Akito can't let her go. Akito refuses to, and it is out of the question. Akito's hold over her is absolute. She is Akito's doll. [oneshot. Akito/Tohru]

"You were out with them again!" I shout. And she had been. I could feel it, the happiness from her excursion, rippling from her. I could stand her living with them, yes, because it was prearranged before I discovered her worth; I cannot change that. It was unrelated to me entirely. But now, she was spending her time with them; valuable time that could have been spent on me. Time I could use to dissect her, to discern the enigma that is her mind.

This night, like any other, she came to tell me goodnight before catching the train home. But I didn't not care about that; she had been…with them. "Yes," she said apologetically, "But—"

"Quiet!" I hit her across the cheek, and whatever words had been standing on the tip of her tongue died as she sunk to the ground. She nods, but there are not tears in her eyes; not yet. "You could have been here with me. You chose them over me."

"NO!" she cries out. "I wouldn't! I love you." And I know she means it. I raise my hand to strike her again, but stop myself. I hate those three words; she is the only one who has ever said them to me with meaning. And I still hate them, because they are meaningless, words used only to ensnare the mind and heart. And so, I will never utter those words myself. Yes, I care for this girl to a certain degree, but to call it love would be a lie. I'm going to die soon enough; I have no business declaring love in the first place, nor do I want anyone else's.

I kneel before her instead, and lift her chin until I can see her eyes. "What will you do when I am gone? Will you choose them over me, then, too? Will your so-called 'love' for me cease? Will you 'love' them instead?"

"Don't talk…like that!" she says loudly, and I know she's referring to my death.

I hit her again. "Do not command me! Don't ever give me an order!"

It was then that the tears came, and she hugged me. "I don't want you go away. I'll always love you!"

"I pat her head, then kiss her forehead. "I know." I say, "but it changes nothing."

She intrigues me. She never cries when I strike her, and yet she breaks so easily when speaking of my death.

She looks up at me, and smiles, despite the tears. "I will stay with you until the end, and after. I love you." I want to let myself cringe at her words, but restrain myself instead, for to do so would crush her small, weak spirit, and I still need her—I'm not through playing with her yet.

So, to silence her, I kiss her. Softly, gently, the way I knew she would like me to; she is flower, but she forgets that even the most beautiful flower can be killed by the frost. She returns my kiss, submitting to my will without question. Of course, I have trained her. She does nothing without my permission. And when she does, like tonight, she is punished. Severely. I have no qualms punishing any who disobey me. Man, woman, child; disobedience is disobedience. My family had made me the head of Sohma house in exchange for the longevity of my life and health. I will use my position to the fullest extent of my ability. They will tremble in fear before me. They will not oppose me. And although she is not relative, Tohru is no different.

As I kiss her, I remove her clothes, and for a moment, she pauses. For her hesitation, I slam her to the ground. Her cheeks flush, and she bites her lips to keep from crying out in pain. I tut, and brush hair from her eyes, kissing her tenderly. "Why do you hesitate?" I ask her, so that she knows for certain the reason for her pain. She swallows, and says something about school in the morning, in an almost inaudible voice. I lean to her ear, and whisper, "I will see you to school. You know that I will. Stop your whining."

She nods. I finish stripping her, and I claim her as my own. I silence her cries with my lips, and though I am weak, she is weaker, so I hold her arms above her head with one hand. For a moment, as always, she is uncomfortable, but let me have complete control. When I am through with her for the night, I leave her to gather herself, and I crawl onto my bed. She soon joins me, and I say nothing—even though she does not belong there. She holds onto me, and I do not stop her as her bare body lies against my scantly clothed one. She smiles into my back, and still, I say nothing. Nor do I intend to.

After a while, she says, "I love you, Akito."

I remain silent.

"I love you so much…" she murmurs again, as though repeating it will elicit a response from me. It never does.

She is indeed special. She had begun to heal the wounds I inflicted upon my family. It is because of that ability that I want her. I can use her, bend her to my will. And no one else will have her. None in my family will oppose me. None. She is my doll; I alone will break her.

The End

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