Stepping away from the door, Rifka set the guitar on her bed and stripped on her way to the bathroom. Moving almost as though on autopilot she showered, scrubbing dirt from her skin and hair, and then filled the bath with sweet, clean-smelling salts. She soaked for a long, luxurious time, humming to herself, enjoying the way her melodic voice echoed off the tiled walls.

Wrapped in a thick robe with her hair held up in a towel, she went back to her closet to pick out pajamas. Silk shorts and a matching camisole felt wonderful against her skin and she set about drying her hair and brushing it out until she was satisfied it wouldn't tangle.

Her nightly chores out of the way, she returned to the bed and sat down, drawing the guitar onto her lap. Her fingers played idly over the chords and she found herself softly singing the song again, the one she had performed at the opera house and just now for Walter. Was the Vampire right? Had something about this song drawn such terrible, unwanted attention to her? Attention that had ended her life as she knew it, and scarred her forever?

"How… can… I… trust… you…?"

"It seems to me that you've been asking yourself that question since long before you met me, Enchantress."

Her dark eyes lifted from the floor and she watched Alucard materialize, leaning nonchalantly against her dressing table. He was dressed casually again, with his black hair hanging in spikes around his eyes and face. His grin was devilish. The pensive woman stared coolly at him for a moment, and then she exhaled sharply through her nose with impatience.

"I suppose you mean to say I've always had trust issues, and they must actually have nothing to do with my current situation." She absently brushed out more music with her skilled fingertips, and Alucard closed his eyes to listen. "It can't have helped the matter much, I suspect. It probably made it even worse."

"Then I must congratulate you, Enchantress! Since you were rescued, you haven't had any trouble trusting anyone!"

Rifka set the guitar down abruptly and glared at him, showing her teeth as her eyes flashed with anger. "Yes I trusted you, but what choice did I have?! You saved me but you turned right around and amused yourself with my controller, so we're even now! And a lot of good it's done me, by the way, seeing as how I'm now trusting Integra not to order my destruction, while I continue to trust you not to drive me insane!"

He was entertained by her little tirade, watching her with a small smirk. "What about Walter?"

Rifka came up short. She blinked at him, disconcerted. "What about Walter?"

"You felt safe enough with him that you sang him your song. I wonder if I should feel jealous…"

Rifka was confused by his tone. "Well, he's been nothing but polite to me since my arrival, so why not? He's just a Butler, isn't he…?" She had been so sure just a moment ago. Now she wasn't.

"Just a Butler?" Alucard grinned at her and began to laugh, and the sound of it echoing off the walls made her shudder. "Oh no, Enchantress… He's very much like the rest of us: a trained killer. Fifty years ago, he was even my partner in crime. Even now he's still active, my weapons master for one, and he still actively defends our castle in times of need."

Rifka's eyes were wide with awe. She'd had no idea the kind, elderly man had anything more to him than a quick wit and a keen eye. "That's… amazing! I would never have guessed…"

Alucard slanted his eyes at her seductively and teased her again. "Now I am feeling jealous!"

Rather than rising to the bait, Rifka scoffed at him, though she carefully avoided his eyes. "You're a Vampire; it's hardly that impressive that you're a killer. You can kill when you eat. Now, for a human to still be actively fighting, well into his advanced years… I would have more easily believed him retired."

He lowered his voice. "Is there anything about me that you do find impressive…?"

"What?" Surprised by the intimate question, Rifka looked over at him, her cheeks flushing. "Well…"

He lifted his head, watching her intently. "Yes?"

"Your… well, your powers, certainly… and how no one seems to know how to kill you, that's very impressive…" She frowned at herself and sighed. "That sounded sarcastic, and I didn't mean it like that, Alucard." She shook her head and shrugged her shoulders.

Pushing off from the dressing table, Alucard crossed the room to her. "Then tell me what you really meant." He reached up to brush his fingers through her hair slowly, feeling the silky tendrils, smooth and clean from her vigilant care.

"You're terrifying…" Her soft voice was calm, for the most part, but the way his fingers were teasing her hair was making her breathless. "You're powerful; and intimidating… The mortal brain doesn't want to accept your existence, and yet, here you are… When you touch me, for a split second I'm forced to wonder if I'm in a hospital somewhere, dreaming my life away in some demented coma…" She shivered again as his fingers trailed down the side of her neck, but then she shook herself free of his grasp. "What more do you want from me, Alucard?"

"I think a better question is 'what do YOU want?' my Enchantress. We're searching the world over for notes on how you were created, but what will you do if we find them? Are you satisfied with your life as it is right now? Or will you try to reverse the procedure? Would you give up all your strength and speed, and your ability to regenerate damage, to be human again?"

She stared up at him. "Reverse the procedure? Become human again? Hardly!" Her eyes darkened in a heartbeat and he watched her, pleasantly surprised. "I wouldn't even know what it meant to be human again! And if I suddenly could no longer hear or smell or sense the world around me… and if you took away my night vision… I can't even begin to guess how terrible the shock would be." She shook her head. "Besides, going back would be just the same as running away, don't you think? I will not run."

"I admire your fire. I would have understood your desire to take back what those men stole from you, but I like your answer better. I like how it seems to have made you mad, too." He grinned at her, looking into her eyes. "It's getting easier to upset you again, I've noticed... You're not getting uptight are you, my Enchantress? I could help you relax again..."

"Oh god no, please don't!" Rifka turned instinctively toward where she'd put the controller to her collar, hidden away in a drawer of her nightstand, fearing Alucard was going to take it. Because of this, she was taken by surprise when he caught her in his arms, and pressed his lips to hers.

Her body trembled in response. He lifted his head and gazed down at her, pleased to see her face was flushed again. He could hear her heart was racing, feel it pounding rapidly in her chest as her breasts pressed against him. "A-Alucard…"

He smiled at her and lowered his voice to a seductive whisper. "I love how much faster your heart beats, compared to a human's…"

"That's… that's terrible, Alucard…"

"Is it? Is it so terrible to know how much of my attention you've won from me?"

He made it sound like it had been involuntary. Rifka's mouth opened in protest; surely he didn't think she had done any of it on purpose! But before the words could leave her mouth, his lips descended upon hers again and she found herself completely distracted by his presence.

His blood sang with triumph when she felt her hands tangle in his hair. He clutched her against him, slowly lowering her onto the bed beneath him. When he lifted his lips away and looked down, she was panting for breath, her dark eyes vibrant. He could feel the exciting sensation of her body getting hot beneath him and slowly slid his hand along her side, beginning to push the camisole upwards.

She caught his wrist, staring up at him. "We're all looking for something, Vampire… I'm trying to find solid ground, a path forward, a life… What are you looking for?"

He was silent for a long time, gazing down into her dark, soulful eyes. She already knew, he could tell by the way her eyes seemed to search him, but she wanted him to say it out loud, tit for tat.

"Could you ever love me, Rifka?"

She didn't flinch, nor did she smile. She continued to gaze up at him with those serious, thoughtful eyes. When she spoke her voice was soft. "Maybe I could, Alucard… But how can I trust you?"

It was his turn to shiver. Who was this woman? How did she manage to evoke such responses from him as this? "I give you my Word, my Enchantress. I'll never take anything from you that you do not willingly give to me…"

She nodded slowly, but she was wise. "And the price will be…?"

"Should I break my Word to you, I will allow your claws to be the end of me. If I ever break my word, I will happily die at your hands."

She hadn't expected him to be so willing, that much was clear in her expressive brown eyes. The contract was there now, between them, all she had to do was sign… will for will. Nodding her head once more, she sank her fingers into his hair again and pulled him down to her. He kissed her with an unrestrained hunger, wanting badly to show her what she inspired in him.

She gasped for breath when he released her, her eyes remaining closed as his lips slid down her neck. He held her as she shivered, trailing his lips along the pulsing vein in her throat, feeling her rapid heartbeat and the heat rising up from her body. His hands slid under her camisole and this time she didn't stop him. Instead she let out a soft, sharp gasp when his fingertips closed onto her nipples and pinched. Her back arched, pressing her breasts into his hands, and her eyes rolled back as she shuddered.

"Alucard…!" His name left her lips in a heated whisper. He smiled against her neck, watching her expression as he slid one hand down her smooth, taut belly. He enjoyed the flexing of her muscles, watching them jumping beneath his hand in response to his touch. Her mouth fell open slightly when his fingertips slid down into her shorts, and she arched her back again when he touched her, as though trying to lift her body closer to him.

The color on her cheeks darkened and a sharp gasp left her lips when he slid his fingers inside her. She showed her teeth, beginning to pant and writhe beneath him. Her fist clenched in his hair, her other hand dragging over his back and shoulder as she wound herself tightly around him. He arched his back with a gasp when he felt her claws digging into him, spicing up the pleasure with a spike of pain. He grinned at her and responded by thrusting his fingers deep inside her.

"Ah! Shit!" She cried out sharply and this time he felt it when her mind opened to him through the telepathic abilities of her feline DNA. The pleasure she was experiencing flooded into him and he groaned softly into her ear as his body shuddered. He opened his eyes to watch her, marveling at how unguarded and eager she was at this moment. He listened to the sound of her panting, and grinned slightly at her quiet whimpers, even as he began to pant in time with her. After a few moments he withdrew his fingers, but before she could register any disappointment, he slid his fingertips up to the small hood of flesh, and the sensitive, delicate pearl beneath.

"OH!" Her eyes flew open when he pressed her clit and her back arched, her hips beginning to buck against him. She closed her eyes tightly and cried out, releasing him to reach over her head and clutch the edge of the mattress. He rocked with her, groaning against her neck and feeling her knees clamping onto his hips, her toes digging deep into the bed. It wasn't long before he felt her peaking, and he watched in awe as her climax crashed through her body in violent shudders, amazed to feel something similar happening to himself.

He gently released her when the spasms had passed, watching her face. She cursed breathlessly, collapsing onto the bed and sprawling out. Her chest heaved as she panted raggedly, one arm draped limply over her eyes. He brushed her hair back from her face, caressing her heated skin, and gazed down at her as she moved her arm to peer up at him.

"Do you save yourself for someone, Alucard? Or are you trying to save me?"

What an odd question, he thought to himself. "What do you mean?"

Her lips, dark with her lingering arousal, pursed slightly. Her vibrant eyes were steady, piercing him. "How many reasons could you have to keep me a virgin? I gave you my permission."

He stared at her. What kind of woman would want the answers to questions like this? How well did she understand that he was a monster? Or was that the key? She wanted to understand…

"Virgin blood is so rare in this century… When I find it, I feel compelled to preserve it."

"I would never have guessed that about you, Alucard… That's very interesting." He was amazed that she really seemed to mean that. Was that the Catwoman speaking? Always curious, always impartial? Rifka was still gazing up at him, but her intent expression was softening. "Did you still find it satisfying?"

He laughed. "My Dear, I've grown accustomed to getting my satisfaction from killing Freaks. It's been centuries since I've lain with a woman. Any pleasure I've experienced since meeting you has been deeply satisfying… on many levels."

The way she kept staring at him drew him in; made him lean toward her, slowly drawing her against him again. Her arms lifted, her fingers sliding into his hair as she leaned her head back, her eyes slipping closed. Her body was once more becoming pliant in his arms.

So of course, someone knocked at the door.