All characters belong to Kresley Cole, I am merely borrowing them for my own (and hopefully your) entertainment. All mistakes are mine. This story is set after Warlord Wants Forever but before No Rest for the Wicked.

If I Had a Nikolai'd...

"Tie his arms and legs to each post of my bed," Nix said, a wicked smile blooming on her exotic features as she perched on the window seat. She'd just appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the strategy meeting, her dark hair floating about her and her eyes seeming both mischievous and vacant at the same time. "And leave him there to torture at my own, pleasurable will," she finished, drawing almost identical looks of confusion from the Valkyrie gathered around the table.

At the head of the table, Annika looked up from her notes to stare straight at her sister. Nix was not known for living in the moment – at least not the current moment. Often times she found herself lost in visions of the future. It was a great advantage to have, if only she were lucid enough to share her knowledge. Or perhaps she got off on watching her sisters and, in fact, half the Lore, flounder around trying to figure out her latest riddle. Whatever the reason, Nix was not known for making sense until after the fact, so it was no surprise that she should be off on a tangent of her own right now.

"What are you on about?" Annika demanded impatiently. They were in crisis mode. Emmaline – timid, little, wouldn't-harm-a-fly Emma – had been kidnapped. By a lykae. And, if rumours were true, not just any lykae, but the king of the lykae. Fun stuff, for sure. Eye roll.

Nix cast an innocent gaze in Annika's direction while idly folding a piece of paper. "It's rude to exclude people from the game," she sulked, never once looking at what she was doing as her hands nimbly formed the paper into a complicated looking aeroplane which she promptly launched across the room. "I want to play too!"

"Nix, we don't have time for this," Annika stated, trying to hide her irritation as best she could. "We have to-."

"Catch the dog," Nix finished for her, pulling a second piece of paper from her back pocket when the first plane was brushed to the floor and crushed when it landed in Kaderin's lap.

Annika was almost relieved by Nix's words, which she knew was foolish given her track record. But if she was willing to say something on the subject, maybe they could coax something useful from her before she returned to her own little world. "What do you know about the mutt?" she demanded, striding across the table toward her sister. "What's he doing to her?"

Clearly still in a sulk, Nix crossed her arms over her chest, allowing the new piece of paper to flutter to the ground. "Not telling until you let me play," she said, tossing her hair over her bare shoulder.

"Play what?" Regin piped up from behind her laptop screen where she was checking the coven databases. "We were playing something? Why didn't anyone tell me? I wanna play! Is it my turn ye- OW!" Regin stopped her whining to glare at the dark haired woman beside her. "What'd I say?" she demanded, rubbing the side of her rib cage tenderly.

Lucia, sending her friend a pipe-down kind of look, turned to Nix. "What game? Explain the rules," she requested, adjusting the bow strapped to her back. "What is the prize?"

Nix laughed maniacally and stood gracefully from her seat. As the other valkyrie watched she hopped up onto the table and spread her arms. "If I had a nickel, I'd...?"

Annika sighed. "You do have a nickel, Nix. You pulled it from behind Kaderin's ear an hour ago."

"Wait," Daniela said. "I think I understand."

"Thank goodness," Kaderin muttered, absentmindedly running a hand over her sword, as if she wished to behead Nix – which was an absolutely ludicrous idea, of course.

Daniela was now grinning along with Nix. A part of the joke. She let out a giggle, "If I had a Nikolai'd...?" she prompted the rest of them.

"I don't get it," Regin stated. She was almost tempted to return to her computer search, but something unknown was keeping her attentive. "What's with the nickel talk? We've got money." Pulling out a bottle of nail polish from her back pocket, she began to test the colour on her thumb. "What a nickel to you?"

Danni snorted and and tried again. "Well, if I had a Nikolai'd probably wish I could touch him just so I could..."

Meanwhile out on the porch

Nikolai leaned down to press a reverant kiss into his bride's forehead – some days he still couldn't believe that she was actually his – and breathed in the scent of her shampoo. He lifted her head then, to kiss her lips and found her eyes had turned silver.

"Insatiable," he murmured before taking her mouth in a deep kiss, lazily sliding his tongue in to dance with her own. "Just as well, though," he added after a moment or two, "Because I can never get enough of you either."

But Myst wasn't listening. Not to him anyway. Her ears were pricked and she'd turned her head to the side almost immediately after he'd released her face. Nikolai knew this face well. He'd had to put up with it all evening. For a moment or two he would capture her attention entirely, away from the store displays and exotic looking items, but then suddenly she would be beyond his reaching. Her attention snagged by something else in the vicinity. Usually it was new stock. Myst had a highly developed sense of hearing, attuned to the sound of new stock being put on the shelves. While shopping, her listening pose had not worried him in the least. No though, standing outside Val Hall, the mansion that contained a hell of a lot of Nikolai haters, he didn't think it was a good thing. Here, it would not result in him being able to buy her more lingerie.

"What is it?" he asked, straining his ears, looking for signs of danger.

"Shh," she murmured right beside his ear. "Just listen. In the dining room."

He adjusted the tilt of his head in order to better hear what she was hearing.

"Well if I had a Nikolai'd probably wish I could touch him just so I could drive him crazy. Stroking him until he was just about to explode then leave him there to writhe in the pleasure pain."

Myst was biting her lip to keep from laughing, her eyes gone all squinty from the effort. It was absolutely adorable, unlike the time she'd taken on that look in response to his attempt at using the microwave. Nikolai didn't get it though. How could the female do such things to a nickel?

"I don't understand," came another female voice from inside, he thought this one sounded like Annika. "Nix, we have more important things to do than play your silly games. And Danni stop encouraging her." There was a short silence before she spoke again. "Regin, are you getting anything on this guy?"

Regin – the glowing one, Nikolai recalled with a small amount of bitterness – did not respond to Annika's question, but seemed to have a response to Danni's statement. "Oh!"she cried. "I get it now!" She sniggered. "If I had a Nikolai I'd..."

"Cut his ugly head off, tear out his slobbering fang and thread it only my string upstairs," Kaderin stated mildly, sending a shiver down Nikolai's spine. Kaderin's lack of emotions creeped him out. It was unnatural to be so calm all the time. And the creepy factor was aided by the fact that she was, indeed, very hostile toward him.

Nikolai shot a wide eyed glance at Myst, but she merely screwed up her nose and shook her head, indicating it was nothing to worry about. "Kaderin's like that with all nocturnal fangers," she reminded him in a whisper. "She refuses to take exception."

"It would be nice if she didn't point her sword at me every time I passed," Nikolai muttered.

"She'll warm up to you eventually," Myst murmured before sending him a grin. "Danni probably won't, but that's for a completely different reason."

They stopped talking when they heard more voices from inside. Nix had entered the conversation. "Now, now Kitty Kad," she soothed. "Isn't that a little hypocritical?"

"There is only one Vampire Layer in this coven," Kaderin stated. "We all know that. And while I will not hold it against Myst, I will hold my sword against the sucker's throat if he so much as lays a finger on her."

A new voice let out a snort of laughter. "I'm pretty sure he's already laid a finger on her, Kad," Lucia pronounced.

"A lot more than a finger, if she's The Layer," Regin chimed in gleefully.

"Like his mouth," Lucia suggested.

"His boy-boy," Regin added.

"His chest," Lucia again.

"His massive, calloused hands."

"His thighs."

A collective sigh emitted from the females. "Oh, his thighs," Danni murmured.

Nix giggled. "Don't forget his teeth. Pretty, pointy, gleaming white teeth that fit so well at her throat... among other places."

At this, there was a disgusted groan. It seemed to come from all the valkyries within the mansion, not just those in the dining room. There were several grunted "ugh"s and a few "Damn vampire"s followed by Annika's firm, "Enough!" When silence finally reigned again she spoke. "Emma is in serious danger. We need to get her out of there before the dog can maim her!"

This is my first IAD fic. I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I'd really appreciate your feedback.