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, August 20, 2012

Chapter 41 Hidden Away

A/N: I'm sorry for being late today. Real lifes pace is still frenzied and I had to leave home so early this morning that I forgot all about this. SORRY!!! I'm really behind on answering comments but things are going to slow down soon and I will catch up. Thank you for your patience and support and thank you Julia for the reminder!

Chapter 41 Hidden Away

Beth put the key in the starter and said, “Where to?”

“Throw your purse out the window; your friends too.”

Beth let out a frustrated sigh and did as she was told. She’d been hoping he might forget that and that Mick could find her by her cell. No such luck. She glanced over at Max, who was laying limply against the door, her unfocused eyes staring out the front window. Beth continued to send her calming thoughts and decided to see if she could manipulate Shatel.

She closed her mind off for a moment and tried to focus hard before telling him to let them go. It didn’t do anything she realized a moment or two later when she caught his eye in the rear view mirror.

Shatel impatiently stared at her and let his eyes flash silver. He was taken aback when her eyes turned a vibrant, swirling blue in return. He lowered his hooded eyes and tried to figure out what kind of vamp she was because one thing was for sure, she was different.

Beth realized she’d panicked him for a moment with her eyes and decided to use her differences to keep him off balanced, as much as possible anyway. “Hey, where to?” she demanded and heard a low growl from him, as if he was upset she was taking the lead.

“Take I-10 east and head for Victorville. And keep your mouth closed!”

She let her eyes go vamp again and had to bite her lip to keep a smile off her face at his nervous look. She turned the key and the van started up and she pulled slowly out of the parking lot, heading to the I-10 access ramp. Another glance at Max assured her that she was going to stay quiet and so Beth focused on driving and thinking about how to try and let Mick know what was going on.

Rose said they could communicate without words, with training and practice, of which they’d had neither. How did she do it? Focus for sure, but what else? What she didn’t know could make the whole thing fail. Finally she decided to just push all her thoughts out to him and hope that he’d ‘hear’ her. She could ‘see’ that he was with Josef, Logan, Carl and Tango, probably talking about the dead body.


She just kept running those thoughts through her head and hoped for the best. She didn’t have any idea if he heard her or not or even if he could respond if he did. It was a risk she took; it was the only chance they might have and that frightened her a great deal but she’d be damned if she’d let that foul-smelling sorry excuse for a vamp sitting behind her get to her. Nope, not gonna happen.

She saw Mick stiffen and panic hit him; she knew that he knew something was wrong. What she didn’t know is how much of her message he got and what he would do with it.


Josef, Tango, Mick, Logan and Carl were at the Cleaners headquarters debating the situation. About the only thing they could agree on was that they needed to find the rogue vamp and quickly. The Cleaners had taken to doing stake outs but even that hadn’t helped to locate Shatel.

Mick stood up, feeling uneasy for a moment. Suddenly the hairs on the back of his neck stood up and a pin-prick feeling overtook him and made him gasp.

BETH! She was in danger and he pulled in a sharp breath and reached for his phone while the other men stared at him in confusion. He dialed Beth’s number and after ringing a half a dozen times it went to voicemail.

“Mick, what’s wrong?” Logan finally asked because the feeling of alarm Mick was generating was palpable to all of them.

Mick’s head was swimming; pain and confusion overwhelming him and he sank to the floor. “Beth…” he finally gasped. “Beth is in danger. I think Shatel has her.”

“What?” the others chorused, all of them confused. Logan leaned down and put his arm around his sire and said, “Mick, how do you know?”

“I - I heard, I think I heard her in my head. She said danger and Shatel. I’m not imagining it.”

“No, I’m sure you’re not. Where is she?”

“At Buzzwire, last I heard.”

“Okay, let’s start there.”

“I need to call Larry, the guard.”

“That’s a start.” Logan picked up the phone that had fallen to the floor and handed it to him. “Call him and I’m going to track her phone, okay?”

Mick nodded and called Buzzwire while Logan went out the car and grabbed his laptop which had the capabilities he needed. By the time he got back inside Mick had found out that Beth and Max had left the building a half hour before. Mick was waiting for him to check the parking lot to see if her car was still there while Logan booted the laptop up and started the search for Beth’s cell phone.

“Mick?” Larry said. “Her car is still here, but I didn’t see her out there. I called her name out a time or two as well. You want me to call the police?”

“No, I coming over there. I have Carl Davis with me; he’s with LAPD and he’ll take your statement.” Carl nodded and prepared to leave.

“Her phone is still at Buzzwire, Mick. She has to still be there.”

“Or she doesn’t have her phone with her and the only way she wouldn’t is if she couldn’t. Come on, Carl, let’s go.”

“You got it.”

Both men left the building at a run. It was a 20 minute drive to Buzzwire, if traffic was good and it would be the longest 20 minutes of Mick’s life.


As Beth drove along I-10 she remembered the last time she had went to Victorville, when Mick was dying and she’d been so worried about him. Stupid, stubborn man, she’d had to almost hack into her own vein with a nail file to get him to drink from her. It was pretty desolate out that way and she’d couldn’t help but wonder where they were headed and the silent vamp in the back wasn’t saying a word. Neither was Max and Beth wondered for a moment if she were asleep because she wasn’t moving or saying anything.

She focused on the first sign that said Victorville and tried to send that message to Mick along with the interstate and the fact that they were in a black van. She knew he had picked up on her mental SOS because he was driving somewhere again and it looked as if he was heading to Buzzwire. It took a lot of mental energy to ‘see’ him all the time and so she let the visual go and tried to focus on his face and sending him more messages, that she was okay for the moment and the van.

They made the merge with the Barstow Freeway and it became more deserted out and seeing any kind of lights was rare, even headlights. Finally they made a turn off onto US 395 and headed north, skirting Victorville. Shatel was a man of few words, only using the most basic words and simple directions, such as, “turn” and “here”. She didn’t know if he just didn’t like talking or what. Any attempt that she made to communicate with him made him growl, which alarmed Max so finally she just shut up.

From 395 they took a dirt road heading west and traveled about 4 miles before Beth saw an old, silver Airstream trailer sitting alone in the desert. Shatel had her park the van and he immediately took the keys from her. For a moment she considered throwing them out into the desert but realized that probably wouldn’t be wise; it could trap she and Max if this was the only way out of here. She heard a small generator running somewhere near them and knew that at least there was electricity in the trailer.

Max opened her door at Beth’s request and Beth walked around the van, putting her arm around her friends shoulders to help support her. She felt a bit feverish Beth thought but then, they’d been cooped up in the van for a long time and maybe she just needed to move around a bit.

As they stood there for a moment, Max swaying a bit unsteadily on her feet Shatel looked away briefly and Beth used that moment to attack, fully vamping out and knocking Shatel into the dirt and ripping at him with her teeth. The taste of him was putrid and she spat out the blood and flesh as quickly as she bit him. He was stronger than her and managed to roll her over and hit her hard across her face. For a moment Beth thought she was going to black out and she waited for his fangs to descend and him to attack.

Instead he was on his feet quicker than Beth could imagine and was holding Max against him as he sliced a small portion of her neck. Not the vein or artery Beth noticed and whether that was by mistake or plan she didn’t know. She willed Max to drop to the ground as Beth got up and she did but Shatel caught her and growled loudly, making Max whimper.

“I will kill her. Try anything else and she’s dead.”

Beth nodded and walked up to Shatel, eyes and fangs focused on him. He shoved Max towards Beth who grabbed her and then he shoved Beth’s back towards the door and as the girls headed for it Beth couldn’t help but wonder what waited for them inside. She took a deep, unnecessary breath as Shatel reached around her and unlocked the door. As soon as the door opened she wished she hadn’t taken that breath because the stench was overpowering.


On the drive to Buzzwire Mick could still ‘feel’ Beth and that was reassuring. He only hoped that he wasn’t imagining her presence, but he didn’t think so. If they were right Mick was going to need to call Mark and that was one call he didn’t want to make. He hoped that at the most they would find that Beth had been staked, but if that was the case where did that leave Max? Not a thought he wanted to contemplate.

He kept thinking about his time in Victorville for some reason and didn’t know if it was just because it had been such a desperate situation and Beth had saved him or if it was something she was trying to communicate to him. And he kept seeing black and silver, but not together. Damn, he needed some help interpreting all this and knew he was going to call Rose as well. It was too much for him.

When they got to Buzzwire Carl went to talk to Larry and Mick scented the scene and saw the girls come out of the building and being confronted by Shatel. Even in the breezy evening there was still a hint of his stench in the area and it made Mick want to gag. He couldn’t imagine how Beth would cope with being around him.

He saw Max being held and Beth watching, trying to figure out what to do judging by the contemplative look on her face. Finally the girls walked to another area of the parking lot and Mick followed and found both of their purses on the ground. They got into a vehicle and left then, a van he thought.

While Mick was at Buzzwire Logan was making use of satellites to view the parking lot at Buzzwire. Taking the clock backwards he saw figures walking from the building, two of them but there was no way of knowing whether they were actually Beth and Max or not but the timing was right on it.

“How the hell are you doing that?” Tango asked, fascinated by what Logan was doing.

Josef grinned and said, “He’s amazing, isn’t he? That boy can crack anything!”

“Don’t get too cocky, Josef because that isn’t true. And in a few minutes, if I find a vehicle I’m going to have to break into a spy satellite and that ain’t gonna be easy.”

“Oh, well I’m sure you can handle, Logan. Um, without getting caught that is.”

Logan fixed Josef with a burning stare for a moment but otherwise ignored the remark and focused on the parking lot. A third figure appeared and then the three people walked to another area of the parking area and climbed into what looked like a black van. Logan watched as it moved away but couldn’t get an angle on it for a tag. He saw it leave the parking lot and head for what could be I-10 but he lost it there. He reset the timer to real time and saw what had to be Mick and Carl there and gave them a call.

“Mick, they left in a black van; looked like it was heading for I-10.”

“Black? I kept seeing the color black in my head, Logan. Was there any silver on it?”

“Not that I saw, pretty sure it was solid black. I’m going to try to get into a different satellite and see if I can find it on the I-10.”

“Alright. Carl is going to take a statement from Larry and we’re hoping he won’t call in the police. I’m going to call Mark and then we’ll head back to the Cleaners offices. Keep looking, Logan, don’t give up!”

“Not a chance, Mick; after all, she’s my favorite niece! I’m going to find them.”

Mick ended the call and reluctantly called Mark, hating what he was going to have to say to him. When he answered he gave him the facts and listened as Marks heartbeat skipped a few beats and then pounded in his chest. He agreed to come to the Cleaners offices once he got Paula and Rodney to come and stay with the kids and he hoped that would be soon.

Mick and Carl headed back and both of them were quiet on the way, each lost in their own thoughts. When they got back in they found Logan still working on the computer, setting up what he hoped would be a hard to trace trail so he could get into a government satellite.

“I’m relaying it through 6 phantom servers and 13 satellites. They might not be able to trace it at all, but if they do it will still give us a while before they nail us. Hopefully enough time to spot that van. If we can find it on I-10 then we can switch to traffic satellites and camera’s and get a different view which might possibly give us a tag number. Here goes!”


Beth looked around at the spartan furnishings of the trailer and couldn’t figure out where on earth the smell was coming from. Even Max, with her human nose could smell something based on the way she winced and wrinkled her nose. Beth stood in the small room that might pass as a living room since it had a chair in it and raised her eyebrows at Shatel expectantly as if to say what now?

He led the way to a bed that was on a platform at the end of the trailer and lifted it up, revealing a stairway heading down. He motioned with his head for Beth and Max to start down and Beth stood still and said, “It’s a little dark for human eyes.” She stared defiantly at him and he motioned to a switch on the wall and Beth pressed it, lighting the descending steps.

They went down about 25 feet Beth gestimated and looked to be in good repair. There were two doors on the lower landing, one straight ahead and one on the right. She and Max began moving downward and Beth held Max tightly when she felt her trembling and her knees threaten to give out. She just kept reaffirming with allure that it would be okay, that Beth would take care of her.

At the bottom of the landing Shatel stepped around them and unlocked the heavy bolt on the door in front of them and flipped a switch as the door swung open. All Beth had time for was quick glance around as the stench hit her and Max and she saw Max turn green and cover her mouth, trying to hold back a gag and failing.

Beth looked around and saw a bathroom and ran with Max to get to it. At the sight of the mess around the toilet Max retched into the sink which was only a shade cleaner. Beth turned the tap on and thankfully water ran and Beth said, “Splash some on your face, Max. It should make you feel better.”

Shatel was standing in the doorway watching and when it seemed as if Max was done he pointed out the door and Beth’s eyes flashed again, anger rolling off of her and Shatel stepped back, giving her space to walk around him. As they stepped back out into the main room Beth saw a cell on the same side of the room with 4 men inside. Shatel stood by the door, pointing to the opposite end of it and the men silently moved before he opened the door and pointed inside for the women to enter. After they were inside he pointed to one of the men and then at a bucket at the end of the cell, obviously used as a toilet.

For a moment he looked like he might object and then the fight seemed to drain out of him and he grabbed it and carried it into the bathroom. After he’d emptied it he put it back in the cell, all under Shatel’s watchful eye. When he was done he stood staring at Shatel and quicker than the human’s could react Shatel had grabbed him and carried him to a counter on the other side of the room. He came back briefly and locked the door again before going back to the man on the counter.

Beth watched in horror as he used his talon to puncture the artery on the neck and the hold a cup under the stream of blood that was quickly pumping out of the body. A gasp escaped her and she looked around and saw someone shaking his head and making a quiet motion.

That someone was Luka Fiorentino.


“They’ve got all 6 servers, Logan,” Mick said, watching the board light up as the trace was made.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. Almost back to where I need to be. Tell me when they hit the sat’s and count them down for me. When they hit 2 let me know because I’ve got to break the connection at that point.” Logan frowned as he searched the screen, looking for the van and he thought he’d caught it. “There, I think that’s it. The time sig is right and it just got on, so it will show up on the traffic cams. I’m getting off the satellites now and switching to traffic cams.”

Carl watched all this in amazement; so much for all the precautions the government took to protect this country. Logan was amazing and kind of scary as well.

Logan predicted the time signatures and then followed the camera’s until one got the van in sight and snapped a picture of the tag, a clear one at that. “Okay, got it!”

“Do you need to me to run it, Logan?” Carl said and then laughed as Logan already had done that. “No, of course you don’t.”

The van was registered to Isaac Vermillion and when they checked the address it turned out to be a vacant lot, not really a surprise to any of them but still a huge disappointment. All of them were frustrated when Mark was shown in a few minutes later, out of his mind with worry.

”Tell me you’ve found them,” he said and Mick saw the look of pain and fear that was reflected in his own eyes.

“No, but we know that they were in a black van and heading east on the I-10, Mark. We’re doing our best.” Mick poured a glass of scotch and handed it to him and Mark knocked it back in one drink.

“What the hell happened, Mick? She went to the press conference because she thought she needed to be there. She hadn’t felt good all day, her stomach had been hurting and she’d been sick once but she wouldn’t stay home.”

Mick explained everything to him, everything they knew about Shatel and the situation, sparing him nothing. Tango and Josef both watched and felt helpless, feeling somehow responsible and yet neither really knowing why.

“So, the rogue vamp you called him? He has actually killed 19 people now and you don’t know for sure who he is, only who you think it is and he might or might not have a grudge against Tango and Josef?”

“That about sums it up,” Tango said tersely. “We’re sure it’s Shatel LaFleur, but we don’t have a clue why he’s doing it.”

“I’ve lost the van,” Logan said, rubbing his hand over his face tiredly. “I’m sorry, but I can’t locate it again. It could have turned off somewhere, out of a camera range, most likely it did.”

“Did it get all the way to Victorville?” Mick asked because he had felt something about Victorville earlier. For the past 30 minutes he hadn’t felt anything from Beth and that worried him but he wasn’t going to say anything in front of Mark.

“I don’t think it made it to Victorville, Mick. I’m going to keep looking but right now I need some O+.”

Tango went to the door and said something to someone and within a few minutes several carafes of blood were delivered into the room.

Mick looked at Mark, waiting to see how he’d react and noticed he didn’t even blink an eye. He was a doctor so blood wasn’t unusual for him but Mick would bet that he’d never seen anyone drink it. As he sipped his glass he thought about Beth and the fact that it was the full moon in a few days and she’d need blood then for sure.

We have to find her before then…we have to.

To be continued…


LaLa said...

I cannot tell you how much I've missed this story!

I feel so lost catching up. It's been crazy here since we got back, so I know how you're feeling over there. Drama does not begin to explain anything!

Anyway, I can't wait til we get back into the swing of things and catch up.


mum said...

I was holding my breath the entire time I was reading. So exciting. mum

Hope said...

Hey LaLa!!

I've missed you my friend. We'll chat soon!!!

Yeah, I'm kind of in touch with crazy but they tell me it will pass, LOL.

Glad you're back!

Hope said...

Hey mum!!

Don't forget to breathe dear mum, life is so much more pleasant when you do! :)

Seriously, I'm delighted that you enjoy the story!