Six: Devil Game
NC, wooded area, night
She was beautiful. Her
long legs were stretched out in the moonlight, her shorts
bunched near her waist from the struggle, her slim ankles
encircled by the leather straps. He decided he liked
her legs. His eyes traveled slowly up the smooth, pale
skin, over the slight bend at her knee, up the smooth
thigh to where the skin disappeared beneath the shorts.
He thought momentarily
about cutting the shorts from her, but changed his mind.
It had never been about that. It had never been pleasure
he was after – it had been power. The pleasure
he experienced was simply an afterthought, a happy accident.
Stepping closer to her,
his eyes continued their trek up her torso, her flat
belly exposed at the navel, her ribs extended slightly
by the arch of her back. Her arms were raised over her
head, extending in a V, the leather straps around her
wrists contrasting sharply with her skin. He let his
eyes shift from her fisted hands to her wide blue eyes.
She lay silently staring at him, twin trails of tears
sliding from the corners of her eyes to matte her long
blonde hair at her temples.
smiled. She whimpered. He was sure she wanted to scream,
but the clear glue he’d applied held her lips
fast and she’d realized quickly that her muffled
pleas reached no one’s ears but his. He saw her
throat bob as she swallowed.
He was almost shaking
with anticipation. She would be delicious; he’d
known that for a while. She would be satisfying like
none of the others had been. He’d planned this
one, studied her, made sure she was right for the first
of this cycle. Made sure she was worthy. Made sure she
would please him.
He began to mutter the
words that bound him to her for this moment. He watched
her eyes widen more. His smile widened, turned feral.
She understood him. He’d known she was smart,
but Latin? He didn’t realize she knew Latin. She
blinked and shook her head. He nodded and leaned forward,
the short, thin blade of the knife pressed against her
She whimpered again. He
whispered close to her ear, enjoying the way she tried
to twist away from him.
She shot her eyes over
to him and he pulled away as he saw hate replacing the
look of fear that had thrilled him. That was his cue.
He slid the knife along her wrist as if through butter
and watched with delight as the fear returned to her
eyes while her life spilled from her wrist, over his
blade and down her arm. She twisted her hands helplessly,
trying unsuccessfully to stem the flow of blood.
whimpering grew frantic through her sealed lips and
the tears flowed freely. As he stepped around the flat
stone altar where he’d stretched her out, arms
above her head, legs to the opposite edges, he began
to chant. “Vestri cruor mos purgo mihi, vestri
cruor mos solvo mihi…"
Closing his eyes, he slid
the knife across her left wrist and this time allowed
her blood to flow over the fingers gripping the hilt
of the knife. He shuddered as her muffled screams beat
a soft tempo against his ears. He opened his eyes and
watched for a moment, watched as the horror of reality
flooded her eyes, as the denial skittered across her
features, as she looked to him, pleading with her eyes
for him to stop, to free her.
smiled, leaning close so that his lips were hovering
close to hers, whispering to her. “Vestri
cruor meus vox.”
pressed the knife point to the beat of her pulse in
the softness of her neck. Lifting his eyes to hers,
watching as the moonlight reflected in the luminous
pools of tears, he pressed the tip in. She barely made
a sound, but the defeat in her eyes was all he needed
to know that he had won. As the light left her eyes,
he leaned close to her neck, pressed his lips against
her warm skin, and drank deeply.
* * * *
outside Bethlehem, PA, evening
never liked the quiet. There was too much noise in his
head when it was quiet. Especially now. It hadn’t
been that long since the demon’s voice was his
constant companion. Now, the absence of that sound allowed
his thoughts to once again clamor for attention. Rolling
his neck, he reached for the volume control, letting
the music fill the space between his tired body and
that of his sleeping brother, who at the moment had
his arms wrapped tightly around himself in an almost
unconscious gesture of protection, allowing the grating,
rhythmic beat of The Showdown’s Death
Finds Us Breathing to quiet the echo of doubt
that still dogged his heels from Haris’ taunts.
stirred restlessly in his sleep. Dean pulled his eyes
briefly from the road to look closely at his brother.
Sam had been through a lot lately. Hell, they both had.
He looked back to the darkening road. Friggin’
mind control… Give him classic cars and cassette
tapes any day. Technology had a way of screwing with
Sam jerked, his arms loosening,
his hands starting to reach out. Dean looked over at
curled forward suddenly, his hands pressing hard against
his face, his palms at his temples.
jerked his head from the road.
gasped, rocking his head back against the seat, his
eyes closed tight.
pressed the heel of his hand into the curve between
his nose and forehead. Dean slowed the Impala, his arm
automatically shooting out to stop Sam from cracking
his head on the dash as the car decelerated. Sam didn’t
seem to notice as the motion of the car ceased. He was
pressing his body, his face, his hands, against the
door as if trying to force it from its hinges. His desperation
to get out of the car was palpable and Dean couldn’t
get out and around to his brother’s side fast
enough. Dean opened the door and caught Sam as he tumbled
forward into the sudden space.
crouched low on the gravel-strewn shoulder of the thankfully
deserted road, his hands gripping Sam’s arms near
the shoulders, his face pulled into a fierce frown of
concern. “Easy… just give it a second…
hang on, I got you…”
He didn’t know what
else to do but keep Sam from falling face-first to the
ground and wait for the vision to end. It had gripped
his brother so suddenly, so viciously that Dean felt
his heart tighten in his chest watching helplessly as
Sam’s face echoed the pain slamming through his
head. Beads of sweat formed on Sam’s forehead
as Dean held him upright. Dean felt Sam begin to tremble
beneath his hands and then start to slump forward. He
tried to keep Sam up, but teetered and ended up on his
rear, Sam in front of him on his knees outside of the
Sam was gasping, his hand
trembling as it passed across his closed eyes. He blinked
up at Dean, working to focus. Dean tightened his jaw,
gripping Sam’s arms.
“You okay, man?”
Dean,” Sam whispered, his voice shaking with residual
pain and something close to terror. “She’s
dead… he killed her…”
Dean… she’s dead,” Sam swallowed hard
and his face paled. Dean gave serious thought to rolling
out of the way, but Sam slid from his knees to sit in
the gravel, leaning against the closed back door.
said softly, acutely aware of the fragile look in Sam’s
eyes. “It’s okay, Sammy, we’ll figure
it out. What did you see?”
just shook his head. He was staring past Dean, seeing
nothing. He licked his lips and muttered again, “She’s
dead, Dean… he killed her.”
now you’re starting to scare me a little.
“Hey! Sam, snap out of it, man!”
Sam blinked at his harsh
tone, lifting his eyes to meet Dean’s. Dean was
relieved to see a glimmer of reality begin to seep back
into his brother’s expression. He rocked forward
so that he was once again crouched in front of Sam,
balanced carefully on the balls of his feet, his left
hand gripping his right, fingers unconsciously worrying
the silver ring on his right hand.
“What did you see?”
Sam swallowed. “She was… she was, uh, tied
to a… a rock or something.”
“Lying down or sitting
“Like, what, an
altar or something?”
Sam shuddered, “God,
Dean, so much blood.”
Dean snapped his fingers close to Sam’s face as
his brother’s eyes started to drift from him.
“Look at me. Hey! Look at me.” Sam met his
eyes again. “We’re gonna figure this out,
Sam’s visions had
been bad before. In Salvation, Iowa, they had damn near
knocked him out. But it rattled Dean slightly to see
Sam so shaken by what he’d seen. He had to get
Sam to focus, to explain the vision, to tell Dean what
“Where was she?”
“In… in a
that’s specific. “What else, Sam?”
Sam took a breath, rubbing
a shaking hand over his face. Dean watched him work
to gather himself, to pull his scattered thoughts together,
to get a grip. He waited, letting Sam settle himself.
uh… I saw a man, in a robe – a hooded robe
– with a knife. Short, thin blade.”
Dean narrowed his eyes,
tilting his head forward to try to catch Sam’s
eyes. “Robe, huh? We dealin’ with a dark
Jedi or something, Sammy?”
Sam blinked, lifting his
head to look at Dean. His eyes were clearer, Dean noticed
with relief. “It’s gotta be some kind of…
creature. What he did… no… no person could
have done…” Sam swallowed.
ducked his chin, looking at his brother out of the top
of his eyes. “We both know you get these visions
for a reason.”
Sam pulled his eyebrows
together, focusing on Dean’s face.
“You think we can…
save this girl?” Sam asked.
“Well, we can sure
as hell try,” Dean ticked his head to the left.
“Now, think. What else you got on location besides
woods and rock?”
Sam’s face pulled
together in a wince, and he gripped the bridge of his
nose, closing his eyes tight. “Ah, she was, uh,
she was wearing a T-shirt… a… a red one.”
nodded. Yeah, and…
Sam’s head shot
up. “Wolfpack… I know that… I’ve
seen that… NC State! NC State Wolfpack. North
Carolina, man. She’s in Raleigh.”
pushed himself to his feet and climbed into the Impala
on shaky legs. Dean stood slowly, regarding Sam with
narrowed eyes. What if we’re too late? Hell,
what if she’s not even there? What if she was
wearing someone else’s shirt?
or what?” Sam snapped at him.
pressed his lips together and sprinted around the front
of the car, sliding silently behind the wheel. He glanced
surreptitiously at Sam as he drove down the dark road.
Sam was leaning forward slightly as if trying to propel
the car through the night with the force of his will.
Dean felt a subtle shift in how the Impala responded
to him and looked down. They were on empty. He searched
the side of the road for an exit sign, breathing a sigh
of relief when one appeared not more than two miles
down the road.
He veered off the road,
heading down the exit.
“Dean, what the
hell?” Sam looked over at him.
“You wanna walk
to North Carolina? No? Didn’t think so.”
Dean didn’t bother to look over at Sam. He pulled
into the station, stopping next to a pump.
“Well, hurry up,”
Dean opened the door,
metal creaking with a comforting familiarity that somehow
calmed his instant desire to snap back at Sam. He was
tired, Sam was tired. They needed a break. Hell, they
needed sleep. He glanced once at his brother as he stepped
out of the car, seeing from the look on Sam’s
face that there would be no rest for them tonight.
“Make yourself useful,”
Dean said, ducking his head back into the car. “Go
grab a map and figure out how far it is to wherever
your Dead Zone is sending us this time.”
glanced at him, a retort clearly balanced on the edge
of his tongue, then apparently thought better of it
and did as Dean asked. While Sam was in the convenience
store, Dean filled up the Impala, leaning heavily against
the sleek black skin of the only real home he’d
ever known. His eyes were cast down at the stained blacktop,
but he was seeing Sam’s face revert back to a
twelve-year-old kid’s when he’d gasped she’s
dead, Dean… he killed her.
“Five hundred miles,”
Sam’s voice broke into his thoughts, making him
“Give or take. Five
hundred. Miles,” Sam was staring hard at him,
his jaw set, the neatly folded map of North Carolina
clutched in his right hand, two cups of coffee balanced
on top of each other in his left. Without waiting for
Dean’s response, Sam moved around to the other
side of the car, favoring his tender left leg, and climbed
into the passenger seat.
a groan, Dean nodded once and topped off the car, holstering
the fuel hose and grabbing his receipt. He crumbled
it out of habit and tossed it into the trash can before
climbing into the car. He paused before turning the
key in the ignition, looking over at Sam.
“Five hundred miles?”
Sam pressed his lips together,
then looked back at him. “He slit her wrists while
she watched. She knew she was going to die, man. I saw
it in her eyes. She knew and she couldn’t do a
The hollow ache in Sam’s
voice reverberated through Dean’s head. He turned
the key. The car roared to life and without another
word, Dean shifted to drive, and pulled back onto the
highway. He hadn’t gone more than two miles before
he took one of the coffees from Sam and downed it in
several mouth-scalding gulps.
Sam said nothing, simply
held on to the second cup, staring straight ahead. As
the miles wore on, Dean finished the second cup, flipped
through a half a dozen radio stations until he found
one for awhile that played his music, and pulled over
once more to fill up the Impala with fuel and himself
with more coffee. Through it all, Sam remained silent,
staring ahead, his jaw muscle dancing with tension whenever
Dean looked his way.
As his fifth cup of coffee
hummed through his system, Dean realized that his hands
had started shaking. Even he had a caffeine limit. He
rolled the window down, letting the cool air of the
early dawn sweep in and wash over him. He blinked his
eyes wide, then started singing along with Zeppelin’s
Black Dog. His glance over at Sam revealed that even
his unintentional attempts to rouse his brother from
his focused stupor weren’t working.
figure this out, Sammy,” he said softly.
too late.” Sam’s voice was low, gravelly
from lack of use. “It’s almost morning.”
Dean closed his burning
eyes for a moment, then forced them open, concentrating
on the road. “How do you know it happened tonight?
Maybe it was…”
“I just know, okay?
I know,” Sam slouched slightly against the door.
“We’re too late.”
Dean sighed, rubbing his
eyes with the tips of his fingers. He needed to wake
up, shake this off, if he was going to help his brother
get through this. “Sam,” he started, glancing
over to the passenger seat and then back to the road.
“We can’t save them all.”
the hell do I get these damn visions then, huh?”
Sam snapped. His sudden vehemence made Dean jump slightly.
“I mean, you said it yourself. I get them so we
can save these people. I was able to save you, why not
Sam rotated to face him, his back against the passenger
door. “You wanna tell me how it is we’re
left deciding which life is more important? Who lives
and who dies?”
pulled his eyebrows together, looking over at Sam angrily.
“We didn’t decide that, Sam. That freak
in the robe decided that. Evil decides that.”
Behind Sam, the sky began
to brighten as the sun journeyed toward the horizon.
Dean blinked back at the road, waiting for Sam’s
reply, feeling Sam wind himself up for an all out battle
of words. It had been brewing in his brother for awhile,
but fear and worry and uncertainty of their collective
future had dampened Sam’s drive to argue.
“We let evil win
when we don’t do anything,” Sam muttered,
his eyes on the dash.
Dean’s anger ticked
hot in him once and he let it flash out at his brother.
“What the hell do you call this, man? Driving
five hundred freakin’ miles to stop this bastard
when we haven’t slept or eaten… hell, you’re
“Not what I meant,”
Sam said, turning his body to face front.
damn well better…” Dean stopped, catching
sight of the exit for Raleigh. He turned off at the
sign indicating the direction to campus, and they drove
the rest of the way in silence.
Glancing at the clock,
he realized it was way too early for any students to
be out on the quad. He drove slowly through the campus,
resting a bent elbow on the open window. Sam reached
over and turned down the radio, rolling his own window
down, looking around.
“Getting any hinky
vibes, there, College Boy?”
Sam shook his head silently.
Dean sighed, resisting
the urge to rub the back of his neck. “Any idea
which direction I should head?”
“I don’t know,
Dean,” Sam snapped. “All I got was…
a woods at night.”
Pressing his lips together,
Dean nodded. “Roger. Drive around until I see
a woods…” He blinked. “Kinda like
he turned the corner he saw a copse of trees in the
distance and a collection of Raleigh’s finest
pulled to the side of the road, red and blue lights
flashing. He saw Sam sit forward, tension radiating
from him in waves. Dean pulled over behind a small Mexican
restaurant claiming to make burritos as big as your
head, and shut off the car. Sam was out before he’d
shifted into park. Dean let himself sink in his seat
a moment, his body ticking in time with the cooling
His reply was shot back in a matching urgent whisper.
He got out of the car, then followed Sam as they walked
cautiously down the length of the road toward the police.
Not too terribly worried
that the police in Raleigh would have memorized the
face of a supposedly dead serial killer from St. Louis,
Dean wandered slowly away from Sam, working his way
through the small crowd of the early morning curious.
He caught Sam out of the corner of his eyes doing the
“What happened here?”
he asked an elderly lady who held a small white poodle
under one arm, her morning coffee in the other hand.
She still had curlers in her hair.
“Heard the call
on the scanner,” she shrugged. Dean looked down
at her with a surprised grin. “Some jogger came
across a body of a girl.”
um, awful,” Dean said, trying for the right level
of horror and curiosity to match her tone.
she nodded. “Bet them cops are busy kickin’
themselves in the ass, though.”
Dean lifted an eyebrow.
“Why you say that?”
“They thought it
was over, is why,” she took a sip of her coffee.
“Don’t know why. Never caught the bastard.”
Dean opened his mouth
to question her further when a general rustle went through
the small crowd. He looked over the shoulder of the
man in front of him and saw three cops carrying out
a black body bag heavy with its gruesome burden. Dean
shot his eyes over to Sam and worked back through the
crowd to get to his brother. Sam wasn’t looking
at the bag, yet. He was watching a young cop who had
his arm around an attractive blonde girl.
Dean shifted his eyes
between Sam and the girl as he approached. She was pretty,
shoulder-length dark blonde hair, large blue eyes, and
the tear streaks on her face did nothing to detract
from the smooth coloring of her skin. Sam walked toward
them slowly, Dean close behind.
the young cop was asking her. The girl nodded.
The cop nodded to one
of the others carrying the body bag. They lay the body
bag on the ground and unzipped the top, laying the flap
to the side. The girl let out a strangled sound that
drew Dean’s eyes.
she said, her voice thick with tears, but low and solid.
Dean saw Sam turn from
the girl to look at the black bag. He was close enough
that he actually felt the breath leave Sam as he stared
at the body in horror. Dean searched Sam’s profile
worriedly for a second, then looked down. Her neck was
stained red with blood, her hair was matted on the sides
with it, but her face was unmarked – almost as
if it had been cleaned. But it wasn’t the gore
that had caught Sam’s attention, Dean realized.
It was her face.
looked like Jessica.
* * * *
Raleigh, NC, later that morning
was a coincidence, Sam.”
“I know that.”
“This is a hunt,
man, like any other.”
“No it isn’t.”
Dean sighed. Sam was right
– it wasn’t like any other hunt. This one
hit home, and as Dean sat at the small hotel table,
the laptop open in front of him, he watched Sam’s
face, watched the memories slide across his features,
chased by a pain Dean couldn’t understand.
Sam lay across the bed,
one arm above his head, the other across his stomach.
He was absentmindedly twisting the long strands of his
hair around his index finger. The motion tugged at Dean’s
gut, reminding him acutely of Sam at five, at twelve,
at fifteen. Whenever he was troubled or stuck on a problem
of any kind, he’d twist his hair.
Sam,” Dean said softly.
This drew Sam’s
eyes from their scrutiny of the ceiling above his bed.
He looked at Dean in honest surprise. “For what?”
Dean shrugged, looking
away, uncomfortable with exposing a piece of his heart
even to Sam. “I’ve been… caught up
in my own crap for awhile…”
“Dean, you couldn’t
help it. You were… possessed,” Sam tightened
his stomach muscles and sat up, looking at Dean. “Kind
of warrants a get out of jail free card for dealing
with your own crap.”
yeah, like the song says… every single one of
us has a devil inside… Dean shook his head
once. “Doesn’t matter. I’m sorry I
didn’t… pay closer attention.”
interrupted, holding up a hand, palm out, stopping Sam.
“I am paying attention now, okay? We’ll
get this thing.”
Sam swallowed and looked
down at his hands, his forearms resting on his knees.
“I trust you.”
Dean blinked at him. “What?”
lifted his head. “I said I trust you.”
Dean pressed his lips
together, looking away. Sam would have no idea what
those words meant to him. Taking a breath, he clapped
a hand on his knee and stood up, rotating the laptop
out to face Sam as he did so.
“Well, before this
gets to Lifetime TV, I’m gonna take a shower,”
he said, moving past Sam towards the bathroom at the
back of the motel room. “Check out that link.
Apparently the dog lady was right… this isn’t
the first of these murders around campus.”
He glanced over his shoulder
as he stepped into the bathroom, watching as Sam gravitated
toward the computer. He was showered and shaved inside
of ten minutes, never really one for lingering. The
water had shocked his system alert, and helped settle
his hands from the infusion of caffeine. He stepped
out of the bathroom to see Sam scrolling through the
information on the laptop.
Sparky,” he said.
“Dean, there have
been three murders a month for the last five months,”
Sam looked up at him, his tired-looking eyes alight
with the thought of a lead. “Except for last month.”
Dean nodded. “Yeah,
the old lady said the cops thought it was done.”
Sam stood up and made
his way to the bathroom, limping slightly on his left
leg. He pulled his shirts over his head in a tangle,
his voice muffled inside the fabric as he talked.
“Why a vision now,
Dean turned his head,
then rotated his body as Sam finished pulling his shirts
off and dropped them in a pile next to his duffel.
“I mean, if it’s
been going on for months, why didn’t I see this
before? You think it’s because it’s maybe
a new killer? Or maybe because this time it was Jess…”
Sam stopped, stumbling
slightly in the doorway of the bathroom. Dean bit the
inside of his cheek, saying nothing.
“I mean, because
she looked like Jessica,” Sam finished quietly.
Dean started, but Sam ignored him and stepped into the
bathroom, shutting the door.
Dean sighed and sat down
on the chair, leaning forward and rubbing his hands
roughly through his short, still-wet hair. He couldn’t
decide which was better: being alone forever and never
knowing the pain Sam was feeling now, or knowing the
pain Sam was feeling now just to have the memory of
connecting to someone that deeply once in his life.
He sat still and waited
for Sam to get out of the shower. He knew it was a mistake,
felt his body begin to shut down by increments, felt
his eyes grow heavy. He should be looking for more information,
for something that might explain Sam’s vision,
explain why they had hauled ass five hundred miles just
to be too late to do anything.
stepped from the bathroom, clad in only the white motel
towel. Dean straightened suddenly, blinking his eyes
wide to wake himself up. Sam didn’t even spare
him a glance as he dug through his duffel for clean
clothes. Dean stood and worked his shoulder muscles,
rotating his neck. He needed more coffee like a hole
in the head, but he couldn’t think of anything
else that might help him get his head on straight…
“We need to get
more information,” Sam was saying. “I think
we should split up, check out the library and see what
we can get from the cops.”
Dean blinked. Action Sammy
was slightly unexpected. After the look on Sam’s
face when he stepped into the bathroom, Dean thought
there’d be more… angst. “Uh…”
Sam stood, dropping his
towel and pulling on his boxers and jeans. He looked
over at Dean when no further response came. Pulling
his T-shirt over his head, he shook his wet hair from
his eyes, then frowned.
Dean scratched the back
of his head in thought. “Sam, uh, don’t
make this out to be more than it is, okay?”
Sam cocked his head to
the side, his hand on his hip. “What are you talking
Dean chewed his bottom
lip, then shook his head. “I just mean…
it’s not her.”
think I know that?” Sam snapped.
Dean paused, weighing his words. He looked at Sam, saw
the lines of tension around his blue-gray eyes, the
exhaustion that pulled at his body even now. “Maybe
you should sit this one out, Sam. Maybe you should…
y’know, stay here.”
Sam narrowed his eyes,
and shook his head with a look of disbelief on his face.
He opened his mouth and Dean braced himself for the
words that would match the suddenly angry look in Sam’s
eyes. Silently, Sam grabbed his jacket, moving past
Dean with an angry stride.
the police station, you take the library.”
Sam opened the motel door.
“Station’s not far. I’ll walk.”
But Sam was out the door
and heading down the street without looking back.
Dean muttered, heading to the car. “I got a bad
feeling about this.”
* * * *
Police Station, noon
you know I’m right – you know it!”
Her voice hit Sam before
he pushed through the doors of the police station. She
was angry. And as he stepped into the bull pen area
of the police station, he felt almost sorry for Nick.
The blond police officer from the crime scene had his
arms crossed over his chest, his jaw set, eyes narrowed,
and was leaning slightly back from the shorter blonde
woman in front of him. She was poking him in the chest
to punctuate her sentences.
don’t know that,” Nick replied. His eyes
were on the girl’s face, serious, searching. Boyfriend?
Sam wondered. “And you need to calm down. Right
Not boyfriend… brother.
me to calm down, dammit,” she stepped away from
him and turned around, halting just short of slamming
She looked up, surprised,
and met his eyes. Sam felt a little dizzy – like
the air had been sucked out of the room – when
he locked eyes with her. She blinked, pulled her head
back, then subtly shook herself, turning back to Nick.
be two more, Nicky,” she said.
Nick shook his head. “You
don’t know that,” he said forcefully.
“Yes, I do. And
I sure as hell can prove it to you,” she pushed
past Sam and started for the door. Sam’s instincts
caused him to turn and reach out in an attempt to stop
her, but Nick was one stride ahead of him. He’d
crossed the space between where he’d been standing
and his sister’s retreating form in two heartbeats.
“No,” he said,
grabbing her arm. “You go home. You go home and
take care of Addy. She’s gonna need someone to
keep her together after Jaynie…”
“I’m not gonna
just go home and hand my friend tissues, Nick,”
she interrupted, pulling her arm roughly out of his
grasp. “I know how to work a crime scene.”
Cagney,” Nick shook his head. “You’re
a criminal justice student, not a cop. You stay away.”
She cut her eyes from
her brother and over to Sam. Free of her brother’s
grip, she started for the door.
barked, startling Sam with how much he sounded like
Dean. She stopped at the door, looking back over her
shoulder. “You stay away. I mean it. Don’t
make me lock you up, Grace.”
Pushing the door open,
Grace shot a finger over her shoulder at her brother,
letting him know exactly what she thought about that
Nick sighed when the door
closed behind him, then turned to face Sam. “Help
Sam was still staring
at the door Grace had exited, unable to get those large,
blue eyes out of his mind.
Nick snapped his fingers in Sam’s face. “You
Sam blinked. “Uh,
yeah. Sure,” he looked at Nick. “Why?”
Nick shrugged and circled
around back behind the desk. “You looked a little
sick there for a second.” He picked up a pen and
tapped it twice on a clipboard. “What can I do
uh,” Sam’s thoughts were scattered. He wished
desperately for Dean in that moment. No matter the situation,
Dean always had a line, a story, a grin, or a glare
that got them what they needed. “I’m transferring
here from, uh, Stanford…”
Nick looked up with a
slight grin. “Stanford, huh? Things just not work
out for you there?”
Sam lifted the corner
of his mouth in an insincere grin. “Yeah, you
could say that. My, uh, car was stolen yesterday, but,
uh, I wasn’t on campus and…”
“Just fill out this
paperwork,” Nick grabbed a sheet and thrust it
and the pen he’d been holding in front of Sam.
“What was all that
about?” Sam asked, jerking his head over his shoulder
while he filled out bogus information.
sighed, “Not exactly a story you want to hear,
just getting on campus and all.”
Sam wrote 1967 Chevy Impala on the line asking
for his home address. “What did she mean about
there being two more?”
Nick looked over Sam’s
shoulder to the doors Grace had exited through. “She
was just upset. Her roommate was killed last night.”
that’s terrible,” Sam said, frustrated that
he wasn’t getting more out of the young cop. He
finished filling out the form, and dropped the pen.
He knew who he needed to talk to. “Thanks, I’ll,
uh, check back,” he said, sprinting out of the
station and ignoring Nick’s call of hey, wait!
He expected to have to
search for her. He practically ran her down as he stepped
through the doors.
“Took you long enough,”
she said, her arms crossed, head tilted to the side,
her eyes flashing. “You following me?”
pulled his head back. “No! Why would you say that?”
“I saw you this
morning. In the woods,” she said, narrowing her
eyes. “You were with another guy.”
Sam blinked, surprised,
thinking about how distraught she’d been. She
missed nothing. “My, uh, my brother.”
“What are you doing
here?” Her stance didn’t change, her eyes
were cool, calculating.
Sam decided to try a different
tactic. Honesty. Or as close to it as he could come
to it, anyway. “I was trying to find out more
about the, uh, murder.”
Her eyes softened slightly.
“Her name was Jaynie. Jaynie Tyler.”
lived with Jaynie and her sister Addison for the last
“You said there
were going to be two more,” Sam said. Grace’s
eyes dropped to the ground, then she lifted them slowly
to look at him through her lashes. Sam felt the bottom
drop out of his stomach.
“There are. He kills
in threes. An idiot could see this pattern, uh…”
supplied. “Sam Beckett.”
“Like the playwright?”
grinned, his cheeks folding into dimples. He was impressed
that she knew that. “Yeah, like the playwright.”
That was my older brother, Nick. My best friend and
the bane of my existence.”
Sam nodded, looking down.
“Yeah, I got one of those.”
“You hungry, Sam?”
Sam met her eyes. “I
she casually hooked her arm through his. “You’re
buying me lunch. We can talk about blind police officers.”
nodded, liking the feel of her hand on his arm, the
touch of her shoulder against him. “Lead on.”
* * * *
Public Library, mid-afternoon
rubbed his fingers over his tired eyes for the tenth
time that hour, then looked back down at the notes he’d
taken. Lunar cycle, three nights of the full moon,
three deaths, exsanguinated, but no organs missing,
not mutilated, no werewolf, slices in neck, not bite
marks, no vampire, victims displayed, Vitruvian Man,
demonic? human sacrifice? occult?
I hate microfiche… Searching through the
newspapers from the past five months had left him slightly
nauseous from spinning through the words. He’d
arrived about three hours ago, charmed the librarian
into relinquishing files to him that he would have otherwise
needed a student pass to obtain, and had spent the better
part of that time alternating between searching for
something – anything – that would help him
understand why Sam would get visions about a girl they
had no hope in hell to save. The librarian, a fifty-ish
woman with bottle-red hair and a wide, friendly smile,
had been back several times to check on him since feeling
the impact of his slow grin.
“Thought you could
use some fuel,” said a quiet voice from behind
Dean leaned back in his
chair, looking over his shoulder at the red-haired woman
who’d set him up at the viewer over two hours
ago. She held a sandwich and a cup of coffee in her
hand. His eyes lit up and she smiled back at him in
“Oh, God, I could
kiss you right now,” he groaned, taking both from
her greedily and shoving the sandwich into his mouth.
old enough to be your mama,” she said, the smile
growing wider as she watched him inhale the food. “But
even mamas need a little sugar.” She winked.
Dean grinned back as he
chewed, then watched as her eyes lit on the article
he’d left up on the viewer, then dropped to his
notes. She paled slightly then looked back at him. He
swallowed loudly, watching her closely.
she said, her voice dropping to a whisper, “the
police are afraid. I think they’re afraid because
Dean asked around another mouthful of sandwich.
“That whatever is
killing these girls ain’t human.” She nodded
toward the viewer and its picture of the first victim,
covered with a sheet, but still strapped to a stone.
“No human could do that to another.”
blinked in surprise. The people in this town amazed
him. A grandma with a police scanner, a librarian
who believes in the supernatural… what was next
– Elvis? “You think it’s…
She looked down at his
notes, taking in the comments. “From what I see
here, I think that you can tell me more than I can tell
you, honey.” She met his eyes, and shook her head.
“But they’re scared because they don’t
know how to catch it or cage it, and when it stopped
last month… I think everyone just hoped that it
had gone away.”
“But it didn’t,”
Dean said softly, sipping the hot, black coffee.
the librarian sighed. “She had a sister, too,
did you know that?”
Dean shook his head.
“This is going to
destroy Addison. They were everything to each other.”
Dean pulled his bottom
lip into his mouth, nodded. “Yeah, I know what
The ringtone of his cell
phone caught them both off-guard. The music caused the
librarian’s eyebrow to rise and Dean to grin sheepishly
as he scrambled to pull it from his coat pocket. He
looked at the caller ID, then flipped it open.
“Is this Dean Beckett?”
came a shaky female voice.
stood, his face pulled into a fierce frown. Beckett
was their code name for when they were separated and
one had discovered something rather unbelievable. Dean
thought it fitting, considering his obsession with Quantum
Leap and the idea of always having to solve other
people’s problems, but not being seen, not living
a life other than the job.
who the hell is this?” He knew his voice had an
angry edge to it based on the librarian’s hasty
step back, but he didn’t care. Some random chick
was calling him on Sam’s phone, which
could mean… “Where is my brother?”
“This is Grace Brookes,”
she said, tears heavy in her voice. “Your brother
told me to call you. You need to get to the M T Cup,
the hell is Sam?!” Dean demanded, already beginning
to move from the microfiche room, his notes stuffed
in his jacket pocket.
with me, but…”
suddenly heard Sam through the phone, heard him cry
out with pain, heard him gasp not her, God…
“Dean – hurry,”
Grace’s voice turned frantic. “He’s
having some kind of… attack or something.”
“I’m on my
way,” Dean said. “You stay with him, you
“I hear you,”
she said, her voice stronger.
Dean clicked his phone
shut and turned to face the librarian. “Tell me
how to get to the M T Cup.”
“Take a left out
of our lot, two blocks, turn right. Can’t miss
Dean stalked toward the door of the library, ignoring
the surprised stares of the students, and missing the
worried look the librarian divided between his retreating
back and the article he’d left up on the viewer.
Dean had the Impala started
before he’d pulled the driver’s door shut.
“Hang on, Sammy…”
the episode here