Hey again! :)
While working on the sequel to 'Fill This Void With Your Poison', I came up with a different story and thought I'd give it a try. :) Please let me know what you think.
"Hey," Dean stopped in the hallway and pointed into the adjoining drawing room.
Sam took his hand of the door handle, turned back and followed his brother's gaze unwillingly. They had questioned Mark Hallberg and gotten nothing valuable from him, so he just wanted to get on and not waste one more second in this swanky mansion that stunk of filthy richness from every marble tile.
"What?" He asked, trying his best not to sound exasperated.
Dean ignored him, walked into the other room and held up a picture to show it to Sam. It showed a younger Mark, an unknown woman, probably his wife, and two children, a boy and a girl.
"He's got a daughter, too?"
"I'd say so. Let's see," Dean looked around and caught one of the maids. "Excuse me."
"Yes, sir?" The middle-aged Hispanic woman stepped closer.
"Is this Mr Hallberg's daughter?"
The maid looked at the picture and a melancholic expression crossed her face. "Yes, that's dear Alexandria."
Sam frowned at the name – an ancient Egyptian city, seriously? – but managed to shut up about it.
"Sweet girl, a lot like her mother. She…" The woman shook her head, "I'm sorry, it's neither mine to tell nor of import."
Dean frowned and wondered what she had meant to say, but didn't ask. "You know where we can find her?"
"She'll probably be at work."
"Work?" Sam huffed and looked around the opulence around him. "Why the hell would she work?"
An almost protective, motherly expression crossed the elderly woman's face. "Miss Alexandria is different. I will write down the address for you."
Twenty minutes later, Dean parked the Impala in front of the shabby bar.
"Oh, you've got to be kidding me."
"This has got to be some kind of joke. You sure this is the right address?"
Dean looked at the piece of paper the maid had given him and then at the street sign. "Yup, this is definitely it."
The brothers looked at each other, almost like in old times, before they sighed simultaneously and stepped out.
"Her father makes a couple of millions a year, and his daughter works…here?"
"Probably a rebellious phase. What are you willing to bet she's pierced all over, too?"
"I think she's more of a tattoo type."
"Black, short hair and too much make-up."
"Ripped clothes, high school drop out."
"Your table, June."
June looked up and to the other end of the bar, whose interior had seen better times but hadn't reached the final stage of dilapidation yet. Her eyes scanned the two guys who'd just come in; they looked out of place in their suits, but oddly enough, they still fit in. Maybe it was the roughness in their edged faces, the wild look in their eyes, that made them fall in line with the other shady characters and crushed existences that swarmed this place like moths the light after eleven p.m.
June shook her head and told herself to stop thinking so much. Slipping a note with some orders onto the counter, she then performed her well-rehearsed dance through tables and stools and greeted the newcomers with her usual smile. "Good evening, what can I get you?"
'Her demeanour doesn't fit in here,' it briefly occurred to Sam as he appreciatively looked over the leggy blonde with the sexy ass that seemed to be their waitress for that night. At least, something went right today. 'She looks too unspoilt for a rundown bar like this.'
"Two beers, please."
"No, that's it for now, thanks."
The waitress – June, according to her name tag - nodded and disappeared again, giving the brothers a nice view of her swaying rear.
"No chicks during a case."
"Oh, come on, Dean-"
"No. I'm your conscience, and I'm telling you no."
"It was your idea to go talk to this girl, at least, let me get something out of it. We should be hunting down that killer, Dean, not talk to spoilt millionaire daughters."
"I know, I know, but my gut feeling just tells me it'd be worth checking what Alexandria Hallberg knows, alright?"
Sam rolled his eyes and then turned his attention back to the curvy blonde that was just preparing their beers.
"They're hot, huh?"
"What?" June looked up at her colleague Belinda in confusion.
The all-over tattooed brunette jerked her head in the direction of the two officials. "Those two. Steaming hot."
"Right," June replied. If there was anything she despised, it was superficiality. Sure enough, the two men were extremely good-looking; but she couldn't shake the tingling feeling, like prickling ice, that their stares had left on her back. It hadn't been the usual 'checking out her butt' stare… she couldn't pin it down, she just knew something with those two men was different.
'If thinking hurt, June, you'd be in agony 24/7,' She sighed to herself, grabbed those two beers and steered herself through the crowded bar again.
"Here you go," The young woman smiled as she placed the bottles in front of them.
"Thanks… listen, do you happen to know an Alexandria Hallberg working here?"
June straightened up, hugged the tray to her body and sighed: "What's her brother done now?"
Dean and Sam looked at each other.
"Her brother? Nothing, as far as we know, at least… we're just here to talk to her."
"And you are?"
"Agents Holt and Wilson, FBI."
June gave an absent-minded nod, wondering what the hell the Feds were doing here. Then again, she had a vague idea. "This about the murders?"
"You know about those?"
"Hard not to with people around you being torn to shreds."
"Right. Well, anyways, back to Alexandria Hallberg. We understand one of the victims was her boyfriend…"
"Ex-boyfriend," June threw in resolutely. "Anyways, what's this got to do with me?"
"Um…" Dean looked at Sam, who was equally surprised, if not clueless. "You… are Alexandria?"
"Afraid so. June's my second name," She supplied as she caught the agents' confused glances at her name tag. "Look, agents… um, my shift's over in half an hour. If you'd wait, I'd be more than glad to talk to you…"
"That's fine. We'll wait."
June nodded and was gone again, her mind racing. The FBI. At the same time, it calmed and worried her. Calmed, because it meant she wasn't going crazy and seeing ghosts, and worried, because she now wondered where this would go instead, if not twilight zone.
"So, I guess no hook-up for you tonight," Dean smirked and leaned back, taking the beer to his lips.
"Come on, dude, even you cannot hit that. Well, I guess you could, but…" Dean shook his head. "Anyways."
The brothers fell silent.
At midnight, June went into the back of the bar and changed her clothes, slipping on jeans, a hot pink top and black blazer and heels.
"You going home?" Belinda asked as June passed her.
"Oh, um…" June was saved from replying by her friend being called into the kitchen. Using the opportunity, she became one with the crowd and disappeared into the back. Smoothly, she slipped onto the seat beside the tall one so she wouldn't have his intense eyes on her, but instead the other's comforting green ones.
"What do you want to know?"
Sam felt the warmth radiating from the body beside his, and found his eyes travelling down June's lush cleavage. This girl definitely wasn't what he had expected; maybe Dean had been right to look into this. Worst payout was a night with a millionaire's sexy daughter; best payout was that and a captured monster on top.
But it would soon become clear that June wasn't that easy a girl; she wasn't silly, she wasn't promiscuous, she wasn't spoilt. In short; she was an impregnable fortress, slick, proud, reasonable and sensible.
"You said Ike Holister was your ex-boyfriend?"
"Yeah, if he ever was my boyfriend in the first place," June huffed.
"Meaning that I somehow have a different idea of a boyfriend than someone who tries abusing you and getting to your father's money," She replied dryly. "But maybe that's just my overly romantic streak."
Dean looked at her understandingly but didn't say anything. "Do you have any connections to the other victims?"
June weighed her words carefully. "Yes. Tina Linton was my best friend before we had a major falling out some years ago and never spoke since then. Abraham Masters was my estranged cousin. But I've never heard of Jane Sanchez and Harry Kilmer before."
"You sure keep up with those murders," Sam remarked, and June flinched at the coldness in his voice.
"I suppose I am, yes. But it's not because I'm a murderer who likes to read about his work, but rather because…"
"Nothing." June smiled so disarmingly, it even worked on Sam.
"So, Miss Hallberg… did you notice anything strange before those murders?"
"Strange, as in suspicious people wandering around in an applie-pie neighbourhood, or as in 'the victims talked of ghosts predicting their deaths'?" Dry as her tone was, one could almost believe June thought each possibility as likely as the other. Only her unmoved face revealed that she couldn't supply proof for either.
"What made you say that?"
"Say what, Agent Holt?" She raised her heaven-blue eyes at Dean.
Dean returned her gaze, and realized that this girl was too slick and ungraspable to get anything out of. She had a certain skill of weaselling her way out of her own words. Alexandria, or June, might turn out to be a hard nut to crack, and they didn't even know if it would be worth the hassle. She might not know anything.
"Look, agents, what happened to Tina and the others is horrible, and I feel so sorry for their families. But I'm afraid I cannot help you with who could have done this. As I said, I had no contact with any of the victims for years."
'Too smooth,' Sam thought, 'Way too smooth.'
"All I can tell you is that something about those murders seems …odd. Apart from the obvious of the victims being shredded to pieces and drained of all blood, that is."
"What do you mean?"
June cursed her lacking discretion and her big mouth that she was usually able to keep quiet. "Nothing in particular," She shrugged.
Two pairs of eyes bored into her, and she had to put up quite an effort not to shrink back into the faded red leather seat. All her life she'd prided herself of her proud posture, and she'd be damned if she wavered now. "It's just a feeling I have."
"I'm just a little more perceptive than others. Anyhow, I don't quite see yet how that has to do with the murders."
"Well, we're just checking every angle, and you, your father and brother are a common factor of all the murders."
"Wait, all of them?"
Dean wondered whether to fill June in, but her ringing phone saved him from a decision.
"Excuse me, I have to get this," June's pretty face fell as she glanced at the caller ID and stood up.
"What do you think?" Sam asked, eyeing June as she stood aside, phone pressed to her ear and a disappointed, almost painful expression on her face.
"I think there's something that girl's not telling us, but I don't think she's responsible for the murders. She doesn't strike me as the killing type."
"Yeah, then again, neither did Madison. Or Ava."
"Touché." Dean looked at the girl, who looked to be in her early twenties. Something about her didn't fit. Her demeanour was…too clean, too smooth. She wasn't rebelling, at least, not openly; but she wasn't spoilt. She wasn't 'normal', either, so what was she and why?
"Um, agents, I'm sorry, but I have to go… but if there's any way I can help, you'll know where to find me." June scribbled something on a piece of paper she'd drawn out of her handbag. "And here's my cell…"
June looked up in surprise, almost as if she wasn't used to concern. "Oh. Yeah. Just need to get home… Anyways. Good evening."
Sam and Dean watched her disappear, looked at each other and despite things not being as they used to be between them, they were thinking the same that second.
June stepped into her '73 Impala, her heart as heavy as her thoughts dark.
When people looked at her, they saw the pretty, dumb daughter of a millionaire, whose worst worry was breaking a nail. Nobody ever bothered looking past that. Nobody had ever looked behind the fancy curtain and saw the scars, the still bleeding wounds and the need for love.
Why? Because nobody had ever cared; those who might have, thought everything was perfect and there was no need for care.
It sounded cliché; the misunderstood, rich child who just wanted to live a simple life; and it wasn't the truth. June didn't hate her father for being rich, for not caring for her as he should have. No, she blamed him for the circumstances, for what his obsession of money had cost them. That was the reason why she wanted nothing to do with his wealth, not because she was a rebel soul.
June wiped away a silent tear that had dared to creep over her cheek, leaving a thin trail of salty water behind.
"Why, Mom?" June sniffed and looked heavenwards before she stepped out of the car. "Just why?"
"This doesn't strike me as an area where a young woman should be alone at night," Dean remarked not without concern as he parked his Impala a couple of yards behind June's.
Sam didn't reply; he couldn't bring himself to care whether this girl brought herself in danger or not, though he should. Her blue eyes should have appealed to his protective instincts, and they would have, had he had any.
"Should we go after her or just wait?" Dean mused when June disappeared in the darkness of the badly lit streets. This district of Orlando definitely wouldn't go on his vacation list: Blackened or broken windows, bodies lurking in doorways that might have as well been dead, bars that looked as if their true business was money laundry, used injection needles scattered across the street… and June thought it to be a suitable place to be way after midnight? That definitely didn't scratch her off the suspect list.
"What are we looking for, again?"
"Signs," Dean replied simply. They didn't know yet what kind of monster they were hunting, and to be brutally honest, they were fishing in the dark. The only thing connecting all victims was the Hallberg family.
"Like June going all werewolf, or maybe vampire?"
"Yup. Like that." Dean pulled out a looking glass. "Ah, crap."
"What? She wolfing out?" Sam's body tensed, on the verge of jumping out of the car and, without even blinking, put a silver bullet in the chest of the girl he'd just been eager to bang.
"No," Dean sighed. "Worse, kind of."
Sam opened his mouth to ask what the hell he meant when he saw June reappear from the obscurity. She was supporting a young man, who was obviously dead-drunk if not stoned. Her face was resolute, but showed the hurt she felt, and it took Sam a second to recognize the guy she was shipping into her car. Brent Hallberg, June's brother.
Sam wasn't sure, but judging from Dean's sympathetic look, he figured that picking up her brother in this state was not a pleasant experience for a young girl. Alright, remember that. Personally, he didn't see what would be so painful about that, but he didn't feel like hearing yet another sermon about his heartlessness, so he just decided to go with Dean's 'empathy trip'.
Discreetly, Dean opened the window. Their voices carried through the night like gun shots, which were just as likely to fall in this part of town as rain.
"Get in the car, Brent." June's voice was calm, steady, but determined.
"You ma mother no'?"
June was too far away, otherwise the brothers would have seen the year old pain etching its way to the surface. "Brent, you called me, and here I am, to get your sorry ass off the street yet another time. So get in the damn car."
"Wha' if I don'?"
"Then you can see how you get home, if you don't get shot before you even sober up enough to know your own name."
"You a real bitch, you kno' tha'?"
June shook her head; Brent had called her so much worse in his drunken state, this barely stung anymore. "Whatever, Brent, you get in the car before I make you." June threw open the back door of her Impala. When her brother didn't show any sign of getting in, she groaned and roughly shoved him inside. Not out of viciousness; rather because she knew he wouldn't feel it and was, furthermore, immune to her soft coaxing. He wouldn't even remember it the next day.
June slammed the door close behind him, leaned against her car for a minute and allowed herself that moment of weakness. She ran a hand over her face and asked into the night, not knowing she'd be overheard: "Why, Mom?"
Dean looked at Sam, who just nodded slowly to the unspoken words between them: They knew what they had to do now.