Fiction Home Freestanding Stories Alone Trilogy Legacy Series In Progress

By Amanda Berendt
Copyright June 2004

"You are my closest friend."
    Nick turned away from his master and knelt down beside Natalie. He had taken too much. She had trusted him with her life and he had failed her. Just moments earlier, he had joined her in the belief that there was a future for them somewhere. But now as he watched her life slip away, he wasn't so confidant.
    The seconds slipped by and he thought perhaps Lacroix would not give him this one final gift, that he would have to spend forever without her. That would be more unbearable than an eternity of damnation. Lacroix had been right when he realized Nick loved Natalie and had demanded retribution for Fleur. Nick had falsely denied his love for Natalie in order to save her life. But, now that she was gone, he had nothing left in this world.
    Suddenly everything went dark, he felt a momentary searing pain in his chest. Then nothing. All was silence and darkness.
    Time passed; at least he thought it did, before he felt a presence. He searched for the guide he had faced twice before, but saw nothing.

Dear my love, haven't you wanted to be with me
And dear my love, haven't you longed to be free
I can't keep pretending that I don't even know you
And at sweet night, you are my own
Take my hand

    A voice came from the darkness. He couldn't identify the source, but there was a familiarity. "It is time to go, Nick. Do not be afraid. I am here to guide you."
    "Guide me to where? I can't see you." This was not like his previous visits. "Am I to be judged?" Had he atoned? Was it enough?
    "You already have been." Said the voice. "Now you start your journey."
    "My journey?" He asked. "To where?"
    "To anywhere. There is no need to tell anyone or ask permission. You are free."
    Warmth began to spread over Nick. It radiated from a light that grew from the darkness. He was drawn to it, but held back wondering if he should follow.

We're leaving here tonight
There's no need to tell anyone
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning's light
We'll be halfway to anywhere
Where love is more than just your name

    The light grew warmth and intensity as he watched. He saw a figure standing in it's midst. As the figure came closer, it's features became more recognizable.
    "Natalie?" He gasped.
    "Nick." She smiled, as she held out her arms to him.
    He returned the embrace and was surprised to find only love and warmth, with no sign of the vampire. Confused, he began to pull away.
    Natalie refused to let him go. "It's okay, Nick. It's gone. There's nothing to keep us apart. What we have wanted for so long... here it can come true."
    "I don't understand."
    Natalie smiled, the auburn in her hair sparkling in the golden light. "You have given up your life so we can be together. This is our gift. We can be together forever. We can walk in the sunlight, we can do all that we dreamed."

I have dreamt of a place for you and I
No one knows who we are there
All I want is to give my life only to you
I've dreamt so long I cannot dream anymore
Let's run away, I'll take you there

    Nick still could not believe it. "But what are the conditions?"
    "There are no conditions." She took his hand. "You chose not to condemn me to an eternity of darkness and in return you have been granted an eternity of light."
    He still hesitated.
    She spoke again. "Nick, you have been judged and you have been found worthy. Come."

We're leaving here tonight
There's no need to tell anyone
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning's light
We'll be halfway to anywhere
Where no one needs a reason

    She led him towards the light. All around him he could feel love and warmth. It had been so long since he had been touched by such goodness. He paused, wondering if this was all a dream.
    "It is okay, you are allowed to be happy. Let go of your guilt and sadness and open your heart. No one is going to stop you now." She held his hand and guided him forward.

Forget this life
Come with me
Don't look back, you're safe now
Unlock your heart
Drop your guard
No one's left to stop you

    Another figure stepped forward from the light. "Nicky-boy, didn't think I'd see you so soon, but when I saw Natalie I knew you couldn't be very far behind."
    "Schanke!" Nick embraced his former partner.
    "You can't use that 'we're just friends' line anymore." Schanke laughed.
    As they moved forward, a voice came from the distance "Nicola, you have come at last." He squinted against the brightness to see his sister, Fleur running to greet him. She rushed into his arms and they embraced.
    Natalie guided him further into the light, which was becoming brighter and warmer with each step.
    "Where are we going?" he asked.
    She gestured ahead. "Anywhere. Look the sun is rising on a new morning. Your time in the darkness is over. We face eternity together."

We're leaving here tonight
There's no need to tell anyone
They'd only hold us down
So by the morning light
We'll be halfway to anywhere
Where love is more than just your name.