I speak her name as a caress, rolling it in my mouth, caressing its syllables… a prerequisite to caressing her. Such a lovely name, so fitting for my girl…2

She does not respond… it had been some time now since she so much as twitched any part of her body, let alone lifted her eyes to meet mine, and it has been nearly a day since she last spoke aloud. She merely lies on the cool concrete of the basement floor, arms and legs sprawled limply, her cheek pressed into the floor's surface. I can just barely make out the slow, shallow rise of a chest that caves inward now, whereas it had once been swelled outward in lovely curves…3

Even from the top of the basement stairs I can tell that she has not moved since my last visit. As I flip on the light switch, she does not blink, does not cringe away from the brightness entering her dulled vision. She only lies there, her eyes just barely slitted open. I see the blood clotting darkly on her arm, the stains across her t-shirt long dried and now hard, congealed, around her temple…it always bothers me a little to see the blood, the twisted state of her arm with the shaft of bone sticking slightly out of her skin. It's such a shame that she has to appear in that way now, marring her otherwise perfect, exquisite beauty…4

But how could it have been helped? She may look fragile, my Felipa, but she put up quite a fight getting down here… and even now, sacrifice may still be necessary as far as her appearance goes. Sometimes there just isn't another way to provoke her into reacting…provoke her into showing, as well as feeling, her fear…5

I didn't have to draw close to her to smell it, to almost tangibly feel it surging through every pore of her being. It remained the only part of her still vivid and strong, the only part of her with any passion or feeling at all. When mingled with the sharp scent of her urine and unwashed body, the smell of her fear is almost overpowering…intoxicating…6

And I love it. This is what I live for… this final stage, this heightened state of total, paralyzing, completely helpless terror. There is no higher high, no greater rush, than to be in its presence, and to know that you are its cause…7

I walked to her slowly, feeling her fear increasing even more, even as she made no sound, no movement to indicate this was so. I knelt beside her slowly, running a hand over matted locks crusted with blood, grimy with sweat. Again she made no sound, did not even attempt to pull away…but I could hear the sound of my Felipa's heart, beating so fast at my touch, could almost feel her fear making a protective- if useless- shield around herself…8

"Feliiiiipa…" I whispered, and my fingers slid to caress her face, stroking her cheek, her lips, with their tips. Still she did not speak, did not move… but I saw her eyes slowly slide closed, staying there for a few moments before slitting partly open again. It was a small thing…but my heart squeezed with joy at her acknowledgement. More than I had expected…she still had some life in her yet, and so would last that much longer, give me that much more enjoyment…9

"Felipa…you do not have to be afraid," I whispered, as my lips moved to trace their way down her jaw, her neck, to the jutting bony lines of her collar bone. I could feel her heated flesh so intensely beneath my lips, and this close to her, the fear was so powerful, so close, that I nearly moaned aloud in my excitement.10

"I will not hurt you, Felipa…today…"11

Giving her one last kiss, this one precisely in the center of her chest, where the emotion seemed most concentrated, and nearly reeling from the responding sensation that shot itself up and down my body, I stepped away from her, once more stroking a gentle hand over her hair. I heard her breathing change then, grow somewhat louder, raspy, and it struck me that as extraordinary as it was to listen to her breaths, it would be that much more fascinating to hear when she drew in her last.12

"I will leave you now, Felipa…but don't worry. I'll be back…"13

As I stood, beginning to make my way slowly toward the basement stairs, I turned momentarily; but no, she had not moved. And her fear was every bit as strong…all was well, all was as it should be…14

Thus reassured, I made my way upstairs, then closed the door behind me, leaving her alone once more. But as I'd assured her, it would not be for long… I would, of course, return.15