Summary: They met in a cemetery in the middle of the night.
Notes: Many, many thanks to fishpatrol and mercuriewords for their thoughtful beta work. This was written as a pinch hit for schmevil in the spn_fs_exchange. I’m sorry it’s so late, but I hope you enjoy it!
They met in a cemetery in the middle of the night.
The difference between them was that Jo was digging up a grave to salt and burn a corpse and Bela was digging up a grave to steal the necklace inside it.
After the introductions, Jo seemed to oh-so-naturally assume that Bela was another hunter, so Bela didn’t bother to disabuse her. Who else hung around cemeteries in the middle of the night with a shovel? Anyway, it was kind of strangely companionable to be digging up graves fifteen feet away from each other in the dark.
The trouble was, unfortunately, that jumping into an open grave to rifle the corpse for jewelry was rather conspicuous. Even compared to someone who was planning on dumping gasoline over her coffin and setting it on fire. Bela waited until Jo appeared to be occupied with digging and made her move. But not discreetly enough, apparently; the next thing she knew, Jo was staring down at her in the open grave, her gaze fixed on the necklace in Bela’s hand.
“You’re a grave robber?” Jo demanded, incredulous.
She looked very pretty like that, Bela thought, standing there in the moonlight with her mouth open and her eyes wide, a smudge of grave dirt on her cheek. She looked sweet and fragile.
Until, that is, Bela’s eyes fell to the knife settled comfortably in Jo’s hand.
“I’m not a grave robber,” Bela said disdainfully. She climbed out of the grave with as much dignity as she could manage. Jo didn’t offer any help; her fingers flexed around the handle of her knife. “I procure valuable items for a very elite clientele.”
“From graves,” Jo said.
Bela raised her eyebrow. Where hunters seemed to get these weird moral hang-ups, she would never know.
She dusted her hands of dirt to cover for surreptitiously sliding the necklace out of sight. “Occasionally,” she said.
Actually, it was very rare that Bela did this kind of thing herself: too messy, too manual. She usually hired someone to do it for her. But for the slim chance this particular item offered her—well, Bela would do a lot of things she wouldn’t usually even consider.
“What is it, anyway?” Jo asked, her eyes flicking to the pocket where Bela had slipped the necklace. Bela tilted her head, considering; the girl was quick.
“Something very valuable,” Bela said at last.
“It’s not yours.”
Bela raised her eyebrow again and threw a significant glance down to the uncovered coffin between them. “Somehow I don’t think he’ll miss it,” she said.
Jo moved faster than Bela expected her to, but she had to get around the open grave and that gave Bela time to pull out her gun. Jo went right for the necklace but Bela twisted and they hit the ground seconds later, Jo’s knee in Bela’s gut, Bela’s hand gripped tight in Jo’s hair. The cold edge of Jo’s knife was sharp against Bela’s side; her pistol was steady against Jo’s temple.
Jo’s breath fell heavily in the silence. Bela could feel her own heart thumping against her ribs, a rapid countdown in her ears. Neither of them moved.
Jo met Bela’s gaze guardedly. Her eyes were dark and colorless in the moonlight, steelier than Bela had thought. She didn’t look away.
“Well,” Bela said, letting her voice drop into a slow drawl, seductive and warm, curling around the words like honey, “what on earth shall we do now?”
She let her legs fall open a little so that Jo’s tense body settled gently into the cradle of her hips. The look of surprise on Jo’s face as she realized what Bela was suggesting was precious. A slight tremor ran through Jo’s body, though the blade on Bela’s ribs remained steady.
“What do you think you’re doing?” Jo hissed.
The thing about hunters and their morals was that once you figured them out you could twist them for your own purposes. For instance, Bela was willing to bet her own life that Jo wouldn’t stab a person for grave robbing if that person didn’t have a weapon pointed at her head.
Bela clicked the safety and, with an exaggerated gesture, lifted her gun away from Jo’s temple. “Changing the game, sweetheart,” she said, letting the corners of her mouth snake upwards, just a little. Something flared in Jo’s eyes and the knife eased back a little, warily, as though Jo didn’t know what to expect next.
Well, Bela didn’t either, but the difference between them was that she wasn’t about to let that show on her face.
Jo rolled off her and they stood up. Bela suspected that if she looked anything like Jo—mussed and dirty and scowling—she would refuse to be seen in public. Even in a cemetery after midnight. She resolved not to check her reflection in the rearview mirror when she got back to the car. Just in case.
Jo was still watching her.
“I don’t know about you, but I could use a drink,” Bela said. She had a flask in her car and, after the night she’d had, she wouldn’t mind sharing. Especially not if Jo kept looking at her with that dark liquid gaze.
Jo frowned and looked down at her knife, fiddled with it. She seemed to be considering something, and Bela rolled her eyes at the picture of agonized indecision she made.
Finally Jo said, still scowling, all in a rush, “Do you want to see my motel room?”
If Bela hadn’t been so surprised by the invitation, she would have laughed at the unsophisticated bluntness of its delivery. It had been a long time since she had said yes to an offer like that. A long time since she’d let herself be in the position to answer it at all.
Still: motel room, for God’s sake.
“No,” she said. She’d said it deliberately, but she found she didn’t want to see the expression on Jo’s face at the apparent rejection after all. So she added quickly, “I have a better idea.”
Bela had planned to let Jo have the shower first while she slipped the necklace into the hotel room safe. But when Jo saw the size of the bathroom, she shot Bela a look, heated and intense, put a long-fingered hand casually on her hip, and cocked her head in an invitation far more elegant than her first.
Jo’s skin flushed pink under the hot water, smooth and sleek, and her hair and lashes darkened against her skin. Her mouth was soft and pouty, but she kissed intensely, her tongue sure, her teeth sharp. She left a mark on Bela’s throat, dark and bruised, and Bela found she didn’t even care.
They stumbled out of the shower together and Bela crowded Jo towards the soft bed. She smelled of Bela’s own expensive soap and Bela was surprised at how intoxicating that was. She wanted to spread Jo out underneath her and make a feast of her pale skin, her pretty breasts, her long legs. But she’d barely managed to lick and suck her way across the smooth curve of Jo’s belly when she found herself flipped on her back instead. Before she could catch her breath, Jo nudged her thighs open and dropped her head between them, and Bela twisted her hand in Jo’s wet hair and arched demandingly under her. When Jo looked up again, she was smirking, and Bela had to roll her over, her thigh pressed tight between Jo’s legs and her fingers cupped around Jo’s breast, before she made Jo fall to pieces under her hands.
It was almost dawn when Jo got out of bed to pull on her streaked and grimy clothes. Thin ribbons of color crept across the horizon, a hazy hint of light in the dark of the room. Bela sprawled languidly on the bed watching her, the rush of orgasm still singing through her body.
Jo threw her another quick smirk.
Bela let herself smile slow and hot in response.
“Before you go,” she said, and held out her hand.
The look of surprised dismay on Jo’s face was almost comical. Then her lips quirked a little and she pulled the necklace out of her pocket without a hint of embarrassment on her face. Bela liked the sight of the chain tangled around Jo’s slim, pale fingers, but she liked the solid weight of it in her own palm even better.
“What were you going to do with it?” Bela asked, before she could stop herself.
Jo’s eyes gleamed, bright and challenging, and she smiled a little crookedly. “Maybe I was gonna make you chase me,” she said.
Bela didn’t believe that for a minute, but if she hadn’t needed to rely far too heavily on the flimsy protective charm the necklace supposedly held—one more last-minute attempt to save her own skin—she might have been tempted to let herself tuck it back into the front pocket of Jo’s ripped jeans anyway. She might have let Jo slip behind the wheel of her beat-up pick-up and drive off into the night, Bela following close behind her on the dawn-brightening road.
But the difference between them was that Bela had a predetermined date with Hell, and Jo—Jo most certainly did not.
So Bela did not drop the necklace back into Jo’s uplifted hand. Instead, she closed her fingers around it, ignoring the rancid stench of death that still clung to it, and met Jo’s assessing gaze without blinking.
After a moment, Jo nodded like she understood—even though she couldn’t, not really—and walked out of the hotel room without saying goodbye.
Bela shut the curtains so she didn’t have to watch the warmth of the sun spreading into the stillness of the room. It barely took her any time to get dressed, fix her make-up, and gather her things together. She pulled the belt of her leather coat tight around her waist, and slipped out of the hotel without settling her bill. Soon she was on the road again, nowhere to go and everything to escape.
It was the differences between them that made all the difference, in the end.