She sat on the bed, giving Sam her best "I don't believe what you're saying" glare, but he was oblivious. Maybe lying to your girlfriend did that to a guy.
That was unfair, she scolded herself. She hadn't exactly been entirely forthcoming with him, either. But really, she had been peacefully sleeping off her Halloween night buzz when she was awoken by her boyfriend and his leering older brother scuffling in the living room. And now Sam was just going to take off with that same brother and lie to her about the reason? Yeah, right. That was so not happening.
"It'll only be a couple days," he was promising to her, the lying jerk. "I'll be back in time for the interview on Monday, I promise."
"Mmm," she replied through pursed lips. "What did you say he was hunting again?"
"Uh…" His eyes skittered away from her as his hands twisted a pair of socks. "Deer?" It came out sounding like a question, and Sam must've realized because he hastily clarified. "Who really knows with him? We'll probably find him holed up in some run-down cabin coming off a bender. Nothing to worry about, Jess."
It could have been the way he reached out to smooth her hair, like she was some brainless sorority girl. Or maybe it was the way that he brushed aside his dad like that because god knows she has some father issues. But something in that last lie above all others made her snap.
"Okay, Sam, you can quit it with all the lies." She pulled away from his touch and stood up from the bed. "I'm not stupid, you know. I'm worried about you, okay? And I seriously want to know if your smooth-talking brother can actually tell you what you're supposed to be hunting! Do you even know if it's corporeal or not? Because if not, that big-ass knife you've got hidden under your underwear – You know, the one you think I don't know about? – isn't gonna do you any good." She crossed her arms emphatically, and suddenly remembered that she was still wearing the silly Smurf t-shirt and definitely did not have a bra on. Not exactly the best outfit to match her current mood, but she didn't let up her steely gaze.
Sam was gaping openly at her, socks dangling from one hand. "You… Are you… You can't be…"
"A hunter?" Jess snapped out.
Although she didn't think it possible, his jaw sagged even more. "Yeah…" he managed to huff out.
"I'm not," she reassured him. "But I sort of grew up with it." No need to get into all the gory details at that moment. "So seriously, Sam." She took a step towards him. "What are you and Dean going to hunt?"
He opened his mouth to reply, but then he tilted his head to the side with a question written across his face. "How long have you known about me? That I was a hunter?"
"I didn't know for sure until tonight," she shrugged, taking the poor pair of socks out of his hand and nestling it in his duffle along with the others. Then she took the handle of his knife and adjusted the position in the bag so it was more secure. "But I kind of suspected for a while. The weapons hidden around the house were a bit of a clue, although you could've been some CIA recruit or something. Anyway, all the suspicion in the world can't really give you enough confidence to know that your boyfriend won't think you're crazy when you start talking about werewolves and demons and ghosts."
Sam nodded blankly as if it all made sense, but then his eyes narrowed.
"No, wait, you can't just brush this off as being scared of coming off a little crazy, Jess. Because if you found the weapons, it really wouldn't have been much more work to find all the protective stuff I have in the apartment. The charms and the salt lines-"
"You put salt lines down?"
Sam nodded "Underneath the linoleum by the front door."
"I always put mine in front of the bedroom door," she explained. "I lifted up a piece of the rug."
"You put them by the bedroom door?" Sam asked, eyebrows rising. "If a ghost wants to get in I'd prefer to have as much space as possible to manoeuvre in. Not let them have free reign of the rest of the apartment while I'm stuck in a bedroom."
"If a ghost wants to get in, I'd prefer to have as small a space as possible to upkeep protection," she retorted. "It's way easier to keep track of the cracks and windows in a bedroom as opposed to a whole apartment."
Sam opened his mouth to reply, but then he gave his head a violent shake. "We're getting off track," he told Jess. "You never answered my question. Why didn't you go looking for the salt lines that I had put down. Or, hey, maybe asked me about the knife under my pillow like someone would do if they were in a relationship with a person they trusted!"
Jess bit her lip, recognizing the truth in his statement. She ran her toe along the weave of the carpet, not ready to look her boyfriend in the eye.
"I just… didn't want to think about it, okay?" she finally explained quietly. "I just wanted to have a normal life without any of that stuff coming into it. And maybe that was stupid of me. Or even selfish, I don't know. But can you understand that? At least a little?" She lifted her eyes hesitantly to meet his.
He was looking at her with the most intense gaze she'd ever seen from him. His eyes were like lights coming from a police chopper, and she was the fugitive, hiding in an alley with her back pressed against a grimy building trying not to be seen. And although there was a part of her that connected with this strange, new Sam she hadn't seen yet, she wasn't ready to step into the light right now.
"Sam, I know it's a lot to take in," she spoke gently. "And, hey, I have a lot of questions for you, too. And I promise that we will talk about this. But right now, I really need to know. What are you two hunting? Will it be safe with just the two of you?"
"Uh… string of disappearances in Jericho," Sam finally managed to stammer out. "My dad left Dean a voicemail with EVP."
"Yeah, maybe," Sam agreed.
He looked so small, she realized. And considering him, that was saying something. He was hunched over, and his head drooped low. She couldn't let him drive away like this, she decided. Letting this sort of issue fester between them for two days wouldn't do any good whatsoever. And although she hadn't missed it in years, the urge to join in on a hunt surged through her as powerful as a river blowing out a dam.
"I'm coming with you," she announced, standing as she whipped off her t-shirt. One thing was for sure; no way was she wearing the Smurfs around Dean ever again.
"What?" Sam asked, the slack-jawed gaping back in full force.
"It's your dad, Sam," Jess explained as she hooked her bra on quickly. "And I know you wouldn't be rushing out of here if something wasn't at least suspicious. I'm just giving you and Dean some extra back-up." The rest of her clothing was thrown on quickly, and she was already halfway through a haphazard packing job before Sam was able to put together a response.
"But you have work," Sam protested. "And volunteering at the library tomorrow."
"Sam, I can skip out on both of those for one weekend," she explained impatiently. She selected her hiking boots from the closet and jammed her feet into them. "This is more important. Now, are you ready to go, or what?"
Sam jumped off the bed like he had been slapped. "Uh, y-yeah." He zipped his duffle and lifted it off the bed.
His face was worrisomely blank. She had hoped to see happiness, confusion, even anger would be good at this point. But this was always the case with Sam. Big news like this was like a 12 oz. steak; it took time to digest. And she would have to wait until it did before she could really talk to him about it.
"Let's go," she prompted, nudging him softly. "We don't want to keep your brother waiting."