She'd pranced around his life and snuck into his thoughts for far too long. It hit him all at once, as most things did, in a hapless moment that meant nothing. A moment without a joke, perhaps; lack of laughter could clear a foggy brain right quick.

He let it happen on occasion. Sometimes he enjoyed watching her paint her pathetic ways over their walls in red lipstick letters – "puddin', babydoll, love love love." He was quite sure that neither of them really knew what all this "love" nonsense was about, but still they weaved the word into conversation in the only manner they could: Sick and perverse, to suit his smile.

He breathed fire into her that evening. He pushed her to the very limits of herself, and forced her sloppy and naked onto every manner of pedestal which he broke in every not-quite-kiss they shared. Her wrists were red and raw by the time acid hands smoothed over tilled skin again.

"Twice?" She'd giggled. He promptly shut her up. It all became solid in his mind when he found himself cooing back to her pained breathing.

Chemicals leaked from his tongue in the dust and sweat of morning when he told her to stand on porch. For revenge of everything she'd done that still lingered sweetly on his manic grin, he beat love letters into the back of her skull. He didn't want to recognize her when he pulled his bloodied hands away. The smell of her was the same, even as she lay there crumpled, face down and still glowing like a trained trick candle. She smelled of obsession, and it welled up in his chest. But it came out as every twinge inside him did; he laughed.

As light raped the sky of humid evening, he lit a cigar in her honor, and blew her name in clouds of smoke that drifted off forever into the pressing sunrise. He fancied himself merciful – he'd given her the best punchline he'd ever thought of.

He let her see the sky, let her watch the fading stars. He let Harley flicker out still thinking she was loved.