|Disclaimer: This story is a work of fiction based upon characters created and owned by Ed Spielman and Ogiens/Kane Productions. Neither the author nor the webmistress claim any ownership of the characters -- except original characters -- and no money is being made by either from thiwork. This work belongs to the author and may not b used or posted without the author's express permission.||Blood
Saloon, St. Joe
"Sarsparilla and a sandwich please," Lou ordered as she took a seat at
the bar and looked around at the saloon girls. There was no way in hell
that she would allow Theresa to be forced anywhere near a place like this,she
thought. She would die before Wicks did to Theresa what he had tried
"Not a pretty sight is it?" Janette asked taking a seat next to Lou.
"What do you mean?" Lou responded cautiously.
"These ladies being forced into this type of employment by the same society that scorns them for it. But then you already know that Ms.McCloud. Do you not?"
Caught off guard, Lou eyed Janette warily. "How did you know?" Lou whispered fearfully.
"Oh, I have my ways, cherie," Janette replied with a knowing smile. "But, not to worry my dear. Iwill not reveal your secret."
Lou sighed in relief, knowing one day she probably would not be so lucky. "Ok, since you seem to know so much about me,why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself?" Lou pressed gently, for like the man in the lobby, this woman made her nervous.
Sensing Lou's discomfort, Janette responded with a smile. "Of course, it is only fair. My name is Janette Chevalier. My family and I are from France and we are here in St. Joe at the need of my father's business."
"So what kind of business is your father involved with Janette?" Lou asked her curiosity growing.
"Let us just say he is an army man," Janette replied smiling to herself because it was not the Union or Confederate army Lacoix belonged to but the long deceased Roman army.
"Now since I have told you about my family and I, I think it is time that you told me alittle more about yourself. Starting with why you hide behind that disguise of yours. Remember you can trust me. I won't reveal either your secrets or you reasons," Janette stated sweetly in order to gain Lou's trust.
"Well as you pointed out before, there aren't many jobs open to women, but there are plenty open to young men. A Pony Express rider being one of them and I am pretty good with both horses and guns."
"Very interesting," Janette replied, her appreciation of Lou growing very high at this point. "And the people you work with are fooled by this masquerade?" Janette questioned, trying to find out just how many ties to the mortal world this Louise McCloud had.
Lou smiled,embarrassed by the last question. "Well, not anymore," she replied blushing, "but Teaspoon, Rachael and the boys are my family and have promised to help me keep my secret."
"And they do not worry about you putting yourself in danger on those express trails?" Janette asked. "Yes they do," Lou replied warily, "especially Kid, but they know deep down that I can take care of myself -- especially Jimmy."
"Well, it seems that you have a very interesting life, Louise. Now, why
don't you tell me what
At that question, Lou began to fidget nervously. "Look," she stated as she stood up, "it's getting late and I should be going now."
But Janette was fast in grabbing Lou's arm and capturing her in the hypnotic gaze of the vampire. "Why don't you tell me why you are here?" Janette repeated in a slow commanding voice.
"Tell you why I'm here," Lou repeated, dazed as Janette pulled her gently over to a table while signalling to the bartender for a drink of ale for both her and Lou. When the drinks arrived, Janette poured a healthy dose of her finest human vintage into her ale and silently ordered for Lou to begin.
"I have returned to St. Joe after a man named Wicks," Lou stated mechanically.
"Why?" Janette pushed.
"Wicks used to be my boss in a brothel where I did laundry until one
night when I was fourteen he raped me," she confessed hearing Janette's
sharp intake of breath. "I ran away the very next morning and thought
I'd seen the last of him. Then a friend of mine who was one of his women
tracked me down after escaping him. Wicks followed her and forced her
to kill herself. After she did, I found the money she stole from him and
I guess he must have spotted me at some point because he sent a letter
ordering me to return both myself and the money to him or he will force
Lou stopped for a moment while tears of worry started running down her face. Tears which she wiped angrily away despite the hypnosis. "I will never allow that. I would see him dead first!" Lou finished coldly.
Janette's blood boiled as she thought of how much she despised pimps,
her own being such a monster. She smiled however, as she remembered what
sweet revenge it was to have that beast as her first feed. And this Wicks
dared to threaten a young child when even the most vicious of her own
kind would not harm them! If Louise does not make this scum pay, I
sure will, Janette promised herself as she looked at the young woman
before her with something she had not felt for a mortal in avery long
time -- compassion. Damn, she thought. Nichola was rubbing off
"So tell me something I don't already know," Kid answered through clenched
teeth. Then a horrifying thought assaulted him. "You're one of Wick's
men ain't ya?" Kid spat before attacking Nick full force. But to his utter
dismay, Nick had him up against the wall in a grip of iron within
"Listen to me," Nick whispered harshly, his eyes turning an angry red. "I do not know who this Wicks is you are talking about, but I guarantee you that your friend has a much bigger problem than him. Namely Lucien Lacoix."
Realizing that he had regained control of the situation, Nick released his hold on Kid and walked over and sat on the bed waiting for Kid to both compose himself and digest what he had just been told.
Kid for his part looked at Nick in shock for not only being pinned so easily, which in itself was highly unusual, but the glowing red eyes and steel grip were inhuman as far as he knew. "What the hell are you?" Kid asked eyeing fearfully.
Nick sighed in regret. He had hoped Kid had not noticed his eyes change. "Listen to me," Nick stated locking eyes with Kid. "You did not see my eyes change."
"Did not," Kid repeated before shaking his head to clear it. "What did you do to me? I felt you inside my head," Kid asked backing towards the wall.
Damn, Nick thought. It was just his luck to slip up in front of a resistor. Only one thing could save the young man from the implementation of the vampire code....his silence. Seeing Kid's hand move towards the doorknob, Nick reacted. "Relax," he stated. "I do not want to hurt you. I give you my word." Pleased that he again had young man's attention, Nick continued. "I will tell you what you want to know, but you must never speak of it to anyone or it could mean an extremely unpleasant death not only for you and I but for whomever you tell as well. Now do I have your word?"
Feeling a chill run down his spine at Nick's words, Kid thought, Do I really want to hear this? But when he remembered the danger Lou was in his fear for her quickly won out. "You have my word. I won't say anything. Now what are you and what do you know about Lou?" Kid demanded impatiently, his fear for Lou growing by the second. Where was she? he thought.
Opening a small flask, Nick smiled slightly at the young man bravely trying to control his fear. "Why don't you have a seat Mr...?"
"Kid," Kid stated hesitantly as he took a seat on the chair opposite Nick.
"Well, Kid, what do you know about vampires?" Nick asked casually.
Present Day: Nat's Apartment
"Come on Nat. Pick up!" Nick's voice called urgently out from Nat's machine.
Natalie looked up from her computer and stared at her answering machine, her initial anger at Nick flaring up, then melting at the concern in his voice. However, she couldn't risk picking up the phone and having him talk her out of what she needed to do.
The blinking "search completed" words flashing brought Natalie's attention back to the task at hand. Using knowledge gained from watching Nick, Shankee and now Tracy use the police computer to track murderers, Nat had gotten a lock on Gault's whereabouts by tracking his credit card transactions.
Success, Nat smiled grimly as she read that Gault had rented a room in a seedy motel about two hours outside of Toronto. Now it was time for her to act, she thought, as she threw her printouts into the fireplace for she had a feeling that Nick would be there a few minutes after sunset.
With that completed, she moved into her bedroom and retrieved a small box from the back of her closet and placed it on her bed where she tentatively started to open it to view the object that Richard had given her the year before his death, an object she had sworn to herself that she would never hold. In less than a minute her trembling hands were gripping the Navy Colt that Richy had tried to convince her was once owned by the famous James Butler(Wild Bill) Hickock.
Could she really do it? she thought. Could she go against her sworn oath and everything she believed in? Would she really be able to kill Gault? She sure hoped she could before he destroyed someone else's baby.
Without another thought, she grabbed the bullets from her dresser drawer.
Then, along with the gun hidden in her purse, she exited her apartment.