worry about. But you, you're far too different. I wish I…met someone like you before I had this life, before I became a prostitute for that matter; I would have done things differently. You know…this would make for a nice date if we weren't trying to kill each other." She nearly giggled.

"Date? Please." He scoffed. "I think you're overestimating me."

"I think you underestimate yourself, I notice you do put yourself down a lot. I don't know why you do that. It's a turnoff."

"Turnoff? I thought having no ego is better than being an insufferable blowhard who wants to love only himself."

"Oh yes, I've seen plenty of those but they don't have much personality beyond that. Waste of spaces."

"You're quite dismissive, aren't you?"

"The by product of having people let you down. In this world, you can only count on yourself." Katherine said with a trace of scorn.

"I…can't deny that. To make where I am now, I had to do it by myself. Usually, in the case of Skorzeny, I actually had help."

"So you said, yes. But…it's beginning to seem we're not so different, are we?"

"No…we're not. As odd as that sounds. We seem to do whatever it takes to get what we want. By ourselves."

"Scary isn't it?"

Her words cut the reporter to the core. "Actually…yes. I didn't think I'd be that similar to…a vampire."

"You say it with such hate."

"I wouldn't if they taken blood in another way, something that didn't involve killing anyone and control their impulses. If they can live like the human beings they used to be." He stated with subtle conviction.

"But yet as you said, you understood about 'worrying about your next feeding and wondering if that would be enough to stave off life and death, if only for a few hours, a day.'"

He slightly lowered his head. "Yes, I did say that."

"So which is it? You can't have it both ways."

"I don't know, if…it was possible to have blood beyond killing, such as stealing from the blood banks or alternatives as Skorzeny done, I suppose…"

"That I could be spared?"

Carl was unsure and hesitated for an answer. "I…don't know. Maybe. But…how would I know you'd honor your word if you would?"

"You don't. But haven't I been able to restrain myself for you, to show that I can control my bloodlust? At least for the most part. Haven't I maintained my word?"

He couldn't deny the truth. "Yes, you have, but…what would happen if I wasn't around? What assurance do I have that you won't kill again?"

"Nothing beyond my good word, which keeps going because of your…guiding influence? Perhaps you are the control I seek." She stood up and walked down a step.

"You're full of surprises, aren't you?"

"I have to be for my work." The vampire took another step.

"The cynical part of me would think you're using that experience to deceive me and placate me before you kill me."

"The man I have been speaking to didn't sound cynical to me. What do the rest of you say?" She took another step.

"That…you have tried your best to hold back and not kill me and succeeded. That there seems to be a human being bruised under all the stale semen as you put it and the mechanical trappings of being a vampire as well as being a prostitute. Someone who is more human than she or I thought." He finally began to notice her descending the stairs.

"I am. Thanks to you, I…want more. I don't know what but I need more. And I only got this from you. Never before I had someone give me, guidance, insight, concern. You could have killed me when I just lapsed or anytime but you risked waiting and talking me down just now and it worked. You're unlike any man I've ever seen, Carl Kolchak." She had taken another two steps now.

"And you're unlike the…normal women. I can understand why you drained those men, besides mere hunger and I can see your side of the story. I thought you an inhuman monster originally, just like the vampire that made you and brought us here. But…you are a victim but…you seem sincere that you are one but I can't overlook your crimes. I have my conscience."

"And I can see that but I also see someone trapped into a trap of his own making. I see someone who is unsure of himself or his abilities. Someone who is tired of himself and wants more as well. You just don't know what that is."

"I don't suppose I don't, but I know that I can think of the now, like you and worry the rest later."

"Another thing we're similar at. It's almost a conspiracy." She giggled as she took another step.

"Please don't say that. I've been in enough of those for the rest of my life."

"I'm sure you have, I doubt anyone would believe you that you've…fought two vampires, now would they?"

Carl had a sour look on his face. "No, they wouldn't."

"I suppose I could always go into the media for you and put an end to that since you seem…more sure in sparing me, but I doubt they'd believe us anyway."

"Bite your tongue now. Although with your looks, I'd like to think they'd at least give a look." 'Why did I say that? Why am I flirting? Again?'

"Thank you. I do try, even though my makeup would undo if I get to be under those bright camera lights."

"Somehow I think you'd be fine, your rouge running wouldn't make people turn their heads. It would be the…" He blushed as he tried to form the word.

"Fangs? The surest sign of a vampire, yes. And what people think of the man who…found her, Carl Kolchak, what will they say to him for being right?" The vampire resumed her Cheshire grin as she taken another step.

"I think they'll just laugh and say your fangs are glued on and your running rouge is a trick."

"Won't they be disappointed?" Katherine said, amused.

"Indeed, but I doubt it would matter, we'd get laughed out of the stage anyway."

"There you are, putting yourself down again. If I were going to do such a thing, I need someone more confident in himself. He'll need it if he's going to pull such a thing off so he make his living and save up for himself for that elusive future. You'll need something for Mrs. Kolchak so she doesn't worry about anything when she hits the rest home."

"Well, I can't argue with that, as a safety net is always good, except one item: I don't have a Mrs. Kolchak."

Hey eyes widened. "Oh, really? Anyone at least interested?" She sounded far too amused now.

"No, not really. I've been so focused on reporting and making headway among the papers, I never had the chance. I have more important matters than worry about striking out in dating."

"Focused on the job is good but your job won't keep you warm at night. Won't give you children."

"I don't need to worry about that right now. I have some time at least."

"I don't know about that, one day, you're young, you think the world is yours and then the next, you see yourself alone and miserable, caught in a mechanical drudgery, begging for any release. Even it comes into a seersucker suit and an odd straw hat."

"I don't think we're talking about my being single anymore, are we?"

"That depends. It depends on many things. And you said it yourself how time betrays you. You seem to love contradicting yourself." Katherine was now a few feet away.

"It's not contradiction, it's more a by product of a foggy brain. Gets me in trouble more times than not."

"It did but you've talked yourself out of trouble and into something…more delectable." She said in a sultry voice as she was almost to him.

"I'd call it a more unique form of trouble if anything."

"That may be, but…would it be so bad? We seem to be quite compatible, you and I. Don't think I haven't noticed your body language, your attempts at flirting, and your concern for me. You can't hide the truth from yourself with your actions." She wagged a finger at him.

"No…I suppose I made enough of a tell, didn't I?"

"That you have but then I thought it was a ruse to make me lower my defenses. But the more we talked, the more I saw that it wasn't a ruse. It was real."

"I wouldn't go that far." He gave a lop-sided grin.

"Oh please, your avoidance of this makes this rather cute, if anything."

"Cute?" One compliment no woman ever gave Carl Kolchak was cute.

"Yes, given the fact you look as old as my father and your…taste in clothes, I normally wouldn't give you a second look but…I heard you speak. I sense your loneliness from the world, just as I am now. It seems we both have something the other needs, I need your concern and empathy, and you need company and someone…who can understand you. Like me." She was standing right before him.

Carl tried for the life of him to think of a reply to tell her no, that he was comfortable in his station in life but he couldn't. "Even if that were true, what about your hunger? I'd have to stop you, as you'd have to kill for it."

"Actually, you may not have to worry about that. You once said that you had connections into the underground, or was that a lie?"

"What are you getting at?"

"You said that Skorzeny stole blood from blood banks, which means that is blood that no one had to die to get. If you had some connections, you can get me that and I can feed off that and no one would die. Then that wouldn't give you any reason to kill me and…give you a chance to think about what we've been talking about tonight. I know you've been thinking about it." She felt his hesitation and whispered: "Stop suppressing your feelings, you want this, I want this. You hide behind your purity, I hid behind my dirtiness, you want to be dirty, I know it, and I want to be clean."

"Katherine….I…" He had torn himself into two because of her words. 'A dating relationship with a vampire? No, no, it wouldn't work, it can't work because…because…'

"Tell me what you're feeling." The vampire whispered. "I let down my guard, let down yours." She said tenderly.

'She's going to suck my blood out, it's a trick. I…' He stared into her emerald eyes, full of life, soft, tender, on the verge of tears, waiting for an answer.

"Would life with me be so bad? You wouldn't be alone anymore, I wouldn't be stuck in this life, take it Carl. Stop hiding." Katherine was inches from his face.

'Could I do this? Could I? As she said, I could get the blood with my mercenary friends. I could do it and it would be nice to have an…ally, someone who understands, someone who…wants…me?' He never finished the thought as she kissed him passionately. He dropped everything and wrapped his arms around her. She pressed against him, almost grinding into him.

"I'm…sorry, I just…I'm sorry." She was actually embarrassed and backed away.

"What are you sorry about?" He was almost offended.

"I should have waited for your answer, I didn't mean to…take liberties, I think, it's just…any more waiting to touch and I would have exploded."

"Really?" He was wondering where she was going with this.

"It's just…your scent, your strength, your….kindness, you…intoxicate me. You actually as we progressed…aroused me." The vampire tried to blush if she could.

"Arouse you? That's a new one." Carl was shocked. 'Well, that is a funny twist; usually don't get such a reaction from a woman. Even an inhuman one.'

"Why would it be? You're attractive, you're mature, and you're caring, what's not to be aroused over?" She looked him over.

"I…I'll take your word for it." He felt like he was paralyzed.

"You do that, but I think your body will speak for you." She rubbed against him.

"I felt your…arousal when you became closer to me, being in the…sex business, I am most intimate with that scent of animal arousal."

"I…am not aroused, that could be the smog affecting me."

"Liar, your pants tell you otherwise." She graced a finger up his fly, revealing a growing erection.

"That's—That's the heat, the heat always makes me that…"

"Oh, you liar." She giggled again. "Just tell me the truth of what brought that on. I obviously did something right in getting such a reaction from old stuffy Carl, yes?" She tipped over and nuzzled him.

"I—I…" 'Oh, give it up, Kolchak, even you can't talk your way out of that.'

"Oh, come on, tell me, tell me." She said, excited.

"You sound like a 5 year old waiting to hear about Santa Claus."

"So? I'm always curious to hear how I make a man stir. Now tell me. And you can't hide or must I remind you again?" She returned her Cheshire cat grin.

'She's got me there. Once again, in for a penny…' "No…no, that won't be necessary, I'll tell you." He stared back at her, her eyes appeared to be swirling and sparkling.

"If we're talking physically, I'd say…" 'Time to pour on the charm, soon to be literally by the way she's acting.' "…head to toe, you have vibrant, gorgeous, raven hair, sparkling viridian eyes, soft delicate features, lovely…fangs, and quite the strut. And…let's leave it at that." 'Oh, God, take me now.'

Her grin widened. "Oh, you like my fangs and my strut do you? I'll have to do that later."

He laughed nervously. "You don't need to do that. You've already given quite the impression already."

"Doesn't mean I should stop it either. If it works, why change it?" She winked.

"You got me there."

"Perhaps we should go further?" Katherine rubbed herself against him again and escorted him to sit at the bottom of the staircase.

The reporter was beside himself. "F—Further?"

"Well, we're both aroused; we're on the edge of an actual relationship, and unlike all the other guys, I…actually feel something for you. I…almost want…to make love."

"Almost? Make love?" He was ready to melt into a puddle.

"Well, after prostituting myself for so long, I should hold back for someone I…want to be with. I want it to be special, but then…I feel strong about this now, and won't feel regret if I do. I don't know." She pondered in a maudlin tone.

Carl's impulses were torn, between his logical brain and his raging hormones. It's been too long since he's been with a woman, alive or otherwise. "I don't know what to say, it's been so long since…such a thing happened to me. I wish I could give proper advice." 'Now I wish I really should have been paying attention to those Dear Emily letters.'

"You can tell me how you feel, or show me. You still haven't said anything to that effect. Please, I can't think of anything else."

After a few moments in silence, he finally spoke. "Well, Katherine…beyond physically…I do…feel something for you. You seem…redeemable, and an actual human being underneath all the bloodlust and you do have…quite the…cute personality. I think I can say that there is nothing about you anymore I can say is unattractive. Even the undead part." Carl forced himself to reflect his true emotions. "But you have to understand that my work and life rather forbid for taking on a relationship, let alone it being with my…quarry. I can't let go of my obligations."

"I see." The vampire peered into his eyes for a few seconds. "But I'm not asking to let go of your obligations, you do what you have to do. If it weren't for your job, I wouldn't be thinking about letting go this life and move on to something…decent. No, but the one thing you should ask yourself is 'are you going to hide within your job as well and deny yourself something that could lead to happiness?' At the end of the day, a job is meaningless if you don't have someone or anything to come home to. It won't last forever, I know it doesn't. And I can't think of anything else to say to convince you. But...if you say no, I still will keep my word and not kill but I will need your help getting blood, I suddenly felt like I have a life, I want to live it." She turned away; she couldn't bear to look at him. She was ready to cry almost.

His cerebral side began to take over his mind. 'If I say yes, I'm probably with her for the rest of my life. And if I say no, I'll be bound with her anyway because of the blood and keep an eye out for her. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. But…she seems to be truly interested in me, mentally, and apparently physically, and she's right, at the end of the day, it would be nice to come home to someone who…wants to understand me, and could because of her connections to the supernatural. It would be nice to have that, if only briefly.'

"I have two questions before I go further. One: Are you going to clean up and get an actual job, er night job beyond the…" He said with trepidation.

"Whoring?"

"Well, yes."

"Well, I don't know what to do. I don't have many skills but…I'll find something. The other question?"

The reporter took a minute so he can understand and word out his next statement. "Are you going to make me a vampire? No offense, but…I want to keep my normalcy and…humanity."

"None taken. No, I wouldn't force this life on anyone. Not even my enemies, which were why I killed them. So you have my word on that."

"I see." He was relieved, as she maintained her word so far. "Well, this all feels like a restart, for both of us and…I know despite it all, I'm going to be bound to you any which way and you're…right, at the end of the day, I'd like to come home to something beyond skepticism and…yes, loneliness. Besides, you're the first woman who…actually finds me attractive on multiple levels, and…I'm not in the position to pass this up. So…okay. I'll date you or be your companion, or what it is."

"You don't have to grumble about it." She said defensively.

"I'm not, just unsure what this is, I've…not been the most successful when it comes to women."

"That's fine; I've been horrible with men, so we're even."

"So…now what?"

"Don't know. We have some time before sunrise. We could…talk some more. Of course the hooker in me is saying that we maybe take advantage of this horniness and then we could talk." She barbed.

"Would you respect me in the morning if I said I'd rather talk completely?"

"I could…if it weren't for that tent pike down there. It's rather taunting to me, as you know." The vampire's eyes narrowed down.

"Oh, right, right. You do realize that when I date a woman that I don't do it just to be in her pants, right?" She smiled as warmly as she could by that. She was deeply touched by his saying this statement; she turned to avoid his seeing a tear cascade down her right cheek. Her mind began to contemplate and gelling it all together.

"I do, or I wouldn't make the possible offer of being with you, not to mention not killing you."

Carl started to panic. "Oh calm down, you really need to learn a more dark sense of humor." She giggled.

"I wish you wouldn't do that."

"But it's so much fun."

"Fun for you maybe, a heart attack for me."

"You'll live. Maybe."

"I really wish you'd stop saying things like that."

"Whine, whine, whine."

He just rolled his eyes and checked his watch. "It's 4. A.M., we have some time, before you have to sleep, I presume and I have to leave L.A."

"You're leaving? But why?"

"The police aren't too thrilled with me with my pursuit of you; I had tonight to stop you before they'd force me on a plane home. Back to Chicago."

"I've never been to Chicago." She removed his straw hat.

"It's quite a city. New York is a sludge pump compared to Chicago. I'll…have to give you a midnight tour." She stroked his vermillion hair, her mind slowly wandered down south.

"Oh yes, but since we have some time, and I'd like to do one more thing before we go off in this new life."

"Which is?"

"I know I said I would like to wait before I make love to you, because as a…hooker, sex is a mechanical function and quite frankly, the only thing I'm good at, but I remember what you said, about being bound to me. You know, for this, the way I feel right now, I feel that…even if I do it now, it wouldn't be regret." She looked away again.

Once again, the intrepid reporter was speechless. "Y—You wouldn't?"

"No, I'm a sexual person, Carl, and for this, I feel like I don't want it to be mechanical and show myself proper and be bound to you in the one way I can bind someone to me. That is, if you'll let me."

"You act like you want to now."

"I do. Even if we fall apart, no regrets, still be the best one night stand of my life." She leaned over and glanced into his amber eyes.

Carl assessed his options. "You're quite forward with this, aren't you?"

"For my job, I have…had to be."

"Well, part of me would like to think no, but then the rest of me hasn't had this in…too long. But two more questions before we go on."

"More questions? You're such the reporter."

"That I am, but anyway, if we get that far, will your…bloodlust activate when you're having…er…"

"Sex?"

"Well…yeah."

"No, that's separate; it's the hunger and my desire that feeds the bloodlust, not the rush of climax. It's more of a controlled physical reaction; the sex is just a ruse to get to their necks. I wouldn't worry, alright?"

Carl seemed to accept that. "Alright."

"The other question?"

"It was my main question actually. Are you that sure?" Katherine thought for a minute for answering.

"If I wasn't, I would wait, but your scent, it reaches in me in almost every level. Just want to solidify that in that last level, which I happen to be an expert on." Katherine leaned over to kiss him and whispered in his ear. "You're bound to me by blood; I'm bound to you by scent. All it takes to completely meld the two is a little semen and some wetness from me. Don't afraid of me or this, it's how I feel anymore, Carl."

"I…" He contemplated all the doubts, all the hopes, all the failures, all the angst, all the…possibilities to come. "Katherine, I can think of a thousand reasons not to do this, yet, I can see one good reason to do this. Because...we're going to be bound together, pretty much forever, aren't we? Or at least until I die."

"Don't be so negative, the supernatural that attracts you, may find something to extend your life. Plus whatever I can do to help."

"I'm a journalist, dear; negative is all I can be."

"Well, we're going to have to change that." She kissed him; he nearly melted in a puddle.

"Why do I have the feeling you're going to be changing a lot of things for me?" He arched against her.

"Because it's a woman thing." She nuzzled his neck.

"Careful there. Nothing to do with the neck. Not making me into a vampire, remember?"

"I know, I know, but that's part of the fun. Your reactions are so…cute." The vampire teased.

"They are not cute, they are a sign of…oh fine, they're cute."

"See?"

"I'm so doomed. Figuratively and literally."

"That you are." She kissed him again. "You know, for someone being doomed, you could show some more enthusiasm." She rubbed up against him.

"It's been a while since I had…enthusiasm."

"I guess I have my work cut out for me."

"That you do, dear. But…it doesn't mean I can't get it." He hesitantly kissed her on the cheek.

"At least it's a start."

"I'm wondering if we'll have time to finish, given how…enthused you are yourself."

She sighed when he added: "But we have almost two hours. At least have some time."

"Almost two hours? That should be enough to make a beginning, and don't make me the only one enthused." She graced her fingers on his zipper again, showing quite an erection.

"No comment."

"You're right, no more commenting; it's time to see what action can do now." She scrapped her fangs against his neck.

"Katherine."

"If you're going to get edgy every time I do that, we're not going to go anywhere. In or out of the bedroom. You're going to have to let go of yourself and…your fear."

"My fear?" He was about to counter when he stared into her piercing eyes, gazing into him.

"Yes, you're still afraid. I can show you why you shouldn't but you're going to trust me, I trusted you and didn't kill you despite before, didn't I?"

"You did. Just this is a little outside of my grasp."

"Which part? The sex part of the vampire part?" She quipped.

"Both. But…you're right, just have to be more…courageous, which is ironic because I'm a coward."

"You're not that much of a coward, or you wouldn't be here, now would you?"

"That's true."

"And I wouldn't be thinking about any of this if you were a coward and wanted to kill me but no, you risked for yourself because you gave me a chance."

"I did." His courage began to emerge.

"So don't worry, alright?"

"I can't argue with that, or…to get into the proper mood, your curves, your hair, your eyes, even…the fangs." He leaned over and kissed her with more intensity.

"Much better. You're learning." She resumed the kiss.

"I'm a fast learner."

"I hope not too fast. We have an hour and a half. That is if you think you're up to it." She licked his ear.

"I think with you, I will have to be. Or at least give it my best shot."

"That's all I want from you, Carl." Her hands began to roam his chest and picked at the top button of his shirt.

"I don't mind being on the floor but do you have a bedroom, since this is our first time, it should be special."

"I do, with tinted windows." She licked his neck.

"Stop that."

"Carl, what did I say?" She said sternly: he backed down.

"Nothing, dear."

"Good."

"I hope I don't freeze up on you, like I said, been a long time since I had sex." He then admired her emerald eyes. "Or…made love."

"Yes, I want that tonight. It will finalize everything instead of just normal fucking or what I do normally. I never made love before, Carl; I hope I do it right for you."

"My dear, I wouldn't care about any of that, heck, I'm not as experienced period. But…doesn't mean I wouldn't want to try." He leaned over and kissed her with growing intensity.

"Oh, Carl, carry me over the threshold."

"What?" He said in a paroxysm of laughter.

"I'm serious, carry me over the threshold, I want to do this right."

"Alright, but with your strength, shouldn't you be doing the carrying?"

"Carl, don't make me bite you so you get that strength."

"Yes, dear."

She grinned as Carl picked up the vampire and slowly carried her up the stairs.

"You realize that if I fall on this thing, I'll probably break my neck."

"I'm not worried, I'll just bite your neck and then it will be all better." She mocked.

"You're never going to stop with the neck jokes are you?"

"I have a right to say them, might as well use it."

"You better be careful or my brittle arms will fall apart and your neck will be broke." He returned the tease.

"You could but I'm undead, I'll just snap it back into place."

"That's disgusting."

"Yeah, and?"

"At least you're admitting it." He was almost at the top.

"That's what I do when it's personal, business is another."

"Until now, right?"

"Yeah." She nuzzled and kissed his neck. "Are you ready for this? I could wait but…I feel so strong about you and I…"

"You don't have to finish that."

She smiled warmly, and admired his face, and played with the same shirt button. "My bedroom is straight to the right."

Carl grunted as he carried the vampire to the bedroom door.

"If you would."

"Couldn't kick in the door, eh?"

"Not if you're going to sell the place."

"Oh yeah." She tilted over and opened the door. "Welcome to my boudoir. Put me down and put on some lights." She struggled out of his arms and lit several kerosene lamps. The reporter swore her boudoir was a set from Gone from the Wind, with lavish drapes on the windows, translucent veil on the tall headboards, encircling the bed, old Victorian style dressers placed on each wall, with accompanying mirrors attached and complete with the crimson blood carpeting.

"Quite the bedroom."

"It came with the place. You should be honored; no man has ever entered my boudoir." She guided him to the bed.

"And lived to tell about it?" He joked.

"That's a cheap shop."

"With you, it's the neck jokes; with me, it will be the dead jokes." They both sat down on the comfortable bed.

"Well, I can play that game too but…I'm all for a truce."

"Like laying down your arms and…other things?" He grinned as he joined her and kissed her.

"I can think of a few things that need to be laid down." She removed his jacket and tossed it on the floor. His arms freed, he wrapped them around her.

"Like this?" He leaned on her and both fell on the bed.

"Exactly. I'm not usually this chatty when I make out."

"Another first eh? One of your co-workers said you were quite quiet, never talk to anybody." He twirled to put her on top, and roamed his hands all over her back.

"I am normally, just special cases gives me a reason to talk. Like this. I've never been this talkative in my life." She kissed him deeply, as she snaked her hands between and unbuttoned his shirt and ripped open his undershirt.

"Oops." He chuckled.

"Sorry, when my passion runs deep, things get damaged apparently." She blushed as she kissed him again and removed the shirt.

"Better the shirt than me." He rose up and kissed her again, rummaging his hand in her midnight hair, cascading off his hand like mercury while the other hand rubbed up and down her spine.

"You have quite the silky hair."

"Thank you, lather, rinse, repeat. Always repeat." She unraveled his tie and traced her hands up and down his chest, playing with the freckles on his skin, and soon teased his nipples.

"Duly noted." His hand moved from her back to her chest and began to unbutton her flower designed blouse.

"Don't stop touching me." She said breathlessly.

"N—Never." Carl joined her out of breath as he kissed her while he unraveled the blouse. He looked down and found a black bra in his way to touching her shapely breasts.

"That would be a lovely size, if I cared; I'm not a man big on size." The blouse joined his fallen jacket; she wrapped her arms around his neck.

"That's refreshing; you're the first man I meant that didn't care about my breast size."

"First time for everything, eh?"

"We're about to find out." Katherine purred. As the night marched on, the vampire and the hunter became entwined and found release not into each other's arms but into a union, entrenching and undulating than either one thought as they evolved beyond the physical and the verbal. Katherine thought she saw stars while Carl inserted himself into her and both experienced what making love truly is. The two snuggled in each other's arms, exhausted from their union.

"What time is it?" Carl said groggily, not wanting to leave from her, his pillow.

"I don't know. Your arms are underneath me."

He pried his arm after and noticed the time.

"5. A.M. Yet that felt like an eternity, didn't it?"

"That it did. Certainly didn't feel like a half hour." She snuggled against him.

"Eventually, when I extricate myself, I have to get on that plane."

"And I have to make my plans for Chicago, don't I?"

Carl realized how much his life will now forever change and become a permutated shell as the vampire has now laid claim to her reporter.

"Yeah…I wonder how you'll take to Chicago. A vampire in Chicago, and finally keep up with Vegas and L.A." He quipped.

"We'll find out won't we?" She kissed him on top of his head. His fears undulated in the background, the craving, the bloodlusts, his free lifestyle now gone as he now as someone else to account to, and almost drowned himself in it and then came the strength of Katherine's character, her willpower, her determination to improve herself and their similarity of their drive to their goals. The cynical reporter and bloodthirsty vampire trapped in their obligations and roles faded away this night, from them emerged two people, two free people.

"I can't wait. But I should go." He tilted up and kissed her.

"Here I am, getting up and getting dressed." She returned the kiss.

"Here I am, leaving the castle." They continued to kiss.

"Here I am, going to the airport." She licked his lips and nuzzled their noses.

"Here I am, on the plane." She giggled.

"I'll be joining you soon enough, and then from there, see where this takes us, should be love, if we're lucky."

"…love?" Carl nearly froze. "Love? A—Are you sure about that?" The bombshell blasted the reporter; with the sole possibility of Gail, no other woman approached that forbidden word with him.

"Maybe not now, but…one day, who knows? We'll worry about that later. But why shouldn't I feel that way? You're smart, you're funny, you're caring, and you floss regularly, what's not to love?" She kissed him with all the lingering passion she had left.

"I didn't think I would…ever address this. That I can be that way to someone." He pondered.

"Stop putting yourself down again or I'll give you a love bite to make you really understand what love could mean." She smirked.

"Yes, dear."

She chuckled as the two snuggled in bed for a half hour before Carl dressed himself and departed to the airport. He noticed a police escort, when he arrived at the hub, with Lt. Mateo glaring sternly on. The reporter peered from his window seat of the plane, ruminating once again, with his trusty tape recorder in hand.

'Katherine will, after her sleep, said, she will dissolve her job and her connections to Los Angeles and prepare to move to Chicago. Meanwhile my story as well as my personal life has taken on a new chapter and if Katherine continues to maintain her control, it will be interesting to experiment to see how far she and I can go with this. Maybe forever as she claims. But I am more cynical although after see the real her…'

He activated his tape recorder. "After seeing the real Katherine Rawlins, hidden under that rouge and blood, and the effects she has stirred within me, it will be interesting to document such a relationship, a vampire hunter and his prey. But…who would believe such a union could exist and more to the skeptics and the players involved, which one is the real prey?"

Katherine, as night approached, woke up in her bed, walked to her bathroom, and noticed her blood caked hand, encrusted with Carl's blood. She slowly licked them and wetted her lips.

"I have his scent, his semen, his blood, and now himself, and I still want more. So this is what true hunger is." She reflected for a moment before a smile graced her lips. "And after being sated for the first time, my appetite has just begun."

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I was originally going to a depressing ending but after how hard it was to make the pairing, I figured keep it positive in case I wish to make a sequel and continue the two and the relationship. Yes, I pandered, sue me.

Leave a review if you wish, see you in the funny papers.