It was half ten on a Sunday morning. The sun was covered by grey clouds, a couple of beams of light shining through to hit the trees below. A light shower of rain fell down to splash on the ground, creating small muddy puddles on the grass. The forest was quiet, the only sound was the rain; no birds sang, no squirrels scurried along the floor looking for food, the insects creeped along as quietly as possible, intimidated by the silence.
The trees gently swayed and a small whistling sound echoed around the clearing, almost as if the wind was shushing the rain as it pelted down on the glass windows of the wooden cabin. It was almost like the forest knew; knew something was happening, something bad, and it was being respectfully quiet as it waited to see how it would end.
Rain trickled down the glass windows, creating patterns that small children loved to follow with their fingers. But there was no children around to enjoy it; the only people that were there was four adults and they were far too busy to be mesmerized by the designs the rain made.
The oldest male stood by the armchair that was closet to the window, back straight and shoulders tensed. A small line of blood slipped from his nose but he didn't seem to notice, too concerned with something else than his own wellbeing. Deep frown lines covered his forehead, his eyes were narrowed and his lips were in a thin line as he stared across the room.
The second oldest male stood infront of the armchair, his hands up infront of him. Unlike the other male, his back was slightly hunched over - trying to make himself look smaller - and the only blood that was on him was the small freckled spots on the back of his hand. His eyes were slightly wide; shock, fear and panic clouded the green orbs as he stared at the person infront of him.
The only girl in the room was lying on the floor, on her right side, the ropes that tied her to a chair digging into her wrists. She ignored that small pain to focus on the bigger ones; her stomach burned, throbbing in time with her heartbeat. The pain was intense, taking her breath away and she struggled to breathe. The small cut on her cheek had swollen slightly, puffing up at the edges as a thin trickle of blood slipped down. Her face was red - the yellow and blue bruise under her eye standing out - and stiff from the dried tears, even as a few fresh ones slipped down. She ignored everyone in the room as she clenched her eyes shut tightly, waiting for the pain to pass.
The fourth adult - the youngest - stood on the opposite side of the room from the others. Back straight, shoulders down and neck stretched up; he stood tall and steady. His face was closed off, no emotion showing apart from the firm resolve he felt. If an outsider walked into that room and saw him, they would instantly describe him as strong and determined. But if one looked closer they would be able to see his right hand tremble slightly as he held the knife close to his own throat, see the small twitching his arm made, and the heavy way his chest moved up and down.
The only sound in the room was the rain hitting the windows and the hitching breaths that Jess tried to gulp down.
It was a full minute before Dean found the nerve to speak. "Sam...What the hell?"
Sam swallowed heavily, feeling hot under his clothes. "Step away from her, Dean." Despite his body betraying him, his voice stayed strong and calm.
John took a small step forward, panic making his voice sharp. "Put the damn knife down, Sam." He ordered again, breathing hard. Seeing a knife to his youngest son's throat...the last important gift Mary had given him...John felt his chest tighten and felt his nails digging into his palms. "You put it down now, or so help me..."
"STEP AWAY!" Sam interrupted, his voice echoing in the silence that followed. He quickly glanced at Jess to see that she had opened her eyes slightly and was staring back at him. Not having time to reassure her, Sam's eyes whipped back to his family.
Dean raised his hands a little higher and took a couple of steps back. "Alright, Sammy. I'm stepping back, Kiddo, okay? Just take it easy." He tried to soothe, keeping his voice calm.
"Keep going." Sam ordered when Dean stopped.
Dean raised an eyebrow and didn't move from his spot infront of the armchair. He shook his head slowly. "No, Sam. This is far enough."
"No, it ain't!" His voice was no longer steady; instead it became harsh and a little shaky. "Further back, Dean."
"No, Sam." Dean refused, shaking his head again.
Sam's breathing picked up slightly. This wasn't turning out like he planned. Well, there was no turning back now. He started this...
He straightened his shoulders back and stared into his brother's eyes as he pressed against the knife. More blood slowly trickled out as he made the cut deeper, using all his will power not to flinch at the sting and burn; instead he clenched his jaw against the pain and breathed deeply through his nose.
Dean's eyes widened when he saw more blood before they hardened at Sam's non-verbal threat. No one threatened his brother - not even his brother himself. But there was nothing he could do at the moment, so he stepped around the chair and walked backwards to stand beside his Dad, who stood by the window. He dropped his arms down to his side and stood shoulder to shoulder with John, both of them tensed with anger and panic.
Seeing his family was a good distance away from his girlfriend, Sam tried to calm himself down; taking short but controlled breaths. He slowly stepped forward until he was next to Jess, his eyes glancing back and forth between her and his Dad and Dean. It was only then that he realised he had a problem. How the hell was he gonna untie Jess? If he removed the knife...
Dean, seeing Sam's dilemma, took the opportunity to speak. "So what now, College Boy?" He asked, a slight hardness to his voice. "Got yourself in quite the predicament, haven't you, Sammy?" He looked meaningfully at Jess before looking back at Sam. "You need to release your girl, but you know for a fact..." He enhanced the last word, raising his finger in the air before dropping his hand again, to show Sam that it was indeed a fact. "...that if you drop that knife I'll be over there within a second." He paused, allowing Sam to think about it. "So what now, Kid?" He asked again.
Sam looked back and fourth between Jess and his family, wondering the same thing. What now? Then he spied the other knives sitting on the couch. Unfortunately for Sam, so did John, and without giving his youngest a chance to realise that he'd even moved, John jumped the three steps to stand behind the back of the couch.
Sam tensed when his Dad moved and took a step back, his heart pounding and giving him, what sure as hell felt like, a mini heart attack. What the hell was he supposed to do now? If this didn't work out...
Seeing the panic rise up in his youngest, John spoke. "Give it up, Son." He advised. "It'll only be worse if you keep going."
No, no he couldn't give it up, he couldn't stop now. Jess was counting on him; she needed him to do this. But how was he gonna do this? How was he gonna untie Jess as well as keep his family at a safe distance?
Sam moved his eyes around the room, looking for anything that could help. Not seeing anything, he started to panic. Things weren't going the way he had planned them that morning. His eyes kept going over to the knives on the couch; the knives his Dad was standing behind. He only needed one more knife to be able to untie Jess - and in order to get the knife then he needed to show his family just how far he was willing to go.
It only took a second to transfer the knife from his throat to his shoulder; the pointy, sharp tip digging in slightly but not drawing blood just yet.
"Get away from the knives, Dad." He ordered quietly. He knew what the answer was gonna be and he braced himself to do what he had to.
John waited a moment to answer, his lips in a tight line as he regarded his youngest, trying to figure out what he had planned. "No." He whispered cautiously.
Sam breathed out a heavy sigh, grabbed the knife's handle with his left hand and used his right to place his palm over the end of it, ready to bang on the end and drive the knife into his shoulder.
Knowing his intentions, Dean took a step forward and John took a step back.
"NO!" They both shouted simultaneously.
Sam paused, his right hand frozen in mid-air from where he was in the middle of bringing it back, glancing at his Dad when John spoke.
His hands slightly raised, John took a couple more steps away. "Alright." He sighed out. "Alright, Sam, I'm movin' away." He walked backwards until he stood in the hall, his back hitting the wall. "Don't do anything stupid, Son."
Sam's eyes darted back and forth between his Dad and Dean as he hesitatingly shuffled his feet sideways to get to the sofa. Once he stood infront of it, he quickly snatched up the nearest knife and shuffled his way back to Jess. Never taking his eyes away from his family, Sam slowly crouched to the floor and carefully started cutting the rope off of Jess's right wrist, taking the knife away from his shoulder and back to his throat.
Dean and John stared back at Sam, anger and fear battling inside them. They had seen the look on Sam's face when he was about to shove the knife into his shoulder; they knew he would have done it. Seeing their youngest about to willingly hurt himself like that...
Dean's eyes glared down at Jess with a cold hatred. It was her fault. The two cuts on his little brother's neck, the blood that slowly trickled down...it was because of her. Dean clenched his fists and jaw, barely stopping himself from jumping over there and grabbing Sam away from the Bitch. She was making Sammy do this; he's never done anything like this before, and Dean would bet anything that his brother wouldn't be acting like this now is Jess wasn't in the picture.
'Come on, come on.' Sam thought, quickly glancing down to see how far he had gotten with the rope. His heart was pounding against his chest, wondering how this was gonna play out. He wanted this to go as smoothly as possible - untie Jess, make sure his family stayed back, walk out the door, jump in the car and put this cabin in the rearview mirror - but he wasn't stupid. He couldn't let his guard down for a single second, couldn't underestimate his family - it could be Jess's downfall if he did.
After what seemed like a lifetime to Sam and Jess, the rope was finally off. Just as Sam started to free Jess's other hand, Dean spoke, his voice low and calm.
"Don't do this, Sam." He warned. "It won't end well, you know that. The only thing this is doing is pissin' me an' Dad off even more." He gestured over to John with his head. His Dad was tense, clenching his fists and glaring down at Sam's girlfriend. Seeing that Sam had no intentions of answering him, Dean tried another tactic. "Alright, let's say you do manage to get out of here. Let's say you actually manage to get into the car and drive away. What then?" He asked rhetorically. He nodded down at Jess. "My footprints are probably all over your girl's stomach. I mean, with the force I was kicking her with..." He trailed off and smirked slightly. "I must have done some damage. She's gonna need to see a Doctor." He ignored Sam's glare and carried on. "So you'll get out of here, you'll drive away, you'll probably go to the Hospital or a clinic, your girl is probably gonna tell them all about me and Dad, which will force us to lay low for awhile - say, what...?" He looked over at John and pretended to think. "...a couple of months?" He looked back at Sam. "But what then? What's gonna happen after those couple of months, Sammy?" When Sam stayed silent, Dean pushed on. "Come on, Kiddo, take a guess."
Sam glared down at the floor, working faster with the knife while also trying to be careful not to cut Jess with it. He knew what his brother was doing and he was determined that it wouldn't work. He wouldn't let Dean scare him out of this. Sam couldn't think about that right now; he couldn't plan out the next week, the next month, the nest few months...he just needed to think about today, now; needed to take it one step at a time - Step one: Get Jess untied. Step two: Open the cabin door. Step three: Get Jess out of the cabin and into the car. He'll think about what to do next once the car was driving away.
"We'll find you." Dean stated, as calm and confident as can be as he stared down at Sam. Unlike his Dad, he was no longer tense; his body was relaxed as he stood there and Sam's nerves were starting to bubble up. Dean shifted his stance and tilted his head a little to the side. "We always have and we always will." He paused to let that sink in before continuing. "So. A couple of months will go by, and we'll find you - we'll find her - and we'll drag you both back up here and start all over again. Only then we'll be even more pissed than we are now." He paused again. "So how about you save us all the trouble of going through all that and just put the goddamn knife down!" He hissed out the last few words before his voice went back to being calm. "Step away from your girl and go over to Dad so he can check out those cuts. Hmm? What do you say, Kid? Make it easier on all of us."
Sam breathed deeply through his nose, trying to calm himself down. He's not gonna argue, he's not gonna let Dean distract him from freeing Jess, he's not gonna let Dean get to him and make a mistake, he's just gonna untie Jess and walk out the door...but seriously? Easier? Screw him!
Before Sam's mental rant could really start, the rope came undone and Sam breathed a sigh of relief. Jess's left arm dropped down and she immediately wrapped it around her stomach, letting out another quiet sob.
"It's okay." Sam whispered, putting his hand gently on her shoulder. "I know it hurts, Jess, but I need you to stand. Can you do that?" He tried to keep the tears away as Jess looked at him. The tears and pain in her eyes made him want to drop the knife and throw his arms around her. But he couldn't do that just yet. It wasn't safe. "I know." He kept his voice low, his words meant only for her. He gently wiped her tears off her cheek with his thumb. "I know. I'm sorry. But I need you to help me here, okay? I need you to stand up for me. Please."
Jess squeezed her eyes shut for a moment, mentally preparing herself for what she had to do. Sam lightly squeezed her shoulder, trying to encourage her. He watched as Jess opened her eyes, watched as they widened in fear and instantly whipped his head around.
"Stay back, Dad! I mean it!" He shouted, digging the knife in and making a third cut on his neck. The adrenaline made the pain tolerable as he stared at John who had silently walked around to the front of the couch.
John raised his hands again and stepped back. "Alright." He stared at the blood running down his son's neck, his stomach turning at the sight. He took a deep breath, trying to stop himself from rushing forward. "I'll stay back." He promised, glancing over at Dean who gave him a single nod.
Quickly glancing back and forth between his family and Jess, Sam gently took her arm and helped her stand, trying to ignore the whimpers that fell from her mouth. Jess threw her left arm around Sam's shoulders, her right one coming up to curl protectively around her stomach. She couldn't stand straight, and she flinched and hissed when Sam gently wrapped an arm around her waist.
Once Jess was secured to his side, Sam concentrated on his family. He jerked his head over to his Dad but kept his eyes on Dean. "Over there." He ordered. "Away from the door."
"Sam, I'm tellin' you; Don't do this." Dean warned again as he started slowly walking to the other side of the room, keeping his eyes on Sam the whole time.
Sam didn't respond. He kept his eyes on his family, never turning his back to them as he walked back towards the front door, keeping his arm tightly around Jess who whimpered every time they moved.
Stick to the steps; that's all he had to do.
Step two: Open the cabin door.
It's not a hard task - it's simple and easy and something he can do. His heart slamming against his chest was trying to convince him otherwise, but Sam tried his best to ignore it, taking controlled breaths to calm himself down. His back hit the door and Sam flinched before sighing in relief.
They made it to the door.
Now he just had to open it.
Another dilemma. - How was he gonna open the door when he had both his hands fall? He couldn't let go of the knife or the entire thing would be over. As soon as he lowered it away from his neck, his Dad or Dean - more likely both - would be infront of them within seconds. But he also couldn't let go of Jess or she would curl over on the floor.
He snuck a quick glance at Jess. He didn't wanna ask her to do anything after what happened to her, didn't want to cause her anymore pain by making her move too much, but he didn't have any other choice.
"Jess, I need you to get the door." He whispered, keeping his eyes on his family so he didn't have to look at Jess, didn't have to see the pain on her face when she moved to open the door.
He heard Jess let out a tired whine before he felt her shuffle herself around to grab the door handle.
Step two completed!
Now onto step three.
"Stay there." He interrupted his Dad as he maneuvered himself and Jess out the door. "Stay there." He repeated as he and Jess stepped outside into the rain. He felt Jess let out a sigh of relief but Sam knew it was far too soon to do so. Just because they were outside didn't mean they were free. They walked backwards as quickly as they could, Sam looking behind them every now and again to make sure they didn't trip on anything. Dean and John had stayed in the cabin and Sam was starting to think that they had actually managed to get away; that his plan had actually worked.
He quickly led Jessica around the car and over to the passenger side door, whispering "Sorry, sorry, I'm sorry." every time she whimpered in pain. Dean was right about one thing; Jess needed a Doctor - for all Sam knew, Dean could have cracked one of her ribs or something. It was only when he pulled on the door handle to open the door that Sam realised he had made a huge mistake.
He'd forgotten to get Dean's car keys.
And the Impala was locked.
"Oh, God. No, no, no, no, no!" He whispered under his breath, tugging the handle rentlessly even though he knew it wouldn't work.
"Sam?" Jess looked up at him, her voice shaking with pain and fear as she swiftly blinked to try and get the rain off of her eyelashes.
Sam looked around the clearing desperately. He didn't know what he was hoping to find - maybe for a fast car to magically appear through the trees to save them like in Harry Potter, or maybe a big blue phone box to teleport them out of here like in Doctor Who; he didn't mind either one. Seriously, he wasn't fussy, one of them would do. - but the only thing he saw was his Dad and brother walking casually out of the cabin, the keys to the car dangling from his brother's hand as he held them up.
"Looking for these?" Dean shouted over, shaking the keys in his hand mockingly.
Sam stared wide-eyed as his family walked across the clearing. "Jess, we need to run." He whispered urgently, already turning his body around to face the forest while he kept his head facing his family.
"Sam..." Jess moaned, stumbling over her feet and gasping when Sam tightened his arm around her. "I can't...I can't..." She sobbed.
"Jess, RUN!" Sam shouted and pushed her forward, causing Jess to scream in pain, as Dean and John came sprinting towards them.
They didn't get very far. Jess stumbled, slipping on the wet grass, and fell to the floor, sobbing as she curled up into a ball. She felt Sam's hands on her arms as he attmpted to pull her back up but a second later Sam's hands disappeared.
Dean grabbed the back of his brother's t-shirt, yanking him away from the girl and pulling him back against his chest.
"No! Jess!" Sam yelled as Dean swung him around and pressed his back against the car, grabbing his arms and pinning him there as Sam struggled violently.
"S-Sam..." Jess sobbed as John twisted his hand in her hair and pulled her up onto her knees.
Dean struggled to keep Sam pinned, realising that it wasn't as easy to physically restrain him as it was when he was a kid. But Dean was still the big brother - and the big brother had his ways of keeping the younger controlled. Dean looked over his shoulder and narrowed his eyes at the Bitch on the floor. Her cries were starting to get on his nerves.
"Shut her up." He hissed to John and smirked in satisfaction when his Dad brought out the gun from the back of the waistband of his pants, cracking Jess on the back of her head with it. He ignored Sam's loud cry and watched as Jess slumped to the floor.
Sam stopped struggling against his brother and stared at his unconscious girlfriend, heartbroken that he couldn't help her. He only got a quick second to silently apologize to her before Dean grabbed his t-shirt in both his hands and jerked him off the car. He didn't allow Sam to watch as John roughly picked Jess up and threw her over his shoulder, not caring about her injuries or the fact that he might cause more with his rough treatment. Grabbing Sam's shoulder, Dean bunched up the fabric of his top in his fist before dragging his brother behind him and back into the cabin.
Sam stumbled behind, a few tears slipping down his face as he realised that not only had he failed Jess again, but he's also just made things a hell of a lot worse.
His family was pissed.