Where Evil Lurks

Welcome to Moonlight Madness - Where Evil Lurks

This is the fourth story in my Moonlight saga.

Story One - The Beginning - Beth's Diary

Story Two - With Arms Wide Open

Story Three - Barely Breathing

Cast of Characters

Monday, December 6, 2010

Beth's Diary - Part 20 BC 2

This is the second part to the B.C. episode.  Please see the synopsis in the first part if you haven't read it.  Also, later this week I will post a companion story to this that will fill in the blanks a bit about Josef and Lola.  Happy reading!

October 27, 2007

Isn’t it amazing how a singularly insignificant situation can make you assess your whole life; the direction you are moving in? Well, maybe it wasn’t so insignificant, because it has made me rethink my life but it wasn’t really a monumental event; just a small piece of greater events.

For good or for bad, I am being drawn more into Mick’s world and I am okay with that. Not only okay but I welcome it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still on the fringes because he is determined to hold me at arm’s length, but I see the path ahead of me now, clearly. I’m not sure where that path will take me, but I’m willing to follow it until I find out.

There is a wall between Josh and me now; whether it is due to Mick or not I can’t really say. I want to be able to work this out with him, because he is a great guy, but my heart is pulling farther away all the time. Our time together is no longer comfortable and companionable and that is a sad realization for me. Where once being with Josh was the best part of my day, now it is something I would rather avoid. Curling up with a pizza and a movie no longer seems like my favorite way to spend the evening and I have to figure out what I’m going to do about it. Josh is leaving tomorrow to go to Sacramento to work on a case he has been involved with for a year. He hopes to be able to prosecute it when he gets back and I hope that he can because it is very important to him. But part of me is more than relieved that he will be out of town for several weeks – it not only gives me some breathing space, but also time to figure out what I want.

Make that who I want…

I can no longer deny that more and more my heart is being pulled towards Mick. But is it just an attraction because it is so exciting to be with him, or is it more? I am alive when I’m with him in a way I don’t think I’ve ever experienced before. I feel invincible when I’m with him, safe and at peace and I have to admit that it makes me want more; more of him and that feeling.

How do you know for sure what is real and what isn’t? Why am I so drawn to him? I can still touch my arm where he bit me and I come alive; I tingle and it’s like some kind of vortex pulls me to him emotionally. Does he feel that too? I want to ask, but I doubt he would give me an answer.

I think after the other night though that we both have to acknowledge that there is something between us that we need to figure out because we can’t go back now and I wouldn’t even if I could. He might though; he has protected his heart and emotions for so long he might not be willing to open up to me. Only time will tell.



The ride home from Club Valis with Josh was uncomfortable at best. Josh was really angry, but sadly, Beth didn’t really care. Neither of them spoke much and that was okay with Beth. Her thoughts were on other things; Lola’s words for example.

“Don’t you want to know what it feels like to move through the night so powerful nothing can harm you?

“Try it, just once and you’ll see…”

Beth shivered as she thought about those words and how Mick had watched her and Lola. He seemed ready to pounce at any moment if Lola threatened her but oddly enough Beth hadn’t really felt any danger from Lola; curiosity maybe, certainly fascination as she scrutinized the situation between Mick and Beth.

Beth had felt no danger because Mick was there and even she knew that was a foolish proposition; she knew that Lola could be deadly. Beth could feel the power that emanated from Lola and while she didn’t understand it, she couldn’t ignore it.

When Josh walked Beth to her apartment they were both stiff and uncomfortable. Beth stared at him as he said goodbye and walked away and she admitted that it was a relief that he would be gone for a few weeks. She shut the door and went to the bathroom to shower and change clothes before starting some research on the BC.

She opened the vial and sniffed; the odor was like nothing she had ever smelled before. Was it a narcotic or opiate? She couldn’t tell just by sniffing it and she stared for a moment at the substance, feeling slightly mesmerized. She could taste it, but since she didn’t know what it was and there was also the fact that people had died by using it she decided to just put it away. She started to recap it and then thought that one little taste couldn’t possibly hurt.

That one little taste shot electricity though her veins and she blinked as the feeling surged through her. A tiny bit more and suddenly she felt amazing –alive in ways she had never felt before. And suddenly a new idea came to her and she headed into the bedroom to change yet again.


“Apparently, the high is US,” Mick told Josef as he watched his friend sniff the vial of BC.

“Vampire blood; I never thought she would do this. This used to be somebody…” Josef said, and despite the fact that he was a vampire his face paled a couple shades more.

Josef’s thoughts were reeling as he wondered how even Lola could so something like this. She had always been unpredictable and ruthless when she wanted something; in many ways Josef had always admired that about her. When he gave her the million bucks it had never occurred to him that she would use it for something like this; a drug operation that used the blood of vampires to get humans high. It was unspeakable. Josef was shaken to the bone. When he left Mick’s he felt almost disoriented as he drove home.

She had to be stopped and Mick was going to do it. Why wasn’t that a comforting thought Josef wondered.


Shortly after Josef left there was a knock on Mick’s door. Thinking that it was Josef he opened it and was surprised to see Beth instead.

“Hey, can I come in?” Beth asked, not waiting for a reply. As she strutted into the room she took off her coat revealing a tight black dress, although Mick thought it looked much more like a slip.

“Of course,” he answered, following her with his eyes. He felt his jeans tighten a bit as he watched her. Her eyes were glittering and a sudden, alarming thought occurred to him. “Did you take some of that drug?”

“It was research for my story. It tasted really weird…” she answered, looking around Mick’s loft with fresh eyes. It was always so neat and tidy and she suddenly wondered what was upstairs.

“Yeah, that’s because it’s vampire blood,” he told her and stepped back as she came closer to him.

“Do you feel like this all the time?” she asked, her body merely inches from his. He could feel the intense heat rolling off of her and he could also scent her arousal. He breathed deeply for a moment taking it in before he took another step back, walking away.

“I don’t know – I doubt it.”

“I feel everything,” she told him and approached him again. He felt heady, her arousal and his own response was pushing him to the limit. “Can you feel me? Or is it more of – a scent?” she asked. Her breasts were pushed up against him and he could feel her hardened nipples against him. He felt panicked, trapped and exhilarated at the same time.

“You have no idea what you’re doing Beth,” he stated, trying to move away from the torture and torment she was causing him.

“I feel close to everything. I feel close to you. There’s no space between us.” She moved her hips until she was rubbing against him and thrilled to feel his erection pressing against her.

“Yeah, there’s space. There is space,” he told her. He knew he had to move away but he couldn’t; his feet felt as if they were glued to the ground. “This is just the drug Beth.”

“No, no, no – this is me, the real me and I like it!” Her finger tip playfully ran over his lips and she brought her mouth very close to his, teasing him with its nearness. “C’mon Mick, join me,” she told him as she turned and headed for his stairs.

He watched her go, aching with desire. For a moment he told himself ‘why not?’ She was willing, she wanted him and he certainly wanted her.

It’s the drug Mick and you can’t do this!

He took the stairs two at a time to get to her, to save her from herself and from him. The question was, could he do it?


As Josef drove home he thought about Lola and their history. He had met her in 1625 and she had changed his life forever. Josef had led a privileged life before he was turned, although he never really thought about it as being privileged. He was the eldest son of a lord and so life was handed to him easily, as was his due. His younger brother’s would have to find careers in the military and the church, but those weren’t things he had to concern himself with.

Life was a struggle at times; there were years when the crops weren’t good, or plagues swept the countryside and when that happened, they all suffered. His father was a good lord and tried to manage the village and the peasants with a firm, but fair hand and Josef tried hard to learn from him. Still, he was dissatisfied from time to time and longed for more adventure. He should have been a second son; he could have found a military career and got out into the world instead of hearing cases of the bickering of the peasants and servants and trying to solve them equitably.

There were rewards to it, to being the eldest he admitted. He had but to snap his fingers and a comely lass would be there to do his bidding, satisfying his every desire. It was practically expected of him to sow his oats, in preparation to settling down and producing his own heirs.

The eastern coast of Ireland was riddled with coves and caves and was the perfect backdrop for smugglers and pirates. They often heard of villages being ransacked by the blackguards who left death and destruction in their wake. It was just the way of life and while no one liked it, you couldn’t fight it either. Not without an army anyway.

So life crept by, dragging him with it. He was judge, diplomat, accountant, and negotiator by day and by night a still young buck with an eye for the ladies and the pleasures of the evening. Until the day the Red Wench made her appearance.

She’d been there before, to the hidden cove near their village, but Josef had missed her each time. This time he was in the pub trying to decide which serving wench would be taking care of his needs later when he first saw her. His eyes lit up and they swept over her lithe figure clothed in breeches and a white billowy shirt. She had long, flowing blonde hair that swept sleekly down her back and in the light of the lamps in the pub it looked like spun gold.

They called her the red wench because she spared no one and the decks of her ship were said to be permanently stained with the blood of her enemies. All Josef could think of was that there was nothing cruel about her full lips; indeed they looked quite sensual and he wondered how it would feel to kiss them. He felt the familiar ache begin in his breeches and he licked his lips, imagining the taste of her upon them.

He was surprised when she focused her attention upon him with a sultry smile and a nod. Her next words surprised him even more. “Care to take a walk along the beach?”

The walk turned into so much more; a wild and free sexual ride to rival any others he had ever had. At the end of that, he received a bite that would change his life forever. He walked away from his former life without regrets.


Beth was leaning against the wall in the hallway upstairs when Mick found her. He wrapped his arms around her and picked her up, carrying her into the bathroom. He set her down in the shower and joined her, stopping first to pull her shoes off as well as his own. He turned the water on, full blast and felt her start to struggle as the cold water sluiced down her body. She struggled against him and the struggles only managed to inflame his desire even more but he tried to keep his mind on what he needed to do; sober her up from the effects of the black crystal.

“Turn me!” she demanded, twisting in his arms. “Turn me!”

“No Beth, it’s only the drug,” he answered, holding her even tighter. It was a double-edged sword, holding her close to him increased the contact of their bodies and he was close to losing control.

“Turn me Mick, please!” she cried, turning her body so that she faced him.

“It’s just the drug Beth. I can’t do it. You don’t want it.” He body was covered in goose bumps and he noticed how her hardened nipples stood out in stark relief against the front of her dress. It was clinging to her wetly and with all her gyrations had worked itself up her thighs. He closed his eyes to block out the sight but it flowed in Technicolor through his hungry brain. He wanted her, he couldn’t deny it.

Her arms crept around his waist and he felt her crying against his chest; he knew that the water was finally having an effect on her. He could smell the salty tears along with the delicious aroma of Beth herself; passionate blood and something floral he couldn’t name.

Suddenly she reached down and pulled her dress off of her body. Mick stared in shock to see that there was nothing under it. She looked up into his face as she shrugged out of it and finally let it drop to the shower floor. She said nothing to him, not with words but her eyes beckoned him to her; to touch, to share all that she could offer him.

He stared at her, enthralled with her beauty. Her breasts were full and luscious, tipped by dusky pink nipples that were puckered with desire. Water slid down her body and he followed the trail hungrily with his eyes and saw it bead over her flat belly and then stream over the blonde curls between her legs. He swallowed hard and then bit his lip before forcing his gaze back up to meet her crystal blue eyes.

She stared at him intently and then reached out and started to unbutton his shirt, pulling each button through the hole carefully. When it was done she slid her hands across his chest and caressed his wet skin before she dipped her head and kissed and licked at the water that spilled down his body. She was aware of the marks on her arm tingling and they spurred her on; she started to unfasten his belt. She wanted to see him, the beauty of his body and touch it, unfettered by clothes.

Mick had a decision to make, quickly. This wasn’t how he wanted it to be for them; he wanted her, oh yes, he wanted her with every bit of his heart and soul. He could feel the marks on her arm calling to him, a siren song that he was unable to turn away from. He lifted her arm to his mouth and scented along the vein. The warm pulsing blood made his fangs drop and his eyes silver. He placed gentle kisses on it; his tongue stroking sensually along the vein. He heard her breath catch in her throat and her heart pounded furiously; she began to pant as his tongue played along the throbbing vein.

Suddenly she was exploding; an orgasm like she had never had before took her away, lifting her to new heights. She felt light headed as she sank in Mick’s arms, fainting from the unexpected and intense sensations caused by his mouth.

Mick scooped her up and carried her out of the shower, grabbing a towel as he headed downstairs. He laid her on the couch and dried her off as best as he could and then headed upstairs to grab one of his shirts and to hang her dress up. It was light-weight and he knew it would dry quickly. He dressed her in his shirt and covered her with the afghan and stood looking at her as she slept. His hand crept out and lightly caressed her face, brushing damp hair out of her eyes before he kissed her softly and headed upstairs.

He was glad it had stopped before it got too far, but he knew that his heart was now into territory that there was no retreat from. Everything had changed for Mick St. John.


The next morning Beth woke up when she heard Mick in the kitchen. She realized she was wearing one of his shirts and inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of him that clung to the shirt. She felt a bit disconcerted lying on the couch as he carried in a mug of coffee.

“What time is it?”

“It’s early.” He sat down in a chair and watched as she took a sip of the fragrant brew.

“Do you remember much?” he asked, a slight smile on his face.

“No – yes,” she said, and a deep blush swept over her face. The light of morning threw shadows into the room but the blush was easy to see.

Beth felt the heat spread upwards and realized she did remember – too much! What had she been thinking?

She knew exactly what she had been thinking – what she had wanted.

They both carefully avoided the subject of what really had happened and finally Beth decided she had to go; she needed to find Josh and make her apologies. She wasn’t sorry that she had been to the club but she was sorry she had embarrassed him. As she got dressed in the bathroom images of the night before assaulted her, tormented her. She shook her head at what might have been; she didn’t know if she was glad that it hadn’t or not.


It was done, the warehouse where they manufactured the black crystal was destroyed and Lola was dead. As Mick stood watching it burn he spied Beth down below; he also saw her blatant relief when she saw that he was safe. His heart couldn’t help but feel happy at that.

Josef met him at his place and Mick told him what had happened. Josef was visibly shaken at the news of Lola being dead.

“You know, she never told me exactly how old she was. You know women,” he said and watched as Mick nodded and took a drink of scotch. “She was at least 500 hundred though.”

“Five hundred? Wow, imagine all that she must have seen? You know, she said we were alike; self-righteous, following human rules and laws, moral principles. But she was wrong, you’re 100% vampire.” He meant that to be comforting to his friend as he finished his drink and poured another, handing it to Josef with a quick pat on his shoulder.

Josef sat staring at the drink for a moment before picking it up and downing it. His hands were shaking and he felt as if he couldn’t breathe which was stupid since he didn’t even need to breathe. He couldn’t imagine her being gone; gone for good that was. What she did was reprehensible; she preyed on her own kind and could have exposed the whole vampire community if she had been caught. He knew that she wouldn’t have hesitated for an instant if she thought it would get her what she wanted.

And yet…in his own way he loved her; he owed her his immortal life. Fleeting images of their past together whipped through his brain and without realizing it he squeezed the empty tumbler so hard it cracked and broke into tiny pieces.

“Shit!” he cried, staring at the blood that dripped onto the counter.

Mick came over with a cloth to wipe up the mess and Josef rinsed his hand under running water, watching as the wounds sealed themselves.

“You okay?” Mick asked, watching his friend carefully. Josef seemed to be in shock.

“Yeah.” He lightly chewed his bottom lip, trying to decide what to say next. Finally, he looked up and met Mick’s eyes. “Lola was my sire.”

Mick sat quickly down – of everything that Josef could have said, he never expected that.

To be continued…

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chapter 20 - B.C. 1

Part 20 B.C. – 1

In this episode…

Mick works for Josef trying to track down a vampire by the name of Delores Maxford Whitaker, aka Lola that he has an on again, off again relationship with. She has disappeared, taking with her 1 million of Josef’s dollars. Mick starts investigating and discovers that she bought a metric ton of silver, which is poisonous to vampires and causes them to be paralyzed. Mick discovers the body of a vamp in a warehouse where Lola had the silver shipped; the body had been drained of blood and then burned. Meanwhile Beth is working a fashion shoot per Maureen who is a bit irritated with her. As she and Steve shoot footage, one of the models collapses and dies. Beth finds out that she had been to a new club the previous evening, Club Valis. Beth decides to go there and investigate. At the club she learns that there is a VIP room, but she cannot gain access, although she can’t figure out why. She goes to the morgue to look at the models body (Renee Beresford) and discovers that the tech had pulled a microchip out of her hand. She also had high traces of silver in her blood, most likely what killed her. Beth knows that microchip is the key to getting into the VIP room and takes it. Outside she runs into Mick who has brought the vamp body in for Terrance to check out. Beth asks Mick if he knows a good vet and after he tells her he doesn’t he said he had something else though. He takes her to his apartment and using a syringe, inserts the microchip into her hand. When Beth tells him that the model died of too much silver in her blood he decides to go to the club with Beth. Since she has the microchip she goes in through the front door and Mick has to jump up to where the VIP room is. Beth is given a vial of a black substance called Black Crystal, a powerful drug. Shortly after getting inside the club is raided by Josh, the police and Carl Davis. Mick and Beth are separated and later Josh takes Beth home, angry because she was as the club. At home, Beth investigates the drug and decides to try a bit of it to see what it feels like. Unbeknownst to her, the blood is actually vampire blood and it makes her ready to take on the world. She walks to Micks and tries to seduce him, asking him to follow her upstairs. Mick is torn, he wants her more than he can admit, but he won’t take advantage of her in her drugged state. Upstairs, he pulls her into the shower to try and sober her up. She pleads with him to turn her and he tells her it is only the drug. The next morning Beth wakes up on Micks couch, in one of his shirts, not quite sure how she got there. Mick goes back to the warehouse to confront Lola, the person that he has been looking for and they fight until Mick throws her into a tank of water that is laced with silver, which paralyzes her. He then blows the warehouse up to get rid of the evidence. Back at his loft he tells Josef that Lola is dead, which visibly stuns and distresses Josef.


October 25, 2007

Maureen is pissed at me; not surprising since I didn’t have the camera’s rolling when Cherish reunited with her parents. I’m definitely NOT her golden girl right now. Since then I’ve covered a pet show, a 100th birthday celebration of Fischer’s Deli and the latest, a fashion show. At least it has a lot of promise.

I’ve been working a fascinating story, starting with the fashion show; a girl collapsed, convulsed and died right in front of us. A terrible thing, but when Josh and Carl showed up I knew that I was onto something big. Especially when they ordered me off of the story.

On the home front I feel at odds with almost all the significant people in my life; Josh, my mom as well as Maureen. It’s a good thing I haven’t talked to Lani lately or I’d probably make a mess of that too. The one bright spot was that Robbi came up for a girl’s weekend and we had so much fun. It was right after I had managed to make an idiot out of myself by impulsively kissing Mick in the Buzzwire parking lot.

He didn’t hate it, I know, but I felt foolish afterwards. I kind of have to wonder why I did it; honestly, I don’t know why. I sort of felt compelled to kiss him – at that moment it felt as necessary as my next breath. It felt good, and so right. But if that’s true then what about Josh?

In all honesty, it’s getting harder to be with Josh. He is such a great guy and he should be perfect for me, and yet it somehow just misses the mark. He’s caring and patient and allows me to be who I am. Most women would kill to have someone in their life like that, as I’m often reminded by Marissa and other friends. Even Robbi asked me if I understood what I was doing. Of course, no real surprise there as she is the mother hen of us all and will always take the safe approach. That’s Josh, safe – something that cannot be said for Mick.

It doesn’t really have anything to do with Mick, not really. I was feeling this way before Mick came along, although it has certainly exacerbated the Josh situation with him in my life now. Since the bite in the desert I have only to stroke my arm and it tingles and brings Mick directly into focus. Is that normal after a vampire bites you? You feel some internal connection that you can’t shut off? All I know is that I don’t want to shut it off, but if I have that connection with him where does that leave Josh and me? I have so much to figure out.

Mom is still upset with me and I don’t really know why. Since I was there for dinner a couple of weeks ago she calls regularly and when she asks what’s going on in my life and I tell her she just seems to get more upset, and I don’t have a freaking clue why. I’m obviously not giving her the right answers but the only thing I’m withholding is the information about Mick, which she couldn’t possibly know about. I love her so much and I don’t know what is wrong. When I ask her she tells me nothing at all. It’s like a brick wall is in place and I don’t know how to climb it. Even when Robbi and I went to see her she wasn’t her usual self. I guess I just need a bit more patience diary!



“Hey Beth?” Robbi asked as we were getting pedicures. The technician had left us alone to soak for a few minutes. “Are you happy?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Why?” Beth asked with a frown.

“I don’t know, it just seems like you are distracted or something. Is everything okay with Josh?”

Beth pursed her lips and Robbi watched as it furrowed her brow. “I don’t know really. I feel, well, like something is missing Robbi. Not like when you’re just in a boring spot, but where something significant is just not there.”

“Was it ever there?” she asked. Robbi liked Josh, but in some ways he and Beth had never seemed like an ideal match to her. Josh was steady and safe and somehow Beth always seemed drawn to the men that were a bit more on the edgy side, like Carl had been. Robbi had adored Carl and was genuinely sorry when he and Beth didn’t make it.

“I don’t know Robbi. He was great from the start, so much fun, you know? I felt comfortable with him and he was so easy to talk to. Now, things just aren’t clicking any longer.”

“That almost sounds like a great friend Beth as opposed to a lover.”

“In some ways I guess that’s true. Don’t get me wrong, things in that area have always been good, but the connection seems to be fading. I feel it slipping away and yet I’m unable or maybe even unwilling to stop it.”

“Is there someone else Bethie?”

“I don’t know. I know – that’s a stupid answer. I know someone that I feel a connection with, but I have no idea whether or not he has any interest in me. Actually, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t, for, um, complicated reasons. But Robbi, I feel alive when I’m with him in a way I haven’t felt in years.”

Robbie digested this last bit of information for a moment before answering. She took a deep breath and said, “Perhaps he won’t come any closer to you because of Josh? Beth, you need to figure out what you want and need and then take action to straighten all this out. It’s not like you to string two men along and I can’t believe you are happy doing it. Figure out who you want and then do something about it!”

Words that were easier said than done Beth knew.


Mick was working on a case for Josef and it was starting to piss him off; there was a lot more to this than Josef had shared with him.

Josef wanted Mick to locate an on again off again booty call for him which in itself was unusual. All Josef needed to do was snap his fingers and he had a dozen women lining up for the pleasure of his company. So, what made Delores Maxford Whittaker so special? Josef had admitted that she had taken a million dollars from his account after admitting that he had given her the password.

She was a vamp, an old one Josef had said and very powerful. She was also very beautiful; Mick stared at her driver’s license photo and was impressed. Mick had also discovered that she had purchased a metric ton of silver with Josef’s money.

“She got a vampire problem that you know about?” Mick asked, watching Josef’s reaction.

“I don’t know anyone who would want to go up against her,” he answered, looking a bit lost.

After a bit more probing Mick realized he had gotten all the information out of Josef that he could. What the next step was involved finding out what she was doing with all that silver.

What he found disgusted him; a warehouse facility with a dead vamp in it. A very dead vamp, one who had been paralyzed with silver, drained and then burnt. He and Terrence stared at the body in the morgue with confusion.

“That’s a little excessive wouldn’t you say?” Terrence asked when they looked at the body.

Mick agreed. It puzzled him why someone would want the vamps blood. Terrence said the same thing.

It was a mystery that wasn’t going to be solved immediately and he left the morgue, still thinking about it all. Outside he ran into Beth, who was following up on a story where a model collapsed and died.

It felt a bit awkward between them; they were both remembering the kiss in the Buzzwire parking lot. Beth was embarrassed about it because she didn’t know how Mick felt about it; for his part he wanted to pretend that it hadn’t happened because if he didn’t then he might have to admit that he actually had feelings for her.

He knew that he was attracted to her and ever since the desert he couldn’t get her out of his head. He felt embarrassed at watching her from her balcony last week and yet he felt hope in his heart that maybe she felt something for him as well. The kiss only seemed to prove that she did and for a brief while he reveled in that knowledge; but then reality set in and he knew that nothing could happen between them. It would be too dangerous and besides, she had a boyfriend; a nice, safe human boyfriend who cared about her. It had to stay that way.

As they chatted about the story and case they both relaxed a bit. Finally Beth asked Mick if he knew of a good vet.

He chuckled and said, “Vamps can’t really be trusted with pets. Why?”

Understanding flowed over Beth and she smiled and shrugged. “I need this chip implanted,” she told him as if it was the most normal thing imaginable.

“Well of course you do,” Mick said, playing along. “Okay, I don’t have a vet but I have something else. Come on.”

She followed him back to his loft and before too long she was staring at the largest syringe she had ever seen. Her knees were shaking just thinking about him using it to implant the microchip in her hand.

“About the kiss?” he said, watching her closely. “I was thinking maybe that was an accident?”

“Oh, okay,” she answered. Inside, she wondered if he really thought that it was an accident. But they both left it at that. She explained that she needed to get into the VIP room of this club because Renee Beresford, the model who had died had been there. There had been silver in her system when she died.

“Silver?” Mick inquired. “I’ll go with you.”

“Oh, I’ll be okay,” she reassured him.

“The silver makes me think I’ll find the person I’m looking for there. A woman.”

At that last bit of information Beth’s eyes narrowed and she felt a flash of jealousy, which Mick immediately noticed. He couldn’t help but feel a bit happier about it all now.

“Meet you there in two hours,” she told him as she was leaving.

Mick watched her go feeling lighter of spirit. Then he laughed; she hadn’t even felt the microchip being implanted in her hand. He couldn’t wait for the two hours to pass.


While he waited for Beth to show up at Club Valis Mick scanned the crowd, searching out other vamps or people who might get in his way. For the most part the crowd consisted of club bunnies and wanna-bes, all waiting to be allowed to enter the club.

Finally Mick spotted Beth walking across the street, heading directly for him. He couldn’t believe how beautiful and sexy she looked. His eyes ate her up and had he been human he swore his heart would have stopped. She smiled as she approached him and it made his whole night. If she were to kiss him right now he knew he would never let her go.

They finally agreed to meet upstairs in the VIP room; Beth using her microchip to gain access and Mick the sexy vampire jumping thing. She laughed when she told him, “Just being human is so lame!”

“I know, but you wear it well,” he countered and watched her walk away from him and past the door attendant. His mouth practically watered as he watched her; damn the thoughts she inspired in him!

When Beth got upstairs she stared around her with curiosity; it was a whole different world up here than down on the floor. Most everyone was ‘coupled’ here and some of their actions were downright sexual. She wasn’t sure exactly what she was looking for up here or what she had expected, but this was pretty interesting. She didn’t have long to wait before she was approached by a server and asked if she wanted Black Crystal.

Finally! This is what it’s all about – drugs.

Her hand was scanned before the vial of Black Crystal was handed over. Beth held it in her hand for a moment, her heart pounding with fear and anticipation. She started to slip it into her purse when she was approached by a beautiful woman in an elegant and sexy black gown.

“We prefer you consume it on the premises,” she informed Beth.

“I was just waiting to share with a friend,” Beth told her. She couldn’t believe how her voice trembled with the words. Where was Mick?

Just then he appeared next to her and said, “Sorry I’m late.”

Delores Maxford Whitaker, aka Lola’s eyes narrowed as she took in the strikingly handsome vampire standing next to the little blonde. He’s here to protect her!

Beth watched them as they discussed a mutual friend and realized that this was the woman Mick had been looking for. She was absolutely stunning and Beth felt a bit unsure of herself in front of her, especially when she quickly became the focus of Lola’s attention.

“Don’t you want to know what it feels like to move through the night so powerful that nothing can touch you? Try it, just once and you’ll see,” she promised, indicating the BC in the vial.

Beth did want to know, but she was terrified of what that world might offer. She often thought about Mick and his world and wondered those exact things. What did it feel like?

Just then sounds erupted from below, the club was being raided. Lola whispered into Beth’s ear, “Remember darling, half the world is night,” before disappearing.

Mick and Beth stood rooted where they were, waiting for the police to come up the stairs. They didn’t have long to wait.

Josh and Carl came up the stairs and Josh saw Beth there, along with Mick. His heart sunk, it was worse than he could have imagined, seeing her with him. To Carl he said, “Pat everyone down, starting with him,” indicating Mick.

“Sure thing. C’mon private eye, you know the drill!” Carl roughly shoved Mick up against a pillar and started frisking him. Mick let him, just to get it over with but he would really have liked to tear his head off. He couldn’t help but over hear Beth and Josh speaking.

“I asked you not to follow this story Beth.”

“You have no right,” she said as they moved away.

Carl finished and told Mick to beat it. He couldn’t help but notice the look Mick threw over his shoulder at Beth as he headed down the stairs. He didn’t like that look one little bit.

After most of the upstairs had been cleared Josh was downstairs talking to a few of the remaining patrons. Beth was sitting on a couch upstairs waiting for Josh; he was going to give her a lift home, which was unnecessary since she had her car. He had insisted and said that one of the officers would drive the Prius back to her place. She knew that what all that meant was that he was mad and there would be an argument.

Carl came over and sat down next to her on the couch and looked at her; she was miserable but he wasn’t completely sure why. Getting caught here with Mick St. John wasn’t good, but there was more to it than that.

“Hey Beth.”

“Carl,” she said, leaning back and crossing her legs. She definitely was not in the mood to chit chat with Carl.

“Beth, what’s going on with you? Why were you here with St. John?”

“I wasn’t here with him Carl; we were both working on separate issues. We just happened to be here at the same time.” It was mostly the truth, but she knew that neither Josh nor Carl bought it.

“Beth, forget about St. John. Josh loves you, you know that. I know you Beth; you like a little bit of danger, but in the long run, it’s only a fleeting thrill. Forget St. John, okay?”

“Carl, there is nothing going on between Mick and I! We were working together, nothing else!” Beth was sitting straight up now and her eyes were flashing a brilliant blue.

Carl sighed, he knew that look – he’d pushed too far. But he also knew that whether or not she admitted it, she was attracted to Mick St. John. He really did want her to be happy and if he thought for a minute that St. John was capable of making her happy he’d be their biggest supporter, but that wasn’t how he saw it. Mick wasn’t really a bad guy and he had helped the police on more than one occasion but there was something a little bit sketchy about him and he decided he needed to poke around a bit.

“Okay Beth, okay. Look, I only want you to be happy, really. If you need anything, you just call me, okay?”

For a minute they stared into one another’s eyes and Beth could see that Carl was telling the truth, he did just want her to be happy. But Beth knew that he didn’t think Mick was the one who was capable of giving her that happiness.

That was okay, she loved Josh. Right?

To be continued…

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chapter 19 - Arrested Development

Chapter Nineteen Arrested Development

In this episode –

Josh insists that Beth go to the doctor to check out her arm, which Mick bit. However, Beth had told Josh that it was caused by a chain link fence. Josh was suspicious of the injury and so he accompanied Beth to Dr. Rosin’s office. As they were leaving, the encountered Mick in the foyer of the building. Josh watched Mick and Beth’s reactions to one another and told Mick that they were there for blood work. Mick assumed that they meant they were getting married and Beth rushed to assure him that wasn’t the case. Josh invited Mick to come over the following night for a celebration for his and Beth’s 1st anniversary. Mick declined.

Mick is hired by the parents of a local call girl who advertizes on the internet. When he starts to track the case he finds that the girl in that apartment has been murdered. He goes to the morgue to check it out and runs into Beth, who is looking into what might possibly be a copycat murder.

In the morgue Mick immediately scents Beth hiding behind a partition in the morgue as he shows the body to the parents. It is not their daughter but the girl that their daughter came to LA with. Mick and Beth end up working the case together, after Beth confronts him about avoiding her since their time in the desert.

They finally track and locate the killer, a 16 year old boy who is actually a 197 year old vampire. He had been raised and turned in a bordello. He met up with Cherish, the girls whose parents were looking for her at the Santa Monica pier. When Mick and Beth get there he escaped, hiding under the pier, but the girl is safe. Mick waits for darkness and when the other vampire comes out they play a violent tableau out on the roller coaster that is in motion. The young vamp slips in time for the cars to come and take his head off.

Back at Buzzwire Cherish reunites with her parents as Beth and her editor Maureen watch. Mo was upset that Beth didn’t capture it on camera. Beth spots Mick watching as she talked to Mo and then he disappears. She leaves Mo to go and find Mick and finally finds him in the parking lot. She tells he that he didn’t say good bye and leans up to kiss him.

October 18, 2007

It’s been an interesting week; after Mick avoiding me for days I ran into him twice in two days. How does that happen in a city as large as LA? I can only think that there is a reason for it, but whatever that reason is I can’t quite figure out.

I had tried to call him, four times in fact and it went to voice mail each time; each time I asked him to call me, but it didn’t happen. Then out of the blue Josh and I run into him in the Strickland building, where my doctor’s office is.

I can only say it was a tense meeting; Josh was acting really strange towards Mick which puzzled me. Mick saved his case for him when he got Leni back to LA to testify at Amir Fayed’s trial and it worked too; he was convicted after only a 2 hour deliberation.

To me Josh has been a bit distant, but I keep finding him looking at me with an odd look in his eyes. He insisted that I go to the doctor’s office to have the marks on my arm checked out; the two puncture marks left by Mick when I fed him. Mick was clearly uncomfortable when we saw him; I’m sure he would have walked away if he could have. Josh immediately told him that we were there for a blood test which Mick interpreted as a pre-marital test. Josh watched Mick closely during that, not sure why but it was a very nerve-wracking meeting.

The second time I ran into Mick was at the morgue when I was there checking out a body that had been brought in. I’m working on a murder case; a call girl who had been found beaten and practically eaten alive. It’s a similar MO to some cases in San Francisco last year so Maureen had me working the crime scene and that led to the morgue.

When Mick walked into the morgue with an older couple I couldn’t help but feel a bit of excitement at seeing him. I have to say, he sort of takes my breath away! (I can’t believe I admitted that!) He is so tall and good looking and he had this really cool leather jacket on. I love the way he moves, sort of fluid and predatory at the same time. I don’t know if that is a vampire thing or not, but I have to admit that it gets to me.

When I talked to him a little while later he tried to lie to me about avoiding me but I’m not an idiot and besides, he is a really bad liar; which of course I told him. I had to practically force him to talk about the fact that he fed from me in the desert too, which really pissed me off. It happened and now I have these exaggerated feelings for him that I don’t know how to deal with; I need answers from him and he is clearly not willing to give me any.

Things between Josh and I are even more strained than before. I left the party for our one year anniversary to go to the morgue that evening which I know, wasn’t really a nice thing to do, but I only had a certain amount of time to see that body. Josh immediately thought it was Mick who called, even though it wasn’t. I’m not sure what is going on between Josh and I but I do know that I’m not very comfortable with him right now; I sort of feel like I’m under the microscope. He’s really working on another case right now and that’s fine with me.

It all sounds really depressing doesn’t it diary? I just have to assume it will all work out although I have to admit I don’t know how I want it to work out. Pretty sad, huh?



Beth was lying in bed thinking about her day; she and Mick were trying to track a vampire serial killer and tomorrow she was going to go to his friend Josef Kostan’s office. She had to admit that she was a bit nervous about it; Kostan was one of the richest men in LA, a hedge fund trader who had a reputation for being a very shrewd business guy and one who was pretty media savvy too. She would love to interview him some day; maybe this meeting will help to precipitate that.

Mick knew what he was doing was wrong but old habits die hard. He had come to Beth’s this evening to talk to her, but all her lights were out then he noticed that her balcony door was open. At first, it angered him because this was LA after all and even thought it was on the second floor someone could easily get up there. Before he knew it he had done just that; he was perched outside the open door, hidden by the new moon. He watched her silently, telling himself to just go, but he couldn’t. He just couldn’t…

As she lay in bed she unconsciously stroked her arm where Mick had bitten her. It still tingled a bit when she touched it and it certainly brought back a flood of memories. When he had first bitten her it was a shock; his fangs were really sharp and went right through her skin, easier than she imagined they could. There was a bit of pain at first and then that was sort of dulled by the feel of his mouth against her skin. It was almost hypnotic, the sucking motion became almost soothing and sensual and as she remembered it she found herself becoming a bit aroused by it all. She felt hot suddenly and she kicked her covers off letting the cool evening breeze from the open balcony door help to cool her a bit. Her mind went back to the desert and Mick’s face filled her mind making her even more aroused.

Mick watched as she stroked his mark on her arm and then kicked off her covers. He heard her breathing increase a bit as well and her heart beat too. Even from the balcony he could feel the heat that emanated from her body and he was drawn to it. He ached to hold her in his arms and feel the heat of her body against his cool one. He took in the satiny material of the skimpy camisole and the boy style panties that she wore with it and he started to feel himself harden in his jeans. His eyes were glued to the beautiful form on the bed and suddenly he caught the scent of her arousal and a low growl escaped his lips. He watched her to see if she noticed, but she was preoccupied with other things.

She felt her nipples pebble and begin to ache and her pelvic muscles contract. She kept remembering the feel of his mouth, the pulling sensation and she realized that there was definitely something erotic about it. Just thinking about it made her grow wet and what was even more of a shock to her was that it wasn’t Josh she wanted but Mick. Unconsciously she ran a finger over her taut nipple and felt another contraction between her legs. She groaned Mick’s name before as she teased her nipple, rimming it with a finger tip.

Mick shut his eyes for a moment as he inhaled deeply, drawing in her aroused scent and trying desperately to memorize its sweet fragrance. It was warm and musky, all Beth and it made him throb and ache even more for her. When he opened his eyes he saw her stroking her nipples through her top and it sent a jolt of electricity up his spine. The material was so thin every bit of puckered skin was visible to his hungry eyes. He heard her moan his name and for the first time he realized she was thinking about him and his heart leapt with joy. It was a wonderful realization that was quickly followed by the impossibility and futility of the situation. It could never be and he knew that better than anyone. He closed his eyes again before leaping from the balcony and heading to the Benz. This was a road that he couldn’t take.

She groaned and pulled a pillow over her head and rolled over in the bed in an attempt to put Mick and the bite out of her mind. She was saved by her phone ringing and she grabbed at like a starving woman.


“Hey Beth! How are you?”

“Lani? Oh my gosh, it is so good to hear from you and you couldn’t have called at a better time! What’s going on in Tokyo?”

“Well, I have some news! Want to hear it?” Lani asked, her smile a mile wide even though Beth couldn’t see it.

“Yes, definitely. Talk to me!”

“In January I’m moving back to LA! I’ve been promoted to Director of Training Operations for North America! Isn’t that great?”

Beth immediately sat up in the bed and started yelling into the phone! “Are you kidding me Lani? Please, please tell me you aren’t!”

“I’m deaf now, but no, I’m not kidding. Beth, I’m so excited. It’s going to be wonderful to be home. I’ve missed you all so much.”

“I know, we’ve missed you too! And hey, I want to apologize for the last time you called; you were trying to tell me about some jerk you met and I had so much on my mind that I wasn’t a very good friend. What happened with that?”

Lani quickly flashed back to Josef Kostan and then shook her head; he was gone and she didn’t want to talk to about him now. “It was nothing, just one of those pompous jerks that come along every now and again. He’s gone now and I’ll never have to see him again. So have you talked to Robbi lately?”

Beth lay back down in the bed and spent the next half hour catching up with her friend. By the time she got off the phone she felt happy and ready to put all men out of her mind. Before too long she was asleep and dreaming peacefully.


Josh sat at his desk, reviewing the file on Mick St. John. He hadn’t collected much information on him because the guy seemed to be a ghost; Josh admitted to himself that being a vampire could have a lot to do with that. How old was he really Josh wondered. He had found a Michael St. John that had been born in November of 1922 in West Adams; could that possibly be him? That Mick married Coraline Duvall in 1952 and he seemed to disappear at that time. He had served in WWII with the army and had survived the Battle of the Bulge and later Italy. His parents and sister were dead although there were two nephews and a niece alive, along with various members of their family. The crux was that there was no real way of telling if that was the same Mick St. John. He smiled wryly and thought about asking St. John for a DNA sample; that would go over well with Beth he thought.

He decided to set up surveillance on St. John, see if that netted any information. Couldn’t hurt he determined.

He turned his attention to the internet and decided to do a little investigation of vampires himself; you never know what you might find!


Meeting Josef Kostan had been an interesting experience for Beth. He and another man, Ryder was waiting for her with Mick. Josef stared at her, to the point where she became a bit uncomfortable.

“Such beautiful women on the internet,” Josef said, his sherry colored eyes staring at her.

“Thank you, I guess,” she murmured. She stepped around him, trying to stay close to Mick. Josef followed her with his eyes.

“Mick said you had a great voice,” Ryder added, grinning at her in a slightly disturbing way. Beth was close to leaving; who the hell did these two think they were anyway!

Mick explained the purpose of her being there; they wanted her to talk to the men that had called Jazzmyn, the dead call girl to see if they could figure out who might have been the killer. Beth agreed even though she had her doubts; she had no idea how to sound like a hooker.

They caught a break when one of them actually thought she was Cherish, the girl that Mick was looking for in his case and Ryder produced an address for them from the landline and Mick and Beth left, much to her relief.

As they drove, Beth decided to ask Mick more of what they had dubbed, ‘Vampire 20 Questions’. They laughed about it often because something new was always coming up that she was curious about. This day had her thinking about why a vampire would want a hooker.

“So how does it work? The sex thing,” she asked, watching his reaction.

For a half a moment his face looked shocked and then he gave a small laugh. “What, your parents never told you about it?”

“They somehow missed the part involving vampires!”

“It doesn’t work,” he told her.

“You mean it’s impossible?”

“It’s inadvisable – it never ends well.”

“Why?” she asked, curious.

“Beth, its, well it can be difficult, dangerous and certainly complicated for a vamp and a uh, human. Can you understand that?”

“Not exactly. I mean, okay, any relationship can be difficult or complicated, but how is it dangerous?”

Mick held onto the steering wheel, his mind flipping through his possible answers. They hit a red light and he sighed as he saw that she was staring at him and he knew she wouldn’t stop until she got some answers.

“Look Beth, take into consideration the differences between humans and vamps; what kind of common ground do you suppose there could be? That’s the complicated part and a lot of the difficult as well. The dangerous, well, do I have to explain that?”

Beth stared for a moment, a puzzled frown on her face and said, “Yes, I think you do Mick.”

The light changed and he started the Benz again, creeping along behind the car in front of them. He let out and exasperated sigh and said, “Beth, for a vampire to um, finish, they need to bite. Do you think that qualifies as dangerous?” There, he had just said it and a feeling of shame swept over him. He would have done anything to avoid this conversation.

The mention of the bite made Beth unconsciously stroke her arm, which Mick noticed. She didn’t understand it all, but so help him he couldn’t get close enough to her to explain; it wouldn’t be good for either of them. He cast a sideways glance at her as she thought about his words.

“But you’ve said that the bite doesn’t have to kill; I know for a fact that it doesn’t, so what is the problem? It might not be pleasant, but I guess there could be worse things!”

“Why the hell are you asking this Beth? Tell me, I don’t get it!”

“Oh, I’m asking totally hypothetically, I assure you. I don’t know, I’m just curious I guess.” She turned her face away and looked out the car window, watching the houses slip by in a blur. Not because of their speed but because her mind was still focused on other things.

She had no idea that the bite could be anything other than unpleasant; after all, look how he had practically attacked her in the desert. That’s all she knew about it. He obviously hadn’t wanted to bite her and she remembered his words, “Not you, not like this!” They still stung her and again she wondered what was wrong with her blood.

He fought himself for a moment to keep from telling her otherwise; that the bite could be very sensual in the right circumstances. It would be better all around if she believed it was like what she experienced and nothing more. Both of them were silent the rest of the way to the Los Felix address. When they walked up to the door of the building Beth suddenly had a thought.

“Your friends, were they vampires too?” she finally asked.

“Can’t tell can you? Scary,” Mick teased.

The rest of the day was a blur in many ways. They caught the killer, who lost his head in a fight with Mick at the pier and reunited Cherish with her parents back at Buzzwire. Mo was livid with Beth that she didn’t have the camera’s going for the reunion, but Beth stuck to her guns and let the reunion happen in peace. She spotted Mick watching her talk to Mo and then suddenly he was gone. She excused herself and went looking for him.

In the parking lot Mick dropped his keys and had to crawl under the Benz to retrieve them. Beth looked around and couldn’t see him anywhere and a feeling of regret flooded over him. When he popped up right in front of her it startled her for a moment.

“You disappeared,” she told him.

“You were busy with your editor,” he said with a shrug. Maureen was a piece of work and Mick didn’t like her at all. He couldn’t wait to get out of there.

“You could’ve said good bye.” She took in the dirt smudges on his face and her heart melted. He had fought valiantly this evening and she felt a warm rush of affection for him.

Mick dipped his head for a moment and then stared at her, amused by her words. “Good…”

Beth leaned up and kissed him, full on the mouth.

“Bye,” he finished, shocked and elated all at once.

She leaned up and kissed him again, caressing the side of his face with her hand. For a moment he was spellbound by that kiss. The feel of her warm lips against his thrilled him and it was all he could do to keep from pulling him tightly against him and losing himself in that kiss, in her arms.

She pulled away from him and smiled, then ran away lightly. He watched her until he couldn’t see her any longer, wearing a bemused smile. He didn’t understand it, but he liked it. It couldn’t happen again, but he would never forget it.

He climbed into the Benz and headed for PCH, a habit of old when he needed to think. He pulled over and let the top down so he could feel the wind. He felt a part of the night on a very elemental level; the wind carried the salty tang of the ocean and a bevy of human scents too. His mind drifted back to the parking lot at Buzzwire as he cruised along.

What did it mean, that kiss? To him it meant everything but to her? What did it mean to her? God, he wanted her with all his heart and soul and yet he knew he couldn’t have her. She has a boyfriend Mick, she has a boyfriend. And just as you told her it’s difficult, dangerous and complicated for vamps and humans. But he had denied himself the touch and comfort of someone for so long now he didn’t know how well he could fight it.

What if they did get together? How could he keep the vamp in check at the crucial moment? What if he totally lost control and killed her? He could never live with himself if that was the case.

It can never happen Mick; over and over the words ran through his head and he really wanted to believe them. But somehow he knew they were a lie because part of him knew the truth, that Beth Turner was his mate.

Mick’s V/O –

Maybe it’s the sum of a million coincidences we don’t quite control that brings us to a particular place at a particular time. Or maybe, it’s the choices we make, the actions we take. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in 85 years it’s that what we want doesn’t always matter. But then again, sometimes it’s all that does.

To be continued…

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chapter 18 - Fever 2

Part Eighteen2 – Fever

October 11, 2007

I am on an emotional roller coaster, one giant thrill ride, as Mick would say. I feel things I cannot possibly be feeling, and yet I do.

Josh has been so wonderful since the day in the desert with Mick and Leni. He doesn’t really understand everything (and I certainly can’t tell him) but just being around him puts me on edge right now. The night we got back from the desert he kissed my wrist, where the two bite marks were and I literally felt sick over it. I felt as if I couldn’t stand his touch and I feel guilty about that, among other things.

He told me we make a good team and I can’t help but remember that those were the very words I used with Mick earlier that day. A good team; so whose team am I on? Whose team do I want to be on?

I’m feeling things with Mick that I don’t understand at all. I see him in my dreams, rescuing me when I was 4 and from Daniel, Professor Ellis’ crazy grad student. I see the blood that covered him when I found out that he was a vampire I know that he doesn’t have a regular heart beat, but I swear I can feel it when his heart does occasionally beat. I can – and I know this sounds crazy- I can smell him in me. Like, did you ever have drugs administered intravenously and when they hit your vein you can feel them and sometimes smell them too? It’s an internal thing, and I swear I am feeling that with Mick.

I went to his house the other night, to talk to him and he was there, I know. I could feel him, on the other side of the door. I know he was there and yet he didn’t answer; I need questions answered about all this and yet he won’t answer my calls either. Is this normal after what happened in the desert? The mild connection I felt with him before is now off the charts and I’m ready to shatter with what I am feeling and I need Mick – I need to see him, touch him to make sure I am not going crazy.

Where does Josh fit in to this picture? I wish I knew. I feel unfaithful to Josh, like I have betrayed him in some ways and yet all I did was to save Mick. I couldn’t let him die out there in the desert and from the looks of him when I got to him I’d say he was close to it. He swore that he would die before he fed on Leni and I’m sure he meant it. He didn’t want to feed on me either but honestly, if he hadn’t I would have found some way to cut myself and get that blood into him; he had no choice in it. Still, his words cut me deeply, “Not you, not like this!” I can’t forget them; they surge through my brain and wound my heart because I realize that he didn’t want me, not my help or my blood. And apparently, he doesn’t want me in his life now.

And yet now I can’t let him go.



Mick’s V/O

What if the one thing you need to survive is the one thing that would make your life unbearable?
“Mick!” Beth’s heart nearly stopped when she saw him lying in that filthy tub; he was slumped down in the water and his skin was very pale and pasty looking. She thought he was dead.


He slid up a bit in the tub and when he opened his eyes she saw that his eyes were yellow and her breath caught in her throat at that sight. He was bad off, she knew.

“You have to take Leni and get her out of here,” he told her. For a couple of minutes they debated the issue; he determined that she would go and she determined that she would not.

Finally, she had enough and pulled aside her blouse, exposing her neck. “I don’t know how to do this but I know you won’t kill me and I know you won’t try to turn me either. I have this vampire friend who’s been explaining this stuff to me.”

He looked shocked, appalled at that suggestion. He shook his head and said, “No. Not your blood, not like this!”

All Beth could think of was that there was something wrong with her blood, that he was disgusted by the thought of drinking her blood. It broke her heart just a little bit to see him react like that.

Soon though he realized he had no choice and he reached for her arm, scenting her wrist. “At some point, you’re going to have to stop me,” he told her before sinking his fangs into her wrist. Her blood was like nectar, partly due to the fact that he needed it so badly, but mostly because it was her blood – his Beth’s blood. The last thing he wanted was for to be food for him and yet, there wasn’t another choice right now. He couldn’t protect them if he didn’t.

The bite was a bit different than she expected; the shock of his fangs piercing her skin stung at first, but the rhythmic pull of his mouth was almost soothing and she relaxed against him. Still, she could hear his words repeating in her head, “not your blood, not like this” and they hurt each time she remembered them. She wondered how long before she ‘had to stop him’; how much was enough?

Suddenly she felt him pulled his fangs out and he licked at the puncture marks. It was a tender act and it made her feel strangely peaceful – almost cared for. When he was finished he leaned back in the tub for a moment and opened his eyes finally, checking her out.

“Are you okay Beth?”

She nodded and tried to smile, to reassure him but it didn’t quite come off. Despite the heat she felt a bit chilled and tried to get up off the floor, but she stumbled a bit, feeling a little woozy.

“Hey,” Mick said, immediately reaching to steady her. “You’re probably going to be a bit dizzy, so take it easy. Wrap one of those towels around your arm and press lightly, okay?”

She nodded and stood up carefully, holding onto the wall for support and grabbed a hand towel. Almost as soon as she wrapped it around her arm she could see blood soaking through.

“I’m going to go and check on Leni,” she told him.

He nodded and said, “Okay, I’ll be right out. Uh, Beth?”

She turned to look at him and he smiled and said, “Thank you.”

She nodded and gave him as much of a smile as she could.


Beth headed for the bathtub when she got home. She still felt a bit weak and puny, even though Mick had insisted that they stop so she could eat on the way home. Yes, she wanted a long, hot bubble bath and as she filled the tub with a light vanilla scent she anticipated sinking down into it and just relaxing.

Josh was in the living room, going over case details on his phone. He had been very solicitous of her since they got back, trying to make sure she was okay. Now he was making arrangements for Leni, who was scared to death. Mick was going to stay at the safe house with her too after a trip home to change and eat Josh told Beth.

Beth shrugged out of her clothes and sank down into the heated water and sighed. Amazingly, her arm didn’t hurt, in fact it didn’t look bad at all, just two little puncture marks were all that you could see. She had told Josh and Carl that she had caught her arm on a chain link fence at the motel.

“Hey Beth? Would you like me to pour you a glass of wine while you’re in there?” Josh asked.

She wasn’t sure that was the best idea, but on the other hand she could certainly use a little escape from the scrutinizing looks that Josh kept giving her. It would maybe provide a little buffer and so she told him yes, she would like some.

After he took her a glass of wine he headed back out into the bedroom and looked around and saw Beth’s discarded clothes lying around and decided to pick them up. After he tossed them into the hamper he noticed the earrings she had been wearing lying on the dresser and decided to put them away as well. He looked around for the box they belonged in but didn’t see it so he opened the top drawer to see if it was in there. What he saw instead was her diary.

He looked at it for a moment; he didn’t even know she kept a diary. He wondered if it was an old one, from like she was a teenager and she kept it as a memento or if she still wrote in it. He stared again at it and finally shut the drawer and headed out to the kitchen to finish dinner.

As he tossed vegetables for salad his mind kept drifting back to the diary lying in the drawer. He wasn’t one of those kind of guys who pried into personal stuff, but it was driving him crazy. Did she write about him? About Mick St. John?

That was the rub – Mick St. John. Josh thought about the preliminary background check he had run on the guy and he basically didn’t exist, not that Josh could find anyway. The only Mick St. John he found tracked back to 1950 and it sure wasn’t Mick. He had told Beth that the picture in Julia’s book was his father, so okay, Josh could buy that, but where are the records of Mick’s birth? Where did he go to school? There was no record of this guy, only his dad, through the ‘80’s anyway. He seemed to have disappeared sometime in the ‘90’s; it was unclear what had happened.

Did Beth know something about him? She was certainly secretive about their friendship, almost like she was protecting him, but why? Why would she feel like she had to? Did he have some kind of dirt on her and so she had no choice? He stepped towards the bedroom, determined to look for himself.

Halfway there he turned around and headed back to the kitchen; whatever was in there was none of his business. But what if that bastard was holding something over her head and she couldn’t talk about it? Josh decided it could affect her safety, or that’s how he justified it anyway. He went back to the bedroom and quietly opened the drawer and pulled the diary out.

He held it for a moment, telling himself to just put it away but he had to know. She might need his help. He took a deep breath and opened it; the page fell open to October 7, 2007.

So, it is a current diary. Put it back, Josh...

Instead, he started to scan the page and the words jumped out at him like they were on fire.

Mick St, John is a vampire.

There, I said it. There’s no such thing as vampires he told me only a week ago. He lied. There are vampires among us, living all around us and probably always have been. Have I known other’s I wonder? I’m too afraid to ask because I might not want to know. No more secrets, no more. Yet I will have to live this secret with him; no telling Josh or my parents or other friends. This secret Mick and I share and I do want to protect him. He isn’t evil or horrible; he is the antithesis of what you might imagine a vampire to be even. He saved me; fought to protect me and I understand now even more so; he had been stabbed and he still fought for me, cared for me. That makes him a hero in my book but I’m wise enough to know that the world would disagree.

So this secret I will keep; for both of our sakes. He fought for me and I will fight for him, for his right to live and be a part of this world. I can do no less.

He suddenly heard Beth getting out of the bath tub and the water draining out of it. He slammed the diary shut and put it back in the drawer and quickly headed into the kitchen to finish dinner.

Josh was reeling from those words. How could there be such a thing as vampires? It was ridiculous. Of all the things he thought he might read, that was definitely NOT one of them. She will keep his secret she said. Why? Why would she protect him like that?

The more he thought about it the more he realized it could be true, if such a thing were possible anyway.

“No, there’s no estrogen in it.”

“She cut her hand on the latch.”

How did St. John know those things unless he could smell the blood? It gave him something to think about. He remembered finding Beth late that night at Buzzwire, doing research on vampires. It was all sort of clicking into place.

After dinner (Beth never noticed how preoccupied Josh was) she sat on the bed and thought about the events of the day. She wanted to see Mick, she needed to see him and she decided that she would go and see him first thing in the morning. There had to be some explanation for what she was feeling.

Josh came out of the bathroom and watched her closely for a moment. She was lost in thought and it made him even more curious about how much else she knew about St. John. He hadn’t been able to put it aside, all through dinner he saw the words over and over, Mick St. John is a vampire. They pushed every other thought right out of his head. Could that be true? Were there such creatures as vampires? And if so, how was Beth involved with them?

A sobering thought, that she might be involved with them.

He stood in the doorway for a minute and watched her for another minute. She gave no sign that she knew he was there until he called her name.

“How’s the arm?”

“I’m such a klutz,” she told him, not quite meeting his eyes.

“Good thing you’re so good looking then,” he teased. She is too uncomfortable about it all. Did she actually let St. John bite her? Or did the bastard force her?

Josh sat down on the bed and held her arm and looked again at the marks; two small puncture wounds that were already healing. He lifted her arm up and gently kissed it. He immediately felt her stiffen and try to pull away. Yeah, they could have been done by a chain link fence he decided. But suddenly he knew that they weren’t.

“We make a pretty good team,” he said and he watched her face pale for a half second before she tried to smile. She half-heartedly smiled at him and suddenly he knew.

Mick St. John had bit her.


“Heroku, you have been a gracious host, as always,” Josef said as he sat in his host’s office, high above the city of Tokyo. The view was spectacular Josef decided and for a moment he wished his office had a better view.

“Ahh Josef, you are an admirable guest; you do not stay too long and over-extend my generosity,” he answered with a smile. He raised his mug of fresh O positive as did Josef and they drank to the toast.

Just then there was a knock on the door and Heroku called, “Come in”. The door opened and Lani walked in carrying some files for Heroku.

Josef immediately rose to his feet to greet her. She was wearing a jade colored suit with black edging the lapels. The skirt was short enough to show a bit of her legs, but not provocative at all. Josef recognized Chanel when he saw it and silently applauded her taste.

“Ms. Parker, how are you this afternoon?” he asked, smiling at her across the room.

Too late Lani realized that it was Josef in the office with Heroku. She glared at him for a moment and then said to Heroku, “I’m sorry. I had no idea that you were with someone. I’ll just stop by later Heroku.”

“Nonsense Lani! Are those the files on the training projections for next year? I’m anxious to see them. Just set them down and let me pour you a drink. A bit of Glenfiddich for you?” he asked, holding up a bottle of 21 year old Scotch.

Josef noticed the ‘caught in the headlights’ look that Lani cast around the room but to her credit she masked it quickly and nodded to Heroku. “That would be lovely, thanks.”

Her mind was racing furiously, contemplating just how fast she could drink that down and get out of here. She had no desire to make nice with the vampire playboy. And yes, she knew he was a playboy, it oozed out of his pores. Definitely a player, albeit a very attractive one. And a vampire, don’t forget that Lani!

A shiver crept up her spine at that last thought and for a moment, she almost let herself remember…


The knock on the door startled Mick out of his funk as he stared at Beth on Buzzwire. He was watching the archives, her report on a hit and run accident she had covered. Really, it was only mind-candy for him because all he was doing was watching her face, not really listening. As soon as he heard the knock he looked up in panic and then after he scented the air he relaxed; it wasn’t Beth.

Yes, he had been avoiding her but he couldn’t face her just yet. He was miserable, knowing that he drank her blood – like that!

How could he do it? He didn’t want to, and yet, he did. He had ached to taste her blood; he just didn’t want to do it like that. She wasn’t food – she would never be food for him and he didn’t want her to think she was.

He smelled vamp outside his door and grinned as he opened it stared into the face of Elka. He hugged her for a moment and laughed, happy to see her.

“Hey, what are you doing in LA?”

“Believe it or not I’m house hunting. I’m moving down here soon,” she told him, sitting down on the couch.

“You haven’t been in Detroit for that long. What brings you back here?”

“Emerson’s is transferring me actually. And it seemed like a good idea. I have friends here and believe it or not I’ve never actually lived here!”

Mick’s eyebrow lifted in surprise; he had just assumed that she had at some point. “So, are you really looking for a house, or just a place to live?”

“A house, I like the space and the privacy. I’m looking a little farther up the coast, maybe something in the hills. That would work for me; I won’t mind the commute into work.”

“Would you like something to drink?” he asked, suddenly remembering his host duties.

“Sure, whatever you got handy will be fine.” She followed him into the kitchen and watched as he poured some AB negative into two frosted glasses. “So, what is going on around here? I tried to call Josef but it seems he is out of town.”

“Yeah, he’s in Tokyo, but he will be home tomorrow I think.” Mick took a sip of the blood and watched over the rim of the glass as she did the same.

“So his assistant said. But back to you, what is going on in your life?” She suddenly knew that he was avoiding answering him when he started fidgeting with his glass and wouldn’t meet her look.

“I uh, nothing much, not really.”

“What does ‘not really’ mean Mick?” She sighed to herself. What would it take to get this guy happy? “What’s going on with the girl? Beth, isn’t that her name?”

“Yes, that’s her name. It’s complicated Elka,” he finished lamely.

“Mick, for heaven’s sake it’s ALWAYS complicated to you and you know what? It doesn’t have to be! YOU! You make it complicated.” She was irritated now; her foot was tapping rapidly on the floor.

“I fucked up Elka! I did! I drank her blood, out in the desert!”

Those were not words she ever expected to hear. She pursed her lips and then frowned, thinking about what he said. “How did that happen, Mick?”

He explained the situation to her and she listened, occasionally taking a sip of her drink. “Look, these were extenuating circumstances Mick. Not an ideal situation, but you didn’t really have a solution other than that.”

“I could have just sent her away Elka, I should have.” He lowered his head and Elka saw the shame and misery rolling off of him.

“Yeah, and then what? You go crazy out there and kill some old man sitting at the front desk of the motel? You’d feel guilty about that too, Mick. This was the better solution. But you can’t hide away from her; she’s going to need answers. Things change sometimes, when emotions are involved, you know that.”

Mick raised his head and gave her a guilty look. “She doesn’t care about me like that! She has a boyfriend, Elka.”

“She practically had to make you drink her blood Mick; she cares about you.”

The words gave him pause for thought. If they were true, where did that leave them?

To be continued…

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chapter 18 - Fever 1

Part Eighteen – Fever – 1

In this episode -

Mick ends up in no star motel hell helping to track down a witness in a high level case for the DA’s office. Josh (with Beth) came to Mick and personally asked for help. Leni, a young woman who had witnessed a murder that was committed by an arms dealer had been staying in a safe house when it was attacked, killing both of the cops who were guarding her. Leni escaped and Josh came to Mick and asked for help because apparently the DA’s office had a leak and he needed someone not in that office to help track Leni down and bring her back safely. Mick agreed to take the case and in his investigation discovered that Leni caught a bus to Victorville in order to escape from the threat. Mick found her there and finally convinced her that returning to LA to testify was the right thing to do. But just when things seemed to be okay the killer turned up again, in the guise of a cop and Mick realized that something was up. He and Leni escaped through a bathroom window and stole the police cruiser to get away. On the road a short time later Mick and Leni spotted a helicopter bearing down on them and it fired a missile which missed them; Mick turned the car around and got first Leni, them himself out without being detected. He used a night stick to power the gas in the car and it took off. The helicopter chased it and fired another missile, blowing it up. Mick and Leni escaped into the desert. Josh got word that the car had been blown up and told Beth that apparently Mick and Leni were dead. She did not take the news very well and left Josh to go home, where she broke down at the thought of the loss of Mick. Earlier that day, before Mick and Beth separated she watched Mick struggle in the sunlight and asked him if he were a delicate flower. Walking through the desert with Leni Mick finally realized Beth was right, he was a delicate flower. Out in the middle of nowhere, Mick acknowledged that if he can’t find blood anywhere else he won’t be able to stop himself from taking it from Leni. They finally found a motel, a wretched, run down, bug infested motel, but it was shelter and Mick filled the tub with cold water and told Leni to get ice, lots of it. She brought back a large bucket of it and Mick instructed her to dump it into the bath with him and then told her to keep trying to find a cell signal and to call Beth, only Beth. Leni asks if Beth is his girlfriend and he got upset and said no, that it’s complicated. He had a hallucination that he feeds from Leni and he yells at her to get out of the room. Leni finally manages to get a signal and calls Beth, who takes off to find them in the desert. When she found them, she immediately realized that Mick needs blood, even though he tells her to take Leni and leave. She bared her neck for him, even though she was scared and told him that she knows he won’t kill her and that he won’t try to turn her either. Mick refused, saying “no, not you, not like this” but finally relented because it was his only choice. He reached for her arm (not the neck) and before he fed he tells Beth, “at some point you are going to have to stop me!”. A bit later a stunned and weakened Beth stumbled out of the bathroom holding a towel around her arm. The killer was waiting and Mick heard him and busted through the bathroom door and killed him. Leni came out of hiding and saw that Mick was better. Later, at Beth’s apartment, Josh looked at Beth’s arm and she mentioned that she is clumsy and that a chain link fence caused the accident. Josh kissed the marks and Beth almost yanked her arm away, unable to stand Josh’s touch.

October 16, 2007

I feel as if I’ve been unfaithful to Josh and the worst part is that I would do it again if necessary. No, I didn’t have sex with Mick, but I fed him my blood in the desert. Oh, I know, that’s not being unfaithful, but my heart, my heart is unfaithful. I have so many feelings for Mick, about him that I don’t understand and I don’t know how to deal with. Especially now because there is even more of a connection than there was before. Is it because he drank my blood? Can I feel him inside me because of that?

He told me, when I offered him my blood, he said, “No, not yours, not like this!” What did that mean, not mine, not like that? What’s wrong with MY blood? I don’t get it. He was going to die and part of me thinks that he would have let himself do just that if I hadn’t practically forced the situation. Is something wrong with my blood? Or is it me?

It’s constantly spinning around in my head, everything that has happened the past couple of weeks. Okay, he’s a vampire and I’m alright with that. It only seems to be incidental to the situation. Mick is a good man, not a monster as he often says. I know there are things I don’t yet understand about him, about vampires, but I’m willing to learn. I will not ever betray him or this secret. I can’t help but to acknowledge that a part of me thrills to being with him, on the hunt so to speak. I feel alive when I’m with him and there is a connection there between us that I just don’t understand. He has started to replace the shadow man in my dreams about when I was taken. I know that’s silly, but still, there he is, rescuing me from the scary woman. I think my shadow man killed her, set her on fire, but my memory, or the fleeting glimpses I get of it could be distorted because it was so long ago. But now, it’s Mick who carries me away and takes me home to mom, grandpa and grandma.

So how does all that translate into my feelings for him? I just don’t know, but they are there. And where does that leave Josh and I? Josh is a good man too, a man who has strong convictions about right and wrong and I’ve always admired that about him. I can laugh with him and I trust him, doesn’t that mean something? If I’m honest, brutally honest, I have to admit that for awhile now things haven’t been too exciting with him and I do miss that, the rush of passion that I felt at first. But that’s normal isn’t it? In any relationship, doesn’t that die down a bit and things just sort of settle into a calmer situation? That’s normal, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

Well, on another note, I had the strangest dinner with Mom and Clark a few days ago. It was really tense and I don’t have a clue why. Something is going on and I hope and pray that they are okay. It would break my heart if they split up or something but they (make that Mom) was just so nervous, jumpy even. She kept asking me what was going on in my life, like she was trying to keep the focus off of her. Clark sat there and threw strange looks at her all evening and by the time I left I was majorly on edge. Weird…

Lani called me from Tokyo, agitated about something, but I have to admit that I’m a terrible friend because right now all I can think about is what is going on in my life. She was trying to tell me about some infuriating man she met who was a condescending jerk and all I wanted to say way “You want a story Lani? Let me tell you a story about vampires!” but of course I didn’t. I think a nice long e-mail is in order, but what the hell do I tell her? Man, I wish she were here, she would totally understand all this, so much more than Robbi would. I can never talk to Robbi about it, (I can’t really tell Lani either, I know that) because Robbi is such a straight arrow kind of girl. I have always loved that about her; she’s down to earth and pragmatic and in some ways she is the ‘older’ sister of the three of us. She kept Lani and I from doing totally stupid things so many times, let me tell you.

Can she keep me from walking away from a good man and starting a relationship with a vampire? LOL, like that would ever happen!



“Hey Mom, I’m here,” Beth said, walking through the front door. She sat her purse down on the table by the door and shrugged out of her jacket and hung it on the hook. “Where are you, in the kitchen?”

“Yes,” Beth heard her mom call out. “Come on in!”

Beth followed her nose into the kitchen, inhaling the fragrance of something Italian and her mouth instantly started to water. “Um, garlic and rosemary and something else in the air! Must be pasta night!”

Clark came in from his office and put his arm around Beth’s shoulder and hugged her as she sneaked a piece of green pepper off the cutting board and popped it into her mouth.

“Hey Beth, how are you?” he asked, swiping a piece of his own.

“Enough you two,” Dorothy said tensely. “Beth, finish cutting the vegetables up since you are so eager to get at them.”

Beth’s eyebrows rose a bit and she looked at Clark in surprise at her mother’s sharp words. Clark only shrugged and asked, “Beth, would you like a glass of wine?”

“Sure, thanks!”

Clark poured three glasses of a rich red burgundy for them and as she sipped it Dorothy said, “Will you set the table please?”

“Sure honey. In here or the dining room?” he asked.

“The dining room Clark,” she answered and again her voice was edgy.

Beth was surprised they were eating in the dining room for one thing; when it was just the three of them they always sat in the kitchen. Something was up and she suddenly wasn’t sure that this was going to be such a pleasant dinner.

Beth finished the salad and tossed it together while her mom pulled the pasta and bread out of the oven, all of it done without another word being spoken. Clark helped Dorothy carry the casserole to the table and after Beth sat the salad down they were ready to eat.

“So Beth, what has been going on with you?” Dorothy asked, watching Beth’s expression closely.

“I – uh, just working Mom. And you can see all that 24-7 on Buzzwire you know!”

“Well yes, but what else has been going on? You know, not work related honey?”

Clark cleared his throat and then took a sip of wine. Beth saw him watching this interaction over the rim of his glass.

Beth chewed her lip for a moment, wondering what her mom was getting at. She certainly couldn’t know about Mick, so what else could it be? “Nothing really Mom. I talked to Lani this morning. She was talking about some guy she met there that was a jerk, apparently. Robbi and Kevin are well and she thinks she might be pregnant again, or at least they are trying. All pretty boring Mom,” she finished. She took a bite of the pasta al forno and chewed it slowly in an attempt to not have to answer any more questions.

“So, you’re saying nothing exciting has happened lately? I find that hard to believe Beth!” Dorothy wasn’t eating at all; she was staring at Beth intently.

Beth swallowed her mouthful of garlic bread and shrugged, looking down at her plate. She felt as if she were six years old and was being questioned about something she had done wrong. “Sorry to disappoint you Mom. Life is pretty boring. Josh has been working on a pretty tough case so I haven’t seen a lot of him either. Just me, just boring old same old, same old!” She smiled at her Mom and took another bite.

Dorothy started to open her mouth again and Clark jumped into the conversation asking her if she was planning to go and visit Lani in Tokyo, something that she had been thinking about for awhile.

Beth smiled at him gratefully and for the rest of dinner she and Clark chatted about that. Dorothy never said another word. Beth left a while later, totally puzzled.

As Clark watched Beth pull out of the driveway, he waved before closing the door. Dorothy was sitting on the sofa, her arms folded and her beautiful mouth pursed in a frown. Clark shook his head briefly before going to sit next to her.

“Dorothy, what did you hope to accomplish with that?”

Dorothy knew exactly what he was referring to, her inquisition of Beth. She knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to do and it certainly hadn’t helped anything but it was eating her up inside, the not knowing how Beth was affected by Mick being a vampire. The she acted, you’d never guess she was so cool about things.

She sighed before answering Clark, who waited patiently. “You know perfectly well what I was trying to do Clark. I have to know how she’s handling it all. How could she sit there, all cool about the fact that she has come face to face with a vampire? It – it just boggles my brain. Where did she learn to cover things up like that?”

Clark knew that in this situation, discretion was the better part of valor and his answer reflected that. “Honey, she’s a strong young woman and she probably doesn’t want to worry you. You just have to let it go and trust her to handle it, okay?”

Dorothy stared at him for a moment, accepting his words. But she didn’t like them one little bit.


“Josef Kostan, my friend!” Heroku Sesumi bowed deeply towards his friend, welcoming him to Tokyo. He straightened up and offered his hand then in the western greeting style.

Josef returned the bow and then offered his hand in return. “Heroku, it’s good to see you. And your beautiful city.”

“Did you have a pleasant journey?” Heroku asked politely. He possessed an old world charm that belied the tough attitude of an ancient vampire. They walked through the small airport 30 miles outside of Tokyo and slid into the waiting limo. It was luxuriously appointed, as Josef would have expected and inside sat two very beautiful women who waited patiently for the men.

“Josef, may I introduce Tamiko and Aiko; they are here to quench your hunger after your long flight my friend.”

Both women smiled at Josef and shyly bowed their heads. He nodded in return and said, “Your generosity is truly welcome and appreciated Heroku. I will be very happy to oblige and partake of such treasures as soon as we arrive at your estate, so that I may first freshen up a bit.”

Both girls sat back into the limo seats, the heightened look of expectation fading from their faces. These two love the bite. That will make it all the sweeter and more delicious

In his suite at Heroku’s home Josef quickly showered and dressed and then called for Tamiko and Aiko. They were there almost instantly which made him realize they were just next door, waiting to be called. He sat on a settee with a girl on each side of him and he could smell the gentle scents of honeysuckle and hyacinth that emanated from their skin. Delicate and not overpowering at all, it created a sensual and heady atmosphere. Josef lifted the wrist of Aiko and scented along the vein and the sweet smell of her blood called to him. Before he knew it his fangs had lengthened and sank lightly into her wrist. She immediately let out a moan as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the bite. He felt the tremors of pleasure surge through her body and tasted the extra sweetness as it flooded his mouth. He tenderly licked at the wounds until the blood stopped flowing and helped Aiko to settle back among the cushions on the settee and smiled as Tamiko held her wrist up to him, eager for her turn at bliss.

Josef left the girls a short while later, both relaxing on the settee, recovering together and made his way down to greet his friend. It was 8 pm in Tokyo and Heroku had arranged a gathering of close associates that Josef would be dealing with over the next few days; sort of a cocktail party to introduce him.

Soon all the names and faces started to run together, with the exception of one. And anomaly actually, an American woman literally standing a head taller than her Japanese hosts. Josef’s eyes lit with appreciation as he took in her beauty; she was exquisite and she wasn’t a vampire.

“Josef san, may I introduce you to Ms. Lanelle Parker, the Assistant Director of Training and Development for Sesumi Corp.?” Josef and Lani shook hands and he saw something flash briefly across her face with the contact.

“Ms. Parker, it is a pleasure. How long have you been with Sesumi; I don’t believe I’ve met you before?” His eyes lingered a little bit longer than necessary on her lithe body and he saw her eyes narrow in displeasure.

“Mr. Kostan, welcome to Tokyo. I have been with Sesumi for 4 years now,” Lani told him, a definite edge to her voice.

“Ah, I see. It’s been what, 6 years since my last visit Heroku? Could that possibly be correct?” Josef asked, smiling broadly at his friend and Ms. Parker.

“Yes, yes I believe it has been that long!” Just then someone across the room called for his attention and he excused himself. “Lani, please be so kind to entertain Mr. Kostan in my absence, but please watch out for him! He is known for his charm!” With that he winked at her and made his way across the room.

Lani groaned to herself and wondered how long she would have to stand here and make polite small talk with this guy. Somehow he irritated the hell out of her and she couldn’t decide why. It must be his smarmy approach she decided; so self-assured and all.

“Do you find living in Tokyo pleasing Ms. Parker? Or may I call you Lanelle?” Josef asked, taking a sip of his scotch.

“Ms. Parker. Yes, I enjoy Tokyo a great deal. It is a fascinating city and Japan an intriguing culture Mr. Kostan.” Her words were clipped and her answer impatient, as if she couldn’t wait to get away.

She really doesn’t like me Josef realized. If she crammed that poker up her ass any farther it would come out her mouth. Josef decided to have a bit of fun. “Perhaps we can have dinner while I’m here and you could show me a bit of the city; I’m sure Heroku would approve of that,” he teased.

“I – I’m a very busy person Mr. Kostan so I’m afraid that would be out of the question. I’m sure Heroku has other, er, employees who would be better suited to your sight-seeing goals. Now, may I excuse myself? I have other people to speak to this evening.”

“Certainly, Lani!” he said, using the name that Heroku had. He inwardly laughed as her eyes first opened in surprise and then narrowed again in anger. She nodded briefly and turned away abruptly, beating a hasty retreat across the room.

Josef watched her exit the room and laughed. He wondered briefly what that was all about, but didn’t have time to puzzle too long before Heroku was back and introducing him to someone else.

Outside Lani took a couple of deep breaths and tried to calm her raging feelings. She stood at a railing along the terrace and her hands were curled so tightly that fingernails cut into her palms. She make her hands relax a bit and wished she had a tissue to wipe the blood off with.

He was one of those ‘special’ friends of Heroku, she could tell. Maybe it was the cool feel of his hand when they shook or maybe it was his beautiful, sexy brown eyes; she didn’t know. What she realized though was that she needed to stay far away from Josef Kostan. He was dangerous to her and no good could come of this.


“Beth, I need some outside help with this case. Leni Hayes, my witness in the Amir Fayed case has disappeared after a hit on her safe house last night. Do you think Mick St. John would help me?”

For a moment Beth was stunned. First, Josh was finally admitting that he had a secret witness and secondly that he wanted Mick’s help. She didn’t know which was more amazing.

It was seven in the morning and Beth didn’t know if Mick would be up or not but she agreed to call him for Josh. He answered quickly and after a very brief explanation of what was going on agreed to see her and Josh.

Josh closely watched Mick St. John while he explained about the case. He also couldn’t help but notice all the silent looks that passed between Mick and Beth. Mick listened intently and asked questions and the questions he asked impressed Josh. He was smart, he’d give him that. Beth said that he could solve cases no one else could; well, Josh would have to wait and see about that one.

Mick agreed to work the case and the three of them went to the safe house where Mick straight away told them a few facts about the case; there was only one shooter (the police suspected two) and that none of the blood was Leni’s (because there was no estrogen in it). Leni had escaped through a window in an upstairs hallway and used the fire escape to get out of the building. She had also stolen a truck belonging to Officer Richard Colden and Beth got a friend to track the low jack for her and Mick so that they could find Leni.

The truck was found in front of a house that belonged to Jack Toland, the man that Fayed had killed. Mick and Beth entered the house and found that Leni had been inside and that she and Jack Toland had been involved, in love. They realized that Leni had gotten Jacks gun and that she was now armed. A bit more probing found that she had caught a bus to Victorville and that would be Mick’s next stop.

“Okay, this is where our separate ways Beth,” Mick told her, slipping his sunglasses back on in preparation to head back outside.

“Oh. Why can’t I go with you?”

“Because this girl is scared and she has a gun Beth. Besides, you’re my contact to Josh.”

“I know. It’s just that being on the hunt with you is kind of fun.”

“Yeah, it’s a giant thrill ride that never ends.” Mick started out the door and added, “But sometimes it does end, with terrible screams and bloodshed.”

“Still, we make a good team,” Beth told him and for a moment they shared a smile before he left.

Mick found Leni in Victorville and eventually won her over, although it wasn’t easy. He discovered that Leni was pregnant with Jack’s baby when he heard the babies’ heartbeat. Leni was shocked that Mick had figured that out, but she finally opened up to him and realized that he was right, she needed to go back to LA with him. It all might have went smoothly if Josh had just listened and let Mick bring her in on his own, however Josh insisted that Mick wait for Victorville police to escort them back to LA, a nearly fatal mistake.


When Beth got the call from Leni telling her that they were both still alive, but that Mick was not well she first experienced relief and joy and then fear and panic. She knew that Mick would need blood, but she didn’t know how to get it, where to get it. There was probably some at Mick’s apartment, but she didn’t think she had time to try to break in there, even if she could because Mick had some really high-tech surveillance and security systems. No, she would just have to go as she was and hope for the best.

Beth sped down the highway like a madwoman, daring any cop she saw to stop her. The blue Prius was flying down the road, as if it had wings. As she drove, Beth’s thoughts were full of Mick and this complicated bond of friendship they had forged.

Was it only friendship? It felt like more, and yet she couldn’t let it be more. She loved Josh, didn’t she? Yes, she did love him, but it wasn’t the same as before. Was that because of Mick or was it just because she was becoming bored in the relationship. It somehow felt stagnant and that had nothing to do with Mick. Still, all the excitement that Mick brought into her life definitely made her realize that there was more to life than how she had been living it.

What kind of a woman could I be to give up a wonderful man like Josh? He was a steady, dependable guy who was devoted to me and wanted to make me happy.

It wasn’t about starting a relationship with Mick; after all, she had no idea if he would even want that. OR, if it was even possible. Maybe vampire/human relationships can’t happen. He still looked human, but what if other things have changed since he became a vampire? Whatever she did, she had to do for her own good, not because of Mick or Josh.

She finally saw the motel up ahead and turned in. It was a rat hole, a dirty, run-down miserable excuse of a place to stay and Beth thanked God that they had found it, out here in the middle of nowhere. She found the room and walked in, after a perfunctory knock and found Leni waiting for her.

“Leni, I’m Beth!” As she spoke Leni ran to her and started dragging her to a door on the other side of the room.

“You have to help him; I think he’s dying!” she cried, panic in her voice.

“Where is he?” Beth asked, already knowing the answer.

“He’s in here.”

“Stay here,” Beth said, entering the bathroom. She saw Mick, lying in the tub with melting ice and water covering him. He was pale and looked awful. She wondered for a moment if she was too late.

To be continued…