I was standing by Sam and we were loading our guns, making sure we had all the bases covered incase of anything. I can’t believe she just left the Roadhouse and came here…she must be out of her mind. Jo’s voice knocked me out of my thoughts. She looked up from researching and grinned as she spoke. I glanced up from my gun and made a face.
“I’ll flip you for the sofa.”
I snorted before giving her an attitude.
“Does your mother even know you’re here?”
“I told her I was going to Vegas.”
Is she nuts? Her mother is like a blood hound. Did she think she wasn’t going to figure that lame ass lie out?
“You think she’s gonna buy that?”
She gave me a condescending look and rolled her eyes.
“I’m not an idiot. I got Ash to lay a credit card trail all the way to the casinos.”
I shook my head.
“You know, you shouldn’t lie to your mom. You shouldn’t be here, either.”
She glared in my direction.
“Well, I am. So untwist your boxers and deal with it.”
I was about to give her a smart ass come back when Sam cut in and spoke before giving me a disapproving look. She started it…
“Where’d you get all that money from, anyways?”
I saw the grin return to her face and for a second I found myself watching the way it lit up her face. I shook my head trying to focus on her answer.
“Working at the Roadhouse.”
“Hunters don’t tip that well.”
She placed a hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow in my direction. Her voice held sarcasm when she spoke.
“Well, they aren’t that good at poker, either.”
I gave her a sarcastic smile when I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. I heard the familiar sounds of ACDC as I fished into my pocket, pulled it out, and answered it.
A semi-frantic voice filled the other end of the phone.
“Is she with you?”
I clenched my lips together and my eyes found Jo’s. I gave her a look and emphasized my words.
“Oh, hi, Ellen.”
“She left a note she’s in Vegas. I don’t believe it for a second.”
Jo made her way right in front of me and I covered the mouth piece. We argued in hushed tones.
“I’m not lying for you.”
“Don’t you dare tell her Dean.”
I heard Ellen’s voice again loud and clear.
I was going to regret this…
“I haven’t seen her.”
She paused and when she spoke I could hear the doubt in her voice.
“You sure about that?”
I felt bad lying…I did…but something in Jo’s face made me not want to rat her out…
“Yeah, I’m sure.”
I heard Ellen sigh on the other end.
“Well, please, if she shows up, you’ll drag her butt right back here, won’t you?”
I swallowed hard before speaking.
“Okay. Thanks, hon.”
She hung up and I shut the phone as I glared at Jo. She gave me a wide toothy smile before moving back toward the books to continue her research. About twenty minutes later Jo’s voice again broke the silence. I glanced up and she was twirling a small knife in her hands.
“This place was built in 1924. It was originally a warehouse, converted into apartments a few months ago.”
I paced back and forth as I listened.
“Yeah? What was here before 1924?”
“Nothing. Empty field.”
I glanced at Sam and he nodded his head before speaking.
“So, most likely scenario, someone died bloody in the building, and now he’s back and raising hell.”
“I already checked. In the past eighty-two years, zero violent deaths, unless you count a janitor who slipped on a wet floor.”
She glanced at me and her voice sounded frustrated when she spoke.
“Would you sit down, please?”
I glanced at Sam and he smirked before I rolled my eyes and sat down.
“So, have you checked the police reports? County death records?”
“Contrary to popular belief I’m not stupid. I checked obituaries, mortuary reports, and seven other sources. I know what I’m doing.”
I made a skeptical face.
“I think the jury’s still out on that one.”
I paused as she glared in my general direction. I looked at her hand twisting the knife and spoke.
“Could you put the knife down?”
I watch her huff before putting the knife down to rest on the table. I watched Sam glance between the two of us before shaking his head and bringing us back to the topic at hand.
“Okay. So, it’s something else, then. Maybe some kind of cursed object that brought the spirit with it.”
“We’ve gotta scan the whole building. Whatever we can get to, right?”
I nodded and stood up. I pointed at Jo before talking.
“Right. So, you and me –- we’ll take the top two floors.”
“We’d move faster if we split up.”
I made a face and gave her a ‘not gonna happen’ look.
“Oh, this isn’t negotiable.”
Sam stood up, chuckled lightly and headed out. He called out before leaving the apartment.
“We’ll meet back here in an hour.”
I nodded and he left. I waited for Jo to grab her EMF reader and I snagged mine before we made our way into the hallway. We were scanning the hallway when she spoke.
“So, are you gonna buy me dinner?”
Her question startled me and I turned my head to face her before turning back around quickly.
“What are you talking about?”
I slowed down and she moved a little bit in front of me. I turned my head to the side and glanced down. She’s got a nice ass…her voice brought me away from thoughts I probably shouldn’t be having anyway.
“It’s just, if you’re gonna ride me this close, it’s only decent if you buy me dinner.”
I had to hold in my grin…that’s definitely something that would come from my mouth…I pretended to be irritated by her statement.
“Oh, that’s hilarious. You know, it’s bad enough I lied to your mom, but if you think I’m letting you out of my sight…I don’t know if you noticed, but you’re kind of the spirit’s type.”
Her voice made me stop in my tracks.
Okay it’s official…she is crazy…she actually thought I was going to let her be bait? She couldn’t possible think I’d let her do that…I could hear the incredulous tone in my voice when I spoke.
“You wanna be bait?”
She shrugged and kept moving the EMF detector around.
“Quickest way to draw it out, and you know it.”
I scoffed and she turned to face me.
I shook my head.
“I’m so regretting this.”
She stopped walking and turned her whole body toward me. Uh oh…she looks pissed…maybe that wasn’t the right thing to say…she took a few steps toward me and held a hand above her head.
“You know, I’ve had it up to here with your crap.”
I feigned ignorance.
Her eyes squinted together and she was about two feet away from my body at this point.
“Your chauvinist crap. You think women can’t do the job.”
I cut her off and gave her a sarcastic smile as I spoke.
“Sweetheart, this ain’t gender studies. Women can do the job fine. Amateurs can’t. You’ve got no experience. What you do have is a bunch of half-baked romantic notions that some barfly has put in your head.”
She scoffed, through her hands up and turned away from me as she spoke.
“And now, you sound like my mother.”
I cut her off and raised my voice slightly.
“Oh, and that’s a bad thing? ‘Cause let me tell you…”
I stopped. I took that moment to look into her eyes and I saw more then anger there. I saw pain…loss…determination…and understanding. When I didn’t finish my sentence she made a gesture for me to continue. Her voice was forced when she spoke.
There was another long pause before I spoke, the fight now gone from my voice.
She shook her head furiously.
“No, you started this.”
I sighed and I spoke in a softer voice as I made eye contact with her.
“Jo…you’ve got options. No one in their right mind chooses this life. My dad started me on this when I was so young, I wish I could do something else.”
She made a face and called me on my bullshit.
“You love the job.”
“Yeah, but I’m a little twisted.”
She shook her head and gave me a slightly sardonic grin before speaking.
“You don’t think I’m a little twisted, too?”
I looked at her for a minute…really looked at her. It’s possible that she is a little twisted…she’s like me…she’s got hunter in her blood, but she’s also not as jaded as I am…She hasn’t lost as much as I have…it’s too late for me to go back…she still has a chance to try normal…
“Jo, you’ve got a mother that worries about you, who wants something more for you. Those are good things. You don’t throw things like that away. They might be hard to find later.”
I watched her face turn to the side and she reach out a hand and placed it on my arm. I could see understanding in her face as she spoke in a soft reassuring voice.
“It’s never too late to have a family Dean…family doesn’t consist of blood alone…you have Sam…losing a parent is hard…one of the worst things in the world I know…but your right…if you always keep yourself on the outside of everything and you never open yourself up…you’ll never find someone who worries like that for you…who wants more for you…who cares…”
A hand squeezing my shoulder lightly pulled me from my thoughts of Jo. I glanced up and saw Bobby making his way around to face me. He sat in the seat across from me as I watched Sam holding William at his height so he could throw darts at the board. I can’t believe I have a son…I can’t believe Jo never told me…
“You okay son?”
I glanced at Bobby then back at William.
“No, not so much.”
He sighed and his voice was gruff, parental.
“I’m sure she had a good reason for not telling you Dean. Don’t be mad at Jo…”
My brows scrunched together as I faced him.
“I’m not mad at Jo…Bobby…”
I hesitated before I spoke low and into my hands.
He nodded and leaned back in the booth.
“You missed out on five years of his life…I can understand being hurt.”
I looked up at him and for once threw away all the macho bullshit. I leaned back and though my voice was low I spoke freely.
“Did she think I couldn’t cut it? That I wouldn’t be a good father? Or worse did she think that she’d tell me and I’d just take off…leave her alone to raise our son…”
I trailed off and Bobby shrugged.
“Maybe it ain’t something so damn dramatic. Maybe she was just scared. From what I hear things didn’t end well between the two of you. With everything that happened with your daddy. Maybe she was afraid you wouldn’t talk to her because of the way she reacted.”
I shook my head, leaned forward, placed my elbows back on the table and brought my hands up to my chin.
“That can’t be it. I mean maybe at first, but I called Jo…I called Jo more than I should have…I never told Sammy this…but after I made that deal with the demon…I called Jo a few weeks before I died. I told her I needed to see her…said it was important.”
I paused and looked up at Bobby.
“She met up with me Bobby…I told her about the deal I made to save Sammy…she told me I was an idiot…but she understood…we talked…about everything…the past….what was happening at that time…what things she had planned for the future.”
I shook my head and let out a chuckled.
“We finally made our peace that night. It was an amazing night Bobby and I thought…I thought Jo and I had finally crossed a milestone…I wake up the next morning and she’s gone. No goodbye…no note…nothing. I called, but she didn’t answer.”
I paused and Bobby sighed.
“It’s not a pleasant feeling is it?”
I looked up.
“I never walked out on Jo like that. Yeah, I can be a bit of an ass and yeah I tell woman what they want to hear, but I’m not callus Bobby…you know me better than that. I like to think I got a good heart.”
“You do Dean, you just don’t always show it to people.”
I moved my hand and grabbed the beer in front of me. I took a deep sip and placed it back on the table with a clunk. My tone was sarcastic when I spoke.
“Yeah, I wonder why that is. Why didn’t she tell me that night…why didn’t she tell me the year after that…or the one after that? It just don’t make no sense.”
I felt him grasp my wrist and I met his eyes.
“Dwelling on this…it ain’t healthy Dean. She made a mistake, but now you know. So whatcha gonna do about it boy? Maybe instead of sitting here drinking the afternoon away, you should go over there, take your brothers place and get to know your boy.”
I sighed as I glanced back at Sam and William. Bobby’s right…I know he is and I want to…I want to get to know him…but a part of me feels like maybe…just maybe he’s better off without me in his life. The people I care about…the people I love…they always seem to get hurt, and I’d never forgive myself if anything happened to my own son…