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.
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.”
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.
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?
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
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.
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
Down in the garage no one was about and so she
walked the short distance to her car and climbed in, locking the doors
There, that went okay. Geez, Dorothy, you’ve got to stop being so paranoid!
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!
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
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?
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!”
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
“You playing again, Logan? Something besides Guitar Hero, that is?”
“A little, here and there. It’s something to do.”
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?”
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.”
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
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.”
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.”
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.”
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,
Grace laughed again and peered into the bowl. “Okay, go ahead now. I know you want to get out there!”
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.
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.”
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.
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!
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
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 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
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.
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
“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.
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!”
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
“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.
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!
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.
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?”
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?”
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.
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?”
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 nodded grimly. Those were his thoughts exactly.
To be continued…