This story deals with the events of Dark Knight and leaves off right as Killer Instinct starts.

Untitled Nick and Lacroix story
by Judith Freudenthal

Nick realized he'd been feeling a little odd lately. He could feel someone watching him, but not in the mortal sense. It was more like a feeling he'd had before LaCroix had been killed.

Nick knew his master was dead, having been the one to stake him with a flaming two by four in self-defense.

Nick shuddered, realizing that if his master was alive he was in serious trouble for what he had done. He knew how much his sire enjoyed torturing others, him especially.

Nick also realized he could feel his connection to Janette stronger than he had in a long time, which depressed him because it meant the vampire within was reasserting itself, growing stronger. He'd been so happy when Janette had said he was getting more mortal because she could barely sense him.

Could that be why Lacroix has chosen now to return? Nick wondered. He knew his master would do anything to prevent him from regaining his mortality.

Meanwhile at Lacroix's secret hideout, he was enjoying his son's disquiet. It was only the beginning of his plan.

It had taken him months to recover from the near fatal attack. He had been severely burned over most of his body and had barely escaped. If he hadn't had moved at the last second, Nick would've succeeded.

He had fled as far as his badly damaged body would allow, and barely made it to his secret hideout before the sun rose. No one knew of this particular place. He had attacked his emergency blood supply with a vengeance he hadn't felt since the First Hunger. Downing several bottles of blood did little to ease his burns, but it did take the edge off his hunger. He knew that burns that severe would require even more blood and time to heal. The pain was still quite intense, which surprised him, as he usually did not feel pain.

He stripped off his burned clothing, vowing to make his son pay dearly for the agonizing pain he was in. Removing his charred clothing was no easy task as some was stuck to his burnt skin, and he had to use his burned hands to do so.

He consumed his last bottle of blood and ordered more, a task made difficult due to the extensive burns to his face, neck and hands.

He wrapped himself up as the new supply was delivered and warned the delivery person not to say a word if they valued their unlife. He could not wait to strip off the materials covering him as they caused his already burned skin to hurt more. The air stung his skin but not as much as the clothing hurt it.

He greedily gulped down bottle after bottle, feeling the burns ease a little with each one.

He laid down on his black silk sheets the coolness of them feeling good against his bare skin. Any contact hurt his skin, as did the air.

His injuries took their toll as he lapsed into blissful unconsciousness. His body worked to heal the massive wounds.

Two days passed before his body desperately craved blood for further healing. He had healed some and was grateful that the pain had lessened a bit. He consumed several bottles of blood before laying back down. He found himself unable to sleep so he turned on the television.

Normally he had no use for the device, but his hands were still too sore to hold a book long enough to read it.

He flipped the channels annoyed at the lack of quality programming, stopping when he encountered a special on Ancient Rome. He figured it would be good for mocking the inaccuracies. He was surprised to find the report was much more accurate than he thought it would be, both impressing him and annoying him because there was little to mock. He had mixed feelings when it came to the part about Vesuvius. He did enjoy his unlife but he also hated it sometimes. Eternity could be extremely dull. Watching history repeat itself lost its fascination after the first few times.

He spent the next few hours watching documentaries, mocking them when he could. He enjoyed watching the mortals figuring out the past, hearing their opinions of things he'd witnessed first hand. Briefly he considered being a historian in his next "life". He could fix some inaccuracies, especially those concerning Ancient Rome. He knew that he could write all the stories he'd lived and have one hell of a history text.

Maybe I should do that, he briefly thought. Then he quickly realized that would deprive the mortal world of their enjoyment of piecing such things together. And by depriving them of their enjoyment it also deprived him of his, in that he loved to watch them make fools of themselves.

Lacroix knew he could not attack the mortal he most wanted to hurt, at least he couldn't attack her directly, or so soon. He'd have to carefully plan so that Nick would not connect the attack on his doctor friend back to him.

Lacroix fell asleep in his chair. His dreams wandering and there. He remembered telling Nick he wanted his son to be just like he was. The next image was Nick standing over Lacroix's charred body mocking him 'is this more like you wanted?' Nick said. 'Divia killed her master, you killed her, and now I've killed you.' Lacroix grew restless waking up when he moved the wrong way and his injuries screamed out in pain.

Lacroix was shaken. He couldn't shake what the dream Nick had said. Was it true? Did he really want Nick to turn into that sort of son? If it happened, would Nick try to kill him again, and again until he succeeded?

He did not want to have to fear his son, yet he wanted his son to be more like him. Lacroix grew furious. He wanted his revenge for the torching he'd received. He hated the fact that he could not have it both ways.

He downed more bottles of blood while he tried to figure out what to do. It suddenly hit him, the best revenge was not to get revenge. He knew Nick would always be waiting for the punishment that would not come.

Lacroix knew he had to do something, so he figured out a way to force his son to move on. A way that hopefully could not be traced back to him. Maybe I can have it both ways, he thought.

Months passed. Lacroix healed. The further along the healing, the more strength he regained.

When his skin had fully healed he knew it was time to put his plan into action. A string of murders was the perfect opportunity to force Nick out of the sham of a life he so enjoyed.

He snuck into the loft and stole Nick's watch.


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