Would you do it with me?

Heal the scars and change the stars

Would you do it for me?

Turn loose the heaven within

I'd take you away

Castaway on a lonely day

Bosom for a teary cheek

My song can but borrow your grace


All I ever craved were the two dreams I shared with you

One I now have, will the other ever dream remain

For yours I truly wish to be


From "Ever Dream" by Nightwish

Lyrics by Tuomas Holopainen




Chapter Eight

Passion and Paradise


We rode out into the night, Charlotte perched side-saddle in front of me. She was shrouded within the folds of my cloak with her arms around my waist and her head on my chest. The air rushed by us as I urged the horse faster towards the open road. The lake was not very far from the town, only perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes by horseback. The sky was clear and the stars were bright as we left the main road and picked up the small trail that led down towards the lakeshore.

My servant had performed his duties well, and I had no trouble finding the spot that he had prepared for us. A small fire pit burned not far from the soft woolen blanket that had been spread on the ground. Next to the blanket rested a covered basket and much to my surprise, a small bundle of the wild peach-colored roses. The lake glistened in the moonlight only a few yards away. I heard Charlotte catch her breath as I reined my horse to a stop.

"Meier — did you do this for me? But how did you know I would come?" Charlotte looked up at me as she spoke, pushing the hood my cloak down from her face. I bent my head and brushed her lips with a soft kiss, "I didn't — but I prayed and hoped that you would." Pulling away from her embrace, I dismounted. Reaching up, I swung Charlotte down next to me. Taking her hand, I lead her towards the lakeshore leaving the horse to graze.

As we reached the water's edge, I turned and took my love in my arms. Charlotte looked up at me, a small smile playing on her lips. "It's so beautiful . . . the moonlight on the water — it shimmers like diamonds."

I felt myself smiling in return as I bent my head and kissed her. Charlotte wound her arms around my neck as she eagerly returned my kiss. Her lips parted under mine as her fingers strayed through my pale hair. With a small groan, I released her mouth and let my lips travel down her neck. As I nuzzled at her throat, my fingers worked at the clasp of the cloak. The dark material was soon sliding to the ground as my lips continued their moist trail down and across the pale expanse of flesh above the neckline of her dress.

Charlotte let out a small cry and pressed herself even closer into my embrace. I kissed my way back towards Charlotte's mouth as my hands smoothed and caressed her back. "Oh Charlotte — my beautiful love . . . " I kissed her forehead, her eyelids, her nose. "How I want to love you . . ." I once again kissed my way down her neck until I found the life-giving pulse in her throat. I drank in the scent of her as I savored the beat of the blood underneath her skin. I lightly blew on her neck and felt her shiver in my arms. For several minutes I kissed and licked at Charlotte's throat, as her blood sang out to me.

But unlike before, my hunger did not rise out of control, for I had fed — no gorged myself — in the three nights before this one. Not since my earliest days had I reveled in the bloodlust as I had just a few nights ago. Charlotte would be horrified if she knew what I had done, but it was for her own good — her own safety — that I had allowed the beast within myself to rage free, even for a few short hours. But I was not willing to take any chances this night — I would not allow the hunger to overcome me, to endanger Charlotte; and so I had killed and drank until I could drink no more.

Charlotte was making small mewing noises as I resumed my trail of kisses along her neck and back up to her sweet lips. As I again devoured her mouth, Charlotte's hands roamed across my back and down my chest. I groaned deep in my throat as her hands found their way underneath my jacket, her fingertips burning my skin as they played across my chest through my shirt. My desire had risen to an almost painful tightening and I knew that I would not be able to hold back much longer.

Releasing Charlotte's sweet mouth, I cupped my hands around her face. I could see the same longing and frustration in her eyes and it gave me hope. "Charlotte, my precious . . ." My thumbs stroked along her cheekbones, "How I love you . . ." My tongue seemed thick and it was as if I could not form the words to speak.

Charlotte reached up and covered my hands with hers. "You are my one and only love, Meier . . ." She turned her face into my palm and kissed it. My breath hissed between my teeth as her lips met my flesh. Lifting my hands, she placed one on her hip and the other on her bosom. Her eyes were wide as she looked back up at me. "I . . . I want you to love me . . ." I saw the blush as it crept across her face. "I want to feel you — touching me . . . . I want — I want you to love me Meier . . . please . . ."

My breath caught in my throat at Charlotte's words and I could feel her arousal as my hand cupped her breast. Charlotte pressed herself even closer to me until I knew that she could feel the proof of my own aching desire. Without a word, I brushed her lips with a gentle kiss and then scooped her up in my arms; gathering up my fallen cloak as I did so.

A few long strides brought us back to the waiting blanket and the fire. After dropping my cloak down on the blanket, I gently set Charlotte down and then lowered myself next to her. Charlotte raised her hand and lightly brushed her fingers down my cheek. I closed my eyes as I felt her fingertips on my cold flesh. "Show me, Meier . . . show me how to love you . . ." Charlotte's voice whispered softly as my hands reached for the laces on the bodice of her gown.

As the silk parted under my hands, I finally beheld the lush perfection of Charlotte's body. I groaned deep in my throat as my mouth made contact with her warm, inviting flesh. Charlotte's hands were in my hair, her voice murmuring in my ear — urging me on.

All too soon, Charlotte and I were lost in the madness of passion and desire while the moon shone its silver light over our entwined bodies.


Wrapped in each other's arms, my cloak our only covering, Charlotte and I lay together on the blanket — our passions spent and sated for the moment. Charlotte rested her head on my chest while my fingers traced circles on the warm pale flesh of her back. Never had I felt as contented as I did at that moment — making love with Charlotte had been everything that I dreamt it would be and more.

As I have said before, I was no stranger to the act of sex — but never before had I experienced anything like what the two of us shared on that blanket by the lake. Not only did we join our bodies together, but we also joined our souls. Such were my feelings of joy and ecstasy that I nearly wept from the overwhelming power of it — and Charlotte did weep. At first I thought perhaps I had hurt her — for I had been her first — but Charlotte smoothed away my fears until I knew that hers had been tears of joy as well. Together we reached the highest peak of our desire and then plunged down into a sea of soul-searing pleasure and emotion. Charlotte and I had clung to one another as we rode the waves of ecstasy that seemed to go on forever. For sometime afterwards, we just lay together — enjoying the closeness of one another.

The cheery little fire had burned down to embers and the air was cool. I felt Charlotte shiver and I tightened my arms around her, although my body had no warmth to offer her. She snuggled closer into my embrace and lightly kissed my bare chest, the touch of her lips sending a shiver down my spine. "Is it always like that?" Charlotte's voice whispered to me. "I never knew . . . I-I never dreamed that it could be like that . . ."

I smiled to myself as my fingers toyed with the curls of her hair. "It will always be like that for us, my love. We made love with our souls as well as our bodies Charlotte — a very rare thing, even among humans."

I cupped Charlotte's chin with my other hand and raised her face up towards me. "You are like the sun to me — so bright and warm . . . you have thawed out the cold dead thing that was my heart — you have become my heart."

Gently rolling Charlotte on her back, I sought out her warm welcoming mouth once again. As my body covered hers, Charlotte opened herself to me and we soon found ourselves lost in ecstasy once more.


Once again wrapped in my cloak, Charlotte and I sat together on the blanket; she between my legs with her back against my chest and my arms wrapped around her. Earlier, I had stoked the fire so that now it was once again burning brightly. I felt Charlotte relax against me as I planted light kisses on her shoulders, neck and back.

"Meier," I could hear the hesitation in Charlotte's voice and I abruptly ceased my attentions to the back of her neck as I quietly waited for her to continue; "Is it true that-- that . . ." she broke off, her voice sounding a little fearful.

Her hesitation and manner made my own anxiety rise and I tightened my arms around her. "What is it my love — what troubles you so?" I rested my cheek on her hair.

I could feel her struggling to find the words, "Is it true . . . I've heard stories — but . . . is it true that vampires and humans . . . is it true that vampires and humans can have children together?" Charlotte finished quickly as her words spilled out in a rush.

My head jerked up as my arms dropped from her and I scrambled around until I faced her. Charlotte's eyes were wide and there was a hint of fear in their dark amber depths. She dropped her gaze, "Tell me Meier — is it true?" I was at a momentary loss for words. Is that what Charlotte was afraid of — that I may have gotten her with child?

A child — the very thought terrified me. For it would be a dhampir child — half human/half vampire. Such creatures were considered to be abominations — they had no place in either the mortal or the vampire world. The fact that the vampire king himself had supposedly sired such a child was still not enough to dispel the hatred and loathing that surrounded such beings. True, in the past I had taken a few dhampirs into my service, but it had never lasted very long — there being too many centuries of prejudice and persecution between our kinds to overcome. Yet, to have a child with Charlotte — a child that was a part of the both of us — to have some semblance of a family, the very thought was almost too much for me to comprehend and it frightened me.

I put my hands on Charlotte's shoulders and she looked up at my touch. "Yes, it is true. But, it is very rare — it has been many, many years since I heard of such a thing happening." I softly kissed her forehead.

"Then you and I — we could never have a child together . . . a child of our own?" My hands slid down Charlotte's arms until they gripped her hands tightly. "I think it very unlikely, Charlotte." I hesitated for a moment, "But perhaps it is for the best — such children are not . . . well received in the world." Charlotte said nothing, but her eyes gave me a searching look.

After several long minutes, Charlotte took her hands from mine. "I think I had better get home now. I'm sure dawn can't be too far away." Her voice was low and flat sounding. I nodded my head as I rose. I gathered up my clothing and quickly dressed while Charlotte remained huddled within my cloak. "I'll go fetch the horse," I said when I had finished. Without waiting for her to reply, I turned and stalked to where the horse lazily grazed.


Charlotte and I stood at the gate that led to the back door of her house. Our return trip had been silent — the silence like a wall between us. We stood facing one another, yet not looking at each other. Charlotte's eyes were on the ground between us as my own looked out over her shoulder at the door to her house. After several long minutes, I finally let out a frustrated sigh and gripped Charlotte by her shoulders. "Please my love . . . Charlotte — look at me." My voice softly pleaded with her.

After a few moments, she slowly raised her head and looked into my eyes. My hands gently caressed her shoulders as we stood silently looking at one another. "Charlotte . . . tonight — tonight was unlike anything I have ever known." I dropped my hands from her shoulders and moved closer to her as my arms snaked around her waist. "I love you Charlotte — with all that I am. You have touched my soul and awakened what has been cold and dead for centuries." I kissed her forehead as I pulled her closer into my embrace.

Charlotte returned my embrace and I could feel her trembling in my arms. "I love you too Meier . . . you are the only man I will ever love." She pressed her face into my chest. "I never dreamed that love could be so . . . so powerful — so beautiful." She raised her head and looked up at me once again. "You have given me something beautiful, Meier . . ." She broke off and I could see the hint of tears that threatened to spill from her dark eyes. "I wish that things were different . . . that we could just be two people who loved one another . . . that we could be like everyone else — that we could live like everyone else."

I kissed her hair, "I know my love — but we aren't like everyone else. We are what we are — we can only love each other as best we can." I gave her a small smile, "But perhaps that is a good thing — for our love is not like any other, Charlotte." I reached up and brushed the hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear. "You are my goddess of the night Charlotte; and willingly would I worship at your feet until the end of all time." I bent my head and kissed her as my hands wound through her dark curls.

Charlotte's hands smoothed across my back as she opened herself to my kiss. As our tongues met and dueled with one another, I felt the wall that had come between us start to dissipate. It did not disappear entirely, but at that moment it was enough.


I held the gate open for Charlotte as she stepped through and mounted the steps to her back door. She turned to me as her hand found the doorknob. "Will you come for me tomorrow?" I saw the blush that crept across her face.

I wanted nothing more than to share another night of passion with my beloved; but although she had not said anything to me, I sensed that Charlotte had experienced some discomfort and I thought it best to let her rest for a few days.

"No my love — so soon . . . it would not be wise for you." I saw her face drop at my words and I tried to reassure her with a smile. "We have all the time in the world to love each other Charlotte and I do not want to overtax you. I will come in a few days — perhaps we might take another ride?"

Charlotte's blush deepened and she smiled at me shyly. "Perhaps . . ." she teased.

I smiled in spite of myself, "Get yourself to bed Miss Elbourne — before I lose all control and take you right here on your father's steps."

"Meier — you wouldn't dare!"

I moved a few steps towards her, "Don't tempt me — you have no idea how beautiful you look with your cheeks all flushed and your eyes wide and dark. Please my love, I'm only holding on by the barest of threads as it is — don't torture me anymore." My voice was light and I saw Charlotte smile as she caught my jest.

"Well it only serves you right, Meier — taking me away in the night and making love to me . . . " She once again teased me. I growled in my throat and she smiled, "If you think you can frighten me Meier Link, you're sadly mistaken." Her voice changed, her tone grew softer. "There is nothing you could do or say that would make me afraid of you — because I love you too much. Goodnight, my love." She turned away and opened the door.

As the door closed behind Charlotte, I caught a slight movement in the corner of my eye. Glancing up at the dark windows of the Elbourne house, I concentrated my gaze, searching for a trace of what had fleetingly caught my attention. After a few moments, I shook my head — dismissing it as mere tiredness. In fact, I did feel quite fatigued and with a weary sigh, I turned away from Charlotte's house and was soon on my way home, the faint traces of dawn already starting to lighten the sky.

Chapter 9
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