“I know it sounds crazy, but Jo, we’re not kidding you, I swear.” Dean’s voice crackles a little on her cell phone speaker.
“Dean, I don’t know if I even believe you about the vampire bit.” Jo answers, twirling a piece of her hair around her finger tightly.
“No really, we met a group of vampires that doesn’t drink human blood. Their leader is named Lenore. Gordon Walker almost killed her.” Dean insists, sounding like he’s wishing he was there so she could see he’s not lying.
“Let me guess, it was Sam’s idea to let them go without killing them.” Jo kind of sort of jokes.
“Yeah, it was Sam’s idea. But he was right about them.” Dean admits very reluctantly.
“There’s your first clue.” Jo can’t resist the jibe.
“I know I oughta listen to him more.” Dean confesses.
“Lenore, huh. I hope I meet her someday, she sounds interesting, for a monster.” Jo says, hoping he’ll stop with the confessing already.
“Well if you ever see her you tell her we said hi. And call your mom some time wouldja she’s always bugging me to hear from you.” Dean cajoles, treating her like the little sister she never really wanted to be.
That was the last conversation Jo had with Dean or Sam for a very long time, or her mother for that matter. She was out on her own, hunting the way she wanted to. Free and clear of obligations or expectations. It was a few months after her mom’s bar had been torched by demons that Jo found herself in what she thought might be another hunter’s roadhouse, this one in Fayetteville, Louisiana. The bartender keeps looking at her funny, he’s a tall, burly bearded man with kind blue eyes. But he went quiet when she tries to engage him in any sort of conversation.
The main door opens and a tall, curvy, woman walks in wearing a short red dress that doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination. A lot of the men (and women as well) swivel around in their chairs to watch her walk past them, she has a sort of allure that draws your eye. She seats herself at the bar on the stool right next to Jo and greets the bartender with a short hug over the bar. He places a very deep red tomato juice in front of her without her asking.
Jo figures there was no reason not to be friendly so she says, “You sure got every eye on you in the place. Give a girl a break.”
“They weren’t the ones I wanted looking at me.” The woman answers in a sultry almost hypnotic voice, leveling an intense gaze from her big hazel eyes at Jo.
“Who then?” Jo asks in a daze.
“You. If that’s alright. My name’s Lenore.” She tosses her long straight brown hair over one shoulder.
“Jo, I’m Jo.” Jo stammers out and then raises her right hand to shake. “Nice to meet you Lenore.”
Lenore enfolds Jo’s hand in both of hers, pulling it towards her slightly across the bar.
Jo can’t help it, she flinches because Lenore’s hands are so cold.
“What were you riding a motorcycle or something, your hands are freezing!” Jo exclaims, wresting her hand away from Lenore’s grasp.
Lenore shrugs, “No, they’re always like that. What’re you drinking? Can I buy you another?”
“Sure, just the house on tap.”
“You sound like you know bars.” Lenore says, trying to draw her out a little.
“Yeah, I grew up in one, my mom used to have one.” Jo finds herself sharing something about herself, reluctantly, but unable to really stop.
“Really, what was that like?” Lenore asks, obviously feigning interest.
“Oh, it was fine, I got to know a lot of people. But it got old working with my mom all the time.” Jo again shares something she really would rather not, but doesn’t heed any worry about it, because this woman is just so very compelling.
“What do you do for a living Jo?” Lenore asks, going in for what she really wants confirmed.
“I’m between jobs at the moment. But I’m always looking for my next case.”
“Case? Are you a private investigator or something?”
“Something like that.”
“So you are a hunter, I thought so.”
“Yeah, I am.” Jo admits, wondering how the hell this woman would know that. “That a problem?”
“Well you should know I’m a vampire as is the bartender and several of the guests in here tonight. This is my bar.”
Jo’s alarm bells finally are allowed to ring, and she’s rising to make a quick exit, “Wait, you said your name’s Lenore right?”
“Yes.” Lenore says patiently.
Jo sits back down on the barstool, her alarm levels going back to a more normal place, “I think a couple of my friends told me about you. Said you were practically a vegetarian, for a vampire anyways.”
“Sounds like Sam and Dean Winchester.” Lenore smiles widely, showing a mouthful of normal white teeth.
Jo smiles back and nods, thinking of her friends, “That would be them.”
“How long has it been since you’ve talked to them Jo?”
“Oh, probably too long, almost a year maybe. Way before mom’s bar burned down.”
“You know about the devil’s gate right? And the demons the Winchesters let out?”
“Yeah, my mom told me about it. She was there. We’d tried to help Sam when he was first figuring the whole thing out, but I guess it was too late.”
“I heard that Azazel had him killed.” Lenore says, thinking of the demons that had been in the bar a month ago talking about their boy king.
“No. He’s still kicking. Last I heard from my mom anyways.”
“Jo he was killed, that is how the gate was opened. His brother though, Dean, he sacrificed his soul, brought him back to life.”
Jo can’t answer for a while. “No.” she says quietly. “You’re kidding right?”
“Sorry, that’s what I heard.”
“Sounds like something Dean would do. Damn.” Jo says, in an absolutely devastated voice.
“You loved him didn’t you?” Lenore observes.
“Yeah, I did, probably still do.” Jo says, and she doesn’t know why. She’s never told a soul about the truth of her feelings for Dean. Hell she’s barely admitted it to herself.
“He’s a beautiful man, I can see why.”
“That’s not the only reason, but yeah, he really is. But he was already taken you know?” Jo says, trying to put the focus off her and her stupid feelings for someone that was never even within reach.
“Let me guess, Sam?”
“Uh huh. Took me a while to figure it out, but once I did, a whole lot about them finally made sense.” Jo laughs, sounding a little spiteful and jealous even to herself.
“I had an unfair advantage there, I could smell it on them.” Lenore offers, trying to take the sting out of Jo’s admission.
“Huh, advantage of being a vampire I suppose.”
“It can be. We take the good with the bad. We took Sam and showed him that we weren’t a threat. He had a hard time convincing Dean on his own.”
“Dean said something about Gordon Walker.” Jo says, hoping to hear more about this whole encounter, her mom had always said Gordon was loco.
“Yes, he was involved, he’s the one that showed Dean we weren’t joking about not drinking human blood. I could see it was very hard for him to even accept the idea.”
“Yeah, he’s a pretty black and white kinda guy. Sam’s a little more shades of grey you know?”
“I’ve never met any couple like them before. They really are unique.”
“That’s an understatement. Do you know if all that stuff about Sam being the chosen one is true?” Jo asks, figuring that a vampire might have a line on whether Sam really is destined for evil.
“As far as I’ve heard from a few of the demons that have passed through, yes. I think that’s part of what they’re about, why they’re together. Dean’s like the antidote, keeping Sam good.”
“What’s going to happen to them though? You said Dean sold his soul, isn’t that supposed to be like only ten years or something?” Jo asks, confused as to how this antidote thing is going to work with one of them dead and gone.
“I had heard he only got one.” Lenore says with a frown.
“Fuck. Poor Sam.” Jo can’t help the reaction, she truly can’t imagine a Sam without a Dean.
“Yeah. He’s going to need help when Dean’s year is up.” Lenore nods, agreeing with her, but still feeling the need to point out the obvious.
“I doubt he’d want me around, he was always kinda jealous of any attention Dean gave me.” Jo really can’t imagine it, she’s not sure she’s brave enough to even attempt being around Sam Winchester once Dean’s rotting in Hell.
“Well Dean won’t be there. Sam will need people he knows and I’d imagine there aren’t many.” Lenore insists, because she can see this all ending very badly, maybe for everyone if Sam doesn’t have someone to fall back on.
“You’ve got a point. I’ll tell my mom about all this, she keeps in better touch with them than I do, obviously. But god, selling his soul, what was Dean thinking?”
“He probably saw no other option.” Lenore says, as if it should be completely obvious.
Jo shakes her head, blond curls bouncing, thinking about the Winchester men and their crazy loyalty, “Yeah, his dad really messed him up, made it so his prime directive was ‘keep Sam safe’, my mom was always jawing about it. She wanted to take the two of them away from him when they were little, but he disappeared.”
“They could have been like your brothers then. That would have changed things.”
“Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Life’s all about opportunities and choices isn’t it.”
“That’s a good way to look at it. What about tonight?” Lenore practically purrs, sensing a change in Jo’s thoughts.
“What’s my opportunity?” Jo purrs back at her.
Lenore spreads her arms wide, “Me.”
Jo looks her fill of Lenore’s gorgeous body, up and down slowly, a dawning idea of how awesome this might actually be, to see what it would be like, “You won’t turn me or anything, I have your word?”
Lenore smiles this conspiratorial smile that shows she knows exactly what Jo’s thinking of trying, a walk on the wild vampire side, “Yes Jo, you have my word. Really not my thing.”
“Then sure, why not, I’ll try anything once.” Jo shrugs, trying to look nonchalant and cool, but feeling unmoored and unwound all at once, it almost is enough to send her into a panic.
“I thought so. Shall we then?” Lenore rises off the barstool with an eerie grace and holds out her hand to Jo.
Jo takes it, feels the cold through and through, but follows Lenore through to the back stairs, up to Lenore’s rooms, feeling like she’s partly in a dream, but all of her senses are alive and tingling with anticipation. That dreamlike feeling continues as she and Lenore kiss for what feels like a very long time. Her wariness that the vampire teeth will come out at any moment is slipping away and she’s just losing herself in the sensations of being held and kissed. It’s been a while since she’s let herself just go with someone else. Lenore shows her patiently and tenderly that the strength of a vampire is a good thing in a bed partner.
Jo wakes up the next morning wrapped in nothing but the sheet, the bed cold and empty beside her. And there’s only vague memories of what actually happened last night, she can feel the soreness in her body, so she knows it wasn’t an illusion that some pretty wild sex happened. Or at least more than she’s used to. It’s a strange thing knowing that the person who just screwed you is holed up somewhere in the dark right now. She gathers up her clothes and leaves as quickly and quietly as possible. Glad that she had the chance to meet Lenore, and get something more than Sam and Dean did from her. Not that she’ll ever tell them. Not that they’d care since they’re probably flipping out about Dean getting dragged to Hell in a year. She’s really not looking forward to the conversation with her mom about the Winchesters.