Mercy smiled at my expression of unadulterated horror and sat down on a stool across from my seat.

"I'm not going to hurt you." she admitted, "At least, not right now."

As long as we were here, under the pretense of some holy sect she couldn't legitimately get away with something like that anyways. I should have known.

"But then again..." she started, "I know a number of ways to induce pain, and many of them don't take much time at all."

I shuddered subconsciously. 

Some part of me wanted to say something acidic, something that would get her to leave me alone for good. But I couldn't. 

She scared me. A clone, a defective clone who I'd paid for, scared me. 

That in itself was enough to humiliate me to the point of silence.

I couldn't eat what was left of my horrid bread. My appetite was gone. 

But, suddenly, I had an idea. Emotional blackmail was a two-way street.

"Celeste told me the funniest thing yesterday."

Mercy's blue eyes instantly darkened.

"Don't talk about her."

"Why not?" I asked, gaining confidence, "Because she made the mistake of actually believing in you? Poor girl, falling in love with a clone."

In the next second I was pinned against the wall by my neck. I struggled, but only half-heartedly.

"You haven't been very good, have you Mercy? What would Celeste think of your secret attacks on the helpless prisoner?" 

I was laughing. I couldn't help it. Mercy's face was painted in such a look of rage that any other person would have probably been frozen in terror, but I was getting more and more gutsy by the second.

"Did you know?" I started, with mock secrecy, "Celeste wants to marry you!"

Mercy dropped me at that, but I kept talking, sensing I had the upper hand.

"Of course, that'll probably change as soon as she hears about this. I wonder what she'll say...I wonder how she'll feel."

"Shut up!" Mercy screamed, slugging me in the face.

Blood gushed out of my nose liberally. It hurt like hell, but I was still laughing.

"Feeling ashamed, Mercy? Do you even feel anything?" I taunted, watching her seethe with fury.

Her temperament changed in an instant. She became calm, smiling chillingly.

"I still have cards up my sleeve, Preston. As soon as Sher's satisfied her curiosity, you're mine."

The End

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