n_wilkinson: (day of reckoning)
[personal profile] n_wilkinson
 a/n: Please READ the warnings. That's all I ask.

Title: Looking Glass
Genre: Horror, Short Story
Warnings: mentions of m/m erotica, mindfuck, gore, character death, m/f romance, NSFW, darkfic, angst
Description: Devon will never understand it. There's no sense to it. No rhyme or reason. None at all.
Dedication: For [livejournal.com profile] sarshi_k , who was the 7777th hit on my website, the Den of Debauchery, and won this fic.


Inspired by “Looking Glass,” by The Birthday Massacre.

 
~ Part One ~

There is no scene as beautiful as the night sky, twinkling with a sea of lights. Eric can see them from the massive window in his living room, one that opens to a balcony and provides a titillating view of the Seattle skyline. From here, nearly forty stories up, there's nothing he can't see. Even the dark pool that is the Pacific Sound is plainly visible, a spread of water on the horizon.

It's beautiful, a view that brings a smile to his lips.

Hands in his pockets, Eric takes in a deep breath. He wonders when Devon is coming home. He knows that his lover had to work late tonight; he had discovered a flaw in his presentation for tomorrow and stayed longer to make sure it was fixed.

That's Devon for ya, Eric thinks fondly. Perfectionist to the last. Devon never wants anyone to think less of him, and he's always determined to prove how good at his job he is. And Devon is, by the way, very good at his job. He deserved that promotion to assistant design executive.

Still, Eric would like Devon to be home now. Dinner is in the kitchen, keeping warm in the oven. It's only take-out since Eric still can't cook worth a damn – he burns water – but it's from Devon's favorite Chinese place just down the street. They make the best Chicken Mei Fun that Eric has ever tasted.

He licks his lips in memory, the fragrant smell of rice noodles and grilled chicken still clinging to his nostrils. His stomach growls, but Eric refuses to eat until Devon is here. That's a habit they've always tried to keep, eating their meals together. Eric loves to sit at the table, watching Devon wrap his lips around chopsticks, each movement precise and practiced. Not like Eric, who can't use a pair of chopsticks to save his life. He always asks for a fork when they go out for sushi.

Eric shifts in place, ears anxiously attuned to the sound of the door opening. Of course, dinner could wait too. Eric's hunger is not just for food. This balcony, these windows, are perfect. He wonders why he's never noticed that before. Forty floors up, the chances of anyone looking in and seeing anything are nonexistent, but the miniscule chance is still there, tingling in Eric's blood like warm fire.

Devon would be beautiful against the glass, Eric thinks, his body outlined by the dark of the night and the gleam of the stars and the lights from the various businesses below. A catch-me-if-you-can gleam in Devon's grey eyes, reflected in the glass of the window.

Eric reaches out, presses his palm to the glass. It's cool to the touch, but not unbearably cold. It's been a mild winter. Seattle rarely gets snow – more famous for its rain – and this winter is no exception.

I could bear it, Eric thinks, and bites back a moan as it tries to spill from his lips.

It wouldn't be a harsh thing, to feel his naked body pressing against this glass, not so long as the heat of Devon's skin presses to him from behind. Long and muscular, cock hard and ready as it prods against Eric's buttocks, leaking precome. Devon's hands would slide along his arms, tangle with his fingers, keep Eric's hands pinned to the window. He would blanket Eric from behind, his lips and breath a warm wetness on Eric's ear. His tongue and teeth and mouth nibbling on Eric's sensitive neck, making shivers dance down his spine.

In the reflection of the window, Eric would be able to see Devon behind him, looking darkly over Eric's shoulder. Promise in his eyes, and hunger. He would whisper sinful things in Eric's ears, calling him dirty names, making Eric's cock throb and his body pulse with heat. He would leak, all over the window no less, and Devon would chuckle. Would make him fall to his knees later and clean up his mess, the taste of spunk and lingering Windex on his tongue.

Eric shudders and reaches down with his free hand, palming the growing arousal in his pressed slacks. He's already getting hard, and he's got nothing but his imagination to sustain him. He rubs his palm over his length, a twist of heat curling in his belly.

How he wishes Devon would hurry up and come home!

As if in answer to his internal wish, the sound of the front door clicking open floats to his ears. A broad smile pulls at Eric's lips and he turns away from the window. He deftly navigates around the furniture in the shadowed living room – Eric rarely turns on lights if he can help it, he likes to conserve energy – and bounds into the hallway, a greeting for his lover dancing on his lips.

Only... it's not Devon standing in the doorway, quietly pulling off his coat and setting his keys on the tiny hall table and kicking off his shoes in the direction of the shoe rack.

It's not Devon at all. In fact, it's Her.

Eric scowls, stopping dead in his tracks, hands fisting at his sides.

What is She doing here?

She's staring at him too, as though shocked that Eric is here, like it's not his right, like it hasn't been his right for the past six months.

“What are you doing here? How did you get into my house?” She demands, hands frozen in place and a wariness in her brown eyes.

Eyes like dead leaves, Eric thinks nastily. And not the good kind either, but the damp, rotting ones at the bottom of a pile that smell like yesterday's garbage and mold.

“I should be asking you the same question,” Eric retorts, his arousal deflating in the presence of Her.

She whom he hates. She who is making things complicated. She who can't understand what's best for her and leave Devon alone. Devon doesn't belong to her anymore, never has in fact, and she just can't get that through her thick skull. Crazy bitch.

Anger broils inside of Eric like magma, and he knows his face is twisting into something ugly. He can't help it. He hates Her, hates Her like he's hated nothing else before. She keeps getting in the way, distracting Devon, reminding him of the “other side.” She keeps stepping between Devon and Eric, making things complicated. And Eric can't stand it.

She frowns, backs up a step, and her coat falls to the floor, making her look smaller in her clinging gym clothes, long brown hair tied up into a high tail. She looks in need of a shower, and Eric swears he can smell Her from here, the stench of sweat and perfume and girly deodorants and even girlier body sprays.

“Why are you here?” She demands and then shakes her head, edging toward the wall. One hand digs around in her too-large purse. “You need to get out of here. Now.”

Eric's eyes narrow into thin slits of blue. “You don't have the right to tell me that,” he says, anger rolling and cresting inside of him. He wants to hurt her, he does. She's such a damn nuisance. “Only Devon does.”

She's getting paler, the freckles dotting her cheeks in stark relief as she presses her back to the wall. “If you don't leave, I'm going to call the police,” she says firmly, lips pressed together, a flash of defiance in her eyes.

Her hand emerges with a cell phone, pulled from the depths of her purse, one of those expensive, brand new Apple phones. Bought with Devon's hard-earned money no doubt. She always wants the newest and the brightest, thinks they are what she's owed.

Eric sneers. This bitch doesn't deserve Devon. Never did. And yet she comes waltzing in here like she belongs, like it's her right, and Eric hates it.

“I'm not leaving,” he snaps, standing his ground, hands shaking as he tries to restrain himself. “I'm not leaving no matter what you say.”

Her eyes widen and her fingers slide over the touch-screen on her phone. “You're crazy,” She says, a bit shakily, fear replacing her arrogance. “You're fucked up. I told Devon not to hang out with you. I told him--”

She shrieks when he rushes her, and the phone clatters to the floor, knocked from her fingers by a casual backhand slap. His fingers are around her throat before he can think otherwise, and when she swallows, he feels it bob against his palm. She's the same height as him – Devon always did like the tall ones – but with her neck in his fingers, she feels so delicate.

“I knew it,” Eric hisses, flexing his fingers, feeling her tremble and delighting in it. “I knew you were lying about me to him. I knew you were trying to drive us apart.” He gets closer, until her shallow, panting breaths puff across his lips.

He was right. She does stink. Like perfume and sweat and woman.

And then her free hand comes up and slams into the side of his head, making him momentarily see stars. She doesn't use her palm like a normal woman, no, she forms a full fist and slams her knuckles into his temple.

Eric curses, staggers, and that gives her room to bring up a knee, aiming it for his groin. He twists at the last moment and the blow lands against his inner thigh. His hold loosens and She tears out from under his fingers, scrabbling down the hallway, further into the apartment.

Where does she think she's going? Further into the apartment which isn't hers? Further into the place that Devon works his ass off to pay for? Who does she think she is?

His head is spinning, but her blow is only a distraction. It hasn't incapacitated him. Eric easily turns to follow her, catching sight of her as she whirls toward the living room with the beautiful bay windows and connecting balcony.

She's probably going for the bedroom. Maybe she thinks she can lock herself in, wait Eric out. That if she stays long enough, Eric will give up and leave and let her have Devon.

Che. Stupid bitch.

His lips twist into something ugly, a twisted sneer. It's all her fault. She's the one who caused this in him. But that's okay, once she's out of the picture, everything will be all right. Devon won't have to stress anymore, and they can be happy. Yes, they can.

Eric thinks he can head her off. He cuts into the kitchen, easily moving through the darkness. He can hear her. She's stumbling, bouncing off furniture, crashing in the shadows without light to guide her. She's not as good in the dark as he is.

Something glints next to the sink, in the drying rack. Eric pauses for half a second, but he doesn't need any longer than that half moment to debate. His lips curl over his teeth.

He pulls the clean knife from the holder, admiring the curve of the blade. This is a new set, too. One that Devon received for Christmas from his mother. Devon is the cook, after all, and only the best tools are allowed for a cook. These knives are special, guaranteed to never rust, never dull, like some late night infomercial.

It's a beautiful knife.

Eric's fingers curl around the handle and he lowers his hand, letting the blade tap against his black slacks.

He can hear Her, scrambling about in the hallway, and Eric grins. He edges around the bar counter and pushes through the opposite door, stepping directly into the corridor. She shrieks when she sees him and tries to turn. Maybe she's thinking to escape, head back out the front door. Eric can't let that happen. He's done with her getting in the way. He and Devon will never be happy, not as long as She exists.

He reaches out, snags her hair, makes her yelp again. She whirls, eyes wide and crazed in the dark, her breath coming out in sharp pants. She lashes out at him and Eric dodges, retaliating with the knife. It cuts through the air like butter, singing an age-old tune of pain. She twists, tries to avoid it, and the blade catches on her arm, tearing into flesh bared by the short sleeves of her workout tank.

She screams, her fingers warring with his for the grip on her hair. Her nails, finely shaped with a French manicure, are digging into his skin and the pain is only a minor nuisance.

“You bastard!” she screams, and her flailing knocks over a vase in the hallway. It falls to the ground, shatters, water spilling everywhere. Fresh cut flowers crumple to the hardwood floor, and Eric knows that the water will ruin the polishing job.

Devon will be so upset.

His eyes narrow. “You've ruined Devon's floor,” he says coldly, and yanks on her hair too hard. She's able to tear herself away, though chunks of her hair remain in his grip. “How dare you?”

She lashes out at him, but it's a pitiful attempt. Eric's not worried. He lets the blow land, absorbs the force of it, as her fist clocks him across the jaw. He grabs her arm, drags her closer, and lets the blade sink into her abdomen. Blood spills hot and wet over his fingers, and she screams, loud enough for his ears to ring.

Her free hand comes out, and she scratches at his arm, digging deep furrows into his forearm where he's rolled up his sleeves. Blood wells up in the wake of her nails; it's a hot sting. Eric startles, lets her go, even drops the knife. It clatters to the floor with a ringing noise, like a discordant tune to the sound of their breathing.

“Let me go, you crazy freak!” she screeches and kicks out at him again, her foot catching his knee in just the right way to make him stumble.

Pain blossoms as Eric grunts, faltering. It's enough that she can get away, pelting down the hallway toward the bedroom. She can't go anywhere else. Eric's blocking the hallway. She'd have to get past him, and he guesses she doesn't want to take that risk.

Well, he's never really liked Her, but She's not stupid either. Devon wouldn't marry an idiot. He has better taste than that. He chose Eric, didn't he?

She's stumbling, dripping blood. Gut wounds bleed a lot, don't they? Eric knows it has to hurt. He pauses, lets her have a moment to breathe, as he examines the wound on his arm. Three deep scores, slowly seeping blood. Damn, those fake nails are strong. No wonder women spend so much money to get them. Though the fact is it's Devon's money She spent and Eric can't forgive that.

He follows her. Sure enough, she's gone into the bedroom. But there's no lock on the door, so it hardly serves as a deterrent.

Eric pushes it open, hears her give a battle cry, and then he shouts as something slams into his right shoulder. That damn bitch!

Ceramic and bits of glass fall tinkling to the floor from the broken lamp as Eric staggers, dress shoes crunching over more shattered ceramic. She's breathing heavily, like she can't catch her breath, and there's a wildness in her eyes. She's turned the light on in here, too, the better to see him with, he guesses.

Eric grins, with a lot of teeth, and lunges, hands landing on her shoulders. She's beating at him like a wildcat, even as he forces her backward, making her trip on her own feet. She tumbles, landing on the bed, twisting and flailing wildly. Her palm snaps against his lower jaw, her knee slamming against the outside of his leg, but it's not enough to bring him down. They are just nuisance blows, annoying but not debilitating.

He smacks her, a firm backhand, and her shriek is cut off, head rocking to the side. It feels strangely relieving, like a whirling torrent inside of Eric is calmed by the violence.

He cocks his head to the side. Slaps her again.

The whirling eddies calm a bit more. He can think more clearly.

She lurches up at him, a violent swing, but Eric easily pushes her back down. He's straddling her, pinning her legs down with his weight. His fingers curl around her neck again, so thin and delicate, skin hot and flushed beneath his palm.

Tears shine in the corners of her eyes. Blood trickles from the corner of her lips, her cheeks redden from the force of his blows. She looks terrified, so frightened he can almost taste it in the air. The smell of blood is thick, drowning out that perfume-sweat smell that offended his nose earlier. He likes that copper-thick odor much better.

Her lips move, but no sound emerges. He's bearing his weight down now, letting a good bit of it transfer through his fingers to his grip on her neck. She tries to swallow, and it goes nowhere.

She deserves it.

Eric's lips pull into a smile. This is what it will take to have Devon for himself. This is what it will take for them to be happy. This is what needs to be done.

His other hand leaves her shoulder, moves to her throat. His thumbs press against her windpipe. Her hands start beating at his arms, but he hardly feels them. A few wayward blows land against his head, but they are weak. Her legs kick out uselessly. Her body shifts and twists beneath his, the last desperate act of a woman who thinks she is owed everything.

Something crunches beneath his fingers, and she gasps, blood spitting up onto his face. Eric bears down harder, and she jerks feebly. His thumbs dig in, feels her flesh give in under his pressure. Her face is red, scarlet bright, and her eyes are almost popping out of her face. She's terrified and he loves the smell of her fear.

A dark chuckle slips past his lips, along with an overwhelming sense of relief. Her struggles weaken, the light in her eyes die, and the flurry inside of Eric settles into an overwhelming calm. She's completely limp, but he still presses. He has to be sure. He won't have Her interfering again.

Moments pass, and all that Eric can hear is the sound of his own breathing. Strangely, he's not panting. He feels calm, like the world is slowly shifting and turning beneath him. Life goes on; it's no big deal.

He uncoils his fingers, sits back on his haunches. She doesn't move, doesn't twitch, doesn't make a sound. She's still and silent on the bed.

Eric slides off the mattress, flexes his fingers, gingerly touches his jaw where he's sure a bruise is going to develop later. His right shoulder aches. Blood and spittle have flecked onto his cheek. He touches it curiously, looking at the pale crimson on his fingertips as he rubs them together.

He moves to the end of the bed, idly flicking his free hand through his short blond hair. Blood has splashed onto his dress shirt somehow, even dotting his tie. He has to get cleaned up. He can't let Devon see him like this.

Eric hopes the food hasn't gotten cold. Maybe he should go ahead and plate up their servings and pop them in the microwave for a minute. Devon should be home any minute now.

He looks at the bed dismissively. He'll have to get that cleaned up, too. No need to let her interfere with things in death as she has in life. He'll have to dispose of her, and quickly. Get the nuisance out of the way as soon as possible.

A sound in the doorway makes Eric turn, only for his lips to widen into a pleased grin. Devon is standing there, still wearing his long coat, briefcase dropped to the ground. His grey eyes are large, his face pale for some reason that Eric can't understand.

He smiles in greeting, lifting a hand. “Welcome home, honey. Dinner's probably a little cold so I'll heat it up in a minute. I just have to clean up this mess first.”

~ Part Two ~

Sometimes, Devon really hates technology. Sure, it comes to great use when crafting a presentation worthy of an advertising medal. But it also has a nasty habit of failing him at a crucial moment, like when he's facing a deadline and his job is on the line. Like when he has a major presentation first thing in the morning and his posters have been lost somewhere between his e-mail and the corporate printer.

It has taken him hours to sort the mess out and now all Devon wants to do is go home, crawl into bed beside his wife, and maybe worry about dinner later. Or not at all. He just wants sleep before he has to be up at the ass-crack of dawn to give the pitch that will make or break his career.

Rubbing a tired hand down his face, Devon waits for the elevator to reach the fortieth floor. The apartment is nice and expensive, a gift to himself after earning his promotion. Christine loves it, and Devon must admit, he likes the view from the living room. There's nothing quite like the Seattle skyline at night.

He enjoys standing there, all the lights turned off in the living room, watching the sun set with a glass of wine in his hand. It's something that really gets the muses stirring. He's come up with some brilliant ideas recently thanks to the view.

The elevator dings, depositing him on his floor, and Devon tips his head in greeting to Mrs. Clarkson, the elderly widow who lives across the hallway from him. She likes to stop by from time to time, pawn off her tasteless treats on him and Christine. His wife is always too polite to say no and accepts the hard cookies. Devon's been roped into helping Mrs. Clarkson move her furniture from time to time. He doesn't mind too terribly.

She smiles at him, face wrinkling up, and steps into the elevator, waving goodbye. He has no idea where she's going this time of night. Probably to visit her friend on one of the lower floors.

Hand diving into his pocket, Devon roots out his keys and heads down the hallway to his flat, the second door on the left, situated between two other apartments. He knows the one on his left is vacant, and the one on the right is occupied by a nosy writer for the Seattle Times. She's probably awake even now, rushing to finish her own deadline.

To Devon's surprise, the front door isn't locked. He frowns. Christine must be home, though she's usually not one to forget to lock it behind her. He pushes the door open, steps into the entryway, and his frown deepens. It's dark, not a single light has been turned on. Christine isn't normally one for wandering around in the dark

“Christine?” he calls out, and then wonders if that is perhaps the wrong action to take. What if it's not his wife who has come home, but a burglar rifling through their possessions?

Chewing on the inside of his cheek, Devon ventures further into his apartment. Does he dare turn on a light and announce his presence? He might as well, since he's already spoken. With a flick, he cuts on both the hall light and the one for the living room, passing by the dark and empty kitchen. To his surprise, the blinds over the massive sliding doors and the balcony are pulled wide open, revealing the beautiful night sky.

Devon knows he closed them before he left for the day. He supposes Christine could have opened them, but why didn't she turn on the lights? Has she left again? She would have closed the curtains, wouldn't she?

He turns toward the corridor that leads to the back bedrooms, their full bathroom, and the secondary door to the kitchen. One of the decorative tables have been knocked over, and a picture on the wall is crooked, barely hanging from one string. A vase sits in the middle of the hall in several pieces, water pooling on his brand new flooring and the flowers scattered in all directions.

Uncertainty pools in the pit of Devon's stomach. He knows he should just leave, call the police, let them investigate the rest. But if Christine is here, if she needs his help... he can't leave without checking the bedroom.

Which happens to be the only room in the apartment with a light on. The door is wide open, spilling the fake white light into the hallway. Christine has always preferred the CFL bulbs to the incandescent ones.

Devon approaches with caution, unsure of what he'll find, and when he peers into the doorway, he feels the coldness in his belly turn to jagged shards of ice. He's simultaneously sick, outraged, and confused.

His suitcase falls from his nerveless fingers, thumping to the floor, and that's when the man turns to look at him. A man that Devon knows, works with, takes out to lunch occasionally despite the weird fawning way he treats Devon sometimes.

“Welcome home, honey,” Eric says with a brilliant grin and a tiny wave, as though he's not standing there covered in blood, in Devon's apartment where he shouldn't be. “Dinner's probably a little cold so I'll heat it up in a minute. I just have to clean up this mess first.”

“You...” Devon is honestly at a loss for words. “What the hell are you doing here, Eric? How did you get in? What... what happened to Christine?”

His eyes flick past his co-worker to the body of his wife, spread across the bed, crimson soaking their white comforter. She's still, too damn still to be alive, and Devon fears the worst. His fingers shake, tremors in his body soon following.

Eric tilts his head to the side, looking confused. “What do you mean, Devon? I did this for you. For us. So we could be together.” His lips twist into a sneer as he shoots a glare at the bed. “I was tired of Her coming in between us.”

Us?” Devon repeats and his voice is damn near a girly shriek of outrage. “You... we work together. That's it. We're not even friends!”

Of all things, Eric looks hurt, and even more confused then before. His blue eyes dim with sadness, like Devon's just broke his heart. He lifts hands stained with blood into a beseeching gesture.

Eric moves closer, too close for Devon's comfort. “But that doesn't make any sense,” he says, and his tongue swipes quickly over his lips, yearning echoed in his eyes. “We're together, Devon. Don't you remember?”

Devon thinks he's going to vomit, here and now. Eric's lost his mind. This makes no sense whatsoever. They are nothing more than coworkers, not even in the same department. Yes, Devon's invited Eric out for lunch a few times. Eric's the only one he knows who has the same intense fascination with Star Trek. So yes, they caught the new Star Trek movie together and they've had lunch together but that doesn’t make up a relationship.

Devon is married. To a woman, to Christine.

His stomach lurches. Christine. What the hell happened to his wife? No, he can guess what happened. It's pretty damn obvious just where the blood on Eric's hands came from. Why? Because of a relationship they don't even have? What is Eric thinking?

Eric's delusional, off his rocker, he's...

...getting closer, reaching for Devon with those blood-stained hands, like he wants to touch Devon, kiss him even, and Devon snaps.

He lashes out, fist slamming into Eric's jaw, driving the other man backward. He hits the ground, tumbles against the bed, landing in a surprised sprawl. He looks stunned as he stares up at Devon, clutching his jaw with one hand, eyes watery as though he's going to cry. He looks hurt, like Devon's stomped on his heart and Devon doesn't get it at all.

Devon's breathing hard now, confusion replaced by anger. He looks at his wife – his dead wife – and he looks at Eric again, lungs filling with an unholy rage.

“You killed her,” he says, or shouts more like, and his entire body shakes. He swears he hears pounding in his ears, voices and words swirling over and over. “You bastard, you killed my wife!”

“I did it for you!” Eric cries and scrambles to his feet, looking like he's going to latch onto Devon again, hands outstretched and pleading. “So we could be together!”

Devon lunges, lips pulled back over his teeth, something inside of him snapping like a rubber band stretched too far. Eric's eyes widen with fear and hurt, but no regret. He doesn't feel any remorse for taking Christine from Devon, for his delusions of an impossible romance.

A cry of anger pours from Devon's lips and he knocks away Eric's reaching hand, delivering another solid punch to the blond's jaw. Eric stays on his feet this time though, like he wants to grab Devon, calm him down, and Devon's not taking it. His other hand reaches out, fingers stretching for Eric's neck.

Arms and hands grab Devon from behind, pulling him back. There's shouting and confusion. Devon snarls like a wounded animal, trying to break free, his vision blurring until all he can see is Eric and Christine's silent and still body, covered in blood. On their bed no less, on the sheet set they had picked out together to celebrate the move.

They were going to try for a kid next. Devon really wants a little girl to spoil. Christine wants – wanted – wants a little boy so she can name him after her father.

Someone is speaking in his ear, low and even tones, telling him to calm down. Hands are pinning Devon against the wall, and he sees a blur of dark blue and shiny badges. Something warm is trickling down Devon's cheeks and he sags, unable to break free of their pin. He droops against the wall, lets himself hit the floor.

He holds his head in his hands – they are still shaking, just like the rest of him. The shouting has mercilessly ceased, and there are now more people in his bedroom than Devon ever thought should try and fit in it.

The police are here. Devon hasn't called them, and he doubts Christine had time to either. Perhaps the nosy neighbor next door had heard the racket. He'll have to thank her later, maybe with a cake or something.

Not that it matters. Devon's not going to live here anymore. He's moving out tomorrow. He can't stay here. Not anymore.

“Sir?”

He looks up. One of the uniforms is leaning toward him, concern etched into her delicate features. She looks too nice to be a policewoman, too soft and gentle. Her eyes are big pools of blue, too similar to Eric's color for Devon to be comfortable.

“You are Devon Howard, correct?” she asks him. “This is your home?”

He nods numbly, eyes skittering past her to where the police have subdued Eric. He's face down on the floor, hands cuffed behind his back, but his gaze is focused on Devon. He's pleading without words, eyes wet with tears, sniffling.

“Sir?”

“Yes,” Devon says, forcing the word past his lips. “Yes, I am.” They're not treating him like a criminal yet. He supposes that's due to the fact Eric's the one covered in blood, Christine's blood. His wife's blood.

Goddamn it.

Devon closes his eyes, tries to breathe. She's dead. His wife is dead and Eric killed her. Why? He just doesn't get it. Why?

“He killed her,” Devon says, and his eyes snap open, to shoot an accusing glare at Eric. His eyes feel hot with fire. “He killed my wife.”

The officer, whose badge reads Carlton, flicks her eyes away from him briefly, perhaps sharing a look with the senior officer, before nodding at Devon. “That's what we think happened, yes. Can you stand?”

She holds out a hand and Devon is almost amused. She's a full head shorter than him and he probably has thirty pounds on her, but she's the one offering to support him. It's ironic almost.

Devon stands on his own, using the wall to brace himself, and it's the same moment that two officers pull Eric to his feet. Eric's eyes still haven't left Devon, the look in their blue depths almost vacant, save for a burning hunger that lingers on the edges. He doesn't seem to notice that the police are speaking to him, reading his rights. He doesn't seem to care that he's just been handcuffed.

“I did it for you,” Eric whispers, and despite the noise, Devon hears him perfectly. “For you and for us, Devon. Can't you see?”

Devon's stomach churns and it's all he can do not to vomit. He glares, turning hatred into ocular fire and loathing into his voice so that it feels like he's spitting acid.

“You're insane,” he snarls, and it's only the knowledge of the police surrounding him, a human shield separating him from Eric that keeps Devon from lunging again. “I hope you fry.”

Eric flinches, like Devon's dealt him a physical bow. A tear tracks down his face, sliding through a drop of drying blood. He says nothing else as the officers lead him from the room. Devon glares at his back, hoping that Eric can feel his hatred physically.

“Mr. Howard?”

Officer Carlton is speaking to him again and Devon dully shifts his attention back to her. The adrenaline has left him already; he doesn't have anything left. “Yes?”

She looks sympathetic, but unyielding. “If you could come down to the precinct, we need to take your statement.”

Devon nods; what else can he do?

He lets them guide him from the room, pointedly avoiding looking at the bed. He doesn't want to see Christine lying there. He doesn't want to see her eyes, open with fright, or see her blood staining their bed. The knowledge that he is to blame for this sits heavy on his shoulders. He couldn't have known Eric's madness, but that makes no difference to Devon. Christine is completely innocent here. Why did she suffer for him?

There's a numbness inside of him now, filling over with ice. He hadn't been lying or exaggerating when he spat those words at Eric. He does hope the bastard gets what he deserved.

Devon will never understand it. There's no sense to it. No rhyme or reason. None at all.

* * * *

a/n: Yeah... sometimes I enjoy writing mind-fucks like this. Fills me with an odd sort of glee, it does. I do hope you... well, I won't say enjoyed because that might be weird so I'll just say I hope that it entertained. Made a shiver dance down your spine. That sort of thing. 

As always, feedback is welcome and appreciated.

Also, Flash Fiction Friday returns tomorrow. There will be a poll involved. Tremble in fear. *grins* See you then!

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