A thousand cuts they say… we’ve fought over this knife for two years; we must each have ten times that many yet we’re still alive. I suppose it would have to be a thousand cuts all at once, not leaving enough time for coagulation, scabbing and scarring because then the scar tissue simply builds up your armor.

I had him in a corner, knife poking the hollow of his collarbone and I laughed to myself and he twitched and tried to hide in plain sight.

I am minion, sugar plum – you have no secret hidey-holes left, I just let you think that you do.

I’ve stopped getting so worked up about our cycles, I think. I don’t let him get under my skin so much – the scar tissue protects me. There’s no more frantic wanting to hold on to him. But I can’t seem to let go to the faint whiff of blood in the water and the scent of fear when I’ve got that knife. Sadistic pleasure and schadenfreude make for an intoxicating and addictive brew.

Not to mention the old “give blow for blow, scorn for scorn,” though it’s not exactly politically expedient to be so obvious in my inflictions.

Two weeks I have known I can let him out of the corner whenever I wanted to but I have held my tongue and kept pushing him back, enjoying the pheromones in his nervous sweat as he’s tried to slink around me to avoid owning up to the wall.

Tonight I relented. I could have let him twist under the point another week but I decided upon a small kindness and backed off, snapping the knife shut and sticking it in my back pocket.

A sense of relief spreads through the night from him, coming to tickle my nose. When the relief comes at my whim instead of his advantage, it’s almost as much fun as his fear.

But I should refrain from being so stupid as to think he doesn’t have another knife and that I will always maintain that upper hand.

He can still add another thousand cuts, and I will return the favor.