(Now I lay me down to sleep)

Verdant eyes widen, rosy lips part, and breath is drawn in to scream –

Not a sound escapes. One long, pale finger is placed on her mouth, and she gazes into a face carved of alabaster; high, noble cheekbones chiseled carefully by no man's hand.

Thin lips of palest quartz twist upward grimly, face framed by hair of darkest obsidian, tied in a low ponytail.

As she stares, she wonders if he is stone –

But stone is cold to touch, and the finger on her lips is warm.

And his breath, fanning her flushed face, is heated, even puffs of air.

But for the single finger, he does not touch her, does not move; and yet she feels gentle caresses –

And yet se feels an embrace, cool as the night sky, warm as the earth's core. It frightens her.

(I pray the Lord my soul to keep)

It is his face that frightens her the most.

Beautiful; it is so beautiful –

And the devil's kiss, and the eyes of Hell –

And they are beautiful as well.

His eyes are onyx embedded within ruby – bloodstained ruby. And she understands that once she has touched those gems, the blood will not wash off her hands.

His face is that of an angel, but the lines on his cheeks are of pain, and his eyes are the gateway to Hell.

And his beauty is twisted, dark, the shadow of a flame – and the flame is there, but it dances darkly – it entrances her.

And he is touching her, reaching for her –

And he has not moved. She wants to scream, must scream –

But she cannot. She is frozen in place, silenced by this stone angeldevilcreationmonster, and he will not let her go.

(And if I die before I wake)

Fear flickers in her eyes –

In her face –

In her heart –

And he chuckles. Somehow, this single sound frightens her more than anything, and her blood runs cold through her veins.

His lips curl back slowly, revealing perfect, white fangs

(They are white for now, but will soon be stained with blood).

The finger on her lips glides down to stroke her cheek; languid, soothing motions on her smooth skin.

She shivers and tries to pull away, only to back into her bed. His smirk widens, and he follows her, pushing her down with his body.

(And oh, it is stone that freezes like ice and burns like fire – )

(An inferno erupts across her skin, and she is burning, burning – )

(And she freezes, but it feels so good.)

She wonders if she's dreaming.

(I pray the Lord my soul to take)

Yes, he murmurs, cooing in her ear, it is a dream. She should just relax.

(But who says that dreams are not real? Dreams can hurt; dreams can wound; dreams can kill.)

She can already see the curve of his mouth as it is covered in blood, so she turns away.

(And it is then that he strikes.)

She is in Heaven and Hell at once –

The fires of Hades tear across her body, burning and yet not scorching –

Heaven in all its pristine glory is before her eyes for a moment –

But she cannot go there, because this is no angel who will bear her up to the pearly gates.

(And God will not save her from this fiend, because there is no God, and there is only him.)

She should not have closed her eyes, should not have turned away from him –

And now it is too late.

He places a kiss of burning ice and freezing fire on her lips –

Darkness envelops her –

And the dream begins.

(Amen.)