He fingered his sharp little blade absently, gazing at the quivering girl perched on a stool in front of her. She was exceedingly beautiful, with eyes that would swallow you whole. She rubbed her arms, as if cold, glancing around at the shadow-filled room. The only light was centered upon her and the painter, like two spotlights in the deepest of nights.

He smiled a little. It was very generous of her to volunteer to pose for his secret pastime. Painting was his joy, his pleasure, the way he let out all the pent-up emotions inside of him. He picked up his brush with flourish, smiled at her, and commenced to paint.

Halfway through, he noticed that something was wrong. Her face was perfect—her eyes shapely, her hair tumbling about her shoulders, her gentle smile—but something was missing. Something was needed—it was her perfection that marred the work. She was too beautiful to be true. He frowned in frustration. What was he to do to make her less beautiful?

In the middle of his bafflement, he noticed a glinting on the table besides him. He looked down to see his knife with the black handle, and an idea wormed its way into his head. The blade shone in seductive promise. The painting will look better, it said. For realism, you must be real.

He nodded.

She noticed his change of emotion quickly. Her eyes widened in fear and she clutched at herself again, suddenly wishing that she had simply stayed with her other friends instead of coming to visit him. He approached, fiddling with something in his right hand. "Robin?" she asked hesitantly, her big eyes widening in apprehension.

"Don't worry Starfire," he assured her, "it won't hurt a bit. There won't even be a scar."

He meant just to nick her, to add a wild side to her quiet loveliness. Instead, his little nick became a long slash down her cheek. He thought to stop there, but the look of the blood spilling from the cut stopped him. The path of the droplets fascinated him. He wanted more. Like a greedy child, he cut again and again. She began to weep silently as blood overwhelmed her face. The pain pierced through her periodically, but she ignored it. It was what he wanted—therefore, she must comply.

Her tears mixed with the blood until it was unclear whether she was bleeding tears or crying blood. At this thought, another came to him in a flash of genius. "I have to do this, Star," he said, stepping closer. "It is necessary for me to do so to make sure that my painting looked stunning. I have to, you understand?" She nodded. It was for him. Everything was for him.

He took a deep breath to quiet his quaking heart and lifted his knife. Spinning it with his fingers, he took hold of her head and tilted it back. Cold metal entered soft jelly and the girl let loose a scream. At first, it was all red. Red, red, red, red, red flooded her vision. Then, it struck core, and that was where the real pain began. A thousand screams were not enough to express the sensation that shot thorough her. She would cry, but it was only one eye now that could express her feeling of betrayal.

Robin pulled out his knife and wiped its blade on his apron. Starfire clutched her eye in horror and sank to her floor. "Why? Why?" she kept asking, feeling the blood flow through her fingers.

Robin returned to his easel, picked up the tube of red paint, and grinned. It was perfect.