Leigh woke for the second time that night to the sound of premature screaming. She rolled over, onto her stomach. Her husband; a lean marine was sleeping peacefully, snoring softly, or at least pretending to. Leigh smiled and got out of bed, padding over to the door in her night attire: a singlet and knickers. She stepped outside into the hallway, yawning and rubbing the sleep from her eyes. The screams continued as she opened the door closest to them and she walked across the room, picking up her baby boy. She bounced and crooned to him. Singing softly in his ear, she wandered aimlessly around the house.
A faint rap on the door made her freeze with fright for a moment. The rap came again, even more difficult to hear than the last. Leigh frowned at the clock, its glaringly bright fluorescent green lights displaying 5:00 am. Hesitantly, she swapped Jarred (her baby boy) to one arm and approached the door.
The rapping coming for a third time made her jump, but she kept on. Breathing deeply, she opened the door. It creaked like it always did, a prolonged high pitched noise that made her hair stand on end.
A horrifying sight met her eyes. Her good friend Amber, lying in a bloody, tearful heap on the floor.
Leigh's eyes widened noticeably as she put Jarred in a bouncer and helped Amber over to the couch. Amber sobbed pitifully. "Leigh…he hurt me…" Leigh pulled her friend's head into her chest and shushed in her ear. "Come on, it's ok now. You're safe now." She repeated the mantra a couple of times before a different door creaked and her twelve year old daughter Imogen was at the entrance to the lounge.
She stared impassively at Amber for a second, no more, before turning to her mother. Leigh rocked Amber. "Imogen, get your father."
Imogen nodded and bolted towards their bedroom. No questions asked, at least for the time being. She was a good kid. Leigh had had her older (by four years) brother Diego when she was just seventeen, leading to a rush wedding with the father. Then again, she could hardly be blamed. They had gotten engaged the night before, and they had been going out since primary school. They had been a known couple since then. Pretty much, they were a fairytale. Amber's story, however, was more of a horror and/or angst film. She had been the first in their group, their clique, (the ever so slightly emo ones) to get a guy. She had given him her heart, pinned everything on him. And he dumped her, after five years of a steady relationship. She had never gotten over it, resorting to turning into a slutty man-catcher, but still a good person. She still had morals. Leigh had seen her only a couple of times since high school, but it didn't look as though she had changed much. Apart from being bruised and bloody, she was stark naked. Leigh pursed her lips. She could only imagine what horrors her friend had been through.
Her husband suddenly came barrelling down the hall in his jeans, concern etched into the light angles his face, which only increased upon seeing his wife and the woman in her arms. Imogen was trailing behind him with her twin Rico by her side. They were both staring, not at Amber, but at their mum, quite obviously worried about her. They had met Amber only once, and briefly at that, but they cared a hell of a lot more about their mother than they did the near stranger that was sobbing into her chest.
They didn't speak to each other. They didn't need to. Sometimes Leigh and her husband thought they were telepathic. Speaking of which, her husband; Alejandro, was a fairly low ranked marine, but he was the main breadwinner for the family. Leigh made small amounts of money out of giving piano lessons.
Alejandro rushed over and checked her vitals and picked up the phone. "Hi. There's marine at my house, 15 Turlinn Way, just outside Norfolk O club. She appears to have been raped."