Dr Julia Hoffman didn't really know what had compelled such an act as the one she just completed. Was it Barnabas Collins' compliment in itself, or that she ultimately hadn't heard such a sentence in so long? Not since she was a girl did she hear a man talk of her beauty like she heard from his dark lips. Although many did in her prime, she was at an age in which she felt lifeless; as she always said: every year she got older and drunker.

Barnabas often fervently shared his view on what was his disease, but Julia thought only of what youth he had. And those eyes. They reminded her of the sea at night. She gazed at it from her window each lingering evening, hoping to be swept up and taken away to another place. Barnabas' did just that.

"I must say, madam," Barnabas held his breath for a moment, trying to find a delicate way of expressing himself, "you are... commendable."

Julia smiled and took off her strikingly white coat, loosely hanging it on the corner of the tray table.

"Practise," she winked.

"But, alas, my heart is owned by another," Barnabas tried to seem sincere, but shock still held him.

"Oh?" Julia tried to seem uninterested, turning away and packing her IV set into its allotted space on the bench against the back wall.

"I am drawn to Miss Victoria," Barnabas still did not move, sitting idle on the side of the bleach-white medical bed, "I very much believe she is the one I love."

Dr Hoffman held her breath and softly dropped her hands at shoulder width on the bench, holding herself up and hoping for him to claim joke. But he was not the sort.

She couldn't help but compare herself to Victoria; what set Victoria higher? Nothing did she have that Julia could not equal or beat. Bar youth.

He wanted her for her youth; it was obvious. Julia stood no match - she could not hault the years, nor reverse them. Or could she? Maybe, just maybe-

"Madam- Doctor, are you well?" Barnabas' inquiry stopped her train of thought.

"Never better," she turned back towards him, smiling slightly, she allowed him to continue to speak of his love: "And you know you feel this way, how?"

"I know she is mine. She's my Josette," he looked to the ground, imagining her face, "I know she is."

"People don't get reincarnated," Julia protested casually, walking back in front of him and facing his dark concrete expression straight on, "she's not the same girl from your past. You've been locked away for so long, your mind must... wander."

"And people do not become vampires at the hand of a monstrous harpy witch, either, madam," he raised his chin, locking her gaze and clasping his hands on his lap. "But alas I find myself here, looking for a cure for my vile and unwilling physical venture."

Julia avoided conveying her defeat, although she felt it heavily. She didn't back down from their close stare. Their noses were barely an inch apart; she felt his coolness brush across her face.

Suddenly, they heard a creak from outside, and looked to the door, each feeling the tension release. But Julia didn't want it to go. She quickly placed a hand on his furthest cheek, and pulled his face straight towards hers.

"Please," was all she whispered before closing her vivid eyes and bringing her mouth closer. Julia lingered slightly, breathing her warmth on him from her open mouth in lust.

But it was he who leant the final inch to embrace her lips with his.