FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

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FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:28 am

FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club.

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DISCLAIMER: I don’t own ‘Moonlight’, or any of its wonderful characters. I’m just taking them out for a run! No copyright infringement is intended.

SUMMARY: A multi-chapter action-adventure featuring Mick, Beth, Josef, Guillermo, Logan, Talbot, Simone, and some really big werewolves, among others. Rated PG-13 for mild language and violence.

SPOILERS: Follows on from all 16 episodes of ‘Moonlight’, as aired on CBS. Follows on from Allegrita’s FanFic, ‘Presto Agitato’, Ch 1 & 2. (Mick and Beth ‘seal the deal’ and are now lovers.) Follows on from Desdemona’s FanFic, ‘Silver’, Ch 1 thru 7 only. (Talbot finds out about vampires in general, and Mick in particular, the hard way!) Borrows, with Eris’ kind permission, her original character of ‘Karl’ from her many fine FanFics.

Ready? OK! Hold on tight! Here we go!


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Beth started feeling better as soon as she and Mick were inside the Club. That strange sensation of being watched left her when the door swung shut behind them. She was still glad for Mick’s comforting arm around her shoulders, however.

The Club’s lighting was soft, and its color scheme was warm, all of it working together to create an inviting and intimate atmosphere. It felt safe. Beth found herself liking the place right away, and given the establishment’s function, she was certain its effect on human customers was not accidental. The air conditioning was set at a level that was not too cold for human comfort, but still cool enough to be welcoming to a weary vampire coming in from the summer heat.

Beside her, Mick pulled off his sunglasses and scanned the room with a single sweep of his intense hazel eyes. Beth heard him sigh contentedly as the AC washed over him. She knew he didn’t need to use his lungs to breathe, but sighing was a habit of his, a form of self-expression and tension release.

Mick then removed his ball cap and hung it on the wall rack beside the door. The evening was still young and the sun was still up, so he was not surprised that the place was nearly empty. Only one booth held customers, and all of them glanced towards the door as Mick and Beth entered. One young-looking male vampire with light brown hair, and two human females. All three were nursing Beers.

The two human females appeared to size Mick up, then they both glanced briefly at Beth before looking away again. They didn’t know these two, and caution was always the rule of thumb in the Club. The male vampire met Mick’s eyes and gave him a curt nod. Mick nodded back and offered a slight smile. The other vampire knew better than to look at the pretty blonde human that this new vampire had his arm around so protectively.

Behind the Bar, a pudgy, middle-aged human man was wiping dishwasher spots off of glasses and putting them away. He glanced up at the two new arrivals. They weren’t regulars. He offered them a tentative smile.

“Welcome to the Twilight Room!”, he said cheerfully, “Can I offer you two a drink?” He nodded towards the small stage towards the back of the room. “The music won’t start for another hour, but you are more than welcome to wait. Would you like menus?”

Mick’s nostrils flared slightly as he scented the man. The fellow had a territorial air about him…….this human was the owner. Odd….a Club… owned by a human? But then, Mick hadn’t been to a Club in over twenty years, and he had never been to this Club, so he really didn’t know what was normal and what wasn’t.

Mick and Beth approached the Bar, Mick slowly disengaging his protective arm as Beth relaxed. They both smiled at the pudgy owner.

“I’ll have a Coors Lite.”, Beth said. Mick glanced at her in surprise. “What?!”, she laughed. “I’m stressed…..and if we have to leave soon, you can drive!”

Mick grinned at her and chuckled. Then he looked at the Bartender. “A Scotch, please, neat.” The man nodded.

Now it was Beth’s turn to look at Mick in surprise. “Hey!”, she said, grinning, “I thought you were going to be the designated-driver for the rest of the evening!?”

Mick chuckled. “Alcohol doesn’t effect…..”, then he stopped, glancing at the Bartender…… who smiled.

“It’s alright son….”, the Bartender said, “I know, and that was what I was waiting for…..she knows too?”

Mick nodded, returning the man’s smile, and wondering how this human could tell so easily who was a vampire and who wasn’t. “Yeah.” Then to Beth, “Alcohol doesn’t effect us very much. It would take a lot of booze to get me drunk…..a whole lot more than one Scotch.”

“Oh….OK.” Beth replied, smiling playfully at Mick. The Bartender rolled his eyes. Yikes….these two were quite a pair!

He brought Beth her Beer, Mick his Scotch, and slid a bowl of beer nuts towards Beth. “So….what can I do for you folks?”, his eyes flicking back and forth between them. It could be they were simply new customers, but his gut told him they were there for a specific purpose.

Beth starred at her Beer. Damn….for a moment she had almost forgotten why they were there. It was nice while it lasted.

Mick took a sip of his Scotch and cleared his throat softly. “We’re investigating a recent death. Who owns that Harley parked by the back door?”

The Bartender blinked, surprised. His heart rate jumped, and the color drained from his face. “Why? You said you’re investigating a…..death?” Mick heard the heart rates of the two human females spike across the room. They were listening.
He heard the leather of the booth shift as one of the occupants slid out and stood up.

“Yeah…”, Mick continued, “The man who rides that Harley out back….. we think he was killed.”

One of human females had moved up behind them, and at this, she gasped. Then a soft sob escaped her, before she clamped her hands over her mouth.

Both Mick and Beth turned to look at the young woman. She was slender and pretty, with long, chocolate-brown hair and large dark eyes. Those eyes were now glistening with tears, and wide with horror. Slowly, she removed her hands from her mouth, struggling to keep herself composed.

“Bobby’s dead?”, she whispered, “How? What happened?” She lost her battle for self-control, and tears began to roll silently down her cheeks.

The only other vampire in the room slid out of the booth too and started towards them. The remaining human female in the booth sat frozen, starring at them mutely, her expression like that of someone watching a car accident happen before their eyes.

Beth immediately began to feel the effect of the other vampire’s pheromones. She knew it wasn’t coming from Mick….he never did that, unless absolutely necessary. She felt mildly sedated, calmer…..and it wasn’t her Beer, as she had only had a sip of it so far.

Mick glanced at the other young vampire, annoyed at first. Then he realized the fellow wasn’t throwing out the pheromones on purpose. He sensed the rising agitation of his human friends, and his body automatically began trying to soothe them. The young vampire approached, calming pheromones rolling off of him, and stood beside the distressed dark-haired girl.

“Easy Ann,” he murmured, squeezing her shoulder gently. His eyes flicked to Beth, and then to the Bartender, before fixing on Mick. “What are you saying? What’s going on?”

Mick felt a deepening sense of respect for this young vampire. They were a lot alike in many ways. They both cared deeply about their human friends, and were very protective of them.

“The….remains….of a male vampire were found several miles from here in a deserted warehouse district yesterday.”, Mick said softly, “We back-tracked his scent from the place were he died to that Harley out back. His name was Bobby?”

The young vamp nodded slowly. “Bobby Wilson…..but if you disn’t know his name….how can you be sure it’s even him?”

“Did he let anyone else ride his bike very often?” Mick asked, “The scent on that bike is the scent of our victim.”

“No….no one else rode Bobby’s bike.”, the other vamp said softly, looking like he was going to be sick. “Where is he?”

“In the County Morgue.”

Another soft sob escaped Ann, in spite of her companion’s pheromones. The young male vamp hugged her to his side.

“I can identify his body….” Ann said quietly, “So we can be sure.”

Mick looked at the young woman, trying to decide how he should phrase this…..there was no good way to say it. “There’s nothing recognizable left….just his scent.”

“Oh no….” Ann whimpered, tears spilling freely down her face. She turned and buried her face in the other vampire’s chest.

The young male vampire held her, and gently stroked the back of her head, trying to soothe her. “We’re like a big extended family here.” He said, his voice husky with emotion, “What the hell happened to him?!”

“Rogue werewolf.” Mick said simply

“The one from those evacuation notices?!”

Mick nodded. “When was the last time anyone saw Bobby?”

Ann lifted her face from her friend’s shirt and looked at Mick. “I guess I was the last one to see him. He walked me out to my car… night before last.” She sniffed and rubbed her hands across her eyes fiercely, trying to regain self-control.

“Did you see or hear anything unusual outside?”

“No….nothing.”

Mick turned his attention to the Proprietor, who had been watching the exchange mutely. “I didn’t see any obvious security cameras out back. I don’t suppose you have any covert cameras, do you?”

The Proprietor shook his head. “My customers don’t like their…..activities… caught on film. I’m sure you can understand that….the need for privacy.”

Mick nodded, but it had been worth a shot. “There are two other unidentified victims, both in the same condition as Bobby, and found under similar circumstances. Have any of your other customers come up missing lately?”

The pudgy Proprietor let out a long sigh and mopped his brow with a cloth pulled from his pocket. He starred at the bar top in front of him. “Oh lord,” he said quietly, then looking up to meet Mick’s eyes again, “Yeah…..Zack was always in here every night, like clockwork. No one’s seen him, or heard from him, in four days. And Sam…..also a nightly regular…..no one’s seen or heard from him in six days.” He leaned on the bar, looking pale, like he might become ill.

“Are their vehicles still out back too?” Mick asked.

“No…..Zack lived close by….he always walked. Sam drove here, but he left in his car the last time he was seen.” The owner looked sadly at Mick. “We thought it was odd, them not showing up like usual. Especially when Bobby left his bike out back.” He glanced at the other customers. “But what could we do? We tried calling them. No answers. We couldn’t exactly call the Police to report a missing……well…..you know what I mean.”

Mick nodded.

The young male vamp spoke up again. “We were all hoping they were off on some lark somewhere, and would come back when they were ready. We thought Bobby had gotten a ride with someone else.”

“Would you recognize the scents of all three of them?” Mick asked.

The young vamp looked stricken, but he nodded.

“OK,” Mick said gently, “I need you to go to the County Morgue tonight and ask for Guillermo Gasol. Tell him you are there to try to identify all three mauling victims. Gasol will need any contact information for them too, in case it does turn out to be them. You know, any family, or friends, that need to be notified?”

The young vamp nodded, looking at the floor. “We’re pretty much the family and friends of all three.” He rubbed his eyes with the heel of one hand.

Mick offered an encouraging smile. “What’s your name?”

“Mark.”, the young vamp answered quietly.

“OK, thank you, Mark. I’ll call Guillermo and let him know to expect you. I know this is hard, but you’ll be helping your friends….so they’ll be known…..so they won’t have just disappeared.”

Mark nodded and wiped his eyes with the back of his hand again.

Beth was watching all of this quietly. She felt so ashamed…..what was wrong with her? Only a couple minutes ago, she had been bellying up to the Bar and ordering a cold one. Flirting with Mick, like they were on a date, or something. She’d been joking earlier about finding their ‘Big Bad’ and calling ‘dibs’ on the hide……Jeepers! It had seemed like fun being on the hunt with Mick…..an adventure. She had blocked out the part about the poor guy in the bucket. And now she was surrounded by grieving people, who just found out someone they cared about was dead….maybe more than one someone. Why didn’t she see this coming? The victim’s Harley was parked out back…..she should have expected that the people in here would be his friends. This wasn’t a date, or an adventure. This was the aftermath of multiple tragedies.

“I’m so sorry.” Beth said softly, her eyes moving between Mark, Ann, the other human female still in the booth, and the Owner behind the Bar.

They each nodded to her in turn…..seeming to appreciate the sentiment.

“You’d better call all your customers and tell them to stay away for the next several days.”, Mick said to the Owner. “It seems like this rogue may be using your Club like a lion uses a watering hole.”

The middle-aged man nodded solemnly. “Yeah…..this business has been good to me. I can afford to stay closed until it’s safe for everyone to come back.”

MLMLMLMLMLML******************************************

The predator watched from across the street as people started filing out of the Club. He watched the owner tape a hand-written sign to the inside of the front door’s window. ‘CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO A DEATH IN THE FAMILY.’

Although he was still in his human form, the predator growled low in his chest. This didn’t look promising. His prey had been spooked.

MLMLMLMLMLML*******************************************

The Owner of the Twilight Room had divided his rolodex of patron names and numbers into several piles, each contained in plastic baggies. The rolodex was comprised of both vampire and human regulars. He took one baggy of names, and handed another to Mark, and a baggy ‘O names to each of the human females, Ann and her friend.

The plan was for Mark and Ann to go to the Morgue first, to identify the remains of all three ‘john does’ from their scents. Ann was going with Mark in a moral-support role. Everyone was pretty sure what the findings were going to be…….and then Mark and Ann would call the Owner and let him know…..and all four of them, from the safety of their own homes, would begin calling the rest of the client list, telling them about the deaths, and that the Club was temporarily closed.

Chances are, the Club’s ‘regulars’ would begin to network amongst themselves, if they had to. Talking on the phone or the computer…. ‘Hey, I’ll cook dinner for you, if you’ll come over and feed me…..’ Such things required a lot of trust on the part of the human participants, but that very trust was what made the Club possible in the first place. It worked out.

MLMLMLMLMLMLML****************************************

Beth started getting that feeling again. She and Mick were standing on the sidewalk outside of the Twilight Room, watching the Owner and his patrons walk away toward their respective cars. Mick’s black ball cap and sunglasses were firmly back in place.

The sun was setting in the Western sky, casting a warm glow over the city. Beth shuddered and embraced herself. It was still hot outside, but she suddenly felt cold.

Mick glanced down at her. “You OK?”, he asked.

She tried to smile. “Yeah…..heebie-jeebies is all. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

Mick put one arm around her, trying to soothe her….. it had been an upsetting day. Beth wanted to just accept that attention and not think about anything else………but she was being overwhelmed by the feeling that they were being watched.

Then, she suddenly felt like she had a direction on their ‘watcher’. With no conscious thought on her part, her head swung towards the alley across the street, her eyes fixing on a target. She saw a bedraggled homeless man sitting there beside a dumpster. He was a very big man……..and as her eyes met his, she saw his irises flick from dark brown to lantern-yellow.

Startled, Beth spun back towards Mick. “Mick! Look! Over there!”

Mick was instantly alert, despite the sluggishness the summer heat tended to induce. “What!? Where!?” Beth turned back and pointed at the alleyway across the street. Mick followed her point, and saw nothing but a dumpster in an alley.

MLMLMLMLMLML*****************************************

Shit!!! That had been too close!

The predator had watched, confused, as the little blonde human female had again become uneasy outside the Club. He heard her pulse and respirations increase in speed. What the hell? Then, he had, frozen, watched as her eyes had swung towards him…..as though searching for him. Their eyes had met for an instant……she was aware of him! She knew what he was….he could feel it. She could sense him, especially when he was looking at her! He had been unable to stop his eyes from flashing to their lupine golden color. He knew she had seen that too. He felt trapped. When the alarmed human turned back to her vampire companion, the predator had scrambled away down the alley.

Once halfway down the alley, out of sight from the street, the predator looked right and then left, making sure no one was watching. Then looking up, and gathering himself for a split-second, he launched himself up the side of the building he had been leaning against only minutes earlier. Claws sprang from his human fingertips in a partial transformation. His eyes burned golden-yellow, and he snarled softly. He landed against the side of the building four stories up, and began to climb, his clawed hands easily gripping the masonry, digging into the surface.

When the predator reached the roof of the building, he heaved himself over the facade wall and landed with a soft thud. Then he made every effort to be silent and still. He had the uneasy feeling that he was now the hunted.

MLMLMLMLMLMLMLML*************************************

“I don’t see anything, Beth.” Mick said, glancing back down at the pretty blonde beside him.

Beth grabbed his hand. “This way!”, she said, pulling the startled vampire across the street, dodging traffic as they ran. A passing car honked at them, and the irritated driver flipped them off. Mick returned the favor. Beth was too focused on the alley to notice the exchange.

The two of them arrived at the dumpster in the alley across the street from the Club. Mick’s brow knitted in confusion, while Beth panned the area with her eyes. Mick watched her silently, trying to figure out what she was doing.

“Do you smell anything?”, Beth asked quietly.

“You mean besides garbage and unwashed humanity?”. Mick replied.

“Yes! Besides that!”, Beth snapped, “Do you smell any wolves?”

“Wolves?!”, Mick snorted, “Beth…..I don’t know what a wolf…..or a werewolf….smells like!”

She shot him an annoyed look.

“What did you expect?”, Mick replied, cocking one eyebrow at her, “I was born and raised in LA! The last time I saw a wolf was at the Zoo in 1951, and I was still human then, so I have no idea what it smelled like!”

Beth sighed, more frustrated than angry. It wasn’t Mick’s fault. She didn’t know what she expected him to do….. But, she felt that their monster, their ‘Big Bad’, had been here……right here…just a few moments ago. There was a sense of urgency attached to that knowledge for her….the need to do something. That thing was a threat to her friends…..to Mick. She ran her hands through her hair, shaking her head. Maybe she was just losing her grip……

“What did you see, Beth?”, Mick asked, eyeing her with concern. He had never seen her act this way before.

Beth shrugged, less sure now. She pointed at the right side of the dumpster. “I saw a man sitting here.”, she said, “I felt him watching us……the hair stood up on the back of my neck….on my arms. When I looked at him, I saw his eyes turn golden-yellow. I looked away for an instant to call you, and when I looked back, he was gone.”

“How big was this man?”, Mick asked, alarmed.

“Really big.”, Beth replied, “But it was hard to tell for sure because he was sitting down.”

MLMLMLMLMLMLML****************************************

The predator lay motionless on the roof, several stories above the alley below. He listened as the vampire and the human discussed him. He heard them say ‘wolf’ and ‘werewolf’. Shit! They both knew! The human said she had ‘felt’ him watching them?! How was that possible? But she had certainly honed in on him quickly enough.

The predator inhaled softly, his nostrils flaring, scenting the air around him. He quickly focused on the scent of the human female in the alley below. Oh….OK….the human female was AO-Negative, an extremely rare blood type. Now the situation made more sense. The predator had encountered a few vampires with this rare blood type. They were special, with special abilities, stronger than other vampires. He knew vampire society held the rare blood type in high esteem, calling it the ‘Noble’ line.

The predator considered the idea that if that rare blood type imparted special abilities to vampires, perhaps it did the same in ordinary humans? He didn’t know…..but whatever the reason, the little blonde woman could sense him, especially if he was looking at her. He wondered if she was a hunter……or perhaps descended from hunters? She didn’t seem to be armed, but her vampire companion was…..the predator could smell the gun oil, and the silver bullets.

The bottom line was that the woman was a threat to him. He was going to have to kill her. He considered shedding his clothes, tucking them in a corner of the roof, transforming, and dropping to the alley below. He could take the vampire by surprise, land right on him…..kill him before he knew what hit him……and then dispatch the dangerous human female.

But…..if he did that…..how would they be able to lead him to the old one? He could smell the lingering fragrance on both of them……the scent of a vampire that was several hundred years old. These two were his only link to that old one. Plus, it was still light out…..he might be seen if he shifted his shape now.

He decided that, if there was a chance that these two might lead him to a very old vampire, one so rich in power and energy, it was worth the risk of allowing the human female to live, if only for a little while. He needed her, and her vampire companion for now, so he remained still and waited. His nostrils flared again slightly, inhaling, memorizing their scents.

MLMLMLMLMLML*******************************************

Mick scanned the alley, his nostrils flaring as he struggled to sort out any useful scent. Nothing. The filthy alley was awash in scents, both animal and human. Old and new. Several unwashed homeless humans, stray dogs, stay cats, rats, and pigeons, among other things. The stink of garbage from the dumpster was nearly over-powering. He sighed, frustrated, and glanced up at the glow of sunset against the rooftops above them.

“I’m not picking up anything distinct, Beth.”, Mick said finally. “It’ll be getting dark soon. We should get out of here and head over to Josef’s office building.”

Beth struggled to suppress the feeling that the thing was near. She decided that she had to be wrong. If it was close, Mick would smell it…..wouldn’t he? “OK,” she said reluctantly, still looking around, “I guess you’re right. At least we accomplished something. We found where it’s been hunting…… let people know.”

“Yeah.” Mick replied, offering her a slight smile, “We accomplished a lot, really. Now we need to get off the streets before it gets dark.” He slipped an arm around her and steered her out of the alley and back out to the sidewalk. They made their way across the street and back to Beth’s car.

MLMLMLMLMLML*******************************************

The predator lay motionless on the roof top, many stories above the alley below. He listened as the human female and her vampire companion finally decided to leave. A soft sigh of relief escaped him. He listened to their foot falls as they left the alley and crossed the street. Still in his human form, he commando-crawled across the roof to the street-side of it. There he waited, hidden behind the facade wall of the roof top.

He snarled softly. Those two had cost him a perfectly good hunting ground……vampires came and went from that little Club every night like bees from a hive. Easy pickins. Now that had dried up…..thanks to them.

He decided it didn’t matter. He would be eating good tonight on a very old vampire…..thanks also to those two. And, after that, well there were other such Clubs in LA. Then again…..the vampire community in this town was apparently aware of him now. Perhaps he should pack up and move on……after tonight’s feast, of course. He smiled.

The predator was a loner by necessity. When he went on one of these little hunting trips of his, he had to avoid his own kind for a while afterwards. Long enough for all traces of his vampire-diet to clear his system completely. Otherwise, his scent would betray him……other weres would know he had eaten a vampire recently. He would be mobbed and torn to pieces by his own kind. As a group, werewolves didn’t tolerate man-eating, be it human or vampire. It brought negative attention on their kind…..threatened the peace between Pack and Tribe…..and threatened their secrecy.

But, the predator didn’t care about any of that…..the vampires were like a drug to him…..he had to have them at frequent intervals. It was all that really mattered to him. For that rush, the high that a vampire provided, he had sacrificed the companionship of a Pack to call his own. For that high, he was willing to sacrifice almost anything.

After being on a binge like this, he would return to the woods for awhile, feeding exclusively on deer and elk, until all traces of his…. indiscretions ……were cleared from his system. Only then would it be safe for him to associate with other werewolves again. But even then, he kept it superficial, always moving on. He would visit with a local Pack, catch up on the gossip, perhaps enjoy the company of a pretty she-wolf, and then be on his way. The next region, the next big city……he was always ‘just passing through.’

During his last ‘clean’ period, he had heard rumors that the notorious Legion was going active in LA. He knew that meant LA’s vampires were ripe for the picking. The Legion would not interfere with him, and the Pack would avoid LA like the plaque, even if news or complaints of his activities reached them. He knew the Legion’s activity in LA meant he could operate with impunity in that city.

He heard the smooth hum of an electric motor, and a large battery, as Beth started her car and made her way out of the back parking lot towards the driveway. The predator didn’t dare risk a peek over the facade wall of the roof…..the unusual blonde woman would sense his eyes on her again. So he remained huddled against the edge of the roof, not looking at them, out of sight, listening. The Prius’ gas motor kicked on as Beth entered traffic and accelerated, proceeding down the street towards downtown. Some kind of gas-electric hybrid car, the predator decided, judging from the sound of the vehicle.

Only then, once they were out of sight, did the predator dare to stand up. He returned to the back-alley side of the building. Glancing around to make sure no one was watching, he stepped over the roof’s facade wall and dropped to the alley below. He landed smoothly and quietly, turning to make his way towards the street.

Once on the sidewalk, with traffic moving by him, he adopted his homeless-posture….. shambling along with an uneven gait, stooped over, and doing his best to look intoxicated, mentally ill, or both. Such behavior, combined with his dirty and disheveled clothing, guaranteed that most people would ignore him.

He ambled in this fashion across the street, and paused in one of the Club’s driveways. With his back to the passing cars, he inhaled, scenting the air. Even in his human form, his nose was more sensitive than a Bloodhound’s. Any good Bloodhound can track the scent of people riding in a vehicle, even when the vehicle’s windows are rolled up. Adequate quantities of scent particles escape through the vehicle’s ventilation and settle along the roadside in the car’s wake.

The predator locked on to their scents, sifting them out from the thousands of other scents spilled along the street. He smiled to himself, then turned and began shambling down the sidewalk, heading towards downtown, following the scents of the little blonde and her vampire companion.

MLMLMLMLMLMLML****************************************

The sun had set, finally, and it was just starting to get dark, when Mick and Beth arrived at Josef’s downtown office building. As they entered the lobby, Mick glanced at the Security Desk and saw an unfamiliar face there. Where was Karl? The silent giant almost always accompanied Josef to the office…..unless something needed minding at home.

Then he remembered Logan. Of course…….. Josef would have left Karl at the mansion to chaperone Logan around the freshies, since neither Mick or Josef were there. Logan would be waking up soon…..and he would be hungry. Josef wasn’t taking any chances with the safety of his Harem. Logan was still too inexperienced at fresh-feeding to be left without supervision.

Beth hooked her arm through the crook of Mick’s arm as they walked across the lobby, heading for the elevator. She leaned her head against his shoulder. He turned and smiled down at her, then bent to plant a tender kiss on the top of her head. He could feel her love for him as a palpable force radiating throughout the room. Not for the first time, he felt so unworthy of that love, but tremendously grateful for it none the less. She turned her head and looked up at him, smiling softly. He melted inside…..he loved her with every fiber of his being. He smiled back, drowning in those incredible blue eyes of hers.

They rode the elevator to the penthouse office in companionable silence. Stepping off of the elevator into Josef’s large atrium, they made their way past the receptionist and down the ornately decorated hallway to the expansive office.

Josef was working at his desk with his back to the commanding view of the city lights below. He looked up when Beth and Mick entered.

“It’s about time!” He said tersely, rising to his feet for Beth, always the gentleman. “I was starting to worry.” He gestured for them to take seats in front of his desk.

“You said sunset,” Mick replied, holding the back of Beth’s chair for her as she settled into it, then sitting down himself. “It’s only a little after sunset.”

“A little?!”, Josef snapped, tugging at his tie, “It’s a lot past sunset! It’s nearly dark out! Cutting it close, Buddy.” He narrowed his eyes at Mick.

Mick grinned slightly. “Sorry Dad.”

“I thought we had an understanding?” Josef groused, “Never call me that!”

Mick’s grin widened. Beth looked on, a slight smile playing at the corners of her mouth. She enjoyed watching these two banter.

Josef sighed, “You’re both incorrigible. OK…..so what happened? What did you find out?”

Mick and Beth took turns recounting the afternoon’s discoveries. The Club at the end of the scent trail, the people who most likely knew all three victims, what Beth had ‘felt’ and seen in the alley.

Josef listened intently, his dark eyes pensive.

“So, “ Mick finished up, “Guillermo will call and let us know how the ID goes with Mark, from the Club, but I suspect the wolf acquired all three of his victims there.”

Josef nodded, then turned his attention to Beth. “You said you felt that you were being watched? How so?”

Beth shrugged and glanced at Mick. “It’s hard to describe,” she answered, “Just a …..feeling of uneasiness. The hair stands up on the back of my neck, and on my arms…..it makes me shudder and feel chilled. I just knew we were being watched…..then I suddenly felt like I knew where it was coming from…..that’s when I turned and saw him sitting in the alley.”

“Interesting.”, Josef said quietly. Then he smiled, “You never fail to surprise, my dear.”

Beth smiled back……she guessed that was a compliment. With Josef, it was sometimes hard to tell.

“I have some news of my own.” Josef continued, “I heard back from the Lead Cleaner. She’s had no luck locating any werewolf hunters that are still practicing. Her sources indicate that they still exist, that there are a handful of them available worldwide, but, she’s been unable to find, or make contact with, any of them so far. They don’t exactly advertise online.”

“So,” Mick said, “We’re still on our own in this situation.”

“Unfortunately, yes.”

Everyone was quiet for a moment. Then Mick brightened and spoke up.
“Hey…..how about telling us that story now?”

“Excuse me?” Josef said quietly.

“Oh come on, Josef!” Mick persisted, “The, I-was-buddies-with-a-werewolf, story! You said you’d tell me ‘another time’……well this is as good a time as any!”

“What on earth are you talking about?” Beth asked, gapping at Mick, glancing at Josef for a second, and then back to Mick.

Mick leaned towards Beth, grinning, and said conspiratorially, “You remember when Josef said he had ‘personal knowledge’ of a vampire-werewolf friendship?” Beth nodded. Mick’s grin widened. “Well, it turns out to be the, I-was-there, kind of ‘personal knowledge’…..it happened to him. I would like to hear that story…..wouldn’t you?”

Beth’s eyes widened and she looked at Josef, who rolled his eyes and covered his face with both hands.

“Oh, come on, Josef!” Beth implored, “Please?”

His face still covered by his hands, they could hear Josef say, “I’m so going to kick your ass for this, Buddy!”

“You can trust us, Josef.”, Mick said, “It won’t leave this room…..we both promise.” Beth nodded emphatically in agreement.

Josef lowered his hands just enough to reveal his eyes…..they were still brown, so that was good. He regarded them silently for a moment, then lowered his hands, leaning forward on his desk top.

“Alright…..but it had better NOT leave this room….ever.” He fixed his gaze on Mick first, and then on Beth. “Am I clear?”

Beth and Mick both nodded. Josef pressed a button under the edge of his desk top. They could hear the sound of doors closing remotely, followed by a soft hiss.

“We are now guaranteed privacy and sound-proofing.” Josef said, “No one will hear this story but the two of you. Even Karl doesn’t know what I’m about to tell you….no one does.”

Mick and Beth glanced at each other, smiling with a mixture of excitement and nervousness.

“Why all the secrecy, Josef?” , Beth asked quietly.

Josef glared at Beth for a moment, and then lightened up, deciding that the little blonde just didn’t know any better. “Because, my position as Leader of the LA Tribe, as well as my position in financial and business circles, is dependent on my strength and my skills. This story I’m about to tell you happened a long time ago, when I was anything but strong or skilled. I was weak, and someone else had to save my ass. I don’t want a story like that getting around. Understand?”

Mick and Beth nodded. They weren’t grinning anymore……their moods had become one of mutual breathless anticipation. Both were leaning forward slightly, watching Josef, waiting for the story to begin.

Josef smiled. He wondered if either of them realized how child-like they seemed at that moment? They looked exactly like a couple of kids gathered by the campfire, waiting for the camp-counselor to tell a scary tale. He was tempted to yell, ‘Boo!’, but restrained himself.

“Alright, boys and girls,” Josef began, leaning back in his chair, “Once upon a time, long, long ago…..in a land far, far away………”

MLMLMLMLMLML*******************************************

The predator, still in his human-form, sidled up to Beth’s Prius in the parking garage. Yeah….this was the vehicle they had been in….he had successfully trailed them from the Club to this location.

He glanced around, and reminded himself to stoop and shamble as he moved. He had to maintain the illusion of being just another homeless man, one of the invisible and nameless rabble. He was smelly and disheveled. People made an effort not to notice him, not to look at him. If they looked at him….they might feel badly about their own easy and comfortable life. They might feel compelled to help him, and others like him. People didn’t want to feel that way…..it was so much easier to just not see him.

The predator ambled slowly across the street, following the scents of the young vampire and the blonde woman. He followed their scents to one of the high-rise office buildings. Their scent-trail indicated they had both entered that gleaming glass tower’s main entrance. He lingered in the shadows near the entrance, lifting his nose slightly, scenting the air. There! There he was….. the very old one! He inhaled again, gathering more scent……yes….a male vampire, just a little over 400 years old! What a prize! The predator actually minced in place for a couple seconds….his excitement at the prospect of such an ancient vampire nearly overwhelming.

He forced his excitement, and his hunger, down. He couldn’t afford to blow it now by jumping the gun. He needed to move away from the main entrance before security spotted him and tried to roust him. As amped up as he was right now, he would probably transform on the spot if that happened. That would be messy.

It was still too early in the evening. There were too many humans milling around, driving or walking this way and that. He needed to make himself wait until later, when the human-traffic decreased, along with the chances of being observed.

He crossed the street again and moved into the alley of a nearby older building. It was several stories tall and afforded a view of the glass office building, as well as being downwind of it. Perfect. After making sure he was not being observed, he sprang up the side of the building, his claws quickly deploying from his human fingertips in a partial transformation and sinking into the masonry. He easily scaled the side of the building, reaching the roof in short order.

Once there, he crouched in the shadow of an emergency generator shed, and watched the glass tower. His nose told him his 400 year old target was in the penthouse. Figures. He sat down and leaned against the shed. His nose also told him that the annoying blonde woman was up in that penthouse too, so he was careful to keep his eyes off of those upper windows. He didn’t need her sensing him again. Instead, he monitored them with his ears and his nose.

Suddenly, something changed…..the predator cocked his head to the side, trying to listen. The sounds from the penthouse had abruptly become muffled. He snarled softly. Some kind of soundproofing system had just been activated. No matter, he told himself. He could hear the goings on in the rest of the glass high rise. If his target left the penthouse, he would know it.

In a few hours, the humans on the streets below would begin to thin out, but the vampires would remain. Then it would be his time. His eyes flashed to lantern-yellow as he thought about the ancient vampire in the glass tower’s penthouse. All that energy….there for the taking. The predator smiled…..this was going to be fun.
Last edited by lionsonleashes on Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club.

Postby coco » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:40 pm

:o He's going after Josef :o
I love all the detail you write into your chapters. The entire club scene was fantastic and Beth being able to pick up on being watched was brilliant :D
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club.

Postby lionsonleashes » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:50 am

coco wrote::o He's going after Josef :o
I love all the detail you write into your chapters. The entire club scene was fantastic and Beth being able to pick up on being watched was brilliant :D


Wow! Thanks Coco! :D I'm so glad you liked my concept of the Club, and Beth's latent abilities to sense the werewolf. Yeah.....the Big Bad has Josef in his cross-hairs. Yikes! :o
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Fri May 28, 2010 10:59 pm

Lions

This is amazing. Your writing is so rich and detailed, the little touches--like Beth's adoring looks at Mich and his reaction to them. Lovely.

The werewolf recognizes Beth as a threat right now, even though she has no real knowledge of her inate sensitivities. If developed, this could be a wonderful asset to the tribe.

Hope we get to here Josef's story!

Thanks!

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:11 am

Wonderful details. Beth is showing the seeds of her Grandfather's talents in her makeup--an internal awareness she never knew that she posessed yet must have been present in her genes.

The pieces are coming together and we will soon see examples of the good and the terrible evil that can live in a werewolf's heart.

Yay!

Thank you!

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:36 am

Thanks, Jen! :hug:
Yeah.....That's exactly it! Beth is the rare AO-Neg Blood Type, which imparts special abilities to Vamps.....and humans too, it turns out. :laugh: Beth, has a kind of ESP from the "Noble" bloodtype.....the same ESP her Grandpa had, which made him a killer werewolf hunter! She doesn't realize that yet, of course, but she is beginning to trust her new sixth sense more and more as she goes along. :twothumbs:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:01 pm

bumpage

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:50 am

Thanks Jen! :hug:
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:36 pm

More tantalizing clues about Beth's genetic werewolfe-sensing abilities. While she may not be Beth-the-werewolf-slayer, she is Beth-the-werewolf-senser at this point in the story.

One thing that I love about the vampires here, there are many more of them that are like Mick than the cold blooded killers.

Thanks!

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby jen » Mon Apr 25, 2011 12:31 am

This is great!

In this read through, I noticed the nearly telepathic ability of a werewolf in reading what a human under observation knows. Vampires also have the ability to judge truthfulness and lies from the physiological responses the body generates in each case, like accelerated heart rate, and other autonomic responses. The seemingly telepathic sensitivity could be due to the same thing.

Beth's inherent ability to sense the werewolf watching them, I'm guessing, is a combination of a normal human ability to somehow 'sense' when we are being watched heightened and focused by the influence of the Noble bloodtype.

Cool. (Do people still say that or am I just showing my age?)

Thank you

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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby francis » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:07 pm

Wow, this is really so descriptive and deep. Love it!
I'm so worried about Josef now, and I hope to hear his story despite the soundproofing.
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Re: FULL MOONLIGHT---Ch 8-----The Club. (PG-13)

Postby lionsonleashes » Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:01 am

You'll hear every word, Francis, due to the miracle of a Writer's omnicient perspective! :laugh:
And no, Jen! You are not aging yourself! :snicker: And, yes, people still say "cool". Or, at least I do.....now maybe I'm aging myself!!! :rolling:
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