Blood Bonds By Merrie Thomas

Prologue 530 PM, Toronto Canada

Nick Knight winced a little when his friend and the only mortal who knew of his secret, Natalie Lambert drew a syringe out of his arm. "Oh, don't be such a baby." she chided him, noticing his wince. "You heal, remember?"

"Yeah, yeah. That's what I'm trying to change." He flexed his arm and made a little face of disgust when he saw that the place where Nat had inserted the syringe had already healed over. He sighed. 'The curse of being a vampire.' he thought to himself. A little voice in the back of his brain damned him for that. What mortal wouldn't sell their soul to be able to heal so quickly? To live forever? Nick certainly hadn't been able to refuse.

"What's bothering you, Nick? You seem to be brooding a bit more than usual this evening. We'll find a cure, don't worry." she said with a frown.

Nick placed a hand on her shoulder. "Nat, I know you'll find a cure. It's not that. I don't know what's been wrong with me lately. I simply feel a sense of doom about my head." Natalie looked at him incredulously. "Yeah, I know. I'm being melodramatic. I think that is yet another curse of my kind-" He broke off conversation as a searing pain tore through his skull. He put his hands to his head and fell to the ground with a loud groan. Natalie let out a yell.

"Nick! Are you alright? Talk to me! What's wrong?"

Nick couldn't answer her. He could hardly think straight the pain was so strong. Something was wrong...very wrong. As soon as he was able, he looked up at Natalie. "Nat...I'm alright. It's not me...it's Lacroix."

Blood Bonds

A Forever Knight story by Merrie Thomas

Disclaimer: All characters you're familiar with don't belong to me. Those that you aren't, do.

Characters: Lacroix, Nick, Natalie, Tracy, Erin Gabriel OFC,

Summary: Someone or something is after Lacroix, and it is up to Nick and Nat to find out who it is and how to stop them.

Author's Note: Be kind, this is only my second attempt at Forever Knight fanfic. This takes place in the third season after Ashes to Ashes. Also, '...' indicates the character is thinking to themself.

Rating: This story is rated PG-13 for violence and language

Nick got up to leave, heading towards the door. "Nick! Wait! What are you doing? It's still daylight outside, remember?" Nick glanced toward one of the front windows of the building. Nat was right. He had been so ready to go and help Lacroix that he hadn't thought about his own safety. "Now tell me, what's wrong? You said something about Lacroix. Is he in trouble?" Nick nodded. Nat gave him a look. "How do you know that? You know, he's the one part about your life that you never talk about. I mean, I know he made you a vampire, you've been willing enough to share that, but what else?"

"It's-it's hard to explain, Nat. I just know if he's in trouble. He would know immediately if something happened to me as well."

"So that's how he was at the hospital after you got shot. I had wondered about that since there was no way that you could have called him."

"Yes, but that doesn't matter right now, Nat. What matters is that he is in trouble and he needs my help. And to help him, I need you. So let's go. Oh, and bring some blood. I have a bad feeling." Nick then turned and went out the parking garage. Nat sighed and got five blood packets out of her freezer and put them into a portable cooler. She closed it tightly as she made her way to where Nick's Caddy was parked. As soon as she reached Nick's car, he tossed her the keys and got into the trunk. "You drive. He should be at the Raven. I've got a thing about sunlight." Natalie sighed again and got in, making her way toward the Raven.

Earlier that day, the Raven

Lacroix couldn't sleep. His body knew that he needed to, it knew that it was daylight outside, but he couldn't convince his mind of the fact. Resigned, he walked down to the cellar of the Raven, tugging his black silk robe a bit tighter around him as he felt it loosen with his long strides. He stopped abruptly at the feeling of another presence. He glanced around him, and made his way to the rooms where many of his kind opted to stay during the day. To his surprise he found them all empty. He was alone. He glanced up, the presence he had felt was gone. "Hello? Is there anyone here?" As soon as he said it, Lacroix chuckled at his foolishness. Of course there was no one here. 'That still doesn't explain the presence you felt,' a nagging voice at the back of his head casually informed him. He pushed it away, becoming irritated because the voice sounded annoyingly close to Nicholas'. He shook his head slightly and made his way to where he kept the bottles of blood-laced red wine. He unlocked the gate and pulled out a bottle. He was tempted to pull out the cork and take a long pull right then and there, but he was more sophisticated than that. He locked up the gates and made his way upstairs to get a glass. After finding a very expensive crystal goblet, he made his way back to his room in the hopes that after he had had his drink he would feel like going back to sleep. Upon entering his room however, any thoughts of sleep vanished from his mind as he felt the presence again. "Show yourself, I know you're here!" He yelled, setting the bottle and glass upon his bedside table. There was no answer. Lacroix's rage was nearing it's peak. He knew someone was here, but where were they? And why don't they show themselves? That was Lacroix's last conscious thought as he succumbed to the darkness, his own screams the last sound he heard.

Present Time

Natalie pulled up in front of the Raven, and turning off the car went to unlock the trunk. "Nick, can you hear me?" She asked as she inserted the key into the slot.

"Yes, Natalie. Are we there?"

"We are in front of the Raven right now. I am going to open up the trunk now, and I wanted you to be ready."

"Alright. I'm ready. Unlock the front door of the Raven though." Nick said, his voice muffled through the metal of the large trunk. Natalie turned and went to unlock the door, making sure to leave it open to Nick could get inside before the sun did any real damage. Try as she might to make him believe otherwise, Nick still believed the sun could harm him. Natalie believed it was simply a case of mind over matter. If Nick believed the sun would cause him harm, it would. On the other hand...Pushing these thoughts away for the moment, Natalie concentrated on the situation in front of her. She opened up the truck and immediately backed out of the way as Nick came racing out of it towards the dark safety of the club. Natalie then closed the lid nearly all the way, leaving it open slightly so Nick wouldn't have to unlock it if he had to run out here again, and turned to get the blood-filled cooler from the passenger seat. Locking up the Caddy, she went to join Nick inside.

When Nick got inside he glanced himself over to make sure he wasn't badly injured, and then made his way quickly to where he sensed his master was. He vaguely sensed Natalie trying to keep up, but it is no use for a mortal to try and keep up with a vampire when he decides to use his real speed. Upon reaching Lacroix's door however, he hesitated. Something was not right. He could feel it in the air. Something felt out of balance. His thoughts were interrupted however by the sound of a slightly winded Natalie as she reached the top of the flight of stairs he had just sped up. She slowly walked over and glanced with curiosity. "So, is Lacroix here? Is he alright?" she asked a bit nervously.

"I know he's here. This is his room. Now, I want you to stay back a bit. If something did happen to Lacroix, and he is injured, he is more dangerous than you can ever imagine." Nick made sure Natalie understood the situation and opened the door. There was no way he could have prepared himself from the scene that greeted him. There was Lacroix, his maker, his father, staked out on his bed. Literally. There was one stake each in his legs and arms, and one though his stomach. His face was also covered with deep cuts. Nick doubled over as a wave of pain crested over him.

"Oh-oh my God, Nick. Who did this to him? Is he even still alive?" Natalie whispered from behind him.

"Yes, his is still alive, but he won't be for very much longer if we don't help him." He moved in towards his maker, taking in ever sight before him, swearing revenge on whomever had done this. "Nat, I need you to help get the stakes out. But you must be very careful, and you must do it slow as so the wood doesn't splinter. A word of warning, he has lost a lot of blood, Nat. And I do mean a lot. I don't know what having you here is going to do to him, but we don't have a choice." He glanced over at her, and noticed the blood drain out of her face. She then took a moment to collect herself and nodded. He then leaned over to Lacroix, who was by some miracle still conscious. Lacroix looked up at him in a mixture of relief and the intense pain he must have been feeling. Nick placed a hand on his cheek, taking an inventory of the scratches he found there. He then grabbed the stake in Lacroix's left arm. He pulled his hand back with a grimace.

"Nick! What's wrong?!" Natalie asked.

"Can't you smell it?" Natalie sniffed the air hesitantly. She glanced up at Nick who nodded. "Garlic. These stakes are soaked in garlic." Before Natalie could even begin to imagine what that would be like for a vampire, Nick grabbed the stake again, taking a deep breath as his hands began to smoke a little. Natalie took a hold of one in Lacroix's thigh. "One, two, three!" On the last count they both yanked a stake out. Lacroix let out a roar as the pain assaulted him. Nick couldn't help but give a little gasp of his own as the pain backlashed through the blood link he had with Lacroix. "Two down, three to go." Nick said as he motioned a pale Natalie to grab another stake. "One, two, three!" Once again they both yanked another stake out, but Lacroix wasn't able to cry out this time. He simply gave a small gasp as what little color he had left in his face drained out. "Hold on, Lacroix. We have one more to go and then we can work on getting you back to normal." Nick grabbed the last stake, noting it's position. 'whoever did this to him could have killed him. All it would have taken is one stake through the heart. Why make him suffer like this?' Nick shoved that thought to the back of his mind as he pulled the last stake out. Lacroix made no motion or sound, however. He simply fainted dead away.

Nick dropped the final stake to the ground, and closed his eyes at the agony his maker was feeling. "Nick?" Natalie asked. "Are you going to be alright? Is he going to be alright?"

Nick looked over at her with what he tried to make a reassuring glance. "I think so, Natalie. He needs blood though." He glanced to the bedside table where Lacroix had placed the bottle of blood-laced wine and picked it up. He then took the cork between his teeth and pulled it out, not looking at Natalie for a reaction to his bad habit. He gently lifted Lacroix's head and placed the bottle to his lips. "Lacroix? You must drink." At first, there was no answer, and Nick became worried. Then, slowly Lacroix opened his eyes and ever so slightly leaned toward the bottle to drink. After what seemed a very long time, he finished the bottle.

"He doesn't look any better." Natalie commented on seeing Lacroix finish the bottle.

"I know. There is only one solution." Nick said, as he tore into his wrist. He then placed it in front of Lacroix who latched onto it and began to drink slowly.

Natalie couldn't help but wince a little at this. Visions of Nick's true nature and his relationship with Lacroix unnerved her. She gave a little sigh of relief when she saw Nick take his wrist back. Lacroix, it seemed had fallen back into unconsciousness. Nick gasped.

"Nick? Are you ok?"

"I-I don't know, Natalie. Something...something wasn't right when he fed from me. It felt wrong, somehow."

"What do you mean, wrong?" Natalie asked, not really wanting to admit to herself that she was a little worried. She had never really cared for Lacroix, never really known him, but that didn't necessarily mean that she wanted to see him hurt.

"I can't explain it, I just know something isn't right."

"Who did this to him? Who could do this to him? The only vampire I've ever seen inflict this kind of damage was Divia. Are you sure Lacroix finished her?" Natalie asked, casting a look towards the door.

"I'm sure, Nat. Divia didn't do this, she is dead. I staked her through the heart and Lacroix burned her body to ashes."

"You saw this?" Natalie asked him.

"No, but I trust Lacroix's word that he did it. Why wouldn't he? She was already dead."

"It's just...I don't know, Nick. Don't mind me. It's simply unnerving to see something hurt one of you guys. Especially him. I didn't think anything could touch him."

"Nothing was supposed to, Nat. Nothing was supposed to." Nick whispered. "He was supposed to be the one person I wouldn't-" Nick caught himself as he realized what he was saying. "He was supposed to be the one person I wouldn't lose." He gave Natalie a look of surprise.

"He was the one person you didn't think you had to worry about. Well, I'm sorry, Nick. Everyone gets hurt, everyone dies. Now, it may be a little harder in a vampire's case, but it can still happen."

"I know, Nat. It's just..." He looked down at Lacroix. "We can talk about this later. Right now we have to get him out of here."

"But it's still daylight out. Why shouldn't we stay here until the sun sets?" Natalie asked with a look at her watch. "We don't have that much daylight left anyway."

"Nat, whoever did this got in without Lacroix noticing it. That means that it probably wasn't a vampire. And if it wasn't a vampire, that means a little sun won't affect them."

"I-I guess you're right, Nick. But where are we going to take him, Nick? We can't take him to your place." At Nick's questioning glance she continued. "What if whoever did this to him is after you as well? Your loft would be the first place they looked." Nick winced. Natalie was right. But where could they take him? Most of the vampires he knew were dead. Vachon, Urs, Screed, Janette. Who else could he trust? The answer came to him in a flash. He looked at Natalie, who had seemed to come to the same conclusion he had.

"Tracy." They both said at once. "She should be home now." he threw his cellphone at Natalie. "You call, tell her it's an emergency. I'll get Lacroix out to the Caddy. Did you leave the trunk unlocked?" Natalie nodded as she speed-dialed Detective Tracy Vetter's home phone number.

"Hello? This is Detective Tracy Vetter speaking." Tracy answered after a few rings.

"Tracy? It's Natalie. Listen to me very carefully. Do you have anyone at the house with you right now?"

"Natalie I, no I don't. What is this all about?"

"I'll explain everything soon, I promise. Now, Nick and I are coming over, and we're bringing a sick friend. Before you say anything, just listen. This is a very 'special' friend and he needs our help and we have no where else to turn. Do you understand?" Natalie could practically hear the wheels turning in Tracy's mind after that little comment.

"I-uh, I think so, Natalie. I'll be here."

"Thanks, Tracy. We'll be there in a few minutes."

As Natalie hung up the phone, she could only murmur to herself. "Nicholas B. Knight, I hope you know what the hell you're doing." She then walked downstairs toward the Caddy, full of dread.

A/N: Please tell me what you think. All comments will be appreciated. Also, there are more chapters which I will post should anyone be interested in reading them.