Caroline Ch. 02.03byVitorio©
Caroline's Story: Jo explains Steve
(Hi, please read the intro to Ch 01 so you'll know what to expect. It isn't strictly necessary to read the earlier chapters but some of this won't make sense if you don't so I hope you will!)
Jo talks about her time with Steve and describes how he treated her (badly).
A nice dinner that evening was finished by us sitting talking and finishing the wine. We had that nice 'togetherness' feeling but Jo had been a bit quiet since we got home and I was a little bit worried I'd gone too far. I was still determined, however, to put my plan into action.
I was turning things over in my mind, trying to work out how to get them together when Jo spoke.
"Lena?" she said quietly. I looked up. "How come you don't stay at Mike's more often?"
I'd only spent a couple of nights at his house. Once early on when we needed to sort some things out about our sex life and later just before my birthday.
"I don't know really, he doesn't ask me. I think he might be a bit worried about pushing too hard. You know he's been on his own for a long time and I don't mind. Any way I don't want to leave you here all alone. Particularly not now," I said looking directly at her.
"Oh don't be silly, I'm all right. I've got that bastard out of my system," she said vehemently. But I knew she hadn't. Sometimes I could hear her crying in her room and it broke my heart. I couldn't leave her alone too much.
"Jo, you haven't. I've heard you. Why don't you tell me what happened. Come on get it out in the open. I want to help you."
She looked at me with her big brown eyes, full of sadness. "Oh Lena, he hurt me so much. I keep thinking about what he did but I still want him. I miss him but I hate him, doesn't that sound ridiculous?"
"Not really," I said, "I'm have feelings that are confused – especially about Mike. I think it might be part of how we think. I don't know. Why don't you tell me everything. I'll open another bottle of wine. Come on, you'll feel better."
I was certain that she had never told anyone about her finishing with Steve. I'd seen a change in her towards the end that really worried me and, although she had been really hurt, I thought it was a good thing they finished.
I came back into the room with the wine and sat down. She looked at me, took a deep breath, and began to speak.
"You know I met him at work don't you? He was a locum doctor down from Manchester. He used to stay down all week then go back at weekends. He took a few girls out, but these didn't last long. You know he was very attractive, not very tall, but dark and handsome. The stereotypic Romeo I suppose and we all fancied him."
"He was very good looking," I said, "but a bit too much so for me."
"You never liked him did you?"
"No, I'm sorry Jo. I thought he was a bit, sort of, creepy."
"Well, you were certainly right! He got round to asking me out and I suppose I was flattered. He was great flatterer, made you feel good, I suppose like Mike?"
"Yes, he pays me lots of compliments and it does make me feel good when he does that."
"Well, anyway. You know we went out for about four months. We had sex on the fourth date. We came back here while you were at work. It was great. Like I told you when we were talking before, he seemed to care about me and my feelings. Things went quite well and I think I was falling in love with him despite the age difference. I suppose I was silly really. Here was this man in his late thirties, about whom I knew nothing, and I was falling for him. I didn't want to look for anything that would spoil it."
"I know," I said, "when you get something like that you want to grab hold and never let go. That's how I feel with Mike."
"Oh but he sounds so much different. With Steve things started to go a bit funny. It was sex at first. He started to be more demanding wanting to experiment with positions even if I didn't like them. He started to call me names while we were making love, like 'slut' and 'tart', and he wanted me to act like one as well. He began to hurt me, you know, he'd really pinch my nipples or slap my bottom really hard so it hurt. He'd make me 'gag' when I sucked him, pinching my nose, you know."
She looked hard at me, "No I don't suppose you do, do you?"
"It happened once but no, not really," I said, "Now Mike is always tender, caring and considerate when we make love. The only time he ever hurt me intentionally was our second Sunday together, you remember, but I wanted him to then and egged him on, but we sorted that out. The different things we do now, we do together. He never does anything TO me."
"You're very lucky with him, he sounds such a nice man."
"I know. Go on finish telling me about Steve."
"Well, about this time he introduced me to the 'adult' movies. Like I said before, just people having sex. Quite nice really, and stimulating. We first did anal sex about then. It was all right and the first couple of times I got to enjoy it, but his lovemaking was getting quite nasty by now. I still wanted to please him so I went along with it. Then I found out he was married. A letter dropped out of his briefcase when he was here. It was addressed to Mr and Mrs Steven ......... . I went ape, I shouted and screamed at him. I felt completely betrayed, beaten although I suppose I should have known better. I hope you never feel that way, Lena, it's horrible. It feels like a knife in the heart."
She looked terrible, tears in her eyes, face downcast. She looked beaten just then. I started to think that this might not be a good idea but it was too late to go back now.
"You went back to him though, why?"
"I don't know Lena. He told me all about his wife, how she cheated on him with his best friend. How they only stayed together for the kids. Oh I know now it was a load of rubbish, but, Oh Lena, I loved him despite everything. I loved him." She started to cry, desperate sobs racking her body. I rushed over to her and hugged her tight. I remembered then how she'd done the same to me when I left home. I hugged and hugged her and stroked her hair.
"Ssshhh," I said, "it's all right now."
"Oh Lena, Lena. What would I do without you," she sobbed. That nearly made me cry too but I had to be strong for her. We had to finish this together. I was certain now that this was the right thing to do. I hoped her tears would wash away some of the hurt. I decided to push a little bit further on. I didn't have much idea of what had happened, she'd never told me exactly.
"Why did it end, Jo," I said.
She controlled herself a bit as she thought about my question. Then she looked at me, calm now, and said, "It was several things really. After I continued to go out with him he began to treat me strangely. He was hard, nasty sometimes when we made love. He seemed to think that as I knew he was married he had a licence to treat me differently. I was beginning to get a bit frightened by his violence when we made love – if you could call it that."
"I thought something was wrong, you changed. I don't know, its difficult to describe. You became more quiet, withdrawn, insular. You didn't want me anymore. I was really worried." I decided to tell her about him trying it on with me at this time. I wanted to 'put the boot' into this guy and get him out of her mind.
I looked directly into her eyes, still full of tears, as I said, "I didn't tell you at the time but he made a sort of pass at me around then. That day he came to pick you up and you were late home, remember. I made him a coffee, you know, just being friendly and he kept looking at me in that leering way of his. He knew we were lovers didn't he?" She nodded. "I thought so. We were just chatting about nothing then out of the blue he suddenly looked at me strangely and said that he'd always fantasised about what lesbians do together and perhaps I'd like to show him. Well, you know I didn't like him and I'm afraid I was very rude. I told him that he ought to find some then and leave you alone. He laughed and said you'd told him I had a temper and that he liked girls that fought back. Then he said you liked him too much to leave him. I could have killed him he was so smug. I think that he was jealous of what we had."
"That's funny," she said, "after that he did try to drive a wedge between us. That was another reason I was beginning to see some sense."
"What happened then?"
"Well, you remember I told you about the films getting more and more 'hard'. We were in his flat in the hospital and he put this film on. Oh Lena, it was horrible. There were men and women and this girl was brought in. The men had her in all possible ways and some of the women too. Sometimes two, three, four at a time. I don't think she was enjoying it but they made her. I don't know how many men had her. At the end she was covered in, you know, and they just left her there on the bed, laughing at her as they left. It was horrible, the way they treated her. When it finished Steve was like an animal, he really got off on this film. By the time he had done I was bruised and sore as well. After he'd finished he asked me whether I liked the film, how would I like to be treated like that. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, surely no man could get pleasure out of treating a woman like that. I told him it was horrible and I hated it and, no, I didn't want to be and I didn't want to see anything like that again. He laughed and told me not to be silly, he knew I'd enjoyed it really. I was really scared at what was going on."
"I remember that, you were very strange the day after and you wouldn't let me see you without clothes on for a week. You had bruises didn't you?"
"Yes, he punched me, pulled me, pinched me, it was horrible. He virtually raped my bottom and I was sore as hell front and back. I didn't think I was naive but after that session I knew I didn't know the half of it. In a way though it was good, it made me examine how I felt about him. Was I really in love with a man who could do this. Did I want to be? It made me avoid going with him for a while and he was getting quite impatient in his frustration. I finally gave in to his charms and was going to spend the night in a hotel with him, he promised a lovely evening, dinner and all that, so I fell for it. Lena, I was lucky, I didn't go."
"Why, what happened?"
"Well, it was two days before. I was on lates getting ready to go to work. The doorbell rang and I opened the front door. There was a woman standing there, 'so you're the new little thing he's playing with' she said. I was gob smacked! 'Well,' she said, 'are you going to ask me in, can't have a wife and mistress arguing on the doorstep'. I managed to close my mouth and get my thoughts back. I realised this must be Steve's wife. I opened the door and showed her in. She was quite nice really. I was a bit worried that she was going to be nasty. She sat down very calmly and asked for a coffee. When I'd done the coffee she started to tell me about Steve. I wasn't the first! I was shocked. He'd done this five times before. It was always the same, she said. He was Mr Charming at the start then things got more and more violent. She told me one girl had been badly abused by him and his pals but she'd 'paid her off'. She looked hard at me and asked whether I'd been to the hotel with him yet. I told her we'd arranged it for two days time. 'I thought so' she said, 'when you got there you'd have found him and half a dozen of his friends. They'd have given you a very hard time indeed. You'd have been raped by all of them, beaten, and hurt. That's what happened to her.' I was so shocked.
"We chatted for a while, quite civilised really and I knew I wasn't going to see him again, well not like that anyway. She told me that she tried to cover his tracks, get to the girls before anything serious happened. That's how she found me. She said that she could tell when he had reached to danger point by the way he acted so she knew it was near to the time when things got nasty. She'd got my address by luck on a card she found in his wallet, that's how she ended up here. I couldn't believe she stayed with him! She said it was simple, despite everything she loved him. He wasn't violent or anything with her and was a loving, caring father. He just had this Jekyll and Hyde split.
"I thanked her and apologised and everything before she left. I felt terrible, Lena, drained, you know, completely empty. I'd been used by him solely as a toy to be abused and thrown away. God knows what would have happened later!"
"I knew something was wrong that day, you didn't go to work did you. I remember, you were in when I got home from work, you'd been drinking." That was very unusual. We both like wine but seldom drink alone. "Did you see him again, you know, at work."
"Yes, he tried to explain himself, he obviously knew she'd been to see me, but I blanked him. He finally managed to corner me in one of the rooms and I told him I never wanted to see him again. He was really nasty, called me a slut, tart, whore, and all that. Said I didn't know what I was missing, and then that he was going to dump me as I wasn't any good in bed anyway. Oh Lena he was so vicious. Every word he said was like a knife and hurt terribly. He left me crying in that room and I had to hide away for half an hour before I could carry on."
"Jo, why didn't you tell me. I knew something was wrong but I didn't want to pry."
"You were so happy, everything was going so well with Mike I didn't want to cloud your horizon with my problems."
"I'm glad you've told me now. Do you feel better?"
"A bit, yes, Lena, a bit." I sensed something still worrying her.
"There's something else isn't there, come on spit it out."
"Oh, Lena, I don't know whether I can. It's so horrible, so frightening."
"What, what did he do to you?"
"It's not what he did to me, it's what I've turned into," she said looking at me as if she wanted to die. I had noticed a subtle change in her lately so I wanted to probe this some more. We'd gone nearly all the way now; I was sure. This had to be seen to the finish.
I went over again and hugged her, "Come on," I said, "tell me."
"I keep having these dreams, Lena. Horrible dreams, not nightmares, they don't scare me in that way. Oh, it's difficult to explain. I keep seeing that film, you know the one I told you about, with the girl and that. But, oh Lena, sometimes I'm the girl and I'm enjoying it! and even worse, oh I'm sorry ..." She started to sob again so I hugged her some more. I had an idea where this was going so I continued to push her.
"Yes, what was even worse?"
She pulled away and looked directly at me, "Sometimes, sometimes, it's you and I'm one of the women. Oh Lena, Lena, I'm hurting you and I like it."
Great racking sobs coursed through her body. I nearly cried too. She must have hated herself terribly. Joanna is a kind and thoughtful person, I knew that of all people. This bastard had really screwed her up, he'd let the genie out of the bottle.
I knew then that tonight was right, this had to be done. Jo had to face her demons. One of my major interests at college had been psychology so, while I didn't know that much, I knew that some things like this were better out than in, shared with someone you can trust. Also, as it happened Mike and I had been to this horrible place inside us all that second Sunday.
There were also a couple of times afterwards when he had looked at me in a totally different way to normal. I told Jo that he 'worshipped me with his eyes'. That's not really a very good phrase but it's as close as I can get. Once I caught him looking at my bottom in the mirror while I was sucking him. I could see his eyes change to a steely flint, almost with a flash of fire. It only lasted for a moment and I thought nothing more of it. Then one day when I was being particularly flirtatious, really egging him on, you know, very sexy he looked at me the same way and reached for me. This time there was fire in his eyes, but it vanished quickly. He must have seen my face change because he asked me what was wrong. I told him about his eyes.
First thing he did was say sorry and kissed me so tenderly. Then he told me about his 'flashes of desire', he called them. Really base urges to do horrible things with and to me, and for me to do them to him. He said that everybody has a little part buried inside them that is horrible, the Mr Hyde he called it. Most people only ever visited it in dreams, some never at all. Most of those who did in reality had to find some way to control it. Those who didn't usually ended up in serious trouble. He reckoned that the best way to deal with it was to accept it as part of what you are and face it. That's what he did. He'd let the feeling erupt like a volcano and then he'd dismiss it. He did say that sometimes it was very difficult, particularly when I as being extremely provocative. Not that he didn't want me to be, he said, he enjoyed our games too much.
So I thought I had a basis to work on. I explained all this to Jo and she seemed to calm down. She stopped crying and looked a bit like her normal self. We'd had a long evening really, I was drained so I knew she must be feeling tired. I suggested we go to bed together, not to make love but just for me to hold her.
To be continued: