Bastian crouches down, leaning so close that our noses touch.
I hear the warning. The “or else.” He doesn’t have to say the words.
Someone tries to open the bathroom door just then, rattling the doorknob and then knocking. “Is someone in there?” a woman asks.
“Be right out,” Bastian calls, never looking away from me. He grins. “I could let her in…” He straightens and stretches an arm to the lock.
“Thank you! Thank you, you fucking assholes!”
“That’s better. Not perfect, but we’ll work on it,” Bastian says.
“She’ll be a slow study,” Amadeo says as Bastian gathers the two sides that make up the top of my dress and ties them at the nape of my neck. They then help me up, surprisingly gentle as they do it. Bastian stands with a hand at my elbow, and Amadeo turns me to face the mirror, arranging my hair and wiping away the smudge of mascara before he meets my eyes. “We’re going to enjoy you, Dandelion. And you’re going to enjoy us and hate yourself every single time you come for us.”