The night was young and the moon was out in full splendor. It was perfect for the initiation. The Worshipful Master looked up at the sky and smiled. Tonight's initiation was special for he had received splendid news. So far only he and a few of the Master Masons knew the details. True illumination would soon come to all brothers and all lodges. He was tapped by the Junior Deacon who had come to tell him that the candidate has arrived. He nodded. The ceremony is about to begin.
The hoodwinked candidate had proven to be a good choice. The Worshipful Master looked over him as he kneeled before him on his left knee. The committee had performed a thorough background check on the candidate. He was of good moral background, good financials, and overall a virtual perfect candidate. The brothers voted the candidate in for acceptance and the date for initiation had been given. There was just one tiny detail that had been brought to the Master's attention by the Senior Deacon. All would be revealed soon.
"… to all of which I do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind in me whatsoever; binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out, and with my body buried in the sands of the sea at low water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly or willfully violate this, my solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice."
The Master nodded in approval. The candidate had been prepared perfectly. He would make an excellent addition to the brotherhood. Still there was much left of the ceremony. He watched as the candidate kissed the Bible and the Senior Deacon removed the noose. The Master asked, "What is it that you most desire?"
The candidate replied, "Light in Masonry."
The candidate was shown 'Boaz' and the Worshipful Master presented him with his apron, "This is an emblem of innocence and the distinguished badge of a Mason. Never again, no matter what greatness you achieve in life, from mortal hands shall any honor so distinguished, so emblematical of purity and all perfections be confirmed upon you receiving this Masonic apron."
The ceremony continued and the candidate was now receiving the lecture about the ceremony. The Senior and the Junior Deacons were explaining the symbolism that was behind the ritual he had just partaken in. The Master then said that the candidate must commit a lecture to memory. He then closed the lodge.
The secret lodge was only used when the Master Masons wished to discuss the background searches on potential candidates. It also served as other means. The Worshipful Master entered and opened the lodge. He walked in and assumed his position. Once all the brothers that needed to be present he said, "Brothers it has come to my attention that one had betrayed us. A brother has divulged secrets to our greatest enemy."
"Then the penalties should be conducted. Moral conduct has been breached."
The Master gave a solemn smile, "I agree my brothers. Bring in the transgressor."
The deacons came in bearing a man with a hood over his head. The hoodwinked had his hands bound behind his back. He was brought before the Master and forced into a kneeling position. When the hood was removed it revealed a young man with dark hair and blue eyes. He had a busted lip but he still gave some modicum of respect to the Master.
The Master looked at the transgressor and said, "Your respect is admirable but the sins you have committed are grievous."
"And what am I accused of?"
"You are accused of revealing secrets of the brotherhood."
"I have revealed nothing."
A heavy tome was dropped in front of the accused and opened. One of the deacons read the noted that he had written. The Master watched the accused and noted how he didn't flinch even when his own name had been within the notes. When the deacon came to the final entry of the accused going to the contact point, the Master held up his hand to stop the reading. He then said, "As you see we have evidence of you revealing secrets. Now to make this less painful, tell me what your position is within the order?"
The accused looked up at the Master and replied, "I am an Entered Apprentice of the Grant Lodge. I have spilt secrets of the brotherhood thus my penalty is to have my throat slashed and tongue cut out." He refused to say more.
The Master looked disappointed. He looked at the Senior Deacon and gave a nod. The deacon brought out a knife and with a deliberate quickness, he grabbed the accused and slashed the throat.
He ran as fast as he could. He had to get back to the order. He had to warn them that this town wasn't safe. They had to take them somewhere else. He had to get to them.
He rounded a corner and leaned up against the wall. He heard them run past. He pulled out his medallion and looked at it for reassurance. He then then moved to head to where he had a transport waiting. He was almost to it when he rounded another corner and he was tackled.
"You have revealed secrets 'brother.' You now must suffer the consequences."
He fought back and punched his attacker. He managed to get to his feet but was brought down again. He was held by two others who appeared out of nowhere. He was forced to the ground and a gag forced into his mouth. Another stood above him with a knife and his shirt was ripped off.
The blade came down and was slashed across his chest. He screamed at the pain but it was mostly at the failure. He had failed them. Now they were in danger. The secrets he had been charged with protecting them. The Masons were charged with helping but they had been compromised. No one could be trusted. Blood began to run in the street.
The Impala was purring down the highway and the radio was blaring with one of Dean's classic mullet rock songs. Dean was singing the lyrics off key as usual and beating a rhythm on the steering wheel while Sam was dozing on the seat next to him. Dean glanced at his brother and a thought came to his mind. He glanced at the rearview mirror before reaching for a discarded straw from a soda cup that had been drained dry. Keeping his eye on the road, he picked up the straw and slowly started to reach for Sam's nose.
"Don't even think about."
Dean groaned and glared at the image in the rearview mirror. He looked like a petulant child who hadn't gotten his way. "Come on Angie. For once can you not be on patrol?"
Angela stretched in the backseat where she had been lounging against her jacket. She had been in a light doze since the last job at that haunted hotel but always aware. She gave a slight yawn and replied in a teasing manner, "Sorry for spoiling your fun Dean. Ever since that thing with Gordon, I've just been a bit more watchful."
Dean glanced over at Sam, who miraculously was still asleep, before looking forward at the road. He then said, "Yeah. Can I ask you something Angie?"
Angela ignored the nickname that Dean gave her. She quickly learned that if it was irritating, Dean was sure to remember it and use it continuously and that included nicknames. Also she wasn't that stern in enforcing the use of proper names. It vaguely occurred to her that Dean's use of a nickname was his way of saying she had earned some of his trust. He also liked it when she gave as good as she could with the banter. She replied, "You just did," and gave a naughty smirk.
Angela chuckled in order to not wake Sam. "Go ahead and ask."
Dean turned down the radio so he could be heard even though she would have heard him anyway. "I've been thinking…"
"Alert the media! Dean was thinking!"
Dean smiled while trying to be annoyed, "Anyway I was wondering about how you've been handling yourself on the job. Well I'm just curious as to why you try so hard to protect the both of us. I mean you bit Gordy a good one and…"
Angela leaned against her bunched up jacket that acted as a pillow to think a moment. She wasn't quite ready to mention that she knew John Winchester and before that Mary. That would lead to more questions and it would lead to revelations that could possibly affect this new arrangement in a way that could make keeping her promise difficult. The best course was to say something without giving anything away. She gave a puzzled frown and replied, "Well… you both are my partners. We are a team and we're supposed to look out for each other."
"Yeah but sometimes you do a kamikaze act and I don't know about you but I think you make Samantha here have a near heart attack every time."
Angela sighed. She would have to explain somewhat. "It's something that is related to things that I have seen and done long before meeting you and Sam. I'm about five hundred years old Dean and four hundred of those have been nothing but this job. The guilt from failures… it gets to be heavy but then I remember why I do it."
"You do it save people."
"A noble reason for sure but for me it's the here and now. The relationships people have… it makes it worthwhile. I guess it's the finding fulfillment in self-sacrifice."
Dean gave a slight shake of his head, "Damn you make me feel guilty with your talk on being noble. How do you do that?"
Angela laughed gently, "Like I said, I've lived quite a long time. One picks up things."
"Damn I feel like I'm growing a uterus just talking to you," Dean replied.
"It'll never happen," Angela replied, "Because I'm just as adverse to chick flick moments as you. Now time for some fun." She sat up and peered at Sam. She whispered, "Does he always sleep like this?"
"Like a sleeping giant? Yeah but don't let it fool you. Sometimes he pretends to sleep."
Angela looked at Sam and noticed a small puddle of drool on his shoulder where his head was lolling to the side. "Oh he's out." She then reached for her bag that was on the floor in the back.
"You plan on letting me in?" Dean risked a glance back and saw Angela digging into her bag for something.
"You can use your straw," Angela replied as she found what she was looking for, "When I'm finished." She held up a small container of shoe polish. She kept it handy to polish the shoes that went with their cop covers. She popped it open and took the soft buffer and dabbed some polish onto it.
It was a challenge in a moving car but Angela had a steady hand and achieved the effect that she wanted. Dean watched her, catching occasional glimpses at her progress while keeping his eye on the road. Each glance made his smile get bigger. When she was finished, she silently signaled him to use the straw and stick it in Sam's mouth which had opened slightly.
Dean was quick to follow her suggestion and cunningly tucked the straw into Sam's mouth so it looked like he was smoking. Angela gave him thumbs up and produced her cell phone. She angled her body so she got a good view on the screen and it gave Dean a good view of her tattoo and he felt like he was being cheated out of seeing something that she only showed if she felt like it. As he thought, the view was too short for she got the picture and was falling back into her seat. Before sitting down completely she stopped and looked at him with a smirk, "Enjoyed the view?" She then slid back into her seat and leaned back to send the image to Dean's phone.
Dean smirked, "You are cruel Angie. You knew I've been dying to get a good view of that tattoo of yours since the job where you actually stripped."
"Snooze you lose," Angela replied. She then looked at her watch and then out at the sun. She said, "I'm guessing we'll be hitting a town with a food joint soon."
"Don't tell me, you're starving," Dean replied grinning. "You eat more than Sasquatch here."
Angela gave a mock scowl and threw a paper ball at the back of Dean's head. She knew it was a source of amusement to the brothers that she was thin and athletic and yet she ate enough for a horse. Dean had dubbed it Angie Appetite and used it whenever any one of them felt like they were starving. Unfortunately for her, she was the one that got most of the teasing but she didn't mind. She always got back at them, usually Dean with his lack of table manners. She replied, "Actually I'm getting the feeling that you're the one that's getting hungry."
Dean didn't say anything for at that moment, his stomach started to growl and it was followed by Angela laughing. He knew that she heard it and jokingly cursed her super hearing. It was their luck that a sign indicated the next exit had an eatery.
"Rise and shine Sammy!"
The radio blared to ear bursting levels and it was punctuated by Sam jerking upright and looking wildly around and batting the straw out of his mouth. "Jerk."
Angela was smiling even though her eyes were closed. She had gone back to dozing until Dean found a place to grab something to eat. She sat up and stretched and gave a yawn. "Come on Sam. A little bit of rock won't kill you."
Sam turned to glare at her. "Eat me." He hadn't realized that his face had been given a makeover.
Angela was trying hard not to laugh but she could tell that Dean was even though all she could see was his torso. She peered out the window to see where they were at. "A bar Dean?"
"Hey food is food."
Sam got out of the Impala and shut the door. He groaned at the thought of eating bar food again. He knew Dean picked them on purpose because they often didn't have anything that would resemble healthy. He was already annoyed that Dean decided to mess with him while he was asleep. He glanced at the window and saw his reflection. "What the… Dean!"
Dean was laughing and said, "What's the problem Don Sammy?"
"This is really mature of you," Sam retorted trying to look for something to wipe off his new mustache and goatee.
"Hey, why do you always go after me?"
"Because you're the one that pulls this crap!"
Angela sighed. As fun as it would be to watch, she did have a well-developed sense of fair play when it suited her. She had mercy on Dean and pulled out a handkerchief and a bottle of water. She wet it and began wiping it off and said, "Don't blame him Sam. It was me."
Sam was in the mood to grab the handkerchief out of her hand but refrained from it. When she revealed that it was she who gave him the makeover he just stared at her. That she could make a joke, he knew that but to play a prank, it was like when she dropped the bombshell about setting the yellow eyed demon free. "You?"
"I have a sense of humor and the opportunity was too good to pass up," Angela replied as she finished wiping it off. "Besides it was nothing to get worried over. It was boot polish." She tossed the rag and the bottle of water back into the Impala.
Dean was laughing at the face Sam was making. It never occurred to him that he made the same face when she pick pocketed him for the Impala's keys. Sam did nothing but sigh. He was still trying to figure her out and just when he seemed to, she threw salt into the fire and blew it up. He said the only thing he could say, "I'm glad you didn't use permanent marker. That would be something Dean would do."
"Yeah and I would've added a few details."
Angela laughed, "And then I'd be cleaning up the mess," referring to the bloodshed that would have happened with the two of them wrestling on the ground.
Dean agreed with her and led the way into the bar, anxious for a bite and maybe a chance to flirt and possibly hustle some cash. Angela brought up the rear out of force of habit.
"Am I in heaven or did an angel just walk in?"
Angela rolled her eyes in annoyance. She had the guy in her sights the minute she walked through the door behind the boys. She was aware at the stabs of jealousy as well as dislike that came her way when she walked through the bar to find a table where she could hide while keeping an eye out. She looked at the guy who was dressed in biker leathers and was eyeing her as if she were a piece of meat. She replied, "Did you come up with that all by yourself or did you have help?"
She turned back towards the bar where she was waiting for the beers. She tried hard not to reach out and break the guy's hand automatically when his leather clad hand touched her shoulder and she felt his foul breath near her neck. She could smell the alcohol on his breath and guessed that the guy was drunk or pretty close to it. She cringed inwardly when he leaned close to her ear and said, "You're pretty rude for such a pretty lady. Let me buy you a drink."
Angela shrugged her shoulder to signal that she wanted him to leave her alone. "Sorry I already have a drink."
Her hint didn't do much good for the guy kept his hand on her shoulder and tried to pull her close with his other. "Come on now. You know you want it."
Angela felt a flame of rage start to grow and tried to pull away. She tried not to be obvious to cause a scene. Sam and Dean were engaged in a game of darts so they really couldn't help her and everyone else was minding their own business. Still she could hope but pray that one of the boys would see her predicament and come and help her. Besides there was something off about this guy and she didn't want to spent another second near him. She gritted her teeth and said, "Please take your hands off of me." She reached for the beers that arrived.
The guy wasn't going to take no for an answer and gripped her waist and pulled her again and growled, "I'll put my hands where I want, when I want. Now you need to learn that when a good thing comes your way, you better accept it."
"Hey Angie, what's taking so long?"
Angela gave a grateful look to Dean and replied, "This guy was trying to flirt with me but I say he crashed and burned."
Dean eyed the guy with a look that clearly told him to back off. He had come when Sam noticed she was having trouble and made a silent motion for him to go. They had been challenging some guys to a dart game and Sam's turn was up so it fell to Dean, who didn't mind since he didn't like the way the guy had been ogling her since they walked in. He said, "Okay. Need a hand with the beers?"
"She leaves when I say so." The guy's hand gripped her shoulder.
Angela was still gritting her teeth and she grabbed the offending hand and flung it neatly off, "And I say I am going." She grabbed the remaining beers and moved away followed by Dean who was glaring at the guy who was sulking. He watched as the guy got up defiantly and walked out.
"Thanks Dean. I was tempted to break his arm," Angela said. She glanced to make sure the douche left.
"Hey no one messes with you except me or Sam," Dean replied. At the look she gave, he amended, "Strictly the ass kicking and pranks."
Angela gave a slight smile and said nothing. She was still trying to shake the nasty feeling of the guy's hands on her. She didn't like the vibes he was giving off either which she picked up on after Dean showed up. Instead she sat with Sam and Dean and listened to their bad jokes and possible ideas of where to go to next.
"Damn Angie, you cleared out the house," Dean said as he was pocketing the money she had hustled from pool. It had been his idea to play a few rounds to get her mind off of things. She took the opportunity to make it a hustle and it snowballed from there. Now they had funds to get a couple of rooms and a decent meal in the morning and then some.
"An old friend taught me in college," Angela replied with a smirk. "Yes I spent four years at a college but it was for a case. Part of a sleeper cell of demons."
Sam cocked a brow, "Terrorist demons?"
Angela shrugged her shoulders, "Hey some demons like to cause specific mayhem. Oklahoma City was something like that. Demon smoked out but the guy is reaping the consequences."
Suddenly Angela was grabbed in a bear hug by the guy she and Dean had told off earlier. He said, "I told you, you go when I say so."
Angela felt the press of a blade against her abdomen. Her nose caught the scent of alcohol and her blood began to boil. She glanced over at Sam and Dean who were grabbed by two others and they were struggling. Great I just pissed off a biker gang member wannabe. "And I told you to back off."
The guy brought his nose towards her next and inhaled. His nose was so close that it touched her neck and that brought a sensation that had Angela stiffen and tremble. It was quickly followed by a building rage as he continued to agitate her neck with his breath and sniffing. He said, "Smells good. So sweet. I wouldn't mind having you… whore."
That did it. Angela grabbed the wrist that held the knife and gave a twist. She heard the crunch of bones breaking and grinned in pleasure. To follow through, she flung him off where he crashed into the nearby dumpster leaving a huge dent. Her attention then turned towards the other two holding the boys.
With equally powerful grips she flung them aside like she would curtains when opening them. They landed hard but were back on their feet. Sam and Dean, ignoring the fact for now that Angela went incredible Hulk on them, joined in by giving punches when they could. Angela was tackled from behind by the creep who tried to hold a knife on her.
The fall nearly winded her and she felt her palms scrape the ground but it was meaningless. She twisted her body and gave a well-placed kick. The knife-wielding douche backed away in pain allowing her to get to her feet and deliver more punishment. She managed to get him to the ground and she was punching the holy hell out of his face, creating bruises and she heard the zygomatics break. She spat out, "Don't… call… me… that!" Each word was enunciated with a punch.
After the last word, she stopped and took a deep breath as she stood up. She glanced over at Sam and Dean, "You two okay?"
"What is going on here? Angela?"
Angela recognized the voice and turned to face its owner. She scowled at him and said, "Perfect timing Fang Boy."