After Helen had finished eating, Nikola escorted her upstairs to her room. It was the one next to his and had an adjoining door. While she climbed into bed, he unlocked the door from both sides.

"I'm going to spend some time catching up with Vic," Nikola said to her. "The door between our rooms is unlocked so if you need anything tonight you can just call me. Is there anything I can get you now?"

"Newspapers would be good, so I can catch up on what's going on in the world. I don't suppose you could borrow a computer?"

"I'll see what I can do." He came back in a few minutes with newspapers, magazines, and a laptop. He had a clean glass and a pitcher of ice water balanced on top, and set those on Helen's nightstand while she eagerly took the computer and started the process to access the Sanctuary database. The vampire left the newspapers and magazines in a pile within her reach and went to join Vic in his lab.

Helen did what she could to help Will on the paperwork, making sure anything urgent or that needed her personal attention was taken care of before she logged off. She spent a little time reading magazines and papers and then napped. She was awakened by her door opening, and Nikola brought in a tray with eggs and toast and a pot of tea.

He sat with her while she ate and told him about the things she had handled at the Sanctuary that she thought he might need to know. He wasn't interested in most of it, but he nodded in the right places, and took her tray when she was done.

"Don't wait up for me," he said as he was leaving. "I'll probably be up late; Vic has made some interesting discoveries in the last few years and I won't get a chance to come back here for a long time if ever. Anything else you need?"

"No, thank you Nikola. When we get home tomorrow, I think you should take a sample of my blood and see if you can come up with a vaccine for whatever strain of flu I have. It could be something unusual, and if it is it could make a lot of people sick."

"Okay, but you seem to be recovering pretty quickly."

"Yes, but remember I'm old enough to have been exposed before to a great many types of the disease so I may have some natural immunity. And I am a little bit vampire and that may be helping too. There are quite a few people here and at home that don't have those advantages and we don't want to let people become ill or die because we went visiting."

"Right. And I'll need to follow up on the twins too, to see whether they've chosen to be human or vampire."

She smiled at him and said, "Good night, Nikola. Enjoy your visit with your old friend, and tomorrow we can address those issues."

"Good night, see you in the morning." He took her tray to the kitchen and went to Vic's lab. It was late when he was satisfied he had learned everything the scientist had discovered and went to his own room.

Nikola undressed, turned out his light, got into bed, and was asleep almost immediately. It was hours later when the bedroom door from the hallway opened and stealthy footsteps approached his bed.

The vampire became groggily aware someone . . . no, two someones were in his room, but he thought he recognized the sounds and scents of the humans at his bed, and he wasn't alarmed. There was the soft swish of cloth and then the mattress sank on both sides of him from the weight of people getting into his bed with him. That woke him fully, but it was too late.

There were two naked women in bed with him—Cindy and Jody, and they had stripped him of his nightshirt before he understood what they were doing. He tried to tell them to get off of him and out of his bed but one of them had her mouth on his and the other had her hands . . . elsewhere. Nikola simultaneously attempted to free his mouth and push the other young woman away, and found himself vamping. He stopped that, afraid of the damage claws and fangs could do in the dark to tender flesh.

He had both of them on top of him by then. One of them was giggling around her mouth on his, her hands running over his torso. The other was using her mouth on his genitals and it was having the desired effect. He finally got both his hands on the one kissing him and managed to push her upright just as the light came on.

He saw he had one hand on Jody's shoulder and the other on her breast, a mass of brown curly hair in his lap, and Helen in the doorway between their rooms. Nikola quickly pulled his hands back as the hair lifted off of him and became Cindy.

"Uh, I can . . ." he started to say, but Helen cut him off.

"Don't. Don't say a word," she said. She went back through the door, closing it softly but clicking the lock loudly.

"Well, Grandma's gone, now we can go back to having some fun," Jody said.

"Get off of me, both of you," Nikola said angrily.

"But Sugar, look, you're having fun too," Cindy said. "Little Nicky is just starting to enjoy himself."

The vampire sat up pushing Jody not overly gently off his bed. He let his eyes go red and his teeth grow just a little and lunged toward Cindy, who fell off the bed trying to back up.

"Get out. Whatever gave you the idea I wanted you in here? That was my wife you just insulted, and hear that? That's the sound of my marriage breaking. GET OUT!" Nikola roared.

The two young women hastily retrieved robes from the floor, wrapped themselves up and fled, leaving his door hanging open. Nikola got out of bed and picked up his nightshirt and bedding off of the floor. He put on the nightshirt, tossed the top sheet and blanket in a jumble on the bed, and went to take a shower. He could still feel their hands and mouths on him and wanted to wash the feeling off.

It didn't entirely work, but he felt better after scrubbing himself nearly raw. When he returned to his room he closed and locked the door to the hall behind him and went and stood at the adjoining door and listened. Was Helen crying? Maybe, softly. Bad time to try to talk to her.

Sleep was out of the question. He dressed and went through the house silently. Nikola went out on the porch and found a rocking chair to sit in. The night was cold and clear, and there were thousands of stars visible in the sky. He sat and rocked, and looked at them.

He knew what Helen was thinking. She would believe he'd broken his wedding vows and betrayed her with two young women. To make it worse, he'd done it in the room next to hers, apparently thinking she was too stupid to realize what she was hearing next door, or maybe she would think that he believed she was too sick to notice.

She would throw him out of her apartment. Would she exile him from the Sanctuary too? Maybe not, since he was still Danny's father, but she might not want him around his son either, in case he taught the boy his wicked ways. Or she might let him stay since their son was going to be a vampire and he would need his father's guidance.

Unless she used the de-vamper on Danny. Would she do that? Would she deny her son his heritage from his father? How hurt, how angry was she?

Nikola felt sick at the thought. Instead of a friendly twinkling light show, the stars now just looked hard and cold. He went inside and found a computer. He spent the rest of the night watching bird videos—birds flying, talking, singing, dancing, doing tricks. It didn't matter; he just had to stop thinking about what had happened.

When the first hint of dawn appeared, he shut the computer off and went outside. He had the de-vamper in his pocket, he could just walk away. If he did that, Helen wouldn't be able to de-vamp Danny at least. He definitely didn't want to face any of the women in the house.

But he had to try to salvage something with Helen. Maybe she would listen to him, maybe she would believe him. Nikola doubted it, he wouldn't believe any excuses himself if he walked in on someone in the position he'd been in last night. He just stayed outside until the sun came up and he heard the distant sound of a helicopter approaching.

Helen hadn't slept the rest of the night either. She had no appetite for breakfast so she just had two cups of tea. She put on the horrible dress again, made sure she had her gun, and found Vic and thanked him for his hospitality. Then she went out on the porch to wait for transportation. Unknowingly, she sat in the same rocker Nikola had used the night before.

She hadn't seen him this morning, and the young ladies had gone riding at the crack of dawn so she hadn't had to face them either. Helen just hoped the helicopter would arrive before they got back. And Nikola . . . she would have to see him eventually, but right now she didn't want to look at him. She was still shocked he had done that, and in the room right next to hers too. If someone had told her he would break his solemn oath to her she wouldn't have believed it. Nikola always kept his word when it counted, so apparently their marriage vows hadn't meant very much to him. And she had been such a fool to believe he actually loved her and would be her partner forever.

When they heard the helicopter, both of them walked toward it from different directions. Nikola was closer, but slowed his steps and angled toward her. Helen ignored him as he started walking next to her.

"I know you're upset, but please let me talk to you when we get home. It wasn't what it looked like, really," he said quietly as they approached the landing machine.

She didn't respond or even look at him. But she smiled when Henry bounded out of the aircraft, grinning.

"Hey, Doc! Are you okay?" the HAP said when she reached him.

"I'm fine, but believe me I'll be glad to put on my own clothes," she said, gesturing at her dress.

Henry nodded and said, "Yup, I believe that." He looked at Tesla. "What's the matter Vlad, you don't look happy to be going home."

There was a pained silence. Nikola shook his head a little and got in the helicopter without a word. Henry looked at Helen and said, "What?"

"It's personal. Just leave it," she replied grimly, and got into the aircraft too.

Henry muttered, "Uh oh." He got in next to the pilot, and the helicopter took off. The ride was noisy from the rotors. They wore headsets so they could talk to each other, but no one did.

The helicopter took them to an airport where they transferred to a Sanctuary jet which transported them to a city with one of Tesla's gates, and they were home by dinnertime.

Will met them at the gate, and began talking to Helen about business and the two of them went off toward her suite. Henry walked with Nikola toward his lab.

"So what happened?" he asked the vampire.

Nikola stopped and faced him. "I screwed up, but it wasn't my fault. Helen . . . she . . . well I have to talk to her, but she's royally pissed at me right now, and with good reason."

"So you're sleeping in your lab tonight."

"For the foreseeable future, if I'm lucky. Have you made any progress with that magnetic ceramic you've been working on?"

Henry recognized the deliberate change in topic but let it go. Trouble this big between the boss and her vampire was something he was definitely staying out of.

Note: SparklyxJarter, this is for you. I'm working on the sequel to my book "The Lady and the Prince" on Inkitt, so I won't be updating very often. You might like the book. Think Jonathon Young at 15 as a snarky prince with illegal magic and Amanda Tapping at 18 as the granddaughter of an impoverished baron that is supposed to marry him. Then things start to happen—mysterious attacks, plots, battles, romance, etc.