Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: in your bedroom
Nick sighed, and took a drag of his half-finished cigarette as he stared at the Parisian
skyline. It was nearing dawn, and he would only have another fifteen minutes, at best,
to enjoy the night. To feel the gossamer fingertips of the moonlight reaching out to
him, caressing his skin like a wanton lover. To live as if nothing was of concern to
him, to feel free.
Freedom being a relative term, of course. Each night somehow reminded him of his true
nature, the choice he had made after he had drunk himself half-blind. A choice that
had been motivated by the appearance of a seductive raven-haired woman. He had been
young, foolish. All that mattered to him back then was women and drink. And praying
the Pope would burn in hell.
Funny how it *still* made him angry now. The Crusades -- what a joke! Thousands of
people were slaughtered because both sides were truly convinced that their way was
the only Way, that anyone who didn't follow the edicts of their religion would
suffer dire consequences. Each side referred to the other as "heathens", and anyone
who didn't conform to either were "heretics". And the idea that holy wars still
erupted every now and then, even in the mad juggernaut that became known as the
Twentieth Century, sickened him. Of course, nowadays the mass murder of a people was
usually referred to as genocide.
He had come face to face with a person who became infamous for his cold, unfeeling
attitude, and frequent murdering, of Jews. Adolf Hitler had been his name. Nick was
racked with a shiver that was not a result of the cool night air. How could God
permit such a vile creature to exist? Or as LaCroix was fond of declaring, if there
is a God, is He sane?
As of late, Nick often found himself questioning LaCroix's sanity. As much as he
loved the old General, he was repulsed by his extreme possessiveness. In order to
hold someone closely, one must be willing to let go. LaCroix refused to let go, and
that trait, which had once been so endearing, was now terribly stifling.
In his fledgling days, Nick had truly adored the master vampire. An eager student,
he had sat at LaCroix's feet, and had hung on to every word the elder vampire had
spoken. He knew now, though he hadn't known then, that he had truly been in love
with Lucien; his teacher, his confidante. His father, his brother. His lover.
It was true; they had been lovers for a time, but eventually Nick had wanted to
spend some time alone. That was where the trouble began. LaCroix had taken his
fledging's desire for solitude as a personal rejection, even though the younger
vampire had sworn up and down that it wasn't.
The time they spent together became rife with bitter arguements that sometimes
turned violent. The moments of tender lovemaking they had shared became a thing
of the past. Eventually, Nick's desire for a separation became personal, a desire
to escape. And, of course, LaCroix refused to let him leave. The elder vampire
followed Nick wherever he went, refusing to allow Nick his much-needed solitude.
Until now. This time, he had made sure that no one in the Community, not even
Lucien, would know his location. He never stayed in one place for more than a week,
and had covered his trail to avoid being found. The only people who had any idea
where he would be tomorrow night were himself and Aristotle, and Nick preferred
to keep it that way.
He knew back home in Toronto (odd how he considered it home after all this time),
Natalie and Lucien were both worried about him. Possibly they'd be verbally at each
other's throats. Nick was filled with consternation at the thought. The two of them
had never gotten along, and he knew that dear Lucien (he surprised himself with the
tenderness the moniker had been mentioned in his internal monologue) and dearest
Natalie would be agonizing over his absence. It wasn't at all an egotistical
consideration. He just knew both of their personalities so well.
Natalie so often tried to be strong, but she was a "leaner" emotionally. She could
fool a great many people but she could never fool Nick. Not that he minded being
leaned on. It felt good to be needed, to have someone looking up to him. Sometimes,
though, she possessed a wisdom far beyond her years. She was also fiery, very
passionate. Sometimes tough, but usually tender, and always interesting. Plus, she
had both brains and beauty, both in good measure, to boot.
She had never asked for anything from him, and in return he gave her everything he
possibly could. Up until he had fallen for her, he hadn't known what it was like
to truly be in love. The kind of love which involved a give-and-take on both sides,
rather than just one giving and the other taking. That's how his relationship with
LaCroix had been. Nick kept giving and LaCroix kept taking till, eventually, Nick
had nothing left to give. His relationship with Jeanette had been much simpler,
too simple, really; it had been purely sexual.
Up until six months ago, his relationship with Nat had been quite the opposite. In
fact, he had been going as slow as possible to avoid any mishaps, such as a
short-lived relationship, or worse, killing her while making love. But fate decided
He had been shot in the head with a cop-killing bullet. The bullet would have killed
a mortal, but merely caused Nick to experience amnesia. He woke up in a strange
hospital not remembering his name or who all the people gathered by his beside were.
Fortunately, the amnesia was temporary, and he eventually regained all his past
memories. Natalie and LaCroix had unwittingly worked together to cover up the fact
that the hospital's "miracle patient" had no perceptible heartbeat and abnormally
low body temperature. Not to mention the unusual DNA patterns and cellular structure.
Natalie had taken care of that last bit by pilfering the blood and tissue samples
they had taken from Nick and replacing said samples with someone else's. No science,
just "the good ol' switcheroo", as Schanke would have put it, God love him.
Schanke had often poked fun at Nick's eccentricity, but it was only friendly jesting,
not out of a desire to hurt Nick. Schanke's personality had initially rubbed Nick the
wrong way. The donut-loving cop had been about as subtle as a brick wall, and about
as tactful as a brillo pad. Later on, Nick had learned to appreciate Schanke's sense
Despite not really knowing much about his enigmatic partner, Schanke had accepted Nick
unconditionally. While Schanke had certainly had suspicions about Nick, he had never
really entertained them. Schanke was there for Nick regardless. When someone had a
snide comment about Nick, Schanke immediately went to his partner's defense. When it
seemed as if the whole world had turned on Nick, Schanke and Natalie had both been
there, supporting him.
It was surprising, really, that his truest friends weren't of his own kind. He had
spent so many years feeling alone and friendless, an outcast among his kind. Without
someone to care, and care for, life had no meaning. How did that song go? "You gotta
He didn't have many friends, and over the centuries he had made more than his share of
enemies. And these latest were particularly angry with him. They had crossbows and
holy water, and they knew how to use them. A feeling of utter dread came over him as
he thought about it. Truthfully, running wasn't really going to solve anything. They
would find him soon enough.
There was a single thump on the door to his hotel suite, as if something had hit it.
With a feeling of trepidation, he went back in the suite from the balcony, and
cautiously opened the door. And was shocked by what he saw.
"Oh God, no," he moaned aloud.
A body had been slumped against his door, and had fallen into the room when he had
opened it. It was one of the bellboys; a young man in his late teens, early
twenties. An arrow of hawthorn pierced the boy's chest, a telltale sign of murder.
His eyes were wide open, and his mouth was gaping in silent terror. He hadn't heard
the boy scream. Probably the boy had been so scared he couldn't make a sound. The
boy obviously had been a mere mortal, for the body had not turned to ash.
He knew this would happen. They had found him, and they had used the boy's death to
gain his attention. Well, they had it. He didn't allow himself the luxury of mourning
the boy's death. They were playing dirty now, endangering the lives of the mortals
around him. But there was no use fretting over it. It was time to fight back.
And fight he would. To the death.