When everything has turned to black;
And you don't know where to go;
You need something to justify your soul.

- Kari Kimmel, Black

Alex remained frozen, watching him. It was as if time ceased to exist and the earth stopped turning tirelessly. She was acutely aware of their surroundings, she was able to hear the silence of the rising sun screaming into her ears. It was much too quiet, the ringing hitting loudly against her eardrums, and she wished that the silence would kindly shut up.

It was undeniably true that she had wished for revenge, lying awake at night imagining Ace suffering in torturous pain. It was a way she could cope with the sins he'd done against her, by pretending that life was fair and no cruel deed went without a price. This man - was he really a man? was he still a boy? - had hurt her, utterly destroyed her, and now that he got what he deserved, should she not relish in that fact?

Here he was, broken and bleeding, human carnage. His light blonde hair was smeared with dirt and cigarette residue, someone must have had fun using his head as an ashtray. Sticky red blood trinkled from his nose and the corner of his bust-up mouth, an ugly indigo bruise forming at the bottom his lower eye. Matching shades of blue and forest green covered his arms and torso, from what she could see of his abdomen from the black T-shirt that had ridden up his middle, he'd been kicked in the stomach repeatedly.

Her heart, going against the cold calculating logic of her brain, felt an illegal pang of sympathy for the lifeless body. Those thoughts were immediately succeeded by hardcore anger. She was angry at herself for any positive thoughts in this monster's direction. He deserved this - hell no - he deserved much worse.

Alex couldn't help it, she spat on him.

Taken over by an unexpected, animal rage, watching her own shiny saliva slide over the cuts on his face was suddenly not enough. She wanted more. Her vision turned red, and sirens of danger went off in her brain. Her instincts told her to hurt, and hurt she did. She kicked the unconscious young man repeatedly in the already bruised section of his abdomen. She kicked him in the groin too, the grand offender, as if hoping to break it so it can never hurt again, so that maybe its owner would learn to think with his head instead of the gross it. Summoning all her strength, she propelled all her negative emotion into a kick to the shoulder, exhausted, she fell to the ground beside the body.

Those stupid tears welled up again, and she started to cry, sobbing right there on the gravel road, rocking her thin, frail body back and forth. She stopped suddenly, unwanted guilt breaking into her soul like a thief in the night. It grabbed her, and she was compelled to look at him again.

Jesus Christ! He was unrecognizable! Alex, you heartless, selfish fool, does the bastard even have a pulse? Why must you act without thought you stupid little girl, that's what got you into this jumble of misery in the first place. Alex stood up abruptly, determined to walk away, maybe she might have scratched the shiny black paint on his car too, if not for her heart tugging her back. Like an imaginary lasso wrapped tightly around her small frame, she was pulled back involuntarily to him, fighting the WWJD moment.

She sank to her knees and checked for a pulse.

Still breathing, unfortunately, but not for long if she left him out on the street. The town of Caslte Rock had a population of like...twelve...and it might take days before anyone came across him...and by the time they found him, the population would be knocked down to eleven.

"I must be out of my mind." She muttered, her fingers pinching the bridge of her nose, and stooped down to pick up the heavy, bleeding carcass and drag him over the gravel road to the mansion.

Several times she had to stop and rest, her arms sore from the exsessive dead weight, and wondered if it would be easier to just leave him to the vulchers.

Easy, yes. But was it right?

No, she wasn't doing this for Ace, he could keep dreaming for any voluntary, willing assistance from her on his behalf. She was doing this because she wanted to be able to sleep at night, for she had a guilt the size of Texas that was infamous for haunting her soul until she made amends.

God, please don't let me do anything stupider than I've already done, she thought.

After all, stupid is as stupid does.

It had been a chore to get him into the house. After about half a mile of dragging him, she had to sneak past the family butler, the valet, and her brother, who was in the living room staring into the TV by not really watching it. Alex knew that if he ever saw Ace, the two boys would engage in a war of fists and knives and not stop until one of them was dead.

Geting him upstairs was the hardest part. Alex had already accepted what Ace had done to her, and that there was nothing she could do about it, but the only way to move on was to put it behind her and star with a fresh clean slate.

She dragged him into her room, pink and frilly with shades of champagne and ivory, and heaves him up on the qun sized bed. Exhausted, sh sank down in an armchair across the room and stared at him, at a loss of what to do.

What now, genius, what next?

Watching him, lying there on her bed, memories of that fateful night flooded back to her. She could feel him again, hear the terrible grunint noises he made, aware of the smell of that old mattress beneath her. It was very dark in the junkyard, and cold.

Suddenly, she was terrified, she wanted him out of the house immediately. What if when he wok up he did I again? What if he though she actually wanted it? Alex choked down a sob. She probably would have dragged him off the bed and out of the house, contemplating on why he hadn't woken up yet, when a low groan came from the sleeping form. Alex held her breath as he stirred. And then, without further warning...

...he opened his eyes.

I'm sorry I took so long, and I'm sorry that this is so short. It's almost impossible to stay on top of things with school and all. I hope to update really soon, this small little chapter is to let you know that I'm still alive and not giving up. :)

As for iChoose, thank you for all the suggestions, but I'm totally out of ideas and would love for your help. :)


C: You make something up. :)

Thank you so much for all you wonderful reviewers! :)