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, November 29, 2012

Chapter 11 New Kid in Town

New Kid in Town

After Brody left Mick started thinking about new measures for improved security for the building. He felt confident that his loft was safe, but what about the rest of the building? If someone was trying to get to Dorothy they could do it in a variety of ways.

Something to consider.

He ran the New Mexico tag and saw that it was registered to Vinton McCullough, in Bernalillo, just north of Albuquerque. He used Google Earth to check out the address on the registration and saw that it was a valid one, a small ranch house in need of some repairs, judging by the peeling paint and neglected yard. Next, he pulled the driver’s license for Vinton and got a look at him for the first time.

Blond shaggy hair, 6’1, brown eyes, he had a scruffy appearance for the most part although DMV photos were notorious for taking the worst pictures possible. The image also wasn’t terribly clear, but again, given the source excusable. He was 45 years old and single too, a quick search of public records showed. As far as Mick could tell he’d been a life-long resident of New Mexico.

So what was he doing here in Los Angeles? The car he was in wasn’t in the best of shape, by the looks of it as far as Brody could tell. 1995 Honda Civic according to DMV and it seemed to be quite a road trip for such an old car, but you can never tell by looks.

Mick leaned back in the chair and ran his hand over his face, thinking about other sources for information. First he decided to call Logan and see if he could check a few of the traffic cams around here.

“Hey, Logan,” Mick said when the phone was answered. “Does the name Vinton McCullough mean anything to you or Clark?”

He waited while Logan and Clark talked for a moment and knew that neither of them had any idea who he was. “Logan, I’m sending you some info on him, you guys take a look and if it sparks anything let me know. Also, can you check the traffic cams for the area around the loft, approximately, um,” he paused for a moment to check his watch. “Beginning about an hour ago, maybe 2. Not sure how long he was out there. Let Clark look at the picture and see if he’s familiar to either of you. The information I’m sending has the car description and tag number and I’ll also send a copy of his driver’s license.”

“Okay, I’ll let you know what we find out. Do you think it could be the one who attacked Clark?”

“I don’t know, Logan. He was hanging around here and took off when Brody tried to talk to him; makes me suspicious. At any rate, we’re not taking any chances. And tell Clark that I’m changing security here at the apartment building too.”

“I heard, Mick,” Clark said in the background. “You keep her safe for me.”

“You know I will, Clark. I’ll protect her until it’s your watch.” The words were solemnly spoken and acknowledged.

Now, he needed to decide on what to do for the building. He closed his eyes for a moment, trying to focus his thoughts. He took his responsibility to protect Dorothy very seriously. He meant it when he said he’d keep her safe, no matter what.


Rose met Dorothy in the lobby, giving her a brief hug to welcome her and help to put her at ease because Rose could see that Dorothy was nervous. Rose wasn’t sure whether it was from being out on her own or fear about what she might discover today.

“Hi, Dorothy! I’m so glad you could come in this afternoon.” She didn’t tell her that Brody had called but she continued to speak as they entered a locked door to get to the private area of the clinic. “I have some news for you that I think you’ll find interesting but first, I’m going to take you to the conference room where you can meet with Jackie. She is anxious to meet you.”

She couldn’t tell if Dorothy was relieved or not; she smiled graciously and followed Rose into a room with a large table, it’s beautiful wooden grain polished to a high shine. Comfortable chairs rimmed it and at one of them sat a lovely young woman, wearing a smile. She stood as the two women walked into the room, and offered her hand to Dorothy.


Rose made the introductions and then quietly excused herself, hoping the two would hit it off. They both needed one another, whether they knew it or not.


Brody found Dorothy’s car in the parking garage at the clinic and then cruised the area, making sure that he didn’t see the Honda lurking anywhere. When he felt comfortable with the situation he called Mick and let him know she was there safely and that he’d stay and make sure she got home safely.

He heard Mick explaining the situation to Beth when she walked in and Brody smiled, knowing that Mick was going to have his hands full with that. He said goodbye and headed into the building to meet with Rose.

Brody really liked Beth’s spirit; she was going to make one helluva vamp and when he got her through her training no one would be able to get the best of her physically. Her passion and fiery attitude would carry her though it all, he had no doubt. She had asked that her friend train with her and Brody was still okay with that, even though Lani was pregnant. She’d learn less physical techniques, but even the basic training was important all the same. It would help her with her pregnancy as well Rose assured him.

He knocked on the door to her office, the internal door that is, not the public entrance. She answered with a smile, a hug and a quick kiss. “Hey there handsome, I’m glad to see you!”

Brody inwardly groaned. “What do you want, Rose. I know that tone of voice, that smile that promises the world! I’ve been there, baby. We’ve been there,” he laughed.

“Do I have to want anything? Honestly, Brody, sometimes you are so off-base. I’m just happy to see you.”

“Um hm. So you say. You saw me last night, and many nights before that. It’s not like you’ve had time to miss me.”

She laughed at the expression on his face; he was skeptical and she didn’t blame him in the least. They had been an on again, off again couple for more centuries than she could remember, more on than off in truth. Wherever in the world she was, he was never too far away and she was always happy about that.

When you live for thousands of years, eternity with one person was a sticky proposition at best. None of the 13 had ever married; each other or anyone else. Didn’t mean that they didn’t all have those people in their lives that they loved, it just meant that their creator encouraged different paths for them by the sheer diversity of their personalities and beliefs.

She and Brody loved one another fiercely; it was understood by all the 13. None of the others had ever paired up as she and Brody had, on such a lasting basis, that is. They’d had several children and in fact one of their descendants was right here in this area. The time would come when he would know it and they carried that secret joy with them.

He sank down into her comfortable office chair and pulled her into his lap. A dozen sweet kisses later he again asked her what was up.

She laughed and it sounded delightfully like melodic bells to him. She rested her forehead against his and sighed. “Really, I’m just happy to see you. And glad that Dorothy got here safely.”

He breathed in deeply, taking in the wonderful scent of her. How could she smell like the first blossoms of spring, of innocence and sunshine after so long? And yet she did. The 13 and their descendants had a different scent than most vampires, less decay and more of a rich and lush scent of the very earth itself, fruitful and fertile.

“Do you think the guy you saw is the one that attacked Clark?”

“I don’t know. Impossible to tell. I gave Mick the car and tag info and hopefully he’ll have some answers soon. Right now I’m guessing he’s under fire from his wife,” he chuckled.

“She is a spitfire, isn’t she?”

He laughed out loud and nodded his head. “Don’t be so smug; she didn’t get that from you!”

Rose giggled and nipped at his neck, her teeth blunt so they’d do no more damage other than to …arouse… and she wiggled on his lap when she met her goal.

“Alright, that’s enough! I surrender,” he told her. “But it’s going to have to wait until later, woman! Now, what have you discovered about the lovely Dorothy?”

Her reply caused him to raise his eyebrows. “I’ll be damned! Have you called him?”

“Yep. Guess who’s coming to visit?”


“What do you mean she’s not here, Mick?” Beth asked the question while Mick was talking to Brody. Mick looked at her pointedly, trying to finish his conversation with Brody.

Beth paced the small office, a growl simmering in her gut. She literally saw blood and hurried to the kitchen and poured a tall glass and drank it down in a couple of swallows. That was followed by a couple of deep breaths to get her emotions under control. She looked up as Mick came into the kitchen and she pointed to the carafe of blood and he nodded, feeling tired suddenly.

He explained to her in detail what had happened and she listened quietly, but he could see that she was still pissed. “Look, Beth, we can’t tie her up here. We can’t stay glued to her; we have to find some other way of keeping watch over her. I’m going to talk to Josef later and see if we can get a couple of his guys to help keep her in sight when she leaves. I don’t want her to feel like a prisoner, Beth.”

Beth nodded, knowing he was right but still afraid for her mother. “Where is the picture of the guy?” she asked. Her brow furrowed as she looked at the slightly blurry image and she finally shook her head, realizing that she didn’t know him.

“Look, she’s okay right now and Brody is going to follow her home. We’re going to have to have a talk with her and let her know that we’re going to take some security precautions that will hopefully help her feel a bit more independent and yet keep her safe. Like them or not she’s going to have to live with them.”

Beth knew without a doubt that her mom wouldn’t like them but that was too bad. They were going to keep her safe, one way or the other.


Dorothy smiled at the young woman, not exactly sure where to start. She guessed at the beginning was a good place.

“Rose tells me that you are volunteering here at the clinic but that you’re looking for a regular job?”

“Yes, that’s true. I love what I do here, don’t get me wrong but I’ve been living off of my savings and I’d much prefer not to have to do that,” she said with a wistful smile.

“I can understand that. How long have you known Rose?”

“I met her about 8 years ago. I stumbled into the clinic and literally fell into her. I think she took pity on me and she’s been my hero, ever since. She helped me get back on my feet and got me some basic training and then I got the job with the Hansen’s. They were a wonderful family but they wanted to move back to New York and I kind of like it here. They kids weren’t going to need a nanny for much longer anyway and since I have a house here I decided to stay.”

“You weren’t a live in?”

“No, I wasn’t. I worked full time though,” she said, hoping this wouldn’t hurt her. “Do you want someone to live in?”

“No, actually we don’t.”

“What are you looking for Mrs. Griffin?”

“Please, just call me Dorothy. I guess we’re looking for someone to help out with the twins, housework, that type of thing. I remember chasing around Beth and that was rough, even though my mom helped a lot. Two of them? I don’t know about that!” Dorothy declared with a grin.

“So you’d want me to work days? Help out so that you could get some rest if you’ve been up all night?”

“Yes and some light housekeeping, errands, things like that. Honestly, I don’t have a firm idea yet because this is all new territory to me. I’ve never had someone help around the house before.”

“That all sounds manageable, Dorothy. Nothing I haven’t done in the past.”

Dorothy nodded and then asked, “And you’re comfortable around, um, vampires?”

Her last word was all but whispered and Jackie reached across the table and gave Dorothy’s hand a slight squeeze. “Yes, I am. I understand about them and have worked with them since I met Rose. I’m going to be turned eventually in fact, but not for a few years I think.”

“You…you are?”

“Yes. I never want to be a victim again, Dorothy. Never. I’ll take care of myself and that’s one of the ways I can do it.”

“Forgive me, but you seem so young, Jackie. How can you make up your mind so easily?”

“Actually, I’m 33, but I’d still like to have a child of my own before I’m turned, you know?”

“Oh, I understand that. Do you have, I mean, are you in a relationship?”

A sad look passed over her eyes, clouding the soft blue for a moment. “No, I don’t. But I do have hope of one,” she told the older woman softly. “I have hope…”

The room grew quiet for a moment as both women felt the pull of something strong; maybe an understanding or recognition of a past tragedy in each of their lives. Neither knew what the other had faced, but both of them knew that it drew them together.

“Would you like to meet my husband? Via Skype, I mean? I’m sure he’d like to meet you and then we can talk about the details of things.”

“Yes, I’d like that, Dorothy. When would be a good time?”

“I’ll talk to him tonight and get it set up. May I call you then?”

“Yes, absolutely!” Jackie said, excited at the prospect of working for this woman. She gave Dorothy her number and watched as the woman added it to her phone.

“There, done! I’ll talk to you very soon, Jackie!”

“Great. Do you know how to get to Rose’s office from here? If not I’ll show you,” she said and took Dorothy down through the twists and turns of the hallways when Dorothy admitted she didn’t know how to get there.

At the door, before she knocked and told Jackie goodbye and then knocked on the door, her stomach suddenly clenching as apprehension swept over her.

Inside Rose crawled off of Brody’s lap with a final kiss. “Oh dear, her heart has sped up again. She’s so nervous, poor thing. Come on, you need to wait outside for her.”

“Whatever you wish,” Brody said with a grin. “I’ll see you later? Are you going to come work out with Beth, Lani and I?”

“Lani is going to be there too? You bet I’ll be there. See you then.” She watched as Brody disappeared out the private door as she opened the public one.

“Dorothy, come on in. Would you like some juice or water?”

“Maybe some water would be nice actually.”

“Great! Have a seat while I grab a bottle for you.”

Dorothy looked around the comfortable room and took a seat in a well-padded chair that while comfortable, was built with ample support, probably with pregnant women in mind. As she settled into it she took a deep breath, trying to relax.

Rose watched as Dorothy walked across the room and noticed that the babies still hadn’t dropped much. Not yet time but she knew that it had to be hard on Dorothy. She handed her the bottle of water and asked how she was feeling.

“Not bad. I’m so ready though, except for Clark being gone. I refuse to have these babies until he’s home!”

That made Rose smile; if only pregnant mommie’s could dictate that to the little ones who sometimes were very anxious to make an appearance. “Yes, well let’s hope he makes it home soon, then, shall we?”

Dorothy nodded and took a long drink of the chilled water, trying to delay the chat as long as possible.

“How did you like Jackie?” Rose asked, trying to help Dorothy relax a bit.

“She seems very nice; I liked her a great deal. I’m going to arrange for her to meet Clark, via Skype to get his opinion, but I think she’ll work well for us.”

“I can’t speak highly enough about her, Dorothy. She’s very conscientious and dedicated, both extremely valuable qualities.”

“Yes, I agree. She said that in a few years she’s going to be turned.”

“I think she will; she decided a few years ago. I know she wants a child of her own first.”

“So, she’s not a descendant?”

Rose shook her head, a sad smile for a moment played across her face. “No, she’s not so she’ll need to have a child first.”

“Yes, I understand.” Dorothy looked at Rose, her heart pounding so loudly she could easily hear it. It was the elephant in the room and she had to ask.

“Rose, what did the blood work tell you?”

Rose leaned forward, extending her hand across the desk and touched Dorothy’s. It felt a bit chilled and trembled slightly, both giveaways to her emotions.

“Dorothy, you are a descendant. But you’re not one of mine.”

Dorothy’s face blanched starkly white and Rose rushed around the desk, afraid that Dorothy was going to faint. Suddenly, her color rose again and the look of shock was wiped away by curiosity.

“Well then, just who am I a descendant of?”

To be continued…

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chapter 10 Dust in the Wind

It was Wednesday afternoon and so far today things had been quiet. Mick had been working in his office all morning, which left Dorothy alone for the most part. He’d come out once and asked if she’d like to go out to lunch or run errands or anything and she’d politely declined. He’d hesitated before saying that he had to go out for a bit and did she think she’d be okay alone?

She assured him she’d be fine and she would be but in truth she was going stir crazy. And they didn’t seem happy about letting her go out alone. She understood that; they didn’t know who had attacked Clark and they didn’t know if she could be a target or not. Clark had all but begged her to stay in the loft, unless accompanied by one of the vamps in her life and she’d agreed to the request, mostly because it seemed to calm him.

In all honesty she regretted the promise; no matter how nice of a cage it was, the loft still felt like one.

Her cell rang and she glanced at the incoming call; from Rose she saw with a sigh. Would this be good news or devastating news? Was any of it really good news?


“Hi, Dorothy. How are you today?”

“I’m feeling well, thank you.”

The words were a bit clipped Rose noticed; chances are Dorothy was feeling a bit of frustration. “I wondered if you might want to come by the office in an hour or so? I have your test results and Jackie will be here, the young woman I told you about?”

Jackie was the vamp friendly young woman that Rose said was looking for a job. Rose had sang her praises; she knew both infant and adult CPR, emergency medical care and worked as a volunteer at the women’s clinic. She wasn’t a vampire, but she knew about them and wasn’t afraid. She’d been working as a nanny for a family here in LA, but they moved to New York city, a place where Jackie didn’t want to go to. She sounded ideal, but until Dorothy actually met her she wouldn’t commit to anything.

Dorothy almost jumped at the chance to leave the house. She’d be careful, if Mick wasn’t home yet but she had to get out or she’d go crazy. “Yes! I’ll be there in an hour, Rose. And thank you!”

That seemed to perk her up Rose thought. Wonder if she’ll still feel that way later?


Martin was furious! Three days after he killed Clark and there hadn’t even been an obituary? Had he actually done Dorothy a favor? Maybe she was happy that Clark Griffin was gone and didn’t care enough to have an obit put in the paper. That had to be it because frankly he couldn’t imagine that the beautiful woman would ever willingly submit to that bastard.

He’d obviously forced her to marry him, after all these years and then gotten her pregnant as well. Well, eventually she would be taken care of. Nobody could handle her the way he could. She just needed a bit of guidance and discipline.

Martin had been out of town for 6 years now; he’d told himself that eventually he’d come home and claim his prize but he’d had a few stops along the way and by the time he got home he’d found that she’d married Clark, something he’d forbidden her to do. First, she had to pay for that but then things would be different.

He had to find her to start with. He decided that he’d drive by the daughters house; his daughter, although he’d never claim her. If she really was his and not Clark Griffin’s whelp. At any rate, she was insignificant; it was her mother that was his goal.


Mick hadn’t gotten home by the time for Dorothy to leave for the clinic; she debated on whether or not to call Rose and postpone the visit but then decided to just go. She had to get out of here or go crazy. She’d just be careful and check things out. Always be aware of your surroundings they said, so she would. Before she left she’d jotted down a quick note to Mick, telling him where she’d went. She didn’t want to worry him unnecessarily.

Down in the garage no one was about and so she walked the short distance to her car and climbed in, locking the doors immediately after.

There, that went okay. Geez, Dorothy, you’ve got to stop being so paranoid!

A few minutes later, as she cruised along Wilshire Boulevard she felt free, as she hadn’t in days. It was reasonably warm for late November and the sky was blue.

It was all good!


As Mick approached the guest house at Josef’s he winced; the smell was over-powering. How in the hell did the vamps stand it? No wonder Josef was mad as hell.

He’d received a call this morning from Josef, informing him that his fledgling had crossed a line. Not that he was going to kick Logan and Clark out or anything; Josef was just blowing off steam about it all. Mick had laughed as Josef described the pandemonium that ensued the night before, all because Clark wanted to go outside.

One word to Josef had shut him up though - karma! Mick still chuckled about it because Josef had tortured him relentlessly about his sister. How much had Josef found out? How much had he said?

What had she said?

Vampires and skunks weren’t a good combination and even though Tango’s crew had used super-strength cleaner and a product that was supposed to eliminate the smell, for a vampire it certainly didn’t. Maybe a human couldn’t smell it but he sure could.

“Hey, Mick. Come on in,” Logan said, a sheepish look on his face. He looked like he was caught skipping school or something Mick thought.

“Don’t know if I can handle it,” Mick said, wrinkling his nose is distress. “Man, this is bad!”

“It was worse before Tango got here last night, that’s for sure!” Logan sat back down on the couch and picked up the acoustic guitar he’d been playing earlier.

“You playing again, Logan? Something besides Guitar Hero, that is?”

“A little, here and there. It’s something to do.”

Clark came into the room, fully dressed and didn’t even wince at the bright afternoon sunlight. He was making remarkable progress. Well, minus the whole skunk incident.

“He still plays great, but then he always did, huh, Nerdo?”

Logan glanced at his older brother in surprise. Clark didn’t often use that old nickname but since he’d been turned he’d been a bit different. They’d spent a lot of time talking about when they were kids and about what their lives were like now and what they wanted.

“I don’t know about that, Clark. But it was always fun.”

“Don’t let him kid you, Mick. He was popular at my dad’s cookouts. Especially with Jenni!” His eyes twinkled with merriment as he remembered something from the past. Logan groaned softly and continued to play.

Dust in the Wind

Late October, 1978

“Dorothy? Will you please stir the Watergate Salad together for me? Everything is on the counter over there.”

“Sure, Mom.” As she mixed the salad together, what she had always thought of as ‘green fluff salad’ she asked, “Mom, why do they call this Watergate Salad? I mean, it’s really pistachio and pineapple.”

Grace laughed and Dorothy saw her shoulders move in a careless shrug. “You know, I haven’t a clue. Just a catchy name I guess.”

“Oh, I thought maybe it was a political thing or something like that.”

In 1978 the country was still healing from the break in at the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate. Combine that with The Pentagon papers, and the later resignation of Richard Nixon, there had been a lot of lost faith in our political leaders, both Democrats and Republicans. Dorothy’s Social Studies class had been learning all about it and boy, was there a lot to learn!

As she stirred the whipped cream and marshmallows into the pudding and pineapple mixture she could hear a game of Frisbee going on next door and was anxious to get outside. A final stir of the concoction made her smile and say, “Yup, green fluff!”

Grace laughed again and peered into the bowl. “Okay, go ahead now. I know you want to get out there!”

Dorothy gave her mom a quick kiss on the cheek and said, “Thanks, Mom!” before she rushed out of the house, the screen door slamming loudly behind her. Grace sighed at the impatience of youth and scrapped the salad mixture into a large plastic bowl with a cover and set it in the fridge until it was time to go next door to the cookout.

Every fall the Griffin’s had a huge cookout for their neighbors; it was always a lot of fun and they all looked forward to it. The weather was cooperating nicely this year too, shorts and tee shirts would be perfectly comfortable and Grace was thankful for that.

She’d made a gallon of her potato salad to bring, as well as Dorothy’s ‘green fluff’. Walt was already over there helping Alexander with the grills because it took a lot to get them ready for so many people. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken would soon be cooking, sending their enticing odors wafting through the air. Later that night they’d get the fire pit going and the adults would dance on the patio, or sit around the fire with the kids. The main thing is that a good time would be had by all.

Grace watched through the kitchen window as the kids played Frisbee, running to catch and throw the plastic disk amid laughter and sometimes groans. It seemed to Grace that most of the groans were done by Logan who wasn’t crazy about the game. Later on, when more kids got there she knew that the group would move to the park to play a game of baseball until dinner. It was always their favorite part of the day she knew and sometimes she wished that she could forget all the preparations and just go with them!

An hour later Walt helped her carry their contributions to the party over and set them on the tables. The kids were gone already and she knew that when they came back they’d be hungry and a bit more quiet.

At the park 16 kids divided up into two teams, paying little attention to who got on what team. Clark and Kip were the captains, of a sort and there was no picking, the others just fell into place. This annual game was always the most fun and usually the last played each year. Yes, most of them played on teams during the summer months but this game was just for fun. They really didn’t keep score, just 3 outs and the other team was up. There was no pressure, the idea was to have fun and they all did.

When the sun was beginning to sink into the west Mrs. Baker called out across the street, “Clark, your mom says to break up the game now. And could you please help me to carry my baked beans down to your house, please?”

Clark grinned and said, “Sure, Mrs. B! I’ll be right there.”

Dorothy laughed because even though Clark was one of her favorite neighbor kids she hated it when he called her ‘Mrs. B’ and because he knew that she hated it, he did it often. He really didn’t mean it disrespectfully even though he knew that the old busy-body detested the nickname.

She nodded and then frowned but watched as the kids packed up the equipment they’d brought to play the game with. Really, they were well-mannered for the most part but they were certainly loud!

Later that evening, when bellies were full and a bit of a chill set in the fire pit was filled with fragrant wood and lit, sending up the curling wisps of smoke like offerings to the gods. No matter what age you were, there was something about the cheery crackling of the fire that put a smile on your face.

The kids sat around it, on blankets that ringed it like a circle. The adults sat farther back and watched as the kids toasted marshmallows and laughed. Soft music played and a few of the couples danced on the patio, the nearly full moon overhead sharing it’s cheery light on the group.

Grace sat talking with Clarks mother as they watched the two youngsters who were sitting together, laughing and talking to the other kids, their heads bent together. Clarks arm was around Dorothy’s shoulder and they were both very happy.

“I don’t think this is something that’s going to pass,” Grace said. “They really love one another.”

“Yes, they do. I know they’re young, puppy love and all, but sometimes you just know when you’ve found the right one.”

“Yes, yes you do. I was 17 when I met Walt and I knew immediately. We were married a year later, when I was 18 and he graduated from college. Never regretted a day of it.”

“I know what you mean. I hope they can keep it all under control though; I have to be truthful about that, Grace. Alex has talked to Clark about it more than once and Clark seems to be in control, but at their age, hormones tend to take hold of you.”

Grace nodded; these were her fears as well. They were just too young and yet all four parents couldn’t pull them apart; it would only make them more determined to be together. “I know, Shelly. We just have to support them and be vigilant. I’ve talked to Dorothy too and while I don’t think she has any interest at all in the adult part of a relationship yet she certainly has feelings for him. When he leaves to go into the army she’s going to be miserable.”

“If they’re still together in two years, that is.” But both women instinctively knew that somehow they would be.

“Looks like Logan has a fan,” Grace said. Logan had gotten his guitar out and was playing a song softly. The strains of Dust in the Wind floated across the lawn of the large backyard. Jennifer Langston, aka Jenni, who was Kip’s younger sister sat next to him, smiling at him with an adoring smile.

“She certainly seems to like him, but he still likes the computer better,” Shelly said with a laugh. “Girls aren’t really in his vocabulary yet.”

“Yet,” Grace said with a smile.

Logan’s fingers strummed the strings of his acoustic guitar in the sparkling firelight. Dorothy started singing softly to the song and her voice was crystal clear and beautiful.

As the song ended Jenni said, “Wow, Logan you play really well and I sure wish I could sing like you Dorothy!”

Both of them murmured thanks, their embarrassment apparent. Clark pulled her a little bit tighter to him but Jenni was right, she sounded wonderful. She looked up at him and the flickering light shone brightly in her eyes for a moment and he forgot where he was. His lips brushed against hers for a moment before Kip and Merri started giggling. When he pulled back Dorie smiled at him before self-consciously biting at her lower lip.

“Logan, play something else,” she said, to cover their embarrassment.

“Sure, what do you want to hear? Hey, Clark, how about some disco? I could do a little ABBA!” he teased.

“Only if you want to wear that guitar,” his brother grumbled good-naturedly. “How about that Jimmy Buffett song you were working on? Margaritaville? We could all sing along!”

“Yeah, Logan, play that,” the group said and so he did. Besides, he like that song!


Brody came home that afternoon and pulled into the garage at the loft and grabbed his packages. Meals to go, he laughed to himself. He noticed a car idling slowly through the garage and he stood for a moment watching it. It wasn’t one of the tenants and they were all being vigilant right now. After a couple of minutes he called out and said, “Hey buddy, can I help you?” as he walked towards the old Honda.

A blond haired guy cast a swift look over his shoulder and suddenly hit the gas, pulling out of the garage with a squeal of nearly bald tires. Brody got a good look at it and a tag number to boot but couldn’t see much of the guy driving.

Mick pulled in right then and Brody waited on him to get out of the Benz. “Hey, there was a guy just sitting here in the garage, in his car. I tried to talk to him but he left in a hurry. I got a description and a tag number though.”

Mick nodded and then saw that Dorothy’s car was missing. “Son of a bitch!” he exclaimed. “Are you just getting home?”

“Yep. Getting ready for Beth’s first lesson this evening. Gotta drink up! What’s wrong, Mick?”

“Dorothy’s car isn’t here. Where the hell is she?” He and Brody both headed to the elevator at a trot and Mick tapped his foot impatiently as they waited for the lift to arrive. “I’ve told her she needs to let me know when she wants to go somewhere!”

“Mick, I understand that but damn, she’s not a prisoner and you can’t keep her cooped up like one. Can’t you get her some unobtrusive security?”

Mick nodded, as the doors swept open. He was glad for the new security door but it took extra seconds to open and a quick scan of the loft told him she wasn’t there. He found the note on the kitchen counter, telling him that she’d went to the clinic.

“She’s with Rose. Can you give her a quick call to make sure that Dorothy is actually there?”

Brody nodded and placed the call. Mick didn’t have to ask what she said because he heard it all. So she was there right now, that was good. He needed to leave quickly, to make sure that she got home okay.

“Mick, why don’t you let me go and watch for her and you can track down that tag number? It was from New Mexico; you can check those too, right?”

Mick nodded and said, “Yes, that’s a good idea. You don’t mind, Brody?”

“No, not at all. And after you run that tag I’d suggest you start working on some security for her. If that guy in the garage was here looking for her, he’s got the right place and eventually he’ll get to her, Mick.”

Mick nodded grimly. Those were his thoughts exactly.

To be continued…

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chapter 9 Dead Skunk


My friend from Moonlightforever was inspired to make this today after she read the chapter and I had to put it up.  It is awesome and I wanted to share!!

“Is everything okay with your mom?” Mick asked. He’d talked to Catherine earlier in the day and it was okay then.

“Oh, yeah. She’s fine, Mick. She told me she invited you and Beth to dinner on Friday.”

Mick watched Ben as he spoke; he was obviously upset by this new development. “Would you prefer it if we didn’t go, Ben?”

Ben leaned forward in his chair and rested his elbows on his knees with his hands clasped before him. “I can’t really ask that, Mick. She wants it.”

“But you don’t?”

“Hell, I don’t know how the hell to feel about it. You see, Mick, for years your name was anathema to our family; spoken in a derogatory manner and not often. She hated you, what you’d done to grandma. Not that grandma ever said a word about you, because she didn’t.”

Mick sat quietly, waiting to see what else Ben had to say. While it hurt, it was best to let the young man get the feelings out because they couldn’t ever build any kind of relationship if he didn’t.

Ben suddenly stood up and turned to look at the painting that hung over the red couch, his hands thrust down into his pockets almost as if afraid of what he might do if they weren’t. Mick could see that they were balled into fists and he knew that whatever Ben was feeling had been building for a long time and wouldn’t go away quickly.

“Mom hated you and because she hated you, I hated you too. The only one who didn’t was Grandma; she just left it all behind her.” He turned around then and caught the look of pain in Mick’s eyes and shut his own so that he could continue.

“She was happy with my grandpa, really happy and I’m thrilled about that. But how did she let it all go? I’d really like to know because I can’t seem to. Mom has managed to do it as well.”

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly and continued. “I want to hate you, Mick. It was easy to do it, you know? Even when I first met you with Beth and I thought you must be a cousin, I still hated you, because of your name. Mick St. John, the man that left my grandmother alone and pregnant. Then I got to know you and I discovered that I didn’t hate you; you were an okay guy. Beth believed in you with all her heart and that meant a lot and the more I looked, the more I appreciated how you took care of her and how you fought for what was right made me like you even more. Even when I was sure you’d taken out Tejada, it was okay because I knew that bastard would never have had any justice in the legal system.”

He sat down again and tipped up his glass and swallowed the last of the scotch. He looked at the empty glass for a moment and then sat it back on the desk. “When I found out who you really were, that you weren’t Mick St. John, cousin, but grandfather I hated you even more than before. I’ve never felt such a rage as I felt and then the whole story came out and as the details of the situation became clear I saw that you had no control over what happened, that it hadn’t been your choice.” Ben wiped a tear away hastily and fixed Mick with a stare. “I want to hate you still but I can’t. So where the hell does that leave me?”

Mick tried to chose his words carefully. He didn’t know how it had happened but he and Catherine were building a relationship. Not as a father and daughter but as two people who liked one another, had a few similar interests, that kind of thing. He admired his daughter, as he also admired his grandson. He didn’t want to blow it; Ben had to come around in his own time, in his own way. Perhaps he never would though and that scared Mick because he wanted a relationship with his grandson.

When he looked in the mirror his image belied his heart. His head and heart told him he was 86 years old, that he had a history in this life. Some of it good, some of it not and he had a bucket list of regrets longer than his arm, even if Josef didn’t believe in them. Since Beth, from the very beginning with Beth for that matter his heart had begun to open, to dream for more than what Coraline had offered. Since they’d married and he was surrounded by family and friends life became something magical; that thing that he’d dreamed of when he was 30 and had married Coraline in the first place.

Each path that he’d taken in his life, each and every step had brought him to this place and in this place he’d been amazed to discover he had a daughter and a grandson. He ached for those relationships to grow, to flourish. He wanted to know them, to share in their lives, even though it would not be as father and grandfather. He was okay with that, he really was because he’d found a sense of peace with it. Catherine had opened a door for him and he was more than grateful to step through it. Could Ben offer the same? It seemed doubtful.

“Ben, I understand and even empathize with all you're feeling and it makes perfect sense. How you decide to handle this is completely up to you and I’ll support whatever that decision is. It may take you some time to figure it out, and I’m okay with that too.”

“Is there anything you're NOT okay with, Mick? You seem pretty damn calm to me about it all. Maybe you’d rather I just walk away so you don’t have to deal with any of it?”

Ben’s voice had risen a bit as he said the last words and Beth heard them clearly in the living room. She’d actually heard it all, the whole conversation although most likely Dorothy hadn’t. She tried to stay focused on the movie but it was hard because she knew that this conversation was hard on Mick, who wanted a relationship with both Catherine and his grandson. She picked at her nails a bit, anxious about it all and noticed that her mom was staring at her.

“Are they alright in there?” Dorothy asked with a glance at the office door.

“You heard?”

“Hard not to, sweetie. Mick is wise not to push him. Give him a bit of space and he’ll come around.”

“Hope so,” Beth said, turning back to the movie. Hope so…

“That’s not what I want, Ben,” Mick told him patiently.

“Just what do you want, Mick?”

How much to say? Go for it or be subtle? He decided on the latter.

“I would really like to get to know you, Ben. I admire you a great deal, from what I know about you. Beth spoke very highly of you when she worked for you. That’s a good start, I think.”

Mick didn’t say that not only did he admire him but that he was proud of him as well; proud as hell in fact. Maybe he should have? For a moment uncertainty flashed through his mind, but he pushed it out. No, stay simple, brief.

Ben swallowed, his lips pursed as he thought about what Mick had said. No pressure, just get to know him. Okay, maybe that was a place to start.

“I think I can do that, Mick. I always enjoyed having Beth working for me as well. She’s a bit pushy, not a bad trait for an investigator.”

Mick laughed and Ben asked why. Mick was only too happy to share.

“So she had you at pushy?”

“Something like that,” Mick acknowledged. “I don’t know what I’d do without her. I spent so many lonely years, Ben.”

The sadness in his words made Ben’s own heart ache for Michele and he suddenly felt the need to tell Mick about her. Mick listened, his face thoughtful as Ben told him of his love for her, the certainty that they belonged together and about the heartache he still felt at her loss.

Mick nodded in sympathy. “I understand that, Ben. When a vampire finds the right person, they are mates for life. I have Beth and I can’t imagine life without her. I’m so sorry that you lost Michele.”

“Yeah, me too. If it’s possible for humans to know that they’ve found a mate, then we did.”

“I think they call it soul mates.”

“Yeah, but I guess vamps don’t?”

“Most vamps don’t think they have souls, Ben. But I do. I believe that we do thanks to a friend of mine. His name is Tim and he was a warrior with the Cheyenne Indians almost 200 years ago. He is the caretaker at our property near Seattle. It’s a beautiful place.”

“Yes, I interviewed for a job up there after school. Then the DA’s office in Sacramento offered me the an ADA position and it was closer to home so I took it.”

“And then you ended up here?”

“Yes, after Josh Lindsay was killed they wanted someone new to come in and take a look at the Tejada case. Of course, that turned out not to be necessary.” Ben’s eyes shifted downwards for a moment, hiding his thoughts from Mick. Whether that was a good thing or not he didn’t know.

“I suppose I should get going.” Ben stood up and held his hand out to Mick, who took it and for a moment as the two of them shook it was very comfortable. Then Ben tensed a bit; whether it was because Mick’s hand was a bit cool or something else he wasn’t sure.

“Ben, thank you for coming by. Anytime I can help, or listen, I’m happy to. I know, um, I understand how difficult all this is for you. Whatever you decide, it’s okay.” The word ‘son’ was silently unspoken by Mick. He hoped that Ben hadn’t picked up on it.

Mick opened the door and the two headed back out to the living room where the girls were still watching the movie. Beth looked up and said, “Hey, Ben, I have a question for you.” She told him about Buzzwire and how she would like him to be involved.

He thought about what she’d asked. Actually, it sounded like fun but he wasn’t sure the DA would be happy with an ADA giving out free legal advice to people who could possibly be criminals. He explained that to her and then had an idea.

“Hey, how about my mom? This is just the sort of thing she’d enjoy.”

“I thought your mom was heading to England after Christmas?” Mick asked.

“She is. But if I understand what Beth said, the segments could be taped in advance? Am I correct, Beth?”

“Yes, you are. Having Catherine McFarland be a part of the Buzzwire team would certainly be a feather in our cap. Do you really believe she’d be interested?”

He laughed, suddenly feeling a bit lighter in mood. Whether it was due to the scotch or the fact that he’d relaxed a bit he wasn’t sure. “I really do. It’s the kind of thing she’d like. Shall I talk to her for you?”

“That would be great, Ben. If she’s amenable to the idea I’ll give her a call and set up a meeting. Thank you, Ben.”

“Glad to help. It sounds like a good idea. And I revise my earlier opinion, Buzzwire is a bit more than trash journalism.”

Beth laughed, remembering his comment about pictures of Brittney’s panties. It seemed like ages ago, forever in fact. It was certainly another lifetime ago, to be sure.

“Thanks, Ben. I appreciate that. We’ve worked hard to dispel that image of Buzzwire.”

He grinned and nodded, heading to the door. “I suppose a little trash, here and there isn’t so bad!”

Beth laughed out loud and said, “Not likely, not with Rodney as the content editor. But I’ll see what we can do for you, Ben!”

Mick closed the door and lightly shook his head as he looked at the television. Looks like he’d have to sit though another hour of the movie. Just his luck!


Dead Skunk (In the middle of the road)

Logan frowned as he worked on debugging a new game program for a software company that he free-lanced for. It was occasional work that paid well and was usually interesting but tonight his mind strayed from it as he watched Clark move restlessly around the cottage.

It had been only 3 days or so since Clark had been turned and already he was pushing to be let out of what he felt was a cage, although a comfortable and luxurious one. He had stopped using the sunglasses, insisted that they speak at normal levels and wore regular street clothes in an effort to prove that he was ready to feed fresh from a freshie.

Last night Mick had sat him down, well, Logan and Mick but Mick did most of the talking and explained about his new world, including the bats and the bees talk that had made Logan want to crawl under the couch. He never in his life had anticipated having to explain to his big brother about vampire sex or watching the gleam in Clark’s eyes as he got it. Really GOT it. Too much information, to be sure but at least it was done, another thing off the check list.

“You talked to Dorothy this evening?” Logan ventured.

“Not until later. She and Beth are watching a Colin Firth movie. Probably get her all hot and bothered and I can’t even help!”

Logan had to fight back a laugh and dipped his head to keep Clark from seeing his face and the grin that slipped over it. Everything in the world was relating to sex for his brother right now and it was enough to make Logan want to stick his fingers in his ears and sing, ‘La lala la lalala…” He got it; his brother adored his wife and missed her, in the biblical sense. The moment that he felt that Clark was ready he was pushing him out the door, post haste! On Friday night Mick and Beth were coming to fledgling sit for him and he was going to go home and spend the night with Audrey and do a bit of catching up himself. He sighed at the pleasurable thought! Hell, he even missed the boys!


The loudness of Clarks words startled him out of his thoughts. “What? You scared the shit out of me, Clark!”

“I gotta get out of here, Logan. No, not leave, just get some air. Can’t we take a walk or something? It’s dark out, no sunshine to worry about.”

Logan debated the idea for a moment. They were quite a ways from the house and the girls all knew to stay away from the back of the house anyway. But it wasn’t just human blood that would draw him, Logan knew. Any creature that was out there could make Clark go a little bit crazy with their scent. Dare he let Clark attempt it?

The look on Clark’s face told him that it was happening, whether or not Logan agreed and he sighed reluctantly. He explained a few ground rules to Clark, much like a parent would explain to a child about crossing the street as he shut down his computer. He hoped he wasn’t making a huge mistake.

They went out the back door of the cottage and Clark breathed in the air with a smile. Logan wasn’t exactly sure why; it’s not like Clark hadn’t smelled the pollutant-laden Los Angeles air before but to watch his face you’d think it was pristinely pure.

“Logan, look!” Clark pointed to the back of the yard at a pool that glimmered in the moonlight. “Let’s swim!” As he spoke he ran towards the pool, pulling off his clothes as he went. He made a clean dive into the smooth surface of the water and came up a few seconds later, yelling with delight.

“This feels fantastic! Come on in little brother!”

Right before he saw it Logan caught a scent to be dreaded by all, not just vamps. “Clark, there’s a skunk near the pool! Don’t move!”

Clark spun around in the water and saw the skunk, it’s nose raised as it was surprised by the strange smelling human.

“Duck! Down into the water and stay there,” Logan yelled, heading for the door, where he could hopefully watch without being noticed by the skunk. Hopefully it would lose interest and wander away in few minutes.

Which is exactly what it didn’t do. It stood looking at the pool and the head that bobbed just along the surface with interest, for a minute or so anyway. When a baby skunk followed mama out onto the pool decking mama skunk decided to warn off the humans and sprayed, the malodorous scent settling over the water of the pool just as Clark dove for the bottom.

“Aw, crap!” Logan said, wondering how long the scent would be mixed with the water. If Clark surfaced would it cling to him? He couldn’t possibly rest in the small space of a freezer smelling like skunk spray.

“Clark! Stay under the water,” Logan said, knowing that his brother could hear him and that he could stay under the water indefinitely. He ran to his phone and dialed a number that would cause him all kinds of grief, but he had no choice.

“Josef?” Logan asked when the phone was answered. He quickly explained the dilemma and heard Josef draw in a sharp breath, but no immediate recriminations were offered. Logan knew that would come later.

“Is it still there?”

“Yes, it’s out by the back edge of the pool, watching everything. It has a baby with it.”

“Fuck!” Josef breathed. “Don’t do anything, Logan. Got that?”

“Yes, I do. I’m not going out there.”

“Glad to hear it. Now if NO ONE had went out there…” The rest of the words were left unsaid, but they both knew what the gist of them was.

Josef called Ryan who gathered up a couple of the other guys and with Josef made their way towards the guest house. The smell of skunk was strong, over- powering in fact, the closer they got. Ryan was armed with a pellet gun and a pistol, in case the pellet gun didn’t frighten the skunk family off.

“How long before it can spray again?” Josef asked.

“I’m not sure. It might depend on whether it sprayed a full load.”

“It smells like it did. Even if Clark is in the water he’s still going to smell. And stink up my freezer too!”

“Ever the pragmatic one, Josef,” Ryan said dryly, a grim smile on his face.

“Someone obviously has to be. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to take the clean this out of the pool!” With that thought he called Tango, whose loud laughter could be heard by Ryan, Greg and Rob.

“Just shut up and just get a crew down here, Tango. Got anything for people that smell like a skunk?”

“I do, actually. We’ll be there soon, promise.” His laughter continued until Josef pushed the end call button.

They entered the front of the cottage and found Logan in the dark by the back door, watching what was going on. Mama skunk and baby skunk sniffing along the bushes that lined the pool deck.

“Sorry, Josef,” Logan murmured. “He just wanted to take a walk and I didn’t see the harm.”

For a moment Josef felt bad for the young vamp. It had been a reasonable request really, and none of them could have anticipated what had happened. “Yes, well, let’s just take care of the situation. Tango and his crew are on the way over. We’ll talk later.”

Logan nodded glumly and watched as Ryan, Rob and Greg moved quietly out the door, pellet guns at the ready.

“Josef?” Ryan asked quietly.

“Go ahead.”

Ryan fired in the general direction of the skunks and they all watched as mama skunk levitated straight upwards a full foot. When she came down, landing delicately she headed straight for them, at a speed that amazed all of them. They ran for door but not before mama skunk got close enough to spray them and the back of the house. The five men, including Josef and Logan all gagged as the mist of scent settled over them.

At that point there was nothing to lose and Ryan and Rob took off after the skunk that was chattering to its baby and running full tilt towards the back hedge. Greg followed, trying to wipe the spray from his eyes because it stung like hell. He stumbled and fell into the pool and came up a moment sputtering in the foul-smelling and even worse tasting water.

Mama and baby disappeared safely into the shrubbery, leaving 6 vampires aromatic and foul smelling in the pleasantly cool November air. Suddenly the quiet of the night was broken by the raucous laughter of Tango and his crew as they came around the corner of the guest house.

Tango assessed the situation; from one smelly individual to six. “Josef, I don’t even want to know,” he said, laughing so hard it was hard to make out his words.

All of the cleaning crew continued to laugh while they sprayed the men with a compound that got rid of the smell. Mostly, that is…

To be continued…

Author's Note:
There will be no post this Thursday, due to the holiday of course!  May it be a happy one for all of you!  My family will be here and we'll continue the tradition of signing the table cloth, as we started in 2006 when What My Heart Desires was running.  To you and yours, may your day be blessed with love and joy!



Thursday, November 15, 2012

Chapter 8 If I Can't Have You

November, 1978

Dorothy, Merri and Arabella walked into Minson’s Diner and took seats in the back, in the large round booth that they liked best.  They had decided to have ice cream before they walked down to the theater to see Superman.  The movie had just come out and the guy who was in it, Christopher Reeve was really cute; they were all in agreement about that even if they didn’t agree much on other things.
“So, Dorothy, you gonna ask Clark to the Sadie Hawkins dance next week?” Ari said as she blew on the end of her straw and sent the wrapper across the table to flutter down to the floor. 
Merri scowled at her and bent to pick it up and Ari laughed and shrugged at her friends obvious irritation.

“Lighten up, Merri!” she laughed.  Merri balled the piece of paper up and threw it at her friend who batted it away with another laugh.

“Of course not,” Dorothy protested, shocked that Ari would even suggest it.

“Why not?  The guy is a hunk, and any girl would like to be going with him.”

That idea struck a sour note in Dorothy.  Sure, she and Clark liked each other, but they weren’t going steady or anything and besides, she wasn’t allowed to go out with him.  Her mother would kill her if she did something like that.  But she had to admit, if only to herself that she would like nothing better than to go to the dance with him.

“We’re not an item or anything, Ari,” Dorothy stated for the record.

Ari watched Dorothy through lowered lashes and continued.  “Well, you know, if you’re not going to ask him I just might!  And look, I’m going to have the chance right now!”

Dorothy looked up and saw the powder blue Chevelle pull into a parking space and watched as Clark and his best friend Kip climbed out and headed into the diner.  He saw her and smiled, nodding his head in her direction and then he and Kip slid into a booth on the other side of the room.  Dorothy hoped he couldn’t see her blush from over there, but she could tell by the way he grinned that Kip had noticed.

“See, Dorothy, this is opportunity knocking, girl.  Better go ask him or I’m going to!”

The scathing look that Dorothy sent her friend warned her that she better not but Ari only laughed as she slid out of the booth.  “Hey, I gave you the chance!” 

Dorothy’s eyes narrowed as she watched Ari, who fancied herself a real bombshell, walk across the room with an extra wiggle in her hips.  Merri’s eyes opened wide and she said, “I don’t believe this!”

“I do.  Traitor!” Dorothy muttered.  She jumped when she heard a snap and realized that she’d broken the plastic spoon that came with her strawberry ice cream soda.
They both watched as Ari stood there and talked to the boys and they could hear her giggle all the way across the room.  Dorothy couldn’t see Clark’s face but she watched as Kip’s eyes nearly bugged out as they listened to what Ari had to say.  He looked at Dorothy and gave her a lop-sided grin and a wink and Dorothy wanted to slide under the seat, down below the table and out of eyesight of both the guys.

“Come on, Dorothy.  I say we leave her here right now!  We can go to the movie on our own!”  Merri was quick to defend her friend and really, how could Ari do such a thing?  It was outrageous, even for Ari.

Before they could do anything Ari sauntered back across the room and slid into the booth wearing a Cheshire cat grin.

“Well, I did it.  I asked him to the dance.”  Her eyes sparkled as she spoke and she licked her lips in anticipation as she waited for Dorothy to react.

“Fine, whatever,” Dorothy said, determined not to reveal that she was mad.  And maybe a bit hurt too but she’d never let it show.

“Yeah, that boy jumped at the chance to go to the dance.  I’d say he’s pretty excited right about now.  I told him you’d figure out a way to explain to your mom that you and he were going to the dance…together.”

“Wha - what?  Me?”

“Well you didn’t think I’d go out with him did you?  Hey, I’m Johnny’s girl!”

Merri started laughing then, mostly at the look of shock and surprise on Dorothy’s face. 
“You asked him to go to the dance with me?” Dorothy managed to stammer.

“No.  I told him you were asking him to go to the dance with you.  Big difference there, Dorothy.”

Dorothy looked up in time to see Clark and Kip heading their way, carrying their sodas. 
Was it too late to crawl under the table?  Most definitely.

“Ladies,” Kip said, smiling broadly at them and giving a slight bow.  “So, we hear you’re going to see Superman.  So are we.”  He looked at Clark, evidently waiting for him to ask them to ride with them.  Clark was staring at Dorothy, their eyes locked and apparently he hadn’t heard anything else.

“Great!,” Ari said.  “We’ll ride with you!  That will be two extra blocks we don’t have to walk.”
“Move out to the way pip squeak so that Clark can slide into the seat next to Dorothy who seems to have forgotten how to speak.  Maybe she can try a little non-verbal 
communication,” Kip said, watching as another pink-tinged blush swept over Dorothy’s face.

As she moved Ari said, “Pip squeak?  I’d watch that mouth of yours, smart ass.”

“Yeah?  Gonna have Johnny beat me up or something?” he teased.  His eyes were sparkling because Ari was really irritated with him and it was fun to watch.

Before Ari had a chance to respond Clark said, “Pipe down, will ya Kip?  Can’t we just all get along and have fun?”

Dorothy, who still hadn’t managed to get a single word out was intensely aware of Clarks leg against hers under the table and his arm resting along the back of the seat, mere inches from her shoulders. She felt stupid, she couldn’t think of a single thing to say to him, or anyone else for that matter.  God, she hoped she wasn’t drooling or something! Her fingers swept across her mouth quickly to make sure all was well.

She sat there quietly and sipped her strawberry soda, glad that the ice cream had all melted since she’d broken the spoon.  By the time they were ready to go she’d finished it.  She prepared to dig through her purse to pay for it and Clark said, “I got, Dorie.”

She smiled at him and said, “Thank you!”

Kip looked at her and teased, “She does speak!” and then immediately shut up at Clarks dangerous glance in his direction.  You could only push a buddy so far, or a buddy’s girlfriend for that matter.

Outside Kip crawled into the back seat, sitting firmly in the middle.  “Come on in ladies, and I trust you know to which two of you I’m speaking!  I’ve got an arm for each of you!” he said, both arms spread along the top of the back seat.

As they climbed in and got settled Ari said, “You slide that hand any further down the front of my shoulder and all you’re gonna have left is a bloody stump!”  Kips hand immediately slid upwards a few inches.

Dorothy sat in the front seat and watched as Clark closed her door and walked around the car.  She debated; did she stay on her side or slide over next to him?  The decision was made when he sat behind the steering wheel and stretched out his arm to her.  It fit around her perfectly and she sighed as she rested her head against his shoulder.  In the back seat three pairs of eyes and three smiles could be seen in the rear view mirror Clark noticed silently.

In the theater, they settled into seats and Clark and Dorothy shared some popcorn as they waited for the movie to begin.  Johnny came in and took a seat next to Ari and the  two of them immediately locked lips while the rest of the group threw popcorn at the them and laughed.  Johnny and Ari were the couple selected to most likely be parents at 16 and it looked like it might be happening way too quickly.  Thank heavens the movie started soon Dorothy thought.

None of them saw Martin come in after Johnny or that he took a seat farther back where he could watch Dorothy.  He felt angered as she snuggled with Clark during the movie and when he kissed her once or twice he almost came out of his seat. 

Who the hell does that guy think he is?  She’s mine.  MINE!

But he remained silent.  Nothing else he could do.  His time would come.  He knew it.

Ari rode home with Johnny, who also had Martin with him.  “How come you didn’t sit with us at the movie?” she asked when he climbed into the back seat.

“Just didn’t feel like it.  Too much kissing going on,” he said, but he didn’t sound like he was joking she thought.

“So you sat back where you could watch, you perv?”

“Yeah, sure,” he said and refused to say anything else.

“You’re weird…” she said.  She didn’t like Martin at all, but he was one of Johnny’s stoner friends and they hung out a lot.  It was creepy though, the way he was always on the sidelines, watching. She scooted closer to Johnny and tried to forget about Martin in the back.  She wished he’d just go away.


They stopped to get hamburgers on the way home.  Kip and Merri were getting a bit friendlier Dorothy noticed and smiled.  Merri had liked Kip for a long time and despite his smart ass attitude he was a good guy.  She was going to spend the night at Dorothy’s house and she couldn’t wait to talk with her friend about it.

When they got close to the park that was near Dorothy’s house she said, “Clark, stop here.  Merri and I need to walk the rest of the way.”

Clark gave her a questioning look.  “You know, we could just say that we ran into each other, Dorie.  It is true after all.”

“I know, but Mom is really weird about it.  Please, Clark?  Just pull over, okay?”

He nodded and parked next to the curb before getting out to open the door for her.  He pulled her close for a moment and gave her a soft kiss.  “I don’t want to let you go.”

“I know.  Me either.”  She stepped back and saw that Kip was making a move on Merri and she waited for a moment for it to break up.   “Hey, we gotta go, Merri.”

“Yeah, okay,” her friend answered, obviously hating the thought.  “See you, Kip.”
“Yeah, you will,” he said with a smile.  “You bet you will.”

The girls waved at the boys as the Chevelle took off and they started to walk down the sidewalk.  That was when Dorothy saw Mrs. Baker, watching from her porch.  Great, the neighborhood telegraph system was going to be activated.  Just great!

“Hello, Dorothy,” she said with a wave to the girls.  “Nice day to walk home?”

Merri muttered, “You know, for such a nice old lady she sure has a sarcastic mouth on her.”
“Yes, ma’am, it certainly is.  How are you today, Mrs. Baker?”

“Just fine, dear.  Is your mother coming to the neighborhood planning party tomorrow?”

Dorothy mentally rolled her eyes.  Each year the neighborhood got together and planned a theme for the Christmas decorations.  She knew that without a doubt that the cat would be out of the bag then because her mom was chairman of the committee this year.  “Yes, I know she’ll be there.”

“Good!  I know she’s going to be a fine chairman.  See you later, Dorothy!”  She waived gaily as she stepped into her house.

“She’s probably already on the phone.  My mom is going to kill me, Merri.”

“Well, let’s enjoy the glow for as long as we can,” she said with a grin.  She saluted Dorothy and added, “For those about to die…”

Dorothy groaned.  Yep, die.  For sure.


Ben pulled into the parking garage at the loft where Mick lived, not sure if he was happy that Mick as home since he saw the Benz in its usual parking space.  Carl had told him what had happened to Clark Griffin but that wasn’t why he was here.  Hell, he didn’t know for sure why he was here if he were honest.  

He had such mixed feelings about Mick.  He was a good guy, he knew that but he operated on the outside of the law at times and that really went against what Ben believed in.  There had to be laws and citizens had to obey them.  But how can you expect a vampire world to follow human expectations, human law?  Policing their selves was a little bit too much like vigilante justice, but what else could they do?

You couldn’t really expect them to operate under human laws, in a system that didn’t know of their existence, and that’s what bothered him the most.  He and Carl had spent endless hours debating the subject and could spend countless more and would never completely agree on it.

When Carl was turned, how would that change things?  How would it change him?  There were attributes about vampirism that were great, Ben admitted that but there were drawbacks too.  Carl also admitted that but was still determined to be turned.  He wanted forever with Cami he said and was willing to make the sacrifice to do so.

Cami was a great girl and Ben liked her a lot.  She was a bit shy, but she also had quite a sense of humor when you got to know her.  Still, forever was a mighty long time. 

A sad pain suddenly gripped him; he would have taken forever with Michele if he’d had the chance.  God, how he loved her - yes, still loved her.  Her radiant smile, her belief in fighting for what you believe in, the way she loved, him, the world in fact.  All of that gone, lost to him.  He’d love her until he died.

Upstairs he wasn’t surprised to see Mick open the door before he had a chance to knock on it.  “Ben, hi.  Come on in”

“Hi, Mick.”  He looked across the living room and spied Beth and her mother sitting on the couch.  “Is this a bad time?”

“No, not at all.  How are you?”  He could tell that Ben was tense about something, but then Ben often seemed to be tense.  “Would you like a drink?”

“Yeah, that would be good.  Scotch?”

“You got it.  Do you want to come on into my office and we can let the girls watch their movie?”

“Sure.”  Before he headed into the office he stepped into the living room and said, “Mrs. Griffin, I heard about what happened.  I’m so sorry about it all.  How is your husband?”

“He’s wonderful actually.”  She smiled at the nice looking young man.  He always seemed slightly edgy, even at Mick and Beth’s wedding where she first met him.  “Hopefully he’ll be home soon.”

“Yes, I hope that’s possible.  Beth, how are you?”

She grinned at him and said, “I’m great.  Trying to get back into the swing of things, after the um, kidnapping.”

“You have a heck of a life, Beth, but then I always thought so.”  They both laughed a bit, remembering how it always amazed him when someone seemed to be after her for some reason.  In the old days, BV.  Before vampires…

“Yes, at times.  It’s never dull though, I guess that’s something!”

He nodded and he and Mick decided to head into the office to chat.  He heard the movie come back on and glanced back to see some movie with Colin Firth in it.  What did women see in that guy?  Michele had been crazy about him in that Pride and Prejudice movie.

He and Mick took seats in the office after the door closed and Ben looked at him across the desk and said, “Mick, I want to talk to you about my mom.”

To be continued…

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chapter 7 Born to Run

Thank you LaLa!!

Mick and Beth lay in their freezer, both of them trying to catch their breath and failing at it. Even his heart was giving out a rapid staccato beat that felt good. So damn good, because it infused him with a bit of warmth.

Intense, loving her was so intense in the most delicious of ways.

He slid from between her supple legs and rolled to his side, pulling her with him. It was always like this but it also seemed that the connection, the intensity, was growing. It was almost as if he was in her head, and she in his. Knowing what the other needed, a moment before they did, the touch, the look, the needing and wanting so great that he felt as if he was on fire, the flames licking at him and only she could slake his thirst.

Their connection had always been strong, even when he only watched from afar, the periphery zone around her keeping them apart. A thought had occurred to him today about it all, but he didn’t see how it could be possible. But what if? What if this amazing connection between them was the result of that night, so long ago when he’d rescued her from Coraline?

“Beth, that night when I took you away from Coraline, did you ingest any of my blood?”

She frowned for a moment, thinking it was an odd question and an unlikely thing to have happened. “I don’t think so. Why?”

“It’s just, I don’t know, it sounds silly but as I watch the bond between Logan and Clark, the blood that they shared, it got me to wondering about us. You always knew that I was out there, all those years until I left. Lani told me that you knew when I moved to Seattle; she said you cried because you couldn’t feel me any longer.”

Beth nodded, that was true enough. Could she have gotten some in her mouth? Did that explain why they could feel one another so strongly? Why her heart broke when the physical distance became so great that the connection was obscured?

“I don’t know, Mick. I was crying, really hard and you had blood all over your face and neck, from your fight with her. I suppose it is entirely possible that the tears mixed with the blood and I got some of it. It might well explain a lot of things though.”

He nodded. Somehow he knew that it had happened, as unlikely as it seemed. It wouldn’t have taken much, that much he knew for sure.

“So do you think that Logan and Clark, being brothers, increases their connection?”

“I don’t know, it might. Logan seems really tuned into Clark’s emotions, which is good and bad, actually. He has to keep a bit of himself separate in order to keep perspective. I had a long talk with Clark today when I took everything over there. He didn’t see who did it, and like you, about all he said was that the attacker had blue eyes. But I noticed that while he talked about it, what had happened, Logan tuned into it completely, almost as if he was there too.”

“And that is bad?”

“Well, it will be harder for him to let go and I’ll tell you this, Clark is determined to be out of there immediately, if not sooner.”

“Wow, how soon do you think he can do it?”

“I don’t know, but he is really motivated. He’s already pestering Logan about what he needs to know. Today he was fully clothed and walking around without his sunglasses, trying to get used to it all, and he insisted that we talk in normal voices. I know it had to hurt him, but he was determined. He wanted to know how soon he could learn to feed fresh too.”

Beth chuckled and said, “Sounds like another new turn you knew to me! What do you think?”

Mick rolled over and pulled her tightly to him and she felt his hardness pressed against her belly. “I think we’ve talked about this enough!” He ran his hands down her back and cupped her bottom, pressing even tighter against her. “What do you think, Mrs. St. John?”

“I think we have a situation here that needs attending to.” Her mouth found his and for the next hour the only sounds between them were soft words and passionate moans that drove them both towards completion. They reveled in their connection, wherever it came from. Together they were perfect.


Dorothy’s phone rang and she smiled when she saw it was Clark. “Hi,” she said into the new phone and she heard him pull in a deep breath.

“Oh, girl, I needed to hear your voice. How are you, Dorie? Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m good. But I miss you so much. It was wonderful to see you, the Skype thing I mean, but it’s not like being held in your arms, Clark.”

She heard that sound again on the other end of the phone, something that sounded like part growl and part purr. It was a sound that somehow thrilled her and set her on edge at the same time. It made her very aware of him sexually, something she hadn’t been thinking about much as she went farther into the pregnancy. But it was all coming back to her now and she knew that their sex life would take on a new dimension when he was home. They’d have to wait a good month, maybe longer before they could make love again, and it suddenly seemed like a terribly long time.

Over the phone connection Clark heard her heart speed up and the way her breath caught in her throat as she thought about the same thing he was thinking of. “It won’t really be forever, Dorie, but it will certainly seem like it.”

She gave a small, embarrassed laugh because she knew that he’d known exactly what she was thinking. She felt shy about it all suddenly and she couldn’t figure out why. She knew little of sex with a vampire but she was curious. She’d seen the bite marks on Lani’s and Audrey’s throats and knew that both women enjoyed that aspect of making love immensely. How could that be? Didn’t it hurt? A shiver crept up her spine as she thought about it and the warm flush of passion swept over her again.

Why on earth were sexual thoughts running rampant in her mind all the time now? Every time she talked to him she had these delicious images of him naked, touching her, holding her, making love to her. She shut her eyes as tightly as she could to try and push the images away.

Clark smiled on the other end of the line. He could read her so well now. Just listening to the small nuance of change in her heart, her breath, it was almost like her desire flew through the lines to touch him, except of course there were no lines. What if she was picking up on him?

Mick had talked to him today about all the emotions that fledglings experienced, almost immeasurable sexual need being on one of them. Logan had looked on, an uncomfortable slouch to his body as he tried to focus on anything other than talking to his big brother about sex. Vampire sex. Vampires biting during sex. If embarrassment were a disease Logan would surely have died by the time the discussion was done.

So how did he broach the subject with Dorie? He took a deep breath and just started talking.

“I think that we’re both picking up on this sort of electrical, sexual current right now, Dorie.” He explained what Mick had told him, all of it, so she would understand what was ahead of them. He sat quietly as she digested it all.

“So, the bite, um, you have to do it, to um, be able, to…”

“Yes, but I don’t have to bite you, honey. I can bite myself, I just need that sensory contact to be able to release.”

The thought that he’d bite himself instead of her clenched first at her heart and then sent a shard of pure rage through it. He wouldn’t! “Clark Griffin, how dare you say you wouldn’t bite me! I’m your wife, your - your mate!” she said, using the term that she’d heard the girls use frequently.

“Dorie, I didn’t say I wouldn’t. I meant that if it hurt you, or scared you. That’s all, honey.”

“Well, it won’t!” she said adamantly, her voice raising in her irritation. Honestly, how dare he think that she wouldn’t want him to do it? Men!

Clark winced at the loudness of her voice which sounded as deafening as a sonic boom to him right now. “That’s not what I meant. Girl, I have this mad, crazy desire to taste you, to taste your passion for me.” He looked down at the rigid proof of that statement that never seemed to go away, no matter how much he tried to take care of the problem. He needed her and anything else was only a placebo.

“You - you can taste that?” She licked her lips, thinking about that statement.

“That’s what they tell me. Dorie, I don’t care if they let me out of here tomorrow, it is not soon enough to be with you. And I have to say that it’s a bit uncomfortable, the wanting you, needing you constantly.”

“Constantly? Like now?”

“Oh yeah, honey. Right now.”

“How do you handle it, Clark? I hate that you’re having to experience this and I can’t do anything about it.”

He chuckled, low in his throat and his next words were the sexual purr that she was beginning to understand - and love. “I just do the same thing as I did all those years before we got together. It’s okay, Dorie.”

Just the image of that sent her heart racing again. How on earth were either of them going to handle this separation?

It seemed as if the only thing to do was to tell him how much she loved him, wanted him, and she listened as he moaned and she knew the moment he found that release. If only she’d been able to share it.

He was right, it was going to seem like forever.


Born to Run

Late September 1978 - the night of the Homecoming dance

Martin left the dance in a haze of red anger that tore his soul to pieces. They’d kicked him out and he felt ready to kill someone so he took off running, heading to nowhere as fast as he could get there. Running was his escape, from the disappointment and dissolution of the shattered pieces of his life.

Her eyes, he couldn’t forget them. Not since he’d spotted her in the halls the second day of school and she smiled at him. He knew that she smiled at everyone but somehow he knew that there was something special in that brilliant smile she gave him.

She was his and sooner or later she’d know it. Clark Griffin and that weirdo of a brother of his aside, she was going to be his. If it was the last thing he ever did.

He ran and then ran some more. He could go home, but what was there for him? Nothing, not a fucking thing. He lived in a house that wasn’t a home, with a father who ignored his very presence in this world and even though he was 16 it still made his gut clench with the pain of it.

His mom had died when he was two. She’d never really recovered from his birth, they told him. His older brother had been 6 when she died and while Martin didn’t remember her at all, his brother did.

From that time on in his life, when things were good he was only a spectator in that house; no one saw him or talked to him other than whatever housekeeper they had. And many came and went because they didn’t like the abuse they often received any more than he did. He tried to shake off what happened when things weren’t good, something that happened all too often, especially now that his brother was in New York going to Columbia. So he ran, but the problem was that he didn’t have anywhere to escape to.

When he was 10 his dad had met Rochelle, a beautiful 22 year old girl, who actually paid attention to Martin. For the first time in his life he knew the warmth of a human touch, a hug. Simple, little things that had made all the difference in his life. He still remembered the smell of her perfume, L'Air du Temps, and to this day whenever he caught the scent of it he remembered Rochelle.

She hadn’t stayed long in their lives and he couldn’t blame her for that. She was smart enough not to be a personal punching bag for anyone. One day when he came home from school, he found she was gone and his father was on a 3 day binge that made him hide as far away as possible. He’d actually stayed in a tree in the backyard for a couple of days, sneaking in to steal food out of the refrigerator so that he had something to eat. The violent binge had made their current housekeeper leave as well, crossing herself as she looked back at the house in fear. She couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. She worried about the poor little nino, but she couldn’t stay in that house with that devil any longer and that older boy who stared at her with something akin to disgust in his eyes.

That was when he’d learned to run. He ran from the pain, from the hurt, and no matter how far and how fast he ran it always caught up with him. When he’d showed up at school hungry, torn, and bedraggled, they’d called his father who’d came and got him immediately. The school had seen the look of pure loathing and resentment in his father’s eyes and knew that it wouldn’t go well for the boy, but what could they do? You just couldn’t interfere in a family’s business.

As he got older his father ignored him more and more and that was fine with him. Unfortunately, his brother didn’t. He picked up where his father left off, handing out swift kicks and punches like the pro he’d been taught to be. In all his years he couldn’t ever remember his father laying a hand on his brother; no, he’d saved it all for him.

It was okay, it would be okay. A few more years and he’d be out of that hellish life and he’d have Dorothy Turner at his side. Beautiful, kind Dorothy who would make up for all he’d suffered in his life.

He saw her face before him as he ran. It was like he was running to catch up with her, but he couldn’t. Clark Griffin always kept her away from him and no matter how much faster he ran, Clark was always a step ahead. Him and that little brother of his; one or both of them were almost always around her, keeping her from being with him. But in the future it wouldn’t matter.

She would be his.


Lani stepped out of the shower and into Josef’s arms as he got ready to step in. “Hey, where are you going?” he murmured against her fragrant and moist neck.

“Sorry, I’m getting all pruney. Why don’t you be quick?” she whispered against his neck and nipped it lightly with her teeth, a move that always went straight to his groin. His immediate erection throbbed against her belly and she captured it for a moment with warm fingers and was rewarded with a low growl from him. “On second thought, maybe your shower can wait?”

He laughed and swept her up in his arms amid her protestation about being dripping wet. “You’re going to be even wetter soon, Sweetness.”

“I think I already am.”

As he laid her down gently he dipped his head to taste the liquid and warm sweetness of her. “You are, love. Sweet, sweet…”

The intimate kiss went on and on until Lani was writhing against the satin duvet cover. “Josef, love, I need you. Please…”

The need and desire in her voice brought him up to her and he captured her lips in a breathless kiss. He settled between her legs that spread willingly for him and she sighed as she felt him sink deep into her willing body that ached for him. He sucked in a deep breath and released it just as quickly as he felt her body sheath itself around his, her muscles contracting with desire.

His body moved with hers, eliciting a primitive response that was profoundly intense as her body tightly gripped him within her. He drove into her, lovingly and tenderly stroking her towards her climax as their mouths melted together, searching and exploring all the hidden recesses of her warm mouth. She felt so alive and arched her back, urging him on as she felt his need and passion.

He felt her body begin its contractions and she turned her neck, the invitation of her need for the bite, but he couldn’t do it. He bit his shoulder instead as he felt her explode around him, pulling them both into the pleasure release they both needed.

She didn’t say anything about the bite and Josef was thankful for that. Biting himself was a tiny price to pay for the wonder of that tiny being that was growing within her body. He could wait for that bite forever if need be. And Lani as well.

He only hoped that he didn’t have to.

To be continued…