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

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chapter Twenty Three Fleur-di-lis

In this episode:

This is the only Moonlight episode that was told from Beth’s POV. Beth has come to believe that Morgan is actually Coraline and decides that she needs to find the information to prove it. She enlists Mick’s help, even though he is clearly reluctant to help because the last time he saw Morgan he ripped her blouse to see if she had a tattoo. Also, he is afraid that if Morgan is Coraline that she will hurt Beth, or worse. However, he approaches Morgan who surprisingly (not) agrees to work with him on a photo surveillance case which gives Beth the time she needs to get into Morgan’s apartment and check things out. There, she finds a picture of Mick from 1952 when he was playing a gig at Coraline’s party house. Beth goes to Josef for confirmation of the picture and to find out if it’s possible that Coraline has come back from the undead and is now human. Josef tells her that it is not possible, that once you are a vampire you are always a vampire and that Coraline burned to death so she was dead anyway.

Beth goes to the party house and explores and find the room in the basement where Coraline kept her while they waited for Mick to find them. Coraline’s motives about 4 year old Beth are still pretty vague – does she want to turn her so that she and Mick have a vampire child, or let her grow up normally? Beth breaks apart a small white rocking chair and decides to use one of the spindles for a stake. She goes to Micks apartment to tell him what she knows and finds not only Mick there, but Coraline. The rest of the story follows.

Chapter 23

November 30, 2007

Growing up is a hard thing to do, especially when you are already an adult but I’ve grown up a lot lately and while I can say that it needed to happen it is none the less painful.

Realizing that Mick was the one who saved me opened many other memories; some I had hidden away so deeply that it was unlikely they would ever surface. Except they did and now some relationships in my life are severely disrupted; like the one with my Mom and Clark. They kept so much from me, all these years and all I ever wanted was to just know the truth. Was that so bad, so hard to just tell me what really happened to me? You would think it is by their reactions. Still, there is more to it all than has been admitted to me; I’m willing to bank on that.

My Mom still wants to just shove it all away and forget about it; I can’t do that! Mick saved me; he saved me and watched over me and kept me safe. And Mom knew about it, she even sent him pictures from time to time – she KNEW and didn’t tell me when I first met him at the fountain and told her about him. Neither she nor Clark ever said, ‘by the way, Mick is the one that saved you all those years ago.’ Which brings us to the other secret – they know about vampires! How? How do they know and how did they choose Mick to find me? Did they know Coraline or was it all pure luck? What is the connection between them all?

I’m hurt by Mick as well, but there is more to it than that. I have feelings for him; unresolved feelings and now I understand them even less than before. Are they some kind of hero worship feelings because I unconsciously knew all along that he was the one that saved me? I’ve felt myself drawing closer and closer to him and while dealing with that I am also trying to figure out what that means for Josh and me. It has everything and nothing to do with it actually.

I do love Josh but I think those feelings are now less of a lover and partner than they are as a friend. Is it terrible of me to say that sometimes when we make love its Mick’s arms that I imagine are around me, his lips and hands caressing me? That sounds gross, especially in light of the current situation. But the truth is, the cold hard truth is that my feelings for Josh started waning before my feelings for Mick started developing. Or is that not true because part of me recognized him from my childhood and was instinctively drawn to him? Oh diary, I am so confused.

One thing is clear though – he doesn’t share my feelings. After we talked on the roof about it all he said to me, “Now you know why it can never work between us.” He still sees me as that child he rescued; that much is clear. He doesn’t see the woman I want him to see but rather the 4 year old who clung to him in fear, grasping at his strength in the horror of the terrible things that were happening. He had to kill his wife for me? How can he ever forget or forgive that?

Which brings me to Coraline – could it be possible that she is Morgan, come back as a human? Is that possible? Mick says that fire kills vampires so is it possible that she survived it all? I remember looking at her, the orange flames licking at her as Mick carried me away; how would it be possible? Mick was certain that Morgan was Coraline, until he found out that she didn’t have a fleur-di-lis on her shoulder. I’m a bit more skeptical about it though, has he never heard of makeup? Apparently not but I’m not that naive and I’m going to find out the truth!



It had been a really long and rough night and day for Mick. Donovan Sheppard was finally dead, for sure this time; dead and disposed of. Beth and Audrey were back at Beth’s apartment and Audrey seemed to be taking it all pretty well. There would be questions though; Mick had no doubts about that regardless of what Beth thought. Audrey is a smart girl and someone is going to have some explaining to do.

Mick drank a glass of A positive as he mulled all of this over. Audrey had seen Sheppard die in the prison, then seen him come after her, only to die again by Mick slicing his head off. Yep, he knew there would be questions.

Mick set the glass down in the sink and ran water in it to rinse it out and then stretched. He was beat and ready for some freezer time. He looked out the blinds at the LA haze and squinted against the glare before heading up the stairs to crawl into the freezer. He debated briefly about a shower and decided it could wait until after he slept.

When he opened the door to his freezer room he immediately knew that Beth had been in here; her scent, her essence was everywhere. He looked around the room and scented the air, which drew him immediately to the freezer.

She had stood here and opened it, looking inside. God, what must she think about him now; that he really was some sort of freak or monster? Did she believe it now he wondered? He leaned over and rested his forehead against the lid and caught another scent; the scent of tears.

He softly ran his hands over spots where her warm tears had fallen, his fingers trying to pick them up as he lifted his fingers to his nose to inhale deeply. Why had she cried in this room? Were they angry tears? Angry at his deceit and the myriad of lies that he had told in order to protect her from the past or worse yet, to protect himself? Were they sad tears and if so, why was she sad?

He had no answers as he crawled into the freezer and closed the lid. This was one of times he was glad that vampires don’t dream.


At Beth’s apartment Audrey decided to go and stay with her grandmother for a couple of days. She was in a bit of shock Beth could tell but she wasn’t ready to talk about it all. She knew positively that Sheppard was dead and she told Beth that was good enough for now.

Beth watched her as she spoke those words and realized that Mick was right; Audrey would have questions, but she was glad that they weren’t coming right now. “So, you’re okay to drive to your grandmother’s Audrey? Really?”

Audrey smiled sadly and said, “Yes, I’ll be okay Beth. He’s gone now; I feel like I can actually breathe for the first time in 10 years. I really will be okay.”

Beth nodded and impulsively pulled her into a hug. “Hey, how about dinner this weekend?”

“Yes, I would love that. And will Mick be there too?”

“Um, well I’ll ask him; you can never tell if he’s working on a case or something.” She watched Audrey’s face wash over with disappointment and added, “But I’ll ask, I promise.”

She walked Audrey out to her car and waved as it pulled away. She was bone-tired but she also felt enervated. And pissed. She knew before she slept that she had something to do and she ran back upstairs and grabbed her purse and headed off to confront the dragon.

Beth stopped and bought a large cup of coffee and indulged in a Krispy Kreme donut, just to give herself some time as she thought over what she wanted to say. How could her mother have kept all this from her? That and the answers to other questions were foremost in her mind and she meant to get those answers now.

She pulled into the driveway at her mom’s house and was surprised to see Clark’s truck there. Normally on a Thursday morning he would be at the office but this might be even better; she could confront both of them because she had no doubt that Clark knew as much as her mother did. Beth took a deep, steadying breath and got out of the car, grabbing her half finished cup of coffee to take with her.

She knocked on the door and waited until her mom answered it; not like the old days when she would have just used the key and came on in. This house was her mom and Clarks and it just didn’t feel comfortable doing that.

Dorothy answered the door and smiled at Beth in surprise before pulling her towards her in a warm hug. Beth didn’t respond and Dorothy felt the stiffness in her daughter’s body and stepped back, looking at her with a frown creasing her forehead. “Beth, what’s wrong honey? And why aren’t you at work? Are you on your lunch break?”

Beth glanced at the clock on the mantle and saw that it was almost noon; she had totally lost track of time. It was a miracle that Mo hadn’t been burning up her phone and then Beth realized that she must have left it at Mick’s.

Great, I’ll have to stop there later too.

Clark called out from the kitchen and said, “Hey Beth, come on in – your mom made BLT’s for lunch!”

She followed his voice with Dorothy trailing along behind her; Clark could see how puzzled she looked. Beth mechanically pulled a chair out and sat down at the table and took another sip of her coffee. She sat the cup down and twisted it around on the table, searching for the right words.

“Mom, I – I know about Mick. That he was the one that saved me. How could you not tell me? All these years, I have begged you to tell me about what happened and you wouldn’t.”

The words were quietly spoken but they still made Dorothy’s heart pound and her knees grow weak. She slid into a chair and stared at her daughter with dread; she somehow always knew this day would come and yet she didn’t know what to say, how to justify her decision not to tell her.

Clark closed his eyes for a moment and said a silent prayer that they would all get through this okay; Beth was horribly angry and Dorothy was scared, so scared of losing her daughter. He watched as Dorothy fought back tears, swallowing down the fear and the pain and the memories – and the guilt.

“How was I supposed to tell you Beth? Especially after you met him? Because, now – now you know how it is possible for him to have been the one don’t you? How could we tell you?”

“Yes, I know. I’ve known for several months that Mick is a vampire! There, I’ve said it – Mick St. John is a vampire. It’s a secret, I know and one I’ll never betray but I deserve to know what happened back then. It was his crazy ex wife that took me wasn’t it?”

Dorothy and Clark were both blown away by Beth’s words. She had known for months? This was what they both feared the most; that she would discover the existence of vampires. Once you knew, there was no going back and they both had wanted to save her from that terrifying knowledge. Clark looked at Dorothy’s face as it blanched white as the words sunk in.

At her mother’s silence Beth continued to speak, “All these years you avoided and obstructed the truth; and yet, you sent him pictures of me at times because I saw them – I SAW THEM! How could you?”

“Beth, I…” Dorothy was at a loss for words. Clark reached over and grasped her hand and gently stroked it with his thumb, trying to give her strength. The answers had to come from her – should come from her he thought but he would provide them if necessary.

“As soon as I met him I felt safe, do you know that? All those years of me thinking about, talking about my shadow man, my guardian angel and you said nothing.” Beth started to cry and swiped the angry tears away from her eyes, much like a small child would. “I thought I was falling in love with him until I found out the truth and I now know that he thinks of me as this child! That’s how he sees me, as this 4 year old child!”

Clark realized immediately where Beth’s anger and pain were coming from; she didn’t ‘think’ she was in love with him; she was in love with him. Evidently Mick shut her down but Clark didn’t know whether or not that was good. All these years he had thought that those two would somehow find their way towards one another. Both of them had had tragic things happen to them; a bond that secured their lives together. He always thought they would be stronger because of one another, the same way he always admired Mick for watching out for her. When Mick left LA for Seattle Clark had felt that it was the first necessary step for him to realize how important Beth was to him.

Beth sat waiting for her mother to speak. Tears streamed down both of their faces; tears of shame and regret, of pain and fear.

I am losing my daughter and I don’t know how to stop it. I can’t tell her the real truth, that is was all because of me that Coraline came into our lives.

“I – Beth, I love you. Please honey, I only did what I thought was best for you. What good would it have done for you to know all of this?”

“What good? Mom, do you realize that it has driven me crazy all these years? That one of the reasons I am an investigative reporter is because I need to know the answers to things? I feel driven about things and never understood why. A few simple answers were all it would have taken!” Beth suddenly stood up; she knew she had to get out of there because nothing good was going to come of this; not right now. Possibly after they both had time to clear their heads, she didn’t know. “I have to leave now; I can’t deal with any more right now.”

Clark immediately stood up to walk her to the door. “Beth, take some time, you both need it. But give her a chance to provide you with some answers. Don’t walk away from her Beth; she needs you.”

Beth only nodded and left, heading home to sleep for awhile.


As she drove home a plan began to form in her mind; a plan about Morgan. Suppose she really was Coraline, come back from the dead. Yes, she acknowledged how crazy that sounded but then most people would think that about the existence of vampires. Anything was possible Beth acknowledged.

Beth tried hard to remember what the woman in the white dress had looked like but all she could remember were fleeting images and none of them gave her any answers. She had to dig deeper, a whole lot deeper into Morgan Vincent’s life in an attempt to get at the truth. And she wouldn’t stop until she did just that.

When she got home she took a shower and crawled into bed to sleep. She saw she had messages on her home phone from Mo, but she ignored them until she had a few hours of sleep. Mo could wait; not happily maybe, but she could wait


Mick woke up that evening hearing an unfamiliar ringing sound. He pulled on his robe and headed downstairs to find the source and spied Beth’s cell phone on the coffee table, vibrating and ringing. The screen said ‘Josh’ on it and as he stared at it a brief moment of pain fluttered through his heart.

As he grabbed his breakfast he called Beth to tell her about the phone, amazed that she hadn’t come looking for it by now. When he heard her voice he couldn’t help but smile.

“Hey, I uh, found your phone. Would you like me to bring it by?”

“Sure. Can you give me a half an hour or so? I just got up and I want to grab a shower,” she told him as she opened the fridge looking for something to eat. The coffee and donut this morning had been the only thing she had eaten in the last 24 hours or so and she was starving. That made her think about Josh and how he always made sure that she would eat. A pang of guilt washed over her and she hastily pushed it away.

“Um, make it more like an hour? I need to grab a shower myself.”

“Okay, I’ll see you then,” she said, hanging up the phone. She turned her focus back to the fridge; she really needed to do some shopping because all there was in there was a tomato and a jar of pickles.

Not exactly what I have in mind. She decided to call in an order for some Chinese after she showered and her mouth watered as she thought about some spicy Kung Pao Chicken.

Mick got there the same time as the food delivery. He stared in fascination as she opened her chop sticks and started to dig in. “Um, sorry but I’m starving!”

“No problem. What is that?” he asked, smelling the spicy aroma.

“Kung Pao Chicken. Want to try it?”

He shook his head and said, “No, it wouldn’t do any good, I couldn’t taste it.”

As Beth felt the heat race over her tongue she wondered how that could be; this was spicy enough to peel varnish, as her grandpa would have said. That made her think of her mother and she quickly shrugged the thought away; she had other things to take care of first.

Mick sat there awkwardly as he watched her eat. He wanted to ask why she had cried in his room but he couldn’t find the words to do so. He wasn’t mad that she had been in there; in some ways he had sort of expected it. But not knowing why she had been upset really bugged him and yet he didn’t know how to ask.

“Hey, I have a confession to make,” she told him. She felt like a jerk but she had to be honest with him. “I uh, I peeked in your freezer room Mick. I’m so sorry; I know it was an invasion of your privacy, but I was curious.” She watched him as she chewed a bite of her dinner and hoped he wouldn’t get mad. Strangely enough, she didn’t see any anger on his face, only something she couldn’t identify.

Mick listened to her confession and smiled inwardly; she didn’t realize that he had known immediately and that was okay. “I know Beth; I uh, could scent you in there when I went in to bed.”

Beth’s face immediately flushed a bright shade of red and she almost choked on her dinner. Mick quickly handed her a glass of water that was setting on the bar and she took it thankfully, grateful for the opportunity to have a moment to think about how to respond to that knowledge.

She cleared her throat a couple of times and coughed once as well before she tried to speak. “So you could smell me in there?” It was an appalling thought, that he could tell that she had been in there because he could smell her! She knew that he had heightened senses but just how much could he smell? It was a very uncomfortable thought.

“Well, scent you – there is a bit of a difference. I can scent the past sometimes, like see what actually happened.”

“And you saw me in there?” God, did he see her crying?

“Yes. It’s okay Beth. Really,” he told her trying to relieve some of the tension that filled the room. He reached out and laid his hand on hers and they both felt the coil of electricity that sparked from the touch. Mick quickly pulled his hand away, staring at it in amazement.

She didn’t know what to say so she said nothing. The zing of electricity left her mute and she blinked in embarrassment, hoping he didn’t notice. He left right after that and she felt a bit of relief. She thought about this new skill of his and it gave her pause for thought.

After returning all the phone calls and squaring things away with both Josh and Mo Beth decided to do a bit of spying on her own; her goal was to find out as much about Morgan as she could. She finally realized she needed Mick’s help so that she could get into Morgan’s apartment. She wanted Mick to keep her occupied while she did her investigating.

Mick only reluctantly agreed; he wasn’t even sure that Morgan would agree to see him after the situation at the cemetery but he agreed to help Beth anyway. If this was really Coraline though he told her he didn’t know what she would do. Mick knew full well what Coraline was capable of and he would have to watch things carefully.

As Mick and Morgan worked on a case that Mick had Beth wasted no time; she broke into Morgan’s apartment and ultimately found a photograph from 1952 of Mick in Hawaiian garb, playing a guitar and singing. If Morgan wasn’t Coraline, then just how did she get this picture? That picture led her to Josef’s office. She didn’t know if he would even see her, but she hoped by telling him it was about Mick that he might. She needed answers and she hoped Josef had them.

What she heard from Josef was at first denial of the possibility that Morgan could be Coraline and then a caution about how dangerous Coraline could be where Mick was concerned. He identified the picture as being taken at Coraline’s party house and even told Beth where that was. She knew that was her next stop and Josef watched her with narrowed eyes as she left because he knew that was where she was heading too.

Morgan couldn’t possibly be Coraline and yet, there were stories out there… All he knew was that if she was actually Coraline, Beth could be in danger - mortal danger. He admired Beth; she had spunk and heaven help Morgan if she was Coraline because Beth wouldn’t stop until she knew the truth. Whether that was good or bad he wasn’t sure.

At the party house Beth felt a huge sense of apprehension as she entered it. A shiver ran up and down her spine and she instinctively headed for the stairs, going down and finding an office. What she found there made her mouth go dry; surveillance that Morgan had done on her and Mick. She had been watching them for awhile now it seemed. Beth’s heart pounded furiously and her hands shook as she stared at the photographs.

Down another level and she found what she had wanted/hoped not to find. The room where Coraline had kept her as she waited to take her meet Mick. Beth looked around the room, stunned and reeling at the memories that flooded her mind. Coraline, picking her up, laying her on the bed and telling her it would be okay because she was going to meet her new daddy the next day. Beth felt a sick twist in her stomach and thought for a moment that she might throw up.

This was it; this was her answer. Morgan was Coraline and Beth only knew she wanted her dead. She broke a shaft of wood from small white rocker; it was a perfect stake and Beth knew exactly how to use it.


Mick and Morgan had wrapped up their case and both were exhausted. Mick offered to let her take a shower at his place before he took her back to her apartment because she seemed so shaken up. She had almost been killed this evening and Mick couldn’t forget that it was because she was working the case with him.

So far it was going well Coraline decided. Mick had fallen right into line, as he always had. Sure, she had used his attraction for her to get what she wanted and she would continue to do it until he was back with her, where he belonged; where he had always belonged. They were mates, fated to be together and the bond of sire/fledging and man/woman couldn’t be denied. He thought he loved Beth but Coraline knew better; it galled her, but she knew it would pass when he was back with her.

She left the bathroom door open on purpose and she willed him to come to her; focusing hard on that. If she could just get him in here, he’d fall into her arms she knew. Just then she looked up and there he was; just as she planned.

Mick had changed clothes and was headed downstairs when he heard Morgan in the shower. Whether or not she was Coraline he couldn’t deny that he felt a certain amount of attraction to her; he didn’t want to feel it because he knew it was only because of her resemblance to Coraline. Coraline was like a bad drug habit and he silently wondered if he would ever be free of it.

He looked down the hall and saw the bathroom door open and clothes lying on the floor. He stepped into the bathroom and stared at her in the shower, the misty outline of her lithe body tantalizing from behind the shower door.

“Did you want something Mick?” she asked, staring at him.

He couldn’t help it; he yanked the door open and pulled her to him, his mouth capturing hers in a blazing kiss. He felt the fever possess him and he looked at her shoulder and there he saw what he suddenly knew would be there; the fleur-di-lis.

His heart sank and it soared. She was alive and she was human. How did that happen? That was all he wanted to know and he felt her resistance when he made it clear that was what he was interested in.

There was a pounding on his door downstairs. It was a blessing, but terrible timing. He could hear Beth yelling for him and he pulled away from Coraline, heading downstairs to open the door for Beth.

“I found the proof. Morgan IS Coraline!” she exclaimed.

“I know she is,” he told her. He saw Coraline heading downstairs wearing one of his shirts. His heart sank as he watched the fury on Beth’s face.

“Hi Beth,” Coraline said, making her way slowly down the stairs. She only had time for a brief, smug smile before she saw Beth raise the stake and bury it in her chest.

“What are you doing?” Mick screamed, rushing to Coraline in an attempt to catch her before she fell down.

“Stakes don’t kill vampires, they only paralyze them,” Beth said, her eyes blazing with anger as she saw Mick cradling Coraline in his arms.

“She’s not a vampire!”

“She’s Coraline, you just said so yourself!”

“She’s Coraline, but she’s not a vampire. She has a cure, she has a cure,” he said, gathering her into his arms.

Beth was stunned. What had she done?

My God, what have I done?


Coraline was in the hospital and it had been a difficult night and that was putting it mildly. Beth spoke very little, afraid that Mick hated her but not really sorry for what she had done. Well, okay I the bitch died she would feel bad for Mick because if she did have some sort of cure he would have lost his chance at it. But that was the only reason Beth would feel bad. It had felt cathartic and just plain good to shove that stake into her.

Did that make her a bad person? Right now she didn’t care she realized as Mick dropped her off at her apartment the next morning. They had spoken very little in the hospital; she didn’t know if Mick was angry or worried or what, but right now she didn’t really care. She mumbled good bye as she got out of the Benz and headed up the stairs.

Mick drove home in shock; reeling from the chain of events the night before. Coraline was alive and she was NOT a vampire any longer. Beth had staked her and part of him didn’t blame her at all. Not after everything Coraline had done to her as a child. Still, right now he hoped she would pull through because he had to know how she did it.

As he got off the elevator at his apartment he could scent two humans down the hall. Curious, he approached them cautiously and was surprised to see Dorothy and Clark waiting for him.

The look on Dorothy’s face said it all; she had talked to Beth and knew that Beth know knew the truth.

“Dorothy, Clark, hello. Want to come in?” he asked wearily.

Dorothy stepped in front of him and slapped him as hard as she could. “How could you let it get this far?” She immediately spun around and marched down the hall to the elevator, Clark following behind her, speechless and astonished.

Mick silently watched them get in and the doors swoosh shut behind them. He touched the heated handprint on his cheek and wondered how the hell he did let it all get so out of control.

To be continued…


Amie said...

I think that Dorothy needs to look in the mirror before she starts pointing fingers. And Coraline, well, you need to have a good bad guy (or girl) and she is it. Keep up the good work Hope. Great story!

Hope said...

Hi Amie!

Dorothy certainly does; Clark will help her find the courage to talk to her daughter. You'll see that in chapter 25.

I'm so happy you are enjoying the story Amie. Thanks for reading and commenting - it keep me writing!