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13 April 2012 @ 08:56 am
Killing Me Softly: Sing in Me O Muse…(Chapter 8)  

She was used to people thinking her odd.



Killing Me Softly

Chapter Eight

Sing in Me O Muse…

**O**

She was used to people thinking her odd.  She was big, clunky and just a little oafish, but that’s just the way she’d been assembled.  Wasn’t her call, and who was she to criticize the great Artist who had sculpted her?  She would do her part to brighten up her canvas, splash it with lots of color and fun, but beyond that she didn’t feel like she owed the world anything else in that regard.  She certainly refused to apologize or make excuse.  Cleo Harper was at total peace with herself.  She’d found her niche in the art community and had become its unofficial mother-superior, a role that came with many self-imposed responsibilities, and not a one of them did she take lightly.  When artists needed funding, she would work tirelessly to help them obtain grants or private backing.  When children in need wanted to take music lessons she’d organize fund raisers for the instrument rentals and lessons.  There isn’t much she wouldn’t do for these people and she would be there for them in any way she could.  That’s why she had spent a good portion of the day with Polly Mitchell, the latest widow in the rash of unexplainable deaths in Cleo’s tight-knit world.  She felt confused and powerless over the recent events and could not make sense of it.  She was going to get to the bottom of it, though, one way or another.  But first, at least for tonight, she had to check up on those boys.  She hadn’t known them long, but that didn’t matter to her.  They were a part of her world and, so, were due all the rights and privileges that being her friend provided. She stood outside the motel door and hesitated.  It was going on 9:30pm and the room was only lit by what appeared to be candlelight.  She felt a little unsure about just barging in, but she wanted to make sure Dean was feeling better, so she knocked assertively.  

**O** 

Sam was going to kill her.  He paced back and forth fuming.  “Goddamned Bitch!” he seethed.  Enough.  He had to calm down and get focused, because this wasn’t going to help Dean.  He removed the amulet and put it back in the baggie for safe keeping.  He needed to get back to Dean, needed to call Caleb and see if he had found a way to kill this bitch, because simply knowing who she was would not help them kill her or help to free his brother.  Free Dean.  He didn’t even know if that was possible.  It had to be.  There was no sense in thinking more on it right now.  He just had to move, had to go, had to work it out.  Dean would be thinking clearly again, and he would help Sam fix this.  Just as he grabbed his light jacket and headed for the door, someone began knocking.  He looked through the peep hole and puffed out his cheeks.  Ugh, he didn’t have time for this.  He took a cleansing breath and opened the door.  There stood Cleo in a neon outfit holding a full sized crock-pot. 

“I’m sorry to bother you this late, honey,” she made excuse but walked right passed him into the room.  “I just wanted to come and check to make sure Dean was doing all right.  I brought him some homemade soup.  I figure you boys probably don’t eat right when you’re on the…”  She stopped short nearly dropping her crock-pot.  Sam took it from her and set it on the table as Cleo stood there in bewildered awe as she looked at the mural on the wall.  She didn’t speak for some time, she just stood gaping.  Her eyes moved back and forth as she took it all in, growing thoughtful and soft the longer she studied the masterpiece.  Sam felt his cheeks flush with heat a little.  He didn’t really want Cleo to see Dean like this.  The only reason that he hadn’t pulled her away was that he had remembered what Dean had said about her.  Dean trusted her, and he had been right about her, she wasn’t the Muse, so Sam didn’t make any moves just yet.  He cleared his throat to try and bring Cleo back to the present.  She turned to him with tears running down her cheeks in little rivulets.  “Did—did you do this?” she asked.   

Sam stood side by side with Cleo, quietly regarding the painting with her.  “No,” he said.  “Dean painted it.” 

Cleo breathed in a long, quivering breath of air.  “I had no idea he could paint like this,” she said turning to Sam in amazement.  “Why didn’t you say anything?”

Sam’s shoulders sagged, he was so tired and worn.  He sighed sadly.  “He can’t, Cleo.  This all started a few days ago.”  He looked at her and nodded in answer to her unspoken question. 

“No!” she cried in distress.  “Tell me this isn’t happening again!”  She looked around the room expectantly.  “Where is he?” 

“He’s at the hospital, and I have to get back to him.  They’re trying to help him, but,” he hesitated. “But someone is doing this to your artists.  I have to try and stop her.” 

Cleo shook her head in confusion.  “Someone? Who?  What’s going on?  What are you talking about?”  She walked the length of the wall, closely studying the painting and shaking her head in disbelief.

“I can’t explain it right now,” Sam said.  “I have to get to Dean.  I promise that I will do everything I can to stop this once and for all, though.”  Sam moved to usher her out when his cell phone rang.  He saw that it was Dr. Liron and answered it immediately.  “Hello?”

There was no initial response, except a low rasp. “Dr. Liron?” he said again.

“Sam,” her voice croaked. Sam tensed instinctively.  “Sam,” she said again a little stronger but her voice still sounded like sandpaper.  “Are you OK?  Is Dean with you?” 

Sam wasn’t sure if he’d heard right?  “Dean?  With me?  What are you talking about?”  

Dr. Liron tried to clear the rasp out of her voice, “Sam, some woman, no some thing was here and took Dean.  She told him that they needed to find you, that you were in some kind of danger.  He left with her.  He’s gone.” 

**O** 

What a mess this whole thing had become.  He’d quite literally been one of the best she’d ever had. And yet the whole ordeal had gone wrong from the beginning and had proven to be nothing but a bunch of starts and stops for days now. First there had been his unexpected head injury and now she would have to contend with his brother’s meddling.  She was losing her patience, and her hunger had never been so sharp. She had to get him somewhere safe to undo the horrible effects of the doctor’s treatment.  He wouldn’t be able to paint for a while, but she would work to combat what they’d done to him.  If she worked diligently without interruption she would be able to fix him in a day or two at most. How she had hated that horrible procedure.  She’d run up against it from time to time over the past seventy years or so.  It always made her work harder.  She looked at her artist who was slumped against the window in the passenger seat.  The medicines they’d given him were too strong for him to overcome, and the walk out to the car had been extremely exhausting for him, so he’d fallen asleep almost the moment she’d gotten him into the car.  She reached out and pet him lightly and heard him call out his brother’s name in response. 

She pulled the car she’d stolen into the parking lot of the performing arts building and parked behind some dumpsters.  She took a deep breath and bent toward her artist and shook him soundly.  “Dean, we’re here!  You have to wake up, now.”  Dean flinched a little as she shook him, but he wasn’t successful in getting his eyes open.  “Dean, Sam needs your help!  Please wake up.”  At that Dean opened his eyes and rubbed his head. 

“Wh’r s’he?  Is he a’right?” His first attempt to sit up straight failed, but he made it on the second try.  He shook his head slightly to try and keep his eyes open.  Everything ached, and nothing was making sense.  “Wh’r are we?” 

“Concert hall.  He’s fine, Dean.” Leana pointed to the building they were parked in front of.  “We need to get to the basement and then we’ll be safe.  Sam’s there.  He asked me to bring you.”  She opened the car door.  “Hang on, I’ll come around and give you a hand.” 

Dean tried to piece together his fragmented memory.  He remembered that he’d hurt his head, remembered painting a picture at the motel—that must be where he got the paint on his clothes, he thought. He remembered the agony of light in his eyes and some woman doing tests on him.  Everything was jumbled, though, and he couldn’t quite put things in order or make it mean anything just yet.  He had this image of Sam in his head, of his brother talking to him, telling him to stop drinking so much beer, but he’d been wreathed in this vibrant, golden light at the time.  Fuck.  What the hell kind of hunt had they been on?  He had no time for further musing because that Leana chick was pulling him from the car and he needed to concentrate on not falling.   

“Just lean on me, Dean.  I’ve got you.  Just take it one step at a time,” she said kindly.

Standing was a monumental task.  Digging up graves always made him sore, but this felt like he’d unearthed the entire fucking Von Trapp family. “I think I got it from here,” he said hoping that was true. His movements were stiff and he lurched more than he walked.  He didn’t want Leana to take too much of his weight, though.  She wasn’t very large and he’d relied on her enough already. He didn’t want to hurt her, so he strove the best he could to walk under his own strength.  Still, he had to grasp her to keep from losing his balance several times. 

“Rest here, Dean,” she leaned him against the door for a moment and ran back around the dumpster to the car. Making sure he was out of sight, she made a slight gesture with her hand, cloaking the car from human eyes. It wavered like a mirage and then disappeared. She ran back to Dean who had slid down the door and was slumped against it. “Let me help you, Dean,” she said giving him another shake.

“Was just resting my eyes,” he said sheepishly. He grabbed for her hand.

“Of course you were,” said Leana with a smug grin. “Up.” She helped him stand and opened the door. They entered the concert hall via the backstage entrance and worked their way up to the main foyer. From there, Leana guided him to the stairwell that led down to the basement. 

“Sam’s down there?”  Dean felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up, and he suddenly felt very naked without his Colt.  He didn’t have so much as a knife in his boot.  Something was off, but his head had throbbed itself into a jumbled mess and he couldn’t make heads or tails of anything.  He needed to get to Sam, needed to find out what the hell was going on, so he allowed Leana to guide him down the steps despite his prickling senses.   

Leana opened the door to a large storage room.  “Sam?” she called.  “We’re here, I’ve brought Dean.”  Dean followed her in and the door shut behind him.   

The room was too dark to make out much of anything.  He could see a bunch of stored theatre paraphernalia, music stands, crates, and stage lights.  “Sammy?” he called.  He turned around to Leana.  “Where is he?”  She looked suddenly relieved and gave him a mischievous wink.   

“Finally.” she huffed.  “That was a huge pain in my ass,” she said as she reached up and slammed her fist hard against Dean’s already traumatized head.   Dean’s world abruptly tilted. The floor performed a neat geometric shuffle and began to suddenly rush up like a freight train to greet him.  It slammed into the right side of his body with such force that the world went black and Dean forgot that he was even alive.   

**O** 

Sam tried to steady his voice.  “What happened, Dr. Liron, start from the beginning.”  Sam paced around the room, and Cleo had to move to avoid his frenetic movements, because he wasn’t taking any further notice of her.   

“A girl came in and,” she hesitated, “she—attacked me somehow, and she convinced Dean to leave with her.  They left about ten minutes ago.  It took a while for me to…” it sounded like she was trying to pick and choose her words carefully.  “It took me a while to recover.” 

Sam was putting on his jacket that he still had in his hand from before Cleo had knocked and was frisking himself for his keys.  “What did she look like?”  He didn’t think he really needed to ask. 

“She was young, attractive, in her early twenties.  I think Dean called her Leana,” she rasped and cleared her throat.  “Sam, what’s going on?  I need to call the police, and I don’t’ even know what to tell them.” 

“No!” Sam said.  “Goddamn Leana,” he hissed. “Please don’t make any calls to the police.   Listen, just stay there.  I’m on my way over.  I’ll be there in a few minutes.  Don’t do anything yet.”  He hung up the phone and moved to go. 

“Sam?  What’s wrong?  What about Leana?”  Cleo followed hot on his heels.   

“Your assistant just took my brother from the hospital.  I have to find her and kill the bitch,” he blurted out in his hurry and adrenaline fueled anger. 

Cleo ran around to the passenger door of the Impala and yanked it open without an invite.  “Leana?  Why would she take Dean?” 

“Because she’s the one who’s killing the artists.  I don’t have time to explain.  I have to go now.  Sorry,” he said and got in the car. 

“Cleo hopped in beside him.  You’re not going anywhere without me,” she said emphatically.  “Drive.” 

**O** 

“What a mess,” Leana said aloud as she looked at the unconscious man at her feet.  She sighed.  Despite her hunger she was going to have to fix him, and that would take some time and considerable energy.  She reached down and slowly dragged him to the corner of the room where she’d already set up her work space.  There was an easel, several canvases, paints, and brushes all ready, but all of that would all have to wait.  She dragged her artist to a small mattress she had shoved in a corner.  She sat down in the niche where the two walls met and situated her artist with his back resting against her breasts and his head lying against her shoulder.  She wrapped her legs around his waist and held him fast.   

“Sorry about hitting you,” she crooned in his ear with feigned sincerity.  “I just needed you to be calm while I got you settled.  I’ll fix you, now,” she began caressing his brow in soothing circles.  Her fingers began to glow dully as they brushed across his head and she massaged the light into his temples.  When he began to show some discomfort she cooed lovingly and began singing in his ear, a soft, melodic cadence that, after a while, seemed to have some kind of palliative effect, because he suddenly calmed and the lines of pain in his face relaxed.  She continued to sing and Dean released a sigh as he slept soundly in the arms of his Muse. 

**O** 

Dr. Rania Liron rarely drank anything harder than a good Merlot.  Tonight, however, was an exception.  She knew where one of her colleagues kept his stash of Scotch, she’d grabbed it and had it sitting out on her desk when Sam arrived.   

“Dr. Liron,” he knocked on the open door.  She finished off her first double before beckoning him to come in.  Cleo walked in right behind him.  “Are you ok?” 

She let out a small derisive snort and chuckled mirthlessly.  “Nope,” she said shaking her head and pouring herself another generous helping.  “She pointed to chairs, indicating for them to sit and went and shut the door.”

“Dr. Liron, this is Cleo Harper, she’s the director of The Louisville Artistic Endeavor, the community center that all the artists that have died have been members of,” Sam said. Dr. Liron cleared her scratchy throat and took a drink.   

“So,” she said. “What the hell just happened to me, and why can’t I inform the authorities?” 

“I’m sorry, Dr. Liron...” he began. 

“Rania,” she said.  “I’m off the clock, so just call me Rania,” she said pouring herself another drink and made an offering motion to the two of them.  Sam shook his head no, but Cleo indicated ‘two fingers’ for her.  Rania poured her a drink.  

“Rania,” Sam said, “I know this is very difficult to understand, but the police cannot help us. You are just going to have to trust me on this. Can you describe what happened?  What did she do to you?” 

Rania took a sip “She walked in and the next thing I know I’m thrown clear across the length of the room and slammed into the wall.  She never lifted so much as a finger.”  She touched the back of her head as though it still hurt.  “I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak.  I couldn’t do a damn thing to keep her from Dean.  And she gave me a message for you.” 

“What did she say?” Sam sat forward in his chair.  

“She said that Dean was hers, that you couldn’t hurt her, and that if you didn’t want to be next you’d leave them alone.  When she left with Dean she turned and looked at me with a smile so…” she shook her head in disbelief and took a large gulp of liquor, “…so inhuman.  I don’t even know what to think anymore.”  She took another sip of her drink.  “So, now, I’ve told you what I know.  It’s your turn.  What the hell happened, and who is she?  And I don’t want any bullshit answers, you tell me the truth, Sam.  I deserve that much.”   

Sam looked from Rania to Cleo and hesitated.  He bent his head and sighed.  “My brother and I came here to investigate the deaths of the artists.”  He looked at Cleo.  “But I’m not a Grad-student.  Dean and I—well our real job is to hunt down things—things like Leana—things that prey on people.” 

“What do you mean ‘things’, Sam?” asked Cleo. 

Sam sighed.  “Things like spirits, ghosts, and other nightmare creatures.”  

Cleo just nodded sagely into her scotch, as though Sam hadn’t said anything unusual.  “I had a funny feeling about Leana, but I was desperate for the help.  I might have known she wasn’t a real intern.  She didn’t even know how to type.”

“’Spirits’?  ‘Creatures’?” Rania said flatly, looking from Sam to Cleo with skepticism.  “So you’re talking about…” she couldn’t say the word. 

“The supernatural,” Sam finished.  “Yes.  I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  I’ve dealt with these things my entire life, and you just got a firsthand taste of what they are capable of.   Leana will continue to kill people, if not here, somewhere else until she is stopped.  I need to find a way to kill her before she kills Dean.”  He turned to Cleo. “I’m sorry we lied to you.” 

She bent forward and gripped his shoulder.  “It’s OK, Sam.  And don’t you worry, honey.  I believe you.”  She gave his shoulder a little shake of friendly encouragement.  

Rania looked at both of them and simply downed the rest of her drink.  But she was a small woman.  And the Scotch was strong.  And her world had just upended.  And she was about to be violently sick. 

**O** 

He was lost again.  It was getting to be a bit of a habit with him.  Time had become entirely irrelevant and he was no longer even completely sure of the month let alone the time of day.   All he knew was that someone was singing softly in his ear and had been doing do so for what felt like days, a non-stop lilting chant that echoed throughout his mind. It had become so pervasive and perpetual that he wasn’t sure what would happen to him if it stopped. Perhaps he’d be like a seafarer stepping on shore for the first time in a year, grateful for the firm earth beneath him but unable to keep his balance upon it.   He opened his unnaturally drowsy eyes and tried to sit up, but he suddenly felt arms grip him tight and a pair of lithe legs snake around his waist. They hooked together at the ankles and held him fast.  The singing became so alluring and fascinating that he simply lay still for a while just letting it wash over him.  As time passed, though, he began to rouse more fully, and he realized that lying in someone’s arms as they sang in his ear was more than just a little fucking weird.  He shifted, trying to get a look at the face that he could feel pressing against his ear.   

“Leana?” he said recognizing her.  “What the hell?” 

“You’re awake,” she nuzzled against him.  “My medicine is working.  You’ll be fixed soon.”  She put her palm to his forehead and a peaceful stupor crept over him.

Dean closed his eyes and quietly tried to piece together what had happened.  His memory was starting to return.  He remembered hitting his head and being in the hospital, remembered painting a wall because he was some evil Muse’s bitch, apparently.  Remembered that Sam had taken him back to the hospital to try and get help.  That’s where things got really fuzzy.  He wasn’t sure what had happened after that, but it didn’t take an abacus to cipher out that things had gone south from there.  He didn’t have to be a genius to know who was singing behind him for all she was worth.  “I wouldn’t try auditioning for American Idol anytime soon, sweetheart, you’re not that good,” he snarked.  

Her quiet laugh gripped him with pain and he winced involuntarily.  “Charming,” she said.  His head started to splinter.  “You’re always so clever.”  She went back to her singing.   

He sat there listening to it for a little bit and his headache eased.  “You know, Sam is going to find me, and he’s going to kill you.  You do know that, right?” he ventured. 

She smiled against his ear and blew lightly in it.  Dean could hear the wind reverberating, hitting his sensitive inner ear and sending delicious jolts of euphoria through his brain and into every cell and nerve ending. He gasped faintly from the intoxicating sensation, but he tried to pull away just the same.  He knew what she was.  “Skank,” he sneered between tantalizing waves that sent shivers down his spine. 

“What?” she pouted coyly.  “I can tell you like it,” she whickered at him, amused.  She held him tight and rocked him gently for a moment.  Finally she turned his head to face her.  “Your brother cannot hurt me,” she boasted.  “But, if he is half as satisfying as you have turned out to be, I will be sure to play with him next.”  She went back to her chanting. 

“You’re not going to lay one fucking finger on him, bitch,” he said and tried to break free of her, but her song turned vicious and his head began to jackhammer until his teeth were rattling and his body trembling.  He fell against her panting in agony.  His breathing hitched convulsively and he moaned out in anguish.  “Don’t,” he begged.  

“Don’t fight me, then,” she said and resettled him.  “Relax”, she trilled in his ear and went back to her song.  Dean lay still trying to scrape his brain off the walls of his skull and piece it back together again.  It took a moment to regain the power of speech.  

“I’ve had worse fr-from a Mr. Freezie,” he bluffed.  He lay still recovering and tried to ignore her incessant singing.  “What are you trying to make me do with your crappy Muzak, anyway?  I’ve never been much of a team player, you know.” 

“I’m fixing what the awful doctors did to you.  They made you all but useless to me.  You can’t sing for me right now, so I have to sing for you and undo what they’ve done.  Believe me, I’d rather it be the other way around.  But sometimes you have to give a little to get a lot, right?"  She applied her fingers to his temples and resumed her melody.  Dean couldn’t respond.  He could barely hear.  The enchantment was so strong and his feeling of wellbeing and ecstasy so complete that he let it cocoon him, insulate him like an inviting, crackling fireplace in the middle of a blizzard.  All too soon the wave passed and he returned to the present.  “If you’re good to me, I’ll be good to you,” she smiled. 

Dean tried to shake off her influence.  “If you’re the one making that racket now, who was doing it before?  I could hear music all the time, and it was a lot better than this.” 

“The music you were hearing?” she said.  “The Song is all you, of course.  The only thing I can do is—well—manipulate it.  I help you to perceive it in all its forms, sight, sound, taste, touch.  I control the volume, I guess you could say.  And I can whisper my own special sweet-somethings along with it to inspire you to paint or to punish you for refusing, but the actual Song is yours.  Your brother had the doctor do something that made it so that you can’t hear or see it right now, which means you can’t give me what I need.  But I’m fixing that for you,” she beamed, giving him a little squeeze as though she were delivering great news. 

“No need, sweetheart.  I’m more of a Zeppelin man, actually.  Besides, what do you even want from me?  I’m not an artist,” he said hoping to hell she wouldn’t make his head explode again. 

She laughed joyfully.  “I don’t take artists, silly.  I make them.”  She resumed her light touch on his temples, enough to thrill him, but not enough to remove him from the conversation.  “Although, it does help to find someone who works well with his hands."  She caressed his fingers, sending electric pulses of pleasure up his arm.   

“Uhhhhhnhnn,” he moaned in spite of himself.  He tried to withdraw his hand, but she continued to gently stroke each finger until he stopped pulling away.  She whispered a kiss against each fingertip and his mind started to unfurl and flap in a warm, sultry South Sea breeze.

“That’s better,” she laughed quietly.  “Although, you fibbed to me about your job, hunter.”  She felt him tense and she laughed lightly, blowing again in his ear and sending him tumbling into orbit.  “That’s all right,” she whispered and rocked him gently.  “I don’t mind.  I’ve never had one of your kind before.  I had no idea what I was missing.”  She was having fun.  Somewhere along the line she had started to simply tap and drain with no real contact.  Fast food.  She’d forgotten just how enjoyable a hands-on experience could be.  She’d have to do more of it, maybe.  At least she didn’t mind making an exception for this one.  She bent low and whispered in his ear, her voice the husk of dried leaves scraping and skipping along the ground in a light wind.  “Did you know that Van Gogh was studying to be a minister when I met him?  He’d never painted a stroke until he was about your age,” she said.  “And he turned out magnificent like you.  Conflicted like you.  Passionate like you,” she sighed, lost in her own reverie.   

Dean strove with all of his might to stay grounded against her spell, but it was becoming harder and harder to resist.  He swallowed and shook his head to clear it.  “Wasn’t he the batshit crazy artist, the one who cut off his own ear?  That was your handiwork?  You must be so proud.”  He felt her legs tighten around his midsection and squeeze him so hard that he thought she was going to rupture his organs.  A horrible buzzing started in his head and the vibrations sent shocks of pain radiating out three hundred and sixty degrees.  He let out a strangled groan of agony and was certain she was going to snap him in half.

“You keep fighting me much longer and you’ll end up just like him or worse,” she spat.  “You’re two peas in a pod as it is.  Stubborn.  Willful.  Ungrateful.”  Her anger grew with every epithet she hurled.   “You’re just alike, right down to your hopeless relationship with your brother.  Vincent had a brother, too. Theo, four years younger than Vincent. Theo, the stable brother to Vincent’s manic, impulsive ways. Sound familiar? Well, he was a pain in my ass just like your brother, constantly interfering with my work.  So you know what I did?  After I was done with Vincent, I killed Theo.  Just like that and all for fun. It’s so sweet.  Their graves are side by side, now, the two of them, best friends, brothers, and now plot mates.”  The Dark Muse laughed heartlessly and placed the flat of her hands on either side of his head. He bucked against her, writhing in unendurable misery. She cruelly yanked against his struggles, holding him securely and making escape impossible.  She had to raise her voice above his incoherent, strangled sobs. “And as for his paintings?  The world owes me its gratitude.  Look at the beauty I’ve provided.  What I take is a small price to pay for what humanity has gotten out of it.”  She continued the torture until he was on the cusp of senselessness.  She wouldn’t let him escape so easily, though.  Just as his eyes began to flutter she kicked him away from her, laughing shrilly as his body bonelessly slapped against the cold concrete floor a few feet from the mattress.

His vision tunneled completely and searing barbs of agony tore a ragged trench right through him.  The pain radiated beyond the space of his physical form, extending into the air around him, as though his nerves could perceive past the confines of his own body.  He tried to rise from where he’d fallen, but he hadn’t the strength.  He felt like he’d been lying there for hours, unable to move or cry out for mercy, entirely unraveled and undone.  Then, everything changed abruptly.  He felt Leana’s lips on his earlobe again and her song pouring into his brain at a fevered pitch, coaxing, bewitching, overwhelming him.  Her hands lightly brushed against him, stroking him and sending spasms of pleasure through him.  He was so tired of pain, and her song was so persuasive. He just wanted to stay here for a little while.  Just a little while longer.  Leana shifted him, turned him over onto his back and mounted him.  Every place she touched tingled and quivered with undiluted bliss.  He could feel her lips move from his ear to his cheek and she licked a stray tear that had fallen during his anguish.   

“Don’t fight me, hunter,” she whispered lapping more tears.  “Be mine and I promise you I will let Sam live.  I won’t harm a hair on his head,” she lulled hypnotically.  He could feel her moist breath against his cheek, each exhalation a warm, humid wisp that both comforted and enticed him.  She gazed directly into his weary eyes, blowing lightly into them until they rolled back and he cried out her name softly. Her pull was so strong that he turned toward the steamy warmth, seeking her out, craving her solace and favor.  Their lips met and the kiss sent shuddering cinder sparks of unhinged ecstasy through him, ensnaring him, leaving him dizzy with desire for more.  Their kiss grew greedy and demanding and Dean had no intention of letting go anytime soon.  As her tongue eagerly darted against his, a pressure released in his head, like the popping of an eardrum just as a plane reaches cruising altitude.  And with that, the melody that had been silent began to play again.  Its strains rolled over Dean in waves, foaming and breaking against him.  Each swell gyrated a little stronger until finally the Song rose to a loud crescendo, a perfect blending of pitch and tone, harmony and melody.  Leana’s tongue taunted and flicked in teasing rhythmic pulses, sending sudden bursts of color rocketing behind Dean’s eyes to play in the eddy.  

“Music’s back,” he said and collapsed helplessly into Leana’s embrace, completely slack and placid. After several moments of just floating in the pools of light and sound he opened his eyes.  He could see his blue fractals twisting off of him in radiant strands, stretching out toward Leana. Upon reaching her, they broke off and spiraled against her skin in undulating ripples, attaching themselves to her.  She helped him rise from the bone hard floor and guided him back onto the soft mound of the mattress. She twined their fingers together and kissed him deeply as the music became stronger and more commanding.  He knew what it wanted from him, and he would obey.

She smiled seductively. “You are fixed now,” she whispered into his ear.  She kissed him again and stood up and brought him a palette and some paints.  “I’ve helped you.  Now you must help me.”  Together they filled the palette with a rainbow assortment of paints and she handed him a brush.   

As her artist stood and approached his easel, she reclined luxuriously on the mattress, watching him in anticipation.  It had taken more than a full day to bring him back to her, but she knew that it had been well worth it.  She could see his cerulean geometry arcing outward, twisting in spiraling filaments that flowed into her like a sweet sap, and that was just from the music restarting. Not a single stroke had been painted yet.  He was exquisite.   

Dean looked at the easel and canvas before him.  Twirling his paintbrush in his hand like a drumstick, he stretched his aching shoulders, ignoring the pain.  He glanced at his Muse who smiled broadly as she watched, giving him a nod of approval.  As a surge of creative arousal rushed through him, he turned back, loaded his brush and obediently began his next painting.

Go to Chapter 9