Chapter 50 Possibilities
July 13, 2008
Home, sweet home. Make that homes…I have an apartment to sort out and so far that isn’t going great. I caught a lucky break when my landlord said that he had an interested party who wanted an apartment there, so he let me out of my lease since Mick and I had gotten married. Fine, great but that doesn’t take care of all the stuff I have that needs to be sorted through and a decision made about.
Robbi, Lani, Mom and I have all been working the past few evenings, packing things up and tossing things out too. Mick says I can bring anything I want to the loft, but let’s face it; my shabby chic style for the most part doesn’t fit there. Sometimes it’s a good thing to mix up styles and such, but not so much in this case.
My furnishings were never planned; mostly they came from necessity purchases and such and I never really gave them much thought. I like pale colors, muted shades that are easy on the eyes and most of the apartment is filled with that. Mick’s place is dramatic, bold with an eye for thoughtful design and balance. Mines all cobbled together in something that actually ended up fitting well together. Fitting into Mick’s place is a whole other thing though.
Nope, most of it will go to Goodwill; hopefully someone else will give it a home. A few things are going to Mick’s with me, the chairs from the living room and some of the decorations will fit into the bedroom at the loft. The room is huge, with plenty of room up there. Also on that floor is another large room that we are trying to decide what to do with. Nursery? The most likely (if we are lucky) use of the space but we’ve also considered making it into a large office cum sitting room for me as that room is on the south and gets a lot of light. I can picture working there, light filtering in washing the room with dappled sunlight. I’d fill the room with plants and books and maybe a nice couch. If we do that we’d obviously have to come up with some other idea for the nursery.
There is another apartment on this floor too, but someone lives there right now. The lead singer of a big-time rock band actually (but I won’t say which one!) who is never there. It’s a sort of hideaway for him, unknown to almost everyone. Even though Mick (he reminds me that WE) own the building it would be a shame to make him move. And the truth is, if we have kids I can’t imagine trying to raise them here, in the loft.
Both Mick and I were raised in family neighborhoods abounding with trees and flowers and neighborhood parties and schools. We want that same thing for our kids, keeping in mind that the world is a different place now and kids don’t have the freedom we did. Still, having a baby here? Neither of us likes that idea. So for now, we will just play it by ear and see what happens.
Logan and Travis were visiting Audrey and Plato; both had high expectations for the visit. Travis liked his new friend and together they managed to explore the world in ways previously unknown to Travis.
Logan hoped to explore new worlds with Audrey too but he was a little more unsure of himself than Travis was. He and Mick had talked in Vegas, and he understood the basics of what was going to happen but he was still scared to death. If he had a regular heartbeat it would surely have stopped him dead by now.
He knew that Audrey was ready to move forward in their relationship and so was he. The logistics of it all stopped him in his tracks though; some guys had moves but he had none and he knew he was a gauche amateur, something that no guy wanted to be.
As soon as Travis was out of the carrier he and Plato greeted each other and headed out the kitty door after a quick nibble at the food dish. Logan and Audrey settled down on the sofa and Logan put his arm around her as she snuggled against his chest.
Her hair smelled like lilacs or honeysuckle, some long forgotten summer flower from his youth and he inhaled deeply, letting the scent flow through him. He could hear her heartbeat, the rhythm beating steadily until he kissed her and then he heard it speed up excitedly.
Audrey tasted as good as she smelled; was it sweet cherries or chocolate or something else totally unknown to him that made her taste like the finest ambrosia? He didn’t have a clue but it didn’t matter as his lips moved against hers and his tongue licked lightly at her mouth, bidding entry.
Like a flower she opened to him and her hand crept around his neck and pulled him tighter against her. His arm pushed against the back of the couch for leverage as he shifted and she pulled her mouth away quickly, letting out a small gasp of pain.
“Logan, honey you are pulling on my hair!” she told him, trying to move her head.
Logan’s arm shot up, embarrassment flooding his senses as he realized what he had done. “I’m so sorry Audrey! Are you okay?”
She nodded and said, “Yes, I am now. Logan, we’ve both got to relax a bit.” She leaned her forehead against his and sighed before kissing the end of his nose.
He nodded and knew she was right but knowing it and doing it were two different things. He wondered if she had any reservations about being with a vampire. She had no fear of him, or any others as far as he could tell; she fit in and seemed to be at home with them. Did she have any idea about what was involved in making love to a vampire?
He wasn’t even totally sure of that himself; how the hell was he supposed to tell her, or show her?
The kiss resumed, this time they each relaxed against the other, going with it. Her arms crept around his neck again and he finally pulled her onto his lap and tried to delicately pull her shirt over her head, afraid he would hurt her. She finally tugged it off and then got his off as well. Her eyes traveled down his neck to his chest and her fingers followed her eyes, playing in the dark curling hairs that were soft and silky.
Logan started shaking then, a trembling that started in his toes and rapidly worked its way up his body. He reached behind her and felt for the snap on her bra and couldn’t find it all the while ever more aware of how tight his jeans were becoming.
“Um, Logan, it’s in front; the fastener is in front,” she told him and demonstrated how it was removed. He could only stare in awe at the beauty that was revealed as the wisp of lace came off. Her breasts were high and lush, tipped by dusky pink nipples that were stiff with anticipation. His mouth suddenly felt as dry as a desert and he swallowed convulsively, trying desperately to get a hold of himself.
Cool fingers played across that verdant expanse of satin skin, raising goose bumps as they went along. When his finger tips first encountered the pebbled skin of her nipples he thought for sure his pants were going to burst open. He squeezed them gently; rolling them back and forth in fingers that he hoped weren’t trembling too badly.
After a minute or so Audrey sighed and said, “Logan, they aren’t like radio knobs, you can do other things to them.” She felt him stiffen and immediately realized her mistake. “Logan, I’m sorry. I – I just don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never, uh, you know…”
Her confession stunned him. She had never? The blind leading the blind. He thought he liked it better when he thought that she was just trying to help him out with a few directions. Then the absurdity of it all struck him and he started laughing; full all out belly laughs that he couldn’t control until the pained look on her face stopped him dead in his tracks.
She pushed herself off of his lap, trying to cover her bare breasts with one hand while wiping away her tears with the other. She finally turned around, her small shoulders shaking with the silent sobs that she couldn’t control. Logan felt worse than he ever had in his entire life.
“Audrey, I wasn’t laughing at you. Honestly, I wasn’t. Please, come sit back down, okay?”
She stood silently, afraid to look around. How humiliating, to be laughed at because she didn’t know anything.
“Audrey, please?” It was quietly said, almost a whisper and he got up and put his arms around her small shoulders and help her for a moment. “Audrey, I was laughing because I’ve never…well I’ve never did it before either and, well…”
She turned to face him, confusion showing in her chocolate brown eyes. “You, you’re a virgin too?”
He nodded, one side of his mouth creeping up in a smile as he shrugged. “Yes and apparently neither one of us have a clue about this! I’m just not exactly sure about it all and I had hoped that you did.”
She laughed too and pulled his mouth down for a kiss. “What a pair we make, huh?”
The next day Logan paid a visit to Josef in his new offices. He was promptly announced and entered the room and saw Josef, on the phone, leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed. He was speaking what sounded like Japanese of all languages and Logan listened to the unfamiliar sounds and words that rolled off of Josef’s tongue.
Josef motioned to a seat with his hand and Logan sat down, looking around the room with interest. The city vista played out in the wall of windows behind him, filtered by the tempered glass. It was a striking view Logan decided, not too bad at all and he thought again of his basement and that it was probably time to move out of it.
Josef hung up the phone and smiled at Logan, puzzled as to why the young vampire was here. He leaned forward and rested his elbows on the desk, steepling his fingers and nodded before saying, “Well young Logan, to what do I owe this pleasure?”
“I, uh, well, I need some advice; Mick isn’t here but then I already talked to him but I need more uh, help. Can you help me please?”
Josef chuckled, wondering why the lad was so nervous. “Well, I can try Logan. What seems to be the problem?”
“I, well Audrey and I…we’ve never uh, you know and when we tried I just messed everything up. I don’t know what I’m doing!”
Josef had a visual of what he thought happened and said, “Logan, when you’ve not really got any experience that happens a lot actually. Try again.”
Logan understood what Josef was getting at and sat up straighter in his chair and exclaimed, “NO, it didn’t get that far. Mick told me how to touch, how to uh, please her, but I don’t know how to get started.” His voice cracked with the embarrassment of the situation, his humiliation over whelming him.
The light bulb went off for Josef and he finally understood – not only had Logan and Audrey never done it, Logan had never done it. He smiled and said, “Easy enough situation to solve; Papa Josef is going to take care of it for you. Do you prefer blondes, red heads or brunettes? Maybe a sampler pack? They’ll take care of you and before you know it you’ll be an expert!” He started flipping through an old fashioned rolodex on his desktop before he noticed Logan’s distress.
“I don’t want a hooker!” Logan exclaimed. “I just need some advice.”
Josef blinked several times in amazement. Clearly the boy had hung around with Mick too much. If it wanted to learn, how else than by practical experience? That avenue closed Josef ventured, “How about some good old fashioned porn Logan? Surely you’ve seen that. Very helpful…”
“No, I uh, I’ve seen porn, on, on the internet. It’s not exactly unhelpful. But Josef, how do I get to that place, the sex part?”
“Logan, try a little romance, okay? Bring her flowers; take her out for a nice dinner. Afterwards, bring her home and open a good bottle of whatever kind of wine she likes, good stuff Logan, and no screw on tops. Put on some soft music that she likes and light a few candles and turn the lights off. Set the mood and let it happen. Don’t force it and I promise you that you and your young lady will be doing the horizontal mambo in no time at all!”
“The what?” Logan asked, clearly confused.
“Making love Logan. Just give my advice a shot, okay?”
Logan nodded and stood up. At least it was somewhere to start. He held his hand out to Josef and said, “Thank you Josef, I appreciate the advice.”
Josef walked him to the door and said, “Anytime young grasshopper!”
Josef’s limo picked them up from the airport and as they settled in Mick took in the display and saw that at 11:32 am it was already 98 degrees in LA. They sank back into the cool and dim interior of the car, cushioned by the buttery-soft leather seats and enjoyed the journey to the loft. Their hands were entwined, constantly touching the others with tender finger tips and stroking over sensitive palms. Mick brought their joined hands up to his mouth and planted loving kisses on Beth’s and smiled as she shivered at the touch.
“Are you happy?” he asked and he watched her let out a long sigh.
Beth looked at her husband and smiled softly, her eyes sparkling with delight. “Do you doubt it? Where are those vampire powers of observation?” she teased.
“That would be PI powers of observation actually. It’s just that sigh you just gave sounded kind of sad.”
Her gentle laughter sounded like chimes blowing in the breeze. “Not sad really, although I already miss Seattle; it’s just we’re back home, to reality. It’s been almost a month since we left; it seems like a lifetime ago Mick. So much has changed, all for the best, before you get worried,” she said with a smile. “We’re married, we’ve decided to have a child, we both have lives to blend together, you know?”
“And a cat that Logan says is apparently very homesick.”
“What? Is Travis okay?”
“Yes, he’s fine but Logan says he seems kind of bummed out; Logan’s words, not mine.”
“Well, it won’t be long and Travis will be home, and so will we!”
At the loft the chauffeur helped Mick get the luggage into the elevator as Beth stood inside, keeping the door open. Soon they were rapidly rising to the penthouse and both of them jumped as the alert dinged when the door slid open.
They carried the luggage to the door and Mick unlocked it, opening it wide. Beth wasn’t surprised when he scooped her up for one more walk across the threshold and she giggled in his arms. “Are we finally official?”
“Um, yes Mrs. St. John, we are now official.”
They both looked around the loft and inhaled deeply. Vases of roses covered nearly every available surface and the aroma with sensual and heady. A bottle of fine and expensive champagne sat chilling in an ice bucket while two exquisitely cut crystal flutes sat next to it, each adorned with a red ribbon.
They both laughed, recognizing Josef’s handiwork. They were home.
Later that afternoon Beth called her doctor for a consultation and Mick called Logan and Josef. Beth set up an appointment in two days time and Mick and Logan made plans for the delivery of Travis. Josef he just thanked.
“So, how’s the old ball and chain? She keeping you on your toes?”
Mick closed his eyes for a moment and then rubbed the bridge of his nose; he was never surprised by anything that Josef might say but that didn’t mean he knew what to reply to the off the wall remark.
“Beth is wonderful. Thank you for the homecoming Josef; we appreciated it.”
“Appreciated it, or appreciated it,” he said, emphasizing the repeated words. Mick got the point and chose to ignore it.
“Never mind Josef. Look, I gotta go because Logan will be here soon with Travis,” Mick told him, mouthing the small fib glibly because Logan wasn’t due until later.
“Um hm, Travis the wonder cat. Did he survive the stay with your erstwhile son? You know, I got to thinking; if Logan is Beth’s uncle and you were his dad, then that means she married her great uncle. Kinda creepy.” Mick could hear Josef’s snorts of laughter on the other end of the phone even though Josef tried to cover them.
Mick let out an exasperated sigh and ignored the remark; sometimes it was just better that way. “Gotta run Josef…talk to you later.”
Logan dropped a very excited Travis off at the loft and watched as he ran to Beth who immediately scooped him up into her arms. She scratched him behind the ears and rubbed her face against his soft fur. Logan and Mick both heard him purr loudly, obviously happy to be home.
Logan watched him for a moment, contemplating the unusual cat. “I’d watch him if I were you Mick. There’s something a little strange about that cat.” Travis heard him speak and stared at him from across the room, unblinkingly.
Mick looked at him and saw nothing unusual. “What do you mean Logan?”
“I don’t know exactly. Um, have you seen the size of that cat’s fangs? He growls at me sometimes and I can see them.”
“Logan, after what happened with him I can understand why you are kind of nervous with him, you probably feel some guilt, but he’s just a cat. Just a cat…”
“Okay. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Hey Beth, glad you guys are home but I gotta go.” He raised his hand in a wave as he opened the door.
“Logan, thank you for taking such good care of Travis; he looks great.”
“Yeah, well, enjoy him,” Logan said, beating a hasty retreat out the door.
“You’re glad to be home, aren’t you Travis?” she cooed.
His only response was to nuzzle against her cheek, his contented purrs becoming even louder.
Beth met Mick at Dr. Macon’s office two days later. Both of them were excited and anxious to find out what the doctor could tell them.
Mick immediately liked the doctor and he could tell that she would take good care of Beth. She answered all their questions and helped them make a game plan.
“Okay,” she said, going over a chart with them. “This is your ovulation plan; it basically tracks where you are in the cycle so that we know when to inseminate you Beth. You said that your period is due in 4 days; we’re lucky because you’ve always been so regular. We start keeping track at that time and 10 days into your next cycle we start testing. When you are ovulating, we try the first round.”
“First round,” both Beth and Mick asked in unison.
Dr. Macon smiled and nodded. “Unlike the movies, it doesn’t always happen the first time; so be prepared for that and don’t give up. Beth, you are a very healthy young woman and it hopefully won’t take too long. Just take your vitamins, watch your diet and all should be well. Oh, and no more caffeine Beth! Decaf for you only.”
I knew that there had to be a catch to this she thought; the idea of giving up coffee was abhorrent to her. But she would she decided. Mick stared at her, almost as if he were reading her mind and as soon as he saw her make her decision he smiled.
“Okay, decaf it is. Anything else?”
“Um, cut back on the salt, sugar and fats; just eat healthy and all will be okay!”
When they left the doctor’s office Mick was excited and they stopped at a home remodeling center to look at a small green house that he had saw on line. When they found it Mick beamed; it was exactly what he wanted.
“You are going to put this on the roof or balcony? What are you going to do for potting soil and all that? Mick, do you even know anything about growing a garden?” she asked, amazed by it all.
“Beth, I grew up during the depression; I’ve tended gardens many times. And whatever it takes it will be worth it to make sure you have healthy, organic vegetables to eat, okay?”
She nodded and watched as he made plans for it to be delivered and set up, along with all the supplies he would need to get it ready. Suddenly she thought about all the delicious vegetable that they might get and it didn’t sound like such a bad idea.
Beth was gradually getting back into the work grind, investigating several cases for Ben. She was pouring over the files on a case of domestic violence that ended in the death of the wife when Ben called her into his office.
She sat down in the chair across from his desk and waited for him to speak. He had a case file on his desk and he opened it and pulled out some sheets of paper that were stapled together and handed them to her.
“I received this list a few months ago Beth; the names on it are very puzzling. It’s probably someone’s idea of a joke but I thought you might find the last page interesting.” He watched as she flipped through the pages, her face a study of puzzled concentration; until she came to the last page.
Oh my god! Mick, Josef, Logan, so many recognizable names and all vampires.
She swallowed quickly, feeling her stomach rise up into her throat. Vampires, were they all vampires she wondered, even those historical names that were on there? Her heart was beating wildly as she tried to get her emotions under control. Why was he showing this to her? What did he expect her to say?
To be continued…