Slender fingers tangled in her hair, and warm hands grasped her hips. Pants, gasps in the humid air, loamy earth under her fingernails and leaves sticking to her skin… sometimes the old ways, the wild ways, really were best.
Bobby's rough chin scratched across her belly, and her mouth was filled with the taste of Jo. As they rolled together on the soft ground, Ruby didn't even bother to double-check that the old one watching from the trees was enjoying himself… she knew that he appreciated the real thing, and this was no play-act.
The first time, Ruby had simply spoken with him. It wasn't often that she met demons who were more legendary than real, after all, and she hadn't known precisely what to offer him. His myth had lost much of its detail over the centuries, but she'd known the likely place to wait, and the approximate month of his brief reappearance.
It wasn't exactly an urban center. No, it was a broken-down hillside beside a nondescript tributary that fed into another nondescript tributary of the great Mississippi.
He'd been cursed, that much had been true, though some you might ask would tell you he'd been blessed. Struck by an unholy, or holy, love for a mortal woman, he'd let her break her deal with his boss by making a deal of his own. He'd spent most of the past few centuries near-ephemeral, getting kicked between whatever darkest pits of Hell were deemed appropriate for one such as himself, but he was briefly, and regularly, given the respite of visiting his beloved, though she was thanks to his boss' double-cross long-dead, and her bones scattered in the lazy bends of the river.
Not a soul knew or cared about the long-gone history of the woman who'd been born there, lived there, been desperate enough to summon the demon's dark power, and whose mortal charms he'd fallen for. No one, that is, but Ruby, and she'd been prepared to deal herself when she finally, finally found him.
He wouldn't give her his name, so she gave him another: old one.
And he wouldn't give her many more details, save that he had only once had the opportunity to be with his love. So she'd made him an offer to tempt his tastes, and asked him one small favor in return… to locate in the depths of Hell an item, and to tell her where he'd seen it.
The second time, she'd been prepared. She'd recalculated the old calendar's months, knew enough not to have to spend a fortnight just waiting around as she had the first time, and had brought the appropriate gift.
The old one had simple tastes, after all. He enjoyed watching humans go willingly into the arms of demons, and Ruby had found a charming virgin volunteer to whet his appetite.
Young Bobby Singer had motives of his own, of course, for meeting her in such a ridiculously out-of-the-way spot, and Ruby had no qualms about being honest when it suited her purposes, so the two had come to an understanding.
She'd taken the lead, and Bobby had been young, and attracted to her pretty face, so things had gone rather nicely, all things considered. The sex had been passable, she'd later given Bobby a bit of instruction in warding runes as he'd needed, and the old one had provided her with the location of a certain scroll which interested her. Not for her own use, this one, but information on any plane of existence was really the same as power, so it had been worth her while.
And the old one had gotten whatever passed for his rocks off, before his time on the mortal plane was over for another round, and she'd asked him for another favor.
The third time Ruby hadn't found another volunteer more willing than Robert, so they'd traveled separately to the nearest town and met at the local watering hole before heading out to the hillside muddy with the spring rains.
The old one had been surprised she'd shown up, but he'd gotten the information she'd wanted, so Ruby and Bobby had given him another show, and she'd asked a third favor from the old one.
After she'd given Bobby the totem bag he'd asked for in exchange for his trouble, she'd surprised herself by asking, "So, what are you doing next May?"
It had turned into an annual tradition, going by the old calendar, and it had worked out well for both of them, but as the old saying goes, the first time is happenstance, the second mere chance, and the third time's the charm. Bobby didn't exactly trust her, and she didn't exactly trust him, but they were comfortable with each other as only two predators could be.
And the sex was remarkably good. Even the third round that third night, after the old one had been called back into the depths and they really didn't have any ostensible reason for it.
The next year, she'd asked the old one for the location of the knife she'd really been seeking all along.
When the old one had given his answer, the following year, she'd asked the old one to make sure that one of Bobby's old flames wasn't in the Pit, and in return, Bobby had sidetracked a hunter who'd been a nuisance to Ruby all the previous year. It was a fair exchange.
Ruby hadn't gotten bored, exactly, but the old one seemed to have. And she had some big questions for him, so she'd needed some fresh meat, and the shady world of hunters had provided.
Ruby was still entertained by the idea that the daughter of William Harvelle was willing to follow the two of them into the fog-shrouded river country, but she wasn't one to pass on an opportunity.
And apparently the old one had been pleasantly surprised, which boded well for her answer the next year.
It had turned out that Jo was more than willing, she'd been an enthusiastic participant, especially after Bobby had given her just enough of their history to make her eyes go round… young she was, but damnation, the girl did nothing by halves.
She was so well-suited to join them, and if Ruby had any say in the matter, she'd do it again. And besides, they were going to need the old one's full cooperation if they were going to find that damned Winchester.