"Bee? Are you awake?"
I rolled over at the gentle touch of ice against my temple. "Hey," I whispered. "That's cold."
Lena pulled the ice pack away. "Sorry. I was just worried about you."
"I'm okay." I pushed myself up so I was sitting against the headboard.
"Really?" she questioned, holding my gaze for a little longer than I was comfortable with.
Looking down, I fiddled with the sheets that were entwined around my middle. "You know me too well, Lenny."
"Do you want to talk about it?" she asked, sitting down on the bed.
I pulled up the edge of the sheet so that she could slip in next to me. After a few minutes of silence, I answered, "I'm going to have a baby in, like...six months. And it scares me."
"You know I think you can do it, Bee. We all do."
"It isn't that. It's just that he's out there...you know?" Once I started, the words just tumbled out of me. "He's out there and I feel like he's never going to go away. It feels like he's down every hall, around every corner, behind every door...like I will always have to look."
"And if I have this baby," I continued, "I don't know how to protect it. I don't know how to keep it safe. I don't know how to keep me safe, when he's everywhere. I think about him, what he did...I can feel him touching me when he isn't even there, and it just makes me feel sick inside. I don't want him to ever lay a hand on this baby. I don't even want him to know about it. I just..."
Lena reached out and squeezed my hand.
"And...what am I supposed to tell this baby about how it came to be? How do I explain that?" I didn't realize I was crying until the tears splashed onto my lap.
"Bee," Lena whispered. "Do...do you want my opinion?"
I nodded, swiping at the tears that trailed down my cheeks.
"I think that all that's important is that you love this baby. I think that love is the most important thing. No matter how this baby came to be, I feel that love is enough to counter that. And I feel like you, more than anyone, will know how to love this baby. You know more about love than anyone I know, Bee. You are generous, and kind. You can give this baby the things you missed with your mom. You can and will be a fantastic mother, Bee, and you will do the best you can. And that's enough. Your love is enough, Bee. It's all you can do." Her voice trailed off as she wiped away tears of her own.
"Do you really think so?"
"I really do."
"Ssh, Bee, it's just me." He turned me to him and raised a finger to my lips as a scream built in my throat. "Don't say a word."
The room swayed as my body adjusted to the alcohol I'd consumed. When he pressed on my shoulder to push me to the bed, I tried to push him off, but I was too dizzy and found myself on my back. "No," I whispered. "Don't."
He straddled my body, holding me down with one hand, while taking a drink with the other. After setting the drink on the dresser, he leaned in close. His breath smelled like beer. And garlic. Almost all of his weight rested on top of me, and I tried to force him off as he caressed my hair. I couldn't move. "Get off of me," I whispered, but I wasn't even sure that the words actually came out of my mouth. "No, stop."
His tongue found it's way into my mouth, forcing it open to him even as I tried to clench it shut. I started to cry, and he slapped me so fast that I didn't have time to move my head. "Shut up," he hissed. "Don't say a word, don't scream, nothing. Do you understand?" He pulled a knife out of his pants pocket and held it to my throat. I was afraid to answer.
It was getting harder and harder to breathe as his hand found it's way down my pants, undoing the snap. "Don't move," he said, sitting up to remove his belt and slide off his own pants.
He pushed my shirt up and caressed my stomach with the knife. I open my mouth to scream, but no sound came out.
"Don't move!" he cried again as I wiggled underneath him. "It won't hurt as much if you don't move."
My pants were down around my ankles, almost binding my legs together. I twisted my head away, trying to pull away from him. My head slammed into the floor and everything went black.
I woke up with a start, jerking upright as I struggled to catch my breath. The sheets were tangled down around my legs. Sweat streamed from my forehead, and my heart pounded in my ears with every tortured breath. It took several seconds before I realized I had awakened to my cell phone ringing.
"Hello?" I asked, my voice raspy I struggled to breathe in and out.
"Bridget? This is Detective Benson."
I glanced at the clock on my nightstand. It was nearly five in the morning. "Hi?" I answered, confused.
"Can you come down to the station?"
"Wh-what?" I stammered.
"Can you come down to the station? There's something that we need to discuss right away."
I nodded, and realizing she couldn't see me nod over the phone, answered, "Okay."
I said goodbye and hung up the phone, reaching under the bed to grab my shoes. I decided not to wake anyone else up. If I was getting called to the station at five in the morning, it couldn't be for anything good.