Of all the holidays of the year, Christmastime was starting to be the worse. Sure, it was supposed to be a happy season, yuletide and everything, but for me, it was just another reminder that part of my family wasn’t alive anymore.
Maybe it would have been better if we were somewhere actually Christmassy, like New York, or Wisconsin. Not Miami. Palm trees and sunny beaches don’t exactly get me in the holiday mood.
Not that I’m complaining about being in Florida. I always loved the sunshine and warm weather, but not now. All I could see now were pristine white beaches full of scantily clad people and the tall sky scrapers that made up the city. Even the aqua blue water that stretched to the horizon wasn’t as beautiful as it used to be.
“Earth to Katey,” Jared said with a smile, nudging me with his elbow. I blinked, looking away from the water. He raised an eyebrow at me, then lifted his plastic cup of soda. I chuckled, sighing.
“Sorry,” I said, then took a sip of my own drink, a dull, flat tasting lemon-lime soda. I couldn’t remember what it was called; some exotic name or other that had sounded good on the menu. “My mind wandered for a minute.”
Jensen chuckled, nursing his drink. “It was a little longer than a minute, Redhead, you missed almost the whole discussion.”
Jared glanced over at Jensen. “I wouldn’t call it a discussion, since I was the only one talking,” he said in a huff.
“Well how’s splitting hairs?” Jensen asked, grinning.
I put out a hand.
“No fighting,” I said dispassionately. Jared glanced over at me, then sighed.
“Sorry,” he said. I nodded, taking another sip of the soda, finally deciding that it wasn’t worth my drinking. I set it down and folded my arms in my lap.
“And I did hear what you were talking about,” I told Jared. I hadn’t heard everything, but I got the gist of it. We were here because of a demon, said demon was probably part of a low level nest, we had to find the nest and kill all the demons.
“We should get started then,” Jensen said as he stood up. I glanced up at him. Jared stood up as well.
“I think I’ve come up with where the nest is hiding,” Jared said, closing the journal he’d been reading and stuffing it into his bag. Jensen nodded and looked down at his watch.
“If we hurry we can have them all taken care of by nightfall,” he said.
I remained in my seat, staring at the water again. It was so hypnotic, the waves rolling towards shore. Tiny surfers rode the white crested ones, while other tiny people played in the shallower water. I felt like I was looking down on the world, like I was disconnected from it all. I really didn’t feel like hunting a bunch of demons that were stupid enough to get found out by us. I hadn’t really felt like hunting anything in a while, but I did anyway. I couldn’t let Jensen and Jared down.
But I just wanted to sit today. Sit and think about all the good memories I had, and try to forget all the horrible ones. This job was taking such a large toll on me, and I was just tired.
“Come on, space case,” Jensen said, derailing my train of thought. “You coming or what?”
I glanced up at him, so the expectation in his eyes, and stood up. Much as I didn’t want to hunt, didn’t want to kill or fight, I had people depending on me. Maybe afterwards I could take a break and just admire the sea.
I stood and followed Jared and Jensen out to the cars. Jared climbed into the red GTO with Jensen, while I got into my own pale green 442. Once we were on the road heading North through the city, I had a lot more time to think, and I had an idea that I thought would help, both me and them. It would give me something to think about other than hunting, and it would give them something to be happy about.
By the time Jensen pulled his car into the parking lot of an abandoned boat house on the other side of the city, I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to do. It would be hard, coming up with enough money for it, but I was sure it would be worth it.
I parked the car next to the GTO, then climbed out and leaned against my car. When Jensen caught my eye, I gave him a waning smile.
“Listen,” I said, clutching my hands uncomfortably. I wasn’t exactly sure how he would react. I was never sure how he’d react any more. “I’m feeling too distracted, I’d probably just get in your way in there.”
Jared glanced at me as he began digging through the trunk for what he needed. Jensen just watched me, his new, unreadable expression plastered across his face. Up until a few months ago, I had always been able to tell what he’d been feeling just by looking at his face. But after that stupid kiss, things had changed. I didn’t know what to think, and Jensen sure hadn’t made his opinion on the kiss known yet.
“You can handle a few low level demons by yourselves, right?” I asked, glancing at Jared. He pressed his lips together tightly, but nodded.
“Sure,” he said. “I think we’ll be okay.”
I looked back over at Jensen. He stared at me for a little longer, then nodded.
“Go on, get outta here,” he said. “We’ll be fine.”
Inwardly, I felt a little hurt. They really didn’t need me. I knew the nest probably wasn’t going to be the easiest, but it certainly wasn’t going to be the hardest thing to take care of, but I still felt a little disappointed that I wasn’t relied upon.
I gave them a weak smile, then climbed into the car, feeling deflated. All the excitement I had felt for the project wasn’t there anymore, and I wondered as I pulled out of the parking lot if it was worth it.