Ben Talbot asks the recently unemployed Beth if she would like to help him with a case involving a 6 year old boy who was kidnapped. It was similar to two cases from the last year and both of those boys ended up dead. Beth was intrigued and decided to consult on the case. She had done a lot of leg work on the two previous cases and Ben thought she would be a great help.
Mick saw Beth on TV, at the house where Jacob Fordham had lived. But the whole thing pulled him in because it was a house he knew well. His best friend’s Ray and Lila Fordham had lived in that house and Ray and Mick went off to WWII, leaving Lila behind. Ray and the rest of Mick’s unit had been thought to be dead and Mick severely wounded. He came home, after a promise to a dying Ray that he would take care of Lila. Eventually he and Lila became lovers and he was deeply in love with her. When Ray was discovered, having been in a coma, with no dog tags to identify him, he came home from the war, partially paralyzed. Mick did the only thing he thought he could do which was to leave Lila because she loved Ray still.
When Mick was drawn to the house to try to help find Jacob he quickly realized some of the circumstances led him to believe that he was actually Robert Fordham’s father. He was born in 1946, 7 months after Ray got home. His doctors said he was the largest premie they had ever seen. Mick’s heart surged with the possibility that he had living, breathing family.
Beth encouraged him to get a DNA test done but that was easier said than done – pre vampire DNA for Mick might be non-existent. He finally found his old razor from the war and used that, along with a strand of Robert’s hair for the test.
In the meantime, they were tracking the kidnapper and discovered it was related to the two previous cases and the rush was on to discover Jacob before he died. They quickly discovered that he was taken by someone who had helped to renovate the Victorian house (as he had in both the other cases) and found out the kidnapper was Ken Verdilino.
Mick and Beth have a discussion about the idea of vampires and humans having babies. Mick tells her that vampires can’t have babies and if that’s a deal breaker they should just end things now. Beth laughs and asks if he likes the name Elliott and Mick is blown away by the fact that she would like to have his baby. She tells him not to worry because they haven’t even slept together yet and it might not be any good. Mick only gives her a sideways grin that says it all, that it will be fantastic when they do.
Mick and Beth take the DNA samples to Bioanalysis to be analyzed and Mick hunts Verdilino, finally finding him in an abandoned cellar near his home. Verdilino kills himself before revealing where Jacob is, but Mick hears his faint heartbeat behind a newly bricked wall and breaks through, rescuing Jacob.
Robert Fordham throws a party to celebrate Jacobs return and a Mick and Beth sit outside in the Benz Beth hands him the envelope from Bioanalysis with the DNA results. It turns out that Robert is not his son. Mick is devastated, but happy for Ray. Beth knows how sad Mick feels and reminds him that family is not only about DNA. He and Beth decide to leave at that point.
Jacob sees them as does Robert. Jacob points to a picture of Ray’s army unit, from WWII and shows Robert that Mick is in the picture. Ray is stunned and the episode ends with him dropping the picture in shock.
I just found this video and there are many scenes in it from this episode. Hope you will enjoy it.
Part 31 What’s Left Behind
March 12, 2008
I’m now officially working for the DA’s office. I helped Ben Talbot investigate a case about a missing boy (who could have turned out to be Mick’s grandson!) and he offered me a job. I think I will love it, but Mick isn’t crazy about it. He thinks that Talbot has a romantic interest in me and it drives him crazy. I can see him trying to hide it but for an 85 year old vampire he is sure easy to read at times. Let me stress ‘at times’ because most of the time I can’t figure him out at all.
He is such a great guy, caring and protective and while I admire that I know that he has a hard time just letting me be me. I think some of that stems from his age; what a man was expected to do, felt compelled to do when he was young. Things have changed.
The thing I see about vampires is that while their physical attributes go off the charts after they are turned I think that emotionally they stay the same age as when they are turned. The 200 year old vampire who was turned at 16 was still caught up in all the teenage angst – pimples and horny as hell. He would never have developed emotionally past that point. So Mick who had been in a war, fighting not only for his country but for mom, apple pie and the American way of life was also trained to protect those he loves. While the (perceived) dark monster stalks his world, his heart is full of love and hope that things will get better.
I see it in him often, how he turns away from me when he is trying to hide dark thoughts but then I also see the joy in his face and eyes when he is happy. How can one person be so full of conflicting emotions? He truly is darkness and light, despair and hope, all rolled into one very divergent soul.
I met Cami today, Lani’s new co-worker. Lani is less than thrilled because she is a vampire, but I have to admit the girl rocks. She is light-hearted and fun, much more akin to Josef then Mick in that aspect. She sort of rolls with the flow and the thing is, if Lani had met her and didn’t know she was a vampire she would have loved her because they are so much alike. I don’t know much about her, when she was turned or anything but it doesn’t really matter, I’m happy to have another friend and maybe someone else who can provide a bit of insight into the vampire world. If it were up to Mick I’d just learn it all by osmosis or something, that is what he thinks I need to know. Yeah, like that is going to happen!
I know there is a wall that separates his world and mine and I even respect that it has to be that way. But why does there have to be a wall between us? We are two people who care about one another, isn’t that complicated enough without hiding behind ‘the vampire wall’ like he does? Wouldn’t it be better to let me in so that I understand if I’m stepping into territory I shouldn’t be?
I keep thinking about Logan this week. I want to talk to him but I don’t know what to say or do. I’m sure Mick knows that I know but again that particular wall is up between us still and I have the feeling I’m going to have to take an axe to it. If they wrote a book about everything that is unsaid between us I couldn’t lift it, I’m sure.
That being said, why on earth am I even contemplating a relationship with him?
Beth looked at the clock in the Prius and realized that she was running late. She was supposed to have met Lani at Sesumi 5 minutes ago but so far nothing was going as planned today.
The past few days had been crazy as she and Mick worked to try and find Jacob Fordham. It was a particularly poignant case for several reasons, not the least of which was the fact that for a little while Mick thought he had a son and a grandson. Even if that thought brought him pain and guilt he had been hopeful Beth knew.
They had found out earlier today that the DNA tests showed that Robert Fordham, Jacob’s father was not Mick’s son. Mick had been stoic about it, happy in some respects but Beth could tell that he was hurting deeply, regretting the past and what he saw as a betrayal of his best friend.
Beth hurt for him – it had been his one chance at actually having a blood relative and Beth knew how important that was for anyone but especially for Mick who had lost everyone in his family. She wanted to make it better for him but there was nothing she could do besides let him handle it in his own way which undoubtedly meant a good deal of scotch and brooding she thought impatiently.
Traffic was crawling in the late rush hour of the afternoon commute. She decided to call Lani and let her know what was going on; maybe she and Cami would want to meet her at the bar instead of the office if they were in a hurry.
When she talked to Lani and she indicated that they were fine waiting Beth relaxed a bit and tried to focus on the non-existent flow of traffic. It wasn’t moving, period. Beth blew out a long breath and pushed her sunglasses back up on her nose where they had been slowing creeping down as Beth had made impatient faces.
Relax, just relax. She tried running the soothing mantra through her head and for a few moments it worked, until real life intruded again.
Logan…her Uncle Logan! Despite his bad beginning with Travis she really liked him and that was before she knew the truth. She understood why Clark and her Mom kept it a secret, but it still hurt. She had missed knowing him all those years and he had missed so many events. Did he mind that she wondered?
Because of Logan she understood Mick’s pain all the more when there had been a possibility of Robert being his son. To not have known about them all those years; a person couldn’t help but think about everything they had missed.
She needed to talk to Mick about it soon; strangely she felt more betrayed by him about this than she did Clark. When Mick took her to meet Logan he had to have realized that she would eventually find out about it all. Or maybe he didn’t and this was just another piece of secrecy he was going to keep from her. It was like there was some super-secret vampire club where they kept all the secrets and she wasn’t allowed because she wasn’t a vampire. Well dammit, she loved one; she’d kept their secret – wasn’t that enough?
Would she be one someday?
Her heart wanted that to be true but her head wasn’t ready to make the commitment.
Traffic began to move and Beth grew excited; she couldn’t wait to meet Cami. Lani was so at odds over her Beth knew she had to be pretty interesting. Beth had a million questions but knew they would have to wait until later; not fair on the first meeting she thought ruefully.
Mick had done exactly as Beth had thought; went home and poured a glass of scotch and sat and brooded about it all. He tipped up the last of the scotch and set the glass down on the coffee table, an unheard of thing for him to do but right now he didn’t care. He leaned his head back on the cushions of the couch and closed his eyes, memories flashing vividly though his mind. It was like watching quicksilver they slipped by so quickly.
Ray, Lila and Mick had known each other most of their lives, but as much as Mick might have wanted it to be otherwise, Lila only had eyes for Ray. On the playground at school it was Ray that she asked to push her on the swing and it was Ray who made her smile light up like the sun when they were in high school.
Mick had never stood a chance as long as Ray was in her world.
War has a way of changing things; twisting fate and for a little while he thought that maybe it had finally turned his way. It wasn’t that he had wanted Ray to be dead; he loved Ray as the brother he never had, but when Ray was gone Lila and Mick naturally went through it together, missing him, mourning him and loving him.
When Ray came back the guilt ate away at Mick; he couldn’t meet his friend’s eyes any longer. He had to go away. Lila knew, but Ray might not ever have known. That killed Mick to think about.
“Take care of Lila for me…”
“I will Ray…”
He had, he had tried. When Ray came back he saw it in Lila’s eyes, the exquisite joy, and her radiant smile; Ray was home and that was all that mattered. She didn’t see Mick any more, only Ray.
What was worse about it all? The fact that she was so happy he was home or the fact that for a minute or two Mick was sorry about it?
The guilt; it never really goes away; it stalks you and you run, you try really hard to lose it and yet you can’t quite manage to he thought.
He got up and grabbed another drink and gulped it down, appreciating the burn and wishing he could just get drunk – falling down, passing out oblivion. That’s what he needed. It’s not what he got.
Lani and Cami were waiting for Beth in the lobby of Sesumi and Beth grinned when she saw them. Cami was drop-dead gorgeous. Are all female vampires this beautiful she wondered? Elka was and as much as she hated to admit it, so was Coraline. Cami had long blond hair and huge blue eyes with lashes a mile long. What Beth noticed first was the brilliant smile and the twinkle in her eyes. She laughed a lot, you could tell and when Beth went to shake her hand Cami reached for her and pulled her in for a brief hug.
“Beth! I’m so excited to meet you. Lani has told me so much about you,” she said as she grinned at her new friend.
Lani was quiet, not quite at ease Beth noticed; she was worrying her lower lip and that was a sure sign of wariness. Beth hugged Lani and felt the stiffness in her body and so she pulled back and grinned, trying to get Lani to smile. As she checked out Lani’s outfit she noticed a heavy silver chain around her neck and a two inch wide silver bracelet around her slim wrist. Beth blinked in surprise; Lani had never been a fan of silver jewelry. Beth raised an eyebrow and knew that it had to have something to do with vampires.
They decided they would head off to a nearby bar for drinks and they all climbed into the Prius for the trip. Lani had a Maserati (provided by Sesumi) and so did Cami. Beth loved the Maserati and teased Lani about it, calling it the macho-rati because it was such a man’s car. Black, sleek and fast, it was exciting to ride in. One thing Beth could say about Sesumi, they took care of their executives because as nice as the car was Lani’s penthouse was even more spectacular.
As they settled into a circular booth at the bar they chatted and go acquainted. Beth was dying to ask how old Cami was; she looked like she was about 21 but it was hard to know for sure. The girls all ordered wine and Cami looked around her with interest. The bar was decorated with palms and brightly colored beach toys. One wall had a mural painted on it depicting a sunny beach and in the background you could occasionally catch the muted sounds of surf and sea birds. All that was needed was a salty tang in the air you’d feel like you were on the beach.
“This is nice. Finally, a beach I can appreciate!” Cami said.
“Have you never been to the beach?” Beth asked, curious.
“In the 1890’s polite society didn’t allow young ladies to go to the beach, not really. We might stroll along the boardwalk in an evening, but never in the harsh sun; it might tan us or worse, give us freckles!” she laughed. She had shared a partial truth, but the rest would come out she knew.
Beth opened her mouth to ask a question and then closed it again just as quickly. It wasn’t polite to ask women their ages, but she was doing the mental calculations about the time period.
Cami watched Beth’s expressive face as she held herself in check for a moment and then burst out laughing. “I know you have been a reporter and are dying to know Beth. It’s okay, ask your questions!”
Beth flushed bright pink and then laughed with a shrug. “I am always curious, it’s true. I – I just don’t want to ask something that would be considered rude. I’ve learned that,” she paused as she glanced around the room to make sure no one was near and then leaned closer to Cami, “that some vampires do not like to answer questions about it all.”
Cami nodded as she finished her glass of wine. “That’s true; especially when you are around some really old vamps. They don’t want anyone to know, well, whatever their secrets are.” She held up her empty glass and a server rushed over to get her a refill.
Lani was quiet during this exchange and Beth watched as she absentmindedly twisted the bracelet around her wrist. She was trying Beth realized, but was so clearly uncomfortable that it made Beth feel bad for her.
“C’mon Lani, drink up. Let’s get another and maybe some appetizers too, okay?”
When the server came back Beth said, “Two more and what kind of appetizers do you have?”
After they had listened to the choices the girls settled on southwestern eggrolls and buffalo potato skins. Beth’s stomach rumbled with anticipation as she realized she hadn’t eaten all day. She hoped it didn’t take too long!
Cami smiled as she heard Beth’s stomach growl and she had to admit the smells of the food in here were very appetizing. Food had changed a lot since she was turned and the past hadn’t afforded her a chance to taste much of what people ate these days. It could have been a regret, but she didn’t let it get to her; although she had given up much when she was turned she had gained so much more. Except for Edmund she knew…she had lost him. She blinked and mentally shook the memories off; now was not the time for them.
“So Beth, what would you like to know?” she asked with a smile.
“Um, how? Uh, you were turned, what happened?”
“I was born in 1881, in Newport, Rhode Island. I was 23 at the time I was turned. My husband Edmund and I were missionaries heading to South Africa when our ship was encountered some very bad storms and eventually capsized. We tried to stay together, but we got lost as the ship was abandoned. The boat I was in seemed to drift forever on the current. There were 17 of us on it and we finally washed ashore after 3 days and we all were near death; in fact many of us did die. We had no idea where we were; it turned out to be Antigua and a man who had a sugar cane plantation took us in until help could be summoned. I kept hoping that Edmund would arrive; I prayed for it. I remember sitting on the beach until my skin was burned so severely it blistered, praying over and over that God would bring Edmund to me. Eventually I realized it was not going to happen and I gave up on life, only wishing to die.” She paused for a moment, not wishing to tell the rest of the tale.
“Well, anyway, I eventually was able to find a ship to take me back to the states and the night before we sailed I walked through the dock area, down to the beach. I loved the beach very much and I was abducted and eventually turned,” she finished with a shrug. “No pretty story, but know that I chose it, my turning.”
The food arrived and as Beth listened to her story her reporter instincts knew that there was much more to the story than Cami had revealed, but everyone had secrets Beth knew. Maybe another time.
The rest of the evening was spent talking about clothes and music and movies and all three women realized that they had much the same tastes. They made a plan to meet on Saturday night to get together for Pride and Prejudice. Beth couldn’t help but notice that Lani had actually relaxed and laughed a bit; Cami noticed too and was very glad about it.
Heroku was very worried about her; she wasn’t happy that he had to go back to Tokyo but it was necessary. He knew that if anyone could help Lani it would be Cami who embraced her life and was comfortable within both worlds. She was also more than capable of protecting Lani if need be.
When Beth dropped the girls off at Sesumi Cami was pleased when Lani gave her a quick if a bit hesitant hug goodbye.
It was a beginning.
Mick had sat and brooded most of the night. When the sun was creeping through the blinds he decided it was time to take a shower and try for a bit of freezer time. Not that he expected to actually sleep, but he decided to try.
Mick felt weary and tired; every one of his 85 years pressing down upon him. He had been on this earth for so long and yet it almost seemed to have flitted by in an instant. He’d made so many mistakes and had done so much to regret; today it was weighing heavily on him.
He thought of all the people who had shared his journey in this life, however briefly and he felt ashamed to say that most of them had been hurt by him in one way or another, even when that wasn’t his intention. Lila and Ray, Margie, his family; his heart ached for each and every one of them. There was no penance severe enough to ease his pain and regrets; no apology great enough to heal their wounds. He had betrayed each and every one of them and there were no do-over’s. He squinted as he looked out the window and was so lost in a sea of remorse that when there was a knock on his office door he jumped, startled to have a visitor so early in the morning.
He swiped his hand over his face as if to erase the memories and walked back down the stairs; his steps measured and hesitant. He wasn’t really up to seeing anyone but as he got closer he realized the scent was human and one he knew well.
“Hey Clark,” he greeted his guest, stepping aside so he could enter the room. “What brings you here so early?” This was a rare occurrence and Mick hoped it wasn’t bad news.
“I’m on my way to work and thought I’d take a chance and see if you were still up. I didn’t get you out of er, bed, did I?” He looked slightly embarrassed as he said the words.
“No, you didn’t. Have a seat and tell me what’s going on; I know you didn’t drop by for social reasons.” He gave Clark a brief smile and sat down at the desk and watched as Clark sat on the red sofa and crossed a leg over the other, resting his ankle on a knee.
“I, well Mick, you know that Beth has found out about Logan?” Mick nodded and Clark continued. “Well, it’s just that we – well, we have only told her about him being related to me, not about the turning and all. Mick, she’s going to ask those questions, sooner or later and I’m betting sooner. You need to tell her the truth.” It was simply said, a plea from one friend to the other.
Mick leaned back in the chair and pinched his nose, trying to organize his thoughts. He ran his fingers through his dark curls and pushed them back out of his eyes as he considered Clarks request. “I know you’re right Clark and I will tell her, soon. It’s kind of hard to find the right time, you know?” He smiled briefly as Clark watched but it didn’t quite hit his weary eyes.
“She loves you. You know that don’t you?” Mick nodded and he spoke again, “She’s been through too much Mick; don’t hurt her, tell her the truth, soon. If that secret remains it keeps a wall between her and Dorothy and they’ve had a hard enough time with everything about her kidnapping coming out. I won’t allow their relationship to be damaged any further.”
Mick’s eyes narrowed as he realized what Clark was really telling him. It stung, to hear Clark say it, but he didn’t blame him a bit – he was protecting the woman he loved, as Mick would do. Finally Mick nodded his head and said, “Okay Clark. I’ll tell her as soon as I can. I agree with you, I don’t want either one of them hurt anymore.” He paused for a moment before continuing, “Dorothy realizes that Beth and I are seeing one another doesn’t she?”
“Yes. She isn’t happy about it Mick, but she knows. She also knows that she has to accept it and support Beth, no matter what happens.”
For a moment Mick stiffened at the implications of that statement; that maybe they wouldn’t make it. He couldn’t argue the point because as much as he loved her he wondered if she would really be able to handle his world. When she actually knew the truth about it all, would she be able to still look at him with love in her eyes?
That remained to be seen.
To be continued…