The next morning, I woke early. The sun was just thinking about starting its peak over the mountains in the distance. The sky was a hazy gray. I was disappointed to not find Benny when I rolled over.
I sat up, rubbing the sleep from my eyes. The house was silent, but I could pick up the faint smell of coffee. I climbed out of bed and wandered down the hall. I stopped at the kitchen. Benny stood over the sink, shirtless, looking out the window. He’d put on pants and as I glanced at the kitchen, cleaned up all traces of cake batter from the night before. He’d even ran through the shower it looked like.
I walked over to him and set my hands on his hips before wrapping my arms around him.
He jumped, obviously not paying attention to my being in the room. “Mornin’ darlin’.” He said, turning around to hug me from the front.
“Good morning, my handsome Cajun.” I said with a smile.
He hugged me tightly. “Did you sleep well, darlin’?”
I nodded into his chest. “Best sleep I’ve had in a while.”
“Good. Let’s get you back to bed for a few hours.” He said, taking my hand and guiding me back to the bedroom. When we got past the threshold, he picked me up and laid me on the bed.
I giggled a little bit, looking up at him.
He gave me a little bit of a sad smile as he sat on the mattress, his back to the wall.
“What’s wrong, Benny?” I asked, suddenly becoming worried.
He shook his head, turning his gaze to the wall in front of him.
“Benny. Something’s wrong. Please tell me.” I said. His aura was this milky blue and yellow color with a green solid center. Worry, fear and love.
He looked back over at me and there was some kind of pain in his eyes before they dropped to my neckline. “I didn’t want to have to leave ya this mornin’.” He said, his gaze flitting back to my eyes. “But, with ya sleepin’ and ya called my name…” He trailed off.
I understood. I nodded, moving so that I was straddling his lap.
He looked at the door so he didn’t have to look at me. “I didn’t mean to, sugah. I didn’t. But if I had stayed here any longer-“
I cut off his words by placing my hand on his cheek, gently brushing my thumb over his skin; the same way he stopped me last night.
He closed his eyes. “You make me a weak man, darlin’.”
“Benny.” I said softly. “You have every ability to kill me. You have teeth sharper than any knife, you have my trust,” I told him, pausing to decide whether I should finish my sentence. “And you have my heart.” I told him softly.
Something changed in his eyes and I could see the green spot at the center of the blue and yellow mess grow bigger.
“Benny, I love you. And I don’t want to be a vampire. But if a little bit of beating heart blood will ease your pain, then I’m not going to be squeamish.” I told him, feeling nervous about the comment, but I knew he wouldn’t hurt me.
The yellow faded from his aura and it was a jumble of blue and green; fear and love. “I don’t wanna hurt ya, darlin’.” He said, and I could feel it in every syllable.
I smiled brightly at him, taking his face in both my hands. “Then darlin’, don’t hurt me.”
“What…” He hesitated. “What if I can’t stop?”
I smiled at him still. “Benny. You were around blood three times in the last two days and all you did was look like I kicked your cat. You could have pounced on me like a wounded rabbit and drained me dry,” I told him and the fear in his aura pulsated. “But you didn’t. You made sure I got cleaned up and that I was safe.”
He looked away from me, still unsure.
“If a man comes up to you and he tells you he has a gun, and he won’t shoot you, while he’s sweating bullets and there’s fear in his eyes; he’s not going to shoot you.” I said, trying to soothe his nerves.
“This ain’t a gun I can unload.” He snapped, but there was instant regret in his eyes. “I’m sorry, sugah.” He said, pulling me close.
I ran my fingers through his hair. “You’re so much stronger than you know.” I whispered into his ear.
He sighed heavily and pulled back to look at me. “Will ya forgive me for bein’ a weak man?”
I smiled at him. “Benny, you’re my Superman. One of the only two things that can weaken Superman is his Kryptonite.”
He smirked a little bit. “What’s the other?” He asked.
“A good woman that might as well be made of the same stuff.” I said with a smile as I kissed him.
He smiled into the kiss, but it was gone when I pulled away. He nodded, eyes flittering to my neck. “Five seconds?” He asked, more than said.
I smiled at him, tilting my head to the right, giving him access to the left side of my neck.
“Will ya count for me? Keep me anchored?” He asked, still looking worried.
“Anything for my Superman.” I told him.
He nodded once before his eyes turned white and his fangs came out. I smiled at him, knowing he wasn’t this monster that was always kept inside of him. His teeth sank into my skin and I gripped his arms.
An intense wave of pain washed over me and I almost forgot to say one.
“Two,” I said and the pain ebbed away slowly. I remembered when a boy in sixth grade pushed me up against a wall and made me kiss him.
“Three,” And the pain was replaced with the most pleasant feeling; like when a carrot spice cake came out of the oven.
“Four,” The pleasant feeling was replaced with an undying pleasure that made me want him to take more. I wanted him to take as much of me as he could hold. I wanted it to last forever.
“Five,” I said, forgetting why I was counting. When he pulled away, I was confused. His tongue rolled over my neck and I moaned, pushing against him.
“How are ya darlin’?” Benny’s words floated past my ear as I leaned against his chest.
“Tired and turned on.” I mumbled into his shoulder as his arms wrapped around me.
I could feel his body temperature warm up. It wasn’t quite up to mine; but instead of feeling like his temperature was 50, it was probably closer to 70 now.
“I’m so sorry.” He whispered in my ear.
I sat up with some difficulty, as I felt so sleepy. “I love you.”
Despite the fear that still sat there in him, he smiled at me and the green glowed brighter. “I love you too, darlin’.”
“Can we go back to sleep? The guys are gonna keep us up forever when they get here.” I told him, rolling off his lap and laying on the bed.
He chuckled, pulling me close to him. “Anything for you, Lois.”
“We’re gonna have to get me a better nickname. Lois isn’t even half the stuff Superman is and I’d like to think I could hold my own.”
“Ok, Super Girl. Get some sleep.” He said with a smile, rubbing my back as sleep overtook me.
When I woke up again, I felt like I got run over by a freight train. My body ached and I felt stiff. I rolled over and Benny wasn’t in bed again. I stood up and went to open my door, except I heard three voices in my kitchen.
I went to my dresser and pulled out a pair of sweat pants and pulled them on. I opened the door and stumbled out to the kitchen. Sam, Dean, and Benny sat at the table the same way they had when I’d woke up only two mornings again.
Funny how so much had happened in two days.
“Morning boys.” I said, heading for the coffee pot.
“You get along alright with Benny?” Dean asked, an obvious undertone to his question.
“Yeah, we did alright.” I told him through a yawn as I reached into the fridge for the creamer.
“Nothin’ you wanna tell me?” Dean asked, and everything floated into my head at the same time.
Me and Benny, sleeping together.
Benny biting me.
Getting hit by Joe at the diner.
Quitting my job because of Gunner.
“Uh. I don’t know?” I asked.
Dean looked frustrated with me as he stood up and walked over to me. “How about that nice little stitch work on your face?”
I shrugged. “A scrape. I dealt with it.”
“Really?” Dean asked, crossing his arms. “Because sounds like Benny dealt with it.”
I opened and closed my mouth, looking over at Benny. He held fast and I knew he’d told Dean about Joe. I sighed. “It wasn’t a big deal. Joe likes to push people around. It’s handled.” I told him, going back to my coffee.
“What the hell is that?” Dean asked, making me jump. He took hold of my shirt collar and pulled down at the left side of my neck.
My hand flew up to cover the marks I forgot were there. “Nothing. What? I fell.” I offered lamely.
Fire grew in Dean’s eyes as they found Benny.
“Dean, no wait. Stop. Listen, okay. It was me. It wasn’t Benny’s fault.” I told Dean, taking his arm as he took a step towards Benny.
Sam sat there confused; looking between the three of us, hoping someone would fill in the blanks.
“You bit her?!” Dean yelled, making Sam’s eyebrows shoot up on his face.
“Dean, wait. I swear, I asked him to.” I told him, making his anger turn back to me.
“You… what?” He asked, acting like he hadn’t heard me right.
“He was living on that bagged stuff and I knew his strength wasn’t up to par. If you’re going to go to a demon warehouse, guns blazing; I thought it’d be nice if our vampire didn’t keel over from lack of food.” I told him in one breath.
“You aren’t food!” Dean said, his voice still much too loud for this early in the morning.
“No, yes, I understand that. I told him it was a one-time thing. I promise. It’ll never happen again. And it’s not like he turned me. You can even stick me with dead man’s blood.” I told him, trying to get him to calm down.
Dean turned back to Benny, who wasn’t in his seat anymore. But I felt his hand touch my arm and I knew he was standing next to me.
“Dean, you’re the one who told me to give him a chance. I’m giving him the best chance we have with him around.” I told him and he turned, surprised to see Benny standing next to me. “It was a one-time thing, unless he’s dying.” I consented.
Dean’s eyed bored into me, but I stood solid where I was. Then he turned to Benny and as much as I knew Benny and Dean had a mutual respect for each other, Dean’s macho man attitude didn’t scare Benny in the least. “If you bite her again, I’ll kill you.”
I sighed, setting my hand on Dean’s shoulder. “You’re blowing smoke. You will not. Sit your ass down and tell me what you guys got in Utah.” I told him, giving him a slight push towards the table.
Sam eyed Benny when he saw that Benny was sitting back at the table. “You remember how Hell got unlocked?” Sam asked me.
I nodded, bringing my coffee to the table. I tried to forget that as often as possible, but I remembered the horror that got unleashed on the world. I’d been one of the hunters to help the boys track down signs that pointed them towards the gate.
“The gate from Purgatory is kind of like that. The guy in Utah told us that there’s seals that need to be broken.” Dean broke in.
“What?” I asked, horrified. “How many?”
“Anna told us there was 600 possible seals for the gates of Hell. But our guy in Utah says there’s more for Purgatory.” Dean told us.
“Hell was Lucifer’s prison. His cell. Purgatory is the prison of all the other monsters that have been killed.” Sam said, giving a glance to Benny. “So it would be harder to break them out.”
“Harder, but obviously not impossible, if we’re having this conversation.” I said.
Dean nodded. “And we at least know a few of them. We know the first one.”
“Which is?” Benny asked.
“The blood of a reaper will spill in the streets.” Sam said.
“A reaper? What? How are we gonna stop a reaper from being killed?” I asked them.
Dean looked disheartened.
“And we know the last seal.” Sam said.
“What’s that?” I asked.
Both brothers hesitated and the room seemed to ooze blue. “It’s me.” I said, looking at Benny for some sort of reassurance that I was wrong. “I’m the last seal?”
“The psychic daughter of a sinner dies by the True cross.” Sam said, watching his papers carefully.
“What’s a true cross?” Benny asked, leaning on the table and glancing at me before looking back at Sam.
“As legend goes, the True Cross is the actual cross that Jesus was crucified on.” Dean said.
“Well, that doesn’t sound that hard. Don’t get stabbed by an unknown piece of wood and I’m golden, right?” I asked.
Sam shrugged. “There’s been thousands of people who said they had a piece of the cross Jesus was crucified on, but there’s no way to tell for sure. Unless we had an angel or something who was there.” He said, looking over at Dean.
“Dean. Why is Sam looking at you like that?” I asked.
“We know a guy that might help.” Dean said, looking over at me, daring me to defy him.
“Whoa. Hold up. You know a guy that was alive when Jesus was crucified?” I asked, looking over at Benny, praying it wasn’t him.
Benny held up his hands. “I ain’t that old, darlin’.”
Suddenly, the pressure in the room changed and I jumped, knocking over my chair as I saw a man standing beside Dean, on the other side of the table.
My eyes went wide. He might have been wearing a dirty trench coat, but I could see the wings he hid from the others in the room. “Holy shit. Holy shit. Oh my god.” I said, backing away from him.
“I am not God.” He said.
“Whoa. Hey. Calm down. This is Cas.” Dean said, standing up too.
“Castiel. Angel of the Lord. Purgatory buddy. For the love of God, I can see his wings.” I said, not even sure who I was talking to.
Instead of walking, Castiel zapped in front of me and looked at me, as if he was analyzing me. “You have the sight. Why was I not informed of this?” Cas asked, turning back to Dean.
He looked like he’d been thrown under the bus. “I knew she could see Demons. I didn’t know she could see Angels too.”
Cas turned back to me and I felt like a small child. “You have a good soul. It will be difficult to keep you from dying.”
His blatant words made me blink rapidly. “If you’re going to be so harsh about this, could you step back? Your unseen appendages are making me claustrophobic.” I told him.
He poofed back over to stand by Dean’s side and I stood there with an uneasy feeling in my stomach. “You look unwell.” Cas said.
“I’m going to die and open Purgatory.” I said, taking a big drink of my coffee.
“You know we’re not going to let that happen.” Dean said, but his words were useless.
“Dean. I can’t see how this thing can be stopped. This is why Crowley wants me.” I said, feeling the life drain out of me.
“Well, the first seal hasn’t even been broken yet, so maybe-“ Sam started, but a scream was heard and we all froze.
Cas disappeared and we all stood, moving towards my front door. Cas stood on the sidewalk and as we moved closer to him, we saw Crowley standing over a woman, whose blood flowed from her stomach.
“Hello dears. I believe I just broke your first seal.” Crowley said with a smile.
“You son of a bitch.” Dean said.
Crowley turned his smile to me. “You and I are going to have a dance before I run you through.”
I could feel all three guys tense up next to me and Benny slipped his hand into mine. “I would kill myself before I let that happen.”
“Luckily for me, there’s only one girl on Earth who fits your profile, so best if we keep the blood for the grand finale.” Crowley said and his voice made my skin crawl.
All the sudden the angel and the King of Hell were both gone. Dean and Sam looked around like they’d missed something. “Oh, how I hate seeing their faces.” I said, rubbing my forehead.
I just wanted to sit on the couch and hug Benny, but I couldn’t, because Sam and Dean were here. “For the love of God, tell me you know the next seal.”
Sam looked like he was sucking on a lemon. “There isn’t an order. We only know of one other one.”
“Well now would be a great time to share with the class.” I told him.
“A child is born under the full moon where there lays three thousand dead and then five more.” Sam said.
“A cemetery?” Benny asked.
“What cemetery holds 8,000 dead?” I asked, wondering how I’d gotten roped into this.
Sam turned and went back inside, presumably to google our new mystery. Dean followed him and all I could do was stand there.
Benny put his hand on my hip and I looked up at him, confused and scared. “We’ll get out of this, darlin’.” He said, leaning down for a quick kiss.
“We?” I asked, watching him.
He smiled down at me. “I ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
“Really? Because this is the perfect time if you want to run away screaming.” I told him, giving him an easy out.
He shook his head. “I ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
I nodded, giving his hand a squeeze before I made my way back to the house. I glanced over at the reaper, but her body had melted away, leaving no trace in the street.
Sam sat at his computer and Dean went through some book.
“I’m gonna put some real clothes on.” I said, touching Dean’s shoulder.
He looked up at me and nodded, going directly back to his book.
I quickly changed and sat on my bed. I glanced at the dresser and stood up again, so I could prop the picture of Bobby and I back up. All the memories from last night flashed through my head. Benny’s skin against mine, the bonfire he lit just for me, the cake fight in the kitchen that started the whole chain of events in action.
A knock on my door startled me and I called for them to come in. Benny opened the door, stepping just inside the threshold. “You doin’ alright, darlin’?”
I nodded, gently letting go of the picture that meant so much to me. “Yeah. I’ll be ok.” I knew Benny could tell I was lying. But I wasn’t quite strong enough to tell the true.
He came over to me and gave me a hug.
I hugged him back as tightly as I could. “I know it’s stupid, but I don’t want to die.”
“It ain’t stupid, sugah.” He told me.
“I mean, I’m not scared of death. I just don’t feel like I did what I came here to do.” I told him, wiping my eyes before I could start crying.
“We’ll find a way to fix it.” He told me softly.
I nodded. “We should help the guys.” I told him, squeezing his hand before we walked back out to the kitchen.
“Ok, so there’s one cemetery I could find that actually lists that they have 8,000 dead.” Sam said, staring intently at his computer. “Batavia Cemetery in Batavia, New York contains over 8,000 graves. Most of them coming from the 19th century.”
Something buzzed in the air and I felt a shift. “No, that’s not right. Three thousand dead, and then five more.” I said, rolling the words around. “What if it’s a terminology thing?” I asked, getting the attention of the other three. “Like, how in the Gettysburg address, Lincoln says ‘Four score and seven years ago.’ He was talking about the number eighty-seven, but he didn’t say it like that.”
“Three thousand and then five more.” Dean said.
“Three thousand and five?” Sam asked the table.
“Three thousand, five hundred.” Benny said.
I nodded. “That makes more sense than three thousand and five.”
And Sam’s fingers typed like the wind. “Ok, here.” He said, then paused and looked at me. “Gettysburg National Cemetery holds three thousand, five hundred Union soldiers.”
I kinda smirked. “And the psychic mojo is a rollin’. Let me pack a change of clothes and let’s hit the road. Full moon is two nights away.” I jumped up and ran to my room. I threw four of everything in a backpack; shirts, pants, underwear, socks. I figured if we were gone longer than that, I could hit a laundry mat.
Next, I pulled the duffle bag out from under my bed and set it on the comforter. I pulled my Colt 1911 out of my dresser, the two shotguns out of the closet, and three already loaded extra clips out of a box on the shelf of my closet and put them all in the duffle bag.
When I came out, the guys had their shit packed. I grabbed my purse and emptied everything from it onto the table, putting what I needed in my pockets or in the backpack.
“You know we’re coming back, right?” Sam asked with a smile.
“You always say that.” I said, shaking my head. “I’ve got a storage lockup fifty miles east. I’ll park my truck there. Benny’s will fit too.” I said, nodding to him.
Dean nodded, looking mildly impressed that I had a plan.
“Why do you have that big of a lockup?” Sam asked, looking curious.
I looked at him like he was crazy. “I got stuff I don’t like other people seeing. Like in this case, my truck.” I picked up my keys off the counter and tossed them at Benny, who caught them easily. “Will you bring up the stuff from the cellar? And put it in a box. I don’t want the neighbors seeing what you’re bringing up.”
“I’ll go with him.” Sam said, nodding to Dean as he followed Benny out my back door.
“Gettin’ kinda cozy with him around, huh?” Dean said with a smirk.
“I’m not cozy with anybody. I enjoy company.” I told him.
“I bet you do.” Dean said with the smirk still planted there.
“Dean. Give it a break. I’m your cousin, not a nun.” I told him, throwing the backpack over my shoulder as I picked up the duffle bag. I kicked open the door and loaded the bags into the bed of my truck.
“Hey neighbor!” Bill Coleman said to me from the other side of his picket white fence with a smile.
“Bill.” I said, heaving the duffle over into the bed.
“Goin’ on a trip?” He asked, still smiling.
I hated nosey neighbors. “Yeah Bill. Going to bury my uncle in South Dakota.”
That sure wiped the smile right off his face. “Oh, gosh Vivian. I’m so sorry. How long do you think you’ll be gone?”
“Ya know, Bill. I have no idea. I’m burying my uncle.” I told him, standing in the bed of the truck, looking at him harshly.
Benny and Sam came alongside the truck and handed me two boxes that Bill couldn’t see the contents of.
I thanked them and after placing them in two spare tires I kept in the bed, Benny took my hand and I jumped out.
“Nice to meet you folks.” Bill called after us and I wanted so badly to flip him off.“Next house doesn’t have neighbors. It will be miles from people. Miles and miles.” I said to no one in particular.