Often times in literature it's a symbol of power or strength, passion and lust that's kindled deep beneath our skin. As children, we're told not to touch it's flames in the fear of getting burned, and I hear Rita's voice warning Cody not to get too close to it, like she did on that one oddly too-chilly-for-Miami night. Yet the older we become, the more that fire, hatred, surfaces. We're not shielded from the enmity that is everyday life, and we watch the flames dance around us, engulfing those who might stand in our way, or in the way of those we love. They remind me of the flames I plan on seeing in Hell...if there really is one. And I can't figure that out yet. Harrison needs me, my sister. I forgive her for shooting me. I know the feeling of being under a stressful moment. When I open my eyes, the darkness slips away.

Mr. Morgan? I don't recognize the voice; instead I'm trying to focus on figuring out where I am. Then I realize that the voice is just a figment of my fucked up mind. The ground is cold and rocky, but I can feel the blood boiling beneath my skin. Wind; I can feel it. It goes, silently, like a card pyramid blown by a gentle breeze. At least I'm alive.

My vision is blurry, but not like the way I feel when my dark passenger's driving; to be honest, I feel delusional. The Miami sun strikes down on me. I'm outside of the church. My bullet wound has been, more or less, bandaged up. Deb, I think. She's no doctor, but she's always been able to figure things out. Where is she now? I never wanted to hurt her. Actually, I never wanted to hurt anyone, – unless those who deserved it, and even then I only sought to wound their flesh, not to shatter their hearts like I know I've shattered hers. She's the last person in the world I want to look at me in fear or contempt – and yet I know I haven't given anyone else scars as deep as the ones that I've carved into her soul. I've left little wounds and bruises on her body, mainly from all the times I lied to her. This is the biggest wound of all. I haven't made anyone else bleed like she will bleed for me – because she is the only person in this world who loves me, the only person who trusts me unconditionally…until now.

And so I feel fire when I see her come into my blurred vision. From hatred, desire, instinct, I'm not sure. She squats down and lays her hand over the bandage.

"Ow, Deb," I respond, knowing all too well that my sister has always been a bit of a brute.

"Pressure will stop the bleeding." Her tone is flat and makes the hair on my neck stand on end, but not from fear. It's not fear that tightens around my throat like a vice; it's not fear, the feeling that's slicing through my chest from the inside. I can't recognize the feeling; I can't tell why suddenly air has abandoned my lungs, why even breathing hurts so much. I just know that the dead look in her eyes is tearing me apart. She gently pulls off the gauze and wraps a new piece around it.

"I forgive you…" It's a stupid thing to say. Every word I say is true, but it doesn't matter. I've killed her all the same.

"Hmm," she gives that weird, crooked smile of hers, not meeting my eyes, "well, I don't."

Before I know it, she's pulling me up, and I'm once again overcome by an excruciating pain in my abdomen.

"Jeez, Deb, take it easy, will ya?"

"Fuck you, Dexter," she says, and there's a sudden spark in her eyes that allows me breathe again. "Get in the fucking trunk!"

What? Trunk? I notice that the back trunk on Deb's car has been cleared out.


"Now, Dexter!" she interrupts me. I do as I'm told. I could have put up a fight, could have made one last struggle for survival. But, I know that that would involve hurting her again, and I can't bring myself to do that.

She is lounging against the side of the car, her arms folded over her chest, her eyes fixed upon the dying sun in the horizon. She doesn't turn to look at me when I get up and walk closer. Her face still looks like a marble statue, but I think that I can distinguish a glimpse of feeling underneath the darkness in her gaze. She blurts out the most random question; "Did Dad know?" She's talking about Harry knowing about my darkness. I could lie to her. I could even go so far as to pretend I don't know anything she's talking about and avoid her future suffering, but I have been pretending for my entire life, and now it comes crashing down on me...on both of us.

"Yes, he did."

Her expression – or lack of thereof – doesn't change. I swallow, and I should say something else, try to explain – no words seem to be coming to my lips, though, and so I remain in silence. She seems to have forgotten the whole thing with the trunk.

"Did...did Rudy know as well?"

Brian, my brother. Deb doesn't need to know all the details; that I used to look up to him, that he tried to get me to kill her, but I saved her instead and killed him. I killed him...for her. She can't know...not yet. I closee my eyes, then open them again. No matter how much time comes to pass, Brian will always be a sore subject for me – for both of us.

"He did."

She nods, almost imperceptibly, and bites her lip. I stare at her, taking in her stony face, her green eyes. She doesn't look like my little sister anymore. And yet, the look on her face is not entirely unfamiliar. "Thanks for not letting me bleed to death..." I try, attempting to change the subject, though I know all too well that this "subject" isn't going anywhere.

"You lied to me," she whispers, crossing her arms against her chest, completely ignoring my previous words.

"But you knew." The moment the words escape my lips, I know they are true even though the thought has never crossed my mind before. She knew. I don't know for how long, I don't know to what extent, but a part of her has known what I am for a long time, a part of her must have accepted it to some level or she would have acted before this. She turns her head and looks directly into my eyes for the first time. There's pain in there, and something inside me clenches at the sight of it. But there's also resolution.

"Get in the car, Dexter. You're driving now."