So sorry for the lateness of the post, my internet has been so slow that I haven't been able to post or even get on the board much. Hopefully things will get better soon.
Chapter 17 Dream On
walked into the Buzzwire offices and glanced around her with curiosity;
the place was alive with energy and it felt good to see it. Whether it
was the people themselves or what they were doing, the atmosphere
surged with vitality and excitement and Cat decided that she had made a
wise decision, deciding to become a part of all this. Now, she just
needed to let Beth know that she had.
Catherine smiled at the thought and looked around, trying to spot her
but quickly gave up and approached a young woman sitting at a desk near
the doors who was typing rapidly on a keyboard as she frowned at the
screen in front of her.
“I’m sorry to disturb you but I’m looking for Beth St. John; do you know if she’s available?”
woman scowled at her screen for a moment and then turned to see who was
speaking to her. Expensively dressed and well groomed, the woman
looking at her seemed to have a no-nonsense manner and while she wore a
pleasant smile Trish knew that she shouldn’t be kept waiting.
sure, I think she’s free. Just let me check for you.” Trish pushed a
couple of buttons on the phone and spoke into the headset. “Hey, Beth,
you have someone here to see you. Are you free?” Trish listened for a
moment and then hung up. “Yes, she’s free. Just head down that hall
and it’s the second office on the left.” She nodded to an almost hidden
hallway and Cat nodded her thanks and walked down it in search of Beth.
she approached the door it opened, and a surprised Beth smiled at Cat,
and offered her hand. “Hello, Catherine. Please, come on in.”
Beth. Please, call me Cat; I hope I’m not disturbing you. I happened
to be on this side of town and wanted to speak with you about the legal
segments that Benjamin told me about.”
“Oh! Yes, please, have a
seat,” Beth told her, indicating a chair that faced the large window in
the office. Cat glanced around the office, but it was fairly spartan;
modern furniture with little decoration. Either she’d not really taken
the time to decorate or she appreciated a minimalist approach to her
work environment. Either way, there was little to distract her and Cat
“Would you like some coffee, or tea, Cather…, um, Cat?”
thank you very much though. So, Ben told me that you are looking for
someone to do some legal spots on Buzzwire and I wanted you to know that
I’m very interested in doing them.”
Beth’s smile lit up her
face and Cat saw that she was genuinely happy to hear that news. Being
an attorney for so many years had taught her to read people with a
fine-tuned precision because if you couldn’t decipher what your client
was telling you, or not telling you, as the case may be, you’re
representation wouldn’t be worth a damn.
Cat wasn’t really sure
why she was so excited to be a part of this; whether because it was just
a new opportunity if it was a chance to get a closer look at this young
woman who was married to her bio father, well, she didn’t really want
to hazard a guess. But she looked forward to it eagerly and she waited
expectantly for Beth to tell her about it.
They discussed the
ideas that Beth, Max and Rodney had for the segments and Cat could see
that it could actually work, even with her being in England for 3
months. They would be able to tape close to a dozen 10 minute segments
before she left. Buzzwire would feature 1 new segment each week that
repeated daily. All segments were also available to the viewers at will
so even if they missed one they could always catch it when it was
“We already have close to a hundred questions from
viewers, Cat. Some of them are very mundane, some most likely
inappropriate, and some very interesting, from a layman’s view that is.
We’ll email you all of them so you can go through and choose what you
think will be important or even entertaining.”
reflected a bit of surprise at Beth’s last words. Obviously it wasn’t
only about the information, legally speaking. Buzzwire, while providing
reliable news and information was still about entertaining their
viewers so the segments would need an entertaining factor to them,
something that would keep them coming back again and again.
sounds like a good place to start. I hadn’t really considered the
entertainment factor in all this but I guess it is necessary, isn’t it?”
it definitely is. We want to be able to help people, really help them,
but every now and again, a question about someone who has a neighbor
who likes to bathe in their backyard or something equally weird, well,
people will laugh and that’s good for everyone.”
“Don’t tell me that’s really a question?”
The guy wears a shower cap as he uses the hose and sings to boot.
It’s driving his neighbor crazy.” As Cat cracked up laughing Beth
added, “But, most of the questions are just the normal run of the mill
variety, we think anyway. Do you have a bit more time so that I can
introduce you to Max and Rodney?”
“Yes, I do. I have to admit, I’m intrigued and excited about all this, Beth!”
exactly the attitude we love around here!” Beth called Max and then
she and Cat headed into the conference room and the group chatted and
got some of the details worked out. When Cat left all three of them
felt as if they’d struck gold.
“She’s going to be great,” Rodney
said. “She’s so intelligent and she’ll shine on camera I’m guessing.”
Since being at Buzzwire he’d already started to see how they had to
understand how something would look through the camera’s eyes instead of
just being concerned with a visual print presentation of the news. It
was new and exciting to him and he’d discovered that he loved it.
think so too!” Max added. Things were working so well here, all the
pieces coming together smoothly. Ad revenue was going through the roof
and Buzzwire was gaining new viewers daily. It was a paying proposition
now and Max realized that her dreams were finally coming true. She
lifted her cup of coffee and said, “Here’s to the future! It really
Beth and Rodney did the same and nodded. The future really did look great.
was shown into Heroku’s office and when the elder vampire rose from his
seat Carl bowed in obeisance and said, “Heroku-san, it is good to see
Heroku bowed as well. “Carl, thank you for coming to see
me. Please, have a seat.” Heroku watched as the young man sat politely
and couldn’t help but notice that his heartbeat remained steady as he
did so. Carl was much better able to control his emotions and physical
responses now thanks to all his intensive training. Kenji had stated
that the detective had been an apt pupil and had mastered all the
physical challenges put before him and many of the mental ones as well,
no small feats for a human.
Heroku settled into his own seat and
stated, “Kenji tells me that you have surpassed my expectations for
you, Carl. I want you to know that I appreciate your hard work and
dedication to the tasks. You have done well.”
These were words
of high praise, coming from Heroku as they did and Carl felt a small
rush of pride at them. “You are welcome, Heroku-san. I will continue
to work on my skills so that your approval will be justified.” The
words all seemed so formal Carl thought as he said them. Yet, Heroku was
a man of formality, of tradition, a man to whom the old ways were still
very much present in his life. Carl could understand that because he
was a man who appreciated the values that he had learned from his past
“Carl, I will come directly to the point; it is time to
talk of your turning. Is it your wish still to give up the mortal coil
and become immortal?”
“Yes, Heroku-san, it is my desire to do so.”
Heroku gave a terse nod of approval; it was an expected answer. “Hai,
it is good. We will meet with Camille to determine a time for this
transition to take place. You will need to be gone from your job for as
long as a month, but most likely two or three weeks. You will need
time to adjust to your new skills and feel comfortable among human’s
again. I will not lie to you, Carl; this can sometimes be difficult,
mentally as well as physically.”
“I understand, Heroku-san. I am still resolved to join Camille in immortality.”
“Is that the only reason for your decision?”
in truth it is not. I feel that I can make a contribution, to the
immortal brethren and humanity as well. Like Mick St. John, I see how
our skills and talents can benefit both.”
“Yes, they can. I am pleased that you can see the benefits. How will you explain your absence from your work?”
have many weeks of vacation time that I have not taken. While it would
be unusual that I ask for so much time off of work, if I were to
combine it with a honeymoon with Camille, I think it will not be
questioned. My partner, Luka is supportive of what will happen.” The
last sentence was possibly a bit of a stretch; Luka was trying to become
comfortable with it all and Carl felt sure that in time he would manage
Heroku nodded, satisfied. “We shall meet with Camille and determine a date. Have you two spoken of your wedding yet?”
have discussed it some. Since it is going to be followed by my turning
we want a very simple ceremony. We will possibly have a reception
after I am turned and reintegrated back into the human world.”
is a wise plan I believe. Please plan on having dinner on Wednesday
next week to discuss the details.” Heroku rose to his feet, followed
quickly by Carl, who bowed again. “Thank you for coming by, Carl.”
“Thank you, Heroku-san.”
watched as the young man walked away; tall, well-muscled thanks to his
training and with a good deal of pride in his steps. Yes, he would make
an honorable addition to the family.
“What the hell are you doing here, Martin?”
“Now, big brother, is that anyway to talk to me? You haven’t seen me for a long, long time, you know.”
“Not nearly long enough. The money train is done, Martin. I’ll not give you another cent. Now get the hell out of here.”
looked around the richly appointed office in his brother’s home and
then sat down in a Queen Anne chair covered in red, supple leather that
was situated across the desk from where his brother’s chair sat. He
tossed one leg carelessly over the arm of the chair and grinned at his
brother’s frown at his insolence. “Now, we really need to talk about
that. I believe you need to reconsider that idea.”
watched as his brother stood up, his fingers gripping the edge of the
desk tightly as his face turned an alarmingly blotchy shade of red. The
waves of anger rolled off of him, palpable all the way across the wide
desk and Martin realized his brother was considering coming over the
desk to attack him.
Martin continued to grin and shrugged
carelessly. “I don’t think so. Don’t forget brother, I know where a
lot of your skeletons are buried. All those girls, before you went off
to college, and all the ones after you got married. Really, you should
have been a bit more discreet. And buried the bodies a bit more,
carefully, so to speak.”
“I never killed anyone! You little piece of shit, get out of here now!”
Well no, I guess not. Sometimes though a person might wish they were
dead after nasty things happen to them, don’t you think?”
are truly a miserable person, Martin. It’s too bad that father didn’t
tie you into a gunny sack and toss you into the river when mother died.
It would certainly have saved a lot of people countless misery.”
laughed loudly. “Oh, you would have liked that and so would that
miserable excuse of a man we had for a father. Oh, wait! He loved you;
you got the best of everything, including his money and love. Or is
that love and money? I forget, since I got screwed on both of those
“You got exactly what you deserved, Martin. You are a useless waste of air.”
opposed to you, who does so many good deeds? Yes, I suppose you’d
think so.” Martin came to his feet in one cat-like and dangerously
agile movement and leaned over the desk, his eyes so dark blue that they
appeared almost black. “Now, listen to me because I’m not going to
repeat it. Turn around and open up that fucking safe and give me the
cash out of it because I know that there is plenty in there.” For
effect he pulled out a large and deadly looking knife that reflected the
light of the desk lamp.
His brother’s eyes widened briefly in
fear and he swallowed down a lump the size of a tennis ball. It was
late and the house was quiet. The maid was gone and his wife was in
Palm Springs, at her favorite spa. He was alone and he suddenly wished
that he had a gun tucked away in a desk drawer.
“I’m not joking and I’m not a patient man. You should know that. Now open the fucking safe!”
“Are you going to kill me, Martin? How will that benefit you, in the future that is? You’re certainly not in my will.”
“Then you better hope that what you have in that safe is enough to make me happy. And rich, very rich.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Martin. Do you think I keep piles of cash in there?”
heard the chastising tone in his brother’s voice and rage suddenly
crept over him. He swept his arm across the desk, sending papers, pens
and the lamp flying across the room. The lamp shattered against the
floor and the room was suddenly a bit darker, only the overhead light
shining on the scene. Martin jumped across the desk and grabbed his
brother, holding the knife against his neck. His fear was apparent
because Martin could see his pulse beating frantically in his neck and
suddenly he knew that whether he got the money or not his brother was a
dead man. Forty-five years of being the brunt of hatred and pain were
enough. Tonight it ended.
“Open the safe, Slick,” Martin hissed, using the derisive nickname he used for his brother.
“Okay, alright, Martin. Let go, so I can.”
watched as his brothers hand shook as he tried to turn the dial. He
messed up the combination twice before the door finally swung open.
Inside several tall stacks of money could be seen, as well as some of
his sister in laws jewelry boxes.
“Well, well, looky here. Looks
like I hit myself the jackpot tonight.” Martin pulled a small canvas
tote out of his pocket and started filling it with the cash and jewelry.
“Wifey won’t miss this stuff, I’m sure.”
As Martin scooped
things out of his safe his brother realized for the first time that he
had gloves on. Latex gloves and suddenly he knew what was going to
happen. His eyes looked longingly at the door. Could he make it? He
started edging closer to it, hoping that Martin wouldn’t notice.
Martin turned, seeing what his brother was doing. “Not so fast, Slick.
You really think I’m going to let you out of here?” He jumped the
desk again as his brother made a dash for the door and jumped on him,
the knife sinking deeply into the middle of his brothers back.
pulled the knife out and sank it in again, over and over until he was
spent and out of breath. God, that felt good, he thought. The legacy
of pain, of loneliness, of bitter rejection melted away with each
downward stroke of the knife until he suddenly felt as if it all had
been exorcised from his psyche.
He was free; he was clean of the
rancor and anguish that seared his soul. It was time for a new
beginning. He had money and he could reestablish his life. As soon as
he could find Dorothy that is.
One more task, just one more. Then his life would be complete.
To be continued…