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25 March 2008 @ 12:02 am
Love Is Never-Ending, ch. 20  
Title: Love Is Never-Ending
Rating: For Mature Adults
Word Count: 1496
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: If you recognize them, they're not mine...
Author's note: I'm back from Easter and I bring you an update. Thanks for all the comments so far. Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty

The walk back to Mick’s Mercedes was excruciating for Josef. The sound of Beth’s blood pumping through her veins ahead of him was starting to get to him. Mick, sensing his friend’s control slipping, put himself between the hungry vampire and his prey. Josef tried to think of other things: he had a meeting with his accountant on the state of his offshore accounts; he had another meeting with his party planner about Mick’s party. Josef hadn’t appreciated the complexities of throwing a bachelor party for tall, dark and brooding. It was an intriguing challenge. Just then Josef stumbled over a tree root. When he braced himself against a nearby tree, a searing pain shot through his shoulder.

“Jesus Christ!” Josef cried in pain.

Mick turned. “What is it, Josef?”

Sucking in a harsh breath through his gritted teeth, Josef said, “What the fuck does it look like, Mick? I’m standing in the middle of godforsaken Middle Earth, stark naked! My shoulder’s dislocated. I haven’t eaten or slept in three days. Why? Because of a lunatic you wouldn’t let me kill forty years ago! So excuse me if I rest for a second.”

Mick cringed and looked down. Josef was right. His best friend was in the worst shape Mick had ever seen him in. And it’s my fault. He’d let some misguided sense of gratitude override his common sense. His mistake had nearly cost him Josef. And Beth. Mick lifted his eyes to Josef’s intent on apologizing. Josef shook his head and painfully stood.

“Don’t even think it. You apologize and I’ll stake you. We both know we’d do it exactly the same. Come on.”

Beth watched Josef’s outburst from several feet away. For the first time, she appreciated the friendship that Mick and Josef had. They were opposites in many ways, yet so alike. Each would do anything for the other, no questions asked. It was a rare thing made stronger by time and trials. It warmed her heart to see Mick and Josef joking as if nothing had happened, Josef’s outburst forgotten.

The three of them continued on to the Mercedes. When they entered the clearing, Mick called out to Beth. She turned to find Mick’s keys flying toward her. Despite the limited light, she caught them.

“Why don’t you pop the trunk and get out the cooler and duffle bag? I’ll stay with Josef,” Mick said.

Beth did as he asked. She knew that Mick was intentionally keeping her from being in close proximity to the starving vampire. Mick didn’t want Josef’s baser instincts to get the better of him. While Beth trusted Josef, she knew that in his weakened state, Josef wouldn’t have the same kind of control he usually had. Mick had iron like control of his inner vamp all the time; Josef didn’t. Beth sighed. Better safe than sorry, I guess. Wishing there was more she could do, Beth knew better than to tempt fate twice in one night. She’d heard what Thomas had said. It made her recoil in horror. She was thankful yet again for her guardian angel.

Josef and Mick remained a good ten feet away from the Mercedes as Beth opened the trunk and pulled out the cooler and duffle bag. Her task accomplished, Beth tossed back Mick’s keys and moved to stand by the passenger door. Mick and Josef approached the items Beth had left on the ground.

“What would you like first: clothes or blood?” Mick asked.

“I get a choice?”

“We aim to please here in Middle Earth.”

Despite everything, Josef laughed. “I think I’ll go with the blood.”

“Good choice.”

Mick handed Josef a bag of AB negative. The elder vampire ripped it open with his teeth and downed the entire thing. He finished four more in quick succession. Confident that Josef could control himself now, Mick fished out the key for the silver cuffs that he had taken off Thomas’s body and unlocked them. Josef immediately felt his strength return. Mick tossed the cuffs into the woods.

“Better?” Mick asked.

“Almost.” Josef winced. He’d accidentally laid his hand against the car, causing more pain in his shoulder.

“Let’s take care of that. Here, brace yourself on the car.”

“How am I supposed to do that? In case you hadn’t noticed, your car in height impaired.”

Mick glared. “Don’t knock then Benz.”

Beth chose that moment to step between them. “Real mature, guys. No one would guess that there’s almost five hundred years between you,” she scolded.

Both of them looked ashamed of themselves. Beth smiled inwardly. “How about we try this? Mick, stand behind Josef and hold on to him. I’ll pull his arm and pop it back in.”

Mick opened his mouth to argue and promptly closed it again. It made sense. I used to be a medic, why didn’t I think of that? Mick thought as he stood behind Josef. His thoughts must have been written on his face because Beth said, “It’s OK, Mick. You would have thought of it eventually.”

“You finished, Lois Lane? Because I’d like to use my arm sometime this decade,” said Josef with a grin that only Beth could see.

She grinned back at him. “Ready when you are.”

Josef nodded and scrunched his eyes shut. Mick wrapped his arms firmly around Josef’s chest, holding him still. Beth picked up Josef’s arm and yanked it as hard as she could. The crack resounded through the clearing.

“There. All done.”

Josef opened his eyes and grinned sheepishly. “Thanks, Beth.”

“Anytime.”

Mick let go of Josef and reached for the duffle bag. He tossed it to Josef’s feet. “Now get dressed, would you? Before you scare off all the animals.”

A few minutes later Mick, Beth and Josef climbed into the Benz. As Mick drove back toward the highway, Josef felt every jolt and bump keenly. He’d gotten out the last bag of blood before they left, but he needed some smooth road from which to drink. Lord knows I don’t want to waste any, damn expensive stuff. Finally, Mick turned onto the highway. Josef quickly downed the blood and tossed the bag out the window. Mick turned to glare but Josef was already asleep in the backseat; his remaining injuries healing as he slept.

Nearly three hours later, Mick pulled into Josef’s parking garage. The power had returned. Mick killed the engine, startling Josef awake.

“Come on, Josef. We’re back.”

Josef swatted at him and tried to go back to sleep. He was so tired. He mumbled something unintelligible and snuggled deeper into the seat.

“Josef, I know you’re exhausted but you can’t sleep in my car. We have to get you into your freezer.”

Josef huffed. “Fine.” He climbed out of the backseat and followed Mick and Beth to the elevator. They entered the now well lit penthouse to a delighted yell from across the room.

Erin saw the exhausted but happy look on her nephew’s face and knew everything was fine. She made her way over to the trio happier than she’d been in ages. Mick so loved the look on her face that he didn’t begrudge the attention Josef was about to get. Erin smiled broadly at Josef. “You were at the cabin, weren’t you?”

Josef eyed Mick and Beth suspiciously. Then the light bulb went off. “I suppose I have you to thank for sending in the cavalry.”

Beth looked apologetic. “We were going to tell you, but you fell asleep.”

Josef was about to give one of his witty retorts when Erin flung her arms around him and hugged him tightly. Josef, clearly startled by her sudden move, awkwardly hugged her back. He felt the wetness of her tears on his shirt. He was greatly moved by the old lady’s concern for him. Despite the differences in their ages, Josef felt like a beloved son who had come home after a long absence. It was something he hadn’t experienced in nearly four hundred years. Josef felt himself blinking back his own tears. When Erin released him, however, the snarky mask was back in place.

Erin instinctively knew that Josef was both moved and embarrassed by her display so she let the moment pass without comment. Instead she said, “The three of you must be exhausted. Why don’t you get some sleep and then you can tell me all about it later.”

Mick, for once, was glad that someone else was the voice of reason. He hugged his aunt and headed for his freezer. Beth followed suit. Erin was about to offer to take Josef to his freezer, but when she turned he was gone. He’d slipped off quietly when she’d fussed over Mick and Beth. Erin walked back to Josef’s room anyway. She just wanted to make sure he was settled. He was fast asleep by the time she got there. Erin gently closed the door behind her; her family needed their rest.

To be continued…


Tags: ,
 
 
Current Location: with Mick on the beach
Current Mood: dorkydorky
Current Music: Miranda Lambert
 
 
 
allegritafangsallegritafangs on March 25th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC)
OK, first: OMG, that PICTURE! Drool...ohhhhh....MickBeach...sigh...

OK, I'm better now. :)

Now then: Here's my FAVORITE line of the chapter:
“Now get dressed, would you? Before you scare off all the animals.”

So very Mick/Josef. Nice! :)

Happy after-Easter, btw... :)
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 25th, 2008 11:39 am (UTC)
I just love writing Mick/Josef banter. They're so hilarious!

Happy after-Easter to you too!
heartagram_lala: Moonlight - Mick handheartagram_lala on March 25th, 2008 07:44 am (UTC)
awwww i loved this.

beth popping josef's shoulder in was nice, i'm sure she 'hated' having to do that =P

and i love erin to death!

that last line was so cute, and yeah her and josef are so adorable together hehe.

awesome as always can't wait for more
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 25th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
I really liked this chapter too. Now we can get to the fun stuff!
britzfan: mick/bethbritzfan on March 25th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Fantastic chapter, and Erin hugging Josef and Josef getting teary was so sweet. I loved when Beth popped Josef's arm back in place.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 25th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC)
Josef's just a big softie. :) We may see that a little bit more...
Bleu Daisy: Josef and Sara Heartbleudaisy on March 25th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Best line - "We aim to please here in Middle Earth."

I actually LOL'd at this. *^_^*

Great chapter! And, I'm really looking forward to the bachelor party. I can't wait to see what Josef has cooked up.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 25th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, that party should be interesting...
sourfacekittysourfacekitty on March 25th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Now that the major crisis is OVER (it is, isn't it??) will we get some juicy wedding stuff? Hmm...?

Bleu Daisy - I'm right with you!! "We aim to please here in Middle Earth." So in character and hilarious.

I gotta say I love the teary, soft side of Josef. Will we see him get REALLY teary eyed at the wedding? :)

Please update soon! (Pleeeeeeaaasssseeeeee???)

JK, I won't beg. Again: Great chapter!!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 26th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
Yes the major crisis is over. Just a few loose ends there. On to wedding stuff...
sourfacekittysourfacekitty on March 26th, 2008 11:38 am (UTC)
YAY!!!! WEDDING!!! (I think I said that too loud...)