Dean could feel his frustration growing with each minute he couldn't get to Sam. How could he have been so stupid to leave his brother alone at the motel? Granted, there was no reason to suspect that anything was going to happen to Sam, but still, Dean prided himself on being able to take care of the youngest
Winchester. Every time Dean left his brother, he always had the irrational fear that something may happen to Sam. He knew most of the time it was just his fears playing with him, but not this time. This time had been different. This time something really happened to Sam and Dean couldn't forgive himself for that.
He'd been driving around Travers for the past hour, stopping at every single store asking about Sam and showing around his picture. But he was still met with the same result every time—no one had seen Sam. Dean knew it could be a waste of time, but he had to try it anyway. He was willing to do anything to get Sam back, preferably and hopefully in one piece.
Dean gripped the steering wheel tightly, his knuckles turning a bright shade of white. As soon as he found who took his baby brother, there would be hell to pay. You could mess with Dean all you wanted, inflict any kind of physical pain on him you wished. When you crossed the line and messed with Sam, then you might as well have your affairs in order, because there was no way you were walking away unscathed. It was just the way Dean was, the way he was programmed when it came to Sam. He'd been like that since the day he held Sam in his small arms when their mother was killed.
Who could have taken Sam? That was the million dollar question and Dean wished he had the answer, or at least knew someone who did. It was a small Podunk town for crying out loud—Sam couldn't have gotten too far.
Another thing was troubling the hunter—Robbie. He was certainly acting jumpy around Dean and it was almost as if he was trying to convince Dean that maybe Sam had ditched him. He seemed almost adamant about it and slightly disappointed when Dean wouldn't agree with him. Could the mousy little clerk know more about this than he was letting on? Could Robbie have done something to Sam?
Dean chuckled a little at that thought and shook his head. There was no way he could picture Robbie being able to get the drop on Sam. For one thing, Sam stood a good foot taller than the young man and another thing, Dean was sure if Sam thumped Robbie it would knock the kid out. No, there was just no way Robbie could be behind this, Dean was sure of it.
Well, ninety percent sure, anyway…
Turning into the motel parking lot, Dean noticed Robbie's Corsica was nowhere to seen. Pulling up to the office, Dean got out of the car and walked inside, once again seeing Brenda behind the desk.
"Did you ever find your brother?"
Dean shook his head. "No, not yet."
"Well, there's not too many places around here he could be. Travers really isn't known for its size, you know."
Dean nodded. "Yeah, I kind of got that."
Brenda sighed. "I sure hope he's okay."
"Me too. Listen, do you have many cases of missing persons?"
"Not really, no. I mean, the last missing person we had was a couple of years ago. The police never found out what happened to him. He was some college kid passing though on his way to see his family. He stopped here for the night."
"Do you happen to remember his name?"
Brenda pursed her lips in concentration. "Oh, let's see, what was his name? Mike…Mark…oh, it was Matthew—Matthew Grant."
Dean tapped his hand on the desk. "Thanks a lot, Brenda." He started towards the door.
Brenda's voice stopped him before he could push through the door. "You know, Robbie would be the one to talk to if you wanted to know about Matthew."
Dean turned back to look at the small woman. "Why do you say that?"
Brenda gave a casual shrug. "Robbie talked to him a lot. Seemed really devastated when Matthew went missing."
The elder Winchester frowned. Was it a coincidence Robbie happened to be connected to the missing college student or could the mousy young man have something to do with his disappearance? "Could you give me Robbie's address, Brenda?"
"Why do you need to know that?"
"I left my cell phone in his car," Dean lied. "I really need to get it back in case Sam calls."
"Oh." Brenda reached for a slip of paper and scribbled something on it. Holding it out for Dean she said, "I hope everything works out for you, sugar."
Dean looked at the address then back up at Brenda with a small smile. "Thanks Brenda."
"Sure thing and good luck."
Dean had to snort sardonically at that. Luck was a bitch for the Winchesters—at least good luck was. Bad luck seemed to follow them wherever they went. As Dean climbed into his car, he really hoped maybe his luck would change for the better. At least enough so he could get Sam back.
Sam honestly couldn't remember the last time he felt so truly helpless. He hated this feeling more than anything in the world because it made him feel weak, inferior. The Winchester brothers were anything but weak and inferior, their dad having taught them how to fend for themselves and prepare them to expect anything at anytime.
How Sam ever let Robbie get the drop on him, he would never know. He was usually so well guarded and cautious, but he let himself become gullible and trustful. Maybe he needed to take a page out of Dean's book and close himself off, not think the best in everyone. It was a tactic that worked for Dean time after time and maybe it would work for Sam as well. Maybe it would stop him from getting into predicaments such as this, always having Dean ride to his rescue.
God, this so makes me feel like the bitch…
As soon as Robbie had left, Sam began trying to find a way out of his mess. He had no idea what the psychotic clerk was planning for his brother and him, only knew that it couldn't be good. And that story about Matthew—what the hell was up with that? Was Robbie that desperate for companionship he was willing to kill for it? Well, the obvious answer would be yes…he killed Matthew and Sam was pretty sure he would be falling in the unfortunate young man's footsteps.
Struggling with the ropes that bound his hands, he knew he was rubbing his skin raw. He could feel the slight stickiness of blood on his wrists as he tried to build some slack in the ropes, but he just couldn't make any leeway with them. Screaming once again in frustration through the gag, he threw his head back and tried to control his anxiety.
Sam wanted so desperately to be able to let Dean know where he was and with every single passing minute, Sam became that much more desperate for his brother. He hated that he had to rely on Dean so much, hated the stress that he put on his sibling's shoulders. Dean had to be out of his mind with worry right now and it just made Sam realize how much he did that to Dean.
Rotating his neck and letting his eyes play around the small morgue, Sam searched out for anything he could use to cut through the ropes. The odds of a scalpel lying around were pretty slim to none with his luck, but maybe there was something sharp he could use. As his eyes roamed, he spotted a collection of old jars with only God knew what in them, sitting on an old counter. Figuring he could knock one over and use one of the shards of glass to cut the ropes, he began the slow process of scooting towards the counter.
It took a few minutes of scooting and grunting, but finally Sam was positioned in front of the counter. Sitting there for a second, catching his breath, he tried to come up with the best way to get the jar to the ground. Seeing as his legs were tied to the chair, there was no way he could kick the jar down and with his hands tied tightly to the chair, he couldn't reach high enough to achieve his goal either.
Come on, Sam…use your head…My head!
Sam let out a hysterical laugh as he realized he could do just that. Leaning forward as best as he could, he used his head to nudge the jar a few inches to his right. Bringing his head back up, he saw he only had a few more inches to go. Once again, he nudged the jar and let himself feel a moment of success when he heard it crash against the floor, shattering into many pieces.
Sitting the chair back down, Sam took a minute to compose himself. Catching his breath, he spied a large piece of glass that would be more than suitable to cut through the bonds. Yet again, it posed a problem by how he was going to get the glass in his hands without cutting himself to shreds. Seeing how he had no other option, he tipped the chair over away from the larger shards of glass and fell to the ground, rather ungracefully. He felt a few small pieces cut through his shirt and penetrate his skin, but he ignored the way they bit into his flesh, ignored the pain.
Somehow, he maneuvered himself towards the large piece of glass and hissed as he felt it slice into his hand. Realizing he needed to be a little more careful, he positioned the glass between his thumb and index finger while trying to keep it away from his palm. Slowly, he moved and glass up and down, sawing through the tough hemp. It took a few agonizing minutes, but finally he felt the ropes begin to unravel and finally snap apart.
Bringing his hands forward, he sawed through the ropes holding his legs to the chair. Throwing down the shard, he carefully got up from the floor and tore of the gag. Taking a step forward, he had to grab onto the counter in order to regain his balance. Sam could feel pins and needles running through his arms and legs as they fought to regain circulation. After a couple of moments, he felt good enough to move away from the counter and explore his surroundings.
Immediately moving to the door, he found that Robbie did indeed lock it. With it being locked from the outside, there was no way Sam would be able to pick it. Hitting the door in anger, he turned looking for another possible exit. There were no windows and glancing up, he saw pipes running along the length of the ceiling. There would be no crawling through the air ducts, since there weren't any in here. Of course, with this being a hidden room Sam didn't see why there would be an escape route—after all, it was a hidden room. To put it bluntly, Sam Winchester was trapped.
Letting out a long frustrated breath, he looked around to see if he could see his phone lying anywhere. Going over to the small table it had been on earlier, Sam was slightly disappointed to find that it was now gone. It shouldn't have surprised him, but he was hoping maybe Robbie would have slipped up and left it there. Sam closed his eyes tightly, trying to push down the anxiousness that was threatening to overcome him.
His eyes immediately snapped open when he heard the faint sound of someone whistling. Rushing to the door and pressing his ear against it, he could hear the whistling getting closer and closer.
"Shit, Robbie's back," he said softly and somehow hearing his own voice was slightly comforting.
He searched around frantically for anything he could use as a weapon. Spotting an old mop leaning against the wall, he hurried towards it. Holding it out in front of him, he stomped down on it, causing it to break apart. Holding the long handle solidly in his hands, he ran back to the door, hiding to the side of it. When Robbie opened it, he was going to catch him by surprise.
Hearing Robbie unlatch the lock, Sam braced himself as he took a deep breath. It wasn't that he was scared of the clerk—it was the fact that Robbie was so unpredictable that Sam didn't know what he was capable of. If Sam learned anything from going on hunts with his dad and Dean, it was that people were erratic and compulsive, dangerous on a level that half the things out there couldn't even touch.
Sam wasn't going to take that chance…not when Dean's and his lives were at stake.
Robbie stopped his whistling as he came to the door to the morgue, listening for any sounds inside the room. He smiled as he didn't hear anything coming from the other side—no sounds of struggling, no moving around, nothing. Guess Sam must have given up his fight…Don't worry, Sam…I'm about to bring everything to a close.
Reaching up to unlatch the lock, he slowly pushed the door open, and felt his blood run cold as he saw the chair lying on it's side, but no sign of Sam.
Robbie reached behind his back and pulled out the revolver he'd stowed there before getting out of his car. Of course, he'd had the gun hidden in his trunk the entire time, just in case a opportunity like this presented itself again, like it had with Matthew. Robbie didn't want to use the gun—it just wasn't personal enough for him. He didn't want to give Sam the same death he'd given Matthew. No, he wanted Sam to hurt. He wanted Dean to hurt for denying him.
Pushing off the safety, he held the gun up as he took a step forward. There weren't many places Sam could be hiding. Robbie had made sure of that when he picked this room to trap Sam in. He hadn't wanted Sam to have any chance of getting the drop on him and the morgue provided the perfect setting for that. There really were only two places Sam could be hiding—in the drawers or behind the door.
Knowing how freaked Sam was when he woke up in the drawer, Robbie found it highly unlikely Sam would be in there again. Add to the fact, Sam wouldn't be able to close the drawer once he was on the inside. So, that only left the door.
Taking a deep breath, Robbie pushed his full weight into the door and smiled when he heard a grunt of pain. He pressed his weight into the door once again and heard something fall to the ground. Seeing an old mop handle roll away, Robbie kicked it out of the way and brought his gun up to aim it at Sam's head.
"Going somewhere, Sam?"
Pulling up the tree-lined drive, Dean had to admit he wasn't surprised by where Robbie lived. The small house was situated on about one acre of secluded land, with no other neighbors in sight. In fact, the closer Dean got to Robbie's house, the more he realized how far in the country Robbie lived. If it had not been for Brenda's good directions, Dean was sure he never would have known that the house was out here.
Turning off the ignition, he saw Robbie's car was nowhere to be found. Dean knew he'd upset the kid earlier by taking off without him, but he was surprised that Robbie wasn't here. Robbie didn't seem the type to drown his sorrows in alcohol, so maybe he was out driving around. The kid's absence was good for Dean, because it made snooping around so much easier.
Pulling out his .45 from the glove compartment, he slipped it into the waistband of his pants as he got out of the car. Shutting the door, he looked around the yard and spotted an old garage. He wasn't sure what was making him go back there, but he learned long ago to trust his instincts.
Coming to a stop in front of the large door, he saw there was a padlock securing it.
"This is going to be a piece of cake."
Reaching into his jacket pocket, he pulled out his lock pick and within a few seconds, he had the lock off. Reaching at the bottom, he lifted up on the door and cringed as it squeaked loudly, though he knew no one was around to hear him.
Lifting the door high above his head, he pulled out his small flashlight and shined the beam all around. The garage was barren except for the small pick-up truck sitting in the middle, a thick coat of dust on the exterior. Dean frowned, not seeing a reason why the truck should be sitting in here. It was a newer model, at least a couple of years old and looked to be in perfect condition. Walking around to the back of the truck, Dean's frown deepened as the saw the license plate was from Oklahoma.
"What is going on here?"
Dean walked back to the driver's side door and pulled it open. Shining his light all around the interior he saw it was littered with empty soda bottles and snack wrappers. Reaching over to the glove compartment, he opened it and rifled through the things in there—owner's manual, a small notepad, pens, a pair of sunglasses and an envelope.
Putting the flashlight in his mouth, Dean pulled out the envelope and opened it, finding a bright yellow folded piece of paper. Carefully unfolding it, his eyes widened when he saw the name on the paper: Matthew Grant.
"What the hell is Robbie doing with Matthew's truck in his garage?"
Dean returned the envelope back to the glove compartment and left the confines of the truck. Walking out of the garage, he pulled the door down and locked it once again. Jogging to the back of the small house, Dean found the knob turned easily in his hand.
"Guess he doesn't believe in security for his house."
Pulling the gun from his waistband, Dean cautiously stepped into Robbie's kitchen. He wasn't really sure what he was looking for in here, but finding the truck in the garage made the alarm go off in Dean's head. Robbie was definitely up to no good and Dean had a sinking feeling Sam had been right about the clerk the entire time.
Walking out of the kitchen, Dean noticed a door off to his immediate right. Holding out his hand, he tried the knob but it didn't turn. Arching an eyebrow, Dean was surprised that this door was locked while his house remained unlocked. Definitely weird…
Stepping back from the door, Dean lifted his up his foot and brought it firmly against it. The flimsy door swung open after one kick and Dean's nostrils were instantly assaulted with a foul smell that made his stomach churn. Flicking his flashlight on once again, the sight that greeted him instantly made bile rise in the back of his throat.
"You must be Matthew…" he choked out.
Lying on the bed in the middle of the room was a body. As Dean slowly approached it, he had to hold an arm across his mouth to keep the nausea at bay. The body appeared to be that of a young man, but he was so decayed, Dean really had no way of proving, other than the sick realization in his gut that it was in fact Matthew Grant.
A cold fear gripped Dean's heart as he realized what he stumbled onto, what his brother may be involved in right now. Sam had been right about Robbie the entire time and Dean had stubbornly refused to listen to him. Now because of Dean's stupidity, Sam was missing, possibly in the hands of a psycho.
The rock music on Dean's phone startled him. He quickly reached into his pocket and yanked it out.
"Sammy? Is that you?"
"Not quite, but he is here with me."
"Robbie, I swear to God, if you hurt my brother, I'll kill you!"
"I'm afraid it may be a little late for that, Dean. You see, Sam tried to get away and I couldn't let him do that."
Dean felt rage coursing through his body, but managed to keep his voice under control. "Where is he?"
"We're waiting for you at the Eclipse. We're down in the morgue…seems appropriate, don't you think, Dean?"
Dean closed his eyes tightly, but didn't say anything. God Sammy…I am so sorry…
"You still with me, Dean?"
"Yes," Dean bit out.
"Good…we'll be waiting for you."
The phone clicked in Dean's ear, signaling Robbie had hung up. Dean screamed in frustration and tore out of the house. As Dean sped out of the driveway in the Impala, towards the Eclipse, he only had one thought racing through his mind.
He was going to make Robbie pay for this, if it was the last thing he did. He'd messed with the wrong person when he decided to go after Dean's little brother.