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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chapter 37 Progress

Thank you Lynn for the great pictures and LaLa for your amazing pen! Also, to Julia who solved a mystery!
Chapter 37 Progress

Lani got home a bit earlier than usual and found that Josef wasn’t home yet and the house was peacefully quiet. She told Franklin that she was going to take a shower and he voiced his concern over her tired appearance.

“Miss Lani, would you care for a snack before your shower? Forgive me, but you look quite tired. It might make you feel better.” He smiled kindly at her and she smiled back at the older man. He was so caring, always even though he was quiet and never interfered in things.

“I’ll be fine, Franklin, but thank you so much for asking. I’m sure I’ll feel a bit better after the shower.” She headed up the stairs, eager to feel the warm water because it was uncommonly cold for LA in November. The temperature today was in the low ‘40’s and she felt chilled as well as tired.

She smiled at the tired part and knew exactly why she felt so wiped out. She and Josef had been up until 3:00 am and even as tired as she was she acknowledged that it had been worth it.

As soon as the bedroom door closed behind her she cast her clothes off, uncharacteristically leaving them where they dropped. She knew she’d pick them up later as she headed into the bathroom and turned the taps in the shower on. Soon a steamy mist filled the room and she pinned her hair up and slipped a shower cap over it since she’d washed it that morning.

The water felt heavenly and she leaned against the wall for a moment, letting it wash over her in a soothing cascade. By the time she finished and had dried off she realized that Josef was home, in the bedroom. She hurriedly unfastened her hair, letting it fall freely and slipped her robe on. When she walked into the bedroom Josef was just pulling his shirt off. She glanced at the floor and realized he’d picked up her clothes, something that was unusual for him.

As soon as she stepped out of the bathroom he caught the clean, sweet scent of the woman he loved but he also caught a scent of fatigue. Since he was most likely the cause of that weariness he felt a short-lived momentary pang of guilt and walked to her and took her in his arms.

“Sweetness, I’m afraid I kept you up too late last night.” He took her face in both his hands and kissed her tenderly and felt her arms go around him, pulling him tightly to her.

“Never, Josef, my love. How was your day?” she asked when he broke the kiss.

He smiled at her, the loving smile reserved only for her but she could sense the tension he was hiding, or trying to hide.

“You still haven’t found out anything about the killer, have you?”

“No and it’s getting harder to conceal. Two bodies have shown up in the morgue now, same type of death and we can’t keep it out of the news much longer. Carl and Ben are keeping it as quiet as they can but there are limits to their abilities. We can’t figure out why he’s doing it or where either.”

His whole body was rigid as she ran her hands up and down his back. “Why don’t you take a shower and when you get back I’ll rub your shoulders and neck for you?” She kissed each of those places lightly as she spoke.

“Deal, if you’ll rest while I’m in there. Lani, you really do look tired.”

“Okay, you got it. Now go!” she said, sitting down on their bed. She watched him finish undressing, appreciating the firm and sculpted muscles on his abdomen and his tight ass. God, the man drove her crazy with need. As he headed to the bathroom he tossed her an engaging smile and a wink. He knew she wanted him!

“Go!” she said again, laughing.

When the door closed she moved up in the bed and closed her eyes. It felt wonderful and within a few minutes she was sound asleep.

That’s how Josef found her, curled up with the soft sighs of her slumber sounding like the sweetest music to his ears. He had to stop keeping her up so late at night, but then again, holding her back when she wanted him wasn’t always easy. He dropped the towel and slipped his robe on and lay down beside her. She immediately shifted into his arms, seeking the embrace of her mate, even in sleep.

For an hour they rested, Lani sleeping soundly and even Josef managed to doze a bit until he heard Franklin walking down the hallway. Josef glanced at the clock and saw that it was almost seven, dinner time. He gently disengaged her arm from around his waist and went to the door and opened it as Franklin was walking away.

“I am sorry to disturb you. I was just going to let you know that dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”

“Thank you, Franklin. She’s sleeping still but she’ll need to eat too.”

“Yes sir. She did seem a bit tired when she came home. Why don’t I bring dinner up to you? Miss Lani can have her dinner in bed.”

“That sounds like an excellent idea, Franklin. I’ll make sure she eats something.”

Franklin nodded and headed back down the hall, his physical appearance belying the liveliness of his step. He’d been with Josef, one way or another for over 300 years, give or take a few.

When he first met Josef he had been 17 and a cabin boy on Lola’s ship, Nocte Vita. Josef had just been turned and still shied away from most of the hands on the ship. Franklin, already a strapping young man, had taken a liking to Lola’s newest playmate and brought him pilfered contraband items from time to time. Things like books and a chess board he’d managed to liberate from someone. They became fast friends.

Fifty years later he saw Josef again in a port in the Bahamas. He’d been turned by then and was making his way in the vampire world. They immediately renewed their friendship and whenever Josef and Lola made port there they visited. Franklin owned a sugar cane plantation by then and lived a fine planters life. When Josef left Lola he ran into Franklin in North Carolina again and they’d been together ever since.

Josef had made him more money than he’d ever be able to spend, even as a vamp, but Franklin was content to make his home with Josef. He’d been married once but she couldn’t handle the fact that he was a vampire when it came down to it. Before the marriage she was fine and swore she wanted to be turned but in the end it was too much for her.

He worked for Josef through the years, unnecessarily, but he was a great companion and knew most of Josef’s secrets. Josef’s urgings to just sit back and relax were spoken to deaf ears and so life went on. He had worried about Josef for many a century and was very happy when Miss Lani came into his life.

Franklin prayed that this time the turning would go well. The thought of Josef losing another love was almost more than Franklin could stand.

This time it had to work. It had to…



Across town as Beth walked into the loft her phone rang and she smiled at it, excited to see who the caller was.

“Hi, Rose. How are you this evening?”

Rose smiled at the excitement in Beth’s voice. It had been almost a week since she’d gotten the results from the tests but a couple of particularly trying medical cases had kept her from having enough time to go and speak with her.

“Beth, I was wondering if I might come and speak with you this evening?”

“Yes, of course! Please do. Rose, I have so many questions!”

“And hopefully I’ll have answers for you. Shall we say 7 o’clock?”

“Yes, that would be fine. See you then!”

Beth knew that Mick wasn’t home, her nose told her that. She looked on the counter and found several offerings from the garden and she inhaled the spicy aroma of the peppers and other veggies. Farmer Mick had been at it again and she saw that he’d even washed them for her. She wandered into his office to see if he’d left her a note and found what she was looking for. He’d ran to the grocery store and would be home soon and she wasn’t to touch the veggies because he was making her spaghetti for dinner.

Yum! He made great sauce so she headed up to shower and get ready for her visitor. By the time she was done she could smell the wonderful concoction he had going in the dutch oven.

“Ooh, St. John, I swear that smells like heaven! What made you decide to do this?”

He kissed her and grinned, “Just because I love you. Oh, and I needed to use these up soon or they were going to rot!”

“Ah, I see. A matter of necessity! Can’t have your garden going to waste!”

“Hey, I love that garden! Some day, Mrs. St. John, we are going to have a house with a real backyard and a big garden in it where I will feed our dozen kids!”

A sad look crossed her face and for a moment he felt bad. They both had accepted that those kids would be adopted and they were both okay with that. But sometimes, it still hurt.

“Hey, I’m sorry, baby.”

“No, it’s okay. And I like your idea.” She smiled at him and he offered her a taste of the sauce. She nodded her approval and said, “Hey, Rose is coming over at seven. I think she has the test results!”

He nodded, happy and a bit scared as well. At least they would know for sure but really, he didn’t have any doubts about it.

“Good, it’s time to know what is going on Beth.”

She nodded and watched as he got a pot out and ran water in it to boil the spaghetti. “What did you find out today? Anything helpful?”

“No, not really. Carl and Ben are trying to keep the information quiet but if another body turns up in the morgue it’s going to be impossible to keep it off the radar. We don’t have any idea where the hell this guy is or why he’s doing this.” He leaned back against the counter and said, “One nice thing happened today.”

“What?” she asked, excited by his tone.

“Catherine came to see me and we talked, really talked. Got to know one another a bit. It felt so good, Beth. She doesn’t hate me. I’m not so sure about Ben though. He keeps his distance from me, but maybe in time.” He shrugged and added the pasta to the boiling water and then set the timer. “Catherine told me about something that happened in Ben’s past and he apparently is pretty much a loner now.” He explained about Michelle and watched as Beth’s face showed her sorrow for him. She was so happy that she just wanted everyone else to be, too.

After she’d eaten her dinner and the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher they settled down to wait for Rose. Nestled together on the couch, his arm around her shoulders she realized that her life was amazing and no matter what Rose might tell her, it could never change this.

She was anxious to tell him about his sister and yet a glance at the clock showed that Rose was due at any time. It would have to wait until after the visit and that’s all there was to it. She hoped that he’d take it okay. She kind of thought he would, that there would be a part of him that would be happy his sister was still alive.

A few minutes later they heard the elevator ding and knew that Rose was here. Beth all but ran to the door and her anticipation made Mick smile. She opened the door before Rose even had the chance to knock.

“Rose! Come in, please. Would you like something to drink?”

Rose smiled at the young one, so exuberant and engaging. She was going to be a force to be reckoned with one day. “Hi Beth, Mick. Nothing for me, I’m fine thank you. Shall we sit and chat?”

“Oh, of course. Please, have a seat,” Beth said as she sat back down next to Mick who had risen when Rose walked into the room.

“Well, the test results are back and as we thought, you are a descendant. No real surprise there.”

“No, not really.” Beth drew in a long breath. Knowing it and hearing it seemed to be two very different things. “Um, do we know who I’m descended from?”

“Well yes, actually we do. You’re one of my descendants, in fact.”

A small laugh of joy bubbled forth from Beth. Somewhere along the way Rose was her great something or other grandmother. “Wow, I’m so excited. Do you keep records so we know how it came to be?”

“We have a historian, Christophe, and he tracks what we know of but, Beth, there are thousands of descendants and we only discover a very small number of them. You are the first one we’ve found in over a century. Unless they're turned we never know. Still, one of your parents has the gene that is specific to us. Can they be tested?”

“Well, my mom would probably do it but I’ve never met my father.”

“I see. Well, in the long run it’s not terribly important. I have something for you.” Rose reached into her bag and pulled out a jewelry box. “All of us wear these, especially when we’re gathered for the quarters and on the full moon.”

Beth took the velvet covered box and opened it, staring in fascination at what was nestled inside. Her hand covered her mouth as she let out a soft “Oh!”

Mick stared in horror and fixed Rose with a silver-eyed stare. “Is this supposed to be funny?”

“No, Mick it isn’t. She can touch it, it won’t hurt her.” She gave Beth a reassuring smile and then picked the pendant up out of the box and held it out to her. “It’s okay, really.”

Beth slowly reached out her hand as Mick stared in anger. “Beth, don’t!”


Her hand slowly reached for it and then clasped the pendant. “It’s beautiful.” The silver moon was simple by design and very lovely, polished and smooth, it felt cool to her touch. And it didn’t burn her, not a bit.

“It’s okay, Mick. It doesn’t burn me.” Mick could only stare in confusion as his wife admired the pendant.

“You’ll probably feel better if you wear it on the full moons, Beth. We are literally Children of the Moon and it comforts us.”

“So silver isn’t poison to her? What else?” Mick asked, curious now that he saw it wasn’t hurting her.

“Fire won’t destroy her. Actually many vamps are immune to fire, to varying degrees.”

Mick thought back to Lance, that day in the lab and how he’d watched his hand heal almost instantly. And Coraline, he’d left her staked and burning and yet she’d survived. Was this how?

“My sire is one of the Duvall’s. They seemed to be resistant to fire. Is this how?”

Rose mentally rolled her eyes, those Duvalls! “I hate to tell you this but they are descendants, although they don’t know it. We do though because they are in a familial line that we’ve managed to keep track of. Mick, you most likely have that same characteristic.” She let him digest the news for a moment and smiled at his next question.

“But the only way to find that out is to try it isn’t it?”

“’Fraid so! But it’s something to keep in mind. There are thirteen of us and each of our familial lines has different gifts. Part of my linage is mental abilities. Beth, you are going to be amazed at some of the things you can do and Mick, as her partner you’ll likely be involved in some of that. Beth, with training you’ll be able to communicate with Mick mentally and maybe, just maybe he’ll be able to do the same with you. You both have a very strong bond and that will help.”

Beth glanced at Mick and saw the amazed look on his face. “Together we can do this?”

“Most likely, especially once you start training. Something else, Beth. You cannot die. Ever.”

“You mean that I can’t lose my head?”

“No. It can’t happen. It won’t happen.”

“How can that be?”

“It just is. It’s part of the gift. You have so much to learn. I’d like you to begin on the Winter Solstice. You’ll need to come to our sanctuary for it. You as well, Mick because you have a great deal to learn too.”

“I can’t come then. My mom is pregnant, due at the end of December and I need to be here. I’m sorry.”

“I understand that. March at the Equinox will be fine then. And try not to get pregnant before then.”

“Pregnant?” Mick and Beth said together. “That’s possible?”

“Of course. You’re here aren’t you?”

“But how? I mean, Mick is a vampire too.”

“Beth, part of what makes you special is a gene that only we carry. I won’t go into the technical aspects of it now, but you’ll learn more in March. Your body knows exactly what to do with his sperm and it will do it, trust me. But you can only get pregnant on the full moons though. No other time.”

Beth was holding tightly to Mick’s hand and both of them had tears in their eyes. He leaned down and kissed her, smiling into her beautiful eyes. “A baby!”

“I love this part of my life!” Rose exclaimed. “Yes, a baby, a dozen of them if you want.”

“I just can’t believe it. I mean, we wanted a child so badly before I was turned. Rose, this is the best news ever.”

“I’m so happy you think so. Now, some of the things you’ll do in March will involve intense physical training, for both of you. Do you work out now?”

“Yes, we do and I’m glad you brought that up. I want to begin to learn how to defend myself right away.”

“Oh, that’s great, Beth. I’ll contact Brody, he’s our peacekeeper and physical trainer. I’ll get him to come here and begin if that’s okay?”

“Yes, but how can someone be a peacekeeper and a physical trainer at once?”

“If he does the training right the peacekeeping is a piece of cake!”

“I have a friend who’s going to be turned in January. Can she learn with me?”

“Sure, I don’t see why not.” Rose stood up, happy with the meeting. “I’ll talk to Brody and see how quickly he can get here. I’ll need to find somewhere for him to stay and where you can work out.”

An idea came to Mick and he spoke up. “I own the building, actually we own it. The apartment next door is vacant. We’ve been trying to decide whether to expand into it but he can stay there and we can create a good size work out area.”

“Hey, that sounds good.” She smiled at both of them and added, “Well, young ones, I’m leaving now. Remember, NO babies until you get through all your training. You can practice all you like but not on the full moons!”

They both laughed and walked her to the door and neither one was hesitant to hug her goodbye. As the door closed they both laughed again like teenagers.

“Race you upstairs?” Beth teased.

“You bet!”


There were other people here, but he didn’t know how many. A few he guessed. He heard them talking occasionally in the inky blackness. He hadn’t said anything, even when someone had touched him and asked him his name.

He wasn’t sure where they were but there wasn’t even a tiny bit of light anywhere to be seen here. He heard someone shuffle by and he pulled his legs to him tightly so they wouldn’t trip. He heard that person relieving themselves into some type of receptacle but there was no flush which accounted for the smell.

The smell…god, the smell was horrific. He felt like all his senses were amped up and he didn’t understand why. Unwashed bodies, vomit, waste, it was overwhelming.

The body shuffled past and he stretched his legs out once more. At some point he slept again and awoke with a start when someone said, “Cover your eyes!”

A half a second later blinding lights came on and even with his eyes closed they burned him.

God, what was this place?

To be continued…

1 comment:

Joangel said...

Beth and Mick can have a baby!!! That is SO cool!!! Poor Luka, I hope they find him soon.

Thank you for the amazing story Hope. I really look forward to reading it.