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Love Don't Need a Reason
By Amanda Berendt
Copyright April 2004

    Lacroix sat in the corner of the hospital room gazing at the figure lying on the bed. The staff who came in to tend to the patient paid little attention to him. When they left, he stood up and crossed to the bed. Shaking his head, he looked down as his sleeping son. Was this the mortality he has wished for?
    It had been several years since Nicholas had managed to free himself from the gift of immortality Lacroix had bestowed upon him. Lacroix had never asked how, but after his anger had abated, he had left an open invitation for Nick to return.
    Of course, Nicholas had pursued his relationship with Dr. Lambert, but with little success. It had turned out that the two were not compatible as mere mortals and had drifted apart. After some time, Nicholas had rekindled his friendship with his former master. Although, he still refused Lacroix's offer to bring him back across.
    Only a few short weeks ago, the vampire had received a phone call from the hospital. Apparently, Nicholas had noted him as an emergency contact at the station. When he arrived at the hospital, he learned that Nicholas had collapsed at work after complaining of headaches for several weeks.
    After waiting for hours, a doctor came out to inform him that Nicholas was resting comfortably, but that the tests had determined there was a large, fast growing tumor in his brain. The doctor then told him that because of the location, that it was inoperable. Nicholas only had a matter of weeks left.
    Lacroix could barely restrain himself from ripping the man's throat out, but instead thought of his son and asked to see him.
    Now standing in the darkened room, he thought of all the years that he had kept Nicholas at arm's length. Hiding his true feelings behind the possessiveness. He had always hidden his emotions, even as a mortal. Then as a vampire, he knew he had to keep a cold heart.

If my heart always did what a normal heard should do
If I always play a part instead of being who I really am
Then I might just be the one who's standing there
So instead of passing by, show the someone that you care
Instead of asking 'why... why me and why you'
Why not we two

    Gently, he brushed his hand through Nicholas' golden hair. Their relationship had never been an easy one. There had been periods when it had been almost all-out war. But there had also been brief periods of peace. He thought back to those first days after he had brought Nicholas across. They would sleep the day together, his arms protectively cradling the new vampire. Lacroix smiled at the irony. He had chosen to bring Nicholas across to crush the light he carried inside of him, but had instead fallen in love with the warmth and sunshine Nicholas radiated.

'Cause love don't need a reason
Love don't always rhyme
Love is all we have for now
What we don't have is time

    Feeling Nicholas stir on the bed, Lacroix gently pulled his hand back.
    "Lacroix?" The whisper that was Nicholas' voice was almost unbearable.
    The vampire hid his wrenching heart behind his cool exterior. "I'm here, Nicholas." He said taking his son's hand.
    "I'm dying." Nicholas said with a graceful calmness.
    Lacroix took a moment to collect his thoughts before speaking. "That is the prognosis of the doctors." He paused a moment, taking a deep breath before continuing.     Leaning in close, he whispered into his son's ear. "But I offer you a choice."
    Even before Nicholas spoke, Lacroix knew what the answer would be. "Lacroix, no." He whispered as a crystal tear slid down his face. "Please don't."
    The vampire tightened his hold on Nicholas' hand and wiped the tear away with his finger. "Shhh," he said in a comforting tone. "Don't worry. I respect your decision and I promise I will honor it even though I do not agree with it." He stroked his son's cheek. "Close your eyes and rest. I won't leave you."

No, I'm not about to go
Because I want to stay with you to the end
With you, my friend...

    The days and night passed with little notice. Lacroix never left his son's side, even though Nicholas' moments of consciousness were growing shorter and farther apart. During his brief periods of lucidity, Lacroix would hold his son close, comforting him through his pain and fear. The vampire could sense the weakening of Nicholas' heart with the passing of each hour. The end was growing near.

I'll hold you close time won't tear us apart
I will stand by you
It's got to start with the beat of one heart
Together we can see this through

    It was almost dawn. Lacroix could sense Nicholas' slowing heartbeat. Crossing to the bed, he leaned over to cradle his son in his arms. The younger man's breathing was becoming shallow and more labored.
    The vampire moved close to Nicholas' ear. "I am here. Do not be afraid." He paused, almost unable to continue. "Nicholas, I love you more than you have ever known. I now give you what you have been searching for these many years as my final gift." He softly kissed his son's neck before rearing his head back and sinking his fangs into the tender flesh.

'Cause love don't need a reason
Love is never a crime
Love is all we have for now
What we don't have is time

    Moments later, as the nurses rushed in to check the alarms, then document the time of death, Lacroix slipped out of the room. He stepped out into the waning night letting Nicholas' final memories pulse through his mind. The ancient vampire would now carry the torch of Nicholas' love through all time.