Devil Cares: Chapter Eighteen

June 23, 2008 at 5:00 pm (Devil Cares) ()

I’m back, sorry again for the delay.
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Sunday had not been very fun for Wesson Mossberg. The mountains of homework Kimber had brought him couldn’t be ignored any more. Especially not with his brother harping on him about it every five minutes. Wes’d spent most of the day holed up in his room with his books, catching up as much as he could.
At least they’d gotten to skip out on church again. Wes had slept in a little more than he usually got to on Sunday mornings, which was always a plus. Not too much longer, though, Kimber had pounded on his door around nine to get him up to do homework.
Surprisingly, Barrett had actually cooked the meals so they wouldn’t have to order any food on Sunday. Kimber had rolled his eyes at Barrett’s out-of-the-blue show of religion, but he hadn’t argued. Wes had been pleasantly surprised.
He’d had a break from his homework about noon when Kimber had asked him to help him use the scanner. Once Kimber was familiar with the specifics of the machine, though, it had been back to work.
Because Kimber’s car was in pieces at the bottom of a cliff, Wes was almost late to school on Monday. Barrett had forgotten and had rushed to get dressed. Wes didn’t have all of his homework done, but he had enough that his make-up days and teachers’ sympathy would buy him the extra time.
Alison Bell, a hot girl in his class he had almost done it with once, had offered to let him borrow her notes from English and help him out if he needed it. Kayla Reese came up to him at lunch, saying if he wanted to call just to hang out and talk she’d be there to listen.
In fact, when he showed up at school, he’d found that most of the girls made their way up to him with shows of sympathy and offers of “anything they could do.”
Apparently all it took to get every hottie in the school to trip over themselves to get to him was a death in the family. He was still feeling the loss of his parents enough that he didn’t really take advantage of it like he could have.
Surprisingly, even the teachers were helping him out. They didn’t re-teach every lesson they’d had in the past week, but most of them did give him a quick breakdown of the things they’d learned so he’d be a little more up to speed. With this new information in tow, he’d asked if he could have a little more time so he could go back over his work and most of them agreed.
What was Kim freaking out for, anyway? Wes thought at the end of the day.
He was standing in front of the school, waiting for his brothers to swing by and pick him up. The meeting with the bank was today and all three of them wanted to be there when their parents’ safety box was opened. Rain and drizzle was kept off of Wes by the eaves of the school, and he wasn’t leaving until Barrett’s truck was pulled up in front. So far, Wes had been standing in his spot for ten minutes after he’d gotten out of school at about a quarter after three.
The appointment was at three thirty. Barrett was late, and there was no way they’d make it now. Just a few seconds after thinking that, the familiar rumble of Barrett’s truck filled in the air.
Clutching his backpack tight, Wes walked quickly from the eaves to the truck. Kimber got out to let him in as he got closer.
“Cuttin’ it kinda close, aren’t you?” Wes asked as he slid into the middle seat.
Kimber got in behind him and closed the door.
“Yeah, yeah,” Barrett mumbled. “It would have been even longer if Kimber had drove.”
“Driven,” Kimber cut in, “and no it wouldn’t have because I would have remembered to find the key before it was time to walk out the door. I would have had plenty of time, and not have needed to speed.”
“So why didn’t you?”
“You said you were handling it. I was foolish enough to believe you.”
“Here we go,” Wes sighed. “How did you guys not kill each other while I was at school all day?”
“I used the computer and Barrett watched TV,” Kimber said. “Hence the reason we were late.”
“This wouldn’t happen if I had my own car,” Wes said, “I could drive myself.”
“You know the rules,” Barrett replied, “you have to buy your first car yourself.”
Wes huffed. “That’s so lame. It’s not like we can’t afford it, especially with all that money from the property Charlie sold for us.”
Kimber said, “You should put that money away for something important, like college.”
“A car is important,” Wes protested.
“If it’s that important get a job,” Barrett said.
“Yeah right,” Wes scoffed, “when would I have time to work a job? I have practice after school every night ‘til five, on Tuesday and Thursday I have jazz band that goes until seven or later, and you never know when a hunting job will come up. I can’t just skip out on a paying job every time there’s a case we need to work on.”
“Maybe a job wouldn’t be so bad, then,” Kimber mused.
“I’m not getting a job, I wanna hunt,” Wes said fiercely.
They had reached the First Bank of Jericho by then, so that conversation got put on the back burner. When they went inside, Wes didn’t know the lady who was running the desk. She wasn’t bad looking for an older chick, though.
As usual, Kimber took charge. “So sorry we’re late, we have an appointment to open our safety deposit box.”
“It’s not a problem,” the lady said, her name tag said her name was Kate. “If you’ll just go across the hall, I believe Brandt is waiting for you.”
Kimber thanked her, and they all shuffled down the hall to where “Brandt” was waiting for them. He was a kinda short guy that looked pretty much like he’d expected a bank worker to look like, in a suit and tie and everything. The man took a few minutes to tell them he was sorry about their parents before leading them down the hall to a room that looked the opening of a safe. The guy opened it up and led them in.
The inside wasn’t very impressive, just two walls with rows and rows of spaces that looked almost like mail boxes, but wide enough to store a cardboard box in. Brandt led them down to their box.
“Just put in your key, and that’s it,” he said. “I’ll wait outside until you’ve finished.
After the clerk left, the three brothers stood silently in front of the box for a few minutes. They were all afraid to take this step, Wes thought. It was almost like this was the final, undeniable proof that their parents were really gone.
Finally, Barrett gave a deep sigh and stuck his hand in his pocket. He pulled out the key and stood staring at the boxes, not putting it in. Kimber’s eyes moved from the key in Barrett’s hand to the box, but for once he didn’t push. Finally, Barrett stepped forward and put the key in the slot.
Inside there were a bunch of file boxes, jewelry type boxes, and some long manila envelopes. A quick rifling through the envelopes showed that they were legal documents, like the deed to the ranch and other things their parents had wanted hard copies off.
There were much cooler things in the file boxes. It was like their mom and dad had put together everything they knew about the supernatural and turned it into one big ole’ mess. The boxes were filled with pages and pages of information that their parents had tracked down. It looked like some of the things weren’t common enough or were too questionable with their facts to go in the files at the house.
“Hey,” Kimber said, a three-ring binder in his hand, “look at this.”
The other two looked up at him from where’d they’d been combing through the box.
“What?” Wes asked.
“It’s a list of various otherworldly situations our parents thought might be a good idea to take on as cases, or at least look into.” He was flipping through the pages. “Hmm, Mom thought there was a succubus behind the school gym.”
Barrett, who’d gone back to reading through the files, glanced up at him sharply. “What?”
“Well, it makes sense,” Kimber said thoughtfully, “the school gym is right in front of that wood copse where the kids go to make out. Succubae aren’t especially deadly, as far as demons go, so if she was just feeding on the sexual energy it wouldn’t really be noticeable.”
Putting down the files he had been working on, Barrett came over to where Kimber was standing. “Why would Mom just let a demon hang around the school if she knew it was there?”
“Probably because succubae aren’t especially deadly, as far as demons go.”
“Still, it’s a demon,” Barrett said, “it can’t be a good idea to just let it live there.”
Wes couldn’t pass up an opportunity like that. “Let’s go look into it. If they aren’t that deadly, but still shouldn’t be there let’s go evict the sucker.”
“And you’ll want to be coming along on this little venture, I suppose?” Kimber asked him.
“We all must make sacrifices for the cause,” Wes replied nobly.
Kimber rolled his eyes.
To Kimber, Barrett said, “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to let him get his feet wet with things like this, you said yourself they aren’t that dangerous.
“I said they aren’t deadly, they can be plenty dangerous,” Kimber clarified. “And then there’s the matter of doing what you’re told, Wes. When we cast out the residual essence you were under strict instructions not to move.”
Eyes flaring, Wes tried to keep his cool.
“Yeah, let’s talk about our casting out. Of all of us, who was the only one to come out without a scratch? Oh, yeah,” Wes said, “Me.”
“And that’s the way it was supposed to be,” Kimber returned, “we kept you in the circle for a reason, for your own protection.”
“That’s the problem, right there. I don’t need you to protect me.” Wes stared into his brother’s eyes, trying to get his point across. “If I had been involved in the ritual from the beginning I could have helped keep the spirit forms at bay. Maybe none of us would have had any damage.”
Casting a glance at where the clerk was waiting outside, Barrett said, “If we’re going to have this conversation, I’m gonna go make sure we have the space.”
He padded off to the outside of the room.
As his brother left, Kimber said, “You may have a point, Wes, but it’s also possible the essence would have just upped it’s ante. All the light that exploded out of the tub was all the energy it had stored. It could have gone on for hours just like it had been without ever tiring.”
Despite himself, Wesson’s eyebrows rose. He hadn’t known that.
“Wes, I’ll tell you what,” Kimber continued, “when you’re eighteen you can kill, destroy, maim, and otherwise injure the evil creatures of the supernatural until your little heart just explodes. But you will not be doing it while I have anything to say about it.”
Wes huffed. “Why do you even get to tell me no? Barrett’s in charge.”
“Well,” Kimber said, “he certainly likes to think so.”
Right at that moment, Barrett came back. “The clerk went back to work, I told him we needed more time.”
Both of his brothers pretty much ignored him. Wes said, “So, you’re fine with me going out and hunting when I’m eighteen with no more training or experience than I have right now, but you’re not cool with me coming along with you so you both can keep an eye on me? That’s pretty dumb.”
“You know, he has a point,” Barrett said. “It would be better if we had some control over it.”
Kimber opened his mouth, but Barrett went on, “I say he comes with us. It’s time to start acting like I’m in charge instead of just thinking I am.”
Wes tried to hide a smirk as Kimber closed his mouth. His smirk was whipped away when Barrett continued talking.
“Besides, if he’s with us we can stop him from messing up too badly.”
It was Wes’s turn to try and angrily retort only to be cut off before he could get it out.
“Fine,” Kimber said flatly, “but I am not okay with this. Anything that happens to him, Barrett, is on your head.”
Nodding, Barrett said, “Fair enough. And Wes, when we tell you do something you need to do it. If there comes a time where we draw a circle and tell you not to move you need to not move. Out in the field, we have to trust each other, and if we can’t trust you to be where we need you to be you can’t hunt with us.”
He took in Wes’s angry, cross-armed stance and sighed. “Wes, whether you want to admit this or not, you’re only sixteen and there will be some things you can’t handle. You just can’t. If Kimber or I decide that some hunt or another is one of those times, we need to know that you’ll be safe or we’ll go into the job worrying about you. That will make us all sloppy.”
Barrett’s striking blue eyes bore into his brother’s darker ones. “If you’re going to be doing this with us, you’re going to do it right. Those are the terms, take it or leave it.”
Deciding it would be better to be treated with kid gloves on a hunt than not be included at all, Wes nodded. “All right, fine. I’ll take it.”
Reading the capitulation on Wes’s face, Barrett nodded. “Good. Let’s pack up this stuff and go. We need to read up on how to oust a succubus.”


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4 Comments

  1. jekloneo said,

    FINALLY!!! You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for this post. (Okay, so you do.)

    So there’s a succubus behind the school gym, huh? Interesting.

  2. Yahrlan said,

    Hmm… very interesting

    and I’m too lazy to go song-searching right now so.

  3. Zappaz said,

    Ooh! I like the succubus thing. Very nifty.

    Loved this chapter, of course. Yay for neat things in safety-deposit boxes.

    On another note, I found a typo:

    and if we can trust you to be where we need you to be you can’t hunt with us.” I’m pretty sure you meant “can’t”.

  4. Seth Gray said,

    Thankies, Zap. So glad you’re back!

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