POV: The Princess

Chapter One: Power Struggles

Sometimes I wonder why the girls are still with me, if they hate me so. Then I look up, and find Rachel holding one of her knives. Glaring at Georgia. Hatred binds, after all, far more often than it releases.

It was a brilliant idea to take on both girls at the same time. Hater and hated. Predator and prey. Georgia unwilling to leave my protection, Rachel unwilling to leave Georgia.

Without even looking up, I say, "Now, Rachel. Put that down," in a motherly tone. Looking up, I add, "All of them."

I watch carefully as Rachel puts down the knives she's carrying – two in her hands, the third clenched in her teeth. She's being too obvious, hiding something. I continue to meet her eyes, and as she begins to show the strain of holding my gaze, I say again, "All of them."

Finally, after resisting longer than I thought she could, I see Rachel draw a fourth knife, from the sheath on her back. That's all her weaponry – I can't smell any more metal on her. "Now lie down and be quiet. Georgia needs her sleep."

Rachel nods once, jerkily. I'm reaching the limits of the fun I can have with her. She doesn't trust me at all anymore.

Georgia, on the other hand, is looking at me with an expression of unadulterated hero worship. I would have made a real rivalry dynamic between them if I'd thought Georgia could stand up to it, but this is even better in many ways... even if it means Rachel is ruined forever.

Yes, Rachel will have to go. She simply isn't shaping up properly. Sometime soon I think I'll give her a long enough leash to finally do something unforgivable to Georgia.