Author's Note: If you review, please remember that I don't care if you don't think they had sex. I don't care if you think Sebastian only fingered her. I really, really, really don't care. Thanks.

"Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all." - Edmund Burke

He never kisses her.

His lips find the nape of her neck, or the curve of her shoulder, but never her mouth, dyed red with smeared lipstick. Beast doesn't mind, because the words he brands her with are far more toxic than any kiss; they sizzle against her skin. They burn.

He lies but he doesn't. He makes love to her, but he doesn't.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.

Beast thinks his name very fitting: Black. It's the color of his hair, the night outside her tent. The color of lies. The color of sin. He embodies all of these things, this stranger in her bed, who never kisses her on the mouth.

His smile is a sickle-toothed grin. He kisses her neck. She moans his name.

(Though that, too, is a lie).

Black's hands are like steel crossed with wire. His fingertips dig into the flesh of her thighs, ebony fingernails drawing the faintest red lines there. Beast grips his shoulders and bites her lips, spider-leg shivers crawling down her spine. His breath is warm on her stomach, slightly pointed teeth leering against her flesh.

She can't look at him, so she closes her eyes.

Like a sinner kneeling before the cross, she confesses every one of her misgivings to him, this man who never kisses her on the mouth. He forgives her with bites rather than prayers, sweet words without meaning.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.

He makes love to her like she's the last woman he'll ever have. She quivers and sighs. She doesn't know whose name she calls when she comes. He lays atop her for a moment to catch his breath. Beast runs her fingers through his hair.

He kisses her neck, and leaves with the dawn.

It's the last she'll ever see.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.