Le Sang Rouge

~7200 words :: Vampire Chronicles :: Louis/Lestat :: 10/2/02
Montmartre. One could not think of the small village without also thinking of its most famous – or infamous – attraction, Le Sang Rouge. (Note: Loosely based on Moulin Rouge. Commentary for this fic can be found here.)

Montmartre. One could not think of the small village without also thinking of its most famous – or infamous – attraction, Le Sang Rouge. It was a nightclub, a bordello, a kingdom of nighttime pleasures where the rich and powerful came to play with the young and beautiful creatures of the underworld. The most beautiful of these was Satine, the Sparkling Emerald of Le Sang Rouge.

The year was 1899 when Lestat first came to Paris from the Auvergne. For years he had longed to escape the dreariness of his family’s castle and the boredom of small-town life for the excitement of the big city. He wanted to write, to act, to sing – all of which his father looked down upon.

So one night he simply left his home and set off for the city, not knowing what fate had in store for him, but eager to find out. He had heard of the Children of the Revolution, poets and painters and actors whose very lives embodied the Bohemian ideals of truth, beauty, freedom, and love.

Lestat was especially interested in love. In fact just thinking about it got him quite excited and he had to stop and dunk himself in several small, cold streams along the way. Beauty, too, was high on his list of Very Good Things. Truth and freedom he wasn’t quite so keen on, but he figured sometimes you have to take the bad with the good and anyway he wasn’t one to dwell on such things for very long.

Such was Lestat’s state of mind when he arrived at Montmartre. He had little money, but was able to rent a small room near Le Sang Rouge. Just as he was settling in, he heard a strange crashing noise and the next thing he knew there was an unconscious man laying on the floor next to him.

Lestat was rather used to disposing of bodies, so he was just about to do so when he heard a voice calling him. “No, no! Stop!” It was a dwarf, waving frantically through the hole in the ceiling. “He’s not dead, just unconscious, you see.” He then went on to explain about narcolepsy and Argentineans, but Lestat had stopped paying attention.

The dwarf disappeared from the hole in the ceiling and a few minutes later reappeared at Lestat’s door. “Sorry about all that. My name is Toulouse, by the way.” He looked at Lestat expectantly, obviously waiting for an introduction.

“Oh yes. Lestat, Lestat de Lioncourt.”

The Argentinean was still unconscious. Toulouse looked at Lestat as if considering something. “How would you like to be in a play?”

“A play?” Lestat asked excitedly. This was exactly the opportunity he’d been looking for, although he’d never expected it to come in the form of a dwarf and an unconscious man plunging through his ceiling. However, he wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak, so with the Argentinean in tow, he followed Toulouse up to his room.

Half an hour later, he was wishing the rest of the playwrights would suddenly lose consciousness, too. It seemed the lot of them wouldn’t know a good lyric if it fell through the ceiling and hit them on the head.

“The hills are vital intoning the descant?” one sang.

“No, no, no. How about, the hills are chanting…” tried another.

Finally Lestat lost it. “Good God, do you realize how stupid that sounds!?” he shouted.

They all turned to look at him like a bunch of sheep.

“The hills are alive with the sound of music,” Lestat sang. “There. There’s your damn line. You can thank me later.”

“It’s perfect! Lestat, you’re a genius,” Toulouse exclaimed, quite overcome. The others all nodded their agreement while Lestat preened and began mentally rehearsing his Academy speech.

“You and Audrey should write this together!” the dwarf continued.

But before Lestat could even open his mouth, Audrey stomped out of the room shouting, “I’m not going to work with him!”

“Well then, how would you like to be our writer?” Toulouse asked, unfazed.

Lestat looked around the room. These weren’t exactly the sort of people he had dreamed of working with, but you had to take your opportunities where you could find them.

“I’d love to!”

Toulouse then proceeded to detail the plan for getting their play performed at Le Sang Rouge. “We can’t go to Zidler directly-” he began, but was soon interrupted by Lestat.

“Who’s Zidler?”

“Armand Zidler. The owner of Le Sang Rouge. He’s a very savvy businessman; he won’t take a chance on this unless he knows it’ll make money. No, what we’ll have to do is make our proposal to Satine, and have him convince Zidler.”

“Isn’t Satine a rather…odd name for a man?” Lestat asked.

“It’s not his real name, obviously. Haven’t you ever heard of a stage name?” Toulouse retorted.

“Of course I have!” Lestat replied indignantly, although in truth he hadn’t. He quickly tried to get the conversation back on track. “Anyway, how do we convince this Satine fellow then?”

“I’ll arrange for you to meet with him. I’ll leave the means up to you, eh?” Toulouse said with a wink.

“All right, we’re in,” Toulouse whispered to Lestat as they seated themselves. “Now just sit back and enjoy the show. I’ve arranged for you to meet with Satine later.”

Lestat’s first glimpse of Satine took his breath away. His skin was so pale as to be almost translucent and his hair, which fell in soft waves to just above his shoulders, was a deep black. His features weren’t overly feminine – he didn’t really look at all like a woman – but they did have a sort of androgynous quality about them. He was wearing black and green silk lingerie that made no attempt to hide his masculinity and thigh high green silk stockings. The overall affect was absolutely stunning, and Lestat could see why this man was the star of Le Sang Rouge.

“A kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a boy’s best friend.” Satine had started singing now, his voice a beautiful, clear tenor.

“Toulouse, who’s that boy on stage with Satine?” Lestat whispered jealously.

“Boy? Oh, you mean Zidler,” Toulouse replied.

“That’s Armand Zidler!? But he can’t be more than seventeen, tops.” Zidler had the face of an angel, with his wide, innocent eyes and auburn curls. This was the man behind Le Sang Rouge?

“Yes, well he inherited the business from his father, Marius,” said Toulouse. The strange emphasis he put on the word father made Lestat think that perhaps Monsieur Zidler was not quite as innocent as he looked. He cocked an eyebrow at Toulouse and the dwarf replied, “Yeah, if those two were really father and son, I’ll eat my hat.”

“Talk to me Army Zidler, tell me all about it!” Satine shouted and then started singing again. “There may come a time when a lad needs a lawyer…”

“But diamonds are a boy’s best friend,” Zidler chimed in, a slightly pissed off expression on his face, which Lestat put down to having been called Army.

Satine’s singing continued. “There may come a time when a hot-boiled employer thinks you’re-”

“Awful nice,” Zidler leered and Toulouse had to hold Lestat back to keep him from jumping out onto the floor and punching the boy’s lights out.

“But get that ice or else no dice,” Satine sang.

Just then Toulouse stood up and, in what Lestat would have sworn was a quite deliberate manner, spilled his wine on the man behind them.

“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Toulouse exclaimed.

“Well don’t just stand there, clean it up!” said the man angrily. Lestat couldn’t get a very good look at him, but he appeared to be somewhere in his sixties or seventies and from his accent was obviously an Englishman.

While all this was going on, Lestat could see Satine and Zidler engaged in conversation out on the floor. Zidler looked over to where Lestat and Toulouse were sitting and then said something to Satine. When Zidler turned away, Satine looked over and waved right at Lestat. Surprised, Lestat waved back. Perhaps Toulouse described me to Satine when arranging our meeting, he thought.

Their meeting… The more he saw of Satine, the more he was looking forward to it. Toulouse’s words came back to him, “I’ll leave the means up to you, eh?” This might turn out to be quite a night, thought Lestat with a smile.

He was still smiling to himself when Satine came up and asked him to dance. Up close, he saw for the first time Satine’s eyes, which were a bright, deep green. Lestat had never seen eyes like that; they weren’t the weak, watery color one usually saw, or mixed with the browns and yellows of hazel eyes. They were pure green.

Once out on the floor Satine whispered in Lestat’s ear, “So I hear you’ve taken an interest in our production.”

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Lestat replied rather vaguely, not being able to think quite clearly with Satine in his arms. “Erm, I understand we’re to have a private meeting after the show.”

“I’m looking forward to it,” Satine purred and then, spinning Lestat back off to his table, returned to the show.

Lestat was feeling very Bohemian just then, what with all the beauty and love. Especially the love. He watched entranced as Satine continued his show, now sitting on a swing that had descended from the ceiling. Much better than having an unconscious Argentinean descend from the ceiling, Lestat thought.

Suddenly Satine faltered and fell backwards off the swing. Lestat gasped and stood up as if to rush out and catch him, but someone else had gotten there first. His last sight of Satine was of him being carried off by a blond man in his early thirties.

Zidler hurriedly tried to smooth things over, pretending it had all been part of the show, but Lestat wasn’t so easily fooled. Satine had fainted.

It wasn’t that much later that Lestat found himself in, of all places, an elephant.

“Interesting place you’ve got here,” he said to Satine.

“Armand’s tastes, not mine,” the other man replied. “Wine?”

“No thanks, I’m really not that thirsty.” Lestat eyed Satine. He’d changed out of the lingerie – much to Lestat’s disappointment – and was now wearing a dark green silk robe. “Why don’t we just get down to business?”

“Why not indeed?” Satine replied seductively, coming to stand before Lestat. He ran the backs of his fingers along Lestat’s jaw and then dropped his hand down to Lestat’s collar and began undoing the buttons.

“I, erm…” Lestat stammered. Somehow this wasn’t quite what he’d imagined. He’d definitely seen himself as the seducer, not the seducee. “Ah, did…did you want to see my stuff?” He managed to croak out.

Satine brought his other hand between them and cupped the by now quite impressive bulge in Lestat’s pants. “Yes,” he whispered breathily in Lestat’s ear. “I do,” squeeze, “want to see,” rub, “your…stuff.” Satine gave him another squeeze and then pulled back, gesturing toward the bed.

“Right,” Lestat said, as all thoughts of dwarves and Argentineans and plays vanished from his head.

Kissing Satine, Lestat pushed him back onto the bed. His hands went to the robe’s belt and once he had it undone he found the dark haired man was wearing absolutely nothing underneath. “Beautiful, you’re beautiful,” Lestat said, kissing the hard planes of Satine’s stomach.

God, he could get down on his knees and worship Toulouse right now for introducing him to Satine. …Toulouse? It seemed he was supposed to be doing something for the dwarf… Whatever. It could wait.

Lestat quickly divested himself of his clothing and then stood for a moment at the foot of the bed admiring Satine. He was aching with need for this man, this creature who was so perfect it seemed impossible he was only human. Lying there he looked like a young god…

It was Satine’s voice that brought him out of his reverie. “What are you waiting for, Big Boy?” What was he waiting for? Lestat practically pounced on Satine, kissing him fiercely.

Thirty minutes later, as they were both lying sweaty and exhausted on the bed, Satine snuggled up to Lestat and said, “I can’t believe it. I’m in love; I’m in love with a handsome, talented, young Duke.”

“What’s this about a Duke?” Lestat asked sleepily.

“Not that the title’s important, of course,” Satine continued.

“But I’m not a Duke,” Lestat replied. “I mean, my father’s a Marquis, but he disowned me quite some time ago.”

Satine shoved Lestat away and stood up, running a hand through his mussed hair. “If you’re not the Duke, what’re you doing here?” he asked suspiciously.

“I, um…” Lestat tried to remember just exactly why he was here. Something about a play. “Toulouse-”

Almost before the dwarf’s name was out of Lestat’s mouth, a look of pure horror dawned on Satine’s face. “No… Don’t tell me you’re one of Toulouse’s oh-so-talented, charmingly Bohemian, tragically impoverished protégés!”

“Erm…” Lestat offered by way of excuse.

Satine made a strangled sound of extreme annoyance and began putting on his robe. Just then there was a knock at the door and Zidler called out, “Satine, my dear, the Duke’s been waiting.”

Looking around desperately and seeing no way of escape, Satine kicked Lestat onto the floor and hissed, “Under the bed. Now! And take your clothes with you!”

Lestat did as he was told, although it was a bit of a squeeze.

The door opened and Zidler entered with the Duke. Oh good Lord, thought Satine. This was the real Duke? Why were all the young, handsome, talented ones impoverished Bohemians? But Satine was, above all, a professional, so there was no hint of his disappointment when he greeted the Duke.

“My dear Duke, I’ve been waiting for you,” he said coyly.

“Satine, this is David, the Duke of Talbot,” Zidler said.

“Charmed.” Satine smiled, offering his hand.

The Duke clasped it to his breast and declared, “The pleasure is mine.” Only then did his eyes take in Satine’s rather disheveled state – mussed hair, flushed cheeks, hastily donned robe… Zidler was also looking rather pointedly at the bed with an expression that demanded an explanation.

Satine stepped closer to the Duke so that they were almost touching. Gesturing towards the rumpled and somewhat sticky bed, he said in a sultry voice, “I got so…excited…by the thought of your visit that I just couldn’t help myself.”

The Duke’s eyes bulged, as would other parts had he been a few decades younger. From behind the Duke, Zidler raised an eyebrow in patent disbelief.

“Boss!” came a voice, breaking the tension.

Zidler turned to the newcomer. From his vantage point under the bed, Lestat could see it was the same man who had caught Satine earlier. “What is it, Daniel?” Zidler asked.

“Huh? Oh, nothing, I was just wondering where you were.”

“Well, as you can see, I’m quite busy with Satine and the Duke here-”

“I think our good friend the Duke would rather be alone with Satine,” Daniel paused and then added with a leer, “I know I would.”

Under the bed, Lestat writhed with jealousy, thinking of Daniel’s hands all over the unconscious Satine. His Satine! He was quite pleased a moment later when Zidler hit Daniel on the head for his remark.

“I do think you’re right, though, Daniel. I think our Duke would be happier if we were to make our exit now.” He turned to leave, motioning for Daniel to follow. “Come, you’ll have to be punished.”

Daniel, for his part, tried not to look too excited at the prospect.

Once the door was closed, Satine turned his attention back to the Duke. “I’m so glad you’ve decided to invest in our little venture. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.”

“I’m sure I won’t,” the Duke replied once he’d found his voice.

Satine turned and was about to lead the Duke over to the bed when he saw Lestat glaring out at him from underneath. Grabbing the Duke by the arm, he pressed close to him and whispered, “My dear Duke, you must know how eager I am to,” he paused, “get to know you better, but I think this is going to fast for me.”

“Too fast? But, I,” said the Duke confusedly.

“You’re very powerful. Your animal magnetism frightens me. When I’m with you I feel I will lose control.”

There was a short burst of muffled laughter from under the bed and the Duke looked around trying to figure out where it had come from. “Did you hear that?” he asked.

“Hear what?” Satine replied. “I hear only the rapid beating of my heart.” He guided the Duke towards the door. “I think it would be best if we waited until opening night to take our relationship any further.”

“Opening night?”

“Yes, opening night. It will give me something to look forward to. Inspire me to give my best performance. Yes,” Satine replied, quite pleased with himself for thinking up all this tripe on the spur of the moment.

“W, well, if you’re sure…?” the Duke asked hesitantly.

“Yes, yes, I’m sure. It’s the only way,” Satine said, pushing the Duke out the door and closing it behind him.

Once the Duke was gone, a very dusty Lestat crawled out from under the bed and began to get dressed.

“Do you realize how much trouble you’ve caused? The Duke is a very important person, and I-” Just then Satine fainted and Lestat watched in horror as his legs folded and he crumpled to the ground. He looked so impossibly fragile.

Rushing across the room, Lestat picked Satine up and carried him over to the bed. He laid him out and gave him a small shake. “Satine? Satine, wake up! This is no time to be playing Sleeping Beauty…although…” Having given himself the idea, Lestat couldn’t resist bending down to kiss him.

Just then the door burst open and the Duke stepped in. “I forgot my ha- who’re you!?” he exclaimed.

“I, uh,” said Lestat.

“Oh, Duke, just the man I wanted to see!” said Satine, having come back around. Pushing Lestat away, he stood up. “This is our writer.”

“Writer? That didn’t look like writing,” the Duke replied suspiciously.

“I was so inspired by your presence that I decided a rehearsal must be called immediately.”

“Why were there just the two of you then?”

Before Satine could think up a clever excuse, Toulouse and his band of merry men dropped down onto the balcony. “Sorry we’re late for the rehearsal!”

At that moment, Zidler and Daniel appeared and Zidler, not seeming to notice that his pants were unbuttoned and his shirt on inside out said, “My dear Duke, I’m terribly sorry.”

“It’s all right, Armand,” Satine said quickly, “the Duke knows all about our emergency rehearsal.”


“Yes, his presence so inspired me that I immediately asked Toulouse to stage a rehearsal this very night.”

“Where’s Audrey?” Zidler asked.

“Audrey couldn’t hack it,” Lestat replied. “I’m the new writer. Lestat de Lioncourt, at your service,” he said with a bow towards the Duke. “Perhaps you’ve heard of me?”

“Er, no, actually,” said the Duke.

“Ah well, England always was a little behind the times,” Lestat said depreciatingly.

“So there you have it,” Satine said, trying to push the Duke back out the door.

“Maybe I should watch the rehearsal? After all if I’m going to invest, I should at least know what the story is,” the Duke said.

“The story…” Satine repeated, for once at a loss for words.

“It’s about love!” shouted Lestat.

“Yes, love,” Toulouse chimed in.

Lestat, Toulouse, and the rest of the Bohemians then proceeded, as far as Satine could see, to toss off whatever random ideas came to mind, ending up with something about Indians and courtesans and evil maharajahs.

“Did you get that?” Lestat asked the Duke, who shook his head in bewilderment.

“Okay, I’ll run through it one more time. There’s a sitar player and a courtesan who fall in love. Evil maharajah tries to tear them apart. Sitar player’s sitar is magical and only speaks the truth. It gives the game away, but the sitar player and courtesan manage to outsmart the maharajah in the end.”

“Um, okay?” The Duke still looked rather confused, but had apparently decided it was better to just play along than have Lestat try to explain things again.

“Oh, and it’s called Lestat the Magnificent! Wait, no, no, that’s totally wrong. It’s called…Spectacular, Spectacular!”

“Sounds smashing,” Zidler said, ushering the Duke out of the elephant. “Why don’t we go whip up those papers right now?”

As they were leaving, Satine took that as his cue to get rid of the rest of the crowd. Lestat cast a hopeful glance in his direction, but Satine just shook his head and shoved them all out the door.

Later that night, Lestat was back in his apartment thinking thoughts of…Satine, who else? He was supposed to be writing the script, but it just didn’t seem to be going anywhere. Toulouse and the others were out partying and he was just thinking maybe he should join them when he happened to look out the window and see Satine on the roof of the elephant.

Five minutes later he was climbing up its side using a handy rope he’d found. Must be the one Toulouse used earlier, he thought.

Satine was leaning against the railing and looking up at the stars. “I thought you would come,” he said without turning around.

“What, you were waiting for me?” Lestat asked, surprised, as he came to stand at the railing.

“No,” the other man replied with a smile, “but I thought you’d come.”

“Well, I just wanted to say I’m sorry about all that business with the Duke. I had no idea, really.”

Satine waved it off. “Don’t worry about it.”

“Um, about what you said. When you thought I was the Duke…”

“You mean about being in love with you?”


“Lestat, I’m a prostitute.” His mouth twisted into a bitter smile. “I get paid to make men believe what they want to believe. I was doing what I needed to in order to get the Duke to invest.” He looked away. “Nothing more.”

“I love you!” Lestat exclaimed.

“No you don’t. You don’t even know me.”

“Haven’t you ever heard of love at first sight?”

“There’s no such thing.” Satine turned and began to walk back down the stairs towards the balcony. “There’s no such thing as love for someone like me.”

Lestat darted after him and grabbed his arm, turning him so they were facing each other. “I won’t accept that.”

“You haven’t any choice,” Satine replied coldly.

“Don’t give me that! There was something between us; I felt it.”

“Well I,” he pulled his arm out of Lestat’s grasp, “didn’t.”

“You’re lying,” Lestat insisted. To prove his point, he pushed Satine up against the wall and began kissing him. Satine’s attempts at resistance stopped after about thirty seconds as he gave himself over to the kiss.

When Lestat finally pulled away they were both struggling for breath. Satine’s hand crept up to Lestat’s face and he caressed his cheek. “It’ll never work,” he said softly before making his way back inside the elephant.

“You don’t know that!” Lestat insisted, following him, but Satine just smiled sadly. “We can make it work.”

“Such confidence,” Satine said mockingly.


“Louis. My name is Louis.” He paused. “At least with you I, I don’t want to be Satine.”

“Louis, I love you,” Lestat said, his lips hovering mere millimeters above Louis’.

“Make me believe it,” Louis replied.

Lestat kissed him again, this time tenderly. First his lips, then moving to his eyelids, his cheeks, his ear, his neck, and down to the sharp line of his collarbone, covering him in kisses.

Louis’ hands were busy with the buttons of Lestat’s shirt, his fingers lingering on the skin after each one was undone. When he reached the waistband of Lestat’s trousers, he tugged the shirt out and undid the last remaining button.

They quickly disrobed, falling together onto the bed in their eagerness. It was beautiful, Lestat thought, moreso even that their first time together, because now he knew just how much he loved Satine. No, Louis. He loved Louis.

Afterwards they lay sweaty and exhausted, clinging to each other in silence until sleep finally claimed them.

That same night the Duke was meeting with Zidler to work out the terms of his investment.

“If I am to invest in your little venture, I will require some sort of security – a contract binding Satine to me.”

“I’m not sure I understand what-” Armand began, but he was interrupted almost immediately.

“I will require the deeds to Le Sang Rouge!”

Armand was stunned. The Duke was practically foaming at the mouth at the very mention of Satine and now he wanted the deeds? The man was definitely more than a little unstable; how could he put his beloved Le Sang Rouge in the hands of someone so unstable? Especially if the Duke wanted Satine to himself.

The scene in the elephant earlier had been very suspicious, and while Satine may have managed to fool the Duke, Armand was convinced something fishy was going on there. If Satine made one mistake, Le Sang Rouge would be forfeit.

“My dear Duke,” he started, but was once again interrupted.

“Don’t think I’m naive, Zidler. Either I hold the deeds or the deal’s off.”

Armand thought about it. He would just have to keep an eye on Satine, that was all. The man was a professional, after all, he should have no problem dealing with the Duke. “I understand completely,” he said, picking up a pen to sign the documents.

“But Boss!” Daniel exclaimed from his place behind Armand’s chair.

“This is none of your business, Daniel. It is between the Duke and myself.”

Construction began the very next day to convert Le Sang Rouge from a dancehall into a proper theatre and the entire place was a beehive of activity as everyone prepared for the show.

As the weeks passed, Lestat, Satine, and the Bohemians worked on the play non-stop and the dancers of Le Sang Rouge spent hours rehearsing. For his part, the Duke tried to get Satine alone, but the young man invariably begged off saying he had to rehearse.

The nights he spent with Satine were the happiest of Lestat’s life, but little did he suspect that fragile peace would soon be broken. Satine had put the Duke off yet again, refusing his offer of a romantic dinner for two by insisting that the scene he and Lestat were working on was of the utmost importance and couldn’t be put off another night.

Armand was just dismissing the actors for the evening when the Duke stormed up to him. “Oh my dear Duke, I’ve got everything set for the dinner tonight.”

“Eat it yourself, Zidler, he’s not coming. Yet another rehearsal with that damn writer.” The Duke paused for a moment as if considering something. “I’m getting impatient, Zidler. If I don’t see Satine tonight, I’m withdrawing my investment.”

Just then Armand looked up at the balcony and saw a sight that confirmed all his earlier suspicions – Satine and Lestat caught in a passionate embrace. “I will insist Satine take the night off,” he said to the Duke.

“All right then, but this is your last chance,” the Duke replied, heading for the door.

As soon as the Duke was gone, Armand headed up the the second floor. “Satine!”

“Oh, Armand! You startled me.”

“I saw you with Lestat just now.” Satine’s eyes widened at Armand’s words. “You must break it off with him, the Duke is getting suspicious.”

“There’s nothing to break off, Armand, it’s just a fling.”

“The Duke is paying for you to have your fling with him, and he’s expecting you at dinner tonight. He holds the deeds to Le Sang Rouge, Satine, I need you to play your part.”


As Armand left, the sound of Satine’s coughing filled the hall. It was getting worse.

Satine’s coughing continued long into the night and he was unable to make it to either the Duke’s dinner or his assignation with Lestat. Only Zidler’s quick thinking managed to keep the Duke under control, but opening night was fast approaching and the Duke would not be put off any longer.

Just when it looked as if things couldn’t get worse came the doctor’s diagnosis. Satine was dying of consumption, but was unaware of his own condition.

“We must keep it that way,” Zidler said to the woman tending the sleeping Satine. “The show must go on.”

“Where were you last night?” They were in Lestat’s room, Lestat sitting slumped on the bed and Louis leaning up against the windowsill.

“I was sick, I told you.”

“Don’t lie to me, Louis. You were with the Duke, weren’t you?” Lestat asked bitterly.

“What if I was? Lestat, that can hardly be news to you. You were aware of the situation coming into this,” Louis replied, his voice rising.

Lestat’s sullen silence filled the room. Unable to stand it anymore, Louis said, “We have to end this, Lestat.”

“Alright, fine. I won’t be jealous.” But they both knew it for the lie it was as soon as the words left his mouth.

“That’s not the problem. If the Duke finds out…”

“We’ll just have to be more careful then,” Lestat said, walking over to Louis and embracing him. “Okay?”

Louis clung tightly to Lestat, his head on the blond’s shoulder, but didn’t reply.

It was the final scene; the sitar player and the courtesan managed to outsmart the evil maharajah and were just about to live happily ever after when the Duke suddenly shouted, “I don’t like this ending!” The cast fell silent as he continued, “Why would the courtesan choose the penniless sitar player and not the rich maharajah? It doesn’t make sense!”

Lestat decided it was time to take things into his own hands. Getting up from his place on the sidelines, he went over to where the Duke was sitting in front of the stage.

“Look, Dave,” slinging his arm around the Duke’s shoulders, Lestat flashed him a smile. “I can call you Dave, right? Great. Look, the thing is this play is very Bohemian, very modern, yes? And what the audience wants to see-”

The Duke jerked Lestat’s arm away. “I don’t care about the audience or your Bohemian ideals. I am the one paying for this and it is what I want to see that you should care about!”

Lestat’s eyes glittered dangerously and he was about to open his mouth to say something further when Satine interrupted, “The Duke is absolutely right. It’s his money, he should have more of a say in the production.” Satine walked seductively over to the Duke. “Why don’t we discuss it further tonight over dinner?”

Once the Duke had left, Satine took Lestat aside and hissed, “Don’t mess this up, Lestat. You promised.”

“Don’t sleep with him,” Lestat pleaded.

“I’ll do what I have to. It’s my job.”

Later that night the Duke finally had Satine to himself in the Gothic Tower. Dinner stood untouched on the table as Satine wandered out onto the balcony, followed closely by the Duke. “My dear Duke…” He paused for a moment before turning to face the Duke. “David,” he whispered, running his hands along the Duke’s lapels, “pay no attention to Lestat. He’s a fool.”

Drawing closer, Satine put his head on the Duke’s shoulder so he wouldn’t see the tears shining in his eyes. “He fancies himself in love with me and I indulge him because he’s a talented writer…nothing more.”

The Duke put his hand on Satine’s head possessively. “My dear, if this production goes well you will no longer have to be tied to Le Sang Rouge. I can make you famous.”

Lifting his head up, Satine looked out from the balcony and saw Lestat in the square below. Unable to stop himself, Satine let out a small gasp. “No,” he said, pushing the Duke away.

“No?” The Duke looked down and saw Lestat. “I see. So that’s how it’s going to be then, is it?”

“No, I…”

“You made me believe you loved me!” the Duke screamed. Dragging Satine back inside the tower, he began tearing at the young man’s clothes. “You will be mine!” Satine tried to push him off, but the Duke was surprisingly strong for an old man.

Suddenly the door burst open and Lestat and Daniel rushed in. “Louis!” Lestat exclaimed, rushing to his lover’s side and snatching him away from the Duke. Daniel, meanwhile, had grabbed the water pitcher off the table and slammed it into the side of the old man’s head.

“Oh, that probably wasn’t the best idea,” he said as the Duke slumped to the floor. “Armand’s not gonna be happy with me. Not happy at all…” Strangly enough, he didn’t really sound all that dismayed by the prospect.

“Louis, are you alright?” Lestat asked.

“I’m sorry,” Satine said, his voice muffled as he sobbed against Lestat’s chest. “I can’t do this anymore…”

“We’ll run away, just the two of us. I don’t care about the play or fame or any of that. I just want to be with you.”


“It doesn’t matter! None of it matters, Louis, as long as we’re together.” Turning to Daniel, Lestat added, “Daniel, take Satine to his dressing room and help him pack. I’ll get my things together and meet you there.”

“The Boss is really not gonna be happy with this,” Daniel said, putting his arm around Satine and leading him out of the room.

Satine was busy packing his things when Armand arrived with Daniel in tow.

“Daniel! I told you not to tell him,” Satine said.

“Sorry. You know how he is.”

Satine grimaced and continued packing. “I’m leaving Armand. I’m leaving with Lestat and you can’t stop me.”

“I’ve just been to see the Duke, Satine.” Armand’s voice was cold. “He was not very pleased with the way things went tonight, to say the least.” He grabbed Satine by the arm and forced the dark haired man to look at him. “If you don’t do his ending and sleep with him tomorrow night, he’s threatened to have Lestat killed.”

Satine blanched. “Killed? No, you can’t scare me.” Wrenching his arm from Armand’s grasp, he turned back to his suitcase. “We’ll leave here. He won’t be able to find us.”

“You think so?”

Whirling to face Armand, Satine shouted, “I don’t need you anymore, Armand! You and Marius, you made me believe I’m only worth what I can bring in, but Lestat doesn’t care about that. He loves me for me!”

“Goodbye, Armand.” He tried to shove his way out the door, but Armand stopped him.

“That’s not all, Satine,” Armand said softly. “You’re dying. Dying of consumption. Think about it; you know it’s true.”

“No…” Satine looked over at Daniel, but the blond just shook his head and looked away.

“Send Lestat away or the Duke will kill him.”

“I can’t. He won’t leave; he won’t listen to me,” Satine protested.

“Make him believe you don’t love him. You’re a professional, Satine, surely you can do that much?”

Tears rolled down Satine’s cheeks as he collapsed against the doorway. “No…”

“It’s the only way to save him, Satine.”

Lestat turned to see Louis watching him from the doorway. “God, you’re so quiet I didn’t even realize you were there,” he said. Louis just watched him silently, his expression unreadable. “Louis? What’s wrong?”

“I can’t go with you, Lestat. I’m staying with the Duke.”

“Staying with the huh!? What the hell are you talking about!?” Lestat demanded, crossing the room to stand before Louis.

“The Duke has offered me everything I ever dreamed of, on the condition that I never see you again,” Louis continued, ignoring him.

“I’m pretty sure what you said just made absolutely no fucking sense whatsoever.”

“We’ve been through this before, Lestat. You can’t say you didn’t know what I am.”

“What was that back there in the tower then?”

“I’ve made my decision. Le Sang Rouge is my home,” Louis said, turning to leave the room.

“Fine then, go!” Lestat shouted, throwing his suitcase after Louis’ retreating form. “See if I care!”

Sitting down on the bed, he put his head in his hands, biting his lip and trying to hold back the tears. Tears, he told himself, of rage and frustration. Not of sadness. Never that.

While he was still sitting there, Toulouse poked his head in the door and asked, “Lestat? Is everything all right? I thought I heard-”

“Go away, Toulouse. Just go away.”

Not taking any heed, the dwarf crossed the room and sat down next to Lestat. “Tell me what happened.”

With that, Lestat broke down and told him the whole story. The Duke, the tower, their plans to run away, and then…

“Satine loves you, Lestat, I know he does. There must be a reason.”

“There’s no reason,” he said dully.

“No, I won’t accept that. There must be something we don’t know,” Toulouse insisted.

Opening night. Le Sang Rouge was filled to bursting with an audience eager to see Satine’s acting debut, or just eager to see Satine period. Lestat was not among them. Instead he stood outside the dancehall-turned-theatre trying to decide whether to believe Toulouse or Satine.

He desperately wanted to believe the dwarf was right and that Satine did still love him, but it seemed too good to be true. It was more likely that Satine had tired of him and decided that the Duke, with his money and connections, was simply a better catch. It seemed to confirm his worst nightmares, his secret fears.

But he couldn’t just leave it like this, could he? He’d lost track of how long he’d been standing out there until he heard the strains of the final song. The play was almost over; he had to make a decision.

He would see Satine one more time. Once more and then, if he couldn’t convince Satine to change his mind, he would leave Montmartre and Le Sang Rouge forever.

The music was fading as he pushed open the doors and headed for Satine’s dressing room. He would be in there, Lestat knew, waiting to go back on for the grand finale. Lestat paused, leaning against the door, and waited for Satine to notice his presence.

He noted with concern that the dark haired man’s ethereal beauty seemed somehow heightened, fevered; he seemed to be shaking with the effort of keeping himself under control. And then in the same instant that Satine turned and caught sight of Lestat, the coughing began. Horrible racking coughs that shook his entire body, and Lestat realized this was what he had been trying so hard to control moments before.

Rushing to his side, Lestat held him close until the coughing subsided. Satine pulled back, trying to hide his face from Lestat, but he was unable to hide the small trickle of blood that had escaped his lips.

“…Louis?” Lestat asked. “Is this, is this what you were hiding?”

“Go away, Lestat,” he replied wearily. “Please, just go away. The Duke…” His words trailed off as he turned to the mirror, dabbing away the blood.

“I don’t give a flying fuck about the Duke; I’m asking about you!” Lestat shouted.

“I’m dying, Lestat.” His voice cracked as he whirled to face the blond. “I’m dying and the Duke is going to kill you if he finds you here. Please, just go.”

“You don’t have to die, Louis. I can save you.”

Louis eyed him doubtfully. “There’s no cure for consumption, Lestat.”

“But no, there is! Same thing happened with my mom and she’s fine now.”

Louis was now looking at him like he was certifiably insane, but Lestat didn’t let that deter him. “You’ll see,” he said, grabbing Louis by the shoulders.

Fifteen minutes later, Louis was looking around the room as if seeing it for the first time. “What have you done to me? What are you?”

“A vampire, and I’ve made you one, too.” Lestat paused for a minute, brows drawn together in a frown. “You mean you never noticed? The only coming out at night, the fangs, the drinking your blood? None of that tipped you off these past months?”

“I, well, I thought it was a little strange, yes, but I thought it wouldn’t be polite to ask. I thought it was just a strange fetish or something.”

“Huh,” was Lestat’s only reply.

“So now…now I’m dead? Have to drink blood to survive, that sort of thing?” Louis asked.

“You’re telling me you really didn’t suspect a thing?” Lestat asked, not answering his question.

“I told you, no!” Louis said, losing patience.

“Well there’s no need to yell at me, jeez,” Lestat complained.

“Look, I’m sorry, I’m just a little in shock here. One minute I’m dying, the next I’m a vampire; it’s all rather unsettling really. You could have at least told me beforehand.”

“Quit whining. Come on, let’s get out of here before Zidler and the Duke come looking for you.”

“Oh, the Duke!” Louis exclaimed, apparently having forgotten about that whole situation.

“Yeah, the Duke. He can’t really hurt us, but I don’t really feel like dealing with him anymore.”

Just then, Daniel poked his head in the door and said, “Satine, there you are! What’re you doing? You’re about to be on again.”

“Oh, don’t worry about it, Daniel,” Satine replied. “I’m running off with Lestat. Tell Army for me, okay?”

“What? No, you can’t. The show-”

“Danny, look, we’ve really got to fly here. You know how Zidler can be when he’s angry,” at this Daniel’s eyes glazed over in an expression of what Lestat was almost certain was absolutely nothing like fear, “and I’d really rather not be here when he finds out Satine is gone.”

Meanwhile, Satine had been packing his bag and now signaled to Lestat that he was ready. “Right,” Lestat said, grabbing his hand. “We’re off then.”

“You’ve been a great friend, Daniel!” Satine called out with a quick backwards wave as he followed Lestat down the hallway.

“Say goodbye to Toulouse for me!” Lestat added.

Daniel sighed. “Armand’s really not gonna be happy about this.”