|Fiction Home||Freestanding Stories||Alone Trilogy||Legacy Series||In Progress|
By Amanda Berendt
Copyright April 2004
Nick pulled in the the garage at the loft. After a long shift with his partner, he was very glad to be home. As he opened the door to get out of the car, he noticed something lying on the passenger seat. It was the video that Schanke had insisted on stopping for. It was mid-July, and as exasperated at his partner as he was right now, he didn't want the video to melt in the hot sun during the day. So he picked it up and carried it upstairs.
Once inside the loft, Nick lay the video on the kitchen table so he wouldn't forget it when he left for work that evening. He grabbed a glass from the cabinet and poured himself some 'breakfast.'
He went upstairs and changed into a pair of black sweatpants and a blue t-shirt. Since he wasn't very tired, he returned to the main floor and decided to try to finish his latest painting. He took his glass from the kitchen counter and carried it over the the easel in the corner, glancing at the box on the table as he passed.
Nick spent the next hour working on the canvas. He stood back to observe his progress and decided it was finished. He took it off the easel and set it against the wall to dry.
He stood at the kitchen sink and washed the paint from his hands. Picking up the towel to dry off, he turned around and looked at the video lying on the table. It looked so out of place sitting there. Even though he was alone in the apartment, he almost felt embarrassed to have it in plain sight. He shook his head to rid his mind of the comments Janette or Lacroix would make if they found such a thing in his possession.
He grabbed the video from the table and tried to think of a place he could hide it. Instead he found himself reading the summary on the back of the box. Against what he thought was his better judgment, he crossed the room to the television. Removing the video from the case, he slipped it into the player and sat down on the leather couch. I'll just watch a few minutes to see what it is all about, he thought.
Hours passed. He had refreshed his glass countless times throughout the day. The sun had begun to set and the phone had rung several times, but he had been so engrossed the the film that he hadn't noticed.
Hearing the elevator grind to life, startled him back to reality. He switched off the video as the door to the elevator slid open.
Natalie quickly crossed the room, eying the empty bottle with disapproval. "So, is this why you're not answering the phone? Feeling sorry for yourself again?"
Nick sat up to face her. "Nat, it isn't that. I just..." He stopped not wanting to admit why he hadn't answered her calls.
She picked up the bottle from the table and held it up. "Nick, if you want to be part of the mortal world, you can't do this." She sighed and set the bottle back down. "I don't know why I bother. Here, you can go back to your Bela Lugosi film and sulk." She grabbed the remote from the table and, before Nick could protest, she hit the play button.
Instead of the expected black and white vampire, Natalie was surprised when the image of a red-haired cartoon mermaid filled the screen.
In shock, Natalie blurted out. "What is this?"
Nick actually managed to blush a light pink. "Schanke left it in the caddy. I got curious. It's nothing." He tried to grab the remote from her hand.
She stepped back, holding the remote out of reach. "You've been sitting here watching this all day?" Natalie asked, trying unsuccessfully to hide the smirk.
Nick wanted to sink into the couch. "Not *all* day."
Natalie flopped down next to Nick. "Don't worry. I won't tell Schanke that you watched Jenny's video... if you're good." She added the last bit with a sly smile.
Nick grinned and put his arm around Natalie as they watched the video together. Nick sighed wistfully as Ariel sang to Prince Eric...
"I don't know when, I don't know how
But I know something's starting right now
Watch and you'll see
Some day I'll be
Part of your world."