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06 February 2008 @ 12:19 am
If Tomorrow Never Comes, ch. 16  
Title: If Tomorrow Never Comes
Rating: For Mature Adults
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Word Count: 1430
Disclaimer: Seriously?
Author's note: I hope everyone is still enjoying this story. It's almost finished. Comments are love!

Chapter Sixteen

Beth left the comfort of Mick’s arms in order to sit facing him. If I’m gonna do this, might as well do it properly, she thought. Mick made no move to stop her, knowing that she needed to do this her own way. As Beth got settled, she looked down and gasped.

“This might be harder than I thought,” she said not looking up.

Mick eyed her quizzically. Then he followed her gaze and realized what she was staring at. Damn. In his haste to get to Beth, he’d forgotten he was naked. Very naked. Cursing under his breath, he sat there frozen for a second, unsure whether or not to go get his pants. He went to get up but Beth stopped him.

“If you leave now, I’ll loose my nerve. Stay, please.”

Mick settled back down on the bed and pulled the now loose sheet up around his hips. Not ideal, but it would have to do. Beth looked at him with a mixture of relief and apprehension. Now that she’d found the nerve to talk, she didn’t know how to begin.

Mick placed his hand over hers. “Let’s start with the dream.”

Beth exhaled gratefully. “Alright.” She closed her eyes, trying to recall the details of her nightmare. “It started like all the others actually. I’m back in the shop tied to the chair. There’s blood all over my clothes. I’m struggling against the ropes, while Hobbs berates me with maniacal ranting.” She paused. “This is where it changed though.” She took a deep breath and continued, “Somehow I managed to get free. I don’t know how, but I did. So I ran. Ran until my chest hurt. Hobbs was chasing me, of course. Every time I looked back, he was getting closer. I kept running. Suddenly, I tripped. I think I was checking on Hobbs again and lost sight of where I was going. Anyway, when I went to get up, I saw a headstone.” Her lower lip quivered and her voice shook. “Your headstone.” Her eyes filled with tears. “I screamed and pulled frantically at the grass. Then I woke up.”

A single tear slipped down Beth’s cheek and she lowered her head. Mick, unsure of what to say, gently pulled Beth to him. Long moments passed. Mick was dumbfounded. He was no psychologist but it seemed to him that Beth was more scared of losing him than she was for herself. Once again, he marveled at the woman he held in his arms. If he lived for a thousand years, he’d never find another Beth. He went to kiss the top of her head, but she moved to sit up again.

“Beth, what’s –“

She laid a hand on his chest. “Nothing. I just want to get this over with.”

“Get what over with?”

“Don’t you want to know what happened that night?”

Mick shook his head. “Not if you’re not ready. You don’t have to do this now. I’m not going anywhere.”

Beth appreciated the reprieve but was frustrated at the same time. “You can’t protect me from this, Mick, as much as I know you want to. Just let me get this out. Please.”

“Alright.”

Beth began playing with the hem of her camisole as she spoke. “Well, after you left, I had this nagging feeling that we were missing something. I couldn’t figure out what it was, so I called Josef to have Ryder look into it. I went back to my laptop and continued working on my story.”

Mick had found her notes when he came home from dealing with Benjamin. She always had her notes with her when she was working on a story.

“Anyway, I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I missed the door opening.” She paused.  “How’d he do that? Did you ever find out?”

“Not yet.” Mick took a stab at some levity. “I haven’t had a chance to examine the surveillance footage yet with all the excitement.”

Beth smirked. “We all have our crosses to bear.”

“Ha, ha. What happened next?”

“The next thing I knew a white cloth was pressed over my face from behind. I tried to get away but he caught me by surprise and the chloroform did its job pretty quickly.”

Mick’s inner PI kicked in. “So he carts you off to the shop and ties you to a chair. Then what?”

“I woke up blindfolded and the only thing I knew for sure was that I was tied to that chair. It was terrifying, Mick, not being able to see what was going on. I felt so helpless.”

Mick interrupted, “You could never be helpless, Beth. I told you before: you’re resourceful.”

“Oh, that’s what that was! And here I thought it was blind panic. I’ll remember that for next time. Can I finish?”

“Sorry. Go ahead.”

“I’m not sure how long I sat there. It was awhile. I nodded off a couple of times. Eventually, Hobbs came back.”

Here it was. The part Mick had been dreading. Hobbs had mentally tortured his previous victims. What had he done to Beth? Mick wasn’t sure he wanted to know, but knew that Beth needed him to listen. So he sat quietly and gave her his undivided attention.

“Hobbs told me the longer I played his game, the longer I stayed alive. He had the coldest eyes I’ve ever seen. There was nothing in them. It was like he had no soul.”

When she paused, Mick asked, “What did he ask you?”

“He started out pretty basic. It was like he wanted to get to know me before he killed me.” Beth shivered. “But the whole time he stood there twirling his knife to make sure I knew who was in charge.”

As Beth told her tale, Mick felt his anger rise, along his frustration. He’d already lashed out at the source of his anger. Hobbs was dead. That, however, did not stop Mick from wanting to tear the guy’s head off. He took a deep breath and asked, “What happened next?”

“Philosophy.”

“Philosophy? I don’t follow.”

“Apparently, Hobbs had a thing for philosophy. He told me that he’d finally found someone worthy to debate with. The others’ had no substance, he said.”

“This has got to be the strangest serial killer I have ever heard of.”

“Remember the rage you smelled?” Mick nodded. “That’s why. He was angry at them for not being able to play his game. And he was angry with his brother for not being able to give him what he wanted.”

“I guess you really have to watch out for the smart ones, huh?”

For the first time, Beth laughed. “Yeah, well, this turned out less like a debate and more like megalomaniacal ranting. He’d ask me a question and if he didn’t agree with my answer…” She gestured toward the shallow cuts on her arms. “He kept flashing that knife in front of me.” Beth paused to collect herself. “But then I caught on and started agreeing with him. Turns out he didn’t like that either.” Beth stood up slowly and pulled down her pajama bottoms. The long strip of gauze that covered her right thigh stood out against her pale skin. Carefully, she pulled back on the tape, revealing the still healing gash. Mick hadn’t seen it before. It was ragged, the haphazard sutures still apparent. “Once Hobbs realized what I was doing, he plunged his knife into my leg and cut it open. Not too long after that, I passed out.”

Beth sat back down on the edge of the bed. “That sounds pretty lame, doesn’t it? I feel like such a weak person for letting this guy get to me.”

Mick cupped Beth’s cheek and turned her head so he could look her in the eye. Echoing Josef, he said, “Beth, this is not your fault. Given your past, it’s no surprise that this has stuck with you. Everyone knows fear. Sometimes, they’re irrational fears. This is not one of those. The guy was going to kill you. Your fear is one of the things that make you human.”

Beth smiled weakly. “You know what scared me the most?”

“What?”

“The idea that I’d never see you again.”

“Same here.”

They were both quiet for a moment. Mick glanced at the clock; it was a little after four a.m. “We should probably get some sleep.”

“Yeah.” Beth paused. “Mick, would you stay? I hate to ask…”

Mick smiled. “There’s no place I’d rather be.”

Epilogue to come…

 
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Current Location: hiding from the tornadoes
Current Mood: moodymoody
Current Music: Band from TV
 
 
 
heartagram_lala: Moonlight - Mick/Beth greenheartagram_lala on February 6th, 2008 07:14 am (UTC)
i love it.

but damn beth has some self control! naked mick on the bed... yeah fuck talking about nightmares, bring on the hot vampire sex!!! bahahaha.

awesome chapter, cant wait for teh ending
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 6th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, she has more self control than we would in her place!
Michelle: Moonlight never let you go Mick/Bethmrs_boyscout on February 6th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
There was waaay too much focus on the nightmares and not nearly enough on the hot naked vamp. How could this happen? Well, I suppose it was a good chapter despite that. lol

Hope you don't get swooped up by a tornado so you can finish the fic. teehee
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 6th, 2008 02:05 pm (UTC)
No tornadoes! I should have the epilogue up tonight!
I turned those gentle hands into fists: mick is kissedazulskies on February 6th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
awww, i LOVE this story!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 6th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
britzfanbritzfan on February 6th, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
OMG, this is a fantastic story. I can't believe it is almost over, please update again soon!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 6th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it!
Say neversarisynn on February 6th, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Awwww. Philosophy, huh? Weird serial killer. But ok. Very sweet chapter, with their interactions. Looking forward to the final bit! (Keep hiding from those tornadoes!)
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 6th, 2008 09:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the serial killer wasn't really the point. He was just a means to an end. *dodges tornadoes*