Cold Hands, Hot Shower

BY : MomRa
Category: 1 through F > Forever Knight
Dragon prints: 926
Disclaimer: I do not own Forever Knight, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

All characters from Forever Knight belong to Sony/Tristar and were created by Barney Cohen and James Parriot. I do not have authorization to use these characters. This was written for entertainment purposes only; I make no money on this story. No copyright violation is intended.

My eternal gratitude to three amazing people;
Marcie, for all the great sugguestions, and catching my mistakes
Ms. Pickles, my Grammar Dom
Lyddie Starkiller, for all her support and encouragement!

* * * * * * * *

Cold Hands, Hot Shower (c) 2001 by Mom-Ra

* * * * * * * *

The entire afternoon had been wasted with packing. As soon as it got dark, Nick was planning to change his shirt and get out of the claustrophobic apartment. He still couldn't believe he'd let his lawyer talk him into selling his house before his new place was ready. He hoped Toronto would be a nice place to live, as he'd never been there before.

Moving carefully around the piles of boxes in the cramped living room, he glanced at the telephone that never rang and the little clock on the empty bookshelf. He bumped into the wastebasket and it tipped over. A rumpled photograph slid out from under shards of glass and splintered wood. With a sigh, he bent down to retrieve it. The picture had been packed and unpacked then repacked at least a dozen times until, in frustration, Nick had crushed it, frame and all and shoved it into the wastebasket along with the other rubbish. Gingerly, he smoothed the creases from the photograph. Blinking back sudden tears, he berated himself for the childish fit of temper that had almost ruined one of the few likenesses he had of his lover, Janette.

He traced her features with his fingertip, barely glancing at the other people in the photograph. One was himself, the other was a severe looking man with pale eyes and close-cropped hair. Hastily tucking the picture inside a book, he packed it in the nearest carton and taped it shut before he could change his mind again.

Once outside, the cool, damp air calmed him. As he rambled about the neighborhood, he was surprised to see fragile clouds of pink blossoms in the ornamental plum trees along the sidewalk. He hadn't realized the weather had turned already. He found himself heading towards Wicker Park. Once a comfortably rough neighborhood, it was rapidly turning into one of Chicago's hip districts; sleek coffee shops and swanky restaurants were already edging out the dives and variety stores. Looking into the windows of the various shops on the street, some just opening, others already closed for the day, he felt a unique sparkling; a psychic thrill alerting him to the presence of another of his kind.

The tingling grew stronger as he walked down Armitage, then turned onto Damen Avenue, and he followed it with growing anticipation. Pausing in the entrance to a nightclub, he nearly lost the subtle thread he was following in the sudden assault of heat and noise. Towards the back of the dark, smoky lounge, he found the one he'd been looking for. The lovely young woman leaning against the bar was the only other vampire in the place. She had long black hair, milky skin and blue eyes, nearly the same color as Janette's. She invited him over with a smile, then lit a cigarette.

Conforming to the prevailing fashion in club attire, she was wearing what appeared to be a slip. The short, black dress barely covered her bottom. Nick let out a deep sigh. He missed the time when women wore elaborate undergarments; corsets, petticoats, camisoles, stockings and so forth. Undressing one had been almost like unwrapping a present.

The woman led the way to a corner booth. It was quieter there, more secluded. Nick sat opposite her and reached across the small table to touch her bare shoulder. She didn't mind his familiarity at all, and regarded him appreciatively. He was a very good-looking young man; tall and broad shouldered. His dark blonde hair was brushed back from his forehead in a mass of disordered, loose curls. He had a deceptively boyish face, with a wide, sensuous mouth and the suggestion of a cleft in his chin. He seemed to be in his early thirties, but she sensed he was much, much older. Not long before he'd become immortal, Nicholas de Brabant had been a knight in the disastrous Crusade launched by Pope Innocent III.

The woman toyed with her cigarette. "I've never seen you here before. What's your name?"

"Nick. And you are...?"


"Like Theda Bara?" Nick was disappointed when the woman didn't seem to recognize the name. He gave her his best heart-melting smile, "You know, the film star?"

Theda shook her head.

"Maybe she was before your time." Nick realized he'd taken up with a fledgling and wondered how old she was. "You must've heard of her at least ... well, never mind."

He moved to sit beside her, then took her cigarette from her fingers and crushed it out in the ashtr

"Hey! I wasn't finished with that!" said Theda and opened her purse, presumably to get another cigarette. Nick put his hand over hers and apologized, saying, "It masks your scent. Please, don't light another."

"My scent?" she smiled. "You mean my perfume? Do you like it?"

She held out her arm and he kissed the translucent skin of her wrist, tracing the delicate veins with his tongue, and whispered, "Let's get out of here."

* * * * * * * *

In the alley behind the club, Theda kissed Nick as if she wanted to get all of him into her mouth at once. He stopped her when she began pulling his at his shirt tail. "Not here, darling. What do you say we go up to the roof?"

"How are we going to get up there?" she asked, craning her long neck to look up the side of the building. "I don't see a fire escape."

Nick was amazed she didn't know this, most basic skill of their kind. Her maker should have taught her that much, at least.
"Tell me something, Theda." he asked, "How long ago were you brought across?"

"Brought across?" she smiled vacantly.

Curbing his growing annoyance, he rephrased the question. "When were you made a vampire?"

"Oh. About a year, no ... two years ago, I think."

Theda slipped her hands inside his jacket, but Nick gently pushed her away. Being intimate with fledglings always distressed him, but he was hungry. He had to decide if he was hungry enough to tolerate the nerve-wracking aftertaste she was sure to leave.
"Where's your maker?" he asked.

She stopped pawing at him long enough to say, "I have no idea. We broke up, aggo. go. Why do you care, anyway?"

Nick found Theda's casual dismissal of her maker irritating. His attention was swept from her awkward love-play by the memory of a night shortly after he was fledged.

* * * * * * * *

Nicholas had woken confused, hungry and thoroughly frightened when he realized he'd been left alone while he slept. The young Crusader searched the dark corridors, calling for his maker, but all he heard was his own voice echoing off the damp stone walls. Nicholas was beginning to panic, when he felt a whisper in his mind, calming his fear. The whisper became a shimmer and it filled him with the sweet, sharp arousal that released his vampiric nature. As if a strand of light or a note of music had become solid matter, Nicholas could actually feel the thread connecting him to his master and he followed it, breathless with excitement. He rounded a corner and found the strange, beautiful man who'd changed his life forever.

His immense relief at finding him was outstripped by the pleasure he felt when his eternal teacher smiled at him.

"Well done, Nicholas."

* * * * * * * *

Nick looked into Theda's sea-blue eyes, he couldn't even pretend this fledgling was desirable, he no longer saw in her any resemblance to Janette. But he was a gentleman; he had invited her into the alley and wouldn't just send her away. He gave her a soft kiss, then undid the top three buttons of his crisp, white shirt and guided her to his throat. He leaned against the dirty brick wall, absently stroking her hair and letting her feed as long as she wanted to. When she finished, she offered her throat to him. He touched a fingertip to the ruby trickle running down her chin.
"No, ma fille joli." he said, "Thank you, but ... no." He escorted her back inside the club and waited until she disaped ied into the crowd on the dance floor before he left.

Nick went straight home, he was exhausted and loosing the tight control he kept on his hunger. He wanted to feed, then go to bed and sleep and sleep and sleep. But when he got back to the apartment, he stood in the doorway, reluctant to go in. He hated this dinky place, with it's ratty carpeting and paint-crusted woodwork. Worst of all, his piano had been put into storage, there was no room for it here. He was glad he only had to stay in Chicago for a few more weeks, until his new lair was ready

He yanked open the refrigerator and grabbed a partially empty wine bottle. Uncorking it with his teeth, he drank straight from the bottle, draining it in one draught. Cold, bitter animal blood dulled the fierce edge of his hunger, but this was not feeding. He wanted to feel warm, living flesh give and tear beneath his fangs; to feel the hot blood bathe his face; to rend and slay.

He gripped the bottle so hard, ittterttered in his hand and shocked him out of his murderous fantasy. Blood and splinters of green glass stuck to his hands, and he stared at the mess, frightened by his terrible passion. The futile tryst with Theda must have upset him more than he cared to admit.

Tossing his overcoat and jacket over a chair, he wiped his hands on his shirt, then pulled off the rest of his clothes and stuffed them into the laundry hamper. He wanted a hot shower to wash off the drugstore perfume and cigarette smoke that clung to his and and hair.

Turning on the bathroom light, he was startled by his own reflection in the vanity mirror. He hadn't realized he'd lost so much weight. Hesitantly, he touched his ribs; he would have to feed more often, stinting himself hadn't done any good. The bad dreams, the lust and hunger had only grown worse.

He clicked off the light before he stepped into the shower. The hot spray did little to soothe his jangled nerves, but he leaned his forehead against the tiles and tried to center himself, just letting the water roll over him. He felt like crying. He missed his family desperately. He wondered if it was possible to die of loneliness, because he was so very lonely. Nick wouldn't let himself get close to any of the mortals he knew, yet he didn't feel he belonged with his own kind, either. Chance encounters with other vampires were more often than not, merely frustrating, leaving him agitated and hungry.

He worked the soap into a thick lather and started scrubbing. The suds and hot water flowed over his shoulders and arms, down his lean torso, down his thighs and legs, spattering onto his feet. He touched the place where Theda had bitten him and gently pressed his throat. His eyes closed and his hand slid down his chest. The caress felt good; his skin was soap-slick and warm from the shower. He stroked his throat again and invoked Janette, whose storm-blue eyes so often haunted his dreams. His always and forever love, his raven-haired angel of destruction.

His eyes snapped open and he stopped abruptly. He felt foolish and angry. After all, she had left him. Then his thoughts strayed to his master; his cold smile and cool, soft lips.
"No!" he shouted, his voice ringing against the hard tiles.
"Leave me alone." he whispered, "Please, just leave me alone."

Nick stood very still, trying to decide what to do. He was already depressed and couldn't possibly feel any worse. His first impulse was to get it over with quickly. But the hot, clean water and the after-effect of Theda's bloodletting thrumming in his veins had kindled his deeply supressed sensuality. He let his mind go blank and shut out everything except the feel of his hands moving over his skin.

Bracing against the shower wall, he nuzzled the crook of his arm, letting his own unadulterated scent envelop him. The heavy ache in his belly gradually tightened into arousal and he ran his tongue over his canines as they lengthened into fangs. He brushed his lips along his arm to his wrist and licked his pale skin. His mouth felt so nice, so soft ... he licked his wrist again.

Pressing the tips of his fangs against his wrist, he slowly pierced the skin, so as not to hurt. He held his wrist above his upturned face waiting for the blood to drip into his mouth, while he teased himself with gentle, soapy fingers. The first drop of blood burned his tongue and made him gasp with pleasure. Another drop fell into his mouth, then another and another, gathering into a thin stream. The wound healed and he opened the vein again, lapping as delicately as a cat. He bit deeper and let the blood fill his mouth before swallowing. The predominant notes of grassland and woodsmoke became overlaid with a taint of spice, the scent of his arousal. With each mouthful the flavor became richer and heavier; filling him with the exquisite pain of his approaching orgasm. Panting and trembling, he pressed his palms against the tiled wall and forced himself to wait a bit longer.

Taking a deep, shuddering breath, Nick soaped up his hands and rubbed the back of his neck, working the tense muscles. Gently, he touched his ears, then the sensitive skin of his throat, moving his fingertips in tiny circles. His hands played over his body, gliding from his shoulders and arms to his chest to his belly, up and down with slow, firm strokes. The languid caresses quickened as his blood lust mounted; he dug his nails into his flesh and groaned with delight at the tiny hints of pain.

Finally overcome, he sank to his knees and tore his wrist open. The cool gush of blood filled his mouth and flooded his mind with echoes of Janette; her eyes and lips, the scent of her hair, the silk of it tumbling into his face as she leaned down to kiss him. Whether he conjured images from memory, or fantasy, he could no longer tell.

Her name was his litany.

Janette ... Janette.

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