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DISCLAIMER: The following stories are all non-profit, amateur efforts not intended to infringe on the rights of Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, David Geffen, Warner Brothers, Geffen Pictures, Knopf, Randomhouse, the city of New Orleans, the U.S. Consititution, any copyright holders that I might not have thought of or even a certain author who shall remain nameless but who has a set of initials which are, coincidentally enough, just one letter off from spelling "B.S."

Sins of the Past Post 4
by the Brat Queen

Acts 8-9

*word*=italics, used for emphasis, thoughts or dreams.
_word_=emphasis in thoughts or dreams.
:word or sentence:=something spoken telepathically.

Time: Early the next night

Lestat stuffed his hands into his pockets and whistled as he walked through the Mayfair garden. He could still feel the delicious heat from the blood of his latest victim coursing though his body. And, if he didn't think about it too hard, he could still feel the wonderful pleasure leftover from his sleep that day.

Should he tell them? Should he let the others in the house know that Louis had spoken to him that day, told him that everything was fine?

Nah, let them suffer. After all, Louis wouldn't have been in trouble in the first place if they hadn't insisted on doing nothing. Besides, Louis wasn't home yet. As far as Lestat was concerned that meant that everyone responsible had a short time left to live upon this earth before he decended on them like the wrath of God and made them pay for taking his beautiful Louis away.

The others could be told when they needed to know. Say, after Louis was back. That should give them enough time to stew in their own guilt. Served them right.

A quick mental search of the house told him that those inside were in the kitchen. Lestat walked around to the back and entered the kitchen directly. He found Rowan, Jesse and Daniel sitting around a table, looking over the Talamasca files.

"What? No one else wanted to come to the party?" Lestat asked, sitting down in a chair and proping his feet up on the table.

"You're in an awfully cheerful mood," Daniel said. "What gives?"

"Aren't I allowed my few, brief moments of happines? Honestly, Daniel, to listen to you I'd think you expected me to go around slamming people into walls or something. Where is Marius by the way?"

"He and most of the others are out taking care of personal details," Jesse said. "They wanted to make sure that they didn't leave loose ends lying around for our beloved enemy to find."

"Fair enough," Lestat said. "Why are you here then? I thought the files were useless."

"There was nothing obvious in them," Rowan said. "But I know something's here. I can't put my finger on it, but I know there's something we're overlooking. Plus, there are a lot of odd things about these files."

"Like what?" Daniel asked.

"Louis' file, for example," Rowan pulled it out. "Here Jesse, perhaps you can explain this to me. The entries on him are so, I don't know, spotty."

"How do you mean?" Jesse asked, looking over Rowan's shoulder.

"It's like a cycle of feast and famine," Rowan said. "Look here, in 1976, when he had his interview with Daniel, there's practically nothing on him. Then a couple of years later there's every detail you ever needed to know. Where he lived, what he wore, what he did, who he liked to eat--"

"I could have told you that one," Lestat smiled.

"Gods, Lestat, I could have lived my whole life without hearing that," Daniel sighed. "Is there anything about your life that's too private or will we be hearing more lovely details like that in the future?"

"I don't know Daniel, ask me that after I find out how the seats of my Porche got marked up like that."

"Lestat, please, Jesse and Rowan want to talk about the files," Daniel said, a light blush appearing at his collar. "Ladies, please continue."

"If you boys are through," Jesse said. "I can explain this part of the file. Not too long after Louis' story came out the Talamasca assigned a new researcher to his case. I think his name was Trevor Rezton or something like that. I never met him personally but from what I understand he got really involved in it. They finally took him off the case when they found out he was breaking into houses in an attempt to find Louis when he was sleeping. That's when I got assigned to it. He wasn't too thrilled with that. Apparently he had a thing for Louis. It got so bad that they threw him out of the Order."

"Where is he now?" Rowan asked.

"Well, if I had to make an educated guess, I'd say he's probably holed up in some movie theatre mooning over Brad Pitt," Jesse grinned. "Not that I'm implying that that's a bad thing."

"Jesse, if you liked his performance so much why don't you go and find him?" Daniel asked. "After all, if you can tongue kiss the rock star over here in the middle of a concert I'm sure you can show your appreciation to a mere mortal actor."

"I guess I just don't have the savior faire around vampires that you did as a mortal, reporterboy," Jesse replied sweetly.

"That's different," Daniel said. "I wasn't acting like some hormone crazed groupie."

"Oh no?" said Jesse. "Then what would you call someone who follows a vampire all around the world in the hopes of getting into bed with him?"

"From what I hear that would be: Yes, Daniel, oh yes Daniel, I love it Daniel, *more* Daniel," Lestat said.

"What!" Daniel yelled. "How did you--?"

"If you want privacy," said Lestat, "you should have Armand turn off the security cameras in your bedroom. And while you're at it, tell him to stop taping over the movies I lend him. I lost a perfectly good copy of The Bride to the sight of the two of you ruining a box spring."

"At least I'm not writing books about the first time I've used a bathroom in 200 years!"

"Oh, how you wound me!" Lestat said, making an exaggerated show of clutching his heart. "I cannot respond to such witty reparte! Talk about Oscar Wilde!"

"If I may interrupt," Jesse said. "We do have serious business to discuss. Could you two possibly act your age?"

Lestat mimed dropping dead.

"You can see how the idea of all of us living together on an island lasted a good hot minute," Jesse said to Rowan.

"I've just been sitting here thanking God I have no brothers and sisters," Rowan said. "Cousins yes, but nothing like this."

"But that's the fun of it all," Lestat said. "We are blood relations of a type. Deep down we're one happy family."

"Currently in therapy," Daniel added.

"Of course," Lestat said. "Now I believe we were talking about Louis' file?"

"Yes," said Rowan. "Here's something else that I don't understand. There are entries about Louis' life during the late 18th century but they were written in 1830. How could they know what his life was like after the fact? Lestat's file is like that too."

"That's actually an interesting story," Jesse said. "In early 1830 someone broke into the motherhouse in London and stole quite a few files. They were never able to get them back and the best they could do was to try to remember what was in the files and write it down again."

"Who did it?" asked Daniel.

"That's the truly interesting part, no one knows. There were only a couple of witnesses who saw anything and their stories conflict. One of them said it was a burgler while the other said it was a poltergeist. They were never able to figure it out."

"Wait a minute," Rowan said and she began searching through the other files. "I seem to remember reading something about that in one of the files. Someone made a list of what files were taken."

"You think it might be our friend?" Daniel asked.

"Could be," Rowan said. "Here we are. Yes, files about the Mayfairs and files about Lestat, Louis, Armand and the Theatre of the Vampires were taken. Whoever wrote this also noted that a few other random files were taken but that it was only the most current files. It doesn't say anything about Ramses though. Maybe this is a dead end."

"Ramses was underground until the early 20th century," Lestat said. "The files weren't there to get."

"What if they went back?" Jesse asked. She took Ramses' file off of the pile and searched through it. "Bingo! In 1932 there was another break in and someone took the current file on Ramses and Julie and--get this boys and girls--they also took files about the Mayfairs, Ash, Santino, Marius, Mael, Eric and Pandora. The file also says that, while there were no further break ins, during later years copies of the files as they were updated would also disappear. The latest mention of this is last year."

"Everyone," said Daniel. "I'd like to introduce you to our connection."

Time: The same night

Louis awoke slowly, drifting up from the blackness like a diver floating up to the surface of the ocean. As he awoke his senses gave him information about his surroundings so that before he opened his eyes he knew he was still in the cabinet that he had hid himself in when the sun rose and that he was alone.

He got up from his position on the floor, stretched, checked again to make sure no one was outside, opened the cabinet door and stepped out of it into a deserted hallway.

And it was deserted. The stone walls were dusty and dank and the light from the torches along the walls did not reveal a single form of life save for the bugs that crawled along the floor.

So why did Louis feel so afraid? He didn't understand it but there was a sense of foreboding within him as though the Sword of Damocles hung over his head. Something told him that he knew were he was but the suggestion of what that place might be was too terrible to think of so Louis did not dwell on it long enough for the actual name to form in his head.

To prove to himself that he was not where he thought he was he walked down the hallway which, though it looked just as his memory recalled, was not what his memory said, to the stairwell which was where it should be though this was not the place it was in, up to the passage that he'd been through so many times though he'd never been here before to the doorway that did not exist.

Memnoch's Temple. Juliano's chambers.

A stab of fear sliced through Louis' body and he wrapped his arms around his chest to try to quell the draining feeling that had made its home right next to his heart. He began to breathe in short little pants as his lungs were no longer capable of taking in the air around him.

"No. It's not real. It can't be," he whispered.

But it was real. All of it, including the carvings on the chamber door that Juliano had loved so much. It was Memnoch's Temple. Like a demon it had risen from the dead exactly as it was before.

In a daze Louis stared at the carvings on the door, focusing all his attention on them lest his mind turn to his surroundings and he lost himself alltogether. With one hand he reached out and traced the patterns over and over again, letting his fingers slowly give him the information that he did not want to have.

Finally, he began to feel calm and centered again. The memories of what had happened here, though still close, had been forced back from his conscious mind and the tension slowly slid out of his shoulders. He took a deep breath and laid his hand on the door to relax.

He jumped back in shock as the door swung open from the pressure of his hand. Again he took deep breaths to calm himself before taking a step forward and looking though the doorway.

It was Juliano's chambers all right. The furniture and artifacts within were exactly the same but Juliano was not inside. Instead, Louis saw a beautiful immortal woman with dark black hair and eyes and beside her was a handsome male vampire with long brown hair and deep brown eyes and what in the candlelight appeared to be a pair of brown gloves on his hands.

"Ah," said the woman. "It appears that your friend has arrived, my dear."

"So he has," said the man, with an accent Louis recognized as being old French. "Louis, please come in and join us."

Louis took a few steps forward so that he was barely in the room. He looked all around for signs of Juliano but there were none to be found.

"You're right, my darling," the woman said. "He is very pretty. Too bad I cannot stay and get to know him better. Later perhaps. Aren't you going to introduce me before I leave?"

"Bien sur," the man said. "Louis, I would like you to meet her majesty, Cleopatra."

She extended her hand and Louis, driven by years of gentlemanly instinct, kissed it. She laughed, a low throaty laugh.

"Oh yes, I shall definately like to know this one better. But I shall leave you alone now. We will have plenty of time for this... later." She smiled at Louis then left the room, shutting the door behind her.

"But who are you?" Louis said. He sensed that this vampire was as powerful as he was but he couldn't stop himself from asking. "How is it that I am here?"

"I must apologize for that," the man said. "Louis, that was an utter fiasco and you must belive me when I say I never meant for it to happen that way. You see, I knew that you might not come if I asked you since all you've heard about me are lies so I told Aiken and Lasher to bring you here. Unbeknownst to me, Trevor stepped in when I was not here and took advantage of the situation. I swear to you, Louis, as soon as I heard what happened I imediately went to rectify things but you had already gone. Lasher told me that you had not left entirely so I knew things were not completely wrong. I left Trevor's punishment for you to decide. It only seems fair since it was you he tried to hurt, not me."

"But who are you?" Louis repeated.

"That's right, I forgot that you and I have not yet met formally," the man said. He bowed to Louis in the old style. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Nicolas de L'Enfant."

"That can't be!" Louis gasped. "Lestat said you were dead."

"Correction. Armand said to Eleni that I was dead, Eleni said to Lestat that I was dead and Lestat said to most of the world that I was dead. But, as in most cases, Armand lied."

"Why would he do such a thing?" Louis asked.

"Because he thought it to be true," Nicolas said. "Perhaps I should explain. Not long after the Theatre des Vampyres formed I realized that, so long as it was under Armand's control, it would never be that which I wanted it to be. You saw this, Louis. It was a mockery of eveything I created it for. The other vampires agreed with me but Armand would not let me take control again. He locked me in his tower and kept me away from the rest of the group. They tried to reason with him but he would not listen. Finally, I knew that I had to give up the Theatre and get away from Armand. Knowing that he would not willingly let me go, I tricked him into letting me out of the dungeon long enough for me to fake my own death. The other vampires would have killed Armand had they known I died while under his 'care' as he called it so he made up the story about my commiting suicide in a great pyre. He said there were other vampires there so that he would not be the focus of the blame and, to remove suspicion from himself entirely, he even told them that he and I had reconciled and that he had given back to me that which he had taken. You can see how true *that* was."

Nicolas held out his hands and, to his horror, Louis saw that he was not wearing gloves at all and that his hands, unlike the rest of his body, were the natural dark color of the natives that lived near the temple.

"Mortal hands, Louis. For centuries I've had to live with mortal hands. And I must constantly replace them for they never last long. But even this would be alright if only they did not hurt me so," Nicolas let out a hissing sound. He shook one of the hands and began to rub it, finger by finger.

"How did you know to do this?" Louis asked. "I was told you had no instruction. Was this a lie as well?"

"No, that was the truth," Nicolas said, still rubbing his hand. "They left me in complete ignorance. I learned most of what I know now from the Talamasca. I met one of their members not long after I left the continent and, in his eagerness not to die, he let me into the Motherhouse and showed me the files on our kind. That's how I learned about you, Louis. The more I read about you, the more I wanted to know you. I only wish it hadn't taken so long for us to meet."

"I'm surprised," Louis said. "I thought you would hate me since Lestat--"

"You thought I would be mad since Lestat ran into your arms after leaving me?" Nicolas said, interrupting Louis. "That I would be jealous? Well then, I must thank you for giving me the opportunity to clear up one of the great misconceptions that our dear Lestat has put forth in that gastly novel of his. And it is this: he and I were never in love! I never loved him and he never loved me. Our entire relationship was based on two things: bad wine and good sex. We went to Paris together because it was cheaper with both of us paying for things. It disgusts me that he wrote those lies in that horrid little book and he was made into a hero about it! The mortals even created a fan club for him, did you know that Louis? We're the ones who should have a fan club!" Nicolas let out a bark of laughter. "The 'I've been fucked by the vampire Lestat' fan club. The members can send in their money and get a secret decoder cock ring in the mail."

Louis blushed and looked the other way.

"I'm sorry, Louis," Nicolas said. "You must forgive me. I've been spending the past few years with only Aiken and Lasher for male companionship and I forget that there are men such as you who prefer to carry themselves with a bit of class. I won't say such things again. I wouldn't want to offend you, Louis. I respect you too much."

"You do?"

"Of course I do, Louis! Ever since I read about you in that Talamasca file, I've respected you and wanted to know you," he laughed. "Of course, when I heard about how you put Lestat in his place, I wanted to know you even more."

"Put him in his place? How do you mean? Where did you hear this from? Not his novels, surely."

"Ironically enough, yes," Nicolas said. "I usually don't bother reading his trash but Cleopatra convinced me to read a part of that latest one of his, what was it called? Oh yes, Body Thief. The part where he came begging to you to give him his immortality back and you turned him down. I loved it!"

"But that is not the latest book, Nicolas," Louis said. "There was one after it, where he explained how I came to be how I am now. Did you not hear of it? Have you not read any of the other books?"

"I already know the story of how you got your powers, Louis," Nicolas said. "You got hurt fighting that idiot Juliano and one of the older vampires gave you their blood. Not that it mattered, you were strong enough already. It was your story that was important, Louis. Your book that I read and which moved me the most."

"Mine? How so?"

"Because I could have written it myself, Louis. Our story is the same, mon ami. We were forced into this life by the whim of another, had everything we ever loved ripped away from us and only we saw the truth of it all. Only we know this life to be the evil that it is and when we tried to tell the others they refused to listen and put us down for trying. But all of that will end now, Louis."

Nicolas put his hands on Louis' shoulders and smiled. The smile disappeared, though, as he looked at Louis. "Louis, you're so pale. Have you fed yet? No, of course you haven't. Would you like me to get a mortal victim for you? Or maybe I should call Cleopatra back, she would love it for you to drink her blood. Have you ever drunk immortal blood, Louis?"

"No," Louis said. "I've never met an immortal before this week."

"What a shame. You should try it, Louis, it's nothing like mortal or vampire blood. Their bodies create the blood as fast as we can drink it. No need to clean up countless mortal bodies after ending a fast. And their powers, Louis! Strength like you cannot believe--it was Cleopatra's blood that made me as strong as you are, mon ami--and powers beyond those of what vampires can give you. Louis, they are not weak to the sun. They thrive in it! Light is to them what blood is to us and once you drink of their blood you gain that power as well.

"It's true, Louis. I tried it. One morning, instead of hiding away from the dawn, I stood naked by the window and let the light hit me. It was beyond imagining! Lasher pulled me away before the sun fully rose but for that brief moment, I knew heaven. That inner fire that filled me as each ray caressed my body, filling me with light--"

"Stop it! Please I cannot bear anymore!" Louis wrapped his arms around himself and began to shake. "I-I cannot stay. I must go. I can't stay here. I must leave this place!"

"No, Louis! That would be the worst thing you could do!" Nicolas took Louis by the arms and looked him in the eyes. "I know what Juliano did to you, Louis, but you must face that fear. This is only a place, Louis, a thing. It was Juliano who made this a place of evil and he's gone forever, Louis. He can't come back."

"N-no, you don't understand," Louis said, tears streaming down his face. "What he did to me--you can't understand. And the memories, oh God the memories. It's like a flood and I can't s-stop them. Let me go, please let me go."

"Shh, Louis, memories can't hurt you," Nicolas said, gently. He led Louis over to a couch and had him sit down. Nicolas then sat beside him. "You lived through the reality, how could the memories be worse?"

"Because they don't stop. I try and I try but I can't make them stop and they go on and on and get worse and worse and--" Louis' voice cracked. He covered his eyes with his hand and his body shook with sobs. "This place is awful. The memories are everywhere here. Outside I could forget but here--You don't know what it's like, no one knows what it's like. I'm all alone and the memories won't stay away and no one understands."

"I understand, Louis," Nicolas sighed. "Louis, you are starving for blood, that's why you can't fight these memories off. Please, let me get a mortal for you."

"No," Louis said, his voice almost too soft for Nicolas to hear. "All I want is to go and to make these memories go away. Please let me go, Nicolas, please. Let me be alone."

"I'm not going to leave you, Louis," Nicolas said. "Fine, if you won't let me get a mortal for you then you leave me no choice."

Louis felt Nicolas pull away and he was suddenly terrified that Nicolas had finally listened to him and was going to leave him alone in this awful room. He was about to speak when the sharp, metallic smell of blood hit his nostrils. He pulled his hand away from his eyes and saw that Nicolas had bitten into his arm, not near the wrist where the mortal hand was, but in the middle of his forearm. The scent of blood filled the room. Louis took a deep, shuddering breath as he saw a drop of Nicolas's blood slowly seep out of the wound and glide down Nicolas's arm. Nicolas was beside him again, sitting closer than before. When he spoke, Louis could feel his breath on his ear.

"Drink it, Louis," Nicolas whispered. "Take your fill."

Louis put his hand on Nicolas's elbow and moved his arm closer. Pushing Nicolas's sleeve up higher, Louis leaned forward and caught the escaping drop of blood on his lower lip. Then, with his tongue, he traced the trail of blood back to its source. He dipped his tongue into the wound before fastening his lips around it entirely. He sucked at it gently, then with increasing strength as his mouth once again felt the cycle of being empty then full, empty then full.

"That's it, Louis. Go on. I know what it's like."

As Nicolas said this, a vision appeared in Louis' mind and took hold of him as the heat of the blood flowed through his body. He saw the mortal Nicolas, trapped in a cage under Les Innocents, sick and confused, bite marks covering his body as the Children of Darkness danced around him. He saw Nicolas as a vampire, locked in a dungeon, weak, starving for blood as Armand laughed, tormented him with fire, then tied him down, took out and ax and--

Louis' head jerked away. The vision faded. He was barely conscious of licking the blood off his lips or of the wound on Nicolas's arm healing. He looked at Nicolas, sitting there, watching him, waiting to see what he would do.

"I didn't know," he said finally. "Nicki, I'm so sorry."

Nicolas shrugged. "How were you to know? It's not important, Louis. It's in the past, it doesn't matter anymore. What matters is the here and now. And now is when it ends, Louis. We're going to put a stop to this, see that it never happens again. All of us, Lasher, Aiken, Cleopatra, me and you."

"What do you mean 'it ends'?" Louis asked. "Nicki, what are you talking about?"

"I'm talking about ending the chain of lies, Louis, taking away the happy face that the others have put on what we are and letting the truth come out. That's why I rebuilt this temple. What better place for mortals to see the truth than in this former temple of lies?"

"You can't hurt the mortals, Nicki, I won't let you. Let them live their lives in peace."

"How can they live their lives in peace when everyday they walk amoung evil and do not know it?" Nicolas asked. "The charade must end, Louis! Before another Juliano rises and claims to be God or worse, another Akasha who slaughtered thousands with a thought and made them beg for more."

"Akasha's dead, Nicki," Louis said. "It's better now, can't you see?"

"Better? Why is it better, Louis, because it is the same as before? Or can't *you* see? The revolution happened and Napoleon is in charge! The pigs rule the farm, Louis, nothing has changed! Mekare became the queen and we are kept under the same dictatorship as before. Unless they are stopped we will be trapped forever in their web of power and deceit."

"It's not like that, Nicki, you don't understand."

"Oh don't I?" Nicolas got up from the couch. He took Louis by the hand and led him to a nearby table on which a single candle burned. "So you can tell me that I am wrong? That Rowan tried to stop Ash and Morrigan from breeding mortals out of extistance? That Ramses shared his elixir with the doctors of the world so they might use it to heal the sick? That Maharet told you that by drinking the blood of an immortal you could do this?"

Nicolas put Louis' hand into the candle flame. Louis tried to pull away but Nicolas would not let him. Louis watched in facination as the flame burned around his hand, yet he felt nothing. Nicolas then took Louis' hand out of the fire and showed it to him. It was unharmed.

"You've only taken a bit of my blood, Louis, and see what it has done. Imagine what Cleopatra's blood could do for you. Maharet knew this, Louis. She knew that there was a way to make this pain stop but she told no one. She kept it to herself and because of that the rest must live in fear of the light. It has to stop, Louis. It has to come to an end. The plan is in place, it has already begun. But before it goes any further, you must tell me: Will you come, or no?"

Louis stared at his hand, watching the candlelight flicker over it, carressing the curves that bore no scars. He closed his hand then, his fingers folding over the palm so that he could not see it any longer and only then did he speak.

"What would you want me to do?"

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