A/N: Do I own Supernatural? No. DO I own the plot and O/Cs? Yes. Hope you read it and enjoy! Thanks so much to my friends who inspired me to write! Love you all!
"Stella! Get in here!" I heard J.D. my employer/cousin yell barely opening the door to the yell.
"I'm coming, I'm coming!" I exclaimed rolling my eyes and wiping my hands off on my rag from the grease that had covered them. Standing up and brushing passed the tool boxes and machinery of the mechanics shop I worked in I headed into the office to see exactly what I was being called for. I pulled off my stained and rather torn up ball cap letting my wavy brown hair fall to my shoulders to get some freedom.
"What's wrong?" I asked stepping into the air conditioned room with a cluttered desk directly in front of me and a small waiting room just through the second door on the other side of J.D.'s chair. My cousin was a great guy when he wanted to be, but for the most part he was a ruthless money grabber. I didn't have a choice though, a job is a job after all and who says you are supposed to enjoy work? His slicked back graying hair and wife beat clad with a gold chain and unbuttoned shirt reminded me of a sleazy car salesman but of course, I always remember the fact he is my family and my boss. My eyes adjusted to the slight light difference between working in the open car shop and being in this poorly lit office while I waited for him to answer.
"It's for you." J.D. answered smoothing his pencil thin mustache with the same fingers that held his musty cigarette before motioning towards the phone. My eyes quickly glanced to the receiver sitting on the desk before picking it up knowing that even if I wanted my conversation to be private he wouldn't move from his chair.
"Hello?" I asked curiously placing the phone to my ear. It was most certainly not every day that I received a call from the work phone let alone my cell phone.
"Oh hi there Stella." I heard a familiar elderly female voice speak up from the other line. My face lit up directly.
"Oh hey Grandma Rebecca." I smiled running my dirty hand through my hair not really caring seeing I'd need a shower later anyway. No wonder why J.D. allowed me to take the call. After all, it was his grandmother too.
"What can I do for you?" I added placing my free hand on my hip waiting for my orders. No matter what anyone said I was the only one left in my family who looked after what my grandmother needed. No one else really cared about her. Anything she needed whether it was something as simple as a light bulb changed or complex as repairing her air conditioner I was there to help. I owed it to her. After all, when my parents died seven years passed she was the one to help me and my little sister Daisy survive. She was the tether that held me to reality and without her who knows where Daisy and I would be.
"I hate to bother you at work dear but I seem to have forgotten where I put my checkbook. My bills are due and I wanted to send them out today." My Grandmother's sweet voice rang through the phone and I couldn't help but smile. She was always so careful with everything. Time takes control of everyone though and being 86 she was fairly up there, making it natural for her to not remember certain details.
"I thought I told you that I would take care of those bills for you when I got home. You only just got them yesterday." I shook my head feeling the breeze from the mini fan sitting on J.D.'s desk hit my face.
"Well I didn't want you to worry about them. I'm still more than capable of paying my own dues."
Grandma Rebecca replied with that unmistakable sweet tone of hers. I sighed.
"Alright you win. It's in the drawer beside the fridge in the kitchen. I'll be by later after I pick Daisy up from school. Are you doing ok?" I asked just to make sure. You never knew with her. She was so independent.
"Thank you Stella, I'm fine so don't worry about me. Although I had best let you go before J.D. gets mad at you. Love you sweetheart. I'll see you later." Grandma said and with our last goodbyes we both hung up.
"Thanks." I said nodded to J.D. before slipping back out the door to get back to work. I knew he probably wasn't pleased I stopped slaving away for even two minutes but to keep up appearances that he cared about me and our grandmother he had to tolerate it once in a while. I closed the door behind me and took a deep breath of the muggy air. It was late September and yet it was still hot. I would expect this weather in Florida but not here in Benton, Arkansas. What can you do though? I pulled my hair back up into my hat and went back to changing the air filter of my newest patient, which happened to be a Toyota Camry. My mind drifted like it usually did when I was at work. The sound of compressors, gages, drills and the radio station playing in the background was nothing that I really paid attention to so it was ok for me to just keep to myself like usual. The guys I worked with took good care of me for the most part. We all worked well together, hardly ever fought, and most of all we were like a family… ok so they were a bunch of bums trying to make something of themselves. Like me. Leave it to J.D. to find the weirdest group of smelly men to run a business with. How did I end up here? Well that's easy. I needed the job bad and before my uncle Wesley passed away three years ago he made J.D. promise to look out for me, so now the both of us are stuck here. That is until I finish getting my Criminal Justice Degree. My parents died when I was nineteen and my sister Daisy was six. We had Grandma to fall back on but I've always been independent, which I get from you know who so I managed to find my own way. It was hard at first, things were tight and for a while I was working two jobs right off the bat. Seven years can do a lot to someone though. I got better; smarter with things I spent money on, cutting unnecessary stuff, turns out you don't know how much you have until you have to give it up. It was worth it though. If I didn't sacrifice Daisy would probably be with some foster family. I would never allow that no matter how bad things got. She was all I had left to remind me of them. My parents. I saw my mother every time I looked at Daisy. She was so optimistic. She was young when our family died so she couldn't remember that much, thankfully enough, but nothing got her down for long. She was the inspiration I needed to fight on. When closing time came around the sun was already on the verge of setting when I finally clocked out.
"I'll see you guys tomorrow." I half waved to my two co-workers Gary Martin and Jay Carrell as I hung up my tool belt and headed out to my car not even giving two thoughts to the fact that I was still wearing my jumpsuit. A Standard issue in Auto Shops of course. It was a silver Jeep Cherokee. Simple enough and it served my purposes easily, as a matter of fact; I had grown to love it. Sure it broke down every now and then but it wasn't anything horrible. I climbed up into the cab with a groan thanks to my legs being sore. Somehow Grandma had talked me into starting self defense classes with Daisy as well as my scheduled Ju-Jitsu. It was brutal but fun. Daisy enjoyed it especially seeing it gave her a good excuse to beat me up. I started the engine to my car and pulled out of the parking lot heading towards Daisy's friend's house where she normally spent the afternoons I was working. People around us cared for the most part. It isn't like this town is small, it's the twelfth largest city in Arkansas; so not everyone knew our business and looked at us with sympathy every time we passed, which I thank God for. It made me feel weak. One thing that I hated more than anything was being weak. I was born to be strong. That's what my parents always taught me. If you can do it yourself then do just that. My dad had often used the phrase 'self help is the best help' and to this day I still find it true. I pulled into the driveway to the quaint little house in the suburbs my little sister's friend lived in and shut the car off. As was tradition I went and pushed the door bell which sounded like wind chimes and waited for the answer. It wasn't a minute later that Mrs. Garnett answered the door carrying her three month old baby boy Braydon, in her arms. I smiled brightly despite being exhausted from going nonstop for the past week.
"Hi Stella come on in. The girls are just finishing their movie." Mrs. Garnett said opening the door wider for me and motioning for me to come in.
"Thank you Gina. I really appreciate you keeping an eye on Daisy for me." I spoke coolly stepping through the door and pulling my dirty sneakers off so not to get her clean wood floor dirty.
"Oh not at all Stella. She is such a little dear. I can't imagine what Kelsey would do without her company seeing all she has are her brothers." Gina answered leading me to their living room. Mrs. Garnett was a stay at home mom so everything was pristine, gleaming and in order. Her kids were just about the sweetest things in the world too. I had to hand it to her. She did a fantastic job because seriously, raising a kid let alone four like she did was hard work, and keeping up with a house too… it was an occupation for sure. I was thankful to have them around for Daisy to be with. If there was anyone I would feel comfortable letting her stay with (other than family) it would be them. I didn't have a bad thing to say about any of them.
"Hey kiddo." I smiled seeing Daisy flopped carelessly across the leather couch with her eyes fixed on the screen of the Plasma TV. She sat up quickly and gave me a big grin.
"Hey Stella. Glad to see you're still in one piece." Daisy replied standing up as the credits began to role. I watched her walk towards me with arms stretched open for a hug. She was the spitting image of my mother when she was younger. Her light brown hair, her soft skin, the twinkle in her hazel eyes; it was all my mother. The only difference was our father's distinct chin.
"You can't get rid of me that easily." I chuckled lightly giving her a quick tight hug. She was my everything in life. Without her I'd be nothing. Love didn't even describe what I felt for her. She beamed up at me even though I only stood about half a foot above her thanks to her growth spurt.
"Darn, now I'll have to think of something else." She snapped her fingers playing with me. We both laughed along with Mrs. Garnett.
"We'll get out of your hair now. Thank you so much again Gina." I said giving her a small hug not wanting to disturb the sleeping baby.
"See ya at school Kels." Daisy spoke to her friend doing their 'secret handshake' and with that we left. We climbed into my Jeep and took off for grandma's.
"I don't know about you, but I am so raiding Grandma's fridge. I'm starving." I complained making my way down the road hearing my stomach moan with hunger. Daisy smiled turning the radio down.
"Nope, I ate a whole pack of Oreos with Kelsey. I'm full." Daisy answered and quickly covered her mouth with her hands like she knew she shouldn't have said that. My mouth dropped open showing her I heard her.
"You ate a whole pack of Oreos?" I sounded like I was about to scold her. She knew better, but I could never stay mad at her for long. Her face was too pathetic. "And you didn't save me any?" I exclaimed and held up my hands like it was the worst crime in the world. Daisy's fearful expression melted into a laugh.
"You know how I am with Oreos." She shrugged turning the music back up and we both started to dance in our seats until we got to Grandma's. The sun finally set but it was only 6:30. Daisy jumped out of the car and rushed up to the front door opening it without missing a beat. I shook my head still smiling and followed her into the house with considerably less amount of charisma.
"Hello dears! Come on in! You're in luck, the show is about to start." Grandma said from her couch in the small living room. Her house was nothing fancy. She'd lived in it for over forty years so things were a little out dated but the air in the house was comforting and inviting to me. I closed the door behind me and went over to kiss Grandma on the head. Her face showed the many years she had lived but her eyes were still sparkling as much as ever. Her white hair was braided down her back. How she still kept her hair so long after so many years was beyond me. I could barely stand it being mid back like it was now. She liked it that was so I wasn't going to say anything.
"What show?" Daisy asked excitedly turning to the TV.
"The Ed Sullivan Show!" Grandma answered with a small laugh seeing Daisy's face fall slightly.
"Aww." She scuffed her foot and sat down on the couch beside grandma crossing her arms across her chest.
"I'm going to go grab something to eat if you don't mind." I whispered from behind my matriarch's head and kissing her cheek lightly.
"Help yourself Stella. My kitchen is always open to you." She smiled up at me and patted my hand that rested on her shoulder. I strolled into the kitchen and searched through the cabinets and refrigerator to see if something caught my fancy while Daisy tried to convince grandma to turn the channel to "Hannah Montana" or something like that. I took out some left over lasagna and quickly heated it in the microwave letting it cook while I took a Coke out and started to drink it. If anything hit the spot no matter how many times I consumed it, it was Coke and not the nasty diet stuff either. Straight up heaven in a can. I ate in silence while the battle for the TV raged on going over the day in my mind. Things were pretty routine for us now. Thank God for schedules, because they ruled my life as of late. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays were school for me then Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekend I went to the work, with Muay Tai on Mondays and self defense on Wednesdays. It was pretty hectic between that and Daisy's school and extra-curricular things as well but I managed. I just wanted her to be happy, no matter what that meant I had to do.
"You ok star?" Grandma asked walking into the kitchen when I had finished my food taking the seat opposite of me at her bistro table. By the sound of the TV in the background apparently Daisy had won the war. I gave her a tired smile at the use of my nickname and sipped my drink before answering.
"Yea I'm ok. Just need some sleep. It's been a busy and somewhat odd week." I sighed looking back up at her understanding face.
"What does odd entail?" She asked curiously when I stood up to clean my plate and put it away. I thought for a moment.
"I'm not sure myself to be honest. I've just been hearing things. When I'm sleeping I'll wake up in the middle of the night to hear some guy's voice saying my name. Not in a creepy way though. His voice… it's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard." I paused thinking about the deep soulful sound that I was coming to know well. "And then there is the occasional time I feel like someone's watching me, lurking in the shadows. I don't know, maybe I watch too many Sci-Fi shows." I shrugged sitting back down. I never kept anything from my grandmother. Even if I wanted to her would know there was something up. Her face turned from curious to troubled.
"Is there anything else?" Her voice was more serious but I was too lost in thought to notice that much.
"Well that and sometimes when I'm walking down the street and I see someone I just get this feeling like something's weird about them. Like they are completely evil or some crazy things like that. I really don't know what to call it." Paused and tapped my fingers against the wood table thoughtfully while she just listened. "And what makes it weirder is that when I do get that feeling it's like I'm prepared for a fight. That is necessary…" I trailed off for a minute remembering the last time that happened and the face of the man who caused me to feel that way. "I'd kill them." My words came out almost in a whisper as I grasped what I was saying. It was silent for a while with neither of us saying anything.
"How long has that been happening?" She asked finally. I didn't look up at her but played with the empty Coke can in my hand.
"A few months I guess. But it is getting worse as every week it seems." I sighed not sure what to think of it.
"This is probably the part where you tell me to stop watching scary movies." I smiled finally looking up at my grandma whose face was still troubled. My smile disappeared and I was the one curious.
"Are you ok?" I questioned reaching over to touch her hand. Her face changed again to her normal one and she quickly put her free hand over mine and gently rubbing it.
"Of course I am. Everything will be ok." She looked into my eyes and something wasn't right. It was almost like she was scared but before I could ask Daisy came into the room.
"Hey Stella I'm getting tired. Can we go home now?" She spoke softly, the sign that she was getting sleepy. I stood up and tossed the can into the recycling bin beside the trash.
"Good idea. We better let you get some sleep too grandma." I said leaning over and kissing her forehead lightly still a little cautious.
"Goodnight my lovely girls. And don't worry, things are going to work out just as they should." She smiled half heartedly and watched as Daisy and I headed out the door. Her face and words troubled me all night.