Mick scented Logan before the knock came on the door. Beth was out working on recruiting reporters for Buzzwire so he was alone in the loft. Just as Logan knocked he opened the door and stood grinning at his one-time fledgling. Audrey had really helped to bring him out of his basement shell and Mick stepped aside, letting the young vamp into the loft.
“Hey Logan, what brings you over here?” he asked as he
poured them both a glass of O-. He watched as Logan sat in a chair
opposite the couch and nervously fidgeted with the zipper on his hoodie.
Mick wondered if he was upset about Katrina’s execution because he’d
been pretty pissed that day. Mick mentally shrugged and hoped that
whatever was on his mind wasn’t that. He didn’t have long to wait to
find out exactly what it was.
Logan took a nervous sip of his
blood and then licked his lips and said, “Mick, I - I want…I’m thinking
about asking Audey to marry me. Should I?”
Mick smiled and held back snicker. “Isn’t it about time Logan? You love each other, right?”
“Well yeah, but she could do so much better than me!” the young vamp exclaimed sadly.
“What the hell makes you think that?”
“Well, I’m just a nerdy geek, a computer guy who traces phone calls and plays Guitar Hero. Why would she want to marry me?”
cut the shit. You’re building a house together, a life together.
Don’t you think she’s probably wondering why you haven’t proposed yet?
You love her, right?”
“YES, okay, I love her crazy Mick.”
“But you’re scared, I get that.”
“Were you scared with Beth?”
yes - each step we took in our relationship terrified me but I can tell
you from experience that it is so worth it all Logan. All the worry
was for naught; I’m pretty much the happiest guy I know. Marry her
Logan, she’s good for you.”
“How did you ask Beth?”
was pretty easy because Josef was kicking me in the ass and began
planning the wedding. He told he it was going to happen with or without
him. I’d actually asked Beth before then, but that wasn’t really a
real proposal. Do it right Logan; buy the ring, make it special to show
her how much you love her.”
“Yeah, I guess I could do that. I - uh, will you come with me to buy a ring for her because I don’t know anything about that.”
“Sure, I’ll be glad to. Right now?”
“If you don’t have anything else to do.”
“I’m all yours Logan. Let’s go. Has Audrey ever talked about being turned?”
“No, not exactly; she just sort of acts like it’s a logical conclusion that I’ll turn her.”
could feel his pain and confusion and knew that he would have had a
hard time turning Beth if it hadn’t been for Kelly. And Katrina…
“I don’t know if it’s logical - I’m confused as hell but I know I want to be with her forever.”
grinned and patted Logan on the back as they waited for the elevator.
Mick understood his fear and it was very logical; Logan just wasn’t
there yet. But he would be one of these days and Mick was going to buy
tickets for that one!
spent the afternoon at UCLA, placing notices on bulletin boards that
Buzzwire was looking for on-line reporters. She stopped in to speak to
one of her old professors in the school of communication and enjoyed the
“I was sad to see you leave Buzzwire Beth but you got out of there in the nick of time,” Professor Andrea Katz told her.
had always admired Professor Katz, a respected reporter on her own, she
had freelanced for CNN and most of the major news outlets. Beth had
learned more from her than she’d ever be able to thank her for.
“Well, I left when Grant took over and I’m glad I did.”
you think you’ll be able to bring it back to some sort of interesting
professional journalism standards? Not that there wasn’t always a bit
of sleaze to it,” she joked.
Beth laughed and said, “I hope so.
Max and I have high hopes for it. We really need some great young
talent though so if you hear anything please let me know!”
have a couple of ideas,” she said as she jotted a couple of names down
on a piece of paper. I don’t have their numbers but I do have their
email addresses so contact them and let them both know I gave you’re
their names. Hope it helps!”
Beth took the piece of paper and
grinned at it, so happy to have a lead. “Thank you so much Professor
Katz. I really appreciate your help.”
“Anytime Beth. Let me know if I can do anything else!”
nodded and walked out of the office, feeling just a bit more optimistic
than when she’d entered. Maybe this was going to work after all!
hadn’t been kidding when he said that he knew nothing about buying an
engagement ring for Audrey. Most of what he looked at first Mick
thought looked like something that came out of a Cracker Jack box; in
other words flashy and gaudy.
As soon as they walked into the
store they were spotted by a sales person who doubted that Logan was
prosperous enough to pay for anything they had to offer but a few quick
looks for the tall, well-dressed man with him quickly brought his nose
down an inch or two and he finally decided to be somewhat helpful. He
figured that the dark broody one was probably footing the bill and
guided them to the expensive section of the shop.
at a half a dozen totally inappropriate rings Mick finally said, “Logan,
think about Audrey when you make your selection. What would she like?
Would she feel comfortable wearing something like this?” Mick pointed
to the totally gaudy diamond and ruby ring that was more fit for royalty
than for Audrey.
“I don’t know what she’d like.” Logan looked at all the rings in the case in panic and Mick knew that he was losing him.
“Okay, think about it like this - is she flamboyant or understated?”
“Um, understated I guess. Kind of shy.”
“Does she wear much jewelry Logan?”
“Only a small locket that was her mother’s most of the time. Uh, tiny little earrings sometimes too.”
great. Now thinking about that, would she feel comfortable in a ring
like this,” Mick said pointing to the 3 carat monstrosity, “Or a
smaller but equally beautiful ring?” The second ring was around a carat
and was lovely Mick thought.
“I suppose she’d probably like the smaller one. But I love her Mick, I want her to have the best!” he said.
The sales person spoke up and interjected, “Of course you do! She’d love this lovely 3.2 carat diamond set.”
looked at him and showed a bit of gleaming fang; just enough so that it
looked a bit scary but not enough that he could really see how big and
sharp they were. The sales person recognized that wasn’t a friendly
grin and lowered his head a fraction of an inch, acceding to Mick’s
“Logan, it isn’t the size that says ‘I love you’, it’s
how the ring catches the sentiments of your love. How every time she
looks at it she sighs happily because it reminds her of you and how much
she loves you.”
Logan nodded, finally understanding what Mick was trying to explain. But he was still confused; there were so many choices.
saw the indecision on his face and said, “Does she like diamonds? Or
maybe sapphires or emeralds or rubies? An engagement ring can have any
of those or a combination of them. What color does she like?”
“Blue, she really likes blue Mick.”
“Great, now how about a blue sapphire, with some diamonds on it?”
face lit up and they were finally on the right track. His eyes kept
going back to a lovely 1 carat blue sapphire, cut into a heart shape
with tiny diamonds surrounding it. Mick knew he’d made his choice.
“You like that one huh?”
“Yeah, I do. Do you think she’ll like it?”
“I think she’ll love it Logan. It’s perfect for her.”
nodded and the sales person couldn’t help but feel a bit of resentment
towards Mick but one more fierce look from the tall, dark and fearsome
one quieted any true protests before they actually took voice. He rang
the ring up and was shocked when Logan pulled out his own credit card to
pay for the ring and even slightly more surprised when it cleared the
Who could tell these days, he thought with a shrug.
walked out of the jewelry store feeling about 10 feet tall and Mick
wore a smile at least that wide. He put his arm around Logan’s shoulder
and congratulated him; he was so happy for the young vampire.
“So, when is the big proposal?”
“I don’t know, soon I guess. I- I want to do it right, like you said. Mick, what’s ‘right’?”
something that you both enjoy Logan. ‘Right’ is different for every
couple. You could take her out somewhere, or do it at home. Just don’t
do something cheesy, like putting it in a wine glass or cake or
something, okay? Just make it simple and heartfelt and I guarantee
she’ll say yes.”
Logan nodded and pulled the box out and opened
it, staring at the ring all the way back to the loft. In the garage he
got out to get into his car and Mick said, “That’s your next purchase
Logan, a new car!” He grinned and pointed at the aging VW Bug with his
“Whatever,” Logan said, hopping in and cranking the
engine. It started every time so what was Mick complaining about
anyway. “You’re a great car so don’t listen to him,” Logan said as he
patted the dashboard and drove off. Mick didn’t know everything!
saw that Beth still wasn’t home and decided that it was time to go and
talk to Josef about the Ben situation. He wasn’t looking forward to it
which was why it was better to get it over with before Josef found out
about it someone. He didn’t know how that would happen but if there was
one thing Mick knew it was that Josef seemed to find out everything.
pulled into the lot at Kostan Industries and was waved through by the
guard. It was now a locked down parking garage since the building had
been blown up. You could only get in one way and if you didn’t have an
appointment or know the magic word you were out of luck. It was
actually better this way because Josef was right; he had enemies and it
was high time he acknowledge it.
At Thor’s desk Mick stopped briefly. “Is he available?”
“For you always Mr. St. John. However, I believe Ms. Parker is with him at the moment.” Thor smiled as he glanced at the door.
you should buzz him before I go in Thor,” Mick laughed as he heard some
heavy breathing on the other side of the door and waited as Josef
answered the intercom with a fierce, “WHAT?”
“Mr. St. John is here to see you sir. May I send him in?”
heard a huge sigh followed by what sounded like the rustling of clothes
and finally Josef mumbled to send him in. Mick laughed again and threw
an amused wink at Thor since they both knew that Josef and Lani had
been getting a bit friendly in the room.
“Okay, break it up!”
Mick teased, noting Lani’s embarrassed flush and the smear of coral
lipstick on Josef’s mouth and jaw. Mick grinned and lightly touched his
own mouth and jaw indicating to Josef that he might want to take a
swipe at it.
Lani smoothed her skirt down and took a step
towards the door but halted as she realized that Mick was standing in
front of it. Not wanting to cause her further embarrassment he stepped
far away from it, heading to the bar across the room to give her a
chance to escape any more notice.
As he picked up the bottle of scotch he held it up and Josef said, “Yes! A tall one!”
carried the two glasses to the desk and sat them down before taking his
own seat. He noticed that Josef had wiped away the lipstick but wisely
said nothing about it.
“I had a visit from Carl yesterday and he
had some interesting news for me.” Mick filled Josef in and waited for
him to mull it over.
“A daughter and a grandson. I’ll be
damned,” Josef exclaimed and Mick almost choked on the sip of scotch at
his words. Some say that vampires are damned, but then if that were the
case how’d he get so lucky with Beth?
“Yeah, well.” Mick cleared
his throat and continued, “My daughter hates me, which I totally
understand and I somehow doubt that Ben is going to be thrilled to
welcome me since he apparently hates this Mick,” he said, tapping his
“That is the problem, isn’t it,” Josef said with a snarl.
“Not the fact that you and your past have come close to exposing all of
us way too many times!”
Mick let the words sink in and tried to
keep his temper in check. He managed it, almost. He sat his glass down
on the desk so hard it almost broke and leaned forward, his hands
gripping the edge of the desk and said, “Yes, and you’re past never has
done that has it Josef? Almost got you killed or others? Whitley,
Lola? Those names ring a bell with you?”
Josef had the grace to
look shamefaced, but somehow still defiant. “Well, it’s your turn this
time. I suppose you’re ready to embrace the lad and bring him into the
“I don’t know what I want to do Josef, not yet. I think
Carl is right and that at some point he’s going to come to me and so
there had better be a game plan before then.”
“Take them out, that’s the wisest choice,” Josef said, rising to his feet and turning to look out the window.
eyes opened wide in response and he was around the desk and had Josef
by the collar before the older vamp knew what had happened. “You son of
a bitch, that is NOT the answer. Now, are you going to be an asshole
or are you going to help me figure this out?” Mick stared into Josef’s
eyes daring him to say something else stupid.
How could Josef
explain that part of that answer was pure jealously, envy? Mick had a
daughter, a grandson. Suddenly, because of Lani those things now seemed
like a precious commodity and they’d never happen. True, the logical
thing to do was to remove the threat, but the jealousy had egged him on
to make that thoughtless suggestion.
Mick let go and Josef tugged
at his tie in an effort to resume his self-control but it didn’t quite
come off right. He only looked troubled and vulnerable Mick thought but
wisely said nothing.
“So did Carl have any ideas?” Josef asked.
other than to be prepared for questions and I’m sure he’s right that
they’ll come; Ben is a very curious guy. His mother and my daughter by
the way is Catherine McFarland.”
Josef’s eyebrows rose a fraction and the smile that came to him made Mick stare in confusion. “You know her?”
“Oh yeah, I know her.” He laughed and added, “Let me handle this, okay? I got you covered!”
“What the hell Josef?”
relax Mick, seriously. Give me a few days and we’ll have a solution.
Now boyo, I have other business to take care of so, uh, see you later!”
He walked to the door, practically pushing Mick out of it and ignored
Mick’s protestations and demands that Josef tell him what was going on.
Josef grinned and thought it was a really small world - it really was!
To be continued…