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by Apache

Implied or Graphic Sexual Situations
No Violence

It happened right after breakfast.

It could have been life or death, could have been anything.  It was pure luck I lived and came out in one piece.  And, you know how they say your life flashes before your eyes?  After it was over, there was only one place I wanted to go.

Only one person I wanted to see.

It was broad daylight when I got out of the taxi outside the old church.  I should have been sleepy, but with the adrenaline still zinging around in my system, I felt like I'd be awake for days.

I went up the stairs and into his attic, calling "Vachon?"  It was pitch black.  I keep one of those little finger flashlights in my purse, and I used it to find my way into the room without tripping on anything.

There was no sign of him, no candles burning or anything. "Vachon?"  It came out in a very small voice; I was scared.  I ran the thin beam of light over the couch, the chair, the covered piano, the various candelabra, a few wooden wine cases, the statue of the Virgin Mary, and then over the coffin.

My heart lurched.  Oh no.  Not really.  No way.  He can't....

I'd never asked him about it, just assumed it came with the church.  Everything else about him is completely modern.  He dresses, and moves, and talks like most of the guys I've dated.

I think on any other day, common sense would have prevailed.  But I'd just come very close to dying, and there was only one thing I had realized I really wanted.  Vachon.  I was determined to find him.

I took a step or two toward the coffin, stopped, took a deep breath, and reached out my hand--

The lid crashed open and Vachon flew out.  I screamed and fell backwards, taking a lot of bricabrac and some candelabra with me.  My little flashlight hit the floor and threw its beam on the Virgin Mary's feet.  And then he touched me--

"Trace?  Trace, you OK?"

A match flared and showed him looking almost anxiously into my face.  Whatever he saw reassured him, because he picked up a candelabrum and lit five or six candles.

"I didn't think you'd take it so seriously."  He came back to crouch next to me, smiling ironically.  He was wearing a towel wrapped around his waist, and nothing else.

"You mean... you don't...  "  I couldn't say it.  I just couldn't get the words "sleep in a coffin" out of my mouth, but he got it anyway.

Got it, and laughed at me.  "No-o.  I heard you coming."

I was just getting over gasping for breath.  He helped me up, and then went around the room lighting more candles, until the place looked more normal.  Well, normal for Vachon's place, meaning, back to its usual vampire movie appearance.

"Cute," I said, "very cute."

"Come sit down," he said, steering me to the sofa, "and tell your friendly neighborhood vampire why you've come calling at such an ungodly hour."

I just stared at him.  Nothing could come out:  not the accident, not the way his face flashed before me while the car was spinning, not the sudden not-giving-a-damn-about-the-consequences trip over here, and not the way he just scared me.  He does that vampire stuff to pull my leg, but he is one.  He is one.

The guy sitting over there wrapped in a bath towel with the disheveled black hair falling around his shoulders is four hundred and ninety one years old.  He spares me the gory details, but...

I don't even know if he kills people now or not.  I saw him kill Vudu, but Vudu had just fired two bullets into him.  He drinks that stuff out of bottles...

"Tracy."  After all, I was just staring at him like a zombie. "Come on, tellll your uncle Vachon...." he was using that soft, persuasive voice that's a little bit teasing.  It's one of his regular devices to charm me, and it's almost infallible.  Almost.  As I sat there still gaping, even that vestige of humor fell away from his expression.

He slid over next to me and took my left hand.  He dropped his head low and looked up at me, deep dark eyes wide open, completely serious.  Real concern.  "If you want to, tell me."

How can a vampire be kind?  But this is Javier...

"I almost died."  It came close to being a whisper.  I twisted to face him, looking right in his eyes.  "Some guy... just ran a red light, totaled my car, pushed me into oncoming traffic, two other cars hit me and I was just spinning, and then a truck came and the car rolled..."

Fear flickered on his face and he leaned even closer.  "But you're OK?"  He ran his hands down my arms as if to check for broken bones.

I laughed.  "Oh yeah, peachy.  Bump-cars is my favorite ride at Disneyland."  It wasn't the most convincing performance.

Now he stroked my hair.  "Why'd you come here, Tracy?"

"Because...."  I lifted a hand and touched his face for the first time.  It was cold, like his hands are cold, but a man's face.  Scratchy with stubble, dented with dimples and laugh lines, curving and rising where the lips are.  His eyebrows, so thick; I backbrushed one with my thumb and it was like running your fingers the wrong way up a cat's spine. I smoothed it down again.

He was looking at me from under those brows with an expression I can't really classify.  Mingled wonder, curiosity, watchfulness...  and some hope.  I let my hand keep going, over his finely made lips, a small stroke for the filtrum, up the long straight ridgeline of his nose, a palm smoothed over his forehead, and then into his hair.

And he began to touch me back, running the back of his hand under the angle of my jaw, caressing the hollow of my throat with his thumb, running one hand over the outside of my blouse while the other one came up inside it, making me shiver for a second.

Javier Vachon, 16th century Spaniard, has no trouble with the one-handed bra technique.  The thought made me smile, and he smiled back at me, a beautiful light animating his face, his brown-black eyes...

His hands came over my breasts and I pressed forward into them, savoring the moment of chill.  My nipples hardened instantly under that touch:  I heard his quick intake of breath, feeling them rise under his fingers.

I looked back into his eyes, dark eyes that now held no irony, only pure sexual intention.  In the light of candles, with the deep shadows they throw, his face had the strength and purity of a sculpture. I leaned further into him, brushing my face along the skin and scratch of his, pressed my face into the thick soft waving cascade of his hair, my hands running over the muscles of his back, down the shallow hollow of his spine, to his hips -- and terrycloth.

I said "oh" out loud, involuntarily, and he drew back a bit.

We both had that glow of discovery, like a pair of teenagers trying something forbidden.

He flashed a smile.  "I put that on for you.  I thought a naked vampire in a coffin would be just a bit too much for you to handle."

I nuzzled him.  "Now you can take it off for me," I murmured.  Tracy Vetter, seductress.  Not hardly.  I know the words, but not the music, and it sounded more like a joke than a sexy come-on.

He smiled again, a wicked teasing smile.  "Everything in its own time."  Then the humor fell away from his face, and the desire reappeared.  I may not be able to do serious seductiveness, but he.... I never saw such eyes.  His eyes told me I was the most important, most beautiful, most wanted thing they had ever seen.

He took my face in his hands and leaned forward to me slowly, so slowly I was catching my breath with the madness of wanting the touch.  I shut my eyes while his were still open and fixed on me, and his lips closed over mine.

Hot depths inside the cool skin, a core of fire... it was almost like drinking, to be kissed like that, to be taught to kiss like that, for I answered him with every depth there was to me.  Depths I never knew I had, fire I never suspected myself of.  I abandoned myself to that kiss like a whore; I flattened my body along his and was pushing him backward on the couch when he shifted somehow, lifting both of us and stretching us out along the sofa.

He was on top of me and I loved the weight, loved the hair that fell down and tangled with mine, loved the embrace that was wrapped around me, one arm under my back, one hand kept free above me to play with my body, then sliding down to undo my skirt, sliding down to reach between my legs; loved the muscular belly, the just-palpable ribs, the cut of his hips into mine, the slight extra pressure of an erection.  He kissed me even harder now, then twisted his head to bring his mouth to my ear, and tease it, bring his tongue along the line of my jaw, to kiss my throat, to bring the soft, wide mouth over the skin of my neck....

I screamed.

The next instant I was being thrown all the way across that dark room.  I hit the opposite wall hard and slid to the floor in the darkness, watching as Vachon, his eyes lurid yellow, tracked my fall with a snarl, then turned to his box of wines.

At a speed I could barely follow, he pulled a bottle out and snapped its top off with his bare hand, throwing his head back and tilting the jagged neck almost to vertical, pouring its contents straight down his throat.  It seemed to take less than a second, then he snarled again and hurled the bottle aside.  By the time its smashed pieces had all fallen to the floor, he had repeated the process, snapping another bottle open and draining it in seconds.

When that bottle was empty, he lowered it and after a moment, sighed deeply, long and slow.  Then he stood still.  Extremely still, like a sculpture again.  But where before the sculpture had been a Renaissance angel, now it was a very weary man with a wine bottle held limply in his hand, its dripping mouth drooping toward the floor.

I didn't move either, just sat there in the slumped posture I'd fallen into, watching him.  I didn't know what had just happened.  I didn't know if I was going to live through this.  I just sat there and breathed.  I even did that through my mouth; it's quieter.

After a long time, moving as silently and slowly as I would if I were trying not to scare a deer, I raised my right hand to my neck. There they were:  the dimples where his teeth had just begun to touch before he snapped his head back for the real strike.

So I hadn't imagined it, hadn't imagined that sound I recognized because I'd heard it just before he struck Vudu and drank.  The sound just before he started purring like a tiger over his kill.

I fingered my throat again; the dents were starting to smooth out and just be a bruised area.   A vampire hickey, I thought wildly and felt hysterical laughter welling up inside.  Don't lose it, Trace. Maybe you can still live through this.  I had no weapons, no way to oppose him.

If I was going to have to...

Almost responding to my thoughts, the statue moved.  Vachon set the second broken bottle on a table, and reached into the box for a third.  He pulled the cork out with his teeth, took a swig, and looked straight at me through the darkness.  His eyes were still yellow.

He sighed again.  "Come on out, Tracy."  A calm, tired voice. "Nothing's broken, is it?"

"No bones, if that's what you mean."  Anger was rising to displace the fear I'd felt.  "Thanks for nothing."  I stood up -- maybe no broken bones, but I could feel plenty of bruises -- and shook my clothes more or less into place.  "Would you mind putting your eyes away?"

He blinked as if taken by surprise, but the lids opened back up over brown-black eyes.

"Thanks."  I could hear the grudging note in my voice.  I walked toward him, stumbling over things in the dark.

And then I just stood there, maybe two feet away from him.  His eyes met mine for a moment, then looked away at who knows what.  He almost never meets your eyes when he's talking to you.

The moment stretched out, and I thought of a stupid joke: "Hallmark doesn't exactly make a card for this."

"Sure it does.  'Sorry about your loss.'    'In deepest sympathy.'    'With loving memories.'"  The irony was back, the mocking smile, the cool distance.  Was he still going to try to kill me?  What was he waiting for?  Was there some way to let the sun in?  He was still looking off into space.

I glared at him.  "Very funny.  I supposed I should know better than to trade one-liners with a guy who's had centuries to practice."

"Why did you come here, Tracy?"  The tired voice again.

"You were going to BITE me!"  I was still furious.

Another long, slow sigh.  And then a long motionless silence.  And then the irony lapsed from his expression, and he turned his eyes to me, and they were incredibly sad.

"I thought that was what you wanted."

For the third time, I fainted in front of Javier Vachon.

~ ~ ~

I woke up in my own apartment, on my own sofa.  He was there, sitting in the easy chair, dressed entirely in black, his usual epitome-of-cool manner wrapped around him like a cloud.

For a moment I was delighted to see him.  Then memory came flooding back and I practically jumped to a standing position.  "Jesus!" I said, staring at him.  I felt terror, desire, terror, relief, terror, and a strong wish that I had never ever known about anything or anyone even remotely supernatural.  I have no idea how much of that he read off my face, but -his- face became an emotionless blank.

"So you wanted to play with the fire, Commissioner Vetter's daughter," he said coolly.

In my apartment, in regular incandescent light, without the spooky candles and the combination churchy-crypty air of his place, everything seemed perfectly normal.  Vachon even seemed perfectly normal, slouched down in the chair with his legs crossed and his fingers interlaced.

It was night outside.  "Have you been sitting here waiting for me to wake up so you could insult me?" I snapped.  I waved a hand at the French doors to the balcony.  "Feel free to fly away anytime."

"You're insulted?"  The words came with a bitter laugh attached.

I frowned.  "I don't get you," I said cautiously.

"You show me in every possible way that I'm the most horrible, most disgusting being you could ever imagine, and then you accuse me of insulting you."

A little voice inside me was saying, oh God...

He stood up and loomed over me.  "If I could make you forget--"

"You can't.  I won't."  I'd said it before.  "I don't want to."  That was new, and he reacted to it.  Puzzled, I thought.

"I just don't want to die, Vachon."

Now he frowned.  "You thought I was going to kill you?"

My stomach lurched.  "What else?"

He shook his head and made a wordless sound, looked around, and waved his arms in a big, disbelieving gesture.  He looked exactly twenty five years old.  Maybe even less.

"We don't have to have this conversation," I said, getting nervous again.

But he moved forward with that incredible speed, gripped the back of my head like a clamp, and looked down into my eyes.  "Don't you understand what you saw?" he said softly.

I shook my head, or tried to.

"I thought you wanted to come across," he said in the same near‑whisper.  "The story about the traffic accident-- I thought you were telling me you didn't want to die in some stupid pointless mortal way.  That you wanted my kind of life," his face tightened, "to have it with me.  I was bringing you across."

My mouth fell open, but I couldn't get a sound out.

"When you cried out."  He stopped.  When he continued, his voice was utterly matter of fact.  "I had to feed.  Right then.  That's all."  He let go of my head then; I practically fell over backwards.  There was that rushing sound, and my living room was empty.

For once, I reacted fast.  I ran to the balcony and yelled "COME BACK HERE, YOU COWAAARRRRDD" at the top of my lungs.

And there he was.  He  didn't look happy, but he was there.

I smiled at him though my heart was pounding.  "Call a cop a coward, you got yourself a fight.  I figured the same held for conquistadors."  He blinked.

"Look, you never told me where little vampires come from."

He just stood there.

"You're telling me it was an act of love."

He just stood there.

I wrapped my arms around myself.  "I came to your place because I wanted to make love with you.  Right then."  I tried to echo his tone, but my voice was shaking like hell.  "In the accident," I took a deep breath, "when the world stopped turning over and I realized I was still in one piece, all I could think of was you.  I didn't feel like I needed to change my life, or join some church, or apologize to everyone I've ever been mean to... but I couldn't bear the thought of checking out without..." now it was my turn to look around the room for nonexistent help, "... being with you. Knowing you."

It made him laugh.  The irony surfaced.  "In the Biblical sense, Trace?  A vampire?"

I smiled and ducked my head.

"Not the best idea, Trace."  But it was tender.  Restored.  He came toward me and my body didn't flinch away from him; the sense of trust -- well, close-to-trust, anyway -- was back in me, too.  He reached out and ran his hand along my hair, and I looked right into his eyes.  Deep dark brown eyes, with the tiniest gold flecks.  But they were kind of sad again, and his voice came out deep, and serious.

"Tracy--"  he backed away, and bit his lower lip.  "No birds.  No bees.  No mortals."

We just stood there and looked at each other.

"I thought you knew," he said finally.

"How would I know?" I snapped.  "You didn't come with a manual..."  But it was an act, and I couldn't keep it up.

"I'm sorry--"

"I'm really sorry--"  we smiled.  I kept going.  "What I did to you--  I didn't know it could happen.  Wow, did I ever not know."  I shook my head, laughing, and saw his eyes follow the tossing of my hair.

 "You'll just have to restrain these wild urges, Detective."  He was wearing one of his regular teasing smiles.

Now it was my turn to feel sad, my turn to touch his hair one last time.  "I'll live longer, huh?" I whispered.

One of his arms was around me before I knew he was moving.  He held me crushed against his body, my head tilted back in his hand, and there again was the face of unmixed desire, its eyes deep, black, nearly unreadable.  His mouth came down on mine in a kiss before I could react, another bottomlessly desirous, hot, liquid kiss -- and I gave myself to it completely.  I felt his teeth change and explored them for a moment with my tongue, then felt his tongue keeping mine away from them, avoiding even the smallest risk of a cut.  We kissed like that for what could have been hours or seconds; it almost seemed to happen outside of time.

Then he let go of me, and stepped back.  The yellow eyes gleamed at me almost expressionlessly, but the voice was utterly familiar. "Goodnight, Trace."

And then he was gone, and then I collapsed on my sofa, and then the phone rang and it was my Mom and Dad, full of worry, and then life started back up again....

~ Return to "Forever Knight" ~

~ Return to Apache's Archive ~



Fanfiction Library ~
GW & Guests


Photo Albums

Trekkers Over
and Around 40

Floridaze ~
Buffett, Key West,
& Things Parrothead
The Key West
Foreign Legion
Half Aft
Bar Stage
Warren Zevon Other Ports