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

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chapter 2 Reminiscing

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.

Beth 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?

It 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.”

Beth 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.

“Hey, 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?”

“We 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?”

“Yes, 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.”

“Yes, 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.”

“I 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 him.

“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.”

“Oh.” 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?”

“We 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!”

Before 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.”

“Mick 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.

“Well, 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?”

“Maybe,” Dorothy 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.”

Luka 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.

“He 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?”

“I 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.”

“Really?” 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.”

Both 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.

Beth 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.


In 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?”

“Pregnant, 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.”

“Oh, 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 topic.

“You can count on it. Well, I’m heading up to see Dorothy. Bye,” she said as she walked away with a wave.

“See 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.

“Yes. 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.”

“I 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 other.”

“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.”

“Hey, 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.”

“You're 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.

“Who’s 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 more questions.

“Lani,” Beth said as she opened the door.

Dorothy 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.

“I’ll 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.”

“Yeah, I 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.

“I see.”

“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.”

Lani 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

Alexander 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.

Both 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.


But 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.

This 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.

The 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 same way.

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.

“Yes. 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.”

Grace 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…


Val Staples said...

:) can't wait to see this play out!

Hope said...

Hee hee, care to make any guesses, Val? LOL...

Thank you my friend!!

Val Staples said...

Nah, I like the surprises.

Hope said...

Val, that's a good opinion to have because I think i have a few for you my friend!!