Sunday morning the four friends sat around the table eating their respective breakfast choices. Three of them were very aware of what the previous evenings activities were and one of them was praying that wasn't the case.
She tried to be okay with it; it's not like in
college when people gave you the high five when you'd spent time between
the sheets. People had sex, she knew that but being in such close
proximity with three vampires who could so easily tell was unnerving to
her, to say the least. She knew very well that not only did she and
Josef make love last night but that Mick and Beth most likely did too,
judging by the loving and happy looks they were sharing this morning.
However, being pretty sure about it and being able to scent it were two
very different things and try as hard as she could it still made her
Was she ashamed that she and Josef had such a
healthy sex life? Nope, but it was a private thing for her and with
vampires around the sanctity of their relationship felt like it was
somehow less than the special bond that they had. Complicate those
feelings with the thoughts that Beth had once told her that Mick could
sometimes scent the events of the past and it made her want to hide away
from all of them.
The three of them all acted like it wasn't any
big deal; could they really keep their noses to their selves so easily?
If they could smell it all how could they? She was afraid she'd walk
around with a perpetual smirk if she scented sex all around her. Maybe
they were just better people than she was, who knew for sure.
All she really knew was that ignorance really was bliss sometimes.
Mick and Beth were all drinking some O+ for their breakfast and Lani
sliced an apple and banana and scooped out a helping of peanut butter
onto her plate and sat it and some pineapple juice on the table to eat.
watched as she dipped the pieces of fruit in the peanut butter. She
loved the stuff to be sure and he was guaranteed to see it at least once
every day. It smelled interesting but the looks of it were revolting
Beth finished her O+ and then reached for a piece of
Lani's apple and dipped it into the gooey mess and popped it into her
mouth. "You know, if I couldn't eat food any longer this is one thing I
would really miss for sure," she said, licking a small bit of peanut
butter from the corner of her mouth.
Lani couldn't help but
wonder how it tasted after the blood but decided it was probably about
the same as drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth; you just
got used to it.
"I know, I will definitely miss it myself someday and so I'm eating every bit of it that I can now."
three vampires caught the future reference and Beth grinned; she knew
Lani and since her mind was made up it was going to happen, one way or
another. They’d had a long talk about it last evening and Beth now knew
that it was Lani’s decision, not Josef’s. In fact, he looked a bit
shell-shocked about it which meant that he wasn't quite ready to deal
with it yet.
"Did you ever eat that stuff Mick?" Josef asked,
hurriedly changing the subject. He caught the grins that Lani and Beth
were both wearing and knew that he was caught.
"Not before I was
turned. I mean, they had it but I never tasted it. But that week that I
was human again I tried it. I have to say, I liked it," he answered
with a laugh.
Josef grimaced and said, "It looks more like
something that comes out of a dirty nappie than something you would
eat." He leaned over and sniffed it and added, "Smells good though!"
stuck her finger into a dab of the substance and popped it into her
mouth and watched as Josef's eyes sparked for a moment. Oh, sometimes it was just too easy...
"Delicious! Mick, you mean in the army they didn't have little cans of peanut butter and crackers in the C-rations?"
He laughed and said, "Not that I ever ate. Doesn't mean they didn't have them though."
"Hm. Well, that's too bad. Glad you got a taste though. What was your favorite thing that you ate that week?"
"It would be hard to say actually, most of it tasted pretty damn good."
"Um, yeah, the bait Mick?" Josef smirked.
okay. The sushi wasn't so great. Or rather the green stuff wasn't and
I threw all of it all out. Ice cream was good, a lot better than I
remember; coffee too." He thought for a moment, thinking about the food
he had ate. "I really enjoyed the taco's I had; they were really
tasty. Some things didn't taste as good as I remember though."
what?" Beth asked, curious. They'd really never talked much about what
he had thought about food, 2008. She knew about the sushi and Kung Pao
chicken experiences but he'd never said that much about the other
"Macaroni and cheese. My mom used to make the best
macaroni and cheese. The stuff in the box just didn't taste the same at
"Did you expect it to? It came out of a box," Lani laughed.
"I don't know. Poor substitute I guess. Some things just didn't taste like Mom made them."
"Yeah, how I miss boiled potatoes and cabbage. Yum..." Josef laughed.
looked puzzled for a moment and then saw how Lani was laughing and
realized he was being sarcastic. "Well, I hope there were other things
to eat besides that Josef. And just where did you eat those things
anyway?" Here was hoping he'd share a bit of information.
chance Lois Lane," he said, reverting back to the pet name he'd had for
her on the road trip because of her curiosity. "Let's just say that it
wasn't here in the states."
Lani ducked her head down in an effort to avoid Beth's eyes, which were regarding her narrowly.
"Someday Josef, someday you're going to spill the beans!" Beth promised, her eyes sparkling brightly.
"Maybe, maybe not!"
that afternoon after hanging out in the pool the talk switched gears to
Katrina. It had been preying on Beth's mind all day, what was going to
"I know that she disobeyed a direct order Josef and I
know that we have rules but please just make the punishment fit the real
crime; her not doing what she was supposed to do. Please don't punish
her because of what happened to me." Beth looked at Josef, her earnest
face giving him pause.
"Beth, what if Kelly had done that to someone else? Someone who didn't want to be turned? The rules are there for a purpose."
am not disagreeing with that Josef. But in my case it was for the
best; so punish her, execute her for disobeying you, not for my
"Beth, how the hell can you say that?" Lani said, her voice almost a yell.
my life is better for it." She looked at Mick who clearly agreed with
Lani and Josef. "I get it, I'm in the minority here, just do it fast,
"That bitch deserves to die horribly; I'm sorry that you
don't see it like I do Beth. I watched Kelly almost slice your head
off and then I killed her! It was pure reaction on my part and I can't
say that it didn't get to me at the time but she almost killed you. If
Mick hadn't been there..."
"Then Elka would have turned me."
Beth shrugged, knowing that there was really nothing left to be said.
They didn't see her point of view and she didn't see theirs.
"So you'd rather she be let go?" Lani said, practically spitting the words.
I understand the rules Lani. Every society has to have rules; I
didn't always understand that," she said, taking Mick's hand in hers and
rubbing it lightly. "But I do now, I get it."
She sounded so
sad Mick noted; it had been a hard lesson for her. Was she right? Were
they executing Katrina for the right reasons? He knew that he couldn't
be objective about it; he wanted the bitch dead. Beth had been
attacked twice because of her and it was time to take her out. He tried
to hear what Beth was saying but he couldn't accept it.
leaned towards Beth; they were all sitting around the poolside table and
he looked at her kindly, but firmly. "Beth, you have such a kind heart
and I understand that but vampires are treacherous and tend to just do
what they want. If you don't maintain control and make examples of the
consequences when the break the rules we'd have rogue vampires
everywhere and a lot more human death. Her actions could have caused
someone innocent to die, as I told you. Please, you have to understand
Beth nodded, tears in her eyes and looked at each of them
sorrowfully. Lani still looked defiant and that was so typical of her.
She took it to heart, protecting and standing up for her loved ones.
She might not like or agree with them but she'd fight for them. A good
trait really but Beth could actually use someone right now that got
where she was coming from.
Oddly enough it was Josef who finally
helped her; he couldn't stand to see her hurting so much. She'd been
through so much already and this was perhaps the hardest of all for her.
She felt like Katrina was being executed because of her, which wasn't
the case. Privately he agreed with her, Mick would have delayed her
turning for years, even if they had made a baby, especially if they'd
made a baby.
He reached across and tilted her head up so that
she could meet his eyes. The tender and kind look in them astounded her
and a small sob escaped from her as it all sunk in that this was going
"Beth," he said, looking into her crystal blue eyes,
"I understand and I know it's so hard for you. I'm not doing this
because of you but because of what might have happened otherwise." It
wasn't really the truth but hopefully she'd buy it - he was doing it
because of the overwhelming guilt he felt because he'd not done his job,
which was to make sure that Katrina had done hers correctly. "I admire
how much you want to stand up for what you believe is right, but this
has to be. Please believe me."
His gentle tone soothed her and
finally acceptance sunk in. She didn't have to like it but she let it
go. Sometimes you have to know when to fight and when to surrender.
"Thank you Josef, for understanding that."
"Okay," he said with a
smile. "How about a drink everyone? Beth, since you can eat food can
you get intoxicated? Mick, I think we should do tequila shots and find
"I don't know Josef," Beth said and he couldn't help but notice the tears were all but gone. "Guess we could try."
"Let's head in and change and then we're going to have an experiment! C'mon, let's go!"
the end, they discovered that she could indeed feel the effects of the
alcohol; she a Lani both were giggly and wobbly and it was Mick aided by
a completely clumsy and clueless Josef who fixed dinner for them. By
the time Mick and Beth headed back into LA all seemed okay with the
world for Beth. If she just tried really hard to ignore what was
happening tomorrow that is.
next morning Josef and Lani stopped by her place to grab clothes and
toiletries for a few days for her. He didn't really think that Katrina
had anyone still working for her here who would go after Lani but he
wasn't taking any chances. She gathered enough for a week and Josef
carried it all down to the car. She had left the beach clothes at the
house so at least there was room for it all.
"I'll send someone to get the Maserati later if that's okay?"
"Sure," she told him as she sank down into the seat of the Ferrari.
been quiet this morning and Josef knew that something was on her mind,
but so far she hadn’t spoken up which was unlike her.
“What’s going on Lani?”
looked at him and sighed, accompanied by a slight smile. “I’ve just
been thinking about Beth. Is she right? Are you guys doing this for
the wrong reasons?”
Not ‘are you guys doing the wrong thing?’ he
noticed. “I can’t speak for anyone other than myself but I’m doing it
for several reasons, already disclosed Lani. We have to have rules and
we have to enforce them.”
“And if those rules get you a bit of revenge, that’s good too?”
He looked at her sharply, trying to understand where she was headed.
don’t mean that you shouldn’t feel that way Josef because I sure as
hell do. If I had the chance I would hurt her badly for what she did. I
feel disloyal to Beth because of that. Beth has never been one to hold
a grudge and she hates hurting anyone. She’s going to live with this
forever, even though it’s out of her hands Josef. I love her so much
and I’m afraid she’s going to hate me because I can’t support her.”
she understands why it’s happening. It might take her a while to move
past it but she will.” He thought about when she came to him about Dean
Foster, the paparazzo that was stalking Mick. It was hard for her to
ask him for his help, knowing what he was going to do but she also
realized that it had to be done. She got over that and she’d get over
He hoped anyway.
was silent that morning as Mick got ready to go to the meeting about
Katrina. She thought wryly that they were calling it a meeting but they
all knew exactly what it was: torture and execution.
trying to be okay with it; she understood why it was happening and that
was okay. What she wasn’t okay with was what they were going to do to
her. Vampire vengeance, vampire justice, didn’t matter what you called
it; it meant the same thing.
Mick came downstairs dressed all in
black, including the duster he was shrugging into. He stopped in front
of her and pulled her to him tightly, feeling her tremble in his arms
but she didn’t say a word.
“Beth?” he asked, tilting her face up
to his but she looked away, unable or unwilling to meet his eyes. He
sighed and kissed her on the forehead and let her go. She walked into
the living room and sat on the couch, not looking at the door or him as
he prepared to leave. He grabbed his keys and stood hesitantly at the
door for a few seconds, willing her to turn to him, to say something but
he finally left, shutting the door behind him quietly when he realized
she wasn’t going to say anything.
As the door closed he heard her
break down, sobbing as she tried to deal with it. He wanted to go to
her, but he couldn’t. This was one of those things that they had to
learn to deal with; he hated it but Katrina was going to pay.
met in Tango’s office at the warehouse; Tango, Josef, Mick, Miguel and
Logan. The men talked about how things had went over the weekend and
also that Katrina hadn’t admitted to having any accomplices at all.
They knew that they’d already found some of them and Tango was inclined
to believe that there weren’t any more, not within the cleaner
“We tried everything we could. Hell, she
doesn’t have any fingers left because we kept burning them off, nothing
made her talk. I’ve called all the cleaners in for the display this
morning; nothing will get the information out into the community like
gossip from the cleaners.”
“I want that bitch to suffer as much
as possible,” Logan stated and Josef eyed the young man speculatively.
This wasn’t Logan’s usual thing and Josef was of the opinion that it
just might be too much for the young vampire to see. Logan was still an
innocent in many ways and while everyone had to grow up perhaps there
were better ways. Still, the fire burning in his eyes convinced Josef
to let him be there but he would draw the line at Logan actually
IF there was anything else other than her
execution to watch that was. God help him but he kept thinking about
Beth; dead is dead his head kept telling him even whlie his heart
screamed for vengeance.
She had apparently been put through a lot
of misery during the weekend. The stake had been pulled several times
in order to give her a sip or two of blood, enough to keep her
semi-lucid. As the men walked in Mick, Josef, and Logan got their first
look at her since it had all began. Miguel had been there during the
past weekend involved in the process of keeping her in custody.
three men were shaken to the core when they saw her appearance. She
was bloody and dirty and wild-eyed with the need for blood. Mick
couldn’t believe how sunken her eyes and cheeks were. He looked away
and suddenly he understood what Beth had been saying: just how much did a
person have to pay for what they’d done?
humanitarians; they weren’t ruled by sentimentality. They thrived on
visceral stimulation and this presented the perfect opportunity for that
Except he couldn’t do it. Beth’s pain rang true in his heart. “Just kill her and be done with it Josef.”
Their eyes met and Josef nodded almost imperceptibly. It was in his mind too, Beth’s feelings.
“What? NO!,” Logan exclaimed. His voice was only a notch under hysterical. “Make her pay for what she did!”
she’s paid. Look at her, she doesn’t have anything left in her - she’s
done.” Mick watched Logan as he stared at Katrina who was sheathed in
silver chains. The stake had been pulled out so that she could be more
aware of what was happening.
Katrina’s eyes opened slowly; dull,
black fathomless eyes that couldn’t focus on anything or anyone. She
started laughing then, knowing the moment was here. Then laughter gave
way to tears that finally stopped. Her eyes had cleared a bit and she
raised her head a notch as Josef picked up the flame thrower.
why don’t you let me?” Tango said. He could tell that it was getting to
Josef and Mick both. He didn’t understand why but he knew that it had
gone as far today as it was going to go.
Josef looked down for a moment and then looked at Mick expectantly. Mick stared ahead blankly, not meeting Josef’s eyes.
answer was clear. Josef lifted the flame thrower and Mick turned away.
He remembered Josef’s words when the Monahan’s had been executed, “We
don’t have to watch this.”
He didn’t have to and he couldn’t. As
his footsteps echoed hollowly over the floor he heard the power boost
up and Katrina scream. He hung his head for a moment but knew that he
had done the right thing.
To be continued...