Rosebud (Parts 1 to 7)
By Soulseeker

----------------------------------------- Standard Disclaimers and Copyright Apply.
The time had finally come. She didn't know why she was
surprised, it was inevitable. Oh how she dreaded this day. She had been
postponing it long enough and now she knew she had to do it. She typed
her response and e-mailed it. It was done. She would meet him tonight,
10pm at the restaurant. Now she just had to figure out what to wear to
meet a man who's real name she didn't even know. She knew him as Rosebud
and he knew her as Doc. They had been chatting via E-mail for months and
she found him to be very charming. She really hoped he wasn't a
psychopath or a serial killer. Part of her couldn't wait to meet him
and part of her dreaded the meeting. What if he didn't find her
attractive or worse yet what if he did?

She arrived at the lobby of the restaurant twenty minutes early.
The lobby was on the main floor of the CN Tower. She sat in one of the
large green armchairs and awaited the arrival of her date. Within
minutes a man wearing a black overcoat entered the lobby walked toward
her. Shocked, she could barely speak.

" Lacroix? "

" Doctor Lambert. "

" Rosebud? "

" Yes and you must be Doc. "

" Uh huh. "

" What a pleasant surprise. Shall we? "

Lacroix presented his arm for Natalie, hesitantly she accepted. Lacroix
led Natalie to the elevator that would take them to the revolving
restaurant on top of the CN Tower. The ride up was a silent one. The
restaurant itself was quiet with the only noise being classical music playing softly in the
background. The host escorted them to a table in the almost deserted
restaurant. The view of Toronto at night was spectacular.

" The view from here is amazing. "

"Ah yes, from the night sky Toronto is a beautiful city. "

" I guess you've experienced this view of Toronto many times. "

" Flying does have its advantages, Doctor. "

" Please call me Natalie. "

" Natalie. Such a lovely name. "

" Thank you. And what should I call you? "

" Lacroix will do for now. "

" Okay. So tell me Lacroix why did you want to meet me? Surely there are
easier ways to find a midnight snack. "

" I am offended Natalie that you think so very little of me after all we
have shared. I wished to meet you simply because I thought I would enjoy
your company. "

" Forgive me if I am skeptical, but last time we met for dinner you
wanted to kill me. "

" But I did not, nor did I allow Nicholas to kill you. Natalie no harm
will come to you tonight. "

" For some reason I believe you. "

" Good. Now shall we order? "

Natalie ordered the lobster while Lacroix order the New York
steak, rare. Conversation was minimal while Natalie enjoyed her dinner
and Lacroix merely watched her every once in a whlie pushing the food
around his plate. As soon as Natalie had finished her last bite Lacroix

" Did you enjoy your lobster? "

" Yes, I did. I can see that you didn't enjoy yours. I guess your not
fond of cow. "

" I'll leave the cow for Nicholas since it seems to be his meal of
choice these days. Do you care for some dessert? "

" I thought you'd never ask. "

Natalie ordered a slice of Chocolate Overdose Cake.

" Mortal women seem to be very fond of chocolate. I can not not see the
appeal of such a food. "

" Chocolate for us is the like the sweetest of blood would be for you. "

" I can see why it appeals to you then. "

As Lacroix watched Natalie savour each bite of her chocolate cake

Paris, France, 1013

As he walked through the almost desserted streets of Paris you
saw a beautiful young woman rushing towards him. He marveled at the
sight of her. He could see the passion and fear in her eyes. He knew at
that moment that he had to have her, had to taste her blood. She stopped
in front of him and started to speak, but he could not hear her words
over the sound of her racing heartbeat. He took her then and there.
Although, he had only intended to taste her blood when the first drop
reached his mouth he knew he couldn't stop. The sweetness of her warm
blood was unlike any he had had before. When he had finished draining
her he hunted the streets taking as many victims as he could until dawn
trying to quench his hunger, but none could match the taste of her


Lacroix had never found blood like that again. Thinking about
her had awakened his blood hunger to level he hadn't felt in many years
and he knew he had to quench it soon or risk losing all control.

Natalie watched as that all to familiar look came over Lacroix's
face. He was obviously off in the past somewhere. Lacroix was doing the
same thing Nick always did to her. It wasn't until now that she realized
how much it annoyed her. Then she noticed it, the slight flicker of gold
in his eyes. She realized that she'd better snap him out of it before he
vamped out in front of everyone.

" Earth to Lacroix. "

" ...Yes? "

She could see it in his eyes, the struggle to maintain control.

" I think we should be going. "
" Yes, I think that would be a good idea."

Lacroix motioned the waiter over and requested the bill. He
payed the bill and escorted Natalie to the elevator. It took all his
control not to bite into the elevator operator, whose neck was exposed
and just inches away. He tried to ignore the sound of his heart
beating as it thundered in his ears. Lacroix could feel the vampire
rising in him with every beat of his heart. He couldn't lose control,
not now with her beside him. If it were anyone else, he would not
hesitate. Lacroix could feel his fangs descend. Finally, the elevator
halted its descent and the doors opened.

" Lacroix, are you coming? "

" .........Lacroix? "

".. Yes, my dear Natalie. "

" Did you drive here? "

" Of course not. Why drive when you can fly. "

" I'll drive you home then. "

" No. That would not be a good idea. "

" I insist. That way I know that I have at least one less autopsy to do
tomorrow. "

" Natalie, I promise to go straight home, without stopping for a snack.
Now I must be going. "

" Lacroix, thanks for tonight, I had a good time. "

" As did I, Natalie. I do hope we can do this again. "

" I would like that. Goodnight. "

" Goodnight, Natalie. "

Lacroix watched as Natalie made her way out of the building. He
quickly walked toward the nearest exit. He took to the air as soon as he
was outside savouring the freedom of the night. He reached the Raven
within minutes. The Raven was a buzz with mortal activity. Lacroix
headed for his private room where he could abate his hunger without the
mortals to tempt his control. If it wasn't for Natalie, he would have
taken a mortal to quench his hunger. Now he understood Nicholas's
motivation to continue his foolish quest for humanity.

Natalie arrived home shortly after 2:00am to a barrage of
telephone messages. She listened to Nick's frantic voice, over and over
again asking her to call him. He must have left 12 messages. Just what
she needed to end an enjoyable evening. She hit the first button on her
callers list.

" Nick? "

" Nat, thank God. Are you all right? "

" Yes, Nick. Why wouldn't I be? "

" I was worried when you didn't show up here at 9:00pm. "

" Nick, I wasn't supposed to come over tonight. "

" Of course you were. We were supposed to watch the new vampire series,
Kindred: The Embraced tonight. Remember? "

" Sorry Nick, I don't recall making any plans with you. "

" Oh.... Nat? ‘

" Yes, Nick? "

" Where were you tonight? "

" I went out with a friend. "

" Who? "

" No one important. "

" Does this person have a name? "

" Yes. "

" Well? "

" Well what? "

" Nat, why won't you tell me this person's name? "

" Because, Nick, it really isn't any of your business. "

" I'm sorry you feel that way. Goodnight Nat. "

" Nick? ...... "

Natalie hung up the phone and headed to the kitchen to get
Sydney a can of wiskas. After feeding Sydney she headed to the bedroom
to get changed in her cotton nightgown. When she had finished changing
she climbed into bed. After 10 minutes of laying in bed staring at the
ceiling Natalie reached over and switched on the radio on her night
stand. She set it to scan and in a matter of minutes she heard it, a
soothing voice that penetrated her very soul.

" Tonight my gentle listeners we talk about love. Love can warm even the
coldest of hearts. It can tear your heart into a million little pieces
or it can heal even the worst of broken hearts. Not even the purest form
of hate can compare to the power of love. Love makes fools of us all
but yet we must have it. "

Lacroix could feel the presence of his wayward son. He hit play
on the cd player and headed out of his booth. Nicholas was at the bar
with a glass of special stock in hand. Lacroix headed for him.

" Nicholas. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? "

" Not now Lacroix. "

" Why Nicholas, you do seem, upset. Whatever is the matter? "

" I don't want to talk about it. "

" Whatever would Dr. Lambert say if she knew you were drinking human
blood again? "

" I don't think she'd care either way. "

" Do I sense trouble in paradise? "

" Lacroix, I'm in no mood for your games. "

" She has broken your heart hasn't she, Nicholas? "

" I think Natalie has finally decided to move on with her life. "

" I am sorry Nicholas, but you could not have really believed that she
would wait forever for you. "

" I should have told Natalie how I felt about her. I should have told
her I loved her. "

" If she has moved on then so must you. "

" I cannot.... I will not. "

" Oh, Nicholas, you will only cause yourself and her more pain. "

" I cannot live without her, Lacroix. I have to try and get her back. "

" Nicholas, don't be foolish. "

" Lacroix, I have go. "

" Do what you must Nicholas. "

" Goodnight Lacroix."

" Goodnight Nicholas. "

Once Nicholas was gone Lacroix headed back to his booth to
continue with his radio show. Nicholas' visit had given him both hope
and despair.

" My children of the night, how do you know when your love is true? Does
your heart bleed with the prick of unrequianted love? Will those 3 words
you were never able to say be your downfall? Does love really conquer
all or is that just a myth dreamt up by lovesick fools? .......The
Nightcrawler wants to hear from you. "


Natalie's eyes closed as Lacroix's voice lulled her to sleep.
She had never realized before now how powerful his voice was.


Lacroix sat in his booth looking out into the crowd at Raven
through his mirrored window. He was torn between his son and himself. He
wanted Nicholas to be to happy but he deserved happiness as well and
Natalie seemed to be the centre of both their happiness. Although the
difference was, Nicholas had always managed to find someone else to
love, but not him. Lacroix had only found brief happiness with his
beloved Fleur and that was nearly 800 years ago. No one since had
managed to stir heart except the beautiful Natalie Lambert. If he

pursued his feelings for Natalie then he would risk losing Nicholas and
they had grown so close lately. If he did not pursue his heart then he
would possibly be sacrificing his only chance of finding love and for
what, an ungreatful child. Lacroix was not ready to decide either way.


Nick flew to Natalie's apartment. He was determined to declare
his love for her and convince her not to give up on him. He arrived at
her apartment shortly before dawn. Nick stood at her door and listened.
One heart beat, thank god she was alone, he couldn't have bared it if
someone had been with her. Nick let himself in and slowly made his way
to the bedroom. Once he reached the bedroom door, he could see her
sleeping form. Natalie looked for peaceful, so innocent. Sydney jumped
off the bed and came running toward him, his little motor purring away.
Nick stood and watched Natalie for what seemed like hours, every moment
his love for her growing. He couldn't bare to disturb her, so he
decided to leave. As he crossed the living room, he was stopped dead in
his tracks by a ray of sun light. He was stuck at Natalie's until the
sunset. Natalie wasn't going to be happy when she woke up and found him
laying on her couch.


Natalie awoke shortly after 11:00am and headed straight for the
kitchen to get her morning coffee. She was reaching for her favorite
mug when she noticed him. Nick was fast asleep on her couch. After the
initial shock wore off, Natalie's fear rose. Something had to be wrong.
She quietly made her way over to the couch. He didn't look injured. He
actually looked peaceful.

" Nick? "

".....Nick? "

Natalie reached out and lightly touched his face.

" Nick? "

".....uhhh......Nat? "

" Nick, what's wrong? "

" Nothing is wrong "

" Then, what are you doing here? "

" I.. ummm...I had to talk to you. "

" About? "

" About last night. "

" Yes? "

" Nat, I need to know something. "

" What? "

" Is there someone else? "

" What do you mean? "

" Nat, are you dating someone? "

" Nick, don't be silly. I just went out with a friend. Only a friend. "

" Oh. Good. "

" Good? "

" I mean that's good to know. "

" Is that the only reason you are here? "

" No...I ..uh.. needed to tell you something. "

" What? "

Nick got up off the couch and stood in front of Natalie. He
reached out and tenderly took her hands in his own.

" I...uh.. about you, Nat. "

" I care about you too, Nick. "

Natalie's heart raced as Nick leaned forward. His lips lightly
touched her forehead. Her heart sank as he pulled away from her and sat
on the couch.

Nick and Natalie spend a quiet day at the apartment watching
talk shows. By the time the sun had set, Natalie had lost all desire to
be around Nick. She was too upset by his lack of closeness. She needed
him to tell her how he felt about her and of course he wouldn't. Natalie
get away.

" Nick, I have some errands to run. "

" Oh. I guess I'll see you later at work than. "

" I have the night off. "

" Again? Thats 2 nights in a row. "

" Yes, I needed a break. "

" Nat, why don't you come over to the loft after I get off work, we rent
movies. "

" I was planning on going to bed early and catch up on my sleep. Maybe
another night. "

" Oh. Ya, maybe another night. "

" Bye Nick. I'll talk to you tomorrow. "

" Bye Nat. "

Finally Nick left, his heart feeling no more relief than when he
had first arrived. Natalie grabbed her purse and headed out the door.
She arrived at the Raven, shortly after 9:00 pm. The Raven was scarsely
populated with only a few regular patrons. Natalie noticed Lacroix
standing by the bar and headed toward him.

" Hello Lacroix. "

" Good evening Natalie. To what do I owe the pleasure of this visit? "

" I needed to come. "

" Ahh.. I'm afraid if you are looking for Nicholas you won't find him
here. "

" I know. I'm not here to see Nick, I came here to see you. "

" Then it is good to see again. "

" And you. "

" Maybe I assume that this is a pleasurable visit? "

" Yes. "

" Shall we go somewhere less noisy? "

" Yes. "

Lacroix led Natalie to his apartment above the Raven. The
apartment was tastefully decorated with deep red and black as the
central colors. The kitchen was off to the left of the enterance and
looked like it had never been used. Natalie was tempted to open up all
the cupboards and see what was in them. The living room was rather
spacious with a leather sofa, oak cofffee table taking up the most room.
After taking everything in Natalie had the urge to wonder down the hall
and see what the bathroom and bedroom looked like. She wondered if he
was as fond of black satin sheets and pjamas as Nick.

" Natalie, would you like something to drink? "

" Yes, thank you. "

" I have red wine, champayne, juice, evian water and diet Pepsi. "

" Diet Pepsi, please. "

" Of course. Why don' t you make yourself comfortable. "

Natalie sat on the leather sofa, relaxing in its comfort, and
watched Lacroix in the kitchen with mild amusement. He was obviously
prepared for mortal guests.

" Natalie would you like something to eat as well? "

" That would be great. What do you have? "

" Chocolate cookies and cream ice cream, double fudge chocolate cake,
chocolate cheese cake and chocolate
bars. "

" I'm begining to see a pattern. "

" Natalie, you did say you chocolate was like the sweetest of blood and
I serve nothing less than the best. "

" Okay. I'll start with a small piece of double fudge chocolate. "

" Only a small piece? "
" If I have a larger one, my scale will hate me tomorrow. "

" Yes, of course. Mortals are plagued with such problems. "

Lacroix handed Natalie her small piece of cake and then watched
as she took the first tantilizing bite. Natalie became self concious
when she noticed Lacroix staring at her. In her haste to finish the cake
Natalie bit her top lip.

" Ouch! "

" Are you all right? "

" Uh.. Yah.. I accidentally bit my lip. "

Lacroix watched as a trickle of blood formed in the corner of
her mouth. It sat there tempting him unlike anything else could. Desire
over whelmed him, he knew he had to have her.

Lacroix couldn't take her, he wouldn't take her, not like this.
But the smell of her fresh sweet blood cried out to be tasted. He took
her in his arms and his lips touched hers. Lacroix's tongue parted her
lips. Then it hit him the sweet taste of her blood on his tongue. As his
passion rose his control was quickly dying.
( This is the point in which Rosebud 6: The Untold Story comes into
play ).
Lacroix could see and feel her life in her blood. Such sweetness. Then
he felt it. It was just a flash and then it was gone. Such pain and
sorrow. The power of it lingered. What had happened to her for her to
have such pain. He was torn. How could he resist knowing her very soul,
but he couldn't risk losing her. Lacroix would not do it, he would not
risk it. Lacroix would not lose his heart and soul to a few minutes of
pleasure that would not lastand would not comfort him in his darkest
hour. The time would come when she would join him in the night, but for
now he had to get control. Lacroix released his embrace of Natalie, got
up and headed to the kitchen. He poured himself a glass of blood wine.
Natalie watch Lacroix with analystic interest. She had been completely
taken back by his kiss and wasn't sure what meaning it held. Finally,
Lacroix came back to the living room and sat down at the other end of
the sofa.

" I do apologize for my abrupt departure. "

" No problem. It must be a struggle to maintain control over the blood
lust. "

" Not usually for one my age. "

" Really? And how old would that be? "

" Almost 2000yrs as a vampire. "

" And I thought Nick was old. "

" Hardly. "

" Are there many your age? ‘

" No, only a few. Most were hunted and staked hundreds of years ago. "

" Were you ever hunted? "

" Countless times, most of them were because of Nicholas. "

" Nick? "

" Nicholas was always in to some kind of trouble. He is my wayward son.

" He does have a knack for getting in trouble. Since I've know him he's
been stabbed and shot countless times. It's a good thing he heals
quickly. "

Natalie and Lacroix danced around the topic that was truelly on
each of their minds, the kiss. Natalie had begun to Lacroix in a new
light. Unlike Nick, Lacroix seemed to be more upfront with his feelings.
She remember how long it took Nick to kiss her, almost 2 years.

Toronto 1992

Nick had been waiting for her in her apartment when she had
gotten home from a date. Her date was the first in a very long time.
Nick had come because it was late and he was worried about her. She
assured him she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself and that
her date had been a perfect gentleman. Natalie could see the jealousy in
his eyes. Nick told her he was glad and headed for the door. Then, he
abruptly stopped and turned to face her. He said he didn't want her to
see him anymore and when Natalie asked why he reached for her hands and
pulled her close to him. Nick's embrace was like like heaven to her.
Then, Nick leaned down and his lips grazed hers. Natalie's heart sped
up. She had been dreaming about this moment for a long time. She
reveled in the taste of his cool lips. As their kiss deepend she felt
it, the emerging fangs. Her heart stopped and cried out, wait, not now,
but it was too late Nick had pulled away. Nick left immediately after
apologizing to her. That kiss had sustained her for a long time and
given her hope of future with Nick.

Natalie laughed silently to herself, hope was all it was and she could
not longer live on hope alone. She needed some stability and
companionship in her life. With all the death she had seen she knew how
short mortal life was and unlike Nick, she didn=t have time to spare.

Before Natalie realised it, dawn was nearing. The time had passed
quickly. Lacroix had entertained Natalie with stories of the past. She
had been fascinated with his stories about Roman before he was brought
across. The one thing that intrigued her was that in not one of the
stories had he mentioned being in love. Sure he'd mentioned various
women, but none of them seemed significant in his life. He talked about
his daughters, Divia with such sadness and Janette with joy. There was
no doubt that he loved both without reservation. It was obvious when he
spoke of Nick that he had all the pride of a true father. It amazed
Natalie that Nick seemed obvious to it.

Just as Natalie was about to relax and allow herself to enjoy another
story Lacroix suggested she go back to her apartment and get some rest.
Natalie grudgingly agreed. Sleep was the last thing on her mind. She
would sooner be here enjoying his company then alone in her bed. Lacroix
walked her to the door and helped her with her coat. They stood there
for just a moment too long in the uncomfortable silence each trying to
decide what the appropriate good bye would be. Lacroix broke the
silence, "I did enjoy our visit and I do hope you will come again,
soon." Natalie s heart raced as his hand brushed against hers. At that
moment she could almost feel the touch of his lips on hers. Natalie
looked into his eyes and she could see his desire. "Lacroix, I had a
very good time and I really do hope we can do this again."

Lacroix took a step closer to Natalie. "Would tomorrow evening be
agreeable to you?" He could smell the sweet scent of her blood and feel
her hot breath on his cool skin. He was close enough to easily steal a
kiss from her lush lips, but he could not bring himself to risk it

"Yes, that is agreeable. I get off work at about 2am. I ll come to the
Raven when I finish work."

"Very good. I look forward to seeing you then. Good night Natalie."

"Good night Lacroix and thank you for tonight." Natalie turned and
headed down the hall into the club. Lacroix watched her walk gracefully
away. Once she had disappeared Lacroix eased the door shut. He could
still smell her sweet scent in the air. He allowed his vampire nature to
emerge and control to fade. With amazing speed he was the fridge and
moments later he had downed two bottles of human blood. By the fourth
bottle his hunger was not even close to being sated. Once he finished
the fourth bottle he moved away from the fridge and toward his bedroom.
Slowly his eyes changed back to their normal brilliant blue and his
fangs retracted.

Natalie smiled to herself as she thought of the passionate kiss she had
shared with Lacroix. She had not been kissed like that for a very long
time. Nick. What would he say if he knew Natalie stopped herself. What
Nick thought or said was not important anymore she had to live for
herself. She wasn t going to live her life on what ifs. Lord knows how
many of Nick s women or necks of the week as she liked to refer to
them she had to suffer through. Nick sure didn t pay much attention to
her feeling during the moments when he was joyously telling her about
them. Now things would be different. If only Lacroix hadn t had to pull
away at during their kiss. That kiss held a promise of so much more to
come and Natalie was eager to enjoy it all.

Natalie switched the radio on and half expected to hear his soothing
voice easing her into oblivion.

\ The very first time you said my name
I knew it would never sound the same
Something about me changed forever \

Her thought turned yet again to Lacroix and the kiss.

\ Can't you see
I am swept away
No one in the world but you and I
Gotta find a way to make you feel the way that I do
I am swept away
Without a warning
Like night when the morning begins the day
I was swept away, away \

To be continued