"Why are you crying?" he asks, in the same way he buries a hand into her hair and bleeds poison. "Why? I painted the truth darker than the taste of blood, all for you."

Lucy shivers against the wall.

And he strikes.

"I see her … her … no, wait—you lied to me, that bitch; I …" He grabs onto the butterfly of a wrist and crushes it within his gaze, the pristine white of his attire spilling toxins into the folds of her blouse. "I wanted Quetzalcoatl's lightning, and you give me thunder!"

A breath.

"Will it be you who raises the knife, Lady Moonlight?"

He utters poetry while he fucks her.

"So beautiful … she is …" he rasps. "Like Madame Buttefl—no! I tore her wings—god, I didn't! She smothered me with her gaze, and I crumble—" Because Lucy gasps, scrabbling for purchase on sanity in the form of the austere windowsill, because he inhales her scent as if he could smear the blood from her welts into his skin, because the scar on his lip mocks her, as she twists her hands onto the surface. "At the opera, we were at the opera!"

Ecstatically, he accelerates his pace.

"The cavalry … I was … damn, mademoiselle." The fashion in which she sobs in silence. "Sh-she cries as I fuck her."

Lucy cries as he fucks her.

Continuing, "She loved me … a soldier. Did you, stiletto?"

She loves him as much as he presses the blade into her hands.

"The st-stage, it closes at two; no cigar f-f-for—" Muted groans, before he grinds his nails into her hips, since the day she thought he robs her of her concentration, since the day he crushes his lips against hers in the shower—since the day his prose ultimately leads to complacence birthed by the knife in her hands. "Lincoln … shot … I run, and I run, and, f-f-f-fuck!"

He cries as he comes.

With a crazed revelation in his smile.

"She descends, with Michelangelo's w-w-w-wings, the flaming sword in her hands!" Grip her palms, rust from dried blood, fake opulence when she presses danger against his neck, not so far from feeling his dead pulse under her fingertips. "Guarding Eden …"

(He tells her that he loves her—his little Madonna—more than guiding her hands to dig heaven into his jugular; and he can't discern whether the blood ran like his veins or water, but Lucy cries when he dreams, and he always loves to chase the remainders, like the style in which he touches the curves of her breasts.)

"Traguardo. The last measure, madame. The night calls."

His body crumples onto the floor.

"A-And I step into the sky … so f-f-far … away …"

Truth in blood.

" … past that little st-star …"