It was the same thing every time. She could memorize every detail, visualize every exact thing that would happen. She would arrive at his apartment door, exhausted and wearied from work. The door would fling open, showing his blond head, a cigarette dangling from his lips, as he looked at her, indifferent to her state. He'd usher her inside, and she would drop her messenger bag by the door, and hurry into the kitchen to cook supper.

She had to cook dinner, a delicious one too. If she didn't, she would pay for it, later. She knew from experience. They would then eat at the small table, sitting across from each other in silence. Her heart would be pounding so hard, dreading yet excited about what was to come.

After washing the dishes, she would come out of the kitchen, and he'd be leaning against the wall next to the door, a dangerous glint in his golden eyes. He'd drag her into the bedroom, backing her into the wall with one hand by the side of her head, towering over her. The room would be dark. It was always dark.

He'd say the same words every night. He'd demand her to give him her money. If she didn't, he would hit her, adding more bruises to the already purpling skin underneath her clothes. The scars that hadn't healed from the previous nights, the ones that would never heal. She'd squirm, and he'd slap her harder, sometimes punching her. But after three tries, she'd give up. If she refused more, he'd punish her later that night. And it would hurt.

When she'd hand over the few skimpy bills she had worked so hard for, he would smile. She lived for that smile – although it was fake. He'd toss the money into a drawer nearby, where it would go to pay for his alcohol. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see the glints reflecting off of the empty bottles thrown in the corner.

Then he would kiss her, roughly, so hard that her lips became swollen at once. He always had total control. It didn't matter to him that he was hurting her as he dug his nails into her flesh while ripping her clothes off. He'd push her onto his bed, glaring at her to make sure she stayed put, while he stripped himself. She'd watch with hungry eyes. Once upon a time she had reached her hands up do it for him, but that only earned her blackened bruises, and she had had to wear gloves the next day to conceal them.

She'd squirm when he'd take her hands and stuff them inside his boxers, next to his warm, pulsing thing. She'd feel disgusted each time, because she didn't want to be forced, but she'd bite her lip so hard that it'd cut. She didn't want any more of his wrath than what she'd already receive.

Then he'd be in her, and she'd be writhing, half in pleasure and half in pain. He never did anything gently. If she tried to flip him off of her, he'd smack her so hard her teeth would rattle in her skull. Not that she could; he was too heavy and she too exhausted. They'd fall asleep together like that, him on top of her.

In the mornings, she'd wake up drowsily, cocooned in his strong, muscled arms. In the night, he'd rolled over, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her closer to his body. Those were the only times when she'd feel safe and loved, when he was asleep, his head nuzzled in her neck.

Quietly, she would disentangle herself, without waking him up, get dressed and slip off to work, before he was even awake.

She'd be back again that night, for the same thing.

She remembered how she had gotten to this state. Three year ago, he had found her on the streets, shivering in the cold. He'd taken her in, fed her, clothed her, given her shelter and warmth. She paid him back with money. And, since that wasn't enough, sex.

She'd only stayed with him because she loved him.

She wouldn't stay anymore, though. Not after last night.

She had done back-breaking work, scouring for odd halftime jobs, earning more money for him. She had snuck to a jewelry store, and purchased for him a present. It was a silver chain with a lone, silver ring strung on it. The ring had a queer design and a M carving.

That night, she had been so excited to give it to him. She thought he would be happy. She hoped that he would see how much she loved him. She also hoped that he would replicate her love.

She couldn't have been more wrong.

His golden eyes had flared with rage, and he had flung the necklace so hard against the wall that it had made an indent. He had yelled at her for being such a dumb bitch as to waste his precious money for drinking. You whore, he had shouted, raking his nails across her collarbone. He had then slapped her, punched her, delivering blow by blow until they became numb to her skin. He had shouted at her, until she finally became unconscious with all the punches.

When her head cleared, her clothes were already off, and he was pulling off his pants, his shirt tossed on the ground. She felt dizzy, and looked at her body. There was blood everywhere.

That night had been the most painful experience of her life. He had enjoyed her pain. When she woke up in the morning, there had been bloodstains on the white bed sheets, like bright red berry juice spilled on blindingly wet snow. Her body ached all over.

She pushed him awake after she dressed. He snarled at her.

"I'm going," she said.

He grunted, closing his eyes. They had been through this before. She had told him that she was leaving, but she always came back. The most she had ever stayed away was for a week, and that was when the pain became unbearable. He never searched for him. He knew she'd come back eventually.

"I mean it. I'm not coming back this time."

He didn't respond.

So she left, with all her few belongings stuffed into her messenger bag. He had given her the messenger bag for her birthday last year. She wouldn't be coming back. Last night had been the last straw. She'd seen exactly how much he hated her. He would never love her.

That night she didn't go back. Nor the next.

It would be hard, she knew, living by herself. But she would survive. And she would get better.

One Year Later…

She stood once again at in front of that same apartment door. Her scabby clothes had been replaced with clean, sharp clothing. Her hair had a luminous glow now, cascading in bright red curls down her back. Her small figure had filled out, her skin glowed with no more bruises. Her emerald eyes carried a little bit more spark, the haunted and fatigued look erased.

It had been a whole year since she last came. Last seen that blond, handsome face. She had never gone far from him. She stuck around to see the numerous other girls walking out of the complex – a pretty Asian girl with straight hair; a tall, sexy Victoria Secrets model also with dark hair; and a blond, faerie-like girl with blue eyes. They were his regulars.

She wasn't sure what had driven her to his door again. Maybe it was because the other girls had abruptly stopped coming. Deep inside her heart, she had been worried for him. Somehow, even after all he'd done to her, she still couldn't extinguish the small kindling fire of love for him.

She took a deep breath and knocked, holding her breath. No reply. The door didn't swing open to reveal the blond head that haunted her dreams.

Maybe he moved, she thought sadly, and turned to go, just as the door creaked open.

He stood there, leaning against the doorframe, and she stared back at him. He had changed from when she last remembered him. His blond curls were shorter, his chiseled fine looks stretched longer and more haggard. His frame was more gaunt than she had remembered, his gold eyes dull.

Her fingers dug into the strap of her messenger bag. Had he forgotten about her after a year?

She made an apologetic movement and turned to leave.

"Clary?" His voice was lower, more hoarse. "You came back."

She had never heard him sound this way, his voice disbelieving and raw. She followed him inside the apartment.

So much had changed. The walls were clean, the bed made, the kitchen scrubbed. There was only one empty bottle of beer on his table.

She sat down on the edge of his bed, keeping a clear distance.

"I thought you left me, for good," he said, still in the same, awe-filled tone. "I thought I lost you forever. But you came. You came back for me." He looked at her. The hopefulness in his expression squeezed her heart. "Clary? Say something."

"I've got to go." She stood up, hand on her bag.

He reached a hand out to stop her, and she flinched back. He froze, hand halfway up, hurt flashing in his eyes. "I won't hurt you, Clary." She pressed her lips together. "I promise. I changed, Clary," he said, standing up. "I changed for you. After you left me, all I wanted to do was to earn you back. Look," he swept an arm out, gesturing to the room. "I've changed. I'm better now."

Looking at the bed still left her bad memories. "I'm sorry. I really have to get home now." Her home was a room smaller than his closet. "I just wanted to make sure you were getting along alright. I was serious back then, and I still am. I've moved on–"

He kissed her. Time froze, and she grew rigid all over. She expected him to begin the roughness, but he didn't. He kissed her gently. Gently, as if she was a fragile piece of glass that could break. Gently, his lips soft on hers. For the first time in her life.

He pulled back, peering earnestly into her eyes, gold on green. "I have, Clary. I'm a different guy now." She looked down, at his neck. He was wearing the necklace she bought him, long ago. The one with the silver ring.

"Stay with me, Clary," he pleaded. "I'll make our lives better. We can get a new place. Anything you want. Please, give me another chance."

She thought of her small closet, the suffering on the streets, the pain of missing him. She looked at him again, and saw the nervousness skittering in his gold eyes, which used to be so hard, so cold, filled with so much malice. He really had changed.

She could stay with him. They could start over, from the beginning, and love each other like they had never done before. Did he deserve another chance? After what he had done to her? She searched for the indent in the wall. It had been filled up. Her gaze landed on the open wallet on his bed. It was flipped to the photo page. There, secured safely inside, was a picture of them, from when they first met. It was one of the only pictures of them together.

"Clary?" He asked breathlessly, dragging her gaze back to him.

She threw her arms around him, and kissed him

Review please! And tell me what you think about this...cause its my first fanfic(: