Monday, December 3, 2012
With A Little Luck
Clark scanned the estimates that his foremen had sent him regarding the church. All in all, it didn’t look too bad he thought. He picked up his phone and called Scott, his assistant to go over some of the figures and plans.
“Hey, Scotty, this looks great actually. Much better than I expected. You can go ahead with the purchase orders. This source for the red tiles for the roof, you think they’re on the level? I want you to eyeball them before you buy.” At just mere pennies a tile it seemed like too good of a deal to Clark.
“Stollen and Harper used them last year on that mission project; Klaus Stollen swears by them. But yeah, we’ll definitely eyeball them first. How’s your back?”
“Getting a bit better every day. Hopefully I won’t be out too much longer. Thanks for asking, Scotty.”
“Good, glad to hear it. So, I can free up the Goddard team next week to start on the electrical at the church; seems like the best place to start.”
“Sounds good. I want to speak to a few people and see if we can wrangle a donation of a new heating and cooling system for it.”
Scotty let out a long whistle on the other end of the phone and Clark winced; it sounded like an out of control police whistle. “If anyone can do it, you’re the guy, Clark.”
They chatted a bit longer about the other projects that were working and then Clark ended the call, glancing at his watch. He was waiting to hear from Dorothy to see what the doctor said. He stood up and paced the room, feeling caged in again.
“Clark! She’ll call.” Logan stood up and stretched; he’d just finished the game program he’d been debugging and sent it off to the production company. He walked into the kitchen and pulled a couple of popsicles out of the freezer and handed one to Clark. “Here, take the edge off.”
“How can you be so fucking calm all the time, Logan? I’m going crazy here! Come on, teach me something!” Clark pulled the wrapper off the popsicles and bit into the cherry flavored treat. A treat that he couldn’t taste but he did like the cool sensation in his mouth.
“It’s just what you have to do, Clark. Like it or not it takes time to get under control - your physical abilities, your emotions. I know that you feel great, that’s a given but it hasn’t even been a week yet. I am not ready to let you loose on the world yet and you’re just going to have to accept that.” As he heard the words come out of his mouth Logan was amazed at how in control they sounded. Maybe he was getting the hang of it, of being in control, a sire. Mick had said to be firm, but compassionate. It felt as if it was coming together.
Clark heard the words and there was a part of him that knew that Logan was right. The scent of blood still excited him and he might not be able to control it if he smelled it on a human. He just felt as if he was cheating Dorothy; leaving her to carry the load by herself and now with this person who might be stalking her he needed to find the bastard and rip him apart.
Yeah, that would be satisfying as hell…
“You’re going to be there for the births, Clark. I don’t know how I know that, just some instinct maybe, but you will be there.”
Clark looked up at his baby brother and felt a great admiration for him. He was so strong, so sure of himself. It was too bad that Logan never had the chance to have kids because he would have made a terrific dad. He told Logan his thoughts and watched as something spread over his face, a revelation, maybe.
“You know, I never really saw myself with kids; I guess I always thought I was too much of a geek to be a dad and then I was turned and I just never thought about it anymore. Until Audey that is. Clark, when I was in college, at Berkley, well, some of us thought it would be a great idea to share ourselves with the world, you know? The great brain trust; that’s how we thought of ourselves. So we went and donated sperm, so that everyone could have a little piece of us.” He gave a wry laugh and his eyes took on a far-away look as he remembered those times. “We were idiots of course, but I checked with the bank, to see if any of it was left and if it was still viable. Turns out that once it’s cryogenically frozen, it’s keeps basically forever. There are still some of my swimmers up there.”
Clark let out a huge laugh and then thumped Logan on the back in excitement. “Logan, you need to talk to Audrey about this. You really should.”
“I don’t know that she wants kids, Clark. I mean, it’s never been on the table before.”
“All the more reason to talk to her. But for heaven’s sake, marry her first. I don’t mean before you talk to her but before she gets pregnant. Logan, I’m telling you, she’d love to have your baby.”
“You think? Really?” His voice sounded small and insecure to him. What if she didn’t? What if she did?
“I really do. That girl is crazy about you and she obviously loves kids; you’ve seen her around Robbi and Kevin’s kids. Talk to her, Logan.”
“Yeah, maybe I could do that on Friday.” He smiled at the thought. He realized more each day that he’d like to have a family; kids of their own. He could only hope she would too.
Dorothy stared at Rose, waiting for her to speak. Her heart was racing and her mouth went suddenly dry. Fear, anticipation? She held her breath as she watched Rose, who was smiling at her.
“Dorothy, no reason to be alarmed; his name is Vaygar. He’s actually on his way here, to meet you. Should be here tomorrow sometime.”
“Vaygar? Like …like a Viking or something?”
Rose laughed and her eyes twinkled. “Yes, well actually very much like that. He’s of Norse descent, definitely.”
“Are you sure? How can that be? I mean, how could Beth and I have different antecedents?”
“Well, it’s like having parents with different colored eyes or hair. The child is going to inherent different traits, could be anything. Beth inherited her father’s blood type, his genomes for the most part.”
“Are gnomes the same as DNA?”
“Not exactly. DNA is something that is shared by all living organisms on this planet; we are all 99.9 % the same, DNA wise. Genomes make us all individuals; they are sort of the genetic blueprint for people. Beth’s genomes are more strongly from her father then you. Although, it does answer several puzzling questions that I’ve had.”
“Beth’s psychic skills - frankly, I don’t have many of those gifts. The way that she and Mick managed to communicate when she was kidnapped was amazing and she didn’t get it from me! However, Vaygar is very psychically oriented and once you’re turned I think you’ll find you have some of those same traits.”
“So tell me about him, about Vaygar.”
Rose smiled again and Dorothy could tell that she liked Vaygar a lot. She relaxed a bit and took a deep breath, thinking it might now be so bad after all.
“Vaygar is our Master at Arms, for the Children of the Moon. He trains Guardians and our Protectors. He is amazing actually.”
“Guardians? Like Mick you mean?” She remember Beth telling her that Mick was now a Guardian.
“Yes, like Mick, like Clark will be for you and Josef will be for Lani.”
“What are Guardians exactly? I don’t get it and how do they vary from Protectors?”
“Guardians are usually related or attached to descendants, like a spouse. They have strong bonds with the descendant. They aren’t exactly guards, don’t get me wrong, but they are trained well in the physical arts, just in case. They are also given certain privileges that other vampires don’t have, if they choose that is.”
“Gifts? Like what?”
“That’s something that we’ll discuss later on, Dorothy. Now, Protectors are our security forces. In cases of emergency, they protect us all, man the defenses.”
“Like, war?” Dorothy’s breath caught in her throat. “Like vampire wars?”
“Dorothy, as long as there are people who have special gifts, there will be others who want them. We, the Children of the Moon were given a special gift, a blessing. Over time, the gift became polluted, perverted by those determined to twist it to their own benefit. Yes, we must be protected from those who would try to harm us for our peaceful lives and those of our descendants who follow our way of life. There are always enemies, Dorothy. It is not always goodness and light.”
“From what Mick has told us there is very little of that.”
“In Mick’s world, that is the case. He will learn soon that there is a whole different life for him, for his kind.”
“Mick is such a good man, Rose. He has led such an unhappy life since Coraline Duvall turned him.”
“Yes, but if he opens himself he’ll find joy and a new purpose to his life that is better than anything he ever imagined.”
“And Clark as well?”
“Yes, Clark too. I think Clark will be an amazing Guardian. Josef? Well, the jury might still be out on that one,” Rose laughed.
Dorothy nodded, understanding how Josef’s skewed and skeptical take on the world might lead him to have a hard time with it all.
“So Vaygar gets here tomorrow. What will he do?”
“Yes, but I don’t know when. He’s driving down from Oregon. He is bringing a protective team for you, Dorothy. You might as well know that right away. He likes to be involved in his descendants lives and when I told him what was going on in yours he knew he needed to be here right away. You’ll like him, I promise you and he’ll be crazy about you too.”
“Okay. I feel sort of stunned by all this though.”
“I can understand that. Go home, talk to Clark about it all. Brody is waiting outside to make sure you get home safely.”
Rose looked down for a moment. She didn’t want to scare Dorothy too much but she also needed to know what was going on. She told her, as simply as she could, about the man in the garage.
“Oh my gosh. But we don’t know he was looking for me, do we?”
“No, but he wouldn’t talk to Brody and so we’re not taking any chances.”
“Okay, I guess it won’t do any good to protest. I realize it might have been rash of me, leaving on my own. I won’t do it again.”
Rose chuckled and said, “Seriously, I doubt if you could. Vaygar and his guys are very good at what they do. You might never even see them, but they’ll be there.”
“That’s good to hear. I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I don’t want to alarm them at the office.”
Rose nodded and stood up. “Come on, I’m taking you out through the private entrance to where Brody is waiting.”
Dorothy followed, her mind full of questions but she felt suddenly calm about it all. For some reason she knew it would be okay.
At the loft Mick opened the door as Dorothy and Brody approached it. Beth jumped up and immediately embraced her mother saying, “Don’t do that again! Mom, you can’t go out by yourself!”
Brody’s eyebrows rose and he shook his head slightly. “Beth, she’s fine and after tomorrow it will be a moot point anyway. I’ll see you in an hour or so for your lesson, okay?”
“What do you mean it will be a moot point?” Beth asked, looking from her mom to Brody who was heading for the door.
“Beth, I’ll tell you all about it. Brody, thank you for everything.” She smiled and gave him a quick wave as he headed out the door.
“It’s quite a story, Beth.” Dorothy told them all that she’d found out from Rose.
“You mean that you're a descendant too, but from a different one of the 13?”
“Yes, that’s what Rose tells me. You can ask her about it yourself if you like because she’ll be here for your lesson.”
“I don’t understand, Mom.”
“I don’t either, exactly. But Vaygar is my antecedent and tomorrow he’ll be here. Bringing a security force with him to protect me, although I’m still not sure I need it.” As Beth started to protest she held her hand up and added, “But - I’m going to go along with it so that everyone will stop worrying.”
“And this Vaygar is the Master at Arms for the group? A trainer?” Mick asked.
“Yes and apparently he’ll be working with you, Clark and Josef, since you’ll all be Guardians. There definitely seems to be a sense of hierarchy with them, like a well-organized corporation,” Dorothy finished with a smile.
Mick was intensely curious about Vaygar; he’d not heard anyone else mention him. And, like Beth he was very curious how Dorothy could be his descendant and Beth wasn’t. Of course, obviously her father was a descendant too. He needed to find out who that was, if he was a vamp or not. He could have been; since Dorothy is a descendant he could have impregnated her.
Beth’s father could have been a vamp. It was a sobering thought.
“Dorothy, I have a picture I’d like to show you. Of the guy who was in the parking garage earlier.” Mick told her the information they had on him, which wasn’t much. Logan found the car on the traffic cam but didn’t get anything useful from it. Still no clear picture of him. But curiously enough, out in the sunshine he had sunglasses on.
Dorothy looked at the picture of Vinton McCullough and frowned. It was a terrible picture, as Mick had told her but even knowing that, it still wasn’t really familiar.
“I don’t know, Mick. He doesn’t, I mean it’s so bad I really don’t think I’ve seen him before. I’m sorry.”
Both Mick and Beth could tell she was telling the truth. No rapid heartbeat or respiration, tell-tale signs of lying. “Okay. Keep your eyes open though. If you do see him, let one of us know.”
Dorothy nodded, knowing he meant one of the vamps. “I want to take a quick shower before I talk to Clark. I met Jackie, the young woman Rose recommended and I really like her. I think she’ll be perfect to work for us.” Dorothy stood up and headed up the stairs.
“Mom, would you like me to heat you some soup or make a sandwich for your dinner?” Beth asked.
“Yes, that would be lovely, Beth. Whichever is handiest, sweetheart.”
“Okay. It will be ready when you get downstairs.”
Beth and Mick watched her head up the stairs and heard the bedroom door close.
“She is amazingly calm about all this, Mick.”
“Yes, she is. But she didn’t know him, from that picture anyway.”
Beth nodded in agreement. “All this just makes me think about my life, Mick. Just who is my father? Why won’t she tell me about him?”
To be continued…
Posted by Hope at 10:25 AM