Chapter 2 Reminiscing
Beth and Dorothy
made the drive home to the loft in sober, reflective contemplation of
what the next steps were. Individually, of course, which meant that
they said very little to one another although it wasn’t uncomfortable.
assumed her mother was tired and over-whelmed which was only partly
true. Enervated, yes, but she also felt strangely edgy. Was it even
possible to feel two such contradictory things at the same time?
seemed it was. She let out a long sigh as they pulled into the parking
garage which made her daughter fix her with a curious look.
“Are you okay, Mom? We’re here, so you can rest soon.”
“I’m okay. Not sure I can sleep, but I am a bit tired.”
got out of the car and said, “Stay put for a moment, Mom.” She wanted
to check the garage out before she let her mother get out of the car.
She looked around and walked away from the car, scenting the air for
anything or anyone out of place, but it seemed okay and she told Dorothy
it was okay to get out.
Beth pulled the small bag containing her
mother’s clothes out of the back seat and clicked the lock button for
the car and heard the chime that told her it was locked tight. The
elevator ride to the loft was swift, and it was clear on their floor as
well, so they headed into the loft. As she closed the door, her phone
started ringing and a quick glance at it told her it was Mick.
Mick. Everything okay?” She sat the bag down on the floor and
shrugged out of her jacket, one arm at a time, as she moved the phone
from one ear to the other.
“Yes. He’s in the freezer now, he hasn’t woken up yet. Hard to tell how long it will be. How’s your mom?”
just got back to the loft. Audrey is staying for the cleaning crew,
which got there as we were leaving. Tango was with them and was very
kind. He assured mom that Clark was in good hands and not to worry.
Are you staying all night?”
“Logan is resting now too, you know
the rule, rest when your baby vamp does!” He tried to be light-hearted
and make her smile but it didn’t work. “Well anyway, I’ll head home in
the early morning. You have a meeting at Buzzwire don’t you?”
but I’m not so sure about going.” She looked at her mom who was in the
kitchen making some hot tea. “Maybe that’s not a good idea.”
you need to go, Beth. Get some normality back into your life. I’ll be
there to stay with Dorothy. Come home after the meeting if you like,
but you and Max need to get back into the groove there.”
suppose you're right.” She sighed as the tea kettle let out a loud
whistle and Mick winced on the other end of the phone. “Tea!” she told
“Yes, I heard. Look, both of you need to rest as much as
you can, but before you go to bed I wanted you to know that I called
Carl and let him know what happened and he’s coming over to see you.”
She glanced at a clock and saw that it was only a little bit after 8,
not nearly as late as she had thought it was. “Alright. I’ll let mom
know. But, Mick? There’s nothing for him to investigate is there?”
don’t know for sure, since we have no idea who did it. Obviously we
aren’t making an official police report but Carl may be able to help us.
We don’t know if Clark was targeted specifically, if it was a robbery
gone bad or what.”
“I see your point.” She heard the elevator
ding and watched the monitor and saw Carl and Luka approaching the door.
“Look, he’s here now with Luka, so I’ll call you later, okay?”
“Okay, baby. I love you, Beth.”
“Love you too!”
they had a chance to knock Beth opened the door and smiled at them
both. She pointed to her ear as Carl got ready to question her action
and they both laughed for a moment. As he came in he hugged her for a
moment and then Luka did the same and it didn’t feel weird at all. She
let out a grateful sigh.
“Dorothy!” Carl said, watching as she
carried a cup of tea to the living room and sat it down on the coffee
table. He hugged her briefly and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “I’m so
sorry, Dorothy. But he’s doing fine, Mick says.”
“Yes, so I hear. It’s just a waiting game now, I suppose.”
said this isn’t an official visit so can I get you guys a beer or
something?” Beth asked and watched as both men nodded approval. She
pulled two out of the fridge and popped the tops and handed them to the
men who both took long drinks.
Everyone sat down and Carl leaned
forward, resting his elbows on his knees and clasped his hands in front
of him. “Dorothy, did you notice if anything was taken at the house? I
realize that wasn’t your focus, but we don’t even know if someone was
robbing the house or what.”
What he didn’t say was ‘or if they
went there specifically to kill Clark’ because there was no doubt in any
of their minds that the intent had been murder. Too many stabs, too
much blood to be anything else Mick had told him.
“So this isn’t an official police visit, Carl?” Dorothy verified, blowing gently on the cup of raspberry green tea.
Mick asked me to see what I could do, but as far as official LAPD
business, no. I want to help though, Dorothy, so anything you can
remember might help.”
She took a small sip of the tea and said,
“I didn’t notice anything, Carl, but as you said, it wasn’t really my
focus. I know that nothing was missing from my jewelry box in the
bedroom. Did you notice anything, Beth?”
“No, it all looked
fine. I don’t think it was robbery, guys. Mick and I both scented the
scene and while Mick sees more of a picture of the whole scene, I see
more details. He walked in while Clark was at the computer, sort of
hunched over it like he was typing something.” She glanced at her mom
before adding, “That’s where the first stab came.”
“I see.” Luka
and Carl both watched Dorothy nervously for any signs of her distress,
but she seemed inured to the situation. It was a traumatic one and Carl
hoped that it didn’t come back later on her. “Mick said he checked all
the doors and windows and everything was locked up tight. Do you
suppose he’d left the front door unlocked?”
said, frowning. “He knew that we were due home soon, so I suppose he
might have left it unlocked for that reason.”
“He came in the front door for sure and he left that way as well, Mick and I both saw that.”
was fascinated by this ability that Beth and Mick had, ‘scenting’ a
crime scene. And they were apparently accurate. It was amazing.
“Beth, anything at all you can remember about him? Height, weight, anything?” Luka asked.
was about 6 foot, which is how tall Clark is. I could tell because
when Clark rose out of the seat they were even. Average build, really,
and the only thing visible about him was his blue eyes. Not even a hair
was uncovered. It’s not much to go on.”
“No, it isn’t.” Carl
sat his empty bottle down on the coffee table and smiled at Beth and
Dorothy. “We’ll see if anything turns up, similar crimes or something.”
He frowned for a moment and said, “Dorothy, could it be personal? Did
Clark have any enemies?”
Dorothy closed her eyes for a moment;
it couldn’t be, she was sure of that. It had been too many years.
Finally she answered, “No, not that I know of. But he owns and operates
a large, successful contracting business and there’s always lots of
competition. Maybe someone was pissed off?”
“It’s possible. Has he fired anyone lately? Do you know what his crews are working on now?”
think all of his crew has been there for years, so I don’t think anyone
has been fired. There are several jobs going right now, but I don’t
know specifically what or where. You’ll have to talk to Clark about
that. When - when you can. I do know that he’s sending inspectors to
Henry’s church this week in preparation for renovations there. I guess
it’s not in the best of shape, the building I mean.”
Luka asked with a smile. She was right, that building needed help and
he was pleased to know that Clarks company was going to do some work
there. He’d offered to volunteer there and help with what he could.
Henry was a great guy and Luka looked forward to helping there.
“Yes. He said it’s a great old building and that he thinks it would be worth investing in.”
men nodded and then stood up. “I’ll let you know if we find out
anything,” Carl said. He and Luka headed to the door with Beth
following them. As they got ready to leave Carl glanced at Dorothy
again, hoping that she was okay. She just seemed so calm. He nodded in
her direction and Beth caught the glance.
“She’s tired, Carl.
Other than that, I’m not sure,” she said in a whisper. “Thanks for
coming by, I really appreciate it.” She watched as they headed to the
elevator and closed the door with a sigh. Her mom was sitting on the
sofa, her feet up on the coffee table and she looked chilled.
turned on the fireplace and got an afghan out, after being told that
her mom wasn’t ready for bed. “You sure this is enough?” she asked as
she laid the afghan over Dorothy.
“Yes, I’ll be fine.”
Beth could only hope that was true.
the parking garage the men watched as a limo pulled in and the driver
opened the door and Lani emerged. She saw Carl and smiled, walking to
him as the driver watched.
“Carl! Good to see you!”
He hugged her and said, “Here’s trouble if I’ve ever seen it! How are you, Lani?”
if you haven’t already heard!” She watched uncertainty flutter across
Carl’s face and added, “It’s Josef’s, Carl. It seems that like Beth,
I’m also a descendant.”
“Wo - wow. That’s interesting news. How are you feeling?”
“Great actually. I’m about 2 months along now, but we’re excited.”
“So when is the wedding?” Carl asked.
“Not until after the baby is born. September 22 actually. We’ve already set the date.”
“After the baby is born?” Carl asked incredulously. “Kostan was okay with that?”
Lani lifted her chin a little, a purely defensive gesture and said, “Yes, after.”
well okay. Hey, just promise me that you get video the first time
Josef changes a diaper!” His comment made her smile again, a little bit
anyway, but he could see that the wedding was evidently a hot button
“You can count on it. Well, I’m heading up to see Dorothy. Bye,” she said as she walked away with a wave.
you, Lani.” He watched as she stepped into the elevator and shook his
head. “Lani pregnant! The original party girl from college!”
“You knew her in college?” Luka asked, surprised to hear that.
From when I was dating Beth. She is Beth’s best friend, well, one of
them anyway. The other one is Robbi; we used to call the three of them
triple trouble.” He laughed and added, “Robbi married Kevin, her
college love and they have two kids now. I would never have imagined
that Lani would be the next one to have a child.”
“Whoa - wait a minute! You and Beth?” Luka asked, shocked.
“Yep. We dated for about a year and a half.”
guess I’m surprised. And you're still friends; that’s cool. My ex and
I practically start shooting at one another when we run into each
“Yeah, well Beth is special. She just wasn’t the right ‘special’ for me, as I wasn’t for her.”
“But clearly Cami is? You practically glow when you talk about her.”
I’m a guy; we don’t glow!” Carl said with a laugh as they climbed into
the car. “And yes, Cami is the one for me. I’m a lucky son of a bitch,
that’s for sure and I can’t wait to be turned to be with her always.”
gonna be a vampire, too?” The more Luka heard about all this the more
amazed he became. No wonder Carl was so damn comfortable around them.
“Yes, as soon as I finish my training. Long story, buddy. For another night,” Carl said as he started the car. “Buckle up!”
When Beth heard the sound of the elevator she caught a familiar scent and grinned as she headed to the door.
here?” Dorothy asked. She was starting to get really tired and was
about ready for bed. And she definitely didn’t feel like answering any
“Lani,” Beth said as she opened the door.
sighed; at least she could go to bed soon and leave the girls to chat.
She greeted Lani with a kiss on the cheek and a hug and settled back
down on the couch.
“How are you, Dorothy?” Lani asked the inevitable question.
be okay but right now I’m still a little bit in shock to tell you the
truth. I know he’ll be fine, but it’s hard waiting.”
can imagine. Josef was at the guest house when I left. He had Rob
drive me over so I could see you. All I know is that he was still
resting and Josef said it would be impossible to predict whether he’d
wake up in an hour or 10.”
“That’s what I understood from Mick as
well.” Dorothy looked at her daughter and asked a question that she’d
never dared before. “Beth, when you were turned, what do you remember?
When it happened and when you woke up?”
Beth’s eyebrows rose a
bit in surprise, but it was okay. It was natural her mother would be
curious. “While it was happening, not much really. By the time Mick
was there I was already unconscious, like Clark. Too much blood loss
does that. I rested for a long time, I know that. Like, maybe 10 or 12
hours, I think. When I woke up I know I realized I’d been turned
because I was in the freezer and I was actually chilly. For a moment I
just sat there and then all I know was that I wanted to be in Mick’s
arms.” At the pained look on her mother’s face she wished she’d held
back that last detail.
“Mom, when you're turned
you naturally gravitate toward your sire. Clark will do that with
Logan, because it’s Logan’s blood that turned him. He’ll still want you
though and I know he’ll call.”
Dorothy nodded and stood up. “I
really am tired, girls, so I’m heading to bed now.” She hugged them
both and they watched as she walked up the stairs.
“She seems calm,” Lani observed.
“Yes, maybe too calm. But she’s strong. She asked to be turned, tonight in fact.”
“Wow, I guess in some ways that doesn’t surprise me. She wants to be with him.”
“Yes, she does. I hope he goes through it all quickly, Lani. I really do.”
nodded in agreement. Dorothy didn’t need to have those babies on her
own. At least that would be a good incentive for Clark.
Still, it was going to be a difficult waiting game.
Friday night, it was late
I was walking you home
We got down to the gate
And I was dreaming of the night
Would it turn out right
How to tell you girl
I wanna build my world around you
Early September 1978
Griffin stood looking at the car his son wanted to buy. At 16 Clark
was more mature than most young men. The judge was very proud of his
son, well both of them actually, even if Logan was still enchanted with
this crazy computer phase, something they all knew would never last.
boys had worked the summer away, Clark mowing and keeping lawns, light
construction, painting, anything he could do to save money. Alexander
had told him that at the end of the summer however much money Clark had
managed to save Alexander would meet it so that Clark could buy a car.
That meant that, much to Alexander’s surprise, he would be donating
$1,000 dollars to the pot.
this car? He almost shuddered at the thought of his son behind the
wheel of it. It was in great condition, he had to admit, but was it too
much car for his 16 year old son?
A good question to be sure.
Most or many 16 year olds, that would be true. But he had to go back to
his opinion that Clark was more mature than most. He was very focused
on what he wanted in life and he worked hard to get it. Upon graduation
in two years, he wanted to do a stint in the army to take advantage of
the GI Bill so he could go to college. Not that Alexander couldn’t
afford to send him, because he easily could. As a federal judge in LA
he commanded a handsome salary, but Clark wanted to do it on his own; he
wanted to be a self-made man and he’d make it too, Alexander had no
doubts about it.
Still, who knew he’d save so much money? Logan
had often worked with Clark and most of his money was gone, spent on the
arcade and that new computer he’d brought home, the Tandy TRS-80, Logan
called it. It didn’t seem like too great of an investment to the judge
but Logan was enchanted with it. He didn’t think his youngest son
could get into any trouble with it so for the most part he ignored it.
car could definitely get Clark into trouble if he wasn’t careful. But a
deal was a deal and so he gave Clark the money. The next day the car
was sitting in the driveway, and Clark was washing and waxing it with a
little help from Dorothy, the daughter of his next door neighbors.
two laughed as they threw wet sponges at one another and he spotted
Grace, Dorothy’s mother, watching from their front porch. She saw him
and smiled and waved him over.
The radio in the car was playing
and Clark and Dorothy were both singing and dancing around as they
played at washing the car. No doubt the lyrics inspired them both and
that could definitely be worrisome. He could tell that Grace felt the
Still, he smiled as he stepped lightly up the steps and
took a seat in the other wicker chair. “Walter working today?” he
asked. Even though he sold insurance he often kept hours on Saturdays.
That big fire over on Grand last night? One of his clients.” Grace
poured him a glass of iced tea and they watched Clark and Dorothy laugh
more than wash the car.
“Oh, yes, that was a big one. Destroyed
everything I heard.” He took a drink of his tea and said, “This is
excellent, as always, Grace. Thank you, it really hits the spot.” His
gaze fell on the kids as well and he chuckled as Logan joined them and
Dorothy turned the hose on him, soaking him completely. The fight was
on then as all three of them set out to best the others.
“That’s quite a car your son has there, Alex.”
“I know. I really debated over whether to let him have it or not.”
“Clark is a good boy, a dependable boy. I’m sure he’ll be fine with it.”
“You say that now but how about the first time he takes Dorothy out for a ride? That will happen pretty quickly.”
nodded at his words. Yes, she knew that was coming. Riding in the car
was fine, it was the parking she was concerned about. “I’m going to
trust them, unless they prove they can’t be trusted, that is,” she said
with a grin.
Alexander knew exactly what she meant. Dorothy and
Clark were like peas and carrots, just meant to be together. “I’ll try
to make sure that Logan tags along - a lot!”
“That’d be a good thing,” was the reply he got.
To be continued…