Courage

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12

Dean walked into the bar, casting a glance around the place. They weren't sure who to look for, maybe that old-timer table from yesterday. They couldn't detect those men, but hadn't exactly memorized their faces.

They walked up to Cord who was busy with the cash register, an old-fashioned thing that pinged when you opened it.

“Hey, Cord, can I talk to you – in private?”

Cord turned, looking at Dean. “Sure, just a minute.” The bartender, who Dean had learned was also the owner of the place, finished up what he was doing. Then he turned to a waitress who was talking to a patron. “Hey, Marcy, can you tend bar for awhile?”

“Sure, Cord. Please be back before the lunch crowd, though.”

“I won't be that long, promise.”

Marcy nodded at him and then resumed her conversation. Business seemed slow between breakfast and lunch. Dean had actually been surprised the bar was open at all, but it seemed Courage Bar & Grill was the only kind of eatery in town.

Cord waved at Dean to follow him. They went upstairs to the guestroom Dean had slept in the night before. Cord sat on a chair, Dean on the bed.

“What's up?” Cord asked.

“First, are there any Coltons in the bar right now. Or any friends of theirs?”

Cord looked mystified but thought about the question before answering. “No, not at this hour. The boys might come in for lunch, though.”

“Then we better make this quick,” Dean said. They told Cord about what they'd learned earlier from Desmond.

Cord looked surprised, then angered, just as Tasha had. “Wait a minute, you think she's had contact with someone from town?”

“By what she knows about Courage, it's the most likely conclusion,” Dean said.

“And you think it's Colton?”

“Tasha said that he was the most likely who would try to sabotage any attempt at change.”

Cord thought about this. “He would be, but he's hardly tech-savvy.”

“But his grandson...Tim, he would be,” Dean suggested.

Cord nodded. He looked out the window at a cloudy sky for a long moment. “That's twisted, man. I mean even for this place. Don't get me wrong, I like Courage, but the stories I've heard since I was a small kid... they put the rumors which are actually out there to shame.”

Once again, Dean kept from commenting. They'd lived through stories like this, they didn't need a reminder.

“Did Tasha say what we should do now?”

Dean shook their head.

“Can't we just pack up the kids and send them back home?”

“And what do you want to tell their teacher?” Dean asked.

“Some bull story about... I don't know, but we could come up with something. Hell, that kid got nerves.”

“Yeah, she does. I put some pressure on her, but she believes that by the end of today she'll become a werewolf.” Dean rubbed their hands over their jean-clad thighs.

“More likely, dinner,” Cord said. “If Colton planned all this, none of his family or friends will be in today. They wouldn't wanna ruin their appetites.”

Dean made a disgusted face.

“Sorry, for being so blunt, but that's how the wolf thinks.”

“Including your wolf?” Dean asked.

Cord chuckled. “I've never had human in my life. They say it's better than anything else, but I don't miss it, you know.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I hope Tasha will come up with a plan. She's much better at it than I am.”

“We might need some help from others. Would they be willing?”

“They just made a major move in electing a new mayor. They pretty much started a revolution. Nobody would want that to come to a halt just because of Colton. He and his old-fashioned ideas aren't very popular. His nephew was mayor before Tomlin and that whole family's still sour about losing the election,” Cord explained.

“I guess Tasha hasn't been sheriff that long?”

“No, she was elected when Tomlin was, but she's been Deputy a few years. Everybody knows and respects her. Colton tried to get her to take Timmy on as Deputy, but she refused. She's got balls...I mean, not literally.” Cord looked at Dean, suddenly awkward.

Dean laughed. “I didn't think that was the case. Neither have I, by the way,” they said by way of teasing.

A small smile appeared on Cord's face.

“What's the deal with Tasha anyway? She seems very independent.”

“She is. She moved here on her own when she was just 19. Her parents were killed a few years back. That's when she pretty much became part of my family. She's like a sister, really. Of course, when she first came here I tried to date her, who wouldn't, but she shot me down. She was nice about it.”

Dean grinned. “I bet she teases you mercilessly about it.”

“Yeah, she does.” Cord laughed.

“Her parents, were they killed by hunters?”

Cord nodded. “Yes, they killed her parents and her youngest brother. Her other two brothers, Derek and Chris, got away wounded. They live in South America now. Derek is married to a female and they live with her clan.”

“Tasha doesn't see them much?” Dean guessed.

“No. She always says she'll go visit, especially now that Derek has a kid, but she hasn't yet.”

“Shame.”

“Yeah, but as I said, my family and I are kind of her family. My parents love her, my little sister pretty much adores her.” Cord grinned. “You're not trying to lure her away, are you?”

“Me? No, why would I?”

“I don't know, because you obviously think she's hot? Because she's the greatest woman you'll ever get to meet?”

“Who is also a werewolf, while I'm a hunter. Also, I don't think she likes me that way, so...” Dean lifted their hands in a surrendering gesture, shrugging their shoulders.

“Hm, yeah, whatever. Say, have you eaten yet?”

“I actually hoped I could take a shower and change while I'm here.”

Cord nodded. “You do that. I'll tell Tony to make you some eggs with bacon. Or you want something else?”

“No, that's fine, thanks.”

“Good, see you downstairs in a bit,” Cord said, leaving the room.


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