DISCLAIMER: I don't own either the characters or the poem, I am simply a lover of them. The borrowed poem is John Donne's The Prohibition. I read it and immediately thought of our couple here. Hope you liked it!

Alucard quite enjoyed studying his master. She was a woman now, and therefore a complete mystery to everyone around her. She was strong, so the men were intimidated by her as they wished to have her for their own. She was intelligent and wise, which made her interesting. She was young, which made her beauty all the more pronounced. Her blue eyes flicked to him to make sure he wasn't up to any mischief and he smiled to make her think he was. Her pretty eyes narrowed and she went back to her paperwork.

She was far from tenderhearted. This was yet another thing he admired about her. He had watched from the shadows as she thinned out the ranks of her soldiers the same way he had so many years ago, when he was the killer prince. He had smiled from the darkness as she inspected her soldier's wounds, releasing from her duty the ones with wounds only on their backs, the wounds of a deserter, coward, runaway. She was scarce with her praise, but those that had fought valiantly gained her respect. The only hint of that admiration was a slight nod of her head as she passed them in the lineup.

Another thing that he found wildly interesting was her apparent interest in him. Of course, she only spared rare glances at him, but what glances they were. They were full of unanswerable questions and hushed desire. She hardly knew what she wanted, but when he caught glimpses of her mind, he saw a vivid imagination that was hungry to become reality. He was the only man besides Walter that she allowed to see her when she was having her weak moments. She treated Walter as a father, relying on him for advice occasionally, but she didn't see Alucard that way. He knew it. He starred in her dreams that she banished from her mind, the lover, the beloved. These thoughts amused him greatly but he vowed to never use them against her lest they stop entirely.

As he watched her now, hearing her pen scratch against the paper and the gadgets in her computer whirring, he was reminded of a poem he had come across. The poet was a reformed libertine, a true lover that had renounced his escapades and instead, turned his focus on God. The man who had written "Death Be Not Proud". He smiled as the words returned to his memory…

Take heed of loving me,
At least remember, I forbade it thee;
Not that I shall repair my unthrifty waste
Of breath and blood, upon thy sighs, and tears,
By being to thee then what to me thou wast;
But, so great joy, our life at once outwears,
Then, lest they love, by my death, frustrate be,
If thou love me, take heed of loving me.

Take heed of hating me,
Or too much triumph in the victory.
Not that I shall be mine own officer,
And hate with hate again retaliate;
But thou wilt lose the style of conqueror,
If I, thy conquest, perish by thy hate.
Then, lest my being nothing lessen thee,
If thou hate me, take heed of hating me.

Yet, love and hate me too,
So these extremes shall neither's office do;
Love me, that I may die the gentler way;
Hate me, because thy love's too great for me;
Or let these two, themselves, not me decay;
Lest thou thy love and hate and me undo,
To let me live, Oh love and hate me too.

He looked out of the window into the haze that was English weather, and caught the barest glimpse of a smile on her lips when she next looked up at him, thinking him inattentive. His orange eyes slowly went to her, cutting through the thin smoke and meeting her icy orbs. His smile spread as she shook her head in apparent distaste.

"Oh, love and hate me too…" He whispered under his breath as he looked away. She returned to her paperwork, oblivious to her musing servant once more.