I turned slightly and a sharp pain shot through my back. Ugh…I opened my eyes and frowned slightly. It took me a couple of minutes to figure out where I was. I looked up and there was Jo, sitting at the kitchen table twirling that damn knife again.
She must have heard my groan because she looked up and grinned.
I grunted and lifted myself off of the armchair into a sitting position.
Jo looked back down at the papers as she spoke.
“Went to get coffee and do a cursory check of the building.”
I nodded and got up, winced, and then looked pointedly at her.
“Ugh, my back. How’d you sleep on that big, soft bed?”
“I didn’t. Just been going over everything.”
I sighed. Great I slept on that damn chair for nothing. I watched her for a minute longer, but didn’t say anything. I got up went to my duffle bag that was thrown in the corner of the room and took out a large knife. I walked back over to Jo and handed it to her.
She looked confused, but took it.
“What’s this for?”
“It’ll work a hell of a lot better than that little pigstick you’ve been twirling around.”
I saw her face sober and then there was pain in her eyes. She handed me the small knife. I took it and glanced down at it. I could see initials engraved on the sides. Her voice broke the silence. It held a sadness that I could relate to.
“William Anthony Harvelle.”
It was her fathers…great going Dean…I cleared my throat and spoke.
“I’m sorry. My mistake.”
I gave the knife back to her and took mine. Her voice was hesitant when she spoke.
“What do you…what do you remember about your dad? I mean, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?”
I shook my head and her voice softened.
“Come on, tell me.”
I looked at her and I swear I could see a sparkle in her eye. After a long pause I spoke.
“I was six or seven. And, uh…he took me shooting for the first time. Bottles on a fence –- that kind of thing. I bull’s-eyed every one of ‘em. And he gave me this smile, like…I don’t know.”
I saw her grin and her voice held a warm tone when she spoke.
“He must have been proud.”
I shrugged and sat down.
“What about your dad?”
It was weird, but I felt myself being genuinely interested in what she had to say. I dunno…there was just something about Jo…she was a force of nature and she was wearing me down…I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that story about my dad…not even Sammy…Her voice broke through my thoughts.
“I was still in pigtails when my dad died, but…I remember him coming home from a hunt. And he’d burst through that door like…like Steve McQueen or something.”
I chuckled, she smiled and continued.
“And he’d sweep me up in his arms, and I’d breathe in that old leather jacket of his. And my mom, who was sour and pissed from the minute he left…she started smiling again. And we were…we were a family.”
She paused and met my eyes then. Her voice was soft, but I could hear the emotion behind it.
“You wanna know why I wanna do the job? For him. It’s my way of being close to him. Now, tell me, what’s wrong with that?”
I couldn’t think of a damn thing wrong with that. Maybe that was the problem.
She nodded and it was quiet for a minute before she got up and paced back and forth. I watched her moving around the room like a caged animal. She stopped right in front of me and I tilted my head to the side waiting for her to say something. She took a deep breath and spoke in a low voice.
“You know…you kinda remind me of him. It sounds silly…but the minute I met you…I dunno…you put on this whole big macho show…no don’t interrupt me. You do…gotta make everyone think you’re this hard to the core hunter…and I get that…you’re bad ass, but you’re softer than you realize too. My daddy was like that…”
She looked away and shook her head. I went to say something when she turned back around and started talking again.
“He never let my mom help him…he always had to work alone, didn’t want to put her in danger. I think he was wrong for that. They loved each other so much…and I think if they would have worked together…he would have lived longer…”
I swallowed and spoke up in a gruff voice.
“Or they both would have died…and then where would you be?”
She shrugged and stopped moving when she was about two feet in front of me. She looked at me and it was the strangest thing...I just couldn’t look away.
“In the same place I am now. I’d be a hunter. The difference between me and my mom is…when I finally find someone I love as much as she loved my dad…we’d be partners.”
I swallowed hard.
“Cause the perfect guy for me would realize I’m his equal…that I can do the job…that we could do it together…that we could have a family and do the job, as long as we all stick together…”
I watched her closely and I stood up. She took a step back and I sighed.
“Sometimes…it’s not that easy.”
“Nothing worthwhile ever is…”
She stood there and I couldn’t help but feel like she was looking through me…like she could see me. It’s an incredibly debilitating feeling…I took a step toward her and I saw confusion cross her face before I captured her lips with mine.
I could tell she was startled because it took her a second to respond, but boy did she respond. Her arms wrapped around my neck I wrapped mine around her waist and pulled her against me. After a few seconds we broke apart and I was breathing heavy.
I could feel her hot breath on my lips and she opened her eyes and looked at me. She opened her mouth and her voice was barely a whisper.
I cut her off.
“I want you…I’ve wanted you since the minute I saw you…”
I saw her swallow hard. She nodded.
That didn’t surprise me too much. When I first met her I could tell she kinda liked me, but I wasn’t in the place at the time. She had seemed like a nice girl and Ellen was the only connection we still had from dad…I didn’t want to ruin that by complicating things, but I couldn’t stop it this time.
I leaned in and captured her lips again. I ran my hands down her back and I felt her shiver against me. She pulled away, opened her mouth, and took a deep breath. I leaned back in and took that moment to deepen the kiss. Our tongues battled for dominance and she grinned against my mouth.
She was pulling me closer and I walked us back until I felt her back hit the wall. I took my lips from her mouth and started kissing her neck. I heard her moan so I opened my lips and sucked hard on her pulse point. Her hands entangled in my hair and I heard her call my name.
Her hands were traveling down and then back up under my shirt. I groaned. Is it ridiculous to say her hands felt like magic…I cupped her cheek with one hand and the other traveled down to her shirt. I started flipping the buttons casually until they were all undone.
I placed an open palm against her stomach and pushed her back against the wall. Her eyes opened and I could see pure unadulterated lust in them. Oh god…I swallowed hard and licked my lips. Her swollen lips were pink and glistening and her breathing was heavy.
My eyes gave her a once over. I took my other hand and pushed the shirt open further as I took in the woman in front of me. She’s gorgeous…when I spoke I could hear the need in my own voice.
I paused and looked back at her eyes. I watched as she tried to look away from me, but I moved her face back. I could see the insecurity there and I gave her a warm smile.
I saw tears building in her eyes and she leaned forward and pulled be toward her. I could hear moans getting louder as my hands roamed over her body, brushing against her breasts and then pulling her flush against my body.
I grinned. That’s right…she wanted me as bad as I wanted her…I felt her hands slide down to my pants. She started attempting to undo them and I reached down and held her hands in place. She looked up confused and I placed a chaste kiss on her mouth.
“This isn’t a marathon…we have time…”
I cut her off.
“Is very thorough when it comes to checking buildings out. I don’t…”
I paused and tried to think of the right words. I looked down and then made eye contact with her as I spoke trying to convey the meaning in my words.
“I don’t want this to just be…like everything else. Jo…you…I…”
I grunted and she smiled at me while placing an open palm gently against my cheek. I could see the light in her eyes and the glow on her face as she spoke.
“I get it…I don’t either…I don’t want to be just another notch Dean…”
I shook my head quickly.
“Your not…but I don’t know what I can offer…”
She silenced me with a finger on my lips.
“All that matters right now is that we’re on the same page…we can figure out everything else later…”
I leaned back in and as we were kissing I grabbed her ass and hefted her up so she was pinned between me and the wall. Her legs wrapped around my waist and I groaned when she moved against me lightly. I broke the kiss and placed my forehead against her.
“Dammit Jo, you’re killin me here.”
She giggled and I smiled. It was a beautiful sound. I got a better grip on her and started moving us to the bedroom. When we got in their I lightly tossed her on the bed. She moved up so she was resting against the pillows with her shirt open wide.
My eyes glazed over slightly as I pulled my shirt off and tossed it on the floor before climbing on the bed and getting on top of her. I dropped kisses all over her and her hands found my pants again. This time I didn’t stop her and a minute or so later they joined my shirt on the floor.
Her shirt then pants were next to go. There wasn’t much separating me from her milky white skin and I was literally going crazy. I felt her hand graze against me and I lost all control. The rest of our clothes flew on the floor quickly…Oh god…
I heard a bang on the counter and I looked up. The bartender was giving me a strange look.
“You okay man…you kinda spaced out there for a minute.”
“Here are your drinks. One beer and one root bear.”
I nodded my thanks and made my way towards the table William had chosen. I shook my head to clear out the cobwebs. That was an amazing night…Jo was beautiful…I’ve slept with a lot of woman…but it’s never been like that…not even with Cassie…
I thought I loved her…the truth is a part of me did love Cassie, but it was the part that always wished for the normal life that Sammy got to live for a few years. The realistic side though, knew Cassie could never deal with the reality of my life. She was a fantasy to me…but Jo…Jo was the reality…my reality…
I slid into the seat across from William and placed the root beer in front of him. He nodded at me and took a long gulp from the glass. When he finished he put it down and wiped his mouth with his sleeve.
“No problem kiddo.”
I watched him with his hands around the glass as he stared into nothing. I wasn’t exactly sure what to say or do next…I mean what do you say to the son you never knew exsisted? I looked around the bar and saw Ellen behind the counter watching William and I as she cleaned out a glass.
She gave me a weak smile and I gave her half of one back. I looked around for Sammy and saw him talking with Bobby. He laughed and Bobby shook his head. There were several people I recognized here and a few that I didn’t, but some how they all seemed to know who I was.
I sighed and William looked up at me. I watched him studying me before he spoke.
“If you don’t want to sit here with me, you don’t have to. I can take care of myself.”
I watched him and my heart broke. My own son thought I didn’t want to be here with him…I don’t think this day could get any worse. I nudged him with my boot under the table and he looked up. I made sure he was looking me directly in the eyes when I spoke.
“There ain’t no where I’d rather be then here, you here me? I’m just…I’m not sure how to do this. I’ve never had a kid before…it’s new…and…”
I paused and took a deep breath.
“And I don’t want you to hate me.”
He turned his head slightly and looked at me with an appraising look. It might sound odd…but out of everyone here, he might be the only one who understands how much it hurts to loose Jo…maybe that can help us get through this…
“I don’t know what to do either. I’ve never had a dad before.”
I felt something pull at my heart as he continued talking.
“I wanted to meet you so bad all this time. I’m glad you’re here, but…I didn’t want to loose my mom….she’s all I have…”
I could hear the tears building in his voice and it made me physically sick. I stood up and moved around until I was slightly kneeling in front of where he was sitting. I cleared my throat and spoke.
“You have me…I know about you now…and if you’re okay with it…I’d like to stick around for a while…get to know you…I might have just found out about you…but…you’re my son…a piece of me and Jo…”
My throat closed up slightly and my eyes burned with unshed tears.
“…and I love you.”
He looked up and I watched as the damn burst and he let out a sob as he threw his small body into my arms with a force that almost knocked me down. When I got my balance back, I stood up with him in my arms and tightened my hold slightly.
I had my chin on his shoulder and I whispered in his ear.
“Shhh…everything’s gonna be okay…I’m not going anywhere…we’ll get through this together…”
And for the first time in days as I stood in the middle of the Roadhouse with my son in my arms, I let the tears fall. I didn’t care that the bar had gone completely silent at the sound of William’s cries or that there for twenty pairs of eyes looking at us…all that mattered was I had my son in my arms…he was healthy and beautiful and Jo raised an amazing little boy…
He barely knew me…and I barely knew him, but I could feel the connection between us…he trusted me even though he's never met me and I knew that was because of Jo…I’d never be able to thank her for giving me this wonderful gift…but I wouldn’t waist it…