Subj:    DKFIC - Need and Absolution 1/1
Date:    97-02-24 23:11:09 EST

Hi, fellow DK'ers:

This little piece is a continuation of my Storm series, which some of you loved and others truly hated. If you hated it, don't read this!:) Comments and constructive criticism welcome.

Need and Absolution 1/1

The sun had barely hidden its face when Morgaine pulled her Range Rover to a halt before The Raven. Dark glasses perched on her nose, she sat for a moment, silently perusing the nondescript door of the club.
Lacroix's call had surprised her, shocked her, in fact. The - tempestuous - relationship the elder vampire shared with her lover occupied much of Nick's thoughts, on both a conscious and a subconscious level. Nicholas loved Lacroix because the ancient was his maker; paradoxically, he hated him for the same reason, and fought desperately to reconcile the two. Though Morgaine had spent little enough time in direct conversation with Lacroix, she could sense well enough that the feelings were mutual.
And now. . . . now Lacroix had summoned her to The Raven. It seemed innocent enough; her talents as an artist were well-known and respected in both the mortal and immortal communities, and Lacroix had an understandable fondness for murals. The message on Nick's answering machine had mentioned a wall in the club that was in need of embellishment, Lacroix's silky voice requesting a consultation in tones that, however polite, left little room for refusal. Not that she would have refused, mind you; Lacroix inspired many things within her mind, to be sure, but fear was not among them. Curiosity, yes, and respect, but not fear.
A cool dampness nudged at Morgaine's hand, pulling her back to reality. Nick's latest gift sat demurely in the Rover's back seat, regarding Morgaine with liquid brown eyes, whip-thin tail drumming a soft tattoo on the leather. Morgaine smiled, tickling her pet under the long muzzle. Nicholas had gifted her with the greyhound a few weeks past, in honor of their four-month anniversary. A retired three-year-old racer, the tall, dainty creature was a gray so pale she was the color of moonlight; a fact that had inspired her owner to bestow upon her the name Luna. Luna and Morgaine had become inseparable almost immediately, and Luna became her mistress' constant companion, moving beside Morgaine with a quiet grace that surpassed even the vampire's fluid movements.
"Are you ready, sweetness?" Morgaine crooned, swinging open the driver's side door. She held the door open long enough for Luna to hop to the ground, then shut it with a solid click. Sketchbook, pencil, and tape measure in hand, Morgaine slipped into the quiet coolness of the club.
Lacroix was not visible, but his presence hung in the air, unseen but tangible. The feeling of sharing space with another vampire tingled at the edges of conscious thought, and Morgaine pulled her glasses off in an unconscious gesture of searching.
"Thank you for responding so promptly to my request." Lacroix's velvet and steel tones drifted from the direction of Morgaine's left, and as she turned she saw him emerge from the shadows. "I apologize for the shortness of the notice." Even, measured steps brought Lacroix to within a few feet of where Morgaine stood; close enough for his power and presence to wash over her, distant enough to remain seemly.
"It was my pleasure to respond. . . . Lucien," Morgaine replied carefully, forest green gaze never wavering as a pale eyebrow arched at the use of the given name. She extended her hand and the elder took it gently; however, instead of shaking it he raised it to his lips. Morgaine accepted the caress without comment, her mask of composure beautifully inscrutable.
Lacroix gestured to the bar, the familiar green bottle standing guard with two shining goblets. Morgaine felt the faint stirring of the Hunger tremble within, and, following Lucien's lead, glided to the bar, Luna a pale shadow at her heels. Lacroix filled both glasses to the brim before gesturing at the dog. "A lovely creature."
Morgaine sipped gently at her goblet before responding, briefly closing her eyes as the bloodwine slipped down her throat. "She was a gift from Nicholas," she finally responded. "I call her Luna."
"Indeed. A fitting name." Lacroix extended a hand, and Luna gracefully approached, tail waving the air as she slowly lay her head in his hand. "I don't normally care for dogs, but she is quite fetching." Blue eyes raised to meet green. "Truly a fitting gift."
Morgaine inclined her head graciously, accepting the compliment. Righting her gaze, she turned serious eyes to Lacroix. "What is it I can do for you, Lucien?" she asked quietly.
Lacroix gestured with his free hand toward the large wall behind the stage. "I would like something - appropriate - painted there. Something suited to our unusual clientele." Ice blue eyes watched with satisfaction as interest toyed with Morgaine's expression. "I see I have peaked your curiosity," he murmured.
"You did that before you ever mentioned the mural," Morgaine remarked wryly, sliding from her seat to peruse the wall. With practiced ease she measured off the dimensions, making lightening quick sketches in her notebook. Satisfied, she spun to face Lacroix. "I will have some preliminary sketches for you within the week," she announced.
"Excellent. I'll look forward to seeing them." Lacroix moved to stand, but Morgaine stopped him with a hand.
"I can find my way out. Until later, Lucien."
"Until later, ma cherie."
Lacroix eyed Morgaine's departing form with interest, sipping his drink as he appreciated the way her lithe body flowed up the steps. The image of that body twined around the heavier form of his son, long strands of red hair binding their bodies together, rose in his mind, and he smiled.
<Yes, this one is definitely good for Nicholas, > Lacroix thought with satisfaction. <Most definitely good for Nicholas. >

Morgaine sensed Nick's agitation before the lift ground to a halt, the bond they shared vibrating along its length.
<You should have told him where you were going, > one half of her mind scolded angrily.
<Yes, > the other half argued <but then there would have been a huge confrontation, and you didn't need that right before a meeting with Lacroix. >
<Like you need it now? >
Squelching the warring factions of her mind, Morgaine swung open the door of the lift, Luna darting inside to dance eagerly about Nick's legs. Nicholas ignored the dog's silent pleas for attention, bright blue eyes turned cloudy with agitation.
"Where the hell have you been?" he burst out angrily. Coolly,
Morgaine met his outraged eyes.
"You know exactly where I've been; otherwise, you wouldn't be so angry." Deliberately casual, Morgaine tossed her sketchbook and keys to the table.
"You know damn well I don't want you near him," Nick began heatedly, stopping sharply when Morgaine raised an admonishing finger.
"I'm all grown up now, Nicholas," Morgaine scolded sharply, "and I'm more than capable of taking care of myself. I've been doing it for two centuries now. Of course, it's not my safety you were worried about, is it now?" Nicholas refused to drop his eyes, but Morgaine could tell that her words had struck home, and suddenly her suspicions burst upon her mind with the force of an exploding star. Nicholas was afraid of betrayal. Morgaine's growing anger snuffed out like a candle in the wind, and she slowed her angry steps toward him, softening her features to allow her feelings for him to shine through. Standing close enough to see the angry quiver of his muscles, Morgaine lay a cool hand on Nick's taut cheek. Gentle lips brushed the unyielding curve of his mouth, coaxing and reassuring.
"I love you Nicholas. Have you seen nothing in my blood?" Guileless green eyes stared unblinking into blue. "I will not betray you, Nicholas. Not now, not a century from now."
Hands capable of twisting an iron bar into knots floated hesitantly to Morgaine's shoulders, as if afraid their touch would cause her to crumble. Nicholas opened his mouth to speak, but Morgaine stopped him with a tender finger.
"Sh - h, my love. Nothing need be said," she whispered gently, and understanding rippled through Nick's body, a silent sigh that swept Morgaine into his arms. Blindly he sought her lips, wordlessly seeking forgiveness and reassurance. Morgaine wrapped silken arms about his neck, absolution granted, solace given.
As was the way between them, passion flared hot and bright, burning coherent thought away in a searing flash of brilliant light. Creatures of the night, they nevertheless welcomed the brightness, allowing desire to bathe their flesh in heat and their souls in sunlight.
"I'm sorry, Morgaine," Nick breathed heavily into her ear. "I don't know what I was thinking . . . "
"Hush, my love, it's all right, just love me . . . " her words were cut short as Nick's mouth claimed hers brutally, mindlessly, trying desperately to lose himself in the taste of her. His tongue swept past her teeth to begin an intimate thrust and parry with hers, to flirt with the tips of her not yet extended fangs. She held herself in check, allowing him to lose his control first, letting rough hands roam her body at will, tearing clothing that would not remove easily. Morgaine could sense Nick's need, his need to lose himself completely in her embrace, and she gave herself freely and selflessly. Soft fingers tore into his shirt, freeing the pale expanse of his chest to questing exploration. Tapered nails raked down muscled sides, and a sweet smile curved Morgaine's mouth at the sharp intake of breath that move elicited.
With a groan at the effort, Nicholas pulled away from the sweet haven of her mouth. Heavy-lidded eyes bored into hers, golden orbs that burned and flamed with desire.
"I can't wait, love - I want you now." The admission was torn from lips that curled away from fully-extended fangs. Morgaine spoke no word, but merely stepped from the remains of her shredded jeans. Fingers flying at Nick's belt, she squirmed onto the table, wrapping her legs around his waist, letting his hardness press against her in insistent need.
"Then don't," she whispered, letting her head drop back, the blue vein in her throat calling to him, a siren song echoed by the cool wetness of her body. With a moan that was almost a howl, Nicholas buried himself in the welcome of her flesh, fangs driving into her neck with bruising force. Morgaine did not reciprocate, but allowed him to drive into her body, again and again, seeking his own release as her blood poured into him, calming his Hunger and soothing his soul. When his climax neared and the shudders began to overtake him, Morgaine wrapped her arms even tighter about him, chanting her love in disjointed Gaelic phrases even she only half remembered.
It seemed an eternity that they remained frozen in time, immortal flesh wedded to immortal flesh by bonds both earthly and ethereal. A somewhat chagrined smile on his face, Nicholas raised his head from the curve of Morgaine's neck, brushing the hair from her face.
"I'm sorry. I lost control." Nick placed gentle kisses on her closed eyelids, and she smiled.
"There is nothing to apologize for. I like it when you need me," Morgaine whispered in return.
"I do need you. I think I've always needed you," Nick responded, grave eyes blue once again. Morgaine shifted her hips against his, gratified to feel the response in his groin.
"Then you won't mind if this time is for me," she purred. "Now is the time for the slow dance."