The Spaces Between
Jo slid the cleaning rod down the barrel of the rifle and sighed, breathing deep the smell of gun oil and metal. It was a scent that had, until recently, always reminded her of her father, the roadhouse and the other hunters. Sometimes, it even reminded her of her mother. It was a smell that paired itself in her memory with whiskey and stale beer, greasy food, the deep barrel laughs of men and women with too few opportunities for humor. But now it reminded her primarily of one man, the way a certain cologne can cause a woman to stop and breathe deep and just smile. In this instance, she resisted the smile by pursing her lips into a tight mew and furiously jamming the rod through the barrel, as though the rifle had done her a personal wrong. As though Dean Winchester had done her a personal wrong.
He hadn't. She could accept that in her head, but emotionally-emotions were a whole other story and she just couldn't get past the whole 'sins of the father' and all that. She wanted to be angry, and righteous, and injured. She wanted to hold all that pain close to her heart because it was something new and fresh. Because it replaced the empty ache of a father that was just a collection of stories now and the idealized memory of a little girl still in pigtails. Knowing John Winchester had a hand in Bill Harvelle's death gave her something new to hold onto, the right weapon to wield in the direction of the man whose tug and pull in her thoughts was starting to scare her. She couldn't get her hands on John Winchester, couldn't take him to task for the years she spent with a grieving and sour mother, for the empty place her father had left in her, but after the truth came out hurting any Winchester would do. A few stolen moments in Philadelphia couldn't make up for another piece of her dying bloody by a mother's revelation.
Dean knew he was good and that had been a solid performance in Philadelphia, but there wasn't a trick he knew, between the sheets or otherwise, that would ever be enough to make up for this particular Winchester family failure. He could have dealt with that look in her eyes, the tremor in her voice and the set of her jaw that dared him to take one more step before she laid him out flat. He was ready to get back in his car and drive, give her some space and circle back around after the dust cleared. She could knock him on his ass as many times as she needed to to get it out of her system. Except this time he was tripping over more of John Winchester's shit when he barely had a grip on how to deal with his own messes let alone the old man's. He would have been willing to crisscross the country, slide in and out of her life as many times as it took to smooth this new wrinkle out. He realized that, about himself and about her, the moment she turned her back on him. Turned away and walked through the high, dry prairie grass and away from him. He'd turned his own back on too much in his life not to take her seriously. Hers was not a back to be bargained with and there was nothing to be done but get back in the Impala and give Jo the dignity of letting her lick her wounds in private.
Except, Jo found these wounds were something altogether new. All the REO Speedwagon in the world wasn't going to drown out the sound of the roadhouse door opening, the stamp of boots on plank boards and it wouldn't stop her head from snapping up every single damn time hoping it was a certain Winchester brother come to beat through her stubbornness with a few quick words and his nimble fingers. She was crawling out of her skin and it was time to hit the road.
Her mother's objections had been perfunctory. The ensuing row the only way they really knew how to say, "I love you. Goodbye. Don't die." A rifle. A .45. Her father's knives and a crossbow. A backpack with a change of clothes stashed in the back of a car Ash had managed to get for her. She hadn't asked questions. Who says women can't travel light?
She liked hunting the beasts. Werewolves, vampires, corporeal forms she could wrap her hands around and take down with brute force and bad attitude. This one had been a ghost hunt and she wasn't amused. Her last ghost hunt had found her shimmying her ass between 150 year old lathing and Dean Winchester's front zipper. She still remembered with a sigh just how happy he had been to have her there.
"I should have cleaned the pipes..." There they were, trying to maneuver in a space barely wide enough for one person let alone the both of them, back to belly, his voice suddenly an octave lower in her ear and his rising interest obvious against her backside.
"You what?" Her elbow to his ribs had been cursory, because if she was honest with herself, she wouldn't have minded helping him with that even then.
Even if she hadn't been dumb enough to get caught off guard, even if he hadn't rescued her just like she knew he would, and even if she hadn't had the time to sit there in the cold and damp and stink and be the bait with nothing to do but think-it would have happened eventually. Even if the adrenaline high hadn't hit her like a pint of tequila, Dean Winchester was like an itch she couldn't quite reach.
She'd ridden with Dean back to the construction site to return the cement truck he'd 'borrowed' to entomb the angry spirit. The space on the bench seat between them was like a chasm that begged to be breached. She sat on her hands to keep herself from reaching across the distance.
He was uncommonly silent until he said, "Your mother's on the next flight out."
She hadn't said anything. Her inner six year old had taken over and she was feeling like she had when she had broken into Daddy's gun case and taken his rifle. Her fingers had trembled as she set up the tin cans on the fence posts, but steadied with the solid weight of the rifle in her hands. She'd watched him a hundred times, knew how to load it, how to draw down and line up her shot. The explosion right next to her ear had been deafening and frightening and like the voice of God. As her mother beat the tar out of her she had thought every second had been worth it. She might have been born to a hunter, but the hunter had been born in her at that moment. She slid a look at Dean and noticed he was watching her out of the corner of his eye. The risk had been worth it then, it'd be worth it now.
"It's at least an hour to the airport," she said. He didn't reply, just watched her, his head tilted low and his eyes thoughtful.
"Probably a couple hours til the flight lifts off. Three hours in the air if it's direct. Another hour to get out of the airport and find us." She ticked off the time on her fingers.
She was still trying to bend time in her head when they slid quietly out of the cab of the truck. After quickly leaving the construction site Dean took his phone out of his pocket, chin dipped toward his chest and eyes watching her steadily as the call connected.
"Sammy, do me a favor. Find me the earliest flight Ellen would have been able to get from..." he looked expectantly at Jo.
"Probably Central Nebraska Airport." She chewed her lower lip. Was he planning his getaway, or was he accepting what she was offering?
"Central Nebraska Airport," he repeated. There was a pause as he jammed his free hand in his pocket and started walking, shoulders hunched, head down and eyes dodging side to side. She kept pace with him easily, her own eyes swinging back and forth, sometimes grazing him, sometimes not. It was the natural pace of hunters watching each other's backs.
He clicked the phone closed without reply and looked at his watch. "We've got maybe two hours, if we're lucky."
She stopped. He took a handful of steps forward before turning back toward her. She pressed her back into the brick wall, collecting her thoughts, using the cool brick to ground herself. This was so much easier when it was just about pizza and a six pack. Zeppelin IV on the stereo made talking unnecessary. Never at a loss for words, she couldn't find any now.
"You can get pretty far in a couple hours."
He took another step toward her, stopped, scratched the back of his short hair and ran a hand along his bare neck as though trying to ruffle some of the dust loose. It wasn't what she said, it was the space between her words, the way she could take on a ghost with a cell phone and a pig sticker and then shrink into the chips in the masonry when threatened with a good time that made him, all of him, sit up and take notice.
"Not that far," he answered.
She laughed. Short, hard, nervous. "I've seen you drive."
Another step forward brought him into her personal space and she could smell the gun oil on him. See the dust and grime on his face and the salt grit clinging to his jacket. White flecks of it clung to him everywhere. She was suddenly conscious of her own sweat, the dirt on her hands, the lank hair that hung in her eyes.
"Do you want me to hightail it out of here?" His voice grew lower, huskier. His perpetual scowl softening, he searched her face, trying to get a read on her. He looked oddly younger, almost innocent, although Jo had no illusions this man had ever been anything as simple as 'innocent'. His sudden interest made her toe the concrete like a school girl. Something in her hated this two-step, and some part of her was pleased he'd even take the time to dance it with her.
"It'd probably be safer for you. Once my mom gets a hold of you, you're going to be wishing for the fond embrace of your friendly neighborhood serial killer back there." She knew where this game of verbal chess would go. They'd give each other enough escapes until they were both hemmed in and one of them was forced to call chequemate.
Dean shrugged, one side of his mouth curling up into a wry smile. "If I wanted safe, I'd be living an apple pie kind of life right now."
Another step and there was no question that he was intentionally pushing the boundaries of her personal space. She clutched at the wall behind her with one hand, the rough brick slowing the spiral, like putting one foot on the floor to stop the bed spins as she started to lose herself in the green flecks of his eyes. She felt the gun at the small of his back as her other arm betrayed her and snaked around his waist. She convinced herself the quick shift to the left the earth took under her feet was only exhaustion as she pulled herself to her full height before ducking around the corner of the building and out of his orbit.
Her legs carried her back towards the apartment building that had started this whole adventure while her thoughts carried her...elsewhere. This was a bad idea. A really bad idea. She'd seen this before. Her mother and father had sometimes locked themselves in the bedroom for days after a hunt. At the roadhouse, hunters paired off with each other without rhyme or reason, burning off adrenaline and reminding themselves they'd survived another day. Even hunters with families back home would take the occasional opportunity with a willing partner. Among the hunters themselves, there was no shame in it. It was one little thing that made you more human when you spent too much time with the monsters. She could say that was all this was and ignore it, if he hadn't already been on her radar from the first time she'd had a rifle to his back.
They turned the block in silence until his hand shot out and blocked her path. She stared straight ahead as his lips whispered against her ear. "What are we doing, Jo?"
She turned to answer him, her body pivoting as a a pedestrian stumbled into Dean's back, shoving him against her and pressing her between the concrete of the building and the heat of his long lean frame. The bravado stuck in her throat as his body naturally aligned with hers and she could feel the bulk of his six feet pressed against her.
"Am I reading this wrong? Cause I don't think I am," his voice was was like whiskey, smooth and dangerous, and he could have been reciting names from the phone book and she still would have felt it pulling at things low in her gut.
"What do you think you're reading, Dean? You that sure of yourself?" She couldn't just let go of the bravado. She couldn't just melt into him because that would mean acknowledging there was something more between them than just hormones and adrenaline and a deep physical ache.
A fly on the wall of Dean's mind would know he was never sure of anything, least of all Jo Harvelle, who could probably break him in ways he couldn't even imagine. He felt her tiny body shift against his and then freeze, like an animal in that split second before it decides attack is it's last resort. This could go wrong a million different ways, and he didn't care. So Dean moved forward as he always did when he didn't know all the facts—he went with what he was pretty sure of.
"Because if I was reading you all wrong, Jo, I'd already be picking my testicles out of my windpipe."
"It's not out of the realm of possibility," her own voice had dropped to a whisper, and she was pressing her back against the wall like she could slip into the spaces between the cracks. The alternative was to press herself forward, let instinct take over and ride it wherever it took her.
"It's a chance I'm willing to take," the last was spoken against her lips as his head cleared the final few inches of distance. His mouth grazed hers, a question, a taste, a warning shot across her bow. He was a man who knew what he wanted, but he wasn't going to take it if it wasn't offered.
"What about 'wrong time, wrong place'?" She mumbled back. There wasn't any more space to speak, his lips firm against hers so that any word, any sound would be nothing more than an invitation. His hand moved up to cup her face, brushing strands of hair off her cheek as he deepened the kiss. He tasted like cold air and warm possibility. She opened to him as he pulled back abruptly, her mouth left gaping like a guppy. He looked at his watch then back at her.
"We've got about an hour twenty. We should get back to the apartment."
Jo shook the cobwebs out of her head, equally torn between kneeing him solidly (really, how could she miss with such an obvious bulge to aim for) just on principle, and grabbing him by the belt to pull him in for a good, solid grind. Instead, she just cocked her head and looked at him.
"What?" He asked, backing up and shaking his leg a bit, trying to adjust to the new tightness in his jeans. "Or would you rather get busy out here?" He looked up and down the moderately crowded sidewalk, then back at her. "I mean, I can appreciate a little kink and all, but I'm not much for an audience."
She swallowed hard and looked around the corner, feeling his body next to hers as he leaned into her more than was necessary to get a good view of the front of the apartment building. With everything looking like a clear shot up the front steps into the front door, they sprinted across the street and up the stairwell. On the second landing Dean grabbed her back pocket and hauled her back toward him, cornering her between a hand rail and a fire box to pepper her face with kisses before tracing a tongue lightly over her lips. The two-step was over and it was time to tango. Tucking a finger into the waist band of her jeans, he pulled her against the unmistakable bulge in his pants. She took a deep breath and buried her face in the crook of his shoulder when she realized the facts far outstripped his reputation.
"Looks like everything's still in working order," he said with a smirk. "Still seems like I got all my parts where they should be, so I'm going to guess you're not objecting." He risked a glance at his watch again. "And I'd say we've got about an hour fifteen now."
"Alright, Jack Bauer, you do realize a 'real' girl doesn't come with a timer, right?" Jo replied, although she had to admit if she had to, she'd take just five hard and fast minutes pressed right up against this wall right now.
"Oh, sweetheart," Dean said, backing away and starting up the stairs two at a time, his face sliding into a casual and easy grin that had been winning girls over from broom closets to back seats since he was fifteen, "it's not the length of time you have, but what you do with the time you got."
They blew down the hallway like hell itself haunted them and slammed into the door of the apartment in a heap. Realizing Sammy had the key, Dean pounded against the door, hoping his brother was still inside packing up and not sitting out in the Impala wondering where the hell they were. Sammy opened the door with a shotgun in his hand, then lowered it when he realized it was only Jo and Dean.
"Dean, I-" But before Sam could finish his sentence Jo and Dean pushed him out of the way, paused for a moment in the middle of the living room, then hung a left for the bedroom.
"Dean," Sam followed them, confusion clear on his face. "Hey, I already finished packing, your stuff's over by the door."
"Yeah, that's, that's great buddy, thanks," Dean said, sliding through the bedroom door and closing it almost in Sam's face. "Hey," Dean stuck his head out again, "If Ellen shows up, stall her."
Jo watched Sam run his fingers roughly through his bangs. He opened his mouth and closed it again, unable to formulate the right reply. Instead, he wedged a foot in the door, staring his brother down with pursed lips and narrowed eyes.
He finally said, "If Ellen shows up, you can deal with her yourself. I'm not going to be the one to wind up with buckshot in my ass..." He looked like he had more to say, but Dean nodded curtly before shoving him in the chest with one hand and slamming the door in his face with the other.
Jo stood awkwardly next to the bed, her body taut as a piano wire and every instinct telling her to run, but Jo had never run from a thing in her life. She certainly wasn't going to let Dean freakin' Winchester spook her.
She'd heard the boys talk, banter between brothers when she was quiet enough to be no more than furniture, and she had heard talk around the Roadhouse about the Winchester boys. The tall one, who might as well be saving himself for a virgin sacrifice, and the other one who was enough of a good time for the both of them. She was anticipating a full on rodeo ride, although whether she or Dean would be taking the bull by the horns she couldn't say. She was surprised when he slammed the door in his brother's face before resting his head against it, as though collecting himself. She suspected if there had been a bottle of whiskey available there may have even been a fortifying drink or two. She shifted from foot to foot. The only thing that could be worse than going through with this would be to get this far and then have Dean Winchester, Lust Incarnate, get a bad case of Common Sense. Before she could form a properly acerbic comment he crossed the room with decisive grace and reached for her, jerking her roughly to him by her waistband, this time kissing her without preamble. It was deep and long and intimate, his tongue exploring her mouth as though they had all the time in the world. When he drew back his eyes had changed from thoughtful to a close cousin with dangerous. He cupped her jaw in one calloused hand, staring hard into her eyes.
"What're we doing, Jo?" He traced the line of her neck to her collarbone down to the first button on her ruined blouse with his thumb. The knuckles of his hand grazed her breast as he slid the button through the hole, dropping to the next, his eyes never leaving her face.
"Do I have to draw you a diagram?" She tugged his own shirt out of his jeans until he lifted his arms, reached over his head and shucked it like a second skin. She licked her lips as the map of a Hunter's life took shape across the planes and angles of his body. She traced fingers over pink and puckered skin, noting a bullet wound here, knife wounds there, burns and claw marks and bites in various stages of scarring. Even the fingers he used to unbutton her shirt were crooked from ill healed breaks. Impatiently he pushed the blouse off her shoulders.
"You know what I mean." His voice was rough as he tilted his head from side to side, as though a different angle could give him a better view under her poker face. He took a shuddering breath as she found a scar running diagonally from belly button to hip and followed its path to where it disappeared into his jeans. Her tiny fingers traveled along its rough trail to his hip, then inched a bit to the left to find him, rigid and ready. She paused to stroke him within the confines of his jeans and then retraced her path to explore fresh territory along the lines and planes of his ribs.
The grime of the day's hunt left prints on her bra as he cupped a breast, his own fingertips creeping over the lace to tease a nipple. "Seriously, this isn't-" but he lost his train of thought when her breath hitched and she cupped the back of his neck with cool fingers, pulling his mouth down to hers.
"This isn't anything," she finished for him, letting him off the hook he was putting himself on. For all his swagger, she realized, Dean Winchester had a conscience.
"This isn't going to make things, like, yknow...weird. Or anything?" He was already unhooking her bra and letting it drop to the floor. What if she said yes?
"Weirder than what, Deano? Unless that little homemade EMF meter has some hidden talents a girl should know about, I think this is as normal as our lives get. Haven't you figured that out yet?" As if to emphasize the point, she pulled her father's knife out of its ankle sheath and waved the blade in front of his face before tossing it on the night stand.
He didn't need any more encouragement. His pistol joined the knife with a solid thump as he pulled her tightly against his chest, falling back on the bed and dragging her down on top. Their limbs tangled together as he rolled, her lips parting for him as she fumbled for his belt. He nipped at her mouth, playful love bites between hungrily trying to steal her breath away. His tongue warred with hers, grappling for dominance until her lips felt swollen, then retreated, frantically finding the curve of her jaw, the shell of her ear, the hollow of her neck before taking her mouth again. Light fingers used to finessing locks and coaxing 40 year old cars into submission teased over nipples and skittered down her belly. He traced a path along her inseam from knee to zipper until she wanted to scream. She was ready to come before she even got his pants unbuttoned.
After all of his tough guy talk and sharp words, she had anticipated a hard, fast ride. Instead, he left her tingling and unbalanced, alternating between something like assault and then adoration. He didn't care that she hadn't been able to catch her breath long enough to do more than admire the view of his belt loose and the top button of his jeans tantalizingly open, instead wedging himself firmly between her legs and grinding hip to hip. She groaned and rose to meet him, damning the fabric caught between their bodies.
In the dim light of the drawn curtains, his eyes were dark, serious and intense as he rose back on his haunches. They were the same eyes of any predator on the hunt. He watched her face like a man eying his last meal as he reached out and deftly flicked the top button of her jeans open, gently sliding the zipper down so that the soft 'vvvrrrrippppp' seemed to go on forever. She was squirming, inside and out, the inseam of her jeans a soft irritation as she rose to slide them off her hips. Dean smiled, a finger softly snapping the elastic of her thong. He liked what he saw. She lifted her hips again to shimmy out of the scrap of red lace but he put a hand on her belly to still her.
"Leave it," he said, voice gone low and husky. Jo suddenly felt self conscious of the $45 scrap of Victoria's Secret. She'd dressed for a hunt like she was going on a date.
Jo regrouped, squirming under his gaze before pushing up on her elbows. "I think you're overdressed for this party."
She swung herself around in the bed, kneeling chest to chest with him and pushing at the waistband of his jeans until they slid over his bare ass. Commando. Well, she thought, chewing her lip, that was an unexpected development...and yet not surprising. He was kissing her again when she gripped him in her hand. His breath seemed to strangle in his throat and he gasped against her mouth, stealing some of her own breath. She tried not to react, nipping lightly at his lower lip and tugging with her teeth. In her hand, he throbbed against her as she lightly ran her fingers along the shaft from tip to root.
His groan was long and low and ended in a growl. She was only dimly aware of the jeans hitting the floor before he pushed her back on the bed, his mouth violently taking a breast. She steeled herself against a yelp but there was no need, his aggression was deceiving, tongue gently laving the nipple until she lay there panting and shaking. His other hand followed the lines of her body until she hissed when he touched a raw spot on her hip. He reared back, worry creasing his face, his eyes flicking to where his hand had just grazed purpling flesh against the otherwise alabaster backdrop of her skin.
"It's nothing," she said, trying to draw his face back down to hers.
"That doesn't look like nothing," he responded sharply, calloused fingers tracing around the fist sized bruise.
"Jesus Christ, Dean, I'm a hunter. You're not whining about every friggin' bump and bruise." To emphasize her point, she poked what looked like a particularly tender spot on his bicep and noted with some satisfaction when his eyes went bright with the pain. "Neither am I. It's an occupational hazard. I'm not bleeding or unconscious," she hooked her leg around his back and pulled him toward her, "but you might be if there isn't some follow through here..."
She watched his eyes waver for a moment. Quick eyes, observant, calculating as he actually saw, for the first time, her injuries. Bumps, bruises, raw spots of scraped skin from being dragged through tunnels and thrown against walls.
God, she was green, he thought. Her body was virtually a clean slate with no story to tell. The marks on her today would scab over, heal clean, and leave the skin underneath white and perfect again. Until the next time, and the next, and the next until the wounds never really healed before they scarred again. Before monsters marked her and the life was all she ever knew and the story of every kill mapped itself on her flesh. How long would they have before the road map of pain and death swallowed her whole?
He knew if this became a habit...and God, the slick feel of her under his fingertips, the hot breath against his ear, her little animal cries as he hit a spot just right...God, she could become a habit. He knew when this became a habit, this short tumble off their adrenaline high into each other, that over the months and years her smooth pale skin would begin to crisscross with the hard knots and scars of iron and copper and flesh and bone. And every time something took a pint of blood and a pound of flesh it would leave on her skin a mark so much smaller than the hole it left in her soul.
She was losing him. She could see it on his face as his hands slid over her body, knowing he was committing her contours to memory before taking that slow regretful step back. ` She'd seen it before. Hell, she'd done it before with those clueless college boys who just didn't know the monsters in the dark were real. There was that sharp prick of realization as clothes tumbled to the floor and the senses overloaded that this just wasn't real. The monsters were, but this never would be. Jo could see it on Dean's face, the same dance on the sharp edge of desperation. They could fuck like rabbits for the next hour or for the next year, but the monsters would still be out there when they came up for air. She wasn't one of his pretty party girls that he used like a fifth of whiskey to chase the regret. She had been touched by the monsters. She was a part of the life he was constantly trying to put away from himself even as he trudged hip deep in it. She smelled like rock salt and fear, not Sunflowers and Chanel.
Quickly, she reached out and ran her fingers over the smooth round fissures of gun shot scars even as he flinched away from the small scratches on her own shoulders. She grabbed his hands, holding crooked and calloused fingers to her breasts. She ran fingertips over smooth and puckered scars, knife wounds and claw marks. She was pretty sure the long thin filet along his rib cage was from a werewolf, pale enough to have happened in childhood or adolescence. The short little hash marks along his forearms were identity checks, long and thin and made with a silver blade, drawing just enough blood to prove you were the only one home inside your own skin. And yet for all the hard miles on his body, only two small scars marred the perfection of his face. Of course, by the time a monster got close enough to snack on your face, all there was left to do was salt your bones and start the fire.
He caught her hand as she traced the thin line under his eye, his mouth slightly open like he might say something. Instead, he brought her wrist to his lips, pressing his mouth to it reverently, his eyes closed and his lips warm on her skin. She cupped her hand to his jaw, fingers tucking imaginary hair behind his ear. He turned his face into her hand, for a moment looking like a naughty and tragic angel.
When he released her, she pressed her hand over his heart, to the angry red welts that looked like they had only just begun to scar.
"What does something like this," she asked.
He caught her hand, held it a beat. "A demon." Letting go he leaned in and nuzzled her nose affectionately. "A really pissed off demon."
"Is there any other kind?" She tried for humor, but there was still a pain in his face that stilled the smile on her own lips.
She looked at the face of Dean Winchester, hurt and haunted and human and flawed and knew they needed this. They needed a moment, one cross section of time with someone who could see the pain and not care. She chewed her lower lip thoughtfully before leaning in and sliding her tongue along the thickest of the gashes. It looked like something had tried to shred him from the inside out. She felt his breath rush in and then the dead stillness of him as her mouth worked against the wrecked skin.
"Does that hurt," she asked, her eyes flicking up to meet his.
"No." The word stuck in his throat a moment, and his chest heaved against her mouth as he tried to clear it. "No, not at all." And she knew she had him back.
He leaned over and pressed gentle lips against her hip as she sprawled her tiny body over his shoulder and along his back. She lay her cheek against the valley of his spine and felt the tension in him change. She knew the cost benefit analysis had come out in her favor. Playfully, he tugged at the string of her thong with his teeth then let it snap back before clutching her tight against him. His arm curled around her narrow waist, his massive shoulder pushing her back onto the bed. Languidly following the line of her leg with his mouth, he teased at the edge of the slip of fabric with his tongue, just grazing her with the promise of more to come, his breath hot against her.
He tilted his face to look at hers, his clever mouth never leaving her skin and his eyes feral again. She noticed the cut of his shoulders as he all but stalked the length of her body, one arm holding him rigid above her as his other hand slid slowly into the side of her panties, teasing against her center. She threw her head back against the pillows and rose to meet him, pressure building with every idle stroke. He could eat her alive and she'd only beg for more.
Her fingers slid through his short choppy hair, rounded over his shoulders and gripped his back, trying to pull him closer. He slipped his arm around the small of her back and muled her across the bed, so that when she looked into his face again she could only imagine the look in his eyes was the same sort of look a wolf had for his mate. His knees shoved her thighs apart, his hands coming up to tilt her legs and open her wide.
"About time, cowboy," she said as he took a moment to slide her panties aside without taking them off. The words were nervous energy turned vocal. She held her breath when she felt his length press against her, her hips rising toward him without any conscious thought. She wanted him. It was like a primal need, more than biology and neuroses. This wasn't sex by the numbers, this was like an act of God. She groaned when his tip pressed against her and her hands gripped the sheets before they wrecked his back. He tipped her knee back toward her chest and slid into her, pausing for a moment before rolling his hips a little.
Even as she groaned his lips found hers and he swallowed her sounds, her mews and wails as he filled her.
He moved slow, each stroke calculated to bring her closer without pushing her over the edge. If she frantically fluttered against him, he would pause, pinning her with his body and sliding his hands over breasts and ass, mouth licking and nipping at hers until she stilled and he would start the torture all over again.
The long slow slide out, the long slow glide in, a little roll of his hips and once or twice she thought she might have forgotten her own name.
But not his. "God, Dean," she cried into his neck. "Please, I'm so close..."
"I know," he panted against her skin.
She was covered in sweat, slick inside and out. He felt her clamp against his length every time he slid into her, her limbs struggling against him, trying to take control. But control was all he had left, if he handed it over to her, they were both done for. All he had was this moment, this snapshot, this space between breaths when her face shined underneath him and his name was on her lips and he could do this without hiding his pain or tamping down the rage or pretending he was anything, anybody else. He was Dean Winchester and in this split second he wasn't hiding anything, it just wasn't there.
"Please, Dean," it was more of a thought carried on a breath than words.
"I know," he said again, this time thrusting harder. She met him and groaned with a voice that seemed to start in her tail bone and travel the length of her spine as it bowed beneath him. He felt it vibrate through her core as he buried himself in her, his own groan meeting and matching hers.
She saw his face and it was like a storm cloud had broken over him. She watched the control whittle away, each thrust bringing him closer to...something. He was wild and dangerous and the set of his jaw was enough to make her tremble even if his cock didn't have her shuddering on the edge of a chasm so deep she was sure she'd never find her way out once she fell over. She gripped him tight with her legs and met him thrust for thrust until he was pounding into her, the bed banging dangerously against the wall, his hands clutching at her thighs until they left new bruises.
He was slamming into her, both of their bodies grappling for purchase when she felt the tremor hit low in her belly. Her hands flew to the small of his back, fingers digging into the valley of his spine in a futile effort to bring him closer as the orgasm tore a scream out of her. He rode the wave with her, his head resting against her temple, his low animal growl lost in her wails.
Dean felt her grip him, like the fluttering wings of an iron butterfly, his hips fighting for each vicious stroke. He didn't want to hurt her, but Jo was made of sterner stuff than most and she wasn't the kind of lay to take a hard bounce just to be nice. He wanted this moment to just stop, to hit the pause button on her writhing beneath him but he felt his own orgasm building not far behind hers and there wasn't much he could do about it. This was just the inevitable end, as there were for all things. And then he was cresting the wave and falling into the chasm with her, about as close to heaven as a Winchester can ever get.
He licked at the little rivulet of sweat behind her ear and she sighed. She was still tracing his scars with her fingertips, twirling her fingers in idle circles from here to there while he still lay on top of her.
"Holy crap," she finally said, taking a deep breath.
"Yeah," he sighed against her. "That about sums it up."
"We should get going, before Mom gets here." She tapped his shoulder, indicating it was time to roll away. Dean's lips twitched in a smile. Jo Harvelle would never be offended when he got up and left in the middle of the night. His eyes dipped into a scowl, though his lips still curled mischievously. Would he be offended, when she did it to him?
"Joanna Beth," the husky Midwestern drawl came from the living room, "If you two are done in there, I'd like a word."
They froze and looked at each other like rabbits caught in a snare before the mad scramble for the clothes started.
"Holy crap!" Dean said, jamming a leg into a pair of jeans before realizing they were Jo's. "She," he extricated his leg and threw them to Jo, who was holding his out to him impatiently, "She can't smell fear, can she?"
"Fear? No," Jo jumped up and down to get the pants over her sweat slick thighs and zipped. "I'd be more worried about her smelling the sex...we reek of it."
Dean paused and smiled, momentarily pleased with himself. Jo shot him a scathing look as she tossed his shirt to him.
"Well, Deano," Jo hooked her bra and shoved her arms into the sleeve of her own shirt, "If you weren't scared of my mom before, you probably should be now."
Dean spoke, his voice sounding muted and far away from inside his shirt. "She's gotta know that you—you know-," his head popped out the top and he motioned towards the bed.
"Oh, she knows," she shoved her feet into her shoes. "She's just never had a front row seat before." She gave him a tight lipped smile, then smacked his ass before heading for the door.
Dean grabbed her elbow and turned her toward him. "Are we ok?"
"Yeah, Dean," she said, her voice softening just a bit, "we're good."
That had been then. Sixteen hours before the arrival back at the Roadhouse. Mere moments after mind blowing sex when she might have even promised him her first born if he had asked. But sixteen hours is a long time to think, jammed in the back seat with Sammy who had the market cornered on brooding. And the whole time she would look at the back of Dean's head and think that she wanted to run her fingers through that short hair, and she felt god damned tingly when he would glance at her in the rear view. She thought about his scars and found herself rubbing her fingertips together, remembering the feel of him under her hands. She thought about him dangerous as a wounded animal on top of her and her panties were wet again. If she thought about him slipping over every square inch of her bare skin, something in her heart hiccupped and that was just fucking infuriating.
So it was easy to blame the boys for the sins of their father. It was easier than admitting there might actually be something there for her and Dean. It was easier than letting go of that space between who she wanted to be and the scared little girl she still was. If she kept running maybe she could keep one step ahead of him—one step ahead of herself. Except now, she couldn't even clean her goddamned rifle without thinking about a Winchester.
Maybe it was time to put down for a while, get her head screwed on straight and leave the monsters to the hunters who were only slightly more fucked in the head than she was. Maybe. Maybe Duluth wasn't such a bad city for a barmaid with a knife collection to wait for a Winchester to catch up with her.