Issues of Humanity
by Sandrine Shaw

The door falls shut behind him with a bang, and there's a frown on her face as he advances her. A panther, black as the night and as deadly, stalking his prey. She doesn't back away from him, doesn't move an inch, not even when he's merely a foot away and his emerald eyes are burning into her with an intensity... an anger that would have sent tough, fearless men running away wetting their pants.

She doesn't even blink.

There's no fear in her eyes when he reaches out, his hand surprisingly soft as it combs through her silky hair. Beautiful, she is. Sparkling green eyes, pale skin, the peroxide blonde of her hair making her almost elf-like in appearance. Beautiful, righteous, kind. The incarnation of goodness and justice. Perfect. Untouchable. He's so sick of it. The fingers that have just caressed her suddenly tighten in her hair, pull her head back with all their force.

She screams.

He knows he's hurting her, and the pain lighting up in her eyes should be enough to sober him. Should be. But it isn't. He wants to hear her beg, wants to see her on her knees, shattered, destroyed, broken.

He kisses her; and his mouth is rough on hers, brutal even, teeth drawing blood while his hand worms its way under her shirt. Where his touch should be gentle, it's rough, degrading. She probably hates every second of it. He thrives on that thought.

Later, much later when she lies naked beneath him, her breath still unsteady in the heat of the afterglow, he tells her that he will destroy her if she isn't careful. "I ... I have to," he mutters. "To push you off your pedestal. The one he placed you upon. You're so ... perfect. Too perfect. Inhuman. I have to hurt you, make you feel pain to make you human again."

She is silent, and her cheeks bear no traces of tears, no matter how closely he regards her. Wide green eyes look at him, shining, but emotionless.

"You understand that, don't you?"

Again, he receives no answer. She doesn't tell him that with every mark he leaves on her body, a part of her humanity dies.