DISCLAIMER: These characters belong to Kim Harrison. No copyright infringement is intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: For a Few Demons More.

Endless Possibilities
By Jaina


She's trembling, shaking with the need to give in, to take what she wants.  The urge to sink her teeth in to Rachel's creamy white skin is almost overwhelming. 

"I'm not going to bite you," Ivy states.  She doesn't allow in hesitation or doubt into her voice.  If she says it's so, she can make it so.  She doesn't break her word.  She repeats the words again, making them into a mantra.

"But I want to," she whispers the ugly truth to herself - to Rachel.

She shivers as her fingers stroke the raised edges of the scar on Rachel's neck.  This is her mark.  This is where she bit Rachel, tasted her blood and gorged on the wonderful taste of it.  She had felt everything - Rachel's unconditional trust, even in the face of her loss of control.  It had been both terrifying and exhilarating.  What had scared her even more was the love that she'd also felt. 

Rachel isn't supposed to love her.  It isn't been part of the the plan and she doesn't know how to deal with that.  What Rachel was offering her was something so pure and so wonderful.  She only knows about twisted, corrupt things.  Trying to take that love had almost ended up destroying Rachel.  She wouldn't take that chance again. 

She would not destroy Rachel.

"Close your eyes," Ivy whispers aware of the low, almost hypnotic note in her voice.  The excitement, the way that Rachel responds to her so quickly and so easily is triggering all of her instincts. 

She strokes Rachel's scar again, using every trick she knows to give Rachel pleasure.  She has to show her more than what she's showed her before.  She wants Rachel to see that this can be good and wonderful.  Ivy wants Rachel to see her and want her.  Not just as a source of blood ecstasy , but as someone she wants to spend her life with.

For a moment, Ivy hesitates.  She wants this so badly, but if she screws this up - if Rachel leaves because of this - she doesn't know what she'll do or who she'll become.  She doesn't think that she can handle hating herself more than she already does.

"Promise me that this won't change anything.   That you know it's a taste for you to try, and that I will do nothing to encourage you.  I won't ever do it again unless you come to me. If you come to me.  And don't come to me unless you want it all, Rachel.  I can't do it any other way."

"I promise."

Her lips brush Rachel's, hesitantly at first.  She marvels at the softness of Rachel's plump lips and the way that they still taste of coffee.  The scent of redwood and lavender wraps around her. She brushes her lips against Rachel's a second time, more insistent as she stills the motion of her hand. 

Ivy wants Rachel to know what she's doing to her and wants her to want it. 

She deepens the kiss, willing Rachel to respond, to not pull away.  Her tongue brushes across Rachel's lips and for the first time Rachel responds by pulling away. 

"Oh, God, Ivy."

Ivy can't decipher the way Rachel says her name, so she deepens the kiss pressing Rachel up against the wall.  She doesn't give her a chance to say anything else.  If this is the only chance she will ever have to kiss Rachel, she wants to make it memorable.

Then, slowly she pulls away.  It's enough. 

The wide-eyed, shocked look that Rachel is giving her is engraved into her mind's eye. 

It's the moment that she always wakes up, gasping for air. 

Ivy waits a moment, focusing on slowing her breathing.  It was one of the best moments of her life, and maybe one of the worst too.  She doesn't like to think about it except for when she can't not think about it, because she knows what happens next. She remembers going, throwing up the contents of her stomach on her way down the driveway.  Ivy remembers being summoned by Piscary.  What she remembers after that is vague and blurry, mere suggestions of memory that she doesn't like to dwell on.

Kisten's death has brought she and Rachel even closer together, and put a more solid barrier between them than ever before.  They haven't talked about that kiss; she's not even sure that Rachel's thought about it. 

Ivy doesn't want to ask her if she has.  What they have at the moment is a fragile truce which could be broken beyond repair with one small word.  She can't ask.  She can't risk driving Rachel away, not now. 

Slowly Ivy rises, pulling on her loose black robe.  She belts it around her waist and then walks out of her room.  It's early, obscenely early.  Even though she's not dead yet, she's still aware of the faint tug of the sun as it rises and fades.  Now she knows, it's about to rise. 

Quietly, so that she doesn't wake Rachel, she moves to the kitchen and starts the coffee.  She glances at her computer, even goes so far as to go over to it and turn it on, but she doesn't sit down.

Unbidden she glances towards the door.  A slow smile curves over her lips. 

When the coffee is ready she pours herself a cup into one of the Vampiric Charms mugs that she favors because she knows that it makes Rachel happy.  She takes a slow sip and then walks to the back door.  As she closes it behind her, she sinks down to sit on the low steps and watches the sun rise.

The pale shades of gold and pink glowing in the sky are something she rarely sees.  Idly, Ivy wonders how many sunsets she has left to see.  It's not that she anticipates dieing soon, but she will, with any luck, live for a very long time and there will come a day that she won't be able to watch anymore sunsets.  Unless she dies for a second time, the number of days she'll live without ever seeing the sun will be dwarfed by her short mortal life. 

The smile on her face twists to a hollow grimace. 

Ivy hears small sounds coming from inside the church, the scuff of bare feet against floorboards, the clink of a mug.  So it doesn't surprise her when Rachel steps outside the door behind her. 

Besides the fact that it usually takes a demon attack to get Rachel out of bed before noon.

"Couldn't sleep," Ivy murmurs, tilting her head slightly back towards her shoulder so that she can watch Rachel out of the corner of her eye. 

"I smelled coffee," Rachel mumbles.  "You're the one up at this insane hour."  She rubs at her eyes in a gesture that makes Ivy's heart clench.  "Got an early run?"

Ivy shakes her head slowly, unwilling to elaborate on why she's out here or what she's been thinking about.  It's too close to the conversation that she's not ready to have.

"I wanted to watch the sun rise," Ivy speaks before she can think about what she's saying. It's true, but it hopefully won't lead Rachel down the truth path her thoughts have been taking.

Beside her Rachel nods.  "It's not often that we get to see it when we're not in the middle of an emergency."

Ivy smiles at the way Rachel's thoughts echoed her own earlier musings. They really do make a good team.

"It's nice," she says slowly, and she means more than just watching the sun rise.  It's nice to sit here with Rachel beside her and sip their coffee mostly in silence. 

It's not what she wants most, even now she can feel the faint pang as her sensitive hearing focuses in on the slow, steady beat of Rachel's heart as it pushes warm, rich blood through her veins, but for now it's enough.  And maybe one day, Rachel will be ready. 

That's the thought that keeps her sane most days.

The End

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