Disclaimer: don't own any of these characters, permission to archive at any Dark Perk site.

The New Perking Orderby Robert Treat

It was time for Tracy to test her new wings. She'd already had her first feeding, so she thought she'd pay Nick a visit at his loft, if only to see the expression on his face. After all, he could have trusted her. She intended to come up through the elevator as any mortal would, but what she saw through the skylight prompted her to enter that way.

LaCroix was standing over the barely alive forms of both Natalie and Nick. He had blood on his mouth, but her senses didn't indicate anything unusual from him. "You want to tell me what the hell happened in here, Mr. LaCroix?" It was not a request.

"The good doctor suggested Nicholas do what Janette did to become mortal again," LaCroix said in disgust. "I tried to bring him across again—and it made ME mortal"

"Oh dear," Tracy said. "I guess we can't have that." In the meantime she bit her wrists to allow both Nick and Natalie feed. By now the mortality factor that was originally in Natalie had been diluted, and Tracy found her vampire powers were still intact. When the others had finished feeding Tracy turned to LaCroix.
"You want to be next?" she offered. "Yes," he replied helplessly.

She sunk her fangs into his neck and allowed the ancient's blood to flow into her. As it did she received the visions of his long life, the campaigns in ancient Rome and later, the long times with Nick and Janette. She might not have been able to stop herself if her new sister hadn't come in and pulled her away. Urs had swiped some blood from the Raven, and they were ready when the fledglings awoke in first hunger. After this was satisfied Tracy laid down the new ground rules to her offspring.

"I believe you know your Aunt Urs," she said. " Vachon found her at the hospital when he was bringing me across. He took her back to the church to help her recover from what Divia did. Just as Janette helped Vachon recover. That feeding created a new link between them, so Janette's for practical purposes Vachon's new master. Now she's you guy's great-grandsire"

LaCroix was incensed at the new hierarchy. "This is your doing, doctor," he sneered at Natalie. "You fed Nicholas with your toxic ideas. And now, this is the result"

"You should have let me remain mortal, LaCroix," Nick said, and was immediately interrupted by Natalie.

"You guys both wanted to let me die!" she said. "And Nick. You were perfectly willing to bring Tracy across, but not me! And you did bring Janette across. But never me"

"That's enough from all of you!" Tracy ordered. "Nat, you have a point, but, you talked Nick out of trying to save me. Remember?"

"Oh, yeah," Natalie said.

"Oh, yeah," Tracy" reminded her. "And you let her talk you out of it, Nick." Nick looked down. Tracy continued. "Now guys, I've always had to be referee when my parents fought, and I am not going to spend the centuries refereeing fights between my children! Are we clear on this?"

"Quite clear," Natalie said.
"Absolutely," Nick agreed.

"Perfectly, clear," LaCroix grumbled.

Nick, Nat, and LaCroix felt a collective shudder. That perky blonde was going to be their master for eternity.