A/N: Well, I promised you a sequel to Drag Her From Heaven, Drag Him From Hell in early 2012 and it's finally here!
I'm going to try to come up with a regular schedule, but I ask for your patience. I've been coping with a back injury since July and I kind of have to follow my muse on whatever path she takes. I've got another big project I hope to start posting soon as well as some smaller on-going pieces. Yes, I am probably crazy.
Many, many thanks to friend, beta and fellow writer stephaniew. Steph is an amazing muse wrangler, cheerleader and partner in crime. I'd be lost without her support and encouragement.
Disclaimer: I don't own Supernatural.
Chapter 1: Hard Headed Woman...
The kitchen table is littered with magazines and samples of everything from invitations to napkins and matchbooks. Post-It Notes covered in Ellen's bold scrawl cling to everything when they aren't crumpled and discarded, broken warriors in a losing battle.
It's a mess. A big fat mess. And Jo Harvelle wants absolutely no part of it.
Grumbling, she pours herself a cup of coffee before settling into one of the ladder-back chairs, its wicker seat sighing beneath her weight. Fresh back from exterminating a nest of vampires and running on less than four hours of sleep, the last thing she wants to be doing is making wedding plans - especially for a wedding she isn't sure should be happening in the first place.
Unfortunately for Jo, she gets her stubborn streak from her mother and Ellen is tired of being put off. She shoves bridal magazines at Jo and gives her lists of decisions that need to be made. She carries on about different styles of dresses. About catering versus having a potluck supper. About how she only has one child and how everything will be perfect if it kills her.
"Do we have to do this now, Mom?" she asks groggily as she looks at the pages her mother has marked. Frothy and frilly dresses stare back at her. One bride looks like the sugary top of a cupcake. The next, like she's swathed in an antique tablecloth with doilies for sleeves. Nothing plain or simple. Everything is extravagant in a way that just isn't her.
"Joanna Beth!" Ellen fusses. "The damn wedding is in two months and we haven't planned a damned thing!"
She's still slightly surprised there hasn't been more upset or objection to the idea of her marrying Dean. When she's brought it up, Ellen's laughed it off. A frown etching across her delicate features, she asks again, "Are you sure this is the right move?"
Ellen moves to the stove and fiddles with a pot of stew, tasting it before she adds extra pepper. She returns her daughter's look of concern. "Jo, honey," she says, shaking her head. "It's just cold feet."
Sitting down, she takes Jo's hand in hers. "If you had asked me back when y'all met, I'd have said over my dead body. The Winchesters are nothin' but trouble." Her eyes growing misty, she strokes Jo's cheek and continues, "But when I see the way Dean looks at you, it reminds me of your Daddy. He's rough around the edges, but he loves you."
Eyes shining with confusion and sadness, she looks into Ellen's eyes and asks, "Are you sure? I mean... What if he's just with me because I got him out of Hell? What if he's doing this out of gratitude?" She lifts her mug to her lips and takes a drink. "I mean, I don't know. I don't remember..."
"What's gotten into you?" Ellen asks, eyes narrowing as she snatches the coffee cup from her daughter's grasp. "Are you pregnant?"
Jo spews coffee all over the table, shaking her head as the strong liquid floods her nasal passages. She'd be smelling French Roast for a month. "What?" she sputters. "No! Of course not!"
An exasperated sigh leaves Ellen's lungs as she begins cleaning up the mess. "Aww, Jo," she chastises. "You've made a mess of everything..."
But Jo doesn't hear her mother's remark. Her eyes slam shut as her vision clouds and she's carried back to another time...and a different version of herself.
Her heart flutters as she watches the brunette circle Dean as though they're sizing each other up for a tango. She's elegant and sophisticated. Her mile long legs climb athletically beneath her short skirt. The plunging neckline on her halter top fluttering to where Jo's sure Dean's getting an eyeful of silicon enhanced cleavage.
It makes her self conscious. She's not exotic like the woman dancing around her boyfriend. She doesn't own anything stylish and, to the extent she does, she only wears it on those rare occasions when the job necessitates a cover. She wouldn't be caught dead in a skirt that length or a top that revealing. Staring down at her own chest, she snorts a laugh. Not that her tiny breasts would come close to filling anything like that out.
She doesn't know why it matters. And, really, it really shouldn't. She has Dean's heart. Has for a while now. He thinks she's beautiful. That her hair is like spun silk and her eyes are as welcoming as a glass of whiskey on a cold night. Just last week he...
Standing behind the edge of the door, eyes widening in horror, she watches as the brunette slips her hand around Dean's neck and draws his mouth down to hers. She catches the smirk playing across her lover's face. It's one she's seen countless times. One she knows means he's about to move in for the kill.
And boy, does he move in for the kill. His fingers tangle in the woman's short hair, anchoring her head in just the right position to take deep possession of her mouth. Jo watches as Dean kisses her thoroughly, his tongue sweeping between her cherry red lips and eliciting a throaty purr.
Jo gulps for air. This couldn't be happening. Mere hours earlier, she, herself, was lying beneath Dean with similar noises escaping her own mouth. She can feel the delicious ache between her thighs as though they're still joined. It isn't possible...
"Jo?" Ellen's voice interrupts. "Joanna Beth?" She waves a hand in front of Jo's face, snapping her fingers and trying to call her daughter's attention back to the kitchen and their wedding plans.
Jo feels her stomach lurch. She lifts the back of a hand to her mouth as the bile begins to rise in her throat. Standing, she stumbles. The chair turning over in her wake, she races through the screen door and into the blinding light of day outside. The creaking slam of the ancient hinges and wood as it comes to rest are lost in the sound of her own heart thundering in her ears.
It shouldn't surprise her she knows right where he'll be - laying on the cement floor of the old garage, oil and sweat clinging to his skin as he crawls out from under his beloved car.
"Should get us another 1,500 miles or so," he says with a satisfied grin as he pulls a rag from his back pocket and wipes his face. He leans under the hood to pull out the dip stick and check the new oil level, turning to look at her when he hears the shuffle of her feet. He dips his head to meet her gaze, "Jo? Sweetheart? Everything okay?"
She doesn't look at him. She can't. Not even when he tilts her chin up. She stares at her hands. Stares at the small, glittering stone that suddenly feels like it weighs 100 lbs. She wrenches it from her finger, choking back a sob as it clings stubbornly to her knuckle before sliding free.
Dean looks at her, concern and confusion flooding his rugged features. "Jo?"
Grabbing his wrist, she drops the ring into his palm and closes his fingers around it. "I'm sorry, Dean," she says quietly shaking her head, her voice quaking with emotion. "I can't. I just can't..."