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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
“She was supposed to meet him at 11:00 tonight Josef. If you drop me off there, I can take him out.”
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.
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.”
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.”
only hesitated for a moment before responding, “I would like that very
much Josef. I’ll resign from the Cleaners tomorrow.”
on that until the Katrina issue is resolved, please. I don’t want her
wondering why you are suddenly leaving the service.”
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.
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.
probably a good thing.” He cast her a sideways look as he pulled back
out into traffic and asked for directions to their house.
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
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,
“Honey, why don’t you sit down,” Clark encouraged and tried to gently guide her to sit.
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
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
“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
“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!”
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.
‘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.
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
“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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.”
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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?”
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?”
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
“I would really like that Logan; I – I just don’t want to be alone.”
“Okay, I’d be happy to stay.”
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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…”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
“Why don’t we see what your instincts tell you? They did a pretty good job before!”
To be continued…