I can't remember if vampire have heartbeats in the Blade 'verse but, still, I like to play with the idea that they do, to a point (faint, probably gets better when they feed) because, y'know, you shouldn't have an erection if you don't pump blood into...and, really, why, if you stake them through the heart, do they die, when they're not supposed to have heartbeats? So, yeah, my fanfic, my rules. Sort of. Let-it-go.

Marcus has her pinned against the wall, with a stake inside her stomach, and she knows she can fight her way out; she can fight her way through this and reach for the other stake on the floor - she can kill him, to save herself, but she won't.

She hasn't seen him in almost a year - she's been running around with Blade, trying to take down the houses, to kill vampires, to destroy that which is already part of her. One thing she didn't expect was Marcus being alive...after what they did to his house, after her escape...she never thought...

"Your heart is racing. I never thought a vampire's heart could actually beat as yours does," his fangs showed as his face got closer. She could now feel his breath on her neck, "It almost makes you seem...alive."

She swallows, "Yeah, well, I'm not. You should know. You killed me, remember?"

He draws back, smiling, "Ah, yes, I do have a vague recollection of it. I saw you in that dress...and thought...death suited you."

"Don't remember hiring you as my stylist," she narrows her eyes, keeping the stake within her eyesight but not trying to gaze directly at it, so that Marcus doesn't know what she's thinking...what she wishes she'd just do already.

His eyes gaze coldly at her as he tilts his head to the side, not amused by her idea of a joke, and she's wishing he'd say something already, or that Blade would walk through that door.

Blade is not known for his timing - not where Krista is concerned.

"I fell in love with you, Krista. How is that for a style?"

She shudders, closes her eyes, and tries to recover, to show no emotion, "I didn't know vampires loved."

"Oh, yes," he smiles, pushing the tip of the stake in his hand deeper into her stomach. "We do love, most ardently, and we hate in equal fashion."

She groans, trying to bite back the pain, "Hate, that's a feeling I'm familiar with. How's this for an emotion? I hate you, Marcus. Always have, always-gaaaargh," she moans as he pushes it deeper and wonders why he didn't just aim for the heart.

"I wish I could say the same," he whispers, his eyes actually sad, and she's pissed because, how can he be sad when he's trying to kill her and why isn't she trying to do the same?

The same reason why she didn't let Blade kill him.

She loves him.

It has always been her greatest fear, facing that truth...loving the monster who killed her brother, killed her, made her and, somehow, managed to have the ability to undo her just as quickly.

"You're not fighting me, why?"

She's trying to form the words, but her wound is starting to sting now and she's getting thirsty, needing blood to heal. "If you'll pull that out and hand it over, I'll give you a fight, won't even last five seconds," she breathes out through gritted teeth.

"No," he smiles, "there's something more. I've seen you fight through worse than this. After all, you're a soldier, always have been. You can fight me, but you won't, why? Are you afraid?"

The pain is clouding her mind, because her answer is not one she would've given in any fully-conscious state, "Yes."

"You never feared before," he reminds her, finding her words hard to believe.

"Not afraid of you," she has her eyes closed, feels as her insides try to heal themselves, but there's a piece of wood in the way of that - not a very friendly feeling.

"Then of what?"

"What you've turned me into," she opens her eyes, meeting his curiosity, and followed by the disappointment in her answer.

He sighs, "That again...Krista, vampirism is-"

"Not that," her hand somehow covers his, the one around the stake, and he's not fighting her touch...why? "This. Us. You've...turned me into someone who actually gives a shit about you," his eyebrow quirks at that. "I don't care about your stupid vampire politics," she groans when he pulls the stake out, but she stays on her feet, in spite of the lingering pain, "your little games or houses. You all could burn down in a beach in Mexico, I could care less." She presses a hand over the wound which isn't healing as quickly as she'd like it to, but she can tell it's trying to. "But I care about you."

His eyes avoid hers, lingers on the blood-stained stake, "I believe you clearly stated, earlier, how much you hate me."

She shrugs, "Thin line between love and hate."

He meets her eyes now, "Love?"

"That's the pain talking, ignore that," she's eying the stake on the floor now...if she had any sense, she'd pick it up and shove it up his...

"You've had many opportunities to kill me."

"I tried to take a few of them," she reminds him.

He smiles at the memory, in spite of things, "But you never succeeded, then you stopped...was it because of my attraction towards you? Or the advantage of being the spy that was able to stand by my side?"

She slides down to the floor, swallows, "You know, you ask too many questions."

"You answer too little of them...truthfully, at least," he crouches down, meeting her at eye-level. And then, he does the oddest thing. He looks at the stake, then offers it to her.

"Seriously?" She blinks at him, hand still on her wound.

"I killed your brother, Krista. I killed you. I turned you into something that you hate. You will never see the sunlight, you will never have children, you will never live your life as you originally planned it. I destroyed you...then, destroy me."

Her jaw is set, unmoving, and she's tempted - very tempted, to just ash him right there.

She reaches for the stake...then throws it at his head. He closes his eyes in response, wiping away a drop of her blood that touched him.

"Very mature, Krista," he smiles in annoyance.

"It's the best I can do, in response to your moment of insensitive stupidity. Asshole," she mutters, putting her free hand on the ground in an attempt to stand up but, she's up in a flash, when he helps her, by pulling her against him.

"Say it," his eyes look hungry, no longer patient, or in any sort of control.

"Say what? And need I remind you, you just stabbed me, so unless you're really serious about me returning the favor, you need to take it easy," she tries to move back, but his arm is locked around her waist and, soon, his hand flies to hold her face in place, not letting her look away.

"Tell me, Krista. Say the words, why you fear me, what you've felt for me, and if any of it is still there, was ever there. Tell me what I need to know."

Her heart's beating fast again and, this time, she can hear it in her head. But, before she can say something, the door slams open, and she sees Blade.

She looks to their right. There's a window. She doesn't wait for Marcus. She makes a choice. She says the words, but without the words themselves.

She pulls him with her as they run towards the window and down five floors. Marcus lands on his feet while Krista nearly slams her face into the pavement, but he catches her.

"Thank you," he kisses her cheek, simple, but there, and she swallows, looking up at Blade who, even without the shades, she can tell is pissed behind them.

"Don't thank me yet..." And he quirks a brow as he puts her arm around his shoulder, ready to move her away from the building, "Because if he doesn't kill you soon, I will. Eventually."

"Looking forward to it."