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, March 25, 2011

Freshie Friday! Moonlight Story Bonus.

Banner courtesy of my very talented friend Susie Q!

New Year’s Eve 1951

The band was heating up in the dim, smoky light of the bar.  In fact, the air was so thick with smoke it was like being in a San Francisco fog.  Occasionally it stirred as a couple danced by, creating little ripples in the haze.  Mick sighed and continued the song, Cry.  They had just finished up The Glory of Love and were moving towards a slightly faster pace which everyone would appreciate as the liquor flowed this evening and the revelers welcomed in 1952.

After another 20 minutes the boys decided to take a smoke break themselves and climbed down off of the stage.  Mick headed to the bar to grab a whiskey sour when the juke box started playing Nat King Cole’s Too Young.  As he waited for his drink he noticed a table of young women near the bar who were laughing as they sipped their drinks.  He turned and leaned against the bar, his elbow resting along the marred wooden surface and grinned as he watched the girls share a joke.  Two of them stood up and headed to the bar to get refills and the young blonde caught his eye as she picked her way around the chairs that were packed around the table.

She was petite, with crystal blue eyes and a wide smile.  Her hips gently swayed as she walked and Mick stared at her legs, long for such a diminutive woman.  Since the war the hemlines had lengthened a bit each year and mores the pity Mick thought.  Still, the blonde managed to show a bit of leg and it was a very pleasing leg indeed. 

Her dress was royal blue satin; a strapless gown that molded tightly to the bodice and flared at the hips.  It complemented her eyes and hugged her figure in all the right places.  Mick licked his lips as he stared at her as she made her way closer to him. 

Her silky blonde hair was styled in a shoulder length bob and was pulled back on one side and held in place by a rhinestone barrette, leaving a small ear and a good bit of sexy neck exposed.  Mick wondered how it would feel to spread kisses along it and felt himself start to grow hard in his slacks.  He turned back towards the bar, resting his foot on the kick bar in an attempt to hide the issue of the bulge that pushed against the front of his pants.

The blonde stopped next to him and flashed him a brilliant smile.  He caught the scent of her perfume, Tabu, and inhaled deeply.  The scent combined with her own natural fragrance ripped sexy right off the charts.  He took a sip of his whisky sour and almost spit it out when she spoke to him.
“Hey, you’re with the band aren’t you?  You have a nice voice.”

Mick set his drink down and turned his head to her and flashed her a lop-sided grin.  “Yes, I am.  So, you like us?”

“Very much but I’m waiting for you guys to pick the tempo up a bit,” she laughed.  Her voice was as sexy at the rest of her; it reminded him of rustling silk, it just flowed so smoothly. 

“Soon, I promise.  Anything you’d like to hear?”

“Um, how about Sixty Minute Man?”

He laughed, surprised by her choice.  He didn’t take her for an R&B kind of girl.  “Sure, we can do that one,” he said laughing.

“My name is Lizzie Turner.  What’s yours?  Just so I know who to thank for the song.”  She smiled again and it lit up her whole face.  He’d play that song over and over if it got her to smile like that.

“Well Lizzie Turner, I’m Mick St. John.”  Just then Mick heard the base player striking a few notes and realized it was time to get back on stage.  He lifted his glass and tossed the rest of the whisky sour down with grimace as the liquid burned its way down his throat.  He turned away and she stood right in front of him, smiling still.

“How often do you take a break?” she asked.

“About once an hour or so,” he told her, hoping that in an hour she would still be here.

“Oh, okay.  We’ll maybe I’ll see you next break then?” she asked and Mick could see the hope in her eyes.

“I think I can mange that.  You have a good time listening to the music, okay?” he told her, walking towards the stage.

Back on stage the smoky fog was thicker than ever and he couldn’t see her any longer; he could only hope that she was still there when they broke again.  He mechanically plodded through the next set but he made sure they included Sixty Minute Man as well as several other lively songs like Rocket 88.

Sure enough at the next break she was waiting for him at the bar with a whisky sour that was just beginning to melt a bit.  Mick picked it up and took a drink and then wiped the cold ring of moisture off the bar before setting the glass back down.  “Thanks,” he said, “I really needed that!”

“Um hm,” she told him and he stared at her as she flicked her tongue over her cherry red lips.

During that break and the next one they chatted and got to know one another a bit.  Lizzie worked for a television station, being a part of the morning news program reporting on fashion.
“I hate it, fashion I mean,” she said as she sipped her drink. 

“What do you want to do?”

“I want to report the news, but the station has ‘men’ to do that.  So, at least I’m working I guess,” she said with a slight frown.  “Women can report the news just as well as men can!” she declared.

Soon it was time for Mick to head back on stage.  This was their last break for the evening.  He decided to take a shot and ask her out.

As she listened to his question her smile grew wider until her whole face showed her excitement.  “Yes!  I would love to go out with you!  I thought you’d never ask.”

Plans made for the next evening filling him with excitement Mick went back to finish out the evening set. 

Over the next few months he and Lizzie became inseparable.  She went to every gig of Mick’s that she could and when he wasn’t playing with the band, they played with one another.  Lazy days were spent on the beach, or wrapped in each other’s arms.  It was heaven to Mick and he realized she was exactly who he had been looking for his entire life. 

One evening, sitting on a blanket on the beach under a full moon he asked her to marry him.  Tears burst from her eyes and she gave him a teary smile and said, “Yes!  I thought you’d never ask!”

Mick felt like the luckiest guy alive.  He wanted to shout his joy from the rooftops.  His band mates often teased him when they saw Lizzie at the gigs.  Mick didn’t care; he figured the sorry bastards were just jealous anyway.

One night the band was booked at a gig in a fancy house high up in the Hollywood hills.  It was a Hawaiian themed party and Lizzie laughed as she watched him don a Hawaiian shirt with a grimace.
“Oh, come on Mick, it’s only for one night!” she teased and then planted a passionate kiss on his smiling lips. 

“Hey, that’s not the way to get me out the door,” he told her but none the less kissed her back, stroking her lips and tongue with his own until she was shivering with delight.

“Mm, maybe not, but this way you’ll won’t be tempted by those beautiful Hollywood types!”

“Not a chance baby; you’ve got everything I want,” he breathed against her lips, before he gave her one final kiss.  He heard someone honking outside and said, “I gotta go.  I’ll see you later!”

Lizzie watched him go with a smile on her face.  He waved as he climbed into the old Dodge Panel van and she blew him a kiss.  As she closed the door to the apartment she hugged herself and realized she had never been happier.


At the party in the hills Mick quickly realized that the dark haired woman who was hosting the party was casting him longing looks.  She was a looker, they all agreed.  Tall, dark haired with sexy, mysterious eyes she was a pleasure to look at.  On one of their breaks she asked Mick to play some faster songs and he agreed although he wasn’t sure this was the right crowd for it.  She told him that her name was Coraline and it seemed to fit her, sort of exotic.

“Hey Mick,” Keith teased, “the girl has it for you!”

“Hey, I’m an engaged man!” Mick retorted, and the image of Lizzie standing on his doorstep and blowing him a kiss brought a huge smile to his face.

“Yeah, well, it’s there if you want it. She can’t keep her eyes off you man.”

Mick just shook his head and continued to play.  Every now and again he saw her staring at him, smiling mysteriously and he just smiled back, not wanting to make her mad.  Still, he admitted to himself that she was indeed a looker.

After the gig the band was clearing up and getting ready to go and Coraline motioned for him to come over to where she was watching as the band packed up.

Mick sauntered over to her, curious about what she wanted; their fee had already been paid and he couldn’t imagine what else she might have to say.

“Hey, you wanna get wet?” she asked, flashing her dark eyes at him and then looking at the pool.

Mick stared, mesmerized for a moment and then remembered Lizzie at home, waiting on him.  He shook his head and smiled.

“Sorry, I can’t.  My fiancĂ© is waiting on me.  But thanks for the offer!”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What Becomes of the Brokenhearted Part 2

Mick crawled off of the couch and stood up, stretching his lean body with a sigh. He was tired and more than that, depressed in a way he never thought possible. He wanted to feel hope, that maybe he and Beth could overcome all the obstacles that surrounded them but he just didn’t know if they could. Events last night had contributed to his emotions and as he headed into the shower they all came flooding back into his mind.

Late last night he had found himself on the familiar route to Beth’s apartment. He parked a couple of blocks away as usual and ignored the neighborhood dogs that barked as he made his way down the block to her apartment building. He spied her bedroom and it was dark, the curtains floating lazily in the soft breeze that blew in through the open balcony door.

He really needed to talk to her about closing and locking that door, this is LA he thought as he took a familiar seat under the balcony, nestled in between the forsythia bushes and the large mimosa tree that stood next to the building. He leaned his head back against the siding and felt the cool against his head and listened to the light breeze that rustled against the leaves of the various trees in the yard. It was almost musical and relaxing to him and he sighed and inhaled a deep breath, absorbing the quiet of the dark, moonless night.

It took a while before he realized that he was hearing more than the sounds carried on the winds; he heard soft moans and it registered in his brain that it was Beth. He stood up and looked up at the doors; it was still dark in her room but the sounds were louder now. He couldn’t tell if they were moans of pain, or hurt or passion and since he couldn’t scent her either he only got more concerned as he stood there and listened.

The balcony was too high up for him to be able to jump; as a human that was. He cursed his humanity for a moment, hating the fact that he couldn’t jump up to make sure she was okay. He eyed the mimosa tree and walked over to it, seeing if he could reach one of the lower branches; if he could he might be able to get closer.

A small jump and he caught a lower branch and swung himself up until he had a better hold and his legs could wrap around the branch as well. From there he stood up and found another branch and slowly he made his way up until he was even with the balcony. He was only about 4 feet away from it and he pondered for a moment whether or not to try to make the leap. If he were running it would be a piece of cake, but from a standing position it could be risky.

Maybe if he climbed a bit higher he could jump down instead of across but the higher branches offered nothing closer. As he stood there debating what to do he heard another sound from Beth and this one was definitely a sob.

Decision made, one long leap had him over the railing and landing on the balcony. He fell forward, his hands hitting the deck and getting a bit scuffed up but he was fine he realized when he stood up. Jumping 4 feet while he was still healing was probably not the wisest thing he had ever done with all the other injuries he had but it didn’t matter; he had to know if she were okay.

He stood in the darkness and saw the dial glowing on her alarm clock; 1 am. She was restless and had kicked the covers off of her legs. She wore a short nightgown he saw in the dim light of the clock but could see little else. He caught a glint of her long blond hear as well and ached to run his fingers though it and comfort her.

Beth and Mick were struggling to keep Josh alive and when it was finally to the point where nothing was working Beth said, “Turn him, he’ll live!”

“That’s not living Beth. I can’t do it,” he told her and she could tell by the look on his face that he meant it.

“Please, for me!” she almost yelled, pain and desperation saturating her words and making her voice sound almost ragged.

“I can’t,” he’d said simply.

Suddenly Coraline was there, pushing Mick aside. “I’ll turn him!” she said, and tore open her wrist. Josh grabbed for her wrist greedily, sucking the blood from her in huge gulps. Mick stood back and shook his head, watching the horrific spectacle in front of him in stunned silence.

Josh stood up and embraced Coraline, capturing her lips in a heated kiss and she purred, “He’s mine now!” They walked off together as Mick and Beth both stared at them in shock.

“Josh, she’s evil! Coraline, leave him alone!” The words rang out in the night, wrenching Beth awake. She sat up in bed, her breath coming in quick pants, as she tried to suck air into her lungs that felt starved for oxygen. She looked out the balcony door and hairs on her arms stood up for a moment as she realized someone was there, watching her.

The stance, the hesitance to move forward told her it was Mick and suddenly she felt safe again. She slid out of the bed and went to him, wrapping her arms around his waist and pulled him close to her.

Mick’s arms wrapped tightly about her and he buried his head in the golden silk of her hair, inhaling the soft jasmine smell of it. He couldn’t hear her heart but he could actually feel it beating frantically against his chest. He ran his hand down her back, lightly caressing her in a comforting way. He felt the front of his shirt grow damp and became conscious of the fact that she was crying, silent tears slipping down her face to be absorbed by the shirt.

“Beth,” he murmured against her hair. “I’m here.”

He held her for a few minutes until she calmed down and started to pull away from him. Her hand caressed his cheek as she stared at him in the dark cloak of the night and she leaned up to kiss him briefly. Her lips felt warm and moist as they moved against his in a tender caress and Mick caught his breath, praying it wouldn’t end. She took another step back and wiped a tear away, staring at him with sad and unreadable eyes.

He pulled her back for one last quick hug and maybe it was the sound of the breeze blowing gently in the trees but for a moment she thought she heard him say, “I love you.” He turned and leapt back into the tree and she stepped forward to watch him as he climbed down and started down the block to where the Benz was. He never looked back.


The fact that Beth had called out Coraline’s name in her sleep disturbed him, especially when said in connection with Josh’s name. He didn’t have any idea what the dream was about but he knew it hadn’t been good; not at all.

As a quick image of Coraline flitted through his brain he realized that he had been feeling a bit of guilt over her seeming self-sacrifice to Lance for him. He had thought about trying to find out where they took her but a couple of things stopped him; first off, he was human now and knew they could easily kill him and second, he believed that it had all been staged for his effect. Because deep down Mick knew that most of what Coraline did was staged; hadn’t the past few months shown that?

Hadn’t their lives together demonstrated that? Everything she did she did with a purpose in mind; to manipulate him.


Mick and Coraline had been separated this time for almost two years; he wanted it to be over this time, really over but he knew better. When he had run into her at a small club he frequented he felt the rush of excitement that only she could stir in him. A few dances later he had gone back to the house with her and before he knew it he was visiting her more and more often. She promised things would be different and he wanted so desperately to believe her; God help him, but he loved her. Josef said she was his drug of choice and that he needed to find a way to beat the addiction but so far he hadn’t.

He was working a case one night in the warehouse district, staking out a building that supposedly had a lot of teen activity in it. It wasn’t known if they were runaways or if it was just a gathering place, but Josef and Mick had heard about it through their vamp connections and Mick decided to check it out.

As he watched a familiar vamp strode into sight and he became alert. It was 11 pm and when Leo Sellini got involved Mick was immediately on alert. Mick detested Leo and knew that if he was involved something nefarious was happening. Mick watched as teens began arriving, in twos and threes and after seeing 20 or more enter the building he decided he needed to see what was going on in there.

Leo was one sick son of a bitch; he liked kid’s blood and while Mick knew that Leo wasn’t the only vamp that did it disgusted him to the bottom of his soul; that is supposing he had one. Coraline and her crowd had no boundaries about kid’s blood which was one of the reasons he had left her, time and time again. He’d had blood of teenagers before, if they were older that was but he drew the line at the 17-18 year olds. He felt a sharp pain rush through him as he remembered what he used to be; he often couldn’t believe some of the things he had done with Coraline, but he’d had enough.

He jumped up to the top of the building looking for a good vantage point and saw not only Leo, but several other vamps inside along with the kids. Some of them were really young Mick noticed, maybe not even 13 or 14. Too damn young to be here he decided. He knew there were too many vamps for him to take single-handedly so he knew that he would have to have backup and made a quick mental list of who he’d get to come along tomorrow night. Just then he noticed Leo gathering a group of 4 of them and heading out the building. Mick jumped down and decided to follow him, just to see where they were going. At least he might be able to save this group.

Leo led them all to his car and headed up to Hollywood Hills. Mick grew more and more uncomfortable as they wove their way on the twisty roads and felt a sinking sensation in his gut as Leo pulled up at Coraline’s.

No, she told me she didn’t do this anymore. She promised…

He knew exactly what was going to happen to those kids and he got out of the car and wretched. Nothing came up but a slight feeling of nausea still sat in his stomach. He heard the kids chattering excitedly to be going to such a glamorous place to party. It would be their very last party Mick knew. The house was ablaze with light as the usual crowd tittered about their soon to be had meal.

Mick leaned against the side of the Benz trying to decide what to do. Finally he decided the best course of action was to just join the party and see if he could scare the kids off before anything happened to them.

As he wove his way through the crowd a few people spoke to him and he nodded curtly at them, focused on the kids. As he got closer he realized that a couple of them probably weren’t even teenagers yet and he felt his stomach roil again. He stopped in front of them and opened his mouth when Coraline spotted him and pulled him close and placed a kiss on his lips. Mick immediately wiped it away and saw her eyes flash for a brief second before she smiled at him again.

“Mick darling, I thought you were working this evening?” she asked but he could tell from her tone that she was pissed, probably because she had been caught in the act.

“Yeah, funny thing that. I was watching a warehouse where large groups of teens had been gathering when I saw your friend Leo gather these four and head here. What the hell Coraline? You promised me you didn’t do this anymore!” He couldn’t help it when his voice grew louder and soon everyone at the party was staring at him wondering what was going to happen next.

“Come inside honey and we’ll talk,” she cooed into his ear, wrapping her arm though his and tried to pull him away.

Mick yanked his arm away and looked at the kids who looked scared now. “You get out of here, run,” he told them and they only huddled closer to one another, afraid to move. Suddenly he vamped out and yelled, “Get the hell out of here if you want to live!” and they scattered, running wildly through the crowd of astonished partiers.

Soon the sound of their footsteps could no longer be heard and Mick looked at Coraline whose eyes flashed at him again and she growled, taking a stance. “You had no right Mick, this had nothing to do with you!”

“It has everything to do with me, when my wife promises that she wouldn’t kill kids anymore just to get their blood.” He strode over to Leo and grabbed him by the collar and hissed, “Leo, if you ever bring another single child here I will personally hunt you down and cut your head off. Do you understand me?”

Leo nodded and as soon as Mick let him go he ran for his car and screeched down the driveway; many of the others were doing the same. Mick watched them flee with satisfaction and then turned back to Coraline. He couldn’t believe he once thought she was beautiful and sexy and mysterious. She made him sick.

Coraline saw the shift in Mick’s eyes and forced her anger down; she knew this was a pivotal moment for them and any misstep would send him away. She took in his rigid stance, hands clenched at his sides and saw the hatred that was streaming from his eyes and suddenly she understood that maybe it was already too late. “Mick, it was only a party you know; some of these people, well, it’s what they expect,” she offered timidly.

“This is it Coraline, I’m done. This marriage is over.” He turned and headed down the driveway to the Benz and pulled the door open and sat down. He was shaking a bit form the surge of adrenaline that was fueled by his anger. Finally he started the car and pulled away.

Coraline stood watching him but knew he would cool down and come back; he always did. Three days later she received the divorce papers and it suddenly occurred to her that she had been wrong. He had never done this before and she realized he wasn’t bluffing.

A plan began to form in her mind; it would require a child and would be exquisite revenge. She’d show him that he couldn’t walk away from her.

Good riddance he thought; it was probably all a set up anyway, just a way to get him to follow her. It wouldn’t work; he’d had enough of her manipulations. He knew that love didn’t have to be about who won this round. If he could only work this out with Beth maybe love would save him; save him from himself and this life of loneliness.

He wanted that more than he’d ever wanted anything in his whole life; maybe even more than being human again.

He headed off to the shower to get his day started and realized he felt better than he could even imagine feeling, aches, pains and all.


After he finished his shower he got dressed and headed downstairs to see make some coffee. While he waited he turned on the computer to check out the latest news and saw Michaela Martinez reporting for Buzzwire. She looked nothing at all like Beth but she really copied her style, hoping for a way to get Beth’s job no doubt. He quickly found the local newspaper site and had just begun to read when the lock clicked on the door and Josef walked in.

“Shit Josef, I could have shot you!” he declared with a glare at his best friend.

“You’re not fast enough human Mick,” Josef said and sunk down onto the couch without saying anything else. Mick poured him a glass of the remaining B + that he had and silently handed it to him and then poured a cup of coffee for himself and settled on a chair across from the couch. He took a sip of the steaming brew and waited for Josef to speak.

Josef took a sip of the blood and grimaced as he looked around at the pillow and afghan that was still lying on the couch and said, “How long has this been sitting in there anyway? Tastes terrible. Is it too much to expect you to have a bit of fresh stuff around? Yeah, of course it is…” he trailed off and took another sip before finally setting the glass down on the coffee table. He picked up the pillow and ran his hands over it, poking at the plush fabric before tossing it down to the other end of the couch.

Mick had silently watched all this and knew that something was wrong. Since it was Josef and he wasn’t ranting, it wasn’t about money, so that left something personal. “Josef, what’s wrong?” he finally asked.

Josef opened his mouth to speak and then closed it abruptly; Mick watched as he repeated the gesture as if trying to find the right words. Patience finally paid off when Josef said, “The doctor I hired to examine Sarah has told me that there is no hope. She uh, she stroked out and there’s nothing left, in her head that is. Nothing. She said it might not have even been caused by the turning, probably wasn’t in fact.”

Mick waiting a dozen heartbeats before speaking, letting the words settle in. He cleared his throat and said, “Josef, you did all you could.”

His friend nodded and Mick saw a glint of a tear in the corner of Josef’s eye. “I know, I know. But all these years I selfishly kept her alive, hoping. That might have been worse for her, you know? Sarah was catholic, she, she might have been able to pass on to her idea of heaven, if I hadn’t done that. Maybe, I don’t know.” He leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees and looked Mick directly in the eye. “You’re catholic Mick; did I make it worse for her?”

Mick shook his head and said, “Josef, what you did you did with love and I can’t believe that love is ever wrong.”

“Is there such a place as heaven Mick?” The words were all but a whisper and Mick had to strain to hear them.

“I hope so buddy, I really do. And if there is Sarah will certainly find her way there. I take it you have decided to let her go?”

Josef nodded and several more tears made their way down his grief-stricken face. He hastily wiped them away and stood up, preparing to leave. “I’m heading to New York in a little while. The good doctor is accompanying me.” He walked around the couch and stopped by the door with Mick following on his heels.

“Want me to come with?” Mick asked.

“No, this I gotta do alone Mick.” The door opened in and he was gone in an instant, heading down the stairs, not taking time to wait for the elevator. Mick shut the door and leaned against it for a moment, feeling a rush of pain wash over him for his friend. Maybe this would be a good thing and Josef will be able to move on he thought; he hoped anyway.


Beth was just finishing dressing when she heard a knock on her door. She padded into the living room in her bare feet and opened the door, surprised to see Elka standing there wearing a smile and carrying a vase of flowers.

“Hi Beth. Am I intruding?” Elka asked softly.

“No Elka, um, come in please,” Beth answered, stepping aside so Elka could pass.

“I saw these flowers and they reminded me of you,” she said, handing the beautiful crystal vase to Beth. “They look delicate, but they are actually very sturdy and adapt well to new situations,” she said as she looked around Beth’s apartment.

“You mean like weeds?” Beth teased, admiring the flowers. She sat the vase down on the coffee table and added, “Can I get you anything to drink Elka? I mean, well I don’t have any blood, but anything else?” Her face flushed scarlet at her words and so he motioned to the sofa and asked Elka to have a seat.

“Some of the most beautiful flowers are actually weeds, like sunflowers. But they bring a beauty to this world beyond compare.”

Beth chuckled and nodded her head, getting Elka’s point. “You’re trying to tell me that I will be okay and go on from all this?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes.” Elka reached out and took one of Beth’s hands between her own and inquired, “How are you Beth?”

For a moment Beth’s eyes brimmed with tears and she quickly blinked them away. “I’m taking one day at a time.” She shrugged and added, “Nothing else I can do.”

“So true. But it is hard, is it not? I lost my husband and son when I was but a very young woman. They were killed in a battle with the Crow. They were the love of my life and I’ll never love anyone like that again.”

Beth’s eyes opened in surprise as she heard that. “Elka, I’m so sorry to hear that. I didn’t know, Mick never said anything.”

Elka nodded and said, “It is not his story to tell. But it has all worked out for me, one way or another.” She lightly bit her lower lip, thoughtful for a moment and then said, “Beth, have you talked to Mick?”

“Not exactly,” she said, remembering his visit to her balcony last night. “I want to Elka, but it’s so hard to let go of everything.”

Elka had heard what had happened from Josef and knew how Beth had lost Josh; her heart ached for the young woman but she knew that Beth’s destiny did not include that young man. Instead, it involved a vampire that needed her as much as she needed him, whether he was temporarily human or not. “Reach out to him Beth; he needs you as you need him.” Elka stood up to leave and Beth stood with her.

“I will, I promise.” A tear made its way down her small face and she let it fall as if it could carry her pain with it. She reached for Elka and hugged her; she didn’t know who was more surprised, herself or Elka.

‘The pain will fade and the sunflower will sprout soon Beth, it is the way of the world. Nurture it, as you would any precious thing.” She slipped out the door and Beth watched her leave, feeling hopeful for the first time since Josh’s death.


Mick picked up his keys in preparation to leaving the loft on his shopping trip. He started to reach for his duster and then laughed as he realized he didn’t need it. He pulled the heavy door closed behind him and pressed the button to lock it and headed to the elevator. He whistled a little Etta James as he went and if he wasn’t moving as comfortably as he would like he was still walking in this world in human shoes.

For now…

Vampire or not the bright sunshine demanded sunglasses and he pulled on a favorite pair as he slid into the Benz. He decided to keep the top up since he had so many purchases to make and it would be easier than having to raise it later.

He had spent a good amount of time on the internet looking at bed options. He had two large rooms upstairs and either one would make a good bedroom. What he wasn’t sure of was whether or not he wanted to invest in a bed that he would only use temporarily. It wasn’t about the money, there was plenty of that but it was about how much need he would have for it in the future.

A blond head in the car next to him brought another one to mind and he considered it from a ladies perspective. If that particular lady happened to be human, well, they couldn’t get too friendly in the freezer and the couch, while reasonably comfortable to sleep on wouldn’t allow much luxury when one was occupied with other things.

Right now he was going to focus on his immediate needs and had decided on one of those inflatable air beds. Not fancy, but it would meet his needs while he considered the other situation. He actually wanted to rush out and buy a whole bedroom set right away but he had this nagging feeling; like it would be jinxing it all. He pushed that sobering thought out of his mind as he turned into the mall to begin his hunt.

Two hours later he had purchased the temporary bed and the necessary bedding to go with it. He laughed at the choices for sheets and pillows these days. Used to be cotton; you had cotton sheets, that’s what everyone had, at least everyone he knew. Now days it was percale or Egyptian cotton or cotton blends or polyester blends or flannel or silk. He eschewed the polyester ones and the flannel sheets as well; he couldn’t imagine trying to sleep on flannel sheets, how hot would that be? Instead he chose the Egyptian cotton ones, along with several blankets to go with them. Pillows were another thing that had changed. He had had a feather pillow in the past, but fiberfill seemed to be the pillows of choice now days. He bought 4 of them because they felt so damn good as he held them against his head. He tried to ignore the shocked looks from other shoppers but frankly he just didn’t care. He was having a blast.

He decided to stop in the kitchen ware area and wandered the aisles looking at all the electronic appliances and kitchen gadgets available. He went a little crazy here too, buying a toaster, a blender and several other items that the sales lady told him were indispensable. He admitted the juicer might be nice but wasn’t sure he would ever use the food processor. The kitchen gadgets amazed him even more than the appliances did; what the hell did someone need an egg slicer for? Didn’t a knife do that and what about a zester? Really, he thought with a smile? He purchased it all and finally had to make arrangements for it all to be delivered later that afternoon.

As he left the mall he saw a Starbucks on the corner and pulled the Benz in to grab a cup of coffee. When he walked in the door an irresistible aroma hit his nose; coffee and other delectable scents he couldn’t name. He walked up to the counter and saw the huge menu board but decided to go for the basics.

“I’ll have a cup of coffee, please,” he said to Julia, the counter girl. She had long dark hair that was pulled back into a pony tail and she looked about 16, but she had an infectious grin and he returned it, feeling suddenly carefree.

She looked at him expectantly and finally said, “Latte, cappuccino, espresso, mocha, macchiato…” her words trailed off, waiting for a decision from him.

“Um, regular?” he asked, hoping there was such a thing. He stared at the board again and changed his mind. “Wait, I’ll have a cappuccino,” he said with confidence. Everyone was always talking about drinking cappuccino and now he was going to have a chance to try it.

“Short, tall, grande, venti?” she questioned, waiting for him. He heard several other people standing behind him and he tried to make up his mind but he didn’t really know what all that meant.

“Uh, regular? I mean, those are sizes aren’t they. Just a regular size.”

“Tall then. Fat-free, low-fat, breve, regular or soy?” She watched the confused look on his face and added, “The milk we make it with.”

“Regular?” he stated and he could tell she was mentally rolling her eyes at him.

“Regular, decaf or half caf?” was the next question and Mick began to panic a bit. How many damn questions did you have to answer just to get a cup of coffee? “Let me guess,” she said, “regular?”

He swallowed hard and nodded, praying there was nothing else.

“Do you want a shot?”

If Mick could have crawled under the counter he would have. A shot? A shot of what? From the impatient and frenzied huffs of the people behind him he knew he had to hurry up. “NO shot, just, you know, regular.”

“Okay,” she said, “regular it is.”

Two minutes later Mick had his cappuccino and took his first sip. It was fantastic he decided, worth the forty questions. He licked the foam off of his top lip with a smile and decided he was never going to Starbucks again.

His next stop was at Kuan Yin Palace for Chinese food. He had heard Beth talk about Kung Pao chicken and he couldn’t wait to try it. As he entered the restaurant the enticing aromas tickled his nose and he grinned like an idiot. He was going to like this he realized as he was shown to a table.

His first course involved Hot and Sour soup and it was delicious. That was followed by an assortment of dim sum and each one a delight. Finally the Kung Pao chicken, extra spicy arrived and it smelled positively orgasmic! He picked up his fork, leaving the chop sticks to the pros and dug in.

The first bite exploded on his tongue, attacking his taste buds with a vengeance. It was, it was like dynamite had exploded in his mouth and he grabbed for his glass of water and drank it straight down and then looked around frantically for the waitress so he could get more. She saw his red face and the beads of sweat that were running down his face and bought a pitcher.

“Leave it,” Mick asked hoarsely and quickly drank down the next glass. It still didn’t stop the burning; he wondered if it had burned the skin off of his tongue because it felt so raw. He picked up a spoon and tried to look it to see if his thought was correct.

The waitress brought him a glass of milk and said, “It help, better than water!” She smiled and stood there watching as he drank the milk. Finally the pain started to recede a bit and he gave her a faint smile. She grinned and bowed at him, happy to have helped.

“I”ll uh, just take the check,” he said, ready to leave.

“You want doggy bag?” she inquired.

“No,” he said with a shudder. Never again, never again…


His final stop was at Jarmin, Markham and Associates. He looked at the listing of offices in the building and saw they were on the fifth floor and headed to the elevator. When the doors closed he punched the button for the 5th floor and waited as it moved swiftly upwards all the while serenading the travelers with Muzak.

When the door opened he saw his destination straight ahead, Jarmin, Markham and Associates. He walked through the double glass doors and looked around the office. It was pleasant with a small waiting room filled with magazines and a television set playing to help people be entertained as they waited.

“May I help you,” an efficient receptionist asked, eyeing the handsome man in front of her. She gave him a brilliant smile and waited for him to speak.

“I’d like to make a deposit. For uh, my own use.”

“Certainly sir!”

Next week we return to the next episode, Fated to Pretend.  Will Mick stay human or return to the vampire world?  If given the choice, what would he do?

Don't forget to stop in for 'Freshie Friday' this week.  This next story is called 'If  Forever Never Comes'.  It is a 'what if' story about Mick, Beth and Coraline and not in Beth's Diary universe.  I hope you will enjoy it.  See you there!

Friday, March 18, 2011


NOTE:  The regularly scheduled chapter to Beth's Diary will post this evening or first thing in the morning.  LOL, I forgot my flash drive today!  Sorry for the delay!

“Oh my gosh Mick! I can’t believe you still have some of those old albums! What do you do with them?”

“I play them. See, I have some old ‘78’s and these, my favorites are the LP’s.” Mick told her as he reverently held one. “Count Basie, Chairman of the Board. It came out in 1959.”

“So it’s like old,” Beth teased.

“Yeah, like ME!” He gave her with a lop-sided grin, his eyes twinkling with laughter.

“So what does LP mean?” she asked curiously.

Mick mentally rolled his eyes but answered, “Long Playing. It plays at a speed of thirty-three and a third revolutions a minute. 78’s play at 78 RPM’s and…”

“And 45’s at 45 RPM’s,” she finished for me, wearing a completely sexy grin.

“Yes.” He slipped the album out of its dust cover and held it up, ready to put in on the stereo.

“Hm.” She cocked her head to one side and she thought about it. “That’d be like on one of those old turntables, right?” she asked with an innocent bat of her crystal-blue eyes. “So how long is ‘long playing’ exactly? Does it mean it lasts a long time?”

Mick huffed an impatient breath before he caught on to her game. “Yeah, a looonng time Beth. It’s vintage you know so we weren’t into ‘instant’ gratification back then!”

“Instant gratification? Heaven forbid,” she teased with a flirtatious roll of her eyes. “I might need a demonstration though, for uh, practical purposes!”

“Really?” he asked, taking a step closer to her. He tilted his head down and lightly danced his lips across her cheeks and down her nose.

Beth shivered in anticipation. “Mm, you know, sometimes there could be something said for instant gratification!”

“Not a chance. I’m going to help you learn to appreciate long playing Beth.” Another soft kiss, this time along her collar bone added to her shivers. He scooped her up and practically leaped the stairs all at once to get her up to the bedroom.

He toed the bedroom door open and then gave it a gentle kick from behind to make it close. They both ignored the soft click it made as it shut behind them. Mick sat her down on the edge of the bed and started to unbutton her blouse, one at a time as he knelt between her legs. He took his time, kissing a bit of exposed skin with each satisfying release of a fastener. As the last one opened he slid the blouse down over her shoulders and arms, letting his fingers trail lightly over her arms. Goose bumps accompanied the gesture and Mick smiled with delight to see them.

His lips graced those sensitive bumps, playfully raising more along the way before his mouth glided upwards to her collarbone. Beth moaned softly and ran her fingers though the dark curls on his head, lightly tugging them to pull his mouth up to hers for a stirring kiss. Their tongues dueled in a primal mating dance and the kiss went on and on until they were both breathless.

Mick reached down and unfastened the front hook of her bra, and pushed the straps down over her shoulders in a mellifluous motion and then tossed it over his shoulder. First his fingers and then his mouth caressed her blossoming nipples that were becoming taut with desire. Beth was panting by then, soft little sounds of arousal escaping her parted lips.

Mick chuckled as he tugged gently on one of the stiffened peaks. Deft fingers embraced the luxurious swell of her breasts, caressing and molding them in his cool hands. His lips playfully nuzzled the underside of one breast, his tongue licking along the soft skin before he captured the nipple between his blunt teeth. His hands paid homage to the other neglected breast, teasing it with his fingers; it brought a low moan of desire from her, a slow sound of aching need that came from deep inside her throat.

He laid Beth back on the bed and unbuttoned her jeans and then tugged the zipper down. As he worked the garment off of her body he realized his hands were shaking slightly he was so aroused. Beth let her eyes travel down his body and saw with anticipation the abundant gift that was awaiting her; the only problem was that it was still hidden in his pants!

Beth tried to reach up impatiently and unfasten his jeans, but he playfully danced away from her and said, “No, I’m teaching you about long playing, remember?” His eyes ate her up and with relish he removed the tiny bit of lace that was covering the blond curls between her legs. He could see a glistening bit of moisture peeking out of the curls and he inhaled deeply, scenting her need. He traced an eager finger tip over the exposed folds and smiled at her sharply indrawn breath. The liquid honey flowed over his fingers and he spread it around the delicate flesh before sliding a finger inside of her.

She moaned, louder this time and he joined the first finger with a second and moved them in and out of her eager body as her hips rose to meet his fingers. He couldn’t resist a taste of the nectar and before she could catch her breath he was feasting on the hardened nub of desire, tracing his tongue over it softly and then stroking downward to lap gently and the pool of juices that accumulated around his fingers.

Beth was writhing with need and then she was falling over passions edge, her screams keening wildly in the room. They were the most beautiful sounds that Mick had ever heard.

He quickly divested himself of his clothes and pulled her upwards on the bed before joining their bodies and their mouths. Lips and tongues worshiped one another in a scorching kiss that went on and on.

Beth threw her legs around his waist to allow him deeper access into her willing body. He stroked her deeply and steadily, driving her wild as another orgasm approached. His hands lifted her bottom up higher and his rhythm increased until both of them were calling the others name. On and on it went until Beth was sure that he couldn’t possibly make her come again; and yet he did.

Beth’s body was trembling so wildly that she felt out of control, as if her body no longer belonged to herself and as another orgasm washed over her, she felt Mick kissing her neck before the exquisite bite brought her over the edge one last time with Mick joining her in the moment of ecstasy.

He rolled over and carried her with him, pulling her tightly against his side. After they both caught their breaths he murmured against her hair, “So, LP or CD?”

Beth chuckled and said, “I think I’ll take the long playing Mick! Forever!”

The End

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chapter 28-1 What Becomes of the Broken Hearted

I have decided that on Friday's I will post one of my other Moonlight stories that are on the Moonlight fan fiction sites.  Many of them will be what are called One Shots, in other words, a short story, but I may also post a couple of  5 part stories too.  Some of these are in the same universe as Beth's Diary and some are not.  They are all about one or more of our Moonlight characters though and I hope you will enjoy reading them.  This Friday I will post, Thirty Three and a Third, a story that was written for the third anniversary challenge on Moonlight Forever.  It's a fun and sexy look at a conversation between Mick and Beth.

January 19, 2008

My birthday is in 3 days and I couldn’t feel less like celebrating this year. Not only because of Josh’s death and dealing with my feelings regarding him and Mick but also because Lani has opened up problems that would have been better ignored. It was unintentional, but none the less it happened.

My best friend knows about vampires; you’d think I would find that comforting because now there is someone to talk about it with, but so far not so much. She is petrified of them and after I heard her story I understand why; if my first experiences had been like hers I would definitely feel the same way.

Josh’s funeral was so difficult to get through; for everyone. I met his little brother who looks a lot like him except he’s a bit hipper, edgier really with blonde streaked hair and an earring. He looks like the consummate California surfer boy and in reality he’s never lived here. He’s at university in England on a Rhodes scholarship and when he is done will be a lawyer, like his father and Josh were. Jeremy Lindsay is very polite but has a humor about him that the rest of the family lacks. Not to say that he was joking or anything, quite the contrary because he was devastated by his brother’s death. But the crinkles around his eyes tell the tale of someone who enjoys life. Josh could be humorous, but he was usually so focused on his job that it didn’t often have the opportunity to shine through. Those rare moments when it did were one of the reasons I fell in love with him. That was the fun and exciting Josh; the one who wasn’t weighted down with court cases and criminal law.

Carl has been to see me and something is up; I know him to well too not know that something is on his mind, even though he was nothing but concerned and sympathetic. I’ve promised to have dinner with him soon and hopefully we can get to the bottom of it. I know that Carl will miss Josh; they had become very good friends and it is only natural that he would want to see other people who shared good times with his friend too.

When I saw Mick at the funeral 4 days ago I was over-whelmed at how good it was to see him. When I realized that he was human it astounded me; he was hurt – beaten and limping but he was still - what’s the word? Incandescent maybe? Not happy because of the situation but he had this inner glow and even the somber circumstances couldn’t hide it. I don’t know how long he will be human. Forever or just for awhile? So many questions and no answers at this point.

I want to see him, be with him. There, I’ve said it. Despite everything, I love him and I want to at least tell him that and see if there is any chance for us. He’s told me so many times that relationships between humans and vamps are bad and don’t work out, but that begs the questions to be asked – why? Why exactly? I’ve seen the bad side of vampirism; I know he sleeps in a freezer, he drinks blood, he has amazing abilities I can’t even imagine, but what exactly makes it so dangerous? Am I being naive about something? Is he afraid he would kill me? Or worse, which to him would mean turning me into a vampire? Would I ever want that if we were together? I don’t know, I can’t answer that right now because I’m definitely not ready to ask that question.

But if he loves me, even half as much as I love him I will do whatever is necessary to give us a chance at life together.




As I walk this land of broken dreams
I have visions of many things
Happiness is just an illusion
Filled with sadness and illusions

The morning after Josh’s funeral…

Mick came slowly awake in the early morning; dawn was just beginning to break and he watched as the dappled sun peeked through the windows casting playful shadows over his apartment. He smiled as he spied minute particles of dust that almost sparkled about the room and frowned as he stretched on the couch and sucked in a painful breath. Yep, still human.

He tossed off the afghan and rose shakily to his feet. He’d always thought his couch was pretty comfortable but that was when he was laying there watching a game or something. Definitely not when his body was battered and bruised. Whether it was the couch or his injuries he didn’t know but he decided he had to get some other kind of sleeping arrangements. Add to ‘to-do’ list he decided, along with get groceries and maybe some band aides or something. His face looked terrible.

He turned the coffee maker on and slowly made his way upstairs to take a long, hot shower. The water rained down on him from above and he stood still for a minute enjoyed the silken warmth of the water before he started washing up. It hurt to raise his arms so that he could shampoo his hair but it was a pain he relished; he would live with this pain the rest of his life if it meant being human.

Being human. How much time did he have?

Yesterday at the funeral Beth had looked at him with wonder showing in her sad eyes. And Josh’s ring on her finger; he couldn’t forget that. She had made her choice and even though Josh was dead it was clear where her heart lie.

I have to let her go, I have to. It’s time and she certainly deserves a life without me hanging around the shadows. Maybe it’s time for me to go back to Seattle…

The thought brought a painful thump to his heart and he knew that even if he could only catch an occasional glimpse of her in the future he would never leave her again. He would always keep her safe.


Lani woke up on Beth’s couch as she heard her friend making coffee. She slid one eye open enough to watch as Beth scooped out coffee from the can and dropped it into the coffee filter. She looked like she had gotten some sleep which was good because Lani knew that Clark and Dorothy would be demanding answers today – answers she didn’t want to have to give.

She couldn’t believe what she had said yesterday. She didn’t believe that she had actually said it aloud. As she watched Mick limp across that cemetery it just shocked her, that was all. She had known since she was back that her friend was involved with a vampire but she and Beth hadn’t ever talked about it; she had been positive that Beth didn’t know what Mick was. It was the number one rule, you keep their secret. Dorothy and Clark had both heard it and Clark had said, ‘we’ll talk about this tomorrow Lani’, before going to speak to Mick. This was so involved and if Lani had her way she’d crawl under a rock somewhere and pull it over her. Not much chance of that happening she decided as she realized that Beth was standing over her, a small smile on her still pale face.

“Hey, coffee’s brewing,” Beth said.

“Mm hmm,” Lani mumbled, sitting up. She yawned and rubbed her eyes, blinking in the bright morning light that was streaming in the open blinds. “What time is it?”

“Almost 9 sleepy head. Sorry to wake you. I – I feel restless, you know?” Beth said as she pulled a couple of coffee mugs out of the cabinet and sat them on the counter. She pulled flavored creamer out of the fridge for Lani and smiled because her friend liked a little coffee with a whole lot of the creamer. Definitely NOT a hard-core coffee drinker.

Lani padded off to the bathroom and soon Beth heard the shower going and Lani singing; Beth didn’t recognize the tune but it was so off-key that it might have been a number one hit for all Beth could tell she thought with a wry smile.

While she waited for the coffee to finish Beth wandered over to the windows, prepared to look out but hesitated when she stood in front of them. Last time she had done this she was watching Josh, right before he was kidnapped. Her hand rose tentatively and then she withdrew it quickly. She couldn’t do it and she turned around and headed over to the desk and booted the computer, a task she hadn’t done in days.

As Beth surfed the net she heard Lani shut the water off and soon she walked out of the bedroom, dressed in jeans and a camisole top, her long dark hair streaming in thick, damp ropes down her back as she worked a wide-tooth comb through it.

“Ready for coffee?” Beth inquired. At Lani’s nod she poured two cups, adding a very generous amount of creamer for Lani. Lani wandered over and sat down on a bar chair at the counter and took a sip of the coffee. Or what passed for coffee in her opinion. “Not bad. You’re finally getting the hang of it Turner!” she laughed. She jumped when there was a knock on the door.

Beth gave her a quizzical look as she headed to the door. When she opened it her mom and Clark stood there with a box of Krispy Kreme donuts in hand.

“Um, how wonderful. Come in,” Beth said, taking the box from Clark. “Want some coffee?

They both murmured yes and followed Beth into the small kitchen. Lani stared at them both, knowing that it was all going to hit the fan now and wondering if she could make a run for it. She looked longingly at the door and then sighed. It was time to get it all out and if none of them knew about vampires she could just laugh it all off. But judging by the look on Clark’s face she knew that wasn’t the case. So how did they know?

When everyone had their coffee and a donut they migrated back to the living room and took seats. Dorothy stared at her and Beth caught the look and frowned, wondering what was wrong.

“Mom, what’s up? Why are you upset?”

Lani counted her heartbeats while she waited for Dorothy or Clark to speak. Twenty-two went by before anyone said anything. Beth kept looking from her mother to Lani, realizing that something was happening between them.

“Lani?” Clark prompted.

“Are you going to make me say it again? It was – was just a stupid remark, nothing else.”

“What remark?” Beth asked. She took a sip of her coffee and watched Lani over the rim. She was really scared about something Beth realized.

Lani’s heart was pounding and she knew she was caught. Beth was going to freak out and Lani was doubtful that she could take the shock right now. Nonetheless, she just said it. “Yesterday, at the funeral as I watched Mick walk across the cemetery I realized, that he, um, well, he was limping and all battered and bruised and I thought, out loud, which I didn’t mean to you know, but I…” she trailed off, hoping that someone would stop her before she had to say the words but all three faces stared at her with narrowed eyes and expectant faces. “I said, he’s not a vampire anymore, okay? It was just a stupid joke kind of thing, you know, something that you shouldn’t pay attention to anyway, okay?”

“How did you find out about vampires?” Beth asked, sitting her coffee cup down on the coffee table.

Lani looked at her and saw that she wasn’t shocked or surprised; she knew. So did Dorothy and Clark. Lani let out a deep breath and slumped back against the chair, willing her heart to slow down. She had been feeling a bit light-headed for a minute there.

“Lani?” Beth and Clark spoke at the same moment, both of them urging her to speak.

“You know? You know about vampires and yet you still, I, uh, you want to be around them?” Lani watched their faces, waiting for horror or fear and when she didn’t see anything of that variety she was surprised.

“Yes, all of us know Lani,” Beth spoke quietly. “Mick, well, Mick was my shadow man; the one who saved me, the one we used to fantasize about.”

“Oh, my goodness, I wasn’t expecting that. He was the one? All those years, we didn’t know…”

“Yeah, he was the one. Clark knew about vampires and Mick and Mom hired him to find me.” Dorothy and Clark both nodded in agreement as Beth spoke. Lani saw tears gather in Dorothy’s eyes and knew that it was still hard for her to think about.

“Lani, how do you know?” Clark asked, leaning forward on the couch, his elbows resting on his knees.

She closed her eyes for a minute and let her mind travel back to that night in Tokyo. Her lower lip trembled a bit and her top teeth bit it lightly, trying to keep it from trembling more. Beth saw her hands begin to shake and she reached out and took Lani’s coffee cup from her and sat it on the table.

“It was two years ago, in Tokyo. I was at Heroku’s house for a party, a, a sort of work gathering actually; lots of clients there and many of them vampires, but I didn’t know that and I didn’t know that Heroku was one either.” She took a long, deep breath and let it out slowly through pursed lips as she thought about her next words. “Any way, it was really smoky in the house; Japanese men love to smoke it seems and so I went out onto the terrace to get some fresh air. After awhile I walked down a stone pathway to the far end of the house and went in a side door. This end of the house had private rooms, among others; I didn’t know what for, I just knew what they were. I guess I thought they were for making private deals or something. As I walked down the hall I got closer to the salon where the main party was going on; it was getting noisier and smokier again, but I knew that I could leave in another hour or so. Two men came down the hall and started smiling and speaking when they saw me. I learned a lot of Japanese while I was there, but they were speaking very rapidly and I couldn’t catch all their words…”

“Ah, this is a new girl!” Yushigi stated, licking his lips. He felt his fangs push through his gums, lengthening in anticipation of a new delight.

“Yes, she is most beautiful,” Onagi agreed. He held out his hand to Lani and beckoned her to come to him.

Lani thought he wanted to shake hands with her and was puzzled; she felt uncomfortable because they were staring at her in an odd way. She had understood enough of their remarks to know that she didn’t want to be alone with them. She only nodded in their direction and tried to get past them, back to the safety of the salon.

Onagi reached out his hand again and this time he grabbed her arm; his grip painful. His nails were very long and were cutting into her arm and when she looked down she saw blood. She tried harder to pull away and heard a strange sound, almost like a growl. When she looked up into the faces of her captors she realized they were both staring at the blood on her arm but that wasn’t what scared her the most, it was the fangs poking out of their mouths and their silvered eyes that made her feel faint.

“Her blood, it will be delicious! AO- Onagi, very rare! Hurry my friend, let us taste it!” Yushigi pushed Lani against the wall and held her firmly, scenting not only her blood, but her fear as well. No matter, it only intensified the thrill.

Onagi held her arm out and sniffed along the delicate skin slowly. Lani could see his nostrils flaring as he inhaled and she let out a long keening moan. “Please don’t do this,” she pleaded in English, so rattled and scared she forgot to speak in Japanese. Tears were streaking her face and both men were mesmerized by the vein in her neck that was visibly pounding with her blood as her fear increased. Yushigi moved quickly and scented her neck and ran a cold tongue along the vein that pulsed rapidly.

Lani started yelling in earnest then, her body twisting as she tried to break free but they held her tight as she sobbed and begged to be let go. She felt Onagi’s teeth graze her arm and screamed again, a wounded sound that felt as if it would break her captor’s ear drums.

Just then Onagi went flying against the far wall, quickly followed by Yushigi. Heroku was everywhere, attacking both of them. He lifted Onagi up with one hand on his neck and twisted, immediately breaking his neck. Yushigi begged to be spared, but Heroku showed him no mercy and he met the same fate as his friend as Lani watched in terror. She had sunk down to the floor, her arms wrapped around her knees as she tried to pull air into her almost paralyzed lungs.

Other’s quickly crowded into the hall way and two men were removing the bodies. Heroku picked Lani up and carried her into one of the rooms and laid her on a couch. He called for a servant to get her a blanket and handed her a glass of scotch and told her to drink it.

Lani looked up from her story at the three faces that were watching her intently. She was horribly pale and shaky and tears ran uncontrollably down her face. “Heroku saved me and told me about vampires. He – he, well he has watched over me since then. When I got here and met Mick I was so afraid for you Beth.”

“Lani, Mick isn’t like that. Most vampires aren’t like that, honestly. Not that I’ve met anyway. Mick would never hurt me and he would never let anyone else hurt me either.”

Lani saw Dorothy and Clark both nodding their heads in agreement. Lani didn’t know who, if anyone could be trusted now.


What becomes of the broken hearted
Who had love that’s now departed
I know I’ve got to find, some kind of peace of mind

Margie stared at the pictures in the box of photos she kept; pictures of ‘that time’ in her life that she had kept separate from the rest. She had put that life behind her and locked the pictures away; if only it was that easy with the memories. She sighed and placed the lid securely back on the box and tucked it away on the top shelf of the closet.

Out of sight, out of mind…

Not really but she did her best to believe it was the truth. It was impossible for it to be out of her mind for long. Most of the time she was glad but every now and again it just hurt. She pulled a photo album off of a shelf and flipped it open to stare at other pictures on the worn pages; her Herbert, the man that she had loved for 40 years before losing him to a heart that just gave out. When he lay dying he would dry her tears and tell her the reason it was giving out was because he had used it so well. He had loved her and their family with a force and intensity that would have worn anyone’s heart out. His family meant everything to him and nothing in this world would have saved someone if they would have tried to hurt them.

I was blessed in this life, twice she realized. A woman couldn’t ask for more.


The shock had worn off as they had all talked about their knowledge of vampires. Dorothy and Clark still didn’t share the secret about Logan; they firmly believed that it was Mick and Logan’s story to tell. Still, after all was said and done, it was mostly out in the open and they each felt better to some degree.

“Did Josh know?” Lani asked Beth and watched as Beth solemnly shook her head no.

“Hm um, he didn’t. I promised Mick I would never tell anyone and I haven’t. Even talking about it is weird. It’s such a huge secret and yet so many people know. Josef has his gang of freshies and I can’t even imagine what leverage he uses to keep their mouths shut.” Money most likely!

At the mention of Josef Kostan’s name Lani almost choked on her final sip of the now cold brew. One of the advantages of the creamer was that it tasted just as good, or bad depending on your opinion, cold. Beth noticed and her mouth quirked up at the corners in a small smile.

“You don’t like Josef? Oh wait, he’s the one you met in Tokyo wasn’t he? I’d almost forgotten.” At Lani’s curt nod she continued, “He is pretty full of himself!”

“He’s arrogant and an ass you mean. He just feels so, so, smarmy is a good word for it!” Lani almost sputtered. The other three in the room couldn’t help but notice the small shudder that shook her body for a moment.

“Did he try to hurt you Lani?” Clark asked. Lani usually wasn’t intimidated by anything and for Kostan to have this effect on her got him to wondering. He had only met him a few times, but for the most part he liked Josef. He was a bit puerile and straight to the point, but that was okay. Clark knew that there was more to Josef that he didn’t share but then everyone has secrets.

“No, he was just icky, like a player, you know? Came on all, ‘hey, I’m suave and I’m honoring you with my attention’. It was gross and then when I shook his hand and recognized that he was a vampire that was all it took.”

Comprehension blanketed all three faces that watched her. “Lani, he wouldn’t ever hurt you, really.” Unless you get in his way Beth silently added.

“Whatever Beth; I’ll keep my distance from all of them!”

An hour later Dorothy and Clark left the girls and both were quiet for awhile; each lost in their own thoughts. Lani would never like vampires but because Mick was important to Beth she would do her best to tolerate him, but the rest of them just needed to keep their distance. Well, except for Heroku that was.

He was still in the US; he had been in the New York office for the past week but would be back in LA soon. He was bringing another employee with him; he name was Camille Kinney and she would be the new Director of Media Relations and Marketing. Lani was looking forward to not being the new kid on the block any more.

They hadn’t asked much about Heroku and she hadn’t told them much. He so intrigued her, his history and all. He had told her he was born around 1050 and that seemed incomprehensible to her, that a body could be that old and still be functioning. Vampirism, the Fountain of Youth? Who knew?


The fruits of love grow all around
but for me they came tumbling down
every day heartaches grow a little stronger
I can’t stand this pain much longer

“Mr. Kostan, I have Dr. Martinson on line one. Would you like to speak to her now?” His assistant’s voice sounded tinny over the intercom Josef thought, like he was speaking in a tunnel. His mouth suddenly felt as dry as the Sahara desert and he swallowed quickly, feeling a lump building in his throat.

“Yes, I’ll take the call,” he said and closed his eyes for a moment, afraid of what this conversation might mean. The line clicked and he heard the slight bit of static that told him they were connected. “Josef Kostan,” he said and waited.

“Mr. Kostan, this is Cheryl Martinson. I am back in LA and would like to speak with you concerning my findings about Ms. Whitley. When would you be available?”

“I can see you as soon as you get here Dr. Martinson,” he said without preamble. He sucked in an unnecessary breath as he waited for her response.

“Shall we say 30 minutes? I think I can easily make that.”

“30 minutes it is.” He hung up the phone and informed his assistant that Dr. Martinson was not to be kept waiting when she arrived.

Thor Iverson had been Mr. Kostan’s Executive Assistant for 3 years now. Kostan had teased him a lot about the name and swore it couldn’t be real, that it must be a gimmick to get Thor into acting or some such nonsense. The name was real and even though he had the looks, the hair and the body for it his love wasn’t with the camera, it was with business. He was a near genius and had taken the job just so he could learn from Kostan. It hadn’t taken long for him to grasp that there was a lot more to Kostan than his bio talked about, but it didn’t matter to Thor; Kostan had become his hero and he greedily lapped up every bit of knowledge he could.

Josef leaned back in his chair and put his feet up on the stylish mahogany desk, resting his elbows on the padded arms of his chair. His chin rested against his steepled fingers and he thought about Sarah and New York and what had brought him there.

Los Angeles, 1954

Josef looked around the party house with disgust. As usual, Coraline had filled it with social discards and rejects, even in the vampire world. The music was loud and raucous as were the voices that tried to be heard above it. A bevy of freshies, make that victims, who had no idea what this night had in store for them stood around admiring the beautiful house that spoke of money at every turn. Many of them were still teenagers, trying desperately to look old enough to be there, speaking in false voices and standing a bit straighter so they would look more mature as they sipped the wine in their crystal glasses. If they only knew that it didn’t matter at all.

The games were about to begin and Josef decided he didn’t have the stomach for it any longer. He caught Mick out of the corner of his eye, circling a young blond with a fresh face and a sweet, soft voice. He didn’t know this Mick; under the influence and tutelage of Coraline he was no longer the sensitive young man that Josef had coached those two weeks so long ago. This one enjoyed the thrill of the chase and the kill and Josef thought sadly of what would happen to the young girl later. He had to leave before that happened.

He hated what Mick had become at the hands of Coraline and it was just too hard for him to watch and accept. When her first met Mick he had been convinced that he would never be cut out for life as a vamp and when Coraline called him to help her he knew he was right. He still believed that; even as he watched Mick, scenting his soon to be victim Josef knew that it wasn’t really Mick; it was his doppelganger that was egged on by Coraline and her friends, incensing him to do thing that he would have to find a way to live with later on. Josef shut his eyes for a moment and realized that he couldn’t watch any longer.

It wasn’t like he hadn’t been there himself; he had. All vamps go through that heady, ‘I’m top of the food chain’ outlook at one point or another. Somehow though it bothered him tremendously to see that cloak worn on Mick’s shoulders. He had wanted Mick to grow up in the vampire world, let the inner vamp out to play occasionally but this was too much for Josef to watch. He turned away and sat his half-empty glass on a tray as a waiter came by and headed to his car, away from here and his friend.

That night Josef Kostan disappeared into the night; he became Charles Fitzgerald in New York society and relished his new life. It was exciting as he built a new business among Wall Street’s finest. And then he met her – Sarah Whitley and his life changed in ways he wouldn’t have thought possible.

He jumped slightly when the intercom buzzed again and hurriedly pulled his feet off the desk and sat forward, grabbing the phone. “Yes?”

“Dr. Martinson is here Mr. Kostan,” Thor’s polite and mellifluous voice stated.

“Please show her in Thor.” Josef grinned briefly; every time he said that name he had to fight the urge to laugh. He stood up and straightened his suit, smoothing the silk Armani creation into place. The door opened and Thor stood aside to show the doctor in. Josef stepped forward to greet her, shaking her hand.

“Welcome Dr. Martinson. Would you like a drink or some coffee?” he offered.

“No thank you Mr. Kostan, I’m fine.”

Josef led her to a small seating group and watched as she took a seat in a wing back burgundy leather chair. She crossed her long legs and Josef couldn’t help but admire them and a slight smile played at the corner of his mouth as he sat down opposite of her. He looked at her expectantly and waited for her to speak.

“I’ve finished all the tests Mr. Kostan. Would you like to hear the results?” she inquired. She spoke quickly, one could almost say perfunctorily, but he liked that about her, she got straight to the point. He nodded and she softly cleared her throat before speaking.

“Ms. Whitley suffered a stroke when you attempted to ‘turn her’. It irreparably damaged her brain; she is quite literally brain dead and will not recover Mr. Kostan. She is just simply not there any longer.” She watched his face as she spoke; it mostly remained blank except for a brief glint of something that flashed through his brown eyes.

Josef was stunned; he had always believed that whatever was wrong with Sarah had to do with vampire virus, not something unrelated to it. It was unrelated he thought? He asked her that question.

“Yes Mr. Kostan, it has nothing to do with the virus in your blood. As much as she wanted to be turned, her body had other ideas and it caused the stroke. She might very possibly have had it anyway, there’s no real way to tell.”

Josef looked down, his top teeth worrying his lower lip for a moment as he accepted the doctor’s words. “So, there’s nothing that can be done?” he asked and as he watched her shake her head no he felt the last bit of hope leave him.

“No, I’m sorry. You’ve done more than could be expected Mr. Kostan, keeping her on the life support all these…years.” She wanted to say decades but it was all still such a strange concept to her.

“I, uh, I have to…”

“Yes, Mr. Kostan, you should. You are not helping her by keeping her alive artificially.” She looked at him sadly and for a moment she felt his pain; it showed so clearly on his face.

Josef nodded, his head making the jerky movement that was the result of his emotions. “Okay. Will you do it? Can we go back to New York?”

“Yes Mr. Kostan, I can accompany you there. Whenever you would like,” she added, almost as an afterthought.

“Tomorrow then? My private jet will take us. I’ll let you know what time.” He stood up and she took the cue that it was time for her to leave.

“Until tomorrow Mr. Kostan.” She picked up her purse and walked to the door which he held open for her. “Mr. Kostan, I’m very sorry to have to tell you this.”

He nodded once more and closed the door. It was barely closed when the tears started pouring down his face.

To be continued in part 2…

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chapter 27 The Mortal Cure

Hi everyone!

Sorry this is late, I've been out sick for a few days but I'm back now.  I haven't done an episode summary on this chapter because we cover everything in this chapter.  This was a wonderful episode because we got so much information AND, something fantastic happens to Mick!  I hope you will enjoy this one.  Next week will be another 'in-between' episodes chapter to help fill in some blanks and move the story in the direction I want it to go.  Thank you all so much for reading, I appreciate each and everyone of you.

Chapter 27  The Mortal Cure

January 13, 2008

It’s been 4 days since Josh died and I still feel as if I am swimming underwater, trying to find somewhere, anywhere to surface for air.  Whether I’m awake or asleep, my thoughts are constantly on Josh and how I feel I let him down.  He deserved so much better than he got in the end and I was a part of all of that.  If I had been honest with him before all this, about my feelings for him (and Mick) maybe he wouldn’t have gone into the Tejada case quite the same way. 

That last night that we had sex – I feel so much regret about it.  I should not have done it and yet, in the end I think it helped when he died because he felt loved.  He was loved, just not in the way he wanted. Those two loves are a mile apart in one way and yet only a breath away from one another when all is said and done.  He died not knowing my true feelings, which helped him but now I will forever carry that guilt with me, knowing that I deceived him. 
Still, when one of his co-workers brought a box of his personal items from his office to me it was really hard to look at and when I found a date in his planner with ‘Celeste’ anger over-rode every other emotion that I felt.  How could I feel anger, jealousy over a date in a book?  Even when I met her at the restaurant and found out that she was a jeweler Josh had hired to reset his grandmother’s stone I felt this irrational urge to be angry.  He was going to propose to me which at once thrilled me and broke my heart.  What would I have answered?  That’s a question I can’t answer, at least not now.

Josh’s parents came down from Vancouver to help go through his apartment and make the funeral arrangements.  My mother and Clark met them for the first time and I could tell that my mom was really uncomfortable with it all since she knows how conflicted my feelings were.  Thank goodness Lani was here; she just has this ability to put everyone at ease and seemed to make everyone relax, as much as possible.  She is a charmer and her magic came in very handy the past few days.

I think I am going to give the ring back to his parents; no, I know that I HAVE to because it’s a family stone and it doesn’t belong to me.  Right now I’m more afraid of how that will affect them so I will wait until after the funeral.  Whether I would have married him or not isn’t the point; I didn’t love him in the right way and I can’t keep it.  Hopefully they will give it to his younger brother, who lives in England right now, attending school.  He won’t be here until tomorrow which is why we haven’t had the funeral yet; it will be the day after tomorrow and I am ashamed to say I am ready for it to be over with.

I haven’t talked to Mick since that night in my bedroom.  I love him but right now I feel betrayed by him and I don’t want to see him.  God, I never thought I would ever say that but I need some space and time to sort through everything and get my head straight.  I hope that he will be there in time, when I’m ready to talk.
Still, I wonder.  Did he mean it when he said he would have done the same thing if it were me?  It that’s true, maybe we don’t have a future.  All I know for sure is that that hurt as much as Josh dying did.



4 Days Earlier…

Beth watched as Mick silently slipped out of the balcony door of her bedroom; he didn’t realize he was carrying what was left of her heart with him.  His words had stunned her; they were a final slap to the face in a day that had been one slap after another. 

“What if it had been me lying there?  Would you have saved me?”
“I would have done the same thing.”

Those words had almost destroyed her and she stood up and slammed the balcony door shut, shattering several panes of glass in the process.  She watched as the broken shards of glass fell to the carpet, almost like tears, glittering in the dim light.  Beth sank to the floor and hugged her knees tightly to her chest, laying her tear-stained cheek against her knees.  Wrenching sobs shook her body as she gulped air in; trying to control the anguish she was immersed in.  

The apartment was quiet around her and Beth was aware of her heart beating frantically as she cried; and yet who was she crying for her head screamed.  Was it Josh, or Mick or for herself?  The silence provided no answers as she spiraled downward, only seeking a refuge from the pain.

Lani came into the room when she heard the balcony door slam closed.  She stood for a moment and watched her best friend sitting on the floor and she felt so helpless; she didn’t know what to do to help.  So she did the only thing she could; she went to Beth and sat down next to and hugged her close and then they cried together, each girl seemingly sharing one breath, one thought, one heartache.  Lani rocked Beth in her arms like one does a small child and when Dorothy and Clark arrived a few minutes later that was what they found; Lani and Beth wrapped in each other’s arms, clinging tightly, lost in their excruciating anguish.


Mick jumped down from the balcony and watched through the shadowy curtain as Beth slammed the door shut, breaking several of the window panes.  His immediate reaction was to just back up there but he forced himself to stay on the ground.  He sat down between two small bushes and hung his head as he listened to her cry.  It wrenched his heart to be an uninvited party to her sorrow; he wanted to pull her into his arms and make her feel safe and happy.  He heard her take deep gulps of air as she sobbed and the knife twisted a bit more in his undead heart.

Mick was stunned; why hadn’t he told Beth the truth?  Why had he said that he would have done the same thing?  He didn’t know that – he didn’t.  He didn’t ever want to have to think about turning her; he was afraid that if it ever came to that he wouldn’t be able to do it.  Or maybe he was afraid he would.  

Wouldn’t you want that?  To have her with you always?

 He closed his eyes for a moment and tried to push it all away; the pain, the love.  He heard her heart beating frantically and then someone was with her; Lani, her friend.  He leaned back against the building, blending into the shadows a bit more and leaned his head against the siding and let his own tears flow.  Had he lost her for good?  He didn’t know.

A few minutes later he heard a car pull up out front and recognized Dorothy’s anxious voice as they headed up the walk.  Mick debated whether or not to try and talk to them and decided not to; it was for the best.  Let Beth be comforted by her family he thought as he made his way to the Benz, parked farther down the road.  He sat in the car for a moment trying to decide what to do before he realized that there was only one thing he could do.  He started the car and headed to Josef’s house.


Between Dorothy and Lani they finally got Beth into bed.  She lay there, pale and curled up like a small child as Dorothy tucked in the covers around her and leaned down to kiss her forehead.  Dorothy ran gentle fingers through a few strands of Beth’s silken hair that was damp from all the tears and smoothed it away from her face.  When she saw Beth’s haunted blue eyes staring at her she whispered, “I love you Beth.”

Beth swallowed hard and bit her lower lip, trying to stifle more tears.  She was worn out, weary in a way she had never experienced before.  “I love you too Mama.  Thank you for being here,” she mumbled.

“Sleep Bethy; I can’t lie and tell you it will all be better tomorrow, but it will be a little easier, I promise.”

Beth sighed and closed her eyes, wanting to shut the world out.  Dorothy stared for a moment and then silently moved away.  But the time she got to the door she realized that Beth was already asleep.  She pulled the door closed and went out to the living room where Lani and Clark were talking quietly.

Dorothy poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down on the couch next to Clark.  He put his arm around her and she leaned against him, grateful for his support.  For a moment she closed her eyes and let out a huge sigh as the events of this evening washed over her.

“I’m going to stay here with her tonight,” she said and both Lani and Clark nodded. 
“I’m staying to,” Lani said.  “I’ll sleep on the couch if you want to sleep with Beth.  It might be better if she wasn’t in there alone,” Lani said, looking at the bedroom door.

“I’m sure you’re right.  Tomorrow I think we should try to convince her to come and stay with us, or your place.  She doesn’t need to be here where all these memories were staring her in the face.”
Lani and Clark nodded and all three of them were startled by a soft knock on the door. “Who could that be?” Dorothy asked.

Clark got up to answer it and wasn’t really surprised to see Carl standing there, looking very upset.

“Carl, come in,” he said, reaching out his hand to shake the other mans. 

“Hi, everyone.  Am I intruding?” he asked, glancing around the room.

“No, not at all.  But Beth is in bed if you wanted to talk to her.” Dorothy said.  She stood up and hugged Carl for a moment, noting the surprised look on the handsome young man’s face.  “Please Carl, have a seat.  Would you like some coffee?”

He nodded wearily and sat down in the chair next to Lani.  He seemed to melt into the chair and exhaustion rolled off of him.  “How is she?” he asked.

“Worn out, over-whelmed, as you might expect. When we finally got her into bed a little bit ago she was asleep almost immediately.”  Dorothy sat back down on the couch and smiled at Carl; he looked good.  A little older perhaps and definitely stressed, but it was good to see him.

“What can you tell us Carl?” Clark asked, deciding to ask the question that they all wanted answers to.

Carl told them the tale of what had happened the past couple of days; he told of Beth and Mick chasing Bustos and Huerta, of the fight for Josh’s life at the park.  “It was amazing how Mick tried to save him; really extraordinary the paramedics said.  Apparently Mick had some combat medic training in the war or something.  Hell, I didn’t even know that Mick had been in the Military.” 
“Um, I think he doesn’t like to talk about it much,” Clark said, watching Carl carefully.

“Yeah, well then he came to the station and asked to talk to Bustos, alone and I let him.  He got a name out of Bustos, a place where Tejada hangs out supposedly.  When Mick left Bustos was a trembling, freaked out mess.  He kept mumbling something about ‘El Diablo’.”

Clark’s attention immediately picked up and he focused on Carl.  He wasn’t surprised to see Carl’s eyes question his own.  “The strange thing was, when we got to the bar Mick told us about, they never heard of Tejada, at least that they were admitting anyway.  Then we get this call about another bar that had been torn apart and then torched.  Not sure what to make of that.  Any ideas?”

“Us?  No, this is the first I’ve heard about that Carl.  Why would you ask?” Clark said, trying to figure out what, if anything Carl knew.

Carl finished his coffee and sat the empty cup on the coffee table in front of him.  “Well, I will check on Beth tomorrow.”  He stood up and headed for the door.  “Oh, have any of you seen Mick tonight?”  He watched each face carefully, looking for any flicker of emotion.  Instead all he got were blank looks of surprise. 

So, they haven’t seen him.  Good…


For a couple of days Mick worried about Beth; as Josef put it he ‘was jumpier than a one-eyed rabbit in a cage full of lions’.  He fought the urge a dozen times a day of going to see Beth but each time he managed to talk himself out of it.  One evening as he came home he realized he had company and while he didn’t recognize the scent he could tell that they were vamps, very old vamps judging by the scent of them to boot.

He approached the apartment cautiously and headed up to the roof, where he could tell they were waiting.  When he found them he realized his preliminary guess was right; they were very old vamps; two of them, one tall and self-assured and the other short and quiet.  The tall one was memorable though; he had one pure black eye, like the eye itself had been plucked out and replaced by onyx.  It was eerie and unnerving he decided.  Worse, they were looking for Coraline and even had a copy of the original marriage certificate from their wedding in 1952.

He didn’t know what they wanted with her but he damn sure wasn’t going to tell them anything, even if he had something to tell which he didn’t.  The last he had seen of her she had been in the hospital and then she had disappeared without a trace.

They leapt over the balustrade and Mick watched as they made their way down the building, finally disappearing in the inky shadows of the street below.  But it got him thinking about Coraline and he decided to do some investigating. 
First stop was Josef and he asked about the two medieval vamps that had paid him a visit.  Josef’s reaction was startling to see at the mention of the black-eyed vamp.

“Lance,” he said, a disconcerted look on his face.  “You stay away from him Mick,” he had warned.  “He’s old and makes me look like a pauper.  He never leaves Europe and whatever he wants with Coraline, you stay out of it.”

Words which only made Mick more curious.  He was convinced that Josef knew more than he was saying, but he let it go and decided he needed to figure out where Coraline went when she left the hospital, which meant starting with the hospital.

After a little green was exchanged with the security at the hospital Mick saw the tapes of the hallway where Coraline’s room had been.  What he discovered shocked the guard but Mick almost laughed because it should have been predictable.  Cynthia Davis, one of Coraline’s oldest friends had smuggled her out of the hospital. 
Mick and Cynthia didn’t like each other; she had been at their wedding, casting hateful eyes at him but he was so in love and excited he failed to pay her much attention.  After Mick was turned Cynthia took every opportunity to point out how rotten a vamp Mick was.  In some ways he didn’t care because it was true; as much as she loathed Mick he was surprised that she hadn’t gotten rid of him before the wedding.  Whether she was in love with Coraline or not, Mick didn’t really know.  There had been rumors, but by the time Mick understood everything it was too late; he had been turned and life would never be the same again.

1952  Josef’s mansion…

Mick stared at himself in the mirror; the two weeks he had been at Josef’s had made a huge difference in his outlook and appearance.  He was feeding and while he hated that he had learned that he didn’t have to kill to survive.  Josef had taught him about his enhanced senses and abilities and Mick finally begin to feel more at home in his new body.  Not that he would ever have chosen this; not for anything but this was what life was and if he were to survive he had to play the cards that he held. 

He walked downstairs to find Josef in the study, getting ready for dinner.  Her name was Heidi and she was a beautiful blonde; a student at UCLA who would be a doctor in a few years. She and Josef both smiled as Mick walked into the room and settled down in a leather chair.  He sank into the pliant leather and sighed before crossing his legs and smiling at the pair.

“Just in time for dinner I see,” Josef mocked.  Since Mick had been there he had come to appreciate having someone else around for company and to share meals with.  He wouldn’t admit it but he was lonely and Mick was easy to be with.  “Who would you like?” he asked, his eyes sparkling in the flickering shadows cast by the fireplace.  There was no need for the fireplace in LA but to Josef it reminded him of other times and he was reluctant to let them all go so every now and again he lit the fire and enjoyed the glow it cast in the large room.

“I think I would enjoy Marilyn this evening, if she is available and agreeable,” he answered.  Franklin, Josef’s butler handed him a glass of scotch and then went to summon the young lady in question without speaking a word.

A few minutes later Marilyn appeared, fresh-faced and beautiful.  She liked Mick and was always happy to feed him.  He was gentle and caring of her and when he looked at her with those beautiful long-lashed hazel eyes she knew that she would do anything he wanted – anything at all.

When they were done feeding Mick and Josef left the girls to recuperate and headed to the billiards room for a game or two.  Mick never managed to beat Josef, but he enjoyed their games and the conversation that they shared while they played.  Tonight was going to be different though and he wasn’t sure how Josef was going to take it.

After Josef racked the balls Mick took the first shot, a beautiful break that scattered the balls and sent two into corner pockets.  As he took aim for his next shot he said, “Josef, I’ve decided to go back to Coraline.”

Josef’s eyebrows raised a fraction of an inch and then he was suddenly busy chalking the end of his cue.  His mind digested the information for a moment as he thought of a response.  He had really enjoyed Mick being here and hated to see him go back to Coraline but he knew all along that this day would come.  “When are you going?”

“I, uh, thought tomorrow.  Yes, tomorrow,” Mick said with a nod of his head.  “I have to find out if there is really anything between us or if it was all some sort of fantasy.”

“Um hm, um hmm,” Josef muttered, taking his first shot.  He drew back the cue and hit the cue ball much harder then he intended and watched as it flew off the table and hit a lamp on the other side of the room.  “Dammit,” he exclaimed, heading over to see if he had damaged anything else.

Mick had never seen Josef lose control like this.  He was really upset and that bothered him.  He was more than grateful to Josef for everything he had learned; Josef had shared his girls and his knowledge freely and Mick knew that he would never have a better friend.  It had been two weeks since he had been here and he knew that he had to go back and face his marriage and the woman that he had fallen in love with.  He blocked out the rest of that sentence, ‘and then hated when she turned him’.  Did he love her or hate her?  He needed to find out.

He and Josef never said another word about it that night; they had finished their game and played two more.  The next day Coraline showed up to pick him up, obviously due to Josef calling her.
Back at Coraline’s house things were very tense between them; both of them had things to say and both were reluctant to say them.  Only Cynthia, ever present, made comments and conversation.  Most of it ridiculing Mick; he only drank his fill of blood and refused to finish off the victim, she or Coraline had to do it.  He was so civilized now, so Josef.  It disgusted her.

Mick took it all, for now he decided until he figured out if he was going to stay.  She hung all over Coraline when she could, whispering in her ear, casting mysterious smiles her way.  It was disgusting to Mick and finally one day he’d had enough. 

“Coraline, either she goes or I do.  I mean it.  I’ve had enough of her taunting and interference in our lives.  Make your decision,” he demanded, staring Cynthia down.

Her eyes flashed with a hatred that was brighter than a star going nova.  The corners of her mouth turned up as she tilted her head to the side just a bit but she was full of confidence because she knew that Coraline would never send her away. 

Until it happened. 
Mick knew he had made an enemy for sure.


Coraline was back and she was a vampire again Mick realized as he watched her in a laboratory below him.  Logan had tracked Cynthia down and while she didn’t provide any information Logan did get the address of a warehouse where Cynthia was shipping a large amount of French herbs.  Mick knew it had something to do with a cure
Mick watched the scene below and blinked in surprise when Lance showed up and killed the lab tech and tried to take Coraline away.  Mick swung into action, taking on Lance and watched in surprise when Lances’ arm caught on fire and then instantly healed itself.  Vampires can’t do that!
Coraline grabbed a small silver-colored box and disappeared with Lance quickly following her.  Mick stared at the dead vamp on the floor and decided to call the cleaners.  He was more than pissed when Kelly and her crew showed up.

Josef had spoken with Katrina, the head cleaner about Kelly and had been promised that Kelly would behave.  She was very polite to Mick at the warehouse, amazingly so.  It was sort of spooky he decided and when he left she called out to him.  “You know Mick, there doesn’t have to be a cleanup for you to call me.”

He only looked at her in surprise and left quickly.  She disgusted him.

When he got back to his loft there was another visitor waiting to see him and this time he did recognize the scent.  It struck fear into his heart but also lifted his spirits.  Beth stepped out of the shadows as he walked towards his door.  He had never been so happy to see someone in his whole life.

They caught up for a few minutes, sitting on the couch as Beth talked a bit about Josh.  He was just starting to feel comfortable with her, understanding that there might be hope for them in the future when there was a knock on the door.  Another scent he recognized and he would much rather not have this happen now but he needed answers.  He sent an apologetic look at Beth and reluctantly answered the door to admit Coraline. 

She hugged him tightly and Mick stood there, letting her but not really hugging her in return.  Beth could only stare at them and made her way to the door.  Coraline watched her, clearly not disappointed that she was going. When she had gone Mick went into the living room where Coraline was seated. The things she told him astounded him.

A cure; there was a cure but it was only a mortal cure, lasting only for awhile.  It was developed during the French revolution, which was in part a vampire purge.  People learned of the existence of vampires and also learned that you couldn’t hang them because they didn’t die.  They would take a possible vampires hand and put it into a flame; if it blistered it was a human, if it turned to ash the person was staked and then beheaded. 
The aristocracy developed the cure from French botanicals to save themselves.  You placed a bit of the substance it in a small cut and it spread through your system, making you temporarily human.  Coraline explained all of this to Mick and then agreed to give him a bit.  She wanted him to go away with her because Lance was looking for her but Mick refused.  She told him Lance was a part of a very powerful royal family, seven brothers who had been turned by a cousin of Louis the XVI. 

As Coraline put the substance into the cut on his arm he felt warmth spread through his body, radiating from the cut.  It was like a miracle to him; he was sad it wouldn’t last forever but it was something.  Coraline watched him, seeming satisfied somehow.

Mick walked her out and suddenly Lance and the other vampire were on them, attacking.  Mick immediately accused Coraline of giving the cure to get him killed but Lance only laughed at that and told him that he could have killed him when he was a vampire.

The fight was brutal and when Lance had Mick pinned to the ground, ready to stake him Coraline called out that she would go with him and give him the rest of the cure if he would spare Mick.  Lance went to her and held the stake against her heart.

“You know what he’ll do to me if you take me to him,” she said, her eyes focused on Mick.

“You made your choice sister when you chose to bring this ungrateful mortal into the family without our consent and stole the cure.”

Sister?  She’s his sister?  Seven siblings, six brothers and one sister. 

The thought reverberated through Mick’s stunned mind.  It made so much sense.  He watched as Lance stabbed the stake through her heart and she went limp.  In a matter of moments all three were gone, leaving Mick alone on the pavement, battered and bruised.  He slowly made his way back to the loft and while the pain was horrible, for the first time in over fifty years he was hurt and hungry, and not for blood.  It felt incredibly good.


Lani, Clark and Dorothy stood to the side and waited for the service for Josh to begin.  Beth was better today they each thought as she chatted with members of Josh’s family and other friends and co-workers of Josh’s.  Suddenly all three of them noticed Mick limping across the cemetery to stand in front of Beth. 

Lani watched in fascination; he was bruised, with cuts and abrasions all over his face.  AND, he was out in the sunlight and not hiding his face. 

“What the hell?  He’s not a vampire anymore?”  She heard a ragged intake of breath as Dorothy and Carl stared at her.  She had spoken the words out loud.  She inwardly groaned and wondered what she had done and how to make it go away.

To be continued…