This is just the prologue, meaning subsequent chapters will be longer. Um... I really started enjoying the idea of serial killers, so here you go. Strictly Destiel with hints of Annastiel and a few other ships thrown in for good measure (but not even a hint of Sabriel! *gasp*).
Dean Smith had always thought that, between the two of them, Michael Cohen was far more of a showman. While it was true that Michael had dark hair and eyes, it was also true that when he smiled, people inherently, immediately trusted him. His voice was soft and soothing, and there was a kindness about his face—no, his whole presence—that caused people naturally to gravitate to him. He was only shorter than Dean by an inch or so, perhaps less, but he was built like a quarterback and gave the impression of being larger than he was. He never faded into the background, which was his specialty.
On the other hand, Dean prided himself on his ability to blend in. Although he was just as handsome as Michael—which was saying quite a bit; Michael was frankly gorgeous—he carried himself in a way that spoke volumes to his more subdued nature. His hair was sandy brown and his eyes were green, and if he would only hold his head a little higher, he would be guaranteed to turn heads, even (or possibly especially) with Michael next to him. As it was, he had no lack of companionship when he desired it, female or otherwise. But for the most part, he was more than content to let Michael take control, act as bait, stay firmly in the limelight. There was a reason there was a nationwide manhunt for "Cohen and Smith," and it had nothing to do with alphabetical order. He had no problem staying off the radar, at least as much as possible, all things considered.
But that was before he realized they were being watched.
Castiel Novak was in equal parts fascinated by, terrified of, and enraptured with Anna Milton, and all for the same reason. To a man with a weaker stomach, her work would be considered grisly and macabre, but Castiel had a tolerance for such things and considered her work genius, near artistic. He was of the rare few who could appreciate her attention to detail, her skill with a knife, the way she knew just how to make every victim scream until their voices gave out. For a woman to hone such a craft with her merciless precision both impressed and horrified him. She was unique in her skill, and he loved her for it.
It was so simple, the same every time. They'd mastered their MO by now. They would scope out their target for weeks in advance, track his every move, learn his afterhours haunts, slowly assimilate themselves into his life before they pounced. They would hang out at his bar of choice and Castiel would quietly slip away early on. Within the hour, Anna would pretend to be heavily intoxicated and seek out their mark, asking him for his help in finding her now-disappeared "brother" (here, Castiel would smile to himself; there was nothing remotely fraternal about their relationship) and their mark, upon registering the pretty redhead, would immediately agree to help her. After that, it was a simple matter of getting him to the back parking lot, where Castiel would be waiting in the shadows with a chloroformed rag. Crude, but effective. The real fun wouldn't start until later, after they'd dropped their mark's limp form in the trunk of their car and driven to whatever hovel they'd found for their purpose.
And so it would go, had gone for nearly two years, until a chance encounter at a gas station in Illinois.
Anna climbed out of the car, her hair tucked up in a baseball cap with a few strands falling loose around her ears. She went around to the side of the car to refuel as another car pulled up to the pump across from them, diagonally and facing them. Two men got out, immediately drawing Castiel's eye from the car—a shiny black muscle car, Impala, late sixties or early seventies by the look of it—to its occupants.
One man had dark hair and eyes, his face incredibly handsome. He wore his faded blue jeans well, twisting to fling something shiny at the other man, the flex in his well-muscled arm apparent even through the well-worn black leather jacket and black T-shirt. His shirt seemed intentionally tighter than necessary, but it was an impressive view nevertheless. He had a bright smile on his face that had Castiel's rapt attention, and he seemed vaguely familiar. Still, it wasn't until he disappeared inside the convenience store and Castiel's gaze finally slid over to the other man that he was hit by a bolt of recognition.
That face, masculine and feminine at the same time. That necklace, black cord with a golden amulet hanging against his chest. That ring, silver or white-gold band around the ring finger of his right hand. He hadn't even altered his usual style of dress—faded jeans, brown all-weather jacket over an unbuttoned green plaid shirt, dark blue T-shirt underneath that. Castiel knew this man, knew he stood at six-foot-one, knew his hair was called sandy brown, knew his eyes were green. Smith. That was Dean Smith!
Which had to make the first man Michael Cohen.
Cohen and Smith, only twenty feet away from them!
He imagined they could hear his heart pounding with excitement, exhilaration, at his proximity to the outlaws. He wondered if Anna had noticed them, what she would think. The news stations always ran the police sketches of Cohen and Smith around the same time they ran his and Anna's. Seeing them always made her crow with delight.
Imagine, though! The only two pairs of teamed criminals in the modern consciousness within spitting distance of each other! Castiel felt vaguely star-struck, as if he'd seen a celebrity idol across the street.
And then, inexplicably, Dean Smith's gaze flicked over to him.
Dean pulled into the gas station across from a mid-nineties Accord, gray and unassuming. He barely noticed the woman pumping gas, a lock or two of bright red hair tumbling from her baseball cap. Michael definitely noticed, though, because he grinned and whistled softly.
"She's not bad," he said with a leer in the girl's direction.
Dean glanced over at her as they climbed out of the Impala and nodded in disinterested agreement. "Yeah, not bad." He caught the keys that Michael had jacked from the steering column and now tossed in his direction.
He would like her, though. He liked blondes and redheads. The brighter and bolder, the better. Pretty and showy was his style. A brunette with enough attitude would work, too. That was why they had gotten away with murder for so long—Michael didn't keep the same targets. In fact, the only thing they all had in common was that they were fairly attractive women. Blond, redhead, brunette—the one girl with green and pink streaks in her dyed-black hair—Asian, black, white, it didn't matter to Michael. And if it didn't matter to him, it didn't matter to Dean, either.
Cohen popped his back and sighed. The long hours on the road were wreaking havoc on him, but he figured it was a small price to pay, even if he was never allowed to drive. Dean was firm in his stance on not riding shotgun in his own car unless he was to the point of literally falling asleep at the wheel. "I'm getting some M&Ms. Want anything?"
"Cherry Coke and cherry pie," Dean answered automatically. It was always his response whenever Michael asked that question.
Michael grinned at him and headed into the store as Dean unseated the nozzle from the holster and began refueling. He glanced at the other occupant of the Accord, a man who'd chosen to remain in the vehicle. He only intended to look for a second or two, but he found himself unable to look away.
He had dark, messy hair, longer than Michael's, but not by a great deal. His face looked at once both peaceful and cruel, a stark contrast that left Dean breathless. He could see a tan trench coat over his thin shoulders, dwarfing him, and not much else except a sloppily-knotted tie. But what had him nearly rooted to the spot was the intensity with which the stranger stared at him.
Dean couldn't shake the feeling that he knew this man from somewhere.
Then the woman, simultaneously striking and demure in her dark blue body-hugging jeans, white V-neck shirt, and brown leather jacket, stowed the pump, and Dean realized he knew her. Anna Milton! That was definitely her—she had the cascading red hair, sharp blue eyes, and face that practically invited you to go and talk to her. His heart skipped a beat. That meant the man in the car was…
Oh, yes. Now that he knew who she was, he recognized Castiel Novak. Anna Milton and Castiel Novak, the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, right here! Milton and Novak were legendary, notoriously brutal. Dean felt a smile slipping across his face as he glanced back at Castiel. He wondered, briefly, what Cohen would say when he told him.
Dean winked at Castiel. I know who you are.
Castiel's mouth went dry. Dean Smith had winked at him! That thought sent a giddy rush of joy through him, though, and he couldn't help but grin back at him. I know who you are, too.
Alrighty then! Let's see how far I get with this story...