Infatuation With a Vampire
Fran Glass

Part 7/11

Nick's Cabin
Oct. 10, 1996
10:22 a.m.

Scully was having a bad dream. In it, she was riding on the 
elevator at work when the cables broke and the car began 
plummeting downward. She screamed in terror, fearing a crash 
landing, when suddenly the elevator slowed its descent and began 
rising smoothly upwards again. When it got to the top floor, she 
waited impatiently for the doors to open, but nothing happened. 
She pushed the button on the panel continuously, then picked up 
the emergency phone to call for help. Before she could say 
anything, a man's voice came over the receiver. "You're safe now," 
he told her, then the line went dead. Scully hung the phone up, 
feeling somewhat calmed by the voice. She was prepared to simply 
wait for the doors to open. She just hoped that it would be soon, 
because it was getting stiflingly hot in the little room. She saw 
that she was wearing a heavy jacket but couldn't seem to locate 
the zipper to take it off. She felt as though she would roast 
alive if she didn't get it off soon.

The overheating of her body finally caused Scully to awaken. 
It took a few seconds to orient herself to her present situation. 
She sat up in the bed and pushed off the overcoat that covered her 
as she took in her surroundings. Besides being warm, the room was 
also fairly dark. The only light came from the tiny rays of sun 
peeking through the thin seams of the boards nailed over the 
window. Scully climbed off the bed, then peeled off her own 
jacket, finding that she was damp with sweat beneath her flannel 
shirt. A shower and a change of clothes would be nice but first 
things first. She found the light switch on the wall and flipped 
it on. The overhead light brightened the room, then flickered and 
dimmed slightly, letting her know that the cabin's generator was 
probably in need of attention.

Scully discovered her personal belongings on the dresser, 
including her gun. She collected the items and checked the gun, 
pleased to find it still loaded. She grabbed her jacket, and with 
the gun in hand, cautiously opened the bedroom door and looked 
out. There were still two candles burning with perhaps only an 
inch of wax left on each. Still, they provided enough illumination 
for her to easily spot her host stretched out on the couch, 
asleep. Scully watched him from a distance for a moment, then 
allowed herself to relax and put her gun away. He had done nothing 
to harm her -- other than kidnap her, that is -- and he had 
probably only done that out of a desperate desire for 
companionship and to have someone to talk to. That didn't excuse 
his actions but it made them understandable.

Scully decided not to disturb his sleep. She tiptoed about 
gracefully and went into the bathroom, flipping on the switch and 
getting the same dim lighting as in the bedroom. The bathroom 
window had also been boarded up, though the cracks were wider and 
allowed a bit more daylight to pour through. She closed and locked 
the door behind her, then toed aside the pile of clothing on the 
floor near the toilet. After relieving herself, she inspected the 
meager contents of the cabinet and drawers. Besides a lack of 
toilet paper in the place, she noted there were no first aid items 
at all to be found, not even a bottle of aspirin. Not much as far 
as toiletries were concerned either. There was soap and shampoo 
but little else available for personal hygiene needs. Scully took 
advantage of the soap, cold water and a clean looking washcloth to 
wash her face and neck and under her arms. She ran her fingers 
through her tousled hair, wishing she had brought along a barrette 
or rubber band for a ponytail.

After sprucing herself up as best she could, she went back 
into the living room. Nick was still asleep, so Scully decided to 
quietly check out her surroundings. In one corner of the room, she 
found a small table with a selection of oil paints and brushes, 
next to an easel with a canvass turned backwards. She picked up 
the canvass by the edges and turned it around. There was a 
photograph attached to the top, left corner of the canvass. It was 
a picture of Nick and Natalie Lambert apparently snapped during a 
birthday celebration. Scully studied the snapshot first, then 
compared it to the image in the painting. Though unfinished, and 
done in an Impressionistic style, Nick had captured Natalie's 
likeness quite well.

Scully returned the canvass to its stand, then moved into the 
kitchen area. She checked the refrigerator for breakfast 
possibilities, but all that she found were unlabeled wine bottles, 
two full and one half empty. She didn't bother checking the 
contents. It wasn't all that surprising to find that Nick had a 
drinking problem to go along with his depression. Scully checked 
the cupboards next, hoping to at least find some instant coffee or 
some canned fruit, but apparently, Nick had not done any grocery 
shopping in a while. Perhaps he was the type who lived off the 
land, or maybe the drinking had made him not care about eating. 
There weren't even any cooking utensils or dishes; only a few cups 
and glasses.

Leaving the kitchen, Scully moved to the front door and 
opened it, careful to avoid allowing excessive daylight to enter. 
Stepping onto the porch, she raised her chin to the warming sun. 
The temperature was already about fifty-five degrees and would 
probably make it into the upper sixties as predicted by the 
weatherman yesterday. Scully stepped off the porch and away from 
the cabin. There didn't appear to be any established vehicle 
pathways, or foot trails to follow. There was some cleared land of 
about a hundred feet squared, but after that, nothing but trees. 
Scully picked the least dense area and worked her way through the 
foliage. She made a special effort to leave herself a trail back 
to the cabin by breaking small limbs on the trees and bushes she 
passed. After a few moments of traveling, the trees and foliage 
grew sparse and the terrain beyond became a rocky precipice.

Scully was careful in approaching the edge of the cliff. A 
cautious glance below revealed a sheer drop of a few hundred feet 
and a rocky landing. On the other side of the deep chasm were more 
trees; miles and miles of trees shaping the mountain peaks, and no 
sign of human inhabitants. Obviously, this wasn't the route to 
town, so Scully turned around and retraced her steps back to the 
cabin. Once she entered the clearing, she continued to look around 
for the trail Nick had used to bring her there. He had to have a 
vehicle parked somewhere nearby, but after a brief search, Scully 
finally gave up and returned to the cabin.

Upon entering, she glanced at the couch and found Nick the 
same as when she had left. As she got herself a glass of water 
from the kitchen, she considered the fact that her host was 
nocturnal and was likely to sleep the day away. She sipped her 
water and moved closer to the couch to look at him. It reminded 
her somewhat of watching Mulder when he slept. Her partner had a 
way of looking almost childlike in his sleep. Of course, most of 
the times Scully had watched him sleep were in the hospital while 
he was recovering from an on the job injury or some unexplained 
phenomenon. As she watched Nick Knight, she couldn't help but 
marvel over how handsome and youthful he appeared. His skin was 
indecently pale and absolutely flawless with no obvious scars or 
blemishes. Scully was tempted to caress his face simply to see if 
it was as soft as it looked, but she was afraid she'd be caught in 
the act. She could just as easily be caught staring. He could open 
his eyes at any time and catch her standing there gawking.

Although she finally managed to tear her eyes away from his 
face, they still didn't leave his form. She gazed up and down his 
blue jean clad figure, very much impressed by his well-toned 
physique. His jeans fit a bit loosely which made her think he had 
lost weight recently. No wonder, with no food in the place and 
only wine to live on. Out of nowhere, a mental picture entered her 
mind of that firm, trim body pressed hotly against hers, his arms 
encircling her and their lips locked in a passionate kiss. She 
quickly shook the image out of her head, having no idea what could 
have possibly spawned the notion in the first place. Yes, he was 
an attractive man, but she'd met handsome men before. She even 
worked side by side with one, and not once had she envisioned such 
graphic desires. Well, with Mulder, she really couldn't afford to 
let her mind travel in that direction. With Nick, however, she 
couldn't help but wonder how things might have been if she had met 
him under more normal circumstances. 

Scully sighed at the futility of such thinking and was about 
to turn away from him when she noticed how his body was 
positioned. He lay flat on his back with his arms folded and hands 
lying crisscrossed atop his chest. It was the way she'd seen many 
a dead body positioned for burial. It was also the position she'd 
seen a few suicide victims assume once they had ingested a lethal 
dose of something to end their life. Scully became instantly 
concerned when that thought crossed her mind. She began to study 
Nick in a more professional manner. She stared intently at his 
chest, waiting for it to rise and fall with the pattern of his 
breathing, but it didn't.

Scully stepped closer, picked up his wrist and held it 
lightly between her fingers. She was dismayed at the iciness of 
his skin and lack of a pulse. Her hand then went to his throat, 
searching again for a pulse but coming up blank. Dropping to her 
knees in front of him, she moved his hands aside and pressed her 
ear against his chest, listening carefully for even the faintest 
of heartbeats. Her own heart sank when she couldn't detect either 
a beating heart or a sign of breathing.

"No!" she whimpered woefully, lifting her head and gazing 
sadly down at him. "What happened? What did you do?" She glanced 
around for any sign of a drug overdose. There were no empty pill 
bottles, stray tablets or suicide note to be found. She checked 
his pockets, then ran her hands beneath him and between the seat 
cushions of the sofa, but still came up empty. She looked at his 
face again and saw how serene his features appeared. It looked as 
though he had died peacefully in his sleep. Scully contemplated 
trying CPR on him, but figured that he was more than likely this 
way even before she had awaken and way too much time had now 
passed since then. Even if she was able to get a pulse, his brain 
would have undoubtedly suffered irreversible and severe damage 
from lack of oxygen.

Scully  placed the hands of the deceased back into their 
original position then slowly rose and went into the bedroom to 
get something to cover him with. Grabbing Nick's overcoat, she 
went back into the living room and threw the coat over the body, 
although she hesitated in covering his face. She'd seen dead many 
times and in many ways. It was usually bloody, often grotesque, 
and never very pretty, until now. In fact, he was beautiful, a 
descriptive term Scully had never really associated with men, much 
less a dead one. She sat down on the edge of the couch near his 
waist and reached her hand out to caress his cheek with the back 
of her fingers. He was ice cold to the touch but his flesh was 
surprisingly soft.

"I know you were in a good deal of emotional pain," she spoke 
to him in a near whisper. "I'm sorry I didn't get the chance to 
help you, but... well, I hope you've found peace now." She heaved 
a deep sigh before finally withdrawing her hand and pulling the 
top of the coat slowly over his face. She sat a moment longer, 
silently offering a prayer over the remains, then found herself 
wiping away the tears that suddenly flooded her eyes. She'd only 
known him a few hours, but in that brief amount of time, she'd 
made a connection with him and therefore found his passing a 
bitter blow.

After a few more minutes of mourning, Scully finally rose to 
her feet and began to ponder her own fate. She regretted that she 
never got any information from Nick as to their present location 
or in which direction civilization lay. She vaguely recalled him 
warning her that it could be potentially dangerous for her to 
travel alone during the day because of the treacherous terrain, 
and from what little she'd seen thus far, she had no reason to 
doubt him. Whether or not he truly intended to escort her back to 
town, she had no way of knowing; but she honestly didn't believe 
that he had planned on dying and leaving her stranded.

Scully did a thorough search of the cabin, seeking a map and 
any useful camping equipment. She came up empty on both accounts 
with not so much as a compass or canteen. It didn't make sense 
that someone living in the woods would do so without the basics 
for wilderness survival. Then again, Nick Knight's brain had not 
been functioning on all cylinders. He had been thinking kill a 
cow, kidnap the first woman he sees and bring her up to the cabin 
so she could keep him company. She doubted that he had ever meant 
her any harm. He had been lonely, confused and simply in desperate 
need of human contact. Not that any of that mattered now.

Scully grabbed the wine bottles from the refrigerator and 
placed them on the counter. She could use them to store water for 
her trek down the mountain. One bottle was half empty and already 
open, so she chose it to start with. She poured the contents down 
the sink and frowned when she realized what was being disposed. 
Cow's blood, she thought, disgustedly. Unfortunately, there was no 
detergent and no pots she could use to boil water and sterilize 
the bottles.

"Great!" she hissed. "Just great." She sighed despairingly 
and said, "Okay, Mulder, anytime you want to come and rescue me, 
I'm ready."

As she stood at the sink trying to come up with a way she 
could ensure herself some safe drinking water for her trip, a 
distant sound from outside demanded her attention. She knew 
instantly what it was and what it meant. Excitedly, she ran out 
onto the porch and looked skyward. She realized that she didn't 
even have to bother to signal because the helicopter was headed 
straight in her direction. As it neared, she stepped off the porch 
and waved her arms in recognition of being rescued.

There didn't seem to be enough room for the helicopter to 
land safely, but the pilot was either highly experienced and 
confident or just insane enough to give it a try. Scully had to 
duck back inside the cabin as the chopper blades kicked up debris 
and threatened to clip the tops of nearby trees. After a couple of 
moments, the engine cut off and the whirling sound of rotating 
blades began to die down. Scully ventured back outside just as 
someone was getting off the copter. She had expected to see her 
partner headed towards her, but instead it turned out to be 
Sheriff Wilkes, carrying a backpack.

"Sheriff Wilkes, I'm glad to see you," Scully greeted him 
with relief.

"Well you're a sight for sore eyes yourself, Agent Scully. 
Are you all right? You're not injured anywhere, are you?"

"No. I'm fine. Is Mulder with you?"

"No, ma'am, but he sure did want to come. He got him a little 
concussion, -- nothing too serious, mind you -- but he's not 
exactly up to flying at the moment."

"How did you know where to find me?"

"You got your partner to thank for that. I'm still not sure 
how he did it. He made some phone calls and  pulled a rabbit out 
of the hat. We would have been here sooner but we had problems 
getting hold of a pilot."

"I'm glad you showed up when you did. I was just about ready 
to attempt to find my own way down the mountain."

"The guy that kidnapped you, where's he now?"

Scully glanced ruefully towards the open door of the cabin. 
"He's inside. He died in his sleep."

"I'll be damned," the sheriff grunted. "Your partner pegged 
that one too."


"Agent Mulder said that I'd likely find the kidnapper looking 
a little lifeless. He had me to bring along a couple body bags."

"A couple?"

"Yeah. He wants me to double-bag the guy before transporting 
him. He wants the body protected against sunlight. He also wants 
me to throw in some fresh garlic and duct tape this to the body." 
The sheriff reached into the backpack and pulled out an eight-
inch, wooden cross. "You got any idea why your partner would 
insist on something like this?"

Scully nodded once and blew out a sigh. "I'm afraid so."

"You mind sharing with me?"

"Frankly, Sheriff, I don't think you really want to know."

Sheriff Wilkes chuckled lightly and shook his head. "Now you 
know, that's spooky. That's exactly what your partner told me. 
Sounds like you two have been together a little too long."

"Yeah, tell me about it."

Black Eagle Sheriff's Office
1:15 p.m.

Mulder had been waiting anxiously for news about Scully's 
rescue, and when word came over the radio that she had been found 
alive and well, he nearly cried with joy. After speaking to her 
briefly, he finally allowed himself to relax and take Deputy 
Carter's advice about lying down and getting some rest. He napped 
in one of the cells for nearly an hour until the deputy came to 
wake him as promised with news of Scully's return. Deputy Carter 
drove him the quarter of a mile out to the helicopter landing 
field, arriving just as the blades of the copter were slowly 
coming to a halt. The sheriff stepped off first, then turned to 
help the female passenger off.

Though he was tempted to run, Mulder walked casually towards 
them. Scully met him half way, a heartwarming smile stretching 
across her face as she drew near. She fell easily into his opened 
embrace and gave as good a hug as she received. Mulder pulled away 
much too soon and looked her up and down.

"Are you sure you're all right?" he asked while 
simultaneously checking her neck for bite marks.

"Mulder, I'm fine. How did you know where to find me?"

"I had Frohike run a background check on an alias Knight gave 
me just before he departed with you. Turns out he owns a few acres 
of land up there. Did he try anything with you?" 

"No. He was... he was a perfect gentleman." She looked back 
sadly at the helicopter as the body bag was being unloaded and 
transferred to a waiting ambulance. "When I woke up, I found him 
lying on the couch, dead. I'm thinking that maybe he suffered a 
brain aneurysm."

Mulder shook his head. "He's not dead."

"Mulder, I know dead when I see it. He has no heartbeat or 
pulse, there's no breathing, and he's ice cold."

"Okay, maybe he *is* dead but not how you think. Excuse me a 
sec." Mulder went over to talk to the sheriff for a moment and was 
given his backpack. He took a peek inside the bag, then exchanged 
a few more words with the sheriff before shaking his hand in 
gratitude and walking away. "They'll be keeping Knight on ice at 
the hospital morgue in Great Falls," he said upon returning to his 
partner. "I told the sheriff not to worry about the autopsy. That 
you and I will handle things from here on out."

"Mulder, I'd rather not be the one to perform the autopsy on 

"You won't have to. I just wanted to make sure no one else 

"You don't want an autopsy done?"

"Well, if he's indeed what I think he is, an autopsy would 
only piss him off."

"You're not still going on about the vampire thing, are you?"

"Scully, I saw him. I saw him make the change. The glowing 
eyes, the fangs. I saw him fly."

"You saw him fly?" Scully questioned skeptically.

"You don't remember, do you? I could tell he had you under 
some kind of trance. When I tried to get him to let you go, he 
picked me up by my neck and flung me like a rag doll into the 
fencing. Then he just held onto you and flew straight up."

"The sheriff told me that you got conked on the head," Scully 
stated, feeling as though that explained things.

"I'm not imagining things, Scully. That's not a dead body 
they've got there, it's a sleeping vampire. Look, you don't have 
to believe me. You'll see for yourself when he wakes up."

"Mulder, as much as he's been handled, if he was going to 
wake up, he would have done so by now, don't you think?"

"You taped the cross to his chest before you attempted to 
move him, right?"

"Making sure it didn't make contact with his skin, as per 
your instructions, yes."

"Well, that was a precaution. From some of the vampire lore 
I've read, religious symbols can act as a restraint to keep a 
vampire completely immobile. So even if he does wake up, he'd be 
paralyzed until the cross is removed. I talked to Captain Reese 
again and he said that they always had a tough time trying to get 
a call through to Knight during the day. I'm guessing that means 
he's a pretty heavy sleeper and probably won't be waking until 
right around dusk."

"Mulder..." Scully started to argue the insanity of his 
theory but knew it was a useless gesture. "Whatever. Right now, 
I'm hungry and I need to shower. So can we just...."

"Sure. This way." He gently took her arm and guided her 
towards a waiting patrol car and a deputy who was more than happy 
to drop them off at their motel.

"So, you don't remember him transporting you to the cabin?" 
Mulder asked as he relaxed in the back seat of the patrol car next 
to his partner.

Scully shook her head slightly. "No, I don't. I remember 
going out to the corral, looking for you, and the next thing I 
know, I'm waking up in bed with...."

"With what?"

"I uh... I'm not really sure. Some of it seems almost like a 
dream. I think he was holding me."

"Holding you?"

"I woke up and he was lying on the bed with me in his arms."

"Damn pervert is what he was," came the voice of disgust from 
the man in the driver's seat. "No telling what he might've done to 
you if he hadn't croaked first," Deputy Carter continued. "I know 
it's none of my business, ma'am but are you sure you wouldn't want 
to be examined by a doctor? Considering you were unconscious and 
all for a spell. You know what I mean?"

"Thank you for your concern, Deputy, but, I really don't 
think that's necessary."

"The deputy might have a point, Scully. If you can't remember 
what all went on, it might be a good idea to get yourself checked 
out. You could have been drugged or exposed to something. After 
all, the guy did have a blood fetish, and it might not have all 
been from cows."

Scully considered the words carefully, knowing that if their 
positions had been reversed, she would have insisted that Mulder 
seek medical attention. As the patrol car pulled up in front of 
the motel, Scully found herself agreeing with her partner. "You're 
right, Mulder. I think maybe I should get a quick physical, just 
in case. But I'd like to eat and get cleaned up first."

The agents climbed out of the patrol car and waved their 
thanks to the deputy. "He didn't sexually molest me, Mulder," 
Scully blurted out as she walked alongside him towards their 
rooms. "I'd know if he had."

Mulder simply nodded. Of course, she knew her body better 
than he. "So when you woke up, he was holding you?" he asked.

"Not me exactly. I believe that he thought he was holding 
Natalie Lambert one last time. I think they did have a suicide 
pact going. Only it was her idea and she goaded him into going 
along with it. He blamed himself for her death and he felt guilty 
because he survived. He was deeply in love with her. "

Mulder fished a key out of his pocket and unlocked the door 
to Scully's room. "How does the killing of cows fit in?" he asked 
as he allowed her to enter first.

Scully stepped into the room and headed straight for the 
bathroom. She reached into the shower and turned on the water so 
that it would have sufficient time to heat. She then turned her 
attention to Mulder who stood leaning against the dresser.

"Nick didn't remember killing the cows. He was suffering from 
blackouts. He said he became someone else."

"Someone named Nicholas de Brabant?"

"Yes. I think that's the name he used."

"That's the vampire, Scully. The one that took you."

"Nick said that this other personality killed the cows to 
draw attention to himself. He wanted some family member to find 

Mulder pulled a photocopy picture from his pocket and showed 
it to her. "Lucien LaCroix. Don't know what relationship he is to 
Knight but they were roomies in Winnipeg after leaving Toronto."

Scully studied the picture and frowned, "I wouldn't want to 
bump into him on a dark night."

"Neither would I. Something tells me, he doesn't settle for 
cow's blood."

"Oh, so he's a vampire too, is that it?"

"Doesn't he look like one?"

"I'm going to go take my shower now. I know I must smell and 
look hideous."

"You smell pretty much like I do and you look like...." He 
was going to say that she looked like hell, but quickly 
reevaluated her appearance. Considering that a few hours ago, he 
wasn't sure he'd ever see her again, at least not alive, she was 
truly a beautiful sight to behold.

"I look like what?" she asked when he had failed to complete 
the statement.

"A million dollars in change."

"In change?"

"Yeah. A zillion bright, shiny coins. You have to admit, 
that'd be an awesome sight."

"You know what you look like?"


"Like someone with a mild concussion who's been up all night 
worrying himself half to  death."

"Do I look hungry too?"

She patted his stubble-covered cheek. "Go get rid of that and 
I'll meet you in half an hour in the cafe."


Benefis Healthcare Hospital
Great Falls, Montana
4:22 p.m.

  Over a late lunch, Mulder and Scully traded information 
each had gathered on the mysterious Nick Knight. After their meal, 
they stopped by the sheriff's office to file paperwork, and later, 
went to the hospital so Scully could get her check up. As he 
waited for his partner, Mulder catnapped right outside the morgue, 
wanting to keep an eye on Knight. After taking a cursory exam and 
giving up some blood samples to be tested later, Scully went in 
search of her partner. She found him in the hallway directly 
across from the morgue, asleep in a chair with his arms folded 
loosely over the backpack he was holding and his head resting 
against the wall behind him. Scully walked up to him and with 
devilishly intent, ran her fingernails along Mulder's exposed 
neck. He jumped awake in a moment of panic, nearly falling off the 

"It's okay, it's okay!" Scully soothed him. "It's just me."

"That wasn't funny," Mulder huffed as he stood and collected 
his cool.

"Actually, it was," Scully grinned. "Why don't you go back to 
the motel and get some sleep?"

"No, I'm wide awake now," he said as he slipped his backpack 
over one shoulder. "How'd your exam go?"

"Fine. Nothing unusual to report. The results from the blood 
tests will be back later. Urine tests show no drugs in my system, 
so whatever he used to put me to sleep has apparently already 
worked its way out. And in case you were wondering, no bite marks 
were found."

Mulder nodded his head, obviously relieved to hear the news. 

Scully glanced towards the closed doors of the morgue, and 
asked, "So  now what?"

Mulder checked his watch before answering. "Still got a while 
before sunset, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to check and see if 
he's awake."

 Scully started to make a comment but knowing it would go 
unheeded, decided to save her breath. She lead the way into the 
morgue, introduced herself to the attendant on duty and was given 
complete access to the remains of Mr. Nicholas Knight. Mulder 
slipped off his backpack then stood with his hand inside one of 
the pockets, prepared to pull out something in defense should the 
need arise. Scully tried to ignore his overly cautious behavior as 
she pulled open the drawer containing Knight.
The body was still cocooned within the two body bags. Scully 
unzipped the first bag to reveal the second bag and the strong 
odor of garlic.

"I'll hold on to that," said Mulder as he grabbed the wreath 
of garlic he'd had Sheriff Wilkes tuck into the bag.

"You know, Mulder, I've seen enough vampire movies to know 
that when a vampire kidnaps a woman, it's usually so she can 
become his next meal or his mate. Neither of those things happened 
to me. The man was lonely and he wanted someone to talk to. That 
was all we did. That was all he wanted."

"That was all Nick Knight wanted. Nicholas de Brabant, on the 
other hand,  wanted something different, only Knight somehow kept 
him from resurfacing and carrying out his plans."

"Right," Scully sighed. She then unzipped the second bag and 
gazed in wonder at the dead man who still looked as though he was 
about to awaken at any moment.

"I don't mean to sound like some kind of morbid pervert," 
said Mulder, "but that is undoubtedly the best looking dead guy 
I've ever seen." He reached out and timidly lifted up a finger on 
the corpse's hand, then let go of it to see what would happen. It 
flopped easily back to its original position. "Still no sign of 
rigor mortis."

"Rigor mortis usually takes five to six hours to set in, but 
he's been refrigerated for a while, so it could take a bit 
longer." Inwardly, Scully thought that the man before was indeed 
looking a bit too good to be dead. Compelled by the need to 
satisfy her own doubts, she scrounged around for a stethoscope, 
then prepared to remove the wooden cross which had been duct taped 
with a single strip to the front of his shirt.

"Don't take it all the way off," Mulder warned her.

She gave her partner a dirty look but humored his wishes once 
again. She unbuttoned Nick's shirt and peeled back just enough to 
place the stethoscope over his heart. She listened intently for 
several seconds, then checked his eyes for any reaction to light. 
"Nothing," she announced, sounding rather disappointed. 
"Absolutely no sign of life, Mulder."

"Not as we know it, at any rate," said Mulder. "I wonder."


"What do you say, we get an EEG done on him."
 "You want to do an electroencephalogram on a dead man?"
 "No, on a vampire. Look, there have been plenty of 
documented cases of people mispronounced dead because outwardly 
they're showing all the visual signs of death,  while internally, 
their brains are still functioning. I think if you'd just take a 
look, you'll find that Knight's brain isn't quite as relaxed as 
the rest of him. Scully, this may be the only chance you'll have 
to examine him and see what makes him tick. He might not be so 
cooperative once the sun goes down."

Of course, Scully didn't believe in vampires or that Nick 
Knight was one, but for some reason, she didn't want to believe 
that he was dead and gone, and nothing could be done about it. 
There was something other than her partner's enthusiasm that made 
her cave in and agree to bringing in an encephalograph machine and 
applying electrodes to Nick's temples. When she turned on the 
machine, she was rather disappointed that the graph showed nothing 

"I don't know what I was thinking, listening to you, Mulder," 
said Scully as she stared at the straight line on the graph. 
"Maybe I should hook this thing up to you to see if *you've* got 
any actual brain activity going on."

"Ha ha," Mulder faked a laugh and stepped closer. "Maybe he 
needs some kind of outside stimulus. "Mr. Knight?" Mulder called 
out to him but got no response.

Scully picked up Nick's left hand, noticing the iciness of it 
along with a pliant softness that should not be still present 
after all this time. Remembering how he had held his arm in pain 
as they had talked earlier, Scully wondered about the wound he had 
hid from her. She unbuttoned the cuff of his shirt and peeled back 
the sleeve to reveal a swollen and bruised area beneath his 

"What is it?" Mulder asked when he saw her examining the arm.

"He had complained about picking up a splinter. It looks 
infected," she noted as she prodded the afflicted area with her 

"Scully, look!"

She looked up, then to the EEG machine where her partner 
directed her attention. There was a sudden spike in the graph.

"Oh my god... he's alive!"


end part 7


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 8/11

Mitch, the attendant on duty, had returned just in time to 
hear Scully's exclamation that the stiff in drawer number ten was 
alive. He rushed over and gazed down at the electroencephalograph 

"That's weird," he said. "It's only one spike though."

"It was a reaction to pain," Scully explained. She decided to 
test her theory once more by pressing her finger into the infected 
area of Nick's arm again. The electroencephalograph spiked and 
continued to draw similar spikes as long as she applied pressure 
to the arm. Scully reached a hand into her shoulder bag and pulled 
out a pair of tweezers. "Mitch, can you get me some antiseptic and 
a bandage, please?"

"Sure." Mitch quickly retrieved the items she requested.

"What are you going to do?" asked Mulder.

"This," said Scully as she deftly probed the small wound on 
Nick's arm and removed the tiny but troublesome splinter embedded 
in his flesh.

Mulder noticed the constant movement on the graph as the 
splinter was removed and his partner proceeded to clean and 
bandage the area. Once the doctoring had been completed, the 
pattern on the graph faded to a simple line.

"Wow! I ain't never seen nothing like that before," said 
Mitch in total awe. "I guess he's got to be alive if he was able 
to feel that. I suppose we better get him up to the ER then."

When Mulder blurted out the word, "No!" both Mitch and Scully 
glared at him, waiting for an explanation as to why they shouldn't 
be racing the patient to the emergency room. Mulder grabbed Scully 
by the arm and pulled her away so  he could talk to her privately.

"Scully, you can't take him to the emergency room. Haven't 
you been listening to me? The man is a vampire. You take him into 
the ER with a lot of bleeding patients and blood-soaked doctors 
all over the place, he's liable to wake up and go into an 
uncontrollable feeding frenzy. Now, he's going to be waking up in 
a couple hours anyway. Can't we just wait?"

"Mulder... okay let's just say for the sake of argument that 
he *is* a vampire. You said so yourself that this might be my only 
chance to see what makes him tick. I'd like the opportunity to 
examine him as thoroughly as possible. Do you have a problem with 

Seeing the unwavering determination in her eyes, Mulder 
wisely chose not to oppose her. "No, I don't have a problem with 

Scully gave a simple nod, then walked back over to Mitch. "I 
need you
to bring in a gurney. We're going to take him upstairs and have 
him admitted for tests and observation."

When the attendant set off for the gurney as requested, 
Mulder approached his partner. He watched in silence as she 
disconnected the wires of the EEG machine and prepared to put it 
away. "Will you do me one favor and keep that cross in place while 
you're doing your tests?" he asked.

Scully studied her partner closely for a moment, then said, 
"You really believe you saw him fly?"

Mulder nodded. "How else do you think he got you up to his 
cabin? The sheriff told me that they didn't spot any roads leading 
up there and no sign of a trail leading away from the place. He 
*had* to have flown you in."

"Maybe what you saw was us being hoisted up by a helicopter 
hovering high above. Maybe the same way I was taken off that 
mountain was the same way I got there."

"You're really reaching for it there, Scully," Mulder 
chuckled mockingly.

"Well, I'm reaching for what makes sense, Mulder. And what 
makes sense is that this man was in a car accident and probably 
suffered some form of trauma to the brain, which has gone without 
treatment for too long and has manifested itself into this very 
unique comatose state we're witnessing now. He mentioned that he 
had been having some severe headaches and he agreed with me about 
coming in for x-rays and a CT scan."

"He actually agreed to that?"

Scully thought about that for a second, then shrugged. 
"Well... he never disagreed."

Mitch returned with a gurney, and as he parked it next to the 
not quite dead body, he questioned Scully. "Does this guy have 
insurance? They're kind of funny around here about bringing back 
the dead and not getting paid for it."

"He doesn't need insurance," said Mulder. "He's filthy rich."

"He is?" asked Scully with surprise.

"Nick Fletcher alias Nick Knight, alias Nicholas de Brabant, 
multimillionaire. He owns the mountain you were on."

"Filthy rich?" Mitch echoed. "That's good enough for me. 
Let's do it!"

Mitch helped to transfer Nick from the morgue slab to the 
gurney, leaving behind the body bags. Luckily, it was a slow night 
in the emergency room and a young resident took a personal 
interest in the case. Dr.  Winetraub, naturally, had never seen 
anything like it before and agreed with Dr. Scully in getting x-
rays taken right away. In only a few minutes, they each stood 
completely dumbfounded in front of the developed x-rays of Nick's 

"If this guy isn't really dead, he ought to be," Dr.  
Winetraub marveled over the sight.

"It's amazing," Scully concurred. "It's hard to believe he's 
been fully functioning all this time."

"Is that what I think it is?" asked Mulder as he stepped up 
behind the two medical experts and studied the x-rays attached to 
the lighted view box.

"If you're thinking bullets," Scully replied, "I'd say yes. 
I'm guessing that these three entered the brain at the same time 
and about the same angle, though I've yet to find a point of 
entry. The other smaller dots you see are fragments of a fourth 

"There was a report that Knight had been shot in the head 
last year while on duty. The shooter used cop killer ammo. Knight 
was at first pronounced dead, but when he miraculously pulled 
through, they changed the story to say that he only received a 
flesh wound."

"I've seen the kind of damage those type of bullets can 
inflict," said Dr. Winetraub. "If this guy was hit with one, his 
brain would have been Swiss cheese. Still, what I'm seeing now 
doesn't make sense. It looks as though each tiny fragment has been 
encased in its own little protective sac."

"And the fluid in the sacs are causing the fragments to 
disintegrate," Mulder offered his opinion. "Notice the edges are 
completely smooth as though they're being worn away. The same 
thing is happening with the other three bullets. Only instead of 
three, small individual sacs, he's produced one large, kidney-
shaped sac to accommodate all three bullets."

"And because of the shape and size, it's causing abnormal 
pressure to build up in other parts of the brain," Scully added. 
"That could easily account for his irrational behavior of late, 
not to mention his current condition."

Dr. Winetraub voiced his thoughts. "I'll tell you, Dr. 
Scully, normally I'd say that Mr. Knight is a candidate for 
immediate brain surgery, only I honestly don't think it'd do much 

"Why wouldn't you think surgery would help?"

"Well, he's not breathing. And you say he's been that way all 
day. I don't have to tell you that severe brain damage can occur 
within a few minutes from lack of oxygen."

"Yes, of course, I am quite aware of that, but as impossible 
as it seems, his brain appears to be the only part of him that's 
actually functioning. I've established the fact that  he's capable 
of experiencing and differentiating between pain and relief. 
Perhaps if we could get a specialist in to look at him?"

"Does he have any next of kin?"

"Yes, but we haven't been able to make contact yet. We know 
that he *does* happen to be a very wealthy man, not that it should 
influence the quality of care he receives."

"Then why did you bring it up?"

"Just in case it does." Scully gave the young doctor a 
knowing glare which worked wonders.

"Tell you what. Let's go ahead and get him set up in a room, 
and I'll make some phone calls and see if I can't get someone a 
bit more knowledgeable in this field to take a look."

"Thank you, Dr. Winetraub."

As Dr. Winetraub turned away to speak with a nurse, Mulder 
gently took Scully by the arm and escorted her out of radiology 
into the hallway next to where Nick's gurney was parked.

"Dr. Scully, I have a quick question for you," Mulder spoke 
keeping his voice low. "Are you out of your mind?"


"Scully, why won't you believe your own eyes? A man is lying 
right in front of you with all the classic symptoms of death, only 
he's not dead. He's been walking around with four bullets in his 
brain and no sign of an entry wound. You want to know why? Look at 
his arm, the one where you pulled the splinter out. Go ahead. 

Feeling him nudge her with his intense stare, Scully slowly 
reached for Nick's arm and gently lifted one edge of the bandage. 
After taking a cursory glance, she pulled the bandage off 
completely and gasped at her findings. Gone was all sign of 
swelling and discoloration that had been there before. The 
previously deformed flesh and skin was now as flawless as the rest 
of him.

"He's self-healing," Mulder told her. "Ask yourself why a 
minuscule splinter like that would have caused such a nasty wound 
in the first place. Because it was wooden, Scully. A tiny, wooden 
stake driven through the flesh of a vampire."

Scully became flustered by the realization that her partner 
just might be right. "Mulder, I.... I don't.... I don't care 
*what* he is. Maybe you're right. Maybe his body *is* healing 
itself." As she continued to speak to her partner, Scully's 
attention focused on Nick, her hand absently began to stroke his 
blonde curls. "Perhaps in time, months or years, those bullets in 
his brain will totally dissolve and they'll be no signs that they 
were ever there. Maybe in just a few hours or days, that tumor 
will shrink and the pressure will decrease, and the headaches and 
confusion he's experiencing now will be history. But right now, 
he's suffering. Vampire or not, I can't just stand by and do 

Mulder placed himself in Scully's view by leaning over the 
gurney and turning his head in her direction. His sudden closeness 
forced her to look him in the eye. It was only then did she become 
aware of her intimate contact with Nick and she jerked her hand 
away from him. She was saved from dealing with her partner's 
intense gaze when an orderly came along and took hold of one end 
of the gurney.

"Excuse me folks, but I have to take Mr. Knight to his room 

The agents stepped aside so the orderly could do his job. 
They silently followed behind the young man as he wheeled the 
gurney down the corridor. The ride on the elevator up to the third 
floor, was also in silence. The orderly met up with a nurse who 
barred the visitors from entering until she'd had a chance to get 
the patient settled.

"Nurse, it's very important that you leave that cross that's 
taped to his shirt, right where it is," Mulder warned. "And don't 
open the window blinds. He's allergic to sunlight." The nurse gave 
him a peculiar look, then simply nodded her understanding before 
closing the door. Mulder turned to his partner who was leaning 
with folded arms against the opposite wall. "Are you okay?" he 

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"Downstairs, you seemed a bit... I don't know how to put it 
exactly. You seemed really concerned about him."

"Aren't *you* concerned?" Scully replied rather defensively. 
"Isn't that why we came to Montana in the first place; to find him 
and offer our help?"

"Did something happen up at his cabin that you're not telling 
me, Scully?"

"I told you, Mulder, all we did was talk. Nothing else 

"How do you know? You don't even remember how you got there. 
He made you forget."

"Oh yeah, that's right," Scully spoke in a mocking tone. 
"Vampires can mesmerize their victims. I forgot about that one."

Mulder chuckled lightly. "You still don't believe. I bet he 
could sprout fangs and drink blood right in front of you and you 
still wouldn't believe he's a vampire."

An image of Nick as Mulder had just described flashed in her 
mind, causing her to shudder. She quickly shook the thought from 
her mind and looked up at her partner towering above her. "I 
believe what you said about him waking up soon. I'm not sure why I 
believe, but I do. And I also believe that he will need surgery to 
remove those bullets so that he can return to living his life 
normally, whatever normal happens to be for him. And finally, I 
believe that whatever or whoever Nick Knight really is, basically 
he's a good, decent and very caring individual."

"Must have been a hell of a conversation you two had."

Scully reflected on the different topics discussed for a 
moment, then stated softly, "It was." She checked her watch for 
the time and surprised Mulder when she informed him that they 
still had more than half an hour till sunset. "We've got time for 
a cup of coffee," she added. "What do you say?"

"You go on. I'll stay and keep an eye on our friend."

"All right. I'll stop off and check with Dr. Winetraub to see 
what he's found out regarding a specialist. Be back in a few."

As his partner went in search of coffee, Mulder waited 
patiently outside Nick's room. After a few minutes more, the door 
opened as the nurse held it for the orderly to wheel out the empty 
gurney. In passing, the nurse gave him the okay to visit. Mulder 
entered Nick's room and closed the door behind him. He was pleased 
to see that the nurse had followed his instructions and kept the 
window blinds closed, but as he approached the bed, he saw that 
his other warning had gone unheeded. Nick was no longer dressed in 
his own clothes. He wore only a hospital gown, covered to the 
waist by a sheet.

Mulder stepped cautiously up to the right side of the bed and 
pulled his backpack from his shoulder. He unzipped one of the 
pockets of the bag, reached inside and pulled out two pairs of 
handcuffs. Resting the bag lightly on the bed, Mulder took one 
pair of the handcuffs and as stealthily as possible, clicked it 
onto Nick's right wrist. At the instant he attached the other end 
of the cuffs to the bed railing, he heard a low growl. Before he 
could react, a blur of motion caught him by the throat and pulled 
him downwards to face the golden eyes and fangs he had encountered 
once before.

"Mulder, isn't it?" the same menacing voice hissed in his 

The iron grip around his throat allowed Mulder just enough 
leeway to gasp for air and sputter a few words. "I'm flattered... 
you remembered."

"Oh, I never forget the face of a potential meal."

Mulder used one hand to try in vain to break the iron hold on 
his neck. His other hand was fumbling for one of the zippers on 
his backpack. "If you're hungry," he gasped, "I... brought the... 
bottles from your cabin."

"What makes you think I want that bovine swill? I prefer the 
good stuff. Your heart *does* pump the good stuff, doesn't it, 
Mulder? I hope you don't taste like your unappetizing partner, but 
I guess there's only one way to find out."

Mulder's eyes went wide at the insinuation that the vampire 
had tasted the blood of his counterpart. However, there was no 
time to dwell on that. He was positive he was about to become 
dinner. He actually felt the sharp tip of one fang as the vampire 
sought to rip his collar out of the way. Mulder's hand was 
frantically reaching inside the backpack seeking and then finding 
what he hoped would save his life. He grabbed the wreath of garlic 
and quickly shoved it in his attacker's face. The effects, 
thankfully, were immediate. When the choking hand fell away from 
his throat, Mulder quickly rushed to the window and opened the 
blinds. Hoping to find the protective rays of an evening sunset, 
he was disappointed to find only a darkening, cloudy sky.

When he looked back, he was not only relieved but also 
surprised to find that the vampire had been completely 
incapacitated. Mulder loosed his collar and tie as he stood with 
his back against the window, laboring to catch his breath. He 
watched as Nick lay writhing on the bed, the garlic wreath acting 
as an immovable weight on his chest and an ugly rash forming on 
his skin wherever the garlic had made contact  He attempted only 
once to grab it with his free hand, but the stinging sensation he 
incurred, forced him to let go instantly. He twisted his head left 
and right, in a useless bid to avoid the pungent fumes that burned 
his eyes and caused swelling in his throat.

Cautiously, Mulder moved towards him, carefully measuring 
just how safe it was to do so. The eyes were still golden but no 
longer menacing in appearance. Instead, they reflected a piteous 
expression of helplessness and anguish. Mulder knew surrender when 
he saw it. Nick watched him, unable to speak, he pleaded silently 
for assistance. Mulder braced himself with a deep breath, then 
returned to the bed. Nervously, he picked up the other handcuff 
and used it on Nick's left wrist, meeting with no resistance 
whatsoever. After securing the handcuff to the bed rail, Mulder 
timidly reached for the garlic wreath. A low growl caused him to 
draw back, but studying Nick's eyes again, he figured that the 
growl had only been from discomfort and probably not meant as a 
threat. Mulder picked up the wreath, peeled off a few cloves from 
one of the bulbs and tucked them under the edge of the pillow on 
each side of Nick's head. The rest of the garlic was returned to 
the backpack.

Once the biggest portion of the crippling irritant had been 
removed, Nick felt his body slowly beginning to return normal. 
After a moment, he was able to gasp out a hoarse, "Thank you."

"You were right," said Mulder. "Fresh *is* better."


"Nothing. Um.... Are your eyes going to stay that way?"

Nick turned away shamefully. "Hungry," he whispered.

"Sorry, but all I have to offer is bovine swill. Interested?"

The death look Mulder got from Nick was a touch unsettling. 
It probably wasn't a good idea to tease a hungry vampire. Mulder 
reached into another section of the backpack and brought out one 
of the full wine bottles taken from the cabin. He saw the color in 
Nick's eyes intensify at the sight of it.

"Oh, I'll have to find a corkscrew somewhere," said Mulder 
after realizing what kind of top the bottle wore.

"My mouth," said Nick as he weakly forced himself up on his 
elbows. When Mulder held the bottle up to him, he pulled the cork 
out with his teeth with a show of impatience and spit it out off 
to the side. Placing his lips to the bottle's rim, he drank 
greedily with eyes closed as Mulder tilted the bottle upwards for 

Mulder found it both exhilarating and a bit gross, feeding 
blood to a vampire as though he was giving a baby its formula. The 
bottle was more than half empty by the time Nick had consumed 
enough to assuage his hunger. He relaxed back onto the pillow, 
frowning slightly at the smell of garlic that wafted up from each 
side. He opened his eyes, displaying a calm blue, and focused on 
the man standing over him. For the first time since he had awaken, 
he finally became aware of his environment.

After Mulder recapped the bottle and placed it back into his 
bag, he noticed the look of confusion on Nick's face. "You're in a 
hospital in Great Falls," he answered the unspoken question.


"The miracles of the computer age. When we first met, you 
introduced yourself as Nicholas de Brabant. I had the name checked 
out and discovered you owned a little mountain property out there. 
The local sheriff went out in a search helicopter, and I suggested 
that he tape a cross to your chest before stuffing you inside two 
body bags and transporting you back."

A moment of panic crossed Nick's face as he had a disturbing 
thought. "Agent Scully! Where is she? Is she all right?"

"She's fine," Mulder assured him. "She just went for coffee. 
Speaking of Scully, I have to know something. Did you do anything 
to her? I can tell you've clouded her thoughts somehow so she 
doesn't remember everything, but I have to know."

Nick saw the deep concern in Mulder's eyes and decided to 
answer him truthfully. "I didn't hurt her," Nick spoke softly. "I 
held her in my arms and we kissed. Maybe more than once but I 
don't quite remember."

A twinge of jealously coursed through his veins, but Mulder 
pushed the emotion aside as he sought to have his next question 
answered. "Did you hypnotize her into kissing you?"

"It's possible. That's not normally my style, but then I 
haven't been behaving much like myself lately."

"Did you bite her tongue or something? Is that how you know 
that her blood doesn't taste so good?"

Nick had no recollection of admitting that fact, but as he 
eyed Mulder, and noted the fresh bruises on his neck, he realized 
there was something else he didn't remember doing.

"She had a nosebleed," he finally answered. "It was nothing I 
did to her, I swear. We were talking and it just happened."

"And you couldn't pass up a free sample," Mulder surmised.

"Normally, I can. I worked as a homicide cop for years and I 
was always being tempted, but I had a good handle on my control. 
Now...." He didn't bother to finish the thought. "Her blood tasted 
odd," Nick admitted. "It left a sour aftertaste. I figured maybe 
she was taking some kind of medication. Is she? Is she ill?"

"Not that I know of. She was abducted two years ago by 
persons unknown. I believe that she may have undergone some secret 
government experiments involving alien DNA."

"Alien as in...?"

"Little green men from Mars or wherever the nearest home 
planet base may be. I work for a department of the FBI known as 
The X-Files. Scully and I investigate unsolved, unexplained cases 
involving the paranormal. We came across evidence that our 
government has had contact with alien beings but they're hell-bent 
on keeping that information strictly confidential. For the most 
part, no one wants me digging around in The X-Files because 
they're afraid I may uncover the truth and expose them. But, on 
the other hand, there seems to be a few rare individuals who 
secretly want me to find out things. They slip me crumbs that 
eventually lead to something bigger. Someone slipped me your file 
in hopes that I'd find you first."

"I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that your 
government knows about me and that--"

"Uncle Sam wants you. My guess is for experimentation."

"Is that why I was brought here? You're going to turn me over 
to them?"

"No, that's not my plan. To tell you the truth, I never 
really had a plan other than finding you."

"And now that you have?"

"I guess it all depends on whether or not you can get a 
handle on your control again. I imagine that those sudden mood 
swings of yours aren't normal. When did they begin?"

"I'm not sure exactly. Two months... maybe more. I can't 
control him. He's growing stronger every night. I thought that by 
staying up in the mountains, away from people, I could keep him 
from hurting anyone. I know it's hopeless now. I can't fight him 
anymore. There's only one solution left."

"An operation."

Mulder turned at the sound of his partner's voice. He stepped 
back from the bed as Scully entered the room, then watched with an 
inkling of envy as her eyes went straight to Nick. The vampire and 
his former hostage exchanged affectionate smiles before exchanging 

"Agent Scully, I'm glad to see you made it back safely." 

"I'm glad to see you made it back too. When I first woke up 
and found you on the couch, I thought surely you were dead."

"I'm sorry about that. I didn't realize you'd wake before I 
would. And I can't believe that I could have possibly slept 
through all of this."

"I'm actually glad you did. Has Mulder told you about the x-
rays we had taken of your brain?"

"No," Mulder answered her. "I only got as far as the 
helicopter ride."

"You took x-rays?" Nick asked incredulously.

"Yes," Scully replied as she stepped closer to the bedside. 
When she noticed the handcuffs, she shot a questioning look at her 
partner. He answered her silently by quickly running his fingers 
across his neck, drawing her attention to the blossoming bruises 

Nick picked up on the gesture as well. "I'm sorry about 
that," he apologized to Mulder. "That's only one of the reasons 
why it's not a good idea for me to be here."

"We want to help you," said Scully. "I think it's quite 
possible that your unpredictable behavior as well as those 
headaches you get could be caused by the tumor we found."

"I have a tumor? That's impossible."

"There seems to be a lot of things about you that fall under 
the impossible heading. Do you realize that you're walking around 
with a skull full of lead?"

Nick gave a minor nod. "Accident," he murmured.

"Yeah, well, apparently you healed up on the outside, but on 
the inside, things went a little weird. A tumor the size of my 
fist has formed around the three bullets lodged in your brain. I 
won't pretend to understand how or why it's happened, but I do 
feel that it's definitely contributing to your problems and that 
it should be removed as soon as possible."

Nick considered her words carefully, then glanced from her to 
Mulder, then back again. "Are you suggesting that I have brain 
surgery? Here in this hospital?"

"Well, unless you can think of someplace better," Scully 
replied in a lighthearted tone.

"Agent Scully, you do realize that I'm... that I'm--"

"A little different?"

"That's an understatement," Mulder mumbled at his partner's 
unwillingness to face the truth about Nick.

Scully heard but chose to ignore her colleague. "Nick, I 
understand that your physical makeup is somewhat unusual, but I 
still believe that surgery would be in your best interest."

"But not yours," said Nick. "Or Agent Mulder's, or anyone 
else involved. It wouldn't be just me and my dangerously, 
unpredictable behavior you'd have to worry about."

"What are you saying?" asked Mulder with growing concern.

Before he could answer, a sudden wave of pain exploded in 
Nick's brain. His body arched and his hands grabbed onto the 
rails, bending them significantly. Mulder pulled Scully several 
feet away from the bed, and they each watched helplessly and 
waited. Though it seemed to last an eternity, the episode was over 
in a matter of seconds, leaving Nick, shaky, slightly disoriented 
and golden-eyed.

Scully started to go to him but Mulder held her back, wanting 
to wait and see which personality was now present. Nick's eyes 
searched the room in confusion before finally landing on Scully. 
He displayed the same look of anguish that he had worn back at the 
cabin when he had mistaken her for Natalie and pleaded with her 
not to make him go through with her plan.

"Nat," he called to her weakly, "I can't... I can't do this 
anymore. I just can't go on this way."

Scully pulled away from Mulder's grasp and went to Nick's 
side. When she got closer, she noticed tiny beads of blood sweat 
on his forehead. She pulled a handkerchief from her blazer pocket 
and blotted the crimson moisture away as she spoke in a tender 

"It's okay, Nick. You're going to be okay."

"It hurts," he whimpered.

"I know. We're going to take care of you. We're going to make 
it so it doesn't hurt anymore."

"I think he needs the rest of this," said Mulder as he 
uncorked and handed her the half empty wine bottle.

Scully accepted the bottle with only a moments hesitation., 
then lifted Nick's head and supported it as he drank down the 
contents of the bottle. She didn't question his need for the 
blood, nor did she question the strange color of his eyes or 
sweat. For now, her brain deemed none of that was important.

The bottle was drained briskly, then Scully lowered Nick's 
head gently onto the pillow. Standing now on the opposite side of 
the bed, Mulder took the empty bottle and stuffed it back into the 
bag. A few seconds later, he noted a marked difference in Nick's 
demeanor. Clear, blue eyes focused on Scully with complete 
recognition, shadowed by embarrassment.

"Agent Scully."

"It's getting worse, Nick. You really need that operation."

Nick shook his head slightly. "I can't. I appreciate your 
trying to help, but  I can't go into surgery. Just my being here 
is putting both your lives in jeopardy. I can't afford to have 
anyone else find out about me."

"You were trying to warn us about something earlier," said 
Mulder. "You said something like it wouldn't be just you we'd have 
to worry about. Who else would we have to worry about?"

"I can't say. You already know too much as it is."

"Would it have anything to do with Lucien LaCroix?"

Nick looked at Mulder in amazement. "How...."

"I'm FBI, remember? Mr. LaCroix is a vampire too, isn't he? 
And he's looking for you. What happens if he finds you?"

"Not if.  *When*."

The door opened just then and Dr. Winetraub entered carrying 
Nick's chart. "Ah, Dr. Scully, there you are. I talked to my 
colleague, but he doesn't--" The doctor stopped dead in his tracks 
when he noticed that Nick was wide awake. "He's... he's alive! I 
mean, he's awake! I can't believe it!" He moved closer to the bed, 
his mouth open in amazement. "Mr. Knight, I'm Dr. Winetraub. Let 
me shake your hand." He reached for Nick's right hand and saw that 
it was handcuffed to the bent railing. He looked to Mulder in 

"He's under arrest for kidnapping."

The doctor started to draw his hand away but Nick grabbed it 
and held tight. "Dr. Winetraub, listen to me," Nick spoke in a 
demanding tone. Once the doctor looked into his eyes, he was 
spellbound. "Listen very carefully," Nick continued. "You never 
saw me like this. I'm deader than a doornail. Whatever tests were 
run on me before were wrong. Computer error, a glitch in the 
machinery, human misinterpretation. There's no way possible I 
could be alive. Nothing more can be done for me. You'll turn over 
my chart to Agent Scully and you'll destroy all other paperwork 
and computer
records concerning me. Understand?"

Dr. Winetraub nodded. "Dead, destroy the records," he 

Nick let go of the man's hand, then laid back against the 
pillow, closed his eyes and played dead. Mulder quickly pulled the 
sheet up on both sides to hide the handcuffs. A second later, Dr. 
Winetraub snapped out of his dazed state and looked down at the 
chart in his hand. After a moment of uncertainty, he handed the 
chart over to Scully.

"Why don't you take this, Dr. Scully. I'm afraid there's 
nothing more we can do here for Mr. Knight. The findings earlier 
were undoubtedly caused by human or mechanical error. This man is 
obviously deader than a doornail."

"Is that the technical term for it?" Mulder asked while 
trying to keep a grin off his face.

"Forgive me," Dr. Winetraub apologized. "It's been a long 
day. You'll have to excuse me now. I've got some paperwork to take 
care of."

After the doctor left the room, Mulder broke out into a big 
grin and said. "You have *got* to teach me that!"

Nick opened his eyes and looked up at the agent solemnly. 
"It's easy to do," he said. "You just have to die first." 

The simple comment was enough to wipe the smile from Mulder's 
face.  There was so much he wanted to know about this creature, 
but at the same time, that haunted look in Nick's eyes told him he 
was better off not knowing.

"What about the operation, Nick?" asked Scully. "You really 
do need it."

Nick thought for a moment, then asked, "Could you be the one 
to perform the surgery?"

"Me? No. I'm not that kind of a doctor. I do all my surgery 
on the dead."

"That's what I am," said Nick with an ironic smile.

"No, you're not dead," Scully disagreed with him, sounding 
eerily like Natalie with those words.

Nick blinked his eyes to keep them from producing tears, then 
he looked to Mulder and asked, "What else do you have in that 
black bag of yours? You know you can't just let me walk out of 
here, don't you? Even with the surgery, there's no guarantee that 
my sanity will return. I can't control my actions anymore. Today, 
it's just cows. Tomorrow...."

Mulder understood what was being asked of him. He had come 
prepared with a couple of long, sharp wooden stakes in case the 
need arose to defend himself against a raging killer. However, he 
never thought he'd be asked to assist in a planned suicide. 

"Why don't we just get you out of here first," Mulder 
suggested, "then we'll discuss the--" 

"Someone's coming," Nick warned, then instantly went into his 
dead man routine.

Mulder quickly drew the sheet over Nick's head, then stood 
back just as the door opened and two men wearing orderly uniforms 
stepped into the room. Both men stood about six feet tall, one 
black and one white, appearing to be around the age of thirty and 
well built.

"Excuse us, sir," said the bald, black man, "but we have to 
remove the body now. They need to get this room ready for another 

"Well, we were just getting ready to head down to the 
basement," said Scully. "We can take the body to the morgue 

"Hospital policy, ma'am," said the long-haired blond. "We 
have to do it. But you're free to tag along if you like."

The agents stepped out of the way and allowed the orderlies 
access to the bed. They each took one side, unlocked the wheels, 
then began moving the bed out of the room. Scully held the door 
open for them, then followed them out to the elevator. Mulder was 
right behind them until he thought of something.

"Hold the elevator for me," he said. "I'll be right back." He 
ran to Nick's room and looked inside the closet where he found a 
plastic bag on the shelf that contained Nick's clothes and shoes. 
He realized then that the nurse had followed his instructions 
after all and had left the cross taped to the shirt. When he 
returned to the elevator, he found only his partner present and no 
sign of Nick and the orderlies. "Scully, where'd they go?"

"They went ahead," Scully replied casually. "There wasn't 
enough room for all of us."

Mulder watched the numbers light up over the elevator door. 
"Where the hell are they taking him?"

"What do you mean?"

"The morgue is in the basement," Mulder pointed out. "So why 
is the elevator going up?"


end part 8


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 9/11

Benefis Healthcare Hospital
Great Falls, Montana
7:45 p.m.

Scully spoke to the head nurse to establish first whether or 
not anyone had been instructed to remove Nick from the room. When 
the answer was, "No," she and Mulder began a frantic search which 
eventually lead them to the roof where the empty bed had been left 
shoved against the door to keep it closed. It took several 
powerful kicks against the metal door before Mulder was able to 
dislodge the bed and clear their path. He and Scully pulled out 
their guns and carefully swept across the roof in what turned out 
to be a fruitless pursuit.

"They're gone," Scully stated the obvious. "But where?" As 
she looked over the side of the building, seeking a possible route 
of escape, her partner had pulled his night vision binoculars from 
his backpack and was searching the skies for answers. "You think 
they took him by helicopter?"

"Well, it would make sense if it were government boys. They'd 
need a fast get away." After viewing the skies in all directions, 
Mulder gave up, then handed over the binoculars to Scully. "Here, 
check the streets. I want to take a closer look over there."

As Scully scoured the streets below and the buildings nearby, 
Mulder concentrated on examining the turned over bed by the door. 
All the linen had been left behind which meant Nick was clothed in 
only the hospital gown. Mulder lifted the pillow from the ground 
and discovered the small cloves of garlic underneath. He also 
found remnants of broken handcuffs where each pair had been 
snapped off at the chain and the remainder was still attached to 
the bed rails.

Mulder rejoined his partner at the west side of the building. 
"Spot anything yet?" he asked her.

"There's an emergency fire escape over here. They could have 
gotten down that way. But I don't see anything obvious. There's 
plenty of pedestrians and traffic. Maybe someone down there saw 
something. We can ask around. Did you find anything?"

"Only more questions. It looks as though Knight broke free of 
the handcuffs. I'm wondering if his captors were really prepared. 
Maybe he took them by surprise."

"And did what?"

"Apparently, you haven't been on the receiving end when his 
inner child takes over. Trust me, he knows how to play rough. He's 
also got that hypnosis thing going. Maybe he hypnotized them into 
just walking away. We could have missed them going down in the 
elevator while we were coming up."

"So maybe Nick just went back to his cabin, you think?"

"Maybe. Let's go see if we can't locate some witnesses."


Abandoned Barn
Black Eagle, Montana
8:08 p.m.

Nick remained completely passive while his wrists were being 
bound with a heavy chain. The other end of the chain was wrapped 
several times around one of the support rafters above. His arms 
were suspended over his head, but his bare feet were solidly 
planted on the straw covered floor. His strength had returned in 
full and he could have easily freed himself if he so desired. Back 
on the roof he had considered putting up a fight and escaping, but 
in the end decided against it. He could no longer control his 
actions. He was a menace to the mortal population and a security 
risk to his own kind. He sensed what fate had in store for him now 
and he would confront it without reservations.

He had gone with his captors quietly, not bothering to 
question their motives or destination. Basically, he already knew 
what they had in store for him. It did surprise him however that 
the Community had sent such young and inexperienced Enforcers 
after him. Their combined ages could not have been more than three 
centuries. It occurred to him that it was perhaps their naivete 
that garnered them the assignment. They probably had little 
knowledge of how dangerous it was to pursue a child of LaCroix's. 
The master vampire would not let the simple fact that they were 
Enforcers stop him from seeking revenge should they harm one of 
his own. Nick almost felt sorry for them, but they had made their 
own decision to become Enforcers. It's not a job that's forced 
upon anyone. They wanted it because it gave them a certain 
dominance over other vampires. It made them feel important and 
that they were completely invulnerable. They should have done 
their homework.

The Enforcers had expected their quarry to put up a struggle, 
but when he didn't, they foolishly mistook his passiveness for 
fear which in turn fed their egos. They made smug comments about 
him not being as tough as they'd heard, but said little else until 
they had him trussed up in the dilapidated barn miles from 
humanity. Leaving him hanging like a side of beef with his 
backside exposed, the two took their sweet time changing out of 
their hospital garb into their own Ravenesque style clothing. 
After dressing, they finally spoke to Nick.

"You know who we are?" asked the blonde.

Nick looked from the heavily tattooed torso of the blonde 
clad in leather pants and vest, to the hairless, black man wearing 
a fishnet T-shirt with nipple rings, and dryly responded, "My 
worse nightmare?"

"That all depends," said the black man. "I'm Matt. That's my 
buddy Chad. And you're the once great Nicholas de Brabant. Brave 
knight of the Crusades. Cold-blooded killer of thousands upon 
thousands. A master with the ladies. Look at you now," Matt huffed 
with an air of superiority. "A cow sucking, pushover who let 
mortals get the best of you. Is that what happens when you get 

Nick had not bothered to make eye contact all the while Matt 
had been speaking. What the youngster said was all true and there 
was no need to acknowledge any of it one way or the other. Being 
reminded that he was indeed older, however, gave Nick a sense of 
self respect he had thought completely lost. He didn't mind paying 
for his sins to the Community, but he'd be damn if he'd let these 
punk ass kids treat him like a feeble-minded, old man. Had no one 
taught them that advanced age in vampires translated into elevated 

"No. *This* is what happens when you get old." Nick raised 
his eyes to Matt in a subtly menacing glimmer of gold and 
projected his eight hundred years of acquired power upon the 
youthful vampire's psyche.

Matt shuddered at the overwhelming and dominating presence he 
felt emanating from Nick. He knew in an instant that he was no 
match for the elder vampire should he decide to break free. He 
took a few steps backwards, then glanced over to his buddy and saw 
that he too had picked up on the new vibes Nick was putting out. 
Matt's previously condescending demeanor changed immediately to 
one of respect.

"No offense, man," Matt mumbled sheepishly as way of an 
apology. After a moment, he felt the air around him lighten as 
Nick withdrew, becoming submissive once again. "I guess we can do 
this without the chains," said Matt as he started forward with 
intentions of releasing his captive.

"Leave them!" Chad spoke up. After the brief show of power he 
had just witnessed, he feared what would happen should Nick gain 
his freedom. They had been warned to take such precautions by the 
ones who had sent them on this mission, though at the time it 
didn't seem necessary. Nick's reputation in the vampire community 
had become laughable among many. He was considered a weakling and 
a fool for drinking cow's blood and abstaining from killing. That 
calm, flash of fury he had just displayed successfully 
contradicted those earlier impressions.

When the prisoner didn't bother to protest the wearing of his 
chains, Matt decided to leave them and get on with the 
interrogation. "There have been some interesting rumors floating 
around about you," he began with a touch of nervousness to his 
voice, "and we've been requested to check them out. To determine 
what's true and what isn't. Are you willing to answer some 

Nick nodded humbly, keeping his eyes cast downward. "What is 
it you want to know?"

"Did you kill Natalie Lambert?" asked Matt.

"Yes," Nick answered candidly.

"Were you the one who dug her body up a couple of weeks 


"Why'd you do it?"

"I needed to see her again. To make sure."

"To make sure of what? That she was really dead?"

"Yes. I had forgotten that I'd killed her. And once I 
remembered, I needed confirmation."

"And after you unearthed the body, what did you do?"

"I stayed with her for a little while... held her in my arms, 
kissed her."

"You don't think that's just a wee bit perverse, humping a 
corpse?" asked Chad with a disgusted frown. After the death stare 
he received from Nick, he wished immediately that he had never 
opened his mouth. Luckily, the elder vampire was forgiving.

Nick cast his eyes to the floor and softly replied, "What was 
perverse was turning her into a corpse in the first place."

"Did anyone see you or did you see anyone else while in 
Toronto?" Matt continued the questioning.

"Only the ghosts."

Matt and Chad exchanged a dubious look. It was already 
obvious to them that Nick wasn't playing with a full deck. There 
were still more questions to be answered, so Matt continued.

"Are you responsible for the string of mutilated cows in this 


"Care to explain?"

Nick gave a slight shrug and said, "I felt like killing 
something. I just didn't want it to be human."

"Why not go for wild game then?" asked Chad. "Chase down some 
elk or wrestle a grizzly bear. Where's the sport in sipping from a 
sleeping cow?"

"I was feeling lazy. They were easy targets. Next question."

"Tell us about the FBI agents," said Matt. "Is it true you 
kidnapped the woman?"

"A sudden impulse," Nick murmured. "The local ranchers called 
them out here to investigate the dead cows. I saw the woman. I was 
attracted to her. I took her back to my cabin but nothing much 
happened. We just talked. When I fell asleep, she thought I was 
dead. A search helicopter found us and transported me out in a 
body bag."

"Do they know you're a vampire? Did you tell them?"

Nick thought about his answer carefully. Apparently, the 
Enforcers had not overheard any of the conversations he'd had with 
the agents. As far as they knew, he had played dead during his 
entire time under mortal scrutiny.

"I played possum," Nick lied, "and just waited for a chance 
to get out of there."

"Why were you smelling like garlic?" asked Chad suspiciously. 
When he didn't receive an instant response, he drew his own 
conclusions. "They know. That's how they kept you contained, isn't 
it? They know what you are."

"They know," Nick admitted regretfully. "But I didn't have to 
tell them. They're FBI agents. They know how to put clues 
together. Agent Mulder is a believer. He suspected what I was even 
before we met and came prepared. They wanted to find me so they 
could help me."

"How were they going to help?"

"It doesn't matter. They can't. No one can." Tiring of the 
third degree, Nick decided to put an end to the inquiry. "Look, 
can we just cut to the chase now?" he spoke in a more forceful 
tone. "I freely admit to breaking several major rules of The Code 
and endangering the vampire community with my reckless conduct. I 
also admit to being mentally unsound. And, yes, I understand the 
ramifications of what I've just confessed to you. I know what the 
consequences are. The incident back at the hospital is pretty much 
contained. You'll need to double-check to make sure that Dr. 
Winetraub carried out my orders to destroy all hospital records of 
me. Your only other concern will be the FBI agents. I strongly 
advise that you not harm them in any way. Others know that they 
came in search of me. If anything happens to them, the FBI will 
issue a full-scale investigation, and you know what that could 
lead to. It would be best to have them believe that I am, of 
course, not a vampire, that I am truly dead and that my body has 
been claimed by relatives. I'm assuming you both know how to 

Nick's commanding voice had held the pair of younger vampires 
virtually mesmerized. When he finally finished speaking, it took a 
moment for the Enforcers to gather their wits and respond.

"Yeah," Matt nodded. "Yeah, we can do that. No problem."

"Good. Then I guess that's it. You just need to finish up 

Matt looked to Chad and gave a simple nod of his head. The 
blonde walked off a few paces out of Nick's view and came back 
carrying a foot-
long wooden stake in one hand and a razor sharp scythe in the 
other. He gave the stake to Matt, then stood close by with the 
scythe in hand.

"Nicholas de Brabant, our investigation shows you to be in 
gross violation of The Code on several accounts. We also find you 
to be mentally unstable and therefore a serious threat to the 
secrecy of the vampire community. Do you have anything you wish to 
say in your defense?"

Nick shook his head slightly and quietly spoke the word, 

"Are you prepared to accept your sentence at this time?"


"Nicholas de Brabant, as representative for the vampire 
community, it is my duty to sentence you to true death. You are to 
be staked through the heart, your head severed from your body, 
your remains set afire, and your ashes scattered to the four 
corners of the earth. Do you have any final words to say or a 
message you want passed along to anyone?"

Nick didn't want to spend much time thinking about the ones 
he would be leaving behind. There was Janette, the everlasting 
love of his life, and of course, there was LaCroix, the 
unrelenting thorn in his side.

"Tell Janette... tell her that I shall love her forever."

"Anything else?"

Nick briefly considered what message he should leave for his 
master. However, their love-hate relationship left him at a loss 
for words. "No, nothing else," he murmured. "I'm ready."

"So be it."

Matt grabbed the front of Nick's hospital gown and ripped it 
open to expose his chest. Nick closed his eyes, threw his head 
back and puffed his chest out to create a better target. Matt 
raised the stake with both hands, preparing to put it to use. Just 
as he was about to plunge the sharp point into the pale, unguarded 
flesh, he was startled by a fierce animalistic roar.


A blur of flying feet slammed into Matt, catapulting him 
through the air, and sending him crashing through the rickety barn 
doors at the other end. His attention focused on his pal, Chad was 
slow to react to the danger he himself now faced. Nicholas freed 
himself quickly by giving a tremendous yank on the chain and 
dislodging the beam it had been attached to. He swung the heavy 
chain to easily deflect the scythe which Chad swung at him, 
actually knocking it from his grasp. Catching the younger vampire 
off balance, Nicholas was able to wrap the chain around his neck 
and hold him captive. He forced him to his knees as he knelt down 
to reach the fallen scythe, then grabbed it and placed the blade 
beneath the blonde's chin.

"Eight hundred years ago, I made a pact with the devil to 
live forever," Nicholas growled in Chad's ear, "and that's just 
what I'm going to do. It'll take more than some century old, candy 
ass like you to destroy me!"

"Let him go, Nicholas!" a familiar voice commanded him.

"LaCroix!" Nicholas smiled at his master, standing 
majestically in the doorway with Matt cringing behind him. "I 
sensed you were near. Knight was going to let them kill me. But 
when I felt your presence, it gave me the strength to break out. 
You won't believe what's been going on, LaCroix."

"Let go of him, then you can tell me."

 Not really wanting to let go without a taste of revenge, 
Nicholas reluctantly obeyed his master and allowed the other 
vampire to go free. On his way to join his friend, Chad paused in 
front of LaCroix.

"We were only doing our job," he explained. "He confessed to 
breaking The Code. He agreed to the sentencing."

"Is that true, Nicholas? Did you confess?"

"No! It wasn't me. It was Knight. He's a mess, LaCroix. He 
wants to die. I need to take over completely, and I think I know 
how. But I need your help."

LaCroix stepped closer to his barely clad offspring. "If you 
need my help, Nicholas, you shall have it."

"I need to kill a mortal!" Nicholas spoke excitedly. "I've 
come close a couple of times, but I always get interrupted. You 
could help me. If I could just make a kill, I think that will 
drive Knight back into his little rabbit hole for good. He can't 
handle killing mortals. So, the more fresh human blood I take, the 
weaker he'll become. And once I'm in full control, then I'll 
behave as a vampire should. No more cow's blood, no more trying to 
live among the humans. I'll be as you want me to be, LaCroix. I 
swear it!"

"Listen to him," said Chad. "He's completely insane. The Code 

"I don't need *you* to inform me of what The Code *says*," 
LaCroix snarled over his shoulder.

Chad immediately backed off. The power he felt emanating from 
LaCroix was ten times the potency of his offspring. It finally 
became clear to both the young vampires why they had been chosen 
for this particular mission. Everyone else must have known LaCroix 
personally and obviously knew better than to come between him and 
his favorite child.

"We may have been a little hasty in our first assessment," 
offered Matt to smooth things over. "Maybe we haven't gotten all 
the facts yet."

"Your patience in this matter is greatly appreciated," said 
LaCroix before turning his attention back to his protege. "Of 
course, I'll do whatever I can to assist you, Nicholas."

"I knew I could count on you," Nicholas sighed with relief.

"You need only trust me," said LaCroix as he removed his 
jacket. He stepped closer to his Nicholas and draped the jacket 
around his shoulders to cover his nearly nude form. The torn 
hospital gown was just barely hanging on. "You do trust me, don't 
you, Nicholas?" asked LaCroix as his hands rested casually upon 
Nicholas' shoulders.

"Of course, I trust you, LaCroix," came the innocent reply.

"Good, because I only have your best interests in mind."

Nicholas flinched slightly at the tiny sting he felt on his 
neck. He caught sight of the hypodermic needle he'd just been 
stabbed with as LaCroix withdrew the hand which had been secretly 
holding it. He started to question the action, but as the barn 
began to spin around him, he realized that he had just been 
drugged. Strong arms kept him from falling, then scooped him up 
and began carrying him out of the barn.

"Why?" Nicholas managed to croak out just before losing 

"Trust me, Nicholas. Father knows best."


Mulder's Motel Room
Black Eagle
9:50 p.m.

"I don't think I'm going to be able to sleep tonight," Scully 
sighed as she plopped down on a cushioned chair in the corner of 
the room. Her partner lay sideways across the bed, his hands 
folded atop his chest and his eyes closed in thought. "You don't 
look like you're going to have any trouble though."

"I'm just thinking," said Mulder.

"About how we can track a flying vampire in the middle of the 

Mulder opened his eyes and tilted his head to glare at his 
partner. "Did I hear you refer to him as a vampire, Agent Scully? 
Are you finally beginning to believe?"

"I was only asking if that's what *you* were thinking, I 
didn't say it was what *I* was thinking."

"Actually, what I was thinking, besides that, is that I may 
have been wrong when I said that Knight had whammied those two men 
into leaving him alone."

"What makes you say that?"

"You know how when you first showed up in Knight's hospital 
room, he nor I ever noticed you were there until you spoke. And 
when Dr. Winetraub came in, we were all taken by surprise."


Mulder sat up and leaned forward. "So how is it Knight knew 
beforehand that someone was coming when the orderlies showed up?"

"He heard them coming?"

"I think he sensed them coming."

"Sensed them?"

"I think he can sense when his own kind is near."

"His own kind? Are you saying that the orderlies were 

"Knight alluded to someone coming after him. I assumed that 
he meant Lucien LaCroix. Maybe Mr. LaCroix sent them. Maybe they 
were rescuing Knight from public discovery."

"So you're saying that's the end of it then? He's being taken 
care of by his own kind?"

"Yeah. But taken care of how, I don't know. Could be they 
were only interested in making sure he wouldn't be drawing anymore 
unwanted attention to himself and possibly to them."

"You don't suppose they'd do anything to harm him, do you?"

"I don't know, Scully. It's all just conjecture. Talking to 
witnesses, we know there was no helicopter on the roof and no one 
saw those two men leaving the hospital by conventional means. All 
we can do now is wait till dawn and take a helicopter back out to 
his cabin. If we don't find a sign of him there, I don't know 
where else to look."

"Does that mean we're just going to give up?" Scully asked, 
looking somewhat forlorn at the prospect.

The appearance of headlights from a vehicle pulling up 
outside caused Mulder to delay answering his partner. He went to 
the window and peeked out through the curtains to see who had just 

"The pizza's here," he announced, then turned from the window 
and began checking his wallet for money. "Mmm, I seem to be a 
little short of cash. All I have is six dollars. What about you?"

Scully checked her handbag as a knock sounded at the door. 
"Pizza delivery!" a young, male's voice called out from the other 

"Yeah, just a second," Mulder answered as Scully gave him a 
ten dollar bill. Noticing the downcast look still on her face, 
Mulder gave her hand a tender squeeze and said, "Who said anything 
about giving up?"

That got a tiny smile from her. Mulder went to the door and 
flung it open. Instead of the slightly built teenager he'd seen 
getting out of a pickup truck, Mulder faced someone else standing 
in the doorway holding a pizza box. The kid in the truck was 
already tearing out of the parking lot.

"I believe this is yours," the tall, impressive figure stated 
amiably. "I took the liberty of paying the bill and adding what I 
hope was an adequate tip."

Mulder stood dumbfounded, a multitude of thoughts racing 
through his mind, including the fact that he would never make it 
to the wreath of garlic in his backpack in time should the person 
standing before him turn out to be what his sixth sense told him 
he was. The agent took a deep breath and managed to reel in his 

"That was very kind of you," said Mulder as he accepted the 
pizza box. "Tell me how much and I can reimburse you for your 

"Oh, no trouble at all, Agent Mulder. My pleasure."

"How do you know my name?"

"Your reputation precedes you. I wonder if I might not come 
inside? I have something very important to discuss with you."

Mulder took a quick, worried glance at his partner before 
stepping back to allow the visitor to enter. After closing the 
door and setting the pizza aside, Mulder introduced Scully. "This 
is my partner--"

"Agent Dana Scully. Yes, I know. It's a pleasure to meet you, 
my dear. I am Lucien LaCroix."

"Mr. LaCroix," Scully nodded a greeting, keeping her 
distance, and her finger on the trigger of the gun she wore 
holstered in the small of her back.

"What did you want to discuss, Mr. LaCroix?" asked Mulder, 
casually making his way towards his backpack on the floor near the 

"It seems that we have a mutual friend in common," said 

"And who would that be?"

"Nicholas Fletcher. Or perhaps you know him as Nicholas 

"What's he to you?" asked Scully.

"We're family. He's my... adopted son."

"You don't look all that much older than Nick," Scully noted.

"I take that as a compliment," LaCroix smiled. "But I assure 
you, I am *much* older than I appear."

"Are you a vampire?" the words blurted from Mulder's lips.

LaCroix grinned amusedly. "I see that my reputation has 
preceded me as well. Good. That means we won't waste time with 
pretense. Yes, Agent Mulder, I am a vampire. Under normal 
circumstances, after divulging such information, I'd be obligated 
to kill you both. However, I happen to be in need of your help 
with a very delicate matter."

"If you're looking for Knight," said Mulder, "We don't know 
where he is."

"That's not what I need. I already know where Nicholas is."

"Where?" asked Scully anxiously. "Is he all right?"

"At present, yes. He's being watched by the two young men who 
retrieved him from your custody."

"Oh, so you sent them?"

"No. I'm afraid they have their own agendas."

"Are they vampires as well?" Mulder asked.

"Yes," LaCroix replied candidly. "The gentlemen -- and I use 
that term loosely -- who took Nicholas are what's known in my 
little circle as Enforcers. They police my kind. If one of us 
should become too high profile, the Enforcers do what's necessary 
to bring about anonymity. Certain things are tolerated to a 
degree, certain things aren't. Mental illness among my kind is not 
tolerated. It leads to unpredictable and irresponsible behavior 
which may draw unwanted attention from the public at large."

"Are you saying that the Enforcers abducted Knight with 
intentions of killing him?" asked Mulder.

"Neutralize is the word they prefer. I have convinced them to 
give Nicholas one more chance to redeem himself. Not an easy task 
in itself. Nicholas has not always made the best choices even when 
he *was* in his right mind. Many of his improprieties have luckily 
gone unnoticed or have been thankfully overlooked. After all, 
everyone's entitled to a few minor errors in judgment."

"What can we do to help him?" asked Scully, finally 
relinquishing the grip on her gun.

"I take it, you've had time to examine Nicholas medically?"

Scully picked up Nick's medical chart from the dresser and 
pulled out one of the x-rays and presented it to LaCroix. As he 
held the x-ray up to the light to study it, Scully asked him if he 
knew how the bullets had gotten there.

"I put them there," LaCroix replied with nonchalance. "Well, 
at least these three," he corrected himself.

"May I ask why?"

"Call it... tough love." He gave her back the x-ray and 
asked, "What is your medical opinion concerning this?"

"If you're asking if I think the tumor and the bullets should 
be removed, I'd have to say, yes, most definitely. I'm sure they 
are the cause of the headaches he's been having. But whether or 
not they're responsible for his mental status, I can't say for 
sure. As I understand it, he's suffered a number of personal 
losses which could easily result in depression and mental 
confusion. Still, removal of the tumor would be the first step to 
restoring his health, both physical and mental."

"Mmm, my thoughts as well," said LaCroix. "Unfortunately, 
circumstances prohibit traditional hospital surgery."

"That's what Nick said. Do you have another idea?"

"I understand that you are a medical doctor."

Scully raised her brows in disbelief once she got the gist of 
his implication. "You can't be serious! I am *not* a brain 
surgeon. I can not perform brain surgery on a walking, talking 

"How unfortunate," said LaCroix, appearing genuinely 
distressed by the news. "Because you see, you happen to be 
Nicholas' only hope for survival. If there is the slightest chance 
that his sanity will return with the removal of the tumor, we must 
take it. And it must be done tonight. I am not being giving much 
time to *fix* things."

Scully shook her head with uncertainty. "I don't.... Even if 
I were to agree to operate on him, I don't have a place to perform 
it or the necessary instruments, anesthetics, monitoring 

"I have made previous arrangements," said LaCroix. "I made 
inquiries and  have already collected the medical items needed for 
such an operation. I feel that you are qualified to perform the 
surgery and I ask that you consider doing so. I am a man of great 
wealth and will, of course, reimburse you handsomely for your time 
and trouble."

"If I do it," said Scully, "I'll do it for Nick, not for 

"Very noble, Agent Scully," LaCroix smiled lightly. "Although 
I hate to rush you into making a decision of this magnitude, time 
*is* of the essence. What is your answer?"


end part 9


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 10/11

It didn't take Scully long to make up her mind. Nick would be 
sentenced to death for sure if she didn't perform the surgery. If 
she operated on him and screwed it up, she could cause 
irreversible brain damage leaving him an immortal vegetable. Not 
really much of a choice, but as LaCroix had indicated, it was the 
only chance Nick had for survival. This time, Scully was the one 
ready to dash off with a perfect stranger to some undisclosed 
destination. She and Mulder quickly changed out of their business 
suits into more comfortable jeans and sweaters. They climbed into 
the back of their rented car as LaCroix took to the driver's seat. 
Thinking that garlic breath just might come in handy, Mulder 
topped the pizza off with fresh garlic and brought it along so 
that they could eat it on the way. Despite her nervousness and 
apprehension over the impending medical procedure, Scully managed 
to consume one slice while her partner engulfed three.

Following a twenty minute drive out of town, LaCroix turned 
off the main road onto the open plain for several miles further. 
Mulder was beginning to become a bit concerned, being driven out 
into the middle of nowhere by the vampire. Even though he still 
carried his gun and had brought along his bag of vampire 
deterrents, the agents would be no match for LaCroix and the other 
bloodsuckers they were going to meet should they decide on a 
midnight snack.

Eventually, the car came to a stop alongside a motor home 
with a large canopy stretching out five feet from its side over 
the door. Dim light could be seen through the heavily tinted 
windows. LaCroix got out of the car and quickly went to open the 
door for his female passenger.

"Nice set of wheels," said Mulder as he climbed out on the 
opposite side.

"Sleeps up to seven comfortably, I'm told," replied LaCroix.

As they entered the motor home, Mulder and Scully were 
astonished by how much the majority of the recreational vehicle 
resembled a high-tech operating room. Some of the beds had been 
removed to make way for medical equipment. Against the wall, was a 
tall cabinet housing a large monitor on the top shelf. A keyboard, 
desktop computer and a second smaller monitor were stationed 
below. Cables could be seen leading from it to a laser surgery 
setup to the right. Atop a metal table on wheels, lay various 
surgical instruments, including a cranial saw, drill and lighted 

In the middle of the room, a dentist chair had been raised to 
its highest level and stretched out to a horizontal position. 
Dressed in black silk pajamas, Nick lay unconscious and secured to 
the chair by padded chains around his ankles, waist, wrists and 
chest. His right hand had been prepped for an IV, ready to receive 
additional drugs or blood intravenously when the time came.

"I hope I acquired everything you'll need," said LaCroix. "I 
did some surfing on the net and came across a few examples of 
brain surgeries. So many different ways for medical science to get 
inside ones' head these days, it was rather daunting trying to 
choose the most appropriate method. I saved several pages of text 
from a few sites I felt might be the most useful, should you feel 
the need to bone up a bit first."

Scully felt her heart pound a bit faster at the sight of Nick 
and the items she was expected to use on him. She looked to 
LaCroix and nodded. "That might not be a bad idea," she said, then 
followed his lead to an adjustable stool in front of the computer. 
"What did you give him to make him sleep?" she asked while waiting 
for the computer to boot up.

"This." LaCroix pulled a bottle out of his pocket and handed 
it to her.

Scully's brows went up as she silently read the label. "This 
is an animal tranquilizer."

"Yes. Designed for larger animals, bears and such." Scully 
gave the bottle back to him and he placed it on the table with the 
surgical tools. "Unfortunately," he added, "I didn't have much 
time to test the proper dosage. Hopefully, I gave him enough to 
keep him sedated for the remainder of the night."

"Yeah, hopefully," Scully grimaced.

While Scully was familiarizing herself with the notes saved 
from files of experienced brain surgeons, Mulder wandered towards 
the rear of the camper where Chad and Matt were sitting on a bed 
side by side watching TV. They gave him a disinterested glance as 
he nodded a greeting to them, then turned their attention back to 
the show they were watching with the sound barely audible. Mulder 
wondered what kind of shows would interest your average vampire, 
so he moved close enough to get a view of the screen and saw 
scantily clad women sunning themselves on the beach. Baywatch, he 
thought. He couldn't tell which they admired most about the show; 
the beautiful women or the occasional shots of the sun over the 
horizon. Since it didn't appear that they were interested in 
socializing, Mulder backed off and returned to the operating room.

It took fifteen minutes of studying the computer files for 
Scully to feel ready to begin the operation. She took a few 
moments more to acquaint herself with the instruments LaCroix had 
provided. The lighted probe and large monitor would let her see a 
magnified view of the insides of Nick's brain. The laser wand 
would allow her to easily dissolve the tumor, and the cranial 
brace would keep the patient immobile should the unthinkable 
happens and he awakens during the procedure. The 
electroencephalograph, as before, would alert her to any pain her 
patient might be experiencing, a threat which was more than 

Scully had reason to worry about the anesthetic they planned 
to use. Since Nick wasn't breathing, a general gas anesthetic 
couldn't be given. They'd have to go with an intravenous type, but 
because of Nick's physiology, there was no way of knowing how much 
to give him for complete effectiveness. She decided to administer 
twice the amount for a normal individual of his size, then tested 
it by hooking him up to the encephalograph and pinching him with 
clamps in several locations. Not getting the results she was 
looking for, she injected another dose and gave it a few minutes 
to work. This time when she pinched with the clamps, the line on 
the graph remained straight and steady.

"Okay, I guess we're ready to start."

"Although there should be no need to worry about infection or 
germs," said LaCroix as he held open a box containing protective 
surgical wear, "things *may* get a bit messy."

"Thank you." Scully pulled out a surgical gown, cap and 
gloves then shoved them into her partner's hands. "You want to 
play doctor, Mulder?" she asked while pulling out a second set of 
surgical garb for herself.

"One of my all time secret fantasies," said Mulder. "I know 
what *my* idea of playing doctor is," he added while slipping into 
his new outfit. "What's yours?"

"Well for starters, you'll be mopping the buckets of sweat 
from my forehead."

"So far, it sounds good. Only in my version, I'm usually the 
one bound, and the other people hanging around are all women."

"Speaking of bondage.... Are these chains really necessary?" 
Scully asked LaCroix.

"Merely a precaution. Better safe than sorry. So you've 
decided on a course?"

Scully answered him as she donned the surgical wear including 
goggles and a mask. "Well, I thought at first that I might have to 
shave his head and do some major carving from the top, but I think 
we can get by using one of the less invasive techniques I just 
read about. I'm going to snake the probe up through the nasal 
cavity and see if I can get a good look at the tumor. The x-rays 
don't really show me enough. Once I get a fix on the exact 
location, I'll make an incision just above the nose, and drill an 
opening through the skull.

"Lovely," Mulder grimaced at the vivid picture she had just 

After fitting Nick with the stabilizer to keep his head from 
moving during the procedure, Scully was ready to begin. She 
carefully inched the spaghetti-thin probe through the patient's 
right nostril, and watched the monitor as it passed through the 
nasal cavity. Watching the images on the screen, Mulder couldn't 
make out heads or tails of where the lighted probe was headed, but 
still found it fascinating to watch, as did the Enforcers who had 
left Baywatch behind to witness the proceedings. They each stood 
near the foot of the chair, out of the way, their eyes glued to 
the picture on the monitor.

Following a few moments of delicate probing, Scully finally 
came to what she'd been seeking. Resembling a deep red, rubber 
ball, the tumor was just barely visible, but at least now she had 
a better feel for its location than the x-rays had given her. 
Prepared to make an incision between Nick's eyes, Scully placed 
the scalpel to his brow, but her hand began to tremble so badly 
that she couldn't continue. She looked up at LaCroix who was 
positioned directly across from her.

"There's no cause to be nervous, my dear," he told her in a 
soothing voice. "You *can* do this."

"I can do this," Scully told herself softly, then proceeded 
to make the incision with a steady hand. She found Nick's skin to 
be thicker than normal and had to apply a bit more pressure to 
break the surface. His blood flowed freely and Scully was about to 
have Mulder sponge it up when the fluid was unexpectedly sucked 
back into the opening on its own. Scully was startled by the 
occurrence but managed to brace herself and continue, realizing 
that she needed to speed up her actions before the incision 
attempted to close itself. She used a small spreader to keep it 
open, then asked Mulder to pass her the drill, already fitted with 
a circular cutter.

Nick's skull proved to be thicker than normal as well, which 
was probably the main reason the bullets -- even the cop killer -- 
had not passed straight through. An inch wide hole was carefully 
bored through, creating a removable plug of bone and a straight 
path to the tumor. The probe was used to lead the way once again. 
Holding the probe steady in one hand, Scully was able to follow 
its path with the forceps. Everyone's eyes were on the monitor 
screen as the probe displayed the forceps making contact with the 

"So that big red thing is what needs to come out?" asked Chad 
in amazement.

"That's it," Scully answered as she prodded the tumor with 
the forceps to judge its mass. It wasn't a solid ball of 
connective tissue as would be expected, but rather a thick-
skinned, blood-filled sac. At least that should make it easier to 
remove, Scully thought. She withdrew the forceps and moved the 
scalpel in to break through the sac. The membrane was much tougher 
than it looked and it took an extra amount of force to penetrate 
it. A geyser of blood shot into the air abruptly as the sac burst 

"Damn it!" Scully exclaimed as she jerked away, her face 
covered by the red spray.

"Are you all right?" LaCroix asked with concern.

"Yeah.  I'm fine. I just wasn't expecting that."

"Good thing you wore these," said Mulder as he removed her 
goggles and proceeded to wipe the blood from her cheeks and the 
sweat from her forehead.

"Any more surprises I should be aware of," Scully asked 
LaCroix who had busied himself with cleaning the blood-splattered 

"I'm afraid this is all new to me as well."

After Mulder finished cleaning and replacing her goggles, 
Scully continued the operation by suctioning out the remaining 
blood left in the sac. Using the forceps again, the first bullet 
was captured and eased out with no trouble. Scully blew out a sigh 
of relief, and feeling more confident in her skills, went after 
the second bullet. As she dug it out, she heard LaCroix utter a 
disturbing remark.

"He's in pain," the elder vampire announced, looking as 
though he was experiencing some form of discomfort himself.

Scully glanced up at him, then took a look at the 
encephalogram readings which had gone from a simple line to a 
helter-skelter of dips and peaks.

"Scully, I think he's waking up!" Mulder exclaimed when he 
noticed Nick's eyelids fluttering.

He no sooner got that statement out when Nick suddenly let 
out a blood-
curdling howl of pain and began struggling against his restraints.

"Mr. LaCroix, the anesthetic! Quickly!"

As LaCroix grabbed the hypodermic needle he had prepared 
earlier, Scully did her best to try to calm Nick down. She placed 
her hands on each side of his face and used her voice with gentle 
words of assurance to try to soothe him.

"It's okay, Nick. It's okay. We're going to give you 
something for the pain right now. Just hold on a minute, okay?"

Her words meant nothing to him. His brain was ablaze with  an 
intense agony he'd never known before. With eyes golden and fangs 
bared, Nick attempted to jerk his head back and forth trying to 
escape from the device that held his skull trapped in one 
position, and the immense pain that consumed him beyond any 
rational thought. Just as LaCroix administered the anesthetic, 
Nick bit down on the latex covered hand that had accidentally 
found its way to his open mouth. Scully screamed out as one sharp 
fang pierced deeply into the fleshy area below her thumb. LaCroix 
was quick to rescue her as he forced Nick's mouth open and pulled 
her hand away. Scully took a step back and snapped the glove off 
her injured hand.

"Are you okay?" asked Mulder.

"I'll live," Scully hissed at the pain, then picked up a ball 
of cotton and pressed it to the wound. "How's Nick?" she asked. A 
quick glance at the graph revealed the chaotic movements of the 
needle were slowly starting to level out.

"The pain is easing," said LaCroix. "Perhaps I should give 
him more of the tranquilizer as well."

"Yes, I think that's a good idea."

As LaCroix concentrated on Nick, Mulder noticed that both 
Chad's and Matt's attention was focused on Scully, her injured 
hand and the deep, crimson that oozed from it when she removed the 
bloodied cotton ball. When he saw their eyes change color, Mulder 
grabbed the cross he had stored in his back pocket hidden beneath 
his sweater, and held it up to the Enforcers as he pulled Scully 
protectively behind him. The two vampires each snarled menacingly 
while cringing away from the religious symbol.

"Get out!" LaCroix yelled at the two trouble makers. "Both of 
you, now!" He backed up his command with a fierce growl and a 
flash of gold. That, and Mulder waving the cross in their faces 
was enough to send them flying out the door in a blur. Once the 
door had slammed shut, Mulder turned to LaCroix, still holding the 
cross up protectively.

The master vampire averted his eyes away from the cross. "I'd 
appreciate it if you'd put that away," he said in a non-
threatening tone.

Mulder lowered the cross slowly and slipped it into his back 
pocket again, then turned his attention to Scully. "How bad is 
it?" he asked in trying to get a good look at her injury.

"It hurts like the devil," Scully replied. She pulled the 
cotton away to reveal a still bleeding puncture wound. "I'm not 
sure how I'm going to finish the operation now."

"May I have a look?" LaCroix asked. "I may be able to help."

"Help how?" asked Mulder suspiciously.

LaCroix gently took hold of Scully's hand. "I won't hurt 
you," he assured her, then slowly brought her hand to his lips.

Mulder had to force himself not to interfere as the vampire 
ran his tongue across his partner's hand. He noticed a slight 
hesitation before the vampire committed himself fully to the task. 
There was the slightest of frowns on his face though he didn't 
bother to comment on the taste of her blood be it good or bad. He 
simply continued to lick her wound until it healed.

"Better?" he asked afterwards.

Scully stared at her hand in amazement. The pain was gone and 
just the tiniest scar was visible. "That's remarkable!."

"So you'll be able to continue?"

"Yes. Thank you."

"That's a neat little trick you have there," Mulder commented 
on LaCroix's ability to heal with his saliva.

"Yes. I rarely get the opportunity to use it. This has been 
quite an evening."

"But it ain't over yet," Scully reminded him. "Keep a close 
eye on that graph for me, Mulder. I don't want any more surprises 
like that last one."

"Yes, ma'am." 

Scully went back to work, moving as quickly and as safely as 
possible. The third bullet came out readily, but the sac itself 
proved somewhat troublesome. It was fairly thick, almost like the 
peel of an orange, making it impossible to bring it through the 
opening in one piece. Scully had to trim it down into sections 
then use the laser to burn it away from where it had anchored 
itself in the very back. About an hour later, Scully removed the 
last of the foreign matter. She irrigated and suctioned out the 
cavity, noticing how the surrounding tissues were already 
beginning to reclaim their space. She plugged the hole in the 
skull with the section she had cut out earlier, then sutured the 
incision close.

"That's it," she sighed wearily as she began to remove her 
operating attire.

"Well, done," LaCroix complimented her effort. "Thank you, 
Agent Scully. I know it's been a difficult night for you. I do 
appreciate all you've done for him. I can take over from here on. 
The two of you may leave whenever you're ready."

"You're kicking us out?" Scully questioned, feeling used and 
tossed to the side. "Just like that?"

"There's little more you can do now. Nicholas will most 
likely sleep for several hours and when he awakens --"

"I want to be here," said Scully adamantly.

LaCroix was slightly taken aback by her tenacity. His eyes 
shifted to Mulder who merely shrugged and said, "I leave when she 

"Very well," LaCroix yielded to their decision and gestured 
towards the rear of the camper. "Do make yourselves at home. The 
beds are there, and you'll find refreshments in the kitchen. Help 

While  Scully took advantage of the bathroom facilities, 
Mulder began to dismantle the operating area. He switched off the 
electrical equipment used and folded up the wires and cables. 
LaCroix concentrated on making Nick comfortable by removing the 
monitoring electrodes from his temples and the stabilizer from his 

"You really went through quite a lot for him. Getting all 
this equipment, arranging all this," said Mulder in an easygoing 

"If only he would appreciate it. But that is the folly of 
parenthood; to hope that your children would appreciate all that 
you do for them."

"Is he your only child?"

"I have others."

"But he's your favorite, isn't he?" When Mulder saw that an 
answer to that question wasn't forthcoming, he changed the 
subject. "What happens now? Those Enforcers will come back tonight 
and check him out?"

"Yes. If there's no sign of Nicholas de Brabant or any other 
irrational behavior noted in the next forty-eight hours, the 
sentence imposed upon him earlier will be suspended and he'll face 
a ten-year probation."

"And if there's no change?'

"I'd rather not consider the alternative at this moment, if 
you don't mind."

"Sorry." Mulder retreated and headed for the kitchen area 
just as Scully emerged from the bathroom, looking slightly more 
refreshed than when she entered. "Hi. How do you feel?"

"Like I haven't had a full night's sleep in three days."

"There's a bed. Why don't you lie down for awhile? I'll stay 
up and wake you if anything happens."

Unable to fight her exhaustion, Scully kicked off her shoes 
and stretched out on the nearest bed. Mulder grabbed the blanket 
from a second bed and tossed it over. She was asleep before he 
even finished tucking it around her. He gently patted her hair and 
whispered, "Sweet dreams."

After making a pit stop in the bathroom, Mulder decided to 
check out the contents of the mini-fridge. He was surprised to 
find it packed with canned sodas and a party platter of sliced 
meat, cheese and fruit. He popped off the protective, plastic 
covering on the platter and stole a piece of cheese. After tasting 
a small bite, he grabbed a cola and another slice of cheese before 
covering the tray and closing the fridge door. As he finished off 
the cheese and followed it with a swig from the soda can, Mulder 
became curious about what was in the cabinets. Poking about, he 
found that the shelves had been stocked with bags and boxes of 
chips, crackers, instant coffee and something that really caught 
his attention. He picked up the bag of sunflower seeds, noticing 
that it, like all the other products were the brands he normally 
bought. Certain things were beginning to fall into place. He took 
the bag of seeds and walked back over to LaCroix.

"Ah, I see you found the snacks. I hope everything is to your 

"It was you," said Mulder accusingly. "You're the one who 
slipped me Knight's file. You were in my apartment that night, 
weren't you?"

LaCroix smiled lightly. "Simply because you live on the 
fourth floor, doesn't mean you should neglect window security."

"Why me? How did you even know about me?"

"As I said before, your reputation preceded you. A couple of 
years ago, you had  dealings with three young vampires. 
Apparently, the leader of that merry band, killed his master 
shortly after being brought across, leaving himself unschooled in 
our ways and with no proper guidance. He went on to create friends 
for himself, though not without making a few mistakes before he 
finally got it right. Then, the three of them together made some 
unwise decisions in their pursuit for nourishment and 
enlightenment. The Enforcers -- overworked and understaffed -- 
were eventually dispatched to find them and set them straight. It 
appears that you got to them first."

"They were wanted for murder," said Mulder, feeling as though 
he had to defend himself. "And they were trying to pull an 
innocent woman into their gang. I was trying to stop them. I 
didn't mean for them to perish like that."

"No great loss, I'm sure," said LaCroix with an air of 
indifference. "Your involvement in their destruction was duly 
noted and you were thoroughly investigated. They wanted to make 
sure that you were not a hunter."

"A hunter?"

"Vampire hunter. Someone who makes it his life's work to hunt 
down and destroy vampires. In your case, it was decided that you 
were merely doing your duty as a representative of mortal law 

"And you figured you'd use me to find Knight for you?"

"No. I already knew where Nicholas was. You see, we have this 
sort of psychic connection that extends for quite a good 

"Then if you knew where he was, why did you need me?"

LaCroix didn't bother to answer the question. He knew that 
the agent was bright enough to figure it out for himself if given 
enough time. It only took a moment longer before he saw the dawn 
of realization in the young man's eyes. Mulder glanced over his 
shoulder at his sleeping partner, then looked back at LaCroix.

"You needed me to get to her. You knew that Knight needed to 
have those bullets removed and you figured that Scully could do 
it. You had this planned all along. Did you plan on him kidnapping 
her too?"

"I know that Nicholas has a weakness for beautiful women. I 
had no way of predicting his every move -- nor yours for that 
matter -- but I did realize that if given the opportunity, there 
was that possibility he might want to possess her. That was a risk 
I was prepared to take."

"It was a risk *you* were prepared to take?" Mulder shook his 
head in disbelief. "But why Scully? You could have chosen any 
doctor in the world, at least one with more experience, an actual 
brain surgeon. What was so special about her?" In the time LaCroix 
contemplated giving a response, Mulder suddenly had another 
revelation. "Her blood," he realized. "Knight told me that Scully 
had a nosebleed up at the cabin and that he tasted her blood. 
Apparently, it was pretty unappetizing. When you healed Scully's 
wound earlier, I noticed how you hesitated before you licked the 
blood off her hand. At first I thought you hesitated to give her a 
chance to pull away if she wanted. But that wasn't the reason, was 
it? You already knew what her blood tasted like. And you knew that 
if at some point she *was* attacked by Knight, the bad taste of 
her blood would prevent him from draining her."

"You are quite the perceptive one," said LaCroix, impressed 
by Mulder's accurate assumptions. "Yes. I was aware of Agent 
Scully's uniqueness."


"Perhaps we should take this conversation outside," LaCroix 
suggested. "I wouldn't want to disturb the young lady's sleep."

Mulder agreed with a nod. He set the bag of sunflower seeds 
aside, then followed the vampire out into the darkness. They only 
strolled as far as the other side of the car. LaCroix was the 
first to speak.

"Agent Scully's blood is indeed unique, however she is not 
the only one of her kind. There are, and have been quite a few 
others, dating back at least a quarter of a century that I'm aware 
of. When the first such as she was detected, it was thought to be 
merely a one in a billion oddity. Later, when one of our 
distributor's blood supply became contaminated by a very 
distasteful donor, a thorough investigation lead to a rather 
disturbing discovery involving your government performing rather 
dubious experimentation on the unsuspecting public. We thought at 
first that they knew of our existence and was trying to devise a 
vaccine against us. Further observation, however, revealed 
something considerably more sinister afoot."

"Have you seen them?" Mulder asked, feeling a twinge of 
excitement. "The aliens?"

"Yes. I have seen them, and I've seen what they are capable 
of doing."

"Have you tried to stop them?"

"Myself and a few others have banded together to see what we 
could accomplish. Unfortunately, your government has immense 
manpower and resources, and are not encumbered by daylight 

"Do you know what was done to Scully or where they took her?"

"Exactly what was done, no. Alien blood was obviously 
introduced into her system. Beyond that, I have no knowledge. She 
was moved about the country by train in a special box car. I'm 
afraid that's all I know of the matter."

Mulder was slightly disappointed by the lack of information 
even though it was more than he had known before. "There's a man," 
he continued the questioning, "tall, dark hair, around sixty, 
smokes constantly. Do you know him?"

"I know *of* him. He seems to be a key player in all this. We 
keep a distant eye on him."

"I've seen Knight use hypnosis on a doctor and I know he's 
used it on Scully. Would it be possible for you to use that on the 
Smoking Man if you got close enough to him?"

"I'm afraid that not everyone is suggestible. Some are even 
trained to resist all forms of coercion techniques. But one 
comforting thought remains. He is, after all, only mortal. He 
won't live forever."

"Will you?" asked Mulder curiously.

"Death has so far eluded me for nearly two-thousand years," 
LaCroix proudly confessed.

Mulder blew out a whistle to show that he was quite 
impressed. "You... uh... you look pretty good for your age," he 
remarked lamely.

"So I've been told."

"What about Knight? How old is he?"

"I came across Nicholas about eight centuries ago. He was a 
knight during the Crusades."

Mulder leaned against the rear fender of the car with folded 
arms and shook his head in astonishment. "I can't begin to imagine 
some of the things you must have witnessed in your lifetime. The 
things you're liable to see in the future."

"Would you be interested in seeing the future, Agent Mulder?"

"Seeing the future? How?"

"By not dying. Would you care to live forever?"

Mulder was temporarily stunned by the question. It was one he 
had not expected, and now that it had been asked, he was troubled 
by the answer he considered making.

"I see I've surprised you," LaCroix grinned.

"Yeah... yeah, you have," was all Mulder could think to say.

"Immortality, of course, isn't for everyone. And I don't 
offer it to many."

"Why offer it to me?"

"Because I admire your intelligence, your determination, your 
capacity for loyalty... and I find you, so far, to be pleasant 
company. Eternity *can* get rather boring without compatible 
companionship." LaCroix moved in closer to Mulder and spoke 
enticingly in his ear. "Just think of it; your senses enhanced 
tenfold, complete immunity from disease, the ability to fly, *and* 
you'll never look another day older. You can outlive all your 
enemies and even use your new gifts to help squash their evil 

It was tempting, Mulder thought. Very tempting. He could 
definitely use such attributes against his enemies. There seemed 
to be so many pluses, but he knew in his heart that there had to 
be some down sides to the offer.

Suddenly aware of their closeness, Mulder moved away from the 
car and the vampire. "Those are the good points," he said after 
regaining his personal space. "You want to tell me some of the 

"For me, there are none," said LaCroix. "However, if your 
long term goals include fathering children the old-fashioned way, 
then you may run into a snag. You'll also find it problematic 
making traditional love to a mortal woman. No doubt it would be 
good for you, but I'm afraid that your mate would not be up for 
seconds. From what I've seen you stuff into your little, black 
bag, I believe you're aware of all the other drawbacks."

"Would I... would I have to kill for blood?"

"Blood is readily available in take-out form. However, in the 
early stages, the desire to kill can become overwhelming for some. 
But you *have* killed before, haven't you, Agent Mulder?"

"In self-defense or to save lives of innocent people."

"And did you feel guilt over those you have killed?"

Mulder considered for a moment the deaths of Eugene Tooms and 
the sheriff of Dudley, Arkansas both of whom had attempted to make 
his partner their next meal. He shook his head grimly and 
answered, "No, not really."

"And you have enemies you wish death upon, perhaps to even 
kill with your bare hands if it were feasible?"

The images of Krycek and the Smoking Man came instantly to 
mind. Mulder nodded slightly and responded, "Yeah, I can think of 
at least a couple."

LaCroix smiled devilishly. "I'm beginning to like you more 
and more, Agent Mulder. So the idea does appeal to you then?"

"I don't know. It's... it's something I'd really have to 
think about. A lot."

"Of course, I understand perfectly. Take whatever time you 
need. A day, a year... ten years even. That is, *if* you should 
live that long. In your dangerous line of work, we both know that 
anything can --" LaCroix suddenly looked towards the camper as 
though he heard a noise. "I should go back in now. Nicholas needs 

Mulder watched as the vampire hurried back inside, then 
turned his eyes heaven bound. He wondered if becoming a vampire 
might not be his actual fate. Everything happens for a reason. 
That's what he had been told as a child after his sister was 
abducted. If she hadn't been taken, he never would have joined the 
FBI in hopes of finding her. He never would have discovered the 
existence of alien life-forms on earth or that the American 
government he had pledged his honor to was secretly exploiting 
innocent lives to achieve some mysterious goal. Perhaps he was 
destined to help save the world. And perhaps he was destined to do 
it as a vampire. It was definitely something to think about.


end part 10


Infatuation With a Vampire
Part 11/11

When Mulder finally went back inside, he saw LaCroix hovering 
over Nick, gently cleaning away bloodsweat from his forehead. A 
near empty bag of blood hung from the IV stand, and the bottle 
containing the tranquilizer was now empty, a final dose having 
just been administered. Mulder moved to the rear of the camper to 
check on his partner and found her still peacefully slumbering. If 
Nick had called out in pain, it seemed as though she would have 
heard, but it could be that her mind and body were just too 
exhausted to respond. Mulder walked back towards the front and 
stood watching silently as LaCroix tenderly stroked the dark, 
blonde curls of his offspring.

"Was he awake?' Mulder asked "Did you hear him call out when 
we were outside?"

"No, he did not awaken. But I sensed his distress. I sense a 
bit of distress in you as well. Did our little discussion leave 
you filled with questions?"

"A few. I don't suppose there's a vampire beginner's book 

"No, I'm afraid not. Perhaps when this is all over, you and I 
can get together at a later date and go into the matter with 
greater detail."

Mulder nodded absently. "Yeah. Maybe we could."

"But there remains something else on your mind, Agent Mulder. 
What is it?"

"I was just wondering if what's been done to Scully's blood, 
might not have been done to mine as well. There have been a couple 
of times I was held by the military or whomever and things were 
done to me that I can't remember."

Without a word, LaCroix picked up a scalpel, then reached out 
for the agent's hand. Timidly, Mulder placed his palm in the 
vampire's, then hissed lightly as he felt the scalpel pierce the 
tip of his index finger. LaCroix put the scalpel away, then 
squeezed the cut finger to encourage a greater flow of blood. 
Mulder held his breath as the vampire licked the blood tentatively 
at first, then engulfed the whole tip of his finger. Afraid that 
he would find the same unpleasant taste that the woman carried, 
LaCroix was delighted to find that this mortal's blood had not 
been tainted. On the contrary, it was intoxicatingly sweet, making 
it exceedingly difficult to stop at just a taste. He lifted his 
gaze to the young man's face and saw a pair of eyes filled with 
fascination. It would be so easy to take him, to immediately 
create a new addition to his little family, but now wasn't the 
right time. He had Nicholas to think about.

LaCroix licked Mulder's wound to heal it, then let go of his 
hand. "Your blood is perfectly normal," he told him simply.

"Thank you," said Mulder as he backed away, only then 
realizing how foolish his actions were. He'd just allowed a 
vampire to drink his blood. He'd seen the glint of gold in 
LaCroix's eyes and knew that the vampire had been tempted to go 
further. But what Mulder found truly scary was the fact that he 
hadn't minded at all.


9:15 a.m.

Scully woke up a little disoriented. She sat up in the 
strange bed and looked about to get her bearings. She saw her 
partner in the bed across from her sleeping on his back with a 
wooden cross clutched loosely in his hand resting on his chest. 
Scully swung her stocking feet to the carpeted floor and rose from 
the bed to go check on her patient. She found that Nick was still 
asleep and chained to the chair. His adopted father was nearby, 
seated on the adjustable stool with his back and head resting 
against the wall, arms folded across his chest and eyes closed. 
Scully wasn't quite sure if he was asleep or not. She didn't want 
to wake him if he was, so she kept her movements slow and silent 
as she approached Nick.

Checking the sutures on his forehead, she was surprised to 
find the incision she'd made just hours ago was practically 
healed. The sutures were no longer needed, so she found a pair of 
scissors and began to clip them away. With the first tiny snip of 
the scissors. LaCroix's eyes snapped open and he looked on with 

"Is there something wrong?" he asked. Though his voice was 
soft, Scully was still startled by it.

"No. I was just removing the stitches. He's nearly healed. I 
didn't mean to wake you."

"I was merely resting my eyes."

"I see you gave him the rest of the sedative."

"He became restless at one point. I thought it best."

"I'm sure it was. He definitely needs to rest." As Scully 
finished removing the stitches, she casually began a conversation 
on another topic that had been on her mind for a while. "Mr. 
LaCroix, did you know Dr. Natalie Lambert?"

"Yes, I had the pleasure of making her acquaintance on a few 
occasions. Why do you ask?"

"Back at the cabin, Nick told me that Dr. Lambert had come up 
with something for his sun allergy. I'm thinking now that he meant 
that she had found a way to make him a normal man again. Do you 
know anything about that?"

"Dr. Lambert had the misguided notion, as does Nicholas, that 
he can become mortal again. She created the most vial concoctions 
and used him as a guinea pig, which I am positive severely 
compromised his natural ability to heal. I believe that the tumor 
you removed is a direct result of her meddling. He *is* what he 
is. There is no cure for it."
     Scully could tell by the barely controlled vehemence in 
the vampire's voice that she had touched upon a sensitive area. 
She wisely chose not to pursue it further.

"Is it necessary to keep the chains on?" she asked, referring 
to Nick's restraints.

"Until he awakens and we see what kind of mood he's in, I 
think it's safest. There's food in the kitchen, if you'd like 

Scully nodded her acceptance of his hospitality. "Thank you."


11:45 a.m.

Mulder awoke from a troubled dream involving aliens and 
vampires. As if he didn't have enough stars in his nightmares 
already, he had to invite new characters. He opened his eyes to a 
semi-darkened room. The area was closed off from the front of the 
camper by a corrugated partition. The overhead lights were off, 
and the heavily tinted windows significantly reduced the amount of 
daylight entering. Mulder sat up in bed and looked across to where 
he had last seen his partner. He discovered that she had been 
replaced by a much taller and paler figure. LaCroix lay on the bed 
with eyes closed and hands folded across his chest. His son had 
been positioned close by. The dentist chair was still horizontal 
but had been lowered to its minimum height of two feet, and the 
arms had been removed to conserve space. The chains still remained 
around Nick's ankles and waist, but his wrists were bound together 
as his hands rested on his abdomen.

Mulder got up quietly and carefully slid open the partition, 
making sure there was no danger of sunlight flooding the sleeping 
area. He was a little concerned about not finding his partner on 
the other side of the partition. He closed it, then glanced out 
the window where he viewed his better half seated in one of two 
folding chairs, beneath the awning, munching from a bag of chips 
and reading a paperback novel. Smiling to himself, Mulder opened 
the door and stepped outside.

"Nice day," Mulder greeted her. "Enjoying yourself?"

"As a matter of fact, yes. Did you sleep you well?" 

"Yeah, except for the weird dream I had about being chased by 
sucking aliens." When Mulder attempted to help himself to Scully's 
bag of chips, she batted his hand away.

"You don't eat the low-fat kind."

"You mean the no-taste kind."

"There's plenty of other stuff inside. And bring me another 
diet cola while you're at it."

"Your wish is my command."

Mulder made a trip back inside and came out with an armful of 
sodas, snacks and the party tray of meat and cheese. He could tell 
that Scully had already been at the tray because it wasn't as full 
as the last time he'd seen it. He gave Scully the drink she had 
requested, then settled down in the other available chair with the 
rest of the items he'd brought out.

"For a man who supposedly doesn't eat food, Mr. LaCroix sure 
bought enough," Scully commented. "You think he did it just for 

"Yeah, I think he did. I talked to him for awhile right after 
you went to bed, and he admitted that he had set this whole thing 
up from the very beginning. He was the one who slipped me the file 
on Knight. He knew that an operation was necessary and he picked 
you to do it."

"Why me?"

Mulder filled his mouth with food to keep from answering 
right away. He didn't want to tell her that she was walking around 
with slightly alien blood and that she was considered less than 
appetizing by the vampire community. Luckily, he didn't have to 
answer because his partner came up with her own.

"Mr. LaCroix said that your reputation preceded you. And if 
he already knew about you, then he also knew your partner was a 
doctor who did her slicing and dicing on the dead. Since they 
consider themselves to be dead in a sense, Mr. LaCroix figured I'd 
do just fine."

"And you did," Mulder agreed. "Under the circumstances, you 
did a damn fine job, Scully."

Scully took a sip of her soda, then said, "You know, it's 
still hard for me to believe any of this. My eyes see things that 
couldn't possibly be real, and yet.... Of course, if I really 
tried, I could probably come up with a scientific explanation for 
all this."

"You could?" Mulder questioned doubtfully.

Scully thought about it a moment then shrugged. "I didn't say 
it'd be a great explanation."

A comfortable silence followed as Scully returned to reading 
her novel and Mulder assuaged his hunger with half the food on the 
party tray, washed down by a can of root beer. Afterwards, he 
moved his chair into the sun and slumped down in it, stretching 
his long legs out fully and folding his hands atop his well-fed 
belly. Feeling the warming rays on his skin, he thought back to 
the rest of the conversation he'd had with LaCroix.
     "Scully, if someone offered you the chance to live 
forever, would you take it?"

"You mean like if my fairy-godmother comes and grants me a 
magic wish?"

"Yeah. Something like that. And you'd never look any older, 
you'd have special powers, and you'd be able to fly."

When he mentioned being able to fly, Scully realized where 
the idea of immortality had come from. "Would I be on a permanent 
liquid diet and somewhat sensitive to sunlight?" she asked.


"You're not thinking what I think you're thinking, are you?"

"Mr. LaCroix offered me immortality. He's nearly two-thousand 
years old. Do you know how old Knight is? He's eight-hundred. Can 
you imagine the lives they must have lead, the people they've 

"Are you telling me that you want to become a vampire now, 
Mulder? You can't be serious."

"I didn't say I wanted to become a vampire. I just asked your 
opinion about living forever."

"Maybe you should ask Nick his opinion on that. I'm sure he 
has a lot more incite into it. Actually, I think he's tired of his 
immortality. When we were at the cabin, he told me how Natalie 
Lambert had tried to help him. Apparently, he missed having the 
sunlight on his skin, so Natalie came up with something that 
allowed him to spend a day in the sun. Unfortunately, whatever 
cure she came up with had some pretty bad side effects, so I guess 
the search for a normal life was abandoned. And when Natalie was 
killed, we know he took her death pretty hard. So think of it, 
Mulder; if he's been around for eight hundred years, then Natalie 
Lambert's death was definitely not the first one he's had to live 
with. How many lost loves do you suppose he's mourned? How many 
friends has he had to bury? How many times has he had to start his 
life over because everyone else around him is aging and he still 
looks exactly the same twenty years later? Mulder, from what I've 
seen, Nick Knight is not a happy man. And he's not a happy vampire 
either. Do you suppose he'll be that way for the next eight 
hundred years?"

Mulder had no reply. He hadn't given that aspect of forever 
much thought. And it bothered him that despite those very 
important concerns, he still couldn't help but wonder what it 
would be like to live beyond his normal life span. It's not 
everyday a person is offered the opportunity to cheat death and 
the power to defeat his enemies.


2:40 p.m.

It was the first time since teaming with Mulder that Scully 
had had the time to completely read a novel from start to finish 
in one sitting. Her partner had taken the car back into town to 
finish up loose ends with the police and check them out of the 
motel in which they had never been able to spend the night. She 
was surprised that he was willing to leave her alone with the 
vampires, even though they were sleeping and seemingly harmless. 
He figured that as long as she stayed outside in the sunlight, 
she'd be perfectly safe. She would have been content to stay 
outside if she hadn't consumed a cup of coffee, two sodas and half 
a liter bottle of water in the past five hours. Nature was calling 
and she didn't have the necessary equipment to easily answer it 

Scully ventured inside and slowly slid the partition open, 
then tiptoed silently past the slumbering vampires and into the 
bathroom. She finished her business up quickly, but instead of 
heading immediately back outside, she paused to check on Nick. She 
knelt down and leaned over to get a look at his forehead. It was a 
little hard to see in the dim light, so she ran a finger across 
his brow to determine the extent of his healing thus far. His skin 
was perfectly smooth with no sign of scarring.

"Amazing," Scully uttered under her breath, then gasped in 
alarm when she felt something brush against her breast.

"Who are you?" Nick spoke in a raspy voice, his left hand 
reaching out to make contact.

Recovering from her initial shock, Scully took his hand in 
hers and gave it a comforting squeeze. "It's Dana Scully," she 
responded softly. "Do you remember me, Nick?''

"Agent Scully?"

"Yes, it's Agent Scully. How do you feel?"

"I can't see you. There's something wrong with my eyes," he 
uttered fearfully.

"Wait a minute." Scully stood momentarily and flipped on the 
overhead light switch. A quick glance at LaCroix revealed that he 
was not bothered by the light or the low voices. "How's that?" she 
asked Nick. "Can you see me now?"

"I see a shadow of you. It's very blurry. What's happened to 
me? I feel dizzy and my head hurts."

"Is the pain like it was before?"

"No. Just a dull ache. And I feel tired, weak. It's hard to 

 "The reason you're finding it hard to move is because you're 
wearing restraints. The headache, I'd say is from the surgery. I 
think the rest of your symptoms may just be side effects from the 
drugs you were given. The dosage used would have killed a normal 
man several times over."

"Surgery? What surgery?
     "I performed the surgery to remove your tumor."

"I don't understand. The last I remember...." his voice 
trailed off as he struggled to recall the previous events of his 
life which had included two beefy Enforcers and the promise of 
true death. As he concentrated, the haziness of the drugs in his 
system lifted just enough to enable him to distinguish an 
undeniable presence. "LaCroix?"

"I'm right here, Nicholas." LaCroix sat up calmly in bed and 
placed a hand on his son's arm.

Nick recoiled at his touch. "Is this how you plan to keep 
me?" he hissed. "Blind, chained down and helpless? Did he kidnap 
you, Agent Scully? Force you to do this to me?"

Scully looked to LaCroix and saw the hurt expression on his 
face as he rose from the bed. "No, Nick. It's not like that," 
Scully began to explain. "Mr. LaCroix asked me in a very courteous 
way if I would perform the operation and afterwards, I volunteered 
to stay and help him look after you. As far as the chains are 
concerned, he didn't want you to end up accidentally hurting me or 
yourself. I imagine it's all right to remove them now though."

No sooner had he heard those words, Nick felt the restraints 
being removed from his ankles. A moment later, he lost contact 
with the feminine hand as Scully stepped aside to allow LaCroix to 
discard the rest of the bindings. Once free, Nick immediately 
tried to stand up, only to collapse to his knees from 
disorientation and weakness. Wordlessly, LaCroix lifted him up and 
aided him in sitting down, quickly adjusting the chair to a 
slightly reclined, upright position.

Scully returned to his side again and held his hand. "You 
need to take it easy, Nick," she advised in a soothing voice.  

"He had no right to make such a decision for me," Nick 

"I have *every* right," LaCroix declared angrily. "You gave 
me the right when you accepted my offer eight hundred years ago. 
How many times must I remind you that you are *my* creation, 
Nicholas. You. Are. Mine!"

Nick didn't bother to respond. It was an old argument; one of 
which he could never hope to win. Scully gazed with disapproval at 
LaCroix, then her eyes shifted to her partner who stood at the 
partitioned entrance, taking everything in. The picture of the 
caring father he'd witnessed earlier was in stark contrast to what 
he saw now.

Realizing the image he was  displaying, the elder vampire 
quickly reeled in his anger. "Performing the operation," LaCroix 
continued in a milder tone, "was the only way to keep the 
Enforcers from severing your head."

"I broke the code," Nick responded shamefully. "I was 
prepared to accept the consequences."

All anger left LaCroix's voice as he spoke next. "Nicholas, 
do you recall a certain conversation we had; the one in which you 
told me that you were not going to sit back and let de Brabant 
steal your life? You said that you were going to fight him every 
step of the way, and that if I were truly your friend, then I'd  
help you to win the battle against him. Do you remember that, 

"Yes, I remember."

"Well, I am doing my part to help win the battle. Now I need 
for you to do yours. You cannot let him win, Nicholas. You cannot 
give up, not without a fight."

"I'm tired, LaCroix," Nick sighed wearily. "I don't know if I 
have anymore fight left in me. And for what? What is there left 
for me?"

"Hope for the future," Scully offered. "Nick, I really don't 
know what all you've experienced so far. Maybe you've seen it all 
and done it all, but you never know.... Perhaps the future may 
bring something new and different and wonderful into your life. 
Maybe fate has a lot more good in store for you than you could 
ever imagine. Your hearts desire could be just a couple of days 
away or a couple of years."

Nick lifted her hand to his lips and placed a kiss in the 
center of her palm. "I seem to be lacking the energy to argue with 
you at the moment. Thank you for all your help, Agent Scully."

"You know, I do have a first name," said Scully. "It's Dana."

He smiled as his eyes drooped drowsily. "I've enjoyed meeting 
you, Dana." With those final words Nick drifted back off into 

"You handled that nicely," said LaCroix.

"About his eyesight," Scully shrugged. "I'm not really sure. 
My gut feeling is that it's only temporary, either due to the 
drugs used or perhaps there's some swelling and pressure building 
up behind his eyes. With his capacity for healing, it  may simply 
clear up soon on its own. But if it doesn't, then I suppose 
there's a possibility that the optic nerve was somehow damaged 
during the operation, in which case he'd have to undergo some 
tests to determine what can be done to repair the damage."

 "I'm sure that won't be necessary," LaCroix assured her. "I 
must thank you again, my dear. For all that you've done. If 
circumstances were different and Nicholas had lived, I'm sure you 
and he would have become close friends."

Scully eyed the elder vampire in confusion. "What? What do 
you mean if he had lived?"

"Nick Knight died yesterday morning at his cabin in the 
mountains. Remember? You accompanied his body back in the 
helicopter. You said your final farewell to him in the morgue at 
the hospital. That was the last you saw of him. This nonsense 
about him being a vampire is completely ridiculous, of course. 
There's no such thing as vampires. Your partner simply has an 
overactive imagination. You will not remember meeting me. You will 
not remember the Enforcers or performing the operation. Do you 

Scully nodded her head in a dazed movement. "Yes."

"You will  sleep now until your partner awakens you."

As Scully fell into a deep sleep, LaCroix scooped her up in 
his arms, then turned to face Mulder who asked, "Are you going to 
make me forget too?"

"That depends. Have you made your decision based on our 
earlier discussion?"

"I'm still interested, but...."

"You need more time."

"Maybe if you look me up again in another ten years. If I'm 
not happily married by then with a couple of rug rats crawling 

"Would those happen to be red-headed, rug rats?" LaCroix 
asked with a smile.

Blushing profusely, Mulder was unable to confirm or deny the 
possibility. Without even realizing it, he was hypnotized into 
forgetting about his encounter with vampires and was soon on the 
road heading out of town with his partner asleep in the passenger 
seat. Though he couldn't quite shake the feeling that he was 
forgetting something as he drove along, he didn't want to disturb 
Scully's slumber. He wouldn't bother to wake her until they 
reached the airport in Billings.


Scully's Apartment Building
One Month Later

Someone on the block was having a party and Scully was unable 
to park in her normal spot due to the excess of cars which lined 
both sides of the street. She considered herself lucky to find a 
space at the farthest end of the block, though she wasn't happy 
about having to lug her overnight bag and an armful of groceries 
all that distance. Just returning from a case, she knew there was 
little food in her refrigerator, so she stopped off at the store 
to pick up a few necessities. Since the neighborhood was known for 
its lack of crime, Scully had no qualms about walking down the 
street late at night. Besides, she was still carrying her gun.

As she moved closer to her building, Scully got the sensation 
that she was being followed.  She glanced behind herself several 
times, but never saw anyone. When she reached the door of her 
building, she set her overnight bag down so she could unlock the 
door. Once the door was open, she reached down for her luggage 
just as her grocery bag broke open and an item escaped from the 
bottom. A hand appeared out of nowhere to rescue the falling 
container of ice cream before it had a chance to hit the ground. 
Scully jumped back in surprise.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you."

Scully expelled a shocked gasp when she recognized the face 
of the man standing at her side. "You! You're... you're dead! I 
saw you. You were dead."

Nick smiled. And shrugged lightly. "I do tend to sleep like 
the dead," he jokingly admitted. "Do I look dead to you now?"

"No, of course not."

"Here, let me help you with that." Nick carefully took the 
grocery bag from her, then held up the ice cream container and 
briefly studied the label. "You'd actually eat something called 
Moose Tracks?" he asked with a playful frown.

"What are you doing here?" Scully asked, still in a state of 

"I've been thinking about you a lot lately and I wanted to 
see you again. Do you mind if I come inside for a little while?"

She had a ton of questions she wanted answered, so Scully 
allowed Nick to accompany her through the lobby door and into her 
apartment. She was ready to begin the interrogation as soon as 
they cleared the door, but Nick was concerned about putting away 
the grocery items that required refrigeration. He found his own 
way into the kitchen while Scully remained in the living room. She 
contemplated whether or not she should call Mulder but Nick 
returned from his short chore before she had the chance to reach 
for the phone.

"All done," said Nick with a pleasant smile. "Your carton of 
Moose Tracks is safe."

"Thank you. Now are you ready to answer a few questions for 

"Not quite." 

Nick walked up to her and gently drew her into his arms. 
Scully stiffened in fear as he embraced her and she glared in 
wide-eyed wonder as he leaned forward to press his lips against 
hers. His gentleness quickly won her over and once he felt her 
relax, he kissed her with more passion. Frozen at first, Scully 
instantly began to melt under his expert mouth. When her tongue 
scraped lightly against his fangs, she drew back suddenly and 
stared into a pair of golden eyes.

"Mulder was right. You *are* a vampire."

Nick stroked her cheek with the back of his fingers and 
replied softly, "Is that a problem?"

It should have been but for some reason it didn't really seem 
to matter. Scully shook her head slightly and smiled. "No, it's 
not a problem at all." She reached her hand up to the back of his 
head and pulled him down to engage his lips once again. As they 
kissed feverishly, Scully felt herself being lifted by a pair of 
powerful but gentle arms. There was the euphoric sensation of 
floating through the air as he transported her into the bedroom. 
They hovered above the bed spinning ever so slowly in a circle, 
the room swirling with candlelight. She closed her eyes 
pleasurably as cool lips began to trace down the side of her 
throat. She arched her neck into his touch expectantly as his 
fangs teased her skin. If he had intended to bite her, she had 
absolutely no desire to stop him. In fact, she was looking forward 
to it.

"You want me?" he asked as he began to lick her lips.


"I'm going to make it so good for you," he whispered 
sensually in her ear.

She was more than ready for him to keep his word. They 
floated down onto the bed and just as he was about to fulfill his 
promise, the moment was shattered by the ringing of the telephone. 
Reluctantly, Scully answered it with a groggy, "Hello?"

"Rise and shine, G-Woman," Mulder's voice boomed cheerfully 
through the receiver. "We've got a new case, so jump in the 
shower, get yourself packed and I'll be over to pick you up in an 

"Mulder? What...."

"Shake the cobwebs out, Scully. You with me?"

"Yeah, I just... wow, I just had the wildest dream."

"Oh yeah? How was I? Never mind. Tell me about it on the 
plane to Texas. See you later."

Scully hung up the phone but instead of getting up, continued 
to lie in bed. The dream she'd just had was still quite vivid in 
her mind. She closed her eyes to recapture the passionate moment 
but was interrupted once again by the telephone. She didn't even 
get a chance to say hello first before Mulder started speaking.

"You got me curious now. I can't wait till later. Tell me 
about this wild dream."

"I was dreaming about Nick Knight."

"Oh, the dead guy? What happened?"

"Well, for one, he wasn't dead. He came to see me at my 
apartment and he just started kissing me. I pushed him away when I 
felt his fangs and then I saw he had golden eyes. He admitted to 
being a vampire. And he asked me if I minded, which for some 
reason, I didn't. Then we kissed some more as he lifted me up and 
flew me into the bedroom." 

"Then what happened?" asked Mulder, finding the dream 
somewhat intriguing.

"My idiot partner called and woke me up."
     "Oh, sorry. But it's funny you should mention Knight. I 
had a dream last week about Mr. LaCroix, the guy who showed up to 
claim Knight's body. It was really odd, considering that I only 
met the man for a moment while you were getting your checkup. But 
anyway, in the dream, we were out in the middle of nowhere in the 
dead of night and he started to suck on my finger."

"He sucked on your finger?"

"Yeah. Then he told me that maybe would could get together 
later sometime. Hey, that's not funny," Mulder protested against 
his partner's outburst of laughter.

"If it's not, then I don't know what is," Scully giggled. 
"Thank you, Mulder. That certainly helped to wake me up."

She hung up the phone again, then rose from her bed and 
headed for the bathroom. When the phone rang yet again, she 
grumbled under her breath as she snatched up the receiver.

"Look, Mulder, if you expect me to be ready when you come to 
pick me up, you've got to stop playing with the phone."

There was no reply on the other end. Scully called out 
Mulder's name twice, then was about to hang up when suddenly, 
piano music began playing. It sounded classical in nature and 
Scully reasoned by the rich tones that it was not a recording she 
was hearing. She couldn't think of anyone she knew with classical 
training. It was possible that the caller had dialed a wrong 
number and she was not meant to be the recipient of this impromptu 
serenade. She tried a couple of times to get the caller's 
attention, but the music continued to play. Finally, she just 
remained quiet and listened.

It was a beautiful piece, the kind of song that might be 
played in fine restaurants to accompany a romantic, candlelit 
dinner or end up in a music box. Scully sat down on the edge of 
her bed and listened for another minute and a half until the piano 
played its final, heartwarming notes. Though she expected to hear 
a voice after the song finished, there was only silence on the 
other end.

"That was lovely," said Scully, hoping to get a word out of 
the caller. "You play beautifully."

The only response she received was in the playing of two 
notes which sounded as though someone was using the music to say 
thank you. After that, the line went dead. Scully instantly dialed 
star-69 in hopes of reaching the person who had just hung up. All 
she got was an operator recording telling her that her call could 
not be completed as dialed. Perhaps it had just been a wrong 
number and the shy caller had meant to serenade someone else. It 
couldn't have possibly been meant for her, could it? At any rate, 
it was a nice way to start her morning; a sexy dream starring a 
handsome lover, a good laugh provided by her partner, and a mini 
concert over the phone. She doubted seriously if the rest of her 
day would be as nice. As she headed for her shower, she wondered 
what sick horrors could possibly be waiting for her in Texas.


Paris, France

Nick sat staring glumly at the piano keys. He was still 
depressed over Natalie's death, but the pain wasn't as 
overwhelming as before. He had spent the last month composing a 
song in her honor. Since he was unable to play it for his beloved, 
he decided to play it for the woman who had become somewhat of a 
substitute. When Nick dialed the number and heard the voice on the 
other end, he had wanted so much to talk to her but he knew in 
doing so would only lead to trouble. To Agent Scully, he had died 
back on that mountain in his cabin. It wouldn't be fair to her to 
reveal himself now. She was going on with her life, as well she 
should. The song had been a simple way of thanking her. Dana 
Scully, like Natalie, had put aside her fear and risked her life 
in order to help him. Because of her unselfishness, his life was 
back on track. The severe headaches were a thing of the past and 
the alternate personality of Nicholas de Brabant had thus far, not 

Nick put his fingers to the keys and began playing an encore. 
As he tickled the ivory, he recalled Natalie's ghost suggesting 
that he get someone else to take over the work she had started in 
regards to him finding a cure for vampirism. Briefly, he 
considered that perhaps Agent Scully might be willing to continue 
the research, but he shook that thought out of his mind. He'd 
already promised himself that he would not get involved with 
another mortal. Besides, he was restricted from socializing with 
them at all for the next ten years as part of his probation which 
included surprise visits by the Enforcers and constant supervision 
by LaCroix.

Speaking of the devil, his master entered the parlor and 
stepped up behind him. He didn't even flinch when LaCroix placed a 
hand on his shoulder. There had been a time when he would have 
instantly shrugged it off, unable to stomach his touch. But for 
the past month, the elder vampire had shown him nothing but 
understanding and kindness. It made him wonder if LaCroix had not 
developed multiple personalities and his real one had been forced 
into submission. Of course, it was probably due to the simple fact 
that Nick was behaving as a normal vampire. His pursuit of a 
mortal life had been temporally abandoned and his thirst for human 
blood had for the time being, won out over cow's blood. It made 
LaCroix happy, and if LaCroix was happy, then Nick's existence 
would be peaceful.

"I do enjoy hearing you play, Nicholas. I'm glad you've 
finally found the desire to compose again. That melody is quite 

"I'm glad you think so," Nick replied softly. "I plan to play 
nothing else for the next ten years."

"Still in a mood, I see." LaCroix walked around to the other 
side of the grand piano so that he could face his offspring. "I've 
planned a little surprise for you. It's something I'm sure will 
lift your spirits somewhat."

"And what would that be?"

"Hello, Nichola."

Nick's hands froze on the piano keys when he heard that 
voice. LaCroix's presence was so strong that he had completely 
masked that of his daughter. She stood right behind him. Her right 
hand settled on his shoulder, then slid halfway down his chest. He 
grasped it gently and brought it to his lips.

"LaCroix told me about Natalie," she spoke delicately. "I 
know what it feels like now to lose a mortal you've grown to love. 
I'm sorry for your loss."

Nick turned to look at her. She was as beautiful as ever with 
her long, raven hair pulled back into a French roll and tendrils 
cascading along the sides. Her pale, alabaster complexion was 
offset by sparkling, blue eyes and ruby lips. He gently guided her 
around the bench so that she could sit down next to him, then 
wrapped his arms about her possessively.

"I'm sorry, Janette," he spoke, choking back the tears. "I 
know I didn't respect your wishes. You had the chance to leave 
this world a mortal, but I took that away from you. I don't blame 
you for hating me. But I just couldn't bare the thought of losing 
you forever. Please forgive me. I'm sorry."

Janette eased away from him slightly so that she could look 
into his tearful eyes. "What is it about you, Nichola that 
prevents me from staying angry with you?"

That got a smile out of him. He wanted to ask if she was back 
to stay but decided that would be too pushy. He was lucky she 
wanted to see him at all. She granted him a simple kiss on the 
lips, then patted his cheek lightly.

"Play for me, Nichola. I want to hear my favorite."

Out of all the songs she'd been exposed to during the 
centuries, only one had become her all time favorite, mainly 
because it was an upbeat love song that two could play at the same 
time and she enjoyed trying to keep up. Without hesitation, Nick 
began playing the first chords of "Heart and Soul." After a 
moment, he gave Janette the cue to join in with her part. When she 
hit the wrong keys, they both broke out into laughter, and Nick 
started his part over again.

LaCroix smiled in contentment to see his children together 
again and sharing a laugh. It was good to have his family back 
under one roof. It had been far too long. The master vampire made 
himself comfortable in a wingback chair and listened as the 
laughter grew while the song suffered. His thoughts strayed to 
include a certain American, government employee. Agent Mulder 
would indeed make a fine addition to his little family. Janette 
surely wouldn't mind a new brother, although Nicholas would 
probably scoff at depriving another mortal the opportunity to grow 
old and die. And then there was Agent Scully, who would probably 
be the true deciding factor in Agent Mulder's final choice. 
LaCroix decided that he would take his time with the matter. A 
decade wasn't long to wait at all. He knew from experience that 
acting too hastily could easily lead to the creation of a problem 
child, and though he truly loved the one he already had, he 
certainly didn't want another one.


Th-th-th-that's all folks!

Hope you enjoyed it!

Virtual flowers or simple words
of praise graciously accepted.

Fran Glass aka


p.s. If you don't know the song "Heart and Soul" it was featured 
in the movie, "BIG." It's the duet Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia 
stomped out on the floor piano.