by Vanzetti

"This is an impossible situation." Bela felt that her tone conveyed the precise mix of reason and forcefulness necessary under the circumstances. "You will have to leave."

The man -- the ghost -- kept his arms folded across his chest. "I'm not going anywhere."

"But I've dismissed you," she said. "You are supposed to be gone now."

"I've already crawled out of Hell, darlin'. Do you really think you can get rid of me?"

"This is my car," she said. "I spend a great deal of time in my car, due to the nature of my business. I simply cannot have you taking up space and--" and smelling the place up, was what she wanted to add, but it sounded so undignified and in fact the ghost, being a ghost, did not smell at all. Although he looked like he ought to. "--and interfering in my affairs!"

"You're a thief," the ghost said. "I don't care about that. But we are going to have to have some rules when it comes to my boys."

"And I suppose your first directive will be to stay well away from them? I'm sure you haven't noticed, but they're big boys now. They can take care of themselves."

"The first thing is for you to find out the value of a single human life, in a demonic contract. I need something worth exactly that."

"Really," she said. "And why would I do that?"

The ghost smiled, and all at once Bela saw where Dean got his charm. Goodness. "Oh, don't worry. I'll make it worth your while."

"Well," she said, but it was impossible to keep from smiling back. "I'm not sure about that. I'm worth a very great deal, you know."



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