A/N: I'm a big fan of Victoria Frances and I was looking at some of her work. Most of the women, if not all of them, look so forlorn and sad; I didn't really need to think why as their story unravelled before my eyes and here it is now... kind of... :3

She hid beneath an ornate mask on the streets of Venice, shrouding her beauty in the shadows and remaining unseen by the demons that roamed the waters at night.

Only he ever saw her. Saw through the shadows and beneath the masks. Saw through the tears to the destruction within and offered a remedy for her troubles.

I love you.

She believed him. She had no other comparisons, no way of knowing whether or not he was lying but she took the sparkle in his dark eyes and the smile on his blood stained lips as a sign that he was truthful.

Kiss me and I promise I'll always be here for you...

Her confidence in him began to grow and gradually she made her way out of the shadows, danced in the sunlight and showed her true beauty to all, just as he wanted.

From her new position in the world, her perspective changed and she saw things she didn't wish to witness. She felt things, heard things, tasted things that were not good for her but she didn't mind because it was what he wanted.

And she couldn't deny now that he really did love her.

Feel my heartbeat, then feel yours and you'll know my sweet.

So she did as she was told.

The wonders of this new world, the new life she was living with him, soon began to corrupt her mind. The crowds of exciting people they danced with often contained temptation and she found herself becoming more cautious. Listening closer to what he was saying, watching where he went and who with.

Do you not trust me?

She did, of course she did. She was just being silly.

But still, she kept a close eye on him, rarely leaving his side and his hand was always held firmly in hers. It began to annoy him and she knew it but did nothing. She had to hold onto him, she wouldn't let him go.

She was too weak, too insecure, too afraid of being alone again that she forgot to simply live. Her time with him was not enjoyed for she was constantly worrying. She didn't realise just how happy she had been until it was all over, he was gone.

I still love you.

It didn't matter what he said now, his promise was broken and his words didn't do a thing to soothe the wounds inside her or fill the void that was left in his absence.

She replaced her mask to hide the tears and retreated back to the shadows where she belonged.

She had driven him away with her fears and protective nature but she wouldn't let it happen next time. No-one else would break through her shields again.