Infatuation With A Vampire
Fran Glass

Summary: X-Files/Forever Knight crossover. While investigating 
cattle mutilations in Montana, Scully is abducted by a mentally 
unstable person that Mulder suspects of being a vampire.

Disclaimer: This story is based on the X-Files characters and 
situations created by Chris Carter, Ten Thirteen Productions and 
Fox Broadcasting, and also the Forever Knight characters belonging 
to James Parriott, Columbia Tri/Star. Used without permission but 
no infringement is intended. All other contents are copyrighted to 
the author.

X-Files Spoilers:  Irresistible, 3 , Nisei

FK Spoilers: Last Knight, Night in Question, Killer Instinct, 
Human Factor, Sons of Belial, Only the Lonely, The Fix, Dead of 
Night, Ashes to Ashes

Rated: PG

Completed May 9, 1999


Infatuation With a Vampire
by Fran Glass aka

Part 1/11

October 7, 1996
Mulder's Apartment
3:14 a.m.

Mulder jerked awake, not sure of exactly what had disturbed 
his sleep. Glancing at the television set, he saw a commercial 
with very attractive women demonstrating how they achieved such 
great looking thighs with some gadget they squeezed together 
between their knees. Mulder allowed his mind to wander into 
fanciful directions for a moment until he realized that the TV 
wasn't what had awakened him. He sat up and grabbed the gun from 
beneath his pillow. Cautiously, he moved about the semi-darkened 
room, seeking anything that looked out of place. While checking to 
see that the locks were still secure on his front door, he noticed 
a manila envelope on the floor in front of it. He'd had a visitor. 

Poring over the contents of the envelope at his desk, he 
found a file folder containing the bio of a Canadian police 
detective and two, seemingly unrelated newspaper articles. The 
first article was two weeks old and told of the desecration of a 
woman's grave in Toronto, Canada. The second news story was a week 
old and described animal mutilations in Montana. What the two 
cases had in common, Mulder couldn't even hazard a guess. But, 
obviously, someone felt the two were connected, along with the 
Canadian cop, and that Spooky Mulder was the perfect choice to 
bring the matter to light. His curiosity instantly piqued, Mulder 
turned on his computer and began a new investigation.


5 Months Earlier

She had trusted him. It would be the last mistake she would 
ever make. Her first was ever allowing herself to get involved 
with him. She had come tonight to declare her love and offer 
herself to him. She had done so much for him in the six years they 
had known each other. Besides helping to protect his secret from 
the rest of the mortal world, she had dedicated her life to 
finding a cure for his vampirism. Along the way, she had become 
his conscious, his nursemaid, his shoulder to cry on, and his 
reason for existing.

Natalie had pleaded with him to try the cure that had worked 
for Janette, his sister in darkness. All he had to do was make 
love to her, to take just a few sips of her blood, and he'd be on 
his way to regaining his mortality. She'd had such faith in his 
control, in his desire not to hurt her, that she was able to 
convince him to try. But Nick knew from the very first taste of 
her love-laced blood, that settling for only a few sips would not 
be possible. It had been decades since he had last savored human 
blood direct from the source. He drained her in a matter of 
moments and only afterwards did he realize the consequences.

"Oh, Nicholas, you have thought this through, haven't you,?" 
his master's voice broke through the ball of confusion encircling 
him. LaCroix had come to collect him, to encourage him to leave 
his life in Toronto behind and start anew elsewhere. If only he'd 
arrived a few minutes earlier because, no, Nick had not thought 
any of it through. He simply allowed his emotions to lead him, and 
now the love of his life was teetering on the verge of death. Now 
he was faced with the decision to complete the process and bring 
her across or let her die.

He tried to think clearly, objectively. All he knew for sure 
was that he didn't want to condemn her to the same kind of 
existence that he had fought so long and hard against. She had 
told him if it came down to it, that she was okay with becoming a 
vampire. But his selfishness had a way of overriding the wishes of 
others. He thought of his sister Fleur and of Janette, his love 
for eight centuries. For each of them, he had completely ignored 
their choices, granting them instead just the opposite of what 
they had wanted. This occasion would be no different. He would not 
bring Natalie across as she had asked, a choice of which LaCroix 
seemed in favor. 

But making that decision and living with it was something 
Nick could not bare. He never had to actually say the words, but 
LaCroix sensed the devastation his offspring felt. He also knew 
how irrational he could be at times. When Nick handed him a wooden 
staff and told him that he was his closest friend, LaCroix 
instinctively knew what was expected of him. Nick wanted his best 
friend to put an end to the heartache and pain once and for all.

LaCroix silently accepted the task. There were no final words 
of farewell as Nick turned away and knelt down next to Natalie's 
body and held her limp, lifeless hand in his. Seconds later he 
heard LaCroix curse his name, then felt the searing pain as the 
narrow end of the staff pierced cleanly through his body. There 
was little time to scream as he slumped to the floor, his body 
partially covering Natalie's.

LaCroix broke off the end of the staff he still held, then 
turned away and tossed it into the fireplace. He closed his eyes 
in an attempt to suppress his emotions. He wondered how it was 
that the most cherished of his children could cause him the most 
unbearable grief. Perhaps this was his punishment for the evil 
deeds he had cast upon the good and righteous for the past two 


The fact that he possessed super-human hearing was the only 
reason he picked up the faint whisper of his name. He braced 
himself for the confrontation, then casually turned back to the 
crumbled figure at his feet. Using the tip of his shoe, the tall, 
imposing vampire pushed on Nick's shoulder to flip him onto his 
side. His child groaned at the pain the movement caused.

"Apparently, my aim was a trifle off," said LaCroix, looking 
down his keen nose with steel blue eyes and showing no remorse 
over his lack of accuracy.

"Please," Nick gasped. "Finish it."

"Don't be a fool, Nicholas. I have no intentions of 
contributing to your demise. You selfish, ungrateful brat! You 
only appreciate my gift to you when it suits your needs. 
Otherwise, you claim you want to be mortal again. If there *was* 
such a thing as a cure for immortality, you've just allowed your 
only hope to slip from your hands."

LaCroix took a few steps around to the other side and stood 
over the still body of Natalie Lambert, her long, thick auburn 
curls framing her pallid, round face. He shook his head 
regretfully as he knelt down to caress the silken skin of her 
cheek. The warmth was already leaving her body.

"You had the chance to make her one of us, but now it's much 
too late. She wanted to be brought across. She wanted to spend all 
of eternity with you, where she would have had all the time in the 
world to continue her quest in seeking a cure. If you had *truly* 
loved her, you would have granted her that request. Or perhaps you 
would have done the noble thing and simply walked away, leaving 
her alive and her wholesome goodness intact."

Nick wanted to respond, but besides the pain and weakness 
impeding his ability to speak, he really didn't know what he could 
possibly say in his defense. LaCroix stood again, still keeping 
his gaze on Natalie.

"How many times have we visited this little scenario, 
Nicholas? How many times in the past have you loved an adoring 
creature such as this and allowed your beast to take her from you? 
Too numerous to count, I'm sure. Can you recall the times you've 
attempted to bring one across only to find that her love for you 
made her blood all the more delectable and irresistible? You can't 
help but savor that sweet nectar to the very last drop.... And 
what makes this one any different? No. I stand corrected. This one 
*was* different, was she not? She has shown courage, determination 
and faithfulness. She's been a great ally to the vampire community 
on several occasions. I would have been quite proud to have her as 
part of our little family, after all, Nicholas. How unfortunate 
that a pure act of selfishness on your part has brought an end to 
such a beautiful flower."

"LaCroix, please!" Nick managed to find his voice and rasped 
out a sobbing plea. The ache in his heart surpassed that of the 
stake protruding through his lower right ribcage. His eyes were 
red with blood tinged tears that streaked down the side of his 

The elder vampire strolled back over to his child and gave 
him a pitying look. "Poor, poor Nicholas. You try so hard to be 
everything but what you are. Surely, you knew I would not take 
your life, not unless it was my own idea. And you lack the courage 
to walk into the sun on your own. Just as well for you, for if 
there is a heaven, there's no way your damnable soul would be 
allowed to follow your beloved Natalie through those pearly white 
gates." Nodding towards the stake jutting out of Nick's abdomen, 
LaCroix added, "That's starting to look rather uncomfortable." 

He bent over and not too gently yanked the stake free. Nick 
howled loudly at the removal, then collapsed into a stupor. 
LaCroix flipped the blood-covered wood over into the fireplace 
where it flared up instantly. He then pulled Nick's shirt tails 
from his pants and used the ends to plug the gaping holes left 
behind by the staff. Tearing away a small portion of flesh from 
his own wrist, LaCroix offered an oozing vein to Nick.

The man wanted to resist, wanted to just perish and waste 
away to nothing, but the beast inside felt starved and endangered. 
It refused to be denied an opportunity to feed and heal itself. 
Nick was no match for the beast and gave into it once again. 
Because his son had recently fed, LaCroix saw no need to allow him 
little more than a pint. It would be just enough to help begin the 
healing process. LaCroix preferred that Nick remain incapacitated 
for a while. There was much to be accomplished before sunrise and 
he didn't need his impetuous progeny causing complications.

  "Enough!" LaCroix pushed Nick away and stood, licking his 
wound to heal it. "You'll get more later. But now, there's work to 
be done. I'll have to clean up the mess you've made." Glancing 
about the room, he took a moment to think. "I suppose an 
automotive mishap is in order. By the time they discover the body, 
we shall be long gone."

He grabbed Natalie's coat and began to dress her in it. Nick 
laid quietly, curled up on his left side and stared despairingly 
at Natalie, hoping to see her display some sign of life. There was 
none. All color had left her cheeks, and Nick had listened 
intently to pick up the sound of her heartbeat. There was nothing 
left to be heard. "LaCroix," he called softly to his master as the 
elder vampire gathered up other items, including the detective's 
coat and Natalie's purse.

"We can talk later, Nicholas," said LaCroix as he continued 
on with his mission to collect the most obvious of personal 
belongings of his son and his female friend. He removed the keys, 
wallet, badge and watch Nick kept in his jewelry case on the sofa 
table. As he removed the shoes from his son's feet, Nick attempted 
again to speak to him.


"Not now, Nicholas," LaCroix responded firmly.

"Please, I want to forget!" Nick blurted out. "I want to 
forget it all."

"Forget a lesson learned, Nicholas?"

"I... I can't live with myself, LaCroix," Nick sobbed. "With 
what I've done. If I am to go with you, I need to forget."

LaCroix gave the matter some thought. Hypnotizing another 
vampire into forgetting wasn't an easy task. And it appeared that 
Nick was asking to forget more than just the past few minutes. He 
wanted to wipe out the entire past six years he had known Natalie. 
Vampires were the perfect resisters, backed with total recall. 
However, there had been a time when Nick had lost his memory, back 
when he had been shot in the head while on duty. There still 
remained tremendous gaps in his memory which LaCroix noted 
whenever they held conversations about their history together.

"I can only think of one possibility, Nicholas, but--"

"Do it!" Nick cried, not caring what it took.

LaCroix walked over to the chair where Nick had draped his 
holstered gun over the back. It had been a long time since he had 
handled such a weapon, preferring to use his bare hands to settle 
disputes and such. He took the gun back over to where Nick lay, 
and without hesitation, aimed at his head and pulled the trigger. 
When nothing happened, he stared at the gun curiously. Nick saw 
the problem and reached his hand out for the weapon. LaCroix 
handed it over to him and watched as Nick made some quick 
movements, then gave it back to his master.

"Safety was on," Nick said simply, then turned his head away 
to look longingly once again at his beloved Natalie. "Forgive me, 
Nat," were his final words as shots rang out. A fire sprang to 
life in his brain, then darkness eventually consumed him.


October 7
FBI Headquarters
3:40 p.m.

Scully dragged herself into the office, plopped a file folder 
on top of Mulder's desk, then eased herself wearily onto the chair 
opposite his. Her partner was standing beside the fax machine with 
his back to her, thoroughly engrossed in reading something from an 
opened file folder he was holding. Once the fax he had been 
waiting for finished printing, Mulder snatched it up and added it 
to the other documents he carried. Walking back to his desk, he 
seemed surprised to see his partner present.

"Oh, hey, Scully," he greeted her casually as he took his 
seat. "When did you sneak in? Boy, you look beat. Rough day?"

"As a matter of fact, I am beat, Mulder. You wanted a 
complete and thorough autopsy done, you got it."

"So what did you find out?"

"Heart attack. Pure and simple. No drugs, no unexplained 
irregularities, no funny business. Just your ordinary coronary. 
Case closed."

"Great. Then you can help me out with this new one," said 
Mulder with an impish smile. "Someone slipped an envelope under my 
door early this morning," he stated as he handed her the two 
newspaper articles to which he had been dedicating his time. "Tell 
me what you think."

Scully blew out a tired sigh, wondering just where her 
partner managed to find all the enthusiasm and energy he garnered 
for each new case he came across. She took her sweet time in 
reading the articles, knowing how impatient Mulder was getting 
just waiting for her to finish. As far as the animal mutilations, 
she was less than enthused. However, when she began reading about 
the woman's grave being desecrated, a nervous twinge went through 
her spine.

"Mulder, this woman's grave... you don't think it was--"

"Donnie Pfaster? No. That was the first thing that came to my 
mind too, but I checked and he's still safely tucked behind bars."

"A copycat?"

"No, not that either. The article didn't go into much detail, 
so I called the newspaper and managed to talk to the writer. She 
told me that due to the lack of space, her story had been edited 
down a bit. What was left out was the mention that although the 
body had not been harmed in any way, it *had* been moved. She said 
that it looked as though the body had been shoved over to the side 
some to make room."

"Make room for what?"

"Scully, whoever dug up that grave, did so with his bare 
hands. And once he got it open, he apparently laid down with the 

Scully frowned at the thought. "A necrophiliac."

"That's sort of what I was thinking until I started digging 
into the background of the deceased." Mulder handed Scully a fax 
from the folder. It was a woman's police-issued bio.

"Dr. Natalie Lambert," she began to read snippets of the 
information aloud. "Coroner with the Toronto Police Department. 
Died in an automotive accident."

"The car she was in was hers, but the driver was a male 
friend." Mulder handed her another bio. "This too was in the 
envelope I received this morning. Detective Nick Knight also with 
the Toronto Police. I talked to a Captain Reese who was Det. 
Knight's boss. Apparently, this file on Knight was stolen from the 
police records room and his computer files have been mysteriously 
deleted from their system. No one knows exactly how or when."

Scully studied the black and white photo of Det. Knight with 
a bit more interest. He was a distinctively handsome man with 
captivating eyes, a light growth of facial hair on his chin, and 
blonde, curly hair. According to the bio, he was 5'11, 180 pounds, 
thirty-eight-years-old and single. She also noticed the mention of 
a sun allergy and a special provision that excluded him from 
working day shift. Scully managed to tear her attention away from 
the virile-looking, dreamboat and tune back into what her partner 
was saying.

"Word around the precinct was that Knight and Dr. Lambert 
were more than mere friends. At any rate, just hours before the 
car wreck, each of them had experienced some bad news. Dr. Lambert 
had lost a friend to suicide, and Knight had lost his partner in a 
shoot-out at the station."

"Would you happen to be thinking that perhaps they were both 
suffering from depression and that maybe the accident wasn't 
necessarily an accident?"

"The thought did cross my mind. I imagine that Det. Knight 
was doubly depressed because this was the second partner he'd lost 
in less than a year. His first partner along with their captain 
was killed in a plane bombing. Capt. Reese said that the detective 
was obviously upset and had handed in his resignation at that 
time. But continued bomb threats caused him to stick around and 
help out. He was credited with discovering a bomb and saving the 
lives of his entire precinct before it went off.

"Sounds like he was a pretty good cop," said Scully as she 
glanced back at the detective's bio. "They have him listed here as 
'Presumed Dead.' What exactly happened?"

"Going by the evidence left behind, it's assumed that as 
Knight was driving Dr. Lambert home, he lost control of the car 
while crossing a bridge. It crashed through the railings and 
plunged forty feet into the frigid lake below. Knight wasn't 
wearing his seat belt and was ejected through the windshield of 
the car. His body was never recovered."

Scully looked at her partner with raised brows. "Let me 
guess. You think that not only is he still alive, but he's also 
the one who dug up Dr. Lambert's grave. That's pretty far-fetched, 

"Well, *you* spend twelve hours digging into this and tell me 
what you come up with. It all fits, Scully. I think that Knight 
drove off that bridge on purpose. Whether or not his girlfriend 
shared his sentiments, I believe that he decided to end it all. 
Only somehow he managed to survive, though maybe not completely 
unscathed. I'm guessing that by the time he made it to shore, he 
probably didn't even know who he was or what had happened to him. 
He probably wandered around Toronto for months as a homeless John 
Doe. Maybe he wandered into the cemetery looking for a quiet place 
to sleep and came upon the grave site purely by chance."

"So," said Scully picking up on the story, "he recognized the 
name and dug with his bare hands to see if it was really her."

"Then snuggles up to her for old times sake."

"Well, if that's true, that means he's a very disturbed man 
and he's in need of professional help. Was there any next of kin?"

Mulder flipped quickly through his paperwork to find the 
answer. "No. Knight had two people listed as contacts in case of 
emergency. One was Natalie Lambert and the other was a Janette du 
Charme. The phone number given has been disconnected. It belonged 
to a nightclub called The Raven, which was closed down the same 
night the accident occurred."

"Little more than a coincidence?"

"That'd be my guess."

"Well, besides sounding like something out of the "Twilight 
Zone", what could this case possibly have to do with mutilated 
cows in Montana?"

"I thought you'd never ask." Mulder dished out two more 
sheets of paper from his file. They were photocopies of the two 
separate crime scenes. "Take a look at these and tell me what you 

Scully mused over the two photographs; one of a dead cow with 
its throat slashed and head twisted backwards, the other of the 
reopened grave site of the late Dr. Lambert. The decaying body was 
positioned close to the right side of the coffin with its long, 
wavy hair purposely spread out over a small pillow. The light-
colored, satin lining to its left was stained with dirt from head 
to toe. Similar stains could be seen across the bodice of her 

"I don't know, Mulder," Scully said at length. "The only 
thing I can easily discern these two scenes having in common 
besides a corpse, is dirt."

"Exactly," said Mulder, delighted that his partner had noted 
the obvious. "Soft earth, perfect for leaving footprints. I 
couldn't really make out the details in these reproductions, so I 
had those pictures and others that were available e-mailed to me.  
Come take a look."

With a click of the mouse, the flying saucers screen-saver on 
Mulder's computer was instantly replaced by two enlarged pictures 
arranged side by side. When Scully came to look over his shoulder, 
Mulder pointed out the footprints which had been left behind at 
the scenes. The rugged-style shoe print which had been left near 
the carcass of the dead cow appeared to match the ones found 
inside the coffin.

"I see where you're going with this, Mulder, but it's 
probably just a coincidence. The footprints around the cow could 
belong to anyone. And there's still no indication that Det. Knight 
is still alive, much less digging up graves and butchering 

"Oh, did I mention that Knight was investigated once in 
connection with a little murder spree and that several wine 
bottles filled with cow's blood were found in his refrigerator?"

"No, you didn't mention that. Why would he have bottled cow's 
blood in his refrigerator?"

"Paint thickener for his oils, so he claimed."

"But you don't buy that, do you?" his partner asked 

"Personally, I believe he just happens to like the taste, 
which might explain why the three dead cows in Montana were found 
completely drained of blood."

"Okay, so let me get this straight. We're investigating a 
suicidal, Canadian, amnesiac, necrophilic, ex-cop who crossed the 
border into Montana to slash and break the necks of cows so he can 
sip their blood from wine bottles while dabbling in oils? Is that 
about it?"

"Yeah, and don't forget that this case was slipped to me 
under the door, so it's probably a safe bet that Det. Knight is of 
great interest to someone in our government. We probably need to 
get to him before they do. So, are you game?"

Scully picked up the bio of Det. Nick Knight again and gazed 
into a pair of eyes that seemed almost hypnotic. Whatever else he 
was to the secret government which had learned to use Mulder as 
its pawn, Knight was a troubled human being in desperate need of 
help. Unable to consider turning her back on him, she nodded and 
said, "Yeah, I'm game."


end part 1 


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 2/11

2 Months Earlier

LaCroix glided silently into the parlor carrying a wine glass 
in one hand and a bottle of blood in the other. It was well past 
supper time and Nick still had not fed for the evening. He was 
once again preoccupied with his favorite pastime. Putting 
paintbrush to canvass had become his one true pleasure. He was so 
focused on his current masterpiece that he was completely unaware 
that he had company. LaCroix stood a few feet away and studied the 
flow of paint on the canvass. It was an abstract painting, as were 
most of Nick's fascinations with oil. This one had started out 
looking somewhat like a sunset with splashes of deep blue and 
purple. But what had been recently added in brown and red looked 
very much like a woman with long wavy hair, bleeding profusely 
from the neck.

"Anyone I would know?" LaCroix asked.

Nick jumped noticeably at the sound of his master's voice, 
then his head turned slowly, just enough to give him a sideways 
glance. "How long have you been there?" he asked in a deep, low 

"Surely you felt my presence, Nicholas. Or perhaps your 
attention was elsewhere. Another time, another place?"

Nick turned back to the easel and added another stroke of 
crimson to the painting. "I keep having these flashes of images. A 
woman with long curls of brown hair, dressed in white. Sometimes 
she's smiling, sometimes she's crying, sometimes we kiss, then 
other times... she's my lunch."

"Speaking of mealtime..." said LaCroix, more to change the 
subject than anything else. He filled the glass he held with blood 
and offered it to his protege. "I thought you might like a little 

Instead of taking the glass of liquid nourishment from 
LaCroix, Nick simply lowered his head slightly and opened his 
mouth, indicating that he wanted to be fed. His master arched an 
eyebrow at the silent request, then slowly lifted the glass to his 
son's lips. Nick drank messily, causing the red fluid to run out 
the corner of his mouth and leave him with a blood mustache.

"I realize you've had problems with your memory of late, 
Nicholas," said LaCroix as he licked an errant drop from his own 
hand, "but don't tell me you've forgotten how to feed yourself."

Nick licked his lips with his tongue, and grinned devilishly. 
"You used to like to feed me, old man. You and Janette used to 
take turns.

"I've always been concerned that you maintain a healthy diet, 

"Then we should go hunting together, you and I," said Nick as 
he took the glass from LaCroix and gulped down the remaining 

"Hunting?" LaCroix echoed, unable to believe his ears.

"Yes. Remember the good old days when we were free to hunt 
every night? The women... all those beautiful, delicious women. 
The art of the seduction, the taste of their fear as they realized 
too late that they've just made love to the devil."

"You surprise me, Nicholas," LaCroix commented as he refilled 
Nick's glass, then set the wine bottle down on a nearby table. "I 
haven't heard you speak this way in quite some time."

"Yes, Nick Knight has been a bit of a wet blanket, hasn't he? 
I've been trying to break free of him for the longest."

The elder vampire cocked his head in puzzlement. "I beg your 
pardon? Break free?"

"Free from that pathetic excuse of a vampire and his 
ridiculous attempts at mortality. Honestly, LaCroix, I don't see 
how you've put up with him all this time."

LaCroix was still trying to comprehend, trying to find a 
connection between the words he heard spoken and their speaker. 
"You keep referring to yourself in the third person," he pointed 

The younger vampire chuckled lightly. "I'm speaking of Mr. 'I 
want to be mortal again,' Nick Knight."

"Ah, I see.... And *you* would be?"

"I'm Nicholas de Brabant, of course. Don't you recognize me, 
mon pere?"

LaCroix gazed into the mischievous, dark eyes of Nicholas de 
Brabant and indeed recognized something he had not seen for more 
than a century... a touch of evil.

"Nicholas," LaCroix smiled proudly for only a moment, then 
took a moment to consider what was happening. "But what's become 
of Nick Knight?" he asked. "Is he now history?"

Nicholas took a swallow from his glass and shook his head 
disdainfully. "Unfortunately, no," he grimaced. "He's still 
present. He's fighting me as we speak. But it's only a matter of 
time before I'll have him under my full control. Things will be as 
they once were. You'd like that, wouldn't you, mon pere? You'd 
like to have your old Nicholas back, wouldn't you?"

LaCroix was in too much shock to respond, especially when his 
child reached a hand out to his cheek and caressed it almost 
sensually. As Nicholas lowered his hand, he gave the glass back to 
his master, shot him a sly wink and said, "I'll be seeing you."

The master vampire watched with utter fascination as the 
sinister air his son had exuded seconds ago was quickly replaced 
with a near childlike innocence, laced with confusion. Nick 
suddenly grunted and squeezed his eyes shut as a fierce pain 
lanced through his skull. LaCroix helped to steady him as he 
reeled on the verge of keeling over. The attack was over in a 
matter of seconds, leaving Nick trembling and slightly 
disoriented. "What... what's happening to me, LaCroix?" he asked 
in a shaky, frightened voice.

LaCroix placed a firm hand on Nick's shoulder to help support 
him. He had an idea of what was causing the problem, but no clue 
as to what to do about it. "You're just tired, Nicholas," he 
finally answered him. "You haven't been feeding enough." He 
offered him the glass of blood which Nick sniffed at oddly. 
"Something wrong?" LaCroix asked when he saw the slight frown 

"No," Nick responded less than convincingly, then took the 
smallest sip possible from the glass.

"Drink up, Nicholas," his sire gently ordered. "You need your 

Nick started to put the glass to his lips but abruptly 
changed his mind. "Is this all we can feed on?" he asked.

"It is all we need to feed on. However, if you'd like it 
fresh from the source, that can be arranged."

"No, that's not what I meant. I mean, is human blood all we 
can have?"

"It is our main staple. If we had to, we could survive on 
lesser creatures, but I wouldn't advise it."

"Did I use to drink something other than human blood?"

LaCroix wanted to lie, but knew it would do little good. 
Obviously, Nick's nose and taste buds remembered even if their 
owner didn't. "You use to dine on cow's blood," he reminded him.


"To irritate me," LaCroix replied with a deep sigh. "Do you 
still enjoy irritating me, Nicholas?"

The corners of Nick's mouth turned slightly upwards as he 
replied, "A little, I guess."

LaCroix smiled and patted Nick's cheek in a fatherly fashion. 
"Be a good little vampire and finish your dinner." 

Nick did as he was told, feeling himself calm and the pain 
recede with each swallow. "I guess you're right. I feel better 


The younger vampire quickly drained the glass and accepted 
another full one. As he began to sip from the second round, Nick 
turned to face his painting and froze instantly.

"What is it?" LaCroix asked when he saw how Nick was staring 
at the painting.

"Did I do this?" asked Nick.


"Who is she?"

"I believe you referred to her as... lunch." 

"I.... Am I going insane, LaCroix?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Nicholas," his father frowned.

"*Am* I being ridiculous? I do things that I can't remember 
doing. I wake up in places and can't recall how I got there. I 
hear voices inside my head saying things to me I don't want to 
hear. And the headaches.... If I'm not going insane, then what?"
 "I told you, Nicholas that you haven't been feeding 
properly. It doesn't help that you were hung up on cow's blood for 
a number of decades. Now with all the chemicals they pump into 
today's bovine to make them unnaturally larger and more 
productive, and the deadly diseases they've been known to 
contract, your previous food source was undoubtedly contaminated. 
When you had your accident, you simply didn't heal as you should 
have. I feel that your current symptoms are a product of that 
contamination. Now that we have you on a steady diet of human 
blood, your internal system should recover soon. The loss of 
memory, the voices and such will soon be a thing of the past. 
Trust me."

The tension in Nick's face slowly dissolved as he nodded his 
acceptance of what he had just been told. He then turned his 
attention back to his painting, saturated a cloth with turpentine 
and began cleaning away the unwanted image of the bleeding woman 
from his canvass. LaCroix stood and watched his offspring in 
silent contemplation. Ever since that night three months ago, 
things had not been right with his Nicholas. A gunshot wound 
through any other part of a vampire's body would have produced 
little more than a tickle. Injury to the brain, however was a bit 
more serious. That time when Nick was shot in the head while on 
duty, had been with an exploding bullet known as a cop killer, 
designed to inflict optimum damage. It had taken several hours for 
his wound to heal and several days for his mind to recover from 
the shock.

The bullets in Nick's gun weren't as destructive. LaCroix 
pumped three shots into his son's head before Nick lost 
consciousness. When he awoke a full twenty-four hours later, he 
was disoriented and suffering memory loss. Physically, he seemed 
well on his way to recovery, but over the past several weeks, 
LaCroix had begun to notice subtle changes in Nick's emotional 
status. It appeared that he was warring with himself, the evil 
side of him wanting to gain dominance. This evening had been the 
first time that Nick's darker side had broken out and made 
contact. Perhaps it was for the best if the evil inside of Nick 
won over, allowing him to forget about the nonsense of regaining 
his mortality, and concentrate on being a vampire. It would be 
like old times, when Nicholas enjoyed the perks of being a vampire 
and relished a good hunt with his family. In time, LaCroix 
thought, it would soon be that way again. 


Oct. 9, 1996
Black Eagle, Montana
1:40 a.m.

The day had been a long one. Luckily, Scully had gotten a few 
winks of sleep on the plane and an extra hour on the road as 
Mulder did the driving from the airport in Billings to their 
current location. After conferring with the local sheriff and 
talking with a few of the ranchers in the area, Mulder concluded 
that the Olsen ranch was likely to be the next target of the 
cattle stalker. That was the name used by the locals, although 
everyone had their opinion of what was really after their cows. 
The theories ranged from bears and mountain lions to Big Foot and 
beings from another planet. Mulder had also spoken to an elderly 
Native American who put the blame on an evil spirit he described 
as the dead who lives by night.

After accepting the hospitality of the Olsens, which included 
farm fresh, home cooking and a chance to change into some more 
comfortable and warmer clothing, the two agents proceeded to set 
up for an all night stakeout. Mulder chose the hay-filled loft of 
the barn which overlooked the large corral that was home to thirty 
head of cattle. He stationed himself at the window over the barn 
door, seated with knees bent towards his chest and his back 
resting against a bale of hay as he peered outside with high-
powered, night vision binoculars. His partner was seated next to 
him in the chilly darkness, bundled up in her heavy, hooded 
jacket, with her legs covered by a pile of lose hay for added 

"Tell me again, Mulder, why we're hiding out in the loft of a 
barn in thirty degree weather with night vision binoculars trained 
on a herd of cows?"

"What's the matter, Scully? I thought you'd jump at the 
chance to have a roll in the hay with me."

"Dream on. You really think he's going to show up here 

"The other attacks were three nights apart. This makes the 
third night since the last attack. Apparently, your average cow 
only yields a three day supply of blood. And judging by a  map of 
the surrounding area, this ranch is the next in line. If he keeps 
to the pattern, he'll show."

"But wouldn't he know that in leaving such a recognizable 
pattern, that someone might be apt to set a trap for him?"

"I don't think he's worried about being caught. Could be he's 
even looking forward to it."

"You know, I think you may be right about that."

Mulder grunted. "What was that? Did you say I was right about 

"Don't let it go to your head. But yes. I think that Mr. 
Knight is crying out for help in a way. He wants to be caught. He 
probably wants to be punished as well because he feels guilty 
about surviving that car wreck that killed Dr. Lambert."

"I'm not so sure that Dr. Lambert died as a result of that 

"What makes you say that?"

"I have a new theory, but I don't think you'd like it."

"You mean I won't believe it."

"That too."

"Well, tell me anyway."

"I think that Detective Nick Knight is a vampire," Mulder 
announced in a matter-of-fact tone.

Scully chuckled at the statement and shook her head. "Okay. 
Can't say that you didn't try to warn me. A vampire, Mulder?"

"Yes, if you'd just consider the facts. We know that he has 
an aversion to sunlight, he kept bottles of blood in his 
refrigerator, and he didn't die in an accident that would have 
killed any normal human being."

"And we still don't know that he didn't, Mulder. The body was 
never recovered."

"My point exactly. The body was never recovered because it's 
no longer at the bottom of that lake. Who else do you think dug up 
Lambert's grave? Who else would have had a reason? And if you 
don't believe he's still alive, then why are you even here?"

"I didn't want to pass up a roll in the hay with *you*. 
Still, even if he survived the accident, it doesn't make him a 
Bela Lugosi."

"Actually, I was thinking more along the line of Louis from 
'Interview With the Vampire'."

"Oh, the character Brad Pitt played in the movie."

"There was a movie?"

"With three gorgeous hunks. Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Antonio 
Banderas." Scully sighed longingly at the mere thought of the trio 
of handsome actors all in the same movie.

"Hope you took your drool bucket with you," Mulder teased.

Embarrassed at being caught reacting like a star-crossed 
teenager, Scully sought to quickly change the direction of the 
conversation. "So how does believing that Knight is a vampire 
figure into the picture?"

"Well it ties into what you were saying about him feeling 
guilty about the death of Dr. Lambert. What if he killed her? He'd 
been surviving on cow's blood which would indicate he didn't like 
using humans as a food source. But what if, for whatever reason, 
he attacked her. According to the autopsy report she suffered 
severe lacerations to the throat area along with a broken neck."

 "Yes, but there was nothing in the report to indicate foul 

"The report could have been falsified. Remember, somebody got 
to Knight's personnel records. Whose to say that someone or even 
Knight himself couldn't have gone a little further to cover his 

"So you're saying he's a vampire and that he killed Natalie 
Lambert by drinking her blood, then arranged the accident to cover 
it up."

"And could be he's the one who sent us the info in the first 
place so that we could track him down and see to it that he's 
punished for his crimes," Mulder added.

"So, if he *is* a vampire, how do you propose to catch him? 
Do you have a wooden stake, a wreath of garlic and a big cross in 
your knapsack?"

"Hey, you peeked. By the way, are you wearing your favorite 

"Yeah. Why?"

Mulder put down the binoculars for a moment and rummaged 
through the carryall bag at his side. He pulled out a seasoning 
bottle of garlic powder which he proceeded to sprinkle all over 
Scully's coat before she had ample time to protest.


"I know, I know. Just humor me, okay?"

'You're really serious about this, aren't you? You actually 
believe he's a vampire?"

Mulder answered her question while applying the garlic powder 
to himself. "It would explain how and why the cows had broken 

"It would?"

Finished with the garlic powder, Mulder resumed his watch as 
he answered her. "The how: it would take someone with superhuman 
strength to twist a cow's head with enough force to snap its neck. 
As for why: I imagine it's to keep the cow from accidentally 

"Turning? Turning into what?" Scully asked. When her partner 
failed to answer right away, she thought for a moment and drew her 
own conclusion. "Mulder, you couldn't possibly think that the cows 
would have become some kind of... what, a werecow?"

"Werecow?" Mulder laughed. "I think you're getting your 
monsters mixed up, Scully. The cows weren't killed by a werewolf, 
they were killed by a vampire."

"Oh, a vampire cow. Yeah, that makes more sense."

"Hey, I see something."

Mulder zoomed in on a figure dressed in black as it leaped 
from the top rail over into the corral. The pale face and blond 
hair stood out like a beacon as the intruder meandered slowly 
towards the livestock.

"It's him, Scully," said Mulder excitedly. As those words 
left his lips, Mulder was shocked to see the man stop in his 
tracks, turn his head and look in his direction. With the night 
vision binoculars, Mulder could easily make out the iridescence 
glow of eyes that glared back at him, and lips that were pulled 
back into a half snarl, half grin to show a flash of sharp, white 
teeth. "Dammit, he knows we're here."

The vampire nodded at that statement, then waved a ghostly, 
white hand in a beckoning motion and slowly mouthed the words, 
"Come and play."

"He wants us to come play." Mulder put down the binoculars 
and grabbed his bag. He dug into it quickly and brought out an 
item which he forced into Scully's hand. "Hold on to that," he 
told her, before hooking the bag on his shoulder and leaping out 
of the loft window onto the stacked bales of hay ten feet below.

"Mulder!" Scully called after him, but he was already racing 
off towards the corral. Scully momentarily fingered the six-inch 
cross he had handed her before his departure, then stuffed it into 
her coat pocket and prepared to follow.

Upon reaching the corral, Mulder, pulled a small crossbow and 
wooden arrow from his bag. He knew it probably wasn't enough to 
kill a vampire, but hopefully it would slow him down some. He 
readied it for firing, then cautiously opened the gate and went 

"Mr. Knight," he spoke in a low voice so as not to startle 
the sleeping herd of cattle. "I'm Special Agent Fox Mulder with 
the FBI. We really need to talk, sir." Mulder carefully weaved in 
and out among the cows. There was enough moonlight for him to see 
the animals with light colorations with ease and to make out the 
shapes of the darker ones. He considered using his flashlight to 
help him avoid the cow patties his shoes tended to find with each 
step, but he didn't want to draw unwanted attention to himself by 
using the bright beam of light. When he heard the sound of 
something heavy hitting the ground, Mulder dashed off in that 
direction. By the time he reached the far side of the corral, he 
found the body of a Jersey cow on the ground with its neck broken.

Mulder swallowed nervously. Any being that could bring down a 
ton animal that quickly, then disappear was not to be trifled 
with. It wasn't the first time Mulder had misjudged his prey. 
Hopefully, it wouldn't be his last. A sudden swooshing sound 
grabbed his attention and he spun around to find himself face to 
face with his quarry. The eyes held a slight glow to them, 
somewhat like a cat's in the night, and there was a low growl that 
gradually turned into a chuckle when he saw what Mulder held in 
his hands.

"You know what I am?" he asked.

"I've got a pretty good idea."

"And you think you can kill me with that?"

"No. But I think I can give you a bad case of heartburn with 

Knight nodded towards the dead cow. "Try it and you'll be 
joining good old Bossie over there two seconds later."

"What happened to just drinking bottled cow's blood?" Mulder 

"Fresh is always better. That holds true for garlic as well. 
Once it's gone through all that processing with artificial 
preservatives added, it loses its effectiveness, rendering it 
merely irritating, rather than lethal."

"Yeah, well... I'll remember that for next time."

"What makes you think there will *be* a next time?"

"Mulder?" Scully's voice called out to him.

In the second it took for Mulder to glance in the direction 
he'd heard her voice, Knight had vanished from in front of him. A 
moment later, the sound that reached his ears next was a muffled 
scream. "Scully?"

He hurriedly worked his way past several cows back to the 
main gate of the corral and stopped short when he saw his partner 
entrapped in a deadly embrace. Knight had grabbed her from behind 
and stood with his arms wrapped securely about her. He pulled her 
hood back and cupped her chin, tilting her head to one side to 
expose her neck. There was no indication of struggling on Scully's 
part. In fact, with her eyes half closed, she seemed strangely 
content in her present situation. Mulder raised the crossbow and 
aimed it carefully.

"Let her go, Knight!" he demanded.

The eyes glowed eerily as the response came with a growl, 
"Make me."

Mulder instantly realized that he needed to rethink his 
approach. Vampire or not, Knight had proven himself in his police 
work to be a humanitarian. It wasn't likely he would purposely 
harm another human being, but if properly provoked, he might just 
lose that fine thread of knowing right from wrong. Mulder dropped 
the crossbow to the ground and raised his empty hands to show he 
was not a threat.

"Look, I'm not going to try anything. Just let my partner go, 


Mulder sensed a sudden change in Knight over the use of the 
word partner and decided to exploit it. "Yeah, she's my partner. 
You know what it's like to have a partner, don't you? They look 
out for you and you look out for them. You do everything possible 
to protect each other. You know what I mean?" 

Mulder paused to let his words take effect, watching 
anxiously as Knight loosened his grip slightly on Scully, the 
golden glow fading from his eyes as he stared off somewhere into 
the distance.

Thinking that he was getting through to him, Mulder stepped a 
bit closer. "Mr. Knight?"

The eyes snapped fully alert as he replied, "Sorry, but Mr. 
Knight is no longer present."

"Then who is?" asked Mulder.

"Nicholas de Brabant. Say good-bye, Mulder to your pretty, 
little partner."

With greater speed than the human eye could follow, Mulder 
was grabbed by the neck, lifted a foot off the ground, then hurled 
several yards through the air. Crashing into the lowest bar of the 
corral railing, he put a split in both the wood and the back of 
his head. The last thing Mulder saw before losing consciousness 
was his partner ascending towards the star-
filled heavens in the arms of a vampire.


end part 2


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 3/11

Winnipeg 6 Weeks Earlier

A mere two weeks after his first appearance, Nicholas de 
Brabant was coming forward more often and remaining in control for 
hours at a time. He was much more lively and adoring of his master 
than his counterpoint, Nick Knight. LaCroix found his company 
thoroughly enjoyable as they spent a good deal of their warm, 
summer evenings taking in plays, ballets and operas and mingling 
with high society. It was very much indeed like the good old days. 
Only two things were missing, and that was Janette and a good 
hunt. Nicholas had asked about contacting Janette, but LaCroix 
didn't feel that the time was right. Janette had been highly upset 
with Nick for bringing her back across when she'd had the chance 
to die as a mortal. Undoubtedly, she'd forgive him in time, but 
they should probably allow at least a decade for her to cool down. 
As far as a good hunt was concerned, LaCroix saw no reason to hold 
off any longer. He allowed Nicholas to choose the location and the 

The location chosen was a seedy side of town known for its 
lower class elements and prostitutes who strutted up and down the 
block. Nicholas strolled casually along the street, scoping out 
the ladies of the evening as though he were checking out the menu 
at an all you can eat buffet. They came in all sizes, colors and 
ages, and each one did their best to entice him into picking them. 
So many heartbeats, so much from which to choose. He continued 
along until coming to a young black female, who -- despite the 
heavy makeup and sexy clothing -- looked no older than fourteen or 

"You're kind of young to be out here, aren't you?" Nicholas 

"I'm old enough," came the saucy reply.

"And how old would that be?"


He could tell by the sudden spike in rhythm of her heartbeat 
that she was lying, but it didn't matter. She was quite beautiful, 
with light brown skin, almond-shaped eyes and thick, shoulder-
length curly hair.  She was probably fairly new to the business 
because she didn't have that drugged or haggard look that some of 
the others displayed. There was a sense of innocence about her. 
She even smelled cleaner than the other women.

Nicholas reached his hand out to stroke her cheek and 
received a shy smile in return. His fingers slid to the back of 
her left ear, then came forward holding a hundred dollar bill 
which he folded and tucked into one of the cups of her leather 
bra. The girl's smile broaden.

"So what'd you have in mind?" she asked.

"I was thinking of a late supper."

"Sure. Why not?"

He took her by the hand and walked her down to the end of the 
block where they turned the corner leading into a darkened alley. 
About midway down the alley, they stopped alongside a trash 
dumpster where Nicholas turned the girl and gently pressed her 
against the wall. He captured her eyes with his as he locked onto 
her heartbeat and rubbed the back of his fingers against her 

"Listen to me," he spoke in a soft and soothing tone. "No 
matter what happens, you will remain silent and you will not 
struggle or fight me in any way. Understood?"

"I won't fight you," came the dazed but desired response.

"Good." He gave her a tiny peck on the lips, then embraced 
her tightly. "Relax," he told her. "We're going for a little ride. 
Nothing to be afraid of."

Taking a cautious glance all about him first to make sure 
there were no witnesses, Nicholas rose quickly off the ground with 
the girl securely in his grasp. A block away, they came to rest on 
top of the roof of a deserted factory building.

"LaCroix?" Nicholas called out excitedly. "LaCroix, look what 
I've got!" When the master vampire stepped forward from out of the 
shadows, Nicholas proudly showed off his catch. Holding her by one 
hand, he spun her in a circle as though they were dancing. "Look. 
What do you think? Beautiful, isn't she?"

"Yes. Quite beautiful," LaCroix replied with a slight nod. 
"However, she appears a bit young. Little more than a child."

"She says she's nineteen."

"Ah, well, if you can't trust a female to state her true 

"So what if she *is* young?" Nicholas questioned. "What does 
it matter? We've both tasted the blood of children before. 
Besides, she's just a whore. I'm doing my civic duty by cleaning 
the streets of unwanted trash like her. Don't you agree?"

"Yes, of course," LaCroix lied. Perhaps it was the fact that 
the teenage girl was about the age of his Divia at the time of her 
mortal death, that gave him second thoughts. Or perhaps it was 
knowing that the Nicholas he had grown accustomed to would never 
take the life of someone he felt was an innocent, an unfortunate 
victim of society. In fact, the only time Nicholas had taken the 
life of one so young was during the era of the Black Death when 
the bubonic plague had stricken so many, and a quick merciful 
death was deemed an act of charity. For those reasons, LaCroix 
found it hard to watch his son with this young girl; to watch his 
pale hands and lips roam lustfully over the dark skin of her still 
developing body and his hips press inward against her rear.

Knowing that he was being watched as well, the elder vampire 
forced himself not to look away. The last thing he wanted was to 
appear weak or softhearted in front of his son. He should have 
been dancing with joy to see his offspring behaving true to his 
nature. After all, it was what he had hoped and strived for all 
these years. Instead, the victory felt hollow because he knew that 
there was a part of Nicholas that was screaming out against such 
actions and that he was completely unable to control himself. It 
reminded LaCroix of the time Nicholas had become possessed by the 
devil, or at least what he perceived to be the devil. He behaved 
in a manner suitable for a vampire, but his soul -- and Nicholas 
*did* have one -- had become polluted. He had begged LaCroix to 
take him to an exorcist in order to rid himself of the unnatural 
demon within him. There was a definite parallel between the 
possessed Nicholas and this one, though this time, it would take 
far more than a man of God and a few holy words to deal with the 

After a moment more of groping and kissing, Nicholas was 
ready to consummate his new relationship. His eyes glowed golden 
as his fangs grew long and deadly. He tilted the girl's head to 
one side to expose her long, graceful neck and prepared to sink in 
his teeth. A split second before he was able to make contact with 
her jugular, Nick suddenly forced his mouth away from the girl and 
cried out, "Stop me, LaCroix! Don't let me do this. Please, *stop* 

Stunned at first by the plea, LaCroix hesitated only a second 
before taking action. In an instant he snatched the girl from 
Nicholas' embrace and pushed him forcefully away. Nick squeezed 
his eyes shut in obvious pain, then took in a few deep breaths, 
willing himself out of vampire mode and to take control over his 
own body. When he had calmed down enough, his eyes searched 
anxiously for the girl and saw that LaCroix stood protectively in 
front of her, with a firm hand on her wrist.

"Is she all right?" asked Nick.

"She is unharmed."

"You were going to let me.... No, you were going to let *him* 
kill her."

"Him?" LaCroix asked, feigning ignorance.

"You know who I'm talking about!" Nick shouted angrily. "I 
know about Nicholas de Brabant. He revealed himself to me tonight 
and taunted me all evening. He was going to kill that child, and 
you were going to just stand by and allow it to happen!"

"It is your nature to kill, Nicholas, and I was prepared to 
let nature run its course," LaCroix responded casually.

"You knew it was not me. You know I don't condone this sort 
of thing. Lie and tell me you didn't know."

"Nicholas, I do wish you would pick a personality and stick 
with it," LaCroix sounded off sardonically. "One instant, you're 
Nick Knight, all around do-gooder, and an eye blink later, out 
comes Nicholas de Brabant, the ultimate lady-killer. I admit it 
was rather intriguing in the beginning, but now it's all starting 
to wear rather thin."

"You'd like for him to take over fully, wouldn't you?"

"Nicholas, he and you are one in the same."

"No! He's not me, but you want him to be. You're doing 
everything you can to encourage him. But know this, LaCroix, I am 
*not* just going to sit back and let him steal my life from me! I 
am going to fight him every step of the way. And if you are still 
my friend... if you still *care* for me, then you'll help me to 
win the battle against him."

LaCroix was at a momentary loss for words. It was a highly 
unusual situation and he was unsure of what actions to take. For 
now, he thought it best to simply appease the personality he was 
dealing with at the moment.

"All right, Nicholas," he spoke with sincerity to his voice, 
"I shall assist you in any manner you deem necessary."

"Do you swear?"

"Believe it or not, I have only your best interests in mind."

"Do... you... *swear*?" Nick reiterated insistently.

"Nicholas, either you place your trust in me or you don't. It 
doesn't appear that you have much of a choice."

He was right, of course. Nick had absolutely no one else to 
turn to for help. He reeled in his anger and softened his voice. 
"You're right," he grimaced glumly, "my choices indeed are 
limited. I really don't understand what's happening to me, 
LaCroix. You probably think it's just the real me finally coming 
to the surface. But you knew right from day one that I was never 
truly comfortable with this *gift* of yours. You kept telling me 
that I would grow used to all the killing. But you failed to 
mention how many
centuries it would take...." Nick cast his eyes downward and 
shrugged hopelessly. "Sometimes I wish I could be what you want me 
to be. I'd like for you to be proud of me for a change instead 
of...." Feeling embarrassment over the last couple of sentences 
spoken, he suddenly lost the need to continue the thought.

"I would imagine that if Freud were still alive, he might 
make something of that statement. A son's desire to seek approval 
from his parent. That might explain things. Perhaps we should 
continue this discussion later at home. For now, what do you 
suggest we do with our lovely young friend here?" LaCroix asked as 
he brought the still entranced girl to stand in front of him. 
"That is, if you're sure you're not up for a little snack."

Nick moved to take the girl from him. Placing a finger 
beneath her chin, he lifted it so they could make eye contact. 
"Look at me," he spoke to her  softly. "What's your name?"

"Wanda Daniels."

"Where's your family, Wanda?"

"All dead but my grandmama."

"Why aren't you home with her?"

"She's old and she's always trying to tell me what to do and 
how to live my life."

Nick glanced up at LaCroix, but managed to refrain from 
making any comparative remarks. "Wanda, you should go back home to 
your grandmother. You take care of her and let her take care of 
you. No more prostituting. Stay off the streets at night, go back 
to school and make something of yourself. Understood?"

Wanda nodded. "Yeah, I'll go back home and go back to 

"Good girl." Nick looked to LaCroix next and said, "I'd like 
to see to it that she gets home safely. Would you mind coming with 
us? I don't think I can trust myself alone with her in case *he* 
comes back."

"Actually, Nicholas, I feel that you're fairly safe from his 
interference for a while. He tends to need a lot of rest after 
such a busy night. But... just in case, I will gladly accompany 
you on your mission."

"Thank you, LaCroix."

After finding out her address, Nick put Wanda to sleep so he 
could transport her home by air. He then made sure that she would 
have no memory of their meeting as he left her on the doorstep. He 
paused long enough in the shadows of a tree on the lawn to watch 
as the girl's not so old grandmother came to the door and welcomed 
her granddaughter with opened arms. He then rose into the sky to 
join LaCroix who had been hovering close by and diligently 
watching over him. They would go home now. There was a lot they 
needed to discuss. Nick was highly upset with his master for not 
telling him about Nicholas de Brabant. Tonight his alter ego had 
allowed him to witness his friendly relationship with the elder 
vampire. It was quite obvious that LaCroix found his company more 
agreeable. Here Nick was slowly losing control of his mind, and 
instead of helping him, the man he thought was his true friend was 
encouraging the madness. Unfortunately, he needed LaCroix's 
support because he realized he wouldn't be able to battle his 
growing alternate personality on his own. Talk about being caught 
between a rock and a hard place.


Oct. 9
Somewhere in the Mountains
2:35 a.m.

There was the nauseating smell of garlic and a stinging 
itchiness to his skin that greeted Nick as he came to himself in 
the bathroom of his cabin. He found that his clothing was the 
source of the garlic smell and perhaps the itchiness as well. Not 
wasting time to figure out why he was in the condition he was, he 
hastily tore off his clothes and shoes and jumped into the shower 
under a spray of cold water. He spent only a few moments washing 
away the irritant from his hair and skin, then grabbed a towel and 
patted himself dry.

As he stepped out of the bathroom into the living room of the 
small cabin, Nick saw that the front door was standing wide open. 
Wrapping the towel about his waist, he moved towards the door, 
prepared to close it. Upon reaching it however, his nose detected 
the strong stench of garlic wafting in from outside. He cautiously 
stepped onto the porch and glanced about. On the weathered 
flooring of the porch, he spotted a dark, hooded jacket which 
reeked of garlic. He started to pick the coat up, but abruptly 
thought better of it. Instead, he broke off a piece of a low 
hanging branch and used the stick to lift the coat from the floor.

    Reaching carefully into the left pocket of the woman's, thigh-
length jacket. Nick pulled out the cellular phone that he found 
there. He tucked the phone under his arm, then searched the other 
pocket for some form of identification. His hand touched upon 
something blazing hot and he jerked out of the pocket quickly. 
Stinging red welts crisscrossing in an unmistakable pattern formed 
across his fingers and the palm of his hand. It would appear that 
someone knew what he was and had armed themselves with garlic 
powder and a good-sized cross to use against him. Naturally, he 
wondered what had become of the jacket's owner. There was no odor 
of human blood on the coat and there was no pleasant aftertaste in 
his mouth to indicate he had fed on a mortal that night.

Nick closed his eyes and stretched out with his senses. What 
came back was the sound of a slow and steady human heartbeat 
emanating from inside the cabin. He tossed the jacket over the 
porch banister and closed the door as he went back inside, then 
followed the sound of the heartbeat to his bedroom. He stood in 
the doorway and studied her from a distance. She laid face down 
and sideways across the black, silk sheets of his bed with both 
legs dangling off the side of the mattress. Nick placed the cell 
phone on the dresser near the door, then slowly approached and 
kneeled down at the side of the bed closest to where her head lay. 
Gently pushing back the spray of red hair that hid her face, he 
was pleasantly surprised by her beauty, although her looks wasn't 
his main concern. He moved the hair away from her neck and ran his 
fingers all along her throat searching for bite marks. He 
discovered a tiny scar at the back of her neck but luckily nothing 
recently inflicted by a vampire. He sighed in relief, then 
proceeded to search for some clue as to her identity.

Leery of finding more vampire deterrents, he patted her down 
first before sticking his hands into her pockets. Underneath her 
flannel shirt he came across a holstered gun attached to her belt 
at the small of her back. He removed the gun, unloaded the clip 
and set each aside, then reached for the square-shaped bulge in 
her left hip pocket. He wasn't as shocked finding the gun as he 
was finding out that she was an FBI agent. This was definitely not 
good. He had kidnapped an FBI agent who apparently knew that he 
was a vampire.

"Just great, de Brabant," he hissed. "What the hell were you 
thinking bringing her here?"

He had hoped for some kind of reply but his other personality 
was probably resting up after such a busy night. Nick considered 
just picking up the petite Agent Scully and flying her to the 
closest populated area, which so happened to be more than fifty 
miles away. His isolated mountain retreat was  a good ten hour 
long hike from the nearest road, but he had to wonder if he hadn't 
plucked her from a nearby campsite. Perhaps someone was already 
out searching for her, though it would be extremely dangerous for 
any mortal to be roaming around such treacherous terrain at night. 
He really needed to talk to her first, to find out exactly what 
all she knew about him and who else knew it too. Before waking her 
up to question, however, Nick thought it best to put some clothes 
on. He had no idea what to expect from her once fully alert, but 
he had a good idea that seeing him nearly naked might give her 
reason enough to make a try for her gun.

He went over to the closet and pulled a denim shirt and pair 
of jeans from a hanger. Just as he was about to lose the towel, he 
looked back at the sleeping form on his bed and thought how 
uncomfortable she looked in the way she lay haphazardly across the 
bed. It appeared that she had been dumped rather carelessly. Nick 
wouldn't leave a framed painting to hang crooked on a wall, so he 
was just as compelled to correct what he saw now. He removed the 
holster from her belt, then repositioned her lengthwise on her 
back in the middle of the bed with a pillow beneath her head and 
her hands resting across her chest. He noted a lack of warmth in 
her hands and figured that she could possibly use some warming up. 
There were no blankets available. He didn't have a use for them 
himself. That was one of the conveniences of being undead; the 
cold temperatures didn't affect him.           There was a 
potbellied stove in the corner of the room and a fireplace in the 
living room of the cabin, but Nick didn't feel like bothering with 
either one at the moment. He went back to the closet and pulled 
out a coat he had thought to bring with him. It was nearly ankle 
length on him and lined with plush artificial fur. He only wore it 
to blend in with the mortals who would think him strange if he 
walked around in freezing temperatures without one. He placed the 
coat over his guest, making sure she was tucked in around the 
edges. He'd read that a good deal of body heat escaped through the 
uncovered head, so he used a neck scarf that LaCroix had recently 
bought for him, to wrap about her head and the sides of her face. 
He had her looking like some kind of new-aged mummy, but at least 
she'd be warmer.

He took the items he had found on her and placed them on the 
dresser with the cell phone. He was tempted to hit redial on the 
phone to find out who she had last called, but decided to hold 
off. He might end up inadvertently waking up someone he should 
probably let sleep. Finally, he dressed himself, then turned his 
attention back to Agent Scully. He walked over to the bed and 
kneeled down next to it. Resting folded arms on the edge of the 
mattress, he simply stared at her as she slumbered. She looked so 
tiny, fragile almost. It was hard to imagine her passing the 
rigorous FBI Academy training. He also noted from her 
identification that she was a medical doctor. He didn't even know 
her but he was already impressed that she had achieved so much in 
her young life.

For some reason there seemed to be a familiar scent about 
her. She carried a noticeable but fairly faint odor of garlic 
where a few grains of the powder had touched upon her skin or 
clothing, but beneath that odor was something very distinctive. 
Nick leaned closer and sniffed at her. She had washed her hair 
with strawberry scented shampoo and lotioned her skin with a cocoa 
butter moisturizer. Beyond the artificial scents, however, there 
was something else he couldn't quite identify. Moving in even 
closer to put his nose to her ear, he inhaled deeply, seeking the 
minute molecules that still clung to the fine hairs located deep 
inside her ear canal. It took a few seconds for the information 
his keen senses picked up to be processed. It was formaldehyde; a 
scent which brought forth a once forgotten memory.

It had been the pungent odor of formaldehyde which he had 
awaken to over six years ago when an exploding pipe bomb sent him 
to the city morgue. He came to on a steel coroner's table, his 
body mending itself of its seemingly fatal injuries. He awoke 
ravenous, and lucky for the coroner on duty, there was bagged 
blood in the refrigerator. Nick closed his eyes and rested his 
forehead in a nest of silky, red hair as the memory of that first 
meeting with Natalie came back in vivid detail. She had not been 
frightened of him despite his golden eyes, bared fangs and warning 
growl. One would think she had come across vampires every other 
day the way she took his appearance with such nonchalant ease. He 
told himself that it was merely her clinical nature which allowed 
her to view him without fear, but he knew the truth right from the 
start. He looked into her eyes and listened to the racing of her 
heartbeat and he knew.

Over the past eight hundred years, it wasn't exactly the 
first time a woman had fallen for him despite knowing what he was. 
Unfortunately, their infatuation with him usually ended rather 
abruptly. He felt the attraction towards Natalie during their 
first meeting and he knew what the outcome of their relationship 
would be if he allowed it to progress. He should have left Toronto 
that very night and saved them both a lot of heartache, but 
beautiful women had always been his weakness. He'd always had a 
problem saying no and walking away from potential love. So, as 
with many others before her, Natalie Lambert had paid the ultimate 
price for falling in love with a vampire.

Nick breathed in the scent of the woman before him again. Now 
that he remembered, she smelled even more like his Natalie. He 
reached under the coat and placed his hand over hers, relishing 
the softness and warmth. He could pretend she was Natalie, at 
least for just a little while. It was nearly a month ago when his 
memories of her had begun to return. He dreamt about her daily; 
pleasant dreams of them watching movies together, sharing laughs 
and warm hugs, and even dining out. He had asked LaCroix about the 
dreams, wondering if they'd had any base in reality. His master 
would only advise him to ignore the dreams, otherwise he might 
find himself splitting his mind three ways instead of just the 
two. But the dreams persisted until one day when he bolted awake 
and came to realize that the nightmare which had shaken him to his 
bones, was much more than just a bad dream. The memory of what he 
had done that night so many months ago came back to haunt him in a 
blinding flurry. He'd killed her.

Nick wiped a tear away with his sleeve as he lifted his head 
and looked down at the sleeping woman on his bed. He really should 
wake her and see about getting her back to wherever he had taken 
her from. Others could already be on the way to rescue her, or 
Nicholas de Brabant could return at any moment and finish whatever 
he'd had in mind when he took her. His secret was at stake and her 
life was in danger, and yet Nick couldn't bring himself to act. It 
seemed as though a hundred years had past since he'd last held a 
woman in his arms. Under the coat, he laced his fingers with hers, 
noticing how similar to Natalie's her hand felt. He rose from his 
knees and climbed onto the bed, stretching himself out alongside 
her, then carefully eased her into an embrace so that her head 
rested upon his chest and his left arm encircled her as he still 
held her hand with his right.

Yes, this felt so much better than the last time he had held 
her. There was no deterioration of flesh or stench of decay. This 
time, she was soft,  warm and breathing. Nick applied a tender 
kiss to the top of her head, then laid back against the pillow, 
closed his eyes and tuned into the soothing beating of her heart.

 a familiar voice taunted him from 
inside his own brain.

"Go to hell," he replied out loud.

"You brought her for yourself."

"You're not to touch her!" Nick warned sternly.

Nick didn't bother to respond. There had to be some truth to 
the statement, otherwise he wouldn't be lying there with his arms 
wrapped about a total stranger, dreading the moment he'd be forced 
to let her go. He didn't want to ravage her body or drink her 
blood, but he did want to touch her and simply drink in her 
presence. Silence from the peanut gallery allowed Nick to relax 
again, but only for a moment. As he began to lightly stroke the 
auburn hair that fanned across his chest, he eventually noticed 
something different about the woman in his arms. Her breathing 
pattern had changed and her heartbeat had quickened its pace. Her 
body stiffened slightly in fear at the realization of her 
predicament. Agent Dana Scully had awakened.


end part 3

 Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 4/11

16 Days Earlier

As LaCroix pulled his Lexus into the long, curved driveway of 
the two-
story brick home that he shared with Nick, he had a strange 
feeling that something wasn't quite right. The house set back 
three hundred yards away from the quiet dead-end street, on a 
wooded acre of land which provided as much privacy as could be had 
in the well populated suburb. He didn't like leaving Nick alone 
and unguarded for any extended period of time since his behavior 
had become increasingly unpredictable, but he had business to 
attend to downtown. It was barely dusk when he left and Nick was 
still sleeping soundly. He left him a note as to when he would be 
returning and had expected that his offspring could manage on his 
own for a few hours. He regretted having to take the car because 
it was such a slow mode of transportation, but it had been much 
too light out for him to fly.

It was just past ten when LaCroix returned. As the garage 
door opened for him to enter, he was dismayed to find that the 
green Cadillac convertible that was usually parked on the right 
was now missing. It wasn't Nick's original green Caddy. That one 
had been left behind in Toronto. Several weeks ago Nick had 
spotted someone driving a blue, older model Cadillac, and 
immediately decided that he just had to have it at any cost. Then, 
for some inexplicable reason he had it painted green. LaCroix 
could see that Nick's memories of his life in Toronto were 
subconsciously beginning to return. It would only be a matter of 
time before they surfaced completely. He only hoped that Nicholas 
de Brabant would take full control before that happened. Although 
LaCroix cared deeply for Nick Knight, he had to admit to himself 
that fun loving and guilt free de Brabant was much easier to live 

As LaCroix emerged from the parked car, his senses were 
assaulted by the smell of human blood, lots of it. "Oh, Nicholas," 
he groaned softly. "What have you done now?"

Fearing that he might find a house full of sanguineous 
corpses, LaCroix warily entered through the garage entrance into 
the kitchen. Broken glass crunched beneath his shoe as he stepped 
through the door which had been left standing wide open. His hand 
automatically went to the light switch on the wall and his fingers 
came away with a slightly sticky substance. He knew instinctively 
that it was blood. The wall next to the door had been splashed 
with it, apparently as a result of a filled wine glass being 
hurled through the air. There was more of the red stuff to be 
found on the floor in front of the sink where an opened bottle of 
their food supply had fallen and its contents allowed to freely 
flow out.

LaCroix was careful to avoid the mess, not wanting to add to 
the set of naked, bloody footprints that seemed to wander 
aimlessly about in all directions. Moving next to the refrigerator 
where the door had been left ajar, he saw that the dozen bottles 
of human blood that had been there when he left were now all gone. 
He closed the refrigerator door and followed the footprints out of 
the kitchen into the parlor. More blood, this time splashed all 
over every canvass that Nick had painted.

In the foyer at the bottom of the staircase, a blood-smeared 
handprint was found on the wall, leading a trail upwards. LaCroix 
followed. He stopped by his own room and pushed the door open, 
amazed to see everything as it was when he left. Nick's room was 
quite a different story though. Furniture had been overturned, the 
dresser mirror had been smashed, a hole the size of a fist had 
been made in one wall, and blood stained the once pristine, gray 
carpet. LaCroix studied the drying, dark stain carefully. It 
appeared as though Nick had stood in one spot and actually 
drenched himself in blood, leaving behind a silhouette of his bare 
feet. On the floor near the closet, lay a black pair of blood-
soaked, silk pajamas not far from a well used, damp towel. That 
was encouraging. At least the child had pulled himself together 
enough to clean up and not wander out into public looking like a 
victim from a bad slasher movie. But just where had he gone?

LaCroix opened the closet door and discovered that a suitcase 
was missing along with a few clothes. He had to find him. He 
started to leave the house to go searching for him, but decided to 
take a look at one more thing first. In Nick's bathroom he found a 
clue that gave him some incite into what had happened. Written 
three times in blood across the large, vanity mirror was the name 
Natalie. Obviously, his son's memory of that night had returned 
and he was definitely having some problems dealing with it. 
LaCroix scanned the room for the cordless telephone, picked it up 
from the floor and hit redial to see what number Nick had last 
called. When a male voice on the other end of the line announced 
that he had reached the Toronto Coroner's Office, he instantly 
hung up. He realized that Nick was probably on his way back to 
Toronto now, which wasn't a very good idea. It wouldn't do for him 
to be seen by any of the mortals who knew him and thought him to 
be quite dead.

Also, this thing with the blood had the old vampire more than 
just a bit worried. He could understand the split in personality, 
the good versus the bad, but practically bathing himself in blood 
was not something that his Nicholas had ever done before, no 
matter how guilt-ridden he had become. In his jumbled frame of 
mind it definitely wouldn't do for him to run into any other 
vampires while in Toronto. Mental illness in the vampire community 
wasn't well received, knowing that irrational actions by a 
deranged vampire could draw unwanted attention to the fact that 
they secretly existed. If the Enforcers were to find out, they 
would be apt to take quick steps to relieve Nick of his multiple 
personalities once and for all.

LaCroix wasn't quite sure what to do. Even after finding his 
troubled child, something would have to be done to help him 
emotionally. Obviously, his condition was getting worse instead of 
improving. Perhaps it would have been better if his aim with the 
stake that night had been true. No! He shook that thought out of 
his mind. Putting Nicholas to death was not an option to be 
considered. First he would find him, then he'd figure out a way to 
help him. 


Nick's Cabin
3:02 a.m.

Scully came out of her sleep slowly. She'd heard a far away 
voice but was unable to understand any of the words spoken. She 
opened her eyes lazily and found that her vision was partially 
obstructed by her hair having fallen in front of her face. The 
thought of doing something about it crossed her mind for a second, 
but she felt too comfortable to move at the moment. She closed her 
eyes again, ready to drift back off when an unfamiliar male's 
voice suddenly bellowed out from right above her head.

"You're not to touch her!"

Scully's eyes popped wide open. She awaited an answering 
reply from whomever the voice had barked his warning, but nothing 
else was said by anyone after that point. Scully tensed as a hand 
began to gently stroke her hair. Her mind raced trying to recall 
any events that might explain her present situation. She 
remembered being with Mulder in the hayloft, then following him 
down to the corral after he ran off, declaring that Detective 
Knight had arrived. Scully had made it to the gate, then someone 
grabbed her from behind. The voice she'd just heard a moment ago 
now seemed familiar to her. She couldn't recall any of the words 
that was said to her back at the corral but she was sure this was 
the same person who had spoken them. And now that person was 
yelling at himself and petting her head as though she was a 

As Scully lay against the stranger's firm chest wondering 
what steps she should take next, the stroking of her hair suddenly 
stopped. She closed her eyes and feigned being asleep as the 
stranger slowly shifted his body from beneath her, leaving her 
resting on her side.  He rose from the bed, taking a moment to 
tuck her arm back under the covering and place a pillow beneath 
her head. Scully assumed that he was still standing next to the 
bed until she heard a click as the light switch was turned off. 
She opened her eyes to total darkness and thought of reaching for 
her gun, but couldn't feel the weight of it against the small of 
her back. Undoubtedly, she had been disarmed. Soon came the sound 
of a striking match, then the room began to grow increasingly 
brighter as candles were being lit. Again Scully closed her eyes 
and waited.

After a few moments, a low voice spoke out from a few feet 
away. "You can stop pretending now," he said. "I know you're 
awake, Dana."

Scully opened her eyes and rose up on one elbow. She looked 
over her shoulder and focused on the pale, but handsome man who 
stood leaning against the closed door and staring back at her with 
a smug expression on his face. Scully sat up, swinging her legs 
off the bed and placing her feet on the floor. She glanced about 
the room casually, taking in all she could in a quick glimpse. The 
room was well illuminated with half a dozen burning candles 
situated in various locations. It was lightly furnished with a 
bed, nightstand, mirrored dresser and a chair near a boarded-up 
window. She noticed her gun, badge and phone lying on the dresser. 
Seeing her eyes rest on the gun, Nicholas casually went to grab it 
for himself. He loaded in the clip, then held the weapon in a 
threatening manner, though not pointing directly at her.

The room was rather cold, so Scully pulled the oversize coat 
that had acted as a blanket up around her shoulders. The thin, 
silk scarf that had been loosely draped over her head slipped off 
with the motion. "Where's Mulder?" were her first words.

"You mean your boyfriend?"

"My partner. What did you do to him?"

"Why worry about him? Have you no concerns about your own 

"Did you hurt him?" Scully asked, thinking that it was quite 
possibly the only way that this man would have been allowed to 
abduct her.

"He'll probably wake up with a bit of a headache," Nicholas 
responded with a shrug. "That is *if* he wakes up. I suppose it 
just depends on how thick a skull he has."

Scully considered her partner to be extremely hard-headed. 
Hopefully, that was enough to insure his good health. "Where are 
we? Why did you bring me here?"

"This is my little love nest. I bet you can probably figure 
out the rest."

"If you're trying to shock me, I'm afraid you're wasting your 
breath." Scully stood and faced him bravely, holding the long, 
overcoat securely about her. "I know who you are," she added.

"Do you?"
     "Detective Nick Knight, formerly of the Toronto police 
department. Supposedly dead."

"Supposedly?" Nicholas snickered.

"You do look a little pale, but I have to admit, for a man 
thrown through a car window into a frigid lake, you appear to be  
in pretty good shape. How did you manage to survive?"

"Who said I did?"

"Oh, so you're the walking dead? You should have grabbed my 
partner in that case. He believes in such things."

"And you don't?"

Before Scully could answer the question, a shrill, chirping 
sound startled them both. It was her cell phone ringing and she 
wanted to go and snatch it up, knowing that Mulder would be on the 
other end. She looked to Nicholas and saw an expression on his 
face that dared her to even think about it.

"It's probably, Mulder," she told her captor. "He'll be 
worried. I wouldn't want him to think I'm dead or anything."

Nicholas allowed the phone to ring twice more before deciding 
to answer it himself. He picked it up, flipped it open and pushed 
the connect button. Holding the phone to his ear, he heard a 
panicky voice on the other end calling out to Scully.

"Don't worry," Nicholas spoke coolly into the receiver. 
"She's not dead yet," he informed the irate caller. Afterwards, he 
had to hold the phone away from his ear to protect himself from 
the bellowing voice on the other end. Even standing a few feet 
away, Scully could hear the vehemence in her partner's voice as he 
yelled into the phone.

"What have you done to her, you bastard? Where have you taken 

"Mulder, I'm all right!" Scully was able to reassure him just 
before Nicholas disconnected the call.

"You were right. He *was* worried. Now that we've allayed his 
fears..." With an insignificant gesture, he crushed the phone in 
his hand and let the pieces crumble to the floor. "No more 
interruptions," he smiled devilishly at his guest and slowly began 
to close the space between them.

"It's pretty obvious to everyone that you need professional 
help," Scully blurted out, trying to gain control of the 

"Obvious, huh?"

"Yes. You surviving the accident while your friend Natalie 
Lambert -- or was she your lover?"

Nick froze in his tracks at the mention of Natalie's name. 
Scully watched intently as the man in front of her had a sudden 
change in demeanor. His gaze shifted quickly from her to some more 
interesting spot on the floor, and the gun in his hand dangled 
loosely in his grasp.

"Did you drive off that bridge on purpose that night?" Scully 
continued to push. "Or was it really an accident?"

"I... I didn't want to live anymore," said Nick in a 
childlike tone.

"Did Natalie want to live?"

"She wanted to be with me, forever."

"But it didn't work out that way, did it? You two made  a 
suicide pack, didn't you? Only she died that night, and you 

"I killed her," Nick sadly confessed. "She trusted me so and 
I let her down."

"Why did you dig up her grave?"

"I had to see if it was true. I didn't remember at first. And 
then it all came back. I tasted her blood and I couldn't stop 
myself. I killed her and I can never be with her because my soul 
is damned." His eyes filled with pain as he somberly added, "I am 
forever cursed."

"No," said Scully, daring to take a few steps forward. "No, 
you're not cursed. You've had some bad experiences and you need 
someone to help you work your way through them. I can see that you 
get the help you need. Just let me have the gun."

As quickly as the heartbroken and vulnerable Nick Knight had 
appeared, he was instantly replaced by his evil twin. The 
sorrowful, blue eyes which had been ready to rain tears a mere 
second ago, abruptly turned dark and ominous. Noticing that he was 
now within arms length, Nicholas quickly reached out his left hand 
and gently but firmly grabbed Scully by the back of the neck.

"Has anyone told you lately how beautiful you are?"
     "We were discussing getting you some help," said Scully, 
trying hard to remain cool in his grasp.

"Were we? Sorry, but I seem to have a short attention span 
these days." He stashed the gun he held in his right hand in the 
back pocket of his jeans, then pulled Scully a bit closer and 
picked up her left hand. Holding it tenderly as though they were 
lovers, he looked it over carefully. "No ring," he noted aloud 
just before he brought her hand to his lips and kissed the back of 
it delicately. Like his hands, his lips were cold against her skin 
and Scully flinched at their touch. She could tell he noticed but 
didn't appear to mind the tiny sign of aversion.

"No special someone back home pining away for you, Dana?" 
Nicholas asked while using the back of her hand to caress his 
lightly bearded cheek.

"Most of the men I meet turn out to be deranged killers," 
came the calm reply.

"Like me?"

"They usually don't kill cows. Why do you?"

"Remember? I'm deranged."

"Which is why you should let me help you. You were an officer 
of the law. You know how serious a kidnapping charge can be. If 
you're willing to cooperate, I can --"

"Shhh," Nicholas stopped her from talking by pressing a 
finger to her lips. "When's the last time you've been deeply 
kissed, Dana?"

Surprised by the question, Scully was unprepared to answer, 
even if she could recall the last time such an event had occurred. 
She regretted that she couldn't keep her expression neutral. She 
also regretted the effects he was beginning to have on her. She 
could tell he was doing his best to seduce her by the way his icy 
fingers gently massaged the nape of her neck and played with her 
hair. His other hand still held hers, but he had freed an index 
finger in order to stroke her chin and lift it upwards. Scully 
didn't want to look into his eyes, but was powerless to prevent 
herself from falling into their deep, hypnotic depths.

Nicholas had locked onto her heartbeat. The steady thrum as 
her blood pumped through her veins was like a symphony to his 
ears. "You shouldn't go so long without having a man make love to 
you, to feel his kiss upon your lips, his caress on your skin, his 
body moving in rhythm to yours."

The words flowed like warm honey and emotionally, Scully 
lapped it up. When a pair of cool lips pressed gingerly against 
hers, she was startled enough to pull back on contact. But a 
velvety voice told her to relax, and she found herself complying 
without a second thought. Her eyes closed and her lips parted to 
allow his tongue to plunge inside and have its way. As he kissed 
her masterfully, deeply, Scully felt an electrifying tingle race 
through her body. She was vaguely aware of losing the warmth of 
the coat that had been wrapped about her shoulders. Then a pair of 
strong arms encircled her, chilled hands roamed over her back and 
hips, and a muscled chest all but crushed her breasts. In the back 
of her mind, she was thinking that she shouldn't let this happen. 
This was a dangerous madman touching her in ways and places no one 
had done in a long time. For a brief moment she was able to think 
clearly and attempted to pull away from his grasp.

"You want me. You want this to happen," Nicholas whispered 
sensually into her ear. Her struggling ceased instantly and she 
began to ardently return his amorous advances. Her moans increased 
with her passion. Nicholas spun her around so that her back was 
flush against his body. Tilting her head to the left and brushing 
her hair out of the way, he exposed her neck for nibbling. As he 
kissed and tongued his way from the base of her neck up to her 
ear, he felt the change coming over him. His fangs began to drop 
and his eyes turned golden. Her blood was calling to him. He had 
to have her, had to drink in her goodness. He could hear Nick 
Knight screaming at him to stop, to spare her life, but it was a 
voice he was strong enough to ignore. No LaCroix around to snatch 
this tasty morsel from him and whiny little Nick wasn't powerful 
enough to stop him. This was going to be so good.

As he kissed her cheek, his hand went to her chin and lifted 
it, giving him greater access to her creamy, smooth throat. His 
fingers glided downward and grabbed the collar of her shirt, 
yanking it hard enough to pop open the top button. His fingers 
reached inside the soft cotton and splayed open against her chest. 
Just as he was on the verge of sinking his fangs into her neck, 
something stung his hand. He snatched it back instantly and glared 
at the tiny, cross-shaped burn mark on his palm. Then something 
seared his eyes and as he looked up, he saw a reflection in the 
mirror. The small, golden cross that Scully wore around her neck 
glittered brightly as light from the candles bounced off it and 
reflected back into the vampire's eyes from the mirror. He 
shielded his eyes and pushed his intended victim away.

Scully teetered unsteadily once he let go of her. It took a 
few seconds for her to shake off the effects of the hypnotic spell 
and react to her freedom. She turned and looked back at him 
curiously, finding him slumping against the wall, eyes shut and 
holding his head with both hands as though he was in great pain.

"Are you--" Scully started towards him but stopped abruptly 
when she heard a deep, animal-like growl.

"Get out!" Nick yelled at her, battling that part of himself 
that wanted to drain her blood. "I don't know how long I can hold 
him," he spoke in a gruff voice. "Run! Now!" he shouted, following 
up the verbal warning with another growl.

Scully surmised that Nick was having an attack of some kind, 
and her first instinct was to try to assist him medically. But 
with his final warning, it was as if Mulder had just shown up, 
grabbed her hand and said, "Let's get the hell out of here!" That 
was the voice she listened to. Scully spun about, and without 
pausing to make a grab for her personal belongings, ran for her 
life. Luckily, the doors presented no problems. The bedroom door 
was unlocked and the main door to the cabin was a simple latch.

The agent found herself outside in the cool night air 
surrounded by total darkness, barely able to make out the edge of 
the porch. Reaching for the banister, her hand landed on something 
padded. When she smelled garlic, she realized that she had just 
found her coat. She grabbed it as she stumbled down the three 
steps of the porch, then ran blindly away from the cabin. She 
managed to slip into the jacket just before tripping over a fallen 
tree and landing, luckily in a pile of dead leaves. She thought it 
best to just lie still and give her eyes an opportunity to adjust 
to the dim moonlight and to check on the progress of her pursuer. 
Candles had been lit in the living room as well and Scully watched 
intently at the door she had left wide open. A moment later, she 
saw a dark figure appear in the doorway. He stood still, turning 
and lifting his head to the left and right as though sniffing the 
air for something. Scully gasped softly when it appeared that he 
had somehow pinpointed her location in the darkness and was 
looking in her exact direction.

"Dana!" Nicholas called out. "Why don't you come back inside? 
We were just about to have some fun. I can make it so good for 
you." He took an unhurried step off the porch, actually looking 
forward to a prolonged chase. "I suppose you don't want me to 
think you're easy. After all, we've just met. I like a woman who 
plays hard to get. I enjoy a good pursuit." He took another step 
and stopped. "Might I suggest that if you don't want this over 
before it's barely begun, then you should seek another hiding 
place. I'll give you a five minute head start. How's that?" He sat 
down on the second step and leaned back, resting his elbows 
comfortably on the top step and looking up towards the stars.

Scully cautiously rose from the ground and moved gingerly 
backwards, deeper into the woods. Checking her pockets, she was 
dismayed not to find her trusty flashlight. She must have lost it 
at the time of her abduction, and no telling what had become of 
her gloves. She had to step carefully while waving her arms out in 
front of her to keep from bumping into trees or low hanging 
branches. She had five minutes to come up with a line of defense, 
to find something to use as a weapon and position herself well 
enough to create an ambush or counter attack. Thinking about how 
he could have pinpointed her location earlier, she had to wonder 
if he hadn't detected the aroma her coat was giving off. Granted, 
he'd have to have a mighty keen sense of smell, but it wasn't too 

"Thanks a lot, Mulder," she mumbled to herself thinking that 
now she should probably ditch the coat to put Knight off her 
trail. She stopped to pull off the coat, hissed and shivered from 
a blast of cold air, then decided on an alternative. She turned 
the jacket inside out and put it back on again. At least that 
would keep the scent from traveling and it would also keep her 
from freezing her ass off. Trudging onward, Scully thought about 
what had happened back at the cabin. She couldn't believe that she 
had actually allowed a total stranger -- a cow-killing stranger at 
that -- to kiss and fondle her as though they were lovers. What's 
more, she couldn't believe how much she had thoroughly enjoyed the 
feel and taste of him, and had actually craved more. Maybe he had 
drugged her; given her something to make her lose her inhibitions. 
Undoubtedly, he had used something to put her to sleep in order to 
transport her from the ranch to wherever the heck they were now.

Not concentrating as carefully as she should on her movements 
in the dark, Scully tripped over something again, but only part of 
her body felt land come up to greet her this time. There was 
nothing for her hands to grasp, nothing to support her from the 
chest up. As her arms and hands dangled into space, she realized 
that she had come to the edge of a cliff. Lying at a downward 
angle, her left foot was caught within the "V" of a fallen branch, 
which appeared to be the only thing that kept her from plunging 
over the side. In trying to locate a perch for her hands so she 
could push herself away from the edge, she knocked loose a rock 
which tumbled downward into the abyss for several long seconds 
before it finally made contact with the rocky bottom far below.

"Just great," she breathed in harsh, rapid breaths. She could 
either fall at least a hundred feet to her death or face an 
amorous and very handsome psycho, whose only threat so far was his 
desire to make it good for her. Thinking of it in those terms 
almost made her wonder why she had been running away. He hadn't 
actually been violent towards her; just the opposite, in fact. Of 
course, now was not the time to be contemplating intimacy with her 
abductor, especially when she felt her anchor beginning to slip. 
Her weight was pulling the branch from its resting place. The more 
she struggled to force herself backwards, the more her body 
shifted downwards. She used one hand to claw into the hard earth 
at her side while the other tried desperately to locate something 
she could grab on to. 

Where was Mulder when she needed him? It was extremely 
doubtful that he was anywhere within hearing distance, so Scully 
settled for the only other alternative. She took in a careful 
breath, then called out warily. "Mr. Knight, I need your help! I'm 
in danger of falling off a cliff here. Please, would you *help* 

There was no answer to her plea. Perhaps he wasn't close 
enough to hear. She wasn't even sure that the five minutes were 
up. Could be that he was still lounging about on the front steps 
back at the cabin or perhaps he thought she was attempting to lure 
him into a trap. She tried again a little louder, hoping that her 
sense of fear and urgency carried through. Still there was no 
response. Either he wasn't within earshot or he simply wasn't 
going to help her. Perhaps this had been part of his plan all 
along. Of course, he knew the area, and he knew what dangers were 
awaiting her out in the blackness. Knowing that she couldn't 
depend on a psychopath to save her, and that Mulder wasn't likely 
to show up within the next two seconds, Scully decided to try to 
rescue herself. Gingerly, she moved her left leg. The branch that 
had held her in position, suddenly snapped in two, and she felt 
herself skid downward.

"Oh, God!"


end part 4

 Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 5/11

The Olsen Ranch
3:40 a.m.

"You hanging in there, Agent Mulder?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks."

"I'll have you at the doctor's in just a few."

Now that his pickup truck had warmed up, Jerry Olsen was 
ready to drive his injured passenger into town for treatment. 
Although his head was still throbbing and his vision was 
threatening to double up on him, Mulder shrugged off the pain and 
discomfort to contemplate his next move. At least he knew that his 
partner was still alive, though he wasn't too thrilled about the 
way Knight had said that she wasn't dead yet. He made it seem as 
though it was merely a matter of time before the situation would 
change. He had been wrong about the man not purposely hurting 
others. Perhaps Nick Knight wouldn't hurt anyone, but it was 
glaringly apparent that Nicholas de Brabant would. If not for an 
overly affectionate heifer who had licked his face into 
wakefulness, Mulder might still be passed out among the cow 
patties where the vampire had left him.

After Knight hung up on him, Mulder had called in the 
sheriff, hoping to get a search party going immediately. 
Unfortunately, he couldn't admit to the man all that he had 
witnessed. When asked for a direction the kidnapper had taken, 
Mulder was reluctant to point upwards. He had to simply feign 
ignorance. Sheriff Wilkes figured that the most likely route would 
have been eastbound towards a cluster of mountains a fair distance 
away. Although plans were tossed around, the actual search 
wouldn't begin until daybreak. The sheriff strongly suggested that 
in the meantime, Mulder should see a doctor and try to get some 
rest. Not wanting to chance being around a vampire with a bleeding 
head wound, he decided that he should accept Mr. Olsen's offer of 
a ride into town to see the doctor.

As he sat in the passenger side of the swiftly moving pickup 
truck, Mulder pulled out his cell phone and pressed a pre-
programmed number. Waiting impatiently through five long rings, he 
began speaking as soon as the line was picked up.

"Frohike, it's Mulder. I need you to do me a favor."

"Try calling back at a decent time," Frohike yawned, sounding 
as though he was going to hang up.

"It concerns Scully," Mulder was quick to add.

"What's up? Is she all right?" Frohike asked, fully alert.

"She's been abducted."

"Damn! The same as before?"

"No. It's not the same. I know who's got her, but I need help 
tracking him down. I need for you to run a check on a man named 
Nicholas Knight. He was a detective with the Toronto police 
department up until five months ago when he was presumed dead 
following a car accident."

"Are you saying that a ghost took her?"

"No, he's no ghost," said Mulder, not bothering to inform his 
friend of Knight's true nature. "Let's just say that his death was 
somewhat exaggerated."

"So are you looking to find something in particular?"

"Yeah. Check to see if he has any connections to Montana. If 
he owns property or if he's done any business anywhere near the 
city of Black Eagle. Try checking also under the alias, Nicholas 
de Brabant."

"Gotcha. Anything else?"

"Yeah. Janette du Charme. She was listed on Knight's police 
file as a person to contact in case of emergency. The only number 
listed for her was at a closed up nightclub in Toronto called the 
Raven. You'll find that Knight's personnel file was deleted from 
police computers, possibly by Knight himself."

"So who the hell is this guy anyway? Why'd he take Dana?"

"Frohike, you want to find her or you wanna talk about it?"

"All right, I'm on it."
 After hanging up, Mulder glared out the window into the 
darkness, anxious for dawn to arrive. "She's not dead yet. She's 
not dead yet." Those words echoed in his mind and all he could do 
was hope and pray that nothing would alter their accuracy.


Somewhere in the mountains
3:43 a.m.  

Scully was falling, descending head first into blackness, her 
screams echoing  through the mountains. Friends and family, both 
past and present flashed in her mind in the milliseconds that 
remained of her existence. In the nanoseconds she allowed for 
prayer, what must have been the hand of God, grabbed hold of her 
and slowed her terrifying descent into death.

"It's all right, I've got you!" God spoke to her. As one 
strong hand held fast to her ankle, an arm swooped around her back 
and lifted her upright. Scully wrapped her arms thankfully around 
his neck as he gently shifted her in his embrace and flew her 
upwards. He was taking her straight to heaven, she thought. Funny, 
but her landing hadn't hurt at all. Still, she couldn't stop 
trembling or crying.

"Shhh, it's okay, it's okay. You're safe now. I've got you. 
You're safe."

It took several moments for Scully to realize that she wasn't 
on her way to heaven and that the arms that held her tenderly 
didn't belong to God. They belonged to Nick Knight. She lifted her 
head from the security of his shoulder and glanced up, barely able 
to see the milky whiteness of his face just two inches away. How 
he had managed to locate her in the pitch darkness was a mystery, 
but how he had saved her from certain death was no less than a 
miracle. It was a miracle she had no desire to question at the 
moment. She simply nestled her head into the crook of his neck and 
allowed him to carry her back to the cabin.

It wasn't long before he was placing her gently on the sofa 
in the living room. He said something to her that she really 
didn't hear, then left her alone as he went back outside for 
awhile. Scully was still too shook up to notice how long he had 
been gone or even when he had returned. Eventually, she noticed 
the room was getting slightly warmer. A popping noise drew her 
attention to a well fed fire, recently started in the fireplace. 
As she turned away from the fire, she was startled by the sudden 
appearance of a glass of water held by a pallid hand in front of 
her face. She looked up, apprehensive at first until she saw the 
timid smile that went along with the offered glass.

She accepted the water and took a few sips to ease the 
irritated throat she received from nearly screaming her head off. 
Her host stepped silently away. Scully watched him as he backed 
himself against a wall and slid down to a stooping position, 
absently rubbing his left arm as his eyes focused on the dancing 
flames of the fire.

"Thank you," said Scully.

He looked at her then. "Would you like more?" he asked, 
referring to the water.

"No, I was thanking you for saving my life. I must have 
fallen at least thirty feet. How did you catch me?"

Nick smiled nervously. "I'm afraid you must have been 
hallucinating. I caught you just as you were about to go over the 
edge. You dangled for a few moments. It probably felt as though 
you were falling."

That couldn't be. She was sure she had fallen a good 
distance. She had felt the cool night's wind blowing in her face 
and whipping her hair about. She had experienced the sensation of 
free fall, of flying even. But then that couldn't be possible 
either. There's no way he could have dived over the edge after her 
and flew her to safety. Tethered by a bungi cord, perhaps he could 
have managed it, but their flight upwards had been a smooth, 
jerkless ride. Of course, she must have imagined it.

"Well, thanks anyway."

"Why thank me? If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have been 
in that situation in the first place. Are you all right?"

"My hands are still a little shaky, but other than that...."

"You... you were running away from me, weren't you? Did I 
hurt you earlier?"

"Don't you remember?"

"No, not really. I have this condition. I have these blackout 
episodes where I do and say things I wouldn't normally. I imagine 
that's why you're here. I kidnapped you?"


"Did I ever hurt you?" he asked again, looking terrified of 
the answer he might receive.

Scully shook her head. "No, you didn't hurt me. I think you 
may have injured my partner though."

"Your partner?"

"Back at the Olsens' ranch. Do you remember that?"

Nick concentrated hard, then asked, "Was he tall, slender 
build, dark hair?"

"Yes, that was Mulder."

"I met him for a moment. I don't remember what I did to him."

"Well, he sounded as though he was still in one whole piece 
when he called me on my cell phone."

"You've talked to him since you've been here?"

"Briefly, before you destroyed my phone."

"Oh, sorry.... So he knows where you are now?"

Scully decided not to answer that question. If Knight thought 
that help was on the way, he might try to make a run for it. She 
took another sip from her glass, then placed it on the floor at 
her feet.

"Did you, by chance, sustain a head injury in that car 

Nick eyed her in wonderment. "Car accident?"

"You were in an accident about five months ago, remember? 
With Dr. Natalie Lambert?"

"How do you know about that?"

"Actually, that's why I came to Montana. I'm Dana Scully with 
the FBI. My partner and I came in search of you. He suspected that 
you had something to do with the cattle mutilations."

"Why would he think that?"

"He made a connection between the mutilations and the 
disturbed grave site of Dr. Lambert." Noting the questioning 
expression on Knight's face, Scully waved her hand in a "don't 
ask" kind of motion. "It's what he does. Makes connections that no 
one else could possibly fathom."

"And you came to hunt me down?" Nick asked, becoming a touch 

"We came to help you."

"What makes you think I need help?"

"First you dig up a close friend's grave and lie down with 
her, then the next week you're out slaughtering cows. You sound 
like someone in great need of help, Mr. Knight. Right now, you're 
suspected of trespassing, destruction of property and animal 
cruelty, but if you give yourself up peacefully, I'm willing to 
forego adding kidnapping charges."

"So you're after me because I broke the law?"

"Allegedly, yes."

"Oh," Nick replied softly, his nervousness beginning to wane 
just a bit. "Do you mind if I ask a personal question?"

Scully shrugged lightly. "What would you like to know?"

"What is it with you and the garlic-flavored coat?"

Scully's cheeks flushed with embarrassment, then she shook 
her head and chuckled lightly. "I have my partner to thank for 
that. He had this wild notion that uh.... Oh, it's too stupid to 
even say."

"What?" Nick urged her to continue.

"He thought we might run into a vampire. In fact, he thought 
that you...." She felt too ridiculous to go on with the statement, 
so she didn't.

"I think I get the picture," said Nick perceptively. "He 
found out about my sun allergy."

"There was also a mention of an Internal Affairs 
investigation which uncovered some bottled cow's blood in your 

"Yeah, I had to do a lot of explaining back then. I used the 
blood to thicken my oil paints. I still do."

"Plus, Mulder thought that whoever or whatever was killing 
the cows had to have superhuman strength."

Nick noted the dubious expression on his guest's face, and 
was quite relieved to see it there. "I take it, you don't share 
his theory?"

"Well, I've watched a rodeo or two on TV, and although I'm 
not in favor of the sport, I was mildly impressed to see an 
average size man able to wrestle down a one-ton steer and hog-tie 
it. So I figure that breaking a cow's neck would be more of a 
matter of technique rather than brute strength. Besides, if you 
were a vampire, it seems that the myths about your reflection not 
showing up in a mirror, and garlic keeping you away doesn't seem 
to be holding up very well."

Nick smiled amusedly. "Well, I'll admit I'm not a big fan of 
garlic and that I wouldn't want to wear it, or get too close to 
anyone who does."

Scully nodded understandably. "Yeah, I guess it's enough to 
keep vampires and everyone else at a safe distance."

Starting to feel a bit more comfortable in her presence, Nick 
changed his position from stooping to sitting on the floor with 
his legs stretched out and his ankles crossed. He rubbed lightly 
at his left arm as he spoke his next few uncertain words. "I uh... 
Earlier, in the bedroom... I don't remember everything I did, but 
I never meant to do anything improper. If I took liberties with 
you that I shouldn't have, then I'd like to apologize. I haven't 
been myself lately."

Scully thought back to their earlier meeting, and her heart 
pounded a bit faster as she recalled how he'd had her melting in 
his arms. No man had ever gotten her so worked up so quickly, and 
she hadn't wanted him to stop. She had been perfectly willing to 
let him do anything he pleased to her.

"Agent Scully? Are you all right? Did I get too far out of 
line with you?" Nick asked with growing alarm.

Scully snapped out of her moment of reverie and shook her 
head. "No, Mr. Knight. You were... shall we say, a little frisky, 
but nothing I couldn't handle."

"Good," Nick sighed with relief.

Scully couldn't help but notice how markedly different Nick 
Knight was now compared to when they first met. He was so unlike 
the man who had tried to seduce her, and who had chased her out 
into the darkness in a weird game of hide and seek. She couldn't 
help but think multiple personalities. He had apparently been 
divided into three parts: the sweet, boy next door; the 
aggressive, Don Juan lover; and the disgusting weirdo who likes to 
mutilate animals and play with dead things. She'd seen two sides 
of him so far, but she wasn't interested in seeing the third side.

"Tell me something, Mr. Knight--"

"I'd prefer it if you'd just call me Nick. Please."

"Nick, these blackout episodes that you have; do they just 
come without warning, or is there something that triggers them?"

"They just come," he replied ruefully. "I become someone 
else... someone named Nicholas de Brabant. He pretty much comes 
and goes as he pleases, but I noticed that he never comes out 
between sunup and sundown. And physical pain or discomfort seems 
to keep him away."

When he said that, Scully finally became aware of the way he 
was cradling his left arm. "What's wrong with your arm?" she 

Nick crossed his arms in front of his chest and gazed back at 
the fire. "It's nothing, really," he murmured softly.

"What did you do to it?"

"Picked up a splinter when I was sitting on the porch steps."

"Would you like for me to remove it for you?"

He looked back at her and grimaced mildly. "Perhaps later."

His eyes conveyed what he was really thinking. He was 
purposely withstanding the discomfort of a sliver of wood shoved 
into his flesh, in order to keep his alter ego at bay and thereby 
protect her from further assault. Scully nodded her understanding 
of the situation, then continued with their original topic of 

"So it was Nicholas who killed the cows? You don't remember 
any of it?"

"No. I would come to later with my shoes covered with cow 
manure and a few blood stains on my clothes and hands. Didn't take 
much to figure out what he'd been up to."

"Why do you suppose he did it?"

"He wants to draw attention to himself. There's someone -- a 
family member -- who's probably out looking for us... for me, that 
is. Nicholas is trying to make it easier to be found."

"And killing cows would make it easy for this person to find 

Nick shrugged. "It made it easy for you and your partner to 
find me."

He had a point there. "Well, would it really be such a bad 
thing if this family member should find you?" Scully asked. 
"Perhaps he or she can be of some assistance."

Nick sighed heavily and shook his head with uncertainty. "I'm 
not so sure of that. You see, he likes Nicholas de Brabant better 
than he likes me. It would make his century to have Nicholas take 
over completely. I came here to get away from him and the rest of 
the world, so I could think.... But I just don't know anymore. 
Maybe it *would* be best altogether if I just stepped back and let 
Nicholas take over."

Scully leaned forward, feeling the urge to reach out to him, 
but the fact that he was several feet away prevented her from 
acting on the impulse. "You can't possibly mean that," she spoke 
to him in a sympathetic tone. "I've read your file, Nick. You were 
a good cop. You risked your life a number of times to save the 
lives of others. You made a difference. You cared. Now, it appears 
that you're suffering from a form of mental illness which I am 
sure is treatable. You owe it to yourself to get your life back on 
track, but you can't do it alone. You need help; perhaps just a 
few sessions with a good psychiatrist. And if you haven't had one 
done, I would strongly suggest you get a CT scan of your brain 
just in case you did suffer a head trauma during your accident."

"You think that a head injury could cause something like 
this?" asked Nick, thinking of the gunshot wounds he had received. 
Perhaps his natural ability to heal had been compromised due to 
the experimental drugs and diet Natalie had prescribed for him. 

"It's possible that a tumor could have developed," Scully 
surmised, "causing pressure in a very delicate part of the brain. 
You seemed to be having some kind of intense headache before when 
we were in the other room. Do you remember that?"

"I get them all the time. Very brief, but painful. I use to 
think they were triggered by Nicholas making his exit, but I came 
to realize that the pain is what chases him away. Though nowadays 
he's quick to come back when it's over."

"Well, we really won't know for sure what the true nature of 
the problem is until I can get you to a hospital and get some 
tests done."

Nick rose from the floor and crossed over to the fireplace. 
He picked up the poker, pushed back the protective screen, then 
began to adjust the burning logs whether they needed it or not. He 
used it as a diversion to keep from responding to the agent's 
suggestion that he seek medical treatment. There was no way he 
could agree to that. If he was indeed suffering from a physically 
induced psychosis, there was only one doctor who could have helped 
him, but she was no longer among the living.

"The last person who tried to help me with my problems ended 
up as fish bait at the bottom of a lake," Nick stated matter-of-
factly, keeping his back to his guest.

"It's not your fault that you didn't die in the car wreck 
with her, Nick. In fact, it's a miracle that you survived at all."

Nick grinned sadly at the absurdity of her statement. If only 
he could tell her the truth. Tell her how he had drained every 
ounce of blood from Natalie's body, and how LaCroix, his master 
had taken the body off to dispose of it; to make it seem as though 
Nick had been driving and that his body had been claimed by the 
murky undertow of the lake. LaCroix had done an excellent job in 
cleaning up after his son's mess.

Still poking at the flames, Nick spoke, nearly to himself. 
"For six years, she was my best friend, my confidant... my reason 
for living. I took from her and gave nothing in return. I stole 
six years of potential happiness from her short life, then... I 
killed her."

Scully stood and moved closer to the fireplace. She still 
hadn't warmed up completely, and she also didn't like talking to 
someone's back. She kept a few feet of space between them, though 
now she was standing to his side. "You didn't steal those years 
from her," Scully told him, seeing his head turn just slightly in 
her direction. "Sounds to me as though she gave them to you of her 
own free will. Perhaps she did expect to get something in return, 
but she gave them to you freely. You can't force people to do what 
they really don't want to. In the end, you two were both suffering 
from depression. She had just lost a friend to suicide, and you 
had just lost your second partner in the line of duty. Your 
actions that night were being ruled through overwrought emotions. 
Neither of you were responsible for what you said or did."

Nick shook his head as he returned the poker to its proper 
place, then stepped back against the adjacent wall. "You weren't 
there," he told her while keeping his eyes on the growing flames. 
"You couldn't possibly know. If it wasn't for me, she would still 
be alive. I should have walked away that first night we met. I 
should have never even gone to Toronto. Everyone would have been 
much better off if they'd never even met me, including you."     

"You remind me a little of my partner," said Scully, gazing 
thoughtfully at the man before her. "He has this really annoying 
habit of blaming himself for things he has no control over. If 
only he had gotten someplace sooner or reacted in a different 
manner, or maybe if people hadn't met him at all, perhaps certain 
unfortunate individuals wouldn't have suffered whatever fate life 
had dealt them, including me.... But what Mulder doesn't seem to 
realize is how much good he's done and how many lives he's saved, 
mine as well. Nick, you've helped a lot of people and you've saved 
a lot of lives. But you can't save everyone. No one can. It just 
isn't humanly possible."

Nick had to chuckle at the irony of that last statement. "You 
don't know how many times I've heard the same thing from Natalie."

"And I'm guessing you didn't listen to her, did you?"

"I can't help the way I feel."

Scully nodded knowingly. "I understand. Mulder's the same 

Nick finally lifted his eyes to hers. "Sounds as though you 
have your hands full with him."

"You can say that."

"But he's your partner and you probably wouldn't trade him 
for the world, would you?"

Scully smiled lightly. "No one would ever offer that much for 
him, but you're right. I wouldn't. I've come so close to losing 
Mulder on several occasions, so I can imagine how devastating that 
must have been for you when your partners were killed."

Nick lowered his head momentarily in somber remembrance of 
his two
late partners. "It's hard to believe that I couldn't even stand 
Schanke when I first met him. He was the sort that kind of rubs 
people the wrong way. But he grew on me quickly, and all those 
little annoying habits he used to drive me crazy with, became what 
I truly missed the most once he was gone. And Tracy... I really 
didn't allow her to get too close to me. I thought I could save 
myself from any more pain should the unthinkable happen."

"I remember that Mulder wasn't very happy about getting me 
for a partner in the beginning. I think he tried to make me not 
like him."

Nick smiled. "I bet you're probably the most important person 
in his life now."

"Well, we have been through a lot. We've grown closer."

"I don't suppose he'll take too kindly to my kidnapping you 

"Well, as long as I'm not broken or maimed, I imagine he'll 
be somewhat forgiving."

"Where was it again that I found you?"

"The Olsen's ranch. About twelve miles west of downtown Black 

"Oh." Nick glanced at the boarded up window, sensing how much 
time remained before sunrise. He would have enough time to fly her 
back to the ranch but not to make it back to his cabin. "Unless 
your partner knows our location and is on his way to retrieve you, 
I'm afraid you'll have to wait until this evening before I can 
take you back."

"Why is that?"

"The sun will be rising soon. And I do a very good imitation 
of a vampire at daybreak."

"So we're not talking a simple sunburn and rash, are we?"

"No. More like bacon burning."

"What do you have?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"With photophobia that severe, there's usually some 
underlying medical condition. Off hand, I can think of Lupus and 
Porphyria. Also, Xeroderma Pigmentosum, but that's a pretty 
intense, deteriorating type of disease, and
you appear much too healthy for that."

He'd forgotten that she had a medical background. Just saying 
that he had a sun allergy had always worked in the past, 
especially when reinforced with a hypnotic suggestion. He had 
second thoughts about messing with her mind now, considering that 
he had subjected her to enough emotional stress already. However, 
if he agreed to having one of the conditions she mentioned, she'd 
probably question him on his treatment and he didn't want to get 
into any of that either.

"I've never been diagnosed with any diseases," he told her 
truthfully. "It's just an skin allergy; something I developed 
after reaching adulthood."

"How curious," Scully mused. "I know there aren't a lot of 
options out there for people who are photosensitive."

"Natalie... she came up with something once, but...."

"What happened?"

"Unpleasant side effects; severe stomach cramps, paranoia, 
addiction. A high price to pay for one day in the sun. If you 
don't mind, I'd  rather not talk about it anymore."

"All right. Can we talk about me finding a phone to use?"

"Sorry. I don't have one."

"Well, what about drawing a map so I can find my way to the 
nearest road."

"I wouldn't advise you trying to find your way out there 
alone. The land is treacherous in places and there're plenty of 
wild animals."

"Are you telling me that it's safer to wait until sundown to 
travel? I fail to see the logic in that."

"I know the area. And I know my way around in the dark. After 
all, I'm not the one who nearly walked off the side of a 
     "You don't have to remind me."

"Sorry. I know it's my fault that you're here. I should have 
awakened you and taken you back when I first came to my senses. I 
still don't know why I didn't."

"I think I do," said Scully. She saw the question in his eyes 
though he didn't bother to verbalize it. "I remind you of her, 
don't I? Natalie. I know I don't look like her, but something 
about me made you think of her. That's why you were lying with me 
on the bed. When I woke, you were embracing her, not me."

He didn't answer her, not in words at any rate. His eyes 
squeezed shut and he dropped his head, and turned away. Scully 
started to go towards him and offer some comfort, but paused when 
she remembered their earlier encounter in the bedroom. She waited 
a few moments, then when she heard a soft keening sound emitted 
from the tortured soul in front of her, she took a chance on 
drawing closer.

"Nick? Nick, it's okay," she cooed softly as her hand went 
out timidly to his dark blonde curls. At her touch, he wrenched 
away quickly.

"No, don't!" he said, not as a warning, but more like a plea. 
"Nat I can't. Please don't ask me to again. I can't," he mumbled 
as he moved over towards the boarded up window, keeping his back 
to her.

Scully followed cautiously but kept a few feet of space 
between them. "Nick?" she called to him without having any idea of 
how to calm him down.

"Natalie, you don't understand what you're asking me to do," 
he said, shaking his head with his eyes close. "You think you do, 
but you don't. I don't want to hurt you. I could never live with 
myself if I hurt you."


"Please don't ask me to do it, Nat," he cried. "Please!"

"Okay, Nick. You don't have to do it. We won't go through 
with it. It's okay. You don't have to do it."

Her words finally got through to him. The tension left his 
body as he turned to look at her with mournful eyes. Scully wasn't 
sure if he was grounded in the here and now or if his mind was 
still several months in the past. She saw a questioning look in 
his eyes that slowly turned into comprehension. Eventually, he 
smiled shyly at her and she returned the gesture. She was somewhat 
apprehensive when he reached a hand out to caress her cheek, but 
the tender look in his soft, blue eyes made her feel as though she 
had nothing to fear.

When he leaned in for a kiss, she met him half way. Unlike 
the passionate, heat-filled kiss of before, this one was 
considerably more tame, much like two kids testing the waters for 
the very first time. The results were pretty much the same for 
Scully. Despite the recent criminal actions and apparent mental 
dysfunctions of this man, Scully was nonetheless emotionally drawn 
to him. It didn't even matter if he thought she was someone else. 
When he gently drew away from her, she trembled slightly, her 
breathing more pronounced as she awaited a follow-up. When it 
didn't come as she expected, she lifted her eyes to his and saw 
that he was staring at her strangely.

"What is it?" Scully asked, fearful that his mind had made 
another unscheduled detour.

"Did I hurt you?" Nick asked her.

"No. No, I'm fine," Scully replied with a tiny laugh, 
thinking that he was referring to the kiss.

He shook his head and said, "You're bleeding somewhere. I can 
smell your blood."

Not exactly the words she expected to hear, but for some 
reason she thought there might be some truth in them. She examined 
her hands first and found them to be perfectly fine. Even though 
it wasn't time for her period, she considered opening her coat and 
checking for any telltale stains. Before she could even make the 
attempt, Nick put a finger beneath her chin and lifted it. She 
felt a bit self-conscious to see that his eyes were focused on her 
nose, but a few seconds later, she felt something else. A tiny 
stream of fluid began a downward path from her left nostril 
towards her top lip. A nosebleed, she thought with little concern. 
When she reached a hand up to wipe away the blood, Nick grabbed 
her wrist and held tight to prevent her from interfering with the 
flow. The sound of a low, animalistic growl caused Scully to 
recoil in fear, an emotion enhanced by the sight of a pair
of feral, gold-tinged eyes glaring back at her. Ready or not, she 
was about to be introduced to Nick's third personality.


end part 5


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 6/11

Warning: Possible disturbing imagery concerning the late Dr. 

Benefis Healthcare Hospital
Great Falls, Montana
5:02 a.m.

Mulder was taken to the closest medical facility in the area 
which happened to be in Great Falls, just south of Black Eagle. 
Luckily, his head injury turned out to be fairly minor, requiring 
only three stitches and a couple of Tylenols to ease the pain. 
After getting patched up, the doctor suggested that he lie down 
and get some rest. That was the last thing on Mulder's mind at the 
moment, but he was forced to comply because the world at large 
still tended to spin a little too fast when he stood. It would be 
another hour or more before the sheriff would begin the search, so 
Mulder took full advantage of the temporary bed and blanket he had 
been given. He was on the verge of dozing off when his cell phone 
rang. Thankful that he had placed it within easy reach in his 
shirt pocket, he answered anxiously, fearing bad news already.


"It's me," Frohike's voice came over the line. "Any news on 
Dana yet?"

"Last I heard, she wasn't dead yet. Have you found anything 
on Knight?"

"Yeah. I found out that he doesn't really exist."

"How's that?"

"He was invented. On the surface, everything looks normal 
enough until you dig a little deeper. For instance, he has a birth 
record but no medical history. He has diplomas and degrees, but 
nothing to verify actual attendance or graduation, not even from 
the Police Academy. The guy's a chameleon."

"Among other things," said Mulder. "Anything on the alias?"

"Quite a bit. Only De Brabant isn't exactly an alias. It's a 
charitable foundation that's been around for about half a century. 
But there is a connection between it and Nick Knight. The 
warehouse in Toronto where Knight called home was owned by The De 
Brabant Foundation, and the assets in Knight's bank account were 
automatically transferred into the foundation's account after the 
report of his death."

"That's great, Frohike," said Mulder, impressed by the news, 
but needing more. "Now if you could just tell me something I can 

"Getting to it. The De Brabant Foundation once owned a good 
hunk of mountain property in Montana; most of which was donated 
back to the Native Americans to whom it originally belonged. A 
small patch, however, still belongs to the Foundation. Tell me 
where you are and I can fax you a map of the area. Chances are 
your boy has a little homestead tucked away up there."

"Frohike, I think I'm falling in love with you," Mulder 
sighed, thankful to have such a useful friend. "Fax what you have 
to the sheriff's office in Black Eagle. Oh, did you get anything 
on the other name?"

"Janette du Charme? Nope. Once she left Toronto, she 
completely disappeared. But before she split, she turned over 
ownership of the Raven to a guy named Lucien LaCroix, a night time 
radio squawk jock. After a decapitated body was found on the 
premises, business at the Raven slacked off considerably. He 
packed up and vacated the same time as your boy went off the 
bridge. A week later, LaCroix bought him a house in Winnipeg where 
it just so happens that fifty thousand dollars of De Brabant 
Foundation money was transferred into a new account under the name 
of Nicholas Fletcher. Apparently, he and LaCroix are roomies. 
That's all I have for now. You want me to keep digging?"

"Yeah, if you don't mind. And can you send me a picture of 
this LaCroix guy, along with a number I can reach him if you've 
got it."

"It's on its way. Now you find her, Mulder. You bring our 
Dana back safe and sound or I'll personally kick your ass from 
here to Area 51."

"I will find her," said Mulder with grim determination. "Or 
die trying," he added solemnly before hanging up.


Nick's Cabin

It had to be a trick of the light, Scully thought when she 
saw the odd glow in Nick's eyes. It was downright eerie the way he 
was staring at her now, almost as though he was ready to devour 
her whole right on the spot. She swallowed nervously, then tried 
to pull her wrist from his grasp, but he held on as firmly as a 
steel trap. His other hand went to the back of her neck in order 
to hold her head immobile. Scully thought about fighting. She had 
been thoroughly trained in self defense, and her knee was already 
within the perfect striking distance. For some reason, however, 
she resisted the urge to attack. She found herself relaxing in his 
hold, drawn into those mesmerizing, golden eyes and actually 
looking forward to his next move.

When his mouth came down solidly upon hers, she eagerly 
allowed him full access. As his teeth scraped across her tongue, 
Scully noticed how abnormally long and sharp his canines seemed. 
Warning bells went off in the back of her mind, but she chose to 
ignore them. Perhaps it was the fact that it had been too long 
since a man had been intimate with her, or maybe Nick Knight was 
endowed with such powerful pheromones that no woman would have 
been able to resist him. At the moment, it really didn't matter to 
Scully why she was drowning in his kisses.

As the bleeding from her nose reached her lips, Nick withdrew 
his tongue from inside her mouth so he could lick the outside. It 
should have disgusted her once she realized what he was doing, but 
instead, Scully found it oddly erotic to know that he was tasting 
her blood. He growled softly, sounding like a purring lion cub. He 
lapped at the blood that trickled from her nose for a moment 
longer, then suddenly stopped and drew back. His eyes were still 
golden but his expression had changed to a grimace. He released 
her wrist so he could move his index finger to her face. There was 
still a small amount of blood making its way south. Nick wiped it 
up with his finger, then put it to his tongue as though he was 
sampling a small taste of some homemade sauce. After his taste 
buds had enough time to register the flavor, his frown grew 

"It's tainted," he spoke in a low, husky voice.

His would-be victim looked at him dumbfounded. "Wh-What?"

"Your blood. It tastes spoiled."

Scully was too stunned to even consider a response. It was 
just as well, because Nick didn't bother waiting for one. He all 
but pushed her to the side in his haste to get to the kitchen area 
and the small, brown refrigerator in the corner. He yanked opened 
the door and pulled out a dark green wine bottle which he uncorked 
with his teeth. Spitting the cork carelessly across the room, he 
upended the bottle and drank from it greedily, heedless of the 
overflow of crimson running down his chin.

The fact that he had just ingested the blood from her nose 
and thought it tasted spoiled, Scully chalked up to his mental 
illness. His vampire teeth could easily be falsies that he had 
snuck into his mouth with a bit of sleight of hand. The eyes that 
had changed quickly from blue to an iridescent gold could be the 
results of some kind of special contact lenses that he wore. There 
was a perfectly logical explanation for everything. However, as 
she studied the look of pure ecstasy on his face as he drank from 
the bottle of what appeared to be blood, Scully was beginning to 
question her faith in logic.

Nick had consumed half the bottle before finally pausing for 
a breather. His eyes having returned to their normal hue, timidly 
shifted in Scully's direction. He could tell by her expression 
that she knew what was in the bottle, but there still appeared to 
be some doubt as to whether or not she was willing to believe her 
own eyes.

"You're probably thinking one of two things," said Nick as he 
looked from her to his bottle and back again. "You're either 
thinking that your partner was right about me being a vampire, or 
that I am a hell of a lot more screwed up than you first 

Scully shrugged lightly. "First of all I was thinking that 
you need to wipe your chin," said Scully, displaying more calm 
than she actually felt.

 A moment of embarrassment flashed across Nick's face as he 
quickly wiped his shirt sleeve across his chin. Afterwards, he 
placed the opened bottle back into the refrigerator, then returned 
his attention to his guest.

"So, *now* what are you thinking?"

"Well, since I don't believe in vampires, then I'd have to 
say that you are considerably more unstable than I first 

Nick chuckled lightly. "You don't believe your own eyes, 
Agent Scully? That's rather a strange attribute for a person in 
law enforcement, don't you agree?"

"The eyes sometimes have a way of playing tricks on a person. 
It's referred to as optical illusions."

Denial, Nick thought. He had seen it many times throughout 
his eight hundred years from people who couldn't handle the fact 
that creatures such as he existed. Actually, it was for the best. 
The less she believed and knew about him and his kind, the better 
off she would be. He walked up to her, noting the wariness in her 
eyes, looking as though she was ready to defend herself should the 
need arise. He admired her bravery, just as he had admired 
Natalie's bravery. This time, he wouldn't make the same mistake.

"It's been a long night, Agent Scully. You're very tired. 
You're ready to get some sleep now."

The moment he uttered those words, Scully realized how true 
they were. She was so exhausted, she could barely keep her eyes 
open. "Yes, I am feeling sleepy," she murmured.

"Before you sleep, keep in mind that you never noticed 
anything unusual about me. You never saw me drinking blood; I 
never chased you out into the woods, and your nosebleed never 
happened. Also, you and I were never intimate. All we ever did was 
talk. Understand?"

Scully nodded drowsily. "We talked," she repeated his words.

"Now sleep," Nick softly commanded, then caught her as her 
body went limp. Scooping her up in his arms, he carried her into 
the bedroom and laid her down on the bed. He still wondered about 
the odd taste of her blood. The bottled cow's blood had been 
ambrosia compared to the unexpected sour tang of Agent Scully's 
blood. Perhaps he'd just imagined the bad taste as an unconscious 
effort not to drain her. The only other excuse he could think of 
was that her bloodstream was full of some sort of prescription 
drug which coincidentally made for the perfect vampire deterrent. 
He was reminded of the plague which had spread through the vampire 
community, brought on by an experimental drug for AIDS. It was 
possible that, as then, he had just exposed himself to something 
perfectly harmless to humans but deadly to his kind. Secretly, he 
wished that was the case. Finally, a simple way to put himself out 
of his misery.

Knowing he shouldn't be thinking such things, Nick 
concentrated on making Agent Scully comfortable. He decided to 
leave her with her coat on, then threw his own coat over her for 
added warmth. After a few moments of deliberating, he started a 
fire in the pot-bellied stove in the corner. When he had watched 
her in the living room in front of the fireplace, she never really 
look like she had gotten sufficiently warm. He wanted her to be 
comfortable enough to sleep through the day. After getting the 
fire going, he took a final admiring glance at her, then blew out 
the candles in the room and closed the door on his way out.

Nick walked out onto the front porch and gazed up at the 
early morning sky. The sun would be up soon and for once he had a 
solid reason not to greet it. Without him, Agent Scully would be 
stranded with no food and no way to make it back to civilization. 
He had purposely chosen to build the cabin in this area so many 
years ago because of its seclusion and poor accessibility. Agent 
Mulder was probably out searching for his partner now, but there 
was no way he could know exactly where to look. Even LaCroix 
didn't know about this little hideaway, though it was only a 
matter of time before he would show up in the general area, once 
he got wind of the cow killings. As soon as he was in the same 
city as his offspring, their eternal link would do the rest.

He wasn't ready to face his master yet. There were still so 
many doubts running through his mind, the main one being whether 
or not he should continue his existence. He went back inside the 
cabin and stretched himself out on the sofa. As he awaited sleep, 
he somberly recalled the events that occurred over a fortnight 


15 days Earlier

He had gone to her apartment first. Hovering outside the 
windows and peering into the rooms, he saw only unfamiliar 
furniture and faces. A husband looked on with love and pride as 
his wife gave their newborn infant its four o'clock feeding. Nick 
observed them for several moments, envying their harmonious bliss. 
Finally, he tore himself away from the window and moved on. Next, 
he flew to his loft. It looked pretty much the same other than the 
'For Sale' signs plastered all over the doors. For some reason, he 
thought he might find her there. Attaining entrance through the 
skylight, he found his furnishings covered with sheets to help 
protect against the dust and cobwebs that abounded. The memories 
of that night flooded back again, but gone was all the evidence 
that would tell the tale. Of course, Natalie was dead. He 
remembered that much, but perhaps he had remembered wrong. Perhaps 
LaCroix had saved her somehow. It wouldn't be the first time his 
master had picked up his apparently dead leftovers and brought 
them across. He had never wanted that for Natalie, and he had to 
be sure of what had become of her.

Nick left the loft and stopped off at the nearest pay phone. 
He was careful to disguise his voice as he spoke to the person he 
considered to be Natalie's closest mortal friend. He pretended to 
be an old boyfriend of Nat's from her college days, just in town 
and wanting to say hello. Luckily, Grace still worked the night 
shift at the morgue, but he had caught her off guard with his 
inquiry about Natalie. Grace solemnly broke the bad news to him, 
then told him tearfully about the funeral where the entire 96th 
precinct and everyone in the Coroners Building had turned out to 
say farewell to both Natalie and her friend, Detective Knight. 
Grace was in tears by the time she had finished giving all the 
details. Nick wasn't far behind, but he managed to thank her for 
her time and say good-bye before losing his self control.

He didn't remember flying to the cemetery, but he must have 
because suddenly he was there. He also had no true awareness of 
digging through several feet of earth with his bare hands until 
his fingernails scraped the top of the sealed tomb. He was 
overwhelmed by the desire to see with his own eyes what his brain 
had already told him was true. Anyone could fake a funeral, 
however. It didn't mean that a body had actually been buried. He 
should know. He had faked his own a number of times. A few moments 
more and he had cleared away the soil and breached the heavy lid 
of the tomb, pushing it off to the side and exposing the coffin 

He hesitated opening the lid of the coffin. He wasn't sure 
he'd find a body inside or not, however, he knew he wouldn't be 
contented no matter what the findings were. He braced himself as 
best he could, then quickly threw open the lid. "Oh, God!" he 
cried out as he viewed the contents. The thick, chestnut curls 
perfectly framed her heart-shaped face just as they had in life. 
The undertaker had done a fairly decent job in preserving her 
features, although the makeup applied was a bit heavier than Nick 
had ever seen her use. He reached out a hand to stroke  her cheek, 
drawing back instantly at the unnatural feel of her skin. But it 
wasn't her fault that she was dead, he thought. He was the reason 
she was here, all alone in the dark. The least he could do was 
spend a little time with her. Carefully, he shifted her body over 
some to allow him enough room to stretch out alongside her. Making 
a nest of her hair, he shut his eyes and rested his head against 
hers as he placed his arm about her waist.

"I'm sorry, Nat," he apologized meekly. "I know what I 
promised you. But things didn't go right. Your blood was so sweet. 
I couldn't get enough of it. And then, I couldn't bring you 
across. I couldn't turn you into what I am. I... I couldn't do 
that to you. So I asked LaCroix to destroy me, but he wouldn't go 
through with it."

Nick raised his head so he could gaze down at her face as he 
spoke. "He made me forget you, Nat.... It was my idea. I wanted to 
forget because I didn't want to live with the pain. But then, it 
all came back to me. I remembered. I came as soon as I 

He pressed his lips against her cheek, then nuzzled his face 
in her hair. "I miss you so much, Nat. I wish I could see you 
again, the way you were, just one more time."

As he cuddled with the cold, stiffened remains of his 
beloved, a thought came to mind. He recalled the Kessle House, a 
special place where the dearly departed was able to contact the 
living. While working on an apparent accidental death case with 
Tracy, he had come across the house reported to be haunted. It 
turned out to be a portal for spirits to reenter the world of the 
living. He wasn't sure however if the house was still around. The 
last he heard, someone had wanted to demolish it and put up a new 
apartment complex or something. He could only hope that it had not 
been torn down yet.

Nick looked at Nat again and said, "If I don't see you there, 
then I'll just come back and spend the day with you, okay?" He 
kissed her on the lips, then rose up from the grave. Lingering in 
the sky above for a few moments, he surveyed the damage he'd done 
to the grave site without actually noticing anything wrong with 
the whole picture. His only thought just before he flew off was 
that she was wearing a new dress and that it was quite becoming.

A few minutes later, Nick found himself outside the Kessle 
House. Looking as spooky as it had the first time he'd seen it, he 
was nonetheless relieved to discover that it was still standing. 
Perhaps the city decided it was a historical landmark and worthy 
of conservation, though it was still in dire need of a paint job. 
He entered through a side door and paused for a few moments to 
extend his senses throughout the house. The hair on the back of 
his neck stood on end as he discerned the presence of the spirits 
that used the house as a doorway from one world to another. Nick 
knew he wasn't welcome. The spirits had made it clear once before. 
But he was willing to brave their wrath for the chance to see her 
one last time.

He moved up the stairs and into the room where he had first 
made contact with his wife Alyssa. He instinctively knew that she 
would not be making an appearance tonight. She had already 
resolved her issues with him and moved on. He walked over to the 
window and glanced out, catching a glimpse of a quick moving, 
shadowy figure in the courtyard. The spirits of those he had 
wronged in the past and who now sought revenge against him, were 
slowly closing in. Nick took a deep breath to settle his nerves, 
then turned his back to the window.

"Natalie?" he called out to the darkness. "Natalie, I'd like 
to talk to you if you're here."  He waited a moment but nothing 
happened. "All right. You don't have to show yourself if you don't 
want to. I just wanted to.... I wanted to apologize to you for 
what I did.... For what I did and for what I didn't do. I made you 
a promise that I didn't keep. I promised you that no matter what, 
we'd be together forever. I don't expect for you to forgive my 
actions. I just wanted you to know that my love for you will never 
die, and that wherever you are now, I hope you've found peace."

He wanted to say so much more to her, to explain what all had 
transpired that night and since then, but suddenly, none of it 
seemed very important anymore. He had wanted some kind of 
confirmation of what he could expect in the afterlife, but he 
realized that when people die, they only have their personal 
beliefs to guide them into the beyond. Natalie had gone into death 
thinking that they would be together. His own wife had forgiven 
him for not keeping the same promise to her. Back then, he was an 
inexperienced vampire who naively thought he knew how to pass on 
his gift of immortality. Both Alyssa and Natalie had died because 
they made the mistake of loving and trusting him.

He glanced out the window again, looking upwards this time 
and saw the full moon shining through. Soon, the sun would be 
doing the same thing. "It ends here," he spoke aloud to himself. 
"I won't let anyone else suffer because of me, because of what I 
am. Forgive me my weaknesses, my selfishness, my arrogance. 
Forgive me, Tracy... Schanke... Cohen.... Everyone who's ever had 
the misfortune of knowing me. I'm sorry." 

With those final words uttered, he sunk to the floor in front 
of the window and stretched out with hands folded atop his chest, 
and his entire body bathed in moonlight. He closed his eyes and 
waited impatiently for the sun. As he lay there, the images of the 
people closest to him came to mind. He envisioned Janette and the 
hundreds of years he had spent loving her, rejecting her, and 
towards the end, how he had envied her. By some strange twist of 
fate, she had achieved what he had been seeking for centuries. 
Perhaps it hadn't been so strange at all. Perhaps it was merely 
one of the many secrets of being a vampire of which LaCroix had 
failed to enlighten them. Perhaps Nick could have regained his 
immortality at any time, only his master had never wanted him to 
know it was indeed possible.

Try as he might, Nick was unable to keep thoughts of his 
master out of his head. LaCroix had always insisted that he only 
had Nick's best interest in mind. All the taunting, the treachery 
and even the physical abuse had only been his way of nurturing so 
that his son would develop the proper skills for an eternity of 
survival in a mortal world. Perhaps in his own twisted way LaCroix 
did love and care for him. Nick remembered the look in his sire's 
eyes when he had requested that LaCroix stake him. It was the 
closest he'd ever seen the old vampire to tears. Even the death of 
his daughter Divia had not moved him as much. The master vampire -
- for whatever his reasons, be it love or obsession -- was not 
able to fulfill his son's request. It was apparent then that he 
did not want to bare such a loss. However, wherever he was now, 
come sunrise, he would feel their connection sever completely, and 
LaCroix would--

"What are you doing, Nick?"

The voice had startled him badly. He was alert and on his 
feet in an instant. A pained smiled crossed his face when he saw 
the nearly transparent image of the person who had spoken.

"Tracy," he whispered, unable to say anything more.

"Just happened to be in the neighborhood, were you?" she 
asked in the same perky tone he had grown used to. "You know, it's 
really not a good idea for you to hang around here. There are a 
few creepy types that remember you from wa-a-a-y back when and are 
still carrying quite a grudge. But don't worry. I'll be watching 
your back for you." 

"Tracy... you were a good partner," Nick spoke, his voice 
filled with regret. "I'm sorry. I should have told you what I was. 
You already knew that vampires existed, so there was no real 
reason why I shouldn't have confided in you."

"Yeah, it would have been nice to know that my partner felt 
he could trust me. You know, I kept Vachon's secret pretty well. 
When he died, I really could have used someone to talk to about 
it. I was even tempted to tell you anyway, but I figured you'd 
just think I was crazy."

"I thought LaCroix made you forget."

"He did. But I guess that hypno thing you guys do don't carry 
over into the afterworld. I remember everything now."

"I never meant to cause you pain, Tracy. I thought..." He 
faltered, sighing deeply. "It doesn't matter what I thought. I was 
wrong. I was wrong about a lot of things. But I want you to know 
that I always thought you were a good partner and friend, and I 
wish I had done the right thing by you."

"Well, just keep it in mind for your next partner, okay? Oh, 
by the way, Amanda Cohen sends her best and Schanke wants you to 
know how much he appreciates you being there for his family and 
setting up that trust fund for them. He would have come but we 
only get so many visits and he already used his on Myra and 

Nick nodded. "Tell him I miss him."

"Will do. And Nick? Lighten up, will you?''

She smiled brightly at him as she began to fade back into the 
darkness. Nick lowered his head and squeezed his eyes shut to try 
to hold back the tears. His head jerked back up when he thought of 
something. "Trace?" he called out, but it was too late. He had 
wanted to ask her about Natalie. He had to wonder if Natalie had 
gone to the same place as the others. Hers was the only name Tracy 
didn't bother to mention. He wondered if she would be able to come 
to the Kessle House as Tracy had. Then he thought, even if she 
*could* come to him, why on earth would she want to?

Nick faced the window again, fidgeting impatiently as he 
glared out at the slowly creeping daybreak. "Come on," he spoke 
anxiously. "Let's just get this over with."

"What's the big hurry?"

He was nearly too overwhelmed by the sound of her voice to 
respond, and found it nearly impossible to face her. After taking 
in a deep breath, he finally found the courage to turn around. 
Just as Tracy had been, Natalie stood before him as an angelic 
looking, nearly transparent figure. She appeared younger, slimmer 
and more beautiful than he had remembered.

He mustered a nervous smile and said, "I didn't think you'd 

"I wasn't so sure I would," came the blunt reply.

The cold tone of her voice caused him to lower his head in 
guilt and shift his eyes to the floor. "I don't blame you for 
hating me, after what I did to you. And I don't mean just that 
night. Throughout the years we've known each other, there have 
been times when I didn't always give you the respect you deserved. 
I had the habit of deciding what was best for you based on my own 
personal viewpoint. I often put my needs and desires first, and 
completely ignored yours. And there were times when you needed me 
to be there emotionally for you, and I don't believe I managed 
that well either. Saying I'm sorry seems embarrassingly 
inadequate, but I don't know how else to put it."

Natalie arched her brow and shook her in head in mild 
amusement. "One thing about you, Nick, you were always good at 
beating yourself up. In this case, you're right on the mark. 
Saying you're sorry *is* pretty inadequate. And I won't accept 
your apology.... That is, not until you accept mine."

He had been so fixated on her remark about not accepting his 
apology that he nearly missed the rest of her statement. He raised 
his eyes to hers once it dawned on him what she had said.


"I owe you an apology, Nick. I almost didn't come here 
because I was ashamed to face you."

"No, Nat. You don't--"

"Let me finish," she cut him off with a firm tone. When she 
saw that she had startled him into silence, Nat continued with her 
confession. "When we first met, you warned me what getting 
involved with you might entail. You tried to scare me off, but I 
insisted I could handle anything that might arise. You were honest 
with me from the beginning but I was dishonest with you. I lied 
about being interested in you only in the scientific sense. I was 
physically attracted to you from the moment I first laid eyes on 
you. Which is kind of sick in a way considering you were a fresh 
corpse in a body bag. But I'd been thinking, wow, what a waste. 
Why couldn't I have met you when you were alive. Then when you 
suddenly came to life, I guess I sort of took it as a sign that 
you had been sent by the powers above.

"When I found out that you wanted to become mortal again, I 
thought that it would be a good way of getting to know you better 
and that eventually it might lead to something more. It did in a 
way. We became close friends, and I suppose I should have been 
happy with that considering the extraordinary differences in our 
backgrounds. But I had always felt that there could be more. There 
were times when I looked into your eyes and I was positive you 
felt the same way, only you'd had some bad experiences in the past 
and you were afraid to try again."

"I did love you, Natalie," Nick cut in. "I still do."

Natalie smiled sadly. "I know. Even though you never said the 
words, I knew it. It was in the way you looked at me, the way you 
touched me, and all those wonderful hugs and tiny little kisses 
you'd give me.... I knew. But what I felt for you had taken on a 
more desperate air. After Schanke and Captain Cohen died in that 
plane crash, I realized how short my time here on this planet 
could be. Then when I found out that you had planned to leave town 
without so much as a good-bye, I think that's when I stopped 
thinking rationally. I believe that's when I started to become 
almost like a mortal version of LaCroix."

Nick started to contradict her but Natalie held up a hand to 
stop him from commenting.

"No, it's true. Just as he believed he knew what was best for 
you, I began thinking the same way. A prime example was when you 
lost your memory and I tried to take advantage of that. I refused 
to tell you what you really were because I had convinced myself 
that your being a vampire was not so much a physical condition as 
it was a mental hang-up you had to overcome. As a result, you went 
outside and was nearly fried by the sun. It was wrong of me to 
withhold such vital information, but love makes you do foolish 
things sometimes. A bout of depression can make you do even worse.

"Our last night together, I was suffering from depression 
over an old friend committing suicide. Top that off with what 
happened to Tracy and you've got the makings of one non-thinking, 
irrational individual. All I could think was that Nick could make 
it all better for me. He could chase away all these negative 
feelings I have and make my world whole. I pushed you into doing 
something you didn't want to. Something that you felt was not only 
wrong but dangerous as well. So your old girlfriend Janette goes 
away for a little while and comes back as a mortal, saying that it 
was the results of making love to a mortal and taking only a small 
amount of his blood.

"The scientist in me should have questioned and analyzed 
every possible detail available before jumping to conclusions. 
Maybe what happened with Janette had to do with the fact that she 
was a female vampire, or that she was two hundred years older than 
you. Could have been some kind of vampire puberty thing going on 
with her body. Could be that the guy whose blood she drank had 
unusual properties to it. I mean, the possibilities are probably 
endless. But at the time, I didn't care how it may have actually 
happened. I only knew that it had and I wanted that for you. I 
wanted you to be mortal. I'm ashamed to say it, but I wanted you 
to be mortal, not because it's what you've been dreaming of for 
centuries, but... because I wanted you, and I knew that was the 
only way I could have you."

"None of that really matters, Nat," said Nick, seeing her 
brow crinkle in guilt. "It doesn't change the fact that I killed 

"But it wouldn't have happened if I hadn't pushed you. I 
backed you into a corner, Nick, and I didn't give you a way out. 
It was like my wearing a pork chop necklace and going up to a 
starving lion, then expecting him to just eat the pork chop. And 
how many times did you tell me, 'No,' and warn me of what might 
happen? I don't blame you for your actions, Nick. I was dealing 
with a lot of different emotions and I just wasn't thinking 
clearly. What occurred that night with us was my own fault."

"But I made you a promise," he reminded her. "I didn't keep 
it. You asked to be brought across if things went too far. I had 
the opportunity to do it. There was still enough life left in you, 
but I...."

 "You didn't want me to become the thing you so desperately 
despised. I know."

"I brought your brother across when you asked me to because I 
couldn't bare to see you so upset. I was willing to bring Tracy 
across whether she wanted it or not in order to assuage my own 
guilt about the shoot-out. But when it came to making that choice 
for you, Nat.... I just couldn't. It may have been what you 
thought you wanted but... I loved you too much to condemn you for 
all eternity to this hellish existence. But I promised to be with 
you no matter what. I still want to be with you."

"So that's why you're standing in front of the window waiting 
for the sun to rise?"

"It should be slightly more effective than the last method I 

"Did you really expect LaCroix to go through with it?"

"How did you know? Were you still alive?" Nick asked in 
growing dismay.  "You saw?"

"No, no. You tend to know when someone's messing about with 
your remains. I was at the cemetery earlier when you were.... Come 
to think of it, just what the heck *were* you doing, Nick? I'd 
never seen you like that before. As Schanke would put it, you were 
acting really whacko."

"I know. I was pretty upset when my memories of that night 
came back. I had amnesia and I had forgotten. LaCroix--"

"I get the picture," Natalie stopped him. "You don't have to 
say anymore. In other words, all this just hit you like a ton of 
bricks and you really haven't had time to grieve." 

"I've had too much time to grieve already. Eight hundred 
years of seeing the people that I care for the most, wither and 
die or fall victim to my beast. I just regret that it's taken me 
so long to finally reach this decision. A lot of people would 
still be alive if I had walked into the sun much sooner."

"Are you sure about that? I seem to recall digging a few 
bullets out of you that had been meant for others. Schanke would 
have met his end a lot sooner if you hadn't been there for him a 
couple of times that I can think of. The same goes for Tracy. You 
also saved Captain Stonetree's life and his career. And you 
haven't forgotten that little dating fiasco I had with Roger 
Jameson. During that bombing scare, how many more people do you 
think would have died if it hadn't been for you getting involved? 
You've done a lot of good, Nick. You've saved a lot of lives. You 
just can't save them all. No one can do it all."

"It doesn't matter anymore. None of it matters. It's time to 
end it."

"Why?" Natalie asked. She saw him cock his head in wonderment 
at her question. "Why after eight hundred years?" she attempted to 
clarify her question. "I mean, why haven't you done it before now? 
What's kept you going all these centuries?"

Nick didn't have a problem coming up with his answer. "Hope," 
he told her. "The hope that someday I'd find a way to become 
mortal again."

"Are you saying that you've lost all hope now; despite seeing 
that it was possible with Janette? Have you forgotten the time you 
got to walk around in the sun and eat real food? It may have been 
only temporary, but it was definitely a step in the right 
direction. I'll tell you where I hid my notes. Maybe you can find 
someone else to pick up where I left off."

"No!" Nick blurted out. "No, Nat. I won't put another life at 
risk like that. Besides... I'm tired. I'm just so tired of it 

"Nick, I know you're hurting, and as bad as your existence 
seems now, killing yourself will not make it better. Where I am, 
I'm afraid that you're not welcome. The place where you *would* be 
welcomed, from what I've heard, you don't want to go."

Nick lowered his head dejectedly and murmured. "Could hell 
really be any worse?"

"I know that the past couple of years have been tough on you, 
Nick. You've had LaCroix come back into your life to torment you, 
and you've watched a lot of friends die, both vampire and mortal 
alike. You're suffering from depression, and I mean big time. I 
know what that's like. I should've gotten myself to the nearest 
therapist for some help, but instead I allowed it to consume me. I 
don't know if there are any vampire shrinks out there, but it 
might be a good idea for you to find someone to talk to. If 
nothing else, at least get away from this city. Go find yourself a 
nice quiet place to unwind and commune with nature or something. 
Forget about all the bad times and remember the good ones. We had 
some good times, didn't we?"

Nick nodded sadly. "We had lots of them, Nat."

Natalie smiled with tears glittering in her pale eyes. "The 
sun will be up soon. You should leave here before it does."

"Can I see you again, Nat? If I come back here--"

"Don't," she warned with a touch of sternness to her voice. 
Softening her tone she said, "Let it go, Nick. It's okay to let 

"I don't think I can," he admitted tearfully, his voice 

"You never know what you can do until you try. Will you 
please try, Nick? If not for yourself, then do it for me."

Nick nodded slightly. "I can try," he replied half-heartedly.

"Good.... You'd better go now," she said as she began to 
drift away from him.

He wanted so badly to follow, but knew it was hopeless. "I 
love you, Nat," he called out to her. "I'll love you forever."

"You see, Nick. You didn't break your promise. We *will* be 
together forever, in each other's hearts.... Now, go find some 
happiness and never give up the hope." She blew him a kiss, then 
faded from sight.

Before he could respond to her final words or her gestured 
kiss, Natalie was gone. Nick remained rooted to the spot for a 
moment longer, unwilling to face the rest of his existence without 
her. But he had made the commitment to try and he knew he owed her 
that much. As he left the Kessle House on his way to the loft, he 
made a solemn vow that he'd do his best to honor Natalie's wishes.


end part 6