She had told him to meet her at the Hotel California, and that she would be back in a few days with clothes and provisions. But she’s hit turbulence along the way, and now her world lays in quiet disarray. Oh, to revisit that fateful evening... A lowly apparition, she passes through the hallways; they are awash in dereliction and she in defeat... “What do you think you’re doing?” The brute’s serrated query tears unforgivingly through her reverie. Max is standing stagnant in the doorway, his countenance half-masked by the menacing tenebrous – they combine at the crux of his being to illuminate his power. Instinctively, the henna-haired girl retreats toward the window where daylight seeps in from a brilliant outdoors, the weather that reflects the ignited mirth in her chest. But every good feeling is murdered as the male advances, somehow swift in his acute inebriation. He reaches for her wrist, each callus cutting deep into that pale pretty skin, and pulls her close, forcing his mouth with haste upon hers. A small cry sounds, but is lost to the desperate beating of wings, the poignant struggle. “Are you going somewhere, baby? Huh?” He growls against her throat and drags his teeth along her nape. Brash digits rake fiercely at her shoulders and sides, tearing into the helpless waif. She squirms and fights, attempting to writhe free of his possessive grip. She is but a soft, sweet thing, crushed against the board by a pin through her belly. “Please,” she tremors, “Don’t do this.. Max...” It is her final plea before her body is thrown recklessly to the floor. He descends upon her then, a sickening shadow, his nose rubbed raw from a bad hit. She can’t remember the rest. She doesn’t want to. Her heartbeat escalates and that gilded gaze becomes wet with tears. Thankfully, it is dark in the ballroom. Ana wraps both arms gingerly about herself and steps forth, gliding over the floor like a ghost. Both eyes are kept averted, askance to the crowd, none so privileged as to capture her attention. But she sees him, buried in a corner, peering out from beneath those long sweeping locks. A wave of relief washes her clean of the sin, and without thinking, the girl runs to him, every cell trembling from the pain of separation. “Please,” she breathes, tears seeping into his shirt, “don’t ever let me go.” And she gives up, having finally found her place in the familiar nook of his neck and chest – her body going limp, tired from the torture.