A/N: There are still some loose ends to tie up with this story and I think this chapter does a good job of that. I still think there might be more to this story and I might not be done with it just yet.

Chapter 20

Blackburn and Jessica

Blackburn led Jessica down a flight of stairs. He touched a spot on the wall and a brick shifted out of place and revealed a numerical keypad. He punched in a combination and a hidden doorway was revealed in the far wall. He motioned Jessica to this door and she saw a reinforced chamber in which a large bed was prominently featured. Crisp, white sheets were paired with a dark gray silk coverlet.

"What's this?" asked Jessica.

"It's where I sleep," replied Blackburn. "I'd like for you to share it with me."

Jessica looked down. Things had been going so well between them. He was one of the few older vampires who had so much patience with her and seemed to really enjoy her company. They had flirted with each other and kissed, but surprisingly Blackburn had been a complete gentleman with her. Jessica had not pushed to go any further because then she would have to reveal her problem to him. She didn't want to lose him because what guy wants to have to deal with a virgin every night? And no matter how much she wanted to do it, that didn't stop it from hurting. She felt Blackburn's fingers on her chin and she looked up into his eyes.

"This news did not make you as happy as I had hoped," he said.

"Oh, rats," hissed Jessica. "It's not you, it's me."

"You seem perfect to me," he replied.

"I'm not," she said. "You should just make it easy on the both of us and dump me, now."

"Well, I don't want to dump you," he replied.

He smoothed a strand of her red hair and stared into her bright blue eyes that had the longest lashes that he had ever seen.

"Just tell me what it is," he said.

"This is so embarrassing," said Jessica, looking away. "I'm a virgin, like forever."

She heard a little chuckle from Blackburn and turned back to see him with an amused smile on his face.

"Was that funny?" she demanded.

"No, not in the way that you are thinking," he said. "It's just that your condition isn't a problem."

"Maybe not for you," said Jessica.

"I can't believe that this problem hasn't already been taken care of," said Blackburn. "Your maker is derelict in his duties if he is aware of said problem."

"Taken care of? How?" asked Jessica.

"Let me arrange the details," said Blackburn.

He leaned in and kissed and added, "But, I do expect a little reward."

"What kind of reward?" asked Jessica, coyly dropping her lashes.

"I'll come up with something," he said with a naughty smile.

The next night, Jessica knocked at the door of the address that Blackburn had given her. When she saw Payton answer it, she breathed a sigh of relief.

"Oh, good, it's you," said Jessica.

"Come in," said Payton.

Payton had been surprised when Blackburn, himself, had called her. They were certainly not friends, but when she heard that the favor was actually for Jessica, she had been more willing to hear him out. She had to say that she sympathized with Jessica's plight. She showed Jessica in to her living room and they took a seat opposite each other.

"Can you really help me with my, ah, problem?" asked Jessica.

"I'm pretty sure that I can," said Payton.

"But, how?" asked Jessica.

"Magic, of course," replied Payton.

"If you've got the cure, bring it on," said Jessica.

Payton lit the large candle between them on the coffee table and then some incense. She grasped her necklace and dipped it into the flames and cleared her mind.

"Undead body, hear my voice

Listen to me, for there is no choice

All wounds do you heal, except for one

The magic of this spell will not be undone

Be gone the vestige of virginity, I do command

Between her and her lover, let nothing stand."

As Jessica watched, Payton took hold of the glowing red necklace and closed it within the palm of her hand. She opened her hand and revealed her undamaged skin and kissed the still hot metal.

"That's it?" asked Jessica.

"Trust me," said Payton with a smile.

Jessica had hurried back to Blackburn and when he answered the door, she had pushed her way inside. She then began to remove his clothes and tossing them across the room.

"Should I be scared?" he asked.

"Maybe," said Jessica. "But, I'm having my way with you and if this magic really works, then I'm having my way with you again and again."

"Can we at least make it to the bedroom?" he asked.

Jessica pushed him down on the couch and said, "Maybe, later."

"I think that I may have created a monster," said Blackburn with a little smile.

Jessica slipped out of her dress and stood before him and his eyes took all of her in.

"But, you're the most beautiful monster that I've ever seen," he said.

He held out his hand to her and Jessica reached for it. "Stay with me," he said. "I don't have anyone else and I'm lonely."

Jessica moved on the couch with him. "You've got me, now," she said.

"I like the sound of that," he said, as he pulled her close and kissed her.

Hadley and Bill

When she heard the car drive up, Hadley rushed to the front door and flung it open. She saw a black limousine stop and then a bodyguard sitting in the front passenger seat got out and opened a car door. Out popped a five year old boy with dark hair who was dressed in shorts, sandals and a tee shirt. He gazed up at Bill's large house with wide eyes. When his eyes found his mother, he smiled and ran towards her.

"Momma!" he cried.

Hadley ran down the front steps and swept him into her arms and hugged him tightly.

"I missed you, Hunter," she said.

"You just saw me last week," he replied.

Hadley let him go and kissed his cheek. "I still missed you," she said.

Hunter reached up and took her hand in his and said, "I guess I missed you, too."

He looked to the large house and asked, "Do you live here?"

"Yes," said Hadley. "And so will you when you come to stay with me. Would you like to go inside?"

Hunter nodded and Hadley led him up the steps. Everything was working out. Remy had agreed to joint custody with her. He had given up his fight for sole parental rights on the stipulation that the first six months were a trial period. As long as Hunter was happy and well-adjusted, then Remy was satisfied with Hadley renewing her role as Hunter's mother. Bill had seemed to be a nonissue as far as Remy was concerned. He had insisted that her living conditions be investigated as per protocol, but when the judge found nothing amiss, neither did he. Coming inside, they found Bill waiting at the entrance to his office.

"Hunter, this is Bill," said Hadley.

"Hello," said Hunter.

"It's nice to finally meet you," said Bill. "Your mother talks about you all the time."

"Are you a vampire?" asked Hunter.

"Yes," said Bill.

"Cool," replied Hunter. "Do you live here with my mom?"

"Yes," said Bill. "Your mother and I are friends."

"You mean boyfriend and girlfriend," said Hunter.

"That's right," replied Bill, looking up at Hadley.

"My mom's very pretty," said Hunter.

"I couldn't agree more," replied Bill.

Hunter studied him and asked, "Can vampires play basketball or toss a softball?"

"Hunter," admonished Hadley.

"Oh, it's alright," said Bill.

He leaned down and said to Hunter, "When I heard that you were coming to stay with us, I had a basketball court built out in the back. Would you like to see it?"

"Can we go see it, Mom?" asked Hunter with excitement.

"I don't see why not," replied Hadley.

Bill held out his hand to Hunter who shyly took it. Together, the three of them made their way outside.

After several games of basketball and a dinner of fish sticks and tater tots, Hunter was tired and Hadley tucked him into bed. She sat on the edge of his bed and smoothed his hair, which was so unbelievably soft to her touch.

"Can I have pancakes for breakfast?" he asked.

"Blueberry ones?" replied Hadley.

"You remember that those were my favorite," he said.

"I remember lots of things," said Hadley.

"I'm glad that you came back to be my mommy again," he said.

Hadley leaned down and kissed his soft cheek and inhaled his little boy scent.

"Me, too," she replied.

Hunter closed his eyes and Hadley gazed at him until he fell asleep. She gave him one more kiss and whispered, "Sweet dreams."

She slipped out of his room, turning off his light on the way out. She found Bill waiting for her in the hallway.

"He seems like a great kid," said Bill.

"He is," replied Hadley.

"Would you like to sit outside for a spell and have a glass of wine?" asked Bill.

"Nope, I think that I just want to go straight to bed," replied Hadley.

"Oh, okay," said Bill.

Hadley started down the hall, but stopped and turned back to him. She gave him a little smile and said, "I didn't say that I wanted to be alone."

Bill flashed a smile and moved swiftly to her side. She slipped her arm around his waist and looked up into his eyes.

"I'm in the mood for a slow, long bout of love-making," she said.

"Amazing," replied Bill. "I was thinking the same thing."

Hadley kissed him. "What are we waiting for, then?" she said as she pulled him along with her.

Sam and Tara

Sam filled a pitcher of beer and looked over at Tara who was sitting at the bar. He flashed her a sly wink. Arlene who was waiting for the pitcher of beer noticed and looked between Sam and Tara.

"Oh my God," she said. "Are you two dating?"

"Now, hold on," began Tara.

"That's right," interrupted Sam. "Tara and I are seeing each other and we are very happy. Aren't we, Darling?"

"Yes, blissfully happy," said Tara, only after a second's hesitation.

"Well, good for you," said Arlene. "It's about time someone snatched you up, Sam Merlott."

She took the pitcher of beer and sashayed off. Tara watched her a moment and turned to Sam.

"You know that her big mouth is going to tell that all over town," she said.

"So?" replied Sam. "I've got nothing to be embarrassed about and I'm tired of hiding who I am."

"They'll probably be taking bets on how long that we are going to last," said Tara.

"I'll take that bet," said Sam, moving over to Tara.

He leaned over the bar and kissed her. He then reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out a key.

"What's that?" asked Tara.

"That is a key to my place," replied Sam. "Since, I've already given you the key to my heart."

"That's a good line," said Tara.

"You like it?" asked Sam with a smirk.

"I do," replied Tara.

"Is it melting down your resistance?" asked Sam.

"You're getting there," replied Tara.

"How about a promise to give you my unforgettable love-making," said Sam. "Every night."

"Now, you're talking," replied Tara. "And if you offer to make me hotcakes in the morning, you can probably have your way with me."

"Cooked in bacon grease?" asked Sam.

"You silver-tongued devil," said Tara.

She leaned over the bar to kiss Sam and he smiled. "Why don't I ask Arlene to lock up by herself?"

"Good idea," said Tara. "Because I want to get you alone and all to myself, Sam Merlott."

"I knew that you'd see things my way," said Sam with a smile.

Eric and Payton

Felton crept through the shadows and stared at the house. He was in his panther form and he bared his fangs and growled. His eyes could see in the dark, but he hadn't detected anything unusual around the house. That little witch had somehow managed to charm that vampire into letting her live. She had probably put a spell on him or something. Perhaps, that vampire might even thank him for ending her hold over him. These witches could not be trusted. And that had left him to take matters into his own hands. Witch or not, she was still susceptible to fangs and claws. He trotted to the back door and sniffed. Just as he was about to shift forms, something grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and threw him back into the yard. Felton hit the ground and rolled over as a man. He looked up to see the vampire looming over him with a very pissed expression.

"Wait, this is all a mistake," he quickly said.

"I should kill you," said Eric.

"No, please," begged Felton.

"Know this, I'm only allowing you to live because of her. But, if something were to ever happen to her or if I catch you within a mile of her again, I will kill you and scatter the pieces so far and wide that there won't be anything left to bury," said Eric. "Got it?"

"Loud and clear," replied Felton.

"Now, get lost before I change my mind," said Eric.

Felton crept back for several step and then turned and ran quickly away. Eric watched him and thought that he would probably have to kill him, eventually. Still, he knew that it would trouble Payton to have Felton killed on her account. But, he wasn't kidding about protecting her. He certainly wouldn't be letting Payton go to Hotshot anymore without an escort.

It was late and Eric moved to the door and unlocked it with his key. He had built a little cubby for himself in Payton's basement. It was mainly for show, in case some other vampire came around. But, sometimes, he liked the security of sleeping in there. He stopped at his desk and logged onto his computer to check his emails. He found one from someone that he hadn't talked to in ages. He hesitated before opening it up.

Eric,

I have buried the report about Payton. It seems the footage of Nan Flanagan running rampant at the Tolerance Festival was enough to silence her. The threat of releasing it to the humans and what that would do to her career did wonders to change her mind about things.

I have not forgotten that you failed to notify me of Godric's disappearance. Nor, have I forgiven you for your failure to keep our maker with us. However, you are all that I have left.

I look forward to seeing you again and meeting your companion.

Nora

Nora worked in The Authority, but where her loyalty truly lay was a matter that only she knew. Only Godric had been sure of her love. She blamed him for what had happened and he would be a fool to completely trust her, sibling or not. But, soon he would find out if blood was indeed thicker than water. He turned off the computer and headed for the bedroom. Payton was asleep and her sweet face reminded him of a child's. He quickly disrobed and slipped into bed beside her. As he wrapped his arms around her, she sleepily stirred and nestled against him.

"Am I dreaming or are you really here?" she murmured.

Eric ran his hand down her arm and kissed her shoulder. "Does this feel like a dream?" he asked.

"I don't know, you're dreams are pretty good sometimes," she sighed.

She rolled over and faced him as she ran her hand through his hair.

"Do I have you all to myself?" she asked.

"I'm all yours," replied Eric.

"That's what I like to hear," she said.

She leaned in and kissed him as her hand trailed over his chest. His arms reached out and pulled her in closer and she wrapped her leg over his hip.

"Are you trying to have your way with me?" he asked.

"Absolutely," replied Payton. "Do you have a problem with that?"

"I'm putty in your hands," said Eric.

"Now, I thought that you were made of firmer stuff than that," she said.

She reached down between his legs and touched him as Eric gave a soft noise of pleasure. He passed a hand over her bottom before delivering a little smack on it.

"Naughty girl," he hissed.

"Let me show you just how naughty," replied Payton as she pulled him in closer.

As Eric felt her arms around him, he felt completely at home there. He took his little dragon into his arms and made sweet love to her as the sun rose above the horizon.

A/N: Nora will be a new character on the show next season. She is Godric's other child and I'm very curious about her. Supposedly she is a double agent in the Authority. I introduced her into this story. But, even Eric isn't sure if she can be completely trusted.