“I WILL NOT LET YOU HAVE HIM!”
Sam’s shout cracked through the desolate night, his breath billowing like smoke in the unseasonably cold air. Dean started for him and stopped short. “Sam,” Dean said in a tight voice, hands clenching into fists.
The crescent moon cut a white sliver in the inky sky studded with stars. The dilapidated garage and water tower stood as indistinct shadows at the corners of the crossroads. It had started here and it would end here, Dean had told Sam. Although Sam had destroyed the crossroads demon, he hadn’t been able to destroy the contract Dean had stupidly made. The contract remained in hell with its holder and time was up.
Sam refused to allow it.
He knew what he had to do; the answer had been obvious the moment the Impala’s engine had cut. He’d known all along that it would come to this, had been preparing for it in the back of his mind since he’d learned what was intended for him. He unzipped his coat, drew the hunting knife from the sheath strapped to his belt, and pressed the tip of the eight-inch curved blade to his chest.
There was no hesitation. Looking into Dean’s eyes, Sam stabbed the blade between his ribs and into his heart.
“Sam!” Dean yelled, bolting forward, his feet kicking up dust from the road. But it was over before Dean reached Sam’s side.
Sam’s eyelids shut as one life ended and the life he was supposed to have, the one that the yellow-eyed demon had planned for him, began. He opened his eyes when Dean grabbed his upper arms.
Horror paled Dean’s face and choked his voice. He stumbled back a step. “Sammy—”
The world around them was as clear as day. Sam could see they weren’t alone. Previously hidden by the night, he saw Ruby standing in the doorway of the abandoned garage. Other demons – some wearing human forms, some retaining their grotesque shapes – watched from the sidelines. Sounds were magnified, too. Sam could hear the whisper of the wind across the fields, the buzz of insect wings, and the scared, stuttered thud of Dean’s heart.
His own heartbeat was gone.
Sam pulled the hunting knife from his chest. In the reflection on the blade, Sam saw his eyeballs were shaded the same deep red as the blood dripping from the top of the knife. He tossed the knife aside, uncaring, and closed the distance between him and Dean. He could feel the petrified muscles beneath his palm as he wrapped his hand behind Dean’s neck. Resting his forehead against Dean’s, Sam inhaled the fear-tinged, masculine scent of his brother and his words rumbled like a fracture in the earth, “No one will take you from me.”
“Sam—” Dean’s agonized sob was cut off by Sam pressing a hard kiss to his lips. Dean collapsed against Sam almost immediately, rendered unconscious by Sam’s overwhelming power. Sam held Dean tightly for a moment, then lifted him and carried him to the Impala. Sam settled Dean in the passenger seat, leaving the car keys which Dean had given to him.
Sam shut the car door and laid his hand briefly on the window before taking a step back. The planes shifted around him and he was no longer at the crossroads. He stood in a cemetery in Wyoming in front of a massive door warded with glyphs. He was not alone. Demons gathered around him, thousands strong. Ruby stepped forward, emerging from the shadows of a weeping angel tombstone. She smiled at him, her eyeballs as black as coal. “What is your plan…Sire?”
“We are going to wipe out humanity.” Sam removed The Colt from his pocket and stepped up to the door. Beyond the warded gateway lay an infinite number of damned souls wanting to destroy him, ancient demons more powerful than he could ever imagine, and the contract for Dean’s soul.
No one was going to take Dean from him.
“But first, I will conquer hell.”