Closed The Scorned Sister
Word spreads fast in a small town. She’d heard tavern patrons talking about a young hothead biting the doctor’s nose, the man selling the potions, even making disgusting references of her. That could be none other than her brother, and she… was furious. Karen spent the first part of the day packing her world back into her trunk; she was leaving that stupid inn with it’s cramped quarters, and Pony was not going to like it one bit but she was at the point where fury overruled all other things and she was going to set him straight.
She saw him selling his lies to one or two last people of a dispersing crowd, and she walked up behind him. “Pony!” she rounded to stand before him. She was so furious that he probably never saw her in such a state. She didn’t even give him a chance to respond! She even hit him a few times in his chest, though not hard enough to hurt. “Do ye feel better? Hmm? Did maimin' another person make ye feel like a man? Did ye enjoy bein so hateful?" She barely gave pause.

"Yer so worried about what people are gonna say about me, and ye’re the one who got people talkin. Ye’ve really gone and done it now, biting at the doctor’s nose, screamin’ like a fool, on yer high horse like some feckin’ king, spewin filth from yer mouth about me that I had to hear this morn in the tavern.” Her words were soft, cold, and maybe even a little dangerous, head shaking and bobbing. She had the look that no man could ever master, the one that made people back up or cower for fear of punishment, and she had never used it on him before. “Ye want me out of yer life? Hmm?” Angry tears started dribbling unchecked down her face, her body shaking, her fists clenching and unclenching.

The next words were said with clenched teeth, "Well, yer majesty, yer wish is my command!" She gave a mocking bow. She stumbled away, but not to leave him, walking in a circle as she sought to try and make the tears stop.
Pony had been smiling as he tried to sell things though none if it reached his eyes. When he saw her, it dropped and his face was completely emotionless like a mask. He didn't even try to block her pitiful attempts at punches and be showed no reaction to her tone or worse. He folded his arms and spoke.

"I said the truth. You slept with a man you didn't know. You couldn't control your lust long enough to know him a week. If you didn't want people talking about it, you shouldn't have done it. Funny they aren't talking about his exploit, almost like it is different between men and women. Almost like I was right. I hate him and a lifetime together with me trying to look out for you meant literally nothing. You put a complete stranger, a doctor no less over me."

He barely blinked as his tone remained even and unwavering as if he were just reading words off of a page. "I might have been wrong about things but I at least attempted to try to be kind and protect you and care about your feelings. You completely shat upon mine. If I had a bottle of poison and told you not to drink it you would call me cruel. I'm not being protective I'm just telling you what to do. I should let you drink your poison do you can learn a lesson. That is how you sound to me. "

He stood tall to loom over her, her attempt at scaring him having no affect as he felt literally nothing at that moment. "What will you do? I didn't bite him so I have no idea what you're talking about, I'm sure I'd have remembered if I did."

He pointed away as she cried. "This is the poison you took. You don't care about what anyone else thinks or wants but yourself. Then ignore the rumors. Go back to that monster that you put your life into and don't come back. it's just me and Jenny now. She is the only thing I trust. I don't know  who you are."
She listened to him and her rage only grew. He had just lied to her. He had placed the blame for his actions on her, telling her she was the selfish one when all along, Pony was. He was shunning her tears, and that was not alright. It was like the heavens opened and gave her clarity about her brother. He had said he rescued her from their father, but really, it was no different. He'd held her captive, treated her like a caged canary and clipped her wings. When she told him she had wanted more for her life, the family, the husband, stability, he'd gone mad and treated her like a spoiled apple to trample underfoot.

Karen walked toward him again and sent a smack toward his face hard enough to hurt her and then snarled out, "I didn't do ANYTHING to ye! Ye selfish prig, my choices don't have anythin' to do with ye! I turned to a man for comfort and ta chase away loneliness, not as an act of revenge to ye. Whether it was innocent or not, ye'd assume the worst anyways! Ye feckin' turd, ye make it all about ye and how ye feel, ye don't listen when I tell ye things, ye were gone more than not just like Da. And yer actin like him now! Ye're tellin' me I'm selfish but ye got it all wrong. I spent the last several days not bein able to eat for worry about ye and I am the selfish one?"

She lowered her voice again, "Harold might not be a perfect man, but he listens. He's not tryin' to force me to make a choice between him and ye, ye are. I hate ta tell ye this, but if I were to fall in love with him, ye have no feckin' say! Ye have no right to try and dictate how my heart works. Ye have no right to choose the path my life takes. Ye have no right to pressure me into bein what ye want me to be. And ye know what the worst part is? Ye're never gonna be happy for me. Never. Ye're too caught up in how YOU feel to give a damn about how I feel!"
Pony still didn't change from his stiff cold position, staring at her. When she struck him his face was turned by the hit but then he looked back and spoke, ignoring the pink and slight swelling to his cheek. "You are selfish. You act like I chained you to the cart like a heroine in the penny papers. You went out all the time, I took you to theatres myself, you met people. I just never let you date or spend alone time with men. Had you addressed a desire for a different career besides 'anything than this' I'd have  worked to get you into it. I wanted you happy and you admitted you had been happy all of those years until recently. Recently you decided you needed a man and that is what it boils down to. You were too young to know what a hard life is. You want to be a woman in a factory who works every day till her fingers bleed to make what I make in minutes from a bottle? I kept you from stumbling into a forced marriage and I let you experience the world. But because I didn't let you go jumping into a man's bed , I'm the bad guy."

He slowly leaned toward her, something strange starting to well up in the back of his eyes like he was possessed. "I will never be happy for what you did so there is no question. I gave you that freedom you so craved and instead of spending even a day knowing what it was like to be your own person you just jumped onto the very first man you see..You don't even consider the problem with that. Because it wasn't about freedom. You might think it is but all you did was jump from one man to another. The moment I let you go you were on the hunt. You don't know how he will treat you once he has you and he will act nice until then because I have seen it and I have heard it a million times from the girls I met. Which by the way, I didn't sleep with as often as you think. But those girls, they were just like you once and it failed. The others? Trapped in painful marriages with men who got bored of them and cheat, drink, or beat them if they aren't ignoring them for the woman to spend all the rest of her life at home taking care of their kids. That is a far worse cage."

"Happy marriages are rare and they developed from a deep understanding that took time before they got trapped together. I see where your life is going because I recognize it having happened so many times before. My opinion doesn't matter though because all of our years of me looking out for you has boiled down to a few months of unhappiness. A few months of you deciding you wanted a man in your bed more than a brother. You made that decision and don't cry to me like a princes because I'm not happy. I will never be happy again because I don't see your decisions. I see their results. I see you as a nurse falling into depression because you hate being surrounded by blood and bile and children dying in your arms you couldn't save and their families blaming you when you couldn't do a thing. I see your only chance away from it is at home with your family with a husband who doesn't say he loves you any more and children that you birthed and raised are in their phases where they say they hate you and want to do stupid things because it sounds fun and you are mean for keeping them from that. "

"You aren't thinking about that though  You are thinking about a romantic vision of the here and now like it'll last forever. That you will get to work alongside your precious doctor so you can spend more time with him and 'help people' But you just admitted you don't love him yet, you don't know. Yet you didn't take a day or two to care what I think knowing my long hatred of doctors, and it is because you didn't care. It's what you wanted on that night. Which was to solve your loneliness. And that is all this is in the end isn't it? Side effects to you getting to finally warm your bed with a man so you have latched onto him and you will keep him there as much as possible. You didn't starve yourself for me, you did it for attention and hoping if I found out I would take pity. These are your decisions. I did not make you pick him, I certainly did not make you sleep with him. You didn't even want to try making friends with another man to see if maybe you were just weak to charms. You needed that physicality and you needed it immediately. It could have been almost any man that night it just happened to be him. And if he doesn't work out it'll be another as you keep trying for that happiness that may or may not exist. You're just upset you lost me to fall back on so you aren't alone in the world. I won't support you like that." He leaned in closer and spoke low that strange look growing as he whispered to her, he wanted her to hurt like he did and he knew exactly what to say.

"You might have been angry that I spent time with girls people around them label whores so you decided to become one. But you could never be like those girls. They were smart and more importantly they could take care of themselves. "
"Are ye deaf as well as daft? I told you several times how I felt and ye just poopooed it all like I'm not allowed to have feelin's or opinions. Ye always took it as a personal attack on ye when it never was. And ye're a damned liar, ye hovered over me like some damned gargoyle if I even thought to have a simple and innocent conversation with someone who wasn't a woman. Ye took me out to where ye wanted to, ye never asked me what I wanted. I hate what ye're becomin, this crook of a man who thinks he farts the scent of roses and lives in his own world separate from the rest of the world because ye're afraid of change and ye're afraid ta let go of the past." She eyed him as he closed in on her and spewed his disgusting accusations and words.

He got what he wanted, he’d hurt her. He went too far, though, and hatred pooled in her eyes. She said, her voice thick, “Ye know what? Ye really have become Da. Ye can think what ye want Pony McBride, nothin’ I say or do will change yer mind. I don’t have time to let ye hurt me anymore. If ye think ye can calm down and mend fences with me, ye can come to the castle and ask for me directly. I doubt ye will, though,” she snorted. “I told ye I wanted to be a nurse and I made it happen. And while ye languish in yer cloud of loneliness, I am going to decide for myself who I love whether it’s a lowly footman or Harold. Ye will never take that away from me. The room’s free for ye to sleep in it again, I’ve already packed my things and had them moved to my new home… Be mad all ye want, I don’t care anymore.” And in her eyes, the truth was there. She was done. He had pushed her away as far as he could without her actually declaring she hated him, not that she ever would.

She started to turn around, presenting her back to him.
Pony stared at her with that same cold expression but tears came falling down his cheeks. "You're the liar now. I might have been a bit over protective but I wasn't all that. You know it because you were happy for years. If I was that bad you would have left years ago and you wouldn't have tried to get me to agree. You would have just left. "

He turned to the cart and closed it up and locked it. "That's it then? Fine. I hate this town, I won't even wait to bleed it dry and just go. The good thing about when I mess up, I can just go to the next town and start again. If your doctor turns out to have a wife in America or is violent and terrible. You won't feel shame for giving him your first and you won't admit I was possibly slightly right. Because people don't want to feel shame for their own poor decisions. They don't like to admit they were wrong and hurt their pride or even more so, admit someone they dislike is right. "

He grabbed the reigns and his voice started to waver. "I hate every decision you've made and for your sake I hope I am wrong. But I won't be finding out. I would rather never see you again and pretend this unpleasantness is a nightmare and my good, honest sister is still alive out there."
She turned around and said very softly, but still loud enough for him to hear, "I don't care anymore. Believe what ye will. Ye don't listen anyways." Her tone was flat. She was calling his bluff about leaving too, "Goodbye then. I'll miss ye." And then she started to walk away, not looking back. She walked slowly at first, pretending she was fine, and then she picked up her skirts and stumbled blindly away, broken hearted by her brother's awful words.

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