Rating: R for violence, language, and some sensuality
Word Count: 9914
Summary: AU that takes place the day before Dean goes to pick up Sam at college to go look for their dad.
Author's notes: First SPN fanfic that is not a drabble. This one is kind of long, so I figured I'd split it into parts. This came to me because I wanted to do a video of it, but I decided to do a fanfic first and draw off of that for later. This is also the first time I have ever written ANYTHING in first person from a male perspective, so new territory.
“Can I get another round?”
“I imagine that if I said you had enough, it wouldn't matter to you. Am I right?”
“Dead on,” I answered, my tone flat.
I wasn't exactly in the mood for conversation, but if the guy was going to be feeding me whiskey for as long as I wanted, I figured I'd at least be civil. He poured another round of Jack Daniels into my glass with a look on his face that I couldn't distinguish as pity or frustration. Without putting much thought into it, I grabbed my drink and slapped a five dollar bill onto the bar. The bartender seemed to want to talk to me some more, for whatever reason, I couldn't even imagine, but I didn't give him the chance. Instead, I left the bar and sat in a corner booth. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't stop envisioning how pathetic I must appear. It had been nearly an hour now and all I had been doing was drinking straight booze in a nearly empty bar, only to become that staple figure that so many see when they walk into a bar. I was the creepy guy that doesn't talk and sits in the corner with only his drink to keep him company. What an image. It was completely unacceptable for me to be drinking at this point and I knew that, but there wasn't anyone around to bitch about it, so I was beginning to lose myself in alcohol. The part of me that had always been unstable was starting to spread and I need to drown it out somehow. Besides, my current situation wasn't exactly helping matters. After all the years spent with him, my father had inexplicably vanished, while on a hunt no less. Although he was perfectly capable of taking care of himself, it had been longer than usual and I had heard nothing from him. Checking the cell phone three times a minute in worry was growing old, especially since nothing had come from it. That was where the second part of my sorrows kicked in. I considered myself to be skilled in the matters of hunting and tracking, but finding Dad was becoming impossible. There was only one other person in the world that not only knew how to hunt as well as us, but he was also the only other person I trusted besides Dad. The only problem was that dragging my little brother out of his seemingly normal life was something I never wanted to do. Saying never was really not emphasizing it enough. While I was really becoming nothing but a reflection of my father, he was leading the life we all deserved. From last I had heard, he was in college on his way to becoming a lawyer and happy with his life. Taking him out of that for even a moment was something I dreaded and had contemplated doing repeatedly over the past few days. As much as I hated that he hadn't stayed with the family, I also loved and envied the fact that he had gotten out. At least one of us had. I touched the necklace that I never took off, thinking about him. My constant reminder that I still had a brother in the world hung around my neck in the form of a small gift he had given me one lonely Christmas. Sam. I hadn't seen him in a long time. I wondered how bizarre the encounter would truly be. To top all of it, it was nearing the anniversary of our mother's death. Why people called the dates of others' deaths 'anniversaries', I will never know. It sounds celebratory, which is not what I feel when I think of my mother suspended on a ceiling surrounded by flames. It had been twenty two years and I still felt like I was standing in that front yard of our old house with Sam held tightly in my arms, watching it burn and hoping against all hope that both of my parents would emerge safely.
“I said, 'back off'!”
I looked up from my drink, being snapped back into reality by the shriek of a girl at the bar. It was too bad she was in such a bad predicament because I couldn't appreciate how attractive she truly was. Perfectly shaped, leggy, blond, with lightly tanned skin; what was it with the women in California? Even the fact that she was dressed in jeans and a college sweatshirt couldn't disguise how striking she was. For a moment, I was relieved. Someone in the bar was actually drunker than I was. It was a short lived moment however because the guy was all over a girl that obviously wanted nothing to do with him. From my short distance, I could tell he wasn't about to let up anytime soon either. I wasn't able to hear what he said to her, but whatever it was made her slap him across the face. He was stunned momentarily, but then backhanded her hard, knocking her into a table behind her, and then to the floor.
Knowing this had the potential to end even worse than it already was, I jumped to my feet and reached them before the bartender could even get to their side of the bar. Initially, I wanted to grab the girl off the floor, but I had seen too many of these brawls to know that I had to get the guy out of there as fast as possible. I had him by the collar of his fading leather jacket when he finally realized someone was stepping in to try and fix what had happened.
“Hey man, hands off!”
“You're leaving. Now.”
Red faced and angry, he struggled to get out of my grasp. He was a couple inches shorter than me and all his extra weight was certainly not muscle, so it wasn't too hard to keep a handle on him. I could smell a strong odor of tequila on him, which accounted for his sloppy movements. Drunks don't make for the best fighters, no matter what anyone says. I was surprised I was holding up as well as I was, but then again, physical confrontation was practically commonplace with me. “That little bitch hit me first! I was just defending myself,” he slurred, his dark eyebrows narrowed in fury. I rolled my eyes, looking from him to the blond pulling herself off the floor.
“She's a hundred pounds lighter than you. Get out.”
I dropped my hands, hoping he would leave, but for some reason, it can never be that easy. The moment I let him go, he went back to her, but didn't get far. I hit him hard in the face, knocking him to the floor. There was blood gushing from his nose and he glared at me.
“You broke my nose, you son of a bitch!”
At least that's what I thought he said. It was all a bit muffled behind his hand which was clutching his nose in pain.
Drunk, pained, and defeated, he grasped at a chair to stand up and pointed at me before stumbling out the door.
“Fuck you, man. That goes same for you, sweetheart.”
It was easy to tell that the blond wanted to knock his teeth out of his mouth, but she held back. There was anger in her eyes that I recognized all too well. I was grateful for that, not wanting this to go any further. We watched him leave and then I turned to her. The adrenaline that had been obviously keeping her stable was running thin because I could tell her resolve was about to break. She was shaking. Clutched in her hand was a small white towel that the bartender must have given to her in case she had started bleeding, but that wasn't the case. I grabbed the towel from her and tossed it back at the bartender, annoyed. We both knew he wasn't going to do anything but go back to his work. Rather than dwell on it, I checked to see if she was doing any better.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I think so. But I've never been bashed in the face before, so, who knows?”
The once shrill voice was now quiet and broken.
I held onto her chin, turning her face slightly, examining for any obvious injuries. Standing that close to her, I was able to pick up on a faint aroma of vanilla. Girls and their perfume; it was such a wonderful thing. It made up for the other smells in that place. Besides probably having some bruising, she was fine. The entire time I was inspecting her face, she was avoiding eye contact. I knew it was only a matter of time before she began to cry and I wasn't looking forward to seeing that.
“Nothing's broken, you'll be okay. You may have some bruises in a day or so, but that depends.”
“How easy you bruise. Ever been in a fight before?”
“A couple,” I said, not wanting to elaborate.
“Well, thanks. Can I get you a drink or something?”
“I think I should buy you one from the looks of things. You look like you're going to cry.”
That did it; I really shouldn't have said that. She clamed up and bit down on her lip.
“Shit, don't cry. There's no reason for that, it's over. He was an asshole and he's gone now.”
She nodded, still biting on her lip.
“Drink?” I asked, with a smile, hoping to cheer her up a bit.She smiled a perfectly white smile back and it was the first time I felt happy in quite a long time.
“That's not your real name. Tell me your real name.”
It had only been a half hour and she was already grilling me for my real name. She wasn't going to get it though. No one got that.
“It told you, it's David St. Hubbins.”
“Yeah, okay, you liar,” she said, sticking her nose back in the small bar menu, still grinning. “Do they have any real food here?”
“It's a bar.”
“But come on, everything is fried. Everything.”
“Again, it's a bar.”
Somehow I had convinced the girl who wouldn't tell me her real name either to keep me company. It made sense since we were pretty much the only people in the bar. I very much doubted that she wanted to sit alone anyway after what had happened. After buying her a beer, I had offered to buy whatever food she picked out because I needed something of substance in my system. The alcohol wasn't going to keep me afloat much longer on its own.
“Are these those huge nachos that are said to be an appetizer but could feed twelve?”
I almost laughed at the way her eyes lit up when she said that.
Before she could change her mind, I grabbed the menu from her and ordered the nachos. The cooking staff was either really quick or just didn't care because they were placed in front of us within minutes, indeed being the nachos that could feed twelve.
“Why won't you tell me your real name?”
“I told you it already,” I said, unable to suppress a grin. The mock aggravation on her face was comical.
“What, are you a spy or something?”
“Yeah, a spy who hangs out in places like this.”
“Fine. Well, what do you do?”
For a moment, I thought of what to say to her, if anything at all.
“I'm...an independent contractor.”
Her left eyebrow shot up as she eyed me curiously.
“You know what they call independent contractors with no names, right? Hit men.”
I had a feeling the beer was starting to go to her head because she was stifling a laugh, quite unsuccessfully.
“That's not funny.”
“Yes, it is,” she said, still laughing.
It was strange that I couldn't remember the last time I had enjoyed the company of a stranger this much. Practically everyone was a stranger to me too, considering my line of work, so that was saying a lot.
“What about you? What do you do?”
She pointed at her sweatshirt, her mouth full of food.
Nodding, she swallowed.
“I never had time for that.”
“Family...issues...” I said, teetering off at the last moment, uncertain of how to really end that thought.
“Well, my parents would have kicked my ass if I hadn't gone to school, so here I am at lovely Stanford,” she said in a tone that made me wonder if she really enjoyed the place or not.
“My brother is at Stanford.”
“Is that why you're here? For a visit or something?”
“Something like that.”
“What's his name? Maybe I know him.”
“No,” I said with a slight snicker, “I think you're a bit out of his league.”
In my mind, all I could see was Sam turning into a complete bumbling idiot around her. It made sense. The last time I had seen him, he wasn't exactly the description of suave.
“I don't know if that's fair.”
“Trust me, it is.”
She could tell I wasn't being cruel, as I was still grinning over the thought. Her cheerful demeanor suddenly took a huge turn and was replaced with confusion as I noticed she was peering over my shoulder, towards the window. I turned to look, but saw nothing.
“What?” I asked, looking back to her, while she was still watching the spot intently.
“I don't know...”
Suddenly, the lights above the bar flickered in a sadly familiar fashion. Even the stereo system somewhere in the ceiling missed a couple beats. I tried to convince myself it was the weather. It had begun raining just after I had first arrived and had turned into a full blown dark thunderstorm since then, but I knew better. It wasn't the damn weather.
Fucking demons. Why now?
To save face and not look like a complete lunatic chasing after something that may not even be around us, I lied.
“It's nothing, just the weather-“
That's when the lights went out. All of them at one time and I heard a blood curdling scream escape her throat. From the lightning outside, I could see that she was still looking behind me, only now on her feet, backing as far away from the window as she possibly could. Whether that meant stumbling into the bar and knocking over glasses, she didn't seem to care. It was obvious that she was terrified. Turning around, I saw nothing except the dark street outside the window. The bar and the street seemed virtually deserted, save for a few people that had been sitting on the stools before I had even pulled into town. As I turned back to her, the lights came back on along with the music. Everyone in the bar was staring at us and she had a look on her face that I had grown accustomed to seeing with her skin as white as a sheet and her eyes wide. It took her a moment to speak, as she was shaking so hard, I don't think she was able to get anything out.
“Th-there was....s-s-something there!” she spat out, pointing towards the window.
Great. She had to say 'something'. If she would have said 'someone', I may have been able to persuade her into thinking it was nothing to worry about.
“It's okay...” I tried to coax her, stepping in her direction, but she was having none of it.
“NO! Something was there! You don't believe me – it was horrible!”
There were tears of panic sliding down her cheeks as she continued to back away. The bartender looked at me, annoyed.
“You need to get her out of here or we'll have to call someone. I think she's having some kind of attack or something.”
“She'll be fine,” I practically growled at him, quickly pulling some cash out of my wallet and putting it on the table for the bill.
I reached for her, but she was still scared and wouldn't come near me or anyone that was any closer to the window than herself.
“Come on, we have to leave. Do you want them to call the cops over this?”
She just stared at me with no change in body movement.
“Look, lady, you just busted about 6 glasses back here and a bottle of Bacardi-“
“Hey, would you shut up? Christ, here,” I threw him some more money that wasn't mine to begin with. “Take it and shut up so I can get her out of here, you heartless little prick.”
He knew that if he said anything to me that it wouldn't end well, so he simply took the cash that was soaked in spilled alcohol and walked down to the other end of the bar.
“Come on,” I said to her in a much gentler manner that my previous.
“You don't believe me.”
“Yes, I do. More than you can imagine. And to be honest, if there was something there, don't you think we should get out of here?”
“No,” she said, quietly, shaking her head. “It was in the street.”
“Well, it's not there anymore. Even you can see that, right?”
She was silent.
“Right?” I asked, growing increasingly impatient but knowing if I didn't handle this correctly, she may have some sort of break from whatever she had just witnessed. Luckily, she nodded and I breathed a sign of relief. Still shaking, she stepped in my direction. I grabbed my jacket and car keys from the booth, shot the bartender another dirty look, and kept a strong hold on her so she wouldn't stop walking.
“Here, take this. It's pouring out.”
Without any argument or protest, she took my jacket and wrapped it around herself. I could feel her tense up as we neared the window and gripped onto her tightly.
“Don't worry. Nothing is going to happen to you, just walk with me and please keep breathing, okay? I really don't need you to collapse on the way out of here.”
I took her silence as a response, opened the door, and we walked out into the rain. We only had about a half a block to walk before we reached the Impala, which I was still unhappy about that because we were both soaked by the time we reached it.
“Nice car,” she said through chattering teeth, once we had escaped the street and were sitting securely within the warmth of the car.
We rode down the street in silence for a few moments, seeing as the urge to turn on the radio had eluded me. Things had taken a dark turn and the night had not turned out at all how I had wanted it to.
“Where do you live?” I asked, not looking at her until she didn't say anything.
At the stoplight, I turned to see her staring out the window.
“I can't go home tonight. No one is there tonight. I can't be alone after that, are you kidding me?”
I understood where she was coming from, having seen my far share of those things in my life.
The only difference was, I knew how to deal with them.
“What about you? Aren't you supposed to be going to see your brother or something?”
“Not tonight, tomorrow.”
“Well, what are you doing tonight?”
“Hanging out in some dive motel as far as I know.”
She was quiet for a moment, silently weighing out her options. It was between going home alone and chancing seeing the things that go bump in the night again or going back to a motel with me. I couldn't exactly blame her for thinking it over. I listened to the windshield wipers squeak their way back and forth, keeping my vision from being obscured by all the raindrops.
“So, Mr. St. Hubbins, what's your real name?”
There was no real thinking it over. The girl was terrified and looking for someone to trust. I was probably the only person in this area besides my brother who could protect her and if gaining her trust meant spilling some personal information, so be it.
There was another moment of nothing but windshield wipers.
“Hi Dean, “ she said without looking back at me.
Bringing a girl home didn't usually entail bringing her back to one of these creepy little hole in the wall motels that I would hide away in for days or weeks at a time. There were so many reasons for that. I didn't consider this home, to begin with. There hadn't been a home since Mom was alive; there had just been motels and the car. No matter how good of idea it may seem at first, bringing a girl to a place that was lined with yellow carpet that must have dated back to at least 1975 and brown patterned wallpaper with framed pictures that coincide in no way with the rest of the room really killed any chance of getting laid at all. And if that didn't do it, the array of weapons probably would. This was an entirely different situation, however.
For one, it was six o'clock at night. The fact that I was back in the motel at all sickened me. Both of us were still hungry, had only eaten a couple of those massive nachos before the unscheduled blackout and we were cold from the wind and rain outside, making the mood all the more upsetting. The girl standing in close beside me wasn't there for the fun of it. She was there because both she and I believed she had a good chance of being hurt that night.
“What's with this room?”
It was probably the nicest thing she could have said about it, besides saying nothing.
“Here, sit down a second,” I said, practically pushing her down.
Her whole body was stiff, still afraid, yet she managed to continue shaking. I got her to sit on the edge of the bed and went to grab some towels from the bathroom.
“These should help warm you up a bit,” I said, tossing them to her.
Luckily, what I liked to think of as my chain coffee drinking habit kept me with a can of Folgers in my bag at all times. There was a small coffee pot in the little kitchen area that I switched on, putting it to good use.
“I don't drink coffee.”
“What do you mean you don't drink coffee? Why not?”
“Stunts my growth.”
“You're tall enough. One cup isn't going to hurt you. Besides, it will warm you up.”
Part of me was trying to keep her from asking too many questions about everything in the room. All my newspapers were out that I had been looking through, trying to find anything that would lead me to Dad. There's no way she hadn't missed the 12 gauge next to the bed, but hopefully she hadn't seen the bag of smaller guns, bullets, and salt that I was trying to conspicuously kick out of her line of sight. Her eyes were full of more questions than she could actually ask.
“You're not really a hit man, are you?”
“Are you serious?” I asked, looking out the window to see if we had been followed. There was nothing in the parking lot but my car and some fog keeping the darkness and rain company.
“No, I'm not a hit man. Here, if you're not going to drink this, at least hold onto it. It'll warm your hands.”
I handed her the coffee in a cup provided by the motel.
“You think I'm crazy, don't you?”
“If I thought that, I wouldn't have you in here with me.”
“Then why are you so edgy?”
“Because I believe you.”
Whatever she had seen, we both knew it wasn't human. Not wanting to take any chances, whether it had followed us or not, I pulled salt out of the bag I had just kicked aside and lined it along the door and windows.
“What in the hell are you doing?”
Once I felt that we were safe inside the motel, securely encircled by salt, I addressed her question.
“That thing you saw...what exactly was it you think you saw?”
“I don't think anything. I know I saw something.”
“All right. What was it?”
“It was like a shadow of a man. You know, like a form?”
“Like a ghost?” “I don't think I've seen a ghost before but from what I've heard, they don't look like that. This thing was dark and had these yellow glowing eyes. It was staring right at me-“
“What did you say about its eyes?”
Taken aback by my reaction, she was suddenly quiet. It was the eyes that had caused me to snap.
“They were...yellow...” she said, exceptionally slowly, probably thinking I was going to jump down her throat again.
It was incredibly difficult to keep the emotions inside of me from boiling over into our discussion. There were too many thoughts going through my head at once. What was that yellow eyed fuck doing showing up here? I couldn't decide whether he was following me, had something to do with Dad's disappearance, or may have possibly been looking for Sam. None of those thoughts told me why he had made himself known to the unfortunate girl sitting alongside me. My cell phone caught my eye and I had a thought.
“Stay put,” I instructed, grabbing the phone and my jacket. I couldn't have this conversation in front of her.
“Whoa, you're not leaving me here?”
“Relax, I'll be right back. See the salt?” I asked, pointing. “It will keep the bad things out.”
“What?” she asked, her face covered in disbelief.
“Trust me. I'll be right back.”
Not allowing her to say another word, I carefully stepped over the line of salt and out into the rain. Luckily, the motel had a tiny awning that I could stand under, keeping me dry. I looked at my phone, which of course, held an empty inbox. Not knowing what else to do, I dialed Dad's number.
“Answer. Answer...” I said, through gritted teeth.
As to be expected, his voice mail picked up.
“Dad, I need you to call me. This is important. Call me as soon as you get this.”
I felt like throwing the phone across the parking lot after I hung it up, but knew that wasn't the best plan. Dad wouldn't be calling me back, just like he hadn't called me back at all since he had gone missing. I couldn't be sure he even had his phone on him anymore. Groaning, I leaned against the building and stared out past the parking lot, only to see a glowing neon sign across the street. There was a pizza parlor that I had missed on the way back. When I got back inside the room about twenty minutes later holding a large pizza with the works, I found the blond sitting cross legged on the center of the bed watching the tiny TV and taking a pull off the once full bottle of Jack that had been sitting on the side table. She quickly put down the bottle when I walked in, as if I cared.
“You got pizza?”
Her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree when she saw the pizza box. I simply nodded and opened it, sending the delicious aroma of cheese and Italian spices around the room. Before I could set it down on the side table, she grabbed an extra cheesy piece.
“Careful, that looks really hot.”
Not listening, she scalded her mouth. It was so easy to tell. The reaction on her face when she bit down was one of great pain.
“Told you,” I said, as I sat down beside her and taking a pull off the bottle she had set aside for myself.
“I needed something to calm me down a bit. That seems to do the trick.”
“That, it does.”
“You know what I saw, don't you?”
She sprang that one on me awfully quick. I was hopeful that she had started to think she had seen nothing at all, but that was regrettably not the case. I sighed.
“No,” I lied.
She stared at me for a minute, trying to read me. I did my best to remain calm, instead of showing my panic that was rising inside of me minute by minute. I had to try to calm myself anyway, as there wasn't much I could do about the situation as it was. If it was the same thing that had killed my mom, I had no idea how to kill it or even how to find it. All I could do was keep the girl safe and hope for the best, which I really hated. What I really wanted to do was go find Sam, which was a ridiculous notion at this point. It was pouring down rain and I had no idea where he was besides from his school. That would still have to wait until tomorrow.
“You sure about that?”
“I didn't see it. So I can't be sure of anything now, can I?”
“You don't believe me. You think I'm crazy. I knew it.”
Her voice was growing panicky and high pitched.
“I just lined the room in salt. I don't think you're crazy. But, no matter what this is, whether it's just some weirdo following you around or...something else, I'm not letting it in here. Got it?”
She nodded, still unsure of herself.
“Have another slice of pizza and relax. It could be a long night.”
It was midnight before we knew it and both of us were slap happy drunk after playing drinking games with the Jack Daniels. I felt like I had at the bar with her before the lights had gone out, which was a good way to be. The smile had finally returned to her face with her fears being somewhat alleviated. Maybe it was the booze or maybe she was starting to just settle down, but either way, it didn't matter. The fact that she was no longer shaking, frightened, and jumping at every sound is all that mattered to me. I was sitting on the bed with my back against the wall, while she sat at the foot of the bed with her face almost in the TV.
“I don't normally drink like this,” she said, looking back at me and half laughing as if it were the funniest thing she had ever heard.
“Yeah, I don't believe that for second. You'd be sick as shit right now if you weren't a little used to alcohol,” I said, waving the near empty bottle of Jack in front of her face. “Besides, you said you were a college student. You people drink like fish.”
Still laughing, she nodded.
“You don't have anything else to drink, do you?” she slurred, looking around.
“You're done with the alcohol for the evening. I don't want to have to drag you to the hospital.”
“Oh, come on...”
“No. You'll thank me for that later, trust me. I've been where you are too many times.”
Unable to be angry in her giddy condition, she turned her attention to the muted television set. An old episode of The Twilight Zone was running; one of the black and white ones about an evil little kid.
“Ugh, evil children creep me out...” she muttered.
“Same here,” I said.
We both stared at the TV until my drunken brain came to some version of realism and I grabbed the remote. For a few minutes, the room was full of nothing but the sound of the TV show as we remained fixated on it like a couple of obsessed little kids watching cartoons. Any sober person would probably have found our situation comical. The show had just reached a point where a person was turned into a Jack in the Box when the screen filled with static.
“Oh, what the hell?” she yelled at the TV.
The picture came back, only to fill with static once again. She leaned forward and hit the TV on the side in hopes that it would help things, which it didn't.
“Dammit! I was looking forward to seeing the end of that!”
“You've been watching it for a whole five minutes,” I pointed out.
“I've watched the whole thing!”
The argument probably would have gone back and forth making sense only to those who had been drinking as long as we had, but the lights above us and the little lamp on the table flickered off and on. With her eyes wide and her fears greatly heightened, she quickly crawled up to sit right beside me. I wasn't used to such a reaction.
“It's probably just the weather.”
“That's what you said last time.”
This time was different though. I wasn't as alert and the storm had only worsened. Plus, the motel wasn't what one would call exactly high class. You get what you get for thirty dollar a night and if that occasionally included the electricity going out, I wouldn't be surprised. It's not as if it would be the first time it had ever happened to me. There was no convincing the girl who was clutching my arm of that, however. Even though I was worried, I was becoming tired and really didn't want to deal with it. Despite all of that, I pulled myself from the bed and went over to the window, with her close behind. It was pitch black dark outside with even more rain than before, so anyone who said they could see across the parking lot was kidding themselves.
“Do you see anything?” I asked her.
“No, but it's so dark.”
I sighed and shut the curtain.
“I'm sure it's just the weather this time. Check out the place we're in. The bar shouldn't have shorted out, but this place? It probably happens all the times.”
Part of her was trying to accept that, or so it appeared. She had a small smile on her face that just didn't turn into a full one, as if she were trying get me to think she really believed me. Not knowing what to do, she simply stood there.
“Why don't you try to get some sleep? I'll keep watch for anything outside. Go on, you take the bed.”
“What about you?”
“There's plenty of floor around here.”
“I can't have you sleep on the floor! You're paying for the room.”
“I've slept on plenty of floors. And couches, chairs, and in cars. I'll be fine. Go to sleep.”
Thinking it over, she finally just shrugged. I wished she hadn't. I wished she would have just told me to come share the bed with her, but that wasn't happening. No such luck.
The moment she turned from me, there was a loud banging on the door.
“Good God, what is that?” she asked, reading my mind. It sounded like the whole world was trying to kick in the door.
Not like it was going to do much good, but I decided to creep up to the door and look through the peephole. I could see someone, due to the lights that were on above the motel keeping it known to the people on the road, but other than seeing that someone was out there, I saw nothing. There was something I did know though. Demons usually didn't knock. We waited a bit to see if the person would go away, but not really believing it.
“Do you think he's gone...”
“Quiet,” I shushed her, muting the TV and listening intently. I heard a pair of boots move around the side of the motel and I quickly went to the window. From there, I could see who it was.
“Oh, it's that idiot from the bar!” I said, half relieved. Still, I didn't want to have to deal with him.
“What? What the hell is he doing here?”
She was by my side again with panic returning to her voice.
“Who knows? Shit, sit down, don't let him see you!”
I pushed her to the floor, not giving her a second to protest. The guy was yelling something from outside, but I couldn't hear him with the sound of the storm. That's when I saw a bat in his hand, swinging in the direction of the window. Maybe it was because he was still drunk, but he only managed to break through the first pane of the window.
“Stay here,” I ordered, sounding terribly protective.
Her head bobbed in agreement.
I threw open the door, greeting the rain. My then bare feet were completely soaked within seconds of being outside due to what must have been about a half an inch of water on the ground. For a single moment, he didn't see me and I had the advantage. Unfortunately, that didn't last. I wish I had a weapon that wasn't lethal because I couldn't very well just come out and shoot the guy, which was a serious shame because he was getting on my nerves. It was especially something I was wishing for when he saw me and came running at me with the bat held high.
“What the hell is your problem?”
He didn't answer and instead swung the bat towards my head. I ducked and hit the ground just before it would have cracked open my skull. Slipping in the rain, I fell to my back, and slid against the wall of the motel, hitting my head hard. I grimaced in pain and looked to see him standing over me. Thankfully, he had dropped the bat, but his fingers were clenched in a tight fist that was on its way towards my face. Quicker than I thought I could, I dodged it and he ended up busting his knuckles open on the wall. Impressed with myself, I grinned, which angered him all the more.
“You broke my nose you little bastard. You broke my nose and humiliated me. No one does that to me.”
His face was twisted into something that barely looked human, all because of how angry he was. I couldn't believe what he had just said to me, as if a bar fight was worth trying to kill people over.
“Oh, really? Cuz I did, you dipshit.”
That was a stupid thing to say. Not like I didn't know that, but sometimes I just can't keep my mouth shut.
Without another word, he slammed his boot into my side causing me to bellow in pain. I clutched my side, knowing that nothing had been broken yet, but it sure hurt like hell. I couldn't remember the last time I had my ass kicked so badly by a human being. The pain and sheer annoyance were equaling themselves out at that point because not only did I hurt worse than I had in a long time, I was laying on my side in the water with my clothes and face completely drenched. The rain was beating down on my face mercilessly and all I wanted was to get warm again. I watched in horror as I saw him pick up the bat and knew that if I didn't move fast enough, he would probably try to break my back at best.
Stupid drunken fuck. At least I knew how to handle my damn liquor. I didn't go around hitting woman and beating the piss out of guys and motel rooms. The worst I got was a little moody. I struggled to get to my feet, but just as I did, he knocked me down again with the bat to my shoulder. All I could think was that if I hadn't had any booze in me, I could have just killed him. Maybe it was the rain still pouring over my ears that blocked out a good section of my hearing, or maybe I was just focusing too much on my own pain, but I never heard the door of the motel open. I only heard the familiar sound of my twelve gauge being shot into the air.
“Put down the bat!”
I rolled over onto my side to see the still unnamed blond standing in the doorway of the motel room, pointing my gun straight at the man who was standing over me.
“Put it down!” she screamed, over the sound of the thunder.
One would like to think that with all this commotion, someone would have called the cops or come to the rescue at that point, but it was a hope that would never come to pass. It seemed that I was the only occupant of the motel. I had to stand up. If she stood there much longer, he was going to get into that room. God only knows what someone like him was capable of then.
“Get back inside!” I yelled as loudly as I could without feeling like my insides were going to tear apart.
“Listen to him, sweetheart,” the man yelled with a sick grin on his face, “besides, you don't want to shoot yourself with that thing!”
I heard another shot go off and heard the man scream in pain. I smiled then.
She knows how to use the gun.
“You shot off my toe, you bitch!”
Hardly blinking and certainly not lowering the gun, she kept it aimed at him.
“You want to keep the rest of them? Get out of here and leave us alone!”
He stood in the rain for a moment, glaring at her and sizing up his options. Then, I assumed because he didn't want to lose anything else, he hobbled off into the darkness, grumbling to himself. That was when she lowered the gun to her side and ran out to get me. As she was pulling me off the wet ground, I looked out towards where the man had gone. He was nowhere to be seen, but I could have sworn I saw something else. There looked to be another figure out there, not quite human, just staring at us. It was like a large shadow with no real definition or face. Doing the best I could to blame it on the alcohol and pain, I pushed it out of my mind and leaned on her as she helped me back to the room.
“You didn't tell me you could shoot.”
“You didn't ask,” she said, running a towel through my hair in an effort to warm my head. “How's you shoulder?”
“It's been a lot better.”
It seemed stupid that I was hiding the pain I was really in, but I couldn't help it.
“I can imagine. Are you still cold?”
“Yes,” I said, not exaggerating in any sense. Lying in the rain in a t-shirt and jeans really took its toll after a while.
“Here,” she grabbed the comforter off the bed and wrapped it tightly around me. “We don't want you to go into shock.”
Since I had come back into the room and changed clothes in an effort to warm up, she had me sitting in the chair next to the bed, watching me intently. Her tone made me feel safe. It was so comforting and motherly, as if she was actually worried about what would happen to me if she wasn't there to help.
“Are you studying to be a doctor or nurse or something?”
“I'm thinking about it,” she said, smiling again.
The room was silent then, with the exception of some bad science fiction flick playing on the small TV. I assumed she must have put it on when I had changed clothes in an effort to take her mind off of what had just happened. Overall, I was pretty impressed with the way she was handling things, but then again, what had happened in the parking lot was something people who had seen demonic forms would consider a normal occurrence. It explained why she hadn't reacted to the weapons in the room upon first entering. There was more to her than meets the eye.
“You're interesting, you know that?” I asked her, seriously meaning it. There hadn't been another time that I could recall spending less than twelve hours with a person and seeing so many different sides to their personality. The funny thing about it was, I still didn't know who she was.
“Okay, I'm not the one living out of this freaky motel room,” she joked, with a slight smile.
“No, you are. You're fun, you're hot as hell, you're obviously a smart girl, and you used that gun like you'd grown up with it-“
“I didn't know what I was doing with that thing. I only learned how to shoot guns about a year ago and it's been a while.”
“I wouldn't know that.”
Pulling the comforter around me even tighter, she eyed me again, looking for something that I wouldn't even think to look for.
“Thanks, by the way,” she said, her eyes suddenly darting in another direction.
My mind went blank. Maybe it was because she had stopped looking at me when she said that, but I couldn't think of what she had to thank me for. We'd been on a pretty level ground all night as far as what had gone on and I didn't expect any gratitude.
“For saving me from that prick at the bar...twice. And for making me feel safe after that blackout and me thinking I saw something that obviously was nothing at all.”
“What do you mean?”
“That thing that I thought I saw. I mean, clearly it was just that guy. That's why he was here too. He never stopped watching me. God, what a loser.”
Things became much easier at that moment for her. Not for me, though. I knew exactly what was out there and it wasn't the drunk from the bar. There had been two pairs of eyes on us that night. Setting the towel aside, she ran her fingers through my hair, which made me guess that it was finally dry. I was about to stand up when I felt her fingers trickle down the back of my neck and I couldn't move. I didn't want to. My brain didn't seem to want to function as I stared into those pretty eyes of hers. Feeling her move closer to me, which was damn near impossible with the tiny chair I was sitting on, I couldn't help but feel somewhat bad.
It was true and we both knew it. Despite having fired a weapon very well and taking care of me, she was still drunk enough for me almost taste the liquor on her breath, mixed with that sweet lingering vanilla aroma. I couldn't very well take advantage of a drunk girl, especially one that I was not only supposed to be protecting, but one that had saved me from possibly being paralyzed from one swing of a bat. If that wasn't already enough, I actually enjoyed being around her on a personal level. She was a good person, not just some possible one night stand.
“Yeah, but you're drunk and wounded. So who's taking advantage of who here?” she grinned, her fingers still caressing my neck.
She didn't have to tell me twice; that was more than enough for me. After a whole day and night of worry and fear, things were going to end on a good note.
“Okay, then,” I smiled at her, “come here.”
The big grin of hers that I simply adored appeared again as I pulled her towards me, wrapping both my arms and the big comforter around her. I kissed her then, as I had wanted to from the moment I had first seen her hours earlier and was amazed at how warm she felt. All my thoughts were on her and the pain in my body and worries about what could possibly be awaiting me outside those four wall subsided. I felt peaceful for the first time in years.
Three red digits were glaring back at me when I opened my eyes. Five o'clock. I groaned, not wanting to have woken up that early. There was a chance I wouldn't get back to sleep. I couldn't recall reaching the bed, but apparently we had because she was sleeping soundly with her head and left arm draped across my chest. Part of me wanted to get back to sleep, but there was another part of me that wanted to stay awake because I felt like I was living a normal life. If things were normal, I could try to keep the girl around and not have to worry about anything. As much as I wished for that, I knew it wasn't going to happen. Sighing and looking up at the ceiling, I watched the beams of light from the motel sign bounce off the ceiling and felt my eyelids droop as the light remainder of rain tapped against the window.
It couldn't have been more than an hour later when I woke up to see the blond rushing around the room in a frenzy. She was trying to be quiet in what I could only guess would be an effort not to wake me, but it didn't work that way.
“Hey, what are you doing? It's like, six. Come back to bed,” I said, in a tired voice, reaching out to her.
She ignored me and ran into the bathroom. I saw the light flicker on and off in less than a minute. That's when she appeared at the end of the bed, her face all askew, looking completely rattled.
“Where's my shirt?” she asked, hurriedly in an unnecessarily loud voice, staring at me as if it were the world's most important inquiry and only I possessed an answer.
“The chair,” I said, with a yawn, pointing. My eyes were barely open.
With an exasperated sigh, she grabbed it from the arm of the chair and quickly pulled it over her head. The way she was moving around was making me nervous. I grabbed some pillows and propped myself up in an effort to be a bit more presentable. I was still very tired and would rather have been sleeping, but I had to figure out what was going on.
“Hey, why don't we go get some breakfast or something-“
“Can't. I have to get back to school.”
“Coffee, then? Tea or something for you? Come on, it's six in the morning. You don't need to get back there yet-“
“I have a boyfriend, okay?”
As many times as I had heard that before, I didn't expect it this time around. Maybe it was because I didn't really want to hear it, but I hadn't gotten that impression from her at all. And as used to hearing it as I was, I never had felt let down by it. It actually hurt quite a bit for reasons unknown to me. I shouldn't have been feeling anything for her, but I couldn't help it.
“You didn't have one last night...” I muttered, the bitter tone in my voice noticeable. I wished I hadn't said that. I hadn't meant to; the sadness in me had pushed it out.
“What was that?” she snapped, her eyes wide.
“What? Nothing,” I quickly backpedaled, seeing the anger in her eyes at what I am sure she heard.
She scowled and went back to her searching.
“Where the hell are my jeans?” she asked, her voice more of a growl. She was terribly upset at that point. Her emotions seemed to switch around at a pace too quick to follow. I looked around and suddenly felt something at my foot. Reaching under the sheets, I grabbed them and tossed them in her direction. None of this was helping my pounding headache, product of a well brought on hangover. I couldn't imagine she felt any better.
“Thank you,” she said, unexpectedly, pulling them on as fast as she could. I watched her grab her socks and belt.
“Do you have a hairbrush?”
I couldn't help but noticed she had sex hair. It was all curly and big, so unlike how it had been straightened the night before. It made me grin, but was clearly pissing her off.
“Do I look like I own a hairbrush?”
She didn't answer, but appeared annoyed with my comeback.
“You know, it's probably none of my business, but why did you tell me you had no one to go home to last night if you have a boyfriend?”
For the time being, she stopped grabbing for articles of clothing, but pulled her hair back into a ponytail with a rubber band she had found. I had heard somewhere that rubber bands weren't the best things to use in your hair, but said nothing.
“It is none of your business, but he was out of town. He went on some guy's retreat thing to burn off some steam from school. He's getting back today, so I need to be around when he does.”
Her face fell then and her demeanor changed from frantic to distraught. With her face in her hands and her voice cracking, she slumped onto the foot of the bed.
“I've really fucked this up,” she said in barely a whisper, trying not to cry. All of her anger had melted down into regret.
“Hey, it's going to be okay. I mean, we both had a lot to drink. Shit happens sometimes-“
“Yeah, shit happens,” she said through tears that were suddenly streaming down her face, “but I don't go around sleeping with other people!”
“Well, don't worry about it. He's not going to find out.”
“Yes, he will.”
“How? I'm not going to tell him. So if you don't, you're fine.”
She used the comforter that was in a bundle on the floor to wipe her face.
“You don't know me, I don't handle guilt well. I'll end up telling him eventually. Maybe not right away, but I will. Ugh, I can't believe this. I'm so stupid.”
More tears showed up then and she started crying into the comforter.
“You're not stupid.”
I didn't want to bring it up, but since she was close to leaving, I was beginning to worry about that yellow eyed demon following her around. She was still in danger and if she left, I wouldn't be able to keep an eye on her.
“I know you're angry and all, but there's still the other problem.”
She sniffed and looked at me, with some loose strands of her blonde hair stuck to her damp cheeks.
“Well, you know the thing you saw at the bar last night?”
“You mean that guy?”
“No, the thing. Out the window.”
The look in her eyes was doubtful and confused.
“I was drunk. The thing I saw was that jerk who came here and tried to kill you, remember?”
“No,” I insisted, shaking my head, “something was out there and it may be after you.”
“There's nothing after me.”
“Look, you may still be in danger. This isn't some lame attempt to keep you here. I just don't want anything to happen to you.”
“Nothing is going to happen to me! No demonic form is going to come get me! You know why? Because they don't exist. It was just some crazy thing we convinced ourselves was out there because we were both loaded! I mean, hasn't anything weird ever happened to you when you drank before?”
There was no way to prove to her that what I was saying was true, just as there was no way to keep her safe. But then again, I couldn't be sure myself if it was really after her. It could be after me, for all I knew, since I was with her both times it made an appearance. It made more sense anyway, with Mom's anniversary rolling around. Not that I wanted it to make sense. I really didn't feel like having it come after my family again, but now I feared I had no say in the matter. My thoughts were suddenly back on Sam and I realized I had to find him even more now. If that thing was after him, I had to get to him first.
“Okay, fine. You're probably right,” I said in what was a really bad attempt at a reassuring tone.
Fortunately, she didn't see through it and I was somewhat happy about that. If it wasn't after her, there was no reason for her to continue to be as afraid as she was the night before. I didn't want to be responsible for that and I would rather have her leave on a good note. Besides, if anything else did come up and I found out the demon was after her, I would get Sam to help me. He may not be the most willing, but it was worth a shot. She nodded, still looking sad.
“I'm sorry I yelled at you. This isn't your fault, I'm just so pissed. This shouldn't have happened.”
Feeling like a scumbag for making her feel so bad, I watched her pull on her boots and tried to think of anything I could do to help her out.
“Oh,” she said, looking at me, intently, “I almost forgot. You said your brother goes to Stanford, right?”
“Um, yeah. Why?”
“Do you know where he lives or anything?”
“No, but that's what I'm going to find out today.”
“Oh,” her face dropped a bit.”
“I was just going to see if I could help you out at all since I go there. Let you know where the buildings are, that sort of thing.”
The tension in the room was beginning to grow very thick and I didn't think I could deal with it much longer.
“Thanks, but I'll figure it out. I can give you a ride back to school if you want.”
I hoped she would say yes. It would make me feel a lot better and I would get to see her for a bit longer.
“No,” she said, so fast it was as if she anticipated my offering, “thanks, but I can get there on my own. It's probably better that way.”
It made me a bit sad because it was the last time I would see her.
“Well, take care of yourself...hey, what's your name?”
She grabbed her purse off the table, looked back at me, and smiled.
“I'm not telling you my name.”
“I told you mine. And I don't tell anyone my name, I'll let you know.”
Thinking it over, she opened the door, letting the rays of the sunrise stream inside. The rain had stopped apparently, leaving what I could guess to be a beautiful day in its aftermath. At least that is what I could tell from where I was sitting. I watched her step outside and sighed, wishing I could have at least gotten her name. That's when she poked her head back inside, having not yet shut he door.
“It's Jessica. Jessica Moore.”