After the Fall

Chapter 3

Balthazar wrinkled his nose. "Ugh! How anyone can stand the smell of the swamp is beyond all understanding."

"It smells like home brother." Benny said. He pointed at a weather beaten clapboard building. "That's it."

"This is your great-granddaughter's diner? It looks like a stiff breeze would blow it over." Balthazar said then heard the building groan as it shifted due to a minute tremor in the ground. "No I take that back, forget the stiff breeze. All it would take is the big bad wolf to huff and puff, that death trap will go down faster than the house made of straw."

"It may not look like much but that place has been standing since I was just a little tyke. It's outlasted two world wars and more than its fair share of hurricanes." Benny said. Benny seemed hesitant to go any closer.

"What are we waiting for?" Balthazar asked. "You said you wanted to bring Elizabeth back to Lebanon so she would be safe."

"I do. It's just that the last time she saw me, she was terrified of me. I killed a man in front of her." Benny said. "Then I left without giving her an explanation. She probably won't want to see me."

"From what I've heard, she's a smart young woman. You may just be selling her short. You might be surprised. But you'll never know until you talk to her." Balthazar said pulling the screen door open and holding it for the vampire.

Benny took a deep breath and stepped inside. Looking around he saw the place was empty save a young couple sharing a slice of pecan pie. He looked toward the counter and found himself staring at a familiar pair of eyes.

"Roy?" Elizabeth questioned as she broke into a smile. "Roy!" She flew around the counter and grabbed the vampire in a hug. "I didn't think I would ever see you again! Dean said you weren't coming back. I never got the chance to thank you for saving me from that psycho."

"I wasn't planning to come back but you know I'll never let anything happen to you." Benny said.

Elizabeth laid a hand on his arm. "I know. Dean told me who you are, what you are. He helped me to understand what happened."

"He shouldn't have done that." Benny said.

"Don't be mad at him. He didn't want me to hate you for what happened. I couldn't hate you; you risked your life to save me." She said with a tremor. "When you laid your head on that counter risking that crazy man cutting it off you looked at me and I saw something in your eyes but I didn't understand it. Not until Dean told me that I was your blood, your great-granddaughter."

"Well now that we've had this loving family reunion," Balthazar interrupted. "This isn't a social call. Your great-granddaddy here came to take you away from here so say your goodbyes to Louisiana. I do have other duties you know."

"Who are you? What does he mean take me away?" Elizabeth turned to Benny.

"Something has happened and you're in danger. I can't protect you if you stay here." Benny said. "That man, Martin? He was nothing compared to what may be coming for you now."

Elizabeth looked between the two, confused. "I don't understand. I can't just up and leave."

"Yes you can and you will." Balthazar said. "Not only is Benny asking you, I'm telling you." Balthazar straightened to his full height and began generating a glow that cast the shadows of two large impressive wings on the wall.

"What are you?" Benny wrapped his arms around the young woman who had instinctively thrown herself onto his arms for protection.

"Elizabeth, meet Balthazar; full time pain in the ass and part time angel of the Lord.

"Well," Gertrude said as she settled into a seat at the conference table. "This is an extremely extensive and eclectic collection you have here. I suppose the easiest thing is to sort it first into Judeo-Christian, Pagan, Demonic and Monster categories. Then we can further sort from there."

"That sounds like a lot of work, can't we like just sort it all at once?" Dean asked.

"Believe me in the long run you will thank me. It will be much easier to go to a clearly labelled section and then to a subsection to find what you want rather than searching for what you want through dozens of tomes that may or may not hold the information you are looking for." Gertrude explained. "Dewey's system was good in its time but very few of these books and scrolls can be identified by author so a more clearly defined system will be easier to work with."

"So where do we start?" Sam asked proving his nerdiness was still fully intact.

"Kevin find something to write with. Sam you'll help me pull the volumes and Dean I think we'll have you do the heavy lifting." She said just as there was the sound of an alarm. "Good Gabriel and Uriel's security system works. That will be some of my summer interns coming to lend a hand."

Jody sat in her office and eyed the scroll. It's not every day a person gets offered a job by angels. She knew what Crowley said was in the scroll but that didn't mean that the angels would honor it. True they had been helpful with the Abaddon situation, but Jody couldn't help but think there was more to this. Not to mention the fact that Dean constantly referred to them as feathered asshats, douches and a variety of other less flattering descriptions.

She needed to talk to someone for advice, someone familiar with them but fairly unbiased. She picked up the phone and dialed Sam's number. When it flipped over to voicemail, she gave a sigh and hung up. She then dialed another number. As soon as it was picked up on the other end Jody spoke, "Hi Spicy have you got a minute? I need some advice."

"I've always got time for you girlfriend, what's up?" The demon appeared in the seat across the desk startling the sheriff into dropping the phone.

"Now I get why Dean is always complaining about Cas just appearing out of thin air." Jody said dryly.

"In my defense, you did call. Now tell me what has your fruit of the looms in a twist?" Spicy said.

Jody regarded the demon for a moment. "You'll keep this between us, right? No offense, I mean you are a demon after all."

Spicy burst out laughing. "No offense taken. Don't worry Jody. I was a queen before I was a demon and if there's one thing you can count on from a queen it's the fact that we are loyal to our friends. And we pick our friends by respect. Now you just tell your fairy drag-mother Spicy all about it."

"I got a job offer, from the Archangels. I don't know what to do about it." Jody admitted. "Hell, I don't even know why I got it."

"Well I can tell you why they offered it to you, Crowley." Spicy said. "He recommended you. There are some ambitious plans in the works. I'll be honest, Crowley has a big soft spot where you're concerned, but putting your name out there as a candidate makes a lot of sense too."

"What is going on, Spicy?" Jody asked.

"Let's just say the Abaddon situation gave the angels a glimpse of what could be. We had an entire town not only aware of the supernatural, but banding together to fight it." Spicy explained. "That's never happened before. Now that these people have had their eyes opened there's no going back. They want to be involved. But with a town full of people who know, there's bound to be some unusual situations. Situations that will throw an uninformed cop for a loop, but you could take in stride. That's what Crowley sold them on."

"So Crowley got me a job offer simply because I was unlucky enough to know about the supernatural?" Jody asked.

"Well that and the fact that he's sweet on you." Spicy smirked.

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