"Hello, Dean," Castiel says as he answers his cell phone. He's finally getting used to using the ridiculous technology, even if he hasn't mastered it quite yet.
"Cass!" Dean yells into his phone, so happy the angel answered. Sam widens his eyes as he watches Dean talk before pulling him by the elbow towards the Impala parked on the street in front of Jason's butcher shop. If Cass was coming they had best not be standing in the middle of a busy road. A man in a trench coat popping out of thin air seems a little suspicious and attention grabbing in a very bad way. "We need your help. Lizzy was taken." They get into the car, Sam once more behind the wheel.
"What do you mean taken?" Castiel asks with an edge from the backseat where he suddenly appears. Dean takes a flashing second of thankful relief to see the angel there. He's going to want vengeance as much as Dean with his lifelong bond with Lizzy. Castiel will be good to have on their side right now.
"You knew where we were?" Sam asks with sudden surprise.
"Your car is still, as Elizabeth puts it, Lo-jacked."
"We found an aswang," Dean explains as he turns around and pockets his phone. "And the bitch got the jump on L. This guy is a nut job. We need to find her now!"
"But the rib carvings…" Castiel begins to explain why he wouldn't be of help but Sam interrupts him.
"You can still feel her though, right?" he asks. "Like right now, do you sense her?"
"Of course. She is not doing well. She is hurt."
"Hurt!?" Dean panics. "Hurt how!?"
"Right now, it is her head. I believe she was attacked there," Castiel tells him with a concentrated face. "But she's fearful. I think she is being threatened."
"Ok, so try and focus on that," Sam says to the angel. "If you can hone in on her really hard we might be able to follow it."
"I am not sure that will work."
"Try, damn it!" Dean commands to the powerful angel, receiving a very hate-filled look in turn. Castiel doesn't rebut the angry demand however. Instead, he closes his eyes and focuses hard on what he's feeling from her. Fright. He never feels this much fright from Lizzy as it takes a lot these days for her to reach this level of terror. And the pain that's coming from the side of her head is very strong, so much so that he's almost experiencing it as his own. He's even a little dizzy. He's zeroed in on her hard.
"West of here," Castiel says, the emotions and anguish pulling him in that direction, like it's radiating from somewhere else and pulling him in.
"West, ok," Sam says quickly, starting up the Impala. "That's a start, Cass. Keep your focus."
"Is she ok?" Dean has to ask as Sam starts driving them in the directions Castiel gives them.
"She is being brave considering the circumstances, but that is waning," Castiel says with his eyes still closed. "And quickly. I believe she is in immediate danger."
"Sammy, you gotta move," Dean says over to his brother, eyes pleading to get there to her sooner.
"Going as fast as I can, Dean," Sam says back. "We'll get there."
"Turn left," Castiel says suddenly and Sam follows his given direction, jerking the wheel hard and making the tires of the old car squeal. A silence grows in the small space as Sam drives as quickly and creatively as he can. Dean's too worried, too tense, and too scared to ask Castiel for any further information. He knows how strong Lizzy is but creatures are stronger than humans a lot of the time. He just prays she's hanging in there like the stubborn bitch she can be.
The quiet is broken when Castiel groans out in pain.
"What is it?" Sam asks quickly while glancing into the rearview mirror to see Castiel clutching his stomach, doubled over.
"It is Elizabeth," he answers in a labored voice, looking at the hunters with distress. "We need to hurry."
Screaming out into the cold, damp air of the small basement room, Lizzy can hear her own pain-filled voice echoing back to her off the walls. She recognizes how weak her yelling is making her sound but there isn't too much she can do about it. The sensation of the large, steel butcher blade dragging across her skin is awful. The straight line Jason makes from just under her ribs to her bellybutton is white hot. She can feel the blood begin to trickle down her sides in the knife's wake.
"Shit, ok, stop," Lizzy pleads the second the knife is taken away from her skin. Her blazer was cut off of her and tossed in pieces into the corner of the room minutes ago and all she has left is her already torn skirt, her underwear and bra, and ripped open white blouse, now spotted with red stains. She's sweating with the pain and rapidly coming to a very terrifying realization: Jason wasn't lying at all. He knows exactly what he's doing.
"What a baby," Jason remarks while unimpressed. "I'm just barely breaking the skin. If I wanted to really inflict some pain I would go a little deeper, cutting into the subcutaneous tissue and giving you some real problems. The body is really a fascinating thing, a near perfect machine. A thing of such beauty."
Lizzy just takes deep breaths and tries to find a good place to mentally be because right now she's letting her fears take over and with her history with panic attacks she's now at risk. Deep, slow breaths, she thinks. Just as Dean always tells her. Take control of it, make that panic attack her bitch. She'll be ok. She can handle this. She's better than this.
"Some machines are more beautiful than others of course," Jason comments as he moves up to stand behind her at the top of the hospital bed. He trails his fingers across her chest, following her collarbones. "You, my foul-mouthed dear, are quite the example."
Staring daggers at him as he leans over and hovers above her face, Lizzy feels her anger start to replace her fear once her breathing is getting under control. The only thing more powerful than her anxiety is her anger.
"Wish I could say the same for you," she bites back. She keeps running her mouth now to keep Jason talking. The more she talks to him and the more he keeps his attacks on the superficial side, the more time she has. She can live with scars. She's lived with plenty of them for years now. Lizzy just wants to get out of this alive at this point.
"I bet you get by a lot on your looks, don't you?" Jason says to her calmly. "Get what you want out of any guy? Shake your ass and get a free drink? Bat those eyelashes and get treated like the princess you think you are?"
Wow does he not know her at all. What assumptions. Lizzy stares at him with hatred for a beat before fluttering her eyelashes. "Did it work?" she asks with an acidic attitude.
In an inhumanly quick flash of gleaming metal, Lizzy feels a wet trail make its way down her cheek before the sharp bite hits her face.
"Not gonna be so pretty now with that big gash in your face, are you?"
"Fucking asshole!" she growls in his face as she struggles against the ropes tying her back. The rope rubs and burns her skin but she fights it uselessly anyways as it's all she has.
"That's gonna scar quite nicely."
Sitting by while he mangles her body is not something Lizzy can handle lying down, literally. "You're gonna die! I fucking swear!"
"Oh, I'm sure you'll get me good," Jason patronizingly returns with his confidence on high. He makes another, this time vertical, slash on the other side of her face, going slowly unlike before. She takes his time and enjoys the moment as Lizzy shouts out her frustrations.
"They're gonna rip you apart!" Lizzy spits right back as Jason finishes up and moves to her left side. He looks her over, enjoying his work so far, before taking up the sleeve of her white button down. "And I promise you they won't make it quick with what you've done. You'll suffer for this." She knows how true it is. She almost has pity for him with what Dean and Sam will do to him once they find her down here. She's starting to think they will be too late at this point.
"And if I told you how many hunters I've, let's say, taken care of in my life, you'd know why I'm not too concerned."
Slipping the butcher knife between her clothing and forearm, Jason lifts the knife quickly, splitting the fabric wide open.
"Well you haven't met these two yet because you're still breathing," she glares in a low growl as her dripping wounds on her face cover her complexion bright red. "Demons, monsters, even angels are scared of my family."
"Family?" Jason questions, lifting her arm to inspect it once he sees that it's covered in tattoos. "I thought they were your hunting buddies?"
"Same fucking difference," Lizzy says slowly as she leans up and stares with utter abhorrence into the monster's eyes. "When they see what you've done to me you'll wish you never saw my face… ugly gashes or not."
Jason finally pauses for a moment and Lizzy starts to believe that he might be second guessing himself and starting to take her seriously. She's wrong.
Lifting her arm up as high as the rope will allow, he asks her, "Who's this?" He points the tip of his blade to the large tattoo.
Lizzy's eyes scan over the image of Lou on her own forearm. She loved that tattoo. It's her favorite piece. It reminded her every day of the sister she misses and of what could happen at any given day in their lives. Lou died because of this job and Lizzy might be joining her soon. The image of her beloved best friend makes her want to cry with helplessness in the moment.
"It's no one," Lizzy lies as Jason smirks.
"Seems like someone," he challenges. "Looks to me like with all the dates and names and Latin verses on your arms that you don't get anything unless it means something to you. Who is this?"
"It was an idea I had. It's no one real." Fuck this guy if he thinks Lizzy's is going to talk about her Lou with him.
"I feel like you're lying."
"Why would I lie to you?" Lizzy caustically asks him, her teeth clenching so hard it hurt.
"Then you won't miss it," Jason smiles wide as he quickly brings his knife to the center of her wrist and slashes a deep line down the length of her inside forearm.
"NO!" Lizzy instantly bellows out from deep within herself. She isn't sure if it's the sight of Lou's image getting sliced in half almost ironically or the fact that she, just like her sister, is about to die at the hands of a thing that goes bump in the night. "Fuck, fuck, fuck…" she chants as she watches the copious amounts of rushing red blood trail in fast streams down her arm. The slapping sounds of the pooling liquid rapidly dripping onto the concrete floor below her makes her heart race with the realization. This is it. She's done. She's going to die. It's all over for her. "No, no, no, no, no…"
"Now there it is," Jason says, leaning over her from the side of the bed, a hand braced to the railings on either side of her. He comes so close that Lizzy can feel his breath on her cheeks. "It took a whole hell of a lot to get it out of you but that face right there, the panic and the emotions working overtime to accept what's happening, to accept imminent death… right now, you are truly, humanly beautiful."
"You're fucking sick!" Lizzy shouts to him with panicked fright before spitting in his face. She's already feeling a little weak but she mustered enough strength to disrespect him at least one last time.
"Eh," he shrugs, backing away a bit and running a hand down his face to wipe away her saliva. "Killing in cold blood just to survive will, over time, turn anyone a little bit on to the distorted side. I let the evil take me. I've found a way to enjoy what would nauseate most. Such is life."
"Oh fuck," Lizzy lays back in the bed and looks to the damp ceiling. She's going to bleed out. Dean didn't find her in time. Dean. "Oh no." She begins to freak out in a whole new way. "I can't leave him. I can't leave him behind!"
She leans up again and looks at Jason, a whole new perspective and attitude in place.
"You can't do this! You have to help me! You can't let me die!" The tears start pouring down as she finds the real reason for her to truly become horrified.
"And what would be your wonderful explanation for that?" Jason's heard it all before, every bargain and reason in the book from the desperate humans about to die at his hand, so his nonchalance is not surprising.
"He needs me," she explains, the blood loss already making her woozy. "He can't live without me. He'll… he'll… damn it, I can't leave him! Neither of them!" Hot, wet tears fall down her face and she realizes how desperate she's become with the thought of what she'd be leaving behind her. She can't abandon him like this.
"Heard this one before," the monster answers without surprise. "The selfless, Mother Teresa, I need to live to help others crap… such a stale plea, really."
"No, no," Lizzy answers, dropping her hands helplessly to her sides with her growing lack of strength. The blood makes a swiftly growing red stain of concerning size on the bed beside her. "No, he has to have me or he'll kill himself. I know it." The conversation they had just a few months before while she was cursed by that gypsy comes back clear as day. He told her that he'd never make it without her, he wouldn't try. Now she fears for a world without Dean in it to defend it. This can't happen. "Please." Her plea comes out weakly in a quiet, hopeless voice
"Aw, a hunter in love," Jason coos patronizingly. "How terribly cute."
"Cass, please," she tries another avenue. She knows he can't find her, that he can't come help her, but she hopes irrationally that he can hear her. He never has before, not since the rib carvings, but she's so desperate she has to try. She can't move on to the afterlife without making sure Dean knew. "Cass, you have to tell him I'm sorry."
Jason stays quiet, confused by her words. She's calling out to someone in a way he's never seen a victim do before. She might be insane, he thinks.
"You have to tell him for me," she cries. "Please, look after him. He'll kill himself. You have to stop him. He can't. Sam needs him." She cries, her sobs choking her voice as she feels her strength quickly leaving her. "He has to know I love him. Love him so much. I'm so sorry."
"I've seen desperation do some crazy things to people before," Jason tells her, his curiosity getting to him. "But you might be the craziest bitch I've come across…."
The loud bang heard from the floor above them stops Jason mid-sentence. Lizzy flinches just slightly with it, blinking the tears from her vision. She knows immediately what's going on. He came for her. They came for her.
"Dean!" Lizzy shouts out as loudly as her remaining strength could manage.