“Come on, come on, pick up,” I mumbled under my breath as I listened to the phone ring in my ear.
I shot a quick glance over my shoulder to see Sam watching me with an amused glimmer in his eyes. “You might as well cut me loose, Dean. You can’t make me leave this body. Hell, I can’t leave it as long as it’s alive. And I know you ain’t gonna kill it before I do.”
Ignoring that last comment, I figured I’d just ask him straight out. “Why can’t you leave it? What the hell are you?”
“Jimmy Vaughn,” he introduced himself with a smile as he shifted and shrugged. “I’d offer to shake hands but you won’t seem to let me.”
“I know who you are… were… are…whatever.” Christ, I had a headache, and the fact that I’d taken a boot to the face really had very little to do with it. “I just don’t know how you’re still here if you’re not a demon.”
He shrugged again and told me. “I’m just Jimmy. Nothin’ more, nothin’ less.”
The voice on the other end of the line had me exhaling in relief. “Bobby, it’s Dean. I need your help.”
“Oh, Lord, what’s wrong now?”
I thought of protesting the word now, but really, given our history, I couldn’t. So, I just went ahead and asked him, “Can something besides a demon possess a person?”
“What? Dean, what the hell have you two stumbled on this time?”
Moving a little further away from Sam and whatever was in him, I lowered my voice. “Honestly, Bobby, I don’t know. But it’s got Sam and exorcism doesn’t even make it twitch and the last guy that had it in him couldn’t get rid of it until he died, and that is not an option in this situation.”
“Alright, alright, just calm down and give me a second to think. Now, tell me everything you know about it.”
So, I did. Everything Mary had told us and given us, everything Sam had found, everything that Sarah had told us. Everything that had happened in the house. Hell, I was tempted to tell him what we ate for dinner the night before if it would help him come up with an answer.
“Then this Sophie Vaughn was the first girl killed?”
Bobby’s question triggered a memory and I corrected, “No, actually, there were two other girls killed in neighboring towns. But neither fit the M.O. of the killer and, as far as we know, there was no connection to the house, so it could have been another person entirely.”
Behind me, Jimmy snorted. “What?” I demanded.
At Bobby’s questioning tone, I told him, “Hold on a second, Bobby.” Then I narrowed my eyes at the thing in my brother. “You killed them, too, didn’t you?”
“I had to make sure that I knew what I was doing when it came to Sophie. I had to find the best way to do it. Sophie deserved the best.”
“They were practice?” My lips curled in disgust.
“They never found the first girl I used a knife on. But once I felt the way that blade just slid into her flesh, I knew that was the way Sophie would go. That that was the way it was meant to be.” He closed his eyes and savored the memory and I was tempted as hell to punch the living shit out of him, even remembering it was Sammy’s body wasn’t enough to have me unclench my fist. “It was even worth Momma beating me when she found out I’d left Sophie alone playing at her friend’s house to go to the next town over to do it.”
“She knew? You’re mother knew you’d killed those girls?”
“Well, not right away.” Brown eyes rolled that I would think something that stupid. “She didn’t figure it out completely until she found me with Sophie.”
“And she sent you away?”
“In a way, I guess that’s exactly what she done.” His face brightened then. “But I found me a way to come back. I always find a way to come back.”
Bobby was calling me through the phone and I brought it back up to my ear. “Did you hear that?”
“Yeah, I did,” he confirmed. “Dean, it sounds like you’ve got a ghost on your hands.”
“A ghost? But ghosts can’t possess people… can they?”
“Vengeful spirits attach themselves to objects all the time.”
“But a person isn’t an object,” I argued.
“To a ghost it is, especially one that’s a serial killer. Besides, it could explain why he didn’t leave Mary’s father’s body until he was dead.”
“Well,” I conceded, “it’s the only thing we’ve got to go on at this point. So what do I do to get him out?”
“Salt and burn his bones.” Now Bobby was talking like I was complete idiot.
“That could be a little hard seeing as nobody has seen Jimmy’s body since he killed his sister.”
“His mother did,” Bobby reminded, and maybe I was an idiot. Because Bobby had obviously come to a conclusion that I was just now realizing.
“She killed him.”
“If she did, I bet that body is around there somewhere. And given the history of that house, I bet it’s closer than you think.”
The EMF spike, it happened when I was in the cellar… the dirt cellar. What better place to bury the body of your child that you had just murdered?
“Thanks, Bobby. I’ll call you back in a bit.”
“Good lu…” he started but I was already flipping the phone closed and heading out the front door.
“Hey! Where’re you gettin’ off to?”
I ignored the question and the way Jimmy struggled against his bindings, heading straight out to the Impala for a shovel, salt, and lighter fluid. I often wondered what the grocery clerks thought when we checked out with a box of Pop Tarts, six-pack of beer, fifty pounds of salt and a case of lighter fluid. But so far, none of them had done more than raised a curious eyebrow. At the last minute I decided to grab the snubbed off shotgun with the salt shot, just in case he found a way to leave Sammy’s body before I could find his.
When I came back in, he was rocking the chair, trying to get it to tip over. “Dude, don’t make me whack you with this shovel.”
My warning was met with Jimmy narrowing Sammy’s eyes as he tried to determine whether or not I’d actually do it. I sure the fuck didn’t want to, but if it came down to that being the only way of keeping Sam here, I would. Finally deciding that I might actually follow through with the threat, he sat still and hitched his chin at the equipment in my hands. “What’re you gonna do with that?”
“It’s a surprise.” I grinned wickedly, then tossed the stuff into the open cellar before following down the ladder.
When he saw where I was going, he started up again. “There ain’t nothin’ down there for you to be concerned with. You hear me? Nothin’!”
Oh, yeah. I was definitely in the right place. Shining my light around the cellar, I could hear the chair thunking on the wood floor above me, even as I started looking for any sign of where he might be buried.
It took four tries, but I finally found him. I may not be a member of CSI, but even I could see the way his head was crushed in on one side. The struggling upstairs had eventually slowed and gone quiet all together. So much so that I had cautiously poked my head up at one point just to make sure he really was still secured to the chair. He was, staring out the window again, mumbling to himself about Sophie and Mary.
I dumped the salt on the remains, doused it all with lighter fluid, and tossed the match on it. The flames jumped to life immediately, quickly spreading across the whole body. And for a second, I actually had a twinge of sympathy for Jimmy. Oh, he was a psychotic killer, no doubt. And after killing four little girls, maybe his mother did the right thing by killing him in return. But there was something twisted in him, damaged. Bad genes, abusive mother, no father… whatever the reason, he’d ended up just like Sarah had described him.
And I couldn’t help but wonder, if things had gone a little different with me, if the Yellow-Eyed Demon had taken an interest in me instead of Sammy, would I have turned out wrong, too. I had all the makings of it. Hell, my own father had raised me to be a hunter, he made me a killer. And it wouldn’t have taken much for the demon to take that trait and twist it to his own purpose. But Dad had also made me responsible for my brother the moment he put Sammy in my arms as our house burned around us, and my life was never the same. Because, if I were honest with myself, Jimmy and I, we were both obsessed with our siblings in our own ways. His pushed him to murder, mine to sacrifice, but both of us were going to end up in Hell as a result.
Irony, she is a bitch.
But my best chance for avoiding the Pit was upstairs secured to a chair. And I sure as shit hoped he was back to himself now that Jimmy’s remains had been cleansed. Climbing back up from the cellar, I looked hopefully to where my brother sat with his head hung.
My heart sank when he spoke and it was obvious I was talking to Jimmy still. “What did you do?” The voice held a note of panic. “What in the hell did you do?”
“I burned your bones. And you should be gone.”
“Go where? Now when I leave Sammy I don’t have nowhere to go.”
“That’s kind of the point,” I told him, already pulling out my phone to call Bobby again to see if he had any ideas on how to get the ghost out of Sam once and for all. Only the flash of blue lights had me stopping.
Cops. Fucking A, there were cops coming down the drive. Mary must have made it to Sarah’s house and they must have called the Sheriff again. Goddamnit, as if I didn’t have enough of a problem with my brother’s body literally refusing to give up the ghost that had taken up residence in him. We had to get out of here. We had to get to Sarah’s house without the cops catching us. And there was only one person I knew of that could do that.
“Jimmy, time to go.” I was already unlocking the handcuffs.
“Why in the Sam hill would you think I would help you?” He had obviously seen the flashing lights, as well.
Squatting, I cut his legs free from the duct tape, pulling him to his feet as I stood myself. “Because if they catch you, they will lock Sammy away for a long, long time. Which means they will lock you up for a long, long time.” He frowned at the thought and I pulled him toward the back door. “You know where the deer trail is in the woods. You’re going to show me how to get to Sarah McConnell’s house.” Because in a small town, someone like Sarah might be able to talk the Sheriff out of looking any further into the strangers that had shown up… if we could convince her there was no reason to look any further.
“Where Mary went?” he asked, perking at the thought.
Christ, this guy had a one-track mind. But I could just make out the cop stepping from his car. “Yeah, where Mary went.” I pushed him out the door as the beam of a flashlight swooped across the living room floor through the front window. “Now, where to?”
He led me around behind the house, moving in a low crouch until we reached the tree line and I saw another cop car join the first. Once there, he straightened, surveyed the dark area, and headed through the trees as if he walked these woods every day. I stayed on his heels as best I could, branches slapping back at me as he passed through the thick undergrowth, snagging painfully at my bandaged shoulder, and Jimmy was soon several feet ahead of me. “Jimmy!” I hissed. “Wait up!”
Like he would just stop and wait for me. I wasn’t that delusional. But I had definitely overestimated my ability to keep up with him. Shit. I was going to lose him and he was going to make it to Sarah’s and kill both her and Mary. “Jimmy, you need me to keep from going to prison!”
I burst out of the thick growth onto a narrow opening and realized I was standing on the trail. Spinning to try to find my bearings, the dark trees were suddenly replaced with Sam. Before I could let out a sigh of relief at seeing him, I saw what he had in his hand. He swung the branch like a baseball bat and that’s what it felt like when it hit me in my stomach and then my injured shoulder. I let out a yelp of pain, which was sure to attract the cops if they were outside the house, and fell to my knees, trying my best to pull in a breath. Another hit across my shoulders had me sprawled flat on my stomach.
“Sorry, Dean. You seem to be a decent enough fella’, aside from threatening to whack me upside the head with a shovel.”
I was blinking back the growing darkness that had nothing to do with the faint moonlight that was making it through the trees above us. And the boot I took to my ribs really didn’t help matters. It was enough to flip me to my back, though, and as my arms flailed out, my hand landed on a familiar object. Above me, I could see a slow smile spread across Sammy’s face as Jimmy noticed the sheath on my belt, completely oblivious to the shotgun under my palm.
“Now that’s just what I need.” He cocked the club up again, ready to finish me off and I brought the shotgun up to point at his chest.
He stopped, his weapon suspended above him in alarm as he studied me for a second. Then the smirk was back. “You won’t kill Sammy.”
Now it was my turn to grin. “No, but I’ll kill you, you son of a bitch.” And I squeezed the trigger.
The rock salt caught Sam square in the chest, and I had no doubt that hurt like a mother. But just as I’d thought, as I’d hoped like fucking hell, it hurt Jimmy a whole lot more. Sammy flew backward but Jimmy’s apparition stayed standing for a split second… a teenage boy with a thin face, dark hair and wide startled eyes… and I fired again. When the second shot hit him, he exploded outward and vaporized into a wisp of smoke.
In the distance, I could hear the police. “This way!”
And that was enough to bring me at least to my knees to scramble over to where Sam lay in the trail.
“Sam?” His t-shirt was pretty much shredded by the salt and even in the dark I could see the way the blood was blooming across the tatters. “Sammy?”
“Ow,” he croaked, attempting to sit up.
“Sorry. That was the only way I could think to get him to go poof.”
“Evidently it worked?” I helped him sit and he gritted his teeth. “Oh, fuck.”
“Yeah, it worked. But it won’t do us a whole lot of good if the cops catch us.” No matter what Mary told them, if they found out who we were, who we really were, and the feds got their hands on us, we were totally screwed. And the flicker of flashlights through the trees meant we didn’t have much time. “Can you stand?”
Giving me a quick once over, Sam raised a disbelieving eyebrow. “Can you?”
“Guess now’s as good a time as any to find out.”
Between the two of us, we made it to our feet, and I’d be lying if I claimed I wasn’t leaning into Sammy as much as he was leaning into me. But we were standing and then we were moving down the trail… staggering, but moving.
“Do you have any idea where we’re going?” Sammy whispered, tripping on a root and nearly taking us both down again.
I managed to catch him and keep us on our feet. “Sarah said the trail led back around to her house. I’m hoping this is the trail she was talking about.”
“Dean, I tried to kill Mary…”
“No, you didn’t,” I contradicted immediately.
“You know what I mean. And as far as Mary was concerned it was me. Do you really think they’re going to welcome us with open arms?”
“We’ll find out for sure when we get there.”
I was hoping Mary’s belief that something had taken over her father would be enough to convince her the same thing had happened to Sam. And a few minutes later when we banged on Sarah’s back door, we were met with arms, the Remington kind.
The back porch light came on and Sarah stood with a hunting rifle pointed at us through the window. Bartholomew barked and jumped beside her and Mary stood behind her, a phone in her hand. “Mary,” I called desperately, “it’s us. The real us. Let us in.”
“But Sam… he tried to…”
“It was the same thing that had your dad. It was the ghost of Jimmy Vaughn.” My eyes met Sarah’s through the glass and I saw them blink in confusion. “But he’s gone now.”
“Mary,” Sammy told her sincerely. “I’m so sorry. I would have never done anything like that. I couldn’t… I couldn’t stop him.”
It was then that I realized Sam had been aware of everything that had happened since Jimmy took over his body. And by the way he hung his head, he wasn’t proud of it.
“Sarah, please…” I glanced quickly behind me. “The cops aren’t far behind us. If they think we were behind this…”
Sarah motioned with her rifle. “Put the gun down, and the knife.”
I did as she told me, raising my hand that wasn’t wrapped around Sammy to show it was empty. I could hear the cops in the trees. “Now would be good.”
Sarah lowered her own gun a little, but only after she had Mary take the weapons she had confiscated. Mary did as she was told and then let us come in as Sarah held tight to the dog’s collar. When she saw us in the full light of the kitchen, her eyes widened at the sight of us. “What happened to you two?”
“Oh, possession, failed exorcism, Sammy cut me with a knife and clubbed me with a branch, I tasered him and shot him with rock salt. You know, the usual.”
Sam tried for his most understanding smile for our elderly hostess as he used his free arm to prop himself up on the kitchen table. “It’s a long story. One we’ll explain as soon as the Sheriff is gone.”
“You need a doctor,” Sarah clucked with a shake of her head.
“No!” we both blurted in worry that she’d actually call for an ambulance or something.
When both women frowned at our response, I tried to appease them. “We’re used to this sort of thing in our line of work. But the police usually aren’t so understanding. So, if you have something we can maybe change into or cover up with until we have time to patch ourselves up…”
The flashlight beams were swinging wildly now as the men pursuing us broke out of the woods and were in an all out run for the house. Sarah shooed us out of the kitchen. “Upstairs, second door on the left. There are boxes with some of Warren’s clothes in them. The bathroom’s right across the hall.”
We didn’t waste any time beyond a quick nod of thanks. And even though I was definitely grateful for the help, the stairs themselves were another story. “God, I really wish the hotel had a Magic Fingers machine,” I lamented to Sam halfway up. “I could sure use it tonight.”
“At least you aren’t seasoned like a giant French fry,” he countered with a pain-filled wince.
I nodded toward the bathroom when we reached the top of the stairs. “See if you can clean it out a little bit while I find us something to wear.”
Downstairs I could hear Sarah welcoming the police. “Land sakes alive, Danny, what a night we’ve had. Thank heaven y’all are here.”
The voices continued on in a muffled murmur as I entered the bedroom and started digging through the boxes. I just had to trust that Sarah and Mary wouldn’t rat us out. I hated being dependent on someone else to watch out for us; just one more trait I’d picked up from my dad, but sometimes we didn’t have a choice.
I found a couple of t-shirts and some button downs, probably older than I was, but they’d do to cover our more serious injuries and hopefully keep the questions to a minimum. I stripped off my t-shirt, doing my best not to reopen my gash and start it bleeding freely again, pulled on the replacement and went to check on Sammy. He was standing over the sink, one hand braced on the wall holding him up, the other in a white-knuckle grip on a cup. By the red running wetly down his chest and into the sink, I could tell he had been trying to rinse out the salt from his wound. He swayed and I managed to catch him before he dropped all the way to his knees.
“Jesus, I’m sorry…” I sat him on the edge of the bathtub and he waved his hand to stop my apology.
“Given the alternative, I’ll take it.” When I used a towel to dab at his chest, he sucked in a harsh breath then hitched his chin at my shoulder. “Besides, I’m the one who should be apologizing.”
“Hey, it wasn’t you. You hear me? You didn’t do it.”
“I couldn’t stop him,” he told me quietly. “I tried, but I couldn’t stop him.”
I tossed the bloodstained towel aside and admitted, “For a while there, I didn’t think I could stop him either.”
His lips curled slightly. “You should have seen your face when the exorcism didn’t work.”
“Yeah, laugh it up, Whoopi,” I grumped as I pushed a shirt printed with ‘world’s greatest grandpa’ at him. But at least it was black and the blood wouldn’t show as easily, and the button down would cover the text. My own was for a Jaycee’s charity picnic from 1983, and I eased the long-sleeved dress shirt over it and started rolling up the sleeves.
I took another towel, wet a corner, and swiped at the worst of the dirt and dried blood on my face, then turned to see Sammy easing into the button down. “Ready?”
“As I’ll ever be,” he sighed.
When we reached the bottom of the stairs, I could hear Mary explaining, “They’re friends of mine from school. I asked them to come down here after Daddy died. And we went to the house because I wanted to see it again. After all that’s happened I kind of needed to see it again.”
“And where are they now?” one of the uniformed men, this one with a mustache and glasses, was asking.
“Cleaning up,” Sarah defended. “They were a mess and I didn’t want them tracking dirt all through my house.”
Walking into the kitchen, I gave them my most innocent look… it wasn’t much but you work with what you’ve got. “Hey. Is this the Sheriff?”
“Ah, there you boys are,” Sarah smiled at us. “Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Sam told her. “Thank you.”
“Boys, this is Danny…”
The man interrupted Sarah to correct, “Deputy Bradford.”
He made no offer to shake hands and neither did we. “So did you catch them?” I asked, taking a seat at the kitchen table and pulling a chair out for Sammy so that he’d sit instead of sway conspicuously. He sunk into it, and I didn’t think anyone noticed the way his jaw flinched as he gritted his teeth against the pain.
“Catch who?” the deputy asked, tipping his hat back.
“The kids in the house.” I gave him a baffled look of my own. “Ends up some teenagers had broken in before we got there and they weren’t exactly sitting around playing truth or dare, if you know what I mean.”
Bradford propped his foot on another chair and leaned in. “Actually, I don’t think I do know what you mean.”
“Meth,” Sammy thankfully picked up on where I was going. “They were doing methamphetamines. When they saw us, they completely freaked out. I don’t know if it was the drugs or they were afraid we’d turn them in. But they attacked us.”
“One pulled a knife on Mary and we told her to run,” I continued. “Then he and another one came after the two of us with a shovel.”
“We managed to get away and made a run for it back here.”
At Sam’s conclusion, the deputy frowned. “We heard gunshots. Sounded like a shotgun.”
I widened my eyes in pretend fear and looked from Sammy to the cop. “They had a gun? Holy shit, they could have killed us.”
Sarah shook her head. “I don’t know what this world is coming to. It seems like every time I open the paper there’s another story about some youngin committing some crime because of those horrible drugs. And to think that they were just across my property line all this time.”
Deputy Bradford seemed to take her disappointment personally. “Don’t you worry, Mrs. McConnell, we’ll find the ones that did this.” He turned his attention back to me and Sam. “Did you get a good look at them? Enough to give us a description?”
My grimace was accompanied by a shake of Sammy’s head. “I don’t know, officer. It was kind of dark in there and it all happened so fast. But we’ll do the best we can.”
We spent the next half hour giving our statements, just as fake as the names on our driver’s licenses. And then we spent the next hour after that explaining everything to Mary and Sarah.
“I was right,” Mary declared with a sad smile when we finished.
“Yeah, you were right” I confirmed. “It wasn’t your dad, and, now, it’s never going to be anyone else ever again. At least not because of Jimmy Vaughn.”
“That poor, sick boy.” Sarah shook her head again in sympathy and reached out and patted Mary’s hand. “And all those poor, innocent girls.”
“But he’s gone now? Really gone?”
Sammy raised a hand to his chest, pulling it back after he touched it delicately, and reassured Mary. “Yeah, he’s really gone.”
“And we should be going, too.” I stood and Sam followed suit. “Before the cops start digging a little further and find out we aren’t who we say we are.”
Mary drove us back over to the where the Impala was parked, thanking us and asking us to stay another day and rest up yet again. I assured her we were fine, although both of our bodies were arguing that point, and it would be best if we left town that night. We drove back to the motel in near silence, Sammy sinking down low in the seat and I found myself shifting uncomfortably with my shoulder. We only took enough time to grab our things from the room and we were on the road again in a matter of minutes.
It was after midnight when we checked into a new room in Chattanooga. We would have slept in the car if not for the fact that Sammy, especially, needed a shower to finish cleaning out his chest and I sure the hell wouldn’t turn one down.
I gave Sam first dibs on the shower, collapsing on my bed instead to let the pain and exhaustion fight it out for domination of my body. Exhaustion was winning by the time Sammy came out of the bathroom but his nagging that I needed to clean out my own wound and redress it finally had me rolling out of the bed with a wince. In the end, he was right. The hot water went a long way in washing away the blood and dirt and deep-set aches from being beat with a goddamn tree. And when I came out towel drying my hair, Sam had the first aid kit open.
“Does that need stitches?”
I gave a cursory glance at the gash near my neck as I tossed the towel aside. Chances were, it probably did, but I didn’t need Sammy feeling any guiltier about giving it to me than I could already see in his face. Plus, he sucked at sewing me up.
“Nah, it’ll be fine.”
“Well, at least sit down and let me bandage it up.”
I rolled my eyes but did as he directed, glaring at him when he started rubbing the antibiotic cream into it with a lot more force than he probably needed to. I’d hoped it would draw him out, get him bitching back at me in return, but it didn’t work. Instead he just winced in sympathy and used a gentler touch.
“So, I was thinking,” I started, moving on to Plan B… distraction. “Maybe we should take a Kinko’s day tomorrow. New I.D.s, new driver’s licenses, apply for a few more credit cards. It’s always a good idea after the cops have one of our aliases, plus we could both use a day to recoup.”
“Sure, sounds like a plan.” His answer was unenthusiastic to say the least, and I wasn’t being fooled to think it was because he was concentrating on the butterfly sutures he was placing along the cut.
Shit. I guess I wasn’t going to get off the easy way tonight. I guess I was going to have… shudder… talk about it.
“Sammy, I already told you this wasn’t your fault. So enough with the self-persecution. Christ, you’re too old for the emo kid shit.”
“I know. It’s just… I couldn’t even keep a ghost from using me to try to kill you.”
“Well, if it’s any consolation, I almost couldn’t keep it from killing me either.” Even my slightly goofy smile didn’t keep him from frowning more. “The point is, he was a tough mofo. Hell, he found a way to kill all those girls even after he was dead. If the situation had been reversed, I doubt I would have been able to do anything more than you did.”
“I told you it was my turn to save you, and I meant it. But this isn’t exactly living up to my word.”
You know, what I really wanted to say was, in all likelihood, you won’t be able to save me so stop beating yourself up about that. I made the choice to trade my soul, I condemned myself to Hell, I did it because I failed. Not you, me. And you don’t have to feel like you failed if you can’t change that. But I knew that was a losing argument with Sammy.
So, instead I shrugged with my good shoulder. “You’re right. It is time you stopped shirking your responsibilities and started finding me a loophole. Any ideas?”
He blinked. “Uh, yeah, actually, I was thinking about the goofer dust and how that was the one thing we’ve seen that can hold off the Hell Hounds.”
“Goofer dust is just a delay tactic,” I reminded.
“Yeah, I know, but maybe there’s something more someone knows about it or something similar.”
“Well,” I considered, “we’re only about a day’s drive from Voodoo country.” I seriously doubted a trip to the Bayou was going to do us any good, but you never knew. Besides, if the tables were turned and it was me trying to find a way out for him, I’d want to know I tried everything when the end came. So if it meant I spent a good deal of my last year on Earth turning stones, then so be it. I didn’t want Sammy to have any regrets for something he didn’t try.
“I was thinking the same thing,” he admitted.
“Ha! I guess it is true about great minds thinking alike.” Brown eyes rolled again and I demanded, “What? I don’t have a great mind? Shit, in this part of the country I’m a fucking Einstein.”
“Oh, yeah,” Sam snorted, “that would explain why you tried to exorcise a ghost.”
“Hey, it had all the signs of a demon possession.” What the fuck? I mean, I guess I should have been happy he wasn’t obsessing about him not being able to protect me any more. But, seriously, what the fuck? “It was the best thing I could come up with at the time.”
“Uh, huh.” My defense was brushed aside as Sammy stood, having finished with my shoulder, and grabbed the car keys. “I’m hungry. You want something?”
“Order a goddamn pizza,” I snapped, “you aren’t going anywhere. Every time I turn my back something’s decided to just move in and take you over. I swear to God, it’s like you’ve got a blinking vacancy sign above your head.”
His lips twitched and he told me, “Okay, pizza it is.”
“Thank you,” I mumbled, settling back on my bed as he pulled out the phone book from the desk.
“No problem, Albert. I wouldn’t want to confuse you any more than you already are.”
“Bitch,” I grumbled.
“Jerk,” he answered back distractedly, still scanning through the yellow pages. “You know, I’m not sure anyone even delivers this late. I may just have to go to a convenience...”
I stood abruptly and took the keys from him. “Then wait until morning, because you aren’t leaving this room.”
“Hey!” He furrowed his brow at my action. “Where are you going?”
“To take a piss.” I stormed the few feet across the room and slammed the bathroom door behind me, only letting a grin come to my face when I saw his toothbrush standing in the glass. Because maybe I’d clean the toilet while I was at it.
I may not be able to tell a ghost possessing my brother from a demon, but he evidently couldn’t tell a clean toothbrush from one doused in sewage.
Who’s your Einstein now, bitch?