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, October 22, 2012

Chapter 1 A Moment in Time

Chapter 1 A Moment in Time

Beth, Mick, Audrey and Logan all stared, waiting for Clark to drink, really drink the life-saving blood he was being offered. Dorothy continued to stroke his face, whispering words of encouragement to him.

“You can do this, Clark. Come on honey, do it for me, for the babies! Drink Clark!”

It was quiet, so quiet in the room, nothing but Dorothy and Audrey’s heartbeats to break the silence and suddenly Clark moved with an almost unthinkable speed - for a human anyway. His hands pulled Logan’s wrist to his mouth and newly found fangs pierced the skin there, searching for the blood that would revive him. The fangs missed their mark the first try and then found the vein and Beth let out a long, slow breath as she watched her dad drink deeply.

Mick stood at the ready, just in case he had to pull Audrey or Dorothy away quickly, but Clark only seemed focused on drinking from Logan. He’d need more blood, and quickly Mick realized and said to Audrey, “Do you have more blood? At your house?” At her affirmative nod he said, “Go and get it, all of it. And Audrey, bring a few days of clothes for Logan.”

She gave him a questioning look but obeyed, heading out the door quickly. They heard her start the car and zoom off into the night that was now raining, almost as if it were trying to clear away the bad and renew life.

Clark stopped feeding and Logan felt his fangs fall away as Clark settled back, sated for the time being. It was a curious sensation, having someone drink from him he thought. He had been almost unconscious when Mick had turned him and he really didn’t remember much about it. Having his brother drink from him had twisted his gut in a way because it meant that Clark was no longer human and while Logan had always known it would happen it was still sad, the way it had happened.

He looked up and met Mick’s eyes, feeling suddenly older and he blinked back the burning tears that threatened to break free. Brothers, forever brothers now.

Mick understood it all so clearly. Even when you’re saving a life you’re not because there is still death. A renewal follows, of a kind anyway but it’s not the same. Yes, Mick read Logan’s feelings easily and shared them.

Even though Mick was older than Clark he had a regard for him that was strong, as if the man had been his family, almost a father figure. Mick admired Clark for his tenacious love and protection of Dorothy and Beth all these years and for the good and abiding friendship and acceptance he had always shown Mick.

Yes, Clark would still walk in this world but it was with footsteps that were no longer measured by the passing of time but rather by the need for secrecy, for living among the shadows of the night.

Mick had Beth to share this life with now and it didn’t seem so bad as it had in the past. With Coraline all he wanted was peace and never found it. Beth inspired him to live their existence to the fullest and with her, his soul was at peace. He knew happiness for the first time since he’d been turned.

Now, Clark would find that with Dorothy because Mick didn’t doubt for a moment that she wouldn’t be turned eventually. Their love and faith in one another was amazing and he knew that it would last forever.

That hadn’t always been true though. He remembered all the years that Clark had always been a part of the family and yet an outsider with Dorothy as well. He didn’t know what their story was, but from what Logan had told him about them in the past Logan for one never doubted that they’d be together one day. It just seemed like Dorothy hadn’t gotten that memo for a time, but it was obviously changed now.

They needed to get some things figured out. Beth was encouraging Dorothy to shower and change clothes now because dried blood covered much of her dress and legs from where she had sat on the floor next to Clark. She only reluctantly agreed when Mick told her that Clark would likely be out of it for awhile.

He could tell that it hadn’t occurred to her that Clark wouldn’t be staying here, but then Mick knew that Dorothy couldn’t stay here at this house either. They didn’t know what had happened and while Logan sat with Clark, Mick went to check out the rest of the house.

There was a blood trail that led into the office and there he caught a scent, of blood and the intruder. Human, but Mick couldn’t see any details. He almost jumped when Beth said, “All in black; he was dressed all in black from head to toe. He wore a black stocking mask and black gloves too. Human, not vamp. He attacked Clark here first.”

Mick nodded, agreeing with his wife. “Where’s Dorothy?”

“She’s taking a shower. I also asked her to gather clothes for Clark, but Mick, I don’t think she really realizes what’s going to happen!”

He nodded and pulled out his phone; he needed to make a call.

“Who are you calling?”

“Josef. We need a place for Clark, somewhere that has a couple of freezers.”

Beth nodded, understanding. She waited while Mick talked to Josef and when he was finished he told her it was all set.

“He’s having the guest house readied, plenty of space and freezers in it and it’s a safe distance from the main house so Lani will be safe. He’s also calling Tango to get a crew over here. I don’t know if all the blood will come out of that tile though.”

They heard Audrey return and headed back into the foyer to see her. She sat a duffle bag down next to the door and handed Logan a small zippered cold bag filled with blood which he ignored. Mick knelt down and opened it, handing Logan a bag. “Drink, Logan.”

“I’m fine,” the young man protested.

“You need your strength, so drink!” Mick said and Logan didn’t doubt for an instant that it was an order. “You are going to Josef’s, to the guest house. Audrey, you understand?”

“Yes, I do. I brought about a week’s worth of clothes with me and all the blood we had.”

“That’s good, Audrey. Thank you.”

“Mick, we need to get him cleaned up. He’s uh, well, it’s…”

Mick knew what he was trying so hard to face; that Clark’s human body had let go of life, leaving the remnants to be washed away. The reality of it was beginning to hit Logan hard; his brother had died and even though he wasn’t gone, for the first time he realized the truth of vampirism, that humanity loses what the vampire gains.

“Come on, Logan. Let’s get him into the guest bathroom.” Mick scooped Clark up in his strong arms and carried him down the hall, Logan following behind.

Beth took a long look at Audrey. This was the second time the young woman had witnessed someone being turned. How did she feel about it? Was she okay? How could she be okay?

“Audrey?” she asked softly.

“I’m okay. Really, Beth. It just makes me realize that I want Logan to turn me when we choose, not because of something like this.” Her clear and determined gray eyes were almost steel colored in the dim lights of the foyer.

Beth nodded, satisfied that Audrey really was okay and then cocked her head when she realized her mom was out of the shower. “I’m going to go and check on my mom, Audrey.”

Audrey nodded as Beth left the foyer and stared at the blood stained terracotta tiles. They were a soft cream color and the blood had seeped into them and the grout that surrounded them. She wasn’t even sure what you would use to clean them. She frowned as she stared at them, thinking that it was such a shame.

In the bedroom Dorothy had dressed in a comfortable pair of cotton pajama bottoms and a tee shirt, her belly accentuated by the way the shirt stretched over it. “Mom, let me help you,” Beth offered as Dorothy searched for things for Clark.

“I - I don’t know what he’ll need, Beth.”

Beth smiled and nodded. “Soft, loose clothing, Mom. His skin is going to be really sensitive. As a vampire his senses will be on overload for a little while.”

“Is that how it was for you?”

“Yes. Clothing, even tee shirts felt like sandpaper. Every tiny little whisper sounded like tympani too and don’t even get me started on light! Vamps see better in the dark than humans do in daylight and you just want to wear sunglasses all the time.”

“I suppose I need to pack some for him, then?”

“Yes, you do. Get him some toiletries too, but not cologne’s or things like that because he won’t be able to handle the scents of everything.”

Dorothy sat down on the bed for a moment and rested her hand on her belly and sighed. “I can’t go with him, can I?”

“No, you can’t.”

Dorothy turned to her daughter who had sat down next to her. “Beth, I want to be turned! Right now, tonight. I have to be with him, to take care of him.”

Beth’s mouth opened in a large ‘O’, as did her eyes. “M-Mom, you can’t be turned. You're pregnant! You’ll lose the babies!”

“No, no I’ll be fine! I know it. They’ll be okay.”

“Mom, even if the babies were delivered okay, you couldn’t be around them, maybe for weeks. Is that what you want?”

Dorothy stood up, her fists clinched at her side and said, “I have to protect him!”

Mick walked in, having heard the conversation as he and Logan pulled Clark out of the shower. He needed to gather something for him to wear and he was not only surprised, but actually shocked at Dorothy’s words.

“Dorothy, you can’t protect him like that. Neither one of you could protect the other for a while.”

“How long, Mick? How long until he comes home?” Her eyes skewered him, a fiery accusation that made him take a step back as she stood up to face him directly.

“I don’t know, Dorothy. A few weeks maybe; every fledgling is different.”

“I need to be with him!” She broke down then, sinking to the floor and Mick caught her and sat her back on the bed. Beth reached for her and held her tightly, patting her back and murmuring soothing words that went unheard in Dorothy’s anguish.

Dorothy sobbed, the pain coming from deep in her soul. She couldn’t lose him, he was her best friend, her lover, her mate. She’d kept him pushed away for so many years, too many years and she couldn’t stand the thought of not being with him now.

Beth stroked Dorothy’s head and smoothed her damp hair away from her face. “It’s going to be okay, Mom. It’s going to be okay.”

Mick said to Beth in vamp tones, “Do you have this, baby? I need to get something to put on Clark. We need to get him out of here before he wakes up and goes after Dorothy or Audrey.”

Beth pointed to a bag that was sitting in a chair on the other side of the room. Mick grabbed what he needed out of it and walked out quickly, his heart torn apart as he listened to Dorothy’s torment. His pained expression was shared by Logan when Mick entered the guest bedroom because he had heard it all as well.

Both men chose to ignore it, but a heartache denied is still heartache. Logan had gathered all of Clark’s soiled clothing and put it in a plastic garbage bag. Mick nodded and swallowed down a lump in his throat and said, “The Cleaners will take that with them. Are we ready?”

“Yeah. He’s still out and I hope he stays that way on the ride out to Josef’s.”

“Okay, I’m going to tell Beth we’re leaving now.” When he left the room he found Beth and Dorothy walking towards it.

“Mom insists on saying goodbye. Is it safe?” The last words were said in hushed, vamp tones.

“He’s uh, he’s basically unconscious, Dorothy.” At the sign of rising panic on her face he said, “It’s normal. He may not wake up again until tomorrow but we need to get him into a freezer, quickly.”

“I don’t care. You aren’t taking him until I say goodbye!” she said, pushing past Mick to find Clark lying on the bed in the guest room. She sank to her knees next to the bed and picked up his cool hand and kissed it tenderly, holding back more tears.

“Honey, you do what they tell you and come back to us, soon. I love you, Clark. Always. I love you,” she said, her words trailing off to mere whispers.

Suddenly his head turned and he slowly opened his eyes; they were a silvery white in the dim room and Mick took a step towards him, as did Logan. Beth caught a quick breath, suddenly scared for her mother.

“I love you, Dorie. I’ll never leave you.” As slowly as they opened his eyes closed and he was out of it again.

For a moment she was shaken; he hadn’t called her Dorie since they were teens; since before, well, everything. She gathered herself then stood up and said, “You can take him now. I packed his cell and charger so make sure he calls me as soon as he wakes up, you hear me?” Her tone brooked no refusal and both Logan and Mick nodded in agreement. Dorothy walked out of the room, back to her bedroom to gather a few things for herself since she was going with Beth to the loft.

Beth watched her go, the stiffness in her mom’s posture telling her to let her have a little time. Instead, Beth walked with Mick and Logan, who was carrying Clark out to Logan’s car. She watched as they put him into the backseat and stood unmoving as they pulled away from the house. She didn’t care that it was raining hard and soaking her because it suddenly felt like a cleansing rain, washing away the pain and healing them all she hoped.

In her bedroom Dorothy packed a small bag and then went to tidy up the things she’d tossed carelessly about when she’d undressed for her shower. She reached for the necklace and earrings she’d been wearing and started to put them into the jewelry case when a small velvet-covered box caught her attention.

Her fingers shook as she picked it up and she flipped it open. She closed her eyes tightly as the memories came unbidden into her mind. She had thought this box meant an end to them at the time; funny how wrong you can be about something.

Best of My Love

Summer, 1980

Clark and Dorothy had driven to the beach near Santa Monica, a good solid hour of travel time from Glendale in the early evening rush hour traffic. Even though the distance was only 25 miles or so, traffic really made it seem much farther. They were in the ’67 Chevelle that was Clark’s pride and joy, even if he’d turned it over to Logan for the duration of his time in the army. Logan had taken his responsibility very seriously, giving the car weekly washes and vacuuming, keeping the car in pristine condition just as Clark had left it.

The cassette player had the Eagles playing, one of Clarks favorite groups. Best of My Love came on and Dorothy almost choked as bittersweet memories of the night before he left for basic training started playing. This same tape had been playing and the song symbolized all the hurt and pain of that night. If only they hadn’t argued, if only she’d supported him more, if only…her heart was full of ‘if onlys’ and they did her no good at all.

Every night I'm lyin' in bed
Holdin' you close in my dreams
Thinkin' about all the things that we said
And comin' apart at the seams
We try to talk it over
But the words come out too rough
I know you were tryin'
to give me the best of your love

He had been home for 4 days now and tomorrow he would have to leave again to go to his AIT training with the army, having finished weeks of basic training in Ft. Leonard Wood Missouri. It had seemed like forever since he’d been gone instead of a little over two months. During that time he’d filled out, even his muscles had muscles now as his dad had teased. He walked with assurance, proudly and lightly on his feet, a mark of all the physical training he’d received.

They hadn’t really had any alone time since he’d been home and Dorothy had to admit that she was glad. No time alone meant no time for talking much, no time for him to see that she was different too and the questions that she knew would follow. But tonight that would all change; somehow she knew it down deep in the pit of her stomach.

“Right here okay?” Clark asked and at her nod he spread a blanket over the warm sand and they sat down, both of them looking out at the rolling waves of the Pacific as they swooshed ashore, 20 feet in front of them.

He stretched out on the blanket and laid back, folding his arms behind his head and staring up at the sky that was gradually fading from blue to the brilliant gold, pinks and oranges of a Pacific sunset.

“I’m missed this, the ocean,” he said with a long sigh. “I kinda missed you too, Dorie.” He grinned and patted the blanket next to him, a sparkle in his eye that spoke of his feelings for her.

She smiled and settled down next to him and for a moment, as he wrapped a strong arm around her she thought maybe everything could be okay.

Accept that it couldn’t. Her life was changed now and he’d want no part of it - or her.

“Hey, why the sad face?” Clark asked and he leaned over to gently kiss her sweet lips. The kiss deepened and he broke away after a minute or so but he was already more than aroused. That was one of the reasons he’d brought her to the beach; they could be alone to some degree but there were always other people around and that would be the best deterrent he knew of.

He was 18 and she was 16. She was too young; hell, they both were but that didn’t stop the wanting. He’d thought about her every damn day and night at basic, aching to hold her, to kiss her, to…well, they couldn’t go there. They both had a lot of growing up to do.

Dorothy relaxed against him, her small hand on his chest and she tried really hard to shut out the world and not think about the past few months. How did she tell him? What did she say? If she told him here, then they’d have to make the long drive home together. Would there be anger or silence? Which would be better she wondered.

“You're beautiful, Dorie. God, I thought of you all the time in Missouri. I couldn’t wait to get home and hold you and now that I am I know that I can’t hold you, not like I’d like to.”

“Why?” she asked, still unsure of such things.

“Because, I don’t want to stop at just holding you.” He rolled to his side and pulled her close to him, close enough for her to feel his hardness pressed against her stomach and her hips involuntarily jumped back a bit and she began to shake as emotions over came her.

“Oh, Dorothy, I didn’t mean to scare you, baby. I won’t do anything, okay? We’re not ready for that.”

From what she’d felt it seemed that he certainly was. She’d maybe never be ready for that.

“Dorie, you have to finish school; I have my time in the army to complete and then we both want to go to college. I’m not saying we’ll wait forever but for now, we each have to focus on what’s ahead of us.” He kissed her again and groaned. “Doesn’t mean it will be easy though.”

She nodded and he saw tears spark in her eyes. “I do love you, Clark.”

“I know and I love you too. Always. I’m just trying to do what’s best for us.”

“I - I know. Sometimes I don’t know what that is though.”

“Me either.” He sat up suddenly and pulled something out of his pocket before resting his arms on his bent knees. She sat up too and they watched as the sun finally dipped below the horizon, it’s rays shining out through the far-off clouds and looking like fingers reaching for the darkening sky.

He turned to her and held out a small velvet covered box. “I want to give you this, Dorie. It’s a promise between us, something we can each hold onto when we miss the other.” He handed her the box and waited as she stared at it for a moment, suddenly scared.

Her fingers trembled as she took the box and her mouth suddenly felt bone dry. She opened the box to reveal a tiny diamond promise ring and tears immediately filled her eyes and slipped down her face.

Two months ago she’d have been crying as well, but for different reasons. She loved him and knew without a doubt that she wanted to be with him forever. But it was all changed now - she was changed now and he wouldn’t want her.

This was her chance, to tell him the truth and yet she couldn’t say the words, the words that would kill his love for her. She looked at him, unable to speak and watched as he pulled the ring out of the box and slipped it on her finger, with a small kiss.

“I know it’s not much, but what it lacks in size is made up for by how much I love you girl. Always remember that, I’ll be with you forever, no matter where I am.”

She couldn’t speak, she just held him close and neither talked much on the ride home. She hated herself, hated what she needed to do to him and the fear and pain swirled inside her, rendering her speechless.

When she walked in the front door of her house her mom was sitting and watching television. Grace scanned her from head to toe, seeing the distress on her face and in her stance. She saw the ring that was on Dorothy’s finger and rose from the chair and took her daughter in her arms and held her while Dorothy sobbed against her shoulder.

“Dorothy,” she asked softly. “Did you tell him, honey?”

“No. I wanted to. I did. But I - I couldn’t get the words out, Mamma.”

“Oh honey. It will be okay. One way or the other it will be okay You're strong, Dorothy, you can handle anything.

It had taken almost 23 years but it had all been okay. She slipped the ring back into the box and snapped the lid shut. This too would be okay. She was strong, she’d be okay and so would he.

They were meant to be together forever, just like they’d promised.

To be continued…

If you didn't see the extra post I put up a few days ago, check it out.  It's by my friend VampFan5, but it's a fantasy story about Lani, Josef and her mother titled Josef's Monster in Law.  I guarantee you'll laugh!

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