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28 March 2008 @ 12:02 am
Love Is Never-Ending, ch. 23  
Title: Love Is Never-Ending
Rating: For Mature Adults
Word Count: 1580
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: I hate lawyers. Don't sue, cause I ain't got nothin'!
Author's note: This is a transitional chapter. Please keep the pitchforks at bay. It'll work itself out, you'll see. Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty Three

Beth was beyond frustrated. She’d spent the better part of her morning trying to track down a nonexistent lead. Homeland Security had hung up on her. The public relations guru at LAX gave her the run around for half an hour before supplying her with a terse “no comment.” She couldn’t reach Carl at all; she’d left five messages. As her frustration grew, Beth cast dark glances at Mo’s closed office door. Right now she could be at home in bed doing sinful things with and to her fiancé. Instead, she was in the noisy newsroom of Buzzwire nearly ready to kill her oblivious, but well intentioned boss.

Realizing she needed a break, Beth headed out to the lobby and pulled out her phone. She knew that Mick would probably be sleeping so she dialed Josef’s instead.

“Hello?” said a familiar female voice.

“Erin? I didn’t know you knew how to use a cell phone.”

Erin harrumphed. “Beth, I’m old, not senile. Believe it or not, I am younger than Alexander Graham Bell.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just the idea of you and cell phones is a little hard to fathom.”

“Yeah, and you marrying my eighty-five year old nephew – who happens to be a vampire – is normal.”

“Good point.” She paused. “How’s Josef?”

“Right now he’s sleeping. He has poor Ryder trying to track down the brutes that hauled him off.”

“We should be over this evening. I’m sure the four of us can figure it out.”

“Don’t you have a wedding to plan?” Erin asked.

Erin could practically hear Beth’s grin through the phone. “The really hard work is done. I have my dress, the flowers are ordered, and Josef pulled some strings to get us the pier and to have the reception at the Roosevelt.”

“The Roosevelt? Wow. That’s pretty swanky.”

“Honestly, it’s just a tad too swanky for me. But Mick looked so excited when Josef mentioned it. His face just lit up. So I couldn’t say no.”

Erin wasn’t fooled. “What did you get in exchange?”

“The pier. Mick, obviously, wanted an indoor ceremony. I’ve always liked outdoor ones. Obviously, we can’t have the wedding in the middle of the day. But he agreed to have it just after sunset, right when there’s just enough light but no debilitating sun.”

“That sounds lovely,” Erin said. She could picture Mick and Beth standing together with a golden sky behind them. It was a gorgeous image.

“I’m glad you think so.”

“Is there anything I can do?”

“I think Josef has some sketches of the pier. You know, what it would look like. If you could give me a second opinion, that’d be great. He might even have the menu for the reception.”

Erin chuckled. “What’s this? You don’t trust the vampires to pick out the human food?”

“Not really, no.”

“I think I can handle that.”

“OK. Mick and I will be there later. I better get back before Mo sends out another search party. Bye, Erin.”

“Bye, Beth.”

Beth walked back to her desk in considerably better spirits. Erin’s exuberance was infectious. Beth had become incredibly fond of her in the brief time she’d known her. She hoped that she would get to spend some quality time with Erin that didn’t involve hospitals or police. There was still so much that Beth wanted to know. Given Erin’s age, Beth wasn’t sure how much time she had to ask. Resolving to rectify that soon, Beth attacked her hopeless task with renewed vigor. Still she got nowhere. After the tenth failed call, Bet slammed down the phone muttering curse words under her breath.

“Bad day?”

Beth looked up and saw Josh standing next to her desk. He kept his eyes on hers, but he stood poised for flight any second. It was like he knew he shouldn’t be there but was anyway. Beth felt a wave of sadness. She wished Josh understood. She wished they could remain friends. But considering the circumstances, Beth knew it was wishful thinking.

She tried to smile. “Hi, Josh. It’s just one of those days.”

Josh looked skeptical. “I know you, Beth. You don’t start throwing things and cursing unless you’ve hit a dead end.”

Beth sighed. “It’s the bomb threat story. I can’t get answers out of anyone. It’s locked down better than Cheney in his bunker.”

“After you called the other day, I did some digging. I didn’t find much. Unfortunately, the fact that someone managed to infiltrate both Homeland Security and LAPD caused heads to roll. The feds are trying frantically to right the ship and hence aren’t very forthcoming.”

“You wanna explain that to Mo?”

“I can do better. Here.” Josh handed her two thick manila folders.

“What’s this?”

“The first one is a file I found in Roberts’ desk downtown. It didn’t make much sense to me. I hope you have better luck.”

“And the other?”

“Read the name on the file.”

Beth looked down as the label. It was all she could do not to gasp. There, in bold type, was the name Madeline St. John.

“Look familiar?” Josh asked.

Beth had to think fast. She couldn’t deny that Mick was related to the woman in the file. The name St. John wasn’t that common. She couldn’t very well say that it was Mick’s mother. So she said the next best thing. “It’s Mick’s grandmother. Why does she have a police file?”

“She died under suspicious circumstances. The case was never solved.”

“Why are you giving these to me?”

“Call it a peace offering. I don’t want things to be awkward between us anymore. I just want you to be happy and if St. John makes you happy then I can deal with that. I’m not saying that I’m ready to invite him out for eighteen holes just yet, but I’m getting there.”

Beth stood and hugged him. “That means a lot, Josh. It really does.” As she pulled away, her phone rang. It was Mick. “I’m sorry, Josh. I have to take this.”

Josh smiled. “It’s OK. I need to get back anyway. I’ll call you sometime.”

“I’d like that.”

Josh turn and strode quickly from the room. Beth answered her phone. “Mick, I thought you were still asleep.”

“I woke up a little while ago. Has Mo called off the dogs? Josef wants us over at the penthouse. Sounds like he found something.”

“I have some news too.” Beth glanced at her watch. “How about I meet you there in about twenty minutes?”

“Sounds good to me. I’ll see you soon.”

The call disconnected. Beth stuffed the folders in her bag and headed for her car. Traffic was light; she got to Josef’s fifteen minutes later. She was getting out of her car when Mick pulled into the garage.

“Looks like I’m right on time,” Mick said as he approached her.

Beth grinned. “You’ve always had excellent timing.”

“Flattery will get you nowhere, Miss Turner.”

“On the contrary, I think it will get me everywhere, Mr. St. John.” Beth tipped her head up to kiss him soundly. “See.”

Mick swallowed, hard. “Come on, Josef’s waiting.”

He took Beth’s hand and led her to the elevator. It dinged at the penthouse less than a minute later.

“There you two are! Took you long enough.” Josef and Erin were sitting in the plush armchairs. Josef had a book in his hand; he appeared to have been reading aloud when the elevator doors opened.

Mick settled himself on the couch, placing an arm around Beth as she did the same. “You called a half hour ago. We’re not late. You said you had news.”

Josef put down his book, The Great Gatsby, and picked up a red folder. “My team found our not-so-friendly police friends.”

Mick perused the folder. “According to this, they’re staying at a motel in Sun Valley.”

“Yeah, I have people watching it. No one’s there right now, but when they do return to their hovel, you and I will go have a word with them.”

Mick nodded his agreement. Beth cut in, “Speaking of visits, Josh came to see me today.”

Mick looked at her in surprise. “What did he want?”

“He wanted to give me these files.” Beth pulled out the folders and handed them to Mick. “That one is from Thomas’s desk at LAPD.”

Mick opened the folder. There were more surveillance photos of him and Beth and a stack of letters written in a frustratingly familiar hand. The older ones appeared to be love letters. The more recent ones appeared to be instructions. For what, Mick couldn’t tell. Then he found a sheet that almost made him drop the folder. He handed it to Josef.

Josef scanned the sheet and looked back at Mick, his eyes inscrutable. “No way. It’s got to be some weird coincidence.”

“Josef, it’s right there in black and white.”

Beth laid a hand on Mick’s arm. “Mick, what’s wrong?”

Both Mick and Josef ignored her. That’s when real worry set in. Mick never ignored her. Josef went on, “I went to that place. There was nothing left. It’s just Thomas trying to fuck with your head. I’m sure there are plenty of people who have that last name.”

The elevator door dinged again. As the click clack of high heels resounded across the room, a warm, familiar voice said, “I wouldn’t be too sure about that, Josef.”

Mick turned. Coraline.

To be continued…

Tags: ,
 
 
Current Location: Josef's penthouse
Current Mood: listlesslistless
Current Music: Lady Antebellum
 
 
 
heartagram_lalaheartagram_lala on March 28th, 2008 06:40 am (UTC)
well fuck! hahahahaha.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 28th, 2008 11:56 am (UTC)
Short, concise. I like it!
heartagram_lalaheartagram_lala on March 28th, 2008 12:08 pm (UTC)
me in a nutshell, hehe.
iansmomesq on March 28th, 2008 11:51 am (UTC)
Coraline, omg!!!!!!

I love the way you jam pack so much into a chapter to move things along... Excellent!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 28th, 2008 11:59 am (UTC)
Thanks! I didn't want to spend a lot of time messing around. Had to get to the goodies! ;)
Bleu Daisy: Josef and Sara Heartbleudaisy on March 28th, 2008 12:41 pm (UTC)
Interesting twist to see Coraline. Nice chapter!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 28th, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! The urge to deal with her in person was just too strong!
britzfan: hotbritzfan on March 28th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
WHAT??????????????

OMG, that was too cruel. You've gotta update like NOW!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 28th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
Sorry! I'm gonna try and have an update sometime tonight...(if I can get Coraline to cooperate, that is)
britzfanbritzfan on March 28th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC)
I never have liked her. Stake her if you have to, I personally liked it when Lance did! ;)
sourfacekittysourfacekitty on March 28th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Argh!! Coraline: Grrrrrrr!!!!! It's good to see Josh will be friends with Beth. And that he feels okay with Beth and Mick. Will he be coming to the wedding? Okay, don't answer that :P

But...Coraline!! What is she gonna do? Ruin the wedding? I sure hope not!

Awsome chapter, but you gotta update seriously soon!!! Or I will drop dead on this computer chair until the next update is there!! :)
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 28th, 2008 07:23 pm (UTC)
Don't drop dead! Then you wouldn't find out what happens...
hopeformb01 on March 28th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
So Coraline is back to wreak havoc once again, or maybe not?
Good chapter.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 29th, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
She's gonna try and wreak havoc....
allegritafangs: ring-storyallegritafangs on March 29th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Aaaugh! That wench Coraline...how dare she just waltz in?! Pleeeeeze send us an update soon, I'm dying to find out what's going ON!

BTW, may I say... LOVE your Josef-speak, as usual. For example, this: "...but when they do return to their hovel, you and I will go have a word with them." Priceless.

And I have to add my admiration for Josh (may he rest in peace). What a truly nice man. In your universe, I fervently hope that he finds a wonderful woman who will appreciate him, because the poor thing really got shafted by the TV-verse...
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 29th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Josh did get shafted on the show. I'm not terribly fond of him, but I didn't want him to die. :(

In this universe, I had operated on the assumption that Coraline was dead. But now, the urge to deal with her in person...I just couldn't resist. So here she is. Hopefully her stay will be brief (not to mention deadly)!
Michelle: Moonlight Vampy Mick Oh Crapmrs_boyscout on March 30th, 2008 07:51 pm (UTC)
Evil, evil cliffie. How dare you bring Coraline in to ruin our lovely wedded bliss?! Damn.

I was so enjoying the few fluffy chapter full of smootching and such...
michellemtsumichellemtsu on March 30th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
Don't worry she won't be around long.