"I am not insane," I muttered, my body shivering from the cold and tenseness. No one else dwelled in the room with my, no one else could hear the sweet chuckle in my voice. Darkness kept me enveloped; hid my face. Darkness shielded the others that came to check up on me; shielded their innocence. My grin brought pain and fear to their faces, I could always tell by looking in their eyes. My grin…which I could no longer use without that glint of malice was what they said.

"I am not insane…"

They fear me, the ones who keep me here. The called themselves friends; treated me well. Was it horror that kept them from executing me? Was it fascination that made them want to be close to me? My chuckling grew louder, exposing sharpened teeth.

The door opened, silencing my room. It was necessary to run from the light, to run to the sweet shadows. Darkness kept me safe; kept me from harming those I call "friend."

She was young, her scent familiar. Lovely golden locks haloed her faces, teetering on the edge of adulthood. Her body was the same, with what showed through the fabric of her clothing. Those blue eyes, wet with previous crying, reflected the very purity of her soul. How could I not grin at this?

As always, she cringed at my facial expression. "…it's good to see you again." Hushed was her voice, riddled with pain and sadness. It made me grin all the more.

"The same to you." In contrast, my voice was raspy, deep, scarred. I let the light dance along my face, eyeing her.

"…we all miss you. Wished you could come home…" Her pain, her loneliness, and her depression flowed freely with her words. Her pain was my joy, which echoed back at her with another cruel chuckle.

"Then why keep me here?" I slinked forwards, testing her fear. Though it loomed around her heavily, she did not move from her spot. "I'm more than willing to come."

She now sat down, her face never changing. I liked that about her. My visitor was a strong will, though her personality ebbed thickly with emotion. "Because you aren't ready yet. I don't want to see you get hurt-"

"Correction, you don't want to see me harm others."

Silence. My statement had hit hard in her heart, muting her tender voice. I spoke again, easing closer with a stalking crawl.

"I promise to be a good boy this time…I'll play nice with others." I reached out to stroke her cheek, but my rough hand was halted.

"You broke your last promise to me." Her dainty hand gripped tightly around my wrist, lowering it slowly. "…you've broken all of your promises to me, ever since you've become like this."

This almost made me growl, but instead my grin intensified to the point where I was sure that she could see herself in my teeth. "So harsh to judge me, aren't we?"

"I just know you too well."

I chuckled loudly, stalking ever closer. "Are you sure about that?"

"…" She turned her lovely face away from mine, looking on the verge of tears. "I wish I wasn't."

Were she anyone else, I would have become angry. But for her, I merely smiled for her pain. "Is there a reason for your visit, or did you miss my voice?"

Her look became a cold glare. She knew just as well as I did that she received nothing emotionally from her visits, and yet she came just the same. Her glare gave me the message that it was enough.

"Yes, there is a reason," she stated, her voice reaching a level of emotion I had never heard from her before. It sent a chill of unpleasantness down my spine, sucking the life from my grins. "as there was always a reason."

"…go on." It was now my turn to become silent, though my eyes never left her.

"You said you were better before, and I believed you. I took you home, trusting you would control yourself." Choked sobs were held back, the type that contorted my face with annoyance instead of enjoyment. "You took something from me the day you raised that knife over your head!"

"It was too irresistible. I didn't know you cared for him, otherwise I'd have let him live."

The next moment, a stinging slap echoed through my ears. The pain was minimal, yet ever present. My visitor had hit me, leaving a small welt on my jaw. For her I would accept it. My pain must be her glee. A perfect exchange.

"He was my brother! …" She grew silent again, her unforgiving voice lulling me in. "As you said you loved me, you slit his throat…"

I awaited further responses, yet none came. "..I-"

"Don't even speak!" She pushed me away, the fear gone. "You're not the Viper I knew! You're just a murdering beast!" She knocked on the door, done with her visit. "…and you're not worth my time…come find me when you regain what humanity you had." She closed the door, leaving me in darkness.

My Mercedes had left…forever. My grin came back soon after, wet liquid rolling down my cheeks.

"I am not insane…"

I am not insane.