Chapter 32

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"And you said John dug this pattern up?" Jaxon asked later that night. I'd called him back as soon as Dean and I had gotten settled into another dingy motel room.

"Yeah. He called Dean out of the blue and gave him the lead. He's a helluva hunter for finding this pattern, I'll give him that much," I replied.

"And he's not talking to you?" Jaxon asked, referring to Dean.

"Nope. He's refused to since we argued after Sam left. I don't know if he's pissed off still or if he just thinks giving me the silent treatment will teach me a lesson or something," I told Jaxon.

"Where's he now?" Jaxon wondered.

"Shower. Which is fine by me. I don't want him eavesdropping on our conversation. He'd probably get pissed at me for asking for a second opinion or something."

"Well," Jaxon began, "If I had to make a guess I'd say that whatever you're up against isn't your garden variety demon or ghost. The attacks are too spread out to be something like that. I think you're going to have to think outside of the box on this one."

"That's what I was thinking too. I guess I'll pull up mom's notes on my computer and try to figure out what the hell this is," I agreed.

"Yeah, that's probably going to be the most efficient way to do it,' Jaxon agreed. "Unless you google it and see if anything comes up."

"Yes, I can see it now: Monsters who kill on a schedule. Google would love that search," I said with a chuckle.

"I bet," Jaxon said, a soft chuckle also reaching my ears from his end.

"Whelp," I said after a short pause, "I better get off this dang phone and find out what we're up against."

"Yeah, it's getting late and you've got a monster to catch tomorrow," Jaxon agreed.

"Don't let nearly a year go by before I hear from you again," I threatened.

"Not a chance," Jaxon said, his smile evident in his voice, before hanging up with a click.

I sighed and threw my phone down on the bed next to me. I closed my eyes tightly and pinched the bridge of my nose. This was turning out to be the one of the worst hunting trips of my entire life. And all because I stood up to Dean. Wonderful.

I heard the bathroom door open and felt a wall of steam roll over me in soft sheets of heat. I turned my head just enough to see Dean walk from the bathroom with a towel wrapped around his waist. He headed for his duffel and began to riffle through it.

"He's better off with us. Who knows what'll happen while he's on his own," Dean said quietly, his back still towards me.

"Agreed," I said in reply. "But I also think that there will come a day when Sam is going to blow up on everything around him if he doesn't go out and do this now."

Dean shrugged. "I guess. But he shouldn't die in the process of getting his demons off his chest."

I let out a dry chuckle, disapproval coloring my voice. "I've told you before, and I'll say it again: Sam is a way better hunter than you give him credit for. You need to get your head out of your ass and see that Sam is just as good as you and that he's going to have to explore the world of hunting by himself sooner or later. He's not a little kid anymore Dean. You don't have to follow behind him, scowling all the way. And you certainly need to stop stealing his peaches. Let him live life. Let him make a wrong decision. Because if you don't, you're just setting him up for a world of hurt later in life."

Dean finally turned to me. His face was no longer angry, but instead was utterly calm. That worried me slightly.

"What have you found out about what we're up against?" he asked, completely changing the subject and catching me off guard. He was doing this on purpose; whether it was because he knew I was right or he just didn't want to argue anymore remained to be seen.

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