This fantasy was inspired by Cousin Jules. All it takes is two words to 
start my mind a-fantasizin', so let this be a lesson to you.

     The Judge
     Copyright 1997
     by Bonnie Rutledge

     You march sleepily into the courtroom after yet another weekend-long
marathon session of case preparations. Things have not been going well. In 
fact, you have a sneaking suspicion that the other side has some sort of 
shady pull on the judge's motions. Every objection your side makes is over-
ruled, but if one of the other team's lawyers sneezes, his honor rushes to 
wipe the man's nose with a lotion-enhanced tissue. It seems very fishy to 

     Shuffling up to your desk, you take a seat, then let your forehead drop 
to meet the cool table surface. You haven't slept nearly enough. You haven't 
spoiled the dogs nearly enough. And Nunkies...

     A slight whimper escapes your lips as you consider the lack of time 
you've had to think about Lacroix. Frankly, you've just been too tired to 
fantasize lately. If this keeps up, people are going to start confusing you 
for a non-addict...

     One of the lawyers joins you at the table, also looking tired, but 
obviously ready to burst with an exciting piece of news. "He's gone!" the 
lawyer exclaims.

     You gracefully conceal a yawn with one hand and ask calmly, "Who's 
gone? Not the bossman with my paycheck, I hope. I've got a vacation coming 
up. It *will not* be cancelled."

     "Naw. The old judge has been sacked. Word leaked to the higher ups that 
our opposition's client was a major campaign contributor to the judge last 

     "So we've been appointed a new judge?" 

     "Yes. And not only that, this case has been shifted to the night court 
docket. Go home, get some rest, and be back here at eight."

      You manage to catch eight straight hours of shut eye, some of which 
was actually filled with dreams of Lacroix massaging your lower back, 
gradually rising to your shoulders, then licking your face...

     But you open your eyes and realize it's the dogs, urging you to take 
them for a walk. Drat!

     Arriving back at the courthouse, you're looking much better than you 
did this morning. The night air seems to be alive in anticipation, and you 
take one last deep breath before ducking into the stuffy artificial 
atmosphere of the indoors. Something interesting was about to happen; you 
had a gut feeling that excitement was primed, ready to be unleashed.

     You were almost late, and there was already a crowd of bodies talking 
and taking up the seats. Again, you take your place at your side's desk, 
giving your employer a cold look as he chastises you for your virtual 
tardiness. You busily picture how much fun it would be to virtually torture 
him when the baliff gives the announcement for everyone to rise for...


     Your knees feel slightly rubbery as you gaze up at the stand. Nunkies 
towers over the courtroom, completely dignified in his black judge's robe as 
he sternly surveys the courtroom. Your mouth drops open slighty in wonder, 
and you know you must be drooling (and drooling is usually considered 
unprofessional conduct), but you don't care. Lacroix is right in front of 
you, he looks magnificent, and he is The Judge. 

     The courtroom is given permission to sit, and Lacroix immediately 
orders counsel from both sides to approach the bench. The lawyers move to 
stand before him, and Nunkies frowns at them as though they were lichen 
clinging to a stone. "I don't like your type of lawyers. You will leave this 
courtroom at once. I will decide the outcome of this case with your 

     "But...but I object Your Honor!" the opposition argues. "My assistant 
couldn't make it to this night session! She couldn't find a babysitter!"

     "I don't think......that you care what the outcome of this 
trial is......I've already discussed this with your client, 
you'll find that he agrees completely."

     All of the lawyers nod dumbly, walk back to their desks, collecting 
their files so they could leave.

    "I believe that leaves only myself and Ms. Stafford. Could you join me 
in my private chambers, please?"

    You feel hot and tingly as Lacroix ushers you to his recently 
acquisitioned office space. As soon as you are alone, Nunkies divests 
himself of the black robe, revealing his traditional Armani underneath.
He offers you his arm, murmuring, "Are you ready to leave?"

    Eager for the excuse to run your fingers over his muscled frame, you run 
your fingers down Lacroix's arm before hooking your own around his elbow. 
"But I thought we were going to discuss the case in your chambers."

    "We are, we are. Like I said in my *private* chambers. We'll have to 
travel to my townhouse for that." With his free hand, Nunkies slipped a set 
of keys from his coat pocket and dangled them before you. "I know you love 
to drive the Jag, my dear."

    "Mmmmm..." You greedily grab the chain. This was getting good...very 

     You speed through the streets of TO, missing the gear shift only a few 
times , encountering Lacroix's muscled thigh instead. He didn't seem 
to mind, in fact, Nunkies seemed to believe turn about was fair play, and 
slowly wound a path with the tip of one long index finger from your ankle, 
along your calf, tickling behind then circling your knee, then higher, to 
where your fashionably short skirt had ridden up even higher on your legs as 
you sat down, then...

      "We're here!" you announce breathlessly, stopping the Jag at 
the curb in front of the townhouse. Lacroix's fingers immediately left your 

     He exited the Jaguar, then walked around to the driver's side to 
gentlemanly assist you from the car. Lacroix slipped an arm about your waist 
as he escorted you up his front steps, then into the front hall.

     "Now, then," Nunkies murmured languidly in your ear, the touch of his 
cool breath sending pleasant shockwaves along your every nerve. "It's time 
to explore the *intimate* details of this case."

     "You've gone to all of this effort for a private meeting with me," you 
say coolly, despite the sheen of sweat threatening to break out over your 
skin at the mere thought of exploring *Lacroix's* intimate details. "Doesn't 
that imply your intention to judge in my favor?"

    Nunkies has escorted you into his den, which is seductively lit. He 
offers you a choice of the black leather furnishings, if you would like to 
sit down. You shake your head, preferring to remain on your feet for the 
time being. It makes you feel prepared for any 'action' which may ensue. 

    Lacroix is standing in front of you, but a few inches to the side, so 
you feel the necessity to turn your head to the right and up slightly to 
look him in the face. You do, sucking in a startled breath as you discover 
that Nunkies has also tilted his head in your direction. His full lower lip 
hovers less than a centimeter above your mouth, close enough that, if you 
chose to, you could trace it with your tongue. You could catch that lip 
between your teeth and tug on it, drawing his mouth completely under your 
control. Your mind whirls with a hundred sensuous possibilities. Nunkies 
begins to whisper, his cool breath transforming the moisture (drool?) on 
your lips into an icy tingle that vibrates along your nerve endings. "Some 
of the best intentions never see the light of day, my dear."

     Lacroix steps away, leaving you aching in frustration. You swallow back 
your groan of disappointment and the urge to reach out and cling to the man, 
because you still have your pride, even if you are an addict. "Is that a 
promise," you inquire, a bitter note to your voice, "or are you simply 
teasing me?"

     Lacroix glances your way and arches an eyebrow as he responds coyly, 
"Would you like for me to tease you, Jules?"

      your heart cries out.  

     Your mind still has enough control to be practical. "What is teasing? 
It is an empty action, lacking sincerity, and, in the end, it is 
unfulfilling. A promise, however...You are many things, among them a man of 
your word. So which do you offer me: a tease or a promise?"
     Lacroix occupies himself at the sidebar, lifting a bottle of sherry 
with an inquisitive expression, as though he actually had a moment's doubt 
that this would be your drink of choice. You give a slight, but 
unenthusiastic nod, then stare at him expectantly, demanding an answer to 
your question with a flash in your eyes.

    Lacroix brings you a glass of the amber liquid, saying, "I promise you, 
my dear," His fingers glide over your own as you clutch at the delicate stem 
of the crystal, shaking your composure again as hot flashes burst along the 
skin of your arms at his touch, "before this night is over, we shall uncover 
the true issues of our case."

    You take a sip of the sherry, adding to the warmth that already glows 
beneath your skin at his nearness. "To which issues are you referring?" you 
ask curiously.

    Lacroix weaves his fingers around your free hand, the cool metal of his 
ring reminding you that this is a vampire you've rendezvous-ed with - a 
mysterious, complex, powerful ancient with a history and moral code you 
haven't begun to fathom. He is pulling you toward another room. For a split-
second you resist - what are you agreeing to if you cross that portal? - a 
tiny soucon of fear whittles into your heart. Then Lacroix glances back, his 
blue eyes searing into yours, and you accept that you would follow him 
anywhere - blindly, devotedly, forever.

     It's a bedroom with a king-sized - no, make that emperor-sized - bed 
dominating the rectangular space. Also on prominent display is a long, black 
lacquer chest. At first glance, you think it must be Chinese, but upon 
closer study, you realize it probably derived from Southeast Asia, perhaps 
from one of those Vietnamese plantations of which Lacroix was so fond.

      An enormous balance sits atop the black lacquer surface, moulded out 
of gold, about two meters wide and one meter high. Two gleaming plates, 
each roughly the size of a banquet platter, dangled evenly on either side 
from ornately woven chains.

     Lacroix allows you ample time to examine the room before answering your 
earlier inquiry. "There are two issues of great interest to me, Jules. 
The first is courtly love, and the second, the scales of justice. I need 
your assistance, my dear, in reconciling the two. I find the notion rather 
difficult," he admits, appearing more licentious than humble. "Are you 
talented enough to accept this challenge?"

     You take a generous swallow of your sherry at this remark, barely 
noting the dry, smooth flavor.  you think wryly. In your 
book, courtly love is just a lot of foreplay. Creative foreplay, romantic 
foreplay, foreplay that didn't equal a forearm, yes, but still just 

     Foreplay leaves something to be desired. 

     Coupling that with the philosophy of justice was enough to give Thomas 
Aquinas nightmares. In fact, it almost qualified as an Anti-Nunklear Device. 
It is going to take some strategy to complete Nunkies' challenge to your own 
*personal* satisfaction, and he knows it. 

     But, then, Lacroix doesn't know you that well.


     You place your half-full (optimism doesn't kill people - people kill 
people) glass of sherry on a small table nearby. Cornering the table is a 
music stand, where you see the score to Brahms' Violin Concerto waiting for 
some loving attention. You're feeling as though you're a musical composition 
yourself, a living melody yearning to burst forth if a certain someone only 
applied the proper pressures, caresses, and gently plucked your strings. 

      You take in a slow, deep, calming breath, then turn to face Lacroix 
with as much confidence as possible. "I find it hard to comprehend that you 
cannot reconcile justice and chivalry. The idea of justice, or ~jus~ as 
Thomas Aquinus would have called it, establishes that everything has its 
proper place. Every individual is *owed* their due because it is their 
right. Deny an individual their property, their rights, and you commit 

    "And murder?" Lacroix proposed, playing devil's advocate with a wicked 
grin. "Would your definition not indicate that by killing a mortal, a 
vampire denies them their right to life, and is, therefore unjust?"

    You tsk and shake your head, stilling Lacroix's words by placing your 
index finger over his mouth. You indulge a small measure of your earlier 
desire, lightly scraping your nail along the underside of his lower lip, 
drinking in the curl of his lower lip as you deliver your counterargument. 
"But the inherent problem with discussing justice and vampires lies in the 
nature of philosophical discussions to date. Aquinas, for example, spoke of 
mortals relating to each other as equals based on their common human nature. 
A vampire is not human, and very...uncommon... wouldn't you agree, Your 

    "I agree. Voraciously so." Lacroix latches onto your fingertip, catching 
it between his front teeth and, nibbling gently, makes your entire forearm 
feel ~al dente,~ "Please, call me Lucien."

    "Is your offer meant to signify that you are dishonorable, not worthy of 
such a title?" you taunt with a flirtatious grin.

    Lacroix pulls your fingertip from his mouth, then cradles your hand 
between both of his palms. "On the contrary - my offer signifies how honored 
I am to be witnessing such a persuasive argument from a beautiful 

    You tilt your head slightly in acknowledgment. "Then I accept your 
offer, Lucien. May I continue?"

    "Of course you may." Lacroix dips his head, placing a lingering kiss on 
your fingers, just below the knuckles. "I hunger for more."  

    "We are agreed that vampires are different from humanity, therefore 
their rights are different from their mortal counterparts, but to deny an 
immortal their due, to usurp what is owed them, that still would constitute 
an injustice."

     "Agreed. Denial is a terrible thing," Lacroix comments thoughtfully as 
he begins to caress the inside of your wrist with a thumb. "I find it 
extrordinary that you have identified through medievel philosophy in fifteen 
minutes, what my son, Nicholas, has yet to discern in almost eight 

     You sigh and decide to take a seat on Lacroix's lap while you continue 
this discussion. All of the light touches along your inner arm are making 
your knees weak, and you still feel the need to reason and concentrate. 
"Some people, Lucien, simply catch on slowly," you explain, running your 
hands over his forehead and through his hair as Lacroix's hands settle low 
on your hips. "Denial is the item in justice that ties to courtly love. 
Andreas Cappelanus wrote about the rules of love in the court of Eleanor of 

     "I remember him," Lacroix inserts. "He had bad teeth."

     "Didn't everyone?" You grin, wind your arms about his neck, and 
continue. "One of the rules of courtly love that he set down in some codex 
thingagummy, titled ~De amore~, was "Love can deny nothing to love." In a 
sense, love is your rightful due, and denying that is injustice. There you 
go - chivalry and the scales of justice intertwined." 

     Lacroix stares at you thoughtfully with a gleam in his eyes for several 
moments, the silence heavy with anticipation. Suddenly, he pushes you off 
his lap and stands. You sit dejectedly at the foot of the bed, fuming as 
Lacroix begins to pace and chuckle. "You were this close, Jules," Lacroix 
drawled, gesturing your way with his thumb and forefinger a centimeter 
apart. "No doubt you could have persuaded Nicholas or Vachon with your 
earnest debate, but *I* know better."

     "And *what* do you think you know, Lucien?" you ask scornfully. No one 
just shoves you off their lap, even the Honorable Lucien Lacroix!

     "That chivalry was just a load of foreplay," he states, then pauses in 
his pacing. Lacroix leans over you, placing a hand on each of your knees, 
then speaks huskily. "You know it, too. I can read it in your eyes, Jules. 
What good is foreplay if you never reach ecstasy? Where's the satisfaction?"

     "I've heard a fuzzy, pink robe and a cat can do wonders," you mutter 
sarcastically, then push Lacroix aside on the bed as you stand to give him a 
taste of his own medicine. You cross your arms in front of your chest and 
stalk across the floor as Lacroix watches. "Alright! That argument was 
nothing but a bucket of fluffy rhetoric! I've got about as much patience 
with this courtly love business as you do waiting for a free table in a 
tavern! So I stretched the truth a little! What do you expect, giving me the 
task of reconciling chivalry and the scales of justice? I'm a High 
Priestess, not a Goddess of Philosophy!"

    "I am perfectly aware, my dear, that it was an unfair challenge. You 
still presented yourself admirably. Frankly, I never expected you to -" 
Lacroix moves as though he intended to stand, but you splay one hand in the 
center of his chest to encourage him to stay put. 
    "Hold it," you instruct firmly. "I never said I couldn't do it, just 
that it was an impossible using words. Actions, however, are another matter 
entirely. Just suppose we two are chivalric lovers..."

    Lacroix pauses, intrigued to hear what you come up with next. "Very 
well, let's suppose."

    You gesture toward the gold balance. "~Voila!~ Our scale of justice!" 
You motion to the left plate. "One side belongs to the prosecution. I'll let 
you be the offensive male," you announce with a mischevious grin. Lacroix 
frowns at the pun, thinking perhaps some of the other addicts have been a 
bad influence on you, then grants you an abrupt nod. Your smile broadens as 
you wave a hand toward the right plate. "Behold the other side. My side - 
the defense."

     "Aren't you going to say defenseless female?" Lacroix quips.

     You give him a stern look and enunciate precisely, "What - do - you -
think, - Lucien?" 

     "I think you should reveal the rest of your plan."

     "My plan is *very* revealing," you assure him. "You see, each side has 
an argument, a particular goal they want to achieve from the trial. A desire 
they want fulfilled, if you will..."

     "I see." Lacroix nods, rubbing his chin as he considers the 
inplications of this scenario. "You suggest that the scale of justice will  
measure both of our arguments and determine the victor."

    "Exactly. I'm sure you also remember, Lucien, that courtly lovers often 
gave their beloved items off their clothing to use as a pennant in a tourney 
or to keep as a token of their lover's affection," you describe with a 
twinkle in your eye.

    "True," Lacroix says, "but I fail to see how that relates to measuring 
the relative force of our arguments."

    "Simple. We use our clothes. Whoever has on the heavier outfit *must* 
have the weightier argument, and, therefore, deserves the settlement."

    Lacroix's eyes widen in admiration and desire. "This definition of 
justice,'s breathtaking. What, dare I ask, constitutes the 

    "We've already commiserated about how chivalry is fraught with denial. 
This court will award the victor the right to deny the loser one item of the 
winner's choosing." You've tried to maintain a business-like demeanor, but 
as the words pour out, you can't fight back a tiny grin of excitement. 

     "Hmm..." Lacroix ponders this arrangement while inspecting your short 
jacket and skirt, comparing them to his own full suit. "You're not even 
wearing any heavy jewelry, Jules. Surely you recognize your plan greatly 
favors the prosecution? There is no way you can prevail."

     "Au contraire," you explain, your expression growing wicked, "we'll be 
in this intimate setting without a stitch of clothing on. Denial or no 
denial, even if I am at your mercy, Lucien, I still win. Agreed?" You extend 
a palm to shake on the deal.

    Lacroix's eyes take on a golden hue as he grasps your fingers within his 
own, then raises your fingers again to his lips for another courtly kiss. 
"Agreed. Well done, my dear. Actions *are* more effective than words, and 
you've blended chivalry and the scales of justice beautifully."  

    He proceeds to unbutton the front clasps of your jacket and slips the 
material off your shoulders, speaking in a passionate whisper. "Do you think 
the court of love would disapprove if the prosecution assisted his opponent 
in giving her argument? With the defense's consent, of course."

    "Of course," you breathe heavily, spinning around to attack the 
fastenings of Lacroix's own jacket and shirt. "I don't see the court or the 
defense having a problem with that offer. Perhaps the prosecution would like 
the defense to unbuckle his belt?"

    "By all means," Lacroix says throatily, then giving a pleased growl, 
licks up the pulse-point of your neck and around the curve of your ear. 
"Just so you know, Jules - for my settlement, I choose to deny you 

The End