TW: Violence, violence against children, sexual assault, emotional abuse, racism
6 years before The Fall
“D. Just D.”
D was determined to forget her old name, though she knew it would take time. It had only been a week (maybe more, maybe less as she’d been drinking, swallowing and smoking whatever she could get her hands on) since she’d been called by that name, since she’d escaped from Chicago to Atlanta and abandoned the previous 16 years of her life.
“Aight, D,” Tavon responded as he finished feeding the tropical fish in his lavish tank that stood out in the middle class (at best) apartment. Pimps and dealers trying to look wealthy had always been humorous to D but she couldn’t laugh and risk hurting important feelings.
“So you wanna sell? Cause I got way better use for you. You’d make more money too, y’know what I’m saying?” He loomed over where D sat on the couch, looking her up and down. D’s masculine posture, splayed across the couch with her legs spread, and baggy clothes did little to dissuade him.
“I be treating my girls good, y’know? I don’t just be putting my hands on women.” Tavon smiled. D imagined his grilled teeth wrapped around the pavement.
“I don’t wanna hook.” D fought back the snap in her voice. “I sold back in Chicago. I was good at it. And don’t get it twisted, that ain’t have anything to do with why I left.” Intellectually, hooking made sense. She’d fit well amongst the chorus of bodies cursed by the misfortune of being born with black skin and pussies, having ass and tits that grew too fast, too poor and too ugly to be anything else, could only make their living fucking. Logic, however, would not fix the knot in her stomach and the recollection in her bones.
“But you probably better at other things too, ain’t ya Miss slim thick?”
In the time D took to ponder whether that was enough of a slight to abandon her need to keep him flattered, he was on her. He felt less like a human body, more like a blanket of nauseating weight that paralyzed her, leaving her white hot rage without an outlet. She didn’t panic though. She knew this feeling, had thought many times “I’ll kill him after '' and once, just once, she’d kept that promise to herself. So she went limp, easing into the black space in the back of her mind that kept her safe.
Then the front door opened.
In stepped the beautiful visage of a woman, long, willowy limbs, acid washed jeans hanging low on thick hips, small breasts in a tight poorly fitting pink tube top, blonde hair that glowed in a golden halo of loose strands around her head, lily white skin and eyes… the most beautiful eyes, blue and deep and ethereal. D had always been, as useless as the impulse had been, attracted to women but this was something different, something new.
D thought she heard the woman speak but initially dismissed it. The words she thought she heard couldn’t possibly be correct. It wasn’t until the blanket of sick was removed, until D was alone in the room while Tavon and the girl had a lover's quarrel in a separate room, that she realized what the woman had said.
“Tavon, stop! She doesn’t want it! Stop!”
D knew what the girl didn’t, that it was a waste of a kindness, squandered on someone who did not deserve it. No one had ever made a mistake towards D like that before. Despite the prickling of something in her skin (later, she would name it guilt), D clung to the gift, the first of it’s kind she’d ever received.
D was in love.
Her name was Angel and this fact only served to worsen the prickling in D’s skin. Despite her heretic heart, she couldn’t deny that this was some holy conviction from a higher power. The feeling persisted as, now that D was a low level dealer for Tavon, she found herself in their apartment, basking in that woman’s glow, often. So D tried to deal with it, tried to deal with the dizzying heat that came with Angel’s grinning greetings and wandering around in a towel. D started tucking momentos in her pocket, lipstick stained cigarette butts, handfuls of hairs pulled from her hairbrush, thongs. She kept her keepsakes in a pillowcase, clutched it to her chest every night, breathed in the heavenly scent and managed to sleep soundly on the park bench she had claimed. But none of this fixed the unease and eventually it needed to be dealt with.
They were on the couch, Angel uncomfortably close, prattling on as D crushed stolen painkillers to cut the new, very weak batch with.
“Why did you move? I don’t think you’ve ever mentioned it,” Angel asked. It was the perfect opportunity to, if not to right the wrong, explain to Angel how she’d been robbed. Maybe it might even be nice to see that pretty face distort with repugnance.
“My foster Dad had been fucking me since I was little, so I killed him.” D looked up, expecting Angel’s beautiful features to be blown out in horror and disgust. Instead, her head was tilted to the side, lips dumbly pursed, eyes bright and curious . Seemed D didn’t do a good job explaining.
“Why didn’t you tell the police?” she asked with an innocent upward lilt of genuine curiosity. Precious.
“He was a white teacher fostering a fucked up little black girl.” Angel’s face didn’t change. “Wouldn’t nobody care. I mean, people knew and didn’t care so…” D shrugged. “Besides, I wanted to do it myself. I took my time…” The warmth of nostalgia shivered through her body as she recalled their three hours together, how the first pleasure he’d ever given her was in his death and had been mind-numbing. Her original plan was to kill herself right after he took his final breath but the realization that such pleasure was available to her in this world had kept her going. She didn’t mourn the human being she’d once been.
D’s staring off into the distance was disrupted when Angel leaned into her frame of vision, face split by a toothy grin as she trembled with throaty giggles.
“Why do you look turned on right now?” Angel teased. She took a deep breath and fell back against the couch. “Ok, so, I feel like I can tell you now but I’m only with Tavon because he bangs and I wanna take over his beat and- well, I don’t wanna, like, gang bang, like all that small fry shit. I wanna work my way to the top. I always have, since I was little! I wanna fly private jets and own tigers! I already help him with his girls, I know how stuff works but-”
“You wanna kill him?”
Angel grinned. “You get it! It wasn’t my plan from the beginning but I can’t stand him anymore and I don’t know if just playing along is gonna be enough.”
D nodded, sucked her teeth. “You’d need to make sure his people respect you so they don’t come for his beat. And when you kill him, you gotta make a statement or else mother fuckers’ll try shit.”
Angel nodded, hungrily absorbing the advice. She leaned forward and before she even spoke, D knew she was hooked.
“Will you help me?”
The first kindness hadn’t been an accident. It was a deliberate blessing, given consciously to a monster and D needed more, more, more.
“I’d love to.”
5 years before The Fall
D almost felt guilty for keeping such a treat to herself but Angel had never admitted to sharing D’s proclivities. So, in the dank bottom floor of a busted old parking lot, D straddled Tavon’s hips and savored the lovely little display she’d created. He’d been screaming and sobbing in the beginning but now that his achilles were cut, his wrists broken, his kneecaps bent backwards, he was mostly quiet, nothing but little rasps and sobs making it through the cloth gag. D was letting him rest while she savored his pathetic condition. She couldn’t help the slow undulation of her hips - she was far too riled up to resist the need for friction- and she couldn’t help the giddy giggles that kept bubbling out. She reached into her back pocket and pulled out her phone. Just a few more minutes...
“Angel’s gonna be here soon! We just finished getting everything ready to get rid of you but she don’t know I did this. ” Tavon didn’t respond, staring off into nothing. D huffed, grabbed his jaw and pulled his head off the ground with a shake. “Hey! Listen to me! Does Angel like surprises?” She’d assumed. Surprises were supposed to be inherently romantic, right? After a moment of Tavon staring dumbly at her, D dug her nails into his cheek. He whined and shrugged and D dropped his head back onto the ground.
“You’re fucking useless. Dying is gonna be the only useful thing you do.” D leaned forward, her elbows digging into his chest as she stared at his carotid pulsing under his skin. Patience. “Could you make her cum? I bet not. I bet she fakes it. I bet she sounds so good when she fakes it….”
Echoed footsteps growing louder and louder caught D’s attention and she sat up, searching until she saw that beauty sauntering in from the darkness, hair piled up on her head, wearing sweatpants and a worn sports bra. It had been so hard for D to plan this gesture around a night she knew Angel wouldn’t be partying. She was so gorgeous like this.
“Surprise!” D rolled off of Tavon and scrambled towards Angel. The closer she got, the clearer Angel’s expression became and D skidded to a stop when the look of gratitude and wanton desire she’d expected was absent. Angel looked confused. Angel looked annoyed. Angel looked beautiful. Angel looked angry.
“What the fuck? You just...you just did this?” Angel marched past D to stand over Tavon, lip screwed up as she examined his worthless body.
D swallowed past the painful lump and rising sickness in her throat.
“I-It was a surprise,” D whispered. “I wanted to surprise you.”
Angel turned to D. Her lip curled. She ran her tongue over her teeth. Her eyes glowed like blue flames, too bright for D to maintain direct eye contact. Maybe it would be bright enough to blanch her pure.
“Why did you do all this to him? Why didn’t you just kill him?” Why didn’t-” Angel’s voice grew sharper and sharper until she snapped her jaw shut, though not quick enough to spare D the pain of her ire. D recoiled, wrapping her arms around her chest, trying to hold her heart back from breaking through her rib cage. She wanted this feeling gone and she’d never had to hold bad feelings in for very long. There had always been somewhere nearby to put them, other kids, be they foster siblings or neighbors, little creatures, be they household pets or strays. But right now, there was only Tavon, who had been deemed untouchable by Angel, and Angel herself. And D would never touch Angel. She couldn’t hurt Angel and she most certainly couldn’t get rid of Angel. She loved Angel.
Angel cocked her head to the side. “Did you just want to do this?” The sharpness in her tone gave way to a lilt, a tease that stung D to the bone and pooled between her legs.
“You just wanted to torture him, didn’t you?”
It was all D could do to nod.
Angel stepped closer and closer, wafting her scent, strawberries and sweat and codeine and cigarettes as D was so accustomed to. Suddenly there were cloud soft hands on either side of D’s face, bleeding warmth into D’s skin. While every strand of D’s nervous system demanded she fight, the potion in her nose kept her subdued and she let her head be tilted up until she was staring into those eyes, now cool and welcoming.
“Look, I want things to run smooth and professional when I’m on top and I can’t do that if you’re just fucking people up whenever you want.” Her voice was slow and even and absurdly, inappropriately kind. “There has to be rules. You can’t touch anyone unless I say. You wanted to help me so you must trust me, right?”
“Yes, yes…” D whispered. Her whole body vibrated with sensation, with fear and desire and shame.
“Okay. Then you gotta work for me. If you have a need…” Angel drew out the word, glanced to the body on the ground, then looked back at D with a smirk. “Then ask. And I’ll take care of you.” Angel smiled and dropped her hands from D’s face, though D could feel her fingers permanently burned into her skin.
Angel looked down at Tavon, tears streaming down his face, weakly wriggling back and forth with empty eyes, resigned to the fact he would be dying soon. Angel shook her head and nudged Tavon’s foot, making it flop back at an awkward angle and drawing a high pitched cry.
“God, you’re a fucking monster. Let’s finish this up.”
4 years before The Fall
Driving was one of D’s official duties and she always enjoyed faithfully performing her duties so she tried to focus. The road ahead that split the quiet orange desert was half as beautiful as her boss dozing in the passenger seat. However, she couldn’t help but be distracted by the payload sitting in the back, reflected in the rearview mirror.
Michael Shoemaker, age seven, son of Evan Shoemaker, age forty-eight, one of the most prolific kingpins on the east coast and the man they were currently driving to meet for a negotiation. Should things go well, should their decision to pick the youngest of Shoemaker’s bastard children as their bargaining chip pay off (they had the addresses of the other eight as backup plans), they’d have a near monopoly on black tar, among other imports, and would be a step closer to their dream, Angel’s dream. Business class flights, down payment on a house. Maybe they’d have the budget for a bedframe for D, maybe even a queen or a king, though she was grateful for the twin size mattress that she slept on, simply because it was on the floor at the foot of her Angel’s bed.
“Easy, you little monster,” Angel cooed. “You look like you wanna eat him alive.” After Tavon, D had carried out many jobs at Angel’s behest, snitch hits, information gathering, simple revenge etc. but the rules were clear and D had obeyed them. She hadn’t spilled a drop of blood uncommanded. It was always a beloved treat and never enough.
D nodded silently. Something about the boy was bothering her, making her skin blister with violent impulse, despite the fact she had no relation to him and had known him for only two hours. She couldn’t pull her eyes away from him. He sat peacefully swiping through his Ipad, adjusting his headphones, unaware he’d been kidnapped, seemingly ignorant to the concept. His cheeks and hands and stomach were pudgy, freckled and pale white, covered in well fitting, expensive clothes. Had the world really been so easy on him? Was he really such a stranger to suffering at all of seven years old? D couldn’t recall a time of such innocence.
“We have to make sure he’s ok so we can make nice with Shoemaker, ok?” Angel explained. “Gun to his head, let me talk. That’s all.” Angel snickered and leaned across the center console with that viscous grin. “But if you’re so riled up by a little boy, maybe I’ll let you take care of that snitch back home.”
D swallowed the “I love you” on her tongue.
The deal went south. Instead of a friendly discussion, Shoemaker had a knife to Angel’s throat while D stood across from him with a gun to the boy’s temple. D was horrified to see her boss in such a state, wide eyed and quivering. But while D tried to focus on coming up with a plan, she couldn't help but be distracted by the boy in her arms, shaking and sobbing to the point of vomiting. She could feel him experiencing horror for the first time in his life and she counted herself lucky.
“You give me my boy and we go our separate ways or I slit this bitches throat!”
“You slit her throat, your son and you are both dead. Knife against a gun’s not a good match, motherfucker!”
“We're not leaving without an agreement,” Angel said hoarsely, gripping Shoemaker’s forearm. “Besides, we got your other kids info so-” She was cut off by the knife just barely biting into her skin but her fearless smirk didn’t falter.
“Let her go or I blow the boys' brains out!” D barked.
“Then your bitch dies!”
This was taking too much time and yet every second that passed was tedious, unproductive. Something needed to happen…
D had an idea and couldn’t help but grin. It might get her in trouble but, in addition to saving Angel, it would be fun, so much fun. She saw Shoemaker’s face fall and she wondered just how hideous her smile was.
“Angel, I’m sorry about this.” With her free hand and the barrel of the gun still steady on Michael’s temple, D grabbed the boy’s little hand, lifting up to her mouth, observing the visible blue veins, the tiny, weak fingers. “Shoemaker! Every second you keep playing, you gonna lose a little bit of your boy.”
She took a deep breath. Angel already knew she was a monster, she couldn’t be too disappointed. D opened her mouth and placed the boys pinky and ring finger between her molars. She grasped the last three fingers in her free hand, bit down, yanked.
The flesh gave. The boy sang. Shoemaker paled. It was lovely.
“No way surgeries gonna fix that. He’ll probably need a prosthetic or something. There’s no possible way his hand is ever gonna work again,” Angel mused as they stepped into the hotel room. It was a bitch of a drive back home from Texas and they were far too exhausted after the day they’d had. Angel plopped down on the edge of the single King bed while D set their luggage down and took to setting things up, pulling out Angel’s pajamas and clothes for the next day, locating toiletries. “He’ll probably be deaf too. I’m surprised Shoemaker lasted that long.”
D avoided eye contact, even as she could feel Angel’s eyes boring into her. For a while, the room was thickly silent, save for the rustling of D moving about. Angel finally broke it, patting the bed next to her and chirping. “D, come here.”
D obediently heeled and sat next to Angel, her gaze fixed on the empty space between their thighs. D cleared her throat.
“I broke the rules and I’m sorry. I didn’t-”
“I didn’t really get it until today and seeing you do what you did. But…”
D swallowed with great effort now that her mouth was entirely dry. She could handle this. She could handle rejection or firing. Suicide had always remained an option.
“...having someone as fucked up as you…” Angel continued. “My own little monster who not only hurts people for me but enjoys it? Like really, really enjoys it? It’s exciting.”
Angel’s voice dipped to a whisper still colored by that near constant giggle. A soft, pale hand fell on D’s thigh and she looked up, staring directly into predatory, sharp, beautiful blue eyes staring through her. Angel smirked and began rubbing small circles, moving up, up, up.
“I know you steal my underwear,” she giggled and leaned closer, her breath ghosting over the crook of D’s neck, close enough D was sure that Angel could hear the blood rushing back and forth. “It’s really sweet that you replace them, but I notice.”
Angel pressed a kiss to D’s jaw and the wrongness of it was more arousing than the contact. D imagined Angel drawing back, her lips stained kohl black. She let out an embarrassingly pathetic hiss.
“You want me?” Angel asked.
D took in a shaky breath, “If I wanted anyone else this bad, I would've torn her to shreds.” D could feel herself quivering with desire, energy that demanded an outlet but not yet. Not until she got clear permission.
Permission was granted with Angel’s soft lips just barely brushing against hers.
Afterwards, holding the now pink and purple bruised body of her boss tight in her arms, she couldn’t help but laugh. It was silly but it felt like her first time.
2 hours before The Fall
“Their beliefs don’t matter. It’s business so they’re just like any other gang.”
That was Angel’s explanation and now D was keeping watch by the alley doorway of O’Malley’s Bar and Pub, the preferred meeting spot of the Aryan Republic Brotherhood Nation blah blah blah. D only called them nazis. Inside, the big boys were talking, negotiating. Absorbing them would mean control over most of the gun trafficking in the city as well as one more step towards the dream. D tried to keep her mind focused on the night they had ahead of them, how Angel was always sweet and pliant after hard negotiations. There was red wine and a claw foot tub and Angel’s strawberry shampooed hair sliding between her fingers waiting at home. But maintaining the fantasy was nearly impossible with a room full of boogeymen just yards away from her. Angel didn’t feel the implicit threat of their existence, as she shouldn’t, but D could hear the eight year old woman she’d been in the back of her head, screaming. “You could run right now like you couldn’t before. Run!” It was irrational though. Everything was fine, had been fine as long as she belonged to Angel, her Angel.
The alleyway door opened and Angel stepped out, her Louboutin heels clicking on the pavement, and held the door open with her hip.
“Hey D. I need you inside.”
D sputtered. “W-why? Did something go wrong?”
Angel sighed and pushed the door all the way open. Behind her was a small hall that passed the kitchen and led to another door that opened into the main bar, where the boogeymen were waiting.
Angel shook her head. “No, it’s all good. We’ve almost come to a decision but we had to make a, uh, a deal, I guess, to finish things off and I need you for that.”
Angel curled a finger towards her, beckoning D closer. D trotted forward and leaned into Angel’s hand on her cheek. “They didn’t like that my second in command was… black. It was getting to be a whole thing so…” Angel sighed, ran a hand through her own hair. “I offered them you as a kind of consolation and they liked that. It’ll be an hour and then one of ours will drive you home, ok?” She spoke light and easy, like all the requests D had so faithfully fulfilled all these years.
D stumbled back. Her eyes stung. Her vision blurred. Her chest ached with the force of her heart beat. She couldn’t feel her feet on the ground or hear anything but the roar of blood in her ears. Her mouth flooded as vomit threatened. Maybe she’d heard wrong, maybe Angel had misspoke and yet, Angel’s face did not change even as D wavered before her.
Before she could speak, Angel took her hands, turning her around so she was in the doorway. “It’ll be ok, D. My strong little monster.” Angel smiled and her voice dripped with fondness. “You’ll be fine.”
“N-no,” D finally choked out as tears fell from her eyes for the first time in… she had no idea. “I don’t wanna…. I-I’m yours, Angel. I’m yours! I’m only yours! I only wanna be yours!”
“You’ve always done what I needed, D. This is just one more thing, ok?” Angel grabbed the door handle and took another step back. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a key.
“Please!” D screamed. “I can’t-”
“Yes you can. You’re used to it.”
The door closed. The door locked.
A force stronger than horror and self preservation began to move D down the hallway, towards the door, towards the five or ten or fifty bogeyman waiting for her. What else was she to do against a force as powerful as her Angel? Besides, she was right.
She was used to it.
D was never a believer and thus, had never felt the sensation of losing a belief. However, she immediately recognized the feeling as such when she stood in the doorway of Angel’s office, watching her boss, her Angel, casually writing in a notebook, hair in a bun. Faith sloughed off her like dead skin and she felt light.
D stood silently in the doorway, unseen, taking note of every vile sensation and bone deep pain in her body, comparing it to the heavenly visage of her lover that she’d constructed in her head for years and worshipped faithfully. God was dead and had left behind the body of a rich white woman.
“I’ve really just been your dog this whole time.”
Angel startled and stood up, rushing over to D. “Hey! The driver didn’t tell me he’d left or I would've- come on, I’ll run you a bath and we’ll order-”
When Angel was within a foot of her, D pulled her knife, a sparkling rainbow colored switchblade, an anniversary present. Angel gasped and stumbled back.
“D....D, I know you’re upset and I’m so sorry this had to-”
“Nah, we’re not doing that. We’re not gonna talk through this.” D took a step forward. “Cause, see, I already figured it out so I’m not gonna go back.”
Angel, in all her gall, looked indignant. “What’s different about you? You’ve always been grateful-”
“Grateful?” D snapped and pushed Angel back against the desk, holding the knife at her stomach.
“Yes!” Angel yelled. “You know you’re a monster. You are fucked up and evil but despite that I have loved you and taken care of you and appreciated you. What’s wrong with you now?”
“Would you be angry? If you got beat and fucked till you bled...over and over...you’d have some complaints, wouldn’t you?”
Angel blinked dumbly, having to utilize the entirety of her imagination for the hypothetical. D snickered. There was a time where Angel’s callous yet genuine naivety was charming, and seemed like a comfortable void for D to fill. “Y-yes,” she finally said. “ I would but you're d-different. Th-that’s why we work! You’re…” Angel sputtered and struggled and D wondered just what horrible truths she was biting back as she tried and failed to say something decent.
“Look, I thought about it. I figured it out. You left me there cause you look at me the same way they do.” D let her knife drift back and forth from all the places D had kissed the night before. “And they looked at me like my foster dad. So that means you’re like my foster dad. So…” D looked up at those beautiful blue eyes and made a note not to harm them. “So I think I’ll deal with you the same way.”
And finally, finally, Angel's eyes filled with the same expression D had seen in every pair of eyes except these, the thing she thought Angel was immune to. Fear. Her eyes were wide, her throat quivering with dry swallows, sweat glistening on her red skin. She really was so beautiful.
“D.” A tear escaped Angel’s eye. “I… I love you.”
D smiled. She leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Angel’s lips, giggling when she felt her love relax. D cocked the knife back, thrust it forward and hungrily swallowed the guttural shriek her Angel released.
“I love you too, Angel. Always.”