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.
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…