Shallan beta'd this but the mistakes are mine. Missing scene. The usual, Don't own em. Not getting any money. Really don't want this one. Spoilers for Cypher. It's hard to write crazy. Jjust a nasty little plot bunny that hopped up wearing a yellow scarf.


THE ONES WHO LOVE YOU BEST



Crowswork






I watch the shadowy figure move around the room below. If I lean close to the skylight, I can see his pacing and nervous phone calls. Like a insect just realizing that it is trapped in a jar.

I have to be careful. He saw me earlier, my reflection echoing his own in a car window.

If I had not already made up my mind to destroy him, the 'china doll' would have sealed his fate. A woman any man would kill to have and he blithely enrages her, seeming only mildly perturbed at her leaving. But it was merely the last straw that doomed Blair Sandburg.

That first day at the police station, when I raised the stakes in the game I was playing with Detective Ellison, and became Anthony Bates. The day I met Blair Sandburg and became fascinated. He was the antithesis of the big, grim Ellison and his boss, Simon Banks. Small, brilliant, almost pretty with his curly hair and big blue eyes; he was the last person I could imagine these men accepting as a friend.

As I filled in the cops about my 'patient' David Lash, he piped up with theories and clinical observations that surprised me with their accuracy. I wondered if he saw the two older men's reactions, the smiles as they rolled their eyes, and the affection beaming behind those condescending grins. These powerful individuals, who commanded the respect and fear of other men, were proud of Blair.

They loved him.

Later I saw Ellison laughing and teasing his young partner. I had done my homework and knew the former ranger's history. The man was a killer, cold and terrible in his own beautiful way. I had been tempted to 'become' him.

Almost.

Until I saw him playfully ruffle the long curls and cuff the young man like a giant cat playing with a kitten. I would die for that. I would most certainly kill.

To be loved. To have friends. Men who would protect you at the cost of their own lives.

Brothers.

He has so much and it's just not fair.

I had hung around the coffee room, asking questions about Sandburg and Ellison. A young man in uniform snidely whispered that Sandburg was Ellison's boyfriend. I tried to look appropriately shocked as he left then let a bitter laugh escape me. I had let orderlies use my body in exchange for a kind word or a walk in the sun. To live in the warmth of James Ellison's regard, I would happily sell my soul.

Later, two large black men entered and when I mentioned Blair they smiled. "Blair's the best," the older man said fondly. "Jim's a lot happier since he came around."

"Yeah, Hairboy gets into trouble but he's kinda lovable."

Lovable. The voice reverberates in my memory.

How does he do it? Why do people love him? Why can't they love me?

You could be lovable. The voice sounds like Ellison now.

You could be Blair.

He panics, as he looks up and sees me through the skylight, a fleeting shadow overhead. It's time to collect him now. Later, after I learn how to be lovable, I'll return him to his friend. I'll place him tenderly in the tub, wearing a yellow scarf because that's the color of devotion and beauty, and Jim will recognize that his friend still lives in me.

And I will be lovable.

THE END


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