Death Becomes Her - Chapter 3 (PG) Posted: 1/12/18

Death Becomes Her - Chapter 3 (PG) Posted: 1/12/18

Postby darkstarrising » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:55 pm

Hi all!! :wave:

Here is the third chapter of this Moonlight /H50 crossover story, with another six or so to follow.

As always, I don’t own these characters, but dearly love to play with them, nor do I profit in any way from this story.

In memory of our own dear Librarian 7, aka Lucky :rose:

I hope you enjoy!!

Chapter 3

Oahu

After they left the ME’s office, Josef, Beth and Mick followed the hearse to the airport. When the attendants removed Simone’s body to take it into the jet, Josef gestured them to stop. Instead, he picked her up as if she weighed nothing and cradling her to his chest, ascended the jet’s stairs, with Mick and Beth a few steps behind him. Once inside, Josef placed Simone in his freezer, then rejoined his friends in the forward part of the jet.

Beth sympathized with Josef, knowing he was torn between leaving and staying. “Are you sure you want to leave tonight?”

Instead of finding the person responsible…

Josef snorted, then answered Beth’s questions, spoken or otherwise. “Yes. I can’t get off this godforsaken rock fast enough. Besides, the fear of my going on a vengeful, bloody rampage might hinder your investigation.”

Mick replied in mock horror. “You? Vengeful, bloody rampage? Never crossed our minds.”

“Bullshit. Besides, I’d probably just get in the way.”

“Yeah, you would.”

“So, what’s your plan?”

“For starters - search Simone’s house. The cops might have missed something.”

“I’d bet money they did.” Josef handed Mick a key. “If you’re going to her house, you’ll need this. Not that I question your B&E skills…”

At Beth’s raised eyebrows, Josef shrugged. “I own the place. You didn’t think I’d let Simone languish in some island hovel, did you?”

“Well, no, I guess not. Did she know, about the house, I mean?”

“Of course she did. It was part of our agreement…if she wanted some ‘space’ for a while, I wanted her to be comfortable.” Josef sighed. “I just never thought she’d be coming home like this.”

Mick heard the pain in his friend’s voice and decided it was time to give Josef some time to grieve in private. “When we’re done with Simone’s house, we’ll visit McGarrett and see what 5-0’s found.”

“Good. By the way, Kimiko has offered you a cool oasis in this Hawaiian hell. In the interest of not insulting her, I suggest you take her up on the offer. Besides, she seems somewhat fond of you both, Beth in particular.”

“Not to mention she can keep an eye on us.”

“That, too.” Josef’s eyes held those of his closest friend. “And Mick, whoever you find is responsible for Simone’s death, he’s mine. Not yours, not McGarrett’s, mine.”

“Understood.”

Beth approached the elder vampire and gently kissed him on the cheek. “Take Simone home, Josef, and don’t worry. We won’t let you down.”

*********************************************************************************

The limo took Mick and Beth back to the house that Simone had called home for the last 10 years. At first, they just stood in the doorway, surprised at the sense of Simone they both felt. Eventually, they split up to see what, if anything, they could learn about their friend’s murder.

Mick toured the great room, silently assessing what he saw. The room was furnished stylishly, yet comfortably. There was none of the normal clutter, nor were there many personal items one would expect to find scattered about after living in a house for 10 years. But that was the point, wasn’t it? This was Josef’s house, not Simone’s, and certainly not what she would call home. It was as though she was living in a luxury hotel for 10 years, never intending to stay but never getting around to leaving.

Mick continued his inspection of the remaining rooms, finding them much the same, functional, but comfortable. Her office was a model of organization, with only a few items scattered on her desk. Everything was neat, stylish and efficient, just like Simone.

Everything in its place…

Eventually, he entered Simone’s bedroom, the one room where her scent was strongest.

Her scent and only her scent…

Mick closed his eyes and let the room talk to him. This was Simone’s sanctuary, hers and hers alone. This is the room where she’d close her eyes at night, shutting out the day and dream. Of what? Mick inhaled, sensing peace, yet loneliness.

In contrast to the other rooms, there was more of a sense of Simone here. The clothes in the closet reflected her style; professional attire appropriate for work along with far more comfortable, casual clothes. The dresser bore more personal items than he’d observed anywhere else in the house. Mick opened a cherry wood jewelry box, finding mostly understated accessories for work. There were a few other pieces set to one side of the box that Simone hadn’t likely worn in the last decade. These were probably gifts from Josef, adornments only he would have appreciated. In one sense, it was surprising that she still had them. Or was it?

Mick closed the lid on the box, scanning Simone’s sanctuary one last time. Just as McGarrett had said, nothing of value in the house had been taken, except the one thing that Josef valued most.

Simone.

Mick rejoined Beth in the main room, where she stood near the spot where Simone had died. The spilled wine had been cleaned away, but traces stained the tile floor. Beth’s eyes were closed, sensing what she could of her friend’s last minutes. Seeing Beth tremble, Mick knew that Simone had died terrified.

When she recovered, she turned to her mate. “Find anything?”

“Not really. The house wasn’t tossed, just like McGarrett said. Maybe he was right about Simone being targeted.” Seeing the unspoken question in Beth’s eyes, Mick continued. “She lived alone.”

“Somehow, I’m not surprised. I know Josef has had many lovers over the centuries, but I also know he was the love of Simone’s life. Losing someone like that is not something you get over, ever.” Beth scanned the room around her. “Everything in its place…”

“What?”

“Steve said that when he was explaining why he thought Simone was targeted.”

“So?”

“Steve and his people didn’t know Simone, what she was like or her style. All they saw was a house full of…” Beth waved her hand at the room. “stuff.”

Mick began to understand what Beth was getting at. “But we knew her.”

“Right, so let’s take another look.”

Still, another search of the house yielded them no more insight into a motive for Simone’s murder or the identity of the person responsible.

Beth was undeterred and opened the two bags of personal effects provided by the ME. She emptied the contents of the smaller bag onto a table, finding a pair of simple gold earrings, a ruby ring and a gold necklace. “According to the inventory, this is everything. Although…” Beth picked up the gold necklace. “There seems to be something missing. See? There’s a broken link, as though there was something on it. Maybe a jewel that the murderer took?”

Mick countered. “Then why leave a box full of expensive jewelry in the bedroom? Dump the other bag. Maybe whatever was on the necklace got mixed up in her clothes.”

Beth did as requested, finding a dark green silk dressing gown, indicating that Simone was spending a relaxed evening at home when her murderer struck. Other than her undergarments and sandals, there was nothing else, leaving Beth perplexed. “No jewel or anything else that might have been on that necklace. Wait, didn’t the ME say that Simone was strangled by a red silk scarf? It isn’t here and it isn’t on the inventory list.”

“It’s the murder weapon. The cops would keep it as evidence.” Mick grew thoughtful as his attention turned to the green gown. “You said we knew Simone, better than McGarrett or the cops.” Seeing Beth’s puzzled expression, he prodded. “Green gown, red scarf…”

“O my God!! She’d never wear those two things together! We have to get that scarf, Mick. It might help us find the killer.”

Mick already had his phone out, calling McGarrett. “Steve? We may have something, but we need your help.”

A short time later, Mick and Beth arrived at Steve’s home, finding Danny, but no McGarrett.

“C’mon in. Steve’s upstairs. He’ll be down in a little while.”

Mick grimaced as they entered and Beth wrinkled her nose. “Steve’s sick, huh?”

Danny spun around. “Who told you that?”

Mick glanced at the upstairs, then replied. “Nobody. We can, ah, hear him.”

“O yeah, super hearing. I forgot about that.” Danny grimaced. “So you can also …”

“Yeah, one of the downsides of enhanced smell. How long has he been sick?”

Danny thought for a moment, then lowered his voice. “Look, I’m not supposed to tell you, but Steve is really sick. He got zapped by radiation a few months back and nothing the docs do seems to help. One day he’s good, the next, not so much. Now…” Danny just shrugged but the concern on his face was evident. “Anyway, he told me you called and wanted something removed from evidence. He said you maybe found something?”

Mick explained what he and Beth had found in Simone’s effects. “It looks as though something was missing from a gold necklace she was wearing. Maybe it was something valuable, maybe not.”

Danny nodded. “If it was, that might be a motive. That doesn’t explain why you want the murder weapon.”

Beth went on to explain the apparent incongruity of Simone’s clothes. “Trust me, Simone had excellent taste. There’s no way she’d have been wearing a red silk scarf with a dark green dressing gown. If the scarf wasn’t hers, then it’s the killer’s.”

“Not into the Christmas look, huh?” Danny picked up the evidence bag from the table. “Hey, I can’t let you touch it, not without gloves…”

Mick grinned and retrieved a pair of latex gloves from his pocket. “PI, remember?”

“How could I forget?” Danny carefully opened the bag allowing Mick to pick up the scarf.

Beth’s eyebrows shot up as Mick showed her the label. “Wow! Hermes. That’s a really expensive scarf.”

“So, not the kind of thing your run-of-the-mill shmuck killer would have, huh?”

“No, no way.”

“You think this did belong to your friend?”

“More than likely, but it still doesn’t make sense that she’d be wearing it. Not with what she had on.”

Mick countered. “Maybe she wasn’t wearing it. Maybe she was just holding…” Mick sensed the scarf, causing a subtle change in his expression.

Danny didn’t miss it. “Damn, you’re more like Steve than I thought.”

“Meaning?”

“When Steve gets pissed or upset or frustrated, it’s written all over his face. You, my friend, are just like him. You found something on that scarf, something that surprised you. What?”

“Josef’s scent.”

Danny’s eyes bulged. “Shit! You don’t think he…”

Beth came to Josef’s defense. “No. The scarf is probably one of the gifts he gave Simone. You know, to hide…” Beth waved at her neck. “Trust me, hurting Simone is the last thing he’d ever do.”

“Then why the face on your hubby?”

Mick replied. “It means that Simone was likely holding the scarf when she was attacked.”

“So? The killer used the scarf as a weapon of opportunity. No surprise.”

“That’s not what’s surprising.”

“Then what?”

Another voice answered from the stairway. “If Josef gave her the scarf, it means she was thinking of him before she died.”

Mick studied the ashen face of his Hawaiian twin as he joined them. “Yeah. Question is why?”

Danny glanced nervously at Steve, who waved away any concern as he headed for the couch. “Sorry about earlier. Must be a bug or something.”

Beth barely hid her shock as she sat down next to him. “Are you sure you’re OK? You should have told us you weren’t feeling well. We wouldn’t have bothered you.”

“No bother. If it helps find a killer and gets Kostan off the island…”

“Josef’s already gone. He taking Simone… home.”

Danny was relieved, but surprised. “Wait. Kostan left before finding the killer and sucking him dry? Am I the only one that thinks that’s weird?”

Mick was silent, but Beth assured Danny that Josef just needed some time to grieve.

Steve scanned the faces of the others. “So, you said you might be on to something. Care to share?”

Mick recounted what he told Danny earlier. “Beth and I went back to the house, thinking the cops might have missed something.”

Danny scoffed. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”

Beth interjected. “That’s not what Mick meant. Your people didn’t know Simone. We did. We thought we might see something odd that wouldn’t seem so to you.”

“And?”

“We didn’t. That’s when we looked at her effects and noticed the damaged gold necklace, thinking the killer pulled a piece of jewelry off it. He still might have, but as Mick pointed out why leave other expensive jewelry behind?”

Danny sighed. “So we are back to square one.”

Mick countered. “Not necessarily. The only scents on the scarf are Simone’s and Josef’s. That means the killer wore gloves….”

Steve continued the thought. “Meaning the murder was likely premeditated.”

“And that somebody wanted Simone dead, what was on that chain or both.”

Danny’s eyes bounced from Mick to Steve and back again, finding this verbal badminton as unsettling as their physical similarity. “So find the missing piece, find the killer. Great. Proverbial needle in a Hawaiian haystack.”

Beth wasn’t so sure. “Perhaps not. Danny, you said 5-0 questioned Simone’s neighbors and co-workers. It’s possible one of them may have seen Simone wearing that necklace and can tell us what was on it.”

Danny was impressed. “And if we know what it was…”

Steve finished the thought. “We might find out who took it and why.”

Mick stood, exchanging a look with his mate. “While your people do that, Beth and I need to get some rest. We’ll be staying at Kimiko’s compound.” Seeing Danny’s puzzled expression, Mick added. “Steve knows where it is.”

Danny snickered. “What? The Hilton doesn’t have vamp friendly accommodations?”

“Nah. Too bad Max isn’t still here. He’d let us crash in the morgue’s freezers.”

That brought a faint smile to Steve’s face, who was clearly beginning to fade.

After they left the house, Beth queried her mate. “I meant to ask you something earlier. When we were in the morgue, I sensed pretty much what you did from Simone’s body.”

“Pretty much?”

“What I mean is that we both agree she was surprised by her killer and that she didn’t see him. But I got something else, something that makes even less sense now than it did then.” Beth frowned in concentration. “I got that same feeling here in Steve’s house. I just don’t understand what it means.”

Mick drew his mate into his arms. “You were standing next to Steve in the morgue, right?

“Yes.”

“My guess is that feeling returned when you sat down next to him tonight.”

“Yes, it did. How did you know?”

Mick just shrugged.

“So, you’re saying whatever I’m sensing has nothing to do with Simone, but with Steve? What does it mean?”

Mick kissed the top of Beth’s head and held her close. “It means you sense he’s dying.”

*************************************************************************************

Oahu - Josef’s jet

For the first time in many years, Josef Kostan felt heart-breaking pain. The glass of amber liquid in his hand wasn’t the first he’d had since arriving on Oahu and most certainly wouldn’t be the last before he reached home. His departure had been delayed due to weather conditions, with no forecast of when they’d clear. It could be an hour, maybe two, but the sooner he got away from the islands, the sooner he could deal with his grief in private. After that, he’d find Simone’s killer and make him regret the day he was born.

The roller-coaster of emotions he’d felt over the last two days had left him angry, anguished and helpless. Simone’s death had hit him hard and seeing her body had upset him more than he would have imagined.

Death has taken you away from me, but not even death could diminish your beauty.

The shock of seeing her like that was bad enough, but when he got close enough to kiss her, he found something that nearly undid him.

My scent. Why is God’s name would my scent be on you? Could it be?

Aware that McGarrett and Mick were watching him, Josef let his fingers drift across Simone’s face and linger on her neck. McGarrett wasn’t really a threat, especially in his current condition, but Mick was another story altogether. Until he figured out why a woman he hadn’t seen in a decade bore his scent, Josef didn’t need unwanted questions from his closest friend. Not yet anyway.

As if on cue, the door to jet opened, and Mick and Beth appeared.

Josef recovered quickly, his best poker face in place. “I thought you were going to Simone’s place.”

To anyone else, Josef’s question was innocent enough. To someone who knew Josef as well as anyone could, Mick heard the annoyance in his friend’s voice. “We’ve been there. Been to see McGarrett as well. Wanna know what we found?”

Beth didn’t understand the undercurrent in the terse conversation, but knew she was missing something.

Josef put down his glass, resigned to the fact that Mick was about to ask some questions he couldn’t or more precisely, didn’t want to answer. “Do I have a choice?”

“No. First, I wanna know why you lied to us.”

“Lie? I didn’t lie..”

“No, but you didn’t tell us about finding your scent on Simone’s body. I have to ask myself, why?”

Josef sighed; clearly Mick wasn’t going to let this go. “Why? Because I didn’t know how the hell my scent got on her. I haven’t seen Simone in a decade, so at the time, I was at something of a loss.”

“And now?”

“And now, I have some theories…”

“Wanna share?”

“You first. What did you find?”

Mick described how they found a broken link on a necklace Simone was wearing, but had no luck in finding out what it might have been taken from her. “McGarrett gave us access to the murder weapon, which had your scent on it. Red scarf, Hermes. Beth thinks it was a gift from you.”

Josef seemed relieved. “It was, so that explains why my scent was on Simone. Mystery solved.”

“Nice try, Josef. What I didn’t tell McGarrett was that there was blood on the scarf as well. Your blood, not Simone’s. Wanna explain that?”

“Not really.”

“Try again.”

“Alright, not that it makes any difference now. There was a crystal pendant on Simone’s necklace. The pendant was filled with a few drops of my blood. It was my way of Simone keeping me close, if she wanted to.”

Beth wasn’t sure where this was going. “So the crystal broke and your blood got on the scarf. What’s the problem?”

Mick picked up a cloth and signaled to Beth to stand in front of him, facing Josef. “OK, you’re Simone, wearing the pendant and holding the scarf. The killer surprises her and uses the scarf to strangle her…”

Beth continued the thought as the cloth was drawn up against and tightened around her throat. “And the pendant gets caught underneath the scarf and breaks against her throat. Those scratches on her neck could have come from the broken crystal as well as her nails.”

Mick released his mate and turned back to Josef. “So if your blood got into her system, why hasn’t she risen?”

Josef was downcast. “I wish I knew. I recognized the scent of my blood on her the moment I saw her. It was faint, so I thought maybe it was wishful thinking on my part, you know, that she had broken the pendant on purpose.”

“Any reason for why she would have done that?”

Josef snorted. “As I said, wishful thinking, nothing more.”

“OK, so what’s next?”

“What’s next is that you’re going to find the bastard that killed Simone while I take her back to LA.” Josef sought understanding from the only two people who could give it. “I had planned on cremating her body, but now, I need some time to think about what to do.”

Beth touched Josef’s arm gently. “You’re afraid Simone is lost in limbo like Sarah was, aren’t you?”

A sad smile crossed the elder vampire’s face. “Afraid doesn’t cut it. Terrified is more like it. It took me more than a half-century to finally let Sarah go. A half-century of wishing, hoping that science could undo what I’d done. I can’t do that again. I can’t let Simone linger wherever the hell she is.”

“Are you sure your blood got into her system?

Josef nodded, then led his friends to the freezer where Simone’s body was kept. Josef had removed the body bag earlier, allowing Mick and Beth a clear view of his beloved. “Look at her neck. What do you see?”

Beth looked carefully. “Nothing.” Then it struck her. “There were scratches on her neck when we first saw her. Now they’re gone.”

Josef gently closed the freezer door. “They are. But where is Simone?”
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Re: Death Becomes Her - Chapter 3 (PG) Posted: 1/12/18

Postby allegrita » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:17 pm

Oh, no! Poor Josef! And poor Simone! And poor Steve!!! :hankie: :hankie: :hankie: :Mickangel:
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Re: Death Becomes Her - Chapter 3 (PG) Posted: 1/12/18

Postby Lucy » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:02 pm

with everything that Josef can do, the mystery of Sarah and now Simone must leave him feeling impotent.... What a sad, sad situation.

I have theories about where this is going....and I cannot wait to hear yours!!!
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Re: Death Becomes Her - Chapter 3 (PG) Posted: 1/12/18

Postby Moonlightsonata » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:27 am

This story has gotten super interesting. It is getting late here so I might have to hold off my questions until tomorrow. Thank you for writing this.
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Re: Death Becomes Her - Chapter 3 (PG) Posted: 1/12/18

Postby darkstarrising » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:30 pm

Thanks, ladies :ghug: This chapter was a bit of a downer, especially with respect to both Steve and Simone. One of the things that bothered me in both H50 and Moonlight was the lack of resolution of either a key storyline or character. In Moonlight's case, the lack of renewal for a second season left the relationship between Simone and Josef unresolved, through no fault of the writers.

In H50's case, we're half-way through the current season and Steve's end of season seven's radiation poisoning has had very little discussion this season. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of a recovery before Steve went back to being the nearly invisible character that he's been throughout the series. So, I decided to work that recovery into my own little story. :teeth:
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