Lynn, thank you so much for the beautiful chapter pictures, as always! You rock my friend!!!
Thank you all so much for your patience this past couple weeks! I had
a fantastic visit with Vegas Guy which prompted him to stay longer than
originally intended. We've been friends for a long time but seldom
have more than a couple of days to visit. The 10 days were wonderful! I
now have real internet and I have to admit I'd forgotten what it was
like. For the past 3 years my internet had been powered by something
called a Tether on my BlackBerry. It was slow but reliable, but the
radio went out on it and I had to buy a new phone which brought up the
question of whether to buy a new tether or not. The beauty of the
tether (if you have an unlimited data plan) is that you have no monthly
expense for internet. Once you buy the license that's it. I finally
decided to just get regular internet and I'm enjoying the speed, let me
tell you! Now, back to our story and it's starting to get a whole lot
more intense! Hang onto your hats girls!!
Chapter 39 Discovery
sat at his desk, supposedly catching up on paperwork and building case
file but his mind was anywhere but with the task at hand. Beth had
called a little while ago, just to say she loved him and life seemed
perfect. She was happy, really happy he knew. Buzzwire was back in the
groove and Beth and Max both felt great relief that it was going so
well. The new content, focusing less on sensational entertainment news
and more on new helpful and imaginative ways to improve your life seemed
to be a hit with the fans, as was the interactive features of the site.
Not that there still wasn’t that touch of sleaze every now and then;
their entertainment reporters saw that they got some juicy scoops, but
they were always well-researched and accurate - Beth made sure of that.
The days of competing with TMZ and Perez Hilton were gone forever.
had never mentioned Beth and Mick’s vampires lives, although Beth did
catch her eyeing her speculatively from time to time. Perhaps she had
questions and she’d ask someday but both of them seemed comfortable with
In the vampire world the dead bodies were still
stacking up; so far the Cleaners had found 16 bodies in various areas of
the city. Add those to the 2 that had turned up in the morgue and the
tribe realized that there was a very serious rogue vamp situation going
on. Tango had his cleaning crews constantly searching dark corners of
the city looking for bodies and the crews complained constantly about it
because the more clean ups they did the more money they made and
finding abandoned bodies didn’t pay them at all. Tango and Josef
finally began offering them special incentives and bonuses for the
bodies and that had helped a good deal.
Mick contemplated the
situation with his sister. He wanted to see her more than anything but
how could he bring his trouble to her door? So many years had gone by
and maybe it was just better for her to believe he really was dead. How
did he explain that he’d been here, in the same city with her all these
years and hadn’t let her, or his parents know that he was alive?
his parents had died he’d known about it and had visited their graves
often. He knew that Maeve had married but didn’t know her new name and
that made it easy for him to lose track of her and after all, wasn’t
that for the best?
It was, wasn’t it?
heart told him that it wasn’t, that perhaps he owed it to her to let
her know the truth about him and his life. The thought of introducing
her to his Beth was so enticing - she was everything their parents would
have wanted for him.
Part of him was scared to see her. Scared
to see…the years. The years that she would wear on her face, as Margie
had. The years reminding him that he was so different, that human
mortality wasn’t an option for him. Did he still want it to be?
it be worth it, to gain mortality again and give up eternity with Beth?
The answer seemed clear to him; crystal clear as it never had before.
Even when he’d voluntary given up his (albeit temporary) human existence
he knew the answer then, he was just too damn stubborn to admit it. He
wanted to be a vamp, he wanted forever with Beth and their children.
the thought of those babies made his heart sing. It was possible now,
all because of the special abilities that Beth had and he didn’t.
Everything she could do was amazing; she was going to be one hell of a
vamp and while he still had things to teach her she most likely could
teach him a lot as well. At first he felt blown away by it all and
maybe even a bit envious as well. But the more he considered it the
happier he felt about it. Sure, she could do things he never could but
they were a team and the stronger each individual was in a team, well,
that made the team as a whole much stronger. When you went through
eternity, strength was important and the future seemed much happier and
He did envy one tiny little thing though. He hated
to admit it, even to himself but damn, he’d love to eat. He’d taken to
cooking for her more and more just because he enjoyed watching her eat.
He lived vicariously through watching her face as she ate his pasta
sauce, made with vegetables grown in his garden and he saw how much she
Yep, one tiny thing but that wasn’t so bad was it? It
didn’t make him a jerk, not really. He grinned to himself and then
laughed. It would all be okay, one way or the other, he believed that.
He had to.
The apartment next door was almost ready for Brody to
move in and Mick was anxious to meet him. Rose seemed so ordinary,
just another vamp but what was this guy like? One thing that puzzled
Mick about Rose was that she didn’t have the smell of a really old vamp,
like Heroku. He had the aged scent but for his age, especially for his
age it wasn’t that strong. Some vamps, even much younger ones had very
God, he hoped his wasn’t that bad. He couldn’t
tell and while no one ever said it was bad he almost cringed as he
wondered. That thought took him back to the rogue vamp. The scent of
him was acrid, almost putrid but not from decay. There was something
else contributing to his scent and it was driving them all crazy trying
to determine what it was. Hopefully they’d find out before he killed a
dozen more people.
you can’t possibly be surprised that he fucked it all up as usual can
you darling?” Vixen said, running her blood red fingertips over her
companions back. She watched, mesmerized as the muscles flexed and
tensed at her teasing strokes.
“Just once, can’t he get bloody
well get something right? He’s worthless.” Dakota sighed as the
fingernails scratched a bit harder on his back and he heard her purr and
then felt her rake her fangs down his back, drawing blood. A warm
tingle spread through his body and he turned over and watched as her
eyes lit up at the sight of his desire.
eyes shimmered to silver and she let out a droll laugh; whether over
Malcolm’s incompetence or his arousal he wasn’t sure. After several
centuries together he still couldn’t read her worth a damn but that
didn’t matter when he was planted between her long and limber legs,
listening to her beg him for more, for everything he could give her.
rolled over to lay on her back, her legs spread in invitation as a
scarlet fingernail scraped over an aroused nipple. His mouth watered as
he recognized the reckless desire that slipped over her like a sensual
sheath. He knew they wouldn’t be discussing Malcolm or his fate again
this night and that was fine with him.
In a move that was so
quick a human wouldn’t have seen it he was inside her, buried deeply in
the liquid heat that drove him mad with desire. His fangs ached to bite
her, to suckle at those tender places on her body that made her writhe
Malcolm? Malcolm who?
looked up as he heard the elevator ding and inhaled. An almost
panicked look spread over his face when he realized who his guest was.
He went to the door and looked at the monitor and watched as his guest
stood outside the door, shifting from foot to foot as he hesitated
Mick felt the same way himself. He had dreaded
this meeting but he’d also knew that sooner or later the bridge had to
be crossed. He wanted it to be
crossed but for the life of him he couldn’t see how this would ever be
okay. Mick heard Ben’s heartbeat speed up, a sure sign that Ben was as
nervous as he was right before he knocked on the door.
Mick opened the door and stood staring at his grandson; his grandson. He wanted to smile and pull him into an embrace because it was his grandson, and yet…he couldn’t.
Ben, come on in,” Mick said, stepping aside and watching as Ben
reluctantly stepped into the doorway, looking around him, possibly
looking for Beth. “Mick,” was all he managed to get out, his throat
suddenly parched and tight.
“Um, would you like a drink, Ben?”
stood by the door, as if hesitant to walk into the living room. For a
moment Mick thought he was going to leave but his footsteps carried him
into the living room instead. “Coffee, I guess?”
“Sure, I can do that. Have a seat and I’ll make some.”
looked into the living room, at the sofa and then the dining room
table. He opted for the table and chairs and sat down as Mick busied
himself with the coffee maker. When the machine started to heat and
brew the coffee he sat down at the table, across from Ben and waited to
see what his grandson had on his mind.
Ben sat looking at Mick;
he wouldn’t allow himself to think of him as his grandfather, he
couldn’t allow it he knew; he had a grandfather. Mick looked at him
calmly, watching him, as if waiting for a cue as to how to proceed. Ben
knew the conversation had to start somewhere and his next words came
out in a rush.
“I heard from Carl that more bodies have been found. You, um, your…people still don’t, haven’t found this guy?”
safe subject and a good way to start as far as Mick was concerned.
“No, we haven’t had any luck yet. We think we know who it is but he is
“Carl thinks he’s the one that took Luka. It’s
sort of a difficult tightrope for Carl to walk because the department is
looking hard for him. Mick, if they find this guy before you do, well,
you understand that there is only so much that Carl and I can cover
Mick nodded tersely, well aware of that. A small gurgle
from the coffee maker told him that the coffee was ready and he stood up
and said, “Yes, we are aware of that. I think the coffee is ready,
Ben. How do you take it?”
“Black will be fine, Mick.” He watched
as Mick moved across the room and around the counter to pull a mug out
of the cupboard. A single cup Ben noticed. He knew that Beth drank
coffee still, ate food. Perhaps Mick didn’t, or couldn’t?
sat the cup down in front of Ben and then sat across from him as Ben
picked up the cup and held it as if his hands were cold. Could be, it
was a comfortable temp in here for vampires but humans no doubt found it
a bit cool. Mick got up again and turned on the fireplace and Ben
watched as the flames danced and glowed in the small tiled recess.
“You don’t drink coffee?” Ben finally asked, his curiosity over coming him.
smiled; undoubtedly he’d seen Beth drinking one of her many cups of
coffee. “No, I don’t. I can’t taste it so there’s not much point in
it. We can drink liquids if we want though.”
Ben nodded, remembering seeing Mick drink wine at the wedding. He’d also ate cake there and he asked about that at well.
was more of a case of subterfuge actually. Most of it was on my face
and very little in my mouth, Ben. I can’t digest food, although Beth
“Why is that? I mean, how can that be?”
“How come I can’t digest food or how come Beth can?”
“Well, both I guess.”
typically can’t digest food and we can’t taste it either. However,
Beth comes from a different familial line than I do and so she can both
taste food and digest it. It was a surprise to me.”
and took a sip of the coffee, which was really good. “So, you actually
die, when you become a vampire? Or maybe I shouldn’t ask? I’m sorry if
it’s too personal, Mick.”
“No, it’s okay; you’re family, Ben.”
As soon as he said it he wanted to take it back because Ben’s face
blanched and then bloomed brightly red. He watched, sure that Ben was
going to rush out of the loft but he got his emotions under control and
stayed the course.
It finally occurred to Mick that Ben was
waiting for an answer to his question. “Yes, your body technically
dies, although we aren’t really dead afterwards, as you can see.”
“What then? I don’t understand.”
guess is a better word for it. We function as a human in many ways, to
some extent. But there are differences too, such as our, um, diet. We
also have some special abilities as well; different vamps have
Ben nodded, thinking about the differences
between Mick and Beth. God, she was his grandmother! He was suddenly
glad he hadn’t ever asked her out, although he never really wanted to
because Michelle was never really far out of his heart or mind.
finished his coffee and sat the mug down, twisting it around on the
table in a nervous gesture. “I’m trying to get used to all…this, Mick.
It’s still just such a shock.”
Mick smiled again and nodded. “I
know it is, Ben. Give it time and eventually it will become more
comfortable I think. However you want this relationship to go, I’ll be
okay with that. If it’s nothing more that casual acquaintances, I’ll
accept that too. I’m letting you decide what you want. No pressure, no
Ben nodded and then stood up in preparation to leave.
His mom had told him that Mick would handle it like this but it just
seemed so surrealistic. “I need to go now. Let me know if you find out
anything, will you?”
“Of course, Ben. I’m glad you stopped by.
Feel free to do it again, anytime.” Mick walked Ben to the door and
opened it, watching him walk out and head for the elevator. After Ben
had punched the button Mick closed the door and closed his eyes for a
moment, replaying the visit.
It hadn’t gone as well as the visit
with Cat, but it hadn’t gone as badly as it could have. It was enough
for now, a relatively stable base to grow from. He hoped so anyway.
heard the bolt slide on the door, which meant that he was coming. Luka
quickly shut his eyes tightly because after hours of inky blackness
even closed eyes stung when the sudden blinding lights came on.
You learned certain things here: when he
was in the room, keep your eyes down and your mouth closed. A sure way
to have him drag you out of the cell was to open your mouth and try to
talk to him.
The only way out of this cell was death and Luka was hoping that he could out last his opponent, but what then?
the sting of his eyes began to lessen he opened them a bit and glanced
sideways at Henry who still had his eyes shut. Luka watched as another
guy was carried into the room and he hastily lowered his eyes as the
jail cell was unlocked.
growled and pointed to the far end of the cell and he and Henry and the
other guy all moved to the far end while the new guy was carried in.
He was still out of it, not stirring as he was dumped in a heap on the
The other guy, the one Luka thought of as the
silent one, had never said a word in the past four days he’d been here
locked up defiantly stared at him, his chin tilted upwards in a flagrant
message. Fuck you, he seemed
to say and their captor pointed to the slop bucket. The silent one’s
fate had been sealed. He stood wordlessly and grabbed it, marching it
out of the cell and managing to spill a bit on their captor, who growled
This was the door out of here; when it was your turn to
carry the bucket then your next stop was the counter on the other side
of the room and death. Luka and Henry remained silent as the bucket was
emptied in the bathroom and then carried back into the cell. The
silent one then disobeyed again by sitting down and refusing to move
when he pointed to the counter.
A negative shake of his head brought the wrath of hell down on him it
seemed when monstrous growls erupted from deep in their captor’s chest
and the silent one was yanked to his feet and carried to the counter and
thrown upon it, his head tilted back into an attached sink.
still didn’t speak; he didn’t beg or plead or cry as others had, only
eyed his captor with cold eyes. Perhaps he wanted this doorway out of
here; waiting until your time wore on a person; Luka and Henry knew that
for a fact.
A quick slice of a claw across his neck and the
ruby-red blood poured from his neck. A cup was held underneath the
steady flow that drained into a sink and when it was full their captor
lifted it to his lips and drank it down. He sat the cup down and looked at Luka and Henry, his slight grin revealing blood stained lips and teeth. But that wasn’t the worst part of it all.
No, that was his eyes. Silvery and glittering white orbs that sent chills down Luka’s spine.
He was monstrous.
the fact that he knew he was still alive he’d decided that he was in
hell anyway. Hell on earth that is. If there was such a place then
surely this bunker qualified. Luka didn’t know where it was, but he was
pretty sure that was what it is. No windows, it was about 25 feet long
and about 18 or so wide. Their cell ran about 20 feet down one side
and had the obligatory bars that keep them incarcerated when he
wasn’t here. There was a bathroom next to the cell but of course they
weren’t allowed to use it. The bucket didn’t fill up too often because
they didn’t get that much to eat or drink, but he
did feed them and give them a bottle of water every day. Maybe a piece
of fruit or some bread, something simple but it was better than nothing
and Luka ate it, regardless because he wanted to keep his strength up.
He intended to get out of here and somehow he would.
After the blood had mostly drained from the silent one’s body it was hoisted up over his
shoulder and carried out. The bolt slid shut and the lights went out
and Luka was surprised to discover he’d been holding his breath.
“How many is that, do you know?” Luka asked.
“I’m not sure, 15, 16 maybe. I don’t know how many before I came.”
“Why do you suppose he hasn’t taken us?”
“We’re not like the others,” was Henry’s reply.
nodded in agreement in the blackness, even though Henry couldn’t see
it. The others were mostly street people; homeless wanderers that
happened into the wrong place at the wrong time. He and Henry, they’d
Luka thought he’d been here for a week; Henry thought
he’d been here for two but who could tell for sure? Time seemed to
stand still in there, in their cell. Talking helped to pass the time
but some of what Henry had shared had turned Luka’s world upside down.
He was a vampire; that’s what Henry said.
“He doesn’t have any fangs,” Luka had countered.
“His eyes! They are a dead giveaway. I don’t know about the fangs.”
“What about those marks all over him? They look like bites.”
“Don’t know about them either. But he’s one of them to be sure.”
only thing Luka was sure of was that things couldn’t get worse; until
they did of course. A few days later they had two new guests to share
their cell. Women, the first that had been in here.
The worst part of it was that he recognized one of them.
To be continued…