Okay...this is my first ever 'Supernatural' fan fiction, so please let me know if I'm doing anything wrong ;)

Dean Winchester took his foot from the gas pedal and let the raven-black Impala slide around the pin-sharp bend with ease. The car's engine lulled as it decelerated, only to roar with an unearthly growl seconds later when Dean reapplied power.

It was close to midnight on a lonely stretch of Nevada highway, but that was nothing to the Winchester brothers. The witching hour was their time to hunt.

Sam Winchester sighed, looking down for the hundredth time at his father's battered journal as it sat innocently in his lap. It had led them on many quests, and given many answers, but never to their dad's whereabouts. "Do we have to look into this whole phantom whirlwind deal, Dean? Dad's trail is cold already and we're moving in the opposite direction to his last known location…"

Dean licked his lips and took his eyes from the pitch-black road for a second. "We've already been through this so many times," He shivered, the cold desert air proving too much for his thin t-shirt and leather jacket. "Dad would want us on this case, Sammy. You know it!"

Sam did. If there was one thing he knew for certain about their father it was his relentless drive to kill the unholy. That didn't mean Sam had to always agree with it. For a time, he'd even thought he could study and live a normal life…until Jess had been taken. He fingered the journal, and then returned it to the glove box where he'd taken it from.

"Dean, you might want to take a look where you're going!" The younger brother gestured frantically ahead into the glare from the headlights.

The Impala had strayed very slightly onto the sandy edge of the road surface and was headed straight towards what appeared to be a young woman in brightly colored clothes, hiking along the highway.

Dean put his eyes back on the road and jerked the steering wheel. "Whoa!" The 67 Chevy snaked a little then slowed as he tapped the brakes. "What the hell is she doing out in the middle of nowhere at this time of night anyway?" He groused, but as they cruised level with the woman he lowered the car's window and smiled roguishly. "Now what's a nice girl like you doing hiking along a lonely desert highway?"

"Trying to avoid jerks in ancient rust buckets who stray onto the verge?" The woman whirled around, but couldn't help but smile at the two men in the car beside her.

Sam grinned at her attitude with his overly-confident brother, but in truth he wondered what she was doing out so late alone too. "You really shouldn't be out here by yourself. Can we give you a ride?"

"Don't mind if I do!" The twenty-something blonde climbed into the rear seat and slammed the door behind her. "So, you guys heading into the next town, or just passing through?" her eyes sparkled as if she were genuinely interested. "My names Samantha, by the way, but my friends call me Sammy."

Dean picked up speed and couldn't help glancing at Sammy every few seconds in the rear view. She was pretty, without even the need for makeup. "I'm Dean and this is my brother…he's a Sammy too."

The remark earned him a dirty look, but nothing more. Instead, Sam focused on the girl. "It really is dangerous to be out here at night. How did you even know you could trust us? Do you always get in strange cars?" There was concern in his voice, but Sammy shrugged it off.

"I guess I thought I could trust you two guys…" She rummaged in her bright pink purse, but didn't bring anything out.

Dean looked in the mirror again. Something was off, but he couldn't determine what. "So, Sammy, you never answered my question. Why the hell are you out here alone and at night?"

The girl smiled straight at her hosts. "I'm ghost hunting…"

Dean had to choke back his surprise. "You're what?"

The girl jerked a thumb back to the area they'd just left behind. "Ghost hunting, you know…" she began whistling the 'Ghostbusters' theme.

Sam shook his head and glanced warily at his brother. It was too much to believe that this person would just happen upon them, and that she too would be a modern-day ghost chaser. "Just what kind of ghost were you after? And how did you get all the way out here by yourself?" This time, his questions were not so amiable.

Maybe the girl was a cop. Heaven only knew how many credit card scams Dean had run in his time. It would catch up with them someday. The car they drove stuck out like a sore thumb after all.

Sammy didn't appear phased by the Winchester brothers sudden concerned voices. She flicked her blonde hair back. "A friend of mine brought me out here. Pete Garland… everybody knows Pete around here…"

"And the guy left you?" Dean looked over his shoulder for a second as he tightly gripped the wheel. "What a jerk. But that still doesn't explain just what the hell you're doing here?"

"Spook hunting, I told you." Sammy gazed out of the nearest side window, letting her eyes peer into the darkness of the desert. "There's a local story," she eventually elaborated. "Something about girls being killed by some monster out on the highway. There was never any proof, but some say the girls' spirits haunt that stretch of road you picked me up on." The girl smiled wanly. "It's just a story, but I thought I'd get a kick out of coming out here…"

"You're nuts!" Dean grinned, "Pretty, but nuts all the same…" He took a left turn as he hit a stretch of road with overhead streetlights, and then headed for a seedy motel in the distance. "Can I drop you somewhere?" He didn't like to leave her, it seemed like she had some weird death wish, walking the highway like she had.

Sammy nodded to the motel now looming in the Impala's headlights. "I'll get out here. I can walk…"

Dean reluctantly pulled the Chevy into the motel's somewhat impromptu lot. It was more a levelled out stretch of sand with a beat up fence than anything. He killed the ignition and turned, but Sammy had already hopped out of the car.

Sam followed her pretty closely, and leaning on the Impala's roof he called her back. "Hey, just tell me one thing? Do you believe in monsters and ghosts?"

Sammy smiled. "Out on that highway, yeah, I do!" She turned then and jogged towards the motel office with a spring in her step.

Dean couldn't stop from grinning as her purse bobbed up and down on her butt as she sprinted and left them. "Think she's gone to check us in?" He raised a brow mischievously.

"Knock it off, Dean. Maybe there really is something out there on the highway. Maybe it's the thing we came to Nevada to find." Sam slammed his door. "Come on, Romeo, let's go get our room…"

Dean shrugged. Somehow, Sam always managed to dampen his light-hearted fun. "Okay, okay." He held his hands in the air in defeat and then slipped one to his inside jacket pocket to thumb out yet another fake credit card.

As they entered the motel office he frowned- not because of how filthy the place was, or how unwelcoming the proprietor looked, but because Sammy was nowhere to be seen.

Sam felt exactly the same way. "Where did the girl go?" he addressed the stocky, greasy-haired man behind the counter.

"What girl? Ain't no girl been in this joint all night…"

Dean turned to his brother looking puzzled. "Didn't I just see a blonde by the name of Sammy breeze in here?"

Sam nodded, but was sure the man behind the counter wasn't lying. In fact, he was now looking at them as if they were on drugs. "Never mind," Sam brushed the incident aside, "Do you have a room for the night?"

The man huffed, but nodded. "Sign the book…" He tossed a grimy key from a hook behind the counter and then shook his head with a grin as Dean offered up his credit card. "We don't take plastic. Cash only!"

Dean grimaced and was tempted to make his brother pay. Instead, he pulled out a small wad of notes he'd won at yet another game of poker. "So, you don't know any blonde girls named Sammy. I don't suppose you know any guys named Pete Garland either?"

At the name, the man flinched as if it brought back bad memories. "Pete…sure I know him. He works down at the local garage. Pretty good with his hands too, if you ever need your Impala servicing." He pointed outside to the car's shadow in the lot.

Dean shook his head with a frown. "Thanks, but I'm pretty particular who touches my car. Where can we find this garage?"

"About half a mile down the road, but they're closed for the night now."

Sam scooped up their room key. "Thanks, we'll check it out in the morning."

"Just one thing…" The man pointed a finger at the brothers as if he'd recalled something long forgotten and just had to suddenly tell them. Either that, or he couldn't in good conscience lie any longer. "I never said I didn't know a blonde girl called Sammy. I just said she never came in here tonight…she couldn't have…not the Sammy I'm thinking of."

Dean spun back around. "Oh? And why not?" Somehow, from the expression on the guy's face, he had a pretty good clue of the answer before it came.

"Sammy was killed out on the highway over eight months ago." The man cringed at the recollection. "We had a spate of girls get killed out there. Horrific it was, but they never found the thing that did it…"

"Thing?" Sam's brow furrowed. "You make it sound like it wasn't an ordinary murder case." He waited for their host to answer, not wanting to probe too far in case he clammed up.

"Ain't no man could have done that to seven pretty girls. It was barbaric…you go ask Pete. He knows, he was Sammy's boyfriend, and he found her body out there…mutilated it was…" The man's eyes abruptly narrowed as he realized Sam and Dean were not perturbed by his revelation. "You boys don't seem too freaked that you maybe had a spook in your car."

"It wouldn't be the first…" Dean mumbled under his breath and was rewarded by a slight kick from his brother. "Ouch, I was simply stating the facts…"

"Let's just say we're open-minded." Sam offered more stridently and turned before he could be questioned further.

"More open-minded, huh?" Dean grinned as the pair headed for their room. "So, what does Mr. open-minded think we're dealing with here? We have a restless spirit for sure, but what does she want? Why get in the car with us? Surely she knows we 'dispose' of her kind?"

Sam popped the key in the lock and opened their room door to reveal a small but cosy area with two beds. "I'm thinking she wanted to contact us. She wants our help to solve this so no one else gets hurt. Maybe that's why she brought the ghost hunting up."

Dean shrugged as he peeled off his leather jacket and bounced down on the nearest bed. "So, you're suggesting we have a double case here? Sammy the spook and the thing she wants us to catch? Whew." He whistled, "And I thought the phantom whirlwind case was going to be different."

"What say we get some pizza, watch some TV, and go visit the boyfriend Pete first thing in the morning?"

"Sounds good." Dean smirked, "As long as you're paying for the pizza, and your idea of morning isn't five thirty again like the time we hunted the shape shifter in St Lois."

Sam nodded. "Deal…but I get to choose the topping, and I get to question the boyfriend first."

Dean raised a brow. "You think he's involved?" When Sam didn't reply right away Dean scowled. "You really liked her, didn't you?"

Sam glanced at the floor and sighed. "She didn't deserve to die. Just like Jess didn't. Maybe this is one occasion I can at least find the killer…"