Author's Note: With all the heated debates concerning whether Dean Winchester should have a love interest or not, I thought it would be fun to write a story with a love interest!

Alex Taylor leaned on the hood of her late father's black '69 Ford Mustang, silently gazing at her childhood home with tears welling in her eyes. Alex brushed them away with a sniff, thinking back to the night of her eighteenth birthday.

Evan waited outside in his silver Mercedes for Alex, he could hear her shouting at her parents inside and kind of hoping she'd be upset enough for a little pick-me-up sex afterward.

"Would you stop trying to control my life?!" Alex yelled angrily at her mother, Rachel, and her father, Nick. "You just had to choose tonight to do this, didn't you? Can I not enjoy myself for five minutes without you swooping in to make me miserable?"

"Alex, we only want what's best for you, you know that!" Rachel told her, throwing her hands in the air.

"Well this is straight out of a soap opera…" Alex muttered to herself, then raising her voice so her parents can hear, "I don't really care what you want, I'm going to Stanford."

Alex wanted to go into Law Enforcement, and two weeks ago, she'd received an acceptance letter from Stanford University, her school of choice. Then today Alex got another acceptance letter from Brown…The school both her parents had attended. Apparently Alex was supposed to be a perfect daughter and follow in her parents footsteps, but Alex was kicking and screaming every step of the way.

Marching up the stairs and into her bedroom without waiting for a response, Alex grabbed her sweater and purse. When she turned around Alex just about ran into her parents, she scowled and pushed past them, irritated that they'd followed her upstairs. Alex was just about out the bedroom door when she stopped suddenly and stared at her Mom and Dad, "I hate that you're always trying to make decisions for me." She paused, wanting to hurt her parents in the worst way she could, "Why the hell did you have to do this tonight? It's my birthday for God's sake! I hate you."

Alex nodded with satisfaction when her parents flinched, "Alex…please." Nick said gently, but Alex cut him off.

"Save it, Dad." Alex turned around and walked out the door, calling angrily up the stairs, "I'll see you later!"

All kids have fights with their parents, but it didn't meant they hated them, and Alex was no exception. She loved her parents more than anything in the world, but to bring up a sore subject on the night of her eighteenth birthday was just to much for her to take.

It was almost four o'clock in the mourning when Alex returned home. Evan gave her a quick kiss good-night, deciding not to push his luck too much after Alex had given him a verbal whiplash for trying to seduce her into having sex. Evan was cute, but that was really all that Alex saw in him.

Alex was your typical high-school prep – High Honors student all her life, cheerleader, on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams, always surrounded by the cute, giggling girls that everyone wants to be, and to top it all off she was dating Evan, the varsity football captain. Oh, and she hunted supernatural beings on the side.

Nick's father, Daniel, was the town crazy, but Alex was always seen "humoring" her grandfather by looking over articles of recent strange murders and deaths. Everyone just believed she was going along with the old man's crazy stories to make him happy; no one every guessed that Alex and Daniel were actually researching dangerous beings, hunting them down, and killing them. When Daniel died three years ago, Alex continued hunting on her own, but was a little more discreet about it.

Alex was exhausted after a night of fake IDs, clubbing, and bar hopping. After all the alcohol she'd consumed, all she wanted to do was make it into her bedroom before collapsing. The house was pitch-dark as she scrambled up the stairs; Alex flicked the light on in the hallway as she walked toward her room.

As Alex passed by her parents' bedroom, her head reeled when she smelled a sharp, metallic scent in the air.

"What the hell…" She mumbled to herself, gently pushing the bedroom door open, the metallic smell was twice as strong inside the bedroom.

Alex couldn't see a thing inside, but the first thing she noticed was a dull, reddish glow in the corner of the room. All her muscles tensed when the figure moved toward her, one claw-like hand reaching in her direction, and then it disappeared like a puff of smoke.

"Mom? Dad?" Alex said quietly, after seeing the spirit hovering around she was terrified of what she might find. Her instincts screamed, panic welling deep inside her stomach, as Alex flicked the light switch up and her parents' bedroom was flooded with light.

Nick was face down on the floor, a large pool of blood forming around his upper body and seeping into the carpet. Rachel was lying on the bed, her legs draped over the end, and blood spattered across the headboard of the bed. A long gash ran across the front of her body, starting at her thigh and ending near her throat. That metallic scent was the smell of blood.

"Oh my God! No, no, no!" Alex pleaded a little hysterically as she ran to her father, rolling him onto his side and placing two fingers just underneath his chin on his neck. When she didn't feel a pulse, Alex tried to keep a hold of her emotions, but felt her tears spill over. She stood up quickly and rushed to her mother, also checking for a pulse…checking for any signs of life.

Alex backed up slowly away from the bodies, stopping only when her back hit the wall and she couldn't go any further. She fumbled in her pocket for her cell phone, dialing 911 as her legs gave out underneath her and Alex slid down the wall to the floor.

The operator picked up and Alex said hurriedly, "I need an ambulance!" Her voice shook despite her effort to stay calm, "My parents…" Alex started crying, she gasped for breath, no longer talking to the operator but more to herself, "Oh God…my parents are dead…" She whispered shakily.

"Where do you live?" The operator's calm, almost bored voice came from the other end, but Alex wasn't listening.

Alex dropped her phone, saying aloud that her parents were dead made it so final. She pulled her knees up to her chest, hot tears rolling down her cheeks, and hid her face in her arms.

"So, a married couple, Rachel and Nick Taylor, were found by their eighteen year old daughter two weeks ago. The cause of death was a large cut along the front of their bodies, dying from blood loss. All the doors were locked, windows too, they had an alarm system even, but no one heard or saw anything. Also, there were no signs of breaking and entering or burglary." Fifteen year old Sam Winchester rattled off bits of information from a newspaper article he'd stumbled across online. His shaggy brown hair hung in his brown eyes as he scanned the computer screen. "Definitely sounds like our kind of problem. And this girl…" Sam referred back to the article, "Alex. Whatever killed her parents might come back for her, we should at least look into it."

John Winchester sat upright when he'd heard the names of the victims, "You said their name was Taylor?" He asked Sam, reaching across the café table to turn the laptop screen toward him. Dean Winchester, on the other hand, wasn't paying much attention to either his Dad or brother; he was too preoccupied checking out the waitress.

"What is it?" Sam asked. Dean leaned on the back to legs on his chair and Sam used his leg to push upward on the bottom of Dean's chair. Dean had to grab the table to keep from falling over.

"What was that for?!" Dean hissed, turning a little red when the waitress giggled at him.

"Pay attention." Sam muttered.

"I was!"

"You were too busy looking at her ass." Sam motioned toward the waitress.

"You should've paid attention."

"You get stupider by the day."

"Shut up, Sammy!" Dean kicked Sam in the shin underneath the table.

John sighed as he watched them, "Would you two knock it off?" Sam and Dean gave him innocent looks, who knew they were fifteen and nineteen years old? They sure as hell didn't act like it. "Let's go." John stood up, taking his coffee with him as they walked outside to the cars.

Dean and Sam headed over to Dean's eighteenth birthday present from John. A '67 Chevy Impala, and his pride and joy, Dean treated the car as if it was his own flesh and blood. John, however, opened the door on his huge black truck, the kind you'd be scared to see following you on a dark night, got in, and slammed the door.

Both vehicles pulled out of the café parking lot, head for Alex's hometown of Champaign, Illinois.

Alex wiped away the tears on her face and glanced up at the house again. Immediately after meeting with her lawyer and learning that her parents had left her everything, including the Mustang she was leaning on, Alex had gotten a realtor and her house sold within a week.

Most of her belongings, and her parents' belongings, were donated, with the exception of a bag of clothes, a few necessities that Alex needed, and her grandfather's weapons and the like that he'd left to her after his death. She was torn between wanting to get out of Champaign as soon as possible and staying to find the spirit that killed her mom and dad. Alex could hardly stand living in the apartment she'd rented downtown, because it was too close to her old house. The guilt was too much, after the fight, and after the things that Alex had said to her parents…She just wanted to get as far away from there as she could.

Alex flung herself down on the hood of the car, feeling the cold black metal against her back, her legs dangling over the front of the hood. How was she supposed to decide? Leave and kill whatever paranormal son of a bitch she came across? Or stay and avenge her parents?

"This must be it." Sam said aloud to Dean as they pulled up to a very elegant looking house in a fancy, upper class section of Champaign.

Dean parked behind Dad's truck and whistled when he saw the Mustang parked out front of the house, "Nice." He said, admiring the car.

Alex angrily wiped away her tears so whoever had just pulled up wouldn't have to see her crying, she hated appearing weak in front of anyone. Alex sat up straight, bringing her feet up to rest on the front bumper.

Glancing back at the two vehicles that had just parked behind her own car, Alex saw an older man get out of a large truck, and two younger boys get out of a black Impala. Alex couldn't help but make a mental note about how creepy the three, classic, black vehicles must've looked to anyone who may have seen.

Alex waited for them to notice her first; if she didn't have to deal with anyone right now, she wouldn't. Alex watched them walk up the sidewalk to the house. She couldn't help but notice how adorable the two younger boys were, the one with shaggy hair was tall and lanky, not quite grown into his body yet, but he wasn't quite as tall as the other guy, who looked to be around her own age. He had short hair, she loved the way he had it styled in a messy little mohawk, she let her eyes travel downward as they walked further away from her.

But just when she thought she was going to get off the hook and wouldn't have to talk to anyone, the oldest of the three turned around and looked straight at her. Alex's eyes snapped back upward to the man's face and she stood up, recognizing him.

"John? John Winchester." Alex smiled, "The last time I saw you, my grandpa was playing hero and rescuing from that shape shifter. It was really kind of embarrassing to watch an old man save your ass."

John smiled and laughed, "You weren't very nice to me then either."

"You were full of yourself, looks like you still are." Alex said good-heartedly.

Dean and Sam turned around too, and as soon as Dean saw Alex he grinned in that sexy little way of his while Sam just rolled his eyes at his brother's vanity. But Dean had reason to want to turn on the charm; Alex was about five foot eight inches, wearing a cute light blue Roxy t-shirt that clung to her curves nicely and accented her blue eyes, and tight jeans, showing off well-muscled arms and legs. Her dark brown hair hung down a little past her chin, perfectly straight with a few natural blonde highlights.

"Alex, these are my sons, Sam and Dean. Boys, this is Alex." John introduced the three of them, and Alex smiled at the two guys.

Dean's mouth was slightly agape in a stupid looking smirk as Alex grinned at him and said wickedly, "Close your mouth, you look like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man."

Sam and John smirked, and Dean looked like he'd been slapped, he wasn't used to women treating him like anything less than the love of their life.

Alex turned back to John, "So what are you doing here? Please don't tell me you're here to give me a hug, a sympathy casserole, and tell me everything's going to be okay."

"Not exactly." John told her.

"Well, I can give you that hug, if you're interested." Dean threw in clumsily and Alex, Sam, and John all giggled at him.

"We're here to help." Sam finished.

Alex led the guys into her apartment; it'd taken her a while to convince them that there was no point in them staying in a motel when she had the room for them to stay at her place. It didn't take John long to settle in and start drilling Alex with questions after she'd told them all that happened the night of her parents' death.

"So this spirit, you're sure that's what it is? Not some kind of demon or creature?" John asked.

"I'm not positive. I could smell blood, but I could have sworn ozone was mixed in there too. Although I'm not sure why it looked the way it did. I mean, if it was a spirit, then most spirits just take on the appearance of themselves when they were alive, right?" Alex replied.

"True, but some may choose a different form. You couldn't see its figure clearly?"

"Right, it was kind of like looking at a really fuzzy picture. All I noticed for sure what its hands, they were like claws…or daggers, that's probably what it used to kill my parents." Alex said miserably.

"Did they say or do anything odd before that night? Like something was after them?"

Alex frowned, "Don't you think that I would have told you? I probably know just as much about hunting as you do, so stop treating me like I'm some pathetic, defenseless victim who has no idea what she's dealing with."

The guys all just gazed at her, and Alex sighed, "No. Okay? Nothing odd, nothing out of the ordinary."

"We should check out the library, look into the property, your family history, any similar murders, you know?" Sam said, and the others nodded.

A few hours in the local library and Alex was about ready to start beating her head against the wall. Dean was drumming his fingers on the table, John was mumbling to himself while he was scanning through books, and Sam kept on sighing every time he ran into a dead-end. Alex rested her head on her hand and bit her lip, trying to resist the urge to throw a book at each of their heads.

Suddenly Dean looked up, "You said you had a fight before you left with your boyfriend?"

Alex sighed, "Ex-boyfriend. And yes, I said we fought…I only said it about a million times." She told him irritably, rubbing her temple in an effort to get rid of her headache. Evan had dumped her a few days after her parents' death, he couldn't stand all the stares that they got from people while in public.

"So what if this thing isn't a spirit. What if it's actually some kind of creature that feeds on pain, anger, and the like?" Dean pushed a book toward Alex, and she glanced down at it, a picture fitting her description of the figure she'd seen in her parents' bedroom on one of the pages.

"It's called a Danava, according to Indian mythology they were known to cause trouble where there was a sacrifice to a god or gods, they'd pretty much trash the place and desecrate the sacred ground. Hundreds of years later, they evolved and began feeding on the sorrow and rage that they caused, only making them stronger. Now they don't even have to create the emotions themselves. Danavas come out every ten years or so to feed, targeting one person or family. Once the Danava is done sucking the hate out of people, it kills them and feeds on the grief from the victim's friends and family as dessert." Dean said, catching Alex's eye, "Which means you could still be in trouble."

Alex paused, contemplating, then switched the subject from her safety, "How do I kill it?"

"You?" Sam said curiously, eyebrows raised.

"Me."

Dean glared at her angrily, "Did you not hear what I said?"

"You mean the part about how I might be its next victim, and how you might end up getting yourselves killed if you come with me? Yea, I got that." Alex replied calmly.

"You have got to be the stupidest, most stubborn girl I've ever met!" Dean said loudly.

"I could say the same to you." Alex's voice was icy as she glared at Dean. "I'm not letting you get hurt on my account."

"You've known us for a week! Not exactly the perfect time to start acting all controlling, don't you think?"

"Exactly! A one week relationship isn't worth you dying over!"

"Would you shut up!" Sam put in, looking intimidating for a fifteen year old, and succeeding in making Dean and Alex shut their mouths. Sam paused, making sure they'd stay silent, and said firmly, "We're coming with you, Alex."

Alex almost looked like she was going to start a verbal combat with Sam, of which she was guaranteed to lose, but thought twice about it and sighed, "Fine. How do we kill this thing?"

Dean glanced back down at the book, ".44 caliber rimfire cartridges with iron bullets."

Alex frowned, "I hope you know how to make those. Most rimfire cartridges are .22 caliber, they used to be made as large as .44 in the past, but not much anymore so we'll probably have a hard time finding the cartridges. Not to mention most bullets are lead, not iron."

Sam, Dean, and John all smirked, "How do you think we got to be so successful?"

"You nervous?" Dean asked Alex, waiting for Sam and John, who were busy getting the special rounds they needed.

"No." Alex said shortly, shifting uncomfortably.

"Of course you're not."

Alex shot Dean a mean look, "Shut up."

Dean shrugged, grinning, "Sorry!"

Alex rolled her eyes, trying to look at anything but Dean and avoid any awkward and potentially embarrassing situations while she was with him. So complete silence isn't awkward? She fiddled with a knife she had tucked up her jacket sleeve.

Dean, on the other hand, was totally in his element. He was enjoying the anxious and edgy feeling he was getting from Alex. Feeling confident, are we? Dean glanced sideways at Alex, she had her arms crossed underneath her chest and was drumming her fingers against her opposite arm. Dean, still grinning, quickly swooped down, one hand gently cupping Alex's face and the other going to her ass like a magnet. But before his lips even reached hers, Dean felt something cold against his neck and froze.

Alex was surprised that he actually had the nerve to try that, and she'd done some quick thinking, to let Dean kiss her, or to not? There was one part of her that said, "Hell, yea!" and then the other part said, "Nah, let's have a little fun first." So she quickly undid the thread knots holding the knife to her wrist and brought it speedily up to Dean's neck. All the while thinking, "Thread: One dollar and fifty eight cents. Knife: Twenty-three dollars. The look on Dean's face when he feels cold metal pressed against his neck? Priceless."

Dean turned a little pale, his mouth parted as if he were still going in for a practice session of CPR, and his eyes wide. Alex had the dull side of the knife against his throat, but he didn't need to know that. She smirked at him, "It's a good thing you're good-looking."

This time it was Dean's turn to be surprised when Alex took away her knife and stood on tip-toe, pressing her lips a little below his own, then a little to the side, and again a little below, teasing him. Dean caught her lips with his own and brought his hand up again to cup the side of her face. He gently parted her lips with his, she tasted kind of like cinnamon and he smiled inwardly with pleasure when she didn't hold anything back. Good thing Alex had been chewing on Dentyne just seconds before, huh?

Of course, their first moment together just had to be ruined by a car door slamming outside.

Dean pulled away reluctantly, but still taking in Alex's sweet scented breath as she breathed lightly on his face.

Sam was the first one through the door and Dean and Alex quickly stepped back from each other while Sam stopped and stared at them, smirking. "What were you two doing?"

"Nothing!" Alex and Dean said in unison, with equally innocent tones.

"Uh, huh."

"Seriously, Sammy!" Dean told him, trying his hardest to act above suspicion.

"No, really! I believe you." Sam continued smirking at them until John came in the door behind him.

"So, why am I doing this?" Alex asked as she stood in the middle of the living room of her old house.

Each of the Winchesters looked a little uneasy as they found areas to wait where they could keep an eye on Alex, but she couldn't see them from the living room.

"Because you're our only possibility for luring this thing out." John replied automatically, "Now take this."

"Great…I love being used as bait." Alex muttered, but dutifully took the handgun John was holding out to her, loaded with the special ammo, as the guys positioned themselves out of sight.

It didn't take long for Alex to get bored of standing in the middle of the room, after about twenty minutes she'd sat cross-legged on the floor and whipped out her cell phone to play Pac-Man. She only turned the sound off when she heard John hiss her name warningly from where he and Sam were hiding in the kitchen.

Another twenty minutes and Alex was making odd noises with her mouth, giggling when she heard Dean snort with laughter in the dining room.

Two hours just fly by when you have nothing to do…Not! Alex was busy trying to get a pencil she'd taken out of her pocket stuck in the ceiling and didn't even notice a dull red flash off to her left. Sam, John, and Dean were close to dozing off and after hours had gone by with no action whatsoever, they weren't very attentive.

So what does a Danava have to do to get some attention? Clawing its way into Alex's hip sounded good.

Alex let out a scream, more surprised than anything else, and scrambled for the gun that had managed to drift six feet away from her while she was fidgeting with boredom on the floor. But her scream was enough to put the Winchesters on edge, all three of them jumping to their feet.

But when you interrupt a Danava right before they're about to eat…well, it's like trying to get a fat kid off of a cupcake, they throw a fit…

Dean found himself pinned against the wall, trapped between the dining room table and a wall; while Sam and John were bombarded with kitchen knives and other various sharp utensils. See? This is what Alex got for trying to be nice and leave the buyers of her house nice things rather than pack them up and donate them!

Alex tried to pull herself away from the Danava and reached her arms as far as she could in an attempt to get a hold of the gun. She bit her lip, trying to keep from screaming as the Danava's claws sunk deeper into her hip and thigh, dragging her closer to itself. Alex felt panic well up in her stomach when her fingers were just inches away from the gun and the Danava hauled her away from it. Her mind flashed back to the night her parents were murdered, all she could think was, "Oh, God…this is how they died…How could I let this happen to them?"

"Alex!" Dean, Sam, and John all yelled from different rooms as Alex tried fighting against the Danava with fists and kicking…needless to say it wasn't working and the Danava's other claw-like hand slowly crept up to her chest.

John, Sam, and Dean finally got a break; the Danava lost interest in them as it came in closer for the kill and Sam and John quickly ducked out of the kitchen while Dean shoved the table onto its side and rushed into the living room. All three of them loosed their gun clips into the Danava, glaring at the thing as it shrieked and writhed in pain, finally dying in an explosion of red light.

Alex lay there for a second, shocked, as the guys knelt next to her and Dean put a hand underneath her arm and brought her into a sitting position.

"That's the last time I throw pencils at the ceiling while I'm being used as bait." She said, her eyes wide as she stared at the spot where the Danava had been seconds before.

Sam, Dean, and John grinned at her as John said, "One can only hope."