Waiting for the Sunrise
by Judith Freudenthal

Nick looked out the window of the house he and Natalie had shared together
for the past forty-five years. A single tear ran down his cheek. She had been
an active vibrant woman until the day she died. She had lived a full life
during her 78 years. His mind strayed through the various memories they had
spent a lifetime creating.

They had discussed his bringing her across, once long ago. She wasn't sure
she wanted to live forever, even though a part of her was intrigued by it. He
knew he couldn't condemn her to his hell. He had told her that if she ever
wanted to join him, that he would bring her across.

They had fallen asleep in each other's arms like they had every morning
since they had married. That evening he awoke to silence. After a moment he
realized that he had been so deeply asleep he had missed hearing her heart
beat for the last time. Blood tears ran down his cheek as he cradled her in
his arms, caressing her cheek, her soft brown hair and kissing her for the
very last time.

He had made a deal with his master that if he was left alone for Natalie's
mortal lifetime, or until she was brought across, then he would reunite
willingly with his vampiric father. Tonight he would be required to uphold
the deal. He was grateful LaCroix had given him time to morn, and pack up his

The funeral was held right after sunset, in accordance with Natalie's
wishes, so that Nick, Janette and any other of the Community that wished to
come would be able to. She knew how much it would hurt Nick if he was unable
to attend her funeral, and by putting the request into her will, she would
get that one final request.

After the funeral Nick had moved out of Vancouver, where the four of them
had lived. Since Nick was in no shape to make any sort of decision Janette
decided that they would return to Paris.

Nick had tried to find an occupation that would help him move on. After two
weeks of serious consideration he chose teaching. He had enjoyed that the
last time, and it was a good way to help many people at once.

Exactly one year had passed. Nick was still grieving over his loss. LaCroix
was growing increasingly annoyed with his son, while Janette grew
increasingly worried over Nick's emotional stability. Both remembered the
last time Nick had been this withdrawn. It was when Janette left Nick rather
abruptly, thus ending their 97 years of marriage.

Nick was in his room staring out at the predawn light. The radio played
softly in the background. Something in the music caught his attention.

He thought back over his long lifetime, his troubles with his master came to
mind. Interwoven with those were all the innocents he killed over the years
and the regret he still felt for it.

She had helped him overcome so much of the guilt and regret of his past. She
helped him find the inner peace he had so long searched for.

His mind strayed to his current job. A frown crossed his features as the
rumors that had recently begun circulation might force him from his new life.
He wasn't ready to move on, yet again. It was too soon. After losing her he
had withdrawn from any closer contact with mortals than was absolutely
necessary. The one exception being his students, and only because they were
to young to threaten his already broken heart.

He had tried to talk himself out of it, even reminding himself of what Nat
would think of it, but had failed. He hoped he could shield his intentions
from his family. He could not go on any longer.

He saw the sky start to lighten and knew there was maybe an hour left until
the morning sun lit up the city. He drank from the green wine bottle on the

He opened the shades allowing the growing sunlight to fill the room. As the
light eveloped him, he thought of Natalie. She had been his friend,
confidant, lover, and wife. No one had understood him as she had. She had
understood him so well it scared him at times.

He thought over the last line he'd heard, deciding that it wasn't true. She
had been his last chance. The only life he had wanted.

He felt the curare begin to numb his mind and soul as the solar rays seared
his flesh. He sat on the floor as the sun consumed him.

The song finished as the sun's rays finished their job.

In their own rooms Janette and LaCroix woke. Great sadness filling them as
they realized what Nick had done. Anger filled LaCroix, as his ungrateful son
had thrown the gift he had given back into his face.

Both were outside Nick's door in an instant. Neither wanting to be the first
to enter.

"He is finally at peace. He's where he wants to be," Janette said as a
bloody tear ran down her cheek. She laid her hand on her master's arm to
comfort them both.

The End