The chill night air rushed past Damienne as she threaded her way through the dingy
city streets that led to the haven she had begun thinking of as home, Alic's place. She no
longer noticed the litter-strewn street, but still was watchful of the shadows along it as
she parked her Harley next to Alic's. The pair of bikes seemed to lean against each other
in the still shadows. She smiled to herself at the fitting image, striding briskly toward
the stairs that would take her up to him.
Though Alic's haven was at the top of the rickety building, Dee reached it quickly. She slowed, creeping forward as her eyes fell upon a large hole at shoulder level of the door to the apartment. She moved silently to the hole and peered in. Seeing no one, she slowly opened the door. Her eyes widened in shock at the scene before her. Furniture lay in splinters all over the small set of rooms. In the kitchen, the refrigerator lay on its side. Close to panic, Dee looked more carefully among the wreckage for her friend.
A surge of relief washed over her when she realized he was sitting on the bed, unharmed. She rushed to his side. "Oh my god! What happened?"
His eyes were vacant as he looked up at her. She took a seat beside him, shaking him gently and tried to keep the panic out of her voice. "Alic! Tell me what's wrong!"
He answered in a hollow voice. "I don't know what to say..." He seemed oblivious to her searching gaze over his body as she looked for signs of violence there. She found no blood on him, and looking around, detected none in the ravaged apartment.
She began to relax a little as she realized it was Alic's own handiwork she was looking at. His voice called her attention back to him as he whispered bleakly.
"I don't know how to say it to you..." His eyes were lost in his own private pain, and he spoke more to himself than from any realization she was there.
Fear for him gripped her and she cupped his face in her hands, forcing him to look at her, willing her presence into his fogged mind. She smiled as his eyes focused on her, became clearer. She let go as he lowered his head. "Just tell me, get it over with," she coaxed gently, wondering what could have given him such pain.
His words brought a sinking feeling to her guts. "I promised never to hurt you." His eyes darted around helplessly. "You should have been there last night."
She smiled to reassure him. "Well, you haven't hurt me, but you sure did a number on your place."
Unable to return her smile, he pulled away. A shamed look covered his face as he went on. "I tried to resist....but, she wouldn't let me."
Light flashed in Dee's eyes as realization dawned on her. She stood up, distancing herself from him. "You...you cheated on me?" She felt dazed, as if all the blood in the world would not sustain her, yet she stood stiffly, unable to fall as her anger flared and pride held her up.
Her eyes followed him as he rose from the bed to walk over to a window. He stood staring out at the fire escape and the still city beyond. His voice came as a soft hiss. "Yes..."
Silence wrapped a taut cord around them as they stood, lonely and broken, yet held together by something stronger than guilt or anger. In desperate agony, Alic's voice broke the stillness. "There is a gun, beneath the bed. Do what you want with me."
Dee ignored the remark and asked in a flat quiet voice, "With who?"
"You know who..." was the soft reply.
Dee knew. "Twink?" A numbness was spreading over her. She suddenly found it easy to remember that her body was dead. 'You can't break a dead heart' was the thought that drifted through her mind.
Alic nodded in answer. Turning towards the stricken woman, he reached out to her with his voice, afraid to touch her though he wished he could. "This isn't your fault....It wasn't hers either. It was mine. Alone. If there is anyone who should take the blame it is me." Still needing to be near her somehow, Alic walked slowly to Dee's side and dropped to his knees. "Just say you don't hate me." He waited with eyes closed and head bowed, as if for an axe to fall.
Damienne glanced down at him, unable to bring an expression to her face.
Needing to drive the silence away, he went on, "If you need to leave I will not stop you, but I still love you, Dee. You don't have to believe it, but I do." His eyes reached up to her, rage, frustration and hopelessness setting in. "Whatever you want to do with me, do it." He dropped his eyes, speaking softly. "I am nothing...."
Finally able to dredge her voice out of her numbness, Dee met Alic's troubled blue eyes. Conflicting emotions battled across her face as she spoke. "Alic, I still love you, but I guess love doesn't work the same way for monsters..." She turned away from him, hiding her face behind a curtain of silky blond hair.
He rose and slid back onto the bed. His hands twitched, reaching out for her, but he held them back. Suddenly determined, he went to her, wrapping his arms around her from behind. Dee allowed the embrace, sagging a little in its support, but did not turn to face her wayward lover.
"I know Twink has...feelings for you, but, I just don't understand how you...could..." Her voice broke, leaving her unable to finish.
Grief stricken, Alic reached around to touch her chin, pulling her face around till his eyes could lock with hers. Their brilliant green was dimmed by a film of crimson tears. " I don't know what to say, Dee. I was wrong. This is worse than anything before. And damn it, I can't tell you just how much it hurts." He was silent as he struggled for words. A tear slid down his right cheek. "I don't understand either."
Still seeking her own comprehension, Dee found a question. "Did she dominate you or something?" She needed a way to forgive him, to stop the rage building inside her.
"No...it wasn't like that." he crushed her hope. "It was my fault. I let my emotions, for her pain, and worse, get in the way. I don't know what...I wish you would do something..."
Dee pulled away from him, her gaze becoming stony. "Just, don't say anymore." She resisted the urge to cover her ears.
He nodded, letting her go and met her gaze coolly. "Dee...I will always be here."
Anger lit her eyes as the flood burst out of her. "Oh, what do you want me to say? I hate you? I love you? I can't even think right now."
He walked up to her rising anger, fists clenched at his sides. In a sudden surge of passion she lashed out, slapping him across the face as hard as she could. Her face held a fierce controlled look, the strain of holding back the beast taking all her might.
Alic's head rocked back and he stared at her. "Rage if you have to, on me..." He feared for her, knew how she bore her frenzies. Her fists were clenched at her sides, eyes closed as she strove to master herself. He prodded her, " Dee if you have to let go, let go. Only on me. I deserve it. You know it. You wouldn't be wrong."
Suddenly, Dee's eyes opened. They were clear, as if some inner hurdle had been passed. "NO!" she snapped. "I'm not gonna let you make me rage. I swore no man would do it again, Alic. I'm not going to let you wreck what I've learned to do for myself."
Alic stepped back, nodding. He wanted to say something to heal her but felt he might never be able to again. No words came.
Turning away from him, Dee stared at the fist-sized holes in the walls, thinking. Finally reaching a decision, she faced him. "Alic, I'm going out for a while..."
"I understand," he answered. "I'm going to be here..."
She cut him off. " BUT, I'll be back. I'm not giving up on you that easily. As I said, love works differently for monsters."
Unable to respond, he nodded and looked away. The door broke as Dee slammed it shut behind her.
SMT & NB1998