A Woman's Wisdom
Toronto, between season 1 and 2
She sensed the presence the very moment she woke up. A presence she had been uncertain to ever feel again despite her conviction that ancient vampires were truly immortal. While relief swept through her on the one hand, she also felt an increasing tension on the other.
Too anxious to confirm visually what her senses were telling her, Janette forewent dressing appropriately and merely slid a silk robe over her negligee. Stepping from her bedroom she took in the person seated on her couch, legs crossed, hands resting in his lap. Dressed entirely in black, Janette had the impression that he looked paler than she remembered, although her senses told her that he had fed from a living source quite recently. "You're back," she stated in observation and received a raised eyebrow in response.
"You seem surprised?" Lacroix breathed.
"I admit I was beginning to have doubts. Nicolas is entirely convinced that he killed you."
"Indeed? And in the meantime what has he done with his much desired so called freedom, pray tell?"
"Nothing. He's still working as a cop for the mortals. Any attempts at a cure have failed as far as I'm informed." Janette went to the sideboard and filled two goblets from a green bottle. After handing one to Lacroix she took the seat next to him on the couch and leaned her head tentatively against his shoulder. When he allowed the touch, she ventured to ask, "What happened that night, Lucien? Nicolas merely mentioned that he got his revenge."
Lacroix avoided her probing gaze and looked into his glass. "An unlucky blow in battle, if you will. Anyone younger would have ceased to exist." Straightening, he emphasized, "However, I am not so easy to eradicate. Although it has taken me over a year to regenerate."
Janette placed her hand gently over his own. "Why did you not call out for me?"
After pausing to sip from his glass Lacroix seethed in a sinister voice, "I did not want Nicholas to know that he had failed in his attempt to kill me. I want him oblivious to my return when I exact my revenge. The boy will pay dearly for his deed."
This was exactly what Janette had been apprehensive of. "Oh non, you must not do this!" she implored.
"It is my right." Lacroix turned an icy glare at her. "Your protective attitude towards your brother honours you, ma chère. Just do not expect me to tolerate his rebellious streak. Surely you must miss the old Nicholas."
"But he's still there! In fact, during the previous year Nicolas came more often to me than during the entire century you tried to force him."
"Indeed?" Lacroix raised his eyebrow in surprise.
"Ecoute, you assured me that there is no cure. Nicolas is immortal and will always remain so. What is the worst that can happen with his attempts at finding a cure? His nature will always reassert itself. He will always have needs and I am more than willing to provide an outlet for his needs."
Lacroix studied her in silence. "And you're content with that? To be an outlet for activities his precious mortals would not survive?"
"It's a beginning. Eventually I want my family back. Remember those times when you and Nicolas were on good terms? Oh the pleasure we had attending social events or those endless nights seated around the fireplace, engaged in reading or discussions about art and music and fashion."
Lacroix turned his face away in a frown.
"You must want that, too, don't you?" Janette continued. "But you won't achieve it by force." In a softer voice she reminded him, "This wasn't the first time your plan backfired. It was your meddling with that dancer that caused him to cease killing altogether."
"And what do you suggest instead?" Lacroix indulged her, obviously at a loss.
"Supportive in helping him find a cure? I think not!"
"Supportive in helping him solve a problem. Nicolas constantly runs into one. I can assure you there won't be a lack of opportunity. Also, engage him in discussions without turning them violent. Nicolas has always valued your opinion."
"I highly doubt that violence can be avoided when we meet face to face."
Janette sighed inwardly. She had never known two men to be so thick-headed as her brother and her father. "Then talk to him from a distance. You could return to that broadcast channel you used to draw him in last year. Nicolas enjoys driving around at night with the stereo on."
Lacroix stared ahead in deep thought.
"Well?" Janette asked after a while of silence.
"I shall take what you've said into consideration," he stated and rose from his seat. "I require a place to stay."
"The club's basement has plenty of room."
"Do not mistake me for one of your strays, Janette," Lacroix glared at her. "One of the upstairs apartments would be adequate."
"They're currently all sublet to my staff."
The glare intensified.
"But I think, Brianna wanted to move in with Pierre anyway," Janette relented. "I'll see what I can do."
* * * *
Several weeks later
Janette rushed into her room to find Lacroix helping himself to a bottle of blood, looking slightly battered. "What happened? Nicolas merely mentioned that you've returned. Have you been fighting?"
"I told you a fight was unavoidable."
"So you've decided to continue as usual and disregard my advice." Disappointment was evident in Janette's voice.
"On the contrary. But Nicholas would have grown suspicious had I returned without the attempt to take revenge." In a chuckle he added, "The boy actually believed he could beat me by wielding a makeshift cross in front of my face."
Janette stood silent, relieved that none of the men in her life had come to harm. Only the future would tell if they were able to mend the rift in their relationship.