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, October 25, 2010

Beth's Diary - Part 16, Out of the Past

Part Sixteen
Out of the Past

October 6, 2007

I don’t know where to begin this; I don’t even know what to write. I don’t know that I should actually write it. Certainly it is too much to even say out loud.

Did you ever have one of those days or weeks where nothing was as it seemed? You know the kind, where every basic belief that you hold true is proven wrong? Where your emotions hit rock bottom and then start digging?

That was this week. I almost lost a friend and the person who saved her isn’t who I believed he was. He was a hero, but how can I live with the knowledge of how he did it? Is he the person I thought he was? Yes, he is and yet he is so much more.

He said we all have secrets; true enough. We have secrets like we stole some earrings when we were in the seventh grade or we smoked pot in college, maybe cheated on a test. Ordinary stuff that makes us cringe and blush with shame years later because deep down we still know that we are good people and we regret our actions.

But what if this is something that can’t be taken back? This very secret is so big, so important that you want to forget it but you can’t? How do you live with that kind of secret?

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.



The past few days had been grueling; her friend Julia had a book published, Wronged Man, about Lee Jay Spalding who had been wrongly convicted of murdering his wife 25 years ago. He was being freed from prison and was starting a new life with Julia playing a starring role in it all. As soon as Beth had seen the book, before it was even out she knew that a private investigator by the name of Mick St. John had been involved in it all. She took the book to him, confused about it all.

Mick had looked at the old picture and told her that it was his dad and that Lee Jay was a broken individual and that Julia needed to take care. She had left his loft totally unbelieving that Julia could have been so mislead. Julia was an excellent investigative reporter and was well able to spot a scam; she was convinced that Lee Jay was on the level and so Beth had to trust in her friends instincts.

She did know one thing though; there was something fishy about it all. Mick was acting really strange about it all and she couldn’t figure him out. She just didn’t know whether it was about Mick or Lee Jay but something was wrong with the whole damn thing. Yes, her instincts definitely told her that!


Mick had stared at the picture in the book in slight shock. It was taken in 1950, back when photographs could still capture his image. He had told Beth that it was his dad and when she mentioned that it could be his twin he said that he inherited some strong genes. Inside he was seething; about the book, about Lee Jay being released from prison but mostly because Lee Jay knew exactly what he was. Mick had missed the opportunity to kill him back in 1983.

After Beth had left he sat and thought about the whole situation. Lee Jay’s wife, Ilene Hannigan had come to Mick, asking for his help and protection against Lee Jay who had been abusing her. Mick had promised to protect her and he had failed; like Lee Jay’s first wife, Ilene had been found dead, the apparent victim of suicide.

Mick hadn’t believed it for a moment and neither did Detective Bobby Desmond, Mick’s friend on the police force. They had the police file on Lee Jay’s first wife and that ‘suicide’ had raised suspicions but since there was no evidence of foul play on Lee Jay’s part it was written off. But Bobby and Mick both knew better.

Mick had been determined to kill Lee Jay; it was a done deal in his mind, but when he found Lee Jay a cop came out of nowhere and Mick didn’t get to finish the job. Instead, he faded into the shadows and made up his mind to bide his time. At trial, Lee Jay was sentenced to 25 years for Ilene’s death; had the file on the death of Lee Jay’s first wife been allowed to be admitted as evidence he might have gotten life in prison, but a savvy lawyer representing Lee Jay got the information blocked. It was what it was; Lee Jay would still serve 25 years and Mick had always hoped that perhaps an ‘accident’ in prison would take care of the situation.

No such luck. Now Lee Jay was getting out of prison and he knew what Mick was; a vampire. Oh yeah, he knew; he had saw the fangs and Mick’s eyes as they fought briefly before the cop showed up that night. He knew.

Josef had asked him why he hadn’t just killed him and Mick had admitted that it was interrupted by the cop. Mick also told Josef that Lee Jay knew what he was and Josef said to find him and waste him.

But it wasn’t that easy and Mick knew it. Lee Jay had found another woman to play; Julia, the author was eating out of his hand and buying his bullshit by the barrel. Mick knew she would be the next to die unless he stopped Lee Jay and exposed the whole mess, keeping the truth about himself out of it all that is.

At the party to introduce the book about Lee Jay Mick had two things on his agenda; the first was to tag Julia’s car with GPS, just in case. The second was to give Beth the case file on the death of Lee Jay’s first wife so that she could see that there was more to Lee Jay than her friend knew and that would hopefully make Beth more alert when it came to her friend and Lee Jay. He did accomplish both of those objectives but he also had a run in with Lee Jay.

It was a stupid thing to do, to follow Lee Jay into the men’s room and confront him. He wanted Lee Jay to know that he was watching him but he didn’t count on the drive that Lee Jay had to expose Mick. After threatening Mick with a stake to his heart, he had put his own head through a glass door, cutting it and then started yelling that Mick had done it. He wasn’t seriously injured, but it brought people running to his defense. Mick watched in anger and disbelief as Lee Jay walked out of the bathroom, holding a handkerchief to his head.

Beth had been incensed by the incident and didn’t believe it when Mick told her that Lee Jay had did it himself. It didn’t make any sense to her and Mick couldn’t blame her for those thoughts; it didn’t make sense to him and he had watched it happen.

The next day Mick had come home to find Lee Jay in his apartment, having broken in while Mick was gone. He had searched it and not only found the gun that Mick kept stashed in the office but also Mick’s blood supply. He sat calmly, waiting for Mick’s return, holding one of the bags of blood and made a show of sipping it when Mick came in. He then threw it on the floor in disdain and taunted Mick about having food issues and not being able to have anyone close to him for fear of them finding out his secret.

Mick had watched Lee Jay toss the bad of blood onto the floor and became infuriated; this was it, the moment of Lee Jay’s death but Lee Jay was still two steps ahead of him. He announced that he had told everyone that he was coming to Mick’s to make peace with him and then pulled out Mick’s gun and a cell phone, already programmed to ring 911. With that he shot himself in the arm and pushed the ‘send’ key and told the dispatcher that he had been shot by Mick St. John.

Mick stared at the scene for a moment, debating his chances of talking his way out of it with the police. As the sirens approached he looked around at the gun laying on the floor and the discarded bag of blood and decided he had to split. After he cleaned out the blood that was in his hidden fridge and stuffed it into a bag he made his escape, calling Josef to meet him and trying to figure out a plan of action.

Josef met him and as usual, wanted to know why Mick hadn’t killed him. Mick had tried to make him understand that if he could bring Lee Jay down it would be a chance to erase a regret in his life and set things right. Josef didn’t get that and told Mick so and suggested that Mick should relocate. He offered his help with that because he knew a guy who worked with vamp relocation. Mick turned him down flat and a plan began to form in his mind.

He had to get to Beth.


Beth and Josh watched the news about Mick shooting Lee Jay. Beth was stunned and when Josh asked her if she believed it she told him no, she didn’t.

Josh was beginning to lose patience over this whole Mick St. John deal. Beth had not been herself since his appeared into her life. Things were starting to get crazy and Beth was just going with it all, buying whatever St. John was selling hook, line and sinker. Josh appreciated the fact that St. John had saved her life and he was grateful for that. But there was something about all this that was too strange and he decided that he needed to start checking this guy out, doing a bit of investigative work of his own.

“Josh, I really don’t think Mick did it,” Beth told Josh.

“You know, since you met this guy screwed up is starting to seem normal,” he had told her. Josh was totally frustrated by it all.

The door bell rang and startled them both and Josh opened the door. Standing there was someone who Josh realized was Mick St. John himself. When Mick asked if Beth was there Josh told him no, but it was too late, Beth was right behind him, ushering Mick in.

When Beth asked him why he didn’t stay at his place and tell the police what had happened, Mick didn’t know what to say. Actually, what was going through his head was, ‘because I’m a vampire’ but he certainly couldn’t admit that. He told them he panicked and hoped it would suffice. Looking at Josh, he knew that it didn’t.

“He can’t stay here,” Josh told Beth. ‘I’m an attorney, in the DA’s office. I’ll get disbarred!” Josh pleaded with her, hoping she would make Mick leave. Instead, he could see her softening towards Mick and knew that he had lost the battle.

Mick wanted to tell his side of the story and Beth filmed it and put it on Buzzwire. It hit the internet and was almost immediately picked up by the TV networks. Julia saw it as she was waiting to pick up Lee Jay at the hospital and was hurt and angered by what she saw as Beth’s betrayal.

A short while later Beth’s phone rang and she looked to see that it was Julia calling. Her heart sank because she knew how betrayed Julia would feel. Instead, what happened next changed everything.

Julia knew what Lee Jay was because he was holding her hostage and he demanded to talk to Mick. Mick picked up an extension and listened to Lee Jay, as did Beth and Josh. Beth had the presence of mind to turn the answering machine on to record the conversation.

Lee Jay demanded that Mick turn himself in to the police and gave him an hour to do it. He also admitted that he would do to Julia what he had done to Ilene if Mick didn’t cooperate. It was enough for Josh to agree to help and he took the recording to a friend of his who would hopefully put out a press release that Mick had turned himself in, which would give Mick time to find Lee Jay.

Mick and Beth used the GPS tag on Julia’s car to find them, locating them in a warehouse. Mick instructed Beth to stay in the car but before he left he had her get a gun out of the glove compartment with instructions to wait 10 minutes and if he didn’t come back to call the police.

As Mick left to find a way into the warehouse Beth sat in the car and fumed. “Why does the girl always have to stay in the car?” she wondered aloud. It wasn’t an easy wait and she thought about the conversation that Mick and Lee Jay had on the phone as she waited.

“I know what you are Mick!” Lee Jay had said. Beth had asked Mick about it on the ride to find Julia and he had evaded the question at first and finally said they would talk about it later.

Beth had accused Mick of evading her questions and Mick had replied, “Everyone has secrets Beth and that’s not evading.”

What on earth could that be about she wondered? Did Lee Jay mean ‘I know who you are Mick’? And who was he to Lee Jay anyway? Mick seemed a lot more invested in all this than you would think he would be, even if his father had been involved with it all. Then Beth remembered that she hadn’t been able to find any trace of Mick’s dad and it all became more curious to her.

Suddenly, she heard a shot coming for the warehouse and Julia scream. Beth debated for half a moment about calling the cops, but as she saw Julia run out she was out the car door and heading to the warehouse on a run. As she passed Julia, standing there in shock they heard another shot and Julia said, “Lee Jay shot Mick!”

When Beth got inside she saw Mick lying on the floor, blood seeping from his wounds and Lee Jay, standing above him brandishing a blow torch. Flashbacks came rushing into Beth’s head of fire; the scary woman being burned and for a moment it was all clear to her, when she was taken. Mick was carrying her out of the fire and she was clinging to him, watching the scary woman burn.

She didn’t stop to think; she took aim and shot Lee Jay, her shot hitting him in the neck. She saw his face plastered with surprise as he sank to the floor, dead. Beth stood there in shock, dazed as she heard sirens rushing towards them. Mick looked at her and said, “I thought I told you to stay in the car.” She closed her eyes for a moment and when she glanced down at the floor again, only Lee Jay remained.

Beth moved woodenly outside and saw Carl talking to Julia. “Mick saved me,” Julia said. “I was so wrong!”

Beth stopped for a moment, not even aware that she had. She listened to what Carl was asking Julia.

“So Mick shot Lee Jay?”

“No,” Beth said, moving forward again. “I did.”

“Hey, hey Beth! Beth get back here,” Carl called out to her, but she didn’t stop. She had to find Mick.


Mick had made it to his car and headed home without being stopped by anyone, which was a small miracle. He called Josef on the way.

“Josef, I’ve been shot, by Lee Jay. Silver buckshot…I need help! Meet me at my place.” His loft was closer than Josef’s and he needed to get some blood into him.

Mick was functioning on auto-pilot by the time he made it home. Out of the car, up the elevator, he stumbled along, barely making it into the loft and forgetting to close the door behind him. One thing was on his mind, getting some blood down him while he waited for Josef.


“Guillermo? This is Josef, I need your help. Mick has been shot, silver buckshot. We need to get over to the loft and help him.”

“I’ll get Terrence to cover for me man and meet you there. Is he alone?”

“I think so. He didn’t sound good so put some speed on, okay?”

“You bet. Heading out now.”


Beth found her way to Mick’s loft and she climbed into the elevator in a zombie like state. She needed to know that he was okay, but how could he be? He had been shot and she had saw blood streaking down his back so she knew he had been hit. Why in the hell didn’t he get some medical attention? The thought occurred to her that maybe he had; maybe he was at the hospital right now and she wouldn’t find him here. Then she noticed the smear of blood on the button to his floor and she knew that he was here.

Anger started to take over then and she shook with it, her fingers curled into her palms, so hard that they drew blood, but she failed to notice that. He left her there! Left her there to explain the whole damn thing! How dare he? She wanted answers and she wasn’t leaving until she had them.

As the elevator dinged its arrival the doors opened and she walked out, headed straight to Mick’s loft. When she got there she saw that the door was open and she stepped inside. Mick was on his knees with his back to the door. She couldn’t quite see what he was doing but as she saw him, bending over in pain her anger left her and all that was left was fear and questions.

“Mick, you ran off again. You were there one second and then you were gone,” she told him and she couldn’t quite keep the fear out of her voice.

She watched him sort of sink down and his body jerk, whether with surprise or pain she couldn’t tell. “Are you okay?” she asked.

“Please leave,” he told her and his voice sounded slurred.

“Not without answers,” she told him. He turned away and tried to shrink away from her sight. “I keep dreaming about you. Why?”

“Please don’t look at me,” he pleaded.

Beth walked around the back of the couch so she could see him better. What she saw both shocked and frightened her. Mick was holding a bag of blood; his hands were stained with it as was his mouth. He was breathing shakily and she watched as his body jerked with involuntary movement.

She sucked in her breath sharply, her eyes opened wide. She felt suddenly afraid, for them both. “What are you?” she asked, her words catching in her throat.

“I’m a vampire,” he said to her, fixing his silvered eyes on her.

Her hand flew to her mouth and she took a step back. Mick met her gaze, knowing that she was seeing him for the monster he was. It both hurt and horrified him for her to see him like this. “Beth, please leave now. Please…”

She could only nod and backed towards the door. “Should I call a doctor Mick? 911?” she asked as she got to the door.

He shook his head and repeated, “Please leave.” She saw tears streaking down his face and realized that her own face was wet at well.

She turned around and left the loft, pulling the door shut behind her. She debated what to do; maybe she should go ahead and call 911, but could they even help a vampire? And this was a secret; she knew that and she also knew that no good could come of the world finding out.

Maybe he had called someone to help him. The thought occurred to her suddenly and she looked around the hallway and spied a corner that was sort of tucked away from the hall. She went and sat down on the floor and as she did so she realized how badly her knees were shaking; it was good to sit down.

She told herself that she would wait 30 minutes and if no one came she was going back in there, regardless of what he wanted. She would not see him die from lack of care.

Beth pulled her knees up and leaned her forehead against them, breathing deeply and felt her body shake uncontrollably as more tears streaked down her face. The flowed unheeded, deep wrenching sobs followed and she thought about the events of this night and the new knowledge about Mick.

He was a vampire. There’s no such things as vampires he had told her; was it only last week? A vampire; how can that be?

She heard the elevator ring and she pulled herself into an even tighter ball, trying to make herself fade into the dark corner as she heard the doors swoosh open. Footsteps made a quick run down the hallway to Mick’s door and Beth peeked up to see two men enter the apartment. Beth sighed with relief; someone was here to help him.

Beth stood up and headed for the elevator. She only wanted to go home now and sleep, maybe forever.


Mick had managed to down one of the bags of blood by the time Guillermo and Josef arrived. He was lying on the floor, fading in and out of consciousness and Guillermo scooped him up as Josef made a bee line to the dining room table and cleared it off so that Guillermo could lay him down on it. They worked together, pulling his tattered duster and shirt off and stared at the wounds on his back and chest. They were red and angry; the silver was poisoning his flesh as well as getting into his blood.

With every moment he sank further down into oblivion and every moment brought him more pain. Guillermo opened the bag he had brought with him that had some surgical tools in it so that he could remove the bits of silver from Mick’s body. Both he and Josef pulled on latex gloves, not so much as to protect Mick from infection but to protect themselves from the silver.

Guillermo made the first incision and Mick moaned in pain as Guillermo pulled the first bit of offending silver from his body. Over and over the scalpel cut and the forceps pulled until they had every last bit out of Mick’s body. Josef watched as the incisions started to close up a bit and knew that it wouldn’t get better until they got blood into Mick.

When Guillermo was done Josef helped Mick to sit up and handed him a glass of blood, which Mick drank down quickly. Josef replaced it with another glass that was downed just as fast. Finally, after three glasses of blood Mick’s wounds had healed, closed and the skin reformed so that you couldn’t even tell where they had been. He pulled himself to his feet and said, “I’m going to hit the freezer. Thanks, both of you.”

“What the hell happened Mick?” they both asked as he headed up the stairs.

“Later, I promise. Lock up behind yourselves, okay?” With that, he was gone.

Josef and Guillermo stared at one another as they watched him disappear up the stairs. “What do you suppose happened?” Guillermo asked as he put his instruments back into the bag.

Josef threw the empty bags of blood into the disposal unit and said, “I don’t know but I am sure as hell going to find out!”


Beth was afraid that Josh would be at her apartment, waiting on her and she didn’t have a clue what to tell him about the events of this past night. There was now a wall between them that she knew she couldn’t breach and she also couldn’t think of a logical explanation about it all either.

Luck was with her; he wasn’t there and she showered quickly and turned her phone off as she crawled into bed. She slept for 9 hours straight and if she dreamed, she didn’t remember any of them.

To be continued…

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No Such Thing as Vampires - Part 2

No Such Things as Vampires – Part 2

October 1, 2007

The past couple of days have been a wild ride. Confusing and exhilarating, I feel like I have been sucker-punched. I’ve had several dreams about when I was taken and I haven’t had in for a very long time. But one face keeps returning to me in them, a face that has no place there and yet, inexplicably is.

The face of Mick St. John, the private investigator that I met while working on the Kelly Foster case.

Why is he in my dreams, inhabiting my thoughts? It’s like I have breathed him in and now he is a part of me, a part that I can’t shake, aand a part that I don’t want to shake.

Josh just keeps telling me that it is normal, that he saved my life when I was attacked by Christian Ellis’ grad student. Mick saved me and so it is normal that I would be preoccupied with him. Is it? Is it normal to feel a part of someone that you barely know?

I wish I knew…

What I do know is that when I fall asleep it’s Mick’s face that I see, carrying me away from the horror of when I was taken. It has sort of jump-started those old memories in a way that I can’t get away from. Part of me is glad about that – you can only hide from the past for just so long but the reality is that I can’t make heads or tails of it all. It seems like there is fire and then Mick carries me away.

Which of course isn’t possible.

Why can’t I remember it all? I think I need to, for no other reason than to finally move past it. My mom always felt it was better for me to just forget it all, but I don’t think so. How can you heal and move past if it haunts you still?

I am still riding high with the success of my first web cast; I am Mo’s golden girl right now, but we’ll see how long that lasts! She is fickle, or so I have been told. Yesterday I spent working wrap ups to the story and I must admit that while the vampire angle caught the viewer’s attention, it is pretty hokey! It was so much fun, when I wasn’t being drugged and on the list for the next murder that is.

I talked to Lani and told her my news and she was delighted to hear it all; she seemed a bit better this time, more her old self. Maybe I was imagining the stress in her voice last time we talked. I don’t know, it’s possible I guess. I also talked with Robbi and she said she hadn’t noticed anything unusual with Lani, so I probably did imagine it. She and Kevin are coming up this weekend for a barbeque at Mom and Clark’s house, to celebrate my triumphant entry into the world of online journalism. It’s going to be fun and I can’t wait!



After Mick had visited Guillermo at the morgue and discovered that there wasn’t a vampire involved in all this he headed to Josef’s for a few minutes. He was seeking something, some unknown needed familiarity. Maybe just a laugh, but Josef taunting him about his need to feed his inner vampire set him on edge and he headed home to hit the freezer.

He needed to get some sleep before he went to the dead girl, Kelly Foster’s apartment later to see what he could find. As he and Guillermo checked her out in the morgue he knew that whoever had done this wasn’t a vamp, so what was the point of it all? He tried to focus on the case but instead his mind kept twisting around to Beth.

He sort of felt like a fool, standing there staring at her. She was so beautiful; confident and poised as she made her way to where he was standing. It was amazing, she was grown up and no longer that 16 year old girl that was burgeoning on the edge of womanhood.

And this was what presented the problem.

He was drawn to her, like a man thirsting to death in a desert and she was the life-saving spring. He wanted to drink her in, her essence, her very person. She was a life line for him and he hadn’t felt that in a very long time. How did he stay away having these feelings; such mortal feelings?

After managing to sleep for a few hours he got up, realizing that there would be no more sleep for him right now. He showered and dressed and realized he still had a couple of hours before he could go to Kelly Foster’s apartment. He decided to go see Logan.

Logan was the only other vamp who knew the story of what had happened that night in 1985. Not even Josef knew all the details and how it had impacted Mick’s life.

Yes, to Logan, that was where he would go…


Beth knew she needed to go check out Kelly Foster’s apartment. She also knew that it was likely that the police would be there still, looking for anything related to the case. She spent the afternoon picking apart Kelly’s life; what classes she took, who she hung out with. She came up with several names to check out and what she hoped were promising leads.

During all that her mind kept returning to Mick St. John. Why couldn’t she get this guy out of her mind? It was driving her insane; whatever she thought about eventually wound its way back to him, to his face. It was downright creepy she thought and at the least it had to be unnatural. How could she feel as if she had known him all her life? There was something in those hazel eyes of his that spoke directly to her soul and it puzzled her.

She would get to the bottom of it though, she would…


Mick pushed the buzzer at Logan’s and he answered almost immediately and buzzed him in. It was quiet for once in the basement and Mick was glad about that.

“Hey Mick! I sort of wondered if I would see you today.” Logan sat in the computer chair and watched Mick as he nervously paced around the room before taking a seat on the couch. Logan leaned back in the chair and just waited for Mick to speak.

“I saw Beth last night.” Four simple words that rocked him to the core.

“Yeah, I know. Clark called and told me what happened. You okay?”

“Ye – um, I don’t know. I just don’t know. Logan, it, well it took me back to places I’d rather forget, you know?”


Mick had been in his freezer for 3 days and still the horror of what had happened, of what he had done wouldn’t let him rest.

He had heard that sometimes the old ones, vamps who had been around for centuries would ‘go to ground’, literally bury themselves alive for years to sort of collect themselves or something. He could understand that. If it were possible he would do the same.

He had killed his sire, his wife. The thought stunned him; in the vamp world to kill your sire was almost an unforgivable act and yet he felt no real remorse about it. She was dead; staked and burned to death by his own hand and he would do it again if he had to. It was just too much; all these years had culminated in the end of not only their marriage, but her death.

He heard his front door open quietly and he was instantly alert. He lifted the lid on the freezer and caught a whiff of a familiar vampire and got out of the freezer because he knew it wouldn’t do any good to try to hide away there.

Mick slipped on a pair of jeans and headed out to the living room. Logan was leaning against the couch, waiting for him.

“Hey Mick,” he said quietly. Clark had told him what had happened 3 days ago. When he didn’t hear from Mick, he decided to come and check on him. Although they were past the fledgling/sire part of the relationship they did touch base most days still. Logan waited for Mick to speak and the silence was almost unbearable.

Mick went to the hidden fridge and grabbed a bottle of O + and held it up to Logan in a silent question. Logan nodded and Mick got two glasses out of the cabinet and filled them half full of the red liquid. He still hadn’t said a word.

Logan waited; maybe not patiently, but he waited. The fact that Mick hadn’t said a word spoke volumes to the younger vampire and so he remained quiet and instead sipped the blood.

Mick took a long drink and sat the glass down on the coffee table. “You heard?”

“Yes. Clark called me. Beth is safe Mick, you saved her.”

 “From Coraline. I saved her from my ex wife Logan!”

“Your ex? She took Beth? Why did she take Beth?” Logan was clearly puzzled.

“She wanted to make Beth a vampire so we could be a family. A fucking family, Logan. The three of us, living in blissful vampire happiness for eternity!”

The news stunned Logan. He had only met Beth once, well, if you could call it a meeting. “Did you know that I actually held her once Mick? When she was about 6 months old.”

“No, you never said. What happened?”

“It was about a year after mom Mom died and I was turned, at a barbeque at Clark’s house. Beth was crawling, all over the place and she was so beautiful. She was lying on the ground, looking at, oh , I don’t know, maybe the grass or something and a lady bug landed on her nose. It was funny to watch her, she tried to shoo it off and I got down on the ground with her and she laughed at me. I picked the lady bug off of her nose and she started crying. I felt terrible so I picked her up and we walked around the yard. I would stoop to smell the honeysuckle or lilacs and she would lean down and act like she was smelling them too, only – only instead of inhaling she was blowing on them. She was my shadow the rest of the day.” He smiled, remembering that day, of how a charming baby girl had won his heart. She was in a way family to him and it made him burn with anger to know what Coraline had done; not just to Beth but to his sire as well.


“I killed her Logan; Coraline. I staked her and then set the cabin on fire. She burned to death in it. I – I murdered my sire, my wife. And I would do it again, Logan.” He started crying then, deep heaving sobs that tore at Logan’s heart. He sat the empty glass down and reached across the coffee table and took Mick’s hand. He knew how hard it was for Mick to reveal so much of himself like this and Logan wanted him to know that it was okay, that he wasn’t alone.

“Mick, she was crazy, you’ve told me that time after time. She destroyed your life when she turned you; she has haunted you since then, dogged your every move practically. It’s for the best; maybe now you can just live your life.”

 “I couldn’t believe that even Coraline would consider doing that to a child. A child, Logan. It was obscene and as soon as I saw Beth I knew that I would do whatever it took to keep her safe. The amazing thing was, after a brutal and bloody fight with Coraline, Beth came right to me when I told her I was going to take her home. She just crawled into my arms and trusted me that I was going to take her to her mommy. It amazed me, stunned me. She was so trusting.”

“That’s because she knew she was supposed to be with you Mick; she knew. You saved her, you are forever a part of her now.”

Mick looked up at Logan then, one eyebrow raised in question at Logan’s words. A part of her forever. It was an amazing thought.

“Mick? Mick?” Logan calling his name brought him back to the present.

“Yeah? Sorry, what did you say?”

“I said it’ll be okay. Clark said you indicated that she didn’t recognize you.”

“She asked me if she knew me, but I don’t think she figured it out. It will be okay I guess.” He got to his feet and said, “I need to go; I’ve got to go and do a little breaking and entering, see what I can find out about Kelly Foster. I’ll talk to you later, Logan.”

Logan nodded and watched as Mick left. That was a man who still wasn’t ready to face his demon; but it was coming soon, Logan could feel it.”


Over the next couple of days Mick and Beth worked together on the murder but it set Mick on edge. She still didn’t appear to recognize him so Mick began relax a bit which was good, because Beth was becoming more and more involved in the case. Then Beth dropped a major bombshell; she was going to attend a ‘study group’ with Christian Ellis later that night. He didn’t want her to go, but had no way of stopping her.

After he discovered the murder of the second girl, Chloe Jones, Mick set off to find Beth; she was in danger and his warning bells were thundering in his head. He couldn’t get to the college fast enough.

At Hearst College he found Chandler Hall and headed to the basement, where the study group was being held. It was quiet there, but he scented Beth and knew she had been there. He hit the jackpot when he found Christian Ellis, still there and pacing the small room in agitation.

“Where is she, man? I know she was here, I can smell her on you!”

Christian Ellis stared into the silvered eyes and razor-sharp fangs that couldn’t be real; and yet, somehow they were. He also knew that his life was in jeopardy if he didn’t speak up.

“She’s gone, she left here already!” Mick had tossed him aside and was gone before Ellis had the chance to catch his breath. But at least he was still breathing…

As soon as Mick got outside, he again caught Beth’s scent and saw that she had been abducted by the grad student. They weren’t far ahead and he took off at a run, determined to catch them. He spied them a block ahead and cut across a yard and broke through the window on the driver’s side, grabbing Daniel and swinging wildly as the car fish-tailed over the street. Mick was finally thrown free and he landed 25 feet away, awash is pain.

It took a minute for him to collect himself and get to his feet. He saw Daniel coming around to Beth’s side of the car, a knife in his hand. Mick began to run; he had to get to Beth in time.

He grabbed Daniel by the back of the shirt and yanked him away from Beth, who was lying listlessly in the front seat of the car. Only the seat belt was holding her upright and she had practically slid out of that. “I won’t let you hurt her!”

Daniel reached for Mick, ramming his knife deep into Mick’s stomach. They grappled for moment and Mick yanked the knife out, furious.

Mick growled at Daniel and said, “You shouldn’t of done that!” and tossed him into a pole like a rag doll. The metallic clink sound wasn’t satisfying enough to Mick but he let it go and pulled Beth out of the car, carrying her to safely once again.


Beth was caught up in the past, a dream world of fire and fear. It screamed through her head like a banshee and made her feel dizzy with the vividness of it all. Suddenly, it was okay and Mick was there, taking her home to her mom and she knew that it was okay. He had saved her.

He had saved her…

Beth’s eyes popped open and she looked around, trying to figure out where she was. She saw Mick sitting across the room, watching her solemnly. She sat up on the couch and said, “You saved me!”

Mick moved to the couch and settled on the edge, just out of reach. “From a grad student.”

“No, when I was little…” she trailed off. It was right there in front of her. She knew it and yet it couldn’t be. “He stabbed you! I saw the knife come out,” she said, looking at the blood stain on the front of his shirt.

“He sure tried,” Mick said, trying to diffuse her thoughts. “You got a really bad bump on your head. I’ll take you home.”

He stood up and offered her his hand and she took it. For a moment she just looked at him, his sad face that seemed to be hiding some terrible truth. The next thing she knew she was wrapping her arms around him, holding him close. She was home; right there in his arms.

For a moment Mick stood spellbound, unsure what to do.

Sixty years is a long time to deny yourself the touch of another,

but you do it because you can’t bear the thought of seeing yourself as

a monster in someone else’s eyes.

He slowly wrapped his arms around her, hating himself, loving her. He held her and knew that he was home.

To be continued…

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chapter Fifteen - No Such Thing as Vampires - 1

As usual, I would like thank Engbunny for her gracious help betaing the chapters, especially since she doesn't like vampires!  Also, I want to thank my friend VampFan5 from the Moonlight Fan Fic sites.  She helps my muse in so many ways, providing ideas and help!  Thanks so much J!  And also my friend LoriG from the same sites that offered ideas for this special occasion.  To all of you, I owe so much!

This is a very special chapter.  For those of you who haven't seen the tv show, this is were it all started - the fountain.  I am especially grateful to Trevor Munson who created this show and all the talented writer's who contributed to the beautiful story that was know as Moonlight. 

There are pictures to accompany this chapter and the next and also a song to listen to.  If you right click on the link below and click on 'Open in a new tab' you will be able to listen to the music.  Thanks to all of you as well who read the story, I hope you enjoy it!

No Such Thing as Vampires – Part One


September 29, 2007

It has been a few really strange and exciting days! I got my first online story and it has made Buzzwire a sensation overnight. Maureen (everyone calls her Mo) loved my story idea and it has been exciting but really hard work!

I met a guy, a private investigator by the name of Mick St. John. I’m still collecting my thoughts about him and let me tell you, I’ve had a lot of them.

Tall, dark, and handsome doesn’t even begin to describe this guy; add sexy to the mix and the fact that he is a total enigma, there one minute and gone the next, literally. Twice he has just disappeared on me. It sort of freaked me out actually. But the thing is, I know him somehow. I don’t know how and he says we’ve never met before, but something inside me recognizes him. I don’t understand how or why, but I feel so right with him, safe I guess you could say. Although I wondered, when he scared the crap out of me after I broke into an apartment, if he wasn’t the killer in the story I was working on.

Yes, the story! My first webcast and it was a killer! Literally, I’m sorry to say for the girls who died while we tracked this case down. So maybe killer isn’t really the politically correct word, but it got Buzzwire noticed, in a huge way and made a whole city stop and think about things, about people. We did figure it out, Mick and I, and he actually saved me in the end of it. I could have ended up like the other two girls so easily, but he was there; now if I could only figure out why I keep seeing him in my dreams.

Josh says it’s normal, given everything that happened but still, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that there is something I’m missing. I even told Mick he was the one who saved me when I was taken, which of course is ridiculous because that guy would be much older now. Maybe Mick is just my current ‘crush’, huh?

A bunch of us from Buzzwire went out to celebrate after the story wrapped, Steve, Marissa, Morgan, Sam, and Clint, as well as Julia and Max from the Free Press. We all had a bit too much to drink so it was lucky when Josh and Carl showed up. Carl had his fiancĂ© with him, Tasia, and it was a really great evening. Let’s just say that as far as I’m concerned the next morning wasn’t nearly as much fun as the night before had been!



Beth anxiously punched in her mom’s number and waited impatiently for the call to be answered. She tapped her foot against the cold pavement and felt the chill in the air. Occasionally a fine mist of spray from the fountain got caught in the breeze and made its way across the crime scene where she was waiting for Steve to get set up so she could go live; her very first web cast!

“Hello?” Dorothy answered, on the other end of the phone. It was after midnight, which was late but Beth couldn’t contain her excitement.

“Mom! Guess what? I’m getting ready to do my first live web cast! Turn the computer on, okay?”

Dorothy blinked and cleared her throat as she listened to her daughter’s words. This was a huge thing for Beth and Dorothy tried to wake up a bit more in order to appreciate it all.

In the background Beth could hear Clark asking who was on the phone and what was wrong. She listened as her mom told Clark what Beth said and she heard Clark give an excited ‘ALRIGHT’ in the background which brought an even bigger grin to Beth’s face. Clark was always her biggest supporter and she laughed as he grabbed the phone and started asking a million questions.

“Where are you?” was the first one and Beth started answering them all.

“I’m at the fountain on Melrose, downtown. I’m waiting for Steve to get set up now, it’s a murder Clark. The girl has a bite mark on her throat I heard them say, like a vampire or something bit her!” Beth laughed at this last bit of information, as if anyone really believed in vampires! But it made a good angle for the story. She never even noticed when Clark failed to laugh with her.

Just then Steve told her he was ready to go and she said to Clark, “Hey, I gotta go now, we’re ready to roll. Turn the computer on!” She didn’t hear Clark tell her to be careful.


Clark set the receiver back down in the cradle and made his way downstairs where Dorothy had booted the computer and followed the Buzzwire link Beth had sent them. As he walked into the room Dorothy immediately saw that something was terribly wrong.

“What is it honey?”

“Beth just told me the dead girl has bite marks in her throat!”

“Oh my God,” Dorothy said and watched as Beth’s web cast started. Both watched in stunned silence, both proud and scared as they watched the report. They knew what they had to do.


Mick had just woke from his sub-zero slumber and made his way into the kitchen for a quick fix, choosing the needle as his dinner companion this night. It was fast and he needed the boost because he hadn’t rested well at all. He had dreamt of Beth all day and she appeared and retreated constantly, reappearing whenever he finally felt as if he would actually rest.

He slid the needle into his vein and felt the rush; so did his inner vamp and he went with the feeling, letting it take him over. The computer was on and it suddenly had his attention.

There she was, Beth on the screen, reporting from a crime scene. “This is Beth Turner, reporting for Buzzwire.”

It brought him out of his seat immediately. He knew that she had gotten the job at Buzzwire a few months ago; he didn’t know that she was doing live web casts.

His cell started ringing and he was tempted to ignore it, but when he looked at the number ringing in he answered right away.


“Mick, its Clark. I think Beth might be in trouble!”

“I just saw her on the web cast. What’s wrong?” He flashed back to his disturbed sleep and began to understand it.

“She’s working a murder scene; Mick, the dead girl has a bite mark on her neck.”

“Shit! Is she still there? It was a live web cast wasn’t it?

“Yeah, she just called us before she went on. You’ve got to go and check it out, Mick. Please…” The last word was unnecessary; Mick was already heading up the stairs to get dressed.

“I’m on my way Clark; I’ll let you know what I find out!” Mick hung up the phone and was dressed and out the door in record time.

On the drive Mick was anxious; this would be the first time he had actually saw her since that long ago July night when he knew that he had to leave. He had to check this out for Beth’s safety, but he was scared to death. He’d just stay in the shadows he told himself. She didn’t even have to know he was there, just like the old days. He’d just check it out and see what was going on, that was all and then he’d leave.


Not simple and he knew it. The complications buzzed through his head and the reality was that as afraid as he was of seeing her, he was also incredibly excited. To actually see her, not just a picture thrilled him and by the time he was at the crime scene he was a mess. The chaos of the scene helped to clear his head out a bit and he was thankful. Yellow tape decorated the perimeter and flashing lights made it hard to spot her at first. He went in for a closer look and that was when he saw her, standing next to the dead girl, snapping pictures with her phone. Carl was on the scene and when he noticed what she was doing he yelled at her to get away from the body. She headed straight towards Mick.

My God, she took his breath away, if he really had any to take away that was. Seeing her like this was a total surprise, she moved gracefully across the pavement, barefoot and ignoring what had to be freezing water as she walked towards him, talking to herself. He tried to memorize this moment and he knew that he needed to disappear, quickly, but he stood rooted to the spot, oblivious to everything else. All sound and motion around him seemed to cease and she filled his world with her presence; he was mesmerized.

Beth saw him standing along the edge of the crime scene and thought he must be another cop. She headed over to see if she could get anything else out of him; information that Carl might not share.

Truthfully, she felt drawn towards him; as if a giant magnet was guiding her straight to him. She didn’t know why, but she knew that was where she was supposed to be. He seemed familiar somehow, in a comforting sort of way. The closer she got the more she realized how gorgeous he was and it drew her to him even more.

“Do I know you from somewhere?”

“You tell me,” he answered. She was close enough now that he could catch the scent she was wearing; something floral with a hint of vanilla. She stood in front of him staring as they talked, relaxed as she asked him if he were a cop.

He smiled at her and she smiled back; he ached to pull her into his arms and hold her tight against him, inhaling her beauty and essence. His hands were clenched at his sides as he fought the silent war within himself. His need versus what was right. She turned away for a moment and he used that time to escape, for both of their own goods.


Beth turned around and he was gone; totally disappeared in the blink of an eye. She frowned in puzzlement wondering how on earth he had managed it so quickly, so silently. She surveyed the people around her and couldn’t find him anywhere.

This is just too weird!

“Beth!” Steve watched her for a moment, staring around the scene as if looking for someone. “BETH!”

“Huh? What?” she asked distractedly.

“Carl wants the press over by the parking lot, for a briefing. Come on, let’s go.”

“Oh, okay,” she told him. She stopped long enough to slip her shoes back on and followed Steve to where the other press was waiting for information. She saw Julia there and went to stand next to her.

“Hey, what are you doing here, in the middle of the night?” Beth asked.

“Well, it seems like our crime reporter left the paper, so here I am!” she teased. “Was this your first web cast?”

“Yeah. I think it went pretty well. Hope so anyway. I was first on the scene.”

Julia giggled and said, “Why doesn’t that surprise me? So what do you think?”

“I think it’s weird, that’s what I think. She has a bite mark in her neck!” She pulled out her phone and showed Julia the pictures she had snapped.

Julia winced and said, “Ooh, looks awful! Poor girl - that must have been horrific.”

Beth put the phone away, nodding in agreement. “Hey, did you happen to see a tall, dark haired guy standing over there by that wall a little bit ago?”

“No, I didn’t notice anyone. Why?”

“It was the strangest thing, I was talking to him and turned around for a minute and he just vanished, like into thin air.”

“Sorry, didn’t see him.” Before she could continue Carl joined the group and the camera’s and lights focused on him.

Beth was immediately shoved out of the way by reporters who were bigger than she was and she learned right away that they may be bigger but she was more determined. She pushed back and made her way to the front of the pack. Carl watched her and had to hide a smile; same old Beth. She’d get her story; he never doubted it for a moment.

Beth listened as he gave a briefing of what they knew which wasn’t anything different than what he had already told her. Beth pushed the microphone closer to him and asked, “Lieutenant, do you think she was killed here or that her body was just dumped here?”

“We don’t know that yet, although we’ll be investigating further. For now folks, that’s all we have.” He finished his sentence and walked away, heading back to a group of the SID investigators to discuss the case.

Beth and Steve headed to the Buzzwire van and sat inside to view the story as it was rebroadcast. Beth frowned as she watched, thinking that she would have done this or that differently.

“Not bad Beth. Not bad at all!”

“I don’t know. What do you think Maureen will think? I could have done better, I know it.”

“I think she’ll love it! Nice and juicy, just the sort of story she loves, I promise!”

“I guess we’ll see,” Beth said, chewing her bottom lip. “Come on; let’s go see what else we can find out!”

Steve rolled his eyes but followed her out. Yep, Beth had been bitten by the camera bug. She had a passion for the gritty stuff; the girl would probably go far.


Mick had watched the rest of the night hidden in the trees that rimmed the plaza. He kept Beth in sight at all times and watched for anyone who might have been paying too much attention to the crime scene but he didn’t see anyone. He hadn’t gotten close enough to the body to scent it, but he’d have his chance at the morgue when he stopped to see Guillermo.

As dawn broke over the city Beth and her camera guy were out walking the parking lots. It was impossible for him to stay hidden and watch her any longer so he finally left her to head to his car. No one else was at the scene any more, not even the police and he felt sure she’d be okay.

It remained to be seen whether or not she had stumbled onto a vampire murder. It would be practically unheard of for one of the tribe to leave someone out like that to be discovered. There were rules and they were followed; the cleaners made sure that was how it worked. The only safety the vamps had was hiding in plain sight and that meant no leaving bodies around to be found by humans. Mick didn’t know what the deal was with this case, but he knew he had to find out.

That decided, his mind strayed back to Beth; he felt like a drowning man who had just been thrown a life preserver in a tumultuous sea. She was a life line, in many ways although he hated to think of her like that. But he knew it was true; he felt more alive right now than he had felt in years.

She didn’t recognize me. No, no I don’t think she did, really. Maybe its okay and she won’t remember.

He did not want to bring all the trauma of that time back to her and he would leave again if he had to; anything to keep that from happening. She deserved to get on with her life and he vowed he would not be a roadblock to that.

But damn it had felt so good, so right seeing her.

He decided to head over to Clark and Dorothy’s house. He knew they would be anxiously waiting to hear what had happened. As he pulled into their drive the front door opened and Dorothy ran out to him and pulled him to her in a hug.

“Is she alright?” she asked, pulling him along into the house and out of the morning sun.

Inside Clark clasped his hand and laid his other hand on Mick’s arm, welcoming him into the house. “Mick, have a seat. Tell us what you know, please.”

“She’s okay. I couldn’t get close enough to the scene to tell whether or not there is a vampire involved, but I’ll be checking that out at the morgue in a little while.”

“Have you seen her follow-up report? It started running an hour or so ago.” Clark turned the volume on the computer up and Mick watched Beth as she gave the final report from the crime scene. The headline said, ‘Vampire slaying rocks LA’.

Damn it, Josef will be so pissed. Another thing to deal with; visit with Josef after he talked to Guillermo.

Dorothy looked at Mick, a question in her eyes. Mick knew what that question was and he didn’t want to have to answer it. He took an unnecessary breath and said, “Yes, I saw her there; I talked to her for a moment.”

“Oh my God, Mick! How did that happen?” she asked, grabbing Clark’s hand. Mick saw the concern flash across Clarks face and he felt even worse.

“I was standing off to the side, out of the way but Carl was there and he saw her by the body and yelled at her to get away. Where I was standing was the only place she could go.”

“Carl was there?” Clark asked.

Mick was puzzled, but answered, “Yes. Do you know him?”

Dorothy nodded and smiled, “Yes we do. Beth and Carl dated for quite awhile in college. At one time we sort of thought they might get married.”

Mick tried not to let the fact that the news shocked him show on his face. Of course he knew that Beth would have had boyfriends, steady ones even and lovers, but the fact that one of them was Carl definitely did shock him. He remembered watching them together at the crime scene though and he could see it in their interaction. Despite the fact that Carl obviously didn’t like Mick he was a good man, an outstanding man in fact and he felt a momentary pang of regret for their failed relationship.

“So – so do you think she recognized you?” Dorothy asked.

“No, I was a bit worried about that too. She thought I looked familiar, but she couldn’t place me. It was okay. I only talked to her for a minute and then I left. I did watch the scene until dawn though, to make sure she was okay.” He let them digest this information for a minute before adding the part that they would hate. “Look, there could be a vampire involved in this; I have to continue to investigate it. Not only for Beth’s safety, but for the security of the vampire community. We could have a rogue out there and if so, it has to be taken care of.”

“Yes, I realize that Mick. I do…I just want her to be safe,” Dorothy added.

Mick nodded, silently agreeing with her. “I’ll probably see her again Dorothy, but I’ll take every precaution that she doesn’t recognize me, I promise.”

“Okay Mick. What else can we do at this point?” Dorothy said, salty tears brimming her eyes. All any of them wanted was for Beth to be safe and happy.

Mick left soon after that and as Clark watched him climb into his Benz and he secretly thought that finally maybe things had a chance to work out. Answers to years old questions might finally come out and he couldn’t help but think that it was a good thing.

He was aware though that he was the only one who thought that.

As Dorothy and Clark watched Mick pull away from their house Dorothy broke down in tears. They were tears of relied as well as fear of what had been set in motion. Clark held her tightly against him and kissed her hair, trying to lend her every bit of strength he could. He could tell by the way she held her body that she wasn’t okay with it all and he knew that they were going to have to talk about it. It was a discussion he always knew would happen and yet he would postpone it if he could. He could only be honest with her, even understanding that they saw the situation from totally different sides.

“It’s going to be okay darling, I promise,” he told her. He just wasn’t sure who it would be okay for.

“Will it? You’re joking right? It’s not going to be okay!”

Clark tipped her head up so that he could look into her eyes; cornflower blue eyes that were awash with unshed tears. As he watched she blinked and a salty tear made its way slowly down her face. He bent and kissed it away and soon more followed; a million tears shed for grief and guilt, an abominable combination.

“Sh-she’ll remember Clark. She’ll remember it all!”

“Dorothy, is that such a bad thing? Can you imagine what it is like for her, having this horrendous thing locked away in her head and not being able to let it go? Do you ever consider that Dorothy? Look at the life she leads; it’s like part of her is missing or incomplete. She’s missing a part of herself my love and she needs to find it.”

“She’s fine Clark; she has a good career, she has a good young man in her life. She’s okay!” Dorothy reiterated, letting out a huge breath. “She is…”

“Really? Yes, I’ll grant you she is doing well in her career, but part of what let’s her do that, be the investigative reporter that she is is the fact that she is driven to uncover the truth. Where do you think that need comes from? And men! She gets just so close and holds back, always waiting for something that she can’t explain. A need, within her Dorothy. She needs the truth.”

“I’ll never believe that Clark; never.”

Clark just held her closer and rubbed his hand up and down her back. She still didn’t see what was in front of her face; that there were two people out there that needed one another and wouldn’t be happy until they discovered that fact.

To be continued…

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Special Treat!

I thought I would post a video that features a little Mick-yumminess! Please enjoy.  And it might be helpful to have something cold to drink nearby!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Chapter Fourteen

July 7, 2007

It has been a wonderful week! Lani was home for 9 days and the Three Musketeers spent 3 whole days together, idling the day away in the sun and talking the night away as well.

Lani inherited a beach house from her grandparents, which is the main reason she came home, to sign paperwork and such. It’s out just past Malibu, but in the older, ‘not fashionable’ part. It’s a real bungalow style, built in the 1930’s and just awesome. I spent quite a few days there helping Lani sort through things and you should have seen us trying to handle a few minor repairs. Josh came over to help occasionally, but in reality he isn’t much handier with a hammer than we are. It was a true spectacle to watch us, I’m sure!

When Robbi came for a long weekend it was the perfect end to the week. No men were allowed; we turned off our cell phones and stocked up on wine and munchies and sunscreen and just did whatever we felt like. Lani has really enjoyed Tokyo but she seems different somehow about it. I tried to get her to tell me what was wrong but she insisted that nothing was wrong and that perhaps she really was just a bit home-sick and in truth I think she is; she seemed to absorb everything and clung to us when it was time to go. It’s almost like she has seen something there that she doesn’t understand or maybe just something that made her grow up. Who knows, but I am so glad she was home.

Oh, I almost forgot something! I ran into Carl when I was working a story for the paper. He is doing really well and is a detective now; a job that he is perfectly suited to. It felt good to see him and he met Josh and I for dinner one night; they already knew one another from a couple of cases. I haven’t mentioned to Josh that Carl and I used to date; I suppose I should at some point, but it feels kind of weird to mention it. Carl did seem surprised by Josh and I and that sort of made me laugh. He didn’t say anything, but I could still tell. Carl is engaged and has promised to bring his fiancĂ© next time we meet for dinner.

My friend Morgan, who is a fantastic photographer told me about a great job opening at Buzzwire, an internet news and gossip venue. She told me to tell Maureen Williams there that she had sent me and I went to the interview. I think it went great and I am really hopeful about it. Who knows, thanks to Morgan I may be the next ‘it’ girl on the internet!

My mom has retired from her job with the Glendale school system. She is really excited about it too. She was there for 20 years and she says it’s about time. She is going to help Clark with his business, a remodeling firm specializing in green technologies. He has made their house into a finely working and energy efficient showcase, it’s really kind of cool.



Guillermo to Mick: Hey man, you need to come down here and look at this body. It may be the one you been looking for.

Mick to Guillermo: Be right there.

Mick slid his phone back into his pocket and thought about the text from Guillermo. For the past week he had been looking for a missing girl, 6 years old who disappeared from her yard. He prayed it wasn’t the one in the morgue, but logic told him it probably was.

Damn, he didn’t want to have to do this but he grabbed his keys and headed out the door; the sooner they got it over with the better.

At the morgue Mick found Guillermo with Carl Davis, examining the body. Mick had worked with Carl a time or two on a case and he respected the lieutenant’s ability to get cases solved. He nodded to both of them as he entered the room.

“Hey Guillermo, lieutenant.”

Carl looked at Guillermo and said “What’s he doing here?”

Mick spoke up and said, “I’ve been working a case for a missing 6 year old girl; hired by her parents.”

Carl looked irritated but stepped aside. Mick stepped over the body and lifted the sheet, wincing as he did. The body was in pretty bad shape and he quickly covered it again and said to Guillermo, “What can you tell me about her?”

“She was found in a drainage ditch in west Hollywood. The body is in pretty bad shape though. We’ll have to run dentals and maybe even DNA to positively identify her.” Guillermo shook his head as he looked at the tiny body that lay covered on the table. “Man, who does this to a kid?”

“Mick, did the girl have any identifying markers on her? The one you are looking for?” Carl asked, looking at his notes.

“Yeah. She has a strawberry birthmark on her right shoulder her mom said. Did you find anything like that Guillermo?”

“Her body is pretty abraded, looks like it was drug through the ditch but we can take another look. The coroner didn’t make any notes on here about one though so I’m assuming either she didn’t have one or it is impossible to tell.”

Mick nodded and Carl lifted the sheet again; both men closed their eyes for a moment because the little girl was so badly messed up. Guillermo lifted her and they all looked at her shoulder.

“Um, maybe. Take a look,” he told Mick and Carl.

Both men looked at the uncovered back of the child, but it was just too hard to tell for sure. “I guess it will be dental records or DNA before we know for sure.”

“Yeah. Hey, thanks Guillermo. Carl,” Mick said, nodding to both men before leaving. Outside Mick leaned up against the wall for a moment to collect himself.

That so easily could have been Beth, when Coraline took her. The realization shook him to the core and his gut twisted with pain. It could have been…


Mick sat in the living room of the Turner’s house in Glendale, taking notes about Elizabeth Turner, 4 years old who had been taken from her bed the night before. Her mother, grandparents and Clark Griffin were all sick with worry and guilt for not hearing Beth being taken.

“May I see her bedroom now? I think I have enough background.”

Dorothy Turner nodded and said, “Yes Mr. St. John, please, follow me.” Her voice caught on the last word and she tried to stifle a small sob. “It was quiet last night and we didn’t hear anything; we just don’t understand. Whoever took her got in through the window, which they pried open from the outside.” She opened the door and as soon as she stood aside Mick not only scented exactly what had happened, but who had taken her.

A knife twisted viciously in his gut. Coraline…Coraline had the little girl.

He saw her coming in the window and standing still, looking at the child, who was sleeping peacefully. Coraline leaned over her and laid her hand over the child’s mouth and then scooped her up into cold and merciless arms and was back out of the window before anyone knew it.

He shut his eyes tightly for a moment; he couldn’t bear for Dorothy Turner to see the naked pain in them. After he had regained his composure he said to her, “I’ll find her. I promise.” He had left then, rage filling his being. He knew exactly where to look for Beth. He would find her, but would he find her in time?

Those same worries occurred to him now; it wasn’t Coraline who took the child, but would they find her in time? Or had she been found already? Mick could only hope for the best.


“Beth, did you hear?” Max said, an infectious grin plastered across her face.

Max was a new co-worker at the paper and she and Beth had hit it off immediately. Max, short for Maxine was married to a great guy named Mark and she and Josh had hung out with them several times. Max and Mark had 3 kids, all boys and something was always going on at the Tyler household.

“What?” Beth asked distractedly as she stared an e-mail from Josh asking her to go to dinner that evening.

“The 710 shooter struck again! This time on Dozier!”

Those words brought Beth’s immediate attention to focus on Max. “Dozier? It is definitely an alphabet thing then,” she said as she mentally ticked off Anaheim, Bell, Compton and now Dozier. All streets that crossed the 710 but the times seemed to be random and Beth had spent a good deal of time pondering the situation since she was covering it for the paper. She stood up and grabbed her purse and phone and told Max, “I’m heading out then. Thanks Max!”

As Beth drove to the site she mulled over the shootings and when they had happened. Each one had happened after noon but before 1pm. The victims had all been driving north-bound on the 710, otherwise known as the Long Beach Freeway, at streets that intersected the freeway. So far there had been 3 clean shots that caused wrecks on the freeway that had killed 9 others. No telling what today’s totals might be. So, the times Beth wondered. Someone on their lunch hour or what?

When she got to the scene she had to fight her way through the lines of police who were processing the scene. She saw Carl and made a bee-line for him. As soon as he saw her heading for him he tried to duck out of the way but he was too late – he was cornered with nowhere to go.

“Carl! Hey Carl,” Beth called out, ready to chase him if need be.

“Beth,” he said with a shake of his head. “Why am I not surprised to see you here?”

“You shouldn’t be, I’ve been at all the other crime scenes. Anything different about this one?”

“No, same damn thing. Shot from one of these buildings, shooter undetected and got away clean. It’s really frustrating…”

Beth laid a hand on his arm and smiled at him. Their eyes met and for a moment the years had melted away and the both remembered the past. They both shook it off, not because it was a place they wanted to find again but because it was a place where they lost each other. “You’ll catch them Carl, you always do,” she told him, trying to sound convincing.

He nodded and looked around him, at the ambulances and yellow crime scene tape that criss-crossed the paths. “He got 3 today Beth, the driver was killed immediately and the car went into another lane and killed an elderly couple who couldn’t get out of the way in time. Fourteen cars were involved.”

“At least there were no more fatalities than that Carl. It could have been worse. But I know that is poor consolation to you. Any other information you want to share?”

“No, but I’ll tell you that we think the shooter was on top of the parking garage on Dozier, the one by the bank. They’re checking the scene now.”

Beth nodded and made notes on her pad. “It’s crazy Carl. So if this was ‘D’ then the next will be ‘E’ I expect. How many ‘E’ streets are there anyway?”

“A couple. But knowing when the hit will be made is the problem. That’s what we can’t figure out.” Just then he got a call on the radio and waved to Beth as he headed to talk to some officers.

Josh was arriving on the scene when she was walking to the car. She stopped to chat with him for a minute before she went to file her story. “Hey honey, how’s it going?” she asked.

“Beat me to the scene, again!” he said with a laugh. “I’m good. Did you get my e-mail about dinner?”

“Um hm, sounds good. What time?”

“About 7:00? Should be wrapped up here by then. Carl give you anything?”

“Not much,” she said with a shrug. “He’s pretty frustrated. Hey, I gotta go, but I’ll see later okay?” She gave him a quick kiss and headed off to her car, watching the media circus of television people who were setting up cameras to get their story. She sighed and wondered if she would ever make it that far.

On the drive back to the paper her cell buzzed and she looked at the number with interest. She knew she would definitely return that call when she got out of the mid-day traffic but in the meantime she thought about her life so far.

She wasn’t unhappy really, more like she was just treading water and it felt tiresome. She had gained some great experience with the LA Free Press but she was so ready to move on. And Josh, well, he was a great guy. They had so much fun together and he understood her pretty well. But when she looked at other couples, like Robbi and Kevin and Max and Mark she felt like something, some integral part was missing. Maybe it was that thing that came with longevity; the whole, knowing someone better than you know yourself deal. As a whole, she couldn’t complain about her relationship with Josh; the sex was good and she truly enjoyed their time together. But was that all there really was to it? Where was that connection that the other’s seemed to have? She sighed and made the turn off to the paper and parked before walking in to her desk.

Max was hovering around her desk, waiting for Beth to get back. Max was a political editor and a good one. Her rapier sharp wit had ruffled more than a few feathers over time, but you couldn’t fault her for being biased, she skewered them all!

“Well, what’s the deal this time?” she asked, sitting on the corner of Beth’s desk while Beth put her purse away.

Beth gave her the lowdown on the crime scene and then pulled out her notebook and saw her phone and remembered she had a call to return. She was feeling hopeful about it and fidgeted while Max sat there chatting. Finally she was gone and Beth returned the call, waiting impatiently for it to be answered.

“This is Mo; talk to me!” Maureen’s voice rang out clearly over the telephone line and an excited ripple raced up Beth’s spine.

“Hi Maureen. This is Beth Turner, returning your call.”

“Hey girl, glad you called! So how soon can you come to work for me?”

Beth’s breath caught in her throat and she silently did the happy dance. SHE GOT THE JOB!!! When she could speak again she said, “Well, I want to give the paper two weeks’ notice; will that work?”

Maureen grinned on the other end of the line. “Looks like I got me someone with a conscience. Hmm, well, I guess that will be fine. So, I’ll see you in two weeks then?”

“You bet you will! And Maureen, thanks so much for this opportunity; I won’t let you down!”

“I’m counting on that Beth. See you then!” She hung up the phone without another phone and started giggling, excitement overcoming her normally serious demeanor. Max came over to see what was going on.

Beth jumped up to hug her and then proceeded to jump up and down with excitement. “Guess what? I got a new job; at Buzzwire, the internet news place! I GOT THE JOB!!!”

“Wow Beth, that’s great! Will you be an online reporter?” Max asked, delighted for her friend.

“Not at first, but soon. I’ll be learning the ropes for a few months and then I’ll get to go live. Max, this is my chance and I can’t wait! Oh, I gotta write my resignation letter now. I’ve never had to do that before! And I have to tell my parents and Josh and wow, I’ve got to get busy!”

“Congratulations Beth!” Max said as she watched Beth start typing on the computer. She walked away with a smile, genuinely happy for her friend. She cast a quick look over her shoulder as Beth sat frowning at the computer screen for a moment. Yes, Max knew it was scary, but she also knew that Los Angeles was about to be taken by a small hurricane named Beth!


“Hey Morgan, I just hired your friend, Beth Turner! I hope you been straight up with me girl. She had better deliver!”

“I’m sure she will, and I’m telling you Mo, the camera lens eats her. She’ll be a hit!”

Morgan nodded and headed out the door to her car. She really didn’t know Maureen Williams; she’d sold them a few photos here and there, but when she had heard about the opening at Buzzwire she had immediately thought about Beth.

On camera she was bound to garner attention, hopefully from the person that Morgan had her eye on. There had to be a way to draw him back into her life and she would attempt just about anything to do that. Yes, she knew that he had watched over Beth for quite a few years, but all that ended when he spent those reclusive years in Seattle. This would be the perfect way to get his attention focused on her again. The perfect bait that is.

It was all coming together as Morgan Vincent, aka Coraline Duvall wanted. And she always got what she wanted when it came to Mick St. John. She remembered the fire and amended, well, most of the time anyway.

To be continued…