In this episode -
Mick ends up in no star motel hell helping to track down a witness in a high level case for the DA’s office. Josh (with Beth) came to Mick and personally asked for help. Leni, a young woman who had witnessed a murder that was committed by an arms dealer had been staying in a safe house when it was attacked, killing both of the cops who were guarding her. Leni escaped and Josh came to Mick and asked for help because apparently the DA’s office had a leak and he needed someone not in that office to help track Leni down and bring her back safely. Mick agreed to take the case and in his investigation discovered that Leni caught a bus to Victorville in order to escape from the threat. Mick found her there and finally convinced her that returning to LA to testify was the right thing to do. But just when things seemed to be okay the killer turned up again, in the guise of a cop and Mick realized that something was up. He and Leni escaped through a bathroom window and stole the police cruiser to get away. On the road a short time later Mick and Leni spotted a helicopter bearing down on them and it fired a missile which missed them; Mick turned the car around and got first Leni, them himself out without being detected. He used a night stick to power the gas in the car and it took off. The helicopter chased it and fired another missile, blowing it up. Mick and Leni escaped into the desert. Josh got word that the car had been blown up and told Beth that apparently Mick and Leni were dead. She did not take the news very well and left Josh to go home, where she broke down at the thought of the loss of Mick. Earlier that day, before Mick and Beth separated she watched Mick struggle in the sunlight and asked him if he were a delicate flower. Walking through the desert with Leni Mick finally realized Beth was right, he was a delicate flower. Out in the middle of nowhere, Mick acknowledged that if he can’t find blood anywhere else he won’t be able to stop himself from taking it from Leni. They finally found a motel, a wretched, run down, bug infested motel, but it was shelter and Mick filled the tub with cold water and told Leni to get ice, lots of it. She brought back a large bucket of it and Mick instructed her to dump it into the bath with him and then told her to keep trying to find a cell signal and to call Beth, only Beth. Leni asks if Beth is his girlfriend and he got upset and said no, that it’s complicated. He had a hallucination that he feeds from Leni and he yells at her to get out of the room. Leni finally manages to get a signal and calls Beth, who takes off to find them in the desert. When she found them, she immediately realized that Mick needs blood, even though he tells her to take Leni and leave. She bared her neck for him, even though she was scared and told him that she knows he won’t kill her and that he won’t try to turn her either. Mick refused, saying “no, not you, not like this” but finally relented because it was his only choice. He reached for her arm (not the neck) and before he fed he tells Beth, “at some point you are going to have to stop me!”. A bit later a stunned and weakened Beth stumbled out of the bathroom holding a towel around her arm. The killer was waiting and Mick heard him and busted through the bathroom door and killed him. Leni came out of hiding and saw that Mick was better. Later, at Beth’s apartment, Josh looked at Beth’s arm and she mentioned that she is clumsy and that a chain link fence caused the accident. Josh kissed the marks and Beth almost yanked her arm away, unable to stand Josh’s touch.
October 16, 2007
I feel as if I’ve been unfaithful to Josh and the worst part is that I would do it again if necessary. No, I didn’t have sex with Mick, but I fed him my blood in the desert. Oh, I know, that’s not being unfaithful, but my heart, my heart is unfaithful. I have so many feelings for Mick, about him that I don’t understand and I don’t know how to deal with. Especially now because there is even more of a connection than there was before. Is it because he drank my blood? Can I feel him inside me because of that?
He told me, when I offered him my blood, he said, “No, not yours, not like this!” What did that mean, not mine, not like that? What’s wrong with MY blood? I don’t get it. He was going to die and part of me thinks that he would have let himself do just that if I hadn’t practically forced the situation. Is something wrong with my blood? Or is it me?
It’s constantly spinning around in my head, everything that has happened the past couple of weeks. Okay, he’s a vampire and I’m alright with that. It only seems to be incidental to the situation. Mick is a good man, not a monster as he often says. I know there are things I don’t yet understand about him, about vampires, but I’m willing to learn. I will not ever betray him or this secret. I can’t help but to acknowledge that a part of me thrills to being with him, on the hunt so to speak. I feel alive when I’m with him and there is a connection there between us that I just don’t understand. He has started to replace the shadow man in my dreams about when I was taken. I know that’s silly, but still, there he is, rescuing me from the scary woman. I think my shadow man killed her, set her on fire, but my memory, or the fleeting glimpses I get of it could be distorted because it was so long ago. But now, it’s Mick who carries me away and takes me home to mom, grandpa and grandma.
So how does all that translate into my feelings for him? I just don’t know, but they are there. And where does that leave Josh and I? Josh is a good man too, a man who has strong convictions about right and wrong and I’ve always admired that about him. I can laugh with him and I trust him, doesn’t that mean something? If I’m honest, brutally honest, I have to admit that for awhile now things haven’t been too exciting with him and I do miss that, the rush of passion that I felt at first. But that’s normal isn’t it? In any relationship, doesn’t that die down a bit and things just sort of settle into a calmer situation? That’s normal, isn’t it? Isn’t it?
Well, on another note, I had the strangest dinner with Mom and Clark a few days ago. It was really tense and I don’t have a clue why. Something is going on and I hope and pray that they are okay. It would break my heart if they split up or something but they (make that Mom) was just so nervous, jumpy even. She kept asking me what was going on in my life, like she was trying to keep the focus off of her. Clark sat there and threw strange looks at her all evening and by the time I left I was majorly on edge. Weird…
Lani called me from Tokyo, agitated about something, but I have to admit that I’m a terrible friend because right now all I can think about is what is going on in my life. She was trying to tell me about some infuriating man she met who was a condescending jerk and all I wanted to say way “You want a story Lani? Let me tell you a story about vampires!” but of course I didn’t. I think a nice long e-mail is in order, but what the hell do I tell her? Man, I wish she were here, she would totally understand all this, so much more than Robbi would. I can never talk to Robbi about it, (I can’t really tell Lani either, I know that) because Robbi is such a straight arrow kind of girl. I have always loved that about her; she’s down to earth and pragmatic and in some ways she is the ‘older’ sister of the three of us. She kept Lani and I from doing totally stupid things so many times, let me tell you.
Can she keep me from walking away from a good man and starting a relationship with a vampire? LOL, like that would ever happen!
“Hey Mom, I’m here,” Beth said, walking through the front door. She sat her purse down on the table by the door and shrugged out of her jacket and hung it on the hook. “Where are you, in the kitchen?”
“Yes,” Beth heard her mom call out. “Come on in!”
Beth followed her nose into the kitchen, inhaling the fragrance of something Italian and her mouth instantly started to water. “Um, garlic and rosemary and something else in the air! Must be pasta night!”
Clark came in from his office and put his arm around Beth’s shoulder and hugged her as she sneaked a piece of green pepper off the cutting board and popped it into her mouth.
“Hey Beth, how are you?” he asked, swiping a piece of his own.
“Enough you two,” Dorothy said tensely. “Beth, finish cutting the vegetables up since you are so eager to get at them.”
Beth’s eyebrows rose a bit and she looked at Clark in surprise at her mother’s sharp words. Clark only shrugged and asked, “Beth, would you like a glass of wine?”
Clark poured three glasses of a rich red burgundy for them and as she sipped it Dorothy said, “Will you set the table please?”
“Sure honey. In here or the dining room?” he asked.
“The dining room Clark,” she answered and again her voice was edgy.
Beth was surprised they were eating in the dining room for one thing; when it was just the three of them they always sat in the kitchen. Something was up and she suddenly wasn’t sure that this was going to be such a pleasant dinner.
Beth finished the salad and tossed it together while her mom pulled the pasta and bread out of the oven, all of it done without another word being spoken. Clark helped Dorothy carry the casserole to the table and after Beth sat the salad down they were ready to eat.
“So Beth, what has been going on with you?” Dorothy asked, watching Beth’s expression closely.
“I – uh, just working Mom. And you can see all that 24-7 on Buzzwire you know!”
“Well yes, but what else has been going on? You know, not work related honey?”
Clark cleared his throat and then took a sip of wine. Beth saw him watching this interaction over the rim of his glass.
Beth chewed her lip for a moment, wondering what her mom was getting at. She certainly couldn’t know about Mick, so what else could it be? “Nothing really Mom. I talked to Lani this morning. She was talking about some guy she met there that was a jerk, apparently. Robbi and Kevin are well and she thinks she might be pregnant again, or at least they are trying. All pretty boring Mom,” she finished. She took a bite of the pasta al forno and chewed it slowly in an attempt to not have to answer any more questions.
“So, you’re saying nothing exciting has happened lately? I find that hard to believe Beth!” Dorothy wasn’t eating at all; she was staring at Beth intently.
Beth swallowed her mouthful of garlic bread and shrugged, looking down at her plate. She felt as if she were six years old and was being questioned about something she had done wrong. “Sorry to disappoint you Mom. Life is pretty boring. Josh has been working on a pretty tough case so I haven’t seen a lot of him either. Just me, just boring old same old, same old!” She smiled at her Mom and took another bite.
Dorothy started to open her mouth again and Clark jumped into the conversation asking her if she was planning to go and visit Lani in Tokyo, something that she had been thinking about for awhile.
Beth smiled at him gratefully and for the rest of dinner she and Clark chatted about that. Dorothy never said another word. Beth left a while later, totally puzzled.
As Clark watched Beth pull out of the driveway, he waved before closing the door. Dorothy was sitting on the sofa, her arms folded and her beautiful mouth pursed in a frown. Clark shook his head briefly before going to sit next to her.
“Dorothy, what did you hope to accomplish with that?”
Dorothy knew exactly what he was referring to, her inquisition of Beth. She knew it wasn’t the smartest thing to do and it certainly hadn’t helped anything but it was eating her up inside, the not knowing how Beth was affected by Mick being a vampire. The she acted, you’d never guess she was so cool about things.
She sighed before answering Clark, who waited patiently. “You know perfectly well what I was trying to do Clark. I have to know how she’s handling it all. How could she sit there, all cool about the fact that she has come face to face with a vampire? It – it just boggles my brain. Where did she learn to cover things up like that?”
Clark knew that in this situation, discretion was the better part of valor and his answer reflected that. “Honey, she’s a strong young woman and she probably doesn’t want to worry you. You just have to let it go and trust her to handle it, okay?”
Dorothy stared at him for a moment, accepting his words. But she didn’t like them one little bit.
“Josef Kostan, my friend!” Heroku Sesumi bowed deeply towards his friend, welcoming him to Tokyo. He straightened up and offered his hand then in the western greeting style.
Josef returned the bow and then offered his hand in return. “Heroku, it’s good to see you. And your beautiful city.”
“Did you have a pleasant journey?” Heroku asked politely. He possessed an old world charm that belied the tough attitude of an ancient vampire. They walked through the small airport 30 miles outside of Tokyo and slid into the waiting limo. It was luxuriously appointed, as Josef would have expected and inside sat two very beautiful women who waited patiently for the men.
“Josef, may I introduce Tamiko and Aiko; they are here to quench your hunger after your long flight my friend.”
Both women smiled at Josef and shyly bowed their heads. He nodded in return and said, “Your generosity is truly welcome and appreciated Heroku. I will be very happy to oblige and partake of such treasures as soon as we arrive at your estate, so that I may first freshen up a bit.”
Both girls sat back into the limo seats, the heightened look of expectation fading from their faces. These two love the bite. That will make it all the sweeter and more delicious
In his suite at Heroku’s home Josef quickly showered and dressed and then called for Tamiko and Aiko. They were there almost instantly which made him realize they were just next door, waiting to be called. He sat on a settee with a girl on each side of him and he could smell the gentle scents of honeysuckle and hyacinth that emanated from their skin. Delicate and not overpowering at all, it created a sensual and heady atmosphere. Josef lifted the wrist of Aiko and scented along the vein and the sweet smell of her blood called to him. Before he knew it his fangs had lengthened and sank lightly into her wrist. She immediately let out a moan as she closed her eyes and enjoyed the bite. He felt the tremors of pleasure surge through her body and tasted the extra sweetness as it flooded his mouth. He tenderly licked at the wounds until the blood stopped flowing and helped Aiko to settle back among the cushions on the settee and smiled as Tamiko held her wrist up to him, eager for her turn at bliss.
Josef left the girls a short while later, both relaxing on the settee, recovering together and made his way down to greet his friend. It was 8 pm in Tokyo and Heroku had arranged a gathering of close associates that Josef would be dealing with over the next few days; sort of a cocktail party to introduce him.
Soon all the names and faces started to run together, with the exception of one. And anomaly actually, an American woman literally standing a head taller than her Japanese hosts. Josef’s eyes lit with appreciation as he took in her beauty; she was exquisite and she wasn’t a vampire.
“Josef san, may I introduce you to Ms. Lanelle Parker, the Assistant Director of Training and Development for Sesumi Corp.?” Josef and Lani shook hands and he saw something flash briefly across her face with the contact.
“Ms. Parker, it is a pleasure. How long have you been with Sesumi; I don’t believe I’ve met you before?” His eyes lingered a little bit longer than necessary on her lithe body and he saw her eyes narrow in displeasure.
“Mr. Kostan, welcome to Tokyo. I have been with Sesumi for 4 years now,” Lani told him, a definite edge to her voice.
“Ah, I see. It’s been what, 6 years since my last visit Heroku? Could that possibly be correct?” Josef asked, smiling broadly at his friend and Ms. Parker.
“Yes, yes I believe it has been that long!” Just then someone across the room called for his attention and he excused himself. “Lani, please be so kind to entertain Mr. Kostan in my absence, but please watch out for him! He is known for his charm!” With that he winked at her and made his way across the room.
Lani groaned to herself and wondered how long she would have to stand here and make polite small talk with this guy. Somehow he irritated the hell out of her and she couldn’t decide why. It must be his smarmy approach she decided; so self-assured and all.
“Do you find living in Tokyo pleasing Ms. Parker? Or may I call you Lanelle?” Josef asked, taking a sip of his scotch.
“Ms. Parker. Yes, I enjoy Tokyo a great deal. It is a fascinating city and Japan an intriguing culture Mr. Kostan.” Her words were clipped and her answer impatient, as if she couldn’t wait to get away.
She really doesn’t like me Josef realized. If she crammed that poker up her ass any farther it would come out her mouth. Josef decided to have a bit of fun. “Perhaps we can have dinner while I’m here and you could show me a bit of the city; I’m sure Heroku would approve of that,” he teased.
“I – I’m a very busy person Mr. Kostan so I’m afraid that would be out of the question. I’m sure Heroku has other, er, employees who would be better suited to your sight-seeing goals. Now, may I excuse myself? I have other people to speak to this evening.”
“Certainly, Lani!” he said, using the name that Heroku had. He inwardly laughed as her eyes first opened in surprise and then narrowed again in anger. She nodded briefly and turned away abruptly, beating a hasty retreat across the room.
Josef watched her exit the room and laughed. He wondered briefly what that was all about, but didn’t have time to puzzle too long before Heroku was back and introducing him to someone else.
Outside Lani took a couple of deep breaths and tried to calm her raging feelings. She stood at a railing along the terrace and her hands were curled so tightly that fingernails cut into her palms. She make her hands relax a bit and wished she had a tissue to wipe the blood off with.
He was one of those ‘special’ friends of Heroku, she could tell. Maybe it was the cool feel of his hand when they shook or maybe it was his beautiful, sexy brown eyes; she didn’t know. What she realized though was that she needed to stay far away from Josef Kostan. He was dangerous to her and no good could come of this.
“Beth, I need some outside help with this case. Leni Hayes, my witness in the Amir Fayed case has disappeared after a hit on her safe house last night. Do you think Mick St. John would help me?”
For a moment Beth was stunned. First, Josh was finally admitting that he had a secret witness and secondly that he wanted Mick’s help. She didn’t know which was more amazing.
It was seven in the morning and Beth didn’t know if Mick would be up or not but she agreed to call him for Josh. He answered quickly and after a very brief explanation of what was going on agreed to see her and Josh.
Josh closely watched Mick St. John while he explained about the case. He also couldn’t help but notice all the silent looks that passed between Mick and Beth. Mick listened intently and asked questions and the questions he asked impressed Josh. He was smart, he’d give him that. Beth said that he could solve cases no one else could; well, Josh would have to wait and see about that one.
Mick agreed to work the case and the three of them went to the safe house where Mick straight away told them a few facts about the case; there was only one shooter (the police suspected two) and that none of the blood was Leni’s (because there was no estrogen in it). Leni had escaped through a window in an upstairs hallway and used the fire escape to get out of the building. She had also stolen a truck belonging to Officer Richard Colden and Beth got a friend to track the low jack for her and Mick so that they could find Leni.
The truck was found in front of a house that belonged to Jack Toland, the man that Fayed had killed. Mick and Beth entered the house and found that Leni had been inside and that she and Jack Toland had been involved, in love. They realized that Leni had gotten Jacks gun and that she was now armed. A bit more probing found that she had caught a bus to Victorville and that would be Mick’s next stop.
“Okay, this is where our separate ways Beth,” Mick told her, slipping his sunglasses back on in preparation to head back outside.
“Oh. Why can’t I go with you?”
“Because this girl is scared and she has a gun Beth. Besides, you’re my contact to Josh.”
“I know. It’s just that being on the hunt with you is kind of fun.”
“Yeah, it’s a giant thrill ride that never ends.” Mick started out the door and added, “But sometimes it does end, with terrible screams and bloodshed.”
“Still, we make a good team,” Beth told him and for a moment they shared a smile before he left.
Mick found Leni in Victorville and eventually won her over, although it wasn’t easy. He discovered that Leni was pregnant with Jack’s baby when he heard the babies’ heartbeat. Leni was shocked that Mick had figured that out, but she finally opened up to him and realized that he was right, she needed to go back to LA with him. It all might have went smoothly if Josh had just listened and let Mick bring her in on his own, however Josh insisted that Mick wait for Victorville police to escort them back to LA, a nearly fatal mistake.
When Beth got the call from Leni telling her that they were both still alive, but that Mick was not well she first experienced relief and joy and then fear and panic. She knew that Mick would need blood, but she didn’t know how to get it, where to get it. There was probably some at Mick’s apartment, but she didn’t think she had time to try to break in there, even if she could because Mick had some really high-tech surveillance and security systems. No, she would just have to go as she was and hope for the best.
Beth sped down the highway like a madwoman, daring any cop she saw to stop her. The blue Prius was flying down the road, as if it had wings. As she drove, Beth’s thoughts were full of Mick and this complicated bond of friendship they had forged.
Was it only friendship? It felt like more, and yet she couldn’t let it be more. She loved Josh, didn’t she? Yes, she did love him, but it wasn’t the same as before. Was that because of Mick or was it just because she was becoming bored in the relationship. It somehow felt stagnant and that had nothing to do with Mick. Still, all the excitement that Mick brought into her life definitely made her realize that there was more to life than how she had been living it.
What kind of a woman could I be to give up a wonderful man like Josh? He was a steady, dependable guy who was devoted to me and wanted to make me happy.
It wasn’t about starting a relationship with Mick; after all, she had no idea if he would even want that. OR, if it was even possible. Maybe vampire/human relationships can’t happen. He still looked human, but what if other things have changed since he became a vampire? Whatever she did, she had to do for her own good, not because of Mick or Josh.
She finally saw the motel up ahead and turned in. It was a rat hole, a dirty, run-down miserable excuse of a place to stay and Beth thanked God that they had found it, out here in the middle of nowhere. She found the room and walked in, after a perfunctory knock and found Leni waiting for her.
“Leni, I’m Beth!” As she spoke Leni ran to her and started dragging her to a door on the other side of the room.
“You have to help him; I think he’s dying!” she cried, panic in her voice.
“Where is he?” Beth asked, already knowing the answer.
“He’s in here.”
“Stay here,” Beth said, entering the bathroom. She saw Mick, lying in the tub with melting ice and water covering him. He was pale and looked awful. She wondered for a moment if she was too late.
To be continued…