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

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chapter 19 In the Air Tonight

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In the Air Tonight

Clark felt on edge, a decidedly untypical feeling for him, well until recently that is. Since he’d been turned he seemed to be edgy about everything which Logan told him was common with new turns. Right now Logan was on the phone chatting with Audrey as they made plans for their night, leaving Clark at loose ends.

Clark knew that Logan missed Audrey terribly and really, he deserved to have some time with her but Clark had to admit that Logan being away was at least partly the cause of tonight’s flavor of edginess. Was that all?

He wasn’t sure; something was wearing at his nerves like crazy but he hadn’t been able to identify it. Yet. It was as if something was in the air. He stood in his room, the window open to the fresh, chilly breezes and for a moment he could have sworn he scented his wife. Or at least what he thought her scent would be since he’d been turned.

He missed her, so damn much. Yes, he technically saw her each and every day but he needed to hold her in his arms, to reassure them both that their love could survive anything. Logan was a good sire and Clark appreciated getting to learn new things about his brother, but damn, he needed out of here. So far Logan adamantly refused to let him try to be around a human for fear of what would happen.

Clark felt strong, strong enough to control himself. He had the best motivation imaginable; getting back to his wife before his children were born was pretty powerful but if they wouldn’t even let him try, how would they ever know if he could do it? She only had two weeks before her due date and it looked like she’d make it that far the doctor said. And that was another thing, he needed to be with her at the appointments so he understood more about what was going to happen.

He hadn’t been in LA when Beth was born. Hell, he hadn’t even known Dorothy was pregnant. They’d all kept it a secret from him for fear that he’d go a little bit crazy. She stopped writing to him and wouldn’t accept the call he tried to made her when he was stationed in Germany. When he finally got leave and came home Beth had already been born. She’d stolen his heart immediately but Dorothy wouldn’t talk about anything, wouldn’t even see him. She said she wasn’t mad at him and denied that she was seeing anyone else, but he was past the point of believing that babies were found under cabbage leaves. His friends all said that she hadn’t been seen with anyone else and it drove him nuts, wondering who the apparently absent father of that adorable baby girl was.

It had hurt him beyond reason, thinking that she’d been unfaithful to him. He knew she loved him; even when he was home from the army and starting college he’d catch her looking at him at times, her heart clearly open to him as her eyes adored him but she wouldn’t come near him.

He would have married her right then and there; his friends had said he had no pride that he would be willing to settle for someone else’s leftovers but he didn’t look at it like that. He’d left, he’d left her alone and missing him and she’d evidently turned to someone else. Or so he’d thought until their honeymoon, when the truth came out.

It had almost killed him to know that she’d been raped. He’d failed her in so many ways, first by leaving for the army and then by not showing her in a way that she believed back then that it hadn’t mattered to him a bit, that all he’d wanted was to be with her.

Instead, he’d thrown himself into life at college and he’d dated, hell, he’d screwed his way through his first year like there was no tomorrow but in the end it left him cold and feeling more lonely than he could have imagined.

That was when he knew that she really was the one, the only one and that if he had to wait forever for her he would. He couldn’t do anything else.

He took another deep breath, puzzled by the scents that the breeze carried his way. The main house was lit up tonight, much more than usual but it was the scents that made him pay attention. There seemed to be a pervasive air of…was it pain, or sadness? Something was wrong, he knew it.

He could still hear Logan on the phone in the living room. He headed to the back door, just to step outside for a little fresh air. That’s what he told himself, just getting some air. Logan allowed him to do that at times which was amazing, after the skunk incident. One thing was for sure, he’d learned to pay attention to what he was smelling after that.

The breeze was brisk out by their small pool, blowing from the direction of the main house. Yes, something was definitely wrong up there. He could smell the distress but also there seemed to be a wave of something like, well, he wasn’t sure. It wasn’t a scent he was familiar with. Like, maybe like, heartache, loss, he couldn’t be sure. Then it hit him, someone had died, he was sure of it and fear clutched at his heart so strongly that had he been human he would have died.

Oh God, please, no one I know! Not my family! What if Dorothy had lost the babies? Without thinking he headed to the house, his movement a blur, looking for a way to get answers. He ran around the grounds until he saw brightly lit windows and that was when he saw her.

His wife, his mate. She was sitting on the couch next to Lani, holding her as the young girl cried. Beth was there too, so they were both okay. But Lani wasn’t.

He pulled in the scents, of vampires and the human scent of blood and for a moment it pulled him towards it but he fought hard to resist the urge. The blood, sweet, warm…alive. He could control the need, the emotions, he kept repeating that thought like a mantra. Through the window he could even see the blood pulsing in Lani’s neck and it was almost hypnotic for him, he yearned for it.

He continued to gaze into the window at his wife, his heart and body aching for her and suddenly she looked out the window and saw him. He took a step closer, almost touching the window all the while sending her every bit of love and support that he could. Her eyes remained locked with his until he stepped back away, sinking into the shadows of the night and blending into the landscape. His family was safe, but he knew that someone in Lani’s world wasn’t.

The hardest thing he’d ever done was to turn and walk away. He felt as if he were magnetically being pulled towards his love but it wasn’t time yet and he could feel it. Halfway back to the guest house he found Logan, running wildly towards him.

“Clark, where the hell have you been?”

“I, I knew something was wrong. I was so afraid that Dorothy or the babies…” he said, his words trailing off in the chilly night air. “They’re fine, but something is wrong with Lani.”

“You went up to the house?” Logan said, a tone of panic making the words sound shrill to Clarks sensitive ears.

“Yes, I had to see, Logan. I need to get back to the house and have some blood.”

Logan understood immediately what had happened, that Clark had realized that he wasn’t ready to be around humans yet. He felt so terrible for his brother, for his fledgling. He put his arm around Clarks shoulders and said, “Yes, let’s go. Josef just called, Lani’s dad was murdered last night, Clark. By the same person who attacked you, Martin Parker.”

“He killed his own brother? I wish I would have killed that bastard years ago, Logan. That day before right before I went into the army, I could have. Oh my God, his own brother? Not that Marcus was any prize as far as that goes. It also makes me wonder why me? Revenge for the past?”

“Don’t know, Clark,” Logan said as they each drank a glass of fresh blood. “He’s crazy though, always has been.”


For a moment she was afraid she was seeing things, that her eyes were playing tricks on her and yet, she knew that wasn’t it at all. He’d been there, outside the window, staring at her. First her heart had nearly stopped and then it beat so rapidly that Beth cast her a concerned look. She gave her daughter a slight smile and tried to focus her attention back on Lani.

Lani kept saying she didn’t understand why she was so upset, but how could she not be? Her father had been murdered in the most brutal of ways and that was something that would be hard to find peace with, not to even mention the fact that it was her uncle that did it.

Lani seemed to feel guilty about her relationship with her father and Dorothy could understand that. Still, when all was said and done, regardless of your relationship, dealing with the death of a parent was a horrible tragedy. Lani’s feelings for him were so complicated; she hated what he’d done, to her mother, to her and yet he was her father. The old axiom that blood was thicker than water was so very true.

Lani was worn out and Josef finally insisted that she go to bed and she went meekly. After he’d tucked her in she’d fell asleep almost immediately and when he came back downstairs the group was conducting a post mortem conversation about what had happened.

“There’s got to be a connection between Clark’s attack and Marcus’ murder. But what?” Beth asked, frowning as she thought about it. “Mom, you grew up with Martin and Marcus, were they close?”

“I don’t know, really. I mean, Marcus was 6 years older than me so I never really knew him. I mean, he was around sometimes, summer and holidays I seem to remember but I don’t know how he got along with his brother.”

Mick watched Dorothy as she spoke and he knew that she was telling the truth, up to a point. She was leaving things out, he’d bet on it. But why? Was she trying to protect someone and if so, who?

“Did they get along with Clark?” Mick asked and heard Dorothy’s heart jump and then pound. A glance at Beth told him that she’d heard it too.

“I, well, they did have some issues. Martin used to pick on Logan, horribly in fact and Clark intervened a few times. Right before he left for the army Clark and Martin got into a terrible fight that got Martin thrown out of school.”

“Oh, wow,” Beth said. “I have never heard you talk about that, Mom.”

“It, well it wasn’t really my story to tell, you know? The good thing was that Martin spent his last year of school in a military academy somewhere. Without Clark there heaven only knows what would have happened to Logan.”

Beth nodded, understanding that. “You three, you were really close, weren’t you?”

“Yes, we were.” Dorothy smiled briefly and added, “Mostly because our parents were afraid of Clark and I going out alone too much so poor Logan got to be chaperone.”

“Oh!” Beth exclaimed. “I had no idea.” She wanted to ask what they were all like back then; was Logan a computer geek even then? Did they even have computers back then? And Clark, it was so easy imagining him as a football player in high school, popular and so caring about her mom. But it was really hard to imagine what her mom could have been like back then. She knew she was pretty, but what did she do? What music did she listen to? Did she and her friends get into trouble, like she had with Robbi and Lani? It suddenly occurred to her that she knew so little because none of them talked about it much.

She couldn’t imagine her oh so perfect mom getting into trouble, sneaking out, disobeying her grandparents. And yet, somehow she’d ended up pregnant at 16. She needed to know what happened in her mother’s life. Whatever it was didn’t turn Clark away from her obviously. What exactly was the story? Who the hell was her father?


A little while later Beth followed Dorothy and Vaygar home to gather the overnight bag for her and Mick. It had been decided that they would still stay with Clark and Dorothy would stay home so that Jackie could meet Clark. There wasn’t anything else that could be done for Lani tonight. Rest was the best thing for her; that and Josef screening her calls as her mother had called twice, demanding that Lani be woke up because she needed to talk to her. After he discovered that all she wanted was to whine (his opinion) he refused to wake Lani.

Mick was concerned about Beth; were any of them safe now? There was definitely a connection but he didn’t know what it was. At the last minute he decided to follow Beth so that they could ride back to Josef’s in one car. He knew that Beth wouldn’t like the idea but she was going to have to accept it.

The connection, what was it? He tapped at the steering wheel of the Benz as he drove, focused on the question but no answers came to him, save one that he didn’t want to believe.

He decided that he was going to have a long talk with Clark, come hell or high water and he would get some answers…one way or another.


When Mick pulled into the parking garage he say Madigan, one of Vaygar’s men standing in the shadows of the parking garage. Someone watched at all times but Mick was thinking that perhaps they needed two of them down here, to watch the elevator and stairwell.

He didn’t want to inconvenience his tenants by restricting anyone in the building or their legitimate guests but they had to make sure that everything possible was covered. Upstairs when he stepped off the lift he headed to Brody’s place before going to the loft. Vaygar answered almost immediately.

“Mick, come on in,” he said and stepped aside so that Mick could enter.

“Hi, Vaygar. I’m concerned and I think that we need to step up the security here. What do you think?” He told Vaygar that he’d like another man downstairs at all times and Vaygar agreed with the idea.

“I agree; we can’t be too cautious in this matter. Until we know that she’s safe I intend to make sure she is protected at all times, whether she is thrilled with the idea or not. So you think what happened today is related to Clark’s attack?”

“Yes, that too but I believe there has got to be a connection between what happened to Clark and now Lani’s father. I’m going to talk to Clark tonight, but it’s just too much of a coincidence. And Dorothy seems to be the connecting factor to all of this.”

“Most likely, but she did say that Clark had fought with Martin Parker in the past. Perhaps it’s personal, related to that?”

“I hope you’re right, but my gut tells me that there is a lot more to it. Dorothy said that Martin used to pick on Logan and Clark stood up for him but what,” Mick paused for a moment, hesitant to finish his sentence. “What if Dorothy was a catalyst? That the rivalry was actually about her? Dorothy had Beth after Clark was in the army, Vaygar.”

“Are you saying that you think it’s possible that Martin Parker is the father of Beth?”

Both men looked up when Rose came in the door and stared at them both. She’d heard what Mick had said and suddenly, it all started to fall into place as far as she was concerned. Cousins, the girls were cousins.


His fool of a brother had kept $165,000 in the safe and enough jewelry to at least double that amount. He’d have to find someone to unload the jewelry with and maybe it would be safer to remove the stones and sell them and the settings separately, he wasn’t sure. He used to know a guy here, but Martin wasn’t sure he was still around.

He decided to unload the piece of crap car he’d taken when he killed Vinton McCullough two years ago. He’d had a stroke of good luck, seeing him in Bernalillo that day. They could be twins and the old fool didn’t have any family either. He followed him for a few days and saw that he had definitely gotten lucky - due to a serious injury a few years before Vinton collected disability insurance and farmed out his land. Nothing to do but sit back and collect the rewards. Not that there was a lot of money, but he got by okay.

So, he just slipped into Vinton’s life, learning to write like he did, to talk like he did and if anyone suspected that he was impersonating him, well, they never said anything to him. He took it from Vinton’s address book that they ole boy didn’t have much in the way of a social life or friends. Martin knew that for a fact because trying to strike up a friendship with him had been harder than meeting the queen.

Now his fortunes had changed again; money, lots of it with more to come. Yeah, it wasn’t a windfall exactly, but it was enough to keep him going for awhile, enough to support him and Dorothy after he got rid of that baby she was carrying.

First he had to find the bitch.

He drove his new black Taurus, a very non-descript car past her house once and then back again. She wasn’t there, he could tell, so where the hell was she? She had to be at that daughter of hers place, but it was hard to know for sure. He headed the Taurus in the direction of downtown to drive by the apartment building where her daughter lived. As he got close he slipped a baseball cap onto his neatly cut hair, liking the super-short cut.

He turned into the parking garage and slowed down to take a look at the cars parked in the visitors spaces. There! He spotted it, her Lexus, sleek and silver and undoubtedly a gift from Clark Griffin. He idled for a moment and then saw someone walking to him so he put the car into gear and started to move forward.

“Hold it!” a commanding voice said, standing directly in front of the car. “Who are you here to see?”

“None of your damn business; they’re not here anyway. Now get the hell out of my way,” Martin yelled, easing forward on the gas. “MOVE!”

“Not so quick sir,” Madigan said as he scrutinized the man in the car. It was a different car than the description they had but he was positive it was the same guy. Too late he realized his mistake in not moving as Martin floored the car, the tires squealing loudly on the garage floor before hitting him square on.

Martin looked in the rear view mirror and saw the man fly through the air and crash into a concrete pylon. He laid there like a broken doll and Martin smiled, content that he was dead as he raced out of the parking garage.

He knew where she was, where she was most likely staying. He’d get to her, somehow. He wasn’t sure exactly how yet, but he’d figure it out.


Rose said nothing about the conversation she’d just heard, about her thoughts about Dorothy that is. She did agree though that they needed more protection, something that proved true a few moments later when Vaygar’s phone rang.

He listened and headed out the door at a run, signaling Mick to follow him. “Madigan was run over, downstairs. I’m going down the stairwell,” he said as he opened the door and leapt over the side railing. Mick followed and a moment later they were downstairs and at Madigan’s side. Rose got there a minute later having taken the elevator.

Madigan was a mess, covered in blood with a bone sticking out of his thigh. “Son of a bitch!” Vaygar exclaimed and then shut his mouth quickly as he saw Rose enter the garage at a run. Mustn’t speak such words when ladies were present he reminded himself.

Rose bent to examine Madigan’s leg and let out a long breath as she checked it out. “Sorry, Maddy, but this is going to hurt. I have to put it back into place so it can heal properly.”

He nodded, knowing what was coming. “Yeah, go ahead, I’m ready.”

Vaygar held his shoulders and Rose tugged and twisted and the bone snapped back into place. Madigan let out a howl that was followed by a curse and earned a severe look from Vaygar. He looked down sheepishly, knowing how Vaygar felt about such language in front of ladies.

Rose examined the rest of his body, but the other bones had apparently already knitted back together with no problems. Vaygar helped Madigan stand and called up to the loft to get a couple of other guys to get down to the garage.

There were six of them staying in that apartment with Brody and Mick knew he needed to find more space for them. There was an apartment that was going to be vacant on the 10th floor soon and he planned on converting it for their use. He knew that they were pretty cramped where they were.

“Was it him? Martin Parker?” Vaygar asked Madigan.

“Yes sir, I think so. He had a different car though and his hair is short now. This guy had a ball cap on but he was stopped by Mrs. Griffin’s car and when he saw me he got ready to leave. I told him to stop and he decided not to.”

Mick saw the tire marks on the pavement and knew that Madigan had gotten hit hard. He also knew that he probably hadn’t noticed the tag, but he had to ask.

“Not really; I did see that it was a temp tag, like he’d just bought the vehicle. It was a new Taurus, a black one with 4 doors.”

“Hey, that helps, Madigan. I can check on that.”

The doors to the elevator opened and Vonn and Rueben stepped out, ready to take their posts. Vaygar filled them in on what had happened and both listened carefully. “He won’t get back in here again, Vaygar.” Both men nodded solemnly and watched as the group headed to the elevator. Their comrade Madigan looked like hell and both of the men prayed that the bastard would come back. They’d take care of him!


Beth was just setting the overnight bag by the door when it opened and Mick and Rose came into the apartment. She could tell by their scent and the look on their faces that something had happened but she remained silent, hoping that no one else had died.

Rose greeted Dorothy who was heating up some leftover lasagna for a late dinner. Rose sniffed it appreciatively and sat at the counter as Beth and Mick said goodbye to Dorothy.

“I’ll be calling your dad as soon as I have a bit of dinner. Jackie is due anytime now. Give your dad a hug for me, Beth, and tell him I love him.” She tried to keep her emotions under control but there was a curious scent to her when she talked about him and Beth couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Her mother just seemed to have a glow about her.

Mick walked in and glanced around the loft, focusing on Dorothy, Rose and Beth in the kitchen. “Hey, I thought I’d follow you here and then we could drive back to Josef’s together,” he said, giving Beth a quick kiss.

“Sure, sounds good to me. I’m ready anytime, Mick.”

“Okay then. Is this the bag?” he asked, nodding to the obvious bag that was sitting on the floor by the door. “Stupid question, huh?” he laughed.

Beth grinned and said, “Well, aren’t you the smart boy? Come on, genius, let’s go! Mom, see you in the morning.”

“Give him my love, sweetie.”

“You know I will.”

Dorothy and Rose both took a plate of lasagna and went to sit at the table to eat. “This is really good, Dorothy. Your mother’s recipe?”

“Actually, more like my grandmothers or maybe even older than that. A family tradition,” she said with a smile. “When you were human, did you have things like that?”

Rose took a bite of the lasagna and then sat her fork down as she contemplated the question. “Well, you must understand that the world was much different then, food was more…simple I guess is a good way to describe it. Not that there wasn’t ‘recipes’, there were, but more like roasted meat, fruit or vegetables. Those were more likely to be found on a table.”

“Um, probably much healthier fare, I’m sure. Do you, what do you remember about being human?”

“Sometimes I think not much at all and then at times I remember bits and pieces of things. I had siblings, a family, before I was chosen.”

“How were you chosen?”

Rose grinned with a shrug, “I really am not sure. Possibly in the right place at the right time? No?” she asked as Dorothy looked skeptical.

“I guess I’m just wondering what the point is? Why this happened?”

“Why thirteen of us were chosen to be recipients of the gift?”

“Well, yes. And I’m not alone when I say that many don’t think of it as a gift.”

“Certainly Mick doesn’t, but I think that’s changing. He has so much potential and the things he will learn and be able to do will win him over.” Rose wiped her mouth and hands with a napkin and continued on. “Look, Dorothy, anytime there is something wonderful, there is jealousy by others. Jealousy can make people do terrible things. When it was discovered early on that if we turned someone, they didn’t possess our gifts, it sparked hatred and rage. The only way to have our gifts is by being a birth descendant and many people didn’t like that. So, they turned the gift to something dark and evil. That made it powerful, in all the worst ways and the evil was prolific as well.”

“But even if someone is a birth descendant, they still have to be turned,” Dorothy said. “It doesn’t seem fair in a way.”

“The reason for that was simple; people should have a choice whether or not to accept the gift. The world seemed a much smaller place then, Dorothy. The enormity, the extent of the world and its inhabitants now was pretty much incomprehensible at that time.” As she spoke the last words Dorothy thought that Rose looked very sad.

“So it is not exactly what the bearers of the gift intended?”

“Not exactly is correct.”

“Who are they, Rose? Were they?”

“They were magical people, who understood a great deal about the world - at that time. They would be lost if they walked the earth these days.”

“So they are no longer here? Alive?” Dorothy asked, very curious.

“No, not as such. Dorothy, these are things that you will learn when you go to study, as will Beth and Lani and your mates. There is much to learn, but there is a method to doing that. Please, you must accept that.”

“Alright, I am very curious, but I understand. I’ll try to stop asking so many questions,” she said with a smile. She stood up and picked up their empty plates and carried them into the kitchen, with Rose following.

“Here, let me load the dishwasher. Jackie should be here soon so you can go boot the computer if you like. You are going to Skype with Clark aren’t you?”

“Yes, we are.” Dorothy looked faraway for a moment, almost lost Rose thought and then she said, “Rose, I saw him tonight.”

Rose sat the plate she was rinsing onto the counter top, giving her a moment to compose herself. She looked up and asked, “When? Where?”

“We were at Josef’s. He was outside the window. He was there for a minute or so, and then he just went away.”

It could have been worse, Rose realized. He could undoubtedly scent the human blood and yet he didn’t try to attack, an excellent sign. They needed to get him socialized quickly because from her opinion of Dorothy’s pregnancy, the babies were dropping, moving towards station zero so there wouldn’t be too much longer before the births. She licked her lips and then said, “Do you feel better, to have seen him?”

“I…yes, I think I do. He looked good, but very sad.”

Rose nodded, understanding that. “Dorothy, he’ll be ready by the time of your delivery. They are working towards that, you much understand that.”

“But you can’t promise me that, can you, Rose? I need him there; I’m so afraid this time.”

“Because of what has happened?”

“Maybe, a little. I just have this ominous feeling, in the pit of my stomach about it. There is a black cloud hanging over us and I can feel it. It’s… it’s in the air.”

Rose nodded, wishing she could disagree. But her gut told her the same thing.

To be continued…


Anonymous said...

You leave me on the edge of my seat wanting more... Thank you!!! Jennifer

Engbunny said...

Hey Guys! Engbunny here. Hope is going to be out of commission for a bit as she is down.with the flu. By flu I mean the real thing so we are probably talking 2 to 3 weeks before she is able to get back to writing. I will do my best to keep you apprised on how she is doing but I am having surgery on Tuesday so this week could be a bit of a blackout as far as info goes. :-). Talk to you soon!