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Puppy Kisses

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It was showtime!

I paused long enough to roll in the wet, muddy grass by the sidewalk. Then I tucked my tail between my teeny little legs and whimpered with all my might.

The brunette’s arms were loaded with a big stack of books with a coffee balanced on top. He stopped so fast the coffee fell and popped on the sidewalk. I yipped loudly and ran under the park bench. Not too far – just enough that I could stare up at Sam Winchester with my adorable puppy eyes.

Just like he had done. Way back when I killed his brother a bunch of times. Ooh boy. Good times.

“It’s okay!” Sam said softly, dropping his armload of books onto the bench. He dropped to his knees and plucked me off the ground in one motion. I didn’t have to fake pawing the air in surprise. Then…he cuddled me.

Before that moment, I had no idea how weak my willpower was. He tucked me up under his chin and stroked my back with such love, whispering to me nicely.

“It’s okay, I’ve got you. Shh,” he hushed me and rocked me. I lay there limp and beyond happy. Why hadn’t I done this before? It wasn’t like they’d figure out it was me!

I whimpered and snuggled into him. Ah my freakin’ stars. He smelled amazing. SO amazing. Like old book and coffee and what I could only describe as wonderful. I would have stayed there forever if he hadn’t lifted me up in front of him to look me in the eye. He smiled, his entire face glowing with the emotion. I mean, hey, I was a cute puppy. What’s not to like?

“Look at you. Where’s your owner, huh boy?”

Without warning, he kissed my head and hugged me in his big, manly, strong arms again. Drool. Still keeping me against his barrel chest — again, drool — he picked up his books again.

“Dean!” He shouted. I flinched. NO! Not Dean! God dammit! I just wanted five minutes alone with Sam and his love of dogs!

“What?” I heard a gruff voice shout back. Then Dean groaned. “No, Sammy. We can’t keep it!”

“He doesn’t have a collar or anything,” Sam said, dumping the books into the car. He went to open the door and Dean hissed.

“No! We’re not taking it with us.”

Sam ignored him and got into the car, cudding me on his lap. It was my time to shine! When he leaned down to snuggle me, I lapped his cheek with my wet puppy tongue. He laughed. He actually laughed! The sound was so warm, I felt my tail wagging. Stupid thing! I was trying to be pathetic, not happy!

Dean got in the car, growling and grumbling. He jabbed a finger in my direction.

“If that thing pisses in here, it’s going out the window.”

“God, eat something. It’s just a puppy. You’re being an asshole.”

Pft. He was. I finally looked up at Dean. He was as smokin’ as ever.

All thoughts left my mind when Sam smooched my head again. My tail wagged again, too, like the traitor it was.

 

- - -

 

Riding around on Sam’s lap had been fun and all, but I had to go. As soon as the Impala parked, I’d hop out and be on my merry way. As the lovely black car purred to a stop outside of the Men of Letters bunker, I readied myself. No more cuddles. No more Sam kisses. Oh yeah, and I had to haul ass or Sasquatch would catch me. As soon as I was out of sight, I could fly. Just not as a puppy. They’d be suspicious.

Then we drove down, past the bunker. I froze, sticking my nose up to peek out of the window. What the hell? They were going into the garage? Crap! I whined and squirmed, but the only response I got was a pat on the head.

As the Winchesters got out into the garage, I kicked off Sam with all my might. The garage door was closing. I could make it!

“Hey!” Sam gasped, chasing after me. I dodged between car tires, staying where he couldn’t just grab me.

I had to loop back once to confuse him, then I was home free. All four of my little paws were pounding the ground, the garage door no more than a foot off the cement.

A hand caught me, hoisting me up into the air. I wiggled as hard as I could but Dean hugged me against him. He rubbed my head as I continued to fight for freedom.

“Where do you think you’re going, buddy?” The older brother said, a hint of irritation still in his voice. He had caught me for Sam. I hadn’t considered that. Why hadn’t I considered that? I thrashed, trying my best to scratch him through his stupid leather coat. I kicked myself that I didn’t need to pee right now.

Sam scooped me out of Dean’s arms, snuggling me and comforting me. I howled as the door clunked shut.

WELL SHIT!

Chapter Text

I howled. Oh, how I howled. I was starting to go hoarse. Sam didn’t spook easily, though. I thought that I was doing a great impression of being on my deathbed, but he was just scrubbing my back with his sinfully scented shampoo. Rubbing my ears and my belly, too. Sigh. It was difficult to focus!


So I cried harder. I was getting so into it that I was starting to feel genuinely upset. It wasn’t the end of the world (not today anyway) if I had to spend time there. I just had better things to do. If Castiel showed up, I was really gonna get an earful. He’d be able to tell it was me.


Sam dumped gentle handfuls of water over my back, chuckling at all my fussing.


“It’s almost over.” After rinsing me for an ungodly long time, he lifted me out of the bathtub and wrapped me in a warm fluffy towel. I couldn’t howl anymore. I couldn’t even try. I was SO comfy. He fluffed my fur and I caught myself yawning. Sam bent down and kissed my nose. “Good boy.”


“Hey,” Dean said behind us. Sam hugged me in my towel and stood up to face his brother. Dean pointed to me. “There’s a shelter across town.”


“Is it no-kill?”


“What?”


“Is it a no-kill shelter?” Sam asked, rocking me gently. I yawned widely. Gah. Why was I sleepy? I didn’t sleep when I was in my normal form.


“I don’t know—”


“Nope. I’m not taking him there.”


“Sam! It’s a shelter! I’m sure they won’t kill a puppy! Come on.”


Sam brushed past Dean, shaking his head. I had to blink to focus.


“You’d be surprised.”


Shelter? A shelter sounded good to me. I could fly away from there! I yawned again. Come on. No napping. I needed to convince Sam that shelter was a good idea!


We moved at a surprising speed into the kitchen and then I was being sat on the floor, the towel pooling around me. I crawled my way out of it, flinching at how cold the floor was on my tiny paws. Yikes! I looked around.


Sam was digging in the fridge, clunking bottles around. I turned around and found Dean lurking in the doorway. He was frowning at his brother’s back, eyes flicking my direction.


Steal me, I dare you, I thought, looking him right in the eye as I let loose on the floor.


“HEY!” Dean snarled, striding across the room. He bopped me with surprising softness on my rump, scolding me. “Bad dog!”


“Don’t scare him!” I heard Sam shout.


“He just pissed all over the floor!” Dean protested, gesturing to me. Sam looked down at me with a frown, shaking his head.


“He’s a puppy. He doesn’t have a collar or anything — he’s probably been abandoned!” The taller Winchester knelt down and lay the towel over my mess.


Well, that didn’t work. Now Dean just looked like he felt bad for me. Ugh. Sympathy.


“Dean? Sam?”


Castiel’s sexy gravelly voice made my stomach flop. He would be able to see me! He’d know it was me! My paws barely gripped the floor as I bolted from the room at full Corgi puppy speed.


I hid in the first room that had an open door. Judging by the scent of leather and self-hatred, it had to be Dean’s room. I tucked myself under his bed and stayed there.


I heard Sam’s voice as he passed by the room calling for me.


“Here boy! Puppy? Come on puppy, it’s just me!”


I resisted. Now, if he had been calling me by my real name, I would have been out there in a jiffy. I stayed on that thought, imagining Sam saying my name. I couldn’t even remember hearing him call me Gabriel to my face. Did he still think about me at all?


“A puppy?” I heard Castiel ask, his footsteps disappearing after Sam’s.


I don’t know why I was so freaked out about running into my little bro. He’d be thrilled that I was okay. Well, maybe. We hadn’t ended things on the best of terms. Then Heaven blew up, and then the whole Darkness thing... Yeah. I probably should have come out of hiding sooner.


I don’t know how long I hid there. Between the soft Queen T-shirt I was curled up on and the dim lighting in the room, it was hard to stay awake. I must have dozed off at some point, because when I woke up — I wasn’t under the bed anymore.

Chapter Text


I went from a dream about chasing butterflies to snorting awake as I opened my eyes. Where the hell had the floor gone? Who smelled like beer? An arm held me tightly, along with a wad of blankets. A big hand flopped onto my head, petting between my ears clumsily. I wiggled and shifted to see who my captor was. Dean looked back at me sleepily, half his face still smashed into his pillow. He patted me again.


“Good boy.”


Really? I cocked my head, trying to make my dog face frown. This was the same guy that wanted to toss me out to the nearest shelter and now it was cuddling, pats on the head and good boy? Ha!


I put my Corgi body in reverse and ducked under the covers, turning literal tail and crawling my way to the bottom of the bed. If I was gonna lay around with a half naked man in bed, it was gonna be with Sam. I could hear Dean chuckling as he rolled the covers back and scooped me up into his arms.


Dammit! I thought bitterly. He rolled me onto my back and laid me across his arm, rubbing my belly. Gah! As much as I wanted to protest…it felt really nice. I let my little paws go limb. Fine. He won that one.


“Alright, alright. Back to Sam,” the older Winchester sighed, swinging his legs out of bed. He carried me along through the chilly bunker halls slowly, swaying slightly as he walked. I kind of got the impression he was tipsy or something.


The lights in the bunker were all dimmed down. It had to be late. Sam must have given up on me. The thought made me a tiny bit sad.


Dean paused outside a big door with ‘21’ on it and knocked. It must have been Sam’s room. Where was Castiel, though? He should've gotten here by now.


The door pulled back and Sam looked out at us through tired eyes. His hair was all fluffed up and he was wearing the same clothes he had had on earlier. His shirt was really wrinkled. The moment that he spotted me, he broke into a sad smile, holding out his arms.


“You found him!”


“Yeah, he was under my bed.” Dean rolled me over and handed me off to Sam, giving my back a final pat.


The second Sam had me in his arms, he was stroking my ears and planting a loud kiss on my head. I couldn’t help it. I was grinning like an idiot, tail wagging away. Was this how a baby felt? Being kissed and cuddled all the damn time? Lucky little bastards…


“Thanks Dean,” Sam said sincerely, grabbing Dean’s shoulder. Dean waved a hand, using the other to cover a yawn before he went on his way.


“Yeah, no problem. Get some sleep, Sammy.”


“Goodnight!” Sam carefully closed the door. Then he hoisted me up WAY over his head, grinning. The aerial view of his room would have been terrifying if I had been a real puppy. “Why’d you run off, puppy? Were you scared of Cas? He’s a nice guy. He really likes animals! Though, he did interrogate a cat once…”


He flopped down on his back on the bed, sitting me on his chest. I sat there like a lump, staring at him. He smelled amazing. He looked amazing.


Alright, alright, I thought. I had Sam all to myself. Time to pull out all the puppy cliches!


I crawled up and licked his face, which won me a warm chuckle. Sam squirmed and turned his face away, smiling. He rubbed my back and hugged me to keep me from reaching his face again. Hell yeah. I was puppy AF!


“Okay, okay! You haven’t eaten anything since you got here. I get it. How about some dinner, boy?”


Food? Bleh!


Sam cradled me against his chest again, ducking back across his room. He poked his head back out into the hall, glancing both ways before he made his way quickly back to the main room. Why was he being quiet? Dean was probably out like a log. We arrived in the kitchen and he yanked the fridge open.


“Alright. Let’s see here… Leftover pad see ew, fries, fried chicken.” He clunked some stuff around, but I wasn’t paying attention.


Something had moved in the main room. I perked my little ears and listened. No footsteps. Just…soft clicking. Like claws. I barked.


“SHH! Shh!” Sam whispered, hugging me and ruffling my ears. “Dean’s trying to sleep. Come on.”


Whatever it was skittered away from the kitchen door. I couldn’t really make out anything other than the sound of far off scratching. Hell no. Nope! I kicked my little legs and yipped again. I almost got free, but Sam shifted his hold on me, gently grabbing my nose.


“Stop! Jeez! Hotdogs it is!” He grabbed a pack of cheap hot dogs (barf) from the fridge and hurried back the way we had come. I scanned the main room as we passed through it. Nothing seemed out of place at first glance, then I noticed a tipped over cup of coffee. It wasn’t much to go on. Winchesters didn’t usually waste coffee, though.


With Sam’s long legs, we were back in his room and on the bed in no time.


I couldn’t decide if I should be concerned about the thingy in the main room or not. I mean, they dealt with supernatural things all the time. What was one more? I was here to be a puppy until I made my escape. That’s it. No chasing rats or whatever.


A stinky, cold hot dog was stuck in my face suddenly. I leaned back. Ugh, it smelled terrible!


“Come on,” Sam cooed, waggling the gross meat stick at me. “You must be hungry.”


If I was a real puppy, yes, I thought in reply. Maybe I could just bite it and roll it off the bed. Would that be weird for a dog? Yeah. Yeah, that’d be weird. Bracing myself for the taste of molecules, I took a bite.


Oh. My. God. Hopefully, Sam didn’t hear me retch too loudly. I chewed as fast as I could, woofing down the other half that he held before he could shove it at me again. Then I focused every scrap of my willpower to not think about the taste in my mouth. I looked up at him, hoping to transmit my thoughts over to him.


NO MORE PLEASE, SAM. As he reached his hand into the packet again, I dove over and snuggled up against him. I flopped onto my back and wallowed there, kicking my tiny legs. Please be distracted by my cuteness, I prayed.


Sam sat the hot dogs on the table by his bed and rolled over above me, leaning on his elbows over me and rubbing my belly.


Ahh. That was the good shit. I let my tongue loll out. When I looked up again, Sam was looking down at me, smiling happily. The way he was looking at me made my heart flutter. I wish he had looked at me like that when I was real me. Even once.


“Stay,” he said, rubbing his face against my tummy. Then he got up, stripping his shirt off over his head.


I rolled over. Ooh la la. Dinner AND a show! Sam changed over to a soft looking white tee and a pair of dark gray plaid pajama pants. I was a little disappointed that he kept his boxers on, but eh.


Hopefully he didn’t think all my slobbering meant I was hungry again. I couldn’t eat another hot dog. I would puke myself to death.


“Bedtime,” the sexy brunette said, crawling into bed and lifting me up carefully up over the covers. I snuggled up to his side as he lay down. He hugged an arm over me, smiling. “Good boy. Sleep tight.”


I sighed. Now this was heaven.

Chapter Text

Sam must have been dreaming about a wedding. He was lingering away from the crowd under a big cherry tree, a glass of dark alcohol in his hand. The tree was in full bloom, sprinkling little white petals onto the ground with every breeze.

The guy was decked out in a nice black suit. It wasn’t like the cheap ones he wore while be and his bro played FBI — it was a real suit. Classy, silky black. Not a bit of white on him.

I walked up slowly and placed my hand on his shoulder, taking note of the suit’s softness in comparison to Sam’s muscles. He turned to look back at me. For a moment, he didn’t recognize me — then he smiled.

“Hey,” he said, sipping his drink.

“Hey.” I grinned, gesturing to his attire. “You look smokin’ hot, man.”

Sam just chuckled, shaking his head. He gazed back off into the crowd of people in black suits and frowned thoughtfully.

“I can’t remember your name.”

I moved closer, leaning against the tree beside him. Sam looked down at me, frowning harder.

“Why can’t I remember your name?” He asked, hazel eyes growing sad. I really hated it when he did that.

“It’ll come to you. Don’t sweat it. Who’s getting married?” I gestured to the crowd.

Sam glanced that way, eyebrows pinching together sadly.

“…No one. It’s a funeral.”

I looked at the crowd and sure enough, even the woman were wearing black. Boy did I feel stupid.

“Ah, yeah. Right. Anybody I know?” I asked, nudging Sam’s arm when he seemed to be lost in thought. He turned to me again.

“Who are you? Please,” he murmured, fidgeting with the glass in his hands. God, he looked amazing. The wind kept causing strands of his hair to brush his cheek. As much as I wanted to tuck them behind his ear, I took the glass from him and sipped it instead.

Ah, whiskey.

“Oh come on. You know me.”

“I do but…I don’t.” Sam looked truly lost, shaking his head.

Seriously? I liked to think I had a pretty recognizable face!

“Gabriel!” I said, placing my hands on my chest. “Remember? Angel? Trickster? Died saving your ass?”

The tall man blinked, expression suddenly very sad.

“Gabriel?” He stepped up to me, wrapping me in a big ol’ hug. I hugged him right back shamelessly, hoping that he would remember this once he woke up.

- - -

Lazing around reading with Sam was just perfect. We were huddled under the covers in bed together, me on his lap and his hand on my head. A big dusty book was braced up on his legs, but he only gave it half of his attention. He was too busy petting me.

Ahh. I rolled over against him, sighing into his soft T-shirt. Why did I ever want to leave? This was SO awesome. Yeah, it got a little boring when Sam wasn’t focusing on me, but that was happening less and less.

“Why are you so cute? Huh?” Sam asked me suddenly, lifting me up and tucking me under his chin. He petted my back and held me soooooo close. I put my paws on his shoulder and lay my head there.

Magic, I thought in reply, burying my face in Sam’s hair. It reminded me of our hug in his dream last night. Strong and sure. I sighed happily. Maybe I’d stay for just a FEW more days. Yeah. Just like…forever.

“Sam?”

I turned to look at the door at the same time Sam did. It was Dean, dressed up in jeans and a dark flannel jacket.

“Hey,” Sam said, frowning at him. “Where are you going?”

“Cas might have a case. I’m gonna go give him a hand.”

“Wait. I can go too!” Sam flung back the covers, dumping me on top of the bed.

Dean shook his head, dismissing the idea with a wave of his hand.

“We got this. Don’t worry about it. Just keep that thing from pissing on anything else.”

That THING is gonna go take a little trip to your room, buddy, I thought defiantly.

“Okay. If you’re sure,” Sam said, clearly put out that his brother didn’t want him tagging along. With that, Dean went on his way. Sam went over to stand in the doorway for a moment, crossing his arms.

He sighed and looked at me.

What? I thought, yipping at him. It wasn’t my fault his brother didn’t want him under foot.

“You need a name,” Sam told me, coming back over and rubbing my ears with a hand. He perched on the bedside and pursed his lips in thought. “You’re golden yellow color, you’re really small, you don’t seem to like Dean…” He massaged one of my ears as he thought it over.

True, true and TRUE. Well, maybe. I bounded across the covers and scratched my way up onto his lap. He picked me up and nuzzled my cheek playfully.

“What do you think about…Toffee?”

Pft. I freakin’ LOVE toffee. Hell yeah! I barked for emphasis.

Sam picked me up and made his way out into the hall, petting my side.

“How about Blaine? You could be a Blaine.”

I whined sadly. Blaine? BARF. If you name me Blaine — I’m outta here!

“What about Gabriel? He didn’t like Dean.” He lifted me up to look at him eye to eye.

I gawked at him, my heart thudding in my tiny chest. Had I been caught? Sam’s fond smile told me that I hadn’t been, but I couldn’t stop myself from staring at him with wide eyes. He had said my name. Why did that make me SO happy? Caught or not, he said my name!

Sam’s eyebrows perked.

“Gabriel?”

Well, shit, dude. Let’s do this, I thought, barking and wagging my fluffy tail. The brunette’s face brightened with a dimpled smile and then he was cuddling me again, stroking my back.

“Good boy, Gabriel!”

The way he said my name was like music to my ears. I just wanted him to say it over and over again.

I buried my head under his chin. I didn’t want him to see me cry. Puppies weren't supposed cry.

Chapter Text

No. I squirmed. No, no, no! I kicked my tiny legs.

“It’s okay, it’s okay!” Sam told me, fighting to keep me still while he clicked the little brown collar into place. As soon as it was closed, he rubbed my head affectionately. “Good boy.”

Good boy my ass! I thought, trying to get a paw through the collar, I will not be a slave!

Sam kissed my head, making loud kissy noises. It was so stupid cute, I couldn’t keep up the wriggling.

Yeah. Yeah, I was being overly dramatic.

The store clerk looked like she was going to smile herself to death over there. I was a damn cute puppy. Sam packing me around made me look that much cuter.

The pet store was boring. Sam had picked out an insane shopping basket of toys. The only part of the haul that I was excited about was the outfits.

Sam Winchester, hunter and killer of all things not-human, had hand picked out six bandannas, a pile of sweaters, and even a pair of sunglasses for me. Okay, I might have sneaked the sunglasses into the basket. It was all the same. He hadn’t put them back when the clerk was ringing us up.

“He’s so cute. What’s his name?” the woman behind the counter said, neatly packing all the stuff we got into a bag.

“Gabriel,” Sam said fondly. I looked up at him, feeling a swell of happiness in my chest.

Yep. That was me. Gabriel the Corgi. Oh boy.

“Hi Gabe!” The woman said sweetly, patting me head. Then she was smiling up at Sam like that. “I have a Yorkie. Her name’s Hermione.”

“Like from Harry Potter?”

Hold up. Were they FLIRTING? Not on my watch! I looked up at Sam. He was smiling back! The nerve!

“Yeah! There’s a great dog park around the block. I walk her there all the time. I’ll bet little Gabe would love it.” She leaned to pet me again, so I bared my teeth and growled.

Sam slapped a hand over my nose.

“Hey! None of that. Sorry!” He told the woman quickly, collecting the bag of goodies off the counter. “It’s past his nap time.”

“No problem! I’ll see you around!” She called after us as we stepped back outside.

No you won’t, I thought. Sam liked lazing around and reading with me WAY better than some stupid dog park.


- - -


Of course, now that I'd decided that I DIDN’T want to escape, I was let loose in the bunker. Pft. Whatever.

I trotted down the hall back to Sam’s room. He was still in the kitchen making coffee, so I figured I could go snoop around in his room. Maybe I could find some horribly embarrassing secret to tease him with later.

Snapping back to my human form, I stretched my arms over my head. Ah man! Puppy legs were so short!

Scanning the room over from my new vantage point, I decided to start with the desk. His laptop was password protected — thanks to Dean, no doubt — so I skipped that and yanked open a drawer.

Letters, notes…pictures of Dean and Sam as kids. Aw. I picked one up and smirked. Looked how tiny Sam was! I dropped that back into the drawer and closed it. I scratched my head. Where would a giant nerdy Winchester hide his journal?

Ignoring my first instinct to check in books, I felt along the top of his TV. Nothing. I laid down on my stomach and looked under the bed. A box of magazines, books on law…wait. Magazines?

I scooted further under the bed and grabbed the box, dragging it out with me. I totally had my hopes up for skin mags. I was sorely disappointed. They were all magazines on things like unsolved mysteries, cooking healthy crap, and dogs. I dropped the stack back into the box. Jeez Sam. Try to be less of a geek.

Getting up and dusting my knees, I sighed. Sam was probably in there frying up more of those hellish hotdogs for me. Gross. Actual dog food was probably SO much worse.

I took one last look around the room. Seriously? Nothing to use as blackmail? If only I knew the password to his laptop. I’d have to pay attention the next time that he typed it in.


The sound of shattering glass far off in the bunker caught my attention. Swapping back into puppy form, I skidded to a stop just outside Sam’s room and glanced down the hallway.

Huh. If that was the coffee carafe, there might be tears. I figured I'd better check it out. Puppies were perfect for getting people through traumatic events.

I rocketed back the way I came, paws slipping on the stone floor. Stupid…smooth…flooring!

I made it back onto the research room’s carpet and things were much smoother. Right. Focus. Gotta look cute. I would wait by the door until Sam called me. I could smell the coffee already.

Toddling up to the door, I parked my rump there and looked inside.

Sam wasn’t there. Just a smashed carafe of coffee. The hair on my back prickled as I hurried over to look at the mess. Sam was probably just getting the broom or something. I told myself that again, but I still didn’t believe it.

There was that sound again – the soft clicking of claws. I sped back out of the kitchen, looking back and forth across the research room. I caught a glimpse of something darting away into the hallway.

Then I saw him.

Sam was laying flat on his back. A machete lay next to one of his hands and the broom by the other. He was very still and pale.

Chapter Text

“Sam!” I shouted, instantly changing back into my human form. I flew over to him and dropped to my knees by his side.

He was out cold, the color draining from his face. I put a hand over his heart. I could feel him fading.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I placed my other hand on his forehead and took a breath to steady myself. I hadn’t healed anyone in a really long time. The white light was bright enough that I could see it through my eyelids.

I felt Sam suck in a breath, coughing. Opening my eyes, I was relieved to see him breathing again. Whatever had bitten him, it was dead meat!

The sound of the bunker door clunking shut rang like an alarm at the same time Sam’s eyelids fluttered.

I scrambled back, snapping back into the tiny form of the corgi puppy. That was close!

“Sam?” Dean called in a bored tone. He and Castiel were making their way down the steps from the entryway calmly. They hadn’t noticed Sam was on the floor yet.

Sam hadn’t gotten up yet. Did I manage to heal him? Was he still dying?

I ran over and started licking his face, whining. An arm wrapped around me and Sam opened his eyes at last. He blinked and put a hand to his head.

“Dean?” He mumbled groggily. Sitting up and holding me against his chest, he looked over at his brother.

Dean dropped his duffel bag and hurried over to us, alarmed. He looked from the machete to Sam.

“What the hell happened? Is that blood?” He grabbed Sam’s shoulder and turned him to check a bloody smear that was on his neck.

I licked Sam’s hand. That creature had aimed for his jugular vein. That bastard! If I found him, he was gonna be roadkill!

“I don’t know,” I heard Sam say. He still sounded out of it. Dean helped us up, taking me away from Sam and shoving me at…

NO! I barked and wiggled as Castiel took me into his arms. God freaking dammit!

Cas stroked my back, paying more attention to Sam than me. As Dean ducked under his brother’s arm to help him along, Castiel took Sam’s other arm.

They hauled Sam back to his room and lay him on his bed. Cas dropped me on the bed next to him, apparently still unaware that it was me. I wasted no time in crawling up on top of Sam’s chest and licking his face while Dean wiped the blood off.

- - -

They lingered for awhile, trying to get Sam to tell them what happened. He couldn’t remember anything.

Dean left to make food. I wanted to tell Cas not to leave him alone, but how the hell was I supposed to do that?

I didn’t want to leave Sam alone, though, so there I sat on his chest like a tiny guard dog. That thing was still running around in the bunker and no one knew about it but me.

I lifted my head to check on Sam. He was sleeping again. He had been drifting in and out of sleep since the other two found us. It was kinda freaking me out.

How sad would Sam be if Dean died? Judging by the whole Tuesday thing? Pretty darn sad. I stood up, stretching my small legs before bravely hopping off the edge of the bed.

Cas watched me from his seat at Sam’s desk, frowning.

“Puppy?” He called after me.

I padded my way quickly down the hallway. Hopefully Cas stayed put and kept an eye on Sam for me.

I found Dean in the main room. He was eating a sandwich and typing on a laptop one-handed.

Eh. He could stay there. Being as quiet as I could, I sneaked past him on my belly.

I reached the room with that big glowy map table and looked around. There were a couple doors to choose from.

I sniffed the floor, trying my best to use my dog senses to pick up a trail. Everything smelled like dirt to me. Maybe the monster was made out of dirt—

“Hey.”

Dean’s gruff voice made me flinch. I spun around to look at him.

The older Winchester knelt down and patted his knee.

“Come here boy.”

Pft. My name’s Gabriel, dumbass, I thought. Still, I toddled over to him. He patted my head gently.

“What’re you sniffing around for?”

The freaky monster that tried to rip your bro’s throat out, I thought.

Dean picked me up, tucking me under one of his nicely toned arms. He looked around through tired eyes, frowning at all the doors, then down at me.

“…You smell something, don’t you?” He ruffled my ears and then we headed off through one of the doors. Dean walked with surprising softness, scanning the hallway as we went. He stopped outside a really thick looking metal door.

Sitting me down, he opened it. There were steps inside. They disappeared into a very dark room. Dean started down them, but I hesitated.

This was a bad idea! What if that thing was down there and it bit him?

I whined and barked, bouncing around on the top steps. The freckled man looked back at me with a scowl.

“Shh. Quiet down.”

There it was! The click of claws on the floor! It was so soft, I could barely hear it over the thudding in my chest.

I bounded down the steps, tripping and rolling past Dean’s feet at the bottom. He tried to grab me, but I slipped out of his hands.

“HEY!” He shouted after me. “Bad dog!”

Chapter Text

I could hear it scampering around in the dark. It must have known we were on its ass.

I heard Dean whistle for me, but I stayed on task. I wriggled my way through the bottom row of boxes on one of the many shelves that were in the basement. As I belly-flopped out on the other side, I saw it.

It looked like a shriveled corpse of a dog, only with large canines and a long blood covered tongue that dragged along the floor behind it. I stared.

What the hell was that?

Its wrinkled lips peeled back and it snarled loudly and jumped for me.

My ears rang with the sound of two bullets firing in quick succession. Dean had his pistol out, trying to keep his gun trained on the creature as it screeched and scrabbled up the shelf above my head.

It was getting away!

I hopped with all my might, clamping my jaws down on its disgusting tongue and yanking it back to the ground. It landed with a thud and Dean blasted it to kingdom come.

I gagged, wiping my tongue on the floor. UGH!

Dean knelt and picked me up, carefully plucking the remains of the monster off the floor too.

“Damn,” he mumbled.

- - -

“It’s a vampire of some kind!” Dean grumbled, taking his frustrations out on the keyboard of his laptop. I lay in his lap where he had sat me.

Cas had come out to check on us after the gun shots and stayed to help research the dead thing. He paged through the massive red leather tome in front of him, sighing.

“There are vampires all over the world, Dean.”

“Yeah, yeah.” The brunette sat a hand on my head, scratching my ears.

I had already figured out what it was. It was Layek. Thank god we had found the little shit in animal form. Chasing a head and entrails around the bunker would just be gross.

I rolled over and let Dean pet my belly.

He was good at petting, but not as good as Sam.

“Could you take Fido here back to Sam? I gotta burn this thing,” Dean said suddenly, picking me up like a sack of potatoes and offering me to Castiel.

Cas nodded in his usual awkward way and took me. We made it all the way to Sam’s room before I realized that something was going on. He walked right past the room, ducking into a door at the far end of the hallway.

The room inside was full of junk. Books, boxes, a couple of dusty old chairs — even a guitar. Castiel sat me down and took a small step back, face caught in a frown.

“Gabriel. I thought you were dead.”

The gig was up. I considered staying a dog, but gave in and swapped to my human form. I held out my arms.

“Bro!”

Without a second of hesitation, Cas stepped up and caught me in a hug. I patted his back, unable to keep from laughing. After an uncomfortably long minute, he sat back and stared at me.

“What are you doing here? Where have you been? The angels fell from Heaven…”

“Yeah, I’m caught up,” I told him before he could fly off on a rant. I crossed my arms. “To answer one of your questions, I’m here to visit. Not you, though — Sam.”

“Sam?” My little bro asked in disbelief. His blue eyes narrowed and he tilted his head. “You aren’t here to hurt him, are you? I cannot allow that.”

Don’t laugh, I told myself, grinning. Like poor toasted Cas could do anything to stop me. Still, his loyalty was cute.

“Nah.” I shook my head, pacing the tiny storage room. The guitar looked like an antique three times over.

“Then what do you want with him?”

I turned back around, leaning on the nearest stack of boxes and giving him my best ‘dunno’ shrug.

Castiel stepped closer, watching me intently.

“You saved Sam’s life.”

“Yeah, that was me!” I beamed, tapping my fingers on the boxes. “That Leyak almost got him. He was standing outside Death’s door, knocking.”

“Thank you,” Castiel said earnestly, expression softening. He stopped at my side, looking back at the door. After a moment he continued. “If you aren’t here to hurt Sam or Dean, I won’t say anything.”

“I’m not,” I told him. We looked at each other and I held up three fingers in a boy scout swear. “I promise.”

Cas gave me a look that said ‘really? You think I’m stupid?’

“Fine. You have three days.”

“Three days?” I sat up straight, crossing my arms over my chest. Three days wasn’t very long.

“Then I’m telling them who you are.” My little brother went to the door and turned to face me, waiting.

I sighed and followed him, shifting down to be the corgi puppy again. Three days would just have to do. I had other things to do anyway.

Castiel picked me up, hugging me gently before we started back to Sam’s room. Sam was dozing, curled up in a big tangled mess of blankets. He still looked a little pale. Cas sat me down, reaching a hand to shake Sam’s shoulder.

“Sam? Gabriel’s here to see you.”

Sam’s head lifted up and he looked confused before he spotted me. Then he smiled — ah god that smile. Those freaking dimples. I dove on him and licked his face, my tail wagging.

Sam snuggled me up in his giant arms, kissing my head.

“Dean said that he helped kill the monster that attacked you.”

“What?” Sam asked, holding me up to nuzzle his nose against mine. “Good boy, Gabriel!”

If puppies could blush, I would have. Three days with Sam wasn’t going to be enough. I had to find a way to stick around longer!

Chapter Text

Castiel circled the room like five times. I yawned as I watched him, laying my head on Sam’s neck.

The dark haired angel was looking for any sign of danger. He finally seemed content that there weren’t any other Layeks in the room, gave me a stiff thumbs up and stepped out the door. He was off to help Dean figure out how that ugly thing had gotten into the bunker in the first place.

Pft. What a worry wart, I thought, scooting on my tiny paws to lay on Sam’s neck again. He stirred, sighing softly.

I sat up, sticking my nose against his cheek. I had to wonder what he was dreaming about. I hope it’s me, I thought dreamily. I laid my head down and closed my eyes. I didn’t have to guess, actually. I could just hop in there and see!

- - -

I found myself standing in the backyard of a cute little beige house along a quiet street. The sky was brilliantly blue with wispy clouds moving so slowly that they looked like a painting. The air had the aroma of fresh coffee and flowers. It was all a little overwhelming after the dark gloomy bunker.

“Gabriel!”

I turned and saw Sam stepping out of the back door, a big bowl of salad in his hands. He didn’t look as happy to see me as last time.

“Hey Sam! How’s it hangin’?”

The hulking brunette sat the salad down on a cute white picnic table and came over to me, wrapping an arm around me. He squeezed me tight. I returned his embrace shamelessly.

I leaned back to look up at him, beaming.

“Man. You look great.”

Sam’s sad expression finally broke as he smiled back at me.

“You always say that,” he chuckled, one of his hands resting on the small of my back. I shivered.

“'Cause it’s true,” I purred, leaning against him. He let me go and took a step back, looking uncomfortable all of a sudden.

“Gabe…don’t.”

I shoved my hands into the pockets of my olive drab jacket and shrugged.

“Sorry. Wishful thinking, I guess.”

“Yeah,” Sam mumbled, poking a finger at the side of the salad bowl. It was then that I caught a glint on his left hand.

A wedding ring.

My heart sank. I swallowed, trying to prevent the lump from forming in my throat.

“You’re married,” I managed. I wanted to add ‘why the hell isn’t it to me?’ but I kept that to myself. This was Sam’s dream, not mine.

“Yes. Look,” the tall man moved closer again, reaching a hand out to rest on my arm. “I’m sorry. If I wasn’t married, didn’t have a dog…I don’t know. We just missed our chance, okay?”

He was looking down at me with those horrible sad puppy eyes. I nodded, letting the tears forming in my eyes roll freely down my cheeks.

“Y-you have a dog? That’s cool,” I choked, covering my face with a hand. What was wrong with me? Why was I still standing there?

“Gabriel, I’m so sorry—”

Before I could warp myself outta there — Sam woke up.

- - -

“Shh, it’s okay boy.” His gentle voice was accompanied by a hand on my head. Sam picked me up and kissed my snout. “It was just a dream.”

I whimpered, trying to curl myself into a ball while he held me up in the air. I guess I had been crying too loudly.

Gee, sorry for waking you up, Sammy — oh by the way, you were being a TOTAL A-HOLE. Get the hell away from me, I thought angrily.

But he kept holding me and petting me and being perfectly sweet. It was really starting to piss me off.

Last time, Sam hadn’t remembered his dream. He had no control over it. I knew he hadn’t made this dream that horrible on purpose, but I couldn’t stop crying.

I just wanted one freaking moment — just one — where Sam and I were happy. Not me as a dog, not Sam married to someone else. Just the two of us.

Sam left me in bed, crawling out and venturing out the door. I guessed to the bathroom, since it was still hella early.

I lay there seething. I wasn’t mad at him anymore. I was mad at myself. I had done it. I had tricked MYSELF.

Good job, Gabe, I thought sadly, pawing my way over the covers. I sat my rump down on the end of the bed, watching the door and listening as the toilet flushed.

This gig was up. Being around Sam was like hopping over a fire while covered in oil. I was gonna get my ass crispy fried.

Transferring back into my human form, I sat on the bed and waited. I couldn’t take it anymore. It hurt too much.

Chapter Text

A figure appeared in the door and I took a breath to steady myself before I looked up…and found that it was Cas. He frowned at me.

“…What are you doing?”

I stared at him, forcing the sadness off my face.

“I was, uh…I was gonna tell him.”

“Tell him what?”

“Nothing! Go away!” I said, waving my hand. Castiel didn’t move. He just crossed his arms over his chest.

“Don’t upset Sam. He wants to take you to the dog park tomorrow. Please. Give him that joy.”

I stared back at him. What? Dog park? Footsteps started in the hall again and I shifted quickly back to corgi form. The angel in the door made a little grunt of annoyance before he ducked back out the door. I heard the surprise in Sam’s voice.

“Cas? Something up?”

“No, Sam. Sleep well.”

“Uh, thanks…” Sam trailed off as he stepped back into his room, closing the door. He rubbed his neck and crawled back into bed. “Come here, Gabriel.” He patted the covers.

I looked his way. Did I really wanna keep this up just to go to a lousy old dog park with Sam?

…Yeah. Yeah I did. I bounded over the covers and crawled onto his lap once more. I heard Sam hum with a warm laugh. He kissed my head and cuddled me closer.

“I’ve got a surprise for you,” he said softly, rubbing my tummy with the tips of his fingers.

Too late. Cas spoiled it, I thought, closing my eyes and sighing.

- - -

Sure enough, the surprise was a trip to the dog park. Sam was still pale, but he was way too excited about taking me out on the town for his grumpy brother to stop him.

The dog park was pretty big. It sprawled over at least two blocks, with wide open green fields and towering fluffy trees. While Sam had kept a leash snapped onto my collar on the walk there, he took it off and tucked it into his pocket as we arrived. He stroked my ears, sitting me down on the grass.

“Here you go, Gabriel. Look at all this grass!” The brunette ran a hand over the grass, trying to catch my attention. I played along, sniffing after his hand, and even chewed some grass.

It was repulsive. I gagged.

“Sam?”

We both turned at the sound of his name.

“Oh, hey!” Sam stood up and I froze at who he was talking to. The pet shop lady!

She was holding an ugly little Yorkie dog with a bow on its head. That must be Hermione. She and Sam shook hands, all smiles. UGH.

“Rose. My name’s Rose. It’s nice to see you — and Gabriel!” She sat Hermione down and reached to pet me.

I dodged with a roll, barking loudly at them. Hermione looked freaked out, retreating behind her owner’s legs to bark back at me.

“Gabriel, come on. Be nice,” Sammy said dejectedly, leaning down to ruffled my ears. I growled at the other two. Sam sighed, turning to Rose. “I’m sorry. He hasn’t been socialized much.”

“Oh, it’s fine. I’m sure they’ll get along just fine. Hermione’s good at making friends.”

It’s not your stupid dog that I’m growling at! I barked up at her again, darting out of the way when Sam tried to pick me up.

“Gabriel!”

Pft, I thought bitterly, trotting off across the green lawn. Whatever.

What the hell did dogs do at parks? Pee on things? Chase their tails? I settled for the latter.

It was an impossible task with how my body was shaped and I got dizzy really fast. The occasional chuckle from Sam made it all worth it, though…

Until I noticed he wasn’t even LOOKING at me. He was sitting on bench with that woman. They were smiling and talking, and MY Sam was petting Hermione.

Dammit! I growled, heading that way. I stopped dead in my tracks. This was the perfect opportunity to leave. I could make my escape.

Barking to pretend that I saw something, I turned and rocketed off across the park. I didn’t have a destination in mind. Just somewhere out of Sam’s sight.

“Gabriel!” I heard Sam call as I kept running. I glanced back and saw him chasing after me. Oops!

I ran with all my might. Sam was tall and fast, though, so I had to find something to hide behind or he’d catch me.

Kicking up dirt on the turn, I sped around the public restrooms into the wooded area of the park. Digging my paws in, I slid to a stop there.

I could hear Sam calling for me. I was outside. If I was gonna to leave, now was a good time to do it. Sam would assume his puppy ran off and Cas wouldn’t tattle on me.

Swapping to human form, I didn’t get a chance to fly before Sam flew around the corner, sending us both crashing to the ground in the leaves.

Chapter Text

The two of us went crashing to the ground, a puff of leaves spitting up around us. I was shocked how heavy Sam was. It wasn’t like I couldn’t easily push him off with my angelic strength – I just didn’t want to.

The brunette sat up quickly, cheeks turning pink from embarrassment.

“I’m SO sorry — Gabriel?” Those shiny hazel eyes widened as he noticed who I was. His hair was hanging around his face, out of place from our fall.

Man oh man. He looked amazing. I smiled up at him.

“Sam! Never thought I’d run into you here — or that YOU’D run into me.”

He scrambled to his feet, stepping back away from me like I might bite him. I sat up and gave him my best ‘really? face, leaning on my hands in the leaves.

“You’re alive,” Sam marveled. He ran a hand through his hair, eyes still locked on me. “I thought Lucifer killed you!”

I shifted to sit cross legged and shrugged.

“Well, you know me.”

Sam laughed, but it was humorless. It seemed like he didn’t know what to make of me. I had my doubts that he had connected the lines between me and his little corgi puppy.

Cautiously, he stepped closer and offered me a hand up. I stared — then took it.

He pulled me lightly to my feet, dropping my hand and stepping away again. I tucked my hands into my pockets. It never occurred to me that he might be scared of me after everything that had happened. I pulled on a friendly smile.

“So, dog park.” I glanced around behind where we had come from.

“Uh, yeah. I was walking my dog Ga…Gabriel.” Sam frowned at the realization.

There it is! Finally!

“That was you,” he mumbled.”

I threw my hands up in a shrug.

“Ya caught me.”

“…Why? What did you want from us?” Sam asked, shaking his head. He stared at me again, eyebrows lowering. “Did you try to kill me?”

“What? No! Dude, ask Cas. I saved you life!” I really was tempted to add ‘again,’ but Sam knew darn well I had stopped Lucifer from killing him and Dean.

“Then why are you here?”

I bit the inside of my cheek, shrugging again just to delay having to reply.

Why had I visited? It started out as an attempt to get back at Sam for…something. Nothing really. Whatever I thought he or his brother had done to me just didn’t matter anymore.

I'd just wanted to see them. As soon as I settled safely back into real life, they were the first people that I wanted to see. My sorta friends.

“Gabriel?”

Sam’s voice pulled me out of my head and I looked up at him, still unsure what to tell him. He had moved a little closer and had a hand out hovering over my shoulder. Maybe I had been making a weird face or something.

“I don’t know,” I admitted. It was more to myself than to him, but his frown softened. He put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed it.

“It’s good to see you.”

I was afraid to blink. What if he just disappeared in that split second that my eyes were closed? He was looking back at me, so calm and sure of his words. I hadn’t imagined it!

Forcing a casual grin, I stepped closer and gave him a hug.

“Good to see you too, bro!”

Then his arms were around me, holding me so close. One came to rest between my shoulder blades and the other was around my waist. I couldn’t help a tiny sigh at the embrace. It felt like I was his puppy again.

Sam shifted his arms, leaning me back a bit — it caught me by surprise. I grabbed the sleeve of his jacket to keep my balance — praying he didn’t notice.

“Oh, sorry,” he mumbled, looking down at me.

Smooth, Gabe. Smooooooth.

“I just wanted to check in on you guys. I haven’t seen Cas in forever.” I patted his arm roughly as we stepped out of the hug, going to great effort to make the action seem friendly instead of desperate. I could have died happily in that hug…

“Cas would be thrilled to see you.”

“He was! I already said hi to him last night. He knew it was me.”

“Wow. You’d think he’d say something.” Sam chuckled, brushing his hair back away from his cheek.

I nodded, barely hearing his words. I wanted to brush his hair back. Hell, I wanted to shove my face into his hair like I had done as a dog. Maybe snuggle up to him and fall asleep under his chin. Ah, there was a nice thought.

He glanced down at me, still smiling.

“…You okay?”

I turned away, jamming my hands back into my pockets and laughing.

“Totally! Just thinking about Cas. He threatened me. Can you believe that? He made me promise I wasn’t there to hurt you guys.”

“That sounds like Cas,” Sam commented dryly.

I could feel his eyes on me while I paced, trying to get my head on straight. My mind just kept coming back to the conversation we had had in his dream. His words.

We just missed our chance.

Was that true?

I turned around and looked at him, carefully avoiding his eyes.

“Sam,” I began, kicking myself at the tightness of my throat. “I…” I swallowed, balling my fists in my pockets. “I didn’t just come here to see Cas.”

Chapter Text

The alarm on Sam’s face was discouraging. Of course he’d expect the worst of me. Or he just wasn’t used to seeing me when I wasn’t my usual happy self. I tried to ignore it and continue.

“The original idea was revenge. I admit it,” I told him. His expression was unchanged, so I went on. “Then you guys kidnapped me and locked me in your bunker…”

A woman ducking into the public restroom glanced our way, then went inside without comment.

Right. We were in public. I moved closer to Sam.

“Hey, can we go somewhere?”

The towering brunette shrugged a shoulder. Was I supposed to take that as a yes? I kept myself at arm’s reach as I placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Wait, where are we going?”

“Away from the bathrooms.” I gestured to them pointedly and got another shrug from Sam. Yeesh. I flew us to the roof of the building outside of their bunker. Wind instantly tousled Sam’s hair back out of place.

It was ugly and industrial, made out of concrete and brick. Not exactly a great place for a confession of feelings — but at least I wouldn’t have to feel bad for abandoning Sam somewhere after this whole thing went sideways.

Sam quickly glanced around, no doubt making sure we weren’t halfway across the world. The momentary confusion was cute. I cleared my throat to draw his attention back to the problem at hand…me.

“Sam, I like you. You and your brother are the biggest pains in the ass that I’ve ever met,” I grimaced inwardly as I realized that I was stalling. Technically, I had said that I liked him. I could just save face and leave…

“Likewise,” Sam agreed, trying to wrangle his hair from the ever present breeze. He gave up after a second and sighed. “Gabriel.”

“Hm?” I blinked up at him. The sound of my name on his lips was distracting. He didn’t say it like he had when I was a puppy. It wasn’t the name of his adorable pet — it was the name of a guy that had caused him and his brother trouble.

“I think I know where this is going.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, but I think…” The hazel eyed man shook his head. “I think you should stay away from Lucifer. Let Dean and I deal with him. I don’t think he’ll be fooled again.”

“LUCIFER,” I parroted. I held up a hand. “Whoa, Sammy. No. This isn’t about my brother!”

“Then what IS it about?”

“Well, if you’d stop talking about my dick brother, I’d tell you.”

“Okay.” Sam fell silent again, watching me expectantly.

I cleared my throat.

“So…you and I haven’t had a smooth friendship.” Sam’s eyebrows pinched lowered at my words, though he didn’t comment. “I tried to kill you, you tried to kill me, I saved you and your idiot brother — I say we’re even. Friends?” I asked, offering a hand out to him. He looked down at it, squinting with suspicion.

“What do you want?”

“Ouch,” I muttered, retrieving my hand. What I wanted was to butter Sam up so he didn’t automatically say NO to me on principle. I sighed heavily. Here goes. “I want you to go out with me.”

Sam’s mouth fell open as he stared at me.

I forced a smile, nervous at the usual flutter in my stomach. I was centuries old, dammit. Why was I nervous about this?

“Uh,” the taller man managed, shrinking down a bit. “Y-you want me to go out with you? On a date? Wow, that’s…not what I expected. At all.” Sam’s cheeks flushed as he thought it over, averting his eyes away from me.

I was trying so hard to be patient, let him mull it over. I tucked my hands into my pockets and clenched my teeth. Why was he taking so long?

“It’s just a date,” I offered after an uncomfortable silence.

“Look, you’re an angel. I’m a Winchester. We can’t just date.”

“Why not?” I sputtered.

“Because of a hundred reasons. Lucifer being the first one. If he knows that we’re dating, you won’t be safe ANYWHERE. He’ll make it his personal mission to find you and do God knows what. He’s got a fixation on me.”

The way he that said the last part made me shudder. Fixation was right. I stepped closer to him, shrugging a shoulder.

“Old Luci’s gonna come after me once he knows I’m alive anyway. Why not piss him off a bit more and go out with me?”

I was delighted when Sam chuckled and shook his head.

“I don’t want to go out with you piss off the devil…” He trailed off, frowning down at me. “I should have come back and helped you. I’m sorry that I left you alone with him—”

“Whoa, hey! No, none of that. We’re gonna go forward here. Not backwards.”

“Yeah,” Sam nodded.

I paused, looking back up at him.

“…Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Sam smiled that warm, dimpled smile. “Let’s go out.” He cringed and added “Just don’t tell Dean. Or Cas.”

I nodded. I had to play it cool. As ready as I was to throw myself into the deep end, Sam seemed like he might need some time.

“So, coffee then?”

“Coffee,” Sam agreed.

Before I could flap outta there, he stepped closer to me. I stared up at him, taking note of the smile still on his face. He leaned easily down, pressing his lips to my cheek. That fluttering was back in my stomach now!

We exchanged a look. Sam lingered over me.

I grabbed the collar of his jacket and pulled him down, wrapping my free arm around his neck to catch his lips against mine. An arm hooked around my back and I got lost in the moment.

The kiss was perfect. What struck me, though, was how Sam held me. So strong and close, like he wanted to keep me safe. Now there was a funny thought. Our kiss ended abruptly and I found myself caught in a staring contest with the same gorgeous hazel eyes that had lured me into my stupid puppy plan.

“Gabriel,” he mumbled softly. I smiled dreamily at the sound of my name.

“Sam,” I replied in equal softness. He leaned down close to my ear.

“I like you too.”