"He's not a toy Elle."

Oh yes he is, she thinks looking down at closed eyes on a face that makes her stomach buzz with annoying little butterflies. One she could easily see being the subject of desire, and a name written all over her trapper keeper, if she ever had one in the first place.

"He could be," she says with a glee she doesn't think she can hide, zapping him on the nose and making those droopy eyes snap open with a start.

He's so pretty.

In her mind she calls him Pretty Peter Plaything, as she scoots up closer, and runs her fingers through soft, yet disheveled hair.

Suddenly she's six years old again. Before the fire, before grandma stopped looking at her the same, and she's staring at a bright blue teddy bear dangling from the roof of a carnival game. She can already feel her fingers running through its fur and she smiles, and jumps, and points.

She wants it.

Wants it, wants it, wants it.

Her hand travels up Peter's neck and plays with a few curled strands, tells him that she, they, know of his little exploding man routine and smiles widely at his surprise. Bob goes on with his speech. The one she's heard so many times before. The one he'd used on her parents.

She plays with his ear.

So pretty, she thinks. When was the last time Bob brought her someone so pretty?

They tell him they've taken care of his problem.

He tries to move the water glass, extends his hand like he wants to extend his will, and she reaches for it and pulls it back to hers, entwining her fingers in his before playing with his palm and entwining them again.

They are nice hands. Not too soft to be unmanly, but not too rough to make her want to stop touching.

It's so cute how suspicious he is. How he scowls slightly at her smiles, how he shifts with unease when he realizes that she's not going to stop touching him. He wants to believe them she can tell. But he's not stupid; he doesn't want to accept it at her pretty face value.

Bob keeps on with the selling, and she waits with anticipation because she doesn't want him to leave. Well, it's not like they would let him even in he says no, but want of him wanting to stay is something those stupid butterflies are demanding.

They way he says forever makes her think of her first day here. When her parents walked away, and kept on walking down that long cold corridor and out of her life.

A cure is the carrot they dangle in front of him, and like a hungry little bunny he starts chomping at the bit.

She doesn't understand why the idea of repressing one's abilities is an appealing one. It's the one thing in her life that is a constant source of happiness. The one thing she truly enjoys.

He looks at her with those sad little eyes, and she looks back expectantly with one more smile, just in case.

"How long until it's ready?"

She almost squeals, she's so happy, but instead she just throws her arms around him, says "good" with another megawatt smile, and assures him he's making the right choice.

She's six years old, stomping her feet for that blue teddy bear, and when she gets it she feels like she's the most special little girl in the whole wide world.

Pretty Peter Plaything with the softest fur she's ever touched.


She watches him through the window those first few days. Watches as he lies on the bed constantly staring at the wall and drowning himself in an ocean of self pity. It bugs her to see him so sad. It bugs her that even when she hands him those little promises she knows they won't keep, he never looks the slightest bit glad to see her.

But the first time she sees light in those puppy dog eyes is when she jolts him for being such a sad little plaything, and he shakes his head away gasping for breath she's quite proud she took. He says it hurts.

This makes her smile, and yes, she knows she does it far too much when she's around him. But she doesn't fully care if people around here start to talk.

Peter is very good at making her happy.

She tells him he'll get used to it.

She tells him he'll start to like it.

And when he does she'll be the happiest twenty-four year old in the world.

She walks down the hall with a skip in her step and a flutter in her heart.


He does start to like it, though he never quite says so.

When she slides up next to him day after day, whisper close, with the smile on her face that just won't go away in his presence. When she traces her fingers along that creamy skin and giggles as the blue veins jump from her hands, stealing his breath every single time, she knows she has him.

Oh, his attempts at hiding it through forced indifference are obvious. He pretends not to care though she can always see right through it. She zaps his nose, his cheeks, and those silly little ears she loves to tickle.

He reacts the same way every time.

How his eyes widen with the instinctual leap backward, and how the corner of his mouth dares to twitch just the slightest bit upward.

She's always gentle after he lets her. Always gives him a hug, or lingering caress someplace she knows he'll react to, then bats her eyelashes and preens and smiles and wants to him take that extra leap.

But he always ends up pushing past her and taking his medicine, and then playtime is over.

She pouts, he smiles, and she walks away.


Of course Bob tries to talk her down when it comes to Pretty Peter Plaything. He says that they've been down this road before, and that it will end the same, and blah blah blah.

She doesn't want to listen because she knows it's different with him. He's special in a way none of the others were, in a way Bob and his own agenda are just too blind to see.

He doesn't flat out tell her no because despite being able to talk her down from time to time, he knows what happens if they try to stop her when she wants something.

The little girl at the carnival pitching a fit until she gets that damn bear.

She tells Bob that she will keep bringing Peter his pills, and that she will do what she wants with him and that is that.

Bob caves, and she walks away feeling very pleased with herself.

Very, very pleased.


One day she slinks up next to him, and he's got that look on his face like he's been expecting her, and she's all smiles until he becomes Mr. Sourpuss and says he's 'not in the mood today.'

Did he turn into a girl all of a sudden? She wonders. Since when is a nice young man unwilling to accept the affections of a girl such as herself? He stares at the floor and doesn't respond to her as he usually does, and she does not like where today's little meeting is going.

"Just a little one," she says, the hope inside perking up when he looks at her. Then she throws out the pretty please with a cherry on top. "I'll up your dose."

It's not the reaction she wants, but when he says fine, all the hairs stand on her neck and she grins at him hoping it'll be infectious. It isn't, but he still scoots to the end of the bed and lifts his hand for her.

It's a strange feeling thinking this is what she lives for now. That the few precious moments she spends with him have become the highlight of her day. Moving next to him she offers her own hand, the anticipation in her eyes telling him, 'I know you want this. I know it's all you think about.'

And when the blue shock snaps between them and he screams and recoils, the giddiness bubbles up inside her. She throws her arms around him, nothing but smiles and sunshine.

Then he starts talking, starts wondering if there is more to her.

Sadistic lightning thing?

Come now Pretty Peter, she thinks. It's not completely one-sided is it? It's not just me getting my kicks from our little trysts. It bothers her that he's so easily dismissing of what they share.

Hopping off the bed she tells him she likes it better when he just lays there. When he accepts that he enjoys what happens between them. When he admits to himself that he needs it just as much as she does.

Afraid? Oh Peter, pushing my buttons now are you? And what was that? Control? Yes being in control does come in rather handy with someone who can't capture the feeling for himself.

He gets it, he says. He figured as much, he says. It won't happen again, he says.

It surprises her that he is suddenly so cold, so demeaning. It's taking those pretty little butterflies he creates inside her and pinning them all one by one to a pegboard in her heart.

She heads for the door, he is not being so nice today, but there's this irking feeling he's put in her head.

Do you really want to know Pretty Peter Plaything? She wonders. Do you really care?

She turns around and opens up, spills her guts on that cold concrete floor because clever little boy knows how to push buttons.

She tells him about grandma's house.

She tells him about Ohio.

She tells him about the worst birthday ever.

All because he got pissed off that all she ever wants to do is play.

The look in his eyes isn't pity. Hell, she knows he has no idea how to relate to a life like hers.

Sixteen years, she tells him. Ever since those stupid shrinks said she was all kinds of crazy because she got mad one day and threatened to kill them all. Because she was serious, because they knew she could do it and feel no remorse at all. She leaves that little detail out, places the blame on the doctors, and hopes that he will blame them too.

She's twenty-four years old and never been on a date. Looking up at him after that little fact reveals itself; she thinks that it would be a big freaking hint, if the circumstances of their relationship were anywhere near normal.

She's never been on a roller coaster, never been swimming, and that's all there is to know pouty Peter.

She doesn't have the luxury of being more interesting.

She walks away before he can reply.

Because anything he says will be nothing but pity and that's the last thing she ever wants from him.

So she just smiles, calls him alligator, and heads out the door.

Having him watch her as she walks by the window is a thrill that makes it all seem worth it.


One day she's not in the mood.

She just tosses his pills on the little table and heads back for the door when he calls out after her.

She spins around, peeking her head back inside, before quickly stepping across the threshold.

He's asking now is he? Interesting. Very interesting.

She's halfway to him when his hands are suddenly on her hips and he's pulling her so quick and so close and she can't help the shock in her eyes because he's finally being a brave little bear and taking that extra step.

He's starting to like them, he says. He's starting to like her.

He raises his hand for hers.

Fine, since he asked so nicely.

She's playing it cool, she tells herself. But oh how excited she is that he wants it. He's finally admitting how much he wants it.

They almost touch when he pulls his hand away, and she's about to ask when his lips just melt into hers.

Oh this is new Ellie-bean, she thinks. You pay attention now because this is brand spanking new.

Of course Pretty Peter Plaything is a good kisser. How could he be anything but? She closes her eyes and loses herself against his lips, and when she feels the familiar charge build up between them, it snaps across their mouths and she has never felt so alive in this place as she does right now.

It's even better when this is how he recoils from the shock, when he winces against the pain, and her lips stretch so wide because of him. They both try to catch their breath and he doesn't even try to hide his smile this time, how wonderful!

Tell me there's more, she thinks. After that there just has to be more.

He gets up, however, and heads straight for the pills.

Now she really can't help herself, following him like she does, pressing herself into his back practically willing him to turn back around.

But no, he's not responding this time, and she playfully asks if it's enough fun for one day?

He hands her the cup.

Tease! Her mind shouts at him. Pretty Playful Tease!

Awful, awful boy pulling at her heartstrings.

She still walks away, without making him pay for it, and wonders how tricky Peter can really be.


When Peter escapes the first thing she wants to do is burn Adam's eyelids right off his face. How dare he? How dare he even think of taking what was hers away?

And that's exactly what Peter was, hers.

Dirty, deceitful, jealous Adam speaking is accented lies through the vent. Filling Pretty Peter Plaything's head with nonsense and pushing him to run away from them, from her. Because just once, her didn't please her, and just once, she never forgave him for it.

They don't get far; it's so obvious the hospital is the first place they would go. The Haitian keeps in step behind her and when she sees him she is so sad and angry and doesn't know what to do with herself.

Oh wait.

Adam goes flying against the wall with a satisfying thud, and lands in a heap on the ground. Peter's shirt goes up in flames but he gets right back up and keeps running.

Run, run away not so brave little bear, she thinks.

She's so angry and disappointed she sends the Haitian after him because she fears being so mad will ruin anything she will get to do to him once they return. Once she gets to Adam she rolls his prissy English ass over and does what she was so set to do.

And he heals, and screams, and heals again.


He got away.

Somehow, someway, he escaped the Haitian.

Sitting on Peter's bed with her arms folded across her chest kicking her feet idly off the edge.

Six years old again, after grandma's house burned down, after her beautiful blue teddy bear went up in flames along with it.

It's a familiar feeling, being alone in this place, with no one but Bob to talk to her and not be afraid. It's not enough anymore. She knows that now. Pretty Peter Plaything had been enough of a change to make her realize this.

She almost hates him for making her feel this way, for lying to her, for taking it all away.

A lone tear falls down her cheek and she wants to make someone pay for it. To let her eyes gleam with joy instead of salt water at the sight of her spark dancing across a screaming face.

She runs a stream between her thumb and index finger, watching as it flows so powerfully from her, and thinks of Peter's face when she knew he enjoyed what she did to him.

It's not fair, she thinks, to have what she wanted only to have him taken away.

Bob opens the door, looking very disappointed that she's here, but he has news.

Peter has been spotted in Ireland, and if she's good, she leaves in the morning.

She's twenty-four years old, never been on a date, pointing east at Pretty Peter Plaything with the softest fur she's ever touched.

She wants him.

Wants him, wants him, wants him.