When they lost the satellite feed Logan and Audrey felt helpless and frustrated. “We can use Google Earth,” Audrey said.
but that’s not a live feed; it’s like, 6 months ago, Audey.”
Frustration was making him grumpy, as was not doing anything to help.
know, Logan, but we might spot a landmark or something. And if he was
living there six months ago we might spot the van parked somewhere.
Look, it’s not perfect but it’s worth a try.” She smiled at him and
leaned over to kiss him quickly.
He sighed, admitting that she
was right. “Okay, let’s give it a try.” They coordinated where each
would look and got busy. It was slow going and not very promising, but
it was at least something.
and Tango were waiting at the heliport for Mick and Josef. Carl would
ride with Mick and Brody and Tango with Josef and Rich. There was a
stash of blood tucked away for the vamps and Beth if need be and Carl
had a large thermos of coffee with him. Cami had headed over to be with
Lani because she was as on-edge as the rest of them and from there the
girls were going back to the loft.
It took 15 minutes to get to
the outskirts of LA and another 10 to get to the I-15 and 395 junction.
From there they headed north, flying one 1/2 mile apart and started
working the pattern that Logan had sent to the on-board computers. It
was hard and even flying relatively low it was difficult to make out
much of what was below them.
They refused to give up now. Mick
knew she was close, he could feel her and he kept sending her messages
of love and telling her he would find her quickly. He could only hope
that she would hear them.
pulled onto the long path that was nothing more than dirt and potholes,
but it at least meant that he was almost home. Hunger was ripping
through him; he needed to feed quickly. His need for blood had
increased the past few days and he could only assume that it had to do
with all the tension he was feeling. He just wanted to get to the end
of his chosen actions; he wanted to stand in front of Tango and Josef
and tell them of the thing that they had done to him.
The sun was
just rising above the horizon and the sky was a clear, crystal blue
around him. Out here in the desert it looked as if it went on forever
and he had to admit that the endless sea of sand, topped by the
sparkling blue sky made an attractive panorama. Up ahead he spotted the
silver Airstream, the sun glinting off of it and hurting his eyes.
He’d lucked into the property a year ago, considering the bunker was
already there. A small, adobe bungalow had been situated atop of it but
he’d decided to tear it down and had put the Airstream over it. At the
time he wasn’t sure what his plans were and he figured that he could
always move on when the time was right.
As he pulled the van to a
stop he cast a glance over his shoulder at the two men who were still
slumbering. He’d take the old man down first and put him in the cell
and then take the punk down and have his meal. He might not be homeless
and ready to leave this world but he was going to be a very satisfying
meal. Evil in this world must be stopped, however you had to do it.
Henry and Luka sat waiting; they all had the sense that it wouldn’t be
long now. Max slept restlessly and Beth was worried because her fever
had spiked again; she was hot and dry to the touch and whatever was
happening to her wasn’t good. Beth didn’t want to have to turn her
here, it wouldn’t work, she was positive.
She didn’t really know
how, for one thing. Yes, Mick had told her and she’d been turned,
obviously but the technical aspects of it weren’t something she felt
comfortable with at all. And, with two humans in here she was sure that
when Max woke up she’d be crazy for blood and how could Beth stop her?
No, they had to get out of here before then. She couldn’t bear the thought of Max dying on her watch.
got up and walked around in their small cell, restless and full of
stress-related energy. For a moment she thought she heard Mick in her
head, but how could that be? She’d never heard him before, only seen
him. He said he loved her, that he was close. She stood still for a
moment, letting the love fill her with hope and returned as much of it
as she could.
I’m here Mick, silver trailer. Find us. I love you.
Mick yelled so loudly that it drowned out the sound of the rotors.
“Silver trailer. Brody, we’re looking for a silver trailer!”
nodded and grinned, understanding that Mick had gotten another message
from Beth. He couldn’t wait to meet this remarkable woman because she
sure as hell had some extraordinary clairvoyant gifts. “You got it,
Mick.” He radioed the new goal to Rich who was confused.
“Silver trailer? What is that about?”
“Silver trailer,” Josef echoed in the background. “Is this a scavenger hunt?”
“Just do it! Find it!” Mick said, his eyes scanning the desolate sand wash below them. “Find it!” he repeated.
shook his head in frustration, he could only hope that Beth’s message
this time was clear because that was the only thing that could explain
They had a goal now, to find a silver trailer in a sea of varied colored sand, some of which glittered brightly in the sun.
made sure the young guy was still tied securely and lifted the other
man up over his shoulder and headed inside the trailer. He didn’t even
wince any longer at the stench that emanated from the bunker, he just
ignored it as he lifted the platform bed and started down the steps.
old man stirred a bit and Shatel felt him shifting and held him a bit
more securely and sent him thoughts to go back to sleep, in an effort to
keep him calm. At the bottom of the stairs he slid the bolt back and
turned the light on, which he knew momentarily blinded those inside.
of them had their eyes shut tightly as they adapted to the brightness
and he stood looking at them for a moment. The females were at the end
of the cell where he always put the new people and he sighed. St. John
was really more trouble than she was worth he decided when he indicated
that she move to the far end of the cell and she refused with a shake of
He stared at her for a moment and realized his allure wouldn’t work on her.
Trouble, she was too damn much trouble.
was staring at something on the monitor, unable to look away. An idea
occurred to her as she looked at it and Dorothy saw her stare and came
to stand behind her to see what she was watching. Logan noticed too and
glanced over at the monitor and froze.
“That’s it, Audey. Silver trailer, not silver trail. You have them. Send the message!”
eyes were burning from the intensity of the search and suddenly, in the
distance he saw something shimmering in the distance. He blinked his
eyes a couple of times and when he looked back it was still there.
“Brody, up ahead, eleven o’clock! We have them!”
Brody and Carl both looked where Mick was indicating and saw it, the sun reflecting off of an old silver Airstream trailer.
right, Mick. I think this is it,” Brody said, changing his heading.
He radioed Rich with the information and both choppers headed to the new
destination, just as Audrey was sending them coordinates.
Audrey, we just spotted it. We got her!” Mick said, his happiness
making his voice break. “Two minutes, we’ll be there!”
walked closer to the cell in an effort to intimidate Beth, a snarl
escaping him. She just looked at him from her place on the floor next
to the other human female.
“No, I’m not leaving her, so just
bring him on in!” she declared, watching her nemesis closely as she let
her eyes flash and swirl. Her mind was sending stay strong thoughts to
the men, whose heartbeats had both sped up at Shatel’s approach. Her
messages quickly changed to calming ones and gradually their heartbeats
returned to normal. She hoped that Shatel hadn’t noticed but she didn’t
think he did because he was mentally debating the situation from the
look on his face.
He stood, uncertainty showing on his face and
as he looked in the cell. Both of the men were in their proper places,
obviously not a threat. St. John was sitting with her friend, staring
at him insolently and then she looked down, away from his gaze. Was she
acknowledging obedience to him or trying to trick him? The man over
his shoulder stirred again and he decided to trust her because he had to
put this guy down before he came fully awake.
He pulled the key
out of his pocket and unlocked the cell and dropped it back securely
into his pocket. St. John was looking at her friend, stroking her
forehead with a scrap of wet material and seemed well-occupied so he
stepped into the cell and past the two women. He laid the man down and
turned to walk back to the door when the other two men stepped towards
him, blocking his exit.
Shatel laughed; were they really trying to scare him? These mere scraps of humanity with no strength, no way to fight him?
“You're laughing at us?” Luka said, talking loudly to hide the sounds of Beth’s movements. “You think that we can’t win?”
“I know that you cannot. Go back to your corn…”
that was when Beth drove the stake into his back. It was hard, harder
than she’d expected and it glanced off a rib and didn’t go in quite all
the way that it should. Would it be enough to take him out?
pushed again, and twisted and suddenly his body backed onto the stake
and then it slid clear of the impediments. She looked up and saw that
Henry and Luka had pushed from the front.
Shatel dropped to the
ground, his eyes showing his shock and surprise. All three of them
stared at him, making sure he couldn’t move.
“You're sure he can’t move, right?” Luka asked.
but still, let’s get out of here. He has a van upstairs and we can use
it. Henry, can you get the keys out of his pocket? We’ll take them
Henry nodded and Luka picked up the old man as Beth
did the same for Max, who whimpered as she was moved. “Shh, Max.
We’re getting out of here now. You’re going to be okay.”
pulled the cell door closed behind them and locked it, pocketing the
keys. The final clang of that door was music to all their ears.
circled the trailer, looking for signs of Shatel but he wasn’t to be
seen. Mick was ready to jump out when Brody sat the chopper down a
hundred yards from the trailer. They could see the other chopped in the
distance making a fast approach as Brody shut the rotors down. Mick
and Carl were already out the door, Mick with fangs bared and Carl with
his gun at the ready, with the right ammunition, of course.
Mick’s loft they were all going crazy when Brody said they were on the
ground. They couldn’t see anything because they didn’t have a sat view.
That changed when Ryder cut into their connection.
There before them was a clear view, in real time, of what was happening.
“Ryder, how they hell do you have that?”
“Well, you see, Logan, I have a perpetual hard-on for hacking the military.”
“Ryder! That’s what got you the permanent vacation in South America!”
not so permanent and what are they gonna do? They gotta find me first.
Look, I’ve got this thing tripped all over the earth but if they get
close I’ll have to shut it down quickly, so enjoy while you can!”
“Ryder, thank you,” Dorothy said, holding back a small sob.
heard the emotion in Beth’s mom’s voice and for a moment felt it
himself, before he wondered if she was as much as a looker as her
daughter was. He had to laugh at himself, he’d never change and he
loved the ladies. Many ladies…
Their attention was back at the
scene, where the second chopper was landing. They saw Josef and Tango
climb out at a run and Brody joined them. It was sort of like watching
the clowns get out of a circus car, only in reverse. The trailer was so
tiny and with all of them in there how could there be any room for
to the bunker door and Beth stopped, her head cocked as she listened to
what was going on above them. She smiled and said, “They found us!
Come on, they found us!” She all but ran up the stairs, stopping at the
top and called out, “Mick, under the bed!
That’s where he found
her and his legs almost gave away as he lifted the platform bed and saw
his wife, holding Max in her arms with Luka Fiorentino behind her and
two other men he didn’t recognize.
It was better than he’d ever hoped for. His Beth, safe at last.
a moment they were both speechless, drinking in the other with their
eyes. Brody saw what was happening and took Max from Beth’s arms.
needs a doctor, call Mark right away. Henry thinks her appendix
ruptured a day ago, or well, maybe then. Time, it had little meaning
down there.” She was quickly enveloped in Mick’s arms and suddenly the
last of the fear and frustration fell away. She laughed and said,
“Mick, I love you but I know I smell awful!”
“Don’t care, Beth. I
don’t care.” He didn’t try to hide his tears from anyone and the rest
of them turned away to give them a moment of privacy.
Carl greeted Luka with a wry smile that was somehow grim at the same time. “Luka, so good to see you alive, man!”
pretty good to be alive, let me tell you. If it hadn’t been for Beth
that might not be the case.” He smiled at Beth who was still holding
tightly to Mick.
“Beth, where is Shatel?” Josef finally asked.
down there,” she indicated the bunker with a nod of her head. “We
staked him and locked him up. It’s not very pleasant down there.”
and Tango both nodded grimly, the stench threatening to over-power
them. Nonetheless they both headed down the stairs to find Shatel,
wishing their vampire noses could be turned off.
looked at Luka and Henry, nodding his head. “Luka, good to see you.”
He reached for Luka’s hand to shake it and saw the bite marks that were
clearly visible. With Max sick, well, she had to drink from someone.
Mick’s eyes flickered back to Luka’s who nodded briefly, acknowledging
what had happened.
“The secret is safe, Mick. Beth tells me it requires me to sign in blood and a monthly donation.”
It took a moment for Mick to realize that Luka was joking and he gave him a slight, tight smile. “Thank you, Luka.”
“No problem. Let me introduce you to Henry. This is Mick St. John, Beth’s husband and a good guy.”
Mick’s eyebrow rose a bit at those last words he covered quickly.
There was lots more to this story and while he wanted to hear it he had
to see Shatel. His eyes wandered to the stairs.
Beth saw her husband’s gaze and knew what he wanted. “Go, it’s okay.”
He nodded and headed down those stairs, trying to keep from gagging. How on earth had they survived this?
the monitor at the loft the group gathered, watching everything that
was happening. Dorothy’s breath caught when Beth walked out into the
sunshine, shielding her eyes. Dorothy stifled a cry and her knees
threatened to give way to see her daughter, safely out of that place.
Clarks arm held her tightly, giving her all the support she needed.
Her prayers had been answered. Beth was coming home.
To be continued…