The wind blew harshly as Katarina stumbled slowly through the graveyard. She tried to avoid stumbling on the headstones but every so often she would trip, fall, sprawl headlong and scrape her knees and hands on the rough granite.
Still she crept, crawled, tripped along, looking for the one stone.
As the moon rose, full, bulbous, looking fat and swollen over the dark place, she found it.
With a cry, and a whimper, she fell to the ground and clawed at the earth.
"Are you looking for me, dear heart?"
With a shriek she fell onto her back and looked up into his face.
The beautiful beauty of him awed her. Her heart pounded and she reached out her hand.
"Yes, dear heart, it is I. Did you think I had forgotten the love of my life?" His brows arched and his mouth curled in annoyance.
"No, no, I missed you - I could wait no longer - I love you...." Her tears rolled across her pale, pale flesh and Lucien smiled.
"I have come for you, dear heart, have no fear." And with a casual gesture he pulled her to her feet and raised his cool hands to her face. The touch on her flesh should have cautioned Katarina, but she was beside herself with grief. Grief, and lust. A burning desire for the man who had just days ago made her his.
"Touch me, please...."
"Oh, yes, dear heart, I will touch you." And he leaned forward, his lips parting as he loomed over her. Katarina sighed, and smiled, and felt the shiver that his touch always brought.
"Close your eyes, my dearest heart. And I will touch you ..... I will make you mine....." and as Katarina closed her eyes, her lips fell open in anticipation of the touch of his lips, his tongue.
His breath carressed her face and for a moment the miasma of death filled her lungs.
Then the sharp, sliver of pain slid into her skin like a touch of cool fingers and the beat of her heart surged.
As the moon slid beneath a cloud, Lucian drank of his dear heart. Katarina's eyes slid closed and her lips formed a gentle smile. As her last sigh issued forth, her words could be heard across the silent graveyard.
"Take me, my love....."
"I have, dear heart. You are mine now."
And in the morning, the cape that Katarina had worn lay discarded across a gravestone. The newspaper headlines bemoaned the mysterious disappearance of the young woman, as they heralded the new century.
Y2K had not happened. The world remained connected.
And in a graveyard a headstone was wreathed in a cape.
Lucian Douglas. Born 1789. Died 1830.
As the sun set upon the graveyard and the shadows loomed, a yearning cry was heard.
Birds stilled. The night swept in.
And Lucian and his dear heart arose.
"Welcome to my world, dear heart."
Katarina smile and the moon glistened upon her newest feature.