This chapter describes a lot of what happens in the episode but here is a basic synopsis. There was a lot of information that was left hanging in this episode which is why I have detailed it so much.
There is an attack on Josef’s office while he and a couple of buddies are playing poker; Mick was supposed to be there too but he was working a case. A hired mercenary comes in shooting and then tosses in a couple of military grade incendiary bombs which blows the office up. Josef manages to escape but his two friends don’t. Mick goes to the office building to investigate and see’s Beth there. She had been sent by Mo (although she had protested and tried to get out of it) to cover the story. Mick is angered by her camera and leaves. He goes to the hospital after hearing that Morgan is awake and talks to her briefly, but she will not tell him how she is now human. When she falls asleep Mick takes a vial of her blood for analysis. Back at his place he finds Beth waiting for him and they both are sorry for being so upset. Mick asks her in for a drink where they find Josef, alive and safe.
Josef is determined to go to his office to get in a fire-proof safe he has. He needs fresh blood and Mick will not let him have freshies at the loft for fear of a further attack. Mick goes to his freezer but wakes up soon only to realize that Josef has gone so Mick heads to Kostan Industries where he finds Josef. That’s where the killer finds them both. After a vicious fight Mick gets the name of the person who hired him, John Whitley in New York. As Mick deals with Martan Josef disappears and Mick knows he is heading to New York. Mick and Beth decide to follow to try to find him. In New York they find John Whitley, a 93 year old Real Estate developer and the person that hired Martan, the killer. John Whitley had lost his 21 year old daughter in 1955 to Charles Fitzgerald (aka Josef) and he was determined that Fitzgerald die before he could rest.
Next Mick and Beth track Josef down, at a town house on Waverly Place. There he introduces them to Sarah Whitley who is in a coma and has been since 1955, when he attempted to turn her. She never came out of it and Josef had taken care of her ever since. Martan find them there in another attempt to kill Josef manages to stake him and shoot him but Mick again fights him and finally breaks his neck, thus ending Martan. After removing the stake and bullets (Josef is a huge baby about it) Mick and Beth leave to head back to LA. As they walk outside Mick asks Beth to stay in New York a bit longer and go out on the town with him but Beth feels guilty and opts to head home.
Back in LA Morgan suddenly vanishes from the hospital, leaving the staff stunned.
Next's weeks Beth's Diary will not be an episode. It will be an extra chapter to help celebrate the holidays, which the show never did and to welcome Lani home. She's going to face her first big challenge, so I hope you'll enjoy that chapter!
December 16, 2007
I can’t believe that we are so close to the holidays; normally it is a happy time for me, but this year things are really out of balance and I’d just like to find a deep hole and jump in, pulling it in after me like that cartoon character I saw when I was a kid. Things are still strained with my mom and that hurts a lot. I want to bridge that gap and I know she does too but so far neither of us is saying anything at all. How do we even go about it I wonder, scaling this wall between us that is growing higher each and every day? I’m not really mad so much anymore but what I’m left with is the aching block of hurt that has settled around my heart. It scares me; I don’t want to hold myself back from her or anyone else for that matter. I’ve picked up the phone a dozen times to call her but then I think about what I want to say and everything becomes blurred and confusing. I wish Lani or Robbie were here; they are sort of the mirrors into my soul and heart and perhaps they would have something useful to say. Robbie is in Hawaii, in preparation for whale season that will begin in a couple of months. They are really busy and when we do have a few minutes to talk, well, there really isn’t enough time to go into all of it. I had hoped she would be home for Christmas this year but that is now impossible. Lani is getting ready to come home though; she’ll be here in a week and I will talk to her then, providing things haven’t improved by then.
Josh and I still together, technically that is. He seems distant and watchful, although of what I’m not sure. We’re trying to keep things normal between us, both of us but sometimes the tension is so thick you can cut it with a knife. I feel guilty every time I look at him and I hate that feeling. I haven’t made my mind up about what to do, about him and Mick I mean. I care for them both but what is right for me?
Josh is steady and so loving and caring; things I always wanted in a relationship. The problem is, it is just not enough for me. I don’t want to think that I am one of those women who craves a bad boy or the constant adrenaline rush of excitement but I’m beginning to wonder about myself. How can I pass up the lovely life that I would have with Josh? Will I pass it up?
Certainly with Mick there are no guarantees at all. I still believe that he only sees me as the child he watched over; absolutely nothing that has happened between us leads me to believe anything different. Yes, he seemed to like it when I kissed him but he didn’t grab me and kiss me back and then he told me it was all an accident. Yes, he has saved me several times but he kinda had to, you know? Has he ever given me any indication that he loves me? Nope, not a single thing.
So if I break away from Josh it has to be for me; because it is the right thing for both of us. If I don’t love him in the right way, it only hurts us both in the long run because Josh deserves somebody who will adore him and appreciate all he has to offer. I’m beginning to accept that person probably isn’t me.
Right now I just want to get through the holidays and hopefully some clarity will come to me.
I’m still amazed that Coraline didn’t tell the police that I stabbed her; Mick says that she wouldn’t want them involved but I would think that if she wanted to get rid of me that would be her ticket to do so. Mick still has feelings for her; it was very apparent in the hospital room and that felt like a stake being shoved through my heart. I see her as evil; a wicked person who nearly took my life. Mick sees that too I think (otherwise he wouldn’t have tried to kill her when he rescued me) but he also sees someone that he was married to for 33 years – off and on. I’m sure (although I’m loath to admit it) that they had good times too, as well as the bad. Josef says that Mick is drawn to her in a sexual way that doesn’t see reason. That may well be; even though Mick denied it I’m sure that if I hadn’t almost broke his door down with the news about Morgan being Coraline they might have ventured down that path again. The look on both of their faces told me that. I want to ask him about it, but somehow the words won’t form.
The man sat at the table looking at the pictures that were spread out over the marred, wooden surface. He picked up one and stared at it for a moment and took in the smiling face of the man as he looked at something just out of camera view.
He was a handsome man; no denying that. Even in the old black and white picture you could see the charm that oozed from him. He wore a crooked grin as he stared at someone or something. “So when was this one taken?” he asked as he handed the picture to the woman.
“Hm, lemme see.” She stared at it and a quick smile came to her face as the memories came back to her. The man knew she was seeing a different place, a different time. “That was at a lawn party, in the fall of 1951. It was at my friend’s house in Pasadena; Kitty and Burke Weldon. Burke was a lawyer and their house was quite grand,” she said, staring off into space again.
The man nodded and stood up in preparation to leave. The woman stared up at him as she realized that he was about to go and her faded green eyes started to tear up at the thought. He leaned down and kissed her softly wrinkled cheek. He inhaled and caught a whiff of lavender and talcum powder; two scents he always associated with her.
“I’ll see you soon, okay?” he told her and watched her nod her head.
“Yes, see you,” she murmured as she watched the tall, dark haired man leave. He was a fine figure of a man and quite striking in that fancy suit of his. She felt sad that he was gone but knew he would be back; he always had more questions and she was the one with the answers.
The news was splattered across every media outlet on the west coast; Josef Kostan was dead, the victim of an attack at his offices in downtown Los Angeles. Except that he wasn’t dead and explaining why wasn’t going to be easy.
Earlier at Kostan Industries…
Beth and Mick had a few very intense moments – the first at the Kostan Industries building when Mo sent her to cover the story. Beth didn’t want to but she also knew that Mo was going to send someone and she figured better her than someone who might ask really hard to answer questions. Mick was already at the office and when he realized she had a camera guy with her he grew very angry and left; hurt that she would do such a thing. It was a catch 22; she was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.
After she finished the wrap up on the attack she drove around for a bit and thought about it all. Whoever had killed him must have known he was a vamp because they used incendiary bombs, in other words, fire. It was all such a mess.
She regretted hurting and angering Mick, with all her heart. She decided that by doing her job it was the less of two evils, but would he actually see it that way? She wished she knew. She decided to turn the Prius around and head back downtown, to Mick’s loft and try to talk to him.
When she got there she didn’t see the Benz and figured he was still out investigating so she decided to wait for him. She took a seat near the office door and leaned her head back against the wall. The scene at Josef’s office kept creeping back into her head each time it replayed she saw herself as more of a villain. She wondered if this would be the end with Mick? Would he be able to forgive her? She didn’t know but she was going to try to explain anyway.
After talking to Tom, Josef’s head of security and getting a disk with information about the intruder Mick decided to head home. Not much more he could do tonight; he needed a little down time. Tomorrow he would see if Ryder England, Josef’s computer guru could shed some light on this guy, hack the military. He considered going to Logan but he didn’t want to drag him into this because the attacker obviously had military connections. Mick still felt a little protective about Logan; he’d been a vampire for well over twenty years but in some ways he was still really naïve about life.
When he was just about to head home he received a call from the hospital; Coraline had regained consciousness and he could see her if he liked. He sighed wearily; so much was happening and he hadn’t had much time to process any of it. Finding out that Morgan was Coraline has completely shocked him and so had his reaction to her. On a gut-wrenching level in fact, but he didn’t want to acknowledge that right now.
No matter how much time had elapsed the tug of the sire/fledgling bond roared its preternatural and depraved head with them. His body responded to her even when his mind screamed ‘NO’. He had thought that 23 years would have shaken that feeling; pushed it out of his head but it wasn’t so.
In the old days it had been love and chemistry, that’s what he wanted to believe. He also suspected that Coraline had used a good dose of allure on him, in the beginning anyway. He forgot all about Margie, he walked away from his life, his family for her. And that was before she had turned him. After that, it was all about the blood and sex; he was a junkie for it. The feelings were insidious and crept into every waking moment. If he wasn’t feeding he wanted to be fucking. Even after he got back from Josef’s it felt like that; like some kind of all out frenzy, an itch he couldn’t scratch. It left him raw and aching; always aching and Coraline was the only thing that could scratch that itch and make it go away for a little bit.
At the hospital Mick actually talked to Coraline for a couple of minutes before she fell back asleep. He wanted to know how she did it and all she wanted was him. Standoff. Still, he drew a sample of her blood to have analyzed; maybe a lab could tell him what was in her blood that had changed her.
When Mick pulled into the parking lot at home he saw Beth’s Prius sitting there. He felt relieved and annoyed at the same time. As the elevator carried him up to the top floor he realized the relief part was greater and when he stepped off the elevator and saw her sitting there waiting for him he felt elated.
Two people, both trying to hide their feelings stood together and sought to comfort the other, a difficult task. When Mick suggested a drink Beth immediately accepted and they headed inside; the shock was they weren’t alone. Josef was sitting at Mick’s desk, very much alive and very pissed that someone had tried to kill him.
Sam, a computer person at Buzzwire was very helpful and after a search found out who they were looking for; Ralph Martan, a Darkwatch mercenary. So they knew who, what they didn’t know was why someone was trying to kill Josef.
Josef needed to get to his office to get money from the fireproof safe in his office; as soon as he got it he headed to New York; he had business to take care of there. After a brutal struggle with Martan at Josef’s office Mick had a name and Beth and Mick planned on following Josef to New York before he did something stupid. Armed with the name of Whitley, they had a starting place at least.
As soon as Beth finished packing her bag there was a knock on her door and she answered it expecting to find Mick; instead she saw Josh standing there, looking grim. It was movie night and she had totally forgotten. He forestalled her apology with “We need to talk.”
Beth was stunned; in one way that was almost amusing. It was so often a woman’s line in a relationship and yet here Josh was, saying it to her. It was the moment of truth, except that there wasn’t time for this moment. He had looked her directly in the eye and asked her to tell him that she didn’t have feelings for Mick.
Panic surged in her heart; she didn’t want to do it like this. They needed time; time to sit down and talk about things. She opened her mouth to speak and was interrupted by Mick’s knock on her door. She felt rotten; this was definitely not a case of being saved by the bell. Josh left them, one last look over his shoulder at the woman he loved who was going to New York with another man; his heart was breaking and he couldn’t do anything except let them go.
As Mick and Beth settled into their seats on the plane Josh was still very much on her mind. She didn’t know if she should actually be going with Mick but she couldn’t make herself leave him either. A heavy sigh escaped her lips as she closed her eyes, trying to push all the Josh problems out of the picture for now.
Mick observed her surreptitiously out of the corner of his eye. He knew that he had interrupted something at her apartment but he didn’t know what. Josh had been upset and angry when he left. The scents were rolling off of him in waves that threatened to level Mick in fact. Beth’s scent was of pain and something that might have been regret, but he wasn’t sure. She didn’t want to talk about it; she had even changed the subject when he asked. Other than that she hadn’t said a word that wasn’t necessary.
As the flight got under way and the flight attendants came around with beverages Mick got them both a drink; scotch for him and red wine for Beth. She accepted it gratefully and drank the whole glass down immediately. It seemed to help her relax a bit and she leaned back her seat and let out a long sigh between pursed lips. Mick viewed that as a good sign.
“Another?” he asked.
She opened her eyes and smiled at him; a sad smile but a smile nonetheless. “No, thanks.” She reached for his hand that was resting on the arm rest between them. They were in first class, thanks to Mick and it was so comfortable that Beth was starting to relax.
At the touch of her warm fingers closing around his cool ones Mick’s heart leapt a little bit. She squeezed his hand briefly and felt a tingle trail up her arm at the contact. It hit her smack in the gut and traveled downward and she shifted a bit in her seat, suddenly aware of his presence in a way that was uncomfortable. She let his hand go immediately and reached for her now empty glass; she sat it back down as soon as she realized there was nothing in it.
Mick looked at her hand on his and felt the rush of warmth her fingers caused. He could only stare in wonder at the seemingly meaningless touch that meant so much. He sucked in an unnecessary breath and then caught the subtle scent of Beth’s arousal. His groin immediately tightened with desire as he stared before she pulled her hand away as if shocked by electricity. He looked away and ran his hand though his hair which was only a guise so that he could bring his hand close enough for him to smell the sweet smell of Beth.
Panicked by her reaction to Mick Beth laid her seat back and said, “I’m going to try and sleep for awhile. Do you mind?”
Mick shook his head and then realized she wasn’t looking at him; she was looking at her hand so he answered, “Not at all Beth, rest well.”
She didn’t wake up until their approach to New York and by then they both put it behind them; they had to because there was already too much unfinished business in their lives.
In New York they discovered that Josef was at a town house on Waverly Place after they paid a visit to John Whitley. John was very old and very sick, not long for this earth but he was living for one thing only now, the death of Charles Fitzgerald, aka Josef Kostan.
John told a tale of his innocent 21 year old daughter who had been killed by Fitzgerald in 1955. He provided a diary that detailed his daughter Sarah’s romance with Charles. She knew what he was and didn’t care; she wanted to be turned so she could be with him forever. Beth and Mick stared at one another as Beth read that out loud and both realized they had to find Josef before Whitley did because they knew that the grizzled old man wouldn’t rest until Josef was dead.
At Waverly Place they encountered a servant of Josef’s who told them there was no one there by that name or Charles Fitzgerald either. Eventually Josef came to the door and let them in and led them to a bedroom that had a huge bed in it as well as numerous types of medical equipment. On the bed lay a woman with red hair and a beautiful face. She seemed to be sleeping.
“Mick, Beth, this is Sarah – Sarah Whitley.” Josef’s eyes softened with sadness as he said her name and touched her hand.
Josef had tried to turn her and she hadn’t ever come all the way through it; Sarah lived somewhere in between and Josef couldn’t let her go. It broke Beth’s heart to see the love he had for her as he clung to the possibility of her coming out of the coma she was in.
When Ralph Martan broke through the bedroom window it didn’t really surprise any of them but he still got a jump on Josef and staked him. Mick had pushed Beth down and told her to stay there and she fully intended to while Mick took care of Martan. She watched with wide eyes as Mick snapped his neck and realized with surprise that she was glad he did it.
After Mick had gotten the stake out of Josef and removed the bullets Mick and Beth decided to leave but Josef told them he was staying a bit longer. Beth gave Josef the diary and he took it with hands that trembled only slightly, grateful for the gift.
As Mick and Beth walked down the steps of the town house they chatted about Coraline and the cure.
“Do you really think it’s a cure?” she asked Mick. What would this mean if it was? Would it change things for them? But did she mean for her and Mick or Mick and Coraline? She wanted to ask him those questions but somehow couldn’t.
“I don’t know. Coraline was a vamp for years and now she is as human as you. Is that a cure? I don’t know.” Suddenly a thought occurred to him and he said to her, “Hey, let’s go do something fun, something quintessentially New York.”
Beth listened to his plans and she wanted nothing more that to do just that, to stay in New York with Mick but her conscience poked her and she told him she needed to go home to LA because she hadn’t left things well with Josh.
That had to be the understatement of the year.
He nodded his understanding but she could see the disappointment written starkly on his face. He helped her into a cab and shut the door and then impulsively laid his hand against the glass. Beth stared up at him and looked at the hand that was pressed against the cold glass window. She raised her hand to his and again she had to fight herself to go back to LA. She realized she was leaving her heart here in New York with a vampire who might not even want it.
He gave her a small, sad smile and stepped away from the cab and walked away, not looking back. She was taking his heart with her and she didn’t even know it. He didn’t know what would happen with Josh but it didn’t matter all that much as long as she was happy.
Josef sat in the dim light of the bedroom alongside Sarah and read the diary. As he finished the last page he looked at the woman who had loved him enough to give up her family, her very life for him. Memories flooded back to him and he closed his eyes as the pain came back as well.
“Sarah, are you sure this is what you want? You know there is no going back sweetheart. We can’t undo it after it’s done.” He traced a gentle finger down her pert little nose and brushed it softly over her ruby colored lips; lips that begged to be kissed and Josef was happy to oblige.
For a few moments they were both caught up in the breathlessness of the moment. Sarah sighed against his lips and said, “Charles, I love you – totally, completely. I don’t want to go on without you!”
“Sarah, you have me, I’m not going anywhere I promise.” He touched her under the chin and lifted her small face up so he could look into her eyes. “I will always love you.”
“Really Charles? When I’m 80 years old and look like some old prune? How about that eternal love then?” she demanded, suddenly angry.
“I’ll always see you for what you are right now sweetheart. My Sarah, my lovely…” he placed a kiss on the tip of her nose, “beautiful Sarah.” Another kiss along her jaw and then finally back to her luscious lips.
Lips that pulled away, still angry with him. She thought that he was only saying all this, that he really didn’t love her and this was just a way to placate her. She stood up and said, “Well, if you won’t do it then I don’t want you in my life. I won’t watch myself grow old with you never aging. I won’t do it Charles.” She stamped her small foot to emphasize her point.
He knew he would lose her if he didn’t turn her. The centuries rolled past him; a panorama of colors and people sweeping past in his brain and the common denominator in all of it was his loneliness. He had waited 350 years to find her; was he really willing to let her go like this? Warm tears sprang from his eyes and trickled down cool cheeks. Sarah knew she had won. She sat down on his lap and kissed his tears away; it was a hard-fought victory, but it was a bittersweet one as well, for both of them.
They planned for the event as best they could. Sarah couldn’t tell her parents of course, although she longed to tell her mother. He father detested Charles, but then he hadn’t liked any man that Sarah had dated. The day she said good bye to her mother her father was at his office; she decided it was better this way. She walked out of the apartment on Fifth Avenue with nothing but her purse so that it wouldn’t look suspicious to anyone. Her mother thought she had an appointment at Elizabeth Arden and didn’t question her as she left the flat.
She met Josef around the corner, his limo waiting to take her to his town house. He had made every preparation possible, which almost amused him because in every other instance where he had turned someone there had never been any preparations. Still, he wanted everything perfect for his darling Sarah and so the stage had been set, so to speak. Fresh blood was waiting for her and ample privacy as well as a specially constructed freezer for the two of them. As he held her gently in his arms he sank his fangs into her slender neck and drank her blood, listening carefully for her heart to slow.
Her blood warmed him and brought him closer to her; he could taste he love for him, her desire to join him and when finally the time was right, he fed her his own blood and she drank; her small red tongue creeping out at first to lick tentatively along his arm and then her mouth latched on and drank until he gently pulled his arm away from her. Now all he had to do was wait for her to open her eyes and come back to him.
Except she hadn’t.
What had he done wrong? He had asked himself that question a million times over the years. Everything he did he had done before and it always worked. Year after year he took care of her, hoping that someday science or medicine would find a way to bring her back. He had hired two of the world’s premier doctors to oversee her case but neither one could offer any suggestions. Both were dead now and he hadn’t found any others; perhaps he should have, but he wondered if there was even a point to it.
Suddenly he was on his feet, calling for Paula. He had a plan.
Beth sat on the plane, waiting for it to take off from JFK. Twice she unbuckled her seat belt and twice she refastened it.
What am I doing? Why aren’t I there with Mick?
She knew why and she also knew that she had to go and face Josh. It was done, she was completely sure of that now. Her heart was with Mick; the need to be there bodily told the story but she also knew what would happen if she had stayed. She would not go down that path with Mick before ending it with Josh.
Did Mick want her like that? She was now sure that he did. The way he looked at her while she was in the cab had said it all; they were two people who wanted one another, needed one another and yet what she did was the best thing.
She thought about what to say to Josh for the entire flight home. She didn’t want to hurt him any more than was necessary and yet she knew that she would. This had to be about her feelings for him, not about Mick. In her mind she knew that it was; that she had stopped being in love with him a while ago but she knew he would think it was about Mick. She couldn’t deny her feelings for him, but she had to keep Josh focused on what was wrong with their relationship. It wouldn’t be easy she knew.
When she got back to LA she caught a cab home. It was 3 am and she was dead tired. She left her bag in the living room and stumbled towards the bathroom, dropping pieces of clothing as she went. Five minutes in the warm shower and then she poured herself into bed, sleeping for 6 hours straight.
She woke up when the phone started ringing. She groaned, thinking it was probably Mo wanting to know if she was back yet. She glanced at the number display and realized it was Josh.
“Hey,” she mumbled sleepily.
“Hi. So you are back,” Josh said, as if he had believed she would be.
“Yeah, I got in around 3 am.”
“Mick too?” he inquired.
“No, he stayed in New York. We uh, found Josef Kostan. He had been in New York the whole time,” she said, knowing it was a lie but it was the story they were going to tell the world.
“Um, okay. Well listen, I wanted to tell you that I have to go back to Sacramento today. I’ll probably be gone for a couple more weeks actually.” He listened to the silence on the other end of the phone. “We’re really close to having all the evidence gathered Beth; we’ll arrest Tejada in January.”
NO, her mind screamed. She couldn’t tell him while he was out of town and there wasn’t time now. She sighed in sheer frustration and finally said, “Okay. Well, then I guess I’ll talk to you later.”
“Um hm. I’ll call you, okay?”
“Sure.” She knew that he would and that made it all worse.
“Well, bye Beth,” he said and hung up. He didn’t even wait for her to answer him.
Beth heard the click on the other end of the phone and knew that he was gone. She lay back down in the bed and felt the tears start to flow. She only wanted to do the right thing and now it was going to have to wait.
Finally she sat up in bed; she had things to do like work on the Josef Kostan story. Hopefully work would keep her busy the next few weeks. And in only a few days Lani would be here and that thought perked her up considerably.
It might all be okay she decided.
To be continued…