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, December 15, 2014

Chapter 28 Just My Imagination

Beth drank more tea and ate another cookie as she watched Maeve and Mick talk about their lives. They dwelt little on the past; by some unspoken agreement they had moved forward to their lives now. Perhaps it was just too painful for them to discuss or maybe time and his new presence in her life transcended the situation, Beth didn't know but she was happy that Mick had the courage to meet with Maeve.

Maeve had told them that although Margie had told her, she hadn't shared the information about vampires with anyone else. "After all, who would have believed her? So we just kept it to ourselves. I never gave up hope that someday I'd see you again though, Mick."

Mick nodded, accepting her words and knowing them to be true since Catherine hadn't known. It had almost killed him to give up his family; had he known about Margie's pregnancy he might well have asked Josef to take his life. Living with that knowledge and being unable to share that child with Margie would have certainly made him want to die.

"So you are telling me that I will become an aunt, at this point in my life?" Maeve's eyes sparkled with mischief as she watched Mick stifle an embarrassed laugh.

"Afraid so, Squeaks. I mean, not right now, Beth isn't pregnant, but we can have kids."

"Well, I'm just damn happy that you never had kids with that horrible Duvall woman. Mama would turn over in her grave!"

Beth held back a snicker; Squeaks wasn't the only one happy about that because the child that they might have had would have been HER! Which was a truly frightening thought.

Mick wisely kept quiet on that subject and only nodded his agreement.

"So Beth, how did you meet Michael?"

Oh oh, dangerous territory. Think quick Beth! "Actually, we met at a fountain downtown where I was covering a story for Buzzwire, the internet news outlet I work for." It was the truth, always better to lie as little as possible, especially with family. It omitted part of the story, true, but it was the truth.

Maeve was excited to hear about their courtship, as she called it, and they told her about lots of their adventures and their wedding in Las Vegas. Maeve was first surprised and then pleased to know that Josef had been the mastermind behind the plan.

"He seems to be a good man. I do hope he will make a good husband for Lani. She is such a dear thing, I always enjoy her visits."

Beth told a few stories about her and Lani and Robbie growing up. As she spoke, Noodle inched closer to her and finally sat at her feet and she slowly reached her hand down to pet him and he laid a paw on her knee.

"Little beggar," Maeve said, laughing at her cherished pet. "I'd wager that he's hoping for a bite of cookie."

Beth obliged the fluffy dog with a bite and agreed with Maeve as he sighed in happiness. "Mick, try to give him a bite and see if he'll take it."

Mick was skeptical, but while it took Noodle a minute or so to decide what to do, he finally came close and cautiously took the bite. Mick's face lit up as Noodle begged for more; he seemed to forgive all if he was fed.

"So Beth can eat food, but you can't?" Maeve questioned.

They explained about their different types of vampirism and she seemed to accept what they told her. Privately, she thought it rather sad that her brother couldn't enjoy food, but in the long run, he was still here and that was all that mattered.


Heroku pushed the 'end' button on his phone and laid it down on his desk, replaying the call in his mind.

It wasn't often that he got a call from one of the 13 and in this case it was from two of them, in a manner of speaking. Rose called; she and Brody requested a meeting with him. Not that they had been formal about it, she just asked if they might stop by and see him for a few minutes.

He couldn't help but be curious; they seldom made social calls, or most of the 13 didn't normally do that anyway. Several of the older cadre would never do that; actually, they never left the compound where many of them worked and lived.

Naman, Eochaidh, Kerwyn and Christophe never left or at least hadn't in centuries. Naman, if they had a leader (and it was totally unclear if they did) would be the one Heroku guessed. When tough decisions needed to be made they usually ended up on his lap, something that he took in stride. Eochaidh and Kerwyn didn't want to be bothered by the world, at all. Both of them studied a great deal, something that Heroku found rather amusing at times since they had lived most of the history they studied. But then again, they had lived during those times but since they didn't go out he could only suppose that their experience was somewhat limited.

Amara and Nya were in many ways their spiritual leaders, if spirituality could be attributed to them. Certainly it could have been, at one time. Now? It wasn't so clear.

Aislin, Ishaq, Kiki, Vaygar, Rose, and Brody lived in the world, preferring that to seclusion. He chuckled as he tried to imagine Kiki in particular living in seclusion; she was the original party girl, ancient Asian style that is. Shinji, his sire preferred his mountaintop aerie to anyone or anything.

He was stirred from his reflections by his intercom buzzing; his assistant announced that Rose and Brody were there. Heroku glanced at his watch and saw that only 10 minutes had gone by since Rose called; surely they must have been in route at that point, assured that he would see them.

And of course he would.

He rose as his door was opened and bowed in deference to his guests, even though he knew that these two did not expect that form of respect nor appreciate it much either. It was an old habit that had been trained into him by Shinji, who demanded respect always.

"Rose, Brody, welcome. May I offer you a refreshment?" The words sounded overly formal even to him, but he was a bit nervous.

"No, that's not necessary, Heroku. Thank you so much for making time to visit with us. May we sit down?" Brody smiled at Heroku, trying to ease a bit of his nervousness. Thank goodness everyone wasn't quite this anxious around them; Shinji had been a tough task-manager and it clearly showed in Heroku's interactions with the 13.

"Yes, certainly," Heroku said with another slight bow. He waited for them to choose their seats and watched as they sat on the couch so he sat in an arm chair across from them. He crossed his legs and then smoothed down his pants leg, trying to relax a bit.

"Well, um, the reason we're here is about Carl. He will be marrying Camille soon and you're going to turn him at that time, is this correct?" Rose smiled as she spoke, but she saw Heroku sit up a bit straighter in the chair, suddenly alarmed.

"Heroku, nothing is wrong. We have absolutely no objections to Carl; quite the contrary, in fact," Brody said. He watched Heroku let out a long breath before he continued. "Carl is a descendent, actually one of mine and Rose's; through his maternal bloodline."

Heroku let the words sink in; Carl was a descendent, their descendent. He cleared his throat, a totally unnecessary response and asked, "Does Carl know this?"

"That's unlikely; certainly not from us. We wanted to tell you first, as you'll be his sire."

"I am only taking his blood; Camille will feed him her blood to complete the turn. I'll see to his training and she will provide succor for his emotional needs after the turning. I'm sorry, Brody, you would want to see to his training yourself, I'm sure."

"No, you've done well with him. From all the knowledge we have, he has flourished under your tutelage. We don't want that to change. We do want him to know that he is a descendent but are willing to wait until you think the time is appropriate."

Heroku pondered Brody's words for a moment before replying, "I believe he should be informed before his turning. It will make a difference in how quickly and what methods will be used. I hope you will share in this talk? I think it will be a very happy circumstance for him."

Rose and Brody both smiled delightedly; it wasn't often that they were able to tell one of their descendents of their lineage so this was a special time. They had lost track of some of their descendents, but Carl's line had been carefully tracked.

Heroku mused out loud, "This explains his superior physical abilities; he learned all that Kenji could teach him extremely quickly. He would have inherited that from you Brody."

Brody grinned and nodded, "Most likely but I think he has always been involved with physical activities. That obviously helped. We're very excited about this, Heroku. Will you set up a time with him when we can speak with him, Camille and you?"

"I, yes, I will do that."

"Anytime you can arrange it, we'll make it work. Just let us know," Rose said, coming lithely to her feet; her grace sometimes took Heroku's breath away.

"Of course, I'll let you know immediately." He bowed slightly again and bid them goodbye.

After they left he sat in his chair behind his desk and contemplated this bit of news. He'd always known that Carl would make an excellent vampire; as a descendent he would also be powerful. It was a shame that Camille wasn't a descendent as well; they might have had children to carry the line farther. A female descendent with a non descendent vampire mate can still have children; her body still produces the necessary eggs and can merge with what in normal circumstances vampire seed that isn't viable and create a child. As a descendent, Carl would still produce active seed, if it came into contact with a viable egg, of a descendent; it didn't work with a human. As Camille wasn't a descendent, she had no viable eggs. Heroku knew that Rose had worked on that for many years, trying to find a way to change that.

Perhaps someday. But not yet.

He called Carl and got his voice mail; he left a message for the young man to call him at his convenience. Hopefully it wouldn't be too long.


Just My Imagination

Cat was taping a few more legal segments, her last ones before she went to England in January. So much had happened in the past few weeks and for the first time she regretted leaving. Another time might have been preferred, but since she was teaching a course it was now or not at all and since she had a contract, it was going to be now.

Two things had surprised her recently: she found that she actually liked her father, a lot in fact and was amazed at how much they had in common. The other thing was that she really liked Beth as well. The young woman was smart, engaging and had a true knack for knowing what was going to work at Buzzwire. And on a personal level, she was very caring and obviously loved Mick with all her heart.

The shock of her father being a vampire had worn off; in fact as soon as she found out it changed everything. She knew enough from her younger days to accept that it was beyond his control and if her mother could forgive her, well, it seemed that she could as well. Ben was still struggling with it all and that made her a bit sad. She knew that Ben and Mick had a lot in common as well and she hoped that eventually Ben would make peace with his own heart. He would always feel loyal to his grandmother; they had built a special relationship when Michelle had disappeared. Margie had stayed in New York with Ben while he finished his last few months of law school and he might not have made it without her there.

Cat was surprised when she looked up and saw the object of her musings walk into the studio area. She smiled at her son and greeted him with a kiss on his cheek, which he returned happily.

"Benjamin, what brings you by here?"

He laughed and smiled in return as his smile made his whole face light up. "Do I need a reason to see my mom?" he teased.

"Normally no, but this is a bit out of your way I'd think." She looked up as Beth walked into the studio, smiling at Ben.

"Hey, Ben! What are you doing here?"

"It seems my motives are questioned by all females today. I was out on an interview with a prosecution witness, the Cummings case. She is still in the hospital and will be testifying by video feed. I wanted to see if Buzzwire would be interested in doing a contract job for us actually."

"Aha!" Cat laughed. "I knew you wouldn't just have come by here for me."

Ben raised his hands in surrender and laughed again. "Okay, I'm caught. Still, Mother, it nice to see you here."

"Okay, I'll settle for that. Beth, I didn't know that Buzzwire did outside contracts like that and Ben, since when doesn't the DA's office use their own crew?"

Beth and Ben looked at one another as they both began to speak at the same time. They laughed and Ben said, "Please, ladies first!"

"I don't think we've done that before, but I'm sure we could. But like your mom, I'm curious as to why you need that?"

"Andrea Cummings is the sister of Randal Cummings, who works in our office. I'm sure you remember him, Beth?" At her nod he continued, "I think it's best if we have an independent source on this one." Randal was the head tech for their video staff. What he said made sense; this would make the video interview more credible.

"I'm sure we can work that out. Why don't we discuss this over dinner? Mick is baking a chicken for dinner tonight; we'd love it if you came over."

"I can't, unfortunately, Beth. I would have loved to otherwise."

Beth could see the sincerity in Cat's reply. "I understand, such short notice. But promise me you'll come before you leave for England? It would make Mick really happy. My mom has been helping him perfect his cooking skills and he loves to practice. So, Ben, what about you?"

For a moment he felt a bit of panic; he wasn't sure he was ready to sit down and have a meal with his grandfather. Not that Mick actually ate, but still, it was a little close for comfort. Still, his mom told him several times that the discomfort would only get better when he became more familiar with Mick. He made his mind up and nodded, "Yeah, I think I can do that. I need to get back to the office and take care of a couple of things there. What time?"

"Around 7 I think. Ben, I'm really happy you're coming!"

So was Cat; this was a positive step for Benjamin and she was sorry she couldn't join them. She was sure she'd hear about it later though and so she decided to just be happy for now.


Beth called Mick to let him know that Ben was coming and she could tell that he was happy about it just by the tone of his voice. She told him that if he could handle the main course, she'd take care of dessert, which meant a stop to grab a cheesecake on the way home.

When she got there it was a quarter till 7 and the scent coming from the kitchen made her mouth water. After she greeted Mick with a kiss she hugged her mom and said, "I think your cooking lessons for Mick are really paying off."

"He's pretty good as he is, actually. But its fun to teach someone, especially since you never had a bit of interest in cooking! At least he can carry on the family recipes. Oh, and Beth, I want you to meet Jackie."

Beth looked into the living room and realized that she'd been so carried away by the activity in the kitchen that she'd failed to notice the young woman sitting in the living room.

Jackie came to her feet and smiled when she and Beth were introduced. Jackie was beautiful and obviously at home around vamps, which would be a good thing, especially in this family. They sat and chatted while waiting for Ben to get there.

"Jackie, you're staying for dinner too, I hope?" Beth asked, totally enjoying the young woman's company. Well, actually she was 7 years older than Beth but for some reason she seemed younger. Maybe it was just Beth's perception of life since she'd been turned, she wasn't really sure.

"I wish I could because it smells really great in here. But, I am working the overnight shift at the women's shelter tonight, my last shift there actually. I think the staff has some type of party going for me, but I'm not supposed to know that!" she laughed.

They all looked up as someone knocked on the door. Beth and Mick together said, "Ben!" and Beth headed to the door while Mick wiped his hands self-consciously on a towel before going to join Beth.

When they opened the door Ben smiled and handed them a bottle of white wine. "Chicken for dinner, right?" he asked with a smile.

"Yep and doesn't it smell delicious?" Beth asked. "Ben, you remember my mom and this is Jackie; she's going to be working for Mom and Clark when the babies get here."

"Yes, sure. Hello, Mrs. Griffin." When he looked at Jackie his face paled and his heart beat rapidly for a few seconds. He stared in confusion and said, "Um, Jackie? Your name is Jackie?"

Beth and Mick both saw the bewildered look on his face and glanced at Jackie, who seemed to not catch the undercurrent in the room. Mick's eyebrow raised a bit as he listened to Ben's heartbeat finally begin to calm as he shook Jackie's hand.

"It's nice to meet you, Ben. Perhaps we'll see one another again? But now, I have to rush off, I'm already running a bit late. Dorothy, I'll talk to you in a day or so."

They watched as she left the loft. Ben's eyes stayed focused on the door. It couldn't be, he thought. The hair was lighter, her eyes were a different color and her nose was different too. No matter all that - his instincts still told him that it was Michelle.

To be continued…


Lady said...

I knew there was a reason I like "Squeeks". She's a feisty one!

Was I imagining reading something about Michelle and Josef at one point? I vaguely remember something involving them two, or maybe it was someone else???


Hope said...

Yes, Squeaks is indeed a feisty one and will stand toe to toe with Mick if necessary. They will have time to get to know one another again.

No Michelle and Josef. Only Michelle and Ben.

Thanks my friend!