by Sandrine Shaw

"Do you ever wonder what it's like," Ruby asks.

She's sitting cross-legged on the bed and idly plays with her knife, twirling it with the tip digging into her finger. A drop of red wells to the surface. It glitters dangerously in the hard artificial light of the room, and Dean averts his eyes.

(He blinks and has a vision of a snake presenting an apple. But maybe it's just a trick of the light.)

There are a lot of things Dean wonders, most of them related to how good it would feel to take that knife and bury it deep in her heart, watch the demon evaporate from the dead body it's wearing. He grinds his teeth and forces himself not to react, not to look at her, not to acknowledge her in any way.

He can't stop himself from hearing what she says, though.

"Aren't you the least bit curious? How it tastes? Why Sam keeps coming back for more?"

"Hell, no," he says, a little too quickly, momentarily forgetting to try and act as if she wasn't there.

(It's getting a little harder, ever day.)

She reaches out and drags her finger across his lip. It leaves a trail, wet and sticky, and he recoils. Knows he should wipe it off - and he wants to, he really does. But before he can make himself raise his arm and wipe the blood away with his sleeve like he intents to, he's already instinctively licking his lips. A sharp, coppery taste floods his senses.

"What the fuck?" he spits, cursing under his breath.

Ruby laughs, throaty and pleased, and he sees red. He strikes her, hard, sending her sprawling across the floor. She doesn't stop laughing, and when she looks at him again, there's a red handprint on her cheek and her lip is bruised and split, a drop of blood running down from the corner.

She smiles with her teeth coated faintly red, like a predator who's just fed . "You like that, don't you? Making me bleed."

"You're sick," he tells her, disdain making his voice sandpaper-rough. Yet, at the same time, he cannot look away from the small tickle of blood that's running down her chin. He can still feel the taste on his tongue, a faint siren's song nudging the edge of his consciousness.

(Want. Need. You can have it. You can.)

In the blink of an eye, she's on her feet, invading his space.

"Maybe. But what does that make you?" she whispers, leaning in. Her crimson-tinted mouth is only a breath away from his, close enough that he thinks he can smell the blood.

A hunter. Making demons bleed is my job, bitch, he wants to tell her, but it's not the same and he knows it. He watches her lick her lips and tries to ignore the tingle on his tongue, the burn low in his stomach.

"Shut up," he says harshly, and she laughs and says, "Make me," and before he can even remember why this is a horrible idea, his mouth is on hers, licking and biting: kisses meant to punish and to possess and to devour. Her blood is rich and sweet and salty and, even as he's disgusted with himself, he wants more of it.

(Underneath the distinct coppery flavour, she tastes like apples.)