A/N: Just to be safe, lets assume I'm spoiling all the books! I wrote this just in time for flu season lol I am currently stuck with a headcold and feeling icky so this was perfect timing! Hope you enjoy! Reviews are helpful! I had no beta for this so I self-edited, forgive me my grammar/spelling shortcomings!


My whole body hurt. The blankets gently clung to my form, quietly smothering me. The medication was working: they told me so. I had to keep taking the medication in order to get better. Mommy promised me that when I felt good she'd take me to the beach. I didn't care about the beach I just wanted to go home. I wanted to go home. I really just wanted to go home. But my body hurt so bad and I wasn't getting any better. They were liars, all of them. We knew, we knew we were dying and nothing could help it. It was too hot under the blanket; it was too heavy and rough. I felt like throwing up. And they wouldn't make it stop, they would just keep giving me medicine and I will always feel bad. I want to go home... please let me go home... mommy... mommy...

"Mmf!" I twitched violently, my sensitive muscles protesting loudly. Normally a nightmare would have me sitting upright in my bed, trying to gather my bearings. But I wasn't in my bed, I was on the couch. Besides, I was hurting so damn bad just twitching sent me reeling so I wasn't about to sit up voluntarily any time soon.

Everything had been fine a few hours ago but then Ivy –my tall, dark and sexy vampire roomie - perked up when she sensed my body temperature rise. I dismissed it, uncomfortable with her creepy vampire senses. Until, of course, I started getting the shakes and my body started to hurt. I tried to keep it from her, knowing how smug she would get when she realised I was sick. Not only had she informed me that there was worry about a new strain of the flu but she had been nagging me nonstop to get the vaccine before flu season. I didn't go. I hated needles, had too many of them when I was little. Too much medicine.

A wave of nausea wracked through me and for a moment I thought I was going to throw up all over Ivy's expensive couch. I hated that damn dream, remembering the hospital and how it felt to have Rosewood Syndrome. I had been dying and if it wasn't for some illegal genetic tinkering I wouldn't have been alive to worry about staining the couch with vomit. But the memories always got so damn fresh when I got sick.

I took a deep breath, trying to control the queasiness. It wasn't that I was worried about Ivy's reaction. Once the smugness wore off, and I was throwing up, she had softened up on me considerably. It was part of her personality and part of her natural vampire instincts. Vampires were very gentle and kind to the sick; it was really bad form to harass them.

Of course, I couldn't allow her to coddle me. It wasn't my nature to accept help. So instead of allowing her to take care of me I pushed her away, guaranteeing a cranky vampire. She had been pissy with me all day because I kept her at bay. It drove her nuts and she wasted no time telling me so.

"Rachel, why must you ALWAYS force me to go against my instincts?" She snarled.

I shifted on the couch; unable to discern which aches had popped up because I was sleeping awkwardly and which ones were simply from another fever. Jenks and his family were staying in the garden away from me. He didn't want his family growing ill and was particularly worried about me infecting Matalina in her state. It wasn't cold enough for them to need to be inside. All I had left was Ivy.

Why did I push her away when I knew she wouldn't hurt me? This was probably one of the few times I could trust her not to vamp out in my presence.

Because you hate taking help from people. Because you can't handle nurses. Because weakness frustrates you. Because sickness freaks you out.

I nodded tiredly at my unspoken thoughts but they refused to stop there.

Because you want Ivy to help. Because you want her to touch you. Because you want her as close as possible. Because needing her so much freaks you out.

My already unstable body temperature rose in embarrassment. I really didn't need to think about that sort of thing right then. It wasn't fair; it had to be the damn fever.

But it wasn't, not completely. My feelings for Ivy had always confused me and I had begun hoping that maybe it was all a result of how much time we spent together. After all, we had gone through so much it was only natural that I start having strong feelings for her. And it didn't help that she was a high blood living vampire, which meant she was basically an extremely sensual goddess with a propensity for violence and death. Both of which I seemed to find very appealing.

I was smiling softly to myself, laughing internally at my own ridiculousness. Without my awareness, thoughts of Ivy were making me relax. My body sank back into the couch and my mind drifted off to sleep.

It always smelled so clean here. They told me they were scrubbing away the germs to protect us but I knew better. They were cleaning the life away. They were cleaning up our marks and our memories. Eric went away; they were cleaning up his room so we wouldn't ever see him in it again. Like he was never here to begin with. Everything needs to be clean here. They're going to clean me away too one day.

My eyes shot open again and I realised I had broken out into a cold sweat. The shaking was vicious this time and my teeth chattered. I didn't want to be alone. I didn't want to go to sleep again. Sleeping meant dreaming and I couldn't handle it right then. Why didn't I take some pills? Ivy had been trying to pressure me into taking medication. I felt panicky and dizzy.

I didn't want to be alone.

I mouthed her name, frustrated that I was so pained and exhausted I couldn't speak and I was confused as to why I wanted her to come over.

"I-Ivy..." it came out as a weak, pathetic whisper.

Mommy...

I blanched and tried to fling the covers off of me, my mind dazed from heat.

"Ivy..." I finally managed a pitiful whimper.

She wasn't going to hear me and the blanket was going to be the death of me I knew it. Why didn't I listen to her? As I absorbed myself in agonizing over this I was quite startled when cool skin came in contact with my flushed cheek.

"You're having another fever. Can I give you something for it now?" I had a feeling the chills that went up my spine weren't from the fever but from the silkiness of her voice. She was wearing her flimsy black satin robe, the one that ended so high up her thighs that calling it revealing would be an understatement. I stared at her toned long legs for a moment too long.

"Rachel?" I awoke from my gawking, unaware I had even been doing it in the first place.

"Ivy..." She blinked, surprised by the joy in my voice.

"Yes... I'm here."

"Didn't think you would hear."

"I heard you the first time; I just thought it was my imagination... I'm sorry. I should have gotten up sooner." She sounded pained, probably beating herself up for not coming to my rescue fast enough.

"No... no medicine." Her eyes narrowed at me and I realised she was about to snarl at me if I didn't give her something to do. Then she could feel she was helping me. "Water? Please?" I hated asking for help but I didn't want her to leave or have a hissy fit.

She had paused and for one moment I thought she was going to make me repeat myself but instead she turned on her heel and left toward the kitchen. Something clenched within me at the brief glimpses I got of her firm butt. My fever must have been really high because I wasn't thinking clearly.

She returned to me quickly with a glass and before I could protest she helped prop my head up for the water. I managed to sip a small amount before turning away. My brain felt like it was sloshing around in liquid. It didn't help that Ivy's intoxicating smell hit me straight in the face and her breasts were only inches away from my face. This would have troubled me if I could think logically.

"Is there anything else I can do?"

"Mmm?" My eyes drooped. I liked her nearby; she was warm and smelled really, really good. "No..."

She gently placed my head back on the pillow and my eyes shot open.

"Wait!"

"What?" She sounded strained.

"I... uh... I... can you..." I felt so damn crappy and tired but I couldn't sleep properly with all the nightmares.

I won't take meds but... would it really be so bad to ask her to help me? Is it really worth my while to deprive myself of some help?

I wanted her to stay.

"Could you... sleep here? By me?" I was far from lucid but it appeared as if my choices were becoming more rational. How odd, I thought to myself.

"Oh... alright..." I could tell I made her uncomfortable with the request. Generally, we tried to give each other as much space as possible to avoid mixing our scents together. It drove her insane and it usually made me really nervous. But I was sick and her instincts warred within her: to take care of me at the risk of eating me?

About two minutes later my dark haired roommate wandered back into the living room with her blanket and a pillow, settling herself on the couch across from me. It wasn't exactly what I wanted but I wasn't about to admit that I wanted her snuggled up against me.

"Thank you."

"No problem. Goodnight Rachel."

"Night."

I had nudged the blankets off me, trying to cool off my fevered body and go to sleep. All I had on me was a tank top and panties so it wasn't very long before I ended up putting the blanket back on me: too hot and too cold, with no middle ground.

I managed to doze lightly, trying to ignore Ivy's tossing and turning. Cracking an eyelid I watched her stretch her lithe body, trying to find a comfortable spot and failing. She had even grabbed some of the couch pillows to help her but it didn't work. I cracked a smile when I realised the vampire was so pampered in her bedroom of silk with its queen sized bed and many luxurious pillows that she couldn't handle sleeping on the couch. She was going to be massively irritable in the morning if she didn't get some rest.

"Ivy?"

"What." It wasn't so much a question as it was a snippy acknowledgement.

"Do you want to go back to bed?" I tried to stifle a laugh, my attention on her taking away from my pain. I swear she dampened my fever with her very presence.

"I want to... be there for you. But why the hell can't you sleep in your own bed?"

I bit my bottom lip and contemplated answering. I didn't normally like to talk about my childhood but considering what I was planning to ask of her next, I figured a little pity would work my way. Sucking up my discomfort I decided to be honest.

"You remember how I survived the Rosewood Syndrome?"

"Yes..."

"Well... I'm... I don't feel safe when I'm sick. When I was little, and the side effects from the meds were really bad, or I relapsed... I'd always be put alone in a room somewhere. So that the other kids wouldn't be disturbed. Whenever I got sick at home, I'd sleep in the living room or with my mom and dad. Usually with them, they didn't like to leave me alone in my room either." I blinked away tears I hadn't expected to appear.

"I'm sorry."

"It's alright. But you can't sleep here."

"What? No, I'm fine. It's fine."

I smiled at her effort then struggled weakly to get up off the couch. She was at my side so quickly I didn't hear her move. Envious of her vampiric speed, I made a face as she wrapped her arms around me to help me up.

"What's wrong? You don't need to get back to bed. Or do you need to use the bathroom?"

My face went red at the idea of her helping me to the toilet.

"No." I grit my teeth. "I'm going to your bed."

She nearly dropped me, my soft whimper bringing her back to reality before she could let me crumple over.

"This is ridiculous Rachel! You're going to take something. I don't care if it's just a goddamn Tylenol. Something for the fever scrambling your brain." She snapped at me.

I didn't know what to tell her. The last thing I needed was to spend the night discussing my hang-ups over medicine, so instead I just looked her straight in the eyes. I didn't know what she saw looking back at her but her gaze softened.

"I just think it would be easier if we were in your room. Then you wouldn't be surrounded by my smell. Might be some mingling... but I'm sick and I think you fed yesterday..."

"I did... but I don't like this."

"I don't want to be alone." My voice trembled but I wasn't going to beg, if she really didn't want me in her room I would go back to my own and just suck it up. She took so long responding that I started gathering my resolve. It wouldn't be so bad; I'd pass out eventually and stop dreaming...

A moment of vertigo gripped me and it took a second for me to understand why.

Ivy had lifted me in her arms, carrying me close to her body, and walked me over to her bedroom bridal style.

Feeling a bit mortified, I was grateful when she set me on her comfy bed carefully, then darted back to the living room to grab her things.

When she returned she tucked me in, both of us silent from the tension. I didn't even have the presence of mind to swat her away as she fluffed my pillow. Then she promptly settled onto the farthest side of the bed with her back to me.

"Umm... goodnight Ivy."

"Goodnight." She replied sharply, not from anger but repressed feeling.

"I owe you." I felt bad. It was selfish of me, asking her to be so close to me when I knew she wanted to be much closer. I knew she wanted so much more from me, to be her lover, and I denied her time and again. Though, if I was being honest with myself, I was finding it more and more difficult to remember just why I kept saying no.

"Just go to sleep Rachel."

I didn't need encouragement. The smell of her, the knowledge of her presence, and the exhaustion from the lack of sleep hit me all at once and I almost melted into her decadent sheets as I fell asleep.

*****

I awoke a short while later, not from any nightmare but because the persistent ache in my body had intensified. Turning on my other side in an effort to shift the pain I accidentally bumped into something soft.

My eyes adjusted in the darkness to see Ivy sprawled out beside me on her back. In her sleep she had pushed me to the edge of the bed and managed to steal some of the blanket. I hadn't slept deeply or long enough to forget where I was so Ivy's appearance didn't freak me out.

I took a moment to openly stare at her. It was rare for me to have such freedom, normally she was so guarded, and I was so nervous of her misinterpreting my intentions, that I barely took the time to appreciate the way she looked – not that it ever fully hindered me.

She took my breath away. That powerful body, with its vicious speed and strength, sunk into the bed looking fragile. It was testament to her vampire nature that she stole some of my blanket from me but didn't actually wrap it around her. She just wanted to claim it as her territory, leaving most of the blanket at her feet, her upper body exposed. Sometime in the night she had changed into a more conservative outfit. Conservative for Ivy: her shorts were basically underwear with more fabric and the spaghetti strap top barely hid her midriff. Of course that might have been because she had stretched in her sleep, so the shirt rode up to show off the smooth expanse of her abdomen.

My mouth watered thoughtlessly when I realised she had quite a bit of definition. A six pack no less. I watched, hypnotized, as her steady breathing teased me with the sight. She would breathe in and her stomach would expand, her perfect skin flexing to hide the taut muscle. With a puff of breath the skin would settle back and the hard muscle rose to the surface once more.

I could feel her stomach under my fingertips, the delicious texture of her supple skin made my mouth water. I froze, paralyzed with shock when I realised I had literally reached out and put my hand on her abdomen. My eyes darted to her face, relieved to see she was still sleeping. Her breathing was even, her head tilted back slightly and her expression peaceful.

What the hell am I doing?

I flattened my hand over her stomach, her skin cool under my warm touch. Without questioning myself I started making slow circles over her stomach, dazed by the feel of her. I traced the bumps of muscle with the pads of my fingers, trying to be careful as I was unsure of whether she was ticklish. When my fingers accidently brushed against the edge of her shorts I inhaled sharply, surprised by the strong pull between my legs. I couldn't believe it but I was wet.

Ivy hadn't reacted, possibly in the deepest part of her sleep cycle or just exhausted from worrying about me, I wasn't sure.

I had lost my mind. It had to be the only explanation. I should have taken some meds but it was too late, I had fried my brain with my own body heat and was contemplating things I had worked really hard to avoid thinking about.

Why?

I bit my lip but couldn't stop my hand from moving. It didn't go south; it wouldn't have felt right touching her there when she wasn't conscious.

But heading for her breasts is alright?

Recently, I had been trying to pay more attention to my thoughts, to think things through before acting out and to stop treating my brain as if it were merely a mushy object that my skull needed to maintain its shape. But at that moment I really wanted my thoughts to just shut the hell up. The unspoken thoughts that were moving my hand seemed much more enjoyable and damn it I was tired of pretending they weren't there.

You'll hurt Ivy...

And that made me pause, my fingers just centimetres away from the underside of her breast, resting on her ribcage. I was playing with her again wasn't I? In the morning I'd find I did everything wrong and had hurt her. I would blame the fever and I knew it.

If she ever so much as thought about doing this to you, you'd have moved out of the church so damn fast an undead vamp would have lost sight of you. How dare you touch her like this when you would have torn her head off for even considering such a thing?

Guilt washed over me and I reluctantly removed my hand, trying to ignore the sadness and agony that struck me hard at the loss of contact. I was wet, horny, and on the verge of taking advantage of her. I suddenly felt sick for reasons completely unrelated to the flu.

She didn't deserve my stupidity, especially after I had tormented her all day by refusing her help, then demanding that she wake up and take care of me in the middle of the night when she was trying to sleep. The worst part was asking her to let me sleep in her room, making her feel guilty enough that she helped me onto the bed. I had asked a lot of her, knowing she wanted me so much, demanding that instead of a peaceful sleep she should fight her instincts with my weak form next to her. And now? Now I was groping her while she slept?

You're a selfish fucking idiot.

I scrambled to get out of the bed as quickly and quietly as I could. I had to leave, go back to my own bed and stop being such a fool. But I got up too rapidly, a wave of nausea and dizziness disoriented me and I ended up flopping off the bed in a tangle of sheets.

"R-Rache?" Her grey silk voice ran over my skin like a warm waterfall, intoxicatingly beautiful even drowsy. "What's wrong?"

I heard her get up and walk over to me, still too sleepy to be coordinated enough to go vampy. I refused to move, feeling so damn miserable.

"I'm ok, go back to sleep."

"You're on the floor."

"Yes. I can see that." I almost laughed in frustration.

"Ok..." I listened to her yawn, then she calmly leaned down and picked me up in her arms. The heat of her body seeped into me, comforting and safe. My beloved heroine.

"No... put me down." I felt tears well up in my eyes. I felt so damn guilty.

"I am..." she muttered as she hovered me over the bed.

"No – I want to go to my room." My voice wavered, feeling hurt and stupid; I instinctively snuggled deeper in her arms.

"You want us to move to your room?" I could hear the mild alarm in her voice and at that I did laugh. A harsh, angry laugh. The aches and pains that had disappeared while I was absorbed in touching her had come back.

"You sleep here; I'll sleep in my room."

"Oh." She froze and I frowned at how rigid her body had gone. "Did... did I do something in my sleep?" I could hear the disgust and fear in her voice.

"No..." I sniffled, feeling like an epic asshole. She was worried she had molested me while we slept. But I was the pervert. Shit.

"You're crying..." There was no emotion in her voice and I knew she had just decided she was going to blame herself. Before I could protest we were already about to pass through the hallway.

"Wait!"

Surprised by my rather impassioned outburst and the sudden influx of powerful emotion, she almost fumbled when she stopped. She looked at me, I couldn't tell if her eyes were black but I was sure they were probably dilating.

She watched me expectantly and I knew she was waiting for me to explain myself. I took that moment to inappropriately admire the way she was holding me like I weighed nothing. Ivy had very strong arms. Like her strong abs. Goose bumps broke out alone my skin, the desire I tried to stifle rose to the surface and Ivy inhaled sharply, swaying slightly.

Oops. What I was going to tell her certainly wasn't going to help matters.

"It's not your fault." I mumbled, watching as she tried to reassert her self control. "What happened..." I blushed so hard I felt as if my face had to be giving off steam. "You were sleeping... and I kind of, started to..."

Tell her you played with her hair. You rubbed her shoulder? You farted?

"I started touching your stomach..." Humiliation left such a bitter taste in my mouth and I didn't notice her hopeful surprise. "It was my fever," I added, panicking as she sniffed the air, no doubt smelling the lust I left after rubbing her abs. "I wasn't thinking clearly. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I can't believe I did it. I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for the fever. I was half asleep!"

Ivy's eyes locked with my own then she turned away.

"Alright." My heart dropped at the disappointment in her voice. I didn't meant to, but I had implied that I wouldn't have touched her or felt anything if I wasn't feverish. I wasn't ready to explore just why I needed to touch her, but what I meant to say is that I would have never crossed the line and touched her without her permission. I bit my tongue, not wanting to make things worse.

Her vampiric speed was back and I found myself back in my bed before I registered movement.

"Ivy..."

"Rachel, I really need my sleep. I hope you get some rest but I really can't stay up all night and deal with this. Either take some of those fucking pills and get over your emotional baggage, or wallow in your nightmares." She snapped at me, startling me when she actually used a curse word.

She closed the door silently and I was left in the darkness of my room.

*****

The flu lasted about a week in total. The first four days were the worst of it and if it wasn't for Ivy I probably would have walked out into heavy traffic just to end my suffering.

Things had started off tense between us, neither one ready to talk about that night, but once I allowed Ivy to take care of me like she wanted we grew more relaxed around each other. I still had pangs of supreme guilt as she pampered me. Every day she managed to cook light meals, kept the fridge stocked in all my favourite drinks and juices, monitored my physical state and had even bought me a new pillow when I complained about my own being thin from overuse. I planned to pay her back for it as soon as I got better but she didn't seem interested. She didn't seem too fazed by my near raping of her while she slept, which made me feel ill. She must have gotten used to people violating her.

Other things were coming to light at that point. I learned to discern how her vampire instincts did not make her who she was but were only a small part of her. There were many vampires, I was sure, that would have snapped much earlier than she did and killed me a long time ago. Instincts were not enough to scare me away. I had a feeling that any other vampire in her position would have just taken me then and there if I admitted to groping them in their sleep. Sick or not, they would have seduced me and taken advantage.

I also began to appreciate her efforts and stop taking offense when she offered help. Sometimes she went a little overboard, especially when I was feeling really unwell. Trying to help me shower was completely unnecessary... and it gave me butterflies just thinking about it. But she loved me and I knew I was being insecure if I didn't let her help. Trying too hard to be independent was a weakness in and of itself. Pushing past the guilt and embarrassment, I liked having someone take care of me. It was different from when I was sick with Rosewood; she was no nurse giving me smiles that were far too bright and distancing herself from me emotionally to keep from getting attached to a dying child. The nurses were very lenient and far too careful, making me feel like I was already broken, on the verge of shattering completely.

Ivy was already attached to me and was perfectly comfortable teasing me for being an annoying patient. The smiles were warm and wry, her touch grew certain after I stopped jumping, and she was efficient. It was unnerving how she seemed to guess when I was thirsty, hungry or about to puke before my body informed me. She let me sleep on her couch after that first night and I didn't ask her to stay with me, though I wanted her to. A lot.

While she busied herself in taking care of me, going to work, sating her bloodlust and trying to keep the house in order, I took the time to look at her. More accurately: I took the time to oogle her every chance I had. My fevers were diminishing in strength and duration so I was a lot more alert when I checked out her gorgeous ass or tried to sneak a peek down her shirt. At first I tried to dismiss it as accidental or blame it on the fact that she was gorgeous, wearing really revealing clothes, and any warm blooded creature would have snuck a look. That quickly died off when nightmares stopped haunting my sleep and wet dreams of Ivy started waking me up at night feeling a lot less ill and a lot more aroused. Then I really wanted Ivy to stay with me.

I wanted her to do things to me. I wanted to do things to her. A lot of things. I found myself scanning the vampire dating guide more often. The things that didn't seem too scary for me, I started fantasize about trying. My scars pulsed at the memory of her bite and her kiss so I usually tried to do the reading when she was out of the house. For a while I convinced myself that I was just being curious and it had no reason whatsoever to do with Ivy herself.

No reason at all, except I really wanted to see her naked. Then I realised I was plotting.

I loved her, I didn't know what I could promise her, I didn't know what I was capable of and I didn't know if what I ended up giving her would be enough. But I did know I didn't deserve her, I knew I was hurting her by denying myself and I also knew that I had no patience while Ivy was good at repressing her needs I was terrible at it. She still made me nervous, as a powerful vampire she always would, and that fact turned me on just as much as it made me terrified.

I wanted her, I figured I'd make the first move and let her punish me if I screwed up badly. I also decided that I wouldn't let her go if she tried to run away. I was a selfish person and I didn't care. I wouldn't lose her as a friend even if I lost her as... a lover. A word I never thought I'd use to refer to Ivy.

She drove me insane with the smallest of tasks. The sight of her toned arms, her never ending legs, that curtain of onyx that flowed down to her back as she grew it out... clearly I was a bit smitten.

I wasn't keen on someone claiming I was theirs, but in retrospect I thought of Ivy as mine and she obviously thought of me as hers. It could work; I just had to tempt her in just the right way.

*****

When Ivy came back from her meeting with Cormel I was in the kitchen. I gathered up my nerve and tried to relax as I listened to her take off her jacket. The noise was more for my benefit than anything else, she was perfectly capable of walking into the house without my knowledge, her movements so graceful and silent I wouldn't notice until I bumped into her.

"I'm home."

"I'm in the kitchen!"I called back, my voice going up a pitch from nerves. I was beginning to have doubts. She would either reject me or eat me I was sure of it.

My breath caught when she walked in. She had gone to Cormel to feed so she was dressed in a new black dress that clung in all the right places and managed to reveal nothing while hinting at everything. She was sin personified.

While I spent time gaping at her she was staring at me, the pupil of her eye dilating. It wasn't her fault, I was trying my hardest.

I seemed innocent enough, standing there in faded jeans and a gorgeous black top with long sleeves. But the top was hers; I had stolen it from her room, snagging it from her atop her dresser. She had worn it just yesterday so it smelled strongly of her. I had showered using her shampoo and the anti-frizz hair charm embedded in my amulet hung around my neck by a huge chain, clearly visible because of the low neckline of the shirt. I wore no perfume and I hadn't aired out the kitchen in the slightest.

Ivy had gone so still I would have thought her a mannequin. We stood there in complete silence until I finally spoke up.

"I made dinner, to thank you for all your help when I was sick."

I gestured at the spinach pita and salad I arranged on the table. Nice and crunchy, get that saliva flowing.

"What are you doing." Not really a question, she looked ready to snap.

"I wanted to make you – "

"Rachel! What. Are. You. Doing." Her eyes were engulfed in blackness and I was pretty sure it was mainly anger. There were no pheromones in the air. Great.

"I-I'm trying to seduce you." I blurted, going crimson while she made a strangled noise in the back of her throat. "I don't think it's going well." I tried to joke, watching the vein in her temple stick out.

"I'm going to kill you. I seriously am. You're a cruel bitch. Why are you doing this to me?" She bared her teeth at me but I knew it was in self defence.

The pain in her voice struck me hard, calling me a cruel bitch struck me even harder, but I was prepared for this.

"You're right, I'm a bitch. But... I realised a few things about myself this last week. I-I want you. I want all of you. I want to see where this could go. I've been wanting you for a while. And Ivy? I'm not sorry I... kind of... groped you that night."

She raised an eyebrow, her breathing loud and erratic.

"I didn't do it because of the fever... I wasn't delirious and fevers don't make me horny." I turned a darker shade of red at my stupid attempt at rationalizing. This worked in my favour, spreading my scent more thickly in the room as my blood rose to the surface of my skin; Ivy actually closed her eyes for a moment.

"I was just... I was sorry that I was taking advantage of you. That I was touching you without permission." She kept her eyes closed so I continued talking. "I do a lot of things that hurt you. And I was sick with myself that I almost started something without your permission." A rush of anger made my eyes tear up and she looked at me. "I'm never going to do that to you. I'd rather die than violate you. You would never do such a thing to me. I trust you. And you trust me. And when I realised what I almost did I... I..."

I couldn't believe I was breaking down. Ivy's image blurred and I quickly turned away from her feeling disgusted with myself. The speech wasn't entirely planned out before I did this. Ivy would have scolded me for that and I managed a watery smile. Then her arms went around me and I relaxed into her grip. Her scent made my head swim; she had to have been pouring pheromones in the air to comfort me. I quickly breathed it in, letting liquid warmth settle in my stomach. It had been a long week.

"Rachel... Dear heart... I really wish you didn't do all this..." Her voice was low and sensual, promising me many things.

"Mmm maybe it was overkill. Could have just worn the shirt. Or maybe just wear the amulet." I smirked, pulse quickening at her rarely used nickname for me. The tingling in my scars also made me breathe a little faster.

"God... Rachel..." She nuzzled along the side of my neck, her breasts pressing into my back. One hand found its way to my belt, slowly inching up to the edge of my shirt and rising up under it. The other hand wound its way to my thigh. "I didn't feeeeeed Rachellllll..." she moaned softly into my ear, half singing, while her warm breath sent slivers of pleasure to my scars.

"Wh-what?" I wasn't able to think properly, she had lifted the shirt up a bit and was tracing patterns over my skin.

"Cormel had cancelled..." she leaned in and ran her silky lips over my throat, worrying at the skin over my rapid pulse. "I just spent some time there... talked to some people..." Her tongue flicked out over the damaged skin of my scar and I gasped sharply as the desire almost stabbed through my core.

"Ivy..."

"My silly little witch... you could have had me without effort... now how am I supposed to stop myself when you've made me such a feast? Hmm?" Her mouth latched onto my neck and she kissed and suckled her way along the skin, deftly exploring territory that had once been so forbidden. I melted against her, openly gasping and whining as she found hotspots I did not know existed.

When she pulled away I whimpered in protest, blinking dazedly. I wasn't really standing anymore, she had moved the hand on my thigh to my hip so she could press me to her firmly and hold me upright.

"Rachel... tap... tap into the line out back..." she whispered, even as she leaned down and nipped at my skin, her teeth worrying at my scars and making me move my hips rhythmically in the air.

"Nnnno..." I panted.

"Rachel..."

"Take it from me..." My sex clenched and my excitement escalated at what was about to happen. Ivy almost coughed from how sharply she gasped.

"I'm going to Rache, if you don't stop me now." An inhuman growl permeated the air and I knew she was desperately trying to fight herself for just that small amount of control.

Thankfully, I had already done all my thinking before this moment. Our confusion over the blood balance was asinine and mainly my fault.

"Good. I want you to. I trust you. And I really want you to. Please Ivy." I felt her freeze at my pleading tone and decided to push a little harder, to tease her but also keep her in check. "I love you. Please Ivy."

The desperate moan that left her made my knees buckle. I had reaffirmed my feelings for her, I had told her she was loved so she could feed from me and not fear harming me.

I bent my head away to give her more room and cried out in surprise when her hand whipped out and shattered the chain around my neck. My back arched when I felt her cold fangs slip into me, my heart pounding harder, feeding her faster. Mind reeling I sighed joyfully when our auras melded. I could feel her. There was nothing more intimate than this: her love and lust flowed through me just as mine flowed through her. But I wanted more. Her mouth drew blood from me; drinking slow and deep and I felt her surprise as I grabbed the hand on my hip and pressed it downward.

She wasted no time, tearing off the button and zipper of my jeans and settled her elegant fingers under my panties to my slick and hot sex. I was mewling and whining her name as the pads of her fingers rubbed the bundle of nerves so adeptly. My panting grew faster and my movements more wanton and she drank a little faster while my hips sped up.

"More!" My snarl turned to a whine when her fingers slipped into me and pumped in time with her drawing my blood.

We were losing our balance; it was difficult for her to keep me propped up when she was sharing my oncoming climax. I leaned slowly and gripped the counter, spreading my legs to get steadier. I could feel her relief when she got the chance to lean on me a little, to keep herself from collapsing as she fed from me. If she wasn't so deliciously tall this wouldn't have worked in the slightest.

Her fingers sped up and I had broken out into a sweat, trying to fight off release as long as I could. But her hips were grinding into me from behind and I lost control, crying out sharply when she bit deeper, her strangled moan reaching my ears as she followed me.

My body shook as she lapped up the new wound on my neck, her saliva cleaning and closing it. She stayed leaned up against me while we both tried to regain our composure. Our auras slowly separated and I mourned the loss of our connection.

When she got up from me I was both relieved – because I was getting a little stiff – and disappointed – because she had to pull her fingers out and leave me feeling colder without her body.

I turned around to see her trying to readjust her dress, which had ridden well past her hips while grinding me. Her skin was flushed. And she wasn't wearing any underwear. My eyes flashed in anger when I realised she had been planning to do more than feed her bloodlust at Cormel's but then I really focused on what I was looking at and my mouth watered.

She froze, looking up at me with her black eyes and reddened lips. They were swollen from sucking on me.

"This isn't fair."

"What?" She raised a wary eyebrow at me.

"You got to feed. It's my turn now." My eyes narrowed at her and I felt almost predatory as I stalked over to her. She looked at me heatedly and I boldly reached down and ran my finger up her slit, both shocked and deliriously excited at her surprised gasp and how she had wet her inner thighs. She was dripping and the fact that I could make her react so powerfully gave me a heady rush. I grabbed her arm and dragged her to her chair, yanking the bottom of her dress up before pushing her back into the leather.

I fell to my knees before her, my head swimming with the scent of incense, Ivy and her sex. She spread her legs without prompting and I dove for her without a coherent thought. She was hot and her lips were so incredibly soft in my mouth. The taste was unique and indescribable. I liked it, it was addictive. I explored carefully, mindful of Ivy's uneven breathing and unintelligible words. When I dipped my tongue inside her she arched off the seat and cried out sharply. I was drunk off this power and did it again soon after she settled back down, swirling my tongue and swallowing the juices that threatened to spill down my chin. I went back to the small bud of nerves; gauging her enjoyment by the way she cried out and developed a rhythm, my fingers soon joining in.

It wasn't long before she was bucking wildly and clinging to my hair. The pheromones were so thick I felt my hips start jerking as I came with her.

I slumped down onto my butt as she collapsed into her chair. Resting my cheek on her inner thigh, I licked my lips before leaning forward and pulling her toward me for a kiss. It was gentle and slow, we were welcoming one another. I pulled away a bit and nibbled on her bottom lip, the strange mix of her juices and my blood mingled together.

I leaned my head against her stomach, wishing I had torn the whole dress off so I could feel the skin. Smirking, I calmly reached up and lifted the dress a bit higher so I could nuzzle her belly button. She sighed contently above me and massaged my scalp.

We didn't need to talk, we were in sync. I knew what I wanted and she knew it too. My movements were innocent enough but then I started kissing her stomach, biting hard and laving her with my tongue. Innocence was quickly lost and we set to devouring each other a few more times.

*****

My whole body hurt. I woke up and stretched, my living blanket of a vampire grumbled unintelligibly at me for disturbing her sleep. The aches were fantastic. I had bruises and scratches in all the right places and I was certain that walking would be a problem for the next few days. I've never been so sated in my life. I didn't even know I could do half the things she had put me through and I was happy she had managed to feed from me only once. Her control was unbelievable.

I tried to get up but her possessive arms were too strong.

"Ivy... I need to use the washroom. And I'm hungry."

"No." She stated plainly.

"What do you mean no? I'm going to pee on you."

"S'fine. Mark your territory."

I laughed at that.

"I thought I already did...." my fingers trailing over the deep bite marks I left on her shoulder. She shivered and shifted over me, rubbing her breasts over my ribs and burying her nose into my tender neck. I gave a breathy sigh and tried to control the situation.

"I will gladly mark more territory, of course, but I could really use some food."

"Mmm" Her lips nibbled at my new scar and I felt liquid heat pool between my legs. Time for desperate measures.

"I could probably use some Brimstone as well, what with the blood loss."

She paused then rolled off of me, pouting but amused. Somehow I got the feeling I didn't use a trump card to earn my freedom but had been tricked into taking the vampire drug of choice. I made a face at her that only made her laugh.

My heart beat a little faster and I couldn't help grinning like an idiot. I loved her laugh.

Who needs medicine? Ivy was cure enough for me.