Another story in our "Bloodties" Universe, no sex, a little violence - I'll give it a PG-13.

Methos and LaCroix belong to their respective creators, Triona belongs to me and a few others. Permission to archive on vorteX granted.

Many thanks to Tammy, Margie, April and Shirl for all their encouragement. Without it, none of these stories would see the light of day (which may be a good thing depending on your POV!


Hunger

by Ithildin

c. 1998


Triona walked down the river towards home, or at least home for now. It had been two years since LaCroix had tried to bring her across and her life had changed dramatically. The first few months she had never left the estate while LaCroix, Janette and Methos tried to figure out just what her capabilities and vulnerabilities were. During those months, LaCroix and Methos had taught her to use a sword. She could tell they were both relieved she seemed to have an affinity for it and appeared to have gotten slightly better than normal reflexes from her almost fatal experience.

She knew Methos wasn't happy with the situation, too many distractions for her at the estate, when what he wanted was her utter concentration on learning how to fight. For once, he and LaCroix were in agreement. A different situation needed to be found until she was capable of defending herself. So, she found herself in Seacouver once again with Methos. This time she hoped it wasn't as unpleasant an experience.

************

Methos opened the car door for her, helping her out. She looked uncertainly at him and then at the dojo they had parked in front of. "Are you sure about this?"

"Very sure, love," he reassured her. "It's the best way, we've been over this before."

"But, I.... " she broke off, trying not to look as scared as she felt.

He drew her into his arms. "I can't teach you, I thought I could, but I'm too emotionally involved to be fair - to you or me. I know MacLeod can be irritating sometimes, but he's my friend and the only person I trust with your life. He is the best, and that's what I want you to have."..........

**************

As she slowly approached the Parisian chateau that Janette owned, she thought back over the last two years. Methos had been right, Duncan had been the best choice, he had taught her even past Methos' expectations - and those expectations had been high indeed. She was still his student, there was still so much to learn before she would feel confident about her abilities.

But now, the urgency had died down, and she was once again with her family. She had missed them terribly, their missing mental presence leaving her lonely and sad. Having them back had made her as happy as she had been in years. Six months ago, they had joined her and Duncan in Paris. Her sisters had been ecstatic about living in a strange new place and Janette and LaCroix had truly enjoyed showing them the city that meant so much to them.

Finally, as true dark fell, she reached the long drive. The house was secluded and out of the way, but that was what made it perfect for it's varied inhabitants. As she made her way up the drive she felt the now familiar buzz of another Immortal. Slowing, she drew her sword from her coat, knowing better than to assume it was Amanda, Duncan or Methos. She looked around, her enhanced night vision catching sight of a man approaching from the tree line.

"Who are you?" she called out.

"I am Adrian Cassara, and you... aren't Amanda."

"No, I'm not. Amanda is my guest, but as you can see, I'm not her," Triona said warily, not sure if he was an enemy yet.

"Perhaps not, but you'll do till I can find her." He raised his sword to attack.

Instinct took over and two years of practice moved her sword in a defensive position, and battle was joined. They fought a few moments in silence, Triona , noting in a corner of her mind, that she should be terrified, but she felt utterly calm.

"Immortality is wasted on women." Her opponent's comment broke the silence. "Always at a disadvantage," he goaded.

She refused to be baited, keeping her concentration on their two swords, suddenly realizing in a flash that she recognized the move he was using! Duncan had just taught it to her a few weeks before, telling her she was ready for something obscure. Time slowed down, she *knew* where his sword would strike, and hers was there ahead, slicing under his guard. She saw the look of shock on his face as he realized her sword was through his chest. She yanked it out ,and saying a small prayer, swung it up and around for a killing stroke. Her blade sheared through his neck and has she looked down in shock, she felt another buzz.

She turned, seeing Methos, his face awash with relief, then the quickening took her and she knew no more. As she came down from it, she felt a desperate hunger clawing at her. Methos was at her side in an instant, holding her close, but all she could feel was need and confusion. As she began to panic she felt LaCroix draw near, calming her.

"LaCroix?" she asked in a frightened voice, entreating him with her thoughts as well as her voice to tell her what was happening. She felt almost like she had when she was still mortal and had become sick from being away from LaCroix for too long, but is was different somehow. She could smell blood; her slain opponent's, hers and most of all, Methos'.

Methos held her away from him, concern turning to shock at what he saw. "Lucien, " he got out in a strangled voice, "what's going on?" The once familiar woman he held was now a vampire.

LaCroix knelt down beside them. "I honestly don't know, obviously a new wrinkle in her mutation. That quickening must have triggered it, blood lust, strong emotion....." he trailed off, thinking.

Triona began to struggle in Methos' grip, almost breaking free. His scent was overwhelming her, she *needed* , she *hungered*, they were becoming the only two emotions she felt. Logical thought was gone. She fought harder, she must break free, she was so hungry, why were they hurting her?

"What's wrong with her?" he hissed, struggling to keep his hold on an increasingly violent Triona.

LaCroix grabbed her just as she wrested away from Methos. He closed his eyes, lips parted as if tasting something. "First hunger I would say." He opened his eyes, looking at Methos. "If she were a true vampire, I would be unable to hold her, but her strength remains the same. Nevertheless, she is hungering - for blood." LaCroix watched Methos carefully, not sure how he was going to take this. "More specifically - for yours."

Her struggles had become less violent as she weakened, LaCroix could hear her begging him to stop the pain. Her suffering cut into him like a knife, her pain was his. He had to take care of this, and take care of it now.

"If this is a permanent change, she needs blood, human blood, right now. She can't last much longer, she is suffering terribly. " LaCroix looked at him with a piercing stare, his voice urgent. "Can you deny her?"

Methos looked at him, looked at Triona in his arms, appearing all too much like she had two years ago. "No," he whispered, "I can't."

LaCroix nodded, picking her up. "Not here, away from the body, away from view." He carried her to the small gazebo off the drive, placing her in Methos' arms. He took a firm hold of her as she once again found herself near what she needed and began to struggle. "Don't fight her, let her take what she needs," he instructed. "When it is over, I will take care of things."

Methos nodded, and LaCroix was gone. He let go of her, looking into eyes now gone crimson, nothing to be seen that was familiar. He felt a brush at his mind, and realized it was her, using the one vampire ability she was familiar with to take her intended prey. That was when he was able to feel her pain, her hunger, just a touch of what LaCroix must have felt, running through his mind. Not wanting to prolong it, he pulled her head to his throat, he felt her new fangs scrape the flesh before sinking in. She growled in triumph, finally able to relieve the ache, the agony of her need. He felt his blood being pulled away, then just before he lost consciousness, a wave of pure ecstasy sweep over him, sweeter than any orgasm, the delight of it cradling him as blackness fell.

He came back in his own bed, Triona curled in tight around him, deeply asleep. \\ LaCroix,// he thought. He did say he would take care of things. He realized he was very tired, dying from blood loss was always a long one in recovering from. Looking down at her sleeping form, he realized she was still warm to the touch, and that her heart was beating regularly. What did it all mean? \\Time would tell,// he told himself, \\and there will be time aplenty for figuring it out later.// In the meantime, sleep seemed a very good idea. He drew her in closer, before closing his eyes and joining her in healing slumber.

End


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