By Tammy J Morrison
circa July 1997
Disclaimer: All of the characters found within are property of Sony /
Tristar, James Parriot, and Paragon. (Although they don't deserve them,
IMHO.) I don't claim any copyright and I give them back in mostly the same
shape they were in when I borrowed them from character limbo.
An unexpected figure stood in the doorway of LaCroix's office. He looked
up not allowing the suprise to marr his look of studied indifference. "We
can't go on like this can we?"
"An odd and easily misunderstandable way of putting it but yes, as I have
been telling you for some time. There are but a few outcomes to your
predicament. Move on, or...." LaCroix stated matter-of-factly.
"You don't have to say it, LaCroix. It's time I made a choice."
"As I have been saying all along", Lacroix had a self satisified smirk on
The figure turned, not willing to accept that LaCroix had been right, even
if they now believed it.
Natalie was returning from a self prescribed exile from Toronto. One month
of accumulated holidays spent in the Bahamas. Her skin was tanned to a
pleasant golden colour, her hair had sunbleached highlights, and her eyes
sparkled with life. Nick had never seen her look so exuberant, so happy.
She looked as though she'd spent enough time in the sun for a lifetime, or
at least enough to make up for six years of self imposed darkness.
Natalie strolled up to him, "Hey good lookin', come to airports often?"
"Only to pick up beautiful, sun tanned women", Nick smiled as they walked
together towards the conveyor where Natalie's luggage circled at a lazy
"Good", Natalie smiled as she teased, "I might get jealous otherwise. I
told you I'd be back for your birthday! And you were worried.."
"Yeah, well.." Nick wanted to tell her how much he missed her, how empty
his nights had been since she had left, how much he felt but the same old
concerns stayed his words.
"You're lucky. I have your party all arranged", Natalie smiled
"A month in the Bahamas and you have it all arranged?" Nick shook his
head in amazement.
"Sure, you're not the only one with contacts, but it's a secret so don't
bother asking me about it til tommorrow. I already had Tracy book you off
with Reese." Natalie looked Nick in the eyes, daring him to contradict
Not wanting to fight a loosing battle, Nick conceded without a fight,
"Okay Nat... Do you want to go home or to the loft now?"
"I miss Sid, and Grace was bringing him home tonight. My home, not yours,
so I think my apartment." Natalie decided after giving it a little
"Can I come with you?" Nick asked hopefully.
"Now how am I supposed to make all the final arrangements with your
vampiric hearing in my little place", Natalie glared at him in annoyance.
"I take it that's a no", Nick gave her the wounded puppy look to no avail.
After a few moments they were at the Caddie.
"Come on Nick, it's not as though you won't see me tommorrow. Don't act
like you're trying to pack as many moments as you can into two days.
You'll make me nervous." Natalie quipped half seriously.
"I just like to spend all the time I can with you Nat", Nick answered.
She looked at him with a questioning look on her face and he turned away
unable to say what he needed to. The rest of the trip to Natalie's was
coated in a dread silence.
Nick arose the next night, to the buzzer of his security door. He walked
down his stairs and looked into the video monitor. A young man in tuxedo
held a long box and a card. "Yeah", Nick spoke into the intercom.
"Delivery for Nick Knight", the fellow spoke in a melodic voice.
"Come on up", Nick buzzed the door, a few moments later the young man was
in front of Nick in the elevator.
"A special birthday greeting for Nick Knight", the young man handed Nick
the box and card and then broke into song. "Happy birthday, ugh! Happy
Birthday, ugh! May the candles on your cake, burn like cities in your
wake. Happy Birthday, ugh! Happy Birthday, ugh! Death, destruction all
around, go ahead and eat you clown. Happy Birthday, ugh! Happy Birthday,
ugh! Now you've reached the age you are, your demise can not be far.
Happy Birthday, ugh! Happy Birthday, ugh!"
Nick smiled, Nat's weird sense of humour he had no doubt, The Volga
Birthday Song indeed. He pulled out his wallet and held out a fifty to
the fellow. "No need but thanks", the fellow said as he pocketed the
bill. Nick watched the fellow re-enter the elevator and close the door,
he turned his back as he heard the motor for the pulleys kick in. Opening
the box first, Nick found a single white long stem rose inside. He
smiled, it seems Natalie was turning the tables on him. Then he opened
the card, it read.
Meet me at the Raven
The Raven? That was a damn odd place for Natalie to be throwing a
birthday party for him at. Nick rushed up the stairs to get dressed and
was out the skylight on his way to the Raven in a blink.
Nick arrived and stormed in to find Natalie sitting quietly alone at a
table in the center of an empty Raven which had been totally lit with
candles. She was wearing a beautiful, strapless white gown with a full
skirt which was slit up the front so that her silk clad legs came out when
she walked to him. Her hair was pulled up with small ringlets framing her
face and decorated with baby's breath. Before he could start demanding an
explanation, she took his hands. "Please Nick, no questions. Everything
will be explained. Just come sit with me."
Nick looked frustrated but complied. One of LaCroix's retainers brought
out a salad and breadsticks, while another delivered a bottle of white
wine and a bottle of bloodwine for Nick. Natalie began to eat while the
retainer who had brought the wine poured glasses for them both. Nick
picked up his and sipped, he was somehow not suprised to find that it
LaCroix's house blend rather than his prefered type. Nick started to put
it down but Natalie shook her head. "Go ahead, Nick, drink." She
whispered. Nick looked into her eyes, there was no sign that she'd given
up in fact she looked even more determined than normal. Nick continued to
drink while low violin and guitar music played softly in the background.
"Did you like my invitation?" Natalie smiled mischeviously.
"'Now you've reached the age you are, your demise can not be far'. Really
cute, Nat", Nick smiled inspite of his discomfort at being at the Raven.
"I liked it", Nat said. Her smile lit the room more than all the candles
did, but the flickering light they provided complemented Natalie's looks
more than the harsh light of the 'little green room'.
"Why here?" Nick asked.
"Well, I can't exactly buy out a place the way you or LaCroix can, so I
had to hit up someone I know. Like it or not, I know LaCroix. We haven't
exactly been enemies lately with you getting shot and then the demon
thing." Natalie shrugged and continued eating her salad.
Nick nodded, still uncomfortable with the idea but maybe Nat was right,
LaCroix seemed to have mellowed somewhat lately. Probably because he knew
soon it would be time to move on and leave Natalie behind. LaCroix would
win. He gazed at her as she finished her salad, how would he go on
without her. Natalie's trip to the Bahamas had brought home how
accustomed he was to her presense and he couldn't imagine an eternity
without her. If he had been smart, he'd have left before the feelings had
gotten so strong. At least he had confidence she'd be okay, she was so
tough and capable. She didn't need him the way he needed her.
Natalie's second course was pheasant under glass. Nick was certain that
LaCroix had chosen the menu, not that Natalie didn't have the class to
pick things like that, but her tastes were simpler, more down to earth
than LaCroix's. Natalie ate daintily but still enjoyed her food, and Nick
drank just enjoying watching her. They made polite small talk, nothing
about work, just 'things', always avoiding the forbidden subject.
As Natalie finished she stood. "What about desert?" Nick asked desperate
that she was about to leave. "It's coming Nick", Natalie reassured him
and kissed the top of his head. Then she turned and walked through the
stage door at the back of the Raven.
Natalie climbed the stage and smiled at her players. LaCroix put down his
violin and Vachon smiled as he balanced his accoustic guitar and cracked
his knuckles. "I was getting tired of the classical stuff. A little pop
will suit just fine right about now." He shook his long hair and moved
further up behind the curtains.
"I will retire now, Doc.. Natalie", LaCroix moved off the stage and then
turned back to her, "I will be here if you have need of me. Good luck."
He turned on a dime and stalked away.
"Don't let him hassle you", Vachon reassured her, "All elders are like
that, except for Knight. Even Janette had a rep for being 'holier than
thou' as nice as she was to the 'youngsters'. I never met her but Urs
"Thanks Vachon." Natalie looked at him questioningly.
"I've given my word, Doctor. I owe you. Hell, we all owe you. I'm here
if you need me. I hope you don't", he reached out and layed a cool hand
on Natalie's arm smiling reassuringly.
"Let's get this show on the road then", Natalie said as she drew herself
up and pushed her way through the curtains.
Meanwhile, Nick sat nervously waiting for Natalie to reappear. He heard
movement on the stage and there she was standing quietly center stage. A
spotlight hit her and she looked up. "Happy Birthday Nick. This is your
real present." Natalie took a deep breath, letting it out to relax
herself and nodded to someone off stage. Beautiful strains of spanish
guitar echoed through the accoustics of the Raven for the intro and then
Natalie began to sing.
"Everything you are
Everything you'll be
Touches the current of love
So deep in me
Every sigh in the night
Every tear that you cry
Natalie swayed seductively to the music, like a cobra under the spell of a
snake charmer, only in this case the dangerous creature sat stalk still as
he was transfixed by the beauty of her voice as she sang without aid of a
"And all that I am
And all that I'll be
Means nothing at all
If you can't be with me
Your most innocent kiss
Or your sweetest caress
Nick heard the words but couldn't believe she meant them. His Natalie
willing to give up everything just to be with him. Her life couldn't mean
so little to her, he couldn't mean so much.
"I don't care about tommorrow
I've given up on yesterday
Here and now is all that matters
Right here with you is where I'll stay"
Natalie walked gracefully towards him down the stage stairs. Her eyes
locked with his as she sang this verse. She stopped only a foot or two
away from him. He could smell her blood as it coursed through her veins
mingling with the unique 'Natalie' smell of apples and cinnamon and the
musk of her arrousal, he could hear her thundering heart and most of all
he could hear the sincere truth of her words. And that's what terrified
him as well as excited him, how could she love -him- so much.
"Everything in this world
Every voice in the night
Every little thing of beauty
Comes shining thru in your eyes
And all that is you becomes part of me too
'Cause all you do seduces me"
Her hand reached out and caressed his cheek softly. Nick thrilled at the
touch of her warm hand against his skin. Did she know what the words
sounded like she was aking him to do. He looked deep into her eyes as
they were locked with his. There was no clue for Nick to find, only her
feelings for him communicated through those azure pools. She drew him to
his feet and pressed her body against his. He could feel her hot breath
against his face as she started the next verse.
"And if I should die tommorrow
I'd go down with a smile on my face
I thank God I've ever known you
I fall down on my knees
For all the love we've made"
Nick shuddered in horror and .. excitement?.., she had to know what she
was saying. All of his pent up desire for Natalie boiled to the surface
as she continued to press herself against him, girating to the music. The
beast was surging forward, he tried to turn his face away but her hand
came up and gently held it, so that her eyes were still locked with his
own as they changed. Nick looked into her face, understanding dwelt
there, no fear, no hesitation, only her love, understanding and
acceptance. Nick's arms encircled her waist, as he decided not to fight
his feelings anymore.
A lilting guitar solo started, so Natalie wound her arms around Nick's
neck and drew herself even closer to him molding her body to his. They
danced the way teenagers at a high school prom would, barely moving, only
their swaying marking time to the beat of the song. As the solo ended,
without moving away from him, in a voice barely above a whisper she sang.
"Every sigh in the night
Every tear that you cry
Seduces me Seduces me
And all that you do ... Seduces me"
The guitar closed the song and the room fell silent. "Happy birthday,
Nick. Your real present is me. I'm desert." Natalie whispered as she
tilted her head to one side and exposed her deliciously curved neck to
him. "If you love me Nick, keep me with you. Bring me across."
Nick struggled against the urge but failed dismally. He licked the hot
flesh of her neck, tasting the sweet essence that was Natalie Lambert that
oozed through her skin. He could feel her blood surging through the
artery just below the skin, he could smell it, hear it. The apples and
cinnamon smell overwhelmed him, consumed him, as did his desire to consume
her. As much as he possessed her at this moment, she possessed him. He
too, at this moment, didn't care about tommorrow. He dragged his fangs
along her skin, teasing her and she moaned, the musky scent getting
stronger. Her hands, which had lowered considerably, gripped and kneeded
his ass as she whispered gentle encouragements to him, "Take me Nick. I
need you, -now-."
"I need you too, Nat", Nick whispered into her ear, then he let his mouth
fall back to her throat, "Forever." He penetrated her flesh with his
knife-like incisors, and hot blood poured into his mouth.
"Yes", Natalie groaned in pleasure as Nick began to draw her vital fluid
from her body and she in return recieved his memories. All that was Nick,
sluiced through her, and she finally knew that he indeed did love her.
They were together finally, never to part.
Nick drank deep, revelling in the swirl of emotion and memory that was
Natalie Lambert. All that she was, all her dreams, all her fears and
nightmares coursed into him through her blood. Foremost and most
thrilling to Nick was her love, he couldn't understand how but she truly
loved him not in spite of, but because of -everything- he was. Vampire
included. Nick sighed at he felt her slump, her heart had slowed with the
blood loss, it was time.
"My poor angel", Nick looked at Natalie's peaceful face, "Of the light or
of the night. You needant have feared that I wouldn't love you if you were
a vampire, that was never in question. Join me.." Nick ripped his wrist
open and pressed it tremblingly to Natalie's mouth. "You seduced me too."
Vachon smiled from behind the curtain where he had played for the Doctor.
Either way she hadn't been willing to die, he was just glad niether he nor
LaCroix was needed. She'd be much happier as Nick's child. 'Bloody well
revel in the master-fledge bond", he thought and smiled. He thought he
might go take Tracy out for a coffee, and he took off through the back
LaCroix smiled. He was glad Natalie had finally taken matters into her
own hands and come to see him. She alone had realized that the
relationship between herself and his son had to change to progress or to
die. Even amoungst vampires where change was so much slower, it was still
inevitable. Her 'presense' bloomed to life in his mind. She was a
welcome addition to his family.