LaCroix’s, later that night…
Nick knocked on the door nervously. “Come in, Nicholas…” he heard LaCroix call from within. He sensed me, what else is new? the younger vampire thought ruefully as he opened the door. He found his master in the next room, seated in an armchair.
“Why must you be so mundane, Nicholas? You know you are welcome to come and go as you please. I don’t mind.” LaCroix said with a small, almost benevolent smile.
Nick ignored the comment. “I need your help. I’m in trouble,” he said in a rush.
“You most certainly are, Nicholas,” a voice said from behind him.
He whirled around to see a tiny girl with large doe-eyes staring intently at him. He knew her, and he knew her presence here could only mean trouble. “Delia…” he choked out.
She smiled coldly. “I’m pleased you remembered me. It saves us the trouble of introductions. And, of course, you are correct. You are in very deep trouble.”
“But not trouble that involves Enforcers,” Nick said quickly. “I merely mean that I fear I may have inadvertently lost the help I had in gaining my cure. That’s all, honest!” His expression gave him away. Nick just didn’t carry himself like someone who was telling the truth.
“Doctor Lambert, I believe her name is?” Delia responded coldly.
“How did you know about her?” Nick looked more worried now.
“I have my ways,” she said. “And I do believe your real problem has to do with this–or shall I say, these?” She handed him an envelope.
Inside were two photographs. He pulled them out, staring at them for what seemed like forever, smiled and said, “Chance does do a good job, doesn’t he?” He handed them back to her.
Even LaCroix, who had remained quiet until now, looked shocked. “And this doesn’t bother you in the least, Nicholas?”
Nick smiled sheepishly. “I was worried, to tell you the truth, but I had feared that a mortal had stolen them. It’s a great relief to know that it was one of us, especially an Enforcer.”
“Why is that?” Delia asked.
“Because… if it had been a mortal, we would have been compromised, but because it was you, Delia… you wouldn’t risk anyone finding out about our existence. Or would you?” he asked.
“No, I would not. However, this mortal, Chance Harper, knows about us, and this remains a problem,” she replied.
“You will carry out your plan, then, my dear?” LaCroix asked, interrupting them.
Nick glanced from one to the other, looking thoroughly confused. “What plan?”
Delia began to explain the mission which brought her to Toronto, and by the time she had finished, Nick had turned a sickly shade. He liked Chance, and it bothered him the Enforcers wished him dead.
“You can’t,” Nick protested. “Delia, he’s innocent. He really didn’t know about vampires until that night at the Raven. And he told me that he hadn’t planned on submitting those pictures of me and Janette. That’s why he developed that roll of film himself. I believe that.”
“Then how do you explain that every bar and club he’s been in since Seattle has been one of ours? I’ve been following him, Nicholas. I know where he’s been and what he’s been up to.”
“Then you must know about his luck,” Nick urged, remembering what Chance had told him about the oddities in his life.
“I count nothing as pure luck, Nicholas. All things happen by design, whether it be contrived by man… or by…” she said, smiling, “…whatever else might or might not be out there.”
“But you’ve seen the things that happen to him, right?” Nick asked more urgently. “Delia, you have to have seen. How can anyone with that kind of track record be anything except innocent? You can’t just kill an innocent man!”
Delia sighed in resignation. “Very well… I have seen this ‘luck’ you refer to, which is why I was willing to believe he might not be a problem. After seeing these photographs, however, I can no longer afford to let him live. Unless… Can you erase his knowledge of us, Nicholas?”
Nick hung his head, staring forlornly at his feet. She had to ask, didn’t she? “No. He is a resistor. I tried, Delia. Believe me. I tried.”
Nick looked miserable as Delia suddenly burst into laughter. She turned to LaCroix. “He tried! He tried! I wonder, Father… Is it not possible that all those years of drinking cow has dulled his capabilities? Perhaps he simply cannot hypnotize correctly anymore.”
LaCroix merely shook his head in amusement. It was a possibility he had not thought of before. “I suppose it is possible, my dear, although I could not say for certain.”
Nick looked hurt. “But it wasn’t just me who tried. He told me there was this girl at the Raven who tried it before I did. It didn’t work for her, either.”
Delia frowned, the laughter melting away from her lips. “Then he truly is a problem for our Community and must be dealt with… immediately.”
“Delia, please,” Nick begged. “I promise you Chance will not be a problem. He’s already promised me he won’t tell a soul about us. Besides, he doesn’t know all that much, really. Come on. Give Chance a chance.”
Delia’s laughter returned.