"On the evening that I mentioned," Jess sings along as the cookies bake, "I passed with light intention through a part of our dear old country known for beauty and for style—"
"In a place of noble thinkers," chimes in Brady's familiar voice. "Of scholars and great drinkers—"
Jess shuts up. The MP3 plays on. "Above them shone the splendor of the queen of all Argyll..."
Jess turns the music off. "Brady," she says. "What are you doing here at—" She checks. "Eleven-thirty at night?"
"Waiting for Sam to get back," Brady says.
No one knows Sam left. Jess didn't tell anyone. She hasn't left the apartment except to go visit the monthly flea market, and she didn't run into anyone she knows. And everyone knows about Sam's interview—everyone should think he's here, preparing or sleeping.
"You're sober," Jess says, realizing. "So you aren't here for Sam's hangover cure..."
Brady doesn' t take the hint. "Hey, cookies," he says.
"Not yours," Jess says. "Do not make me smack you with the spoon."
"Oh, baby, you can smack me with anything you want," Brady says, leering.
Jess really wishes she wasn't wearing a practically see-through nightgown.
The oven beeps, and Jess opens it. The cookies look done, so she grabs an oven mitt and spatula and starts transferring cookies to cooling racks. Brady snatches one and stuffs it in his mouth. Jess thwacks him with the spatula.
"Ow," Brady says, laughing.
"What, did you think I was joking?" Jess asks. "I have weapons. If I say 'do not touch the cookies', you do not touch the cookies."
Brady takes a step closer. Looming; the three inches he has on her seem to stretch. His smile's gone, and his eyes—they're all black. "No," he says, "you do as I say."
"I'm not poly," Jess says, edging sideways. There's sharp knives.
Brady ignores this. His eyes slide back to normal. "Put a few cookies on a plate and write Sam a little love note to go with them."
She'd planned to. "And if I don't?" Jess asks.
A cookie zooms from the cooling rack to Brady's hand. "Then I get creative." He takes a bite.
That's. That isn't possible.
Jess snatches a knife. Telekinesis means she won't be able to keep hold of it if it makes him nervous, but she feels better with it in her hand.
"Oh sweetheart," Brady says. "You don't really think something like that will hurt something like me, do you?" He steps closer, arms open, like he's inviting her to stab him.
Ribs are horizontal. The knife sticks between two of his.
Brady just laughs, pulls it out, drops it on the counter. "Write the note, Jessie. Wouldn't want Sam thinking anything's wrong, would we?"
Where is Sam?
More to the point, where is a weapon that might work? Jess's eyes flick around the kitchen. Cookie sheet. Cheap and flimsy and cookie-covered, but hot. She still has the oven mitt on. She grabs the cookie sheet and swings at his head. Cookies go flying and there isn't enough force behind the blow. Not with her left hand.
"I'm starting to get mad," Brady says. "You want pure iron, by the way."
Does she now.
"Not that you have any," he says, smug.
At the flea market she bought a cast-iron skillet.
Jess drops the cookie sheet with a clang and grabs the skillet out of the bag and swings it two-handed at Brady’s head. It connects solidly with a sizzling noise.
"Jess?" calls Sam.
"Kitchen!" Jess shouts back. "Hurry!"
Sam rushes in and takes in the whole scene with a glance: scattered cookies, bloody knife on the counter, blisters on Brady's face, skillet in Jess's hands.
"Crazy bitch attacked me," Brady says.
"His eyes were black," Jess says. She can freak out now, right?
"See?" Brady says. "Crazy."
"He made the cookie move," Jess adds, praying Sam believes her. "Without touching it."
Sam stares at Brady, who suddenly seems to realize he's got a gaping chest wound. Sam picks up the bloodstained knife.
Something slams into Jess, knocking her back against the sink. The something drags her up the wall. She screams.
"No," Sam says.
She's on the ceiling. Something stabs into her gut. She can't draw breath to keep screaming. Blood drips on the floor. The skillet slips from her hand.
Sam catches it and smashes it into Brady's head.
The edge of the counter catches Jess in the abdomen, tearing her open. She doesn't scream she doesn't scream Brady hurt her and anything Jess does will distract Sam from beating him to death.
Brady grins through the blood, black-eyed again. The room erupts in flames.
Someone pounds into the room. "Sam!" yells Sam's brother.
"Jess!" Sam answers.
Strong arms pick Jess up off the floor. Her injury tears again, and she might kind of black out.
Jess wakes in an ambulance. Sam's right beside her. "Hey," he says. "It's okay. You're gonna be okay."
She can still see the blood on his hands.
Sam explains everything when Jess wakes up after surgery. How his mom really died. What his family does. That his friend Brady is dead, but not the thing that possessed him, not the thing that killed Mary Winchester and nearly killed Jessica.
"Tinker, tailor, every mother's son," Jess says. "Butcher, baker, shouldering her gun."
"Huh?" says Sam's brother.
"She's quoting," Sam says. "It's an Irish song—you won't have heard of it."
"Irish soldier folk," Jess clarifies. Then, just in case they still don't get it, she says, "I want to hunt this thing."
"You nearly died," Sam says. "You could die."
"I could die anyway," Jess says. "I'd rather go down fighting."