Loud knocking jerks Anna awake. She sits up in bed, fully aware. She’s had months of practice doing this and, although it was difficult to unlearn a lifetime of waking slowly, it was also necessary for her new role as a hunter’s wife. She takes in the room and the bathroom beyond in one quick glance. John’s gone.
The knocking comes again. She slides quietly across the bed dragging the sheet with her while slipping her other hand under the pillow for her gun. She already knew how to shoot but John honed her skills with hours of practice, explaining a hunter needs more than just good aim to survive. And that’s what this all comes down to in the end: survival. Killing the monster before it kills you.
She uses her left hand to hold the sheet in front of her as best she can without tripping over it and crosses the room as quietly as possible. Her heart is pounding in her throat and she’s terrified. She wishes fervently that John were here…but he’s not so she’ll just have to manage on her own. It could just be the maid, she tells herself. But, aside from the fact that John specifically requested no maid service, don’t maids always announce themselves?
Shaking her head to clear it she approaches the door, staying to the right in case whoever it is decides to shoot through it. Part of her still can’t believe this woman creeping across a cheap motel room with a gun is the same Anna Bryant who grew up in a quiet
She lets out the breath she didn’t even realize she was holding and lowers her gun. “Hold on!” she calls as she sets the gun on a nearby table and wraps the sheet securely around her toga fashion. A memory of once using a red checked picnic blanket for the same purpose flashes through her mind but she pushes it aside and opens the door.
Dean’s green eyes widen as he takes in her outfit, her bare shoulders, her sleep tousled hair. At least he hopes it’s sleep tousled. It’s been hard enough to accept her as Dad’s wife; he really doesn’t need to think about what they might be doing to cause mussed hair.
As if reading his thoughts she shakes her head. But all she says is, “You scared the hell outta me!”
“Uh, sorry. We just got in.”
Ladona suddenly pushes him aside and launches herself at Anna, almost knocking the woman off her feet. Dean turns away as the sheet threatens to fall but Anna does a quick save and even manages to give Ladona a one armed hug. Laughing, she says, “It’s good to see you too, honey. How’ve you been?”
Ladona tugs a still reluctant Dean into the room. “Close the door. Were you born in a barn? It’s freezing!” she admonishes him. Turning back to Anna she answers, “We’ve been really busy; you know how it goes. We had a little time off in
Anna has to bite her lip to keep from laughing as Dean promptly obeys Ladona’s order to shut the door. She really does have him domesticated, she thinks before turning her attention back to the girl. Ladona’s cheeks are a little red from the cold but her blue-gray eyes are warm and her smile is genuine. She and Anna formed a bond during the rescue from Hell and she thinks of Anna as the older sister she never had. Not to mention the fact that she wouldn’t even be hunting if not for Anna recruiting her in the first place. For her part Anna loves Ladona like a sister too and is very impressed with her influence on Dean. She strongly suspects it’s that influence which makes Dean, if not approve of, then at least tolerate her marriage to his dad.
They all look up as a key turns in the lock and John steps into the room, smiling. “Hey, you finally made it,” he greets Dean and Ladona. He allows himself only a brief look at his wife then turns away to set the coffee and breakfast he’s precariously balancing on the table next to her gun. It also gives him an opportunity to hide the naked desire that filled his face at seeing her wearing just the sheet. He wishes fleetingly that Dean and Ladona hadn’t shown up quite yet.
“Yeah, we drove half the night.” Ladona sounds a little annoyed and Anna bites her lip again to keep from smiling. Obviously she’s not the only woman who’s fallen prey to the
Dean looks even more uncomfortable but doesn’t say anything. Bad enough he has to stand less than five feet from the bed his dad clearly had sex with Anna in but now Ladona’s poking at him for not wanting to spend all night making love to her. And it’s not that he didn’t want to; they were just really behind schedule.
John claps his son on the back. “Sounds like you need to get some rest then.” He holds up Anna’s gun but keeps his gaze and voice neutral. “Good work.”
She gives him a small equally neutral smile. There’s an unspoken agreement between them to keep all displays of affection to an absolute minimum around Dean. They both know how uneasy he is with their marriage and neither wants to contribute to the low level of tension that permeates the atmosphere whenever the three of them are together. It wasn’t so bad at first, Anna thinks sadly. Dean was John’s Best Man and at least seemed to be happy for them. But then…she sighs inwardly. Well, it was just a mistake, she tells herself. We should have been more discreet.
They’d just returned from their honeymoon. Everyone was still at the B&B taking a well deserved break after the battle that ended the Winchesters’ two decade plus quest to kill the demon that murdered Mary. The war was over, new love was in the air for Sam and Dean, and no one begrudged the family a little time off. It was nice to just be together.
John started training Anna immediately; Sam, Ladona, Skye, and even Dean pitched in to help. The long sweaty days usually ended in long sweaty nights between her and John, a reward for a job well done. But one afternoon it was just the two of them; they were practicing knife fighting, something she seemed to have a talent for, when John suddenly swept her feet out from under her. She landed on her butt hard and he pounced, pushing her flat on her back and covering her body with his own. She barely had time to note the gleam in his eyes before he was kissing her lips, her throat, her chest above the neckline of her shirt. Her body responded as always and she buried her hands in his hair to draw his mouth back up to hers, tasting the salt of her own skin on his tongue.
Suddenly he drew back and she noticed Dean standing in the entrance to the training area, a stricken look on his face. Before either of them had time to say anything Dean was gone. Really gone; within the hour he and Ladona were heading out on a hunt. The three of them haven’t been together much since that day but it’s been almost painful every time. So John and Anna do the best they can to defuse the tension by simply staying apart.
Pushing her troubled thoughts aside Anna answers John. “Thank you. I learned from the best. Now I think I will take a shower and get dressed.”
Ladona frowns slightly but doesn’t say anything. She’s a witch not a psychic but it doesn’t take any special ability to see the way Anna and John pull apart whenever Dean’s around. Dean seemed okay with the marriage at first then one afternoon he charged into their room, shook her rudely awake from a nap, and started throwing their clothes into two duffel bags. All he’d say was there was an emergency in
Dean grabs the lifeline his dad threw him like a drowning man. “Yeah, I’m really tired. We’re in the next room,” he adds unnecessarily since John made the reservations. “I’m gonna go get a couple hours of shut eye.”
“Me too,” Ladona says brightly. She’s not in the least bit tired and would love to catch up with Anna since they haven’t seen each other in months. E-mail’s good but no substitute for actually sitting and talking to someone, she thinks wryly. But there’ll be plenty of time for that later. Besides, she strongly suspects John and Anna would like to be alone right now. If Dean came in and found her wearing nothing but a sheet she’d sure want to be alone with him. Her eyes narrow. But she needs to have a good long talk with him first about his behavior toward his dad’s new wife…
“See you later then.” Anna smiles and disappears into the bathroom.
John checks his watch. “How about we meet in the diner at 10?”
“Sure.” Dean nods then he and Ladona disappear to their own room, taking the tension with them.
Ladona closed the door to John and Anna's room behind her and stood for a second in the cold morning as she watched Dean go to their room and put the key into the lock. He turned and looked at her.
She shook her head and frowned, lost in thought. How could he not feel that? she wondered. The lust and love between John and Anna was palpable; like silk moving softly across her skin. The love that wrapped around the older couple was almost a third party in their relationship and it reached out and touched Ladona so that her blood hummed with the lust she couldn't control for Dean and made her heart pound with love and wanting. Oh, she wanted him alright. In his haste to get to his father, they'd left the warmth of the bed at the motel in the middle of the night after a couple hours of rip-the-ceiling-off sex. Ladona smiled privately, admitting that what they'd done had not been making love and a heat spread out from low in her belly just remembering.
Dean held the door for her and as she passed, she ran her fingertips lightly across his lips. The change was instantaneous, Ladona knew, without even having to look at him. The sharp intake of breath, the way his love and want for her filled the room and made the air thick. She felt his eyes on her and she knew he would be behind her a hair's breadth of time after the door clicked shut and he shot home the lock. Ladona turned and put her hand out, stopping Dean before he could get to her.
"We need to talk," she said, her voice low and strung raspy with need.
Dean's eyebrows shot up and he raked her with his eyes, making note that her eyes were a deep, emerald green, knowing that talking wasn't what she had in mind when she looked and sounded like this. "Talk?" he whispered, the tremors in his voice matching the shivers he knew were making the muscles in her stomach quiver.
"It can wait." The words were barely out of her mouth and he was on her, one hand tangled in the thick curls at the base of her neck holding her captive, his mouth on hers, hot and demanding. His tongue invaded her mouth as his other arm locked around her like a vice, pulling her against the hot hardness in his jeans.
Ladona pushed the leather jacket from Dean's shoulders and pulled his t-shirt up, going straight for the button and zipper of his jeans as soon as he took the shirt from her hands and ripped it off his head. He pulled her jacket from her and ripped her shirt open to expose her breasts. Since they'd left in the middle of the night, she'd not bothered with a bra and she stood full and firm before him. They pushed their own pants off and kicked them to the side before coming together again.
Dean put his palms to Ladona's nipples and grazed them lightly, back and forth, and she took the solid length of him in her hands, rubbing him until it was almost painful for him to not be inside her. Taking one hand and slipping it between her legs, Dean was not surprised to find Ladona slick and ready. He took two steps and fell back on the bed, bringing her with him. Ladona didn't give him time to raise himself more fully onto the bed before she was astride him, taking Dean deep inside her with one masterful stroke. He gripped her hips hard, pulling Ladona down more tightly against him, as she moved sharply.
Dear Goddess, he thought. It's been over six months and still she does this to me every time. And not for the first time did Dean Winchester wonder how it was even possible. There was some magic involved, he knew, from the way she’d touched his lips on her way into their room. Whether or not she actually used her power, he never ceased to wonder at the spell he seemed to be under because of her.
Ladona closed her eyes and rocked to the rhythm of the convulsions happening deep inside her. She was coming over and over again, falling off a new cliff every time Dean arched into her, losing her breath and squeezing her eyes shut until she felt him push up with such strength, his fingers digging into her hips as he, too, fell over the edge. Ladona pitched forward until she was laying flat against Dean's chest, her mouth pressed against the damp salt of his neck.
Some of the fog began to clear from their minds as their breathing returned to normal. Ladona slid off Dean and curled into his side. He chuckled and she noted - again - how much his laugh sounded like John's.
"Why are you laughing?"
"You said you wanted to talk." The laugh got deeper.
Ladona raised herself up on her hands, pushing against Dean’s chest, and arched an eyebrow. "We are going to talk. But I need to get under this blanket first. Aren't you cold?"
They climbed under the covers, Dean reaching for Ladona once again. She put her hand out and sat up, the covers pooling in her lap. Dean ran his eyes over her appreciatively, enjoying the view. Ladona was fit with an hourglass shape, but she wasn't dainty or small. She was definitely solid with firm, full breasts, a narrow waist and flat stomach, hips that flared, a round bottom and strong legs. Smart and talented, too, though Dean didn't need to be reminded. "So ... what's on your mind?"
"You." Now Dean arched an eyebrow and twisted his mouth into a lecherous grin that disappeared when Ladona pursed her lips. "Nice try, but you might change your mind after you hear what I have to say."
Dean sighed and settled back, knowing better than to interrupt when she got this way. "I'm all ears."
"Your father and Anna are married, Dean, and that's not going to change anytime soon," Ladona said, her eyes changing to a deep blue-gray. "They love each other - deeply - and they deserve to be happy together for as long as that turns out to be. Before we rescued Anna you said you were going to try to accept her in John's life, but I have to tell you that you kind of suck at it."
"Wha --" Dean's expression turned petulant and it took a lot of self control for Ladona not to smack him.
"No. It's my turn." Ladona ran a hand impatiently through her hair. "They never touch each other and barely look at each other when you're in the room, Dean. Haven't you noticed?" She didn't wait for an answer before continuing. "They do it, I'm guessing, out of respect for you and your feelings, but that's not right." Ladona softened her tone and leaned forward to cup Dean's face in her hands. "John loves you and he doesn't want to upset … I don't know … the balance or something now that he has his boys and a love again. But you're not being fair, Dean. And you need to get over this -- hump -- and accept Anna as a permanent part of John's life."
Ladona held Dean's gaze until he gave in and looked down. She let him go and pulled back a bit, watching the emotions race across his handsome face and through his bottomless green eyes.
Dean knew Ladona was right, that he was acting like a big ass baby, but he couldn’t get the taste of disappointment out of his mouth. If he were really honest with himself, he’d admit that he was taking his annoyance with John out on Anna, who was a much easier target.
After that yellow-eyed rat bastard had been taken care of, John and Anna had gone on a honeymoon that Dean did not begrudge them. Those first couple weeks after the war were breezy and light. Dean and Ladona went for long walks through the forest. They made love against a tree and on the riverbank. They went into town for dinner and movies. They window shopped in the small downtown. Dean pretended not to notice that Ladona spent as much time in the sun as possible. He was sure it was because she spent enough time in AlmostHell to make her crave the outdoors.
For the first time in his life, Dean was unafraid to show his feelings. Ladona often reached for his hand or sat close to him so their thighs pressed together. He responded to her openness by reciprocating. He sometimes put his arm around her or rested his arm on the back of a chair just to feel her curly hair brush gently against his forearm. And there was something to be said for homecooked meals. She cooked amazing meals for them all, including dessert, and was slowly introducing him to the joys of cooking. A flash of heat moved through him remembering how he’d backed her into the butler’s pantry and took her hard and fast on the counter.
It wasn’t until John and Anna returned that Dean realized how little things had really changed. While Anna was in Hell, John relied on Dean, had taken the younger man into his confidence, really listened to him in a way Dean had always craved. Now that Anna was rescued and back home, John barely had time for his eldest son. He was unwilling to look over case files that needed handling or to discuss dismantling outposts now that the war was ended. Hell, John scarcely noticed when the boys or anyone else was around if Anna were within 25 feet. The only reason Dean agreed to help train her was to try and get more time with John.
The call about a pack of werewolves in
Still, Dean knew he wasn’t really mad at or annoyed with Anna. It was just easier to direct all his pent-up anger and hurt at what, or who, had diverted John’s attention – again, in Dean’s mind – away from his family.
He sighed heavily and pulled Ladona against him. It was several moments before he spoke, his voice muffled as he pressed his mouth close to her head. "I know you're right, and I can't say that I'll be perfect right away, but I do promise to try more. Try harder. Deal?"
Dean pulled Ladona up so they were nose-to-nose. "Sometimes I still can't believe you're real, that you might have ..."
Ladona kissed the next thought away. "I'm not going anywhere. If that little trip to AlmostHell didn't prove it to you, I don't know what will."They kissed tenderly then and settled down into the covers to get some of the sleep they missed last night.