Sam woke up with a start because his phone started ringing. Disoriented, he groped first in one pocket, then in the other until he realized that he'd put it on the night stand. He managed to catch it on the last ring. "Yeah?"

"Sam?"

"Oh, hey Bobby," he said, rolled over on his back and sat up. Damn, he was wasted. He glanced at his watch and grimaced. Dean had let him sleep for close to three hours. "What have you got?"

"You okay?" Bobby asked.

"Yeah, just woke up," Sam countered and pushed his fingers through his hair.

"Right. I found out a few things that might help you two, but I hope you don't have to use it. First and foremost, if she's a hell goddess, consecrated iron will go a long way to repel her, but it won't kill her. And the more power she draws from you, the harder it's going to be to get rid of her. You need that book, that black bible. I know this guy in Lafayette. I can give him a call, get him to pick up the book?"

"I don't know, Bobby. She killed all of her followers. I think I'm gonna have to go back and get that book myself," Sam said and sighed. "What about salt?"

"If she is a hell goddess, it won't do anything to repel her. It's not gonna keep her out. And the owner of the safe house is fairly sure that the spells used on the house only work on demons and lesser creatures. So I wouldn't put too much stock in that right now," Bobby replied, his tone serious.

A creeping sensation made Sam glance toward the open door and the hallway beyond. The house was damned quite. "Bobby, can I call you back? I just wanna check up on Dean," he said.

"You think she's in the house?"

Sam arched an eyebrow. Bobby had always been fast on the uptake. "Maybe. I'll call you back," he said and hung up, got off the bed and shoved the phone into his pocket. His heart was racing by the time he reached the door. He looked down at the salt line, which remained unbroken, and carefully stepped over it into the corridor beyond.

He scanned the corridor which was lit by a few kerosine lamps and it took him a moment to realize that the salt line at the front door was gone. It had been wiped out when the door had been opened. "Shit," he hissed under his breath and glanced toward the door to the den, which was half closed. "Dean?" he called and edged his way toward the opening.

Part of him was praying that Dean had just fallen asleep, but he knew that was not an option with his brother. Dean didn't fall asleep while on watch. The salt line covering the entrance into the den was broken as well, but there was no sound from within.

Nervous now, Sam reached out and pushed the door open, then froze at the scene that met him. It was obvious that salt didn't do anything against Frigg. She stood at the far end of the fire place and she had his brother pinned to the wall with her right hand while her left hand was wrapped around his right shoulder.

"Ah, look who decided to join the party," she cooed with a smirk on her lips, then pulled Dean's shoulder forward with an audible crack.

Dean didn't scream. Sam assumed she had him gagged somehow, but his eyes lit up with the pain this caused and he left hand balled into a fist. Sam grabbed the first best thing he could find, which was a rickety old chair and attacked her with it, but he didn't even get within striking distance of her before a burst of her power hurled him backward into the wall. He hit the floor with a grunt, but scrambled back to his feet almost at once.

"Don't think you can stop me from pulverizing your brother, Sam. After the stunt you pulled on me, you'll just have to stand by and watch it happen," she said.

"No, please!" Sam raised both hands, palms out. "You don't want him. You want me." It was feeble, he knew that, but he couldn't stop himself from begging.

She paused, her gaze locked on Dean's face. "You're right there," she agreed. "I don't need him."

"No, that's not what I meant," Sam snapped. "Please ... I won't make a fuss. Just ... don't hurt him." He met Dean's pain-glazed eyes and saw the warning in them, but he chose to ignore it. "Please. I won't fight you."

"You couldn't even if you knew how," Frigg said. She sounded bored. "Why should I keep him alive?" she asked and glanced over at Sam.

Frantic for a way to stall her from killing Dean, Sam searched his mind and locked on the one thing he hadn't thought of before. What if they had chosen Dean instead of him? "We're brothers," he said, fixing his gaze on her. "Same energy."

Her brow furrowed in a slight frown while she stared at him. Then she turned her attention back to Dean and eyed him like she had suddenly realized he was an interesting specimen. "Brothers," she said. "Well, that's an interesting way to look at it."

"Twice the energy," Sam said, hoping desperately that she would go for it. "Of course ... in his present condition he won't do you much good."

If Dean's expression was anything to go by, he had caught on to what Sam was going for. That he wasn't keen on the idea was obvious, but Sam hoped he would play along for the duration. At least until they could come up with something that could get them out of this. If push came to shove, Sam would just have to give in to her again.

Frigg eyed Dean closely for a moment, then made a face. "Well ... broken ribs could be an obstacle," she agreed and sighed. "Fine then," she added and pressed a hand against Dean's chest. Whatever she was doing released the gag, because Dean started screaming his head off until she released him and he dropped to the floor immediately, quite obviously unconscious before he hit the floorboards.

Sam took a step forward, but stopped when she glared at him. "He'll be fine," she said disdainfully. "Well, his ribs are healed. But his arms are not important," she added and smiled. "And now you better stick to your end of the bargain, Sam. You've been a bad boy, running out on me like that."

"A broken arm isn't going to do him any favors. It hurts too much," Sam tried, hoping she would at least heal Dean enough for him to defend himself against her.

Frigg rolled her eyes. "What are you? His champion?" she snapped. "You said you would not make a fuss."

"I won't if you don't hurt him any more, and he'll hurt like hell with that arm," Sam shot back, angry now. "I won't make a fuss if you heal his left arm."

Frigg pursed her lips, decidedly annoyed right now, but then she sighed. "Fine. But that's it. No more arguing," she said.

Sam nodded.

She hunkered down and grabbed Dean's left wrist. In the issuing silence Sam could actually hear the bones mending and figured that was what had hurt so damned much. She wasn't trying to be nice like she had the first time. Her healing power had turned vicious just like she had.

Cold all over, Sam just watched until she released Dean's wrist and rose again. "There," she said and wiggled a finger at him. "Come here," she added.

"Not here," he said and backed up one step toward the door.

She sighed irritably. "You're trying my patience," she snarled.

"There's a bed in there," he said and nodded toward the wall between the den and the bedroom.

"Alright, fine," she said and followed him. He backed out into the corridor, every fiber of his body screaming at him to get the hell out, but if he ran she would kill Dean. There was no doubt about that. And as long as Dean wasn't conscious, Sam wasn't going anywhere.

Bracing himself against the wall, he backed up to the doorway to the room while never taking his eyes of her. She followed, an almost predatory look in her eyes, and he had no doubts whatsoever that he was in for one hell of a painful experience if he couldn't somehow wiggle his way out of this one. But he had no idea how. The only consecrated iron he could think of was in the iron rounds in one of the shotguns in the car and the car was too damned far away right now to do him any good. Hell, if it was sitting right in front of the entrance, it would still be too far away.

He cleared the doorway and backed up until the back of his calves hit the edge of the bed. She stepped in after him and cleared the door which slammed shut behind her. And all he could think was, 'oh god, I'm gonna have to do this again.' It almost made him sick to his stomach and he had to make a conscious effort to suppress the fear, the loathing, and just watched her with a tight expression.

"Now, I don't much appreciate being dumped like that, Sam," she said.

"You didn't exactly give me a choice," he countered tightly. "You nearly killed Dean."

"Well, if it makes you feel any better, I left him for dead. Looks like he's as resilient as a roach, though. Some mortals are that way. He would do well as a demon. Hard to kill. That's always a valued trait down there," she said and smiled. "I assume you've realized who I am by now?"

"I think so," Sam agreed with a tense nod. "You're definitely not Frigg."

"Did you know that goddesses actually exist? They're puny, of course, no match for the powers of Hell. Nobody believes in them any more and that deprives them of their strength. But everybody believes in Hell. Everybody believes in evil. And we thrive on that." She smirked. "Me, I thrive on bodily contact more than anything, though," she added, took a step forward and placed a palm on his chest. "And a young stud like you ... you're going to make me very powerful. But you're right about the power of two," she continued. "I'll keep Dean around and when you're not enough any more ... well ... let's just say that I have always been in favor of having a backup plan."

He swallowed and tried to keep his mind clear of any thoughts of betrayal. Instead he focused on failure, on how miserable he was feeling right now, and it obviously worked because Frigg, or whatever her name was, looked pleased.

"Now ... there is that little part about you running out on me, though. I do not appreciate it. At all," she said and rubbed her palm over the center of his chest. "Bad children have to be punished," she said almost thoughtfully. "Strip," she added and looked up at him.

He rubbed one clammy palm against his jeans. He couldn't stall her on this. She would take offense, would maybe even take it out on Dean, and he couldn't risk that. Although there was nothing in this world he wanted to do less, he slowly shrugged out of his jacket and let it drop to the floor.

"Step it up, Sam. I don't like to be kept waiting," she said and folded her arms over her chest.

He cleared his throat, shrugged out of his shirt and stopped moving for a second. "Why are you doing this?"

"Is that your idea of stepping it up?" she countered and eyed him up and down for a second. Then she stabbed one finger against the center of his chest.

It was a light touch, but she might as well have shot him with a damned cannon. Her finger felt like a high voltage power line and the impact threw him back onto the bed with enough force for the frame to groan ominously. For a few seconds he couldn't breathe and he had the distinct feeling that his heart had stopped beating. The power of the shock rippled through him, making his fingers and toes tingle unpleasantly until he finally managed to draw a breath again and his heartbeat jumped from zero to one-eighty in a split second flat.

With an agonized groan, he rolled over on his side and curled up on himself while the tingling in his extremities translated into jittery pain.

"As I said," Frigg said. "Step. It. Up."

Gasping, he shifted a little and stretched out painfully, then struggled to sit up so he could pull his t-shirt over his head. He had barely managed that before she raised a hand, palm facing him, and he was slammed back down on the mattress with enough force to nearly drive him through it. He gritted his teeth against the squashing pressure, unable to move at all, while only one thing kept running through his head in a loop. 'Wake up, Dean. Oh god, please wake up.'

Frigg dropped down on her knees on the edge of the bed, one knee on either side of his legs, and eyed him closely. "How much pressure do you think you can handle before you break?" she asked and chuckled. "Ah, you mortals. You're so frail, so easy to hurt."

The pressure increased and he groaned under his breath while the bed frame began to creak around them. "Stop, please," he pressed out. It was getting really painful and the last thing he needed right now were broken bones.

She leaned forward and braced herself against the mattress with a hand on either side of his waist, her expression revealing nothing of what she might be thinking. And the pressure didn't decrease at all. She kept him squashed into the mattress to the breaking point. It was hard to breathe, hard to bear the relentless pressure. "What did you say?" she asked. She raised one hand off the mattress and curled her fingers in toward the palm, small blue lighting bolts zipping back and forth between the tips, while she eyed his stomach.

Sam grunted, tried to shift, to get away from her, well aware how damned painful she could make this by now, and found he could hardly blink.

"You know, when I said it didn't have to hurt ... I lied," she said with a smile and zapped him. He yelped, quite certain that she had left an electrical burn on his stomach. "And the sex isn't technically necessary," she continued. "The sucking of your life force is, though. And that can be done any number of ways. Sex is a strong, easy way to achieve it, granted, but it's also rather messy and I'm kinda through with the human sensitivities and mixing of bodily fluids."

It hit Sam square in the face that if she didn't engage in the sexual act, she wouldn't tire and fall asleep and that would leave him with no chance of getting out. "No, please," he pressed out, barely able to speak around the invisible two-ton weight pressing him down. Having to say the words, having to beg for something he despised, nearly did him in, but it was the only way. He had to give in to it, had to go with the flow to get away from her. "I ... want it."

She paused, then looked up to meet his eyes. "You ... want it?" she asked, obviously surprised.

He held her gaze, teetering dangerously on the edge of what he could stomach, and nodded once.

Stunned, she sat down on his thighs and watched him intently for a moment. "Well, wonders will never cease," she said and smiled. The pressure squashing him into the mattress ceased instantly and he sucked in a deep breath to steady his already frayed nerves. "Show me," she added.

He knew what she meant by that and wondered if he could. If he couldn't, the charade was over and things would get really nasty. He briefly closed his eyes, tried to focus on what he needed to do to see this through and briefly wondered what Dean would do. Slowly, he sat up and slipped his hands onto her knees. He was still sore from their previous encounter and the thought of engaging in sexual intercourse with her was actually something that made his stomach flip, so he had to focus beyond what he did or didn't want and had to settle his mind on what he had to do to get them out of this. And if it meant taking one for the team ... well, it could have been worse. She could have been ninety.

He fought the revulsion he felt for her, but before he could do more than just touch her knees, she snorted disdainfully. "Save it," she said. "I can feel the revulsion wafting off you like a bad smell. Don't think you can fool me again. You did it once. You will never do it again. You're mine. Get used to it."

She zapped him again, the jolt strong enough to make him black out for a second. It burned and tingled for a moment, then became painful when his nerve endings got over the initial shock.

With a feral smile on her lips, she grabbed his chin and pressed his head back into the mattress. He clawed at her arm to make her let go, which of course she didn't. He grunted and shifted, his teeth creaking under the pressure she put on his jaw and he realized that he had misjudged her thoroughly. She didn't need sex to drag the life out of him. All she needed was viciousness and she had that in spades, which became very apparent when she placed her other hand on his chest and electrocuted him.

He arched off the bed, his fingers convulsing painfully and the only sound he managed to produce was a cross between a whimper and a groan.

And then suddenly everything stopped. The energy she had coursing through him as well as her relentless hold on his chin ceased. Already spent and having trouble focusing, he blinked up at her, at first incapable of understanding what had just happened until his eyes fixed on the poker sticking out of the front of her chest and he became aware of the hotness of her blood having sprayed all over him.

***

Earlier

Dean woke up with a start, going from unconscious to wide awake in a split second. It took him longer to wrap his mind around where he was and what had happened than the waking-up had taken, but even that didn't take outstanding amounts of time. "Son of a bitch," he rasped and grabbed his thudding right shoulder with his left hand.

His mind tried to convince him that it was a very bad idea while his brain received no pain impulses from his previously broken arm. But that didn't make his right shoulder feel any better and the fingers on his right hand were still broken.

He rolled over on his back and sat up while realizing that the hell-bitch had kept her word. He still felt like he had been worked over with a couple of baseball bats, but his left arm was fine and so were the previously broken ribs. He drew in a couple of deep breaths to verify what he thought had happened, then got one knee under him and pushed to his feet. A door slammed shut somewhere and a quick glance around the den verified what he didn't want to think about. Sam was gone and so was that bitch.

Desperate for a weapon that might actually do them some good, he glanced around the den until his eyes fixed on the fire poker sitting next to the fireplace. "Iron," he muttered. With an effort, he shifted the sling for his left arm over to his right arm. He knew he couldn't keep going indefinitely this way, that he needed to get his damned shoulder checked as soon as possible, but his brother's life was probably hanging in the balance right now and there was no way he was going to stand by and let that bitch violate him again if he could in any way help it.

He grabbed the poker in his left hand and weighed it for a second, then stopped short when he heard something. A sound drifted through the otherwise silent house and it had sounded suspiciously like Sam. "Fucking bitch," he growled, turned and marched out into the corridor and over to the next door. Bruises he could handle and his shoulder, although damned painful, was not going to hold him back from taking that bitch's head off. But he needed to get to her first.

He shifted the poker to his right hand, grabbed the doorknob to the next room and carefully turned it, then pushed the door open. What he saw made his blood freeze. The bitch was actually electrocuting his brother with her damned hands. He shifted the poker back to his left hand, crept closer without making a sound and then rammed the poker through her. He had no illusions about this being a permanent way to deal with her, but he hoped it would throw her off long enough for them to get the hell out of here.

Holding onto the end of the poker, he shifted her sideways and managed to direct her fall so that she fell off the bed rather than onto Sam. "Get up, Sam," he pressed out through clenched teeth.

Sam struggled to comply, drained by what she had done to him. He rolled off the bed on the other side and got unsteadily to his feet, his knees threatening to give in under him. Dean did the only thing he could. He grabbed a hold of Sam and even though it hurt his broken shoulder like hell, he propelled his unsteady sibling out the door. "Move it," he snapped. "We don't have much time."

Sam had the same type of trouble with moving like someone who had been hit by a high voltage charge and Dean figured their only chance was if he supported Sam. He ushered Sam toward the front door by which time Sam had regained enough of his composure to open it and stumble out onto the porch. With every step he took, he was more together and by the time they reached the barn, he was almost back to full speed.

He dug into his pocket and retrieved the keys for the Impala and unlocked the doors after missing the keyhole about three time. Dean slid onto the passenger side seat and pulled the door shut at the same time as Sam revved the engine and backed the car out of the barn. "Step on it, will ya?" Dean urged him.

Sam said nothing, just did as he was told, and pulled the car around and back up on the street. Dean shifted around so he could keep an eye on the rapidly dwindling house in the rearview mirror. "We have to go back to Cameron," Sam finally said.

Dean glanced at him. "Why?" he asked.

"The book. It's the only chance we might have to get rid of her," he said. His voice sounded rusty, close to breaking, and Dean grimaced tightly. Something told him that this wouldn't have gone this far if he had taken Sam's plight serious earlier. This was no game, never had been.

Dean shifted and gritted his teeth against the flaring pain in his shoulder. He would kill for a shot of morphine right now, but he needed to stay focused. Sam was running on fumes now. He hadn't slept much and had been exhausted before they had reached the safe house. It was actually a bit of a surprise that he was still up and running right now. "I say we call Bobby, get some help. This is out of our league, Sam."

"No," Sam growled. "I started this and I'm ending this."

"Technically, Sam, I started this," Dean disagreed. "If I'd listened to you, we wouldn't be in this mess right now."

"No, someone else would be. Someone who doesn't know how to handle this," Sam disagreed and tightened his grip on the steering wheel until his knuckles turned white.

"What if the book doesn't have the answer, Sam?" Dean usually wasn't a glass-half-empty kinda guy, but right now things were bleak. "She's gonna fry you if she catches up with us again. You do realize that, don't you?"

"That's why we have to get that fucking book," Sam ground out and floored the gas pedal.

Dean abstained from making any further comments on this. When Sam resorted to harsh language, the world was off kilter. The kid was angry and embarrassed and scared and Dean couldn't blame him. "Okay, we go for the book," Dean agreed and eyed Sam for a moment. "Aren't you cold?"

Sam blinked, sent a brief glance down himself and sighed. "Yeah, but what do you want me to do about it? Our duffles are back at the safe house," he said and kept on driving. "I'll pick up a t-shirt on the way."

"You're tired and it's chilly, dude. Pull over at the next gas station. The last thing you need right now is pneumonia on top of this crap," Dean said, lending his voice the usual commanding tone that somehow always got through to Sam.

"How's your shoulder?" Sam asked after a minute and glanced at him.

"Broken," Dean countered. "Forget about my shoulder. It doesn't matter a damn if she catches up with us."

With a nod, Sam focused on the road again. After another half hour, they came across a gas station that sold all kinds of stuff as well and Sam pulled over and got himself a t-shirt. He didn't even look the least bit affected by the obviously confused looks his present state of half-nakedness caused and Dean frowned lightly at that. Normally Sam would have been embarrassed like hell about it, a fact Dean had never really understood about him. They hadn't exactly been brought up to be bashful.

The whole ordeal had definitely instituted a change in Sam and Dean wasn't too happy about it. He preferred his brother to be a prude to being driven like this. "How far are we from Cameron?" he asked when Sam slid behind the wheel again, revved the engine and pulled back onto the road.

"About four hundred miles," Sam said.

"You're in no condition to drive that far," Dean stated.

"Neither are you," Sam shot back. "And if we stop for even half an hour, we're dead. So whether I'm in any condition for this or not, we're gonna have to cover four hundred miles today or die trying."

At any other point in time, under any other circumstances, Sam's tone and attitude would have elicited a slew of teasing, but the situation didn't get much more serious than this and Dean couldn't see anything to joke about right now. "Sam, how's it gonna help us if we end up in a ditch somewhere?"

"I'm not stopping," Sam pressed out through gritted teeth. "She's gonna kill you if she catches us, Dean. I'm not gonna stand by and let that happen. And a safe house doesn't work against her. We can't stop. We have to keep moving. We have to find that damned book and we have to kill her."

Another shift brought Dean no relief from his throbbing shoulder and he almost groaned at the thought of having to drive for another seven hours in this condition. But, of course, Sam had a point. If they stopped for any length of time, they were as good as dead and there was no way he was going to put Sam in a position where that bitch could catch up with him again. "Okay, fine," he said. "Stay within the speed limit. We don't want the cops chasing us too."

Sam nodded and let off the gas a little until the Impala had reached cruising speed.

"And if the traffic gets too heavy, we take the back roads," Dean added.

"I know how to drive, man," Sam growled irritably.

"I know you do. I'm just saying," Dean countered. Sam's mood was explosive right now and Dean figured he would have to tread carefully until this crap was over.

***

The trip itself was fairly uneventful. Traffic was tolerable and they made good time and Sam kept snapping back to the fact that he was still up and moving. His eyes burned and he was borderline dizzy all the time, but couldn't focus beyond that point in time where they reached Rabbit Island and found that damned book. In part he was angry about the whole mess, angry at what it did to him and to Dean, but the biggest part of what he felt right now was fear. He could admit to himself that he was terrified of what Frigg would do to him if she caught up to them again. She had been pissed because he had eluded her once. Now she had a hole in her chest and had lost her prey again. He didn't exactly think it would improve her mood.

By the time they passed Houston and headed toward the state border, Sam was hanging on by a thread. He wasn't fighting off fatigue, he was wallowing in it, and he was grateful for that Dean wasn't trying to make small talk or made stupid comments all the time. He had zero patience right now and knew he wouldn't be able to keep a lid on his feelings. A couple of cups of double espresso had helped him so far in staving off the overwhelming need to just lie down and sleep somewhere. But even the caffeine wasn't doing the trick any more.

A quick glance at his brother told him that Dean wasn't faring much better than he was. Tightlipped and pale, Dean had an almost constant hold of his right shoulder while he stared out the windshield. He hadn't said much since they had passed Sanger and that was a good four hours back.

"I could drop you off at the hospital," Sam said. He knew even before he said it how it would go down, but he said it anyway.

"What?" Dean blinked and focused on him.

"Dude, you've been hugging your shoulder since we left Gainesville. Don't tell me you're not in pain," Sam said.

"Forget about my damned shoulder, Sam. We have bigger fish to fry right now," Dean said, his tone stern.

"You don't have to come." Sam knew this was the same as telling Dean he didn't have to breathe, but he said it anyway. He was scared of losing his brother and figured if he could drop Dean off at the hospital and deal with this thing himself, there was less risk of him ending up as an only child. Of course, the risk that Dean would end up an only child was very much present.

"Are you out of your frigging mind?" Dean snapped. "There's no way in hell that I'm letting you go up against that bitch alone. Forget it, Sam."

He had known it was futile before he'd even said anything, but at least he had tried.

Two hours later, they pulled up next to the house of the guy they had rented the boat from the first time. Sam got out and approached the house, but the owner came out to meet him before he was even halfway there.

"Back for another boat ride?" he asked.

"Yeah," Sam said. "You still got a boat?"

"Sure do," the man said and eyed Sam. "You look a might beat."

"It's nothing. How much?" Sam asked.

"A hundred bucks," the man said.

Sam dug his wallet out and handed him the bills, then turned and walked back to the Impala. Dean got out, looking more pale and drawn than he had before, and eyed Sam for a moment. "Get the weapon's bag. Just in case," he said.

Sam nodded mutely, stepped around to the trunk and dug out a few of the weapons they might need, threw them into another bag and threw that over his shoulder, then slammed the lid shut. "Let's go," he said.

The owner of the boat watched them go, but obviously had no further comment on what they might want on Rabbit Island. In general, the guy didn't know where they were going and that was just as well.

They got in the boat and Sam started the outboard engine after releasing the tethers and although his course wasn't as steady as Dean's had been, he did a fair job of sailing the boat.

He sent a brief glance up toward the overcast sky, and wondered if this was going to be their last hunt. If the book didn't hold the answer to how they could get rid of Frigg or Morax or whoever the hell she was, it was fairly certain that they wouldn't get out of this one alive.

***