A/N: I've had this fic idea in my mind for months and months and have written loads of prologues and beginning chapters for it, but none of them have made me happy. I'm finally heading in a direction I like, and I do intend for this to be pretty long (yes, an actual story with chapters, not just a lazy one-shot). If the title feels familiar, that's because it comes from a poem of mine called Envy. Anyways, this is my new fic and I hope you guys like it! As always, reviews fuel the fire and are super appreciated.

Waxen bones, gossip lips, and a candled pose.

-- prologue --

Regret is the worst kind of monster. It lives in your head.

"Aaron, I have a proposal. It's gonna sound sick, it's gonna sound wrong, but I have one thousand dollars here to change your mind."

The regret is stemmed from the complete ignorance of your morals. This is not right, you're a bad fucking person, and you never wanted to hurt anyone, but oh god that proposition. The green paper feels fine and fluid between your rotting, callused, too-pale fingers, and leaves your face sallow and numb, your heart empty, and the birth of regret.

"Please consider it. It won't be too difficult. I can tell, you're a stand-up kind of guy, you know where your priorities lie…think about your family."

His eyes are pitch black. You didn't know that eyes could really be pitch black, and maybe it's just the way the moon fits between the chimneys, maybe it's the milky streetlight that feeds from behind the wretched alleyway, or maybe it's a sign that this kid is just so fucked and you need to get the hell out.

"He deserves this. He broke me and I will never be better until he has met the same fate. I need this, you need this…"

This is punctuated by the thrust of crumpled paper in the palm of your fist, curled so tight you can feel the minty green ink staining the heel of your hand. Your eyes are almost wet.

"Two months. That's all it'll take – please – I know him, he'll fall. So eager to please, so desperate for love, affection, the boy will take it from who ever offers, I promise you – this will be easy."

The words string together like an order, but it's more of a plea. His tone is dark with need, he's so desperate, so dirty, so willing. But are you? Could you do it? You need the money, and this is an easy way out, but –

"Make him fall in love with you."

But love is such a strong word. A hint of silver glints from the garbage bin, catches the starlight, reflects in his eyes, presses you into the brick wall chafing the small of your back. You tip your head against the rough surface, and it snags at the silken flesh of your neck, but you're too gone to care.

"And break his heart."

Regret is the worst kind of monster. Now press rewind – all stories have a beginning.