Penny puts her free hand on my cheek. I can feel the tremble in it, though her eyes are still and somehow darkened, their militant olive occluded in rumbling grey and seductively poised to storm. I lie carefully, telling her it won’t hurt, turn my cheek and smile into her palm. ‘I don’t want to do this,’ she says, but I promise I won’t be mad and plant a kiss inside her hand before it slips behind to bury fingers in my hair. She pulls my head back gingerly, says, ‘I love you monkey,’ and slits open my throat.

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