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NOTE: This story is pretty graphic with details. Maybe you prefer not to read detailed accounts of domestic abuse and would prefer to read stories containing the very best of everything. This story is not one of those. It contains strong description of rape too, so please be warned that this isn't for the weak minded.

Thank you, Giddy.


 

As she cowered on the floor, she watched his fist draw back before he drove it into her face. Another day, another fight... another bruise to cover in the morning. She knew they'd all ask how she got this one, and she knew she'd have to lie. She always did. Her cover up stories for her injures were always so lame, maybe that's because she secretly wanted someone to notice. But they never noticed. She wished she had someone close enough to her to see her lies through the words, but she'd lost all her friends, and it was all down to him.
She looked up at his face. He looked so angry, as he repeatedly connected his fist to any part of her body. Why did he hate her so much?
"Josh, please." She began to beg. But that only made his punches even more determined and painful.

He grabbed her by her hair, and lifted her to her feet, without much effort. It amazed her how much strength he had when he was angry. Sometimes she wished she had the courage to fight back, but she knew she couldn't. All she saw was the face of the Josh she'd known before. The one who made simple gestures to show how much he loved her. The one that would curl up on the couch with her in his arms. The one that would make love to her with tenderness. She couldn't see him for this Josh. The Josh that brought her flowers to cover his guilt in the morning. The Josh who made her sit on a chair if they were watching TV. The Josh that raped her every night after he'd thrown his weight around.
She wondered why it had all gone wrong. She could tell anyone the exact moment her life had turned upside down, it was a few months after *NSYNC had taken a break from each other. He got frustrated being at home all the time, and started losing his temper little by little over the slightest thing. Then he started getting angrier over smaller things. His fuse shortened, and his voice rose. It was just shouting then. But a month ago, he started lashing out, and the exact moment he’d first laid his hands on her was when she told him she was pregnant. Something inside him snapped; she saw it in his eyes. He'd beat her so hard that night she’d had a miscarriage, and it just hadn't stopped since.
She prayed every night for more and more good days, days when he wouldn't hit her. But all she got lately was a run of bad days. She didn't know what it would take to stop him, but she needed to find something. He was slowly killing her and she knew that one of these nights, he wouldn't stop until he had.
Above the noise of her whimpers, she could hear the phone ringing, and she prayed he would stop hitting her so he could answer it. But the world around him seemingly didn’t exist while he was laying into her, inch-by-inch taking away a piece of her soul. So the ringing stopped, and instead she prayed for someone to knock on the door and save her. That knock never came, and by the time he’d had enough. She could barely speak, let alone move.
This was the worst yet. He’d punched and kicked her body so many times in his rage, that she began to numb to the blows somewhat because each one seemed to be weaker than the one before. But she didn’t care anymore. Her feelings were slowly being beaten out of her. She didn’t cry anymore because she was all cried out. She didn’t smile anymore because she had no reason to. She didn’t care enough to scream out for him to stop, because the louder she screamed, the harder he forced his hands on her. All she could do was pray, and hope God would free her soon. Her saviour came somewhat amongst her prayers, and as he dropped her limp body back down to the floor, all she could think about was that it was over for another night.
She watched him as he walked away; leaving her where she lay face down on the floor, and thanked God he’d stopped to allow her to see another day. She could see her blood coated on his knuckles as he disappeared from the room. She could smell her fear perfumed in the air. She could feel the internal bruising forming on her vital organs. She could hear the sound of her heart tissue ripping that little bit more. She could feel the aches in her limbs. She could feel the sting of the cuts above her eye and on her lip. She could taste her blood tainting her tongue as she licked her wound.
Her head spun with all the ways she could go from here. Did she try to get up and risk him hitting her for it, or did she just lie there and risk him hitting her for not moving? She was weak. She knew she was in no shape to survive another battle. So, she lay there a while longer, bleeding on the floor.
She hated living her life like this. She was constantly fearful everyday with every little act because she didn’t know what set him off anymore. It was different every time. She tried to only do things that pleased him, but it seemed she couldn’t even get that right these days.
She wanted to scream out, demand that he couldn’t do this to her anymore. She wanted to fight him every step of the way until he realized that he wasn’t going to get away with hurting her. But she was weakening with every beating she took, and she couldn’t fight with strength she didn’t have.
She lay dormant on the cold tiled floor of the kitchen; secretly wishing God would take her life, because it wasn’t worth keeping. But he couldn’t have heard her.
Still she lay there, listening to the dull sound of the TV playing in the other room. She had to fight. She had to block the pain out of her mind. She had to reach deep inside and build up enough courage to move. That’s when all that was left was silence. The only sound ringing in her ears was the echo of determination. She was going to lift herself from the floor. She was going to walk upstairs. She was going to wash his handprints off her skin. God help her, if it was the last thing she was going to do, she was going to show him he hadn’t won. But in reality, he had. He always won.

~~~~~*~~~~~

It took her an hour to make it to the bathroom. Her ribs were aching, her legs were wobbly and her head felt light because of the cut on her forehead. But her determination kept her going, and now she struggled to stand upright at the sink as she washed.
The water was tainted a deep red from the blood and as she looked into it she could see her faint reflection. She didn’t have a mirror anywhere in the house. She didn’t want one. Not after he’d forced the back of her head into the last one. That was the only time she’d been to the emergency room with injuries because he was careful how he hit her. She’d had to get stitches that day, and she can remember the look the doctor gave her while he tended to her injuries. She could tell he wanted her to tell him that her boyfriend had assaulted her, and that the mirror hadn’t broke her fall when she slipped on the bathroom floor. But she wouldn’t, because it was her fault he did it anyway. If she hadn’t been putting on make up, he wouldn’t have got mad.
She didn’t wear make up anymore. She didn’t style her hair. She didn’t wear clothes that exposed any flesh. She kept low key. She tried not to do anything that he would punish her for. She always tried to behave. But sometimes, she couldn’t help it when his peas touched his mash potato. She couldn’t help if sometimes his gravy was lumpy. She couldn’t let the phone ring out without answering it if she was the only one home. Sometimes her punishment came when she hadn’t realized she’d done anything wrong. But she knew it was still her fault. If she didn’t get so many things wrong, then he wouldn’t have to discipline her.
Lifting down the first aid kit from the small hanging cupboard on the wall, she opened it and pulled out a band-aid for her cut. But, having no mirror in the bathroom was going to prove difficult to bandage her wound.
Then she could feel his eyes on her, burning into her back. Turning slightly, her eyes met with his and she could feel herself beginning to shake at the prospect of what was to come. But his voice was compassionate when he spoke, “Want me to bandage that for you?”
She wasn’t sure what her response should be. But took pot luck and nodded, “Please.”
Slowly he walked over and took the band-aid from her hand, “This looks nasty.” He said pulling off one of the tabs. “You know I’m sorry I had to punish you again, right?” She nodded, not daring to speak. “But if you hadn’t made me angry, I wouldn’t have had to do this.”
Again she nodded, “I know.” She whispered as her eyes contacted with the floor.
As he finished covering her cut, JC stood back to admire her bruise-covered face and a slight smile appeared on his lips, “I love you so much. You know that, right?”
Her eyes met his. For a moment she was tempted to scream at him and ask, if he loved her so much why he’d hit her. She was tempted to lash out, and give him a taste of his own medicine. But she knew she was no match for him. So instead reflected his small smile. “Of course I do.”
His hand reached up to her cheek and she immediately flinched. But when she realized quickly that it was a sign of affection and not anger, she closed her eyes and concentrated on the intimate touch. Instantly remembering back to when it was always like this. But that seemed like a lifetime ago.
The kindness she’d seen in his eyes the day they’d met had all but disappeared now. The gentleness in his fingers when he touched her skin had vanished and left only weapons of mass destruction. The sweetness of his lips when he kissed her was untraceable, and all that was left was bitterness.
“Are you okay?” He asked softly.
Her tear-filled eyes opened and met his, “Yeah.” She replied, her voice cracked and filled with pain. “I’ll be fine.”
“Need me to kiss it better?”
She knew all too well that what he was asking wasn’t a question for consideration. It was more or less her warning that he wanted sex. “Can I take a shower first?”

He circled his arms around her waist, “Want me to take one with you?”

She forced a smile through the pain of the pressure he was applying to her injured waist, “Sure.”

~~~~~*~~~~~

His mouth found hers without much effort at all. His lips were hungry and his tongue probed deep into her mouth until she was sure she'd choke. But she knew all he cared for, was to get what he wanted, never stopping to consider her injuries or her pain from their earlier confrontation.

Undoing the secured bathrobe, he slipped it over her shoulders, allowing it to fall to the floor around her feet. His eyes travelled the length of her exposed body as her arms defensively came up across her chest in an uncomfortable attempt to cover herself. But he gently pushed them away, "I want to see you, all of you." He whispered in her ear as he took a small step back.

Reluctantly she allowed her arms to fall to her sides giving him a full view of her battered and bruised body. But that seemingly didn't matter to him as a satisfactory smile appeared on his face. "My God, you're beautiful." He complimented her, somehow thinking I would make a difference to how she felt.

Opening his robe brought her eyes upon his naked aroused body. There was a time when that vision alone would make her wetter than running water and begging for him to take her body to do with it as he pleased. But all it resulted in doing now was turning her stomach and making her want to run for the hills.

He stepped up closer to her again, his body barely touching hers but making her flesh crawl all the same, and he devoured her in a kiss as his hands came up to fondle her breasts roughly. She gasped against his mouth as his lips hardened against hers and his touch became firmer, more demanding. Her nipples swelled up in response, puckering into two peaks of pure agony.

Breaking away from her lips, he dipped his head so he could suck the first one, then the other. His mouth was hot, his teeth scraping the tender flesh of her nipples, which caused her to suck in a breath of anguish. His touch had no sexual effect on her at all. But she faked a pleasured moan through the wracking pain of her internal bruising.

Gently he pushed her back so she fell onto their bed and climbed on top of her, his hard male body pressing her into the mattress. He pried her clasped thighs apart with one knee, and slipped his fingers between them. He found her clitoris and began playing with it, pressing it against her pubic bone and rolling it, making her cry out with the sensation that shot through her. He could feel how moist she was now and moved to rub the head of his shaft against the sensitive flesh of her labia. She gritted her teeth as he sank slowly inside her, wincing at the sharp stab of pain as he burrowed deeper, twisting his hips so he could knock against the neck of her womb.

The walls of her emotions came crashing down, bringing tears to her eyes as a bitter taste formed in her mouth. She closed her eyes to try and block out the invasion of his cock within her. But all she could feel was the inner muscles clenched around the only evidence that he was a man.

Opening her eyes again, she saw that he was oblivious to her presence as he heaved and grunted his way toward climax, a vision she was used to seeing. The expression on his face was that of pure concentration, his eyes fixed on a point on the wall just above her head. His breathing had become heavier as a film of sweat formed on his forehead. Then came that familiar feeling of her being outside herself, looking down on the two of them on the bed, consumed by, yet curiously detached from the scene. While on one extreme she was completely caught up by what was happening, on the other she was watching her reaction to it.

She missed the times when he was gentle, loving and caring while making love to her. She missed the sensations his touch used to get from her body. She missed the tenderness of his kisses. She wanted her Josh back. Her tears unleashed from her eyes and rolled toward the bed beneath her.

Soon it would be over and she could sleep to recover, only for him to abuse her again tomorrow. She hated this life. She wanted someone else's so badly that she was willing to go to any lengths to get it. But it was just a dream that she escaped to at night while he lay snoring beside her.

Many times she would think of climbing from the bed and escaping into the dark. But the idea of him finding her always forced her to reconsider it. He would surely kill her if she tried leaving him.

Then the tendons in his neck stood out like cords as he strained to reach his climax. It didn't matter to him that she wasn't even close, it used to, but now as long as he got his, it was enough. He let out his breath on a pent-up gasp and collapsed across her like a deflated balloon before rolling off onto his back.

Flinging one arm across his forehead, he closed his eyes, letting out a long, low whistle between his teeth. "That was some great make up sex baby." He said, when he gathered enough breath to speak.

She lay very still beside him and said nothing, knowing that within minutes he'd be asleep. She could feel the ache of her clitoris; sore and bruised just like the rest of her body. She closed her eyes as tears escaped unheard and prayed hard that things would go back to the way they once were between them. But she knew that even if he went back to being the JC she’d fell in love with, that she’d be scared forever by what had been happening for the past 30 days. She kept telling herself that this was a phase he was going through, that he was stressed being out of the limelight he’d become accustomed to. But she knew it was more than that. The guy had an evil streak that no amount of fame was going to diminish.

Lying there, naked, she could hear his contented snores already bouncing off the walls. But it would be a while before she slept tonight; if she did at all with the pain she was in. Turning away from him, she curled up in a fetal position before sobbing herself into a light sleep.

~~~~~*~~~~~

Her eyes fluttered open as much as they could with the bruising to find him smiling down at her. His eyes sparkled, and she found herself reflecting his smile. For a minute what had happened the night before was forgotten and they were a ‘normal’ couple happy to be waking up to each other. But everything came rushing back all too soon as he lowered his lips to hers, and the bitter sting of her cut presented itself. She winced automatically and, with concern etched on his features, he pulled away.

“Sorry, did that hurt?” He asked softly.

She could tell he was in a good mood. His eyes told her that the JC she’d met was staring down at her. Tenderly she dabbed her injury with her hand, “It’s okay. It doesn’t hurt that much.”

He smiled and leaned in for another one. But as his lips connected to hers again, she winced again. As he pulled away a second time, she really smiled. “You know what, maybe it does.”

He reached up and brushed her fringe from her forehead, “Then I’ll just have to kiss you somewhere else.” He said, lowering his lips to the skin he’d exposed and placing a gentle kiss there. He rose to his original position so he could take in the view of her face, and his smile kept its place. “What do you want for breakfast?”

Her brow furrowed softly, “You’re making breakfast?”

He kissed her forehead again before jumping off the bed, “Yeah, and you’re going to stay right there because I’m going to bring it to you, in bed.” He ordered as he walked from the room.

A giggle escaped into the air. That was JC. That was her man. He was back; at least... she hoped he was.

~~~~~*~~~~~

She happily whistled her way through cooking supper. It was an anniversary dinner she was making, and she was happy about it. It had been over a month since JC had last laid a finger on her. They were more or less back to the way they were when they first got together, and the future looked good from where she was sitting. Sure, there was still a part of her that got scared everytime he walked in through the front door, after being out all day. There was still a part of her that expected him to lay into her for no good reason whenever the fancy took him. But it had been five weeks since the last time, and she was hopeful that she’d seen the last of his violence.

A smile grew on her face as she heard the front door close behind him. “I’m in the kitchen.” She called out to him.

He appeared in the room almost instantly, “Something smells good.” He commented making his way over to where she stood before wrapping his arms around her waist and applying butterfly kisses to her neck.

She laughed, “JC, I’m trying to make dinner.”

“Well, we have an oven.” He said continuing to seduce her. “We can warm it up.”

“As tempting as that offer is, I’m going to have to decline. I don’t want it to get ruined. We are celebrating.”

He rested his chin on her shoulder, “What are we celebrating?”

She stopped stirring the sauce she was thickening and shook her head slightly, “You forgot? I guess that’s what you do, you are male.” She joked. “Today Mr. Chasez is our one year anniversary.”

He stepped back from her instantly and she could swear she heard that violent switch in him click on when he spoke, “”You think I forgot on purpose?” He questioned.

She spun on her heal to face him, “No, of course not.”

“So, are you implying that I love you less just because I forgot a stupid date on a calendar?”

She shook her head frantically. There was that feeling again. The fear. The hate. The pain in her chest as her heart sank. He’d snapped, and there was no going back from it. That’s when the frightened little child within her came out in full and forced the woman in her on the back burner. “I didn’t mean…” She stumbled.

~~~~~*~~~~~

He dropped her lifeless body to the floor without a second thought. He hadn’t noticed that she’d stopped breathing half an hour ago, and he honestly didn’t care. All that mattered was that he felt better, and he did. He walked from the room, a ritual that happened after every encounter they had. He knew that when he walked back into that room, their battling arena, that her body would be gone, and she’d be attending her injuries.

But it hit him when he walked back into the kitchen and saw her body still lying there, that he’d taken it too far this time. He made his way over to her body and gently nudged her in the ribs with his foot. “Get up.” He ordered her. But his voice fell on dead ears. She wasn’t getting up this time.

He lowered to her level, his white socks instantly staining with the small puddle of blood on the tiled floor, and checked her neck for a pulse. He couldn’t find it, no matter how many times he convinced himself that he wasn’t looking for it in the right spot, and checked it again.

He jumped up to his feet, and stared down at her. Panic came over him. He’d killed her. What did he do now? How did he explain this to the police? He shook his head. No, he couldn’t call the police.

Taking a few deep breaths, he lowered again to her level, and again checked her pulse. It still wasn’t there. She was really dead, and he’d killed her.

In shock he backed slowly from her dormant body until his back hit one of the kitchen walls, he slid down to the floor and sat there stunned staring at her. He’d killed her. He raked his hand through his long hair and silent tears began to cascade down his cheeks. What had he done?

Hours passed and darkness fell before his mind caught on to what he’d done and what it would mean if anyone found out. He immediately went into autopilot, climbing to his feet and walking out to the back garden. He retrieved his spade from the shed and began digging a hole big enough to bury his girlfriend, at the bottom of the lawn beneath his only pine tree.

~~~~~*~~~~~

Throwing on the last spade of dirt, JC dropped the garden tool and stared down at the hole he’d filled in. He still couldn’t believe he’d killed the one person he loved so much it hurt. Tears spilled over onto his cheeks, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just haven’t figured out how to control my temper.” He nodded, as though hearing her voice in his head. “I know it stopped for a while. But I don’t know how I did that, and tonight I just lost it again. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I’m so scared. What am I going to do without you?”


© bentley76@blueyonder.co.uk 2003