It was about love. It always had been.

He remembered when she made herself known to him. She was so casually dressed for the dangerous environment of Sharfie's, like a babysitter as he had joked. Her beauty was a blazing thing that lit up the room. She was like a goddess from some ancient religion.

A goddess of war too. She came right on to his turf and demanded that he release the swine that missed a payment. She flirted with him even as she flashed her M6C to the room.

Not wanting to turn his favorite moons parlor into a battle zone, he cleverly suggested they play a game to settle the dispute. Would she win, he'd show a bit of mercy for a change. If he won, he'd take the girl for a spin and see what she was like.

He'd played his best game, taunting her as he navigated the balls through their courses. This girl, however, she mastered the balls with an unearthly skill. And as she commanded the game with such grace, she gazed at him with a flirtatious grin, barely daring to send back taunts.

He had almost been glad to lose to her. He released the grub easily, and tried to take her under his wing. She was special, sure, but naïve. He could teach her so much, hone her into a tool of perfection. She declined, claiming the moral high-ground. He just shook his head and chuckled; he knew potential when he saw it. She would come back to his world one day, and he would be there, waiting.

However, when she did descend into his midst, not two weeks later, it was not as a friendly ally. The bitch totally screwed up his latest initiation test. Two of his best shooters were now in the hospital, along with the newbie, who now had only nine toes. The bitch mocked him, disrespected him, and needed some obedience training.

He ran his fingers through her hair, avoiding the device strapped to her head. She shot him a glare, and then immediately screamed in pain. He smiled and gave the wonderful device a little pat.

The Cupid's Knife, friend of Innies and crime lords alike, was a very special invention. It had the power to transform even the most hostile enemy into a treasured servant. If a subject placed in the Knife were to think any bad thought whatsoever about their captor, the Knife would place them in utter agony. It worked by interfacing directly with the brain's sense of pain; the Knife didn't just create a painful sensation, it created pain itself. No one could last forever under that kind of torment – though he was hoping for a show lasting a few hours – forcing them to submit to their feelings of love. It was the perfect present for his lovely new toy, endless love of him.

He cupped her chin and smiled down at her. She would be a perfect addition to his collection. He would be able to sculpt her, make her everything she should be. Life was nothing without love, and he would give her new life.

"Love me yet?"