Could We Start Again, Please?
by Vamptanzen

I've been living to see you
Dying to see you, but it shouldn't be like this
This was unexpected
What do I do now?
Could we start again, please?

I've been very hopeful so far
Now for the first time I think we're going wrong
Hurry up and tell me
This is just a dream
Or could we start again, please?

Natalie felt her heartbeat thudding in her ears while a barrage of disjointed images flooded her senses. She was aware of the sting of Nick's fangs in her neck, the wound throbbing in time to her tortured heart as her lifeblood flowed from her body to his with each insistent pull of his mouth. Despite her faith in him and her resolve to see this through to whatever awaited them at the end, fear rose up within her -- a terror that she had seriously misjudged Nick's ability to restrain himself, miscalculated the measure of his love for her, underestimated the power of the vampire over the man.

Oh, God ... she thought as she felt her energy draining away with her blood, It shouldn't be like this. This is not how I imagined it would be ...

Countless times, Natalie had fantasized about this moment, made love to him in her dreams, replayed this scene over and over in her mind like a favorite movie, pictured the bliss they would share when Nick finally let his defenses down and let her inside ... accepting her feelings for him, and his for her.

However, tragically, reality was not living up to the fantasy. Someone had tampered with her script, altered it -- rewritten her romance as a horror film!

Where was the tenderness? The passion, the rapture ... the love? The glorious union, the giving and taking that Janette had described? Right now, there was only pain, and the mad parade of scenes from Nick's life, flickering through her mind like a psychopath flipping through a particularly violent picture book. There was no ecstasy. It hurt! Oh God, how it hurt!

Panic gripped her, and her mouth gapped open as she tried to cry out, Nick ... stop! Please stop! But weakness robbed her of her voice, and she could only emit an inarticulate gasp of breath that could have meant anything ... pleasure, horror, pain.

She felt the cold seep into her limbs, its insinuating advance throughout her body finally numbing the agony at her throat. Her eyes slit open, but her vision blurred until everything took on the misty appearance of a soft-focus dream sequence. Her world tilted, and the last thing she felt was the hard wood of the loft's floor at her back and Nick's cold arms around her as her universe faded to black ...

I think you've made your point now
You've even gone a bit too far to get the message home
Before it gets too frightening
We ought to call a halt
So could we start again, please?

Natalie's warm, sweet blood flooded Nick's mouth as he drank of her life. She tasted of sunshine, of lush spring flowers and morning dew, of love ... all the things he hungered for, all the things that had been denied him once he embraced the twilight life of the vampire.

He had tried to deny her pleas to attempt Janette's cure ... her desperation frightened him, and he knew she was hurting and confused and fearful over the suicide of her friend, Laura, and now Tracy's death had them both in a highly-charged -- and potentially dangerous -- emotional state ... but she had been so insistent, so trusting, so full of faith in him that, against his better judgment, he dared to hope that he could find a happiness with her that had been lacking in his life these past eight centuries. The intensity of her love, the strength of her desire for them to be together, battered at the walls of his resistance, tempting him despite his determination not to succumb to the lure of her blood and the possibilities that lay before them, should they succeed. She believed in him, utterly and completely, and that faith had insinuated itself past his shield of doubt and finally persuaded him that he could achieve his heart's desire: mortality.

Even now, that siren call ensnared him, seduced him, singing to him in the rhythmic beat of Natalie's human heart. Some small voice inside him cried out, Stop! Please ... stop! But she felt so good in his arms, the intoxicating life-giving liquor of her blood an ambrosia he had denied himself far too long; the essence of her life, her memories, her humanity, filled up cold, dark spaces within him that had lain vacant for centuries. A mere taste was not enough. He needed to consume it all. He drank ... and drank ...

Until he emerged from his madness to find Natalie lying pale and limp in his arms. As he lowered her to the loft floor, he realized that her steadfast faith and trust in him, and his ceaseless longing for mortality and human love, had conspired to betray him, to betray them both ...

And now the deed was done, there was no going back. Only death awaited her, or an eternity of darkness and blood ...

Could we start again, please?

Too late to go back to the beginning ...

Could we start again, please?

Too late ...

Could we start again, please?

(Song credit: "Could We Start Again, Please?" by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, from the film
Jesus Christ, Superstar. (c) 1971)