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she won't confess

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If there’s one thing Kara loves, it’s running a show.

Sometimes it’s steering the Shakespeare line to line, frightening the freshmen into finding the beat; sometimes it’s shoving a boy back against the wall and teaching him to beg; sometimes it’s folding her fingers around a pile of bills without ever touching the drugs beforehand. (She’s no Laura – the money matters. But the moment when she gets ahold of it feels a lot more like victory and sex than a payday.)

Yeah, control feels right like nothing else. But sometimes she misses being made to push, the rush that comes from someone trying to give her the runaround – winning feels better with the work behind it, but the real buzz is in the moment when she knocks her thoughts up a gear. She misses keeping an ally at the corner of an eye, balancing out threats with the power they bring her. A challenge hums under her skin the same way every time, like a drug she’s never tried before.

Having Brendan back under her skin is a pretty pleasant-sounding option. A pity he prefers blonde girls who don’t know just how much they could do.

(Emily has Dode in her hands and Brendan, a handle on Tug and a line to the Pin and something like friendship with Laura Dannon, and all she does is run from her own shadow. Kara isn’t sure if she’s sorrier for the girl or the wasted opportunities.)

There’ll be other tough sells, other guys with steely eyes who know the way the game is played. Brendan can do what he wants as long as it doesn’t bring her down, and as the aftermath of everything shakes down and she pulls her clothes back on, she decides he’s rough enough not to be worth the trouble. There’s plenty of other prizes under her thumb. She’ll leave him alone.

(After she gets him back for what he pulled with the mirror and the robe, of course.)