Fiction Home Freestanding Stories Alone Trilogy Legacy Series In Progress

You and Me
By Amanda Berendt
Copyright April 2004

Paris - six months after 'Last Knight'

    The soft light from the windows was reflected in the puddles on the darkened pavement. The late hour and steady rain made the street virtually deserted. Soft music drifted out into the night from one of the dimly lit windows.
    Nick was lost in the music he was playing. The muted light from the candles on the piano gave a warm glow to his face. He sensed the presence in the doorway and followed it as it crossed the room and sat beside him on the piano bench.
    "Bon soir, Nicolas." Janette said quietly. She was not put off by his lack of response. This was how it had been since he had arrived in Paris nearly six months ago. There was little to be said between them that had not already been said.
    The silence that hung over the house was not one of anger, but of sadness. Both had retreated here to escape the tragedies of the previous year. Each had had their hopes and dreams harshly replaced by sorrow and despair.

You and me, we wanted it all
We wanted it all
Passion without pain
Sunshine without rainy days
We wanted it always

    Janette sat next to Nick, listening to the soft notes from the piano, and let her mind wander into the past. She thought of that night so long ago when she had lured Nick away from the mortal world. She had delivered him to Lacroix who had brought him across into the realm of darkness. They had an endless parade of nights ahead of them filled with many lives and loves. The world was theirs to enjoy. She had been so certain that Nick was the one she wanted for all eternity.
    Not for the first time, she wondered if it had all been a mistake. The crusader knight had been so full of love and hope that not even Lacroix's dark gift had been able to extinguish it completely. Now, when she looked into his distant gaze as he played the notes, she saw what little light that remained was fragile and dim. The sorrow in his eyes mirrored that which she held in her heart.

You and me, we reached for the sky
The limit was high
Never giving in
Certain we would win that prize
I should have seen it in your eyes

    Here they sat, so many centuries later, together once more. But so much had changed in just the past several months. So much anguish and pain had lead to their current positions.
    Janette had left Toronto in order to get away from Nick's quest for humanity. She had wanted to reaffirm the vampire in herself and had only succeeded in falling in love with a mortal man. Circumstances resulted in his tragic death and her own regained mortality. She had returned to Toronto to avenge Robert's death, asking for Nick's help in her endeavor. When she had been fatally injured, Nick had brought her back across instead of allowing her to die as a mortal.
    She had fled the city, carrying her anger at his decision with her until that night six months earlier, when he had appeared at her doorstep. He was little more than a ghost of the Nick she had known.
    It was days before he told her what had happened - that Schanke had been killed in a plane crash, how the fever had ravaged the community, and how Lacroix's daughter had come to take revenge on her father and those he cared for.
    Finally, he had told her about the last night and how, in the process of trying Janette's cure, he had taken too much from his beloved Natalie. Instead of bringing her across, he had let her die. He had left Toronto after Lacroix refused to kill him so he could be with her in death, if not in life.
    After his purging, the silence had settled over the house. The grief felt by the pair permeated every aspect of their lives, including Nick's music.

Look how all our dreams came true
See how I've got me
And baby, you've got you
Through it all, just one thing died
A little thing called love
A feeling deep inside

    Nick had fled his life in Toronto and had sought out the only person he knew would understand his feelings. He and Janette were now kindred spirits. They were different from the rest of the community. The once respected children of Lacroix had forsaken his immortal gift in favor of a search for their lost humanity.
    During these past months of solitude with Nick, Janette had found herself wondering if it would be easier if she simply embraced the vampire once more. Then she would remember Robert and the short time they spent together. That vision would strengthen her dream of regaining her mortality. It was what kept each of them alive - she and Nick knew that the dream was possible, that there was hope.

You and me, we're not like the rest
We once were the best
Back when we were dumb
How did we become so smart
And learn to break each other's heart?

    The piece Nick had been playing came to an end. Lifting his hands from the keys, he finally turned to face Janette.
    With a sad smile, he spoke. "You're upset. What are you thinking about?"
    Janette met his melancholy eyes. "It always comes back to the two of us, doesn't it, Mon Coeur?" She paused for a moment. "Always, just you and me." Without waiting for a response, she sighed and shook her head. Refusing to let them fall, she blinked back the tears that had formed in her eyes. She kissed him softly on the cheek, then stood up and tuned away.

Look how all our dreams came true
See how I've got me
And baby, you've got you
Through it all, just one thing died
A little thing called love
A feeling deep inside

    Nick watched her as she crossed the room and entered the brightness of the hallway. He waited until she had closed the door behind her before he turned back to the piano. Drawing in a deep breath, then letting it out slowly, he placed his fingers on the keys and began to play.

You and me
We're not like the rest
We once were the best
But look at what we became
Isn't it a crying shame
'Cause we almost made it
But we wanted it all