"Mice, blind mice.
More than three.
Mice, mice, mice:
the whole country."
Lucy sings, and raises her arms in graceful, desperate motions.
Screen-Saxon smiles as the votes are counted, the winner announced.
"Thank you, people of Britain," he says, so political, dependable, fake.
Harry laughs, laughs, laughs. "Put on your red dress Lucy."
"Not purple?" She frowns.
"For royalty." He considers. "But red is for passion and blood."
He swoops in for a kiss; she giggles.
"Mice, mice, mice.
Why don't they run?
the cat has come
to have his fun."
"Are you the cat, Harry?" she demands.
"Of course." he replies, a wide smug grin stretching over his face as he dips her down.
Brown is dull, Harry is not. That is why his eyes cannot be brown. She sees green flecks of poison and ivy as he brings his nose to hers. "And what are you?" he mouths against her cheek.
"I-I don't know," she mumbles, dumb Lucy, stupid Lucy.
"Porcelain-doll skin. China-doll eyes. Puppets fall without strings."
He lets go.
"You my Lucy, are a strange bird."
"The one the cat ate?" Her voice floats up, dazed, from the ground.
"No," he decides. "No."
He bends and examines the bruise on her face. "First it will be blue. Then purple. Then yellow. Beautiful, isn't it?"
"Yes," she murmurs, pressing her talon fingernails to her cheek in wonder.
Abruptly he turns, striding to the far end of the room. He gazes out the window at the massing hoards who grunt and cheer. He is scowling, is disgusted.
"You'll show them, Harry," she says.
"Lu-u-cy," he trills. "oh, that's my girl."
His foot taps, his knuckles tap against the glass pane of the window.
Lucy drapes herself across the coach, picking up the nail file and focusing. Sharp is good and nails can't be painted clear, this must be understood. Harry told her once that flesh is ugly unless pricked with blood.
(She had a favorite color once. Sh! Don't tell!)
Feeling his presence behind her, she looks up. "What is it Harry?"
"Lucy," he says quietly, and slides the emerald ring off his finger. "Forever?"
She touches her lips to his. "Always."
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