Helen hugs him after he finally manages to figure out how to demagnetize the platter from his hand, and with the thrill of his new power still tingling all through him, he takes the moment to press a quick kiss to Helen's mouth, because he's not going to let the chance get away. Much to his surprise, she kisses him back, just long enough for it to be a little more than polite, and Nikola presses further, because he can, and he bites Helen's bottom lip. She pushes him away, but there's a trace of amusement around her eyes, and when he takes a sip of his wine and looks back at her, she has her bottom lip between her teeth.
It doesn't take much for a fixation to be born.
He takes her hand into his when they're in the library, making an excuse to examine her nail polish, and then lifts it to his mouth. She raises her eyebrows, as though she's expecting him to kiss her hand. Instead, he bites the tip of her index finger, just hard enough to leave an impression in the skin. His eyes flick up to her and her mouth's set in a thin line, her expression hard to read. She's not pulling back, so he does the same to her middle finger, and then, the fleshy part of her palm just under her thumb. Her fingers brush against his cheek.
Will comes in, pushing a cart of books like he's a library page. This is not the first time Nikola wonders what promise Helen manages to see in him. Helen coughs and Nikola takes a step back, pulls a book from the shelf and flips it open.
Helen gives him a long look before she turns and walks off, and he mostly pretends not to notice, lifting his eyes once from the pages to catch hers. He's pleased to note that she looks flustered.
He comes up behind her in the lab, and it's not as though she can't tell he's there. But she plays along and pretends that she doesn't notice him until he's right behind her. He sweeps back her hair from her neck, falling over the side of her collar, and lowers his lips to kiss her neck. She doesn't turn around but her hands drop away from the keyboard. "Nikola," she says, scolding, and then he scrapes his teeth across her skin, just feeling the tense tendons at the sweep of her neck. At her sharp inhale, he pulls back, and then turns and walks away. He'd rather the moment not be spoiled by Helen telling him he shouldn't have done it.
Its not like Nikola misses feeding, or the attack, but there's something missing. His mouth feels lonely since he's lost his heritage. He wants to know what it feels like to bite someone and not be feeding, to feel their flesh under his teeth without actually doing any lasting damage to them. He wants to know what Helen feels like, what she tastes like, how her body tenses and moves when he's holding onto her with his teeth. He can't stop thinking about it, and all the times he's touched her has done nothing to satiate his curiosity. His fantasies simply become more vivid. It's going to get him into trouble.
He stops by her office for no reason, coming around the desk as Helen closes folders and sets her hands on them in a huff. "Honestly, Nikola, what are you - "
She stops when he leans in, his hands on the arm of her chair, and bites her chin. She reaches up to her face but deliberately does not touch the spot.
"Are you actually ever going to ask, or are you going to continue this game of chase?" Helen says. She pushes back her chair and stands.
"Will you let me bite you, Helen?" he says, as mischievous as he can manage. She doesn't say yes, but after a moment, she pulls her hair back away from her neck, exposing one side. She inclines her head.
He steps forward and bites her, hard, so hard it surprises him, so hard he's surprised there isn't the rush of blood across his tongue. Helen gasps, her hand tight on his shoulders. He lets go and covers the spot with a kiss. He bites her again, just under her ear, just as hard as the first time, his hands at the small of her back. Helen makes the same small gasp, her fingers digging into his arm. He does it a third time, lower down her neck, close enough to her collarbone that his nose is pressing against the material of her shirt. He bites down, feels Helen's body jerk against his, and he licks the spot where his teeth were, feeling the marks in her skin.
"Helen," he says, the side of his face pressing for a moment against her cheek. He realizes he is shaking. When he looks up at her, she touches the spots on her neck, looking right into his eyes. Its too much, and he closes his eyes for a moment, steps back. He reaches out for the side of her desk to steady himself. He can still taste her on his tongue.
"You needn't have stopped," Helen says, her voice not quite steady.
Nikola looks away. "Helen, please, you have indulged my morbid fascination far more than - "
She steps into his space and kisses him. When they break apart, Helen's hand is on the back of his head and she's tilting her head back, exposing her neck to him, the unmarked side. He groans as he brings his mouth to skin, kissing her neck and then biting, hard, over and over, all the way down to her shoulder, where he unbuttons the first button of her shirt, then the second, then slides it down her arm to expose more skin, which he licks and kisses and bites all the way down her shoulder and then back, across her chest. He looks up at her and she's looking down at him, watching, her bottom lip between her teeth. He can't help but kiss her then, biting her bottom lip where her teeth had been, then the corner of her mouth.
"Helen," he says, stumbling back a few steps. He's just barely hanging on to his control, or perhaps he's already lost it. Helen's whole neck is red with marks, her shirt collar askew, the fabric ripped just a little at the seam. "Oh, Helen," he says, and then he turns and practically runs out of her office.
He'd never thought of Helen as prey, even if he often considered biting her. He'd simply wanted to know her with his mouth, but once he had, he couldn't stop. Helen's marked-up neck and her slightly dazed smile lingers brilliantly into his memory for the rest of the evening. He worries his lips with his teeth so much that they ache.
Helen knocks and then opens the door to his room without waiting for him to answer. He refuses to give her more than a glance.
"It's a perfectly normal progression of desire," Helen says, ignoring the fact that he's facing away from her. "Especially considering your recent transformation."
"Spare me the lecture on Abnormal instincts."
"Its true, Nikola. You were a vampire." Her emphasis on the word tingles across his chest and down to his fingers.
"But as we all know, I am no longer a vampire."
"That doesn't make a century of instinct disappear overnight."
"Its absurd and weak." He hadn't meant to say that. Helen sighs, and her pity is infuriating.
"I'll send Will in here to give you a psychological check-up," she threatens. "He can talk to you about accepting who you are. "
"Please," Nikola spits. "I'm not talking to your boy wonder."
For the first time since she's been in the room, Nikola risks a look at her. She's wearing a new shirt, but the marks are still visible under her hair when she turns her head. He closes his eyes quickly as he's overcome with the urge to put his mouth back to them.
Helen takes the opportunity to step closer. "It's perfectly natural," she says again.
"And is it perfectly natural for me to want to fuck you into the floor with my teeth on your neck, feeling your pulse under my tongue?" He gets the reaction he's hoping; her eyelashes flutter and she swallows twice in a row.
"Well," she says, and tosses her hair in a blatantly flirtatious way. Nikola laughs and Helen grins at him.
"So I propose we stay away from each other until my....desires....progress beyond constantly wanting to mark you up," Nikola says. "It seems that now I've opened Pandora's neck...."
"That wasn't going to be my suggestion at all," Helen says, and begins to unbutton her shirt.
"Helen, really, your compulsion to help and to heal is out of control." He watches her hands working down her buttons and his mouth goes dry. He looks away.
"You don't really believe that's the reason I'm here," she says. He hears the shush of the material of her shirt as it drops to the floor and tightens his hands into fists. Helen places her hand on his arm and he turns. His teeth marks are all over the right side of her collarbone. "I liked it, Nikola," she says and he can't help the sound he makes. "I liked how it felt. It was exhilarating." She barely has the word out when his mouth is on her neck again. He bites a spot clean of marks, bites down hard and feels the sound Helen makes vibrating in her throat. "Yes," she says, softly and he bites her again.
Helen's back is arched as Nikola kisses and bites his way across her throat. "Does it have to be the floor?" she asks. "Or would some other, softer surface be acceptable?"
"The bed will be perfectly acceptable," Nikola says as they back their way toward it, Nikola slipping off Helen's undershirt.
Nikola is enthralled by biting Helen's bare breast, her back arching and her hands settling on the back of Nikola's neck, holding him there. "Oh, my," Nikola says, moving from one breast to the other, biting and licking, and stopping only when Helen lets go of his head to shove her pants off and then to reach for his.
"Helen, please," he says, all false deference, and then lifts her hand to his mouth, starts dragging his teeth across her knuckles and then the back of her hand. He bites the inside of her wrist and then has to do the same all along her other hand before he manages to take the rest of his clothes off.
Helen's hips are beautiful and the crest of her hipbones fit perfectly under his mouth, but he knows he'll get lost if he lingers there too long, get lost in counting her ribs with his tongue, biting the soft skin of her stomach. This might be a single moment in time, he might never get to do this again and damn if he's going to get so distracted as to neglect Helen's legs.
Helen is quiet, but pushes herself up on her elbows to watch him, and he doesn't mind putting on a bit of a show as he arranges himself at her feet, biting softly at the arch of her foot, hard at her heel, gently at her Achilles tendon, quite intently at her calf, watching as the blood under her skin rushes back into the white marks. He likes the way Helen's leg kicks when he bites just behind her knee so he does it several times in a row until she's tugging at his hair, trying to pull him up.
He's feeling a distinct urgency by the time he's worked his way to her thighs. Helen's no longer sitting up and watching him, but has tipped her head back against the bed, one hand clenched on her stomach like she's just barely stopping herself from bringing it between her legs, the other hand tight in his sheets. He had hoped for the chance to turn her over but Helen's spreading her legs apart and Nikola isn't going anywhere else but right there, his hands spreading her open, tongue and lips, and the smallest scrape of teeth. Helen cries out, but it's not a sound of protest, so Nikola does it again, holding her clit gently between his teeth, staying perfectly still, not daring to breath. Helen's straining not to buck against him and when he moves just the slightest bit, Helen makes a sound low in her throat and then Nikola's being shoved away, pushed on his back, and Helen's climbing on top of him.
"Helen," Nikola says breathlessly, and then she's kissing him, hands on either side of his head, holding herself up. "Really, Helen, straight to the point then," he says, and she laughs against his mouth. He nips her bottom lip and her whole body connects with his.
"I'd recommend," Nikola says, his jaw tight with restraint, "that before you do that again, you get something important in that drawer there," he says, vaguely gesturing.
"You think I haven't been through your drawers before?" she asks.
"How nosy, Helen, if you were so curious, you could just have asked."
Helen climbs over him to reach his bedside table and Nikola can see the red marks going up her neck. He will not ask her to hurry. But of course Helen moves with grace, and she's sliding the condom onto him as his hands fumble. She climbs on top of him, settling herself perfectly before she sinks on to him. Nikola clenches his jaw so hard he sees flashes of color at the edges of his vision, and then Helen's moving, her hair falling down across his face, kissing him slowly and languorously and then quite a bit more intensely as she moves faster. Nikola bends his knees, digs his heels into the mattress and tries to keep her rhythm. "God, Helen," he gasps out, his hands sliding up and down her arms, Helen's eyes fallen closed, her mouth set in concentration. He stretches up to bite hard into her forearm and Helen's eyes fly open, she tenses above him and then tips her head forward so he can bite her neck. Helen moans and Nikola bites down harder then they're moving together so hard the bed's making obnoxiously loud creaking noises. Nikola's making noises, too, smothered against Helen's neck, against her throat, his teeth right at the base of her neck when she comes. He's still holding on to that spot, her gorgeous neck, his mouth on her, his teeth, his, his, his - he comes thinking he might never be able to let go.
Helen moves so that she's lying back on the bed, her hair fanning out around her head. When Nikola can manage to see clearly again, he's hypnotized watching her chest rise and fall, her hands tracing the marks all over her body. When she sees him watching, she sits up. Nikola thinks for a moment that she's just going to get up and walk out, but she leans forward and kisses him and then tucks herself into the crook of his arm, like she's lain like this hundreds of times before. Nikola doesn't think he can manage to say anything without garbling it, so he listens to the comfortable sound of her breathing until he's asleep.
He finds Helen in one of the medical labs later the next morning, dipping her fingers into a jar and dabbing the slightly green substance onto her neck.
"Let me see," Nikola says, because she's still turned away mostly away.
"I'm fine," she says lightly.
"I did cause the damage, Helen, I should at least face it."
She turns and shows him, and from just the fraction visible above the drape of her shirt, she looks wrecked. Many of the bites still have visible teeth marks that have blossomed into deep purple bruises.
"God, I'm sorry," he says. He'd turn and leave if he wasn't frozen into place, unable to tear his eyes away.
"No you're not," she says, with a playful turn of her head. "As long as I don't get sepsis. Though I don't think you managed to break the skin anywhere. Quite remarkable, honestly."
"You did say I was a natural with my mouth."
"I don't think that's quite what I said at all. While you're here, you might do the ones on my shoulders, I can't quite reach." Nikola takes the jar of salve and holds his breath as Helen drops her shirt. There are four distinct impressions at the base of her neck just before her shoulder blades, a few smaller purple bruises. He touches his fingers to one of them and Helen gasps. It's all he can do not to lean down and trace over them with his mouth.
"There," he says, handing the jar back to Helen when he's finished, and helping her lift her shirt back on. He looks at her, turning this way and that. "Some of them are still quite visible. What are you going to say?"
"No one's going to ask about them, Nikola," Helen says, as though it should be obvious, and it's true, he cannot imagine Will, Henry, or anyone else working up the nerve to ask Helen Magnus about bite marks she's not bothering to conceal.
Nikola is staring, he realizes, at the impressions up by her ear. He can remember her hair falling across his face, how he'd tugged at her earlobe before and after. He's realizing his breath is anything but even.
"Unless you need any more help," Nikola says, "I should be on my way. Research," he says, "so much less enticing than just jumping into an experiment."
"But so much less likely to blow up my Sanctuary," Helen says. "Nikola," she says, and then takes a step toward him. She looks for a minute like she's going to straighten his collar, but then she's pulling it away from his neck and biting down, her mouth a sharp shock on his skin. Nikola chokes out something that could almost be a whimper and his knees go weak. Helen takes a step back and smiles at him, running her tongue across her teeth.
"See you later," she says and walks out past him, leaving Nikola with an entirely new fixation.