Infatuation with a Vampire

Chapter 5

The Olsen Ranch - 3:40 a.m.

"You hanging in there, Agent Mulder?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks."

"I'll have you at the doctor's in just a few."

Now that his pickup truck had warmed up, Jerry Olsen was ready to drive his injured passenger into town for treatment. Although Mulder's head was still throbbing and his vision was threatening to double up on him, he shrugged off the pain and discomfort to contemplate his next move. At least he knew that his partner was still alive, though he wasn't too thrilled about the way Knight had said that she wasn't dead yet. He made it seem as though it was merely a matter of time before the situation would change. He had been wrong about the man not purposely hurting others. Perhaps Nick Knight wouldn't hurt anyone, but it was glaringly apparent that Nicholas de Brabant would. If not for an overly affectionate heifer who had licked his face into wakefulness, Mulder might still be passed out among the cow patties where the vampire had left him.

After Knight hung up on him, Mulder had called in the sheriff, hoping to get a search party going immediately. Unfortunately, he couldn't admit to the man all that he had witnessed. When asked for a direction the kidnapper had taken, Mulder was reluctant to point upwards. He had to simply feign ignorance. Sheriff Wilkes figured that the most likely route would have been eastbound towards a cluster of mountains a fair distance away. Although plans were tossed around, the actual search wouldn't begin until daybreak. The sheriff strongly suggested that in the meantime, Mulder should see a doctor and try to get some rest. Not wanting to chance being around a vampire with a bleeding head wound, he decided that he should accept Mr. Olsen's offer of a ride into town to see the doctor.

As he sat in the passenger side of the swiftly moving pickup truck, Mulder pulled out his cell phone and pressed a pre-programmed number. Waiting impatiently through five long rings, he began speaking as soon as the line was picked up.

"Frohike, it's Mulder. I need you to do me a favor."

"Try calling back at a decent time," Frohike yawned, sounding as though he was going to hang up.

"It concerns Scully," Mulder was quick to add.

"What's up? Is she all right?" Frohike asked, fully alert.

"She's been abducted."

"Damn! The same as before?"

"No. It's not the same. I know who's got her, but I need help tracking him down. I need for you to run a check on a man named Nicholas Knight. He was a detective with the Toronto police department up until five months ago when he was presumed dead following a car accident."

"Are you saying that a ghost took her?"

"No, he's no ghost," said Mulder, not bothering to inform his friend of Knight's true nature. "Let's just say that his death was somewhat exaggerated."

"So are you looking to find something in particular?"

"Yeah. Check to see if he has any connections to Montana. If he owns property or if he's done any business anywhere near the city of Black Eagle. Try checking also under the alias, Nicholas de Brabant."

"Gotcha. Anything else?"

"Yeah. Janette DuCharme. She was listed on Knight's police file as a person to contact in case of emergency. The only number listed for her was at a closed up nightclub in Toronto called the Raven. You'll find that Knight's personnel file was deleted from police computers, possibly by Knight himself."

"So who the hell is this guy anyway? Why'd he take Dana?"

"Frohike, you want to find her or you wanna talk about it?"

"All right, I'm on it." After hanging up, Mulder glared out the window into the darkness, anxious for dawn to arrive. "She's not dead yet. She's not dead yet." Those words echoed in his mind and all he could do was hope and pray that nothing would alter their accuracy.

Somewhere in the mountains 3:43 a.m.

Scully was falling, descending head first into blackness, her screams echoing through the mountains. Friends and family, both past and present flashed in her mind in the milliseconds that remained of her existence. In the nanoseconds she allowed for prayer, what must have been the hand of God, grabbed hold of her and slowed her terrifying descent into death.

"It's all right, I've got you!" God spoke to her. As one strong hand held fast to her ankle, an arm swooped around her back and lifted her upright. Scully wrapped her arms thankfully around his neck as he gently shifted her in his embrace and flew her upwards. He was taking her straight to heaven, she thought. Funny, but her landing hadn't hurt at all. Still, she couldn't stop trembling or crying.

"Shhh, it's okay, it's okay. You're safe now. I've got you. You're safe."

It took several moments for Scully to realize that she wasn't on her way to heaven and that the arms that held her tenderly didn't belong to God. They belonged to Nick Knight. She lifted her head from the security of his shoulder and glanced up, barely able to see the milky whiteness of his face only two inches away. How he had managed to locate her in the pitch darkness was a mystery, but how he had saved her from certain death was no less than a miracle. It was a miracle she had no desire to question at the moment. She simply nestled her head into the crook of his neck and allowed him to carry her back to the cabin.

It wasn't long before he was placing her gently on the sofa in the living room. He said something to her that she really didn't hear, then left her alone as he went back outside for awhile. Scully was still too shook up to notice how long he had been gone or even when he had returned. Eventually, she noticed the room was getting slightly warmer. A popping noise drew her attention to a well fed fire recently started in the fireplace. As she turned away from the fire, she was startled by the sudden appearance of a glass of water held by a pallid hand in front of her face. She looked up, apprehensive at first until she saw the timid smile that went along with the offered glass.

She accepted the water and took a few sips to ease the irritated throat she received from nearly screaming her head off. Her host stepped silently away. Scully watched him as he backed himself against a wall and slid down to a stooping position, absently rubbing his left arm as his eyes focused on the dancing flames of the fire.

"Thank you," said Scully.

He looked at her then. "Would you like more?" he asked, referring to the water.

"No, I was thanking you for saving my life. I must have fallen at least thirty feet. How did you catch me?"

Nick smiled nervously. "I'm afraid you must have been hallucinating. I caught you as you were about to go over the edge. You dangled for a few moments. It probably felt as though you were falling."

That couldn't be. She was sure she had fallen a good distance. She had felt the cool night's wind blowing in her face and whipping her hair about. She had experienced the sensation of free fall, of flying even. But then that couldn't be possible either. There's no way he could have dived over the edge after her and flew her to safety. Tethered by a bungi cord, perhaps he could have managed it, but their flight upwards had been a smooth, jerkless ride. Of course, she must have imagined it.

"Well, thanks anyway."

"Why thank me? If it weren't for me, you wouldn't have been in that situation in the first place. Are you all right?"

"My hands are still a little shaky, but other than that...."

"You... you were running away from me, weren't you? Did I hurt you earlier?"

"Don't you remember?"

"No, not really. I have this condition. I have these blackout episodes where I do and say things I wouldn't normally. I imagine that's why you're here. I kidnapped you?"


"Did I ever hurt you?" he asked again, looking terrified of the answer he might receive.

Scully shook her head. "No, you didn't hurt me. I think you may have injured my partner though."

"Your partner?"

"Back at the Olsens' ranch. Do you remember that?"

Nick concentrated hard, then asked, "Was he tall, slender build, dark hair?"

"Yes, that was Mulder."

"I met him for a moment. I don't remember what I did to him."

"Well, he sounded as though he was still in one whole piece when he called me on my cell phone."

"You've talked to him since you've been here?"

"Briefly, before you destroyed my phone."

"Oh, sorry.... So he knows where you are now?"

Scully decided not to answer that question. If Knight thought that help was on the way, he might try to make a run for it. She took another sip from her glass, then placed it on the floor at her feet.

"Did you, by chance, sustain a head injury in that car accident?"

Nick eyed her in wonderment. "Car accident?"

"You were in an accident about five months ago, remember? With Dr. Natalie Lambert?"

"How do you know about that?"

"Actually, that's why I came to Montana. I'm Dana Scully with the FBI. My partner and I came in search of you. He suspected that you had something to do with the cattle mutilations."

"Why would he think that?"

"He made a connection between the mutilations and the disturbed grave site of Dr. Lambert." Noting the questioning expression on Knight's face, Scully waved her hand in a "don't ask" kind of motion. "It's what he does. Makes connections that no one else could possibly fathom."

"And you came to hunt me down?" Nick asked, becoming a touch nervous.

"We came to help you."

"What makes you think I need help?"

"First you dig up a close friend's grave and lie down with her, then the next week you're out slaughtering cows. You sound like someone in great need of help, Mr. Knight. Right now, you're suspected of trespassing, destruction of property and animal cruelty, but if you give yourself up peacefully, I'm willing to forego adding kidnapping charges."

"So you're after me because I broke the law?"

"Allegedly, yes."

"Oh," Nick replied softly, his nervousness beginning to wane a bit. "Do you mind if I ask a personal question?"

Scully shrugged lightly. "What would you like to know?"

"What is it with you and the garlic-flavored coat?"

Scully's cheeks flushed with embarrassment, then she shook her head and chuckled lightly. "I have my partner to thank for that. He had this wild notion that uh.... Oh, it's too stupid to even say."

"What?" Nick urged her to continue.

"He thought we might run into a vampire. In fact, he thought that you...." She felt too ridiculous to go on with the statement, so she didn't.

"I think I get the picture," said Nick perceptively. "He found out about my sun allergy."

"There was also a mention of an Internal Affairs investigation which uncovered some bottled cow's blood in your refrigerator."

"Yeah, I had to do a lot of explaining back then. I used the blood to thicken my oil paints. I still do."

"Plus, Mulder thought that whoever or whatever was killing the cows had to have superhuman strength."

Nick noted the dubious expression on his guest's face, and was quite relieved to see it there. "I take it, you don't share his theory?"

"Well, I've watched a rodeo or two on TV, and although I'm not in favor of the sport, I was mildly impressed to see an average size man able to wrestle down a one-ton steer and hog-tie it. So I figure that breaking a cow's neck would be more of a matter of technique rather than brute strength. Besides, if you were a vampire, it seems that the myths about your reflection not showing up in a mirror, and garlic keeping you away doesn't seem to be holding up very well."

Nick smiled amusedly. "Well, I'll admit I'm not a big fan of garlic and that I wouldn't want to wear it, or get too close to anyone who does."

Scully nodded understandably. "Yeah, I guess it's enough to keep vampires and everyone else at a safe distance."

Starting to feel a bit more comfortable in her presence, Nick changed his position from stooping to sitting on the floor with his legs stretched out and his ankles crossed. He rubbed lightly at his left arm as he spoke his next few uncertain words. "I uh... Earlier, in the bedroom... I don't remember everything I did, but I never meant to do anything improper. If I took liberties with you that I shouldn't have, then I'd like to apologize. I haven't been myself lately."

Scully thought back to their earlier meeting, and her heart pounded a bit faster as she recalled how he'd had her melting in his arms. No man had ever gotten her so worked up so quickly, and she hadn't wanted him to stop. She had been perfectly willing to let him do anything he pleased to her.

"Agent Scully? Are you all right? Did I get too far out of line with you?" Nick asked with growing alarm.

Scully snapped out of her moment of reverie and shook her head. "No, Mr. Knight. You were... shall we say, a little frisky, but nothing I couldn't handle."

"Good," Nick sighed with relief.

Scully couldn't help but notice how markedly different Nick Knight was now compared to when they first met. He was so unlike the man who had tried to seduce her, and who had chased her out into the darkness in a weird game of hide and seek. She couldn't help but think multiple personalities. He had apparently been divided into three parts: the sweet, boy next door; the aggressive, Don Juan lover; and the disgusting weirdo who likes to mutilate animals and play with dead things. She'd seen two sides of him so far, but she wasn't interested in seeing the third side.

"Tell me something, Mr. Knight--"

"I'd prefer it if you'd call me Nick. Please."

"Nick, these blackout episodes that you have; do they come without warning, or is there something that triggers them?"

"They just come," he replied ruefully. "I become someone else... someone named Nicholas de Brabant. He pretty much comes and goes as he pleases, but I noticed that he never comes out between sunup and sundown. And physical pain or discomfort seems to keep him away."

When he said that, Scully finally became aware of the way he was cradling his left arm. "What's wrong with your arm?" she asked.

Nick crossed his arms in front of his chest and gazed back at the fire. "It's nothing, really," he murmured softly.

"What did you do to it?"

"Picked up a splinter when I was sitting on the porch steps."

"Would you like for me to remove it for you?"

He looked back at her and grimaced mildly. "Perhaps later."

His eyes conveyed what he was really thinking. He was purposely withstanding the discomfort of a sliver of wood shoved into his flesh, in order to keep his alter ego at bay and thereby protect her from further assault. Scully nodded her understanding of the situation, then continued with their original topic of conversation.

"So it was Nicholas who killed the cows? You don't remember any of it?"

"No. I would come to later with my shoes covered with cow manure and a few blood stains on my clothes and hands. Didn't take much to figure out what he'd been up to."

"Why do you suppose he did it?"

"He wants to draw attention to himself. There's someone -- a family member -- who's probably out looking for us... for me, that is. Nicholas is trying to make it easier to be found."

"And killing cows would make it easy for this person to find you?"

Nick shrugged. "It made it easy for you and your partner to find me."

He had a point there. "Well, would it really be such a bad thing if this family member should find you?" Scully asked. "Perhaps he or she can be of some assistance."

Nick sighed heavily and shook his head with uncertainty. "I'm not so sure of that. You see, he likes Nicholas de Brabant better than he likes me. It would make his century to have Nicholas take over completely. I came here to get away from him and the rest of the world, so I could think.... But I don't know anymore. Maybe it would be best altogether if I just stepped back and let Nicholas take over."

Scully leaned forward, feeling the urge to reach out to him, but the fact that he was several feet away prevented her from acting on the impulse. "You can't possibly mean that," she spoke to him in a sympathetic tone. "I've read your file, Nick. You were a good cop. You risked your life a number of times to save the lives of others. You made a difference. You cared. Now, it appears that you're suffering from a form of mental illness which I am sure is treatable. You owe it to yourself to get your life back on track, but you can't do it alone. You need help; perhaps a few sessions with a good psychiatrist. And if you haven't had one done, I would strongly suggest you get a CT scan of your brain in case you did suffer a head trauma during your accident."

"You think that a head injury could cause something like this?" asked Nick, thinking of the gunshot wounds he had received. Perhaps his natural ability to heal had been compromised due to the experimental drugs and diet Natalie had prescribed for him.

"It's possible that a tumor could have developed," Scully surmised, "causing pressure in a very delicate part of the brain. You seemed to be having some kind of intense headache before when we were in the other room. Do you remember that?"

"I get them all the time. Very brief, but painful. I use to think they were triggered by Nicholas making his exit, but I came to realize that the pain is what chases him away. Though nowadays he's quick to come back when it's over."

"Well, we really won't know for sure what the true nature of the problem is until I can get you to a hospital and get some tests done."

Nick rose from the floor and crossed over to the fireplace. He picked up the poker, pushed back the protective screen, then began to adjust the burning logs whether they needed it or not. He used it as a diversion to keep from responding to the agent's suggestion that he seek medical treatment. There was no way he could agree to that. If he was indeed suffering from a physically induced psychosis, there was only one doctor who could have helped him, but she was no longer among the living.

"The last person who tried to help me with my problems ended up as fish bait at the bottom of a lake," Nick stated matter-of- factly, keeping his back to his guest.

"It's not your fault that you didn't die in the car wreck with her, Nick. In fact, it's a miracle that you survived at all."

Nick grinned sadly at the absurdity of her statement. If only he could tell her the truth. Tell her how he had drained every ounce of blood from Natalie's body, and how LaCroix, his master had taken the body off to dispose of it; to make it seem as though Nick had been driving and that his body had been claimed by the murky undertow of the lake. LaCroix had done an excellent job in cleaning up after his son's mess.

Still poking at the flames, Nick spoke, nearly to himself. "For six years, she was my best friend, my confidant... my reason for living. I took from her and gave nothing in return. I stole six years of potential happiness from her short life, then... I killed her."

Scully stood and moved closer to the fireplace. She still hadn't warmed up completely, and she also didn't like talking to someone's back. She kept a few feet of space between them, though now she was standing to his side. "You didn't steal those years from her," Scully told him, seeing his head turn slightly in her direction. "Sounds to me as though she gave them to you of her own free will. Perhaps she did expect to get something in return, but she gave them to you freely. You can't force people to do what they really don't want to. In the end, you two were both suffering from depression. She had just lost a friend to suicide, and you had lost your second partner in the line of duty. Your actions that night were being ruled through overwrought emotions. Neither of you were responsible for what you said or did."

Nick shook his head as he returned the poker to its proper place, then stepped back against the adjacent wall. "You weren't there," he told her while keeping his eyes on the growing flames. "You couldn't possibly know. If it wasn't for me, she would still be alive. I should have walked away that first night we met. I should have never even gone to Toronto. Everyone would have been much better off if they'd never even met me, including you."

"You remind me a little of my partner," said Scully, gazing thoughtfully at the man before her. "He has this really annoying habit of blaming himself for things he has no control over. If only he had gotten someplace sooner or reacted in a different manner, or maybe if people hadn't met him at all, perhaps certain unfortunate individuals wouldn't have suffered whatever fate life had dealt them, including me.... But what Mulder doesn't seem to realize is how much good he's done and how many lives he's saved, mine as well. Nick, you've helped a lot of people and you've saved a lot of lives. But you can't save everyone. No one can. It isn't humanly possible."

Nick had to chuckle at the irony of that last statement. "You don't know how many times I've heard the same thing from Natalie."

"And I'm guessing you didn't listen to her, did you?"

"I can't help the way I feel."

Scully nodded knowingly. "I understand. Mulder's the same way."

Nick finally lifted his eyes to hers. "Sounds as though you have your hands full with him."

"You can say that."

"But he's your partner and you probably wouldn't trade him for the world, would you?"

Scully smiled lightly. "No one would ever offer that much for him, but you're right. I wouldn't. I've come so close to losing Mulder on several occasions, so I can imagine how devastating that must have been for you when your partners were killed."

Nick lowered his head momentarily in somber remembrance of his two deceased partners. "It's hard to believe that I couldn't even stand Schanke when I first met him. He was the sort that kind of rubs people the wrong way. But he grew on me quickly, and all those little annoying habits he used to drive me crazy with, became what I truly missed the most once he was gone. And Tracy... I really didn't allow her to get too close to me. I thought I could save myself from any more pain should the unthinkable happen."

"I remember that Mulder wasn't very happy about getting me for a partner in the beginning. I think he tried to make me not like him."

Nick smiled. "I bet you're probably the most important person in his life now."

"Well, we have been through a lot. We've grown closer."

"I don't suppose he'll take too kindly to my kidnapping you then."

"Well, as long as I'm not broken or maimed, I imagine he'll be somewhat forgiving."

"Where was it again that I found you?"

"The Olsen's ranch. About twelve miles west of downtown Black Eagle."

"Oh." Nick glanced at the boarded up window, sensing how much time remained before sunrise. He would have enough time to fly her back to the ranch but not to make it back to his cabin. "Unless your partner knows our location and is on his way to retrieve you, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until this evening before I can take you back."

"Why is that?"

"The sun will be rising soon. And I do a very good imitation of a vampire at daybreak."

"So we're not talking a simple sunburn and rash, are we?"

"No. More like bacon burning."

"What do you have?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"With photophobia that severe, there's usually some underlying medical condition. Off hand, I can think of Lupus and Porphyria. Also, Xeroderma Pigmentosum, but that's a pretty intense, deteriorating type of disease, and you appear much too healthy for that."

He'd forgotten that she had a medical background. Saying that he had a sun allergy had always worked in the past, especially when reinforced with a hypnotic suggestion. He had second thoughts about messing with her mind now, considering that he had subjected her to enough emotional stress already. However, if he agreed to having one of the conditions she mentioned, she'd probably question him on his treatment and he didn't want to get into any of that either.

"I've never been diagnosed with any diseases," he told her truthfully. "It's just an skin allergy; something I developed after reaching adulthood."

"How curious," Scully mused. "I know there aren't a lot of options out there for people who are photosensitive."

"Natalie... she came up with something once, but...."

"What happened?"

"Unpleasant side effects; severe stomach cramps, paranoia, addiction. A high price to pay for one day in the sun. If you don't mind, I'd rather not talk about it anymore."

"All right. Can we talk about me finding a phone to use?"

"Sorry. I don't have one."

"Well, what about drawing a map so I can find my way to the nearest road."

"I wouldn't advise you trying to find your way out there alone. The land is treacherous in places and there're plenty of wild animals."

"Are you telling me that it's safer to wait until sundown to travel? I fail to see the logic in that."

"I know the area. And I know my way around in the dark. After all, I'm not the one who nearly walked off the side of a mountain."

"You don't have to remind me."

"Sorry. I know it's my fault that you're here. I should have awakened you and taken you back when I first came to my senses. I still don't know why I didn't."

"I think I do," said Scully. She saw the question in his eyes though he didn't bother to verbalize it. "I remind you of her, don't I? Natalie. I know I don't look like her, but something about me made you think of her. That's why you were lying with me on the bed. When I woke, you were embracing her, not me."

He didn't answer her, not in words at any rate. He squeezed his eyes shut, dropped his head, and turned away. Scully started to go towards him and offer some comfort, but paused when she remembered their earlier encounter in the bedroom. She waited a few moments, then when she heard a soft keening sound emitted from the tortured soul in front of her, she took a chance on drawing closer.

"Nick? Nick, it's okay," she cooed softly as her hand went out timidly to his dark blonde curls. At her touch, he wrenched away quickly.

"No, don't!" he said, not as a warning, but more like a plea. "Nat, I can't. Please don't ask me to again. I can't," he mumbled as he moved over towards the boarded up window, keeping his back to her.

Scully followed cautiously but kept a few feet of space between them. "Nick?" she called to him without having any idea of how to calm him down.

"Natalie, you don't understand what you're asking me to do," he said, shaking his head with his eyes close. "You think you do, but you don't. I don't want to hurt you. I could never live with myself if I hurt you."


"Please don't ask me to do it, Nat," he cried. "Please!"

"Okay, Nick. You don't have to do it. We won't go through with it. It's okay. You don't have to do it."

Her words finally got through to him. The tension left his body as he turned to look at her with mournful eyes. Scully wasn't sure if he was grounded in the here and now or if his mind was still several months in the past. She saw a questioning look in his eyes that slowly turned into comprehension. Eventually, he smiled shyly at her and she returned the gesture. She was somewhat apprehensive when he reached a hand out to caress her cheek, but the tender look in his soft, blue eyes made her feel as though she had nothing to fear.

When he leaned in for a kiss, she met him half way. Unlike the passionate, heat-filled kiss of before, this one was considerably more tame, much like two kids testing the waters for the very first time. The results were pretty much the same for Scully. Despite the recent criminal actions and apparent mental dysfunctions of this man, Scully was nonetheless emotionally drawn to him. It didn't even matter if he thought she was someone else. When he gently drew away from her, she trembled slightly, her breathing more pronounced as she awaited a follow-up. When it didn't come as she expected, she lifted her eyes to his and saw that he was staring at her strangely.

"What is it?" Scully asked, fearful that his mind had made another unscheduled detour.

"Did I hurt you?" Nick asked her.

"No. No, I'm fine," Scully replied with a tiny laugh, thinking that he was referring to the kiss.

He shook his head and said, "You're bleeding somewhere. I can smell your blood."

Not exactly the words she expected to hear, but for some reason she thought there might be some truth in them. She examined her hands first and found them to be perfectly fine. Even though it wasn't time for her period, she considered opening her coat and checking for any telltale stains. Before she could even make the attempt, Nick put a finger beneath her chin and lifted it. She felt a bit self-conscious to see that his eyes were focused on her nose, but a few seconds later, she felt something else. A tiny stream of fluid began a downward path from her left nostril towards her top lip. A nosebleed, she thought with little concern. When she reached a hand up to wipe away the blood, Nick grabbed her wrist and held tight to prevent her from interfering with the flow. The sound of a low, animalistic growl caused Scully to recoil in fear, an emotion enhanced by the sight of a pair of feral, gold-tinged eyes glaring back at her. Ready or not, she was about to be introduced to Nick's third personality.


Copyright © 2019 · All Rights Reserved · Fran Glass