Thank you LaLa!!
- I have a dear friend coming into town soon and I may not get a chance
to post on Thursday. If not, we'll continue the story next Monday as
always! Thank you all so much for your faithful readership and
Chapter 38 Moving Day
held Beth close, still cradled between her legs that were wrapped
tightly about him. Both of them worked to catch their breath while
sharing kisses that spoke of all their love. He slowly moved down her
body until his head was over her stomach and he placed a kiss there,
resting his cheek against it in the cool of their freezer.
fingertips traced over it, making her squirm a bit but she knew that he
wasn’t trying to tickle her. Both of them were amazed at the news that
Rose had given them. They would have babies! Mick and Beth St. John
would have babies.
He moved up and pulled her to him, snuggling closely, their love providing them with all the warmth and joy they needed.
“I can’t believe it,” she said. “I mean, I do believe it, but Mick, it is the best thing I’ve ever heard.”
I know what you mean. Beth, if we had adopted a child, that would have
been wonderful too. But this is a gift beyond anything I ever
She nodded, her mind full of thoughts of she and Mick
with a child cradled in their arms. It was amazing, this information
Rose had shared. All of it really, but it only made her realize how
much she still needed to know.
“So much of what she said is just
incredible, you know? Fire, silver? Mick, it’s like what she is and
what we think vampires are supposed to be are so different, you know?”
nodded, he’d been thinking the exact same thing as her. “She said
before that it was supposed to be a blessing in the beginning. Now, it
is a curse.”
“It doesn’t have to be, Mick. There are things that
are different for me, true, but it brought us together. If not for
your turning we wouldn’t have one another.”
“I know, baby. I
think about that a lot. It was worth all the pain that I went through
to get to this place, it was. But that doesn’t make it easy to live
with all of it. Forgiving myself is the hardest thing Beth.”
knew that now was the time to tell him about Maeve. She hoped that she
made him happy with the news but she feared it might depress him.
Still, she knew she was going to do it.
“Mick, do you remember Lani talking about the elderly lady that she met? The one who likes purple and she has tea with?”
“Yes. Wasn’t her name Carter?”
hm. Well, she visited her again the other day and found out some
interesting information. Her first name is Maeve. She is your sister
His body immediately went rigid and he caught a deep breath and held it. “I’m sure she’s wrong, Beth.”
she’s not. She first suspected it a couple of weeks ago when she saw a
picture of her brother, in an army uniform. Mrs. Carter told her that
her brother had died tragically. It looked just like you so she went
back and Mrs. Carter showed her pictures and talked about her family.
You used to call her Squeaks, didn’t you?”
felt in turn astonishment and fear. He was thrilled she was still
alive but she could never find out his secret. A terrible thought came
to him then and he had to ask. “She didn’t tell her did she?”
“No, of course not. That’s for you to do, Mick.”
“No, uh uh. Never, she can’t know, Beth.”
this isn’t 1952, when it all happened. She loved you so much. She’d
want to know what happened to you. Your family tried so hard to find
out what happened, they even hired an investigator.”
“No, Beth. It’s better if she just thinks I died then. How would I explain everything to her?”
“The same way you explained it to me. They didn’t like Coraline at all. She wouldn’t be surprised much I’ll bet.”
the arguments with his family came into focus and to say they didn’t
like her was a gross understatement. But Coraline hadn’t liked them
either. She found them too pedestrian for her tastes. He should have
been highly insulted over that but she had him convinced he didn’t
belong with those type of people. Later he would learn that the only
thing she thought about them was that they’d be good meals.
“So, she’s happy? Has a family?”
thought about it for a moment, how much to tell him. “She’s happy, but
anything else you’re going to have to ask her for yourself. We’ll do
it together, Mick. I’ll be right there by your side. I have your back,
“I don’t know, Beth. She’s 78 now, it might cause her problems.”
suggested that to Lani but she seems to think the lady is more likely
to dance and bake cookies over it all. She’s pretty energetic.”
his continued silence she suggested, “Why don’t you think on it
overnight? We’ll talk about it again tomorrow. Don’t forget tomorrow
evening we’re helping Logan and Audrey at the new house, either!”
nodded and then kissed her again, long and slow, needing to feel their
deep connection. She’d be with him. Maybe he could do it. Squeaks…she
was alive. Maybe he was blessed after all.
and Audrey listened to the plaintive wails of the boys, who were locked
up in their carriers. Their carpeted cat tree house was being carried
out by the movers and they weren’t happy about it, not one bit. Not
about being locked away either when they were used to being allowed to
It was the last thing to be loaded on the truck so
that it could come off first at the new house. It was going in the
patio room which had a door that closed and the boys could roam in there
without getting in the way of the movers as things were brought into
Logan held Audrey’s hand and squeezed it lightly.
This was the first home she’d ever made for herself and he knew that
while she was excited to move to the new house, there was a certain
bittersweet quality to the move. He looked down at her and she tilted
her head up to him and he bestowed a kiss upon her nose, accompanied by a
“You okay with all this?”
“Yeah, I am,
Logan. I’m excited. Actually, I was thinking that this is going to
make such a nice home for the family that is moving in. After the
cleaning crew comes tomorrow and de-cats the house,” she finished with a
laugh. As hard as they tried to keep the cats brushed, cat hair still
got into everything.
“No kidding,” he laughed, watching a few
stray hairs float by on the breeze that came in through the open front
door. “Well, are you ready?”
“Yes, I am.” She picked up Travis’
carrier as Logan picked up Plato’s, who was a bit heavier. After they
locked the door he stowed the carriers in the back seat of his car since
Audrey’s was already at the new house. The moving van pulled out and
Audrey waved to Mrs. Murphy across the street who had been watching it
all with great interest. She hated to lose her young neighbors because
they were both nice folks and quiet too.
The ride to the new
house took a half an hour, not too bad in the late morning traffic. As
they passed Dorothy and Clark’s, house they saw Clark looking out the
window at the rumble of the moving van and they both knew that they’d
have company soon.
They pulled into the garage and walked inside,
both of them grinning proudly at their new energy-efficient home. It
was expensive, to be sure, but the money from the sale of both their
houses would pay a large chunk of the mortgage off. It wouldn’t be too
bad, they’d decided. They’d dipped into their savings to buy a few
furniture necessities since the house was so much larger than the old
one. Mick wanted to buy Logan a new freezer but Logan told him to hold
off on it, hoping that within a few years there would be a need for a
They took the boys in and put them into the patio
room along with food water and their litter box, which they hardly ever
used since outside was a huge sand box. Personally, Logan was very
thankful that it worked that way. What a human nose couldn’t smell his
vampire one could.
Dorothy and Clark pulled up as the moving van
was backing into the driveway and came in with hugs and a ton of food
since Mick, Beth, Lani, Josef, Cami and Carl were coming over in a while
to help put things away. Personally Dorothy wanted to see exactly what
Josef would do, but she was pleased that he evidently considered
himself one of the family now. She still couldn’t believe that he had
paid off the mortgage for the kids. They didn’t know it yet and
wouldn’t until later this weekend at the housewarming party. It was
such a kind and thoughtful gesture on his part. Dorothy laughed at the
thought of calling Logan ‘kid’ but even though he was her age he seemed
It was a blessing that it was all out in the
open now, about Logan. All those years he’d stayed hidden away, afraid
that Beth would find out about him. Now, he and Clark were close again,
sometimes arguing, sometimes playing, but it was exactly the way
brothers should be. Audrey was just icing on the cake and Dorothy was
so pleased that she and Logan would marry one day.
Audrey settled onto stools at the kitchen bar and got comfortable as the
men directed the traffic flow. As far as Dorothy was concerned, trying
to get comfortable was a feat because she rarely managed anything
remotely close to “comfort” anymore.
“So what did the doctor say this morning?”
said I’m not ready, I haven’t even dilated yet. I’m not anywhere near
zero station and I’m not effaced. So, at least a few more weeks.”
Audrey gave a small laugh and said, “I’m not sure what all that is but I take it the twins aren’t ready to meet the world yet?”
“Exactly. I want them to come when they are ready but I have to admit I’m anxious, you know?”
didn’t exactly but she nodded in agreement anyway. For an almost 8
month along pregnant lady, Dorothy looked so beautiful, glowing as they
say. Clark was beside himself with anxiety over it all, constantly
worried about Dorothy and the twins. Audrey watched as Dorothy let out a
long breath and held her hand over her stomach for a moment.
“Braxton-Hicks again. UGH!!”
“Hey, let’s have a cup of that tea you brought with you. How about it?”
“Yes, that sounds really good.”
both looked up and jumped when they heard Logan cursing as he brought
the cat tree house in, banging it on the doorway into the kitchen. “I
hope those little varmints appreciate this thing. It’s freakin’ heavy!”
Audrey laughed and looked around before saying softly, “What? My big, strong vampire can’t handle it?”
“I didn’t say that. I said the damn thing is heavy!”
“Actually you said…”
“Never mind what I said. Open the patio doors please and try to hold back the tide of pissed off pussy cats, okay?”
no, let Uncle Josef do that. I have something for the little guys!”
Josef said, walking into the room and grinning at Logan with the tall
cat tree house cocked over one shoulder. Lani was behind him, at least
trying to hold back a laugh.
“Hey! I’m so happy to see you
both!” Audrey said as she watched Josef open the sliding doors into the
patio room and start talking to the cats. Travis, she noticed, really
seemed pleased to see him. He rubbed up against his legs, which were
actually clad in jeans today, something Audrey had never seen before.
my puddy cat! And hello to you too Playdough!” he laughed, scratching
them behind their ears and smiling as they both purred loudly. “Uncle
Josef has a gift for you boys!” He pulled two batty balls out of his
pocket and tossed then across the room with the boys running after them.
He stepped out of the room and watched as Logan set up the cat tree
house, making sure it was braced well.
“Josef, you are always so
kind, remembering them. Thank you,” Audrey said, smiling at him. “But
you always seem to forget it’s Plato, like the philosopher, not
Playdough like the, er, dough stuff.”
“Who says I forget?” he
asked, his eyes twinkling. “Now, I think I’ll go find the men so that I
might occupy myself with more difficult pursuits. I want to impress my
mate with my manliness!”
“Get out of here,” Lani laughed, watching as he headed into the other area of the house.
slipped out of the patio room, sliding the doors closed behind him and
leaning against them as if he’d escaped with his life. “Those two are
tough, let me tell you.”
The girls giggled and looked up as Mick
and Beth came in, zig-zagging around burly strapping guys carrying
furniture. “Hi!” they both said.
“Hi back at you!” Audrey said.
looked at the girls, sitting down drinking tea out of pretty little
china cups. “Seems kind of unfair, you girls sipping tea and the boys
doing all the heavy lifting!”
“That’s so we can remind ourselves
of how much we admire your strength and virility,” Beth said, laughing
as the words tumbled out.
“Yeah, like I’m going to buy that one. Dorothy,” he said, kissing her on the cheek, “How are you feeling?”
“Not too bad, really. Just anxious!”
touched her mother’s stomach as an elbow or knee moved across it and
thought of what she and Mick knew. They had decided to tell everyone a
bit later and not spoil the excitement for Logan and Audrey. Still, she
now knew that one day she’d have the opportunity to experience carrying
a baby herself and it was hard to contain her excitement over it.
saw the boys in the patio room and went in to pet them both. Travis
was gradually warming up to her again and would at least let her scratch
him behind the ears. Plato had no problems at all and as Beth sat down
on the floor he immediately sat in between her legs and held his head
up for more scratching. Travis suddenly let out a few long meows and
Plato looked at him and finally moved aside so that Travis could get
what he suddenly decided was his fair share of the affection.
can’t stand it can you, Travis? I still love you, you know?” As
Plato’s paw gently nudged her she added, “You too, Plato.”
watched for a moment before going to help move things around. They had
most of the furniture out of the van and were starting to unload boxes
now. He was so glad that Travis was finally letting Beth pet him again.
It had hurt her when he wouldn’t. She knew that the little cat had a
lot to get used to but she still believed it was the best thing for him,
to stay with Plato and Audrey and Logan.
When Carl and Cami
arrived a little while later the truck was gone and inside it was chaos
as a mad orchestration of shuttling boxes to their proper room
continued. Finally it appeared that all the kitchen gear was in the
right room so the ladies started unpacking, washing and drying and
getting it all put away. An hour later it was done and they looked
around them with satisfaction and then wandered out to see how the rest
of the house was going.
The bedroom was set up and ready for the
bed to be made which the girls did as the men moved to the second
bedroom. Josef and Clark worked in the office, getting the computers
and other assorted office things into place and hooked up. It was going
quickly and Audrey knew that other than hanging pictures and things
like that her new house was pretty much in order.
In the kitchen
Beth and Lani were getting all the food out and ready for the hungry
crowd. Josef had brought several carafes of blood for the vamp
contingent and no one even blinked when they saw it. It was as normal
as the potato salad was in their eyes.
When everyone left they
were all tired but it had been a great day. Audrey looked around and
thought how wonderful her new home was and how much she had to do before
the housewarming party this weekend. Still, Audrey knew just how lucky
she was, nestled in Logan’s arms that night. There wasn’t another
thing in the world she could want.
Family and friends, something
that she had often wondered about when she was growing up. Her grandma
was family but that was all. This was a whole new world and it was
Tango’s phone rang
and he winced as he saw the number of one of his crews. Another body
for sure. They’d been finding one everyday so at least the rogue vamp
was keeping to his precise schedule.
“Yes, Cleo. What do you have?”
“Do you even have to ask, Tango? Male, maybe late ‘40’s. Looks like another street person.”
“Alright, bring him in. Any evidence or trace there you can see?”
“No, clean dump apparently. Body was cold so it happened a while ago.”
“Okay. See you in a bit.”
the hell was Shatel up to? The last time they’d seen him he was pissed
at them but mad enough for this? It was insane. Did that mean that
Shatel was insane? Could or would a sane person do this?
everyone else, Tango was puzzled over the almost acrid smell the vamp
carried now. He hadn’t before, it was a memorable smell to be sure.
What had caused it?
And where the hell was he? They had contacts
out all over the LA area looking for the guy with a hefty reward to
boot. Lots of vamps would sell their sires for far less than he and
Josef were offering.
None of it made sense. What the hell had happened?
To be continued…