The cobra danced for her. Her and her alone. As she held it tight under its throat, never letting its fangs near her. Its sinuous body writhed under her hand, striking only air.

She thrilled with the power, holding the snake hostage to her whims. She kept the pressure constant on the throat, kept each smooth, cool scale under her control. This was power. This was the essence of her soul.

The snake's throat expanded, contracted under her grasp, gasping for air, for freedom, for one second more of life. The fangs grew quivering close to her delicate, strong finger as she pressed in, deeper. One of the milk white fangs expanded, seeking her warmth, so close, so far away. She laughed.