06 August 2011 @ 12:15 pm

And here's is Chapter 17. Megan, you may like this one...


Chapter 17


Verdandi let her eyes scan the map in her hands, scribbling out one more “x” on the page.

She had been at this since she and her sisters separated after the job, systematically checking every abandoned property she could find for the hunters. One by one she crossed off each property on her makeshift map in her search but came up with nothing. Not that coming up empty handed was going to stop her; she had made this search a personal mission.

Urd's warning was still foremost in Verdandi's mind as she looked over the map but it wasn't loud enough that she couldn't ignore it. After so many millennia it was second nature for Verdandi to selectively ignore anything her sisters said. It didn't mean she wouldn't listen to them, she just chose what she ended up taking from the conversation. In this case, with hunters involved and Urd being chummy with them, all she heard was “blah hunters blah blah” when her sister spoke.

It wasn't that Verdandi didn't trust her sister's judgment; she didn't trust the humans. As a whole they did little to endear themselves to her. The wars they waged against one another had become an amusement overtime, the double talk and close-mindedness that ran rampant among them adding to the black humor of them as a species.

But nothing compared to the hunters in her mind. The hunters she had come across in her travels hadn't been the most upstanding citizens in the world. They lived nomadic lives of grifting and lying, hunting anything remotely evil in their minds and killing it. She'd been around long enough to see more than one creature die at the hands of hunters, sometimes needlessly. Watching all of that play out had won no favor with her.

Verdandi glanced over her map as she sat on the roof of a long forgotten farmhouse, her back against the crumbling brick fireplace. “Now if I were a couple bastard hunters, where else would I be?” She glanced up from the paper in her hands, letting out a heavy sigh. “Besides this shit-hole town at any rate.”

The paper made a crisp sound as she folded it and shoved it into her pocket before rising to her feet. Her hands brushed across the seat of her jeans to dust away anything the decaying roof left behind, her shoes crunching on the tar paper and gravel tiles with each step she took. Her gaze moved across the neglected yard with its rusted play-set and overgrown sandbox toward the empty road beyond.

She hadn't seen or heard a car go past since she arrived to check the house. As hideouts went, this would have been perfect. No traffic, enough cover to hide a car and a house that, though in disrepair, could still hold back the elements made it an excellent place to squat. Unfortunately the hunters hadn't chosen this location.

Verdandi pushed her hair from her eyes, squinting against the mid-afternoon sun.

This place didn't suit her. The country atmosphere and whole small town thing wasn't her. It was mind-numbingly boring to her here, so much so that she had found herself wanting to pull her hair out from boredom more than once. She was more at home in the city than this backwater burg; an unfortunate situation she hoped would be remedied soon.

A quick step off the roof and she landed unscathed in the weed choked yard. She rose from her crouch beside the old porch steps with an easy grace and made her way along the yard in one last sweep.

This had been the seventh stop on her property search with no luck. Each one had shown potential as a hideout but so far nothing panned out. The only up side to this she could see was that she was beginning to narrow down the search list.

The first hints of a breeze kicked up around her, the leaves rustling above her. The calf high grass looked like a rolling sea of green as she walked toward the last faint ruts of the old driveway. As idyllic as the setting was, the location had lost its interest to her not long after she had ruled it out.

Verdandi's change was swift as the woman's form morphed into a black falcon. The beat of powerful wings joined the chorus of bird songs in the air, the dark body cresting over the tree tops and following the road beyond. The cold blue eyes locked on the strip of black that wound its way across the land below and held fast, moving with the currents that lifted her.

From her new vantage point she could see for miles, the humans she came across little more than spots on the landscape. It was one of the easier ways the trio traveled among the humans; seen yet unseen. It had served them well countless times before as an easy escape when needed and an unassuming form to watch the world.

She examined the landscape below her; the trees and fields following the cut of the road. The homes were spaced well apart from one another along the stretch of asphalt, the occasional wooded stand casting dark shadows across the pavement. Sunlight glinted off the windshields of a few cars on the road she passed over but did little to grab her attention.

Her focus was beginning to settle back toward the next location on her list when the low rumble of an engine caught her ear. It was faint at first, growing louder as she turned to head back the way she came. Compared to every other engine she had heard before, each tractor and truck she had heard run through town, this one stood out.

Verdandi's eyes scanned the road, the rumble beginning to sound more like a purr to her. She knew cars and the sounds of engines when they were cared for; she could even give a guess on a car's engine by the sound. This was no suped-up redneck teenager's truck, this was the sound of a muscle car.

The sunlight bounced off the black paint as the '67 Impala finally came into view, Verdandi's eyes growing wide. 'Well hello, hunters.'

Her body practically shook in time with the engine's purr as she dove and flew over the car's roof. A quick look into the cab as she zipped past and a banking turn set her behind the car to follow. A tiny adjustment on her part and she was in the car's blind spot.

She had only seen one head in the car when she had passed it which hadn't really been much of a comfort. One body in the car meant that Urd was probably with the other hunter holed up somewhere. But it also gave her a chance to question the hunter in the car.

She gave the car a once over before shooting above the roof and speeding ahead of the metal monster. A few beats of her wings put her at a safe enough distance ahead on the road. A glimpse behind her at the chrome bumper and she put her plan into action.

***

Dean watched the road stretch out ahead of him as he made his way back to the motel.

His trip to search local property records had ended with him two towns over searching county property records the library couldn't access. He had come out with a thin stack of copies, a few names and a couple paper cuts that stung like a bitch. The only real consolation to the trip was the new pair of bolt cutters sitting in the trunk.

He clenched a fist, sighing as he felt more than heard the bones shift and the built up tension release in his right hand. The skin parted at the paper cuts and sent pin pricks of pain across his hand as air met the wounds, the sensation dulling after a moment. It would be a reminder; if briefly, why he usually had Sam do the book work.

His left arm leaned against the open window and the wind tugged at the sleeve of his tee-shirt as he continued along the road. The radio was on a local station, Jimmy Page's solo from Stairway to Heaven in the speakers joining the steady hum of the road. He sat back and felt himself relax for the first time since they came to town.

Dean knew it was fleeting, that as soon as he set foot in the motel room, he'd be back butting heads with Urd, but he didn't care. Right now it was just him and his baby alone on a road that made him smile with each turn. The motel and annoying blonde there had no sway here.

The empty road curved and the shadows of trees passed over the Impala, Dean glancing out his open window as the scenery passed. He eased back on the gas and let his baby cruise along the back road almost leisurely. He wasn't in any hurry to get back to the motel and go over what was or wasn't found with the pair; a little extra time to himself wasn't going to be the end of the world.

His eyes traveled back to the road and the uncommon sight of a black hawk flying over the asphalt. At first he found himself second guessing the bird that followed the concrete ahead, his mind trying to stick raven to the feathered body. The more he stared though, the more raven didn't fit and the more familiar the form became.

The bird's wings beat twice and propelled the small body forward as Dean watched. The tiny head turned briefly before the dark form went vertical and spun to face the car. But instead of the bird returning to view, it was a very human body that dropped on to the road.

Dean slammed on the breaks and sent the car into a skid, his grip tightening on the wheel. “Son of a bitch.”

The raven-haired woman stood unphased by the sound of squealing tires, hands resting on her hips as she watched the car come closer. She stood her ground with a cold glare, the bumper mere inches from her legs when the car finally stopped. A quick glance down at the closeness of metal to flesh got an unamused look leveled across the hood.

Dean stared at the woman in front of him silently. He could feel the tension that had left him returning as his expression darkened at the all too familiar face. The relaxing cruise was over and gone no matter how he looked at it.

He remembered this one from the Donner Party photo Sam had found by her hair color; she had been the one who looked ready to fight anyone who dared come close. Seeing her now wasn't much different. Curve hugging jeans and a white tee-shirt replaced 1840's fashion but it was the same woman. The same cold glare he remembered from the photo was now locked on him. He couldn't exactly remember the names Sam had read off when they found Urd or if she had said who was who in the pictures but he got the feeling it didn't matter; he was about to find out her name firsthand.

The woman watched him closely for a moment as she stood in the road. The way she looked at him made Dean feel a little uneasy; studying him like a bug she was about to rip the wings from. It was enough to make him wish Urd was here.

The cold gaze shifted from Dean to the Impala after a moment, the barest hint of a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. Her fingers moved to the car's emblem and traced out the word Chevrolet before lovingly dancing across the chrome of the grill to circle around the headlight casing. Appreciatively her eyes traced out the lines of the car as her hands moved to rest on the hood reverently. The engine's low rumble made the icy expression fade from the woman's face and her eyes close, her head bowing slightly at the sound.

Dean's brow knit as he sat there. Watching the way this woman touched and looked over the Impala, his baby, made him feel dirty. She was fondling his car right in front of him. His car. This wasn't right, not by a long shot.

The woman's eyes opened and examined the hood, her hand skimming gently along the paint. A sultry grin lit her face and her head tilted slightly as the engine revved loud before falling completely silent. For a moment those blue eyes locked with Dean's shocked face and her grin turned wicked as she walked around the hood to the passenger door.

Whatever had just happened, Dean wasn't liking it. First miss whatever her name was practically molests his car and now it dies. The ignition was still turned over, the gear was still in drive and his foot was planted on the brake; he hadn't touched anything since she showed up. She was behind this; he knew it.

The young woman let her fingertips run along the edge of the hood, tracing the car's antenna slowly while making her way to the passenger door. She palmed the curves of the passenger search light as if with a lover's caress before moving to the side mirror's sun-warmed metal. Her eyes were no longer skimming over every inch of the car but instead locked on the man behind the wheel. She could see the discomfort on his face as she examined the vehicle and she was thoroughly enjoying it.

Dean's brow knit as he tried in vain to start the car. No matter how many times he turned the key or pumped the gas, all his ears picked up was the tiny mocking click of the starter. “Son of a bitch.”

Her hand skimmed along the roof, letting her eyes move to the rear panels as she heard the driver door open.

Who the hell are you?” There was no mistaking the anger in Dean's voice or expression as he spoke, glaring over the car at her. “And what did you do to my car?”

You humans are so damn hung up on names it’s pathetic,” she huffed with a roll of her eyes. Her attention shifted to the enraged young man almost as an afterthought. “My name is Verdandi but some of you humans call me Present.”

Dean's jaw set as he pointed to the hood. “What did you do to my baby?”

Verdandi waved off the question and returned to admiring the car. “Oh relax. Your car is fine.”

What the hell did you do to my car?” The question rose in volume as Dean began to hyperventilate, ending in a near shriek.

Wow. You're a touchy thing, aren't you?” She sounded so matter of fact with the comment, leaning against the passenger door. “Are you over compensating for something?”

His jaw set harder at the question and he let out an annoyed huff. “What did you do to my car?”

You kinda have a one track mind, anyone ever tell you that?” Her forehead wrinkled slightly as she looked him over. “And you look a little sweaty.”

Dean wanted nothing more than to reach out and punch her but thought better of it. This one was just as annoying as Urd with the comments but at least Urd didn't mess with his car; Verdandi hadn't won any brownie points with that little trick. He doubted slapping her silly would accomplish anything besides pissing her off and possibly making her blow up the car. Given that option he abandoned that idea fast.

He practically seethed reaching back into the car to try the ignition once more. It was a better option than pulling his gun on this one. He had learned with Urd that cold steal and a hot bullet didn't sit well with the women.

It won't start unless I say so,” Verdandi stated calmly.

He shot her a dangerous look and turned the key, hearing the starter click once more.

I told you.” She gave him an innocent smile, folding her hands behind her back. “You're just wasting your time, boy.”

It's Dean,” he growled, popping the hood. “Now what did you do to my car?”

Verdandi rolled his name around her head for a second, finally giving him a nod. “I guess that's better than calling you jackass.”

He mumbled under his breath and opened the hood to take a look.

The engine looked fine. Nothing was missing from it; no wires were mysteriously gone, no vanishing spark plugs or anything. The engine was perfect. Only problem was it wouldn't start.

A gasp at his side made him stiffen, Verdandi sounding almost in awe. “A 327 small block with a Holley 4-barrel carb. Pretty.”

He slammed the hood down; silently hoping her fingers would get caught, and spun on the woman. “What do you want?”

I want a word or two with you.” She took a step back as he turned, crossing her arms over her chest. “It may involve the phrase “you are a dick” at some point but that's beside the fact.”

Dean looked offended at her comment, cocking his head slightly. “Wait, what?”

She waved him off, leveling an accusing finger at him. “I know what you are!”

Dean blinked back his confusion as she bellowed at him, shaking his head. “Why are you yelling at me? I should be yelling at you for screwing up my car.”

You're a hunter. And you grabbed my sister,” Verdandi hissed. “Where is she?”

He was silent for a moment, the confusion on his face giving way to indignation. “You messed up my car so you could yell at me about Urd?”

Where the hell is my sister?” Her expression was as cold as the tone of her voice. “I know you're working with someone. The kid in town said he saw three people in your car the other day.”

Kid?” He wasn't exactly sure what she was talking about but the urge to slap her was bubbling just below the surface again. “What kid?”

The one at the convenience store. He saw three heads from the back window; two guys and a girl. That's your fat head, your buddy's and my sister.” Verdandi's hands moved to her hips, her jaw setting visibly. “So if you're here alone that means she's with him. Now where is she?”

Dean's brow arched, shaking his head. He wasn't about to say anything about the fat head comment even though he wanted to. Hell, he wanted to say a few choice things to her at this point. Thankfully though, self-preservation won out.

Look, Verdandi was it, your sister is fine. She's driving me nuts but she's fine,” he said as evenly as he could.

Her expression darkened and sent a chill down Dean's spine. “My ass. I know one of you shot her. And don't think for a minute I buy that she went with you willingly.”

Dean threw his arms up in frustration and turned away before he did something he'd regret.

And then she turns around and says you’re helping us. Your kind doesn't help us.” Verdandi kept her eyes on him, remaining at the hood. “All the times we've come across hunters, we've had targets on our backs.”

Sam and I are trying to help you three,” Dean blurted out. He turned to face Verdandi as the end of his patience was reached. “Urd asked us to. We know about the collars, we know about Kim and we are trying to get you all out of here.”

Verdandi looked a little skeptical at his words. Experience had taught her that humans had a knack for lying, especially hunters. Trusting them was taking a huge risk in her eyes.

We've been to the farm where you woke up. Urd even showed us where you three buried Ballard.” Dean watched Verdandi carefully as he spoke. “We are helping you, not hunting you.”

She pushed her hair back behind her ear, her voice low. “The last time I heard that from a hunter, he tried to use one of my sisters for bait.”

Well, that isn't us,” he replied.

Verdandi was still cautious, eyes locked mistrustfully on the young man.

Dean shook his head, resting his hands on the hood of the car. “She isn't being held against her will. In fact, when I left she was helping my brother look some stuff up.”

Why would you help us?” Verdandi took an even breath, asking the question more to herself than to him. “What could you possibly have to gain?”

He watched the young woman for a moment, giving her a small shrug. “It's just the right thing to do.”

Verdandi stood motionless beside the car, confusion flashing across her features. She had heard more than one human feed her some bullshit line but this was different. His answer sounded genuine.

We get you three out of here, the town goes back to normal and you can go back to whatever it is you do when you don't kill people,” he added.

Verdandi frowned and brought a hand up, combing her fingers back through her hair. “I still don't trust you.”

Dean motioned toward the Impala as he drummed his fingers against the metal. “Feeling is mutual. Now how about fixing my car.”

The young woman turned her attention to the vehicle in question.

The black paint glinted in the sunlight and the reflections of the leaves above danced across the windshield bringing a smile to her face. She had almost forgotten about the classic car beside her, the same one that sent Dean into near convulsions when she stopped it. In the back of her mind she caught herself wondering what it would take to get it away from him.

Dean caught the way Verdandi was looking at the car, cocking an eyebrow. “You still with me?”

Can I drive?”

That wasn't exactly what Dean had wanted to hear. He wanted to hear the rumble of the engine kick up again. Instead he got a question there was no way he'd answer yes to.

What?” he questioned, shock in his voice.

She made her way back to the passenger door, looking inside. “Can I drive?”

His annoyance was beginning to resurface as she opened the car door. “No.”

Verdandi slid into the passenger seat with a sigh, running a hand over the dashboard.

Get out of my car,” Dean demanded.

I wanna drive.” Her eyes skimmed across the console, sitting back against the seat. “Let me drive.”

Dean moved to the driver's door and looked in, frustration in his voice. “Why would I let you drive my car?”

Verdandi looked beyond content as she slid down against the upholstery, letting her hand slip from the dashboard. She let out a moan that sounded more like a purr than anything and stretched out against the leather seat. “Because if you don't, your car won't start up again.”

Dean huffed as she lounged in the car, shaking his head. “You are not driving my car.”

Then you aren't leaving this spot,” she countered.

His eyes narrowed at the comment as she leveled a blissful smile at him. Urd may have been annoying in her own right but Verdandi was quickly surpassing her. He was actually to the point of thinking that maybe the urge to shoot them was more of a family trait than just individual.

Verdandi let her eyes move around the car, resting her head against the seat. “So let me drive.”

Over your dead body,” Dean replied. He gave her a smile when she looked his way that was just as cocky as her attitude. “Now fix my car.”

It was clear she had never been told no in her life, at least by a human, with how quickly she sat up and glared at him. Or at least she hadn't been told no the way Dean said it. The quick whip of her head had been proof.

You saw what happened at that gas station, right?” Her voice was an almost sultry purr that would have been a turn on to him any other time. “The damage left behind?”

Dean's guard went up the moment he saw the glare begin to mellow. “Yeah.”

That wicked grin he had seen when the car died returned as she leaned across the seat toward him. “That was me. Urd may pick who dies and Skuld may pick when but I pick how you die. So think long and hard before saying no.”

The thinly veiled threat did little to sway his decision on her driving. “Not on your life.”

You're a stubborn bastard,” Verdandi mumbled with a scowl.

And you're a bitch.” Dean motioned to the passenger door, keeping his eyes on her. “Now get out of my car and fix it.”

Verdandi huffed and climbed out of the car under Dean's watchful eye. She pushed the door shut and leveled an indignant glare at him as she walked along the hood. She almost looked like a disgruntled child the way she stalked to the front of the car.

He waited patiently beside the driver's door and rested an arm against the roof.

I will get this car one day.” She turned toward him, her tone so ominously and self-assured it made him wonder. “You humans don't live forever.”

Dean motioned toward the hood once more as she glared at him.

Verdandi set her hand against the hood, the engine coming to life with a roar. She straightened and let her fingertips slip off the cool metal slowly before turning away. “There's your precious car. Now get back to work.”

Dean rolled his eyes as she walked away, letting out a heavy sigh. He felt a little better now that the car was running once again; even more so when Verdandi finally changed form and took off. But even with her gone he still wasn't completely at ease getting behind the wheel, especially with her last few comments buzzing around his head.

***

Urd sat going over the victim names on the legal pad, twirling her pen in her fingers absently while Sam worked on the laptop.

Between the two of them the research on Kim had gone rather well. They still couldn't say what the woman's motive was for all the killings but they at least had a little background on her. Unfortunately it was hard to tell what was useful and what wasn't.

Sam glanced up from the computer for a moment, rubbing at his eyes as she scribbled a name to the paper.

The search on Kimberly Martin-Lund had pretty well ended after 10 pages of notes and a little genealogy on the woman in question. None of it had cleared up anything though, no flashing neon sign magically appearing to say “motive” to either of them. If anything it seemed more like a dead end; a list of names, most of them long dead, and a fleeting look at an immigrant family.

Maybe it had been the prospect of a dead end that turned Urd's attention to the victims. One by one the names filled the lines of the page in a stark role call, twenty-five in all that had no connection to one another save death. Even to a Fate it made no sense.

Urd scanned the names and sat back, running her hand through her hair. “I will never fully understand you humans.”

Sam looked up from the laptop as she studied the list. “What do you mean?”

I know random. I'm a Fate, it’s my job. But I will never understand your random thought processes.” She motioned to the list in front of her, running a finger along the names. “Different ages and occupations, the only common factor is that Lund bitch.”

Sam nodded and looked at the yellow piece of paper. “If it makes you feel any better, Dean and I can't figure out humans either.”

Good to know it isn't just me,” Urd commented with a sigh.

We have dealt with some really...interesting people on a couple jobs and half the time we were left scratching our heads on what they were thinking.” He rested his elbows on the table with a shrug. “Most of the time it’s just easier chalking everything up to plain insanity.”

Urd's brow furrowed as she looked once more at the list. “Your kind suffers that a lot.”

Sam shook his head as she went over the names.

So, by the looks of things, we have a big fat stack of nothing.” Urd dropped her pen and folded her hands over the legal pad. “Yeah, I like the whole research idea, Sam.”

He motioned for the paper in front of her, shaking his head slightly. “No one said it’s a glamorous job.”

Urd sat back as Sam examined the names, crossing her arms over her chest. She wasn't sure if he could make sense of the list or find a connection between the names besides the obvious. It wouldn't hurt if he gave the list a once over but she really wasn't expecting much.

The young man's expression clouded as he read the names. Urd was right about the victim's being random. Living in town and ending up on Kim's bad side seemed to be their only connections.

Kind of sad seeing them all written down like that.” Urd let her finger push her pen across the table, watching it roll toward Sam. “All those people got the shaft just cause a psycho got mad.”

Sam's gaze drifted to the curtain as he heard the Impala's engine outside. “Sometimes that's all it takes.”

That's not very comforting,” Urd murmured. She reached across the table for the stack of notes, the sound of the Impala outside barely getting her attention. “We've researched her; do you think we should look into her hit list victims?”

Maybe. They had to do something to get on her bad side,” Sam answered evenly.

Urd flipped through the pages of notes as a car door slammed outside. “Well, the bitch is at the top of my shit list for obvious reasons.”

The conversation came to an abrupt halt as Dean opened the door, both pairs of eyes landing on him. He looked aggravated and somewhat uneasy, his eyes moving to Urd at the table. A few steps toward her as the door was slammed behind him brought an accusatory finger to her line of sight. “Your sister is a bitch!”

Well hello to you too,” Urd replied calmly, brow knitting.

Sam got to his feet while Dean glared at the young woman, carefully lowering the older man's arm. “What happened?”

And which sister?” Urd looked up at the man as if he was about to have a stroke right in front of her. “I've got two of them.”

Black hair,” Dean spat.

Urd's expression fell flat at his answer. “Verdandi.”

She messed with my car,” the older man fumed.

She sighed heavily and brought a hand to her forehead as the mildest hint of annoyance found its way into her voice. “Sounds like her.”

Dean tossed his thin stack of papers on the table and made his way to the fridge and the few beers he knew were inside. The whole drive back he had been going over his encounter with Verdandi. He hadn't thought anyone could make Urd look completely innocent but that woman had. Then there was the car thing. After all that he definitely needed a drink, too bad it wasn't stronger.

You met one of the others?” Sam watched Dean pull a bottle from the small fridge and toss the cap in the sink. “Where was she?”

Dean took a long drag off his beer before he looked at Sam. “Didn't have much of a choice. She dropped down in front of the car on some back-road and killed it.”

Urd hung her head at the comment. “Yeah, that sounds like something she'd do.”

Dean leveled a glare at the woman, his jaw clenching. “She's a bitch.”

I hear that a lot,” Urd muttered almost dismissively.

His glare didn't ease as he stood with his back against the counter.

The tension in the air was palpable as Sam looked between the two, the bulk of it coming from Dean. “What happened, Dean?”

Another long drag off the bottle before he spoke seemed to help lessen his glare as he looked at Sam. “Driving back here, she drops down in front of the car and stands there. I should have hit her when I had the chance.”

Urd shook her head at the comment, putting her forehead against the table. “Oh god.”

Then she puts her hands on the hood, kills the engine then starts feeling up the car,” Dean added.

Sam caught the odd look Urd shot his brother, giving her a quick shake of his head. He knew she was probably wondering what Dean's deal with the car was but now wasn't really the time. His brother’s quirks would have to be explained later.

Dean took another drink, pointing toward Urd. “She's looking for you.”

Urd sat up, pushing her hair from her face. “Not really surprised by that part either.”

And she don't trust us,” he informed Sam dryly. “Asked me why we'd help them and what we had to gain from it.”

Sam's brow knit as he listened. He had figured Urd's sisters would be leery of them, who wouldn't be given the circumstances. But Verdandi's questions pointed to more than a usual mistrust. He was beginning to wonder about the third sister after hearing all this.

I thought Blondie there was bad.” Dean finished his beer, motioning toward Urd as he shook his head. “Oh no. Verdandi makes her seem like a damn saint.”

Urd grinned as Dean dropped his bottle in the sink. “Blondie? Aww. I get a pet name.”

The comment got an eye-roll from Dean as Sam attempted to get back on task. “Did you find anything on the land where they woke up?”

Sam's question was a welcome change from Dean's current mindset. If he thought too long on his back-road meeting, he'd probably end up doing something he'd regret. It was better to be back on the job than mouthing off about an annoying goddess' more annoying sister.

The property is about 100 acres and listed in county records to a Mardyn family.” Dean moved from the counter and reached for the papers he had thrown down on the table. “The land was bought around the 1920's and it hasn't changed hands since.”

Urd sat forward at the name, resting her elbows on the table. “Mardyn? Who's the name on the deed?”

Dean leafed through his pages of research, fanning them out as he scanned each one. He may have gone a little overboard with the copies he made but he wasn't sure what would end up being useful, getting one of every document he could dig up. It took a moment to find the copy of the property deed in the stack before he could locate the answer in the old script.

Eyvind Mardyn.” Dean looked up from the photocopy, handing it to Sam. “Interesting sounding name.”

Urd reached for the notepad at her elbow and flipped through the pages. “I've heard that name before.”

Sam looked over the deed, glancing toward Dean. “That's a lot of land.”

According to the records, the dude paid cash. It couldn't have been cheap for him,” Dean explained.

Found it!” Urd held up the small piece of paper, giving the pair a smile. “I knew I heard that name before.”

The two turned their attention to the scrap of paper she held, reading over the names.

It hadn't been much at first; a half-heartedly scribbled list of family names associated with Kim that Sam and Urd had come up with. It had been an attempt to find Kim's relatives to question on her but with all but two names on it dead, the list became pointless. Now though the scrap that was buried in the stack of notes didn't seem so useless. And staring out from the top of it was Eyvind Mardyn's name.

He's on the list of Kim's family?” Sam questioned.

He's her grandfather,” Urd said flatly.

Sam let out a small huff as he shook his head, Dean reaching for the list. “She knows about the farm because it’s her family's land.”

This lady just keeps sounding better and better the more we find out.” Dean took a seat at the table as he dropped the list. “What did you two find?”

Nothing much. She works at a local insurance company. The house she lives in is her mother's, she got it when the mother moved to a senior living community,” Sam answered.

So nothing that screams psycho killer.” Dean leaned back in his chair, resting his hands on his stomach. “That's helpful.”

Urd's eyes moved back to the list of victims in front of her. “And the list of the people she's had us kill makes no sense. It looks totally random.”

We're thinking of looking into the victims for any connections that way,” Sam added.

How many names?” Dean questioned cautiously.

As it stands now, twenty-five.” Urd rested her arms on the table with a small shrug. “Twenty-four if you don't count the guy at the gas station who was just a “wrong place, wrong time” kinda thing.”

Dean watched the young woman for a second, blinking back the unease that her too calm comment had touched on.

That's still a lot of research that may not pan out.” Sam made a motion to the collar around Urd's neck as he stood beside the table. “Plus there is the spell to figure out, find a way to get that collar off, and the possibility Kim could call you for another job.”

Urd sighed at the younger man's comment, her shoulders sagging. “The best part of this whole thing.”

Dean pushed himself up from the table and let his eyes travel over the research cluttered top. The piles of paper had given them little if anything in the way of clues. And with twenty-five more names to look at they weren't going to get any smaller any time soon. “I'm really hating this job, Sammy.”


Chapter 18

 
 
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