Where Evil Lurks

Welcome to Moonlight Madness - Where Evil Lurks

This is the fourth story in my Moonlight saga.

Story One - The Beginning - Beth's Diary

Story Two - With Arms Wide Open

Story Three - Barely Breathing

Cast of Characters

Monday, July 23, 2012

Chapter 36 Limbo

Thank you LaLa!

Chapter 36 Limbo

Mick stared at the second unidentified body in the morgue. It was the same MO as the first one and the same as the eleven bodies the Cleaners had found. It was a serious situation, dire in fact.

Guillermo watched Mick’s face as he pondered what the hell was going on. They were waiting for Carl to show up, as the ‘official’ representative from LAPD, and the unofficial friend of the family who could help (hopefully) hold the other curious minds of LAPD at bay.

“You think this one was meant to be found by the Cleaners too, or is this vamp trying to bring it to the attention of the humans?”

“I don’t know G, hard to say. Every single one of them has been the same, gash in the neck, most likely done with a talon as opposed to a knife. See how ragged it is?” Mick leaned over the body and inhaled deeply, catching the strange vamp scent again. “What I can’t figure out is what the hell makes this vamp scent so foul.”

“Don’t know man, but I ain’t never scented one like it before. It’s not natural.”

Mick’s eyebrow rose, almost in amusement. “Like any of us are natural?”

“Come on, Mick, you know what I mean.”

Mick cleared his throat and nodded. He knew exactly what Guillermo meant. “Thirteen bodies. So far,” Mick said with a grimace.

“Thirteen, the magical number,” Guillermo stated. “Bad luck some consider and I think these guys would agree.”

“And it all has been guys too, that puzzles me. Can’t be random.”

“Probably not, but if this bad, freaky ass vamp is sending a message it sure isn’t clear.”

They both looked up when Carl came through the door and headed directly to them. “Hey, Mick, Guillermo. Same as the other one?”

Mick nodded, “Yes and the same as the ones the Cleaners have found. Any luck identifying any of them?”

“All homeless, that I can tell anyway. Three of them were listed as missing though. Of course, I can’t let it be known that they’ve been found.”

Mick nodded and ran his hand over his face, more worried than he cared to admit. “I’m betting we’re going to find more, although I don’t know why I’m thinking that other than we don’t have a clue who’s behind this. Any word on Luka?”

“None. It’s been 4 days now. Every time I get a call about a body I keep thinking it’s going to be him. We weren’t great friends but he was a good cop, great instincts,” Carl said, watching Mick’s face at that statement.

“Yeah, he did have good instincts.” In other circumstances Mick might have laughed since Luka had been so sure that Mick had killed Tejada. It just wasn’t as amusing now. “Do you think somehow he stumbled onto something that night and that’s why he’s missing? I mean, he doesn’t fit the pattern.”

“I don’t know. I wish to hell I did.”

All three men nodded at that thought. How much longer until they did know?


Lani sat in she and Beth’s favorite Thai restaurant fiddling with the wrapped bundle of utensils as she waited for her friend. She was going to tell her about Mrs. Carter today and she felt ridiculously nervous, as if she’d done something wrong. Which of course she hadn’t. Had she?

She was going to cause more issues for the already stressed vampire. Even Josef, who normally kept his cool, was on edge because of the bodies that were turning up all over LA. Another one in the morgue this morning she’d heard. Thirteen; thirteen bodies, dead bodies. Thirteen, the witchy number. She shuddered as a chill crept up her back.

Lani jumped as Beth pulled out the chair across from her. She hadn’t noticed when Beth walked up but then since she’d been a vamp she had the same stealthy movements as Josef did. It was creepy sometimes, and almost always startling.

“Hey, Lani!” Beth said and then took in her friends pale face and nervous scent. “What’s wrong?”

“Well, nothing, I hope,” Lani said and then was interrupted when their server greeted Beth and handed her a menu to peruse.

“Thanks, “ Beth said and added, “I don’t need that though, I know what I want.”

The server nodded and quickly wrote down their orders. She took their menus and walked away, leaving the girls alone.

“Beth, what do you know about Mick’s family?”

Beth frowned for a moment, wondering what had prompted this question. “What do you mean? He had a mother and father and a sister too. Why?”

“Well, what would you…um. God, I don’t know how to say this.”

“What?” Beth asked, suddenly fearful.

“It’s Mick’s sister. She’s still alive and I know her.”

“This is a joke, right?”

“No, Beth. No joke. You remember me telling you about Mrs. Carter, the elderly lady I met and have had tea with?”

“Yes. What does she have to do with this?” She stared at the animated look on Lani’s face and it suddenly hit her. “Mrs. Carter is Maeve St. John? How do you know?”

“The time before last when I was there I saw pictures on a wall. One of them looked like Mick, when he was in the army. She said it was her brother and that he’d died tragically. So, I went to visit her again last week and asked questions and she showed me pictures from an album. It is his sister, Beth.”

“You told her?”

“No, of course not. I just asked her to tell me about her family. He used to call her Squeaks because when she was little she squeaked when she laughed. Oh, Beth, you’d like her, you really would. She still has such a spark to her, I love her, I really do.”

Beth was quiet for a moment and jumped when their food arrived. She looked at her panang and suddenly the sweet coconut curry didn’t sound nearly as good as it had when she’d ordered it.

“You're sure, Lani? Positive?”

“Yes I am. She, well the family, believed that he was killed when he married Coraline. Oh, and they didn’t like her a bit!” She grinned, hoping that last bit of news would at least spark a smile on Beth’s face.

As it all washed over her Beth thought of telling Mick this news. He’d had so much to deal with lately and now the latest body that had turned up was consuming him and the other vamps. There was a serious rogue vamp problem out there and they didn’t have a clue where to look. First Catherine and Ben and now his sister. It was more family than he’d ever dreamed of and she knew he wasn’t sure how to deal with it all. She licked her lips before speaking, digesting it all.

“Boy, when it rains it pours, huh? I have to tell him but the timing is really bad. Still, maybe it would make him happy to know that she’s alive still.”

“Yes, alive and pretty active too. I can’t help but think that she’d love to know that he is still alive, Beth.”

“Lani, how on earth can you say that? She’s elderly; she might have a heart attack or something, discovering the truth.”

“I have to say that I don’t believe that at all. She’ll probably make cookies to celebrate. The old girl is awesome, Beth. She’s not the type to faint away at the news.”

Beth groaned, remembering Paula. She hadn’t told Lani yet about that and quickly filled her in on it.

“Wow, his past is really barking at his heels, huh? How’s he handling that?”

“Better in the past day or so. He is finally beginning to believe that while he scared her to death practically, he also saved her life and the fact that she was pregnant with Max helps a lot too.”

“Well, you’re right about the timing. Still, what are you going to do?”

“Tell him of course. He’ll want to know.”

“Will he want to see her?”

“I don’t know, Lani. I’d think so, but it will be up to him.”

Lani nodded and took a sip of her Tom Yum soup and savored the rich flavor. “Well, let me know.”

“So, how are things going in Josef land?” Beth asked, giggling at the bright blush that swept over her friends neck and face. “That good huh?”

“And then some. I’ve never known a man like him!” She laughed when Beth’s eyebrows rose as the obvious answer to that. “No, that the fact that he’s family and also just how amazing he is. He’s like a curious and horny 18 year old and then at the same time he’s cautious and methodical in his thinking. It blows my mind.”

“He’s good for you Lani. I’ve never seen you so happy, so content with life.”

“Yes, he is good for me. I can’t wait to join the family in the new year.”

“So you’ve decided that already?”

“Yes, nothing to stop me. We can’t have kids so might as well do it.”

“You feel ready?”

“Don’t tell me you’re being cautionary here? You, who couldn’t wait to join?”

“No, not really. I do want you to be sure you're prepared though. But just think, Lani - we’ll be family together! It’s going to be good! And in the meantime, I’m going to start doing some training, physically. Want to join me?”

“Oh yeah! This will be fun!”

They each picked up their iced teas and took sips to clinch the pact. The future looked amazing to them both.


After reporting the info about the newest body to Josef and Tango, Mick headed back to his office to try to focus on getting some paperwork done. He’d managed to complete two cases in the past few weeks but he needed to get the reports done and the files made for them. He’d also had a message on the machine about a new case but he was going to pass on it. There was just too much going on. He’d forwarded the call to one of his PI friends so they could look into it.

It was quiet in the office and he sat back in his chair, trying to push all the dead bodies out of his mind and focus on Paula and what had happened this past weekend. It had been a total shock but there was a small part in him that rejoiced over what had happened in 1982. Yes, he’d exposed himself but he’d saved at least two lives that night and it made him see Coraline through different eyes. Suddenly it was pathetic, this whole life he’d shared with her. He’d walked away that night knowing that he’d finally reached the end of it all.

He heard the elevator ding and rapid footsteps approach his door. He caught a scent of perfumed female, a scent that he knew. Surprised, he rose and went to the door, waiting for the knock. When it came he opened the door and smiled hesitantly.

“Hi. I hope I’m not disturbing you, Mick?”

“No, not at all. Please, come in. Can I get you some coffee or something?”

“No, but thanks. Mick, I, I honestly don’t know why I’m here.” She looked around the office and walked to the red couch and sat down, crossing her legs and sitting back in comfort.

Mick smiled at his daughter who for once didn’t look at all in control of herself. Vulnerable, she looked intensely vulnerable to him. He nodded to the seat next to her, silently asking for permission to sit and she nodded at him and waited for him to sit down.

“How are you Catherine?” Begin simply, he decided.

“I’m okay. Benjamin is struggling. He says he’s seen you a couple of times over some unidentified bodies.”

“Yeah, we have. We haven’t talked about anything, uh, personal though.”

She nodded. “It’s on his mind I know.”

“He’ll talk about it when or if he wants to.”

“How do you feel about that? What do you want, Mick?”

His eyes opened wide in surprise. She was direct, he liked that, but it was still a bit surprising to hear her come right out with it. No one, not even Beth had asked him that. Hinted at it curiously, but she hadn’t asked outright. He thought about it for a moment, trying to frame his answer.

“I guess I would like to get to know you, both of you better. Ben and I didn’t exactly start out on the best of terms. I - I was actually a bit jealous of him because I thought he was interested in Beth,” he admitted, feeling a bit foolish over it now.

He watched her as she digested that information and a question popped into his head and he put it out there because he had to know. “She was happy? Really happy, Catherine?”

Tears sprang to her eyes and they shimmered a bit in the afternoon light. “She was - is, Mick. He was so in love with her and they were very happy together. We were a happy family. Neither mom or I ever lacked for anything.”

Mick swallowed hard, trying to keep his own tears at bay. He couldn’t have asked for anything more, not for Margie or his daughter.

“Do you believe in fate, Mick?”

“I guess in some ways I do. I think sometimes things just happen and they’re supposed to.”

She pursed her lips a bit at his answer. Was it all fate that had brought them to this place? Was he supposed to be in her life? Fate had removed him from it once but here he was back into it. Maybe there really was no escaping destiny.

Mick’s thoughts were pretty much the same as Catherine’s except for different reasons. Fate had taken him from Margie and led to Coraline. While that seemed a horrifying trick of fate it had led him to Beth and he knew with all his heart that this is where he was supposed to be. How could he say that to her though? This woman who was his daughter?

“Maybe even fate has a way of righting itself, Mick, of restoring balance. I don’t know where all this will lead but I’m glad to know that you’re alive. I hope that we can get to know one another.”

He nodded, choked up again. “I’d really like that. How does Ben feel about that?”

“I think he respects and admires what you do, Mick and that given time he may come around. He’s had a hard time in his life.” She told him about Michelle and all he had went through because of it.

“I guess there is sort of a parallel to his life and his grandmother’s, isn’t there?”

“Yes. They are incredibly close. When the day comes that he loses her he will be inconsolable.”

Mick wanted to tell her that he’d seen Margie but thought it better to let it go. She was happy and he felt at peace with it all now. “Let’s hope that won’t be for a long while then,” he murmured.

She nodded, smiling for the first time that day. The conversation went easier from then on and before she knew it two hours had passed. She decided that she actually liked him.

It was a good start.


It was pitch black and the dank and fetid air reeked of death. Yes, death and human waste as well. He thought he must have a blind fold on but a quick check with shaky fingers assured him that he wasn’t wearing one.

The floor where he was sitting was cement, he thought and fairly cool too. He listened to the sounds around him, slight movements that indicated he wasn’t alone. Human companions or other types? He couldn’t tell.

He forced himself to sit up and fought a wild wave of vertigo as he did so. He leaned his head back against a wall and pulled in a couple of deep breaths and then was immediately sorry that he had. He retched, miserably aware or maybe thankful that there was nothing in his stomach to cast out. He was suddenly aware of breathing, close to him and all his body movements stilled and he sat silently unmoving, waiting.

Waiting for the unknown. It seemed he was going to find out what was here with him sooner rather than later as he felt something touch his cheek.

He fought the urge to yell because he knew that it wouldn’t do any good.

He was in hell.

To be continued…

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