The night was like any other night. The shadows clung to the walls allowing perfect hiding places for anything and in particular, that which goes bump in the night. It was like any other night on the hunt. The added bonus was that the rain was coming down hard creating sheets of water that formed miniature lakes in the streets. That was good. Less chance of anyone seeing blood spilled.
The hunter watched the city below with a practiced eye earned by her years. She didn’t mind the rain. It never mattered to the things she hunted. They did their business, day or night, rain or shine; that was the way of things with them. She crouched on top of the building she chose to use for surveillance and peered through the rain allowing her heightened vision to scan the pitiful souls caught in the downpour.
She had been on the hunt for two days after having caught wind of mysterious deaths. She had been assigned to this town and she would see it through. She watched and waited. That was the hard part… and the boring for some: the waiting. Yet the good hunters know that the patience in waiting always paid off. Maybe not the way you wanted it but it did pay off.
She waited until something caught her eye. Looking harder, she spotted her prey. With a grim smile, she stood up and looked down from her perch. Then with a swift movement, she leapt off the building and plummeted down to the ground where she landed with a graceful bow. Slowly she stood up and looked at her prey.
Almost as if it sensed her, it turned around. It looked human but the hunter knew what its true face was. The creature revealed the second set of fangs protruding from the gum line. The hunter smiled her grim smile as her hand pulled out the one weapon she carried on hunters. The flash of silver was intimidating to the creature but then it began to laugh a deep guttural laugh.
The hunter stole glances to the side and let her senses feel. She sensed them. The creature was not alone. Others had come and she was surrounded. They encircled her baring their fangs and roaring the animal growls. They could take her out, if she wasn’t what she was. She maintained the brim smile and said, “Do you really want to go this route?”
The one she had been following laughed and replied, “Do you want to tangle with the Coven? With Suarez?”
The hunter paused. She knew now what she was dealing with and it was an old wound, one of many, that had never healed. She remembered. The pause though was a mistake. In a flash, the others swarmed to attack. Thanks to her reflexes she avoided the first attempt at grabbing her. She whirled around and brought her blade up and sliced the head off. The head fell to the ground, the edges of the wound burning as it cauterized.
The hunter began to move using her skills, abilities that had been honed from years of training. She used her skills in martial arts to fend off her attackers while she took them one at a time. Kills came when she sliced their heads off with her blade. Every time she attacked though, more seemed to spring out. She was vastly outnumbered. The only way to take them all out was to go out fighting. They would send others. She fought harder and the number of bodies grew.
Suddenly she was hit from behind. She fell forward and she lost her grip on her blade. She watched as it slid away through the puddles of water. The creatures couldn’t touch it so that wasn’t a worry. Suddenly she felt what seemed to be a pipe come down on her back. She grunted in pain as it hit hard. She had little recovery time for the others grabbed for her. They held her up and the creature she had stalked came up to her. With a single finger, the creature ran it down the side of her neck.
The hunter bucked in response. She hated it when they did that. She hated the feelings that came with it… and the memories. She growled in anger and tried to bite the offending finger. The result was a hard backhand across the face. She glared at the creature, her normal tawny eyes glowed, becoming bright orbs in the night. The creature merely laughed as he brought up a blade. The hunter recognized the glint of the metal. She struggled to free herself. Suddenly the blade came at her, towards where her heart was…
The open road lay open like a carpet as the Impala ate up the miles like it was nothing. Dean stared straight ahead giving in to the urge to floor it during the empty stretch of highway. He glanced over at the passenger seat where his younger brother sat in a deep sleep while muttering something under his breath. Dean began to toy with ideas to wake him up. One idea came to him. He reached for the opened Twinkie package on the seat and took the uneaten pastry out. With care, Dean squeezed the whipped cream out onto his brother’s nose until there was a sizeable lump of it on his nose. Eating the leftovers, Dean gave a wicked grin as he cranked up the music to a deafening level and waited for the reaction.
Sam had been deep in a dream. It had been the same dream he had been having for several nights now. He kept dreaming of a woman who was a hunter and she was hunting a group of vampires. Every time she was overpowered and she was being stabbed by a knife but one that made her afraid. He never got a good look at her face except her eyes. They were tawny and carried a sparkle in them even when they changed into those glowing orbs.
He had gotten to the part where she was getting stabbed when he heard the sudden blare of music. Sam woke with a start and bumped one of his hands on his nose smearing the whipped cream over his face. Sam scowled at his brother while looking for a remotely clean napkin in the car. Finding one he hastily scrubbed the whip cream off. “Jerk,” he muttered while scowling at his brother.
Dean grinned, “Bitch. So what was it this time Sasquatch? You failed the bar exam?” Dean loved ribbing Sam about his academic days at Stanford.
Sam threw the napkin at Dean and replied, “No.” It was a long pause before he added, “It was her again.”
Dean was surprised that he managed to keep the Impala on the road when he heard that. Normally he would tease Sam about dreaming of sexy women but this was something different. It was on par with the nightmares Sam occasionally had about his girlfriend Jessica dying. “Same dream?”
“Yeah.” Sam stared out at the window at the countryside. “Dean it’s always the same. She’s alone and she fights and she dies.”
“Yeah well, it was her choice. You said she was a hunter and she did what we would do: go down fighting. It’s what any hunter would do.”
“I don’t know Dean. She looked…” Sam trailed off. He really couldn’t explain to his brother what he saw with her. “Maybe it was a vision but no headaches or anything like it. It felt like I was supposed to know.”
“Sam, you and I both know that visions have something to do with what that demon did to you.”
“Yeah but those were like pounding headaches. This wasn’t.”
“I don’t like it Sammy.”
That effectively shut Sam up since he knew that any mention of the yellow eyed demon was bound to have Dean go on the warpath. It had been that way ever since their father died. Funny thing was that any time they ran into other people like him, Sam got the distinct feeling that they were being watched and it was the same feeling he got when he had the dream of the woman. He never said anything about it to Dean since he was sure Dean would certainly blow a gasket on that one.
The silence became deafening so Sam changed the subject, “So you found a job?”
“Yeah. Missing people turning up bled dry.”
“Sounds like vampires.”
“I’m betting the same thing.” Dean looked over at his brother to see him deep in thought. He was still thinking about the dream. It did seem to be a strange coincidence that Sam would have this dream about a hunter being killed by vampires. Dean didn’t know what to make of it and it bothered him that his little brother would obsess about it for days afterwards to the point he would lose sleep and not eat. For a while it was fun to tease him about obsessing over a girl but it was getting to become more frequent. He didn’t know what to do. So he kept silent and kept driving.
It had been nearly a year since she paid a visit to her old friend and still he managed to make her feel as if she had never left. Angela looked at the mantle above the shelf. She recognized a few of the pieces resting on their display holders, in particular the blade that few could barely stand in the presence of without cowering in fear. She ran a hand over it feeling the history that lived within it amazed that it would let someone like her touch it.
Angela directed her gaze to the other objects on the shelf. One was the amulet of Isis, a rare find for her and she managed to get it away from a bunch of demons who wanted to use it to destroy the goddess. She was not particularly religious but she was devoted in her own way to the goddess of immortality. She smiled at the memory of when the goddess gave the amulet to her as a reward citing that she was a beloved daughter. It was a comforting thought but not enough to erase the debt that she needed to pay back.
She was lost in thought when a voice from the doorway sounded, “I see you’ve made yourself comfortable.”
Angela looked up to see the familiar presence of the one who brought her back from the edge of total darkness. She replied, “You just have a way of making me feel at home.”
The man in the doorway merely laughed in a good natured way before entering the room. He stood in front of Angela and crossed his arms while smiling at her. “I always said you were more than welcome to stay here. Most everyone does.”
“Always the generous soul, Seer.”
“Don’t call me that or I’ll call you by your title.”
“You wouldn’t dare,” Angela narrowed her eyes as they started to become glowing orbs.
The man before her reacted similarly with his eyes starting to glow like hers, “We can test that. I can tell you’ve been itching for a fight.” Suddenly the glowing in his eyes was gone as he continued, “Which is why I asked you to come.” He began to pour some wine into two glasses out of old fashioned hospitality. “The Council has gotten wind of an old adversary of yours that has set up shop in Chicago.”
“I’ve quite a few of those. Probably in every species of demon,” Angela replied as her hand instinctively went to her side to make sure her weapon was still there. “Who is it this time? Lucius and his clan of werewolves? Azazel?”
The man whom she called Seer recognized the tone of voice she had gotten when she mentioned the one demon that she pursued still whenever she caught wind of him. He suppressed the sigh knowing that if he lectured her about it, she would brush him off. He knew the reasons behind the obsession and he sensed that it was the one thing that kept her going. For once though he was glad that he had someone else on the list rather than that demon, though this time he was going to have to deal with rage at some point. He replied, “Suarez.”
Angela merely stared aware that she could feel her eye teeth begin to elongate as well as the surge of power in her blood. She took a deep breath and forced her body into some semblance of calm. She then asked, “What is the bastard up to?”
The man offered Angela a glass of wine which she accepted with the manners that had been instilled in her when she was a child. His gaze never left her as he took a drink of the wine he had poured. He then replied, “Sources for the Centurion stated that he is attempting something big. What, they have is no clue except that a large amount of people have been going missing only to turn up later drained of their blood.”
“Sounds more like a feeding frenzy to me. Nothing the Centurion can’t handle. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to tracking down the banes of my existence,” Angela replied as she downed the wine as she would a shot of whiskey. She set the wine glass with extreme care on the nearest side table and headed towards the window.
“Their souls were taken.”
Angela paused. There were many rituals that involved blood but blood and souls were something else. She looked back at the man and said, “I’m listening.”
“As I said, the Centurion doesn’t know. The Council wants to send in a Chaser to find out.”“Great when do I start?”
“They didn’t want you.”
Angela tried hard not to touch anything lest she break it. “What?”
“The Council thought that it should be someone else,” the man replied. He held up hand to prevent her from saying anything. He continued, “They didn’t want your past history with Suarez to cloud the issue.”
“They think I’ll get revenge? Brendan, the only revenge I live for is hunting down Alighieri and Azazel. Suarez is an annoying fly.” Angela clenched and unclenched her hands to prevent her from doing anything rash.
Brendan, the Seer, looked at his friend curiously. He was impressed that in all her years of living and since he first met her, she managed to control her anger. He knew she was a reluctant soldier for the Centurion but she did the jobs she was given and without much complaint. He knew that she wouldn’t take it well when he told her that the Council didn’t want her for this job and he told them that. At least they were willing to compromise. He replied, “I said the same thing when they contacted me. I suggested a compromise. Instead of sending just the one, they send two. You and one to ‘watch’ you and make sure that you complete the job.”
Angela let out a rather unladylike snort as she replied, “And who is the ass wipe that’s supposed to be babysitting me?”
“I’m rather touched that you consider me an ass wipe and not a nuisance,” a familiar voice came from the doorway.
Angela turned towards the owner and her scowl changed into a smile. “Akira? You?”
Akira Kuran looked at the woman who had become her friend and confidant ever since she learned about her heritage with a smile. “The Council wanted an older Chaser but your friend has connections and is very persuasive so here I am.”
Angela crossed the room quickly to give the girl a sisterly hug. “As long as you don’t do anything stupid with those new powers.”
“I’ve gotten better.”
“And what does the fang boy have to say?”
“You know he doesn’t like it when you call him that,” Akira gave a mock scowl at her friend. “He was livid but I know how you like to work alone and the Council thought it was best that I tag along. Something about needing experience.”Brendan didn’t mind that he was being ignored while the two talked. Angela had few that she would call friends in the world and he knew why to some degree. Akira was one of the few to break through that tough wall of bitchiness to find out that there was a woman capable of feeling. Such things were rare in life and even for one with a lengthy lifespan like him, you learn quickly to make the most of it. He watched as they conversed debating on whether or not to tell her what else he knew about the job.
He knew she had given her word and she firmly believed in keeping so much that it was like making a blood oath. She would be bound to it until the day she died. Yet he knew that she toed the line with it because of another promise she had made and reluctantly. The vision had been clear about Angela and he knew he should let it be but he couldn’t. He had a close friend of the brothers drop a hint to them as soon as the Council made its decision. She would be pissed at him but he could take it. He would much rather have her face them, meet them, than go through the rest of her life watching from the shadows.
Akira noticed the look on Brendan’s face and asked, “Something else we should know about this?”
Brendan knew he was on the hook now. He might as well face the music. He relaxed into his most comfortable demeanor and replied, “Just something more. There are other hunters on the trail. Ones not part of the Centurion.”“Great. We have to babysit humans who think waving a big gun makes them a hunter. Why couldn’t it be someone from the clans?” Angela made her displeasure with mortal hunters clear. She had to deal with them constantly and it left little to be desired regarding any positive impression.
“They are of the clans, just a very distant branch,” Brendan replied. Here comes the bombshell. “They are the Winchesters.”
Akira recognized the name from all the reports from the Council. Apparently the Winchester brothers impressed them even if their brand of crazy was downright foolish at times. She, herself, admired their loyalty to family, a concept that she Angela embraced. She glanced over at her friend and noticed that she actually lost some coloring. So she knows them.Angela felt as if someone had given her a punch to the stomach that completely winded her. It couldn’t be true. If it were, she couldn’t follow. She had made a promise to stay away. But you gave your word to watch out for them. A battle raged inside of Angela and she felt herself grow a little faint at it. She finally said, “The Winchesters are there?”
Brendan never expected the reaction he was seeing but then again that was Angela. He quickly poured another glass of wine and handed it to her. “That was what the Council’s sources reported. They still want you to go in.”
Angela downed the wine quickly much like the first. She reveled in the rush it gave and was aware that some color must have returned to her face. She could do this. She made a promise and she would keep it. She then felt a tug at the back of her mind. Dammit! I thought it had gone away. She straightened out and schooled her features into a stern glance. She replied, “If it is the will of the bloody Council then I will obey.”
Akira noted the change within her partner. She knew that Angela had secrets that she never shared and she never pressed for. She figured that her connection to the Winchesters was one of those secrets and quite possibly a painful one. She could only hope that her friend would be able to face whatever was bothering her and not let it kill her. To reassure her friend she added, “That includes me too.”
Brendan nodded. This was going to be a difficult trial for her.