She considered. He lived here, and I didn't. Could it work?
"Yes," I said. What else was there? I couldn't feel half as good if I refused over a silly thing like distance. He'd proven that. Perhaps now I had said yes I wouldn't need to go back. Perhaps the rules had changed now that there was no trickery. I took my seat at the table across from him, in front of him. My heart was reacting like a neutron bomb. I was suddenly aware of the circus. Cat from Cheshire was seated to my left side. She tilted her head smiled.
"Hello Lacie" her pincushion already out. She was circling a needle around her wrist.
“Ready for another fitting?” She was smiling like the the cat that ate the canary.
She held out her hand to me, I reluctantly took it. Cat had a reputation for being sneaky. That I knew what happened next? I was not expecting. She pushed me back against a tree as soon as they were out of eyesight and earshot of anyone. Her lips on mine, pressed hard and unrelenting. Cat was out to bruise my lips purple. She pushed scraping my skin against the tree trunk. Pain shot around my whole body, but it hurt good. I wanted more. Her, Hatter, it didn't matter. My mind told me I needed that sense of the pain. I'd forgotten what this was like, I'd locked the memory away for good reason. I needed this, I hungered. Pushed myself to do things to get my fix. Then she let me up slowly, leading the way back to her tent. It was the furthest out. I could suddenly empathized with mice better. There was something to be said for knowing someone plays with their food and suddenly being the food played with. Cat's tent was covered in fabrics and mannequins with various outfits in various stages of completion. It was chaos incarnate as I was thrust to the center of the tent, almost as if being put on stage. I was going to be made lovely.