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, November 24, 2014

Chapter 25 Just a Song Before I Go

Cat stared at the phone for a minute, reaching for it and then withdrawing her hand several times.  Finally, she picked it up and dialed before she had the opportunity to change her mind again.

She listened to it ring twice before it was picked up and for a moment her heart thumped loudly in her chest; she was positive that he'd hear it, even over the phone.

Mick smiled as he listened to the elevated heart rate of his daughter.  He knew that she didn't think of herself as such, but deep in his heart he would forever think of her that way. He waited for her to speak and for a moment he thought she might not.

"Uh, hi, Mick.  Did I catch you at a bad time?"

"Hello, Catherine.  No, this is a good time.  How are you?"

"I'm good, good," she said, nervously.  "I'm going to be near your place this afternoon and I wondered if it would be a good time to stop and visit you, if you aren't busy that is."

"No, I'm free.  I'd like that."

"Great.  I'll see you about 2 then?"

"Two it is.  Goodbye, Catherine."  He heard her murmur goodbye and then the line went silent.  He sat his phone down on the desk and wondered what was making her so nervous.  Time would tell he decided and wondered if he was going to like whatever was on her mind.

Catherine thought about the call she just made to Mick.  This was really none of her business, but she felt she needed to speak up about it.  Was it right for her to butt in, to speak her mind?  Probably not, but she was going to anyway. 


Rose stared at the report that was on her computer.  It had been sent to her by Naman, the sort of de facto leader of the 13.  They didn't have a leader, exactly but Naman sort of kept track of all of them.  He served as a sounding board, in cases where there were disagreements, something that happened rarely, but when it did he was there to mediate.  He also gathered information as well and in this case, the information was stunning.

Vampires were dying of an, so far, undetectable disease.  Yes, dying

How could that be?  It couldn't possibly be true and yet it was.  Several hundred so far, that they knew of, and all so far in Eastern Europe and Asia.  The symptoms were pretty cut and dried; in a human they might even be diagnosed and cured.  But how did you kill a vampire with a disease when nothing in the form of a disease could do that?

The blood in their bodies was essentially eating itself, thereby starving them.  Eventually, it just consumed them and no amount of blood could help, not even returning by another, healthy vampire. 

Perhaps the bigger question was, how were they getting the disease?  Was it a poisoning agent of some kind and if so, where did it originate?  Was it a culling of vampires, a natural end to a cycle of vampirism?  Did special blood factors contribute to it, or types of blood?  Was it from a specific familial line? 

Would it affect the 13 and their descendents?  Would it eventually spread though out all vampires? Was it limited to vampires only or were humans susceptible?  If they were, health agencies would get involved and vampires might be exposed.  If that happened and they were determined to be the point of origin, one way or another there would be what most vampires had long feared, a war.

Rose sat back and frowned, a hundred thoughts racing through her head.  She reached for her phone to call Brody.  She needed his comfort right now.


Cat knocked on Mick's office door, suddenly aware of her rapidly beating heart and that her palms were sweaty.  She wiped them unconsciously on her skirt just as Mick opened the door.
He heard her racing heart and began to feel a bit of alarm himself.  When he opened the door she swallowed nervously and licked her lips and gave him a small smile, trying to summon a bit of courage because she was truly nervous about his reactions.

"Catherine, please come in."  Mick stepped aside and watched as his daughter entered the room and stood unsure of herself for a moment.

"Have a seat, please.  Would you care for a drink?"

She sank down into one of the chairs across from in at the desk.  She nodded gratefully at his offer for a drink and crossed her legs as she waited.  He couldn't help but notice that she'd not sat on the couch as she had before, so this probably wasn't just a cozy 'getting to know you' chat.

Catherine accepted the scotch gratefully and took a bigger sip than expected and sputtered for moment before she looked up, spotting Mick watching her closely.

"Catherine, what's on your mind?" he finally ventured, as curious at the proverbial cat.  Or Travis, fielder's choice.

"Mick, I wanted to talk to you about - about Maeve.  Your sister."  When she had been taping more segments at Buzzwire Beth had told her about Mick's sister and his reluctance to see her.
Of everything she could have said to him, this might well have been last on his list.  In truth, her nervousness had convinced him that she was going to tell him she didn't want him in her life, in any way.  No, talking about Maeve was a total surprise.

He quirked an eyebrow upward and finally said, "What about her, Catherine?"

"You…you have to tell her you are still alive, Mick.  You can't keep avoiding it."

Beth…Beth had told her, it couldn't have been anyone else. 
Did he know that he needed to?  Yes.  Did he know that he needed to do it before Josef's wedding?  Absolutely.  Was he still afraid of what it might do to her?  Positively panicked. 
He cleared his throat and said, "Um, Catherine, that's kind of personal, you know?  I haven't decided what to do yet."

"Haven't decided what to do?  Are you crazy?  You'd just let her see you, no explanations at Josef's wedding?  That is just cruel!  I didn't figure you for a coward, Mick!"  Her words were rushed and a trifle loud, especially to a vampires ears.  He had to focus hard on not wincing at just how loud they were.

"Catherine, this kind of shock might kill her, or - or cause a stroke or something.  No, it's dangerous."

Catherine scoffed at his words and then laughed outright.  He didn't have a clue at just what a strong woman his sister really was.  She didn't know her aunt well but she had met her a number of times.  Margie had always made sure that Catherine had knowledge of Mick's family.  She had even met his parents before they died.  She wouldn't tell him how heartbroken they were about their son; it wouldn't serve any purpose and would only make him feel guiltier about something that truly had been out of his hands.

"I know her, Mick.  It will do nothing of the kind."

"You've met her, you know, Maeve?"  Somehow that shocked him.

"Yes, mother made sure I knew your family.  She wanted me to know my grandparents and my aunt.  Maeve will be thrilled to know you are still here, Mick, regardless of the circumstances."

"How could she?  She has to hate me."

"Give me a break," Cat said, unable to keep the irritation out of her voice.  "It seems that you are the only one that hates you, Mick.  Even me, once I understood the situation, I can't hate you.  You know that."

Mick digested her words; perhaps she had a point.  She didn't hate him any longer although the jury was still out on Ben.  Maybe it always would be.

"You think she's healthy enough for this kind of news?"

Again Cat gave a small laugh.  "Yes, she will be fine.  I'd feel sorry for you if she ever found out and it wasn't you who told her.  She would hunt you down, I promise you."

Mick finally smiled.  "She'd probably sic that floppy little dog of hers on me.  I'll bet he has sharp teeth.  For some strange reason though he liked Josef; go figure."

"Josef?" she asked with a grin.  "Had to be allure.  Noodle doesn't like many men.  I guess he likes to be the only rooster in the house, so to speak."

Mick nodded, beginning to think seriously about telling his sister for the first time. He'd give anything to have a relationship with Squeaks again.

"Mick, just tell her.  She'll be so happy.  She adored you and the fact that they didn't know what happened to you hurt them all so much.  Every year on the anniversary of the day you disappeared your mom cried so much.  She baked you a lemon cake on your birthday each year as well.  You can't tell your mom and dad, but you have the chance to make it right with Maeve.  Just do it."

"So you knew my parents as well?"  It was like a stake in his heart as he waited for her answer.

"Yes, I knew them.  They were wonderful people, Mick.  I don't think they ever gave up hope that you'd come home, safe and sound."

He felt tears sting his eyes and he shut them quickly, trying to keep back the pain.  If he felt then as he felt now, that family can be told, things might have been different for him.  He couldn't change it, that part, but he could make things right with Squeaks.

Cat saw the change in his demeanor immediately.  She wouldn't be a top notch attorney if she couldn't read people.  He would see her, he'd made his decision.  She smiled at him, feeling so much happier.

"So, you're going to talk to her, aren't you?"

"Yes, soon.  Thank you, Catherine."

"You know, Mick, you can call me Cat," she teased.

"I think it's just my age, it's more formal I guess.  But I'll work on it."

"Good.  I have to go now.  I've still got a million things to accomplish before I leave for England after Christmas.  I'm looking forward to going but getting ready isn't easy.  And now 3 months seems like a lifetime, you know?"  She didn't add that partly that was because she was enjoying getting to know him but somehow she thought he understood that.

He nodded and rose to his feet when she did.  It would be hard to see her go, but he'd do it and hope she'd actually miss him a bit.  He knew that he'd miss her.


Lani was in the shower when Josef got home; he immediately scented the sweet honeysuckle shower gel she was using and he inhaled deeply and let his nose lead him into the bathroom as he shed clothing on the way.  He stepped into the shower with her, which wasn't a surprise to her because she'd sensed the moment he entered the house.

She turned in the spray of the shower which was at a temp that vamps could appreciate, done out of hopefulness; that being that he'd join her.

The smile she gave him could have lit up half of New York City and he almost hated to kiss it away, but he did anyway.  He held her close, an arm wrapped securely around her waist just to make sure she didn't lose her footing.  When his mouth found hers he felt her melt against him with a sigh.

When he finally pulled away she was breathless.  "Hi," she said, wearing a ridiculous grin. "Glad you joined me.  I think I feel something that needs some special attention!" Her hand slipped down between their bodies, capturing an aroused Josef and stroking lightly. 
His knees felt suddenly weak at her touch.  Just a touch, that was all it took from this woman to make him turn into jelly.  Or was it Jello?  Either way, they didn't have that when he ate food, all he knew was that it wiggled.  Or wobbled, much like his knees right now.

He leaned back against the side of the shower as her mouth moved farther down his body, licking lightly at his nipples and then scratching softly with a fingernail, making them ache in a way he was unaccustomed to.

"Sweetness, let's take this to our bed, hm?"

She stood up and leaned against him before smiling in a way that let him know exactly who was in charge at this moment.  She whispered in his ear, "I think we're fine here, Josef.  I want you as wet as I am."  Suddenly she was on her knees and was placing kisses up and down his heated length.

He groaned and let her have her way for a minute and then pulled her up and turned so that her back was to the wall before lifting her and settling her on him.  Lani moaned against his shoulder, loving the feel of him as he moved within her.  She wrapped her arms around his shoulders a bit tighter but she knew that he'd never drop her, no matter how carried away they got.

The lukewarm spray of the shower was soon forgotten by both of them as they moved as if of one mind, one body. When they were both at the point of ecstasy, he bit his finger and she sucked it into her mouth greedily, licking every bit of blood from it as he bit his shoulder.  She clung to him as wave after wave of pleasure swept over her, the warmth of his blood singing through her body.  It wasn't the same as when he bit her, but it was a way of keeping them connected.

Slowly they both came down off of the plateau and stood in the misty spray, enjoying the feeling of satisfaction that encompassed them both.  The moment ended when Josef heard her stomach growl.

"It seems that something else needs feeding, Sweetness.  Let's get you dried off.  I believe that Franklin told me that the chef has prepared sushi for dinner tonight.  I know you'll like that!

Sushi was a newly added food to their diets; it might be because Josef had insisted because Lani loved it.  Maybe not, but since his chef didn't want a one way ticket to the tar pits there it was.

"Um, yummy!" she declared, in a hurry now to get out and get dry.  "Come on, Josef!  Hurry!"

She quickly was out and dry, pulling on a pair of yoga pants and one of those skimpy little tee shirts that Josef loved her in.  Her belly was still flat, but he knew that before too long that wouldn't be the case.  He couldn't wait for that day, when he saw the visible proof of his child growing inside her.  He figured that made him a bit of a chauvinist, but he didn't give a damn.

They descended the stairs hand-in-hand, both of them smiling like two lovers who were completely besotted with one another, which they were.  The headed into the dining room and sat down and almost before she blinked Lani found a glass of ice water with a lime twist set before her quickly followed by a plate with sushi and all the accompaniments.  She looked at it and smiled; California roll and spicy tuna, her favorites.

As Franklin smiled at her obvious delight he prepared to leave the room.  "Miss Lani, is there anything else I can get for you?"

She shook her head no and then changed her mind.  "Yes, Franklin.  Can you bring me some grape jelly, please?"

"Of course, Miss Lani." He left the room, a confused look on his face.  Still, it wasn't for him to question.  He was back in a minute, having had a brief disagreement with the chef over why she wanted it.  It was not for Franklin to question why, however, the chef felt he was entitled to an explanation.

Back in the dining room Lani was spreading wasabi liberally over the sushi, her mouth watering in anticipation over it.  Josef watched, knowing the pink pieces of ginger would be next.  Instead, when Franklin set a small bowl of the gooey, grape condiment on the table she spread that over the wasabi. 

Josef smelled the combination of the fish, wasabi and grape jelly and wrinkled his nose.  Not that the bait, as he continued to refer to it, was ever pleasing but the odd combination was particularly gross.  Surely she wasn't going to eat that?

She was.  She did. 

"Lani, are you feeling okay?"

"Yes, wonderful.  You should know, you were very thorough in feeling me a little while ago," she laughed, popping a bite of the strange combination into her mouth and chewing with a happy sigh.

"This is so good, I should have tried this before," she said as she popped another piece into her mouth.

The bait was bad enough.  That grape stuff was worse.  It was going to be a long pregnancy he decided.

To be continued…

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chapter 24 Last Dance

So sorry to be late. I moved a few days ago and I had the internet switched yesterday and it decided not to work. It has taken two days now to get it figured out, mostly because I added TV to the mixture. Anyway, we're good to go now, I guess.
Early June 1980

Today was their last day together, before Clark left for Fort Leonard Wood for his basic training. Dorothy awoke already feeling depressed, like the world was filled with shadows and thunderheads. When she looked out her bedroom window it was almost an insult to see that the day was sunny and bright.

Today the neighborhood was having a cookout to send Clark off tomorrow. Dorothy knew this day would be hard enough to get through, even with everyone there. But tonight, that is the time she really dreaded. She and Clark were going to spend some time together alone, for their final goodbyes. She knew she couldn't bear to go to the airport in the morning with the Griffin's, although she had been invited. Let that be their private time for goodbyes she had decided; tonight would be her time.
How could it hurt so much? It wasn't forever, she knew that. But it felt like forever, it did and no one could tell her otherwise.

She dressed carefully, wanting to look her best for him. Her white shorts she decided with the red tank top, he always liked her in that outfit. She put on some red canvas shoes as well because she knew that they'd make a trip to the park for some baseball. Finally, she pulled her hair up into a pony tail and put on the Austrian Crystal necklace he'd gotten her their first Christmas together as 'a couple'.

Grace watched Dorothy as she came into the kitchen, a sad look marring her face. She knew how deeply her daughter felt the events of this day; if it were possible to have found love so young then she knew that Dorothy and Clark had. Shelly had told her that Clark was a morose as Dorothy, even though he was excited about his future. This separation would be hard for both of them.

Much as Grace hated to see Dorothy, well, either of them so sad she also knew that from a pragmatic point of view it was for the best, Clark going away. Yes, both of the kids understood the birds and the bees, but no matter how good their intentions were, there came a point when temptation was almost too much to resist. With Clark being two years older, that point might come sooner than later.

"Hi, Mom," Dorothy said, grabbing an apple out of the fruit bowl. What are you making today?"

"Some baked beans; I know how much Clark enjoys them," she told her daughter as she chopped some bacon to go in them.

Dorothy laughed out loud and said, "Yeah, but everyone else doesn't enjoy it. Do you know what they do to him?"

Grace did and if it made her a worry wart to acknowledge that fact, to herself at least, well, so be it. It might keep a bit of distance between them later since the kids were going out after the cookout. She hoped that her ploy didn't really make her a bad person…

"Do you need my help before I go over to the Griffin's, Mom?"

"Nope, got it all covered. I got the brownies done this morning, so I'm mostly done."

"Okay, I'll see you later then. We'll be going to the park to play ball in a little while you know."

"Yes, I do. Don't ruin those white shorts by sliding in the dirt!"

Dorothy grinned, she hadn't thought about that. For a half a moment she considered changing into some jean shorts and then decided to stick with the white ones; she'd just have to be careful. "I'll watch it, Mom. Bye…"

The screen door slammed and Grace watched out the window as Dorothy cut across the yard and through the gate that separated their backyard from the Griffin's. It wasn't going to be an easy day for her daughter. None of them actually; Clark was a good young man and he would be missed.

The day wore on; in one respect Dorothy didn't want it to end, because that made it that much closer to her saying good bye to Clark. In another, they'd all had a great day at the park. She watched the camaraderie between Clark and Kip, his best friend. Boys didn't get weepy but both of them seemed to be a bit kinder to one another instead of the usual ceaseless teasing they did.

It wasn't like he wouldn't be home in a couple of months, after basic training. Dorothy couldn't help but wonder how much he would change during that time? Would he still care about her when he came back?

All too soon friends said goodbye and it was only the Griffin's and the Turner's left. Clark tugged on her hand and said, "Come on, there is a movie with our name on it. Bye, everyone."

Dorothy followed silently; they were going to a movie? He hadn't mentioned that.

In the car Clark headed for the coast, to the beach they liked. "What happened to the movie?" she asked him, suddenly nervous.

"You really want to spend our last night together at the movies?" he teased. Even in the deepening light of twilight he could see her blush. "It'll be fun, Dorie. I brought marshmallows!"

She swallowed hard and looked out the window, trying hard to compose herself. She was afraid of herself, what she might do. She didn't want to ruin these last hours with him crying like a baby and if they were alone on the beach that is exactly what might happen. She couldn't be really happy that he was going, no matter how excited he was about it, but she didn't want him going off knowing how devastated she felt either.

As if reading her mind he reached across the car and took her hand, holding it warmly in his. "I know how hard it is for you, Dorie, but I promise you these two years will fly by. Promise!"

She nodded and if the nod was a bit shaky he ignored it and turned the radio on. The beginning strains of Last Dance came on and for a moment he thought about turning the station and then he remembered how much she liked the song.

Last Dance

Last dance
Last dance for love
Yes, it's my last chance
For romance tonight
I I need you by me
Beside me, to guide me
To hold me, to scold me
'Cause when I'm bad
I'm so, so bad

So let's dance the last dance
Let's dance the last dance
Let's dance this last dance tonight

He realized his mistake when he glanced at her and saw the tears running down her cheeks in rivulets. "Oh, Dorie, I'm so sorry. You like that song; I thought it would make you happy!"

"I…it…it does," she said, choking out the words, still crying.

He pulled the car over into a parking lot and turned the engine off. He reached for her and pulled her to him and held her as she cried. He stroked her back tenderly and suddenly all his bravado, all the excitement faded at he realized how much he loved her and would miss her.

"Hey, hey, we're going to be alright, Dorie. We're going to be just fine. Do you believe that?"

She nodded, but knowing that they were going to be alright didn't help at all. Later on, at the beach she tried to explain it to him.

"I know that we will be okay, Clark. But I'm going to miss you so much. Since before we started school we've always been together."

Clark chuckled for a moment. "I seem to recall clearly that when you were in 4th grade that you told me to get lost and drop dead. More than once!"

"Yes, well, you were annoying at times! Dorothy tried to smile, but it came off as a watery simulation of a smile at best. "Clark, I love you. I know people say we're too young, or at least I am but I know that I love you."

"I love you too, Dorie. Forever, I promise."

He kissed her then, and pulled her close to him as they settled back onto the blanket. It was past twilight now, the sky and inky blue littered with stars that sparkled and seemed to wink down on them.

Dorothy sighed and wrapped her arms around him, loving the solid feel of him against her. The kiss deepened and she trembled, and for the first time she began to understand what her mom was worried about. This was what desire felt like; it was exhilarating and she moaned against his mouth.

"Clark, I - I want to be with you. Before you go."

"You are with me, Dorie," he said, not understanding what she meant, at first.

"No, I mean, BE with you, Clark. You know…"

Clark sat up abruptly. "Dorie, I won't do that. I promised my parents, hell, I promised myself that we wouldn't do that, not yet."

"Why? I don't want you to forget me when you're gone!"

"Forget you?" He laughed for a moment and added, "How in the world could I forget you, Dorie? You're all I've thought about for years. No girl, I could never forget you."

Clark remembered that night as clearly as if it just happened. He never had forgotten her, not even when he thought he'd lost her. Somehow love had found a way. And he would find a way now, a way to get back to her before those babies were born.

He was startled when he heard someone knock on the door. He lifted his head and scented vamp, but not a familiar one. He stood up as Logan went to answer the door, waiting to see who it was.

A very tall, very handsome man smiled at them. Logan immediately knew that this was one of the 13. They had a distinctive scent, or maybe lack of a scent would be a better way to describe it. They had vamp scent but it was different than the rest of them.

"Hi, I'm Vaygar. Might you be Logan?"

"Yes, I am. Come in," Logan said, trying to relax in the presence of the older vamp. "This is Clark, my, uh, brother. And fledgling…"

He bowed slightly, whether to Logan or Clark, they weren't sure. "Ah yes, the Lady Dorothy's mate. So pleased to meet you, both of you." His voice had a refined quality to it that was almost a lilt and yet neither Clark nor Logan doubted his ability to be deadly when he chose to be; it was in the way he held himself, as if ready for anything.

Logan looked flustered for a moment, or at least he would have had he been human. Instead it was more of a unsure of himself look and Vaygar smiled at the young one's discomfort, an emotion he hoped to dispel quickly.

"I've heard much about you, Logan, all good things I assure you. Mick speaks very highly of you, as does Beth. It seems she is very fond of her uncle. Might I sit down so we can chat?"

Logan let out a deep breath and began to relax a bit. "Would you care for a drink, um, Vaygar?"

"No, but thank you. Please, let me get directly to the point: Clark, Dorothy will be having the babies soon and we need to get you ready for that. Logan, do you agree with me on this point?"

"YES! Yes, I do. I've been thinking about it all day. I know Mick says it's too soon but Clark is doing really well and I think he is ready to get out among humans and see how he does."

Vaygar nodded in agreement. "Yes, I think you're right. She needs protecting, she needs her Guardian. Clark, do you have a say in this matter?" he queried the silent vamp that sat and watched them closely. Vaygar understood that Clark was taking his measure, something he heartily approved of.

"You know, Vaygar, you have really managed to piss my wife off, more than once and I can see why." Clark suddenly grinned; the man was courtly to the point of excessiveness and that is what made Dorothy so mad. She didn't like to be coddled or overprotected and Clark could see that Vaygar took his duty to protect her very seriously. For that reason, he liked the man enormously. "That being said, I agree with you completely; I am more than ready to get on with training."

"Good, then we are all in agreement. We need to make sure you are ready to meet the human world, Clark. We also need to teach you to feed fresh and some physical training as well, defensive as well as offensive maneuvers. If you're ready we can start immediately."

Clark stood up, anxious to get started. "Hell yes, I'm more than ready. What do we do first?"

Vaygar smiled at the eagerness that Clark exhibited. "First, I've arranged for you to feed fresh. The young woman will be well-protected and if you feel or show the slightest lack of control the experiment will end. It takes supreme control, Clark, and that is much harder than it sounds. Would you like to try? If so, say the word and I'll have the young lady brought here immediately."

"I want to try. A few nights ago I was around humans, I felt a bit weak at the scent of the blood, but at no time did I feel like I couldn't control it. I am ready."
"Excellent." Vaygar made a phone call and when it was done he said, "Miss Murdoch will be here shortly. Tell me about any physical activities you have participated in, in the past I mean."

"Well, I do exercise regularly; I run 3-4 miles a day and work out some with weights. In high school and college I played football. Does that help? I've never had any karate training or anything like that."

Vaygar nodded, pleased to hear all of this. It meant that Clark was no stranger to some of the rigors that his new training would demand of him. "Those things will help immensely, I assure you. For now, you will learn some basic moves; when you and Dorothy go for training you will learn very complex and detailed measures."
"I'll happily learn anything you can teach me. I can't wait to be her Guardian. Actually, I've always been her Guardian. "

Vaygar nodded in agreement with that statement. "Yes, I have heard that. Good. I can't promise it will be easy, but it will be very rewarding."

The three of them chatted easily until there was a knock on the door. All three vamps lifted their heads to scent both vamp and human scent. Vaygar watched Clark carefully as he scented the air, his head raised as he inhaled deeply.

When he seemed to stay in control, Vaygar rose and opened the door. Brody stepped through along with a young human woman, who wore a smile on her face. Clark rose to his feet, as if in a daze and walked to her, his eyes silvered over.

Vaygar watched carefully, ready to step in between them if the need arose. He could only hope that it wouldn't.

Clark held out his hand and shook Brody's and then shut his eyes for a moment, trying to gain control before greeting the young woman. He offered her his hand and she shook it easily and smiled.

"Hi, I'm Clark. Thank you for coming and giving me this chance," he said simply, deeply gratified at the young woman's courage.

"Hi Clark. I'm Melissa Murdoch and I'm happy to be here. I think we are going to do just fine, so don't be nervous, okay?"

Clark nodded, suddenly very nervous. He wasn't sure if it was because this was his first time or the other three men in the room watching. For some reason he almost equated this to the first time you had sex, which was crazy. Or maybe not; both were deeply intimate acts he believed.

He looked to Vaygar, not sure how to proceed. Vaygar in turn said, "Logan, why don't you talk your fledgling through this? I'm sure you can."

Clark admired how Vaygar was keeping Logan in the loop, deferring to him actually. Add that to the fact that he would feel more comfortable with Logan talking him through it and he actually started to relax.

"Uh, okay. Miss Murdoch, are you right or left handed?"

"Logan, please call me Melissa. And I'm left handed."

"Okay, Melissa, then. Clark, sit there on the right side of the couch so that Melissa can sit next to you." Logan noticed that Vaygar and Brody had both stepped back a bit so that Clark didn't feel like he was being hovered over.

Clark sat and Melissa sat next to him on his right, so that he could have access to her right arm. Clark looked at it, at the beauty of the veins that were pulsing with blood and inhaled deeply. It smelled warm and sweet, vital even.

Logan talked him through the rest; the bite wasn't as bad as he thought it might be. His fangs were wickedly sharp and it took so little to break the skin he was amazed. No need to bite down hard and hurt her, just puncture the vein and let it flow. When he was done he obediently licked at the wounds before pulling his mouth away.

Melissa smiled at him and then glanced at her arm. "You did a great job, Clark, I hardly felt that bite. You have a light touch."

Clark self-consciously licked at the corners of his mouth, hoping that no tell-tale remnants of blood remained. He felt warm as he hadn't been since he'd been turned. It was amazing actually.

"Thank you, Melissa. I'm glad I didn't hurt you."

"Nope, if only all new turns were this gentle." She laughed lightly for a moment. "Gentlemen, I think this went very well!"

All three of the seasoned vamps agreed with her. Finally Vaygar spoke, "Melissa, we do thank you my dear. Will you send Wendy tomorrow for another lesson?"

"Yes, I will. Brody, I'm ready to go, now." She turned to Clark and winked, "Keep up the good work, Clark!" and with a wave she was gone.

Logan exhaled loudly and laughed out loud! "I need a popsicle! Clark, you nailed it! Good job," he praised, thumping his brother on the back a few times.

Clark sat back, happy it was over and pleased that he'd done so well. Thoughts of his wife filled his head and he suddenly felt sad. It hadn't been her blood he'd tasted first and he almost felt as if he'd been unfaithful to her. He knew he had to learn before seeing her, but it still bothered him.

Logan was in the kitchen, rummaging in the freezer for a celebratory popsicle and Vaygar caught the scent of sadness and guilt that washed over Clark. He understood the human's feelings quite well.

"She understands, Clark. Whatever it takes to get back to her. Whatever it takes."

Clark nodded and looked at Vaygar, not ashamed of the tears that shone brightly in his eyes. She would understand.

To be continued…


Monday, November 10, 2014

Chapter 23 Biggest Part of Me

Lani sat at the table, her face pale in the cool morning air. Three pairs of eyes watched her closely, and three sets of ears listened, trying to determine how much distress she was in.

"How - how long until Rose get's here?" Lani asked, a hand resting on her stomach.

"Not long now, Sweetness," Josef told her.

"Is it still hurting, Lani? Are you still having pain?" Beth asked.

"I don't know, I mean, no, it's not hurting right at the moment. It's just really scary, Beth. I don't want to lose this baby!" Silent tears streamed down her cheeks and Josef knelt between her legs and held her close.

"No, Sweetness, no, that isn't going to happen. It will be okay."

"Lani, I think this happens a lot in pregnancy. Just hold on," Beth said, trying to remember if Robbi had ever mentioned anything like this. She was scared to death for Lani because she knew it would devastate her if she were to lose this baby; Josef too for that matter. Beth could still hear the baby's heartbeat and it sounded steady, which surely was a good thing.

Three vampire heads perked up as they heard a car in the driveway. Together they breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that Rose was here. It didn't take long for Franklin to bring her to the terrace.

"Well now, Lani, what is going on?" Rose asked, already pulling a stethoscope out of a bag to listen to the baby's heartbeat.

"I don't know, Rose. I just suddenly felt this - pain - I guess, low in my stomach. It scared me."

Rose listened intently for a few moments, a small frown marring her face. "Lani, was it a sharp pain? How long did it last?" she asked, trying to determine what had happened exactly.

"I - it only lasted for a few seconds. It was, not really sharp, actually. I just felt it briefly. What's wrong, Rose? Please, just tell me the truth."

Josef held her hand, nodding at Rose in a signal to just be frank with them. Rose stood up and put the stethoscope away in the bag and snapped it shut, the click sounding loud in the quiet of the yard.

"Do you really want me to be honest?" she asked, watching Josef and Lani carefully.

Oh god, Beth thought. She's lost the baby! But if that was true why could she still hear the heartbeat?

"Please, just tell us," Josef said, a choking pain threatening to keep him from speaking.

"Okay, here it is. Lani, what you felt was your baby moving! You are fine, and so is the baby." Her words were spoken gently, with a good deal of kindness.

"Wha - what? It's okay?" Lani said, positive she'd heard Rose incorrectly. Her hand went back to her stomach, touching it with shaky fingers. She looked down and said, "You're okay in there, you're okay! Josef, we're still pregnant!" Teary-eyed laughter spilled from her and her relief was evident, as was everyone else's.

Beth, Mick and Josef all started talking at once; each one thrilled and excited at the news. "So it wasn't really a pain?" Josef asked.

"Well, it's a fluttering more like," Rose explained. "It can feel somewhat like a cramp at times, especially at first. Lani, you're going to feel it much more from now on I'd say. And in a few months you'll be wishing it was only these flutterings."

"But it is normal, then? It just took me by surprise, I wasn't expecting it. It really did feel weird." She tried not to feel embarrassed about it, but couldn't help the slight blush that swept up her face. "Ooh, there it is again!" This time she laughed, loving the feel of the movement in her body. "Josef, our baby is okay!" she declared to the man she loved, and pulled his head down for a kiss.

After his kissed her, he tossed a brilliant smile over his shoulder at Mick and Beth. "Just call me daddy," he laughed.

Franklin who had heard the good news stepped out onto the terrace and said, "Now that we know that everything is fine, shall I serve breakfast?"

Four heads nodded yes and Lani said, "Rose, would you like to join us?"

As Franklin sat the plates of pancakes down she noticed the chopped up peanut butter cups in them, the topping of sliced jalapenos. Her eyebrows rose a bit and she said, "I've already eaten, thanks. I'll just um, leave you to it."

Beth was speechless, understanding why Franklin had asked if she'd like something different. She managed to mumble goodbye to Rose as she stared at her plate. Perhaps if she scraped the jalapenos off? Somehow she wished she'd asked for blood.


Biggest Part of Me

Carl pulled Cami a bit closer to him, placing sweet, nibbling little kisses along her neck and breathing in the delicious scent of the woman he adored with all his being.
Cami shivered a bit in his arms and laid her forehead against his. “So you are sure you’re ready, love?”

“Absolutely, Cami. I’ve worked out and mastered what Kenji has taught me and Heroku says I am ready and that he will do this whenever we choose.”

Cami nodded, but lightly chewed her lower lip as she thought about what was going to happen. Heroku would take his life and she would give him her blood so that he could complete the journey. It was a terrifying process but a bit exciting as well.

Heroku had made the decision to do it this way for several reasons; he didn’t want Cami to carry the weight of taking Carl’s life. He thought it fitting that her concern should only be about bringing him back. Heroku would basically mentor him and teach him how to handle his new vampire self while Cami would nurture his emotional needs. They would be married right before this happened so that they could begin their path together united as only vamps can be, connected by blood.

Cami remained silent as Carl studied her face. A silent, lone tear slipped down her face, tracing over her pale cheek and Carl’s heart sped up a bit. What if she no longer wanted to marry him?

“Cami?” he questioned softly. “Have you changed your mind?” He felt like his heart was going to stop as he waited for her answer.

“No, absolutely not!”

“Then what is wrong?”

“It's just, you’ll lose your mortal life and while we’ll be together for always, I guess I feel a little guilty for being the cause.”

“Cami, you are not the cause; this is my choice to make. I made it on my own and I’m anxious to get it done. I could still love you whether or not I’m a vamp, but I want this, Cami. More than you could possibly know.”

“How soon?" she asked.

“Soon, next week or maybe two weeks from now? I just need to put in for my vacation time. Heroku says to plan two weeks, for the honeymoon, but also for my training.”

“Two weeks? It took me so much longer than that.”

“Baby, you were turned under such different circumstances; Heroku says you were almost feral by the time his men found you. I’ll have him and you both helping with my training. I’m going to be just fine.”

She nodded, feeling a bit more composed about it. "I am excited about our life together, Carl."

"Me too,Cami. Now, come here and let me love you. I need you Cami!" His fingers and then his lips traced a delicate path down her throat and teased the hollow of her neck. He felt her shiver in delight and it was all the encouragement he needed. His lips stroked over her sensitive flesh, thrilling and arousing her beyond what she'd ever experienced before. Each time with him their bond increased and so did the pleasure she felt.

His touch elicited a soft moan from her and he smiled against her breast, before sliding his mouth up to capture hers, sealing their lips together in a passionate kiss as he entered her body. His tongue mimicked the movement of his body as it thrust into hers and he knew that it would never be like this with anyone else, this sense of fulfillment beyond any human understanding. As they both approached the epitome of the pleasure he said, "Cami, I need to taste you, your blood."

"Carl?" she questioned, confused.

"Bite your finger, baby. I need to taste you, when you come for me."

Heroku had told her that he would ask for this, but it seemed almost unreal to her. She bit her finger and he pulled it into his mouth, sucking on it rhythmically. The blood made him feel as if his whole body was throbbing with the pleasure he felt. When he felt her bite his neck he spiraled into her arms, knowing, no, understanding the blood bond now
They were both complete.


Logan sat strumming his guitar while Clark paced the room, a scene that had played out all too often in the past couple of days. Logan got it, that Clark was beyond frustrated but he didn't know how to make it better for his fledgling yet. Logic (and Mick) told him it was too soon to take him out into the world, but so far, from what Logan had seen Clark was doing really well. When were they going to give him a chance?

Clark had the best motivation possible for controlling his inner vamp - a wife who needed him there when those babies were born. He had handled everything so far really well, with exceptional control even and it seemed to Logan that maybe they needed to give him more of a chance. Logan just hadn't determined what that chance might be yet.

It had only been a week since Clark had been turned. That's not really a long time, and yet some vamps never even had seclusion for any length of time and they were fine. Mick had kept him secluded for a whole month; by the time Mick told him he was ready for the world he was a bit freaked out, afraid he'd go crazy around people.
He didn't want Clark to experience that.

Logan valued Mick's help and guidance but he also understood where Clark was coming from. He needed to get his fledgling out of here soon; he just needed to figure out how to do that, just in case.

"Logan?" Clark asked, seeing that his brother had stopped strumming the guitar and was staring off into space.

Logan realized that he'd zoned out for a few minutes and laughed or tried to in an effort to keep his thoughts to himself.

"Um yeah, Clark. What's up?"

"Nothing, really. You just looked like you were far away."

"I - I was just thinking about Audey. I didn't have the chance to talk to her about a baby when I was home. We got, uh, preoccupied with other things."

Clark grinned, knowing full well what those things were. He was more than ready for those things himself.

"You don't want to talk to her about it over the phone, do you?"

"No, not really. I think this is a face-to-face kind of thing. If she doesn't want to do it, then I'll be able to tell if we're together. On the phone, not so much."

Clark nodded, understanding. Their sense of smell told them so much about how a person was feeling; frankly, it was amazing and something he'd never imagined. If someone wasn't telling the truth, it wouldn't be hard to know that in person; over the phone? Not nearly so easy to know what they thought; he understood that in a way never before imaginable.

"You really would like a child, wouldn't you, Logan?"

"I…yeah, I guess I would. I never even considered it before, because of circumstances. I'm a vamp, and I never had anyone in my life that made me feel like I'd like the chance. With Audey, it's so different, Clark. I think she'd make a great mother, but she chose to be with me, knowing that children weren't a possibility, so maybe that means that she never really wanted them anyway.

"Well, nerdo, unless you ask her, you'll never know!" Clark told him and Logan couldn't help but notice the twinkle in his eye.

"Yeah, you're right. Gotta ask." His fingers resumed his strumming, picking out an old Ambrosia song.

More than an easy feelin'
She brings joy to me
How can I tell you what it means to me
Flow like a lazy river
For an eternity
I finally found someone who believes in me
And I'll never leave
She was… yes, she was the biggest part of him.


Vaygar cruised on his bike up through the Hollywood hills, enjoying the cool day as the wind whipped through his hair. The ride up to Kostan's place was enjoyable; he hoped that his purpose there would be just as enjoyable.

Rose had told him that in her opinion, Dorothy only had a week left before she delivered, if that and he was frankly concerned about Dorothy's state of mind if her husband wasn't with her. Not that Dorothy wasn't a very strong woman; she was. But giving birth, while a very natural state was a scary prospect and with Clark being away from her it was increasing Dorothy's stress incredibly.

Rose had told him, what limited information she knew about Dorothy's past; that she had been raped and Beth was the result of it. She went through all that with the help of her parents and they had stood by her every step of the way it seemed. When Clark had come back into her life she had kept him at arm's length, a fact that Rose didn't particularly understand.

She knew that he wasn't Beth's father, even without knowing that he wasn't a descendent. Why did she push him out of her life? Obviously they'd always loved one another; Clark had apparently always been in her life. He'd waited for years for her and his perseverance had paid off eventually. In Rose's mind, men who were that devoted and unshakable in their love were few and far between.

Vaygar agreed completely; Clark Griffin was more than worthy of being Dorothy's Guardian and it was his job to make that happen. He just wished they had a bit more time to make it happen.

For someone who is a descendent, a turn is quick. They maybe need a day or so to rest and recuperate from the turning, but they are pretty much ready to take on the world. They could control the blood lust, and usually felt it only minimally. The time after a turning was more of an adjustment period; getting used to the new senses and sensations that the vamp experienced.

Other new turns did have that blood lust, to some varying degrees usually. He'd spoken with Mick St. John, whom he admired greatly but Mick felt that a month or so was called for in regards to new turns. Vaygar respectfully disagreed.

He needed Clark ready to go and it needed to happen quickly. His mission today was to meet and discuss this with Clark and his sire, Logan Griffin, who also was his brother. Where the problem came from was that Logan was the fledgling of Mick; if he carried his sire's feelings about this, he might not be willing to let his fledgling go quite so quickly. Vaygar could only hope that Logan would be reasonable and understand what was at stake here.

Since Dorothy was one of his descendents, he felt compelled to move heaven and earth for her and right now that meant bringing her husband home.
He could only hope that Clark was ready.

To be continued…