Disclaimer: I don't own these characters.

A/N: New year, new story. I do not have a beta, so suggestions, pointers or comments are always welcome.


By mamapranayama



He never saw it coming.

He should have been more alert, less distracted by his own emotions, he had let his hurt and anger cloud his judgment, but none of that mattered now as he fell to the ground, the weight of the enraged creature pinning him to the forest floor.

Things moved too quickly for his mind to comprehend fully. All he could see was teeth and fur... claws penetrating his flesh. There was screaming, ripping, tearing, biting as the growling beast took hold of his leg and shook him like a rag doll, refusing to let go no matter how much he struggled.

His fingers stretched to grab it the gun that had fallen from his hands, but he could only graze the bottom of the grip. His only chance now was to fight.

With his free leg, he lifted a steel toed boot and launched it forward, directly into the muzzle of the animal. Stunned, the creature let go of his leg and backed up, but his freedom from its jaws wouldn't last long if he didn't act fast. A quick roll to his side and he had the gun in his hand.

There was no time to aim, only time to point and squeeze the trigger as many times as he could before the clip was empty.

The shots rang out across the forest, echoing off the rocky mountainside. Wood dwelling critters took off at a run, scattering from the reports while squawking birds took flight in a great flapping of wings.

In that second the attack was suddenly over. The creature that had sought to tear him limb from limb fell onto it's face, a final groaning snort escaping from it's nostrils until it lay completely still. He tested the creature, tapping it with his boot, but it made no sign of life or noise; it was dead at his feet.

Save for the blood rushing in his ears, and the soft patter of the rain as it fell into his face, the forest was now silent. For an indeterminate time, he fell backward and laid on his back just breathing, still too numb from shock to accomplish much else.

It was with considerable effort that he rose to his elbows to finally look down at the damage done. What he saw was shocking even to him. He'd been injured before, had had broken bones, numerous lacerations, concussions and had been tossed around too many times to count, but this...this was...he couldn't even wrap his head around this.

This was bad...very, very bad.

24 hours earlier...

"I just wanted to say...um..." Sam stammered nervously, hoping not to sound like a complete dork. "You look really pretty tonight, Rachel."

In return, a bright smile lit up his date's face and he felt the blood rush to his face. "Thanks, that's sweet of you to say."

In the dim lighting of the gym, broken up only by the sparkling rays reflecting off of the disco ball overhead, Sam beamed back, blushing brightly.

The compliment was heartfelt. Rachel had to be one of the nicest girls he had ever met. She was smart, funny, pretty and during his first day at this new school several weeks ago, she had been one of the few people to talk to him. But tonight, with her hair done up in a french twist, her pink satin gown and just enough make-up to enhance her facial features without being overdone, she was truly lovely.

Sam still couldn't believe his good fortune. Stuff never went his way like this. First, his dad had promised that they would finish out the rest of his senior year here in Nebraska, then had come the letter from Stanford saying he was accepted with a full-ride and finally Rachel had said 'yes' to coming to the prom with him. He felt the need to pinch himself just to make sure it was all real.

Sure, he still had yet to drop the whole 'I'm thinking about leaving for Stanford' bomb on top of Dad and Dean and still had no idea how to go about it, but for tonight, he wasn't going to worry about that. Tonight, he just wanted to focus on having a good time because sooner or later he knew it would all come to an end.

"You want to get some air?" He asked. It was crowded in the gym and a little too warm, plus he wasn't much of a dancer. On top of that, a little privacy right then just might give him some of the courage he needed to dare give her the kiss he'd been thinking about all night.

"Sure, sounds good." She agreed taking his hand and leading the way to the exit.

Outside, the night air of late May was cool, but not overly so. However, Rachel had gooseflesh popping up along her arms and she shivered slightly.

"Here." He said, taking off his jacket. "Take this."

"Thanks." She replied as he draped it over her shoulders. They walked hand in hand until they found a quiet bench and sat.

"I'm having a great time, Sam." She smiled up at him, he eyes twinkling in the moonlight and he could almost hear Dean's voice in his head. Make your move, Sammy. 'Bout time you popped your cherry.

"Me too." He replied then leaned in, feeling his heart beating faster. He'd only kissed one other girl before and that had been six states and more than a year ago, so to say that he was nervous about doing this was beyond an understatement.

It was pretty obvious that he wasn't as smooth with girls like Dean was. He was always certain that they all saw him as some kind of freak and with his father's need to keep moving, he never could stay in one place long enough to get to know any of them to get to the point where he felt confident to try.

But, Rachel was different. She understood him, encouraging him to see that he could do anything with his life that he wanted to. She had been the one to suggest that he take his SAT's and apply to Stanford...if it hadn't been for her, he might never have bothered, thinking that he would be stuck in the life his father wanted him to lead forever. Though he knew that their relationship was finite since she had been accepted into University of Nebraska and he probably wouldn't see her again after graduation, she gave him hope of a life outside of digging up graves and chasing after monsters. For that, he'd always be grateful to her and tonight he wanted to show her just how much he appreciated her.

Sam's lips found hers and he felt her press into the kiss. It was soft and tender at first, but feeling his passion rise and her response to it, they were soon engaged in a long and drawn-out, make-out session.

Floating in a sea of endorphins, Sam was reluctant to break it off, but hearing a gaggle of students leave the building, they both ended the kiss mutually, neither wanting to be on display to the rest of the school.

Still breathing heavily, Rachel leaned in close to Sam's ear and whispered. "I think we should get out of here, don't you?"

"Uh...well...okay. Where?" He asked none so eloquently.

She leaned in again and whispered, making his eyebrows shoot up. "Oh..."

It didn't take Sam much convincing to leave the dance for some after-prom activities, so he stood up and offered his hand to Rachel. She readily took it and he led her arm in arm to the Impala Dean had grudgingly agreed to let him borrow for the night. "No hanky-panky in the backseat, got it?" His brother had warned him. Well...it wouldn't be in the backseat at least, Sam thought to himself and grinned.

No sooner than he had opened the passenger side door for his date was when the ominous big, black truck came roaring into the parking lot.

"Shit..." Sam groaned, throwing his head back, knowing that his perfect evening was about to come to an abrupt end. "Not now."

"What?" Rachel asked, following his eyes towards the advancing vehicle. "What is it?"

"Nothing good." he muttered back.

The truck pulled up behind the Impala and stopped, the passenger inside of it jumping out of the cab.

"Dean?" Sam asked, throwing up his arms in exasperation. "What are you doing here?"

"Sorry, Sammy. We got a job and Dad wants us to go now."

"Couldn't it wait a few hours? I mean...c'mon, man, I'm at my prom." Sam argued back. He could already feel his anger starting to rise. He looked over at the truck, the driver's door opening to reveal his father coming out to glare across the hood at him

"Dad..." He called to his father pleadingly.

"Now, Sammy. Get in the car." The grizzled vet ordered loudly.

Sam shook his head. "Why?"

"I'm not gonna argue with you, just do it. Now!" John turned without another word and jumped back into the truck, revving the engine.

Sam faced Dean again with a plea. "Dean..."

"Sorry, dude. Dad says we gotta go then we gotta go. I'll wait in the car for you." Dean offered a sympathetic face in consolation then nodded at Rachel who had been watching the family exchange in confusion.

"Sorry." Dean offered her then climbed into the driver's seat of the Impala, leaving them alone to say their good-byes.

"Sam, what's going on? Are you leaving?" She asked.

"Look, I'm really sorry..." Sam's responded, his shoulders sagging in defeat. "When my Dad gets a job, he can be a real bastard in wanting to get to it quickly."

"Must be some kind of major vacuum cleaner salesman emergency to come and drag you out of here in the middle of the night." She pointed out the strangeness of it all. She was a smart girl and he knew she thought the whole 'my dad's a door-to-door salesman' thing was a little hinky given his father's unshaved and menacing appearance, but he could never tell her the truth.

"All I can say is...it's complicated." Sam let his head drop, knowing he would have to leave now. "Can we give you a ride back home?"

"No. It's okay, Sam. I'll just hang out here with my friend Stacy, she came stag with some other girls."

"You sure?"

"Yeah..." She grabbed Sam's hand. "Will you be back?"

Sam sighed. "I don't know."

"But we graduate next week."

"I know...I'll try to get my dad to bring us back when the job is done, but I have a feeling that he's not gonna want to."

Rachel nodded, showing her disappointment and shrugging off his jacket, handing it back to him.. "Well then...If this is good-bye..."

Sam didn't let her finish, but pulled her into a tight embrace. "Thanks Rachel...for everything." He then kissed her full on the lips which ended quickly by the sound of the truck horn blaring at them, prompting Sam to let her go and head for the car.

Before he could leave, Rachel pulled him back. "You know Sam...You are an adult now...you don't always have to live in your Dad's shadow, so I expect to hear that you're killing the competition when you get to Stanford."

Sam still had his doubts that his father would even let him go to college, but he nodded his head anyway before opening the car door and sliding inside.

As they pulled out of the parking lot, Sam looked back to see Rachel waving him good-bye. He waved back sadly before she was in the rearview mirror then turned back to face the road. Never would he see her again and never would he witness her eyes turn to an inky black as she watched them leave.


His hand quaked and his whole body vibrated, the adrenaline from the attack still pumping furiously through his veins. Trying to find some semblance of calm was next to impossible and the pain, though surprisingly less than he would have figured seeing as how his leg reminded him of a shredded piece of meat, was terrible. With bone and muscle peering through torn flesh and blood pooling under his red, saturated jeans, he knew he was in big trouble.

Despite the shock at the sight, mostly he was angry at the whole situation he was in now. He shouldn't be here. He should be with his prom date...perhaps even losing his virginity finally.

He shouldn't be in this mess.

He should be graduating from high school with his friends

He should be planning for college and deciding which courses to take.

He shouldn't have to think about how he was going to survive...

Even though he was sorely pissed, he knew Dean and Dad were going to be even more so...that is if he could find them or they him.