She got out of work later than planned and her ride left without her, the lack of cash keping her from hailing a cab. Calling Mike wasn't an option, he hadn't been in the picture for months.
She walked down the side street trying to look for uneven patches and objects that might trip her up. Night jobs were becoming increasingly difficult because of her vision so she avoided them if possible. She had accepted this case because she was promised it entailed day work only, but she had forgotten to allow for the shorter winter days and overtime. The client suspected office theft and wanted to find out who was doing it without his brother-in-law finding out there was a problem. Vicki had been recommended by a friend of a friend and since jobs were getting hard to find, she agreed to the month long "temp" job with the understanding she would be paid a weekly wage, and an additional closure fee if she could come up with solid proof quickly. She found the culprit the first week, but decided to finish out the month and get caught up with the bills. Tomorrow was Saturday and her report would be typed and presented to the client and final payment received. Thinking about all the directions the money needed to go, she wasn't paying the close attention she usually did when walking alone in the dark.
She stepped off the curb and didn't bother to glance down the alley as she made her way to the next bit of sidewalk.
The hand darted out from the darkness and pulled her into the alley.
She couldn't scream because of the hand over her mouth and the attacker's other arm that pinned both of her arms to her sides. She tried digging in her heels, then tried kicking, but nothing worked. A few seconds later she felt her back pressed into the bricks of the far wall by a heavy body.
A voice she never though she would hear again spoke in her ear, "Hush, Vicki. I don't mean any harm."
Vicki brought her arms up and tried to break his grip.
"Hush Vicki. You will be still." The pressure eased and she caught her breath and let her head rest on his shoulder. Her breath slowed and she was surrounded by his unique scent. Her heart slowed so that the pounding in her ears stopped.
"Why?" It was all she could say.
He rubbed his cheek against her hair, "I need you."
She beat on his chest with fists closed like she did to batter the punching bag in her office, "Of all the high handed, self serving, arrogant nerve. You dare to say that to me after being gone for months?"
"Sixteen months to be exact, and I've never stopped needing you." He grabbed her fists in his larger hands and forced them back over her head and against the wall. His lips came close to hers and he said, "I love you, Victoria Nelson. I've come back for you and tonight I mean to have you."
"Wow! Great! That's what every girl dreams of, being raped in an alley."
He froze, then stepped back, sweeping her off her feet. He carried her back to street while saying, "You're right again. This is not the place. I'll take you to your door and you'll invite me in."
"What makes you think I'll invite you in?"
"You love me as much as I love you."
Vicki wrapped her arms around his neck as he carried her toward her home and thought about him as he walked. Finally she said, "If I invite you in, you'd better never leave me again."
"I don't intend to ever leave you again. If you'll have me, I'm yours for as long as you like." He bounced her a little in his arms and added, "Eternity if you want."
He placed her on her feet before the apartment door. She took out her keys, unlocked it, reached in and turned on the light then turned around saying, "Come in Henry, and lock the door behind you."
He turned the lights off and locked the door.
Vicki snarled, "Turn the lights back on. We're going to talk before you get what you want."
He covered his eyes with one hand and turned the lights on with the other, "What's to say?"
"Let's get this straight once and for all. I don't need you, Henry. I've done all right without you or Mike for the last eighteen months."
"Sixteen." He corrected.
"Whatever. The point is, I don't need you or anyone else in my life that's going to walk out when I say something they don't want to hear. The last time I tried to tell you what I was feeling, you walked away and slammed a door. I'm not giving you that kind of power over me again."
Henry moved closer to where she was standing, "I never meant to hurt you. I thought you were rejecting me. I had to leave and you refused to come with me."
Shaking her head in denial she said, "I didn't reject you. I said I couldn't leave with Mike hurting. You ran away like a spoiled child who heard no for the first time."
Henry ran his hands through his hair, "Maybe I did, but I'm here now and I'm asking you to let me back into your life."
"What's changed? You're still going to feed and have sex with anything on two legs. Given what you are, I can understand that and almost accept it, but what's there about me you need?"
"You accept me for what I am and I can trust you with all of myself. I don't have to wear a mask or keep secrets from you. You make me feel alive. Vicki, I love you."
Vicki could feel as well as hear the total honesty in his voice and in his words. She smiled slowly, nodded yes, turned away from him and walked to her bedroom.
He followed her, stopped her from undressing, and whispered, "Let me." He took off each item of clothing, slowly folding each piece and placing it on the dresser. Here was the present he had been wanting for centuries, a woman that he could trust with all of himself, the good, the bad, the horrible, and the honorable. She was his love, his match and his mate in every way. When he had her naked and shivering with excitement, he started removing his own clothing in the same slow deliberate manner. "It's not enough to share physical love. We have so much more to give. I want all of you, your taste, your warmth, I want you to nourish my body and my soul with your love. All my yesterdays have led me to now, and all my tomorrows are yours to command."
He moved forward and took her in his arms and she felt his hard desire as he came close. Her breasts brushed against the soft red gold hair on his chest and she reached down to wrap her fingers around him, heard his quick intake of breath and felt him tremble in her hand. He slowly rocked his hips back and forth to the rhythm of her squeeze and release. His fingers moved in circles over her breasts and stomach, then traveled lower and deeper until they touched the hard nub of her and slipped into her inner wetness. She gave a quick moan and her hips moved in rhythm to his touch. When close to climax, they moved to the bed and shifted so that they were joined in all the right places.
His eyes darkened and he pulled back his lips from white fangs. He licked the pulsing artery near her temple and followed it down in front of her ear to the spot where it joined the shoulder. She arched her back and tilted her chin making room for his bite. "Not yet. The man gets what he wants first. Vampire will wait. Tell me, order me. How can I pleasure you?"
Vicki's body was alive and thrumming to his touch. She could feel each separate nerve begging for release. "Love me Henry and don't ever stop."
Years of experience prepared him for this night and he put all his lessons to good use. When Vicki screamed in pleasure and begged him to join her, he gave up his tight control and his body spilled his seed into her.
They held tight until breathing slowed, then he moved to bite down on her neck to take her hot blood into his cool body, she stopped him saying, "I want to see the vampire." He closed his eyes and dropped his mask. Vicki traced the ridges above his navy blue eyes and his lips were pulled back from the sharp fangs. She took the tips of her index fingers and followed down the fangs to the points. "Your beautiful, vampire. I love you as much as I love Henry."
He lifted his head back from her touch then said, "I'll have the rest of you." He brought his face close to her neck and bit down. He took more than he should but not enough to do her harm.
When rational thought came back, Vicki ordered, "You're staying here from now on." She looked him in the eye and dared him to argue.
"I'll stay. But it's up to you to keep the daylight from touching me. You know some of the old stories are true and the effects of sunlight are most deadly to my kind. Whatever happens during the day is up to you."
He held her tightly until dawn then let out a sigh and became very still. Vicki got out of bed, looked around, closed the drapes, and pulled the covers over his still form.