A sequel of sorts to Silver Shoes. Brice has taken his prize, but it's not like he imagined it to be.


Gilt Jewellery

She wakes, blinks once to get the dust out of her eyes, and rises. Every morning the same routine; doesn't matter where we are.
Her pale body is much more slender than it was when she lived above the clouds. I didn't realise she'd get hungrier more than I would, and it took me about a month to work out why she was looking gaunt even though I hadn't inflicted any torture on her. She never spoke to me, ever since I kissed her. I tell her sometimes that I stole her voice away with it, and she looks past me. Maybe she smiles to the dog. I like her smile, but I don't ever see it. Haven't seen it since the night of the party, when I took her.
Astrid teased me for hours when she found out I wouldn't hurt her. She said I didn't want to see scars when I fucked her, but it wasn't really true. I mean, Mel's pretty—she's become beautiful, just like I knew she would—but I wouldn't dare touch her like that. I kiss her, sure. That's it, though.

*

Maybe it was because of what Astrid said that I won't let her out. People know I have an angel locked up with me—I got a commendation for it, for God's sake, and almost a whole week with Dom. Maybe loaning her out to, say, Rufio and his cronies would open up a few more doors for me. I can't bring myself to do that, though. I'd say she's my most treasured possession.

After I took her, I tried to get her to talk with gifts. Mirrors, necklaces, stuff like that. She just puts it all away. The only thing I've ever seen her wear as an ornament from me was a flower I brought back for her once, but it withered and died too quickly, like all things here. Everything happens fast here.

*
I swear she's put a spell on me. She probably didn't mean to—angels don't ever mean to cause pain, or confusion. But I can't stop thinking about her. Much as she must hate me, I love walking in to see her face. I even stayed up one night just so I could hear her get to sleep. She thinks I don't hear her crying into her pillow, but the walls are thin. When I do hear her…it's weird, I almost feel sad for her. But the rules changed, as soon as I transported her here, like it or not.

I mean, I get that she doesn't. It's an expression. She must really hate being locked in here every day with only Bob for company, and hellhounds are not instantly simpering twits around angels like most animals. She must hate being weak all the time. But I'm a demon—I can't exactly change.

*

And, you know, that makes me feel like crap. Because I was an angel once, and I know how it hurts to be yanked cruelly from the streets of gold to the pits of hell. At least she's still got her wings, clipped as they might be. They're not completely gone.

I asked if she wanted to get out, once. You know—out in the world. Well, maybe not world. Maybe a mission. Maybe London, the place she knows. It was a stupid question—I knew that from the moment I asked it. Of course she doesn't want to see the bad humans inflict on one another. Mel's beautiful, but she's on the edge of sanity right now as it is. Seeing that would really push her over the cliff. I'm straddling a thin line already, locking her up and taking her away from all things bright and beautiful. I was about to tell her to forget it, when she just looked at me.

Mel is seriously breathtaking now. Pale, pale skin. Jet-black hair. Bright green eyes. She's lost any trace of happiness, and it's made her look so much more stunning. She doesn't have any emotion on her face normally, none that she shows, but in that second all I got was pain. It was like I'd beaten her so hard with a whip she could barely breathe. The thing was, it was worse than that, because I was reminding her of her old home every day…

I went to bed early that night.

*
That was the plan. It really was; to turn her into someone like me. Someone I could talk to. I'm no poofter, just wanting to chat about feelings, but I hoped she'd become more. Hell, she's fit. And imagine the coup if I'd warped an angel right under the Agency's nose! My name would have been legendary.

I wasn't tough enough with her at the start. I couldn't be. When Mel looks at me now, all I can feel is a fierce desire to protect her, from all the ghoulies and the nasties. All like me. God, she must know she's doing it!

*

I've never once caught her trying to escape, there's the weird thing. She is literally in hell; so much worse for her because she never chose it. But she's never once made a break for it. I think I broke her, I really do. She's been turned into little more than a trained dog.

I wanted to make her a princess. I got it wrong.

*

I didn't want to make her sad. I never meant to make her cry. I'm feeling so guilty for all of this, and she's doing it, and all she can do is watch me with those huge eyes of hers and everything I've worked so hard to collect comes tumbling out…