Janette DuCharme
Oh... I want him! 

     I was of noble blood, but not of noble birth, and my life was hell.  I found myself
trapped in a Paris brothel, lying down for any man that would pay Daviot's price.  As
a woman, I had no rights, no ownership, even of my own body.  A woman belongs
to her father until she is married.  Then she belongs to her husband, but if she produces
no heirs, she is passed to a servant or to a brothel to make way for someone else.
And then she belongs to a brothel-keeper--as I did, with no hope of escape, no hope
of anything better.  No hope at all...
    I thought I would die there in Daviot's brothel, at his hands for daring to rebel.  I
did not.  One night, it became too much for me, and I ran screaming for help from a
drunken soldier, who thought he could take what he wanted...just because he was
a soldier.  No one would help me.  The nuns spurned me, and that drunken soldier
caught me and beat me--when he appeared.  He came out of nowhere, and he
killed that soldier.  I was frightened, and I was not.
     He came to me in the brothel not long after and offered me freedom.  His name was
LaCroix.  He said that no mere mortal would ever again touch me without my consent.
His words were sweet and seductive.  He smiled and said that the best revenge
was living forever.  Anything was better than my life, so I took what he offered.  I
became a vampire.  And it was true, I was free of mortal man.  And Daviot was my
first kill.  His blood was hot and sweet in my mouth.  Ah, the best revenge isn't living
forever--the best revenge is...revenge.
     But I changed one cage for another, for while no mortal man could touch me, LaCroix
owned me just as Daviot had.  I was still not free, though he seldom treated me ill. I was
happy despite my gilded cage.  I had been with LaCroix two-hundred years when one
night in a tavern, I saw the crusader.  Oh, how I wanted him.  He was so beautiful.
There was such passion in him, such possibilities.  And LaCroix gave him to me.  His name
is Nicholas de Brabant.  He is all passion and emotion, love and hate.  And I loved him.
We lived together a long time.  For nearly a hundred years, we lived as husband and wife,
but his passion and love frightened me, smothered me.
     After all, I was still a woman of the night, unsure of love and frightened of such commitment.
Oh, his kiss was so soft, so beautiful, his eyes the deepest blue, but I needed space, I needed
freedom.  And I left him.  But I did not find the freedom I sought.  What I found was that
once I had lost his love, I could never regain it.
     Oh, there were dalliances, and moments of passion, but never did he again give me his
heart.  And while I lives were twined together as children of LaCroix, it was never the same.
     Nicolas was never truly happy as a vampire.  Always there was doubt.  The crusader
in him fought against the black coldness that a vampire must live with.  He loved and hated
killing.  And over the centuries it slowly tore him apart.  He could not live as a vampire any
more.  He could not.
     And LaCroix could not accept that.  They fought all the time.  I learned to tune it out.  If
I did not, I would end up in the middle of it all.  I hated that.  In time our ways parted more
and more, and as the world became more liberal and woman gained more freedoms, so did
     LaCroix left me to my own devices as he became obsessed with Nicolas' rebellion.  I
started a club in Toronto.  It became a haven for the strays, the lost ones.  I enjoyed it
more than anything.  At last, I found my niche.
     Then Nicholas showed up in Toronto.  He said it was time to move on.  Why he chose
Toronto, I don't know.  Perhaps because I was there, perhaps not.  He had been there
some years before he came to see me.  And that was only because LaCroix had finally
followed him there.  Those two fight an endless war.
     Nicolas played at being mortal, so badly did he desire it.  He was a 'homicide cop'.  I
used to find that endlessly amusing.   But somehow he drew me in again, and I found myself
falling in love with him again, falling under his spell.
     I discovered I was becoming infected with his disease.  I began to think that perhaps
a 1000 years was indeed too long to live with a cold heart.  I liked my life.  I did not want
this, so I left and went to Montreal to find myself.  Instead I found what Nicolas has so
desperately searched for.  I found love, I found humanity, and I found my mortality.  Ah,
how warm it is to be mortal, to be human.  To love and be loved.  The shell cracked and
the woman I had never been allowed to be found the light.  But my love's death was the
price for my mortality, and as the vampire burnt itself out, I committed one last murder.  I
killed the man who had killed my Robert.
    Unfortunately, he was in Toronto.  And I killed him in Toronto.  In Nicolas' jurisdiction.
And at last, Nicolas and I faced each other.  You see I had not said goodbye when I left,
and he was hurt.  I asked for his help, and he hesitated, but a bond of 800 years cannot
be ignored, and he helped me.  You can imagine his reaction to finding out I was mortal.
The desire and envy raged across his face, and yet still he helped me.  He helped me save
Robert's son Patrick, but when I was mortally wounded, he could not let me go.
     When you live as long as Nicolas and I have, those you are close to are few, and the
bond so very, very close.  I wanted to die, but he could not let me go, and he brought me
back across.
    I was very angry.  After the long healing process we had gone through in the last few
years that had at least filled in the chasm created when I left him, it was ripped open again.
Wider than before, and I left without saying goodbye.  I am not sure if I want to see him
again, or when.  I am very angry.  And yet, Nicolas has at last given me the gift of true
freedom that I have never had.  Since he is now my master, I am free of LaCroix.  I am
truly free, for Nick will never ever try to own me or force me to his will.
   I am free.  Nick has made me free.  But the price is my mortality.  It is very ironic,
is it not?

      What we buy when we give up the daylight is a new set of rules.

Janette DuCharme / Characters / delggren@loftworks.com