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Blood Drive

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August 1995 The Raven, Toronto, ON, Canada > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > > >

Don carefully eased the Caddy along the curb, then stopped.  Shifting the lever up two positions, he parked Nick’s car, then took out the keys.  Putting them safely in his pocket, he went over to the line forming outside of the nightclub.  Without Nick by his side, Don assumed he would be turned away as so many others were before him.  Standing slightly nervously before the tall bouncer, he was relieved when the man nodded.  Loud music rushed at him when the door was opened, but Don already knew what the club was like at this time of the night, so he was prepared for that shock.

Walking down the steps, Don studied the crowd, looking for a familiar face.  Not finding anyone, he moved through the dancing crowd and headed back towards the smaller, more private rooms to continue his search.  Returning to the main room, Don headed over to the bar area and the small tables along the wall.  He took a seat, thinking about what to do next.

“Searching for someone, Detective?”

Don nearly jumped out of the chair.  Though the voice behind him wasn’t loud, it was still startling.  He turned partly around to face the older man.  “You nearly scared me to death.”

“Not my preferred method,” LaCroix drawled.  He had walked around the Detective and stopped in front of an empty chair.  He did not sit but rested his hands on the back.  “I assumed Nicholas would have been with you,” LaCroix stated while glancing around the club.

“Because I can’t come here without him?”

“I heard Nicholas’ car, and he rarely permits anyone to have it.”  The Detective squirmed under his gaze.

“Nick tossed me the keys and took off after we completed an interview.  That was early this evening, and I haven’t heard from him all night.”

“So you came here, looking for him?”  LaCroix cocked his head slightly.  “You do not seem worried.”

Don shook his head.  “Nick does this all the time.”

“Then why seek him out since Nicholas always turns up for his next shift.”

“Because it will be over by then.”

Raising an eyebrow in interest, LaCroix asked, “What will be over?”

“The city police department blood drive,” Don explained as he absentmindedly rubbed the crook of his arm where the bandage was.  “I donate each year, and I’ve been trying to get Nick to, but he’s been disappearing a lot this week.”

“I can understand why Nicholas would avoid a situation with so much flowing blood.”

“Yeah, Nick can get a bit squeamish around that.  Not me,” Don said, patting his chest, “stomach of iron.”  He leaned forward.  “Do you think you could get Nick to donate?  He’d listen to you.”

LaCroix sneered.  “Nicholas tries very hard to not listen to me.”

“But could you ask?” Don persisted.

“No.”

“Because you don’t see a need for people to donate?”

Au contraire; I understand the need for people to donate their blood.”  And, LaCroix privately thought, he had mentioned many times that his son should make use of such services.  “A part of Nicholas understands this need as well.”

“Yes,” Don exclaimed.  “Nick should know how important it is.  I myself donated blood to help him when we were first partnered together.  I just don’t understand why he won’t.  It’s for a good cause.”

LaCroix looked around, then pulled out the chair and finally sat down.  Nicholas could play with his mortals, but certain lines of questions needed to be quelled before they became more significant problems.  Inquiries into medical histories was something none of them could tolerate.  “He cannot.”

“He can’t?” Don echoed.

LaCroix leaned on the table.  “Because of what he inherited from me.”

Don rubbed the side of his head in confusion.  “I thought you adopted Nick?”

“I did,” LaCroix confirmed.  “Shortly after I told Nicholas of my decision, he required a considerable amount of blood, otherwise he would have died.  I gave him mine, and my condition was passed down.  That is the reason he will not donate.”

“Something’s in his blood?”  He watched Nick’s father barely nod.  Don didn’t remember Nick ever mentioning such a problem.  “Is it that bad?”

“It is the reason he must work at night.”

“Oh.”  Don did know about that, and Natalie had mentioned how serious Nick’s skin condition was.  If that could be passed through blood ….  “No wonder Nick won’t: he doesn’t want to give that to someone.”

“It is a very private matter for Nicholas, one he doesn’t like to mention-”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” Don interrupted.

“So perhaps …” LaCroix prompted.

“Yeah, I won’t bug Nick about it anymore.”  Don pushed back his chair and got up.  He reached into his coat to pull out the Caddy’s keys.

LaCroix rose when the Detective did.  He held out his hand.  “No doubt at some point Nicholas will be here.  I can take the keys and make sure he gets his car back.  I will arrange for transportation to take you wherever you need to go.  On the house, of course.”

“Sure,” Don replied, dropping the keys into the other man’s open hand.

A few minutes later, LaCroix was at the back of the club, watching the Detective being driven away from the loading area.  Once the car’s lights were gone from view, he felt a presence by his shoulder.  LaCroix dangled the old keys between two fingers, releasing them when he felt a slight tug.  “You owe me.  Again.”

Nick felt amusement through their mental link, and something deeper, more personal.  Grinning, he slipped the keys into his pocket.  “You were hardly put out.  You like talking about blood.”

“Yours the most.  Though talking about it pales in comparison to other activities.”

Nick felt their link vibrate more, and quickly glanced at his sire.  “You can come over before sunrise, if you like,” he said as he prepared to leave.  “We could play a game of chess,” he offered.

LaCroix smiled as Nicholas quickly left.  He made a mental note to bring a bottle of the house special mixed with his own blood.  And perhaps, he thought, he might convince Nicholas to give a blood donation.