Supernatural: Coyote's Kiss

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Authors: Christa Faust
night, he just couldn’t shake the feeling of emotional freefall. Like he’d completely lost sight of what he was supposed to be doing with his life. Sam’s question was still echoing inside his head. Who the hell are you ? Dean couldn’t make things work with Lisa, but he couldn’t just go back to who he used to be either. All he could do was keep busy, keep moving, and keep all his emotions crushed down and buried deep, like he always did. Numb up and nut up. Lose himself in the hunt. But it was the quiet times like this that got to him. Those long, lonely hours when night became morning, when no matter how much he drank, he just couldn’t seem to drown all the doubt and regret. The bottle propped between his legs was half empty. The pessimists’ verdict. Half empty, like he was. He took another pull, swiftly working his way toward completely empty. He thought of De La Paz, asking him if he still believed in justice.
    When he first came out to the car, he had this absurd hope that Xochi would still be there, silently waiting astride her Hayabusa. He’d gotten into his head that if he saw her, he’d give her what she wanted. In spades. Toss her in the back seat of the Impala and prove to her that he wasn’t so hung up on the past he couldn’t have a little harmless fun. Prove it to himself. But she wasn’t there. So he sat in the car alone, drinking himself maudlin. Still hung up on the past.
    He took out his cell phone. Lisa’s number remained on the screen from the previous dozen times he’d looked at it but didn’t dial it. He stared at it until the little screen went dark to conserve power, then put the phone back in his pocket.

TWELVE

    Xochi had parked the Hayabusa beside a dying Joshua tree and hiked off into the desert. She had nothing with her but a thin bedroll, a canteen and a small pouch containing sacred tools and herbs. She had a flashlight, but didn’t use it. She didn’t need it. Her night vision was sharp as a cat’s, but she wasn’t following a visible path. She was following ley lines. Veins of psychic energy that flow like blood just beneath the skin of the world. Leading her to a powerful nexus point where her prayer to Huehuecoyotl would be most likely to be heard.
    The sky above her was cloudless, a heavy three-quarter moon low on the horizon. She searched the scatter of stars for the Tianquiztli cluster out of childhood habit, feeling reassured and centered when she found it. She could hear the frantic, high-pitched yipping of coyotes in the distance.
    The harsh, moonlit landscape gave no indication that humans had ever existed and seemed to actively resent her presence. The slithering sand filled in her footprints seconds after she made them.
    It took several hours for her to reach the nexus. As she walked, she thought of the two big green-eyed gringos . So infuriatingly American in their approach, all cowboy muscle and cocky, self-centered entitlement, yet she could clearly see that their destinies were inextricably intertwined with her own.
    The older brother was going to be a problem, but he was a problem that intrigued her. Sure, he was distractingly handsome, a ripe mango, and she couldn’t deny a certain raw physical attraction. But there was so much more going on under the surface. He was complicated, a haunted warrior. She knew she couldn’t just break into a man like that the way she’d broken into his cheap motel room. She needed to find a way to earn his trust, and cheap seduction was not the way to do it.
    As for the younger, soulless brother, she knew from the first second she saw him that he was the key. But why couldn’t she see the shape of the lock?
    The area around the nexus was no different visually than the hundreds of miles of surrounding desert. A slight indentation in the sand, to the left of a pair of large squarish boulders like dice thrown by bored gods. To the right, a thick stand of spindly creosote, an impossibly long-lived desert dweller that was

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