June 17, 2008
The barbeque at Mom and Clarks was good. Kevin met Mick and it went so well. Robbi of course had met him, albeit briefly the night at the beach but she loves him already. But then, that’s Robbi; she just wants us all to be as happy as she is. We told them that Mick had some blood work the following day and they accepted that. Brianna loved him, she sat on his lap and laid her head on his chest and he patted her back tenderly. I feel so bad for him; he would be such a good and patient dad and he’ll never have that chance. Not any point in worrying about what will never be I guess.
What happened on the beach has made me think about my life and what I want; Mick and I have started talking about it all and he knows what I want. I think he is okay with it all; he says he is, but sometimes he’s still so hard to read.
I’m getting ready to go to Josef’s beach house for a few days while Mick is in Reno; we’re hoping that it won’t be too long, but it’s hard to say with some cases Mick says. It’s a cast of industrial espionage and he’ll gather the info as quickly as he can. I hear Josef’s house is great, right on the beach and with a pool too. The temperature here is really heating up so it might not be a bad idea actually; at least I can guarantee that it will be kept nice and cool!
Josef told Mick and me that Kelly was found and executed. That’s what Katrina told Josef; she’s the head or leader cleaner I guess. I don’t know if being a cleaner is a calling, like a priest or something or if it’s just a career choice. They seem to all be similarly alike from what I can see. The girl who came after Kelly on the beach is called Colleen; I’ve not had a chance to meet her but I’d like to if for no other reason than to thank her for her help because I have no doubt that I’d be dead if she hadn’t.
It was scary out there, but it all happened so fast that at least it was over before it started almost. I feel comforted by the fact that she is dead although kind of creepy about it all. She hated me enough, or loved (or thought) she loved Mick enough to kill for that love. Maybe that’s not so hard to believe in retrospect; after all I had Dean Foster killed for Mick, because I love him. Would I have taken him out personally? I might have if forced into it without the alternative of Josef’s intervention. I would do anything to keep Mick safe. Lani and I talked about it and she thinks its perfect justice that Kelly is dead. Lani was so mad that night she would have done it herself if she could have.
I just hope that neither of us will ever have to make that decision.
Kelly sat in a chair, the same chair that Emma Monahan had sat in months ago. She looked around her at the dim and austere room and knew that this would be the last she’d see of this world. She squirmed in the chair, the silver around her neck and wrists burning sharply. She looked down at the livid redness of her wrists and wished there was a way to lessen the pain. It seemed that none was to be found.
Katrina and Billie walked in to the room, Billie bearing the weight of the flame thrower, a simple task for one such as herself. She hefted it over her shoulder, the strap allowing it to rest with ease and she looked at Kelly with disgust in her eyes.
All this because of a human!
“Kelly Detzien, you are charged with the interruption of another vampire’s life through physical threats to his mate. You are also charged with endangering your brothers and sisters by exposure to humans. What do you have to say?”
“His mate? She’s human, she means nothing. He should be charged with that!” she spat out, enraged that a human would be behind all this. A HUMAN!
Katrina shut her eyes for a moment, shielding the silver from view. She felt much the same way as Kelly did; humans were beneath them and why St. John would actually want to take one to mate was beyond her. They were food, plain and simple and some of us like them so little that we even buy the blood bagged from them to avoid having to touch them.
“Kostan has commanded your death, as is his right as senior vampire in LA. His directions are clear; you shall be burned to death, reduced to ashes and scattered. Do you understand that?”
Kelly nodded numbly and swallowed hard but her eyes never left Katrina’s.
“Do you also understand that this was unnecessary? You have thrown your life away on a vampire who has never, NEVER been interested in you? You have taken every opportunity to throw yourself at him but he wasn’t buying! Still, you pursued him with alacrity, without out any thought of the consequences of such actions. You were warned; more times than I care to admit to leave them both alone and you flagrantly disregarded first a request and then a direct order. You have endangered all of us with exposure by that stunt at the beach as there were other humans there. Do you have anything else to say?”
“She is human,” were the only words that she could choke out.
Katrina nodded and Billie raised the flamethrower. Kelly closed her eyes…
After the cookout Mick and Beth stopped by her apartment to pick up Travis before going back to the loft. Travis was excited to see them and twisted around Mick’s legs and then walked to his food dish.
“Hungry Travis?” Mick asked as he chuckled at the cat’s antics. The small cat looked at him and stared for a moment, focusing on Mick’s eyes. Mick shook his head to break the contact; it was like Travis was trying to convince him to put some food in the bowl. Mick scooped him up and said, “Hang on buddy, you can eat when we get to the loft.”
“Mick?” Beth called from the bedroom. He heard the dresser drawers opening and closing and walked in to find Beth pulling things out willy-nilly. “I think I’m just going to gather everything I need for going to Josef’s since I’m going day after tomorrow. Is that okay with you if Travis and I just stay at your place until then?”
Mick wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned down to kiss her neck; he felt her shiver of response and his own answering reaction. “Beth, you don’t have to ask; you can stay there permanently if you like.”
“Are you asking me to move in with you?” She’d thought about it, but he’d never said so she’d just forgotten about it.
“Well, yes I guess I am. Nothing would make me happier. I just wasn’t sure you’d want to. I mean, you and Josh didn’t live together so I just sort of thought you wouldn’t want to, at least so soon.”
A laugh bubbled forth from within; she felt ridiculously happy and giddy at the thought of living with Mick. “Well, next time you might just ask anyway St. John. Travis and I would love to live with you. When we get back from Reno I’ll have to see what I can do about my lease and stuff.”
“We can just buy it out you know Beth, money isn’t an issue.”
“Maybe not for you but for me it definitely is. We’ll see what the options are, okay?” He nodded and she continued pulling clothes out and laying them on the bed. Mick could only stare and wonder how many clothes she needed for a few days at Josef’s but decided to not ask – it would probably only get him in trouble. He had no idea how right he was.
When the elevator doors opened at the loft Beth started to step out and Mick put his arm out to stay her, scenting the air. A vamp was out there and then he smiled, realizing who the visitor was.
Logan and Audrey were waiting in the hallway for the elevator. “Oh hey, we were just leaving; thought you weren’t home.”
“We weren’t but we are now. Come in,” he said. He glanced down at Travis who was surprisingly complacent in his carrier. Mick hoped it stayed that way once he was out of it.
Logan hoped the same thing.
When the apartment door opened Beth wheeled her suitcase in and Mick sat the carrier on the floor and cast a worried glance up at Logan before releasing the door catch. Travis came out and looked around the room, taking notice of Logan and a new person.
Audrey smiled and knelt down and said, “Here kitty,” holding her hand out for him to sniff. “I love cat’s, I have one at home named Plato.” Travis walked up to her and sniffed before rubbing his head against her hand, pushing insistently when he didn’t think she was scratching hard enough. She laughed and said, “You’re just like Plato!”
Bored, Travis walked to Logan next and stood eyeing him for a moment. Logan knew that if he had any kind of a regular heartbeat it would be beating wildly right now. He still remembered the feel of Travis’ teeth and claws. However, Travis only rubbed against his legs and meowed softly before heading to the kitchen where Mick was pouring out kitty chow for him.
“Aw Logan, that is so cute! He likes you,” Beth said, smiling at how Travis has rubbed against Logan. “Hey, I have an idea, how about if Travis stays with you when I’m out at Josef’s? I don’t think Josef is really crazy about the idea of a litter box in his house,” she laughed. She petted Travis as he ate his kitty chow and said, “You’d like that wouldn’t you Travis?”
His only response was to take another bite.
Logan and Mick both spoke up at the same time, “I don’t know about that…”
Audrey chimed in, “Hey, that would be awesome. I’ll help you Logan and you can bring him over to meet Plato; they’ll like each other!”
Logan and Mick exchanged a frightened look but knew they were out-voted. “Uh, okay. My house it is,” Logan said. Travis looked up from his dish and Logan was sure he saw fangs.
Nah, couldn’t be… well, cat’s do have fangs don’t they? I just didn’t realize they were so big!
Mick and Beth were just getting ready to head upstairs to bed when there was another knock on the door followed by the lock clicking. Josef walked in and said, “Put your clothes on – you have company!”
Mick and Beth looked at one another and then at Josef, who laughed at the guilty looks they both wore. “Never fear children, not staying long; don’t want to interrupt you nightly activities!”
“What do you want Josef?” Mick prompted as he they all sat down in the living room.
“What, don’t I get offered a tasty beverage? I’m sure you must have an old bag of non-fat soy vegan blood around here somewhere.”
“What?” Beth asked, a puzzled look on her face.
“Don’t ask,” Mick said as he headed into the kitchen to get out glasses.
“Seriously, don’t bother with the refreshment Mick – not staying long. I just stopped by to tell you kids that I just spoke with Katrina. Kelly was caught and is being executed as we speak.”
“Really? Are you going to see the ashes?” Mick asked, not quite willing to believe it.
“No, but she wouldn’t lie to me – she wouldn’t dare,” he told them, coming to his feet smoothly and heading to the door. “So, you can rest easy.” He looked at Beth pointedly and said, “But don’t think you can get out of coming to the beach house; Simone would either kill me or drive me crazy out there all alone!” The door clicked behind him and he was gone.
As Josef walked out to the car he got to think about what Mick said; he needed to see the ashes. He dialed his phone and waited for Katrina to answer.
“I want to see the ashes,” he said. “I’m on my way.”
Later a very satisfied vampire and his mate snuggled in bed together, their still sweaty bodies entwined with one another.
“Do you believe it, that Kelly is dead?” Beth asked quietly.
Mick wanted to believe it but after Coraline he had a hard time accepting the news since Josef hadn’t seen the ashes. On the other hand, he wanted Beth to be able to relax and so he said, “I think Katrina would be a fool to lie to Josef; the council would literally have her head if she did.”
“Nice answer but that didn’t really tell me anything Mick. Talk to me,” she prompted.
He let out a long sigh; he didn’t want to scare her but he had a nagging feeling inside. “I don’t know for sure what to believe Beth. Until I get some proof we’ll still be vigilant, okay?” He sincerely hoped it would be enough of an answer for her.
She digested that for a moment and said, “Alright, I can handle that. I do still want to go to the beach house with Simone and Josef, it sounds like fun.” She got quiet then, thinking about Kelly again and what happened on the beach, unaware that her heart and breathing had changed but the vampire next to her was fully aware of it.
He turned towards her and held her face in his hands, tenderly tracing the soft skin of her cheeks and jaw with his thumbs. “What’s wrong baby?”
She swallowed hard and tried to shake her head, as if nothing was wrong but her breath caught in her throat as she blinked in the moonlight that was shining incandescently into the room. She met his eyes and saw the concern written in their hazel-blue depths. “I’m still shaken up over what happened Mick. It made me think about a lot of things.”
His thumbs shifted to trace lightly over her lips, loving their softness. “What kind of things?” he prompted, his voice velvety smooth sounding.
Beth lightly bit her lower lip, a sure sign that she was contemplating what to say. “I don’t know how to say this, but to just do it. Mick, the night that Josh was killed, you said you’d have let me die too. That night I felt as if I lost both men I loved, my heart wanted to die Mick. Did you mean that?”
Had she been able to hear it she would have caught the sound of his heart suddenly pumping rapidly. He didn’t want to have to talk about this with her and yet he always knew that they would someday. “I honestly don’t know Beth,” he said, and saw tears start to run down her face. “Shh, listen to what I have to say, okay?”
She nodded, her eyes never leaving his as he continued.
“If it would have been you, I don’t honestly know what I would have done, especially then. I didn’t know what you would want Beth. I couldn’t have done it without knowing what you wanted but at the same time I would have died if I lost you. I’m serious when I say that it isn’t saving a life, it’s taking one. But Beth, I don’t know how I would live without you. When a vampire loses a beloved mate, we often take our own lives.”
She caught a harsh breath, horrified at what he was saying to her. “NO Mick, I won’t accept that.” She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. “If something did happen to me, I’d want you to turn me.” She could see he was going to say something else and she laid a finger against his lips and murmured, “No, no, I mean it Mick. I’m – I’m not ready to make that decision just yet in my life, but if something happened, before then, it’s what I would want. Do you understand that? Accept that?”
A tear slipped down his face; what she was willing to give up for him was almost more than he could bear. He wanted to cry ‘NO!’ but he couldn’t because he meant it when he said he couldn’t go on without her. He knew that he would do everything possible to keep her safe. She was so selfless in her love and devotion to him; she deserved to live and be happy. What could he give her but a long and cold eternity?
It was her turn to gently stroke his face, fingertips brushing feather-like across the sculpted planes of his cheeks and the beautiful aquiline nose. She leaned up and kissed the tear away and sensed how much he was holding back. “Mick, talk to me, tell me what you are thinking, please?”
“I just can’t believe what you would give up for me. You would live with me in a cold eternity?”
“I’d be with you Mick. You gave it up for me, when Josef returned you Mick. Do you know how that made me feel, knowing how much you cherished being human again and that you threw it away to save me?”
“I would do it over and over again for you Beth if that’s what it took. You are my life, my world; I can’t imagine existing without you. Is that really what you want?”
“Yes, it is. Kelly made me realize it. Mick, someday I’ll want it all too, the forever with you.”
“Beth, I don’t know if I could!” he protested.
“You did before, didn’t you?”
His eyes flashed silver in the moonlight as he saw that she knew somehow. “How did you figure it out?”
“I don’t know, it just seemed sort of natural to me. Everything I guess; you being the one they called to find me, Logan constantly holding out his hand for money.” She gave a wry laugh and added, “I did the same thing to Mom when I was a teenager. It just all fit.”
“Did he tell you?”
“No, when I asked who his sire was he wouldn’t tell me. How did it happen Mick?”
He told her of the night he turned Logan and the death of his mother. She listened to his quiet voice as he choked over some of the details. “He begged me and so did the judge. I felt as if it would have been worse if I didn’t do it.”
She nodded in understanding. “Then you’ve did it once, you could do it again. We’ve got time Mick.”
It was his turn to nod as he tried to accept what she asked. He was all too aware of the fact that if it were an emergency he would do it because he didn’t want to go on without her.
Trying to lighten the mood a bit she changed the subject. “Robbi looks so good when she is pregnant, doesn’t she? She’s a natural mother, but then she always was. She was the sensible one of the three of us.”
“I remember that. She’s grown into a beautiful woman and yes, I think she glows with her pregnancy.” He remembered his earlier conversation with Dorothy about him and Beth’s inability to have children. It might not be totally impossible now; she had said that she was okay not having kids but did that mean because he couldn’t or because she didn’t want them. “Beth, if it were possible to have kids, with me I mean, would you want to?”
She smiled at him and kissed him, loving the feel of his lips against hers. “Sure, I would love to have kids with you, but Mick, you really are enough for me – honestly.”
“Okay, but if it were possible? What would you want to do?”
“I’d have your baby of course. I’d want him to have your dark curls and hazel eyes.”
“No, she should have her mother’s golden hair and electric blue eyes.” He ran his fingers through her silken moonlight drenched tresses and added, “Beth, it might be possible.”
“What? How?” she asked, genuinely confused.
“While I was human I made a deposit in the bank. The sperm bank that is.”
She sat up straight in bed, shocked and amazed at what he had just told her. “You mean that there are some St. John swimmer’s just waiting to weigh anchor somewhere?”
He laughed at her naval vernacular and sat up next to her. She bent her knees and wrapped her arms around them, watching him in the darkness. “Yes, I do. They told me that they had good motility so they should be okay to use. I know that it isn’t the traditional way baby, but we can give it a shot. There’s only one thing though Beth.”
“What?” she asked, still amazed over his news.
“I won’t get you pregnant until you marry me. I’m kinda old school,” he declared. He watched her eyes grow large and round as she heard his words.
She leaned over and kissed him, savoring the sweet kiss for all it’s worth. “Mick, that is without a doubt the most unromantic proposal I’ve ever heard of. And yes, I’ll marry you first!”
To be continued…