She was an intelligent little creation, or so she tried to be, Lucifer thought. Her words did, in some way, make sense, and the archangel didn’t like to admit that about any other being. Any other in the universe, for so few of them ever framed their argument in such a way that it did make sense. That it was logical to a point of being credited. Of being acknowledged in any way.
And yet, even so, Lucifer couldn’t accept everything she said. For there were still errors in the young woman’s understanding. (But then, he couldn’t blame her for such. She was only a human, after all.)
"You misunderstand the situation as a whole, Joanna," said Lucifer, his voice calm, almost as if the entire scene was simply that of a parent attempting to instill wisdom to a younger child. "It has nothing to do with attempting to go back. To achieve what has been taken. To undo what has been done, what has been undo the changes.” Lucifer turned, then, to face her, eyes unblinking. “For you are correct. Certain changes must occur—but only when they are necessary. And only when they are right.”
And therein lied the problem, did it not?
Lucifer had pondered the question, the dilemma, for ages. Yet still, to this day, had no true answer. “If you are able to see, to understand, the flaw in something before it even begins… would you not speak out against said flaw, Joanna?” questioned the Morningstar, eyebrow raised. “And if your questions are rebuked, would you not then fight for what you know to be true?”
"I see where you’re coming from," she allowed, still speaking carefully. "But there is a problem with your conclusion… You see a flaw, but it is not your creation. What you perceive as a problem was put in place intentionally by the creator. Think of standing next to Picasso and saying, ‘Look, Pablo, the ear actually goes here. You’re doing it wrong.’ You can voice your opinion, but the ultimate decision lies with the person creating the art, or whatever it is.”
She glanced up at him then, unsure how he would take her continued disagreement. Yes, humans were imperfect beings, but in her experience Angels weren’t that much better. Weren’t they designed to be perfect soldiers? Never question orders? Clearly that didn’t work out. Lucifer was the living embodiment of angelic rebellion.
"You did what you thought was right, I understand that, but sometimes you have to accept that the decision is not yours to make."
"It’s a beautiful place." Damon admits, reaching over to snag a cookie of his own. He, of course, didn’t actually need to eat but a) he has to keep up appearances, and b) food tastes so good. Especially cookies. “Though I’m not sure you’d enjoy the weather.”
He takes a sip of his beer, smiling genuinely at the hunter before him. “Okay, love. Let’s see…” he pauses, thinking. Her own question had been a little deep, yet remained light. An ice-breaker, if you will. So his has to match. Taking in a deep breath he speaks softly, “You’re scared of dogs…? Why?”
Jo shrugged. He was probably right, the rain and mists would likely get old rather quickly. Still, she hoped one day to be able to go, to see the rolling green hills, the castles, the pubs for herself. “Guess I’ll just have to go and find out, won’t I?”
She brushed the cookie crumbs from her fingers, settling back against the couch and waiting for his question.
“You’re scared of dogs…? Why?”
Her face paled. So much for the light, easy questions. Could she use a pass on the first question? No. But she didn’t have to tell him she died. That wasn’t part of the question at all. Jo ran a shaking hand through her hair and exhaled shakily. “That is a very long, very complicated story…” she murmured. “But what it boils down to is I was attacked a while ago… by a hell hound. I had some pretty serious injuries and I’m still dealing with the aftermath.” There, truthful, yet non-committal. Vague, yet hopefully specific enough to keep him from asking any more questions.
With speed borne of his gift, Jacob was able to dodge the bullet that came his way, having seen the gun almost the moment Jo reached for it. Hunter, he thought. Even better. A second’s hatred added to the animal nature coursing through him, and he may have clawed a little harder than necessary as he ripped into her arm, his teeth biting hard down into soft flesh, tasting the iron of warm blood gushing against his tongue, his lips as the skin broke…
"Ah.. Shh…" One clawed hand moved to brush a finger over Jo’s mouth, the sign of silence, of be quiet, as her scream built up and echoed around. It was louder at first than he’d thought (but, then again, he had bit through harder; she was a hunter), and Jacob could feel the vibration in his ears before the silence came.
It was freeing, now, to give in to the animal side of himself, still keeping a modicum of control, just the smallest bit, to keep Jo all to himself. “Let it take you,” he said, growling low, the gun ripped away from Jo’s hand and tossed aside, useless.
He held her up, supported her, and slowly came down to the ground with Jo in his arms, yellow eyes never leaving hers. “Give it a moment. I promise. You’re not dying…"
”Let it take you.” ”Give it a moment. I promise. You’re not dying.”
No. Oh please, no…
Her death would have been bad enough, Bobby, Dean, Sam, Adam…they all would have had to deal with losing her again, but they’d survived it once and they could do it again. But this? No, no, no… Now, not only would they have to deal with her death, they’d have to be the ones to put her down. Unless she could somehow find a way to do it herself, or a different hunter to do it for her.
Slowly but surely the pain eased, replaced with something else, something other. A pull. It wasn’t comfortable, exactly, but despite her wounds she no longer felt as though her life were slipping away from her. Dark eyes drifted up to stare at the full moon, their usual brown slowly eclipsed by yellow. She could feel the animal taking hold of her, claws sprouting from her fingertips. Jo had the ridiculous, sarcastic urge to howl, just to piss Jacob off.
Jacob. There was something about him. He was….what, exactly? Her eyes came back down to his, searching his face. She no longer struggled against him, but lay contentedly in his arms, waiting for a command. A command? Where had that come from? There was a strange duality in her thoughts; logically she knew she should hate him, he might not have killed her outright, but she was as good as dead anyway, and yet she also knew that she needed to be completely loyal to him.
He watched her, eyes never straying from that feminine form ahead of him. Even as she walked a little faster, her stride a little longer. Was she trying to get away from him? Was she frightened? Was she hot or cold? Was she worried? So many questions—and Jacob could answer many just by taking a whiff of the air around them, catching the emotions that were belied in her scent. The sound of her heart beating, the movement of her hands and body—
"Something wrong, Jacob?"
Jacob couldn’t help it. The smile was instinctive, even predatory, as he, too, paused, seeing her stop and turn to face him. He didn’t bother to hide his hands, claws visible if one were to look at the way they didn’t quite blend well enough into the dark color of his suit. That is, until he calmly reached up and removed the sunglasses, clearly allowing the claws to be seen as they revealed the yellow eyes that had been hidden this entire time.
"Oh no. There’s absolutely nothing wrong, Jo,” he said quietly, starting to take a few steps closer to her, teeth changing a bit more as Jacob gave in more to the pull of the moon, the very pull he’d been constantly fighting this entire time. “I’m just tired of fighting it. And this seems like the perfect place, don’t you think? Nice, and quiet…”
Jacob lunged forward, clawed hands reaching for Jo’s arm, teeth seeking to bare down on the paler skin of her neck…
Her eyes widened as he reached up to pull off his sunglasses, his hands transformed into claws. Yellow eyes reflected the moonlight back at her. Werewolf. Jo had no time to relish her victory, to be pleased that her instincts were still sharp, she needed to take action.
"I’m just tired of fighting it. And this seems like the perfect place, don’t you think? Nice, and quiet…"
Oh god. He was going to kill her. Or, well, he was going to try. In one swift move she drew her gun and took aim. The shot rang out as he lunged for her, the bullet going wide. He moved faster than any werewolf Jo had ever seen, faster than any werewolf should be able to go. His solid body slammed into hers, claws raking her arm. Jo screamed, struggling in his grip but he was too strong. Flashes of her stomach being torn open by hellhounds danced in front of her eyes. Not again, oh please. Not again. Hot breath blew her hair across her neck, his lips against her neck.
Pain. White hot pain exploded as his teeth tore her tender flesh, the scream erupting from her damaged throat cutting off in a low gurgle. Her eyes sought his and she clutched at his arm, her resistance weak and feeble in the face of his strength.
There is a moment of silence, both of them staring at the other. The balance of the rest of the evening hung in the air, what Jo is about to ask will set the tone of the rest of their conversation. It will give Damon a bar for his own inquiries. The demon is honestly intrigued as to how Jo will start this. Will she cut straight to the chase? Or will she start of slow and ease her way in? He honestly hopes Jo will go for the … lighter method, he might even enjoy himself…
"That would be convenient wouldn’t it?" He laughs, shifting so he’s a little more comfortable. "No, as far as I’m aware there isn’t a place called Around in Utah." He pauses, which story should he go with? Perhaps as close to the truth as he can manage. "I’m from Ireland, originally." he smiles, "Though I’m sure you wouldn’t guessed. I worked hard to lose the accent."
"Makes sense, you’ve got a bit of an Irish look to you," she said with a nod. People tended to expect the Irish to all be ginger leprechauns, but more often than not they had Damon’s dark hair and eyes. It was a good combination, in her opinion. "I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland," she added, picking apart a cookie and popping little bits into her mouth.
Why hide the accent though? Who was he hiding from? How had he ended up here, in Sioux Falls? There were so many more questions to ask, but it wasn’t her turn anymore, so they’d have to wait. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?” Jo asked. She waved her hand at him, “Your turn.”
Bobby scoffed and smiled a little like her question was a joke. “More like what aren’t they doing. Since the apocalypse angels have gotten… creative in getting what they want.” That was an understatement. Jo had missed a lot when she died, and is still behind because she chooses to hunt the small things.
He understood of course. Dying isn’t easy. Especially coming back from it and getting back to hunting for Jo was hard enough without the angels being involved. It seemed like everything involved the angels these days, but obviously that wasn’t true considering Jo hadn’t dealt with them too much, or at all, so far. What Bobby didn’t understand is why Jo has been so distant. Of course she was busy with the Roadhouse and hunting of her own, but she wasn’t so far away that she couldn’t visit him once a month. Even though he was a grumpy old drunk, he still enjoyed the occasional visit from Jo.
It would be hard to explain to her what all has happened since she got back. “They discovered their father was missing and all of them went crazy searching for him, or just having fun doing whatever the hell they want with no consequence. Humans are just stuck in the middle of all of their issues.” Bobby shrugged as if he didn’t care. He had been dealing with these angels for a while now and now it all seemed like old news. He wanted all of it to be over already.
Jo frowned, Adam hadn’t mentioned much about the angels, though she knew he knew more than he was telling. She just hadn’t realized it’d gotten so bad. Granted, she’d had a run in with an angel or two, but nothing that had led her to believe things were that out of control. Obviously, she needed to get out more.
"As if the monsters on steroids weren’t enough," she muttered, standing up and beginning to clear the table. "This is just what we need, Angelic World War II." Maybe this was part of why Adam had been so distant lately, maybe he was trying to do something about it, trying to shield her from it. It was better than the alternative, that he simply didn’t want to see her.
"Sorry, Bobby, I know I’ve been sort of cut off… it’s just a lot to process. I guess I’ve been sort of hiding out at the Roadhouse."
"Being cautious is nothing in need of explanation," he said, nearly forcing the words out beyond the slightly forced smile as Jacob turned down the path, continuing to walk close to Jo’s side and right within reach of the young woman. Ready to grab her.
To take her into the darkness.
To bite into the flesh and turn her—
The pounding heart was louder than ever as it echoed in his head, Jo’s all he could hear, as Jacob was so close to her, and most of the people now were in the park, behind them, getting a bit further away with every step down the path. Faster than a normal heartbeat, the thump-thump-thump of the organ, combining itself with her scent, was nearly all the alpha werewolf could focus on. Helped on, of course, by the moon, which grew ever brighter in the sky as it rose higher in the cloudless night.
Just a little bit further… he thought, ready to shed the glasses and let the wolf truly take over. Let his animal side turn the beautiful young woman next to him into one of his own, to make a new member of the pack, connected to him in such a strong way. Shadows reached out from bushes, trees, covering the path in a bit of darkness and helping to provide added cover for when Jacob did make the move.
Jacob was sure that Jo knew nothing of what he was; she had given no evidence, at the very least. And oh, even if she was one of them, at this point, the alpha didn’t care. He had waited long enough.
And he could take care of one, if he had to.
(Though, it would be a pity to lose her.)
Falling slightly behind, just a mere half step or two, Jacob let his claws appear discreetly, the hands pulled from his coat to prepare to strike…
Jo nodded and resumed walking, letting the conversation die away. It was getting darker by the second and she needed to pay attention to her surroundings. She longed to be able to pull out her gun or her knife, to hold them at the ready, but she was undercover. Jacob thought she was weak, an innocent little girl, she couldn’t spoil that image just yet. The element of surprise was her greatest weapon at this point.
The evening was getting chilly but she could feel the heat emanating from him, close as he was to her. It was a large part of why she noticed him start to fall back, though she pretended not to. She shoved her hands into her back pockets, bringing them closer to the gun concealed at the small of her back, and took longer strides, adding to the distance between them. The adrenaline was starting to sing in her veins as the moon continued it’s ascent into the sky, her body thrumming with nervous anticipation.
Her back burned where she imagined his eyes on her; she hated that she couldn’t see him anymore and abruptly stopped walking, turning to face him. Her hand closed around the hilt of her gun as she faced him, but she didn’t draw it out. “Something wrong Jacob?” she asked, cocking her head to the side.
Jacob was pleased it was going so well, that the beautiful young Jo was following him, was going to be one of his. That it was only a matter of time. It was almost as if he couldn’t have planned it better, and his control was definitely reaching the end of its limit. So it was a good thing, he was realizing, that they were going to take a path that allowed him to take her, to make her one of his own, so much sooner.
The sounds around him were stronger than ever before, the scents overwhelming. Especially the sweet smells mixing with the alcohol, the wood, that was Jo. She was so close to him, it was almost unbearable to keep his human persona up, the moon’s pull taking such a control over him. Hands stayed in his pockets, one already with his claws extended, while the sunglasses remained a permanent fixture upon the werewolf’s face.
"I can trust you, can’t I, Jacob?"
At the sound of her speaking, the words seeming to echo around in Jacob’s head, he smiled back at her. Why of course you can, my dear, he thought, images of age-old fairy tales that had been white-washed flicking through his mind at the moment. Just come a little closer, now. He could picture the way she would look, blood from the bite streaming from a shoulder, or the neck. Perhaps her arm. Maybe go for the chest, and the heart, as usual, but leave her to heal on the edge of death—
But no. All Jacob did was offer a nod with his grin, and while under normal circumstances, he would’ve winked as well, he took her hand instead, giving it a gentle squeeze—but keeping a hold upon dear Jo. “Of course you can,” said Jacob quietly, his one hand that was still normal holding hers, thumb running over her skin. “If I meant you any ill will, Jo, you would know it. You seem like a smart young woman, and smart individuals know whom to trust.”
With that, he made to brush his lips across the top of her hand, an extravagant ruse to play at for the moment as his smile grew—the barest traces of slightly sharpened teeth starting to show.
He took her hand in his again, his hand warmer than the cool evening warranted. Jo wished desperately that she could see his eyes, it would help so much in understanding what he was thinking. Even for someone who’d spent her life reading expressions and facial cues in one bar or another, it was difficult for Jo to guess at his motives without the assistance of his eyes.
His lips brushed gently against the back of her hand and she thought she caught a glimpse of light reflecting off his teeth, teeth that were just a bit off. A vampire, maybe? But, no, that didn’t make sense…his hand wouldn’t feel so warm then, would it? She hadn’t brought a machete, either. Lets hope he’s not a vampire, she thought, It’d be hell to try and saw his head off with just a tiny knife.
Her heart raced, the rhythm pounding against her eardrums. Whatever he was, he could probably hear it, or smell it, or sense it in some supernatural way. She could only hope he assumed it was attraction and not adrenaline that was responsible. By the time he’d raised his gaze from her hand, she’d schooled her expression into one of innocent trust. “I figured as much…I just had to be sure,” she replied, her voice soft. “I mean, you really can’t be too careful these days.” Jo pulled her hand from his, wanting both free in case she needed to fight or grab her weapon, and turned to the path. ”Let’s go, then.”
As he finished off his soup, Bobby sat back and took a sharp breath out. His stomach finally beginning to feel full. He reached forward for his beer and drank slower this time. It felt too good having a filled stomach. He didn’t even realize how hard he had been on his own body these last few days until just now. Sitting here with a full stomach and a warm home. Next step was sleep, but he would get to that later.
Bobby let out another sharp breath, but this one wasn’t of satisfaction but rather of getting ready to be serious. “If you call angels a case, then yah. I’ve been working a case.” He managed a small smile on his face from the movie reference. Bobby remembered having a movie night with the boys when they were younger, maybe Dean was 14. Sam spent the night practically peeing his pants at every dark corner and room in the house. Thinking Jack was going to jump out or something.
He let his eyes drift from Jo to around the house. He hadn’t actually seen his kitchen in a day or so. Drinking from his beer, Bobby returned his wandering eyes to Jo still amazed that her and her mother were so alike.
Jo frowned, shoving her remaining soup aside. She hadn’t been as ravenous as Bobby and didn’t finish her entire bowl. At least it appeared he was in a better mood now, maybe they could get to the bottom of both their problems. Truth be told, it felt good to be back in Bobby’s kitchen discussing a job. She’d missed this, missed not just the thrill of a hunt but the satisfaction that came with solving a problem. She wasn’t like Sam, she had never been a star student or particularly fond of school, but she was smart and logical. Patterns were simple enough for her to follow - it was how she put together her cases, some that impressed even seasoned hunters at the original Roadhouse. She thought briefly of her first job, the ghost of notorious serial killer H. H. Holmes. Dean thought Ash had put together the casefile and it had made Jo unreasonably proud.
"Angels… I’m still a bit out of the loop here, Bobby," she reminded him, "I thought, after the apocalypse didn’t happen, the angels wouldn’t really be a problem anymore? What are they doing now?"
Good, he thought. It wasn’t far, they’d be there soon, and a parking lot was sure to be a lot less deserted than this park. At the very least, Jacob was positive he could lead Jo off somewhere—between some cars, the side of a building, anything—to get the job done. Her tiny smile eased the tenseness (a bit) that he was feeling, but he couldn’t force it all to disappear.
The pull was just too strong.
Jacob was surprised he’d managed to maintain as much control as he had for this long. Under any other circumstances, he was sure he would have given in to the moon’s pull; to that ultimate desire to take the girl that he had at his side, right now, and make her his. For he’d decided now, she was too perfect to be ruined, to be made a mere meal out of it. A mere victim of his claws and teeth. No. No, she deserved the gift.
"Hmm?" He’d been distracted, he realized, lost in his thoughts over what it would be like to make a new wolf again. Directly, and not just feel another of the pack being born, being brought into the fold. Jacob followed Jo’s gaze to the other path, noticing the lack of foot traffic and he almost couldn’t help but grin and the good luck that was falling his way. Taking such a path would put an ease upon his shoulders, for he wouldn’t have to wait until the bar at all.
Although, there was that niggling thought in the back of his mind over why Jo was suggesting the less crowded path. Walking with stranger, surely she would want to be seen…? Don’t question it, he thought. Perhaps she is just ready to get to the bar. Then again, he’d noticed the way she’d looked at him. Perhaps she’s just.. fond of you. And he couldn’t keep the smirk from his face then, at the mental idea.
"Well, it doesn’t appear too dangerous down there," he said. "I’m sure between the two of us, we can handle any villainous monsters that may jump out. And I’m sure you’d like to get to The Roadhouse as soon as possible." Jacob made to walk down the other path, looking to Jo.
Well, that was easy enough, Jo thought to herself. Perhaps too easy. For a moment, doubt flashed through her mind. She hadn’t hunted in a while, and while she stayed in shape and trained as though she was still seeking out jobs every day, the truth of the matter was that it had been a while since she’d actually taken on a creature herself. And the last time really hadn’t ended well for her.
In her head, her mother’s voice scolded her feebly, reminding her that smart hunters didn’t go off alone. Didn’t rush things. Didn’t take unnecessary risks. But then her mother had never thought her capable of doing the job, so Jo ignored it and led the way to the edge of the wooded path. It was the best way, the safest way for the people around her and that was her real concern. She wasn’t stupid, she didn’t have a death wish, she just wanted to protect the people of the town she’d come to think of as home. And, for whatever reason, she was convinced they needed protecting from Jacob.
When they reached the edge of the path she looked up at him, pausing in her steps for just a moment; her brown eyes were wide, reflecting the dying light of the day. “I can trust you, can’t I, Jacob?” she asked softly.
Damon laughs again, “Oh I will, sweetheart.” he winks at her, enjoying the image of wrestling with the hunter. But now isn’t the time, and he doubts there ever will be a time for that. No, if they ever end up fighting it will be for real, both trying to kill the other.
But for now they are civil, for now Damon can pretend to enjoy himself - though there may not be much ‘pretending’ needed. “No, darling,” he says, moving to sit down opposite her. “I’m in your house, which you so kindly invited me into, I think it’s only fair that you go first.”
Jo rolled the beer bottle between her hands and stared at him for a moment, trying to decide what she wanted to ask. Start light? Go straight for the jugular? How did she want to play this? The first question would set the precedent, and likely effect what he asked her…probably best to ease into things, then. Honestly, it could be fun. A little ice breaker, a way to get to know a handsome stranger. What could it hurt? She grinned at him.
She waited until he was sitting to speak. “Alright, where are you really from?” she asked. “I’m pretty sure there’s not like an Around, Utah, or something.”
Damon smiles again, moving to grab a couple of chips. He remains standing, easily falling into the ‘slightly awkward’ act of a guy in a strange woman’s home. He can’t help but laugh at her comment, “I’m sure you could, love.” he grins, “But I would think it’d be a close match.”
Things are going well, she’s obviously comfortable around him and she seems to trust him - to an extent. And, to his own surprise, Damon is finding himself starting to like Jo. She’s quirky and headstrong, and she doesn’t take any bullshit from anyone. Plus she’s quite a beautiful woman.
However, Damon’s smirk drops as he sees the not so well hidden flinch. He frowns slightly, taking half a step closer. He is about to open his mouth and ask whether she is alright, but Jo beats him to it. He plasters on another smile before answering. “How about an ‘eye for an eye’, per say.” he says, “You tell me what you want to know, but I also get to ask some questions. Deal?”
Jo continued to look up at him, taking a slow sip of her beer as he claimed to be able to hold his own. If she was honest with herself, the idea of sparring or wrestling with an attractive man was intriguing, to say the least, but that was not why they were here. She smirked and simply replied, “Keep dreaming, big boy.”
It was clear that Damon noticed her reaction to the barking dog. It wouldn’t be that difficult to lie, to say she’d been attacked by a dog as a child, or even more recently, and had always been afraid of them, or some other cover story. And yet he wasn’t a civilian, she didn’t have to explain to him that some of the things that most people assume only exist in nightmares are actually real. She stared at him a moment longer.
"Alright, fine," she said finally, "Consider it a game of truth or truth. One hundred percent honesty, no exceptions…We can each pass on, say, two questions? You can even go first, if you want. But you have to sit down or I’ll get a crick in my neck."
A small smirk flickers across Damon’s face as he hears her own faint sigh of relief. Good. If she was in a good mood it will be easier to get her to talk. Plus, it always helps to come across as ‘considerate’ and ‘caring’ in these situations. His eyes follow Jo as she walks out of the room and to her kitchen.
It’s not long before she returns, arms filled with various snacks. Damon smiles warmly. “It’s looks perfect.” He practically purrs, stepping over to Jo to help her with all of the food. “Really, Jo, thank you for all of this. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you.”
Jo shrugged, blushing slightly and made herself comfortable on the couch, kicking off her shoes and tucking her feet under her. “It’s nothing, really,” she insisted, “I mean, I wouldn’t encourage just anyone to open up their home to strangers, but I think we both know I can kick your ass if I have to.” Her tone was teasing, matching the grin on her face.
It was strange, but something about him put her at ease, despite the fact that she knew nothing about him. So this wasn’t her typical, careful approach, but that didn’t mean it was a terrible idea, right? She’d been cooped up in the bar for too long, denied the rush of a hunt by her own insecurities and the trauma of her past. A dog barked outside and she flinched subtly, reminded, as always, of the hell hounds. And to think, she used to be a dog person.
She dipped a chip in the salsa and glanced over at him from the corner of her eye. “So…you ever going to tell me more about you or are you sticking with the mysterious stranger bit?”
Since I got back? Is that what she had meant to say?
Damon is about to open his mouth and ask, 'back from where, love?' but he manages to stop himself. Better not to push Jo too hard, he wouldn’t want to get kicked out so soon. Besides, there will be plenty of time for questions later.
"Oh I don’t want to cause you trouble, sweetheart." He smiles, all charm once again. "But of course, if you’re making something I could hardly turn it down." Plus, ‘dinner’ is always a good excuse for conversation. He might be able to learn something about this increasingly intriguing woman.
Jo breathed an internal sigh of relief when Damon didn’t press her for details after her slip up. She could see the question in his gaze and turned away, pulling open a random cupboard and taking out the first things she found. Cookies and a bag of tortilla chips. A quick rummage through the fridge brought out salsa and two bottles of beer leaving Jo’s hands full. She kicked the refrigerator door shut and headed back to the living room, setting the spread out on the coffee table.
"Here, we’ve got sweet and salty, plus alcohol. I think we’re covering all late-night necessities," she said with a grin. "It’s not a meal, by any means, but it’ll do for a midnight snack, right?"
As she took his hand, he had that same feeling that there was something—but this time, of course, he knew it was her hand. A quick glance down showed a ring on her finger, and of course, then the pieces fell into place. Of course she would just have to be wearing a silver ring! And for not the first time, Jacob was pleased by the fact that the metal didn’t affect him as much.
Jacob’s smile was still in place, even as Jo made her comment about the glasses, although it did send his mind reeling. Was she just making the comment because of the oddity of the matter? (Which, yes, he was fully aware of the fact that he should have removed the eye-wear by now—and would have—under any other circumstances.) Or was there something else about it? Something that had tried to click in when he’d first noticed her?
"True. You never know who can come out during the full moon. Trust me though—eyesight’s never been better," he said, smiling. "I’ve just had a bit of a headache for the past day. The glasses help." Alright, not his best excuse the werewolf had ever utilized, but then again, he was more focused on trying to control everything than thinking up the best reason why he was showing her the gleaming yellow eyes.
"This bar of yours," he said as they walked, hand moving to his pocket just as a precaution. The approaching moon rise was making it harder to ignore the pull, and the last thing he needed while they were still in a crowd was for young Jo to go screaming because she’d noticed some claws or something. "Exactly how far is it?"
A small frown creased her forehead. Had she mentioned the bar was hers or was she simply reading too much into the statement? Perhaps she was just overly edgy given the proximity of the full moon or the proximity of an attractive man. Jo considered his statement; migraines often came with light sensitivity, but if he had a migraine, why was he wandering around the park? Something still felt off and she was grateful for the reassuring weight of her gun pressed against the small of her back, hidden by her coat. Odds were she wouldn’t need it, but it was nice to know it was there.
"Likewise, Jacob," she replied, hoping her expression was still clear. "And it’s not far, just over off of Main St." Glancing up at him, she flashed him a tiny smile, catching a glimpse of his hand being shoved into his pocket. He seemed tense, more so than he had been only minutes ago. Her own body tensed in response but she tried to cover the reaction by looking around again, as if searching for the person she claimed had been following her.
The crowd in the park had thinned out considerably as dusk approached, but there were still too many people around. If whatever gut feeling she had was correct and he was something dangerous, something other, she needed to get him away from the civilians. In a split second decision, Jo took a calculated risk. “It’s probably faster to cut through this path here,” she said, gesturing to the hike path that lead away from the populated section of the park and into the woods that ran along it’s border. “What do you think?”
Damon trails after Jo, and he can’t help but admire the view as they climb up the stairs. Smirking to himself the demon follows Jo into her apartment. His smirk widens when he sees the broken devil’s trap, but he’s careful to wipe it from his face when Jo turns around to face him.
"I wouldn’t worry, love." He assures her, not believing his luck. "I’m sure the salt, and the two of us can hold back anything for one night." He takes a step into the apartment, glancing around himself to memorize the layout. If he has to make a quick getaway it would be handy to know where all the windows are. The salt may pose a problem, but it shouldn’t be hard to sweep away if he’s really desperate…
"I really don’t expect trouble," Jo agreed, "I’ve pretty much stayed off the radar since I got ba…Lately." Silently, she kicked herself for almost saying "since I got back" as it would lead to the inevitable question "back from where?" And that was a tale that got complicated and convoluted very quickly. What had happened to her careful control? She sighed, recognizing that she simply wasn’t used to watching her words in her own home. It was a stupid, careless mistake.
In an effort to change the subject, she cleared her throat and moved toward the kitchen. “Uh, you hungry? I don’t have much, but I can put something together… Or there’s a fully stocked kitchen downstairs, too.” She turned back toward him, gesturing to the fridge and smiling, “Feel free to help yourself to anything.”
Damon is suddenly apprehensive. Jo had mentioned her place was warded against everything. So he’s going to have to be on his guard if he’s going to keep his true nature a secret. Getting in shouldn’t be too hard, it’s getting back out that may prove to be difficult.
However, he does have the advantage. She doesn’t know he’s a demon, and so, if worse comes to worst, he will have surprise on his side. But Damon knows it won’t last for long, and if he is discovered his chances will not be great.
Damon takes a deep breath, trying to still his thoughts. He gulps down the rest of his drink before standing swiftly. “Then lead on, sweetheart.” he grins.
Jo led the way up the stairs to her apartment, fishing the keys from her pocket to unlock the door. Inside, the mat that usually covered the devil’s trap in the doorway was shoved aside, revealing the trap that currently had a chunk missing, rendering it useless. She went inside and held the door open for him to follow before gesturing to the broken trap.
"Sorry about that, I got a little over-zealous in scrubbing the floors and I haven’t fixed it yet. But, there’s salt on all the windows, and that’s the only door, so for a demon to get in they’d have to manage to get upstairs without me noticing," she explained with a smile. "But I can fix it now, if you’d like."
"I do my best." For all the world, he probably only looked like a kind guy, chatting up a cute young woman in the park. Trying to score a date or some such mediocre thing. And had it been any other night, Jacob’s attention probably would have, indeed, been focused on such matters. She was definitely too pretty to have passed up, that was for sure.
But the pull was nearly overwhelming, and it wasn’t often that he worked to completely ignore it like in this moment. He’d done it before, a few times in the past; it rarely turned out well, Jacob knew. Let’s hope this time is better. Her scent was overwhelming, and though he controlled his breath intake, it wasn’t the easiest to keep that perfect smell from reaching him. A part of him wanted to just forget the con and let the animal take control, destroy her then and there— But Jacob knew that was an impossibility.
One doesn’t live as long as he had without figuring out how not to be stupid.
And even if it was getting darker, he was eternally grateful for the sunglasses he had hiding his yellow gaze. It was impossible to force them back to blue by this point, and an off-colored shade of eyes was never easy to explain to a civilian.
"The Roadhouse, hmm?" Jacob followed her gaze for a moment. Perhaps she really did believe someone had been after her. Not lying, then. Alright. "I think I’ve heard of it. Interesting little place. Rustic, is it?" The name definitely struck something in the back of Jacob’s memory, but he’d been in so many different places, so many different bars and lounges through the years, he couldn’t really remember them all with specific detail. Maybe he’d met someone there…?
Hand extended, his smile widened. “A drink would be a good payment, though I require none,” he said, letting a bit of teasing tone seep into his voice. “Come on, love. I think it’s about time we get you out of this scary park,” he teased. “There’s monsters about.”
"That’s the place," she confirmed, biting her tongue to keep from going into too much detail. She usually told people how she’d modeled the place after the original, how it had burnt down. Even civilians liked knowing a bit about the history of a place, it made them feel welcomed and, frankly, got them to spend their money in her establishment rather than a cookie cutter bar and grill. But, she was trying not to reveal anything that might give her away, and so she just smiled up at him and took his offered hand. She positioned it in such a way that the silver band of her ring would be resting against his skin, wondering if she’d somehow missed earlier, but there was still no reaction.
She didn’t know whether to be disappointed or pleased.
"Laugh all you want," Jo smirked in return, "But it’s a full moon tonight - brings out the crazies." With her free hand she gestured up to his sunglasses. "Think you’ll be able to see the big bad wolf with your vision impaired? The sun’s practically set now…"
Maybe it was too far, but there was something about the way he was so careful to keep his eyes covered that made her wonder what exactly he was hiding. Most creatures eyes only reacted to some kind of stimulus - the retinal flair displayed by shape shifters, the way demons could announce their presence by revealing their true eyes, etc. So what exactly was he hiding?
She was definitely a pretty young thing, as far as Jacob was concerned. It was a shame he’d run into her—or she’d run into him—on tonight of all nights. He’d have better control under any other circumstances, and probably would have just treated her like any other random (friendly) encounter.
Except her scent was nearly driving him crazy, and as he thought about it, Jacob figured he wouldn’t have to destroy her. After all, it had been a while since he’d turned a new wolf himself…
He looked over her as she spoke; there didn’t seem to be anyone around, and yet, there also seemed to be the slightest hint of falsity in her voice. It didn’t sit all that well with Jacob at first. What did she have to lie about? His smile softened, and he kept a light grip on her shoulder.
"Oh it’s nothing to worry about. We all tend to have silly thoughts that go through our heads at times," said the werewolf, still trying to place why Jo’s words didn’t sit all that well with him. Perhaps it was just that he was over-thinking the situation; expecting trouble where there was none.
Too much time hiding from the damn demon. Her scent, after all, gave nothing of great ill will away; she was completely human.
"But love, if you are concerned of the evil around," said Jacob teasingly, "I can accompany you to your destination. Be there to protect you from the monsters in the shadows."
"Aren’t you just a knight in shining armor?" Jo smiled gratefully up at him as she spoke, wondering briefly if she was wrong about him or if chivalry was part of his act. It didn’t matter, her ploy had worked and she wasn’t going to question it.
If it turned out she was right about him, it would be best to get him away from other people. Civilians rarely understood that “monsters” often didn’t look like monsters and she didn’t have time to get arrested today. And, if she was wrong and he was just a human, well, maybe she could buy him a drink. Her mind spun quickly, if she could get him back to the bar she could try slipping holy water into his drink; maybe he was a demon not a creature. Or maybe you’re rusty, Joanna Beth. So much of her effort lately had gone into the bar, her way of coping with her sudden resurrection, and not into hunting. This might get interesting.
"I work at the Roadhouse, it’s a bar not too far from here," she continued, brushing her hair back over her shoulder and glancing around as if looking for the person who’d been following her. She didn’t mention that she owned, it, or that it was a popular hang out for other hunters on the off chance that he’d heard of it. The majority of her staff had no idea what was truly out there and her clientele was at least fifty percent civilian. She didn’t want to give herself away as a hunter if she could help it, the element of surprise might come in handy. "If you truly wouldn’t mind walking me there, I’d be grateful. I’ll buy you a drink, at the very least."
Barely paying attention to the other people (just enough that he didn’t exactly run anyone over), Jacob was surprised at the young woman that nearly tumbled into him. “Hey!” He reached out, instinctively catching her before they both ended up falling to the ground.
Jacob thought he felt something on his arm, but figured it was just her hands as they’d reached out or something. His glasses almost slipped off his face, but he quickly shoved them back up, keeping the yellow gaze hidden.
It was all he could do to keep his own nails from turning to claws at the scent that came from the young woman in his arms. Smelling of beer and whiskey, with the slightest hint of something far sweeter, Jacob felt like he could almost taste everything about her, could physically feel the blood and the pumping heart already—
Jacob instead brought a smile to his face, his hands still keeping Jo steady, just in case. If he could just lead her off somewhere, he wouldn’t have to worry about hunting tonight…
"It’s alright, love. I’m still standing," he said lightly, letting his smile do most of the work. It typically worked just fine. ”You okay there? You should watch these busted sidewalks.”
Very quick reflexes. No reaction to the silver. Interesting. So why did Jo shiver when he touched her? It was true, she hadn’t done any dating since being brought back but if this was something as simple as hormones, it was time to hang up her shotgun. She sighed internally and looked up at him in time to catch him hastily shoving his sunglasses back up to cover his eyes. Sure, there were several perfectly innocent explanations for why he might do that, but it was still contrary to most people’s behavior and, despite his lack of reaction, her instincts were still humming. Somehow, she had to keep him talking.
Jo smiled back up at him, hoping she looked sheepish and not suspicious. “I’m fine, if you don’t count my pride,” she replied tucking her hair behind her ear. “I just got in a hurry…I thought, this is going to sound so silly, but I thought there was someone following me.”
Jacob rarely felt a reason to hold on to his control around the full moon. It was the one time when he knew he could completely let go, let the animal that was a joint part of him take absolute control—and he didn’t have to care about a thing. His mind was free from concern, free from worry, free from care. For that one night…
Except, he couldn’t let everything slip away now. Not with Hell trying to find him, not with the need to constantly be on some level of alert. The animal wasn’t enough; his intelligent mind had to stay in control, at least to some degree, all the time. Every. Single. Second.
Walking along the edge of the park, Jacob did his best to ignore the pull of the moon, that call to abandon all. To ignore everything. His eyes were already yellow, but hidden under the shaded glasses, no passing individuals would be able to tell. He’d just have to let it all go later—still keeping a piece of himself intact.
Oh, he hated that part.
With all the monsters, hunters, and who knew what else flooding Sioux Falls lately, Jo was feeling restless, anxious, and edgy. The approach of the full moon only intensified those feelings, which was why she’d left the bar in the care of one of the other bartenders and was now roaming around the park, a silver knife tucked into her boot top and a gun loaded with silver bullets tucked into her jeans. The sun hadn’t set yet, and there was no guarantee any wolves would show up, or that they’d show up here, but she had a feeling and was hoping her instincts weren’t so rusty as to completely fail her.
This is stupid, Jo, you can’t tell a werewolf before they turn. The voice of reason, her mother’s voice, echoed in her head and she ignored it. There was no harm in patrolling and it wasn’t like she was just going to open fire on the crowd.
Jo watched the people in the park intently as she walked, mostly average people, some she recognized but most she didn’t. As she walked, though, she caught sight of a man, still wearing dark sunglasses in the fading light. Something pricked at the back of her neck, momentarily ignored as she took him in - damn, he was handsome.
The blonde adjusted her path slightly and moved closer to him, twirling the silver ring on her finger so that the wide face was near the palm of her hand. When she was close enough, she pretended to trip over a crack in the footpath and grabbed onto his arm for support. If he was human, the silver wouldn’t bother him, if not…well…
"Oh gosh! I’m so sorry," she apologized as she fell against him, waiting to see how he’d react.
Driving with a hurt hand was a damn challenge. Nat was still wondering how to get the blood off the seats when she saw lights at the side. The Roadhouse. Best shot she got. Before walking in, she pulled her sleeves over her hands and swept some left blood spatters off her face. Heading straight towards the counter and avoiding eye contact with other guests, she addressed the barkeeper. "Hey. You don't happen to have a med kit at hand, do you?" She waved a little awkwardly with her right hand.
Jo looked up taking in the girl’s grimace before looking down at her injured hand. Blood stained the cuff of her sleeve and was spattered a few other places along her clothing; clearly something had gone down, the only question was what, exactly.
"Of course," she replied, motioning for another of the bartenders to take her place. "Come with me, I’ll get you taken care of." Her tone left no room for argument; anyone coming in to her bar and bleeding all over the floor was going to have to answer a few question while they got bandaged up, it was just how these things worked. "What’s your name?" she asked as she led the way into a small office in the back of the bar.
Lucifer watched as she put on the jacket, pleased that she hadn’t fought him on such a simple thing. Humans always tended to be prone to arguing at the most tiniest of things, and Jo had—at first—seemed to be little different. Lucifer had felt it at that little bar of hers, her sentences concerning her name all layered with argument, with fight. But her actions here had suddenly changed, and the archangel was pleased with such a fact.
He nodded, even offering the slightest of smiles—barely visible for the brief second it was shown—and started to walk forward. “Come. Follow me.”
Lucifer led the way closer to the ocean, pausing only for a moment to push off the shoes his vessel was wearing. To feel the pure sand against the skin of his body, to feel the warmth that sought to seep through, fight against his inherent cold. It would never be too hot for the archangel, and for a moment, he missed such a feeling. The warmth that had once been a constant part of him, so inherent, now needing to be drawn from elsewhere, sought out to give a brief respite against the cold that had taken its place…
The Morningstar turned back, looking over his shoulder to ensure that Jo was following him, was close. “You believe there is beauty in the world, that there are countless places like this, do you not?” A tilt of his head in question. “You believe that damage has not been wrought over everything, everywhere?” Lucifer shook his head, looking back towards the water, watching as the sun rose a bit higher, the colors in the sky starting to turn into their regular bright blue of the day.
"Would it surprise you to know, Joanna, that outside of Heaven itself, there are, perhaps, a mere handful of these places? An entire world that was once like this, that was meant to hold such perfection, such beauty, now holds but a handful." Lucifer isn’t even looking at Jo as he speaks, his attention held by the water, by the sun, by the sand under his feet as the Morningstar starts to stroll calmly a few paces closer to the ocean.
"Do you not understand, Joanna?"
Jo followed him, pausing when he kicked off his shoes. She was tempted to remove hers as well, but decided against it. If at any point she needed to run (again, not that she’d get far, but still) she’d rather do that with shoes on. Plus, she had no idea where they were or if Lucifer would be taking her back home.
She frowned slightly as he spoke, considering her words very carefully. “I believe the earth is like any living organism; it has had to adapt, to change, to continue living. Yes, humans have done some awful things to nature, I can’t argue that, and places like this, that are untouched by humanity, are few and far between. But that doesn’t mean that humanity in and of itself is bad. God let the dinosaurs die out before humans ever walked the earth…” she said, her voice soft. She was disagreeing with him, but trying to think of it as an unemotional, intellectual debate and nothing more.
"Going backward has never been an option, even for you angels," she mused, "All we can do is move forward. Do the best with what we’ve got and make better choices than those who came before us. The things humanity have done to the earth can never be undone, even if you killed all of us, this planet will never be as it was before we were here… I’m sorry, but perfection is an illusion. Perfect beings, perfect places, perfect moments - they don’t exist."
"Nearly every long story is worth telling, love." Damon replies softly. "And don’t dismiss yourself so quickly. I’m certainly finding you very interesting.” Perhaps in more ways than one.
Her souls still shines brightly, almost taunting the demon with how different it is. He still can’t place what’s bothering him about it. At a glance Jo’s soul is perfectly normal, human, alive, but there’s this feeling Damon can’t shake off. But now the woman before him is also starting to intrigue him. She’s no longer just a host of an unusual soul.
The demon watches Jo carefully, slowly realising that she had become a little apprehensive. “You don’t need to worry, sweetheart. I’m not here to scare you, or anything. I promise you, I just need a place for the night.” And he won’t try anything. Not to say that Jo isn’t beautiful, she is. But Damon isn’t stupid enough to try anything on a hunter.
"I would prefer here to a motel, of course. Motels are easier to find, as you probably know. But if you’re uncomfortable…" he leaves his sentence unfinished, knowing his meaning is clear.
Jo argued with herself for another moment, but she already knew what she was going to do. She’d made an offer, she wasn’t going to back down from it now. Her best friend’s face flashed across her mind; Adam brought people home from the bar all the time. Granted, his interest was typically in a one night stand, and that was a big part of why she’d moved back into her apartment instead of staying at his house; clearly he needed space. She shoved the thoughts of Adam aside, her worry about him would have to wait, she had a different person to look after tonight.
Besides, Damon wasn’t looking at her like she was a piece of meat, but rather like she was a puzzle that he couldn’t quite figure out. What exactly he was trying to decipher was beyond her, but that was his business. Maybe she reminded him of someone or something.
Jo took a deep breath and nodded, glancing at her watch. It was getting late, the bar’s crowd beginning thin out and stagger home. She swallowed the rest of her drink and turned back to face him. “Alright, then. I’m ready when you are,” she said with a small smile.
The question was quiet and barely audible over the smattering of rain against the windows and if he hadn’t already been wide awake he would have easily missed it. Instead he turned around again, head peeking out from under the blankets to look over at Jo’s tiny form under the blankets of the other bed. Meg didn’t look much bigger when she slept in the bed but the former demon had a personal bubble lined with barbed wire and invisible brick walls, which somehow gave the illusion that she took up more space than she actually did. Whatever defences Jo had, they did not have the same effect and she just looked fragile and thin where she was curled up under the covers.
"Yeah?" he asked, squinting in the dark. She looked about as miserable as he felt.
"You wanna crawl over here and snuggle? Shared body heat and all," he said, mostly in an attempt to joke and get her to smile and call him an ass. When the words were out, though, he had to admit that the prospect of a human space heater wasn’t all that unpleasant. But seeing as Jo had firmly shot down the "last night on Earth" speech Dean was fairly certain that the "shared body heat" one wouldn’t go over much better, regardless och whether or not Dean actually meant anything by it.
Jo breathed a sigh of relief when Dean answered her; misery did love company, after all.
"You wanna crawl over here and snuggle? Shared body heat and all."
On a normal night, Jo would have reminded him that she’d managed to die with her self respect intact, so it seemed unlikely she’d throw it away now, and, given the teasing note in Dean’s voice, that was probably what he was expecting her to say. She hesitated for a moment, considering the possibilities. On the one hand, she could do what was expected, make a joke, remind him that he was an ass, and they’d both be miserable for the next several hours. Or, on the other, she could let logic score one over self respect and get into bed with Dean. Old feelings would undoubtedly surface for her; she’d had a huge crush on him once upon a time.
Another violent shiver racked her body. To hell with self respect.
Jo rolled from the bed, taking the blankets with her, and scuttled across the small space to Dean’s bed. Unwrapping herself from the blankets, she tossed them over his, biting back a whimper at the loss of heat. She lifted the edge and dove under, colliding with Dean in her haste. “Sorry,” she murmured apologetically, grateful for the dark to hide the color rising in her cheeks. Pressing closer to him to share their body heat, she teased, “If you even think about mentioning that this works better naked, I’ll make you sleep outside.”
"Don’t insult me," Meg snapped, hand lunging out to grab the woman’s collar and drag her right side up. When Jo was on her feet, as much as she could be in accordance with the fact that Meg cared but she didn’t care all that much. It was just easier to keep the young hunter on her feet then have to wait for her to grumble and pick herself up. Her brown eyes rolled with an accompanying scoff.
She rolled her shoulders and wiped her hand off on her jeans as if she had touched something diseased. Her lips thinned as she sized up the hunter once again, she knew better than to try and present herself as something other than what she was. The first time they had met, Meg had been the one to send Hell Hounds after the blonde. She was the one who gave the command to rip the little girl apart. And if Meg knew anything, it was that killing someone tended to leave an impression on them.
Her features rolled into a derisive smirk, realizing the full extent of what was occurring. She was inside the hunter’s head. Somewhere she was vulnerable and not totally in control of. After all, who ever had control over their own dreams? Even with this unforeseen ability to mind meld with those sleeping Meg couldn’t control her own visions during sleep. She couldn’t quite resist the opportunity to screw around with the young blonde though when she discovered where, or more aptly who she was visiting.
It wasn’t in Meg’s nature to seek forgiveness. Not that she would ever expect to be based on the nature of their relationship. But it was still very much in line with her character to fuck with those things which had once been her toys. And Joanna Harvelle was quite fuckable indeed…
"All this time and you’re still just as pathetic as I remember. When Billy Joel said only the good die young I had hope he meant they stayed dead. Wrong he was, because here you are. As sad and sorry as you were that day those years ago looking for things you can’t find," the lilt in her voice left no question of the condescension with which she spoke.
The hand on her collar jerked Jo to her feet and the voice that accompanied it made her blood run cold. Meg. Memories crowded her mind: a brunette woman standing down the street demanding the Winchesters go to see Lucifer, a mocking smirk on her face when she sent hell hounds after them for their refusal. Claws and teeth ripping into her side, pain that started out as bright as fire dulling to numb blackness. And earlier memories - Sam, possessed in Duluth. The way his hand covered her entire forearm, his hand slamming her head into the bar before he’d tied her to a pillar. The things he’d said about her father…
She took a step back and glared at the demon, crossing her arms to hide her shaking hands. Jo rolled her eyes as Meg wiped her hand on her jeans, like she was the unclean thing and could taint the demon. Unlike Meg, Jo didn’t realize what was happening, that this was a dream. Everything had that edge of vague certainty, like when your house in a dream isn’t your actual house, but no one questions it. In the same way Jo didn’t question the changing scenery or Meg’s sudden presence; though she wasn’t thrilled to see her, it made a strange sort of sense for her to be there.
"You know, taking life lessons from Billy Joel is just one in a long line of poor decisions. But hey, ‘it’s still rock and roll to me’," she snapped back, raising her chin in defiance. "Where’s my mother? She was just here…" Wind whipped Jo’s hair around her face as she turned to look for Ellen again, certain that if she just looked in the right place she’d find her.
He waited patiently as Jo poured the soup into two separate bowls, and then had his set in front of him. He immediately grabbed his spoon and dug in, it finally sinking in how hungry he was as he took the first sip off of the silver spoon. It was hot enough to burn Bobby’s tongue off, but he only blowed a couple of times before shoving the spoon back in his mouth.
The soup wasn’t half bad. Not that Bobby was noticing as he shoved half the bowl down his throat within a minute or so. It probably tasted better than it actually was. For having barely anything in his house, Jo managed to cook up a decent meal for the two of them.
Barely pulling himself away from his bowl he slid out of his chair and grabbed two beers, needing something cool down his throat. As he sat back down, he slid Jo hers and opened his. Slamming the beer bottle to his lips and drinking a significant amount before quickly returning to the soup.
He hadn’t eaten in days, and it showed.
Jo watched him eat like a man starved and raised her eyebrow. Clearly her instincts hadn’t been too off, he was acting as though he’d never seen food before. She took a sip of her beer, letting her own soup cool enough to be edible without burning her mouth.
After a few minutes, Jo shook her head, sitting back in her chair. “What’s going on, Bobby?” she asked, crossing her arms and staring at him, “Is it a case? I mean, haven’t you ever seen The Shining? ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’?”
Whatever it was that had gotten him so distracted he’d forsaken food, sleep, and a good mood must be serious.