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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Hope is hitting the road!!

Hi Everyone!!

I'm hitting the road for a week or so on an unexpected road trip with a friend of mine.  Heading down to Austin and then to her ranch about an hour from there.  I'll only have spotty internet there, although I can read on my phone, it's just a pain to try to post from. 

That said, I won't be posting until I get home, since I may not be able to respond to things.  I hope everyone is taking it easy in the heat, we're well over a hundred here with an 'intense heat index warning' to thrill and delight us as well.  It's pretty bad when we have to go to Texas to get cooler!

Take care y'all, as they say down Texas way!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Chapter 31 Baring it All

Josef leaned back against the bedroom door, arms crossed across his chest as he watched Lani wrap a huge box that contained Brianna’s birthday gift. The party was tomorrow and Josef was ready to swear that Lani was as excited as Bri probably was.

The box was huge; Josef couldn’t see how she was possibly going to get that Barbie birthday paper all around it. She was frustrated he could tell as she huffed a breath and a stray strand of soft and silky hair blew away from her face.

He was one lucky bastard and he admitted it freely. She was still in his life, his arms, loving him fiercely, even after his stupid mistake. It was over with now, both the idea and the distance between them and he was thankful for all that he had.

“Hey, why don’t you let me help you, Sweetness?” he said, coming over and helping to hold the box up so she could slide the paper under it. “I’m sure it’s much easier with two pairs of hands!”

“You think?” she sniped at him, her eyes narrowing speculatively.

He had to try hard to hold back a chuckle and look serious. At this point his job was to provide the muscle and keep his mouth shut, he got it.

But it was really hard…

He watched as she tore off a long piece of cellophane tape and it stuck to a finger; she tried to pull it off and managed to get it mixed into her hair. He couldn’t stifle the laugh this time and she stared at him for a moment, her eyes blazing and then she laughed too. He reached over and pulled the tape out of her hair and said, “What on earth is this thing anyway?”

“It’s a princess vanity and chair set, complete with princess tiara and make up!” she declared. “Every little girl should get to be a princess in her life. What did you get her?”

His head dipped down slightly so she couldn’t see the smile that tweaked up the corners of his mouth. “Oh, you know, Barbie stuff, like Robbi suggested,” he finished with a shrug.

She studied his face for a moment and then sat back on her heels. “Need me to wrap this ‘Barbie stuff’ for you?”

“Uh, no, it’s all taken care of.” His eyes darted around the room, unwilling to meet hers because he knew he couldn’t keep his face straight. She brought out the best in him for sure and he’d never in his life loved and laughed as much as he did with her. “C’mon, let’s get this beast wrapped and then I think it’s time that we do a little unwrapping, my love.”


“Um hm,” he said, reaching over and working the top button of her blouse free in a one quick movement. He placed a kiss on her neck, on his spot and felt her responding shiver.

“Maybe we need to take a break from this; you know, think about the best way to tackle it,” she told him as he popped another button and leaned her backwards, his mouth moving upwards to capture hers in a delightful kiss.

“I think that is a very clever idea,” he agreed, placing another kiss on her mouth.

“I love you, Josef, always and forever…” she told him as he settled between her thighs. It was amazing, how the love just grew between them. Nothing would ever tear them apart.


“Boy, aren’t we an old married couple!” Beth laughed, setting two glasses of blood-spiked red wine onto the coffee table while Mick popped a movie in the player. “That better not be some old war movie, mister. Not if you want to get lucky tonight!”

He patted his chest with his fingers and said, “Moi?” At her laugh he added, “I happen to be a very happily married old man by the way and I’m already lucky Beth.” He sat down and kissed her lightly and then pushed the start button on the remote.

An old black and white movie started and she read the opening credit. “The Philadelphia Story,” she asked.

“Yep. You’ll love it, it’s all about a reporter, Jimmy Stewart.” As she stared at him he added, “Drink your wine baby,” working to keep from laughing.

“Oh, Cary Grant. Maybe this one be so bad after all.”

“Hey, he was just a guy. Ask Josef, he knew him,” Mick said, not liking the way she licked her lips as she said his name.

“Why do I not doubt that? After all, he used to mostly stay in with Garbo!” She pretended immense fascination every time Cary Grant was in the scene and sighed as often as she could. Mick was growing more frustrated by the minute she noticed when she started giggling.

“Oh, you young lady are trying to make me jealous! Go ahead, admit it!” he said, finally catching on.

“Moi?” she asked, innocently blinking her blue eyes at him.

“Now, that’s just not nice Beth. Hm, I’ll have to think about this,” he told her, his handsome face pondering the question.

“Think about what?”

“About how to punish you, of course!”

“Punish ME? I don’t think so buddy!” Her eyes gleamed the intense blue they had when she turned.


“What are you gonna do about it then?” he teased softly.

“What? Well, I’m going to watch the movie,” she said, laughing at the surprised look on his face. Then, in a sudden move she was straddling him and had his shirt off and was kissing his chest, nipping at it lightly. “Later, that is.”

Later, much later, after their intermission and the movie they settled back on the couch, both of them staring at the fire in the now darkened room. Beth sighed, snuggling into Mick’s secure arms, loving the feel of him, wrapped around her.

“Mick?” she said, her voice hushed in the quiet of the night.


“I need to tell you some things, things about - well about what I can do. I haven’t told you before because I, I um, just really didn’t know how to. But now that Rose is here I need to.”

At the mention of Rose she felt his body stiffen for a moment. She sent him calming thoughts and suddenly he laughed and said, “Like that, Beth?” At her puzzled look he added, “Beth, I know that you can do that, like, calm me and other people down. Really, I understand about it. I figure it kind of comes in handy.”

“Yeah, like that, but there are other things too.” She took a deep breath and said, “Mick, I can see you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.”

“Like, ‘see me’, see me? As in a picture in your head?”

She nodded, her heart beating rapidly for a moment. “I try not to, honestly I do, but no matter where you are, if I start thinking about you I can see you. Mick, I really need the help and the training of the Children of the Moon. I don’t know how to control some of this stuff.”

He digested the information for a moment. He didn’t do anything that he wouldn’t want her seeing, but if he were working a case, like the vampire killer right now suppose she saw something and tried to rush in and rescue him? That wouldn’t be good at all; he’d not only have to get himself out of danger but her too.

Another thought occurred to him then - if she could ‘see’ him, would it be possible for him to learn to ‘see’ her as well? Their connection was so strong he somehow thought it might be.

“You know, Beth, that is a very personal thing to do and I know you can’t help it. And baby, I’m not upset that you can do it. You know my secrets, Beth. What I am worried about is you worrying about me at times and trying to come to my rescue. You know things get dangerous for me at times. But I can take care of myself.”

“Yes, like when you were shot by Lee Jay,” she said.

“I called Josef and G, they came and took care of me, baby.”

“I know, Mick. I sat in the hallway until they arrived to take care of you.”

His eyebrows shot up in surprise. He hadn’t known that. He held her closer for a moment, knowing that if Josef would have realized it, well, it might not have been okay. “We’ve got one another’s backs, Beth. But there has to be a way to control that and maybe we need a code word, if I really do need help.”

“Mick, I can’t imagine sitting here and watching some macabre scene in my head where you’re getting your ass kicked or worse and staying out of the fight!”

“Beth, if you jumped in every time I get my ass kicked you’d probably not get a whole lot else done.”

“I - I just need help with all this Mick. Please, give Rose a chance, for me?”

“Anything for you, Beth. Anything at all.”


Saturday morning Brianna was awake at six in the morning, excited for her party which wasn’t until the afternoon. She snuck into Robbi and Kevin’s bedroom, laughing as she launched herself into the middle of the bed.

“Wake up, it’s my birday,” she giggled. The word birthday sounded more like ‘birdy’ but they both got it. Kevin rolled over and eyed the clock and quietly groaned.

“Hey munchkin, it’s still kinda early, you know?” He looked at Robbi who was laughing, knowing how much Kevin hated early mornings, especially on the weekends.

“C’mere, birthday girl! Give your momma a birthday hug and kiss!”

Bri crawled up the bed and threw herself into Robbi’s arms, giving her smacking kisses, much to Robbi’s delight.

“Hey, what about daddy? I think I’m going to have to tickle you since you’re ignoring me!” Kevin said, wiggling his fingers against her side and laughing as she squirmed and squealed in happiness. He figured since there was no going back to sleep he might as well join in the fun.

Robbi peeked across the room at Brian who was sleeping soundly in the bassinette. “That boy could sleep through anything, I swear,” she said. She pulled Bri to her again and said, “Okay birthday girl, what would you like for breakfast?”

“Um, pancakes! With chocolate please, mommy?”

“Okay, chocolate chip pancakes coming up in a little bit. Why don’t you go back to your room so mommy and daddy can get dressed?”

“’Kay,” she said, toddling out of the room.

“Can you believe she’s four already? Kev, she’s growing up so fast!”

“I know. She’s beautiful too, just like her mommy!” He nuzzled her neck and slid a warm hand down the front of her nightshirt, caressing a soft breast with gentle fingers.

“Kev, she’s expecting pancakes!” Robbi laughed.

“Um, 5 minutes, 10 tops!” he teased. He felt her leaning against him, turning her body to face his.

“Mommy! I’m hungry,” they heard from the other side of the door.

She grinned at him. “I’ll give you 30 seconds but that’s about all you're going to get,” she laughed as she gave him a lingering kiss and slid out of the bed. “Come on, love of my life. We have a birthday girl to make happy!”

“I’m going to take a shower,” Kevin said. “A long, cold one!” He winked at her as her eyes ate him up, watching him stride across the room. God, the man still turned her on. She stared in appreciation at his tight bum, strong and well-muscled back; it took all her control not to join him.

After she dressed she headed into the kitchen to find Bri standing with the carton of orange juice between her feet, spilling it’s fragrant contents all over her clean floor.

“I’s sorry mommy. Wanted juice.” A huge tear rolled down her cheek and Robbi picked her up and hugged her tight.

“It’s okay, Bri. I know it was an accident. Why don’t you go sit down at the table while I clean it up, okay?”

“I wanna help. My mess.”

No way Robbi thought. Instead of just having a sticky floor to clean she’d have a sticky floor and child. “No, Bri, mommy will clean it up.”

Brianna hiccupped out a small sob and the sad look on her small face about broke Robbi’s heart. “Next time, okay sweetie?”

Bri nodded and started chattering about her party later. She was excited because ‘Miff and Beff’ would be there, as well as Auntie Lani and Uncle Josef.

Robbi first wiped up the mess with paper towels and then pulled out the mop and bucket and washed it once, and then again to make sure it wouldn’t be a sticky mess later. After that she mixed up the pancakes, letting Bri help to stir in the chocolate chips and pecans. By then the floor was dry and Robbi started grilling the pancakes.

When Kevin entered the room he caught a whiff of the pancakes and his stomach growled, regardless of how early it was. He brought out the whipped cream and watched as Robbi sprinkled some powdered sugar over them. “I’ll grab the milk and juice, honey,” he said opening the fridge.

“No juice. Um, a small accident this morning,” she told him.

“Oh, okay then, milk it is.”

Robbi put two pancakes on Bri’s plate and painted a happy face on them with whipped cream, bringing a huge smile to the birthday girls face. “Mm, good mommy!”

Kevin cleaned up the kitchen so that Robbi could take a shower. She saw that Brian was still sleeping which wasn’t unusual because he didn’t normally wake up until around eight. A quick glance at the clock told her she might just have enough time for that shower if she moved fast.

The rest of the morning was taken up with setting up tables and chairs in the backyard. It was a beautiful day for November, something Robbi was grateful for. With two other kids from Bri’s preschool class in attendance it was likely to get loud and messy.

At one o’clock Kevin was getting the grill started when the guests started arriving. Beth and Mick first, followed by Dorothy and Clark.

“Look at you!,” Robbi said, eyeing Dorothy’s very rounded belly. “My goodness, it’s not going to be much longer is it?”

“I certainly hope not,” Dorothy said, taking a nearby seat.

“They say twins come early pretty often,” Kevin chimed in from the grill.

“That’s what we hear!” Clark said with a grin that both Mick and Kevin echoed. Lani and Josef arrived then and Brianna was excited to see how large the gift from Lani was. Josef had been cryptic about his gift, saying it would be arriving independently a little later and the whole mystery gift was putting Lani on edge.

Lani took a seat with the other women under the patio awning and watched the men, including Josef who were standing near the grill, beers in hand as Kevin and Clark worked BBQ magic. Kevin had put up a large canopy over the area to provide a break from the direct sunlight for their vampire ‘family’ and Lani couldn’t help but smile at the ordinary look to the scene.

Brian was sleeping peacefully in a pack and play under the awning too; Kevin had insisted that he needed to be near the men for bonding purposes and Robbi had laughed and said that was okay but she drew the line at letting him have a beer. He woke up and Kev handed the spatula to Clark and picked his son up, talking softly to him.

Brian was such a happy baby Dorothy noted, healthy and secure, he was smiling for all of them and all the guys grinned, which made the girls grin as well. Brianna ran over to where the women were sitting and looked at Dorothy’s belly and touched it lightly.


“Yes, Brianna,” Dorothy answered, running her fingers through the silky strands of Bri’s hair.

Brianna leaned down and placed a kiss on the baby bump and said, “Hi baby!” before running off again. Two of her preschool friends were here and they laughed and ran through the yard, finding something new to explore constantly.

Bri’s gesture melted Lani’s heart and when she looked at the men she saw Josef holding Brian. She stared in fascination at his ease with the little guy.

Beth noticed too and couldn’t keep a smile off of her face. “It’s like with Travis, you know? Every time he came over he had some new toy for him and would hold and pet him. Josef has so much love to give,” she said, holding Lani’s hand for a moment as she wiped a tear away.

“He’s a natural,” Dorothy commented.

“Yeah, seems strange doesn’t it? But he had 9 siblings when he was growing up.”

“NINE? And where would that have been, Lani?” reporter Beth asked, realizing that Lani knew a hell of a lot more than she did. She’d been trying to get information out of Josef all along and he had remained silent about it all.

Lani laughed and said, “None of your business, nosy girl!” She knew it was driving Beth crazy not to know the secrets that Josef held.

Robbi smiled and watched as Josef talked softly to Brian and couldn’t help saying, “He is a natural. He’d make a great father.” Suddenly, she realized what she’d said and looked at Lani’s stricken face apologized.

“It’s okay, Robbi. It’s just how it is. We both accept it. And, you never know what will happen, there are other ways of having a child.” She paused for a moment and decided to tell them about the decision she and Josef had made. “Josef and I have talked a lot, about marriage and stuff. After the first of the year he’s going to turn me and we’re getting married. Not sure which will come first.”

There was a collective intake of breath as all the women heard what she said. “Lani, are you sure?” Robbi asked.

“Yes, I am completely sure. I want to, need to be with him forever. It’s my choice, not his, believe me. If it were up to him, well, let’s just say it might not happen for a long, long time.”

Beth nodded in understanding. “You have to do what’s right for you Lani. It will be okay.”

Dorothy looked at the women and said, “Clark wants to be turned too, a year or so after the babies are born. He’s very sure about it.”

“Oh, Mom,” Beth said, knowing how the subject scared her. Still, there was plenty of time to prepare for it and she spoke that aloud.

“Yes, time.” Time to prepare, time to be together forever.

The solemn moment was broken when a delivery was made; Josef’s gift for Brianna.

“You have got to be freakin’ kidding me!” Robbi said as two men carried in the gift. “Josef, are you crazy?”

“Well, some have said, but I just ignore them.”

Kevin had moved over by the gift, completely fascinated by it. “Good thing we have a large yard, huh, honey?”

Robbi could only roll her eyes. Finally she surrendered to the curiosity of the large pink gift, just like everyone else. She had only to look at the happiness on her daughter face to be won over.

“Hey, what else are uncles for?” Josef asked as he wrapped an arm around Robbi’s shoulder for a moment.

The look in her eyes said it all. He really was a part of the family.

To be continued…


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chapter 30 Hidden Worlds

Beth’s cell rang Thursday evening and she stared at the strange number, not recognizing it. “Beth Turner,” she answered, curious about the mystery caller.

“Beth? This is Rose Hampton. Heroku gave me your number. He tells me you are exhibiting some strange traits to your recent turning and has suggested that I investigate a bit. Is this a good time to chat?”

Beth was stunned; one of the Children of the Moon? Finally, after all this time? “Hi Rose. Yes, I’m free to chat.”

“I’d like to stop by Beth; this isn’t the thing to discuss over the phone actually. When could we meet?”

“I’m free this evening or tomorrow evening as well. Do either of those times work for you?”

“Yes, I could pop over now if that is okay?”

To Beth it was more than okay; she’d been waiting for this forever it seemed. “Sure, let me give you our address.” After the information was given Beth hung up the phone, excited. Mick wasn’t home yet, he was meeting with Josef and Tango about another body in the morgue, same situation as before.

Beth was paying attention to what was going on with it all. When she scented this body she say the same guy, the same house and knew that it was a serial killer. Tango and Josef were worried about having a rogue vamp out there and that was what the meeting was about.

Beth hurriedly drank down her dinner and made sure the loft was tidy; not that Mick ever let it get ‘untidy’. Who needed a maid when Mick St. John lived here? She’d always been a fairly neat person herself but he was practically compulsive about it.

Seeing that everything was shining clean as usual she decided to do some work while she waited for her visitor. She hadn’t asked Ben yet about doing their online legal segment so she was checking for a precedent of other similar types of programs. She was amazed to find that there weren’t that many out there, but the ones that were there were very interesting and it seemed that setting up some guidelines were going to be important.

She was still engrossed in her research an hour later when there was a knock on the door. She couldn’t help it as her heart kicked out a few extra beats and her palms felt a bit sweaty. She wished that Mick were home but his meeting was running longer than he expected. So, she was on her own, for awhile at least. This was it; time for answers.


As Mick told Tango and Josef about the two bodies that had been found so far he watched as something hard glinted in Tango’s eyes as he knocked back a second scotch.

“Son of a bitch!” he said, looking at Josef, rage washing over him.

Josef said nothing but his eyes told a story; this wasn’t really a shock to either one of them.

“Somebody care to tell me what the hell is going on?” Mick said and then getting up to refill his own glass.

“We’ve found two bodies as well, so that makes 4 now,” Josef said, his voice a harsh whisper.

You’ve found?” Mick asked, curious.

“The Cleaners, he mean’s,” Tango interjected. “Two bodies this week, abandoned in alley’s.”

Mick nodded, digesting the news. “Both of the victim’s in the morgue were found in alley’s too. Carl and Ben are trying to keep it out of the media, but if there are 4 bodies so far there’s going to be more, you know that, right?”

“Yes, we get that,” Josef practically spat the words out.

“Beth scented what happened, for both of them; she’s much better than I am at that,” Mick said, a huge dose of pride in his voice.

“Well?” Tango and Josef asked at the same time.

“The vamp is older than I am and doesn’t drink the blood. He kills them in a house somewhere and drains the blood into a basin or maybe a bucket, she’s not sure about it. Says he’s large, tall, about 6’4” or 6’5” maybe and black.”

“Black? As in African?” Tango asked, his face paling even for a vamp.

“Yep, that’s what she says.”

“Are you sure? That she sees that I mean? She not confused or something?”

“Tango, what the hell do you know about this?”

He pursed his lips as his head tilted sideways a bit, lost in thought. “Shatel LaFleur. Josef, you remember him from the Black Pearl?”

Recognitions flickered over Josef’s face as he remembered who Tango was talking about. “Yes, I do. Creepy bastard.” He looked at Mick’s questioning face and added, “We met him when we were running a Mississippi river boat around 1840 or so. Threw him off because he was attacking passengers; people I might add who were lining our pockets with their gold. Kicked his ass off, somewhere in Missouri, never saw him again.”

“So you think this is the guy?”

“Description sounds right; could Beth describe him well enough for an artist to sketch him?”

“I don’t know, you’d have to ask her but she seems pretty damn sure about him. What they hell is he doing here?”

“Well, we thought that whoever was doing this was working for Malcolm, but if it’s Shatel probably not. He runs his own games and pretty much shuns encounters with other vamps. Or at least he used to.”

“Then what the hell is this about?”

“Probably he’s found Tango - he, uh, there’s some bad blood there, you might say.” Josef glanced at Tango who was enraged about the situation.

If this guy had a personal vendetta then that made him a whole lot more dangerous; criminals with agenda’s are usually planned out and much harder to catch than those that did impulse killings. A vamp with a vendetta was guaranteed trouble. How they hell did they keep it out of the media much longer?

The three men talked for the next hour and at the end of the time they hadn’t reached any solution. When Mick left it was still a problem and one that they each knew was going to get worse.


Shatel LaFleur watched as Tango went into the Cleaners headquarters. He’d heard he was the big man there and the thought made Shatel laugh hysterically. That was like setting the cat to watch the canary.

What was more interesting was the two other men that showed up; one was Henri Beckett, otherwise known as Josef Kostan these days. The other one Shatel didn’t know at all.

But, he was going to. When Mick left he followed him to an old apartment building. He parked and followed the guy in, scenting vamp very strongly; it was everywhere and definitely more than one. He wasn’t very old, but he was a man who was extremely self-assured. The building itself was art deco and kind of cool Shatel decided; be a shame to see anything happen to it. He watched as the elevator carried the guy to the top floor. A quick check of the mailboxes revealed his name as Mick St. John and also showed a PI business up there as well. Interesting. No doubt he was looking into all the dead bodies. Shatel hoped he had lots of free time on his hands because he was going to need it.

The penthouse; only the best Shatel thought with a twisted grin. A man after his own heart. Too bad he was a walking dead man. He laughed at his own twisted joke. Dead man indeed.


Beth opened the door and saw a very young looking woman standing there; petite, with blonde hair and very blue-green eyes; she was exceptionally beautiful.

“Rose? Please come in,” she said, stepping aside for her guest to enter.

“Yes, thank you.” She stopped and offered her hand to Beth who took in politely and shook it briefly.

“Please, have a seat. Would you like a refreshment?”

“No, I’m fine thank you. This is quite an interesting apartment,” she said, looking around at it all.

“This is Mick’s place, or at least it was. I - I mean it’s ours now that we’re married,” she babbled and mentally shook herself. Why the hell was she stammering? Rose was just a person, like her.

NO, not like her at all. She was old, immensely old but Beth couldn’t really scent that. She smelled of the earth, but also of the sky, the sun, something Beth couldn’t quite describe. It was relaxing and made you feel safe though.

They both sat down, Rose in a chair across from the couch and she settled back, crossing her legs and smiling at Beth as she opened a bag she had with her and took out a notebook and pen, as if to take notes. She also pulled out a small medical kit and Beth stared at it nervously, wondering what it was about.

Rose saw Beth’s eyes resting on the small kit and decided some information would be helpful. “Let me tell you a bit about myself before we begin, shall I?”

Beth nodded, listening to Rose’s accent. She couldn’t quite place it; maybe British, or Australian, or, or what? It was soft and soothing as well and Beth tried to focus on that and relax a bit.

“I’m a doctor and I run the Porter - Wycliffe Women’s clinic here in LA. I am one of the originals, the Children of the Moon and I’ve been told by Heroku that he believes you are a descendant of us. I believe he has told you the same thing?”

“Yes. My first full moon, I, well if it hadn’t been for him I don’t think I would have survived.” Beth crossed her legs and Rose watched as her foot jiggled nervously. “I actually know the Porter - Wycliffe Clinic, or rather the women’s shelter that is part of it. My mother is pregnant, with twins,” she said, grinning. “We’re having a baby shower for her in a couple of weeks and we’re donating all the gifts to the shelter, since mom and dad don’t need anything really.”

“How lovely; I know the shelter always needs things. What a very kind thing to do.”

“Rose, what does it mean, to be a descendant? I mean, aren’t all vampires descendants if you are all the original vampires?”

“Well, in one sense of the word yes, but in this case ‘descendants’ means that you are a child of our physical bodies, in other words through birth, not by turning.”

“Oh, okay. So you’re sort of like my great-great grandmother, or something?”

Rose definitely had her suspicions about that, but for now she’d give a more vague answer. “Yes, of one of us anyway. Beth, I need to take a blood sample and a DNA swab, for testing. Would that be okay?”

“I thought a vampires DNA is changed when they are turned?” she asked, suddenly suspicious.

“Yes, it does in some ways; you’ll have characteristics of your sire and his sire and so on. But some of your basic DNA is always there and while human tests can’t differentiate between the two, we can.” She pulled alcohol swabs and a syringe out of the bag as well as a long cotton swab in a tube. “Okay, let’s do the swab first, shall we?”

It only took a moment and then Rose slipped it inside it’s tube and wrote Beth’s name on it. “Now, I won’t hurt you, promise,” she said as she prepared to take some of Beth’s blood.

Beth watched as the needle went into her arm and thought of another question. “If I’m constantly drinking other blood, how can you get any accurate reading on my blood?”

“The blood you drink is absorbed into your body; yes, some of it gets into your veins but it is still predominately your blood. Vampires think they don’t make their own blood and they don’t make enough, quickly enough to replace their own in a catastrophic situation but it does replenish gradually. Just as your heart beats very slowly, you still find the need to relieve your bladder occasionally, you sweat, all those things are bodily functions, so the blood shouldn’t be that much of a surprise.”

“Oh, okay. How come I can taste and digest food and Mick can’t?”

“Well, that’s a good question, Beth.”

They both looked up as the door opened and Mick entered the apartment, his senses on high alert. He’d scented Rose and hadn’t been exactly sure what the hell he was scenting in the hallway. He stood at the door, eyeing her speculatively.

Rose stood up, as did Beth. “Mick, this is Rose Hampton, one of the, uh, Children of the Moon. She’s here to talk to me, to us, about it all.”

Mick looked at the syringe that held some of Beth’s blood and his eyes narrowed as he stared at Rose. “I thought you’d do that kind of thing in a lab or something?”

“I’m a doctor, Mick, I can do it just as well here as anywhere.” She met his gaze levelly, not blinking and giving him a chance to size her up. She evidently passed muster because he stepped into the room and offered her his hand.

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Mick; Heroku has told us many good things about you.”

“Did he?” Mick nodded, digesting that news. “Heroku has been helpful for us as we learn to deal with all this.” He walked into the kitchen and opened the hidden fridge, pulling out some A+ and pouring a tall glass. Rose declined his offer so he brought it back to the living room and sat down next to Beth on the couch, trying to look more comfortable than he felt. His free arm rested around her shoulders and he felt her relax against him.

“I believe you were going to explain to Beth why she can eat and digest food when I came in?”

“Yes, well the simple answer is that Beth is most likely a descendant. The complicated answer? Originally we all could do it, Mick. When we were created, it was a gift, a blessing to mankind. It was a positive evolution of the human species.”

“What happened to it because I’m telling you that it isn’t that any longer.”

She nodded in agreement and said, “Somewhere along the way it became viewed as a dark gift, twisted and perverted beyond the original significance of the gift. Anytime power is involved someone will use it for their own benefit and often that benefit is cruel, evil.”

“So why did you let this happen? If it’s supposed to be so great why did you let the evil spread?”

She looked at him sadly; he was so young and still hurting from what evidently hadn’t been a chosen turning. Then she remembered that Heroku had said that one of the Duvall’s had turned him and it all became much clearer. “Mick, I’ll admit that originally it was all very idealistic, utopian almost; we didn’t police because you want to believe that people will use the gift for goodness, not to attain dominance and power. This was perhaps a mistake on our part.”

Mick scoffed at her answer and rose to his feet, heading into the kitchen to rinse his glass. He bit back a sharp retort and took a couple of deep breaths to try and calm himself.

Rose smiled at Beth and said, “The reason you most likely can eat and taste food and Mick or other vamps can’t is that myths and legends are strong motivators. Vampires can’t taste food, they can’t digest it because they have been told that they can’t.”

“That doesn’t explain why I can though. I was told the same thing, especially when I ate my first food and Mick didn’t believe that I could taste it. He did believe that I’d get sick though and I didn’t.”

“You are a descendant,” she said with a shrug, as if that explained it all. When she saw both of them staring at her in disbelief she continued, “You could have went forever and never known that you could but for some reason you were more curious than most vamps. Curiosity can sometimes be a good thing.”

“So, because Mick and countless others before him believe that they can’t eat or taste food they can’t? You’re saying that every vamp has the ability?”

“At one time they did, yes. Now? I’m willing to bet that it is so ingrained into his and every other vamps head that it’s no longer possible. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. Beth, what other gifts do you have?”

“I have a very strong gift of allure for one and I can scent the past in great detail. Mick can scent the past too, but not quite like me. I can,” she looked at Mick, afraid to tell the rest of it so she softened it a bit in hopes that she and Rose would have some time to chat privately later. “I can tell where he is too, like if he’s in the other room I know it.”

She wanted to tell Rose about her ability to put thoughts into people minds or to calm them. She wanted to tell her that she could actually see Mick, wherever he was but she hadn’t told Mick about those things yet.

Rose wrote quickly on the notepad, and Beth couldn’t help but notice that it was in a language she didn’t recognize. “So, you’re ability to manipulate is very strong. That’s fairly typical actually, among us.” She stared at Beth and suddenly Beth could feel her in her mind, as if Rose was reading all the things she hadn’t told her.

Beth sucked in a quick, ragged breath and tried to push her out and Rose said gently, “Beth, that is one of our abilities as well. Don’t be frightened by it.”

Mick was again on full alert; he wasn’t sure what had just happened but Beth was shaking badly. “Okay, I think this is enough for tonight. You have to run your tests don’t you, to tell for sure if she’s one of you?”

“Yes, we do. Beth, I’ll be in touch with you soon. I’ll call,” she added, as if trying to reassure Beth who nodded, still shaken up.

Mick walked Rose to the door, clearly angry. “Mick, this will be for her benefit, I assure you.”

“Yes, that’s what Heroku said. Goodbye Rose.”

As she stepped through the door he all but slammed it. After he’d locked it he went to Beth and sat down, pulling her into his lap and holding her close. “What happened baby?”

“I - I could feel her in my mind, Mick. It just freaked me out. She didn’t hurt me or anything, but I think it was just a demonstration of some of the abilities.”

“She should have warned you, told you what she was going to do.”

Beth nodded, starting to feel a bit calmer now. All of this ‘mind’ stuff was overwhelming - her ability to allure, to calm people, lead their conversation in another direction. Was that what they feel like when she did that? She was fairly sure it wasn’t because no one ever seemed to notice when she did it. Maybe she hadn’t developed it enough. What other gifts did she have?

The answer might very well scare her she realized.

To be continued…

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chapter 29 Dark Deeds

Hey everyone!!

Have a lot going on today, will post new chapter early this evening.  So sorry for the delay!!

Ben drove to work Monday morning paying little mind to the stalled traffic on the I-10 for once. His mind was preoccupied with everything that had happened the past few days. It was enough to make a guy cut and run, really. His grandfather was alive and since Ben was almost 32 he was technically almost 2 years older than him.

Mick St. John was his grandfather. Mick St. John was vampire. He drank blood to survive. It was surreal. Would anything make him drink blood just to keep on living?

He tried to put himself in Mick’s shoes, no easy task. How would he have dealt with it all? Wouldn’t he have run away too? Could anything on this earth have made him run away from Michelle? Nothing, absolutely nothing.

Ben thought about the allure Beth had used on him; it was real, he had to admit that. She played a simple parlor trick though - would it make you walk away from something so important in your life? From someone?

He didn’t know.

The traffic inched along and Ben sighed, frustration ticking away in his head making his fingers tighten so much on the steering wheel that they throbbed. He made himself let loose a bit and stretched in the seat, trying to relax a bit. He flipped on the radio and worked his way through the channels trying to find something to soothe him but in the end turned it off as it was just more noise rolling around in his head.

Carl Davis had known. Carl had told Mick about the fingerprints; he had to have been the one. He should feel pissed as hell at Carl and yet he didn’t. It had opened doors he’d never imagined; of course, he wasn’t sure he wanted them open but things happen for a reason, he believed that. Well, most of the time anyway.

He didn’t need a grandfather, the same way his mom didn’t need a dad. But there could be other reasons this had happened and if nothing else this explained a whole bunch of things that were driving him nuts.

His phone buzzed and he answered it and listened as information about an unidentified vic in the morgue. Guess he was heading there before he went to the office.

Just great, a dead body before 9 am. You had to love it, didn’t you?


The vamp smell was all over the guy but Guillermo couldn’t find anything that looked like vamp bite. He’d called Mick who was heading over to check it out.

Human male, somewhere around 40 maybe, no identification, looked like a homeless guy and smelled like it too. If you didn’t smell the vamp smell that is. The coroner had done the prelims on him and now Guillermo was doing his own. He heard the door open and Mick walked in, followed closely by Carl Davis.

Great. That’s all they needed, Davis crawling all over this.

“Hey, G, how’s it going man?” Mick asked, looking at the guy on the table.

Guillermo almost made a caustic remark about Mick’s new diet since one of his best customers wasn’t buying any longer but since Carl was here he kept his mouth shut, waiting for a more private time.

Carl seemed relaxed; strange for that guy who was usually all business. And then Guillermo caught the scent of vamp on him too. A lot of vamp. He breathed in deeply and frowned for a moment, puzzled. It wasn’t Mick’s scent for sure and it wasn’t a casual encounter either because it was female.

Mick saw Guillermo’s puzzled expression and grinned. “He knows about us, Guillermo. His girlfriend is family.”

Guillermo’s eyes narrowed as he assessed what Mick had just said; he wasn’t joking but Davis? Dating a vamp? WTF? Strange things going on today for sure.

Carl smiled too, not sure what to say so he just looked at the body. “Exsanguinated? Vampire?”

Guillermo winced at his words and then hissed at vamp tones to Mick, “Tell him to watch what the hell he says in here.”

Carl watched Guillermo’s mouth moving but couldn’t hear a thing. “Carl, we try not to use the word around here too much, especially when there are so many other people around,” Mick said, glancing out the door to all the people walking in the hallway.”

“Um, sorry. Didn’t think; Guillermo, it’s all pretty new to me. I’ll take care from now on.”

Guillermo nodded and said, “Yes, bled out through a slice over his artery in the neck. Almost totally drained, 80 percent probably.” More quietly he said, “No puncture wounds, even in the wound.” He spread the wound apart and showed that there wasn’t any marks inside the vein either.

“Yeah, but the smell is all over the guy,” Mick said, inhaling deeply. “Not a new family member either.”

Carl inhaled himself, trying to smell what they did but all he got was dirty body, urine and possibly garbage too. Guy was a street person so it was possible. He might not have been able to smell vamp on him but the other smells were sickening and he turned his head away and shuddered, drawing in a deep breath to try and clear his head.

Mick and Guillermo both saw and ignored Carl’s a response. This guy didn’t smell pretty for sure, vamp scent or not. All three men looked up when the door opened again and Ben Talbot walked in.

He stared at Carl for a moment and then cast his eyes down instead of looking at Mick. Curious, Guillermo thought. What was that about? Ben’s scent was confused and maybe a bit uncomfortable.

“The guy bled out?” Ben asked without preamble, looking at the body.

“Yep. No bite marks, but vamp is all over him,” Mick said in hushed tones.

“Okay, I’ve just about had it with you guys. What the fuck is going on? First, Davis and now you too, Talbot? You dating a family member too?”

G was clearly pissed; the anger was rolling over him in waves. “No, he’s not G. But he knows.” If Ben wanted G to know about their relationship it would come from him, not Mick.

“What is this, published somewhere?” Guillermo pulled the sheet up when the door opened once again and Beth walked in.

“Beth, what are you doing here?” Mick asked.

“I was at Buzzwire and it came over the wire. We’re not covering stories just yet, but…” she said wearing a huge grin.

“You were curious?” Mick laughed.

“Well…” Her blue eyes twinkled. “Guillermo, you look great! How have you been?”

“I’ve been better,” he mumbled, looking around the crowd in the room.

“Ah, I think I understand,” she said. Carl had Cami’s scent all over him and Ben was clearly a bit uncomfortable about all this. “Carl, how is Cami? You two have a good weekend?”

That explained a lot, Guillermo thought. Cami? Petite little blond at the wedding? Cute! She and Davis? Suddenly he decided Carl might just be okay. But there was still something about Talbot.

Guillermo pulled the sheet on the John Doe again and Beth inhaled the scent of the victim in deeply, focusing on what happened. She had inherited Mick’s ability to scent the past sometimes and this one was coming in clear as a bell.

“The vamp was a male, tall too, 6’4 or so. A black guy, large build. Older than us anyway.”

Ben and Carl looked at Beth curiously while Guillermo listened intently. Mick watched his wife, proud as hell of her. She had picked up more than he had.

“You, you guys can do that?” Ben asked.

“Sometimes, Ben,” Beth answered, still trying to focus. “He wasn’t killed where he was found; it happened in a house somewhere. The blood was collected in a basin.” She shuddered as she ‘saw’ what happened. The blood, wasted and poured out. Blood was life, sacred, for humans and vamps alike; to waste it was an affront to all, a heinous act of disrespect. “The vamp didn’t drink the blood, he dumped it out.”

“My god,” Carl muttered, closing his eyes at the thought of what had happened.

All five of them were quiet, each thinking their own thoughts. Finally Ben spoke up, “Why, why would a va - someone do that?”

“They obviously have some issues Ben,” Mick said. He knew that those issues were a sign of a rogue vamp, but it wasn’t normal for an older vamp to go rogue. Which made him more dangerous because it was likely premeditated.

“Beth gave us a good description though,” Carl said and then it occurred to him, they couldn’t formally use it because they couldn’t explain it. “Which doesn’t help at all does it?”

Four sets of eyes met his in acknowledgement of that statement. “Not unless we can come up with an eye witness somewhere. Still, the description is fairly unique in the vamp community anyway,” Mick said.

“Do you all have a, um, communications network, or something like that?” Ben asked.

His question made both Mick and Beth smile, thinking back to her one time question about a ‘vampire club’. It just made sense even if it wasn’t a reality.

“Not exactly Ben. But we’ll ask some questions, see what we come up with.” Beth and Guillermo both nodded at Mick’s words, even though it was unlikely that they’d come up with something like that.

Guillermo and Mick both knew that the guy was either a drifter or just new to LA. Among three hundred or so vamps in LA someone might have spotted him. “The guy could be a drifter,” Mick said. “Carl, Ben, can you two run checks and see if similar crimes have turned up somewhere else?”

Both men nodded, knowing that they would work together on it. “Yes, we’ll let you know what, if anything we find out.”

When Ben and Carl said goodbye and stepped out into the hall Ben said, “Carl, how about a cup of coffee?”

Carl was a smart cookie; he knew that Ben had some things to say and he also knew it was just better to get it over with. “Sure, usual place?”

“Sounds good. See you there,” Ben said, heading down the hall, his long strides taking him quickly from view. Carl sighed suddenly glad that the weekend had been so damn good because this Monday morning sure was starting out like crap.


Guillermo, Mick and Beth stepped into his small office off of the procedure room and he shut the door and glared at them both. “You mind telling me what in the hell the ADA and a cop are doing knowing the secret?”

“Come on G, there are other cops that know and a couple that are vamps themselves,” Mick said, his attempt to placate his long-time friend failing.

Beth watched closely, hoping that she wouldn’t need to intervene. Guillermo was angry, really angry and while Mick was staying cool, she hoped it stayed that way.

“The ADA Mick? Why the hell would you tell HIM?”

“I didn’t exactly. He is, well, some new information came to light.” Mick sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, hesitant to tell Guillermo anymore of the tale.

Beth had no problem telling though. “Ben Talbot is Mick’s grandson Guillermo. We just found out.”

“Grandson? You gotta be kidding me.”

“No, I’m not. It’s a long story, but it’s true.”

“So that mean’s let’s just go out and tell the world the family secret?”

“It wasn’t like that Guillermo, so just relax.” Beth eyed him boldly, just daring him to make another flippant remark.

“Whatever,” he said, turning away. “I have things to do.”

“Fine. We’ll get out of your hair and let you get to them. G, if you decide you want to chat about it come on over for a drink,” Mick said, seeing Guillermo’s back stiffen.

Finally he turned around and nodded at Mick. “I’ll do that Mick, see you.”

“See you, G,” Mick said as he opened the door. He placed his hand on Beth’s back and guided her out of the office and into the hall.

“What makes him feel like he has the right to get so pissy about this?” Beth said, angry herself. This was Mick’s life and Guillermo was acting like he had a giant poker up his ass.

“Beth, I hadn’t told Guillermo because he had a family when he was turned and from a distance he watched them all die. You have to remember that all vamps didn’t make the choice like you did. His wife and baby were killed in the raid, it’s hard for him.”

The news stunned her; she’d had no idea what Guillermo’s past was. She felt bad and knew that eventually she owed him an apology. When both of them were in better frames of mind that was.

As they walked into the parking garage Mick said, “Going back to Buzzwire I take it?”.

“Yeah, just wanted to play my hunch on this one.” She leaned up and gave him a quick kiss. “See you later?”

“You got it, babe.” He watched her get into her car and drive off and he couldn’t help the little skip to his heart at the sight of the woman he loved more than life itself. He’d never survive if anything ever happened to her.


Ben was sitting in the booth at the back of the coffee shop, waiting on Carl to get there. He wasn’t sure what he was going to say to his friend, but he knew that they had to clear the air between them.

He reached for the sugar and added a generous helping to his coffee, which was unusual for him. He was mindlessly stirring it when Carl sat down in the booth.

“Hi, Ben,” he said, watching a Ben blinked a couple of times as if trying to focus.

“Hey, Carl, thanks for meeting me. I uh,” he began, at a loss for words. “I know that you told Mick about the fingerprints, Carl.” The words tumbled out in a rush as he said them.

Direct approach Carl thought, but that was okay. He counted Ben as a good friend and this was probably for the best. “Yes, I did.” He met Ben’s eyes evenly.

“So you, um, knew about them?”

“Yes. Actually, Cami is a family member.”

“Family member? Is that what they call it?” Ben said, scoffing at the ironic metaphor.

“Well, out in public anyway. Ben, you gotta be cool about this,” he cautioned.

“Yes, I know, keep the secret. I’m not about to tell anyone. Hell, it’d probably get me locked in the loony bin anyway.” He took a sip of his overly sweet coffee as Carl ordered his own cup. When the waitress walked away Ben said, “How long have you known about it?”

“Not for too long. I mean, I suspected by the time Mick and Beth got married, but it wasn’t until a little later on that I was positive. When Mick and Beth were in Seattle I flew up there and confronted them about it.” He shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal.

“It boggles my mind,” Ben said awkwardly. “I mean, who would have believed it? They are real.” He stopped talking as the waitress approached the table with Carl’s coffee.

“Yeah, well it is true and I’ll fight like crazy to protect them Ben,” Carl said, hoping that Ben would feel the same way.

“Because of Cami?”

“Partly. Ben, Mick is an upstanding guy, you know that. He’s a good guy who just happens to be…”

“A family member?” Ben suggested and for the first time a slight smile pulled the corners of his mouth upwards.

“Your grandfather?” Carl countered.

“Yeah, that too. That’s the hardest part of all this.”

“I can understand that. You could do worse.”

“I had a great grandfather Carl. Mick will never replace him.”

“And I’m sure he’d never want to. He was so happy to know that your grandmother had married a great man and that his daughter had a happy life.” Carl sipped for moment and then added, “Look Ben, none of you can change what happened in the past; all you can do is decide what to do in the future. I meant what I said, I’m going to protect them because I’m going to join them one day, you might as well know that.”

“You're joking, right?”

“No, I’m not. Cami is my forever, and I’m jumping at the opportunity to love her eternally. Just give Mick a chance, okay?”

“A chance? I don’t even know if I know how to do that. I don’t know that I want to do that.”

“You don’t have to consider him family, in the true sense of the word. Just, as a, as a person. You know that Mick is a on our side; the fact is that there are other, family members that aren’t exactly on the good side and we need men like Mick and Kostan to help keep them in line.”

“That isn’t exactly something I want to contemplate Carl.”

“Well, you’d better because what we saw this morning ought to tell you that we need their help.” He leaned across the table and said in a whisper, “Human’s aren’t capable of dealing with them effectively. We need them, Ben.”

Ben nodded. Carl was right, as much as he hated to admit it. Damn, he needed to talk to Mick about…stuff.

Why was that thought so unsettling?


Yoshi knocked on the door of Heroku’s private meditation room. “Heroku san, Rose Hampton is here to see you.” She bowed slightly as Heroku rose to his feet and nodded at Yoshi.

“Thank you, Yoshi. Please offer her refreshments and I will be there momentarily.”

“Akimi is seeing to her needs, Heroku san.”

“Ah, very good.”

Yoshi bowed again and left the room, leaving Heroku alone. He wasn’t sure why he felt nervous but he always did when he met with one of the thirteen. Rose was a very accomplished doctor and quite sociable, by the standards of the thirteen so he could only be glad that it was her that they had sent here.

In the living room Rose stood looking at one of Heroku’s treasured paintings. It was painted by Ishaq almost 800 years ago. It was painted on a sheer wood panel and had stood the test of time quite well.

“Rose, how very good to see you,” he said, bowing low to her.

She walked across the room and smiled at him. “Please Heroku, you know that I do not like being bowed to all the time.” She kissed him on the cheek and smiled impishly at him. “You are well?”

“Very good, thank you. The world is treating me well. And you?”

“Quite well myself. I’ve actually been here in LA for a while; I’m running a women’s clinic here at the present time, but I’ve been very busy at that so I do apologize for my tardy attendance on the matter you brought to Shinji.” Her blue eyes watched as he digested the news. She knew that Heroku could often grow impatient waiting for action on matters but then he was still young. He would understand more when he was older.  “Tell me more about this young lady Heroku; it’s been a very long time since we’ve found a descendent.”


To be continued…

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chapter 28 For Love

Thank you Lynn for the awesome pictures!

Lady La La, so glad you're back!


Clark sat at his desk in the den working on invoices for his business while Dorothy sat in the recliner, resting with her feet up and reading Having Twins: A Parent's Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Early Childhood. He watched as she sipped from a cup of tea and sporadically turned a page. Occasionally he heard her laugh or scoff at what was on the page; one thing was for sure, this would be an adventure for both of them.

He had received a call from Josef yesterday telling him that he wanted to take care of the cost of building the house for Logan and Audrey. It was an incredibly generous gesture on Josef’s part. Josef said Audrey’s work at Kostan was without equal and whatever it took to get them into that house was worth it. The ‘kids’ didn’t know about that yet and Josef didn’t want them to know until the housewarming party, which would happen soon because the house was mostly finished, just a few things left to do. He knew that Logan wasn’t a ‘kid’ but somehow he always seemed like it to Clark. Whatever age you are turned at seemed to be the mindset you tended to keep.

The house was expensive but in the end, it was also magnificent utilizing the latest and newest in green technologies and many of the features would pay for themselves very quickly.

He heard Dorothy sigh and looked over at her as she shifted in the chair, lifting her butt up and turning a bit to relieve some pressure no doubt. Having two babies nestled inside of you can’t be a picnic he thought.

Dorothy gave up and sat the book on an end table and stood, rubbing her hands over her growing belly. “I swear, your son and his as yet unidentified partner in crime are playing tennis in my stomach! They’re bouncing from side to side,” she said with a slight frown as she felt an elbow or knee move one way while another body appendage did the same in the opposite direction.

Clark smiled, he’d heard that many times lately and he had to admit that it looked rough when they watched all the movement going on in the close confines of her belly. He stood up and walked across the room and leaned down and kissed her stomach and said, “Now you two stop giving your mom such a hard time!” He stood up and kissed her, smiling into her beautiful eyes. “Not much longer now though honey. You’re 32 weeks and the doctor said anything over 34 is doing good for twins.”

“Yes, but that’s just too early. Despite the tennis matches in there I want to make it at least another month. And dammit, I have to pee - again!

“Well, I can’t help you with that one honey. How about a backrub afterwards?”

She smiled and said, “That sounds wonderful Clark and we need to do some pre-birth exercises too. What an exciting Friday evening we’re having, huh?”

“Let’s get a little wild and crazy and go and get some ice cream. 31 Flavors?”

“Ooh, now you’re talking handsome! Chocolate mint, or maybe I’ll go all out and have a brownie sundae. Can’t decide,” she laughed.

“Well, definitely chocolate anyway!” He stole another kiss from her before she headed to the bathroom. Damn if he wasn’t the luckiest guy alive!


“Hey Audey, come outside with me for a minute!” Logan said as he walked into the front door of their soon to be vacated house. She was packing books into boxes and he felt a momentary pang of guilt that he wasn’t helping.

“Hi my love! Did you have a good day?” she asked, pushing a strand of hair away from her face. “What’s outside?”

“Just come on!” he laughed, and the infectious grin he wore on his face made her grin too as she followed him outside.

In the driveway was a brand new 2009 VW Beetle, shockingly red. Gorgeously red in fact. Audrey oohed and aahed in appreciation.

“Wow, Logan! It’s awesome! Can we take a ride?”


“Sure. Hey, let’s make it a family thing. The boys like car rides.”

“Shedding all over the new upholstery? You’re living on the edge Logan,” she laughed.

He grabbed her and bent her over backwards with a teasing kiss. “That’s me, baby! A man on the edge! Now, let’s get the boys and lock the house!”

Inside all it took was the words ‘car ride’ and both boys were ready to go out the door. They loved car rides which was unusual for cats but they always enjoyed it. Whether it was the movement or vibration of the engine Audrey and Logan didn’t know, but it didn’t really matter.

When they walked outside both cats stopped and looked at the new car. Travis ran over to it and sniffed, clearly curious. Plato feigned indifference, all the while talking to Travis. When it was apparently all clear Plato strode forward and waited for Logan to open the door for Audrey. After she was seated both of the boys jumped in the backseat and explored, sniffing at it before settling down.

“Where to?” he asked.

“Um, how about we drive out to the new house? We haven’t seen it for a few days.”

“Okay, new house it is. I hear they’re installing the solar panels this week and getting the electrical hooked up. Clark says two weeks tops, move in time.”

Audrey groaned and said, “I know and we still have so much to do Logan. I didn’t realize I had so much stuff and we haven’t even started on your basement!”

“Yeah, well, that’s not an issue. I’ve already gotten everything out of there that I need, it’s mostly just work stuff, computers and stuff that will go to the new house when its ready. I don’t know what to do with the place. It was our parents house and I hate to sell it, but Clark says we might as well. None of us are going to live in it again.”

“Sentimental feelings Logan?” At his nod she continued, “I understand that. Maybe you should just hang onto it until you're ready to let go Logan. It’s okay to do that you know.”

He nodded, making the turn off into the new neighborhood. Dorothy and Clarks house was in the same area and as they drove by the house they saw them pulling out of the driveway and waved.

The house looked wonderful; it was an expensive home for them but with her salary at Kostan it was no issue at all. And when her house sold that would pay a huge chunk of it off as well. They wouldn’t have to touch much of either one of their inheritances and both were happy about that.

At the house they got out and explored it. A state of the art security system would be the last install so right now it only took a key to get in. The boys wandered from room to room, exploring closets and vents as they went.

When they were done Audrey said, “I’d love an ice cream cone Logan! Can we go to Micky D’s?”

“You know Audey, we can go anywhere you want for ice cream.” She liked those ice cream cones at McDonalds for some strange reason and at her sheepish grin he sighed and headed off in search of the perfect ice cream cone.

Luckily or not, depending on your point of view there was one very close to the new house. Logan pulled into the drive thru line and waited to move forward. At the speaker he listened to the static greeting and said, “I want an ice cream cone and a Big Mac, but hold the special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and the sesame seed bun.”

There was a long pause on the other end and then finally a voice said, “So you just want the burger patties?”


“But sir, that’s not a Big Mac. A Big Mac is two all beef patties, special sau…”

“Hey I know that,” Logan said, interrupting. “That’s why I ordered it the way I did.”

Silence again on the other end and finally the voice said, “Uh, it would be cheaper to order a double cheese burger or two hamburgers sir.”

Logan rolled his eyes in frustration. “Okay, two hamburgers, hold the pickles, onions and buns.”

“Do you want the ketchup and mustard though?”

“No. Just the burgers. And could you chop them up and wrap them separately? Maybe put them into a small box or something.” He grinned at Audey, knowing he was driving them crazy.

“Uh, sure,” the voice said and sounded anything but sure. “Would you like fries with that?”

Logan and Audrey’s laughter was the only response.


Carl and Cami hardly said a word as they ate their respective dinners. Their eye contact was almost continuous; both of them couldn’t wait to be done. Cami found herself licking her lips often in anticipation. Finally Carl took the last bit of his shrimp and scallops, leaving the dessert for later. He wiped his mouth and laid the napkin down on the table.

“Was your dinner good?” Cami asked.

“Delicious,” he told her and then sighed. “Oh, hell Cami, it could have been cardboard for all that I could taste. Baby, it’s the last thing on my mind.”

“What is on your mind. Specifically?” she asked and he noted the sparkle in her eyes as she asked. She didn’t flirt very often but she was definitely hitting it out of the park right now.

God, what a loaded question! What didn’t he want to do to her, with her? “I want to taste you, touch you, feel you melt when I’m inside of you Cami. I want to hear you cry out your pleasure over and over.”

Had she been human her heart might well have stopped at his frank words. As it was, it beat rapidly a few times and her belly quivered in anticipation. “I - I see. Well, I think I’ll just go and change then, if that’s okay?”

“Sure, go ahead. I’m just going to move the cart back outside so they can pick it up later. Take your time, Cami.”

He watched her walk slowly across the room and grab a few things out of her bag. Carl stuck his dessert and her remaining dinner in the small fridge and pulled the cart outside. He looked around the room as he heard water running in the bathroom and knew she was in the shower. Damn, he’d have liked to share that with her.

Later Davis, later…

He spied the small fireplace in the corner and turned it on since it was a gas appliance. Still, it flamed and danced cozily and cast a mellow glow to the room. He dimmed most of the lights and decided to slip into a robe that he’d brought with him. He debated whether or not to wear anything else with it and decided to just keep it simple. Less to have to get out of he decided.

He laid down on the bed and then suddenly felt self-conscious about that and sat up. How could he manage to look nonchalant when he wanted to just grab her and bury himself in her? He stood up and walked to the sliding balcony doors and stared out at the inky night, peppered by brilliantly twinkling stars. He knew that vamp sight made things so much clearer and he couldn’t help but wonder what the night sky looked like to a vamp. He couldn’t wait to find out.

Suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder and he couldn’t prevent the small startled jump at Cami’s presence. He hadn’t heard her come out of the bathroom because he’d been so lost in his thoughts. He turned around and saw her standing there in a deep blue silk robe that left no doubt that it was the only thing she had on. He couldn’t prevent the tennis ball that suddenly bobbed into his throat, so all he could do was try to swallow it down. A heady scent filled his senses, something slightly floral and a little bit musky too and he immediately felt his hardened manhood poke out of his robe.

Her eyes spotted it as well and reached a hand out to lightly caress him, eliciting a low groan from deep within his throat. “Oh girl, you don’t realize what you do to me.”

His mouth found hers then, devouring it hungrily and he bent her backwards as he drank her in, his tongue searching the sweet warmth of her mouth. His hands pulled her to him, molding her tightly to his body and his hands caressed her back, from her shoulders and slipping downwards until they found the perfectly rounded curves of her bottom. He walked her backwards the short distance to the bed and there he stopped and untied the belt of her robe, easing it down her shoulders in a silky whisper until it settled around their feet. She did the same with his robe and finally he lifted her and laid her on the bed, his gaze raking over her stunning body that glowed in the firelight.

He joined her, again claiming her lips in a scorching kiss that left them both breathless. His hands played over the soft skin of her body as his lips journeyed down to her neck. Searching fingers found the aroused buds of her nipples and he let his thumbs play over them, making her gasp with the intense feeling. His hands teased over the luxurious swell of her breasts and his head dipped over them, lapping and stroking them until she was moaning loudly.

He looked down at her body and watched as her stomach muscles quivered with desire. He wanted to go slow, but he couldn’t wait another moment. He slid down between her legs and kissed the blonde curls that were already damp with desire. He lapped at her gently and heard her pant quickly and then suck in a long breath. He smiled against her, knowing she’d never experienced this before. His lips and tongue played among the swollen petals and soon she was pushing against him frantically. She seemed to be there and yet nothing happened. Then it occurred to him: the bite. She needed the bite.

“Cami, baby, I think you need to bite.”

Her eyes were unfocused but the words sunk in and he watched as she bit her hand and the floodgates opened, sweeping over her in a mindless rush of sensation unlike anything she had ever experienced. Finally her movements stilled and Carl pulled her into his arms and held her lovingly for a few minutes.

Suddenly she was crying and he was positive he’d hurt her or done something wrong. “Cami, baby did I hurt you?”

“No! God NO, Carl. I just, I never…I…it was amazing.”

“So why are you crying?” He just couldn’t believe that she was okay.

“Because - because it was amazing, Carl,” she said with a smile.

It all finally sunk into his brain that they weren’t sad tears at all and he began to relax a bit. It was all going to be okay, he hadn’t failed her and suddenly he was eager to explore a bit more.

So was she and her hand crept down to touch him again. The feel of her cool, silky fingers on him nearly undid him and it was all he could do to keep from just letting her touch him but he wanted more of her, he needed to be inside her body.

Cami thrilled to the feel of Carl’s lips as he slid his mouth upwards to capture hers again in a molten kiss. She was drowning and surrendered to it completely, letting the ripples of passion build again within her body.

Carl’s tongue plundered her sweet mouth, tormenting her with his heat and passion. She felt his hands slide down her body again to her breasts and she shivered as his fingertips stroked her taut nipples, eliciting a small cry of desire from her.

“You are beautiful, Cami, so lovely. I need you so badly, I want to be inside you baby.”

“Yes, Carl, yes!” she cried, almost sobbing with desire. She felt his heated mouth capture an aching nipple and tug lightly on it. She shuddered and moaned, her head twisting from side to side. She felt as if she was on a precipice, waiting for what would come next.

Carl teased first one aroused nipple then the other until Cami could hardly breathe. She found herself holding her breath and then releasing it in a rush, panting almost. “Carl please, I need you.” Her voice was a raw whisper and he knew that neither of them could wait any longer.

She reached for his shoulders, caressing and stroking any place that she could reach. Her fingers thrilled to the touch of his hard body, his muscles covered with a fine sheen of sweat. She ran her hands down his body, enjoying the moans that emanated from his chest.

His fingers dipped into the drenched heat of her body, stroking lightly and she shivered with anticipation. She was ready for him, no doubt about it and so he spread her thighs apart a little more and settled between them. He gently rubbed himself against her, and then eased the tip of his manhood inside her. She caught her breath as she felt the hardness enter her.

She thrust her hips upwards as she felt him seat himself in her body. Carl stopped for a moment to give her time to adjust to him. When he started to move again Cami moved with him, meeting his thrusts. As if a gentle wave, their bodies came together and slipped away until they both were on the edge again.

Carl kissed her again and let his tongue mimic his body’s movement inside her. His hand traveled down to caress a hardened nipple, tweaking it gently. Her breath was coming in short gasps. She bucked her hips up against him, letting him know that she wanted more. Her fingernails dug into his shoulders as she felt him moving inside her body. It was the most wonderful feeling she had ever had.

Together they moved, as if in a beautifully orchestrated dance. As she met his thrusts she felt the strange dizzying feeling come over her again and this time she welcomed it, rushing headlong into the chasm of pleasure.

He looked at her and turned his head to the side and whispered, “Go ahead baby, do it now, for both of us.”

She bit her lip for a moment. This was delicious torture and when she bit him that meant it would end. She hoped that he would do this again soon! She found her spot and licked it lightly, lapping at the sweat that covered his skin for a moment and then the bite came.

It was like nothing he’d ever experienced before. It had been good earlier but it couldn’t even compare to what was happening now. His orgasm came from the tips of his toes to the top of his head, a swirling chasm that almost turned him inside out.

Cami couldn’t believe that she could taste his pleasure, his joy as she experienced her own but she could. A joy filled her soul, deeply and completely and she knew this was a communion of spirit and love that surpassed anything she’d ever done in her life.

He finally moved off of her as each one caught their breath. She lay against him, spent and happy. Carl held her tightly; he would never let her go again.

To be continued…

Monday, June 11, 2012

Chapter 27 Moving Forward

Carl drove northward, along the scenic road known as the Pacific Coast Highway but the truth was, as breathtaking as it was it couldn’t hold a candle to the woman who sat beside him. He found himself watching her out of the corner of his eye from time to time as she looked at the passing landscape, occasionally making soft sounds of appreciation.

They were heading north to Cambria, a small and picturesque town on the coast, known for its quaint architecture and stunning expanses of beaches. They were about an hour away from their destination and as great as this drive was with Cami, he couldn’t help but be destination-minded.

A smile crept over his face and when he glanced at Cami she grinned back at him. He knew she could ‘read’ his body scents and so she probably knew for sure that he couldn’t wait to get her between the sheets. Yep, he couldn’t deny it; he wanted that girl in the very worst of ways.

His body was still a bit achy from his intense workouts with Kenji this week but a long soak in a hot tub and plenty of ibuprofen had helped a bunch. He figured the next best thing would be exercising between the sheets, that would help a hell of a lot more. Again, another wicked smile played across his handsome face and he laughed this time when Cami caught him.

“Sorry, baby. I just can’t help it.”

“I kind of like it. I mean, what woman doesn’t want to know that the man she loves can’t wait to take her to bed, Carl?” she giggled.

“Um, well, I know that but I’m sorry for being so single-minded Cami.”

“What, you think you’re the only one of us who it thinking about it? Trust me, you’re not. I don’t even really know what is going to happen, well part of it anyway and I still can’t wait.”

“Yeah, about that. Cami, you were married; you must have had sex with him. What don’t you understand baby?”

“Well, I know what happens between a man and a woman Carl, but some of the details are probably unknown to me. I mean, well, I don’t think that we experimented much and Carl, I’ve never, well, you know. Um, I’ve never felt…satisfaction. I mean, I’ve read about it, I know it’s supposed to happen, but it never has, I don’t think.”

This was the second time she had mentioned that she’d never had an orgasm, or at least he thought that was what she meant. Was sex really so different then? People hadn’t really changed, physiologically that is. Was her husband just inept or were attitudes different? Completion of the sexual act seemed to be some mystical thing to her and he was trying not to panic about it. Suppose he couldn’t make it happen for her? That hadn’t ever been a problem before, but talk about pressure.

“Cami, if it had ever happened I’m pretty sure you’d know it! Seriously, you’d have known it. We’re going to make it happen, I promise. We’ll just go slow and find what makes you feel good and happy. We have all weekend.”

They were passing Cayucos and which meant that it was only a few more miles to Cambria and Cami looked around the charming little village with interest. There were several old structures there as well as some that were built to look old. She supposed that was for the tourists because even on this chilly November day there were many people milling about the town.

Carl’s SUV ate up those last few miles quickly and it didn’t hurt that he was speeding a bit too. Cambria was lovely, perched on the edge of the cliffs along the Pacific and as they followed the PCH through town they were both looking out for the turn off to the cottages.

Finally they spotted it and made a winding drive up to the top of a cliff and caught their first glimpse of the Pacific Breezes Bed and Breakfast. Carl pulled the car to a stop and unfastened his seat belt to go in. “You ready?” he asked.

“Race you!” she laughed.

Inside they went to the front desk to check in. “I believe you have a reservation for Davis? The, um, Sunset Cottage?”

“Yes Mr. Davis, we do indeed! Welcome to the Pacific Breezes; we hope your stay with us will be very happy. We have the cottage all prepared for you both, including a few special accommodations.” The proprietor, a smiling gentleman of indeterminate years smiled broadly at Cami; he was a vampire also and she nodded at him in acknowledgment. “Dinner will be delivered to you at 7 pm, as is our usual schedule. We only offer two entrĂ©e’s per service, if you’d like to make your choice.” He handed a menu to Carl, leaving him to wonder how the man knew who to hand the menu too. Then the obvious came to him and it made sense why this might be a ‘family’ friendly B&B.

Both choices looked delicious; Tiger prawns and scallops in a sweet and spicy sauce, fresh vegetables, salad and dessert. The other choice was grilled steak and mushrooms with all the fixings and in the end he went with the seafood; after all, he’d be a fool to pass up fresh seafood here where it was caught locally.

After they were given their keys and directions they climbed back into the car and drove up a long, winding lane until they reached the last cottage with a placard hanging on a post the read Sunset Cottage. It brought a smile to both of them as it seemed to grow right out of the rocks and landscape on the cliff. Carl grabbed their bags while Cami unlocked the door and they stepped into a striking room, lush with wood details and earthy colors.

“Wow,” Carl said, sitting the bags down. “Like, really wow!”


“Ooh, it is so perfect Carl,” Cami laughed, throwing her arms around Carl in her happiness. “Carl, look out at the balcony!” She headed across the room and slid open the doors and stepped outside onto deck. It was surrounded by glass railing that allowed a complete and uninterrupted view of the blue Pacific. The breeze that blew in was fresh and cool and to Cami it was exhilarating. The way the balcony was perched on the cliff it was possible to look straight down onto the water below.

Cami stepped back into the room and grabbed her suitcase, opening it and pulling out some shorts and a shirt to go with it. She was almost shaking with anticipation. “Come ON!” she laughed, pulling her blouse off before slipping the tee shirt on.

Carl’s eyes ate her up as she changed clothes; first the shirt and then heaven help him he watched as she unzipped her jeans and slid them over her long and supple legs that made his groin tighten in response. Finally he pulled his eyes away and changed into some shorts and a tee shirt himself, although he thought it might be a bit cool on the balcony. But somehow, he thought that with Cami to warm him up it might not be a problem.


They spent a few minutes admiring the view and one another before they finally settled on a double lounge on the balcony. Their arms wrapped around one another, they shared one heady kiss after another. Cami felt dizzy with yearning for something she didn’t quite understand yet. Still, there was one more thing to get to before they made love and she took a deep breath and said, “Carl? Heroku told me that before we make love that I should bite you, so - so you’d understand what it involved.”

Carl couldn’t repress a grin. Beth had told him that he’d like this part; a very strange thing he thought, considering that she was actually going to bite him. “Sure, I understand that. I’d imagine it will give both of us a chance to um, see how it goes?”

“Yes, I think so.” She swallowed hard, suddenly a bit shy. His arm or his neck? During sex she’d be more likely to bite his neck. She straddled him, sitting lightly on his lap and leaned down to kiss him again. She felt an immediate response burgeon upwards in his shorts and smiled as she leaned down to kiss his lips tenderly.

Carl ran his hands down her back and cupped the curves of her ass and pulled her a bit tighter to him. She pulled away from his mouth and looked at his neck and felt the change start within her. His blood was surging hotly through the veins of his neck and for the first time in her vampire life she ached to taste blood, straight from his vein.

Carl watched as her eyes shadowed and silvered and fangs glistened within her very desirable mouth. She was dazzlingly beautiful to him and he smiled before he reached up and ran a finger lightly over a fang. It pricked his finger and she stared for a moment at the bright red drop of blood that beaded up before she slowly licked it off, the essence of his being filling her with need.

One of her delicate fingers traced a vein on his neck and her eyes watched as the blood pumped furiously, a repercussion of passion and excitement, Finally her mouth dropped down and as her tongue swept over the skin that shielded his vein she found the right spot and her fangs sank lightly into him.

For a moment the shock of the bite startled him and he pulled in a sharp breath and began to relax. She didn’t pull on the vein, only let the blood flow and yet it felt as if it were being drawn from every part of his body. It was incredible and he let out a short gasp as the pleasure of the bite engulfed him.

His blood on her tongue, flowing into her challenged her. She wanted more, needed more of him and yet this wasn’t the time. After a minute she pulled her fangs out of the vein and lovingly closed them, soothing as she went. When she lifted her head she looked into his eyes, waiting to see what her fate was. Would he be repulsed or something else?

What she saw was amazement, hope. And love, more than she had ever thought possible.

It would be okay. This new chance, this beginning would lead them to forever.


Lani glanced at the clock as she stirred the shrimp into her soup. Josef ought to be here anytime and is if on cue she heard his car in the driveway. Next the garage door went up and then closed as he pulled the Ferrari in. She smiled as she stirred the soup, anxious to see him.

All day long she had thought about this evening, what she wanted to say, what she needed to say. So many things and yet, it all boiled down to how much she loved him and needed him in her life. What almost happened had opened her eyes to the fact that they still had a few things to learn about one another - okay, maybe more than a few things.

She heard the car door close and wiped her hands on a towel, waiting for him to come through the door. And waited a bit more. Finally, she heard a knock on the door which was totally unexpected.

Josef stood on the other side of the door, suddenly nervous as hell. He’d knocked, instead of just going in as he would normally do. Would she be mad if he had? He didn’t want to take the chance and waited as she crossed the room and opened it, wearing a puzzled look on her face.

“Hi,” she said, stepping aside for him to enter.

She was wearing a smile and he could hear her heartbeat thumping in what he hoped was excitement. “Hi yourself. You look beautiful Lani.”

“Thank you.” She stood for a moment, lightly biting her lower lip in indecision. She wanted to kiss him hello and finally threw caution to the wind and wrapped her arms around him, loving the solid feel of his body against hers. When his arms closed around her, the world suddenly became brighter again and she knew it would be okay. She tilted her head up for a kiss and sighed as she felt his lips brush against hers.

It wasn’t a kiss of passion but it was a kiss of longing. The need for connection washed over both of them and when he pulled back she sighed happily. He rested his chin on the top of her head and continued to hold her firmly in his arms.

“I’m so sorry I showed up last night Lani. I hope I didn’t spoil the evening for you.”

She laughed and said, “No, you didn’t. Honestly Josef, I would have been more surprised if you hadn’t shown up. You did miss something pretty funny though. She told him of robot man and they shared a good laugh as she demonstrated.

“Smells good in here. What are you eating?”

For the first time she noticed that he had brought in a small travel bag and had sat it on the counter, his dinner no doubt. She’d actually had Rob bring some supplies for Josef, but at least this way he would be taken care of. “I’m making a soup called Tom Yum; it’s a Thai soup that I love.”

“Smells a little spicy; you don’t generally eat that much spice.”

“It is a bit spicy; not like Beth would eat it of course. But it has a nice broth and um, my stomach has just been on a roller coaster this week. It’s just nerves, don’t worry. I’ve always been like this Josef. Just can’t handle things well when I’m upset.” As soon as she said all that she worried that he would feel like she was accusing him of causing the problems and she hastily answered, “It’s not your fault, okay? It has much more to do with all the thinking I’ve been doing this week, about my past. I’ll tell you about it while we eat.”

He looked at her with uncertainty shadowing his eyes. He knew that what he’d done had to be a part of it but he couldn’t help but wonder what else was going on?

Lani turned the heat off under the soup and ladled some into a bowl and set it on the table in the dining room. She’d put candles on the table as well to make the ambiance a bit more relaxed. After she’d poured him his dinner he followed her into the dining room and helped her take her seat.

She decided to let the soup cool for a few minutes and said, “I guess I don’t understand why you were going to do that Josef - not really any way.”

He took a nervous sip of his AB- and then licked at the corner of his mouth. “In truth, I’d forgotten all about it. I contacted Ryder right after the night you first told me about your childhood. I’ll admit it Lani, I was enraged at your parents. I also wasn’t thinking clearly about it either. If I had been I would have just let it all go. It’s a vampire thing really, we take care of, protect and yes, avenge those we love Lani. It was stupid and if I would have saw that email before you did I would have told Ryder to drop it immediately, as I did when all this happened.” He reached across the table and took her hand, rubbing it lightly and added, “Lani, my love I would never do something like that to hurt you.”

“But you didn’t seem to understand how much that would have hurt me had it actually happened. Or think of this Josef, suppose it had? Who do you think they would have to came to for help and financial support?”

A quiet growl emanated from deep within his chest and he hoped she hadn’t heard it. He risked a glance and saw that the corners of her mouth were turned up, a sure sign she had heard it and was trying to act like she hadn’t. He had to admit, it had never occurred to him that she probably would have had to help them. He nodded, acknowledging his mistake. “I’ll never do anything like that again Lani, I swear.”

“I know that Josef. You have to realize how difficult and complicated my relationship is with them. Growing up I felt so alone Josef, abandoned even. But they were my parents, for good or for bad. I - I love them, but I hate them too, what they did to me and one another. This week all I could think about was how many times I wished that they wouldn’t have any money Josef because money stole their love from me. I wished on the candles on my birthday cake, that Dorothy usually baked and I wished on stars. I thought that if they didn’t love me then they should be denied something they did love. If it would have happened Josef, do you understand the pain and guilt I would have felt?”

Her confession stunned him; my god, he’d not thought of possible consequences when he had decided to ruin her parents and after hearing her story that night he’d certainly never once considered how she would feel. He had only thought that the bastards deserved what they got; but there was more to consider in the manner - there was Lani.

Family, it was all about family. You might have ambivalent feelings about them but family was about the group and the greater good. This was a very hard lesson for him because he’d not been a part of a family for 400 years. Now he and Lani were a family and those people that she was connected with as well, the good and the bad.

That thought brought up another one - marriage. He had no doubts that they were mates and one day he’d turn her. They needed to be united in marriage for that to happen. It didn’t happen too often but his Catholic upbringing did rear its head from time to time. He could hear his ma and da now, telling him shame on him for not marrying the lass.

“So, where do we go from here Sweetness?”

“We just try to be a bit more cognizant of one another’s feelings Josef and that means talking about things. We’ve always done that pretty well, and honestly Josef, I do believe that you just forgot about it, but if there is anything else to tell me now is the time,” she told him with a smile.

“Well, actually there is another thing I would like to discuss.” At her wary look he smiled and added, “NO, I haven’t done anything else. Lani, we’re mates; I think we both know that in our hearts and souls. Am I right?”

She nodded and he saw sudden tears rim her eyes. “Yes. Josef, I love you more than I ever imagined was possible and I know that we are meant to be together, forever.”

“Lani, we need to think about marriage then.” She opened her mouth, shocked that he brought it up like this. “No, this isn’t a proposal Lani, but it’s something we need to consider. Sweetness, when I propose you’ll know it’s happening and it will be something that we’ll both remember forever and trust me, as vamps we’ll have a very long time to remember!”

She grinned, silently acknowledging the truth in his words. “Okay, we both know that it will happen but I don’t want to marry you until I’ve been turned Josef.”

“Is that an attempt at blackmail?” he challenged, his eyes twinkling merrily.

“Nope, just an insurance policy I guess.” She frowned for a moment and added, “Seriously, when can we do it?”

“Lani, it takes some preparation. And keep in mind that you will be secluded from your human friends and family for a month or so. Dorothy is having her baby in a few weeks, you’ve got the shower coming up too. Lots of things to consider.”

She mentally conceded that he was right. “Maybe after the first of the year then? The babies will be here by then and we could make it a new year, new start?” she asked hopefully.

He sighed, knowing that she wasn’t going to let it go; finally he agreed. “Okay, in the new year then. That gives us time to work everything out. Now, we’re both finished with dinner so how about we light a fire in the fireplace and do some make up snuggling before I take you to bed and make love to you until you can’t walk straight.”

“Hm, I like the thought of that! Let’s go.”

The dishes were quickly rinsed and loaded into the dishwasher by Lani while Josef made a fire. When she walked into the living room he was stretched out on the couch and she laid down beside him, fitting into his arms and against his body perfectly.

“I don’t want to belabor the point but I’ve missed you so much this week Lani. I felt like I couldn’t even function without you. Not to mention that I’ve been a real bear.”

“That’s because you weren’t resting because you were following me so much!” she teased. She tempered that with, “I know exactly how you felt Josef. I just had to get those things figured out in my head, why I was so upset.”

His answer was a nod and a gentle kiss that quickly turned deeper. Before too long they were both aroused and trying to get the clothes off the other one. Finally he stood up and picked her up in his arms and carried her into their bedroom where he sat her down on her feet so that undressing was much easier.

Slowly and tenderly they caressed one another, sharing long and sensual kisses that went on and on. His hungry mouth devoured hers, his tongue driving in and out of her mouth until she was dizzy with desire. Her carried her to the bed and laid her down gently and almost before she could blink his own clothes were off of his body and he wrapped her in his arms and kissed her senseless.

Josef scented the warm rush of wetness that dampened the curls between her legs, and she waited impatiently to feel his caresses. His mouth traveled down her body, devoting lots of attention to the aching tips of her breasts and driving her wild. She begged him to take her, telling him how badly she needed him inside of her, but she realized he had other plans when she felt his mouth slide down kissing her in that wet valley of passion.

His hands gently opened her, and his tongue delved deeply, stroking her lovingly, gently. Her release came very quickly and he entered her then, and he felt her body contract around his eager hardness.

His mouth found hers again as his hands also found hers, their fingers intertwining as their mouths drank hungrily of one another’s. He started moving inside her then, and she wrapped my legs around him so that he could thrust more deeply into willing body.

He looked at her then, their eyes locked as they were both close to their release. Their bodies moved of their own accord then, driven by some primitive beat of their own making, and Lani said, “Josef, do it now. Turn me, please!”

As he stared at the vein that throbbed in her neck he almost gave into the desire to do just that. Only a small thread of reality that crept into his passion laden brain stopped him. When he did bite it was tender and loving and over very quickly.

She cried as she found her release, joyful at the beauty of their passion and sad because he hadn’t turned her. She knew that they needed to plan but she was so ready for it.

They clung to each other as their bodies shuddered and contracted together until finally they were still and gasping for breath.

“I’m sorry love, this wasn’t the time.”

“I know,” she told him, the words a mere whisper.

They fell asleep quickly after that and didn’t wake until early morning, when they made love yet again. Sleep gathered them into the arms of Morpheus once again and it was much later that they finally woke up. They both held one anther tightly before the crawled out of the bed and headed to the shower before getting dressed.

Over breakfast both of them felt wonderful. Their future seemed secure and for that they were both thankful.

To be continued…