(Magdalena de Sang and her story are the only things that belong to me.)
I would like to thank my beta reader Javanyet for her advice and support in the development of this story. I'd be nowhere without you. I would also like to thank my small but dedicated group of reviewers for their invaluable feedback. I hope all of you enjoy my newly edited version of Revelations!
"Oh, Nick, sorry. I didn't realize you were working. I'll come back later." Natalie said quickly.
"Its fine, Nat. I need a break anyway. Come on in." Nick assured her.
As Nick set his brushes down and sipped from a wine glass Natalie stepped around the easel to examine Nick's latest work.
Natalie's eyes went wide as she took in the image.
"Nick, what is this?"
"A family portrait. LaCroix commissioned me to paint it for him."
"You mean he asked you." Natalie corrected.
Nick smirked, "LaCroix doesn't ask for anything, Nat. He wants a portrait for his flat and doesn't trust anyone besides me to paint it. Put those art lessons to good use, Nicholas, and try to make it less melancholy than your other works. This is going on my mantel." Nick finished in an over the top imitation of LaCroix's quiet drawl.
Natalie smiled at the thought of LaCroix lecturing Nick about being melancholy then took another look at the half finished painting.
Clothed in medieval garb and standing on either side of a seated LaCroix were Nick and Janette. Natalie's brow furrowed in confusion when she noticed a second woman in the picture.
The woman looked to be in her mid-twenties with plaited deep brown hair and matching brown eyes. Though she appeared as delicate as a porcelain doll Natalie could tell that this woman was a force to be reckoned with.
"Who is she? A fledgling of LaCroix's?" Natalie asked.
"In a manner of speaking. She was brought across after Janette and before me. Her name was Magdalena de Sang." Nick answered suddenly very interested in the contents of his glass.
"She's beautiful. Why is she standing on LaCroix's right side and holding his hand?" Natalie inquired.
"It's a place of honor. Magdalena was a saint among demons and LaCroix adored her for it." Nick replied quietly.
"I thought you were LaCroix's favorite."
"LaCroix would never have met me if it hadn't been for Magdalena. Magdalena de Sang was my birth mother." Nick confessed.
Natalie's jaw dropped as the meaning of Nick's statement hit her.
Speechless Natalie examined the painting and couldn't help but notice a few subtle similarities between both Nick and the woman named Magdalena.
"But you said your mother was Claire de Brabant." Natalie reminded Nick.
Nick nodded, "Claire raised me and loved me as if I were her own but it was Magdalena who gave birth to me. Magdalena wasn't able to care for me herself but she gave me to someone who could." Nick answered softly.
"Why couldn't Magdalena take care of you and how does LaCroix fit into all this?" Natalie demanded.
"Magdalena couldn't raise me because she was a newborn herself. A newly born vampire. The strain of my birth would've killed Magdalena if LaCroix hadn't brought her across. He wouldn't allow something as trivial as death to take the mother of his child away." Nick answered sharply.
"You're not saying that LaCroix…"
"Is my birth father as well as my vampiric father? Yes. Somehow LaCroix and Magdalena were able to conceive and I was born. Don't ask me how they managed to do it because I have no idea." Nick muttered.
"Have you ever thought to ask them? I mean something like this could hold the clue to regaining your mortality." Natalie asked.
Nick snickered, "LaCroix would rather stake himself than tell me and Magdalena courtesy of the local churchmen was captured, tortured, and later burned as a witch. I was only a child when I saw her die."
The vampire shut his eyes in a vain attempt to hold back the memories.
"Nicholas! Mon bebe!" Magdalena screamed as the flames engulfed her.
"Maman! a young Nicholas cried out.
"I'm so sorry, Nick. But how did you know the truth if Magdalena and LaCroix gave you to the de Brabants?" Natalie asked.
Nick sighed and managed a small smile, "It's a long story, Nat."
"If you're ready to tell it then I'll listen." Natalie replied softly.
Meanwhile across Toronto, a certain master vampire had just concluded his broadcast and decided on a rare whim to brave the harsh Canadian winter by walking back to his flat.
It was an unusually quiet night. The sounds of traffic were subdued and the normally harsh street lamps were dimmed by the sheer multitude of slowly drifting snowflakes. A rare scene of both winter and urban serenity.
A soft sigh escaped the ancient Roman's throat as he recalled the last time he had seen a night like this. The night his beloved Nicholas had come into the world.