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Damned If You Do

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Bela pulls into the parking lot of the dingy motel, slowing down to peer cautiously out the passenger side window. She scans the lot for that beast of an automobile that the eldest Winchester is almost erotically attached to but the Impala is nowhere to be seen, the lights dim in Room 49 where the pliant concierge had indicated the boys were staying. It had been laughably easy to convince the man to give them up; a well-timed, charming smile and an almost derisively small fold of bills extended between two fingers had done the trick, and he hadn’t even noticed when she swiped it back.

She parks a few stalls down and walks back to the room, finding the door locked when she cautiously tries the handle. It’s no matter for someone like Bela, who reaches into her pocket to extract a set of lockpicks. Standing nonchalantly over the knob, she slides her picks into the keyhole, expertly working the tumblers until the lock clicks free. The door swings open at the twist of her wrist and she steps inside, shutting it gently behind her.

“About time you got back. I was starting to think you actually managed to get yourselves killed this time.”

One of the bedside lamps flicks on behind her, and Bela whirls, sliding her pistol from its hiding place inside her jacket in a practiced, fluid motion and levelling it at the stranger sprawled across the bed furthest from the door. The woman sits up slowly, hands held out to the side in an ironic gesture of surrender as she watches Bela, her expression falling somewhere between interested at the new development and utterly bored by it. Straight blonde hair falls against her shoulder and she blinks long thick lashes before she drops her hands back to the bedspread.

“Well if it isn’t Bela Talbot,” the blonde says, eyes glinting. She stretches lazily, cracking her neck from side to side as she pushes herself up from the bed.

“I’m afraid you have me at a disadvantage,” Bela says coolly, her finger tightening on the trigger of her pistol. “And that’s quite far enough, if you please.”

The woman shrugs. “The name’s Ruby.” She eyes the firearm leveled at her with a mixture of amusement and distaste. “You wanna get rid of the gun? Even if you shoot me point blank, it’s not going to do anything to me besides mess up my face and piss me off. I kinda like this face.”

“What are you?” Bela asks, knowing that it’s the right question. She keeps the gun trained on Ruby’s forehead, her hand steady as she waits.

Ruby’s lip curls into what could almost be considered a smile before she dips her chin towards her chest, looking out at Bela from underneath sooty lashes. She blinks, and when her lids draw back again, her irises and the whites are eclipsed by flat, shining black.


Fear wells up in Bela’s throat, but she tamps it down quickly. After all, she had an intimate knowledge of demons before most people had their first kisses. Her life is on the line, certainly, her time running short, but she doesn’t have room for fear, not for a demon wearing a pretty blonde who had moments earlier been laid out on the bed like she owned the place. Hardly the type of ambush that would catch a Winchester off-guard, so she must be, at the very least, one of their odd allies.

“Don’t give me that look,” the demon says, her pink lips curling derisively as she stares out at Bela through black eyes. “I’m what you have to look forward to after your little vacation is over.”

Ruby blinks again and the black draws back like a curtain to reveal the soft green of her eyes. Not her eyes, Bela reminds herself, keeping the pistol aimed at Ruby’s forehead, Some poor, broken, possessed girl’s eyes. The weight of the gun is solid and reassuring against Bela’s palm; she knows it will do nothing to stop a demon, but it might slow her down enough that she could get the little box of salt from her pocket, and that would buy her an escape.

They circle each other warily, watching each other with sharp eyes, gauging the other’s movements. Ruby moves like a stalking wolf with sure, fluid steps, and Bela with a catlike grace, slinking and languid.

“What do you want with the boys?” Bela asks casually, lips pursing and head titling to the side as she studies the blonde. “You were waiting for them, no?”

Ruby rolls her eyes derisively. “Why? Going to kill me if I touch them?” She scoffs as if the very idea is absurd beyond measure, which is likely true without a more powerful weapon than Bela currently possesses. Besides, the whole idea of her risking her neck for the Winchesters -

Bela grins widely, a genuine laugh slipping past her parted lips. “Hardly. I have no interest whatsoever in either Sam or Dean beyond what they can do for me.”

The demon’s eyes narrow speculatively, her gaze raking over Bela’s body. “Huh. As heartless as the rumors say. You’re famous, you know. Downstairs.” She cocks one blonde eyebrow, her lips twitching into a semblance of a smile and she leans forward conspiratorially. “Did you really sell your soul to get rid of your parents?”

Bela makes herself numb, forcing a wide smile onto her lips. “I think that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. What did you do to get yourself thrown in the Pit?”

“Touché,” Ruby replies and smiles a cold smile, just like a demon might, her pink lips pressed tightly together, no hint of it reaching her eyes. She nods her head at the pistol Bela still has leveled at the space between her eyes. “You wanna put that down? If I was gonna do something to you I would have done it by now.”

Bela considers, lowering the weapon to her side, letting the weight of the little pistol rest against the outside of her thigh. She knows that it’s a false sense of safety, but the hard lines of the firearm pressed between her hand and the seam of her jeans makes her feel like she’s still in control of the situation, like she could possibly have a chance of stopping Ruby from ripping her limb from limb and sending her straight down to hell ahead of schedule if she so desired.

“So,” Ruby says conversationally, dropping back down on the mattress and leaning back to brace herself on her palms, crossing her legs at the knee. “I’m guessing by the way you snuck in here that you weren’t looking for a rendezvous?” She arches one eyebrow, her mouth curling into a smirk. “Unless you were hoping to surprise them? Is it Tall and Angry you’re after, or Dumb and Pretty? Or maybe you were hoping for a two-fer?”

“Please,” Bela bites back, rolling her eyes. “They have something I want. An object of immense value.”

Ruby studies her for a moment, eyes narrowing before realization crosses her face and she lets loose a bark of laughter. “You’re after the Colt,” she says knowingly, and it’s not a question.

She knows. The demon knows that the Winchesters have the Colt, the one thing Bela knows of  that can kill a Hellhound, and in conjunction with Sam Winchester’s death, could get her out of her contract. Bela’s eyes focus in on Ruby’s face with laser intensity. “What do you know about the Colt?”

Ruby shrugs. “They have it, but you already know that. It’s not here though.” Her eyes narrow as she stares up at Bela. “And I have plans for that gun, so you better not run off with it before those boys can do what I need them to.”

Bela doesn’t like taking orders from anyone; it comes from a lifetime of following no one’s rules but her own, living for herself and doing what’s best for Bela. But this is a demon, no matter how pretty and harmless she looks in the guise of a slender young woman with long, straight blond hair and legs that go on for miles. She might look harmless, reclining lazily on the ugly brown comforter of a dingy motel bed, but that’s as much a disguise as the body she’s wearing; she could rip Bela apart with her bare hands without so much as breaking a sweat.

Something doesn’t add up though. “Odd allies for a demon, the Winchesters,” she notes, pressing her lips together in a closed-mouth smile as she looks down at Ruby. “Aren’t they supposed to be universally despised by your kind?”

Ruby arches one eyebrow. “Let’s just say, I’m just as interested in what the Winchesters can do for me as you are.”

Abruptly, Ruby uncrosses her legs and pushes herself to her feet, moving into Bela’s space. She’s so close that Bela can feel the heat of the body she’s wearing through her clothes, smell the perfume hovering over her skin. Bela’s fingers tighten reflexively around the pistol in her hand even though she knows it’ll be worse than useless against her, especially at this proximity. She wouldn’t have time to get a shot off before Ruby starts tearing her apart.

“Are you going to kill me?” Bela asks her bluntly, refusing to drop her eyes and keeping her face carefully impassive. If the answer is yes she’ll fight, she’ll go down swinging. Her time might be down to weeks but she’s not going to cut it short if she can help it. Those weeks could be all she needs to get out of her contract and save her own life.

Ruby purses her lips, considering. “I could, but why waste the energy? Might as well let the Hellhounds do the dirty work. Besides,” she says, her hand coming up to brush gentle waves of Bela’s hair away from her face, “you’re sort of interesting.”

Bela suppresses a shiver as Ruby drags one slender finger down the curve of Bela’s cheek, cupping her hand against the line of Bela’s jaw. Bela licks suddenly dry lips, and Ruby’s eyes flick down, following the motion with amusement.

“We actually have a lot in common, you and I,” Ruby says, her voice low and seductive as her breath ghosts over Bela’s lips. “Maybe you should look me up when you come out the other side. I think we could have a lot of fun together.”

Bela shudders involuntarily, fear and some kind of thrill coursing through her body. Ruby laughs, a low sound in the back of her throat, and then she’s leaning in, brushing their lips together. Bela tenses at the sudden contact, but then Ruby’s tongue presses to the seam of her lips and Bela’s traitorous mouth opens beneath it. Her eyes flutter closed and she leans into the kiss, indulging in the softness of Ruby’s lips against hers, the stinging bite of her teeth and the soothing sweep of her tongue. Bela’s life is a ticking clock, her days numbered, and it’s not as if enjoying a demon’s kiss will get her any more damned than she already is.

Ruby laughs into Bela’s mouth, as if she knows exactly what’s going through Bela’s mind, and then the warm brush of her lips and the firm grasp of her hand on Bela’s face is gone. “See you around, kid,” she says and Bela opens her eyes to an empty motel room.

She turns on her heel, but she’s alone, nothing but the lingering smell of sulfur and the thrumming beat of her own frantic heart to indicate that Ruby was ever there. She presses her fingers to her lips, still burning with the sting of Ruby’s kiss then shakes her head to clear it, moving for the door.

There’s nothing here for her anymore, and she has work to do.