This is a re-do of 'The Bridges of New York City'. Or basically the higher rated version... in which Helen and Nikola take care of the pesky interrupters and, well, take care of each other... :P

This is for chartreuseian, because a chapter in her amazing fic 'An Alphabet of Love Letters' prompted me to suggest I re-write this. Then of course she agreed I should. Also for agrainne24 who jumped on my whimsical suggestion and turned it to reality.

The first part is all the same, I've indicated where it changes. You'll see it when you get there. Like, really, it lacks subtlety. Also, mind the rating...


The Bridges of New York City, Take II

Helen was excited. Not her usual pre-abnormal hunt adventurous excitement, but a butterflies-in-the-stomach girlish kind of excitement. It bemused her, to say the least, she had never been the type of woman who went weak in the knees and spent the morning deliberating what to wear for a man. She'd long ago accepted that, by following her mind and the path of science, she was not meant for such relationships. Even if she was, most men were completely suspicious of any woman who was educated (few as they were). The only other time she could remember feeling this kind of excitement was when she'd been back at Oxford with Nikola. He'd made her feel like a girl with a crush, which looking back, she supposed she had been.

But she was frustrated and confused now because she was not the same wide-eyed girl. She was a grown woman, a strong woman, an independent woman who needed no one.

But suddenly, she was with Nikola again and all of her butterflies had come fluttering back to her. Nikola had always had a strange affinity to winged creatures, perhaps he'd somehow lured them back.

She was in New York City visiting Nikola. Well, strictly speaking she was here in the effort of looking into expanding the Sanctuary network, but that was just nitpicking. Seeing her dear friend again after several years apart had caused both sadness and elation. When she'd gotten off the boat, she'd had to stop herself from rushing to him and throwing herself into his arms simply at the sight of him.

It had been a few years since John had all-but destroyed her heart. Since he'd turned into a monster before her very eyes, and she had done nothing to stop it. The few years had done nothing to mend the wound, nor diminish the guilt and responsibility she felt for those poor women. Yet, on the surface, she had learnt to hide the pain. She'd learnt that, if she smiled, it would stave off James's constant, concerned, comments for at least a short while.

But after she'd seen Nikola, she didn't need to fake the smiles. They'd been out in full force on her face the first night she'd arrived when he'd taken her out to dinner. She had no idea how he'd managed to draw them out of her. It was a feat which would have been completed with exasperating, painstaking difficulty only days ago, yet one which he undertook seamlessly.

The reason for her excitement this particular morning, however, was due to the fact that Nikola had promised they would go to the park today. It would be just like old times, when they'd used to sit on the lawns at Oxford under the trees and talk for hours about nothing and everything. It was where she would fiddle with a flower or a strand of grass in her nervous finger tips and he would toy with a lock of her hair. Her back would be leaning leisurely against the trunk of a tree and his head would inevitably end up on her lap. Sometimes, her heart yearned for those days. They'd been so simple.

Pushing aside the little part of her brain that reminded her she was supposed to do some work on this trip, she continued to pin her golden curls in place, cursing the fact that it was still a whole hour before she would see Nikola again.

As though on the same wavelength as her, which in all likelihood he was, he arrived almost twenty minutes early at her hotel. She'd smiled – once again just seeing him had elicited a smile from her – and greeted him in the lobby. Then they'd walked the short distance across to the Central Park.

They didn't touch, not at first, as they entered the park. They were both so comfortable in each other's presence, conversation flowing as freely and easily as it had years ago when they'd first become friends. Time, it seemed, did nothing to cripple their bond. A few minutes into the walk – and Helen was awed by the size and beauty of the park in such a city – her arm was curled firmly around him and her body pressed closer than was proper.

She was thankful that they'd wandered far enough into the park that there weren't too many other souls around. Not that she should worry too much, for all they knew she and Nikola were a couple – though even then their behaviour was often still considered inappropriate in the public domain.

"It's so nice to stroll like this with you," she mused. She hadn't even realised how much she'd missed doing things like this with him until now. "It's so peaceful here."

She needed that. A little bit of peace and serenity in her life. After everything with John, she'd felt so devastated and everything had become so dreary. She'd thrown herself into her work, trying futilely to block out the outside world. She worked herself haggard, a fact James often pointed out.

Nikola nodded, not commenting on what she was sure he knew she was thinking. She had suspected for a long while that James was secretly feeding Nikola information on her wellbeing. The only reason she hadn't called them on it was because it was rather sweet of them to be so concerned for her and, at the end of the day, they were only looking out for her.

"I come here often," he confessed. They wouldn't address the issue hanging like a dark cloud between them. They wouldn't talk about John, about any of it, not today. "To think, to get away... sometimes when I'm working, and I need a new location."

"Like when you used to go to the lawns and feed the pigeons," she said, teasing mildly.

"There are pigeons a plenty here," he remarked with a small smirk. "They've been doing a fine job at keeping me company in your absence."

She smacked him on the arm playfully.

"Oh, so I'm so easily replaced, am I?" she said.

"Of course not," he replied, his tone turning serious, "No one could ever replace you, Helen, not in a thousand life-times."

She bit her lip and looked away, admiring some of the flowers spattered about between a line of trees. They continued in silence for a few minutes, before he grabbed her hand and pulled her along purposefully.

"I want to show you something," he added, almost as an after-thought of tugging her along.

He led her along the path they'd been walking and to a small river. There was a beautiful, very picturesque bridge running over it. There were hanging trees on the bank-ment of the river and edges of the bridge. Little bushes with brightly coloured flowers were strategically located around trees, as though deliberately placed to make the whole scene look as though it had just jumped out of a painting.

"Oh, it's beautiful," she breathed.

He smiled, allowing her to stop and admire briefly, before gently tugging on her hand and leading her onto the bridge.

"I like to come here and think," he said, as he pressed his back against the ledge. Helen took a few steps to join him, standing next to him but with her front against the ledge as she looked out over the small river.

"It would be a marvellous location to do so," she agreed. "It's bizarre to think that industrial places as cities can house such serene places."

"Quite the contradiction," he agreed, "But, then again, I always find that such contradictions are the most beautiful." He was looking directly at her when he said it, and a chill coursed through her. She suspected his words held more meaning than just speaking of cities and parks, but she wasn't ready to dwell too much.

"You can be so obtuse sometimes, Nikola," she commented, instead. His lips twitched upwards and he pushed himself off the ledge, stepping to her. They were standing so close now and her heart was racing.

"And you enjoy every second," he quipped. His right hand was resting on the ledge of the bridge as his left came to rest on her waist, as though it belonged there. He smirked and she wondered if, with his vampiric senses, he could hear the racing of her heart and the frantic pumping of her blood through her body it caused.

"Don't be absurd," she retorted, hating how breathy the words came out.

She couldn't tear her eyes away from his lips. They were maddeningly close to hers. All she had to do was lean forward and she could taste him. It had been years since they'd kissed, even if back then she'd insistently told herself they were just friendly kisses. The memory of their many nights spent beside the fire, when her father was away, drinking wine and exploring each other's mouths made her heart race even more, if that were even possible. She'd forgotten why she'd thought kissing him would be a bad idea now.

Their lips were fused together before she could even finish her bemused thought about why she'd thought it was a bad idea, which settled it anyway. She melted into him, her body practically swooning into his arms. Had their lips not been so firmly pressed together, she was sure he would have chuckled at the action. His other hand came to settle firmly on her waist, pulling her closer insistently, and she responded in kind by wrapping her arms around his neck. Oh God, she'd forgotten how electric kissing him was. It was as though he'd brought her whole body to life with his searing touch. What was more, she couldn't even bring herself to hate herself for falling so easily into his arms, not when it felt like this.

Nikola suddenly let out a small growl, spinning her around and lifting her with ease so that she was perched on the ledge of the bridge. She unconsciously spread her legs apart so that he could step between them, neither of them wanting even a small amount of distance between them. She wasn't worried about falling into the river below, trusting him completely. One of his hands was in her hair now, and she laughed softly, he'd always loved playing with her hair. The other hand had migrated down to her thigh. When exactly had he managed to push her skirts up that far? The thought flitted out of her mind as fast as it had formed, chased away by the feel of his fingers as he massaged her thigh.

She could feel Nikola's hardness pressing insistently against her, and she pressed herself instinctively closer. She was too far beyond worrying about it, what it would mean for them. It had been so long since she'd seen him, since they'd kissed, and her heart had missed him too much for her mind to properly construct argument. She held onto him, clinging to him, desperate to feel more of him. Her eyes were squeezed shut as his lips travelled down her jaw-line and to her neck.

"Well, I say!"

A voice broke the spell, and Helen's eyes flew open in surprise. She blinked a few times, having almost forgotten where they were, she'd been so wrapped up in Nikola.

Nikola growled, standing where he was, obviously to shield her from the eyes of whatever intruder had interrupted them. At least one of them was thinking straight. It took Helen a few more moments to process what was going on, but she quickly got to work straightening herself out once she did. She pushed her dress down to cover herself, cheeks blazing furiously in mortification.

"Good God, man, what the devil do you think you're doing?" a man said, "You are aware that this is a public place in broad daylight? This is no place to bring your hussies!"

He was accompanying an older woman, of whom had made the initial explanation, both standing near the start of the bridge with scandalized expressions.

Helen sputtered, pressing herself closer to Nikola's back to shield herself from the other man's eyes. She couldn't believe they'd been caught in such a compromising position! She couldn't believe she'd let it go so far! She was a fool. But, then, a part of her longed for nothing more than the nosy intruders to go away so she could drag Nikola's lips back to hers and demand he take her right there on the bridge.

"I should call upon an officer of the law," the man said, "This is unacceptable."

Helen could practically feel the anger radiating off Nikola, no doubt as the man had called her a hussy.


"How dare you speak to a lady in such a manner?" Nikola hissed. Helen was not about to point out that she had not been acting in a very lady-like manner moments ago, nor were her current thoughts anywhere near decent.

The man scoffed, indeed, having picked up on Helen's own thoughts of her impropriety.

"A lady?" he said. "How am I supposed to accompany my mother on a nice stroll in the park if we are to bear witness to such atrocities?"

"I'd not miss you and your mother if you decided not to stroll through the park," Nikola spat.

"Nikola," Helen hissed. What had got into him?

"Why, you!" the man exclaimed, his fist balled and his face reddening almost comically. He made a move toward them, crossing the bridge to where they stood. His mother, apparently for lack of better move, or perhaps to more closely tongue-lash the indecent young woman, followed her son.

"In fact," Nikola drawled, using one hand to lean against the bridge, "I daresay you would not be missed. A man your age with nothing better to do than play nursemaid to his mother?"

"I am no nursemaid!" the man said. Helen couldn't help but laugh now, a small giggle escaping the confines of her kiss-reddened lips.

"I'll show you who's a gentleman!" he said, lunging toward the scandalously amorous couple. Helen let out a small squeak and jumped back at the sudden movement from the man. Nikola let out a low growl, obviously seeing it as a threat against Helen, and took a step toward the man.

It all happened so quickly, Helen barely had the chance to follow. The man had his hand raised as if to strike one, or perhaps both, of them. Nikola stood his ground, awaiting the impeding attack. He pre-emptively struck the man, effectively stopping his blow before it landed. The force of Nikola's inhuman strength sent the man hurtling from his feet, his body being thrown slightly. His mother, however, had grabbed his other hand in an effort to hinder her son from doing anything rash and was dragged along with him. The man landed on the ledge of the bridge that Helen had been perched on so luxuriously minutes ago, his mother and he in an undignified heap precariously close to the edge. The mother made to sit up, attempting to right herself with sounds of outrage. She only succeeded however in causing their position to become more precarious, as the bundle of limbs lost balance and tumbled right off the edge.

They fell to the water with a loud splash.

Helen looked over at Nikola, her mouth open in a gape, then back at the now-empty ledge. She rushed over, using her hands as levers to push herself up to spy the river below. She saw the woman and the man bob up to the surface, spluttering and spitting angrily as the current pulled them further away from the bridge.

Helen felt Nikola's hands about her waist before he spun her around and propped her up on the ledge.

"You aren't even entertaining the thought of throwing me in as well, are you?" she said.

"I wouldn't dare, my darling," he said with a little smile on his lips.

She glanced back behind her and allowed the laughter that had been simmering within her to burst forth. Nikola grinned, his hands grabbing her by both sides of her head and pulling her into a fierce kiss.

Helen's heart was racing and she could practically feel the adrenalin that was racing through her veins. Combined with the intoxicating sensation of Nikola's kisses, it was a heady experience, like she'd partaken in drinking far too much wine – also an experience she was likely to have with the man in question. She moaned into his lips and pushed him back, her eyes dark with need. When his met hers, his were almost black, unearthly and dark. She shuddered. She could see how much he wanted her right now, he probably wouldn't even last getting back to a hotel or somewhere vaguely decent. To be perfectly frank, neither could she.

"Take me, Nikola," she breathed darkly as he attacked her neck once again with a fierce flurry of kisses. "Now. I need you."

"All you had to do was ask, ljubav," he said in a voice so low and animalistic and had to contain another shudder.

He pushed her skirts further up her legs and ripped away the pesky undergarments. She was almost quivering with need for him as his fingers toyed with the flesh of her inner thighs. He lowered himself down but she grabbed his chin, keeping him standing.

"No, you, now," she growled with surprising force. Though she wasn't really capable of stringing a sentence together, she was pretty sure her meaning had been conveyed effectively.

Nikola paused for only the briefest of moments before positioning himself in front of her. She groaned as he took too long with the buckle on his pants, her shaking fingers helping him along. Once he was released Helen grasped his length in her hand and he bucked instinctively against her. She smirked, liking having absolute control over the often far too irking vampire.

"Make me scream your name right here in the park, Nikola," she cooed seductively in his ear.

He let out a growl as he thrust into her, and she let out a soft moan. Nikola thought it was the most sensual thing he'd ever heard. That was until she moaned again, then he was fairly convinced that was it. Nikola continued to trust into her, both of them feeling the tension building. Helen's legs were wrapped firmly about his waist, her arms holding onto his shoulders, clinging with the desperation to feel more of him.

As she reached her peek, he had, as always, conceded to her wishes. She let out a loud 'Oh God, Niko' which she was sure must have been heard, but was too dizzy to care. Nikola found his release soon after, her name getting buried in her golden curls.

They remained as they were, joined, and panting, clinging to each other. She felt Nikola's arms shift a bit.

"Drop me in the water," she hissed dangerously, teasingly, "And you will die a painful death, Nikola Tesla."

He chuckled into the hair his face was still buried in, but she could feel it through her body.

"Nikola I -," she said as he drew back, biting her lip. He was looking at her with a look that surpassed anything her heart had come to expect. She'd missed him so, but was she ready to tell him just how much? Was she even ready to believe she could love him?

Whatever words she had been about to say were quelled by the sound of approaching footsteps.

"It was that bridge there!" a familiar voice came, the man from before. "That's where that scoundrel pushed my mother and I in the river from!"

Helen and Nikola's eyes met and smirks appeared on both their faces. They moved quickly, Nikola helping her off the ledge, mindful her legs were still shaky, and she hastily went about fixing her skirts. She held onto Nikola's shoulder as she bent down to do so, Nikola himself fixing his pants.

"We've had a problem with troublemakers in this park before," another deep male voice said. Helen briefly caught a glimpse of a law enforcement officer approaching, accompanying the sopping wet man from before.

Nikola grabbed Helen's hand the moment she straightened up and dragged her across the bridge to the other side. She was thankful it led to a path almost completely concealed by the trees that lined it.

They rushed away, and Nikola picked up the pace, pulling her along. He knew the park better than she did after all. They turned several corners before he finally stopped, both panting and both grinning.

"So, shall we explore a different bridge tomorrow?" he said, stepping closer to her, a hand coming to rest on her waist. She blushed the reality of what they'd just done seeming to finally sink in.

"Oh, I daresay we don't need to be restricted to bridges," Helen teased, stepping closer to him and fluttering her lashes. He grinned, grabbing her hand once more.

"Come on, your hotel room is not too far from here," he said, her laughter trailing after them at his eagerness as they tore through the park, fugitives.

She'd been in the city for less than twenty-four hours and, already, she and Nikola had made a spectacle of themselves, pushed two people into a river, made love like two teenagers on a bridge and been forced to evade law enforcement. Yes, it was just like old times, well perhaps without the making love part but she was certainly looking on that as a potential improvement.