Chapter 21: The Winchesters
Sam would have never guessed that the Jacobs family were werewolves. They were so gullible, so polite. Guarded, now that he thought about it. He almost slapped his forehead. How could they not see it?
The family was just playing along. Scott most of all. He was trying to protect his family. Though the wards confused anyone who knew about the house, hunters were drawn to it nevertheless. Because the family had to eat. And if what Haven said was true, had a hunter done the family wrong at one point? Had the family only put up the wards to lure hunters to their death because a hunter had caused them pain sometime during their lives?
"I was wondering when you'd figure it out," a voice said from the tower behind the group.
Sam spun around and jumped back when Scott landed lightly on his feet at the edge of the garden. He'd leapt from the catwalk, down into the mass of hunters.
"But did it really take all these minds to decipher our riddle?" he chastised, clucking his tongue.
"I wanted to keep hunters away," Haven's small voice admitted. "I wanted to protect them."
"You should have done your research, little lady," Scott scolded lightly.
Sam knew they were in trouble. Two werewolves and a Hell Hound? His hands shook and he bet on his life that Lindsay regretted making him and Dean stow their weapons. He certainly did.
"He lied to me!" Haven shouted. Her face was purple with rage and embarrassment. "That son of a bitch lied!"
"Demons do that," Dean informed her.
"Not helping," Sam muttered under his breath.
"I am not going to Hell over a shit deal!"
Sam heard Scott's growl underneath his friendly chuckle. "No, not as a Hell Hound's feast, you're not," Scott agreed.
The pureblood lowered into a crouch. Sam grabbed his gun. Scott smirked.
"My family has to eat, you understand," he said. "And we haven't had this much meat in quite some time."
He began to circle.
Cameron growled to Sam's right. There was a scraping noise, and suddenly the two werewolves were on each other, snapping at each other's throats with long, glistening teeth. Cameron had given the group the opening they needed.
"Go, go!" Sam yelled. He grabbed Lindsay's hand and the group took off, barreling down the grassy hill towards the lower village.
When they had put a few street blocks in between themselves and the Jacobs' place, Sam found a park bench and sat on it. He knew the wolves would smell them out, if either survived. He didn't know what Cameron would do, but he sure as hell was going to put a silver bullet or three into Scott if he found him.
"We're missing somebody," Mary announced. She looked around. "Where's what's-his-name? The guy with the hat?"
Sam started. The mysterious guest who seemed to know all about the wards had vanished. Sam sighed. One less casualty was better off, anyway.
But a second later, the man appeared next to Haven.
"I did do that spell in time? Great," he said, seeming to congratulate himself. He nodded to Haven. " I wanted to make sure they knew about your deal so they could help you, but the spell I cast was a bit too powerful. I'm glad Cameron showed up; the spell took longer to deactivate than I would have liked."
"Spell? I didn't feel anything," Haven frowned.
The Collector grinned. "Good. You weren't supposed to. It was just to keep you from leaving until the truth was spit out."
Haven's frown deepened. "You trapped me there?"
"Okay, enough," Dean grunted. "We know now, Haven, so you should thank him, and us too, when we save you."
Sam rolled his eyes at his brother. He was never one to have tact. "Can I ask you something?" Sam turned to the Collector. "How'd you know about the wards in the first place?"
"Are you a demon?" Dean questioned.
"If I was, I wouldn't tell you. I'd just gut you," the Collector said. "But no, I'm not. I'm the Collector, just like I said."
"And what exactly do you collect?" Mary inquired.
Sam knew his mother was in hunter mode. Her eyes constantly shifted throughout the group to check on everyone; she was also watching out for Hell Hounds. It was nice to have her back. Yet he worried---a bit excessively---that she'd get hurt. But she was at ease. In her element. There wasn't any need to worry.
At this question, the Collector became sheepish. "I'll make you a deal---"
"Oh, God, not another one," Lindsay moaned.
"No, not like that!" he insisted, holding his hands up.
Dean 's gun snapped up, trained at his heart.
"Hear him out!" Jenna suggested shrilly. "He only wants to help."
Sam put a hand on Dean's shoulder but it was shaken off.
"We already have one Hell Hound to deal with," Dean rumbled. "If more come I swear I'll---"
"I'm the one who broke into your bunker."
Sam's mouth dropped open. He could almost hear his brother's thoughts working to unscramble themselves. "Why would you tell us?" he asked.
The Collector still had his hands raised in defense. "I told you. I'll make you a deal." His eyes widened meaningfully. "I'll help you out if you let me go with what I've taken."
"No way," Dean replied.
"Those are Men of Letters secrets," Mary added. "Some of the oldest and most powerful spells ever created. We don't know what you'd do with them."
Sam held out his hand. "Give them back."
A ghostly howl halted the conversation.
"I can help," the Collector insisted again. "You have silver bullets for the werewolves? I can make a shield around you so you won't even have to use them."
He was eager, Sam realized. He was excited. There was definitely an air of keeping his distance, but this guy genuinely wanted to help. He also wanted to get away with breaking into his and Dean's home. Sam frowned.
Another howl split the air.
"If it's the pureblood, we have to take it out," Dean told him. "And the rest of them."
"They can change, though," Jenna hoped. "We can't kill the kids." She kept looking up the street towards the hill.
"They've been raised on hunters. Feeding off human blood and meat. It's not pretty, but we can't ignore it," Lindsay replied darkly. "We have to, Jenna."
Were they going to make a stand here, right in the middle of the street? The werewolf was coming. Which one it was, though, Sam didn't know. It was then that Haven's sudden quiet made Sam's spine prickle. He turned away from the girls arguing and negotiating over the werewolf kids and focused on what Haven was staring at.
"Haven, what is it?" Sam asked. His tone was urgent enough that everyone else stopped talking.
"I see it," she whispered, pointing. "Right by the street lamp."
A guttural snarl at the entrance of the park forced Haven to step back.
Mary rushed forward and wrapped a protective arm around Haven's shoulder. But the Hell Hound didn't move. "Why isn't it attacking?" she wondered.
"While you two," the Collector indicated to Lindsay and Jenna, "were arguing, I cast a protection shield. It can't get to anyone while I'm here."
Sam had to give the guy credit. He was quick on his feet.
"Really?" Dean asked, surprised. "Where'd you learn that?"
That stumped Dean. Sam's laugh was filled with relief. They had to let him go with something now, at least. He was saving their lives.
Thundering footsteps rounded the corner then and Cameron appeared, bloody from gashes on his cheek, chest, and arm.
"It's done," he panted. "They're all dead."
"All of them?" Jenna asked, hoping Cameron was mistaken.
But Cameron nodded.
Sam put one of his massive hands on Jenna's shoulder, hoping to be a little consoling.
"So, if you don't mind," Cameron hedged, "I'd like to go. All these humans at once is not good for my self control."
Lindsay nodded before anyone else could answer. "Go. Say hi to Garth for us."
The werewolf smirked and disappeared around the corner once more. Sam sighed. Had that been the right choice?
Another snarl from the Hell Hound brought Sam's attention back to the threat at hand.
"We need to get you out of this deal," he told Haven. Conveniently, their group had stopped right in the middle of a crossroads.
"Can your spell cover people who are apart, like, who are hiding in different areas?" Lindsay asked the Collector.
"We can summon the demon and trap it if he can keep the Hell Hound away," Dean added.
"But wouldn't we just be making another deal?" Mary asked.
The Collector started to pace. "I should be able to keep you guys covered," he said. "Just don't go too far."
"Should?" Dean growled.
"I've never done it this big before."
"Fine. Alright. Let's go," Sam insisted. He didn't like that the Hell Hound sounded closer now. "Do your thing."
An organized scramble ensued. The Collector stood in the center of it all, reading from a journal he'd taken from a sling bag across his back. Sam and Dean didn't have what they needed to make a devil's trap, as it was all back in the Impala's trunk, but again, the Collector came to their aid. He produced a can of spray paint without pausing the incantation. Mary hid behind the bookshop across from the park, Lindsay and Haven took the tree at the corner, and Jenna and Connor hid with their backs to the wall of the barber shop, opposite the bookshop.
The demon would be surrounded by hunters.
With the devil's trap complete, Sam put the cap back on the spray paint. He stepped to the outside of the circle.
"I'm going to make myself scarce before anything goes down, the Collector said.
"Stay where we can see you," Dean instructed.
Sam saw the Collector's eyes tighten. They had no choice but to trust him. He's come back once. He wouldn't leave them to the Hell Hound if things got ugly, would he?
When he was out of sight, Sam braced himself. The Hell Hound snarled. "Ready," he said.
"I want the demon that has Haven's soul," Dean announced into the clear air.
A dark man in a suit appeared without a sound. He stood in the middle of the trap; looked down, scrutinizing it. His eyes were blazing red when he returned his gaze to Sam and Dean.
"Really?" he asked, sarcasm dripping from the single word. "Why didn't you just go to Crowley and beg for her life? I hear you're butt buddies now."
"This is more fun," Sam retorted icily.
The demon sneered.
"Give it up or we slice you," Dean said, brandishing Ruby's knife.
Sam was relieved that he'd thought to grab that from the bunker before they'd left.
"I am so sick of you Winchesters," the demon muttered. "Your lack of respect irritates me."
"Respect? Who, you?" Dean shot back.
"And you'll find there's more than just us here, so I'd watch what you say," Sam told him.
As if on cue, his mother, Lindsay, Connor and Jenna moved out of the shadows. Haven stayed pinned to the tree, probably heading her sister's order. The Collector, too, didn't reveal himself. Sam thought that was best; if he died, the protection spell would be lost and they'd all be a Hell Hound's chew toy.
The demon's snark disappeared. "Lovely," he said. "Fine. Here."
He snapped his fingers.
"Her soul is hers."
Sam didn't want to believe that. "Just like that?"
"Lucifer is going t kill me anyway, so why not just get it over with now? He never liked me, not really," the demon sighed.
And then there was that elephant in the street.