The following day

They drove in silence for the first half hour. Sam didn't try to make him talk and Dean wasn't in a chatty mood. The whole idea that Sam might have been the result of something a demon had done to his mother had him up in arms. That he would never be able to ask the one person who might know upset him even more. And it made him furious that the same thing was obviously happening to Sam now. What the hell were those damned demons trying to do? Cultivate a human-demon hybrid to lead their frigging army?

He ground his teeth together and tightened his grip on the steering wheel while swearing that he would not let any kid of Sam's suffer that fate.

After a moment he noticed that Sam was watching him from the corner of his eyes and his brother looked downright uneasy. "What?" Dean growled.

"Dude, if you tighten your grip any more, you'll pull the steering wheel off," Sam said.

With an effort that was almost beyond him, Dean relaxed a little. "I need to call Bobby," he growled, trying to distract his mind away from the churning maelstrom his thoughts had turned into.

Sam said nothing to this, but diverted his attention to his hands lying in his lap. Dean glanced at them as well for a second, then returned his attention to the road ahead. One thing that kept bouncing through his mind was the dread that he might start looking at his brother differently. But he didn't really think that would happen. Sam was his brother and that was that. The only family he had left, the only person left in the world he would lay down his life to protect. Hell, he already had and he didn't regret it. He didn't particularly want to die, but if that was what it took to save Sam, then so be it.

"Do you think ..." Sam began, but trailed off again.

"Think what?" Dean asked without looking at him.

"Never mind," Sam muttered.

"What, Sam?" Dean insisted, knowing that something was gnawing at his brother right now and he was not about to let it fester if he could avoid it.

"Do you think ... if the same thing happened to mom ... that maybe ... dad's not my dad?" Sam's tone was subdued, tentative even, and Dean figured he knew why Sam didn't just barge out with that question. The kid was unsure of how Dean would respond to a question like that.

"If there's one thing I've never questioned in my entire life, then it's that, Sam. There is no doubt whatsoever that you and dad are related," Dean countered quietly. He made an effort to keep his tone even, to not let the seething anger he felt seep out in his voice. "Besides, it would have come up at some point. Heaven knows we've both spent more time than anyone should have in hospitals."

Sam grimaced and glanced at him. "Are you sure?" he asked, his tone almost timid.

"As sure as I am that the sun comes up every day," Dean agreed. "Now stop worrying about that. Dad would have busted your ass for even suggesting something like that."


They made good time and arrived in a smallish place called Glenwood Springs in Colorado around ten at night. Dean was beat and wanted nothing more than a meal and a bed and hoped against hope that Sam's mood would have brightened a little before they moved on the following morning.

They found a room in the Ramada Hotel and went out for dinner at River's Restaurant, and all the while Sam said very little. Dean watched him, but didn't know what to say to him to make him feel better. And he blamed Dawn for the whole misery-trip. If she hadn't started this up, Sam wouldn't be questioning his parentage right now and it pissed Dean off big time.

Under normal circumstances, Dean would have tried to lighten the mood, but he wasn't up to it right now. The whole thing was making him angry and he kept lapsing into morose silence on account of it. The sooner they found Dawn and ended her vile existence the better.

After a dinner where Sam had basically eaten nothing and Dean had found himself uncommonly indifferent to the food he ate, they returned to the motel and Dean for one intended to get some decent sleep. But Sam kept pacing around the room and ended up in front of the minibar with every turn and kept opening it to eye the contents before he resumed his pacing.

"Would you make up your mind already?" Dean finally snapped.

Sam stopped and eyed him, confused. "About what?" he asked.

"About whatever the hell it is you want to get from that minibar," Dean countered and waved a hand at it. "Jeez, dude. You've opened it about ten times now."

Sam glanced at the minibar, then made a face. "I ..."

He obviously had no idea what he was looking for and Dean could only recall one other time when Sam had gone through a similar cycle. And no, he wasn't after booze. "What are you looking for? Skittles? Mars? Snickers?"

Again Sam glanced at the minibar. "I don't know," he confessed.

"Well, figure it out so we can get some sleep. I cannot drive seven hundred miles tomorrow without a decent night's sleep behind me," Dean said sternly.

Something about what he had just said made Sam look a tad unhappy. "Sorry," he muttered.

Dean got up, pulled the minibar open and eyed the contents. Since there was one Mars and one Snickers bar available, he figured Sam was after Skittles without really knowing it. "There's a vending machine outside. It's got Skittles," he said and closed the minibar again.

The response was the expected one. Sam grabbed his jacket and left the room.

With a groan, Dean dropped back down on his bed and stretched out. "I swear to God I'm gonna kick his ass if he keeps this up," he muttered to himself, draped an arm over his face and drifted off.


The vending machine wasn't outside, but rather in what passed for the hotel's lobby. The tacky puce of the carpeting and walls would probably turn some people off, but Sam had learned to live with this sort of thing. It wasn't exactly the Ritz, but then none of the places they had stayed in for as far back as Sam could remember had been anywhere near the Ritz. He made a face at the thought. The best place had been Jess' place, the apartment they had shared. It had been home, the only place he'd ever been able to call home. The thought of Jess made him stop short and stare at the vending machine with the worst feeling ever creeping up on him. He felt like he had been unfaithful to her. It was ridiculous, really, but he couldn't help the feeling.

He eyed the contents of the vending machine and fixed on a bag of skittles, but then more or less decided not to bother anyway. He was tired, his knee was aching and he more than anything wanted to be somewhere safe. And that generally meant where Dean was. He smirked joylessly at the thought. Here he was, twenty-four years old, a seasoned hunter who had been brought up in an environment where all shadows hid dangerous things, and he craved the refuge of his brother's company.

Grimacing, he reached up to rub the bridge of his nose. He was getting a headache, probably because of the lack of sleep, and for a moment he couldn't focus his eyes properly. He closed them briefly, then opened them again and started. The vending machine was gone. And not only that. The otherwise brightly lit lobby had gone dark. He blinked furiously for a moment, trying to make sense of what was going on, then glanced upwards at the ceiling. Okay, dark was overstating it. He could still see. The walls had just changed color from puce to black.

The same feeling that had befallen him when he had woken up in Cold Oak after the Yellow-Eyed Demon had abducted him swept over him now. Only he hadn't passed out. He had closed his eyes for just a second. What little light there was in this room came from behind him and it was the warm flickering light of a candle.

His fingers closed convulsively over the coins he had intended to use on the machine while he slowly turned around. It was a different room, the layout was all wrong and there was only one window, but it was still a room with a king-sized bed occupying the majority of the floor space and there were candles on every single flat surface. Only one of them was lit, though. At least until his gaze settled on her. Then every single candle wick flared up and bathed the room in a warm, flickering glow. And there she was, standing at the foot of the bed, dressed in a similar black see-through neglige, her red hair cascading down over her pale shoulders and he could honestly admit that he had never seen anything more scary in his life.

With a gasp, he staggered backward two steps until he bumped into the wall behind him.

"Easy sugar," Dawn cooed with a nasty smile on her lips. "Don't hurt yourself. That's my job."

Despite everything he had been trying to tell himself over the past week, he still felt the bile rising in his throat out of sheer fear. His gaze snapped to the door, but she noticed this and stepped between him and the door.

"What's the matter? Aren't you happy to see me?" Dawn asked and arched one eyebrow suggestively.

"No," he rasped, his voice failing him.

"Oh? Well, I'm so, so happy to see you," she said and smirked. "There's still that little part of the deal that we need to square out, after all. And ... well ... you don't want your brother to die, do you?"

He couldn't think straight, couldn't make his mind work around the panic that threatened to consume him. He would never have thought he would respond this way to her presence. Anger yes, but not this devastating fear. He felt like he was five again, hiding under the covers of his bed while hearing a strange thumping noise coming from the hallway. He could barely breathe around the heavy weight on his chest, could barely hear around the thumping of his heart and the rush of his own blood in his ears. "You said ... one night and the deal was done," he finally managed to press out, his voice quaking.

"Did I?" she asked, her expression almost thoughtful. "How silly of me. I of course meant until I'm satisfied," she added and smiled benevolently. "And I must say ... you left me wanting for more."

"No," he whispered and pressed back against the wall, wishing he could somehow disappear into it.

"Should I just send for the hell hounds then? I mean, three weeks more or less ..." she said and waved a hand at the door.

Sam glanced at it, then shook his head slowly. "No. Don't hurt him," he whispered.

"Well then," she countered and eyed him up and down. "I see why you puny mortals get so attached to each other." She stepped closer, then slammed a hand against the wall right next to his shoulder when he tried to shift toward the door. "Where are you going, lover?" she asked. "Do you really think I'd let you leave?"

He swallowed and fought back the need to beg. The rites came to mind then and he opened his mouth in an attempt to drive her out, but she waggled a finger and his jaw snapped shut while that two ton invisible weight pressed him into the wall.

"Don't even think about it, sweety. If you try to drive me out, I'll shred your brother and leave you with the blame. You'll end your days in solitary in a supermax prison while the whole world will think that you're the one who killed him. And all the while Dean burns in Hell. I'd even go as far as making sure you're still around when he returns as a demon," she warned, then released her hold on his jaw again.

Sam pushed the need to exorcize her out of his mind and squeezed his eyes shut for a moment, focusing on the one thing that mattered. "One more time," he rasped, then opened his eyes and focused on her. "You do this one more time and then he's free."

She smirked. "Are you trying to make a deal with me?" she cooed.

"Yes," he agreed. "I won't fight you. But I get the contract at the end." It was hard to talk, hard to press the words out while he was being squashed into a wall, but this was important enough for him to fight the pressure.

She eyed him for a long moment, then pursed her lips and released him completely. He arched his back for a second. "Do we have a deal?" he asked and cleared his throat when his voice broke in the middle of it.

"I don't know. I mean ... this has been fun so far," she said and rubbed the corner of one eye with the tip of one finger.

"So, you don't have the contract?" he asked, purposefully misunderstanding her.

"Oh no, I have the contract. What I showed you last time was the real deal," she said and gave him a look that indicated that it annoyed her to no end that he doubted her. "Alright, you've got yourself a deal, sweety," she said and held up the contract. "This is yours now. For one more night with me."

Despite being so tense that he shivered constantly, he lashed out and snatched the contract from her, unrolled it and skimmed over it quickly to make sure it was the same thing she had shown him before. Then he rolled it up again, folded it once and stuffed it into the pocket of his jacket. "Fine," he said and shrugged out of his jacket. This wasn't what he wanted to do, but he had the contract now and that meant a whole lot more than what she could do to him.

"Let's seal the deal, shall we?" she cooed, stepped forward and drove him backwards into the wall again. He pressed his back against the wall while she nestled up against him. She slipped a hand behind his head and pulled him forward into a kiss. Then she pulled back. "There. That wasn't so bad, now was it?" she whispered.

He had to admit that it hadn't been the worst of it. That it was her made a difference, though, and he had the distinct impression that she was going to make him suffer for that contract. He swallowed hard and wished desperately that he could get out or that Dean would magically turn up and save him from this. But if Sam had learned one thing in this life, then it was that there generally were no happy endings. Not without a price.


Dean started awake, the instant sense that something was wrong creeping up on him. A little rattled, he sat up, then glanced over at the other bed, which was empty. "What the hell?" he muttered and glanced at his watch. "What the hell!" he repeated and got up. Sam had been gone for an hour now. "Son of a bitch," he snapped, hauled his phone out of one pocket and dialed Sam's number.

It rang too many times for his liking, but finally the connection was established. "Sam? Where the hell are you?" he demanded.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Sam can't come to the phone right now," a female voice responded.

Dean froze. "Dawn?" he nearly whispered.

"Right on the money, sweety," she agreed.

Dean felt himself pale. "What the hell are you doing with Sam's phone?" he asked. It was a stupid question, but he mainly asked because he was too shocked to think of anything clever to say.

She chuckled. "What do you think I'm doing with Sam's phone?" she countered. "Don't wait up. Sammy won't be back for a few hours," she added.

"Don't you dare hang up on me," Dean snapped. The anger welled up in him like a tidal wave. "I swear to you, if you hurt him, I am going to hunt you down and kill you."

"You boys," she laughed. "You're so full of yourselves. Don't worry. I won't kill him. I just want to have some fun." With that the connection broke.

Dean's hand was shaking when he lowered it to stare at the phone. "Oh crap, not again," he muttered.

He glanced around the room, tried to think of something to do, something that might get him on the path to where that bitch had taken Sam, but he didn't have a clue. There had been nothing in the conversation that would have indicated where he should look. "Shit," he hissed and tightened his grip on the phone. "Shit, shit, shit," he spat out. He couldn't leave. If he did and Sam turned up, in need of help, then what? But sitting still and waiting while his baby brother was molested by a damned demon was not something he thought he could do either.

Torn between what he wanted to do and what he felt he had to do, he couldn't settle on anything other than staying put. They needed to track her down and put an end to her once this was over. Apparently, she had taken a liking to Sam or maybe her sick little endeavor hadn't panned out the first time. Either way, Sam was in deep shit and Dean could do nothing to get him out of it as long as he didn't know where the kid was.

And all the while he couldn't shed the feeling that this wouldn't have happened if dad had still been around. "Oh man," he muttered and sank down on the edge of his bed. "I just keep letting him down," he whispered and sent a despairing glance toward the ceiling. "What the hell am I supposed to do, dad?"

As expected, there was no answer and he closed his eyes, propped his elbows on his knees and covered his face with his hands. "What the hell am I supposed to do?" he repeated. "I can't just sit around here and wait." But what else could he do? He had no idea where to start looking and knowing that time was of the essence and how easy it was for demons to move their prey hundreds of miles, all he could do was stay where he was and wait for Sam to turn up again.


It happened suddenly, without warning. The seam of his shirt split along his left side, then the right. Then the same thing happened to his t-shirt, following by his jeans and all he could do was stand there and let it happen. To distract himself away from what he knew was coming, he mentally dove into the lore surrounding succubi and tried to find a way to stop her, to trap her, to render her powerless. But what he knew of succubi wasn't nearly enough to give him a solution.

"What are you after?" he asked and focused on her.

She took a hold of what remained of his shirt and pulled it off him. "What do you think? I mean, you're supposed to be the clever one, aren't you? The smart one?" She smiled and pulled the remains of his t-shirt off him. "Of course, you are the powerful one. If you want to be."

"I don't," he pressed out, unable to stop the shivers running through him. "You're a succubus." Stating the obvious sometimes distracted creatures from their evil deeds, but it seemed to have no effect on Dawn.

"Am I now? So that would mean that I collect semen so some half-witted incubus can then impregnate a human female, wouldn't it?" she asked and smirked. "You do your homework. I have to give you that. Always a good little student, aren't you?" She raised her left hand, spread her fingers out while staring at his chest, then looked up at him. "It must be quiet a break to your ego to be violated by a woman, huh?"

"You're not a woman," he snapped.

Her hand shot up and she grabbed his chin, forcing his head back against the wall. "Aren't I? So, I'm a succubus, huh?" Clawing her fingernails into his jaw, she yanked his head forward. "Succubi are physical, you twit," she snapped. "I am a demon. I am possessing this shell like someone might crawl into a suit." Her eyes glittered dangerously and he groaned when her nails broke skin and dug into the flesh beneath. "But you're giving me an idea here. What a powerful creature might spring from this womb?" She touched her belly with her right hand and glanced down herself. "Isn't that what it is to be truly human? To give birth and raise a child?" She chuckled. "To cultivate the ultimate leader?" She released his jaw and stepped back, then nodded at him. He was squashed back against the wall while what remained of his clothes were stripped off him. "Even when you don't want to be, you're impressive," she cooed, raised her left hand again, spread her fingers and eyed her palm for a moment. "Let's see how hot you can get," she said with a smile and turned her palm towards him. It was glowing red, as if lit from the inside by a raging fire. "Some like it hot," she added and chuckled again, then pressed her palm against his chest. And it pretty much felt like having a hotplate pressed against his skin; one that was turned up to the highest setting.

He couldn't stop himself. He cried out in pain, his fingers clawing into the wall behind him. He could hear the sizzling of her palm on his skin, could smell burnt skin, while the icy fire of a severe burn rippled through him.

"Maybe a little too hot," she mused, pulled her hand away and made a face when little pieces of skin stuck to her palm. "Definitely too hot," she agreed with herself, stepped aside and waved toward the bed.

He was thrown onto it and a split second before he hit it on his stomach, the sheets slipped off, exposing the disgustingly alive-looking surface underneath. And it generally felt like hitting skin too. It rippled underneath him, seemed to shift in response to his presence, and when he tried to push himself up, his hands sank into the mass beneath him and he could find no support. He kept his head up, trying desperately to avoid getting in direct contact with the surface, but knew that Dawn wasn't going to let him get away that easy.

She climbed up on the bed, straddled his back and sat down on him, grabbed a handful of his hair and yanked his head back a bit. "I've gone to so much trouble with this bed. I do not appreciate your reaction to it," she snarled, then shoved his face into the mass as well.

He clammed his jaw shut and squeeze his eyelids together, but it still didn't remove the sense of having his face pressed into the wobbly, clammy flesh of an oversized belly. And, of course, it cut off his air supply too, which had him struggling at first and then fighting against the hold that kept him from the life-giving air. He clawed his fingers into the surface, tried to push back against the hold she had on him, but nothing he did yielded any results and he was close to panicking when she suddenly released her hold on him and he ripped his head up and sucked in a lung full of air.

He tried to shift, tried to find a way to get out from under her, but she wouldn't let him and, more importantly, the bed wouldn't let him. It rose up on both sides, fencing him in, threatening to suck him down into its depth.

She rose up on her knees and used her power to flip him over on his back. The mattress or whatever the hell it was settled down. "Aw, look at what I did," she cooed and ran a finger along the edge of the burn on his chest. It was just below his right nipple and it hurt like hell when she touched it.

Instinctively, he slapped her hand away and didn't even consider the consequences until he saw the look in her eyes. With a snarl, she slapped him hard across the face, splitting his lip and bruising his nose in the process. Both started bleeding instantly. Then she made a gesture with one hand and his arms were forced out to the sides and pressed into the mattress, which rose up and closed over his arms from shoulder to wrist. "I could take this out on your brother," she hissed.

"No, please!" he begged. "Take it out on me," he whispered.

"Oh, I will," she promised angrily, then closed a hand over his throat. "Rest assured, I will," she hissed and tightened her grip, making him gasp for air.

For whatever reason, she didn't keep it up, though. She suddenly released his throat and sat back to watch him while he regained the breath her hold had stolen. Then she leaned down over him and looked into his eyes. "Do you know what it's like to be a demon, Sam?" she asked quietly. "It's painful. It hurts all the time. No wonder us demons are such a cranky lot, huh?" She smirked. "But when we take possession of a body, we get pretty damned close to being pain-free. It's close. It tingles. It's actually kind of liberating and pleasant in a way. And when you exorcize a demon, you cause it much agony and you send it back to an existence that is nothing but agony." She planted a kiss on the tip of his nose. "Personally, I like pain. But not my own," she added and straightened up again. "I hear that saliva is supposed to have healing abilities," she added and spat on the palm of her left hand. "You've experienced for yourself that I'm able to heat up this body to the boiling point," she added and glanced down at the burn on his chest. The spit on her palm began to sizzle. "Now, where would you say is the most sensitive part of your anatomy?"

Terrified by now, he stared at her, barely able to breathe out of fear of what she might do next. She was eying him, searching for a spot to plant her palm and in response he began to sweat. Moisture seeped from his pores, covering his skin.

"What is this? You think you can protect yourself?" she asked and touched the tip of one finger to a spot just below his rib cage. It sizzled for a second, then began to burn. "Or are you just sweating because you're scared of what I'll do to you?" she continued, then started tracing her seething finger down own his stomach.

"No," he gasped, realizing where she was going with this. "No, please."

"Begging doesn't become you, Sam," she whispered, then placed the palm of her right hand on his stomach. The current she had used the first time started rippling through him and he let his head drop back on the mattress.

Every inch of him responded to her by now, no matter how much pain she promised him, and the analytical, logical part of his brain shut down right there and then. As long as she kept that current up, she could do whatever the hell she wanted to him and he wouldn't care.

But of course she wasn't doing this for him. She was doing it for herself and after getting the response from him that she wanted, she stopped the current and instead planted her burning hot left palm on the tender skin of his lower stomach, making him scream in pain and rear up as far as his suspended arms allowed for. He put enough strength into rearing up that his left shoulder popped out of the socket.

"Now, now," she shushed him, placed her burning hot palm against his sternum and pressed him back down. "You seem to have dislocated your shoulder, silly," she added and used her power to relocate it. He could barely breathe around the pain, and still his body responded to her, even through the nauseating fear of where she might choose to lay her seething palm next.

The sweat stung the burns she had already given him and when she licked her lips and focused on his abdomen, he began to wish that he could pass out. He tried to shift, tried to do anything to divert her attention, but he couldn't move much and when she shifted backward and sat down on his thighs, she even locked down his legs. He clawed his fingers into the fleshy surface of the bed. Even though there was nothing he wanted to do less, he still raised his head to watch what she was doing. He could do nothing to stop her and it twisted his insides when she lowered her left hand toward his now straining erection. He could feel the heat wafting off her hand while his jaw muscles nearly cramped from the pressure he put on them. "No, please. Not that," he rasped.

She stopped and looked up at him. "Then what?" she asked and cocked an eyebrow.

Close to tears and hating himself for it, he swallowed hard. "Whatever you want. Just not that. Please. I'm begging you."

She seemed undecided for a moment and he feared that no amount of begging would deter her from scalding him. But then she sighed. "Okay fine. You're no fun anyway if you can't perform," she said.

He almost deflated with relief and let his head drop back onto the surface of the mattress.

"Then again," she added and grabbed him in a fiery hold that nearly threatened to burst a vein in his head. He couldn't even scream, it hurt that bad. He arched his back while the tendons in his jaw creaked.

And she didn't stop there. She kept on burning him and hit him a few times for good measure as well while she lived up to the name he had given her.

He didn't hold back, didn't try to draw it out, and when he came, she was disappointed. She slipped a hand behind his head and pulled him upward, straining his already sore shoulders to the breaking point, then leaned in to kiss him deeply, nearly sucking the life out of him while suffocating him in return.

Then she released him and got off him. "You are a disappointment," she growled.

The bed released him and she waved a hand at him which threw him across the room and into the opposite wall. He hit the floor in a pile of misery. With an effort, he tried to push himself up on his elbow only to realize too late that it was his left. It sent a shuddering scream through his previously dislocated shoulder, which spilled him back onto the floor.

Somewhere along the line, his mind had started withdrawing from reality and he was only halfway aware of the agony old and new while she continued to mistreat him in any way she could imagine.

Apart from the bed, there wasn't much left standing. The walls had dents in them where he had collided with them, the two chairs had been destroyed when he had hit them and the mandatory shelving unit was broken beyond repair.

He had fallen on lit candles that had burned him. He had blotches of still hot wax covering his arms and legs, and he had burns all over. She stood over him and looked down at him, her eyes pitch black for a moment. Then she blinked and they returned to blue right before she hunkered down. "Keep your brother," she said, reached out and almost gently pushed hair away from his brow. "My number is in your phone now. Call me," she added with a smirk on her lips, then rose and gathered her things together.

She got dressed and eventually turned for the door, then sent a brief glance around the room before settling her gaze on him again where he lay curled up in a corner. "You mortals truly are pathetic, weak creatures," she said almost sadly. "See you around, Sammy. Thanks for a wonderful time," she added and chuckled, then left.

All he could muster at this point was to reach out for one of the sheets and pull it over to cover himself as much as he could. Then he lapsed into a nearly catatonic state where he fled from reality and the pain he was in.