Josh looked at her and smiled larger. His cheek flushed red with pain, but the smile was true. His eyes winked with excitement.
"You ought not do that." His voice was almost a giggle. The ropes at his wrist began to creak quietly.
"I ought not to do that." Lori voice was filled with open derision. "I ought to cut that smile from your face."
Josh giggled franticly, and Lori stepped back. Josh shook his head violently to control his voice, "My daddy says violence begets violence."
Lori's anger faded, and her face filled with insecurity. "What are you talking about? Your daddy died when you was young." Her anger saw an opening, "Have you been lying to me?" Her voiced raised in ferocity, "I'm going to beat the ever-living shit from your horse-shit head."
She delivered a full-force, bare-knuckle punch into Josh's left eye. His giggling was cut short as the chair tottered, but stayed upright. Lori's full height and weight were incredible. She was as imposing as most man, but driven by a punishing self-loathing that caused her to deliver physical and emotion pain to anyone who showed her favor.
Josh's laughter began again. And Lori noticed something different in Josh. No doubt, the dumb sniveling boy had broken. She turned and took great, heavy breaths. Harold had tied Josh down and told Lori to watch him. Like so many others, Harold had broken Josh.
Lori hated Harold. Harold knew what she would do to Josh. And Josh had loved her. Ever since he was first brought here, Josh was polite and reverent. Her anger increased.
Lori stared at her knuckles. They were split and beginning to bleed. She cursed. Rage filled her. The room swayed and her strength swelled. Her fists tightened, and she felt the power rise in her shoulders. She prepared herself to beat Josh.
As the blood pounded in her ears, Lori never heard the chair crack. She turned to tower over Josh, her head full of fury. The chair was empty. Josh stood off to the side.
Lori glanced at Josh, anger ever rising. Like an animal, she lunged at him. Smiling, he caught her head by the hair, and flung her to the floor. She growled and spun onto her back.
Josh was ready for this, and simply stomped on her bare throat. Lori's growls ceased, and her body made no move.
Josh dropped his smile. If Josh was truly broken, Harold would need to clean up his own mess.