By Julien Gregg

Book 1 - Chapter 9
And Another Goes Missing

Damon sighed as he walked into the kitchen. He was glad that Lacy was either still asleep or already gone for the day. That woman made him uncomfortable for some reason. The dreams he'd been having lately were enough to keep him awake at night but her constant chatter in the morning was unnerving. He got himself a cup of coffee and then went to the front porch to retrieve the newspaper with another sigh.

Drake wasn't telling them everything. That was one thing that was on Damon's mind. He kept surprising them with things every time they turned around. Just the day before Dean had said something about his uncle from his mother's side. He'd said the man's name was Xander and Drake had piped in saying that Dean was going to name one of his sons Xander. Now where had he come up with that? Dean and Damon had just looked at him and finally their cousin told them that he thought it would be nice if Dean named a son after his uncle. Clearly he expected that to be enough but when it was added with the other odd things both Dean and Damon were left to wonder about Drake.

The most odd thing was his knowledge of power balls and the spell to remove one from a victim. Even Jason wondered about that one but the Elders said they knew nothing about how Drake knew any of this. It was getting even more strange with the way he stared at them with that sad look in his eyes. Damon was ready to ask him what was going on and not take anything but the truth. Dean had stopped him twice saying that Drake would tell them what was going on when he was ready.

The front page of the newspaper made Damon gasp out loud. Another girl was missing. They'd first heard about the missing girls right after Lori disappeared from her apartment the same day that Jason had orbed her there after Drake had told them the spell to remove the power ball from her. After Lori three other girls that looked similar to her had gone missing. Now another one was missing. Her smiling face stared back at him from the front page of the newspaper.

"Morning Damon," said Drake as he came into the kitchen. "What's in the paper?"

"Another missing girl," he replied, sliding the paper across the table as Drake sat down with his own cup of coffee.

"Another one?" Drake asked as he touched the paper and instantly flinched.

Damon sat watching him as the premonition took him. Would he tell him what he saw or would he pretend that he'd been taken by a pain in his back? Damon silently chastised himself for that thought. It wasn't that bad. Drake just had his secrets and he wasn't ready to share them yet. It wasn't like Damon had been ready to share the secret of his sexuality with his cousins when he and Dean had come back from the past to find that it was already out. He should be understanding with Drake.

"Where's Lacy?" Drake asked with wide eyes as he snatched his hand back from the newspaper.

"I guess she's upstairs," Damon said as Drake got out of his chair so fast he nearly knocked it over.

"Let's hope so," he said as he left the kitchen.

"Drake wait," said Damon as he got up to follow his cousin. They met Dean as he was coming down the stairs.

"What's up guys?" Dean asked, the smile that formed on his face melted as he saw how serious and worried they were.

"Where's Lacy?" Drake asked in reply.

"She left with Trevor to discuss something about P3," he replied slowly, catching their worried feeling as a chill ran down his spine. "What's wrong?"

"Where did they go, Dean?" Drake asked, backing down a step as Dean advanced.

"Why don't you tell me what's going on?" Dean countered, taking yet another step.

So Drake told them about the premonition he'd had when he touched the newspaper. In it Lacy was in the back yard of the manor and a red skinned demon with wings appeared and grabbed her before shimmering out again. When Damon asked Drake assured him that Trevor was nowhere to be seen. Then they were running down the stairs and out the front door, across the lawn to Trevor's house and pounding on his door.

Trevor came to the door, wiping his hands on a towel. He was wearing an apron and Dean had no time to find it silly. He was too worried about what Drake had seen in his premonition. He needed to find Lacy. Trevor was taking his time opening to the door though. Dean was about two seconds away from waiving a hand and taking out half of the front of the boy's house when the door opened.

"Hey guys," he said with a stupid grin on his face. "You just missed Lacy. She's on her way over there."

"Shit!" cried Dean as the three of them bolted off the porch and around the side of the house to the back.

They got to the back of the house and saw Lacy stepping across the small stone row between the two properties. She saw them and smiled. Her hand came up to waive and then the demon shimmered in behind her. Dean stopped short with shock but luckily Damon was on his game. He rose his hands and froze everything including Lacy.

"Jason!" he cried as they stood there.

"What's going on?" Jason asked from behind them when he orbed in, giving them the start of their lives.

"Get Lacy out of here," Dean said.

"Who is that?" Jason asked, pointing at the winged demon with red skin and black tribal markings on its face.

"A demon," said Drake. "Just get Lacy out of here. Take her to P3."

They stood there and watched as Jason hurried to Lacy, took her by the arm and orbed her out. It was as if that was all that was needed before the scene could unfreeze. Then the demon was looking at them with a sickening grin on its face. Drake looked at those jagged teeth and lifted his hands in front of him with the palms out. Bolts of electricity shot at the demon, striking it in the side. The demon wailed and threw an energy ball back at Drake.

Damon froze the energy ball as Dean put the palm of his own hand to his lips. The demon focused on Damon as Dean blew the icy kiss and struck the demon in the chest. It screamed and fell backwards, its wings unfolding. They easily spanned six feet. Before the demon hit the grass it shimmered out and they were standing there looking at each other with an energy ball frozen in the air about two feet from Drake.

"What do we do with that?" Damon asked as Dean waived his arm at the energy ball and set it flying into the stone pit they used to burn leaves. It exploded in a shower of sparks and then was gone. "Oh."

"We've got to get to P3," said Dean as Drake grabbed both of their hands and shimmered them to the club. The scene they shimmered into wasn't that much different than the one at home before the demon shimmered out. He was throwing energy balls at Jason while Lacy screamed.

"Vanquish it!" cried Jason as he orbed across the dance floor to escape another energy ball.

"We don't know who it is," called Damon as Dean waived his hand and sent the demon flying across the dance floor on its back.

"You're tearing up our club!" cried Dean as he put his hand to his lips and prepared to use the ice kiss. The demon was fast though and back on its feet. It threw an energy ball at Dean.

"Heads up!" cried Damon as he froze the energy ball.

"Stop trying to kill us!" screamed Drake as he threw an energy ball of his own at the demon.

The demon stopped and stared at him as if in shock. Then it threw an energy ball back at Drake. Dean yelped when Drake caught the energy ball and threw it back while throwing a fireball from his other hand. The demon shimmered out before either could touch it. Then the energy ball that Damon had froze was free again and it hit Dean squarely in the chest. He screamed and clutched at his chest as he fell.

"Jason!" cried Lacy as she ran to Dean.

"I've got him," said Jason as he orbed from across the room and put his hand over Dean's wound. The golden light of healing spread from his hand over the wound in Dean's chest.

"Oh, Dean," cried Lacy, throwing her arms around Dean's neck.

"Lacy, I'm fine," he said, hugging her back.

"We need to get back to the manor and the book so we can find out who that demon is," said Damon as he and Drake came to stand beside Dean and Lacy.

"Shouldn't be too hard," said Dean as he extracted himself from Lacy's arms and stood. "Can't be that many demons with tribal markings on their faces and a six foot wing span."

"There's the Dean I know," said Drake, but Damon saw worry on his face as he looked at Dean. He wondered again what Drake wasn't telling them.

"Let's go then," said Jason as he took Lacy by the arm and orbed out.

"You know," said Drake, looking at Damon. "He counts on my ability to shimmer just a bit more than I like." He took both of his cousins hands and shimmered them back to the manor.

"Well here we are," said Damon, pulling his hand out of Drake's and looking around the sun room for evidence that the demon had appeared there.

"It's all right," said Jason as he and Lacy came into the room. "The demon isn't here."

"Well then I suggest we consult the book," said Drake, walking out of the room and up the stairs before any of them could say anything.

"Lacy, you come with us this time," said Dean, taking her hand. "I don't want to take any chances."

The doorbell stopped them in their tracks. The cousins looked at each other and then Dean sighed. The demon wouldn't use the bell. He left them standing there and went to answer the door. The man on the other side of the door was dressed in a black suit. His dark blond hair was to his shoulders and slightly wavy. His blue eyes looked troubled.

"Dean," he said, pushing past him as he walked into the manor. "I'm glad you're home. I tried to call but no one answered."

"We were outside," Dean said, knowing better than to ask who he was because for all they knew they had known this guy all of their lives. He silently cursed the reality of the world having changed without their knowing as he closed the door. "What's up?"

"Well I was wondering if Drake would help me," said the young man as he turned to face Dean. "I know you all said that you wouldn't help us with any cases after the last one but another girl has gone missing and we have nothing."

"Come on," said Dean as he walked through the hallway and into the dining room. The others followed.

"What would you like me to do?" Drake asked as he came into the room.

"Just touch some of the victims' belongings and see if you get a premonition," said the young man. "It would really help."

"All right," Drake said, looking at Dean hard. They had no choice but to go along with it. They didn't know exactly how much this guy knew about them. It was clear that he knew them though. Drake supposed this was just one more thing that had happened as a result of their changing the past.

"Thanks, Drake," said the young man as his cell phone beeped. "Miller," he said into the cell. Then a few minutes later, "I'll be there in a little bit. I had to make a stop."

Drake waited until Miller closed his cell before touching the necklace that had been placed on the table. As soon as he touched it he flinched. In his vision he saw the red skinned demon that had tried to take Lacy. He was taking the girl in the newspaper. What he saw was the demon grab the girl in a back yard and shimmer out.

"Well?" Miller asked when Drake put the necklace down.

"Uh," said Drake as he wiped his forehead.

"Was it a demon?" Miller asked, startling the cousins. "I have to know, Drake. If this is a supernatural case then there isn't much I can do about it. Laura thinks it is and that's why I'm here."

Laura. Drake instantly remembered Tory telling him about Laura in the future. He wondered if this could be the Laura that would marry him, have his sons and then die. He found himself hoping that it was and hoping that it wasn't at the same time. He didn't want to think about it at the moment. Tory had said that Laura was a witch so evidently Miller knew a lot about witches. How he knew was another question though.

"Yes," he said, deciding to tell the truth. "A powerful demon."

"I knew it," Miller said, shaking his head. "It looks like you guys are going to have to take this one. Laura won't even be home until next week."

"We're already on it," Damon said. "We'll, uh . . ."

"I get it," Miller said. A look of sadness crossed his face as he looked at Dean. "I'm sure the girls are dead, but if you vanquish this demon maybe we can save future victims."

"We're going to try," Dean said, wondering what the sadness was about. Miller looked like he wanted to say more but then changed his mind. He thanked them for helping and then left. It was the strangest thing Dean had ever experienced. How much did he know?

"You handled that well," said Jason as he came into the room.

"Who is he?" Drake asked, turning to face the White Lighter. "And what does he know?"

"He knows everything," replied Jason. "His name is Cain Miller. He and Dean were best friends all through school until his father was killed by a demon that Dean was supposed to have vanquished."

"A demon I supposedly vanquished?" Dean asked.

"Right," said Jason. "I don't know the full story. I wasn't your White Lighter then. Gregory was."

"What do you know about it?" Damon asked. "You have to tell us."

"Well from what I've been told there was a demon posing as a student at the high school," said Jason. "Dean found him out and thought he'd vanquished him. A year later that same demon killed Preston Miller."

"And Cain blamed me?" Dean asked.

"Well he said he didn't but the two of you weren't as close as you used to be after that," said Jason.

"I remember all of this," said Lacy. "Cain never said that he blamed you, Dean. He just stopped having much of anything to do with us. All of us."

"This is so frustrating," sighed Dean. "I wish there was a way that we could remember the past. Changing that one little thing has made life difficult for us."

"Which is why you shouldn't meddle with the past," said Jason.

"I may know a way that we could find out all about the past," said Drake as he stood there with the look on his face that they'd all come to know as his concentration look.

"No magic," said Jason. "You know the rules."

"It isn't personal gain when it helps us understand who to keep our secret from," argued Drake.

"It's still not acceptable," Jason replied.

"Well if you guys are going to argue about magic I'm going to go back over to Trevor's and get my purse," said Lacy as she turned and walked out of the room. Dean followed her.

"You're not going to do anything stupid are you Drake?" Damon asked, looking at his with suspicion in his eyes.

It seemed like Dean had just walked out of the room when they heard him scream Lacy's name. Damon's suspicious look changed to one of confusion infused with fear and then they were both running through the house and out the back door. Dean was standing in the center of the back yard when they got there. What was shocking was that the red skinned winged demon had returned. He was standing just behind Lacy's car. She was staring at the demon in shock.

"Jason!" cried Damon as he rose his hands and froze the demon and Lacy. "Dean get her away from it."

Dean stood there and stared at the frozen scene as Jason orbed in. Damon said his name twice more but Dean didn't move. Jason grabbed Lacy and orbed out just as the demon unfroze. Dean suddenly whimpered and Drake realized what was happening. He looked at Dean's feet and saw the shimmering circle around them. He hadn't moved to save Lacy because he couldn't. The demon had done something to him.

Then the demon formed energy balls in both hands and Drake forgot about Dean for a second as he formed fireballs in his own hands. They threw them at the same time. The energy balls met the fireballs in the air and the result was an explosion so loud and so powerful that it knocked the demon and the cousins off their feet. Then Dean was screaming for Lacy again.

It wasn't over though. The demon got back to his feet and spread his wings as fire surrounded him. Drake screamed in anger as he threw a fire ball from one hand and an energy ball from the other. The fire went out around the demon and they heard him scream as the fireball and energy ball hit him. Then he was forming energy balls in his own hands and throwing them back at Drake. Damon acted quickly, raising his hands and freezing the energy balls in the air just as Dean lifted a hand to his mouth and kissed his palm. The demon was staring at Damon and didn't see Dean blow his icy kiss.

It struck the demon and knocked him off his feet again. The demon screamed a head piercing scream and shimmered out. The cousins stood there looking at each other. There was no doubt in their minds who the demon was. They'd finally faced Ash.

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