He felt desire vibrating through his link with his lover; he opened his eyes, knowing they would not be blue. He was in bed, his lover’s arms encircled him, cradled him. He stretched to kiss the base of his lover’s neck, then reached up higher to bite. He saw the flow in the blood vessels just under the skin surface. The thin barrier needed only to be easily pierced through, and then the blood flow could begin. Fangs fully descended, the need to bite was so overwhelming. He couldn’t hold back anymore and instinctually sank his fangs into the vessel. Fluid flowed in, his maker’s blood and emotions aroused him even more. He continued to draw in blood; eventually, he felt twin pinpricks of pain in his neck where fangs pierced his skin. The exchange was now circular, and with each pass of sharing ….
Nick opened his golden eyes and jerked away from the naked body he was near while he brought his left hand up to cover his bare neck. He was disorientated and confused; his dream had only seemed real. But looking at LaCroix’s neck while he felt the matching tears in his own healing under his fingers, Nick realized he had apparently acted on his dream. “Lucien, I’m sorry,” he softly apologized.
Lucien reached over to re-envelop the younger man in his arms. “It is alright, Nicholas. I accepted and permitted the embrace to continue; you do not have to apologize. That is always a very pleasurable experience, regardless of the circumstances.” Now that the various barriers Nicholas had erected to contain his desires were eroding away, it did not take much stimulus to rouse his beloved and have him act upon the thought. Lucien was more than delighted to have that occur.
While his fangs retracted and his eyes calmed back to their original slate blue coloration, Nick allowed himself to be ensnared and gently drawn across the slick black sheet on his bed. Once returned to where he had been, he curled up against Lucien with his right arm across his lover’s bare chest. He closed his eyes while the elder shifted under him. He could feel the sun was up and quite strong, so he calculated that the time was probably mid-day. Too early for a vampire to be up, Nick thought. He tried to go back to sleep, but he found himself instead just lying there listening to the faint sound of the blood as the fluid slowly flowed through the veins under his sire’s skin. After a few moments, Nick felt multiple parallel scratching sensations down his right arm. The sensation stopped, then begin again, lightly scratching along his arm. He opened his eyes to determine what was going on. He watched as Lucien lifted a paintbrush up, then placed the dry semi-stiff bristles back on his skin and dragged them down the length of his arm again. “What are you doing?”
“Not as much as I would like.” Nicholas had only wanted to sleep after Dr Lambert’s late visit and he had obliged, but since his son was now rested and awake, he intended to make use of this opportunity. Lucien continued to repetitively stroke the bristles slowly along the surface of Nicholas’ skin. He was pleased with the dazed, unfocused look that his protégé had finally developed. He leaned in closer. “I would like to paint you, Nicholas,” he purred.
Nick had some difficulty concentrating, the repeating sensation of the bristles had relaxed him too much. “A canvas?” Lucien had never shown interest before in actually painting; his maker always tended to either watch the activity or collect the final product. “I might have a prepared blank one around here somewhere.”
Lucien continued with the paintbrush. “No, my beloved. I want to paint on you.”
“What?” Nick didn’t move, contemplating what, exactly, that meant. He had to admit, the thought was intriguing and an activity they had never, in over seven centuries, ever done.
Lucien smiled; he knew he now had Nicholas’ complete attention. He moved the bristles along the arm again. “What do you think, Nicholas? You have modeled for paintings in the past, would you be the canvas for another?” He stopped the stroking paintbrush. “Will you allow yourself to be my greatest masterpiece?”
Rumbling, Nick raised his head and turned his golden eyes to Lucien. “Downstairs. Now.”
Lucien answered the interest with his own deep growl. Before he flew downstairs, he grabbed a small rucksack that had been left beside the bed. Nicholas had already turned on the lights and was standing in front of the covered painting on the loft’s lower level and he quickly flew down to join his beloved. In response to the impatient look he was given, Lucien held up his bag. “Paints. I did not want to use your oils.” Nicholas responded with a lopsided grin. Lucien kicked away part of a large light-weight beige canvas tarp that was on the floor, pushing it under the painting table near the easel; he did not want anything in his way. He indicated the cleared floor. “Lie down on your stomach.”
Nick did as Lucien ordered him, laying his naked body down on the cool floor, his arms up near his head and his feet toward the lift door. He turned his head to the right to look at Lucien, only to have his maker gently grab his head and turn it away. Lucien released him and Nick kept his head still. He heard rummaging sounds, the snap of various plastic bottles being opened, and then absolutely nothing. After a while, Nick couldn’t take the stillness any longer and was about to move when he felt fingers tenderly thread themselves through his hair, then a kiss on the nape of his neck. This was followed by another kiss, then another, each subsequent one moving down his back along his spine. Once the base of the spine was reached, the kisses stopped and a small amount of liquid splashed unexpectedly upon his skin where the last kiss had been placed. Nick felt a liquid line of paint being poured up along his spine, ending where the first kiss had been applied. Another rummaging sound echoed through the still air and then he felt bristles press though the paint to touch his skin. He shuddered as Lucien slowly dragged the bristles through the paint line, spreading the liquid out onto his shoulder. Then the process was repeated on the other side, smearing the wet paint onto his other shoulder. By the time his lover had done this all the way down his back Nick was beginning to push himself off the floor.
Lucien had been watching the reaction to his painting, and the very intense emotions he felt through their link confirmed that Nicholas was enjoying what was happening to him. Upon seeing his creation about to rise, he gently pushed his living canvas back down. “I am not finished yet, Nicholas. That was only the first color.” Nicholas moaned but stayed down. Lucien felt his link vibrating in impatience; he supposed Nicholas had just realized how long this painting was going to take. He smiled as he reached for his next color, a bottle of yellow paint. Perhaps he would paint slightly faster than he had originally planned.
A large dollop of paint was the next sensation Nick felt, then the paintbrush bristles, a different texture and stiffness than the previous one, moved the fluid in a swirling pattern around his skin, ending along the sides of his ribs. Nick tried to pay attention to the placement of the dots and the direction of the swirls in an attempt to imagine what design Lucien was making, but after a few moments he gave up trying, unable to completely concentrate as he began to relax again.
Lucien looked critically at his painting. The design needed another color, so he grabbed a different bottle. He was pleased Nicholas was in such a relaxed state, though every now and then his beloved would reflexively rise to maintain contact with the paintbrush as he pulled it away. During those times he would push the paintbrush upon the skin and Nicholas would drop back down again.
Nick found the feel of the bristles on his skin was confusing his senses; an activity he usually associated with sight was now being processed as touch. The confusion was actually wonderful, he thought. Nick partially closed his eyes, the feel of the wet paint as it slid along his back and the near silence of his maker lulled him into a trance-like state of relaxation. He felt Lucien’s fingers touch his back, moving paint away and exposing skin while he drifted off.
Nick awoke to a sharp clicking sound. He opened his eyes and was about to move when Lucien told him to stay still. He heard the clicking sound again. “What is that?”
“I am taking your picture, Nicholas, to preserve my artwork.”
Nick was curious as to what Lucien finally painted. “Will I get to see it?”
“Later.” Lucien put his camera down on the table. He knelt down beside his masterpiece. “Oh no.”
Nick became concerned. “What?” It still frustrated him that he was not allowed to look at his lover.
“It appears I forgot to sign this. I will have to correct that omission immediately.”
Nick felt his right arm moved and rotated to lay upon his lower back, the wrist and forearm up while the back of the arm was smeared with paint. Sharp fangs pierced his skin and vein unexpectedly, and the teeth were dragged to cut a long slice along his arm. Before he had a chance to yelp in surprise, Lucien pressed his own arm over the cut and Nick felt his maker’s blood flow directly into him. The intense emotion he received simultaneously through the combination of blood and his mental link was absolutely clear and Nick’s fangs immediately descended into place.
With a snarl, Nick turned over to face Lucien. He pressed against the floor and the wet pigments were squeezed between that hard surface and the skin of his back, but his attention was currently fixed, not on the paint, but upon the painter. Nick reached up, grabbed his lover and fiercely bit into the neck, drawing blood and finally becoming completely aroused. It was only a few moments before fangs pierced his neck as well, then Lucien pushed him down, breaking their contact. Nick lunged upward again, but Lucien moved to be partially on top of him, holding him down. The feel of his partner’s dry skin pressed upon his front distracted him from his initial goal. He loved the texture of his lover’s skin, loved the feel of the constrained power in the muscles and sinews he felt contracting and relaxing directly under the skin surface. Nick ran his hands up Lucien’s firm chest and down the arms to the wrists. His sensitive fingers could feel the movement of the blood in the vessels just under the pale skin, the blood taunting him and tempting him. Then his contact was broken when Lucien sat up, straddling him at his hips. Nick tried to rise up again, but was again pushed back down.
“Stay down, Nicholas,” Lucien gently ordered his crimson-eyed favorite, but he had enough experience with Nicholas to know his command would soon be ignored.
Nick growled and tried unsuccessfully to raise again. Thwarted once more, he closed his eyes as he felt Lucian’s fingers and palms stroke along the skin of his chest and arms. He even felt the fine, smooth texture of Lucien’s ring as the metal glided over his skin. Overall, this experience was different than the painting from before. While the paint had been smooth and slick, the skin contact was slightly rougher. Every time the fingers made their mildly-abrasive contact with his skin, Nick experienced a small fissure of heat. As the fingers moved, the heat followed the trail, everything fading as time progressed, then stopped when the fingers lifted off him. Then Lucien repeated the action. Again. And again. Randomly throughout this process, Nick would feel a rough kiss, the lips making quick contact with his skin. Other times the entire length of Lucien’s long fangs were slowly dragged across his skin, or just the extremely sharp tips, the pressure not enough to draw blood, but enough for Nick to want them to.
Nick found himself repetitively rising just to maintain that limited physical contact with his lover for as long as possible. Lucien moved down his chest, eventually spreading his legs so the elder could sit directly on the floor and still continue to caress him. Now that his sire had moved off his hips, Nick could easily rise up and grab him. Opening his eyes to see his lover’s vermillion ones, he pulled Lucien upward to be closer and kissed him, then used his fangs to pierce through the skin. The blood he received spoke of intense desire, and more to come. Lucien quickly bit him, then pulled away.
Nick, released, abruptly fell back down on the hard floor. Lucien resumed, with hands, mouth, and fangs, igniting first the skin of his abdomen and hips, then his thighs and the aroused tissue in between. Each time, he rose that part of his body that had been touched, unwilling for the sensation to end. Eventually, Lucien shifted and lifted his hips up higher. Nick shuddered when, in a single fluid thrust, his lover completely slid into him. He groaned in loss when that feeling receded, then let out a gratified rumble when the sensation returned. This sequence was repeated, and he growled louder in pleasure each time he was entered. Eventually, his voice took on a rough muted tone, hoarse from overuse.
Lucien listened to Nicholas’ vocalizations and watched as his beloved’s crimson eyes partially closed in pleasure, then opened each time he withdrew. He continued, feeling the undulating emotional state of his aroused favorite through his mental link. Once the moans he was eliciting began to silence, he thrust deeply one last time, then leaned over so Nicholas could reach and bite his neck first.
Through half-closed eyes, Nick saw the approaching offered neck, grabbed Lucien’s shoulders to bring his lover even closer, and instinctually struck, driving his fangs into the surface vein and extracting out more fluid than he had been able to get before now. Just like the first time he ever tasted Lucien’s sweet blood in passion, he was overcome with waves of physical and mental pleasure. This was his lover’s blood. This was the blood that had given him his immortal life. Nick drew out more of the thick liquid and gave back the mixed blood to his lover once he felt Lucien bite so that he too could experience their fusion. This cyclic passing continued, becoming the newest iteration in their unending cycle that had begun over seven hundred years before.
With each pass of sharing, the expereince was amplified and Nicholas, finally overwhelmed during their joint climax and release, had shuddered then passed out before Lucien had finished and completely withdrew. Nicholas’ blood had been completely saturated with love for him, and it was with reluctance he had stopped taking more. He did not want to drain Nicholas too much as his child would need some amount of blood for recovery. Wonderfully exhausted as only Nicholas could make him, he smiled in contentment as he looked down upon his exquisite creation. Sighing, Lucien curled protectively around his beloved’s left side, grabbed the tarp and pulled the cloth over to cover both of them, then laid his head on Nicholas’ upper chest and slept away the last remnants of the day upon the floor.
The mechanical rumble of the loft elevator’s motor as it was hauling up the protesting elevator car by the attached cables woke LaCroix. He felt Nicholas shift beside him, but the grinding noises of the gears had not awakened his son, nor had the following sound of metal roughly rolling along its metal track.
Natalie entered Nick’s loft through the freight elevator, raising the safety grille and sliding the large metal door open as soon as the lift reached the desired floor. She had come over to drop off a large bag full of freshly-prepared protein shakes before Nick left for his shift. She picked up the bag, balanced it precariously on her right hip as she walked out of the elevator car into the lighted home. Natalie looked up to the balcony and called out to Nick, thinking that he must be upstairs because usually if he was on the main floor he would have greeted her as the door opened. “Nick, I know you’re up by now. I’ve got-” Natalie stopped abruptly when she shifted the bag and looked down, momentarily startled by what she saw there. Nick was not where she had predicted him to be, but was instead supine on the floor near the table with the paint jars, his body covered in a beige tarp splattered with multiple colors of dried paint. There was another body-shaped lump under the tarp moving next to him. A cold feeling instantly blew over her after she realized who was probably under there with Nick.
Nick, having heard the noise of a mortal heartbeat close by, instinctually reacted. The vampire, motivated solely by the most basic compulsions, emerged focused only on protection and survival. Pulling the tarp almost completely off himself, Nick covered his sire with the extra material and roared at the intruder while trying to get up off the floor to attack.
Natalie watched a partially raised, fanged, crimson-eyed Nick cover the other individual with more of the tarp and heard his challenging, primal roar. She dropped the bag with the shakes inside the loft then quickly backed into the lift and yanked the metal door closed. Mostly embarrassment at having interrupted Nick while he was with Janette fuelled her flight. Natalie jabbed the button to return the freight elevator back to the ground floor so she could leave.
LaCroix, mildly annoyed at being completely covered by the tarp like he needed to be hidden from danger, concentrated on keeping his son from lunging at the poor doctor who had disrupted their sleep and startled Nicholas, reflexively triggering the vampire. Not that he cared about her, he simply did not want his son thoughtlessly killing that woman. Nicholas would then enmesh himself in guilt over such an accident and would retreat so far back he might not be able to be reached again. LaCroix knew he would lose his son forever if he allowed that to happen. He continued to hold Nicholas and, through his mental link, encouraged his roused offspring to calm down and wake up. When he heard the lift finally descend and felt his son taking over from the vampire, he eased up on his restraints.
Nick finished roaring, raised up into a sitting position now that the restraining hand had been removed, then blinked a few times. Fully awakened, he finished suppressing the vampire portion of himself while he looked around, not knowing or seeing anything that could have provoked him. “LaCroix?”
The elder vampire pulled the canvas tarp off himself and sat up. He was touched that his son had instinctually wanted to protect him from possible danger. That was a pleasant change from what their relationship had been. “Everything is alright, Nicholas. Your doctor had arrived and startled you.”
“Natalie?” He looked around at the nearby potential hiding places she could have gotten into, but didn’t see her. “Where are you, Nat?” He couldn’t hear any mortal heartbeat, and he was concerned at what might have happened to account for no audible beating sound. Nick turned imploringly toward his maker. “Where is she?”
LaCroix heard the fear and panic in his son’s voice and was irritated that the doctor’s ill-conceived action had put Nicholas into such a state. “She had the good sense to correctly assess the situation, quickly calculated her probability of survival, and decided the most prudent course of action was to leave. Immediately.”
Nick tightly closed his eyes, mentally chastising himself for scaring Natalie away. With a groan, he dropped his head into his hands. He didn’t even know he had been roaring at her and the dark thought crossed his mind that he could also have attacked her without realizing or stopping himself. Nick was immensely grateful that his sire had held him back and allowed her to safely escape. He also realized he needed to apologize to Natalie soon and make sure she understood he wasn’t trying to deliberately attack or drive her away. “I need to talk to her,” he mumbled into his hands.
“Yes,” LaCroix crooned in agreement. “Talk to her about the dangers of startling a vampire when not ready to be awakened. How an abruptly wakened vampire is usually lethal to mortals. And about entering unannounced.” The fact that Nicholas permitted a mortal to come and go so freely from his resting place was a shocking lapse in defense and security, the elder thought. He had taught Nicholas better than that and was surprised something like this had not happened before now.
Nick opened his eyes and let his arms fall into his lap, then pivoted his head to the left to face his maker, who looked slightly peeved. “She has an open invitation, the same one as you have.”
LaCroix scowled. “You know I do not like sharing,” he deeply rumbled.
Nick leaned over and kissed his sire’s neck under the bulge of the laryngeal prominence. He didn’t want this to degrade into an argument, not when their rekindled relationship had just begun and they were on better terms with each other. Plus, he was still wrapping his mind around the novel concept that his maker had actually stopped him from attacking and killing a mortal; LaCroix had stopped him from hurting Natalie. Perhaps with all their recent sharing, his sire was beginning to understand and respect his decision to not kill, and how important Natalie was to him. “Let’s just enjoy each other’s company before I have to leave for work.” He could feel the slight irritation vibrate through his mental link at the mention of his job; he knew LaCroix did not like him spending so much time and being so involved in the mortal world, but this was important to him. Nick disentangled himself from the tarp and stood up, feeling the smeared dried paint from earlier crackling all along his back as he moved his stiff muscles. He dragged the fingers of one hand through his dark blond hair, not surprised when he discovered multiple chunks of paint in there. He knew he needed a hot shower to relax his muscles and clean off the paint. Nick reached down to grasp his maker’s now outstretched arm to help his lover rise. “First, you’ll help me wash off all this paint. I can’t go to work like this.”
Once upright, LaCroix scowled down at Nicholas, thinking how to again convince his son to let go the entanglements of the mortals he surrounded and weighted himself down with. Additionally, Nicholas should know by now he would not do anything to help or encourage this mortal lifestyle. “Then why would I do that, Nicholas?” He watched his beloved grin mischievously.
“Because of the second activity we’ll do in the shower.” Nick lightly kissed the place where Lucien’s right shoulder and chest joined while he let the fingertips of his right hand gently meander downward along the skin of his lover’s abdomen. “I know how much you like warm blood,” he seductively uttered. Nick could tell his sire had no problem with helping him get ready for work now.