Not a Love Story
And they are not lovers.
He's not sure when this will end or when it began. He knows he didn't love her when it began. Or maybe he did. Maybe the Fates knew that he did and it was they that compelled him to take her. They sing to him when they see someone new that they crave, but when he saw her they screamed in agony until his stomach was twisted into knots and it felt like a fire had begun in his chest. When he took her the flames still burned but he started to enjoy the pain, and the Fates hummed softly.
She's been with him since the beginning of whatever her love made him. Yes, her love. He is certain of her love. She kisses him softly on his upper lip first, then the bottom one, each night as she says, "I love you." Every scar on her body is his creation, and he's made himself a part of her.
"Dollar," she whispers to him softly tonight, "Please tell me about yesterday." She used to cry every time he told her about his adventures, and try to cover her ears. He had broken both her wrists the first time, but it hadn't been enough. He had to burn her earlobes and make sure she knew he could take them off completely if she did not listen. Then he made her take all of him in as he told her about the games the Fates and he had played the day before. Since that night she had begun to ask him each night, with adoration in her eyes, to tell her everything.
"Dollar," she whispered again softly as he smiled at her. She laid her head upon his chest and he held her as he began to tell her.
The night before he had taken a hammer and nails with him for his monthly night out. It used to be weekly, but ever since her...well he just didn't need it as much. He almost thinks he's done at times, but then the Fates start to sing again and they were singing last night. Before he left he went to his angel and she had whispered her words of love and given him her blessed kisses.
"Don't leave me," she had said last night, with tears in her eyes. He felt his heart heave forward in his chest like it sometimes did with her. He could feel her love through her great fear of losing him.
"One day I'll belong to just you, angel," he had reassured her. But the Fates were singing and he had to leave her for the night. The Fates had chosen a girl seen leaving a small town high school, singing words of praise for her black hair, black like his angel's hair. Long like his angel's hair.
"Take her to empty her, drain her," they sang to him. He let their words chant in his head as he had followed her home. "Break her, bleed her, consume her." The words became when he had found his way back to her home later that night.
Climbing into her window, he caught a bit of her scent. It was like someone had taken his angel's scent and corrupted it. It enraged him and made him grip his hammer more tightly in his hand as he crept forward. She was turned away from him, and all he could see was her hair, long and black like his angel's, and the smallness of her body outlined under a blanket. She would be his number 22, a number the Fates seemed to enjoy. Odd numbers left them feeling dissatisfied. He reached out and put his hand on her shoulder, waiting to see if she would jerk awake suddenly and fearfully as some of them did (his angel had done this), or if she would simply snore softly for a moment then ease back into a deep sleep. Perhaps she'd even be one of those who felt nothing at all, protected by the depth of REM. He had begun to think she was one of those as he pulled her over to face him looming above her, when he noticed something. Wings...
Dark, wet wings were spread out along each side of her. Dark, wet, and sticky wings were spreading over the knees of his jeans from where he had straddled her, as if they were trying to trap him. He looked down at her face to see that one eye had slid open but one was closed, winking at him. He reached down and shut the open eye. She had a smile on her face as sweet as his angel's, with her black hair spread around her head. His hand slid through the wet stickiness that was now all around her he scrambled off of her bed, and he felt a sharp stinging sensation in the palm of his hand as it slid over something sharp.
The Fates were laughing and he knew they had betrayed him. They had sent him to a hell room, where his angel was corrupted, unreachable, and amused at his pain. "Better go home now, Billy" they snickered at him.
In her room at "home" she wondered when he would come back to her. Her emotions for him simmered up within her until they reached her throat and she had to choke them back. Her room, once a bare cellar room, now had a comfortable double bed against one wall and he'd let her pick out the bed sheets and comforter through a website he had shown her on his phone. She picked black, so stains wouldn't show, but with time she discovered that only the blood stains didn't show. Black bed covers don't absorb every stain, and even the blood stains eventually grew obvious in stiff patches. She had learned to clean off the fleshy bits and semi-solid chunks off by herself, but she planned on finding a way of getting him to bring her some sort of soap, or maybe even take them upstairs to be washed in an actual washing machine. It wasn't on her priority list. She preferred now to sleep on the cement floor with her own hair piled under head as a pillow. The bed was only for his visits. As she lie on the cold floor, she visualized his smile, teeth bared and hungry. She took her mind back to the night she first saw that smile. She'd only seen it for a moment before pain tore into her flesh from multiple entry points, as though his body were covered in teeth and it was all over hers. That's how she remembered it. His teeth, chewing, biting, and tearing flesh away from neck to ankles. She can't remember if she screamed, and if she did, why no one came. She'd gone blind from pain and all that was left was a nightmare in my head that gave her visions of what was happening to her. Lying alone on the cement floor now, she feels it all again, as she does every night she's alone. In the beginning, this happened without her consent. Now she conjures these memories deliberately. She feels the pain again deliberately as she runs her fingers across each scar, some smooth, some pitted, and some thick and misshapen like a colony of angry creatures risen from within her skin, baring their own teeth. She digs her nails into these angry creatures at times to try to break them open, but they resist. She forces pain through the thinner scars and the few bare patches of her skin. She feels it on behalf of each girl, each woman, each living thing he has ever touched. Tonight he would suffer as he had made each of them suffer. Tonight, sweet suffering would invade his soul and chew its way through the deep layer of bitter poison around it, leaving him raw with unending agony. Tonight, this blessed night, she tore open the untouched skin of her solar plexus and dug her nails within the wounds. "My heart belongs to you. Let me give my heart to you!" She had been screaming this through the night when he opened the door to the cellar in the early hours of the morning.
He collapses on top of her as he hears her words and sees what she is doing. She kisses the top of his head as he buries his face between her breasts and kisses the wound she has created, then kisses each breast, smearing blood as he does so. Her blood burns on his lips like salt on a wound, but he needs it. His heart pounds in that way it only does when he feels her soul baring itself to him. He feels her reach down to pry into her chest and deepen the wound she has created as a space for, but soon he will be inside her in a different way.
When she asks him about yesterday and kisses his lips so gently, he decides not to tell her about her blood-winged doppelganger. Instead, he kisses her back, gently, and holds his lips against hers, relishing the dips and bumps in them that had been formed by his teeth working against them. He had shaped her perfectly for his love, and she'd become a vessel of love for him. He lets her lie her head upon his chest as he speaks to her.
"I'm all yours. I belong to you!" His voice is deep and choked with love as he speaks. She sits up and he holds her face between his hands as he looks into her eyes.
"Love me!" He demands and she leans forward to kiss him, eyes closed. He pushes her back and grabs his hammer and nails from the floor where he dropped them when he entered the room.
"Love me as I have loved you," he states more calmly. This isn't part of the routine, and not what she expected her work would produce, but she accepts it. She looks at him and loves him in a way he is not capable of understanding, though he thinks he does. Maybe he was never loved before. Maybe he was, and he simply destroyed all those that loved him.
"I love you more than you love me," she says as a tear leaks from one eye. She hasn't shed a tear since the day he broke her orbital socket for weeping uncontrollably as he violated her.
She's standing now, as he kneels on the bed. With both hands, he holds up his hammer and nails as an offering. She leans over him and kisses him on the forehead, runs her fingers through his hair, and allows him to sink his face into her chest and weep. She takes the hammer and nails from him but lets the nails fall to the floor. She has no use for them. He looks up at her and for a few moments, their eyes are locked and he feels love radiating out of her.
"I love you more than you love me," she says again, "Because unlike you, I am not a monster incapable of love." His eyes widen in confusion and he tries to speak.
"Shh...it's okay. You can't help it. I love you and I'm going to help you," she says quickly with one last kiss to his vile and bloodied lips. Though she has been broken, she was never weakened. She is glass, shattered to pieces, but still glass, and all the more dangerous to those who touch it. Her hammer hits its mark before he can say another word. The room rings with screaming, his in a pain he has never felt before, and hers in an agony she didn't know she would feel. She kisses the wound in his temple and then swings the hammer again, and again, and again.
Together they lie on the cement floor, sooner than she ever thought they would. She knows he has a phone in his pocket, but she hasn't taken it out yet. He's still groaning gently as he lies in her arms. She thinks he's trying to speak.
"Angel," she thinks she hears as he seems to try to push himself closer against her. Emotions bubble up inside of her again and this time she vomits them up, into his hair. She wipes her mouth off calmly.
"Yes," she says darkly, "I'm your angel, Dollar." Her lips slide across her teeth to form a tortured, but genuine smile. She pulls his phone from his pocket and pushes in a phone number.
"And I've saved you."