Beta'd By: My dear friend and Bobbette, Erin *holds tightly*

Disclaimer: The usual. I don't own anything. Not even my sanity. Well, maybe Sabine, but that's not much, considering.

Note: Inspired by the prompt (given through an LJ community): "Set me free, leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity." (Gravity, Sara Bareilles)

Note 2: It's meant to be read as a one-shot so, even if it feels like there's more to it, there will be no fanfic-continuation (I hope), so don't ask for it, please?


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On their last night together, Krista thought she was finally going to die.

She hadn't fed in days and Blade had no plans to rescue her.

She was all alone, utterly alone, until Marcus walked through the door.

She couldn't open her eyes, something was swollen, and it hurt to even breathe, so she avoided that, too.

But she felt it, the hot luscious drops of blood, falling on her lips.

She didn't hesitate to react then, opening her mouth to quench the thirst that had been building.

It took her a moment before she realized who the source of blood was.

"Marcus?"

She knew it was him who walked through the door, but she never would've thought he'd let her feed on him again.

A cup of someone's blood, maybe, but blood from his very wrist...

She didn't think him capable of that at this point.

He looked drained, he obviously had been, and something in his eyes told her that it would be the last time they spoke.

He didn't kill her nor did he let her go, but he gave her a chance to form her own escape.

It has been almost a month since Krista rejoined Blade, having no other choice.

What other life could she have chosen?

The Daywalker had been skeptical at first, considering her to be a liability, but Shen was kinder.

They are chasing a trail, rumors about the House of Chthon reestablishing itself under one rule: Marcus Van Sciver.

Krista doesn't know how he did it, she can hardly believe it.

Blade is going to try and find a way to kill Marcus—that much is obvious—and she doesn't understand why that still means something to her.

There is no way she can warn him, no way without Blade knowing.

If she were to get caught, she has a feeling Blade wouldn't be as forgiving as Marcus, and that's saying something.

But she should've known that sooner or later, Marcus would come to her.

She sees something gold glittering in the distance, past the smoke and noise of the city.

How can anyone else have ignored it?

She moves through the darkness until the gold necklace is in her hands.

The one Marcus had given her, the same one that once belonged to Isabel.

She looks around, trying to find him and she does, in the next block, in front of a bar.

She swallows hard when the cellphone rings.

It's Blade, asking her if she's seen their lead on her end.

She avoids telling him she stopped looking and tells him a lie.

She's covering the next city block.

He believes her and she follows Marcus into the bar without looking back.

She sees a large man outside a door looking only at her so she guesses that's where he's waiting for her.

When she gets there, he opens the door, confirming her suspicions.

She sees two men in the room.

Marcus is staring into a blood filled cup, sitting behind a small round wooden table and then there's the man Blade has been looking for, lying unconscious on the floor.

"Krista," he doesn't look at her when he says it, but he might as well have. His voice makes her freeze, makes her realize how alive she really is and how dead she became when she left him.

"Marcus," she replies back, unable to think of what else to say.

"It's been a while."

"So it has."

"I see you received my gift," he looks at her hand, where she still has the necklace, "Please, sit."

She tightens her grip around it before she takes a seat, "I thought I lost it."

She remembers the fight she had with Chase, remembers seeing her fall to her death.

"Yes, well, I only just received it myself a few days ago."

She doesn't know what she's doing, obviously. She knows how dangerous it is to stare into his eyes, to listen to his words, to just be around him. He's pulling her, consciously or unconsciously, it doesn't matter. He's always been able to.

"Does that mean... Chase...?"

"Ah, yes, Chase." His smile reveals his fangs and it reminds her of the feel of them on her skin, "I last saw her a few days ago. I'm afraid once my trust is lost, it is not as easily regained."

Chase is dead, she can tell by the look in his eyes. The predator in him, the one side of him she could never bear to see.

"Tell me about it," she agrees through bitter lips, remembering the countless days she spent under torture, his torture.

"That," he enunciates the word so gracefully, "was a necessary step in our relationship."

Now she's angry, "our relationship? The relationship where you almost killed me? Oh wait, never mind, you did kill me."

And she's lost now, officially lost, because that's how he does it. He draws her in through curiosity, at first, and then anger. The anger always makes her his.

"You betrayed me, Krista. I had no choice." And though his voice is soft, she knows he means it.

"What do you want now, Marcus?"

She didn't think his answer would be so quick, "You."

She stares at him blankly at first, but then suspicion takes it place.

"Why?"

He takes a deep breath before standing, circling the table until he's behind her and he reaches out to her hand, pulling the necklace from her.

She doesn't fight him.

"When Chase returned, it reminded me of better days. Days that only got better because of you." She sees the necklace in front of her now.

He means to put it on her, so she pulls her hair up and lets him do what he wants.

She's tells herself she's just humoring him, a lie not even she believes.

"You don't think I'm actually gonna believe that," her fingertips touch the necklace and then her neck, where his fingers surprise her by grazing her own.

"No, of course not." He walks away from her now, his back turned to her as he gazes absently at the wall.

"I didn't expect you to come with me tonight, Krista, but the offer will always be there, whenever you're ready to stand by my side."

Now she's convinced he's insane.

"I'm working for Blade now, Marcus. I'm working against you. I've always worked against you!"

And that's when the story takes an all too familiar turn and her body is pinned against a wall, with his hand around her neck.

"No," he growls, "Your battle has always been against your own nature, Krista, not me."

It doesn't take long until his mouth is covering hers and she responds automatically, as if time had never passed at all.

He's the one to stop and turn away from her.

She hates how she wishes he wouldn't have done that, wouldn't have stopped.

She hits her head against the wall in frustration, "You can't do this to me. You can't make me choose again."

"Again?"

The skepticism in his voice hurts her.

She doubts he'll believe her, but by this point, does it even matter?

"I chose you once, Marcus. After the first night we spent together... I chose you. Those thirty six hours I went missing? Blade took me and forced me to see the error of my ways."

She looks into his eyes and sees his anger.

It's lethal, but it's not directed at her.

"It seems I have much to thank our friend for."

"He was just trying to help me."

"Did he?"

She swallows and nods, "He saved me from becoming a monster."

He sighs and heads for the door, then stops, standing there longer than Krista would've liked.

"One day, Krista, you will accept what you are."

No, she growls. She has to end this. She needs to end this.

"The next time I see you, Marcus, I will have to kill you."

"Of course," he smiles, "and the next time I see you, I won't let you go."

And without another word, he's gone, leaving her wordless and sliding to the floor as the tears begin to form freely.

All he had to do was let her go, fully and completely, but now he's left something behind in her she cannot fully destroy, and it's only a matter of time till it pulls her in.


FINIS