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

Monday, July 15, 2013

Chapter 21 Joyride

Chapter 21 Joyride



“Noodle! Where are you? You're such a little scamp!” Mrs. Carter said, looking out into the darkness for the little brown floppy-haired dog. “NOODLE!”

She didn’t see any movement and she didn’t hear him either, only the far away sound of an automobile coming down the hill. She needed to find him before he scampered out into the roadway. Silly dog didn’t have a lick of sense.

She had searched the yard for a hole, or a broken board in the fence that he could get out of, but she hadn’t found anything. It was completely frustrating, and it made her madder than blue blazes too. How in the world did the little imp get out?

He was just too small to jump the 4 foot high fence, or at least he should be. Inside the house he couldn’t seem to make the jump up onto the sofa and she was beginning to think that he was playing on her sympathies. If he could jump the fence he could certainly jump up on the sofa or bed by himself instead of looking at her with his sad little puppy dog eyes as if to say “Please, mommy, I need help!”

Well, she wasn’t buying that one anymore! So siree! Never again.

As she thought about it she knew that she’d give into him, no matter how mad she was now. But one thing was for sure, she was going to get a fence he couldn’t jump!

“Noodle!” Suddenly, she saw the glint of headlights around the bend in the road and she headed out to the road, frantically calling for Noodle. She spotted him just as the car approached. Thankfully the driver saw him too and came to a rapid halt.

“Oh my goodness, he’s okay isn’t he? I didn’t hit him?” Beth said as she jumped out of the car and quickly picked up the errant ball of brown fur. Noodle looked at her for a moment and let out a whimper and Beth quickly handed him to Mrs. Carter. A glance at the mailbox startled her and she suddenly knew exactly who this woman was. She cast a look at Mick in the car and realized he knew who she was as well and was doing his best to be inconspicuous. He dad seemed to be calm in the back seat, which was a good thing at least.

“You silly dog. Bad boy, Noodle!” Mrs. Carter scolded but the only thing Beth heard in her tone was relief.

“I believe I know who you are, Mrs. Carter. My friend Lani talks about you and Noodle frequently. She adores you both.” Beth cast a sideways glance at Mick, knowing that he could hear her words. He’d be mad but sooner or later he had to face her. She was coming to Lani and Josef’s wedding and there would be no ignoring her there.

“My dear, Lani! How is she? I love it when she comes to visit and last time she brought that dashing young man of hers. I am looking forward to attending their wedding. You surely must be Beth?”

“Why yes, I am.” Another glance at the car reminded her that Clark could be struggling and she needed to get them moving again. “I will look forward to seeing you at the wedding, Mrs. Carter, but I’m afraid I must rush right now.” She reached out and let Noodle sniff her hand, but he pulled away and so she just smiled and stepped away.

“Goodbye, I enjoyed meeting you!” she called out with a wave.

Mrs. Carter watched the car move away and frowned at Noodle. “What IS your problem? She’s such a nice girl, Noodle. Shame on you!” Noodle ducked his head under her arm as they made their way into the house. “Silly dog!”

In the car, Mick’s face stared stonily ahead but Beth could scent his anger; it was rolling off of him in waves and she knew that he struggled to control it. She also knew that he was ashamed as well.

Clark sat in the back, silent as he took in all scents he couldn’t quite identify. Beth pulled into an empty parking lot and turned the car off. The three of them sat silently for a moment and then Beth asked Clark how he was.

“I’m okay. I could scent the blood and I have to admit it made me feel a bit weak just like earlier tonight but I sipped the blood and it was okay.”

“What the hell do you mean, ‘earlier tonight’, Clark?” Mick asked, piercing Clark with a burning look. “What happened?”

Clark swallowed convulsively, suddenly taken aback of Mick’s anger. “I, uh I, at the house, I sensed something was wrong and went and looked in the window at Josef’s. I was afraid that something was wrong with Dorothy or the babies.”

“Why didn’t you tell us that?” The scowl on Mick’s face was a bit intimidating but Clark relaxed a little, sensing the blinding anger was over with.

“I told Logan, I guess it just slipped my mind. Nothing happened, really. I looked in the window and saw that Dorothy seemed to be fine but that Lani wasn’t and I could scent the blood and went back to the guest house. Nothing happened.” He spread his arms in a shrug.

“But you scented the blood and walked away on your own?”

“Yes, I did. Despite the circumstances, Mick, I can control myself,” Clark said, a hint of exasperation in his voice. “I’m working hard on it; I have to be ready for when the babies are born. I have to be. I WILL be,” he said and the conviction in his voice rang true for all of them.

Mick contemplated his words for a moment. Okay, so he seemed to have some self control. Still, both times there was glass separating him from the human’s. That didn’t make him ready to re-enter the mortal world. But, he was ready to begin the socialization process Mick decided. Hoped.

“Sorry, Clark – for the scare.” Mick knew that his anger had panicked Clark a bit and he felt bad about it. Part of that was due to Beth and his sister, but they could tackle that tomorrow when they were alone. But, he was still pissed about it.

“Let’s take a quick ride through the mall parking lot. That way we can keep moving and not seem too out of place. I can get us out of there in a hurry if need be,” Beth told them. For a moment Mick looked hesitant and then he finally nodded his head.

“Clark, keep that blood handy,” he reminded as they headed down the road to the mall, about a mile away.

They stopped at three traffic lights on the way and Clark didn’t seem in the bit bothered by it. He did sip from the cup a couple of times, but he remained calm.

A movie had just gotten out at the mall and there were many people walking to their cars, which neither Beth nor Mick had counted on. She kept a distance from them but the heady scent of warm, human, pulsing blood was everywhere.

Finally Clark said, “I think I’ve had enough, Beth. Can we go now?”

“Of course. On our way,” she told him with a smile. “It was starting to get to me a bit too, Dad.”

Mick looked askance at her for a minute, knowing that statement couldn’t be true; Beth had better control of her senses than he did. It occurred to him that she was perhaps trying to make Clark feel better. It seemed to work.

Back at Josef’s they settled in for the rest of the night and Mick questioned Clark about his experience.

“It felt great actually. The scent of the blood didn’t really bother me, but I really wanted to get out at the mall and just walk freely again. God, I miss that!”

His statement surprised both Mick and Beth. Still, it meant that he was coming along. He might just make it home for the birth of those babies yet.


Martin pulled out of the building parking lot with enraged fury ripping through him in waves. Who the hell was that asshole who tried to question him? He hoped that he’d killed the bastard when he hit him.

One thing was for sure; they were looking for him and protecting her. It was time for a couple of changes and one of them was already planned for tomorrow. He was getting new identity, completely new in fact and meant he’d have to get the car registered in a different name, other than Vinton McCullough’s. Hell, maybe he’d even get a different car because they were looking for this one now.

Those bastards were not going to keep him from her, he’d kill them all first. A smile swept over his face as he contemplated that thought and he sighed with the pleasure he’d feel watching them die.

A new identity would provide him with a whole new life. Maybe they’d head to Mexico or down in South America somewhere; take in some local color and he’d heard you could live dirt cheat there too.

It was always good when he had a plan and this was one of his best.


The ride back to the guest house was mostly silent; all three of them contemplating how the night had gone.

For the most part, Clark was happy. He’d been out, had been around humanity and hadn’t even been tempted to break out of the car. He knew that the windows were closed but he could easily scent the blood all around him at the mall. Clark knew that he was ready for more exposure and the sooner the better. His wife needed him and he had to be there for her and the babies. He HAD to be.

Beth was impressed with her dad’s reaction to the evening. She felt sure that if he’d really been determined he could have gotten out of the car and he hadn’t shown even the tiniest bit of need to do so. Mick was so worried about Clark going rogue that he just wasn’t seeing that he was doing fine. She didn’t understand why Mick felt the need to keep new vampires away from the world for so long. Had Coraline done that to him?

Curiosity made her want to ask questions but wisdom made her not do it. He wasn’t ready to talk yet because he was still upset with her about his sister. He was going to have to face it soon, but that event made her anxious because it would tear him up. She knew that he felt so much shame over what had happened to him. Talking to her would ultimately be a good thing, eventually. She hoped.

Mick’s brain was working overtime. Was he being too hard on Clark? Maybe he was farther along than he thought. And, after all, the fact was that Clark was Logan’s fledgling, not his. Coraline hadn’t kept him separate at all and he’d killed ruthlessly but he couldn’t handle it and he ran to Josef’s, wanting to die. He knew what he’d been capable of, what he took so much pleasure in when he’d drained that young woman that night and the fear of that loss of control had always haunted him. How could he separate his actions from others? He couldn’t bear the thought, the guilt that he would feel if he didn’t spare other fledglings the same thing, especially if keeping them separated for a while would prevent it.

And then was the situation of his sister. He felt like he was watching a movie, “Of all the gin joints in all the world…” or something like that. Beth had managed to see the little dog, which was good, but why did it have to be his sister’s? How on earth could he explain all this to her, that he’d been turned into a vampire and that it had been dangerous to see his family?

Had it been? He knew that immediately it had been but after awhile? Coraline had said so, but he’d also seen in the past year or so that it wasn’t necessarily true. He’d cut himself off from everyone who had loved him for decades to protect them but he was beginning to believe that part of that was because Coraline didn’t want him to be around anyone except who she chose. God, that bitch was so screwed up.

Which lead him back to Maeve? Was she even physically strong enough to handle the news about him? What if she had a heart attack or a stroke or something because he revealed himself to her?

What if? He sighed in frustration and closed his eyes, wanting to shut it all out for a few minutes. Just a few minutes…


Mick, Beth and Clark all rested fitfully that night. Excitement was the reason for Clark, finally feeling as if he was making headway and would be ready soon. Beth was still concerned for Mick, who had hardly spoken and also for Lani. She hoped that her friend had rested some this night. She and Mick decided to go up to the house when Logan got back to the guest house in the morning.

Logan came back around 10 am, smiling a mile wide and with a satisfied twinkle in his eyes. It did Clark good to see and understand that his brother had needed the time and that it was well spent.

Mick explained about the previous night’s adventures and Logan seemed happy about it. “Looks like you may be free before too long, brother!”

Clark beamed at the words. “I can’t say it’s too soon. Can we go out again tonight?” he asked hopefully.

“I don’t see why not,” Logan said and then saw the look of unease on Mick’s face and added, “We’ll be very cautious, Mick.”

“Yeah, I know.” He closed his mouth then, trying to refrain from saying anything else.

Beth saw that he was getting upset again and said, “Hey, Logan, do you mind if Mick and I get out of here? I want to go and check on Lani.”

“No, go ahead. Thanks so much for giving me some time with Audey. We both appreciated it.” He and Clark waved as Mick and Beth walked towards the house and it didn’t take a genius to see that Mick was still very tense. Clark told Logan about Mick’s sister and it all began to make a little more sense.

“That’s going to be a real problem for him. He’ll figure it all out though. Beth will help him.”

Clark nodded, knowing that to be true.


“Good morning, my love,” Josef said to Lani, as she stretched in the bed and turned to face him for a morning kiss.

Her warm lips lingered briefly against his cool ones as the kiss comforted them both. “Good morning to you as well my delicious vampire.”

“How are you this morning, Lani? Do you feel okay?”

A slight frown crossed her face as she thought about the question. “I still feel in a bit of shock about it all and I have to say I’m more than puzzled about my reaction to it. I mean, I wasn’t close with him, far from it but it still hurt to know he died. Especially that way!” she finished with a shudder.

“Sweetness, there is some truth to the old adage, ‘blood is thicker than water’, you know. It’s just going to take you a bit of time to get over it.”

“I guess. Have you spoken with my mother?” Lani had a strange suspicion that he had. Her mother would have no clue about what to do in a situation like this.

“Um, I spoke briefly with her last night. She wanted me to wake you up so she could talk to you but I refused. You needed your rest.”

Lani nodded at his words but still sighed inwardly. She knew that she and Josef were going to have to take charge of the situation and she told Josef as much.

Josef pulled her closer for a hug. “I know that, Lani. We’ll get through it all. Hopefully your father left her a large insurance policy and we can take care of the funeral expenses so she doesn’t have to deal with that. It will all be okay.” To himself he thought that one way or another, he would make sure that Helen would have plenty of money so she would stay the hell out of Lani’s life.

She sighed and snuggled into his shoulder, trusting him in this matter. Suddenly her stomach growled and while she frowned, she saw Josef grin.

“I guess I’m hungry,” she said apologetically.

“That is a good thing!” he told her, running his fingertip down her nose and following it with another kiss. “What would you like for breakfast, Sweetness?”

She thought about it for a moment and then said, “I know this sounds really strange but I’d like pancakes with peanut butter cups in them and sliced jalapeno’s on top.”

Josef winced at that combination of ingredients. “If that’s what you want, but are you sure about that?”

She sat up in bed with a smile, stretching her arms over her head. Her breasts looked beautiful in the morning light, creamy globes topped with cherries that looked good enough to eat.

He stared at her for a moment, feeling his passion for her grow each second. He wanted her fed but he also wanted her! Just then there was a light tap on the door.

“Yes?” he asked, knowing that it was Franklin.

“I’m sorry to disturb you but Miss Beth and Mick are waiting downstairs. Shall I have them return later?”

“No, that’s okay, we’re awake. Can you get Lani her breakfast?” He told Franklin what she wanted and wished he could see Franklin’s face at the odd order.

“Certainly. I’ll tell cook to prepare it. Would you like it up here, or downstairs?”

“Downstairs. I can’t wait for Mick to see this,” he laughed. Lani gave him an impertinent and saucy grin then headed to the shower, winking at him.

Ah, opportunity raises its head again. He wasn’t going to waste it this time. They could be quick, maybe!

To be continued…


Joangel said...

You're back!!! I was SO excited to see a post from you. I hope you are well.

Hope said...

Hey Joangel!

So glad you're back. Did you see the chapter I posted last week? I'm putting up notices on my FB page a day in advance.

Cyndy Klein Hodge on FB

Joangel said...

No, I don't think I did see it. I'm going to look right now!!!