this work is in no way an attempt to violate the copyrights of Sony, USA, TriStar, Paragon Productions or the creators of Forever Knight.Angelique is an orginal character and IS copyrighted by Lady Sukh
by Lady Sukh
Angelique woke at dusk. Her bones ached; her neck was sore where a Carouche had attacked her two days ago. She massaged the spot as she walked into her bathroom and started her shower.
She washed her long hair, and noted Lucien as he took a seat on the closed lid of the commode, and watched her with hot golden eyes through the clear glass.
"You are early." She stepped out of the shower and into the thick black towel he held open to her.
"I could not wait," he whispered as he pulled her body to himself. He nuzzled her neck; his tongue traced the seashell curve of her ear. "I have missed you."
Angelique laughed as she arched toward his kiss. "I was only gone for a week, Lucien."
"An eternity." He smiled as she turned in his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck. He kissed her, his mouth darting and teasing as the towel fell to the tile floor in an ebony pool. He scooped her into his arms and carried her to the bedroom. Their mouths were still locked together as he laid her on the bed.
He leaned over her as his mouth worked down the side of her neck in a moist burning path. She moaned as the heat flared, blood lust twining through her in a delicious rush. "Lucien," she whispered as his tongue flicked over one nipple. Her body bowed at the pleasure that rushed through her, heating her. Her nails dug into his back, slitting furrows in his black silk shirt.
Then he leaned back and pulled her onto his lap. He kissed her again as he wound her long legs around his waist. His fingers tangled in her dark, wet hair. She broke away and leaned foreword, biting each onyx button off his shirt and kissing his pale flesh as it was revealed. She raked her fangs over his nipples and she slid the shirt off him, frantic for the feel of him, the taste of him. Her mouth brushed over his shoulder, sensing the temptation of the fresh blood running through him, drawing her further along. Need raged.
"Dark Venus," he hissed as she licked the nape of his neck. "Taste me."
She sank her fangs into his pale skin, her body convulsed with the luxurious taste of his blood. The power, the memories, the taste of his latest kill filled her in a carmine rush of sensation.
And in the sewers Screed lay dying.
Angelique rested in Lucien’s arms, satiated. She rubbed the spot where Lucien had bitten her, the same spot that had ached so earlier.
"What troubles you, Angelique?" Lucien asked as he moved to sit against the backboard of her bed, idly twining a lock of her dark hair between his fingers.
"I was attacked the day before yesterday by another vampire," she shrugged as she rested her head on his chest.
"When?" Lucien asked, his eyes flashed yellow-green.
"As I returned last evening." Angelique moved her head off his chest and looked at him. "I was almost forced to stake him. But he ran off into the sewers, after a rat."
She smiled. "Do not worry yourself over it." She slipped out of the bed and slipped into a red brocade-dressing robe.
"That isn’t--" LaCroix raised one brow.
"Yours?" Angelique laughed. "Not the original. I wore that out long ago. It is an exact copy." She smiled at Lucien where he lay in her bed, his heavy-lidded blue eyes appraising her, a hedonistic sultan looking at his favorite harem girl. "Come downstairs," she offered in a husky voice as she sashayed from the room.
LaCroix tugged on a black silk robe from where it was draped over the headboard corner and he followed her.
Downstairs, he found Angelique rollicking on the floor with her pets. She looked up, a smile wreathing her face. "You took fine care of them, Lucien."
"You will have to find a way to thank me." He smiled as she stood and moved towards the kitchen. On the counter stood a bottle of LaCroix's special vintage and two handblown wine goblets shaped like Egyptian water lilies. "Lucien, how beautiful!" she exclaimed.
"A token of my esteem." He moved up behind her.
Pain rocked her, unexpected and virulent. She gripped the counter, it splintered. The pain increased, she moaned and swayed. One of her children.
He caught her as she buckled, her heat burned through the silk of his robe. "Angelique?"
She opened her eyes. Hot. She was hot. "I felt a death."
"One of yours?" He cradled her in his arms. Wrong, something was very wrong.
"Yes." She closed her eyes and lay back, the dull echo of pain still throbbing in her head.
"I must get back to the Raven." LaCroix brushed his hand across the side of her face. Regret darkened his pale eyes. "Will you be all right?"
"Yes. It took me by suprise." She struggled out of his embrace and stood, swaying in the center of her kitchen. Lucien moved to pour her a glass of blood laced wine.
"I’ll send Urs to keep watch on you." He stroked her hair as he handed her the glass.
At the Raven, LaCroix sat sullenly, his ordered world crashing down around him. So many missing. And Nick’s doomsday words about a vampire-killing virus. Angelique, so hot in his arms.
Death to the immortal, passed to his kind by dying mortals. Ironic.
"Urs, I am fine." Angelique sat in her bed and stroked Vlad’s sleek black head as the leopard lay beside her.
"The boss said for me to keep you in bed."
"Vampires do not get sick."
Urse handed her a goblet of LaCroix’s vintage. Angelique sipped, savoring the blood. She polished off the glass, her stomach cramped. She doubled over. The glass slipped from her hands and it shattered on the hardwood floor into a thousand diamond-like shards.
A heartbeat sounded nearby. She moved to the window, uncaring of the glass shards slicing into her feet, drawn to the sound of the blood whispering through a mortal’s veins. Fresh blood. She swayed as she inhaled, the scent of male blood filling her. Need whipped loose in her system in a wild agonizing surge. Her eyes changed to yellow- green, her fangs extended. She hungered to taste sweet, hot blood, to quench her unbearable hunger in rivers of scarlet, to stop the pain. Pain of change.
"No!" Urs screamed as Angelique leaned out of the window. The younger vampire pulled at the brocade robe, tearing it. Another cramp. Angelique fell to her knees in the splinters of the goblet. "I need to feed," she growled, baring her teeth at Urs. First hunger held Angelique in its merciless grip. Red stained the floorboards. She attempted to get to her knees, to pursue the fresh blood she smelled so close. The scent of blood was everywhere, maddening her.
"Here," Urs handed her LaCroix’s bottle.
Angelique drained it, then coughed as the blood rolled down her throat and into her diseased system.
* * *
Angelique burned. She dreamed. Distress echoed from the added deaths of her children.
Death approached, his scythe in hand, his cowl over his face. She turned to him, her white linen dress iridescent. He threw back his hood. Her master’s face looked out at her. "Dance with me."
"No." She backed away from the old man, turning and running down the shadowed path between the columns of the temple of Karnak.
Divea stepped into her path. "So, dear sister, our game is over," the girl growled. "Have you won?" She pulled a stake form behind her back. "I think not- the general is mine." Divea raised the stake toward her and charged.
Angelique turned and ran in another direction, seeking escape from her dim past.
"Angelique?" Lucien’s voice brought her out of her restless sleep.
"Lucien," she smiled and sat up, a chill raked her body.
He frowned and ran the tip of his fingers across her forehead. He stared at the pink streak, his eyes widened, "It is true." His pale gaze swung up to look at his beloved Angelique.
Nick’s voice rang through him, A friend of Vachon’s lay dying. Dying. Not Angelique. Never her. "This will not happen," he vowed as he slid into the bed beside Angelique and wrapped his arms around her. She turned to him; her whisky colored eyes frightened. She had never been frightened, not in the two thousand years he had known her.
"Something is wrong," she whispered as he pressed a kiss to her fevered forehead.
"Nothing will happen to you. I will stay the day here with you."
Angelique didn’t sleep. Her fever raged, her mind played tricks on her. LaCroix watched as she drifted in and out of her past. Finally, at sunset, he could take her distress no longer. "Angelique?"
She looked at him, pain in her eyes. "Lucien?" Her hand gripped his, but she was becoming weaker. "Can you feel them?" she asked. "Feel them as they die?"
"Yes." The ache had sliced through him again and again, dulling in comparison to the grief of watching his four-thousand-year old lover dying in his arms.
There was a feline scream and a crash from downstairs.
"I will see to it," LaCroix slid out of the bed and left the bedroom.
Downstairs, he stopped at the sight of Vlad standing over Cleo’s body. Blood dripped from his powerful jaws. Vlad looked up as LaCroix and growled deep in his throat. The cat’s eyes were a hellish red as he began to move toward LaCroix, his obsidian head low between his shoulders and his body crouched.
"Lucien?" Angelique appeared beside him. She swayed then righted herself as she took in the heartbreaking scene before her. "Vlad," she spoke in a low commanding voice. "Stop this instant!" She moved toward the cat, her posture soothing. Vlad growled and swiped at her with one large paw. "Are you hungry? Hmm, Vlad? Let’s get some blood out of the fridge," she cooed as she approached the angry cat. "Lucien, go to the kitchen," this request was given in the same nonsense tone of the prattle she was using to get Vlad to follow her.
LaCroix did as requested, his eyes on Angelique and her cat lest the beast turn on his mistress. He pulled out a bottle labeled dog and emptied it in to a lapis dish.
Vlad attacked the dish, emptied the bowl quickly, then collapsed in a large heap in the kitchen.
"He has it too?" Angelique looked up at LaCroix, a faint shimmer of pink glazing in her eyes.
LaCroix nodded, not trusting his voice. Angelique swayed, doubled over by a coughing fit. LaCroix swept her up in his arms and held her close. "You will not leave me," he whispered. Despair, unlike any other seeped through him as he watched her slipping away from him in slow increments. His knees buckled and he slid down the refrigerator to the floor, Angelique curled into him. As if he could keep her safe. Rage seeped through the anguish.
Angelique smiled as she looked up into his hardening eyes. "You arrogant Roman, you cannot change fate." She stroked his cheek.
"You will not leave me." He nuzzled her hand, pressing a kiss to her palm. You cannot leave me.
"Never," she coughed, then looked up at him again. "Dance with me, Lucien. Before you leave for the Raven."
"I cannot leave you, Mea Amorata." He stood and carried her into the living room. She slipped out of his arms long enough to put a disc in the CD player and turn it on. Music started and he took her into his arms one last time. Billie Holiday sang of loss and longing and need.
In him the pain segued into anger. Revenge, he wanted revenge for her death, his death. Death, for those who killed a people that should never die.
LaCroix held Angelique tightly in a silent good-bye gesture. As the song ended, he still held her close, needing to let go, knowing this would be the last time he saw her beloved face. A few eternal moments he looked down into her catlike eyes, then he kissed her farewell. Her mouth burned from fever. "I must go. The vermin who started this plague must die."
"Lucien," she touched his face with one hot hand, her voice dull.
"I cannot sit and watch you die, Angelique, not without avenging your death." He kissed her again. To lose her sweet taste, her gentle touch, that would be his own death.
"And your own?" she asked, a faint smile on her dark face.
"Try to wait for me," he whispered as he looked into her eyes, knowing his time would be soon. The first signs of this fatal fever were manifesting themselves.
"Always," she smiled as he settled her in her bed, blankets tucked around her. Cleo, recovered from Vlad’s attack, lay on the bed beside her. He paused for a moment before he left, his withered, blackened soul crying out in anguish at losing her. Then anger. He would have revenge for her loss. "Good-bye, Mea Amorata."
Then he was gone.
* * *
He had stopped, his body weakened, to say good-bye. For one last rage against his death. The death of his invisible people. The death of another he loved. Angelique. Nicholas.
(Excerpt from Fever Written by Gillian Horvath)
"They say the ages of man are:
A young man believes he will live forever
a middle aged man knows he will not
and an old man.... Is ready."
His bones ached. He had gone to the lab where the creation of this vampire death was, only to find no one there. A reprieve from LaCroix’s rage. For now.
The chills began.
"What then of those taken out of sequence?
How to prepare them for the bitter end?"
Angelique dying, alone in her home. Fleur, so cold in her grave of eight centuries.
"A man who knows he will not die is a young man.
He is kept young by the knowledge that death shall have no dominion."
A coughing fit caught him. If he had believed in an afterlife, he would be glad to be able to join Fleur when death claimed him soon. Soon he would find out if his kind were truly damned.
"There is nothing so hard as watching that die."
Angelique. Soon he shall have a life for hers. The life of Calvin Tucker.
"A dozen.... in a single night
My children, my people who should have lived forever, living their last.
Who would have ever believed that they would die?
Angelique. Rage and anguish consumed him.
"One short sleep past, we awake eternally,
and death shall be no more."
She cannot die. He had lost Fleur to time. Angelique was not supposed to leave. Ever.
"Death, thy shalt die!
We will survive."
Angelique shall have revenge for her death, the revenge Fleur never had. He sat, lost in grief and rage, before putting on a song. Billie Holiday. Then he went to root out the cause of the disease that had decimated his Angelique and his people.
Calvin Tucker looked up with a start as LaCroix appeared before him.
When he fatally savaged Calvin Tucker he found Angelique’s salvation.
* * *
LaCroix watched passively as Natalie and Nicholas came into the lab.
Nick turned, slowed by the disease that was eating him and addressed LaCroix. "What are you doing here?" His voice betrayed weakness.
So Nicholas was dying too. Well, he had found the cure, the cure the good Doctor Lambert had been searching for.
* * *
Nat filled the syringe up for Nick, then injected it into his arm.
"I will need one also."
They looked at LaCroix. "For who?"
"Angelique and her pets."
Nick’s gaze turned bleak, "she also?"
LaCroix nodded, "Yes."
"I need one for Vachon." He watched as Nat prepared three syringes. "One more for LaCroix," he prompted as Nat handed the needles out to the waiting vampires.
"Who is this Angelique?"
"She saved my life a long time ago."
Nat turned and looked at Nick as she handed LaCroix the last needle. "Returning the favor?"
LaCroix looked at them both. "It is my responsibility." Then he was gone.
* * *
LaCroix landed on her balcony and moved into her living room. He followed soft crooning to her office. She sat, slumped over the body of Vlad. Red tears dripped into his midnight fur, dull with death. Cleo sat next to her mistress, her eyes red. Her dark head lowered to touch her mate’s lifeless coat.
She looked up, her face desolate. "He’s gone."
"I have something for you." He glided into the room and held out a hand. "I need your arm." He crouched near her as she held out her arm. He pulled out the needle and shot her with the serum. She gasped in pain, then closed her eyes as the blood he injected into her began to eliminate the diseased cells in her body.
"Come here, Cleo," LaCroix coaxed the cat to his lap and injected her. Cleo hissed at the feel of the needle, then shuddered as her body began to heal.
LaCroix gathered Angelique into his arms while she wept for her lost pet. "We need to bury him," he suggested as she wiped her bloody tears away a few minutes later.
"Yes." She stood still weak, dependant on her lover’s strength.
He scooped up Vlad’s body as he regained his feet. "I know a place." The three survivors left to bury their fallen comrade.
Nick and Nat planted a tree in memory of Nat’s friend.
Vachon saluted his fallen cohort with a drink and a burial near the water.
LaCroix and Angelique buried Vlad in the empty field behind Angelique’s warehouse home.
* * *
A week later, Angelique readied herself for a visit to the Raven. Lucien had promised something special.
"I have something for you," Lucien said when he appeared behind her.
She smiled and turned, "Really?"
He held out a hand. His arctic blue eyes held a hint of mischief in their radiant depths. "Come downstairs and I will show you." She took his offered hand. "But you must first close your eyes, dark Venus."
She shut her eyes and allowed him to guide her down the stairs.
The cloth of her couch pressed against the back of her legs. "Sit," Lucien commanded her. She did as he bid, her head cocked toward a scrabbling sound and a low sniffling noise. Something with a quickened heartbeat was placed in her lap. "Open your eyes, Angelique."
She gasped when she looked down. The small black leopard cub snuggled in her lap, hissing at Cleo as she attempted to examine the male closer. "Thank you, Lucien." Her eyes shone as she stroked the kit’s downy baby coat.
"My pleasure," he smiled at her. "What shall you name him?"
"Lucius, after the Roman general that gave him to me."
He moved to her and set the cub on the floor for Cleo to mother. "Come, thank me properly," he pulled Angelique off the couch and pulled her to stand in his arms.
"Yes, General." She leaned up and kissed him eagerly. "As you command."