++ Jesse ++
"You were the only one I never felt I had completely broken."
Blue eyes rise to meet mine and Dace smiles warmly. There's a peace to her now, something that my leather sisters and I always wanted for her. "Sure you did," she assures me and chuckles at the skeptical look on my face. "You helped subdue the cat, and both KC and Anastasia really polished off the process. That allowed Sylvia to keep me and the feral part of me under control for many years."
I hadn't thought of it that way.
When this wild child came to me, she was certainly well-behaved, but something lurked just below the surface. The others on their knees feared it, as though they knew that she was more dangerous than they.
Then possibly any of us.
Seeing the blood-soaked playroom in January scared me to my core. Not just because of what transpired there, but because it reminded me of a past that is never far from me. Truthfully, I had not seen carnage like that since the jungles of Vietnam.
The abrupt appearance of a quickly toddling Fawn interrupts my musing, as she rushes over and jumps on Dace, sobbing like the world is ending.
"Hey, hey, now," Dace soothes, stroking the inky curls. "What's the matter?" There is only concern in the woman's tone, so the child must not be hurt, only upset.
"Emily and Cubby are playing too rough," Fawn wails in a tone that obviously makes Dace's enhanced hearing cringe, but she weathers it with only a wince. "They will not stop!"
Sighing to cover up inappropriate humor, Dace cuddles Fawn, purring softly as the bawling subsides to sobs, then hiccups, then a peace that I bet will lead to sleep.
Whatever drove Snake-Eyes to such madness will not be repeated in his female cousin. In Dace, and Emily, there is a future.