I'm not sure where to go after this. Will take suggestions!

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He knew she was tired. Hell, he was tired. Twins was a ridiculous amount of work, and she not only had to burp and change and stay awake with the puking, mewling – adorable, beings who he loved with everything in him…she had to feed them as well. And there had been that incident with the new intake that seemed to crazy young, tender flesh. And that nubbin escape that had Will and Kate literally hanging from the chandelier in the ballroom doing acrobatics of the nude variety. And the incessant, relentless pile of thrice cursed paperwork that she refused to completely ignore.

He had to take action. She needed it, and he was not taking no for an answer.

He set down the glass in front of her where she slumped at the table, Sophia in her arms. He'd just put Daniel in the crib at their bedside, but Sophia still refused to sleep without being held. Helen insisted that at a mere three weeks old, both the twins were still adjusting to the novelty and frightening reality of being out of the womb. She assured him, and herself, that it was perfectly normal, and would pass. Nikola simply think she dotes on Sophia and Daniel in order to better ignore her own increasing illness.

She was still breathtakingly beautiful to him, her shirt half unbuttoned, her hair falling out of a messy bun, her shoulders rounded from exhaustion. She looked at the table and then at him, a ghost of a smile curving her lips.

"Nikola, I know you think I need to relax, but I am still attempting to breastfeed and I don't think a glass of Bordeaux would help matters very much." There were dark circles under her eyes, and she lost far too much of the baby weight far too rapidly. She needed this, and her body knew it, her nostrils flaring slightly as the scent finally reached her nose.

"It's not Bordeaux, my love."

She swallowed quickly, and he knew she was salivating. Although in his current form the hunger wasn't nearly so bad and he did not require medication more than once every few months, he can remember how very much that hunger can torture one's soul.

She looked more closely at the shimmering, deep red liquid in the glass and he could see her realized precisely what he was offering. Disgust warred with unfamiliar hunger in her eyes as the snapped up to meet his own.

"Blood? Nikola – what the bloody hell are you…"

"James said in his letters to me that he fed you rare steaks. Said you were so tired after Ashley was born that you barely noticed what you ate, not even when the meat was practically raw. I'm simply making the process easier to digest and the results more immediate." Her mouth opened, but he continued on, "Besides, this is the finest blood I could obtain, that wasn't human. Wild hogs fed on the sweet acorns of Andelucia, tastier than most fat Americans fed up on 'Mickey Ds'." Helen glared at him, "Not that I would know! I would never have deigned to get that close to one, much less….you know I've kept my vows to you Helen. All of them."

She pursed her lips, looking down at Sophia's sweet pink face and then toward the beckoning crystal glass. "Why…I mean, it's not normal…"

He snorted loudly. "Normal? Since when are any of us in this mad place close to normal. Why would we want to be." He leaned closer to her, his worry for her in his eyes, all his shields let down – only for her. "You have Source blood running through your veins, Helen Magnus. Your children have that as well. Blood that calls for blood, at least some of time. Drink Helen, before you are too far gone to come back to the bloom of health and see your children to grow up to be the geniuses they surely will be."

Sighing, she picked up the glass, gently cradling it in her palm. He held his breath as she grimaced and she took a sip, swallowing it far too quickly. Her eyes grew round, and she sipped again, this time savoring the flavor properly. In a minute, the glass was drained, and he could see the blush in her cheeks return, her tension relax. Sophia murmured in her sleep, and Helen jiggled her slightly, shushing softly.

"James wrote to you?"

He reached for her glass and stood, moving to the counter where he'd stashed a pitcher of the stuff.

"James knew me better than you seem to think. He knew I loved you, and he seemed to think that sometime one or both of us would come to our senses. He told me of your adventures, your lovers, the scrapes you got yourself into and out of. And he told me to take care of you when he no longer could."

She took the refilled glass from his hand, a smile on lips stained dark with sweet blood. "Thank you, Nikola. You are doing a very fine job of it."

"Get better soon Helen. I'm afraid that the sight of you drinking blood is almost more than my self-restraint can handle. I don't wish to shock the children by taking you across the kitchen table."

"Nikola!"

He took a slip from his own glass – this one truly a Bordeaux. He really couldn't handle blood without the lusts that inevitable possessed him when he partook. There was a soft cry from the baby monitor, and Nikola sighed dramatically, rising to go tend to his son. "Drink up, Helen. You need your vitamins."

She stuck out a bloody tongue at him and he laughed.