'You've never fought back before.' Lazarus said quietly, looking at her somewhat apprehensively.

‘No. But I have seen a lot. Just because I have never fought back doesn't mean I don't know how.’ Her smile was shaky. He nodded, then paused in thought.

'Hmm. You remember a while ago, you said I can control the wolf?' he said, rubbing his chin a little, still glad his skin could breathe again without the beard.

‘Yeah?’ She asked, not sure where he was going with it. He couldn’t help but notice her slightly dubious tone.

'Each transformation, I've felt more in control, when I try. Obviously I can't fight against the transformation when the moon is full, but I was wondering... could that control go as far as bringing the wolf out when the moon isn't full? I mean, if I could fight in my strongest form, with the level of control that I have as I am now...' he trailed off, staring at the floor at her feet, concentrating on his train of thought.

‘But... that'll just put you in pain for something you're not even sure about!’ Melissa cried, almost shocked that he would suggest forcing a transformation – something so painful that he resorted to blotting it out with alcohol.

'If I can get rid of James, it's worth it.' his voice hardened and he glanced back at Melissa for her reaction.

‘But it's not necessary.’ She replied flatly.

'I'm no good in this form, Melissa.'

‘No good for what?’ She raised an eyebrow before laughing slightly.

'Fighting.' He shrugged. She kissed him softly.

‘But this need not be your fight.’ She told him, her voice as gentle as her kiss. Lazarus frowned but kissed her back firmly.

'I can't let him break you again, Melissa.' He muttered, resting his head on her shoulder, closing his eyes.

‘He won't. I was stupid last time. I let my guard down.’ She replied, running her fingers through his hair. He lifted his head again as she continued: ‘I know now that I can change into other things. Not just a wolf. If I can find out just what I can turn into I can fight!’

'I want to fight with you,' he whispered, gazing into her deep green eyes. 'I love you.'

‘I won't see you killed!’ her voice rose though she tried to keep her tone even.

'Killed? He won't kill me if I get to him first, Melissa.' His frown only deepened.

‘Do you know where he is? And you don't know that for sure! Lazarus, you said it yourself! You're no match for him!’ her retort stole his words away.

'I...' He sighed, shaking his head.

‘What Lazarus?’ she relaxed her tone a bit, keeping her temper at bay.

'I just don't want to let him hurt you.' He tightened his arms around her protectively.

‘He won't.’ She reassured.

'I'd still like to help, somehow.' He replied stubbornly. She laughed a little.

‘You can.’ She smiled, brushing her cold lips with his and wrapping her arms around him, pulling him closer to her.

'How?' he asked, confusion in his eyes.

‘By staying with me.’

‘I'd still like to try forcing the transformation, so I can be stronger.' He insisted on the idea and Melissa sighed, exasperated.

‘Will the wolf really like that though?’ Lazarus simply shrugged in response. ‘What if it doesn't and when it comes out it's angry and you can't control it, then what do you do?’ She continued.

‘It accepted you. It wants to protect you. If it knows it's been brought out to protect you then it should be okay.’ He spoke slowly, but he was sure of his words.

‘But how will it know that? Wait... what?’

'It is a part of me.' He smirked a little and laughed. Melissa was shocked for a moment, not knowing what to say.

‘But... how are you going to do it?’ she queried.

‘I have no idea,' He smiled. 'Just because I've spent the last four centuries fighting it, it doesn't mean I can't control a part of me. Apart from the moon's influence, I guess.'

Lazarus.’ She smiled. ‘I love you.’ She laughed, kissing him again. ‘I wish we could forget this James situation. Just for a little while.’ She added, with a sigh, her smile fading a little.

'I love you too. And you're welcome to forget it, if you want. Doesn't remove the threat, though,' He grimaced, but only for a fleeting moment.

‘Just for a single moment.’ She smiled pressing her lips against his firmly. Lazarus smiled, kissing back with passion heating his lips.

‘Thank you.’

'Any time,' he smiled adding a shorter kiss on the end of the last one. ‘I can give you more than just a moment, if you wish.’ She placed her hands on his chest, kissing him again, this time with more passion, in place of a reply. Hesitantly, he slipped one of his hands down from her waist, pulling her against him. Melissa kissed him again before pulling away gently.

‘I trust you.’ She whispered in his ear softly.

'I love you,' he murmured, kissing along her jaw, down her neck to her collar bone, breathing in her scent.

‘I love you too.’ She mumbled back, hesitantly undoing the buttons of his shirt. He paused, holding her eyes.

'You don't have to if you don't want to,' he told her, searching her eyes for doubt. He found none as she gazed back at him.

‘No. I want to.’ She said. He planted his lips on hers again, the passion in his touch almost irresistible. Melissa deepened the kiss, pulling him closer to her, seduced by his touch. Lazarus gently pushed Melissa back, laying her down. He broke the kiss and looked into her eyes, the desire in them more prominent than it had ever been. He glanced away from her eyes as he unlaced her bodice.

Melissa gently placed a hand on his cheek, pushing his gaze softly back towards her.

‘Lazarus, are you okay?’ She whispered softly, her voice almost taken by the moment. He nodded, his voice temporarily lost.

‘You?’ Melissa simply nodded back slipping Lazarus’ shirt off his back. He kissed her again, unbuttoning her blouse with steady, certain fingers. She smiled, shuddering slightly under his touch. He peeled back her shirt, kissing her exposed collar bone, running his hands down her sides, caressing her skin. Melissa ran her fingers through his hair before moving her hands down below his waist, unbuttoning his trousers with her graceful fingers.

He groaned a little, hardly able to restrain himself much longer. He tugged Melissa's close fitting trousers down over her hips with ease, pulling them off with a hungered growl. Melissa smiled softly, wrapping her arms around Lazarus, pulling his naked body closer to her, so it almost crushed her own.

‘You sure you're ready?’ He asked, trying to conceal the lust in his voice, attempting as ever to remain the gentleman. Melissa nodded, kissing Lazarus again. He pushed her legs apart a little further and kissed her as he pulled her underwear off, exposing her completely. ‘I love you,’ he said firmly as he took her gently.

The End

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