Alison's breathing gets heavy as she makes her last call. Her body trembles with each dial tone, and doesn't stop until she hears Hannah's voice. "Hey, Ali. What's up?"

"Come over, would you?" she asks. "Jason has his loser friends over again, and they're creeping me out."

She hears Hannah's nervous sigh and feels a scream building inside her. "Look, I'm sorry, Ali," Hannah says. "I already made plans."

"Tell loser Mona you'll see her another time," Alison hissed. "I need you."

"I'm sorry," Hannah says. "I have to go. I'll call you later."

Shit, Alison thinks. Shit, shit, shit, shit. She quickly looks around her room, hoping to find a few things she can take with her to sneak out. Sneaking out only works when you have someplace to go. Maybe she'll figure that out later, if she can just find her…

The doorknob turns. Her heart stops. "Pretending to be asleep, are you?"

Alison can't tell if it's the crazy in her former friend's eyes, or that slow venom that always drips out when she speaks. She's afraid of Cece Drake, and she's never afraid of anyone. It's impossible to live in fear when you live as much of a lie as Alison does. She deliberately crafts a calculating, manipulative alpha bitch persona to hide what's underneath. There's nothing terribly unique about that, except that even when she tries, Alison can't exactly understand what it is she's hiding in there. Sometimes she suspects that Cece knows, has known all along, and is keeping it a secret to keep Ali in a vice grip. She can't prove it, and so for now it's in that grip she stays.

Alison backs up on the bed, trying to ease her way off of it, to someplace at least marginally less intimate. Even though it has been weeks since Cece Drake has come to visit Jason and consequently her, Alison still has not come up with a better plan to protect herself. Somehow, every time this happens, she thinks it will be the last. That Cece Drake will come to her senses and realize how fucked up this all is. "I wasn't hiding from you," Alison says, trying to channel her usual assertiveness, and somehow falling short. "I just didn't want the lights on."

The intruder flips her light-switch, crossing her arms at her chest. "Don't give me that bullshit. You know I can tell when you're lying."

She has a point. Alison knows things wouldn't be this bad if Cece lost half of her uncanny ability to see through people. With one phone-call (and she has an arsenal to choose from), Cece can and will ruin Alison's life if she ever stops playing the game. She knows it was Alison who threw the fireworks in Toby's shed, leaving Jenna blind. She knows about every fling, every forged absence note, every false identity and lie Alison has ever told. On top of it all, she knows about Emily. She knows a piece of Alison's heart that she has never willingly shared with anyone.

Tonight, Alison still hopes she can persuade the girl to leave her alone. "Get out," Alison says. "I'm going to tell someone what you do to me. I'm going to tell them you come into my house and rape me. Regularly. You may have ammo, Cece, but I have a little of my own."

The blonde merely laughs, looking almost insulted. "Don't patronize me," she says, moving closer to her prey until she is standing inches away from Alison's bed.

When the reality of the situation finally sinks in, Alison tries to back away from her enemy. Before she can move again, Cece's fingers dig into her wrist just like they did last time. Alison whimpers with pain, knowing her freshly-healed skin is going to bruise again. The ex-sorority girl is stronger than she looks, and Alison can feel her fingers throb from the decrease in blood flow.

Cece pushes a leg between Alison's thighs, hands on her shoulders. "Not happening. I've got you right where I want you and I'm not letting go."

"Jason will hear us."

Cece slowly backed Alison toward the bed, anticipating her every attempt to get around and away. "When has that ever stopped me before? That boy's so stoned, I doubt he knows his own name right now. I've never even met someone so easy to control."

"You're sick," she says, falling back onto her bed as Cece crawls over her, pressing her wrists against the bed.

"It's alright," Cece says, stealing a few quick kisses. "Just pretend I'm Emily."

Alison feels herself blush, more from humiliation than arousal. She wishes Cece wouldn't say her name, and that she had never told Cece she thought Emily was a lesbian. Somehow, Alison had thought she could say that without implicating herself in the equation, and sorely miscalculated. "I'm not in love with her, alright?" Alison snaps defensively. "I'm not a lesbo."

Cece laughs that evil, alpha-bitch laugh that Alison tries so hard to emulate and use against people who scare her. Of course, it never works against the person who scares her the most. "Sure, you're not," she says. She pushes a hand down Ali's skirt and works her fingers inside. "As long as I keep quiet, you're as straight as a ruler."

"You wouldn't," Ali says fearfully. "You have no proof."

Without stopping, Cece pulls her cell phone out of her pocket and flips it open to an image of Alison and Emily kissing in the library. "I'd call this some pretty solid proof, wouldn't you?"

"How did you get that? Did 'A' send it to you?"

Cece pushes harder, nails scraping Alison's walls as she tries not to scream. "Don't you get it by now? I created you," she says. "Just like your pretty little Emily is nothing without you, you are nothing without me. I own you. Understand? Answer me!"

Cece strikes Alison across the face. "Y…yes…"

"Good," Cece says. She stops her scraping and works more gently, pushing into that spot that makes Alison squirm with a dreaded, unwanted pleasure every time. "Say my name, slut."


"Like you mean it."

Pleasure, pressure, pain, panic build up in Alison until she can hardly take it anymore. "Cece!"

Alison feels her climax approaching, and Cece withdraws her fingers, striking Alison again. "Selfish bitch. Apologize to me. I come in here to make you feel good, and you refuse and insult me. I don't give orgasms to girls with bad manners."

"This isn't funny, Cece," Alison says, her expression pained with hurt and betrayal.

"Oh, it never is," Cece says. "Do you think I'm joking?"

"No…" Alison says.

"Then what are you waiting for?"

"I'm…I'm sorry."

"That's it," Cece says. "Good. Now prove it."

Alison rises slowly, kneeling in front of the bed and lifting Cece's skirt. She never wears undergarments to these encounters, and Alison is ready for it. She starts to lick the way she knows how to, and Cece grips her hair, pushing her down. "Yes…"

The taste is almost too much for Alison. There's sex – plain, acceptable, controllable, understandable, and then there's sex – terrible, violent, violating, disgusting, exhilarating, orgiastic…the way it is with Cece. Alison wishes she was dead right now, or maybe that she had the strength to tell Emily how she felt about her. Maybe Emily would know what to do. How to keep her safe. Maybe Spencer's mom could find someone to represent her in court and get a restraining order. Maybe Hannah would ditch loser Mona for her if she knew how serious things were. Maybe Aria would at least be there to listen. Maybe she should trust them more. Trust anyone who can help, or at least be better to her than this.

No. She can't put the girls through that. Emily is better off with Ben, in the closet, and Alison is better off playing the alpha-bitch to keep her at arm's length. She thinks about Emily, about the kiss, and how much she wishes things could change. That Cece Drake would vanish or die and nothing would ever have to be this complicated again. It isn't enough, and she knows it. No amount of fantasy will change the fact that she is kneeling on the floor, licking the monster who owns her life. Even when it is over, it wasn't over. She found herself thrust back onto the bed, Cece's finger's digging deep inside her, clawing, scratching at her walls until she is raw. Numb. Bleeding as usual. It is only moments before Cece is gone and the throbbing pain is the only reminder she was ever there.

She wonders if Emily would idealize her if she knew how vulnerable, how weak Alison really was. How much pain she was in, and how desperately she hid it. She wonders if she'll ever escape or find it in her to tell someone what Cece is doing to her, or if Cece's entanglements and seeming connection with the "A" person who stalks her in text will haunt her forever. She lies in bed a while longer, pondering these questions, and comes to the same conclusion as always. There is nothing she can do but wait, and hope that she comes up with answers to these questions before 'A' and Cece manage to break her, to push and hurt and rip and tear and lie and slander until there's nothing left but the alpha bitch shell she has created to protect herself from them. She can only hope.