Lynn, thank you so much for this beautiful story banner. I know how hard you worked on it and it is much appreciated!
Chapter 54 Goodbye, Farewell, Amen…
August 15, 2008
I had my doctor appointment this morning and she confirmed that I am not pregnant so that means we go back to our ovulation plan and try again next month. I’m okay with it I guess; I have faith that Mick and I will have that baby when we are meant to. I felt worse for Mick than I did for myself, he wanted me to be pregnant so badly; it was etched vividly on his face and though he tried to hide it I know that inside he was hurting. Still, on the way out he perked up when I reminded him exactly how much fun he was going to have in trying the regular way to get me pregnant as well so he was actually grinning like a fool as we walked to the parking garage. We shared a perfectly lovely kiss in the shade of the garage and we both felt that it was going to be okay.
We stopped on the way home and I devoured a chocolate malt from Ruby Mae’s, the absolute best in town. If I can’t have caffeine at least I can still have chocolate. Mick promised to make me a turkey burger for dinner and while I was a bit skeptical about it I said I’d give it a try and then I was actually glad I did because it wasn’t half bad. Mick smothered it in jalapeno jack cheese and pico di gallo (that he made from our tomatoes) and it was totally passable. Okay, better than passable, but just not the real deal, you know?
When I got into work around 11:00 Ben was out working on our case so I busied myself with my over-flowing in basket and worked steadily through the afternoon. Ben came back into the office right before 5 and we chatted about the case. It seems that a neighbor saw the elderly man’s grandson parked outside the house and when they arrested him he had a lot of the stolen property in his possession. He apparently has a drug problem and got high and decided that grandpa didn’t need all that stuff, but he did for drug money. Ben said the rotten thing was that the kid didn’t even care about what he’d done. Some things still amaze me in this world and this one definitely did.
Tomorrow night is the beach party and I’m excited. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to feeling a bit creepy about heading back to that beach but I’m trying to look at it like riding a horse; sometimes you just have to climb back on when you get thrown off. Audrey called me and she is also very excited about going. Since she moved up here all those months ago she hasn’t met all that many friends and she liked Cami, Lani and Elka at the wedding when they met.
I asked her how things were going with Logan and heard her let out a big sigh. I hope that means that there isn’t trouble in their relationship already because really, they are so perfect for one another. Maybe she’ll talk about it at the cookout but if she doesn’t I won’t force it. She’ll talk if she needs to.
I hear Mick down in the loft – he was working a case and had to go out for a bit after dinner. Sounds like he is back; I hear him whistling down there, some jazzy tune that I don’t recognize. I feel so happy, so content. Life is perfect with my vampire love, my husband and my kitty Travis. The cherry on top is that even here in the light pollution of LA I just saw a shooting star. Is it an omen of wonderful things to come? I hope so.
Kelly watched as Mick and Beth left the loft that morning and got ready to follow them. They headed back to the doctor’s office and so she parked a level above them and waited for them to come back out. When she saw them they were smiling and he gave her a kiss. Sounds of Beth’s laughter echoed up and slammed Kelly, hidden behind a pillar 3 floors above.
She must be pregnant. It must have worked.
A growl escaped her; no, it wasn’t going to happen. She was not going to carry St. Johns baby. She followed along as the two stopped at a diner so Beth could eat ice cream of all things and then trailed them back to the loft. A short time later Beth headed off to work, which was really frustrating because there was no way to get to her there with so many people around. She’d have to be patient, and she was good at that; she’d just be diligent and strike at the right time.
Beth opened the door and called out to Mick who was in the kitchen fixing dinner. She shrugged out of her jacket and laid it over the arm of the couch and felt Travis nuzzling her leg. She picked him up and scratched behind his ears and sighed as she listened to his purrs.
“I love you Travis,” she said, rubbing her cheek against his.
“That’s one happy cat!” Mick called out, checking on Beth’s burger.
“Um yes. You know, if you purred like this I might come and scratch behind your ears too!”
“Baby, that is NOT the place where I’ve got an itch, but I guess beggars can’t be choosers.”
Beth walked into the kitchen, still cuddling Travis in her arms and leaned up to kiss Mick. “Smells good. Is that my turkey burger?”
“Yep and I think you are going to like it!”
“Hm, we’ll see. Do I have time to wash up and change?”
“Sure, take your time,” he told her and he stirred the Pico de Gallo that he had made earlier. He’d found the best recipe site on line and started his own recipe box there, eager to fill it with recipes.
After she took a quick shower and got dressed she and Mick ate their respective dinners and decided to go and visit Robbi and Kevin. Beth was concerned about her friend and Mick decided the best way to reassure her was a visit. After a quick call to Robbi to make sure it was a good time they headed to Long Beach, to Robbi and Kevin’s new house.
It was a nice night for a drive they both thought as they looked west to where the sun was beginning its descent into the Pacific; the golden hues streaking and spilling over the water were almost magical and Beth inhaled deeply, loving the salty tang.
When they rang the door bell at Robbi’s house they heard Bri squealing with excitement on the other side of the door. “Beff, Miff…” they heard her say and they both grinned in eager anticipation of a hug from the sweet little girl.
“Kevin, can you hold her back for a minute so they can get in the door?” Robbi asked as she swung it wide for them. Kevin scooped Bri up in his arms but it did little good because she held her arms out to them and Mick reached for her, much to her delight. She gave him a kiss on the cheek and leaned towards Beth so Mick held her tight while Beth got her sugar.
“Come on in!” Kevin said, walking towards the family room. The sliding glass doors opened up to a spectacular view of the ocean and Beth caught her breath at the peaceful beauty of the scene.
“Wow, what a view!”
“Yes, it really is,” Robbi said as she settled down into a comfortable chair and put her feet up. Beth looked startled at how swollen they were and mentioned it. “I know, but not too much longer before I have this little munchkin,” she said, rubbing her distended belly lovingly. “I hate not being able to get out though; I’m more than a little stir crazy.”
“At least your mom comes over several times a week doesn’t she? I know that must be a big help and it is someone to talk to Robbi.”
“She is a godsend, really. Still Beth, it’s really hard. So tell me about what’s going on at your job. I think it must be very exciting!”
“You have no idea; like this afternoon, I worked on my in- basket for almost 5 hours; yep, really exciting!” She gave a wry laugh and looked over at Mick who was holding Bri on his lap; she had her head resting on Mick’s chest, right over his heart and she was slowly patting his chest, a few times every minute or so; like she was keeping time with some song that only she could hear.
Kevin followed Beth’s eyes and laughed, “She likes listening to heartbeats we think. She keeps track of them, like a drum but I have to say her rhythm is way off tonight.”
Beth’s eyebrows rose in surprise; no, Brianna’s rhythm wasn’t off at all. It was startling for her to pick up on something like that. She caught Mick’s eyes and he smiled at her as he stroked Bri’s back, his fingers brushing through her silken gold curls.
Bri reached up and kissed Mick on the cheek again and said, “Miff coo’,” He smiled at her and she decided to scramble down off of his lap in favor of Pooh Bear that was on the floor.
“Miff coo’,” Beth asked, curious about what that was.
“Hm, don’t know,” Kevin said, scrunching his face up in question. “I guess she thinks you’re cool dude!”
Out of the mouths of babes…
Friday night Audrey swung by the loft to pick up Beth; Elka, Cami and Lani were meeting them at the beach house. The drive north along the Pacific Coast Highway was spectacular and the girls chatted along the way but Beth could tell that Audrey was rather pensive about something.
“You know Audrey, if you don’t feel like going tonight its okay.”
“Why do you say that Beth? I’m looking forward to it actually.”
“I don’t know, you just seem kind of like your mind is somewhere else. Is everything okay?” She held her breath as she waited for an answer, hoping that everything was okay with Logan.
“Y-e-s,” she said slowly. “Things are good, for the most part.” She bit her lip and frowned as she concentrated on the interstate traffic. “Beth, um, Logan and I haven’t, uh, you know and I don’t have any experience and I just don’t know what to do!”
Beth was amazed to hear that; the girl had gone to college; didn’t she take part in normal college life? Beth sat quietly for a moment trying to decide what to say. “Audrey, all I can really tell you is that there is no magic that will just make it all easy. The magic is letting it happen naturally, with maybe a little guidance.” She cast a quick look at Audrey as she drove, trying to gauge if she understood what Beth was trying to say.
“What – what kind of ‘guidance’ do you mean?”
“Plan a relaxing weekend – you know, maybe make reservations at a bed and breakfast, a vamp friendly one. A nice moonlit walk along the beach, dinner by candle light, some wine, that sort of thing. Just set the mood Audrey and see what happens.”
“Set the mood,” she said, nodding her head. “I can do that. Beth, thank you!”
“No problem Audrey. I hope it works out for you guys.” Secretly, Beth felt a bit unnerved being a part of this conversation, but she also knew that both Audrey and Logan had traumatic pasts and the fact that they were both reaching out to the other was a blessing for them. She meant it when she said she hoped that it works out for them because those two were meant to be together. A sudden thought occurred to her and she caught her lower lip between her teeth and worried it for a moment before speaking.
“Audrey, do you realize that when vampires, uh, well for them to achieve um, to orgasm, they need to bite?” There she got it out and watched Audrey’s face in the paling light.
Audrey sat quietly for a moment, thinking about what Beth had just said. It wasn’t totally unexpected really. She wondered what it would be like – the bite. Painful? Sexual? She licked her lips and asked, curious.
Beth smiled at her and reached out and gave Audrey’s hand a light squeeze as it rested on the steering wheel. “I promise you Audrey, it’s nothing to be afraid of – it’s a sign of their love for you. Sex will never be the same without it.”
Colleen wrestled with the decision of who to tell about Kelly. Katrina was definitely out, as were any of the other cleaners. More and more she saw that her only real choice was Josef; could she trust him?
She had to.
She drove to his offices downtown, hoping that he was there. It was only 7, not late by vampire standards at all, but he worked in a human business world so she wasn’t sure what to expect. When she got there she found out that he was still there and gave her name to the man sitting at the desk outside Josef’s office and said it was a matter that concerned Kelly. The blonde Adonis assistant whose name plate read ‘Thor Ivorson’ asked her to take a seat and disappeared behind a mahogany door.
A few moments later he was back with Josef following him. She stood up and stepped forward, viewing Josef’s grim face. He stood aside and ushered her into his office with a sweep of his arm and then closed the door firmly after telling Thor not to disturb them.
“Colleen? What is this about Kelly?”
“She’s not dead; um, you know what I mean,” she said, thinking about her words.
“What the hell do you mean?”
“I mean I saw her, at the park. I think she was picking up blood from Leo. Do you know him?”
Josef nodded tersely, every vamp in town knew him or at least about him. “Are you positive?”
“Yes. She has short blonde hair now, sun streaked and what looks like a spray on tan but I got close enough to scent her and hear her voice. It’s her.”
Josef slammed his fist down on the desk top and uttered, “Fuck!” A desktop clock toppled over as did a pen holder, spilling the pens all over the desk and onto the floor. He fixed her with a silvered stare and asked, “Have you told anyone else about this?”
His emphasis on anyone told her that he was actually asking whether she had told Katrina. She shook her head no and told him, “No. I-I don’t trust Katrina. Frankly Josef, I’m not sure who I can trust with this.”
“Meaning me as well?” he asked leaning towards her over the desk.
Again she nodded and took a step back. She scented his anger but wasn’t sure if it was directed at her words or the simple truth of the situation. “I wanted to follow her to see what she was driving or where she was going, but I lost her. I think she will be back there tonight though. She seems to have an arrangement with Leo.”
Josef realized he needed to fill Mick in immediately and dialed his cell. He was surprised when he heard it ringing outside his door and opened it to find Mick waiting in the foyer. Mick glanced at his phone and then grinned as he saw Josef standing in the open doorway.
“Mick, get in here; you need to hear this now.”
“What’s up?” he asked, stopping as he saw Colleen in the office. An immediate feeling of dread washed over him, temporarily making his heart race. “What’s going on?”
Josef looked expectantly at Colleen and she nodded and repeated what she had told Josef.
Mick’s first reaction was to growl and then fear took over. “Josef, Beth and the girls are out at the beach again, right NOW!” he told them, his eyes showing his panic. “We have to get out there and watch over them.” He already was half out the door as he spoke the words and Josef and Colleen followed right behind them.
“I’m done for the day,” he told Thor, as he ran by. Thor watched for a moment and then went about calling and canceling the rest of Josef’s appointments for the day. He didn’t know what was up but whatever it was it must have been important.
The sun was sinking fast when Beth and Audrey got to the house and as they parked Lani came jogging up to them, laughing and very happy to see them. Beth noticed that Lani didn’t have a single piece of silver jewelry on; her friend was making great strides in conquering her fears and Beth was really proud of her.
“Hey, welcome you two. We’re just out picking up driftwood for the fire. C’mon and help us!” she said, nodding down the beach where they could see Elka and Cami walking. Each woman carried a few pieces of wood in her arms and Beth and Audrey headed in the opposite direction while Lani went back to scoop out the pit.
Beth slipped her sandals off and squished her toes in the sand. The hot pink polish covered nails dug into the sand and she kicked at it lightly. “Oh, I love the feeling of sand beneath my feet,” she laughed.
Audrey agreed and slipped her sandals off as well and they headed down the beach, every now and then stopping to pick up a worthy piece of wood. Something felt strange to her and she cast several curious glances around but couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. After all the years of having Sheppard’s ‘family’ following her she had developed a sixth sense. Still, she couldn’t spot anyone watching them and soon pushed the feeling to the back of her thoughts and got into the spirit of the evening.
Before she knew it Lani had a blazing fire going and the human girls prepared to roast hot dogs and marshmallows while the vamp girls sat a bit farther back from the dancing flames and sipped travel mugs of their ‘flavor’ of choice.
As the smell of roasting hot dogs wafted through the air and made their stomachs growl they all laughed at Lani’s stick; it was as big as a pool cue and very sturdy. She laughed and told them that they’d appreciate it later when Beth and Audrey’s skinny little sticks caught fire and dropped their food into the flames. As if to make that point Beth’s stick did exactly that and she groaned as the hot dog was almost done. A very un-lady like curse slipped from her mouth and she burst out laughing and said, “Point taken Lani!”
Kelly sat a quarter mile down the beach, hidden by the rocks in the growing dark of the evening. She had followed Beth and laughed when they came back to the same beach where she had attacked her before. Tonight she would do what she set out to accomplish that night and failed at, kill Beth Turner St. John. She knew that she would be as good as dead for doing it; that Kostan and St. John wouldn’t rest until they found her but it was a price she was more than willing to pay.
There were two vamps with them; their scents carried on the freshening breeze. But that left 3 humans for the 2 of them to protect. Both of the vamps were on the opposite side from where she would attack which meant they would have to go around the fire; that would give her the time she needed. For now, she sat and waited for complete darkness to slide in and wrap them in its murky arms.
All three vamps jumped into Mick’s Benz and held on as he gunned it as it squealed out of the parking garage.
“Where are we going?” Colleen asked, sitting forward from the back seat, her fingers tightly gripping the back of the front seats.
“To Lani’s beach house north of Malibu,” Mick told her, forgetting that she already knew where it was. He concentrated as he made the turn on to the I-10 to head west to eventually catch the PCH that would carry them north. He gunned the motor again and they crossed the traffic lanes to the far left lane where he could go as fast as traffic would allow.
Josef hoped it was fast enough. He had been trying to call Beth’s cell, as well as Lani’s and Elka’s but none of them were answering; he hoped that was only because they weren’t with them, not that, well he wasn’t even going to think about it.
“So Josef, explain this to me! You saw her ashes. What the fuck happened?”
“I saw ashes, I assumed, incorrectly I presume, that they were Kelly’s.”
“I think they were Billie’s,” Colleen added and shrank back into her seat as Josef turned in the seat and fixed her with a venomous glare.
“You’d better explain,” he said and watched as Mick’s fingers gripped the steering wheel so tightly it looked like he was going to break it.
“I – none of us realized it but Billie, one of the other cleaners left us, went to Chicago we were told – by, um by Katrina. We didn’t really think anything about it but since Kelly is still alive and Billie is gone, it makes sense. Doesn’t it?” she asked and swallowed hard as she waited for them to digest the info.
The three of them were quiet while Mick made the turn to PCH and traffic started to thin out just a bit. Normally it was a beautiful ride but tonight none of them even noticed it. Finally Colleen spoke up.
“I think when we get there we should park on the access road in the hills up above the beach house. I’ll go to the north and watch from there and you two can watch from above. If all goes well they won’t even know we were there. If not, we can make it there in no time at all.”
“Yes, that’s what we’ll do,” Mick said, turning off to follow the road to the house. “That’s what we’ll do, she’ll be fine, she’ll be fine…” he kept repeating the words as a mantra, hoping that they would make it so.
As they came to the turn for the access road Mick turned the headlights off and they cruised quietly to a place where he could park. They got out of the car and nodded to one another as Colleen took off at vamp speed down the hill to a spot to watch from on the north side of the property.
The quiet stillness of the night was broken occasionally by laughter heard from down below. They could only hope that it would stay that way.
Kelly watched the girls as they ate charred hot dogs and then pulled out a bag of marshmallows to roast. They were passing around a bottle of wine and all of them, the vamps included were a bit giggly. She waited; it was only a matter of timing she knew. Let them drink a bit more and just be patient.
Audrey watched as Elka took a drink of the wine with interest. “Can you taste that?” she asked and hoped that it wasn’t too impolite to ask since she didn’t know Elka very well.
“Not exactly. It sort of burns a bit when I swallow, but no, not any real taste. Actually, I’ve never tasted wine so I don’t know how it should taste.”
Audrey cocked her head to one side as she listened. That statement puzzled her because she didn’t know how old Elka was but wine had been around for practically forever.
Elka smiled as she watched the thoughts play over Audrey’s face. She was so young and innocent; every emotion was easily read on her face. She liked this young woman very much she decided. In a world where inexperience was often compared to stupidity she was a breath of fresh air. “I was turned in 1843 Audrey; before that I was a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe. We didn’t have alcohol.”
“Oh, my goodness Elka, your life story must be incredible. I hope my question wasn’t impertinent,” Audrey said hoping that she hadn’t offended the beautiful Sioux woman.
“No, not at all.” Elka smiled at her, trying to reassure her.
“Logan eats popsicles; he says he can taste the tropical pineapple ones. But he also says you really can’t taste anything but blood so I guess I don’t understand.”
“He eats popsicles?” Lani asked with a laugh. “Wow, can you do that?” she asked Cami.
“I don’t see why not. It’s just sugar water, wouldn’t be any different than drinking wine or coffee I think,” Cami said.
“You drink coffee?” Elka asked. The conversation was so surprising.
“Yes, I can’t taste it but I swear I can feel the caffeine in it!” Cami laughed.
“Hm, maybe,” Elka said.
Lani stood up and stretched, holding her roasting stick in her hand. The end was charred and still smoldering red. She popped another marshmallow on it and watched as it started cooking from the inside out. She danced around the circle, stabbing at the air with the stick.
“Lani has been taking fencing lessons,” Beth said as she watched as Lani made the ‘En garde’ position and held the stick upwards. She lunged and the marshmallow flew into the fire and she cursed and then laughed. She tried to stab it, only managing to push the gooey, burning mess on to the end of the smoking stick but smearing it through ash as well. The flames from the marshmallow caught the end of the stick on fire, making it burn for a moment as flames licked over the burning goo of the marshmallow.
They were all laughing and distracted and that was when Kelly made her move. She streaked forward at vamp speed, a knife in her hand and before they realized what had happened she sliced across Beth’s neck. The blood immediately started to flow and Beth’s eyes opened wide in surprise as she fell backward into the sand.
“NO, noooo you bitch!” Lani screamed and ran at Kelly with the flaming stick held firmly in front of her. She dove into Kelly and the impetus ran the burning stick all the way through her and shoved her into the fire as well. She let go and ran to Beth, holding her hand and calling her name. Elka was already at Beth’s side, trying to see how bad the wound was. Cami looked around, scenting the air and trying to make sure that no one was with Kelly and then she wrapped an arm around Audrey, who was standing motionless across the fire, tears streaking her face.
The artery hadn’t been severed but the wound was still grave; if they were in a hospital she might be able to be saved. Here? It wasn’t possible Elka knew. She brushed Beth’s hair away from her face and the sticky blood and tried to soothe her.
“Beth, we’re going to get you help, okay?” Lani said, trying to remember where her phone was.
Elka looked at Beth, understanding dawning in Beth’s unblinking eyes. “Beth?”
“Turn…me,” she whispered, a ragged sound that was only heard by Elka and Cami. “Please…”
Above them Mick and Josef saw what happened and were already halfway down the hill. Colleen came up over the rocks and saw Beth lying in the sand, the flickering firelight making the blood that mingled in the sand sparkle. She looked up as she heard Mick yelling, “NO. NOOOOOO,”
“Beth, Mick is here, hang on a moment,” she said, leaning down to speak into her ear.
Lani was sobbing and as the men got there and Josef pulled her to him, wrapping his arms around her and pulled her back so that Mick could get close to Beth. Lani struggled to get free and Josef held her tighter; his heart was breaking as he watched the tableau playing out in front of him. Lani went limp in his arms, crying out for her friend.
Mick pulled her up into his arms, trying desperately to staunch the flow of his beloved’s blood but it seeped through his fingers and dripped down onto the sand. She opened her eyes for a moment and looked up at him and tried to speak, but words wouldn’t form; she was slipping away.
Suddenly there was only Mick and Beth on the beach; it was like they were in a bubble, each only aware of the other. Mick listened as her heart began to slow down and he kissed her, unaware that it was his tears that were running down her face.
Her words from weeks ago ran wildly through his head, and he knew this was the moment.
I’m not ready to make that decision just yet in my life, but if something happened, before then, it’s what I would want. Do you understand that? Accept that?
She looked at him and blinked and he thought he heard her say ‘please’ before she went limp in his arms.
Sobs shook his shoulders, the ache in his heart so heavy he could hardly move. He spread more kisses over her face, telling her over and over that he loved her. He was completely unaware of what was happening around him.
“MICK, GODAMMIT TURN HER NOW,” Lani screamed, trying desperately to pull away from Josef’s strong arms. “DO IT! Or so help me I’ll put a stake in your heart!”
Josef held her close against him and felt her body convulse in pain, the sobs shook her and also him. “Lani, its okay, give him a minute. He’ll turn her, its okay…” he said, trying to reassure and appease her like he would a child. But Mick wasn’t turning her and after a moment Josef became worried.
Elka glanced at Josef in question; she would do it if Mick wouldn’t, couldn’t. Time was starting to run out. She laid a gentle hand on his arm and said, “Mick, I can do it if you can’t.”
Mick wrenched away from her touch, wrapping his body around Beth and turning slightly away as if to protect her. His, she was his the vampire cried, trying to push past the small thread of humanity that was left in Mick.
Now, the vampire urged, we have to do it now. Her blood and her heart are calling to us. NOW…
“I’m sorry Beth, I’m so sorry,” he told her. He buried his fangs into the wound on her neck and drank; he drank of the fear she had, the joy she had in life, the love she had for him; he drank until her heart all but stopped.
He lifted his head and felt someone yank his jacket off of him and pull back his sleeve. His fangs tore at his wrist, gouging deeply so that the blood would flow into her lifeless mouth. He pressed his arm against her lips, telling her, “Drink Beth, come on baby you have to drink now. Drink Beth…”
Finally he felt her mouth begin to suckle on the jagged tear and she drank. Each swallow he heard was a victory call to his heart, to his soul. She finally had enough and her mouth fell away; she was limp in his arms. He felt her last bits of humanity seep from her body and he understood with finality that it was done.
Lani stared at the blood smeared across Beth’s pale face and she cried a little harder because she knew that things had changed. That was confirmed when Elka said, “Josef, Cami, you need to remove them before she wakes up.”
“What?” Lani asked. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Lani, when she wakes up the first thing she’ll need is blood. She’ll do anything to get it, including going after someone she loves because all she’ll feel is the lust for it. We need to get you out of here,” Josef told her.
Understanding slowly dawned for her and she finally nodded in assent. Audrey came to her and hugged her tight and for a moment they cried together, aware of the changes in Beth’s life.
Colleen stood watching it all, her heart heavy with grief for Beth, for Mick, for all of them actually. She started picking up the remnants of the dinner they shared, the wine bottles and cups. It was something mindless, something to do.
“Lani, do you have something that we can change her into? We need to clean her up.” Elka stood and looked at Lani waiting for an answer.
“Yes, in the chest of drawers in the bedroom. Is that all you need?”
“Yes, thank you.” Elka said, following Mick who carried a limp Beth in his arms.
Josef called out, “Mick, are you taking her to the loft?”
“No, I’m taking her to Seattle where it’s isolated. She’ll need that for awhile.”
Josef watched as Mick carried her to the house with Elka leading the way. Cami rode out with Elka and was now going with Audrey. He watched as Lani stood at the water’s edge, letting the chilly Pacific wash over her feet. He made some calls and arranged for the helicopter to pick Mick and Beth up on the beach and take them to the airport, where the jet would be ready to go. He walked out to Lani, who was now standing knee deep in the water. The moonlight was shining down on her tear-streaked face and she looked so tiny, so frail. He felt the cool water soak his legs and felt the sand sucking at his Italian loafers; he reached down and pulled them off and tossed them up onto the beach.
“Lani, I’ll take you back to LA in a few minutes, okay? Just stay out here for awhile though, on the beach I mean. Maybe you would like to sit by the fire?” he asked when he realized that she was shivering badly; he knew that it wasn’t only because she was cold. She stared at him with vacant eyes and he wasn’t sure she understood his words. He finally scooped her up into his arms and sat her down by the fire and took off his jacket and tucked it around her, hoping it would help her.
She blinked several times as she stared at the flickering light of the flames. The remains of Kelly’s shoes were lying half in the ashes of her remains, a spectacle that seemed to taunt her about what she’d done. She kicked at the shoes, pushing them farther into the flames and watched balefully as the flames caught them and hissed, sending sparks upward. Josef stood close, keeping watch over her as did Colleen. They heard the chopper nearing them and they looked up and watched as it landed 50 feet away.
“I’ll be right back,” Josef told her and sprinted towards the house to let Mick and Elka know what was going on.
Soon, Lani watched as Beth was carried out of the house, wrapped in a blanket and was placed into the helicopter. Mick held her in his arms as Josef slid the door shut and ducked to avoid the rotor wash as he ran down the beach to where Lani was now standing, flanked by Elka and Colleen.
Elka stood with her arm around Lani’s shoulder, holding her close as the chopper lifted. Josef saw the tears on all of their faces and then wiped his own away.
Beth St. John had joined the undead.
This is the end of Beth’s Diary. Her diary was a part of her human life and while that part has ended, the story of Mick and Beth and the other characters will continue in With Arms Wide Open, starting next week. We will pick up with Mick and Beth in Seattle and with Lani and Josef in LA who will be faced with telling Dorothy and Clark and the other people in Beth’s life. Decisions will have to be made and they will change the lives of everyone around Mick and Beth. Watch for story information and the cast of characters that will be up in a couple of days.
On another note I would like to thank all my faithful readers and supporters. I couldn’t do this without you. You provide the necessary help and feedback that helps to feed the muse and you so often make me smile as I read your thoughts. I know from past experience that it is sometimes hard to ‘voice’ your comments, especially when you are new to a board, but know that your comments are always welcome and appreciated. If we make your day by providing you something to take your mind off of day to day life, we love that. If you’ve been shy in the past, I urge you to just say hello, to myself or my fellow authors because it means so much to us.
Happy Reading Everyone!!