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27 February 2008 @ 11:47 pm
Love Is Never-Ending, ch. 8  
Title: Love Is Never-Ending
Rating: For Mature Adults
Word Count: 1652
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: *turns out pockets* Nope, not mine!
Authors note: This chapter may see a little out of place, all will be made clear eventually! Keep the comments coming! Ya'll rock! Enjoy!

PS: Jimmie Reese was a real baseball player. He roomed with Babe Ruth when he played for the Yankees in 1930. He played for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League from 1933-1936.

Chapter Eight

Beth shifted uncomfortably in her seat. She’d rarely been this nervous. When Mick had asked her earlier that afternoon if she wanted to meet Erin, she had jumped at the chance. However, as they got closer, an irrational dread filled her. Had she been this nervous the first time she met Josh’s parents? She didn’t think so. Beth twirled her ring nervously. Mick noticed out of the corner of his eye. He placed his hand over hers and squeezed.

“You’re gonna be fine. She’ll love you,” he said.

“How do you know?”

“Because I love you, that’s how.” Mick grinned.

Beth couldn’t help but grin back at him. “Guess I’ll just have to take your word for it.”

“Have I ever lied to you?”

“Well, there was that time…”

“OK, OK. I get it. I get it.”

Their easy banter hid the uneasiness Mick had felt since the day before. Thomas’s return had thrown him for a loop. What did he want? Mick had a feeling that something beyond work brought Thomas back to Los Angeles. Mick hadn’t yet had a chance to talk to Josef. Josef had sworn to kill Thomas if the latter ever set foot in LA again and Josef never made idle threats. Unfortunately, Josef wasn’t here at the moment. The elder vampire had left Mick a message, something about an emergency in New York. Mick didn’t trust a conversation like this to the phone, so he’d have to wait until Monday at the earliest.

In lieu of talking to either Josef or Beth, Mick decided to honor his promise of bringing Beth to meet Erin. They pulled into the quiet San Marco Assisted Living facility and exited the Mercedes. Mick took Beth’s hand in his as they ascended the stairs to Erin’s front door. He knocked firmly and waited. He was about to knock again when the door opened.

“Sorry, Sport. Don’t move quite as well as I used to,” Erin said as she opened the door wide.

Beth raised her eyebrows questioningly. Mick shrugged and said, “No problem. I brought a visitor.”

“Well don’t just stand there gawking at the old woman. Come on in.”

Mick and Beth stepped across the threshold into the small home. Erin had already left for the living room, leaving them no choice but to follow her. The three of them settled into their seats: Erin in her rocking chair, Mick and Beth across from her on the sofa.

Erin spoke first. “So you must be Beth.”

Not one for beating around the bush, is she? Beth thought. She squirmed a little under the scrutiny. “Yes, ma’am, I am.”

“No need to ‘ma’am’ me. I always hated formalities. Call me Erin.”

Beth smiled. “OK, Erin.”

“Sport here tells me you’re a reporter, so let’s put that curious nature to the test.”

Despite Erin’s forthright nature, Beth still felt slightly intimidated by her. She wanted to choose a good question to start with, something profound. Instead all that came out was, “Why do you call Mick ‘Sport’?”

Mick groaned inwardly. He hated this story. It was one of his most embarrassing moments in his long life. Erin saw the dread on Mick’s face. Making her nephew squirm was one of her favorite pastimes when she was young. It was a nice feeling to have again. She smiled broadly.

“I’m glad you asked that, Beth. You see, when Mick was twelve, his father took him to see the Angels play at Wrigley Field. Mick actually caught one of the fly balls. Anyway, after the game father and son wandered down to the exit of the clubhouse. You could do that in those days. Well, none other that Jimmie Reese came out of the clubhouse. Little Mick was beside himself. He walked right up to him and said, ‘You played real good sport today’.”

Mick wanted nothing more that to sink down in the sofa and never come up. Beth was trying hard not laugh. Erin enjoyed their reactions immensely. She continued, “According to Andrew, Jimmie just smiled, signed the ball and walked away. My dear brother in law couldn’t help but tell that story over and over. The words ‘sport’ and ‘Mick’ became synonymous and it stuck.”

This time Beth really did laugh. She laughed so hard her side began to hurt. As she massaged the stitch, she glanced over at Mick, who was scowling at her.

“It’s not funny, Beth.”

“Oh, come on, Mick. We all have those embarrassing stories. Yours just happens to feature a famous ballplayer.”

“There’s more where that came from, missy,” Erin said mischievously.

Mick jumped up from the sofa. “I’m not going to sit here and listen to you embarrass me in front of Beth. I’ll be exploring if anyone needs me.”

“Suit yourself, Sport,” Beth said with a grin.

Mick furrowed his brow. “Traitor,” he said as he stalked off toward the back of the house. He deliberately tuned down the conversation continuing in the living room. He couldn’t shut it out completely, of course. But if he didn’t concentrate on it, then it just became background noise.

Mick wandered through the rest of the house. It was really tiny. The living room opened up into a small kitchen. At the opposite end, a short hallway ended at the master bedroom. As Beth’s laughter rang out, Mick opened the door and entered the bedroom. Inside he found a room very different from the rest of the house. Every other room exuded a feeling of warmth and belonging with the simple but elegant furniture and personal effects. The bedroom looked barren and lonely. A metal twin bed sat in the middle. There was one night stand and one dresser, both painted black. A single chair sat over by the window, which was the only source of light.

The poor light almost made Mick miss the odd shape that sat on the bed. He crossed the room and examined the shape. It was a hope chest; identical to Madeline’s except for the initials on the top. The box was open; its contents were largely strewn over the bed. Mick picked up one of the pictures; it was a copy of Maddie and Andrew’s wedding photo. Ignoring the happy couple, Mick focused on Erin over in the far right of the picture. She was staring past her sister at the groomsman. Intrigued, Mick picked up another photo; this one was of Erin and Thomas, but it looked like someone else had been cut out of the picture. Next to the picture Mick found a stack of envelopes. He took a deep breath and listened. Erin and Beth were still deep in conversation. Good. Mick pulled one of the letters out and began to read.

A half an hour later Mick emerged from the back of the house carrying the box. Beth was telling Erin about one of her stories, when Mick loudly cleared his throat. The two women looked at him curiously.

“I knew I should have locked the bedroom door,” Erin said as her face fell.

“What is it?” Beth asked.

“It’s my hope chest, my dear. Well, don’t just stand there, Sport. You brought it out here for a reason.”

Mick sat the chest down on the coffee table and resumed his place next to Beth.

“What’s going on?” Beth asked Mick.

“She’s the one you should be asking, not me.” He couldn’t help but sound a little accusatory.

“How much did you see?” Erin asked.

 “Enough.”

Erin sighed. “Whoa. Hold off on the interrogations. Just give an old lady a second.”

Mick felt ashamed of himself. This was obviously going to be as difficult for Erin to say as it was for him to read. The least he could do was give her time to collect her thoughts. Erin opened the box and pulled out the wedding photo. She handed it to Beth.

“We have this picture. It’s in the photo album.”

“Who do you see in the picture?” Erin asked.

“Well, there’s Andrew and Madeline, Thomas, a couple of girls that I don’t know and, oh my god, is that you?”

“Yes it is.”

“Who are you looking at?”

“Thomas.”

“Why?”

“I fancied myself in love with him. I was twelve at the time. He, obviously, was older, good looking, mysterious. I was young and didn’t know any better. Over the course of the next few years I tried to get him to notice me. But he only had eyes for Madeline. He was in love with his best friend’s wife. Sport was born when I was fifteen. Thomas was around more, supposedly to help with the baby. I redoubled my efforts. Did a lot of stupid things. My rebellion nearly drove my parents to distraction. Sadly, it was all for naught. I thought I had grown out of it.”

Erin paused to collect herself. “One day, shortly after Sport had started school, I headed over to Andrew and Maddie’s to take my sister shopping. I walked into kitchen and found Thomas and Maddie grappling. He was trying to force himself on her, I just know it. Maddie tried to laugh it off, but I didn’t believe her. When I went to confront Thomas about it, he had disappeared. No one’s seen him since.”

That’s not true, Mick thought. He didn’t feel like now was the right time to tell Erin that Thomas was a vampire and very much alive. Telling that story had clearly taken its toll on her. She suddenly looked every one of her hundred years. She replaced the photo in the box and closed it. Beth went to her and gave the frail woman a hug. Erin found Mick’s eyes, silently pleading forgiveness. But there was nothing to forgive. The anger coursing through his veins was not directed at her; it was directed at Thomas.

To be continued…

Tags: ,
 
 
Current Location: onboard Serenity
Current Mood: frustratedfrustrated
Current Music: Stroke 9
 
 
 
Bleu Daisy: Logan Heartbleudaisy on February 28th, 2008 06:09 am (UTC)
I am VERY interested in why Josef has sworn to kill Thomas. This is a great story so far. I can't wait to see what happens! ^_^
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
Now the only question is who will get to Thomas first: Mick or Josef?
Bleu Daisy: Josef - What was that?bleudaisy on February 28th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
Now, we know the answer to that is Josef, right? ^_-

Come on, you know you want to see Josef in his full vamp glory. *^_^*
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
It *is* tempting...
Bleu Daisy: Josef - I am Sexybleudaisy on February 28th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you know you wanna... ^_-

Josef is just SO cute when he's pissed and snarky.

Heh heh *^_^*
allegritafangsallegritafangs on February 28th, 2008 08:06 am (UTC)
Hmmm...Thomas isn't exactly a moral person..er, vampire.
I like that story! Poor Mick...I wonder if he still has that baseball...?
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 12:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Hmmm...Thomas isn't exactly a moral person..er, vampire.
We'll have to wait and see!
heartagram_lalaheartagram_lala on February 28th, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
ooooh nice, we are finally learning about this thomas dude.

i wanna know what he did to josef =P

excellent as always
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
britzfan: mick/bethbritzfan on February 28th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
Ok, your stories usually have me intrigued but this is a whole new level of intrigue. I'm really interested. Please update!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC)
Isn't intrigue fun? ;)
micksvamptrampmicksvamptramp on February 28th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
The plot thickens! I am really enjoying your plot line and your writing! Keep up the good work!

BTW, can you tell me how to do that "cutline" link, or direct me to someplace that explains it? I'd like to give people who subscribe to my journal an additional opportunity to bail out if they don't want to read the smutty ones!

Thanks!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 03:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks! It took me a while to figure out the cut thing too. Go check out this link in the LJ FAQ:

http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=75

Hopefully that'll help!
hopeformb01 on February 28th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written! You could write professionally. Excellent plot line as well.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 28th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm my own worst critic; I think everything I write is rubbish. I'm glad other people are enjoying the story!