Countess Phantomhive. The one to end the family name. Unless - no. Never. She couldn't do that.
But couldn't she?
Since birth, she had hoped to the high heavens that she would not be cursed to live her life as a maiden.
Perhaps she didn't have to.
Trapped in the cage, men hollering all around her, blood trickling over scabs reopened three times over, all she could think was, "dear god, don't let me die a girl."
Her screams pierced the air as the runed blade twisted in her gullet, her back arching instinctively, as though it would decrease the pain. Her mouth managed to form a final cry for help - and then time froze.
The men around her stopped, completely. The greedy, perverted look that rested in all of their shadowed eyes had been paused by some outside force.
Silence rung through the room - then a deep rumbling from the far corner. No, it was - laughter?
A dark chuckle that dripped with a sense of sinfulness, and yet the young countess found comfort in it.
"Ahh, he's calling me. In the midst of sadness and anger, confusion and despair."
She craned her head up to see where the voice had come from.
"Who's there?" She called into the void of frozen men. "Who's calling you?"
Suddenly, a man was beside her.
"Why, you, of course. Did you not cry for help just moments ago?" He purred, flaming eyes appearing out of the smoke.
"But I'm.. I'm not a boy-"
"But you want to be, do you not?" The devil smirked in mock sympathy, "I can give you that. I can make you the Earl you always wished to be. I can save your life, as well. Be enslaved to you. In exchange for one thing," He leaned down, hair brushing the child's forehead as he said in a whisper that sent shivers down her spine: "Your soul."
Her eyes widened slightly out of fear and, dare she say it, excitement. Every logical part of her was screaming, "No!"
But before she could stop herself, she had already agreed.
She reached out a small hand from behind the bars of her cage and clasped the demon's clawed digits.
The room was gone. Her body was suspended by forces unknown to her and - there was the voice again.
"Should you reject the faith, even this once, the gates of paradise will forever be closed to you."
She gritted her teeth, growling, "Do you think that one who was among the faithful would ever consider a deal like this?"
A chuckle resounded through the room.
"No, I suppose not," suddenly her frail body was swept up in a pair of strong arms, "My Lord."
And she- no... he, smiled.