Sam trawls the internet in boredom as he waits for Dean to come back. His thoughts are whirling in useless, unproductive circles; the last girl he loved was Jessica, and look how that turned out. And now, this time, he falls in love with a vampire.
Never fall in love with a vampire, Sam mouths to himself. As if that could change the truth.
The internet is boring. The news reports are all mundane and he doesn't have any fresh email or any leads, and he already knows that Dean's only going to stay here so much longer before he insists they move on, find a real hunt.
He hears rustling outside the door, thinks he can hear the sound of the keycard, but instead of Dean returning, there's a tentative knock.
He glances at the laptop, then snaps it shut and stands, answers the door.
Lenore is standing there, looking uncomfortable by the sun that fades through the cloudcover, eyes dark even in daylight. She shifts on her feet.
"I'm sorry to disturb you," she says. "I watched Dean leave and I—" she halts, twisting the strap of her tank between her fingers.
Sam reaches for her, the same moment she raises her hand towards his, and their fingers tangle together. He tugs, and she comes forward; she crosses the threshold and Sam envelops her in his arms, tucking his head into the crook of her shoulder, breathing in her scent.
"It's all right," he murmurs against the thin, soft skin beneath her ear. "I'm glad you came."
She relaxes into his arms, and he feels, for just a second, like they're any regular pair of lovers wrapped in each other's arms.
But then she says, soft like rose petals,
"We need to shut the door, Sam."
Sam pulls back, stares at her lips for a long moment, longing to taste them, to feel their plump weight against his own, but she's right.
She leaves his embrace reluctantly and Sam closes the door behind her.
"I don't have a lot of time," she says apologetically. "I know I need to be gone before Dean gets back. Look, Sam, I wanted to be the one to tell you. I didn't want Dean to find out, and decide that I couldn't be trusted. You know I can, right? You know that you can trust me? I'd never hurt you, Sam."
She's babbling with anxiety, and Sam strokes his fingers across her temple, disturbing her dark hair.
"What's the matter? Just tell me; I'll handle it."
"One of the others—God, I don't even know," she says, and she sounds genuinely upset. "Eli was my friend. He was the first vampire I bonded with. But he's gone rogue, Sam; I know he drank from someone last night. I don't know if he killed her. I just know he smelled of human blood when he came in at dawn." She looks tortured, eyes so dark. She sinks to her knees in front of Sam, a mirror of his earlier position, and her head hangs down.
Sam immediately lowers himself to her level. "I'll take care of it," he vows, even though they both know what that means. "Can you dispose of the evidence?"
She looks up, and Sam's heart seizes at the grief scrawled across her face. "You know I can't, baby. If I do that, it will give Dean more ammunition against me."
Of course she's right; Sam's an idiot. He's going to have to find a way to get rid of a body without the police or Dean noticing and realising just what he's done.
He kisses her, because he can't help himself a second longer, and the taste of her blazes through him, making him thirsty with want for her.
"I'll make it right," Sam promises, but he knows how empty, how pointless those platitudes are. This is her friend.
"I know what you have to do," she whispers. "I know you don't have a choice. But, fuck, Sam, it hurts. I thought we were doing okay. I thought I could keep them in line." Her voice drops so low Sam can barely make out the words. "But what if I can't? What if, now that Eli's done it, they all rebel? It'll... it'll kill me, Sam. As sure as lopping off my head would do. It would be my death sentence, and we both know it."
"That won't happen," Sam says, but he knows he's just trying to soothe her.
She kisses him this time, flavoured of desperation and grief, and for long moments they move together, in tune like they've known each other forever, before she pulls back. "I'm saying good-bye," she whispers. "If things go sour, Sam, I want you to know I really did love you. And I wanted to make this work, as impossible as it is."
"No," Sam says. "No, Lenore, don't talk like that. We'll fix it. I'll fix it. I know you can handle them, lovely. I have faith."
"But I have lost mine," she replies, and slips out of his arms, and he can feel her slipping away.
"Lenore," he says, reaching for her again. "Don't do anything rash. Don't disapppear in the middle of the night—I'll come to you tonight. It'll be just us, like always. You can't walk away from that."
"I won't," she says, voice muted. "I just wanted the chance to say the inevitable good-bye."
Sam frames her face, sweeps the wisps of her hair away from her cheeks, stares into her face intently. "One problem at a time," he says. "We'll deal with Eli, and then—"
"The others will ask what happened to Eli," Lenore points out. "They'll know, Sam; even if I lie, they'll be able to tell."
Sam remembers something all at once—something he'd put out of his mind, very deliberately. He searches her eyes. "Babe, vampires mate for life, right? Is that—are we for life?"
"As long as I live," she whispers, running her fingers down the curve of his cheekbone. "I've got to go."
"I will see you tonight," Sam says urgently. "Go home, don't go out, and be watchful."
She climbs to her feet. "Tonight," she repeats, a promise. She turns, gives him one last look over her shoulder, and then she's gone.
Sam grabs Dean's discarded knife, slips into his sneakers, shrugs on his jacket.
He's got some hunting to do.
Sam kills Eli. He beheads the vamp, not because he drank from a human girl, but because he endangered Lenore, and Sam doesn't even think twice about it.
If that makes him like Dean—and Gordon—so be it.
He can't let anything happen to Lenore.
Of course, Dean asked Sam not to go out while he was getting breakfast, but Sam implied that promise before he knew Lenore was going to come to him with a problem, which is why he winds up getting back in the early evening, Dean sitting at the little formica-topped table, legs crossed at the ankles, a glass of whiskey in front of him and a glower on his face as he sits in the near-darkness.
"Your breakfast got cold," Dean says without preamble. "In fact, I had to throw it out, because it congealed. Where the fuck were you?"
Sam is covered in vampire blood, but the lights are low. He flashes Dean a look, and heads for the shower. "I was out," he says. "Hunting."
"Hunting what?" Dean asks, but Sam shuts the bathroom door and flips the latch. It's not like Dean has to know, right?
Not like Dean has to know about the teenage girl Sam brought into the hospital with a cock-and-bull story about animal attacks and finding her by the side of the road. Or about the one less vampire they're keeping track of. He breaks out into a fresh sweat, though, as he thinks about Dean scouring the newspapers every morning.
Dean might still question a young girl suffering an 'animal' attack...
Sam showers quickly, being especially careful to obliterate any trace of the vampire blood, because of its toxicity. His clothes are a wash. He's going to have to burn them.
He leaves the bathroom dripping and too-hot, and Dean is still sitting at the table, the only difference in his situation being that the level of whiskey in his glass has gone down.
"I asked you not to go out, Sam," Dean says, sounding so much like their father that Sam hisses in a breath. This is fucking ridiculous.
"Dean," he says, voice hard as diamonds. "I don't have to report to you. Lenore brought me a hunt, and I took care of it."
"Ah," Dean says, as though everything has become clear. "So the lovely Lenore came to visit, did she? And are you still planning to go out tonight, to see her? To 'play cards'?"
"You know what, Dean, I don't have to put up with this," Sam snaps, dressing quickly. It is late, and Lenore is probably starting to wonder if Sam changed his mind about the risks and challenges of their relationship.
Dean shoots to his feet, but Sam puts up a quelling hand. "I mean it, Dean. Leave it alone. Mind your own damn business."
He stalks out the door, but as he heads for Lenore's house, he wonders if it's already starting; is it already too late? Has he chosen a vampire over his own brother—or has he put himself in the impossible, rock-and-a-hard-place situation of still having to choose, when knowing he can't very well choose a supernatural creature over Dean, even if he loves her?
And he knows, deep down, that it's not like Dean and his utter devotion to family, it's just that it's Dean, and Sam has always loved Dean more than anything or anyone.
Sam finds Lenore in her bed, arms above her head, wearing only a filmy negligee. He swallows and asks himself: does he still?
It's desperation that drives it, that and the emotions roiling within him; he rolls her over at one point and stares deep into her dark eyes, trying to read her thoughts, breathing in her breath.
And maybe it's a little bit of rebellion, anger at Dean; if he'd only known what it would cost him, maybe he wouldn't have done it.
Instead he says, brushing his fingers back and forth along her lips, "I want you to bite me."
Her eyes widen, and she jerks away from him. "What? No! No, Sam, I'm not going to do that. It's bad enough that—" she doesn't say Eli's name, but they both hear it pounding in their ears just the same.
He caresses her face softly, kisses her, licks at her lips, touches her hair. "Please, baby. Please."
She allows him to kiss her, and she even smoothes her hand over the back of his skull, coming to rest at the nape of his neck, but her eyes are still troubled, her lips unsure under his, now.
"That goes against what I believe in, Sam," she whispers, stroking the fine hairs at the back of his neck. Her fingers trail forward and down, and he tilts his head, baring the side of his neck. "But oh, I want to." The confession is whisper-quiet, desperate in its own right.
"Then do it," Sam pleads, cradling her face and holding her gaze. "Do it for me."
"No, Sam," she demurs. "It's not right. It'll change everything."
"I want you as you are," Sam says. "I don't want to fight this, to pretend. I know you won't hurt me. And I know—I know I'll like it. Please."
She lightly skims her fingers over the side of his neck, her eyes so dark now, her lips red as blood, her stare thirsty. "How can I resist you," she asks, still trailing her fingers back and forth, "how can I turn you down, even though I know it's a terrible idea?"
"Because you won't," Sam says. He watches as her face begins to change, the vampire teeth descending, the curl of her lip, the crease in her brow. It ought to be frightening, but it just makes adrenaline race through him.
There are no more words, as her fierce strength takes over and she pins him to the bed. He gasps at the impact, his breath knocked out of him; he spreads his legs, feeling his cock thump and ache; she bends down and he can't see her face any more, because it's buried against his neck.
There's only the slightest pain at first, like the pinch of a needle, and then langour sweeps through him, makes his body heavy and liquid and loose, like molasses.
It's followed by a pleasure so intense and piercing that it steals his breath. He can't think; he can't move. His cock is the hardest it's ever been, his muscles corded tight.
He's lost in a sea of sensation, unable to reach out and touch her, unable to do anything but try to breathe. It spreads through him, and he can feel his blood flowing hot and thick through his arteries and veins.
He can feel every pump of his heart, and with every throb, it sends more pleasure tearing through him. It's like nothing he's ever felt. He's aware of every molecule of his body, and then, before he can really process anything, he's coming.
She hasn't done anything but drink his blood, and he's not even out of his jeans yet, but his hips stutter and snap upwards, and he shoots his load without even being touched.
The thing is, it doesn't stop. His dick empties, his balls ache, everything goes sensitive and hot, but the pleasure continues coursing through him, and even the over-sensitivity can't stop it.
His body heaves under hers, and with every lap of her tongue against his flesh, he can feel his body spasm and arch up more. He comes again, dry this time, and again. He feels wrung out and drunk, and when she finally pulls back, lifts her mouth, shining obscenely in the dim light with his blood, he's lost count of how many times she dragged him back over that edge.
She licks her lips. The vampire teeth recede and her face shifts back to almost human, barring the ethereal quality she always has simply because she's not, and never will be, human.
"Sam," she whimpers. "Oh my God."
He doesn't have the energy to rise up on his elbows and kiss her again, or he would. He doesn't know if it's from the loss of blood or the multiple orgasms, but he can barely move, limbs so heavy they feel pinned to the bed by an invisible force.
He tries to focus on her face, but everything is beginning to blur, and his vision goes fluttery and dark at the edges.
"I'm so sorry," she says, but he hears it only distantly as unconsciousness drags him under.
It's the middle of the day when he wakes up, and he can still barely move. She's hovering near him, wringing her hands, her mouth twisted down in a moue of unhappiness.
"I shouldn't have," she says. "You should not have asked me to do that."
Blinking and trying to clear his vision, he wonders why he did. Whether it was to punish Dean, and whether it will change what he and Lenore have.
"It's all right," he says, but his words are so badly slurred that he can't even understand them himself when they finally reach his ears through what seems like a layer of thick cotton.
He's still keenly aware of his blood pumping through his body, and he wonders if that's normal, if it will fade.
"It's not," Lenore says, but she doesn't elaborate. Instead, she goes on: "You need to eat something. And I don't think you'll be fit to get up today, which means Dean is going to be very angry."
"Fuck Dean," Sam says, still slurring. Then he forces a crooked smile, mouth not wanting to work quite right. "Not literally."
"I hurt you, baby," she says, sounding upset and disgusted with herself. "I could've stopped sooner. God, Sam, I could have killed you. You're not—you're not like the others. I needed to be careful with you; I should not have allowed you to persuade me against my better judgment. It's not happening again, Sam, make a note of that."
He smiles weakly and his eyes drift closed again. "I'm not unhappy about it," he mumbles, but sleep is thick and calling for him in a way he can't resist.
Dean must be really angry with him, because even though Sam's gone, recovering, for upwards of three days, and Dean knows where to find him, Dean doesn't come looking.
Sam wonders if Dean has given up on him.
His phone rings, once, on day two, and when Sam says he's all right, not dead, thanks very much, Dean hangs up.
"You have to go back," Lenore says, wiping her hands on a dishtowel and looking all domestic. "You should be fine now, Sam."
He does feel better; he doesn't feel his blood running hot in his veins any more, which is a good thing. It was kind of disconcerting, that feeling.
"I don't want to leave," Sam says. "I want to stay with you."
"Baby, you know that's not possible. He's your brother, and you need to go back."
He gets out of bed and wrinkles his nose. He hasn't had a shower in days—too weak to stand up—and his jeans are crusted over inside and he's going to have to put them back on. Ick.
Sam kisses the corner of her lips with his closed mouth, then staggers to the bathroom, still a little weak from not moving in so long.
He brushes his teeth, then cleans himself as best he can, smelling of her shampoo when he gets out, and dresses back in his disgusting clothes with reluctance.
When he gets back into the main room, the kitchen, the sun is starting to crest the horizon and Lenore is standing at the window, watching it. Pensively.
"It hurts," she says softly. "Drinking human blood and then the withdrawal when you go back to animals. It hurts."
He feels a pang. "I'm so sorry," he says, but he knows the words are inadequate.
She turns, smiles sadly. "No," she says. "Don't be sorry. It was lovely. It was a lovely gesture of trust, and it was a delicious change from the awful stuff I have to live on. I have to thank you for that, no matter what else happens."
He shifts awkwardly on his feet. "I love you," he whispers. "I did it because—"
"No," she argues. "You didn't. It was because of Dean, and we both know that. It's okay, Sam; I don't doubt your love for me."
Sam feels low, like an insect. What has he done, to hurt her, just so he could hurt Dean? And why did he need to hurt Dean—what was the point of that?
She crosses the room and links her arms around his neck, leaning in close, head against his chest. "Go home, Sam. I'll see you again soon."
But Sam doesn't know that a choice is about to be made for him.
That he's not going to see her again.
Dean doesn't speak when Sam gets back to the room. He's packing angrily, throwing his things into his duffle without care, and Sam's stuff is strewn over his bed.
"We're getting the fuck out of here," he says finally, when long minutes of silence have passed. "You did something stupid, Sam. You did something so fucking stupid, and we're both gonna get killed if we don't get the fuck out of here."
Sam's heart pounds. Lenore. "But—" he starts, and Dean cuts him off.
"This is non-negotiable," Dean says. "I won't leave you here to get killed—or worse. You're coming with me whether you like it or not."
So, Sam thinks, is this it? Has Dean shoved him into the corner and painted him in, so that he can't get out without doing something that either Dean won't like or Sam won't like?
"I'm not leaving," Sam says. Dean doesn't even glance over at him.
Without pausing in his preparations, still without deigning to look at him, Dean grits out,
"I really don't care how much you hate taking orders, and I really don't care how much you are going to hate me for this, and I especially don't care whether this is too authoritative for you or not. You don't have a choice."
"A person always has a choice," Sam spits out. He's so angry he's vibrating with it.
Dean finally stills, turns around and meets Sam's eyes.
"You can't protect her any more," he says. "Gordon is here, now, and he knows that one of her little vampires fed on someone. And he knows that she fed on someone—" here Dean's eyes flick to Sam's neck and he struggles not to cover the tiny marks "—and he's not going to listen to excuses. Sam, he'll just as soon kill you for collusion as he would her."
"I love her," Sam says, the words out there at last. Dean grimaces, but he says,
"I know, little brother. I know a lot more than you think. But it doesn't change the facts. Sam, we can't save her."
"I have to try," Sam says, and turns for the door. Dean gets there before he can fully open it, though; slams it shut with his palm against the cheap wood.
"Don't make me tie you up," Dean threatens.
"You promised me," Sam says, knowing he sounds like a petulant child, but he can't help it.
Tears are starting to impede his vision.
"I know, Sammy." Dean steps in close and wraps one powerfully muscled arm around Sam's shoulders. "I know I did. And if I thought there was anything I could do—" he stops. He locks gazes with Sam.
"I didn't find out Gordon was here through the hunter grapevine," he says. "This is going to be hard to hear, and I am sorry." He pauses, looking exceedingly pained.
Sam's ears are ringing and he can barely make sense of Dean's words. "What is it?" he forces through parched lips and a strained voicebox.
"It took you too long to get back," Dean says. "Gordon called me. It's too late, Sam; she's dead."
The words don't make sense. There's just no way that those words can be put together like that and make sense.
"She didn't hurt me," he says jerkily. "She didn't do anything. I didn't have to—didn't have to make that choice. That's—" he can't speak any more, he's crying too hard.
Dean gathers him up like he used to do when Sam was a child and much smaller than Dean. Sam sobs, never wondering if it's true, because Dean would never lie to him about something like this, and he's grieving too hard to wonder if Gordon would have lied to Dean.
"Gordon is coming for us next," Dean says softly against his ear. "It's why we have to leave. C'mon, Sammy, you're stronger than this. Be glad you didn't have to do it, and come with me now."
Sam allows himself to be led.
He can't bring himself to look back the whole way as they drive away from the town.
"Was it nice, baby, drinking that rich human blood? Was it worth it?"
Lenore wheezes but she doesn't struggle. She'd already known it was too late once she put her lips and teeth to Sam's neck.
She knew that Sam worried about what she might do someday; she knew it was a very real possibility that he'd make a choice to kill her if he thought his life—or Dean's—was in danger.
"Did you enjoy it, you blood-thirsty whore?" Gordon asks, strafing her skin again with a knife licked with dead man's blood.
She doesn't speak, head hanging low, pain screaming along every nerve.
"I'm going to kill him next, nice and slow, like I'm killing you," Gordon promises, low and lethal.
She drank his blood. She promised him as long as she lived—she never promised Sam how long that would be.
How long could it be?
He was better off without her.
She was weak; she drank his blood. Eli had fallen off the wagon and drawn attention to them, and she hadn't done much better, allowing Sam to disappear for days.
It had only been a matter of time.
"I hope you enjoyed that taste," Gordon says. "Because your next taste of human blood is going to be from a dead man. I hope you enjoyed that fuck," Gordon adds. "Because it's the last one you're going to have."
"I don't care if you kill me," she finally says hoarsely. It's the truth.
Someone had to make the choice.
It doesn't really hurt, when he finally curves the knife against her neck.
It feels a lot like relief.
<- part one | Master Post