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15 January 2008 @ 11:24 pm
If Tomorrow Never Comes, ch. 8  
Title: If Tomorrow Never Comes
Rating: For Mature Adults
Word Count: 1320
Pairing: Mick/Beth
Disclaimer: Still not mine, but I wish I could borrow Mick!
Author's note: Here's chapter 8! I live for comments. Seriously. :) Enjoy!

Chapter Eight          

Mick drove like a man possessed to their killer’s apartment in East Hollywood. This was their best chance of taking Hobbs out before he got to Beth or anyone else for that matter. As he threw the Benz in park, he turned to Beth. “I know it’s useless to ask you to stay here but promise me one thing.”

“What?”

“That you’ll do exactly what I tell you when I tell you to do it. This guy is dangerous enough without you making yourself a target.”

Beth nodded her agreement and followed Mick out of the car and up the three flights of stairs to Hobb’s apartment. Mick was through tap-dancing around this guy. He fully expected to make quick work of Hobbs. Guy was only human, after all. When they reached Hobbs’ door, Mick unnecessarily put a finger to his lips, indicating to Beth to keep quiet. He then pulled out his lock picking kit and opened the door. He stepped inside warily. Mick saw no one in the apartment. At least there didn’t appear to be. Mick heard Beth enter behind him; he stiffened. Mick held up his hand. Beth stopped in her tracks, eyes wide as saucers. When the apartment was silent again, Mick concentrated his supersonic hearing on the surrounding air. If there was anyone else in the apartment, Mick would hear their heartbeat, but he heard nothing. He turned to Beth and said, “Follow me. Stay close.”

The apartment was small. It contained a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath. It looked reasonably well cared for. The kitchen was clean. The hall closet was cramped but organized. The living room looked clean and inviting. Sure doesn’t look like the home of a serial killer, Beth thought as Mick led them to the bedroom. Abruptly she bumped into Mick, who had stopped cold just across the threshold. He tried to block Beth’s view of the room beyond but was too late. The first thing Beth noticed was the victims’ toes attached to the headboard of the twin bed, ten in all. The second thing she noticed was the photographs on the wall. There were dozens of them. She recognized Rachel, Bianca and Alexis in quick succession. All of the photos appeared to show them tied to a chair in an otherwise bare room. The level of terror in the pictures slowly faded until utter and complete defeat shone in their eyes. By that time, however, each of the women was covered in vast amounts of their own blood. Beth scrunched her eyes shut and buried her face in Mick’s back, as she tried to banish the images from her mind. Mick turned and wrapped his arms around her, a shield from the horror.

“It’s all right, Beth. I’ve got you,” he said in a soothing voice.

Mick, however, had mistaken Beth’s mood. A fury and determination she hadn’t felt before rumbled in her chest. How dare Hobbs terrorize these women? How dare he butcher them like meat? She raised her eyes to Mick’s face; he saw steely determination there.

“We have to find him.”

Mick released her and headed out of the apartment. “You got any bright ideas?”

“Yeah. Josef.”

Mick turned at the bottom of the landing. “Josef?” he asked, perplexed.

“Well, actually, Ryder. The point is we have to get to Josef’s.” Beth passed Mick on the landing and continued down the stairs.

“Wait. How do you know Ryder’s at Josef’s?”

“Ryder’s been trying to hack into the Chinese Embassy’s mainframe for the past week.”

“Why would Josef want to do that?”

“Who said it was Josef?” Beth said slyly as she climbed into the Benz.

Mick looked astonished. “You? Why? Josef has no problem with you borrowing his lackeys? I can’t even get him to look at my investment portfolio.” Mick pulled out into traffic and headed toward Josef’s.

“First, yes it was me. Second, I’m working on a story. And third, no, he doesn’t mind.”

“What story is this?”

“Remember all those recalls last year?” Mick nodded. “Well, rumor has it that there was more going on than the Chinese acknowledged. Josef is working on an investment over there and the rumors are threatening to sink it. He asked me to look into it. Maureen would never go for something so boring. So we gave Ryder the job of finding the dirt.”

“Josef suggested this?”

“Yeah. He’s been a lot better since the Davis case. Haven’t you noticed?”

In fact, Mick had noticed. Josef had been on the receiving end of Mick’s fist for threatening Beth during their last big case. Since then, Josef had kept his comments to himself. He’d been downright nice even. It was slightly disturbing. Was Josef getting soft in his old age? Mick didn’t think so. That was a question for another time. Beth pulled out her phone and dialed Josef to let him know they were coming. They arrived a few minutes later.

“To what do I owe the pleasure,” Josef said as Mick and Beth emerged from the elevator.

“This isn’t a social visit, Josef. We need to borrow Ryder,” Mick informed his friend.

“Beth’s been borrowing Ryder for the last week. I take it this is a different matter?”

“Yeah.”

Mick briefly explained about the series of grisly murders and the apparent threat to Beth. Josef listened in silence. Beth went over to Ryder and began describing the situation to him, while he checked the DMV records for Hobbs. Once they determined that Hobbs was indeed the owner of the gray sedan, Beth had Ryder check hospital and property records. Mick and Josef stood on the opposite end of the room watching them work.

Josef broke the silence first. “How’re you holding up?”

Mick looked surprised. “Me? Beth’s the one whose life’s in danger here.”

“I’m sorry, my friend, but you’re wrong. Anytime she’s in danger, so are you. You’re vulnerable. If she dies, you die with her. Maybe not physically, but in every way that matters. So I’ll ask again. How are you holding up?”

“I’m scared, Josef. You’re right; if Beth died…I’m not sure what I’d do. There really wouldn’t be a point to life, you know? She is life for me. Look at her. She’s not even scared. She tackles this case like some avenging angel.”

Josef looked thoughtful. “I’m sure that on some level she’s terrified. Only fools aren’t scared. But she refuses to let her fear rule her. I like that. Make sure you hang on to her.”

“Believe me, I intend to.”

“Good, because I’m not really in the market for a new best friend.”

Beth walked up to the two friends with a pleased look. It warmed her heart to see them together. They brought whole new meaning to the term BFF. “Sorry to interrupt, but I think we found something.”

The boys followed her back to Ryder’s computer. “We didn’t find anything in the property records unfortunately, so we don’t know where that bare room we saw in the photos is. But we did find Hobbs’ hospital records. He definitely showed violent tendencies as a child. He was in and out of therapy. In his early twenties, he was committed involuntarily to the psych ward. However, Hobbs managed to convince the doctors that he was perfectly sane. They released him a week after he was admitted.”

Josef guffawed. “Great. A high functioning crazy person, that’s just what we need.”

“Any indication what happened to trigger this spree?” Mick asked.

Beth frowned. “No. Hobbs hasn’t been institutionalized since 2004.”

“So how does this help exactly?”

Beth looked at Mick apprehensively. He knew that he wasn’t going to like what she said next.

“It gave me an idea for a plan.”

“And this plan is…?”

“Well, he’s after me, right? Why don’t we give him what he wants? We use me as bait.”

To be continued…


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^_^my_end_begins on January 16th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
ok ... so i need the next chapter and i need it now

(please)

and

"They brought whole new meaning to the term BFF."

so cute!!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on January 16th, 2008 12:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying the suspense! (At least, I think you are!) ;)
Michelle: Moonlight Your hot when you jump highmrs_boyscout on January 16th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
"There really wouldn’t be a point to life, you know? She is life for me." Awww, that is too sweet. Isn't love grand. Even when your lover is being stalked by a serial killer. lol

And Josep, he gets all the best lines.

"If she dies, you die with her. Maybe not physically, but in every way that matters."

“Good, because I’m not really in the market for a new best friend.”

I'm dying for more now. I'm so glad that you are a quick writer/poster. Thanks for that.





michellemtsumichellemtsu on January 16th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
*waves* You're welcome! I love writing Josef, he's a great character.
Say neversarisynn on January 16th, 2008 08:49 pm (UTC)
OH GEEZ Beth you IDIOT. Don't you know that that NEVER WORKS?!

*ahem* sorry. I'm really not yelling at your characters.

Toes on headboard = ew.

And Mick and Josef are too cute together aren't they? Adorableness.

Make sure you slap some sense into Beth before you write the next chapter. Bait. Pshaw. It never works.
michellemtsumichellemtsu on January 16th, 2008 09:57 pm (UTC)
I'll see what I can do about that, but she's stubborn.
heartagram_lala: Moonlight - Mick/Beth antiqueheartagram_lala on January 17th, 2008 07:07 am (UTC)
yeah i dont think mick is going to like that idea, LOL.

awesome chapter.

loved the josef and mick convo, very cute
michellemtsumichellemtsu on January 17th, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
I love those two together. They're hilarious!
heartagram_lala: Moonlight - Mick/Beth near youheartagram_lala on January 17th, 2008 01:23 pm (UTC)
yeah they really are
bookgirl77bookgirl77 on January 17th, 2008 08:20 pm (UTC)
I'm loving this story! You're great! I can already imagine what Mick's response to Beth's idea is!!!!
Update soon!
michellemtsumichellemtsu on January 17th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Well, we'll see if you're right, soon. I've had to rewrite chapter nine twice now. I'm slightly worried about it, to be honest. :(