Over a month had passed since Vicki's surgery. After spending a week in hospital, Henry had demanded that she stay with him until she was fully recovered. He'd arranged for a bed to be set up in his living room, in front of the TV, where he doted on her at every waking moment, arguing with her as she stubbornly kept trying to get out of bed. He'd even boarded up his bedroom doors so that she could enjoy the sunshine while he slept.

During the day Coreen would keep an eye on her, as would the doctor that would come by and check on Vicki's progress. Everyone seemed to make it their business to make sure she was taking the appropriate medication, and that she kept off her feet. Even though she was feeling a little smothered by all the attention, Vicki knew it was for her own good.

She had surprisingly even managed to get some work done, closing a few cases from her sick bed with Coreen's help. She had used this time as an opportunity to mentor her assistant on the the more detailed aspects of being a private investigator, even sending her out to question various clients and individuals. Vicki would never let it be known that it was mostly a ploy on her part to get Coreen out of her hair for a while.

Over the last few weeks Vicki had lost count of the number of times she had picked up her glasses, putting them on out of habit, only to be reminded that her eyesight was still perfect. A renowned optometrist had come by at Henry's request to examine her, and he'd found no sign of the retinitis pigmentosa that had plagued her for the last few years. Vicki wasn't exactly sure what she was going to tell her regular doctor at her next scheduled appointment. She'd worry about that later.

Bettie and Coreen had hit the books, trying to determine exactly what might have made Vicki's vision return, but nothing in the ritual seemed to account for it. They had collectively agree to accept it as a blessing - a reward for the trials and tribulations of being branded by a demon. Secretly Vicki was a little sceptical, and she wouldn't hold out hopes that her eyesight was permanently cured, not just yet anyway. She kept her glasses handy for fear that her eyes would fail again at any moment.

As she became more mobile she would sneak in to Henry's bed at sunset, only to have him leave briefly to feed. She found herself becoming jealous and suspicious each time, wondering who he was with and who was giving him his next meal. At least he never got his food 'home delivered'. She had no right to ask him not to go out - he needed to eat just as much as she did, but she didn't want him taking the blood from some leggy-night-club-blonde. Each time she offered her own blood he would refuse, not wanting to feed from her in her fragile state.

It had otherwise started to feel like old times. It was fun and carefree like it used to be, but this time there were kisses. Henry would be so tender and gentle, only giving her a kiss on the cheek or a peck on the lips, but every so often their kiss would linger, their breathing would grow heavy, then Henry would painfully pull away. They both knew sex wasn't really on the cards, at least not in the first few weeks - much to Vicki's disappointment. She could almost swear that Henry would walk around naked just to torment her. While he helped her bathe his fingers would linger on her sensitive areas just a little too long. She'd curse him playfully under her breath every time she caught him grinning about it.

Now, several weeks since he incident with Astaroth, the pain in her abdomen was almost nonexistent. Her wound was almost healed and she was allowed to move about. Even so, Henry had still been reluctant to let her out of his sight, let alone out of his apartment. Vicki presumed he was still feeling too guilt-ridden over the stabbing incident, and was trying to make up for it by being extra attentive.

As she sat in Henry's living room she sighed, feeling bored, restless and a little homesick. As much as Vicki enjoyed Henry's company she wasn't used to having someone around all the time. She missed her own company and her own space, especially considering it was all she'd had for so many years.

Maybe she'd could learn to let Henry in. She'd have to if she wanted anything that resembled a relationship with him. She knew they would discuss it eventually, and although she was still reluctant to talk openly about her feelings, she did want to clarify exactly what type of relationship they had. Maybe it would just remain a relationship based on sex, but Vicki wanted more, especially after all they had been through. They hadn't talked about the whole 'love thing' - she'd get butterflies in her stomach at the thought of it, and then chastise herself for acting like a teenager.

It was still an hour or so before Henry woke up, and Vicki had sent Coreen home for the day. As she stared around the bleak apartment she remembered the piles of boxes in his living room, still not unpacked since his return to Toronto.

Feeling nosy she stood up and pulled the packing tape off one box and opened it. Inside were his artists supplies - pencils, pain, notebooks and other various accessories. How could she have so easily forgotten about Henry's lively-hood? Why had he not worked on his graphic novels in all this time? Vicki felt guilty, wondering if she had kept him from it, causing one too many distractions.

She dragged his thankfully-not-too-heavy drafting table across the floor to its original position, put up the partitions around it, and despite not wanting to invade his privacy she slowly began to unpack.

--

When Henry woke he was immediately filled with sadness, noticing that Vicki was not by his side. He sighed, knowing that any day now she would be well enough to look after herself.

Maybe today was the day that she would return to her own home, back to her independent lifestyle - back to the life where he was nothing more to her than a supernatural business associate.

He got dressed and walked out in to the living area, feeling relieved at first, then concerned as he saw Vicki struggling to hang his Father's painted portrait on one wall. He rushed over and took the weight from her. "Vicki what are you doing? You shouldn't be lifting or moving anything!" he scolded her.

"Oh I'm fine Henry! Really.. I just about had it!" she replied.

Henry stared around the room, and instantly noticed his artist quarters. Everything was neatly laid out on the table, his reading lamp was switched on and several of his drawing were pinned up on the walls. "Vicki, did you do all of this?"

Vicki nodded and smiled, "Uh-huh."

"You should have been resting.. you might have hurt yourself." he frowned at her.

Vicki shrugged, "Hey.. I was bored.. thought I'd do something nice for you."

Henry was in awe. He had though many times about sketching and drawing, especially since Vicki had been injured, but he had wanted to devote his attention to her. Prior to that his creativity had been stunted by his angry and vindictive thoughts. "Vicki, this is wonderful, I don't know what to say."

"No need to say anything. I just wanted to make it harder for you to leave, that is...in case you were thinking of running out on me again." Vicki replied, before walking over to point out a particular drawing on the table. "Look, I even drew you something special so that when you sit here you can think of me."

Henry laughed as he looked at a single sheet of paper. It was filled with the picture of a woman - a smiling stick figure with long single lines for hair, and giant circles drawn for breasts. "Trust me Vicki, you're always on my mind, I don't need a picture to be reminded of you. I do however appreciate the gesture."

She scoffed melodramatically, "You don't like my drawing do you?"

Henry smiled and slid his arms around her waist gently, "Oh I assure you it's an absolute masterpiece, but I very much doubt any artist could truly capture the authentic beauty of the one and only Victoria Nelson."

Vicki smiled bashfully. "You're an artist, and you captured me."

"Did I?" Henry asked, knowing he was posing a much deeper question.

"Well, you've been keeping me locked up here in your apartment, I think that counts." Vicki replied in jest.

Henry took a moment to consider her words, before frowning and stepping back, his feelings were hurt. "Vicki if you want to leave, you're free to go."

"Geeze Henry, I was kidding. You can be so damn sensitive sometimes."

He turned away from her and folded his arms. "I'm not sure that I appreciate you treating the time we have spent together as a joke Vicki. Clearly I misunderstood if I thought it meant something more."

Vicki stepped in front of him, and tried to meet his gaze, "My God! Talk about overreacting! I didn't say that I regretted any of it!"

"No, but considering you are well enough now, you can run back to your old life. Your eyesight has returned, so there is nothing stopping you from rejoining the police force."

"I have no plans to do that Henry. Just because I have my vision back it doesn't mean I've turned a blind-eye to the supernatural. People need to be able to turn to us for help when the cops won't."

"Us?" Henry asked tentatively.

"Yes us. You, me and Coreen. What? You think I can do this on my own?" Vicki gave him a questioning look.

"So its true then, you do only need me to keep your business afloat?" Henry responded bitterly.

"Henry what on earth has gotten in to you?" Vicki cried out, frustrated.

He was grinding his teeth as he so often did, "What exactly do you want from me Vicki? Am I just a life-size sex toy now? Is that it?"

"No that's not it at all! And who are you to judge? The second you could escape from this apartment you were out chasing one slutty meal after another."

"I'll have you know I've taken nothing but blood from my victims, who, if you must know were petty thieves and criminals. I took no pleasure while dining Vicki, except for the satisfaction of filling an empty stomach."

Vicki sighed, feeling a little relieved but still fired up, "What do I care anyway? You're not my property, you can do what you like."

"Is that how you feel Vicki? If you do not care about me, then please, by all means speak up and stop torturing me."

She was choking back tears now. With her voice wavering, she took a moment or two to compile her thoughts. "Henry, when I thought I was dying... all I could think about... was the fact that I might never see you again."

"And?" Henry persisted.

"And.. I clearly remember telling you my response to that thought."

"I remember, but did you mean it Vicki? Really?"

"Oh come on Henry.. I told you I loved you. In case you hadn't noticed I don't throw those words around flippantly."

"A fear of impending death can make some people say things they don't mean." Henry responded.

"And some men say 'I love you' because they just got laid." Vicki replied spitefully.

Henry's eyes were full of sorrow. "When I told you that I loved you Vicki, I can assure you that it was true. I'm sorry that you felt my declaration to be insincere." He took a few steps away from her.

Vicki let a few tears slips from her eyes and stepped after him. "Goddammit Henry I don't want to fight anymore! I want things to work between us! I meant what I said when I said I loved you!"

Henry turned around and looked into her eyes, "But is love going to be enough to make this work Vicki? I'm not sure I can offer you the life you deserve. I will never be able to share daylight with you, and I can never give you the children I know you will inevitably want."

She sighed then bit on her bottom lip, "And I'm afraid that you'll grow tired of me as I get older Henry."

His intense gaze locked upon Vicki's and he reached out for her hands. "I would love nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with you Vicki. If you were to die right now I'd feel compelled to step outside and wait for the sun to rise, just so that I may follow you in to the afterlife."

She didn't know how to respond, but there was no doubting his sincerity. As her tears continued to fall all she could do was throw herself at him, wrapping her arms around his neck, "Henry I do love you."

Henry wrapped his arms around her in return, "I love you too Vicki. I always have."

Vicki whispered in his ear, "I'm willing to try this if you are?"

He took her face in his hands and stared in to her eyes then placed a kiss upon her lips. "Nothing would make me happier."

Vicki fought the urge to sob with relief and happiness, choosing instead to open her mouth to his, pulling him closer as he slid his lips against hers.

There was no denying the desire and need between them. Henry gently picked her up and carried her to the bedroom. He laid Vicki down on the bed and held her close as he kissed her more, pushing back on her hands as they tried to get in under his shirt. "I'm going to make love to you Vicki, and I'm going to take my time doing it."

Vicki sighed pleasantly and relaxed comfortably into the bed as Henry began to run his hands over her clothed body.

Henry took his time undressing her, letting his fingers explore the hidden surface of her flesh underneath fabric. Slowly piece by piece he peeled off her clothing. When she was finally naked Henry stood at the end of the bed and removed his clothes as well. He was already hard and wanting.

Sitting on the end of the bed he reached over to caress the arches of her feet with the back of his hands and fingertips. Vicki wiggled her toes in response, humming quietly as she began to melt. Slowly he trailed one hand along the inside her of calf and then her thigh, avoiding the warmth that was gathering in her groin. Vicki pointed her foot and moved it to run her toes along Henry's naked thigh, frustrated that she could not yet reach him with her hands.

Henry caressed her hip and moved up the bed a little more. He then leaned down and place tender little kisses above her belly button over her newly formed scar. He'd cherish it as an emblem that represented all they had been through, and all the events that had led them to this moment. He could feel Vicki shiver beneath the feel of his delicate lips.

Lifting her hand now, Henry took it to his mouth, kissing her palm before tracing his lips over each finger, taking them into his mouth one at a time to lick and suck gently. He then continued to her wrist and up the length of her arm to her shoulder, kissing across her collar bone and down along the other arm, lovingly repeating his actions.

He reached over to cup the underside of one of her breasts, stroking the soft and supple flesh as his fingers ventured towards a nipple, already firm against his touch. Henry squeezed it between his thumb and forefinger, watching it's colour change from pale to pink as the blood returned each time he released his pinch. The flesh around it swelled and wrinkled as Vicki began to whimper and murmur. He then leaned down and place her lips over the other nipple, flicking it with his tongue before softly dragging his teeth over it. He alternated his lips back and forth between both breasts until he was satisfied they'd remain swollen and pointed while he went about his other activities.

Moving back down to the end of the bed now he held her ankles and pushed them apart, moving his head between her legs. He grazed his lips upon her thighs as he inhaled her intoxicating scent. It lured him in like candy to a child. With his thumbs he spread her nether lips open, then leaned in close and dipped his pointed tongue inside.

Pushing her hips towards him Vicki moaned loudly as Henry continued to please her with his mouth, flicking and darting his tongue inside her before replacing it with a finger, moving his mouth to press firmly against the pulsating bud that cried out for attention. She panted and whimpered as he sent sparks of pleasure through her body, an orgasm building, warmth gathering in her toes. Vicki was on the upward spiral as she reached down for him, gently tugging on his hair, "Henry.. make love to me..I can't wait any longer." she begged.

Henry wiped his mouth and slid up the length of her body, being mindful to not put his weight down on top of her. Perched on his elbows he ran the tip of his member against her opening as he leaned down and kissed her.

Vicki curled her arms around his neck as she pulled him closer, sliding her tongue into his mouth, tasting her own arousal on his lips. She arched her hips and pushed towards him, letting the head of his manhood slip inside her.

Henry groaned as he slowly filled her with his length, taking his time to enter her inch by inch, feeling the heat of her body slowly envelope his shaft. Only then when he was completely inside her did he slowly begin to move, pivoting his hips to slowly slide in and out.

Their kisses were breathless now as their bodies moved in unison. Henry was being so tender, so gentle, not wanting to cause her any pain, but Vicki's body was feeling nothing but pleasure.

Henry moved his lips to her neck, licking and suckling at her flesh as he craved the taste of her blood, but he had no intention of biting her. He moved his lips back to trail along her chin.

Through panted breath Vicki spoke to him "Please take my blood.. I want to be even closer to you."

Henry looked into her eyes and saw only love and tenderness. He placed another kiss on her lips before moving back to her neck, enjoying the feel of her pulse against his tongue. He continued to move inside her as his eyes turned black and his fangs broke the surface of her skin.

Vicki cried out. All it took was several more of Henry's firm but gentle thrusts and the delicate sting of his teeth to send her over the edge. He body quivered and spasmed in the ecstasy of an orgasm.

Henry drank the life force of the woman he loved, swallowing her blood as it gushed into his mouth. He continued to move inside her as she cried out with pleasure. Licking the bite closed he then moved back to her lips, kissing her as she whimpered and moaned.

Her eyes fluttered opened as she looked up at him, his body still sliding against hers "I love you" she whispered as she placed a hand against his cheek.

Henry stared into her green eyes and gasped loudly with pleasure. His heart sang as he came powerfully inside her, spilling his seed deep within her walls. "I love you too Vicki" he whispered in reply through ragged breath, letting his weight fall back to his elbows.

As they both began to regain their composure they gazed lovingly into to each others eyes. Eventually Henry had no choice but to roll over and lie at Vicki's side.

Vicki curled in beside him, draping an arm over his waist as she rested her head upon his chest. She smiled and squeezed him tightly, looking up at his face as he lovingly stroked her hair.

A new version of Vicki Nelson's life had already begun - a life with renewed vision, a life filled with love, and most of all a life with Henry Fitzroy. There was no denying that she'd have challenges to face, but as long as Henry was by her side she knew she could deal with anything.

She smiled and pulled him closer, knowing that in her heart she had finally found contentment.


End Notes:

Well that's it! I hope you enjoyed reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for all the support and kind words!