Rebirth

Angyl & Orithain

Written June 2002

Published by AngelWings Press September 2002 and still available for order

Posted to the Net October 31, 2003

"Hey guys, check this out! Someoneís giving a lecture on ĎThe Myths and Legends of Vampirism Throughout Historyí next week as one of those after school fun lectures." Nick looked up from the sketch he was doodling of the Pyramids of Ghiza to tune into the conversation his classmates were having. Heíd always had a secret fascination with the subject of vampirism. Maybe it was because of the way it tied in with his disease, or maybe it was because of the underlying themes of the majority of said myths and legends; either way he wanted to go. Maybe.

"When is it? And is it gonna be a real lecture, or are they just going to spout a bunch of half conceived and never proven generalities and take the rest of the time to talk about that nasty-assed movie?" he asked of the group in general. This could prove to be an interesting mini-debate and a great way to pass the time before the next half of the lecture started up again in fifteen minutes.

Not that Nick minded sitting through the three-hour lecture that Dr. Lindstrom gave once a week. In fact the chance to attend one or all of Lindstromís classes had been the main motivating factor for him to accept Harvard over Yale, Princeton, Cambridge or even Oxford, family traditions be damned. Good thing the family traditions and his own desires actually coincided in this particular case.

The man was brilliant. He was like a walking fountain of knowledge but without the mustiness of a textbook. Lindstrom could almost make you relive history with just his words alone. He had an almost magical way of making history come alive and making archeology more than just a moldering old bones and cracked pottery shards. Nick was enthralled.

However, even he needed to take a break when his brain was about to OD on too much information, so this sort of conversation got his mind off the lecture for the break even as he watched Dr. Lindstrom prepare for the second half of the class out of the corner of his eyes. The man was just too damned amazing for words.

"Címon, you didnít like it?" Celeste asked aghast. "Really, Nick, just because you have a Ďthe fourthí after your name doesnít mean you have to be as much of a snob as Nicholas Stephan Gabriel St. John III, you know." Celeste was in Harvard to catch a rich husband and in this class to hopefully get laid by the hunky professor... the bitch, Nick thought somewhat petulantly. Unfortunately it was the latter that bothered him more than the former; other than that, Celeste was... tolerable at least.

"Well, at least this Lestat was more accurate than the last one. Thank God it wasnít Cruise again. He sucked! However, they still screwed up the story entirely," Nick replied caustically. Leave it to Celeste to like something as horrible as a really bad remake of a really good book.

"They took creative license, thatís all," someone else jumped in.

"Nah, Nickís right. They totally botched the script," his friend Jamison Ridgeston piped in.

"Oh really? How?"

"Well, letís see. First of all, Akasha was asleep, not cast in stone. Second, she killed her husband by sucking him dry. They ignored one of the two sisters entirely, and they completely removed the whole homoerotic subtext that was a huge part of the entire book," Nick replied.

"Homoerotic? Oh, give me a break, Nick. Vamps are straight. Just read any book of vampire erotica out there," Celeste scoffed. "I can even lend you one or a dozen."

"Youíre absolutely positive about that, Celeste? Then I suggest you actually read Anne Riceís book instead of just watching the movies and using the CliffsNotes," Jamie scoffed. "Nickyís right. I mean puh-lease. Marius and Armand, Jesse and the first sister, Lestat and Louis..."

"Ugh! What a wimp!" Nick butted in, making a disgusted face. "Gimme Daniel and Armand any day. The way Armand played with him, stalked him, toyed with him, denied him and finally succumbed and seduced and turned him? Now that was sexy!" Nick sighed, remembering some of his favorite passages in that particular book.

"Whatever, youíre both screwy. Lestat and Akasha were the most gorgeous things in the world, and here youíre talking about bit players," Celeste retorted, disgusted.

Nick and Jamie looked at each other and simultaneously said, "CliffsNotes!" and burst into laughter.

"Whatever!"

Arriving in the lecture hall in time to hear several of his students laughing, Derek Lindstrom glanced over curiously, a faint smile quirking his lips when he saw that Nick St. John was one of the group. The young man was an excellent student, and from the discussion theyíd had when theyíd met, a prerequisite before he accepted anyone into this particular seminar, he was highly intelligent and curious. Derek found himself wishing that Nick was a bit older, as he seemed like someone heíd like to know better.

Curious, he focused on the young man and his friends, his acute hearing allowing him to listen to their discussion, which had returned to the upcoming lecture, and he had to turn away to hide his smile. What, he wondered, would they say if they knew that their professor, the widely published Dr. Derek Lindstrom, one of the leading authorities on Classical Greece and the Trojan War, was in fact a vampire? The reason that he was such an authority had little to do with scholarship; rather, he could make the period come alive because he had lived it.

For a moment, his back to the lecture hall with the small number of hand-picked students taking his seminar, the walls of Harvard University faded away, and he was again on the plains outside the beleaguered city of Troy, fighting in the armies of Greece, there to reclaim Menelausí wife Helen and seize the city of their enemies. Little had the young Greek known that after spending five years of his life in this ongoing battle, he would not be there to see the end. Instead, he had drawn the attention of a vampire, who, seeing him, had decided he wanted him for his own and had brought him over.

Unlike the popular myths, his turning had been both peaceful and painless and his maker far from a demon. He had embraced the life, gladly giving up the day for the chance to be with the intriguing being who was his companion and lover. Theyíd had over a thousand years together, traveling and learning together, until his lover had been killed in Rome. Since then, the being who now called himself Derek Lindstrom had avoided others of his kind, preferring to remain aloof. He had brief relationships with humans, knowing that those would necessarily be short because of their lifespan, and somehow it hurt less that way.

Shaking his head slightly, the long blond braid down his back shifting with the motion, Derek turned to face the class, perching on the front edge of the table that served as a desk for the lecturer. He glanced at the clock, seeing that there were still a few minutes till class was due to start, then around the room.

"Since weíre all here, shall we begin?"

Blushing, Nick mumbled an affirmative and hid his face behind a book. Fuck, not only was his prof gorgeous, intelligent and witty but he had a voice that could make Nick practically cum just from listening to it alone. íWay to go, St. John, a real suave rejoinder,í he thought disparagingly, not sure why he was even embarrassed in the first place. Sighing, the young man chose instead to lose himself once more in the struggle for Troy.

Wandering the lecture hall that was slotted for the vampire talk, Nick shivered as heat traced itself down his spine. He stood in front of an artistís rendering of Ďthe embraceí. A male vampire had his arms wrapped around a mortal manís waist, and his one hand rested between the flat abdomen and the obvious bulge in the young manís jeans while the other curled either menacingly or protectively over his heart. The vampire could barely be seen, just a vague shadowy being whose fangs were sinking into the youthís neck.

It was the look on the young manís face that got to Nick. The heat, the passion, the intense lust, it was almost as if he considered this a kiss from a divine creature, and he was basking in the presence of his dark god. It was the hottest fucking thing heíd ever seen. Making note of the artistís name, Nick hoped like hell he could buy the painting. It was a gay boyís wet dream come to life.

Feeling a body bump against his, Nick started slightly then turned, his violet eyes wide and almost like a doeís whoíd been caught in the headlights. "Oh, Iím so sorry... Dr. Lindstrom?"

"Nick," the other man greeted him, intrigued by his studentís fascination with the painting. "Amazing, isnít it, how erotic most depictions of vampires are? I usually find myself rooting for them when I watch movies." He grinned quickly. "I wonder what that says about me?"

"I think itís beautiful," Nick replied honestly, his eyes drawn back to the painting once more. "And Iím almost jealous of that youth. Eternal life and eternal beauty along with someone who obviously wants him desperately enough to make him his childe. To have that sort of passion and need directed towards you," another delicate shudder traced its way down Nickís spine, "it must be the most wonderful feeling in the world - worth even the sun and the daylight.

"But I wonder if thatís true or if thatís just another aspect of the legend? People always make demons and ghosts and goblins and even witches and vampires things of the night. Who says that they canít walk in sunlight or wear crosses, or touch holy water or go into a church? I mean itís all just a way to scare people into following religion after all - the old stories of vampires and incubi and succubae. It was a way for the church to control the ignorant masses through fear. None of those creatures really exist any more than say... unicorns, do they?" Nick asked the professor, ignoring for now Dr. Lindstromís question to concentrate on something that allowed him just a hint of aloofness - a good debate.

"Well, personally, Iíd say that crosses and holy water would have no more or less effect than a Star of David or the symbols of any other religion. I suppose if the creature truly is pure evil, which I tend to doubt, symbols of any god backed up by true faith might deter it, but otherwise..." he shrugged. "At a guess, Christian symbols became the popular way to deter vampires and other things that go bump in the night because the popular myth grew out of Stokerís Dracula, and Transylvania, Romania, is Catholic. But realistically, if there are vampires, and they are immortal, youíd have to have a lot that predate Christianity. It really wouldnít make sense for them to be deterred by Christian objects."

Derek leaned against the wall alongside the painting that had sparked the discussion, enjoying the conversation. Nick challenged him in so many ways, made him think about things heíd long taken for granted. He often found himself buying into the common beliefs about vampires, and he of all people should know better. His maker had told him that their kind developed a tolerance for sunlight as they grew older, though never so much that they would be comfortable in direct light. Still, heíd never dared test that, despite his great age.

Tearing his gaze away from the young man to focus on the painting once again, he frowned faintly. "I wonder if he knows what heís giving up and if heíll consider it worthwhile once he does realize?"

"He might argue that anything is worth finding love," Nick replied softly, carefully examining the youthís expression. "I mean thereís lust mixed in, no doubt of that - especially if all those other myths about the bite of a vampire being enough to make you come are true - but thereís also passion and love in his expression. Heís willingly giving himself to his lover, willingly giving up one life for another.

"I donít see how thatís any different than some relationships today, especially gay ones. I mean sometimes if a family finds out their child doesnít fit the perfect mold, that child is ostracized, sent to therapy and shunned. And if that child chooses to take a lover and live with that lover... well, thatís game over, and the child is disowned on the spot, and the family never speaks to him or her again. Is that so different than dying in order to be with your lover - those children are dead to their families, arenít they?" Nick rebutted, getting into the argument and finding himself enjoying playing devilís advocate.

"If it were me in his place... and if I truly loved the one who wanted to turn me then... yes, I think it would be worth the sacrifice. But then Iím a hopeless romantic, or so Iíve been told," Nick finished with a wistful smile gracing his lips and lighting his eyes.

"It is different though. In your example, itís the familyís prejudice that keeps them apart, whereas in the vampire scenario, itís the childís change that separates them. In both instances the child loses its family but the causesóand the hurtsóare very different." Derek cocked his head slightly, a habit he had when he was thinking that he wasnít consciously aware of. "Frankly though, I think Iíd rather have the vampire situation than yours. Being gay is hard enough in todayís world with the support of family and friends. Being reviled by your own parents for your sexual preferences... well, no thanks!

"As for being a romantic, why not? Iíll let you in on a secret, Nick, so am I. Despite the rumors," he smiled wryly, "I donít hate women or men or anything else for that matter. But I was very much in love with someone when I was younger, and we had some wonderful years together. But after he died, it hurt so much that I didnít want to ever feel that again. And then I wasnít willing to settle for less than what weíd had."

"After he died?" Nick gasped then turned bright red, realizing what a faux pas heíd just made. "Not that itís any of my business but... he would have been very lucky to have you, at least I think he would," the younger man continued deciding that if he was in for a penny, he might as well throw in the pound for the hell of it.

And then he got cold feet. "Umm, I think Iíd better go find Jamie; the lecture is about to begin and, umm, see ya!" íIf I ever get over my shame and decide to show my face in your class again, that is,í Nick thought glumly as he took the cowardís way out and ran for it.

Derek watched him flee, faintly amused at his stammering retreat but mostly baffled by his own behavior. What had he been thinking to tell him details of his life? Never, not in more than three thousand years, had he been tempted to tell anyone about himself. He shook his head in bemusement and entered the lecture hall. It would be interesting to see how Nick reacted the next time they met.

Timing it right down to the wire, Nick slipped into the lecture hall with barely enough time to find his seat before the class was supposed to start. If it werenít for the fact that he absolutely loved this class, chances were he would have skipped tonight if he could have. And embarrassment for the lecture on vampirism was the least of his reasons why.

Sliding in next to Jamie, he flinched as his arm came to rest on the desktop. Thank God it was cool enough that he could get away with long sleeves and that the coagulates had finally taken effect. Jason had been so worried heíd wanted to rush Nick to emergency. And all because theyíd been so fucking horny that theyíd gotten a little rough with each other.

Not that Jason had escaped unscathed; he had gouges down his back from Nickís nails. But unlike Nick, he didnít suffer from hemophilia and didnít have broken blood vessels caused by too much pressure turn into fucking lakes of blood under his skin. Christ, Nick hated this! Heíd give anything just to never have to worry about another fall, another bruise, and another cut again. To be normal.

No such fucking luck.

"You okay?" Jamie whispered as Dr. Lindstrom began to hand out the results from their last quiz. "You look like hell."

"Had a slight accident last night. Spent the day trying not to move so things would clot. Didnít help that Jason was totally freaked. I can kiss that relationship goodbye too," Nick sighed, dejected. "He was out the door so fucking fast I thought Iíd get whiplash when he realized I was gonna be okay and that this was a normal part of my life."

"Oh man, Boston, Iím sorry. Thatís gotta suck. Drinks on me tonight?"

"You know I canít while Iím on this crap. But Iíll take a rain check. And thanks, Jamie. I think Iíll just go home after class and drown my misery in the book I bought the other day.

"And Celeste says thereís no such thing as gay vampire erotica," he laughed softly.

Derek found himself eavesdropping on Nick and his friend once again, something that was becoming more and more frequent, though he refused to consider why. The conversation had him darting a surprised glance at the young man as he realized that he suffered from hemophilia and was gay... and single. And he was planning to read about gay vampire erotica that night, was he? Smiling to himself, Derek made a decision that even then he knew was a bad idea.

Later that night, the vampire stood on the ledge outside Derekís window, looking in at him as he dozed off over the book. Once the young man seemed deeply enough asleep, he thinned his essence enough to flow through the cracks around the window and reformed inside the room.

He moved closer and sank to his knees in front of Nick, taking one wrist in his hands. When Nickís eyes fluttered open, he simply told him that he was dreaming, knowing that he had total control of the other manís mind in that instant. Slowly, he licked his wrist, savoring the flavor of him, then sank his teeth in, drinking the heady wine that was his blood.

"Derek, oh yeah," Nick moaned softly, believing himself to be in a dream. "Knew youíd be a wonderful creature of the night. Want you, please. Turn me? Make me yours and make love to me?" the young man begged, letting himself savor the dream that he found himself in, never wanting it to end.

Derekís eyes shot up to Nickís face in disbelief. He actually wanted this? No, it was just the romanticized Hollywood vampire that attracted him. Unfortunately. For the first time in a very long while Derek could actually imagine spending eons with someone, but he had no right to make that choice for a wealthy young man with his whole life ahead of him. This was all he could have.

He drank, tasting the essence of Nick, until he knew that if he didnít stop, it would be too late. Drawing back, he frowned when the blood continued to trickle from the tiny wounds that should have already healed. He licked the blood away, then licked the small punctures until they healed, vanishing without a trace, along with the bruise that had been there. He frowned again, but he was not willing to injure Nick merely to recreate an injury. He would just have to hope that Nick assumed that bruise had simply healed more rapidly than the others.

He stood up, brushing a kiss over Nickís lips before he left.

Groggy, Nick stumbled to the door, which was being pounded on in a very evil fashion, only to find Jamie with his fist raised in the air and a look of pure panic on his face.

"Where the fuck have you been!" The older student demanded, pushing his way into Nickís apartment. "Iíve been calling since 10am. When you didnít show up for class, I got worried. When you missed the entire fucking day, including finding out whether or not you made it into Lindstromís advanced study group, I knew something was wrong. Whatís going on, Nick?"

"Morning?" Nick stared blearily at his friend. "What are you talking about, I just closed my eyes half an hour ag..." Nick stared in disbelief at the TV program that Jamie turned on. The eleven oíclock news. One day later then it should have been. "What the hell?"

"Nick, youíve been out of it for twenty-four hours, bud. I think we need to take a trip to the hospital."

"No. Iím fine. Really, Jamie, I was just really tired. A new coagulate and my body isnít used to it. Iíll be fine come morning, I promise," Nick begged off. "If you donít believe me, come get me for breakfast before class. Itís on me, okay? Then you can see for yourself how Iím doing, and you can even play mother hen. Okay?"

Jamie sighed and looked at his friend. "Seven am and Iím gonna be pounding on the door. Got it? And if thereís anything between now and then, youíll call me, right?" When Nick rolled his eyes, Jamie growled, annoyed. "Right? Or do I call your parents? I have their number, you know."

"Iíll call! Iíll call! Now get the fuck out of here and let me sleep!" Nick gave in, pushing his friend out the door and closing it behind him. "What the fuck? Iíve never slept the day through. Iím up first thing in the morning no matter what. What the hell is going on?"

Forcing himself to put one foot in front of the other, Nick returned to his room and threw off his robe. Walking into the bathroom he splashed some cold water on his face and tried to figure out what was going on... only to be distracted by the fact that the bruise that had covered fifty percent of his forearm was now gone. In less than two days. What the fuck?

"Okay, my life has just officially crossed the road into weirdsville. What is going on?"

Once again hovering outside the window, concerned by Nickís absence from class even as his friend had been, Derek grew more worried when he heard that Nick had been asleep the entire day. His bite had never had that effect before. He could only think that when added to his blood loss the night before that and the new drugs Nick had mentioned, all together had caused the problem.

Wistfully he decided that he could not allow himself to taste Nickís blood again. However, there was absolutely no reason why he couldnít get to know the young man better in a more normal fashion. Yes, he would start running into Nick around campus more often.

The next day, fortunately overcast, Derek took his courage in hand and stepped out into the sunlight for the first time in more than three millennia. Nearly cringing on his front doorstep, he waited a long moment until he was sure that he wasnít about to spontaneously combust. Slowly, he raised his head, wincing slightly at the brightness of the light, but a pair of sunglasses took care of that problem nicely.

Cautiously, he walked down the steps, pausing frequently, then a huge smile broke over his face. Barely restraining himself from bursting into song and dancing around like someone in an old musical, he set off across campus toward the path Nick would have to take between his classes.

Trying to juggle an armful of books, his knapsack and dig for his keys in the pocket of jeans that were probably much too tight for his own good, but dammit they were comfortable, Nick was too busy trying to keep everything from falling while performing complex maneuvers to even notice that he was heading for the street, not the parking lot.

It was only sheer dumb luck and an arm snaking its way around his waist to haul him back that prevented yet another trip to the doctor that day; and this time would have been in a body bag if the blaring horn and squealing brakes were any indication. "SHIT! Ohmygod! Fuck!" he gasped, trying to get his heart started again.

It was only then that Nick realized that the arm was still wrapped around his waist and that there was a definitely male body behind him. "I, uhn, thanks for that, buy you a drink... oh shit, Dr. Lindstrom," Nick moaned fatalistically as he was finally allowed to turn around. "I mean, thank you, sir, but I always seem to make a grade A ass of myself around you lately. Itís like Iíve suddenly developed a death wish or something."

"Hardly," Derek laughed. "Iím just glad I was here. Iíd hate to lose a promising student to a future as roadkill. Besides, there arenít enough attractive men around that we can afford to lose one." He knew he pushing the limits by flirting with a student, but Nick was of age, and he had no intention of giving him good grades for anything but work, not that Nick would need him to.

Nick snorted. "No offense, Dr. Lindstrom, but I think you need to remove the shades, theyíre clouding your vision. Iím hardly hunk material but thanks for the compliment anyway," Nick replied. "Oh and I meant what I said about the drink. Let me buy you one? To say thanks for saving my scrawny ass that is," he qualified quickly.

Derek bit back the comment that immediately came to mind, but the sparkle in his eyes, visible now that heíd obediently lowered his sunglasses, was something of a giveaway. "Iíd like that," he agreed. "Can I give you a hand with some of that?" He eyed the pile Nick was juggling, wondering how heíd managed to get it this far.

"You do and Iíll be your eternal slave," Nick replied without thinking. "Itís for Roman History with McMillan. That woman is probably the number one opponent of a paperless society; she lives for the thought of torturing poor, hapless students with her mind-boggling assignments. I need to do a paper on the birth of the aqueducts or some other marvel of Ďmoderní architecture over spring break. So much for going home and seeing the family.

"At least Iíll have a good excuse to cancel the doctorís appointment, though. I swear, doctors are the most dangerous bloodsuckers of all, and mine has had gallons from me, never mind pints!" the other man continued as he happily halved his load of textbooks and handed them to the professor.

"Umm, I really donít know a lot of places around here - well other than college pubs and bars and," Nick muttered under his breath, "gay clubs," then returned to his normal speaking voice. "Is there any particular place youíd like to go? Not that I have a problem with the campus places, I just wasnít sure if you wanted to go to one," the student continued to fumble, slightly flustered at the thought of having a drink with his teacher. His gorgeous teacher. His gorgeous, wet dream slash erotic fantasy inspiring teacher. Nick only hoped he didnít make a complete ass out of himself like he had last time.

"How about we drop this load off first, then go get that drink? I donít think either of us wants to try balancing this on some of the tiny, wobbly tables they have in some places." Unlike the myths, Derek might not have required an invitation to enter Nickís apartment, but he did want one in order to have a chance to look around and get to know the young man better.

"Oh, um, sure, good idea," Nick blushed as he realized they were still holding his research material. "My carís just over this way..."

An hour later, sitting in a booth in a back corner of a gay bar that they both knew and liked, the two men were getting to know each other over a couple of beers. Derek was carefully nursing his; although his system would tolerate small amounts of normal foods and beverages, it didnít do him any good.

"So with all the choices you had, why Harvard?"

Nick blushed, his pale skin showing the heat with embarrassing ease. Ducking his head and letting the bangs of his black hair fall down over his eyes to cover them, he took a huge swallow of beer for fortification before answering. "You were here, not any of the other places. I wanted to learn from the best, so... I came to Harvard. That and thereís been a St. John of every generation attend Harvard since it was founded, I believe. Gotta keep up the family traditions, donít you know."

Startled, Derek stared at him in surprise for a long moment. "Iím flattered. And pleased I got a chance to meet you. Youíre one of the best students Iíve ever had, Nick. You have a wonderful future ahead of you, whatever you want to do."

Nickís face became shadowed and somber. "No I donít. Iíve got a life full of being careful and not doing anything that could get me hurt ahead of me," he admitted bitterly. "A lifetime behind a desk instead of being able to climb the pyramids, go down into the tombs, walk in the coliseum and traipse all over Greece. Iíll never be able to do any of that, not safely, not with what I have."

"But surely there are treatments?" Derek was trying not to grasp at the idea that being a vampire would actually free Nick to do the things he wanted, not take anything away from him. He couldnít allow himself to believe that, not when he realized how much he wanted it to be true.

"There are clotting agents that I can administer - but I have to do it through an IV drip, and the area has to be sterile while I put the needle in and stuff. Iím what they call a moderate hemophiliac. That basically means that as long as Iím careful, Iíll live a moderately healthy life. It also means that I usually end up having bleeding episodes when I get injured, go have any kind of surgery at all, even minor, or have teeth extracted or dental work done. It also means I can pretty much count on having at least one bleeding episode per month for no reason at all. And then thereís the risk of AIDS from transfusionsóI was lucky I didnít get thatóand joint damage and a whole whack of other problems.

"Thank God my parents have money though. You know it costs between $20,000 and $250,000 per year for medicine and other things, depending on the severity of your condition? Anyhow, enough about my problems. It just means I canít do what I dream of, but I can do something nearly as good - I can teach about it someday," Nick finished, trying to sound upbeat about the whole thing.

"What about you? Why did you give up crawling around in the dust and ruins for teaching, not that Iím complaining mind you!"

"Sounds like becoming a vampire would be a good thing for you," Derek laughed, hoping the other man couldnít hear the desperate hope underlying his words. After so long alone by his own choice, he had found someone he wanted to keep with him, and he didnít know if he should, if Nick would hate him for it or if they really could be companions.

He paused, not wanting to answer Nickís question yet, hoping he would respond to Derekís own supposedly joking remark.

"If wishes were fishes," Nick replied wistfully, taking another swig of beer and then putting the half full mug aside. "And thatís about my limit. Still got the chemicals swirling around inside, so I gotta be careful," he confessed matter-of-factly.

"It would be a trade off, wouldnít it? Being able to do everything I want to do but having to do it at night instead of in the day. And then there would be my family... well, that is if they couldnít live with the choice I made. Would they even have to know, I wonder? I mean Iíve been able to keep the fact that Iím gay from them for almost ten years.

"But if someone were to offer me that... I think Iíd want to take a cruise around the world, or at least to all the places I desperately want to explore and see them once in the full sunlight before I ... I dunno, was embraced, was turned, was made into a bloodsucking fiend or creature of the night?" Nick laughed at his own silliness. "It would be a nice dream, thatís for sure."

Not believing he was doing this, Derek heard himself say, "Itís more than a dream if you want. You asked me why I chose to teach. Well, itís rather hard to lead a dig at night, and since no one could possibly know more than I do about Hellenic Greece and the Trojan War, teaching seemed appropriate."

Nick looked at the other man in disbelief, then chuckled. "Good one, Dr. Lindstrom. You almost got me!" he admitted, not wanting to own up to the butterflies that suddenly started to dance in his stomach. The man did know an awful lot about classic history but a vampire? Come on!!!

"I... would you like to maybe come back to my place for a coffee or something? I mean, I donít want the night to end, but Iím not really dressed for grinding to techno and getting all sweaty with a bunch of strangers, if you know what I mean."

"Iíd like that... though coffee isnít really necessary." He wondered why he was pursuing this when Nick had given him the perfect out, but he knew he was going to. He wanted a chance to keep Nick with him forever. "Letís go. I think I have some convincing to do."

Nick shook his head. "Yíknow, sir, if you really want to nibble on my neck that badly, you only have to ask. I wouldnít say no... In fact... well, truth is Iíd like it. A lot."

"Yes, even half asleep you seemed to enjoy it the other night," Derek replied calmly. "I hope you didnít mind the rapid healing of your bruise. It was an unexpected side effect."

"Half asleep? What are you? Howíd you know about my dream, I never told anyone," Nick gasped. And then the rest of his comment sank in. "Rapid healing... but how... you... I need to sit down," Nick said faintly before realizing he was seated. In the driverís seat of his car.

"Okay. Quick change of plans. I canít drive. I donít even remember how to drive. You drive. Do I want you to drive? Do you even know how - other than chariots that is?" Nick laughed somewhat hysterically.

"Breathe, Nick." Derek got out of the car and walked around to the other side. He urged Nick to climb over to the passenger seat, then slid in. "Buckle up. Youíre not immortal, you know. Yet." He glanced over at the stunned young man. "I hope you have brandy or something in your apartment; you look like you need some.

"And yes, I know how to drive. I didnít skip over the years from the fall of Troy to now, you know. I lived them all and learned a variety of different skills."

"Will you just... stop. Okay? No more, I donít... God! This is insane. Nuts. Not immortal yet. Asking me if I wanna become. Whatever happened to just doing it?? And here I was thinking you wanted in my pants not at my throat or... Oh man, how did life suddenly go past weirdsville and right into totally fucked up?"

"Well, if I didnít want in your pants too, I wouldnít be interested in your throat. And if I didnít like you, I could have both without you ever knowing it, and we most definitely would not be having this conversation." Derek sighed. "Look, I know this is a bit much to take. I was totally freaked too."

"You were freaked out? You mean you got a choice, like the one youíre giving me?" Nick asked then groaned and closed his eyes. "I want a drink. I need a drink... Hey, wait a minute. You had a beer and split an appetizer with me. Vampire, my ass! Vampires suck on blood not on a brew!" Turning in his seat, Nick glared at his professor. "God, I must have sucker written on my forehead. I canít believe that I almost fell for it!"

Realizing that theyíd arrived at his building, Nick slammed out of the car. "I actually almost bought into that shit. I mean, how stupid can a person be? Keys!" he ordered imperiously, holding out his hand in silent demand for the teacher to relinquish said items.

"You are a real piece of work, you know that? Lived through the fall of Troy - ha! Watched the rise and fall of the Roman Empire - right! Good night, Dr. Lindstrom!"

Stalking up to his apartment, Nick let himself in, still fuming, and promptly hurled his keys, breaking a mirror when they impacted. "Fuck. FUCK!"

Glaring at the shards of glass like it was their fault and knowing that his temper was precarious at best and another trip to the hospital would elicit a visit from his over protective parents, Nick bypassed the mess and stalked over to his liquor cabinet. Pouring himself three fingers of bourbon and swallowing it in two gulps, Nick carefully set the crystal down.

The liquid burned its way down and left a more manageable heat in its wake, leaving Nick feeling slightly less pissed off than before. "What an asshole. I mean if he wanted to fuck me that bad, all he had to do was say so. I wanted, I want him so fucking much! Instead he spouts that bullshit.

"Shower. I need a shower after that," Nick muttered, stalking into the bathroom and stripping. The glass block shower stall that took up almost half the bathroom made this room one of Nickís favorite rooms in the apartment, the student being a sybarite at heart and spending as much time as possible soaking his cares away.

Turning the water to as hot as he could stand it, Nick let it beat down on him, ridding him of the last of his pent up rage at being played so easily and leaving him in a warm puddle of relaxation. The only thing that would make it better would be to have someone there to wash his back for him, he thought dreamily, an automatic fantasy of Lindstrom washing him and then fucking him and then washing him again coming to mind as he began to stroke himself.

Derek stood beside the car for several minutes, idly tapping his fingers on the hood. He had several options at this point, and any of them made more sense than pursuing this, but he knew he was going to. He strode up the walk toward the door, nodding at a young woman on her way out, and stopped at Nickís door. Since he already knew that the doors locked automatically when they closed, he wasnít going to be able to just walk in.

He glanced around to make sure no one was watching, then thinned himself into a mist and seeped inside under the door. Wanting to avoid any further arguments about his status, he floated through the apartment toward the shower he could hear running, pausing to admire the sight that he found, then flowed into the shower and reformed in front of Nick.

"Any more questions about whether Iím a vampire or not?" he asked with an artificially sweet smile that he made sure bared his fangs.

Yelping and jumping back, Nick lost his footing on the slick floor and only Derekís arms closing around him with preternatural speed kept him from truly doing himself damage. Gasping, eyes wide and terrified, the younger man tried to speak, tried to run but instead watched the world lose focus and then turn black as he shut down in shock.

Sighing, Derek held the young man in one arm as he turned off the water, then picked him up to carry him out of the shower enclosure. Sitting down on the lid of the toilet, he grabbed the large, fluffy towel and briskly dried Nick off, talking to him all the while.

"Címon, kid, youíre tough and imaginative. Youíre not going to let a simple little thing like a vampire in your shower get you down, are you?"

"Simple little thing like a vampire, he says," Nick muttered weakly as he began to rouse. "Jesus! Damn good thing my heart didnít stop the way you did... oh God, you really ... are..." Nickís hand trembled as he raised it to touch the older, much older manís face.

"Vampire. Oh God. Oh God!" he whimpered faintly. "Why? How? Who? What do you want with me? Really?" he stuttered, suddenly feeling very small and very, very vulnerable.

"Hey, calm down, Iím still the same guy you were yelling at a few minutes ago," he reminded, although he was pleased that Nick hadnít tried to get out of his lap. Of course, he might just not have noticed where he was yet. "And I donít want anything that you donít want to give.

"Itís just that I enjoy talking to you more than anyone else Iíve met in a very long time. And of course, I think you already know that I want you."

"You... I... my head hurts!" Nick groaned, massaging his temple with one hand. "And is there any particular reason why Iím naked in your lap and youíre sitting on the throne? I mean, vamps donít need to flush, so to speak, so..." the younger man asked tiredly.

"Can we move this into the bedroom or something? I really need to lie down."

Laughing, Derek stood up, Nick still in his arms, and walked to the bedroom, where he set the young man down on the bed. Deciding not to panic him into fleeing, he didnít try to join him yet, instead moving a couple of feet away.

"Do you mind if I take off my wet clothes? I usually take them off before getting into a shower, but I figured this was more effective." He grinned self-mockingly.

"You might say that, yes," Nick groaned. "Youíve got a really warped sense of humor, you know that? What if Iíd died of a heart attack? Your plans would have been so screwed, wouldnít they?" Nick continued sarcastically.

Waving a hand negligently, the younger man closed his eyes. "Just donít drip on the Persian. It was my great-great-grandfatherís or something," he replied offhandedly.

"Well, I canít remember the last time someone closed their eyes when I was about to take off my clothes," Derek said dryly, stripping off the jeans and shirt and tossing them into the bathroom. "Am I supposed to take you for a shrinking Victorian virgin?"

"Itís called a splitting headache, asshole. You know, too much alcohol drunk too quickly followed by a sudden, life-altering shock tends to have physical side effects. Jesus! Ego much, there, Lindstrom? Iíve wanted to see you naked practically from the first day of class, and the only way Iíd willingly miss it was if it hurt too much to look at you. Really, you gotta learn to overcome this terminal self-esteem problem youíve got before it causes serious damage!" Nick snarked.

"So much for being afraid of the unholy creature of the night." Derek grinned, unseen by the young man, and strode over to the bed where he sat on the edge. Leaning over Nick, he stared down at him.

"Open your eyes, Nick. Trust me," he said, when the other man hesitated. Finally, pain-filled violet blue eyes opened to meet the mesmerizing stare, and within moments the pain had vanished. "See, better than any drug."

"What did you do?" Nick moaned in blessed relief. "Not that Iím complaining but..." Nickís eyes strayed downwards and then widened as he came eyes to crotch with a certain, swelling portion of Derekís anatomy. "Damn, if thatís what being unholy gets you..." he trailed off in awe.

Derek burst into laughter. When he could speak again, he gasped, "You never do what people expect, do you?" Shaking his head and still grinning, he added, "You donít have to be unholy to get that, just interesting. And you definitely qualify as that!"

"What, you expected me to scream and run for my rosary beads to defend my virtue and my life? I donít even own rosary beads. Besides, you said yourself youíre not gonna do anything I donít want you to do," the younger man replied with frank honesty.

"Besides, I donít do Victorian virgin all that well considering I havenít been a virgin since I was fourteen."

"Well, in that case, how Ďbout we put the heavy issues aside for the moment, since they require some discussion and thought, and for tonight, we concentrate on this?" As he spoke, Derek cupped a hand over Nickís stirring penis, lightly rubbing, and he leaned closer to kiss him, moving slowly to give him the opportunity to say no.

Wrapping his hand around Derekís long blond braid like a leash, the student tugged the older man down. Just before their lips met, Nick smiled wickedly. "So you gonna grade my performance too?"

The laughter bubbled between them, then both concentrated on the feelings as their lips met, tasting each other for the first time. Derek stretched out on the bed, half on and half beside Nick, their growing erections pressed between their bodies.

Moaning, Nick opened his mouth wider, trying to swallow the vampire whole. His tongue swept the inside of Derekís mouth hungrily, trying to gather the older manís taste as quickly as he could. However, Nick forgot he was dealing with someone who was no longer quite human and his tongue caught and ripped slightly on one of the vampireís razor sharp fangs, spilling some of his blood into Derekís mouth even as he jerked back quickly. "Ouch. That was, umm, unexpected."

"Itís okay." Derek petted him, soothing him as his tongue stole back into Nickís mouth, flicking over the small wound and healing it. "Coagulant in the saliva," he explained in response the surprised expression. "You taste good, so good." He shifted downward, licking Nickís jaw and throat but not biting, not without permission.

Shivering as Derekís fangs traveled across his skin, Nick couldnít help but gasp and rub against the vampire. It was just so fucking arousing. "The mythography says," he whispered breathlessly, "that a vampire bite causes the victim to orgasm from pleasure. Is it true? If you were to... drink from me, would I cum from just that alone?"

"You could if I were to enthrall you. A vampireís bite and touch is pleasurable, but frankly, Iíve tried that particular experiment. Iím game if you are," he teased, running his nails lightly over Nickís erection, "but I can think of other things to do with this."

"Enthrall? What does that mean? Would I end up like Renfield, eating bugs and stuff?"

"Ick! No!" Derek sat up and made a face at him. "It works the same way I made your headache go away. Just as I can make you not feel pain, I can make you feel pleasure. The pleasureís actually easier, but as a vampire ages and gains better control of his powers, he can do a lot more. And Iíve had a lot of time to practice."

"Iíll take your word for it since I have no empirical evidence to back your statement up with," Nick replied, his fingers busily searching for, finding and removing the tie that held Derekís hair back. "I didnít know Greeks were blond - back then anyways. Just how old are you, Derek? And why do I get the feeling that Derek isnít your real name? Who ever heard of a Swede at the fall of Troy."

"Why do you think so many of our goddesses were blonde? We had blondes too, though Iíll admit that darker coloring was more common." He sighed almost blissfully as Nick unfastened the tie and starting finger combing out his braid. "And no, Derek wasnít my name then, but it is now. Iíve had a lot of names is the last 3300 years."

"Your hair is so long," the young man murmured, fascinated with the feel of it and the way it curtained him underneath Derekís body, so that he felt as if he were being totally engulfed by the vampire. "3300 years old. Thatís a lot of experience," he continued with a seductive grin. "So you gonna show me what all that age and wisdom can do in a gorgeous body like yours?"

"I certainly hope so. Think you can keep up, kid?" Not giving him a chance to reply, Derek slid a little lower, his target this time a hardening nipple. The tip of his tongue circled around the upstanding nubbin, again and again, the flicked quickly over it. He teased Nick until the young man was squirming on the bed, then closed his mouth over the nipple, allowing his teeth to scrape lightly.

"D-Derek!" Nick gasped, his body arching off the bed and his eyes drifting closed as the pleasure-pain washed over electrified nerves. "Oh please," he mewled hungrily, his body catching fire as the vampire continued to toy with his body.

"Anything you want." Derek switched his attention to the other nipple, his hands moving over the young manís body, stroking, scratching, tugging, pinching, petting, whatever would most arouse him. "Everything we want." He rubbed his own erection against Nickís leg, hungry but not wanting to rush this first time.

"I wa... I want.... I want you in me! Dammit!" the student growled, his eyes snapping open and almost glowing an eerie violet as his hunger overrode any and all inhibitions. "Dammit, fuck me, will ya? Iíve been lusting after you since you the first day of class. Will you do something??"

"Pushy little brat, arenít you? And would you happen to have something to help with that around here? Iíd really rather not have you bleed to death before weíre done."

"Why would I bleed to death?" Nick asked, confused. "Oh, lube and condoms and shit? Top drawer of the nightstand. But it still doesnít make sense why you think Iíd.... If this is about the fact that Iím hemophiliac, I may have to hit you or something. Sex does not make me bleed to death! I had a good long talk with a doctor here in Cambridge who treats gay patients, so donít even try that one..."

"Fine, then Iíd prefer not to be distracted by a sea of blood because we didnít bother with lube," Derek replied, slightly aggrieved. "Youíd think you liked being hurt." He reached over to the nightstand and removed the lube, eying the condoms with distaste. "I can assure you that I have no diseases that a condom would affect."

"I get the feeling you donít like to wear latex except as a fashion statement in a club," Nick chuckled, laying a hand on the side of Derekís face and turning it back towards him. Craning his neck upwards, he licked a line along the vampireís throat and over his chin to his lips. "Thank you for worrying about me, but Iím not nearly as fragile as most people think. And a little pain often adds a spice to things, donít you think?"

"I think Iím going to enjoy getting to know you better." A shiver raced along Derekís spine when Nick licked him, and his hands clenched on the younger manís hips hard enough to bruise, though neither of them noticed it at the moment. He lowered his head to kiss Nick hungrily, at the same time opening the lube and coating his fingers. Moments later, one was rubbing over and then pushing through the ring of muscle, coating and stretching him.

Nickís fingers clutched at the comforter, and his legs spread wider to allow Derek greater access. ę De-Rek! Oh fuuuuuck. Ľ Head tossing back and forth on the pillows, the violet eyes drifted shut as he let sensations race through him. "Oh yeah, more. I want more. Give it to me, give it to me now!"

"Very pushy," Derek murmured, smiling faintly. He watched every nuance of expression as he added a second finger, both now moving in and out, hooking to rub his prostate while Derekís free hand jerked Nickís cock.

Whining hungrily, Nickís head arched back more, revealing the tendons of his neck as he did so. Eyes snapping open and heat spilling from violet depths, he growled softly. "I wanna feel you feed from me when youíre fucking me."

For an instant Derek froze utterly. He hadnít dreamed Nick would want that so soon, and hearing it nearly pushed him beyond control. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment before he shut them, shuddering with arousal. He shifted between Nickís legs, his erection nudging against him, ice blue eyes meeting violet as he slowly pressed forward. At the same instant as the head popped inside of Nick, he lowered his head, his fangs sinking into Nickís jugular.

"Derek!" Nick gasped as the sensations of being filled and sharp incisors sinking into his throat twined together into a powerful aphrodisiac that sent his pulse racing, his heart pounding, and his whole body shuddering with arousal. He could feel as the vampire sank into him, inch by slow inch just as he could feel the strong pull of Derekís mouth, sucking the blood from his body through two tiny holes in his neck.

Mewling and writhing, Nick tore at the sheets of the bed and, not finding enough satisfaction in that, clawed at the older manís back in desperate hunger. "Please, god, yes, oh, more, oh need, you, so good, please," he moaned incoherently, begging for release of one kind or another.

Derekís hips drove forward, sinking as deep inside Nick as he could get, then pulled back only to repeat the motion, over and over again. He could feel the tight, grasping heat around his erection, and the hot, salty-sweet taste of the blood filling his mouth, and it was better than anything he could remember. His hips snapped back and forth, his hand jerked Nickís cock roughly, and he sucked at the blood that sustained him.

It was unlike anything heíd ever felt before. He could literally feel his lifeís blood slowly draining away, and yet he couldnít care less for it felt too good. "Derek," he sighed, his fingers carding through the long blond mane of hair, shivering as the sensations became sharper and more surreal with each passing second. "Waited for you forever, Derek. Wanted you forever."

Derek drove into him a final time, wrenching his mouth away from Nickís throat before he lost control and took too much, his body arching and shuddering as he came.

Feeling the older man tear his mouth away from his throat even as he drove into Nickís body one last, shuddering time proved to be Nickís undoing as well. With a high, keening wail the young man shivered and sent arcs of semen splattering across his heaving chest, head thrown back and neck arched to display the rivulets of blood snaking down his throat and between his collar bones.

Derek slumped down over Nick, lazily lapping at the trail of blood and the tiny wounds, healing them enough that they stopped bleeding but leaving his mark on the younger man. "Youíre amazing." He raised his head to smile at the panting man, surveying him smugly. "So much for maintaining a proper distance between teacher and students. Of course, it all depends on what you consider to be a proper distance. I think this works quite nicely."

"Well of course you would, youíre beyond a dirty old man; youíre like a prehistorically dirty old man, you perv," Nick teased with a tired laugh. "After all Iím not even one tenth your age, am I?"

"Not even a hundredth," Derek laughed. "I gather math isnít your strong suit, huh?" He stretched out beside Nick and drew the other man closer, hugging him easily. "So, time for that discussion we postponed earlier?"

Nick whimpered and cuddled closer. "This may be mid afternoon for you, Lindstrom, but itís the middle of the night for me. Iíve had too much alcohol, a severe shock to my system and the most amazing sex of my life on top of a day full of classes. No offense but Iím gonna be asleep before you even get a dozen words out," the younger man informed his lover, resting his head on Derekís chest and hearing a decided absence of a heartbeat. Moving his head back to the crook of Derekís arm, Nick shivered slightly. "Okay, that is creepy. Not hearing a heartbeat. Iíd rather not do that again tonight if itís all the same to you."

Derek smiled down at him, his hand lazily stroking Nickís back. "Sorry, thereís not much I can do about that. Get some sleep and we can talk in the morning." He settled himself more comfortably. "I wouldnít mind some sleep myself."

Nick mumbled unintelligibly and fell promptly into an exhausted sleep, never moving once throughout the remainder of the night.

He came awake slowly, in increments. First he was aware he was awake, but he was too warm and cozy to do anything more than drift. He eventually opened his eyes enough to ascertain it was around 2:00 in the afternoon, but he was still too content to move. The next time he opened his eyes it was 3:30, and his bladder was insisting that if he didnít get out of bed now, heíd be a very sorry person, so he managed to stumble into the bathroom, do what he needed to and then even managed to brush the fuzziness out of his mouth. And then he went back to bed.

Only to realize that his bed had another occupant. A gorgeous, naked occupant who also happened to be one of his professors and... a vampire. "Jesus."

Wheeling, Nick returned to the bathroom to stare at his reflection, and sure enough, there on his jugular were two tiny pinprick marks where Derek had feasted. Marks that were surrounded by one helluva hickey. Running his finger lightly across both, the college student whimpered softly as his body reacted by rousing more quickly than it had done in recent memory. "Oh God, that feels good!" he mewled, rubbing his finger across the wound again and again, eyes closed and breath coming in soft panting moans as he became completely hard just from touching the bite.

"Glad to hear it." The whisper in his ear was the only warning Nick had that Derek was awake before a strong arm wrapped around his waist and a mouth fastened over the mark, licking and sucking. And even though vampires, unlike human males, were not prone to waking up with a hard-on, there was a very rigid erection pressing against Nickís ass.

"Derek," the younger man moaned, his eyes opening to reveal glazed over need for the vampire. "Is this what it feels like to be enthralled? I canít get enough of you, Derek. I ache when youíre not inside me, not drinking from me. I want you," he mewled, thrusting his ass backwards to grind against Derekís arousal in desperate hunger.

"Oh no, babe, thereís no thrall involved. Thatís just good old-fashioned lust," Derek purred, lightly scraping a fang over Nickís neck. "You want me like I want you." He slid a leg between Nickís, forcing them to part, then pressed inside the still loosened opening, not stopping until his balls were flush with Nickís ass.

"Iíve been in lust before. Itís never felt like this... so all consuming. I want to lose myself in you, Derek, and never find my way out again, oh fuuuuuuck!" The younger manís head fell back on Derekís shoulder, and his arms braced themselves against the marble of the countertop as the vampire slid into him once more and those fangs, oh God those incredible fangs, scraped over the surface of his skin.

"Please, please move. I need you to move. I..." Nickís hips began to rock back and forth of their own accord, not waiting for the older man to do as heíd begged him. His eyes flickered open, and he saw how they looked in the mirror. Porcelain pale skin was surrounded by golden muscles. Bruises marred his hips and reminded him of the previous nightís passion. Fangs scraped across his flesh, enervating already hypersensitive skin even more so that he felt like he one huge, throbbing nerve ending. He felt flayed alive, and it was the most erotic thing heíd ever experienced. "God, we look, look like..."

"Like that painting you liked so much." Derek braced one hand on the countertop as well, the other holding Nickís hip as he matched the other manís rhythm. "Like passion and heat and hunger." He scraped a fang down Nickís spine, then licked away the small droplets of blood, tasting him once again. "I canít get enough of you," he groaned.

"You feel so good, so right. More, please, Derek. Harder. Give me you, all of you. I need it," Nick mewled, bending his head and exposing his neck even more for the vampireís touch. "I want to see you feed from me," he requested, violet eyes meeting ice blue in the mirror in front of them.

Derek hesitated, not wanting to drain him too much, but it had been several hours since heíd fed from him, so as long as he kept control, it should be all right. The hand that had been braced on the counter rose to cup Nickís lower jaw, drawing him upright so that Derek could feed on his neck. As his fangs sank into his loverís neck, his eyes rose to meet Nickís gaze in the mirror, watching him as he took him in every way.

Watching Derekís mouth work on his neck, feeling the blood flow change and move out of him, was enough to make Nick come instantly. Heíd never seen anything so darkly erotic, so wonderfully dangerous in his life. To know that his blood was nourishing his lover, that he was giving the vampire the sustenance Derek needed to survive, was profoundly moving.

"I belong to you now," the younger man whispered when he was finally able to speak again, meaning it from the depths of his soul. He belonged to his vampire lover. It was as simple and as complex as that.

Derekís eyes widened, and he stared helplessly at Nick as he came as well, his mouth full of the life-giving taste of his lover and his body deep within him. Only when the last faint quivers of sensation had faded away did he release Nickís neck and pull his head around to kiss him, tongue taking his mouth possessively.

"Stay with me forever," he breathed when their mouths parted, turning Nick in his arms to face him so he could search the violet depths.

"I... want to, really I do but," Nick sighed, "remember that time we discussed it hypothetically? I said I wanted to see all those places at least once in the light before Iíd only ever be able to see them in the dark for the rest of eternity. Can you... will you grant me the chance to do that? Give me the summer to see those wonders of the world that Iíve dreamed of all my life before I say yes?"

"Of course. I would not want you to start this life with regrets, Nick. I canít imagine a more sure recipe for disaster. But... would you mind a traveling companion?" He smiled crookedly. "I donít want to lose you now that Iíve found you, and I wouldnít mind seeing some of those places again myself. I havenít been to Rome for nearly two thousand years."

"Iíd love a traveling companion," Nick assured his lover. "When we come back in the fall... then we talk about me becoming... becoming a vampire too. And this way I get to be an informed one," the younger man pointed out with a grin. "I get to ask you all the questions I can think of, get to know whatís ahead for me. And I get to figure out how Iím going to deal with my family," the student finished softly.

"I canít really help you with that, Iím afraid. My family is long gone, and I never saw them again after I changed. It was a long time before I went back to Mycenae, long after they were dead and buried. It was strange. So many things were familiar, yet nothing was the same." He drew Nick toward the shower. "I think thatís the hardest part, going back to a place that you remember fondly and finding itís all changed."

"It sounds rather sad," Nick replied softly. "How long has it been since your lover died, Derek?" he asked unexpectedly. "How long have you been alone?"

Derek looked almost embarrassed. "Since the last time I was in Rome. He was killed trying to help a Christian... during the reign of Vespasian."

"That was rather a long time ago," Nick replied, hiding the sympathy and pity that sprang up behind a serious demeanor. Bringing his hands up to trace the fine, patrician features of his lover, Nick smiled sweetly. "But you arenít alone anymore. Youíll never be alone again."

"I like the sound of that. I like the idea of being with you specifically even more." Derek smiled, kissing him lightly. "For the immediate future though, my biggest concern is a shower. Weíre sticky."

"And whose fault is that?" Nick laughed as he headed towards the shower happily. "I was just standing there, admiring my new mark when you pounced me, and the next thing I knew your cock was up my ass, your teeth were in my throat, and I was cumming all over the countertop."

Soon the water was hot enough for Nickís liking, and the young man stepped under the spray just as his stomach rumbled hungrily. "Oh yeah, while you may have had your morning meal, Iíve yet to have any nourishment. I have a sudden urge for Dennyís big breakfast. Mmmmm I can almost taste the grease now!"

"How appetizing," Derek murmured, pulling a face. He stepped behind Nick, arms going around him to draw him back against himself. "Good thing you arenít going to have to worry about heart disease." He reached around Nick for the shower gel and sponge, squeezing some of the fragrant cleanser onto the nylon puff, then beginning to run it over his loverís body.

"Hey, did I make a face when you had your breakfast? No," Nick retorted. "And letís think about this - you drank my blood, my plasma. You basically ate something thatís alive. At least what I eat is dead, thank God. And dammit all, Iíve got 6 months to enjoy all my favorite foods and drinks before I canít anymore, so guess what, tough guy, youíre gonna watch me do it!" the young man sassed as he bumped his hip into Derekís playfully.

"You can still eat and drink a little. As long as you donít overdo it and thereís plenty of blood as well, it wonít hurt you. Trying to digest it without blood though gives a whole new meaning to indigestion," he added with a faint shudder. "I wouldnít advise trying it.

"But you donít really have to give up much. Itíll be a while before you can go out in the sunlightóI was scared to try for a very long timeóbut even that is possible in time."

Nick turned to look at the vampire. "You mean Iíll be able to go out in the sun again one day? Not that I spend a lot of time in it now, but... the sunrises and the sunsets are something, you know?" he admitted softly. "They make the whole world, even the ugly bits, look beautiful. I want to be able to share them with you, but even if I canít, even if I never see the sun again, I want to spend every night of eternity by your side."

Taking the sponge from his lover, Nick returned the favor and began to gently, lovingly, clean Derek. "I want to stroll along the Seine with you, see the red light district in Berlin, stay in a chalet in the Swiss Alps and make love on a rug in front of a fire. A lifetime really wouldnít be enough to do all the things I want, so Iím very, very glad weíll have forever."

"And they say thereís no poetry in todayís youth," Derek tried to laugh, shaken by the way Nickís words touched him. "Weíll do all that and more. I want to show you everything, tell you what I remember and see what grows tomorrow with you.

"I love you, Nick," he finally admitted, not knowing how it had happened so quickly, but there was no denying it. If he never saw the other man again after this moment, he would never forget anything about him, and he would miss for the rest of his very long life. Fortunately, Nick seemed to feel the same, and they would have all the time in the world to explore each other and everything that interested them.

"Next youíre gonna tell me that you taught Shakespeare how to write plays and Byron how to write sonnets," Nick laughed shakily, burying his nose into Derekís chest. "I love you too, you know. Have been falling for you for years without even knowing it."

"So, where are we gonna go first? England, France, Italy? Greece? Whereís the most romantic place on earth?"

"Not Venice, not in the summer," Derek replied emphatically, wrinkling his nose. "Not unless you like the smell of... well, letís just say not. First... Greece? Iíd like to show you where I was born. Itís very different now, of course, but some part of me still thinks of it as home. Then... we can go to Paris and Cairo, everywhere youíve ever wanted to."

"As long as itís with you, itíll be wonderful," Nick replied and then burst into laughter as his stomach gurgled again. "And I really need to get some food. Címon."

Nick sat cross-legged in the center of his bed, a fluffy white robe keeping him warm as he ate his way through a box of moo shoo pork and rice while he and Derek leafed through travel brochures and pages printed from various information pages on the net.

"I canít decide which islands I want to see. I want to go to all of them! I want to see the Acropolis and the Parthenon and visit the place where Troy stood and go to the island of Delos to see where Cassandra lived and... God, Derek, how do I decide?"

"You donít have to," Derek pointed out. "We have time to see them all. Just decide where you want to start, and weíll work our way around the world from there." He stole a bite of the pork. "Hmmm, interesting. Not as good as you though."

"Considering all I taste when I cut something is copper, Iíll have to take your word for it," Nick replied around a mouthful of pork. "And seeing as how youíre from that end of the world, albeit over 3000 years ago, why donít I let you decide on the best places to go so long as I get to see the landmarks that still stand. The rest, I want to see it through your eyes, Derek. Show me your world, please."

"Be grateful itís just a view. Modern hygiene, running water, indoor plumbing, theyíre all things you wouldnít want to do without. Personally, I love this century.

"But yes, Iíd love to show you the places I knew, the things I remember. And we can do all the regular touristy stuff too. Iíd like to do that with you."

"Maybe we can go clubbing in Rome? And shopping? Iíve always wanted to go to a fashion show in Milan as well. Speaking of, I know this is probably kinda gauche to ask, but... Iíve got tons of money, hell Iíve got my own trust fund from both my grandparents. Did you do the Highlander thing and keep tons of artifacts and stuff or... Never mind, I really shouldnít ask," Nick blushed, setting aside his container of food and burying his face behind a possible itinerary.

Derek pulled the glossy sheet away and drew Nick into his arms. "Of course you should ask. You have the right to know. And yes, Iíve had plenty of time to accumulate wealth. There have been times when I was the next thing to a pauper, but overall, Iíve done well. Hell, old as I am, all I have to do is store things for a few generations and then dig it up and sell it as an antique. Thatís made me fortunes more than once."

"Whoíd have thought that my sugar daddy would turn out to be a 3300 year old vampire who looks only a year or two older than me!" Nick chortled. "I... can I move in with you yet, or do I have to wait until Iím out of your class?" the young man asked seriously as his rapid thoughts moved from one topic to the next with barely a pause in between.

"As long as weíre open about it, I think itíll be okay. Iím sure the department chair and the dean will want to talk to both of us, but Iíll make it clear that Iím not giving you any easy passes because of our relationship. Your academic history will help us there. And youíre an adult, so itís not like they can say we canít see each other. I want you with me."

Nick smiled beatifically, a mischievous glint in his eyes. "So do you have a king sized coffin we can fool around in?"

Derek gaped at him for a moment, then grabbed the food and set it down on the nightstand before rolling on top of the other man and starting to tickle. "Who needs a coffin?"

"Iím going to after youíre done with me!" Nick shrieked in laughter, curling up into a little ball to try and avoid his loverís marauding hands. "Hey, arenít you vamp types supposed to be all Goth and serious?" That just prompted an even greater attack on his ticklish spots, and soon Nick was gasping for air, tears streaming down his face. "Uncle! Uncle!"

Nick looked around at all the boxes piled in the living room of what used to be his apartment with a bit of trepidation. He was really doing this. When he came back from his trip around the world with his lover, all these things would be in Derekís house, and he would be just like Derek - vampire. Nosferatu. No longer quite human even though he would forever look as he did right now - an eternally 23-year-old man who would be an undead creature of the night.

Already his class schedules had been submitted for next term. Night classes, all of them and most with Derek as he tried to finish his degree. Those he couldnít take at night he would take via the Internet; unusual to be sure, but when you were a St. John, anything was possible.

And when he came back, he would have one other thing to deal with. His family. Not only would he have to decide whether or not to tell them what he had become, he would also have to admit to being gay and living with his male lover who was also his professor. A professor that his parents thought he was spending the summer with as Dr. Lindstromís assistant while the good professor wrote a new book. He would definitely have a lot to explain and a lot of fallout to deal with.

But for now... for now he had just found out that heíd managed to get another 3.9 grade point average for the year, and his bags were waiting by the front door for the limo that was to take him and Derek to the airport. For now he was off to see many of the places heíd only dreamed about his entire life so that he could say he saw them once in the sunlight before heíd see them only in the moonlight for perhaps centuries to come.

Leaning against the doorframe, Derek watched his lover with amusement clear in his light eyes. "Arenít you ready yet? If you pack any more, weíre going to need to charter our own plane... and if you take any longer, weíll miss our flight anyways." He straightened up, sauntering toward the youngerómuch youngeróman.

"Having second thoughts?"

"About being with you? Never!" the younger man replied vehemently, wrapping his arms around Derekís waist and snuggling close. "About the changes my life is going through? Itís a little disconcerting, true, and more than a little frightening. But when I think about what Iíll be gaining, it really isnít all that hard to choose, you know?"

A knock on the door heralded the arrival of the chauffeur, and Nick answered it reluctantly. Watching as his luggage was taken down to join Derekís, he gave one last look at the apartment that was once his home. "It was home for three years, so Iím a little sad at leaving it, but I have a new home now. With you. Címon, vamp man, I have a yen to neck in the back of a limo with my bloodsucking beau," Nick finished, with a wicked grin.

Laughing, Derek followed him out of the apartment, staying close behind. "You really are the most irreverent person Iíve ever known. So much for my reputation as a serious man."

They climbed into the limo, Derek drawing Nick into his lap, arms loosely linked around him, ignoring the chauffeurís shocked expression. "Just think, this time tomorrow weíll be in Greece. Weíre going to see everything you ever wanted to... and hopefully I wonít get a sunburn," he added wryly. Although heíd been spending more and more time in the sun since getting together with Nick, he still flinched internally from it, always fearing it would harm him.

"Oh, Iím reverent all right. I revere your smile and the way you taste and the sparkle in your eyes. I adore your body and the way you make me scream when you drive me beyond anything Iíve ever felt before, but most of all I worship your heart and the way youíve given me a home inside it," Nick purred, grinding against Derekís erection.

"As for the other, being a serious man is highly overrated. Life is too short to be serious; well, most peopleís lives are, but the same can be said for you and pretty soon me too. Life, any kind of life, is a gift, and it should be reveled in. To hell with prejudice and narrow minds and closed hearts. I just want to be happy - with you.

"But Iím not planning on doing much the first day or two in Greece other than getting over my jet lag and getting well and truly fucked," Nick finished with a lascivious leer. "Sounds like the perfect way to start a vacation, donít you agree?" he asked the shell-shocked driver.

The appalled man managed a noncommittal murmur before focusing his eyes on the road, trying to ignore the queers in the backseat. Why did he always get the weirdos?

Derek chuckled again and pressed the control to raise the privacy screen between the front and back seats. "That wasnít very nice," he chided lightly. "Deserved, perhaps, but still... Itís a good thing I didnít meet you in less enlightened times when my kind had to be very cautious to avoid being accused and destroyed. I donít think you have a cautious bone in your body."

"Iím sorry, Derek," Nick replied, his mood dimming slightly. "I guess I just grew up taking for granted that even if people didnít like my lifestyle, they liked my money and my name, so they kept their prejudices to themselves. I, I have a lot to learn, donít I?"

"No need to be sorry, love. I like that openness of yours. I donít ever want you to lose it." Derek hugged him closer. "You remind me very much of some of the men I knew when I was young, bright and open, and very beautiful," he added teasingly. "I donít think two days will be enough. We may have to spend at least the first week in our room." He nibbled on Nickís neck.

"Good thing thereís a balcony so we can at least pretend weíre sightseeing," he replied with a moan. "I canít wait, Derek. Greece. Iím really gonna be in Greece and seeing and clambering over ruins and such. My parentsí idea of a vacation to Greece was a cruise. I didnít go because that wasnít Greece; that was a cruise ship and a tour group to Ďacceptableí tourist sights. BLECH!" the younger man shuddered.

"I much prefer our way. Big, breezy hotel room over looking the Mediterranean, huge bed where we can get hot and sweaty and then wander down to the beach to cool off in the ocean and most of all, you. Showing me all the real places of interest. Just being with me, really," Nick sighed and offered his neck further. "Itís gonna be a long flight; if you feel like a snack, go right ahead."

"No, Iím fine, thanks." Instead of feeding, Derek licked the exposed skin, his mouth closing over a small patch as he sucked hard, drawing the blood to the surface and marking his lover. Done, he raised his head to survey the results. "Mmmm, thatís one bruise I donít think youíll mind wearing."

"I never mind wearing your bruises. They remind me that I belong to you, and if I touch them..." Nick shuddered delicately. "If I touch them, it feels like youíre marking me all over again."

Turning in Derekís arms, Nick latched his own mouth onto the vampireís throat and nursed, scraping his teeth across the older manís skin, bringing blood to the surface and then lapping delicately at the throbbing flesh. "I want to taste you so bad it hurts, sometimes," Nick confessed. "I... when weíre in Greece, I want to take you. Iím not very good at it, but I want to feel myself buried inside you, feel you surrounding my cock like you always surround me. Will you let me?"

"Let you?" Derek laughed shakily, his arousal spiking at Nickís words. "I would like nothing better, love. I enjoy everything we do together, and the idea of having you inside me is incredible." He tilted Nickís head up so he could kiss him, tongues tangling together for an interminable moment. "This is going to be a very long flight with that to look forward to at the other end."

Nick smirked wickedly. "Well Iím sure we can find something to pass the time. Iíve always wanted to join the ĎMile Highí club," he teased.

"Derek," he asked slowly, his tone turning introspective as his mind whirred dizzily. "The stories say that vampires have preternatural strength and speed too. That theyíre unbelievably strong. I mean you watch Buffy and stuff, and you see vampires flinging humans around left and right and ripping things apart. How much of that is true?

"And then thereís the Anne Rice vampires who can control menís thoughts and cloud their minds, making them forget things and... you said you made me think I was dreaming once; did you really?"

"The strength and mental abilities are true," Derek admitted. "And while I canít change into a bat or a wolf, I can thin myself to a gaseous state and flow through the smallest chink... though I donít usually reform in someoneís shower." He smiled quickly, trying to lighten the mood. "Holy things donít bother me, and fireís no more danger to me than to anyone else. I wouldnít want to stick my hand in a blaze, but thatís about all. Sunlightís painful for the first couple hundred years. You wonít go up in a puff of smoke, but third degree burns over any exposed flesh are more than bad enough; thatís probably the source of the idea that weíre vulnerable to fire."

"So I guess us doing it like animals is really just a figure of speech, hunh? I have to admit to harboring some very dark fantasies of late about... Sounds kinda sick, hunh?" Nick blushed.

Truth was heíd done a lot of research on vampires while Derek slept through the day these past months, digging through every source he could find to be able to discern fact from fiction when the vampire woke at night. He soaked up the knowledge like a sponge, wanting to understand and fully comprehend the changes heíd soon be going through.

"Not to me it doesnít. If we could change our forms, youíd still be you, no matter what shape you had, and Iíd still want you in any form. But youíll just have to be satisfied with simple little me, no snarling wolves or anything."

"Howíd I get so lucky to manage to get your attention and then make you love me as much as I love you?" Nick murmured, resting his head over Derekís still heart. It was strange not to hear a heartbeat most times; only after Derek had just fed did his flesh warm and his dead heart beat once more, but Nick had grown used to it, knowing that the arms that held him tightly were very real and very much alive despite the absence of that sound.

Glancing out the window, he grinned. "Thereís the airport. Thank God that weíre going first class. We get a lounge to waste three hours in instead of those nasty waiting areas. I understand the need for security but three hours? We could have still been rolling around in bed if it werenít for these rules.

"You know, Iím really gonna have to come up with new sayings. I mean, thank God? It seems kinda pointless to thank someone Iím never gonna meet now," Nick mused.

"Your mind hops from one subject to another faster than anyone Iíve ever met. And why not say thank god? I do, and I certainly donít believe in him. Or in any god for that matter. I outgrew Zeus and the Olympians a long time ago and didnít see any need for the later ones either." Derek shrugged. "But expletives donít denote faith, you know. Saying god or Jesus is just... common language."

He stepped out when the chauffeur opened the door, holding out a hand to Nick to help him out as well.

"Youíre so smart, Dr. Lindstrom, sir," Nick teased as he accepted the older manís assistance. "That must be why youíre the teacher and Iím the student."

Laughing, Nick wrapped an arm around Derekís waist. "So. Are you really going to write a book this summer while I ramble around exploring places and swimming naked in the sea?"

"Since you want to finish your degree, Iíll keep the teaching job for another few years... which means publish or perish. I may not get an entire book written this summer, what with distractions and all, but Iíll at least get an article done. And maybe start a book." He shrugged. "Iím more interested in spending time with you."

"Iíll be happy to play secretary for you. I could sit on your lap and type while you dictate to me," Nick offered helpfully as he tugged the older man forward, letting the porter take their luggage and follow behind. "Wouldnít that be inspiring when talking about stony columns and deep, dark caverns?"

"And you really think Iíd be able to string a coherent sentence together under those circumstances?" Derek mocked gently. "I think not. But perhaps Iíll write a paper on Ganymede. Iíll certainly have inspiration for that." He drew Nick up to the ticket counter where they handed over their tickets, passports, and visas while the porter piled the luggage onto the belt.

"Ganymede?" Nick asked, fascinated. "And what would you write about him? His life ended in tragedy when you think about it. He was turned into a constellation, and letís face it, Zeus was a fickle lover. I bet he had flings just to piss Hera off. Personally, I donít think boffing the king of the gods is worth the price you pay to the queen of the gods, but thatís just me."

Wandering into the first class lounge, Nick accepted a glass of champagne and then snuggled down next to his lover, sharing his glass with Derek. "However, if you want to play Zeus, Iíll be happy to be your Ganymede."

"Letís just stick to Derek and Nick. I prefer to write our own ending, and itíll be much happier than any of the myths." He drew their hands up to his mouth, pressing a kiss on the back of Nickís. "Maybe in a few centuries we can teach a class about mythological lovers and theyíll be us," he teased.

Nick blushed, charmed by Derekís old world style. "Oh, I donít know, the idea of you in a toga and me in a loin cloth has its appeal too. Especially if theyíre made out of white silk. Wet white silk. Mmmmmm," the younger man purred, wriggling slightly on his seat.

"Derek," he said after a moment. "I have a confession to make."

Derek cocked his head slightly to one side, eying him inquisitively. He was sure it couldnít be too bad. "What? You lost all your money and are dependent on me now? Hmmm, I might like that, having my own cute little boytoy."

"Nooo," Nick grinned before leaning in closer, then moving his lips to Derekís ear so that the vampire was the only one who could hear this particular confession. "Iím all lubed up and have a butt plug in. I wanted to be all stretched and ready for you." Leaning back on the seat, the younger man folded his arms behind his head, wriggled his hips again, eliciting a slight moan from his lips, and smiled beatifically.

Derek went rigid as he fought the impulse to jump his lover there and then. Dilated blue eyes fixed on the smirking tease, and he swallowed hard. "Excuse me, I think I need to go to the menís room." Hot eyes fixed on his lover with a promise in their depths, then he stood and walked toward the discreet sign, wondering if Nick would follow.

Nick watched Derek disappear behind the door and then got up and sauntered into the bathroom, knowing heíd find the door still unlocked. Leaning against the door, the young man turned the lock and smirked up at his lover, admiring the way Derekís chest heaved and the way desire made the vampireís eyes glow with an unholy light.

"So... you wanted to see me, sir?"

Growling, Derek had the young man turned around and bend over the sink, his pants unfastened and around his ankles before another moment had passed. "Cocktease," he hissed, fingers sliding between the firm cheeks to grasp the end of the plug and remove it, his aching erection instantly replacing it as he took his lover, knowing they didnít have much time.

Whimpering, Nick bit down on his lower lip to keep from crying out, not wanting to draw any unnecessary attention to the bathroom and what they were doing in there. "Youíre the only cock I want to tease," he managed to gasp out, his fingers scrabbling for purchase on the cool surface, his back bowed and legs spread wide.

"God, you feel so good inside me. Fuck me, Derek. Fuck me then stick the plug back in so Iíll be filled with you when we board. I want to feel a part of you inside me as the engines make the plane hum to life and vibrate. Please!" the young man begged hotly, his eyes almost black with desire as they met his loverís in the mirror.

Derek stared into the other manís passion-darkened eyes, and unable to resist any longer, he leaned forward and bit into his neck, allowing the blood to fill his mouth as he filled his loverís body. His hips drove back and forth relentlessly, the passion spiraling ever upward until he cried out in climax, the sound muffled by Nickís flesh.

As always when it happened, Nick came the moment he felt Derek bite into his flesh and drink from him. Mewling behind a bloodied lip that he had bitten too hard, his body softened and came down from its climactic high. "It just gets better each time you make love to me, Derek," he sighed happily, catching his breath. "Put the plug back in me?"

"Whoíd have thought?" Derek chuckled, sliding the toy back inside his lover and turning him around to kiss him again, licking and healing the small wound in his lip. "And here I thought I was after a Boston blueblood, not a wild and wanton slut of my very own."

"I am a Boston blueblood, and you should know better than anyone since you tend to use me as your own personal vending machine, not that Iím complaining. Whenever you bite me, I cum harder than ever. Itís such a turn on."

Wriggling his hips to settle the plug back in place, the student moaned as still sensitized nerve endings sizzled with need. "I can feel you inside me, Derek. God, itís so hot," he sighed, eyes sliding shut as he fought to control his bodyís response. "Theyíd better board us soon, or Iím gonna end up cumming in my pants, I know I will."

"Patience, love, we have a long flight ahead of us," Derek laughed, straightening his clothing and splashing cold water on his face. "Better straighten your clothes before you follow me out," he teased with another quick kiss, then exited the menís room, returning to their seats.

Nick stood on the balcony of their suite of rooms, looking out at the Mediterranean Sea and breathing the salt air into his lungs. The water was so blue it almost hurt his eyes to look at it, even from the shade of the balcony, and it was so close, just down a flight of stairs and across the white sand in front of their room. Sailboats bobbed in the breeze, and gulls soared overhead.

It was as timelessly beautiful as heíd hoped it would be, made all the better by the man still sleeping on the bed behind him. He had to pinch himself to believe that they were really here, that this was real.

Behind him, Derek stirred on the bed, and Nickís fingers itched in a way they hadnít in a very long time. Tiptoeing into the room, he retrieved his sketch pad and a pencil and, still naked, settled down on one of the balcony chairs to sketch a picture of his sleeping lover seen through the gauzy curtains around the bed and between the balcony and the room.

As he slowly came awake, sluggish since it was still day, Derek stretched a hand out over the bed in search of his lover. He came more fully awake and sat up when he only encountered the cool cotton of the sheets, looking around for Nick. It only took him moments to spot the other man on the balcony, sketchpad in hand, and he smiled, settling back against the crisp, white pillows.

"Come join me," he invited, smiling.

"In a minute," Nick replied absently. "Now stop moving. Iím trying to draw you," the younger man ordered, looking up to smile at his lover. "Itís not every day I find a god in my bed with his golden hair spread out like a blanket, all naked and glorious. I want to capture the moment with my pitiful skill. Now donít move a muscle."

Long moments later, Nick finally put his pencil down and brought the pad back into the room, laying it on the dresser as he crawled onto the bed to join his mate. "I love you, Derek Lindstrom and whoever else youíve been throughout the millennia. Thank you for bringing me here, although I donít know if Iíll ever want to leave. Itís like Iíve come home at last," the young man sighed happily.

"Then we stay here," Derek said calmly. "I really donít care where we are as long as weíre together. Iíve been waiting for you for a very long time." He pulled Nick a little closer, smiling down at the dark head nestled against his shoulder. "I can still hardly believe how well you took my secret... once you believed me, that is." He laughed softly. "I can honestly say thatís the first time Iíve ever had to chase a man into his shower."

Nick blushed hotly. "Well, considering you just were there in front of me where thereíd only been steam before, it was kinda pointless to deny it, donít you think? Besides, the Derek Lindstrom I got to know over the semester was absolutely nothing like the mythological vampires Iíd heard and read about my entire life.

"Besides, Iíve never let prejudice or fear stop me before; I wasnít about to let it start coloring my world just because you decided to turn everything upside down and inside out with your teensy little confession," Nick scoffed. "I mean so what, youíre a bloodsucking, undead, demon fiend who wants to make me his eternal love slave; I fail to see a downside to that scenario, do you?"

Bursting into laughter, Derek fell back among the pillows, pulling Nick down with him. "No, I like the idea of you as my love slave. It has a certain ring to it, donít you think?"

Still laughing, he rolled over on top of his lover, trapping him beneath his weight. "But I woke up alone today. I think you have to pay a penalty for that," he teased, hot eyes running over the handsome face turned up to him.

"Hey, unlike you, Iím not used to sleeping the day away. Besides I was just on the balcony... but what sort of penalty did you have in mind, oh lord and master?" Nick laughed, his eyes dancing happily as he wriggled against the heavier weight of his lover.

"Oh, I think you have to be my slave for a day," Derek said, catching Nickís wrists in his hands and pulling them up to the sides of his head. "I can do anything to you, and you have to let me." He bit lightly on Nickís chin, then licked down his throat.

The student shuddered voluptuously. "Derek," he rasped, suddenly hard and aching, just from the tone of his loverís voice and the heat in those brilliant blue eyes. "What do you wish of me, master?" he purred, licking his lips in hunger. "How may I please you today?"

"Everything, my pretty body slave," Derek rasped. "I want you to wash me and yourself, and then I want you to sit on me in that bathtub over there and ride me until you come and keep riding me until I come too."

"Oh god," Nick replied faintly, his eyes closing and heat burning through his veins. "You donít pull any punches, do you?" Shuddering and fighting to get his body back under control, Nick finally opened his eyes once more. "Well, if you want me to wash you, mílord, donít you think youíd best get off me so we can make our way to the tub?"

Intrigued by Nickís willingness to play and curious to see what he would do, Derek rolled to his feet and held out a hand to help him to his feet. "After you, slave."

"I prefer to think of myself as liberationally-challenged, thank you very much," Nick sassed, rolling off the bed and sashaying towards their bathroom and the big tub that waited for them.

Derek laughed as he followed him. "An agitator, are you? Better be careful; slaves who talk too much have been known to have their tongues removed."

"But my tongue is one of the more talented parts of my body," Nick replied logically as he bent over from the waist, legs spread slightly apart, to run the water and add some nice smelling oil to the mix. "Would you really deprive yourself of all that skill just because I agitate things a bit?"

"Hmmm, good point. Guess Iíll just have to find other ways to express my displeasure. Maybe reddening this pert ass would do it, what do you think?" Derek inquired, his hands running over the ass in question, fondling him.

Nick drew in a quick breath as his arousal spiked at the thought. He decided to play coy and not let Derek know how much it turned him on, the thought of those hands warming his ass and then having that gorgeously thick cock bury itself between his hot, red cheeks.

"If it should so please my master, then it is my humble duty to submit to such a thing," the young man replied in a submissive tone of voice.

"Love, donít try to kid someone who can hear your heart rate speed up and smell your arousal," Derek chuckled. "But right now, Iím still waiting for my bath." He folded his arms and stood there, waiting for Nick to run the bath and tend to him, looking forward to an afternoon of playing.

Nick grumbled under his breath about having a preternatural lover and how said preternatural lover, having an unfair advantage over a mere mortal, shouldnít utilize that advantage against a poor, hapless human such as himself.

Bathtub filled, Nick laid out a soft towel next to the bath, a sponge and soap to clean his lover, scissors, a razor and shaving cream, and set about preparing a hot towel for Derekís face and a bowl of warm water to rinse the razor in. Motioning to the bath, Nick grinned. "If my lord would get in and slap this on his face, Iíll get to work on that stubble once itís soft enough, and while we wait, Iíll give his hair a trim so that it is no longer at his knees."

Grinning at Nickís grumbles, Derek leaned against the wall, watching him appreciatively as he prepared the bath. When Nick got out the shaving supplies, his eyebrows rose, and he rubbed a hand over his chin in surprise. Hmmm, yes, he was getting a bit of stubble. As slowly as his beard grew, it was no wonder he often forgot about it, but apparently Derekís tender skin wanted it gone.

"Just how much of my hair were you planning to cut?" he asked suspiciously, keeping his distance. "I happen to like it long." If Nick said anything more than an inch, those scissors were going straight to the bottom of the Mediterranean!

"Just to your waist, mílord. Any longer and it would be even more impossible to manage than it is right now, besides your humble servant loves it at that length and wishes only to please you," Nick placated soothingly. "Now into the tub, mílord and wrap your face in the towel like I instructed you to," the younger man continued with a stern voice.

Derek continued to eye Nick suspiciously, not venturing any closer. "Touch more than an inch and youíll be celibate till it grows back!" he threatened.

"Derek, itís at your knees!" Nick replied with exasperated fondness. "At least if we cut it back to your waist, you wonít have to keep tugging it out from under your ass every time you accidentally sit on it!"

"And when I braid it, as I usually do, itíll barely reach my shoulder blades! No way. An inch, Nick, not a single molecule more!" The vampire was already backing away toward the doorway, intent on escape.

"Awwwh, lookit the big baby!" the younger man laughed. "Whoíd have thought a man as old as you, who used to be a soldier and is now a bloodsucking demon fiend would be a Ďfraidy cat when it came to getting his hair snipped?" Nick snickered, watching Derek creep towards the door like a timid little mouse. "Maybe I need to rethink this whole strong, sexy, vamp lover thing - after all, if youíre afraid of losing a little hair..."

Eyes narrowing, Derek paused in his flight. "And perhaps the student of archeology ought to consider some of the cultures heís studied where length of hair on a male was considered key... and then remember the age of the person heís attempting to maim!"

Rolling his eyes, Nick sighed and made a show of putting the scissors away. "Far be it from me to maim you," the younger man replied. "Just forget I even mentioned it. Now if you would care to get in the tub before it gets cold?" one of Nickís sculpted eyebrows quirked upwards as he folded his hands over his chest and waited patiently.

Casting a final wary eye at the scissors, Derek approached again and stepped into the tub, sinking down with a happy sigh as the heat of the water enfolded him. "Ah, limitless hot baths are definitely one of the perks of civilization. The period between the fall of Rome and the modern era was not a happy time."

Nick snorted and slapped the hot towel over his loverís face, ignoring Derekís yelp of surprise. "As mílord says," he replied offhandedly and then plonked himself down on the toilet to wait for the heat to soften Derekís bristles, still shaking his head silently. Maim him indeed! He could do that no more than he could cut out his own heart. Nick couldnít believe that Derek had actually suggested that he would want to maim the love of his life.

Initially startled, Derek relaxed and let the heat of the towel as well as the water relax him. All he needed now was Nick in here with him for this to be perfect. He leaned back against the rim of the tub, arms stretched along the sides, luxuriating in the feeling of being pampered.

Standing suddenly, Nick began to pace. "I canít believe you think Iíd maim you!" the young man suddenly said, stopping by the tub to look down at his lover. "Donít you know Iíd die before ever hurting you? I really would, Iíd do it gladly."

Pulling the towel off his face, Derek stared up at the young man in bewilderment. "Nick, what on earth are you talking about? I was talking about my hair. Weíre really going to have to work on your sense of humor in the next few centuries, my love."

"But you said... you were... awh hell, Derek, you confuse the shit out of me at times, you know that?" Nick sighed, climbing into the tub to straddle his loverís lap. "You turn getting your hair cut into a life and death situation, and then you tell me I need to get a sense of humor?"

Grabbing the can of shaving cream, the young man squirted a dollop into his hand and then turned the gel into a later, smoothing it onto Derekís face and neck. "Seems to me that itís you that needs to develop a sense of humor. Jeez, itís not like I was talking about turning you into a eunuch or something. That would be maiming!"

"Did it ever occur to you that I might not want my hair cut?" Derek pointed out reasonably. "In many of the cultures in which Iíve lived, cutting off a manís hair was only done for a crime... Besides which, I happen to like it!"

"Until you have to wash the cum out of it, and then your nose gets all wrinkly, and you make these really weird noises in the back of your throat," Nick pointed out as he grabbed the razor and dunked it in the bowl of warm water. "Now no talking or youíll get Nicked, pun intended," the young man continued.

"You know, now that I think about it, you kind of make the same sound when you see your cum-splattered hair that my motherís Persian does when sheís about to hack up a hairball," Nick continued, beginning to shave his loverís left cheek.

With a razor on his face, Derek couldnít say anything, but the look he gave his lover spoke volumes. Once Nick finished the stroke and was rinsing the foam off the blade, he pointed out in offended tones, "Youíre the one who plays with it and wraps himself in it. And I do not sound like some damn cat!"

Nick giggled. "Oh yes you do, now shush. Iím working here, oh lord and master, or do you want razor burn?"

Before Nick could place the blade against his skin again, Derek pinched him in retaliation for the comments.

"Hey! You abuse it and you donít use it," Nick growled, rubbing his sore ass and glaring at the older man. "Geez, that hurt, you brute! Iím gonna have a bruise there, you realize?"

"Not if I take care of it," Derek purred, letting Nick imagine for himself Derek biting his ass, licking and sucking, healing both the bite and the bruise... and not stopping there. "As if I would mark this gorgeous ass."

"You have in the past," Nick pointed out, grinding his erection against Derekís stomach playfully. "Not that Iím complaining or anything, it felt sooo good when you did slam into me again, and again, grinding against my ass, abrading it, making me mewl and scream and beg for it... oh wait a minute, that wasnít you, that was the werewolf from 5B."

This time Derek smacked his ass sharply. "Behave, you brat." He shook his head mournfully. "Here I thought I was getting a serious student of archeology, and instead I end up with the biggest brat of his generation. Itís a good thing I took you; Iím saving mankind," he teased.

Nick snorted. "You mean I saved you from turning into a moldering old professor of antiquity who was about as much fun as the bones he dug up back at the dawn of mankind," Nick sassed as he finished the last sweep of the razor and wiped the residue off with the warm towel. Leaning forward, reaching behind Derekís head, Nick set the razor down then very purposely impaled himself on his loverís erection as he sat back down, a hungry smile spreading across his face.

Derek gasped, hands falling to grasp Nickís hips. "I see you provide full service," he managed to say, eyes half-closed as the lust coursed through him, his gaze focusing narrowly on the pulse visible in his loverís throat.

"Well, that is what a slave boy does, isnít it? Provide relief and service his lord and master to avoid getting bruised posteriors?"

"An excellent point. So service me." Derek leaned back again, a challenging glint in his eye. "Letís see how much you would be worth as a bath slave."

"Bath slave?" Nick gasped indignantly. "Bath slave? I, my dear Derek, am a bed slave, and one that will make your toes curl!" the young man boasted as he began to clench and unclench his anal muscles rhythmically around the vampireís shaft, palpitating the immortal without moving an inch.

Chuckling more than a little breathlessly, Derek said, "And what exactly do you think bath slaves did, my gorgeous, insatiable slut?" Not wanting to bruise his lover any more, he moved his hands back to the sides of the tub, gripping there with desperate strength as Nick displayed his talents.

"Umm, gave baths?" Nick moaned as he continued rippling around Derekís cock even as he began to move up and down on his loveís rampant erection. "Donít bend the bathtub; the management might take offense to it," he reminded his lover as his hands came up to play with Derekís nipples with his fingers before bending to take one in his mouth.

Derek let out a choked cry of pleasure, his body arching and his hips driving upward, raising Nick completely out of the water and making him cry out in turn. Enjoying the expression on Nickís face, he slid down some so he could remain arched upward, holding Nick above him, going deeper than he ever had before.

One hand remained on the side of the tub for additional support, but the other reached for Nickís cock, pumping him in time with his movements.

"Derek," Nick gasped, his eyes closing as he bounced on his loverís erection, feeling its tip nudging against his prostate each and every inward thrust. "Love you, oh please, so good, need more, need you, please!" the student babbled as he felt his orgasm drawing closer, hands reaching up blindly to twist and pinch the vampireís nipples.

Drawing close as well, Derek shifted his grip to Nickís hips, now wrenching him down to meet every violent upward thrust, unknowing and uncaring of the bruises he was leaving on his lover. Suddenly he sat up again, his teeth sinking into Nickís throat as he drove into him as deeply as he possibly could.

Wailing soundlessly, Nickís back arched back impossibly far, his eyes rolling up in his head. Jerking slightly, spurt after spurt of cum coating the vampireís stomach as he sagged backwards onto Derekís braced knees. "Oh god, I think I finally figured out why itís called the little death!"

Laughing breathlessly, still trembling with the effects of his own climax, Derek hugged Nick close. "Youíre nuts but I love you, agape mou."

"Hunh?"

Grinning at Nickís less than coherent response, Derek reluctantly parted them and stood up, swinging Nick up into his arms. Pausing only long enough to towel them dry, he carried his lover back into the bedroom and settled them on the bed amidst the pillows.

"Where do you want to go next?" he wondered, having noticed Nickís growing restlessness and correctly surmising he was ready to move on to their next destination.

"Rome, perhaps? Or maybe Paris. I love Greece; I want to come back here once Iíve graduated. Make a home and a life here with you, but right now... I want to see the rest of it before Iím changed. Where do you think we should go first?" Nick asked, snuggling into his loverís arms.

"Rome, I think. We can do Italy, then swing north to France, then perhaps Britain. Oh Nick, you canít imagine how much Iím looking forward to sharing all my favorite places with you and finding new favorites that are ours." He kissed Nick suddenly, smiling happily.

"And considering how ancient and decrepit you are, youíve got to have a few hundred thousand of them around the planet," the young man teased, and then paused. "Derek, can I taste you? Would just a taste turn me?"

Derek frowned, considering it seriously. "It would make it inevitable that you would turn eventually," he said slowly, "especially considering how often Iíve fed from you, but no, it wouldnít turn you yet." He shivered, a sensual shudder running down his spine at the idea of Nick tasting him, Nickís mouth on him.

"Derek, itís already inevitable," Nick replied with brutal simplicity. "You chose me, you pursued me, you loved me, and I let you because I wanted that too. I am yours. I want to be yours for eternity. Besides when you turn me, youíll make me your childe, and then I can call you daddy," the younger man teased, already knowing the vampireís distaste for that particular game, wanting to lighten the suddenly somber mood.

Derek growled and swatted his ass. "Behave, you horrid brat. Modern children have no manners," he mourned, settling back amongst the pillows again. "I donít think you deserve to taste me," he taunted.

"Oh really?" Nick quirked an eyebrow. "Is that so? Oh, will ya look at the time! Time for me to go splash naked in the Mediterranean in the noonday sun while all those cute local boys are fishing for whatever it is they fish for," the young man continued, wriggling off the bed and heading for the still open balcony door, grabbing a towel on the way.

Growling, Derek lunged off the bed, catching Nick and tossing him back onto the bed. Moments later, he was sprawled atop his breathless but smirking lover, holding him down. "I would strongly advise that you forget about any mindless himbos."

"Ewwww. Why would I want a himbo? I figure if vampires are real, maybe so are mermen, and I can find out where they hide it in their tail!" Nick laughed.

"Never mind the damn mermen," Derek grumbled, shutting up his deranged lover by the simple expedient of kissing him breathless.

Giggling around the kiss, Nick was finally allowed to come up for air. "Anyone ever tell you youíre easy, Lindstrom?" he teased. "Just hint at wanting another fantastical man and boom - you go all feral on me. I adore that about you."

"Brat," Derek repeated. He reared up to stare down at his grinning lover, then raised his wrist to his mouth and bit down, causing his own blood to flow.

Watching the crimson liquid drip down Derekís wrist, Nick licked his suddenly parched lips. Heíd tasted blood before, always his own, mind you, but it had been just blood, warm, coppery, salty and rather blah. However, there was something so sensual, so erotic about tasting his loverís blood that he had to do it, especially knowing that one day very soon this would be the substance that kept him alive.

Grasping Derekís wrist between both of his hands, Nick lowered it until it was almost within reach and then brought his head up, his tongue darting out to moisten suddenly dry lips before it daintily lapped at his loverís blood, huge violet eyes never leaving Derekís as he did so.

"Gods," Derek breathed shakily, watching Nick taste his blood. A shudder wracked him, his body hardening again as he grew instantly aroused despite his recent orgasm. "No one except my maker has ever tasted my blood," he whispered, unable to tear his eyes away from the erotic sight. Nick raised his head, blood dripping from his now ruby red lips, eyes glittering almost ferally. The temptation was there to keep drinking, but he didnít want to turn, not just yet, so he had to resist the urge to gorge. "And no one else but me will ever taste it again."

"Only you," Derek promised, shivering. Unable to resist, he covered Nickís mouth with his own, tasting his own blood on his loverís lips, and mixed with Nickís own flavor, it drew an almost feral snarl of ownership from him. "Youíre mine," he rasped, taking his mouth again.

"Yours," Nick agreed, offering his mate his throat yet again. "Ever yours, only yours. I promise!"

Derek took Nickís blood and body at the same time, hungry for him in every way, neither caring about the crimson stains they left on the white sheets as they loved.

Nick stared out the window of the plane as it winged its way through the night sky on its way back to Boston. The young manís mind was caught in a feedback loop of the events that took place that afternoon, one he couldnít seem to break out of.

The knock on the door was insistent, finally reaching through Nickís fugue of exhaustion. Ever since heíd tasted Derekís blood, heíd found it harder and harder to wake up in the morning or even the afternoon. Oh, he could still go out in daylight, often did, but it was usually wearing dark shades, even on cloudy days, as he found his eyes becoming more light sensitive. It was not something heíd shared with Derek, not wanting to make the older man feel guilty about doing what Nick had all but begged him to. This was his choice; Derek and a life immortal with his lover was what he wanted.

Staggering to the door, a sheet wrapped around his waist, he found himself greeted by an officer of the Milanese police department. "Umm, is something wrong, officer?" Nick wondered if perhaps their neighbors had finally grown tired of all the noise coming from next-door in the very early hours of the morning or perhaps the hotel staff concluded a murder was taking place in the hotel suite. All they need to find was a body that didnít breath and didnít have a pulse in his bed. Shit!

Just then Derek staggered out of the bedroom, wearing a robe, and the young man breathed a sigh of relief. One less thing to worry about.

"Scusi, signore, but I need to speak to a Signore Nicholas St. John," the inspector requested quietly.

"Iím Nick St. John..."

"Let them in, love," Derek requested from behind him, as if the vampire already sensed what was going on. Had he known somehow? Nick wondered now.

"Signore St. John. It is my unfortunate regret to inform you that while flying to Cape Cod for your Independence Day weekend, the St. John private plane suffered engine failure and crashed into the ocean. There were no survivors, signore. The American police need for you to return and claim your family."

In the quiet of first class Nickís hand blindly reached for Derekís and was caught in a strong grip. "Iím all alone now, arenít I?" the young man asked, sounding like a little boy lost, his eyes filling with unshed tears.

Derekís grip tightened slightly. "Youíll never be alone, love. Iím so sorry you lost your family, and I know I can never replace them for you, but Iíll always be here for you." He drew Nick into his embrace, hugging him tightly and encouraging him to let it all out. Between the initial shock of the news and the need to make arrangements and keep moving, he knew it was only really sinking in now.

"Derek, I..." Nick lifted the arm between the seats and snuggled more deeply into his loverís embrace. Throwing caution to the winds, he crawled into the vampireís lap and held on for dear life, tears beginning to slowly trickle from the corners of his eyes.

"I know Iím not alone anymore, I know I have you. Itís just that... I canít believe theyíre gone. My... family. God!" And with that the damn burst, and the young man sobbed heartbrokenly in his loverís arms.

Derek simply held him, letting him begin to work through the grief that would never truly leave him. He stroked Nickís back, letting him know he was there for him, and he waved away the flight attendant when she approached. He knew that the attendants were aware of why he and Nick were on the flight and also knew that they would keep their distance unless needed. And right now, Nick just needed time to grieve.

After the emotional storm abated somewhat, Nick accepted the handkerchief gratefully. "Sorry about that, didnít mean to drown you," he husked, his voice rough and scratchy from the tears and the sobs heíd bitten back. "Derek, Iíve never been alone before. I mean, I know I have you, but Iíve had my family all my life, and as short as it seems, itís all Iíve ever known. How... how do you go on?"

"You just do," Derek replied helplessly, knowing that wasnít going to help. "All life, long or short, involves loss, and either you live with it or you give up and die. It hurts, it probably always will, but eventually, the pain will lessen until you remember the love more than the loss."

"I donít want to give up, but it..." Nick sighed. "I donít feel anything, Derek; itís like thereís this hole where my heart used to be and all I can do is grieve. Iím never going to get another nagging phone call, telling me to be careful. They wonít be there to watch me graduate. Iíll never go to another recital and wince every time my sister hits the wrong key but still think sheís the most gifted pianist in the world. My dad... my dad and I wonít argue over whoís better - Navy or Army - ever again. I..." Nick dissolved into tears again and this time cried himself to sleep, clutching tightly at his loverís shoulders as if afraid to ever let go.

"Nicholas, Iím so sorry," Stephen, the family butler, offered as Nick and Derek finally arrived at the family house after being picked up at the airport by the chauffeur, hugging him tightly. "Your room is in order, and thereís a guest room pre..."

"Stephen, this is Derek Lindstrom, and heís my lover; heíll be staying with me. Besides, weíre going to need room for the relations when they descend to offer their so-called condolences," Nick replied softly, returning the hug of the man whoíd been an honorary uncle most of his life. "I was going to tell Mom and Dad when we got back to the States, but... maybe itís better they never found out," Nickís voice hitched, but he struggled to maintain his composure.

"Derek, I want you to meet Stephen Towers; he basically ran our family and kept us all in order. Heís the one who got to hear all about how much life sucked being hemophiliac and then being a gay hemophiliac. Stephen was pretty good with the advice."

"And you were always willing to listen," Stephen replied with a sad smile before extending his hand to Derek. "Welcome to the family, sir. I hope you intend to take care of our Nicholas."

"Always," Derek vowed, shaking Stephenís hand and meeting his eyes forthrightly. "Iím glad to know Nick still has some family left," he added, knowing that this man was very important to his lover. "I hope you will continue in your position with us as well." He wasnít quite sure how they would handle vampirism and servants, but they would find a way to hide it or trust certain people. Either way, he wasnít going to allow Nick to lose anything else.

He turned back to Nick. "You should get some rest before we do anything else," he suggested, hoping Nick would agree.

"I donít know if I can sleep," Nick answered tiredly. "Iím exhausted and I know I am, but I just canít seem to shut down, you know?" Shrugging shoulders that drooped under the weight of his grief, he managed a wan smile.

"Címon, Iíll take you upstairs to our room. Way back in the day there used to be servantsí quarters on the top floor. When I was old enough, I asked to have that floor, and Mom and Dad had walls ripped out and turned the entire floor, not that it was a big floor up in the gables, but turned it into my bedroom. Complete with skylights. Theyíve got automatic shutters, so we wonít have problem with sunshine during the day," Nick continued as he led the way up to the private room, thankful to have his own floor so he wouldnít have to deal with nosy relatives.

"Sounds good," Derek said quietly, willing to agree to anything Nick wanted just then. He knew that once they were there, the nervous energy keeping his lover going would probably give out, and he would sleep. It would be the best thing for him, and in the morning they could begin to deal with the arrangements.

Once the door closed behind them, Nick looked at his lover, a ravenous gleam making his violet eyes look almost inhuman. "Fuck me, Derek. Fuck me hard and deep and make me forget. Please!"

Stalking towards the vampire, licking his lips in feral hunger, Nick began to peel his clothes off, letting them drop to the floor as he continued to prowl forward. "I want your cock buried deep in my ass, reaming me out, making me scream for more."

Derek hesitated for a moment, not sure if this was really what Nick needed just then, but then he drew his lover close, tearing his clothes off so that their naked bodies pressed together. He fell to the bed, taking Nick with him, and rolled over so that his weight pressed the younger man into the mattress. Fumbling for the lubricant heíd taken from his pocket, he quickly prepared Nick and pressed into him, knowing that he needed it hard and fast.

Within in moments, he was fucking Nick wildly, and his teeth were scraping over Nickís throat, not yet biting down but teasing him with the promise.

Whimpering hungrily, all Nick could see, could hear, could feel was his lover. All he could concentrate on was Derek claiming and taking him. Legs wrapped around his loverís hips and nails scraped along Derekís back, leaving red welts and beads of crimson in their wake. "Yes, god, please, hard, need, Derek, love you!" the young man wailed as he never took his eyes from the hot promise in Derekís.

"Anything you want," Derek promised, his fangs plunging into Nickís throat as his body plundered his ass, taking him in every way possible. He stiffened, his own climax drawing closer as the pleasure of being with his lover took over.

Losing himself in the pleasure and pain, Nick let go of everything but being with Derek, clinging to the vampire as if he were drowning and Derek was what kept him afloat. Letting it all burn through him, Nick let out a high wail as his orgasm crashed around him. "You, I just want you," the young man finally responded after frozen throat muscles could work once more. "I only need you."

"You have me," Derek said quietly, holding him close and stroking him, trying to soothe him into sleep.

"I know," Nick murmured softly, "I just need to be reminded now and again. Sorry Iíve been so needy, Iíll try and be better." Snuggling closer, the young man let the stroking hands of his lover lull him to sleep as the emotional exhaustion and the sex finally took their toll.

The week passed in a fugue, and Nick wasnít sure how he would have survived without Derek to keep him sane. Heíd heard the whispers; heíd even had a few supposedly well-meaning relatives warn him about gold-digging academics and how he was so young, was he really ready for the responsibility of managing the wealth heíd inherited? It made him all the more determined to trade what was once his life for the life that Derek had offered him. He had no desire to be related to these people any more.

Fortunately, Derek also overheard those remarks, and it was amazingóand amusingóhow quickly the whispers stopped when Nickís relatives discovered that the supposedly penniless university professor was actually the last member of an old and wealthy family. Finding that Dr. Lindstrom could buy and sell them all several times over suddenly made the older man perfectly acceptable and his relationship with Nick a mere eccentric foible to be laughed off. Disgusted with their shallow actions, Derek wished he could destroy them all, but instead he simply ignored them so long as they did not bother Nick.

The time Nick didnít spend with his annoying relatives or with Stephen helping as best he could with funeral arrangements, he spent in the company of his family lawyer, trying to settle his familyís affairs as best he could. The nights though, the nights were for Derek and him alone. He needed those times to just be Nick again and to be loved. It was almost amusing, Derek so concerned and trying to treat Nick like he was a fragile thing and Nick demanding it harder and more dangerous than he had ever wanted it. It was as if he needed those small pains to convince him he was still alive.

Derek tried to talk to him about it several times, but Nick had become very good at distracting him with sex whenever he didnít want to discuss something. The vampire felt somewhat used, but he also knew that Nick didnít mean it that way, that he was simply dealing with his overwhelming grief in the only way he knew how for the moment. Fortunately the love and laughter theyíd shared before let Derek believe that this would pass and that they would be together in joy again when the sorrow passed, so he allowed the young man to take what he needed and was grateful that Nick turned to him at all.

The day of the funeral dawned bleak and gray. Nick ignored everything for the most part but the four coffins in the front of the church and Derekís hand wrapped tightly around his. It was the only way he could pretend to be stoic, the only way he could make it through the day. Even the wake wasnít nearly as traumatic as this, the last rites over the bodies of those heíd loved best in his life up until Derek.

From the church the bodies went to the crematorium, and from there the ashes were, in the case of his parents, commingled, and interred in the family crypt, his brother and sister next to them. That was a private ceremony for only those people who were closest and considered true family and friends.

The official reading of the will came next, and Nick absented himself as he already knew the contents. He had no desire to deal with relatives and business partners who felt themselves cheated, slighted or wronged. He spent those hours in his motherís rose garden, saying his last good-byes to his family, Derekís arms wrapped tightly around him as he sobbed his soul out to finally feel at peace with his loss and the new life that waited for him.

His fatherís company was handed over to the man that heíd trusted in life. Nick retained his familyís shares but allowed those votes to be cast by the proxy he gave to Stephen. His life was no longer in Boston but in Cambridge. He had school to finish.

The house was something he was not ready to deal with yet, so he gave its control over to Stephen. The family retainers would see to it that his familyís clothes were given to shelters and auctioned off, the money going to the charities they had loved the best. Family heirloom jewelry was returned to the safety deposit boxes, and the family mementos and trinkets were carefully packed away. Nick and Derek would be back for holidays, summers, breaks and the odd weekend, but for the most part he knew his life was with Derek now.

After the funeral Nick had allowed Derek to give him the tenderness heíd rejected prior to it. Their lovemaking was gentle, thoughtful, soft and perfect. And he returned the touches, the caresses with quiet fervor.

"Derek," he husked one night, a few nights before they were scheduled to leave, "can I make love to you tonight?"

"Of course, love, you know I love it when you take me," Derek managed to reply, his breath catching as he imagined what would happen next. He drew Nick close for a tender kiss that rapidly heated up as their nude bodies pressed together, their growing arousal making them try to devour one another.

"Itís... I canít describe what it means to give you pleasure," Nick admitted softly. "Youíre so much older, so much more experienced, and to be able to touch you, to please you, itís everything to me." Taking control of the kiss, Nick deepened it, melded their mouths and their bodies even closer together, his hands coming up to trail lightly down his loverís well defined pecs and over his smooth abdomen then back up again.

Pressing on one shoulder, Nick prompted Derek without words to roll over and then straddled his hips. Moonlight streamed in from the skylight, gilding his loverís flesh silver and white as he traced his way over the strong chest and abdomen. Nickís fingers loosened Derekís braid and then slowly unwound his braid, spreading the blond cornsilk hair on the pillow. "You look like what I always envisioned an angel to look like, or maybe a god - Adonis," he sighed, entranced.

"Adonis was only beloved of a god," Derek pointed out, not even noticing what he was saying. "I only want to be loved by you." He arched upward, stretching and displaying himself to his lover, loving the sensation of Nickís hands on him. "Want you," he said quietly, ice blue eyes fixed on the beautiful young man above him.

"Iím yours," Nick replied simply, smiling his first true smile since Milan. "When we get back to Cambridge, turn me? I want to be yours in every way possible, right down to the blood in my veins."

"Yes." Derek wanted nothing more than to know that Nick would be with him forever. The deaths of his loverís family had reminded him how fragile human lives were and how easily he could lose Nick, not even taking his disease into account. If Nick hadnít wanted to be turned, he would still have loved and stayed with him, but every moment would have been faintly tainted by the knowledge that it wouldnít last, that he was going to lose his lover to death in such a short time. But now, now he and Nick would have each other forever.

He pressed into Nickís hands, telling him with his body how much he loved and wanted him. "I want to feel you inside me."

"Shhh," Nick whispered, "eventually you will. Tonight I want to love you at my leisure." Taking Derekís hands, he guided them up to the wrought iron headboard. "Now donít let go, and try not to bend it out of shape, okay? It may not be as old as you are, but itís still an antique," Nick teased, his eyes glinting in the pale light.

Kissing Derek on the lips, Nick let his lips trail over his loverís chin and down his throat, then over the carotid artery, his teeth scraping lightly along the skin. Lips continued their path down to one of Derekís nipples where he suckled and laved and bit and teased until the preternaturally strong body beneath him was quivering with need, and only then did he switch to the other nipple to repeat the process.

Down farther he traveled, his tongue tracing the line of abdominal muscles and dipping into Derekís navel to taste and tease, all the while his eyes never left Derekís face, wanting to see each and every reaction that his touch elicited.

Derek forced his eyes to remain open, both watching Nick and allowing his lover to see his every feeling. He moaned and arched upward again, shivering as Nick licked and bit, turning every inch of his skin into an erogenous zone. Somehow, he managed not to bend the iron rails he clung to, but it was a close thing.

"Tease!" he panted, wild eyes fixed hungrily on Nick.

"But of course," Nick grinned before moving down to lap at the tip of his loverís erection, cleaning the pre-ejaculate off as rapidly as it appeared before taking the entire shaft into his mouth, swallowing it down a bit at a time.

Groaning, Derek dropped his hands away from iron and clutched at the sheets, shredding yet another set as Nick drove him mad. He could feel the muscles of his loverís throat caressing the head of his erection as Nick swallowed, and he felt like he was going to explode. "So good," he moaned, eyes now fallen nearly shut as the sensations grew.

Humming quietly in agreement, Nickís one hand came to rest under his chin as he rolled and played with Derekís balls while his other hand scrabbled for the lube. Heíd never tasted Derekís cum before and had often wondered if it was ejaculate like Nick had or if it was some form of blood seed. Not that he minded, after all, Derekís blood would soon be his as well.

Swallowing more rapidly, Nick quickly lubed up two fingers and began stroking his loverís anus, working them inside with gentle touches, wanting to find that sweet spot and make Derek cum.

Writhing, his hips rising and falling as he began to lose control, Derek groaned as he watched Nick blow him and then felt the fingers delve inside him, seeking and finding the gland. "Nick, gods, stop, canít, gonna come..." He tried to warn him so he could pull away, but Nick was ignoring him, and it felt so good. Crying out his loverís name, his hips suddenly rose sharply, and he shook as his climax burst through him.

Swallowing his loverís orgasm hungrily, Nick tried to keep up, but soon the overflow trickled out of the corner of his mouth and down his chin. When Derek was at last completely soft and gasping as the sensations became too sharp, Nick let go and sat back on his heels, his tongue darting out to catch the last remnants of his loverís ejaculate like a cat cleaning itself of every drop of cream. "You taste better than Cristal," the student murmured, his eyes glowing with lust.

Laughing shakily, Derek pulled Nick down so he could kiss him, tasting himself, semen and blood mixed together, in the younger manís mouth, and he groaned. "Fuck me," he whispered, staring into Nickís eyes, their lips just barely parted.

"No," Nick replied in the same whisper. "Iím not going to fuck you, Derek. Iím going to make love to you. Slowly. Tenderly. Gently." Each word was punctuated by a soft kiss as Nick moved back between the vampireís legs and guided himself into position then slowly slid inside his lover.

Eyes falling shut, Derekís head sank back into the pillows, arching his throat, offering himself to Nick. Arms and legs wound around the young man, Derek only retaining enough control to be careful of his strength and not injure him, and he opened to the languid invasion. "Yesssss," he groaned, rising under Nick, trying to take him even deeper.

Canting his hips just so, Nick began to thrust in and out, gradually picking up the pace from a nearly nothing to a slow, gentle glide. His hands roamed over Derekís chest and face and arms, touching and caressing as he went. Hips rolled in and out, every movement a languorous reminder of the passions that simmered just below the surface, this being the light image of the dark needs that had flowed in this bed many a night before.

"I love you, Derek, I love you so much," Nick gasped as his hand cupped and stroked his loverís penis, wanting to bring him pleasure once more even as he found his own release inside the vampireís strong body.

Derekís eyes spoke for him as he stared up at his lover, arching into his touch. He groaned softly as his body roused again, hardening and driving upward into his hand, then down onto the erection piercing him.

"A god, my dark god, my life and my eternity," the young man murmured, not truly understanding what he was saying just knowing that it felt right to do so. Hips thrusting in and out, his hand pulsing around the vampireís erection, Nick began to speed up in increments, feeling his own orgasm approaching.

"No god," Derek whispered around his gasps of pleasure, "just your lover." He arched up to kiss the young man, tongue teasing his lips apart to taste him again. "Love you forever."

"Yes, you will, and Iíll be around forever to love you right back. At least I will be when we get back home and you turn me," the young man smiled, licking at the vampireís lips before offering Derek his throat for the taking.

Derek instantly accepted the invitation, his teeth sinking into Nick as Nick sank into him, twin groans of pleasure escaping them. His arms and legs tightened around his lover, drawing him closer, his body tensing as his climax drew near.

Whimpering as the dual feelings of pleasure and pain coalesced into a fiery ball of desire in the pit of his stomach, Nick slammed his hips forward a few more times almost savagely and then shuddered and came, wailing as every sensation merged into a white hot ecstasy that left him raw and shivering in its aftermath, Derekís name falling like a mantra from his lips.

Lying limp and sated beneath his lover, bloody semen painting their bellies, Derek simply held the younger man, one hand lazily stroking his back. "Love you," he murmured, eyes growing heavy as they drowsed together. "Soon weíll be home again, and then..." He smiled.

"And then youíll suck my blood, and Iíll suck yours, and Iíll die and wake up like you," Nick finished, curling into his loverís arms and letting the older man fall asleep before getting out of bed and slipping on a robe. Heíd have enough time to sleep when he died; tonight was probably his last night as a mortal, and he planned on watching the sun come up one last time in his motherís garden before his world became dark.

"Love you, Dr. Lindstrom. Iíll see you when you wake up."

A few days later, Derek watched the sun set, sitting on the front porch of the house he rented not too far from the campus, Nick sitting between his legs, back pressed to his chest, in the circle of his arms.

"Are you sure?" he asked quietly, chin resting on Nickís shoulder. "It might be a long time before you see the sun again if we go through with this. I have no idea how powerful youíll be since Iíve never done this before." He swallowed hard.

"I love you, Nick, and that wonít change whether youíre a vampire or a mortal man. If you donít want to do this, Iíll still stay right here with you." He wanted to be very sure that Nick wasnít making this choice out of fear that Derek would leave him.

"I want to be with you, Derek," Nick replied simply, looking up at his lover, his eyes clear and untroubled. "I want to see eternity with you. Iím not afraid, and I may lose the day for a century or two, but Iíd say that youíre a fair trade for that. I never want to leave you alone again. Youíre my family now."

Derek met Nickís eyes seriously, searching their depths, and then he finally smiled. "In that case I think we should move this someplace more comfortable." He stood up easily, holding out a hand to help his lover to his feet, then drew Nick into their bedroom.

Almost worshipfully, he divested the young man of his clothing, leaving the jeans and t-shirt in a heap on the floor at the side of the bed, his own garments soon joining them. Nude, they tumbled onto the king-size bed, laughing and wrestling, though their play tapered off when a large bruise blossomed on Nickís arm after he whacked it against one of the posts.

"Never again," Derek whispered, raising the arm to his lips to first bite then lick, healing both wounds. He reached for the lube, carefully preparing Nick until the young man was moaning and writhing sensually beneath his touch, then pushed inside him.

"First Iím going to make you come," he rasped, staring down into his eyes, "and then, while youíre coming, Iím going to turn you. And then..." Words failed him, but his smile and the look in his eyes expressed his joy.

"And then Iíll be yours forever," Nick finished on a gasp as the feeling of Derek buried within him heated his blood quicker than anything else ever could.

"Wi-will I drink from you too, Derek? That is how itís done, isnít it? I can feel part of myself has already turned thanks to the blood you let me taste in Greece, and I hunger for more. I want to feed from you and have you feed from me.

"God, itís almost painful, this hunger thatís been building these last weeks," the younger man confessed, his violet eyes glowing in the rising moonlight, his incisor teeth just a little bit longer than they should have been, a little bit sharper. "Iím starving for you, my love. Come, fuck me then feed me."

"With pleasure," Derek purred, hips moving a bit harder as he took his lover. Soon he wouldnít have to use such care for fear of hurting Nick, and they would take each other wildly.

"And yes, you will drink my blood as well. Once I have drained you nearly dry, to the brink of death, you will drink mine, and then you will be as I am." And with the prospect of Nickís company, that didnít seem such a bad thing to be. "Weíre going to have a very long time to see and do everything youíve ever imagined."

Nickís back arched off the bed, and he gladly bared his throat even as his legs wrapped more firmly around Derekís waist, pulling the vampire into him more deeply. "Harder, Derek, fuck me harder, please? Itís not going to matter in just a little while if you bruise me. Soon Iíll never have to worry about being careful again. Please," the student gasped breathlessly, feeling a wildness come over him as he realized that this was really going to happen, he was really going to become a vampire tonight.

Groaning, Derek couldnít resist that plea, and he started to move harder, still restraining himself so as not to break fragile human bones but taking Nick harder than heíd ever dared before. "All mine," he growled, suddenly plunging his fangs into Nickís throat, unable to wait any longer even though heíd said that he would make his lover come first. He knew that his bite made Nick come anyways, and he hungered for him.

"Yours!" Nick shrieked in agreement as he was pounded into more savagely then heíd ever been in his life. He loved it, the feral claiming combined with those teeth ripping into the delicate flesh of his throat and drinking him. And this time Derek wouldnít stop. This time...

Moaning, Nick felt his cum splatter between their slapping bodies even as he reached up to rest a hand on Derekís throat, feeling it move strongly as the vampire swallowed his blood in great gulps. He felt another wave of orgasm hit him and came again, his free hand clutching weakly at the sheets while his other continued to pet Derekís throat, the movement becoming sloppy as he lost dexterity and began to feel sluggish.

Nickís eyes fluttered, and his breath became shallower and shallower as he lost more and more blood to his loverís plundering mouth. The world started to spin and gray out, and with a last burst of energy, the young man opened hazy eyes and smiled beatifically at his lover. "Love you," he whispered before his eyes rolled back in his head and fluttered shut.

Derek came as well, nearly losing control as he did, and moments later, his eyes fastened fearfully on Nickís face. Had his lack of attention because of the pleasure caused him to wait too long? Nearly frantic, he tore at his own wrist with his fangs, then pressed the bloody wound to Nickís lips, letting the blood seep into his mouth.

"Drink, Nick, please," he begged, watching the young man desperately. He gasped with relief when Nick swallowed the blood in his mouth and his mouth fastened onto his wrist, sucking strongly. In a few moments, the motion slowed to a halt, and Nick fell back amongst the pillows, appearing dead. Not until sunset the next night would Derek know for sure if he had been successful and Nick would rise or if he had killed his lover.

The next nearly twenty-four hours were easily the longest of Derekís very long life. He paced the room, refusing to leave it and let Nick out of his sight. If this hadnít worked, he wasnít going to give up a single moment where he could still believe that his love was alive.

He checked the shutters, blinds, and heavy drapes frequently, making sure that not a single wisp of light could enter the room to endanger the young man in the bed. He watched Nick with fervent concentration, his eyes darting from him to the clock frequently, and his tension grew as the day wore on, sunset drawing ever nearer.

The first thing that registered was the fact that he was cold, so very cold. The second was that he was hungry. Starving in fact. Running his tongue over dry lips, Nick felt his teeth cut into his tongue, and blood trickled back down his throat, only increasing his hunger. His eyes were so heavy, and he felt as if his head were full of cotton, his thoughts were so muzzy.

Forcing his bleary eyes open, Nick shut them again quickly. When had the world turned Technicolor, and why hadnít he been warned? Freight trucks zoomed up and down the street outside the house with the decibel levels of an aircraft carrier, and his head pounded angrily. Moaning piteously, the young vampire tried to bury himself as far under the covers and pillows as he could, trying to block out the noise pollution just enough to hear himself think.

A hand caught his and held on tightly, and a whisper soft touch caressed his cheek. Derek. Heíd know that touch, that scent anywhere. Forcing his eyes open once more, Nick found himself drowning in a sea of blue. "Hi," he managed to get out in a dry croak with a hint of a smile. "You look like shit."

Derek laughed almost wildly, clutching Nickís hand so hard that he would have crushed it if he had still been human. "Iíve never been so scared in my life," he admitted shakily. "I was so afraid you wouldnít wake up."

"I would never leave you alone, Derek. I promised," Nick replied, tugging the older vampire down to lie next to him, even as he began to root and nuzzle unconsciously at his loverís neck. "I never break my promises if I can help it. Besides, youíre the one who turned me; how could you not have faith in yourself. I do. Completely."

"íCause you matter too damn much to me," Derek admitted, arms closing convulsively around the other man. Slowly, feeling the familiar weight of Nick against him, he relaxed and released the dayís tension. His hands began to move over Nickís body, exploring and stroking, and he reveled in the freedom to touch him without worrying about hurting him.

"Derek, ummm, I hate to bring this up, especially when youíre feeling frisky and all and itís the first time youíll be able to really cut loose and enjoy, but... Iím starving," the young vampire admitted plaintively.

"Oh!" Looking abashed, Derek rolled to his feet and strode across the room to pick up a couple of small bags of blood, evidently Ďborrowedí from a hospital. "Here, love, I didnít think youíd really be up for the traditional method just yet, so I got these for you." He handed over a bag. "Iíve let these two warm up to room temperature, so it wonít be too bad."

"Traditional method? Oh yuck, you mean Iím gonna have to suck neck with people other than you?" Nick let out a hard done by sigh. "Guess vamps canít live by love alone, hunh?" he pouted, even as he took the bag and brought it up to his lips, hoping that mother un-nature would do the rest. Sure enough the scent of blood had his fangs extending, and soon the delicious liquid was pouring down his throat. At least it was delicious so long as he didnít think of what he was drinking. But then again the Massai drank blood mixed with milk, and they were human, so he really had nothing to squick about.

Draining the bag, the young vampire licked his lips and stared up at his lover, a different type of hunger overriding his thirst now that the edge had been taken off. "Derek," he purred, crawling out from beneath the covers and towards the end of the bed where his lover sat. "Iím still hungry."

Derek laughed, allowing himself to fall backward onto the bed. "Iím delighted to hear it. And do you think that thereís any way I could help you with this hunger?" he teased, one hand lightly stroking his own cock as he hardened, bright blue eyes fixed on the predator stalking him.

"Oh Iím sure thereís one or two things you can do for me. We donít have to be careful anymore, do we? You can be as rough as you, or I, want and no bruising or broken bones, right?" the young vampire husked, rubbing his cock against Derekís burgeoning one. "Iíll heal in no time, wonít I?"

Rather than answering, Derek yanked his lover down to meet his lips, kissing him hungrily, the hint of blood remaining in his mouth triggering his own hunger. Until now, heíd never allowed himself to completely relax with Nick, always aware of his own nature and strength and afraid of harming him. But as Nick pointed out, that no longer applied.

Derek flipped them over, landing heavily atop the other vampire, pinning him to the bed while he thrust against him, fingers clawing at him as he tried to get even closer.

"Ride Ďem, Vamp boy!" Nick sniggered then gasped as their cocks rubbed together, the friction sending shivers of delight down his spine. Derekís nails drew blood, and the scent of it filled the air, making Nickís lips curl in a snarl of hunger. Lunging upwards, he clamped his lips onto Derekís throat and let his newly sharp teeth scrape against the tender skin, drawing drops of blood that he lapped at hungrily.

Shivering, Derek let his head fall back, exposing his throat to his lover even as he roughly pulled Nickís legs apart and settled between them. Groaning hoarsely, he positioned himself and pushed into the younger man, giving him the pleasure mixed with pain that he knew Nick had always wanted but never dared try.

Nickís fangs sank deeper into Derekís throat in reaction to his own piercing by his lover, a muted groan working its way out from the closed lips. Hips arched up to take the older man in deeper, and Nickís legs twined around his loverís hips, locking him into place.

Pulling down on the older manís back with his feet, Nick signaled silently that he wanted movement and he wanted it now. His nails raked down his loverís back, drawing more blood, and then the first splash of Derekís blood hit his throat, sweeter than anything heíd ever tasted, and he began to gulp voraciously, not at all sure of when to stop and hoping that Derek would know and would stop him in time.

Derek caught up one of Nickís hands, drawing the wrist to his mouth so that he could taste his loverís blood as well. It had been so long since heíd felt anything like this, the give and take of two vampires together... Groaning faintly, the sound muffled by the wrist pressed to his lips, he slammed down into Nick again, his climax exploding through him.

Feeling Derek flood him for the first time since his making was... unlike anything heíd ever dreamed of. He could feel everything: every spurt, every thrust, every ridge, every spasm that wracked his loverís body. It was unbelievable; it was everything heíd dreamed of and then more. This was what it would be like from now on, with Derek, only with Derek.

Letting go of Derekís throat, laving at the wound until it closed over, Nick raised his eyes to those of the other vampire even as he licked away the final remnants of blood on his lips. "I love you," he gasped as he too found his release, the blood semen splattering against his cool stomach and being slicked between their moving bodies.

Derek smiled down at his lover, his tongue flicking over his lips to taste the blood there, then he kissed him as he collapsed bonelessly on top of the other man. "I love you too," he murmured, happier than he ever remembered being.

"Iím really a vampire now, arenít I?" the younger man sighed, running his hands up and down Derekís back lethargically. "Iím going to have forever with you now?"

"Iíd have thought that drinking blood and enjoying it would have convinced you," Derek replied wryly. "Yes, youíre really a vampire, and youíre my lover, and weíre going to have forever together."

"I enjoy anything we do together, Derek. I enjoyed drinking your blood when I was still human, so this isnít going to change," Nick pointed out with a grin. "Forever. I like the sound of that. Forever with you? I think Iíve just found heaven."

END

  since 02-17-07

Next

Back to Angyl & Ori's page     Back to the Original Fiction page

Back to the Fiction page

Tell me about any broken links

 

HOME