< /TR>


Disclaimer: Moonlight doesn't belong to me, all I have is my Microsoft word...

Author's Note: Set during early season one.

“There’s somebody here to see you.”

“What?” Beth asked absently, glancing up from the footage Steve was showing her on the camera’s view screen.

Mo, Beth’s boss, sighed. “There’s someone at your desk, sitting in your chair,” she said. “You’d better go see what he wants.”

Beth frowned, then smiled, as she realised who it probably was. “Would he be tall, dark and handsome, by any chance?” she teased. Mo wasn’t exactly the type to play secretary for her employees, but seeing someone like Mick, sitting at her desk, might motivate her.

“More like tall, fair and rich,” she drawled. “With bodyguards. Been rooting through any dark closets recently? He looks like the type to have few skeletons hidden.”

Beth’s smile dimmed as she racked her brain. Try as she might, she couldn’t think of anyone who fitted the bill. “Doesn’t ring a bell,” she admitted.

“Well, he didn’t give a name.” She grinned wolfishly. “But he is handsome. Try to get his number.”

“Just a few moments ago, you were wondering about his closet,” Beth said dryly.

“So I like to live dangerously, sue me.”

Beth glanced at Steve, who shrugged. “I’ll do a rough cut,” he said. “We can add the voiceover when you’re done.”

Sighing, Beth slipped out of the editing room and scanned the room. It had been a long day, and the piece had to be finished by five. The last thing she needed was… oh.

Impeccably dressed in a tailored suit, his Gucci shoes propped up on her desk, Josef Konstantin’s lips curved up into a small, mocking smile as she caught his eyes.

Oh dear.

Summoning up a smile she didn’t feel, Beth approached him as he stood. “Mr Konstantin, how… unexpected,” she said.

“Call me Josef,” he said. “Any friend of Mick’s, and all that.”

“Okay…Josef.” Beth said slowly, resisting the urge to step out of arms reach. There was something very unsettling about Josef Konstantin’s eyes, and she had a funny feeling why that was.

“So, Beth.” He said her name as if he was savouring it. “Care to give me the grand tour?”

“Tour?” Beth echoed, then mentally kicked herself. Since when had she become so monosyllabic?

Since you’ve found yourself in the same room with Josef Konstantin, without the reassuring presence of Mick at your shoulder, that’s when. Beth buried the thought firmly as she plastered a polite smile on her face. “There isn’t really much to see, really, ” she prevaricated.

“Oh, I don’t know, there seems to be plenty to see from where I’m standing.”

Beth shied away from the hungry look that suddenly burned in his eyes and laughed nervously. “So, have you seen Mick recently?” The question tumbled out, and Beth winced as she heard the squeak in her voice.

He cocked his head, his smile becoming more pronounced. He never showed his teeth; Beth wondered if he did that on purpose. “He doesn’t know I’m here, if that’s what you’re asking,,” he drawled. “Call this an impromptu visit. I wanted to get to know Mick’s new beau better.” “Oh, wait, Mick and I aren’t-”

He waved her protestations away. “Let’s just skip that part, shall we?” he said dismissively, his eyes lazily taking her in. “I was wondering what it was about you that caught his… attention.” Beth wondered at the weighted pause in his words; who the hell was this guy? More importantly, who was he to Mick? “Why are you here, Josef?” she asked shortly.

His smile grew cold. “Beth Turner; hot, eager, new reporter for Buzzwire news,” he said flatly. “It must kill you to sit on the one story that could make your career for life.”

And, suddenly, Beth understood. “Mick is my friend, I’m never going to do anything to endanger him,” she said.

“Too late for that, my dear,” Josef said tonelessly as he flicked away an imaginary speck of dust from his suit. “Mick has always had a soft spot for, let’s say, the mortally challenged - but you? You, Beth Turner, have made him question what he shouldn’t.”

“So what if I have?” Beth asked, feeling her temper rise. “What’s wrong with that? And what has it got to do with you?”

Josef looked at her sharply. “The fact that you have to ask that question shows how little you know,” he said softly. “It’s not going to end well, my dear. Why don’t run along back to your little attorney friend? Grow old, and fat, and have grandkids. It’ll be better that way, for all concerned.”

“You mean it’ll be better for you.”

“Don’t delude yourself, my pretty little morsel, Mick knows where his allegiance lies.”

“If that’s so true, then why are you here, Josef?” Beth asked archly.

“Because I don’t want to see him hurt, Beth, and this can never end well.”

Beth blinked as Josef unconsciously echoed the words Mick had used only days before. “What makes you so sure?” she asked eventually.

Slowly, Josef leaned forward, his lips resting against her ear. “Because there are only two ways this ends, my dear. You die or you get turned. No kids, no happily ever after. He’s a vampire, and you’re the food.”

Beth shivered at the words, and looked away as Josef straightened and nodded swiftly at the two bodyguards that stood a discreet distance way. Silently, they glided towards the exit, and Josef gave her a meaningless smile. “Well, it was delightful meeting you again, Beth, but I must dash. Business to attend, dinner to acquire, que sera, sera.”

“I’m going to tell Mick what you’ve said.”

“Trust me, it won’t make a difference.”

Beth watched him as he glided towards the doorway. Since she’d met Mick, she had thought constantly of the many obstacles between them. He was a vampire, she had Josh, he was a vampire – it bore repeating - but, for the first time, she began to wonder if there wasn’t a greater obstacle.

And that obstacle’s name was Josef Konstantin.

“So, did you get his number?”

“Huh?” Beth came out of her daze and smiled weakly at Mo, who had appeared at her shoulder. “Oh, no, sorry.”

“Oh well, he was probably too young for me anyway,” Mo said, her eyes lingering on the doorway nonetheless.

Beth smiled, despite herself. “I wouldn’t be sure of that,” she said. “But you’ve made a lucky escape, believe me.”


“Positively blunt.”