I did more pavement pounding the rest of the day, since Jared hadn’t let me in on what he was looking for. I asked as many locals as I could find about the different people, trying to find a connection, and I triple checked all the crime scenes for sulfur or EMF. There was still nothing, so around mid afternoon I caught up with Jensen at the town’s café for a late lunch.

Jared wasn’t in sight, and when I sat across from Jensen in the booth he tensed. I hesitated, surprised at the reaction, then folded my arms.

“So, are you going to tell me what’s going on?” I asked him. With Jared not there I could talk to Jensen about how he was dealing with the Petrins’ deaths, because it was obvious to me that he wasn’t.

“There isn’t anything going on,” he said, not looking at me. I frowned.

“Really?” I asked, feigning confusion. “Because I’m kind of tired of waking up in the middle of the night to you tossing and turning, like you have the past three nights in a row.”

Jensen glared at me, but didn’t say anything.

“You can’t tell me that you’re doing okay,” I said quietly.

“I’m fine,” he snapped. “Just leave me alone, Katey.”

I would have started yelling at him, because I was worried about how he was handling things, but Jared slid into the seat next to me right then, cutting short the conversation.

“I found it,” he said, sounding both excited and nervous at the same time. Jensen gave a grateful sigh; I frowned, annoyed that Jensen was still denying that he had a problem.

“So, how do we kill it?” Jensen asked, jumping the gun like always. I glared at him reprovingly.

“Tell us what it is first, Jared,” I said and ignored the glare Jensen shot back at me. Jared raised an eyebrow at us, but I pointedly ignored it. Jensen turned to stare out the window, like he had been doing a lot of lately.

“Well, it’s not a demon, per se,” he said carefully.

“What do you mean ‘it’s not a demon?’” Jensen asked, glancing at him. I kicked him

“Jensen, don’t interrupt.”

Jared looked even more confused, but pressed on. “It’s a physical being, called a…” he hesitated to glance at the open journal. “diabolus animi motus, or emotion devil. Basically what it does is it amplifies emotions, a lot, and feeds on the chaos that ensues. Generally it’s stuff like lust and fornication or rage and murder, but this town seems to have a lot of guilt going on, so that leads to a lot suicides.” He paused, probably to gauge our reactions.

It made sense. If someone was guilty enough about something and it was amplified, then yeah, that would end up being suicide. The problem was, how much guilt would be enough to send someone to do something like that? An accidental murder everyone’s been hiding? Or little things like not winning a case, or failing a class, or forgetting to pick someone up, or misplacing some cash?

“Alright, so how do we kill it?” Jensen asked again. Jared cleared his throat and shifted on the bench.

“Well, the journal is kind of vague so I’m not really sure,” he said. Jensen grimaced, then held out a hand.

“You said it’s a devil, right?” he asked. When Jared nodded, then Jensen continued. “Well what kills a devil?”

Jared let out a heavy breath. “Not a whole lot,” he said. “It’s a physical being so standard spells don’t work, and it’s probably going to be harder to kill than a human.”

Jensen thought for a moment. “But if I pump enough lead into it—“ Jared nodded at the same time I groaned. Jensen glanced at me with a wide grin.

“What?” he asked, raising his hands as if to say ‘what’s so wrong with trying to kill it that way?’ I shook my head and didn’t answer him.

“So how do we find it?” I asked Jared. He glanced down at the journal and rubbed his face.

“I haven’t figured that out just yet,” he said sheepishly. “There isn’t any description or pictures so I don’t know what it looks like.”

Jensen groaned, then leaned back against the bench. “Alright, well, keep looking. We still have a couple of hours before it gets dark.” Then he stood and left.

Jared turned to watch him go, then turned back to look at me.

“What’s going on between you two?” he asked, confused. I swallowed, not sure how I was going to answer the question. His frown deepened when I was silent for too long, and I scrambled to keep his suspicions down.

“He’s been having nightmares since we got into town and he won’t let me help him, that’s all,” I finally said, giving him just enough truth to satisfy him. I hoped.

He continued to frown, probably wondering why I had hesitated for so long, then shrugged.

The waitress finally made her way over and we both ordered a quick lunch. When she brought the food back, we ate in silence, Jared studying the journal some more, and me staring out the window at the people and cars passing by.

The End

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