Part 2 of 3
The engine ticked as Buffy absently stare at the steering wheel, lost in thought. Dean’s reaction to her being part demon had lived spectacularly up to her expectations and she ignored the small voice in the back of her head reminding her that he’d become more open minded toward the end of their ‘discussion’. Maybe Sam was a good influence or maybe it was the lack of John’s. She shrugged to herself and pushed open the car door and slid from the drivers seat.
The moon hung full and beautiful, wasting its light on the lean-to-shack that was Mordechia’s crib. She winced, only a few hours with Dean and she was mentally mimicking his speech patterns. As long as the lyrics to ‘Stairway to Heaven’ stayed far, far from already muddled thoughts. Buffy started forward and then paused at the faint whispers of a bickering pair. Moving cautiously through the mud filled driveway and around to the back where she found the voices’ owners and watched in mild amusement as a female teenager shoved a much larger male toward Mordechia’s.
“Go find Jill.”
The boy pushed in his heals, “Hell no!” He spun and moved behind the girl, giving her a push. “She’s your friend, you go after her.”
“Nuh-huh, you want to do the sweaty with her. You go.”
Buffy snorted and the pair stopped in their squabbling to look her way. She winced as a flashlight became blinding and raised an arm to block the tiny sun ruining her night vision as her pupils contracted.
She rolled her eyes and stepped forward mouth opening to reprimand the pair when she heard a scream. Her head inclined toward Mordechia’s and she dropped her arm, listening.
The boy moved toward her, “Hey, I asked you…”
“Shut up!” Buffy snapped and the boy faltered.
Her eyes narrowed with the next scream that ended with a choking sound. Buffy darted between the now frightened pair throwing a, “Stay here,” at them before vaulting the back porch’s railing. It gave an uneven groan and snapped as her boots landed on the opposite side. Ignoring the worried shouts of the teenagers she shoved the door inward and winced as she passed through a wall of black.
The choking sounds had faded completely giving Buffy little time to allow her eyes to adjust after the flashlight’s glare. Praying her memory of the house was still intact she made her way down a narrow hall toward the kitchen and the cellar entrance. Tuning out the little voice chiding her for turning down Dean’s offer to come along and Sam’s concerned eyes.
Her vision was compensating for the lack of light in spurts as she found the thick door and pulled the metal lock up and to the side. Buffy winced, rewarded with a painful reminder that she was in danger as her stomach clenched convulsively. The world continued to fall into focus with bursts of clarity as the cellar was revealed. The staircase groaned with each hurried step as she rushed downward, her eyes going wide at the sight of Jill’s fading struggles against a noose.
A man leeched from the shadows beside the staircase and reached for Buffy on the opened side. She grasped the railing’s edge and darted down, between two posts while sending a small thank you upward that she could fit. As her boots settled, raising a cloud of dust and mold she spared Jill one last glance before focusing on the figure she assumed was Mordechia Murdock.
Her eyes narrowed as the space across from her lay empty and the hairs on the back of her neck rose up, goose bumps chasing their way down her spine. A flicker of movement out of the corner of her eye registered and she ducked before her mind comprehended the attack. She spun, knees bent and eyes making contact with Mordechia for the first time.
Only a little apprehension registered as she found her gaze slowly making its way up his extremely long body. Sam was so put to shame.
The demon …ghost…whatever shifted forward, quicker that Buffy would have given him credit for and she slipped behind the staircase avoiding his swing, hand going for the knife at the small of her back.
Mordechia didn’t bother to try for her from the closed off side, rather he moved around the staircase as Buffy took aim and threw the weapon. The blade, catching what little light that had leaked into the cellar, arched hypnotically through the air and directly past the brim of Mordechia’s hat. And what a hat it was.
His head turned with the weapon, watched as it sank deep within a beam spanning the length of the room. The same beam Jill was strung up on and the curved edge cut neatly through the rope holding her weight, forcing her to fall to the ground limp.
Mordechia’s eyes narrowed and silently he started toward Jill. Buffy darted from her covering and tackled him. She gave small grunt as he dissolved into smoke that curled up around her before disappearing and she collided roughly with the ground. Pushing herself upward she turned her head around to see Jill struggling to her feet. As she got to her hands and knees Buffy felt a hand coil in her ponytail and yank her upward, setting her teeth on edge with the sharp burst of pain.
Thin fingers bit into her shoulders as Jill screamed and the Slayer found herself airborne before colliding with the many shelves of gross stuff she had seen earlier in the day. Buffy rolled onto her back, gritting her teeth as the glass crunched beneath her and more than likely ruined another jacket. Buffy’s eyes narrowed on Mordechia as he crouched over her, grabbed the front of the faded leather and yanked her toward him.
She returned the favor and wound her hands around his suspenders, aiding his upward momentum with a shove of her legs, forcing his balance to topple. He fell backwards taking Buffy to the ground. Using the thin straps of elastic and cotton in her hands as reins she pulled him up and then slammed him back down. Smiling at the crunch of glass. One hand freed itself to send a right cross against an angled jaw. Mordechia’s head snapped back, impacting the floor and that damned hat stayed on. Buffy took her attention off the pain in the ass beneath her to shout at the frantic teenager.
“Stop screaming and start running!” Jill blinked as if she had never heard of the concept. “Run away, dammit!”
Finally her order sank through the hysteria and Jill rose, darting around the struggling pair and tripped her way up the stairs. Mordechia drew her focus as he released her jacket and captured Buffy’s wrists. His face remained impassive, still silent as his hands compressed and her bones rolled over one another. Buffy let go of his last suspender with a snap and winced as he spread her arms wide. Each shoulder giving a pop of discomfort and she leaned into him, forcing her arms farther apart until her pain threshold peaked and she had placed him within head butting distance.
He dissolved beneath her and she fell forward, bringing her hands up in time to break her face’s fall. “Oh, come on!”
Rolling onto her back, she flipped to her feet and turned narrowed eyes on the room. Becoming increasingly annoyed with the finicky corporealness of this ghost and his completely cheating fighting style. Raising her balled fists she spun in circle and nearly growled at the quiet basement.
“Sissy.” Her breath came out as a hiss and her shoulder’s dropped as she continued to mutter under her breath, “Should have known with all the hair pulling.”
With another dejected sigh Buffy made her way back toward the stairs. The groaning of floorboard had her spinning back to glare at the deceptively empty room. She stilled and her gaze tracked each shadow waiting for movement, a sign that she wasn’t alone and could vent her mounting frustration.
A full minute passed as her heart rate slowed and her breathing evened before Buffy allowed her fists to drop to her sides once more. She turned back toward the stairs and collided with Mordechia. His arms rose faster than she could deflect and the noose wrapped snuggly around her neck. His passive face filled her vision a moment before he pulled her upward and the weight of her body sent the thick rope into her throat.
Buffy’s eyes widened as she rose higher and her legs lashed out, knocking Mordechia solidly in the chest. He stumbled back a few steps with the force of the blow and Buffy frantically tried to understand why she didn’t drop without him holding her up. Her left arm rose and she wrapped the rope twice around her abused wrist before grasping the taunt length above and pulled herself upward in a mock one armed pull up. The noose loosened and she took a quick inhalation before Mordechia stood before her struggling form.
He dodged her next kick and she was forced to loosen her grip on the rope, wincing as the threading squeezed tight. Mordechia’s hands encircled her waist and yanked Buffy downward. Her left hand slipped and her neck popped with the added pressure as oxygen became an issue. Fighting the fatigue filling her limbs Buffy managed to raise her right leg and force a collision between her knee and Mordechia’s face. His grip released and she tightened the muscles in her abdomen. Pulling her legs up to encircle Mordechia’s throat. He grasped at her thighs, thin fingers digging into the tender flesh beneath her jeans.
She jerked him forward, making gravity aid her cause as he stumbled. She twisted her lower body and pulled her legs to the side applying more pressure to his neck and knocking his hat to the ground. About damn time.
With a violent jerk of her thighs, she felt his muscles and bone give under the pressure and Mordechia dissolved into a thick black smoke.
She let her legs fall beneath her as she pulled her left arm tight and lifted upward. Buffy grasped the rope biting her neck with her right and pulled it over her head before allowing her body to fall to the ground in an unceremonious heap. Air rushed down her abused throat as Buffy shoved to her feet and moved toward the stairs. Taking them two at a time she hit the door as a hand grasped her ankle through the planks, tripping her.
She fell, arms jarred by the force of catching her weight and looked through the slits to see Mordechia’s emotionless features. His long face, a stark contrast of white and black as if spirits had no use for color, stared up at her. She twisted her leg and pulled free, ignoring the voice in her head calling her a coward as she fell through the cellar door and bolted for the front of the house.
She didn’t stop running until she hit the outside world and she stumbled onto the porch and saw that the backyard lay empty. The teenagers having long since run off, safe. She made it to her rental and reached into her jacket, searching for the keys, breath uneven until she was safely behind the wheel. Her eyes shifted back to the shack as her heart rate slowed.
Buffy swallowed and winced as she used the battered muscles. She contemplated turning on the dome light and checking her injuries. Another glance at the darkened home of Mordechia Murdock’s had her choosing differently as she started the engine and turned the rental back toward town.
His smile was a quick flash of teeth as the waitress gave him a once over. Dean could hear Sam’s eye roll as he flicked his gaze to the little redhead’s nametag as he answered her question of how many. “Hey, Nicky. Two—“
Sam’s hand descended onto his shoulder and the light squeeze signaled his sudden drop off in conversation as little brother took over. “Our party is already here.”
The hand on his shoulder turned into a shove and Dean swiveled his head to glare at Sam. The younger Winchester offered him a bemused smirk and pointed over Dean’s shoulder. “Buffy, corner booth.”
The pair made their way slowly through the diner’s morning crowd, Dean leading. They paused as a waitress stopped next to the blonde’s table to drop off a bottle of honey, one of those little plastic bears and something that looked suspiciously like tea. Buffy offered the woman a smile as she pulled the front of her gray hoodie closed and zipped it up over a pink tee. Her hands rose to free her pigtails from the neck of the jacket before falling back to the table, a frown marring her features.
Dean glanced back at Sam who shrugged and motioned him forward. Twisting back around he tilted his chin to crack his neck before stepping to the side of the booth and cleared his throat. Buffy’s eyes rose to meet his and she offered him a tired smile before scooting over and motioning them to sit.
Sam slid in behind him and took the seat across from her with innocent eyes, forcing Dean to sit next to Buffy. “How are you?”
Buffy turned toward Sam and held up a finger. The brothers watched her with raised brows as she opened the honey, filled a spoon and brought it to her lips. She grimaced as she swallowed and allowed the sticky concoction to coat her throat.
“Been better.” Her voice came out hoarse and she coughed, picking up her tea and taking a sip.
Sam’s eyes narrowed and he reached across the table to pull one of her pigtails to the side and hissed at the ring of angry bruises encircling her neck from ear to ear. The skin had been rubbed raw in places where the rope had twisted the night before. Dean shifted beside her and casually draped his arm along the back of the booth as his eyes locked on her abused flesh. She kept her gaze on Sam, ignoring the little voice in her head, requesting—see begging—she let herself slid into the safe haven Dean had unconsciously created with his body.
She smiled weakly, “Not another figment.”
The sentence finished with a cough and a wince. Buffy rolled her eyes and picked up her tea, taking another sip and glancing at Sam over the rim. His eyes remained locked on her throat, brows drawn low over eyes just a shade or two bluer than Dean’s. His mouth pulled down and she noticed his dimples even flashed with a frown before her waitress distracted them taking their orders of coffee and left with a promise she’d be back to take their food order in a ‘jiffy.’
Dean’s hand dropped from the back of the booth to brush his fingers lightly over her shoulder. Drawing Buffy’s attention away from Sam’s concern face to his. She watched his gaze drop and his free hand move forward to pull her pigtail away.
His jaw clenched, voice low as he asked. “What happened?”
She shrugged and then stilled as the movement forced Dean’s hand to fall so that his arm encircled her shoulders. When he kept it there she allowed a small smile of gratitude and took another sip of tea before beginning.
“I went back to Mordechia’s and found a pair of bickering teenagers around back. They were arguing about who was going to go in and get their friend, Jill.”
Sam’s brows rose, “Is Jill?” He left the question unfinished with the hint of hope.
“She’s fine or at least she was when she ran away.” She coughed as her throat constricted and with a frown at her own weakness she continued. “I heard her scream while outside and headed straight for the cellar. She was already strung up. So I threw my knife, cut her down.” Buffy reached for her cup as she finished with, “Thus bringing the wrath of Mordechia onto myself.”
Dean frowned at the self-deprecating smile that graced her lips. “You didn’t bring rock salt?” She shook her head and he glared down at her. “You went after a spirit without rock salt?”
Buffy tilted her head back to frown at Dean and Sam’s gaze dropped to her fully exposed neck. “Buffy, Don’t take this the wrong way but I thought Slayers healed fast.”
The blonde swiveled her head back to him as the waitress dropped off the brothers’ coffee and took their orders. After offering them a friendly smile that lingered on Dean the waitress left and Buffy focused on Sam.
He motioned to her throat and frowned. “Then how bad was that last night?”
“Talking was an impossibility.” She rolled back the sleeves of her hoodie and exposed the ring of blue and green bruises decorating her wrists. “And these were beauties.”
Dean’s hand unconsciously tightened over the slope of her shoulder and she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye before letting her hands fall to her lap. Sam watched the byplay between them with mild amusement.
Clearing his throat he watched Buffy’s gaze shoot to his and he smiled. “Speaking of your abilities, I was hoping to get the chance to talk with you…”
He trialed off as another waitress passed them offering refills, all three shook their heads and Sam sighed. “Maybe this isn’t the best place to discuss this.”
Buffy nodded, “I could come by your room or you mine later, if you want?”
He smiled at the offer. “Either works for me.”
Dean picked up his coffee and took the first drink, grimacing as the lukewarm liquid slid past his lips and filled his mouth. Swallowing convulsively, he caught Sam’s gaze and his younger brother quirked a brow in question.
“We’ll check out Mordechia’s tonight. Alone.” He felt Buffy stiffen beneath his arm and spared her a glance after his almost order. “He only goes after chicks. ‘Sides we have more experience in this department.”
Buffy opened her mouth ready to argue and then sighed. “His creepy factor does put him largely in the Winchester column.”
Dean nodded as the waitress came back and placed their orders down. He lifted his arm from behind Buffy and ignored the nagging sense of loss as he began to cover his pancakes with syrup.
Eyes still on his plate Dean casual stated, “After breakfast we’ll head back to our hotel room and you can fill us in on exactly what happened. Then Sammy can hit you with the 20 questions.”
Raising a brow at the lightly colored order Buffy met Sam’s gaze and laughed as he rolled his eyes. Then winced as it made the muscles around her larynx convulse. Glancing down mournfully at her scrambled eggs Buffy took a sip of her tea before trying to swallow something more substantial.
Buffy shifted back and folded her legs up under her as she settled in a rather comfortable chair. She felt the fake cactus behind her rock with the movement and rolled her eyes at the tacky décor. She swept said eyes over the western theme and found herself truly grateful the council was footing this excursions bill, allowing her to crash in a place that wasn’t an assault to the senses.
Her lips quirked as Sam jotted down a few notes during the story time recap of her encounter with Mordechia and took a sip of the tea he had thoughtfully gotten for her to go. “So he can shift from corporeal to smoke on whim?”
Buffy nodded, “Finicky bastard.”
Dean snorted from his hunched over position at the tiny desk to the right of the corner they were currently holed in. His head swiveled away from the laptop’s screen to arch a brow in her general vicinity. “That is why you should leave the hunting to the professionals, sweetheart.”
“Ed and Harry?” Buffy gave Dean innocent eyes. He flicked her off, very mature
and shifted his attention back to the laptop. “Besides if I had left it to the professionals
, Jill would be dead.”
Sam frowned and nodded. “She’s got a point, Dean.”
Both Sam and Buffy shared a look as they heard the older Winchester mutter, “Traitor,” before he leaned back from the computer and lifted his chair to face them. “Maybe you’re right but if you hadn’t got in a lucky shot to Mordechia’s face, it would’ve been you hanging from the rafters.”
In retaliation to his honesty and flipping her the bird Buffy gave him a brief glimpse of her tongue and turned back to Sam. “You were saying?”
Dean pinched the bridge of his nose and rose moving toward the bed and the corner closest to Buffy that Sam occupied. Buffy looked up at him as he stopped beside Sam and dropped his hand before sitting next to his brother.
Confused, Sam glanced at Dean before turning back to Buffy. “Did the smoke have a scent?”
Buffy inclined her head and took a sip of her tea, before shaking her head. “No, not really but it was warm.”
Sam wrote down the word and then frowned at it. “Warm?”
She nodded, “Like a shower of…something warm.” Okay, that couldn’t have been any lamer if she’d tried.
Dean caught her eye and raised both brows. “Of something warm?” Of course Dean just had to call her on her lameness. Asshead.
Buffy ignored the mocking and pushed ahead. “Aren’t spirits usually cold or at least not showery?”
She scowled at Dean and Sam leapt into the conversation before she could snap back. “The spirits essence was warm, anything else?”
“He had a really ugly hat.”
Dean’s lips thinned and his eyes glossed over as he tried to hold in the snicker threatening to make him Buffy’s newest punching bag. Sam didn’t bother to try and suppress, he laughed outright forcing Buffy’s lips to tilt upward as she shook her head at her own obscurity.
“Ugly hat, finicky corporealness, no color and warm mists.” Reading off the list Sam glanced up to see Buffy’s nodded and shook his head as he turned to put his notes at the head of the bed.
Turning back he caught Dean’s preoccupation with Buffy as she put down her tea and pulled off her hoodie, stretching the pink tee over certain parts of her anatomy. Sitting forward Sam smacked the back of his head and arched a brow when Dean scowled at him. Then the lecher cheerfully grinned and shrugged before Sam looked up to see the petite Slayer watching them, perplexed.
“Did I miss something?”
He felt Dean stiffen beside him and caught Buffy’s eye, shaking his head. “Just some brotherly bonding.”
She raised her chin and lowered her brows, disbelieving. “Yeah, sure.”
“Dean tells me you get…” Sam trailed off and watched Buffy tilt her heard, inviting him to over share. His eyes flinched as he finished with, “Visions?”
Buffy blinked, brows rising. “Not visions, per se. More like prophetic dreams in all their crypto-color glory.”
Sam’s lips twitched at her ability to create the most interesting words. “Crypto-color?” Just saying it made his head hurt.
She shrugged and bent to grab her tea. “Ya know, instead of Technicolor my dreams are painted in like three shades of cryptic. Annoying as all hell.”
Sam frowned and glanced at Dean as he shifted back before refocusing on Buffy, “Do they ever hurt?”
She paused in the sipping of her tea to stare at him a moment. Pulling the cup away from her mouth she lowered it to her lap and frowned. “No, never.” Off Sam’s sigh she quickly added, “But I did have a friend who claimed it was like someone was taking a pick axe to her skull.” Her frown became more pronounced, “Well she wasn’t a friend, friend. More like a nuisance that turned into a real person after high school.”
Sam blinked, ignoring the last bit, “Do you have her number, maybe I could…” He trailed off with the look of remorse filling Buffy’s face.
“Cordy died fighting the good fight a little over a year ago.”
Sam sighed. “Do you know of anyone else?”
Buffy bit her lip, glanced to Dean who was watching her, face devoid of emotion. “Maybe someone in the Coven or Willow might.” She turned back to meet Sam’s pleading gaze. “I can look into it for you. I’m sure the Council’s contacts can come up with something.”
He nodded, rising from the bed and glancing down at Dean who arched a brow in question. “I’m gonna take a turn at the computer.”
The abrupt halt to their conversation stiffened Buffy’s spine and she flinched, drawing her arms closer to her body as she caught Dean’s sigh. “Maybe I should get going. Will you give me a call after you check out Mordechia’s?”
Dean’s head swiveled back around from watching his brother settle himself in his seat. Frowning at Sam’s ability to suck the fun out of any situation he watched Buffy pull her hoodie back on with more than a little remorse. She caught his perusal and inclined her head in question.
“What?” He shrugged and her eyes narrowed, “No, you have something face. Spill it, Dean-o.”
His lips thinned, “I’ll walk you out.”
Her brows rose as she stood and bent to grab her tea. “O-kay.”
Dean pushed himself to his feet and moved toward the door as Buffy paused behind Sam as she passed him. Laying a gentle hand on his shoulder, he arched his neck to meet her gaze surprised by the casual contact. “I’ll have something more concrete later tonight.”
His lips lifted and he nodded, “Thanks.”
She winked. “Now excuse us, Dean and I need to talk about our ‘thing’.”
Sam laughed, welcoming the affectionate squeeze that preceded the drop of her hand and turned to watch them leave. Not wanting to miss the predictable scowl Dean threw at him that made Sam turn back to his laptop with a smirk.
Buffy winced as the far too bright sun blinded her and the fading winter chill wandered down her spine. Lifting her tea she took a sip to warm her and adjusted the strap of her purse as she followed Dean’s broad shoulders down the narrow path made by the hotel and a thin metal railing separating them from a three story drop. After passing six doors Dean finally stopped and turned back toward her, his lips still drawn straight and since he wasn’t in her head she added pout-y.
“Sharing is caring.”
She watched his mouth lift slightly at the corners with her words before his frown-pout reappeared. Dragging her eyes from his lips took more willpower than she’d like to admit, even to herself, so Buffy distracted herself by taking another sip of tea and allowed the silence to stretch between them.
“We’ll stop by after we take care of Mordechia.”
Ignoring the urge to roll her eyes at his inability to voice any feelings other than rage Buffy simply nodded. “I’m at the Walker Bed and Breakfast, room number 6.”
Something flared in his eyes, an emotion she couldn’t read or comprehend but as quick as it appeared it vanished and his face was pulled into casual smirk. “See you tonight, then.”
Disappointment welled up to fill her throat and Buffy swallowed it down. Kicking herself for thinking maybe this time would be different. She nodded again and moved to pass him. To make her way down the hall and into the stairwell before the threatening tears of frustration actually fell.
“Buffy.” Her steps faltered but she kept her back to him, felt him move closer. The next few words were soft, a hoarse whisper as it hurt him to admit them. “I missed you.”
She stiffened, back pulling up straight as she turned to meet his gaze. “You knew my number…”
A sharp jerk of his chin stopped her words. “No.” His breath came out as a harsh sigh and he wrapped a hand around the back of his neck head ducking low. “When you were gone.” He paused, swallowed. “When you came back. I didn’t say it.”
Buffy lips lifted and she moved toward him. “Dean, when you hugged me for ten uninterrupted minutes. I kinda figured…”
“Don’t.” His head rose, hand pulling downward across the back of his neck as he met her gaze, “I should have said it. You deserved that much.”
She sighed, lips forming a sad smile as she shifted her tea to her left hand and raised her right to cup his cheek. She felt the muscles bunch in his jaw as he clenched his teeth. “I knew, Dean.”
“You asked me to stay.” Her eyes darted to the side, avoiding his gaze. “I blew you off.”
Buffy’s chest rose and fell with a deep inhalation before she turned her face back to him. She drew a light thumb across his cheekbone as she raised her eyes to meet and keep his stare. Understanding filled her eyes, darkening the mossy color and adding a weariness that wasn’t present when she talked to Sam.
He flinched and pulled back from her touch. Buffy dropped her hand and glanced around the narrow and very public walkway of the hotel. At least it was better than the sewers.
“If I’d stayed…”
She frowned, interrupting him. “If you had stayed, people would have died. Dean you do good, real good and it was wrong of me to ask. It’s not like you and I…” She trailed off, glanced down and nervously began to fiddle with the top of her tea.
He shoved his hands into his jeans and let his gaze fall on the nearly empty parking lot beneath them. Uncomfortable with the fact that Sam had to be rubbing off on him, Dean cleared his throat before turning to her with a casual smirk. “If I had stayed, though.”
Hearing the drawl coloring his words Buffy’s head shot up and her eyes widened at the teasing tone masking any and all real feelings for the moment. Needing to step back from the sharing she let him pull away and arched a brow. “Please, I’d break you.”
Dean’s lips spread wider, “Promise.”
Rolling her eyes, she tried and failed to suppress an answering spark of amusement. “I’m gonna go.”
Dean’s smile faltered and he stepped forward, catching her arm. Her gaze was drawn helplessly to where his tan flesh wrapped snuggly around her cotton-covered bicep, the thin layer offering no protection against the steady heat of his grip. Swallowing against a suddenly dry throat she allowed her eyes to rise slowly up the goosebump raised flesh of his exposed arm, past the wide expanse of chest and up over a sharp chin.
Her gaze lingered on his mouth, the bottom heavy lower lip as it moved achingly closer. Her head lifted, chin tilting until she felt his warm breath ease across her cheek and her eyes fell closed. Dark half-moons forming against pale cheeks and the tickle of his breath reached her lips; caressing them a moment before his mouth would settle over hers.
A door slammed and her eyes flew opened, head jerking back and Buffy turned to watch an elderly couple make their way painfully slow down the path toward them. Inhaling deeply through her nose she turned back to Dean, eyes rising toward his face and wincing at the frustration she knew was mirrored in her own gaze.
“You’re going to stop by after Mordichia’s?”
He frowned at her subject change and nodded, “Later on tonight.”
Slowly she extracted her arm and stepped back. “See you then.”
Dean watched her turn, nod to the couple still making their way along and slip past them and down the stairs. Sighing he shoved his hands into his pockets and spun on his boot heel making his way back toward his room. Pushing the door inward he caught Sam’s quick turn around and frowned.
“Have a nice chat?”
“She shot you down?”
Dean winced, “Yeah, something like that.”