It was a sophisticated affair. The Father and the daughter's friend. Like Lolita, with the burning passion of secrets that can never be told. A dramatic history ended with a murder, red blood still tainting the killer's hands. A theory on Alison's murder.

Hey guys! I thought I'd write a piece on my theory of Alison's death, I know quite a few others have the same theory as me but I'd love to know if you agree/disagree with this!

Some songs that inspired this:

Haley Reinhart - Spider web

Lana Del Rey - Lolita


Lolita, when she chose, could be a most exasperating brat. I was not really quite prepared for her fits of disorganized boredom, intense and vehement griping, her sprawling, droopy, dopey-eyed style, and what is called goofing off — a kind of diffused clowning which she thought was tough in a boyish hoodlum way.

She enjoyed the thrill. The most exciting part of the affair was undoubtedly the stalking and teasing, the flirtatious winks and side glances alongside unsuspecting others. Afterwards when she had him caught in her trap of lies and snared in her web of deceit she grew... bored. Certainly the thrill of blackmail, the adrenaline of sneaking around had not diminished, it was the lacklustre attempts of the man to satisfy her that made her crave something more.

So trashing her lover's office with her best friend on the pretence of it being about a different lover of her lover Byron Montgomery was therapeutic for Alison DiLaurentis.

The ripped papers, the shattered glass of family photos, the warnings wrote with lipstick and underlined to make clear. Ripped stuffing of pillows trailing on the floor where mashed in glass still remained. The springs in that infamous couch busted.

The childish act was definitely worth it to see his reaction that night when he storms into the restaurant and locks eyes with her.


She arches an eyebrow and examines the menu in front of her.


"What's wrong Byron?" A smirk plays on Alison's glossy lips as Byron sits down at the chair opposite with a sigh, running a hand through his hair.

In the amber light of dripping candles he looks quite nice; almost handsome. There was something so... sophisticated about dating an older man. An older married man who happened to be her friend's father at that.

"I know what you did to my office." He pins those steely green eyes on hers and she merely rolls her shoulders backward unconcerned.

"Meredith hath no fury." Alison's lips twitch and she motions to her wine glass.

"Red, please."

"Alison you can't have red wine you're only 14."

And the doting Father side invariably comes out in public. In private it is another matter; where Byron can easily ransack the wine rack without suspicion with minimal persuading as long as Alison doesn't get so drunk she skips school the next day. He cares about things like that, being a Father and all. Alison pouts, sooty eyelashes fluttering.

"Byron..." Her small hand twines into his rough one. "One glass?"

He relents with a rifle through his wallet, a crease in the middle of his forehead. Alison wants to smooth out the wrinkles and make them disappear like they normally do in her company. Tonight he seems distracted, absent and it doesn't sit well.

"Liven up Byron, I had to do something for your attention." Alison sighs.

She didn't have to be here; she could had easily made plans with Ian or even Noel if drastic measures were needed.

"You have my attention." Byron says, voice clipped. "You already did, you always do. I was thinking about Aria-"

"Do you think about her a lot?" Alison proposes with a coy lilt in her voice, a glint in her sapphire eyes as she props her chin up and leans forward.

Clearly if he was so concerned about his daughter he wouldn't be here... yet here he is.

Byron frowns again, the grooves deeper then before and a curl of annoyance slithers through Alison.

"She's already found out about Meredith and her reaction was..." He looks longingly at his empty wine glass glistening.

It calls for him to fill it and he raises a hand to beckon a waiter.

"Can I have a bottle of red wine please?" Byron murmurs to the waiter who nods and goes off to find some vintage wine.

Alison's eyes flick down to the menu before settling on him again.

"Listen Alison. Aria cannot find out-"

"I don't have alzheimers Byron you tell me this every time we meet." Alison snaps, her irritation finally bubbling over. "Now can we please stop talking about Aria?"

"Sorry. You're right." He smiles. "She'll never find out if we're careful, and we're always careful."

Alison smiles, dark wig trembling slightly as she leans back in her chair. Ringlets wild she tries to tame the synthetic hair to no avail. Byron watches her for a heartbeat before gently sliding his fingers into the knot and untangling it gently. Alison smiles, arching her back slightly at his touch. Teasing; revelling in the fact that he wants her so but can't have her. Not here in this restaurant with the conversations and crowds around them. Waiters dash around with dishes but don't disturb the romantic vibe pulsating from the crimson flowers that twine around tables, the candle dripping wax in between the occupants.

In this secluded restaurant a few miles from Rosewood there is no reason they will be seen, and every reason Alison needs to use her alias.

"I think I'll have the cabonara." Alison tells him, placing the menu back on the tabletop.

"Excellent choice." Byron praises and Alison rolls her eyes dramatically.

One thing Alison hates is his... over-enthusiasm. Like a lost puppy looking for scraps. Anyone with an IQ point can pick a nice meal, and Alison hates being patronised even if unintentional.

The waiter returns with the wine and pours a generous amount into Byron's glass. Alison gives him a meaningful look before sticking her glass out. Her expression is unarguable and the waiter obediently pours her glass half-full, setting the bottle next to Byron. She thanks the fact that with darkened hair her age blossoms to look legal.

"Can I take your orders?"

"The beef lasagne and cabonara please."

The waiter jots it down and drifts off to the kitchens, and Alison immedietly leans forward to top her glass.

"A toast." Byron declares with a flourish, glass in the air.

"To what?" Alison smiles amused, inclining her glass to his and watching the red liquid slosh.

Byron takes a gulp and sighs satisfied. "To a successful future?" He winks and Alison smiles smugly, happy at the attention he pours on her most of the time.

She sips at the ruby wine, the fruity taste clinging to her lips.

Byron cannot help but smile slightly at the girl in front of him. So different, so mature. So compelling with her malicious threats and adult behaviour, her sweet compliments and different rules and renowned Queen status throughout Rosewood.

"So where are you?" Alison asks curiously, always humoured to know the plethora of lies Byron spews to cover their illicit dates.

"A business meeting." Byron responds in monotone, mind flitting for a moment back to Ella and Aria and Mike at home, innocent of the deception Byron is committing.

He is safe. They are safe, in their knowledge of nothing.

"What sort of business?" Alison hitches an eyebrow, foot toying with his under the drapes of the tablecloth.

Byron shifts uncomfortably, eyes flitting cautiously to the nearby diners before letting her continue.

He clears his throat. "A new pay rise."

"Oh?" Alison cocks her head. "What sort of... pay?"

Her foot wriggles her way into the sensitive curve of his knee and he shifts, sending her a look equal parts stern and longing.

"Not here." He mutters sharply and Alison shoots him a dark look.

"Then why did I come Byron?"

"For the food. A proper outing-"

"Instead of the sleazy fumblings in the back of your car and grotty motels?" Alison's voice like a whip stings Byron and a sizzle of dissapointment bubbles up in his chest leaving a permanent mark of self-misery.

"I've never took Meredith out."

The statement seems to mollify Alison and she smiles widely, teeth gleaming. Her dark satin eyelashes sweep her golden bronzed cheeks as she looks up at him slyly.

"That's because fish-lips can't get anything past that huge mouth of hers." Her eyes take a slightly manic gleam. "Did she-"

She's interrupted by the arrival of the waiter

"Cabonara?" The waiter asks, setting Alison's dish down with a careful hand at her nod. He deposits Byron's lasagne and readjusts the cloth draped over his outstretched arm.

"Can I get you any condiments?"

Alison squints slightly.

"Any sauces Vivian?" Byron rephrases.


"And you sir?"

Byron waves him off with a strained smile."I'm fine thanks."

Alison trains her eyes on the departing waiter's back.

"Why did you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Get tomato sauce?"

"Because I wanted some." Alison rolls her eyes. "Byron what is wrong with you tonight? If you're this moody I might go looking for someone else."

"You don't need to be drastic." Byron hates the plead that automatically creeps into his voice, altogether aware that he like many before has fallen into her web.

Age difference doesn't matter, although maybe it does because Alison always values maturity. Ones who know how to make a living, not focused on petty trivial things like homework and the latest scandal. People who can shower her with gifts and treat her even more like a Princess for fear of losing her to someone her own age.

"Maybe I do Byron." Alison shrugs, shoulders pinched before taking the bottle from the reappeared waiter.

Alison applies a generous dollop of sauce on the side of her plate and picks up her cutlery, twining a piece of pasta around her fork.

"You look beautiful."

"Do I?" She asks and Byron nods, leaning forward to gently dab sauce off the corner of her lip.

There didn't have to be anything sensual in the act, a common father daughter reaction it is. But they are anything but father daughter, and their eyes meet as he wipes her lipstick lips, burning with a thousand emotions. It's like the world is muted temporarily, allowing the two to glimpse what could happen in a few years when the age gap wasn't quite so... illegal.

Then the chatter of other diners rush into focus and Byron jerks backwards. Alison blinks dizzily, staring at the perfect curve of his lips and wanting to kiss them, feel his practised and perfect arms wrap around her body and make her feel secure and safe. Guarded from others, guarded from A.

They finish their meal with pauses only relieved by the slurp of pasta or clatter of cutlery against plate, or a smile, a wink shot in the others direction.

When the food is eaten and the sauce lays dripping at the bottom of her bowl, Byron reclines slightly and watches Alison's chest rise and fall slowly, her hand hanging off one iron chair arm as she narrows her eyes people-watching.

Byron can't understand why nobody else is looking at Alison, so dainty and dangerous she is tonight. She doesn't understand how long he had to try and hide his attraction to his daughter's friend. She merely swanned in and sent him lingering looks, a whispered joke only the two to share. A special laugh and light in her eyes.

The first time it happened, when the family were out and Byron had a headache pounding between his eyes as he stared at the papers before him. The headache erased as soon as the rhymetic knock on the door tapped, her feet flip-flopping towards him. Her teases about work on a hot day, how thirsty she was and wasn't she thirsty too? Byron, not aware of the all too real flirtation beneath the innocent façade of a fifteen year old.

He's not entirely to blame of course. He may have a habit, a penchant for younger girls dewy eyed and long limbed, but she is the initiator and is the one to be punished if right should have it. Giggling, forcing him to show his arm muscles. Flaunting her none-existent ones as she moved in, tipping into his lap and looking up with cheeks flushed. Sticky lips pouted, gloss slathered on and making Byron cringe while simultaneously spasming with delight. He breaking away from her sharply and her eyes darting from dazed to focused in a heartbeat. Her declaring he was a good kisser with an almost goofy grin on her face, and she liked older men who knew what they were doing.

With her he was lost. Set adrift in a sea of teenage hormones and unsure how to haul back to shore without drowning. Useless, eventually taken under completely and consumed. Drowning in those sparkling eyes and silky curls. The devilish manner and humorous regalings of harsh harassments made across school cafeteria's. She was unique, a gem in a collection of stones. Special, and he had to have her.

She had to have him. She leans back in her chair and her eyes invariably flicker back to his after only a few seconds. She think she's in love with his comforting smile, his hair peppered with stray greys she gently plucks out. It's not just the knowledge he gently lectures her with when she's bored, or trying to kiss to insistently that captivates her. It's how big his frame is, how protected she feels in his embrace. How if she closes her eyes very carefully she can imagine being impenetrable She has a ridiculous fascination with his trivia facts, his concern over her petty fights. She likes that under the strict collar and tie uniform is an easy-going laid back man. Funny. Treats her like no other and is no stranger to affairs she also has dealings with.

She thinks as she sloshes the remnants of ruby wine around the bottom of her glass that the thing she likes most about Byron is that he absolutely positivity nothing like her brother Jason. The other boys in her life are undeniable screw-ups and monsters, but Alison knows that unlike her Father Byron cares for his children. Still protecting them, even sweet Aria with that dark levelled gaze that probes you, scouring for clues to suspicions she may or may not harbour.

When the last of the wine trickles down Alison's throat leaving her mind slightly dizzy, Byron waves the waiter over and starts to fumble with his notes. Uncreasing the dollars stuffed in a spare wallet.

Alison sighs and hands a card over with a slim manicured hand. The waiter blinks and squints at her. Alison meets their gaze coolly, no fear of being discovered. Her attire and make-up only emphasises her assets and makes her older. Her self-confidence where others would falter also isn't a problem, and the waiter goes to take the card.

In the brief moment before he takes it from her grasp, Byron lays his mismatch of crisp and crumpled notes on the table.

"We'll pay with cash." Byron informs and the waiter nods, taking the cash and sauntering off with a simper.

Alison laughs as she stands up, her chair sliding back as she smoothes the wrinkles in her dress.

"Isn't your motto 'always be prepared?"

"I was in the boy scouts a long time ago Alison."

"Did you learn some interesting knots?" She smirks and Byron shakes his head with a chuckle, wrapping his arm around her and leading her through the brightly lit exit.

Now I wish to introduce the following idea. Between the age limits of nine and fourteen there occur maidens who, to certain bewitched travelers, twice or many times older than they, reveal their true nature which is not human, but nymphic (that is, demoniac); and these chosen creatures I propose to designate as 'nymphets.

They walk to the car, Alison bobbing along him confidently despite being two heads shorter. Her heels scrape the tarmac as he leads her to the car with the crook of his elbow.

The balmy night has no hint of a breeze and Alison takes off her sweaty wig, tossing it into the backseat with a derisive look and sliding into the passenger seat as Byron opens the door.

"Where are we going now?" Alison asks, unable to hide the excitement in her voice as Byron exits the parking lot the opposite direction to home, and Ella and Aria and Mike and Jason.

Byron merely looks at her sideways and smiles. That one smile, the only one that makes Alison's insides squirm with pleasure.

"We better not be going to a grotty motel again." Alison snipes, laying back and playing with the electric car window. Up and down, breeze rustling her hair and whipping her curls back. She remembers the last time they tried to escape. A rush, a panic, a scrawl of Vivian Darkbloom in the guestbook of Lost Woods resort.

"Well I can't afford everything."

"Fake ID Byron." Alison informs him, lounging casually in her seat with one hand trailing out of the window in the breeze. Byron thinks she's beautiful with her suntanned skin and bright smile, her blonde locks flying backward in the wind. She turns to beam at him radiantly.

"Are we nearly there?"

"Soon. Be patient."

She sighs, shuffling over to him.

"Alison I'm trying to drive-"

"Kiss me."

He turns around aiming to gently tell her that there will be time, much more time later, but Alison captures his lips before he can speak. He melts into it and the bad feelings dragging him down all night dissapitate.

Alison is the first to break away with a sly laugh.

"You're not up to standard."

"Yet." Byron says. "Just wait until we get there." He smiles confidently. "You're going to love it."

"Good." She smiles again, and Byron thinks she has the most beautiful smile.

They arrive a while later at a hotel. Clearly high-end by the absence of most cars in the parking lot, the peek of reception through the huge windows. She can't stop the thrill of excitement that whispers in her veins and echoes in her heart as her pace quickens. Their own place, a special place for no one to interrupt. They are safe here, at peace. Undivided attention for more than a mere hour or two.

Tonight he has pulled out all the stops, and the child in Alison cannot help but squeal at the implications, that perhaps this is a promise of things to come. When she has reached age in a few years they can truly be a couple without the danger of dirty looks and one too many sneers directed to the Queen inevitably toppled from grace if found out of her maneuvers. Of course she would claw her way back to the top in all manner of matters but that is for another harder time.

She cricks her neck looking up so fast to see the hotel laid before them. Small but who cares about the size of the place when you are with the person you enjoy the most? Someone who you may not love completely, but who you enjoy their company with and miss the flirtation when it's gone. A person you find yourself daydreaming of their smile, affixed in your head for nights after he kisses you and grins, dropping you off at your back door in the early hours of the morning...

No, perhaps this is not love, but it is something close the two share and they both like it. Both needing something selfishly to distract from pressing problems. A drug addled brother, a strained family life take the backseat when they are conjoined, and the world seems for a small while to be a better place.

"We can stay here the whole night?" She asks as she stares around the room and he nods.

Byron may have enquired about the prices but here is where Alison's alisas comes into play, and the room registered under Vivian Darkbloom is beautiful. Cream carpet and furry rug and a four poster bed with mahogany posts. A huge dresser and wardrobe, an ensuite bathroom to the left.

Alison immedietly dances to the bed and flops on it with a smile, staring up at the canopy ahead dreamily. Byron messes with the items on the side and Alison sits up.

"Can we order room service?" She asks.

"I suppose I might treat you." He smiles fondly and she curls out luxuriously on the bed, inviting him to sit down with her.

"Strawberries." She murmurs, voice obscure from behind her mask of angelic curls as she leans her head on his shoulder from behind. "With chocolate."

"Got it." He murmurs, tapping a number into the phone. Alison presses cool lips against his neck and delights in the shudders that runs through his body.

"Now why don't you go and get a bath while I wait for the room service?" Byron tangles his hand through her hair and pulls her closer, knitting their hands together. "You can use whichever products you want."

"I would anyway without your permission." Alison retorts with a smirk and Byron throws a pillow at her she easily dodges.

Alison lathers herself with bubble bath and oils, bath scents and spa treatments. Fancy face cream and sweet smelling moisturizer. She uses them all and washes her hair with shampoo the scent of ripe oranges. She takes her time, humming to herself happily with undisguised delight at the mere thought of what boring lives people back home are leading while she is here having fun. Being treated like an adult she surely is after Jason has done the things he has to her.

Byron gazes at his turned off phone battling conflicting emotions, eventually resolving to turn on the mobile and send a quick message of safety. Best not to make Ella worry. Worrying meant suspicion and despite Byron's infatuation with Alison he still cared for Ella's emotions somewhat. The room service comes and Byron takes it preoccupied, fingers dancing a hairsbreadth away from the call button.

Predictably Alison saunters in at the moment he's wrestling with conscience and plucks the phone from his hands. As if sensing a mistress, Ella's name flashes up on the screen and Alison tauntingly goes to press it.

"Shall I Byron? I don't like her spoiling our fun."

"It'll look suspicious if I don't answer." Byron warns. "Give it to me Alison, and then we can have the strawberries and champagne."

"Champagne? I'm truly honoured." With an acerbic snipe Alison thrusts the phone back into Byron's hand and stalks to the bed, swishing the thick white dressing gown sash irritably before clambering onto the satin sheets and staring greedy-eyed down at the juicy red fruits before her.

She plucks one with her fingers and sucks the chocolate off, all too aware of Byron's eyes on her as he spiels Ella a lie, a very convincing lie and hangs up.

"Did you enjoy that?" She asks smoothly, voice like a drug dripping addiction into Byron's veins. Infused with want he climbs onto the bed opposite her.

"I liked it." She continues and feeds him a strawberry. "Very convincing."

"Well somebody convinced me to try harder."

"I'm glad they did." The corner of her lips quirk upwards and Byron plants a chaste kis on it. It's always pure at first, when neither is certain the other is going to make a move.

Alison twitches her head to the right and pouts and Byron complies with a smile.

"You have witchcraft in your lips." He murmurs against her peached skin, the scratch of shaved stubble leaving a burning sensation alike to a flame.

She is burning from his touch, and together they intend to burn out in glory, left behind in a swirl of smoke thick enough to obscure them in this tiny hotel.

"Shakespeare." Alison whispers amused at the implications the playwright brings.

A recurrence of tragic lovers, of witches that enchant poor lovers and cast them off discarded and with a tangle of confusion. Perhaps in time Alison will do that, but for now she is happy with just the innocent romantics.

"And you know how? Aria's not literal like you."

"I like to read lots of classics. I like reading you."

"Oh really?" Byron tilts her golden chin up slightly and Alison nods, eyes narrowed like cats. A feline with a sensual purr as her reddened lips stretch into a smirk.

"Yes because you're a classic." She lets out a laugh, curls shaking over her shoulders, flopping around Byron's arms and pinning him down with as much force as paper chains.

"And by that you mean what?"

"You're a little bit dusty in places, but excellent condition. Entertaining. Old." Her eyebrow arches up mockingly and Byron shakes his head with laughter before kissing her.

She trembled and twitched as I kissed the corner of her parted lips and the hot lobe of her ear. A cluster of stars palely glowed above us, between the silhouettes of long thin leaves; that vibrant sky seemed as naked as she was under her light frock. I saw her face in the sky, strangely distinct as if it emitted a faint radiance of its own. Her legs, her lovely live legs, were not too close together, and when my hand located what it sought, a dreamy and eerie expression, half pleasure, half-pain, came over those childish features.

Their hipbones clash together and Alison moans in the back of her throat.

He's so experienced, and Alison likes that. For all her being in charge, it's nice once to let someone older do the steering and her just follow along blindly. Not all the time mind you, and she clasps her legs around his waist in retaliation making his eyes half-closed in lust fly open. She smiles impishly, hands gliding over his chest.

Alison laughs, straddling him as her glossy lips dance a milimetre away from his jaw line.

"Alison." He plants kisses on her collarbone. "We're like Lolita you and I..."

"My favourite book now." She arches her back as he kisses her throat. "I pass it on to people hoping maybe one will be smart enough to suspect. They never do."

She lets out a squeal as he rolls her beneath him and her head hits the pillow, breath expelling from her lungs in an exhilarated gasp. Running on pure adrenaline and savouring every nerve ending that tingles from his touch.

She smiles seductively as her dress slides down.

When I try to analyze my own cravings, motives, actions and so forth, I surrender to a sort of retrospective imagination which feeds the analytic faculty with boundless alternatives and which causes each visualized route to fork and re-fork without end in the maddeningly complex prospect of my past.

The car engine cuts off and the pair sit in silence. Weak morning light pools in through the windows making Alison's hair peach and her skin blossom.

"You did good Byron." She drawls, watching Byron watching the empty street before them.

His eyes crinkle with happiness, and Alison prepares to leave, gripping her simple shoulder bag with one hand.

"When will I see you again?" He asks, hand almost sizzling from the electricity between the two as he places it firmly on her arm.

A crease emerges on her forehead as she thinks of all the plans laid out soon to be set in motion.

"A few weeks." She replies with a note of uncertainty that soon vanishes. "I have a lot of plans."

"Like what?"

"If I told you that," Alison reaches over and kisses him briefly. "I'd have to kill you."

And with a quirk of her lips she's gone, the slammed car door ringing in Byron's ears.

All at once we were madly, clumsily, shamelessly, agonizingly in love with each other; hopelessly, I should add, because that frenzy of mutual possession might have been assuaged only by our actually imbibing and assimilating every particle of each other's soul and flesh.

She leaves the sleepover a mere hour or so after she lately arrives. An argument with Spencer is just the catalyst of the whole drama, and Alison resolves that tomorrow she'll find a few other losers to play with. Maybe Triple Nipple.

She strides back through the woods, wrapping up warm in Toby's sweater. The Jenna thing certainly made him more compelling to gain favour with her, and she smirks as she picks her way through roots.

Despite her annoyance at Ian abandoning her at the Kissing rock, Alison hums happily under the moonlight. A smug smile adorns her beautiful face at the thought of what's now awaiting her after all the luxurious foolery.

The crown jewels, and she giggles to herself. Despite her worry over A, and her fight with Spencer, she can forget it all in the presence of him.

The thought urges her legs to stride faster, whipping out her mobile to call him. Two miles is too long to walk and he'd brought her here, he'd take her back.

He answers after the first ring and says he'll be there in five. He doesn't ask what she's been doing, and Alison likes that. After all he has Ella, it's only fair she can have another to taunt.

She spies a twig, and a heart soon appears on the dusty forest floor with initials only two know. When the task is done she perches on a fallen branch, spindly legs swinging back and forth.

Her mind roves over the discovery of A and the implications after this day. She hates the squirming fear deep in her gut. The brief sense of security with Byron earlier has now vanished again. She needs him to protect her.

This is how Alison appears to Byron, a tree sprite in the height of allure. Keen gaze and puffed lips, smoky eyes and lean body. When she slips off the branch to him, he smiles teasingly.

"Did you have a good time in the woods?"

"I missed you." She lurches forward and wraps her arms around him, Toby's cardigan tangled in between their limbs as they kiss passionately.

And while they're kissing, Alison destroys the evidence of her infatuation with two measured drags of her shoe.

No man can bring about the perfect murder; chance, however, can do it.

"They can't hurt you Alison. Whoever this person is has no idea what they're up against." Byron comforts her, and Alison smiles vaguely in the crook of his arm.

"Hey. You're Alison DiLaurentis." Byron tilts her chin up and she stares into his eyes. "And you're the scariest person I know."

She lets out a small laugh, not wanting her pleasure to be tainted by dark thoughts. "You don't get out much do you? What about fish-lips?"

"Forget about her." Byron says dismissively and Alison's lips curl with satisfaction.

They sit in silence for a few more minutes, cocooned together in warmth. Glued together for safety, knitted together in need.

"I should leave. Ella will be getting up soon." Byron says with regret and Alison nods, staring at her brother's bedroom window before opening the door and stepping out onto the pavement.

"Alison?" Byron murmurs softly and she leans into him through the car window. Her blonde curls tickle the stubble on his chin as he strokes her cheek.

"I love you."

And there's a strange gloating in Alison's chest, heart, like she was waiting for this moment. She doesn't love Byron, of course she doesn't, but when she kisses him goodbye with her tongue doubt flickers in her mind for the first time.

"I'll call you." She withdraws slowly, playing with the top button of his shirt slyly.

"I'll be waiting." Byron winks and Alison watches him drive off with a foreign feeling in her veins.

Wrapping Toby's cardigan around her arms, Alison crosses her back garden stealthily. Black tendrils of ivy twine around her hands as she bats them away from her face. Fog swirls around her ankles obscuring her view and she thinks she sees a figure nearby. She thinks she's getting paranoid and dismisses it. She has enough on her plate without worrying about raccoons or rabbits.

She tries to keep her escapades secret. Not secret enough, for her sneaking attracts unwanted attention.

"I saw you kissing him." A cold voice calls out from behind Alison who turns around.

"Why aren't you asleep Aria?" Alison says coolly, eyes as hard as flint. She does not want to pretend she likes Aria anymore. She no longer needs to with the absence of oblivious others. She wonders why Aria is here, wonders what the outcome of this conversation will be.

Aria ignores her question, driving in the betrayal as her heart shatters, the wound splitting open spilling venom.

"I saw you kissing him." She repeats, and she thought her Father was over this cheating after Meredith. But no, not just Meredith, Alison as well.

"Saw me kissing who Aria?" Alison says impatiently, although she knows who from the fury in Aria's dark eyes.

Alison thinks the emotions jolting through her right now are panic and fear and they shouldn't be associated with quiet Aria. Aria who is kind and funny but at the flip of a switch angry and manic.

Chilling now, with the wind blowing her hair as she stands staring at Alison ten feet away. A shovel is around five steps to her left.

"My Dad." She spits the words with difficulty, disgust tainting the words.

"Oh grow up Aria you know your Father likes to sleep around. Your Mommy still keeps the bed nice and warm for him."

And before she can even get a grip on the situation she is acting out viciously wanting to wipe that blood boiling smirk off her frenemies face. Aria swings the shovel and with an earth-shattering clang it slams into Alison's forehead. She crumples like a marionette with the strings cut, chest rising feebly and lips shaking for breath as her eyelids rotate wildly and a rapid blood clot starts to appear on her skull, staining that blonde hair crimson. Aria grips her slack wrists and yanks, and a small moan of protest falls from Alison lips.

Scarlet blood spreads rapidly across Toby's sweater, and Alison's fingers twitch desperately to cling to life, to the beat of her heart. Aria's lips twist with disgust and she rolls the girl across the silent backyard. As still as a grave, and a splutter of laughter falls from Aria's lips. Alison gurgles and chokes on blood rattling in her windpipe, and Aria stares into those eyes. Once so formidable, now pleading for salvation.


She kicks Alison into the muddy ditch and listens to the crack of her bones, the final gasp of oxygen and the dull thud. She squints to see the dark shape at the bottom of the pit and then runs.

I am sufficiently proud of my knowing something to be modest about my not knowing all.

Aria rubs her face and tries desperately not to get blood particles in her eyes for surely some still remains despite her frantic washing. She stares down at her milky pale hands. She had killed someone, and the evidence was gone, and the feeling that squirmed inside her was foreign but almost welcoming. A respite from the ugly anger that reared in the discovery of her Father's illicit activities.

Aria is the perfect actress, eyes wide with shock and horror at the news the next morning that Alison is still missing.

The half-lie falls from her lips easily, slick like poison disguising the real truth of the situation. "She can't have gone far. We'll find her."

The shock of her death froze something in me. The child I loved was gone, but I kept looking for her . The poison was in the wound, you see. And the wound wouldn't heal.

They didn't find her that morning or a number of days after, although Aria knew her final resting place very well. Of course when Byron questioned her about the whole affair Aria hadn't been able to resist gloating.

Byron, lips tight with grief for his daughter turned wild with the discretion he had committed demanded they move away, far away and quickly. Despite her bringing the death of his tiny sprite with sparkling eyes and manipulative, charming ways he still couldn't let his daughter go to Jail.

(That's what he convinced himself of anyway, but he was scared of her also.)

Don't cry, I'm sorry to have deceived you so much, but that's how life is.

Aria thinks she might be sick, thinks her vivid dreams are actually lucid reality. Or perhaps her world is crashing down, she is in Hell for the things she did.

"Alison?" Aria's breath catches in her throat, her worst nightmare came true in front of her.

"Yes." The image of her friend smiles eerily and a jolt of terror shoots down Aria's spine. "I hear you're the one who killed my twin Courtney."

Aria feels like she's going to faint, a ringing in her ears and her vision obscured, and her knees buckle as Alison - the real Alison looks on with satisfaction.

I am thinking of aurochs and angels, the secret of durable pigments, prophetic sonnets, the refuge of art. And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.