I kneel beside the cage. Reaching between the bars, I stroke the hair of the slumbering form within. She stirs, but does not wake.
“A shame to destroy such a beautiful creature,” Father says.
“But I have no need of her, now that you have found me the perfect mate,” I answer.
My hand is taken; a thumb is smoothed across the tattoo on the inside of my wrist…checking.
“Very well. I shall make the necessary arrangements.”
A dry kiss is planted on my forehead and I remind myself it is one of the few more I must endure. Soon, there will be passionate kisses from my beloved. Andreth. From the first moment I saw him, I was determined to have him.
In the cage, the creature’s eyes have opened. I see my reflection in them and smile. I cannot resent her now, knowing what is to come for both of us.
She had lived for twenty privileged years before I was created - it was her father’s genius which gave me life. Twenty years of growth, purely physical, experienced in just a few short months. My sole purpose: to allow the father to assess potential mates for his daughter without compromising either her virtue or value.
But dear Father had not reckoned on me finding love.
It is his own flesh and blood, her natural birthmark camouflaged, who lies drugged within the cage…not, as he believes, the result of his cloning experiment.
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