“You’d know,” Sam replied, tossing Dean the bottle.
Dean cracked open the water and hit it hard, downing more than half in one swallow.
“Well, do you want your presents or don’t you?” Xochi asked.
She handed the rifle bag to Sam.
“What the hell do you have in here?” Sam asked, weighing the bag in his hand, surprised by its weight. “Gold bars?”
“A hundred pounds of aspirin?” Dean asked. “That’d just about do it.”
“Open it,” she said.
Sam unzipped the bag and removed what looked at first like a baseball bat. But it was wider and flattened out, the wood darker. It took a second for Dean’s sluggish brain to process what it really was. There were several wickedly sharp, obsidian blades set into the edges of the bat in matched pairs, eight on each side, like a frozen chainsaw.
“This is Maquahuitl ,” Xochi stated.
“Mack what?” Dean asked.
“ Maquahuitl ,” she said again. Dean didn’t feel any closer to being able to repeat that word than he had been when she first said it. “You can strike with the flat sides or cut with the sharp. In our case, you will want to cut. Edged weapons will inflict more damage to our Borderwalker than bullets and obsidian will be more effective than silver or steel. It is no guarantee, but it is better than empty hands.”
Sam swung the bat appreciatively.
“Nice,” he said. “There’s one here for you too, Dean.”
“And I have another gift,” Xochi said. “Outside.”
“This one is aspirin, right?”
She shook her head.
“A witness,” she said.
She opened the door and walked out into the parking lot. Sam set the strange weapon on the table with a weighty clunk and went after her. Dean got himself upright, shoved his feet into his unlaced boots and reluctantly followed them out into the bright morning. The mindlessly beautiful day seemed like a personal affront to his current condition.
There was another rider sitting on the back of Xochi’s Hayabusa. Helmet on, hands behind his back. It wasn’t until Dean got closer that he realized that the man’s hands were handcuffed to a bolt set into the frame of the bike.
Xochi pulled the helmet off his head, revealing a chinless, unshaven face and large, bulging eyes. One of them was blackened, swollen shut. He was gagged with a red bandana.
“I want you to meet my friend Ojon,” she said, pulling out a ring of keys and unlocking the cuffs. “Watch him. He’s a runner.”
Sam stepped up and took Ojon by the wiry arm, helping him down off the bike.
“Ojon was there the night of the first murders,” she said. “He’s seen our Borderwalker in action and he’s anxious to tell us all about it.”
Ojon was jittery, twitching like he was about to crawl out of his skin. His shirt was soaked with foul-smelling amphetamine sweat. His one good eye pinballed around the parking lot like he was trying to watch every angle at once. Like he was sure the Borderwalker was about to show up and eat his face.
Dean stepped up and took Ojon’s other arm and he and Sam tossed their witness into the motel room like bouncers giving him the bum’s rush in reverse. Xochi followed close behind, closing and locking the motel room door.
Ojon got up off his knees, untied the gag and pulled it out of his mouth. The second Xochi stepped away from the door he sprinted across the room and grabbed the door knob, frantically yanking and twisting. The lock was about an inch up from the knob and if he wasn’t so fixated on the doorknob, he could have just unlocked it and run.
Dean traded disbelieving looks with Sam and Xochi.
“Okay, okay,” Dean finally said, stepping up and putting his hand over Ojon’s. “Take it easy there, genius. We’re not gonna hurt you.”
“Keep her away from me,” he said, turning and flattening himself out against the door. His voice was high and reedy, his accent thick.
“I’ll try,” Dean said, leaning in close and dropping his voice. “But,