Magic's Price
by Tammy J Morrison
circa July 1997

Natalie had awoke in her apartment a couple of hours before dawn.
Chills running down her spine, she had a very bed feeling about
something. The only question now was, 'what'? She moved around her
apartment with an increasing feeling of uneasyness. Even Sidney
felt it as, he hunched and hissed at her. That was treatment he
normally reserved for Nick, she wondered if maybe she had been
hanging around Nick so long the vampire 'scent' had worn off.

"Easy Sid, I'll just feed you okay?" Natalie edged her way to his
food bowl and filled it with 'curdled kitty crunchies' to use
Nick's terminology. Sid's eyes had been wild as he followed her
every movement through the kitchen. 'Weird, really weird' she
thought as she rose and moved towards her fridge. She was famished
but the strange thing was she couldn't make up her mind as to what
she wanted. Sighing heavily, she moved to her bathroom and
proceeded to shower. She took her time here, enjoying what little
tension relief the warm water spray offered her and wishing that
she had a partner to enjoy it with her, 'At least running water
doesn't repulse them' she thought to herself and giggled.

She climbed out of the shower, beginning to towel dry her hair, and
pat down her body. She looked up into the mirror, critically eyeing
herself for grey hairs and/or an increase in wrinkles. Each one she
would find was a day closer to Nick leaving, 'if only..' the
thought began to cross her mind and then she banished it. Looking
away from the mirror for a moment, she turned to pick up her hair
stuff and as she turned back, a flash of gold eyes and a faded
reflection greeted her in the mirror. The only problem was, they
were hers.


Natalie drove quickly to Nick's loft. Unsure of the state she was
in, she had to brave the sun somehow, that she knew. She had to get
answers from Nick now. She had barely stopped herself from
collapsing, whether in tears or in joy she didn't know, when she
had seen her reflection in the mirror. Then as quickly as the
change had come, it went back to normal. She would have dismissed
it as a hallucination or as wishful thinking, except for the
difference in the way she had felt when she had been a 'vampire'.
She had bundled herself into all the heavy, most covering clothes
she could find in her closet, luckily it was a bad week in late
January so that was explainable, tossed on a pair of sunglasses,
recoiled from a mirror when she saw that she bore a striking
resembalance to Janette in this outfit, and ran out to the parking
lot where she kept her car. Now as she drove to the loft, her mind
raced, she couldn't be that far gone, the sun hadn't hurt and she
hadn't smoked through all her layers, so that was a good thing.

How could this have happened? Who could have done it? Janette as
revenge on Nick for his indiscretion in turning her again, LaCroix
finally fed up with Nick's quest and giving Nick someone/thing else
to focus on, or someone she didn't know like an enforcer who had a
different style of doing things than most of them who just killed
without question. As she turned a corner into the sunset, the
change happened again, and the fading sunlight seared her with a
pain that made her scream in agony nearly losing control of her
car. Again as quickly as it came it faded but Natalie unwilling to
feel that pain again sped all the way to Nick's loft.

Natalie pulled into Nick's garage and rushed to the elevator,
stamping impatiently for the elevator to make it's trip, she again
felt the strange sensation flood over her and the burn marks on her
face from the sun healed but left her even hungrier. Finally, the
elevator stopped and Natalie pulled open the doors, not judging her
own strength they flew into their housings with a metallic crash of
bending metal. Nick was standing naked in a circle drawn of strange
squiggles and shapes that made Natalie feel incredibly uneasy. He
turned towards her and smiled broadly, "I did it, Nat. We can be
together. I'm human."


The sun was setting as LaCroix roused, an uneasyness pressing down
on him. He rolled out of his bed and looked around, there was a
wrongness with the very room. He heard a heartbeat. He looked
around wondering if one of the 'children' had brought him a gift.
Then the wrongness glared him in the face, he knew where the
heartbeat he heard thundering in his ears came from. It was his


"I found a book, Nat." Nick said as he stepped out of the circle and
stretched out kinked muscles, "I don't know how I managed to keep
it from LaCroix but I did." There was no answer from Natalie but in
Nick's enthusiasm he didn't notice. "It was a magic book, hear me
out Nat, it did it, I'm human, I have a heartbeat, I'm hungry and
it's not for blood. We can.." Nick let his words trail off as he
walked towards Natalie preparing to scoop her into his arms and
carry her to his bedroom. As he approached the phone rang, Nick
grumbled and almost didn't answer it but something made him. "Nick
Knight's residence, Knight speaking."

"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, NICHOLAS?" LaCroix's angry voice
answered him from across the telephone lines.

"Just released myself from you. I'm mortal, LaCroix", Nick replied

"As are we all, Nicholas", was LaCroix's only reply. Nick looked up,
confused at his former sire's comment, only to catch sight of
Natalie. She had removed her outer garments and as he watched her
she slowly removed her sunglasses to reveal glowing yellow eyes,
that dispite ruby trails of tears beginning to come from them, were
fixated on his throat.

Natalie began to stalk forward on Nick, she heard an inhuman growl
come from her throat. Nick just stood there like a deer in the
headlights, 'please Nick run', Natalie thought, 'I'm in first
hunger I don't think I can control, I don't know how to bring you
across, Oh god Nick run!' Natalie tried to force herself to say
something to push him into running but it was no good, anytime she
opened her mouth only a rumbling growl emitted from it. She could
hear LaCroix's voice calling Nick through the telephone line, but
Nick just stood there like a mouse cornered by a cat his hand
holding the telephone limp by his side. 'I won't kill, especially
not him. I love him', Natalie's mind thought, the mind of the
person not the vampire began to fight the hunger. Realizing the
power of that statement, Natalie began to use it as a mental mantra
to force herself into the kitchen where she knew Nick kept his
cow's blood, better a caroushe than killing Nick.

Nick came out of his stupor to see Natalie standing in his kitchen,
in front of his fridge, drinking from one of his green bottles, "Oh
god, what have I done?"

"S'okay Nick", Natalie mumbled past her fangs, "I'm under control
now. Just don't come to close or go shave or something alright."
She was trying to put a little humour into a very bad situation,
typical of her, and it brought Nick back to himself. Nick refrained
from following his urge to go to Natalie and hold her, knowing that
her control was fragile at this point and he had no interest in
having Natalie damn her immortal soul by killing him. Natalie
pulled another bottle from the fridge and chugged it down, "mmm,
that one was better than the others. Present from LaCroix, huh
Nick", she commented wryly.

Nick winced and nodded, "I'm so sorry, Nat. I didn't know, the
explanation of the spell had been burned, it was incomplete."

"In the immortal words of Dr. Venkman, 'What have you done Ray?'"
Natalie asked still trying to keep a bit of humour in her voice,
but Nick could tell by the look on her face that she was annoyed,
worried, angry, and most of all still hungry and fighting for
control. Nick started to walk towards her and she shook her head,
"keep your distance, Nick. I don't have your self-control, yet."

Nick took a couple of deep breaths to calm himself and then began to
speak, "I found a book, Nat. It had a spell in it, the spell
instructions were complete but the explanation of exactly what the
spell would do was burned. All I could see was that it would make
vampires human.."

"Where's the book, Nick?" Natalie asked, she had managed to drink
enough blood to make her eyes change back and her fangs recede.

"Over there", Nick pointed and Natalie walked to where the book was.

"Latin, huh? Oh well guess there are some advantages to medical
school." Natalie moved to a couch and sat down with it and began to
read. "Oh and Nick..." Nick looked up at Natalie from where he was
pacing a look of sheer agony on his face, "Do me a favour and get
dressed, you above all people should know how hard it is to control
when you're being constantly arroused."

Natalie shook her head, "Well Nick, I don't normally believe in
magic but I guess, well, I'm going to have to re-evaluate my
beliefs. Why do you keep doing this to me, Knight?" Nick looked
over at Natalie from his breakfast nook sheepishly, she noted
somewhat amusedly that Nick had found a cross somewhere and had put
it on. She didn't have the heart to inform him that it wasn't
bothering her in the least. Having faith in science and being
agnostic did have it's advantages when you're a blood sucking
monster. "As far as I can tell, Nick, well just how good is your

"As good as ever I suppose, I mean I speak alot of languages Nat

"Well, conjugation is touchy in Latin and even experts quarrel over
it at times. Besides this is fairly old, so you'd probably know
better than I would..." Natalie seemed to be avoiding saying what
she wanted to.

"And.." Nick looked at her impatiently.

"I think you made a mistake, Nick", as Nick gave her an 'oh really'
look, Natalie quickly amended, "I mean with the conjugation of this
phrase here Nick. I think what it means is that because of this
spell all vampires everywhere are now humans.."

"And if you're a vampire then..." Nick said comprehension lighting
in his eyes.

"Yeah, I think all of us have become like you were..." Natalie


Nick had had to do some fairly intense tutoring so that Natalie
could learn to fly. It was still risky for Nick, but there was no
other choice, going out on the streets, one of maybe a thousand
humans in a city full of vampires experiencing first hunger was
suicide. Even if Natalie did have an advantage over most of them in
a tutor and knowing what to expect from her condition, she wasn't
likely to be able to fight off the hoards that would attack to
claim one of a very few human victims available. They could see
milling hoards of 'undead' wandering the streets, some noticed them
and tried to follow but without the training that Natalie had
recieved they just couldn't lift off.

"I think I could get used to this part of being a vampire", Natalie
said thrilled with her ability to fly and carry Nick with her.

"I hope you won't have time to get used to it, Nat", Nick replied
guilt heavy in his voice, "No offense."

"I know", Natalie paused, "I just wish there was a way to have you
stay human if we manage to reverse what you did to everyone. It
just seems like we're always on opposite sides of the fence and
neither of us can build a ladder to get to the other."

Nick nodded, "I know Nat", was all he could say.

"So you really think, LaCroix will have an answer Nick?" Natalie
asked changing the subject.

"He's got a library. That much I know. He won't let me anywhere near
it, so there must be answers there. In this case he'll have to at
least let us see if he has a copy of the same book." Nick swallowed
knowing his life as a vampire was basically shot anyhow if the
enforcers found out who had pulled this little stunt off.

They settled near the back door of the Raven and Nick used a key
that he had been given to let himself in. "How dare you come here,
after what you've done Nicholas", LaCroix greeted his 'son', "And
bringing her here in that condition would be tolerable any other
day but not now."

"We're trying to fix the problem Nick created, LaCroix, and I've fed
so there shouldn't be too much of a problem", Natalie replied
defiantly thinking how easy it would be to reach out and twist her
nemesis' neck until it cracked. The light in her soul however would
not allow that kind of behavior even in respects to LaCroix. "You
do have blood around here, right?"

"Of course", LaCroix answered a slight sneer on his face.

"I know, dumb question", Natalie conceded, "Bring me a bottle please
and let's talk."

"It seems Nicholas, that you have 'lucked out'. The spell you have
used will only last til sunrise. So at that point all will return
to normal." LaCroix's face took on a superior look, "Of course
there will be a price for my silence."

Nick nodded, knowing already what his master would ask. "I'll pack,

"NO!", Natalie cried out in anguish, her eyes changing and fangs
descending in her rage, "You can't LaCroix. I'll kill you." Natalie
began to advance on LaCroix but Nick interposed himself between his
true love and his master.

Natalie looked into Nick's eyes and stopped, the rage going out of
her all at once. "There's no reason he can't take you with him, Dr.
All he has to do is bring you across in the morning. You've aquited
yourself quite well, I'd welcome you to the community. It's odd
that of all the vampires, Nicholas created tonight that the only
one of them, I will regret seeing return to humanity is you."

Nick and Natalie flew back to the loft, she landed them in his
living room through the skylight. "You won't will you, Nick?"

Nick's answer was silence. He took off the cross, "Don't want that
around my neck when the sun rises when we all return to what we
were." Nick continued to pack some of his belongings into a large
trunk. "I'll send for the rest later."

"I'd bring you across, if you'd ask me Nick, if I were in your
position. It's not that bad, I can handle it, I won't kill, I
promise", Natalie begged.

Nick looked at Natalie with sorrow in his eyes, "You've only been
one for one night, and you're not trapped. I've been like that for
over seven hundred and fifty years. Tommorrow everyone who was a
vampire tonight will wake up a human."

Natalie stood there for a moment as if digesting what he had just
said, bloody tears pouring from her eyes, then suddenly she mumbled
to herself, "Vampire tonight. Human tommorrow." She looked up at
Nick who was trying not to look at her and asked, "How many hours
til sunrise?"

"Only about one", Nick said quietly.

"And how long does it take to be brought across", Natalie asked.

"Not long, a few minutes occasionally it'll take longer, an hour at
the most", Nick looked at Natalie confused, "Why are you asking?"

Natalie grinned ferally, it might work, it might not but anything
was worth a try at this point, "You'll thank me in the morning!"
and she began to advance on Nick with her fangs barred and eyes

"Hey, Nat, no wait..."

Nick awoke sleepily on his living room floor with sunlight cascading
around his body, warming his skin. There was a gently snoring
Natalie Lambert lying next to him her chest rising and falling
rythmically. There was something missing, and Nick grasped it
instantly. He was lying in the rays of the sun, Natalie's beating
heart was no longer a dinner bell for him in fact he could no
longer hear it and her blood no longer sang to him like a bottle of
good wine. The vampire was gone.

Nick remembered his mistake of last night and knew LaCroix would not
be happy about this recent turn of events. His old master would
either kill him or bring him back across for his indiscretion of
becoming human again. Somehow Natalie, in her fledgling state, had
lucked out and managed to bring him across. He had awoken hungry
and his new master/lover had been there with a bottle to greet him
so he could feed. Then they had layed down together holding each
other to face what ever the sun would bring. As the sun had rose,
they had fallen unconscious and only had awoken now. It seemed
unlikely that they could run from LaCroix and he wanted to enjoy at
least one day with Natalie, playing in the sun, making love. So he
shook her awake.

"Nat, love", Nick gently jostled her.

"Nick, oh my god.. Get out of the light", she began to push him out
from under the huge windows. Her hands brushed against the warm
flesh of his face and she stopped, laying her hands on his chest.
"You're breathing, you're HUMAN!" Natalie flung herself around him.
"How?" Natalie then pressed a finger to his lips, "I don't care
how, you're human."

"Don't you remember last night?" Nick asked. Natalie shook her head.
"You cured me." Nick answered slowly, not wanting to upset Nat with
the tale.

"Well I guess I'm not a threat to the community.. I have no idea of
how I managed it." Natalie sat looking puzzled. "What about
LaCroix, Nick... He'll try to take you back.. We have to run.."
Natalie looked panicked.

"There's no where on the planet we could hide, Nat", Nick said,
"Let's just enjoy today while it lasts."

"Oh Nick, no.." Natalie moaned and held him tightly. They stayed
curled around each other for an hour or two more and then went out
to enjoy the rest of the day. There were very few hours in the day
when they actually forgot about the impending doom of the evening.

They returned to the loft just before sunset, there was no use in
angering LaCroix further by not being there when he arrived. Nick
and Natalie held each other as the sun sank below the Toronto
skyline. It was now only a matter of time before LaCroix arrived.
There was no sound to announce him, just the sound of his angry
voice, "So she managed it. How I do not know, but it will not
last." LaCroix's eyes flashed golden and he stalked forward.

"I know LaCroix, I promised I'd leave with you tonight. I'll still
go." Nick walked towards his master acquiesant.

"Has her cure adled your mind, Nicholas. I did not see you last
night." LaCroix stalked forward slowly, "For her success, she'll be
rewarded with being your first meal of your new life with me."
LaCroix fixed Natalie with a glare that made her freeze in place.

Nick's mind was reeling. LaCroix had no recollection of his mistake,
not that it made any difference as his master had no intention of
allowing Nick to stay mortal. Nick picked up an old cane that sat
as a decoration to the side of one of the windows. "I'm not going
down without a fight, LaCroix."

"So much the better, my son", LaCroix sneered.

Then Natalie seemed to come to life and interposed herself between
Nick and LaCroix. "Wait, LaCroix, I have a better offer. A more
interesting game for you."

LaCroix looked suspicious at first and then smiled encouragingly,
"Oh really, do tell?"

Natalie looked guiltily at Nick, and then motioned for LaCroix to
follow her up the stairs to Nick's bedroom. Time passed at a crawl,
and then finally the two emerged. Natalie looked resigned, LaCroix
looked intrigued and triumphant. "She has won you your freedom with
her suggestion, Nicholas. I will check by from time to time. May you
have a long and 'productive' mortal life, my children." LaCroix
bowed ceremonially to Natalie and then with a rush of air exited
via the skylight.

Nick and Natalie were silent for a moment, holding each other. Nick
couldn't believe how easy it had been to get LaCroix to release his
hold over him. Then a thought rushed into Nick's mind, 'If it seems
to good to be true, it probably is.' A shiver went through Nick as
he asked, "Who's soul did you sell, Nat?"

"Mine, it's the only one I had to offer", she replied quietly into
the night.

The End