Fiction Home Freestanding Stories Alone Trilogy Legacy Series In Progress

by Amanda Berendt
Copyright July 2003

    He had gotten too close again. He had always been so careful about his contact with mortals. Yes, he immersed himself in their world more than others of his kind, but he always kept an emotional distance from them. This time he had let down his guard and he had almost paid the price.
    Nick Knight sat alone in the empty loft. He had only purchased it about a month ago. At the moment, the only furniture was the black leather living room set, on which he was sitting, and the bed upstairs in the bedroom.
    The past few months had been extraordinary. After being presumed dead while preventing a robbery, he found himself in the city coroner's office in a body bag. There he had surprised the on-duty medical examiner by getting up off the table and drinking from the emergency blood supply. He had tried to hypnotize her into forgetting the incident, but he soon discovered she was a resistor.
    A few days later, he crossed her path again. She remembered him and offered to help him. She said she wanted to understand. Thus began his association with Dr. Natalie Lambert.
    Over the course of the next few months, he would visit her in the lab almost every evening. She would draw his blood and run various tests, trying to figure out what made him what he was. Then she wanted to try to reverse the condition. During their time together they talked about many things and he found himself smiling and laughing with her. Until last night.
    Natalie had suggested that he limit his blood intake because it appeared that it was the blood that gave the vampire it's strength. Last night, as they were talking, an orderly had brought a body into the lab. He could smell the blood before she even unzipped the bag. When she finally did open the bag, the blood smell was unbearable.  He felt the vampire emerge. It went for the first available prey - Natalie. Her cry of pain when he grabbed her arm brought him to his senses. Before the beast could reassert itself, he had to get out of there. He bolted for the door, pushing Natalie aside when she tried to stop him.

Damn the passion, damn the skies
Damn the light that's in her eyes
I know to well where it has lead before
She saves me but I can't be saved
Frees me but I'm still enslaved
Now I battle what I most adore

    Now, as he sat alone in his loft, he gazed into the fire burning in the fireplace. Natalie had called three times since last night, each time leaving a message asking him to call her. He had ignored all of them. He couldn't be with her. Being near her gave the monster inside of him the opportunity to harm her. He couldn't let that happen.

Oh, let me sail away
And make this vow
That what my heart wants
I will not allow
For as sirens call the sailors
She calls me now

    Natalie sat at her computer desk in her apartment. She was entering her most recent observations of Nick into the terminal. It must be more than just the blood, she thought. Perhaps if his hunger cold be satiated by some other means. Maybe some kind of protein shake or something.... She paused and looked out the window. The sun was just beginning to rise over the city. It gave her hope to continue her work, thinking that maybe someday she would be able to share this view with Nick.

God save him if he can be saved
Free him if his soul's enslaved
Clear the clouded refuge of his mind
Quell his anger, calm his scorn
Let his spirit be reborn
Help him gather strength where he is blind

    Nick knew Natalie was trying to help him. He knew she was probably going over her notes right now - wondering what might have gone wrong. Once more he filled the glass that sat on the coffee table. He held it up at eye level, gazing into it's depths with disgust. This was the sweet nectar that fed the beast - this demon he carried inside. The quest to free himself from this evil had been troubled with one setback after another. Last night was just the most recent of many.

    "No!" he growled, taking the glass and throwing it into the fire, watching the shards of glass shatter. He would not let the vampire win, he decided. He had been fighting far to long to give up. Some how, perhaps now with Natalie's help, he would beat it.

I cannot stand another knock
My body dashed upon the rocky shore
The darkness that invades my soul
It sucks my blood, it takes control
Well, I will not endure it anymore

    As the sun set that evening, Nick had just finished getting dressed and was on his way down the stairs when the buzzer rang. Crossing over to the intercom, he turned on the closed-circuit television and saw Natalie standing at the door.
    "Hey," she said looking into the camera. "I brought us dinner." She smiled as she held a lunch cooler up to the camera. Nick smiled and pressed the button to release the lock. Maybe they would indeed find a cure, he thought.