Where Evil Lurks

Welcome to Moonlight Madness - Where Evil Lurks

This is the fourth story in my Moonlight saga.

Story One - The Beginning - Beth's Diary

Story Two - With Arms Wide Open

Story Three - Barely Breathing

Cast of Characters

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chapter Three

Immediately following the story is a little Halloween treat.  I hope all your little ghosts and vampires have a safe and happy Halloween!

Dawn was breaking in the east when Dorothy’s eyes fluttered open. She wasn’t usually up this early, not since she had retired from the school district but she hadn’t really rested well. That was to be expected she thought but she still felt tired. She looked over and saw that Clark’s place was empty and she rolled over and pulled his pillow to her, inhaling his scent. His place was still warm which meant he had only been up for a few minutes. She sat up in the bed and stretched before reaching for her robe. As she slipped it on Clark came quietly into the room and frowned as he saw her standing up with her robe on.

She looked beautiful, even though she was tired. He looked at her blossoming belly that was growing daily with the twins and knew that there had never been a luckier man on this earth. She was his world and always had been, ever since they were kids. When she was 6 and he was 8 he had told her that he was going to marry her someday and always believed it would happen. All those years when she was afraid of getting too close he had still believed in her and the fact that they were meant to be together. He had been determined to love her and Beth the best he could and he did that, each and every day. He felt as much pride in Beth as a natural father ever could. He didn’t know who that was but whoever the bastard was he hoped that he had had a miserable life.

“Honey, what are you doing up? You should be resting.” He came to her and kissed her softly and felt her arms go around his waist. He hugged her back, loving the warm, sleepy smell she had.

“I can’t. My back is hurting and I just need to be up.”

“Would you like some tea and toast?”

“Um, that sounds wonderful. Thank you Clark.” She slipped her feet into some slippers and headed into the bathroom. It felt like all she did was pee and she was only in her fifth month. She could only imagine how it would be later on.

Clark watched her walk slowly into the bathroom with a smile on his face. Yep, the most beautiful girl in the world.

When she came into the kitchen a little while later, her face washed and hair combed she felt a bit better. Clark was just setting a pot of tea on the table and buttering the toast. “Would you like some fruit too? We’ve got melon or strawberries that I can get,” he told her as she sat down.

She shook her head no and said, “No, this will be fine. You take such good care of me Clark. Thank you.”

He smiled as he took his seat and watched as she poured them both some tea. Clark and Dorothy were both coffee fans but it was better for her to drink herbal tea during the pregnancy so in an effort to show solidarity he drank tea as well to show her he was with her, most of the time anyway. If she suspected that he indulged in a cup or two of coffee at work they both just ignored it.

Dorothy was pensive as she sipped her tea and Clark knew what was on her mind; she wanted to talk to Beth and he said as much to her.

“Yes, I do. I know she’s okay, but I still really need to hear her voice, you know? This isn’t what I would have wanted for her; she’ll never have a child of her own but they love each other so much and I can’t fault that. They’ll have so many lifetimes together, time for that love to deepen and grow and I feel happy for them about that.”

Clark listened to her words and they made him think about the discussions they had had about being turned someday. He wanted it, she was scared and wasn’t sure that she was meant for it. He knew that he would never be turned unless she agreed to it as well. He wanted it to be her decision but there was a part of him he acknowledged that hoped that this might change her mind.

“I know they’ll call as soon as they can honey. We just have to be patient.”

She nodded and took a bite of toast. The older she got the less patience she seemed to have. Not a good thing.


Logan’s eyes popped open when the bed shifted as the two cats, Plato and Travis jumped on it, most likely wanting breakfast if their rumbling tummies were anything to go by. Both of them sat placidly at the foot of the bed, surveying Logan and Audrey. Logan felt a momentary rush of embarrassment as Plato looked at his mommy, naked and only partially covered up.

Travis lifted his nose in the air, as if to scent what went on and looked pointedly from Audrey to Logan and then back again.

“I didn’t hurt her!” the guilty vampire said. He stared at the two small puncture marks on her neck, remembering how he had put them there.

Both of them quickly decided that since their first time went so well they were up for another tumble and it didn’t take them long to make it happen. This time it was slow and lingering lovemaking and Logan had never felt so connected with another person in his whole life. It was nothing like his sire/fledgling connection he had shared with Mick; that was intense but this blew that away.

As the peak of love arose Logan gently bit her and both of them crashed together with the emotion and power of the bite. It was incredible, a whole new plateau of connection and pleasure that before had been unimagined.

Yeah, they both liked it, a lot. So much that they had tried it again. He figured he needed to get up and make her some breakfast because she was going to need it. Good thing it was Saturday and she didn’t have to rush off to work. He’d also need to get himself something to eat as well.

He sat up in bed trying hard not to disturb Audrey, who was still sleeping soundly. He listened to her heartbeat but it was beating steadily and her breathing was normal. Every now and again she let out soft little sighs that made him smile.

Travis raised a paw into the air as if asking for attention. Logan leaned forward and said, “I’ll bet you boys are hungry, huh? Probably had a big night, stalking small furry creatures in the night, didn’t you?” He watched their faces as he spoke, sure that they understood every word he said.

Travis stepped forward, making his way up Logan’s leg and he pulled back a bit, concerned what the cat wanted. He didn’t trust him a bit and he didn’t care if everyone thought it was all in his head; he knew that cat was a vampire now. When Travis got to Logan’s lap he had an instinct to cover himself in case sharp claws or fangs were preparing to attack but Travis just sat there staring at him, blinking his amber kitty eyes at him. Finally he raised a paw at Logan again and softly meowed.

“What?” Logan asked softly, intrigued by this new behavior. Travis took another step forward and then rubbed his cheek against Logan’s chest.

At the first contact Logan almost levitated off the bed but then he caught the distinct sounds of a purr. Logan stared at Travis and reached out and scratched him behind his ears and the purrs deepened and grew louder. Logan smiled then and stroked down Travis’ back and watched as the cat arched his back in bliss.

“I’ll be darned. Maybe you do like me,” he said, moving his fingers to scratch under Travis’ chin. Before he knew it Plato had moved forward and demanded to be scratched as well.

When Audrey opened her eyes she found both cats on Logan’s lap as he leaned back against the pillow. He was scratching both of them under the chin and they were both purring loudly.

She and Logan and the two cats. Maybe family had just been redefined.


Mick watched Beth’s eyes silver over again as she stared at his body – at one particular part of his body. She licked her lips and gave a low, sexy growl as she crawled down the bed. Mick watched her movements, slow and sensual, almost like a jungle cat on the prowl. When she reached her destination she turned to him and gave him a sultry grin, her fangs just peeking out between her lush lips. It was the sexiest thing Mick had ever seen, watching Beth like this.

She grasped him with her hand and moved up and down his turgid length a few times, eyeing her prize speculatively. It was almost as if she had never seen him before she decided as she saw the veins standing out prominently against his velvety skin. A bead of his liquid desire leaked out and she bent forward, her tongue capturing it quickly. It didn’t taste any different than it ever had she decided and then bent to her task, swirling her tongue over the swollen tip and then smiling as it elicited a groan from him. Her mouth sank farther down and she could feel the blood pulsing through the shaft in a way she never had before and the thought that it was his blood excited her even more.

Her mouth worked him until he couldn’t stand it any longer and he pulled her up to him and kissed her, delving his tongue into her mouth and stroking the warm depths until they were both crazy with passion. Beth sank down on him, sliding onto his heated length with practiced ease. The wet petals of her flower pulled him into her body, gripping him tightly. She sat up and leaned back, and he watched her firm breasts rise and fall as she drew in sharp breaths with her labor.

She rode him wildly, aware that her senses were alive as they never had been before. Mick’s hands roamed over her lush body, strumming her like a fine instrument and she whimpered softly at the beauty of it. Mick’s hands cupped her breasts, thumbs roving over her puckered nipples and then swept down her body to the curves of her hips, guiding her thrusts as he pushed upwards to meet them.

When he couldn’t handle it any longer her pulled her down and rolled over so he could ride her for the final strokes. He tilted his head to the side so she could see the veins in his neck and she needed no further invitation; baby fangs hit their mark gently and as soon as the blood started to flow she came undone. Mick found the vein on her neck and bit her as well. Their arms tightened around each other and Beth’s eyes were squeezed tightly shut as she felt her release storm through her body, from the tips of her toes to the top of her head. It took a full minute to subside and they both felt how her body continued to rhythmically contracted around him. Finally she pulled her mouth free and lapped at the blood on his neck and she shivered as he did the same thing.

She clung to him tightly still, arms and legs around him and they both caught their breath, even though neither needed to. He kissed her, every bit of love he had for her in the kiss and she understood so much now. She had tasted his love in his blood and so much more. She knew what the vampire had known all along – they were mates, for life.


When Lani and Josef got to his house Franklin opened the door and stood aside as they entered. Lani noted that Franklin was the epitome of an English butler, reserved and polite to the nth degree. He showed her up the stairs and down one of the halls before he stopped at the second door and opened it so that she could enter.

The room was exquisite, done all in shades of bright yellows. Creamy lemon yellow mixed with daffodil and even a light butterscotch present in the room accents. The carpet was cream and yellow with a topaz color here and there and the silk duvet and upholstery on the chaise were a delicate shade of buttercup. It was soothing and she sighed with pleasure.

“Will the room be adequate Ms. Parker?” Franklin asked as he watched the young lady look around the room.

“Adequate?” she asked with a laugh, feeling a hysterical bubble rise up in her throat. “I think that yes, it is more than adequate. Thank you very much.”

He left and Lani explored the room, stopping here and there to touch a knick-knack. There was a cream colored mantle piece over a huge fireplace, as if anyone would need such a thing here. Over it hung a lovely painting of daffodils in a field. It was delicate and she could almost feel the movement of a soft breeze moving through it. She found a closet, an armoire that contained a television and stereo and finally the bathroom, done in the same shades of yellow with brass fixtures. Suddenly she couldn’t wait to crawl into that shower and she grabbed her toiletries and headed in, dropping her clothes as she went.

Josef listened outside the door, holding a small tray that contained a bottle of Macallen and a cut crystal highball glass. When he heard her enter the bathroom he waited for a moment until the shower came on and then quietly opened the door and set the tray on the table beside the bed, and left the room. Out in the hall he sat down on the floor; he told himself he was being a fool but he wanted to make sure she got to bed and to sleep okay.

The room she was in was his mothers’ room; or rather the room he would give to her if it was possible. She had loved yellow and her sitting room in his family home had been filled with yellow furnishings. She loved the spring time when the first daffodils popped up and as a small child he could remember picking them for her and she would scatter them in vases around the room. He didn’t really remember that much of that life, but he remembered that.

He’d seen so many people die in his extended lifetime and had almost watched another dear person leave this earth tonight. All because of his stupid mistake, his incompetency and his belief in someone not worthy of that belief.

It would never happen again.

Before too long he heard her go back into the bedroom and he closed his eyes as he leaned his head back along the wall, waiting for her to sleep.

In the room Lani pulled on a nightshirt and sat on the bed only then spotting the Macallen. She sighed, smiling as she told herself to remember to thank Franklin in the morning. She poured two fingers worth and sipped, leaning back in the bed against some pillows. She was so tired but her mind refused to turn off. She tipped the glass back and finished the fine scotch in one drink and then grabbed the remote for the television and flipped it on, searching for something boring. When she ran across C-span she knew she had hit the jackpot. She poured one more finger of scotch and drank it down before setting the glass on the table. She found the remote timer on the tv and set it for an hour. If an hour of C-span didn’t put her to sleep nothing would. She crawled into the bed and pulled the covers up and tried to focus on the tv set but before long she was sleeping soundly.

Outside, Josef heard her soft sighs as sleep welcomed her with open arms. Her breathing became deep and even, her heart beating steadily and he rose to his feet, knowing she would be okay before heading down to his quarters to feed and make some calls. She was okay; he repeated it over and over until he believed it.


Beth hadn’t noticed when Mick had lowered the door on the freezer, but she realized that the top was really high. The door also opened like a DeLorean, rising up leaving the sides flat with the bed of the freezer. No climbing over the side; that was cool she thought.

They held one another tightly after they had made love, each of them unwilling to let the other go. Beth snuggled against him, running her fingers lightly over his chest while he stroked her back. It was wonderful, perfect she thought.

“Beth, we both need to go and feed in a bit but before we do I need to talk to you about some things, okay?” His words were almost hesitant and she sensed his discomfort over whatever he had to say.

Beth looked up at him and smiled and moved her hand to stroke his cheek. “Okay, what do you need to tell me?” She wondered if there really was some super-secret vampire thing that she hadn’t known about and for some reason the thought thrilled her.

He kissed her forehead and cleared his throat; he felt so nervous but he had to establish their sire/fledgling relationship and he knew that she wouldn’t necessarily like it. Beth was strong and very much her own person and obeying rules wasn’t really her strongest gift.

“Beth, now that you are a vampire, you need to know some things, follow some rules even.” He watched as her eyes narrowed as he spoke. She was listening, but the chances of pissing her off were good. “As your sire, you will need to listen to me and do what I tell you to do, without question which will be hard sometimes I know.”

She started to open her mouth to protest he knew and he laid a finger gently over her lips and continued. “It’s for your safety baby, things are different now and I have to know that you will do as you’re asked without 20 questions, okay? There could be times Beth when your life or mine could depend on it.”

“O-kay; I’m listening,” she said and he could tell that it irritated her to speak the words.

“You’re stronger now, faster, you are going to be more in tune with your senses but it takes a bit of getting used to. Things are going to seem louder, brighter and more in focus for you. Your skin is going to be very sensitive, not only to sunlight but to any bright light for awhile. People will seem like they are yelling when they aren’t, their heartbeats, the sound of their blood rushing though their veins will be enthralling to you. That’s why we’re here, so you can get used to everything gradually.”

The thought occurred to her to wonder where they were. She had assumed at the loft but she hadn’t been out of the freezer so she didn’t know. “So just where are we?”

“In Seattle, at our house. It’s secluded, quiet and exactly what you will need for a bit. Your body will move differently now Beth; more gracefully but usually before that happens it takes some control because your movements will almost seem exaggerated until you are fully in control. It takes some practice baby.”

She loved how he moved; it was beautiful to watch, an economy of motion that was more than sexy – it was sensual and dangerous. Maybe even predatory she suddenly realized. Ooh, she thought, I’m going to move like that too and so fast to boot!

“You’re afraid if I were home I’d want to see everyone and I could be a threat to them huh?” she said and watched as he nodded.

“You wouldn’t be able to control yourself for awhile baby. If you went after someone you love you’d never forget it or forgive yourself Beth.”

She nodded solemnly and said, “That’s why vampires usually walk away from their families isn’t it?”

“How do you explain yourself if you don’t? You don’t eat food anymore and it’s hard to trust yourself around them. Vampires are dangerous, you know that Beth. The fact that you will still see your family and friends will be very unusual and its – well it is complicated for some of them.”

She suddenly thought of Carl and Robbi and Ben; she couldn’t imagine what to say. “I’m going to have to quit work, I know.”

“Yes and you should probably call him today Beth; just get it over with. And what do you want to do about Robbi and Carl? You can’t just walk away from them when you are still around Lani and your folks and others.”

“I don’t know Mick. You know, I believe Carl already knows about you. I think so anyway.”

Mick looked down at her, a small frown on his face. He had suspected that as well but he wondered if Beth knew something else and so he asked her.

“No, it’s just a gut feeling I have. I think he’s tried to protect you Mick; look at the lineup thing. He and I have never talked about it, but I’m pretty sure. But Robbi? It breaks my heart because I don’t know what to do about her. I can’t walk away from her Mick; she’s like a sister, just like Lani but I have no idea if she could handle it.”

“Well just play it by ear with her, okay? For a little bit and see what we need to do. Now, it’s time to go down and feed; you have to be getting hungry and I know I am. I have some really dark sunglasses in the bedroom for you to put on, they sort of wrap around and trust me, you will need them. I think I heard Tim bring our bags in earlier so I’ll go down and grab them and bring them back up and then we can take a cool shower and get dressed, okay?”

“Okay, sounds good.” She watched him press a button and the lid lifted with a hushed ‘swoosh’ sound. “That is so cool!” she laughed.

“Um hm, nothing but the best from Josef Kostan. Seriously though, I gotta get us one of these for the loft.” The both stepped out into the room and Beth stretched, feeling marvelous.

Mick left the room and came back in carrying the sunglasses. She took them and commented, “Really, I don’t need them Mick.”

“Beth, its pitch black in this room. No lights are on.”

Her mouth formed an ‘O’ and she shrugged. “So, better vision huh?”

He nodded and pulled on his jeans in order to head downstairs. Beth wandered into the bedroom and she was glad she had the shades on but even with them the room was very bright. She wandered into the hall to the top of the stairs and looked down into the hallway. Suddenly an impulse took over and she couldn’t control it. She jumped from the top of the stairs to the bottom, landing on the runner at the bottom. She slid 5 feet and then fell on her behind, laughing like a kid.

Mick was not amused. He dropped the bags he had in his hand and yelled, “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?” and watched as she paled and put her hands over her ears from the pain of the volume of the words. He rushed to her saying “I’m sorry baby, I didn’t mean to yell.”

She looked up at him, wincing because her ears were still ringing. They felt almost numb from the pain and then tears started flowing down her face and she jumped into his arms scared to death.

Mick sank to the floor and held her, cuddling her and trying to wipe away the tears that streaked down her beautiful face. “Beth, you could have hurt yourself. You aren’t ready to do those kinds of things.”

“I can’t die; it was just a jump M- Mick,” she said with a hiccup.

“You could have broken your leg or something Beth,” he said, an exasperated tone to his voice.

“Well, it’ll heal you know!” she told him defiantly.

“It will still hurt like hell while it heals Beth. Please don’t do things like that again without asking. I’ll teach you to jump and stuff, I promise. We have other things to work on first.”

She nodded and snuffled loudly. She guessed even vampires needed tissues sometimes. She stood up and headed back to the stairs to find a tissue upstairs. As she got to the bottom step she heard Mick say, “One at a time Beth.”


The ride out the beach house was pretty quiet for Lani and Josef but it wasn’t really uncomfortable which gave Lani pause to think about him, about what they were embroiled in together. Keeping the secret; Beth had told her that it was the number one priority. How could she tell this secret to anyone? Especially now that she was complicit in all of it and more importantly, it would mean the death of her best friend, and others too she guessed. Surprisingly, she didn’t want that for any of these people.

She was a realist – she knew that there were vampires out that that were evil, horrible creatures and she’d met them up close and personal. But then there were people like Mick and Cami and Heroku who were anything but evil. She cast a sideways glance at Josef, trying to debate which side he was on. A couple of months ago she would have put him in the former category, but now?

He wasn’t evil and she knew it. But that didn’t make him okay either. Not quite. Sure, he was thoughtful and helpful in a crisis, that much was true but he could order someone’s death without blinking.

So what her head screamed – you killed someone. What does that make you?

Josef saw Lani squirming in her seat and wondered what was going on. There was too much wind to catch her scent since the top was down on the Ferrari but she was sure mulling over something and judging by the look on her face it wasn’t good. He tried to keep an eye on her as he dealt with all the traffic on a Saturday afternoon; people were heading to the various beaches in droves and were anxious to get there. Far be it from him to get in their way he decided as he watched a small convertible fly past, surfboards fastened to the back of the car. He had often thought that surfing looked exciting; maybe someday he’d learn. He wondered if Lani surfed.

Soon he was turning off onto the side road that led to the beach house. When he pulled the car to a stop she was very quiet and her heart was pounding in her chest. He watched as she gulped in several deep breaths and noticed that she was clenching her hands tightly together.

“Lani, you don’t have to do this today, okay? We can come back another time or I can send someone out to get your car for you.”

She licked her lips for a moment and then shook her head. He knew that she would do it now, to prove something to herself, if not him. He admired her for that but she was so busy showing that she was strong and okay that it tore his heart out.

“No, I’m fine, I can do this,” she told him, opening her door and stepping out of the car. She walked around the side of the house and stood looking at the beach for a moment, her eyes sweeping the beach as if looking for traces of what had happened the night before. Finally she nodded and punched in a manual code to open the garage door. She turned and looked at Josef and said, “Oh, I didn’t get a chance to thank Franklin for the scotch last night. I really appreciated it.”

He nodded, dipping his face a bit so that she couldn’t read it. He knew it was best if that was what she thought but a part of him wanted her to know the truth. Instead he said, “I’ll be sure and do that. Be careful going home, the traffic was crazy out there.” He hopped back into the Ferrari and started the engine, listening to the smooth purr with satisfaction. He watched her get into the Maserati and start the engine. She backed out next to him and pushed a button, closing the garage door and then gave him a brief wave and headed off, back to LA and back to where life was so much more complicated than it had been yesterday at this time.

To be continued…

Just a little fun for Halloween. No intent to steal any characters, only make fun of them! If you are a Twilight fan, I apologize... :awe:

No Such Thing as Sparkly Vampires

It was late October and Mick sat on the porch of the Seattle house, staring up at the full moon. His mom would have called it a harvest moon, but he thought of it as a blood moon, tinged red and huge, it hung like an omen in the inky black sky.

A few gray white clouds sketched across the night sky as if to tease the moon with their translucent presence. The air was still with a hint of salt in the air from the sound, crisp and moist, perfect for a vampire.

Beth was resting deeply in their freezer upstairs; fledglings need lots of rest and lots of other things too and Beth was a demanding fledgling. Mick was a lucky man and he knew it.

Suddenly he caught a movement out in the densest part of the trees, due west. He stood up and saw something glow red and the sound of something large scurrying off, away from the house.

What kind of animal has red eyes? Wolves maybe?

Mick decided to go and check it out; the indigenous wildlife normally didn’t present a problem for them but since whatever this was appeared to be watching the house he wasn’t prepared to just let it go.

He stood up and jumped off the porch and was startled to see Tim come around the corner of the house, in what could only be described as war paint.

“Tim, what the hell?” Mick said as he took in Tim in a leather breechclout and moccasins. Red and black paint streaked his face making him look quite savage. In his hand he carried a silver tipped war lance that was very lethal looking.

“Damn Cullen’s! Never know when to stay the hell away. Come on, we gotta catch ‘em.” He tossed another war lance to Mick and took off at a fast trot, leaving Mick to catch up with him.

As they ran through the forest Mick asked, “What is a cullen? Are they a type of wolf?”

Tim stopped for a moment and stared at Mick as if he were crazy. “You don’t know what a Cullen is? They sparkle, I’ll tell you that much. Wolves? They hang around with ‘em sometimes it’s said.” Tim lifted his head and scented the air and remarked, “He’s close. Been hunting around here. You hear me Cullen! I’m gonna get you this time!” He raised a hatchet in the air and Mick wondered where that came from.

In the distance they heard a laugh that seemed to float through the air. It was an eerie laugh, more like a small girls Mick thought and he said, “This cullen isn’t human is it?”

“Hell no! They’re vampires!”

“Vampires? What are they hunting for out here?” Mick was clearly puzzled because there weren’t any humans around for miles.

“Who knows? Deer, bear maybe, they’ll eat anything. Come on, we gotta catch ‘em.” He took off running again at a fast clip, Mick following closely behind.

Suddenly Tim stopped again and looked up, pointing at the tree canopy. “He’s taken to the trees. That’s okay because if he falls he’ll shatter into a million pieces, then we just have to dispose of them. You take that tree and I’ll take this one. Stay alert, he’s close by,” Tim warned.

Shatter? What kind of a vampire shattered? He was beginning to think that Tim had been smoking something other than tobacco in his peace pipe. “Tim, vampires don’t shatter!” Mick said, concerned for his friend.

“These here ones do,” Tim said, jumping straight up into the upper branches of the tree.

Mick shrugged, deciding to just go along with it for now. He jumped up into his tree and scented the air; there was a very different scent up here, but definitely not vamp; there was no smell of decay. He turned around and came face to face with a person with glowing red eyes and skin that…sparkled? Sparkled, really?

He couldn’t help it – he laughed out loud. And then laughed some more. The intensity of the red eyes grew more furious as Mick continued to laugh. “Stop laughing!” Edward said.

“Dude, you SPARKLE!! I can’t help it. You think you’re a vamp? Tim, this guy isn’t a vampire!” Mick said, jumping back down to the ground. Tim joined him, quickly followed by Edward.

“Okay Cullen, I’ve had enough of you poaching off the preserve. You’ve stolen your last bear from us!” Tim raised the hatchet, ready to strike.

Mick stepped between them and raised a hand to prevent Tim was lopping this guy’s head off. “Look um, Cullen, you’re NOT a vampire, okay? Now, go on home and play nice with someone else, okay?”

“I most certainly am a vampire,” Edward asserted. He drew himself up to appear intimidating.

“You don’t even have any fangs,” Mick said, displaying his own. “Now, you really think you want to get an attitude with me? Go on home!” He stepped away, laughing at the silly young man.

“We don’t bite to get our blood. We’re superior vampires, highly evolved.” Edward raised his head a notch, pride ringing in his statement.

“Um hm.” Mick turned around, preparing to walk away when Edward grabbed him, tightening his grip around Mick’s neck to inhuman pressure. Mick elbowed him only to be met by something that felt like solid granite. “Ow! What the hell?” he asked, breaking away and holding his elbow.

“Told you Mick, they’re vamps. Stand aside!” He raised the hatchet and swung wide, carving into the side of Edwards’s neck, lopping the head off. It hit the ground with a thud and rolled several feet away. His body was still trying to fight. “Get rid of that head Mick,” Tim said, still fighting the body of the vamp. He was losing Mick saw and decided to make a grab for the head but the body was quicker than both of them, breaking away from Tim’s grasp and lunging for its head and sitting it back on top of his body.

Edward growled at them and both Mick and Tim returned the sound, filling the forest with the unearthly howls. The moon was straight overhead and Edward sparkled brighter than ever and Mick felt a chill creep up his spine.

“Cullen, get the hell off of my land! Next time you come around you won’t make it out alive; that’s not a threat, it’s a promise,” Mick told the other vamp.

“Look, I’ll leave but I made a mistake okay? I didn’t mean to come onto your land. I’ll be more careful in the future.” He suddenly disappeared, leaving Mick and Tim staring at one another.

The next thing the two men knew they were suddenly surrounded by glowing amber eyes. Mick and Tim looked around themselves and saw a half dozen wolves, razor sharp teeth bared and snapping at the two vamps.

“Damn werewolves! Get outta here,” Tim said, throwing the hatchet at the one nearest him.

“Werewolves?” Mick said, fainting dead away.


Mick sat up with a start, knocking the book he had been reading off of his lap. It thumped to the floor loudly, making him jump. He picked it up off the floor, trying to smooth out the pages that had gotten bent when the book hit the floor. It was Beth’s book and she had dared him to read it, so of course he had.

The dream came back to him in a rush and he shivered. Sparkly vampires? Werewolves? How ridiculous.

The only thing more upsetting than those things was the fact that vampires don’t dream. He looked around the house, at the quiet and stillness within and stood up. It was time to hit the freezer.

Vampires don’t dream, vampires don’t dream…

The end.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chapter Two

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Chapter 2

Lani stared straight ahead with virtually unblinking eyes as they made the trip back into town. She listened as Colleen and Josef talked about someone named Leo. He was apparently the person that Kelly had contact with.

“She was supposed to meet him at 11:00 tonight Josef. If you drop me off there, I can take him out.”

“I dare say you could Colleen, but I’m going to provide you with some help so that it can be done quietly.” He pulled his phone out as they sat at a stop light and punched a number and waited impatiently for the call to be answered.

Lani and Colleen listened as Josef made a call to someone named Ryan and made arrangements for him and Mike to meet them at the park where Leo was. Leo apparently was a vampire who had a thing for children’s blood. Lani felt sick to her stomach; maybe from that info, maybe from everything else that had happened. She really wasn’t sure but she definitely felt queasy.

“Okay Colleen, you’re good to go. They will make sure you get home afterwards.”

“My car is at Kostan Industries, I’ll need to get it from there. What are you going to do with Katrina?” she asked, curious.

“She’s going to have a terrible accident, by my own hands this time. You interested in her job Colleen? I need someone there that I can trust.”

Colleen was quiet for a moment, a small frown marring her face. She licked her lips and said, “No, but thank you, for your trust I mean. I think it’s time for me to retire from the Cleaners. Josef, there were too many there that are fiercely loyal to Katrina; I wasn’t and I’d have no authority over them. But you’d better be careful who you chose for the job because a couple of them will be treacherous.”

“We’ll have to have a talk about that. But, would you be interested in working for me, at Kostan? Good pay and perks Colleen and I highly value loyalty.”

Colleen only hesitated for a moment before responding, “I would like that very much Josef. I’ll resign from the Cleaners tomorrow.”

“Well, wait on that until the Katrina issue is resolved, please. I don’t want her wondering why you are suddenly leaving the service.”

Lani listened to all of this glib talk of death and realized that it didn’t even bother her. What is wrong with me, she wondered. I KILLED someone tonight, I saw Beth attacked and basically watched her die and then become a vampire. Salty tears once again streaked her face and she thought of Dorothy and Clark, among others. She had to tell them tonight, it couldn’t wait. “Josef, I need to go and talk to Dorothy and Clark.”

He looked at her briefly, his eyebrows raising a notch as he digested what she said. “Lani, don’t you think maybe it would be better to tell them tomorrow instead of tonight? Let them get a good nights sleep instead of worrying about this?”

Lani shook her head no and gulped in a deep breath. “No. Josef, if it was your child wouldn’t you want to know right away?” she said quietly, her brown eyes speaking volumes of the pain she was feeling.

He nodded as he pulled into the parking spot at the park. “Okay, you’re right.” As he looked around the parking area he spotted Ryan and Mike already waiting for them. “Colleen, your ride is here.” He and Colleen both got out of the car and went and spoke with the two men who waited by a bench.

While she waited her phone rang and she looked and saw that it was Audrey calling. Apparently when Audrey had told Logan he was determined to go to see Dorothy and Clark as well. Lani made plans to meet them there and told Josef about it when he slid back into the seat of the Benz.

“Reinforcements, probably a good thing.” He cast her a sideways look as he pulled back out into traffic and asked for directions to their house.

Lani answered him, her monotonic voice alerting him to just how hard she was trying to keep her emotions under control. Her hands were clenched tightly in her lap and her breathing was harsh and unsteady. He knew it was a huge struggle for her because he was feeling the same way. It was his fault, all of this was his fault he knew because he trusted Katrina instead of making sure the job was done when he was there to witness it. He wouldn’t make that mistake with Katrina; he would take great pleasure in watching her die, the slower the better.

Another quick glance at Lani showed her worrying her lower lip in the glare of the oncoming headlights. He had killed before, it was second-nature to a vampire even if they didn’t do it regularly. It was something in their vampire DNA he figured, but Lani? Well, she wasn’t a vampire and it started to sink in to him just how she must feel about it all. Strangely enough, the man with the answers had none for her. It was a sobering thought.

When they pulled up at Clark and Dorothy’s house they saw Logan and Audrey getting out of his car. Josef opened the door for Lani and held his hand out to help her out of the car. She looked down at her clothes, sandy and water-stained from standing in the swells for so long but it would have to do. She tugged and straightened and brushed off as much as she could before walking to where Audrey was standing.

For a moment they stared at one another and then in a single breath they came together, hugging one another tightly in the inky night. Both girls cried as the memories of the night washed over them. Finally they pulled apart, both of them wiping their eyes and taking deep breaths.

Logan was beside himself at what had happened. He wanted to kill someone for the first time in his life; except of course Lani had already done that. And apparently wasn’t handling it well either. When Audrey had told him what had happened the young vampire went ballistic, something that was rare for him. Now, they were faced with telling two people that he loved dearly what had happened. He couldn’t even imagine how they would take it.

The four of them walked towards the door and pushed the bell; it was only a few moments before Clark answered the door. He stood there for a minute, looking at the four of them, taking in the girls pale, tear-stained faces and he knew, he just knew.

“Is she dead?” he asked, a feeling of panic rising in his throat.

“No, um, not really,” Josef answered, meeting Clarks eyes and hoping that he understood that.

He did, he got it. Was it relief that sent shivers up his spine or was it torment? He didn’t know. “Come on in. We were just watching the news. I don’t know how she’ll take this though.”

They followed him into the house, to the family room where Dorothy was sitting on the couch, a glass of milk in her hand. As she took in their appearance she sat it down on the table next to her and stood up, her hand covering her mouth in a nervous gesture.

Logan and Josef both listened to her heartbeat and the babies as well. She was breathing quickly and Josef was afraid she would start to hyperventilate. She placed a hand over her baby bump and rubbed it tenderly for a moment and finally said, “Tell me.”

“Honey, why don’t you sit down,” Clark encouraged and tried to gently guide her to sit.

She pulled away from him, tugging her arm away from his hand willfully. Her eyes were sparkling brightly with tears and then they burst forth, running in rivulets down her face. “Tell me!” she demanded again. “Is she dead?”

Josef looked at first Logan and then Clark. How did they answer that one? He took a breath, but before he could speak Lani reached out and held Dorothy’s hand, rubbing it softly between her own.

“She – there was an…” Words seemed to fail her for a moment and she pulled in a deep breath and let it out in a harsh rush. “She was attacked, at the beach; at my beach house. Mick had to, um, he had to turn her Dorothy.” Lani barely got the words out; they were only painful whisper that made her throat ache as she spoke them. She watched Dorothy’s face as the words sunk in and watched as Dorothy sank in slow motion onto the couch, shock writing starkly on her face. Lani dropped down onto her knees in front of Dorothy and licked her lips before speaking. “I’m sorry, so sorry. If I hadn’t asked her out there…”

“Shhh, Lani. It wasn’t your fault honey,” Dorothy said as she watched the tears flow down Lani’s face. “Where is she? Is she at home? Can I see her?” Dorothy asked, one question quickly following the other.

“No, Mick took her to Seattle, to their house where she can get used to everything in seclusion. Dorothy, you won’t be able to see her, I’m sorry for that.” Josef hated saying the words but she might as well understand from the beginning.

“Seclusion? Why can’t I see her? She’ll want me there!”

“No honey. Don’t you remember when Logan was turned? They – they can’t be around humans because of the blood for a little while. Remember?” Clark asked, hoping that it would all come back to her.

The word ‘they’ meaning vampire, sliced through her and with that came the true understanding of what happened. “I don’t care! She wouldn’t hurt me, she’s my daughter!” Dorothy’s voice was just shy of yelling and hysterical to boot. Clark was scared and knew they needed to calm her quickly. This wasn’t good for the babies. It was understandable, but definitely not good.

Logan stepped forward and knelt down on one knee and said, “Dorothy, Mick is the best sire; I know that from experience, remember?” He smiled at her reassuringly and continued, “He’ll get her used to it pretty quickly, I know and then they’ll come home and you can see her. I promise,” he said, hoping that she would accept that. Josef and Clark both nodded, trying desperately to give her some faith in it all.

Dorothy looked at Lani again, sitting in front of her trying desperately to hold back more tears. Something else was wrong, she could see it in Lani’s face, the way her shoulders were sloped, curving forward in a miserable gesture.

“Lani, what else is wrong? What aren’t you telling me?” There was a sharp tone of panic in Dorothy’s voice as she reached out and took Lani’s hands in her own.

“I killed her, the woman who attacked Beth, but more than that, it was my fault we were at the beach, so it’s my fault what happened to Bethy.”

Clark drew in a sharp breath at the pain that was in Lani’s voice. He watched as Dorothy slid down onto the floor and pulled Lani to her, hugging her tightly and rubbing her back, trying to comfort her. Dorothy held her while Lani’s heartbreaking sobs filled the room. Audrey was crying and so was Logan; he even thought for a moment that he saw tears in Josef’s eyes.

Clark swallowed hard as he watched the two of them, unaware of the tears that were streaking his own face. Dorothy had been more of a mother to Lani all these years than her own parents were; there was an inexplicable bond that they shared over the years and Lani’s ill-conceived guilt and pain was tearing his wife up.

“No, no Lani, it’s not your fault sweetie, it’s not. Beth is still with us, just in another way now and if you killed this person you did it in defense of Beth. Shhh, it’s going to be okay, I promise.”

Lani nodded and tried to get herself under control. Slowly the sobs abated and all that was left was an occasional hiccup. When she looked up her face was red with the vigor of her grief. Dorothy brushed her hair back from her face and kissed her on her forehead, trying to wipe the tears away with her thumbs. Clark grabbed a tissue from the box behind him and then thought better of it and grabbed the whole box, handing them around.

Josef knelt down next to Lani and smiled at her, speaking softly said, “Lani, I know how hard this is for you, but you were the hero of the night. Kelly might have been able to get to Beth again and things could have been so different.” He took one of her hands in his and said, “Please don’t feel this way; you probably saved Beth.”

Lani nodded at him but couldn’t muster anything else. This night would live with her forever.


An hour later, when everyone had talked it all through Lani, Josef, Logan and Audrey left, walking out to their cars.

“I guess I’d better go and get Travis,” Logan said, resignation in his voice.

“We have to head over there now and grab some clothes and things for them. I’m having them flown up tomorrow. You guys want to follow us over there now?” Josef asked as he unlocked the door of the Benz.

“Yeah, might as well. Audrey, you want to come with me?” At her nod he told Josef, “We’ll meet you there.”

When Josef and Lani were situated in the car Josef pulled out his phone and called someone, asking them to bring the Ferrari to Mick’s so he could park the Benz. He had grumbled about the ‘dinosaur’ many times that night; in other circumstances Lani would have found it funny. Tonight, nothing in the world was funny.

At Mick and Beth’s house they met Randy, one of the guys who brought the Ferrari over. Josef thanked him and made sure the Benz was locked tight and then they headed upstairs. Logan and Audrey weren’t there yet, they’d lost them somewhere on Wilshire and no wonder, the kid drove like an old man as far as Josef was concerned.

Upstairs, as soon as they opened the door Travis made a bee-line for them, jumping into Josef’s arms and meowing pitifully. Josef scratched him behind the ears, talking soothingly to him. “Travis, we gotta come to an understanding about the Armani, okay? It’s silk puddy cat. Silk. It doesn’t like kitty claws.”

Lani watched him with curious eyes as he cared for the cat, petting him and tying to comfort him. He was so gentle with the cat, almost loving. It didn’t quite jibe with the mental profile of him as a player and ruthless vampire that she thought he was.

Logan and Audrey walked in and as soon as Travis saw him he let out a plaintive meow, as if he knew what that meant.

What Logan saw was the cat opening his mouth and showing fangs that were too big for an ordinary cat. And he was still sure that the cat’s eyes could silver over. “Did you see that?” he asked Audrey as he pointed a Travis. “He barred his fangs at me!”

“Logan, don’t be ridiculous, he only meowed. I was watching him.” She walked over to Josef and reached out for Travis who came willingly into her arms, purring loudly as she scratched his cheek. “Would you like to go and see Plato Travis? I know he’d like to see you.”

She continued to hold him while Logan gathered Travis’ belongings to take with them. Soon he had everything and they headed out the door, Travis securely in his kennel. Josef stood for a moment, looking at Lani who hadn’t said a word since the left Dorothy and Clark’s house. He headed up the stairs and said, “If you could gather a few things for Beth, that would be helpful. I’m sure she’d rather you hunt for her lingerie than me!”

“Okay,” Lani said, heading up the stairs behind him. “What should I get?”

“Soft clothing mostly; her skin will be really sensitive at first. A few pairs of jeans and that kind of thing for later on. And whatever personal grooming items you think she’ll need.”

Lani quietly went about searching for the requested items; a silk robe and several soft cotton nightshirts and then she thought better of that – vampires sleep in the freezer, naked so she hastily put them back in the drawer. After she had what she hoped were the right items gathered and packed into a small bag she headed into the bathroom, gathering all the personal care items she knew Beth would want and then added Mick’s stuff that she found too. She met Josef back in the bedroom as he was finishing putting Mick’s clothes into another bag.

“I got all the stuff from the bathroom. I think we’ve got everything covered,” she told him.

Josef nodded and picked up Beth’s bag as well as Mick’s and headed downstairs with Lani following with the overnight bag full of shampoo, deodorant and all that type of things. She closed the door behind her and headed down the stairs. Each hollow, echoing step felt like a door closing on Beth’s life and for a moment she felt overwhelmed again.

Josef smiled kindly at her; it would take her awhile to get past this, maybe a long while. “Are you ready to go? It there anything else you can think of?”

She shook her head no and headed for the door without another word. Josef closed the door behind them and made sure it locked correctly. Before they knew it the elevator whisked them down to the parking area and Josef was tucking the bags into the Ferrari. “Lani, what if early afternoon tomorrow I take you out to pick up your car? I really think you need to rest now, okay?”

For a moment Lani thought about it; it might be relaxing to go out and get it and drive home with the wind blowing through her hair, but she was weary. She needed to rest; what she didn’t know was if she could.

“Would you like to stay at my house tonight Lani?” He saw her eyes spark for a moment as anger bubbled up. “In your own room, in a totally different part of the house from my living quarters, I promise.”

“Is this the part where your ‘meals on heels’ live?” she retorted, still suspicious.

Despite himself Josef couldn’t hold back a huge laugh. “Meals on heels? I love that. No, they live in another area. This would be the guest wing. You’d be totally by yourself in that area, but at least there would be other people around, if you, like uh, needed anyone.”

She wanted to fight it, she just wanted to go home but she didn’t want to be alone really. Finally she nodded her assent and Josef said, “Okay then. Do you need to stop by your place for a few things?”

“Yes, that would be helpful.” She choked back a sob that was trying to make its way up her throat and murmured, “Thank you Josef.”

“Not a problem.”


Logan took Audrey home and when they got there she said, “Logan, do you have to sleep in your freezer every night?”

He smiled at her and shook his head no and said, “No, I don’t. Would you like me to stay at your place; I can. I understand if you don’t want to be alone.”

“I would really like that Logan; I – I just don’t want to be alone.”

“Okay, I’d be happy to stay.”

They carried in Travis and all his accoutrements and let him out as soon as they were inside. He immediately ran over to Plato and they nosed one another and as if by silent consent they stopped and grabbed a couple of nibbles of food and then headed out the kitty door. Logan laughed and said, “Well, that takes care of those two!” He turned to Audrey and wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close for a hug. “Do you have a pillow for me here on the couch?”

For a moment Audrey looked confused and then realized he meant to sleep on the couch. “I, um, I was talking about sleeping in the bedroom Logan. I understand though, I’ll get you a pillow.” She figured that maybe he couldn’t rest in a bed with her.

The two of us are so unsure of one another that we are constantly misinterpreting half of what we say. It was a startling thought to Logan and one that brought a moment of crystal clarity.

“I’d be happy to stay with you, I just wasn’t sure you wanted that. Audrey, we’ve both got to be a little clearer about what we want.” He leaned down and lightly kissed her on the nose and then on her mouth.

Her lips opened to his, her tongue tangling with his and she started pushing his jacket down his arms and then pulled off her blouse. “Is this clear enough Logan? I want you.”

Logan swallowed a nervous laugh down and instead emitted a low growl of desire. Oh yeah, he wanted this too and he told her so. She took his hand in hers and led him into her bedroom, shedding more clothes as she went. Maybe this was the wrong time to even think about this; the circumstance was horrible, but she only knew that she needed him as she had never needed anyone in her life.

By the time they got into the bedroom and by the bed both of them were naked. There was no embarrassment, no fear. It was just the two of them and it felt perfectly right. Audrey crawled up the bed and lay back among the pillows and Logan followed her, taking in her beautiful body as he did. He had never imagined she would be this breathtakingly lovely, this sexy and just looking at her made him ache to be inside her.

He kissed her again, his cool mouth melding with her warm one; their tongues stroked and explored, tasted and delved as deeply as they could. Logan’s hands weren’t hesitant at all as he moved them gently down her body, stopping to caress here and stroke there and soon his mouth followed. The textures of her skin made him sigh with delight; his tongue swept along her neck, teasing along the vein that throbbed with her desire for him.

She drew in her breath excitedly as she felt his mouth on her neck and almost sighed in frustration as his lips then journeyed farther down the lush expanse to her breast; paying silent homage at the beauty of her body. He worshiped the planes of her belly, tickling lightly with first with fingertips and then his tongue. Finally he was at the apex of her desire and cautious fingers slipped inside the dewy folds and stroked her tenderly.

Audrey almost came off the bed when his fingers touched her; they dipped into the warmth and slipped over the aroused nub of desire and she started to fall over the edge, calling his name out over and over.

“Now Logan, please, now,” she told him and he traveled back up her body and seated himself between her silken thighs. She could feel his manhood probing at her and it thrilled her. She had waited a lifetime for this; she had waited a lifetime for Logan.

“Audrey, I’m afraid I’m going to hurt you a bit, but I’ll try to be gentle, okay?” he asked as he pushed against her.

She lifted her legs up and felt him enter her, stunned by the feel of his body in hers. They both felt it when he found the barrier hidden away and she nodded at him, encouraging him to push farther. For a moment she felt a sharp stabbing of pain and then it was gone.

Logan was in her as far as he could go and he hesitated for a minute, giving them both a chance to get used to this. It was going to take iron control on his part to last any length of time at all he realized and then when he started moving again they were both lost to the sensation. He was loving her, trying to show her the depth of his emotion and it wasn’t enough. “Audrey, I love you, I love you…”

“Logan, I love you too,” she whispered against his neck. She felt her body responding again, coming undone and she went with the feeling, feeling safe with him. Soon he was there as well and bit into his shoulder as the emotions rocked them both.

Finally he moved off of her and then pulled her body over so that she was lying half on him and wrapped his arms around her, not willing to let her go.

“I thought you had to uh, bite, to, you know?” she said as she tried to catch her breath.

Logan was shocked that she knew that. One of the female vamps most likely. He explained what Mick had told him and she seemed to accept it. “Next time?” she asked as she was falling asleep.

“Next time,” he murmured in reply. “Next time…”


Lani came out of her building with a small overnight bag and climbed back into the Ferrari. “Ready?” Josef asked and when she nodded he pulled out into the street. It was 3 am and the traffic was slow but still there. This was LA and there was always traffic. It took them 20 minutes to reach the mansion and Lani leaned her head sleepily against the window, watching the lights and other cars go by.

Josef was startled by how young she looked. Dark sooty lashes hid her eyes for the most part, sometimes resting on her pale cheeks. She was relaxed and that was a good thing. It would be a the best thing for her to get her settled at the house and he had a few calls to make. While she had been upstairs he had already called Franklin and had him get a room ready for Lani; the yellow room, bright and cheerful and just the thought of Lani in that room made him smile.

Tomorrow Katrina was going to meet hell and he, Josef Kostan was personally going to drive her there.


Beth smiled as she sat on the edge of the freezer and looked over her shoulder at Mick. Suddenly she had turned around and was in his arms, only knowing that she had to be there.

“Mick, oh Mick, I was so confused. I thought Elka had turned me and she wasn’t here but then I looked at you and it was you, wasn’t it? That’s what I’m feeling isn’t it?”

Mick held her close and said, “Yes baby, you’re feeling the sire/fledgling bond.” He was aware that she was crying and he stroked her back, telling her it was okay. “Hey, I think you need to feed. Are you ready to try?”

“I don’t have any fangs!” she exclaimed. “I think something is wrong,” she told him, crying all the harder.

“You’ll have them, I promise. Now, lay back and rest your head on my shoulder, okay?” At her nod he continued, “Now look at my arm. Do you see all the veins in it?”

Again she nodded, fascinated by the veritable highway of veins that hid below the surface of his skin. They stood out starkly against his white skin and she suddenly felt hungry and realized her fangs were descending. It didn’t hurt exactly, but it certainly felt weird. “I do have fangs,” she said proudly, running her tongue over them and realized they were razor sharp when she cut her tongue on them.

“Um hm, now, remember how I sort of run my tongue over your vein until I find one? You’ll know when you have…” he was saying as she ran her tongue over his arm and then bit him. It was a light bite, deep enough to hit the vein but not painful at all. Of course, she took to it like a duck to water. Josef would be proud.

“There you go baby, you have it. You’ve got great instincts.” He felt her mouth on his arm, her tongue lightly coaxing the blood from his vein without pulling too much on it. He relaxed back and took a deep breath and a startling thought occurred to him. He had never in the past experienced this – this bliss that he was feeling now. With Coraline it was always a battle; the bites were usually vicious, angry, born more of necessity than love. This bite was one of love and it was a sensation he knew that he would never tire of. The more he relaxed the harder and more aroused he became until he was almost to the point of exploding all on his own. It was amazing.

He felt her pull her fangs out and then lovingly lave over the twin holes which were already healing. She placed light kisses over his arm and then shifted to lean up to kiss him. “Did I do alright?” she asked shyly.

“You did very well Beth. It was amazing,” he said.

She smiled delightfully, her baby fangs peeking through her lips. She looked down and saw that he was rock hard. She was ready as well, already wet and full of desire for him. She reached her hand down and stroked him a few times. “Now Mr. St. John, what are we going to do about this?”

“Why don’t we see what your instincts tell you? They did a pretty good job before!”

To be continued…

Monday, October 17, 2011

Chapter 1

Well I just heard the news today,
Seems my life, is gonna change.

Lani, Josef, Elka and Colleen watched as the chopper took off from the beach stirring up a froth of sand in the wash from the rotors. Lani closed her eyes as she felt the fine particles sting her face, almost like sunburn.

The sun, she and Beth and Robbi would never again sit on this beach under the sun and luxuriate in the golden rays. The heat was a comforting thing, soothing. Almost a placebo for whatever doctors were prescribing for anxious patients now days. Now, Beth would never feel it again, not without pain.

She wiped her face, smoothing away the grit of the sand only to realize that it had clung to the tracks of the tears that she had cried. She walked out to the water and splashed some onto her face, unwilling to venture into the house where her friend had been.

Josef started to follow her, concerned as to what she planned to do but Elka reached out and stopped him, her cool hand tugging on his arm. “Give her a few minutes Josef,”

He nodded but watched her still, not sure if she was planning on taking a permanent swim or just wanted some private time. His heart broke for her, watching what had happened to Beth. “She should never have witnessed that,” he told Elka and Colleen.

“It’s not just that Josef; she killed someone tonight. Did you forget that? It might have been someone who attacked her best friend, but I’m sure she’s never done such a thing before.” Colleen whispered the words, her heart aching for the human girl who seemed so lost.

Elka looked around, at the dying fire, Mick’s jacket and the remains of the party that littered the beach. Her mind also thought about the bathroom in the house; someone definitely needed to clean it up.

As she vocalized her thoughts and Colleen nodded and said, “We can’t call the Cleaners on this one, let me go and take a look, if you want to work out here. Don’t forget the blood in the sand; you should pour some water on it to wash it away or haul it out into the water; that’s probably best.”

“Okay,” Elka said as she began picking up the things that weren’t disposable. She saw the remains of the shoes in the fire and wondered what they should do with them. The fire was only smoldering and wasn’t hot enough to finish burning them. She looked at them pointedly and then at Josef, an unvoiced question in her eyes.

Josef shrugged, “Tar pits maybe? Not sure. Wrap them in Mick’s jacket; I’m sure he won’t want it anymore. We’ll figure it out later.” He turned back to Lani, standing knee deep again in the Pacific. He watched as her shoulders shuddered with her silent tears and at her hands which were balled tightly into fists. As hard and tough as he tried to be, one of his weaknesses was women’s tears. They just tore him up and watching Lani was no different.

Josef could fix a lot of things, but this thing? He didn’t have a clue what to do to make it better. He knew they had a lot to do still this night and while he wanted to give Lani time, it was running short. He glanced at his watch; a few minutes before ten. It felt as if it should be much later than this he thought.

Elka had cleaned up most of the mess and he said, “I’m going up to get Mick’s car. I think he left the keys in it; I’m hoping anyway. I’ll move it down here so that we can get her into it.”

“Good idea,” she told him as she scooped more sand onto the remains of the fire. She looked around, she needed a bucket or something to carry the sand in to the water and to pour a couple of bucket full’s over the fire too. I should have done that before I smothered it with sand she thought.

Elka found a bucket under the kitchen sink and carried the bloody sand down the beach and dumped it into the water, hopefully out of Lani’s sight and then she checked the fire too. The beach looked untouched she decided as she headed back into the house to see if Colleen needed any help. By that time Josef was back with the car and had taken up his stance again watching Lani, a pensive look on his face as he rocked back and forth on his heels in the shifting sand. The beach was never a place she would ever have pictured Josef at, and yet, here he was. The Armani suit somehow made him look quite comfortable, as if he were a model posing in the sand, except for the look on his face that is.

Inside she found Colleen stuffing Beth’s clothes into a plastic bag. She mentioned Mick’s jacket and the shoes and Colleen asked her to bring them in too so Elka headed out to grab them. Josef had walked out to where Lani was standing and stood quietly by her. Lani was hugging his jacket tightly to her but otherwise they weren’t touching or talking, just standing quietly in the surf.

“How is she?” Colleen asked when Elka came back in.

“Still not saying a word, just standing there in the water. I think she is in shock.”

Colleen nodded and took the jacket with the shoes rolled up in it and stuffed it down with the clothes before tying it tightly closed.

“What do we do with those? We can’t risk them being found.” Elka said.

Colleen nodded and told her, “I’ll take care of them; no one will ever find a trace.”

Elka figured it was probably a cleaner thing and nodded agreement, happy to leave that task to her. Everything looked pristine and both women nodded as they checked that no traces of what had happened here remained. After grabbing Lani’s and Beth’s purses they turned off the lights and found a key to the door on Lani’s key chain. They walked out to the beach and saw that Josef was walking Lani back onto the sand.

“I drove my car,” Elka said, “So I’ll head on out. Colleen, would you like to ride with me?”

Colleen watched Josef and Lani and decided that she should ride with them, in case Josef needed help with her. “No, I think I’ll ride back with them,” she said, motioning to the pair who was walking slowly towards them.

“Might be a good idea,” Elka agreed.

Josef had heard the whole conversation and nodded, agreeing with the decision. Elka raised her hand in farewell and left.

Lani looked up when she heard the purr of the engine in Elka’s car. Her own was in the garage and she headed towards it so she could drive home.

“Hey, why don’t you ride with me and Colleen back into town? We can come and get your car in the morning, okay?”

Hearing him speaking directly to her sort of shook her out of her reverie and for the first time in the last half an hour she looked around her, seeing that the beach was clean, no traces of the party remained. As if it never happened…

“Okay,” she said, heading straight for the Benz. Colleen was already in the car, sitting in the back seat and waiting for Josef and Lani. She could keep her eye on Lani better from back there she had decided.

Josef opened the passenger door for her and she climbed in and settled onto the leather seat. She felt sure that Mick would not appreciate her sitting there being soaked in salt water as she was but right now she didn’t care. She could reimburse him later for the cleaning and reconditioning.

She took a deep breath and leaned against the windows, staring blankly out as the world rushed by. Tonight she had killed someone – tonight her best friend had died and been reborn, of sorts. It should all balance and yet somehow it didn’t.


When the helicopter landed at the small airport Mick climbed out, still holding Beth in his arms, clutching her to him tightly, as if she were the most precious gift. Her heart was beating a steady but very slow rhythm; still, it was a little faster than normal for a vamp, but it could be because her body was getting used to its new existence. She breathed in and out slowly; small and shallow breaths that gave him false hope that he hadn’t actually took her human life.

But he had. He had promised her he would do it when the time was right. Oh God, why did it have to be now he lamented? Why couldn’t she have made it a few more years before this thing happened to her?


Because he had failed her. He hadn’t kept her safe and now she was forced to live in his world. Too soon, much too soon. The lump of white hot pain burned his throat and its accompanying tears made his eyes feel on fire. He swallowed hard, trying to force the lump down, the tears away as he focused on the task at hand – getting Beth to Seattle so she could rest.

He climbed aboard the jet, still carrying Beth as if she were weightless. He saw Grant, Josef’s co-pilot waiting to greet him, standing aside so that Mick could make his way into the cabin.

“Welcome aboard Mr. St. John. Steven and I will be seeing you to Seattle tonight. I’m very sorry about the circumstances.”

Mick nodded briefly as he made his way to the couch, settling on it and laying Beth down next to him. He smoothed the blanket around her and worried because she felt warm, too warm and decided that he should put her into the freezer after they got in the air.

Grant walked back into the cabin, carrying two glasses of fresh blood for Mick. “Mr. Kostan said to be sure you drank these Mr. St. John; he wanted me to remind you that when Mrs. St. John awakens you will need it.”

As Mick stared at the glasses on the tray his stomach turned, doing flip-flops and he definitely felt sick but he recognized that Josef was right. When Beth woke up she would need to feed immediately and he needed to be prepared. He said, “Thank you Grant. Can you set them in the holder please,” referring to the built in cubby that kept beverages from tipping.

“Certainly. There are no attendants on board tonight,” he said kindly.

Mick knew that was because all of Josef’s flight attendants were human and if Beth awoke during the flight the last thing they needed to worry about was her going after someone.

“Mr. Kostan also wanted me to give you this information. Instead of landing at SeaTac we are landing at the Brighton Airfield, north of Seattle. A helicopter will be meeting us there and will fly you over to the west bank near your house. He feels this will work better, again in case the young lady should wake up. Your caretaker will meet us there.”

“Thank you Grant. After we get in the air I’m going to move Mrs. St. John into the freezer; she definitely feels too warm and I’m a bit concerned about her.” As he spoke he unwrapped the blanket from her, hoping that would help a bit.

“Of course Mr. St. John. I’ll go and turn it on and then I’ll be heading forward so we can get into the air. If you need anything, please press the call button.”

Mick nodded and sat back in the seat, closing his eyes and trying not to re-live the past hour or so. But somehow the memories would not be pushed out and he lived them in vivid Technicolor, the sights and sounds making him wince.

As he and Josef had made the run to the beach all he could focus on was Beth, lying motionless and Elka and Lani next to her. He had vaguely been aware that Kelly had fallen into the fire but he wasn’t sure exactly how that happened. It didn’t matter really; all that mattered was that she was dead for real this time.

He should be raging angry with Josef right now but he wasn’t. He knew that Josef had honestly believed that Kelly was dead. Mick knew he wouldn’t want to be Katrina when Josef got a hold of her.

They were in the air and Grant spoke over the intercom, “Mr. St. John, you can move Mrs. St. John now if you like.”

Mick pushed the button and said, “Yes, I will. Thanks Grant.” He finished the last couple of drinks in the glass and then stood up and gathered Beth gently in his arms and carried her into the bedroom. True to his word Grant had turned the freezer on and he first laid Beth on the bed and undressed her before laying her in the freezer. He leaned over and kissed her chilly lips and then closed the lid with a soft click.

He felt as if he had killed her himself. Shutting that lid, its resounding click felt like a keening death toll; a door that shut itself on his Beth’s life. He sat down on the bed and rested his elbows on his knees and put his head in his hands and let the tears fall.


Tim watched as the cargo chopper lifted and swooped out over the black water of the sound, its whump, whump, whump sound fading into the night. He headed back into the house and made sure everything was ready for Mick and Beth.

Mary was inside, storing the blood that the chopper had brought in the hidden fridge. She slid the panel shut and then gripped the edge of the counter and took a deep breath. Even though she didn’t need one, it felt good, calming for her in the midst of these tragic circumstances. She heard her husband come in the door and hastily wiped away the tears, knowing that it wouldn’t fool him because he would be able to scent them in the air.

Tim immediately knew that his mate was crying. She was very fond of young Beth and was very upset over this sudden situation. Kostan had explained briefly, enough to let them know that Mick had to turn her and he was upset about it.

He walked up behind Mary and spoke to her in their native Cheyenne, something that they both found comforting. “Nemehotatseme matamaha,” he whispered against her neck, kissing it lightly.

“I love you too old man,” she returned to him, choking the words out as more tears fell. “Vaotsevahe-kase’eeheheve vai.”

“Yes, she is very young for this, but they will love each other enough to make it okay,” he answered. He caught the sound of the other chopper coming in and said, “Dry your tears, they are here. Come…” he said, holding his hand out to her so they could go back down to the beach.

They watched the chopper land and waited while the door was opened so Mick could step down, Beth in his arms. Mary’s breath drew in sharply when she realized that Beth still wasn’t alert. Tim’s arm around her shoulder pulled her a bit tighter against him in a comforting gesture.

Mick walked silently up the beach, the bright moonlight easily showing him the way, even if he didn’t have vampire sight. He spotted Tim and Mary waiting at the top of the path for him but kept his eyes determinedly focused on the house in the distance.

As he neared them Tim nodded his head in greeting. Mary drew in a sharp breath at how pale Beth looked and started to reach for her but a low growl emanated from Mick and she hastily pulled her hand back in shock. This was a Mick she didn’t know.

“It’s his mate Mary; he is still protecting her,” Tim whispered against her ear. He remembered how he had felt when he turned her; he wouldn’t have let anyone else touch her.

They followed Mick up the steps to the yard and Tim moved ahead to open the door to the house for him. “Josef had a new freezer sent for you, it arrived about half an hour ago; it’s a double wide and pretty fancy. I’ve turned it on and it’s ready for her.”

Mick didn’t acknowledge the words, only headed to the stairs, taking them two at a time. Tim didn’t follow but said, “I have some other information for you from Josef. After you get her settled, come on down and we’ll talk.”

From the top of the stairs Mick nodded his head before heading down the hall to the bedroom. Tim sighed and shook his head; even when Mick first came here he wasn’t quite like this.


Michael Talkingbird had called Tim and told him that they had someone coming to look at the lodge and would Tim please be available to show it. Tim had watched as the black Mercedes had pulled up the driveway and came to a smooth stop. A tall, dark haired man stepped from the car and Tim could see that his spirit was wounded. It was apparent in the hunch of his shoulders and the pain etched across his drawn face. And his eyes, well if it was true that they were the windows to someone’s soul then this man’s soul was wide open and torn apart.

As he drew closer both men recognized the truth of the other and Mick let out an unconscious sigh. Tim Tallchief was a vampire; maybe that could be a good thing.

Tim walked forward, his hand extended and said, “Welcome to Seattle Mr. Sandoval. I’m Tim Tallchief, the caretaker here and I’ll show you around the lodge.”

Mick took his hand and shook it firmly, taking in the imposing height of the other man. He had to be at least 6’8” if he was an inch, broad-shouldered and well muscled. Mick could tell that he was old, in vampire years but what his human age had been when he was turned wasn’t very obvious. Anywhere between 45 and 70 Mick guessed.

Mick shifted his focus to the house itself, if you could call it that. “This is big, impressive. Why are they selling for such a low price? And how many bedrooms are in this place?”

“It was originally built as a lodge, for paying guests. It has 6 bedrooms and seven bathrooms. And it also has one hell of a view of downtown Seattle on clear nights. Real pretty. They guy who built it chose to ignore the ‘no game hunting’ clause in the land contract and eventually left when he realized the tribe wouldn’t give in on that. This lodge sits on 5,000 acres of a 20,000 acre preserve that belong to the tribe. Are you agreeable to the restrictions of the purchase?”

“Absolutely,” Mick agreed. “The ad said it was 5, 000 acres, secluded with a large house. It sure didn’t sound like this.”

“Is it more than you want to deal with?” Tim questioned. He hoped that Mick didn’t feel that way; there was something about the young man he liked.

“No. For the price it’s a steal. I feel guilty even contemplating it.”

Tim smiled and nodded. “They are more worried about finding someone who will respect their beliefs Mr. Sandoval. I think you might be a good fit.”

“Mick, please,” Mick said as they walked up the steps to the front door. He waited while Tim unlocked it and they stepped into the house. It was beautiful he decided; he wrote the check that day.

In the kitchen Mary pulled down three mugs and filled them with some of the blood that the chopper had brought. She sat them on the table and then sat down, picking at her fingernails nervously as she waited for Tim to come and sit down with her.

He took her hand and raised it to his lips and placed a gentle kiss on it. “He’ll be okay Mary. Give him time.”

She nodded and sipped at the mug of O+. They could hear sounds from upstairs, muffled movement and then quiet for a few minutes. Finally they heard his steps on the bare boards of the stairs sounding loud in the quiet stillness of the house. He had pulled on a different shirt from the one he’d been wearing when they arrived. It had had blood stains on the arm of it and was probably a sad reminder to him of what had happened.

Mick sat down at the table and looked at the mug in front of him. He wasn’t really thirsty; he’d drank two glasses on the plane. He held it between his palms and traced a finger over the rim, anything to avoid looking at Tim and Mary.

He’d growled at her; he was ashamed.

As if sensing some of his reticence Mary spoke up. “It’s alright Mick; you were just taking care of your mate.”

He looked at her for the first time, lifting large fathomless eyes to her and she saw the tears that glistened in them. “I – I…” He couldn’t speak yet he thought at he tried swallowing a lump down in his throat; it felt about the size of a tennis ball.

Mary reached across the table and took his hand, squeezing it lightly. He held on to it tightly as Tim began to speak.

Tim nodded at the mug in front of Mick and said, “Drink up. You know that when she wakes up the first thing she’ll want is to feed.”

Mick nodded almost imperceptibly and finally took a sip of the blood, choking it down for their sakes. And Tim was right; he’d need it when she woke up. IF she woke up. It was taking a long time, too long he thought.

“Josef sent the blood when he sent the freezer and reminded us to make sure you feed. He’ll be sending more tomorrow along with some clothes for you both and personal items you might need. He told me to tell you that he and Lani were handling things there so you didn’t need to worry. But he also said to give her folks a call tomorrow and not to forget to call him and Lani as well.”

Mick took another sip and this time it went down a bit easier. He should have known that Josef would have things in hand. He and maybe Lani would be the ones to tell Dorothy and Clark and Mick hated that but it wasn’t something that should be done over the phone. He thought of all the others as well; Logan and Ben. What the hell did they tell Ben? Whatever it was they would have to do it soon.

Tim watched as it all played across Mick’s face. He knew that Mick felt stunned about it all. Josef had told him the basic story of what had happened but maybe Mick needed to talk. “Mick, do you want to talk about it nae’ha?”

Mick looked up when he recognized the Cheyenne word for son. He felt as if he’d come home, that maybe it would all be okay. He told them what had happened, of his guilt for not protecting her and let the pain and the tears flow as he did so. They cried with him and suddenly it didn’t seem quite as bad as it had a little while ago.


When Tim and Mary left Mick climbed the stairs once again and headed into the bedroom. It was 4 am and he was tired he realized. He took his clothes off and headed into the freezer room, closing the door securely after him and making sure it was locked. He stood for a moment looking at the freezer that Josef had bought; it was the Cadillac of freezers Mick had to admit.

He pushed a button and the lid lifted and he settled down next to Beth and wondered how to close it from inside. It was a hydraulic door and he was hesitant to just pull it shut. After a minute or so of running his hands over the interior his fingers brushed the lid and a panel lit up with a ‘close’ button on it. He touched it and the lid closed down, quietly and another button lit up, asking if he wanted it locked. He touched that button and heard a soft click and he stared at the display overhead. He found temperature controls (it was set on 32) and other buttons on the touch pad he wasn’t sure what to do with. Volume he wondered? He sighed and settled against the pad; it was some kind of gel or similar material and was very comfortable. He’d have to get them a freezer like this at home he decided.

He looked over at Beth who seemed to be resting comfortably. She was breathing occasionally, a holdover from her human life. Still pale (which was to be expected) her lips held the slightest touch of pink to them. She looked peaceful and he was thankful for that. He closed his eyes and let himself rest.


Welcome to this place,
I’ll show you everything.

Beth’s eyes snapped open suddenly. She was cold; no, not just cold, she was freezing – literally. She looked around her and realized Mick was next to her and they were in a freezer.

It all came back to her, the party on the beach, her being attacked. She wondered where Elka was? Surely Elka had turned her, otherwise she wouldn’t have made it. Mick wasn’t there, was he? Foggy memories began to flood her brain and she thought that maybe Mick had been there. But did he turn her? Shouldn’t she feel some kind of instant bond with her sire? She felt her mouth, to see if she had fangs, but nothing felt different. She decided they only came down when you were hungry.

She couldn’t think, she was freezing. Her body was one huge goose bump and she needed to get out of the cold and into a warm bath or something. She didn’t want to disturb Mick but she had to get out of here before she turned into a popsicle. After feeling along the side for a release or handle she sighed in frustration. Finally she pushed at the lid and a light display came on. She saw ‘unlock’ and pushed it and then hit the ‘open’ button. The lid slid quietly open and she sat up as a rush of warm air from the room hit her, making her shiver.

At the sound of the lid lifting Mick opened his eyes and brushed the frost away as he saw Beth sitting on the side of the freezer. “Beth,” he said, his heart flooding with relief to see her sitting there. She turned around and gave him a grin.

She, Beth St. John was a vampire! She laughed, deciding this wasn’t going to be bad at all.

To be continued.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Welcome to With Arms Wide Open

Welcome to With Arms Wide Open


This is a story of transition, of learning to accept and embrace new situations into your life. Beth and Mick both struggle as she adapts to the vampire world, which proves to be difficult for them both but for entirely unexpected reasons.

All the loved ones in their lives must struggle to accept and adapt to the changes due to Beth’s unexpected turning. How will family and friends react to the situation? How do they tell some of them? Can they tell some of them? Beth realizes that there were very good reasons why Mick walked away from his old life. Will they be forced to do that now?

We’ll learn about Mick’s life when he lived in Seattle, the life he led and how his friends Tim and Mary helped him as he learned about their lives.

As Mick and Beth come to terms with her vampirism in Seattle, life goes on in LA. Josef and Lani form a reluctant bond as they try to help Dorothy to understand and they try to figure out how to deal with Carl, Ben and Robbi. Beth’s turning has more implications and issues than any of them anticipated.

Meanwhile, new characters are on the scene and stirring up our pot and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. What will the list prove to be and who is behind it? Who will they get to pursue it? Who is Miguel and what will a new character, Tango Smythe bring to our story? Ben struggles with a personal issue and the answer he gets will be beyond his understanding.

A huge thanks goes out to Moonlightlover60, my graphic collaborator. Lynn, this banner captures the essence of this story perfectly. Thank you so much my friend.

Our main character’s for this story:

Mick St. John

Beth St. John

Lani Parker

Josef Kostan

Dorothy Griffin

Clark Griffin

Logan Griffin

Audrey Pell

Miguel Estrella

Tango Smythe

Carl Davis

Ben Talbot

Cami Kinney

Colleen Crawford

Matthew Richards

Luca Fiorentino

Tim Tallchief

Mary Tallchief

Robbi Evans

Kevin Evans

Recurring Characters:

Margie McFarland

Heroku Sesumi

Catherine, Margie’s Daughter

Elka Whitehead

Guillermo Gasol

Eric Jameson


Thor Ivorson

And of course, Travis