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The Beast throws the last of the food to the filthy concrete; she's struggling to get away, trying to crawl, and the Beast digs his teeth into her leg, relishing her cry as he tastes blood once more.

But, he decides, he wants something else from this one, the last—he doesn't need this last one as food, for They are powerful and perfect now, and something in him—someone—wants to see her impure (pure) unworthy (beautiful) bareness, exposed, helpless (lovely).

He just wants to see, that's all, just wants to touch—

He rolls her forcefully onto her back. He rips her long-sleeved shirt with a loud tearing sound like it's nothing, rips the thin straps of her last flimsy top to leave her bare and squirming beneath him, naked chest heaving with panicked breaths—his hands move to finally clutch at her, squeeze her softness—

—and then he sees the raised scars decorating her skin like jewelry, like a belt, a chain of stripes and crosses.

Oh, she is different—!

He bends to touch his bloodstained lips to the scars above her hips, reverent, feeling her shaking under him, her terror palpable, her skin hot and cold at once.

Her hands are free, yet she doesn't move to stop him, her trembling lessening as he kisses his way across her belly.

"Fear nothing," he tells her, kissing his way over her stomach, up to her breasts, to the bumped scars over her collarbone.

He looks into her wide, wide eyes, rimmed with tears. "You are perfect. The broken are the more evolved."