Beth’s Diary – Part Eleven
July 12, 2003
I’m getting really bad about writing in this, which is a shame because I enjoy it, but life is so busy sometimes it just seems to take a back seat. I’ll do my best to catch up though, I promise!
Let’s see, what to talk about first? I’m still working at the LA Free Press, which is cool. I met a new friend there, Julia Stephens, another writer. We tend to both angle for the crime stuff, although she really likes the human interest too. That’s okay, she can have them! I do like her though; we have a lot in common and have a blast whenever we hang out.
I miss Lani and Robbi so much! Since Robbi and Kevin got married I seem to see her less and less, which is to be expected, but still… Robbi was always the calm one, the logical one of the three of us. She usually pulled Lani and me back from doing something stupid that we would regret later. Now we’re kind of on our own and that’s okay, but I still miss her. She is still pursuing her doctorate in Marine Biology and she’ll accomplish it too, I know she will. In the meantime she is still working for the Graehm Institute and learning so much.
Lani has blossomed into her job as a training coordinator in San Francisco. She’s always been charismatic and engaging, which is perfect for her job. She has been promoted twice in her first year and I think she is really happy. We try to get together for the weekend once a month or so and it’s amazing to watch as she grows into this job and responsibility. My mom laughs and shakes her head when I tell her all that Lani has accomplished; it’s as if she can’t believe this is the same Lani I grew up with. The most extraordinary thing about Lani right now is that she actually has a boyfriend – someone steady I mean. It’s the first time I ever remember her going out with someone more than a couple of times. His name is Ryan and he seems really nice and is crazy about her. Truthfully though, I’m pretty sure he is more invested in the relationship than she is, but I could definitely be wrong.
Me? Well, there is no one special in my life. I guess I should be sad about that, but I’m not really. I’m busy, with my job and I never know when I’ll be called out on a story. As I learned with Carl, that can really cause problems with a relationship. I do go out sometimes, I mean I have dated but no one has really caught my eye. I’m waiting for the ONE. I know, that sounds silly and stupid. Clark reminds me not to wait forever, that there are lots of good guys out there and I know he’s right, but there’s just something inside me holding me back. Is it so crazy to think that there is a guy out there that will see me and love me for whom I truly am? That he will ‘get’ me as I’ll ‘get’ him? I yearn for that, I need it. I won’t accept anything less.
Oh, and I know that this sounds totally stupid, but I feel my shadow man sometimes. Maybe not quite like before, I mean, I haven’t caught a glimpse of him or anything but he’s definitely back, if he was ever gone in the first place. I don’t know, just a feeling I have. Could be wrong, huh?
Beth grinned as she heard Lani’s voice on the phone. It was Wednesday night, laundry night but she sat the full basket down and plopped into a comfy chair to chat with her friend. “Hey yourself! What’s up?”
“I have some news for you! Are you sitting down?” Lani told her. She was almost giddy with excitement over her news. She waited impatiently for Beth to respond.
OMG! She is going to get married! Play it cool Beth, play it cool!
“Well, what’s the news?”
Beth could hear Lani take a deep breath and let it out slowly over the phone line. Beth smiled, waiting to hear the news.
“I have accepted a position in Japan, Tokyo to be exact!” The words practically bubbled out of her throat.
“Congratu – huh? A job? I – I thought, well never mind. In JAPAN???”
“Yes, with Sesumi International! I’ll be the Assistant Director of Training Operations. Beth, this is huge, I still can’t believe it!”
“Sesumi? The big, multi-national, global electronics and communications company? That Sesumi?” Beth was still reeling over the fact that Lani wasn’t getting married; why she even thought that she couldn’t believe, but still. Instead this was all about a job? In a foreign country?
“Yes, that Sesumi! Beth, this is such an incredible opportunity for me, I can hardly believe it. I’m hyperventilating, let me tell you. They just called and I had to call and tell you right away!”
“Wow Lani, I’m so happy for you!” Beth meant those words but she still felt a bit sad. No more long weekends with her friend; Tokyo was a long, long way from Los Angeles. “So, when do you have to be there?”
“In three weeks actually. It still feels like a dream. I am typing out my letter of resignation for Morgan and Grant right now. I’m going to live in Tokyo Beth! I can’t wait.”
It was hard not to be excited for Lani; she was so wound up at this chance. “So tell me all about it!”
“Well, my salary will be roughly double what I make here Beth! They will have an apartment for me as well as a car. It’s going to be hard work, there’s no denying that and it’s also going to be culture shock. Tokyo is a very cosmopolitan city, but it is still a completely different society. I will be working mostly with Japanese employees so I’ll be taking lessons in the language as soon as I get there. Oh Beth, I’m so excited, but I’m also so scared I could pee my pants!”
Beth started laughing and Lani joined her. They each laughed until the tears were rolling down their cheeks. Another thought occurred to Beth. “Lani, have you told Ryan yet?”
“No-o-o, you were the first person I called. I guess I gotta, don’t I?” She sighed; it wasn’t something she was looking forward to.
“Don’t you think you had better do it soon Lani? I think he is really crazy about you.”
“Yeah, I know. See though, I never actually told him about the interview. I didn’t tell anyone; I didn’t want to jinx it, you know?”
“Well, it will probably be a shock then. What about your parents? Are you going to come down here before you go?”
“Mom and Dad will be thrilled to see me climb the corporate ladder, even if it is 13,000 miles away. And yes, I’ll be down there in hm, 13 days? So we can spend some time together before I go, okay?”
“Sounds good.” They chatted for a few minutes more and finally said their goodbyes. As Beth pushed the ‘end’ key on her phone she was thoughtful about her friend. Lani seemed to think that Ryan would take it all easily. Beth wasn’t so sure, but time would tell.
Mick could hear loud music coming from behind the door at Logan’s house. He banged a bit harder on the door and yelled, “Logan, open the damn door!”
Logan finally answered the door wearing a Yoda t-shirt that said ‘Tried the dark side I did and liked it I did!’ Mick winced at the music volume and said, “Logan, can you turn that noise down?”
Logan looked at him blankly, clearly not getting it.
“LOGAN! Turn it DOWN!”
Logan went to the stereo and turned the volume down. “Gee Mick, you didn’t have to yell!” He kicked a few pieces of clothing under the couch and scooped up another armful before tossing them down on the floor and motioned to Mick to sit down.
“For Christ’s sake Logan, could this place be any messier?” Mick scanned the room and grimaced, seeing the laundry and general clutter on every available surface. Parts of computers and other unidentifiable items littered the desk and a work table off to one side of the room.
“What’s wrong with it? You don’t have to live here dude!” Logan clearly didn’t get it.
Mick pinched his nose for a moment and closed his eyes. Mentally he was mortified to see the place like this. It wasn’t exactly dirty, but it looked like a tornado had hit it. He opened his eyes and took a long, hard look at Logan and spied his hair that was sticking up at all angles; it looked like it hadn’t been combed in days.
“Okay Alexander, I have to get Logan out of here, NOW. Before the police come. Do you understand?” Mick watched the judge’s reaction to his words; time was critical.
Alexander Griffin was no stranger to trouble, or fast thinking. He looked at his son, lying motionless on the ground and nodded. “Can I see him later?” he asked.
“Not right away. He’ll need, um, training before it will be safe Alexander. I’m sorry.”
“He’ll be okay?” he asked. Mick could see hope as well as tears wearing on the pale face of the judge.
“I think so; I think so. I’ve never done this before. You can handle all this?” He asked, looking around at the bodies that were tossed around on the pavement.
Alexander nodded solemnly and leaned back against the van. He swiped a hand down his face and said softly, “Yes, I can handle it Mick. It will be fine. Just take care of my son.” His voice broke on the last word.
Mick nodded and felt something close to panic rise in his throat and he swallowed it down quickly, refusing to let Alexander see how scared he really was. “I have to get him home, to the uh, freezer and he’ll need to fee – eat soon. I’ll call you soon, I promise!” He could hear sirens in the distance, his cue. He scooped Logan’s limp body up in his arms and with one last look at the judge he headed off at a run for his car, parked a block away.
Mick laid Logan’s still lifeless form into the back seat of the Benz and tucked his legs in before pushing the seat back and climbing in. He glanced over his shoulder, wondering if it was going to be okay. Shouldn’t Logan be awake by now? He didn’t know. How long had it taken him to wake up? Did he do something wrong? Logan had drunk from him, on his own but since then there was nothing, no movement, no sounds.
He headed for his apartment, trying to make a game plan. He’d need blood, fresh blood and lots of it and the freezer. Would Logan, should he feed before he went into the freezer? What if he didn’t wake up again? Mick needed Josef; he’d call as soon as he got Logan inside.
Mick thanked God that it was so late; there was no one around to see him pull Logan out of the car and carry him inside. As soon as they were in the apartment he carried him up to the freezer, pulling his clothes off first. His body was a mess and Mick decided that he needed a shower before he put him in the freezer so he carried him into the bathroom and washed his body off as best as he could. Trying to manipulate a totally limp body wasn’t easy, even with vampire strength and dexterity. Trying to dry Logan off was even more awkward and he cursed himself and Logan too, wishing he would just wake up.
He got Logan settled into the freezer and hurriedly changed into clean, dry clothes and then went to call Josef. He stopped and grabbed a glass of blood to drink while he waited for Josef to come to the phone.
“Hey boyo, the party’s going full blast here; come on over!”
Mick could hear music and lots of voices in background. He took a deep breath and said, “Josef, I need help; blood fresh blood and some advice.” He explained the situation to Josef quickly, waiting for a response.
“You turned someone? YOU?” Josef asked, stunned by Mick’s words. He wouldn’t have believed it was possible.
“Yes, now get your ass over here; I’m in over my head Josef and I need help now!”
“Hang on Mick, the cavalry is coming!”
Twenty minutes later Josef arrived, along with Melinda Bishop, one of his freshies who was in med school. Mick had been pacing furiously, waiting for help. He had run upstairs every couple of minutes to check on Logan, who still hadn’t stirred. He opened the door silently when he heard the elevator bell and stood by the door, waiting for them to hurry in.
“Has he woken up yet?” Josef asked.
Mick shook his head; he was all but wringing his hands with anxiety. “No. He did drink on his own when I fed him my blood but since then he hasn’t moved. I don’t know man, maybe I didn’t do it right!”
“Mick, sometimes it can take a day or two even for them to come out of it. Not usually, but it can.” Josef headed straight for the freezer room and lifted the lid, looking down on Logan’s body. “Kids young. What is he, like twenty?”
“Yeah, something like that. What do you think?”
“You know, I actually saw him once; he was just a kid. Hell, he’s still just a kid. How did this happen again?”
Mick explained again, adding, “He asked me to – he, he knew what the choice was and he asked me. So did the judge. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t just let him die. I mean, the judge just lost his wife, I couldn’t let him loose his son too.” He voice caught in his throat as he said those last words.
Josef reached out and squeezed Mick’s shoulder in an effort to ease Mick’s pain a bit. “You did the right thing Mick. Come on now, he’s going to be okay. Just gotta give it time.”
Belinda was examining his body and looked up at the two vamps who were watching over her shoulder. “He seems okay to me – I mean for being undead and all. I don’t know what else to say.” She shrugged and started to move away from the freezer.
Logan sat up in the freezer in the blink of an eye, with all the speed of a fledgling and grabbed at Belinda, smelling the fresh blood. His fangs were glistening in his open mouth, his eyes silvered over.
Mick and Josef reacted immediately, wresting Belinda safely away from Logan’s grasp. Mick yelled, “Get her outta here, I got it now!” Mick held on tightly to Logan who was howling with displeasure as he watched his meal being taken away. Low growls were emanating from his throat as Mick held him close and talked to him. His hands were gripping Mick tightly; his claws digging in to Mick’s shoulders through the cloth of his shirt.
“It’s okay Logan, we’re going to get you fed, I promise. Just calm down a bit, okay? That’s it, just calm down, I’ve got you.” Eventually Mick felt Logan go limp and the growls became more like soft mewls. Mick had to remind himself that Logan was for all intents right now an infant, lost in a world he didn’t know how to deal with. He patted Logan on the back and said, “That’s good. Now, let’s go and get you something to eat, okay? You can do it.”
Logan nodded as Mick’s words slowly sunk into his brain. He was starting to remember what had happened; he was a vampire now. He really was – he was going to drink blood. For a moment he wondered if he could really do it; he felt almost nauseous at the prospect. Until he smelled the blood that Mick poured into a glass for him that is. It smelled better than anything ever had before, not really like blood at all.
He reached out an unsteady hand to grab the glass and his eyes silvered over again. He felt his fangs too and he reached up and stroked them in wonder with a hesitant finger tip. He nicked it and stared at the bead of blood that gathered on it for a moment then the smell of the blood pulled him in and he remembered the glass that was being held out to him.
“Uh Mick, do I drink with my fangs? I – I don’t know how to do this.”
Mick smiled faintly and shook his head. “No, just drink. But be careful, the fangs may get in the way. Your fangs are used to uh, puncture skin Logan, they aren’t like, straws you know.”
Logan nodded quickly and then grabbed the glass, downing the blood in just a few gulps. Mick took the glass and refilled it and Logan did the same with the second glass. He sat it down and then burped, long and loud, an amazed look on his face.
“I can still burp?”
Mick laughed and said, “Yeah, you can. Apparently…”
“What else will I do now, I mean, like before?”
“Like…?” Mick asked, wondering specifically what Logan was asking.
“Like will I still use the bathroom? Sleep? Snore?” Mick could see the curiosity in Logan’s eyes and he smiled in response.
“You’ll still pee occasionally, if you drink many liquids. Your body will absorb them, but you’ll pee them out. You won’t want to eat solid foods because you can’t digest them and you’ll just get sick. Yes, you’ll sleep and I don’t know, did you snore before?”
“So no more cheeseburgers huh? Wow, I didn’t expect that.”
“Well, you can’t taste them anymore. Really the only thing you’ll be able to taste will be blood Logan.”
“Mick – am I dead?”
“Well, I guess you are more technically ‘undead’ Logan. You can still breathe, although you’ll find you don’t really have to; your heart will still beat a few beats a minute, only a few. I guess it circulates the blood we do have, I’m not really sure. You won’t get sick, unless you eat something solid and if you get hurt you’ll heal almost immediately. Come on now, we need to get you back up to the freezer to rest. The next week or so you are going to be mostly feeding and sleeping.” He started for the stairs, Logan following behind.
“We sleep in freezers? Really? I thought we slept in coffins!”
“Yeah, well only in the movies Logan. We sleep in freezers to slow down the decay of our bodies.”
“Won’t I like, freeze solid in there?”
“No, you won’t. Just don’t wear clothes in there because they will freeze. Now climb in!” Mick watched as he settled in and closed the lid. Logan’s eyes were already closed, a slight snore coming from him.
Wow Mick, he thought. I certainly hope you are up for this!
He was pulled back to the present by a buzzer ringing at Logan’s door. Logan scanned the camera and smiled, pushing the button to let his visitor’s in. Mick looked up to see Clark and Dorothy come into the room.
Mick caught his breath; he hadn’t actually seen Dorothy up close and talked to her since he had put Beth into her arms all those years ago. She was still a beautiful woman and she looked really happy. Clark was good for her and he was pleased for them both.
Clark was delighted to see Mick here; he hadn’t seen him since before he had left for Seattle. Dorothy on the other hand couldn’t believe her eyes; he didn’t look any different, he hadn’t aged at all it seemed. His hair was different, shorter and curlier, but he was still the Mick St. John she had gone to all those years ago. Before she even thought about it she went to him and hugged him.
It shocked him, but he hugged her back. After she stepped away Clark reached out his hand to shake Mick’s, expressing how happy he was to see him.
“Mick, you look just great! How are things? Logan mentioned you were back in town and I’ve meant to call, but I worried that you might need some space. And I was worried that you might be trying to put the past behind you.
“I’m good, glad to be back. How’s uh, everyone?” He couldn’t say her name; he wanted to, he ached to, but it wouldn’t come.
Clark looked into Mick’s hazel eyes and saw the moment of pain that flashed in them. So, he still cares for her?
Both Dorothy and Clark knew exactly who Mick meant and Dorothy had no problem addressing the question. “She is wonderful Mick. She is working at the LA Free Press and doing well. We’re so proud of her. Would you like to see a picture of her?” Before Mick had a chance to say no Dorothy had pulled her wallet out and grabbed a picture of Beth, taken with her two friends at some resort. Her hair was short, a bob they used to call it and she looked tanned and beautiful, her happy smile and blue eyes showing clearly in the photo. “That was taken a couple of years ago when the girls went to Acapulco for spring break, their last year of college.”
He stared at the photo, trying to memorize every single detail of it. He would eat it if he could. Who was he kidding? He still loved her, still cared for her, still needed to see her. He once again felt lost.
He said hasty goodbyes and left Logan’s as quickly as he could. He sat in the Benz and leaned his head back, eyes closed so he could still see the picture of Beth. There, he said it, her name. Beth, his Beth.
Only she wasn’t his and never would be. He started the car and headed for the PCH, hoping to blow the memories out of his head. It was the only way he would survive this constant ache to see her and that was the one thing he couldn’t allow himself to do.
The top was down and he hit the gas pedal and rode the night. Alone, always alone.
To be continued…