This story has been begging to get out for a long time and now it's going to happen.

The following characters don't belong to me, I'm just borrowing them with thanks to Sony Pictures and Mr. Parriott et al. There will be mature subject matter (language, sex, violence etc.), so if that offends move along.

Morning Memories

Chapter 1/?

The sun was just starting to crest over the horizon. Fingers of light were splayed into the quickly receding night. The tenuous hold over the earth was slipping. Outside the birds announced the coming of the new day.

She turned her head into the hand caressing her face; ever so gently the fingers threaded their way through her hair. Coming once again to touch the soft cheek.

"I have to go." He said, leaning forward to brush his lips against her forehead, trailing down to press against her lips, applying a subtle pressure, and then withdrawing.

Her hand reached for his. Clasping together, sharing the words that could not be spoken. She looked longingly into his blue eyes as her head dipped in acknowledgement. Releasing her hand, he made his way through the door. No other sound permeated the room except the quiet footfalls echoing not only in her ears but also in her heart as well.

The shrill of an unknown bird brought her up from the threshold of dreams. The sun peeked around the window shade and announced his arrival with a flash of warmth upon her face.

"Oh, Sidney," she breathed, a yawn catching her off guard, "Good morning." She pushed herself to an upright position and stretched the muscles in her arms and back. Reaching down to scratch her beloved pet between his ears she received a rumbling purr as thanks for her ministrations. "I hope you have nothing planned for the day, because since I finally have a day off from work, you're going to see a lot of me, the sunshine, and of course, the dreaded vacuum cleaner."

The cat showed no signs of interest in the spoken words, but enthusiastically pushed his head into the scratching machine that his mistress provided. "Oh you! You're just dying for some affection, aren't you? Well you'll get your doses throughout the day. Right now I have to get up and get in the shower or our day will end up a complete loss."

Natalie got out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. After tending to nature's call, she turned the shower on and adjusted the temperature. Removing her watch and necklace, she carefully stepped into the steaming stall. The heat of the shower removed the remaining stiffness from her joints. Grabbing the shampoo, she made quick work of her hair. Wash, rinse. Repeat. The cool feeling of the body gel applied to the washcloth brought other feelings to mind. The soft caress of his hands over her shoulders, trailing down her back the press of his chest against hers. And his lips….Oh those lips…. Touching and tasting every inch of exposed skin, eliciting cries of pleasure and delight. A shudder ran through her body at the memory of the rapture he evoked.

Oh come on now, she chastised herself, You keep this up and you'll never leave the shower. And here you were blaming the cat for distracting you. Quickly rinsing off, and filing away the remnants of her dream, Natalie grabbed the towel, dried herself, and made her way to the wardrobe. There she selected a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, forgoing the bra and panties. Hell, this was her day off and with no where to go for a while, she figured decorum be damned. With that thought she proceeded to the kitchen, made and drank her coffee, ate a simple breakfast and figured out the best way to attack her housecleaning.

Elsewhere in Toronto, the bright start of the new day failed to pierce the shuttered windows in the home of Nicholas Knight. A single light glowed in the kitchen, casting shadows throughout the loft. Even if all the lights were on, none could relieve the darkness that plagued the sleeping vampire.

He'd fallen asleep on the couch again. The leather voiced its protest as a new onslaught of thrashing began. Bloodsweat beaded his forehead to form tiny rivers that flowed forth to deposit themselves on the smooth leather. Turning the rich, dark brown material a dull black.

Lying on the four-post bed, Nicholas De Brabant quickly scanned the room, the feeling of uneasiness suddenly overcoming the hunger that previously occupied his thoughts. He stretched his preternatural senses, but detected nothing out of the ordinary. The only sound audible was coming from the kitchen on the other side of the building. The staff preparing the late evening meal, in expectation of any weary travelers to grace the Lamb's Heath.

Ah, yes. His meal should be arriving shortly.

The furniture had seen better times Nicholas noted. The once stylish décor reminded the former Crusader of his beloved Janette. The gold, scarlet, and black appointments eliciting visions of her; fine black silk, sparkling diamonds set in polished gold caressing her slim neck, and blood. A small droplet escaping the corner of her mouth as she released her victim.

Something's still not right.

For some reason that feeling kept creeping back.

"Why do I feel like I'm being watched?" he whispered. A frown wrinkled his brow.

His musings were interrupted by a soft knock at the door. Crossing the floor to the sitting room, Nicholas detected the rapid heartbeat and increased respiration of the nervous servant in the hallway.

"Come in." The blond vampire said his tone inviting.

A lithe young woman entered, carrying a tray of food and a tankard of ale. Dressed in a faded yellow smock that bore the stains and smells that decried her position in this establishment, she hurriedly placed her burden on a nearby table. Not even looking at the imposing figure as she passed.

"Will that be all, milord?" She asked timidly as she turned to leave, taking a few hesitant steps towards the door.

"Meave, before you go, there is something else I require."

"Yes, milord." She replied, never once taking her eyes off the floor.

"Look at me." Meave glanced at the door, but she still would not look at him. Nicholas cupped her chin in his hand and lifted her head. Her auburn hair was tied back but a few errant tendrils had fallen loose to frame her face. Sliding softly past her cheek to curl in gentle waves at the base of her throat. His gaze traveled from her neck up to her eyes.

"Look at me." He repeated. The tone of his voice could not be denied. Meave

did as he commanded.

Nicholas' gaze held the girl entranced. Her heartbeat drumming inside his head. The call of her blood intense as his hunger demanded to be fed.

He tipped his head down and kissed her lips, gently at first and then with more force. His hands slid to her shoulders, pulling her body close to his, then proceeded to caress her through the worn fabric. Calling forth her desire, Nicholas responded to the actions he created. He reached up and pulled Meave's head to one side and plunged his fangs into the pulsing artery in the side of her throat. The blood rush forth and he drank greedily. Relishing the sweet taste, the warmth as it flowed into him. Quenching his thirst…his need.

All too soon her heartbeat began to fade and Nicholas crushed her body to him as if that action would supply him with more, but alas no more was forthcoming.

As he released Meave and watched her fall silently to the floor, Nicholas once again felt a disturbance. He whipped his head around to scan the room, his fangs bared and ready to attack this interloper, but no one was there. At least no one he could see.

At the far end of the room a figure stood, bathed in shadow. No, he could not be seen. This was just a dream. His dream. Nick Knight had watched the scene before him play out. Helpless to interfere even if he wanted to. The actions of those in the room occurred as if he were watching a play. The lines and directions given, the characters going through the motions, and the final act closing the story, as he knew it would. It had happened so many times, it would happen again. And again.

He was powerless to stop the hunger for blood. The taking of another's life.

As Nicholas walked away from the lifeless body on the floor, he shook off the strange sensations plaguing him. It was time to go.

Nick observed his former self-retreating to the bedroom, and cast one last look at the woman who lost her life this night.

To his shock, the body on the floor was not the servant Meave. Those were not servants' clothes. This woman lying before him wore a cream colored silk blouse and a navy blue skirt. Her hair obscured her face and as Nick stepped forward fear clutched his chest. He knelt down and rolled the body into his arms.

No… It can't be…The wavy hair that framed her pale face, the cold still lips, and the lifeless eyes staring at oblivion. Nick thought he was delusional but when he licked his lips and tasted blood, he realized the horrifying truth.


End Chapter 1