Citadel of Grace

An addendum to
Another Interview

Copyright © 1996, by

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and incidents in this work are fictitious or used fictitiously. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings, products, or publications -- living, dead, or otherwise -- is intended nor should such be inferred.

WARNING: Mild profanity. Vampiric intimacy.
Proceed at your own risk.

SPOILERS: Another Interview, Resurrection.



LENGTH: 10,500 words.

ARCHIVE: Divisadero Street

INCLUDES: Louis and Lestat.


Revision History


Last Revision to Story: Sunday, January 21, 1996

First HTML Version: Friday, April 2, 1999

From the Author...

Wow. Did you really read all of that? All of Another Interview and all of Resurrection? I’m truly impressed.

For your perseverance, here’s a small bonus.

This little scene had been hovering in the back of my mind ever since glossing over it in the first story. Louis advised me wisely, for at the time I was only beginning to know these fine Créole gentlemen and, for both Louis and Lestat, this is far too important a milestone in their lives to leave in untried hands.

I’ve referred to the following moment many times, but never with a full understanding of the event. Now Louis is pressing for my utter comprehension, and I can’t help but wonder about his insistence. I suppose, like all answers, this one too will come. In time. I remain in awe of his trust.

blueDot Sheri Richardson
louis [dot] stories [at] esque [dot] com

P.S. “Louis-lover” is a badge I wear unabashedly. After all, Lestat loves him, as do Marius, Armand, and Daniel. Pretty damn fine company, wouldn’t you say?

Bonus Trivia

To whom or what does “Citadel of Grace” refer in the Vampire Chronicles, and on what page in which Chronicle?

The answer follows the story.

Citadel of Grace

Louis was anxious, more so than he could remember ever being about anything in his long life. Despite his maker’s repeated assurances, he was not completely certain Lestat would not simply roar with laughter now. But there was no avoiding this moment. He could delay it no longer.

He stepped out the backdoor of the little garage. Pink blooms dotted the guardian camellia. The shrub had long since overgrown its narrow bed alongside the bedroom he shared with Chérie and it had been clipped back over the years, forming a tall hedge. Louis’s long fingers brushed past one bright and waxen leaf to touch another, brown and withering on the branch.

Death. So much death. For the past few weeks, he had been able to think of almost nothing else.

In the month since she had been Born to Darkness, Chérie had fed but twice and her second victim, weeks ago. Even Lestat, who loved the hunt, had not killed since her second night.

Louis had killed far more.

His shame had become total. He knew he could no longer live as he had, walking out night after night to visit death upon the mortal world. He knew his victims fell now not only from his undeniable hunger, but from his fear and his pride. He could stand that shame no more.

He sighed and gazed out over the yard, not yet ready to face what he knew he must.

His eyes fell on the stark cyclone fence dividing the deep lot. The fence would not remain bare for much longer, however. Sunk into the earth before it were the cuttings of Queen’s Wreath his maker had lovingly transported from their townhouse in New Orleans. Beyond the fence stood the aluminum shed that was home to Glennie, Chérie’s Scottish deerhound.

Louis smiled. The big canine had formed a strange attachment to him, and his wonder over this seemed to give Lestat no end of amusement. But she was an amiable dog and he enjoyed watching her elegant gait as she loped around her little wilderness. And she had been his only companion while Chérie had gone with their maker, learning her new powers. Glennie would quietly walk at his side, looking up at him now and then as he wandered around the enclosure. He was amazed how even the bougainvillea covering the back fence possessed an unusual wildness.

Nothing moved there now. Glennie was off with Chérie, enjoying a run along a nearby creek. They had been gone an hour and would not return for an hour still.

It had taken him most of that hour to steel himself, to gather the courage he needed for what he must do now.

Chérie’s excitement had awakened the curiosity in him. And so much more. His desire for her exceeded any longing he had ever known. Yet, he could not savor this happiness, not while the lies persisted. And this gulf in their intimacy was a torment he could suffer no longer.

The lies would end tonight.

Louis took a calming breath and then smiled despite himself. He could not help but delight, as he always did, in the tangled honeysuckle enshrouding the right-hand fence with its multitude of amber and white blossoms. He did not need to breathe deeply for his senses to fill with the heady fragrance.

He turned his back on the honeysuckle, however, and slowly crossed the lawn. The grass was left high to cool Chérie’s bare feet on her nightly sojourns outside the little house, as remained her custom. In the narrow bed along the left fence were old roses, their small, white, double blooms adding a scent Louis found nearly intoxicating.

Honeysuckle and roses. He shook his head in familiar astonishment. How strange that Chérie had planted, long before they had ever met, the flora he held most dear.

But the smile slipped from his face as his eyes suddenly fell upon the true object of his attention.

Past the roses and against the cyclone fence was an old grape arbor, its open redwood frame badly in need of shoring up. Earthquakes and the elements had taken their toll. The wood was gray and had been allowed to age naturally, untreated by chemical stains, the grain etched deeply, nails partly pulled out.

Tipped back in a patio chair under the arbor, his boots propped on the weathered rail, Lestat sat reading by the moon’s light. His delicate yet powerful fingers turned pages regularly, his blue-gray eyes lingering only a second or so on each leaf. He read much faster than Louis.

Lestat’s gaze rose from the book at Louis’s approach. His maker studied him silently from under the mop of blond curls as Louis stepped under the arbor and halted, hands lightly clasped before him. Only their eyes moved as they regarded each other for a long moment.

First one then the other boot lowered to the concrete slab as the legs of the chair settled. Lestat closed his book and rose. He nodded a little, solemnly, as he searched Louis’s dark green eyes and waited.

Louis’s voice was the barest whisper.

“Make me stronger, Lestat. Please.”

The faint smile that was always present in his maker’s face grew almost imperceptibly.

“Yes, it’s time, bien-aimé.” A question furrowed his blond brow. “You don’t wish to wait for Chérie’s return?”

Louis slowly shook his head.

Lestat reached up and gently pushed the black hair away from his fledgling’s face. A laugh escaped him.

“That doesn’t surprise me much.”

His hand fell to Louis’s shoulder before trailing down the sleeve of the black velvet coat.

Louis’s hand met his maker’s and their fingers intertwined.

“Come, Louis.”

Lestat’s smile was kind as he slowly led Louis across the yard and back into the garage. Through the darkened house they walked, his maker squeezing his hand as they passed along the narrow hallway, toward the room that had become Lestat’s.

The bedroom was sparingly furnished. A comfortable reading chair under the window, upholstered in a deep emerald cotton. White plaster walls bare except for the painting his maker had hung. A modern still life of a violin, the work of a local artist that Lestat had chanced upon in a coffee house. It was one of the surprisingly few personal touches he had added to the room in the time they had lived there.

The most startling thing about the little room was the absence of a coffin. Lestat didn’t bother with one, though he had replaced the drapes over the windows with far heavier velvet. Only direct sunlight could hurt him now and, even then, it would not kill him. He was truly immortal.

Not for the first time, it struck Louis that this was what Lestat would bestow upon him. Almost certain eternal life. The magnitude of it sent a wave of nausea roiling through him.

Lestat turned when Louis halted in the doorway.

“What is it, Louis?”

“Doesn’t it bother you, knowing you can’t die?”

Lestat grinned. “It scares the hell out of me, Louis. But it’s never stopped me from getting what I want.” Concern filled his face. “You’re not thinking about this only just now, are you?”

Louis shook his head. “I always thought I wanted death.”

His maker sighed. “The lies we tell ourselves are the most convincing of all.”

Lestat’s fingers slipped from Louis’s and he crossed the room to sit on the bed, standing opposite the door in a modern frame of dark oak. A faux-Tiffany lamp graced the nightstand, as did a single brass candlestick. He drew one boot off the floor, resting it on the side rail as he wrapped his hands about the bent knee and continued.

“You know, I only sought death when I knew I couldn’t have it. If you had truly wanted death, you would have found it.” His eyes clouded briefly as they came to rest on the painting. “There can be no undoing what you seek of me now,” he said quietly.

“I know,” Louis said.

Lestat’s features filled with a strange mixture of sadness, gratification, and a deep longing.

“Then come to me, Louis. But only if you’re certain this is what you want. I can make you no promises. This power has caused me as much pain as it has pleasure. Perhaps even more. And though it did not with Chérie, there’s always the chance the power will destroy that human quality you have, more so than any other of our kind.”

Louis pressed his lips together and breathed deeply before crossing the little room and sitting beside his maker. He knew this was what he wanted, what he needed if he would go on living, but his anxiety had not lessened.

Lestat shifted, drawing one leg under him so he might face his fledgling. He took Louis’s hands in his and he smiled.

“You’re trembling, Louis. Don’t be frightened, bien-aimé. I’m not the same vampire I was when I made you, scared half-senseless myself and admittedly bungling it terribly in my haste to have you with me.” He laughed and shook his head at the memory. “Tonight, we take our time, if you like. Or I can drain you quickly if you fear you may struggle when I take you. Your choice.”

“Take me?” Louis’s brow furrowed as he felt the tension creeping up his spine.

His maker gently squeezed his fingers. “I’m going to remake you, Louis. Drain you as deeply as I safely can before letting you drink.” Lestat’s smile held only affection. “I want to do it right. And the best course I can see is to bring you as close to death as possible, let all of your blood become my blood, and only then let you take it back.”

Louis nodded slowly. Yes, he could see the sense in what Lestat was saying. He searched his maker’s eyes. “Do you think I’ll fight you as death nears?”

Lestat shrugged. “It’s possible, but I doubt it. And I’d like you to feel everything you think you may have missed the first time, though of course tonight is not the same. Not really.” He laughed, his eyes twinkling in delight. “You’re hardly the quivering mortal anymore.”

Louis smiled as he reached out to brush back the blond curls from his maker’s face, the dimples etched deeply at the corners of those sensuous lips.

“You’ve thought about this a long time, haven’t you, Lestat?”

“Longer than you know.” Lestat’s smile faded. “Have no concern for me when it’s time to drink, Louis. How ever much you take of my blood, you won’t have the power to kill me.” His gaze was earnest. “Take until you can’t take another drop.”

Louis’s hand slowly moved to his maker’s neck, his thumb lightly stroking the vein at Lestat’s throat.

“I will,” he whispered. He had not fed and the steady beating of Lestat’s heart mesmerized him, the blood pulsing beneath the hardened flesh. To drink again, to know his maker as he had not in more than two hundred years....

“Yes, you want this blood.” Lestat grinned wickedly and leaned close, slipping his arm around his fledgling’s shoulders, the other hand resting upon Louis’s knee. His throat exposed.

Louis yielded to his desire and the blatant invitation, pressing his lips to his maker’s flesh, his tongue tracing the path of that powerful blood. His arms encircled Lestat’s waist, his long fingers caressing that alluring flesh.

“Is there any other like it on earth?” he whispered, feeling the tingling his lips caused, rippling over his maker’s icy flesh.

Lestat’s cheek nuzzled his, gently yet very firmly forcing Louis’s mouth away from his throat.

“None anywhere. Save for Chérie’s blood.” A deep laugh close to his ear, seductive. “You want my blood. And you want her blood.”

“Yes,” Louis said, his hunger unbearable.

Lestat held him tightly as those silken lips trailed down his neck, breath warm against his flesh.

“And you shall have us both, Louis. But first, I will have you.”

Louis gasped as Lestat’s fangs punctured his flesh. Only his maker’s arms kept him upright as a shudder bent him backwards when the sharp pulling began. Such exquisite torment! He felt Lestat’s arm slide under his knees, lifting him onto the bed, his head laid on a downy pillow. His maker’s legs meshed with his as Lestat knelt over him, draining him. So slowly.

His eyes were open but he saw only his maker’s lustrous yellow hair, his broad shoulder as the pulling grew tighter, his veins crying out, protesting the blood loss.

Lestat was drinking deeper now, stretching out beside Louis, the powerful arms drawing the length of his body closer still. So hard, his maker’s body. Yet his lips, his tongue were tender against his throat, warm. And, remarkably, growing warmer.

Louis suddenly felt his heart thundering in his chest. Lestat’s entire body was growing warmer! A furnace, stoked on blood. His blood! He felt the overwhelming urge to push his maker away but he could not will his fingers to alter their grasp in the slightest. Movement was nearly impossible once the blood flowed and no, he never wanted the embrace to end. Such pleasure, knowing the rapture each swallow gave Lestat.

The austere whiteness of the walls and ceiling seemed to close about him, his vision swimming as he weakened.

His maker’s lips pressed harder against his flesh as he shifted, the tingling eclipsing all else for one moment. Finely boned fingers against his face, the thumb ever so gently guiding his head to the left, such tenderness, and Louis’s vision filled with color. A sigh must have escaped him, but he heard no sound.


Yes, magnificent color. The painting was a riot of yellows and reds. The central violin, a profusion of color. Magenta and lime swirling with saffron and vermilion, brilliant against the painted moonlit sky. Some truth there. Bare plaster walls and the bright violin.

His fingers lost their grip and slid from his beloved maker’s back, falling to the satin-covered comforter, bouncing languidly. So cool, the satin against his own icy flesh. So cold his flesh. His breathing shallow as he thought he felt his veins collapsing, starved for blood, coiling in pain.

The vibrant colors of the painting streaked away as his head fell to the side, cheek nestling into the incredibly soft pillow. More colors, subdued yet extraordinary. Peach and teal and gleaming gold, the lamp on the nightstand. Tiny flecks of light shimmering on the metal surfaces, becoming like beacons against the darkness of the room. And then the light dimmed, his eyes had closed. No strength to open them. Floating in Lestat’s tender embrace, floating in darkness. All darkness.

And yet there was light. A pinpoint only, at an enormous distance. But it was growing, as was a sound, sweet as laughter. He felt a sudden fear, knowing the light would blind, the sound would deafen as they drew near. He would not reach for that light, could not embrace it, yet on it came.

Death. Yes, finally death was within his reach.

No! He turned away from it and intense pain immediately jolted him, his body streaked with agony. Veins empty, thirsting. His throat a gaping wound. Living pain. But he was healing, something deep he couldn’t find was keeping him alive and he slowly opened his eyes.

Lestat smiling down at him, near enough to kiss. Ah, yes. To kiss those lips. Radiant and flush, filled with his blood and so beautiful! Marvelous Lestat. Full of love. What light there was gathered in his iridescent flesh. Glowing, yes.

Silky curls tickling his face. How warm and soft the lips against his cheek, his other cheek, and against his own icy lips. So cold, the pain. Agony again as he felt his body roll, hurtling it seemed away from the satiny bed, the deliciously soft pillow. His limbs hung loose, his head uncontrollable atop his neck, his face buried in the pillow. And then Lestat’s fingers slipping through his hair, turning his head so it was nestled against that scorching throat. Exquisite warmth!

“Drink, Louis,” his maker said, the whisper resounding through his mind, the command awakening his hearing.

Blood, so close he could feel the flesh at Lestat’s throat rise and fall with each determined pulse. Just open your mouth, yes, and.... His teeth pressed through his maker’s flesh, amazingly easy to pass that hard preternatural layer, the skin giving way in a delicate pop. And then the blood hit the roof of his mouth.

Another shudder jolted him as the searing fluid seemed to evaporate as quickly as it flooded his throat, his extremities screaming for more. His lips pressing hard to Lestat’s flesh, his tongue moving, directing the flow, coating his mouth, his throat with luscious blood. Starving.

His arms slowly encircled his maker, sliding between that burning flesh and the cool satin. Lestat, prone beneath him, giving himself, to another vampire. Inviting Louis’s embrace!

Deeper, Louis drank, thrilled by the blood coursing through him, warming his veins, and by the gift. Dear God, such a gift! Only to Akasha had Lestat...but no, she had demanded his attention, his maker powerless to refuse. Lestat’s hands held him lightly now, pliant in his arms, gentle lover, heart hammering against his chest. Hammering straight into Louis’s chest.

His maker’s heartbeat filled his senses, the drum pounding its heavenly rhythm. So much a part of him, Louis could not distinguish his own heartbeat. Only the one pounding, only the one joy crying out as he drank, awash in the ecstasy that was Lestat’s blood. They were the same! They were only one being!

Arms shifting, one cradling his maker’s shoulders, one hand pressed to the small of his back, pulling Lestat into his embrace. Loving him as he never allowed, so stubborn, protecting him even as he drained the life from his maker in ever deeper draughts. Such hunger now! Growing with every gush of blood. Longing for more, his veins seemingly reaching up to absorb the powerful blood. Every vein reaching into his heart, that unstoppable organ linked so completely, so intimately with that other heart. The growing tightness strangling yet unable to conquer.

Such yearning! Warmth flooding his brain, so dizzy. And his heart bursting over the beauty in his arms. Sweetness and love in the blood, so hidden. And...dear God, yes! Such goodness, and the covenant in blood! Recognition rocked him as the grip tightened on his heart and he pulled his maker tighter against his chest. Safe, yes, keep him safe, so limp in his arms. Protect his beloved from the noise.

A terrible wailing had arisen, sounds rushing together. So many of them! His mind reeled, the blood warming his fingers, his toes. Every vein filled, stretching to hold the precious blood. Passion inundating his very being, but this noise! Not like death’s sweet laugh. Utter chaos, grown louder than their beating hearts, the cacophony pounding through his mind. Impossible to separate the sounds, to push them aside to hear again his maker’s heart.

So thin, Lestat’s form in his arms. And the sound, deafening, his mind exploding from the relentless noise. Too much! And dear God! Lestat, so frail! No more! He couldn’t stand it. No more!

With an enormous effort, Louis pushed away from his maker, sliding on the satin, crashing to the floor as his hands flew to his ears. The sound was not dimmed!

Idiot! Separate the sounds, you know how to do this.

But he could not, there were too many to hear. Too many, too many. He writhed on the floor, his tall frame curling into a ball, but there was no escaping this noise. His hands could not block it out.


He gasped. The clear, single tone was like air to a drowning man. The noise did not lessen, but the crisp sound of his name, said with such patience and love, cut through it all. It was everything. Tears gathered in his eyes at the music of it.

Then he was being pulled upright, uncurled, arms surrounding him. So thin still, his maker’s form, yet such a shape should not hold such strength.

“Oh God, Lestat! What have I done?”

Lestat shushed him quietly. “I’m fine. I’ll look myself again in a few minutes. But you needn’t shout, bien-aimé. I can hear you perfectly, even if you whisper.” He sighed deeply. “Treat it like your old pain for now. Push it away from you, Louis.”

“I can’t. Too many of them.” The noise was beginning to hurt. “What is this, Lestat!”

His maker gently pried his fingers from his ears. “Mortal voices, Louis. Millions of them.” He cupped Louis’s face in his hands. “Now, be quiet and do as I say. Give them one corner of your mind. Allow them to rampage there, only there.” He frowned at his fledgling’s confused and anguished stare. “Don’t think about it, Louis! Pick a spot and command them to go there! Now!”

And Louis did as his maker commanded, without a thought. Instantly, the voices were silenced, locked behind a gossamer wall. His chest was heaving as he collapsed against Lestat, his arms limp at his side.

Lestat held him tightly, smoothing his long black waves. And then he laughed, his relief genuine. “You did it, Louis! Oh, thank God! You’re alive!” His hands slid to his fledgling’s shoulders, gently pushing him away. “Let me look at you. How do you feel?”

“Exhausted,” Louis whispered and then straightened, seeking his maker’s gaze. He furrowed his brow when he saw a stunned expression fill Lestat’s face. “Dear God. What’s wrong, Lestat?”

But his maker only reached for his face, fingers tenderly touching his cheek, his brow. His blue-gray eyes were veiled in crimson as the tears gathered.

Louis rose and quickly crossed to the chest of drawers, standing beside the closed closet door, and peered into the looking glass atop its surface. He gasped at the pale spectre gazing out at him, his fingers reaching toward the glass and then retracting, touching his own cheek. How quickly his appearance had changed!

His pallor had deepened, certainly. The opalescence he so loved in Lestat’s flesh was there now, and deepening further. His eyes were perhaps a little brighter and at the same time darker, with far more verdant shades. Otherwise he looked the same. But his skin felt different, the texture not quite as hard and smooth as his maker’s. More like Chérie’s. He turned abruptly from the mirror, his hair cascading over his shoulders.

“This bothers you?” he asked, hand extended toward the glass as he stepped back to the bed. He lowered himself beside his maker, who had climbed off the floor, his form remarkably close to normal.

Again Lestat’s hand cupped his cheek. “So pale now.”

Louis shook his head. “But I’ve always looked the wraith. You saw me, Lestat, with mortal eyes. What was human still is. It was never in my skintone. It’s in here.” His fist thudded against his chest and he glanced down at it in wonder, rubbing the spot gingerly and then smiling up at his maker.

Lestat giggled, fingers covering his mouth. “Yes, you are the same, aren’t you, Louis?”

“Yes, I am. I feel the same.” He laughed and then tipped his head, puzzling. “Except...except....” A sudden tightness crushed him as he searched the sparkling blueness that was his maker’s eyes, so brightly shining in the dark. His hands reaching before he could stop himself, gathering his maker to him, fingers grasping the broad back, tangling in the silky hair.

“Such goodness,” he whispered.

“Your mind has snapped, Louis,” Lestat growled, allowing the embrace for only a second before impatiently pushing his fledgling away. “Now turn on the lamp.”

Louis’s gaze was puzzled, Lestat was nearer the nightstand. But he reached for the lamp, only to jerk his hand back when his maker sharply rapped his knuckles.

“Not that way, bien-aimé. With your mind. Turn the switch.” He sighed when no comprehension showed in Louis’s face. “It’s like walking. You don’t think about the steps. You just see where you want to go and you go. And you’ve read my books, so you know how I did it in the beginning, vocalizing the actions.” He grinned maliciously. “You’ve never had to vocalize anything in your life. So turn on the lamp.”

Louis nodded and closed his eyes, picturing the little knob perfectly, seeing it turn. And light flooded the room. He grinned.

Lestat folded his arms over his chest. “Smart guy. Now turn it off.”

He concentrated, again turning the knob. He heard a click, it worked, but nothing happened. And then a laugh escaped him and the light winked off. He smiled sheepishly.

“You need to turn the knob the opposite direction for the light to go out.”

“Yes, it’s not all magic wishes, Louis. Now for something harder. Light the candle.” Lestat’s gaze was fierce as he raised a finger sternly. “But I warn you, Louis. If you scorch the plaster, or even blister the paint on the lampshade, I’ll give you an embarrassing little suntan down one side of your face to carry through eternity.” He smiled, pointedly feigning sweetness.

Louis sighed and tried to envision a flame surrounding the wick. His brow knitted and he slid off the bed, crouching before the nightstand, studying the candle. A smile slowly spread over his face.

With the lamp, it was as Lestat said. He had felt something reach out and manipulate the physical knob. But this was different, the force he felt gathering within him was the tangible thing. It was difficult to localize, though. In his head, his chest, pushing it carefully down his arm. An eerily satisfying sensation, warming him from within.

“I can feel it. The heat,” he whispered.

One hand gently reached out, a fingertip touching the wick, and it caught. The flame wavered ever so softly in the darkness. Fingers to his lips, he turned his head, looking over his shoulder at Lestat.

“Was that as easy for you as I think it was?” his maker asked in whispered awe.

Louis slowly rose and gave his shoulders a shrug. “I’m afraid so, my beloved.” He pulled Lestat to his feet and gently into his arms. How different now, this simple touch. Bending to rest his head on that broad shoulder, his eyes closed when his maker’s arms absently surrounded him, squeezing him distractedly.

“Why am I not surprised?” A tiny laugh escaped him. “I suppose I knew it would be so, or I wouldn’t have allowed it in here.” Lestat shook his head. “I don’t...this power....” His voice trailed off.

“I know, Lestat. You don’t use this power.” Louis straightened, wondering at the placid expression on his maker’s face, the strength of Lestat’s fingers on his shoulders. “I’ve watched you for weeks, and Chérie. I caught her using it once, practicing, I think.” He smiled, his dark green eyes distant. “I wasn’t certain what she was doing, sitting so still on the porch and staring at a leaf on the walk. And then it fell to ashes in a puff of smoke.” The smile slipped from his face. “She was shaken, Lestat. This power frightens her.”

His maker nodded and then furrowed his brow. “But it doesn’t frighten you.”

Louis tipped his head and again shrugged. “I don’t have your temper. I know it would take something monstrous for me to use such power in anger, so I don’t fear using this gift for so mundane a task as lighting a candle.” He pushed the blond curls away from his maker’s face. “I’ve thought about this a long time, as well. And you know how I ponder such things.” He smiled.

Lestat laughed. “Intimately.”

“Don’t sound so self-righteous. Your second book is a veritable instruction manual on your gifts. So I studied it, though I still can’t believe you allowed such detail in print.”

“I could mention your miserable little memoir,” Lestat snarled.

“You could, but it’s not the same and you know it. What great secrets did I possess? Nothing! You kept me ignorant, and Armand was no better.” He sighed deeply, knowing such arguments were pointless. And yes, the heat gathered when he was angry. But it was pushed back easily enough. And thinking of Armand still saddened him greatly.

His maker nodded, and there was something strangely approving in his expression. Had Lestat purposefully provoked him, just to see if he’d attempt to roast his own maker alive?

“Armand,” Lestat said, interrupting his thoughts. “Are you still determined to find Daniel?”

Louis furrowed his brow. “Of course. I have to, before one of the others decides he’s jeopardizing us all and destroys him.”

“He’s not your responsibility, Louis.”

“We’ve gone over this, Lestat. You know they’ll do it and you don’t want to see him killed any more than I do.”

He knew his maker held a deep affection for the young vampire. Daniel had much the same immortal exuberance, and suffered the same dark anguish.

“I suppose not.” Lestat sighed. “You could simply call to him now.”

Louis slowly shook his head. “No, I don’t want to just put my voice out there for everyone to hear. For the moment, no one knows what’s happened and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible.”

Lestat grinned.

A flush rose in Louis’s cheek. “Don’t laugh. I’ve survived well enough by my secrecy.” His gaze narrowed. “And isn’t that the one thing you drilled into me, besides your lovely teeth, time and time again?” He smiled despite himself when Lestat erupted in giggles. “And what makes you so certain I suddenly have this ability to communicate?”

His maker laughed once more as he dug his handkerchief out of his pocket and pressed the silk to his eyes. He sighed and his smile faded.

“You heard the voices, Louis.”

And he instantly heard them again, rumbling behind the flimsy barrier he’d thrown up against them. Involuntarily, his hands moved to cover his ears, but Lestat caught them in his powerful fingers.

“Concentrate. They’ll do as you command.” Lestat searched his fledgling’s eyes and nodded when he saw the panic slip from Louis’s face. “You can’t listen to them. Not yet. If you try now, you’ll go mad.” He frowned when Louis smiled and anger momentarily sparked his eyes. “It’s no joke! Do you forget the pain you felt earlier?”

“Of course not!”

Lestat’s gaze softened. “You’ve never had this ability, Louis, and you have few skills for coping with what’s suddenly been thrust upon you.” The hint of a smile crossed his lips. “That you held off your pain for so long will be to your advantage now. Use it, because madness is a very real possibility until you learn how to pick out one anonymous voice and hear it completely. And even then, the magnitude of it is staggering.”

Louis furrowed his brow, puzzled. “Then how can I ever learn?”

His maker’s smile was warm. “Begin with someone you love, a voice already dear to you, one that holds no pain.”

“Chérie,” he said softly. And the image of her filled his mind. Her long, dark brown tresses. Her clear, blue-gray eyes, so like Lestat’s. Her nose, like his own. Her lips, the feel of her flesh pressed against his when they lay in the coffin.

Lestat giggled and then shook his head in wonder. “So pale now and yet your face lights up the same way when you think of her.”

Louis felt the crimson rise in his cheeks. “I despise how much enjoyment you get from my embarrassment,” he grumbled.

“But you make it irresistible! And I would’ve been completely devastated if you’d lost your ability to blush.” He sighed. “Now, if you can think of our sweet Chérie without falling into another stupor, we can get on with this.”

“I’ll try,” Louis growled, envisioning his hands around his maker’s graceful neck, thumbs pressing into that exquisite throat.

“Stop that, Louis!” Lestat said, fingers flicking at his neck and seeming annoyed he’d even made the gesture. Then he grinned with malignant delight. “We’ve already established you have some skill in that regard and we can put your strength to the test later, if you so desire.”

Louis bowed slightly and mimicked his maker’s smile. “Yes, that might be enjoyable.”

“Not for you, bien-aimé.” Lestat quickly held up a hand to stave off any more retorts and sighed. “And if you don’t learn to control the voices before dawn, strength is meaningless.”

“Sleep doesn’t block them out?”

Lestat slowly shook his head. “They’ll descend on you and by nightfall, you’ll wake screaming.” He unfurled a finger toward the chair. “Sit, Louis. Get comfortable. We won’t let that happen to you.”

Concern furrowing his brow, Louis lowered himself onto the green chair, settling back into its cushions and crossing his long legs. He composed himself to listen completely to what Lestat had to tell him now.

His maker smiled as he pulled the matching ottoman away from the wall and maneuvered it beside the chair. He sat and leaned close, arms resting across his knees.

“Now, tell me how you hear the voices,” Lestat said, studying his fledgling. “Where they are now, how you see them, so I may know better how to help you. Remember that I hear them as well, so it’s not like describing them to a mortal. But we all feel these things differently. What worked with Chérie may not help you.”

“Chérie hears this?” Louis asked, pushing himself back in the chair. “It didn’t happen her first night.”

Lestat gave a tiny shake of his head. “Not until the next night, after her first kill. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. She seemed paralyzed, not even her eyes moved.” He raked his fingers through his blond curls. “‘Voices,’ was all she finally said, so quietly, and I knew instantly what had happened. She had heard you right away but not the mortal din, so I’d thought she would escape this accursed noise.” He laughed. “But she had all the mechanics memorized, from my book, and only needed to adjust to the reality, which she couldn’t possibly have understood. Thankfully, it didn’t hit her hard, as it did you.”

“I should have remembered,” Louis said quietly.

“As should’ve I. But I’ve lived with this noise for a decade and I forget it so thoroughly now that it takes an effort to hear.” He sighed deeply and shrugged. “And it doesn’t help that for the past year I’ve done everything possible to conceal myself from the others, to silence their incessant questioning. They don’t hear me any more than you do. More precisely, I don’t hear them.” Little laugh. “Or at least I didn’t, until your voice so rudely interrupted.”

Louis smiled. “I’m sorry,” he said politely.

“The hell you are,” Lestat said, laughing. “And you shouldn’t be. We’d been apart too long.” He smiled when his fledgling nodded. “Now, tell me what you hear.”

Taking a deep breath, Louis focused on the voices and suddenly the wailing filled his mind. Lestat’s hand clasped his fingers the moment they curled on the arm of the chair.

“My voice will protect you for now,” his maker said firmly.

And astonishingly, the voices were indeed silenced as Lestat continued quietly.

“That’s your first line of defense. But I can’t always be at your side, so you must learn to command them at will. And that’s your second defense, your ability to command from authority, as you were trained throughout your mortal youth to do. With complete impunity. Master this as you mastered Pointe du Lac. Your third defense is your vast experience with locking away pain. Closing off the voices should work in much the same way.”

“Yes, it’s very similar,” Louis said, gaining confidence from the assurance in his maker’s voice. Rarely had Lestat ever shown such patience with him, though he had been unfailingly so with Chérie. “They instantly moved behind a mental wall when I acted earlier. The wall seems solid, though if I focus on it I know it is no more defensible than a silk curtain.” He furrowed his brow. “But you reread my story so frequently, you must know this. I’m certain I described this to Daniel, so it must be in there.”

Louis’s puzzlement deepened when Lestat appeared stunned, as if something had struck him hard in the chest. In fact, his free hand moved there, gently massaging the flesh over his heart.

“You’ve never read your own book, have you?” Lestat’s voice was nearly impossible to hear.

“What would be the point?” Louis shrugged. “Relive it all again? It’s inescapable as it is. I don’t need to read my own words to know that pain.”

Lestat’s face collapsed in anguish. “Dear God. You didn’t.... You don’t know,” he said under his breath. “What have I--” But he stopped short and demanded Louis’s gaze. “We need to talk about your book, Louis. Sit down and finally deal with it.”

Louis shook his head in confusion. “That’s not necessary, Lestat. I spoke of things I shouldn’t have, not without better understanding, and you’re right to be angry with me.”

“I need to talk about it, then!” Lestat struggled to restore his calm. “And as for my anger with you,” he shrugged it off. “Well, we’ll talk and then you’ll understand. But not just now.” He squeezed Louis’s hand and smiled warmly. “There’s nothing to be concerned about, Louis. That you hadn’t read your book only startled me. And yes, your description of your mental walls is there.” He sighed and narrowed his gaze, focusing on something unseen. “What I wanted you to think about was how you put up these barriers, the shape of the space behind them, how infinite the depth is. Do it now, Louis. Close your eyes and look at the wall you’ve built.”

Still disturbed by Lestat’s talk of his book, Louis did as his maker bid, his eyes falling shut. The image of a barren edifice filled his mind, colorless and seemingly solid. He gasped as it’s surface seemed to bulge and roil with the tumult it guarded. Buckling under the pressure.

“Command them to be quiet, Louis,” Lestat’s voice directed softly. “They will obey you.”

Louis exerted his will, remaking the wall. He sighed when it again appeared smooth to the touch, wondering at how marvelously plain it was in its grayness.

“It looks strong now, doesn’t it, Louis?”

“Yes,” he whispered.

“Good. Now see the wall as you fear it is. But remember, you’ve locked the voices behind it. No matter how weak it appears, the wall will hold them as you’ve commanded.”

Again, the wall bulged as if hands were pushing it from behind, the gray becoming almost blue, a silken veil. And indeed the wall had dissolved and was no more than a drape stretched across the vast space of his mind. But the multitude remained as it was, trapped and silent. Relief flooded over him and he knew that even were he to rip aside the veil, the voices would be as silent. He smiled and opened his eyes.

Lestat was grinning at him. “Excellent, Louis! Do you understand now? That nothing can get out unless you allow it?”

“Yes,” Louis said, laughing silently.

His maker patted his knee affectionately. “Now we’ll take it a step further. Ready?”

Louis nodded.

“Then focus on Chérie. On her voice this time and only her voice.” Lestat’s eyes closed and his head tipped, peacefully lost in whatever images he was conjuring. “Hear the music of her laughter. Feel the resonance of her words.” His brow furrowed and his eyes suddenly snapped open. “Quit staring at me, you fool, and do it!”

“But you look so uncommonly human when you do that,” Louis teased and then dutifully closed his eyes.

“Impossible fledglings,” Lestat grumbled. “Just hear her voice. It should be simple enough.”

“Yes, I hear it.” Chérie’s voice touched him, her lush alto surrounding him. Her laughter rippled against his flesh, the sensation like the music of the dance. Floating on softness.

He was mildly alarmed when he again saw the wall, the veil, and realized it was from there that her voice rose.

“She’s behind the wall,” he said.

“Don’t fret, bien-aimé,” Lestat soothed. “You needn’t pass the wall to reach her. You can draw her through the veil.”

Louis opened his eyes, his brow knitting.

Lestat nodded. “It’s not difficult, Louis. Consider the physical first. Chérie is not far away. Thankfully. She took the dog for a run and you’ve followed that path yourself. They are returning even now. They pass mortals as they walk and those mortals hear when she speaks to Glennie, when she laughs, even if they aren’t actively listening.”

“And I can hear those mortal minds. That’s what I heard behind the wall, not Chérie herself.”

“Yes,” his maker said. “Hearing Chérie is dependent upon the state of her mind and whether she’s guarded against immortal minds.” Lestat’s lids fell closed briefly and he smiled proudly. “Which she is.”

Louis frowned. “Now, how do you know that? You can’t hear her, just as you can’t hear me. And simply hearing her through mortal minds wouldn’t reveal such a thing.”

“Actually, they do. Most mortals have some measure of telepathic ability, though it’s usually far too minute for their conscious minds to perceive beyond what they can as easily read from someone’s expression. They’re happy, she’s sad, he’s fearful. That sort of thing.” Lestat shrugged. “But we can hear these emanations. Perhaps because we do use telepathy consciously, I don’t know. David can explain it to you far better than I. The point is that I can hear Chérie through the mortals she’s passing, yet I can perceive none of these telepathic signals. None at all.”

“So you know her mind is guarded against such communication,” Louis said, nodding. “Yes, I understand.”

“Good. When you heard Chérie earlier, did you hear any of the other voices?”

Louis’s eyes grew wide and then his brow furrowed. “No, none distinctly. Only a low rumbling.” His entire face lighted with his smile.

Lestat grinned. “So, go ahead. Try it! You don’t need my permission.”

And Louis’s eyes immediately closed, recalling Chérie’s voice from his own memory. Again the veil appeared before him and he heard her voice echoed beyond its protection. He willed that voice closer and it came, seemingly on a wind, engulfing him. Whistling, he heard. Chérie calling to Glennie. And a dull, intermittent roaring. His head tipped, puzzling. He knew the sound. Cars! The mortal he was hearing was on the pedestrian bridge over the freeway and Chérie was chatting happily to the big deerhound some distance before him. His gasp was audible.

“Mon Dieu,” he whispered. “I can see her. She’s just at the end of the block!” His eyes shot open and he leapt to his feet. His hand flew to his mouth as tears gathered in his eyes. Only his own dreams had he ever seen so clearly!

Lestat slowly rose, smiling, and offered his handkerchief.

“You did it, Louis,” he said, laughing incredulously. “You really did it!” Still shaking his head, he wrapped his arms around his fledgling and squeezed him. Hard.

Louis laughed and returned the crushing embrace joyously. It was over, all over. The lies, his excuses, all gone. Never again would he see that terrible, guilty look in either Lestat’s or Chérie’s eyes when they used their gifts in front of him. He squeezed his maker tightly, happily. And Lestat would no longer look on him with such shame for having made him so imperfectly.

“Ah, it’s good just to hug you again, Louis,” Lestat murmured, face pressed into his fledgling’s silky hair. Then he laughed and disentangled himself. “Without worrying about breaking every one of your bones.” He sighed and cupped Louis’s cheek in his hand. “Still my precious Louis. But so strong now and all the more beautiful.”

Such love in his maker’s eyes. Louis felt his tears rise again but he quickly wiped them away and returned Lestat’s handkerchief.

“You haven’t shown me everything, my beloved.”

“Everything that’s important. And those will reveal their many facets as you become accustomed to them.”

Louis slowly shook his head.

Lestat furrowed his brow momentarily and then burst out laughing.

“Oh! You mean taking to the air!” He waved it away as if it was nothing. “Sort of like the lamp.” He unfurled a finger toward the nightstand. “Only it’s your own body you’re manipulating.” He shook his head. “But even that’s too much thinking about it. Simply picture where you want to go and go. You can do it now. Lay your hand flat against the ceiling.” He laughed when Louis looked up. “Don’t measure the distance. See your hand up there. Feel the plaster.”

And it was almost that simple. His fingers touched the plastered ceiling with all its myriad ridges, cool beneath his flesh, and then he quickly brought up his other hand to stop himself from rising farther. Yet there was a familiar queasiness in his stomach and he instantly dropped to the carpet, smiling when he landed softly and on both feet.

“Not something to do in the house,” he said, glancing at his maker. “Too close up there.”

Lestat nodded, absently stroking his chin. “That hasn’t bothered you in a long time.”

Louis shrugged. “My perception has changed. I suppose I’ll need to adjust for this as well.” He closed his eyes briefly and grinned, quickly taking his maker’s hand. “Come, Lestat! Chérie is in the drive and I know you want to watch her reaction.” He bent hurriedly and blew out the candle.

His maker giggled as Louis lightly stepped backwards, drawing him from the room, and then led him down the hall. Through the house and back into the darkened garage. They emerged in the backyard just as Chérie turned from locking the gate, her face lighting as her gaze fell on Louis. Glennie was oblivious, glancing up at them only once before thirstily attending to her water dish.

“Oh, and what sort of mischief have you two been up to?” She regarded them suspiciously. “You look as if you’ve been feeding on canaries.”

But Louis couldn’t speak. He felt certain his knees would buckle. The force holding him upright surely came through Lestat’s hand, pressed so lightly to the center of his back yet sending powerful sensations rippling across his flesh. So strong, this connection.

And he needed every ounce of that strength because whatever guard Chérie had put up on her walk was down now. He could hear her very thoughts! Not words exactly, but so clear and so sweet that their meaning was unmistakable.

You make my world complete, she was telling him as she neared. And over and over again, I love you. I love you, Louis.

She came into his arms, crinkling her brow and touching his cheek, puzzled.

And I love you, Chérie, he told her. He repeated it, hoping she heard. God, how I love you!

Her hands flew to her mouth, her eyes going wide as she shook her head in disbelief.


He nodded slowly and smiled.

Chérie tried to turn him so she could question Lestat, but Louis didn’t budge.

His smile only grew wider, his face alight.

“Oh, my God,” she whispered. “You’ve done it, haven’t you?”

Yes, my love. Louis nodded, but he could see it was unnecessary, that she had heard him perfectly.

And then her arms were squeezing him, as tightly as Lestat’s had, and his laughter joined hers. Crying as she cried. Such happiness he felt from her, as close to bursting as he.

Louis lifted her, turning her around the yard before bending to kiss her. Their lips met and parted and met again. His tongue lingered over the silky surface of her lips as his knees failed him. He cradled her as they slowly sank into the grass. His tongue slipped between her parted lips, languidly dancing with hers before sliding over her glossy teeth.

He opened his eyes and found her gaze locked to his. Many times they had danced this dance, yet tonight they knew it would end differently and he wanted to savor the moment as his desire crested. Finally he touched his tongue to the very tip of her lethal teeth, closing his eyes as he felt her jaw close on the tender flesh, shuddering as it was pierced and pierced again. How sharply he felt the pain, how exquisite! His lips pressed harder to hers as her scorching mouth closed on his tongue, sucking the blood from the tiny wounds before they could close.

Her heart was pounding against his chest as she smoothed her tongue over his wounded flesh. Coaxing it gently, he led her tongue back with his, over her lips and past his own. Tracing its satiny edges as it played across his teeth, finding the ones she sought and slowly, excruciatingly, taking their measure, flitting over their tips, teasing until he was certain he could stand no more. He opened his eyes onto hers as she finally held her tongue pressed to the point. Her lips tightened on his as he punctured her flesh. Her eyes rolled back as she quickly moved her tongue to his other fang and he again bit through its surface.

Blood. Her blood, finally his. And he sucked greedily at the wounds, willing them to stay open as the divine taste of her filled his mouth. He’d kept his word to his maker, never tasting her immortal blood. The shudder it sent ringing through him resounded still as the wounds closed. And he held her tongue for a moment longer, caressing it with his lips as it slowly passed.

And then he was smiling, his lips drawing taut as he felt her smile in return. Then they were laughing and kissing lightly.

Slowly, he rose and drew her to her feet.

“You really did it, Louis,” she said, smiling in wonder.

But Louis shook his head. “All I did was ask.”

Chérie whirled on her maker.

Lestat stood quietly where he had been the entire time, an arm across his chest, hand resting over his heart. His other arm hung loose at his side, handkerchief crumpled in his fist. He furrowed his blond brow as Chérie engulfed him in her arms.

She tipped her face up to him and matched his scowl.

“The both of you are entirely too tall,” she growled. “I’m only five-eight, for goodness’ sake! Bend down here and kiss me!”

Lestat slipped an arm around her waist and grinned as he gracefully bent her backwards and kissed her deeply. She tucked one leg under her to keep her balance as he gently pushed the hair back from her face before kissing her again.

Chérie all but purred as their lips parted.

“I love you eighteenth-century gentlemen.” She tipped her head and raised both eyebrows. “Any more like you at home?”

“Only Monsieur Louis, my dear.” Her maker laughed as he righted her. He crooked his finger under her chin. “And five-eight is quite tall for a woman.”

She smiled brightly. “Well, not entirely true but I thank you for saying so, Lestat.” Her gaze softened further. “And thank you for what you’ve done for Louis. Your generosity far exceeds any I’ve ever known.”

Lestat laughed, but before he could protest, she urged him closer, so she might whisper in his ear.

“Splendid job, by the way. He looks wonderful!”

“Yes, he turned out well, didn’t he?”

Louis blushed as they turned their eyes on him lustily. Thankfully, only Chérie descended upon him, taking his hand gently and running her fingers over his flesh.

She released his hand and he watched, fascinated, as her fingers trailed up his coat as if feeling velvet for the first time. They lingered over his heart before smoothing his collar.

Chérie furrowed her brow. “When did you get this suit? It’s lovely on you, but I don’t recall seeing it.”

Lestat laughed.

Louis ignored him but smiled somewhat sheepishly. “I’m afraid I hunted the city last night, so I might pick up a few things from the house.” He shrugged.

“Well, from the lapels I’d say it was about twenty years old, but it’s in awfully good shape.”

“Yes, it’s been that long since I wore it. But I had it heirloom packed at the time because I knew I couldn’t wear it again, not in San Francisco.”

Chérie’s eyes grew wide. “‘The finely tailored black coat!’”

Lestat smiled and draped an arm over Louis’s shoulder.

“You’ve outdone yourself, Louis. I’m touched you went to so much trouble.” He kissed his fledgling’s cheek. “It took a lot of courage to wear that suit. I am truly impressed, bien-aimé.” He laughed. “But where’s the cape?”

Louis’s gaze narrowed. “I considered it, but that would have been a bit much, don’t you think?”

“Overdoing it, yes,” Lestat said, nodding.

“Well, I brought it anyway. It’s in the closet if you’d like to see.” Louis smiled. “And perhaps a little later I’ll allow you to talk me into wearing it.”

Lestat turned to go, but paused and gathered Louis into his arms. He held his fledgling tightly for one brief moment and then strode quickly into the garage. Lights winked on through the house, marking his passage.

“There goes the light bill,” Chérie said with a sigh. She turned to Louis. “How do you feel, my love?”

Louis smiled and took her into his arms. “Exhilarated.” He laughed. “And relieved. I thought I’d fall dead on the spot when I heard your voice. Now, tell me. Could you truly hear me?”

Chérie smiled. “I’ve been able to hear you from the first night. But not like I could tonight. Your voice was so lost before, and now....” She paused, her brows lowering for an instant. “Now it’s as if you’re seeing me for the very first time.” She laid her head against his chest and held him close. “I’m glad you’ve done this, Louis, really glad.”

“So am I.”

“Do you hear the voices?”

“Yes, my love. They’re safely locked away for now.”

“And fire?”

He smiled. “I believe I impressed our lordship there.”

She glanced up at him in amazement.

Louis shrugged. “Yes, it frightened me, as well, until I felt this gift warm me. I could never use it in anger, Chérie.” He laughed. “And I’m fairly certain Lestat provoked me simply to see if I would. But enough of this!” He bent to kiss her. “There’s only one of these gifts I haven’t truly tried, though we tested it somewhat to see if I had received it.”

Chérie laughed and wrapped her arms tightly around his waist. “I can guess which one.”

He held her closely, resting his cheek atop her head. “Is there anywhere you’d like to go, my love?”

She gazed up at the heavens. “‘Second to the right, and straight on till morning.’”

He laughed in delight. “Excellent choice, but perhaps next time. It’s my first flight, after all, and I’m not sure I’m ready for Neverland yet. How do you feel about jumping up to the city?” He smiled when she looked up at him in surprise. “I know you’re longing to see my house there. You haven’t been able to keep it out of your mind since you recognized this suit.”

“I suppose I’ll need to guard myself against you now as well.”

“Probably. Otherwise, I’d necessarily be ruthless in giving you everything you desire.”

Chérie leaned up to kiss him and he bent to cover her lips with his.

I love you, Chérie, his heart told her.

And I love you right back.

Louis laughed and held her tightly as his eyes took in the panorama of the clear night sky. He wished them upward and the yard instantly fell away below them as they disappeared among the stars.


Louis de Pointe du Lac

San José, California

July 1995

“This one was so gifted yet not gifted at the same time....”
Marius, of Louis (QotD, p350, pb)

Bonus Trivia Answer

Question: To whom or what does “Citadel of Grace” refer in the Vampire Chronicles, and on what page in which Chronicle?

Answer: New Orleans. In Interview With the Vampire, Louis refers to the city of New Orleans as a “Citadel of Grace.” The reference is found on p.323 (film tie-in paperback), p.293 (hardcover), or p.321 (Twentieth Anniversary edition), or somewhere nearby depending upon the edition. In the opening pages of Part IV, at any rate, wherein lies the essence of Louis.

No prizes, I’m afraid. Just a treasure hunt, and the joy of reading that wonderful page again.

About the Author...

Sheri Richardson is an award-winning writer and an as-yet-unpublished novelist. Writing is the essence of her nature. She is also a long-time computer professional. A California native, until recently she lived in the Silicon Valley with her daughter. She currently has three manuscripts in development and seeks new representation.

Her speculative fiction focuses more on the mundane, on the day-to-day lives of the characters, taking a few days and filling in the myriad tiny joys and sorrows that make up a life. Or as Leo Kottke has said: Take a simple melody and drive it into the ground.

A fledgling devotee to vampiric fiction, Sheri is fiercely loyal to cher Louis in all things, but finds Lestat’s passion and humor almost irresistible. Almost.

About the Story...

The painting hanging in Lestat’s bedroom is by local artist Michael Román. Many of Román’s paintings have an enchanting, moonlit quality and feature a striking use of color that can only be described as vampiric. His works are often displayed in coffee houses around the Silicon Valley.

You may view this and other of Román’s works by visiting his studio on the World Wide Web.

Revision Details

Penned, January 1996 -- The original story came to me during final edits on the sequel, Resurrection. At first I held it back as encouragement to anyone who made it all the way through the other two stories.

First posted, October 1997 -- Finally posted to the A.B.A-R newsgroup. Updated e-mail address and added Divisadero Street link.

Converted to HTML, April 1999 -- The last of the stories to make it to the web.

Updated the HTML, October 2006 -- Modernized the code, erradicated the frames, and also reverted bienaimé to the more common spelling, bien-aimé.


[Respect that was once given freely, having been demanded, is irretrievably lost.]

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and incidents in this work are fictitious or used fictiously. No identification with actual persons, places, buildings, products, or publications -- living, dead, or otherwise -- is intended nor should such be inferred.

The story and all its trimmings are protected by U.S. and international copyright law. Posting or republication is prohibited without my express, written permission in advance. If you would like the story for your site feel free to contact me, using the link below. I cannot give permission for reproduction of this story in any for-profit collection on any media; t’was written for love, not money. I will entertain writing to spec, however.

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