He came to her in dreams.

It was as though she was drawn to him, she could not turn him away. Though she didn't know who or what he was, she knew that something about him was ... wrong.

He knew her. He knew what flowed in her blood, even though she did not. He knew what she feared and what she longed for, for it was the same thing.


Not in the same lustful way that most mortals wanted him, no. This was different. It was a raw and overwhelming need. It was new. It was why he came back again and again. If he could make her break, even make her budge just a bit, and then he'd have her.


CHAPTER 1: Dreamscapes

She sat in a claw-foot porcelain tub. It had been a long day, and as she sank into the thick bubbles that enveloped her, she sighed. This was heavenly. The chill of the water cooled her warm skin. She closed her eyes and leaned her head back, letting the darkness take her.

He stood in the shadows of her mind, watching in silence. He watched her during her waking hours much as he watched her now. Silently, hidden from view. None of his other victims had affected him this way. He had taken them without thought or effort.

But her...he took out a cigarette as he watched her.

There was a goodness about her. It both drew him and repulsed him. He would break her, oh yes. Then he would make her his.

The sound of a match being struck pulled her back. She sat up with a start, splashing water over the edge of the tub. He was there. Leaning against the wall watching her. The skin on the back of her neck prickled. He pushed off the wall with his foot, taking a long drag on his cigarette. Slowly, taking his own time, he walked toward her.

Natalia sighed. However, this time it wasn't out of relaxation. It was out of weariness. And annoyance.

"What do you want?"

He grinned and threw his cigarette away. Shrugging his shoulders, he continued forward. "Don't get excited. I just came in for a friendly...chat."

She eyed him warily as he approached the side of the tub. She was uncomfortable, he knew, but she hid it well.

"You know Nattie, you have lovely shoulders." He trailed a finger over the curve. She shivered.

She was SO easy. He knew she was innocent, he could always tell. She was also strong. In reality, she would never allow herself to be in this situation. However, in dreams...well, dreams have a way of changing people. So he would have her here. Then, soon, he'd have her in reality.

"Why don't you just leave me alone? I've had a really trying day and I'm not in the mood for this sh--"

He cut her off when he chuckled. "Tsk tsk. Such language." He circled the tub and stopped at the foot. "Besides. I know you. And you," he said as he stepped into the water, "are always in the mood."

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"

She sat up and tried to push him back. He caught her wrist in his hand and pulled her to her knees, one on each side of his legs. The wet denim of his jeans scratched her skin.

"Let me go."

The fire in her eyes blazed, turning them a glowing gold. But there was something else there, much to his delight. There was fear. And there was hunger. But the fear is what drove him on.

He tilted his head to the side, eyeing her closely. She struggled against his grip again. Water sloshed over the side of the tub. He tugged her hand, pulling her closer to him.

With his free hand, he brushed her wet hair from her face and felt her tremble. He smiled inwardly.

"It's alright. I'd never hurt you." Liar, liar he thought to himself.

He slowly brushed his lips over hers, and when they parted, he kissed her sweetly. He felt the burning that came from evil touching innocence. He deepened the kiss, and dared to taste her tongue.

It was a delicious pain.

She pressed her assaulted lips together and took a steadying breath.

"You…" She was at a total loss for words. She was fascinated by the feeling of freedom, the feeling of raw passion that she had when he kissed her. Nevertheless, she could not let him do it again.

"I think you should go."

"You're probably right."

He did not like the feeling that he had gotten when he kissed her. It was almost as if he lost control there for a moment. This was NOT acceptable. He had business to do didn't he? He could not just go around…

He made the mistake of looking at her swollen lips and felt a driving bout of lust grip his stomach. Odd. That rarely happened. But the sleepy look that was in her eyes as they fluttered open snapped something in him.

To hell with business. This was going to be strictly for pleasure.

He grabbed a handful of her hair and kissed her, drinking her in like a man dying of thirst. The pain was there, but he pushed it aside.

I have to do something. This is wrong. I have to do something, she thought.

She let her head fall to the side as he ran hot kisses down the column of her throat.

Think Natalia. You need to…oh wow.

He was stroking her naked back with the tips of his fingers of one hand while pressing her closer with the other. He ran the tip of his tongue over the frantic pulse at the base of her throat. He kissed the line of her collarbone, then bit, and then brushed his lips over the reddened skin.

"Dammit, Nattie…" he hissed.

She twined her fingers in his short hair, pressing him closer. The hand that was stroking her back moved to brush at the thick bubbles that still clung to her. He smiled with devilish delight when her head fell back. He leaned his head down, running his tongue on the place above her heart. A new sensation swarmed through Natalia's blood. His mouth left her. She raised her head and was met with an equally fierce and passionate gaze. She leaned her head down and feasted on his mouth.

Score one, Good guys, he thought. His eyebrows rose at the intensity of the assault on his mouth. Time to up the stakes a bit.

He laid her back into the water, cursing all those damn bubbles. He ran a hand down her torso, ran his fingertips over her navel, going lower until---

"GOOD MORNING NEW ENGLAND! It is now 6:32 in the a.m. so WAKE UP! We've got traffic coming up after this…"

Natalia shot up in bed. She pushed her hair back from her head and looked over at her cat who was watching her with a detached uninterest. She slapped her hand down on her alarm radio and lay back on her pillow.

Blowing a dark red curl out of her eye, she sighed. "Dammit."