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Girl In My Life

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I know I should go
But I follow you like a man possessed
There's a traitor here beneath my breast,
and it hurts me more than you've ever guessed
If my heart could beat
it would break my chest,
But I can see you’re unimpressed.
~Spike, Rest In Peace

Chow's POV

So I have been thinking about my hunger a lot lately. I still want to satisfy myself. Meanwhile, a new fear is beginning to grow in my heart. You see, I have always thought that you, Jade Chan, you would be the one who can save me, who can keep me human even if it is only for a little while, only when I am around you. You are innocent. You are satisfied. I watch as your chest rises and falls with ease; your head is turned to me and your face is relaxed, a small smile formed on your lips. You look so peaceful, so innocent in your slumber. You must stay that way – for my sake.

Ah, yes, my fear. What if, in fact, you do not satisfy me? What if I get bored with you too? What then?

It won't happen, it won't happen. I tell myself this every time that fear creeps up behind me, and then, once I have defied it, it quietly recedes to the back of my mind. It won't happen. It can't. The truth is, Jade, my love, in all my twenty years you have proved to be the one person who has made me stop in my tracks, who has made me think twice. I have always been charismatic; no one could resist me. But you...I don't see how anyone can resist you. We are both charming, but in different ways; I am flirtatious and magnetic, whereas you are only naive. You drive me mad – with desire and rage.

I have never had a lover – a real one, anyway; I have never wanted one. Nor do I intend to make you the first – but I shall get to that later. I have taken many to bed – they were all women – put them under my spell, stole their hearts and then left them to die. I take a special pride in making people need me, obsess me-and leave them cold. I might as well be the reincarnation of King Henry VIII, except I don't kill them – they die all on their own.

The difference between them and you, Jade, is that I shall not let you die. I shall put you under my spell. I shall manipulate you. I shall make you obsess me. I shall make you mine…

But never, never shall I break your heart. I couldn't. Your innocence is like a beacon in the ubiquitous darkness in my soul. And you're pulling me to safety, safety, safety…

Always I wonder why this is. Why must you, of all people, be my night light, my talisman which wards off my demons, the first thing I think of in the morning and the last at night? Why must you, Jade, be the object of my obsession? Why, why must you have that unconquerable innocence, that amazing hope that everything will be all right in the end, that unfathomable grace?

Why must you, of all people, possess the one thing that I never possessed and will never possess?

And I want it. Now.

Oh Jade, my love – can’t you see they don't care?

Of course you can't. You are too naive, too trusting. You are satisfied. You have no conception of evil, of what it means to be consumed by hate. In fact, you probably wouldn't even understand a word I'm saying. Perhaps it's rather hard to be this naive-is it? Either way, it must be less of a burden than being a monster. And a monster is all that I am and shall ever be. I want to manipulate; I need that power. And I want to have that power over you, I want you to really be mine – all mine!

Ah! What's this? Did I just as see an eyelash flicker? I believe I did – yes, yes, and now I am looking into your soft golden brown eyes. And soft they are: for once that hateful glare you send me whenever we cross paths is not there. Instead of coldness, I see trust. Thank the drugs for that; they never fail to nullify even the strongest of wills.

I slide my hand beneath your head, my fingers placed firmly on the back of your neck, my thumb on your cheek. Let's get you up-oh I know, I know. At this point all you want to do is lay there staring at me with those sleepy eyes of yours-but up, time to get up! There we go, nice and easy... Poor Jade, I can tell by your limp body and drooping eyelids that if it weren't for my hand holding you up you would collapse back into the bed. We'll just turn you round, sit you on my lap, easy now... There, see? That wasn't so bad now, was it? You just lean on me now and all will be well in the world. You'll see.

With your head propped against my front I raise my hand to your cheek and caress it. So soft. You really have no idea. What sort of skin lotion do you use? I slip my hand down your back, beneath your nightshirt. Your whole body is like that, so soft. And your hair – I run my fingers through your hair, and it is silky and knotty and wild. And though I can't believe I am about to say this, I must: We'll make sure you never use a comb here. You wouldn't be as girlish if you did. You wouldn't be you.

But are you really mine now, Jade? Have you any limits? Oh, I suppose we'll find out soon enough. But for now...for now we'll just take a small test. I cup your chin and lift it to my face. Your eyes are curious. I am too, actually, but now I can feel that familiar wicked grin spreading across my face, and I relish in its power. Yes, this is it, the moment of truth. This might very well determine just how dedicated you are to me-right now-just how weak you are. This might tell me how much control I have over you now, and quite possibly how much I may gain in the future.

I lower my head till my lips touch yours. I kiss you.

Sweet as honey; delicate as porcelain; light as a feather. I can feel another sort of stranger force running through my veins. Could it be what I think it is? Yes, yes, yes! Innocence-I feel innocence, for the first time in my life! It is magic, magic!

I can't decide which is the best part: the innocence-or the fact that you're kissing me back.

I am somewhat surprised. But your tongue mingles with mine in a very languid, almost graceful manner. A stiff, bitter laugh grows in my lungs, but I manage to stifle it. It is amazing, Jade, how utterly easy you are to fool. Look, Jade, look at you! You are so unresisting, so docile! Your will-assuming you even have one-is as pliant as your skin. It can be bent, contorted in all different directions. Indeed, I'm sure you will prove very useful to me.

If this kiss lasts any longer it will lose its charm, its sweetness. I just know it. Gently I break away, and your head bends down. Soon my lips are pressed to your forehead, and there, beneath your bangs, is where I plant a kiss.

Hush now, don't speak. Gently I kiss down your neck, stopping at the shoulder, and then I caress your back, just wanting to feel you, wanting to believe you really do belong to me. And you do. You have gone quiet again. You are mine. There is nothing else to say.

So yes, yes, you are mine now, all mine. But what should I do with you? I have many ideas; the possibilities are endless.

I could assign you as an enforcer; that way you could bring us the talismans too. But the more I think about it the more I don't like it. First of all, it would be much easier to trick you into confessing the secrets of Section 13. (As a bonus, it would also demonstrate how much power I have over you.)

Second, I want to keep you safe. You shall never venture anywhere without me, Jade, love, and even then you won't go far-maybe not even out of the building. Yes, love, I know. It's a little scary. But you'll get used to it. You'll worship me; you'll love me. And then you won't ever think of the outside world again.

Maybe you can be my personal servant. Yes, now that I think about it, I rather like the idea of you drawing me a bath after a long hard day of making business deals and all that other stuff. Whether I'm jolly or angry, you'll be there. Always. You'll take my beatings without complaint and then, once I've calmed down, you'll come over to where I sit on my bed and massage my shoulders and gently ask if I would like something to drink, maybe a cup of tea...

My goodness. I don't think I can do that. It would be positively overwhelming. Beat you and still expect you to love me is one thing. But to not fear me? You would fear me, all right. You might not show it, for my sake, but deep in your heart when you'd hear the door open and then slam shut again at the end of the day you would be afraid. Every night you would pray for me to be in a jolly mood. Should I carry out this idea, I think I might go mad.

What, love? What is it? What's the matter? Not comfortable? Here then, lie back, my arm around your shoulders like so, your head tilted back…

Just now I thought I had seen something in your eyes. I have seen it before. I have seen it on the face of every person I have made mine. I have imagined it on yours for what feels like an eternity.

I thought I saw love.

But what I really see is hate.

Hate. It glitters sharply in your half-open eyes. Like a knife it pierces my chest; surprise and outrage oozes from the wound like blood. Don't think about trying that sweet-as-pie routine with me, Jade. I can see it. Through your unnatural weakness you're doing your best to glare at me, to say to me, "I am not yours."

Well, guess what Jade, you silly girl? You will be! I am already slipping another syringe into your arm; soon all this will have just been a dream, a distant memory. Come now, you know I am not satisfied. You know I want you.

And I always get what I want.

See? And already your concentration is slipping, your face is relaxing, your eyes are closing…

A knock on the door.

…and your chest rises and falls with the same rhythm as before.

Another knock, this time louder. "What is it!" I bark finally.

The door opens slightly. "M-Mr. Chow, sir?" I recognize the voice to be Finn's.

"Go away," I snap at him. The last person I want to see is one of my fellow imbecile enforcers.

"Mr. Chow," he continues, and I roll my eyes. "Uh, got some bad news. Valmont's not giving up. He's seriously onto us. Really, we gotta give Jade up, it's-"

"Finn!" I glare at the door; it closes ever so slightly. "Don't you EVER tell me what to do. I will make the decisions around here! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?"

There was silence. Then: "Ye-yes, Mr. Chow. Sure thing." And the door shuts completely.

By now my chest is racked with ragged breaths. Jade, allow me to enlighten you: Don't you ever get me angry like this again. I'm telling you, that’s not good. Hmm... maybe those beatings don't sound so bad now. You deserve them, every blow. Maybe I shall use you as a punching bag for whenever I'm upset like this – or even just for fun.

But now, as I gather your limp form into my arms, as I lay you down on the bed and watch as your head sinks into the puffy pillow, I feel my anger receding. Now, as I look down upon you, upon your innocent sleeping face, I realize I cannot hurt you. Your skin is too soft, too delicate; it would be a pity to scar it. No. I don't want you to fear me, either. I only want you to love me. I only want you to share a little of that sweet innocence of yours that I hold so dear with me-just a little, just when I am around you, just as you had when we kissed.

You can make me satisfied. I hate you because of this; and I almost love you all the same. But no matter what, I want you.

Come now. No one can resist me – not even you. You'll see, you won't need anyone but me. I'll elude the other bad guys and keep you all to myself; I'll protect you from that awful, cruel world. And I'll keep that sweet innocence for myself.

You shall be mine.

Chow couldn't help but smile as he looked down at Jade's limp form in his arms through his yellow trademark sunglasses.

So young, he thought. And yet so beautiful.

Then, with that, he whispered, "I'm afraid I will not let you go, ma petite fille."

He smirked and placed his mouth over hers in a sensual kiss…