Set shortly after Victoria's entry in Gala. Here, we learn more about Victoria.

The new need that she couldn't fight, her mouth latching on to one of the cuts. His shout of estacy, her own. Him pulling her head back, her snarl. He had been stronger.

Victoria's mysterious benefactor stood as she approached. He reached out and traced a line down her collar bone as she thanked him for saving her life.

"For someone who doen't kiss on the first date, you sure know how to start a fire, Victoria, " he smiled, a sleepy look, "My name is Erik and we are in my chosen home."

He watched his hand for a few minutes as it seemed to roam over her body of its own accord.

"Which leads to the question of where this is?"

Erik tilted his head and ran a finger down her side. "Wait. You'll know in a few moments."

If he pulls the 'Ancient Chinese Master' trick, he's going to be sorry!

She felt the shaking first, which brought back a memory. Her thrashing around as he saw to her wounds, licking each one in a clinical manner. She had suddenly grabbed him, kissed him, pressed herself against him… Slight blush, eyes cast down, realize the target her eyes track to, and snap back to Erik's face again, blush deepens.

Then a distant noise. Like muted thunder. And then she knew. They were beneath the subway system. He stepped closer as she listened. He smelled of the rock and old things and of her and him. There was also a faint smell of paint. Another memory surfaced, of herself tearing off his clothes. Of her fingers nails cutting him in her haste and need.

Paint? She seemed to remember on of the older lines were getting some renovations done. And of course central depot was in E-Town, 1st and Main, across the street from the clock tower.

If I hear any bells, that would confirm the locale… although it might be hard to hear over these fireworks that keep going off in my head!

"Hmmm, like the decor, could do without the noisy neighbours. Deep is good." She paused, blushed a little deeper at what she just said, then continued, "Avoids the sunlight, but have you considered some sound-proofing?"

He shook his head, his hand moving to her stomach, making slow circles, fingers just brushing the edge of her pubic hair. "That might alert someone that was someone else is here. I don't want anyone to know."

"That I can understand…" Victoria whispers. "The rent on this place could be a killer!" she she adds in total sarcasm, humour dancing in her eyes.

He grinned.

"So, pray tell, how did you know when and where to come to my rescue, and what is the nature of your powers. My curiosity is burning almost as hot as my desire … and you certainly know how to help the latter." said with a smug grin, looking him straight (honestly) in the face.

With her last comment he smiled and slipped his hand lower, sliding a long graceful finger into her. He began a slow movement, in and out, a circle and repeat. "It is one of my abilities, sometimes I am pulled to danger; if it has something to do with me, it is stronger." He stepped closer, his lips brushing hers. "I have been looking for you for a while now." His mouth descended, tongue demanding entry, hard, insistent, in contrast to the almost languid movements of his hand.

"Looking … for me ? Could you …" pant… pant "… go further ?"

A second finger had joined the first, his hand cupping her mound.

"Just one other thing… how much blood can you spare ?" Her hands descend, one to run nails down his back, and hold him close, the other lower, to see if she can get a rise out of him.

Her hand brushed through his pubic hair and up against his rock hard shaft. He moaned as she ran a finger tip down his length, her mouth moving to nuzzling his neck. He removed his hand, picked her up and lay her on the hard cold stone. His eyes shone, as his gaze traveled her body hungrily. "Where do you want this?" His voice had dropped to a husky purr, as he gripped his manhood, holding it out for her.

As he waited for answer, he dipped his head, taking a breast into his mouth. She felt his teeth graze her nipple. Some a little longer then the others.

"I think I've been talking too muc, " she manages, one hand holding the back of his head, "And it's time for me to return some of the pleasure, so …"

As Erik lifts his head, Victoria rolled around to take him in orally, making sure that her fangs don't quite penetrate, and spending as much time deep throating him as possible. One hand slid around behind, gripping his ass, occasionally sliding up a little to his lower back. A very useful position when I want to pull him deeper. Sometimes, she slid down around his leg, fingers sliding along his inside thigh, just to see if it was as erogenous for him as it was for her.

He gasped as she explored, being very careful when he moved, waiting for those moments when her fangs were not touching him to thrust into her mouth. His moans became more frequent and audible. Her other hand alternated between running nails around the base of his cock, and massaging his testicles, very gently, in place.

Victoria kept her eyes on Erik's face, to see what gave him the most pleasure. Teeth, vacuum, tongue, nails… there's just so many ways… She had absolutely no desire to stop until Erik was completely satisfied. I've had too much practice being alone since the change… it's fantastic to have someone else to play with, without fear of an accident.

His hands laced through her hair and he watched her, unlike the few other guys she had done this to. They either closed their eyes or seemed to stare at the ceiling. Erik seemed to get as much pleasure from watching what she was doing as what she was doing. Victoria began to play to this, making her movements exaggerated so that he could see what she was doing.

She had no idea how long it was before he began the tattletale signs of an approaching orgasm. She was touched that he touched her cheek and whispered, "Coming."

Victoria gently slid back, so just the head was still in her mouth, and applied a good deal of suction. Her left hand slid up, and around his cock, grasping firmly, and pulling back towards the base. With her other hand wrapped around his ass, to prevent any escape, she set her tongue to overtime, caressing his throbbing head until he came.

She gently milked the last few drops from him, swallowing, and slowly slid up his body, until the two were face to face. Cupping his face, Victoria gently kissed him, exploring his mouth with her tongue. She ran her tongue over his fangs, caressing each one. "So, I'll take that as a sign it was good for you, too ?" she whispers coyly, smiling from ear to ear.

He smiled. "From our early fucking I expected nothing less. Do you want more or do you want to talk? Did you feel an urge to bite me?"

"Yes, I want more… later, and yes, I want to talk, and no, I had no urge to bite. I have so many questions for you. But most can wait for a while. The first and foremost is 'where are my clothes?' Not that I have any desire to put them on right now, but my phone is in my pocket, and I do need to call to tell the babysitter she can go, and tell my brother I may be in a bit later than normal."

There is intense curiosity in his eyes and voice, no fear.

Hmmm…a vamp too. On the bright side, at least I know getting dead doesn't kill your sex drive.

"Your clothes are over there, but we are so far underground that I doubt that you will get a signal."

She could feel his eyes following her.

"I sought you out because we are alike. Different from the others."

"Alike in many ways … but for all I know, you might support VanderZalm," she replies teasingly.

"So, how long have you been a vampire, and how did your change come about? And you are right about being alike… I am just beginning to appreciate some of the problems, as well as many of the benefits, our condition brings. But are the differences from others so great? Are our motivations so different now? Admittedly, we are now the top of the food chain, but I still cherish companionship, challenge, helping others, improving myself, much as I did when mortal. Do these change with the years?"

Victoria snuggled up beside him, making absolutely no movement towards her clothes. I think Jeff can look after himself for a few hours. I'm more interested in Eric.

"And, much as I dislike admitting it, I'm just dying with envy over that teleportation. Could you teach me that?" she bursts out, changing the tone from the philosophical to the more inquisitive.

Also, talking gives him … and me … the much needed 10 minute break… then again, I wonder if 'Normal human male refractory period' applies to Eric?

"That's just it. We are different. It wasn't teleportation. Can you use your mist form on others? I can. No other vampire that I have talked to can do it either."

"No, but then again, I'm rather new at this vampire schtick, and, to tell the truth, not very powerful as vampires go at all."

"My trouble barometer is something I had before crossing over 4 years ago. Also, I can walk in the sun–something that only the oldest of vampires can do. Apparently any vampire below 150 would go up in smoke. For the others it can be painful."

"Four years ? That's how long I've been around, too! I never did get his name, but the police suspect it was someone called Gratz. And I can walk around in daylight, also. Then again, I could be called a self-made woman, as I was the one who bit him… rather hard, in the calf, as I vaguely remember… I think I was trying to hamstring the bastard at the time."

Erik laughed and hugged her. "His name was Henz Gratzen. You probably startled the hell out him. And you must have impressed him, for he must have completed the blood exchange."

"Interesting. I never did wholly figure the situation out. I had a few bullets in me at the time, and the next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital with this really tasty looking nurse in the room. Fortunately I was too stupid to realize what had happened, and sunk my fangs into the blood bag right beside me."

"That must have given her a start."

"Yes, fortunately there was a doctor specializing in metahumans on hand, so the situation didn't get out of control."

"I also have other abilities that the vampires that I have talked to never heard of. I can only assume that it has to do with my mutant genes."

"You see," he began to get excited, his eyes glowing, his free hand becoming animated, "I have been thinking of this. Perhaps vampirism is some sort of disease that runs through the body, changing and rewriting. In normal humans, the process can last over several days. But in mutants, who knows? How will it react with the already alterted genes?"

"A mutant? What were your powers before you changed ?" Victoria almost sparked with interest. "I have never heard of such a thing, but the possibilities… oh yes, I can see how the two effects could complement each other!"

"Please," she adds, "Please continue. What did you do before your change, and what," she gestures around the room, "do you do now ?"

His eyes lit up. "You have noticed that you heal rather quickly? More so if you feed? Have you also noticed that your saliva can heal the wounds your teeth make? All vampires are like that. I believe that it is a survival mechanism. Contrary to popluar belief, a vampire can, if his will is strong enough, feed only a little, leaving his victim alive and in most cases unaware of what has occured. It has to be this way or the vampire never would have survived."

"Um, actually, no I hadn't noticed. I'm not particularly in the habit of, well, biting my dates, at least none have gone that far, so I had no idea on the healing effect." She replies, looking around the room, and avoiding Eric's eyes… and the obvious implication. "As to healing, yes, I heal at a fantastic rate, most wounds healing in seconds. Worst I've taken was shotgun to the back of the head, and that only took about half a minute, tops."

"I, however, seem to be able to do for any wound," he scowled. "I discovered this bit in Vancouver. Came across a shot cop. I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to be able to heal him like that. I was just going by what happened with my teeth wounds. You would think the guy would be grateful? Oh, no. Tried to brain me with his night stick and then shoot me. The gratitude of some people."

Victoria smiled rather wickedly, head down, and eyes up. "Unlike some others you may have met…" She trailed a hand down his stomach, towards his thigh.

He smiled, pretending not to notice her hand's adventursome trip.

"That's another thing. Do you find it fairly easy to resist the urge to feed? I do," he glanced at her and smiled, "most times."

"So far, it's not been a problem. On the other hand, that Egyptian priest I just took out," I think ",had some rhythmic beat going on that was sending my hunger out of control. I almost chowed down on a security guard, and then my companions started to look good … oh, yeah, and one of them was an RC priest, so you just know that the effect was making me stupid."

"What can you do? Oh, yes and to your last question. I was a biologist working towards my second degree in genetics. Now I study the vampire."

"Tres cool. I've got some basics in biology … you know, started out on the first aid courses, did a little forensics to help with the police entry exam, get changed into a vampire … it's amazing what you can pick up. Me, I wanted to be a cop like my father, although my mum was pushing me towards becoming a lawyer. Unfortunately, my parents were killed by… Gratzen? … and I found I had a younger brother to look after. I cancelled my plans for the police academy, and opened up a detective agency."

"You know," she pauses a second, "It was only later I realized I could walk into any bank around, in my mist form, and clear out significant amounts of cash. I guess my parents good influence on me shows. An honest job, some part-time vigilantism, and a whole slew of night courses pretty much fill my slate. Oh, yeah, and there's my kid brother to look after. Another decade, and he'll be out of university, and on his own. Then, I guess, comes the next step' redefining my goals."

"Speaking of which, do you still attend events ? I'm sure Jeff wouldn't mind a third at a ball game. Or an art show. Or whatever. You could come over for a barbeque … I get the steaks almost straight from the cow; Jeff likes his well done, and I like the blood warm."

"Oh, yeah, so is studying vampires a full time occupation now? And how," as her hand slowly circled, brushing the base of his cock, "Does one become a subject for examination ?"

He watched with some surprise at her long windness, "And people say I talk to much," he smiled to take the sting out of it. "I had no idea that finding you would end up like this," he sighed as she began stroking him.

He then turned and pinned her underneath him. He moved his cock up and down the outside of her opening. He kissed her, growling low in his throat. He reached between them and postioned himself. He then looked her in the eyes, pausing with just his head inside. With one powerful stroke he buried himself inside, his eyes never left hers.

Later, Victoria settled her foot into her boot and straightened, moving her hair away from her face. Erik had been right. The cell-phone was unable to get a signal this far under ground. She settled her pistol in waist band, placing the dagger beside it.

The DAGGER??? When had she picked that up?

Erik watched her. "I really do wish you would consider not leaving. I am sorely worried for you. There is so much we need to discuss."

"If you will not change your mind, yes I will come for dinner." He pocketed her address and taking her hand turned them both to mist. They rose slowly through the concrete and earth, up through an abondon subway line, into a small corspe of trees.

"Should you need to find me, come here and sink. Please be careful." With that, he turned to mist.

Victoria stepped out into one the small parks that inhabited E-Town. Pausing at a newspaper stand she was distrubed to read the date–Monday, May 29, 2000. She had lost 2 whole days. Her brother must be worried. Looking around for a phone booth, the cell must be dead, she made a couple of quick phone calls. The first to her brother to reassure him that she was okay. A brief talk with his babysitter, indicated that a Father O'Mallory had returned her van and assured them that she would be found. A quick call to her last client assured her that the case was offically closed and the girl back home safe in body if not mind.

Victoria then hit the library, first hunting around for some books on Egyptology. Earning a few disapproving glances from the librarians for toting an inordinately large stack of books, she headed for one of the reading tables. After an hour or so of reading, wondering if she'll find anything on the subject (dagger, priest, Set, guardian albino chihuahuas), she decided to take a break, and grabbed the papers.

Hmmm… I see Citizen Dog is in, and Sherman's Lagoon submerged, she thought, after turning (first) to the comics. Gah, info content is worse than ever! … Hold on, what have we here? Superheroes galore the past while. Jerimah 'The Elephant' brought in by Diamond and Sentry, with some other meta types around; a hold up on the bridge, particularly ill-timed as regards number of super-heroes commuting to work; and a duel between two Egyptian magical types… of course, only a name for the bad guy! Geez, us goodie-two-shoes can't buy decent PR…

Still, might be worth a shot to see if he has any info. How about a meeting in front of the police station … or maybe in the donut shop across the street, hmmm…

Victoria turned to the stack of books on the table beside her, and ran a finger down… Tutankhamun, Egyptian Mythos, Valley of the Kings, Mummification Practices of the Third Dynasty: A Study of Cats As Companions in the Afterlife… ah, here we go, Heiroglyphics: a Comparitive Examination from the First Dynasty to 200 A.D

Time passed, with breaks on the hour for more paper (and comics) reading, finally resulting in several rough pages, and one frustrated detective.

Geez, what a useless language, you can hardly write anything down, just tell stories. No abstract, no future tenses… which reminds me… On the bottom of the last page she scrawled, "Language classes: Spanish? Look into night class possibilities."

D'accord, let's see what I have. "Figure A, matching the description (in a stylized (OK, simple) fashion) of our Egyptian hero, meeting Figure B, a somewhat stylized (and unflattering)…" She paused, and added "Art classes?" under her previous note. "…picture of yours truly, meeting (hands extended in what the book says is a greeting between equals) in front of a fountain, which bears a remarkable resemblance to one in the park. Three figures, over a bunch of numbers (And they were able to do advanced math with this system?) indicating year, month, day, time; 2000, 05 (May), 30 (Tuesday), 23:45 (11:45 p.m.)

After a few redraws, she held the final version up, took a good look at it, shook her head, and sighed. Oh, well, it's not like this is for my masters or anything.

Deciding to make the afternoon edition, as well as tomorrow's morning and afternoon runs, Victoria grabbed one of the student assistant types floating around.

"Excuse me, is there some way you could put these books to one side? I'll be back in a few hours or less, and don't want the bother of taking them off the shelves again, especially knowing that someone had just filed them. Perhaps a piece of paper on top?" she asked, simultaneously putting a $20 on top, held down by one finger, just to see how the assistant would react.

"Sure, no problem." The assistant pocketed the money with a smile and preceeded to move the books into a corner and covered the stack with a quick note.

Victoria then dashed over to the Island News and The Chronicle, where she placed her ad to the afternoon edition.

Going back to the library, Victoria attempted to narrow her search down to two areas: the dagger, and the ritual. First, was there any mention of such a dagger in the books, or something simialar. Second, rituals. So far I know it was a blood ritual, and probably related to Anubis (the dog headed god). Victoria was hopeful regarding the dagger, but not so optimistic about the ritual.

A call to Father O'Mallory would be in order too. Explain to him that another paranormal, one who responds to threats, sensed my need and rescued me. Regrets for not calling sooner, but I have been a bit under due to the priest's attack.

Unfortunately, she seemed unable to reach Father O'Mallory, but left a message to call her. Victoria's search was all but futile. She did come across a picture of the dagger. The caption read "cermonial dagger." A few rituals, none of which seemed like the one she was looking for.

She glanced at her watch. 5:00pm, too late to catch anyone at the university. Tommorrow. She headed home and spent a quiet evening with her younger brother.

The man across the street dialed a number as she walked into the house. A short conversation later, he settled in for a long night.