Where Evil Lurks

Welcome to Moonlight Madness - Where Evil Lurks



This is the fourth story in my Moonlight saga.



Story One - The Beginning - Beth's Diary

Story Two - With Arms Wide Open

Story Three - Barely Breathing

Cast of Characters



Monday, April 30, 2012

Chapter 16 Logical Confusion

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?”

“Logan, 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?”

“Hell 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?”

“It 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.”

Mick 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.”

Mick 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!



OOOOOOOOOOOO



Beth 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 visit.

“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.

Beth 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.”

“Do 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!”

“I 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!”

Beth 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!



OOOOOOOOOOOO



Logan 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.

After looking 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.”

“Okay, 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.”

Mick 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 guidance.

“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.

Mick 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?”

Logan’s 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.”

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Logan 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 sale.

Who could tell these days, he thought with a shrug.

Logan 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’?”

“Plan 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 index finger.

“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!

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OOOOOOOOOOOO



Mick 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.

Mick 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.

“Perhaps 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?”

They 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!”

Mick 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 chest.

“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 fold?”

“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.

Mick’s 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.

“None, 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?”

“Just 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…

4 comments:

LaLa said...

Hmm... now things are getting really interesting. What does Josef have on Catherine, or maybe she knows about them already??? Questions, questions......

La

Hope said...

Hey there Miss LaLa!!

Yep, things are cranking up; the ride is going to get bumpy so hang on!

Josef doesn't have anything on Catherine and she was never a freshie. Still, they do have a bit of history together and he'll use that to his advantage! Don't you just love Josef and his connections? LOL...

Thanks so much for stopping in to read my friend!!

LaLa said...

Just when you think all the tricks are pulled out, there's always a corner of the round hat that tells a tale.

I can't wait til Thursday... or tonight (hint, hint) for a new proofer? LOL

See ya Thursday!
La

Hope said...

LaLa!

I really wish we had smilies here. I need the ROFL one right now!

C