Carl woke up Tuesday morning and groaned; his whole body ached in the worst way. He looked down to see that even though he could barely move, he still had an erection. He groaned and tried to roll out of bed carefully to get into a hot and steamy shower in hopes that the aches and kinks would gradually work out.
Sunday he had been working out with Kenji daily and that young pup had
really been putting the pressure on him. He thought of himself as a fit
guy; he ran, pumped some iron and did a little boxing at the gym with
other guys from the force but that was nothing compared to what Kenji
had him doing and they were still only in the beginning stages. Carl
had taken a semester of Karate in college but it was no preparation for
this. Kenji never took it easy on him and Carl was looking forward to
getting really good at it all and kicking that little bastards balls all
the way to Frisco; one of these days - he promised himself that it
would happen one of these days.
His body creaked and he groaned
as he stepped into the hot shower and set the shower dial to ‘massage’
and let it do its work. The shower helped some but he was still moving
like a 90 year old arthritic man.
If he survived the week,
meaning that Kenji didn’t kill him he wanted to take Cami away for the
weekend; some wonderfully romantic spot so that they could finally be
together. At that thought his manhood jumped in appreciation and he did
his best to ignore it, which wasn’t easy.
The only teeny, tiny
problem with his plan was that he didn’t know where he could take her
that would meet her needs. He was sure there must be places out there
but they sure weren’t common knowledge, especially to a human. He
didn’t want to ask her because he wanted it to be a surprise and it
didn’t feel right to go to Heroku and ask for a private place so that
Carl could do the wild thing with his daughter.
Beth was a
possibility, but she’d get so happy and giddy over it that it would be
uncomfortable. Nope, only one answer - Mick. A game plan in mind he
finished dressing for work and then gave his friend a call.
was fresh out of the shower himself; Beth hadn’t rested well last night
and tonight was the full moon and he felt sure that was why. He had a
freshie by the name of Tracy Billings coming this evening and hopefully
she’d be okay until then.
She told him that she was going to
work, for a few hours anyway. She thought it would help her to stay
busy, but he wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. She sipped a
glass of A+ slowly and he could tell that she wasn’t feeling great. He
had to trust her judgment but he wasn’t comfortable about it at all.
are you sure you want to go to work, baby?” You’re kind of jittery,
like last month. I don’t think you’re used to this yet.”
get used to it; Heroku said it would get better and I believe him.
I’ll be okay for a few hours. What time is the freshie coming?”
“Seven, but maybe I could get it changed to an earlier time? Would that work?”
think seven is fine; the full moon isn’t until 10:32 pm, our time so
there should be plenty of time.” She looked at the worry that covered
his face and said, “Mick, I’m okay, really. A bit jittery but otherwise
fine. I’ll be okay!” she declared then leaned up to kiss him goodbye.
watched her go, trying to believe that it would be okay. She was
adapting well and knew her limits, he hoped. A few minutes later he was
startled when his phone started buzzing in his pocket. He pulled it
out and smiled when he saw it was Carl. He wondered how the big weekend
at Heroku’s had gone.
“Hey Carl; what’s going on?”
“I’ve got an idea I need your help on it, Mick. You got a few minutes?”
“Sure. Did everything go okay this past weekend?”
“Yes, very well actually. But this coming weekend I want to take Cami somewhere special, just the two of us.”
the romantic getaway, huh? Good idea. And, you are wondering about
vamp friendly places I’ll bet?” Mick grinned into the phone knowing
that it was definitely a problem for Carl.
“Well, yeah. I mean,
where do you go when you’re a … special? Are there places, that have,
accommodations, the right kind I mean.?”
“Yes, there are!
There’s this little place up north on the PCH, about 4 1/2 hours away,
definitely worth the drive. It’s a small bed and breakfast place. They
can provide you with what you need. Tell them you’re interested in the
Sunset Cottage and that I sent you to them. I took Beth there a while
back and she was crazy about the place.” He gave Carl the number and
listened to Carl’s many thanks.
“You are a great friend, Mick. I really appreciate your help. I’ll give them a call right away.”
Mick said goodbye, glad to have helped. Now if things only went okay for Beth today.
woke up late Tuesday morning, not having slept much during the night.
Thoughts of Josef filled her head and her dreams when she did manage to
sleep. She thought about what Mrs. Carter had told her about forgiving
and forgetting and Lani realized that she was right. Lani could forgive
what he’d done but forgetting it would take awhile.
Not that she
wanted to break up with him; she couldn’t, she wouldn’t. Damn him
though, why did he think it was okay to do that anyway? Stupid, stupid
move. What did he think would have happened if the plan succeeded?
thing was for sure, it would most likely have torn them apart if it
had. Still, she did understand why he felt like doing it. She’d had
thoughts of something like that herself, for a long time.
truth shook her to the core and her stomach revolted. She made a mad
dash to the bathroom and sank to the floor in front of the toilet.
How could she have those types of thoughts about her parents?
quick driver’s license search turned up information for Margaret
McFarland and Mick looked at it pensively. He shouldn’t be - he knew
that but he couldn’t help himself.
She was alive and apparently
still active and happy. She lived in a pricey retirement center in Long
Beach and still had an active driver’s license to boot.
leaned back in his chair and ran his hand over his face as he continued
to stare at the information on the monitor. She still had that great
smile, the smile that had always made him feel on top of the world.
leaned forward and hit the delete key and walked away from the
computer. He couldn’t do it, he knew he shouldn’t. But, he was going
to; he had to just catch a glimpse of her. He’d stay hidden, not let
her see him of course but just a quick look. He’d allow himself that
much. All he wanted was to just see for himself that she was happy.
the way to Long Beach he repeatedly told himself to stop - go home.
But like the moth to the flame he continued on his way. When he found
the complex he was amazed at the size of it. As he drove down the long
drive he spotted tennis courts that had people lobbing little green
balls back and forth and a golf course in the distance as well. He
drove up to building 3 and turned the Benz off and sat for a moment,
telling himself that it wasn’t too late to turn around and go home.
he didn’t of course. He was an idiot; what was he going to do, stake
out the parking lot until she appeared? How often did she even leave?
He put the key into the ignition and started the car but he couldn’t
make himself put it into gear and he finally turned it off and pocketed
the key. Maybe he’d hear her talking or something in her room. Just a
quick listen, that’s what he’d do.
He got out of the car and made
his way into the main entrance of building 3. He found 302 immediately
and walked slowly past the door, but all was quiet within. When he’d
come in the main entrance he could see a courtyard of sorts behind the
building and he continued down the hall to a side exit and quickly made
his way around the building.
As he came around the corner at the
back he saw lots of tables, under shady trees or umbrella’s and groups
of people enjoying the day. For November it was pretty warm and he even
saw a few people swimming in the pool.
His eyes scanned the
different groups and suddenly he heard it - Margie’s laughter and his
eyes found her, sitting at a table with four other people apparently
playing a card game of some kind.
She was wearing a blue blouse
with hibiscus flowers on it and white slacks, along with a pair of
Reeboks that looked like she often walked in them. He saw her lay some
cards down on the table and declare, “Gin!” with a laugh.
smiled, he couldn’t help it as he remembered how much she had loved the
game. He lifted his sunglasses for a moment as he watched her until she
looked up and saw him and then stood up. His heart banged madly in his
chest for a moment and he flipped the glasses back down and darted
around the building, heading for the parking lot.
up, watching the young man turn and all but run away. Something about
him was eerily familiar and she frowned, searching her memory for why.
She mumbled an apology to her friends and took off quickly to see if she
could get another look at him.
As Mick opened the door of the
Mercedes he saw Margie round the corner of the building, heading
straight for him. He hurriedly sat down and fumbled trying to get the
key into the ignition, finally connecting with it and starting the car.
As he quickly pulled out of the parking stall he heard her calling out
“Young man? Hello, do I know you?” She waved at him and
Mick watched as she grew smaller every second in the rear view mirror.
Two blocks down the street he pulled onto a side street and leaned his
head against the steering wheel, sucking in several deep breaths.
What the hell were you thinking Mick?
The question repeated in his head all the way home. He knew that he hadn’t been thinking at all.
and Max interviewed the two college students from UCLA. Both were
bright and eager, hungry for the opportunity at Buzzwire. They liked
them both but the true test would be the screen tests that were going on
now. Each one of them were doing two story promos and Beth and Max
would review them to see how they looked on camera.
doesn’t lie you know,” Beth said to Max as they watched the videos being
made. “Sometimes they can seem great but the lens doesn’t love them.
Sad, but true.”
Max glanced over at Beth who looked paler than
yesterday and she seemed a bit jittery too. “After they’re done we’ll
have a better idea I guess. Beth, are you feeling alright? You seem a
bit off today.”
Beth quickly glanced down, knowing how correct
Max was. She decided to just ‘fess up, to some degree anyhow. “Yeah,
I’m not really. Stomach’s kind of out of sorts today.”
why don’t you go home? We’ll email you the tests and you can review
them and then you and I can go over them first thing in the morning,
before the staff meeting.”
“You don’t mind? I think that might be a good idea actually.”
“No, don’t mind a bit. Stomach off a bit huh? Maybe a little morning sickness?” her friend teased.
no.” Beth smiled at Max, trying her best to not look too miserable by
the words. “Okay then, I guess I’ll head out. See you in the morning
She quickly gathered her purse out of her office and headed
for the door, anxious to get home. She wouldn’t feel any better until
she fed but at least she could relax a bit more at home.
Relax? She still had too many damn questions about all this to relax.
and Beth met one another in the parking garage and she could tell
immediately that something was wrong. She took his hand in the
elevator, entwining her fingers with his and watched him surreptitiously
from under the cover of her lashes.
Inside the loft Mick headed
directly for the hidden fridge and grabbed a carafe of A+ and poured a
tall glass. He held it up to her, silently asking if she wanted any and
she shook her head no.
He drank the blood straight down and
rinsed the glass out before setting it in the dishwasher. He definitely
looked conflicted about something and she knew he wanted to hide away
in his office but she was sure he’d feel better if he’d just talk.
“Mick, something’s wrong. Come and tell me, okay?”
brief look akin to panic washed over his face for a moment and then he
came and sat down next to her. She had to hide a smile behind her hand
because he looked like he’d been caught with his hand in the cookie jar
and knew he’d be in trouble.
What on earth had he done?
“Whatever it is, you can talk to me about it. I won’t get mad, promise,” she entreated.
He opened his mouth to speak and then shut it quickly, as if thinking
better of his words. Finally he said, “I did something really stupid,
She waited for a moment to see if he’d elaborate but he
remained silent. Okay, so she was going to have to pry it out of him.
Good grief, now she was starting to get nervous.
“Mick, what did you do?” She picked up his hand and stroked her thumb gently over his knuckles and waited for him to speak.
- I went to see Margie.” At the startled look on her face he quickly
added, “Not to talk to her, just to see if I could, you know, catch a
glimpse of her. And she saw me - I don’t know if she recognized me, I
mean how could she? But she saw me looking and followed me out to the
parking lot. As I pulled away I could hear her calling out to me. It
was stupid Beth; rash and foolish.”
Beth almost laughed; she’d
known that he would do it. This was so typically Mick. So endearingly
Mick. “Mick, it’s okay. I understand and I’m not at all surprised you
He looked at her, amazed by her reaction. “You don’t understand Beth, she saw me!”
she did but Mick, is it realistic that she knew that it was actually
the Mick St. John she knew all those years ago? Mick, you just wanted
to make sure she really was happy, it’s okay. Do you think she is?
Happy I mean?”
“Yeah, she looked happy. It’s a nice place and
I’ll tell you something else; for an 85 year old woman she can move
really quickly! Surprised the hell out of me.”
“Well good - good for her Mick! That’s wonderful isn’t it?”
“Yes,” he said, his words less than a whisper but her vamp hearing picked them up clearly.
you can’t change what happened. It sounds as if she had a good and
happy life. I heard Ben talking about his grandmother lots of times and
he even had a picture of the two of them together in his office. He’s
very devoted to her you know.”
“Yeah, maybe enough that when he knows who I am he’ll hate me even more.”
but as they say - love and hate are just two sides of the same coin.
Look, the meeting with Catherine went better than you expected and given
time I’m sure Ben will come around too.”
Mick put his arm around
her and drew her closer. As she settled into the familiar contours of
his body he felt her tremble, ever so slightly. “Baby, are you okay?”
“Yes, it’s actually not quite as bad as last time.”
“You know, we could set up the appointment for earlier in the day probably. Waiting so long makes it really hard on you.”
“We’ll have to ask Heroku about that. It would be better than waiting until the evening of the full moon.”
“Okay. Hey, why don’t we stretch out here on the couch for a bit. I’ll put some music on and we can just relax for awhile.”
sounds good.” She watched as he sorted through the CD’s and finally
loaded several into the player. He came back to the couch and laid
down, pulling her down next to him. She threw a leg over his and
wrapped her arm around his chest as she felt his arm hold her close.
She sighed with pleasure. They didn’t do this often enough.
came on and he grinned and then kissed her nose. “You know, this is
the first blond I ever fell for. I wanted to runaway and marry her!”
listened, trying to figure out who was singing it. Her watched her
nose scrunch up as she listened, obviously unable to tell who it was and
he chuckled, a warm sound that almost tickled her face that was lying
on his chest.
“Okay, I give up. Who was she and do I have to hunt her down?”
“Doris Day. This came out in 1944 I think and half the guys in the army would have fought me for her.”
Beth giggled and said, “Well, good then. Don’t have to worry about her.”
His fingers played in the silken gold of her hair, combing through the
soft strands gently. She was still trembling slightly. “Beth, are you
“No, not really. Anxious maybe.”
“Are you afraid? I won’t let anything happen you know.”
“I do know that. I sort of feel guilty Mick - I feed fresh and you don’t. Mick, you’ve never really told me why.”
was quiet, pensive even she thought as his whole body stiffened at her
question. He’d told her that his whole life had changed when he rescued
her but not much else.
“I - that whole part of my life, I was
just so different then Beth. I felt - I don’t know - maybe soulless
describes it. I didn’t connect with anyone, not emotionally. Josef was
a friend, and we partied hard together, but after everything that
happened with Coraline I knew that if I wanted to survive this life I
had to change. Feeding fresh was a symbol of that lifestyle and so I
vowed to walk away from it all.”
“I guess I don’t understand,
Mick. Did you hurt those girls or something? If they were willing to
give you their blood I don’t understand what the problem was.”
all gave willingly. It was a decadent time, in a world full of drugs
and what I now realize was desperation. I was looking for something
more; something to anchor me to this life and if I hadn’t rescued you,
Beth I wouldn’t be here now, I assure you.”
“You mean you would
have…” Her breath caught in her throat as she realized what he meant. A
tear slipped down her face, tracking over her nose before sliding onto
“Yeah, I would have. It hurt, Beth, it just all hurt
so damn much. Partying was a momentary high that usually left me
feeling like shit the next day, emotionally speaking. Josef gloried in
it, but it was too much for me.”
She smiled, understanding what
he was saying. Mick was a pretty conventional guy; he wanted the
American dream and he’d missed out on that. Things were about as normal
now as they ever would be, but at least they had one another to love.
came on, Glenn Miller at his best. She smiled since the song was the
one he had chosen for their first dance together as man and wife. “I
really do love this song Mick, such good memories.”
asked softly. “Me too.” They both heard the elevator ding and caught
the scent of human blood. “Well, I guess this is it. Must be Tracy
Billings, you dinner tonight Mrs. St. John.”
She sat up and combed fingers through her hair. “Well, let her in Mr. St. John so I can get this over with.”
ready, Beth?” His eyes searched her face but she seemed calm and
ready. At her nod he headed to the door and opened it as soon as he
heard the knock.
The man who was staring at him was tall and blonde. His all American quarterback good looks were a huge surprise to Mick.
stuck his hand out and said, “Mr. St. John? I’m Tracy Billings.” He
stood looking at Mick and for a moment wondered if he had the wrong
“Uh, I’m sorry Tracy. Please come in.” He stepped aside and watched as a very male
Tracy Billings walked into the room, his step firm and lively. It had
never once occurred to him that Tracy was male, not female. Irritation
settled around him because he hadn’t specified that it should be a
Beth watched the emotions play over her husband’s face
and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. So she did the only thing she
could, she turned her face away for a moment as she stood up to greet
“Tracy, hi! Thank you for coming.” She decided to get
right down to business because the longer Mick stewed about it the more
irritated he would get. “Are you ready?” she asked.
“Sure.” She pointed to the couch and he sat down in the middle and waiting for her.
“Are you left handed or right?” she inquired.
but it really doesn’t matter,” he said, watching as the husband sat
down directly across from them, a scowl on his face. What the hell?
sat down next to him and took his left arm in her hands, scanning it
for the vein. She closed her eyes for a moment and started sending out
soothing thoughts to both of them. Sports, maybe they’d be comfortable
talking about sports. She focused for a moment and finally Tracy asked
Mick if he were a baseball fan.
When Mick said he was Tracy said,
“I really wanted the Dodgers in it this year, but then I want them in
every year. Still, I like the Phillies and didn’t mind them beating the
Rays at all.” The talk centered on the World Series games and a few
minutes later Beth pulled her fangs out of his arm, sealing the twin
Tracy looked at her in amazement; she’d only fed a little
bit, a couple of minutes at most. “Mrs. St. John, have you had enough?
Do you need the other arm?”
“No, I’m fine Tracy,” she told him
with a smile. As soon as her fangs sank into his arm the jittery
feeling had left her and she felt so much better.
“Um, okay,” he
said, standing up. He looked at his arm, at the two small holes that
were so tiny as to be almost nonexistent. She really had a delicate
bite - he had hardly even known when she bit him.
Mick came around the coffee table and asked, “Do you need any juice or something before you go Tracy?”
“No sir. I had a protein drink before I came up. I’m fine.”
At the door Mick handed him a hundred dollar bill, his tip. “Oh, Mr. St. John, that’s not necessary.”
“I know, but this went really well. And, I enjoyed out conversation, no matter how short it was.”
“Alright then. Thank you.”
shut the door feeling amazingly good. The young man hadn’t shown the
slightest bit of arousal and that made it so much better.
watched him, knowing that she should tell him what she’d done and yet
she couldn’t. How do you tell someone that you can literally ‘see’ them
wherever they are if you want to look and that you can put suggestions
into their mind as well? She hated this and she definitely needed help
learning to control it all. If she told him he’d feel like she was
spying on him and she couldn’t help it.
She needed the 13; she needed guidance to help with these things. She hoped that the help came soon.
To be continued…