A/N: This fic was written in response to a request for 'romantic seduction' posted on the Fic on Demand LJ community. I hope I was able to keep everyone in character. This is a pairing that has always intrigued me. Definitely let me know what you think!

The events of Valentine's Day had given Lacroix a new perspective on revenge. To an onlooker, it may have appeared that Lacroix was showing uncharacteristic mercy towards his wayward child when he spared the life of Dr. Natalie Lambert, because it was pathetically obvious that, despite his protestations to the contrary, Nicholas was completely besotted with the woman. Such kindness really should have served as a clear warning sign that something was amiss, but then, Nicholas had never been known for his cleverness.

Oh, Lacroix still fully intended to exact revenge for the pain his child had caused him. Nearly eight centuries later, the pain of giving up his love for Nicholas' sister Fleur was still fresh in his mind. It was one of the rare times in his life as a vampire that Lacroix had given up something he desired. It went against his very nature to do so, but he had given in to Nicholas' request as a symbol of the love he felt for his child. But he had sworn to exact a price. Nick needed to learn that it did not do well to defy one's maker.

Originally, his plan had been decidedly simple. He would lure the good doctor away from prying eyes, using the promise of a romantic dinner with her precious Nick as bait, and then drown himself in the flood of her lifeblood as it ran down his throat, leaving his child with nothing but a corpse to mourn.

However, Nicholas' paramour had given him quite the surprise when she arrived. He had not expected such a vision of loveliness. Her lab coat had hidden more than he realized. Such beauty was to be savored like fine wine…not guzzled like cheap ale. So rather than killing her immediately, he decided to lavish her with attention, coupling the hypnotic quality of his voice with slow, sensual caresses to lull her into a languid state of relaxation.

The thing that shocked him though…the thing that saved her life…was the way she reacted to his attentions. She knew who he was…she knew what he could do to her, yet he sensed no fear in her. Her body showed only arousal at his attentions, her skin flushing and her body arching into his touch every time his hand slid over her skin or his lips brushed her neck. He knew then that he had been presented with an opportunity for revenge that was far sweeter than he'd ever imagined.

Because to murder his child's love would only cause Nicholas to be filled with the pure hatred of betrayal. But to seduce her…to make her choose the sire over the son…would deprive Nicholas of any outlet for his rage. He would never hurt the woman he loved, and therefore, he would not be able to lash out at Lacroix for fear of causing her pain. In such a situation, he would only be able to turn his anger inward, blaming himself for not acting when he had the chance, and it would eat him away from the inside out. It was a punishment far more worthy of his crime. Nicholas did not deserve the luxury of righteous anger.

So Lacroix had let his prize go at the time in favor of attaining a higher reward. He watched as Nicholas predictably distanced himself from his love in fear of what Lacroix might do to her. And he watched as the good doctor became more and more frustrated with Nick's ambivalence, waiting until she was ripe for the plucking.

And then he sent her another bouquet of roses, with an invitation to meet her 'secret admirer' for a romantic interlude.

She, of course, thought they were from Nick…he had been particularly cruel to her that day. She was not even aware of the irony that this was the same bait Lacroix had used months ago…her memory of that event having been pushed deep into her subconscious. But it was not to a fancy restaurant that he brought her this time…it was to his own, private mansion, a building that not even Nick realized he owned.

When Natalie walked through the door to his home, she received quite a shock. She had been expected a private dining establishment of some sort, not the extravagant dwelling she had walked into. The place was lit with warm light from the fireplace, highlighting the expensive, antique furnishings that filled the house, and the sound of classical music could be heard in the background. It was gorgeous…and completely not what she would expect from Nick Knight. The warning bells in her head were ringing loudly, and she began to back towards the door to leave, but it was already too late. Lacroix appeared behind her, wrapping his arms around her tightly.

"Remember," he whispered forcefully into her ear.

All levels of vampires were gifted with a natural ability to hypnotize mortals, allowing them to lull their victims into complacency or erase the memory of their visit. But these memories were never truly gone…only buried…and for one who was very skilled, it was possible to unearth what had been hidden. That is what Lacroix did now, forcing Natalie to remember Nicholas' betrayal as he swore he did not love her…forcing her to remember the languid caresses and heated touches Lacroix had lavished upon her the last time they met…forcing her to remember the illicit arousal she had felt.

"It was you," she whispered. "All this time, I thought I was dreaming about Nick, but it was you."

"To remember anything at all, even in a dream, is quite impressive. Most mortals are not capable of resisting a vampire's hypnotism even to that extent."

"I find it ironic," she said sadly, "that the most romantic evening I've ever experienced was with someone who wants to kill me. I should have known Nick wasn't capable of something like that."

Lacroix slowly pulled Natalie's hair away from her neck, planting gentle kisses on the exposed skin. At first she stiffened, knowing what deadly instruments lay just beneath those soft lips, but soon she found herself relaxing, giving in to whatever fate this creature had in store for her. She would never be able to fight him, so she might as well enjoy her last minutes on Earth.

"And what if I do not wish to kill you," Lacroix murmured into her ear. "What if my desire is to give you everything you've been longing for?"

He turned her around slowly, gently stroking the side of her cheek before tilting her head up to meet his lips as they descended on her own. Natalie moaned softly, momentarily giving in to the desire she was feeling before backing away from him in shock.

"What makes you think I long to be used?" she asked bitterly. "This is all about Nick…it was never about me."

"My darling girl, if this were just about Nick, you would have died the night we met. I will admit…there is a certain appeal to stealing the prize right from Nicholas' very grasp, but make no mistake, you are a prize worthy to be had. I find you quite…captivating," he said as he took a step forward and curled a tendril of Natalie's hair around his finger.

"I find it rather interesting," Lacroix continued, allowing his fingers to trace idle patterns on Natalie's skin, "that you mortals, who have such little time on this Earth, are so willing to while away years of your life waiting for something you may never attain. You should be using each precious moment to the fullest, sucking the very marrow out of life, and yet you sit and wallow. If my wayward child is too foolish to see what is in right front of him, then you should find someone who will not let your charms go…unappreciated. To sit and wait for so long…pining away in anguish…it is unbecoming."

"And you feel you are the one who can truly appreciate my…charms," Natalie said dryly.

"I will not force this decision upon you. I will use no trick of hypnotism or threat of force to coerce you into my bed. Once, long ago, I loved one such as yourself. She was so filled with goodness that she was capable of embracing the darkness without diminishing her light. But Nicholas denied us our love… erased it entirely when he extinguished all memories of me from her head…and nearly eight hundred years later, I still feel the pain of that loss. I long to be able to love like that once more."

"What was her name?" Natalie asked quietly.

"Fleur. Fleur de Brabant."

"Nick's sister!" Natalie gasped.

"Yes, it seems that by some twist of fate, the de Brabant family held some unexplainable fascination for me. But the fates were cruel. I was not allowed to keep my beautiful Flower, and even after all these years, I'm not sure I ever really had Nicholas at all."

"I know the feeling," Natalie murmured.

"Then, will you consider my offer?" Lacroix whispered into her ear, brushing his lips against her neck.

"What happens if I say no?" Natalie asked with a shaky voice.

"Then you are free to go, of course. But know this…I will not be swayed from my path. I am not as easily put off by minor setbacks as our dear friend Nicholas. I could spend the rest of your life trying to seduce you, and it would be but a drop in the bucket of my lifespan...I do have eternity after all."

"I think I could enjoy the process of being seduced," Natalie said cautiously, warming to the idea of someone finally pursuing her for once.

"Then think of how much more you will enjoy what comes after," Lacroix suggested seductively. "I may have eternity, but your time is limited. Why wait for something you already admit to desiring?"

Lacroix did not wait for Natalie's answer. Instead, he pulled her in for a passionate kiss. When she responded by wrapping her arms around him and drawing her nails down his back, he knew that he had won. Not wishing to wait any longer, he lifted her into his arms and carried her swiftly to his bedroom.

The room was lavish in its own right, but extra care had been taken to prepare for his guest. Dozens of candles lit the room, and in the bed were hundreds of rose petals, all the color of freshly fallen blood.

"I guess you were pretty sure I'd say yes," Natalie said dryly.

"In my life, I have found that it pays to be prepared for all eventualities," Lacroix replied. "Had you said no, I would have readied the room in the same way each time until you were ready to accept what I have to offer. But now that you are here, I can think of much better uses of my energy," he said as he grazed her neck with his fangs.

Natalie stiffened at the feel of his teeth against her throat. "I know if we do this, you will have to…feed…at some point," she said nervously. "I can accept that it's one of the costs of going to bed with a vampire. I…I just want to make sure I'm not going to die from it. I'm still pretty fond of the whole living thing."

Lacroix chuckled deeply. "You will find that not all vampires are as incapable of controlling their hunger as Nicholas. To one such as I…one who is used to slaking his thirst with regular abandon…to restrain myself on occasion is no burden at all. But for Nicholas…who lives in a perpetual state of starvation…to take one sip is to open the floodgates of Death. You need not fear such intemperance from me."

Lacroix's words had exactly the desired affect on Natalie. His gentle assurances, coupled with his insistence that he would not force anything upon her, waylaid any of the panic she might normally feel in this situation, making her easy prey for his advances. And, the most seductive thing of all, he truly was offering her everything she wanted…someone to lavish attention on her and love her openly, without remorse.

Her decision made, Natalie stepped back from him with a smile, reaching behind her back to lower the zipper of her gown. The silky material slid seductively down her body and pooled around her feet, leaving her clad in only a pair of simple black underwear. Lacroix admired her openly for a moment before reverently laying her onto the bed and sliding her last remaining garment from her body.

"Nicholas was a fool to deny himself such a treasure," he said huskily as he began to cover her body with languid kisses. He began with her breasts, laving each one with his tongue before allowing his fangs to scrape delicately against them, causing small beads of blood to well up against her pale skin. He sucked at these tiny wounds hungrily, relishing the tantalizing taste of what was to come.

Eventually, his kisses began to descend lower, causing Natalie's breath to hitch in excitement, and soon he was lapping at the juices flowing from her core. This fluid did not have the heady taste of her blood, but it was a delicacy to be savored nonetheless. He was so caught up in the pleasure of just tasting her, that it came as quite a surprise when she let out a load moan and began to convulse around him.

"I take it you are enjoying yourself," he chuckled as he lifted his head from between her legs. "I assure you, I could go on like this for hours."

"We might have to work up to that," Natalie said shakily. "You wouldn't want me passing out before the main event."

"Why rush?" he teased. "I have all the time in the world."

"Because if we are going to do this…I'd like to do it properly," Natalie replied with a frustrated growl.

"A compelling point, Doctor," Lacroix said as he stood and quickly removed his clothing.

Once he was rid of his garments, his crawled up Natalie's body until his hard shaft was poised above her entrance. "Is this more what you had in mind?" he asked as he entered her in one swift stroke.

Natalie winced slightly at the pain of the sudden intrusion.

"Surely, not a virgin?" Lacroix said, his eyebrows lifting in surprise.

"Not quite," she said with a self-deprecating laugh. "But it has been a long time."

"I assure you, that is a malady you will never have to suffer from again," Lacroix promised, kissing her deeply.

Natalie kissed him back, eagerly exploring his mouth with her tongue before she turned her head to nip at his neck. The feeling of her teeth against his throat triggered something primal in Lacroix, and his eyes flashed yellow as he bucked into her.

"Be careful my dear," he gasped, "or this will be over barely before we've begun."

"We'll have time to go slow later," Natalie replied, raking her nails harshly against his back. "Aren't you the one who told me to stop waiting for what I want?"

"As you wish," Lacroix growled, kissing her harshly as he began to thrust into her. He tried to go slowly at first, allowing her body to get used to the unaccustomed intrusion, but soon their mutual lust and Natalie's encouraging moans of pleasure drove him to move at frenzied pace. Soon…too soon…Lacroix found himself coming with a feral roar, his teeth instinctively plunging into his lover's neck as he reached his peak.

He allowed himself one long pull from the sweet nectar flowing through her veins before he withdrew his teeth and bit into his own wrist to help sooth the residual cravings that wracked his body. He could taste Natalie's own release in her blood, giving it a distinctive flavor that could not be mimicked by any other sensation. Once he had calmed himself sufficiently, he allowed himself to return his attention to her neck, gently lapping at the seeping wounds until her blood stopped flowing freely.

Her heartbeat was strong and steady, indicating that he had not taken too much, but the experience had been too much for her, and she was now resting in blissful slumber. He had been afraid this would happen, which is why he hadn't wished to rush the proceedings, but who was he to deny a woman in need?

And she was quite right…they would have plenty of time in the future to take things at a torturously slow pace. More time than she realized. Because Lacroix had no plans of letting his new flower wilt under the ravages of time. He would wait patiently, allowing her to bloom fully, and then he would pluck her from time's flow, freezing her for all eternity in a state of perfection. Nicholas would not be able to sway him from his course this time around.

Natalie would be his forever.