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Strappy

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Brine is drunk. The bottle in her hand sloshes every time she moves her hands, which she’s doing a lot. “I dunno, Gemma," she groans. "She's just some girl, you know? Just some spoiled castle kid! But then she's all obsessed with the Wildes and she's a goddamn card shark and she drinks whiskey and wears these little tops that are like..." Brine gestures vaguely, trying to explain the halters and harnesses Gideon wears on a regular basis. The ones that make her feel like if she ever gets to put her hands on Gideon, she won't be able to stop. "Strappy."

Brine takes another deep pull from the bottle. Gemma isn’t even looking at her, but she hums occasionally, so Brine thinks she’s listening. Probably. This is why she never drinks; it makes her run her mouth and say thing she shouldn’t, about people she probably should have killed when she had the chance rather than letting them become her friend. Brine doesn’t keep friends and she doesn’t form attachments. It’s all very purposeful.

“She’s dating her childhood friend,” Brine continues. “It’s great, right? It’s so great! I’m happy for them. Really.”

“Really,” Gemma drawls. She doesn’t sound convinced.

“Yeah, really,” Brine insists. She takes another sip. “And who am I? All I’ve got is a bunch of knives.” Gemma’s face twists, like she’s trying not to laugh. Brine closes her good eye and sighs. “We barely talk when we meet up, and I made it that way. We’re not even really friends. Why am I so upset about this?” She opens her eye. “Don’t answer that.”

Gemma stays quiet. Brine keeps going. “Have you ever touched someone’s hand and felt like your whole body was made of lightning? It’s terrible. I don’t recommend it.” Now Gemma does laugh, and Brine drains the rest of the bottle in one go. “Yeah, yeah, heartsick, whatever. I fucking hate it, Gemma. I don’t want these feelings.” She holds up the bottle by the neck and raises her eyebrow. “Is there more whiskey?”