A/N: This is sort of a dark chapter as Mick struggles with his emotions. The transistion in this story isn't only about Beth, it is also about healing for Mick. I beg you to indulge this as it is necessary for him to see his way clear.
weighing heavily on Beth’s mind when she got off the phone with Lani.
She felt terrible and guilty about avoiding her friend and decided to
call her, even though she felt weary and tired. Those feelings amazed
her since she didn’t realize that vamps could feel tired.
stared at her phone for a few minutes, trying to figure out exactly what
to say. Robbi wasn’t anyone’s fool and knew Beth well enough to know
when she wasn’t being honest and that bothered Beth most of all. She
didn’t want to lie to Robbi, but what other choice did she have?
Keeping the secret was the number one priority; she understood that and
was prepared to live with it but how could she keep this secret from one
of her oldest and dearest friends when the other one knew the truth.
She was finally beginning to understand difficult, dangerous and
She was growing more tired by the minute and
realized she couldn’t put it off any longer so she took a deep,
unnecessary breath and punched the button that would connect her with
Robbi, who answered on the first ring.
“Beth! Bethy, I’m so glad you called.” Robbi said and Beth noticed the fatigue in her voice.
Robbi, I’m sorry I haven’t called you back sooner but it’s been kind of
crazy here, getting settled in and all. How are you doing?”
a short laugh Robbi said, “Feeling like a beached whale, but that’s
perfectly normal for a woman who is about 15 months pregnant!”
laughed too, understanding how it must feel for her friend to be cooped
up in the house, resting constantly. She’s was experiencing a bit of
that herself right now. “Well, it shouldn’t be too much longer. What’s
the doctor say?”
“Any day now, actually. I’m fully effaced and
dilated to 3. He’s at zero station and pressing down hard. I think
he’s a bit anxious to come and meet the world...”
Beth heard the
sadness creep into her friends voice and knew that Robbi really wanted
her to be there. When Bri was born in Alaska Beth had been so sorry to
miss it that she had promised to be there for the next one and now she
was breaking that promise.
“I’m so sorry I can’t be there Robbi; I know this is terrible timing. It all just came down really fast, you know?”
actually I don’t know because you haven’t really told me what’s going
on Beth. Lani said you and Mick headed up there last night; seems
pretty sudden to me.”
Beth heard irritation in Robbi’s voice and
tried not to let it get to her. Mick carried a mug of blood into her to
sip on while she spoke to her friend and she accepted it gratefully.
She took a sip while considering her reply.
“I know Robbi. I
haven’t really wanted to say anything because you were having problems,
but Mick and I have been trying hard to conceive and there was just too
much stress in LA. The, um, doctor suggested we get away, from the
city, from the pressure and all, so we did.” Beth’s words were rushed
and hesitant, a true tell to Robbi.
“Beth, for heaven’s sake, you two just got married! Why the rush?”
who could hear every word sat next to her on the couch and rubbed her
leg softly, trying to show his support because he knew how difficult
this was for Beth. Beth cleared her throat and said, “There are some
special considerations here Robbi, things that are hard to talk about
right now. I’m sorry, but we’re doing what we have to right now. I
know you’re upset with me and I’m so sorry for that. I’ll talk to you
every day, I promise. Can you accept that?”
Robbi was silent for
so long that Beth checked her phone to make sure the call was still
connected. If she had been listening carefully she would have heard
Robbi’s heart, beating quickly on the other end and her shaky breaths.
Finally Robbi said, “I don’t understand this but I love you Beth and
only want the best for you. I’ll look forward to talking to you.
Listen, I really need to go; Kevin is getting ready to feed Bri and
that’s always a disaster. I’ll talk to you tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay, talk to you then Robbi,” Beth said, realizing that Robbi had already ended the call.
laid the phone down on the coffee table and looked at Mick, her eyes a
deep, dark blue color and full of pain. She knew how much she had hurt
Robbi and it stabbed at her own heart, slicing sharply as the tears
flowed. Mick wrapped his arm around her and pulled her onto his lap,
holding her close. There wasn’t anything he could do to take this pain
from her but he would comfort her as best he could.
her arms around Mick and sobbed into his chest and he rocked her like a
small child. He let her cry and hoped that the tears helped to wash
the guilt and the pain away.
“This is my fault baby, all my
fault,” he told her as he smoothed the hair back away from her face and
kissed her tears away. “Not yours Beth, my fault.”
Beth was suddenly more alert as she thought about his words. “Just how is this your fault Mick?”
“I should have watched over you better, I let you down.”
me down? Watched over me better? How is that even possible Mick?
What, you want to smother me constantly until I feel like I can’t
breathe? I have to have freedom Mick, I couldn’t live like that.”
know, but I let you down. Because of me you are living a life that you
weren’t ready for, making up lies and excuses to friends, all because I
didn’t take care of you right.”
This was all getting really old
to Beth, this constant guilt he had over her turning. He was right,
they hadn’t planned on it this soon, but it was going to happen
eventually. A new thought occurred to her and she stared at him for a
moment, a frown marring her pallid face. “You can’t handle me being
turned so soon, can you? What, I’m not as attractive to you as a
vampire? You can’t savor my rich, human blood like you used to? You didn’t really think you’d be stuck with me forever?”
words stabbed at his undead heart and shook him to the core. For a
moment he could only stare at her in utter amazement; surely she didn’t
believe any of that? What would you think Mick if she were reacting
this way to you, if the roles were reversed?
It was a sobering thought.
He’d be suspicious and hurt about her reasoning, that’s how he’d feel. How could he expect anything less from Beth?
I…I know that you are okay with this, but try as hard as I can, I
remember how I felt, what I gave up, the people I sacrificed in my life
because of this. It’s like an invisible cloak that covers me and I
can’t seem to shed it. I can’t imagine what it feels like, to actually
want this life. But I’m trying Beth, for you I am trying as hard as I
“But you want me to be human still don’t you?”
not exactly. I just didn’t want this for you so soon. I guess I
imagined we’d have more time before you were turned, that you’d have
more time.” He watched her face as he spoke and saw understanding begin
to play across it. “And Beth? This has nothing to do with your human
blood baby. Nothing at all. You are more exciting to me as a vampire
than I’d ever imagined. I’ve never felt this…communion of souls before,
this magic that we share and create. Please believe me Beth. We share
this path, we are not alone.”
She nodded and laid her forehead
against his, loving the contact. Her hands cupped the side of his face
as she kissed him tenderly, a kiss of healing and love.
enough for now. Mick still had demons to deal with and she intended to
help him slay them. “I’m going to go and take that nap; are you okay
down here?” The roles were reversed and they both felt the cosmic
switch; she worried about him, being the caretaker.
“I’m fine. Go and take you’re nap Beth.”
She nodded and kissed his lips one more time before heading upstairs.
Robbi punched the end key on her phone Kevin stood in the doorway,
closely watching his wife. The past few days had been rough for her and
this thing with Beth wasn’t helping. He saw tears running down her
face and he went to her, kneeling between her legs and tried to wipe the
“What’s wrong honey? Are you okay?” he asked, his tone full of concern.
lied to me Kevin. I don’t know why, but she lied.” She started
sobbing in earnest then and Kevin leaned forward to hold her, shushing
her and stroking his fingers through her hair.
“Honey, you’re really emotional right now; I’m sure she didn’t lie to you.”
a moment she considered an angry retort but she knew that he was right
about her emotions, they were constantly blasting off and out of
control. She held him tightly, trying to stem her tears. He reached
over to the table beside the couch and handed her a couple of tissues
and waited as she wiped her eyes and blew her nose.
imagining it Kevin. I know her as well as I know myself and she was
lying. And even more than that, Lani knows what’s going on; when I
talked to her earlier I could tell that she did and assumed that Beth
would tell me too. I’m the odd one out here and it hurts so much.” The
tears started again and Kevin held her close, not knowing what to say.
If this was true, if Beth was excluding Robbi he would never forgive
her or Mick.
certainly been telling the truth when he told her that as a fledgling
she would be much like an infant, feeding, sleeping and craving bodily
contact with him. She had to keep telling herself that he wouldn’t
leave her but the separation anxiety could be horrible. He told her it
would get better soon and she hoped he was right because dependence on
another person, even one she loved as much as Mick was difficult for
She pulled off her clothes and left them lying on the floor
where they had dropped. That wasn’t really like her but she figured
she’d slip them on later, when she got up. She crawled into the freezer
and set the temp to 40 degrees. She could handle 38 when Mick was in
there but she really preferred 40. She used the digital display to
select some soothing music to lull her to sleep. She really didn’t need
it but she enjoyed it. When Mick had read through the manual for the
freezer he discovered that there was a huge multi disk changer below and
they loaded it with music and it made for a nice mood, for whatever
they might decide to do. That brought a definite smile to her face and
she told herself to hurry up and sleep because when she woke up she was
going to have her way with her sexy as hell husband!
stretched out his long legs on the couch and leaned back, replaying the
last few minutes with Beth. His guilt and bitterness wasn’t only
killing him, it was killing them.
She didn’t look at it the same
way he did; he’d always known that he was in a minority compared to many
vamps. Not that they had all wanted to be turned, but most not only
learned to live with it, they liked it and thrived.
Why couldn’t he do that?
do you reconcile yourself with living forever when you can’t forgive
yourself for the past? Even before Coraline he’d left a devastated wake
in his path, starting with Ray and Lila. Meet Robert and Jacob has
brought it all back into focus, his past that is.
He had been
genuinely happy that Robert had been Ray’s son but that didn’t ease the
gut-wrenching ache in his own gut; a feeling of isolation, of
loneliness. Beth filled that spot but isn’t it natural to want to leave
a legacy behind? That had been his shot, but it hadn’t actually been
one at all.
He and Beth thought that they had a shot, but that
didn’t work either. Did he have to have a child to feel fulfilled, to
feel complete? No, he felt those things with Beth and if he were really
honest, their bond had increased so much since she was turned it almost
scared him. He felt angry that their chance was ripped from them,
their dream torn asunder. He could so easily imagine Beth with a child;
himself holding them close, loving them forever.
He shut his
eyes tightly as if to spurn that vision but it was replaced by another.
Margie, the woman that he had left abruptly for Coraline. Margie was
every guy’s dream, so beautiful with the most gorgeous red hair that
glimmered copper in the sunlight. He remembered all the times they had
spent on the beach, planning a future and then in a snap it was gone.
As soon as Coraline came along.
That guilt was still
overwhelming for him. He’d hurt her more than probably anyone in this
life. He didn’t know how her life had turned out but he hoped that she
had lived a good, happy life.
The guilt didn’t stop there
either; it only morphed into something that was unthinkable. A monster?
He was in ways that he didn’t ever want Beth to experience. Josef had
taught him that you didn’t have to kill to exist and for awhile after
he went back to Coraline he’d stuck with that. Coraline had plenty of
cash; the expense of freshies was nothing to her but by using them Cora
didn’t get the fun that she craved – the hunt, the kill. Eventually she
had taught him to crave it too, until it became too much of a sickness
Worst of all though was when Beth was 17, on the beach
and kissing a boy while he’d lurked in the shadows. He’d wanted to
kill that boy for touching her, for tasting her sweetness. He knew that
if he didn’t leave LA that he eventually would do something like that.
So he left and ended up here and began to heal.
played over and over in his mind, like a film loop gone wild, that
moment on the beach when Beth was being kissed by that guy. He’d played
out different scenarios, he’d rushed to her and demanded that he leave
her alone and she’d look up at him with grateful eyes or he’d punch the
kid’s lights out…or worse. Fantasies, all of it but it was steeped into
his brain until he felt like he was going crazy, like he was crazy. It
wouldn’t stop and each time he felt guiltier, until that was about the
only emotion he had left.
Guilt, it was vile, poisonous and
grabbed you by the balls and refused to let go. All the bitter guilt
that had seeped into his soul, things he couldn’t change now. He
couldn’t forget it all and he couldn’t escape it, could he? He only
knew of one way but that thought scared him too.
He needed air;
he needed to breathe in the cool, moist air that held the tang of Puget
Sound. He decided to get out of the house and he paused outside and
sucked in a sharp breath and felt it fill his lungs and then whoosh out.
He stood for a moment, trying to decide between heading east to the
sound or west to Tim’s fire circle where the Cheyenne man was surely
sitting, chanting or praying, as the mood took him. It was a nightly
ritual for him Mick had learned and the couple of times he’d been there
it had been relaxing.
Of course, there was another draw on this
evening, fire, ever present, crackling bursts of heat that leapt into
the heavens. Would his ashes leap to the heavens too he wondered. Was
that where he was heading? To seek a final end to a life that was no
longer really a life? How long had it been since he had felt happy?
Truly happy and excited to be alive?
Far longer than he could remember.
had been moments of happiness, where the guilt wasn’t overriding his
being. How much was a person supposed to handle in a lifetime, or
rather a life that wasn’t and went on forever?
How did he forget
the monster within and how did he forgive himself for it all? If he
chose to end it, what did the next level of existence hold for him, for
any vampire? Was there another place?
He had long given up the
idea of hell; walking a vampire’s existence was hell enough. But what
about heaven? Would it be a place of peace? A place where he could
forgive himself? He wished he knew.
He headed off to Tim’s fire,
knowing that this night he needed the companionship of his friend. He
scented the various types of wildlife in the forest around him,
scampering away as he quietly walked the pine needle path that softly
crunched under his footfalls. He could already scent the fire, pine
wood burning lazily in the night. There was a nip in the air and he
exhaled a long stream and watched as the vapor streamed out in front of
him like a small cloud misting in the night.
As he approached the
fire Tim stood up, staring at him intently. Mick saw his head lift as
he scented the air and caught the frown that spread across his face.
“The fire is not for you tonight na’hae. It is not the doorway you seek.”
stuck his hands down into the pockets of his jeans and thought about
the words that Tim had spoken. The toe of his boots traced little
circles in the damp earth and when he finally looked up he saw that Tim
had moved closer to him, eyes silvered in the glow of the firelight.
got the point; Tim wasn’t going to allow anything to happen tonight.
With a resigned sigh Mick sat down on one of the thick logs that were
placed around the fire. Tim retreated back to his seat and sat down,
still watching Mick for any sudden signs of movement.
“I am lost
on my path Tim; I have no peace in my heart or my head. I cannot
resolve the past so that I can find joy in the future. How do I do
“You must accept yourself and all that you have done.
Only then can you move forward. Your past is like a weight that pulls
you down; you must never forgive the past for it is what has made you
the man you are. The past hurts na’hae; it is easier for us to push it
out of our minds but that does not let us move forward. As a man and a
vampire you have done things you regret and you wear the guilt like a
steel cloak, surrounding yourself with it. Accept that you cannot
change those things; let them be a memory that shows you the right path
to follow, so that you do not make those mistakes again.”
“How do I do that? I’ve tried Tim, I have.”
are caught between what you think a man who is a vampire is and what
you feel you are. A man can easily be a vampire but a vampire cannot so
easily be a man. No one truly knows the nature of a vampire. Are we
intently good or made for evil? The truth is that you can be whatever
you desire to be Mick. Good or evil; you create your own path.”
“Do you believe that vampires have souls?”
“I believe that all of the Great Spirits creatures have souls. Do you believe that you do not?”
“My behavior has been soulless at times. Since we are not truly alive or dead, how can we have a soul?”
walk upon the earth; your body still functions, just in a different way
than before. Whether you are alive or not is a matter of opinion
na’hae. I choose to live. What do you choose?”
staring into the dancing flames of the fire. He picked up a handful of
soil and let it slip through his fingers; it felt cool and moist in his
hand and he breathed in deeply, trying to pull in all the wisdom that
Tim shared with him.
“I choose to live,” Mick said simply. Tim nodded with satisfaction.
stared at the fire that burned in the fireplace. It’s funny, most
vampires feared fire, a fear born of understanding the enemy, true
death. Mick didn’t fear it, it soothed him, lulled him at times and
this was one of them.
He had chosen to live as a vampire again to save her.
chose to live as well, chose a life of forever with him and in a way
that was saving him. He remembered back to Tim’s words that long ago
night and realized that it was all up to him. The guilt pulled him
down, sucking him into a bottomless morass that he felt incapable of
escaping from. It suddenly occurred to him that he had exactly what he
needed to pull himself out; he had Beth and her love. It was more than
He heard her rise from the freeze upstairs and before he
even had a chance to think about it she was on his lap, clinging to
“Mick, I needed you,” she told him as she held him tightly.
have me. Remember I told you that sometimes fledglings are like a
baby? They need to see their sire. Its okay love, I’m here and I’m not
She nodded as she relaxed and stretched out on
his lap. She hadn’t taken the time to put her clothes on and Mick
watched the mellow flames of the fire spread a liquid gold color over
her body. She was so beautiful it made him ache for her.
“Do you need to feed baby?”
“Yes,” she replied, her voice a mere whisper.
turned her so that her back was to his chest and her legs were resting
on either side of his own. As she settled in Mick inhaled her scent, a
potent miasmic swirl of Beth and sex and love. He brought his left arm
around her and she took it in her small hands and stared in rapt
fascination for a moment before she kissed his wrist softly and then
traced her tongue lazily along the vein, seeking the sweet spot for both
Anticipation rocked him in the gut and he couldn’t wait
to feel her baby fangs against his skin. When she bit, she did it with
precision and little fuss; a clean bite just deep enough for the blood
to leisurely pool in her mouth. She let out a soft growl of
satisfaction and craving as Mick scented her desire.
grew uncomfortable and tight and he tried to shift on the cushion
without disturbing her but she moved with him, her limbs flowing over
his like honey from the comb. His hand reached around and teased along
her bare skin, traveling slowly and sensuously along the firm planes of
her belly until swept upwards and captured a firmly rounded breast in
his hand and kneaded lightly, sweeping nimble fingers over her aroused
nipple and making it stiffen even more.
She moaned, a moan of
desire and he scented the liquid need that was flowing from her body.
He breathed deeply and letting it wash over him, through him. He kissed
her neck, stroking it with his tongue and playing it like the finest,
most revered instrument as his hand strummed along her quivering tummy.
She had all but stopped feeding and he felt her spread her legs farther
apart so that he would have no doubt as to what she wanted, craved.
teasing fingers made their way to the curly blonde hair that covered
her sex and he cupped her, rubbing against her lightly. She thrust
upwards against his palm, rhythmically trying to increase the contact.
His fingers dipped into the sweetly flowing nectar and traced lovingly
over the swollen folds and drew gentle circles over the hardened nub of
desire that quivered at his touch.
He inserted a finger and then
two into her, working them in and out of her tightly gripping body.
She started feeding again as he increased the tempo and she strained
against his hand and suddenly she felt the pinnacle of joy wash over her
and her eyes shut tightly as she rocked with it. Mick gentled his
caresses until he felt her body stop contracting around him and slipped
his fingers out of her, leaving wet trails up her belly.
pulled her fangs out and sealed the wounds with a kiss, still marveling
at quickly they healed. She stood up and looked down at him, her body
alit in the fires glow and she held her hand out to him, urging him to
follow her back upstairs.
He couldn’t do anything else. She was his choice.
To be continued…