A/N: This is my first time posting on FictionPress, so I'm really excited. I was trying to make this as good as possible for you guys and I look forward to any reviews I get. Good and bad, I'm trying to get better as a writer, so I accept both. Warning content includes: violence, rape and homosexuality.



Shadows

The television screens across the nation were tuned onto the news as the young announcer woman spoke to the masses, "The entire city of New York has gathered outside the courthouse awaiting the trial of nineteen year-old, Fatine Parker, the NYU student who murdered her childhood friend and roommate, Sasha Madison. The two girls were best friends since grade school, but in a turn of events involving a boy caused Parker to kill Madison. Madison was an honor student and loved by her family and friends.

"Mrs. Madison, the mother of the victim, was also the godmother of the defendant." Replacing the announcer was the image of a sobbing Hispanic woman, who trembled against a larger man. "My baby, my Sasha was the sweetest thing in the world. I don't understand why this happened…I don't…" The woman's voice broke off and clasped her hand to her mouth. "Why?"she started sobbing louder. "My baby! My baby!" Her husband wrapped his arms around her as she grew louder.

A group of students appeared huddled together in coats. Two of them were men and in the middle was an African-American woman. "Sasha was, like, one the most amazing people I've ever met, and Fatine was not the type to do somethin' like this. It's just crazy…"

The reporter came back again. "It has been stated to the press that Parker will stand trial and speak on what truly happened on the night of Sasha Madison's murder."

~.~

"Do you, Fatine Parker, swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?" The officer asked softly.

A dirty and dainty hand rested upon the Holy Book. Black grime coated the tips of her nails from scratching the walls of her cell.

Fatine Parker was a tiny creature, whose oversized orange suit made her seem even tinier, with owl-like, hazel eyes covered by round glasses. Her unnatural auburn hair was matted into a long plait that ran down her shoulders;the bangs fell over like a curtain concealing her face. Sunken-in cheeks showed how little the woman had eaten since her imprisonment several weeks ago.

Gazing up in at the courtroom, her eyes took in the face of the reporters and other onlookers. The white-light of the news camera was almost blinding as it locked in on her face.

Like lions surrounding a freshly bleeding carcass, she thought distastefully before turning to the court officer.

Her pale, crusted lips parted into a solemn smile. "I don't really care for God, but I'll tell the whole truth anyway."

Lowering onto the bench, Fatine looked out onto the sea of people who had come to see her burn. Even her own parents could not stand beside her in this situation. Murder was "unchristian."

Fuck them and their bias God, she thought bitterly as she cast a quick glance towards her parents. They had dressed in their Sunday best, her mother whispering a prayer on her rosary, asking for guidance from the Virgin Mother on how to deal with this heartbreak.

The Prosecutor stood up and adjusted his tie, showing a confident swagger in the way he walked towards her. His slick-back black hair tried to make him look swave for the cameras, and to try and play with the 'homely' girl's emotions.

"Miss Parker," he said softly, trying to send out signals that 'everything was okay' out to her, "you and Miss Madison were best friends, correct?"

"Unfortunately," Fatine responded without venom, but the cold look in her eyes spoke volumes to those who noticed it. "We were forced upon each other, by our mothers."

"So you didn't really get along?" he asked, pacing up and down the room, before he paused by the jury.

"No, we got along. That was until I grew up and realized that she was a parasite."

In the stands Sasha's mother let out a gasp and was about to speak, when her husband placed a comforting hand on her shoulder to calm her down.

The Prosecutor folded his hands behind his back. "According to everyone we've spoken to, Sasha was a smart, sweet, bright, popular girl…"

"Everyone who dies is treated like some sort martyr," Fatine interrupted sharply. "Those people who say those things didn't know her. They didn't spend every day of their lives being drained emotionally, physically and psychologically by her."

"How was she doing this?"

"She took my light," Fatine stated simply. "I had never even seen my own shadow when she was around and she was always around. My existence made hers seem that much brighter. I was nothing in comparison to the 'smart, sweet, popular Sasha.'"

"Hm," the Prosecutor said. "Sounds like you were just jealous of Sasha because she was everything you were not?"

A childish laughter erupted from Fatine, and she clutched her stomach as she doubled over slightly. The jury was startled by the outburst and whispered. "She sounds so young." It was strange, but her laugh reminded the court that she was still only a teenager. A kid. Wiping the wetness from her eyes, Fatine finally sat upright.

"Jealous?" she yelped. "Of what? She was stupid. This was the girl who didn't know what the Thirteen Colonies were. I did all her homework, helped her cheat on tests, every academic accomplishment she had was mine. Her appearance was the result of make up and push-up bras. Not to mention that her popularity was based on the fact that she brought their affections with the never-ending stream of money that her parents supplied. Nothing about her was genuine."

"Liar!" Sasha's mother screamed her eyes large and enraged at the slander against her dead daughter. The judge slammed his gavel hard.

"Mrs. Madison, please control yourself," the judge scolded, "or you will be held in contempt of court!"

"I will not just sit here and let that little bitch tell lies about my baby!" she roared as her husband tried to contain her.

"Mrs. Madison, I understand your grief, but I will have to reprimand you if you don't keep silent!"

Reluctantly, the grieving woman sat down and sobbed silently in frustration into her palms, the elderly woman's body hardly able to remain upright.

Attention returned to Fatine who appeared unmoved by her former godmother's emotional outburst. The Prosecutor's eyes stared back at her, looking for some break in her calm.

"Does that mean anything to you?" he asked. "Mrs. Madison, your god-mother, a woman who has watched you grow is sobbing for her child."

"Any mother would cry for their child," she responded. "Her emotions are typical, but that doesn't mean that Sasha was a good person."

"Then please tell us, Miss Parker, who was Sasha Madison?" he asked coyly.

Fatine held his gaze without hesitation and her back straightened with defiance. "Alright, I will."

~.~

Growing up, Sasha and I were just like every best friendship cliché. We were inseparable, did everything together, and had everything in common from our lunchbox to our hair ties. There was never any doubt that we would always be together.

However, when her father died she became clingier, especially with me. At first it felt good having my best friend with me all the time, but when I tried to branch out and meet other people, she wouldn't allow it.

When we were seven-years-old, I ended up hanging out with a few other girls from our third grade class named Cindy and Nichole. I started playing with them during recess, but Sasha did not approve.

I was home sick for a week with chickenpox, and when I came back to school, both Cindy and Nichole were latched onto Sasha. I was no longer in the equation because for some reason they hated me and now worshiped Sasha.

This was the first time she stole my friends, to keep me isolated and dependent on her friendship.

I tolerated it until I was fourteen. We were freshmen in high school and she, of course, followed me there, cheating to get into St. Anne's prep school by learning how to copy my pencil movements. The few friends I made were there and gone within a week, making their way from my side to hers. I confronted her about it on the way to the girls' bathroom.

"What the hell is your problem?" I asked her, blocking the exit to the girls bathroom.

Sasha flourished during puberty with her smooth caramel skin free of any marks and long glossy hair- a tribute to her Hispanic heritage. She was applying pink lip-gloss to her mouth, which was downcast into a frown.

"Profanity isn't attractive," she chastised, smoothing out her black skirt, designer material that she couldn't afford. Not on her mother's waitress paycheck anyway."And what do you mean, what is my problem? Do I look odd?"

This wasn't the first time she had taken a situation and tried to make it about her. "I mean why are you stealing Jane, Brooke, and everyone else from the lunch table and turning them into your knock-offs!"

"Oh please, Fatine," Sasha said with a dismissing wave of her hand. "There is no one even close to being a decent knock-off of yours truly. They are just trying to be friendly, no need to be jealous."

I hated that word. "I'm not jealous of you. I'm just tired of you always taking from me."

"I have never taken anything from you and quite frankly I am tired of your insecurities," Sasha shot back with her usually conceited demeanor.

"Fine," I told her. "If we are so sick of each other, then we can just stop being friends and you can get back to your entourage."

The look on her face was one of pure terror; the cocky smile vanished into a worried frown. She nearly leaped across the bathroom and grabbed both my forearms with a strength I didn't know she possessed.

"No!" she exclaimed, her eyes wide and bright with madness. "You can't leave me! You're my best friend, you promised we would always be together; from the playground to the ground…remember! Remember!"

She shook me so hard, my head banged against the wooden door. "Let go, you are hurting me!" I whispered sharply as my head slammed into the wood once more.

"Say you won't leave," she begged. "I can't live without you! If you leave me like my daddy did, I'll die…I'll die."

Her brown eyes were full of tears, and I couldn't stand to see her like this. No matter how wicked she was this was the girl who stood beside me through thick and thin. In my heart, I couldn't stand to abandon her.

"I won't leave…I promise…I won't leave," I whispered, trying to reassure her with my eyes. Slowly she started to calm down, releasing my arms, but leaving bruises on my skin that stung.

"Okay, as long as you promise…"

Yet, even as she relaxed, there was a mad glint in her eyes that frightened me. Behind that perfection was something terrifying. However, I was blind then to what was hidden inside of Sasha…a monster.

~.~

"So you expect the court to believe that Sasha was obsessed with you?" the Prosecutor asked skeptically.

"I don't expect anything from you people," Fatine answered. "I know that you have already decided my guilt, but I know the truth and that's what you want to hear, isn't it?"

Silently, the Prosecutor waved his hand for Fatine to continue her narrative of the events.

~.~

To properly answer your question, no, I don't think she was obsessed with me specifically. It was the fact that she wanted control. Sasha always had to be in control; anyone who questioned her was shot down. In her mind, she was law, and what she thought was right had to be right.

Throughout our high school years, I spent my days making sure that she was kept ignorantly content. I was scared of making Sasha angry and having her blood on my hands. I never argued, spoke back, or did anything to displease her. I was a slave, a neutered puppy, and a declawed cat...weak and broken in.

Despite it all, I was hopeful for college. College was going to be my refuge from Sasha's influence. I worked my hardest to get top grades in with S.A.T.S, keep my G.P.A at a steady 3.7, everything my parents expected me to have.

However, what they forget to tell me was that it didn't matter what my grades were if they couldn't afford the school I wanted. So instead of New York University, I was forced to go to Georgian Court…with Sasha, as my roommate.

"This is gonna be fun!" she exclaimed as her mother, stepfather and brothers brought her entire room into the space. As I saw her items consuming the room, I knew that this living situation was going to be a disaster.

The cycle quickly started to repeat itself. Gain a few friends one day; lose them the next day to Sasha. I even tried to keep them away from her, but whenever I spent too much time away from the room a barrage of worried, angst-ridden text messages would start up. Soon, I had to stop hanging out with people, only communicating through text and AIM. I'd rather keep them at a distance, than lose them to my 'best friend'.

Soon my identity could be summed up in two words: "Sasha's roommate."

However, in that equation there was one person who saw me as someone else: Tyler Harvey. He wasn't the kind of guy that girls dreamed about normally, not with his glasses, large nose and tiny frame, but he was everything to me.

Sasha, whose exotic looks and sweet voice were sweet temptation for the average hormonal male, swooped up most men I have liked, but Tyler was different. Tyler was attracted to smart girls, and he could see that Sasha had many qualities, but she was not smart…at all. Needless to say, she was angry that someone wanted my attention, not hers.

"I don't like him," she said simply with her hands on her hips, her rosebud mouth pursed together into a straight-line. "He's a jerk and rude."

I was sitting in front of my computer screen, trying to do my homework. "Sasha, I have hated most of your boyfriends, but I didn't try to stop you from seeing them," I answered. "Tyler and I are happy together."

"Happy? How can you be happy with some nerd who keeps you away from your best friend?" she shot back.

I turned around and looked at Sasha with disbelief. "Seriously? This coming from the girl, who is always surrounded by two or three other people at her beck and call at one time? Why do you need me when you have them?"

"Because you are mine," she said firmly, her eyes getting that look once more, the same one that terrified me four years ago.

Taking a step towards me, I felt myself moving backwards, trying to create some distance between us. "I belong to myself."

Before she could answer back, I grabbed the doorknob and turned it out as quickly as I could. The next thing I heard before leaving was the sound of something being smashed against the wall. Later, I would find out that it was my iPod, but it didn't matter for a while.

Afraid to go back to the room, I took refuge in the dorm lounge and fell asleep atop the sofa. Around seven-thirty, I got a phone call from Sasha. I ignored it and lay back onto the bed. But she kept calling and I finally cracked and flipped the phone open.

"What?" I yelled, my voice hoarse with sleep.

There was nothing at first and I was about to hang up until I heard silent sob like gasps. Rising up slowly from my seat, I pressed the phone closer to my ear. "Hello?" I whispered softly. Then mixed with the sobs I heard a slapping sound, followed by groans.

The saliva in my mouth evaporated and I ran up the stairs, the worst entering my mind. Sasha was a devilish tease and the time might have come when she met a man who wouldn't take that bullshit. No matter how much anger I had towards Sasha at the time, I loved her deeply and I would protect her.

Grabbing the doorknob, I turned and pushed it open ready for the worst.

I was not prepared.

~*~

The Prosecutor and the rest of the jury looked at Fatine, waiting for her to continue with her tale. "Well?" the Prosecutor asked. "What happened to Sasha? Was she being raped?"

Fatine's eyes turned downcast and her fingers clenched together tightly atop her lap. Glancing up at her 'peers', the bottom of her lip quivered slightly. Closing her eyes, Fatine took a shallow breath, before her body unclenched and the icy demeanor, which kept her together so far returned.

~*~

Tyler was on top of Sasha's back, holding her by the waist, entering her roughly from behind, his blue-eyes dazed in an ecstasy I'd never seen him have. Sasha's face was in the sheets, her lower body shaking in sobs.

With all of my body weight, I slammed into Tyler knocking him down, allowing Sasha to scream, before pummeling him with my fists. I heard a crack when I punched his nose, but it wasn't enough. I couldn't control myself. There were so many raging emotions: anger, sorrow, and jealousy. For once there was someone who I thought loved me, but he not only left me for my friend, he attempted to rape her.

Was I so unappealing, so disgusting, that he would violate my friend, in my room?

Those thoughts drove my blows, and it wasn't until someone-an officer-dragged me off of Tyler, that the police were able to handcuff him. Sasha's screams had signaled campus security. She was speaking to a cop while clenching a blanket close to her nude body.

Getting onto my feet, I went to Sasha and wrapped my arms around her tightly. I transformed my emotions from rage to empathy, forcing back my tears to let her lean on me.

Sasha told the police that Tyler had come into the room drunk looking for me, but when she told Tyler I wasn't there he got angry and started raping her. The cops asked me if drinking was typical for Tyler.

"No, he doesn't drink. Although, but he has been stressed from testing the last few days," I told them through clenched teeth.

"Alright, we'll write him up and get his statement to you as soon as possible."

Sasha's hand grasped her mouth and she nodded softly. Without warning, she pressed her face into my shoulder and began sobbing and sobbing until I feared she would dehydrate. Still, I stayed with her, washed her up, dressed her, and held her until her body stilled into sleep. Once her breathing evened, I closed my eyes, gripped her close and began to cry.

The days following the rape were long and agonizing. People would come in droves asking questions, so many questions. Their eyes subconsciously blamed me for the event, and slowly, I started to believe it were true.

Sasha was clingier than usual and twice as demanding, but I couldn't be angry with her. It would make me a bad person, and the already building guilt turned me into emotional putty in her artistic hands.

Two weeks after the event, the police called me asking me to come down to the station. Tyler was still being held; there were even rumors he'd gone to the hospital for a period of time.

Fuck him.

I refused to care for that cheating rapist.

Entering the station, I was hit with an array of sounds and sights. Women with purple blotchy faces, a mixture of shame and denial in their eyes as the police asked them questions. Crying children, unblemished by fists, but their bruises was hidden below the surface.

Or maybe even under their clothes. This was the special victims unit.

The thought of a child being subjected to what Sasha had been through, it made my blood burn with a hatred that threatened to become murderous.

"Miss Parker."

I turned and saw the officer who had questioned Sasha before. A big, burly man with a fine pencil beard that looked quite comical on his face.

"Good afternoon, Miss Parker, I'm sorry to call you out, I'm sure your busy with classes," he stated with a gentle smile. "But, we wanted to inform you of Mr. Harvey's statement."

He led me into his desk, on which he had a picture of three young girls, probably his daughters. I wondered what sort of affect this job had on his relationship with them.

I sat down slowly, clenching my jacket closer to my body. "Why tell me? Isn't it more important for Sasha to know?"

The officer's face lost its jolliness and he sat upright. "Miss Parker, Tyler Harvey was drugged."

"Drugged?" I asked carefully as if the word was foreign.

"Drugged with nearly toxic levels of Rohypnol, a date-rape drug, mixed with alcohol," he explained. "He almost died until we pumped his stomach, then he spoke about how he had come looking for you and Sasha invited him in for some drinks. Everything is blotchy after that."

I couldn't think. I couldn't speak. I couldn't believe it. Literally no coherent thought could enter my mind until the officer spoke again.

"Tyler didn't want to press charges, he was ashamed. Men usually don't like to admit being raped."

Something about that sentence made my mind click together once more and I leaned in closer to the officer's desk. "So, she isn't going to jail?"

"Not right now, but we will be keeping tabs on her to see if we can get her on any other charges," he explained.

"So she is going to get away with it." I leaned back in the chair. How could she have done this to me? Was she so threatened by my relationship with Tyler that she would go this far? It seemed surreal. Insane. Then again, she stated it repeatedly: I belonged to her and as long as both of us were alive, she would think that.

"But we will call you if anything else comes up," I heard him say when my mind finally came back to the room.

"Thank you," I told him with a warm smile, before leaving the building. It was then as I was stepping into a yellow taxi that I made up my mind. I was going to kill her.

I was going to kill Sasha Madison.

My best friend.

~*~

"If Tyler Harvey was raped, why didn't he mention anything when we spoke to him earlier?" The Prosecutor asked, folding his hands behind his back.

"Weren't you listening?" Fatine asked in an amused tone. "He was ashamed of being raped by a woman. Ty wasn't one of the 'popular boys,' and while he was being seen as a rapist, it was much more masculine than being the rape victim." Fatine's eyes darted towards the Prosecutor and a lazy grin tugged at her lips. "The male ego is a fascinating thing."

The ADA's eyes narrowed and straightened his tie, looking down at the ground to take a moment to collect his thoughts before looking back at Fatine.

"I suppose this isn't the end of your tale."

"Not unless you want to leave with a cliffhanger, and I don't think your audience would appreciate that," Fatine stated as she looked at the reporters sitting in the back with their hands moving endlessly across their notebooks. "After all, they love a good story."

~*~

It was a month before I actually decided to commit the act. Each moment was spent thinking for the best way to kill that wicked bitch. Should I shoot her, chop her up and burn the pieces? What could my alibi be? Could I make it look like an accident? A suicide?

Every time I held an object in my hand, anything from a paperclip to a knife, I thought of a way to end her with it. Even at night when I clenched my pillow, I could fantasize about smothering her to death. Pressing the pink bundle against her beautiful face, letting it muffle her cries and feeling her body struggle, then grow weaker and weaker.

The images running through my head were so vivid, so realistic, that soon it was almost orgasmic. I disgusted me at first, but as time went on I embraced the images, and used them to keep myself externally calm. Inside however, I could feel my insides, burning. My desire was subverted by the fact that I was trying to come up with the perfect way to avoid imprisonment.

February 6th was my nineteenth birthday, and it was the day I decided to finally be done with it. There was no such thing as the perfect crime. No matter how much I bleached, burned or lied, there would something, a seemingly insignificant margin of error, which would bring me to 'justice'.

It was actually a little relieving, now I didn't have to worry about being careful. Getting blood on me was no longer an issue. Instead, I could enjoy my revenge.

Sasha wanted to have a private party with just us. She was too 'paranoid' to go to a crowded place, and being such a 'considerate' friend, we decided to stay inside and dress up.

Even her distraught state Sasha still wanted to shine and dress the part. Her power blue dress flowed around her body, and her hair was curled down to her shoulders. Twirling around in the mirror, there was a glow around her, one that had been dimmed for some time.

I had been watching this from the bathroom, my fingers gripping the doorknob so tightly I thought it would dent under my fingertips.

After one final twirl Sasha noticed my head peeking, out from the doorway. Smiling, she walked over to me, her pumps clacking against the floor. Her hands were outstretched towards me, lovingly. "Why are you hiding behind there? It's your special day."

I clutched the door and glanced down bashfully. "I shouldn't be having a special day, not after what you've been through."

That was her cue to remember her role as a poor virginal victim. Sasha's head fell down quickly and slumped slightly. "I know, but I don't want to hold you back from being happy. You've been so good to me…"

"I would never not be," I said, leaving the bathroom and placing my hands on her face gently. My thumbs stroked her cheek as I gazed into her brown eyes. "You are mine and I am yours forever."

Sasha's eyes widened, as if I'd just said something she'd been waiting for. Her brown eyes gazed down at me as she took in my outfit. A black babydoll dress with a bow in the back, my hair tied back in a velvet ribbon. The little makeup I wore was all light pink, Sasha's favorite color.

"You look amazing," she whispered, before pressing her head against mine. "You should dress up more often. Sweatpants don't do you real justice."

I forced a giggle and glanced up at Sasha playfully. "Did you get me anything else besides compliments?"

"Actually," Sasha crooned, "I used my Latina magic, you mix up a meal that is delicioso, mi amiga." She took my hand and led me to the middle of the floor with plates of pasta and seafood, two of my favorites.

Giggling, we went over to the floor and started to eat, talking about our time together; happier times for the both of us. Usually that type of talk would make everything better between us, just like in the past. These days, it seemed like a punch in the face each time Sasha brought up childhood memories.

I found myself dissecting each one for evidence of Sasha's manipulation, and each realization drove my rage even farther. My nostrils flared, and I put my head down to hide the venom that was in my face.

"Are you alright?" Sasha asked, placing a gentle hand on my shoulder. Her fingers stroked my face with a loving comfort.

Sniffling, I placed my face atop her shoulder. "I just…I don't know what I did wrong?" I whispered trying to invoke my sorrows rather than my anger. "Ty, I just…I just…"

"Shhh," Sasha comforted, wrapping her arms around me, stroking my hair and back. "Tyler was demented and drunk and a creeper, you deserve better."

"No, I don't," I whispered, into her skin, breaking out a small sob. "No one wants me, I'm nothing."

"That's not true…"

"And when I saw him hurt you like that, it made me realize something that…scares me." My voice was raspy and I stood up quickly, flinging myself onto the bed melodramatically. Crying sounds erupted from my mouth and I pinched myself to invoke tears.

Silence concerned me, and for a moment I started to doubt my performance, until I heard Sasha sit on the edge of the bed, her warm hand on my lower back. "What scares you?" she whispered, into my ear. I shook my head fiercely, but she didn't move. "You can tell me Fatine, you know that, don't you? I love you."

"Liar!" I screamed as I sprung my head from the bed. "You love me? You know that's a lie…"

"It's not!"

"Yes it is! You don't love me and even if you did, you could never love me the way I love you!" I screamed before covering my mouth quickly and shrinking back down to the bed, covering my face in the pillow. The tears began again, this time without the pinching.

Sasha's low breathing was all I could hear, and I could tell by the slight hitches that she believed me. It took all my self-control to not giggle into my pillow. She was so stupid it was almost cute, and I momentarily wondered if that was why boys didn't mind her monosyllabic vocabulary.

The weight shifted slightly, and Sasha was resting beside me, her finger stroking my face with gentleness I'd never felt from her. "Fatine, look at me," she begged into my ear while tugging on the pillow, "please."

Turning around, I lifted my face from the pillow once more and came face-to-face with Sasha, her brown eyes teary. Her brown hands cupped my face, and she chewed on her bottom lip nervously for a moment. "I…thought you would never say that."

Before I could speak, her mouth pressed against mine without warning. My eyes widened as her tongue brushed against my lips, and they parted in response.

Her kiss was like iced tea on a summer afternoon. Sweet, refreshing, but always left you wanting more. An unquenchable thirst that even I couldn't resist fully. Her mouth left mine and went for my neck, my collar, lower and lower until she met the material that clothed my breasts.

She rested her head atop my chest and let out a heavy sigh; my fingers reached out and glided through her hair. "How long?" I asked her softly.

"Too long," she responded, as she gazed up at me with a smile I'd seen her use on boys several times. A look of longing, except unlike those other times, there was no devious intentions, just adoration. "You have always been the one."

I sat up suddenly, causing her to move away from me. "Then why did you treat me so terribly?"

"When have I ever treated you terribly?" she asked.

"Stealing my friends!"

"I…never…I," she looked up at me, searching for the words, before letting out a defeated sigh and turning away. "I wanted you for myself, and I hated seeing you with other people. Them making you laugh or smile disgusted me. Those belong to me. I hated Tyler too, he was gonna take you away and take your virginity."

"Why was that supposed to be yours too?" I demanded, finding a strange strength in knowing that she wanted me. In retrospect it explained everything, her desire to keep me around, yet at a distance. Her feelings for me were considered wrong by her faith, her family, but she wouldn't deny herself nor allow anyone to take, from her.

When we kissed there was a moment, ladies and gentlemen, where I didn't want to slit her throat. For that beautiful moment I had friendship, love and power.

Then she had to open her mouth and ruin it.

At the end of day Sasha may have had feelings for me, but they were not love in any sense of the word. Love didn't rape your boyfriend out of pure jealousy. Love was what I had for Tyler. What Sasha had robbed me of…

"I just wanted us to be together," she tried to explained. She turned and kneeled in front of me. I'd never seen her so helpless. I was actually pretty entertaining. For so long I'd been her slave, but now she was mine. "I am not good with sharing." There was a grin as she said this, in a sorry attempt to be cute.

Kneeling down, I pressed my forehead against hers; I felt her head tilt up to be closer to mine. "Don't worry," I whispered, as our mouths got closer, "you won't have to again."

As we kissed, I climbed upon her tiny body, straddling her waist as my hands caressed down her thighs. My mouth moved to the nape of her neck, and Sasha gave a soft whimper before grasping my hair. "Mi amour…"

I froze for a moment before continuing my path to the valley of her breast, my teeth nipping against the soft skin. Glancing up, I saw that her eyes were shut as her face scrunched up in pleasure. Taking that moment, my hand slid into the folds of my dress where I felt for it-the instrument of my freedom.

The knife was light in my hand, and even though I gripped the blade tightly, it didn't feel unnatural in my hand, more like an extension of my will.

My mouth had moved from her breast to the bottom of her stomach, right above her waistline. Sasha shuddered below me as my hand crept up her thigh, pushing up her dress more and more. "Fatine," she whined, "don't be a tease."

"How many times have boys asked the same of you?" I asked with a smirk.

"That's different, boys need to be teased. It keeps them in line."

"And you don't need to be?" My free hand slid under the dress and pulled at the string of her thong, sliding it down bit by bit.

"No, because a woman's life is always regulated by lines. Lines we dare not cross brazenly as boys would." Her voice had lost its huskiness and became somber.

"We aren't allowed to do a lot of things. Even fucking is controlled. I hate it. I hate men with their double standards and power, but we have power too. When they beg for a kiss, a blowjob, a quick fuck, they give me their power and for one moment the world is as it should be, with us on top. Then the men leave, and they are players and we're sluts."

I gawked at her momentarily, in awe of her saying something so profound. Foolish, but profound; with her brown eyes gazing upward at the ceiling, for a moment, I fell in love with the woman she could have been. My friend was lost behind bitterness and that would end.

Keeping the knife out of sight, I leaned over Sasha so that our eyes could meet once more. "Don't worry about any of that anymore. From now on, you'll have no worries, I promise."

"I believe you," she whispered softly. "You've never broken a promise to me. You have never left me."

"And I never will."

One more kiss. One last kiss. It was almost as sweet as the first time, and it ended so quickly as I plunged the knife into the center of her power, her greatest weapon; her vagina.

Her eyes widened and she let out a shrill scream that still rings in my ears today. I elbowed her in the mouth roughly, and grabbed the pillow, smothering her shrieks with it. It was more fulfilling than any fantasy.

I made love to her with the knife. Even as her nails dug and scratched into my skin, I didn't stop. With each thrust, I felt blood. With each thrust, I felt each struggle grow weaker. With each thrust, I felt her die.

Then with one final movement she was finished, her body limp under my own. Between my legs, it felt wet with my own release.

"We finished together," I laughed as I let go of the knife, dropping it into the puddle of blood that was between Sasha's legs.

I sauntered over to the makeshift picnic she had arranged and grabbed an open bottle of wine. I chugged it down, then picked up the phone to dial 911. There was no point in trying to cover up the crime. They would find me eventually, so instead, I saved the police and myself the trouble.

~*~

As Fatine finished her tale she placed a tiny hand on her chest and released a sigh. "Ah, I feel so much better."

"Better!" the Prosecutor barked, his face pale and contorted with disgust. "You admit to the court how you brutally murdered Sasha Madison and that makes you feel better?"

"Now the world will know my side of the story, and my soul is free to flourish on its own without Sasha," Fatine said, seeming strangely at peace. "I don't care if I get sentenced to death. I am my own person for the first time in…a lifetime. I have seen my shadow."

The Prosecutor looked at Fatine then turned his attention over the judge. There was nothing more he could say or do. The case had been won. Fatine Madison was guilty.

"The prosecution rests."

~*~

"So, what are they going to do with me now?" Fatine asked as she leaned against the wall of her cell. The trial was over, and the verdict had come back as she had expected: guilty. It was neither shocking nor upsetting. All that was left was the sentencing.

The shrink who the state sent over to study Fatine sat inside the cell, unafraid of the petite girl who, despite the brutality of which she'd killed, held no natural violent tendencies. The shrink was a young looking woman with brown hair cropped short by her ears, and light blue eyes hidden behind oval glasses.

"Well, I may have convinced the jury that you are clinically insane due to the fact you we sexually aroused by thought of inflicting harm to people, even if it was only with Sasha. You'll end up in a mental hospital."

Fatine nodded slowly and turned to the shrink. "Do you think I belong in a madhouse?"

"We all to some degree belong in a madhouse, my dear, only a few of us actually have the privilege of going there," the older woman said with a warm smile. "I think that I'd rather see you there than in this cell."

Gazing at the floor, Fatine watched her shadow grow under the setting sun. The guard came to the door; it was time for guests to leave. "I'll see you after the official sentencing Fatine," the shrink said softly. "Take care of yourself."

As the shrink left, Fatine picked up the book she'd been reading in preparation for her trial. It was one she'd read many times, but there was one page she always enjoyed reading, and now it seemed especially fitting.

"What sort of people live about here?"

"In that direction," the Cat said, waving its right paw around, "lives a Hatter; and in that direction," waving the other paw," lives a March Hare. Visit either you like; they're both mad."

"But I don't wish to go among mad people," Alice remarked.

"Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat; "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."

"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.

"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

Alice didn't think that proved it at all . . ."

"And down the rabbit hole we go…"