Well I just heard the news today,
Seems my life, is gonna change.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
“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.
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
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.”
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
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.”
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.”
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?”
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
“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.
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?”
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
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?
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
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.”
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.”
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
“Certainly. There are no attendants on board tonight,” he said kindly.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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
“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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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
“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.”
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
“No. For the price it’s a steal. I feel guilty even contemplating it.”
smiled and nodded. “They are more worried about finding someone who
will respect their beliefs Mr. Sandoval. I think you might be a good
“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.
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.