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Author's Note: Written for "comment_fic"'s Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland/Henry Tilney, just because vampires aren't real doesn't mean they can't pretend Features vampire roleplay and a married couple being couple-ish.

Late in the evening, the table cleared, and both Catherine and Tilney retired to the sitting room, both to read, sometimes aloud, sometimes finding inspiration for other activities, by way of the tales they read. But tonight, he found her curled on the sofa with a volume of Coleridge, the moon just rising, framed in the window behind her.

"Choosing poetry over prose?" he asked, sitting at her feet, his eye on the book in her hands.

"Yes, his 'Christabel': it reads like a horrid novel, but the lyrics make the story sing," she said. "A mysterious lady who cannot enter a house unless she is invited, a dog barking at peculiar hours, and a mysterious mark upon the person of the lady. All the signs of one thing."

"A long lost heir to a kingdom with peculiar effects on the livestock and an incurable case of shyness?" Tilney asked, airily.

"Mister Tilney, have you no sense of romance?" Cathy teased back. "I meant that she sounded as though she might very well be a vampire."

"But you know that there are no such things as vampires," Tilney replied. "Much less ones which resemble mysterious wandering ladies." His tone sounded crisp, but she could see a glint in his eyes that hinted of possibilities, that his clever mind was forming some impish plan.

She did not see the fruits of his clever wit till much later, when she came from her dressing room to their bedchamber. Usually, he would have joined her by now, but the maid told her that the master of the house had some accounts to tend to and would not be joining her for some time, that she was not to wait up for him. This was unusual, but she thought nothing of it. She settled down on her pillow, covers pulled to her chin, letting herself slip into a peaceful doze.

Hardly five minutes seemed to have passed, when she awoke, a sound disturbing her sleep. Something scratched against the window glass. A branch? But no trees stood close to that side of the house. She sat up, covers clutched to her breast.

"Who is there?" she asked in a frightened squeak. A cool breeze fanned her cheek, coming from the window; it stood open, a tall shadow darkened the square of moonlight, arms spread, the folds of a mantled cloak draping about it like vast wings.

"Cathyyyyyy...." a husky voice asked from the window. "It is your daemon lover, your childe of the night."

The voice reminded her of Tilney's voice, but a vampire could mimick the voice of a loved one. And yet, she could not resist the call. The effect of the vampire's powers of allure?

"Oh... Oh, come to me, my love," she whispered, holding out her arms. The figure descended from the window sill, gliding to the bed, throwing off its cloak and standing over her, his naked form gleaming pale in the moonlight. He mounted the bed, pushing her back onto the pillows and pulling down the neck of her shift.

"Oh my beloved, let me drink of your life's blood, ere I ravish your lovely form," he murmured, before running the tip of his tongue along the lines of her neck.

"Drink of me and let me drink of you, that I might be your queen for all time," she begged.

"As you wish," her lover replied, giving her arm a tickling bite that made her yelp, then giggle, a prelude to more giggling and moaning and shrieks of delight, as he took her beneath him...

"And you said that vampires do not exist," Cathy said, later, as she lay with Tilney's head on her heart.

"How you spoil the moment," Tilney said, in fake disappointment. "All this time that I played your daemon lover, you knew that it was I."

"Mister Tilney, the windows open from the *inside*," she said.

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