I still don't own 'The Gates' , and I still only do this for fun, not profit.

This is basically my AU version of the next episode. I'm sure the actual episode will be nothing like this. However, I'm using the same title (which was listed at the abc website) because I couldn't think of another.

Little Girl Lost

by Minlin

Chapter 1

Nick Monohan picked up his ringing cell and looked at the caller I.D.

"Dylan hello..."

He thought his neighbor was calling about the situation earlier in the day with Agent Russo, or possibly a 'thank you' to Sara for picking up his daughter. However he knew it wasn't anything that simple as soon as he heard the panic in the man's voice.

"Nick, I..oh god Nick, Emily's gone, she's been kidnapped!"

"Whoa, what? Dylan what happened, you picked her up here just a couple of hours ago?"

"Nick, we just went up to check on her and she's gone and there was...oh god he took her, he took her right from the house..Nick.."

The anguish in the man's voice was painful to hear.

"I'll be right over, Dylan."

He arrived at the Radcliffe home to find Dylan pacing and snarling while Claire huddled in the corner sobbing.

After several minutes he managed to get Dylan to calm down enough that he could speak coherently.

"Now from the beginning, what happened?"

"It was Christian, an old friend."

The word 'friend' was spoken like a profanity.

"We hadn't seen him for several years until recently. He was my best friend, I've known him since shortly after I was turned. He was the best man at our wedding..!"

Dylan picks up a vase from the end table and hurls it against the wall. His eyes are black, and he's shuddering with rage.

"It's my fault," says Claire quietly.

"Christian took Emily to get to me. He wanted me and when I said no, when I wouldn't leave Dylan he got angry."

"Claire."

"No it's true, if I hadn't gone sneaking around, if I hadn't been playing the silly slut," her voice voice broke as she began to sob, "None of this would have happened. Oh god, and now he has Emily.."

"Claire," repeats Dylan, "it's not your fault, it's not."

He crossed the room and embraced his wife.

Nick waited while Dylan comforted his wife. Whatever Claire might have gotten up to with this other guy, it was obvious to him the couple loved each other.

"When Claire first rejected Christian, he...assaulted her."

As a cop Nick can hear what Dylan isn't saying.

"He..?"

He doesn't like asking, he never does in cases like this.

"It was just a bite, I wasn't hurt," says Claire quickly.

She won't meet his eyes or Dylan's. Nick feels his stomach roll, it's common victim behavior. Pretend what happened wasn't that bad, and it'll be true.

Nick continues, "He forced himself on you?"

After a pause, she whispers, "Yes."

"I went after him, when I found out," says Dylan.

"I knocked him out and I tied him to a tree and I left him for the sun," the vampire's voice is eerily calm.

"He called out to me, he thought I was joking, that I didn't really mean it. I should have stayed. I should have stayed and watched him burn, then I would have been sure he was gone."

Nick knows he should probably be appalled that the man is so casually confessing to attempted murder, but under the circumstances he knows he'd do the same.

"I thought I'd taken care of the problem, but when we went up to check on Em, she was gone and we found this," Dylan picks up a small black jeweler's box from the table and hands it to Nick. Inside is a ring with a red stone.

"Christian offered it to me when he tried to get me to leave Dylan."

"He wants us to know it's him," said Dylan.

"He wants you to panic," replied Nick, "and do something stupid."

"Look," he continued, "you called me instead of rushing off after him half-cocked, that's good. I'll do everything I can, but you must have authorities of your own that you can also call on for help, right?"

"Not all of our kind would approve of our having adopted Emily. Not that most would wish her harm, and they would go after Christian, but they'd feel she should be removed from our care for safety's sake. And if she's seen anything that would give us away..."

"Could he," Nick hates to ask, "could he plan on turning her?"

"To..to turn a child," says Dylan, his voice breaking, "is one of the most serious crimes among our kind. He'd be hunted by everyone until he was captured, staked and burned. No one, not even outcasts, would give him refuge. Emi... the child would also be destroyed."

"There are some here in The Gates who'd be willing to help us," says Claire, "but there's only so much they can do."

Nick sighs, "Normally in a kidnapping case I'd call the FBI and the state cops immediately. They'd be out here going over the place with a fine tooth comb, setting up road blocks and issuing an amber alert, but in this case that's not possible."

"The first thing I'm going to do is call Leigh and have her access all the surveillance videos for the day. We'll focus on the past few hours, but since we don't know if Christian might not have been staking you out for a while, we'll check them all."

"Now, would he have had trouble getting her to go with him? Would she have struggled? Tried to get away?"

"No, Emily quite likes 'Uncle Christian'. As long as he acted in his usual friendly manner, she'd have gone with him willingly."

Claire nods in agreement, "He makes her laugh, she'd never never think he meant her any harm."

"Now he can't exactly stay in The Gates, but do you know of anywhere he might go? Does he live in the area? Own any property? Even if he's not there right now, we might find information that could help us find him."

"He has an apartment in Franklin," says Claire.

"Ok, that's a start. Let me get Leigh started on the video search then we can figure out what to do next."

Nick quickly called the deputy, explaining the situation and what was required of her.

"Christian won't go too far," Dylan tells Nick when he gets off the phone.

"He'll want to be close enough to watch the fun."

"Christian always did like to see his enemies squirm," agrees Claire.

"Can vampires be tracked?"

At Dylan's questioning look Nick elaborates.

"Do they leave a trace scent that could be followed?"

"Well yes, but not a very strong one. Of course Emily's scent wouldn't be a problem."

"But how would you get scent dogs if you don't report the kidnapping?" asks Claire.

"Actually," answers Nick, "I think I might have a possible solution to part of the problem."

Dylan looks at him curiously.

" I need to make a private call, see if I can make arrangements, before I make any promises."