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Surgeon General's Warning

Jan Wiles

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Dear Sidney-lovers, please don't shoot me! It's only a story...

Standard disclaimers, et al.

Many, many thanks to Rebecca McKenna, who is a VERY good beta

reader/editor!!!

The Christmas holidays were not generally celebrated by vampires,

at least not in a religious sense, but sometimes even they became

infected by the warm and generous atmosphere. Nick had even

unbent so far as to invite Lacroix over for a drink and

conversation. He arrived in high good humor, with a certain dark

air of expectancy about him. Though Nick was sorely puzzled, he

knew that Lacroix would never explain if pressed; patience was

required here.

 

They'd actually had a good time (well, relatively good anyway).

It was about an hour before dawn when Nick heard the elevator

start up. As he rose to greet his unknown visitor, Lacroix shot

to his feet as well, eyes bright with anticipation. Nick glanced

apprehensively at him and thought, 'Uh, oh, I think I'm about to

find out what's going on!'

 

The elevator door slammed open and Natalie charged through. She

clutched a wooden stake in her right hand, and her facial

expression could best be described as berserk. With a feral

scream, she lunged at Lacroix with her stake raised high.

Hastily, Nick restrained her and pried the stake from her hand.

 

"Nat, what are you DOING? Calm down! What's wrong?" Nick

attempted to ask as Natalie struggled wildly. Dimly, he was

aware of Lacroix's mocking laughter in the background. She

continued to fight him for a moment, then subsided when she

realized that contending with Nick was hopeless.

 

"Why the hell are you protecting this monster??? Don't you

realize what he's done??? I swear I'm gonna stake him, then I'm

gonna pull it out and do it again!!!" Natalie raved. Lacroix

laughed even harder.

 

Nick was caught between worry and exasperation. "Nat, I can't

know what he did unless you tell me!" he exclaimed.

 

She glared up at him. "He turned Sidney into a vampire!!!"

 

***

 

Natalie had actually been able to leave work a little early, as

the holiday rush of drunk drivers and homicidal kooks hadn't

quite gotten up to speed yet. As she walked down the hallway

towards her front door, she noticed an envelope taped to it. She

reached for it, noting that it bore the (unfortunately) familiar

logo of The Raven. With a sinking heart, she opened the envelope

and extracted the single sheet inside.

 

Dear Dr. Lambert,

 

I merely desire to wish you happy holidays, in token of which, I

have left you a surprise gift. I know you have always wanted one

of your very own, and am delighted to provide it.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

L. Lacroix

 

Feeling as if she were putting her hand in the lion's mouth,

Natalie opened the front door and turned on the light. Entering,

she initially saw nothing unusual. Her cat, Sidney, darted from

the darkness of the bedroom and began winding himself around her

ankles, meowing loudly.

 

"Just a minute, Sidney," she responded absently, as she began

looking around more intently. As she reached the kitchen, she

simultaneously noticed another sheet of paper lying on the

counter and that Sidney's bowls were empty. Just then Sidney

emitted a meow that was closer to a growl, and in a deeper voice

than she'd ever heard him use before. Surprised, she glanced

down at him, and saw - glowing yellow eyes and VERY long fangs.

She snatched up the new paper in horror and began to read.

 

My dear Natalie,

 

As you have probably already surmised, my gift to you is a

vampire of your very own. As his current food stock is useless,

I have thoughtfully provided a few bottles of more appropriate

sustenance. With your connections, I am confident you will have

little difficulty procuring more. Have fun!

 

Love and kisses,

 

L.

 

Sidney chose this moment to hiss, complete with eyes shading to

red. Natalie hastily opened the fridge and grabbed the first

'wine' bottle she saw. When she uncorked it and sniffed, she

knew she had the right stuff and quickly filled Sidney's bowl.

She watched in horrified fascination as he emptied it very nearly

as quickly as she'd poured. When he'd finished that, she kept

adding more, bit by bit, till he seemed satisfied.

 

Contented at last, he came over to rub his head against her in

that familiar feline caress, purring. She noted the

characteristic drop in body temperature. 'Huh, what's the use of

cuddling a *cold* cat, hmm?' she thought, sadly. She nearly wept

then, for him, for them. Then she remembered the cause of all

this, and rage filled her.

 

'OK, he's over at Nick's tonight; I remember that' she thought

viciously. 'I'm gonna get that stake supporting that little tree

in the garden, and I'm gonna ram it through his black heart!!'

Natalie refused to stop and think; she only wanted to act.

 

***

 

Nick stared at her, his horror rapidly replaced by a fury to

match her own. He remembered his beloved Raleigh, a dog he'd had

to stake because it could not control the vampiric urges forced

on it by a cruel Lacroix. 'Damn him! Natalie and her cat are

NOT toys for him to play with!!! Raleigh...Sidney...you deserved

love and care from humans, not THIS...' Thinking this, his eyes

flared red to match his rage, and his fangs emerged. Natalie's

expression welcomed his kill-lust rather than feared it. He

handed the stake back to her.

 

"So...shall I hold him down for you?" Nick snarled.

----------------------------------------------------------

 

Surgeon General's Warning: Enraging a pet lover can be VERY

hazardous to your health!!

 

Jan Wiles

 

His train of thought is still boarding at the station.

-- Calvin & Hobbes, said of the school bully Moe

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