Curiosity
by Judith Freudenthal
1995

Tracy had been working with Natalie and Nick for a while. She had noticed their relationship and wondered exactly what it was. She knew Nick had a skin condition/sun allergy that kept him working nights but she did not know why Natalie would willingly work nights. If Nick was the reason, she could understand. Love could do funny things to people. The more she thought about it the less she realized she knew about Natalie. Tracy realized she had never seen Natalie eat or outside in the daylight. She also noticed that she had never seen either of their homes.

 

Later Tracy dropped by Vachon's home. She hated the eerieness of the old church. Yet, she kinda liked the atmosphere the candles provided.

Vachon snuck up on Tracy, causing her to jump and swear under her breath.

"Is that a very nice thing to say to your supernatural chum?"

"I hate it when you do that," Tracy said trying to be annoyed with Vachon. Something about him made her unable to stay mad for long.

"What's up?"

"I have a couple of questions for you." Tracy saw his expression change and continued. "Not about work. About vampires."

"Go on."

"Can you tell if someone is one?"

"Yes, I can tell by listening for a human heartbeat. Ours are very slow."

"I was thinking about Nick and Natalie. I know Nick works nights because of his allergy, but what about Natalie? Do you know her?"

"I may have seen her once, but we've never met. She's got chestnut hair, a natural beauty and large blue eyes? She's also the M.E. right?"

"Yes. Is she a vampire?"

"Why do you ask? A lot of people work nights without being a vampire." Vachon was enjoying this and tried to string it out as long as possible.

"I never see her eat or outside in the daytime."

"Maybe she eats before work, like most people do. You sleep during the day. I know that you're not a vampire." He saw Tracy getting impatient and decided to put her mind at ease. "She's perfectly mortal, just like you."

"Do you think she knows that vampires exist?"

"I don't know. Most people don't believe we exist outside of movies and books," Vachon said, hoping she would not learn he was lying.

"I asked Nick if he believed in them and don't think he really answered the question. He got distracted by work before he could say too much about it."

Vachon was tempted to grin but resisted. He would've loved to see Nick's explanation.

 

Tracy entered the Coroner's Office to see if her partner was there. Sure enough he was. A small grin played itself across Tracy's face, despite her attempts to hold it in.

"What?" Natalie asked curious.

"I had the strangest thought about you. I think it came from all these night shifts."

"What?" Nick asked curious.

"I had the idea that Natalie was a vampire. I know, it's ridiculous," Tracy said embarrassed.

They all laughed.

"What changed your mind?" Nick asked.

"I remembered there was no such thing as vampires."

"What ever gave you the idea?" Natalie asked still curious.

"It was the fact that you chose to work nights and that I've never seen you eat."

Nick and Natalie could tell there was more.

"Come on," Natalie said urging Tracy on.

"Does Nick have anything to do with your working nights? Is there something between the two of you?"

"Other than a good friendship, no," Natalie said, only partially lying.

"Besides, I've seen her pig out. She loves popcorn with movies and chocolate just about anytime," Nick teased and was rewarded by a quick yet playful punch in the arm.

Tracy smiled. "Sorry for being so foolish."

"That's okay. I needed it. It's been a brutal night down here," Natalie said.

The end.

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