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This is just a quickie that I wrote today at work. (Yes I was, and
still am, goofing off at work.)  I was inspired by listening to the
song "Secret Soul" on the Jane Eyre Original Broadway Cast Recording
in the car this morning.  Sorry it hasn't been beta read or anything,
just wanted to get it up.

DISCLAIMERS: Nick and Nat don't belong to me.  I am just borrowing
them.  Also the song is copyright to that CD (it is in the car, so if
needed I can supply all the official info later).

Permission is given to archive at fkfanfic.com, fkfanfic2, the ftp
site.  All others please ask.  Also this story will be posted to my
fic site... eventually.
Please send questions, comments, angst ridden vampires to
nicholas_debrabant1228@yahoo.com

Secret Soul 01/01
by Amanda Berendt
Copyright July 2003

   This had been the strangest few months of her entire life.
Medical Examiner Natalie Lambert sat at her desk in the coroner's
office fully engrossed in a black notebook.  She looked up from her
notes to take a sip of coffee from the mug that was perched on the
edge of the desk.
   Six months ago, she was a purely analytical doctor who rarely got
emotionally involved in her work.  Then, on her birthday, one of her
'patients' got up off the table and began drinking the emergency
blood supply kept in the lab refrigerator.  It was the day Nick
Knight entered her life.  At first he had told her he was a monster
filled with evil, but his eyes told her otherwise.  There was
something there that drew her to him.

*What can I do now, my precious lord?
 His dark love could be my best reward
 I know I should not dare to go
 Deeper in his madness *

   When she saw him a few nights later, he ignored her at first,
apparently believing she had 'forgotten' their previous encounter.
However, she turned to confront him.  After a moment, he confided in
her that he was trying to reverse his condition.  That he was trying
to become mortal again.  *That was one aspect of him that she still
had trouble believing sometimes.*  Although he insisted it was a
metaphysical condition, she offered to use her knowledge of science
and medicine to help him.  She refused to back down when he told her
it would be dangerous.

*How much can I stand I dare not guess
 The secret voice that speaks to me
 Tells me he's in danger
 Looking to the dust for tenderness*

   As the days passed, Natalie began to run test after test.  She
searched the blood samples for the source of Nick's condition.
Perhaps because he required blood to survive, the basis of this
malady was in the blood.  They began to spend the majority of each
night together working on the search.
   After several weeks, Natalie began to realize that Nick was
becoming more than just a puzzle to solve.  As they talked about
everything from what he was to what had been on television that day.
They began to form the loose strands of a friendship. It grew from
the secret they shared - she could not tell anyone what Nick was and
what they were trying to accomplish and the rest of the vampire
community was not amenable to his decision to try to attain
mortality.
   One evening, Natalie gazed at him across the steel autopsy table.
How could this beautiful man believe he was so evil.  Yes, there was
the beast he kept caged inside, but there must be goodness inside of
him as well.

*And I can't help but sense
 The darkness in his mind
 But I keep looking for the goodness
 Afraid of what I'll find*

   As she watched him, she realized how much he kept bottled inside
of himself.  She could see it on his face.  There was so much worry
and guilt written on the youthful countenance.  Although he came to
see her every night, there was a sadness, a loneliness in his eyes.
Even as the days and weeks passed, he was keeping her at a distance.
If only she could break through.  If only he would let her inside
that fortress he had built, so she could see who he truly was.

*My heart moves through his unquiet sea
 I pray a wave will come and carry me
 Closer to his troubled tide
 Waters of his fury
 But how can I swim this great divide?*

   Here in this room of death, something drew these two lonely people
together.  All of the pain he had been carrying within him for all
these years was being eased by this mortal woman.  She had so much
warmth and love.  She was becoming his guide, his partner... his
friend.  Instead of running from this evil he carried inside of him,
she wanted to understand it.  She wanted to help him.

*Deep in my secret soul                (Her spring of life)
I cry his tears                                (Draws me near)
I weather his angry voice               (Her gentle voice)
I feel his fears                                (I hold dear)
His life has infected every wound   (Her life has infected every wound)
And every pore                             (And every pore)
I feel his mystery posses me           (I feel her mystery posses me)
And I pray that mercy's hand
Will bless me *

   Natalie sat at her desk, looking back down at her notebook.  She
thought back to the previous night.  Everything had been progressing
so wonderfully.  She had discovered an abnormality in Nick's blood.
What this virus-like cell what made him what he was?  It seemed to be
feeding off the blood that he ingested.  She had asked him to cut
down on his blood intake to perhaps weaken these cells.  But after
what happened last night, it appeared that starving the cells did not
weaken them.  It seemed to make them more desperate, which carried
over to Nick himself.
   Nick had come into the lab, as usually.  But he was very tired and
irritable because he had not fed properly in several days.  She drew
his blood to check on his progress and they waiting for the
centrifuge to separate the blood.  As they waited, one of the
orderlies brought in a gurney with a body bag on it.  Natalie excused
herself, telling Nick she just wanted to do a quick preliminary check
of the body.  Unzipping the bag, she saw the victim was covered in
blood.  After making a few mental notes on the status of the body,
she turned to Nick to tell him they would have to call it a night,
and gasped.
   Nick stood close behind her, his eyes were completely gold.  His
snarl showed his fully extended canine teeth.  He moved closer,
speaking to her in a deep unnatural voice.  His eyes moved to her
throat as he caressed her neck.  When he grasped her arm, she cried
out in pain.
   Then all at once, he shook his head and turned away "This was a
mistake." he growled.  He moved quickly towards the door and when she
tried to stop him, he pushed her away and ran from the lab.

*Deep in his secret soul                       (Deep in my soul)
 His heart is cursed                              (I stand alone)
 I summon my deepest will                   (I will not atone)
 To still his thirst
 God give me the strength to go           (And I will never let her)
 Closer to where my heart is whole
 Deep within his secret soul                  (Deep within my secret soul)

   Now she sat at her desk, trying to think of how to proceed.
Should she rethink her whole plan.  Nick would not return her phone
calls, he was pulling away again.  Just as she was beginning to break
through the wall he had so carefully built for so many years, this
one incident had fortified it once more.  This was not going to be a
quick fix, but she was in it for the duration.  They were going to
find a solution.  She closed the notebook and locked it securely in
her desk drawer.  She smiled to herself, *I am definitely going to
have to get more notebooks.*

--Finis--