"Lousy place keeps a man from what's his. I'm doin this for all husbands, every--hey!"

Lucien Lacroix grabbed the gun, and chuckled.

"Mister Freud was right. They do make wonderful substitutes."

"Hey, man--you give me what's mine!"

"So odd. I was about to say the same thing."

With Lacroix, it is almost a redundancy to say that this man was never seen again, by anyone.

The second fastest man on Earth ran up to the guard outside the clinic.

"Speedy delivery. Two pints, one from me, and one from Soon-Lee. Sorry I'm late, sir." "I'm good. Much obliged, Max. This'll keep me going for a month."

Unlike the Pierces' blood, the Klingers' blood had only traces of the strengthening but deadly genetic spore. In tandem with his odd nature, the guard could make use of it. He watched his old clerk speed off.

"Come on out, people. I can feel you."

Nick and Natalie did just that, as did Lacroix.

"Hello, Nicholas Knight!"

Nick looked over at the rejuvenated man, happier than he had ever seen him.

"Hello, Sherman Knight."

Nick turned on Lacroix.

"How--could even you sink this low? This man is my grand-nephew---outside even your rights to bring over without my permission!"

Lacroix gave Nick the answer he had waited 70 years for.

"I had every right, Nicholas. He is your grand-nephew--and my Grand-Son. Andre, your sister's son, was mine as well."

Nathalie shook her head.

"That's impossible. Even you would have drained her before you were done, even if it were possible to impregnate her."

Lacroix shrugged.

"You are correct, Doctor. And yet you are wrong. You see, I was not a vampire when I helped Fleur concieve Andre'."

Nick's eyes went wide.

"Are you saying--you became human?"

Lacroix nodded.

"Recall, my son. When you were new to this life, you asked me why we couldn't become wolves, or mists. Recall now my answer."

Nick did just that.

"Before---we can be something else, we must first fully embrace that which we are. So--you can just cross back over at will?"

"A difficult--and temporary transformation, Nicholas. Hardly your long sought cure. Fleur's thug of a husband was beating her, and she did not desire his death, so much as the child he was screaming for. I cared for her, as you well know--so was Andre' born. Out of respect to you as her brother, I chose to maintain my silence til now. Sherman--be well. I am pleased that you are happy."

"I still got a long ledger, Grampiere, but some of its starting to right itself. One day, I'll earn my place back with Mildred."

Lacroix chose not to dispute these high ideals, and flew off.

"Hey, Nick? You don't mind me using the name, do ya?"

Nick was a bit overwhelmed, but smiled at the man who once was Sherman T. Potter.

"Not so long as you carry it with pride, Sherman Knight."

Nathalie raised a finger.

"Hey, I brought some of that digestive enzyme I made. Sherman, it lets folks like us make use of real food."

Sherm slapped his hands together.

"Hot damn! There's a hot dog place around here---I swear it makes me salivate, despite the changes. I get off at four hundred hours. Whaddya say?"

Nick grinned.

"Heavy on the ketchup, of course. Sherman, we are what we are--and we are a family."

As they chatted, a face in the far distance observed their banter.

"One seeks redemption, that he may become human again, and to pay back society for the wrongs he has done. The other seeks the same--but as a vampire. Together or apart, they are truly a family, seeking some form of ultimate release and salvation from their endless worlds of -- Forever Knight."


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