Hi guys. Well, I have an announcement to make. This is the last chapter of this story, I'm closing up shop. Also...I don't plan on continuing my Moonlight fanfiction. My muse has moved on, and I've got to follow her. Besides, between juggling college, my scanty social life, Tinman writing projects, and just me time, I don't have time anymore. There's only 24 hours in a day, you know? This has been an amazing journey, and I'll still continue to read and review stories in this section. I'll probably never have it so good in the review department again, you guys are amazing, but every story has its ending, and this is mine. Thanks for everything.
Adventures with Mick St. John and Company
The judge, I guess in the spirit of being human, decided on a recess. The last thing I saw before I left the courtroom were Fayed's lawyers putting their heads together, probably trying to figure out how to get out of this mess. Jedi masters of bullshit, I thought to myself, mentally flipping them off. Mick and Josef followed me out the courtroom, and I waited for them. Mick gave me a proud smile, and Josef straightened his already freakishly pressed suit. Typical. Then why was I smiling?
"You did good," Mick assured me, knowing I needed to hear it. Well, he wasn't a P.I. for nothing.
"Anti-climatic, if you ask me," Josef just had to toss in. I guess a compliment or something resembling encouragement was just too much for money bags. I was getting used to it.
"Yeah, like I did," I scoffed, but was still making with the smile. "Don't you have some family owned business to terrorize?"
"Not until tomorrow," Josef quipped, winking. Oh no, there was not warmth pooling in my belly. No way. That had to be the scrambled eggs Mick had all but force fed me this morning, because 'the baby needs the protein.' Mick's eyes were sharp on me. Was he catching on? Oh shit.
Not like there's anything to catch onto, I mentally told myself. Josef and I had exactly one stupid kiss under our belt, (even if it was incredibly satisfying) and we'd mutually decided we'd leave it at that. What his reasons were exactly, I don't know, but I had plenty. I was still in love with Jack, whether he messed around on me or not. (I guess I'd never really know for sure.) I had a baby to raise soon, and slipping Josef some tongue couldn't even be a priority right now. Then there was Simone. I liked her, and she was half in love with Josef already. Yeah, she had to share him with his little legion of vampire groupies, but that was different. That was just business/sex to some degree, but I'd be different. I'd be an actual friend, and even though it'd hardly be the romance of the century, a fling with Josef wouldn't be simple, because I wasn't a casual girl. Besides, I didn't want to have a fling with anybody. You think I waited until my early 20's to lose my virginity just to start screwing around? Nope, nothing doing.
Besides, and this was this biggie, I wouldn't be in LA much longer.
"Leni?" Mick's voice was gentle and just a shade away from concerned. "Are you alright?"
"Mick, she's about to have the defense cross examine her. Of course she's not all right," Josef chimed in, all so helpful. You know, maybe I wouldn't miss him all that much. Then again, bantering with him kept me sharp. "They'll flay her if they can."
"Why don't you go harass a stockbroker or something," Mick told him, almost snapping at him. "Let me handle this."
"My, someone's touchy." But Josef drifted off into the crowd, letting us have a minute.
"Well, Mr. Sensitivity's almost right," I admitted. "I am kind of freaked out over being cross-examined, but there's something else too." I led Mick over to a bench, taking a deep breath as I sat down. "Look, Mick, I got a job offer," I blurted.
"As a nanny?"
"Well, since I'll have a bump sooner rather than later, exotic dancer is out for a while." I could feel my own wicked grin as Mick shifted uncomfortably, but he didn't quite embarrass as much as he would have after just meeting me. Damn, I guess he was getting some kind of immunity. "Yeah. One of Josef's...staff," I wriggled my eyebrows, "Tina, is going to have a baby. It wasn't planned, but she was going to leave Josef's place anyway. She really loves the father. I don't think her and Josef have slept together for almost a year."
"You're going to help take care of her baby?" Mick gently prodded, keeping me on point.
"Uh, yeah. The thing is, Mick, she's moving to San Francisco to be closer to the father. He's got business in LA, but that's where he lives. They're gonna get married, and they want at least one more little Minchin before all's said and done, but not for a while." Okay, I was close to rambling now. Their planned parenting schedule wasn't important, I needed to focus on the important part. "Obviously, I'm moving in with them. She's even cool about the fact I'm having one, since our babies can bond and all that. As long as it doesn't..."
Mick lay his hands over mine. "Since she worked for Josef, I know she's trustworthy. If you looked up thorough, you'd find his picture next to it." We shared a smile. "You're going to move in with them you said?"
"Yeah. After the baby's born, she's going to pursue her career of being an agent for up and coming models/actresses. Hell, she might represent musicians too, I don't know. It's gonna be hectic, and she needs the help."
"I was hoping you'd raise the baby in LA," Mick admitted sadly. "Leni, you could always find a job here."
"Mick, I'm not moving to Mars or anything. You're still gonna be the godparent, and there's gonna be lots of visits." I nodded firmly, trying to ignore my own wave of sadness. "I like Tina a lot, we hit it off. She's cool, and I know I'd like working for her. It's good pay and free rent. My kid's gonna have someone to hang out with, that's a bonus. Besides…" I dropped my eyes to my shoes, shuffling them a bit. "If I stay, I'm just gonna end up leeching off you. No, don't interrupt. It wouldn't be like on purpose, and I'm not just talking financially, you know? I gotta stand on my own two feet, gotta make it on my own terms. If I stick around, whether I mean to or not, I'm just going to come running to you or Josef every time I land my ass in a jam. It'd be too easy to get comfy with that. No, it's better the way I'm doing it."
"I can't change your mind?" I blinked back sudden tears, he sounded so bummed out.
"Part of me wishes you could." I sighed, resisted the urge to run my hands over my hair and mess it up royally. "Look, we'll keep in touch, yeah? I'll e-mail you like crazy, and you might even want to change your number after a few weeks. I'll pay for your ticket to San Francisco, and I hope you'll come to see the little bundle of joy after it makes it world debut." Of course I knew it was a girl, Mick probably knew it was a girl, and Josef did. But I'd have to explain it to Mick how I knew if I said 'she.'
"Maybe its better you get away for a while anyway," Mick sighed, resigned.
"Oh, Christ. I leave for two minutes and you two look like someone shot your puppy," Josef barked, but his eyes looked vaguely worried. "Mick, what did-"
"Mick didn't do nothing," I interrupted, shaking my head. "I just told him I'm moving."
"Oh, is that all?" Josef retorted airily. "Mick, she had to leave the nest sometime. So where's your new digs?"
"San Francisco," I told him evenly.
Josef was quiet for a few seconds, appraising. "Ah. You got the job with Tina." I couldn't really read past his poker face.
"That's the plan." I wasn't really sure how I wanted or expected Josef to take this. When did dealing with him get confusing? Don't let a kiss go to your head, Hayes, I warned myself.
"Well, congratulations. I'm sure Mick will do the travel industry good by making lots of home check-ups on his new godchild." He turned his attention on Mick. "Maybe if you're nice, I'll let you borrow the jet."
I felt my eyes go huge at his casual announcement. "You have a jet?"
"Naturally. Can you see me flying commercial?" Well, actually, yeah, and it wasn't a pretty picture. He'd be a total diva. Or was that divo? Whatever, he'd be it. "If I ever have business in San Francisco, I'll see if I can fit in a visit. It might be a nice change of pace." The wording and delivery was nonchalant as all get out, but there was a faint gleam in his eyes that suggested otherwise. I should have been worried, but I'd been through too much to scare that easy.
"Oh, goodie." But I winked to let him know that was cool with me. If anyone looked worried, it was Mick. I think he was starting to catch on to some…you know, vibe in the air. I wanted to explain it to him, but I was still trying to figure it out.
For now, Josef didn't fit into my set of priorities. But maybe someday…maybe someday he would.
Leni Hayes paused in her typing, satisfied with what she'd written so far. It was more than enough for the first installment of her story. She wondered if she should get into the cross-examination, then decided against it. The good guys had won, Fayed was behind bars. She knew Mick would be keeping an eye on him; make sure he didn't get her from behind bars.
She looked around her bedroom in San Francisco; put her hand on her swollen belly. Someday her baby would read this, and know what mommy's life had been like before she was even born. She'd find out about vampires, 'cause like hell Leni was leaving her daughter in the dark, whether Josef Kostan liked it or not.
Mick had already visited her once, and the stuffed animals on the bed were proof of that. He e-mailed constantly, although he was very guarded about his own life. After the baby, who she planned on naming Gabriella Jacqueline, (Gabriel was Mick's middle name) she'd tell him she knew he was a vampire.
She wondered how it was going with Beth and Mick, if she'd dumped Josh or not, or if they were all still playing the game. She shrugged; it wasn't her business or problem. If he wanted her to know more, she would.
She printed out the pages, planning on putting them in her safe. It'd take dynamite to get to it, and like anybody would believe what they read.
It had been a hell of an adventure, and there'd be more to come. "Poor kid," she murmured, stroking her stomach. "You're so in for it. Sorry." But she knew it'd be okay, because even if they were living in different cities, she had Mick in her corner. That was enough.