Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, they and the world they live in, belong

"Five thousand dollars!?"

"Yes, ma'am," the electrician said, holding out the estimate for me to see. "The price is actually quite low considering the damage, here."

"Five. Thousand. Dollars." I repeated his words once again in disbelief. That was totally out of my price range. Ivy would most likely be able to pay him cash right then and there, but she kept her mouth shut beside me when I shot her a glance saying If you offer to pay this I will kill you twice. She knew very well that I didn't like it when she paid for the damages that had occurred because of me. And still, after years of living under the same roof as her, I never found out how the hell she came up with all her money. The theory I had that seemed most plausible of all was that she pulled it straight out of her ass. Yes, I know. That was my best theory.

"Yes," he responded, his tone slightly less tolerant now that he realized he most likely wasn't going to be making a contract. "A lot of the wiring has been destroyed, and the paneling was almost burnt down to ashes. It's a good price, if you ask me. How did you say this happened again?"

"I didn't," I said, shifting uneasily. A vengeful demon came after me so that we could settle the debt I owed him, and he basically set the place on fire with who the hell knows what kind of ever-after magic when I refused. "Just a bunch of pixie kids playing where they weren't supposed to."

Jenks was going to kill me when he found out that I had used his kids in the lie to persuade the electrician that I wasn't a demon summoner. But it was the first thing that popped into my mind, and now was no time for hesitations.

"Ah, I see." His voice was thick with accusation, but it wasn't exactly like I cared what a lousy electrician thought about me. I probably should have told him the truth so he might have perceived it as a threat. No. I had done that once, and remorse still clung to me like a second skin because of it. Ugh. My life was just one big happy string of events.

"Well the price isn't going to vary," he stated flatly, his tone holding the slightest amount of impatience, "and I can tell by your dramatic response that this isn't going to be going anywhere that'll mean business." He closed the door to the electric box that dispensed electric current everywhere around the church, which was now an ugly black. Hey, I thought merrily. Just like my aura!

"Good luck with finding someone to repair the damage." The electrician's steps were loud as his big boots thunked against the hardwood of the church floor, heading toward the front door. My back slumped against the wall in defeat and I took in a deep breath. Why was I always stuck with the consequences of what stupid demons decided to do in my church? It was ridiculous.

I barely had time to register Ivy's movements before the vampire was standing in front of the man, hand on his shoulder in protest. "Five thousand dollars. Alright, we can pay. Can you fix it tonight?"

"No," I complained, sounding childish. "Ivy. We can find someone else. This company is just trying to rip us off. Really. I'll pay for it. It was my fault if Algali—"

My words stopped as I realized the electrician was staring at me, his eyes wide in a mixture of shock and disbelief. "So it's true," he stammered. "It's all true. What they say about you. You're the real Rachel Morgan. The one who works with demons. The Turn take it I should have known! No way I'm fixing that for you. You're on your own."

I rolled my eyes at him, having already gotten past the fact that certain people were too stupid to understand that I didn't deal in demons. Ivy, however, tensed before once again blocking his exit. She had her hands stiffly along her sides, fingers curled into her palm to make her look intensely hostile. Her black gaze was fixed onto his, holding it aggressively until even I could smell the fear he was exuding.

"Ten thousand dollars." She said flatly, inches from his face. "Cash."

My jaw dropped down to the ground. Again? I took a step toward her, but she held a hand up, stopping me in my steps. Her gaze never left his. "Can you fix it tonight?" she repeated, her voice an octave lower than usual.

I stepped forward again, and she ripped her gaze from his to stare at me. Crap, she was pulling an aura. It was only 9:00? "No," she snarled at me, before turning back to him. This time, she stressed each word aggressively. "Can you?"

The electrician nodded hesitantly, and I heard him swallow. Her nostrils flared, scenting the fear leaking from his every pore. It wasn't a good thing; her vampire instincts were being pushed into play. I knew she'd regret all of this later on in the evening, as she always did in these contexts. Her expression or tone did not soften as she asked the more essential question. "Will you?"

He shook his head, pupils contracting as her hostile features never faltered. I saw the hand she had placed on her shoulder slowly curl into itself, and I swallowed my gut-wrenching dread. "Ivy," I said softly. "Let him go."

I saw her neck twitch slightly as she fought with herself for control. Ivy's icy glare was locked to his, and he looked like he was going to poop himself. Her voice was practically a growl, spit through her clenched teeth. "But I don't want to."

I stepped forward again until I was within arms reach of her. Placing my hand gently on her frozen knuckles, I attempted to cajole her. "Ivy, if the nice man wants to leave, then you should let him leave. Come on, we'll watch a movie or something."

The moment my skin touched hers, she visibly relaxed. I hated to admit that it felt nice to have somewhat of power over a creature as powerful and dominant as Ivy. She looked into my eyes, the woman in her imploring my aid whilst the vampire viciously wished for me to leave. I was torn between her two unheard statements, and I would have left her be if a man's life hadn't been on the brink of death because of one of them. I repeated her name more sternly this time, telling her to let go of him once again.

Her upper lip twitched, an evident sign of her distaste toward my demand. She released him abruptly, and stormed off into the other room. I let out a heavy sigh. I was definitely going to have to deal with this later. The electrician was shaking, immobile before the front door. I held up my hands, trying to calm him. Only then did I notice the bizarre scent emanating from him, and I was taken aback by the realization that he was human. Why the hell had Ivy hired a human to check out electric system? And how the hell did he know who I was? Ugh. This day was getting better and better. In addition, I had the distinct feeling it was far from being over. "Let's not tell anyone of this little outbreak, shall we?" I wanted to make sure the fact that a demon attacked me in my own church didn't get out. "It was nice meeting you."

I held my hand out professionally, but he turned around with a panicked clumsiness, and bolted out the door. Rolling my eyes in aversion, I headed toward the kitchen, where I vaguely heard Ivy's presence. I didn't know exactly what she was doing, but the closest thing I could compare it to was a light and quick tapping. Almost like someone rapping on a window with their fingernails.

I entered the room, and my features contorted into confusion as I watched her intensely flipping the light switch over and over and over again. Her back was hunched so that she was at eye level with the small piece of plastic, midnight eyes focused as if her life depended on it. I had never seen her like this before. It was evident through the smooth texture of her cheeks that her jaw was clenched tightly underneath, as was the fist she wasn't using to play with the switch. This wasn't like her at all. Ivy would never repeat something consistently when it was obvious that whatever she was trying to do was not working. It just wasn't Ivy.

I stepped forward, expecting her to turn abruptly. But no. Her eyes remained locked on the light switch, never even flickering to shoot me a glance. Once again, not at all like Ivy. She was ignoring me. She never ignored me. Ever. Ivy would either confront the problems she had, or leave. But never would she stay in the same room as I and pretend I wasn't there. This was getting really weird.

"Ivy..." I tried her name, and got a response. She let her shoulders drop as if in defeat, and stepped slowly away from the wall, turning to face me.

"Why do you have to scare everyone away, Rachel? Why?"

Okay, wow. I really wasn't expecting that. So naturally, I said the first words that were impatiently waiting in line at the tip of my tongue to be allowed freedom. "Me? I scare them away!? Reeally, Ivy." My tone was thick with accusation, and I knew I was going to regret this later. "You're the one who always almost eats everything to step through the threshold of this church! You're the one who's master runs the underworld of Cincinnati! And you're the one who hired a freaking human to repair our electric system! What the hell were you thinking?"

Her head slightly tilted away from me, and I was astounded at the movement of submission. Her voice was soft and vulnerable. "I thought he wouldn't recognize you."

The expression her features held were so full of hurt that I wished I could just crawl into a corner and die. I probably shouldn't have said those things, but I needed to defend my ego. I hated the fact that certain people were scared of me for no reason and she was well aware of it. Ivy, however, people generally had a good reason to be afraid of. The explanation that I wasn't still eluded me completely. But seeing her like this made me remember the initial reason I had stayed. Ivy didn't like who she was, and I had yet to show her that she could have people around her that loved her for who she was; and not who she pretended to be. My heart clenched in my chest as she turned back to the light switch and begun fiddling with the plastic once more.

"Ivy, it's broken." She turned to me, fingers still curled around the switch. "Look, I'm sorry I said those things but I ju—"

"It doesn't matter." She cut me off dismissively, as if it didn't matter that I was about to pour my heart out into words about how hard my life was, now that everyone feared me for thinking I dealt with demons. "It doesn't matter, Rachel. I'm sorry, too. There. Happy? Now let's try another electrician. Where did I put the phone book, again?"

She left into the living room and I followed hesitantly, my features quizzical. What the hell was this woman up to? I tried calling her name, speaking some sense into her suddenly tiny cranium, but she was muttering softly to herself, completely unaware of her surroundings and focused on finding that darn phone book for no apparent reason. I tried to stand in her way and stop her, but it was as if I was just a table before of her, and she would always walk around me, head bowed and searching frantically.

I rolled my eyes at no one in particular, and grabbed her firmly by the shoulders to hoist her erect. Evidently, she squirmed slightly until I tightened my grip. "Who the hell are you and what have you done with Ivy Tamwood?" She arched a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at me and gave me a look that perfectly portrayed the fact that she thought I was stupid. "I want her back," I added more softly.

That stopped her in her tracks. She narrowed her eyes at me, sensing my increasing blood pressure. "Stop it."

I held my hands out in mock surrender, forgetting that if I wanted to do so, I'd have to let go of her. Stupid me. She resumed her frantic searching, until I slammed my fist against the wall. It hurt. It really hurt. But it was worth it, because I fully captured Ivy's attention. "Ivy," my tone matched the force of my fist against the wall. "Tell me what's wrong. I can help."

Her anxiety was thickly obvious, almost emanating from her in every way. I had never seen her like this before, and my gut told me that it might be better for me not to know, seeing as it was most likely bad. But as always, my curiosity overruled every other little voice in my head, urging me to ask what I had. I had the distinct feeling I wasn't going to receive a response, however, because her jaw clenched at my statement and she suddenly looked not-so-friendly.

"No you can't. Or won't, is rather what I mean." Before I had the chance to protest, she continued hastily, most likely with the knowledge that she only had one shot to get this all out. "You can't understand. And I can't bear telling you because you have no idea how demeaning this is. I'm not saying more than that. So you can either walk into the other rooms and help me find that goddamn phone book, or you can get out of my way while I try to find it. And when I find another electrician to come tonight, I'd like you to leave the house while he checks the box. Just to be safe."

Her last words were spat out at me, almost as if in disgust. I stood there, mouth agape in pure astonishment. Wow. This was most definetly not Ivy.

Seeing my aghast expression, she stepped back in shame. "I'm sorry."

Her apology, however, did not change her pace even in the slightest. Running everywhere like a mad-woman, she searched for that goddamn phone book I still had no clue why was so important. Childishly, I sat down cross-legged directly onto the floor, and folded my arms. I know, I know. Don't say it. It was probably the most stupid to do at that particular time. I get it.

Suddenly, she stepped in through the threshold brusquely and utterly surprised me by saying, "Rachel, do you wanna go out tonight?"

My eyes widened as I contemplated the vast implications that simple phrase entailed. "You mean," I stammered, unsure of my words. "You mean like a date?"

"No," she huffed, annoyance clear in her tone. "I mean like out. Of the church."


"Just to get out."

I couldn't help it anymore. "You know that really doesn't sound like you."

"Isn't that too bad, then. Because I'm me, and that's not going to change." She wanted a battle of dominance, and I was prepared to fight for my honor.

I stood, approaching her with a superior posture. "Why do you want to go out?"

"Just to get out. You know, have fun? I thought you'd be all over this." My perseverance was irritating her, and she knew I knew it was. This was going to be either extremely entertaining, or extremely regrettable.

"I think it's because you want out of the church." I paused for effect, bringing my index to my chin in mock reflection. "But why tonight? Why so persistent on going out tonight? I don't understand."

Her shoulders hunched in slightly, and she averted my gaze. I was finally getting somewhere. I knew it was wrong to pry into her personal life this way, but she had no reason to hide anything from me. I had never hidden anything from her. Unexpectedly, and yet predictably, Ivy stormed out of the room as I was about to open my mouth and speak again. Damn. I was really getting somewhere. I heard a door slam in the distance, and assumed it was the door to Ivy's bedroom. The front door had a particular sound to it when slammed shut—and I had had many opportunities to study the sound of the front door slamming when Ivy would have her little fits. Ahh, Ivy.

I somehow found no wrong in walking over to her room and seemingly invade her personal space. Hey, we were roommates; it's what we do. I waited outside for a few minutes, with the knowledge that she was aware of my presence. She always was. I could be on the other side of the church as her, taking a dump, and she knew. It was scary at times, but at many other occasions, it had been this aspect that had saved my life. Repeatedly. I twiddled my thumbs, bit my fingernails raw, and chewed on a few strands of hair as I waited. I didn't necessarily want to barge into her room without permission, but if it had to come to that, so be it. If she wanted me in, she most likely would have opened the door for me or something. Even a little "come in" would have been nice. This was just torture. Seeing that she was probably still mad at me and ignoring me, I knocked twice, and then turned the knob, opening the door with a dramatic woosh!

"Look, Ivy. I'm sorry I tried t—"

My words were cut off by a figure slamming into my gut and hurling me to the ground. I regained complete focus a few seconds later, seeing Ivy almost lying on top of me, her eyes not even the slightest bit dilated. "Ivy!" I complained, using my free hand to rub my hip in displeasure. "What. The hell?"

An ominous glow of gold surrounded her, reminding me of my aura before it had been tainted by those goddamn demons that seemed to love barging into my life. Her hair was a complete mess, and for the first time tonight, I really noticed she was wearing a black tank-top to flawlessly match her dark allure. And with the golden aura surrounding her, she looked like an angel. A dark, mischievous, and ridiculously sexy angel.

I could feel the heat from her body pouring into me; enveloping my heart and soul with guilt. I knew what she wanted. She knew I knew what she wanted. It was easy to give, but I never delivered. Her stomach was only inches above mine, the fabric of her top swooping low to caress my covered flesh. It made me shiver, and she tensed. Her whisper was unintentionally husky and low as she spoke not so far away from my face so that her breath descended upon my cheek. "Stop it."

"Sorry," I breathed. My voice was low and I hated the way it sounded in contrast with the silk of hers. I cleared my throat and squirmed slightly beneath her. "Uhh...Ivy? Can you get off of me, now?"

She stared at the floor beside me as if debating what to do in her mind. I watched the emotions flicker across her features faster than I could blink. I had to admit that it was kind of cute, seeing as the final emotion she decided to settle for was shyness. Her gaze flicked away from mine, and she stood up hesitantly.

Ivy's gaze was accusing as she leered down at me from above. "Don't make any brusque movements."

"Uhh..." I awkwardly stood, taking more time than necessary. "Okay."

Only then did I look around her room to see dozens of candles lit at intervals that brightened the entire room at once. I also noticed that a little less than half of them had been extinguished, perhaps due to my wannabe-dramatic entrance. Ivy didn't want me to put out the light produced by the candles? Her room had always been the darkest of the entire church, since she opted for curtains that permitted a pitch black environment; perfect for a vampire. But candles?

"What do you want?" Her voice brought me back to reality, as understanding hit me. That was what the glow had been. Candle light. I felt stupid; an angel. God. What had I been thinking? My mind hopped back into reality as I processed her question. What did I want? My eyes roamed down the length of her svelte form, taking in as much of her as possible. Wait…what was I doing?

Blood rushed to my cheeks at her soft throat-clearing. I decided to go for the dumb-blonde trick. "What do you mean, what do I want?"

One of her eyebrows lifted, and she eyed me over as if I was drunk. "Why did you barge into my room?"

Ohhhhh! "I wanted to apologize for having persisted about the whole 'going out' thing. And I shouldn't have assumed you meant a date when you proposed we leave the church. It was stupid of me." My words were spoken earnestly, and I think I finally got to her.

She nodded once, and helped me up. I took another look around her room and couldn't help but asking. "Why did you light a bazillion candles?"


Here we go again. "Because, why?"

Her eyes narrowed at me, and I saw that she, too, knew that this was only going to start another fight. And yet she persisted. "Because."

I rolled my eyes and stepped further into her room, and she tensed. "The candles are important," I spoke to myself out loud, so that Ivy could see how close I was getting to finding out her secret. "But why...?"

Ivy's mouth pressed into a tight line as her upper lip began to twitch, knowing that if she said something I'd most likely be that much closer to finding out what she desperately didn't wish to tell me. Not like I was going to judge her or anything. I didn't understand why she persisted on keeping this from me. Maybe I could help?

"Stop it, Rachel." Her voice was soft, pleading. "Don't."

My heart clenched in sympathy at the sight of her practically begging me to cease asking questions. Guilt struck me as I realized that her being so vulnerable about this topic, when her exterior was usually a hard and impenetrable shell, merely pushed me further into wanting to know. Wow, I really was an adrenaline junkie. Forcing a vampire to her limits because I wanted to know a lousy secret she refused to telling me? But I only want to help, a small voice in my mind cajoled. It's okay. I just want to know what's wrong so I can help her get through it. This doesn't have anything to do with my insufferable curiosity or supposedly adrenaline addiction.

Right. I managed to convince myself that I was doing this for Ivy, and not myself. I was really getting good at that, these past few weeks. I took another step into her room and saw her fists clench. Ivy's pupils dilated slightly, but I could somehow tell it wasn't because she hadn't quenched her blood lust, it was because she was scared. Confusion seeped through me as I watched the terror cloud her vision until her pupils were almost fully dilated. What had I done?

"Ivy?" I said her name softly, half of me trying to comfort her and be strong while the other pulled harder and harder for me to flee.

Her voice was barely a whisper. "You don't understand."

"Then help me, Ivy. Help me understand what it is exactly that has you so worried. I can do something."


"Don't what, Ivy?" My voice held a tint of irritation, but I was so confused.

"You want to take my candles away. I know it." She narrowed her eyes at me in accusation, and her finger rose to point my chest. "I can smell it all over you. You want to take them all away; every last one. I won't let you, Rachel."

She was going ballistic. She had no idea what she was talking about, and was about to kill me over something that didn't make any sense. I was going to die right here and now because Ivy thought I wanted to harm her candles. Awesome.

"Calm down." It was all I could think of saying. She was slowly walking towards me, anger flaring deep within her eyes. "It's going to be okay."

"Get out."

"Of your room?" I know it was a stupid question but I didn't exactly know if she meant her room or the actual church.


Ooookay she meant her room. Ivy was standing protectively in front of her precious candles, arms spread slightly so that the stance itself was menacing as hell. I had just thought about blowing out a few candles as a sort of joke, but Ivy was obviously taking this the wrong way. I took a step to move out of the room, and just as the heel of my foot passed the threshold of her bedroom, a light flew passed me towards Ivy. I saw her eyed widen in horror as two, three, four more flashes of light hurried by me to enter the room. Her hands flew to grab one of the balls of light as they zipped passed her, but Ivy was too slow.

"Rachel!" She shrieked, which was very unlike her. "Get them out!"

Only then did I realize that it was Jenks's kids that were fluttering around her room, the air from their wings blowing out the candles Ivy seemed desperate to protect. They were giggling, meaning that they had no idea that they were terrifying the living vampire. Proceeding Ivy's first shriek, nothing quite clear had come out of her other than a series of frightened gasps and heavy breathing. She had stopped trying to catch the flying, sparkling pixies, and had settled for sitting on the ground with her arms wrapped around her knees. Her black hair was like a blanket, draped over her head and flowing down a little passed her knees.

I didn't need any more motivation than that. "Alright all of you! Outside." I checked my watch just to be sure they wouldn't contradict me. "It's nearing your bed time, and your dad will be very unhappy if he finds you here."

As soon as my last words were uttered, they dashed out of the room in a swirl of excited pixy dust and giggles. I had no idea what they were doing, but I'd let Jenks take care of them. I noticed that they had blown out nearly every candle in the room at the exception of three. Ivy was barely noticeable, having moved to the corner of the room to curl up. I could faintly see her wide eyes staring at me from her spot, and I moved closer to her cautiously. The last thing we needed was me bleeding in the dark.

"Ivy," I whispered her name softly, the dark seeming to have an effect on me that somehow made me think I needed to be quiet. "Are you okay?"

As soon as I was close enough, a sudden movement of hers made me jump and as the shock dissipated, I realized that I was enveloped in her arms. Ivy never hugged me. Never. E-v-e-r. Not like this, anyway. Her fingers were digging into my back, but I was sure her intent was not to harm me. The nails pressing into my flesh seemed to be her way of seeking comfort. Ivy's biceps tightened around me, and it was then that I realized that she wanted me to hold her, too. She wanted me to protect her from whatever it was that she feared. My arms hesitantly found their way around her waist and I sprawled my fingers across her back, taking in as much of her as I possibly could. I held her to me, whispering gentle, meaningless things that would comfort her.

"Don't let go," was what I heard her respond, though it was soft enough to have been the wind's presence.

My arms around her tightened and I realized that I needed this as much as she did. Go figure. My words to her were a promise, an utter and illogical devotion. "I won't."

She seemed to relax into my form, though her tenseness did not diminish. I don't know how long we sat there, in each other's arms, but what I did know was that even if we had stayed that way for thrice the time we had, awkwardness and discomfort would not have entered the picture. It was nice to stay in Ivy's arms. Though I knew that the moment she pulled away from me was because of the same reason she generally didn't hug me in the first place—her blood lust. It seemed strange to me, however, that she kept a firm grasp on my wrist, as if she absolutely needed a physical contact between us at that moment. I barely saw her face drop as her gaze fell to the floor.

"Rachel." The upward inflexion at the end of my name indicated a question, though I had the feeling it wasn't meant that way.


Her grip on my wrist tightened, and she forcedly brought her gaze up to mine. I could tell from the features on her delicate face that she was uncomfortable, but I had the idea it wasn't from out contact. Ivy closed her eyes for three heart beats, and when they opened again they seemed more frightened than before. What could terrify her so much? Her grip's strength did not diminish. "I'm scared of the dark."

I had to press my lips into a tight line to refrain from bursting into a fit of giggles before the savage, terrifying vampire. "Pardon?"

I saw her eyes widen in fear as she quickly scanned the room around her and my heart clenched in a mix of emotions. She wasn't kidding. Ivy Tamwood was really afraid of the dark. Seeing my understanding, her other hand clasped itself around my already sore wrist and she pulled me closer.

"Oh, God, Ivy," I exhaled in an annoyed mockery before wrapping her in my arms. At least now I knew that it wasn't an unstoppable undead vampire, vengeful demon, or pissed I.S. agent she was afraid of. It was the dark. I rolled the thought around in my mind a few times, trying to grasp the verity of it. Ivy Tamwood, one of the last living members of the famous vampire bloodline, was afraid of the dark. Wow.

I grew slightly uneasy as she sighed relaxingly and let her head fall into the crook between my shoulder and neck, but she didn't react to it in the slightest. The fear seemed to be holding her back. Gre-e-e-eat. Ivy didn't hug me back, as she simply soaked up the affection I could give her, basking in what she craved. Unintentionally, I begun to rock back and forth, emitting a soothing hum to calm her down. I could swear hearing her frantic heart beat, and I was only a witch. Of course, my voice wasn't as glorious as hers, but I felt the need to show her that I cared enough about her comfort to ridicule myself this way. I was going to do whatever came to my mind, now. Not like after she had been blood raped by Piscary when all I could do was make her a cup of hot chocolate and tuck her in. Jesus, what had I been thinking.

Despite the fact that Ivy was clearly in pieces, I couldn't help the constant contradictions floating around in my mind. I just had to ask. "Ivy," my voice was slightly cracked, and I still didn't understand why I was whispering. This was my church, dammit. "Your room is the darkest in the church. How do you normally sleep when you can hardly breathe right now in the same context?"

She buried her face deeper in my shoulder and mumbled something inaudible that I thought was adorable. Obviously, I hadn't been meant to hear it. I found myself tracing non-existent forms on her back with all ten fingers and realized she had arched herself into my hands. Probably not the best idea on my part, but I just couldn't stop. Most of my fingers were on her bare back, and the feeling of her skin against mine was indescribable. One of my hands left her and she whimpered softly, making me smile. I hated to admit that she was so cute.

Using my free hand to softly bring her chin up and make her eyes meet mine, I asked, "What was that?"

Her eyebrows furrowed childishly for a split second until she regained her poker face. Still, I sighed, in this context, does she wish to keep her emotions from me. I lifted both my eyebrows—incapable of solely rising one at a time—and gave her a questioning look so that she would tell me.

"Jesus Christ," she muttered for me to hear before slouching into my form and pouting oh-so-adorably. "I have a goddamn night light. Happy? But now it won't work because the stupid electricity is dead, and I have to plug it into the goddamn wall."

I cleared my throat in answer, and tried on my own best poker face. It would sorely hurt her vampire pride if a witch laughed at her because she had a night light. My eyes searched the room for it, but knew before I began looking that I wouldn't find one. Ivy would never let such a valuable secret lying somewhere for anyone to see; she was way too organized for that. This mere complication probably made her feel like an utter klutz, and that was my job.

Ivy has a night light. Ivy has a night light. Ivy has a night light. I smiled where she couldn't see me as the mocking words floated through my head. No way would I dare saying those aloud. I would be bleeding and dead before the second verse came out of my mouth. I mentally slapped myself for having thought of the charade in the first place.

"Ivy, you know I don't think any less of you because of all this."

It was probably a stupid thing to say but I knew she needed to hear the words. Over the past few years of living with her, I had stuck with the idea that Ivy did anything and everything to gain my respect and admiration. Stupid me, most times I either ignored her or pretended not to notice the new black silk dress she had bought that impeccably hugged her scrumptious curves to their full extent; outlining the elegant way she walked and provocatively clinging to the fullness of her breasts in a way that was inviting, and yet sophisticated and classical. Alright, fine, so maybe I wasn't that good at pretending.

She didn't answer me, and I looked down to see her eyes closed, and her lips parted in a way that made it seem as if she had no fangs. Only then did I realize my hands had resumed their caresses on her back. Her body was relaxed to it's fullest I had seen it in years, and I was sure that if I moved away, she would slump to the floor in a heap at the lack of support. I barely felt the weight of Ivy against me as I also closed my eyes and soaked up the feeling of the living vampire against me.

We should do this more often, I thought to myself. This is nice.

My hands immediately stopped at the loud resonance of a moan, and my heart began to beat wildly as I noticed my hand's position. It had lowered to the hem of her tank-top, and was slightly grazing the edge of her jogging pants. Ivy, too, seemed to tense as she caught up with the fact that she had emitted a rather aroused sound.

We both sat there, silent, until Ivy hastily cleared her throat to sever the awkward feeling that was growing thick in the air. "Uh, I'm sorry," Ivy said uncomfortably.

She seemed baffled by her own reaction, and I held back a grin as she clumsily sat up, her thigh still connecting with my knee in her desperate need for physical comfort. Her expression was confused, as if she didn't understand how she could have let her guard down for a split second. Finally, I couldn't help it and let the smirk plaster itself upon my features. "I'm not."

Woah! Where the hell did that come from!?

"What?" Her eyes were wide in disbelief while she looked my over as if checking if I was sick or something. But I definitely wasn't sick. I was feeling fi-i-i-ine.

"I. Am. Not. Sorry." I enunciated each word as if it were it's own phrase and made sure to emphasize on the "not." "I didn't mean to do what I did, but I'm not sorry I did it, Ivy. It's done, and it's about damn time."

I didn't know why I was saying this, I wasn't even thinking. She was staring at me as if I'd just strangled Jenks with my index and thumb. Jeez, what did I say that was so bad to hear? My hands were still in the exactly place that had made her moan, and I flexed my fingers to make her eyes flutter shut. She opened them immediately after, a look in her expression telling me she hadn't meant to close them. It was actually amusing to have this kind of power over her. My heart beat increased to the point where I could feel it thumping against my rib cage.

I expected Ivy to grab my hair and fling my head back to expose my neck. But she didn't. Her pupils didn't even dilate as she rested her head against my heart and took in a deep whiff of my scent. Exhaling through her mouth, she snuggled in closer to me. "You smell so good, Rachel," she breathed.

My arms curled around her body even more and I held her to me. Her chest was pressed against my stomach, and her legs were tightly tucked underneath her. I could feel Ivy's heart against my covered skin, meaning it was beating excessively rapidly. The warmth radiating from her was soothing and I couldn't help but let my fingers roam free on her back, occasionally slipping underneath her tank top to caress her bare back and making her sigh. The sounds she would make as I passed my fingers across her bare skin were irresistible to hear, and I was desperate for more. The tips of my fingers lowered once again to the hem of her shirt, just above her pants. My thumb slid under the material, moving along beneath the rubber band. The moment a long, exhaling moan escaped her I simply couldn't take it anymore.

I flipped Ivy over so that I was on top of her, hands at her sides. Her hands hesitantly came up to my hips and stroked the skin under the hem of my shirt, making me breathe in deeply. I brought my face down to hers until our lips met. I had never voluntarily kissed a girl before, and I hadn't expected it to be so...good.

Ivy's soft, warm lips moved slowly against mine as if unsure if it was appropriate. I encouraged her by running my hands up and down her sides gently, telling her this was what I wanted. Why? Comprehension slapped me in the face as I lay on the floor of Ivy's bedroom, the vampire under me, and my lips against hers. She wasn't playing upon my scar, she wasn't bespelling me. Only now did I fully understand the reason her vampire instincts were being held in check; the fear. Even as our mouths moved against the others', I could feel her tension holding her back. However, wasn't this for the best?

For once, it wasn't Ivy the vampire who I was attracted to, but Ivy the woman. Strangely, too, Ivy the woman preferred being taken care of rather than asserting dominance and control. Hmm. Interesting. My tongue brushed the inside of her upper lip and she mewled into me, obviously incapable of controlling the sounds to escape her.

Slowly, I parted my lips from hers and stared into her chocolate eyes, still surprised to find them as any other Inderlander or human's would be. It was amazing. I couldn't help my fingers from tracing the outline of her jaw, seeing as how I could now touch her without triggering any unwanted effects on her blood lust. My fingers traced her jaw as my thumb lightly grazed her lips, making her shudder. Ivy breathed my name, and I almost melted at the sound of it. Never had she said my name like that before, in a way that implored as well as cherished. Though guilt struck me as I slowly realized that she had probably wished to say my name like that ever since I had moved in with her.

I hoisted myself up, letting all my weight fall onto my wrists. Ivy involuntarily arched up into me, before clenching her jaw and letting her body slump back down to the ground. It was painfully obvious that she wasn't used to being incapable of restraining herself, and I could practically see her lecturing herself about the responsibilities that being with me entailed. I jokingly rolled my eyes at her planning expression before cupping her face with my hands—and I stifled a giggle as I could almost see Ivy's carefully elaborated schemes for self-control drain from her ears as she exhaled into my touch, forming a puddle around her head like a halo. Smiling to myself, I knew that I was definitely going to use this newly-learned trick to convince her of my opinions in the future.

My hands slowly slipped from her face, and though I knew that the fact that I was practically sitting on top of her would be sufficient, I let my hands trail along Ivy's stomach to comfort her further. This was the only way I could be with Ivy as a woman. She had once told me that we could share blood without love if I hurt her, and that we could share blood without hurt if I loved her. However this here, right now, was not about blood. My scar wasn't even tingling in the slightest, and I knew it was because Ivy's system was too afraid to release pheromones. In any other situation I knew she would have shackled love and blood into a sole sharing of body and soul, but in this situation I would be able to take control. She wouldn't fight me because she was scared—not of me, but the surroundings. I grimaced as I finally understood the implications of what I was about to do, what had already been done. I refused to accept that this was utterly selfish of me, and yet a small voice in the back of my mind kept screaming that it wasn't too late to back down. No. I loved Ivy, and I would deal with the blood sharing when we could talk about it together. Staring at her beneath me, tank-top barely clinging to her flawless skin, lips parted slightly in bliss and eyes closed in desperate anticipation, I was pretty certain she didn't want to talk about it now, anyway.

She had waited for this for so long, and now, finally, I could give the woman I loved what she had once craved so hopelessly. I could barely retain the butterflies in my stomach as one of my hands drifter higher to brush the underside of her breast. Ivy's lips parted even further, and I could see the barest hint of fang. But I would not let such a stupid aspect send me fleeing from her arms. No. I could finally be with Ivy for who she was and not what her instincts told her to do, and damn it I was going to take advantage of the opportunity.

As if making my note-to-self final, my hand rose to fully cup her breast and she let out another desperate rasp of my name. Okay, so I knew what a boobie felt like; I had two of them for God's sake. But this...this was indescribable. Just the mind-blowing feeling of being allowed to gently circle Ivy's breast with my finger tips, feeling the hard peak through the thinness of the material of her tank-top. Seeing the pleasure in her features, through her closed eyelids, not merely because of the fact that I was physically arousing her with concrete intentions—but because I was finally arousing her voluntarily. So many nights I had heard her cry out my name as climax pulled her into a world of phantasmagoric illusion, pretending as if I hadn't heard a thing the next morning, both of us continuing on with our daily routines while I pushed all the inappropriate thoughts I had had of Ivy Tamwood to the back of my mind.

But not anymore.

No. Tonight all the images, all the desires, all the nasty little thoughts came flooding back to the front of my mind. Tonight I wasn't going to deny anything anymore. Tonight I was going to make Ivy buck, and moan, and pant, and beg for release. And I was not going to regret anything tomorrow morning, because I had to stop lying to myself about what I really and truly wanted. Ivy.

I swear to God my heart skipped a beat as the vampire smoothly placed her hands above her head, wrist in one hand to clasp them together. The feeling of dominance over something so powerful was overwhelming. It was obvious that she knew what I was feeling, since a small twitch at the corners of her lips indicated she was holding back a smile. She knew how much I craved the feeling of control, and the fact that she was already—finally—openly vulnerable meant that there was no further need to pretend as if she could have power over the situation. My hips moved slightly against her as I fought for my own self-control. This was the first time I would make love to a woman, and I wished for it to be memorable. The last thing I wanted was to have my first memory a lustful blur of hot, steamy sex; moans and pants the only audible thing available as tribute to our never-ending love. Despite how extremely satisfying that sounded right now, it wasn't how I wanted it to be. No way.

My hands trailed up her arms until I was holding her hands in mine, savoring the feeling of our bodies pressed together and well aware that my breasts were crushed against hers. I planted a soft, sensual kiss on her lips and then forced myself to part, making her whimper. I needed to leave her aching for more. However, my body rubbed up against hers as I silently cursed myself for wanting this so bad. How the hell was I supposed to leave her aching for more when I probably wanted it more than she did? Damn it back to the Turn, I swore in my head before once again lowering myself to feel the warmth of her lips against my own, tasting the delicious tang that was purely Ivy Tamwood, the one that made me go insane with arousal.

Slowly, my lips left hers to plant kisses down her chin and onto her throat. I felt her breathing increase as my kisses descended to her chest so that I could scorch a path of flames between her covered breasts with my lips. I tried not to lose focus as Ivy managed the first syllable of my name before a deep, sensuous moan broke it's way through her engorged, red lips. I almost came from that alone, but fortunately I had enough restraint to be able to make it low enough to plant a happy kiss onto her belly-button ring. My hands went under Ivy's knees and to her hips, spreading her legs apart with an almost painful anticipation throbbing within me.

Forcing my body to move slower, my fingers once again slid under the material of her jogging pants to caress the skin under it that had suddenly become very warm. Ivy arched her back, clearly aware of my target and fully intending to cooperate. Her breathing did not slow as my hands slowly slid down her waist, bringing her bottoms along with them as well as her black lace panties. Oh yeah, black lace. I'd have to get her to put them back on for me afterwards and strut her stuff. Now that would be hot.

I finished removing what was no longer necessary and mindlessly threw her most likely insanely expensive pants to the ground beside us, never taking my eyes off the glory of everything that was purely Ivy. The dim candle light was only just enough for me to be able to completely appreciate the smoothness of her flawless skin, the sensual and extremely desirable form of her curves, and the...well...wow. Her heavy breathing had rapidly turned into a deep panting, and I felt my insides tingle as I fully grasped what exactly was to occur. My finger tips ran their way from her feet to her knees, and Ivy obediently spread her long and incredible sexy legs so that I could finish running them down her inner thighs. It was then that my body completely took over, leaving logic, rationality and reason sitting in the threshold of Ivy's room to patiently await my return to sanity. I reached over to place a gentle kiss on her knee, lingering there for only a few moments before tracing my way down her thigh with a deliberate slowness. Meanwhile, Ivy was going crazy. She had thrown her hands back to grasp onto whatever she could find and managed to get one of the candles that Jenks' kids had accidentally made fall to the ground. Alright, I thought to myself as I looked up to see the candle fully crushed in her palm, wax seeping from between her fingers, so maybe she still does have some of her vampire abilities even when she is scared.

Her hips arched up once more, and she emitted a sound I had never heard before. It seemed to be a mix of a moan and whimper, ending in a hoarse sigh of content. I was teasing her too much. Ivy had waited for this for years, hell, maybe even since we had worked in the I.S. together. And as much as I wanted to see her writhe beneath me, panting and begging for me to bring her to the ends of the world with my fingers and tongue, imploring I give in to pleasure and let us both have what we wanted, I couldn't bare seeing her like this. Even if it was the exact same thing I had imagined so many times and had stubbornly pushed to the back of my mind, I couldn't stand seeing her on the edge of madness. And she hadn't even said anything concrete, yet. How awesome was I at my amazing self-control, eh? I know, I need a bit of practice.

I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath as my mouth lingered just above her core, where I could basically feel the heat radiating like mad. My tongue came out to lick my lips in anticipation as I silently wondered what Ivy Tamwood would taste like. I had honestly always thought that this kind of pleasure was utterly disgusting, but now that I sat here, before her wetness, curiosity overtook me.

It didn't take much for my head to lower until my lips brushed against her, and she moaned loud enough for Keasley to hear from across the street. After that first contact, I stopped for a few seconds, rolling the scent of her around in my head and tasting her flavor upon my tongue. But before I could fully process my thoughts, my tongue had swiped out from my lips and brushed the hard nub that once again made her whimper in pleasure. The sound. The sounds Ivy would make were enough to drive me insane with satisfaction, how I knew the intensity my every action had upon her depending on the sound she would emit. This, I thought evilly as my tongue brushed only once more between her nether lips to make her cry out again, is definitely one of the more intense actions.

My movements became faster, more constant with the throbbing pulse of my heart as it pounded against my chest. I'm pretty sure Ivy had found another candle to squish in her crazed phase, but I wasn't paying attention. My sense of sight was the only one I was not currently using, seeing as my eyes were closed in bliss. I could taste her everywhere inside me, smell her everywhere around me, feel her moving against me, and hear her moaning, whimpering, panting, imploring, and sighing above me. It was incredible. Never would I forget this moment, this feeling. We both finally had what we wanted, and no one could take that away from us, now. Everything surrounding us was perfect, the soothing glow of candlelight, the faint musk of vampire to drive anyone to the brink of insanity, and the feeling of the woman I truly loved beneath me. Everything here would remain etched within my memory until the day I died. And I was glad of it.


A/N: Please review; my first fic posted on this site. Greatly appreciated.