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An Interlude in the Family

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Dearest Nicolas,

I do find it dreadfully boring that you have chosen to be so moralistic. I would have thought that you had discovered that the world is not as black and white as you chose to see it as a mortal. There are shades of beauty to be found in the shadows we live within, yet here you have abandoned me for another Crusade. I will endeavor to not hold it against you should our paths cross again. And they shall, Nicolas, for LaCroix misses you more than I, as you should well know.

Do consider our position within this world. There is rot and decay inside every mortal society -- as you know so well. You may not deny that fact, given your own history. The very things you have seen should be more than enough to guide your heart to listen to me. What we are is that which is needed in the world that exists, yet you continue to only see us, yourself included, as creatures of evil deeds and thoughts.

May you remain safe, Nicolas, and consider the truth of what I have told you repeatedly. We have a gift setting us far from the mortal deeds you still weigh so heavily.

Yours in eternity, Janette.

She sealed the letter up carefully, and then Janette went to find her chosen messenger. As yet, LaCroix was unaware that she had received word of his errant son's location. Sometimes, not often, her resources outstripped his when it came to finding information.


Janette,

By the time you receive this, I will have moved on. Is it too much that I ask you not to search for me? I must find my own path in this world, away from him. That means away from you, which is a state you have had no compunctions against in the past. As I recall, it has been you that left before, not I.

You speak of shades and shadows as adeptly and seductively as you breathe, but I am unmoved. We are wrong to prey upon those from which we came. There is no other thought to it for me. All the wrongs I have done since I was brought across must be atoned for. As neither you nor he are willing to either understand this or accept my wishes, I will live apart from you both.

I cannot fathom losing my love for you, but it is tempered by my regret for your willingness to be the predator.

Nicolas

The missive was short, and upon the second reading, Janette was more than livid. How dare he?! With a hiss and flash of her eyes, her nature provoked, she fed the note into the flames, making certain it completely burned away. Then, before she could call their maker to them with her heightened emotional state, she sat back and closed her eyes. A hunt would clear her mind, let her think more objectively. Let Nicolas continue his foolishness for now, away from them.

In time, there would be a truth that he could not deny, once he found that his precious mortals harbored more evil than all the killing he so abhorred.


Nicolas,

Yes, I have found you once more. There is truly no place you may go that I shall not be able to discover you, for so many whisper their secrets to me.

I write this time with a warning. He is close to discovering your whereabouts. We recently had an encounter that left him angered by your absence, and he has left few stones unturned in determining where you are. It is not because he will find you, but the manner of it, that I write a warning for you.

Come to him, to us, before he finds you. It will appease his anger at the lack of your presence when we were beset by monstrous hunters. I entreat you to listen to me this time, or you may set a course that will end in tears for all the mortals you choose to befriend.

Janette

The raven-haired beauty sealed the letter well, then gave it to the waiting courier. "Go swiftly, to the place I have told you, and give this to our friend there. He will see it to the intended recipient."

"Yes, milady." The man left swiftly, completely under her sway. Janette let a small smile touch her lips; he would not be able to betray her, for the 'friend' would wish a snack before his journey to Nicolas.


Janette knew by instinct -- and the long years associating with him -- that LaCroix had discovered the trail. His satisfaction was strained by the temper still within him, and she had to choose how to handle this carefully. She wished Nicolas back within their small family, safe from the hunters that had lately been growing in number. She did not wish for LaCroix to do something rashly violent and further sunder the ties between them.

Sometimes, men lacked finesse, and it was up to her to find the correct path now.

"Nicolas is already aware that you are coming," she said, opting for honesty, though shaded by certain perceptions and crafted words. "I know of this through others."

He narrowed his eyes as he viewed her, eschewing the words he had intended. "It is no matter. Even if he leaves, the trace will be stronger, and I will find him swiftly."

"But of course, LaCroix. As he well should know, though we both are aware he sometimes is a bit slow to accept certain truths." She gave him her best coquettish look, coming close to him so that she was within his space, so small in comparison. It would give him a firmer grip on his dominant place in their world. "I had a thought, one which may allay his unreasonable thoughts toward you."

"Oh?"

In her own heart, she vowed that Nicolas would owe her for centuries as she chose to give him his freedom, if only she could be persuasive enough now. Her anger at Nicolas was still strong, but there was something to be said for laying out a longer plan for entangling the prey.

"We do not go. Or, rather, we do not go to where he was, but choose a city near to there, where word of us will filter out. We show him a tiny bit of grace for his odd whims, and indulge him at this point. He thinks us evil, and yet if we always pursue, do we not feed his delusions?"

LaCroix looked thoughtful, and she could feel the tension easing back as he saw her plan unfolding in his strategist's mind. "Give him a sense of security in his new life, and then…?" he asked, trailing off to see what she intended.

"Word will be passed of the narrow escape from danger we have made recently. When he sees we have respected his boundaries, his sense of familial loyalty will compel him to our sides, to be certain we are well," she answered, lips turning to a pleased little smile at the thought of using Nicolas' own values against him.

Their maker thought a long moment, then nodded curtly. "We shall go to the coastal city near where he was. Quite likely, it is where he will run to, yet we will wait and let the prodigal son return of his own accord." He petted her cheek a moment in a show of affection for her way of thinking, then left to begin their preparations.

"And soon, we will be whole again," she whispered on the air, knowing it to be true.