Miles To Go

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, 1923.

Lacroix leaned back from the mike. He let the silence fill the air, echoing like the snowflakes. It was late fall, and the air had turned crisp and delicious. A perfect time to do a little reading, play a few waltzes, and let silence overtake the empty spaces inbetween. He glanced down at the board, and saw a few lights on. People calling in, with whatever requests, complaints, worries, and delights the mortal world contained for them.

Did he want to hear them? Did he want to indulge himself in toying with their thoughts, bringing their souls closer to him, drawing them with his words, his heartfelt entreaties, his whispers of understanding... only to send them spiraling away into a maelstrom of silence. They always thought he heard them, and sometimes he did. He just never really cared.

His hands hovered over the boards, as if trying to choose who to let inside. The lights flashed, reaching up to him, crying out 'choose me' in the tinny voices of the people on the other side of those lights, those lines. People who had nothing better to do than to call an anonymous voice and pour out their hearts, not knowing that they came away with less than they had before they placed the call. He wondered if they ever noticed. Surely many did not, for the number of repeat callers he had said that some still needed him, some still clung to their connection. Some didn't realise that the drug they had become addicted to was slowly leeching their life to feed the beast.

A vampire in modern times could not so easily hunt and feed on the blood of man. This one, for now, contented himself on other things.

Lacroix put one of the tapes on. Four hours of something, he wasn't sure what, to fill the air and fill their minds. He stood up and walked out of the studio- he hadn't felt Nicholas listening, tonight. That always disappointed him. No matter, there was always tomorrow night. And the next, the next... immortality made one patient.

He locked the doors to the station and headed down the street, letting his long black coat fall open. The cold air brushed against him, like hands caressing his face. An impulse, an intuition sent him north from the station. Something was happening somewhere ahead.

He stopped when he saw the cars tangled together. Fenders and bumpers wrapped around metal and rubber, exchanging paint like flowing blood. And there was flowing blood, so much... Lacroix inhaled deeply, letting the smell fill his body. Humans lay trapped beneath the wreckage, some still wailing, others quite silent. He felt the hunger tug at him, pulling him forward.

He stayed a distance away, not wanting to draw attention to himself. Although he was not the only one staring transfixed at the vignette, he was probably the only one fighting to keep from licking his lips, sighing in wonder and letting his eyes turn to gold. He watched as one body raised a hand, entreating the working rescuers to move faster, pull her free. Lacroix wanted to take that hand and pull her to him, taste the fluid flowing from her many wounds. Such a shame to waste so much precious blood.

The scent was making him eager for a hunt. A hunt with his companion, sharing the joy of pursuit quenched by the sweet taste of the victim's fear-tinged blood, feeding the ones who'd captured him. Lacroix smiled, and said as he turned to his left, "Why don't we..." and he stopped. Nicholas wasn't there.

Nicholas hadn't been there for centuries. So long since he'd stopped hunting with his master, Lacroix couldn't believe that he'd forgotten. He suddenly lost whatever desire he'd had for the chase to feed his hunger. He turned on his heel and strode away, heading for a bottled desire which would not taste the same but would quiet the roaring inside him.

Sometimes civilization sucked.

The bed looked so inviting. The night had been long, hard and fruitless. Lucien sighed, and dropped his shirt on the chair. He hadn't had luck like this since the 1800s. Right now, all he wanted to do was crawl into bed, pull the blankets over his head and sleep until sunset. Or longer.

His radio station's broadcast tower had been damaged in the storm the day before- easy to fix, but it meant a day or two off the air. He'd had to leave his plans for the night's show for another night. And he'd been so looking forward to it. He'd tried to spend the time visiting his family, but Janette was occupied with a "friend" and Nick was uncooperative. He'd sat with Lacroix for nearly half an hour, letting the older vampire try to taunt him or antagonise him. But Nick had just been polite, barely interested in Lucien's intentions.

It was maddening. Lucien had had to leave, when that mortal partner of Nicholas' had headed their way. They weren't even in the middle of an interesting case, which Lucien could toy with. He sighed. Sometimes it just didn't pay to get out of bed.

He remembered his last attempt to reach Nicholas, before he'd taken to the sky. He'd asked him, in a sudden moment of sincerity, if he would like to stop by for old times' sake. To talk, play go, anything. Nick simply shook his head and said he had to get back to work.

Lucien snarled at the empty room. What a horrible day. He decided to make up for some of it, with a long hot bath. He just wished he had someone to share it with.

An hour later, he emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a large towel. It wasn't from modesty or cold, just the sensuous feel of thick, soft terry against his skin. He loved the feel of cotton, when his skin was wet. He laid down on the bed, still wrapped in black cloth. He lay his head on the silk pillow, and stared out the far window. It was still night, it would be for nearly two more hours. He'd come home early, dejected and bored.

Well, there was one thing he could do. He lay still, thinking, until he found himself getting distracted. Lucien closed his eyes and thought of Nicholas, and soon he became aroused...

Loosening the towel from his waist, he placed his hand on his cock, feeling it beginning to harden. He began to rub, slowly, gently, and he imagined that it was Nicholas' hand upon him. He imaged that it was Nicholas' voice, whispering in his ear, his breath on his face, his body pressed up close. Lucien felt himself tense, and his breath came out in a sharp pant.

He stared at the image in his mind, of Nicholas, making love to him... and right before he thought he might come, he saw the picture fall away unbidden and he was left alone in bed too early in the night. He let his hand fall away, for the erection was falling rapidly. He started to roll over and try to figure what the hell he could do now when he saw the window. And he saw what was outside. And he suddenly had a glimmer of an idea.

He squelched the idea rapidly. Surely that was not what had brought him here. Not after how distant he had been, this evening. Trying to control the glimmer of hope, he sat up and met Nicholas' gaze.

Nick was outside his window, staring in... watching him. When Lacroix sat up, though, Nick moved forward and opened the window and came inside. He walked towards Lacroix, still looking but saying nothing. Lucien leaned back, against the pillows and headboard, and waited. He knew what he wanted... he knew what he needed. But he also knew Nicholas wasn't about to give it to him...

Nicholas stood silently. He could feel the desire and sexual need emanating from Lacroix. He knew it, and recognised exactly what Lacroix would have him do. For a moment he felt as he had when he was a child, just brought over and at the mercy of his master. Powerless and confused, simply following the directives his master gave him, bringing the other vampire pleasure and release... For a moment he felt the same powerlessness, like a child being forced to provide for its parent.

Then he let out a breath and found himself feeling something else. Feeling like himself- not a child, not powerless, and not confused. And just as aroused as Lacroix... He moved forward, and saw Lacroix' eyes widen in hopeful surprise. Lacroix' erection had begun strengthening again, at Nick's appearance. Nick came onto the bed, and pushed Lacroix' legs apart, giving the surprised vampire a silent look. Nick knew what Lacroix needed, what he wanted so desperately.

Lacroix thought that if he dared move, or breathe, or speak aloud he might drive him away. He lay still, elation fighting with fear that Nicholas had discovered a way to torture him, by pretending to want him again, starting to make love and vanishing into the night. Then he leaned his head back and groaned, as Nicholas took his half-erection into his mouth.

Nicholas moved his tongue slowly around the still soft cock, covering it with the slight warmth of his mouth, pulling it closer and closer to fully erect. He brushed his teeth against the skin, and sucked gently, along the shaft and the tip, teasing Lacroix until the vampire began moaning. With Lucien's cock fully hard, Nick moved away, and began kissing him along the inside of his legs, and then working his way up his torso. He nipped gently at the tender areas, following the prescription he knew so well would please Lacroix. He knew exactly what Lacroix wanted, what he wanted next...

He opened his clothes, and pulled Lacroix to him. Flat on his back, legs in the air, Lacroix said nothing as Nick moved around and then slowly pushed himself against the opening of his rectum. Lacroix held his breath, waiting, and then Nicholas slid inside and he felt an explosion of ecstasy fill him. He held his legs back, letting Nicholas push himself inside, deeper and harder with each thrust. Dimly he heard himself gasping, as everything inside him seemed to disappear and there was only Nicholas, and he, locked in place.

He began to reach for his cock, and felt Nick's hand encase him. Skillfully, Nick rubbed him, and soon Lacroix felt as if he just might have to scream... Soon he was, and Nick brought him up and out and over, and he came to orgasm with a yell, part of him still not quite believing that his lover had come to him tonight.

As he relaxed, he felt Nicholas slide out of him. Lucien let his legs fall on the bed, on either side of Nicholas. Still he did not say a word, but moved back off the bed and removed his clothing. Lucien watched, delighting in the sight of his lover's body, the moonlight streaming across his back as he turned. His erection was still hard, flat against his stomach, curving slightly to the right. Lucien drank in the sight, wondering where he wanted to place his hands, his tongue, when Nicholas came to him. But Nicholas made the decision for him, climbing back onto the bed near the top, kneeling on the mattress beside Lacroix, and then he straddled him, placing his cock before Lacroix' mouth.

Lacroix eagerly took it. He leaned back, as Nicholas pushed into him, and began fucking his mouth. At first he tried to use his tongue, licking and pressing the tip of the penis as Nick pushed himself inside. But then it was all he could do to keep his mouth open, as Nick held the back of his head still and pushed harder, faster, rubbing his cock against Lacroix' teeth and the roof of his mouth and his tongue. Lacroix felt it hit the back of his throat and he would have gagged, had that particular reflex been a part of vampire physiology. He closed his eyes, and groaned deep in his throat, as he took Nicholas inside him again, let him push himself as far as he could go, using Lucien's mouth to bring him pleasure.

Suddenly he heard Nick groan, and he looked up to see Nick grabbing the edge of the headboard, and thrusting with a sudden change on intensity that meant only one thing. Lucien grabbed Nick's legs, as if to pull him down even more, and Nick began thrusting as if out of control... and he began spasming into an orgasm. His ejaculate filled Lacroix' mouth, who swallowed quickly, eagerly, now able to use his tongue to help finish the orgasm, licking as Nick held himself still in Lacroix' mouth, pressing against his tongue and groaning softly as the last of the orgasm twisted through him. He was panting by the time Lacroix was able to lick the last of the blood from his cock, slowly and easily.

Lacroix found himself eager for more. He met Nicholas' eyes, bright and shining, and realised his lover was only just beginning. Lucien laughed, the fears of before spiraling away into a dim memory and he threw himself into the matters at hand. And speaking of hand, he had another idea.

Lacroix grinned at Nick, and was delighted to see it returned. Carefully he reached out, to embrace Nicholas. When Nick responded by moving closer, Lucien decided he had to ask. "What brought you here, tonight?" His own emotions, and confusion, were blocking the thoughts which would tell him what on earth Nicholas thought he was doing.

Nick smiled. "You seemed so... lonely, earlier. I stopped by to see why, and if there was something I could do... I found out."

"Yes, but... w-"

"Does it matter?" Nick interrupted.

Lucien looked at him for a moment. "No, it doesn't."

"The shut up and go back to what you were about to do."

"What? Oh, yes..." Lucien remembered he'd had something in mind. He pulled Nicholas to him, and kissed him. Then he reached down, and began playing his hand over his skin, touching his legs, his genitals, his buttocks. As he heard Nick regain his arousal, Lucien let him lick Lacroix' fingers, then he moved his hand down and pushed one finger inside. Nick gasped, and responded by pushing himself closer against Lacroix. Lacroix held him tightly, one arm around his waist, and he pushed harder.

He felt Nick's body vibrate, and added a second finger. Nick groaned, and laid his head on Lacroix' shoulder, and as Lacroix pushed again Nick bit him. His fangs sank deeply into his shoulder, piercing the muscle and ripping through. Lacroix' gasp sounded with Nick's, as they took each other into passion.

Suddenly Lacroix felt himself overcome with a fierce need, and he rammed his fingers inside Nicholas, pushing him and leaning up to get his own teeth into the flesh of his neck. Nick growled at him, eyes glowing red. Lacroix returned the growl, and suddenly they were on each other like animals, searching for only one thing, the body and the blood. Lacroix dug his nails into Nick's back, pulling him and feeling Nicholas' hands on him grabbing and pushing him down, pinning him to the bed. Lacroix heard a howl, and couldn't be sure if it was his own, or Nicholas'. It hardly mattered, as they grabbed each other and each bit down, tearing at the flesh in their frenzied efforts to drink the impassioned blood beneath.

The savage howls filled the room, as the blood filled their throats. Lacroix felt Nick tear his neck, biting sharply and swallowing mouthful after mouthful of blood. Lacroix felt Nicholas' own blood filling himself, and he felt the urge to destroy the creature he held so tightly, drain it of its blood and leave it lifeless at his feet.

He drank, digging his fingers deeper into Nicholas' back. He hardly felt the nails tearing at his own back, hardly felt the resonating passion and hunger in his lover who tried to destroy him as well. All there was, was the sweet taste of blood, and the excruciating pain of the vampire's embrace at his neck. He drank still, trying to fill a need that had gone unfilled for so long.

And then in a moment there was nothing. Lucien blinked, and found himself gasping for air. The pain had gone, the hunger had quieted, and he felt so empty, so alone. Then the bond in his mind reasserted himself, and he found his partner lying exhausted with him, as drained and weak as he. As tired, and as filled with sated lust and unbroken desire. Nick gave him a half-smile, too tired to do more. Lacroix wanted to snuggle, but he found he could hardly move his arms. He had lost so much blood, blood which now filled Nicholas' stomach, slowly being absorbed into his drained body.

He closed his eyes, and let his head fall against Nick's, who was already drifting off into sleep. The best part was the dreams, shared between the strengthen bond.

He stretched and yawned, before even realising he was waking up. He smiled, feeling truly happy all the way to his toes. Remembering why, he opened his eyes and looked to his side.

And sat up, when he saw the bed was empty. Reaching out, he felt the sheets, and couldn't tell if they had been slept in, or were messed from his own tossing during the day. He swallowed a cry, and knew that that morning had not been a dream... had not. It couldn't have been... he found himself thinking of the stories of shades, ghosts who took on physical forms and dallied with those in the physical world. He didn't have time to tell himself the idea was foolish, to reason through his sudden fear that Nicholas hadn't returned, hadn't made love to him last night, hadn't slept beside him...

Nicholas walked into the bedroom, wrapped in Lacroix' robe. Lucien kept his embarrassed grin mostly off his face as Nicholas handed him a glass filled with red liquid. "I was starving when I woke. Nat's gonna kill me, but I drank a full bottle of human blood already. I figured you'd want some, too." He set the opened bottle on the table beside Lacroix.

Lacroix took a drink, and found the rumbling inside him respond. He *was* starving. But also confused. He hated it when his mind was in turmoil like this, for it effectively blocked off reading others' thoughts. He realised he simply have to say it. "I thought, for a moment... last night had been a dream."

Nick smiled. "I know how you feel. I can't quite believe it myself. You haven't lost your touch."

Lucien smiled. "Thank you. But that's not what I meant."

Nick grinned, that typical Nicholas pleased with the world and himself grin. "I know." He stood up and walked across the room, stepping over his clothes to the window. He pulled the curtain back, then jerked away and let it fall as the sun hit him. "Sun's still up."

Lucien just stared at him. Like he hadn't known, before he moved the curtain. "And it will remain that way, for another three hours."

Nick slumped in the chair, ignoring Lacroix' expression as he sat on his shirt. "So... I suppose I'm stuck here for three more hours."

"Looks that way." Inside Lacroix felt a surge of delight. It was all so totally unexpected, and so wonderful; not only had Nicholas come to him, but now here he was, teasing him.

Nicholas glanced at him. "So what do we do?"

The answer was so obvious, Lacroix ignored it. He drained his glass, and poured another. "We could always play chess."