The following is by S. Clark, permission has been aquired to post it here.
Well, I got feedback on my last bit of fluff, "The Caddie Edition". And, although I hadn't planned a sequel, one invaded my head as I responded to all the kind comments. Thanks all for the questions as they spawned this beast. Thanks again to those on the list who inspired this thread, and sympathies on the break in, LeeAnn. Reading the first story isn't a pre-requisite for this one, I don't think. Each should be fully incomprehensible on its own without any outside interference. Again, like it/hate it/whatever...lemme know.
Permission given to archive at fkfanfic website as well as FTP site. No other permission is granted to repost/reprint/reuse. If you're interested, drop me a line.
And, as always, this is based on characters and situations that aren't mine. Thanks to TPTB for the use. They've been hermetically sealed and placed carefully back in the original wrapper.
Nick Knight, vampire detective, strolled into the 96th precinct shortly after sunset. He was not happy, having had to spend the day stuffed into his trunk rather than sliding around between his satin sheets clad in his silk jammies. His caddie had been used as a skateboard ramp. And, worst of all, he'd been serenaded with Slim Whitman songs by a mechanic named Ross at the city impound lot. He certainly was not in a mood to be dragged into his Captain's office first thing upon entering the building.
"Do you know why I've called you in here?" asked Cohen.
Nick smiled his best boyish grin. "I haven't a clue, Captain."
Cohen nodded her agreement with that statement.
"Did I win another award? Partners of the Month, all by myself, perhaps?"
"Knight, Knight, Knight." She brushed a speck of lint from his rumpled lapel. "If only I weren't married and you weren't dead."
"That's undead, Captain," Nick replied sheepishly. "But actually, I prefer the term 'metabolically challenged.' But how?"
Cohen waved him off. "Save it for the coroner, Nick. This is serious."
Cohen picked up an object off her desk. It was a book that he'd normally stored in the trunk of his car. "Can you explain this, Knight?"
"It appears to be a book, Captain." If only he'd had that book with him earlier today. But when had it been removed from the trunk?
Cohen sighed. "Look Nick, I realize your elevator doesn't always reach the top floor. But, to be more specific, can you explain how this book, checked out of the Paris library antiquities collection in 1873, ended up in your desk?"
"My desk?" Nick shrugged.
"I'm afraid this is trouble, Knight." She went to the phone. "Send her in."
A woman entered. She was young, attractive, and wearing minimal clothing to appease European audiences.
"Nick, I'd like you to meet Madame Librette. She's a special agent assigned to this case."
"Interpol?" asked Nick.
"No," she corrected. "Librarian."
Nick stared at the woman, and was taken back in time...
"Nicolas, do not rush things, we have the whole night together," purred Janette.
"But Janette," Nicolas protested, "I need to go to the library."
Janette pouted. "Oh Nicolas, you are once again in the wrong flashback." A devilish look came to her eyes and she kissed him deeply. "We shall have to make the best of that, won't we."
Nicholas was brought back to reality by the collision of the very old book with his very thick skull.
"An inquisition is arranged for 12:28 this morning, Knight. You will be there." Cohen's tone made it abundantly clear that this was an order.
Nick nodded and quickly left the office.
"So, golden boy, what'd ya do?" Schanke, breath overburdened with garlic, seemed to be enjoying the fact that his partner was the one being made to sweat. "Come to think of it, who'd ya do? Weren't you wearing that yesterday?"
"I need some time, Schank," mumbled Knight.
"As always, Knight. Running away when the going gets rough." Don Schanke ignored his departing partner and tuned his walkman back to the Nightcrawler on CERK. As much as the show had wierded him out when he'd started listening, he found he was actually beginning to enjoy what the guy had to say.
Nick was confused. Disoriented. He flew like a fledgling, taking out two telephone poles and denting the outside of the CN Tower before finally colliding with the earth outside of the coroner's office.
He had to see her, to explain things, before he left.
He rushed into her lab. "Natalie?"
She smiled as she plopped a spleen into the scale. "What is it, Nick?"
He gazed into her eyes. He inhaled deeply of her scent. He wondered if she ever had that 'not so fresh' feeling, but then thought better of asking that question.
"Oh, nothing," he lied. It was something. It was everything. He was in full angst mode and didn't know how to stop himself. Didn't want to stop himself. Didn't realize he'd been debating with himself for so long that she'd gotten bored, gone out to lunch, and returned.
"Natalie?" he began again. He looked down at the body on the table. It was a young woman. The young woman from Cohen's office. The librarian. Now she was wearing even less clothing, but also a sheet to appease the American censors. "She's dead."
"Very good, Nick. Recognizing dead bodies."
"But, she was alive."
"Most dead bodies were once alive."
Nick looked at the face. "Tonight. She was alive tonight."
"With you Nick?" asked Natalie, her voice growing sad.
"Yes," he said, noticing the words brought tears to her eyes.
Natalie sobbed and turned away. "How could you, Nick? How could you do this to me? To us?"
"Do what?" A light bulb brightened over Nick's head. "Oh, *with* me with me?" He was shocked, yet slightly aroused, at the thought of himself and the young woman. (Before she died, of course.) "You know I wouldn't do that, Natalie."
Natalie's sad face melted with relief.
"Well, not that I'd admit to, anyway," he continued, leaving Natalie to pout again.
Natalie turned the woman's head, exposing her neck. "Then explain this, Nick. She's been drained. Her killer was a vampire."
"I did not nick her neck, Nat."
Nat rolled her eyes at the bad use alliteration.
Nick set his jaw in anger. "LaCroix," he growled. "He's behind it. All of it."
Nick rushed into the Raven, pushing his way through the crowds to a table in the back where LaCroix was seated.
"You planted the book."
LaCroix took a sip from his glass. "Of course."
"You set me up."
LaCroix nodded. "Yes, yes. What's your point."
"You killed the librarian."
"Me, a petty murderer? Please, Nicholas. I'm afraid that was done by my newest child. He's a little, shall I say, impetuous."
Don Schanke strolled out of the Raven's backroom. His teeth they were pointed. His eyes gold and merry. His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry. <oops...wrong story.>
"Schanke? You're a..." Nick was aghast. He spit out the word, "vampire?"
"Yeah," Schanke chuckled. "Go figure. But you know, I really do prefer 'metabolically challenged.'" Schanke roared with laughter at his own joke, joined in by LaCroix.
"How could you LaCroix?"
"It's really not all that difficult, Nicholas, one just needs to be sure not to take too much." LaCroix wiped a blood tear of laughter from his eye. "Of course for you, maybe it is. Difficult, that is."
This sent both LaCroix and Schanke into another spasm of laughter.
Nick felt as if the world was reeling. He staggered to the door. He barreled through, remembering at the last minute that doors work better if they're opened first, and was knocked out by the impact of the very closed steel door with his very thick skull.
Nick started awake from a deep sleep. Nightmare images assaulting his waking brain. Blood sweat clinging to his forehead. He tried to sit up but merely ended up bouncing his head off the lid of the trunk. Again. The trunk. The caddie. He was asleep in the caddie.
But somewhere, from outside, came the distant strains of Slim Whitman. And the sounds of LaCroix laughing.
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