Mick is beginning to feel a bit of comfort about his vampirism now that he made the choice to be turned again; he feels that he is in control and decides that he wants to expand his PI business a bit. One of the ways to do that is to get a FaceBook page. He takes on a new client, Tierney Taylor, a young actress caught in the rush of frantic stardom that never stops. She hires Mick to oversee some security details for her because she is being harassed 24/7 by intrusive paparazzi, especially one named Dean Foster.
Beth faces her own challenges with Maureen’s death at Buzzwire. A new editor has come on board who wants to turn it into TMZ or Perez Hilton; in other words a raging gossip mag with no hard news at all. He wants Beth to cover a launch party for Tierney Taylor’s new movie, Lusitania. Mick is there with Tierney, although he is technically not working. He has a run in with Dean Foster before he board the ship where the party is held and is tempted to knock his lights out but pulls back at the last moment when he realizes that Dean isn’t worth it.
At the party Beth is bored to death listening to Jason Abbott, the producer for the new movie and is rescued by Mick. They get close on the deck and are ready for a kiss when they are interrupted by an argument between Tierney and her boyfriend. (ARGH!) A little while later they hear a splash and when they run to the railing they see Tierney floating in the water. Mick and Beth go to investigate her stateroom and Mick realizes that someone hit her in the head with an anchor that is in a display case. Ben Talbot arrives and Mick tells him the anchor is the murder weapon. Puzzled, Ben takes the anchor and determines that it did kill her.
Mick starts to investigate her murder and finds out that Dean had been blackmailing her because Tierney’s mom had been abused by her father and she snapped and killed him. When she got out of prison she required special care and Tierney set that up and Dean found out about it. The deeper Mick looks at the case it becomes clear that Jason Abbott was the killer. He had substantial debts and used the money the movie backers provided to pay them off, thus owing the backers. If Tierney backed out of the movie production would stop and insurance money would kick in, giving Abbott the funds to pay the backers.
In the meantime Dean followed Mick and Beth and saw Mick hit by a speeding car. He snapped pix of it and then emailed them to Beth, trying to get her to give him Buzzwire exclusives. Beth went to Josef and asked him to take care of it. He told Beth that as long as she worked at Buzzwire Mick’s secret would always be in danger. That prompted Beth to quit her job and when she told Mick he was surprised. Meanwhile, as they had dinner Foster was watching and taking pictures of them. He was preoccupied and didn’t hear the two vampires that snuck up on him and likewise, no one heard his screams as he died!
Part 30 – Click
February 20, 2008
Just when I think that life is settling down and becoming do-able fate shakes things up. You’d think I’d be used to that by now but somehow I’m not. It’s been over 3 weeks since I’ve written anything because every time I sit down to do it something else happens.
Change. It’s a good thing they say and I mostly feel that way but for a few things like the information that I have an uncle; have had for years and didn’t even know it. An uncle that is a vampire no less, which explains some things but leaves many questions open as well. There is more to the story than anyone is telling me and frankly, I’ve had enough of the ‘let’s not tell her for her own good’ shit. I’m not a child, I can deal with whatever is going on and yet they continually treat me like I’m that 4 year old kid who is still afraid. It really pisses me off!
Do they really think that I don’t see their masked looks at one another as they stumble around their words? I’m not blind, I’m not dumb and I’m certainly NOT stupid. Hush; don’t say too much to Beth, it might upset her! I can hear the silent intent behind their words but honestly, do they know ME? I’m not going to be satisfied with half an explanation and yet they seem to think I should be.
Not everything that has happened has been bad though; Mick and I are settling into a relationship, although every attempt that I make to ‘tempt’ him gets nowhere. He is either impotent or has reserves of strength; personally I’m going a little bit crazy here. I desire him every moment of everyday and it’s an itch I haven’t found any method to scratch. And I’ve tried, believe me…
He acts like he’ll break me or something; I’ve got to have a talk with Elka soon. Maybe there’s something that I have to ‘do’ to make it happen. Obviously vampires and humans can do it so just what is Mick’s problem?
The simple thing would be to just get him to talk to me about it but that hasn’t gone well either. If he could blush he would and he back peddles so fast when I try to get close that he might as well be Speedy Gonzalez. I certainly hope that he’s not like that in everything he does!
Lani seems to be settling down at her new job. She has met another new employee there named Camille Kinney, Cami for short. Heroku brought her to LA from the New York office and she’s a VAMPIRE! Heroku thought she might help Lani to feel a bit safer and more comfortable, but I’m not sure about that happening. Cami seems really nice and I hope that Lani will give her a chance, especially as Heroku is heading back to Japan soon. Lani sort of hero worships him (I hope that’s all she feels for him anyway) and she is really sad that he is going. I think he thinks of her as a little sister or even daughter, but I can’t say for sure that she feels the same way. She still doesn’t trust vampires, not even Mick too much and when Josef is around she practically runs away. Mick says that he smells fear rolling off of her and Josef says he never did anything. Heroku just smiles.
Anyone got a stake???
Beth sat on her couch holding Travis and scratching him behind his ears. She listened to his contented purrs with a great deal of jealousy; how she wished she could feel so happy and relaxed. She had decided to keep him instead of giving him away; it was kind of nice to have someone around here to talk to and even if his only answers were hungry meows. Though she had bought him his own bed he still slept on her bed at night, curled up behind her knees in a ‘spoon’ fashion. Now if she could only lure that other creature of the night into that bed she would be quite happy.
She moved her hand to stroke his back and he opened one eye and looked at her as if asking why she stopped his favorite pastime. She grinned at him and went back to his ears and he closed his eye and let out a long kitty sigh…
It had been a very unexpected and trying day and certainly unexpected. Mick had sent her over to Logan’s to pick up some information he had on Tierney Taylor, a young actress that was fairly famous. She didn’t know what it was about and she didn’t ask, she just did as Mick asked; she would ask later though she thought with a grin.
When she buzzed the door at Logan’s he let her in immediately and sat at his computer keyboard tapping away.
“Hey Beth! Have a seat and I’ll be done in a few minutes; I’ve got just about everything Mick needs.”
“Okay, take your time Logan.” She looked around the room and saw a couch, or at least something she thought was a couch except that it was buried under clothes and CD’s and stuff. She walked over and started moving things around on it, trying to clear a place to sit. As she moved one of the piles of clothes she spied a photo album lying under some CD’s and she pulled it out, interested in what Logan had pictures of.
Some of them were really old, like maybe his parents and a few of a couple of boys. Both of them dark haired and cute and she grinned at them and turned the page. The next ones were family groups and the more she stared the more the older man, obviously the father looked familiar but she couldn’t place him. The next page showed her a graduation photo with Logan and …Clark? She gaped at the picture open- mouthed in shock, trying to catch her breath. She hurriedly shut the album and stuffed it back under the pile of clothes and then looked at Logan who hadn’t noticed what she was doing. He printed off some information for her and placed it and a flash drive into a manila envelope and handed it to her for Mick.
“Is everything alright Beth? You look sort of flushed?” She did he realized; there was high spots of color on her cheeks and her eyes were intensely blue. He wondered if she was feverish.
“Uh, yes, I’m fine Logan. Thanks, I’ll get this to Mick,” she said, taking the envelope from him. “See you later Logan,” she said, looking carefully at him before she ran lightly up the stairs.
Logan felt like he had missed something but couldn’t figure it out. He leaned back in his chair and rocked for a moment, contemplating the situation. He finally shrugged and picked up his guitar to blow off a little steam. He hoped she was alright as he started playing an old Zeppelin tune, concentrating so he wouldn’t screw up the bridge. Before long he was lost in ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and had forgotten all about Beth.
Beth sat in her car for a moment contemplating her next move. What did the picture mean? Did it mean what she thought? She started the Prius and headed to where she was determined to get answers.
The car pulled up into the driveway at her Mom and Clark’s house and she shut off the motor and gathered her purse and her courage together as she got out of the car. She knocked at the door and Clark answered quickly, wearing a huge grin on his face.
“Beth! Come in sweetie. I’m getting ready to grill some steaks for dinner? Would you like to stay?” He pulled her into his arms for a hug and felt her stiffen at his touch.
“No, I want to talk to you – to both of you,” she said as she saw Dorothy heading into the room.
“What sweetheart?” Dorothy asked, knowing immediately that something was wrong. She thought about the possible causes of the problem and wondered if Mick had upset her daughter; she’d have his head if he hurt her. Clark was thinking the same thing.
Without any preamble Beth stated, “I met Logan. Funny, he lives in your old house Clark and even funnier still are the photos of you and him and your family.” Beth’s eyes narrowed as she watched them both digest her words.
Clark counted off a dozen rapid heartbeats as Beth sat waiting for him to speak. Her mouth was set and he knew that he would tell her the truth, as much of it as he was free to tell her. A quick glance at Dorothy showed her looking back and forth between him and Beth, waiting to see what he would say.
“He’s my brother Beth.” He watched her as she took in his words.
Beth opened her mouth to speak and then quickly closed it, not sure what to say to that. She licked her lips and lightly bit her lower lip as she tried to assimilate what he had said. “Your brother? Why was it such a big secret? Especially after I knew about vampires? It hurts me that I have an uncle I knew nothing about!” Tears trickled down her flushed cheeks and she let them fall unheeded.
God, it seems as if I’m always crying anymore.
“How could we have explained to you that he never grew old and I did? And after you knew, well it just wasn’t ever the right time it seemed. We didn’t try to hurt you Beth.” Clark spoke softly, trying to soothe her.
“Yes, I know! No one means to hurt me; you and Mick and who knows who else just try to ‘protect’ me! How dare you? I’ve had enough of it, do you hear me? I’m not a child, I’m not fragile and I demand to be treated like the adult that I am!”
All three sat in silence for a few minutes, each lost in their own feelings, searching for words. “He thought you were so cute when you were a baby Beth. He held you once and played with you one evening, chasing lightning bugs in the yard when it was almost dark. I – I would have taken a picture, but he, well, the camera’s then…” she trailed off, shrugging her shoulders.
“That’s why he stared at me so hard when I met him last week isn’t it? At the time I couldn’t figure it out.”
“I’m sure that’s true. He’s seen pictures of you over the years.” Clark said, hoping that this would be okay.
“How could you have kept him from the family? From Christmas and birthdays and such? He must have been so lonely.”
“That was his wish Beth and we all decided it was for the best.”
Beth remembered what Mick had said, that he had had to give up his family when he was turned. Still, she thought of Logan in that basement, alone and felt terrible for him. “So now that it is out in the open he can be a part of the family?” she asked hopefully.
“It’s up to him Beth. We’ll see,” Clark answered.
Beth nodded and gathered her purse in preparation to leave. “Thank you for telling me. I wish I had known sooner, but at least I do now.” She headed for the door and stopped as Dorothy and Clark both hugged her.
She was on her way to Mick’s before she realized she didn’t know how it all happened. Next time I’ll have to ask.
Mick had just got off the phone with Clark when Beth arrived so he knew that she had discovered the truth about Logan, or part of it anyway. Beth was really good at putting two and two together and he wondered what she might come up with, if she would figure it all out.
He heard the elevator ding and went to open the door to let her in. He needed to get her an electronic key and made a mental note to do just that. She came in and handed him the envelope from Logan. She looked around the loft and sighed, clearly distracted. In one way that was a good thing; he wasn’t prepared to talk about Logan yet and also, she had been getting very frustrated by her attempts to get him to make love to her and his attempts to keep her at arm’s length, for now. They had a lot to talk about before then.
“Here, from Logan.” She fixed him with a determined stare, reading the look on his face for some clue about everything.
Mick kept his face as blank as he could and said, “Thanks. I appreciate you bringing it by. Want a drink?”
“No, I have to get organized for work tomorrow; the new editor is coming in to replace Mo and I’m really nervous about it.”
“Oh, okay. Um, how’s Travis adapting?”
She started walking to the door and said, “He’s fine I think. He sleeps curled up in bed with me. At least someone isn’t afraid to!” she teased. At the door she leaned up and gave him a quick kiss which he returned softly. No tongue, but a nice kiss anyway.
“Call me?” he said. “After your meeting?”
“Sure,” she told him with a smile. She didn’t mention that she was also having lunch with Ben Talbot. He wasn’t the only one that could keep secrets.’’
Beth was halfway through her lunch with Ben when a car pulled up and Tierney Taylor got out and was immediately surrounded by paparazzi, each determined to get a shot. Not that big of a deal when you live in LA, but the person who got out of the other side of the car shocked her. It was Mick.
He worked to push the paparazzi back while the maître d showed Tierney to their table. Mick immediately caught Beth’s scent and looked around to see her sitting with Ben Talbot, having lunch. He felt his stomach clench and pushed down a growl as he tried to catch up with Tierney.
He was dismayed to see that they were sitting outside; even the huge umbrella’s made it uncomfortable for him as he felt the hot sun stinging his skin. It took everything he had to keep his seat and not go over and pull Talbot away from Beth; HIS Beth.
He was further annoyed when Tierney’s new producer Jason Abbott showed up in the middle of her lunch; the guy was a pompous jerk and a publicity hound as well. He spoke loudly and made sure that everyone in the restaurant knew that Tierney was there.
After lunch Tierney excused herself and Mick and Beth had a moment to speak.
“Are you working for Tierney?” Now she understood why Logan had been gathering info on her.
Before he could answer he was swept along in the perpetual wave that was Tierney’s life. He threw Beth an apologetic look as he climbed into the car.
Josef sat looking at the computer screen on his laptop. There was a picture of Mick and Tierney and it called Mick Tierney’s new ‘hottie’. Josef smiled and then laughed at the thought of Mick being anybodies hottie besides Beth’s.
Mick walked into the office and Josef showed him the screen and watched his friend grimace.
Mick knew that he was going to get a lecture from Josef about the possible exposure to the tribe with him being in the middle of the paparazzi like that. He was wrong though.
“Don’t worry dad, I’ll be careful!” he teased Josef.
“Don’t call me dad; I’m not your dad!”
“You did turn me,” he laughed.
“RE-TURNED you,” Josef stated.
“You’re kind of like my step dad.”
Josef glared at him and the conversation quickly changed to when Josef had ‘mostly stayed in with Jean Harlow’, which Mick found fascinating. Josef was as closed mouth as ever though and no matter how hard Mick tried he couldn’t get any details out of his best friend.
Things got more complicated at Buzzwire when the new editor was determined to turn it into a gossip rag and Beth wasn’t the only one to be disgusted by it all. Max, (short for Maxine) told Beth it was time to get out of there.
“I mean really Beth, we are both too talented to hang around here. We’ve both worked really hard at providing factual and hard-hitting news. This is just a bunch of shit! He doesn’t want the facts; he wants whatever scandal we can fabricate.”
“I know Max; let’s just give it a bit of time and see what happens,” Beth told her before leaving. She had to go to a publicity party for Tierney Taylor’s upcoming movie, Lusitania and she was dreading it. She was supposed to provide Buzzwire with a juicy (in other words, untrue) story about it all. She rolled her eyes, disgusted by the thought.
The party changed everything; she just didn’t realize it at the time. Tierney’s body ended up in the water halfway through the party. She and Mick were at the bar when he heard the splash. It looked like suicide at first but Mick determined she had been murdered. He was beyond upset because he had been hired to provide security for her and she had died on his watch; even though he technically wasn’t working that evening. Mick determined that she had been hit over the head with an anchor that was in a display case in her stateroom. Ben Talbot walked into the room as he and Beth were leaving and was puzzled when Mick told him the anchor was the murder weapon, even though he believed him. And Mick had been right.
In the meantime Mick had the paparazzi hounding him everywhere he went, especially Dean Foster, who had made it his business to track every single step that Tierney had made. As Mick got closer to the killer Foster stayed on Mick and eventually got something on the camera that couldn’t be denied.
Mick and Beth had met back at his loft and as they were walking toward the building a car drove straight at them; Mick pushed Beth out of the way and the car hit him. He bounced off the windshield and onto the pavement, trying to shake it off when Beth got to him. He got to his feet and leaned on Beth as they went into the building. Dean Foster got it all on digital.
Upstairs Mick and Beth sat chatting about everything, sharing what they knew about Tierney’s murder. Finally Beth got up to leave and Mick said, “Where are you going?”
“Home,” she answered.
“You can’t go home, there are paparazzi out there and I can’t take you. You’ll have to stay here with me.”
Beth smiled and thought ‘FINALLY!’ “Wow, from dating to speed dating!” she teased.
“No, I didn’t mean with me with me. I mean, my couch is comfortable and you can stay there. Besides, I sleep upstairs.” He started up the stairs and said, “Anyway, if you need anything, well, I’m up there.”
“In your freezer,” she giggled.
“Yeah, in my freezer.”
“Goodnight,” she called out.
“You too,” he said, looking slightly embarrassed.
Beth laughed at his retreating form and looked around. There was an afghan on the back of the couch, but didn’t he have anything else? He had to have slept somewhere beside the couch when he was human. She debated for a moment what to do. She looked at her blouse and didn’t really want to sleep in it or her jeans. She wondered if he had a shirt she could sleep in? Thank goodness she had a toothbrush in her purse. She headed upstairs to the bathroom and brushed her teeth. Mick’s bathroom was pristine, just like the rest of the loft. She speculated about if he had a maid or if he kept it all so clean all on his own? She washed her face as best she could without any cleanser and dried it off and then went and stood outside the gray door, debating whether or not to knock.
She lightly chewed her bottom lip as she tried to figure out what to do. It was perfectly innocent, she just needed something to sleep in and maybe a pillow and a blanket. Still, she sort of felt as if she was invading his space if she knocked.
Mick had listened to Beth in his bathroom and found it exciting. He let himself fantasize about them being an ordinary couple getting ready for bed. She could come out of the bathroom and kiss him, her mouth clean and minty and he would capture her lips in a torrid kiss and carry her to bed where he would make passionate love to her all night long.
His cock lengthened and grew as he peeled his jeans off and folded them up and laid them on the dresser. He heard the water shut off in the bathroom and soon he heard Beth shut the light off and walk down the hall.
And then she stopped in front of his door and he caught a deep breath, sucking it in frantically as if he would die without it. He silently padded over to the door and laid his head against it, scenting her through it. He could scent her indecision and a bit of fear too as she stood there, so close but yet a life away. Finally she knocked softly, as if afraid to disturb him.
“Mick, I uh, I need…can you open the door please?” she asked softly.
He panicked for a moment and reached for a pair of satin pajama bottoms and slid them on with vamp speed. He opened the door and looked at her, standing there looking freshly scrubbed and enticing. He realized his cock was growing again and he didn’t have anything to cover himself with.
Beth’s crystal blue eyes swept him from head to toe and she definitely noticed the swell in the middle of his lean body. She unconsciously licked her lips before dragging her gaze back to his face. She cleared her throat and timidly asked, “Do you maybe have a tee shirt or something I could wear to sleep in? And, um, maybe a blanket and a pillow?”
Mick could have kicked himself for his dumb blunder; he should have thought of that earlier. He started to move but he was mesmerized by her nipples which were blossoming tightly through the layers of her shirt and bra. His cock jerked in response and he turned suddenly away from her, trying to put the thought out of his mind.
“Sure, I’ll get you one of my shirts.” He pulled out one of his Henley’s and handed it to her and continued, “I’m sorry I don’t have a bed for you. I bought this air bed while I was human and then I managed to get a leak in it and so I threw it out. I have blankets and pillows though” he rambled, making his way down the hall to the other door where all that was kept. He grabbed what she needed and headed downstairs with it.
Beth watched it all, smiling at his nervousness. She knew exactly why he was nervous and it made her feel ridiculously happy because it meant he wasn’t immune to her!
Downstairs Mick was tucking in a sheet on the couch cushions and spreading the blanket. Beth picked up the Henley and brought it to her nose, but all she could smell was whatever he had washed it in. She unbuttoned her shirt and unfastened her bra before doing the same with her jeans and panties. Mick had been busy with the couch and when he turned he saw her naked before him and he let out a sound that sounded like something between a groan and a growl she thought.
“Beth, for God’s sake,” he said, turning around to give her privacy. Images flashed through his mind, of the night she took the BC and he had to undress her and put her to bed. Her lush body had been such a temptation then but now it was even more so.
“What? I’m just putting your shirt on,” she said in a sing-song little girl voice. She knew exactly what she was doing; she could only hope that it worked.
“Are you dressed?” he asked, afraid to turn around.
“Um hm, it’s safe now.”
He turned around and she was on the couch, sitting Indian style. It seemed a demure pose but as he stared he could see much more of her than he could handle. His eyes flashed silver for a brief moment and he decided he needed to get back upstairs, quickly.
“Goodnight Beth; sleep well,” he said, his eyes averted.
“Mick?” she asked, as he headed towards the stairs. “Mick, can’t I even have a kiss goodnight? I mean, we are dating!” She stood up and followed him and waited while he turned to her. For a moment she thought he would run around but instead he pulled her to him and took her lips; devouring them hungrily.
The kiss made her head swim and her body respond with delicious desire. She pushed herself against him and felt his hardened length pressed against her belly and her stomach quivered in anticipation.
Mick scented her desire for him and for a moment he imagined how easy it would be to make love to her; his body moving in and out of hers driving them both mad with their fervor. He’d done it a thousand times in his mind; he’d saw her body taut with her need for him, responding to his touch. He’d felt her tensing around him as she came and he’d felt himself scenting the delicious vein on her neck before gently biting her neck as his own orgasm overtook him.
As that thought rushed through his head he pulled abruptly away from her and before she could protest he was upstairs safely behind the gray door.
Sleep did not come easily for either of them.
The next morning both of them said little; Beth was a bit hurt and bewildered by his behavior the night before and Mick was afraid he would do exactly what he wanted to do with her. It was a tense half hour before she left and he sighed as he watched her get on the elevator.
Down on the street a pair of eyes was watching Beth with hatred in them.
The bitch stayed the night with him. This has got to end!
Jason Abbott had murdered Tierney because he owed money to his investors. He had tried to scare Tierney off the movie but she wouldn’t give up on it. For that she died and Mick wanted so badly to take Abbott out. Instead, he turned him over to Ben Talbot and the police, even though he knew that human justice was less than satisfying for a vampire.
He and Beth had worked together quite well, despite the night at his loft. As Ben walked away from them following Abbott and the police Mick said, “Would you have dinner with me? We’ll go to the Arbor Bistro; they grow all their own vegetables there.”
They made the date and Beth headed back to Buzzwire to finish up the Tierney story. When she got there she had an email from Dean Foster; pictures of Mick being hit by the car. As she stared in horror her phone rang and it was Foster. In order to keep the pictures quiet he told her he wanted all the Buzzwire exclusives.
Beth agreed and thought over what to do. That thought led her to the only person she thought could help her, Josef. She called him and got him to agree to meet her at her apartment.
When Josef arrived she showed him the pictures and watched as he took them all in.
“So what do you want me to do about this?” he asked.
“I thought, you know, you could buy him off or something,” she said, her voice almost a whisper.
“Do you think that’ll work?” he probed.
“Then you know how I’m going to deal with it.”
“Just don’t tell him what we’re doing. Mick has saved me more times than I can count.”
“I can keep a secret,” he promised. “But as long as you work at Buzzwire his secret will always be in danger of being discovered,” he told her.
She knew what she had to do; she quit Buzzwire immediately. Nothing mattered except keeping Mick safe. He was surprised when she told him at dinner.
“I don’t like the new direction that Buzzwire is going in,” she said. If he doubted her he let it go.
Neither one saw Foster across the street, snapping pictures of their date. And likewise he didn’t see the two vamps that caught him unaware.
Only the cleaners saw the remains.
Ben Talbot sat in his office, staring at the pictures of Mick St. John being hit by a car. He was clearly puzzled by them and tried to figure out if they were photoshopped or what. He looked at the file that Josh had compiled and read through it again. Josh really had a hard-on for Mick it appeared. What Ben couldn’t tell was what was true and what wasn’t. Parts of it sounded like incoherent ramblings of a man consumed by jealousy; most of it in fact. What intrigued Ben was the absence of any real tangible data about Mick. Did Josh just not look in the right places? There was no birth information, where Mick grew up or anything relevant to his life. Frankly Ben found that unbelievable; it had to be out there somewhere and he intended to find it – he had to find it.
To be continued…