Author: Das Mervin and Mrs. Hyde
Betas: gehayi and kermit_thefrog
Rating: R for language, themes, violence, and sexual innuendo
Word Count: 7,240
Summary: After two years on her own, and two more as a hunter with Sam and Dean Winchester, Leah thought she’d escaped her old life at La Push. But when she’s called home to attend Jacob and Renesmee’s wedding, she brings a little company, and the stage is set for her old and new lives to collide.
Author’s Note: Okay! The party has split up, and the mingling is about to begin. Let’s see what shenanigans Sam Winchester gets up to when he’s by himself, hmm? Chapter title and soundtrack is from the Queen song “Death on Two Legs.”
Disclaimer: “Supernatural” is the property of Kripke Enterprises and Warner Bros. Television. The Twilight Saga is the property of Stephenie Meyer and Little, Brown and Co. No copyright infringement is intended, and no profit is being made from this work.
CHAPTER 5 – DEATH ON TWO LEGS
Sam merged into the crowd of predominately non-human guests, wary and watching for any untoward moves on their parts. He did manage it much more easily than Cas had, he noticed; no one shied away from him. Actually, it seemed to be the opposite; he did not miss the curious and unsettlingly interested glances often tossed his way—always from the vampires.
He didn’t like it. He deliberately avoided catching anyone’s eye when they looked his way; he wasn’t interested in talking with any of them. He wended his way between the small clusters of guests as if he had a destination in mind, all while surreptitiously sweeping his eyes from side to side and listening as closely as possible to any and all passing conversations. He did his best to catch names so he could match faces with the ones that Leah had told them about, the ones who could do anything extra, like electric shocks or hallucinations. He heard someone call out the name Kachiri, and made note of the tall vamp that answered, he heard someone else muttering about Amun, saw a vamp named Makenna introduce herself to another named Randall, and nearly jumped out of his skin when he overheard someone ask if Alistair was going to be here (he was not, and Sam was not sorry to hear it).
When he heard someone ask for a Maggie, however, he started at the sound of the high, childish voice that answered, “Coming, Siobhan!” He was utterly appalled to see a little girl who couldn’t be more than ten go bounding gracefully over to a group of vamps who were talking pleasantly with what could only be a couple of wolves.
His mouth compressed into a thin line, his stomach rolling as he suppressed the desire to grab the cutlery and start beheading. Changing kids—what the hell? he thought angrily to himself, turning away. But that didn’t make things any better, because in the opposite direction from that disgusting vampire child he spotted Sam and Emily Uley some distance away. They were talking animatedly to a few other Native Americans, and it was impossible for Sam to miss the way Emily glanced up and pointed deliberately at himself.
He resisted the urge to go over there and tell them to just shut up about Leah, instead making a sharp left, but abruptly came to a stop when he nearly crashed right into a pair of pale-blond, glittering people that had all but materialized right in front of him.
“Oh—sorry,” he said as their eyes fixed upon him. They looked at him, and he looked back, and his fingers tightened reflexively around his champagne glass.
Leah had told them that with these fangless vamps, there was actually an easy way to tell which ones only ate animals and those that didn’t care to bother with such formalities. While that little one they’d seen before, Alice, had had bright, eye-catching golden eyes, he’d pushed aside his natural inclination to loathe anything with yellow eyes and instead had taken some solace in reminding himself that the color indicated a “safe” vampire. However, the two vampires before him had deep burgundy irises, a dead giveaway to just what their preferred cuisine was.
His wariness only increased when he saw the way their nostrils flared as they stared up at him.
“It’s quite all right,” the woman said carelessly, giving him what was clearly meant to be a disarming smile that was anything but. “You wouldn’t have bumped us. It is we who should apologize.” She gestured at the crowd, smiling fondly. “So many of us gathered, and no need to be secretive—I’m afraid I rather forgot that not everybody here is like us.”
“I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you before,” the man suddenly chimed in, his voice eerily similar to the woman’s. “I know all of the other humans’ connections to our kind—but not yours. What, exactly, brings you into our company?”
Sam managed a brittle smile as he took a fortifying sip of his drink. “Leah Clearwater—I came with her,” he replied as politely as possible.
“Leah Clearwater—is that one of those werewolves?” the woman asked, sounding not remotely interested as she continued to stare intently at Sam. “It was so generous for the Cullens to invite them all. What did you say your name was?”
Sam resisted the urge to tell her sharply that he didn’t say, instead only offering, “Sam Winchester.”
The man tilted his head at him for a moment, before slowly extending his hand to shake. Sam was loath to touch this thing, but after reflecting that he probably looked as silly as Cas always did when he just stood there like a stump in the face of someone’s attempt at social interaction, he reluctantly took it. The man’s hand was freezing cold and unnaturally smooth and hard; Sam let go of it quickly, particularly after he felt the guy nearly stroking his hand as he held it. “I am Peter—this is my mate Charlotte. We are very old friends of Jasper Cullen’s. Have you met him yet?”
“I haven’t had the pleasure,” Sam said formally.
“Oh, you must meet him as soon as you possibly can—all of the Cullens, really, they are truly the most wonderful people. So many of us are nomadic and have no homes or money, and they so generously provided us all with a wardrobe for the wedding,” Charlotte said, smoothing her hand over the dark gray satin of her dress, and then she laughed brightly. “Alice probably would have given us quite an earful for merely stealing something from a store.”
Peter laughed at her little joke as well; Sam managed a forced chuckle as he imagined increasingly ridiculous ways to extricate himself from these creatures and their pretentious conversation. They lapsed into a silence that was not at all pleasant for him, in no small part because Peter and Charlotte were still staring at him. He was casting around for something safe to say when Peter took a deep breath through his nose, and Sam tensed when Charlotte leaned towards him, doing the same.
He realized exactly what they were doing one second before Peter spoke again, seeming to anticipate Sam’s narrowed eyes. “I’m sorry, but I truly can’t help myself. It’s your scent,” he explained as though it were obvious.
Sam blinked, unable to think of a single thing to say in response to that. It didn’t seem to bother either of them; Charlotte simply nodded in agreement to Peter’s words. “Yes—it’s so strange. It would be delightful, but there is something there…it overpowers what I do believe would be a truly amazing aroma,” she added.
Sam could not believe what he was hearing. They were talking about him like they were window-shopping for a particularly juicy steak and they were saying it to his face. And what was worse, Charlotte had spoken in such a way that it was clear she considered this to be a serious compliment. Sam didn’t think this could get any more outrageous—but then Peter spoke again.
“I can’t see how it could be possible, but you smell of…” He stroked his chin with one finger, breathing in deeply and closing his eyes for a moment before snapping them open and saying decisively, “Brimstone. That’s what it is—do you agree, Charlotte?”
Sam’s jaw spasmed involuntarily and he brought his glass up and drained what was left in one swig. Before Charlotte could add her two cents, he said, “I’m sorry—out of champagne.” He wiggled his empty glass for emphasis, not caring how affected he was. “I could use a refill. Nice to meet you,” he finished in clipped tones, and then he turned his back on them and stalked back in the direction of the buffet table.
Sam had already been told that he would taste delicious. He’d even been told that he did taste delicious. But that…expecting him to be flattered and appreciative of their commentary on how tasty he was?! And bringing up the sulfur stink, well, that was just icing on the cake, wasn’t it? Yeah, thanks for the reminder, he snarled to himself, glancing over his shoulder to glare at the crowd in general. He saw more of the vampires on his way to the food, and they were still looking at him, and now he knew exactly why they were and he hated it. Angry and still feeling all those red eyes on his back, his own eyes sought out the tan trench coat still parked underneath the trellis, just to be sure.
He reached the table and, not caring that it was uncouth, just stuck his used glass right into the fountain again and immediately took another swallow after he’d filled it. He did, at least, resist the urge to just down the whole thing in one go and get a third. Restlessly, he glanced up the length of the table and noticed that Dean was no longer present. He looked out in the crowd, searching for his familiar form. Sam’s first personal experience with one of these vampires had only reinforced his misgivings over Leah’s reassurances that they would be on “good behavior,” and Sam knew his brother far too well to suppose that Dean would be anything but loudly outraged if he was approached by a vampire about smelling yummy.
As he fruitlessly scanned the crowds for his brother, he saw two dark-skinned people walking towards him, and their intent looks left little doubt that they were coming right for him. He stuffed his free hand in his pocket and sipped his drink, waiting by the table until they arrived.
Despite being a bit rangier than the other wolves Sam had seen thus far, this man was still obviously one of them. He was just about Sam’s height, easily able to look him straight in the eye (a novelty for Sam, and one that, given the circumstances, he was not enjoying). The woman with him was obviously anything but—short, plain, and a bit dumpy, in sharp contrast to the unnaturally large and chiseled wolf next to her. She was wearing a shapeless, heavily embroidered red dress that did nothing for her figure, and she was smiling hugely as she approached—so hugely, in fact, that it was immediately obvious it was fake.
“Hello!” the woman said brightly, a vaguely maternal note to her voice that immediately set Sam’s teeth on edge. “I’m Kim Woodbridge, and this is my husband Jared—we thought we should come and introduce ourselves to the newcomer!”
Sam politely shook their hands. “Sam Winchester,” was all he said in response.
If this Jared person smiled any wider, he was going to crack his face, Sam observed. “Yeah,” he said, his tone as stilted as any bad B-movie actor. “We heard you came in with Leah.”
Sam gave them a small, tight smile. “Yeah—and I’m sure the report has been greatly exaggerated,” he said mildly.
Kim gave a high, mostly genuine laugh, before hedging, “Is Leah around? I didn’t see her get here.”
“Well, she was shanghaied by a vampire a little while ago—one named Alice,” he answered. “I don’t know where she took her. She was talking about getting her ready for the wedding, but Leah was—”
Jared cut off his words with a condescending chuckle. “Oh, yeah—Jacob mentioned something about that. Alice pretty much provided the wardrobe for everyone here, since she’s so good at picking out just the right thing for everybody. Of course, my Kim would look good in a burlap sack,” he said, both his face and his voice going suddenly syrupy as he looked at his wife, who looked back at him with an equally sticky expression.
Sam had to bite his tongue to keep from remarking that that was lucky, since Alice in her infinite fashion wisdom had pretty much dressed her in exactly that, embroidery or no, but he just smiled politely while noting that it was pretty easy to tell which of the wolves had done that sick “imprinting” thing and once again internally toasting free will.
Jared eventually stopped making eyes at Kim (good thing, too—Sam might have lost his escargot if they had kept it up much longer) and shook himself before giving a short bark of laughter. “Man—I can’t even remember ever seeing Leah actually look like a girl.” He rolled his eyes. “Probably a good idea to have Alice take care of her.”
“Leah did just fine on her own,” Sam answered coldly.
Jared gave him a look of obvious skepticism. “Seriously? How? Well,” he snorted, not waiting for an answer, “I suppose she could fake it with enough time and effort—and money,” he added. “What, she have a job now, or something?”
Sam barely managed to snap himself out his disbelieving silence after this pronouncement to respond to the question. “Well, we all kind of pooled our resources,” he said tersely. “Our jobs don’t always pay well, but we get by.”
“Oh—Leah hasn’t ever mentioned any jobs,” Jared remarked idly. Sam imagined him with a bucket hat and a fishing pole. “Is that how you guys met? Working on the same shift or something?”
As if taking a cue, Kim jumped in with a bright, “Yes, what has Leah been up to for the past—what is it—four years?” She shook her head with a sigh. “She’s just so distant and anti-social that she never tells anyone anything.”
I can’t imagine why. “Oh, we just work security jobs here and there,” he said, his voice only slightly stiff. “Leah is pretty much made for it, after all,” he said, forcing a smile. “And we like working with her—she’s good to have around.”
“Well, just so long as she doesn’t do anything to give herself away,” Jared said pompously. He then eyed Sam. “How did you people find out about us, anyway?”
Sam was growing tired of telling the same watered-down story over and over again, but he gamely replied, “Well, we’d gotten ourselves into a bit of trouble with a vampire—and Leah jumped in and saved us.”
The actual story was a bit more involved than that. He and Dean had been on the trail of what looked to be a lone vampire moving through Kentucky. They’d been closing in on it one rainy evening when they’d been approached by a damp (but still hot) young woman who casually dropped that she couldn’t help but overhear their conversation and felt that she had to tell them that they were in over their heads and that the vampire problem was under control.
A bit stunned, they’d wanted more information, but all she would say was that they were walking into a much bigger mess than they thought they were, and that they should just go on their merry ways and let the professionals handle things. Dean had bristled immediately (and, in all honesty, Sam had too), and after smiling and nodding and sending her on her way, they went right back to business.
As it happened, she had been half-right. They may have been professionals, but it wasn’t just one vampire they were tracking. They’d followed the trail to an old barn outside of town—and had walked right into a nest of the damn things. Turned out they’d been deliberately feeding far away from their meeting place, just to throw people off of their true numbers—and it had worked.
Sam and Dean had been gearing up to go down fighting when they heard someone whistling outside, and suddenly a dark, familiar face popped around the door and timidly asked if she was interrupting anything. She’d allowed herself to be manhandled in by the ringleader, doing a credible job of playing the distressed female—right up to the point that she tore his head off with her bare hands, and then just exploded into a wolf the size of a cart horse and proceeded to lay waste to the entire den.
When there wasn’t a single vampire left, the enormous beast had transformed back into the girl from the bar—naked, covered in blood, and hopping mad. She’d torn them both a new one for going ahead after she’d told them not to; it was only the fact that she’s just saved their lives that kept them from plugging her on the spot, as she clearly wasn’t human. But since she had, and since she tersely explained that she didn’t kill humans, only vampires, they’d let her go.
Since she did hunt vampires, it wasn’t too surprising that they ran into her again when de-sanguinated bodies started showing up in Arkansas a few months later, and again down the line, and it wasn’t long before they were regularly meeting up, both on and off duty.
But, in the course of their travels, they’d discovered that Leah was exclusively a vampire hunter; she had almost no knowledge of the supernatural beyond that. They’d educated her on their meetings and road trips, but, by mutual agreement, they had no desire to do the same for the rest of her pack—or the vampires.
So as far as Jared here was concerned, Leah has saved them from one of these sparkling fangless freaks, not a real vampire, and he looked quite surprised by such a notion. “She did?” he asked.
Vaguely irritated by the implication that she’d leave them to die, Sam said, “Well, yeah—why wouldn’t she?”
Kim giggled and seemed to think it was a placating action. “Oh, no, he didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that—she saved you by herself?”
Sam’s face was stony. “Yes,” he said, a bit forcefully. “By herself.”
“Huh,” said Jared, very obviously astonished. “Wow. Who would’ve thought?”
“I would have,” Sam said firmly. “I’ve seen her in action—and she’s very good.” Seeing that Jared was giving him a patronizing look, he quickly resumed the previous line of conversation. “So—anyway. After we met, we kept in touch, being the sort of the same line of work,” he said. “She calls us, we call her, that kind of thing.” He very deliberately ignored the obvious exchange of significant looks between the two standing in front of him and kept pleasantly nattering on, saying, “We were actually working a job when she got the call about the wedding—that’s how we heard about it, and then she just decided to invite us when she found out guests could come.”
He almost groaned aloud when Kim visibly pounced on his last sentence. “So, did she tell you anything about—” she waved her hand around to encompass the whole wedding party, “—all this before you decided to come?”
“Ah, well—some,” Sam answered vaguely. “She told us a bit more on the way up here, though—just to prepare us for…everything.”
Jared grunted. “Well, I can’t say I’m surprised.” He looked away, seeming vaguely uncomfortable as he rubbed the back of his neck, before sighing and asking, “She tell you anything about her life before she joined the pack?”
Sam stiffened. “Only a little,” he answered neutrally. “Why?”
Kim fidgeted a little, tugging at her sleeves. “Well…” She stilled and looked up with the air of one doing an unpleasant but necessary duty. “We know that you’ve met Sam Uley—Emily’s husband.”
Sam’s teeth clenched together, but she just went on, oblivious to his rising anger. “Leah was—well, she was engaged to him, back before.” She licked her lips. “And Leah—I’m not saying that we don’t feel sorry for her—because we do!” she hastened to assure him. “It’s just that she has a bit of a hard time…letting go.”
Jared huffed loudly. “Understatement of the century,” he grumbled, and then looked earnestly at Sam. “Look—I’m not one for beating around the bush, so I’m just gonna tell you because you have a right to know: Leah outright refused to move on after Sam broke up with her. And she was horrible about the whole thing. It wasn’t Sam’s fault at all—and it wasn’t Emily’s, either—but the way she acted, you’d think they ganged up on her and planned the whole thing just to get at her personally.” He scowled, muttering mostly to himself, “She’s just so selfish.”
He looked back up, and continued. “I know it doesn’t sound so good, when you just say it like that, but the thing is, Sam imprinted on Emily. And that means, well, there are no other options. Emily was the One for him. He couldn’t help it, and it’s not like he chose to do it—it was just fate. But no.” Jared’s face went into full eye-rolling drama, which looked ridiculous on a man his age. “Once she got into the pack, we all just had to hear all about it: how hung up on him she was, how she just refused to let go, how we were just all so mean for telling her to get over herself—”
Sam cut him off. “I don’t see how this has anything to do with me,” he bit out.
Kim chewed on her lip, and said with insulting gentleness, “Sam—we’re not trying to be rude, but you just don’t understand. We know Leah—Jared and the other boys even more than any of us, since they’re her pack.”
“I just want to make sure everything is out on the table,” Jared jumped in, his voice arrogant even in his attempts at sympathy. “Just so you know everything before you get too far with her—if you haven’t already—”
Sam had had enough. “Look,” he said loudly, cutting him off and ignoring his obvious indignation. “I don’t know what you think you know, or what you’ve been told, but Leah and I are just friends. We aren’t dating, and we never will be.”
“That’s my point,” Jared said, frustrated with Sam’s refusal to see things his way. “Maybe you don’t, but I can guarantee it—she is just hanging around you because she’s trying to get at her Sam again—and we’ll just have to watch while she makes a fool of herself and just hurts Sam because she won’t let it go.” He shook his head. “I don’t know if she’s latched onto you as some sick substitute for him, or maybe she’s just using you in some childish scheme to try and make him jealous, but I promise you, one way or another she’s just going to try to start something with you.”
Sam’s jaw was nearly on the floor by the end of this speech. He couldn’t believe this douchebag! He had the gall to say that he “knew” Leah, and then turned right around and tried to make her out like some kind of bunny-boiling hellbitch?
All thoughts of secrecy or danger went right out the window as Sam furiously opened his mouth to tell him just what he could do with his false show of concern, when Kim, who had been watching them nervously, quickly leapt into the conversation before Sam could get a word out. “Oh, Jared,” she was saying worriedly, “I think Caleb and Hannah are getting into the chocolate fountain again—come help me get them before they get handprints all over the linens. Sam,” she said, turning to him with liquid brown eyes and laying a motherly hand on his arm. “It was very nice meeting you—and please, please remember what we said?”
“Oh, don’t worry. I will,” Sam said, his voice flinty.
“Trust us,” Jared said, thumping him much too hard on the back. “It’s like I said—we know her. And we know the kind of crap she likes to pull.”
“We just don’t want Leah to hurt anyone else,” Kim said gently, and then gave him a tremulous smile before leading Jared away.
Sam could do absolutely nothing but stare as the happily helpful couple walked off, weaving through the knots of guests and the round white tables until they got to the desserts. They stood on another long white table on one side of the dance floor. It was dominated by a massive white wedding cake, but on either side it was flanked by plates of other sweets and two elaborate gold fountains of chocolate fondue. Jared and Kim were scolding two small dark-haired children and pulling them away from the chocolate.
Sam finally snapped out of his flabbergasted stupor when he at last spotted his brother. As it happened, he too was getting into the chocolate. Dean had obviously decided that the tiny gold picks they had provided for dipping were inadequate for his needs. He had somehow acquired a full-length skewer on which he’d speared three strawberries, six marshmallows, and a whole banana. Sam watched, bemused, as Dean jammed it rather grumpily into the flowing chocolate before slapping the whole dripping mess onto a plate and stalking off to find a corner to mantle over his kill in peace.
Shaking his head at—well, at everything, Sam topped off his glass and walked back into the crowd, now taking pains to avoid looking at any of the pale and sparkling vampires—he was not interested in anything they had to say. That didn’t mean that he was in any bigger hurry to talk to any of these wolves, either, if all they were going to do was trash Leah.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t help but look up when he saw someone waving him over; Sam Uley and Emily were standing close together, and he’d met their eyes before he could pretend not to see them. He’d had a bit of time to calm down after his one-sided meeting with that bastard Jared and his little woman, so, with an internal growl, he steeled himself and walked in their direction, determined to be as polite as possible in the face of whatever provocation they had to offer.
Emily’s smile was as fixed and bright as it had been before, and Sam already knew they were going to piss him off. “Sam—we saw you walking around, and, well, you looked just so left out that we thought we should talk.” Her eyes crinkled. “We know everybody else here, but you’re the newcomer—we’d hate for you to feel unwelcome.”
“Yes, that would be a tragedy,” Sam said.
Sam Uley was standing far closer than necessary to his wife—and far too close to him, Sam noticed. His heavy black brows were furrowed, but Sam planted his feet and tried not to jut his chin out in a very Dean-like manner. “I hope you’re enjoying yourself,” Uley said in a tone that was entirely at odds at his words.
Sam bounced his eyebrows and hid in his champagne glass to avoid having to reply.
“We didn’t really have a chance to talk much when you first arrived,” Uley said when it became clear that Sam wasn’t going to answer. “I was curious—how did you meet Leah, exactly?”
Sam couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow. “Do you want to know how I met Leah, or how I found out about all of this?” he asked dryly.
Uley scowled, but quickly hid it with a false chuckle. “Well, I didn’t want to be so direct—but yes,” he said. Then his scowl was back in force. “You do know that it is forbidden for our kind to tell anyone of our secret,” he said, leaning even closer, his eyes intense.
Sam was not impressed. “Yeah, we did know it, actually—but it didn’t really matter, because my brother and I have known about supernatural creatures like yourselves all our lives. And Leah didn’t just ‘tell’ us anything—she didn’t have a choice,” he said firmly. “My brother and I were about to be killed by a vampire, and Leah did her duty—she saved us. It’s not like she wanted us to find out,” he added, “but when she did that…exploding wolf routine of hers…” He trailed off with a shrug.
Uley’s face was clearly (and insultingly) surprised on Leah’s behalf. “Alone?” His eyes narrowed in displeasure. “That was extremely dangerous—and risky. I thought she’d learned better to try and take on more than she can handle.”
Sam glared at him. “She handled it fine.”
Uley gave a rude snort. “Well, Sam,” he said, looking down rather contemptuously at him (Sam had never before been so aware of his own power to look so loftily superior), “you might be impressed by what you’ve seen, but the truth is that Leah is actually the smallest wolf in the pack. She continually overestimates her own strength. She’s had a disastrous turn with a vampire before because of it—you all were very, very lucky.” He glared off to the side as if Leah was there. “At the very least, she should have told us about this—and about you.”
Sam didn’t bother reeling in his chin this time as Uley loomed heavily over him, just glared back. Emily, who had been quietly but nervously watching them, laid a hand on her husband’s arm. “Yes,” she said cheerfully, as if there wasn’t a staring contest going on, “that is what I want to know—what my cousin has been doing with herself for so long! She just never calls us, and when she does, she never tells us what she’s up to.”
These two may have worked in concert, but it was on par with the sixth grade orchestra. Sam was not fooled in the slightest by her cardboard smile. “We just work on and off together,” he said evenly. “Me and my brother, we take odd jobs here and there, and she sometimes joins us.”
“Where do you live?” she asked.
“We’re from Kansas.”
“All of you?” Uley’s words were abrupt, and when Sam looked towards him, he found that his eyes were not on him—but rather on the skinny, trench-coated form still standing under the trellis.
Cas was, as always, standing perfectly motionless. His chin was tilted slightly upwards, his eyes fixed on some point in the sky. It was quite likely he was talking to somebody upstairs; it always creeped Sam out when he did that. He was also circumscribed by a nearly ten-foot diameter circle that was entirely empty of people; the perimeter was so stark that it was clearly unnatural.
Sam resisted the urge to smirk. “He’s not,” he said, sipping from his glass. Forestalling any further questions, he simply said, “He’s from back east.” Which wasn’t entirely a lie—the vessel he was wearing was.
Sam could tell that Uley wasn’t going to let it go, but thankfully Emily inserted herself into the conversation again. “So…” She looked vaguely uncomfortable. “Leah has been…living with you? For how long?”
Sam ground his teeth but forced his jaw to unlock to answer—but they weren’t listening anymore. Uley’s face had gone suddenly closed, and he wrapped a proprietary arm around his wife and was drawing her un-subtly closer and away from Sam—or rather from the glittering group that was approaching him.
Sam tensed—more vampires. As they drew closer, he relaxed minutely when he saw that all five of them had the yellow eyes that marked them as non-man-eaters—but only minutely. He couldn’t ever fully relax around monsters of any kind—particularly not monsters who were looking at him so hungrily.
The men were in the omnipresent tuxedoes, while all the women were near eye-blinding, in that their dresses left so much skin bare that the glitter was intolerable. Sam could only think that they were dressed like the school sluts at the senior prom; but if it was their intent to draw eyes to their exposed midriffs and plunging décolletages, the incessant sparkling was having rather the opposite effect.
The eager faces of the two in front gave Sam pause; their features were clearly Hispanic, but their stiff, unnaturally pale skin gave the unsettling impression that they’d been whitewashed—or simply plastered over.
“Good morning, Sam, Emily,” the dark-haired woman said, her eyes never leaving Sam. “So nice to see you again—particularly here, with all that treaty unpleasantness sorted out.” Her words were thick with a Spanish accent that struck Sam as somewhat affected.
“Carmen,” Uley answered coolly
The man, through whose arm the first woman’s arm was threaded, was watching Sam with a near manic gleam in his unnaturally golden eye. “It’s simply so wonderful,” he said, “all of us, gathered again like this.” His gaze somehow became even more fixed, and Sam felt all his previous tension and even more come rushing back. “And with new faces as well!”
Uley ignored the obvious hint for an introduction. “Yes, I agree,” he said brusquely. “If you’ll excuse us?” And with that he gripped his wife by the arm and all but wheeled her in the opposite direction.
Ten yellow eyes fixed on Sam immediately after they left. Oh, great, now I’m left alone with these freaks. He pasted on a genial expression that he was sure wouldn’t have fooled a coma patient, but the five in front of him didn’t seem to notice.
The one in front, the one who looked like he was about to start sniffing him, said, “I don’t believe I know who you are—are you bride side or wolf side?”
Sam didn’t like this. He didn’t like this at all. His fist tightening around his glass, he answered, “I came with Leah Clearwater.”
The blonde in dark blue—the one in a halter-topped dress that was so skimpy it was all but a bra with a skirt—leaned forward as if to show off what little cleavage she had and raked her eyes over him in a way that he was all-too-familiar with. “Interesting—her taste in men has improved a little bit.” She ran her tongue over her abnormally white teeth.
Sam couldn’t help the frisson of tension that ran up his back. The man in front seemed to notice the way he was bristling, and said, “Oh, dear. Where are our manners—forgive us.”
Hard to lose what you never had, you blinged-out bitches. Sam, of course, kept his mouth shut against his natural inclination, settling for shooting one more poisonous glare at the bimbo in blue and then turning back towards their apparent front man.
“I am Eleazar,” he was saying, smiling ingratiatingly. “And this is my wife, Carmen.”
“Me encantan,” she said, tossing out a blinding smile.
Sam raised an eyebrow. “Y tú,” he said evenly, earning him both an offensively surprised look and an even bigger smile from Carmen.
The other woman, who hadn’t spoken yet but who was clinging just as tightly to the other man as Carmen was to Eleazar, pushed herself forward. “I’m Kate,” she said, and then patted the man’s arm. “This is my husband, Garrett.” She looked up at him with a soppy expression. “We met through the Cullens—they’re such wonderful people.”
Garrett was giving her an equally disgusting look. Do all of these people have to dribble all over each other in public? Sam thought with an inward grimace as he held out his hand.
He once again had to endure the unpleasant sensation of having his hand shaken by ice sculptures—which was made even worse when that last one refused to let go, her hard fingers running over his hand in a mockery of a caress as she said, “And I’m Tanya.” She gave him what was clearly meant to be a come-hither look. “I missed the bouquet in Bella’s wedding—here’s to hoping I catch it this time, eh?”
Sam pried her fingers off of his. “Oh, certainly,” he scoffed.
“And you are?” Eleazar prompted.
“Uh, Sam—Sam Winchester,” he said, wanting nothing more than to be away from these people.
Tanya smiled at him; the expression did not reassure him. “You must be feeling like a fish out of water,” she said. Her eyes traveled over him again. “I hope that everyone’s making you feel…welcome.”
Lady, don’t make me get the hose. Sam had been bitten, and hard, by screwing around with non-human chicks before—he wasn’t about to start that up again.
Before he could think of an appropriately discouraging reply, Eleazar thrust himself forward again. “You came with Leah, you said?” he asked eagerly.
Sam stared at him. “Yeah,” he said slowly. “Me, my brother, and a friend of ours. She invited us.”
Carmen cast a fond look at the proceedings all around. “It’s very good that querida Renesmee has this many guests—she would’ve been so upset to have only a small crowd.”
“Yeah—that would have been really terrible,” Sam said tightly, involuntarily leaning away from Eleazar, who was practically breathing down his neck.
Amazingly, he actually seemed to notice that he was making Sam uncomfortable (not to mention angry), and he backed off a little. “Forgive me,” he said, rocking back on his heels. “It’s just that I simply had to come meet you because—well, you see, with our kind, sometimes we have extra abilities—”
“I know,” Sam said tersely, not wanting to hear the lecture. “Leah told me. One of you can read minds, someone can read the future, someone else can shock people—”
Kate laughed. “Guilty as charged!” she chirped, waggling her fingers and giggling at her own pun as the others with her laughed obligingly at her brilliance.
Sam could only manage the weakest, fakest chuckle he’d ever heard; he’d never been so offended by a pun in his life.
He didn’t know if he should be thankful for having so little time to dwell on it, because immediately after the laughter died, Eleazar was speaking again. “I’ve been watching you since you got here, you know,” he said, his face unsmiling, his eyes intent.
Sam blinked. “How comforting.”
Eleazar just chuckled patronizingly. “Don’t worry—I won’t eat you,” he said as if reassuring a small child that there was no monster in the closet.
Sam, who knew damn well that there was a monster in the closet, just replied with a flat, “Thank you.”
“Well—not unless you ask nicely,” Tanya purred from the side.
“No,” Sam said icily.
“We all choose to abstain from eating humans,” Kate informed him.
“How very noble,” Sam sneered.
Garrett puffed up his chest. “It is not a matter of being noble,” he said loftily. “We just do it because it’s the right thing to do.”
The conversation was obviously much too far from where Eleazar wanted it to be, and he wanted it to be back on Sam. “Yes, yes,” he said dismissively, “but you see—we’ve all been interested in you. For a while, we couldn’t understand why we could smell sulfur in the air—imagine our surprise when we realized that it came from you!”
Sam’s back went ramrod straight, but they didn’t seem to notice. Kate was blathering on now about how, “Humans tend to have unique scents, but I confess, I have never smelled one that was brimstone—”
Sam, nearly snarling now, cut her off by saying, “I’ve already had that pointed out, thank you very much.”
Eleazar was oblivious, focused only on telling Sam whatever it was that he wanted to say. “Except that it is not your scent that has me baffled—it’s just you.”
Sam’s fist was gripping his glass so tightly that he was afraid he was going to break it. “I have an extra ability, you see,” Eleazar was saying. “I can sense other vampires’ abilities and can tell exactly what they are. In the case of humans, I can strongly sense a potential for an extra gift—and if that potential is strong enough, and if I concentrate very much on them, I can almost tell what it will be should they be fortunate enough to become one of us.”
“Once Eleazar got a good look at you, Sam,” Carmen added, “he couldn’t stop talking about you.” She shook her head. “To be honest? I cannot believe it myself. Es increíble.”
For the first time, Sam saw one of these vampires start fidgeting; Eleazar was nearly bouncing where he stood like he was about to wet himself. “It’s almost as if you don’t merely have potential—but that you already have the abilities! As if you were already one of us! And yes,” he said, pausing for drama, “abilities.” He stared at Sam with something like awe. “A vampire with multiple powers—it’s unheard of! But a human with potential so strong I can sense it just as if you were one of us? Impossible—and yet here you are!”
Sam’s voice was stony. “Fascinating.”
In his excitement Eleazar was oblivious to Sam’s ill-will. “It is!” he agreed animatedly. “And the abilities you have! You have no equal that I have seen—would have no equal as a vampire! Not even Bella has an ability as strong and impressive as the ones you possess—and even she could not block you!” His eyes went sharp and focused, and he stared at Sam as if staring through him, and it was all he could do not to punch him in the face. “I can sense…mind-reading, telekinesis, mental manipulation…” He stared harder, his face taking on a look of awe…and greed. “Illusions, mind control…visions of the future—”
Sam’s jaw was so tight it was painful. “I get the picture,” he ground out.
Eleazar looked startled by his tone. He blinked at him for a moment, as though confused, and then said, “Please—I do hope you’re not offended by this. It’s just so amazing,” he said, gushing again. “I don’t even know how it is possible! You are truly a very fortunate human, Sam.”
“Yeah, I’m just the luckiest man on the planet,” he said scathingly. My parents murdered, my life destroyed, and me a demonic freak, a pawn in a plan to destroy the world—yeah, I just win at life, don’t I? “If you’ll excuse me…”
“Mind if I join you?” It was Tanya—again—and she was grinning at him like a cat with a canary.
“Yes.” He hadn’t meant to say it, but in a moment of social grace rivaling his brother, he just blurted it out. He’d had enough.
He was sorry immediately afterwards—not because he cared what this bitch thought, but because it was stupid to antagonize the monsters. His eyes searched for Cas; he was right where they left him, and he was watching him closely. His shoulders eased slightly.
Tanya was, infuriatingly, still smirking at him. Apparently, she couldn’t take a hint. “All right, then,” she leered at him. “I’ll just wait.” She dropped a coy wink. “See you around, Sammy.”
Sam’s voice was glacial. “It’s Sam.”
She just chuckled, amused. “Sam, then.” One pale, glittering hand shot out and skated along his arm before he could jerk away. But jerk away he did, and he spun on his heel and stalked in the opposite direction. He had to get away from those sorry sons of bitches before he did something he would regret.
Author’s Note: If you don’t recognize any of the vampire names, just look them up on a Twilight wiki. Meyer didn’t bother to give most of them characterization beyond, “We love/hate the Cullens!” so it’s understandable if you don’t remember some of them.
A (spoiler-laden) note to those who don’t follow SPN (just highlight with the cursor if you are interested, avoid if you don’t want spoilers): The series is kicked off when Sam and Dean’s mother is killed because she interrupted a demon who had entered their house to feed his blood to a baby Sam. The blood conferred the psychic abilities that Eleazar sensed, but obviously left behind a demonic taint (hence the sulfur smell). As it happened, it was all part of a plot to manipulate Sam in to freeing Satan from where he was trapped in Hell, on top of obviously destroying his life and his family.
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