On the road
Two days later

"And that was where?"

Dean glanced at Sam for the umpteenth time, trying to convey his need to know what the hell he was talking to Bobby about.

"I get that Bobby, but ... " Sam trailed off and started doodling on the pad he was jotting stuff down on while listening intently to whatever Bobby was telling him. "Yeah, I know, but ... " He pursed his lips and nodded. "Okay, we'll take a look at it," he agreed, then grimaced. "Uhm ... he's doing fine. B No, obviously it wasn't that bad. B Yeah, I know, but you know what he's like."

Dean rolled his eyes and returned his attention to the road.

"No, we'll take a look at it. No problem," Sam said and finally hung up.

"Take a look at what?" Dean asked.

"Bobby thinks there's something going down in this little place in Texas. He wants us there yesterday."

"Dude, we're not going anywhere where Angelina Banks is not," Dean countered.

Sam sighed. "Dean, Angelina Banks could be anywhere by now. We have no way of tracking her down unless you have developed some magical ability to find people like her," he said and gave Dean an almost suffering glance.

"We need to find her, man," Dean insisted. He knew this was getting old, knew that Sam wasn't as devoted to this project as he was because he hadn't witnessed what that kid could do, but it still ticked Dean off.

Exasperated beyond reason, Sam shifted a little and eyed him darkly. "How? How are you going to find her, huh? It's not like she's leaving a trail behind that we can follow," he said.

"Yeah, she is. Or rather Sean is. All you need to do is keep an eye out for those two words: miraculously healed. How hard can that be?" Dean shot back. "Look, this may not be a big thing for you, Sam, but it is for me. Something's telling me that we need to find that woman and her son and we need to help them."

"What? Are you on a mission from God now?" Sam countered sharply. "Dean, doesn't it strike you as odd that you're suddenly so obsessed with a woman and her kid that you don't even know? For all we know that kid could have been a demon and it put some mojo on you. Just think with your head for once, will you?"

Dean stared ahead of himself while mulling Sam's words over. Okay, so the kid had a point. But that didn't mean anything in the great scheme of things, did it? "Sam, listen to me, okay? That kid is important and no, he's not a demon. He didn't lay some kind of mojo on me. He healed my frigging leg in the blink of an eye. What happened to keeping an open mind about things, Sammy?"

For a long moment Sam didn't move a muscle. Then he glanced at Dean and grimaced. "I get that you're ... rattled or whatever over this ... healing. But ... dude ... there has to be something more behind it. Little kids don't run around healing people at random."

"He doesn't heal people at random, Sam. So far, he's healed kids in Opheim and that's it. Right? That's where this trail started, after all. But if he's done it once, he'll probably do it again. And I just have this gut feeling that we need to help those two out." With an exasperated sigh, Dean pulled the Impala over to the side of the road, got out and walked a few steps away. He hauled his phone out of one pocket and dialed Bobby's number.

"What is it now?"

"Bobby, hey. Quick question here. Have you ever heard of kids that run around healing others?" Dean asked. He didn't believe in beating around the bush and he was a little confused about the fact that Sam hadn't told Bobby about the healing already.

"What?" Bobby sounded a bit baffled. "Where'd that come from?"

"Oh, this little ... accident I had with that Mananaggal. Pretty nasty wound. Should have taken weeks to heal properly. Only while we were in Opheim, I ran into this kid, about five years old, and he laid his hand on my leg and healed it. So ... you ever hear of something like this before?" Dean countered.

This was answered by nothing but silence for a moment. "No," Bobby finally said. "Can't say that I have. You said he healed you?"

"Yup. In a flash. One minute I'm bleeding all over the place, barely able to keep it together, and the next I'm ready to drop-kick a demon back into Hell. So, you tell me? Am I imagining things? 'Cause Sammy can tell you how frigging bad that gash on my leg was. And that was two days ago," Dean replied.

"You got a name on that kid?" Bobby asked.

"Yup. Sean Banks. Son of Angelina and Jordan Banks. We know the hubby's dead, but that's about it," Dean countered and glanced back at the car when Sam got out and walked over to him.

"Banks?" Bobby asked. "Banks? That name rings a bell. Hang on a second."

"What?" Sam asked.

Dean arched an eyebrow and shrugged while Bobby rustled with some paper.

"Thought so," he finally said. "Jordan Banks. He was a protestant minister, based in Maine. A small town called Gusford. Wife's name's Angelina. They've got a five year old son named Sean Jordan. Banks died two years ago on Christmas eve while locking up his church. Police report was sketchy at best. Mainly because they had no frigging clue what killed him."

Dean frowned. "What does that mean?" he asked.

"According to the coroner's report, the man was generally torn to shreds. The coroner's guess was a mountain lion. Don't know how many of them there are in Maine, but that's beside the point. It obviously wasn't anything natural," Bobby countered. "The church was locked from the inside, there was no sign of forced entry and no sign of any wild animals. If I had to make a qualified guess here, the guy was killed by a hell hound or something similarly nasty. Why is a different matter. According to the police report, Angelina Banks had disappeared by the time this was reported in and at first they thought she did it, but eventually decided that there was no way she could have."

"So, hubby gets killed by something demonic and mom takes off with the kid? Sounds kinda rash to me. Any idea why she decided to make a run for it?" Dean asked.

"Nothing specific. There must be some sort of back story there. Only thing that stands out is the fact that the birth of her son was apparently a pretty violent affair. She nearly bled to death on the operating table, but the doctors took credit for saving her life. Since then and until two years ago, there's nothing that stands out about the Banks. According to the police report, everybody in the neighborhood liked them. They seemed happy together, nothing outstandingly weird about them. Just everyday folk hit by tragedy is what they said," Bobby said. "If you wanna know more, I suggest you find Angelina Banks and talk to her about it. That's all I've got."

"See, that's what I'm trying to do, but finding her is going to be a bitch," Dean countered. "Unless we can track her through the people Sean heals," he added.

"Why are you so hooked on this, Dean?" Bobby asked.

Dean rolled his eyes. "Because it's not normal that a five year old kid runs around healing people. Besides, his mom didn't like the sight of me and ran like hell the moment the kid told her what happened. My guess is that she doesn't like hunters. I can't help wondering if she's had a run-in with someone like Gordon Walker."

"That is certainly possible," Bobby agreed. "I'll ask around. Maybe someone knows what's going on there. Could be they've mistaken Sean Banks for one of the special kids ... unless he is one, of course."

"Doubt it," Dean said. "Age-wise it doesn't fit and neither of his parents died until he was three years old. And, on top of that, Sammy didn't get his abilities until he was twenty-one and from what I get, none of the other special kids we've run into got into their own before that. So that kinda makes the Banks-kid different, wouldn't you say?"

"Yeah, sounds different," Bobby said. "I'll check into it. I'll call you back when I know more. I'd still like you guys to check that incident in Texas though," he added.

"As soon as Sam fills me in, we'll get right on it," Dean promised. "Thanks, Bobby. Catch you later." With that, he hung up and turned to face Sam. "So, what's in Texas?"

Sam eyed him. "What did Bobby say?" he asked back.

"Seems like supernatural stuff's happening to the Banks. Hubby got killed by something in his church on Christmas eve. Bobby said the police report stated it looked like he was shredded. Could be a hell hound," Dean countered. "So, what's in Texas?" he repeated.

Sam made a face. "A haunting," he said. "In an old, disused factory out in the middle of nowhere."

"Who cares about a frigging haunting out in the middle of nowhere?" Dean asked.

"Apparently Bobby does. A friend of his owns the place and wants to tear it down and build something else, but the ghost haunting the premises keeps rebuilding whatever gets torn down," Sam said and shrugged. "Sounds like a weird haunting to me," he added.

"I'll say," Dean agreed. "It rebuilds?"

"Yup, that's what Bobby said," Sam countered. "It's close to San Angelo," he added.

"Sweet. Let's hit the road. It'll probably take us a few days to get there. And keep your eyes peeled for anything in the healing business. If we can find Angelina and Sean at the same time, that would be cool," Dean said, turned and headed back to the car.

"Don't get your hopes up," Sam muttered loud enough for him to hear it and then followed him.


"You know ... this thing in Texas ..."

Sam glanced at Dean. "What about it?" he asked a little suspiciously.

"How urgent is it?" Dean asked and glanced at Sam.

"You talked to Bobby last. You tell me," Sam countered. "Why?"

"Because ... I really wanna find Angelina Banks and her son," Dean said while keeping his eyes on the road.

Sam stared out of the windshield for a moment, then glanced at Dean. "You're obsessed, you know that?"

"Whatever. I just ... it's important, okay?" Dean tried.

With a faint sigh, Sam began to realize that it really didn't matter what he felt about this. In the end, they were going to blow off the gig in Texas and go hunt all over the country for this woman and her son. "Why?" he asked again, hoping somehow that Dean might have come up with some reason for that he wanted to find her; apart from the fact that her kid had healed that gash on Dean's leg, of course.

"Because," Dean countered, pulled over to the side of the road again and just sat there for a moment while the engine idled and cars raced by them in a steady stream of midday traffic.

"Because what?" Sam asked.

"Because I said so and that's that," Dean countered tightly without looking at him.

By now Sam had learned to recognize what Dean did when he went into parenting mode. When there was something he couldn't explain and he wanted to have his way, he blew Sam off with the same routine their father had used over the years. "That's that?" Sam asked and glanced at him. It had generally always worked for their father, but Sam didn't harbor the same kind of respect for Dean as he had for his father. With John Winchester there had been no maybe. It had been yes or no and he had never backed down. Dean didn't always stand his ground and Sam knew which buttons to push to make sure the result was in his favor. "You get to make all the calls and I just have to tag along?" he asked, keeping his tone flat and unemotional.

"Well ... yeah!" Dean agreed.

"And ... why would I do that?" Sam asked. For now, he managed to remain fairly calm. In a sense, he found this situation a tad amusing and so couldn't really get upset about it. He knew it would start to bug him in a bit, but right now he was having fun putting Dean on the spot.

"Because I said so," Dean insisted.

Sam considered it for a moment, then opened the passenger side door and got out. He slammed the door shut and walked a few steps away from the car. It was a risk. If Dean was really in a pissy mood about all this, he would take off and leave Sam to his own devices, but Sam pretty much thought he had him pecked right on this one.

A moment later Dean got out too. "What are you doing?" he asked, bracing himself against the car with one hand on the roof.

Letting a minute pass without response, he knew he was whittling away at Dean's defenses. Then he turned back to face his brother and spread out his arms. "I want to know why, Dean. I want a rational, logical explanation for why you think it's so frigging important to go hunting all over the country for a woman who obviously doesn't want to be found. So, either you give me an explanation I can live with or I'll get my stuff out of the car and you can just ... take off. Because I'm not doing this without knowing why," he said and folded his arms over his chest. "We already told Bobby that we would take the gig in Texas. We're halfway there and we have no clue where this woman is."

Dean stared at him for a long moment, his expression almost painfully tense. Then he suddenly dropped his gaze to the roof of the car and stared idly at it for a moment. "I don't know," he finally said without looking up.

"You don't know?" Sam asked. That was a bit of a surprise, really. He would have expected Dean to at least come up with some tired old well-worn excuse or at least a reiteration of his almost childish response from before. "That's all you can come up with?"

"You weren't there, Sam. This kid ... he looks totally normal, acts totally normal. But ... he heals with the touch of a hand, man. And the whole thing ... I mean, with him taking off to tell his mom and her looking like I was gonna kill them or something. Sam, whatever this is, these two need protection. I know they do," Dean tried.

"How do you know that?" Sam persisted.

"I don't know!" Dean snapped, then made a face and sighed. "Look ... I know this is messed up, Sam. I know I should be able to explain this, but I can't. I just have this gut feeling that this is something I need to do."

It wasn't what Sam wanted to hear, but it was better than nothing. It was way better than anything his father would have given him, so eventually he relented. "Okay, fine. Let's go find Mrs. Banks and her son then," he said.

Dean's smile was damned near grateful and Sam didn't really know how to handle that one. "Cool," Dean said. "I'd better call Bobby and let him know though," he added and made a face. "He's gonna have a fit."

"No, he won't. He's not dad," Sam countered and got back in the car.

Dean pulled his phone out and got back in too. "Hey, Bobby," he said and gave Sam an almost suffering glance. "Uh ... you wouldn't happen to know someone else who can deal with that haunting in Texas, would you?" He grimaced. "Well ... uh ... "

Sam grabbed the phone away from him, ignoring Dean's somewhat startled expression. "Hey, Bobby. It's Sam. What Dean's trying to say is that we found out where this Bank's woman is and the evidence points toward that someone's after her and her son, so we decided to check that out first. It doesn't seem like the gig in Texas is that urgent, considering that the factory is abandoned and all."

For a moment, there was nothing but silence at the other end. "Uh ... if you think it's more urgent ... I guess the gig in Texas can wait," Bobby finally said.

"Yeah, I think it's urgent," Sam agreed. "Once we've caught up with her and ... well ... dealt with whatever needs dealing with, we'll head to Texas and check out that factory, okay?"

"Okay. Fine. You boys just be careful. I asked around a bit and it seems that there's a gang of Gordon's old pals that are pretty keen on finding her. I couldn't figure out why, but I guess they must be pretty upset about the kid's healing abilities," Bobby said.

"Thanks for the head's up," Sam said. "We'll stay in touch."

"You do that, Sam," Bobby said and hung up.

Sam flipped the phone shut and handed it back to Dean, who was staring at him with a slight frown furrowing his brow.

"You are downright scary sometimes, you know that?" he asked. "You lie faster than a horse can run."

Sam shrugged lightly. "I aim at making it true and Bobby did say that some of Gordon's pals are after her, so you were right about that," he countered.

"Well, what are you waiting for? Get on that damned laptop of yours and start searching," Dean said and pulled the car back into traffic.

With a grimace, Sam dug his laptop out of his backpack and opened the lid, then glanced at Dean for a moment. "This might take a while," he said.

"Whatever. Just get on it," Dean countered and despite his words, he sounded pretty content right now.

Sam shook his head lightly and booted the computer up. There was nothing more to it than to get on with it. It took another few hours before Sam finally found a lead and it was one hell of a lead. He stared at the results for a moment, then glanced at Dean. "I think I found her," he said.

Dean grinned. "That'a boy," he countered. "Where?"

"First she must have stopped over in Elko in Nevada. There's a report of a kid in a playground being healed mysteriously. And the second one is in Cheyenne in Wyoming," Sam said, then braced himself against the dashboard in anticipation of what he knew would be a hap-hazardous U-turn Dean would make. And his brother didn't let him down, even though he did check for traffic first before he tore the Impala around and headed back the way they'd come. "I wish you wouldn't do that," Sam said and made a face. "One of these days we're gonna get broadsided by someone because you can't make a U-turn like normal people do."

"Since when am I normal people?" Dean countered good-naturedly.

Sam grimaced. "Point taken." He rechecked the results and got the same answer. "It might not be her, you know. Or rather him, since it's the kid doing the healing," he added.

"It's them," Dean said and he sounded pretty damned sure.

Sam sighed and nodded. "Fine, but I figure Cheyenne is going to be a bigger place than Opheim. They might be hard to find," he said.

"Not with that beat up old Fury she's driving around in. I'd recognize that anywhere," Dean said and there was no doubt in Sam's mind that nothing would be able to change Dean's mind right now. So he just settled in for the long drive to Cheyenne.



The town was far bigger than Opheim, filled with little parks that could and probably did contain a playground or two and Sam sighed with the prospect of having to trawl through all of them only to find that their quarry had left town the minute they'd arrived. At least that was his belief.

In part he could understand Dean's need to find this woman and her son, but it still made little sense. Dean didn't get that involved, especially not with people he didn't know. To have him this obsessed with this woman and her son was disconcerting, troubling even.

They had checked in at the Day's Inn motel at the edge of town and had headed straight out to the nearest park to look around. The park was crawling with people, out and about to enjoy the sunny day, people who lived normal lives, people who had all the things neither of them had ever had. Well, Sam had tasted this life, had temporarily been 'normal' and it had felt good on a scale he couldn't even begin to explain to his brother. How did you tell someone what normal felt like? He didn't take into account that Dean's life had been pretty much normal up until the night where tragedy had hit their family. He didn't really think Dean remembered much of that life before. He had only been four at the time, after all.

The playground was tiny; a sandbox and two sets of swings, and a quick glance at Dean told Sam that the kid wasn't here. Sam sighed again, unable not to. This was going to be a long day unless for once they got lucky and found what they were after without having to spend weeks upon weeks chasing the unattainable.

He glanced around, noted a woman a little older than himself, who was hunkering down in front of a dark-haired kid, soothing him because he had fallen and scraped his knee, and it raised a lump in his throat. From behind she looked like Jess and he could easily imagine that any child of his would have looked that way. He clenched his jaw and looked away. It was a futile dream, a senseless fantasy that would never be. The Yellow-Eyed Demon had seen to that, had destroyed his life yet again, and catapulted him back into the fray of a life he had been so desperate to escape.

"No luck."

He jerked and glanced at his brother, who suddenly stood beside him. He had lost himself in the thoughts of what-ifs and had lost track of time and place, not a good thing for a hunter to do. He needed to sharpen himself, needed to be more alert. "Well, let's check the next park, then," he countered.

Dean eyed him closely for a moment. "You okay?" he asked and only then Sam realized that his feelings showed all too clearly where Dean was concerned. He had never been able to hide his state of mind from his brother.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he lied and knew that Dean knew he was lying. Fortunately, his brother didn't pursue it, merely grimaced and headed off toward the car.

Sam sent a brief glance over at the blonde woman who was leading her limping son away from the playground and fought down this emotional tidal wave attempting to rise in him. Jess had been gone for one and a half years now. He had shed his tears over losing her and had vowed to avenge her death. It wouldn't bring her back, but it would make sure that noone else had to suffer through the same ordeal.

Another sigh escaped him as he turned and followed his brother. He was always following Dean, it seemed. The thought made him smile vaguely. Dean was a constant in his life. Even during his time at Stanford, his brother had never been far away in his mind.


The next playground yielded no change in their bad luck either and Dean found himself to be oddly melancholy on account of it. If only he could explain why he found it so necessary to find Angelina Banks and her son, he would have felt more at ease with this hunt. But he had not even been able to explain to Bobby why he wanted to blow off the gig in Texas for this. And how could he? There was no really rational explanation. That Sam had decided to follow his lead yet again had actually come as a surprise. The kid had seemed adamant about not doing this at first. Whatever it was that had swayed him to Dean's way of thinking was beyond Dean and it didn't really matter. What would matter was Sam's influence on others. Dean wasn't entirely sure he would be able to convince Mrs. Banks not to run, but there was no doubt in his mind that Sam would be able to accomplish this.

He stuffed his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket and glanced around the second playground in search of that familiar face, those mild brown eyes shielded under an unruly mop of dark hair. Looks-wise the kid took after his mother from what Dean had seen in Opheim and a part of him really wanted to get to know her, to find out if her eyes B when not filled with weary fear of hunters B would be just as mild as her son's. Whatever it was that attracted him to this woman, for some reason it had nothing to do with the fact that she was a woman.

Sam had once accused of him not caring about the women he was with, that he didn't respect women and only saw them as objects to be used and thrown away. What Sam had never understood was that the women Dean hooked up with along the way were just like him. They wanted casual encounters, a night of drink and fun, and that was the end of that. To Dean it seemed that there were quite a few women like that around. He always managed to find one that shared his view on things and there were never any tears when they parted ways. Awkwardness maybe, but that was only if he stayed the night. Usually, he didn't. Usually, he was back at whatever motel they were at before the break of dawn and sound asleep by the time Sam woke up.

His need to find Angelina Banks was based on exactly what he had said to Sam. It was a gut feeling that she needed help and that her son was in danger. And a kid who healed others like that ... well, he had to be something special, didn't he?


Sam trailed up beside him, his eyes scanning the playground closely, and Dean almost smiled. Sam had no idea what the kid looked like, but he was still trying to find him. "Nope, not here," Dean countered. "Let's find the next one," he added, turned and nearly ran into a kid.

The boy stopped short and stared up at him. "You," he said, his eyes going wide.

Dean hunkered down immediately, taking any possible threat he might pose to the boy away by getting down on his level. "Hey, Sean," he said and grinned. Luck was with them this time, it seemed.

The boy's expression changed from surprise to caution. "I'm not supposed to talk to you," he said and took a hesitant step back.

"Ho-wow, stop, Sean. I'm not gonna hurt you, okay?" Dean tried, raising both hands, palms out, to signal that he was no threat.

Sean eyed him wearily for a moment, then glanced off to the side, obviously searching for his mother. "Mom says you're dangerous," he tried, doubt in his voice.

"I'm not. I promise. My name's Dean," Dean countered and held out a hand to the boy.

Sean eyed his hand cautiously and didn't take it. Before he could say anything, though, his mother swooped in, hauling the kid into her arms and backed up a step. "Stay away from my son," she snapped.

Dean rose, noting briefly that Sam had changed his position and was now behind Angelina, then he raised his hands again. "Mrs. Banks, I'm not going to hurt your son," he said, hoping to somehow get through to her.

Her eyes darkened. They were just as brown as her son's, but chock-full of caution, fear and good portion of anger. "Yeah? Then why are you following us?" she demanded heatedly and backed up another step. "And how do you know my name?"

That blunder was going to cost him. He just knew it. "Because I checked up on you," he admitted. "Your son healed my leg. I had a pretty bad wound when we were in Opheim. That sort of thing is hard to swallow, you know? I wanted to thank him, but he ran away before I could."

"You're a stranger. He's not supposed to talk to strangers," she snarled. "Just leave us the hell alone," she added and took another step back. This brought her in direct contact with Sam, who hadn't moved out of her way. She swirled around to face him, angry, but stopped short.

"Mrs. Banks, we're not here to hurt either of you, but we've heard that someone's following you and we were just trying to see if we could help you," he said.

Dean marveled at how easily Sam managed to break down defenses in others by just being who he was. That puppy-dog look in his eyes, the openness of his expression. Despite his towering height, he seemed as harmless as a little kid at this moment and it was definitely one of his biggest attributes in fights. Nobody thought he could turn deadly in a flash, but Dean knew he could if the conditions were right.

"Why?" Angelina asked, but her tone had lost much of its hostility already.

"Because that's what we do," Sam said and smiled vaguely. "We help others."

She glanced back at Dean, who tried a mollifying smile. "But ... you're ... hunters, aren't you?" She sounded concerned now, confused even.

"Yeah, we are," Sam agreed.

It upped her resistence to them once more and she turned sideways and took a step away from both of them, holding her son in her arms like she expected them to try and remove him.

"We know Sean is special, Mrs. Banks," Dean tried.

Her eyes darkened, clouded over with desperation and fear. "You're not hurting him. I will kill you before I let anyone hurt him," she hissed.

"We don't want to hurt him," Dean tried again and glanced at Sam for help.

"I'm special too," Sam said, which caused Dean to stall. He hadn't expected that one. But it did the trick. Angelina's expression changed from angry and fearful to surprised.

"What do you mean?" she asked, glanced from one to the other and settled her gaze on Sam once more.

"I'm not like Sean, but I have visions," Sam said. "And these men that are hunting you, they're after me as well. That's why we want to help you."

She blinked, disbelief and the first shimmer of hope vying for control in her expression.

Sam nodded to confirm what she wasn't saying. "We're brothers," he offered. "Dean's always looked out for me. You can trust him."

The honesty in Sam's tone stalled Dean for a second. He caught himself, but it warmed him deeply to hear those words; not that he would ever admit it.

Angelina glanced at him, then back at Sam. She trusted Sam more than she trusted Dean right now, although her trust was as precarious as a bottle siting on top of a storm-swept rock in the middle of the sea. One wrong move, one wrong word and she would bolt. So Dean opted to keep his mouth shut and let Sam do the talking.

"We want to help you if you'll let us," Sam tried.

For a long moment the situation teetered on the edge, then she exhaled slowly and some of the tension seeped out of her. "I don't understand," she said. Confusion had taken over now.

"We have to find a way to hide you better. Your trail is easy to follow," Sam said. "Sean has to stop healing people at random. It leaves a trail that anyone can follow. If we can find you, so can the people hunting you," he added.

Dean grimaced, but said nothing. Now was not the time to get into a discussion about who was competent and who wasn't. "We should leave town as soon as possible," he tried.

Angelina swallowed. "I can't," she said, startling both of them. "My car broke down and I don't have any money to fix it."

Dean made a face. "Are you very attached to it?" he asked.

She shook her head. "No, it's a piece of junk. I bought it a few months back, exchanged my old station wagon for that piece of crap to throw those hunters off my trail. I thought we were safe in Opheim. But then you came along. I ... I thought you were after Sean."

"We really should get out of town. Do you trust us enough to ride with us?" Sam asked. His tone was so mellow right now that anyone would have trusted him with their life savings and Dean barely abstained from shaking his head with a smile.

"I don't know," Angelina said. Sean shifted in her arms and whispered something in her ear. She glanced at her son, then nodded lightly. "Okay. I guess we don't have much of a choice right now," she added quietly, then gave them both sharp looks. "But I'm armed."

"That's good. You should be," Dean said and waved toward the eastern exit of the park. "Let's go. The longer we stay, the more likely it is that someone else is going to catch up to you."