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Touched by a Demon
by Hannurdock
Rating: R/SLASH


Pairing (or should I say triangle?): Louis / Santiago / Lestat
Summary: Lestat is killing vampires with Akasha and comes across a very different Louis than the one he left behind to travel with Santiago ... Lestat's POV. Seuqel to Unlikely Lover and Travel into Terror.

Disclaimers: The characters from the Chronicles belong to Anne Rice. These stories are purely for pleasure and 'What if's'.  Nothing is meant to infringe upon the author's rights. I am doing this for fun and I love sharing my stories with others.





Part 1


I had never felt like a traitor until I took the life of Azim, the ancient one. I had never felt more guilty, more ready to die. I had killed a vampire like me, and for no other reason than he did not fit in with Akasha's plans.

Yet, she kept me with her. Her eyes were glossy and very wide. Her thoughts kept me alive as I had never felt before.

"We need to destroy more of these devils" She said to be without any feeling or seeming guilt "These destroyers of the mortal world. They live in houses and pretend to be mortal. Some have formed evil covens with others of their kind ..."

As Akasha mentioned the others, the pain of losing Louis came flooding back to me.

Akasha drew closer, her beautiful dark eyes misting with blood tears "I know the suffering you feel from losing that one, the one that meant so much to you".

I tried not to let my anger and bitterness show, but it was all in vain.

She knew.

"I know how you want that one, that Santiago, dead" Akasha brushed her tender lips on my throat, her teeth grazing the skin but not breaking it.

"All I want in the world is to see him once more" I moaned.

"Things are different now" Akasha said firmly. "After what I show you tonight, you will want to search him out and bring him home".

"What do you mean ....?" I gasped in horror.

"Drink from me and see your Louis" Akasha said softly, her throat exposed to my lips.

I kissed her gently, before opening my mouth and receiving her primal fount.

And I saw what she saw ...

And what I saw, I vowed to change immediately ....


*****


New Orleans.

Scent of Jasmine.

Through Akasha's powerful blood I was seeing through Louis' eyes.

Santiago by the bed with a whip in his hand.

Louis trembling by the door.

"Come here" Santiago said in a harsh voice.

"Why now?" Louis moaned, moving away from the threat, trying the door handle again. It wouldn't open to him. "Why hurt me? Do you not know how much I have loved you unconditionally?"

"You need to be punished for your error" Santiago said firmly, moving quickly to block Louis in the room. He tore viciously at Louis' shirt. Louis screamed as he was shoved onto the bed, his choking becoming horrific as Santiago lay his knee across Louis' throat. Hard. Louis in so much pain, eyes bleeding the pain he was suffering at Santiago's hand.

"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean anything" Louis gasped, begging.

Living in fear, Louis had become withdrawn and abused. In silence, Santiago whipped the sobbing figure until his back was unrecognisable. He licked the sharp marks, causing Louis to moan in pain. He sank his fangs into the hurt and injured flesh again and again.

"Tell me you are sorry!!" Santiago said, sinking his fangs once more.

Louis screamed an apology.

"I didn't hear you" Santiago rolled Louis over and slapped him sharply across the face. "Why did you do it ...?"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry ... stop this ... please" Louis moaned, his eyes blurring with tears, he was slipping in and out of consciousness.

"There, there" Santiago said viciously. "Tell me you love me and you will never call out his name again during our lovemaking!"

"I promise" Louis moaned, knowing the pain would ease now, and Santiago would roughly assault him with his vicious fangs until he reached his peak of pleasure.

Louis hadn't known pleasure for years and years.

He bit his tongue until it bled with agony, and he dared not call out. He dared not do anything lest the monster above him make him suffer more agony, more torment.

However, silently his thoughts screamed for me, for Lestat. He wanted to come home, he was hurt and bitter.

Santiago's mouth twisted into a cruel smile. "Your thoughts are not silent Louis. You have called his name once more, and I must punish you for it ...."

****


I pulled myself away from Akasha.

"Louis ..." I gasped. "I need to find him now".

"I know" Akasha said softly, gently. "Santiago was playing your Louis for a fool. Now, he makes Louis bleed to see how much he can hurt the younger one. It was always a game to him, don't you see? His loving gestures and soft touch was a smoke screen for what has happened for months between them. The hurt, the heartache ... and its your Louis who is losing the resolve to live".

"Let's go now" I said firmly.

Akasha nodded. She wound her arms tightly around me and lifted me into the air. Safely tucked in her arms, my thoughts were angrily whirring as I thought of what I would do to Santiago once we reached New Orleans.

My anger was making my vision red with its ferocity.

Then I realised I was crying. That the red was my own blood tears and my regret at leaving my tender Louis with such a monster.

I was determined to make Santiago suffer for his treatment of my beloved one.

I would ensure Louis saw every moment of Santiago's pain until I destroyed him once and for all.

Santiago.

You've picked the wrong fledgling to abuse.

I will destroy you completely.




Part 2
We touched down in New Orleans after having been travelling at a frightening speed and I was absolutely frozen.

Immediately, I sought out the little house where I had seen the vision.

Akasha was right by my side, her hair flying behind her looking free and wild as she ran with the speed of a panther, spurring me on.

I ran to the door, and broke it in. I rushed up the staircase and into the bedroom, the smell of blood and fear and pain almost unbearable. Akasha held out an arm and blocked me from the traitorous vampires view.

Santiago looked up at Akasha when we entered, with a horrific smile plastered on his face. Louis was shuddering beneath him, his mouth contorted in agony. A thin trickle of vampire blood ran down his chin and pooled on his neck. Akasha advanced upon Santiago and held him down with one hand.

However, in his desperation, he broke free of her hold and danced around the room like a devil, laughing. He drew Louis close to him and placed a hand to Louis' soft and white throat.

"Let me go or I will rip the head off this one" Santiago said. I had no doubt he meant what he said. His face was vicious and unrelenting.

How could Louis have chosen one like this?

However, Louis had always been a sufferer, and his nature probably allured him to the charm's of Santiago, even though they were brutal and unkind.

Akasha's eyes narrowed and Santiago screamed as he was pushed away from Louis and against the wall.

I dropped beside Louis, my coat winding around his shoulders and I drew him against my breast. He was shivering with pain and fear. I looked up and glared at Santiago.

"Say the word, beloved" Akasha whispered "and I shall destroy him utterly".

"Yes" I hissed "Do it!"

Akasha concentrated her whole power upon the grinning and evil Santiago. He burned where he stood, pinned by her massive power until he was nothing more than hair and blood upon the carpet.

Louis screamed. I held him closer, tightening my grip upon him. He sobbed against my chest and I opened my shirt and felt his hot and weary face against my flesh. His eyes closed against my breast, and he was murmering something of an apology.

Lifting him into my arms, I rose to my feet and glanced at Akasha. She was staring impassively at me, her dark eyes full of compassion.

Quietly, I moved to the bed and lay him down. He was naked, save for a pair of boxer shorts, and I quickly stripped him of these and examined him from head to foot. Every place I found a blemish or reddened mark I healed him with my blood until his skin was perfectly white. He was no longer in physical pain by the time I had finished my small task. He was merely staring at me, as if I were a saviour. His green eyes wide with astonishment.

I rolled him over twice, satisfying myself there were no more physical injuries which would cause him, my Louis, my precious Louis, pain. He simply remained limp and pliant and easy to move and of course, love.

I kissed his warm mouth. He was starved for affection.

"Louis, my beautiful Louis" I moaned. "You have no idea how much you hurt me when you said you were leaving me for Santiago that long ago night".

"I was confused" Louis explained weakly "I didn't know my life would end up like this, I was just waiting to die. Eventually I thought Santiago would sicken of me and lay me in the sun, and my suffering would be over".

"Oh, my adored!" I moaned, kissing his warm mouth again. "I could never have let him do that! As soon as I was aware of the extent of your suffering, I came to find you immediately".

"Of that, I have no doubt" Louis sighed, wearily "What a fool I have been".

I wrapped my arms around him, aware of the comfort I was giving him. My arms are muscular and strong. Many vampires have felt a sense of security from being wrapped safely within them, and some mortals alike.

Louis melted against me and glanced around himself with a wild expression, his heartbeat wild as I held him close. I kissed his warm mouth again. I smoothed his hair with my hand. I lay my lips against his eyelids and kissed them to close, and he dozed against me.

The his gaze fell upon my beautiful Akasha, and I could all but hear the jealousy in his voice as he asked: "Who's that?"

Glancing towards Akasha, and back at my beautiful Louis, I found myself at a loss for words.




Part 3
 
What to say?

I could hardly turn around to Louis and say 'This is my lover, Akasha'.

Yet she was, and Louis sensed the intimacy between us.

And, he didn't like it.

He didn't like it one bit.

Akasha, she simply stared at him with her large and expressive eyes. She did not seem concerned regarding his obvious jealousy and I was glad she was taking his feelings well. After all, she was the oldest of our kind, Louis could have been put in danger from her if she so wished.

She sent me a silent message to say that would never happen. That Louis was merely hurt and acting on instinct, the jealousy stemming from the pain he had endured at Santiago's hand.

I kissed his forehead and rose with him in my arms like an infant, and walked over to Akasha.

He looked at her with wary eyes as we approached her, and I hushed him gently, telling him to be more respectful in her prescence.

"We both love Lestat" Akasha said.

Louis nodded, tears brimming in his eyes.

"I am Lestat's lover. You are his child" Akasha seemed impassive and emotionless.

But, how cruel her words were! How calculated and cruel! Louis meant more to me than the world, being both lover and friend, and she had put him into a child's role with me. I knew Louis. Knew the hurt that swept his features and brought him further pain.

"Stop this!" I said through clenched teeth. "Louis is more dear to me than the world, and we have been lovers".

"No" Louis sighed heavily, watching as Akasha smiled "That we have never been, as much as we would have wanted. I have never kissed you full on the lips with total desire and wish for fulfillment".

"Ah, but Louis" I countered "You were an innocent back then. The problems stemmed from your insecurities of being seen with another man and being taken for his lover. You are innocent now, but I can almost smell your desire".

"You can ....?" Louis was trying to be calm, but the heat of him was driving me wild. His heartbeat was becoming all the more hurried.

"Yes" I kissed his forehead, now damp with blood sweat and looked towards Akasha.

"He cannot stay with us whilst I tutor you to be my Partner, my Husband, my Prince" Akasha announced.

Louis flinched as she called me partner, husband, prince. His body shuddered and I clasped him ever more tightly to me.

"I can't exactly leave him here" I said clumsily, my words spilling from my own confusion and bitterness. After all, hadn't Louis left me for Santiago? A familir chill invaded my very veins and I felt suddenly very alone and vulnerable.

Akasha took Louis in her arms and rose into the sky with him pressed closely to her small and seemingly fragile body.

"Where are you going with him?" I asked angrily, immediately rising into the air, following her and trying to snatch Louis back away from her.

"I must continue to teach you about your powers" Akasha said gently. She shifted Louis onto her right side and gestured for us to continue "Of course we cannot leave him here, but time is growing short. My purpose is yet to be fulfilled and I need to instruct you now".

Louis was distracting me, but she knew enough of my love for him to hold him to ransom whilst I followed her instructions. She seemed to hold no malice for his obvious love of me, and did appear to be as protective of him as a mother to an infant. The similarity again annoyed me. Louis was a grown man, and didn't like to be babied like a six-week old.

Yet, as long as she was being careful with him, both physically and mentally, then I was willing to let her hold him. My mind drifted to the thoughts of me and Louis rising into the clouds, his slender white hands wrapped around my throat. Almost unbearable in its intimacy, its beauty.

"Come to me" Akasha breathed softly and then disappeared from sight.

Cursing, I scanned the night for her. I glimpsed her in the distance with Louis against her right shoulder looking forlornly at me. I quickened my power, saying to myself that I was going to be right beside her. I was going to keep pace with her. Sure enough, as soon as I had merely thought of the action, my body had calculated the distance and I was travelling beside her.

"Where are we going?" I asked softly.

"Time is short and I need to teach you more before we meet up with the others" Akasha said simply "I need to help you discover my purpose, for I am to become a Goddess among the mortals of this world".

"But killing human males will not preserve peace" I reasoned "The very action itself defies the purpose of peace, of a perfect earth".

"Sweet dreamer" Akasha said softly, gently "Always logical, never willing to believe in the impossible even though you are a product of such supernatural perfection".

"I am not perfect" I sighed, glancing at Louis. He was staring at me, cold and impassive. Still looking forlorn and lost.

Suddenly Akasha dropped him as if he were a stone weight, and I screamed in horror.

"You will not catch him before he hits the earth" Akasha breathed "Use the powers of your Mind Gift to catch him now".

Louis was falling rapidly, screaming for me. I concentrated on the flailing figure for a moment and was astonished as his rate of descent slowed until he was hovering just above the cold earth. Dipping down, I retrieved him safely within my arms, and I scowled at Akasha.

"What was that for?" I growled, embracing the shaken figure close to my heart.

"A lesson" Akasha said simply, no malice in her feminine voice "Another power which was not used before your transformation with my blood. A lesson in how you can intervene with fate, merely with your thoughts. This is the power of God's and Goddesses that I speak of. We can be such, Lestat".

Akasha sighed. "You will study more on the way to the Compound, where the others are gathered and waiting and scheming. Then we will talk, all of us".

"Yes, talk" I felt a familiar longing for Armand, for my mother and for Marius. All I had seen through Akasha's eyes and were all waiting for me at the Sonoma Compound. Where we were approaching right now.

We touched down in the midst of a small forest, the willowy trees swaying slightly in the night breeze and casting some formiddable shadows on the ground. Small scuttling creatures moved through the undergrowth, some growling, snarling or mewing occasionally.

Louis was turning frantically in my arms at the sound, and I tried to keep him balanced against me.

The sky was lightening and I knew Akasha meant me to find adequate rest for the three of us. This was my final test before we rejoined the others.

I panicked as I glanced at the sky becoming lighter with every second.

Louis was beginning to moan as the early morning light slightly burnt his skin.

Akasha waited expectantly.

I could hardly dig underground with my Queen. Yet how could I protect the three of us without finding complete darkness.

Gathering her to me and next to Louis, I scampered through the forest until I saw a small graveyard with an underground tomb. It looked ancient as I pulled the tomb open and bundled both of them inside immediately.

Struggling into the tomb after them both, I closed the tomb with some small mental manipulation and gathered them both to my sides as the death sleep overcame me with a feeling of oblivion and relaxation .... and strangely, hope.

Hope that tomorrow night we could all work out our differences and become a family. Akasha and all of us.

However, deep in my heart a familiar foreboding was leaving me feeling cold and afraid.

Something was going to go terribly wrong, and I was going to lose one of my lovers.

I was being foolish thinking this way, of course the meeting could go any way, but still I felt a small measure of fear before oblivion took me to my daylight sleep and I no longer dreamed.




Part 4


 The next evening we made our way to Sonoma.

We were not that far from the Compound as we made our way through the forest. I was walking casually beside Louis, my arm slung almost drunkenly around his shoulders. Akasha led the way before us, giving us some much needed space.

Louis was breathing heavily, his arm around my waist as casually as mine was about him.

Finally we reached the Compound and Akasha moved through the doors as if she owned the place, her skirts rustling as we made our way to the main room with the massive table. I gained from some of the younger vampires thoughts that they were seated and ready to talk to us now.

I also sensed the stubborness and the fear that had clawed at my heart the previous evening returning to me with full force.

They would never agree to her proposal. Her plan.

A sinking feeling, akin to foreboding, swept across my being making me shudder.

Akasha moved into the main room and immediately seated herself at the head of the table. I walked warily through the door and felt the immediate weight of Gabrielle pressed against me as she kissed my face. Her blood tears were flowing freely.

"Lestat, I've been so worried" Gabrielle said softly.

"Good to see you again Lestat" Armand said. Obviously lying.

Louis was wandering around somewhat lost, and then he suddenly stopped and looked into the eyes of another vampire.

The other vampire suddenly caught sight of Louis and gazed at him.

Something magical happened. Their gazes literally melted into each other, and Louis moved away, slightly shyly.

I looked towards this other vampire with a slight jealousy. He attracted Louis, and the feeling was returned. Then I embraced the other vampire warmly.

"Marius" I breathed, leaning my head against his shoulder.

"Lestat" Marius said softly, deeply.

I looked into his eyes. He seemed bitter and lost, very much like Louis. Indeed, Marius' cold blue eyes returned to the drifting figure of Louis and seemed to appraise him from afar.

"He is beautiful, isn't he?" I sighed, watching my fledgling move through the throng of vampires, making pleasantaries here and there.

"I told you to make them in love" Marius said, his breath sounding laboured "Not make them as lovely as the falling snowflake. Who is he? What is his name?"

Marius moved me away from him with his two strong hands, the embrace momentarily finished, and smiled "I could read his thoughts ...." A small mischevious smile played on his lips for a moment, before the bitter look returned "But I prefer to hear words rather than thought. Thoughts can be confusing and misleading".

"His name is Louis" I said softly. Then I beckoned for Louis to approach me.

He seemed shy for a moment, wondering whether to come to me. However, as I made my gestures of invitation more desperate, he made his way to my side. He looked at the floor. His cheeks flushed.

Marius laughed tenderly and held out his hand. Louis started, then looked at me for support.

"Don't look at me" I laughed. "Be polite! Marius is an elder among our kind"

Marius smiled at Louis' humiliation, and then scolded me gently. "Louis can introduce himself when he is ready".

Louis looked thankfully at Marius and the blush returned to his cheeks. Then he surprised us both by holding out his hand. "I'm Louis de Pointe du Lac".

Marius smiled brightly and clasped the hand in his own. "My, but you are cold young one. I can see the human light in your eye. You were brought across very weak". He looked at me for an explanation.

I shrugged "I was a fool! Louis' crossing-over was a botched attempt, okay? Is that what you want to hear?"

Marius laughed at my rage and leant forward suddenly catching Louis off guard. He embraced Louis warmly as if they were brothers and then kissed Louis' smooth forehead.

Louis gasped.

Marius smiled and closed his hand once again over Louis' weaker one.

Then he sat with Louis at the far end of the table!

I was left sitting next to Akasha and Gabrielle.

Silently fuming, I looked towards Louis and Marius.

They were wrapped completely in each other. Marius was laughing a little and smiling as Louis made conversation which I couldn't hear very well over the talk of the others.

My hands clenched into fists as I saw Marius lean forward and kiss Louis lightly on the lips. Louis returned the kiss with passion and I saw Marius deepen the kiss between them. They were using tongues!

I tried to rise and stop this immediately, but Akasha's hand was on my arm holding me still.

"You know what you see is brutal and our nature" Akasha said softly. "They have simply fallen for each other. Louis is finally seeing what love can be. Let them be"

"They've only just met!" I denied, feeling the jealousy burning deeply into my heart.

"Can't you see it?" Akasha asked me gently. "Just watch them for a while, focus on their conversation until their words drown out all interruptions. You can do this, its a part of the power I have given to you".

I did as she directed. I focused on the pair at the back and soon their conversation was clear, even above all the other talking vampires in the room.

"You do not have much confidence in yourself" Marius was saying, holding Louis' hand carefully to his heart "Because you have suffered much. If only I could have met you before all the bad things befell you".

Louis returned the pressure on Marius' hand with equal strength and passion. "Bad things befall all of us, whether we are vampire or mortal, at some time in our lives. Its how we deal with the aftermath, the fact that the past cannot be changed".

Marius laughed tenderly. "Whoever thought you weak was so very, very wrong. Where did you get this inner strength?"

Louis looked very pleased. However,  he leant towards Marius and whispered softly to him in a dull voice "I'm not strong Marius. I am the weakest of our kind".

Marius shook his head "Physically, I do not disagree with you. However, you have endured so much and without going underground. It is really amazing".

"Underground?" Louis echoed, confused.

"What we elders call 'Second Death'. The first being the passage from mortality to immortality. The second is to burrow far underground and stay there indefinately, usually during a dilemma or a crisis. Something drives the vampire over the edge and he cannot remain within the world a moment longer. Its not as final as putting yourself into the sunlight, but it serves to help the confused vampire to think perhaps for many years, until he finds the courage to rise once more".

Louis was watching Marius with half-closed eyes.

"However, some vampire defy all logic and find their mental strength exceeding the situation. Vampires have gone underground for less than half the reasons you had, if you had chosen to do the same".

Marius drew Louis' slender hand to his lips and kissed the flesh tenderly. "I am a lover of fleshly beings Louis. I do not deny I am attracted to you. That would be foolish. For you are as beautiful as the moonlight, and your eyes burn with an emerald fire I have never seen before. Indeed, I would say I have fallen for you, for your passion and fire".

Louis sighed. "I am attracted to you also, Marius. Never before have I felt such emotion and abandon. I want to be with you, beside you. Being near you makes me so very happy".

Akasha raised her hand for silence.

A hush descended over the vampires. Marius however was too engrossed with Louis. They were gazing, rapt, at each other.

"Marius" Akasha said softly "Remember why you are here ...."

I caught a flash of confused thoughts eminating from his mind. Cold and ice and deep bitterness. He looked at Akasha with such malice I felt an immediate fear for him. However, his expression melted into sorrow and as soon as he looked at Louis he seemed to forget his bitterness.

He kissed Louis soft, white hand.

I looked on, furious. Boiling. About to erupt.




Part 5

I rose to my feet ignoring Akasha's plea for me to remain seated.

I walked the length of the table, until I reached Louis and Marius. Taking Louis by the hand I dragged him to his feet and backtracked to my seat. Then I sat him on my lap. Let him try and escape me now, I thought gleefully.

Louis didn't try once to escape me, he merely gazed at Marius the whole while, further maddening me. Marius looked at me with disapproval smouldering in his icy blue eyes, then he relaxed into his seat and waited for the meeting to begin.

"You must not do this" Marius said finally, looking toward Akasha. "We are far removed from the mortal world to consider changing it in such a violent way"

"You are twisted with your own desires for a perfect existance" Akasha said softly. "You have been warped by human ideals".

"Warped?" Marius whispered, shocked. "Is it warped to value human life, the very life which sustains us in our immortal glory".

"You are a romantic fool" Akasha said simply "You crave for a life within the mortal world like a moth to the flame. Look at what has become of you because of this ... you are bitter and cold and used"

"I love mortals" Marius whispered passionately. "I have always loved mortals. It is you who crave for existance within the world, but at such a cost to all living things it makes me shudder in horror!"

"Yes!" Louis cried out, and I felt my heart sink. I did not want her anger to be directed at Louis, not at all "We cannot do this thing, this terrible destruction to mankind. We live in the shadows, as we were meant to do".

"Child be still" Akasha said softly, a touch of malice crossing her beautiful features.

Louis slumped in my arms. The cruel words had him horrified.

"You say such things to hurt him and why?" Marius continued. "Because you feel jealousy over Lestat's love for Louis. Jealousy is no trait of a God, Akasha!"

Akasha appeard confused "You say such things to confuse me".

"No, I say such things to gain time" Marius said, more softly. "Let me bring you into this world as you have never been in the past. Let me show you the world as it is now, how mortals struggle to survive and prosper under the most terrifying of odds. Let me show you art and culture".

"You enrage me with such nonsense" Akasha said softly, her eyes darting wildly around the room.

Maharet sighed. It brought about an immediate silence, even from Akasha. "They are right, my Queen. We cannot destroy all the human males because we do not belong in their world. We take lives at night, we destroy, but we are not God's".

"You only say this to me because you resent our history" Akasha said bitterly.

Khayman gasped.

"When I saw you raped in front of my Court, I felt an immediate rush of happiness from watching you suffer. As I saw you and your meddlesome sister placed into opposite coffins on the night of your crossing-over, I was angry that I could not have destroyed you outright. I had happiness knowing I had harmed you by taking your eyes from you. Look at them, dead, lifeless. How that gives me pleasure" Akasha smiled maliciously.

Khayman stood as if to stop the flow of horrid words, but Maharet motioned for him to sit down. He obeyed.

"I should have known thousands of years could not change such a savage heart" Maharet said softly, refusing to get caught in a wordy argument. "It matters little, these words you say. You are a jealous, confused and stupid being. I will not let you realise your foolish plan, nor will anyone in this room endorse it".

Akasha stood, fire flashing in her eyes. She glared at both Eric and Mael, both sitting near Maharet. They were bristling with anger and fear. "Then if I were to destroy those you love, would you dismiss me so easily then? Or how about this one ..." she pointed to Jesse "... I could destroy them as easily as if they were mortal".

Maharet rose to her feet slowly, unafraid "I would destroy you if I could, if it would not mean the end of our kind".

"Lestat ..." Akasha turned to me "... your choice. Make it now, and make it good. For remember, you have Louis and Gabrielle to consider also".

I gasped, rising also. I quickly pulled both Gabrielle and Louis behind me and backed away from Akasha. "I cannot endorse this plan, this evil. I am sorry and I love you".

Marius quickly ran to my side but Akasha flung him back with her silent powers. He struck the wall with horrifying force and Louis cried out.

She stood beside me, her long eyelashes brushing my face as she leaned close to me. "Decide now my Prince. I need you with me. If not, I shall destroy you first for your betrayal".

"I'm sorry" Blood tears running down my face.

She gazed at me, the fire collecting in her eyes as she started to direct the flames into my body.

Then suddenly, she turned away. She let me go.

I backed away from her.

She was listening, concentrating.

A footstep echoing through the Sonoma Compound. An intruder. Someone approaching.

"Akasha" Marius begged "More time, I plead you. More time".

Akasha looked at him with sad eyes, her eyes streaming with tears "No".

Then 'she' appeared.

I knew at once that she was Maharet's twin sister. Such similarities I had never seen before in my entire life.

Khayman rose ominously from his seat "My Queen, remember the prophesy. At your worst hour it shall be *I*, Mekare, who will defeat you".

Mekare.

The name brought a chill to my very bones.

I opened my mouth to speak again, but Mekare rushed forward, knocking the table to one side.

Marius deftly moved out of the way, clutching Louis against his breast as he traversed the room and stood beside Jesse and Mael. Then he let Louis stand unaided, and gently pushed the younger one behind him.

Maharet tried to join her sister, but was flung back with a careless arm. Maharet fell against Daniel, who in turn knocked Armand to the floor. It was Santino who helped Armand and Daniel to their feet once more whilst Khayman tended to Maharet.

"Akasha, more time" I begged, echoing Marius.

Akasha turned to me, anger written on her beautiful face, and she slapped me away as Mekare and her lashed at each other and fought.

"No" I moaned, drawing my knee's up and wrapping arms around them, hugging myself ferociously. "Stop it, please"

Marius by my side. His lips on my forehead. Drawing me gently away from the fighting.

Then, a vicious pain.

I screamed as I felt myself losing consciousness. I vaguely saw Akasha, beheaded, lying by the twins preparing the funeral feast. I turned my head with effort and saw Marius holding Louis close. He looked at me with worried eyes as the pain gripped him also.

I watched as Mekare took Akasha's heart and eyes into her being and the pain lessoned suddenly. I reached out for Akasha's body. It was white and still and strangely like a marble statue. Mekare flung the body high into the air and it shattered into so many pieces onto the floor.

I screamed.

The pain was gone and so was she.

My lover, my Queen, gone as if she had never existed.

Louis gone also. Into Marius' arms.

I screamed, and hit out a Mekare. I felt myself dragged away by Maharet and Khayman.

Then, as I felt Maharet's teeth at my throat her visions soared into my being and I cleaved at her, seeing lucious gardens surrounding me. She was projecting calming thoughts to me, and I was relaxing into her embrace.

Vaguely, I heard the words 'Behold, the Queen of the Damned'.

And I groaned. Mekare was the Queen of the Damned.

And Akasha was no more.




Part 6
 
I didn't awake until the next evening as I had been thoroughly drained by Maharet.

I felt a slight pressure on my right arm and turned to see Louis sprawled against me, still in the death sleep.

Beautiful, he looked in the slight moonlight that poured into the room where we lay.

Marius lay on my left side, already awake and staring at me. "How are you feeling, Lestat?"

"Abysmal" I groaned "They killed her".

Marius sighed. He leaned forward and pressed his lips against my forehead. "All in the past, Lestat. Let's look to the future".

Louis was beginning to stir from his deathly sleep.

Marius looked at me, a mischevious look on his face.

"What?" I asked. I looked around myself and saw that I had been placed on a large bed with silken sheets. Red silken sheets. Marius' favourite colour.

The room I was in was wide and large with a wooden writing desk in the corner. Upon this desk was a bankers lamp and some paper pads. Pencils lay in a cup beside the paper.

"Lestat ...." Louis moaned, opening his eyes and sitting up immediately. "Where are we?"

"In Marius' bed apparantly" I said smirking, enjoying the flame that appeared in Louis' cheeks whenever anything remotely sexual was mentioned.

We were all naked, white skin reflecting the moonlight. I pulled Louis over me until he was between both me and Marius. His white skin shone dangerously in this natural light. I loved to look at him, to see the moonlight reflected in his eyes. Ever seen the moon an emerald colour? Look into Louis' eyes and you will see that, stunning in its beauty.

"Good evening" Marius greeted Louis. Whilst Louis seemed a little uncomfortable with his nakedness it was obvious that Marius revelled in his own nakedness. I understood the love of freedom. Marius and I were so much alike.

"Louis" I breathed, kissing him full on the mouth.

Marius waited and then kissed Louis also, full on the mouth.

I leant across and kissed Marius full on the mouth.

"Hmmmm, this is a wonderful wake-up call" Louis commented as he struggled to sit up. I held him down.

"I am still weak from Maharet drinking from me" I confessed. "I suggest that we don't leave the room until my strength returns".

Marius smiled at me, the mischevious look returning with full force "What do you suggest we do whilst you recover?"

I smiled lazily. Louis was worried.  "Make love in front of me".

Marius jaw dropped open "Excuse me?"

"You heard me".

"Why?" Louis asked softly, his voice a little edgy.

"Becuase I could use a pick-me-up. That's why. Marius has wonderful hands. A painters hands. They work the body well".

Marius took his cue from me and touched Louis on the thigh causing him to shudder in anticipation. He moved one finger down to Louis toe and began to massage the beautiful feet with soft and gentle techniques.

Louis moaned with pleasure as Marius massaged his feet.

I rolled onto my side, and smiled.

"Marius, show Louis your paint stroke" I said huskily.

Louis gasped as Marius ran one hand up the entire length of his body, and back down. Each stroke was furious and erotic, causing the tiny hairs on Louis' body to raise as if from their own accord. His desire was apparant, and I desired nothing more than seeing him fulfilled. By Marius, whom I knew he was already in love with.

"Do you ever use your tongue, Marius?" I asked, or rather coaxed.

Marius dipped his head to Louis foot and licked a straight line from toe to forehead. Louis moaned, writhing beneath Marius.

"Kiss his neck, Marius" I breathed, highly aroused by the spectacle.

Marius obeyed as if driven by my voice, sucking and kissing Louis' neck with a tender abandon. For all his strength, Marius was deliberately being gentle.

I edged closer to them. I felt the side of them both as I brought my head close to theirs. "Now, Marius. Bite him. Hard. I want to see him languid, and in the swoon".

Louis moaned, his desire overwhelming as he thrashed against Marius.

Marius glared at me for a moment "No pain" He breathed "Just love" Then he bit into Louis' throat. So quick and without pain. Louis was lost in the swoon already, his body seeming to orgasm in waves, even though that was an impossibility for us.

I lifted Marius' wrist to my mouth and bit down hard upon the flesh, hearing him moan briefly before he resumed his drinking from Louis.

I fed from Marius, feeling the blood revitalise me.

Louis was lying languid in Marius' arms, and he had finished drinking of him. Indeed, they were both gazing at each other.

Louis' neck was healed already, and I knew that Marius had used his more powerful blood to heal the wounds completely before Louis came out of the swoon. I could almost feel the desire of Marius, feel the need for Louis. Yet, he wanted to cause no pain, no fear. He just wanted love between them.

That's when it finally dawned on me.

I had lost Louis.

Not tonight, no. But many, many nights ago.

He had left with Santiago, because he was not attracted to me.

He had refused Armand's offer of help, because he was not attracted to him.

He had never led me on to believe he was really sexually in love with me.

And here he was, proof that he could love, when he gazed upon the countenance of Marius.

I had witnessed their passion, and their passion had been designed to arouse me. I groaned with the sheer beauty of the situation.

Louis and Marius.

It even sounded right.

I had been a fool to imagine I was Louis' ideal partner, and now confronted with the truth, I only wanted the best for them.

For the first time in my life I wasn't thinking of myself.

Marius smiled and looked at me tenderly. "I think you've always thought of Louis first. All along. Now, I can show you my real fire for your fledgling".

With that, Marius made love to Louis.

Not with me intervening. I was watching wide-eyed, open-mouthed. It was incredible, I had never seen such a display of sexual pleasure. It left me speechless.

Marius pleasured Louis first. His hands were moving all around the younger vampires body, squeezing, touching, fondling. They kissed and loved each other with their mouths and Marius then proceded to kiss every inch of Louis' body. When he reached the limp organ, he devoured it hungrily and sucked and kissed and licked. Finally, he worked his way to Louis' small, tight mouth and sucked on the lips before his tongue again tasted Louis' mouth.

Louis moaned, his thrashing causing Marius to speed up his movements. Finally, Marius slashed his wrist.

Louis looked at Marius wide-eyed.

Placing the bleeding wrist over Louis' mouth, Marius dipped his head and sank his fangs into the tender flesh of Louis' neck.

I had never witnessed such a circle. Even my blood-circle with Akasha had not been so charged, so intense.

I moaned aloud watching them both drink, the strength becoming apparant in Louis as he wound his arms around Marius' waist and pulled the elder underneath him. He growled in delight.

Sighing, I lay back and closed my eyes.

It was fulfilling to listen to their growling, their passion.

Feeling light and happy, finally I started to doze.

I was content.




Part 7
 
The next evening, I knew what I had to do.

Marius and Louis were trying to get me to stay at the Compound with them. They were promising me several passionate endevours if I stayed.

As tempting as it sounded, I refused them to go on my small mission.

Marius and Louis promised me they would leave for New Orleans, and meet me back in my townhouse, when I was good and ready. Then we would all make love.

I was almost swooning as I listened to their intentions.

However, nothing could sway we from my mission, my task.

I took to the air after saying a fond farewell and made my way to England.

I touched down just outside London, the Talamasca Motherhouse was strutting proudly in the distance. I walked up to it, walked around it twice and then saw him.

He was dressing by the window. His naked form enticing to me as I watched him pull on some pyjamas and brush his hair before bed. Then he disappeared into the bathroom to brush his teeth.

I slipped into the bedroom and sat down on a chair facing away from the bathroom. I watched the English countryside from his window, feeling strangely exicted by merely being in this room and so close to him.

Finally, he emerged.

He stopped dead.

The mortal scent of him was intoxicating to me.

I immediately rose and held out my hand. "Lestat de Lioncourt. I believe you are David Talbot? You were at my concert that night".

"Ah, yes" David took my hand, marvelling at its coldness but not pulling back as I had expected. I was pleased with that.

"Please sit down" I gestured to his seat. "I want to talk with you".

David looked at me warily, and then smiled warmly. He sat down and I walked to the window and sat on the floor watching him.

He gazed at me.

"David, may I ask you something" I asked softly.

"Sure" David said brightly "Anything you want".

"Where is my file?" I gestured to the vampire files littering his desk.

David laughed "I will put one together. I'm terribly sorry".

"No need" I said considerately, laughing to myself "I'm terrible at chit chat".

"I'm not that good either".

I looked at David shyly. He glanced at me.

A faint blush came into his cheeks.

I smiled.

"You know what I am, you know who I am" I breathed.

"Yes I do".

"You are not afraid?"

"No, I am not".

"I could kill you".

"You wouldn't do that".

I laughed. "No, I wouldn't do that".

David smiled.

"If I were to offer it to you, would you take the gift of immortality?" I asked.

"No" David immediately replied.

"Not even if I were to ask you for your friendship, your eternal companionship?" I rose to my feet and knelt in front of him. We were eye to eye and so close we were almost kissing "I'm alone, David. Very alone. Would you join me if I said I needed you?"

David thought this over. He shook his head gently. "I don't know, Lestat. Immortality is alluring, but I don't know if it would suit me".

I laughed gently and rose to leave.

"Where are you going?" David called desperately.

I turned and flashed him a beautiful smile. "Home. But I'll be back. I promise. Think about what I have to offer David. If you want to be my fledgling, my companion, then call me".

I handed him a card with my mobile details written upon it and then took to the air. I flew home to New Orleans.

When I reached my city, I was greeted by Louis and Marius.

We immediately retired to my bed and lay shivering with satisfaction after our lovemaking.

All I could think of was my new friend.

David.

We shall meet again.




Part 8
 
A few years later ....

"Lestat, are you ready?" My fledgling came into the room and quickly checked my appearance.

"Yes, what are the reviews like?" I asked.

"They are saying its your best book yet. Nothing like body-swapping to stir the hearts of readers world wide" He said softly, smiling at me.

I smiled at him. We both knew that the book would pass into fiction as soon as it had circulated and been reviewed and I had finished all of my interviews.

"I feel like a Prince wearing this expensive suit" I grinned.

He blushed a little, taken with my beautiful appearance.

"Well, do I look good ... or do I look good".

"You look fantastic" He murmered.

"What do you think of the story? Accurate?" I grinned.

He grinned at me. His face was beautiful to me, full of life. Indeed the powerful blood inside him had made him plenty strong.

"Oh yes. I enjoyed every moment reading it Lestat". Louis sighed and turned away "I think it was meant to be, you making David. Now we both have someone special".

"I agree" I patted him on the bottom and smirked at the faint blush on his cheek.

"David will be waiting" Louis said patiently. "He doesn't like to be kept waiting".

"Do I look alright? Really?" I asked.

"You look stunning, Lestat. Now go" Louis patted me on the bottom and I grinned at him. Marius' blood had helped him overcome a lot of his exhibitions. It was a nice change.

Leaving my room, I met David at the foot of the stairs. He looked beautiful in his youthful body, thanks to that miserable body thief James Raglan.

He smiled at me and we walked arm in arm in front of Marius and Louis.

Marius looked at his fledgling and smiled.

"You know, its good to have a lover without the veil of silence" I said.

"Indeed" Marius agreed, turning to kiss Louis on the lips.

"Where are we going Lestat?" David asked me.

I grinned.

I did not know.

Somewhere special, expensive luxurious.

Then, back to the townhouse for some special lovemaking.

Hmmmm, yes the four of us. Adds a new dimension to feeling like part of a group.

However, something mischevious was creeping into my expression. Something mischevious was clawing at my soul.

I turned to Louis and Marius and smiled. "Want to go on a little adventure?"

Marius groaned theatrically. Louis smiled but looked a little worried. David grinned at me.

"What have you got in mind this time?" Marius asked.

"Do you trust me?" I asked.

"No" Came the unanimous reply.

"Just a little adventure. We won't be interfering with anyone else, trust me".

"I hate it when you say that" Louis said softly.

I grinned. "Let's take our fledglings to heaven Marius"

Marius sighed, gathering Louis into his arms and taking to the air with him.

"Heaven, Lestat? Its cold up here!" Louis complained. Marius wrapped him up in his coat.

"The opposite of hell" I disagreed "Its perfect up here".

"Where are we going?" Marius asked.

I didn't know how to answer that because I did not know the answer.

I only knew one thing.

That it would be an exiting adventure with my closest friends.




Part 9
 
We flew many, many miles that night.

Louis was perfecting the art of flying with Marius' guidance and I was training David also. Soon we were flying beside each other, neither of the younger ones dependant on us any longer.

"So, where are we going Lestat?" David finally asked.

I sighed. I was enjoying myself too much to be worried by such trivial matters. "Somewhere".

"Let's stop here and see where we are" Louis suggested.

"I know where we are" Marius said softly, without boasting.

"Where?" Louis asked, intregued.

"Don't you know?" Marius asked.

Louis shook his head.

"Are you sure? The air is warmer here, and the beaches below look exotic. I'd say we were flying over Jamaica".

"Got it in one" I announced as if I were a television game show host. "Marius wins a kiss from Louis".

"My pleasure" Louis announced huskily, kissing Marius fully on the lips.

"Shall we stop and splash around near the beach?" Louis asked.

Sounded good to me.

I dived suddenly, feeling the others do the same, and I landed softly on the sandy beach. Louis miscalculated his descend and fell straight into my arms.

"Well, hello stranger" I drawled "Fancy meeting a handsome soul like you in a place like this".

Marius laughed as he helped David with his descent. Soon they were both standing beside us.

I immediately stripped out of my clothes and ran into the ocean, the others seemed amused. My ass was the focus of their attention and I twirled for them, feeling completely the performer.

David laughed and stripped down to his boxer shorts. He gave a wild yell and followed me into the water. Marius and Louis merely sat on the beach, Marius fondling Louis' raven hair as Louis looked deep into his eyes.

I caught David, turning him over and over, and finally kissed his wet neck. The vein pulsed beneath my mouth. Temptation.

Gripping him, I dove under the water with his wet and slick body pressed against my own. I sank my teeth into his flesh, feeling him arch against me.  His whole being screamed for more. I smiled against his wanting flesh and rose to he surface of the water with him.

He spluttered as I held him upright.

"I think I swallowed some water" David groaned, coughing and retching as I held him steady.

"Look at that" I pointed to the beach.

David followed my gaze and smiled.

Louis was lying naked beneath Marius. They were growling and sinking their fangs into each others' necks. Covered in sand they were, and blood.

"Looks good" David said cheekily as I carried him to the sandy beach.

I lay by Louis' side, pulling David onto me as I did so. Following Marius and Louis' example, we proceded to drink from each other.

In this perfect night, nothing could change.

I felt as if I had been with my friends and lovers forever and nothing could change.

However, things do change every now and then. We did eventually split up from each other, as vampires invariably do. We left each others' company for the company of others, and strangely enough Louis did eventually come and live with me.

Then, I realised that something was following me.

I called David home from his travels, feeling both stupid and very frightened for doing so. I also called Louis home.

For I needed both their advice to combat the new evil I was facing.




Part 10
 
Louis and David sat watching me as I looked wildly from one of them to the other.

"What happened?" David asked me calmly.

I watched them both as they gazed worriedly at me. How I loved them. How I wished Marius was here.

Louis seemed to be the very being I had known and loved. Marius blood had changed nothing about him, and I wondered what my more powerful blood, much more powerful than the blood of Marius would do to him. Would it make him as hard as alabaster? Would his eyes become illuminous? I did not know, and he would never take my offer anyway.

David watched me with a love I could not describe. It saddened me suddenly that I could not really love him as much as I loved Louis, even though I had made him my ideal partner. Something about us just did not click. Not now. This happens to every vampire by the way. This sudden loss of feeling. Armand decided he no longer felt the same for Daniel and left him in Marius' care. Armand however began a long and rather steamy affair with the Vampire Santino. It made a lot of sense, considering their history in the European Covens, but still the idea of Santino making love to Armand made me want to throw up.

"Something is following me" I said quickly.

I listened for the steps, but heard nothing.

"What?" Louis asked, afraid. "What is following you?"

I gulped and turned away.

"I think its the Devil" I moaned.

"The Devil!" Louis cried "Mon Dieu! It would not surprise me".

I shook my head "Me neither".

"Has the being attempted to communicate with you?" David asked of me. His tone was suspicious, and worried.

"Not yet, but I guess it will do eventually" I said softly.

"Do you think it may be because you killed Roger?" David asked innocently.

I shook my head. "No, I don't think they are connected. But then again, how can I truly be sure?"

"What about you interrupting this pretty girl's life, Dora?" Louis asked.

"Its more reasonable to assume that" I agreed.

"Would you like us to stay with you, here in New Orleans?" David asked.

I nodded. "Please. I need you both now".

Louis nodded and then rose slowly to take his leave. He was thirsting.

"David, go with Louis. I know you are both thirsting" I commanded, wanting them to not be separated until this strange situation was resolved.

"Sure" David rose and took Louis' arm.

As soon as they had left the house, I heard the footsteps once more.

Furious, I watched as the Ordinary Man stood before me, and took me from the safety of my material world into the insubsantial realm of the dead and spiritual.

I had no idea of the impact Memnoch would make on my world, my love for Louis and all of the others, but he did.

He was the biggest influence I have ever had in my life.

He helped me to realise my love, and turn back the hands of time, to rectify the situation between Louis and myself. Even to help others find the happiness we discovered in each other.

How did he do this, you ask me?

Aha, well that is another story!


THE END

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