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 fiancé 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…