Sam just couldn't figure his brother out. What had gotten into Dean to get him to put his trust into a complete stranger? Especially in a stranger Sam couldn't shake a bad feeling about. This was so unlike Dean and it almost made the young psychic think Dean may possibly be possessed. It was getting to be so bad, Sam was tempted to say "Christo" just to see if Dean would flinch.
He didn't like leaving Dean alone at the bar with Robbie, but he knew there was no way he could talk the stubborn man out of it once he set his mind to something. It was like talking to a tree stump, only he'd get more out of the stump than he would Dean. He wanted Dean to open his eyes to what was in front of him and quit relating to the motel clerk. They weren't the same. Dean was a life force all of his own and there was no way he could compare to anyone else.
Sam slowed down as he approached the motel but thought better of it. He really didn't want to go there right now. He wanted to drive around and let his mind wander for a while. Driving had always been somewhat therapeutic to him and it helped alleviate some of the stress he carried around. He knew it was the same for Dean as well since Dean never really dealt with his stress. It was boring for Sam to sit in the passenger seat day in and day out while Dean navigated the roads. So when Sam got one of these moments he relished it.
The young hunter really had no idea where he was going until he found himself driving up the long tree-lined driveway of the Eclipse Hotel. He was surprised to see a dark colored Honda Civic sitting in front of the gate. He couldn't imagine why anyone would want to come here in the middle of the night, especially after the murder that had happened here. Bringing the Impala to a stop, he sat there staring ahead at the once magnificent structure.
He imagined back in the day it would have been a wonderful place to stay, to get away from it all. But now it looked foreboding and ominous in the pale moonlight. There were secrets hiding in that building now and from what happened earlier, Sam knew Eli Nelson was going to do anything to make sure those secrets stayed there.
Glancing over at the Civic once again, Sam couldn't stop the uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Grabbing a flashlight from the glove compartment, he got out of the Impala and slowly approached the car. Shining the light into the windows, he frowned as he saw a purse sitting in the passenger seat. There was no way someone would leave their car here along with their personal belongings.
Sam looked up at the hotel, then back to the car as the uneasy feeling grew ten fold, creating a cold, sick knot in his gut. Part of him was telling him to turn away and drive back to the motel, but the other side of him, the side that didn't know when to leave well enough alone, told him he needed to see if there was someone in the Eclipse. It was too dangerous to be exploring the hotel this late at night and Sam couldn't live with himself if there happened to be someone in trouble and he could have helped.
He knew Dean would be pissed at him for going in there by himself, but he had to put those feelings aside right now. Besides, Dean was too busy hanging with Robbie right now, so what did it matter what Sam did?
Going back over to the Impala, he unlocked the trunk and pulled out one of the shotguns along with extra rounds of rock salt. Stuffing those into his pocket, he closed the trunk and went back around to the driver's side. He plucked his cell phone from the passenger seat and put it into his jeans pocket. He ducked through the hole in the gate once more and cautiously entered the old establishment.
"Hello? Is anyone in here?" Sam's voice bounced all around him, but only silence was the response to his question.
Not really knowing where he should start his search, he went in the direction of the stairs. He climbed up them slowly, each step creaking as he applied pressure. All his senses were on high alert, making him shiver as his core. He didn't mind haunted places so much, but the bigger places got to him a bit. There were just too many places something could hide and Sam generally liked to know what was on the other side of every door. He liked to be able to account for every corner and turn. He was never one for surprises, even when he was younger. It was better to know what was to come than to be caught with your pants around your ankles.
As he came out the third floor doorway, a familiar smell hit his nose and his stomach recoiled as he caught the coppery scent in the air. It was blood and from the way it permeated the air, it was fresh. Holding the gun in front of him, Sam stepped into the hallway shining his light all around. He didn't have to look too far before he saw what was causing the smell.
There in the middle of the hallway was a young male, a large pool of blood from a stab wound in his midsection surrounding him. Sam knew he was too late for the boy, but he leaned beside him anyway and brought his hand up to his neck, feeling for a pulse. He wasn't surprised when he didn't find one.
Letting out a frustrated sigh, he stood up and shined his flashlight once again. The dead guy didn't explain the purse in the car and Sam had a feeling he would find another victim in here. A few feet away, he got his answer as he saw a girl lying in a pool of blood. He slowly approached her and had to put a hand over his mouth to stop the wave of nausea washing over him. She was blankly staring up at the ceiling, her throat practically torn out, arteries and ligaments hanging out like limp noodles.
There was nothing he could do for them now. He needed to get out now before he met the same fate as them. He knew Dean would never forgive him if he got himself killed by some loony. He needed to call the police and then he and Dean needed to figure something out before this guy could kill anymore.
Turning to go, Sam was suddenly assaulted by a blast of cold air. His eyes widened as he realized what was happening, but before he could react he felt a sharp, stinging pain on his left arm. Looking down, he saw his jacket and shirt was slashed and a nasty cut was beginning to ooze blood. Stepping back as the form of Eli Nelson materialized in front of him, Sam raised the gun and fired. The spirit disappeared and Sam took off, not waiting to see if he was going to come back.
His arm was beginning to feel numb and Sam knew the spirit hit deep. But he couldn't worry about that right now—he had to get out of there and get back to Dean.
Oh, yeah…Dean is definitely going to kill me now…
Dean couldn't help the pang of guilt as he watched Sam walk out of the bar. Dean could see the hurt on his baby brother's face as he opted to take a ride back to the motel with Robbie. Sam was definitely freaked out about the kid and for the life of him, Dean couldn't understand why. Robbie didn't seem to be such a bad person; he was just lonely and wanted someone to hang out with. Was that really such a bad thing?
Shrugging it off, Dean drained the last of his beer and held up his hand to a passing waitress to indicate he wanted another. She nodded and held up a finger that said it would be just a minute. Dean sat back in his seat as the live band began its cover of Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love. They really weren't that bad, but of course, Dean imagined any band would be pretty good if you had enough alcohol in your system.
The waitress dropped the beer off at the table and Dean smiled as he handed her a five dollar bill. The perky blonde blushed as she took the money. Then, returning Dean's smile, she hustled over to the next table.
"That's amazing," Robbie said admirably.
Dean turned back to look at him. "What is?"
"You—the way you made Rachel blush like that."
"You know her?"
Robbie smiled. "Everyone around here knows Rachel. She's not an easy one to get to, but you just smiled at her and she melted."
Dean shrugged as he took another swig of his beer. "You just got to know how to work a woman. Give her a small smile, show her you're not only in it for one thing, and you'll have her right where you want her."
"You make it sound so easy."
"Have you ever—"
Robbie shook his head bashfully. "No…I've never had a woman interested in me before. They always looked at me as their friend, their shoulder to cry on."
"That's not such a bad thing, you know."
"Yeah, you do that and then try to get a date for the prom."
Dean felt sorry for the guy as he watched Robbie put his head down, but not before he saw a trace of red flush the clerk's cheeks. Dean couldn't say he knew how the kid felt. He never had a problem in school getting a date, even when he wasn't really looking for one. That was more of Sam's forte—Sam was the sensitive one, the one the girls found a friend in. That wasn't saying his brother couldn't get a date if he wanted to. Sam just chose to focus on school more than the girls which was wrong on so many levels to Dean and he was sure he'd never understand Sam's priorities.
"Sam doesn't really like me too much, does he?"
That was obvious from the get-go… "Sam just has a lot of things on his mind right now. He's been dealing with a bunch of crap lately."
"I just get the feelin' he doesn't want me around."
"Like I said, I wouldn't pay much attention to it." Dean brought the mug of beer to his lips once again as a round of applause broke out around him.
The lead singer of the band was waving a hand, trying to get the crowd to settle down. "We're going to take a break right now. See you guys in ten!"
"So, you and Sam…are you guys close?"
"Yeah…I mean, we have our fights every now and then, but it's always just been me and Sammy."
"You don't have any parents?"
Dean shook his head sadly. "No…they both passed away."
Robbie once again grew embarrassed. "I'm sorry…I have a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time."
Dean waved him off. "No, it's okay. Don't worry about it." Robbie didn't say anything as he played with the label of his beer bottle. "So, uh, your brother…were you two close?"
Robbie nodded sadly. "Very close. James was my best friend. We used to do everything together. He would always watch out for me and make sure I was safe."
Dean nodded. "That sounds like me and Sammy." Robbie cringed at that, but Dean pretended not to notice. "How long has James been gone?"
"Eight years now."
"I can't imagine what that's like, to live without your brother." Dean shook his head. "I mean, if something ever happened to Sam, I don't know what I'd do."
Before Robbie could say anything to that, Dean's phone began to ring.
"Sorry," the hunter said as he hit the talk button. "Hello?"
"Dean?" Sam's breathless voice met his ears.
"Yeah, Sammy. What's wrong? You sound as if you were just caught watching porn or something." Dean chuckled. "You're not watching porn, are you, little brother?"
"Dean, would you just shut up and listen to me?"
"Fine, what's wrong?"
"There's been another murder at the Eclipse…two actually."
"What? How do you know this?"
"I drove over there and found them."
"What the hell are you doing going over there by yourself? Why didn't you tell me you were going over there?"
"Because I didn't know I was going until I got there. Now, will you quit bitching at me?"
"Were you hurt?"
Dean really didn't have the patience to play around with his younger brother. "Sam…"
He heard Sam sigh. "Eli attacked me."
"How bad?" Dean's voice was a growl.
"He cut my arm."
"God dammit, Sam! Where are you right now?"
"I'm on my way back to the motel."
"Hurry your ass up. I'll meet you over there."
Dean hung up the phone and took a final swig of his beer just as the band was coming back to the stage.
"What's going on?" Robbie asked.
"You think I can get that lift from you? I gotta get back to the motel. Sam needs me."
"Is everything okay?"
"It will be."
Just as soon as I kick Sammy's ass…
Robbie could feel the rage building up inside him as he walked into the motel office for his shift. Why did Sam have to call and pull Dean away from him? Why did Dean have to drop everything and go back to Sam because he was stupid enough to get hurt? Why couldn't Dean just let Sam take care of himself.
But Robbie knew that answer. It was the same reason why James would never let Robbie take care of himself. Sam was the little brother and Dean would do anything to make sure he was okay and stayed safe. Sam had to be taken care of and it was Dean's job to do just that.
It still didn't make Robbie feel any better, though. He felt as if he and Dean were getting closer with each other. They were talking a lot, building a bond. It seemed just as they were getting there, Sam was calling or showing up and messing up things. Dean didn't even say anything to Robbie as he jumped out of the car and headed to his motel room. No "thank you" or "good-bye"—nothing.
Why couldn't Dean see Sam was just doing this to get his attention? Why couldn't he see Sam was jealous of the relationship they were forming? Sam was realizing he could be replaced and he was doing everything in his power to make sure Dean stayed away from Robbie. Well, Robbie couldn't have that anymore. He had to get Sam out of the way.
Tomorrow, a brand new chapter of Robbie's life would begin.
"What the hell were you thinking, Sam?"
Sam looked over as Dean entered the room, his expression angry and scared all at once. Oh, yeah…he's really, really pissed off. "I'm sorry, Dean."
"You're sorry? Sam, do you realize you could have been killed tonight?" Dean threw the motel key onto the small table.
"But you could have been! You never go anywhere unless you have back-up."
"I'm not a child, Dean. I can take care of myself." Sam gingerly shrugged out of his jacket, wincing as he jarred his injured arm.
Dean nodded at Sam. "Oh, yeah, I can see that, Sammy. You always get yourself stabbed when you take care of yourself?"
"It's not as bad as it looks."
"I'll decide that. Sit down." Dean walked over to their supply bag and pulled out the first-aid kit. Standing beside Sam, he helped his brother out of his button-down shirt, and then sat on the bed next to him. "Tell me what happened."
Sam hissed in pain as Dean probed the cut. "I was driving around and for some reason, I went to the Eclipse. I wasn't even going to bother with it, but I saw a car there and got curious."
"You know what they say about curiosity, Sammy."
"Yeah, something about a cat."
"What did you find?" He reached into the kit and pulled out a small bottle of saline water and a couple of cotton balls. He soaked the cotton and gently began to clean the wound.
"I saw a purse in the car and figured whoever it was, went into the hotel. I went inside and checked it out, and that's when I found them."
Dean frowned. "This doesn't look so bad, but I still need to patch it up." He reached into the inside of his jacket and produced a small flask. "Here, drink some of this."
Sam took the silver container from his brother and took a generous swig, the liquid burning his throat as it went down. Dean reached into the kit once again, this time producing a box of steri strips and a small tube of skin glue. "You ready?"
Sam took another swig of the whiskey. "Just get it finished." He bit back a cry of pain as Dean pulled the wound together and applied a thin line of glue on the cut. Sam seriously considered going after the manufacturers of the product for failing to mention it stung like a bitch. It was almost as bad as someone putting a hot iron poker against his skin.
"So, what happened to them?" Dean was still holding the wound together, allowing the glue to have a chance to dry.
"The guy was stabbed and the girl had her throat slashed. There was blood all over the place, man."
"What about Eli?"
"He was there. I was about to leave and he showed up. Before I could do anything, he had that damn scalpel out and brought it across my arm. I shot him and just got the hell out of there."
"It's a good thing you did."
"Yeah." Sam bit back another cry as Dean began to apply steri strips over the cut. It didn't matter how many times he'd been patched up over the years, the pain was something he couldn't get used to, even with Dean's brand of anesthesia.
It took another couple of minutes, but finally Dean applied the last strip. After he was finished, he pulled out a tube of antibiotic ointment. He rubbed a generous amount over the cut, and then finished it off with a gauze bandage. "It should be okay. We'll have to keep treating it so it doesn't get infected."
Dean nodded as he packed away the kit.
"Dean, I'm sorry. You're right, I shouldn't have gone in there alone."
"Well, it's too late to do anything about it now." He packed the kit into their supply bag and sighed. "So, what are we going to do about this?"
"Well, we can't go back to the Eclipse. The place has to be swarming with cops right now."
"Yeah, a couple passed us as Robbie drove back here." Dean fixed his brother with an intense gaze. "You called it in anonymously, right?"
Sam nodded. "Yeah, and I used a pay phone."
"As for what to do next, I found out where Eli was buried, so I figured we could do the salt and burn tonight. If we wait until tomorrow night to do it, then we risk someone else going in there and getting killed."
"I agree." Dean looked at his watch. "We'll wait for another hour or two, and then we'll head out."