An abused young woman has finally had enough.
|The old man did a quick check to ensure that they were alone before he pulled the girl onto his lap and put the cigar out on her arm. It hurt, like it did every time, but she didn't cry. She refused to give him the satisfaction she knew he was looking for as he leaned forward, studying her eyes while he ground the burning, stinking stump against the tender skin just inside her elbow. No, she wouldn't give him even a single tear this time. Instead, she clenched her jaw and clamped her teeth together, forbidding her throat to utter even the tiniest whimper, looking him straight in the face with an unblinking steadiness. Her dark eyes challenged him to be the first to flinch away.
This display of stoic fortitude from a waifish twelve-year-old girl seemed to unsettle the hunched, sweaty older man, and he withdrew the extinguished butt with a grunt, pushing her hard so she flew backward. She tumbled to the floor but still did not cry out, only sat glaring up at him in silent reproach even as the welt on her arm pulsed with a white-hot radiant pain. Infuriated by the child's refusal to cry for him, he struck her across her perfectly still face. The blow was enough to violently turn her head and leave a vibrant pink mark on her pale cheek, but as she slowly turned those those dark eyes back to regard him coldly, silently, the man began to tremble with fury and perhaps another emotion he had never know. It left a bitter taste in his mouth and enraged him even further that he could be made to feel this way by such an insignificant creature.
He felt afraid.
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