Disclaimer: Shocking, but none of the characters are mine. I know y'all were confused there for a second. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is gained. Supernatural belongs to Eric Kripke. Anita Blake and her buddies belong to Laurell K. Hamilton.Sam, Sam, Sam...
I couldn’t stop thinking his name. It pulsed through my head along with the knowledge that every second he was gone was a second more ‘they’ could be hurting him. He wouldn’t give up the location of the Hell Gate. He’d die before that happened.
And, right now, that was my biggest fear. A thousand scenarios littered my imagination, each with him tied and bleeding, ending with a gunshot to his head, or decapitation, or…
I swallowed hard, and tried not to think. Only a few more miles until I was home. And, when did I start thinking of my mother’s house as home again? The car ate up the asphalt and soon I was pulling down the gravel drive and slamming the car into park. Thudding through the snow, the sound of my boots rang out as I ran up the stairs. I stumbled in the front door and ran smack into Zane’s chest. As usual, he wasn’t wearing a shirt. I pushed off his pale, muscular chest and glared up at him. I could always tell Zane’s mood by his hair and today it stood up on end and was tinted a dark, navy blue.
“Why are you standing in front of the door?”
He jerked his thumb, gesturing at the stairs behind him. “You don’t need to see your Mom like this.”
His eyes were as empty as I felt. There was a cold sense of hopelessness in his touch when he lightly grabbed my arm.
“Zane, we don’t have time for this. I can heal mom and then we’ve got to go after Sam.”
“You’re not going anywhere.”
But, I was already pushing past him and thudding up the stairs to Mom’s room.
I knew from the way Zane was acting it was going to be bad. I paused a second before pushing the door open. The room was dark, and it took a moment for my eyes to adjust. When I focused in, I saw Micah was curled up at her side. They both looked so tiny. Micah’s hand was stroking the back of her arm. He looked up at me, eyes wide with emotion and I gulped. Slowly, I took a step closer. Her face so swollen, I hardly recognized her. The swelling started at her temple, leaving her right eye a tiny slit.
I kneeled on the bed and gently pushed her hair out of her face. Stomach twisting, I gasped at the bloody hole in her head.
“They shot her,” I whispered to myself.
“You gonna heal her, or let her suffer some more?”
I didn’t need to turn around, I knew who had spoken. The frustration in Dean’s tone grated at my nerves, but I realized he had a point. Slowly, I turned. He was everything Sam wasn’t. The perfect counterpoint to Sam’s rational patience, Dean was anger in motion. With his green eyes and sandy blond hair, he looked like a brainless pretty-boy. It wasn’t until a person looked into his eyes that they saw the ruthless bastard that lurked inside the pretty package. He crossed his arms, and glared down at me.
“The longer you just sit there, the longer they’ll have Sam.”
He was right. Blinking back tears, I pulled my necklace over my head. I didn’t feel the usual rush of power when I took off the necklace this time. It seeped into my bones, moving honey slow. I closed my eyes and let out a long breath of air as I concentrated on pulling energy from the world around me.
“Seriously, you’re just going to sit there?” Dean’s voice seemed to come far away, but it was still distracting.
Angry, I turned and glared at him. My voice sounded hollow and fuzzy when I told him to, “Shut the fuck up.”
His eyebrows reached for the sky as he took a step back. I heard him whisper, “And I though Anita was scary.”
The bullet. I knew instinctively it was still lodged in my mother’s brain. I couldn’t leave it there I decided and reached out until my hand was hovering over the raw, gaping hole. It felt like an electrical shock moving through my fingers. There was a wet, sucking sound as the bullet popped into my hand. Gulping hard, I tried to ignore the sticky brain matter now on the palm of my hand. A shaky little noise left me as I dropped the deformed bullet on the floor.
Blood was seeping from the hole, running down my mother’s face so red against her pale skin. I closed my eyes and leaned forward.
My whole life, blood had been a temptation. Whatever vampiric tendencies I had, the necklace I wore tampered them down. Let me live like a human. The life I’d been living was a lie. As my mouth hovered over her wound, I hesitated. Mother’s blood.
My mother’s blood.
So far, in my lifetime, I’d avoided tasting it. I didn’t want to do it now, but there was no other choice. My lips pressed to her warm forehead, tongue lapping at the sticky sweet wound. Power flooded me, burst behind my eyes like an explosion of light. Mom thrashed under me, hands grabbing at my arms as I pushed everything I had into healing her.
Emotion broke inside me. My heart hurt, clenched on itself as I pulled away from her and buried my face in her neck.
She had to be all right. I didn’t pray often, but I found myself mumbling into her neck, “Oh, God. Please let this work.”
Tears ran down my face when her arms surrounded me and she mumbled into my hair, “Baby, don’t cry. It’s OK.”
Pulling back, I looked up to see her dark eyes staring down at me. Coherent and healthy, the blood was still fresh on her cheek, but the hole was completely gone. Thank God, I thought.
“Hate to break up you’re happy family moment, but now that you’re awake, can you tell me where to find my brother?”
I was in the kitchen again. Micah, Dean, Zane and Cherry were sitting around the table. Jason and Sylvie had hopped up on the counter top. Her girlfriend was off with Mom and I stared at the doorway to the kitchen trying to keep from going to check on her. It felt like I was too far away from her and there was an odd, clenching need to go find her. Make sure she was all right.
Tapping my fingers on the countertop, I leaned into Jason and tried to quell the nervous energy thrumming through me.
“Could you stop that?” Dean glared at my fingers, eyes angry.
“What’s your problem with me, Dean?”
He made a grunting noise of disgust. “Oh, I don’t know. You dragging your mother and my brother into some vampire hunt ‘cause you got a wild hair up your ass? Who knows what they’re doing to him to get him to open a portal to hell…”
His mouth shut in a grim line for a moment and then he continued. “You still don’t know, do you? How he opened a portal to hell to save your fucking mother’s life, and…”
“Sam’s the Hell Gate.” The moment I said it out loud, everything made sense. The fact that no one had shown me some mysterious gate that my family and friends had been guarding all this time was because it wasn’t an it. “Oh, my God. How could you let him hunt?”
Dean snorted. “You try and stop him, sweetheart.”
I flinched at Dean’s tone and closed my eyes. I’d led vampires home to Sam. Sure, no one told me what was at stake, but shouldn’t it have been enough not to lead them home to him and Mom? They seemed invincible, but I could still cause them pain. Micah stood up, and crossed the room to me. Lightly, he grabbed my chin, pulling my face up until I met his eyes.
“Anita thought the less you knew, the better off you’d be.”
I shook my head. “Did she think I’d give up Sam?” Tears filled my eyes, and I knew if I blinked, they’d be rolling down my cheeks.
“No, sweetie, no. She thought no one would take you if you didn’t have any information and you appeared harmless. That’s why the talisman to hide what you are. That’s why we faked her death. If you appeared to be some normal girl, no one would pay attention to you. If you were Anita Blake’s daughter, all the monsters would be after you.”
That sounded like Mom logic. I mean, forget that she taught me to hunt. Forget that she was protecting someone that could open a portal to hell. Those two things put me in danger despite her hiding who and what we were.
“We need to go get Sam.” My voice didn’t shake once when I said that.
“Finally, someone’s making sense.” Dean frowned after he said that. “Just didn’t think it’d be you making sense.”
I wanted to tell Dean to fuck off. Considering all the trouble I’d caused, I couldn’t.
“Gwen’s talking her through it,” Sylvie said and looked up at the ceiling. “Trying to get her to remember.”
At Dean’s questioning glance, she continued. “The woman had a bullet in her brain. It’s going to mess up her memories, idiot.”
“If she doesn’t remember, why aren’t we out there digging up information on our own?” The frustration in Dean’s voice was palpable and, from his clenching jaw, I was pretty sure he was close to exploding.
“I know where they took him.” Mom’s voice rang out from the kitchen doorway. She was paler than usual, but other than that, she looked fine. I pushed past Micah, and crossed the room to her. Urgently, I pushed back her hair. Her face was clean of blood and the swelling was down, but that didn’t mean she was OK. She grabbed my hand and gave it a squeeze. “I’m all right, sweetie, but I’ve got to go after Sam.”
I nodded in agreement. “I’m coming, too.”
“No.” Her tone was final, and she squeezed my hand a bit tighter. “No, honey. I’m not taking a chance with you.”
“This is her fault, Anita. Let her help clean up the mess.”
Again, I resisted the urge to tell Dean to fuck off. I hated it when he was right.