the Company of Dragons
By: Ridley C. James
Disclaimer: Nothing Supernatural
belongs to me. All those lovely men are property of Kripke Enterprise
and The CW.
“It never does to leave
a live Dragon out of the equation.” -The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
“One of these days you're going to
pick a battle that I can't help you win,” Dean pointed out, helping Sam
out of the tub once Caleb was gone. “You really shouldn't piss-off
people bigger than you, little brother-and especially not ones bigger
“Nah,” the little boy shivered as air
met his wet skin. “You're like Athewm. You'll always save me,” he
The blond rolled his eyes at his
Athewm was a dragon from one of
Pastor Jim's 'made-up' stories. It didn't take Dean long to figure out
he wasn't just like Athewm, but he was Athewm. Athewm, was Mathew, his
middle name, slightly rearranged, and in Jim's story he was an emerald
green, guardian dragon-Prince Samuel's protector.
There were other familiar characters,
too. Take Belac, for instance. A powerful red dragon forged in the
fires of the Underworld, who despite his dark lineage had sworn
allegiance to the Prince. Among Belac's many talents was his ability to
read minds. Big mystery who that was.
Then, Cam, an intelligent blue dragon
that could heal people with the touch of his claws. Of course, there
was Astorim, a silver, wand-wielding, dragon, the oldest of all the
beasts. And last but not least, there was Oh'Nathan Jay, a fierce black
dragon who protected the kingdom where Prince Samuel lived.
Jim had told Sam the tale for years,
expanding it as time went by, even buying his little brother small
plastic dragons that went along with the story. Dean had to admit he
liked it too, when he was a kid. But now he barely listened when Sam
would beg the pastor to regale him before bedtime. After all, he was
practically an adult. But half-grown or not, Caleb was still a whole
heck of a lot bigger. “Yeah, well, I'm not sure Athewm could take Belac
if it came down to it.”
The little boy frowned. “Why would
Athewm and Belac fight each other? They both protect the Prince.”
The younger Winchester shook his
head. “Maybe the Prince did something really stupid to Belac-like
dousing him in the moat. You know how fire dragons hate water.”
Sam grinned, mischievously. “That
would be funny.“ He lifted his arms as his brother dried the rest of
him. “Now. Scout,” the little boy said, pointing down to the puppy, who
was busy chewing on the plastic sail boat.
“Sammy,” Dean sighed, “give me a
break.” But even as he complained, he squatted down and rubbed the
little Lab with the towel, until she was barely damp.
Jim had gotten the puppy for Sam's
birthday, even though they weren't allowed to have pets. The priest
swore to their father the dog wasn't a present, just a purchase at
convenient timing. After all, Atticus was getting along in years, and
the priest hoped having a young pup to look after might liven him up a
bit. Jim said it worked well enough for him, and John couldn't argue
with that logic.
Caleb entered the bathroom, mop and
bucket banging behind him. He looked at Sam, then glanced around to all
the mess. “Next time take the mutt to the pond, kid.”
“She's not a mutt,” the boy said
indignantly. “She's a Labrador Retriever!” Sam explained again, to
which Reaves only rolled his eyes.
“I don't care if she's Eukanuba Dog
of the Year. Just keep her on a leash, and out of my bed, if you don't
mind.” Scout had mysteriously found her way into Caleb's room the day
before, even though he had shut and locked the door. “I don't need her
panting in my ear. I have an alarm clock to wake me up, thank you very
“And here I didn't think you'd kick
any bitch out of your bed.” Dean smirked, letting the water out of the
tub. “Especially one that would get close enough to pant in your ear,
Reaves smirked. “Nice, Deuce.”
“She's not a …” Sam frowned at his
brother. “That word.”
“It means female dog, Sammy.” Dean
“You didn't mean it that way.”
“He's too smart for you already, kid.
” The psychic snorted, swabbing the floor with a wicked grin on his
face. “By the time he's your age, you won't even be able to carry on a
conversation. You'll have to lug around a dictionary, maybe even hire
“Shut up,” Dean growled, slinging a
wet towel towards the older man. “Like you're a freakin' Rhodes
Reaves easily caught it, and raised a
brow before he twirled it a round a few times. “Smart enough not to
give the enemy a weapon.” Dimple and white teeth flashing in a devilish
grin, he snapped it out like a whip towards the blond.
The wet material popped, missing Dean
by inches. “Hey!” he yelped, as Sam laughed, and Scout barked,
delighted the fun had started back once more.
“I bet that would have hurt,” the
seven-year-old said, backing up, so he was behind Caleb, who was
advancing on his brother again.
“Traitor.” Dean glared at him, and
tried to dash out of the way as the dark-haired hunter aimed the towel
at him again.
It barely missed as he dodged out of
the way. “Moving a little slow there, Deuce,” Reaves chided. “ I'm
amazed you were able to hustle it to home plate at all this season.”
“You don't need to run when you can
hit the ball like me,” Dean boasted, and once again attempted to duck
away from Caleb. Unfortunately, the floor was still soaked and he
slipped in a puddle of water nearly crashing into the washstand as his
feet slid out from beneath him.
Reaves' quick reflexes saved him and
the glass pitcher on top of the vanity. “Yeah, you're so smooth,
The teen started to snap off a
suggestion Jim would not have been happy with, when Reaves took a sharp
intake of breath and suddenly released him. “Damn it,” the psychic
growled, bringing a fisted hand up to the center of his forehead. “Not
An explosion of light flashed behind
the psychic’s tightly closed eyelids and he felt his legs buckle before
he could even reach out for anything to catch himself. His knees struck
the hardwood floor, the shockwave that rocked through his spine and
back was nothing compared to the cataclysmic quake rumbling in his
head. The pain was blinding. It stole his breath like a vicious punch
to the solar-plexus, making him wonder if this would be the time his
skull might actually shatter against the pressure.
He heard his name through the agony,
mostly because Sam was obviously shouting it in his ear. The frightened
sound of it mingled badly with the roar of the rushing blood as it
coursed through his veins like an angry, flood-swollen creek.
Reaves couldn't stop the strangled
gasp that was torn from his throat as he curled into himself, wrestling
with his instinct to fight, to resist what was happening. Six years of
having visions and he still had a hard time 'letting' them come, as Mac
had coached him. Although he'd gotten better at it, giving up control
wasn't something that would ever come natural to him.
But something about this vision was
different. More intense. More painful.
It was like the two others he'd
experienced in the past few weeks. The ones that had accompanied the
nightmares that had worried him enough to call Mac, who had in turn
insisted he call John.
Caleb felt consciousness slipping
from him, just as the horror movie started playing.
He was in a park, standing near a
swing set. The sun was setting in the distance, the night air cool on
The location was different, but the
set-up was the same. Whomever he was connecting with this time was in
big trouble- if his previous visions were any indication.
Victims were his curse, for they drew
him in. But the perspective with which he viewed his visions had always
been more about the monster behind the melee. He saw what was happening
through the perpetrator's eyes-feeling, and experiencing every nuance.
Reaves supposed it was his demonic nature mixing with his abilities in
one fucked up way, fate's attempt at piddling on his shoes.
But this time he could feel the most
recent victim's heartbeat speed up. His breathing became shallow and
forced as he realized he wasn't alone. The false illusion of safety was
shattered with the snapping of a twig, with the crunching of leaves
beneath a heavy foot. The darkness became smothering, painful. Then the
monster was there.
Reaves felt the fear as if it were
his own. The child turned, cried out, and started to run into the
darkened forest, but the threat was faster. It reacted quickly,
stealthily making its way towards the kid-a young boy. The psychic
wasn't sure how he knew the age or sex of the victim, but he did. Even
Despite the control Caleb uselessly
tried to exert over the body he was mentally trapped in, the little boy
stumbled, fell to his knees, and couldn't recover before...
Mercifully, it was over quick. The
viciousness so brutal it didn't take long for the job to be finished.
Still, the psychic felt each blow as if he were physically there. Felt
the bones snap, heard the rushing of blood as if it were in his own
head. And then the oxygen was cut off by a crushing grip, and his own
lungs felt ready to explode…
As the last breath of life left the
child's body, Reaves felt his own chest constrict. His lungs burned
hot, like the tears that streaked from the boy's cheek to land on the
The psychic looked up through the
sightless eyes as the child's body was dropped unceremoniously to the
cold ground. Through the black spots dancing before him, he barely made
out the flash of gold . The ring was fuzzy still, but the symbol was
clearer than it had been in the nightmares. A twisted type of cross,
with a letter emblazoned over it, Celtic-looking, but not quite like
anything Reaves had seen.
Then it was all gone as quickly as it
had come. No rolling credits, no blooper reel-just all encompassing
pain…then blackness. And the dreaded feeling of falling away into the
dark abyss with no safety net below.
He came to with a gasp, his weak
muscles sending him back to the mattress almost as soon as he had
jack-knifed into a sitting position. “Shit,” he muttered, weakly,
reaching a hand up to rub at his aching, burning throat.
“Take it easy,” a voice whispered and
Caleb's head whipped to the side. He was more than surprised to see
Mackland Ames' concerned face, shadowed in the faint light coming from
the small table-side lamp.
“Hey,” the young hunter croaked,
searching the rest of his surroundings for any indication of where he
might be, and how exactly he got there.
“Hey yourself.” Mac grinned, reached
out and took Caleb's hand, placing his fingers along the psychic's
Reaves frowned, but didn't pull away.
“What are you doing?”
“Taking your pulse.”
Caleb rolled his eyes, licked his dry
lips. “I mean…what are you doing here?”
The young hunter realized he was in
his room at Jim's, the one he'd stayed in since he was a teenager when
visiting the priest. Like Dean and Sam, he'd spent plenty of summers at
the old farm, especially when Mac had still been a practicing surgeon.
“John called me.”
Reaves groaned, instantly pissed that
Winchester would drag his adoptive father all the way to Jim's because
of a stupid vision. “What? To tattle because I wasn't being a good
little boy?” The hunter closed his eyes, took a deep breath to push
away the last of the pain. “God, I'm twenty years old. I don't have to
listen to him anymore.”
Mac snorted. “Like you have ever
listened to anyone, Caleb Reaves. Although John has come closer than
most.” When his son peeled only one eye open to glare at him, the
doctor's face softened. “And he didn't call to report back on you. He
called because you weren't breathing.”
“What?” The other gold-flecked eye
shot open and the hunter once again tried to shove himself to a seated
position. Although his sore ribs protested, he was able to make it this
time. “What do you mean I wasn't breathing?”
“I mean,” Mac sighed, rubbed a finger
over his eyebrow, “that whatever happened in your latest vision
triggered some sort of seizure and you stopped breathing.” The doctor's
gray eyes darkened. “Thank God it was only for a minute, and you
spontaneously started back on your own, but still…you scared everyone.”
“Shit,” Reaves mumbled again,
dragging his hand over his face, across his mouth. The little boy in
the vision had stopped breathing-had he been that connected? He
recalled vividly the feeling of suffocating. “Holy shit.”
“My sentiments exactly. You want to
tell me what happened? It was a vision?”
“Yeah…a vision about a murder.” Caleb
rubbed at his temples. “ I was cleaning up the bathroom, and then…” The
psychic paused, trying to recollect exactly what he was doing when the
vision was triggered. It all seemed foggy-as if it had happened a
“Yes, you were with the boys,” Ames
added, hoping to spark more memory.
“Sammy?” Caleb suddenly remembered
the youngest Winchester calling his name.
Mac nodded to the pillow beside of
Caleb, where several ten-inch, plastic dragons stood watch. “He was
quite concerned. Dean convinced him that his dragon friends would
provide sentry while he was asleep. John ordered them to bed a few
hours ago, though much protesting ensued.”
“Damn. How long have I been out?”
“Over five hours.” Mac looked at the
clock. “Luckily I was near by.”
Reaves glanced away from the other
man then, feeling slightly guilty Mac had been pulled away from his
research. He reached over and picked up one of Sam's dragons to avoid
the doctor's pointed gaze. “The runt must have thought I was going to
die.” He observed, with a quick quirk of his lip. He held up the shiny,
green beast. “This is Athewm- his favorite one.”
“Ah yes, Prince Samuel's guardian.”
Caleb chuckled, shook his head
despite the fiery pain it stoked. “Is it weird that we know this?”
“No, considering we have all, at one
time or another, been conned into playing with that castle.”
“It's a Gothed-out Barbie Dream
Home,” Reaves pointed out. “Jim got it at a charity sale at the church.
Made me paint it years ago.”
Mac smiled. “If I'm not mistaken, you
and Dean added the bridge and moat yourselves.”
The younger man shrugged, brushing
off the implication he had gotten in to the project. “What's a castle
without a moat and a draw bridge?”
The dark-haired hunter tossed the toy
back with the others. “So, he and Deuce are okay?”
“As I said, they were concerned.
Rightfully so.” Mac's brow furrowed. “To be such amazingly brave boys,
they frighten easy when it comes to their circle of influence. I think
they have a heightened sense of danger-an ingrained fear of losing
those close to them.”
The hunter quirked his brow at the
psych terms, and Mac smiled. “All the Winchesters happen to have that
same affliction. Perhaps I should do a case study.”
“Like John would go for being one of
your lab rats.”
“Speaking of John…he only left a few
moments ago. Although he claimed he was anxious for you to awake mostly
because of your current job. He was quite overcome with concern.”
Reaves snorted. “Right, Dad. He's
gone all warm-fuzzy on me. I'm surprised he didn't try and get you to
pump me full of adrenaline, or maybe mind-meld with me to get access to
that last little show.”
The doctor frowned, not quite sure if
his son was kidding, or if he really believed John Winchester didn't
give a damn whether he lived or died. He hoped it was the former and
not the latter. John was many things, but cold and heartless was not
one of them. Especially where Caleb was concerned. “He said you've been
“I told you that when I called.”
“Yes, but John said they were
“Great.” The psychic palmed his eyes.
“Jim needs to insulate this damn place. The walls are like paper.”
“You could have called me. Perhaps
Bobby could dig up a protection symbol to ward off whatever connection
you're making this time.”
“Look, I'm a big boy. And the
nightmares didn't get bad until I got here. Besides John shouldn't have
“I would have been angry if he
hadn't, and this incident with your abilities…well, it wasn't the only
reason he called.” Ames tilted his head. “And what do you mean they
didn't get bad until you got here?”
A wave of anxiety washed over Caleb.
He winced as his battered mind suddenly processed the emotions rolling
off the other man. “What's wrong? Why are you worried?” He pushed
himself up against the headboard. “You're never worried.”
Mac waved the questions away. “It's
something we can discuss in the morning, but about…”
The dark haired hunter's frown
deepened, his brow furrowed. “What about Dean and Sam?”
Mac raised a brow. “You're reading
Reaves sighed, frustrated the older
man sounded surprised- almost amused. The very way John often sounded
when Caleb challenged him to a game of pool, or a sparring session.
“Something about John and the boys…”
Now the doctor frowned, as he watched
his son rub at his temples. “You're hiding it,” Reaves hissed, still
pushing to find the source of the fear he'd felt from his father.
“Son,” Ames reached a hand out, laid
it on the hunter's arm. “What's this about? Is it this job?”
“Don't patronize me.” Caleb pulled
away, not sure why he was suddenly moving past irritated, right into
full blown pissed. “What's going on with John? Why are you worried
about the boys?”
“Keep your voice down.” Mac moved his
gaze to the adjoining door on the far wall. Dean and Sam's room lay
just beyond it. “As you said, these walls are practically porous. You
don't want to wake them.”
Reaves reached out, touched each
boy's mind, content they were still safe asleep. He refused to be
swayed by his father's concerned gaze. Not only was he more than
curious as to what Mac was blocking, he was anxious for a
distraction-any distraction-to erase the lingering images of what he'd
just witnessed. But he did lower his voice. “Fine. I'll ask him myself.”
The young psychic shoved at the
blanket covering him, and stood quickly. Ames reached out a hand to
steady him as he wavered. The stubborn kid turned away, starting for
the door that led to the hallway. “But you haven't told me what
happened…” The doctor sighed, raking his fingers through his salt and
peppered hair before following after his son. “Of course it's not like
you've ever listened to me before.”
“What's going on, Johnny?” Caleb
demanded as soon as he entered the bright and way too cheerful kitchen.
For not the first time, he cursed the day Jim chose to paint the room
sunshine yellow. Even in the dead of night it glowed with a welcoming
The priest and Winchester were
sitting at the table, papers and files spread out before them. They
both looked up when the dark haired hunter stumbled in. A mixture of
concern and relief reflected on their tired faces. But Reaves didn't
miss the quick glance they shared or the bottle of Jose sitting in
front of John.
He was right. Something was
“My boy, you're back with us?” Jim
stood motioning to a chair. “Why don't you sit down?”
Caleb frowned, rubbed at his throat
again, but didn't reply, nor did he move from the doorway.
“That was Jim's way of saying you
look like shit,” John said, but the words didn't ring with their usual
gruffness, nor were they slurred, which was a good thing. Winchester
was damn contrary when he was drunk. “Now sit down, goddamnit. Because
I ain't carrying your heavy ass twice in one day.”
Reaves huffed out a breath, but did
as the older man requested. He watched silently as his father entered
the room, poured himself a cup of coffee and joined them at the table.
“He okay?” John asked Mac, not bothering to address the subject of his
“He's awake.” Mac smiled over the rim
of the mug. “That's always a good sign in the medical field. The fact
that he's irritable, oppositional and uncooperative is also positive.”
“Seeing as how that's his normal
state.” John agreed, rubbing at his eyes.
“You're concern is touching,” Caleb
“They were both very worried.” Jim
piped up, going to the refrigerator to retrieve a pitcher of iced
tea-his elixir to cure anything that ailed. “We all were.” He added
with a wink, as he filled a glass for Caleb. He gave it to the young
psychic before reclaiming his seat. “But, are you sure you shouldn't
still be in bed?”
Reaves took a drink of the sweet
liquid and glared at him. “Is that the nice way of saying you want me
to leave the grown-up table?”
“Caleb,” Mac warned.
The Pastor raised a brow. “No, that's
my way of saying I'm worried about you.”
“I'm not a kid, Jim.”
Murphy folded his hand on the table,
glanced down at the silver ring on his right hand. To him they all
seemed like children. “Sorry, but finding you unconscious and not
breathing on my bathroom floor has left me rather unsettled and
concerned for your health. By all means, though, do stay. Push yourself
to exhaustion. I won't think anything else of it. After all, as you
have pointed out, you are an adult.”
Reaves groaned, rolled his eyes.
Nobody did guilt like Jim Murphy. Who needed a mother, when they had
the Pastor. “I'm fine.” He lied. “It was just a vision.”
“Same as the others?” John asked,
Caleb nodded. A sudden sense of
letting the man down washed over him as his gaze met Winchester's. “It
was another kid. A little boy. But I didn't get much more on the
crazy.” He had the urge to say he was sorry, though he wasn't quite
sure why. Caleb took another swallow of Jim's ice tea, instead.
“Damn it!” John pounded his fist on
the table. “What the fuck else can go wrong?”
“Daddy?” As if on cue, Sam entered
the room, rubbing his eyes, yawning. Scout was trotting behind him, a
crumpled pair of socks grasped between her teeth. “What's wrong?”
Winchester grunted, lifted his eyes
heavenward, in a 'you've got to be kidding me' gesture.
“Sammy, why are you up?”
The little boy shrugged making his
way around the table, coming to stand beside Caleb, leaning against the
psychic's chair. “I was thirsty.” He glanced up at Reaves. “Are you
Some of Reaves apprehension seemed to
evaporate as Sam's shoulder brushed against his. He reached out and
ruffled the sleep-tousled mop of hair before he could stop himself.
“Are you kidding? Nothing hurts me, runt. I'm invincible.”
“You were thrashing around on the
floor like the fish do when we pull them out of the water.” The kid
must have took the rare physical contact and smile as an invitation. He
climbed up in the chair with Reaves, planting himself on the hunter's
knee. Scout whined and attempted to do the same by placing her big
puppy-paws on the psychic's leg. Sam leaned back against the hunter's
broad chest and yawned again. “Your lips were blue.”
Reaves sent a quick desperate look to
his father, who suddenly found his coffee much more interesting to look
at. But Caleb didn't miss the hint of amusement that flashed through
his gray eyes. It was the same look that was plastered on Murphy's
John was the only one who seemed at
least a little sympathetic. “Sammy, leave Caleb alone and go back to
bed. He's still breathing. No harm, no foul.” Okay, so maybe
'sympathetic' wasn't the right word.
“Brain cells die when people don't
get oxygen. And they don't ever come back.” Sam told him, before
glancing back up at Reaves. “That's why people aren't suppose to hold
their breaths too long.”
“Thanks for pointing that out, Tiny
The little boy frowned. “Dean was
worried when I told him that. He said you couldn't afford to lose brain
cells. That you were close to being a vegetable already.”
“Oh did he, now?” Caleb growled.
Mac hid his laugh behind a cough. “I
assure you Samuel, that Caleb is quite fine. Your father's right. There
was no lingering damage.”
Sam stared up at Reaves again. “Was
it because I hit you with the sponge?”
“What?” The psychic's brow furrowed,
trying to process the shift in conversation.
“Dean promised it wasn't, but
sometimes when Dad gets hit on the head he goes to sleep like you did.
I didn't mean to hurt you.”
“Sammy…” Caleb sighed, feeling a
wealth of emotions all at once, and oddly unsure of what to say. “Trust
me. It had nothing to do with you, kiddo.” Thank God. “It was a
vision.” About some other little boy, that had no connection to them.
“That's all. I promise.”
“The movie in your head?” he asked,
his earnest concern once again taking another sucker punch at Caleb.
“Yeah. The movie in my head.”
Sam twisted his fingers in the sleeve
of the flannel shirt the twenty-year-old was wearing. “It was a scary
one? Like that one with Freddy Krueger that we watched?”
Before Reaves could answer,
incriminating himself for letting the boys watch Nightmare on Elm
Street, John was on his feet. He lifted his son up and into his own
arms in one practiced scoop. “Enough Q&A, Tiger. Caleb's tired, and
so are you. You're going back to bed.”
“But I just woke up,” the kid
protested around another yawn.
“I'll take him,” Caleb heard himself
saying, as his legs seemed to move him to standing on their on volition.
No one was more surprised than
Reaves, himself, when he bent down and picked up the Lab puppy, hefting
her up in one arm. John quirked a brow as the psychic stood back up and
the younger hunter shrugged. “Hey, I have a bone to pick with his
brother,” he explained. “No brain cells to spare, my ass,” he grumbled
as he turned his back to the Winchesters. “Hop on, runt.”
The seven-year-old didn't hesitate as
he practically leaped onto Caleb's back. His hands clasping across the
hunter's neck, gangly legs latching around the psychic's waist in the
well-practiced piggy-back carry. “Giddy-up,” Sam whooped, and Reaves
groaned as the loud voice echoed in his brain, rattling around the
overloaded synaptic pathways.
“Keep it to the inside voice,
Cowboy,” he said, glaring at his father and Murphy, who were still yet
to say anything. But they were looking at him like he, Scout and Sam
were on the cover of some sappy Hallmark card. All they needed now was
a Christmas tree twinkling in the background, and Dean to join them
wearing a freakin' Santa hat. God. They were turning into the Brady
Bunch. He hoped to hell this didn't give Murphy any ideas about a group
“No stories! No pit-stops! Straight
to sleep. I mean it.” John's thundering voice thankfully broke the
spell. Caleb was for once eternally grateful for his well-timed
“And re-salt the door and around the
bed.” Okay, that was more like it. The Munsters he could live with.
“And here I was thinking we'd hit the
bar for a night cap-couple tequila shots and he'd go out like a light,”
Reaves told him, with a smirk. “But I guess that can wait a few years.”
“Bed!” John pointed towards the
hallway, when his youngest son laughed.
“And the same goes for you.” Mac
echoed, his slight smile not having the same effect. But Caleb still
felt chafed by it. He was being banished from the big boy table,
goddamnit. Something big was going on.
“I mean it, son,” the doctor added,
obviously interpreting the reaction. “You need to rest. We can discuss
all of this later.”
“Fine,” Reaves hefted Scout higher
and she dropped her socks, or rather Dean's socks, to deliver a sloppy
lick right across his mouth. “We know when we're not wanted.” Besides,
Caleb would just read Jim tomorrow-find all the answers they weren't
willing to share with him. The man was like an open book.
“They're grumpy,” Sam said in a
softer voice as they left the room.
“That's what happens when you get
“I heard that,” Murphy called after
them, but only a little boy's giggle echoed back to them.
John sighed, wearily sank back down
in his chair once they were gone-out of earshot. He buried his face in
his hands. “I can't lose him, damn it!” he said softly. “This is my
Mac and Jim shared a quick look,
before Ames spoke. “We'll fix it, Jonathan.”
The seasoned hunter looked up at the
doctor. “How the hell do you propose we do that, Mackland? The man has
us dead to rights. You willing to give up your career? Your freedom?”
He shook his head. “You want Caleb to go to jail? Or worse, to some lab
to be studied? They'll hunt down everyone we care about. We'll all be
put away. Then the boys will be at his mercy, anyway. ”
“That won't happen. Conner doesn't
understand all the workings of the Brotherhood.”
“But he knows a lot,” Jim chimed in,
rubbing his silver mustache. “Too much for an outsider. I have a
feeling he may know even more than he let on and that means only one
Ames frowned. “You believe he has an
inside source? One of our own?”
Murphy nodded. He and John had
already discussed the possibility, decided it was the only plausible
theory. “I fear so.”
“And that's exactly why I don't have
a goddamn choice but to do what the sonofabitch wants.” John pounded
the table. He looked at Mac again, but this time all anger fled,
replaced by complete helplessness. Fear. “I'm going to lose my son,
Mac. God help me. I don't think I can do this again.”
Onto Chapter 3
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