Now she sat in front of the television set trying to find something on that would make her forget about what transpired last night.

She knew she should say something about Bruce. After all, Martin was an ex-cop and would surely do everything in his power to make the guy pay for what he'd done.

And Frasier would be livid as well. His overprotective instincts would kick in and she'd be doomed to subject every one of her future dates to an endless analysis by the locally famous psychiatrist.

It was best to just forget the whole thing ever happened...

Or at least try.

Her arm was still tender from where Bruce had grabbed her, but she quickly dismissed it as coincidence. Perhaps she had slept on it wrong. It would be fine in a few days anyway. Why make a big deal about it? No sense in worrying everyone over nothing.

The dull movie she'd been watching faded to a commercial, only to be replaced by a commercial about domestic violence and date rape... things that seemed like they were purposely being shown to taunt her. And the images on the screen made her shudder.

"Would you look at that?" Martin pointed to the television, his expression one of anger. It was a look that Daphne had never seen before and she had to admit that it scared her a bit.

"Mr. Crane, what's wrong?" She dared to ask.

"I'll tell you what's wrong, Men hitting women! I can't believe that kind of crap goes on but it does and I saw plenty of it when I was on the force!"

He was yelling now and she didn't even think about trying to stop him. For the look on his face was pure rage.

"I don't even want to think about how many times I've responded to a call, only to arrive and find a battered and bruised woman answering the door!" He continued. "One incident shook me up so much that I took a sabbatical from work and whisked Hester away for a romantic getaway! She said she knew why I did it and she thanked me accordingly but she was wrong about the reason. I did it to prove to her that I'm not an abusive husband. I may have spanked my kids and sent them to their rooms, but I did so to teach them a lesson! And it worked too! But I'll be dammed if I'm going to be so furious with my wife that I'd ever lay a hand on her! And I know I don't have any daughters but if they went out with some sleazebag who laid a hand on her, I swear I would kill them with my bare hands! And don't think I don't mean that because I sure as hell do!"

Daphne shuddered at Martin's words and rubbed her arm, wincing at the pain.

"Something wrong, Daphne?"

"No, just a bit of a chill. I'm going to get changed into some warmer clothes."

When she rose from the sofa, Martin gave her a quizzical look.

"A chill? How can you be cold? It's at least seventy degrees in here, and it's probably even warmer outside!"

"W-well, I haven't been feeling too well lately and I-I think I might be coming down with a touch of the flu. Perhaps I'd better lie down in me room and-."

When she felt her throat tighten and the onset of tears she hurried to her room, not even bothering to acknowledge him.

The door closed behind her and she fell onto her bed as the hot tears streamed down her cheeks. And soon she was sobbing onto her worn pillow.

If only she had someone to hold her, instead of being here all alone. The previous night had been nothing short of horrible when she tossed and turned, wishing to God that she'd turned down Roz's insistence that she find a date. If Roz only knew what happened, she'd probably just blow it off.

The thought that someone who was supposed to be her friend would take what she'd been through as just another romantic fling was beyond any horrible thought she could ever imagine. And deep down, she knew that this is exactly what would transpire once she told Roz the news.

Suddenly new tears came, trickling down her cheeks in rivers of sadness... For she feared that she would be alone for the rest of her life.