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Forgive Me
By Amanda Berendt
Copyright June 2004

“Why don’t you do for David what you would never do for me, let him go.”

    Lacroix sat in the broadcast booth at the radio station thinking about the conversation he had just had with Nicholas at the police station. Confronting Nicholas at the station had, just as he had planned, avoided the usual scene that occurred whenever he tried to talk to his son.
    His thoughts turned to Paris several decades earlier. He had confronted Nicholas once again about his search for a cure. Why he could never allow himself to have a civil conversation with his son on the subject, he didn’t know. That night, as it had many times before, it had become violent and Nicholas had told him that even death be preferable to staying with his master. This had ended the discussion. Nick had stormed off and Lacroix had no response.

Can you forgive me again?
I don’t know what I said
But I didn’t mean to hurt you

    It had been like this with Nicholas from the beginning. Unlike Janette, Nicholas had never given himself completely to his master. When Nicholas first began to pull away, Lacroix had not stopped him, assuming it was a phase. He had given his son a leeway that he had not given to his other fledglings. Realizing Nicholas was not going to abandon this quest, Lacroix had come down hard and the battles had begun. He knew the cruelty and violence would only drive Nicholas farther away, but he found himself unable to stop.

I heard the words come out
I felt like I would die
It hurt so much to hurt you

    That night so many years ago in the Paris alley came back to his mind. After Nicholas had told him he planned to leave at whatever cost, the anger left the younger man. There was simple resignation. He had long ago given up fighting with his master; it was only a matter of dealing with the moment. Nicholas would always take the blows with little or no resistance, and then go about his plans. Lacroix shook his head, why did it always come to this.

Then you look at me
You’re not shouting anymore
You’re silently broken

    Nick’s request tonight in the precinct had hit a nerve. He was asking for David’s freedom, something that Lacroix had never allowed for him. Nicholas’ current interest in the Constantine family was forcing Lacroix to take another look at his relationship with his own son. Was this how Nicholas viewed him? Was he an overbearing man, forcing his family to conform to his own ideals? If only they could find some compromise, but like himself, Nicholas was unwilling to give up any ground. Each time they came to a crossroads, Lacroix would say something cruel and hateful to his son and Nicholas would leave. But these separations would not last forever. Nicholas always returned.

I’d give anything now
To hear those words from you
Each time I say something I regret I cry, “I don’t want to lose you”
But somehow I know that you will never leave me, yeah

    Lacroix knew why Nicholas always returned. He and his son were two sides of the same coin. Nicholas was the light to his darkness. His light had never been completely absorbed by the darkness of his master. Just like good could not exist without evil, he and his son were not complete when they were apart. If only there were some why he could show Nicholas.

‘Cause you were made for me
Somehow I’ll make you see
How happy you make me

    He tried to think of what he would do if Nicholas actually succeeded in his quest for mortality. He was one of the few ancients left. So many had given up, not having any reason to continue living. Would that be his fate without Nicholas?

I can’t live this life
Without you by my side
I need you to survive

    Sighing, he ran his hands through his short-cropped hair. Then it came to him. He could give Nicholas what he asked for without compromising his own ideals. Perhaps it could be the beginning of a peace between them. The vampire stood up from the desk and left the booth. He stepped out into the alley behind the station and took off into the night.

    Lacroix watched as the old man embraced his grandson. The mob-boss had given the young man his freedom. He stood silently next to the limousine as Nicholas approached.
    “What did you do?” The younger vampire asked with a certain sense of trepidation.
    “Nothing, really.” He turned to his son and smiled. “The old man has never looked better, don’t you think? He could live another hundred years.”
    Surprisingly, Nicholas smiled back. “Thank you, Lacroix.”
    The older vampire nodded in response. “My pleasure, Nicholas.”

So stay with me
You look in my eyes and I’m screaming inside that I’m sorry
And you forgive me again
You’re my one true friend
And I never meant to hurt you