Thanks to S.C. for beta reading.  LaCroix belongs to Sony/TriStar and everyone else belongs to me amongst others.

Explicit sex and violence.
A "Bloodties" story

Upon a Winter's Night

by Altariel

c. 1998

 Triona, Stephanie, and Lauren were in the sitting room. It was just after  sunset and the full moon was reflecting off the snow covered grounds  outside the French doors. Triona was trying to get her two *assistant's*  attention back to the work at hand. They, however, were more interested  in discussing plans to ambush Sarah and Terese with a snowball attack  when they returned to the estate after a day in the city on various  errands.

"No! We need to wait in the bend of the path leading from the garage!"  Stephanie protested.

"That's silly, the driver will let them off by the front door, we can get them  from the alcove." Lauren told Stephanie, exasperated. The girl knew  nothing of strategy.

"No, he won't! You know LaCroix has been on a fitness tangent lately.  He will make them walk from the garage!" Stephanie said smugly.

"That's IT!" Triona said, thoroughly annoyed. "I give up, forget it. Go play  in the snow, but don't come crying to me when Terese makes mincemeat  out of the two of you."  She turned off the laptop, giving up on the idea of  work for the evening.

The two women tried to look contrite, but failed miserably.

"Cool!" Stephanie shouted.

"Thanks, Triona!" Lauren beamed, practically bouncing out of her chair.  "And as for Terese, she'll have to catch us first!"

Triona sighed. "Just shoo you two, go get bundled up first though. All we  need is for you to get sick."

"Wanna join us, Triona?" Stephanie asked on her way out.

"Nope, I don't have a death wish thank you very much. I'll just watch  Terese killing the both of you and serve hot beverages," she replied  wryly. Triona sighed in relief as silence fell in the sitting room, hearing  the two racing up the stairs to their suites to get bundled up.

She wondered idly where LaCroix was. No one had seen him since he  had left for the city the evening before, though they knew he had come  back in the early morning. She had an idea of what was going on, just  wasn't sure if it was mortal or vampire. And truth be told, she didn't really  want to know.

As she turned to leave the sitting room, she felt a *shift* in the air. She  knew instinctively it was a vampire -- she also knew it wasn't LaCroix, or  even Nicholas, for that matter. Taking firm hold of herself, she finished  turning, showing no surprise at the presence of the woman who stood in  front of her. She was about 5' 6", with short cropped black hair in a punk  style, with dark brown eyes. From her pallor alone, Triona knew she was  a vampire -- and the reason none of them had seen him. She was  more handsome than pretty, and that was being generous. But Triona  doubted he had brought her home for her looks.

Keeping her voice level, she asked, "May I help you with something?"

"Oh, I doubt that very much," the woman replied in a condescending  tone. "So you must be one of Lucien's little pets. Which one are you?"

\\And not for her charm either,// Triona thought to herself angrily. "Well  then, if you don't need anything. I'll be going. I have duties to attend to,"  she stated coolly as she headed for the door. \\She would not lose her  temper,// she kept repeating to herself.

"I didn't say you could leave," the woman said haughtily. "I will certainly  report your impertinence to Lucien."

Triona stiffened, starting to count to ten, then she thought, \\to hell with it, // and whirled, laughing, to give the %&*# a piece of her mind.

The woman looked surprised, not the reaction she had expected from  LaCroix's little mortal.

"Let's get a few things straight shall we?" Triona said slowly and  deliberately, as if speaking to someone not too bright. She saw from the  woman's expression that her tone had not gone unnoticed. \\Good,// she  thought. "There is only one person in this house that I obey, and it  certainly isn't you! And as for complaining to LaCroix, please do be my  guest. He has little tolerance for common behavior, especially from a  woman he brought to our home for what amounts to a one night stand,"  she finished scathingly.

The vampire was infuriated, her eyes turning golden. Triona knew she  should be a little frightened, but wasn't really worried. She was sure that  the woman's fear of LaCroix would keep her from harming her.

"You wretched little mortal.... girl!" she spat. "How dare you speak to me  in such a manner!" She stalked over to Triona, gripping her arm painfully. "I think I should kill you," she snarled.

Triona merely looked amused. "If you want it to be the last thing you do  before you meet your true death, go right ahead."

"Do you really expect me to believe that LaCroix would kill me -- over  you? A worthless little mortal?" She laughed evilly. "I didn't believe his  little threat when he made it on coming here, and I certainly don't believe  you."

She felt the *vamp strumpet* -- that's how she was thinking of her --   trying to whammy her even as Triona mentally called for LaCroix. She knew he had to be near. \\More than likely he had watched the whole thing,// she thought in annoyance, tinged with a little fear.

"You'll have to do better than that," Triona said patronizingly, as all  attempts to control her mind failed miserably.

The woman hissed, pausing to consider. The little mortal seemed either  mad or extremely confident. The question was, which was it? This house  was infested with mortals, surely LaCroix wouldn't miss this one. After  all, how could she possibly mean anything to him? Decision made,  she lunged for the kill -- only to find herself being  grabbed and hurled  against the wall.


 Triona breathed a sigh of relief as LaCroix pulled the female vampire away from her, smiling smugly as she made a satisfying thud upon hitting the wall.  And for the moment at least, appeared to be quite stunned.

Amused, he noted her smile. "You seem pleased, my dear. But I  must say, I think you were more than a little foolhardy." He ran his  fingers lightly over her bruised arm. "It was something akin to a kitten  taking on a tiger, after all."

"Not at all. I had utter confidence you would be there to rescue me."  Triona cocked an eyebrow. "Always supposing you didn't manipulate this  entire scene for some obscure reason?" She waited expectantly for an  answer.

"Now there is a fascinating scenario, my child." LaCroix paused, hearing  the stunned vampire rousing. "One that we shall discuss at a more  opportune time."

Moving to where the woman was stirring, LaCroix grabbed her  arm roughly, pulling her to her feet. "I warned you, did I not, Letitia?"  he asked, his voice pitched dangerously low. "Harm what is mine  and pay the consequences."  His hand gripped her chin painfully.

"She was rude -- a worthless mortal. How dare you treat me this way,"  Letitia protested angrily, not yet realizing her peril.

"Instead of making excuses, you would do well to convince me why I  shouldn't stake you here and now." He tilted her head up farther.

Letitia tried to struggle, but the young vampire was no match for the  powerful ancient that held her in his grip. Now she was becoming frightened, and she swore if she talked herself out of this she  would make the little mortal wretch pay.

"I'm sorry, Lucien, I had no idea. I promise I'll make it up to you." She  smiled up at him seductively, pushing her body against his. "Can't we  start over? I promise I'll be good this time."

He wrapped his hand in her hair with a painful grip, kissing her  roughly. "Oh you will make it up to me, Letitia, I promise you."

She smiled to herself. It was always so simple. No matter how old the  man, he always thought with something other than his brain.  By the time  she was through, she'd make sure she'd taken out several of his little  mortal pets.

She ran her hand down his chest. "Name the time and the place, and I'm all yours," she purred seductively.

"Indeed my dear, indeed." LaCroix smiled down on her. "Now I think you  should go and let me settle my... pet. I'll have my driver take you into the  city -- it's such a dreadful night to fly."

Triona watched the little by-play with interest, amazed at the utter  naiveté of the female vampire. She ate it all up, not even aware of  his web.

With one last alluring glance at LaCroix, and a glare at Triona, Letitia  sauntered out of the room.

He watched her leave, a considering look on his face. He felt  Triona's gaze on him. "I have a few matters to attend to my dear. Please wait for me in my suite, I shall return shortly," he directed as he turned to leave.

"Of course -- whatever you say, General. Whatever you say," she agreed, wondering if what she thought was going to happen, was.


LaCroix flew to the garage, giving the driver his instructions, watching as  he drove towards the house. He moved through the woods to the bend  in the road between the garage and the house, hearing the shouts and  squeals of the other women engaged in what sounded like a snowball  fight. He waited patiently for the car to reappear -- and with it the soon to  be departed Letitia. He could have staked her in the house, but out of  concern for Triona's sensibilities, he had decided against it.  And besides, this was so much more satisfying. The prey, thinking she had escaped her fate, only to realize that there was no escape. The thrill of the hunt.

The car finally appeared, slowing to a halt as instructed. He heard the driver explaining that he needed to check the engine.  LaCroix nodded at the man as he made his way back to his rooms over the garage. Pulling the door open, he reached in, pulling Letitia out of the car.

"What are you doing?" she screamed.

"Very simple, my dear, this is the time and the place for you to *make it  up to me*," LaCroix answered, his tone cold and menacing.

"I… I don't understand…." she protested, voice shaking.

"But of course you do. You lied to me, and you are a fool." LaCroix  shook her. "I can't let you live, knowing at the first opportunity you would  kill Triona and quite possibly other of my women. Did you really think I  would be taken in by your little harlot's act?" His laugh was chilling as he pulled her head back to expose her throat. "But, I promise you a much easier death  than the one you would have given my own."

He plunged his fangs into her throat, swiftly draining her to the point  of unconsciousness. No use letting her go to waste after all. Her blood  only confirmed his suspicions -- she had intended on killing Triona and as many of the others as she could.

Dropping her still form to the ground, he plunged the stake he had  brought with him through her cold heart.  He would let the morning's sun  take care of the remains. So young -- and so foolish. This one would  never have lasted long. No control. \\ Where were these young one's  masters,// he wondered in irritation.

He turned to leave, only to be stopped by a snowball ploughing into  his chest.

"GOT YOU!!!" he heard Lauren scream as she came bounding across  the clearing. She came to a screeching halt as she saw that it wasn't  Terese she had hit, but LaCroix.

LaCroix arched an eyebrow has he brushed the snow off his jacket.   She tried to help, but only made it worse as the snow on her mittens fell all over him. He took her hands in his. "Stop helping, Lauren."

She nodded, stammering an apology. "I'm sorry, General, I thought  you were T...T...Terese. I would have never…."

He stopped her babbling with a kiss, smiling down on  her. "It's all right, my pet. I assure you I've been hit with much worse  than snow in my life." She nodded in relief. "Just don't let it happen  again."

"No, I won't. Not ever, General!" Lauren said with as much assurance as  possible.

"But I think it is time you and all the others came back into the house."  LaCroix began to lead her away from the body behind him.

"Okay." She looked past him, noticing the car and the dark  lump next to it. "But why is the car here, and what's that on the ground?"

"Lauren," he said sternly. "Listen to me."

She looked up at him, waiting.

"It is nothing that concerns you. I ask that you trust me in this and ask no  more questions. Do you understand?" He held her hands  reassuringly as a torrent of emotion ran across her eyes: curiosity, fear,  a desire to please.

"Of course I trust you, LaCroix," she finally said, turning away from  the car and heading up the path. "I'll tell the others to come in now."

He pulled her back towards him, embracing her tightly and  kissing her long and deep. She leaned into the kiss, sighing as he  released her.

"Good girl," he said approvingly. "Now let's round up the others. I have  an appointment with Triona I must get to." He kept hold of her hand  as they headed back towards the sounds of the snowball fight.

Terese pulled her throw on a dime when she realized it was LaCroix  approaching, looking very nervous on realizing how near she had come  to throwing.

LaCroix smiled at her, running his hand down her flushed cheek. He  found the sight of so many faces, the blood so near the surface,  intoxicating. He could hear their hearts beating swiftly from their  exertions, and now he had arrived, beating for other reasons.

He ran his thumb over Terese's warm lips. "I think being hit with one  snowball tonight is sufficient, don't you, Lauren?" He looked over  at where she was standing, quirking a brow.

Lauren looked embarrassed, blushing furiously. Terese looked shocked  that he was taking it in such good humor. Stephanie was utilizing  one of her best innocent expressions just in case. Sarah was barely able  to contain a grin at her friends discomfiture.

"As much as you are enjoying this little battle, it is time we removed  ourselves to the house," LaCroix stated, brooking no argument. He  started up the path, fully confident that all four women were following  behind.

The women were not all adverse to the view as they followed LaCroix up  the path and to the house. With that butler sixth sense, Baker was there  to open the door for them as they came to the entrance.

"Sir, ladies." Baker ushered them in, helping the women out of their  snow covered coats and hats.

"Baker, hot drinks for the ladies. In the study I think," LaCroix ordered.

"And your usual, sir?" Baker queried.

"No. Not right now Baker. I'm feeling quite -- sated." LaCroix said, his  tone making his women shiver.

They followed him as he walked towards the study, unsure of his mood.  He seemed quite unlike himself tonight, almost like the cat that  swallowed the canary. They entered the very masculine room quietly,  inhaling the pleasing scents of leather, wool, and the smoke from the  peat fire that was burning brightly in the hearth. LaCroix indicated that  they seat themselves as he poured small measures of Napoleon Brandy  into the waiting snifters.

"Sarah?" He indicated the tray. "Would you be so kind?"

"Of course, General." Sarah picked up the tray and passed the drinks  around the room.  She decided to enjoy the mood while it lasted, and it  appeared the others had too.

They sipped the brandy slowly as LaCroix watched them with an almost  paternal look on his face.

His attention was distracted by Baker's entrance with the tea tray. "And now, ladies, I have other -- obligations -- this evening." He glanced up at the ceiling. "You will all stay in the house till after dawn." Noticing Stephanie's expression, he continued, "That includes you, Stephanie," he said sternly. "You will give me your word."

Stephanie sighed, \\foiled again,// she thought. "I promise, General,  honest!"

"I know you will keep your word, child. You certainly aren't foolish -- are you?" He tilted her face up to look at him.

"No, LaCroix," Stephanie assured him, her eyes wide and innocent.

He chuckled, kissing her lightly. "You do amuse me, child." LaCroix looked around at the seated women. "Now, if you will excuse me, ladies...."  He left the study, barely stirring the air with his  departure.


 LaCroix entered his suite, hearing the slow steady beat of Triona's heart  under the strains of music coming from the stereo. She was standing in  front of the window, the moonlight silhouetting her body through the thin  silk fabric of her negligee. Aware of his presence, she turned to watch  him cross the room, leaning against the wall. Not touching her, he  leaned down to kiss her. They kissed long and deep -- their only point of contact his cool lips on her warm ones.

As LaCroix started to raise his hands to take her in his arms, she  slipped out from under his insistent lips. Bemused, he watched her move  to the center of the room, turn and hold her hand out to him.

"Dance?" Triona asked, her lips quirking in slight smile as the next track  on the CD began to play.

He recognized the song, 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes',  as he took  her hand and pulled her to him. His right hand firmly placed on her  lower back, his left hand in her right between them, they began to dance  to the slow, sultry tune.

She leaned her cheek against his chest as they moved smoothly together in rhythm to the music. Only the light of the fire and a  few candles illuminated the two as they danced. Turning her head  slightly, she pressed her lips against the silk of his shirt, breathing in  deeply, inhaling his scent. She always loved the way he smelled -- like a  cold wind blowing off the ocean -- sharp, tangy and forceful. Allowing  herself to relax totally, she leaned into him, letting the feel of his body and the sound of the music to totally envelop her.

She tilted her head up, looking at him consideringly. He noted her intent  expression with some amusement as he waited for her to come to a  conclusion. He didn't have to wait long.

"So, did you?" she asked him finally.

He didn't pretend not to know what she meant. "You are persistent, my dear."

"You said we would discuss it at a more opportune time. So I'm  discussing it." She watched him, a stubborn look in her eyes he knew all  too well.

They had stopped dancing, but LaCroix continued to hold her against  him. He briefly considered *distracting* her, but realized she'd just bring  it up again later. "What do you think?" answering her question with one  of his own.

Annoyed at his evasions, she pursed her lips, carefully considering her  response. She reached a decision. "I think it's entirely likely. Testing my  loyalty perhaps, or just breaking the monotony," she said in irritation.  \\Damn games,// she thought.

LaCroix laughed at that. "You do give me entirely too much credit, my  dear!" He kissed the top of her head as she became even more annoyed. Finally, he relented. "No, my dear Triona, I did not plan it. But if it had been a test, you would have passed brilliantly. Your confidence in me was quite touching. But you must promise not to take such a chance again -- no matter how much you are pressed. It is quite permissible for you to scream in such a circumstance you know.  It would not damage your dignity beyond repair," he chided gently.

He slid his hand up Triona's back to her neck, tangling his fingers in  her hair, pulling her head back. "Anything else?"

Triona looked into his eyes, like she was trying to see into him. "What  happened wasn't because I was jealous or anything -- I just wanted you to know that." She took a deep breath. "I understand that you have  *needs* that we can't meet, that we're far too fragile, mortal. I was more  than willing to be a gracious hostess, but she never gave me the  chance."

"I never doubted that for a moment. You have always filled your role  exquisitely." He caressed the side of her neck with his thumb. "You have  no need to worry about retribution, the matter is over."

"I know," she said simply.

He realized with a start that indeed, she *did* know. "You never fail  to amaze me, child. Indeed I am fortunate in having you."  He looked  down on her warmly. No recrimination in her eyes, no judgment, only  acceptance. Of him -- and his nature.

"There was little choice after all." She shivered a little, thinking about  what had happened. Finally letting her brave facade drop, she threw her  arms around his neck, burying her face in his chest. Her voice  muffled, she admitted, "I was frightened, Lucien." She shivered  uncontrollably in his arms.

"Shhhhhh." LaCroix held her securely, running one hand up and down  her back comfortingly. "It is all over now. Listen, your favorite is playing."   He began to move again to the music.

She pulled her head away from his chest to smile up at him shakily,  moving with him. As 'Moonlight Serenade' played, the two once again  danced. LaCroix felt her start to relax -- her pulse quickening as one hand moved languorously from her neck to her bottom, leaving a trail of fire along its path. She made a little gasp as his other hand moved to join its mate cupping her, pressing her up and against him.  Instinctively reaching up for his kiss, she met his lips as they descended  on hers gently.

He slowly moved her back towards the bed,  his hands roaming  over her silk clad body with increasing fervor. Stopping only to swiftly  remove her gown, LaCroix gently eased her back onto the bed. She  watched him avidly as he quickly removed his own clothes, kneeling  next to where she lay, naked, on his bed.

Triona eased herself up to kneel in front of him, running her hands up  his legs, across his hard stomach, to his chest.  Totally engrossed in what she was doing, at the feeling  of his muscles under her hands, she never saw his eyes shift from ice blue to gold. His low growl, as she kissed and licked his nipples, alerted her to the change. She looked up to gold eyes, reaching up to run her fingers across his lips, brushing them across the tips of his now extended fangs.

She pressed her fingertip against the tip of one, easily piercing the flesh   against it's razor point. Blood welled from the wounded finger, and she  swooned back as LaCroix sucked it away, his tongue sending frissions  of delight washing over her body. He caught her against him as she fell  back, running his fangs up her arm, leaving droplets of blood in their  wake. Triona moaned as he ran his tongue up and down her arm, licking  away the blood.

In little gasps, she pleaded, "Oh please, Lucien,  I offer you all.… Please...."  She threw her head back, exposing her throat in total  surrender to the vampire before her, utterly lost to the blood lust  screaming through her.

"I will take all, my pet," he declared in a voice that was more like an animal growl.

He moved a hand to her mound, finding her well past ready for him. As  he pressed into her center, his lips and fangs found her throat. He didn't  bite -- not yet. Instead, he made little punctures in the skin; over and  over, licking away the blood from each one of dozens of tiny wounds.

Between the manipulation of his hand and what his fangs  were doing at her throat, she was in a frenzy. Past speech and  almost past thought, she could only react -- the little animal sounds she  made low in her throat exciting him past all control.

In what seemed like one smooth movement, he pushed her back onto the bed, sinking his fangs deep into her throat and thrusting his hard length into her. She screamed at the onslaught, her nervous system overloaded by pure sensation.  Her hands clawed at his back as she came -- her inner muscles grasping at him even has her life's blood  flowed away. He reached his own climax on the heels of hers,  pummeling her body.

Her hands fell limply away, no longer having the strength to move them. Triona felt as if she were at the eye of a storm. Calm, she *felt* her  blood being pulled from her, reveling in the feeling of it and the pleasure  LaCroix was experiencing. She  knew she was close to the edge -- but  trusted him implicitly, *knowing* he would not let her die, one way; or the other.

"Lucien," she whispered, her voice so quiet that only a vampire could  have heard. She felt his awareness return at that moment, and smiled.

He pulled away from her, eyes returning to ice blue. She was so  pale, he thought, like alabaster. And as fragile, he reminded himself as  he placed a finger softly on her lips. They parted at the touch.

"Stay with me?" her voice startled him.

"Always." He drew her to him.

"Forever," Triona whispered, at last falling into unconsciousness.

"Forever." LaCroix kissed her closed eyes, then her lips, before pulling  the quilt over the both of them to sleep the long winter's night through.


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