Author: Tima PM
She lived the life of luxury with her husband, James, but he beats her. She turns to an unlikely friend for help to escape James. She moves to Forks, becomes Bella Swan & meets Edward Sleeping with the Enemy, Twilight styleRated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Hurt/Comfort - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 31 - Words: 175,902 - Reviews: 516 - Favs: 532 - Follows: 508 - Updated: 11-04-11 - Published: 03-30-09 - id: 4959200
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Welcome to my latest offering. I was beginning to see that most of my stories were lacking edge. So here is my attempt at edge. Enjoy! And as always, I won't beg for reviews. They are wonderful, but it gets tiring asking for reviews constantly. If you like, review! Deal? Ok, now let's get on with it.
I've been on the run for nearly two years now. Two long, gruelling years of looking over my shoulder, listening for footsteps behind me, and moving across the continent. All in the hopes of escaping him.
The man who sprained my wrist with sheer force the first time I didn't have his meal waiting for him on the table.
The man who threw me against a wall and gave me a concussion the night he even suspected that I was leaving him.
He was vicious, harsh, and cruel to no end. And I was married to him.
I asked myself countless times why I had subjected myself to his cruelty for the two years of hell we ridiculously called a marriage. And every time I remembered that he wasn't always an abusive bastard—he had been charming, understanding, and loyal when we first met. He had a jealous streak that, thinking back on it now, should have raised red flags for me. At the time, it was sweet to know he cared so much about me.
Well, hindsight is 20-20. I should have been stronger, wiser, and better able to withstand his threats of violence.
I should have reported him the first night he laid an unwanted hand on me. But always the fear of repercussions paralyzed me and made me stay.
I had moved to Boston from my hometown of Toronto, Ontario in order to attend UMass, and then return to Canada when I was done my degree, but fate had other plans and I was blinded by love when I met James. We became acquainted while I was working part-time at a coffee shop. He was one of my regulars, and I was instantly taken with him.
He was four years my senior, and attending Harvard Law School. He had an incredibly brilliant mind, so when he took notice of me, a simple Canadian girl with the dream of becoming a teacher, I was flattered beyond measure. He had shoulder length dirty blond hair, a slim but muscular physique, and a smile that would melt any heterosexual woman's heart within a 50 mile radius.
His charm and seeming helplessness without me kept me in the States indefinitely. When he proposed the week before my graduation, the deal was sealed and I informed my parents that I was staying in Boston. My mom, Renee was heartbroken, while my dad, Charlie, was furious that I had agreed to marry James. It was Charlie who was always suspicious of James.
Again, another red flag.
Charlie had always been a great judge of character.
Nonetheless, despite essentially crushing the two most important people in my life, I happily planned the wedding to the man who I thought loved me unconditionally. It was a quick courtship and an even quicker engagement. I had always promised myself that I would never rush into something as permanent as marriage. When it came to James, however, I broke my own pre-set rules with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I was so easily fooled back then.
We settled in a suburb of Boston in a beautiful four thousand square foot house. After graduation, James had received numerous job offers from law firms across the country, but he wanted to remain in Boston. Once he received his first real pay check, he immediately decided that the lush life was the one for us, and set out to keep up the appearances of such a lifestyle. My life savings, all of it, went towards the down payment. It was the kind of purchase I was saving that money for anyway, so I willingly agreed because it was for our future.
I began working as an elementary school teacher. My students were in the first grade, and I fell in love with each and every one of them.
I was living my dream, married to a loving man who could provide for me, working my dream job as a teacher, and living in a gorgeous house.
But something changed a few months after we were married and settled into our house. To this day, that reason escapes me.
The first time he hit me, he apologised for hours, claiming how sorry he was, and calling himself all sorts of horrid names, none of which I believed he deserved at the time. After all, it was only once, and he was not like those wife beaters you hear about on the news. Besides, I deserved it, or at least I thought I did at the time. I had provoked him, and he had snapped. I convinced myself that this was a one-time incident that would never be duplicated. I forgave him and we went on living happily.
The first broken bone he caused me marked the definitive flip. After that, the slaps and the pushes and the punches became easier for him to cause without appearing even the slightest bit remorseful. He became a heartless bastard almost overnight. His surges of anger weren't triggered by substance abuse, like the typical episode of Maury Povich had led me to believe.
And he didn't allow our social life to change in any way because of his proclivity towards taking his anger out on me; we still kept up the lifestyle that came along with being a young and successful couple in Boston. We attended functions, private parties, social gatherings, and the like. To the outside world, we were the perfect couple. He made damn sure that he always appeared to be a gentleman with me while we were out keeping up appearances—opening doors, pulling out chairs, the customary public displays of affection.
No one suspected that when he was unhappy, his outer facade would disappear as if something had set him off; he just took it out on me.
Despite it all, there was a small part of me that still loved him, and I didn't want to see the life that we had created for ourselves destroyed because of his habit of striking me.
The final straw came when I found out I was pregnant.
He was the happiest I had ever seen him the day I came home from the doctor's appointment to tell him he was going to be a father. His smile was genuine; he actually hugged me and told me how excited he was. I believed that deep inside, he felt as if this child were the beginning of a new way of life for us. The optimist within me believed that he would change his ways because of this child. I wanted to give him something to be excited about, to be a better man for, and the baby was the best thing I could hope for, because over the next few months he was incredible. He never laid a hand on me, made sure I was well-rested, and even washed the dishes every so often. He was once again the man that I had married—the man I had fallen in love with almost two years earlier.
I was three months pregnant when it happened.
I was cleaning up around the house, and I bent down to pick up something I had dropped on the floor. As I stooped down, I felt a sudden stabbing pain in my abdomen. I cried out loudly and clutched my stomach, praying the pain would dissipate. James had come running with a look of fear in his eyes at the sound of my moans of pain. I remember looking down and seeing a pool of blood forming on the floor beneath me. The tears sprang from my eyes and James immediately picked me up and drove me to the hospital.
I was informed an hour later that I had miscarried. It was no one's fault. The doctor told me that there was a 'chromosomal abnormality', and the baby had simply stopped developing. Whatever the reason, my heart broke that day, and my soul ached for the child I would never hold or rock to sleep or care for. He or she was taken from me before I even had the chance to get comfortable with the idea of pregnancy.
James didn't take the doctor's news well, either. From outside of my hospital room, I could hear him yelling at the doctor. I could faintly hear James demanding to know what I could have done to prevent the loss, but I thought nothing of it. After all, the last few months had shown me that my old James was back, and we'd just try for another child. Even though I was crushed and would need time to mourn our first child, my James would help us both heal. I was sure of it.
When I was released from the hospital, James was silent the entire drive home. I had learned to read his movements like street signs. And this street sign warned me of trouble ahead.
He remained silent even after we stepped into the house. He walked behind me slowly, letting me go in ahead of him. I took off my coat and hung it up in the hallway closet. I heard him do the same behind me as I walked towards the stairs to go up to our bedroom. My head spun and I needed to lie down. I called to James that I was going upstairs to rest and began my trek up the flight of stairs.
Once my head hit the pillow, my tears began to flow. I wept for my lost child, I wept for a lost part of me that, though I might become pregnant again, would never be returned to me. Most of all, I wept for my relationship with James. It was holding such wonderful promise, and the baby that had been growing within me only a few days ago was a symbol of hope that I had been praying for every day since the first time he was violent. Now, I knew I was kidding myself to believe that, but at the time, I felt as if that child was a miracle that would strengthen the love we once had and solidify our commitment to each other.
How wrong I was.
I had cried myself to sleep, but woke to my hair being pulled and my entire body being yanked off of the bed where I once lay. I looked up and saw James glaring down at me furiously, nostrils flaring in anger. His breaths came in shallow pants.
"Get up, you bitch!" He screamed at me from where I had landed on the floor. James grabbed a handful of my hair and bent down to level his eyes with mine as he pulled my face to his. I yelped in pain and discomfort at the awkward position of my head.
"You can't even get having a baby right—something that should come naturally to you. Worthless," he stated.
"James," I began, lifting my hands up in surrender. "We can try again," I said, sounding more like begging than reasoning with him. In reality, however, even as those words escaped my lips, I instantly realized that I never wanted to doom a child to having a father like him. The words I had just used had been uttered to try to spare myself from his wrath.
He seemed to ponder the idea, because his hold on my hair seemed to slacken slightly. Relief overtook me and I sighed a little too loudly, bringing James out of his thoughts and returning his focus to me.
"You're a horrible liar, Marie. I know you. I know you inside and out. You are MINE." He pulled my hair once again, eliciting a moan of pain from me.
His voice grew quieter, and more menacing. "You'd better believe that we'll try again, because if you aren't good enough to have my son, you won't be worth having around anymore," he whispered, sending terrified shivers down my spine. I was unwilling to think about what he had insinuated by that comment, but I had a feeling I knew what he meant.
He yanked on my hair again, then let go suddenly, causing my face to crash to the ground without warning. I would definitely have a bruise there in the morning. Ruefully, I was glad I had stocked up on my concealer the last time I was at the cosmetics counter.
I watched from thefloor as James left our bedroom, going God knew where. I picked myself up from the floor and walked over calmly to the full-length mirror behind the bedroom door. My clothes were dishevelled, my hair was strewn this way and that, and the bruise that I suspected would show up the day after was already beginning to make its appearance. In addition to all that, my lip appeared to be slightly swollen from the contact with the ground. An angry tear escaped the corner of my eye.
How had I allowed myself to get to this point? Tip toeing around my husband, terrified of being in my own home—a house that I helped to pay off with my life savings. Not only was I devastated with the loss of my baby, but now I was faced with the pressure of trying again so soon afterward. There was no way I was willingly going to try to get pregnant again. It was physically unsafe.
I straightened up, smoothed down my hair as much as possible, and walked out of the room towards the bathroom to freshen up. I walked past the staircase when something caught my eye—James was standing in front of the bathroom door with a grimace on his face.
"Where the fuck do you think you're going?" He asked angrily.
"I need to splash some water on my face, James. Let me by," I said quietly, too tired to fight with him. His arm sprang forward and grabbed my right wrist—the wrist that he had sprained eight months earlier. I winced.
"What you need to do is take what's coming to you for killing my baby," his voice was calm, which was even scarier than when he yelled. For the second time in so many minutes, I was terrified of my husband.
"You know it wasn't my fault. I wanted that baby just as much as you did," If not more. "I'm devastated that our child is gone, but it wasn't my fault." The tears began to fall once again at the memory of the loss. I suspected this would happen every time the baby was mentioned—at least for a few months to come.
With that, James began pulling me toward the bedroom by the wrist forcefully. I tried to pull my wrist out of his grasp, but failed because he had chosen the right wrist—it caused me more pain to try to squirm out of his grasp than to be in it. He paused and stopped pulling me once we reached the top of the stairs.
"Let go of me, James. You can't keep taking your anger out on me," I begged wearily. He wasn't going to oblige, but at least I would ask before attempting once again to escape his hold on my wrist.
He inhaled deeply and released it. "Marie, you need to realize something. This house, and everything in this house, is my property. You are in this house, and that means I own you too. I can do whatever I want to my property. If I want to slap you around, Marie, I will do just that. Now," he yanked my wrist roughly towards him. My face was now inches from his. His gaze moved past me towards the stairs.
Everything that happened after that went in slow motion. I knew what he was planning, but could do nothing to prevent the outcome.
"If I want to teach you a lesson, Marie," he continued, putting emphasis on my name, but keeping the decibel level of his voice eerily calm. "I will do just that. If I want to do this," and just like that, I found myself tumbling down the stairs of my home, hitting the edges of the stairs as I went, breaking a few bones in the process. I didn't hear the rest of James' sentence because I blacked out before I reached the bottom of the stairs.
When I awoke, I was in a bright hospital room. A faint beeping noise sounded just to the left of my bed. As I slowly opened my eyes, desperately scared of who I would find there, I realized that it was much too quiet in this room for there to be anyone else there besides me. I opened my eyes completely and took in my surroundings. I was in a room much like the one I had just come home from only hours before my fall down the stairs. This depressed me to no end.
I ached all over. It was a dull pain, no doubt thanks to the pain killers coursing through my veins, but it hurt nonetheless. I surveyed the damage. The only real injury I could see was a broken left arm. Everything else must have been internal, because it sure felt like it was. I tested all of my appendages to ensure I wasn't paralyzed. Thankfully, everything moved and there was no lag in my response time.
I must have laid there for an hour before someone came into the room, and I thanked God it wasn't James.
A handsome, blond haired doctor who looked to be in his early forties came into my room holding a clipboard and smiling a dashing smile that would stop my heart if it wasn't already broken from everything that had happened today.
He continued smiling as he approached my bed. It turned into something else, however. It wasn't a happy smile; it was a smile full of pity and compassion.
"Hello Mrs. Huntington. My name is Dr. Cullen. How are you feeling?"
I cleared my throat and nodded. "Uh, I'm alright. Really sore, though," I rasped.
"Yes, that's to be expected. You fell down a few steps and thankfully, the damage isn't as bad as it could have been. You could have been paralyzed—or worse." He sounded extremely concerned for me. Internally, I was grateful that someone was.
"Do you remember anything about the events that caused your fall, Mrs. Huntington?"
Uh-oh. What should I tell him? Had James already made up a story about my fall? If my story was in any way dissimilar to his, I could wind up in serious trouble over raising even the slightest bit of suspicion.
I shook my head dramatically and spouted a simple: "No, I don't remember much about what happened."
Dr. Cullen didn't seem satisfied with this answer; his forehead creased in confusion.
"Hmm. Your husband says that you returned home from your most recent hospital stay after the miscarriage and you fainted while about to go down the stairs. Does that ring a bell?" He asked, in the nicest and most professional-sounding way possible, without sounding at all suspicious. My gut, however, told me that he had the whole incident completely figured out. There was a knowing look in his eyes I couldn't ignore.
"That's probably it," I replied weakly. "I just needed to rest and I guess I walked down the stairs too fast and lost my balance or something. I'm a big klutz. If you've seen my records, you'll see that I've been here a few times before," I justified with a small smile, trying to add a bit of humour to my situation. Dr. Cullen didn't take the bait. Instead, he nodded once, then walked back to the hospital room door and locked it. He then pulled up a chair beside the bed and leaned in, resting his elbows on his knees.
"Mrs. Huntington, I have reviewed your medical records. You've been hospitalized four times in the last few months before you became pregnant. The injuries are not consistent with the various explanations the hospital ER gets from your husband on your behalf," I was about to interject when he continued. "And there is no way my colleague checked you out while you were here a few hours ago and failed to mention that you had a swollen lip and a bruise on the side of your face. So I must ask you," he leaned in ever closer and sucked in a breath. "Please be honest with me, Mrs. Huntington. Is your husband violent with you?"
I was still. Silent tears fell down my face, but other than that, my emotional state was not betrayed by my expression. Dr. Cullen shook his head sadly and slowly.
"Please, Mrs. Huntington."
"Marie, if you don't mind," I requested. I couldn't stand him calling me Mrs. Huntington again, not within the context of this conversation.
"Marie," he corrected. "For your own safety, please tell me."
"I fell down the stairs, Dr. Cullen."
With a defeated look upon his face, he went to stand. "Marie, might I suggest that you stop this cycle before it continues, and protect yourself. Or, better yet, press charges and begin anew elsewhere."
A sob suddenly escaped my mouth and I threw my hands over my face, breaking down into tears. Just the doctor mentioning my running away terrified me.
Dr. Cullen sat back down and extended a hand towards mine.
"Marie, you have no need to be afraid. If you press charges against him, he'll never bother you again."
His expression was concerned, almost like a father would be towards his daughter. In the midst of this turmoil, I found myself internally grateful for his compassion. I wondered if he was like this with all his patients.
"He's one of the best and most reputable lawyers in the city. He has ties with all the law enforcement agencies in the region, and even with some of the not-so-nice guys he's defended. I would be dead if he ever got out and found me," I sobbed into my hands quietly, surprised that I could string that many words together without struggling. "Let alone what he would do to my parents in Toronto. He's already made threats against them if I left." Dr. Cullen's eyes grew wide at my words. He shook his head sadly and then seemed to think about what I said for a moment before answering in a confident but quiet voice, perhaps to make sure no one else would hear his forthcoming words.
"He isn't the only one with connections, Marie," he practically whispered, leaning closer to me.
My head jerked up and I stared into his eyes. What had he just said? What was he trying to imply?
"I'm sorry, what?" I began.
"Marie," Dr. Cullen started, leaning closer to me still and patting my hand. "Where there is a will, there is a way." He opened his mouth to continue, stopped, and paused for a moment. He gave a slight nod, as if he was decided upon what he was going to say, and continued. "I can help you, if you'll let me."
"Help me do what, Dr. Cullen?" At that point I was beyond baffled. I knew what he was implying, but I wanted him to spell it out for me so that when I was proven wrong, I didn't look like I was clinging to false hope.
"Escape this man, Marie. If you want, that is. The first step will be hard, but once you make it, you'll be on your way to a new life." Hope gleamed in his eyes.
"Are you serious?" I asked incredulously, sitting up straighter in the hospital bed. My eyes grew wider at the thought. Could he really be that well-connected that he could help me?
"I am, Marie," he said simply, his expression serious. I had absolutely no reason to distrust his gesture. But what of his motives?
"Why..." I started again.
Dr. Cullen sighed and ran a hand through his blond hair. "Because it is part of my Hippocratic oath."
"That oath has nothing in it about saving an abused woman from her psychotic husband."
He chuckled darkly at my words. "No, it doesn't. But I have to do everything in my power to help my patients, and you are one of my patients. Also, I have a son your age, so I feel as protective of you as I would be with him." His smile warmed my heart. He was being 100% genuine, and that made me feel like crying again.
"Thank you, Dr. Cullen." I began sobbing again, only it was a strange sob—a sob of hope, of overwhelming relief, even though I was still only ten minutes away from the house I shared with James.
"Marie, please call me Carlisle. And don't worry about a thing. We're keeping you here overnight for observation. We'll discuss the plan for your escape later this evening. I have some phone calls to make to prepare."
This was really going to happen. I was going to flee and never look back. Carlisle was going to help me.
He stood up and squeezed my hand. "Everything will be fine, dear. Rest for now. We'll talk soon."
As he left me alone in the room, the feeling of relief that swept through me moments earlier returned and consumed me. My smile was such that it hurt my face.
Somehow, I was going to escape him. Somehow, I was going to survive.
What did you think? Shall I continue? Don't worry, I am still keeping up with Submitting to Fate's Design. I look forward to hearing feedback about this one! Thanks!