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 4, 2012

Chapter 54 Storms Ahead

Thank you LaLa!!

It was raining as Clark navigated the streets of one of the older sections of Los Angeles The windshield wipers had a hard time keeping up. The defrosters were going on high as well, but it was still hard to see.

It didn’t often rain like this in southern California but it was making up for it today. His GPS started talking to him, telling him to turn right to his destination and he was thankful about that.

He’d left Dorothy at home, curled up with a blanket with a cup of hot apple cider and the fireplace roaring merrily. She’d seemed a bit out of sorts today but said she felt okay so he hoped she was being truthful. She hadn’t slept well last night, he knew, because she’d tossed and turned a good portion of the night, but she was having a harder time sleeping lately. With two active babies inside her he could understand that. Sometimes, when she lay nestled against him, spoon fashion, he could feel the babies kick her so hard that it almost hurt him.

Women were amazing, of that he was positively sure.

She hadn’t been all that moody during the pregnancy, as most of the pregnancy books warned and he put that down to Dorothy herself because she was so strong and determined. She’d felt amazingly well during this pregnancy and said she’d enjoyed it.

After Clark parked the Cherokee he made a quick dash for the church but it was enough time to see that Beth was right about the building. It was missing mortar and even a few bricks here and there and had cracks in the foundation, although they weren’t too bad, he realized, cosmetic mostly. He wondered what condition the inside was as he stepped through the doorway, the large wooden door sticking in the dampness of the day.

He was in what probably used to be the sanctuary and now was a day room of sorts, with various tables and chairs scattered around the room. It was dark in here to be sure, with only a few lights on, and he wondered how the people who were sitting at tables playing cards could even see them. At the far end of the room a table was set up and Clark could see a large coffee urn with Styrofoam cups sitting next to it.

A tall man with dark blond, wavy hair spotted him and headed his way. As he got closer Clark could see streaks of gray here and there, belying the man’s, at first glance, youthful appearance.

“Hi, may I help you?”

“Yes, I’m looking for Henry. Is he available?”

“I’m Henry. What can I do for you?”

“I’m, uh, Clark Griffin, Beth’s father, and she told us about her visit here yesterday. She said the place needed a few things and I’d like to chat with you and see what we could do?”

“Are you looking to volunteer?” Henry asked, a bit confused.

“Well, in a manner of speaking. I own a large construction company and it seems to me that this place could use a few repairs.” Clark looked around the large room that had several buckets collecting water from the leaking roof. “Say, a new roof?” he asked with a smile.

“Well, yes I can’t deny that, but we don’t really have a budget for that, Clark.”

“No, you misunderstand me, Henry. I’d like to donate materials and labor to see if we can get this place in better and safer shape. Are you interested?”

Henry’s face registered shock at the offer. He pulled out a chair at a nearby table and sat down, offering the other one to Clark. “I - I don’t even know how to, what to say, Clark. That’s very generous of you. I’m not at all sure that you understand how very dilapidated this building is. It might not be worth all the time and money.”

Clark grinned and looked around him. “Her guts still look pretty good,” he said. “Why don’t you let my inspectors be the judge of whether it will be worth it? I’ll have them out here next week, but they’ll call you first. Will that be okay?”

“Mr. Griffin, I don’t even know what to say to this offer; it’s amazing.”

“Well, then just say yes!” He handed Henry one of his business cards with a smile. “This is a legitimate offer, Henry. You helped my daughter and that is worth more to me than whatever it would cost to get this place into shape.” Clark stood up and held out his hand to Henry who did the same.

“This is an incredible offer, thank you so much!”

“No problem, Henry. Good day!”

Henry watched the dark, good-looking man leave and felt like yelling with glee. Instead, he made his way to his office and sat down to pray. He had certainly been blessed this day and so had this old building. But more than that, the people who so desperately needed this facility would benefit as well.

He couldn’t ask for more than that.


Sunday afternoon it was cloudy but at least it wasn’t still raining. Robbi looked out the window in the front of the house, thankful for that. Lani and Brianna were setting the gift table with decorations and it made Robbi smile.

Lani was going to be a mother, with a vampire husband even. That rock on her finger must have cost a fortune and Lani seemed so happy. Still, in times past, none of them would have imagined Lani wanting babies or even being married.

Of course, the being married part was on hold, apparently, and that made Robbi sad. There was something about being married to the right person that made your soul happy. She couldn’t imagine life without Kev, she knew he was the one from the very first. He just ‘got’ her and she knew that he saw who she really was, deep down inside that he loved her anyway.

Personally, Robbi thought that Josef was the perfect man for Lani. He was secure enough to let her be the person she needed to be and while she was trying to support Lani, she wanted them to get married before that baby made an appearance. Maybe Lani would change her mind, in time.

“Lani?” Bri asked her auntie, a sweet smile on her face.

“What, my darling girl?” Lani asked, kneeling down so that she was eye level with Brianna.

“Is your baby a girl baby or a boy baby?”

“Well, I don’t know yet.”

“I hope it’s a girl baby and she looks just like you. You’re beautiful,” Bri said with a smile.

Lani pulled her into her arms and hugged the little girl tightly. “Thank you, Bri. So are you!”

Bri grinned, pleased with the compliment because she was in her Barbie fairy princess dress, complete with tiara and magic wand. Brianna touched Lani’s head lightly with the wand and said, “Girl baby!” with a giggle.

Lani watched as she ran off as something else caught her attention and went to set down on the sofa with Robbi.

“So, how far along are you?”

I’m about two months. The baby is due June 15th.”

“I’m really happy for you, Lani. Are you feeling well?”

“Yes, pretty much. I was tired for a few weeks but that seems to have passed. No morning sickness either. I think I’m lucky.”

Robbi nodded and took a deep breath. “Lani, are you sure you want to wait until after the baby is born to get married? Do you realize how crazy busy you’re going to be then?”

“Yeah, Robbi, I do or at least I think I do. It’s the best thing for us, to wait.”

“Lani, do you have doubts, about you and Josef I mean?”

“No, I don’t. I can’t imagine my life without him, Robbi. I can feel him, when he’s near, you know? I know what he’s thinking often times, it’s amazing.”

“Then why wait? Really?”

Lani sighed; she knew she was going to get this question a lot. “I don’t want to have some huge, society wedding but I’ve always wanted - THE dress, you know? You and Beth with me, and I don’t want to walk down that aisle in a pregnancy wedding gown, I just don’t! It might seem silly to everyone else, but it’s important to me. You ought to understand that; you and Kev had the wedding of your dreams.”

“Yes, well, getting married on the cliffs at Big Sur was our dream but not really anyone else’s. I do understand but, Lani, after you give birth it takes a while to get back into shape and you’re going to be tired, so damn tired, unless you have a nanny or someone to help. And what about a honeymoon? You two aren’t going to go off and leave a baby, I know.”

These were issues that Lani hadn’t really had time to consider yet and she didn’t want to have to admit that to Robbi. “This gives us time to plan and make sure it’s exactly what we want.”

“And what does Josef want? There are two of you involved in this, you know.” Robbi had already talked to Beth and knew that Josef wanted them to be married now. He did not want his child born out of wedlock, a rather antiquated mindset but one that Robbi agreed with completely.

“He - he doesn’t want to wait. But, Robbi, I don’t want to get married because I have to!”

“Lani, that’s stupid! You aren’t marrying him because you have to, you’re marrying him because you love him, because he’s the only man for you. Seriously, are you sure that is true?”


“Lani, I know I’m pushing you a bit, but I want you to be sure about what you’re doing. You have to admit that in the past you’ve had a tendency to be impulsive. While the decision to wait to get married sounds like a good idea now, in the long run it might not be so.”

“Robbi, I’ve done little else but think about it, you know?”

Robbi nodded, letting the subject go. It was upsetting Lani and she didn’t want to make her sad. She looked up in surprise when Lani asked the next question.

“Robbi, will you and Kev ever be turned? You know what I mean.”

“It’s not like we haven’t talked about it, Lani but we both know that we don’t want that.”

“Ever? What - what if you have it, you know, the disease?” she said, referring to Huntington’s disease.

“Even if I do. And you may as well know that I’ve decided to be tested. After the first of the year, I think.”

“Oh, my gosh, Robbi. Are you sure you want to know?”

“Yes, I do. If I have it, I want to live as much as I can, until, until it gets too bad. If I don’t have it, then I can just enjoy my life. Lani, I am with the man of my dreams, my soul mate, however you want to put it. We, Kev and I both, believe that when this life ends, whenever it ends, that we’ll be together. So we’ll have forever as well. We just want to be with our kids and grandkids someday, hopefully, and share this life together.”

Lani swallowed down a lump, her throat aching sharply. She hated this, positively hated that Robbi and Kev wouldn’t be with them in the future. She could only hope that they’d change their minds at some point. She knew that however long forever was, she wanted to spend it with Josef. She couldn’t imagine a life without him.

She was hurting him, by making him wait for the wedding. She knew it and yet she didn’t want to get married under these circumstances. How many times in her life had she heard her father say to her mother, “If it weren’t for you being pregnant I wouldn’t have had to marry you. I’d have had a good life.”

Those words hurt and were only one of the many scars she carried from her childhood. She needed to be able to let that pain go because until she did, she’d never really be whole, no matter how much she and Josef loved one another.


Beth pulled the Prius into the driveway at Audrey and Logan’s house, Mick sitting beside her. Audrey greeted them at the door as they walked up the steps.

“Hi! Come on in. Mick, Logan is in the office.”

“I thought we were going to have a guy’s afternoon, not play on the computer!” Mick exclaimed, heading into the office to pull his one-time fledgling out of there. Today, he was going to teach Logan about football!

Audrey and Beth followed along, with Beth grinning. Personally, she just couldn’t see Logan as being an avid football fan like Mick, but then again, you could never tell. She looked down when she felt a paw tapping her leg and then knelt down to pet Travis. It didn’t take long for Plato to get to the action and she rubbed both of them behind the ears and scratched their cheeks just for good measure. Their purrs sounded like heaven to Beth since she hadn’t been sure that Travis would ever make up with her.

“Hey guys, how are you, huh? Do you like your new home?” she asked as both cats tried to push the other away from her hands so that they could be the sole recipient of her attention. She laughed and said, “None of that you little attention hogs.”

Logan was actually looking up information on the game of football while eating a popsicle. Audrey laughed at his cold lips as she kissed him goodbye. “Have fun!”

“Yeah, you too,” Beth told Mick and kissed him as well.

While the girls were gathering up purses and jackets Beth heard Mick say, “You really think you can taste that, Logan?”

“I can taste it!”

Beth smiled and knew that Mick would never believe that, but it was okay. “Goodbye!” she called out and heard an echoed response as she and Audrey climbed into the car. The drive to Dorothy’s only took a minute since it was only two blocks away. They pulled into the drive way and headed to the door.

“Hey, Mom!” Beth said, kissing her mother on the cheek. “Are you ready?”

“Yes, in just a minute. Want to make one more quick bathroom stop since it’s about 45 minutes to Robbi’s house. Your dad’s in the den, go say hi.”

“Aren’t you going to watch football with Mick and Logan?” Beth asked, watching as Clark worked at the computer.

“Maybe later. I’m working on some ideas for the old church. The inspectors are going in on Tuesday and I’ll be interested to see what they say. It needs a roof for sure and that will probably be the most expensive thing to do. It has those old terra cotta tiles on it and it is impossible to find the right replacements, I think, which means a whole new roof. And, the building itself might fall under the historical society’s protection act and that could cause a few issues as well. Lots to figure out here.”

Beth grinned, knowing that while he was grumbling about this he was also excited because he loved restoration projects. “Still, football, Dad!”

He leaned back in his chair and grinned, stretching. “Yeah, us trying to explain the difference between offense and defense players, what a quarterback does and downs.” He chuckled and continued, “Mick will have his hands full with all that, I know, because I’ve tried to explain it all to Logan in the past. He’ll sit there and roll his eyes and it might just be more than I can take today!”

“Chicken!” Beth teased.

Dorothy walked into the room and Clark grinned at his beautiful wife. “Hey, you ready for your big day?”

“I am indeed. I’m actually looking forward to it. We’ll have cake and lots of fun, I’m sure, and it’s all going to benefit the women’s clinic. Doesn’t get much better than that!”

“Yeah, well don’t forget your poor old husband here - he likes cake too,” he called out as the girls headed to the door.

“We’ll see,” Dorothy laughed. “Hey, don’t forget your dinner is in the fridge. No cake though!”

He joined them in the foyer and gave her one more kiss. “Have fun, girls!”

“We will!” they all said and he watched as they climbed into the Prius in preparation for the journey to Long Beach where Robbi lived. It was going to be quite an afternoon for them he thought as they pulled out of the driveway, waving at him.

He loved that woman so much, she was more precious to him than anything else in this life. He’d paid his dues over the years, waiting for her but it had been worth it. She was everything he could ever want in this life. He’s somehow always known that they would be together someday. He also knew that they’d have forever together as well.


Beth turned on the heater in the car because it was a bit chilly. Not that she was cold but she had two human passengers to think of. They chatted all the way to Robbi’s and the time passed quickly. Off in the distance they caught occasional glimpses of the Pacific, gray and choppy, in the chilly afternoon. Beth sighed, she really hated it when it was so gray outside. Give her sunshine and blue water any day. Some vampire, she thought, with an inward laugh.

There were already a few cars at Robbi’s house but they’d left a spot in the driveway for Beth’s car in consideration of Dorothy. Brianna ran out the door to greet them and patted Dorothy’s tummy. “Hi babies!” she said with a smile.

Beth scooped the little girl up and gave her a kiss on the cheek. “Hey, Brianna! You look like a princess today! I wish I had a Barbie fairy princess outfit too!”

“You can wear my tiara,” the little girl said generously.

“No sweetie, that’s okay. I have one of my own! Remember my wedding?”

Bri nodded and then looked around before saying, “Where is Mick?”

“This is a girls only party, Bri! And we’re going to have fun!” Beth said as she stepped into the house. She sat Brianna down and greeted Robbi and Lani and some of the other guests. “Robbi, the house looks great!”

“Yes, well I had help you know,” she laughed as she took their coats. “Wait until you see the cake, Beth! It is fantastic!”

“Well then, let’s go see it. I’m ready to get this party started!”



To be continued…


Joangel said...

The calm before the storm...

I hope Lani gets over it and marries Josef before the baby is born. She should know that he isn't only marring her because of the baby. I understand childhood hurts and fears, but get over it already! Haha.

Lady said...

I agree with you Joangel. They are not her parents, and although they've only been together for a short time, they both know in their hearts where they belong: together.

And if we're being really honest, they do know each other better than they think. They don't always agree, this being a prime example, but the connection they have is greatly strong, almost like Mick and Beth. They would be lost without one another.

Giving in is not always weak. Hopefully they'll get it together, and SOON!

I'm ready for some wedding talk!