After Last Knight by Karen
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After Last Knight by Karen



"Damn you, Nicholas!" Lacroix muttered once again as he stood over his son,

his friend, slumped over the deceased Natalie Lambert with a stake in his

back. "Did you find the light, dear Nicholas? Did it appear to you with all

its radiance and warmth? Did you have faith enough to find your Natalie?

Was she there waiting with open arms to greet you? Or," he sneered, "did

you find the burning flames of damnation that will keep you for all


He continued to stand over the bodies. "Oh, my child, my son. If I only

could have found the right words to have kept you here with me. " He looked

around the room. "They're all gone now . . . all my children. You,

Nicholas, I will miss the most."

For a fleeting moment, anyone seeing him would have sworn there were tears

in the grief-stricken vampire's eyes. He would have denied it, of course,

but they were there just the same. Regaining control of himself, he looked

around Nick's apartment once more. "Looks as if I have some cleaning to

do," he said aloud to the room, then set upon the unpleasant task of

tidying up the place.


The threat of snow hung in the air of the cold Toronto morning. There still

was much time before the sun would rise as Lacroix landed in front of the

Raven. It would be his last in this city. Lacroix let himself into the

club. It was nothing but an empty shell.

Crates and boxes were lined up, ready for the movers in the morning. He had

left implicit instructions for their removal and storage with a trusted

friend. He planned to spend the day in the basement of the Raven and then

depart for places unknown at sundown. It was not unusual that he had no

destination in mind. Often, he'd left it to chance as to where that place

might be. It worked out better that way. He had considered Paris, but then,

Paris wouldn't be the same without his Nicholas or Janette. Singapore?

Sydney? San Francisco? It didn't matter. The possibilities were endless. He

only knew he had overstayed his time here in Toronto, and the sooner he

left the better.

He searched through the crates for the one with Janette's private stock

label. Locating the wooden box, he ripped off the lid as if it were paper

and pulled out a green bottle. It was one of Janette's best. had good taste. > He popped the cork and poured himself a glass of the red

liquid. He felt an exhaustion he hadn't remembered feeling in a long time.

The door to the Raven began to open, the squeak of the hinge audible only

to the likes of Lacroix. He started for the door and called out, "We are no

longer open for business." He was in no mood for company.

The figure in the threshold staggered in a few steps and paused, letting

the heavy door close silently behind him. Lacroix was a little more than

annoyed. He neared the unknown intruder, who was clutching the wall. "I

told you, we were closed." There was something familiar about this one. A

barely perceptible moan came from the darkness just before its owner

pitched forward toward Lacroix. Reflexively, Lacroix caught the body just

before it hit the floor.

In the dim light, Lacroix recognized the weak and dirty body in his arms as

the young Spaniard, Javier Vachon. He was covered in dirt; mud caked in his

hair and under his fingernails. "Well, well, what have we here?" Lacroix

asked as he lifted Vachon to his feet and led him to a corner booth.

"Hungry . . ., I need . . . " gasped the weakened vampire. His brown eyes

pleaded with Lacroix, "Help me." Lacroix was already pulling bottles from

the open crate. He opened one of the green containers as he crossed the

room and offered it to Vachon. Realizing he was too weak even to attempt to

drink from it, Lacroix tipped the bottle to the ashen lips and allowed the

liquid to flow slowly into Vachon's waiting mouth.

Vachon let the warm fluid run down his parched throat. After all he had

been through, these last few minutes felt as if they truly were going to be

his last. As he grew stronger, he began to greedily suck the sustenance he

needed. The first bottle was empty, and Lacroix offered him the second. The

bottle was the heaviest thing Vachon had ever lifted, but it grew lighter

and lighter with each swallow.

"I never thought I'd make it here before sunrise," he told Lacroix with a

hoarse voice as he accepted the third bottle. His hunger was finally fading

as he finished it. "Thanks," he said weakly and leaned his head against the

bench wall.

Lacroix stared at him in silence.

End Act 1

After Last Knight part Two
After Last Knight part Three
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