Eleven: Selling My Soul
Irismay42 & Kittsbud
Newark, New Jersey
laughter drifted across the table making Erika Gudrun
want to recoil in distaste at the company she was keeping.
Her three well-dressed companions seemed eager to please
one another – probably too eager, but then she
knew their kind. With these people it was always about
putting up fronts, making pleasantries while secretly
planning to stab someone in the back.
that was why Erika was here. She wanted, no needed
their help to conclude a deal. In truth, she had hoped
to meet with someone further up the food chain and it
irked her to think Giovanni was all she was going to
get tonight. He was a fat little Italian who definitely
ate too much and partied more, and from the way his
amorous eyes looked at her she was sure he wasn’t
a very faithful husband.
sidekicks were much the same. Since the beginning of
the meeting they’d filled their faces with pasta
and wine and stared at her as if she was on the menu
along with the consumables.
hated their rich mob culture and the way they naturally
assumed all pretty women were provided for their taking.
Nevertheless, if she could use her stunning looks to
conclude the deal and finally get to meet Luciano Ferinacci,
then it would be worth it.
flicked her long blonde hair suggestively, deep blue
eyes teasing Giovanni with her beauty. If she had to
deal with these pathetic little soldiers to get to Ferinacci,
matter, sugar? Music getting you all fired up?”
Giovanni leaned forward, placing a huge paw over Erika’s
hand. She fought the urge to slap him and instead smiled
as he continued to brag about his Italian ancestry.
“You gotta love a little Verdi, huh? Nobody does
opera like us I-talians.” He winked and
then looked to his “boys,” knowing they
wouldn’t dare to not find his behavior amusing.
Erika winced as strains of “Celeste Aida”
filtered through the restaurant. While classical music
wasn’t offensive to her ears, she had her own
ideas about what could be considered acceptable. “Actually,
I prefer Wagner.” She pulled back her hand, a
very unladylike smirk forming on her features for the
briefest of moments. Perhaps a more offensive approach
was needed after all.
blonde’s eyes narrowed and she fixed her sparkling
blue orbs on Giovanni. “I had assumed we were
here for more than a musical interlude. But then, I’d
also assumed I wouldn’t have to deal with second
plump Italian’s smile faded just enough for Erika
to know she’d hit him where it hurt – his
ego. With a slight huff, he pointed as the waiter began
to bring more food over. “Maybe you’ll warm
up to us after you eat, sweetheart, because you don’t
get any higher up the chain of command than this no
matter what deal you got to offer.” He examined
the meal placed before him, uncertain if he still had
an appetite. I swear this bitch is just asking to
platters were brought over and placed before each person
at the table, including Erika. She eyed the meal, wondering
just how the men had room for more after what they’d
already eaten. Still, if they died of a coronary later
it would mean less Mafia on the streets of Newark. “I’ll
stay and eat,” she conceded. “But I still
want guarantees. I want a meeting arranged with Ferinacci
or the deal is off.”
picked up a fork and delicately scooped a small amount
of food into her mouth, hating the rich aftertaste almost
as much as she hated her companions. But then, it would
all be worth it when she finally got to Ferinacci. No
matter how much Giovanni fought it, no matter how sure
he was he didn’t take orders from women, he would
agree to her terms eventually, everyone did.
chortled as he shoveled in his own food so fast it would
have been easier to use a spade. The more he laughed,
the more his cohorts felt compelled to join in, until
eventually all three seemed to mock the flaxen beauty
in their midst. “Luciano is just about the biggest
name in town, babe, and you think you can boss him around?”
The goon wiped his mouth with a napkin, attempting to
give the impression he actually had table manners. “It’s
your funeral, sister…”
lips parted and she flashed pearl-white, perfect teeth
at Giovanni, her seductive, yet powerful voice mocking
him back. “Oh, trust me, I don’t think my
funeral is an option…” She took another
petite mouthful of food, but didn’t elaborate
on the comment, her striking smile never wavering as
she watched the men.
brow creased into a myriad of wrinkles as his expression
turned from one of mirth to something more pained. At
first, Erika suspected she had gone too far and the
deal was off, but this was something more – something
strange and deadly the blonde had seen before, but had
not been expecting. Not here, tonight.
she watched, the fat Italian began to gag, his throat
bobbing reflexively as he clutched at it in agony. His
cheeks began to redden, and a frothing white trickle
of saliva began to dribble from his contorting mouth.
concerned waiter rushed to the table, tossing down the
meal he was carrying with more obvious concerns now
at hand. He tried loosening Giovanni’s collar
as he shouted a call for help, but the Italian seemed
to writhe in agony in his grip. With one last pain-filled
croak the mobster’s heart stopped beating and
he slumped backwards in his chair, swollen tongue lolling
from his mouth, bloodshot eyes bulging from their sockets.
watched the scene play out as Giovanni’s companions
began to mimic his death throes, but she didn’t
attempt to help them. There was no time for that, and
besides, they deserved to feel the pain they had inflicted
on others. Her only remorse was the bitter-sweet fact
that their demise so soon probably meant her meeting
with Ferinacci was still no closer.
a deep sigh she moved to grab her purse and leave. Since
the mobsters’ sudden sickness the restaurant had
become a hive of activity, and she hoped that would
give her cover enough to escape. It wasn’t like
she needed to worry about becoming sick herself. That,
after all, was a physical impossibility.
you shouldn’t leave. Didn’t you have the
same meal?” The harried waiter’s facial
expression knotted in fear as he half-expected the young
woman to collapse like her dinner companions.
it’s food poisoning!” Voices from other
tables began to mingle together in mass panic as word
of the deaths filtered through to other customers.
man in a dark suit whom Erika could only presume was
the manager appeared from a small office at the rear.
He fidgeted with his cuff links as he approached her
– a nervous habit no doubt, but then, perhaps
he would have been even more edgy if he’d known
just who he was about to address.
I really must ask you to remain here until the police
and paramedics arrive. It really is in your own interests…”
His voice was high pitched and whiny and Erika couldn’t
help but think he sounded like a girl.
blonde pushed her hair back over her shoulder and glanced
around the eatery. There were still ways to leave the
restaurant undetected, but with so many people now watching
her, pulling off that little magic trick might draw
more attention than she wanted to receive in certain
a sigh, she nodded, accepting that she would have to
speak to the police. Not that the law worried her, after
all, what could they do to her kind? Erika smiled again,
bringing a scowl to the manager’s face as he totally
misinterpreted her behavior.
that they’d ever believe in my kind, Erika
reflected as the bright red and blue kaleidoscope of
lights from an ambulance and police cruiser filtered
through the restaurant’s frosted windows.
* * * *
first, Sam wonders where the sound is coming from: tick,
tick, tick; relentless, like waves on a beach; the sun’s
passage across the sky. The hands of a clock.
blinks and he’s looking around a stark, high-ceilinged
building, metal rafters criss-crossing the cobwebs and
guttering strip light: on, off, on, off, in time with
each tick, tick, tick of a clock he can’t see.
In the distance, he hears the low rumble of airplanes,
too many and too frequent, as if he’s standing
directly beneath a busy flight path. But all he sees
when he looks up is the flickering light.
approach, and his nervous gaze slides down the ancient
walls, old brick visible where plaster has cracked and
fallen. Too many planes and too much vibration and pieces
of building turning to dust as the clock ticks on.
eyes light on a calendar, pages fluttering in the draft
from the open door, a picture of a shiny airplane beneath
the legend, “Ross Air Freight, Newark, N.J.”
in bold, heavy typeface that has faded over time.
pages still as the door closes and the footsteps draw
closer, finally settling back on the month of May.
voice as smooth as pebbles on a beach, worn with time,
floats across the room and Sam turns, gazing at a non-descript
man in an expensively-tailored suit who looks at him
with naked hunger in his eyes, like a wolf appraising
his next meal.
doesn’t even recognize the man at first; not from
his confident gait or the self-assured way he holds
his head; not even from the familiar expression on his
face. It’s almost lustful, and Sam shudders.
man’s lips twist into an ungodly approximation
of a smile, and he stops, mere feet away. But not close
enough to touch.
the matter, Sam?” he asks, eyes widening in feigned
offense. “Don’t you recognize me?”
eyes flash gold, the color of flame and of destruction,
and Sam can’t breathe.
up, Sammy. I’m here to collect on our little deal.”
is here and it’s all over.
doesn’t say anything; just looks into amber eyes
for it to be over.
demon takes a step toward him, and Sam can smell his
cologne, cloying and sickly; and in that second, when
he knows what’s coming, when he knows his time
is up and his world is about to come crashing down around
him in a maelstrom of inevitable destiny, he suddenly
realizes why Dean hates to be alone.
even though he doesn’t want Dean to see this,
doesn’t want him anywhere near when his baby brother
finally sells his soul to the thing that took their
lives so long ago, he realizes he would give anything
to see Dean come charging through that door, guns a-blazing:
Big brother, come to save him one last time.
not coming, is he?” Haris says suddenly. “Time’s
up for you, Sammy, and big brother’s late for
step closer, a hand closing on his shoulder, and Sam
can hear Haris’ expensive wristwatch thudding
loud in his ear.
he looks up into amber eyes, ready.
not ready for the gunfire though.
smoke all around him now; voices yelling; dark shapes
moving around in the even darker shadows.
is clinging to his shoulder, eyes wide as a crimson
flower blossoms against the white of his shirt, and
he’s falling to his knees, taking Sam with him.
world tilts on its axis as Haris collapses, black smoke
billowing from a screaming mouth.
Sam doesn’t hear the screaming; doesn’t
hear the gunfire.
hears a voice, calling his name.
the world has lurched sideways and all he can see is
smoke and dirty floor and a man whose dead eyes stare
only at the ceiling.
then suddenly he sees himself.
in hazel irises of eyes wide with fear as another hand
grips his shoulder where Haris’ hand had been.
came for him.
yelling, mouth opening and closing, but Sam can’t
hear what he’s saying, can only feel
the single word, repeated over and over.
gazes up into Dean’s terrified eyes, unable to
understand the expression on his brother’s waxy
face, unable to understand the tears on his brother’s
wants to say his brother’s name; wants to tell
him it’s okay, I’m okay. Don’t be
he sees the anguish in Dean’s eyes and looking
deeper sees the anguish in his own reflected there,
and he realizes he’s not breathing and Dean’s
tears taste salty on his lips as they fall.
Sammy! No. Please. Please Sammy!”
hears the plea fall from Dean’s mouth. Hears his
brother’s choked sobs.
realizes that’s all he can hear.
clock has stopped ticking.
* * * *
Sam started awake, brow cold with trickling sweat while
his mouth felt as dry as a desert and his heart hammered
relentlessly in his chest: thud, thud, thud. Like the
hands of a clock.
took a breath, eyes scanning feverishly about him, picking
out the gray details of the motel room as the early
morning light seeped below the edges of the faded curtains
and pooled in ghostly hollows of light and shade across
had had a vision of his own death.
eyes darted sideways as the realization hit him, following
the direction of his brother’s rhythmic breathing
until the gray light revealed Dean sprawled out on his
stomach, one hand trailing on the floor while the other
disappeared beneath his pillow, and Sam wondered fleetingly
whether Dean kept his fingers permanently curled around
the knife secreted there, even while he slept.
took another breath, tried to relax as his heart continued
to thud against his ribs, closing his eyes in an effort
to recall the vivid details of the dream.
the when was easy – the calendar on the
wall had been displaying the month of May, so it didn’t
take a genius to figure out the truth of it. Ironic.
Sam was going to die on his birthday. Just like Shakespeare.
shook his head, wondering how the hell he knew that
and suddenly realizing he also knew that Shakespeare’s
parents were called John and Mary. Who’d have
thought he could have had so much in common with the
the amount of crap one head could hold.
I’ve got the attention span of – of
Dean lately! he admonished himself, trying
to get his brain back on track long enough to concentrate
on the where. Ross Air Freight, Newark, NJ.
That’s what the calendar had said.
was going to die in New Jersey.
there were worse places to go out, he reasoned. Although
he’d been secretly hoping for somewhere warm and
sunny, like California maybe. Near Jessica.
he already knew the who. He’d never doubted
that Haris would collect on the deal he’d made
to save Dean from the demon inside him. Never doubted
it for a second. It was just a matter of how.
was when the vision had stopped making any sense whatsoever.
host had been shot, of that Sam was pretty sure. But
by whom? Dean? And what of Sam himself? Had he collapsed
because Haris had completed whatever the hell he was
planning on doing to him before the inconvenient loss
of his host? Or had Sam merely fallen victim to whoever
– or whatever – had attacked Haris?
If that was the case, then it couldn’t have been
Dean who fired the fatal shots. Sure, Sam had seen his
brother kill an innocent host before, back in Jefferson
City, and when push came to shove he knew there was
nothing Dean wouldn’t do to protect his little
brother. But then, Dean would never have taken a shot
at Haris if there was even the slightest chance of Sam
getting caught in the crossfire.
glanced over at his brother again, just as the older
boy twitched in his sleep and mumbled something barely
intelligible that sounded suspiciously like “Sammy,”
brows drawn together in that perpetual expression of
worry that seemed to have descended on him the moment
he found out about the deal Sam had made with Haris.
was always worried now. Not for himself; not for the
war he knew was upon them. Not even for Dad.
Dean worried about now was Sam: How he could protect
him, how he could save him. How he could get him out
of this stupid, stupid deal he’d made with that
first, Sam thought it was guilt that drove his brother;
that somehow Dean blamed himself for Sam’s predicament.
But he’d gradually come to realize that it was
much more than that. Sure, Dean blamed himself, as he
always did, even though he never asked to be possessed,
never asked Sam to sacrifice himself to Haris so that
he might be saved.
then, that wasn’t what Dean was beating himself
had taken Sam a while, but eventually he had realized
that Dean was blaming himself for failing to keep Sam
safe in the first place, for failing to protect him
from the evils of the world, the monsters in the closet;
the things Dean had been protecting Sam from since he
was four years old. It was something that was now so
hard-wired into him, so much an integral part of the
person he was that Sam knew, he knew that if he came
clean, told Dean they had to go to New Jersey and face
Haris, face his destiny, Dean would more than likely
do nothing less than bundle his kid brother into the
Impala and drive as far and as fast in the opposite
direction as he possibly could.
Sam also knew that lying to Dean wasn’t an option
either, and neither was merely omitting the details.
He’d tried that before, and look what had happened.
cast his eyes back towards his brother, worry line still
etched between the older boy’s brows, and this
time when he mumbled in his sleep, there was no mistaking
the words he said.
bit his lip. This was his battle, his fight. He wasn’t
going to run away from it, from his destiny. There was
no escaping Fate. He’d tried. He’d run all
the way to California. Almost thought he’d gotten
away with it, too. But Fate had found him, as he had
known it would; as it would again.
only question was did he want his big brother by his
side when it happened this time? Sam wasn’t the
chubby kid in the schoolyard who needed protecting from
the bullies any more. Yet he knew that was how Dean
would always see him, no matter how big he got.
sighed, running a hand across his tired features.
gotten himself into this predicament to save his brother,
not to put him in further danger.
He had to fight this battle alone.
that didn’t mean he couldn’t have a little
company along the way.
his long legs out of the bed, he padded over to the
worn Formica table wedged into the tiny kitchenette,
settling himself on one of the uncomfortable metal chairs
before pulling his laptop noiselessly towards him.
the lid, blue light bathed his determined features.
now, what Dean didn’t know couldn’t hurt
needed a distraction, that was all…
* * * *
almost fell out of bed at the sudden proximity of Sam’s
blue-green eyes, fingers spasming against the hunting
knife beneath his pillow as his brain took a second
to catch up with his body.
what the hell –?”
brought coffee!” Sam waved a Styrofoam cup and
a suspiciously aromatic white paper bag a few inches
above his brother’s head. “And bagels.”
considered that for a second, closing his eyes and pushing
his head back against his pillow. “If you tell
me its any time before eight a.m. I’m going to
shove this alarm clock so far down your throat you’ll
be ticking like that alligator in Peter Pan.”
was a crocodile,” Sam corrected him, dumping the
food and the coffee on the nightstand. “And it’s
opened one eye. “Hey, don’t mess with the
protocols, Tinkerbell,” he muttered. “Anyone
gets referred to by a chick’s name in this relationship
it’s you.” He opened the other eye experimentally.
and shine!” Sam sang, way too cheerfully. “Your
breakfast’s getting cold.”
sat up, glancing first at the coffee and then at his
brother. “Did I forget my birthday again?”
he asked uncertainly.
shook his head. “Does it have to be a special
occasion for me to do something nice for my only brother?”
squinted at him, suddenly wide awake. “What d’you
want, Sam?” he demanded, arms folded suspiciously
across his chest. “Last time you were this nice
to me you wanted me to tell Dad you got a part in the
laughed, and for the first time in a long time it sounded
genuine. “I thought his head was gonna explode!
Almost believed him when he threatened to lock us both
in the trunk of the Impala!”
Dean’s voice was deadly serious and verging on
okay!” Sam held up his hands in surrender, backing
up towards his bed, where his laptop hummed inoffensively.
“I think I found us a new gig.”
Dean sighed, running a hand through his spiky hair.
“We talked about this. The only hunt we should
be getting ourselves involved with right now is the
one that ends with Haris cleaning out Satan’s
toilet bowl for all eternity and you looking at another
fifty years and a gaggle of grandkids.”
Slew. Herd. Take your pick.”
smiled weakly, pointedly avoiding meeting his brother’s
gaze. “Yeah well,” he said resignedly, sinking
bonelessly onto the edge of his bed, fingers combing
through his long hair before his jaw clenched and he
was suddenly yanking open the laptop, all business and
fake bravado. “See what you make of this –”
spun the laptop toward his brother, who never took his
eyes off Sam’s face.
Dean.” Sam gestured pointedly at the screen, finally
steeling himself to look his older brother in the eye
before abruptly averting his gaze again. “Just
continued to appraise him for a good few seconds longer
before finally allowing him to show him the computer
blinked tiredly, trying to focus on the front page of
the New Jersey Star-Ledger, which shouted a banner headline
from the screen: “Four dead, one survivor in restaurant
blinked again, blank expression virtually screaming
“WTF?” at his brother. “You
woke me up at six-thirty in the morning to
tell me about some guys choking on their meatballs?”
guys, Dean,” Sam explained, almost verging on
over-enthusiastic. “The cops found lethal doses
of cyanide in their food. Yet the fifth person at their
table – a woman called Erika Gudrun – walked
outta there without so much as a stomach cramp.”
her food wasn’t poisoned,” Dean hazarded
flatly. “Must have been a set-up…”
nodded. “Yeah, you’d think,” he agreed.
“I guess that’s what the cops thought too,
especially as she took off before they could question
this interests us why exactly?”
the cops tested this Gudrun woman’s food, and
it had just as much poison in it as the meals of the
men who died –”
she didn’t eat any –”
witnesses in the restaurant saw her eating.”
cocked an eyebrow, finally interested enough to swing
his legs out of bed. “So she has a cast iron constitution
apparently a cast iron body.” Sam pushed a couple
of buttons on the laptop, revealing another newspaper
article, this time from the Buffalo News. “Two
months ago, two cars collided on a railroad crossing
just as the 0830 to New York happened along. Both cars
were flattened. As were the two men in the first car.
But the driver of the second car walked away without
a scratch on her.” Sam hit another button and
a grainy photograph of a rather stunning blonde filled
the screen. “Wanna guess who?”
squinted at the computer. “So you think we gotta
decapitate her with a Scottish broadsword or something?”
frowned. “So not funny,” he said. “I’m
serious, Dean. We could be looking at an honest to God
to something, anyway.” Dean’s eyes slid
back to the computer screen. “At least she’s
hotter than Sean Connery.”
Sam chastised him. “Six dead guys, remember? At
least. Can we focus here?”
frowned at him. “I’m focused,” he
protested, a lecherous grin inching across his face.
“I’ve just never seen a really hot immortal
immortal,” Sam amended. “It could be nothing.
She could just be lucky.”
is why we should go check it out.”
eyes lingered on the computer screen a second longer
before returning to Sam. “Look, Sam,” he
said, suddenly all serious again. “I get it, okay?”
frowned. “Get what?”
get that its only two days to your birthday. I get that
you’re trying to act like nothing’s wrong,
that everything’s normal, everything’s okay.
And I don’t know whether that’s for my benefit
or not.” Dean reached out a tentative hand, resting
his fingers lightly against Sam’s wrist. “But
you acting all Captain Denial ain’t gonna change
the facts or the way I feel, Sammy.” He met Sam’s
gaze steadily. “This is all my fault –”
Dean waved a hand to silence his brother’s protests.
“Whichever way you look at it, this is my fault.
You’re gonna die in two days if we don’t
come up with something pretty damn fast. And that’s
sighed. “You didn’t ask to be possessed,
Dean’s eyes flashed briefly. “And I didn’t
asked for you to sell yourself to Haris for me either.
But I still gotta deal with it, Sam. You think I could
live with myself if that yellow-eyed bastard makes good
on this deal? Huh?”
just looked at him.
I’m serious, man. If Haris takes you, then I’m
not gonna be far behind.”
don’t talk like that,” Sam admonished him,
catching sight of the earnest expression in his brother’s
eyes and faltering slightly. “If you die, then
I’ll have died for nothing.”
Dean agreed. “Which is why we gotta come up with
something. To save both of us. Because I can’t
– I don’t think I can –” it
was Dean’s turn to falter, eyes downcast, long
lashes blinking furiously. He looked up suddenly, the
moment of uncertainty solidifying into a mask of determination.
“This Seal of Solomon thing. We need to find it.
We do that and –”
it’s a legend,” Sam sighed in exasperation.
“Which you were quick enough to point out to Dad
as I recall! And as I think I said to Dad when he first
suggested it, finding the Seal of Solomon is about as
likely as us finding the Ark of the Covenant. Or the
Holy Grail. Or – or – hell, the Easter Bunny!
It’s just not gonna happen, Dean! If the thing
existed, don’t you think someone would have found
it by now?”
do you know someone hasn’t?” Dean asked.
Sam rested his own hand on top of his brother’s.
“You just gotta face it. We’re never gonna
find it. It’s just not gonna happen.”
jaw tightened. “We still got time,” he insisted
stubbornly. “We could still find it –”
two days?” Sam shook his head. “It’s
pointless us deluding ourselves, man. Way I see it,
we can spend the little time I have left on some hopeless
quest to find the Seal of Solomon, or I can go out fighting;
kill as many evil things as I can between here and there.”
Sammy!” Dean jumped to his feet abruptly, snatching
his hand away from his brother’s as he began to
pace the room like some caged animal. “Will you
stop talking like that? Going out? You’re not
going anywhere. I’m not gonna let you. I let you
go before and I’ll be damned if –”
not like you’re going away to school,
Sam!” Dean was suddenly at Sam’s side, face
bent towards him. “Sammy, this is – this
– you’re – he’s gonna –”
He straightened, suddenly backing away toward the motel
room door. “No,” he reiterated, shaking
his head determinedly. “No. I’m not gonna
let it happen. He’s not just taking you,
Sam. Not without a fight. Not without –”
Sam stood, approaching his brother slowly, hand outstretched
towards him. “Just listen to me.”
ran a shaky hand across his face, eyes suddenly lighting
on the car keys tossed on the little table by the door.
“We can go to Bobby’s,” he said, desperation
and near-panic creeping into his voice as he snatched
up the fob. “Or Bearwalker’s. Someone’s
got to know something. Someone’s got to know where
we can look –”
Sam put a steady hand on his brother’s shoulder,
immediately stilling his frantic movements, although
his eyes continued to dart about the room maniacally,
as if he didn’t quite know where to look if he
wasn’t looking at Sam. “Hey, look at me
took a breath before slowly bringing his eyes to rest
on his brother.
okay, Dean,” Sam said slowly. “It’s
okay. I want to do this. I don’t want to die.
But if I have to, then this is how I want to spend the
time I’ve got left. Saving people, hunting things.”
He quirked the corner of his mouth. “The family
held his brother’s gaze reluctantly. “This
is what you want?” he asked at length, voice subdued.
nodded emphatically, trying not to let it show that
he was slowly crumbling from the inside out. “This
is what I want,” he confirmed, nodding decisively
before a lop-sided grin stole across his face. “And
you might want to put some pants on before you go running
off to save the world, bro.”
glanced down at himself, a tiny smile flickering at
the corners of his mouth. “I save any damsels
in distress, at least they’ll have something hot
to look at,” he muttered, before slowly taking
in a breath and blowing it out again a little shakily.
“Okay,” he continued, a firm hand on Sam’s
shoulder as he mirrored his brother’s position.
“Then let’s blow this popsicle stand. New
Jersey’s got a hot immortal chick and I’ve
got a bullet with her name on it. After all, we’re
the Winchesters of the Clan Winchester, and there can
be only – uh –” he frowned slightly.
quirked an eyebrow. “Always, bro,” he said
with a somber smile. “Always.”
* * * *
Erika Gudrun’s Home
glanced down at the pale gray coveralls he was wearing
and wondered just how many times they’d actually
gotten away with this ruse. A few simple words embroidered
onto work clothes, a hastily produced I.D. and people
tended to take the Winchester boys at their word.
was a sad fact, but both brothers could easily have
adapted to a life of crime and been damn good at it.
Sam was the whiz kid who could effortlessly take out
a phone or cable line to give a valid reason for their
presence – as he had today, taking out Erika’s
on the other hand, Dean was the smart-mouth who could
worm his way into any property with just that smile
of his – especially if said property belonged
to a beautiful female like today.
sighed readjusting the bag of “tools” in
his hand. “Man, are you sure she’s going
to buy this? I mean, if she looks on the street there’s
no cable van…”
well, the overalls cost enough of our hard earned cashola,
not exactly gonna hire a van too.” Dean lengthened
his gait, already impatient to get the gig over with.
If they could finish this quick and fast there was still
time. Time for what he wasn’t sure, but he’d
sure as hell try. “Did we really have to leave
the Impala two blocks away, though, dude? I hate walking
around in these monkey suits. I feel like some Disneyland
smiled, suddenly envisioning his brother in a Mickey
Mouse outfit with kids tugging at him – a Mickey
Mouse that just happened to have a Desert Eagle stuffed
in the back of its belt and a rock salt-filled shotgun
instead of balloons. So not gonna happen…
Dean hated dressing up for any occasion. If he couldn’t
have jeans, a tee and a scruffy jacket he was NOT happy.
knew Dean hated leaving his “baby” anywhere
not within his range of vision too, although he’d
never admit that was why he’d been casting looks
back towards the main road ever since they’d walked
away from the raven black classic.
you know that thing sticks out like a sore thumb. Not
exactly stakeout car material.” Sam let a long
finger press Erika’s doorbell and made a mental
note that the chime sounded far too much like “Stairway
to Heaven” for comfort. Damn if Dean wasn’t
going to like this chick. She had the looks. She apparently
had an affinity for classic rock – pity she was
also probably something they usually killed rather than
dated or it would be a match made in heaven –
or maybe somewhere in between, seeing as Dean still
refused to believe in the existence of an actual “heaven.”
well I didn’t see you complaining about my wheels
the night you staked out Meg and got a little hot window
action.” Dean wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
“Only you would get the hots for a possessed chick…”
white UPVC door opened just a crack and Erika Gudrun’s
pale blue eyes peered out, scrutinizing both brothers
and the name on their coveralls. Luscious red lips curved
into a smile, and she let a hand slowly flick back a
long lock of hair. “I was wondering when you’d
arrive. My TV’s been out for almost an hour.”
watched as his brother’s eyes took in every inch
of the perfectly proportioned woman before him, noting
the amorous “Dean grin” as it spread across
were saying?” Sam jiggled his own brows, tempted
to laugh at how quickly Dean could let the opposite
sex get to him. Still, the girl didn’t exactly
look like zombie material. Maybe he’d been looking
for a hunt so badly he gotten it wrong this time.
brow scrunched in confusion, uncertain who Sam was talking
to, but after Dean managed to unglue his eyes long enough
to flash her a phony badge, she stepped back, allowing
them inside her home.
house was sparsely furnished and not at all what Sam
had been expecting. It was clean and organized, but
there was no hint of personality – as if Erika
used the place out of practicality rather than as somewhere
she liked to relax after a hard day at work. It was
something as hunters both he and Dean were used to.
Somewhere to crash and clean guns, somewhere to eat,
to sleep before moving on to the next gig, but it was
not the quarters he’d expect for a beauty like
Erika Gudrun. What are we missing here?
cable box is this way…” Erika walked across
the lounge, long shapely legs traversing the room in
only a few steps.
watched her moves appreciatively, but Sam could tell
that he was already repressing any sexual desires in
favor of his job. The hunt. The kill.
wanted this over. Wanted it all over, and he’d
made it quite clear if that meant going out at some
point right along with Sam then he’d do it.
He’s going to get reckless, angry, losing the
perception of what’s right and wrong anymore…
Sam knew that was his fault. Knew that from his brother’s
expression Erika was about to feel Dean’s temper
far more than most unearthly creatures ever had.
Because he blames every supernatural thing, evil or
not, for the deal I made. And just because Erika
might be immortal, did that really make her evil?
grabbed at his brother’s arm and tried to twist
him away from the young blonde girl. Maybe if he talked
to her first, maybe if…
eyes glowed with rage and he pulled away, locking an
arm around Erika’s neck as she unsuspectingly
kneeled in front of the dead cable box. Surprisingly,
as he dragged her back to the dining room table she
didn’t squirm, didn’t even try to fight
moved to place a hand over her mouth then realized she
hadn’t any intention of screaming. He dropped
her down roughly on the chair and yanked her arms behind
her back with brute force, securing them there with
two yellow cable ties.
jaw ticked as he was forced to watch Dean at his coldest.
It was like watching a replay of events from Bobby’s
when Dean had interrogated Meg. That time it had been
their father’s soul that needed saving, but the
effects on Dean’s personality where the same.
going soft on me now, Sammy. This gig was your idea,
remember?” The elder Winchester stooped, retrieving
his favorite Bowie knife from the tool sack they’d
brought in. The serrated edge glimmered in the light
from the window, and he used the effect, twisting the
blade in front of Erika’s face as if daring her
to try something.
blonde watched the knife’s movement, her cobalt
orbs never leaving its pointed tip. “Take anything
you want. I don’t have much money or jewelry,
just please don’t hurt me…” There
was a slight quiver to her voice, just enough to make
Sam feel guilty.
with the spirit of a long-dead woman was one thing,
killing some female revenant was too, but Erika appeared
all too human. A living, breathing being who might just
have been damn lucky to have survived a couple of nasty
didn’t feel so forgiving. He didn’t see
the tremble in the girl’s voice as anything but
a ploy, a defense mechanism because she knew they were
onto her. “If I cut you with this puppy what’s
gonna happen?” He stalked around the chair, again
mirroring his actions with Meg. “Hell, I’m
betting nothing’s gonna happen, right? Maybe if
I threatened to cut your damn head off we might get
Sam wanted to pull the knife from his brother’s
hand. Wanted to stop things, but there was just enough
uncertainty for him to waver. “No more bad movie
jokes,” he seethed through clenched teeth.
awesome friggin’ soundtrack, though, huh?”
Dean shrugged his shoulders. “Don’t
Lose Your Head is a classic. What do ya say, Miss
Immortal?” He leaned close, unexpectedly letting
the blade slice along Erika’s forearm.
knife sunk deep into the flesh until Dean was sure he
felt its edge hit bone, but there was no blood, no open
wound, and as he drew back the blade, Erika’s
skin appeared to knit back together seamlessly, like
he had never touched her.
see Nick Cage cut himself in City of Angels,
Sammy?” Dean’s eyebrow ticked up a notch.
“Pretty much the same effect, except this chick
is no angel. She goes around killing guys.”
guys,” Sam pointed out, “And isn’t
that movie kinda too ‘chick flick’ for you?”
is murder, mafia or not.” Dean tossed the knife
back into his holdall. “And the movie was purely
research, dude.” He kinked his neck. “’Course,
Meg Ryan wasn’t half bad to look at either…”
listened to the conversation, taking in every nuance
of their voices, every expression that gave away what
they were really feeling. The men before her seemed
to have two personalities, a hard exterior borne of
tragedy, and a softer, almost gentle inner that she
was not supposed to see.
the two, the shorter man carried the most mental weight
until he was almost bursting with the load of his own
failures. It was that weight that was now manifesting
itself in anger, in pain, and she was feeling the brunt
younger man – brother? – carried a burden
too, but he had made peace with it, accepted it as inevitable
until his only concern was the effect it was having
on his sibling.
found that endearing; a quality often missing in the
humans she had known during her lifespan. Perhaps some
good could come from this meeting after all. She shifted
on the chair and yanked at her bonds, not caring that
both her captors could see her attempts at freedom.
don’t understand what you’ll be doing if
you try to hurt me. I don’t want to hurt innocent
people, but there are other forces, things you haven’t
encountered yet – things you won’t want
to encounter…” She jerked at the cable ties
again with such force the plastic should have cut into
her wrists, but Erika’s flesh remained unblemished.
hunched over until his face was millimeters from Erika’s.
He was so close she could feel his breath on her cheeks
and almost hear the thud of his rapidly beating heart.
“Oh, but we do want to encounter them,”
he spat, eyes dancing as he watched her reaction. “Me
and Sammy are gonna kill every last evil sonofabitch
out there…it’s what we do. But don’t
worry, I promise you’re first…”
jarred her head sideways needing to keep her focus elsewhere.
Sam was the one she could influence most. He was the
one she should concentrate on. “Please,”
she begged. “You of all people should know that
being different doesn’t automatically make a person
felt a burning sensation in his stomach and his mind
screamed as if it had somehow been molested on some
psychic level. He didn’t know how, but Erika knew
about him, knew his thoughts, his weaknesses, as if
she was inside his head.
strange thing was he sensed a connection back, as if
concentrating would allow him to read her too. Perhaps
it was a part of his gifts that needed practice and
nurturing to master. Or maybe, it was simply some kind
of feedback from whatever power Erika could tap into.
Either way it didn’t matter. I don’t
have enough time left to find out. To learn…
stepped back, the reminder of his impending mortality
making him forget the girl’s possible innocence.
She had hit a nerve, and it had left him mentally shaken.
you sure know how to kick a guy in the jewels, don’t
you?” Dean fumed, wanting suddenly to hurt Erika,
make her pay for her wrongdoings. She had hurt Sammy,
cut him deep when he was already mentally bleeding like
a stuck sow, and if Sam was hurt, then Dean was too.
hunter clenched and unclenched his fists over and over,
a physical manifestation of how hard he was struggling
not to slap the girl like he once had Meg. “I
might not be able to take you out with a knife or a
gun, but I swear I’m gonna find out just what
kind of freak you are and send your immortal ass straight
back to Hades. Hell, I’ll kill every evil thing
on this planet…” if only that would
be enough to save Sam.
shouldn’t be here. We should be finding the damn
moved back from Erika and took a calming breath. She
was staring at him, holding his gaze – just like
she had Sam’s before her revelation about him
sensation was unnerving, and he almost turned his back
to her – almost.
if I could offer you a deal?” Erika noted the
flare of anger at the mention of the word “deal”
but it didn’t dissuade her from making her proposition.
Her voice was level, showing no panic, no fear of the
situation she was in. “The man I was trying to
arrange a meeting with the night of the poisonings,
Luciano Ferinacci? I think he has something you boys
desperately want…no, need…”
think the Winchesters are done making deals with your
kind.” Dean shot his brother a look, realizing
Sam had said very little since Erika’s commentary
about being different. “Oh, and you think we’re
stupid enough to get tangled up with a mob boss like
Ferinacci? I think you’ve been watching way too
many episodes of The Sopranos.”
flipped back her head and began to laugh as if she was
controlling the situation and not the brothers. “I’m
more of a Godfather fan,” she sassed.
“But then, they’re all quite laughable.
Hollywood has no real idea how to portray men like Ferinacci.
They simply have no clue of the power the man can wield.”
this can help me and Dean how?” Sam sensed the
connection again, like Erika had channeled Dean’s
anger and seen its origins. She was feeding them what
they wanted to hear, but was it the truth?
know about Ferinacci. I know his hobbies. The man has
a fascination with the occult and demonolatry –
even has a fetish for collecting unusual, sometimes
historic artifacts pertaining to the subject.”
Erika saw the brothers share a look and knew she had
caught their attention. “I know how badly you
need the Seal of Solomon for your brother.” Her
ice-blue eyes settled on Dean. “Wouldn’t
that be worth making a deal for? No soul selling…simply
an exchange. I give you the information about where
Ferinacci keeps his collection, and you give me my freedom.”
good,” Dean admitted, cocking his head as a sarcastic
grin crossed his features. “Real good…but
I think Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor were way better...”
He folded his arms across his chest. “So, we can
add Jedi Mindreading 101 to your rep. What does that
make you?” He cocked a brow. “M.I.B. maybe?”
smile faded. She had thought these were two intelligent
people. Men who she could perhaps deal with at a semi-honest
level, but was it possible she’d given them too
much credit? “Oh, Agents Mulder and Scully think
they’ve found a real live alien?” She jibed,
looking to each brother in turn.
shrugged. “I was thinking more Manipulative Immortal
Bitch, but hey, if you wanna confess…” The
hunter saw a spark of amusement in his captive’s
eyes and part of him wanted to warm to her again. She
definitely was a fiery, overconfident, and very beautiful
something. He just wasn’t sure what.
began to lean close, but then pulled back, realizing
her rich perfume seemed to draw him like an aromatic
dose of pheromones. And damn those brazen eyes with
oh so long lashes that rivaled his own.
boy, thinking with the downstairs brain again.
could a mob boss end up with something as ancient as
the Seal?” Sam’s almost waxen face begged
Erika for answers even though his voice remained neutral.
He was too afraid to think she might be telling the
truth, too afraid to believe in something and then for
it all to be a lie.
lie. But Erika wasn’t a demon.
be amazed at the things Ferinacci has in his collection,”
Erika offered cryptically. “Things that haven’t
been seen for millennia.”
watched as the subdued, defeated look on Sam’s
face began to change for the first time in days. It
wasn’t just a trick of the sunlight through the
window. It was real color flushing his brother’s
didn’t matter if Erika was telling the truth or
not. It didn’t matter that Erika Gudrun may be
a cold blooded murderer. Sam believed she knew
where the Seal of Solomon was, and that belief had given
him hope that Haris may yet be thwarted.
that moment, Dean knew beyond a doubt that he would
make the deal. Erika could always be found again later.
If Sam died on his birthday there could be no second
chance for him, no resurrection.
will it be, boys?”
met Dean’s gaze and their eyes locked.
this too much of a coincidence? The Seal here in New
Jersey right where this all started? And right when
I need it? Is Haris playing with me? Using one of his
pawns for one last laugh? Sam’s mind asked
the unspoken questions, and as always, Dean managed
to read them in the depths of his brother’s eyes.
could always read Sammy’s eyes.
elder hunter turned to Erika, about to yield to her
demands. It didn’t matter if it was all a set
up, another game from the yellow-eyed demon. All that
mattered was Sam was given one last chance, no matter
how small. And Dean would fight for that chance, through
mafia, through demons, through hell itself if he had
is the police…”
the…” Erika suddenly forgotten, Dean whirled
and nodded for Sam to check the window as a disembodied
voice boomed from the sidewalk.
gangly hunter moved sideways until he could carefully
peek behind a curtain, prying it up at the edge just
enough to get a view with his thumb and forefinger.
What he saw made him draw in a breath through clenched
teeth. “Dean, there are at least two police cruisers
Sam watched and listened, a burly sergeant gave the
brothers an ultimatum via megaphone to give up their
weapons and exit the building, hands on heads. “It
looks like a neighbor is talking to the cops. Maybe
she called them? I mean, no cable van, two suspicious
guys, Dean…” Sam hunched his shoulders as
if to say “I told you so.”
or maybe Deputy Dawg was coming to the party to ask
our M.I.B. how the hell she survived a fatal poisoning?”
Dean scowled and began checking out the house for possible
exits. As he dodged adroitly from room to room he chided
himself for ever allowing himself to be dragged back
to New Jersey. “Hey, visit New Jersey, have a
few laughs, make a few demonic deals…”
Sam joined his brother back in the kitchen after sweeping
his side of the house. It didn’t look good. Besides
the two cop cars at the front, a SWAT van had parked
across the rear alley, effectively sealing it off. No
doubt the black-clad officers from inside said van would
be making their presence known shortly.
saw it from the side window,” Dean admitted. “SWAT
team at the rear, Deputy Dawg up front, and evil Jedi
girl inside. Dude, we need new jobs…”
can help…if you just untie me…” Erika’s
voice was soft now, almost beseeching.
surrounded by cops. What ya gonna do? Use a magic carpet?
Maybe some smoke and mirrors?” Dean began to edge
towards the window again, needing to see what was going
on in the street.
he’d taken a stride, something cylindrical and
metallic smashed through the large glass panes in front
of him, shattering them into innumerable spiky shards
that flew outwards like tiny daggers.
hunter threw up both hands defensively and then tossed
his body at the kitchen table, lugging the pine top
over with him as he rolled to effectively make temporary
landed shoulder first on the hard wooden floor and felt
his muscles jar with the impact. Then, a billowing gray-white
smog began to fill the room as the police smoke canister
evacuated its contents into the atmosphere.
somewhere behind he heard Sam cough out, “Great,
why did you have to mention smoke…?”
and he couldn’t help smile at the irony.
was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide from the SWAT
team that would soon barrel into the house, weapons
drawn. And with the police usually came questions about
certain attacks on young girls in St. Louis. Attacks
that often saw the victim tied to a chair and cut, just
like Erika had been.
usual, the evidence would tell a lie. A lie that would
probably land Dean in a jail cell while his brother
lost his soul.
when it seemed like they had a chance to save Sam, things
had come full circle for Dean Winchester. He was right
back where it seemed he belonged – and from where
he was sitting, that place sucked out loud.
the episode here