Down, get down on your knees
Running gonna bring you down
I’m the demon of disorder
You know I’m gonna drive you into the ground
Deep Purple, Nasty Piece of Work
Dean was here! Sam would know that car anywhere.
We’re not stronger when we’re together, Sam. I think we’re weaker.
We’re better off apart.
The euphoria Sam felt when he saw Dean’s car vanished abruptly when he remembered their last conversation.
We’re the fire and the oil of the Armageddon. You know, on that basis alone, we should just pick a hemisphere. Stay away from each other. For good.
Sam swallowed. Maybe Dean wouldn’t be happy to see him. But Sam couldn’t be this close and not talk to his own brother.
“Earth to Sam Winchester!” Needy called.
He’d almost forgotten she was there. “It’s okay, Needy. My brother’s here.” He could hear the excitement threading through his own voice.
“That’s his car. The Impala. Come on, let’s get inside and I’ll call him.”
As soon as the door closed, Needy pulled off her wig, and then the heavy boots. She kicked her legs for a moment, easing out the kinks. “I’m going to take a bath and wash this crap off my face.”
Sam barely heard her; he was already dialling Dean’s number. “Go for it,” he answered absently.
Needy packed her boots and wig away in the closet, then disappeared into the bathroom.
It took a while for Dean to answer. “Sam?”
Sam could hear music in the background; most likely a jukebox. Was Dean in one of the bars? Had they just missed each other tonight? “Dean, where are you?” he asked urgently.
“I mean where exactly are you? Because I’m at the motel where you left the Impala.”
“What are you doing there? Are you following me?”
“Of course I’m not! It’s a long story, Dean. I’ll explain when I see you. So where are you?”
There was a short silence, then Dean answered, “If you’re at the motel, I’ll come to you. Want me to pick up something to eat?”
Dean would come with food no matter what Sam said. So he agreed, “Sure. Room 12.”
“Be there in thirty.” Dean hung up.
Sam was smiling as he pocketed his phone.
Thirty minutes was long enough for Sam to go from happy he was going to see his brother again, to wondering exactly how he was going to explain Needy, to his real worry: what would he do if Dean rejected him again?
We should stay away from each other for good.
You chose a demon over your own brother.
Dean didn’t smile, but he held up two large fast-food bags. “Hey, Sam.”
“It’s good to see you, Dean.” Sam stepped back from the door, inviting Dean in. Not that Dean ever needed an invitation.
Dean gave Sam one of the bags as he stepped over Sam’s salt line. “So, what’s going on?” he asked, pulling out a chair. “Did Bobby tell you I was here?”
“No, I – ”
Needy chose that moment to come out of the bathroom. “Sam, what if – ” she stopped when she saw Dean.
Dean froze for an instant, then dropped his bag of food and reached into his jacket. Sam recognised the gesture and leapt to intercept him. He grabbed Dean’s wrist before he could draw the knife.
Dean rounded on him, which at least took his focus off Needy. “What? Is this what you’ve been doing for the past month? Shacking up with another demon?”
Sam couldn’t look at her; couldn’t let her distract him. “She’s not a demon,” he insisted. He pointed to the door. “Look. Salt.”
“Then what is she?” Dean demanded. “’Cause this chick sure as Hell ain’t human! Do you know how many people she’s killed?”
“Fewer than you,” Sam retorted. “Or me, for that matter.” He released Dean’s wrist. “Will you please relax and let us explain?”
Dean shot him a furious look, but backed off. “Do you mind if I test her for myself?”
Sam looked at Needy, asking the question silently.
She shrugged. “Sure. Why not?”
“There’s a devil’s trap by the door,” Sam suggested.
Dean bent down and pulled up the carpet. He examined Sam’s painted devil’s trap with insulting thoroughness. He gestured to Needy.
Needy crossed the room and stepped into the circle. Watching her, Sam realised Dean could be forgiven for assuming they were sleeping together. Needy’s hair was still damp from her bath, her face clean of makeup, rosy-cheeked, her blue eyes bright. She was wearing very short shorts, and the t-shirt of Sam’s she had claimed as a nightshirt. Her feet were bare.
Needy crossed her arms over her chest and looked at Dean. “Okay. Now what?”
Dean drew Ruby’s knife. “Now,” he said, “you step out.”
So she did.
Dean put the knife away. “You hungry?” he offered.
“Whatever murdered those men in Madison wasn’t human,” Dean declared. He looked directly at Needy. Might as well throw down the gauntlet. Get it all out in the open.
“She didn’t murder them, she was hunting them,” Sam insisted, springing to the girl’s defence. He met Dean’s eyes, his look loaded with meaning. “And she’s as human as I am,” he added.
That rather killed Dean’s ability to argue the point. What he wanted to say was then she ain’t human at all, but he couldn’t say that to Sam. Not even if it might be true. But he understood Sam’s meaning.
“Needy,” Sam said quietly. “It will be easier to explain if you show him.”
Needy nodded. She reached across her body with her right hand and pulled up the left sleeve of the ridiculously over-sized t-shirt she was wearing. For a moment, the t-shirt itself distracted Dean: he knew it was Sam’s. But then he saw the ugly bite on Needy’s shoulder. He stood, moving closer to her.
“When we first met,” Sam explained, “I tried every test on her. She passed each one. But just a little holy water on the scar and she reacts like a demon.”
Dean reached out, asking permission with his eyes before he touched her skin. It felt normal. It wasn’t warm the way an infected wound would be. In spite of the way it looked, it felt like healthy skin. Dean nodded to himself.
“I have…stuff I can do,” Needy volunteered. She rolled the sleeve down as Dean withdrew his touch.
“Like killing five men in as many seconds?”
She looked down. “I can move fast when it’s for blood,” she answered. There was an edge of defensiveness in her voice when she went on. “It was more like thirty seconds and those guys deserved it! I should have taken longer!”
“She’s a wildcat,” he commented to Sam.
“She has her moments,” Sam agreed with a wry smile.
Dean looked at him sharply. “What about you, Sammy? Have you been…okay?”
Sam’s eyes narrowed. “I didn’t fall off the wagon, if that’s what you mean.” He gave a tiny shake of his head, warning his brother that Needy didn’t know about his demon-blood addiction.
“Okay,” Dean agreed, but he’d heard the odd tone in his brother’s voice. Sam wasn’t lying, but there was something he didn’t want to admit, some question he didn’t want Dean to ask. Dean feigned a yawn and glanced at his watch. It was past two in the morning. “I guess we should call it a night. Sam?”
Sam took the hint. “Uh. Right. Yeah. Needy, I’ll sleep in Dean’s room so you can have some privacy. We’ll talk in the morning.”
Needy smiled brightly. “Sure. You guys go ahead and catch up. Have fun talking about me behind my back.”
“Needy, that’s not – ” Sam broke off and took a deep breath. “We do need to talk privately. But it’s not about you.”
She shrugged. “I’m fine with it, Sam. Go right ahead.”
“What are you not telling me?” Dean demanded, slamming the door of his motel room.
“I don’t know what – ”
“That’s crap, Sam. I’ve seen that look way too much in the past year. You’re hiding something. What is it?”
Sam paced a short distance into the room. He turned back to Dean. “Okay. Alright. Just promise you’ll hear me out, Dean. Don’t freak out until you let me explain.”
This sounded bad. Involuntarily, Dean tensed. “I’m listening,” he said warily.
“Needy’s demonic infection, or whatever it is, seems to drain her physically. She thought she needed to kill people to…to recharge, I guess. Or to get her fix. When she said she can move fast for blood, she meant it literally.”
“Well, that’s very human of her,” Dean commented sarcastically.
“She’s human. I’m not sure she’s completely sane, but whether that’s the trauma or the demonic thing, I couldn’t tell you. She was in an asylum.”
“I know. Leech Lake. She busted out of solitary.”
Sam nodded. “When I figured out why she was killing, I…” Sam stopped and sat down on one of the beds. He scrubbed his hands over his face. “I haven’t touched demon blood, Dean. I won’t. But…” he rolled up his left sleeve, “…I gave Needy some of mine.” He turned his hand, showing Dean the fresh cut just above his left wrist.
Dean stared at the newly-healed wound. For a long time, he had no words. He wasn’t even certain what he was feeling. Disappointment, anger, disbelief. Sam seemed frozen in place, his hand out toward Dean, his eyes watching Dean warily.
Finally, Dean turned away.
“Dean. At least say something.”
Dean didn’t look at him. He couldn’t. It hurt to have driven home, once again, how very far from human his brother had become. Sam didn’t even think like a person any more. Ask a kid who’s crazy and carrying some demonic virus to drink your blood. Who the fuck does that?
“Dean,” Sam pleaded, “I was trying to keep her human.”
“Did it work?”
Sam winced at Dean’s harsh tone. “I think it did. I mean, it kept her from going on another killing spree.”
“Suckin’ on blood makes her human,” Dean repeated. Come on, Sam. You’ve got to hear how insane that sounds.
“It was all I could think of at the time. It’s temporary.” Sam sighed heavily. “I think she deserves a chance, Dean. I did a lot of research, got some pointers from Bobby.” He began to talk faster as he went along, his voice becoming more eager, more like the old Sam. “I think that if we can find the demon and kill it – kill it, not just exorcise it – she’ll be able to heal.”
Dean rounded on him. “How were you plannin’ to kill it, Sam? You left the knife with me!”
In the half-second Sam hesitated, Dean saw the possibility in his eyes. Sam didn’t need the knife to kill demons. He hadn’t needed it to kill Alastair…or Lilith.
“I was going to call you,” Sam answered, but the words were too late. Dean knew that Sam had thought about it. Maybe he had intended to call Dean, but he’d considered the alternative.
Son of a bitch.
“Breaking the bloodline doesn’t work,” Dean said, abruptly changing the subject.
“Not for werewolves,” Sam agreed. “This is different.”
“What if you’re wrong, Sam?” Madison’s name hung unspoken between them. Breaking the bloodline hadn’t worked for Sam’s werewolf girlfriend.
Sam glanced toward the window as if he expected to see Needy there. He looked unhappy, but then his expression hardened. “If it doesn’t work…if she really does need to kill to go on, I’ll put her down myself.”
Needy’s sleep was restless.
In her dreams, she could feel Jennifer again, the night of the prom. She was in the school gym, surrounded by those awful paper trees, listening to that horrible song with her hooker-helmet hair her mom insisted on doing for her. The red plastic cup in her hand clashed horribly with the poofy magenta dress. She was watching for Jennifer, but Jennifer never showed. Needy had been so certain she would be there: the prom was like an all-you-can-eat buffet for the demon in her.
She smelled damp grass and Chip’s skin. And she knew. Somehow she knew Jennifer outsmarted her after all. She was with Chip. They weren’t at the dance. She smelled damp grass again. The park!
The cup of fruit punch fell from her hand, spilling everywhere. Needy didn’t notice. She was already running, shoving kids out of her way as she sped across the dance floor and out of the gym. She ran headlong across the field. She lost her pumps as she ran, but that enabled her to run faster. She knew where Jennifer would take Chip: the old swimming pool. She ran because more than her life depended on it.
In the dream, Needy knew she would be too late, because it was always the same. I think I died before you got here, Chip had told her, the last words he ever spoke, but I woke up when I heard your voice. Oh, God, Chip! You’re such an idiot, but I loved you!
Needy’s heartbeat was loud in her ears. It was too loud, like a hammer pounding on a nail. Her mother’s nightmare: I dreamt they were trying to nail you to a tree with hammers and big stakes. Just like JC!
Needy sat up in bed, flinging the comforter off her body. But the pounding didn’t stop. She drew her knees up and over the side, feeling the rough carpet against the soles of her feet. She slipped her hand beneath the pillow and drew out the bowie knife, testing the weight of it before she stood up. Warily, she walked toward the door. The pounding went on.
The click of the lock was barely audible, but whoever was banging on the door stopped instantly. Cautiously, Needy opened the door.
“Where’s it at, Monistat?”
Needy felt no surprise to see Jennifer standing there. It was as if she’d expected it, although she hadn’t been consciously aware of her anticipation. Jennifer looked like she always had after a kill: beautiful. She wore a short pink blouse that showed off her cleavage and stomach, a mini skirt, lace stockings and high heels. Gold glinted between her breasts. Her glossy hair fell around her shoulders, framing her lovely face. Her smile was coy, teasing.
The knife felt heavy in Needy’s hand; a comfortable weight. But she knew now that she couldn’t kill Jennifer with a knife. She wouldn’t make that mistake again.
“What’s wrong, Needy?” Jennifer pouted her perfect lips, cocking her head to one side. “I saw you were here alone and I thought we could have a sleepover.” Her smile turned wicked, but Jennifer-wicked, not evil. “I love the new boyfriend, by the way. He’s extra salty. So much cuter than Chip.”
Needy bristled at Chip’s name. Maybe Chip wasn’t going to win any Mr Universe contests, but he was hers. “What do you want, Jennifer?” she asked, her tone hostile.
Jennifer ran the gold chain of her necklace through her fingers, forcing Needy to pay attention to the pendant. It was the BFF heart they had both always worn. “I wanna talk to my best friend,” Jennifer said, as if that were the most obvious thing in the world.
Needy opened the door a little wider, stepping back in a gesture the old Jennifer would have taken as an invitation. Jennifer made no move to enter the room. Of course she didn’t. She couldn’t cross the salt Sam had so-carefully laid down.
“So, talk,” Needy suggested, feeling a little more confident.
“Let me in,” Jennifer pouted. She leaned casually against the door jam the way she’d always lounged against her locker at school.
“I don’t think so,” Needy answered, though she was tempted to do as Jennifer asked. If Sam was right, Jennifer would be stuck inside the devil’s trap as soon as she stepped over the threshold. Then Needy could exorcise her. Her heart sped up with excitement and she was suddenly grateful to Sam for making her memorise all that Latin. The opening words of the exorcism were clear in her mind. She could do this.
Jennifer’s expression turned hard. “This is all your fault, you know,” she accused. “You lied to those Low Shoulder guys…”
“I was defending you!” Needy responded hotly. Sam’s warnings about demons being able to fool her were forgotten. This was Jennifer. This was her best friend, since before she could talk. Her BFF, just like their matching pendants said. Her sister. And Jennifer’s words were the truth: Needy was responsible. If she hadn’t lied about Jennifer being a virgin, they wouldn’t have chosen her for their sacrifice and…
Jennifer lunged for Needy, her hand curled into a claw.
Needy jumped back. Jennifer’s fingertips brushed the front of her t-shirt, but her hand closed on thin air.
“They put me in the ground!” she screeched. She didn’t look like Jennifer now; her eyes were wild with fury, her beautiful features twisted.
Instinctively, Needy raised the knife, but Jennifer was still on the other side of the salt-line. She raised both hands, resting them on the door frame and blocking Needy’s exit, but Needy had no intention of leaving the room. They had a stalemate. For a wild moment, Needy considered breaking the salt line so Jennifer could enter. How else could she get Jennifer into the devil’s trap? But what if it didn’t work?
Jennifer screamed, a horrible sound. She whirled around, her long hair flying. White smoke rose from the back of her blouse, or from her skin…Needy couldn’t tell. At first, she didn’t understand what was happening. Then she saw Sam.
Sam strode toward them. The look on his face scared Needy more than Jennifer ever had and she was glad it wasn’t directed at her. Sam was completely focussed on Jennifer, pulling the top off a second bottle of holy water as he moved.
Jennifer streaked toward him, her arms outstretched. Sam had no time to throw more water. Jennifer’s momentum carried them both to the ground, a tangle of limbs.
“Sam!” Needy didn’t stop to think that Sam was capable of defending himself. The only thoughts in her head were of the friends Jennifer had killed and of Jennifer herself, with Chip’s blood streaked down the front of her prom dress. She wouldn’t – couldn’t – let the demon have Sam, too.
A hand gripped her arm, painfully hard. Dean shoved her back into the room. “Stay there! Sam knows what he’s doing!”
If Needy’s anger could kill, Dean Winchester would have dropped dead on the spot. Her back hit the doorframe when he shoved her and she glared at him in impotent rage. How dare he try to stop her? Dean’s big body blocked her way, implacable.
But Needy wasn’t a normal teenager. Not any more. She gathered her strength and thought about him bleeding onto the floor. She felt her feet leave the ground and braced herself against the door frame. Then she kicked out with all of her more-than-human strength. Her bare foot struck him right between the shoulder-blades and he went down like a sack of potatoes. Needy flew over him, intent on helping Sam.
In the few seconds it had taken her to deal with Dean, Sam’s fight with Jennifer was over. Jennifer backed away from him, screaming, clawing at her wet shirt as it smoked against her skin. She looked toward Needy swiftly, then turned tail and ran into the darkness.
Sam was on the ground, struggling to get up, but Needy didn’t see any blood on him. “Dean!” Sam yelled, even as Needy reached down to help him up.
Dean ran past them both. “On it!” he threw back over his shoulder.
Sam shook off Needy’s attempt to help him and clambered up under his own power. “Are you okay? Needy!”
“I’m…alright.” She managed to speak, but it came out barely a whisper as reaction set in.
“What were you thinking? You should have called me!” Sam grasped Needy’s shoulders in both of his hands and firmly walked her backward into the motel room, back inside the salt line. “Jesus, you’re white as a sheet!”
For some reason, his concern ended Needy’s courage. Her legs buckled and she felt herself begin to fall, but the next moment she was in Sam’s arms, his strength supporting her. He was so big, she felt like a little kid next to him. She felt protected, and she was grateful for that.
It took a while for her breathing to steady, and even then Needy wasn’t sure she could stand on her own. But she leaned back a little so she could look up at him. “I was going to call,” she explained. “I thought she’d come in. The devil’s trap would have worked, right?”
Sam stroked her back gently. “It would have worked, but that’s too much risk, Needy.”
“Why did you chase her off? I thought the plan was to send her back to Hell.”
Sam moved toward the bed. When Needy resisted, he scooped her up and carried her to the bed, kicking the door closed behind him. He laid her down gently and then sat on the other bed. Needy looked up at him. All traces of the anger and hate she’d seen in him were gone. His expression was concerned.
“Needy,” he began, “you are not alone in this. My brother and I have been hunters for a long time. Trust us.”
Needy noticed that he hadn’t answered her question, but she nodded. “You’re right. I should have called.”
The door opened, and Needy jumped, her heart racing.
Sam touched her hand, soothing. “It’s okay.”
It was Dean. “She’s gone,” he reported grimly.
Sam nodded. “We’ll find her.”
Needy barely heard him. She backed away from the brothers toward the wall. Her breath was coming in short pants. Her hands were shaking and her stomach fluttered inside her. Fear filled her, and she hugged herself tightly, her heart pounding, pressing herself back against the wall. She was in way over her head. She should have stayed in Leech Lake…
Sam came toward her and grasped her shoulders, turning her physically to face him. “Snap out of it, Needy!”
“I…I’m scared,” she whispered.
“No. She is. You’re the bravest girl I’ve ever met, Needy. This isn’t your fear.”
She heard his words, but they didn’t make sense. What…?
Sam slapped her, open-handed, hard.
Needy’s head slammed into the wall with the force of Sam’s blow, but the stinging pain did distract her from the gut-wrenching terror. Something inside her snapped and she reacted automatically: she drew back her right arm and hit him back with all her strength.
Sam jerked back in an attempt to evade her punch, but he moved too slowly. She clipped his jaw and Sam fell backward, then lost his balance and fell off the bed onto the floor. Needy cried out in pain and cradled her hand against her chest.
Dean laughed and she shot him a poisonous look, pissed that he was amused by her pain.
Sam rose to his feet, eyeing Needy warily. “You okay?”
Understanding burst on her. “It’s Jennifer!” she exclaimed, staring at Sam. “She’s terrified. But I don’t know why!”
Dean grabbed Sam’s arm roughly. “Will one of you clue me in?” he demanded.
Sam shook Dean off. “Needy has a psychic connection to the demon,” he explained. “I don’t know why. Dean, I think I should stay with her tonight.”
Dean looked from Sam to Needy, then back again. He didn’t seem to want to leave Sam alone with her, but he nodded. “Whatever you want. But you’d both better come clean in the morning.”
“We’ll tell you everything,” Sam promised.
Dean half-turned toward the door. He glanced back at Sam and mouthed something Needy couldn’t see. Then he left, closing the door behind him.
Sam reached for Needy’s hand. She flinched away from his touch.
“Wait here,” he instructed. He pulled something from his bag and walked out of the door. Needy stayed where she was. She wasn’t so much obeying his instruction as she didn’t know what else to do. She felt frozen in place, Jennifer’s terror still twisting her insides, making her heart race. She could separate it from her own thoughts, now she understood what it was, but it still paralysed her. This was all too much to process.
Sam returned with a cloth full of ice. He laid it gently across her torn knuckles. “I’d tell you you hit like a girl, but that wouldn’t really be true,” he said, touching his own jaw gingerly. She could see a bruise beginning there.
Needy smiled shakily. “Thanks. I think.” She took a deep breath, the horror she felt beginning to fade into the background. She adjusted the ice on her hand. It did help with the bruises.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m…” she started to say she was fine, but then hot, intense pain shot through her injured hand. It drew a gasp from her, and then a scream. She was dimly aware of Sam holding her, his mouth moving, but she couldn’t hear him over all the screaming. She shoved him away from her, holding her hands up like a shield. For an instant she stood inside a dark room and a single beam of light illuminated a man’s face looming over her.
Then there was nothing.
The demon calling herself Jennifer ran from the pain, but the holy water saturated her shirt, so she carried the pain with her. Her feet flew across the field; the high heels no hindrance to her speed. She leapt the wall and landed in a crouch on the other side. Only then did she look back. There was no one in pursuit.
She pulled the shirt off as she walked, tarmac beneath her feet now, her skin still smarting from the holy water burn. The strap of her bra was wet, too, and it stung her fingers as she unhooked it and let it fall to the ground behind her.
He was waiting for her outside the school building.
“Bitch wouldn’t let me in,” she grumbled.
“That’s a pity.” His rich voice sent shivers down her spine. “And the man?”
“He…” she stopped herself just in time, “…was there,” she finished.
“Jennifer, Jennifer,” he crooned, tutting under his breath in mock-disappointment. He reached out toward her face.
She flinched back before he could touch her, but then she saw his face. Steeling herself for pain, she stood her ground. She had no choice. She needed what he had promised her. She could deal with the pain.
The tips of his fingers touched her cheek and he was inside her head. She screamed in agony. The touch of his skin burned like a brand. The touch of his mind to hers was Hell itself. She fell to her knees, still screaming. He rifled through her mind like he was shuffling a deck of cards. She couldn’t tell what he was looking for.
The pain went on forever.
When her throat burned from her screams, it filtered through her awareness that it was over. She was curled into a ball on the steps before the big double doors. Her remaining clothing was a mess, her hair wet and tangled. She pushed against the ground with both hands, raising her head and shoulders off the cold stone.
Then she threw up all over his shoes.
“It’s unfortunate,” he said mildly, “but not unexpected. Come.” The doors opened at his touch and he took a single step over the threshold.
Jennifer could barely move, but she didn’t dare disobey. She struggled to her feet. She pulled her skirt straight and shook out her hair so it covered her bare breasts.
“Don’t make me go back,” she pleaded.
In answer, he offered his hand, a slight smile curving his lips. “Poor Jennifer,” he crooned. “You didn’t deserve any of this, did you?”
Jennifer looked at his hand, but made no move to take it, recalling his burning touch.
“Take my hand,” he ordered.
She braced herself and took his hand. He laced his fingers with hers. There was no pain. His touch was cool.
“You were just a girl looking for a good time,” he told her as he led her through the dark corridors of the school. “You were slutting around high school, never giving a thought to anyone but yourself.” His hand tightened on hers, the pressure painful, but nothing compared to the earlier agony. “You thought a gang bang with a rock band would be a new kind of fun, but now look at you. Trapped in your own meat suit with a demon riding you.” He leaned close and hissed into her ear, “I can hear your soul screaming…Jennifer.”
The bones of Jennifer’s hand cracked under the pressure. Blood poured from her fingers as bone ripped through the skin. She tried to pull away but it was far too late. He only squeezed harder, crushing her bones to fragments. Only then did he let her go.
She cradled her ruined hand against her chest, but she didn’t ask why. She knew why. She had failed him.
He flung open the gymnasium door, revealing what lay within. “For you,” he said simply.
On the floor of the gym lay a teenage boy, bound hand and foot, staked out like a sacrifice. He was naked and he was beautiful. He gazed up at Jennifer, and the fear in his eyes warred with lust. His gaze locked on her bare breasts and she saw his cock swell.
Jennifer no longer cared about the pain. What a lovely gift this boy was. She would feed and when she was full, she could heal.
Smiling, she shed the rest of her clothing. She stood above the boy, gazing down at him for a long moment of anticipation before she knelt between his bound ankles. She bent toward his groin, breathing in the mingled scents of his fear and his excitement. This would be delicious.
Her smile became predatory and she began to feed. Blood spurted into her face and she licked her lips, delighted.
This time, the screams came from the boy.
Needy came back to herself in Sam’s arms. They were lying on the bed, Needy on her side with Sam spooned around her back. His body warmed her, but part of her was shivering. Sam was still holding the bag of ice to her right hand.
“Needy,” Sam whispered against her hair.
“I’m…okay,” she answered uncertainly. She wanted to ask what happened to her, but she was a little afraid of the answer.
Sam shifted, dropping the cold-pack onto the floor and letting Needy roll onto her back. She looked up into his face and what she saw there made her even more frightened. This time the fear was her own.
“I need to ask you a question,” Sam said quietly. He went on without waiting for Needy to respond. “When Jennifer was at the door and I doused her with holy water, did you feel her pain?”
“No.” Needy didn’t need to think about it. She remembered: she hadn’t understood why Jennifer reacted that way until she saw her clothes smoking.
Sam’s expression became even more grave.
“Why?” Needy asked. “What’s wrong, Sam?”
“Maybe nothing,” he answered, but he didn’t look at her as he spoke and she knew he was lying. “I’m just thinking about this connection you seem to have with Jennifer.”
Needy frowned. “I saw a vision before I passed out. A man. A demon, I guess. He was hurting her.”
She closed her eyes for a moment, but whatever connection she had was gone. “Nothing. I got nothing.”
“Okay. You should sleep now, Needy.” Sam was stroking her hair, his big hand following her curls from her head to shoulder, over and over. She realised he’d been doing that for a long time. She rather liked it.
“I don’t think I can,” she answered.
Sam leaned in and kissed her forehead gently. “You’re safe, Needy.”
She turned her head upward so she could see his face and his next kiss was on her lips. The kiss was brief and might have been unintended, but for Needy it was too much. She shoved him away and clambered off the bed. Her lips tingled and she had to fight not to touch them. The last person she kissed was Chip, when he was dying in her arms.
Sam backed off when she pushed him away. “I’m sorry, Needy. I thought we…”
“No,” she said quickly. “No, it’s okay. Just…I don’t think…” she broke off, not sure what she wanted to say. We shouldn’t? It’s wrong? Needy had killed six men; she was way past conventional notions of right and wrong. This isn’t a good idea? But how could she know that? Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea. Sam was attractive. And kind. And he understood her.
Sam came toward her. He brushed her hair back from her face. “It’s the end of the world, Needy. And that’s not a line, it really is the end. So I’m not making any long term plans.”
She managed a weak smile. “And that’s not a line?”
“No, it’s just truth. I’m not interested in talking you into something you don’t want.” He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead. “I want to be with you tonight, Needy, but only if you want me, too.”
She laughed. She couldn’t help it. “Did you look in a mirror lately? Who wouldn’t?”
“Thanks. But you’re still looking at me like I might rape you or something.”
Was she? She hadn’t meant to. It wasn’t Sam she feared. Needy took a deep breath and stepped toward him. “I’m just not so sure this is a good idea.”
“You’re over-thinking it.” Sam cupped her cheek in his hand, lifting her face to his. When he kissed her, Needy kissed him back, parting her lips to let him in.
“Maybe this is a guy thing, but I think it helps put the rest out of your mind for a while. One night of really good sex.”
Needy smirked. “Yeah. That’s a guy thing.”
Sam let her go. “Alright. I’ll move to the other bed.”
It was only when he caved that Needy realised that wasn’t what she wanted. Not at all. She grabbed his arm. “No. Don’t.”
She would probably regret this. But tonight, she wanted to be reckless. She wanted to drown the memory of Jennifer in something foolish…but fun.
Sam sat down on the bed and reached for her hands. She let him draw her onto his lap. Sam kissed her again and this time she kissed him back. Then he did a lot more than kiss her.