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Sam looked around, cataloging everything he could. Dean should have been here by now, or he should have called to say he was late. Dean was a lot of things, but Sam had hoped he'd gotten less-forgetful about checking in. Sam tapped his fingertips on the table, leg bouncing in time with them. His phone sat silent in front of him as he gazed around the little dive-bar once again.

"Hello."

Sam looked over to see a disheveled yet stunning woman standing next to his table. He smiled. "Hi. Can I... can I help you?"

"Oh, I certainly hope so." She slid into one of the seats, leaning forward and brushing her dark hair from her face. Sam found himself leaning into her, wanting to get closer. "I heard that you..." She looked down for a moment. "Well, that you don't laugh when someone tells you something impossible, I suppose."

Sam raised his eyebrows. "What kind of impossible are we talking about?"

She looked back up and cocked her head. She looked scared. Terrified, actually. "If I didn't know better..." She smiled and shook her head. "I'd have said it was a vampire."

Sam glanced at his phone - still no new texts, no missed calls.

"Where?" He looked over at the door again before looking back at the woman.

"A few streets away. I saw... oh, I don't know what I saw. I'm sorry."

"No." Sam reached out, placing his hand on hers. She looked down at it for a moment before looking back up at him. He smiled reassuringly. "Just... tell me everything. I have a lot of... experience."

The woman's grin grew, and Sam felt himself blush.

"Alright then." Abruptly, she removed her hand from under his, holding it out as if to shake. He took her hand, pumping it once. "My name's Irene."

"Sam." He smiled, and she smiled. "So, start at the beginning."

Irene told him that she'd been walking to a small movie theatre not far from here - she was meeting a few friends for a ridiculously overpriced Girl's Night Out, where they would watch Art Films and cry over the beauty of everything their own lives lacked. "Typical stuff, I suppose." She blushed. "I've been single for far too long, it seems."

Sam chuckled.

"Well, I took a short-cut. I mean, I've been living here for almost two years, I've never had any..." She shivered. "I heard... something. It sounded indecent, and I turned to go, thinking maybe it was just a couple of drunken teenagers, and then..." She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "It was there, in front of me. Blood all over it's face and... fangs, so many of them I was confused at first. I screamed, and I ran. I fell down." She gestured to her dirty and slightly rumpled outfit. "That's when I saw the body. It was... It looked so pale. I've never seen anything so pale."

"Like the blood had drained out of it." Sam nodded. "Alright. Can you show me?" Irene looked up, eyes wide, her mouth working but no sound coming from it. "You'll be safe with me. I've dealt with this before."

Irene stared at him. "Are you telling me... it was real?"

Sam nodded. "It's... I know it sounds crazy, but vampires, werewolves... every nightmare you've ever heard, every urban legend and fairy tale, all of them have some root in the truth."

Irene licked her lips and swallowed. Sam noticed it smudged her lipstick, but somehow he thought she looked even better now, with that one truly deliberate imperfection on her lovely face.

"You won't leave me?"

Sam shook his head. "Never. I've got some tools with me, even." He reached down and grabbed a small duffle bag from his side. "So. Will you show me?"

 


 

Five minutes later, Sam and Irene were stepping into the alleyway Irene had been in. "It was... just over there." Sam heard it - the slight hitch in her voice as she spoke about it. She was dealing well, all things considered. He nodded and held his machete at the ready.

As they crept down the alley, Sam was intensely aware of close Irene was, how she kept her body pressed almost entirely against him. He chalked it up to nerves. After all, how many monsters had she really hunted in her lifetime?

"Over here?" He looked back, gesturing towards a dumpster. Irene nodded. "OK. We should be safe for the moment, but just in case." He handed her the machete. "Watch my back. I'll be done in a few minutes." She took the weapon gingerly and nodded.

Sam knelt near the dumpster, looking around for any signs of a body or blood, when he felt Irene's hand run down his arm.

"You're very brave to do this, Sam." Her voice was velvety, and Sam could feel his skin flushing a bit.

"I was kinda raised in this life, so... it doesn't always seem that brave to me, I guess."

Irene's hand gave him one last squeeze, then he felt something sharp jab his arm. He whirled, reaching for the syringe he now saw hanging out of his shoulder.

"What the..." He fell back to his knees. The world tilted and spun like a carnival ride. "What is..."

He fell onto his back, blinking. Irene stepped into view, smiling. A man stepped up next to her. He had short dark hair and was dressed in an immaculate suit. "Well done, my dear." Sam thought he sounded Irish, maybe. Just a little. "He'll do very nicely."

"Promise you'll let me know if you need my help again?" Irene grinned as the man chuckled. "You know, he rather reminds of Sherlock, sprawled out like that."

"Now now, no need to bring him into this."

"Oh Jim, you're not jealous, are you?" Irene glanced over at Jim. Sam's vision was beginning to blur, the voices were too loud in his ears, and the ground seemed to have turned into a water bed that wouldn't stop moving as the sky zoomed in and out above him.

The last thing he heard was Jim laughing.