She stood before him in chains, bowed as if to protect herself from the words that struck like stones. She heard him dismiss the words she spoke, as easily as she had allowed herself to be brushed aside repeatedly over the years. Her heart shuddered as it fractured one last time before letting go.
As she stared at the floor, her eyes burned with fury at herself for the foolishness of all her decisions leading to this moment, and then she let that go too. She had permitted disrespect and neglect for so long that it felt odd and empowering to raise her head and smile into his eyes.
He was rendered mute by whatever it was he saw in her expression.
She straightened to her full height, topping him by two inches. She would never make herself smaller for anyone again. She stared directly at him…
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