She held up a hand to ward off my angry outburst. “I can’t go there any more, and I don’t know why.”
She slumped into the nearest chair like a person, not a professional temptress. Without the Manic Pixie Fuck Bunny pose, she wasn’t the redhead I remembered. Not necessarily someone I’d like, and definitely not someone I’d trust, but I thought I was seeing something real.
“I found it a long time ago. I don’t know what Power created it, but it felt abandoned, unused. It was my refuge when I needed one, my ‘fortress of solitude’. I kept it a secret from the others, and was careful never to leave behind any trace that I’d been there, that it mattered to me. We weren’t… nice to each other.”
“Angel said you broke their toys.”
She laughed bitterly. “Oh, I’m horrible to everybody, especially the new ones. We’re the meanest pack of Mean Girls in the universe, and we never grow up or grow old, but sometimes we get replaced.”
“When I got back from my last job, there were three new girls. I’d never seen that many at once before. All of them older than your sweet Angel, sexier than your weird little hybrid Ariel. Sexier than me, which meant my days were numbered. I ran away to my safe place, and found something I never thought I’d need: a hero.”
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