Nikola frequently wondered how Nigel managed to stay completely out of their little incestuous family; how he managed to balance a life outside of the Five with the madness of their messed up little group.
In some ways Nikola envied him; the days when it became too confusing or when he felt like a forth wheel. It must be nice to have someone else to go home to, someone to rant about the actions of his friends too, and someone who wasn’t one of them.
But Nikola also approached Nigel with a level of scepticism, not believing for a moment that the man wasn’t tempted. Not tempted by Helen, the way she poised herself, the way she took control of everything (a rare trait for women), her approach to science, the way her legs seemed to go on for miles (even more so when she dared to wear trousers), and her glorious, full breasts. She had brought many a man (and woman) to their knees, and Nikola didn’t see why Nigel was any different.
James was a walking fantasy, the restrained and refined upper-class scholar persona he wore all but begged for it to be ripped off him, to let loose the man underneath. His scrutinizing glare as he looked at you, full of warmth and power. The beautiful melodic laugh he gave when he was amused.
How could he not be tempted by John, the lithe body that moved with fluid ease about a room, the passive strength of his politics clashing with the rage and violence that ran in his blood. The way he towered over everyone, demanding respect.
Or himself. He was vane enough to admit that he was an attractive man and he certainly wasn’t wanting for offers.
Yet Nigel didn’t seem to want any part of it, the carnal side of their friendship. Which was probably for the best, it got messy, and Nikola wished that he didn’t want to be part of it. But he did. Badly.
He often wondered why he did, why he felt the incessant urge to squeeze himself into John, Helen, and James’ private lives.
He saw how dysfunctional they were, watched as the jealously circled through them when the other two were closer. Saw how social pressures strained their relationship, especially for James.
Nikola figured James would be the one to crack first, the one who would come to him first. His relationship with John was taboo and could have them both killed, yet because of Helen’s betrothal to John that made a public relationship with her out of the question as well. If it were he, Nikola knew he wouldn’t be able to tolerate the silencing of his affections, the shameful way it was kept secret. But James never did break; he seemed to accept his life out of sheer love. The way he looked at John and Helen, the love, trust and devotion that emanated from them.
Maybe that’s what Nikola wanted; to be loved the way those three loved one another. Despite their dysfunction, they worked most of the time. They achieved a balance (that Nikola was pretty sure was due to a shared bed) and a messed up harmony.
Perhaps it was just lust, Nikola desired them all (even Nigel) so he found it frustrating when they were together and he was left out in the cold. Despite his arrogant and flirtatious bravado, Nikola had a difficult time being intimate with people. He had trust issues and was generally skittish when it came to sex; he preferred knowing a person, loving them, before taking a relationship to that level. It was logical then, that of the four people who knew him best in the world, one of them would reciprocate.
John was the most receptive to Nikola’s affections, which didn’t surprise him. John was driven by his emotions, frequently putting logic and reason aside. Whenever John had spent a significant portion of the day using his teleportation skills, he would come to him. Nikola had wondered if John chose him because he could see the darkness rising in his soul, the crazed look in his eyes and not panic. Nikola had a similar darkness within him, the lust for blood, and it did not frighten him, it excited him.
Their joining would sometimes be violent and John would allow Nikola to bite him, drinking some of his blood. But their lovemaking could also be gentle too and John was a passionate and tender lover. Nikola knew John’s heart belonged to James and Helen, but there were moments where he swears he saw the same affection coming from John’s gaze for him. Or the times when John spent more nights with him than them, bloomed some hope in Nikola’s chest.
He was quite satisfied in being with John, yet part of him still craved being with them all, fully messed into their lives.
Very little got passed James, he noticed everything, so he knew John was sleeping with Nikola and it was logical to assume he told Helen. Whether or not he approved was unclear, Nikola saw the little frown he sometimes gave in John’s direction when they were speaking, but that could be more symptomatic of John’s increasing mental breakdown. They were all worried for him, but Nikola didn’t want to examine whether his relationship with John was based on the decisions of a mad man and not out of genuine interest.
Nikola had hoped when James found out that it would alter how the genius looked at him; hoping that curiosity would force James to act, that he would seduce him. He had to be curious; curious to see what experience John was receiving from the vampire that he and Helen did not provide. As a scientist, he had to be curious about what being with a vampire would be like.
None of this happened, though he did notice an increase in attention from James, caught him staring at him more than usual, watched as his gaze travelled up and down his body. It went no further than that though, the heated curious gaze.
Nikola deduced James’ lack of action was because of Helen. James was devoted to her and he wouldn’t risk hurting her by seeking a relationship with him. She had to approve of it first.
Helen would have none of it though; she was completely closed off to him. She’d engage in his flirtatious banter, but she was very clear that it would go nowhere. Her body language was not free with him as it was with James and John, she didn’t touch him or hug him. Nikola wondered if she resented him for his relationship with John; saw him as the one who took her lover from her.
While Helen remained off limits, so too did James, and Nikola’s grand plans. He’d have to make due with just John for the immediate future.
When John truly went mad, after his relationship with Helen and James had disintegrated beyond the point of reconciliation, Nikola foolishly thought he might now be part of them. The betrayal that he thought would bring them closer together as a group did, but the damage John made would be felt for years, their lives and trust were broken. They learned to watch out for one another more closely, learning to watch for signs of trouble and confronting one another when they did.
It also drove Helen and James further into each other’s arms. John betrayed them all, but they felt it much more intimately; they’d shared their hearts and bed with him, they loved him. Together they mourned their loss….oblivious to the fact that Nikola had too lost a lover.
He loved John as they did, perhaps even more so because he did not fear his darkness. Yet there was no comfort for him.