Well, here we are - it's Friday evening, it's hot as hell, I'm sitting in my home office under the fan and sweating like crazy, hoping for a storm to cool things off.
It's going to be a long, hot summer..... Sarah – thanks, my hardworking sis. No, no evil beasties this time – it’s purely some well-earned time off for our favourite hunters. Lol – I actually had the inspiration for Dean’s little mishap after cleaning out my fish pond earlier in the year. I absolutely reeked of stagnant water and sweat by the time I finished, and my mind just wondered what Dean would do if he suddenly found himself face first in a pond full of stagnant, slimy, muddy water….. my mind just goes off on funny little tangents like that. Thanks hon – glad the banter is spot-on. And of course, I just had to have a clown convention to rattle poor Sammy’s cage.
Ilaria – I’m so pleased that I could bring a smile to your face, hon. Ahh, Dean arguing over whose turn it was to do the washing – I like little moments like that. They’re fun to write. And could you just picture the look on his face when Amber was spraying the air freshener? Oh, me – I’m a bad girl sometimes….
Tori – thanks hon. I know what you mean about the angst. Sometimes you just need a break from it all. Which is how this story came about. There is a tiny bit of angst in it, but not much. And of course, I just had to have a shower scene – lol.
Loz – thanks for that. Hello, she’s changed her banners again.. Whoa – that Jared one…*takes another peek*…man, he’s grown up to be a really attractive man. Rather smouldering, isn’t he? And no, no hurt Winchesters! How about that? Whatever’s wrong with me – ROFL! Don’t worry, I knock both of them out cold in the next story….*snickers evilly*… Glad you liked the shower scene – it was rather a nice little treat wasn’t it?
Pauline – thanks hon, glad I could get a laugh out of you. The beginning of the story was rather fun to put together, especially with Dean trying to look dignified after being immersed in smelly, stagnant, slimy, muddy water. It was all the goat’s fault – lol. Well, I had to get him in the shower somehow, didn’t I? Nice goat – good goat – here’s a cookie…now go and do it again…
Trickie – thanks for that. Ahh yes, clowns. I’m still waiting for Fredo to kill me over that one. This story is for her, and she happens to be afraid of clowns too – lol. I’ve never seen IT – have read the book, though – seriously creepy. My man was into Stephen King big time. But I’ve never understood the appeal of clowns myself. Poor Sammy – we do like to torture that boy…
Oceane – lol, thanks for that hon. There’s nothing worse than stagnant water – and it’s a pain to wash off. I know – I’ve been there, done that. Not fallen in, but had to drain the pond, get the fish out and scrub it all down before reapplying the sealer. And I tell you, it’s a yucky job. Ah, yes, the clown convention. That was a bit naughty of me, wasn’t it? I couldn’t resist – I’m bad, I know…*hangs head to hide evil smirk*…
Lorrie – it’s here! I’ll always put a link to the new story in the final replies of the old. I’ve been well trained by my readers – lol! Ohh, yes, I know all about your R-rated stuff. Hot, hot, HOT!!!!!! One needs to sit in a very cold bath while reading – ROFL! You’ll protect Sammy, hon? Better get in there, then. He’s hiding in the bathroom at the moment, needing a cuddle.
Kyle – at least he smells better at the end of the chapter than he did at the beginning – LOL. I’m chuffed that you got a laugh out of the boys’ antics. More mayhem to come – the clowns aren’t gone yet, and Dean still has to have his little encounter with the lovely Lucie. As for a souvenir – awww, that would be mean. Funny, but mean…let’s see what happens.
Irisheyes – love your Christmas Cottage banners. I’ve got the movie booked at the local Blockbuster for Christmas Eve. Looking forward to seeing it. Ah, yes, Sammy and clowns – not a good mix. I think the boys are in for a rough night.
Okay - let's meet the lovely Lucie. Oh, and there's a warning - clowns....lots of clowns.....
Thanks to Fredo for the coffee. If I ever make it to France, I'll have to get you to make me one of those frou-frou coffees - lol.Chapter 2
Dean pushed open the door of the small coffee shop he’d discovered on the main street; inhaling the heady scents of freshly brewed coffee. He closed his eyes for a moment in appreciation before moving forward, flashing his best lady-killer smile at the petite brunette working behind the counter. “Hey, there.”
The woman turned, arching a finely shaped eyebrow at the tall, handsome stranger. “Hey, yourself,” she replied softly, her voice pleasantly accented.
“Two large coffees to go, please.”
“You like coffee, yes?”French chick…nice…
Dean’s shrewd gaze dropped to her hands, and his smile grew even wider. No ring – and no ring marks…very nice…
Leaning an elbow on the counter, he raised one eyebrow. “I like coffee, yes.”
“You like good coffee?”
“You pay a lot for good coffee?”
The woman’s dark eyes twinkled with delight. “I make you best coffee you ever tasted, yes?”
“Bring it on.”
Settling on a chair at a nearby table, Dean watched in amusement as the woman carefully began to clean down the arm of the coffee machine.
“This is Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee – very special. One of the most expensive coffees in the world. The same beans are used to make Tia Maria coffee liqueur.” Her dark head dipped behind the gleaming coffee machine, followed by a hissing gurgle. “You will love this coffee.”
“Huh.” Dean looked up as the lithe brunette walked from behind the counter, a brimming ceramic cup held reverently in her hands. He nodded his thanks and took the cup.
“Don’t just taste,” the woman chided, sitting down opposite the bemused hunter. “Savour.”
“Savour – right.” Holding the cup under his nose, Dean drew in a deep breath, his eyes widening a little at the rich aroma emanating from the brew. “Nice,” he murmured in appreciation. Casting another glance at the coffee shop owner as she edged a little closer, he fought down a grin and took a sip.
The woman watched the look of pleased surprise cross the hunter’s face as the coffee hit his taste buds, her lips curving in a delighted smile. “You like, yes?”
Dean blinked in shock, his gaze flicking from the cup to the exotic beauty sitting in front of him. “This is – this is incredible!” He shook his head, and took another mouthful, letting the flavours dance on his tongue for a long moment before swallowing. “This is freakin’ fantastic!”
“I told you – is best coffee you ever tasted.” Extending an elegant hand, the woman grasped the hunter’s strong fingers. “I’m Lucie.”
“Hello, Dean.” Lucie edged closer, until her knees were touching the leg of the handsome stranger. “I’m very happy that you came by.”
Dean grinned, his gaze roaming appreciatively over her slender figure. “So am I.” He leaned back in the chair and slowly sipped the enticing brew, savouring each rich mouthful. “Man, this is the best coffee I’ve ever had – ever.”
“So,” Lucie ventured, idly tracing patterns on the tabletop with one pink-painted fingernail. “You still want some coffee to go?”
One finely arched eyebrow rose in curiosity. “Two cups? Two for you – or one for someone else?”
“Yeah – uh…” Dean shrugged, a tiny twinge of guilt stabbing him as he glanced at his watch. “My kid brother. He’s waiting back at the motel for me.”
Lucie pursed her lips. “This kid brother – he likes good coffee, too, yes?”
Dean snorted in amusement. “Sam? That kid wouldn’t know a decent cup of coffee if it jumped up and bit him on the a–” He flushed and cleared his throat, rubbing one hand across the back of his neck. “Anyway, like I was sayin’ – he’s waitin’, so I guess I’d better get back to him.” Regretfully, he put down his empty cup and sighed. “So…”
“So – what kind of coffee does your little brother like?” Picking up the cup, the coffee shop owner returned to the machine and waited, one hand resting on her hip.
“Well…” Dean’s gaze roamed over the menu board up on the wall. “He likes that frou-fr – uh – latte – thing.” Waving a hand at the board, he gave an apologetic shrug and a half grin. “That fancy stuff.”
“Not fancy for you, though, eh?”
Dean’s ladykiller grin returned full-force. “Nope. Give it to me straight up, hot and strong.”
“I can do straight up,” Lucie winked before tapping a finger thoughtfully against her chin. “I know what I give your kid – café viennois. He will love it.”
“Okay.” The hunter watched the woman’s slender hands while she prepared the coffee.
“Is Viennese coffee,” Lucie explained while she worked. “Double espresso, cinnamon, whipped sugared cream and chocolate vermicellis.”
“He will love, yes.” Dean chuckled as he pulled out his wallet.
“So, Dean – you stay how long?”
“Just for the night. We gotta hit the road again in the morning.”
“One night. You maybe want more coffee for this one night?”
Dean’s eyes widened a fraction. Lucie stared back, a tiny smile curling her lips. Endless possibilities flashed through his mind. French chicks…and freakin’ clowns…
His soaring spirits took a sharp nose-dive.
“I can stay back late. For you – is no trouble.”
“You know – I’d really love to, but…” Reluctantly, the tall hunter shook his head. Can’t leave Sammy alone all night with God knows how many creepy-ass clowns running around – ahh, jeez...
“Maybe I’ll see you before we pull out, huh?”
“I’ll be here, Dean.”
Picking up the tray of takeout coffee, Dean gazed for a long moment into Lucie’s dark eyes. “Yeah – well – see you around, Lucie.” He slipped out the door before he could change his mind, and headed back to the Impala. Sliding behind the wheel, he threw one last longing glance at the coffee shop door. “Aww, man…”
Clearing his throat, Dean nestled the cardboard tray against his leg, half-closing his eyes in sheer pleasure as the mouth-watering fragrance of the freshly brewed coffee filled the car. It completely overpowered the mingled aromas of the supplies he’d already picked up; the spicy scent of the Chinese food, the sweet doughy smell of freshly baked doughnuts, and the lingering putrid stench of stagnant pond water.
Dean hummed under his breath as he drove back to his brother, hoping Sam wouldn’t be too freaked by the time he arrived. He really hadn’t planned on being away that long, but that coffee had been amazing – and so had the coffee shop owner, he thought with a twinge of regret. Dean sighed as he turned the last corner before the motel and glanced towards the door of their room. “Wonder if I can get the Sasquatch to agree to stay for one more n–”
The elder Winchester broke off in shock, his fingers tightening around the steering wheel as he stared at the motel parking lot. “Oh, holy crap…”
There were clowns everywhere – streaming out of the conference room, running around the parking lot, even spilling out onto the street. The setting sun and lengthening shadows made their white makeup and wide red smiles even more sinister. Dean took his foot off the gas and let the Impala coast almost to a stop, watching one JP Patches wanna-be riding up and down past the rooms on a tiny tricycle while honking a horn.
“Ah, Jeez – Sammy…” With his heart in his mouth, Dean got the Chevy moving again, threading the big black classic carefully through the shifting maze of bright wigs, floppy shoes and painted faces. By the time he pulled into the parking space outside room seventeen, he was feeling a little freaked out himself. Swallowing nervously, he grabbed the bags of food and tray of coffee and took a deep breath before striding to their room, worried at what condition his brother was going to be in by this time. “This is so not gonna be pretty.”
Casting a wary glance over his shoulder as he reached the slime-marked door, Dean stiffened when he spotted one of the multi-coloured entities rapidly approaching his position.
“Hey there, kid – wanna smell my flower?” The clown grinned maniacally as he fingered the bright pink plastic daisy stuffed in his lapel.
“Maybe some other…” Dean broke off as a thin stream of water hit him in the face. “…time,” he finished through clenched teeth. Giving a brief shake of his head to clear the excess droplets from his eyes, he loomed over the shorter man, a menacing scowl on his damp face. “You do that again, and the next time you want someone to smell that freakin’ daisy, you’ll have to bend over and drop your pants.”
The clown’s inane smile vanished and he backed away from the pissed off hunter, raising his hands in a placating gesture. “Hey, buddy…”
“Beat it before I kick your ass.”
“Geez, buddy – no need to get grumpy.” The man dropped his hands, a frown on his painted face. “Who the hell doesn’t like clowns?”
Dean gritted his teeth, balancing the food and drink precariously on one arm while he shoved the key in the lock. The door stuck again and he sighed before shooting a glare over his shoulder. “Someone with Coulrophobia, asshat.”
Ignoring the man’s stammered apology, Dean pushed against the door, sprung it open and slipped inside. He kicked it closed with his foot, shutting out the nightmare view of the overcrowded and noisy parking lot before looking around the shadowed room. A worried frown creased his brow when he saw that there had been some redistribution of the furniture in his absence.
The two-seater couch had been dragged across to the far wall and was situated between it and the bed. Piled on top of the green vinyl seat was a mound of pillows, almost like a child’s idea of a fortress. The bathroom door was slightly open, but no sound issued from within. “Sammy?”
A tousled head poked out from behind the door, and Dean breathed a sigh of relief. “There you are.”
Sam slowly emerged into the main room, a dull flush colouring his sweat-dappled face. “H-hey,” he muttered shakily, his too-wide eyes flicking to the door as a bicycle horn honked repeatedly outside the window. He glanced down at the salt gun clutched tightly in one white-knuckled hand and swallowed.
Dean pursed his lips, dumped the supplies onto the small table and strode back to the door to slip the safety chain on. “Noisy neighbours, huh?” he observed gently, grabbing the salt from the weapons duffle and laying a trail across the doorway and windowsills.
“Come on, dude, let’s dig in before it gets cold.” The elder Winchester began to lay out the food. He shot a glance at the shotgun in his brother’s hand, but wisely held his tongue. Perching on the chair closest to the door, he tugged the gun from Sam’s shaking fingers as the younger man sat down, and leaned it against the table leg within easy reach. “Got some Chinese.”
Sam chewed on his lower lip as he reached out to take the plastic fork from his sibling’s hand. A loud bang, followed by gales of laughter, sounded in the parking lot and he flinched, his pulse racing. Flicking a lightning glance at his brother, he read the concern in Dean’s eyes and forced himself to relax. “I’m all r-right.”
“Sure, you are.” Dean popped the lids off the containers and arranged them in front of his sibling before grabbing two plates from the cupboard behind Sam’s chair. “Here,” he added as he sat back down. “Dig in, dude. Got all your favourites.”
“Thanks.” Helping himself to a serving from each container, Sam pushed them towards his brother. “So – where the h-hell were you?”
“Oh – uh…” The green-eyed hunter gave an embarrassed grin. “Getting coffee.”
“D-did you have to f-fly to Brazil to get the beans?”
“Jamaica, actually.” Dean rolled his eyes at his brother’s disbelieving huff. “Seriously, dude – you gotta come with me to this coffee shop I found. It’s run by this French chick, and man…” He held his hands in front of his chest. “She’s got the most amazing – ”
“…espresso you’ve ever tasted,” the elder brother continued, undaunted. He reached out to grab one of the takeout coffees, checked the mark on the lid and put it beside his plate. Shoving the other cup towards his sibling, he gave a nod and a grin. “Try that, and tell me that’s not the best coffee you’ve ever had in your life.”
Throwing his grinning brother a dubious look, Sam prised off the lid to sniff suspiciously at the frothy brew. He detected the rich scent of coffee, cinnamon and chocolate, and his mouth watered in anticipation. Taking a tiny sip, he let the creamy beverage slide over his tongue. A pleased smile tugged at his lips as he raised his eyes to Dean’s expectant face.
“What did I tell you, huh?” Dean swatted Sam’s chest. “Best freakin’ frou-frou coffee you ever had.”
“It’s pretty good,” the younger hunter admitted softly, imbibing another mouthful. His hand tightened involuntarily around the flimsy paper cup as the bicycle horn honked again.
Dean shook his head. “Seriously, I’m gonna take the salt gun and shoot their asses if they keep that up.” He stabbed his fork viciously into his Szechuan chicken. “Creepy-ass bastards. No wonder they freak you out.”
The meal continued in companionable silence, broken only by the ruckus going on outside. By the time the brothers finished their meal and started on the doughnuts, Sam’s nerves were stretched almost to their limit. It took all his strength not to bolt away from the flimsy door and the terrifying horde rampaging around outside the room. His heart almost overflowed with gratitude when Dean shoved the garbage into the trash can and suggested they relocate to the bed for a game of cards.
The evening rapidly wore on, and the noise gradually died down as the clowns ran out of energy and retired to their respective rooms. Dean dealt another hand, feeling sorry for whichever unlucky restaurant or diner was about to get that particular group for dinner. He pretended not to notice Sam’s shaking hands and the fact that the younger hunter jumped at the slightest sound.
A babble of voices preceded the slamming of doors and revving car engines. Sam crushed the cards in his hands, glancing up at his big brother in mute apology as the cars departed from the parking lot, presumably on their way out to eat.
Dean nodded in understanding. “Chill, dude,” he murmured softly. “Dealer takes one.” Glancing towards the window as the sounds of the car engines faded away on the still night air, Dean pursed his lips and decided a distraction was in order. “So – you never did tell me what the hell it was out there this afternoon.”
“Uh – I’m pretty sure it was a goat.” Sam shrugged in apology. “The only concrete fact that my research turned up was a few eyewitness reports of a small white shape that gave a bleating cry. Everything else, including the banshee rumour, turned out to be just supposition.”
“Huh. Well, no harm in swinging by the property on our way out of town in the morning, just to make sure. We’ll run some EMF, and if it’s clean, we’ll move on.”
“Just don’t shoot the goat, all right?”
Dean grimaced, rubbing at his bruised hip. “No promises, Sammy.”
Silence descended once more, and the brothers played out a few more hands. Finally, Dean yawned, glanced at his watch and folded his cards. “I’m beat. You ready to call it a night?”
“Yeah.” Sam gathered the cards, shoved them into the pack and tossed it onto the top of Dean’s duffle. He got to his feet and stretched, glancing at the couch in resignation. “Flip you for the bed?”
“Dude, neither of us are gonna fit on that freakin’ couch, not unless we cut our legs off.” Dean shrugged at his sibling’s surprised expression. He switched on one of the lamps, turned out the main lights and checked the salt lines before stripping to his boxer briefs and tee shirt.
“We’re not gonna both fit on the bed, either, Dean.”
“Three rules, Sammy,” the elder Winchester stated mildly as he turned down the covers on the side closest to the door. He held up his fingers and ticked each point off. “Don’t steal the covers, don’t hog more than half the bed, and don’t kick me all damned night.”
Sam huffed in mock annoyance. “I don’t kick.”
“Yeah, you do. You’ve got this whole flailing thing happening when you sleep – it’s like sharing a bed with a freakin’ windmill.”
“Bite me. At least I don’t snore.”
“Sez who?” Dean grinned, avoiding a swat aimed at his shoulder as he walked into the bathroom to clean his teeth. The puke-inducing stench of stagnant water filled his nostrils and he fought down a gag reflex as he snatched the empty shampoo bottle from the top of the pile and placed it on the edge of the vanity unit. Scooping up the sodden clothes and towel, he dumped the soiled garments into the bathtub, running some more water on them to try to reduce the smell. “Man…”
His stomach churning, Dean quickly relieved himself, washed his hands, cleaned his teeth and exited the bathroom, vowing silently to take care of the reeking pile of clothes in the morning before they pulled out. Sam was just going to have to chill while they got the laundry done, because there was no way he was going to let them stink up the Impala, clowns or no clowns.
Dean headed for the bed, sliding between the sheets to settle comfortably on his side facing the door. Sam muttered under his breath as he walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind him. A few seconds later, Dean heard a strangled retch, and snickered into his pillow. The toilet flushed, water ran in the sink, and a couple of minutes later the door opened and the bathroom light went out.
Feeling the bed dip under his brother’s weight, Dean reached out and flicked off the bedside lamp.
“Man, your clothes really stink.”
“You hurled, didn’t you?”
“No, I didn’t. Bet you did, though.”
“Nah, not me. Cast iron stomach, Sammy. Takes a lot more than that to make me hurl. You, on the other hand…”
“In your dreams, Dean.”
There was a brief tug-of war for a fair share of the blankets before peace finally reigned.
It lasted for a whole hour, until the return of the fleet of carousing clowns shattered the silence. Dean jerked awake, cursing under his breath as he listened to the slamming doors and shouted goodnights. His fond hope that the racket wouldn’t wake his brother died a fiery death when he heard a faint whimper, followed by a gentle tug at the back of his tee shirt as Sam fisted his hand in the soft material. Dean didn’t have the heart to pull away or tease him about it.Freakin’ clowns…
Sighing softly, Dean snuggled into his pillow and drifted back to sleep.
* * * * *
Just after daybreak, Dean was pulled from a wonderful dream involving Lucie, some whipped cream and an endless supply of Blue Mountain coffee. He blinked groggily at the soft grey light filtering through the curtains, wondering what had disturbed his slumber.
He got his answer a few seconds later when a car door slammed, followed by a faint voice outside the door. Groaning softly, the sleepy hunter rubbed at his eyes before squinting at his watch. “What a ridiculous hour for anyone to be up,” he mumbled testily.
Rolling slightly towards the middle of the bed, he stretched – and then froze when he felt something hard digging into the small of his back. His face twisted into an expression of disgust. “Dude, that better be your knee.”
Jabbing his bent arm back, Dean was rewarded with a startled grunt as his elbow hit something warm and yielding.
“Wha’sa’for,” Sam’s sleep-roughened voice grumbled in his ear.
“Get your knee out of my back, Sasquatch.”
The elder hunter rolled his eyes as Sam untangled himself from the covers, pulling them half off his big brother in the process. “Dude…”
Sam knuckled the sleep from his eyes and pushed his tousled bangs off his forehead. “Time’zit?”
“Too freakin’ early.” Completing his stretch, Dean swung his legs off the bed and stepped to the window. Peering through the curtains, he checked the parking lot. There were fewer cars than there had been the previous night. “Hey, Sammy – I think the freaky-ass clowns are leaving. Convention must be over.”
He grinned at his brother’s muttered, “Thank God,” as Sam headed to the bathroom. Strolling over to the coffee pot, he rinsed it out and refilled it, setting it on to heat. Dean’s thoughts turned to the exotic beauty in the coffee shop and he pursed his lips, shooting a speculative look at his brother as Sam emerged from the bathroom. “Hey – why don’t we hang around for another day?”
Sam froze in the act of scooping his duffle off the floor, his face paling at the thought of having to spend another day in close proximity to his worst phobia. “Are you nuts?”
Dean held up a placating hand. “Chill, before you hurt yourself.” He jerked a thumb over his shoulder as a car engine revved outside. “Look, if the creepy clowns pull out today, it won’t be so bad. Looks like a nice little town.”
The younger hunter cast a dubious look at the window while he chewed absently on a knuckle.
“We’ll take some time off – get some laundry done, kick back and have some fun. It’ll be like a mini vacation. What do you say, huh?”
“Only if the clowns leave,” Sam muttered darkly. “And only because your clothes are making the bathroom smell like a swamp, and I’m so not sitting in the car with that stench.”
“That’s my little ray of sunshine,” Dean winked, chuckling at his brother’s raised middle finger. He finished making the pot of coffee and poured himself a cup, grimacing in disappointment at the bitter taste. “Wonder when the coffee shop’s gonna be open,” he murmured wistfully. “Hey, Sammy.”
“Hurry up and get dressed.”
Sam looked at his watch in astonishment. “Dean – it’s only just after seven. What’s the rush?” He forced himself not to flinch when a door slammed in the room next door, followed by a babble of cheerful voices. Clowns – why the hell did it have to be clowns?
“Man, you gotta –” Dean broke off when a soft knock sounded at the door. He threw a quick glance at his slightly more respectably attired sibling and headed for the bathroom. “Jeez, I’m not dressed. Get the door, Sammy.”
“What? No way! You get it.”
The elder hunter scowled, and received a pointed look in reply. “Right, right – clowns.” Quickly snatching up the jeans he’d worn the night before, Dean tugged them on and fastened the stud before moving to the door. He peered through the peephole, smirked and gave the all-clear signal behind his back as he opened the door. “Amber, hey.”
The motel receptionist took a tiny step back, her face clouding in disappointment. “Oh – um…”
“Dean – older brother, remember?”
“Oh, right.” Amber twirled a lock of hair around her finger, surreptitiously trying to peer around the tall hunter. “Um – sorry if I woke you.”
“Nah, it’s okay. We were already awake.” Dean fought down a smirk as the girl leaned slightly sideways. He shifted his weight to his right foot, inclining his body just enough to allow her to see into the room. He almost laughed aloud at the way her amber eyes lit up when she caught sight of his little brother. We gotta stay another night
, he decided. The Sasquatch just might get lucky
. “So, Amber – was there something…”
“Hmm?” Bringing her attention back to the elder brother with difficulty, Amber cleared her throat and shuffled her feet. “Oh – um – I just wanted to say…” She hesitated when Sam came to the door, smiling up at the taller Winchester. “Oh, hi, Sam.”
Dean bit his lip to stop the snicker that was building in his throat.
“So, anyway, I just wanted to tell you – you guys – that the convention’s over, so we’ve got lots of vacant rooms if you want to stay another night.” The flame-haired girl clasped her hands and looked hopefully up at the two tall hunters. “Um – it’s on the house. You know – ‘cos of all the noise last night.”
“You don’t have to –” Sam stifled a grunt when his sibling’s elbow jabbed him in the side.
“Well, that’s very kind of you, Amber. I was just sayin’ to my little brother that maybe we should stick around for another day. You know – kick back, have a little fun, sample the delights of the town.” Dean grinned widely, stepping on his brother’s foot in a warning gesture.
“You were?” Amber answered Dean, but she only had eyes for the shaggy haired Winchester.
Sam’s shoulders twitched uncomfortably under the scrutiny.
“Yeah.” Dean felt his brother’s restless movements and pressed harder on Sam’s foot, pinning it to the floor. “Sure we were. Isn’t that right, Sam?”
“Yes,” Sam gritted, stabbing his forefinger against the centre of his brother’s back until Dean released his trapped foot.
“Well, that’s great. Um – you want to see your new room? We still have to clean it – you know – but you can have a look, and tell me if it’s okay.”
“Great. Come on, Sam.” Grabbing their room key, Dean stepped outside, casting a cautious glance around the parking lot. There were still a few people milling around, thankfully in street clothes instead of the outlandish clown garb they’d worn the previous day. He made sure to keep between his brother and the strangers when the younger man emerged hesitantly from the relative safety of their room. Letting Sam draw slightly ahead, Dean brought up the rear as they followed the pretty young receptionist.
Amber led the brothers back towards the office, stopping outside the door to room seven. Tossing a happy smile over her shoulder, she let her admiring gaze wander briefly down the considerable length of the younger hunter before turning the key in the lock.
Sam shuffled from foot to foot, an embarrassed flush colouring his cheeks. Wishing he’d thought to don a pair of jeans instead of leaving the room clad in his usual night attire of tee shirt and sweatpants, he followed the girl inside. His blush deepened when he heard his sibling’s stifled chuckle.
Coming to a halt in the middle of the new room, Amber spread out her arms and turned to face the hunters. “Well? What do you think?”
Dean looked around, and nodded in approval. The room was spacious and seemed fairly clean, despite the unmade beds, full trashcan, and empty cups and beer bottles lined up along the counter top. “It’s great. We’ll take it.”
“Awesome.” Twirling a lock of her hair once more around her finger, Amber checked her watch. “Well, the housemaid won’t be in until eight, so the room should be ready about two hours after that. Is that okay?”
“Super. We’ll get some breakfast, run a few errands, then come back and shift our stuff once the room’s ready.” Eyeing his brother in amusement, Dean continued, “Sam’ll come by and get the key later.”
“I’ll be here.”
Huffing in annoyance, the taller hunter turned to leave. His eyes dropped to the floor under the window and he slammed to a halt, sucking in a gasp. “H-holy…”
Dean spun on his heel, eyes narrowing as he searched the room for danger, one hand automatically darting to his waistband to grab the pistol that was usually tucked there. Letting a whispered curse slip when he remembered that his gun was still back in their old room, Dean turned the movement into a scratch of his lower back. The green-eyed hunter’s wary gaze slid past the fuzzy object lying on the floor, and swiftly returned when his brain helpfully identified the bright blue mass. Great – freakin’ clown wig. There goes the Sasquatch’s chance of getting laid
… Striding over to the window, Dean bent down to scoop up the offending item, giving a tiny sigh as he turned to face his freaked out sibling.
Amber’s gaze skated back and forth between the two Winchesters. “What’s wrong? Sam?”
“Uh – he’s – he’s got Coulrophobia,” Dean interjected, wincing. There was no covering it up – not while his kid brother was standing there looking like he’d just seen a ghost. Well, looking like a civilian who’s just seen a ghost
, he corrected himself silently. His eyes widened when the girl stepped to Sam’s side and laid a hand on his forearm in sympathy.
“Oh, me too. I hate having them here.” Amber suppressed a shiver.
Dean suppressed a smirk.
“But they pay well, and it’s only once every two years, so…” Shrugging, the young receptionist glanced again at her watch and heaved an unhappy sigh. “Well, I gotta get back to work. I’ll see you later, Sam?”
“Uh, yeah. Yeah.” Sam watched her go before glancing at Dean. A frown creased his brow when he saw his brother’s grin. “What?”
“Dude, if you don’t get laid before we leave here, there’s something seriously wrong with you.”
The younger hunter’s face blanked for a moment. Stiffening his tall frame, he pushed past his brother and stormed from the room without another word.
Dean blinked in surprise. “What the hell did I say?” Glancing at the fuzzy blue wig still clutched in one hand, he grimaced before slam-dunking it into the overflowing trash can. “Scores,” he muttered, half-heartedly pumping his fist in the air. “And maybe if he does, he’ll be a little less pissy.”
Pouting a little, the elder Winchester returned to their room, his fertile brain already hatching a plan to get his uptight little brother laid.
* * * * *
Next week - Sam meets Lucie, Dean formulates his plan, and the boys have a little talk about women....
I'd just like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Take care over the silly season.
Bless you all,