Nicholas stretched contently, waiting for his lover's skillful touch on is skin to continue. A hand caressed the side of his face, causing him to smile. "Lucien, mon amant…," he mumbled, leaning into the touch.
The hand stopped and was retracted, accompanied by a skyrocketing heartbeat.
Nick's eyes snapped open and he stared into Natalie's distraught face. Instantly he realized that he had been sleeping on his couch, not in the four-poster bed he remembered from his all too vivid dream. Sitting up, he brushed the back of his hand against his lips, resisting the urge to bite into his wrist in order to complete what his dream had been building up to. Instead he rushed to the fridge, tore open the door and grabbed the nearest bottle. After removing the cork with his teeth, he drank deeply. He shuddered involuntarily as the cold cow's blood ran down his throat which was no comparison to the rich essence he had tasted in his dream.
Aware that Natalie still kept staring at him, he recorked the bottle. "Sorry," he muttered.
Natalie slowly pulled out of her shock. "Did you just call Lacroix your amant?"
Nick looked embarrassed to the ground. "It's not what you think ---"
Natalie's eyes flashed angry. "My French is a bit rusty, but I do know the meaning of that word! Frankly, I don't know what to think, Nick. I know things have been rough lately with the possession and your amnesia. But him?! After all that he's done to you?" Without waiting for a reply, Natalie headed for the door to the stairs and left.
"But it last happened over 200 years ago!" Nick protested to the empty room.
* * * *
As soon as his shift was over, Nick headed to the Raven. "Where's Lacroix?" he asked the bartender when he didn't see the older vampire in the club.
"Upstairs in his apartment."
Nick had been unaware that Lacroix had actually moved into the building. Janette had always occupied rooms adjacent to the club. He made his way upstairs and knocked on an unmarked door. When no answer occurred, he simply walked inside and found Lacroix seated in an armchair, apparently expecting him.
"You didn't answer the door," Nick stated, feeling the need to explain his intrusion in order to prevent an argument.
"You have an open invitation," Lacroix replied smoothly.
When Lacroix merely inclined his head in acknowledgement, Nick remembered why he had come.
"Lacroix, I need a favour."
Lacroix raised his eyebrows, waiting for Nick to continue.
"I need you to remove some of Natalie's memories."
Surprise was evident on Lacroix's features. He regarded his protégé with unconcealed curiosity. "And, pray tell, what could possibly be so horrible that you do not wish her to remember?"
Nick evaded his questioning gaze. "It was something I said this morning. It might probably be best if she forgets about the entire visit."
"Nicholas, if you wish me to alter her memories, I need to know precisely what you do not want her to remember," Lacroix prodded.
Nick sighed and tried to keep his embarrassment in check. "I've been dreaming about the past. I didn't notice when she came in. When I woke, I was still caught up in my dream, and I --- said something."
"What did you say?"
Nick hesitated under the steady gaze. "Your name," he finally admitted.
Lacroix raised his eyebrows. "My name?" When Nick nodded, Lacroix walked slowly around Nick until he came to stand behind him. Leaning close, he whispered into his ear, "Must have been quite a dream."
Nick swallowed and stepped out of reach, turning around. "So, will you do it? Remove her memories?"
"If that is what you wish."
"Yes." Relief was evident in Nick's voice. He smiled briefly and turned to go.
"There is ---" Lacroix's voice called him back. "--- one condition."
Nick closed his eyes and groaned inwardly. He should have known. There were always conditions when it came to asking favours from Lacroix. Nothing was ever free. In anticipation, he faced Lacroix again.
"I wish to hear more of that dream…"
Torn between the preference to keep his dream to himself and the necessity he felt regarding Natalie's memories, Nick settled for the second. Taking a deep breath, he began, "We were in Paris, around 1750."
The way the simple word was breathed caused a stirring deep in Nick's groin. In order to escape Lacroix's complacent gaze, Nick walked around the couch and sat down, facing away from him. "I had come home in the early morning hours, not quite exhausted enough to go to sleep. You ---" Nick hesitated. "--- offered to change that."
"Did I succeed?" Lacroix inquired, bending over the back of the couch close to Nick's ear.
"I woke up before ---" Although he tried to hide it, the frustration was evident in Nick's voice.
"Aww, mon pauvre Nicolas," Lacroix drawled. "But I suppose the beginning was quite promising?"
"What did I do?"
"You --- touched me," Nick merely whispered.
"Everywhere." Immediately he felt Lacroix's lips on the side of his neck.
"You used your hands," Nick stated hoarsely.
Lacroix continued to nibble on the inviting neck while his hands reached forward, undoing the buttons of Nick's shirt. Once he had free access to the chest, he let his hands roam freely across the immaculate torso.
Nick moaned something incoherent as Lacroix's lips moved to the base of his neck, while his hands teased Nick's nipples into hard buds. In a flash the elder eased himself over the back of the couch onto the seat next to him. Lacroix's hand slid into the waistband of Nick's pants and his mouth settled on the younger's lips. As soon as he started a skillful massage, Nick wrapped one hand around the other's head, pressing him firmly against his lips. Opening his mouth, he began to suck at Lacroix's tongue with growing passion. A moment later he pierced the sensitive organ with his fangs and climaxed abruptly against Lacroix's hand.
"I'm sorry, Lacroix. I ---" Nick hesitated as he saw the mixture of surprise and amusement on Lacroix's face.
"Ssssh," Lacroix retracted his hand and silenced Nick with a finger against his lips. "I assume that was not the way you called out my name in your dream?"
When Nick shook his head, Lacroix shifted and pushed him from his sitting position to a horizontal one. "Very well then…" Immediately he resumed his arousing attack with lips and tongue while his hands worked to remove Nick's trousers.
Bereft of the continuing sensation, Nick looked up when Lacroix stood briefly to rid himself of his own garments. In the fluent motions of a skilled predator Lacroix returned to the couch. He lifted Nick's right leg over the back of the couch and reached for his hips. Their eyes locked as Lacroix remained poised at the entrance, waiting for Nick's consent to continue.
An imperceptible nod was all Lacroix needed to ease himself deep into the tight opening. Nick exhaled in bliss, his golden eyes still locked with Lacroix's. Another unspoken signal prompted the elder to thrust – slowly at first, then with increasing speed. In the height of passion, they bit repeatedly into each other's neck.
* * * *
Nick woke to a hand caressing the side of his face, causing him to smile. "Lucien ---" he mumbled, leaning into the touch. Drowsily, he opened his eyes and became aware of his surroundings. He vaguely remembered moving from the couch into Lacroix's bedroom where he had soon passed out exhausted, yet wonderfully sated.
Lacroix lay half across him, studying him intently. "I'm curious, Nicholas. Why is it so important to you that Doctor Lambert remains oblivious to this side of our relationship?"
"Because it ended over two centuries ago and she doesn't need to know everything I did in the past."
"I see. Considering last night, it's a moot point now, don't you think?"
"I suppose," Nick admitted, realizing that the aspect he had intended to conceal from Natalie was no longer history but very much part of the present and most likely the future if his state of arousal was any indication.
"Good." Lacroix's lips curved into a smile. "I can think of more pleasant pastimes than visiting the morgue tonight."