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"And that’s how- how Mummy stole-”
The small girl was unable to finish the sentence as her tears finally won over. She curled up bawling, snot and spittle joining with the tears running down her face.
“Shhh.” Millie Carakensfelt pulled the girl more tightly into her arms, rocking her back and forth in an attempt to ease her tears. “It’s okay. I’m here, and I’m going to take care of you.” The girl’s cries lessened. She drew a deep shuddering breath, then looked up to meet Millie’s gaze with watery blue eyes.
“You won’t tell will you?” she asked in a tremulous voice. “Please. If you tell, they’ll send Mummy to jail.” The tears began to well up in the corner of her eyes. “I love mommy so much. If she gets taken. I-I.” It was too much. She clutched the front of Millie’s neat blouse and began wailing again.
“Shhh. Sophia. Don’t cry,” crooned Millie as she cradled the girl’s face. “Look at me.” The girl did. Millie’s brown eyes softened as they were met with blue ones. “I’m not telling anyone. I’m going to help you and your Mummy. Everything will be just fine. Okay?”
The girl’s responded brokenly. “You promise?”
Millie smiled gently. She brushed the lank blonde locks from the girl’s face and then leaned in to press her apple-red lips to the girl’s forehead. “I promise.” She carefully deposited the trembling girl onto the sofa. “I’m going to go straighten things out now. I’ll make sure someone comes by with dinner. Now get some sleep; it’s been a trying day for us all.”
Sophia nodded and her swollen eyelids drifted shut, covering eyes tinged red from crying.
When she was assured of the girl’s slumber, Millie straightened and walked over to the room’s single door. A ten digit code on the key pad next to it had the heavy door swinging open. It revealed a tall, black suited man built like a steam engine. Millie sighed in relief as the door closed, then addressed the man.
“Dawson,” purred Millie, drawing the word out and extending each syllable. Millie ignored the lack of response and carried on undaunted. “Ugh. Dawson, darling. You have no idea how absolutely dreadful these jobs are.” She continued enunciating each over accented syllable separately as she began to walk down the sterile white hallway. Her voice was petulant and pouty.
“Absolutely tedious. All they ever do is cry, cry, cry. Where’s my mommy? What’s happened to my daddy? Honestly.” A sneer curled faultless red lips as they rolled the word around. “When will they realize that their dear and beloved mummsies and daddies are criminals? Petty, thieving, criminals!”
Her tirade was met once more with stony silence from Dawson. “The world is better- What have we here?”
A slumped figure sat on one of the benches that lined the halls. The figure’s head was bowed and their shoulders shook.
An incredulous smile grew on Millie’s mouth. “Aiden?”
The boy, or rather older teen, almost a young man, looked up blankly. His eyes lost their clouded look as they locked onto Millie. He sprang from the bench with a feral snarl. “YOU!” The boy charged at Millie, fists bared, looking like an angry bull charging a matador.
Millie’s smile twitched upwards almost imperceptibly as she watched the boy baring down on her.
“You liar! When I get my hands on you I’ll-” There was a blur of black and Dawson appeared behind the boy, his arms rising and restraining the boy easily. The boy struggled and thrashed about fiercely, raising his head to yell at Millie. “You promised not to tell! You promised! This is all your fault. I’ll make you pay for what you did to Alec!”
“Dawson, darling. Would you mind. . .?” Millie gestured vaguely at the boy. His yells were quickly stifled by the giant’s hand. “Thank you darling.” Millie stalked closer to the boy. “Now, Aiden. If Dawson lets you go will you be a good boy? I would love to talk with you but that yelling gets so tiresome.” The boy glared defiantly at Millie but eventually stilled. “That’s better. Dawson, if you please.” The man stepped back, allowing Millie to move forward and place a slender hand on the boy’s chest. “Aiden, darling. Won’t you tell me what’s wrong?”
The boy shook off her hand angrily. “You know perfectly well what’s wrong.” He snarled at her. “You betrayed me and Alec, that’s what’s wrong.”
“It’s ‘Alec and me’ darling,”
purred Millie as she moved one hand back to his chest. “And it’s such a pity you feel that way. I had hoped you’d see how better off you are without that criminal.”
“Don’t call Alec a criminal! And get off of me!” The boy knocked her hands away disgustedly.
The blood-colored lips smiled nastily, and Millie pressed herself against the boy, encircling him with one arm and digging her other hand into his hair. “Am I making you uncomfortable?” she whispered. “Do you wish I was your little boyfriend right now? You wouldn’t have told him to stop, would you? After all, you loved him.” She said the last sentence mockingly.
“Shut up.” The boy’s voice shook with repressed anger. “Just shut up. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You have no idea how much I love him. I love him so much.”
Millie sneered maliciously and imitated the teen in a high pitched voice. “I love him so much.” Millie’s sneer deepened, she tightened the hand in the boy’s hair painfully, digging her long nails into his scalp and yanking him down so his ear was level with her mouth. “I have news for you, Darling,” she hissed malevolently. “Your boyfriend was a piece of scum. He was a cheating pig who couldn’t tell an under-aged boy from the other reprobates he associates with.” Millie’s hand clenched further, causing the boy’s eyes to water with pain, before she released him and stepped back. A cruel smile flashed across her face. “But that cheating criminal is locked up where he belongs.” She pressed a finger to slightly opened lips thoughtfully. “Now, who do we have to thank for that? Hmm.” She paused. “Oh! I remember!” Millie widened her eyes in mock revelation. “You!”
The teen’s breath hitched and his face crumpled.
Millie continued happily: “Oh yes. I’ll admit that you were one of the toughest one’s I’ve ever had to break. Very clever and suspicious.” A smirk. “But not clever enough. I remember when you-“
“I almost pity you.”
Millie’s paused, her eyes to widening slightly as the soft words reached her. Then she regained her composure. “How sweet-”
“I almost do.” The boy’s face looked slightly contemplative and he spoke quietly, speeding up as he went on. “You spend your life betraying other people and making them hate you, yet you think you’re happy. You shouldn’t be happy, that doesn’t make sense. I doubt that anyone really cares for you. Your superiors probably only want your efficiency. I’m guessing that your family life is either horrible or nonexistent, but...”
Millie stared in mild surprise at the boy. For the first time she looked uncertain. He continued doggedly.
“I can’t pity you. This whole thing has to be your own fault. Only you could have pushed everyone away and made yourself unlovable. That’s the explanation that makes-”
“Enough.” Millie’s voice rang through the air. Her calm smile was back. She continued in a softer tone. “You really are a clever boy, Aiden. I underestimated just how clever you are.” She patted his cheek, then slapped it gently. “I’m sure we’ll work together in the future.” She smirked. “By then your boyfriend will be gone. I’ve heard that where he is, prisoners last about of three years.” There was a sharp intake of breath. “Hmm, 22, what a young age to die at. And you’d finally be legal too.” The boy let out a choked noise, causing Millie to smirk. “Oh don’t worry so much, Aiden.” Millie leaned in and whispered: “Everything will be just fine. Okay?”
The boy’s eyes widened almost comically at this line. Millie gave a small laugh and leaned in to press her poisoned-apple lips against the boy’s forehead. "I promise.”
Millie motioned to Dawson, then walked towards the waiting room. The glass door had just begun to close when the boy began to scream.
“Oh, Dawson,” drawled Millie as the door swung shut, muffling the sounds of misery. “I’m so sorry you had to see that. What must you think of me?”
A brief look of disgust was the man’s only reaction. Millie’s playful smile twisted.
“It’s so unfair Dawson.” Her ruby lips formed a pout. “All those filthy criminals have people who love them, while good, righteous people like me are unloved. I deserve love, don’t I?” Silence. Millie’s pout remained and she brushed past Dawson towards an office labeled ‘M. Carakensfelt’.
“So unfair indeed.” The office door swung shut.