Beware the mixes offered by your iPhone while on the elliptical. When it offers 8in8's "Nikola Tesla", followed by Queen's "Princes of the Universe", a writer is in trouble for the development of crackficitis.


August, 1993

Helen rubbed the sore spot on her back and looked at her feet in chagrin. Barely five months into her pregnancy, and she was going to have to give up her beloved heels. Or stop pacing the halls of her Sanctuary and actually use the intercom system Tesla had upgraded last week. The man was useful when he wasn't bent on self-aggrandizement.

She smiled softly, admitting to herself in the depths of her mind that she was glad he'd come back to her. And not for any selfish reason…he'd returned to take care of her. For all of his paltry excuses over needed a pleasant place to work on his latest projects and his complements to her extensive cellars, James had told her that he'd written to Nikola of her pregnancy, and that within the week Nikola was knocking at her door, cocky grin and his hair an untamed mess that she longed to run her hands through.

She shook those thoughts away, not comfortable with where they were leading. Bloody hormones. She'd never in her hundred and forty years of life been so randy as she was now that she was pregnant. Although it had not been nearly so overwhelming before Nikola had arrived. Even with James practically living in Old City and coddling her like a prize hen up for judging at a country fair, it wasn't James, her one time lover, who'd given her the most erotic dreams and made her change her underthings several times a day.

She arrived in front of the door to the lab space Tesla had laid claim to, staring through it as though she could reproach the occupant for his ability to discombobulate her carefully cultivated peace of mind. Then she realized the noises emanating from therein were not the sparks and hisses of his typical project, but the sound of singing. Very bad singing.

"Here we are, we're the princes of the universe. Here we belong, fighting for survival, we've come to be the rulers of you all!"

His voice cracked, his pitch was completely off, and he was utterly adorable. She pressed her ear against the door and tried not to laugh.

"Oh! I am immortal, I have inside me blood of kings, I have no rival, no man can be my equal, take me to the future of you all!"

She drew in a huge breath and swallowed her laughter, and contemplated the image of Nikola giving a sales pitch to Freddie Mercury regarding the superiority of the vampire race and encouraging him to write this as a theme song. Then, she opened the door.

His eyes were closed and he strode dramatically through the room, wearing headphones attached to a tiny white box.

"Born to be kings…"


"…princes of the universe." One of his gestures was a bit too dramatic and he managed to pull the cord of the headphones out of the little box, ending his backup music abruptly. His eyes opened and she stared right at him, a smile touching her lips and he jumped in surprise. He flashed her an embarrassed smile, a real one instead of the calculating smirk she usually saw him wear, and her heart was in danger of melting for him even more….best end that train of thought.

"Hello, Mr. Tesla. I'm afraid the Metropolitan Opera will not be calling for auditions anytime soon."

He scrunched up his nose and Helen thought that he might be very close to sticking out his tongue at her. "Critics! I may be an atrocious singer, but the song at least is brilliant. And I am brilliant for making it so utterly portable."

He held up the tiny white box with a flourish. "My latest work. True, it's more of a long term bid for world dominion. And the man who asked me to develop it wants to retake his little computer company from the hands of incompetent underlings and expand it into the field of entertainment. He seems to think a little portable music player with no pesky disks or tapes will accomplish that. Although it wasn't my idea, I do rather think he's on to something. I'm thinking of calling it the ePod. Has a certain ring to it, yes?"

"I'm sure it's very clever. And it will certainly be convenient whenever I wish to listen to Mozart while running on the roof track." And it was keeping him from causing too much mischief. Although he had been remarkably good in the last few weeks. Helping with small projects, subduing an electrically excitable abnormal or two, and sitting down with her and James for dinner, or bringing her tea and talking with her alone. It was almost as though he actually gave a damn about her.

"I came to tell you that James is leaving in a few minutes to return to London for a few weeks. He seems to think that you can manage to take care of me in the meantime."

"Well, it's a lot to ask such a thoroughly stuck up British gent to actually think a woman, much less a pregnant woman, could take care of herself."

He held up his little toy. "I for one, know that once we can grab the attention of women as well as men to this little device, it's just a few leaps until everything falls into place. Stevie-boy doesn't think big enough. Not just music, but books, movies, the internet, telephone, payment systems, everything will come down to these little lovely wireless boxes. A much less bloodthirsty and clever way of world takeover, you have to admit."

She sighed deeply. "Why are you forever concerning yourself with taking over the world, Nikola? You aren't ruthless and bloodthirsty enough. You care too much, though I wouldn't have you any other way."

His eyes grew soft, and her heart contracted in response. "How else is a merger Serbian son of a priest supposed to impress the woman he loves? To show he's good enough for her?"

She bit her lip, a nervous habit she'd given up a century ago. "Perhaps it would be more effective to simply sweep the woman in question off her feet?"

He cocked his head at her and grinned. "Well, I've never actually tried that technique. It's worth at least one experiment."

He strode forward and took hold of her shoulders, pulling her forward and pressing his lips against herself with a sure firmness that was surprisingly direct. She placed her hands on his arms, considering for a tenth of a second to push him away, but leaned in ever so slightly, continuing the kiss and opening her mouth just enough to let his tongue sweep in and take command of her mouth.

Long minutes passed as he learned her mouth, her teeth, her tongue. He bit at her lips and she at his, kissing until their mouths ached. She found herself pressed up against a bookcase when he finally pulled back slightly, his eyes fiery with happiness and victory.

"I think I'll have to call that a successful experiment. And one that bears frequent repetition." Suddenly serious, his hand lifted to barely touch the curve of her jaw. "I love you Helen. All of you, every bit." His hands ghosted over her stomach and she gasped softly, never expecting him to come to terms with her decision to have John's child. "I always have. More so than that psychopath…"

She pressed a finger to his lips, "Don't ruin it, Niko. This is between you and me."

He sucked the tip of that finger into his mouth, and what had been romantic suddenly turned demandingly erotic. She very much wanted to know what that talented tongue and those sharp teeth could do to the rest of her body. Her hormones refused to let her curiosity from indulging her needs.

"I love you too, you insufferable man. And I need you."

"Glad to be of service, lbujavi."

He understood what she needed, and it was not something innocently romantic. He pulled her closer and pressed a kiss to her neck, his human teeth nipping at the muscular cords there as she tilted her head, trusting him completely. His hands, which had been remarkably polite during their initial kiss, began to take advantage of every gap in her clothing, one darting in to press against her lower back and to tease upward toward the clasp of her bra, the other flicking open the buttons on her blouse with ruthless efficiency.

Her own hands were busy, exultant in the simplicity of his clothing on this warm summer day, no waistcoat and not even an undershirt to bother with as she opened the buttons of his crisp Oxford shirt to reveal the wiry strength of his chest. She scratched her nails over one nipple and he bit hard into her neck and she knew she would enjoy that bruise very much.

Hands under her arse, he picked her up with no effort at all and strode to one of his worktables, pushing all the microelectronics to the floor with nary a thought and plopping her on the edge. He really did want her, and that was proof. She grinned at the unmasked need in his expression as he pulled off her skirt and panties. She kicked off her shoes and took comfort in that fact that he wasn't shredding her clothes into ribbons with his claws. She could save that for another day. She certainly wished that she could rid him of his damn pants with that kind of speed. She was so bloody randy she was going to explode.

A few more frantic moments of awkward undressing and his cock was poised at her core. The look on his face was filled with a thousand emotions that she knew they needed to discuss, but right now all she wanted she him filling her to the brim. She dug her hands into his hipbones and begged with her body and her eyes, and he relented, for once sweetly silent as he thrust within her.

She cried out, the feeling so utterly perfect that it rang tears from her eyes. "Nikola!" she breathed and he smiled at her, driving into her again and leaving her no chance to resist the pleasure that was quickly rising past the point of no return.

His fingers pinched her nipples and his hips snapped in some figure eight that touched every inch of her passage, leaving her moaning and screaming before she could even think to try and maintain some dignity. The first orgasm blazed through her and left her breathless, and her second was rapidly approaching when she heard the distinct sound of applause.

Her eyes snapped to the doorway, and she pushed at Nikola's chest but he would not move from his position balls deep within her. He turned his face to the door, snarling in full vamp face. "Get out!"

James simply laughed. "I plan on getting out of your ridiculous hair in a moment. I'm quite thrilled to see that after a century of pussyfooting around each other you seemed to have worked things through. Don't fuck it up, my friends. Take care of her, Nikola." He tipped his hat and closed the door, leaving them to stare at each other and laugh.

"I certainly plan on continuing to fuck, at the very least." Nikola said, pistoning his hips again and making her breath hard.

"I would be most put out if you stopped, Mr. Tesla."

"Call me Niko. I think I quite like that."