Author: UZI4U

Disclaimer: Don't own the Winchester brothers, but sure wish I did, especially Dean.

Summary: While tracking a murderous spirit through the southeast, Sam and Dean get a message from their Dad. He wants them to find a girl who holds the key to destroying this spirit…

AN: I used real cities in Georgia, but all of the additional characters are completely fictional, so no one get offended. Also, thanks for all the lovely reviews of my first fic, you guys are great! -Lauren (Uzi)

Chapter 1

LaFayette, Ga. October 24, 2005. 2:38pm

"Victim died of strangulation. The larynx was crushed, by human hands-judging by the bruising around the throat." The medical examiner placed a thumb on the body's chin and pried the mouth open. "No vomit, not that I expected any."

She gingerly lowered the dead woman's head to the floor and turned to the detective who was standing over her. "She's the same as the other two, Ron. Frankly, I just don't get it."

Detective Ron Simmons rolled his shoulders uneasily. He'd been with the LaFayette PD for almost twenty years, but something about this case had him spooked.

The call had come not two hours ago; a neighbor had seen Bill Freemont tear out of the driveway in the family car, a blue Pontiac Bonneville. The neighbor had heard screams coming from the house prior to Freemont's departure and the front door had been left open. When patrol arrived, they found Freemont's wife and two sons lying motionless on the living room floor, dead.

"I don't get it either Trish, I knew Bill. He was a devoted family man." Ron replied as he jotted down a rough summary of the ME's statement. "This is just like that case three days ago up in Knoxville. "A woman disappeared right before family was found dead, all of them strangled."

The M.E. tisk tisked through her teeth as she lifted Mrs. Freemont's arms to look for defensive wounds. She found none. "Poor baby, she knew her attacker."

Ron flipped his notepad closed and tucked it into the pocket of his blazer. He left Trish to her morbid task and paced around the room.

There were family photos everywhere, nailed to the wall and arranged carefully along the mantle. Mrs. Freemont had just set out a vase of fresh cut wildflowers. One of the boys had tucked a pair of soccer cleats into the magazine rack. This was, or rather had been, a happy household.

Why? Ron wondered. Why would Bill do this? But part of him refused to believe that his friend could ever commit such a heinous act.

"Detective Simmons?" a uniformed patrol officer ducked under the crime scene tape and stepped into the room. "Sir, patrol just spotted a blue Bonneville headed south on 27."

Rome, Ga.

Dean aimed the nozzle and squeezed the trigger. A jet of sparkling water shot out of the hose and surged across the hood of the black, '69 Impala, sweeping away foamy soap bubbles. The nozzle was leaking, and an icy cold mist was slowly soaking his jeans and boots. But Dean didn't care, at least for the moment. He was thrilled to have found a self-serve carwash. Those touch-less run through places just couldn't get his baby clean.

It was moments like this when Dean could almost forget just how screwed up his life was. For thirty minutes he was just a normal guy, albeit a very handsome one he reminded himself, washing his car. He could almost forget that he was chasing evil across the country with his kid brother.

Kid brother. Well, maybe as far as age went, but Sam was now a good three inches taller than his brother. But no matter how tall Sam got, Dean would always think of him as the precious bundle he'd carried from their burning house twenty- two years ago.

"Hey, did you see this morning's paper?" Sam called from his position leaning against one of the free vacuums.

"Nah. Anything interesting?" Dean hung the faulty nozzle on its peg and swiped hopelessly at his wet jeans.

A slight grin played across Sam's lips, Dean looked as if he'd wet his pants. But he returned to his usual guarded expression before answering. "Yesterday the LaFayette police reported that the Freemont family had been murdered. The main suspect is the husband, who's still at large."

"How were they killed?"

"Strangled."

"Just like the Richmond and Knoxville cases," Dean scowled. For the past week he and Sam had followed the trail of what they believed to be an enraged spirit, bent on murdering helpless southeners. "I don't understand this spirit, its possessions are so random."

"Yeah, but its MO is the same."

"Since when are you a cop?" Dean teased.

Sam shrugged and stuffed his hands in the pockets of his low rider jeans. "It's just that most spirits have a goal, some kind of unfinished business. This one kills the same way, always a family, but the victims are random."

Just then, a leggy blonde came striding through the ten or so paces between the brothers and Dean paused to flash his pearly whites. She gave him a knowing wink, but kept walking. He waited until she was out of earshot before responding.

"Okay Sammy, if you were a possessed man who'd just murdered your family, where would you go?"

Sam gave his brother a dry look.

"Hey man," Dean held up his hands defensively. "All I'm sayin' is that we have no way of knowing where this spirit's headed. We can't just go door to door asking people if they've had any sudden urges to strangle their spouses."

Sam knew Dean had a point, he just didn't want to admit it. Ever since Jessica's death he'd refused to accept defeat in their dealings with the paranormal. If he couldn't stop your run of the mill specter, how could he ever destroy her killer?

"I thought you were the one who wanted to 'kill every evil son of a bitch we come across' until we find Dad?" Sam questioned.

Dean set his jaw and sighed deeply through his nostrils. So much for his 'precious bundle'. Sometimes Sam could be such a pain. He pulled open the driver's side door of the Impala and reached for a dirty T-shirt that he could use to wipe down the car. His cell phone was perched on the dash and the screen caught his eye for a split second; he had a missed call.

"Here," he tossed the shirt at Sam who rolled his eyes and began toweling water from the hood.

"Is this my shirt?" Sam asked.

Dean shushed him and pressed the phone to his ear to listen to the message that had been left. After several seconds he pulled the phone away with a dazed expression.

"What's wrong?" Sam paused in the middle of wiping the windshield and stared at his brother with concern.

Dean swallowed with notable difficulty. "That was Dad."