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Lyrical: Chapter 3


My anger is loud.

My rage is a beast that dances with the intent to maim.

My steps are ruthless, timed to perfection with the thumping beat of the song.

My bleeding heart knits together with every thrust of my hips, every flare of my arm, every turn of my head and kick of my leg.

My soul screams like a warrior as I use the table as my platform and dance as my weapon.

I’m not a victim.

Not tonight.

Fuck that.

Dax might knock his opponents out with lethal punches and kicks.

Zayn might slash his victims with the sharpened point of a knife.

York might crucify his enemies with fists that break bones.

Xeno might torture his adversaries with something far worse.

And Jeb might ruin lives with threats to the ones I love.

But tonight I’m fighting back.

Fucking like animals in front of each other isn’t a display of dominance. It’s for the weak, the vain, the narcissistic. I’m going to show everyone here what it really means to be powerful, because that’s why they’re here, right? Instead of, ‘my gun is bigger than yours’, it’s ‘my cock is bigger than yours’. Even The Belladonnas have played into that mentality and it’s bullshit. Fucking bullshit.

Tonight, all eyes are going to be on me.

But it will be on my terms.

They can look, they can want, but they sure as fuck can’t touch.

I’ve had to endure years of my brother beating me. I’ve had to suffer a lifetime of my mum’s words belittling me. I’ve had to withstand judgement from people who don’t even know me. I’ve had to live the past three years in a permanent state of fear.

This is my chance to take a little of my power back.

The song intensifies and so do my dance moves. I’m freestyling, yes. But this is more than a kid in a nightclub battling against other kids for kudos. This is me dancing for my life, for Lena’s life.

Jeb might have brought me here to be fucked, to keep up appearances, to hide who he really is, but what shows more strength, to follow the crowd or to act in defiance? When I arrived people just saw a vagina fit for fucking, and fucking alone. Grim had looked at me like I was a whore, and so did every other person in this place.

I’m not a whore.

I’m Pen and these bastards can kiss my arse.

By the time I’ve finished I’m going to be wanted by every man and woman in this place, but only owned by one. Jeb, the leader of the Skins. Well, at least that’s what I’ll allow him to think.

Because no one truly owns me.

No. One.

But if I can appease Jeb’s pride, his vanity, and his need to keep up appearances by being a spectacular dancer and becoming something other people covet, then I’d rather that than be used as a whore.

So I dance.

The table is large enough, and stable enough for me to move freely. I’m careful not to look at Jeb or the Breakers. Instead, I look out over the warehouse, my gaze skating over the different tables. Slowly, one by one, I gain the attention of the crowd. The fucking stops and the staring starts. Men tuck their cocks away. Women pull down their dresses and adjust their masks. All eyes are on me.


My movements evolve from angry tap steps to the fluidity of contemporary dance. The pounding of my feet on the table is replaced with the pounding of my fist against my rib cage as I jerk my whole torso forwards and back showing the Breakers how my heart beats with so much rage that it feels like it’s about to burst free of my chest.

Before long I’m covered in a sheen of sweat as I twist and turn, moving my body in such a way that shows both sensuality and strength. I’m careful not to be too overtly sexual this time. I need to be desired, but untouchable. A rare, precious piece of jewellery brought out to be ogled, but not touched. Like the Crown-fucking-Jewels.

The emotive form of contemporary makes way for ballet and the perfection and poise of such a dance that juxtaposes beautifully with all the imperfect and untamed gangsters surrounding me. I’m using this dance like a metaphorical middle finger to all these bastards. I’m rising above the grime and the grit, the violence and the aggression, and showing them what it truly means to be powerful with grace and beauty.

Most won’t get it, but my Breakers. They will. I’ll make sure of it.

Rising up onto my toes in a demi-pointe, my arms held outwards, I breathe in deep before spinning on the ball of my left foot and kicking out with my right leg in a fouetté turn. My arms spread wide, before I draw back in both my arms and my right leg, my pointed toe touching my left knee. I repeat the move over and over again, thankful for Sebastian, his ballet lessons, and words of wisdom. Thanks to his recent tutelage and hours of practicing alone in a studio, my core muscles are able to hold me steady and I have enough stamina to dance this fight. I dig deep, using that muscle memory, that energy, to showcase what I’ve learnt from him.

My skirt is now hitched up over my hips, but I don’t care about that, at least I’m still wearing my knickers. Besides, I’m practically dressed as a nun given the state of undress the rest of the crowd has been in over the course of the night. With every spin, the warehouse rushes by, the flames in the oil drums blurring within the darkness. Heat radiates around me, my movement parting the air with purpose.

I allow the dance to take over, my soul speaks through my limbs and the movements I make with my body. Heat pervades the air alongside a desperate kind of longing. I’ve longed for the Breakers’ return. Deep down inside, all I’ve ever wanted is for them to come back into my life, to beg for forgiveness, to allow me the opportunity to beg for theirs. I’ve never wanted to fix what was broken more than I do now. This need I have for them, the friendship I yearn for, the love that breaks my heart, is all encompassing. Hate and fear still bubbles within my chest. The concoction makes me feel ill, confused, uncertain about everything.

love them.

I fucking hate them.

want them.

never ever want to see them again.

Too many conflicting emotions bleed into my dance steps until the only thing I can grasp hold of is the need to save myself from something that I might never recover from and the absolute determination to keep Lena safe from harm.

So I keep moving, spinning, jerking my body with every last ounce of strength I have left. Tap merges with ballet and contemporary. I even throw in some hip-hop just because I can. Black spots dance at the edges of my vision, the lack of food and the flood of adrenaline a dangerous cocktail that will make me crash and burn the second I stop moving. But I keep dancing until I’m not conscious of my moves, until the dance truly and completely takes over.

I feel powerful. Strong.

Maybe it’s foolish to believe that my talent will get me out of trouble. Maybe it’s just prolonging the inevitable, but I have to try. I have to hope that Zayn, that the Breakers will be reminded of who I am, who I was to them. I dance with every last part of my soul, every last drop of energy as anger and love burns inside my chest. I grab hold of those feelings with gritted teeth and clawed fingers and don’t let go. We all have a demon within us, just like Hozier sings. My demons have been eating away at me for three fucking years. It’s time to set them free.

Bending backwards in an arch, my palms nearing the edge of the table between York and Dax, I flip over, landing on my feet between them. The air zings with energy, and I’m very aware that every single pair of eyes in this warehouse are on me now. Even the topless women in the cage are gawking at me. That’s where I head next. Striding over to the cage unaccosted, I step into the space and nod. I see something within them, a respect that comes from a love of dance. These women might remove their clothes for money, hell, some of them probably even spread their legs for it. But right now, all six of them acknowledge what this is. They see something in me too.

The need to fight.

To be seen as something other than a sexual object. None of us want to be lusted over and discarded like trash the minute these arseholes are done with us.

No more.

The women surround me, small smiles pulling up their lips.

“Get it, girl,” a tall blonde says to me before she spins away from me in impossibly high heels and towards the edge of the cage. The rest of the women follow suit and like caged animals finally given freedom, really fucking let loose. Pride fills me as I watch them move with purpose, resolve, and a proverbial fuck you to all these bastards watching us.

I don’t know them, but that doesn’t matter. I understand them in this moment, just like they understand me. Right here and now, we’re bonded by our anger, by our love of dance, by our need to be fucking seen.

Standing in the centre of the cage, my chest heaving, my bare feet tacky from the not yet dried blood, I glare at my Breakers with curled fists and fierce determination. All four of them are hidden in the shadows, their expressions unseen from this distance, but I know I’ve hit them where it hurts. I fucking know it.

A feral, animalistic feeling blooms inside of me. Something as dark as the violence that had bled into the canvas beneath my feet just minutes before. I feed off of it. I let it fill me up and with the last remains of my energy, I let it all out. Hozier sings about internal strength, a fire that burns within us all. He sings about the demons we fight inside of us, about controlling them. But tonight I’m not controlling anything. Tonight, I’m showing my strength.

Tonight, that’s what I give them, my fire.

Every. Last. Fucking. Drop.


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