A/N: So this is another one of those stories I started more than a year ago. Just now got around to finishing it recently and to me it reads as rushed as the last ones. Anyway, It's finished. I'll be posting in three chapters as soon as I get a minute to screw my head on straight and bother with the computer. It might help if I have some support, but I'm getting used to radio silence on most parts. There are a few that stick by me no matter what and I don't really understand why I deserve it but I'm grateful. I'm going through a really...really hard time right now and having a few people who care is probably the only thing keeping me from rocketing off the deep end.
Don't own them, just hanging them up by their wrists and beating them bloody. Have to apply band-aids and give them back.
And if for some reason I miss your review it's because something is twitchy on site and I haven't been receiving any emails. Seriously, it's been like a month and I've gotten 9.
Fog obscured the early morning sky, turning the burgeoning day gray and dreary. The huge blades of a windmill turned with an unheard whooshwhooshwhoosh, the mist swirling around the blades like blood swirls in water. Its position beside the winding, climbing mountain road made it look like the car was flying beside the mammoth creation. The two lane road dipped and turned harshly beneath the tires of the Impala, the rain slicked surface combined with years of wear from heavy tractor-trailer tires eating away at the pavement pulled the heavy bodied car towards the nonexistent shoulder of the road. Dean fought to keep control of the road, riding the brake and grimacing as another big truck came around the blind curves, taking more out of the center lines than Dean was comfortable with.
Sam woke with a start, head smacking off the window as Dean swerved to give the big rig more room on the road, fighting the wheel when the road's edge threatened to pull it from his grasp. "Ow, what the hell?"
"Freakin' trucks, freakin' road…freakin' middle of nowhere West Virginia. That's what the hell!" Dean said irritably, again avoiding a large truck. "Friggin' hillbillies." He grumbled.
"So, where're we headed anyhow?"
"Nowhere. I'm pullin' into whatever town this is and we're staying here. I'm tired of these roads, this weather, damn trucks…"
"Okay man. Let's just find a motel then, get some sleep and move on tomorrow." Sam said, placating his brother and his obvious bad mood.
Dean turned down the first side road he saw, taking more sharp curves until he saw a sign for Davis. Finally seeing no traffic with more than four wheels, he relaxed, taking one hand off the wheel to massage his temple.
Ah, he's still feelin' that tree. Sam thought, catching the movement from the corner of his eye. Sam had his own aches, a long bruise right beneath his shoulder blades running the width of his back from a wrought iron railing. Sam had broken the rail when the spirit flung him into it and ironically it was the railing that Sam had swung to keep the spirit from grinding his brother's brain into the tree's bark. They went beneath an overpass for the interstate, Sam's eye catching on the graffiti covered concrete pillars that supported the bridge and road above. It was laden with layer after layer of tags. Scrawled in huge, red, block letters was Carpe Noctem. Sam looked back over his shoulder as they passed the tags, watching the pillar vanish into the fog. Other shapes emerged as they entered the small town. It seemed like every lot had several buildings on it. Most consisted of a ramshackle mobile home, a slightly newer, but still shoddy, house,-a double wide or something similar- and a barn with a small enclosed pasture. Sam's eyes took in symbols decorating the barn they passed. The upper windows were shuttered, crosses cut into the boards across the windows like gun slots. A farmer in stained bibs and a greasy looking ball cap was feeding the pigs in his small farmyard. He upended a bucket of something that made Sam's stomach churn into the mud, the pigs clamoring for a spot to get at the vile looking slop. The farmer turned and watched their car go by, the pigs being ignored. His lips parted and he spit tobacco juice at his feet from between teeth that were black with rot. He mock saluted the slow moving car as Sam locked eyes with him. Sam lowered his gaze and took in the slop laying in the mud. Chunks of something mixed with grain and some slimy dark colored liquid made Sam feel sick.
Dude, what'd you do, chop your kids up and feed 'em to the pigs? He thought as they finally passed the farm and left it in their rear view mirror, thankfully.
Dean applied the brakes, turning into a potholed parking lot belonging to the High Country Inn, a rundown motel with peeling stucco walls and rusted door hinges. The word Country in the sign kept blinking on and off, making the Motel the High Inn every couple seconds. Sam looked at the sign and grinned. Nice. Another dive. The engine died and Dean slid from behind the wheel, walking through the door into the motel office. Several minutes later Dean returned, two keys in hand and an odd look on his face.
"What?" Sam said, sliding from his own seat and looking at his brother.
"Redneck hell." Dean said.
"Come again?" Sam asked.
"I just need some sleep."
They walked into the room, stopping at the door when they were greeted with dark walls and rough cut trim, the room in general looking like it had been put together in a backyard hobby shop. The window frames were not quite square, the double pane glass had fog between the layers, the weather strip long decayed.
"Fun. It's a freakin' palace." Dean grumbled, tossing his bag on the floor beside his usual bed. He flopped across the bed, not even bothering to take off his jacket or boots. Sam glanced worriedly at his brother before putting his own bag down and sitting on the lumpy bed. The springs squeaked and Sam rolled his eyes, deciding to make the best of it. He laid back and was asleep before his head sank into the lumpy pillow.
Tuesday morning dawned gray and foggy, a light rain making everything feel and smell mildewed. Sam shivered lightly and cracked his eyes open, seeing again their drab, broken down surroundings. "Dean? You awake?" He said when he heard his brother move.
"Yeah." Dean groaned as he sat up, brushing a hand through disheveled hair and raising his spikes back up. The hand drifted down over his face and he blinked, wiping the sleep from his expression. "Let's blow this popsicle stand and get the hell outta redneck central, before they chop us up and feed us to the pigs." Sam stood from the bed, stretching to work out the tension lodged at the base of his neck. He still felt the bed's lumps against his abused back, the sensation fading to just the ache of a bad night's sleep. Dean snatched up his duffel bag and headed for the door. He was still rubbing sleep from his eyes when he sat the canvas rucksack down beside the tire of the car and went in to turn in their keys. Seeing no one, and ringing the bell with no response, Dean left the keys on the counter, wrote his own check out time in the dog eared, fast food grease stained ledger, and left. Sam had loaded their belongings in the trunk and slid into his seat, already slouched and weary looking. Dean felt much the same and wondered if it wasn't time for a break. Years of wandering the roads across the country, Dean scanned his mental map and picked a route that would get them to slightly better territory by mid-morning and on Bobby's property by the weekend.
Dean slid behind the wheel, sliding the key into the ignition. He looked out the windshield over the front of the car. "The hell?"
"What?" Sam asked.
"Hood's open." Dean said, bolting from his seat and racing toward the front of his car. He triggered the second stage of the hood release and threw back the heavy lid. "Damnit!"
Sam joined him at the front of the car to see the jumble of cut wires from spark plugs and the missing distributor cap. "Someone fucked with m' car!" Dean growled, showing Sam the cut ends of the spark plug wires. Sam took a step back and looked around the front of the car for clues. He found tracks in the mud at the edge of the parking lot. They were ATV tracks surrounded by the prints from custom bike boots.
"How the hell did we not hear that?"
"We're so used to interstate noise from skeevy roadside motels, we probably were tired enough we just ignored it. Bad as that bed was, I didn't even roll over last night."
"Maybe." Dean said. "I'm gonna find the douche that screwed with my car and…."
"Let's just fix it and get outta here." Dean pushed out from under the hood and went to the trunk for the tool kit. He opened the deck lid and cursed again.
"Dean?" Sam circled the car and looked over his brother's tense shoulder. The trunk was in shambles, weapons scattered everywhere, some broken, others missing completely. The tool kit normally kept in the back of the trunk on top of the weapons compartment was gone.
"Someone doesn't want us to leave this town." Sam said.
"Someone wants their ass handed to them." Dean clarified, completely pissed.
"Look, let's just go find an auto parts store and get what we need to fix the car. Then we'll look around, kick some ass, and move on." Sam said, steering Dean away from the car. Dean's shoulder felt rock hard beneath his jacket and Sam's hand. He knew his brother was on the edge of control.
Dean shrugged him off and turned, walking at a brisk pace down the side of the street, towards what passed for the town center. It basically consisted of a convenience store, a dilapidated gas station, several ramshackle houses, and a church that had seen better days, the steeple leaning slightly, paint peeling from the siding. One of the plain windows was boarded over with weather grayed plywood.
Dean shook his head ruefully and he and Sam headed towards the old gas station. The walked through the door, wincing as it actually creaked on its hinges. Dust laden belts, and yellowed packaging hung on hooks on the back wall. An ancient cash register sat disused on the scarred counter. Dean glanced at the hand written price tags, scrawled black numbers on pieces of tape. The merchandise was all outdated, the packaging on some things looking like it would disintegrate if it was touched. Dean whistled and glanced at Sam, mouthing "redneck hell". Sam smiled at his brother, sobering when an employee finally made an appearance from the back of the store, which looked like a small attached garage. The man, in filthy overalls, was wiping his greasy hands on a dirty shop rag.
"Help ya?" He asked, spitting tobacco juice onto the floor behind the counter. Dean's stomach lurched.
"We need spark plug wires and distributor cap for a '67 Chevy, and enough tools to fix it." Dean said. Sam wandered around the store and looked at things, keeping his hands in his jacket pockets. The man looked Dean over as he circled the counter to lean against the front. "Y'know…I can fix that ride for ya, if you don' wanna git yer hands dirty."
"I work on my car. No one else." Dean growled. "Just need the parts."
"Suit yerself." The man said, spitting on the floor again, just inches shy of Dean's boots. Sam watched as Dean clenched his fists, ready to pummel the redneck into the spit puddle on the floor. He made his way to his brother's side and shot Dean a look that said, 'it'll be alright, just get your stuff and we'll go.'
"That'll be sixty three dollars."
"What?" Dean blustered.
"Fine." Dean said, digging in his pocket for his money clip. Dean took the parts, disgust clouding his features at the greasy fingerprints, brittle plastic and dust.
He grabbed Sam by the jacket and yanked him roughly out of the gas station, stalking back towards the motel. "Damn hillbilly! I coulda bought three sets of wires for that price. Probably cut them himself just to get some business in that hellhole!"
"Let's just hope they work and get outta here." Sam said, trying to calm his brother down.
Dean agreed and they walked back down the road toward the Impala. He pulled the wires out of the package, relieved to see that they were intact. "I just wanna get my girl goin' again and ditch this burg."
"Don't disagree with that." Sam said, chuckling. He stopped abruptly when movement closer to the car caught his eye. Three burly hillbillies were leaning against the motel's outer wall, two of them pushing away as Dean and Sam approached. Dean pulled his hand up behind his back, fingers slipping under his jacket to grasp the butt of his Colt.
"Look at that! Pretty boys drivin' a pretty car." They caught sight of the tool kit in Sam's hand and chortled. "Y'know, there's a mechanic down the way there. Save you ruinin yer pretty hands."
"No thanks, guys." Sam said, trying just to edge past the men. They stopped him with a hand on his chest.
"Look, we're just going to fix our car and hit the road. We don't want any trouble."
"What if we do?" The hillbilly said when he slid his hand up Sam's chest to grip his shoulder hard enough for Sam to gasp and drop the tool kit. The man's eyes shimmered, reflecting the light from the bar's neon sign. His mouth opened and sharp teeth descended covering his human ones. The two others jumped Dean, quickly pulling his hand from his gun and pushing him to the ground, punching him until he didn't move. The one digging his fingers into Sam's shoulder gripped harder until Sam dropped to his knees. A well placed boot to the face had Sam joining his brother in oblivion.
Sam came back to consciousness with a start, pounding head raising off the cold, hard surface beneath him. His shoulders burned painfully and when he tried to move his hands he felt something rough bite into his wrists. Full awareness slammed into him and he gasped, twisting to try to see the bindings that held his hands behind his back at his waist. A tearing pain and the familiar flaking off of dried blood on his neck made him grimace.
He jumped when a voice spoke near his ear. "I should drain you dry. You taste. So. Good."
"Go to hell." Sam said, steeling himself against the oily presence of the woman. Her eyes glinted silver, like a cat's eyes, in the moonlight streaming through the small window outside Sam's cage. The pale face and shiny ruby lips framed by thick black hair with blue highlights turned his already rebelling stomach. He laid his head back against the wide plank floor, eyes closing as he swallowed convulsively. He tried to breathe through the nausea only to have his breath cut off harshly as he felt long nails and strong hands grip his hair, pulling his head roughly up off the floor. She sank her teeth into the already tender spot at the side of his neck. Sam felt the pull of her mouth, her throat working as she drank him in. He cried out, eyes scrunching tight, until he felt a strange coldness settle within him, felt himself pale and a heavy weariness slam into him. He sagged in her grip, unable to bring himself to wince as her fingers tightened in his hair, pulling strands loose. His face went slack, the harsh tug on the top of his head as she twisted her fist to make him face her is the only thing that forced him to open his eyes. The only color in his face was high on his cheekbones, leaving him looking pallid.
"I don't like being ignored." She hissed, lips coated in his blood like crimson lipstick. She licked her teeth clean and smirked at him. "How about I drain your brother instead?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Sam ground out, trying to hide his fear and weakness behind bravado as he lifted his head and tried to stare her down.
"Oh, but I think you do. You see, you can't fool me. I know what you are. Hunters. You reek of it. You also smell the same. Your blood. I've savored both of you…but you, you taste different somehow. I'm rather anxious to find out why." She pulled a wicked looking knife with a blackened blade and serrated back. "Maybe I'll gut you and find out what makes you tick." She ran the flat of the blade over his cheek, making chills creep along his flesh at the feel of the cold steel. Chuckling, she raked the blade over his cheek, just bringing blood. She licked it from his cheek, making him grimace in disgust, and then slammed his head into the floor. Blackness took him under. Smirking, she watched him as the moonlight crept behind a cloud. He was slack and still, looking waxen. She found herself thinking of what he would look like as one of them. Putting the knife back in it's sheath, she left the cage. She looked at her second in command, knowing he'd been standing silently in the darkness of the barn the entire time she was interacting with her prisoner.
"Get him some juice. I want him alive. I will behead anyone who touches him. Keep that in mind, Jason." She looked through the bars at her unconscious captive, eyes glinting silvery, her mouth watering at the small smudge of blood beneath his head on the rough concrete. There's something about you that's…addicting. You'll make such a good toy, she thought as she stared at her captive.
Jason looked at Anaya, jealousy making his pointed teeth hurt as they pushed through his gums. He saw her looking at the hunter, the look of longing on her pale features. He vowed that the hunter wouldn't survive to leave that cage. Jason left the room to get the captive his juice. He'd play her game until she tired of the hunter. Then he'd make quick work of the pathetic human.
She sauntered into the room, seeing her other captive raise his head and eye her blearily but defiantly. "So you're the clown leading this three ring circus, huh?" Dean tried, voice coarse as he fought a blood stiffened face to smirk, glaring at the pale skinned, black haired vampire.
"I drained your brother dry." She teased, walking up to and pacing in front of Dean, heels tapping hollowly on the wooden planks of the floor.
He fought the rope that held him fast to the chair, breathing hard. "You're lyin'!"
"He fought, for a second. Until my teeth went deep. Shame, though. I wish I'd have had more time to savor him. You pretty ones, you taste like…" She trailed off, as though searching for words, "fine whiskey."
"I'll kill you!" Dean yelled, fighting the ropes and rattling the chair against the rough hewn floor boards. "I'll take your ugly ass head off your freakin' shoulders!"
The vampire laughed, stopping in front of him. She backhanded him, sending his head whipping to the side. Dean winced, forcing the cry on the tip of his tongue deep down. He groaned as his head bobbed uncontrollably on his shoulders, chin finally laying against his heaving chest as he fought off the spots swimming at the edges of his vision.
"Unh…bitch…" Dean huffed. He spat blood, cheering inwardly as it landed on her boot. He raised his head, having to fight to keep it from falling all the way back. Vibrant, angry green eyes bored into the dark ones of the vampire, the corner of one crinkling involuntarily as blood dripped down the dip below his eyebrow. "I know you got him somewhere…you skanks just can't resist those puppy eyes and shaggy hair."
"Oooh…" She clapped her hands, rubbing the long fingers off each other as she grinned. "You have a brain between those ears of yours. Shame I didn't quite rattle it enough." She clapped her hands and two hulking shadows moved quickly, two male vampires converging on Dean. A beefy fist knocked the breath from his lungs while another snapped his chin back with a vicious uppercut. Dean's world went black and the fists kept flying. Anaya clapped again and the vampires disappeared back into the shadows, leaving a broken hunter tied to the chair in front of her. Blood streaked his face from cuts on his cheekbones, above his eyes. The crimson liquid streamed from his nose, coating his lips and soaking the front of his gray tee. His right eye, although closed, was already purpling and rapidly swelling to the point it would be useless. The blood made Anaya's teeth ache. She reached out with a fingernail and scraped blood from Dean's cheekbone, licking it from her finger. "Mmm-mmm, good." She chuckled and pushed Dean's head to the left, leaving his chin resting against his shoulder.
"Time to play, boys!" She said, grinning at the big vampires as they stepped out of the darkness. They cut the ropes that bound Dean's wrists to the arms of the chair. The hunter slumped and they shoved him back, hauling him to his feet. They dragged him from the room, blood dripping and feet scuffing over the floor.
Sam groaned as he woke up. Gazing blearily at the cage he was in he jumped when a form on the other side of the bars came into focus.
"Pathetic." A deep voice said. "Easy kill." The same voice said a second later.
"Try me." Sam ground out, trying for bravado and coming across pained. Sam struggled to lift his head, his hands, bound tightly with rope behind his back, felt cold and useless, fingers feeling more like half frozen sausages than the long, nimble digits they were. He strained against the rope when the big vampire came out of the darkness and peered at him through the bars as if he were a starving man placed in front of a four course meal. The vampire grinned, a low growl rumbling through his throat as his teeth descended, looking shark like.
"Like the jacket? I killed your brother for it. You know she told me to keep you alive. I wanna tear you apart, drink deeply and put your bloodless heart between the floor and my boot."
Sam smirked, channeling Dean. "I bet she'd hand you your ass if you don't be a good boy, huh?"
The vamp's hand snapped out, grabbing Sam by the neck, digging into the painful, inflamed bite marks. Sam choked as the vampire squeezed and jerked him upright against the bars nearly pulling his shoulders out of their sockets as the rope tying his hands to the floor tightened. Cold rolled steel bit into Sam's cheekbone and spots closed in on the edges of his vision as his body began to scream for oxygen.
"As soon as she tires of her new…plaything, I'll rip you apart. I know what you are, hunter, and I'm gonna enjoy wiping you off the map. Maybe I won't even wait for her to tire of you. Maybe I'll just say you tried to escape." Sam's face was now a startling shade of purple, his eyelids fluttering as they struggled to stay open. Lips parted, blue tinged, Sam fought to remain conscious. The vampire squeezed hard for just a second longer and then dropped Sam, allowing him to land awkwardly on the floor of the cage, pain radiating through his bound arms. He choked and gasped, coughing harshly as chilly air burned down his abused throat. Sam lay helplessly against the cage floor, trying not to pass out.
The vampire pulled a bottle of orange juice from the pocket of his jacket, cracking the seal on the bottle. He dumped the contents over Sam's head, filling his mouth and once again cutting off the breath he needed desperately. His eyes burned and watered as the citric acid attacked the sensitive organs. The wound on his neck felt like it was on fire. Sam spluttered and choked, writhing in the cage as he squirmed to get away from the vampire. The man laughed and shook the last of the juice out of the bottle on Sam's head. Tossing the bottle into the darkened corner of the barn, he turned and strode into the pitch, licking Sam's blood from his fingers.
"Guh-huhhhhh…" Sam struggled to breathe, orange juice dripping from his hair, eyelashes and nose. He turned his head into the wooden floor, trying to find a dry spot as he choked and heaved, clearing his burning lungs. His eyes were on fire, tears streaming from them and he blinked rapidly, using the moisture to clear them.
Jason stiffened, feeling Anaya's presence as she came into the room. He faded into the darkness at her muted growl, knowing he'd tested her temper by abusing the captive. He watched for a second until her eyes fastened on him and shimmered as if there were flames in the reflective, feline depths. He melted away, making himself scarce.
Anaya opened the cage, crouching next to her suffering captive. She watched him squirm for a moment, relishing his pain. Gripping his shoulder, she flipped him onto his back. He groaned as his head hit the floor, sopping, sticky hair flopping across his reddened eyes. "Aww, poor baby." she cooed, brushing his hair back from his eyes. Her fingers brushed over his rapidly bruising throat, coming away with a mixture of orange juice and blood from where Jason's hand had reopened his wound. She tucked her finger between his lips, letting him taste his own blood. He fought to pull his head away.
"Le' me'lone." Sam begged, his voice sounding like he had gravel lodged in his throat. He broke off into a coughing fit. Anaya snapped her long fingers and a lone female vampire, a blond with wild, feral eyes snaked her way out of the darkness. She carried an antique porcelain basin and pitcher and had a washcloth and towel draped over her forearm. Placing it outside the cage, she ducked her head, feeling her queen's hand on her cropped hair.
"Go, my pet. You're hungry." The female growled and lunged into the darkness. A second later a wild scream echoed throughout the barn. Anaya dipped the washcloth in the basin and stroked it over Sam's face, lingering around his burning eyes. "Don't you worry, my beloved, Jason will suffer the consequences for disobedience."
"Go…to….hell." Sam ground out, fighting to turn his head away from her ministrations, failing to beat the lethargy that was slowly consuming him.
Anaya just laughed, the sound cruel and menacing to Sam's ears. "You really have no idea who you're talking to do you? No idea how old I am."
"Wh-what?" Sam said, opening bloodshot eyes to stare at the woman in front of him.
She tossed her dark, wavy hair over her shoulder. "I've seen wars, and plagues. The rise and fall of civilizations. I've watched as time passed, generations of humans turned to dust for well over two thousand years." She ran her hands down her waistline. "And I don't look a day over twenty five!"
"You're an alpha?" Sam questioned, horror making his heart pound so loud he swore he could see her teeth descend.
"Not quite. Try the alpha's lover. Queen of the Vampires. The greatest race in the history of the world."
Sam choked out a brittle laugh again channeling his brother's quirky sarcasm, somehow knowing he'd be punished for it and sort of welcoming it, knowing it would ground his rapidly slipping reality. "Full of yourself much?"
She gripped him by his cheeks, nails digging in, pulling his face up to her own. "You should mind your tongue." She kissed him on his forcibly puckered lips. "Before I bite it off." She said, her mouth still against his.
Sam forced his head out of her grasp, nails scratching his cheeks. "Where's m'brother?" He asked her.
"Oh…he's around here somewhere." She replied.
"Where. Is. He?"
Her hand shot out and clipped Sam across the jaw, whipping his head into the bars just a couple inches away. He saw stars, nausea churning in his gut.
"Uhnn…." Sam groaned, squeezing his eyes shut. He gave up and let the darkness sweeping over him carry him away.
Anaya pouted. "Oops. I keep forgetting you're so…fragile." She leaned over him again, tracing her tongue over the fresh blood that welled from his eyebrow and trickled down over his cheekbone. "I will find out what it is about you that's so enthralling." She whispered, kissing his swollen lips again. She slipped out of the cage that Sam was in and stood, eyes catching the moonlight to shimmer again. She clapped once and two of her minions came instantly into the room.
"I want him placed with his brother. He's not to have another scratch. Understood?"
"Yes, mistress." The burly, dark skinned vampire said. He and a small stature woman with auburn hair untied Sam's bound hands from the floor, leaving them tied together. They dragged him out of the cage and then hoisted him between them, the woman using her immense power to compensate for her lack of height. The two hauled him from the room.
"I want a meeting with the three that originally found the Winchesters in town." she said to the vampire standing silent and invisible in the shadows. Jason stepped forward and nodded once, turning to leave.
Let me know what you think. I will try to post again next week, provided I'm not sitting in a corner somewhere banging my head off a padded wall.