Bad Company
Author: Lycanthrophile (lycanthrophile@imadethis.org) and dean_the_hunter (artofmayhem@gmail.com)
Fandom: Supernatural, Original Characters
Originally Posted: February 11, 2007
Spoilers: Season 1
Disclaimer: With the exception of Jess, they belong to Wonderland Sound and Vision and Warner Bros. Television Production Inc. No copyright infringement intended.
Rating: NC17 for male/female sex
Summary: A hunter and a werewolf fall in love without realizing what the other is.
Word Count: 40,574
Notes: Originally a roleplay log between myself and dean_the_hunter
Archive: Please inform me.



Part I

Jess clipped the order to the window and picked up the waiting plate. Waitressing never was on the list of jobs to hold when she grew up. It wasn't good money in terms of what she could have made if she had completed college. But it was enough for her to make rent and put a little away for the day she had to inevitably move on. She had been through the cycle about a year, and wasn't certain that she'd ever truly be used to it.

Delivering the customer's meal, she moved on to the table that had been seated a short while ago. Trying to ignore the ache in her legs, she pulled out the notepad and pencil. "Have you had a chance to decide? Or would you like a few more minutes?"

John Winchester had come into the little dinner, deciding a meal was needed. It was so few times in the travels of hunting that a decent meal was able to be enjoyed. His son, Dean, often hated getting something on the go. Eaten cold or heated in some quick-stop microwave. Often, when traveling with his son, John made the effort to stop at places like this. This time, John was not with his son. Dean was off on his own mission but in a while, he would return. John had spoken to him, Dean was still on his hunt. They were to hook up later, in the meantime, John procured a room. Tonight, John would have a meal.

Upon the table, his leather bound journal sat. He had been scribbling notes upon pages half written in and started new ones. He mainly wrote knowing this would one day be passed to his sons, correction, son. Dean. His youngest made it clear he wanted nothing to do with this sort of life. However, John knew, deep inside, it wasn't going to be possible. Sammy. The youngest, was tied into something bigger and John was doing his best to make sure Sam was safe. John was doing his best to make sure his sons were prepared and safe. This journal was just a small portion of that.

He was staring out the window, thinking of Sam when the waitress disturbed him from his thoughts. He quickly closed the journal and turned his head to her. The worn and tired hunter lifted his lack of three day shaved head up to her, "I'll take the special, cup of coffee, black and water."

"Man who knows what he wants. I like that." Jess scribbled down his order. The intensity he had been displaying as he jotted down something in his leather book reminded her of some students she used to study with before... "I'll have that out to you in a few minutes," she said, cutting off her thought. Memories of before would do her no good now.

She turned in the older man's order and went to the next table. She tried hard to keep from rolling her eyes when she saw who had just been seated. Billy thought he was God's gift to anything female. And although Jess had rebuffed his earlier advances, it hadn't discouraged him in the least. "What can I get you, Billy?" And then she was quick to clarify. "That's on the menu."

"Just the usual, Jessie," Billy said, looking her up and down. When she turned away, only to feel a sharp slap on her rear. She twisted back to see Billy making a kissy face at her. "Last warning Billy," she said in a low voice. "Don't ever do that again."

By this time, the person writing in the journal's order was ready. "Here you go," she said as she delivered the plate, coffee and water. "Anything else you need?"

John normally paid little mind to what was going on around him but the man behind him was irritating to say the least, especially at how he treated the young lady. However he kept that to himself and he continued to write in his journal.

When his food arrived, he closed it back up and cleared it from the table so the food can be placed down. The special actually looked good and smelled good too. He took a drink of the coffee first before answering her. "Thank you, check back with me after and I might have some apple pie," he smiled up to her before digging into his meal.

"Will do," Jess said. Why couldn't more customers be like him? she wondered. Quiet, knew what they wanted, and most importantly, she thought as she delivered Billy his meal, kept his hands to himself.

She cleared several of the empty tables, pocketing her tips. She kept eyes on the tables, showing up with coffee or water as needed. After refilling Billy's cup and ducking a roving hand, she headed back over to the strangers table. "Still interested in the pie?"

John at times would glance to the table that this rude man was sitting at. Not liking the way he treated this poor young woman. Both of his boys had better not treat women that way. And especially Dean. He knew Dean was charming. Very much so. He had his mother's sweet looks and the charm. He drew attention when he walked in the room.

John looked up to the young woman, his blue eyes coming to hers and nodded, "Yeah, I think I will take some of that pie. Can I ask you something? Is that guy giving you problems?" He asked in looking over at the rude man. He shouldn't care. Wasn't any of his business. But all he could think of was this girl could be like his Mary and he wouldn't want someone treating his wife that way.

"Oh, you mean 'God's gift to women' over there?" Jess said with a hitch of her head. "Billy's harmless for the most part. He'll drink a couple of more beers, make another pass, and then stumble out of here with someone else. It's happened about ever night since I've worked here, maybe a bit more to me since I didn't grow up here. But thanks for the concern," she said, giving him a smile. "Let me go get that pie for you. Want that warm with ice cream?"

John glanced over his shoulder as if he didn't seem so sure of what she was saying. He lifted his blues back up to her. He thought for a moment. Normally he just took it plain but with ice cream was the way his beloved wife used to eat it. He seemed to struggle a bit before nodding, "Sure."

He reached over, taking another drink of his coffee as he watched her walk away. She looked to be about the age of his eldest or even that of his youngest. And he suddenly felt old.

Jess returned with the pie and ice cream, as well as a carafe of fresh coffee. "Here you go. On the house." She had seen the sadness in his eyes at her suggestion. It wasn't her place to ask about it though. "Let me know if there's anything else I can get for you," she said as she added coffee to his cup.

About fifteen minutes later, her shift was over. Much to her relief, Billy had already left. Her other customers had all left, with the exception of the man who had been writing in his journal. Her path to the door and her jacket did take her by the older man's table. "I'm on my way out. Sarah'll take care of anything else you need."

John had long finished the pie. He had settled his bill with the young woman and was just sitting in the both drinking his coffee before he was going to head out. He had been staring out the window, thinking of things that would never be. He missed Mary. Missed her very much.

John started gathering his things and was about to slide out when the young woman had stopped by his table. He looked up to her, "Won't be necessary, I was just heading out." He pulled his jacket on and gather his things up as he started walking out behind her, reaching to get the door for her. "You be careful out there and stay warm, I hear there is gonna be some chilly nights coming soon."

Jess pulled her lined denim jacket on. "Thanks, and the same goes for you," she said, stepping through the door. The night wind was crisp and cool, and for a second she thought she scented...

If she had smelled it and it wasn't a figment of her imagination, it was now gone. She shivered slightly, hoping that the polite stranger would assume it was because it was so cold. "I'm heading back towards the motel," Jess said, gesturing down the road to the lights about half a block away. "I wouldn't mind the company for the walk, if you want."

John so happened to be heading there as well. He gave a bit of a smile, "I happen to be heading that way. So if you won't mind walking with an old man, I won't mind." He started walking along beside her, his journal tucked into his jacket so his hands could go into his pockets. "You're staying at the motel? I figured you would have an apartment here." Not that he was being noisy or anything. It was just an observation.

But John was also looking about, searching the shadows, looking for movement. The hunter was always on guard. And he half wished he would hear the sound of the Impala coming down the road and know his eldest was coming back.

Jess shook her head. "I've been sort of drifting around," she explained. That part was true enough. "I stopped here when I ran out of cash, took the waitressing job, and have been trying to figure out what to do next." Again that was the truth. "Since I'm not sure how soon before I moved on, I decided I'd start with a motel room and get apartment if I stayed longer."

"How about you?" she asked. And then shook her head. "I just realized I've been incredibly rude and haven't asked your name. Mine's Jess, by the way, if you didn't read the name tag earlier."

John knew all to well about drifting from one town to another. His hunts took him all over. He didn't like dragging the boys along like that but he wasn't also going to give them to someone else to take care of. Not with what killed his beloved wife. He loved his boys to much and honestly, they were the only connection he had left to her. Especially Dean. He reminded him so much of Mary.

"I'm sort of passing through," He glanced to the tag, "And I sort of guessed that." He gave a little smile. "John." He could have given a fake name, like that on half the credit cards he held in his wallet or the insurance card tucked away. That was the only one he really kept payments up on, that and his cell phone. He was not going to loose contact with Dean or Sam for that matter so four other phones also had service. He just let Dean know which one he was using at the time.

"Nice to meet you, John," Jess said. He really did have a nice smile. But it seemed a little uncomfortable and foreign on his face, like he didn't do it too often. He also had somewhat of an unsettled look about him. "Passed through a lot of places, John? Any particular place you call home?"

John gave a little shrug, "You can say that. But," He thought a moment of Lawrence then shook his head. "No, not any more."

"Same here," Jess said. "I guess the closest would be San Jose, where I grew up. But it's been a while since I've been there."

John suddenly thought of Sam. He sighed a bit, his head dropping down. "Why did you leave?"

"Bad falling out with my parents," she said. "They didn't exactly agree with me wanting to get into veterinary school instead of becoming a doctor."

"It's still a doctor," John pointed out though he wasn't one to argue since he yelled at Sam for leaving him and his brother. "You're parents only wanted what was best."

"There were other.... issues." She hadn't meant to get into the real reason why she had left home. But in some ways, it was a relief to talk about it. "My older sister died when I was thirteen. And my parents, well, they took it hard."

"Sorry to hear that," He looked over at her. "What did she die of?"

"She was in a car accident just after her 16th birthday. I was in the car also. She died, I lived, and sometimes I think my parents never forgave me for it."

John suddenly thought of Dean and how Sam leaving was like cutting off an arm for his eldest. The boys had always been so close. Very close. Sam's leaving had Dean quiet for at least a couple of weeks. Not near as long as when Mary died but it was still effective in it's own. Like punching John in the chest. "You should really try to... reconcile that. A child should not be out on their own."

She stiffened, her expression bordering just this side of a dirty look. "Problem is that they treated me like a child. The wrong one." It had been her sister's desire to be a doctor. Not hers. But she shouldn't be snapping at him. "You got kids, John?"

There was that tone. That tone that Sammy often took just before a full blown near knock down fight. If it hadn't been for Dean stepping in, it would have happened. "Yes, two boys."

"Can you tell me one thing? Why would my parents try to make me into the daughter they lost instead of letting me be me?"

"Their pain blinded them," John answered as he knew, he knew that is what happened in their family. His pain for Mary, her being gone, had him pushing his boys so hard and so much. Making them more into soldiers than his sons. He suddenly felt a twinge of guilt prick at his gut.

Jess let out a deep breath. "Sorry. I shouldn't really be talking about family." Anyone drifting around the way did almost by default had a horrible family life.

"Sometimes, family is all we have left to talk about." John informed her.

"Okay," Jess said. She arched an eyebrow in his direction. "Then tell me about yours."

"I have two boys, the youngest is going to Stanford. Wants to be a layer. He's very smart. Very high grade point average."

"Stanford?" Jess let out a low whistle. "Impressive. And the other?"

John thought of Dean. His beautiful son which he had pushed away to work his own gigs. But it was only to keep him safe. "He's," he gave a pause, "He's gonna be meeting me here soon."

"Really?" Jess' eyebrow arched again. "And because I like you, I'm going to have to warn you. If the next words out of your mouth are anything along the lines 'and you'd be perfect for him,' I will be obligated to hit you."

John gave a chuckle, "Wasn't going to say that at all." He looked to her sideways, "Though I suspect you have a mouth like his. You aren't... how can I put this?" He stopped and faced her, "Frisky?"

Jess let out a quiet snort. "And maybe you haven't seen me under the right circumstances."

"Maybe your right," He turned and started walking again.

She kept pace with him as they crossed off the road and into the parking lot. She glanced up at the sky, as if to reassure herself that the moon wasn't full. Not that she had to see it to know for certain.

"Which room is your? Mine is there," he points over to where an old truck sat before it. Dean had the Impala, having given it to him out of necessity. The boy was scared of flying and the tools they needed were impossible nearly to get by security these days. Besides the cost was too much.

"Down there," she pointing to a room about five doors down. A beat up motorcycle sat in front of hers. "So I guess this is goodnight."

"I guess it is," he stopped.

Maybe it was a perverse itch to prove to the contrary the earlier comment he made. Maybe it was because he was the first man she had come across in a long time who didn't seem to be trying to take advantage of her. But she took a step closer. "Thanks for walking me back," she said, and then stretched up on her toes to kiss his scruffy cheek.

John didn't know when he did it or why, but he leaned down, allowing her to reach him. Perhaps it was because he had been lonely. Perhaps it had been a while since he had a faceless woman to relieve the tension he had built up in him. "My pleasure."

She still didn't understand the impulse, but followed it anyway. "You know, it's going to be a couple of hours before I wind down. And it's been a while since I've had anyone I can just sit and talk to." She gestured towards her door. "You want to come in for more coffee? It's not as good as what's at the diner, but it's still caffeinated."

John gave a genuine smile this time that seemed to fit his face. "Now you found my weakness that I can't say no to. A good cup of coffee sounds nice."

"Come on then." Jess turned and walked over to her door, pulling her key out of the door. The room was the standard cheap hotel room, and Jess' few possessions were scattered about it. "It'll take a few minutes to brew," she said, flipping on lights.

John walked in, glad they didn't go to his. She would be backing out and never speak to him again, especially seeing the ring of salt around the door. He took his jacket off, revealing a jean shirt under it that sort of matched his usual torn up jeans. He took a seat at the small table.

Jess was pouring water into the coffee pot. She was glad that the maid who cleaned the room kept leaving coffee packets, even when she said don't bother. "So tell me, John, if it's not too personal a question. How did you start down this road? The whole wanderer lifestyle."

John looked down as he crossed his leg. "It was by choice. To... it's part of the job you can say." He looked up to her.

Instant coffee done, she carried two plastic mugs back to the table. "I'm almost afraid to ask what that job would be. Or do I want to know?"

"You probably better not ask," John answered as he took a drink. "How come you don't have a boyfriend or is this town lacking respectable young men? Because someone like you shouldn't be spending a night like this with an old man like me."

"Because Billy was the prime example of 'respectable young men' in this town," Jess said. There was also the problem of the fact that a boyfriend wouldn't be the best thing in her life right now. Too many problems. "Besides, you're not that old."

"You are too kind," John smirked in taking another drink.

Jess let out a little laugh. "No, seriously. And I'll even be kinder and not even hint about anything regarding a father figure or Oedipal Complex."

John sat his cup down, "You flatter an old man. But I know I'm old. Some days, I feel it more than others. And I am a father, old enough to be yours." He leaned on the table.

Jess leaned forward as well, resting her weight on her elbows. "Maybe, you have a point. And maybe I'll regret it tomorrow, or next week, or next year. But tonight..." Her eyes raised to meet John's. "I'm just tired of being alone."

John met her eyes with his own blues. He could see the loneliness in hers, being reflected back upon his own. In truth, he missed his sons being around. The hollow sounds around him weighing heavy upon him. There was no childish bickering or picking. Sam and Dean's voice both filling the air around him. When Sam had left, it was slightly heavy but Dean tried to keep the air around them filled with either him talking or his music. Dean tried. He really did, bless his heart. But John sent him away, so to speak. For his own good and he hoped his son would one day understand.

But he missed a female companion, John had to admit that. He missed Mary. It showed by him still wearing his wedding band. And he never hid that fact. The women he sometimes picked up, paid for, were just faceless women he didn't bother to get to know. They were cool encounters. Even the one young man with incredible green eyes like his son Dean, dark hair like Sammy, was a one chance encounter. Even if the two of them probably ached for weeks for the encounter to happen again. It never did happen.

"Sometimes, being alone is a necessity," he spoke softly. "But not tonight," he reached out, taking her hand. Slowly he stood, pulling her up. John couldn't believe he was going to do this. Willingly. Urging this young woman who could be his daughter to join in. John pulled her close to him but if she hesitated he wasn't going to force it. "Tell me to leave and I will."

Jess shook her head as she allowed herself to be pulled to him. It was the last thing she needed to complicate her life with. Just because crossing the college campus one night had changed what she was radically didn't mean that she still didn't have the same desires and longings. But what it added was a fear of becoming attached to someone, and then watching that love turn to hate and fear as the truth became known, or watching her destroy it herself.

But tonight wasn't about anything as solid as a relationship or love. It was about two lonely people seeking comfort and a moment to forget. She looked up at John as her arms went around him. "Stay, John," she whispered, stretching up on her toes to kiss him again.

John should have stopped. He should of just gently pushed the young woman away, grabbed his jacket and walked out. But this night, he didn't want to be alone. He wanted to feel the warmth of another body pressed to his, even if it wouldn't happen again for a long while. It didn't even bother him, when it should have, that she was Dean's age or Sammy's. He's had younger.

He leaned down, kissing her, at first slowly but it grew more desperate the longer their lips stayed connected. His rough hands moved over the clothing that covered her body, one coming to rest at the small of her back, pressing her to him as he ventured a step back, moving till the backs of his legs were touching the bed.

She followed willingly, and didn't stop her forward motion when they reached the bed. Jess leaned against him until John sat down. Her lips only parted from his long enough to draw a breath before resuming kissing him. Shifting her legs, she straddled his lap as her arms settled around his shoulders.

Everything in John's sensible brain was screaming for him to stop. But the darker side of him, his body, was over powering all that reason that tried to prevent anything from happen. Instead his hands came to rest upon her hips, sliding back around her while he tipped his head into keeping that kiss going.

Instinct was quickly replacing intellect for Jess. Her hands roamed over his shoulders, exploring the firm muscles through layers of clothing. The decision had been made, and for Jess there was no hesitation. She pulled back long enough to ask one question. "Uh, I wasn't expecting to be doing this," she said between pants. "Do you have anything?"

"I have two boys, silly question," John tried at the bit of humor before pushing his body forward to reach back for his wallet. His mouth made contact with her neck as he did so, finding the bits of soft flesh to kiss and suck upon before leaning back and opening it. He searched the middle pocket and pulled a condom out. If Dean saw this. Two things might happen. One, laughing his ass off or two, growling and bitching him out. The second would be Sam's only choice.

Jess had let out a soft gasp, rocking against John as his lips found her neck. And she was more than a bit relieved that he was prepared. A pregnancy was the last thing she needed right now. Disease, though, she wasn't so certain could harm her any longer.

While he was fishing the condom out of his wallet, Jess leaned back slightly, grabbing the hem of her shirt. Waiting until his attention focused on her again, she pulled it over her head and then dropped it beside the bed.

John's eyes drank in Jess' lean form. Again, his brain screamed at him but his jeans were too tight that his attention was fixed there. At relieving the pressure there and this woman was more than willing. He placed the condom in the edge of her bra as he leaned in to kiss her once again as his fingers worked upon her pants.

She had been about to make a comment that he was wearing too much clothing. But the words were swallowed as he resumed kissing her. She rolled her hips, helping him loosen them before sliding them down her legs. She felt almost obscenely wet, and they had barely begun. There was a slightly feral glint in her eyes as she started to work John's shirt off of him.

The pants couldn't come off completely but it was lowered enough to allow her natural scent to fill the air around them and for the heat as well. John couldn't help the moan that came from him before he had to let go of this woman so his outer shirt could be taken off and tossed aside. He reached down, pulling his tee shirt off. Usually he never got that far. Just opened his pants, took, paid, then left. This wasn't one of those encounters. Far from it.

She backed away from him for a second so she could kick her jeans free and to take a moment to look at him. Despite his references to his age, he was in much better shape than some young men she had dated. She stepped forward and rested her hands on his shoulder before letting them drift downwards. Nails lightly scratched against firm muscle as her hands moved lower down his torso.

John felt a bit embarrassed to expose himself, however her touch was taking that feeling away. He lowered his head to watch her hands before lifting just his eyes and started to aid her in getting his pants off. This was really going to happen.

Both hands were resting on the hem of his jeans. Her eyes flicked up to his as she drew in a deep breath. There was no going back after this. After a moment's pause, her fingers started opening his fly.

John finally at last touched her once again, caressing over her waist and hips, his eyes drifting to that condom before leaning in to kiss her as she opened his pants to relieve the pain that they were causing upon his hard member. He gave forth a groan, something deep and a little bit of a shiver.

She smiled around the kiss as she started working his jeans further down. The noise he made sent a shiver of pleasure running through her, one that was magnified by him touching her skin.

John's fingers suddenly tightened around her slender waist and he lifted as he turned to lay her down upon the bed behind him. It was now his turn to step back, lowering his jeans and stepping out of them. He climbed upon the bed, getting between her inviting legs. He lowered his head to kiss a knee then her inner thigh.

Her eyes had widened as she caught sight of the bulge in his underwear. The kisses traveling up her leg were unexpected, but by no means unwelcome. A soft squeak escaped her lips as her breathing became more rapid the higher he went.

John moved his hands up along the outer thighs, so his fingers could curl around her panties. He wasn't treating her like all the others, that was for sure. He didn't spend this much time on them but then for some reason, she didn't seem like all the others. Fingers hooked her panties and he pulled, moving his body back to slide the dainties off her then tossed them aside as his hands next caressed back up her legs.

She felt a moment of shyness as John stroked her. But it was gone as he hit a ticklish spot on her thighs. She bit her lower lip, trying to hold back her giggles. But she slowly relaxed, letting her legs fall apart.

John gave a smile, feeling her wiggle and hold back her giggles. It was sweet and something genuine. He leaned down, kissing at her hips. He should say something. He should be soothing and saying how wonderful she was. But he wasn't sure she would want to hear that. For them both, they had to look at this as a one nighter. For in the morning, she will be back at work. He ordering breakfast from her and things would go on. He would be leaving town anyway soon enough.

He moved his mouth closer to her core. The movements slow in coming before he dipped his head and kissed her softly at her lower lips then giving a slow swipe with a flat tongue. Now he groaned again, deeper, "You are sweet," he finally spoke.

She had watched him move closer with baited breath. But when John's tongue finally touched her there, she shivered again. It was the unexpected intensity of the pleasure that caught her off guard, as did the emotional strength of her response. "John," she whispered softly in response.

John started to paint over her flower slowly. The wetness already there was smeared around then lapped up. He started to work deeper into her, parting her with his thumbs as his arms curled around her thighs. Blue eyes glanced up her body before he lowered his eyes and closed them as he pushed in deeper to start sucking on the sensitive parts of a woman he remembered. A hand caressed over her belly, moving up slowly till his fingers brushed under her breast, curving on up over to find a standing tall tight nipple which he flicked his thumb over before capturing it and giving it a little tug.

Jess let out a loud gasp, sitting up a bit, pressing her breast and her hips harder against him.. She could feel the heat of his hand through the layer of lace still covering her, but it was nothing compared to the heat of his mouth. Without thinking, she reached behind undo the clasp of her bra and pulling it out of the way.

John's hand felt the material pull away and his hand covered her, kneading her as he worked her below for a bit before giving a suck and pulling off her. He moved up higher, his wet mouth smearing over her belly as he moved up higher till he could lap his tongue over her breast. He wet one side first then blew across the tight nipple and then covered it with his mouth to suckle upon.

Her shoulders dug back into the mattress, lifting her breast in offering. One of Jess' hands slid down his back, sliding down to tangle in his underwear, trying to push it down one handed. The other hand had its fingers tangled in his hair, keeping him close to her nipple.

The underwear slides off easy enough. They are old and worn. He rolled a bit to the side, aiding her in their removal. However his mouth never stopped its work, going to the other side to lavish it with attention. Finally he rose his head and surged up to her lips to kiss her, breathing heavy against her.

She met his kiss with equal passion. Almost before what she realized what she was doing her hips were lifting, legs spreading wider. But she pulled back for a second, fingers scrambling to find the foil packet that seemed to have gone missing.

John dropped his head down, kissing at Jess' neck before lifting his head to see what she was doing. "What?" he asked, his voice deep and husky.

Her fingers closed around the condom and she let out a small sigh of relief. "Almost forgot something," she said with a small smile as she picked it up.

"Ah, yeah, sorry, had me thinking like a horny teenager," He rolled back off her, his hand reaching for the wrapper to open it up. God, when was the last time?

"I'll take that as a compliment," Jess said. She sat up as well, putting her over his to halt him.. "And you could let me do that for you."

John paused a moment and looked at the young woman before nodding, "Okay." He laid back on his elbows, exposing himself more than he expected to.

For a moment, she just took her first good look at him. Like the rest of him, his erection was impressive - a hefty length and girth. And from the fluid leaking from the purple head, he was more than ready to be inside her. And he would be, she thought with a playful grin, but not quite how he may have expected. Leaning over his legs, she dragged the flat of her tongue along his length.

"Jesus woman!" John tossed his head back as he cried out, his hips bucking with little control of his own. "Warn an old man first, will ya," He gave a chuckle before raising his head back to look at her, his blue eyes darker. How to fight that urge he hand to just grip her hair and force her down.

"Oh, so you can dish it out, but can't take it," she answered playfully. Her head tilted, resting her cheek against his thigh. "You really want me to stop?" she asked before delivering another playful flick of her tongue.

John closed his eyes, his body rattling, "At this moment I think you are the one in charge."

Jess let out another chuckle. "In that case..." Carefully watching his reaction, she places several licks and soft kisses along his length. Long fingers caressed his hips at the same time, but she was somewhat cautious with her touches. She didn't want things to end too early for him, after all.

John ventured a hand out, reaching out to touch her hair. It was soft and reminded him of Sammy. Those dark locks, the way he used to fantasized about... John pushed those thoughts deep down. He never acted on those urges he had of his boys. John growled softly, his cock twitching from her attentions. "Beautiful," he groaned as she brought his full attention back to her.

Pulling him between her lips, she sucked lightly on the head, relishing his taste. It would be too easy to get used to this. Too easy to become addicted to him. Too easy to think of this as anything but a one night stand. After one last deep pull on him, she took the condom and began to roll it on him.

John groaned deeply, hissing a breath shortly after as she took him in. Her mouth worked him wonderfully, sending tentacles of pleasure through him. He lifted his head as she pulled off him after sending him into places he didn't think he could go. And it was about to get higher. He grabbed at her once the condom was on, pulling her to him and rolling them so she was back on bottom and he was hitching one of her legs up high on his arm so he could easily enter her.

Now she parted her legs without any hesitation. Both of her hands slid down his back to rest on his ass and pressed downwards. She arched slightly, rubbing herself against his erection. And let out a gasp as the head of his cock breached her.

John buried his face in her neck, hissing a breath in as he pushed into her. She was so tight. So hot. His hands squeezed her tightly and the last few inches he gave a growl and thrust in the rest of the way hard.

It was hard not to respond in kind. Instead of growling, she let out a loud yelp as she felt her stretched wide. But she wasn't going to let a little discomfort stop her. Instead she arched up into him, wanting to feel him move.

John didn't let up, his hips started to move, rocking into the lovely young woman as his head tipped to look down between them. He looked up at her, his mouth seeking hers. He devoured her just as much as he was thrusting into her. "Ahh, fuck," he snarled, "Jesus you are..."

She matched his rhythm as best she could. Jess let out gasps of pleasure between kisses. There was a feral intensity as she crashed against him, trying to make it something they would both remember.

John hadn't done this with a woman in a while. It wasn't taking him long to reach his climax. But he wasn't going to give in to early. He rolled them over so she was atop him, his hands upon her hips to drive her upon him. His hands cupped her breast.

She could feel her pleasure starting to build. She hadn't intended for this to end so quickly, but when he rolled her over, the friction and pressure shifted slightly, rubbing against different areas. Jess arched back so she was straighter on him, shaking hard as she felt her orgasm sweeping over her.

John's fingers gripped as he pushed up, feeling her tighten around him. He closed his eyes tightly as his own release slammed into him and he was filling the condom. He released her, noticing the marks he left upon her. His hand prints on her hips and the small little mark upon her neck. He panted as he sagged back into the bed. "Jesus woman."

She had rocked forward, barely catching herself by locking her elbows and spreading her arms just above his shoulders. Jess was panting heavily also as she slowly lowered herself against him, feeling drained and enjoying every moment of it. "You're pretty incredible yourself, John."

John wrapped his arms around Jess. He wasn't in a hurry with her like he would be with others to leave. Instead he wanted to bask in this feeling. A feeling he rarely got to enjoy. He rolled them to their sides, his hand coming up to brush her hair back. "You make an old man feel young again." He should have done it. But he did. He kissed her tenderly.

Jess smiled gently after she returned the kiss. "And you make a frightened woman feel safe again." She had almost slipped and said 'feel human again' but caught herself in time. Her fingers gently stroked over his arm, tracing over the tattoo.

John glanced down to where her fingers were tracing over his Marine tattoo. He remembered Dean doing that as a child. Finding calm in it. Especially after Mary's death. He looked back up to her, "You don't need to be frighten. Besides, what is to be frighten of here? Other than... what was his name... Billy's wandering hands?"

"You'd be surprised," Jess said. "There's things I've seen..." she trailed off. Things she'd done. Things she would give anything to forget.

"I've seen things too that would surprise you." Of course he could give her the excuse he was in the Vietnam War. Which he was. Then there were the worse things. The things that came after children, sometimes his children. Things that had him coming home nearly torn apart only to have Dean clean him up and tell him it was gonna be okay.

"I'll bet you have," Jess said with a small smile. But she doubted they were talking about the same thing. "I didn't tell you the whole story behind why I'm traveling and not in school. Did I?"

"Hold that thought," He informed her the kissed her, as he cupped her cheek. John then slowly pulled from her, needing to use the bathroom to take off the condom. He cleaned off before returning then climbing in bed next to her, his back to the head board. "Now tell me."

"I managed to get a scholarship to U. C. Davis, the veterinary school. And considering that I was working while going to school, I wasn't doing too badly. This wasn't the first waitressing job I've done. Anyway, I was crossing campus, heading from a late night chemistry lab back to my dorm. I had made the walk about every night for the last semester without anything happening. This time though..."

She took a deep breath and continued. Up until this point she had been completely honest. Now she was editing parts out. "Someone hit me from behind. I blacked out when I hit the ground, I guess. I woke up several hours later, clothing torn and some missing. I guess I had been left for dead."

John lowered his head, thinking of Sam. These things could happen to Sam. It was what scared him most. Sam was trained to protect himself but sometimes he was careless. Caught up in living and thinking he was safe when he wasn't, not really. John pulled her close to him, "I'm sorry," he offered up in comfort. "You should carry a knife or a gun."

Jess shrugged. "Ahead of you. There's a gun in my purse." She didn't mention the special type of ammo that she had loaded in it. "I was beat up pretty badly. The police never did find the guy who did it." Of course they wouldn't. They were looking for a human perpetrator, and put her description of claws and fangs down to a brain injury combined with post traumatic stress. "I missed the second half of the semester while I was recovering. My boyfriend then had problems dealing. I had problems dealing. So I ran. And I've been running ever since."

"You are never going to run far enough away till you confront your fears," He spoke knowing when what happen to Mary, he declared war. And he wondered sometimes if he should have just let it go. "You know how to use it properly?" He asked.

She knew he spoke the truth about running away. Because no matter how fast and far she ran, it followed and eventually caught up with her, and the cycle would begin again. But she wasn't ready to stand and fight yet.

"My dad had some guns in the house, and made sure that we knew how to safely use them.. But I guess I could use a refresher course."

John nodded, "I know a place outside of town we can probably use when you aren't working. He frowned as his finger moved over the area where he thought he left a mark but it wasn't there. Perhaps it wasn't as deep as he first thought.

She wondered why the frown and then realized what must have happened. He left a mark, and it was now gone. Hopefully she'd be able to distract him before he questioned it too much. She reached out and took his left hand between hers, fingers lightly brushing the wedding ring she had noticed him wearing. "This the reason you're running?"

The distraction worked. John looked at his ring, stared at it for a long moment. He nodded, "You can say that. She died a long time ago. But I'm not running."

Inwardly she sighed in relief. It had worked, but now her curiosity was piqued. "Then what are you doing, John?"

"Long story," John answered then reached over to turn the light off. "Lights out young lady. It's bed time."

Jess smirked. "Well, if you insist. Especially if I wore you out trying to keep up with me," she said sticking out her tongue.

John smiled then snapped his teeth at her before pulling her close and kissing her once again. "You keep this up, you are going to have to go out to the drug store for a box of these," He placed the empty packet upon her chest.

Jess glanced down at the empty wrapper and then up at John. "You saying you want to do this again?"

"You started it." He smiled.

She should be panicking, worried that she had just gotten herself into something she should avoid at all costs. It was too dangerous. It would only end in disaster. And yet, she found herself asking. "Maybe I should get two boxes?"

"You threatening to wear an old man out?" Why was this, what was suppose to be just a one night stand, turning into something more? Why was he even thinking or suggesting? Once Dean arrived, they would look for another hunt and be on the way.

This was not going at all how he suspected, either of them had planned. Perhaps he had been alone for too long? Perhaps he missed having the boys around and was tired of the lonely empty air around him. Whatever the reason, he had a feeling this was not going to end well, much like all the other times he connected with people. Daniel, Ellen, the list went on.

Whatever he was thinking, John found himself sliding down in her bed, pulling her closer, his hand around and under her sliding down to the small of her back to press her closer to him while his face buried into her neck to place soft little kisses. His other hand caressed over her hip, over her hips and slightly around the front to cup her breast before moving up her neck as if to hold her to him as he brought his lips to hers and kissed her.

"Two boxes," he mumbled over her lips.

John's touch had sent a wave of warmth though her. How long had it been since she allowed someone to be this close to her physically? It reminded her of how lonely she had been. But there were reasons, she argued, for the self-imposed exile. She was a danger to everyone around her. Especially those she cared for.

But it was hard to remember that when John was kissing her. Her arms settled around his waist, settling herself firmly against him. "Two boxes it is," she agreed.

John continued to give Jess wet kisses, before he laid his head back and moved hers to rest at his neck, his hand behind her head. He drew a breath, the warmth of her body aiding in putting the older man to sleep. A light snore started to come from him. His arms did not let up on their hold upon her, used to holding tightly much like when he slept with his sons.

Jess' eyes had drifted shut as she settled in for what she hoped was a peaceful night's sleep. One did open at the snore, and then shut again. Okay, she thought, maybe there were things she didn't miss about sleeping with someone. But his embrace was warm and comforting, and even if she didn't want to admit it, she was tired. So it didn't take her that long to drift off as well.

John didn't move for some time, except to turn his head which stopped his snoring which wasn't loud. He shifted a bit before an alarm clock started going off. John's eyes opened and he twisted his head to look about for the annoying thing.

Jess' head popped up, a confused expression on her face before she rolled over. The palm of her hand slammed down on the alarm, silencing it.

John laid back more comfortably, "Morning already?" He asked as he stretched, still wondering why he even stayed.

"Yeah. I forgot that I set the alarm. I've got the lunch shift at the diner today." She rolled onto her side to face him, head propped up on one elbow. And she wasn't quite certain what to do next. "Sleep well?"

"About as well as you can on a motel bed," John pushed himself up, sliding so his back was against the headboard. He reached out, brushing her hair back from her face. "How about you?"

She leaned up into his touch. "I slept okay," Jess said. She sat up, tucking the top sheet around her discretely. "Oh, and by the way," she said, lightly tapping his shoulder. "You snore."

"I know, Mary used to..." John cut himself off abruptly. "Sorry." He said then leaned over the bed to look for his underwear.

"S'okay." And now Jess felt like she was the one who should be apologizing. She started to look for her clothes and separate them from his, watching him out of the corner of her eyes. It didn't take much for her to connect the wedding ring and another woman's name.

"So..." she said taking a deep breath. "What do we do next?"

"Breakfast. I can make a mean scrambled eggs over a camp burner." He looked back to her over his shoulder with a bit of a smile.

Jess smiled back. "Breakfast sounds good." She gestured with her head towards the bathroom. "You want to take a shower first?"

John contemplated the offer then nodded, "Sure." He pushed up, his fingers releasing his underwear to allow them to fall to the floor again as he started heading for it.

She had been pulling some clothing out of the clapboard dresser. "I'd join you, but I should go down to the Qwikstop on the corner first." She shifted weight back and forth nervously. "Unless you've changed your mind?"

John stopped at the bathroom door, looking over his shoulder and half turning, "You better hurry back then before the water gets cold."

"Yes sir," Jess said, a wide grin spreading over her face. She managed to get into her clothing in record time. "Be back in about five minutes, John," she called out as she left the motel room.

John turned back, entering the bathroom, seeing all the womanly essentials littering it. He sighed softly. He missed Mary. Missed walking into their bathroom and seeing all these things. He looked in the mirror at himself and suddenly he felt old. It had been entirely too long since Mary. He knew she would have wanted him to go on but... there was something in him that wouldn't allow it. Couldn't. As if he did, the memory of her would fade. Ellen had told him once, he looked entirely too lonely, empty and he needed to keep living for his boys. But he didn't listen. John sighed softly thinking he should throw his clothing on and get at least a toothbrush from his room.

It was a quick jog to the minimart, and she was certain her purchases raised a few eyebrows. Gossip traveled at the speed of sound in a small town like this, and she was certain this would only add on to her growing reputation.

But she also heard a bit of news that made her blood run cold. Not again, she thought. Please let it be a coincidence. So some of the spring was out of her step when she returned to the room. Trying to put her worries out of her mind, she started stripping almost as soon as the door shut. "I'm back," she yelled, as she headed towards the bathroom, box in hand.

John was still before the mirror but when he heard the door open, he had peeked out to see it was her, the tension him leaving quickly then turned on the water to get it warm. "Took you long enough," he called back.

Jess stuck out her tongue at John. "So did you use up all the hot water?" she asked, placing the box on the sink so he could see it.

"No, didn't even turn it on." He glanced to the box, "Just one?" There was a tease in his voice as he pulled the curtain back to allow her in.

"One for in here, one for by the bed," she explained, stepping in. "So did you go through my medicine cabinet and learn all my deep dark secrets," she asked as she bent to turn on the water.

"I was suppose to?" John raised an eyebrow as he stepped in behind her, his eyes going to her arse while he closed the shower curtain. His hand reached to curve around it and caress.

Jess let out a gasp as she straightened up. And then stepped backwards closer to him. "I thought that was the standard procedure after spending the night with someone."

"I'm out of practice. I'll do it when we get out of the shower," John commented as he wrapped his arms around her, walking her into the water.

She turned in his arms, slipping her arms around his waist. Her hands rested for a moment on his ass before squeezing, lifting her head to kiss him.

John kissed her in turn, turning them slightly so her back was against the cool tile. He leaned his body into her, pressing his growing erection to her while one hand rested by her head and the other was sliding down her body.

Jess surged into his kiss, arching into his touch. Her hands squeezed his ass again as her tongue teased his and rubbed herself against him.

John's hand moved over her hip, catching his fingers behind a slender thigh to raise her leg up. It opened her up more and with just a bit of movement, his cock slipped down to rub against her neither lips as they kissed. It would be all to easy to just lift her at the moment and take. But he remembered what she said last night. It caused him to ease off her a bit. His kisses became more gentle, tender.

She sharply as she felt him rub against her entrance. Too tempting, even as he backed away, to let him take what they both wanted. Instead she slowly pulled away from his mouth, but not his body. Light, biting kisses were placed along his jaw and down his neck as her hands rubbed up and down his sides.

John released her leg, both his hands coming to cup her breast. He had to bend his form some to reach but he was able to lightly run his tongue over each center, feeling them become tight under his tongue. Of course doing so stopped the wonderful little kisses along his own skin but he was getting just as much pleasure from hearing her breath quicken.

She let out a soft whimper, feeling warm wet heat that had nothing to do with the water falling from the shower head. Her hands cradled his head as her chest heaved. She was feeling sharp tingles between her legs with each pull on her breasts.

John lifted his head, his mouth sliding along her skin, over her neck and chin till he reached her lips once again and he kissed her more fiercely this time. His body was revved up. It tingled with every touch.

Her tongue dueled with his, dancing and darting in his mouth. She could feel every drop of water hitting hypersensitive skin, but it was nothing compared to the feeling of his lips and hands. But after a few seconds, she pushed away, panting heavily. "I think it's time to put something on, John."

"Soap?" he joked as he twisted his body, not wanting to loose contact. But sadly, he had to. He grumbled something under his breath as he reached out of the shower, taking a small packet out and his hand reached back to her, nearly dropping it as he wasn't really looking while trying to put the box back without it falling in the toilet.

Maybe she should go on the pill, the part of her brain that never shut up said. After all, if they both tested clean, they'd not have to worry about forgetting something... and what the hell was she thinking? It was pretty obvious as she took the condom from John and tore the package open.

John turned back, his cock more than ready. As she opened the packet, his hands wondered over her, fingers testing sensitive areas. He leaned against her to the side, his hand going down between her legs, rubbing them over her before, with a little dip of his body, his fingers slipped inside her.

It was hard to coordinate the movements of her hands at his all too knowing touches. She let out a sharp gasp and a hiss, catching her lower lip between her teeth, feeling his fingers pushed inside of her. "John," she gasped.

"Better hurry," He breathed against her ear as his fingers kept working her. And she better, John didn't know how much longer his own restrain would hold.

"I would if someone stopped distracting me," she squirmed. Jess tried to ignore the jolts of pleasure that he sent shooting through her with each wiggle of his fingers. Somehow she managed to fit the condom to him, and exact a little teasing revenge by squeezing his hard erection.

John gave a growl then turned her around, pulling her hands up over her head a bit while his other pulled her hips back. It took little effort to find her entrance but when he did, the slide was easy, due to water and the fact of how wet she was. "Distractions can be good sometimes," he breathed against her ear. And once he was seated in her, he didn't move. All he did was press his body against her, giving a little rock of his toes to force him up a bit and her as well, causing her nipples to scrape against cold tile.

She let out a loud yelp, a shiver running through her at the contrast of the cold, wet tile and the heat of his body. Her hands had splayed against the wall, fingers curving for purchase. For several long moments, it felt like he was the only thing holding her upright. But soon she wanted more. She let out a soft growl as she pushed back against him.

John gave a smile before he drew back slowly and pushed back in at the same speed, forcing her to feel every inch of him as he did. He let his mouth wonder over her shoulder and along her neck, his breath heated against her wet skin.

And that earned him a drawn out groan. She bit her lower lip between her teeth relishing the feel of him moving in and out of her. Unconsciously her breath matched his pace as she rubbed her body against him.

John reached up, fingers turning her chin to him. His mouth found hers in a kiss, not deep but tongue allowed to play and ease. Their breaths exchanged. His hips started to move a bit faster, at times, John would give a rough thrust, rocking her up on her toes. As he did this, a hand moved down between her and the tile, finding her clit to rub with his middle finger.

Now she was squirming almost constantly, rubbing against his hand and churning him inside of her. One hand pulled away from the wall to reach behind and grab at one cheek and thigh, trying to pull him deeper inside.

John groaned, his thrusts becoming faster and more erratic. He dropped his head to her shoulder, his other arm coming around her to take hold of her nipple and pinch it, flick it and add what she needed to bring her higher.

Jess let out a loud squeal, the hand tightening and nails digging into his flesh. Her body tensed and froze before she melted against him, head lolling forward.

John felt the insides of Jess squeeze him and he moaned as he gave a few more thrusts to bring himself off. His last one stayed deep inside her as he grunted out his release into her neck. He sagged a bit himself, his knees wanting to buckle.

Slowly Jess raised her head as she caught her breath. Her grip relaxed on his ass, but her hand remained there. There was a lazy smile on her face as she turned her head to brush her lips against his cheek and temple.

"You are wearing out an old man," he kissed her softly as he pulled from her, the water beating over them both.

"Is that a complaint?" she asked as she turned to face him.

"Not in the least, just an observation to remind myself why I am aching," John chuckled.

She let out a soft laugh as well as she grabbed the cloth and soap. "Turn around, John. Let me try to wash away those aches and pains."

John slowly turned around, working the condom off and leaning out for a second to toss it away.

She rubbed the soap along the cloth until she had it nice and foamy. Then she ran it firmly over his shoulders and up and down his back. She worked against the knots she could find, trying to make sure he stayed relaxed.

John groaned, his hands going against the tile for support. He looked back at her under his arm, "I hadn't had a massage in... forever it seems. You are to nice to me."

"Hey, you were very nice to me a little bit ago. Seems only fair that I return the favor." She kept up the firm pressure as her hands worked lower. "Let me know if you need me to back off. I don't want to wear you out too much."

"Uhuh, like that is gonna happen," he teased. John groaned again and he could feel muscles that had been tight for years loosing up. He was getting so relaxed he didn't even notice the scratches she placed on him.

"Hey, a girl can dream." She knelt down and began to work on his hips and legs. "It probably won't be light out when I get off my shift, but I'm off the next day. Would you like to give me that shooting lesson then?"

"Sure," John easily agreed then looked back to her. "I'll walk you back after your shift. It's not safe in the dark."

She moved her finger in a circular motion, indicating for him to turn around. It was an offer she really didn't need to take him up on. Under the right circumstances, she would be one of those things that wasn't making the dark safe. But she reached up to kiss his cheek. "Thanks, John. I appreciate the offer."

John turned around, closing his eyes as she kissed him. It was the father in him that made the offer. John reached up and ran his hand over her wet hair. "Your turn?"

"Okay." Jess turned around, stepping a little further into the spray of the water.

John soaped up the cloth again and started to wash her in turn, taking his time and lingering on the more sensitive part of her body while he was pressing his own into her.

She stretched under his hands, almost letting out a purr. "I thought you were worrying about wearing me out."

"No, worried about me," he smirked then nipped her neck. He moved her deeper into the water to get her rinsed off.

"You seem to be keeping up fine so far," she said, reaching for her shampoo.

John grabbed it form her and used it to wash her hair. He hadn't washed a woman's hair in a long time. He took his time before getting her to rinse. He then washed his own which didn't take long. Playing with her to keep her from helping.

Jess remained under the spray as John finished washing himself. The water was just starting to turn cold as they stepped out of the shower. Fortunately she didn't have an urge to shake herself dry. "So, you were saying earlier about breakfast..."

John stepped out, reaching for the extra towel and drying off. His hands merely shook the water from his hair before slicking it back which some didn’t stay. “Hmm... Want to risk my cooking or shall we go out for that? Risk being seen on the town for peering eyes and giving something to talk about, an old man and a pretty young thing gallivanting around together?” It might have been a joke but it was half truth. Not that he cared what people thought. He had gotten used to people whispering years ago, especially his own family members. More like Mary’s family members. Every year he visited Mary’s headstone, on her birthday. It was all that was left to represent her. That and the ring he wore which would never come off. Not that it could. He worn it so long he didn’t think, even if he could, take it off.

Towel about his waist, John walked out to get dressed once again. Clothing was littered about the room and he had to pick through them to get his own. He laid her own upon the bed as he did so, pulling his on as he found it. He should go check on his room. Make sure no one broke in. Or more like thing. He was hunted as much as he was a hunter. He moved over to the window, looking out before turning back to the pretty young woman, “So which shall it be?”

"John, we're probably already being talked about. People did see us leave together last night. Not to mention my purchase this morning." She was pulling on her clothes as she spoke, muffling the words somewhat. "And working in restaurant, one of the perks is free meals. Of course, the down side that it gets old after about a week." Her head popped through the collar of her shirt. "As much fun as gallivanting about sounds, I'd like to do breakfast here before I put in my ten hours at the diner."

John raised an eyebrow then grabbed for his jacket. Figures people would wonder about her purchase. "Okay, you wait here and I'll be back shortly." He reached the door, "And while I'm gone, how about some caffeine," he winked at her. He left the room heading over to his place to gather the hot plate and other things he stored in it for cooking. He looked about at the papers taped to the wall. If she found out... He'll need to clean this up later while Jess was working.

"You got it," she said as the door shut. Quickly, she dumped the remnants of last night's coffee and started a new batch. And while John was out of the room, she took a moment to step out and sniff the morning breeze. It wasn't that she wanted fresh air. She was searching for something. And relaxed when she didn't find it. No musky male odor, no tracks in the gravel by her bike. Maybe she was just being paranoid.

John had everything in a bag as he was making his way back but as his steps started quick, he slowed them as he looked at the ground. He paused in looking about then moved to his truck. He walked around it before heading to the room. He tapped upon the door.

Jess checked through the peephole before opening it to him. "Took you long enough," she teased with a grin, totally at odds with her worried expression of a few minutes ago. "I'm starving."

John smiled as he stepped in, "I should say, you used a lot of energy." He started pulling out all he needed including the half of dozen of eggs. He had pretty much everything one could need even bread and a pan. John started cooking, toasting the bread on the pan with butter first then cooking the bacon and last the eggs.

Jess let out a low whistle at his set up. "Okay. I'm impressed." Since John seemed to have everything else in hand, she poured two cups of coffee. "You look like you're an old hand at doing this."

"You could say that," John answered, remembering how at first he used to cook for the boys then Dean started cooking. Dean... John took the coffee to cover the frown. He sat the cup down then served up the eggs onto two plates. "Here you go." He sat it down at the table before sitting himself. Now here comes the uncomfortable time. Trying to figure out what to say. He was used to hiding behind newspapers and letting the boys talk about whatever, especially Sammy.

She settle on the chair opposite of his, also grasping for some sort of conversation starter. Failing in that, she did the obvious and lifted a forkful of eggs to her mouth. "These are good, John."

This was one of those times John wished he had grabbed a newspaper while he was out. At least that he could hide behind. "Thanks," he stretched his long legs out when he stopped and tipped his head. Someone was walking by the window but they kept going. "What time do you have to go to work again? I have some... things I need to take care of this afternoon."

She glanced at the clock, surprised to see that it was so late in the morning. "I have to be there in about an hour," Jess answered. "I should be off around seven tonight. Then I'm off the next day."

"We're going shooting," John pointed his fork at her. "Don't think my memory is that bad."

"But apparently mine is," Jess said with an apologetic smile. "Sorry."

She took another bite of eggs, thoroughly enjoying them. Most of her meals were fast food or extras from where she happened to be working at the time. So having something semi-home made was a treat for her. Which triggered another question. "John, can I ask something that's kind of personal?" She waited until he looked up at her. "Ever think about settling down?" And then blushed when she realized how it could be interpreted. "I don't mean with me," she stammered, growing redder. That sounded even worse, like she had her fun and now was through with him. "But I don't mean that I don't want to see you tonight... oh hell. I'll just shut up now."

John nearly, repeat, nearly choked on his eggs as the question came out. He lifted his head to her then sat his fork down, wiping his lips with the paper napkin. "I did settle down... once. I..." He drew a breath, "My job won't allow me to settle." That was a good excuse wasn't it?

She winced as he almost choked. "I don't mean it as a 'you and me' specific thing," she said, hoping that she didn't sound like she was backpedaling. "I'm still getting used to this whole moving from place to place lifestyle. I mean, do you ever get used to it? Or are you always wondering what might have been?"

It's a lie, "You get used to it." John had two boys to remind him every day of what might have been. Lucky, Jess didn't have that. "You better get ready for work," He pointed the fork at her.

"Okay," she said, and picked up the piece of toast. She glanced over at the clock and realized that he was right. She didn't have too much time left before her shift started. So the rest of the meal was silent for her part.

John cleaned up while Jess was getting ready. He would go back to his room and clean up the rest of the way. And take all the papers down off the wall. It didn't seem like anything was gonna turn up like he thought. And he didn't feel like working on the demon problem at the moment. But he did go back out and check on his truck, walking around it and noting, no new fresh tracks.

Ducking into the bathroom, she brushed her teeth, put on a little makeup and she was ready. "So," she said as she returned to the main room and picked up her badge and apron. "I'll see you tonight? And maybe cook you breakfast tomorrow?"

John nodded, "I'll meet you there tonight. Man still has to eat." He went to open the door for her.

Jess paused at the door to press a kiss to his cheek. "See you then," she said as she walked out.

John had returned to his room, going back to his research while alone. He had cleaned up the room once he finished, showered again and shaved this time. A clean tee shirt, in gray and a jean shirt was tossed on. His jeans were still rough but at least not torn at the knees or threatening to near the crotch. His brown leather jacket with his journal was tossed on for the evening.

He spent the day looking into Were-creatures. He suspected one or more was lurking about. The patterns where there. A hunt would need to be done soon but he was waiting for more evidence and he would look into it soon. A day off was needed however.

He made his way to the dinner, pushing the door open in his usual manner. He found his way to a booth and sat down.

The mood was subdued in the diner, and had been for most of the day. When Jess arrived, she got confirmation of the rumor she heard earlier. She had seen this before, and knew exactly what was going on. And this time, she knew for certain that she was a part of it, but not the cause of it.

The question was what could she do about it? Normally she would high tail it out of town and find a new place to settle, until the pattern started again. This time, she had other concerns. How could she protect John, who would be the next target?

She was still turning it over in her mind when she saw him walk in the door. And she felt several eyes on her as she walked over to his booth. She couldn't help the smile that spread over her face. But there was still a troubled look in her eyes. "Hey. Same thing as last night?"

John had looked over the menu that was at every table before looking up and seeing that smile but the look in her eyes didn't reflect it. She was troubled. "Chicken salad sounds nice. And coffee. No, make that a beer this time. And what's wrong. What is bothering you?"

"Um, I'm just rattled," she said as she scribbled down his order. Jess gestured towards the empty table where the young man had sat last night. "Billy, the guy who couldn't take no for an answer? He hasn't been seen since last night. His car was found abandoned about five miles down the road with blood on the driver's seat and animal tracks around it. They're saying a black bear, or a grizzly." Although the tracks had more of an lupine appearance, they were too big to be a wolf's, according to the sheriff who had been telling the latest to to the customers.

John suddenly pushed up, "Hold that order, I just remembered something I need to do. I'll be back before you get off." His face had changed from something kind to something harder and more intense. He headed out the door quickly.

Jess' face wore an expression of surprise as John abruptly left. What had she said that set him off like that? Confused, she headed over to the counter, where the cook was putting out a set of plates for her to pick up. He looked at her with a knowing smirk. "Trouble in paradise, Jess?"

She had a good working relationship with her boss was the only reason she said her next words. "Shove it, Chris."

It was a good couple of hours before John returned. He had went out to the car and found some fur. And then he went to the area where the car was found, looking at the tracks then followed them as far as he could. When he returned, his expression was one of thinking. The hour was late and hardly anyone was inside. He pushed open the door, catching sight of her.

"Hey," Jess said as she was wiping down one of the tables. She didn't have much of a choice but to finish out her shift, even though she was wondering what John suddenly had remembered that he had to do. "Still hungry? I've still got the ticket for your order."

John knew now, with what he was suspecting, Jess was not going to walk home by herself this night or any other night if he can help it. It was too dangerous. "Yeah, I'll take that order." he answered. He walked over to the booth to sit down pulling out his journal to make some quick notes while she was away from the table.

John closed it as the food was brought and he started to eat. When he was finished, he ordered another beer and half thought he wished he was in his room with a bottle of something stronger. How this job could do that to a person. John was always surprised Dean didn't drink more than he did. The boy was strong. He raised him well and John only hoped when the time came...

He looked up when Jess came over. He reached for his wallet to pull out some money.

Jess shook her head. "This one's on me," she said. She had stayed away for the most part while he was eating, not wanting to give the gossips of the town more ammunition than absolutely necessary. Which for the most part, she knew was a lost cause.

She had seen him scribbling notes in his book, and hiding it away when she came too close. That had piqued her curiosity, as well as the fact that he hadn't explained where he disappeared to suddenly. "I'm about done here, John," she said, reaching behind to untie her apron. "Did you finish what you needed to get done?"

John nodded, putting the money back. If there was one thing he had learned from being married, not to argue with a woman and to accept when she said this one was on her. He pushed up from the table, taking the journal and tucking it away.

"For now," he answered as he headed for the door to wait for her. As he did, John looked up at the sky, blues falling upon the moon before he glanced back in to see Jess talking to Chris then heading his way. John's hands were deep in his pockets but when she reached him, he offered her his arm so she could hook her own around his, but the hands never left the pockets.

"Umm, about tomorrow?" He was looking away.

She had taken his offered arm and walked along side him. Something was up, but she didn't have a clue as to what. Perhaps he was already bored with her? Jess looked up at him as they continued walking along. "What about tomorrow?"

"Something important came up," John was looking down as they walked, "I have to take care of some important things for my job but I should be finished up by the afternoon. If you don't mind going shooting in the afternoon?"

"Yeah, I could do it in the afternoon," Jess said. Something still wasn't right, although she couldn't put her finger on what. "Some day I'm going to have to get you to tell me exactly what this mysterious job is."

"Some day," he said in walking her to her door. He stopped at her door.

She pulled out her key and opened the door. "You coming in?"

"Do you want me to?" John asked.

And for the first time, there was a slight blush on her cheeks. "I was hoping you would."

John cupped her cheek then leaned in to kiss her lips. He was backing her into her door as he did so, pressing his body against her. "Then get it open."

She eagerly kissed him as she reached behind her and turned the key and door knob. She barely kept herself from falling as she stumbled into into the room, dragging John with her.

John stumbled in with Jess as well, mouths parting but connecting again as they kissed. Once inside, John was already tearing at her clothing, trying to get it off as he kicked the door closed and locking it quickly. Her shirt was nearly torn open and her bra was shoved up so his hand could cup her breast.

Backing them up toward the bed, he was taking off his own jacket and shirts, pulling them off as quickly as possible so their skins to touch. Undressing was something that could be counted as seductive foreplay. Slowly revealing but at moments like this, it wasn't wanted. This was the most that John Winchester had ever, he meant EVER, spent time with just one single woman.

Once they were both topless, John pressed them close as he devoured her with his mouth, his breath heavy through his nose and his hands holding her at her back to press them closer.

She kissed him hungrily, barely taking any time to breathe. Whatever had been bothering John earlier clearly wasn't at the moment. Her hands at first went to his shoulders, keeping them pressed together. Part of her was surprised that John as still here, as was part of herself. If she were smart, she'd reverse course, kick him out, for his own sake. Maybe he hadn't been around her long enough that he was in danger.

For a moment, she did push away from him, immediately missing the warmth of his chest against hers. But she didn't go far away. Jess dropped to her knees in front of him, hands sliding down his sides. She let out a soft moan as she nuzzled his crotch, and then undid his fly. She only pulled his jeans and underwear down far enough to free his erection. She paused long enough to inhale deeply, and then her mouth was around his cock.

John also missed the contact but it wasn't long before the contact was back but in a place he hadn't expected. He let out a low groan and his head fell back as she took him down. He let his hands go into her hair, thumbs brushing her cheeks. Air hissed out of clenched teeth. His breathing became deep. He watched as she took him in and out, his cock glistening from her saliva.

"God, you are... incredible at this." He loved how her lips formed around him and it was all too tempting to grip her hair and force her upon him.

Jess smirked up at him, but didn't bother responding. Besides, that would mean she would have to interrupt how she was sucking on him. Instead she worked on relaxing the muscles at the back of her throat, trying to draw him in deeper as she kept up a steady pace.

John groaned deeply, giving a shuddering moan and feeling his fingers tighten but forced himself to flex them as she took him deeper. Instead of forcing with hands, his hips were the ones that responded, rocking forward, feeling himself slide deeper.

Her tongue was magic when she would draw back to just get his crown. He could feel his body heating, his breath hitching at times as she pulled upon him. He was panting hard before he gazed down at her. "You keep this up, you are gonna have to wait a while on this old man."

The gasps and pauses in his breathing were music to her ears. At his words, Jess pulled her mouth off of him, reaching up to grip him and keep the stimulation going. "You're worth the wait," she said, smiling up at him. Her hand continued to pull on him lightly. "But I guess I should let it be your decision."

John gave a chuckle, "I get a choice. That's a first from a woman. I thought it was a known fact you women wanted to control us men." He paused a moment then moved to climb on the bed, pulling her with him. "If you want to continue, at least let me lay down so I don't fall on you and end up crushing you."

She pulled away from John long enough to step out of her shoes and shimmy off her jeans. "That is a known fact. But some of us are a bit more subtle than others." After waiting for him to settle, she crawled onto the bed. "Now, where did I leave off?" she murmured as she lowered her head.

John groaned, his head pushing back in the pillows as one hand came to rest in her hair. He wasn't pushing down, even if he really wanted to. "I think... I think your memory is coming back just fine." He closed his eyes, letting the sensations drive him as appose to the view, even if it was a very nice one.

God, he was feeling like a teenager. Like the life was being sucked from him.

Jess didn't start up the same fast, almost frantic pace. Now she was taking her time to relish his taste, to let her tongue and lips learn more intimately the shape of his cock. She lightly nipped at the prominent vein before taking him between her lips again. Her fingers lightly glided along the inside of John's thighs before lightly brushing against his balls.

John nearly had to use all his restraint to keep from pushing the woman down on him or to stay upon the bed when she lightly nipped at him. What came from his lips was a flow of soft curses while eyes closed tightly.

The soft moist heat and the glide of her lips made him groan deeply. It was wet silk being dragged over him. Her tongue knew just the right pressure to keep him from settling into to much comfort. Her fingers knew just when to tease him to draw his attention back as well. A leg moved, jumping a bit from the tension building up inside him, making him even harder and his balls to start drawing up.

John's breath was becoming more ragged and his hips moved a bit more. He was getting close to his release. And for once, it didn't need to be in some latex covering.

The perverse imp in her was tempted to pull off of him and leave him aching and wanting before letting him release. But that would be too cruel, Jess thought. Instead she increased her suction, making her touches firmer. He was so close to letting go and she did everything she could to urge him on. Her pleasure could wait.

John gave a gasp, sharp and a hard one. He pulled his hands away to grip the pillow behind him as his hips surged up and his release pumped into Jess' waiting mouth. He didn't know how long it lasted, but it was longer than before. Frequent love making like this was causing him to last longer even if she might not of thought so. It beat having to get a quick jack off in the shower that was for sure.

Jess swallowed everything that John had to give her. As he softened, she released him, slowly and lightly lapping at him. She crawled up alongside him and settled next to his side. One arm propped up her head, and there was a pleased smirk on her face.

John sagged into the bedding. He opened his eyes, turning his head back to her. "You look like a cat who just ate the canary? Does that make me a canary?" He slipped his hand behind her head, pulling her down to him to kiss her.

If only he knew the truth. Jess let out a snicker, more at the thought of her being feline. But the sound was swallowed by the kiss. When it broke, she cast a mock critical eye over him. "Well, you haven't grown feathers or turned yellow..."

==================

Time had passed, a rather nice two months. When the full moon came, lucky for Jess, John was not around. He had left town for a few days, merely telling her he had to go see an old friend. An old friend he had to hunt. But they were not a friend of his. But it was a life of a hunter and John seemed dedicated. There were a few more times when he left, being gone for at least three days before returning.

In between, he and Jess grew close but yet he still kept her distant from him. Never really revealing to much more of himself. She still had not known he had two sons. And one was the cause of him leaving. John had to go check up on Sammy. His youngest. He was in school at Stanford.

Each time he return, he checked about town for more signs of what he was suspecting. Little by little the patterns were starting to piece together. He had learned some interesting things in another town. Deaths happened there as well, similar to those in this town. He then started to trace it back. He was still working on that when returned.

The two months that passed by far were the happiest that Jess had in a long time. It wasn't that she was regularly having sex. It more had to do with the fact that she wasn't lonely anymore. For some reason she didn't fully understand, she had let her guard down somewhat around John. But it didn't mean that she was being completely honest with him.

The fact that he had been gone for the night of the full moon had been a godsend. It had allowed her to not worry about how she was going to hide her wilder side. But at some point, she was going to have to tell him. She couldn't keep up the deception forever. But she intended to for as long as she could.

The other thing that had her uneasy was her fear of her stalker. There had been several times that she thought she had scented him, but nothing positive that she could pin down. Maybe it was just paranoia and she had managed to outrun her pursuer. Although Billy's death told her otherwise. But maybe she'd be able to protect John somehow.

Which meant doing some research. And while John was out of town, it was the perfect time for her to do it. She had found a book written in the 1860s on lycanthrophy, which she started reading with a sick sensation in the pit of her stomach. But what surprised her was although she read about the werewolves that had been burnt at the stake, disemboweled and otherwise executed for monstrosities they committed, there were a few stories in there that gave her hope.

Sitting in her room on her day off, Jess was rereading the book, scribbling down page numbers and phrases that caught her attention. John was gone on another one of those mysterious trips he took. He disappeared for a few days, and although she was curious, she didn't ask where he went, or what he did. But each time, there was some part of her that wondered not when, but if he would return.

John had tracked back to his room, his truck pulling up outside his room and he was climbing out. This time John was more battered. He was cut at his lip, bruises littered his body and he was cut at his leg. If Jess heard his truck and was coming over, he wasn't paying attention of that fact. He just wanted to get inside and collapse upon his bed. John half wished Dean was with him. The boy always tended him. Always was there for him. But he was a grown young man.

He tossed his keys down on the table and his journal while taking off his leather jacket. Shoes were kicked off and then his shirt was peeled away. He dropped upon the bed, closing his eyes and groaned. Every part of him ached, even parts he didn't think could.

Hearing the sound of a familiar engine, Jess looked out her window. She spotted John's truck, but frowned when she didn't spot him. For a moment, she stood there deliberating. And then she stepped outside. Maybe it was because of the nearing full moon, her senses were keener. Or perhaps just because she was learning to use them better. Jess could smell dried blood. And unless she was wrong, it smelled like it was John's.

Her skin crawled along her shoulders and neck. If she had fur, it would have been bristling. She marched over to his door and knocked on it firmly. "John?" she called out before trying the door to see if it was locked.

John blinked and turned his head when he heard the door knob turn. He reached for his gun but then heard her voice and he knew who it had to be. He pushed up with a groan. "Jess," he answered her back as he sat on the edge of his bed.

He looked at her as she made her way in.

Jess carefully stepped over the threshold. She had only been in his room a few times, but always wondered why the doors and windows smelled of salt. But that thought was pushed out of her mind when the blood smell became so much stronger. "Oh my god, John," she said, taking in his battered appearance. The predator in her growled, but she didn't let it surface.

"No, lay down." She crossed to the bathroom area and wet a cloth before joining him at the bed. "Who did this to you? What happened?" Cautiously she daubed at his split lip, cleaning it to get a better look. "Do I need to get you to a hospital?"

John frowned but then laid back, really just wanting to close his eyes and sleep. He gave a groan as she dabbed at him. "No, I'm fine, just some scrapes and bruises. I'll be okay." He moved to sit up again, "Can you get me some aspirins maybe? And something to drink? Pop maybe to wash it down?" He asked as he cupped her cheek.

She gave him a look that said she clearly didn't believe him. Jess gently pushed him back down on the bed. "I'll be right back. You stay put, or else," she warned as she straightened up and started towards the door. "I'll be right back," she said before disappearing outside.

Thank god for well stocked vending machines. Soda, aspirin, and a small first aid kit later, she started back to John's room when a new scent halted her. She backtracked and circled her motorcycle, sniffing intently. And then she headed to John's truck and did the same thing. There were fresh scents around it. To the untrained observer, it looked like a large dog had 'marked' her bike and John's truck.

She knew that it wasn't coincidence. Jess had seen this pattern before, and she had little time before her stalker made his move. She had been claimed again, and it was a warning from the werewolf to back off. And for the first time, instead of scampering back to her room and hiding under the covers, she faced the darkness and let out a low growl. But she made sure that there was none of that on her face as she stepped back into John's room. "Aspirin and soda, as requested," she said as she settled on the bed beside him. "You willing to let a wannabe vet look you over?"

John sat back up taking the aspirins. He took them then drank down some of the soda. He sighed in really wishing Dean was here. He wanted Dean's reassurance. His voice to comfort him and tell him it was okay. He wanted his boy but he wasn't here. But soon. Dean had to come back soon.

"Sure, I'll chance it. But don't hate me if I fall asleep. I've been driving all night," He took off his shirt then started to remove his pants. He had bruises like he been in a fight. The cut on his leg wasn't deep but it was bleeding.

Jess' eyes widened as she saw the condition he was in. "Damn it, John, what happened to you?" She tore open the first aid kit, wishing she had a bigger one with more supplies. Pulling out a sterile gauze pad, she placed it over the cut and applied pressure with her left hand. Awkwardly she reached across for the tape with her right. Someone had pounded on him severely. Or something. But if it was had been a werewolf, she doubted that he'd be in one piece.

It was clumsy and with ragged edges, but she managed to tear off enough pieces of tape to hold the pad down. "I'm still not sure I shouldn't try pulling rank and getting you to a hospital. If that cut doesn't stop bleeding soon, it might need stitches." She sat back and let out a heavy sigh as she resumed wiping the dried blood away from his lip. "You're not going to tell me what happened, aren't you?"

John turned his head to her, "I don't need a hospital. I've had worse. It will stop soon." He reached up and grabbed her hand, pulling it to his lips and kissed the back of it. "I got into a fight. Its probably best you don't know the rest." He still couldn't find a good way to tell her even if he wanted to. But it was the silent sort of Winchester code, never to tell. He had taught it to his sons. Enforced it with them. No matter who the person was. Unless it was one they could trust or were helping. Only those would understand.

He laid back, closing his eyes. It felt good to relax and he soon started to drift off to sleep.

Jess shifted her hand to gently stroke his cheek, lulling him deeper. She waited until she was certain that he was asleep before she eased off the bed and tucked the blanket around him. John needed rest, and would probably sleep better alone. But she wouldn't go back to her room. Instead she grabbed the two chairs and pulled them together by the table. She kicked up her legs and settled with a heavy sigh. Jess propped up her head and let it tilt to one side.

That was when she noticed John's journal sitting on the table.

She shouldn't. It was private and something he had kept hidden from her. Which made it all the more tempting. She shouldn't give in. She should be good. And she was good for about a total of five minutes. Keeping an eye on the bed, she eased the journal open. At first Jess frowned at the chicken scratch writing, but slowly she started to decipher it. And her eyes grew wider as she realized what she was reading. She flipped a few pages forward, skimming parts and reading in further detail others.

Then she looked at John, resting on the bed. Jess could feel the blood draining from her face. She should get out of here, she thought. Back out the door and get on her bike and get as far away as she could. But she couldn't move. Her thoughts kept circling back to one mantra. What am I going to do?

John jerked awake after a few hours and found Jess there still in his room. His eyes went to his journal and it seemed to still be in place. He sat up, "What are you still doing here? Have the day off?" He asked in gazing at her. But something was wrong. The air around her wasn't right. It was as if there was... fear.

"Yeah, I have the day off." She was trying to relax, trying to act like there was nothing wrong. And she still had no clue what she should do. Instinct was telling her to run away. Part of her also wanted to admit everything to John, although she knew that was tantamount to suicide. Her eyes flicked nervously and a bit guiltily from John down to the journal and back to him.

John pushed up the rest of the way and walked over to the table, pulling his journal over but didn't open it. He looked at her. "You read my journal..." He folded his hands over it. He looked down then up to her. He couldn't tell her not to be scared. She should be with what he has seen, put to rest.

"Everything you read in there is true." He looked back up. "I'm a hunter. It's what I do."

She stared at the journal, trying to keep it together. "Everything." It wasn't a question, but a statement. As were her next words. "That's why you disappear every so often. That's why you're hurt." It made a lot more sense now. Her eyes went a bit wider as she remembered the first time he had disappeared. "That night that Billy disappeared... you knew something was up." Did he already know? Was it too late for her?

John waited as Jess asked her questions. He wondered if she read about Mary. His beloved Mary who was killed by a Demon. About his boys. The rest would be hard to figure out. Having learned to write in a particular code so if the book was found, it would be hard for the average person or even police to make heads or tails of it.

John drew a breath and nodded, "I suspected something was... not average to his death. There was no reason for a killing like that to occur here. And then there were the tracks." He tipped his head looking at her. "But then..." He lowered his head a bit, "You already knew that. You knew something was up. Not right."

For half a second, she thought about denying it. But part of her knew he'd see through that in a matter of time. And realize that she was involved in a much deeper way. Instead she nodded. "I've known about him for a long time, John. Every time I thought I'd outrun him, he'd find me again. It took me a while to figure out exactly what was going on."

She couldn't manage to look him in the eyes. Instead she watched his hands, focusing on the gleam of light reflecting off his wedding band. Reading the raw pain on those pages, Jess dimly understood his reason for hatred of anything supernatural, and even somewhat understood his eventual hatred of her. "I'm sorry about what happened to your wife," she said with a sigh. "No one deserves that, or what you and your boys have been through."

At least she didn't lie to him. Small favors. But why was a creature chasing her. What was it about her that made her special to this thing? That was the mystery he was still trying to work out. "I know, every town you seemed to stay in had mysterious death. He's been tracking you." There was something more she wasn't telling him. The way she didn't look at him.

He looked down at his ring then back to her, "No, she didn't nor did my boys." He paused a long moment, "What do you know of this creature. Because I know it is a creature. Just what kind I'm not sure of. Why is he tracking you. Was he someone you knew? Someone you loved?"

Jess shook her head, hiding her face in her hands. "Damn it, John! You haven't figured it out! You're going to make me say it!" She drew in a shuddering breath, forcing the words out. "That 'thing' is a werewolf. And he's who attacked me that night on campus." Her head lifted so she could look at him, unconsciously touching the back of her neck where she had been bitten. "He thinks I'm his mate."

John merely gave a breathy sigh, "And that is why he has been sniffing around my truck." He looked at her pointedly. "Has he marked it yet? Marked your bike?" His words were more cold and questioning, as he was when on a hunt. What started out nice and with some hope, even for John, was falling apart quickly. "You gonna leave town... again? Go to another place and let someone else be killed as he tracks you there too. Werewolves have very keen scent, as you know. You are not going to run far enough from him. And soon, if not already, you are going to become like him."

She could hear the change in his voice, the cold and growing distance in it. Jess knew he was looking at her no longer as a lover, but as another hunt. "Earlier. When I went out to get you the aspirin. They weren't marked when I first came over here. And I'm through running. This has got to end here and now." There was a growing anger in her voice. "I want him dead, so he can't hurt anyone else. I may be the same thing he is, but I am *nothing* like him."

John pushed up from the table and went over to his bag, grabbing at it and pulled out a gun. He checked it then turned to her. "Nothing like him yet." He moved over and slapped the gun down before her. "But eventually you will become like him. It's like a virus. Eventually you aren't going to hold back what will become instinct."

Jess looked down at the gun, jaw shifting. "So those are my only choices?" she asked. "I commit suicide before I become a monster? Or I become one and hurt god knows how many people before someone puts me down." There was a hysterical edge creeping in her voice. "Cause I've got to tell you, John. Both those options suck!"

John placed his hand over the gun. His blue eyes came to hers. "That is not what the gun is for. You said you wanted to fight. This is for that. It's loaded with silver bullets." He sat back down. "The hunter has just become the hunted."

He looked down then slowly raised his eyes back to her, "And all my research, I haven't found anything that can reverse it."

Jess still looked at the gun with some uncertainty. "Okay. We hunt him. We kill him. If there's no cure, nothing that will reverse it, then what?" Brown eyes flicked up and locked on John's. "What happens to me?"

John looked at the gun then back to her. He could almost, just almost, hear Sam in his head. Giving the argument that she wasn't evil. That she was good. They shouldn't kill her. But everything in him told him these things, no matter what never turned out good. Eventually they turned back. And that was what he feared for Sammy as well. What he trained Dean for. For the future. "Let's worry about this first." The Winchester way of putting things off.

She inhaled and exhaled heavily. "Okay." That non-answer told her all that she needed to know. She looked down at the gun, thinking for a moment. "Thing is though, that I'm probably in less danger than you are. Other than that night at school, he hasn't attacked me again. Only the guys who have flirted with me. And you have done a lot more than flirt."

"That is what I'm hoping for," John informed her.

Her eyes went wide. "Don't tell me that you're planning to be the bait."

"You have a better suggestion?"

"No, but that's beside the point!" Jess took another deep breath, trying to think. "I haven't figured out what he looks like as a human, so I can't point him out to you. Other than you and me, there haven't been any strangers come into town. But he's probably expecting me to run since that's what I've done before. What if I did?"

"And go where?" he walked back over to her. "It would be easier if he came after me. He doesn't know I'm a hunter."

She shook her head. "John, I don't want to see you hurt. I've seen what this thing can do."

John just stared at her, "I've seen worse. Battled worse."

"Okay." Jess leaned back and crossed her arms over her shoulders. "Then what do we do?"

"We do what we normally do." He reached down, pulling her up to him.

She didn't resist, although she wondered if she should put some distance between them. "I thought things had changed between us too much for that." The one thing that had been clear from what she read was his hatred for anything supernatural. Which now she could be considered.

He just looked at her, "You need to sleep on the bed, I'll guard the door. He needs to smell me on you. That is one way." He then moved around her to take up guard around the door. He was looking out the window and half wishing Dean was here to back him up. John was missing Dean more and more.

Without a word or further argument, Jess kicked off her shoes and climbed into his bed. She would lie there, let their scents mingle, but she wouldn't get any sleep.

Outside, a vaguely dog shaped shadow sniffed at the door to Jess' room. It then looked in the direction of John's and let out a low growl.

Jess' head lifted off the pillow. She raised a finger to her lips, and then pointed in the direction of her room.

John had been sitting by the window, looking out when he saw a shadow. He had been watching it for some time. Sniffing around her bike and then her door. He was looking for her and he was big. John had wished things with him and Jess had not come to this. He was starting to really like her even as he was telling himself he shouldn't.

His head turned to look at her as her finger came to her lips. He gave her a nod and motioned her over. He let her take his place as he got up, grabbing a bucket for ice. He moved up closer to her, placing his own gun in the bucket. "I'm gonna go out and get some ice." He sat the bucket down and removed his shirt, handing it over to her. "I'll draw him to me."

He hesitated a moment, just gazing at her for a long moment before he opened the door, cupped his hand behind her and pulled her to him to kiss her. There was still something in his kiss. Something he couldn't hide from her. He pulled back slowly. "Don't hesitate," he whispered to her before walking out.

A shiver ran through Jess' frame when she saw the werewolf. It was one of the few good looks that she had gotten of him. And he was just as big as he was in her nightmares. She slipped the gun into the back of her jeans. There was dread pooling in her stomach as John told her his plan.

The kiss was just for show, she told herself as he pulled away from her. It was to make the werewolf angry, and goad it into making a mistake. Then why did it feel so real? Why did if feel like he still cared? "I won't," she whispered back. "Be careful." She closed the door, leaving it just cracked enough to be able to watch John. The gun was now in her hand, ready for her to fire. She scanned what she could see of the darkness, watching and waiting.

John walked along over to where the ice was usually kept. He opened the bin and dunked the bucket in to fill it, his gun now hidden by the ice. He took his time, his eyes looking about and his ears listening for anyone or thing approaching him but he never moved his head.

He started to head back, walking slowly.

She was watching the darkness, the tension in her spine building. "Where are you, you son of a bitch?" Jess whispered without thinking of the irony. She was focused on the space between her and John that she almost didn't notice the movement to her left until it was almost too late. Jess spun around as something large and furry crashed through the window next to her.

Surprised and unable to get a clear shot, Jess instinctively stumbled out the door backwards. She tripped, going down hard. The werewolf bounded on two legs through the door after her, shaking loose glass from his coat. The massive head turned from her to John and a loud growl and started stalking in his direction.

A surge of anger went through her. It was the first time she felt the Change rip through her without the bidding of the full moon. And the first time she welcomed it. Instinct of the wolf took over, and that instinct was to protect her mate. The gun dropped from long claws. The black bitch werewolf wasn't as big as the gray male, but that didn't stop her from leaping on his back, aiming fangs and claws for his throat.

John reached into his bucket the moment he saw the dark shape crash through the window. He pulled the gun out, aiming just as the black wolf jumped upon the male. He growled to himself as he rushed over. John was a good shot. An Excellent shot.

The two tussled around, struck his truck, rolled upon the ground and were really fighting like dogs. Teeth snapped. Claws scrapped and just as the grey one tossed her away. It was then John took his shot. He fired, hitting the best in the arm to get him to turn to him and just as he was charging, John fired again hitting him right in the chest, at the heart. The look upon his face said it all. It was his job and there was no feeling or guilt at what he just did.

She had managed to get in a few good bites to the werewolf's throat and shoulders before getting thrown. Then Jess was thrown clear and landed on her back. She awkwardly managed to roll over onto her belly, instinct demanding that she protect it and her neck. She let out a squeal at the report of the gun, paws slamming over her ears.

When she opened her eyes, the male werewolf was on the ground in front of her, a smoking hole in his chest. The surge of adrenaline made her shapeshift again. She looked up at John, at the determined expression on his face, and then lowered her head on the ground. It was over. Now her eyes were closed, and part of her was waiting for the second shot that would end it.

John stood over the body for a moment before lowering the gun and looking over to Jess. She had changed back. Changed back which he hadn't even expected her to change at all. It wasn't even close to a full moon. Which meant she was a new kind of werewolf to him. He walked over to her, crouching down and placing a hand upon her back. "Get up, Jess, we need to get rid of the body before someone comes around questioning."

He couldn't help the pet down her back before pushing away while he shoved the gun at his back. He crouched down, dragging the body to his truck to place on the back.

Jess rose to her feet, ignoring her ruined clothing. She was surprised that nobody had arrived to investigate the shattered glass or the gunshot. And she had no idea how John was going to explain them away. She helped him heave the carcass onto the bed of the truck, and then silently got in the cab. She was in shock, a detached part of her brain noted. And she was in danger. But she made no attempt to get out of the truck as John drove off into the hills and turned off the road.

The drive was silent. Only the sound of the engine filled the space between them. John pulled off the little road and stopped his truck, climbing out to next haul the body out. But not before he pulled a can of salt and a can of gas out to hand to Jess. "Here, take that." He hefted the body over his shoulder and lugged it out to what appeared to be a safe area.

Wood was gathered, piled and the body was tossed upon it. He took the can from her, pouring the gas over it then the salt. John next fished through his pockets for some matches.

She had watched what he did silently, until he produced the matches. "No," Jess said as she stepped forward. "I want to do that." She took the book from him, but stared down hard at the twisted body for several long moments. Her face was a hard mask of anger as she struck the match. Without a word, she let it drop from her fingers onto the gasoline soaked fur.

John let her have the matches, let her burn the body and put her torment to an end. But he found in himself, since Mary's death, no matter how many things he put an end to, it was never enough to end his own torment.

Her eyes never turned away from the burning body. Her arms were wrapped around her stomach, holding it tightly. There was some satisfaction that the bastard was now in flames before her. But she also knew in a way that it would never be over. She'd have to live with what he had done to her, what he had turn her into, until the day she found herself in a similar position. "It's over for him now, right?"

Winchester gave a nod, "Yes, the salt puts his spirit to rest as does the fire keep his body from returning." He wasn't going to tell her that unless someone makes a pack, a deal with a demon at a crossroads or gives up their soul to one, would he return. But to do that, the price would be extremely heavy. He awaited till the fire was nearly burned out before he knew it would not spread. It was then he gathered up the cans to take his leave.

Jess was still staring at the body, now nothing more than ashes. "So now what, John?" she asked in an even voice. But all the tension was carried in her body, until her voice broke, quavered, and then recovered. "Your job's only half finished, because there were two... werewolves in the area."

John stopped after putting the cans away and turned to her. "I know. But... I'm sure you have been looking into the legends haven't you. Hoping you can find a way to reverse your predicament. There is a serum, but finding it in all the cryptic lore will be difficult. But then you could wait seven years without tasting another human's blood and see if it wears off."

She nodded as he spoke, thinking of the book back in her room. The legends had been a slim hope, but it had been better than none. Except that she doubted her self control. She turned to face him, the shock and surprise on her face evident. "There's a cure?"

John nodded, "From what I gathered." He turned to the truck and pulled out a bag that was stuffed with papers much like his journal. "I was doing research on shapeshifters a while back and I stumbled across this." He handed her a page with markings and words of a lore to the side.

She took the paper, squinting in the darkness trying to make out the markings and the words. "Latin. Great. I don't speak Latin." But that was an easy enough problem to solve. Her head tilted to one side. "But what are these symbols supposed to be?"

"Sanskrit, Indian." He answered right off the top of his head, as if he had been reading it for years. "This town is too small to have the books you might need to translate that, but you can look it up on the web."

Jess looked up at John. Gratitude was plain on her face, but there was also an uncertainty. "And what happens next? For us?"

John lowered his head before lifting them back up to her. "I'm a hunter, Jess. I don't stay very long from town to town. Always on the go. And... and the things I... And I'm old. Old enough to be your father."

She blinked for a second, confused before understanding dawned. "So this is letting me down easy, huh? Because none of this seemed to matter too much to you since the first night."

"Seemed is the key word. You know how many times that ran through my head? I have a son as old as you. I... I..." John suddenly reached out, grabbing her and pulling her to him to kiss. "And I can't love you the way you want me too. I still miss my wife. And I can't... I'm sorry, Jess. I never intended..." Damn it, this was all wrong. He pulled back from her, releasing her and turning away before hitting his truck.

Jess stumbled a step before regaining her balance. She didn't blink an eye as he punched the truck. "You think this has been easy for me, John? I know you miss her. You still wouldn't be wearing that," she pointed at his left hand, "if you didn't. I know I will never be a replacement for her. And I've been afraid every night that you'd find out the truth about me. Or that I'd shift in my sleep and do something to you. Let alone that he'd show up and do something to you?" She pointed back to the pile of salted ashes. "I'm never going to have a normal life, John, thanks to what he did to me. And I'm not going to feel guilty for grabbing at whatever chance for happiness that I can get."

John looked back to Jess, his eyes filled with pain. He turned around to face her, "Get in, we'll get you back to your room." He climbed in the truck, starting it up even as she walked around to get in on the other side. The drive back was quiet. Only the sound of the engine seemed to fill the air between them. Upon reaching the motel, John went over, clearing his stuff from the room. He tossed them in the back of his truck.

He walked over with Jess to her room, "You should be safe to stay here, but I suggest, you leave, start somewhere new and small."

Jess had watched everything in sullen silence. Despite the quiet logical voice in her head warning her that this was what was going to happen, that it never was going to have a happy ending, there was a part of her that had still hoped that it would turn out okay. "So I can repeat the cycle?" Jess asked bitterly. She had in her hand a potential cure for her condition, something she didn't think existed. And John had given it to her instead of the silver bullet he should have. She should be happy and grateful. But all she could focus on was the impending loss.

She could see the pain in his eyes and she wilted. Neither of them wanted this, but John seemed convinced that this was the best for her. And deep down, there was a part of her that agreed with him. But she wasn't about to admit it. Wasn't about to let the first person who really knew what she was slip through her fingers. "I'm sorry, John. This wasn't what I wanted..." She gave up trying to express her emotions with words. She pushed up on her toes, wrapped her arms around his neck, and kissed him.

John slipped his arm around her, the small of her back pressed to make the contact between them that much more. He moaned, having not intended to as the kiss dragged on. Everything in him told him to pull away. Everything told him to just end this here and get in his truck. But inside, he was burning.

He broke the kiss and pushed her inside, following as he pushed the door closed behind him. He moved in closer to her, "It's not what I wanted either," he answered back, running his fingers through her hair. He leaned down, kissing her more deeply.

Jess returned the kisses just as deeply. If she had any sense, she'd back away tell him that he should say goodbye and leave before they ended up hurting each other worse than they already had. She even got as far as putting her hands on his chest to push him away. Except her hands started pulling at the outer shirt he was wearing, tugging it off of him.

John pulled his own shirts off, letting it fall to the floor. He then worked on hers, pulling it off her as his mouth still worked hers with greed and desire. He kissed her so deeply, pushing her back towards the bed. He wasn't speaking, fearing it would ruin things. And it would. He was sure of it. Instead, he just started undressing her.

He dropped down to his knees, pulling her jeans down as well but as flesh was bared, he locked his mouth to her skin, kissing and biting at her hips and across her stomach. Once she was bare, he curled his arms around her, his mouth working lower to her flower. He closed his eyes, kissed and licked at her, fingers gripping her.

She let out a loud gasp at the feeling of his mouth on her. Her hands went to his shoulder as she felt his knees buckle. The burn of his unshaven cheeks on her thighs was an incredible contrast with the softness of his lips and tongue on her clit. She started to lift one leg over his shoulder to push herself closer, but changed her mind. "Bed," she growled instead. If this was going to be their last night together, she was going to make damn sure it was a memorable one for both of them.

John lifted his mouth off Jess, gazing up at her before rising up from his knees and pushing his body into her so he could knock them both upon the bed. He climbed over her, lowering his mouth down to kiss her deeply, letting her taste her own flavor. He moaned as his mouth worked against hers, arms bracing him over her.

Jess stared up at him for a moment before letting them flutter shut. There was something dirty and erotic about knowing what one tasted like, especially tasted off of the flesh of another. She squirmed beneath him, reaching down to stroke his cock as she sucked hard on his tongue.

John rolled and shifted till he was atop her, his mouth still ravishing her. With a slight lift of his body, he angled his hips so that his cock was against her entrance. He finally tore his mouth from her, fingers gripping her hair and pulling till her neck arched and the rest of her body so he could thrust into her. John growled, his mouth latching down to her neck and biting.

Jess let out a squeal at the combined feeling of his teeth on her flesh and his cock stabbing inside of her. Her hands curled around his shoulders, nails biting into his muscles as her shoulders pushed harder into the mattress. She braced her legs and pushed up harder against him, pulling him deeper into her core.

John didn't think, he didn't want to. Now as just a moment in time to forever be remembered but never spoken of. He moved his hand down, pulling her leg up higher upon his waist as he drove into her relentlessly. His strokes were long and hard, and with a swivel of his hips he would rock hard into her, nearly pushing her with each hard slam into her. He leaned to one side, cupping her breast and using his mouth to cover her. He flicked his tongue over her, licking and sucking as well.

Little mewls escaped her mouth with each impact. She swung her other leg up higher along John's hip, locking her ankles together. Each impact rocked her, scooting her slightly up the mattress, causing a burn on her lower back. Sparks of pleasure were shooting through her with every skilled touch, threatening to catch fire at any moment.

John found the other small wrist, dragging them both up over her head as he assaulted her neck. He had totally forgotten about the condom. Just noticing how much more hotter and wetter she felt as he drove into her. He raised his head up, dragging his lips over her chin and to her mouth, kissing her roughly, deeply. It wouldn't be long before his release would soon slam into him, if he couldn't strive it off for a while longer.

Her breath was coming in short, sharp gasps. She couldn't pull her wrists free to reach him, but writhed against him, thrilling at the friction of skin against skin. Combining that with the rough kiss and the sparks became an inferno sweeping through her.

John pulled one hand down, placing his hand on her neck and thumb under her chin as he kissed her, using it to move her head just as he wanted. He dropped his mouth down to her ear. His breath hot and steamy as he still drove into her. Even as he tried to think of every horrible thing he ever hunted and killed, he couldn't keep his release from slamming into him. "Jesss," he hissed out her name as he gave her a few quick thrusts and then he slammed one time hard into her as he released his seed deep inside. "I... I love you," he whispered before his weight was down upon her and his hands were releasing her wrist.

Though the haze of pleasure, his words cut into her brain. No. He didn't say that now. Not when everything had gone wrong and it was about to end. It wasn't fair, her mind wailed as slowly she uncurled her body, relaxing beneath him. Her arms shifted to slip around his shoulders, cradling him close. "I love you, too, John," she breathed, pressing her lips to his temple.

John tried to ignore the words he heard as well. He let his breathing and heart still pounding in his ears be the excuse for not absorbing them. He allowed a few more moments to pass between them before he carefully pulled from her and dropped down beside her. He gathered her into his arms, allowing her to rest her head against his chest. His hand rubbed up and down her back, fear of speaking heavy in the air.

Jess snuggled close, holding onto him, already missing the feeling of him inside of her. She didn't dare say anything for fear of ending this moment. Despite knowing what was coming, there was a peace in listening to the steady thump of his heart beneath her ear. Hypnotic in a way. Soothing as her eyelids grew heavy and she relaxed further against him.

John rose around two in the morning, slowly dressing. He got his boots on when he turned and looked at Jess as she slept. He moved around and tucked her in more before going to sit at the chair and just watched her. He wondered why he was torturing himself over this. He should just get up and leave. However he didn't and stayed watching her till at last he did get up, gathered his things and quietly left the room behind.

It was several hours later that Jess woke. She knew his spot next to her was empty before she opened her eyes. Slowly she climbed out of bed, pulling the top sheet to wrap around her. She walked over to the door and opened it, sticking her head outside. The light was too bright for her mood. She blinked, letting them focus before seeing what she expected. John's truck was gone.

There was no point in going down to his room and finding out that it was empty. She closed the door and leaned heavily against it. Eyes dully swept over the room, and as expected, almost every trace of him was gone. Except for the lone, worn page laying on the table. Her knees buckled beneath her and she slid down to the floor, muffled sobs escaping.



Part II

The doctors stood in the hall, looking at the charts. How could one man get so many cuts and bruises, gashes and near broken bones. There was more wrong with him but it still amazed them. No one had seen who had brought him in. After some surgery, he was recovering nicely and was now in a room, recovering.

John Winchester was sleeping in his bed, a nurse had tried to bring him some food but he refused to eat it, choosing to yell at her till she got him his journal which they had stored away. He had been writing in it but had fallen asleep.

She was walking the hall, pink teddy bear tucked under her arm. Jess was here to visit her newborn niece, but had gotten turned around in the maze of halls. Instead of ending up on the fourth floor where the nursery was, she ended up on the third floor recovery rooms. Now she was looking for any elevator to take her upstairs.

But her pace broke as she passed by one room. Despite the smells of antiseptics and alcohols and the pervasive scent of illness and death, there was one scent that jumped out at her. She paused, backed up a step and looked inside. The bear dropped from her suddenly numb arm.

John's head was turned away from the door and the sound of soft snoring was coming from him. His journal was upon his lap, the pen still between his fingers. He moved his leg, bending it while the other stayed straight and one could tell by his movement he was hurting even in sleep.

She picked up the bear, dusting it off in an absent minded way. He didn't know that she was here, and she could slip away without getting entangled, without opening up old wounds that for her had scabbed over. And she actually turned away for a moment.

Jess let out a sigh. Quietly she walked into the room. She put the bear down on the table that rolled over the bed. Cautiously, trying not to disturb him, she eased the journal and pen from his grip, wanting to close it so prying eyes wouldn't see the horrors described on the pages.

John quickly closed his fingers over the journal as if some alarm went off and woke him. He blinked in looking up to see who it was. His breath caught and held. Blue eyes blinked and stared at her. He was dreaming he had to be.

Brown eyes stared back unblinkingly. Let go, turn around, and leave without a word, was her first thought. He'd think she was just a hallucination brought on by the painkillers. No harm done for him. But instead, she found herself speaking. "Hello, John."

"Jess?" He blinked in looking at her and his grip upon his journal released a bit. His hand ventured out and fingers brushed her wrist. "How did you know I was here?" He was still a bit sleepy, groggy from the meds being fed through him via IV.

She shifted her hand to catch his fingers gently, trying to avoid snagging the IV line. "I didn't. I'm here to see someone else." Jess looked him up and down, taking in his battered appearance. "What happened to you?"

Avoidance of the subject was something standard in the Winchester family. He closed his fingers around her hand, wincing as the IV shifted. "Who you here to..." his eyes shifted to the bear on the table before him and he slowly brought his eyes to her, "A child?"

"Yeah," Jess said. "A little girl. Besides, I didn't think that pink was your color."

John eased back in the bed, his fingers slipping from her as he remembered that night about a year and a half ago. Was he a father once again, at his age? Was there another child he would have to protect from the demon? Did the demon even know of this child? "What are the chances... us... same hospital."

"It's a pretty amazing coincidence," Jess said, wondering why he looked so worried. Then her eyes widened. "Wait a second... you think this is m- our child? It's my niece I'm visiting. She was born last night." She took a deep breath. "I've never been pregnant, John. And if I had been, I would have found a way to let you know."

John couldn't believe the blush and the slight sigh of relief that washed over him. Though why was it in the back of his head, he was sad that he didn't have that little girl. "Hey, I only produce boys, that's my record." He gave a half smile.

Jess let out a snort and a little shake of her head in response. "Now that we have the paternity issue settled, are you going to answer my earlier question?"

"What question?" he closed his journal and pushed it under the covers to hide it.

"You know, the big questions. If a tree falls in the middle of the forest, does it make a sound? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Who or what beat you up this time?"

"Let's see, yes it does make a sound, this," John flapped his fingers over his palm, "And another... supernatural... was a poltergeist, a rather nasty one. Violent."

"Ouch," Jess said. Without thinking, her hand reached for his again. "You take care of it?"

Again his fingers curled around hers, "Yes, put it to rest." He shifted, wincing. "You look... good. Your hair is longer."

Self-consciously, Jess tucked a stray lock in place behind her ear. "Thanks." She gestured up and down him vaguely. "You look good too, other than the whole bruising and scratching thing."

"Excuse me, miss." Jess turned her head to look back over her shoulder at the orderly holding a food tray. "It's after visiting hours. Only family are allowed to stay."

John sighed with a bit of a smile then looked at the door. He turned his gaze back to Jess about to say something but not sure what.

"I'm family," Jess said. She just didn't specify that her family was the next floor up.

"I'd really like for her to stay," John informed the nurse, not elaborating on it either. He reached for the tray, sitting up a bit more. He hated hospital food but over the years, it tasted better than some of the stuff he eaten.

The nurse looked at Jess somewhat skeptically. But at the same time, her patient was eating after having refused food earlier. "Just try not to stay too late," she said.

John uncovered the tray and made a face. He looked up at Jess, "Not a chance I could get you to run out and bring me back something more decent to eat?" He picked up the fork, at least the green beans looked edible but they were cold. "What brought you back to this area besides your niece?"

"I'll smuggle you something in," Jess said. "Good libraries for research, and the fact that Mom and my brother Michael are nearby." She gave him a half smile. "A smart man once told me that I should try to reconcile with them."

"Hmm, wonder who that was?" he pushed the tray away, suddenly thinking of Sam and of Dean. His youngest alone out there, defenseless but at least he had a girl friend... funny how her name was the same. Then there was Dean. His boy Dean. Strong. Fit. Handsome. And very near his equal. He missed Dean but he had to gradually push him away, even if the boy didn't want it.

Jess shrugged her shoulders. "Can't really remember who." She glanced over at the the bear. "I guess I should go see my niece and sister-in-law. You don't mind me coming back to visit you in about an hour?"

John nodded, "Go see her, but no, I don't mind you coming back. Maybe you can give me a sponge bath instead of the nurse with a uni-brow."

She leaned over and gave him a playful smile. "Only if you are lucky." She squeezed his hand before reluctantly letting it go. "I'll be back in a little bit."

John watched Jess leave before pushing the tray away and gripping his side as he closed his eyes. He laid back down fully, breathing to get through the pain in his side. He opened his eyes, looking up at the ceiling, knowing that the nurse will be in to change his bandage soon enough.

Jess managed to find her way upstairs to the nursery to greet her new niece. The rest of her family was there as well, all oohing and aahing over the baby. Only Jess' father gave her an odd look, picking up that there was something not quite right about his youngest.

About two hours later, after they had been shooed out of the room so the new mother could get some rest. Saying goodbye to her mom and dad, Jess lingered for a few seconds before returning to John's room.

John's bandage was changed and he was scolded for tearing his stitches. And for not eating his food. He was given his meds and left alone to rest. John laid in his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He wished his boys were there. Both but not there. He didn't hear her when she returning, his thoughts distant as he looked out the crappy window view he had.

She stood at the door and watched him for a moment. It as hard to believe that after forcing herself to go on for the last year and a half, he was back in her life. Or was she being optimistic? After all, he was lying in a hospital room. And who knew if he would want to see her tomorrow.

Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door to announce her presence.

John turned his head, expecting it to be another annoying nurse but saw the vision of beauty. The one he left over a year and half ago. One that was also a werewolf. He hadn't forgotten that and yet he wanted to. Especially now. "She came back. Felt sorry for the old man?" He reached up scratching his beard, at least a few weeks growth.

He looked tired and in pain. "Maybe," she said as she walked up to the bed. Snagging a chair with her foot, she pulled it up so she could sit next to him.. She took his hand, lacing her fingers through his, almost as if she were afraid he'd disappear before her eyes. "I've missed you."

"You missed me? I'm surprised really." He laced his fingers through hers. "Wanna check under my pillow to make sure I don't have a gun?"

The words slipped out before she could stop them. "Loaded with silver bullets?"

John nodded, "Loaded with silver bullets."

Jess gave him a sad smile. "I'll take my chances. After all, you didn't kill me that night." Although there were some nights afterwards she wished he had.

John nodded. "I'm really glad, you came back to your family. Do they know?"

"Dad knows. He found out by accident. We're trying to figure out if, how to tell my brother and my mother."

"Very carefully," He answered. "The paper I gave you?"

"Works. Sort of." She felt like she was tiptoeing through a mine field. "It suppresses bloodthirsty urges, but doesn't halt the Change. So I end up disappearing for a few days a month."

John nodded as he shifted in his bed. "I figured as much. So what else have you been up to?"

Jess shrugged her shoulders. "Trying to figure out what to do next. Reconnecting with my family. And trying to straighten out my life." Her head tilted to one side slightly. "What about you?"

"The usual." John motioned down to his body. "I was looking in on my youngest."

She nodded. "Either of your boys know you're here?"

"No," John shook his head with a bit of sadness. "But they know it comes with the job."

Jess' expression hardened slightly. "So they'd have no idea where to find you if it had been worse? If you were still out of it?"

"They know where to check if I don't check in with them after a certain determined time set. I trained them well." He answered as if it was just something natural. And it was. Dean knew what to do.

Jess didn't look completely convinced. But she didn't push the subject. "How long are you here for?" she asked, almost afraid of the answer.

"Just another day before they kick me out," He answered in tipping his head at her. "Not worried about this old man are you?"

She just squeezed his hand in response. "You got a place to stay? I've got a spare couch."

"Sadly, no. I came straight here. You don't have to take pity on me, I can get a room."

Her grip loosened some. "It wasn't pity, John."

"Then what was it?" He asked in shifting a bit more.

"Friendship," was all she was willing to admit. She knew she was still in shock at seeing him again, and a mix of emotions she would have to sort through. But her offer was genuine.

John nodded, "Thank you," He answered a bit more softly and not a gruff as he usually would have.

"You're welcome." She saw out of the corner of her eye a nurse pass by with a disapproving look on her face. "I guess I should be going before they kick me out."

John glanced to the door, "I guess you should. They don't like me to much here." He gave a brief smile. "Goodnight, Jess."

"Good night, John." She gave into the impulse to lean forward and press a kiss to his forehead. "Try not to hassle the nurses too much."

John closed his eyes as soft lips pressed to his skin. He just nodded to her as she headed for the door. He was already missing her and didn't ask if she would come see him tomorrow.

She stopped before she got to the door and fished out a piece of paper and pen. "My home number," she said as she scribbled. "Just in case you need to reach me before I can come back tomorrow." She left it on the table near him. "Bye." And then she was out the door.

John waited till Jess was gone before he took the paper and stared at it for a long moment then pulled his journal out and slipped it on one of the pages. He would write the number in later. But time would tell if he really needed to.

Jess had gone to her apartment and barely glanced at her answering machine before collapsing in her bed. But sleep was a long time coming for her. Too many emotions, thoughts, and memories were replaying in her head. It had been an offer made without pity for him to stay with her. Besides, she owed him so much more for giving her the paper.

=====================

The next day was much more hectic than she had anticipated. At first she thought seeing him had been some weird dream she had mixed up with real memories of her niece's birth. But a few stolen moments at his room to say hello convinced her otherwise. But then she was off to the nursery to help her brother and sister-in-law bring home little Sarah Ann. By the time they were settled and Jess was able to get back to the hospital, it was almost the end of visiting hours. And this time the nurses weren't as inclined to bend the rules for her.

Then it was back home for another restless night. She had truly never expected to see him again, and had made the offer on impulse. Was this a wise idea? Could she and John just be friends? Her emotions were too clear to her - there was anger at being left without so much as a goodbye, but underneath that was the affection that had never died that night. But did he feel the same? And those thoughts still weighed heavily on her mind as she returned to the hospital the next day to see him.

John was gathering his stuff to leave the hospital when Jess arrived. Though his moments were slow, the shirt he wore was torn and bloody, he had more color to his face and a hot cup of coffee sitting on the small table over the now empty bed. He was stuffing his bag when she walked into the door.

John turned a bit to look at her. She wasn't the same woman he met at that little dinner. She was dressed differently too. Her hair a bit longer. Her body didn't look as if it was so jumpy. Tense. "Hey, little girl," He gave her a soft smile.

Jess' smile was just as soft and teasing. "Hey there, old man." She looked him up and down, carefully assessing him as she walked into the room. He looked mostly the same as when they had parted. Same worn clothing, same cup of coffee near at hand. Perhaps a little grayer and weary, though that could have been from his recovery. Still the same, handsome man, she thought. But what troubled her some was the more haunted look in his eyes.

She gestured at the bag and the bed. "You about ready to go? Because several of the nurses I passed looked distinctly happy at the thought of you being out of their hair."

John lifted his bag upon his shoulder and nodded. "About as ready as a man with very little belongs can be." He answer as he headed for the door. "I didn't make it very easy for them, did I." He gave a bit of a smile as he moved past her and out the hall. "My truck is here. I can follow you back to your place."

Jess lead the way down to the elevator. "You're sure you can drive? You haven't been on your feet much."

"I'm fine," he answered, leaning back against the back of the elevator when it arrived. "I'm not gonna leave my truck here." He pushed off when it stopped and headed out, pulling his keys out.

Stubborn as ever, she thought to herself as she followed him out. Jess pulled out her keys and headed towards her motorcycle. "I'm about half an hour from here," she said, picking up her helmet. "See you there."

John nodded in walking over to his truck. He started it up and started following her, getting back to her place. The ride took a little longer than needed because of traffic but they did finally get there. He pulled into a parking space then got out, going to the back and exchanging some clothing inside for some that were not bloody and torn. The walked over to where she was at.

She wondered why she had giddy butterflies in her stomach as she guided him to her ground floor apartment. It wasn't like John was moving in with her. He was only going to be here a few days. Still, Jess took a deep breath as she opened the door.

It wasn't that big of an apartment. Living room, one bedroom, bathroom and a small kitchen area. "Well, this is it. Not much, but it's home"

John looked about, tempted to drop his bag down and start salting the windows and doors. He carefully sat his bag down then looked at her. "It's nice." He looked about, "You think I can borrow your shower? I could really use a shave too."

"Sure," she said. She led him over to the bathroom. "Oh, just so you know," she said as she opened a small storage closet. "That's the towels and stuff. But the footlocker on the bottom shelf is where I keep the things I need for the spell."

John looked down at the trunk then back to her. He took the towels and his shaving bag before doing into the bathroom and closing the door. His mind was stuck on the trunk even as he went about to shave and get into the shower. He had to be careful of his stitches but he was and soon aching bones and muscles were dried and he was walking out with a towel about his waist.

After the bathroom door shut, she opened the trunk and pulled out a canister of rock salt. Her brother had teased that she must have the highest blood pressure in the county when he ran into her at the store and there were half a dozen containers in her cart. It didn't look like anything had tried to attack him in the hospital, but better not to take stupid chances.

She had finished lining all the doors and entrances and was returning it to the locker when she heard the door open again. "Hey," she said turning around, expecting him to be wearing more. But when she saw him, her breath caught in her throat.

"Forgot my clothes," He answered, but just standing there looking at her. "Oh and the nurse said I should get you to help me with this." He pointed to the stitches that needed covering at his ribs.

Jess nodded, a bit dry mouthed. Despite the bruising mottling the muscles and the cuts that had been sewn shut, he was still one of the most handsome men she had seen. "Why don't you take a seat on the bed and I'll cover that now."

John glanced to the bed before walking over and sitting down. The slit in towel exposing his leg and there was nothing he could do about it. He waited for her and when she came in he looked up at her. "Be gentle. Well gentler than those nurses."

She picked up a first aid kit, pulling out the gauze, tape, and pair of scissors. Jess settled on the bed next to him, cutting a piece of tape to fit to the gauze. "So... you've just been hunting since I last saw you? You ever meet up with your son?"

John watched her, taking in how her hair fell along the side of her face. How her fingers moved and how her lips did as well. He was being a dirty old man again, just like when he first met her but she had been the first woman he had taken up with that long since Mary. There was just something about her... besides being a werewolf.

He cleared his throat, "Yes, it's what I do. What I did before we met and what I will be doing." He winced as she was tapping the sides down. "Yes, I did. He's off on another hunt. But I came here to check up on my other. Dean and I are going to meet up again soon."

Jess nodded as she taped down the lower side. "Just do me one favor this time," she said. "When you're ready to leave, at least wake me up to say goodbye."

John lifted his arm a bit more to give her more room. "I'll try and keep that in mind, this time," he gave a half smile. He should say he was sorry. He should say it won't happen again. He should just get up and leave the moment she was done but he couldn't get his legs to move or his mouth to work.

The corner of her mouth curled upwards and she shifted incrementally closer to him. "I've missed you, John," she said quietly. "More than I want to even admit to myself."

John tipped his head, "Really?" He was a bit shocked over that little admission. He lowered his arm around her, scared a bit at what might happen next. What he wanted to happen next.

"Yeah," Jess said. She couldn't quite look at him. "I was serious when I said that it was out of friendship that you could stay here. But I can't promise that I'm not going to be strong enough to not try something."

John reached down and lifted her chin, "I'll sleep on the couch and try not to snore." It was hard though for him to resist rubbing his thumb over her lips. "Thank you." He pushed up, his towel nearly falling off as he moved into the living room to get some clothing and walked into the bathroom. Boxers on, and then a pair of torn jeans, he came back out. "So what are you doing these days?" He asked, "Work wise?" He pulled a tee shirt out and was pulling it over his head.

She wasn't certain if she should feel disappointed or relieved when John didn't do anything more than lift her head. "Freelance web design. Decent money, and I can fit it around my weird schedule. And, you have to promise not to laugh, but I supplement it by walking dogs for a few of my neighbors."

John just gave a bit of a smile, "Well, it does make a bit of sense. You can be the dominate female of the pack." He reached over, pulling his shirt on, feeling a bit normal. "Hey, you have a web connection I take, mind if I do some research?" he asked in going to get a rather old looking folder with a bunch more papers inside. All he had on the Demon.

"John, did you just call me a bitch without saying I'm a bitch?" There was a smile back on her face. although she was looking away as he got dressed. "Laptop and wireless connection. I can have you set up in no time." She glanced at his folder, expression becoming more serious. "No luck so far finding it?"

John smiled a bit then faced her before he sighed, "No, not yet. But I think I'm getting close. There are..." He cut himself off, "Probably best you don't know. It's an evil sonofabitch. Nothing to be fooling around or playing games with." He walked over and sat down at the table were she was setting things up. He pulled out the papers and started looking through them along with his journal to the side. He was flipping pages and then pulling up web pages.

While he was absorbed in what he was doing, Jess walked over to her closet and pulled out a spare blanket. "I told my brother that I'd stop by today and say hi. As long as you're going to do research, I'm going to run over there now." She paused at the sight of the journal, wondering if she was written up on one of it's pages.

John glanced up, "I'll be okay here," he nodded to her, "Go see your brother." He went back to reading, his face looking more intense as he was. When she left, he worked for a while before closing things down. He went to his bag and pulled out the pills he needed to take and then got some water. He then went and relaxed on the couch. Before he knew it, his eyes were close but at least his things were put away.

She came back several hours later, quietly opening her front door. If she hadn't been able to smell him in the hallway, she would have thought the fact that he was in her apartment was a daydream that was just a bit too real. Except there he was, on her couch. Jess shook her head and quietly crossed the room to where she left the blanket earlier. She spread it out over him. His journal was closed on the coffee table, and unlike before, she didn't have a desire to read it. Instead she went to her bedroom.

She looked at herself in the mirror, frowning when she saw the large stain of baby spit on her left shoulder. "Well, Sarah, it looks like you got me after all," she murmured. Grabbing her robe, she headed to the bathroom. She needed a quick shower anyways, she reasoned as she started the water heating. And she could probably be finished before John woke up. Clothing was quickly stripped off and soon she was trying to forget that she was now naked and there was a very desirable man sleeping on her couch.

John shifted as the door had opened but he didn't wake. Not even when the blanket was draped over him. It wasn't till he heard the shower turn on and the splash of water on tile did he. He opened his eyes, feeling the weight of the blanket and seeing the back of the couch. He had fallen asleep. He rolled to his back, staring up at the ceiling. He closed his eyes, remembering the last shower they shared together. How her body felt against his. Her lips over his. How she tasted. It was so tempting to get up and join her. To slide his arms around her and pull her back against him.

John growled at himself and got up, going into the kitchen to see if she had any beer. Maybe that will take his mind off the shower and the woman in there and help chill the erection that wanted to form.

She made it a quick and cool shower, trying hard to keep her mind focused. But even as Jess' body became cleaner, her thoughts grew dirtier. She sighed as she shut off the water. Jess quickly wiped down her body, trying to ignore the feeling of the towel against her flesh. Or correctly the fantasy that it was his hands. At least the terry robe was warm and had her decently covered as she stuck her head into her bedroom. It was odd to feel both relieved and disappointed that he wasn't there waiting for her. This was going to be much more difficult than she thought.

She quickly dressed, pulling on a fresh set of clothes. It was almost like putting on armor, allowing to refocus and somewhat rein in her body's reactions. Taking a deep breath, she went into the living room to see John rummaging through her refrigerator. "Damn, I knew I was forgetting to do something," she said. There was beer in the refrigerator, but she had let the actual foodstuff dwindle. "Um, looks like I need to run out and get something to eat. Got any preferences, or is burgers and fries good?"

John pulled out a beer, popping the top and gazing at her from the small kitchen. "I was just looking for beer." He help up the bottle, taking a drink. He leaned against the counter. "How about Chinese?" It was better than the quick food he had gotten used to. He reached into his wallet then held out some money to her, "I'll pay and don't say no. It's the least I can do."

She gave him a knowing look before taking the bill from his outstretched hand. "Okay, this time I'll let you. But the next one is on me." And then she realized she was still holding his hand. Just drop it and go, her brain commanded. Her hand seemed to have an independent idea and remained firmly clasping his.

"Next time," John answered noticing his own hand hadn't moved either. Just touching her again like this, without the watchful eyes of the world upon them, felt good. He had been lonely for too long and something deep inside him missed the company. Being able to laugh and hold someone. As much as he loved his boys, they could not substitute the feel of a woman against one's body. John used his fingers to curl hers around the money as he moved closer.

Blue eyes, went to her browns. "I'm a hungry man," he whispered, not making it clear what he was hungry for. He dared it, leaning down to kiss her, softly. "Now go get," he pulled back and turned her around, scooting her toward the door.

Jess wasn't certain which sent more of a thrill through her - the nearness of his body, or the soft, needy growl in his voice. But what mostly did it was the heat of his lips on hers, her tongue just barely tasting his and wanting more...

And then she was facing away from him, half way to the door. Fine, she thought. Two could play this game of tease. There was a deliberately sultry sway to her hips as she headed towards where she had hung her jacket. "Back in about thirty minutes," she purred before slipping out the door.

John had to take another deep swig of his beer. The sway of those hips was unmistakable the message they were trying to send to him. He growled softly to himself once the door was closed. "Thirty minutes she says," He rolled his eyes, reached down and adjusted himself before coming out of the kitchen. It would be enough time for him to think dirty thought and relieve some of the tension in him. He could easily take himself in hand, picture her upon him or even something even dirtier that he had always kept from his mind.

John sighed and went to the bathroom, deciding that it was better to check his bandages. He pulled them off, checking himself over before attempting to replace them. He was working on them when he heard a noise coming from outside.

In the living area, a man about John's height stood looking at the open beer bottle. The blanket on the couch didn't escape the notice of pale blue eyes either. Walking over to it, he touched the blanket, checking how warm it was. A thoughtful frown crossed his face as he saw a bag that looked out of place in the apartment. And the frown deepened when he heard the sound of someone moving in the bedroom. It was ingrained habit to him, he pulled the sidearm tucked under his jacket and headed towards the bedroom.

John instinctively moved to the side of the bathroom door, listening intently with hunter hearing. He was holding his breath when the bathroom door was opened. Quickly, grabbed the gun, hitting the man into the hall wall and placing his arm over his throat with pressure. "Who are you and what are you doing here?" John snarled.

The man didn't bother wasting breath on words. His elbow dug into the stranger's rib, just above the cut. When his attacker's arm loosened slightly, he pushed off the wall, slamming him onto the opposite one.

It was about that point he noticed a third person in the room. His daughter, whose new strength always surprised him, was pulling the two of them apart. "Dad! John!" Jess yelled as she put herself between the two of them. She looked from her father to her lover and back again, arms spread tense to keep them separated. "Anyone want to tell me what the hell is going on?"

The dark haired stranger looked in surprise at his daughter. "You know this man?"

"I just said I did, Dad." Her arms relaxed, but still remained wary. "John, this is Daniel Leahs, my father. Dad, this is John, the man I told you helped me when I was on my own."

The pain that was going through John's body didn't show in his face, at least it tried not to. He pushed against Jess' hand when first parted but then his wits came about him and he started at the across from him. His own blue eyes cold, his jaw tight as he heard the name. They looked to be about the same age, perhaps Daniel a little more gray.

"Mr. Leahs," John nodded to him in taking a step back. "Sorry if I... I didn't know who you were."

"Likewise," Daniel said, taking a step back. "Jess didn't mention that you were in the area. And and a few other things."

"Dad!" Jess hissed. This was not going to be good.

John lowered his head a bit. His blue eyes focused on Daniel. "And just what are those few other things?"

"Your last name, for instance." There was a suspicious expression on his face.

"Winchester," John answered.

"And date of birth?"

"Oh hell no! Don't answer that John." Jess turned to face her father, hands on his hips. "You are not running a background check on him!"

John moved up behind her, "You're daughter offered me a place to stay. As repayment for helping her. Who do you think gave her the information she needed. Who do you think was the one who told her to stop running."

Daniel looked him up and down, taking in that he was only half dressed. "And how else is she paying you back?"

"Okay, that's it." Jess turned to look at John. "Would you mind putting on a shirt while I have a talk with my father? Please?"

John tightened his jaw by clenching his teeth. "I don't think that is..." He paused mid sentence as she asked him to leave her to talk to her father. He cleared his throat and moved around them, "I wouldn't so much worry about me as much as what is out there."

Jess shot John a look that said 'not helping' as she took her father's arm, dragging him into the bedroom. Mostly what could be heard was the rise and fall of voices, although a few choice phrases did float through the thin walls of the apartment. "...can't believe you said that, Dad..."

"...he did leave you all alone in the middle of nowhere...old enough to be..."

"...over twenty-one, Dad..."

"...not by much..."

"...*my* fault because I went to U. C. Davis?..."

"...didn't say that, but maybe if you'd go back and look at the medical program..."

"...lost that right when you kicked me out of the family. Just go." Those last words were followed by the opening of the bedroom door. Daniel, with a dark expression on his face that matched Jess' scowl, stormed across the room and out the front door without a word to John.

The words floating out struck John nearly like a sledge hammer to his chest. It brought back memories of when he and Sam would argue. The few choice words exchanged then the slamming of doors. He had pulled on a tee shirt and an over shirt when the two had come out. He watched as Daniel stormed out the door and he looked to Jess.

He turned to her, "I take it that went about the way mine usually did with my youngest. Words exchanged. Doors slammed." He placed his hands in his pockets.

Jess looked at him, taking a deep breath and trying to calm down. "Guess that killed the mood," she said. "You know how long Dad was here?"

John shook his head, "I was trying to change the bandage. I don't think much more than a few minutes. Why do you ask?"

"Just curious how much he had been poking around. If he found any of your equipment, he wouldn't have gone so quietly." She walked over to the couch and flopped down on it. "So you and your son fight like me and dad often? We do this about once a month. I'd say it's a side effect, but he starts it about as often as I do."

John gave a bit of a laugh, "That was tame compared to the ones I had with my son. And it wasn't one a month, try several times a day. Especially when he refused to get his hair cut or learn archery."

"Archery?" One of Jess' eyebrows lifted. "Haircut I could see. But what did he want to do instead of archery?"

"Play soccer," John walked over and sat down beside her.

Jess gave him an odd look. "And what's so horrible about that?" She stretched out to drag the coffee table and the Chinese food she had brought home closer to them.

John sighed, "Long story," he reached over and started pulling out the cartons to open. He didn't want to talk about Sammy. He missed his little boy. He missed Dean. "But your father already suspects... there was something between us."

"Yeah. And I wasn't exactly honest about your age when I told him that I had met someone who helped me. And I don't think he ever wanted to think of his little girl having desires of her own." She rummaged in the bag to pull out two sets of chopsticks. "You want a fork for that? And another beer?"

John opened the packet that contained his chopsticks, "These are good," he mumbled out, being pretty proficient at using them. "Well, that explains the nasty looks he gave me though I'm not sure I wouldn't be doing the same thing if you were my daughter. Boys are one thing, girls a whole different ball game." He placed his hand upon her leg, keeping Jess from getting up, "I'll get them," he informed her. John rose, going to the fridge and pulling out two fresh beers which he opened and sat down before them. He joined her once again, downing his other and wishing there was something stronger in it.

"I could say something about the sexism in that statement, but I won't." Jess picked up one of the containers of chow mien. "I guess it could have been worse," she said, twirling some of the noodles around the chopsticks. "Dad always seemed to be cleaning his shot gun whenever my sister Rachel had a date."

John just looked sideways at the woman and gave a smirk, "Sexist or not, it's a fact. Fathers tend to be more protective of their little girls." Though he was very protective of his boys but for a different reason. "Worse would have been if he caught us in the shower or in bed. At least he only caught me with my shirt off and bandaging my stitches." He leaned back, the sprawl something near what his son Dean would do, which he supposed is where the lad had picked it up from. He gazed over to her before looking away.

"I suppose I should find a motel room as to not cause you any more problems." He placed his sticks down in the empty bowl. He placed the bowl upon the table and just sat there, beer in hand and staring at it.

"John," Jess said softly, putting down her now empty bowl as well. "You're not causing me any problems. If you weren't here, Dad would still be on my case, telling me that I need to get out and get a life. But not the one I can live. He hasn't really accepted that I'm not fully human. He still wants me to be that perfect daughter that I'm not capable of. It's nice to be around someone I can drop that last guard and just be me." It was instinctive to reach out and touch him, just to rest the palm of one hand on his leg, to just make human contact. "You can stay out here on the couch, and I'll behave. But please. Stay."

John shifted a bit, her words of not accepting that she wasn't fully human and her father not accepting was ringing true in his own ears. Sammy. He sighed softly, biting back the words that he understood.

Slowly her hand withdrew. Obviously she had made him uncomfortable by reminding him that although she looked it, she wasn't human anymore. Without saying anything more, she stood up and started clearing away the remains of the food.

John looked up then reached, grabbing her hand as she grabbed for a carton. "I can understand about your father, wanting the best for you. Of..." He sighed releasing her, "I understand more than I can say." He got up in helping her. "My youngest, you remind me of him. It's a good thing." He added at the end.

Jess still made a slight face as she considered his words. But there was a humorous spark in her eye. "I remind you of a twenty-something man?"

John gave a bit of a smile, "No, but you have the same stubborn streak and fight..." Of course John wasn't gonna add the rest. That it was possible Sam wasn't human either. That there was a slight taint of Demon blood him, a possibility. That he was gonna develop special gifts that could very well get him hunted in the future if not by others... by him himself.

With everything in the trash, he made his way back to the couch, taking a seat and beer in hand. "Jess, I... there are other hunters out there like me. You are gonna have to be careful. Eventually they will find out about you and... track you down."

“I had guessed as much, John.” She took a seat on the couch, staring at the bottle she twisted back and forth nervously. “I’ve been thinking about what if things went wrong. The spell backfires, or I go feral…” She took a deep breath. “If something happens… if I change… if I’m not me any more…” She really hoped he understood what she was trying to say, because she couldn’t speak of it in anything but euphemisms. Her next words were rapid and clipped. “I want you to promise that you’ll be the one who puts me down.” She paused her twisting to look up at him. “I trust you that you’d do it humanely, and that you’d know when it was time.”

John twisted his head more to Jess, clearly hearing her words. He sat his beer down, "I can't promise you that." He shook his head and sighed, looking down at her hands. He drew a breath, "I'm chasing after something... very dark and dangerous. I don't know how it will turn out. But all I can promise is I will try. And if you ever find yourself in trouble, if you can't reach me, I want you to call my son, Dean. Just tell him I told you to. It's all I can offer."

Jess had started to wilt as he said he wouldn't be able to promise her what she wanted. But she nodded as he explained why. "I understand. And I appreciate it."

John turned reaching for a sheet of paper and wrote a number on it, just placing Dean and then his number. "Here, keep this with you at all times." Sammy was not a hunter, didn't want to be, so no sense on giving her that. "You just need to stay under the radar as much as possible. I'll do what I can to help, get you anything you need."

She folded the paper into a small square and slipped it into her pocket. "Thanks." she said. "And I'm trying not to draw attention to myself. Fortunately there's a nice wooded area a few hours drive from here. I've been spending a few days a month there."

That was good. She got out and away. He knew she had a head on her shoulder. He sat back looking up to the ceiling because he couldn't go to anyone, not even... Ellen, not even Jim. He sat forward and ran his hand through his hair. He felt suddenly old and tired.

Jess leaned forward. "You're tired. I should let you get some rest." It was old habit from when they were lovers that made her reach out to gently stroke up and down his back. "Or do you need to talk some more?"

John leaned back into the stroking, his body and mind remembering the time they spent together. He turned his head toward her before his hand lifted, cupped the back of her head and he pulled her in for a kiss. His mouth covered her, his body just reacting to an underlying need for deeper contact.

She didn't resist. In fact, Jess snuggled closer as she returned the kiss. One hand came up to cup his cheek, fingers slowly running through his hair. She had missed this, missed him, missed simple human contact. She shifted on the couch, turning to press more firmly against him.

John should be pushing away but he didn't, if anything he pushed more into her, his arms going around her. He started pushing her back on the couch. He was arranging her body, moving one leg so he could rest between her legs, a place he hadn't felt since her if he was honest with himself. He pulled back for much needed breath, wanting to speak, to say something but he couldn't think of words to say.

She looked up at him, her breath catching in her chest. Jess' arms shifted around to cradle him close, legs shifting. She lifted her head so she could kiss his mouth. She had meant it to stay gentle, but there was a growing hunger in them.

John's hunger was growing as well. He moaned into the kiss, devouring her much like she was him. He then pulled back, pulling her with him to straddle his lap. He ran his hands up her back, pressing her down to him, leaning up to kiss her again. He started giving her quick kisses and he finally spoke, "I missed you," he admitted.

A warm sensation ran through her chest at his words. "I've missed you too," she said between kisses. Her fingers started to roam over his chest before she leaned back slightly. It brought their groins into firmer contact as she leaned away from him long enough for her to pull her shirt over her head.

John's hands were shaking slightly, coming to rest upon her ribs and sliding up. He leaned forward, kissing her between her breast, working his lips along her bra line. He raised his head, nibbling along her jaw and to her ear. He had forgotten how good she tasted and it was coming back to him. "Maybe we should go to your bedroom," he suggested with a breath to her ear.

She nodded, her mouth suddenly dry. Slowly she unfolded her legs and rose to her feet. But she didn't let her hand break contact with him, as if she were afraid he would disappear.

John pushed up, groaning a bit, mostly from age and the wounds. He followed her into the room and before the door could even close he was upon her, pushing her back upon the bed. He pulled his shirts off, tossing them aside before climbing on the bed between parted legs. He groaned as he settled between her legs, his mouth covering her bares skin.

Jess let out a soft gasp as he settled on her. Her fingers scratched lightly over his shoulders. Turning her head, she nipped at his ear, tongue tracing over the outer curve. But the earlier pained groan and the bruises did have her concerned. "John, we can take this easy if it's too much."

John rolled them, getting her on top of him, "This should help," He breathed as he pulled her bra down and he leaned up while pulling her to him to suck upon her breast. He ran his hands down her back, cupping her ass while he shifted to the other side to worry that nipple as well.

Jess settled straddling across him. Her back arched, pushing her breasts closer to his mouth. She had missed this, had forgotten the intense reaction he could invoke in her. Her voice was a reverent whisper. "John."

John moved his hand back up, gripping her hair and dragging her lips down to his. He kissed her softly, "Let's get these off you, Jess," he whispered against her lips, fingers going to her jeans and working them open. He knows she can already feel his erection pressing against her heated core, wanting to be inside her.

She shuddered as she felt his fingers brushing between her legs. She lifted up enough to make it easy to pull off her jeans and underwear. But she didn't settle on him again right away. Instead her fingers now brushed over his fly, unzipping him. But she didn't pull them off right away. Instead she stretched out next to him, reaching over to open a drawer in the bedside table. There was a small smile on her face as she pulled out a sealed box of condoms.

John raised an eyebrow, tipping his head at the box then looked back to her, "You aren't telling me..." He pulled her to him and kissed her. "Think it's time to open those, don't you?" He rolled to his back and started to remove his pants the rest of the way. Did she really keep that box all this time? Saving it for him?

There was a slight blush on her cheeks as she nodded, confirming that it was the same box. "You're lucky we ran into each other when we did," she said with a wry grin. "These are nearing their expiration date." Her expression became a bit more solemn. "There hasn't been anyone else since..." She had been on a few dates, but nothing she would allow to become serious.

"You shouldn't wait," He pulled her to him, "Though honestly, I can say the same thing, though for different reasons." He kissed her neck, "As nice as that box is, we should open it." He whispered against her ear. John didn't think he could wait any longer for her. He needed to feel himself in her, moving their hips together.

Jess nodded, turning her head slightly to nip at his ear. She was shaking lightly with eagerness as she managed to tear the box open and pulled out one condom. She forced herself to calm down as she opened the foil pack. But there was an eager glint in her eyes as she rolled it onto his erection. Her fingers then drifted down to lightly caress his balls.

John had laid still, letting Jess roll the latex over him. His chest rose up and down with each eager breath till she ran her hand down over his balls. He gave a tiny gasp and a moan as he rolled into her, pulling her to him. He started to kiss her, fingers hooking upon her leg and bringing it up till she was draped over his hips and opened. While kissing her, he reached between them, angling his cock till it rested against her, rubbing slowly with the motion of his hips.

He was taking his time kissing her, nibbling along her jaw, seeming to relearn what she tasted like, what she felt like. She really and truly had been the only other woman since Mary that he spent this much time with. He rolled them again so she was back on top of him and the slid into her was easy but the face he made told of pleasure.

She had forgotten what it felt like to be skin to skin with him. She moved with him, stretching as she kissed and was kissed by him, not wanting to lose contact. There had been too many nights since he had left where she had imagined this, and she was determined to enjoy this. And as he pushed inside, she let out a ragged gasp.

Jess lightly nipped at his lips. She had to be careful because if she broke his skin, if she bit him... She wasn't going to think about that now. Not as she slowly pushed upright, drawing him in deeper inside her.

John gave forth another groan, her body sitting fully upon him with no space between them. John pushed his hips up a bit, trying to see if there was any more room. Legs bent, his hands rested upon her waist, fingers digging into flesh as he urged her to rise up. As she started to move, John felt anythings inside him slowly fog up and slip away. All he could think about was the here and now. How she was moving over him.

She was slowly rising and falling, concentrating on the feel of him inside of her. Jess kept her pace slow and steady, savoring each and every second. She rolled her shoulders back slightly, pushing her chest forward. Her hands slid down her sides to rest over his.

John moved his hands up and to her breast, cupping them as they moved together. He closed his eyes, groaning deeply while his head pushed back. Her insides were squeezing him in perfect time and it was drawing him closer and closer to the edge.

Jess let out a whine as at the feel of him rubbing against her nipples. Her pace picked up, moving faster on him. But now she added something of a rolling motion, shifting him around inside of her.

John hissed out his breath between clenched teeth, lifting his head back up as blue eyes took her in. He suddenly sat up, wrapping his arms around her and helping her move as his mouth latched onto her neck and started leaving little marks.

The whines turned into a series of sharp gasps. Jess arched against him, breasts pressed against his chest, hands holding his head against her. The feel of his mouth at her neck and the grinding between her legs pushed her over the edge.

John's own hips had moved faster, thrusting up into her. His breath was huffed out against her skin and just as she was releasing over him, John squeezed her against his chest. John's own release slammed into him. He trembled as he buried his face into her neck.

She sagged against him, going limp in his arms. Her breath was coming in heavy gasps as she came down from the pleasure. Slowly she lifted her head to kiss his temple before leaning her cheek against the top of his head.

John closed his eyes, holding her tightly as he sat trying to catch his breath. Sweat was a light sheen over his body but it didn't matter as he felt Jess breathing against him. It was then he felt a cold metal against him. He pulled back a bit and touched the medallion that hung there.

Jess looked down, puzzled what he was looking at. The talisman she was wearing had almost become a part of her, to the point where she forgot she was wearing it. "It's a St. Christopher's medal, patron saint of travelers. It's also the focus of the spell you gave me." Her lips quirked in a small smile. "It seemed an appropriate choice."

John nodded, "Hmm, seems so." He took it between his fingers and rubbed his thumb over the surface. He thought of the one he gave Dean and the boy seemed to never take it off unless he was showering. He wore it to sleep, wore it all the time. John had to wonder if it was because of what it meant or that it came from him.

Jess watched as he touched the medal, not saying anything further about it. There were some days it laid heavier on her than others, as if its mass changed with the waxing and waning of the moon. And that was what frightened her at times was how a dark corner of her soul wanted her to rip it off and cast it away, let the beast within run wild and free. And she didn't dare speak to anyone of it. Not the family who didn't know, not her father who did know, and John, who deep down she knew was a hunter first and her lover second.

John suddenly noticed his watch and he quickly lifted Jess off him, "I gotta get going." He was swinging his legs over the side of the bed and gathering his clothing while rushing into the bathroom. He was washing up quickly and dressing, knowing that outside that door, there was gonna be tones of questions which he will have to find a way to avoid. Jess would probably hate to hear he was checking up on his youngest son without the boy even knowing.

He rushed out, going to grab his jacket and slipping it on, searching for his keys as he did so.

Jess had sat there stunned for a moment as her butt hit the mattress. He… he's leaving? Already? she thought numbly as she watched him disappear into the bathroom.

Her bewildered expression slowly morphed into a grimmer one as she stood up and pulled on her jeans and shirt. So she was standing in front of the bathroom door, decently covered, when John opened it. Her arms were across her chest. "Not even going to bother with the pretense of a cuddle, John? Or was waiting for me to fall asleep so you can sneak out without saying goodbye too much trouble this time?"

John pulled up, nearly banging into her. He looked at her quickly and was about to push past when she wouldn't give up her ground. "It's not what you think. I'm not leaving I just have something important to go do and I'm nearly late." He tried to move again but she didn't move. He grabbed her and forced her to move, "I need to go check up on my son, okay." He nearly snapped at her as he grabbed his leather jacket and pulled it on. He found his keys. "I'm sorry but, I have to go do this."

"And you couldn't take thirty seconds to tell me that?" Jess snapped back. Her arms dropped to her sides and her stance softened. "I guess I should be glad that you are talking to your boys." Then a suspicious glint shone in her eyes. "You *are* talking to your boys, John?"

John just gave her a look telling he didn't have to explain himself before stating for the door till he felt those eyes upon him. "Yes, I do," which wasn't a complete lie. He did talk to Dean after all. Even worked with him, keeping him close by and seeing him more as a partner than as a son.

"I have to go, we'll talk later when I get back." He headed out the door, going down to his truck where he got in and headed off to go check on Sam. Drove up to the college and to where Sam was staying, seeing him with a blond cute girl which reminded him a bit of Mary but her name was Jessica or... like father like son, Jess for short. He watched him as he laughed and joked. Sam's smile never looked so bright unless it was gifted upon Dean.

When Sam and Jessica were out of sight, John left his truck going up to their apartment and breaking in. There he looked about then shook his head as he saw there was no salt at the windows or the doors. Lucky, he had some and so he dusted it on the outside along the tops of it and in places where it would not be seen. As he was leaving the kitchen, he stopped seeing a plate of cookies and stole one before leaving.

He waited again till Sam returned to make sure he was safe back inside before leaving. It was several hours later before he returned. He slowly walked up to her door, knowing she was gonna be pissed.

After he had left, Jess had straightened the bed and rearranged the pillows on the couch. Aside from the used condom in the waste basket and John's scent hanging heavy in the air, there wasn't any other sign that it hadn't been an intense fantasy on her part.

At least he had said that he would be back. This time, she thought with a bitter twitch of her lips. And if he was telling the truth. Last time he had left without a goodbye, something that still cut when she thought about it too much. Something in his tone of voice, or stance, or maybe even a subliminal clue she had picked up in his scent told her that he had lied to her. She just wasn't sure about what.

She flopped down on the couch, stretching diagonally to claim the space back. Unfortunately, there wasn't much for her to do at the moment but think about what was coming. John wouldn't stay here long. He'd finish healing, hear about a cattle mutilation a state or two over, and off he'd go on the hunt. Or he'd get some new lead about the demon that had killed his wife. And Jess? She'd be left behind again to struggle through and try to put her life back together. Like she had deciphering the spell without help, facing her family without support, and struggling with containing her animal side. The question in her mind was she going to be strong enough to do it again?

Deciding that she couldn't just sit around and mope, she walked back to the bedroom and pulled out a leather bound journal. Settling on the couch, she began reading the last few entries, and then started writing in it. At first glance, anyone might assume it was just a diary. A hunter catching sight of it would think it was her field notes until they had a chance to inspect them more closely. The reality was that it was a cross between the two - her attempt at organizing and processing what happened when she shape shifted or when the wolf seemed ascendant over the human.

But writing in it left her grouchy. It was always a struggle to find the right human words and concepts to explain something that was pure animal instinct and emotion. So it was a relief when she heard familiar footsteps coming towards the door. But she was still irritated, or at least her uncertainty was cloaking itself as irritation, as she opened the door to see John standing there.

John lifted his head, blue eyes lifting as well to meet the irritation in Jess' eyes. She had that look Sammy often got and directed his way most of the time, just before an argument. And it usually meant a bad one. If the weather hadn't been good outside, he could have sworn there would be thunder rumbling in the background. "Told you I would be back," he informed her before she stepped aside to allow him in.

John entered, not even bothering to pull his jacket off as the door closed behind him. He turned to face her, shoving his hands deep in his pocket, however his eyes caught the leather bound book and his eyes drifted back to her, a more fatherly expression shadowed his face.

She glanced at the book and then back at John. "It's easier to cope with if I write stuff down," she mumbled. "And would you stop looking at me like that? I hate it when you go paternal on me. Makes me feel like I'm five years old instead of twenty-two."

John walked over, lifting it up, opening it up, "Helps you cope? It will help you get killed is what it will do," John tossed it down. "You need to burn that. If a hunter gets a hold of it, he is gonna know every little detail you've written in there. And he will use it against you. I know because that is what I would do. I know what you are, but the rest of the world doesn't need to. And the reason I look at you like that is because sometimes you do act like a five year old instead of someone with more sense. You need to try and be as normal as possible. To not draw attention to yourself." There was something underlying in his words.

There was anger and frustration flickering in her eyes. "I am trying to be normal as possible, John! I am doing everything I can to pretend that I am! But I'm not. I never will be. And you know that!" She let out a tired sigh. "Do you know what it's like not to have anyone I can talk to about anything? Not my mom, not my dad, not even you? Ask questions, such as is it normal for me to crave raw meat? Am I going to go into heat? Why do dogs either automatically submit to me or fight? Is it normal or am I even more of a freak because I can tell you ate a chocolate chip cookie about an hour ago just by smell? And what am I supposed to do? Bottle it up inside?"

"I told you to get a fresh start. To live a safer life. But you came back here. Now you have to be more careful and burning this should be the first thing you do." He tossed it down to the coffee table. "I'm not the only hunter out there. And you are always gonna be looking over your shoulder and no one is gonna have the answers for you unless you find the pack and run with them which will result in your death."

"It sounds like no matter what I do, it's going to lead to my death," she said bitterly.

"It's because you are letting it control you. The moment you give into it..." John stopped himself short. John thought of Sam. What could possibly become of him. What he could become. Steps needed to be taken. "You have to fight those urges instead of trying to understand them. It will tear you apart and make you... crazy if you keep going down that path," he pointed to her journal. He was speaking from years of experience. He knew. But she didn't. She didn't know the full story behind him becoming a hunter and why. His obsession. And with any luck, she won't. She didn't need to get mixed up into that.

Jess rubbed her eyes tiredly. On some level, she knew that John was right. Keeping the journal was a stupid risk. There would be no way she could explain it away if a person who knew what they were looking at found it. But she didn't want to admit it. "I don't know that I can do that. Everyone is encouraging me to go find a 'nice guy' and raise a family. How am I supposed to do that if I'm keeping this a secret from everyone?"

John rubbed at his brow, "Are you even attempting to? Or are you looking for that about as hard as you are looking for a cure?" John lifted his eyes to her, half expecting her to swing at him.

Her hands clenched into fists. The pain of her nails digging into her palm distracted her enough so she didn’t growl angrily at him. “You have no right to say that to me after leaving me with nothing more than a scrap of paper that I couldn’t even read,” Jess said in low, measured tones. “And if I had found someone, you’d be yelling at me for being an idiot since I wouldn’t know if I’d have babies or puppies.” Her head tilted to one side. “Or would it be because they wouldn’t be yours?”

"Don't," He snapped at her. "Don't you take that tone with me young lady. I helped you as much as I could. Hell I even found something that might even work for you." He walked over to his journal and pulled out another old piece of paper and handed it to her. More like shoved it at her. "I got this from another hunter. Take your chance. Don't pass it up."

She snatched the paper from his hand, barely giving it a passing glance before she refocused on John. "Wait a second. You've been lecturing me on how important it is to keep a low profile. But you're asking other hunters about cures for lycanthropy? You don't think someone is going to put two and two together?"

"It's from a friend, a trusted friend. And I can deal with other hunters. You on the other hand are a target. That is the difference. And the more you keep a lower profile the better off you will be of not getting a sniper shot though the head and the heart, so don't lecture me." He stepped closer. "This is your chance. The chance I never... There was a reason I told you to stay with your family and this is it." He pointed to the paper.

Before she would have backed away a step as he came in closer. Perhaps now because she was older and (although she doubted he'd believe it) wiser, Jess held her ground. She looked down at the paper, struggling through the Latin - she'd try to do a proper translation later. "And once I'm 'cured'," she asked. "What's to keep some hunter from deciding I'm not as cured as I claim to be, not bother waiting for a full moon, and still putting a bullet in me?"

John sighed and turned away, "And why do you think I kept telling you to lay low. To burn that thing and lead a normal, safe life. You have that chance. But not if you keep going they way you are. I don't have that luxury but you do." He turned back to her, grabbing her shoulders. "Why do you think I left the first time. Why do you think I stayed away. Damn it, Jess," his fingers gripped and he was nearly shaking her. "I screwed up a lot things in my life. Don't let this be another I have to..." He stopped mid sentence. "Just do it. Be what you were meant to be. Normal."

Her hands shot up between his arms in what looked like an attempt to knock herself loose. But instead her hands gripped his wrists, holding them tight. “I don’t know that I can be,” she snapped back. "Even if it works, it doesn’t change everything. I still have to live with what that bastard did to me. The things that I have done. What someone might do to me if they find out. The family crap that is still going on with my sister’s death. That I love a man I can never be with, let alone that he’s old enough to be my father.” She took a breath, glaring up at him although tears were gathering in the corner of her eyes. “It doesn’t change the important things, John, and I don’t think I’ll ever be normal again.”

John looked down into her eyes, there was that haunted pained look that was reflecting back. The one he always carried since the death of his beloved Mary. And it pained him even more to hear her say she loved him, because he knew, he could not give her that love back in return. Not with his heart. Not like she deserved. "You'll be more normal than you are now. You can work through the other stuff without having to worry about when the full moon is." He looked down between them. "All I can give you is this chance. I can't give you anything more. My heart died twenty-two years ago."

Her hands tightened fractionally on his wrists and then went limp. “That’s not what you said that night you left,” Jess said softly. She had thought that her heart breaking would feel like a shattering of a glass window, her insides shredding on the shards. Or an explosion of volcanic anger erupting inside of her. Instead, she felt uncomfortably numb. Side effect of the spell tamping down anger or normal reaction, she couldn’t say.

She walked around to the other side of the couch, feeling more comfortable with a physical barrier between them. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful for all that you’ve done for me. And you’re welcome to stay here tonight." Her fingers sank into the padding as she leaned against the back of it. “But I have to go tomorrow to… prepare. I’ll be gone for three days." The next words caught in her throat, but she forced them out. “And it would probably be best for both of us if you were gone when I got back."

John closed his eyes and sighed heavily. He did remember those words. He regretted saying those words and yet, he didn't. She had been the first woman other than Mary he whispered those words to. Never to anyone else. He stood sullen and his shoulder slumped a bit as if another weight was added to him. He stood there, not facing her before he turned slowly to her.

He stepped closer, just nodding before he reached down and pulled her up to him. "I know what I said." He leaned in and started kissing her, holding her tightly against him.

She regretted the words the moment they were out of her mouth. For the first time, she saw him as the old man he always had said he was. But Jess couldn't take them back no more than John could his.

So she didn't resist as he pulled her against him, despite her instinct to push him away. This could only lead to more pain for both of them. But her arms went around him, holding him tight as she kissed him back.

John let himself, as always, fall into her kiss and give back. He knew he had hurt her. The guilt would always be with him. Just as he could not ever forgive himself for all the other guilt that weighed him down. If only Jess knew the weight he was carrying. That these moments with her helped him to forget.

It was then that John started tearing at her clothing. Wanting to feel her against him one last time. He pulled the shirt over her head, just tossing it aside before he started working on her bra. "I know what I said," he repeated against her lips before crushing his lips against hers again.

"Don't say it." She had to think of this as just sex, she reminded herself as she stripped off his layers of shirts. Because if she let herself think of it as something more, she'd end up shattered. The memory of him saying he loved her had gotten her through many lonely nights. But it had been a lie.

John helped her get his clothing off before he lifted her to carry her into the bedroom. He let her strip off her own pants while his own came off. John crawled upon the bed over her, leaning down to kiss her. He moaned softly, this time his touch more gentle upon her. His hand drifted down her side as his mouth caressed her neck.

Jess settled heavily on the mattress as John settled over her. She held him close, letting out a quiet moan at the feeling of his lips on her neck. Her head tilted back to give him better access, submitting to him.

John's teeth bit into skin, not enough to break but enough to pull and suck upon till a mark was left which he had a feeling would be gone soon enough. His mouth moved lower, a hand coming to cup her left breast, pushing it up a bit before his mouth covered it, working her till she was near squirming under him to stop. He came back up, kissing her lips once again while one hand brushed her hair from her face.

It was killing her. If it had been a fast and furious fuck, that would be one thing. But the tenderness he was showing her almost made her think that he hadn't lied then, but was lying now. Jess's fingers combed through his hair as she kept him close. Her other hand moved over his back to rest on his ass as her legs spread wider.

John felt himself settling between her legs as she parted them more. It was too comfortable a fit. Too right a fit that if he was not the man he was, it would frighten him. John pulled back, gazing down at her with darken blue eyes as a hand went under her back, lifting her a bit as he slipped inside her. He closed his eyes, moaning before burying his face in her neck as he slipped home inside her. He gave a shudder and bit his tongue to keep from saying anything. If he did, it would be words that would just hurt even more.

She let out a soft gasp as he breached her, hips arching instinctively. Her fingers tightened on him as she moved restlessly beneath him. She wanted to hear him whisper those words, any words to her. Instead Jess turned her head so she could kiss him, to keep their mouths occupied so they couldn't say those hurtful words.

John welcomed it, his mouth busy with hers. His own hips started to move slowly, taking in the feel of her and letting her feel him as he moved. He moaned into her mouth, his tongue working against hers. He worked up to a steady pace, his breath leaving him with little huffs when they stopped kissing and he was working his mouth over other areas of her skin or just rocking into her, his face buried in the pillow under her. And some of those words were whispered out. How good she felt. How her touch burned him and eased him as well. How she was like heaven under him and he didn't want this to end. If it was understood or heard, at this moment, he didn't care, didn't matter. She was wrecking him.

Her hands roamed restlessly over his back, one moment clutching his hips, another digging into his shoulders. She could hear the whispered words, and she tried desperately to ignore them. Instead she tried to focus on the sensations. How his breath rushed past her ear. How the rasp of his beard tickled and scratched her cheeks. The small sounds their bodies made as they impacted. The scent of their sweat mingling. The heat of his length as he eased in and out of her. All that was missing was three little words - ones that would tear her apart if he said them.

John's mouth kept worshiping her, kissing her, giving her pleasures as her body gave to him, pushing against his, moving together as one. John reached down, taking one of her legs to bring it up higher upon him, holding her as he was able to get deeper into her and felt her respond to that.

Jess so desperately didn't want the pleasure to end as she writhed against his knowing touches and kisses. Because when it did, they would part ways, probably never to cross paths again. But she couldn't stop the slowly rolling pleasure from intensifying and crashing through her. She let out a loud cry, clutching him tightly against her.

John couldn't stop himself even if he wanted. Jess' release had him pumping into her more quickly and then his body locked up releasing as he let out a growl into the bedding under her. His cock pulsed into her, pumping his seed into her before he nearly collapsed upon her. He was breathing heavy still even as he thought of moving but never did. He stayed inside her. Stayed on top of her. He turned his head into her ear and pressed a kiss into her.

Her arms stayed tight around him even as the rest of her relaxed. Jess turned her head to rub her cheek against his. "I know what you said," she whispered, her hand stroking up and down his back. "And I said the same thing."

As long as the words were not said, the pain would be less. The parting wouldn't be as painful. He lifted his head, part of his body and kissed her deeply before he slowly pulled himself free of her. He stayed at her side, pulling her into his arms.

Jess curled against him, staying a entangled as she possibly could. When their kiss broke, she pressed another to his lips before letting her head sink onto the pillow. Her fingers gently brushed through his hair, a sad smile on her mouth.

She waited until he fell asleep. And lingered there for another hour, certain that this was going to be the last time she saw him like this. Silently she rose from the bed and gathered her clothing. Then she moved to the closet and opened the locker at the bottom of it. Things she would need to perform the spell were tucked into a backpack.

Jess then carried it to the living room and added her journal to it. She then silently padded to the bedroom and took one last look at her lover. She wanted to cross over and kiss his forehead one last time. Except that would probably wake John, and she couldn't face him awake and do what needed to be done. So it was with a heavy sigh she turned away. Snagging the backpack as she passed the table, she opened the door to her apartment. Jess cast one more longing look towards the bedroom. Then she stepped through and pulled it shut with a quiet click.



Part III

John Winchester had to stop someplace outside of Chicago to bandage up and rest. He pulled the truck over into the parking lot. It was of a dinner, out of the way place with not a lot of people. But given the hour, most were in bed. John climbed out, keeping his head down as he headed for the side entranced and back to the bathrooms. Lucky not many noticed him. He went inside and looked in the mirror. The Deva's did a number on him.

As he washed up, looking in the mirror, he could only picture his sons. Sam didn't look to bad but Dean took the blunt of it. They were his weakness, Dean said so and he was right. But he could see in his boy's eyes, he didn't want it to be so. He didn't want to let John walk away. And truthfully, neither did John. To see Sam again, to hold his little boy. It hurt to let him go and see that look in his youngest's eyes.

John walked out once he got the blood cleaned and was able to stop the bleeding. He bandaged what he could. He moved out to the counter and sat down, "Coffee," he ordered, reaching for his wallet to put money down.

The figure sitting at far end of the counter lifted her head, the pen that had been scratching notes in the leather three ring journal. She hadn't been paying attention to her surroundings, she chided herself. Otherwise, she would have instantly noticed the scent of blood and the familiar musk of someone she knew. But there was no way she could not notice that familiar rasp that always sent a shiver through her.

She glanced at the door, thinking for a moment. She could easily slip outside, get into her car, and be gone, possibly before he noticed her. But she wouldn't be able to forgive herself if she could. So instead she picked up her journal and her half picked at plate of food and walked over to where the man was sitting. She made sure her approach could be heard, especially since she could still smell blood, she walked over to a chair next to him and sat down. Tired brown eyes assessed him carefully before she spoke. "You look like hell, John," Jess said.

John turned his head a bit, taking a sip of his coffee when he had to take a second look. "Jess?" He turned to face her, looking her over. She looked more tired. Hard around the edges, her clothing not as nice as the last time he had seen her. "What are you doing in the Chicago area?" He turned back, taking another drink.

"You don't want to know," Jess said with a shake of her head. She looked him up and down. It looked like the years they had spent apart had treated him about as kindly as they had her. He looked weary in body and spirit, but just as determined as ever. "How about you?" she asked. "You in the middle of something, or just finished it?"

"Never got involved, of sorts. It was finished when I got there," He took a sip of his coffee. "My boys..." John stared at his coffee before looking at her, "And I do want to know." He turned to face her. He reached out to touch her hair, fingers rubbing in it. He dropped his hand away.

She had stiffened slightly at his touch, torn between moving into and away from his hand. Her pony tail swung as she looked around the diner, noting that there will still too many people in it for them to talk comfortably. "Not here," she said. "Got a motel room about half a block away if you need a place to crash." Jess sifted through the other scents on him. His boys must be the two human scents on him. "I'm glad you're seeing your boys," she said as she stood up. Now there was a wistful look in her eyes.

John finished his coffee then pushed up, making a sound and walked out. "I wouldn't call it seeing," He mumbled out in following her. He climbed into his truck, saying nothing more as he followed her to her motel room.

Jess shrugged as they walked down the street. Her hands were tucked into the pockets of her leather jacket. "I assume they knew you were there. Or at least that's who I assume I'm smelling."

It was a short walk to the motel and Jess stopped in front of a dark blue 1970 Charger. She seemed to tense for a moment, looking around before pulling out a key and opening the door. "Watch out for the salt," she said as she stepped over the threshold. Inside the room, one wall had several papers tacked to it with esoteric symbols and odd drawings on them. "So," Jess said as she walked over to the bed and sat on it with a heavy thud. "Who goes first?"

John couldn't help taking a trip around the car before following her inside and looking to the salt. "70's Charger, ni..." He stopped fully and frowned as he moved over to the wall. "What is all this?" he motioned then pulled one off, looking at it then moved to another and pinned it there. "Why are you researching Demon. All of this looks like...." He turned to her, "You became a hunter."

"Yeah," Jess said. "Although I'm not absolutely certain it's your Demon, I'm pretty certain if it isn't, it's related somehow. And before you start yelling at me that I shouldn't be doing this, that I should be as far away from anything involving hunters, let me explain. It's not because of you. It's because of my family."

John was moving about, moving things for her then grabbing a pen and adding and correcting things. He shook his head, "Demons are nasty foul creatures that don't care for human life. We are only pawns in their little game." He turned to her. "One attacked your family?"

"Yeah." The word was sharp and clipped. Her head was bent low, eyes staring at the wall without really focusing on it. “It was about eight months ago. I came over to have dinner with my parents and I found--” Her nose flared. She could still smell her mother's blood. Jess swallowed and continued. “I found Mom dead in the kitchen, torn to shreds. If I didn't know better, I would say a werewolf had done it from the claw wounds and bites. I might have even thought that the spell had gone wrong, and I did it. But it happened during a moonless night, and I could smell sulfur.”

“Dad I found in the hallway, heading towards the closet and the gun case. I guess he thought he could hurt it, or maybe wanted to kill it. He had a bad wound across his lower back. One studied claw swipe was what it looked like. Damaged his spine enough that he lost sensation from the hips down.”

“After the funeral, while Dad was in the hospital, he called me and my brother in to tell us what really happened that night. The police had this idiotic theory that someone in the neighborhood was breeding fighting dogs, and they somehow got in the house and attacked Mom and Dad. Dad didn't do anything to correct the authorities.”

“Mike didn't know about me. Mom didn't either, and I've always regretted not telling her. Dad, he decided that it was time we both knew the whole truth. He told us that what attacked him and Mom was a dog, but one that he couldn't see. It took me a little research, but I finally figured out that it was a hellhound. But there was a third demon there, directing the show. A figure all in black.” She paused to look up at John. “And with yellow eyes.”

John's eyes got that look in them. "He attacked them because of me." He walked over sitting down beside her. "Hellhounds are usually released to retrieve. If someone made a deal with a demon, they are sent in to retract payment. What you might have seen was not a hellhound but a Deva. Shadow demons or dogs. It's what attacked me. Light drives them away. A hellhound... there is nothing...Why are you really mixed up in this, Jess."

Her focus returned to the far wall. “Dad, he decided that he wanted it dead. And because he couldn't hunt it himself, he'd hunt it though his kids. But Mike had a family, and he didn't want his granddaughter to lose her father. So that left me. His werewolf daughter. No, I haven't performed the reversal spell yet. I hadn't gathered all the components I needed. And now, I can't. Dad's refusing to give me the blood I need until that thing is dead.”

“The doctors thought it was denial over Mom's death. He had apparently babbled something when he came out of surgery. Mike thought he was nuts, of course. Or he did until he saw me shape shift in front of him. He's been the one staying home and taking care of Dad. But he and I don't get along like we did... before.” There was a lot of resentment building up over the fact that Jess was not around to take care of her father, that she had kept such a big secret from him.

"Anyway, I did the only thing I really could. I sold my bike, bought a car, burnt my original journal and started learning the tricks of the trade. Oh, I'm cautious. I only frequent hunter bars when I need more information, try to keep my hunts solo. But I still hear things about other hunters. And I pray I never cross paths with someone like Gordon... hearing about his hunts gives me the creeps," she added with a shiver. She turned to look at John, a tired look in her eyes. "All I can do is hope that I can somehow do something that will change dad's mind. Cause I'm not sure there's much I can do to kill that bastard."

"No, Jess, you need to stay away from that bastard. It's to much for you. And you need to stay away from Gordon. He's a good hunter but he... he had sick methods. He gets results but not in good ways. He doesn't take into account the other lives around him to often. But that demon... I've been on it's trail for a while. I finally got it's scent and it's to dangerous for you. What it did to me... was only a taste. I won't have you hunting it and if I need to go back and tell your father, so be it. It nearly killed my boys. I won't have it do the same to you."

"And that thing killed my mother," Jess said, twisting to look at him. "I think that gives me just as much right to be hunting it as you. I deliberately didn't call that number you gave me because I figured out for some reason, that's what it wanted. If you are that close to finding it, maybe it went after me to distract you. So I'm in this now, like it or not. And if I have to die, I would much rather going out fighting this evil son of a bitch instead of begging for my life from someone like Gordon."

"NO!" John pushed up looking at her. "It's not going to happen. I'm close to it now and I'm not going to have trip things up. You have no idea what this thing can do. I've been on it for years and it's taken me that long to know how to look for it. If you try and fight it you will die."

Jess stood up glaring up at him. "Then let me die!" Her voice was as steely as her glare. "My father isn't going to change his mind. He didn't when Rachel died. He only tolerated me because Mom wanted me home. And I... I don't have that much to live for." She let out a heavy sigh, looking down and breaking eye contact. "I'm not going to be human again, no matter how much I want to be. Please, John, at least let my death have some meaning."

John grabbed her arms, "But I don't want you to die. I don't want to loose you to it like I did Mary. I can't go through that. I can't even involve my boys." He pulled her close to him. "I've lost too much."

She tilted her head up to look at him. "You haven't lost me," she whispered. Her hands grabbed onto his arms as she pushed up on her toes. Now she could reach his mouth, which she kissed.

"Then leave this bastard to me. Just give me some time. When I'm close, I'll call you." He kissed her again then rubbed her back. She didn't have the connections John did. Even if his connections were strained. But it was known in the hunter world, he was damn good. One of the best.

She tilted her head back to look up at him. "You promise?" she asked and then kissed him again.

"If I can, yes," John nodded in looking down to her. John had to wonder, how come of all the relationships he had, why this one of them all wasn't as strained as many others. "Let me help you with this." He motioned to the wall. "There are many levels of demons. Usually the lower level ones just like to cause a bit of trouble. Scare people, haunt them. Some even give possessions, but they get worse higher up." He pulled away going over to the wall. "If you are gonna hunt demons, I should send you to a friend. His name is Bobby. He's got books like you won't believe. He's the best demon hunter I know. He doesn't do so much of it now, lets that work be done by you young folk but what you can learn from him... it will blow your mind." He was looking at her work.

She listened to him quietly, absorbing everything he had to offer. "You sure that's a good idea, John?" she asked. "I mean, I know there's so much more I need to learn. But you've always told me to avoid other hunters." Which had made her information gathering a little tricky. It was completely impossible to avoid other hunters, but she did her best to minimize her contact with them.

"Honey," John looked back to her, "I wouldn't send you to someone I didn't trust. Bobby is a good man but take a really good bottle of whiskey with you and be careful if he pulls a gun. He threaten to fill me full of buck shots the last time. Oh, and his dog Rumsfield, don't be to dominate over him." He went back to looking at her papers then pulled out his own journal. He looked at it then went to her wall to make more corrections. "You need to also look into more lore than just local and European ones. There are also Asian and middle eastern ones you need to look at."

"Globe trotting demon. Gotcha," she said. Jess stepped up to the wall, looking at the marks he was making. Frowning, she touched a map of unseasonable weather changes and began asking questions to him. She wasn't making the same connections that came instinctively for John after so many years of hunting, but they did show some insight. Nor did she seem to fully grasp how powerful this Demon was that they were in a game of cat and mouse with. But she was honest that she didn't know everything, and was willing to do what it took to learn.

John tried to explain to her what he knew. How much he knew. But he still held back some information, not wanting to get her into danger. It was hard for anyone to really make heads or tails of his research. The connections he had made over the years. He leaned back in the chair as she was looking over the added notes he made and that in his journal. "I'm sorry for what happened to your family. I should have..." John wasn't used to apologizing.

Jess reached over to take his hand and squeeze it. "Nothing you could have done, John," she said with a sad shake of her head. "You can't control how he reacted. At least this time, we're talking, kinda." She squeezed his hand again. "Now it's your turn. What happened. I can still smell the blood on you, as well as your boys."

She took it wrong. John knew it was his fault that the demon had attacked her home. It wasn't her dad he was saying sorry about. If John had pushed her away that first night, none of it would have happened. Something Jess didn't get. He just left it at that, not bothering to correct her. "The boys ran into a demon. I got here a little late. I arrived in time to see her take a swan dive. I feel sorry for the poor girl that was possessed but at least her suffering has ended. But when I was checking on the boys, the shadow dogs, called Devas, attacked. They were after me but got Dean pretty good as well. Sammy was okay. We parted, it's not time yet. And it was best."

Jess nodded as she listened. "There's one thing I don't understand," she said. "I thought Sam was going to college. When did he start hunting again?"

"I guess, after the death of his girlfriend, Jessica, he stuck with his brother," John looked up to her.

"Ah." It made sense to her. It was probably a return to a kind of normalcy for John's son. Unless... "The Demon have something to do with her death?"

John looked down, "Yes, it did."

Jess muttered something under her breath. "So what's your next move, John? You going to try to hook back up with your boys later?"

"I don't know, depends on how things work out." He answered honestly. John rather not and wasn't gonna admit it to her. He was gonna take this bastard out and he couldn't do it the way he thought he could with her or them involved. And he didn't expect to live.

There was something being unsaid, but she wasn't absolutely certain what it was. Nor was she going to press him for it. Her time as a hunter had matured her some, given her a different perspective. She understood somewhat better what he had been going through.

"You're probably exhausted, John," she said. "You want to get some rest and I'll stand watch?"

John looked at Jess for a long time then nodded, "Thank you. I don't know when I last slept through the night." He got up, pulling off the coat he wore. He no longer had his leather jacket, Dean now had it. And the boys had his journal. He had started a new one. But it was just paper.

Jess stood and crossed over to a duffel bag resting on a table. She pulled out a container of rock salt and flipped out the spout. "Get some sleep, John," she said as she liberally added to the lines she had drawn earlier. "I'll wake you up around sunrise."

John didn't bother undressing. He hadn't these days so all he did was take his shoes off and fall into the bed, aching and sore. This time he slept upon his side, no snoring and he woke in the morning, feeling Jess behind him, holding him to her. He must have had a fitful sleep and only calmed when she came and eased him against her. Tenderly, he eased out of bed and went to clean up. When he came out, she was already up. "I need to get going."

John hated partings. First he left her. The second time she left him. Now they were both awake in the morning, she had apparently was going to leave as well. He waited till she got washed up as well before walking out to his truck. He stood looking over to her car before he scribbled a name on the paper. "Here, go see this man. His name is Caleb. He gets me all my weapons. He'll get you something for your car." He held it out looking at her.

She looked at the scrap of paper before tucking it into her jacket pocket. "John, I..." she trailed off. She had spent the night holding him, unable to sleep herself, thinking. Wishing. Dreaming. But she knew it wasn't going to happen, ultimately wasn't meant to be. All she could hope for was stolen moments like this. But she had learned one important lesson from him. She wasn't a monster by default. She could still love.

But Jess didn't say any of that to him. Instead she stepped forward to hug him. "Thank you," she whispered. "For everything."

John hesitated a bit at first, not sure if he wanted to put his heart through this. It had enough pain already. But he did. He his arm went around her and he held her rightly to him. "It's not goodbye, you will see me again." He lifted her chin, his fingers brushing over her cheek before he kissed her softly. He pulled back slowly, releasing her. "You take care. Be careful out there." He nodded to her and much like with his boys, he looked back to her before climbing in his truck to drive away.

She had let her hands rest on his arms as he pulled away, unwilling to let him go. "You be careful too." Jess stepped back and climbed into her car. As the Charger's engine roared to life, she looked across to John, a sad smile on her face as she put the car into gear. "Bye, John."

The End