Title: Stronger Woman

Author: Witchytara25

Summary: What happens when the past and the present collide?

Rating: K+

Disclaimer: Not mine. Belongs to Ann M. Martin and scholastic. I just like writing about them and making them older than 13.

A/N: This is not my usual fan fiction. This is hard for me to write, as it is therapy for me to write this as this is a true to life situation that had happened to me. I just need to know if anyone reads this if I should continue this or make it a stand alone.

Each blow falls like rain, and I curl myself up into a ball, wondering when this is going to end. The blows come harder and faster and I bite my lip to keep from whimpering because making any sound whatsoever will just make him more angry. And that's the last thing I want to do, is make him more angry.

He grabs me up by the hair and tosses me to the side, and laughs mirthlessly. "Stupid little bitch, thinking that I would want that for dinner. You are so damn stupid." He kicks me once for good measure and grabs his keys off the table and his jacket off the back of the couch.

"I'm going out" he calls over his shoulder, "Make sure everything is cleaned up by the time I get back or you know what will happen." He slams the door behind him and for some time afterwards, I stay curled up on the floor in the fetal position, wondering if I could move. Gingerly, I pull myself up into the sitting position, wincing as my body screams in protest.

"Well, you've really managed to piss him off this time, " I say to myself, and I limp over to the mirror, shaking my head at my reflection. Gone was the sparkle, the sassiness, everything I used to be. In the mirror stared back the reflection of a broken and battered woman. A woman who wondered where the teenager who didn't give a damn what anyone thought of her, the teenager who was going to be great with her art. How did I get into this situation?

"I've got to get out of here, " I say to myself, "But where am I going to go?" I had no one, as I alienated myself from everyone I knew because its what he demanded and at first I happily obliged. Sighing heavily, I sat on the couch, knowing that I had trapped myself in and I had no way out.

Hearing a whimper on the baby monitor, (the one that he managed not to break over my head), I hurried as fast as I could upstairs. My little girl, my life, my only reason for living was sitting up in her crib, rubbing her sleepy eyes. I knew that her whimper meant that she was hungry and I grabbed the bottle out of the baby fridge that was upstairs. Grinning happily when she saw me, she held her arms out. "Mama! Mama! Up! Up!" Scooping her up gently and trying to ignore the screaming pain, I sat in the rocking chair with her and as she suckled on the bottle happily, I sighed and relaxed, wondering how the hell to get out of this situation.

It wasn't always like this, not in the beginning. In the beginning he was loving and attentive and didn't care that we had separate interests. But as time wore on, he became more and more controlling and the first time he hit me, he swore it was the last time. However, the abuse has become worse and worse as the years have gone on.

The injuries I have sustained at his hands reads like medical text: broken ribs, head trauma, lacerations to the neck and stomach, broken arm, broken leg, punctured ear drum. And yet I stay, because I have no one else to turn to.

And now, I have no friends because when they all tried to tell me that he was an abusive asshole, I just ignored them and he fed the fuel to the fire, telling me that they were all jealous of him, of me, of how they loved to stick their noses where it didn't belong. And like an idiot, I believed him.

Looking down at my daughter, I stroked her downy black hair and she smiles up at me, her eyes getting heavy with sleep. Humming softly, I slowly rocked the chair back and forth and she is lulled to sleep by the movement. There are many times I have thought about ending it all, but when those thoughts start entering my head, I think of my daughter and how she would have no one to protect her.

I place my sleeping daughter back into her crib and gingerly walk back downstairs, surveying the mess with a sigh and go about cleaning it up, knowing if I don't, when Logan returns home, the abuse will start all over again.

Four hours later, everything is clean and spotless, just the way he likes it and I sit on the couch with an ice pack on my wrist, wondering if its sprained or broken this time. Gingerly I move it and whimper slightly but am relieved to know that it is just a sprain. I go about wrapping an ace bandage around it and sit back on the couch, closing my eyes and sighing, enjoying the peace and quiet.

Suddenly the door bangs open and in he blows, the smell of alcohol reeking off of him. He grabs me by my sore wrist and I cry out and he laughs drunkenly, backhanding me across the face.

"What's this I hear about you cheating on me, slut?" he slurs, backhanding me again.

"I swear, I haven't cheated on you," I say, but he's beyond hearing me.

Backhanding me again, he pushes me into the wall and kicks me in the ribs. I cry out and he laughs sadistically. "You will never cheat on me, I won't let anyone have you. You're mine, and never forget that." He grabs me by the wrist again and drags me over to the couch, throwing me on it and unbuckles his pants and I feel myself start to panic.

"Please Logan, don't do this to me. I haven't cheated on you. I've never even looked at another man since we've been together." He slaps me hard again. "Do not speak unless I tell you to, do you hear me?"

My head spins with the force of his hit and he pins his weight on top of me on the couch. "Listen to me Claudia and listen to me well. You are a stupid bitch and no one else would want you but me. You are mine and I'm going to show you that your mine." He then proceeds to enter inside me as I lay there motionlessly, taking what he thinks is his. He laughs as he rapes me again and again throughout the long night. Thankfully, my daughter sleeps right through it.

The next morning he is gone and I am broken and battered. Last night was an eye opener in more ways than one, as I have come to the realization that if I don't leave him, I may be dead before this is all over.

Packing a small bag for myself and a bag for my daughter, I head out the door and even though I am scared to death and know that if he finds out where I'm going he'll hunt me down and kill me, I take my first steps towards my freedom.

Driving to a familiar house, I knock on the door and who I had hoped was home opens the door. "Claudia?" the incredulous voice asks, and ushers me inside, taking my daughter from me. "What happened?"

"I had to leave… I know that we haven't talked in almost a year, but I…I couldn't take it anymore. I needed some place safe to go, and you were the first person I thought of. I know I shouldn't have dropped in like this…but, please, if I don't leave him…."

"There will be time for explanations later. You can stay here as long as you like. He'll never find you here. You're safe now."

"Thanks Mary Anne." As she took the bags from me, I settled into the couch, sighing and relaxing for what felt like the first time in a long time. I knew that the road ahead wouldn't be easy, but as long as I could hide from Logan until I could figure out where to go and what to do, everything would be okay.