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

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I know a lot of you have been checking for the next post of Beth's Diary and I am sorry that we have been unable to accomodate you. However, the next chapters were lost in the "Great Hard Drive Fry" that was Hope's home computer and will have to be reconstructed. So, to spare everyone the daily checking, we have determined that the next post for this blog will be Tuesday, September 7.

We appreciate your patience and support. Thanks so much!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Beth's Diary Part Six

DISCLAIMER:I do not own any recognizable characters or the basic story of Moonlight itself.If I did, that’d be cool though, wouldn’t it? Alas, I only play with them.

Thanks Engbunny!

Beth’s Diary – Part Six

June 13, 1999

I am SO excited.Tomorrow I start a summer internship with the LA Free Press. Okay, I’ll admit it, not as a reporter, at least not to start but as a researcher, which I figure is good training too.A reporter is only as good as their ability to uncover the facts, so this is a good start.And yeah, the Free Press isn’t exactly the Times, but again, it’s a start.

Carlis going to work in a police reserve position over the summer, which will be a good start for his future as well.I can see us someday, working crime scenes together, it would be so cool!Carl says I’m very tenacious, which is just a classy way of his saying I’m pushy.I know it, but how else do you really get the whole story unless you are willing to push?If Woodward and Bernstein didn’t push do you think we would have gotten the whole story behind Watergate?I think NOT!

Robbi is going off to save the whales this summer. Okay, actually she is going off to study the whales in Alaska; Humpback whales to be specific.They migrate to the colder waters of the ocean during the summer to feed.Did you know that they don’t eat during the winter?I didn’t, but whales are Robbi’s current passion and it’s practically all we have heard about from her for months, every since she made the cut to go to for the study.She will live on a ship as they monitor and study a pod of whales that have previously been tagged by the researchers.I really admire Robbi for her dedication; it will not be an easy summer for her since they are likely to encounter whalers; if that happens it will break her heart because they are not allowed to interfere, although Green Peace is usually there too and does get involved and the encounters are usually not peaceful.

Lani is studying another species this summer, the European male.She is going on a tour of Spain, Italy, France and Greece with her aunt and uncle and two cousins.All I can say about that is that Europe has no idea what is about to hit them!I don’t understand Lani in many ways; I mean, we’ve been best friends practically forever and things just sort of fall into her lap with so little effort on her part.She finished this year with a 3.7 GPA and how I’d like to know?She never studies!She’s never around to study.A person couldn’t keep track of her social calendar and escapades if they devoted themselves to the task full time.She just flits from one thing to another with no direction, just landing wherever she may.It’s amazing, really.If ever anyone had a fairy godmother it MUST be Lani.

It’s been a good year for me, but stressful because of classes and also because my grandmother is not doing well.Mom has had to hire a nurse to stay with her during the school year while she was teaching.She doesn’t have a particular disease really, she’s just older and getting increasingly frail.She has fallen several times and broken bones that have had difficulty healing properly; she has no appetite at all and just seems to be wasting away.She tells me that she is just old and misses grandpa; that she just wants to be with him again.I understand that, but I guess I’m selfish; if he has her then I don’t.She’s the only grandmother I’ve even had, ever known and I can’t imagine my life without her.I never lacked for anything in my life that love and support could provide, directly due to her, my mom and Clark.How do you let that go?How do I let her go?


Beth was helping her mom wash the dinner dishes after her first day at her internship.It had been an exciting day; they only thing that kept it from being perfect was that Carl wasn’t there to hear about it.He was still as the Reserve Officer Training Course and wouldn’t be back until the end of the week.When he did get back, he would be riding along with regular officers on the 3rd watch.Which meant limited time for them to see each other, but Beth was okay with that; this was his dream and she knew how important it was to him.

"So Carl will be a police officer after this training?” her mom asked as she pulled the plug to let the sink drain.The Turner household did not own a dishwasher, her mom hated them.Beth was determined that she would never live in a house without one.

“No, he’ll be a certified Reserve Officer Mom.After he graduates in December he will go to the Police Academy and then after that he’ll be an officer.”

“Carl is a fine young man Beth and certainly very bright.He’s really pushed himself to graduate in December I know.That isn’t easy; he must be really dedicated to his goals to accomplish that!”

Beth mumbled an ‘mm hm’ and turned away so that her mom wouldn’t see the amused smile she wore as she listened to her mom’s words.Yes, Carl was certainly goal-oriented, but he was also a frat boy; party was his middle name.Just a month ago he had taught her how to chug a beer in one gulp.He couldn’t manage to teach her how NOT to throw it right back up, but she could get it down.She knew her mom also wouldn’t appreciate some of the other skills Carl had taught her.

Carl was only her second lover but he had certainly helped her to discover what sex was all about.Her first lover had never quite managed to help her get to the goal post, so to speak.She knew how to accomplish that on her own, but she had begun to believe that it just wasn’t going to happen with a guy.And then Carl entered the picture and all bets were off.She felt like she couldn’t get enough of him and this past two weeks without him had seemed endless.


They both heard Clark’s frantic yell from the living room and turned to head in there on the run.When they got to the living room Clark was on the phone with 911.Grams was half sitting, half lying on the couch and the right side of her face was drooping, her right arm hanging limply at her side over the arm of the couch.

“MOM,” Dorothy said, dropping to her knees in front of her mother.“Mom, can you speak?”Grace Turner only stared with blank eyes at her daughter, unable to speak.Dorothy reached out and wiped a small bit of saliva off of the corner of her mother’s mouth and listed to Clark as he directed the ambulance where to come.He hung up the phone finally and knelt down next to Dorothy, taking one of Grace’s chilled hands into his own.

Beth stood rooted in the doorway, unable to move or speak.She watched the scene before her as if from a tunnel and finally crumpled to her knees in shock, tears streaming down her face.She finally sat down and leaned against the doorway and prayed they would hear the sirens soon that would herald the arrival of the rescue crew.

“What happened Clark?” Dorothy asked.She grabbed an afghan off the back of the couch and tucked it around her mother, still trying to get her to respond.

Clark shrugged his shoulders and said, “We were watching Wheel of Fortune and chatting occasionally.I asked her what she thought the third word was and she didn’t answer so I looked at her and saw her face.I don’t know when it happened, a – a few minutes before that I think.It couldn’t have been too long.”

Dorothy was rubbing Grace’s hand vigorously, trying to warm it while saying, “Mom, can you hear me?Blink your eyes if you can!” but there was no response.

“She’s still breathing, that’s a good sign I think,” Clark said, watching her chest rise and fall with shallow breaths.He looked at Dorothy expectantly, hoping that he was right.

They heard the sirens approaching and Clark said, “Beth, go to the door to let them in!”He looked over his shoulder to where Beth was sitting unmoving.“BETH!The door – now!”

Beth stared at him and shook herself alert.She heard the sirens too and stood up and made her way to the door, opening it as the rescue crew pulled up in front of the house.She held the door open as she stood silently, watching them enter the house and start to assess Grams condition.

“Pupils fixed and dilated,” one of the EMT’s said as the other one wrapped a blood pressure cuff around her tiny arm.“Can you tell us what happened?”

Beth listened as Clark told them what he knew.They were listening to her grandmother’s heart and charting vital signs.“We need to transport her to the hospital folks.It looks like she has had a stroke.”They left the house briefly to retrieve a gurney and returned with it.After they got her strapped into it they talked with Dorothy as they decided on the hospital they would take her to.Clark would drive Beth and Dorothy, following the ambulance.Dorothy grabbed her purse and locked the door behind them, only a minute or so after the ambulance had left, the siren screaming into the quiet evening.

Beth hadn’t said a word since it had happened; she woodenly moved along after her mother into the hospital emergency room and stood behind her, listening as her mother provided insurance information to the clerk.Clark was parking the car and would join them as soon as he was done.

They sat in the waiting room; listening for their name to be called for an update on Grace’s condition.None of them talked; Beth leaned her head back against the pale green wall and decided she needed to pray but she couldn’t find any words.All that went through her head was ‘please don’t let her die’ and she chastised herself for that.Did that mean that regardless of her condition let her live?Her grandmother wouldn’t want that.

So just what are you asking for Beth?

Finally their name was called and they followed a nurse down several twisting corridors to get to where Grace was being monitored.A doctor and another nurse were checking her responses and monitors.Beth watched as the doctor shook his head and made a note on a chart before turning to introduce himself to them.

“Hi, Dr. Abrams.” He looked at Dorothy and asked, “You are her daughter?”

“Yes, I’m Dorothy Turner; this is my daughter Beth and a friend of the family, Clark Griffin.What can you tell us Dr. Abrams?”

"Your mother had a cerebral hemorrhage, specifically located in her brain stem.It happened when she had a stroke most likely; the two conditions often happen together.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that she is bleeding into her brain Ms. Turner.It is grave in this instance.Tests show no brain function.”

“How can you tell this?You certainly haven’t had time to do a CT scan or anything.”

“No, we haven’t, but all the information tells us that this is what has happened.”He described several of the indicators of the condition and Dorothy and Clark both noted that they had noticed some of the symptoms earlier.

“Ms. Turner, does your mother have a living will?” he asked gently.

A small sob escaped Dorothy’s lips as she nodded solemnly.“Yes, she does. She didn’t want to be kept alive artificially.But she’s not on a respirator so does that indicate that she may recover?”

“No.”He indicated one of the machines on a rack and pointed to a readout that was displayed on it.“As you can see, she has no brain function at all; right now her body is basically breathing through her body’s automatic reflex.Eventually, soon I believe, that will stop and she will pass.I’m very sorry to have to tell you this, but it is what will happen.”

“Which is why you asked about the living will I guess?”

Dr. Abrams nodded yes, looking at the machines as one of them beeped softly in the quiet of the room.“Her heart is slowing down now, she doesn’t have long.Would you like to say your goodbyes?”

Tears were streaking Dorothy’s face as she nodded.Clark stood by her side, his arm around her shoulders and she turned her head and laid it on his shoulder, half covering her face.

Dr. Abrams nodded to the nurse and they started to leave the room.Beth watched all this in horror and finally found her voice and screamed, “No, NO! Don’t leave her, please, you can save her, I know you can.”She ran to her grandmother’s side and sobbed, “Come on Grams, don’t leave, you can get better.Please, please…”

Dorothy went to her daughter and tried to gently pull her away from her grandmother.“Beth honey, it’s time to let her go.Don’t make this more difficult for everyone.Just tell her goodbye and let her go in peace.”Her own tears were practically blinding Dorothy, but she knew she had to help Beth.“Beth - Bethy, let her go.”

At the word ‘Bethy’, her grandmother’s pet name for her she fell completely apart and sank to the floor, unable to control herself.“No, she can’t go momma, she can’t.I’m not ready.”Clark picked her up in his arms and sat her down into a chair and knelt down in front of her.

“Beth, I know sweetie, but your grandmother is ready for this.She’s been ready for a long time now.”He pulled Beth against his chest and felt her shudder with her anguish as sobs wracked her small body. Beth wrapped her arms around his neck and held onto him, sobbing all the harder because she knew that he spoke the truth; Grams was ready and as much as she didn’t want to admit it, she knew it was true.

When her sobs had abated a bit he tilted her head up so that he could look into her eyes.“C’mon sweetie, tell her goodbye, okay?”

Dorothy watched as all this played out in front of her and thought briefly about all the years she had wasted, keeping herself from this loving man.This had shown her that she couldn’t waste any more time and she knew that soon they would have to talk about it all.Right now she had this situation to deal with and she looked down again at her mother, wishing that this journey would be easy for her.Dorothy was determined that she would let her mother go as peacefully as she could.

She brushed a stray lock of hair off of Grace’s forehead and then bent to kiss the wrinkled skin.It felt cool and dry to her lips and she brushed one of her own tears off of her mother’s cheek and tried to smile.“Momma, I will miss you so much, but I won’t stand in your way.I know how much you miss daddy and want to be with him.I love you; my life was so much better because of you and I owe you so much.Go to him momma; be happy.”She bent to kiss her one last time.

Beth was now standing next to her and heard her words.“I love you Grams; give Gramps a hug from his princess for me, okay?I’ll miss you always.”

Clark stood behind them and put his arm around both of them and felt tears streak his own cheeks.Having lost both of his parents he understood their pain; only time would help them feel better, but he intended to be there for both of them, as he had always been.

The monitor started beeping rapidly just then and then settled into one long continuous tone and the doctor and nurse rushed back into the small room.They examined Grace and finally the doctor said, “Time of death, 9:17 pm.”

The nurse made a note in the chart and they both left the room again, giving the family a few last minutes.All three of them stood together, pained by the event but determined to stand strong, together.


The call came at 2:00 am.Mick was working on some case files in his office and sipping a glass of blood.He had felt restless all evening, out of sync with the world and had finally decided to try to take his mind off of it by getting some long past-due work out of the way.

“Michael Sandoval Investigations,” his voice said quietly through the phone line.


Only one word, but he immediately recognized the caller and was suddenly on edge; something was wrong.“Clark, what’s wrong?”

“It’s Grace; she passed this evening.I – I thought you would want to know.”

Mick’s heart sank and he leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes for a moment, picturing Grace in his mind.She was always such a lively and kind woman, taking care of everyone.He cleared his throat and finally said, “And, uh, the family?How are they?”It almost killed Mick to say ‘the family’ but he couldn’t bring himself to say her name.He didn’t even allow himself to think it any longer; it was better this way.

“In shock, hurting. All the usual emotions.She had a cerebral hemorrhage, but still, she went fairly quickly and I hope peacefully.It was really hard on, uh, her Mick, on Beth, but she’s tough, she’ll make it.”

The line was quiet for a minute; there didn’t seem to be anything else to say, so finally Mick said, “Thanks for letting me know Clark; I really appreciate it.Let me know if there is anything I can do, you know?”

“Yeah Mick, I will.You take care, okay?”Clark paused for a moment and drew in a deep breath and then added, "She knows you aren't here any more Mick; she misses you."

Mick swallowed hard at those words and he hung his head for a moment and closed his eyes tightly.His heartbeat frantically for a moment but he only said, “You too Clark, you too.”The line went dead and Mick listened to the tuneless buzz for a few seconds before hanging up.

He allowed himself to think of her face for a moment and a memory came to him.She was 5 and Clark had been teaching her to ride a bicycle.She was determined to do it without training wheels because they were for ‘sissies’ she had said.Mick had watched from the sideline, hidden amongst some trees as she had pedaled furiously and Clark ran along behind her as she tried to steady herself.

Finally, after several hours and several cuts and scrapes later she had it mastered.It was dusk and as Clark let go she tore down the street, all on her own, yelling her delight.She flew past Mick, racing down to the end of the cul de sac and turned around, heading back down to where Clark waited, a silly and proud grin on his face.

As she got in front of Mick her bike wheel hit a pot hole and she went flying over the handlebars and hit the pavement hard.Mick immediately heard a ‘whoosh’ as the wind was knocked out of her and before he could help himself he was there, picking her up in his arms and willing her to start breathing again.

Suddenly she caught her breath and gulped in a huge lung full and opened her eyes, only to see Mick staring at her. Clark got there then and Mick quickly handed her to him, dismayed to have been caught watching.

Clark smiled to see Mick; somehow it was okay that he watched and it wasn’t totally unexpected from what he had been told about this man.They looked at one another, each taking the other’s measure and then they both smiled and nodded.Beth was squirming and asking to be put down so she could ride some more.

“Only to the house, okay?You’ve had enough for one night Beth and it’s getting too dark anyway.Go on now,” he told her and they both watched as she climbed back on the bike and headed off to the house.She turned for a moment to stare at them and Clark said, “Pay attention to where you are going Beth!Do you want to hit another pot hole?”

She laughed and started singing some nameless song, undaunted by it all.Clark offered his hand to Mick and said, “I’m Clark, Logan’s older brother.It’s nice to meet you Mick, officially I mean.Thank you for all you’ve done for my brother Mick – for saving him I mean.”

“Yeah, it is.I’m uh, sorry to have been watching.I don’t mean anything by it.”

“I know and it’s okay.It sort of relieves me to know that someone else is watching too.Anytime Mick, anytime at all.”

They shook hands and Clark nodded in Beth’s direction; she was waiting for him at the driveway.Mick took one last look at Beth and stepped back into the shadows; out of site.Clark headed towards Beth, a smile on his face.

Coming back to the present Mick acknowledged her tenacity and determination.He knew she would be okay.


Two weeks later Dorothy was opening the mail and found a letter from a local children’s shelter.It stated that an anonymous donation had been made in her mother’s name for $25,000 dollars.Dorothy sank down on the couch and held the letter to her chest as she cried; deep wracking sobs that made her throat ache.When she finally got herself under control she managed a small smile as she re-read the letter.

Thank you Mr. St. John…

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beth's Diary - Part Five

Beth’s Diary – Part Five

October 3, 1999

So, here I am back at school! Sophomore year, hooray! And I’m living in the dorm, but sadly I’ve found that dorm living ain’t all it’s cracked up to be! I can’t believe I’m saying that!

Okay, it’s great sort of being on my own; if you can call living in a building with 2,000 other people, some of whom apparently never sleep, on my own. I have a roommate, Kristine who is really into the Goth scene, but she’s okay and other than her half of the room being swathed in black, I’m pretty happy. She hangs out with other people and isn’t here all that often, which allows me time to study and hang out with a few of my own friends!

I see Lani quite a bit, but Robbi not as much. She is already so focused on her career, or the career ahead of her it’s not even funny. She is working towards obtaining a fellowship to the Ronald Graehm Institute which studies whales and other sea mammals after senior year and only the best grades and most earnest students make it. It is based out of San Diego and is practically all she talks about. From there she will obtain her doctorate in Marine Biology and I have no doubt that she will do it all. She’s already made several visits down there to check things out and has been suitably impressed with their work. It’s interesting to watch Robbi this past year, how she has grown up I mean. Well, we’ve ALL grown up (some of us more that others) but of the three of us she is certainly the most driven, the most focused on her life. It’s funny, I always thought I was the one with a mind to the future; I want to be a journalist, it’s pretty much all I ever wanted to do since I started interviewing my Barbie dolls in kindergarten.

For Lani, business school is one big opportunity to party. She says it’s all about ‘networking’ and meeting people and she has certainly done enough of that! She is the social butterfly among us, flitting from one bush to the other. I’d say ‘flower’ but most of these men would probably resent that. She’s discovered that she doesn’t really need to have her boobs made bigger in college; the guys here are appreciative of her just the way she is. Still, when you want to have some fun, Lani is just the person to lead you into its path and we’ve had a lot of amazing Friday nights. She hangs with the Greeks a lot and there is an endless array of parties to choose from.

A couple of those frat boys are pretty fun and one in particular has my eye right now. His name is Carl Davis and he is a Criminal Justice major, in his junior year. Kind of wild, but still really focused on his goals, he’s a mother’s dream because he has the looks to go along with the total package! I think I might be in love!



“C’mon Carl, can’t I go too?” A soft kiss against his warm lips. “Please?” Another kiss, a little firmer this time. Beth traced the outline of his lips with her tongue, driving him wild. She could feel him hardening against her belly and she smiled. She had him now, she knew!

“Beth,” Carl said, trying to separate himself from her, “NO, you can’t go! It could be dangerous! There will be too many people there!”

“You could protect me, you know, with your ‘gun’! Her hand slid down the front of his slacks and caressed the ‘gun’.

“No – NO! Just back off, you’re too pushy!” He pushed her away from him, slightly harder than he had planned and he immediately felt awful for it. His tone softened as he said, “You know what? You’re hanging out with Lani too damn much!”

“All my life! Besides, you never complained about that before!” Beth stuck out her lower lip in an adorable pout.

Carl was mesmerized by that lip; he ached to kiss it, to stroke it with his tongue and enjoy everything that would happen after that. For a moment, he thought of blowing the whole night off and just staying here with Beth; he always felt this way around her, couldn’t get enough of her even though she was definitely an immovable object about some things, like wanting to go with him tonight.

He shut his eyes for a moment and mentally steeled himself as he told her, “No, you can’t go with me. Those Omega Psi Phi boys are too wild; they are too wild and I can’t keep them away from you. No, NO absolutely no, you aren’t going!”

Beth ran her finger across Carl’s lip and leaned closer to him and whispered, “You aren’t so tame yourself you know! Alright, I surrender; I’ll just stay here and study!” She smiled at him and sighed. “But you know, you going to some kind of party that I can’t go to just makes me even more curious!”

“It’s not that kind of a party, okay? Its rush week you know? There’s stuff, well, you can’t be involved in this.

There’s only one of me and 30 of them; I don’t intend getting the shit kicked out of me trying to keep you away from the brothers. This is better. Look, I’ll call you later, okay?”

Beth nodded her head and leaned up to give him one final kiss. He pulled her close and breathed in the scent of her hair, honeysuckle he thought. It reminded him of home, his grandma’s house in fact; of summertime and hanging out in the backyard with his brother and his cousins, chasing fireflies and each other until he couldn’t take another step. He missed home so much and his big brother, who had been killed in Iraq 8 years ago. He gave her one final kiss and said, “I’ll call you later, okay?”

She smiled and nodded and reluctantly watched him go; walking down the hall and disappearing down the staircase. When she couldn’t see him any longer she closed the door and settled down to study, but her mind wasn’t quite ready for that yet.

She thought about Carl instead; they had met last year in Public Speaking and had become fast friends. She liked that, the fact that they were friends first in their relationship. She didn’t have all that much experience with guys; he was only the second guy she had slept with and it was pretty intense with him. Whether or not it was because of their friendship first she didn’t know, but she was crazy about him, that much was for sure.

She picked up her lit book and prepared to do some reading but after 10 minutes of reading and re-reading the same page over and over she gave up and tossed it onto the desk in frustration. She thought for a moment about turning on the TV and decided to flip on the stereo to listen to some music instead. She kicked off her shoes and sat down on the bed, resting her head on the pillows and before she knew it she had fallen asleep.

“I want my mommy! Mommy!” she cried out, tears streaking her small face.

“I’m your new mommy little girl. You are going to be so happy; you’ll have a daddy now and we will all live forever, together. Don’t cry now, okay? Here, Mr. Bear wants a hug.” The scary lady held up a fuzzy brown bear and Beth looked at it, as afraid of it as she was of the woman who held it out for her.

The scene changed and they were in an old building and the scary woman was telling her that her daddy would be there soon. “Just wait, he will love you little girl, he will. He’ll take good care of us, we’ll all be so happy…”

Beth shook her head no, sobbing even more loudly. Her chest and throat hurt from all the crying. All she wanted was to go home, home to her mommy, to Grams and Gramps.

Someday she thought, someday…[/i]

[i]And then he was there and she knew immediately that he would save her. She watched as they fought, violently, viciously; the sounds were chilling to listen to and made her shrink even farther into the corner. Finally he came to her, telling her he was taking her to her home, to her mommy. He had saved her… She clung to him, holding only to him tightly. She leaned against his shoulder and breathed deeply, maybe for the first time in days. He smelled of something she couldn’t identify, almost like when she dug into an old trunk in the attic. It was an almost sweet smell, but sort of like the wind blowing through the trees too; or maybe it was the ocean, she didn’t know but it made her feel safe and protected.

Beth awoke with a start, sitting straight up in the bed; her body was covered in sweat and her heart was racing wildly. She looked around for a moment, trying to figure out what had made her wake up. Not that she was sorry, she hated those dreams; it only replayed the issues over and over. She listened to the Sugar Ray song on the stereo for a moment and realized that might have been what woke her up.


when my life has passed me by
I’ll lay around and wonder why
you were always there for me.

One way
In the eyes of a passerby
I’ll look around for another try
And fade away

Just close your eyes and I’ll take you there
This place is warm and without a care
We’ll take a swim in the deep blue sea
I’ll go to leave as you reach for me

Just then there was a knock on the door. Beth glanced at the clock and saw that it was only midnight, not all that late for dorm hours. She pushed her damp hair out of her face and swung her feet down to the floor and said,

“Just a minute!”

She padded over to the door in her bare feet and opened it up, surprised by her visitor.

“Hey, is it too late to come by?” Carl was standing there, looking anxious about his reception.

Beth smiled and stepped back from the door so that he could enter. “C’mon in, I fell asleep when I should have been studying. How come you left the party so soon? Did you get your ‘frat’ business all taken care of?” She closed the door and leaned against it, reaching behind her to click the lock on.

Carl heard the soft click and his eyes darkened for a moment as he realized she wasn’t mad at him. Either that or she planned on killing him; it was fielder’s choice with Beth. He reached out and touched the side of her face gently and said, “I’m sorry about earlier Beth, I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings. I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind all evening.” He watched her face closely, trying to figure out how she would react. He leaned down and kissed her softly, enjoying the feel of her warm lips against his own.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, pulling his head down again for another kiss, this one neither soft nor quick. Her lips meshed against his and opened to welcome his tongue as it delved deeply into the soft recesses of her mouth. She sucked lightly on it for a moment and then slid her arms down, resting them on his firm ass and pulling him tightly against her. She could feel his arousal and it thrilled her; she got instantly wet and all she could think of was getting rid of the clothes that stood between her and his delicious body.

His tongue traced the outline of her lips before dipping back into the sweetness of her mouth again. He lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around him, grinding her pelvis into him. He groaned and started to carry her to the bed where they could have more contact. Beth lightly bit his lip and it drove him wild; she just wanted to drink him in. Carl felt his way blindly to the bed, tripping over her shoes on the way and they both fell to the bed, their lips never separating.

Beth reached down to try to unbutton his shirt and in her frustration she ripped several of the buttons completely off. She didn’t care and neither did Carl; both were only concerned with getting their clothes off immediately. Carl reached down and tugged her sweats off and she pulled her mouth away from his long enough to yank her tee shirt over her head. As Carl slid her pants down he pressed moist kisses along her belly and he felt it quiver with her anticipation.

Beth was working on unbuckling his belt and mumbled, “Get your pants off, NOW. She was trying to unzip and push at the same time and he finally stood up so that he could get them quicker. As they hit the floor he kicked them aside and his shoes as well before dragging down his briefs and lying back down on the bed.

Beth’s eyes were almost feverish with desire, glittering in the mellow glow of the lamp light. Carl looked down at her body and his eyes feasted on her beautiful breasts; her nipples rosy and aroused, standing in firm peaks. He swallowed hard and his mouth watered at the sight of them.

Beth pulled him down against her, settling him between her legs. As he rubbed against her he felt the wetness between her legs and he rubbed himself against it, spreading it around before entering her. He settled himself inside her trembling body and leaned down to kiss her again, capturing her lips in a hungry kiss.

Beth’s body responded by immediately squeezing him tightly as she lifted her hips to meet his thrusts. She felt intoxicated with need and passion; she couldn’t get enough of him. With her urging he drove into her aching body, harder and faster until neither one could catch their breath. Before they knew it they were both tumbling over the edge, careening into the abyss of satisfaction.

Carl rolled off of her and pulled her to his side while they both caught their breath. Beth shivered; they were both covered with sweat and she suddenly felt chilly as their bodies came down from the plateau.

"I have been thinking about this all night,” he murmured against her head. He planted a quick kiss on top of her head and then reached down to pull a folded afghan over them both.

“Oh you have, huh? Sorry you didn’t take me with you?”

“Hell no, I would have been so busy trying to keep everyone’s hands off of you it would have been miserable. Well, it was miserable anyway, just in a different way. You bewitch Beth, seriously.”

“Ditto,” she said, relaxing against him. She could hear the steady beat of his heart and felt comforted. She yawned, and snuggled into his body even more, draping her leg across his. Before she knew it, she was asleep again.


Mick breathed in the cool air of the Seattle night. When he first came here he thought he would never get used to it; he had. What he had a harder time getting used to was the isolation from…familiar things. People, there he admitted it and that was the hardest part.

Vamps are supposed to be solitary creatures and when he lived in LA he had thought that he was one. What he hadn’t realized was just how much contact he had with other people in his life. Now, he missed Josef and Logan, Guillermo too, just the friendly faces and bits of conversation he shared with those people. Of course, there was one other person too, but he tried really hard to not dwell on that, to keep her out of his mind. Sometimes he even almost believed that he had.

But he knew better; deep down in his soul he knew better, knew that she would always and forever be a part of him, even if he never saw her again. There was a brief jolt of panic that ran through him at that thought, it tightened and twisted in his gut and he gulped in air, trying to calm himself.

He remembered the only time he had ever really held her; he pulled her tightly to him so they could get out of the inferno. Her small body trembled with fear as huge blue eyes stared at the fire unblinkingly. She just watched, almost mesmerized by the flames that were licking across the room, hungrily devouring everything they touched. As he held her he felt her small human heart beating out a frantic rhythm against him; he felt her sweet warm breath against his neck as she finally hid her face against his neck. In that moment he knew that he would watch over her always, he could do nothing less.

That moment had redefined his life, forever changed his priorities and values. He had these special abilities and they could be used for good in the human world, even if he wasn’t a part of it any longer. He might be on the fringes of their world, but there were things he could do to help the humans. Sometimes being a monster could be a good thing.

What he didn’t want to even think about was what, if any effect it might have on her, him always hovering near. He told himself that she didn’t know, that he was just wallpaper in the background, there to ensure her safety. That was fine, until he finally realized that he didn’t want to be wallpaper any longer; that was when he knew he had to leave her to let her find her own way in life. She had others, good people who were watching her and it would be enough – it would have to be.

It was strange, the feeling of security that the ‘same old same old’ provided a person. When you change that status quo, all bets were off. He felt vacant and alone, in a way he never had before. It was so tempting to call Clark and ask about her, to know how she was. She was in college now; was she happy? Did she have friends, or a boyfriend?

That last thought sent a shard of pain ripping through his heart; it was almost more than he could bear. It was what was right, a normal life for her – love, marriage and family to love. All the joy and happiness he could never give her. He wanted all that for her, those starry-eyed dreams that the young have; dreams of what lies ahead, of life. It was the right thing to do, to stay away and give her the chance for all that without him lurking in the shadows watching it all with sad eyes and an aching heart because it was someone else she was experiencing it all with. Someday she would have children of her own, little blond haired and blue eyed ones maybe, eager to explore the world themselves. He could never give her that, ever.

So why couldn’t he let it go? Let her go?

He settled back in the deck chair and took a sip of his evening meal; A positive. It was fresh, still thanks to Josef’s ‘arrangements’, something that he had come to appreciate in the past year or so. A human would never be able to distinguish the differences between morgue blood and fresh but to a vamp it was like the difference between grape juice and tomato juice. Both bloods were imbued with the essence of the human it came from, but if they were dead, well, it was like it was ‘flat’. Living blood was alive with the emotions of the person who gave it. Often sweet and a little spicy, it thrilled a vampire and satisfied in a way that would be unimaginable to a human.

Blood from criminals gave off a sharp taste, it filled his mouth with a sort of venom, evil. It was his right to take in vengeance and he swallowed the bitterness down as an act of triumph. Triumph over evil, over hatred or revenge. He’d swallowed the blood of murderers and thieves, of rapists and molesters and been warmed by it because the blood meant the death of the one he took it from. Humans would never understand that; the way of the vampire. Justice was swift and it was always all-encompassing; it never looked back, never regretted.

No, a human could never understand. He was a monster in their eyes, in his own too. He closed his eyes and reflected on that thought, unable to shake it or the monster that lurked within.

To be continued…