Her body flexed, her hands coming down heavily upon the shoulders of the crouched girl, who now looked up from inches away into her face. The wide eyes seemed to transmit a message of abject happiness that their owner had been able to please. The pink, rougeless lips murmured, “I love you.”
Charlene stared blankly for a moment, then straightening up, shakily, gave a harsh laugh. “Love! You idiot! What’s love got to do with this?”
The girl’s eyes dropped in embarrassed disappointment, but Charlene only laughed again, even more harshly, and reached down to grab the chain which was still fastened to the collar around the girl’s neck. “Come on, Princess.” Her tone made the word sound like an obscenity. “Come on, it’s time to end this stupid business. Come on!” She gave a vicious upward yank on the chain and the girl came gaspingly to her feet.
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