A note about my beta Engbunny - she fell a week ago and has found out that her tail bone has a fracture, that she possibly has a herniated disk and on top of that she has pneumonia. She is out of commission for a while so any mistakes you find are all mine!
Also, a special thanks goes out to Lynn, Moonlightlover60 for making this special banner for this chapter. While I am anxious to move forward with this story, it is still hard to let the episodes go. This banner celebrates all that is good about this fantastic show and the fun I have had writing it.
Beautiful banner made by the very talented Moonlightlover60. Thank you so much dear friend!
In this episode:
Mick and Beth celebrate Josef as being the man of the hour for donating the money for a new sports complex at Hearst College, which he actually founded. It seems he lost a bet with William Randolf. The evening is very enlightening for Beth who discovers that Josef's date is not only human, but his freshie. Beth is appalled to say the least. The evening takes a tragic end when Simone (Josef's date) is arrested for the murder of Dominick, one of the players. She had went into the rest room to clean up after Josef had a 'snack'. But she didn't do it.
Beth, who is now working for the DA's office goes to talk to her and they discuss vampire issues, but Simone, who is also an attorney can shed no light on Dominick's death because he was already dead when she found him. Talbot holds her for 24 hours while Mick and Beth investigate what really happened. At the gala we also met Hank, a competing player on the team with Dominick who could have been a bit jealous and Emma and Jackson Monaghan, a vampire couple who had been married for 150 years; they were Dominick's sports agent.
After Simone is released from jail because they could find nothing linking her to the murder she and Josef go to Mick's and Mick tells them that they found blood on Dominick's body, type B+. Josef, who is a bit upset because it seems that Simone might have had a thing with Dominick tells Mick that it clears her because she is B- and bits her wrist and then tells Mick to taste for himself. Mick (stupidly) does and Beth walks in. She is livid, but she and Mick go to investigate the frat house where Hank supposedly lived. Hank has been identified as the next suspect in Dominicks death. Mick gets hit in the head with the sacred ass paddle and Beth only shrugs and says, "Karma!"
Beth is confused though about why Mick told her it was no big deal that he tasted Simones blood when he had made a huge deal out of it when he drank hers in the desert. Mick (again stupidly) didn't tell her it was because he loved her and so he didn't want her to be a 'meal'. If he were to drink her blood it would be because he loved her. (AGAIN - Stupid Mick)
It is finally proven that Emma is the one that killed Dominick and when the police come to arrest her, Mick has to force her to go with them so that they can get this all straightened out. Beth doesn't understand what the big deal is and Mick reminds her that a vampire in jail is dangerous since they have no access to blood. Mick, Josef, Logan, Guillermo and the Cleaners make a plan to bust Emma out but she gets impatient when she talks to Jackson and says that if they don't get her out in a hurry she will not only tell what she is, but she will tell about all the other vampires in LA. The Cleaners (who are sort of enforcers for the vamp community) are less than pleased - Emma has committed treason in the vampire world by threatening to expose her brothers and sisters. When they are planning the rescue Beth turns up at Mick's apartment and he turns her away. She is upset because she knows that it is 'vampire business' and she can't be involved.
After they get Emma out she is put to death for treason; Jackson faces the flames with her because he loves her. Mick and Josef both watch and are visably shaken by the execution.
Meanwhile Ben gets a mysterious list delivered to his office, a list that contains 300 names, some of them recognizable as our favorite vamps. He contemplates the list for a bit.
Mick goes to see Beth at her apartment and she is crying and tells him that he is right, that their worlds are too different. Mick stares at her, his heart breaking and finally leaves. Outside her apartment, he leans his head against the wall and breaks down. He knows that he can't let her go. He knocks on her door but she doesn't answer because she is sobbing with her grief. He opens the door and finally tells her that he loves her and kisses her. The door closes...
I recommend that you go to youtube and watch this final episode. It is very powerful and poignant. We don't know for sure what happened after that kiss. Anything from this point on is pure conjecture.
So here we go with the firt part of Sonata...
May 12, 2008
I know, it’s been too long since I last wrote; it’s just so many things have happened, some good and some not so good. Life has certainly marched on and it’s pulling me with it, taking no hostages.
I love my job at the DA’s office. As a special investigator I have gotten to work on so many really interesting cases – sometimes with Ben Talbot and sometimes with other ADA’s. One fun thing is that I often work with Carl and it feels so good, so right and it’s almost like we were back in college. I watch him hold back sometimes when he would be tempted to tell me to back off and I can’t help but laugh a bit over it. Yeah, I’ve made some whopper mistakes, but it has always been okay. Let’s just say that I will now always wash my hands carefully after eating a steak burrito, especially when your next stop involves investigating a homicide at a junk yard with a hungry dog standing guard. I don’t know whether he intended to eat me or just lick my skin off but either way I considered myself lucky when Carl pulled him off of me.
Carl has a new partner; Luca Fiorentino. He’s very serious about his job and seldom smiles, which seems kind of strange to me. Maybe it’s just because I don’t know him well, but at any rate, if he’s after someone I’d make a bet that he’ll catch them. Carl is very non-committal when I have asked about him which isn’t like Carl at all, but he’s probably just getting to know the guy as well. One thing’s for sure, when you work for the DA’s office weird things happen. Three times now I’ve had hang-up phone calls where some woman just curses and then laughs. Weird…
Heroku finally went back to Tokyo, leaving Lani in the care of Cami, who is more than capable of watching over her. I really like Cami; she’s friendly and down to earth and yet there is something very watchful and steely about her. I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side, that’s for sure. Lani still insists on covering herself in silver jewelry; it’s almost funny if it wasn’t so sad. Each time I see her it seems as if she’s found a new piece – a choker or long earrings, 20 bangle bracelets, whatever covers her exposed skin. I do believe she is warming up to Mick a bit though, which makes me happy but it is still slow going. I’m sure that there is a part of her that thinks he will end up hurting me; not physically but break my heart. There was a time when I thought so too.
Never has the chasm between us seemed as broad as it did a week ago. It has spurred numerous conversations, which is a good thing, but there is still a lot that he keeps from me, I know. Twice I have wanted to leave because I don’t know if he is capable of really opening up to me, of letting me into his world. He tries and has made some great steps in the right direction but at times I look at him and see that obscure look of his, the one that says ‘I can’t tell you’ and I just want to scream at him, yell, vent all the frustration I feel. And yet, I hold back somewhat because I see that he is trying and that is the most important thing.
We’re trying, we’re working on it.
I think we might even make it diary!
2 weeks prior…
Carl watched Luca from under the cover of his hooded eyes. The guy was a proverbial hound dog and Carl saw the direction he was heading and wasn’t sure how to head it off. If there even was a way to do that Carl thought.
Luca stood up from his desk and pulled his jacket on and straightened his tie, tugging it into place. He took one last gulp of his now cold coffee and looked at Carl and asked, “You ready? Our appointment with Talbot is in 35 minutes.”
“Yeah, I’m ready,” Carl answered, pushing himself away from the desk and shrugging into his own jacket. He watched Luca pull a file out of his desk drawer and Carl felt a momentary pang clench his gut; this wasn’t going to be good he knew.
They got to Talbots office with 5 minutes to spare and Carl looked at Beth who was reading something on her computer. She had a pen in her mouth and he noticed that she still chewed the ends on them, a habit left over from college when she was studying. As they walked by she looked up at him and smiled and then bit her lower lip when she saw the Luca was with him.
“Hey Beth,” Carl greeted her. She couldn’t help but notice that he wasn’t smiling.
“Carl, Luca. What brings you here today?” she asked, curious what was going on.
“We have an appointment with ADA Talbot,” Luca answered, he smiled but it never made it to his brown eyes. “I have a case I’ve been working on and need to chat with him to get his thoughts.”
“Oh, okay. Well, I don’t think anyone is in there. If he’s expecting you go on in.” She watched them stop at Ben’s door and knock briefly before entering. Her eyes narrowed as Luca closed the door and cast a strange look at her. She pursed her lips as she wondered what could be going on.
She and Ben had been working well together; Mick was still not happy about it but she knew that Ben didn’t have any romantic ideas about her. He was a curious guy though and always asked lots of questions. Beth figured it was just his way of getting to know her and shrugged it off. He asked about Mick too and seemed interested in their lives; he never made any kind of inappropriate comments or suggestions, just listened as he tried to get to know them better. Several times he had come by Mick’s for drinks after work and he seemed contented and relaxed. She hoped it boded well for the future. Mick went by the old axiom ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’. Beth didn’t see Ben as an enemy, but Mick might have a point.
She glanced at Ben’s office and saw the three men looking at a file and talk amongst themselves. What she wouldn’t give for vamp hearing right now she thought.
“Look Fiorentino, I appreciate all that you’ve done on this case but I’m telling you, we have checked out every single lead, Tejada headed back to San Salvador; he is no longer in LA.” Talbot closed the file and pushed it across the desk towards Luca; it was a gesture that said he’d heard enough but Luca wasn’t done.
“And I’m telling you he is dead! I know, you all had tips that he fled, but we have a witness that said someone came in there, hell bent on killing Tejada and accomplished it.”
“She’s crazy Luca,” Ben interjected. “She said he was a ‘devil’, with black eyes and the snout of a dog. You seriously can’t buy anything she says – it would never hold up in court!”
“I don’t think she’s crazy; maybe a bit scared by it all but that is natural. She could be credible.”
“And just how will she identify this person? If he looked like she said he did he had to be wearing a mask for Christ’s sake. No, I’m not pursuing this Fiorentino!” Ben stood up and looked him in the eye and said, “Enough!”
Carl had sat quietly though most of the conversation, one leg crossed over the other seemingly relaxed, but the way his fingertips rapped on the chair arm belied his cool exterior. “I agree Ben; I think we’re done with this one. Tejada is living the high life down in Central America.” He stood up and watched Ben as Luca fixed him with a splintering glare.
Luca leaned on the desk, his hands bracing him as he got face to face with Talbot. “I am not letting it go – St. John did it and I’m going to prove it. I want him in a lineup!” He looked at both of the men who were staring at him and added, “With or without your assistance.” He scooped up the file and headed out of the office. He didn’t say a word as he passed Beth who regarded him with a raised eyebrow. Carl quickly followed him and had to move fast to catch Luca who was already getting into an elevator.
Beth looked up and saw Ben standing in his doorway, staring at her. His look was inscrutable and he finally turned around and went back into the office, closing his door firmly behind him. Beth sat down and wondered what in the world was going on.
Ben leaned back in his chair and thought about what had just happened. Luca Fiorentino wasn’t going to let it go; he felt it in his gut. Did St. John kill Tejada? Probably. Did the asshole deserve it? Undoubtedly. Was Luca going to push for the lineup? He would. Would Ben be able to stop it before it got that far?
He didn’t know.
He pulled out the file that Josh Lindsay had kept on Mick St. John and reread bits of it here and there. It posed St. John as a dangerous vigilante and someone who should be taken down. Ben couldn’t help but wonder how Josh would feel now, knowing that Mick had avenged his death?
Neither Ben or Carl knew for sure that was what had happened, but they both were pretty sure St. John had killed Tejada and neither one of them cried about it. Whether Mick did it for Josh or for Beth, they didn’t know and they didn’t care. One less dangerous, predatory criminal in the world? It was alright with them.
As Ben flipped through the pages he came to some pictures that Josh had gotten and the ones that had recently been delivered to him; St. John being hit by the car and then getting up and walking away, albeit with Beth’s help.
How on earth could that happen? Was it the angle that the pictures were taken at? Was it photoshopped? He didn’t understand it at all. It only led to more questions that he needed answers to. He looked at one last picture he found tucked away in a pocket of the notebook.
A picture from World War II, of a group of army buddies. This one only made it all more confusing.
“C’mon Lani,” Beth teased as she pulled into a parking spot at Mick’s building. We only have to be there for a few minutes but I have to drop some information off for Mick about a case he’s working on.”
“Would Ben like that?” Lani asked, trying to steel herself for the visit to Mick’s loft.
“Ben gave it to me; it’s the case of the body that was found in Frazier Park. It might be the man that Mick has been looking for.” The lift doors swished open and both women walked in and Beth pushed the button for the penthouse floor.
Lani rolled her eyes and took a deep breath; Mick really wasn’t that bad, in fact she kind of liked him, but it was still hard to accept the fact that her best friend was dating a vampire. It was also hard for Lani to accept that Mick was the mysterious shadow man that had watched over Beth all those years. God, she thought, they used to constantly fantasize about him, what he looked like and that one day he would find her and sweep her off of her feet. Well, he did, but it was all supposed to be a fantasy, not reality.
Mick and Josef sat sipping scotch when they heard the elevator ding and Mick hopped up, knowing that Beth was near. He couldn’t suppress the silly grin that spread across his handsome face and Josef shook his head in amusement. Mick was like a kid, so eager to see her and it just somehow made him feel hopeful.
He had been dating Simone, a freshie, a lawyer…well maybe a girlfriend, maybe not. He liked her, but he didn’t know what the future held. He just wished that it was all as clear as it was for Mick and Beth. Those two were perfect for one another, he just wasn’t sure they both saw that yet. And that was the fun part. He stood up as he waited for Beth to come in.
Mick opened the door and Beth walked immediately into his arms, tilting her face up for a quick kiss. She spied Josef over Mick’s shoulder and inwardly groaned; this was not good.
Mick saw Lani standing there and scented her reluctance but he happily realized that most of the fear was gone. He was making progress with the girl, little by little. She even gave him a small smile at his greeting until she saw Josef in the background.
Loathing and fear rolled off of her and she took a step back towards the door, wanting to run away. Josef caught it too and it puzzled him greatly. She was scared to death of him and he didn’t understand why. When they had first met in Tokyo he had teased her a bit, but he certainly never threatened her. Heroku would have his head, literally Josef knew and he tried very hard to be respectful on those few occasions when they met.
Lani stared at him, her eyes narrowing speculatively. A few deep breaths washed the fear out of her emotions but she still didn’t like him. He was a player; it radiated from him, oozing as he worked a room she had noticed. Still, she determined to not let it show and she cast him a mocking smile as she settled into a chair.
Josef stared at all of her silver jewelry; this was a new addition since he last saw her and he chuckled to himself over it. Her throat and wrists were well-hidden behind the silver curtain and it evidently afforded her a bit of courage. And hell, it looked nice too.
“Mick, I have those papers from Ben,” Beth said, handing the envelope to him.
Mick took it and opened it, pulling out the information and the pictures that it held. “I need to make a few notes Beth,” he said, heading to the office. Beth followed him, glancing anxiously at Lani as she did. Lani gave her an impudent grin and shrugged.
“So, Ms. Parker, how are things going for you at Sesumi? I know that Heroku highly regards your abilities.” Small talk, he hated small talk!
Ah, he takes an impersonal approach. Okay, I can play this game.
“Things are going quite well Mr. Kostan. I am settling in very comfortably. We will be ready to start your new training platform very soon, within, oh, six to eight weeks I would imagine.”
“Um, that is good to hear. We’re ready for it; my tech people are already getting things set up, as per Sesumi specifications, I assure you.”
“Why Mr. Kostan, I never doubted that for a moment.”
Silence. Josef heard the tick tick ticking of her heart and wondered what to say next. He decided to play host.
“Ms. Parker, could I get you a glass of scotch or other beverage?” he asked, feeling the words were ridiculously formal and stuffy. God, he felt tongue-tied around her.
Lani smiled to herself realizing that he was actually a bit nervous. What a hoot! She made a vampire nervous. She leaned back in the chair and crossed her long legs, pulling delicately at the Dior skirt to keep her legs covered as much as possible.
It was an incredibly demur and sexy gesture and Josef could only stare in fascination. He licked his lips as he waited for her to reply.
“I think a scotch would be lovely Mr. Kostan. Thank you very much.” She smiled at him and for a moment she realized it was actually genuine. Maybe she was getting the hang of it.
As they sipped their drinks Beth nervously peeked out the office door several times, concerned about Lani but it seemed to be okay. They both had drinks and were chatting quietly. Mick grinned as he watched her.
“No bloodshed yet?” he inquired.
“Nope, and I think that concerns me,” she answered.
“I don’t know really, it’s just …too quiet, you know?”
Mick laughed as he made another copy and Beth shifted her focus back to him and grinned as well. Who knows, maybe someday Lani wouldn’t be afraid any longer and then the vampires of the world had better watch out!
Beth pulled the Prius up into the driveway at Logan’s place. It was still strange for her to think that he lived here and in the basement too. The upstairs of the house was perfectly nice and she didn’t understand why he didn’t live up there instead.
She had been to see him once before, after she found out that he was Clark’s brother. She didn’t know why exactly except that he was family and since having met Mick family was much more important to her. She also hoped that he could in some way help her to understand the vampire world.
Logan grinned as he heard the buzz and saw Beth waiting to be let in. He pushed the button so the door would open and stood up as his ‘niece’ came down the stairs. She was his niece, but it seemed weird to think of her that way since she looked older than he did, but he liked her and enjoyed it when she stopped by.
“Hey Logan,” Beth said, automatically moving things around on the couch so she could sit down.
Logan laughed and then shrugged; he knew that his housekeeping skills were below par, but he really didn’t care. “Hi Beth. What brings you by today?”
She shrugged and grinned, “No real reason, just wanted to say hi.” She saw several computer components sitting on his work table and asked, “Are you fixing someone’s computer?”
“Yeah, a faulty hard drive for a friend of mine, a gamer. Can’t play without the hardware.”
She laughed. “Yes, I’ll bet. How come you live down here Logan?” There, she’d asked!
Logan frowned for a moment and she wondered if she had made him mad. Instead she realized he was just thinking. “I dunno. I guess I feel safer down here; no one can get in unless I let them in. Unless they take out a wall or something.”
“Oh. Do you like being a vampire?”
“Yeah, it’s okay. Mick says I need to get out more, but I’m okay here – I have everything I need.”
“Um.” She looked around the room and wondered how this could be all anyone needed. “What about your family Logan? Don’t you ever go over to Mom and Clark’s house?”
“A few times and they visit here sometimes too. And Mick as well. It’s okay I guess.”
“What about your sire? Do you ever see them?” From the way that Mick had described sire/fledgling relationships she felt sure that they were in contact. A sudden thought occurred to her. “Logan, who is your sire?”
He looked panicked for a moment and then opened his mouth to speak. No words came out. If he told her Mick would have his hide and yet why should it be a big secret? “I really am not at liberty to say Beth. But he’s a good man and I do see him.”
The picture began to form in her head; surely it couldn’t be who she thought it was. Could it?
Beth put the finishing touches on her hair and then added her jewelry. She and Mick were attending the dedication for the Sarah Whitley pavilion at Hearst College. Josef was being honored as a generous benefactor and the evening planned to be full of fun and entertainment. The best part was there wouldn’t be any dead bodies around either so Mick and Beth would get a real date!
She heard his soft knock on the door and hurried to answer it. She sincerely hoped that tonight, a night of laughter and magic would be the one for them. She wanted him so badly and couldn’t wait to make love with him. It was just that their timing was always off and that was very frustrating. However, she had made a shopping trip to Victoria’s Secret that afternoon with Lani and if she could persuade him, he was in for a treat.
Travis meowed softly as he watched her walk across the room. She stopped and scratched his head and inquired softly, “Does mommy look good Travis?” His purr was good enough for her and she walked to the door to open it for Mick.
Travis immediately stood still, seeing Mick. Mick smiled at him and bent down, offering Travis his hand. It was getting better with the little guy. When Mick first changed back Travis wouldn’t even come out while Mick was there; instead he and Beth would listen to his hisses and cries until he finally settled down.
Eventually it got better. Travis would no longer hiss and would sometimes even poke his head out of the bedroom where he always took refuge. Now, after a brief moment when Travis puffed up as his fur stood on end he inched forward towards Mick, cautiously watching him.
“Hey Travis, its still me buddy. I’m not going to hurt you. Come on Travis, trust me.” Mick intoned, his voice smooth and soft. Travis inched closer, sniffing the air as he went. He approached Mick and delicately sniffed his hand and Mick felt like laughing; they were making progress. “Can I scratch you behind your ears like I used to buddy?” He moved his hand slowly and Travis screeched and ran behind the couch. Mick sighed and stood up, looking at Beth with an apologetic look.
“Hey, it’s getting better you know,” she told him. She was sad that Travis was having a hard time with Mick’s vampire side.
“I know, baby steps.” He grinned at her and then whistled, “Wow baby! You are beautiful Beth. Breathtaking.” And she was; her gown was a rich ruby red and her blond hair tumbled down her back in a cascade of curls but the most beautiful part was her smile as she beamed at him.
“So, you like?” she teased.
“Um hm, I like – a lot,” he whispered against her ear, his voice husky with emotion. God, how he wanted her but there were still so many things to say, to discuss. The only problem was how? How did he tell her what she needed to know?
She stood on tip toes and kissed him, momentarily taking his mind off his musings. Her lips were warm and soft and pliant and he wanted to lose himself in them. The kiss deepened until Beth was gently swaying against him when he finally broke apart from her and said, “I think we should be going.”
Beth grinned, she knew why he was in such a hurry to leave; he did it every time that passion started to rear its head, but that was okay. At least she knew how much he wanted her. She followed him to the door, grabbing the shawl she had laid out and her clutch and locked the door behind her. They were off to the ball!
As Mick opened the car door he scented the air and discovered an all too frequent and familiar scent that put him on edge. He couldn’t see her, but he knew she was out there watching them. He was going to have a word about her with Josef later. Enough was enough.
Kelly stood in the shadows and seethed with hatred and fury as Mick solicitously helped Beth into the car, tucking in her gown and closing the door. He had scented her; she could tell by the way he lifted his head into the breeze. It was okay, she wanted him to know that she was there and watching. He was hers and he knew that. The game that he played with the human was only that, a game. But the amusement of it all was wearing thin for Kelly and soon it was going to stop.
The gala was amazing; they crowd excited and complimentary about the new complex. Josef was hailed as a great man and Mick and Beth applauded with everyone else. A bit later Beth met Simone, Josef’s date. She was almost shocked to find out that Simone wasn’t a vampire. When Mick told her later that Josef drank her blood Beth was angry and disbelieving about it.
“So she just lets him drink her blood?”
“It’s not uncommon; um, we call them freshies.”
“Is this like a paid arrangement or friends with benefits?” she asked, her mind clearly thinking of the ramifications of it all.
“It could be either,” Mick admitted.
“So have you had freshies?”
“I’ve been a vampire for over 50 years,” he answered. He knew that this wasn’t going to end well.
Beth waited for a moment and realized she wasn’t going to get any more than that out of him. “I’ll take that as a yes,” she said, clearly upset.
Later as they danced she relaxed again, leaning against him, loving being in his arms. She was going to have a talk with Cami, maybe Elka too. She spotted Elka across the room and made a mental note to ask her out for a drink.
That was when they heard the screams.
What they found was a dead body. Looks like it wasn’t a date after all.
To be continued…