In the Course of Eternity

~3400 words :: Vampire Chronicles :: Louis/Mael, Louis/Lestat :: 9/16/02
The year is 1965. While visiting the Sonoma Compound with Maharet, Mael decides to make a rare trip into San Francisco, where he meets a lonely young vampire…


Sonoma Compound, 1985

He looked at me and then looked away without a glimmer of recognition. I could read his surface thoughts easily enough, but he hid what he was truly thinking. Or could it be that his mind was so full of the one he loved that there was no room for even a memory of myself?

I watched as he crossed the room to talk with Armand. There was room in his mind for Marius’s child, but not for me. I had been dismissed.

1965

I had been up in Sonoma with Maharet again. Eric was with us; I hadn’t seen him in several years and it was good to get caught up again.

Maharet was busy updating records which had been neglected for a few months – not that long a space of time, but with a family as large as hers things could get out of hand if left for even just a few weeks. The stream of births and marriages and deaths to be chronicled was never ending.

So we were left alone, Eric and I, and soon tired of each other’s company. After the third night, he left to go out on his own and I was wondering what to do with myself.

It was early in the evening still, not that long after the sun had gone down, and I decided that I would go into the city, into San Francisco.

In all the years I had come here to the compound with Maharet, I had never once been there. I usually amused myself indoors or spent the time out in the valley communing with nature, but tonight I felt a desire to be surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city.

I took to the air and willed myself towards the mass of lights that glittered over the bay. Touching down in a deserted alley, I smoothed my hair and clothes, although the wind was fairly strong down here, too, so I suppose I wouldn’t have looked too out of place even had I not done so.

It was only when I turned around that I realized I was not alone as I had first thought.

The alley was dark, with only the light of the moon to illuminate him, but with my enhanced vision I could see him perfectly. Beautiful. Stunning. Otherworldly, although I suppose that could be used to describe any of us, but more so for him. Indescribable.

In truth, I had never seen anyone, mortal or vampire, who could compare to this man before me.

His hair was black. Not a dark brown, but a deep, inky black. An absence of light, yet it shone, reflecting the moonlight. It contrasted starkly with his white skin. Not as white as my own, surely, but seeming all the more white for the blackness of his hair.

He called to mind Santino, but there was no comparison. Santino was beautiful, we all are, but next to this one he would look coarse, like a roughly made replica of perfection.

This one was clean-shaven, not even a hint of stubble beneath his flawless skin. He had not been taken against his will, but had been given time to prepare. A rarity, at least among those of our kind I had met.

And his eyes. Did this color exist in nature or was it some trick of the blood? The green of the forest, deep, dark, but shining with a myriad of lighter, brighter tones. Impossibly alluring. They were large, but not overly so. Each of his features seemed exactly right for him, his face the work of a master sculptor.

I don’t know how long I stared at him, but he was the one who spoke first. “I don’t believe we’ve met,” he said, closing the distance between us and extending his hand. “My name is Louis.”

He spoke English with a slight accent, which from his name I determined to be French. Up close I saw the fragility of his skin, so much closer to that of a mortal than my own. He could not have been even two hundred years old.

Then I remembered myself, he was staring at me, waiting for me to speak. “Mael.” I grasped his hand and shook, and it felt as I thought it would, hard yet soft. Young.

It was he who invited me, asking if I would like to talk with him and, when I nodded my assent, led me to a bar not far from where we met.

I was surprised that he would approach me in such a way when I was obviously much older and more powerful than he, but when I touched his mind I found that he wasn’t unaware of the danger, he simply didn’t care. If I was going to respond with violence, I would do so whether he acted civilly or not, was his way of thinking. He was used to violence; it didn’t frighten him.

We sat at the bar and ordered drinks, which went untouched. His body next to mine was warm, and I didn’t doubt that if I were to go back and investigate I would find a freshly drained corpse in the alley.

He didn’t question me on personal matters, nor on anything related to our kind. He talked instead of politics and literature and art, and I found he had an incredible mind to go with his beauty.

If I didn’t know better, I would swear he had put a spell on me.

“Would you like to come back to my apartment?” he asked suddenly.

“I would be delighted.” The words were out of my mouth before I knew it, but even had I given it thought, I would not have refused him.

He smiled at me as we left the bar. A beautiful smile, but his eyes were untouched. Hollow. Still, I couldn’t resist. I grabbed him around the waist and pulled him in close for a kiss.

His mouth opened eagerly under mine and he flicked his tongue out over my fangs, almost, but not quite, drawing blood. I plunged deep into his mouth and our tongues tangled and twined together. He shifted against me and I could feel his hardness.

He moaned and pulled back from me, his eyes glittering under heavy lids. Giving me a languid smile, he turned and started down the street.

“Mael?” he called, and I realized it was the first time he’d said my name. “Are you coming?”

I hurried to catch up with him, my breathing coming hard, but not from running. How was it that I had initiated the kiss, yet I was the one left stunned as a virgin schoolboy – or rather how I imagine a virgin schoolboy to feel, not having been one myself.

It was only a few blocks from the bar to his apartment and by the time we arrived I had regained control of myself for the most part.

He smiled at me again over his shoulder. Seductive and yet at the same time incredibly sad. One so young should not look like that; it made me want to protect him, stay with him forever.

The room was small and filled mostly with books. I looked around, taking in the rest of my surroundings. A desk and chair, bookshelves, and a bed were the only furniture to speak of.

Putting his keys down on the desk, he came around to stand before me. He seemed to be studying me, then he suddenly spoke. “I haven’t seen another of our kind for many years.”

I believe I was going to speak, but before I could even open my mouth, he was kissing me again and all coherent thought was driven from my head.

I slipped my hands up under his shirt and was surprised to find his muscles quite well defined, despite his slender build. I broke the kiss and pulled off his shirt as he began to unbutton mine.

Once we were both bare-chested, he proceeded to undo my belt and then his hand was down my pants, his long, thin fingers sliding around my already rock-hard cock.

My hands were all over him, exploring every inch of his torso. His chest was smooth, but there was a fine trail of hairs leading down from his navel into his jeans. Jeans that were straining at the seams to hold in his erection.

I pushed him back towards the bed and when the backs of his knees hit the mattress he let go of my cock and let himself fall backwards. He smiled as I stood looking down at him and he ran his fingers lightly over his chest as he raised one leg in a bold invitation.

It was then that I realized he’d taken off his shoes when we got in and I proceeded to do the same, divesting myself of my pants while I was at it. He watched me through hooded eyes the entire time, fingers still skidding over his chest and stomach, eventually coming to rest on the top button of his jeans, which he then flicked open.

The ache in my groin was matched by the keen throbbing of my fangs. I wanted him, wanted him more than I’d ever wanted anyone in my two thousand years. My cock was dripping pink-tinged fluid and for a moment I was sure I would come just looking at him.

He shifted and I noticed the pressure of his erection was causing the zipper of his jeans to come slowly undone. But fascinating as it was to watch, I couldn’t wait that long.

Positioning myself on top of him, I reached down and undid the zipper and he bucked up as his cock was exposed to the cool air. Beautiful, as perfect as the rest of him. I trailed kisses down his stomach and across the jutting bones of his hips as I pulled off his jeans.

I kissed my way back up, starting with his feet, then his calves and thighs, and finally up to his straining cock. I licked the leaking head, savoring the faint taste of his blood. He moaned and twined his fingers in my hair, urging me to take him in my mouth and I was more than happy to oblige.

My fingers caressed his hips and tugged at his balls as my mouth slid up and down his shaft. He writhed in pleasure, his heels and the fingers of his free hand digging into the quilt while he guided my head with his other hand.

When I felt him tense up, nearing his climax, I reached up and offered him my wrist. He bit down fiercely and I felt my cock twitch in response to his sucking. His muscles tightened even further as if he were pulling into himself with the tension. I relaxed my throat and took his entire length in, swallowing reflexively.

He cried out and came deep in my throat, filling me with his bloody seed. I continued to suck as his body shook with orgasm, not letting go until he was finally still.

The sound of his ragged breathing filled the room. His eyes were wild and unfocused, his face flushed. Incredibly, he looked even more beautiful than before.

Lifting him up, I turned him over on his stomach and spread his knees apart. Using my fangs, I sliced open my palm, covering my cock with blood. The feel of his muscles convulsing around me was exquisite as I eased inside.

He thrust back against me as I began to move, slowly at first and then faster, harder. His face was still flushed, his breaths coming heavy, and when I reached down I found he was hard again. When I squeezed his cock roughly, he squirmed, trying to move back onto my cock and forward into my hand at the same time.

“Oh God! Mael…please,” he moaned.

Hearing my name was enough to push me over the edge and I bent down and bit into his neck, letting his blood rush down my throat as I came inside him. Still in the throws of my own orgasm, I felt his muscles spasm and he came a second time.

“Stat!”

I froze at the sound of the unfamiliar name, willing myself not to be hurt.

I withdrew and collapsed next to him on the bed, pulling him close. He didn’t resist, but neither did he seem eager for my touch. His mind was elsewhere. I buried my face in his shoulder and wondered if he had indeed put some sort of spell on me. I had only met this man tonight, why should I be jealous if he called out another man’s name in the heat of passion?

“Mael?”

“Hmm?” I replied.

“You will stay the day, won’t you?” He seemed somehow very small and lonely just then.

“Of course I will.” I stood up and pulled down the covers, lifting him up when I needed to, then got back in and pulled them up over us.

“Thank you,” he whispered sleepily.

1974

I saw Louis many times over the following years. He never sought me out, much to my dismay, but he always seemed happy to see me.

We spoke of many things, shared interests and current events, but we never spoke of the man whose name he called out without fail every time we made love.

I had convinced myself that I didn’t mind, that it was enough to be with him, to know that even if he didn’t love me the way I wanted him to, he did love me as much as he could love anyone who wasn’t this ‘Stat’.

But it wasn’t enough and it was tearing me apart.

Finally one night when we were lying in bed waiting for the dawn, I gathered my courage and asked the question that had been burning inside me since that first night.

“Who is he, Louis?”

I felt him stiffen. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, his voice calm, despite the whirlwind of emotions I could sense in his mind.

“Yes, you do. You know exactly what I’m talking about.” I sat up, drawing my knees up to my chest.

“I’m sorry, Mael, I can’t… I can’t talk about it. About him.” He sat up, too, and put his arms around my neck. “Please don’t press it.”

“I can’t do this anymore, Louis.” I turned to look at him. “I love you.”

He just shook his head.

1975

“Louis, please! I don’t care if you still love him, but I can’t live without you.”

I could feel him on the other side of the door; he must have been sitting down, leaning against it.

“Please, just go away, Mael. I can’t see you anymore.” His voice was thick with tears; I’d never heard him cry before.

“But why? Why now? I won’t ask anymore questions, I promise!” I sounded pathetic even to my own ears. I couldn’t believe this was me begging and pleading and causing a scene in the hallway of his apartment building.

His voice was low, too low for mortal ears, but I had no trouble picking it up. “I thought if I told someone…if I talked about him, that maybe it would help me get over him, but it backfired!”

“What do you mean? Who did you talk to?” To my knowledge I was the only other of our kind he knew.

“A mortal, a boy who wanted to interview me. I told him everything, well not everything, but I told him about Lestat, and Claudia-” I didn’t know this Claudia, he’d never mentioned her before. Of course he’d never actually mentioned Lestat, either. Was this some woman Lestat had run off with? Louis didn’t elaborate and I couldn’t ask.

“But after, after I told him, it was like it had just happened and everything was so…” I suddenly realized he was crying again. Not sobbing, but I could smell the faint scent of his blood through the door.

“Louis…” I was aching to hold him, to comfort him, but he was shutting me out – he always had, but now it was physical as well as emotional.

“Mael, it made me realize how much I still love him. Even if he’s dead, I can’t… I can’t love you, don’t you think I tried?”

He was breaking my heart. “Louis, please…”

“Please just go away, Mael. I didn’t want to do this to you. I wanted to be able to love you, but I can’t, and I don’t want to hurt you any more than I already have.”

My own eyes were filling with tears and I was barely able to choke out a response. “Goodbye, then, Louis, but I will always love you. Remember that.”

As I turned and walked away I could hear him sobbing and could picture how he would be sitting, his legs curled up and his hair falling down over his face. I held my head up straight and made no move to wipe the tears as they fell, staining my white shirt pink.

1976

Maharet held the book out to me. Interview with the Vampire. I raised an eyebrow as if to ask what it had to do with me.

“This isn’t fiction,” she said by way of response.

“Not fiction? You mean, it’s an interview with a real vampire?”

I took it from her hand and flipped it open to read the jacket summary: a vampire tells his life story to a mortal.

“A mortal, a boy who wanted to interview me. I told him everything…”

“Louis…” I whispered.

“You know this vampire?” Maharet asked.

“Yes, I, we…” I answered, flustered.

“You should read it then,” she said as she left the room.

And read it I did.

As I reached the end, I expected some mention of myself, but there was none. It was as if I’d never existed. Instead there was some made-up ending about him seeing Lestat in New Orleans the year before.

I didn’t know what to feel anymore; my heart was empty.

Night Island, 1985

Lestat was back and the Queen was dead, with Maharet’s sister taking her place as the new Queen. Those of us who remained had gathered together on Night Island. We should have been rejoicing in being alive, but all I could think about was Louis.

I was bitter. Throughout the wait, while Lestat was with Akasha, Louis had not spoken one word to me, nor even looked my way. I felt again an overwhelming sense that it had all been in my mind, that to Louis I had never existed. And then when Lestat had walked into the compound with the Queen, Louis had rushed to embrace him without a thought for his own safety.

I couldn’t bear to watch them together now; I wanted nothing more than to leave this place.

Impossible. Instead I stayed as far away from Louis as possible, and as Lestat had locked himself in his room to write a book about the events, thankfully I was in no danger of running into him either. I often wandered out on the balconies, looking out on the sea, communing with nature as much as one could on this hectic resort island.

It was one such night when he came to me. I heard someone approach, but I didn’t turn around.

“Mael.” I bowed my head and let the memories wash over me with the sound of his voice. So soft, yet tinged with the steel of his will.

“I thought perhaps I’d become invisible to you,” I said, trying to sound light-hearted, but failing miserably.

“I’m sorry.”

“Yes.” It wasn’t so much an acceptance of his apology as an acknowledgement that he did indeed have something to apologize for.

“I didn’t know what to say, how to act. It was ill done of me to ignore you,” he continued.

“Ill done?” It sounded as if he’d rehearsed the speech for nights before this, which was probably the case.

“Yes, ill done,” he said wryly. “I am sorry, Mael, both for the way things turned out between us and for my behavior over the past nights.”

“I still love you.” I hadn’t meant to say that, but it just slipped out.

“Thank you,” he said softly.

When I turned around he was gone, back to Lestat.

In the course of eternity, ten years is a very short time to know someone, and an equally short time to learn to live without them. I just need more practice.