Peitho turned her attentions back to Eirene. “You tell her to come down here?”
“No! N-no, no Peitho, I promise-” Eirene’s pleas were cut short with a hard slap to the face. She wept softly in Peitho’s grip. Rancor rushed through every inch of Eve’s body.
The white-haired woman returned her attentions to Eve. “You see? She belongs to me- and there’s nothing you can do about that. Turn around, leave this place, and never speak of what you saw to anyone. It’s the best for all three of us.”
Eve took another step forward. “Let her go.” Her voice was barely above a whisper. “This is your final warning.”
With a disbelieving sneer, Peitho dropped Eirene and stormed over to meet Eve. “Big mistake, newbie,” she breathed. “I think I’ll teach you some respect.”
Eve just stared. Her bluff had been called… she couldn’t actually fight back. Throwing a punch would probably set off a chain reaction that would lead to Eve completely losing control and destroying herself, and Lethe-2 while she was at it. Even in the best case scenario where she regained herself, she would still end up killing Peitho and Eirene.
“I know all about your power,” Peitho continued. “Pyrostatic… static electricity, right? Oh yeah- I know loads of things. But it won’t do much with that little headband on, now will it?”
“You sure do love the sound of your voice, don’t you?” Eve asked, having no plan. “Make a move or leave.”
Her only hope was that her voice sounded scary enough for Peitho to leave without fighting. Much to her horror, Peitho made a move: she dropped into a fighting stance. Her posture was loose and casual, with the air of a professional boxer or a seasoned street brawler. She knew how to fight, and quite well at that.
Peitho skipped forward and threw a punch, all her body weight behind the explosive strike. Eve barely saw her move and couldn’t have dodged it in a million years.
The attack found its mark, the soft cartilage and brittle bones of Eve’s nose. Peitho was a lot stronger than her size would indicate: some sort of magical power, perhaps? Super strength, or maybe she was just freakishly athletic.
It was a devastating strike. Most people would be knocked out cold and would wake up with a shattered nose.
To Eve, it felt a bit like a butterfly had landed on her face. Peitho was the one who screamed.
“F-fuck!” she stared down incredulously at her hand. The flesh over her knuckles and metacarpals was seared an ugly dark red, and her three middle fingers were limp. They had shattered into a thousand pieces on impact. Peitho put her hand away and stared up at Eve, terror in her eyes. “W… what are you?”
Oh, how easy it would be to just pluck her head from her shoulders. To rip her heart out in one fluid strike. To singe the flesh from her bones until all that remained was a charred pile of bone scraps, to boil her and roast her until she was begging to be put out of her misery, to make this vile bitch suffer indescribable anguish for daring to even stand in Eve’s way. She went to grab Peitho and make her feel true pain-
And breathed. One and two and three. Four and five and six. Seven and eight and nine. It was all Eve could do to restrain herself from attacking. Instead she stared a hole in Peitho and controlled her breathing. “Get out,” she whispered.
Peitho ran past Eve and out the door. Eve watched her go, then took a minute to settle her temper. She counted to sixty. All the flames, all of the Eve that wasn’t to ever see the light of day, caged once more. Trapped in an unbreakable box beneath a thousand miles of concrete, never to escape. Peace. Discipline. Peace.