Choices Ch. 02byCaraDailey©
"Why are you so quiet?" He slurred half drunkenly, ten minutes into the twenty minute drive that would take us to our temporary home. My nerves were already in a state of panic from him refusing to give me the keys despite his drunken state.
"After what you did, do you really think I have anything to say to you?" I asked through clenched teeth. I'd decided earlier in the evening to keep my mouth shut to avoid an argument, like I usually did. Plus the guilt of what I'd done weighed heavily on my heart as well, but the callousness he exhibited by even bringing himself to ask that question, triggered my immediate and confrontational response.
"What?" he asked innocently. Out the corner of my eye, I caught his indifferent shrug in the light of the glowing dash board.
"You know John." I bit coldly, "I've known since the day we were married that you run around on me. That doesn't surprise me. I knew you were a fucking dog when I married you. But to do it in front of me... To think it's okay to make me watch... That's a level of cold, heartless, thoughtless, wrong that I don't deserve and won't live with." I said honestly, staring at the road ahead of me, not trusting myself to look at him.
"Oh you won't live with it? Really?" He replied in that cold superior tone I'd come to both dread and hate over the years. It didn't surprise me a bit when he pulled the truck off onto the side of the road, pulled it into neutral and stomped the emergency brake.
I wasn't stupid, I knew that an apology would probably smooth things over but in that moment, I was so sick and tired of apologizing. I was so tired of being a door mat to him. I was exhausted with doing everything he asked and demanded in an attempt to be 'the prefect woman'. As he staggered slowly around the front of the truck, I knew that things would not end nicely.
I found myself tensing as he easily pulled the door open and grabbed my arm so hard that I thought the bones would break under his fingertips. He spun me to face him once he'd dragged me from the truck. I didn't bother putting up even a token protest as I felt his back hand come down hard across the side of my face, cutting the corner of my lower lip. I'd been so prepared for the strike, that my face didn't budge at all. I think that probably inflamed the situation a little more.
"Bitch..." he growled as his free hand wrapped its fingers ineptly around my neck. "I will tell you what you will and won't live with." I remember thinking how his slur was far less noticeable when he was angry.
I couldn't have stopped the smile that crossed my lips any more that I could have stopped the sun from rising. "Bitch?" I questioned interestedly. "You hit like a fucking bitch." I laughed, despite the fact that I was already beginning to taste the salty flavor of blood seeping into my mouth from my swelling lip. I seen more than felt his clenched fist coming toward my face beneath the dim street light.
That's also all I remember up until some hours later when I woke up cold, soaked with rain, and lying in a ditch just off the highway. I sat up in a dazed state for a few moments, desperately trying to gather my befuddled thoughts and recall the nights event. Shock that he would leave me like that was the biggest thought that weighed on me, until I started taking account of my appearance.
I couldn't piece together much. My blouse was torn open, one of my boots was lying a few feet away and my pants were only still covering one leg, my panties were no where in sight. That realization frightened me more than anything. Wondering if my husband was the reason my woman hood hurt so, or if a stranger had come along while I was unconscious and took liberties with me.
I saw my purse lying a few feet away from me caked in rain and mud. I laid back on the ground and stretched to reach it, I was in far too much pain to get to my feet just then. I dug out my cell phone praying that the water hadn't soaked through and damaged my phone. A painful sigh of relief slipped through my busted swollen lips as my screen lit up ready for service.
Instinctively, I dialed my parents number, never mind the fact that they were three hours away from me. All of my friends and family were. I didn't want to have to spend the next three plus hours out freezing in the rain waiting for some one to come that far.
Then another thought occurred to me. I couldn't call my parents. My finger froze on the send key. I couldn't let my father see me in the state I was in. I was his baby girl. If he had any clue how my husband treated me, my father would have been in prison years before that moment.
I'm still a little fuzzy on how the small white receipt with Hailey's number on it caught my attention laying on top of my other belongings, but it did. My hands trembled violently from the cold, the pain, and the anxiety of calling what amounted to a total stranger to ask her to come to my rescue. What she blew me off? I was scared, alone, and hurt, the chance seemed worth taking.
It stunned me, even to this day, how the sound of her breathing a sleepy 'hello' into the phone stilled the panic in my heart and mind. In that one moment, it was like every bad thing, thought, feeling, everything just disappeared and was placed with an odd sense of calm. It took a second for me to catch my breath enough to speak.
"Hey, um I know this is probably the strangest call you're going to get..." I breathed, surprised that my voice, though cracking, didn't sound too different than usual considering the circumstances.
"Cara?" she breathed, you could almost hear her bolting up in the bed with excitement. "I honestly didn't think you would call." she said honestly, the school girlish excitement in her voice making the butterflies that already filled my stomach go into over drive.
"I know that I'm asking a lot considering that you and I don't know each other all that well. But I kind of need a ride." I said, trying to suppress a cry as I sat up and felt a sharp stabbing pain in my side.
"I'll take you any where you want to go." she said sweetly, as I heard her moving about her room opening and closing drawers, getting dressed. "Where are you Baby?" she asked softly.
"I'm not really sure." I frowned. "I don't know the name of the high way."
"Wait... What?" she questioned confusedly. "Why are you on a high way?"
"It's a really long story Hailey." I breathed not knowing why I digressed from telling her the truth. If she came to get me, she was going to see the truth in blue and black marks all over me. "I'm pretty sure though that it's the high way that runs out front of the club heading towards Irwinton."
"Okay." she said slowly allowing the word to draw out screaming her uncertainty. "I think I'm about 15 minutes from you, I'm getting in the car now." her voice sounded grave and almost protective. "So you have 15 minutes to tell me a long story, so you don't have to do it when I get there."
"I'd rather not talk about it." I whimpered, tears flooding down my puffy cheeks. Finally the dam of tears I'd been fighting for a while burst.
"Okay Baby." her voice soothed as I heard her engine blaring to life in the back ground. "It's okay. We don't have to talk about it. Just tell me that you're okay." she pleaded.
"I'm okay." I lied in between heart wenching sobs.
"Are you hurt Cara?" she asked softly.
"Not too bad." I replied, not too sure of how honest I was being. Moving slowly, I began to reassemble and right my clothing as much as possible with the rips in the fabric. She heard my distressed whimpers though I tried to keep them at bay.
"It doesn't sound like you're okay." she pointed out, her voice thick with concern. "I'm driving as fast as I can Cara." she assured me, I'm not sure who she was trying to reassure more though, me or herself. I'd never been so relieved to see a set of head lights as I was when she finally breathed a sigh of relief. "I think I see you Baby."
"I see your head lights." I attempted to smile but the pain of doing so was just far too much. I tried to struggle to my feet as she pulled off the high way. I started as I heard her car door slamming, the waves of nausea as I tried to rise, had me falling right back onto my knees as she raced over to my side.
"Oh my God Cara." was all she could choke out as she knelt next to me and eased her arms around my waist to help me to my feet.
"It's not as bad as it looks." I laughed dismissively, leaning into her for a few seconds waiting for the world to stop spinning. "I'm gonna get your car all muddy." I sighed as she led me to the passenger side and opened the door for me.
"Damn the car. I'll have it cleaned." she smiled as she sat me down and leaned over me to buckle me safely into place. The warmth of car was such a drastic change from the cold rain, that it was hard for me not too slip into an exhausted slumber as she drove. "I want you to come home with me Cara." she said, explaining where she was taking me.
"A hotel is fine." I yawned despite reopening my the cut on my lip.
"That doesn't work for me." Hailey said firmly. "I think you should go to the hospital first Cara."
"No hospital either Hailey. I'm fine." I snapped unintentionally. The idea of a hospital and having to tell people what happened to me, when I wasn't even sure myself, made me far more anxious than anything else ever had.
"Cara..."she started to argue until she felt my hand on her bare thigh.
"Please don't okay." I pleaded, turning to stare at her through the low lights her dash and radio provided. She's come out in the middle of a torrential down pour, wearing very short cut offs and a sports bra. I cursed my aching body for the sudden dampness I felt rushing to my painfully throbbing pussy. "Ah hell. I'm getting you all muddy." I frowned chastising myself as I moved to withdraw my hand.
"Leave it." she smiled laying her hand atop of mine, stilling it against her warm smooth thigh. "I have a shower." she said pointedly as she pulled into a suburban driveway of what I assumed was her home. "Come on, let's go getcha cleaned up so I can see that beautiful face instead of all that dirt." she suggested as she put the car in park.
"Yes ma'am." I said, getting out of the car on my own and following her path inside. I didn't pay much attention to the living room as we passed through it as she led me through the master bedroom into the bathroom. The big garden tub that sat in the center of the bathroom looked so inviting as she leaned down to plug the stopper and adjust the temperature of the water.
"Get out of those muddy clothes." she demanded, turning to me and waiting expectantly. For a moment I stood some what stunned by her request. "Are you going shy on me or do you need help?" she asked as though trying to keep the maternal concern from her voice.
"I think I'm going to need help." I lied, knowing full well that if I'd set my mind to it, that removing my clinging soaked clothes would be a chore but not an impossible task.
"I was hoping you would say that." she said with a content sigh and a smile that lit up the room. I watched her cross the room with such confidence and grace. The soft sway of her hips made me completely forget any pain or discomfort that my body felt. "We're going to have to get you some more clothes." she breathed with a soft sympathetic smile as she slipped the tattered remains of my blouse off of my shoulders slowly.
"I have clothes at home." I said dumbly, feeling really painfully inadequate in her presence.
"Yeah?" she questioned, her breath catching noticeably as she undid my bra and let it slip from my breasts to the floor forgotten. Her fingertips grazed slowly over my breasts to slip down to the waist band of my jeans. "They aren't going to do you much good." she said pointedly.
"Why is that?" I asked, swishing my hips to aid her as she knelt to tug my jeans off my hips more aggressively than I think she'd intended.
"What the hell?" She asked as I dutifully stepped out of the pants that were pooled at my ankles. "Why is there mud on you... Under your jeans?" she questioned knowingly. I'd never seen such a fire in a woman's eyes before, but the anger that resided in hers was very obvious.
"I don't know." I lied, looking away evasively. I didn't want to talk about what I didn't know and what I had no memory of. I just wanted to get sink down into the warm steaming water and pretend that I wasn't in the boat that I was in.
"Liar." she frowned, rising to survey my naked muddy body with a half satisfied smile. "I suppose you'll tell me when you're ready to talk about what happened tonight after you left the club. Hop in the tub Baby, I'm gonna go find you something to sleep in." she smiled warmly, pausing before leaving the room to watch me slip stiffly into the tub.
Relaxing my exhausted body down into the warmth of the water, was the nearest to heaven I'd come since leaving the club. I felt the gritty mud melting away from my skin and my aching muscles began to loosen. Even the sound of Hailey returning to to room wasn't enough of a distraction to make me move to look up. Feeling her foot separate my thighs as she stepped into the tub with me definitely got my attention though.
"I figured since you needed help undressing that you would probably need help bathing too." she shrugged innocently, as she knelt down into the water between my legs, facing me. For a moment, I was stunned into a mind frozen silence.
"I think you're right." I was finally able to choke out as she leaned over me to reach for the body sprayer that was mounted behind my head. Again, she carefully adjusted the temperature of the water. "Close your eyes." she demanded softly, trying now to focus on the feel of my hands moving slowly from her hips up over her narrow waist.
I did as she asked. My hands strayed further up her body, taking in the feel of her soft silky skin beneath my palms and fingers. Her sharp gasp of interest as my hands found her breasts made my body come to life. Focusing on the feel of her fingertips gently washing away the layers of grime from my hair, my thumbs lightly rolled her pert little nipples teasingly. I wanted them between my lips more than I'd ever wanted anything else in my life.
"You aren't making the task of getting you cleaned up very easy." she teased breathlessly as she rinsed the lavender scented shampoo from my hair.
"Should I stop?" I asked, giving her breasts a firm wanton squeeze for good measures as she slipped the sprayer back into place.
"Please don't." she breathed sweetly as her damp hands cupped my cheeks, her fingers lightly rubbing across my dirt and bruise covered skin. "I just don't want to hurt you any more than you already are." she voiced her concern so gently that it was almost heart breaking.
"Well aren't you a sweet heart." I sighed, letting my hands slip from her breasts as she sat down on her firm ass in the water, her knees bent and her feet on either side of my hips. My hands started caressing her smooth thighs as she lathered up a soft pink sponge.
"Let's see how much of this color is bruising and how much is mud." she grimaced as she began to bathe my face and neck cautiously.
"I'm not sure I want to know." I admitted, as she worked the sponge down over my neck and across my shoulders.
"No Honey. You really don't." she sighed, the pity in her voice made me regret calling her and involving her in the chaos that was my life. "You need to let me call the police and take you to the hospital." she coaxed softly as my hands rested lazily curled around her legs.
"None of that is necessary." I frowned, studying the soft worry lines on her face. "Stop that." I chided, running my fingers from the lines in her forehead down to the wrinkle of her high aristocratic button nose. "You're gonna cause yourself to have premature wrinkles." I teased, hearing the tired sluggishness in my voice.
"I don't care." she said honestly, forcing herself to make quick business of the rest of my sponge bath. It almost hurt my feelings how, though thorough, her hands seemed especially business like as she bathed my lower regions. I'd truly expected a little more interest. "Stand up." she ordered, pulling the stopper from the tub.
"Yes Ma'am." I sighed, doing as she'd asked. A soft content sigh slipped from me as she once again turned on the body massager shower head and rinse any excess dirt and body wash from me and her own luscious curves. I couldn't help but think that to an onlooker, the scene would have looked oddly like the build up to an 80s porn. Less the horrid music.
"I think it's official..." she pouted "the color was definitely more from bruising." she said gravely, wrapping a plush towel around my suddenly shivering body.
"I'm okay." I forced a half hearted smile, closing my eyes against the sympathetic expression on her face. I couldn't stand her pity. The war of emotions that played in her her face, in her eyes, made me want to fall apart and that was the last thing I wanted.
"So you keep telling me." she smiled, stepping out of the tub to slip directly into a satin wrapper with out the benefit of first drying the rivulets of water that trailed down her bronze skin. "You look so exhausted." she said seriously, watching as I used the towel to dry off gently patting the painful areas before re wrapping it around me.
"It's already day light." I laughed, noticing the sun peeking shyly through the bathrooms bay windows. I felt more than saw her taking my hand. I followed as she led me back into the master bed room. "Nice." I smiled looking at an over-sized t shirt she had laid out on the bed for me to sleep in.
"It was one of the remnants from my ex room mate." she laughed amusedly. "Best I could do on such short notice." she smiled as she slipped the black cotton shirt over my head and arms and pulled it down as the towel slid to the floor. "You're freezing." she pointed out as she threw back the covers on the queen bed. "Climb in." she smiled.
"Yes ma'am." I yawned, lying down on the soft pillow top mattress and snuggle into the pillow like a sated cat. My heart ached as she tucked me in so lovingly. "Where you going?" I asked catching her hand as she turned as though to leave.
"I'm going to sleep in the guest room." she explained softly.
"I wish you wouldn't. I would prefer it if you laid down and slept with me." I said honestly, trying to keep from sounding too needy or clingy, and hating that I sounded both.
"Honey..." she sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed. Tenderly, she ran the back of her hand over my swollen purple cheek. "You're hurt and you need to rest. And I don't honestly believe that I can lay in this bed and hold you all night and not want to make love to you. I know that makes me sound horrible and selfish. But I am so much more attracted to you, even with all the marks, than I've ever been to any one else I've ever laid eyes on."
Thoughtlessly, I tugged her down fully onto the bed next to me and covered her lips with mine. Despite the pain of my lip reopening, I kissed her with every ounce of passion I could manage at the moment. As her tongue began to dance softly against mine, I pushed the covers down and drew her body fully against mine. Her soft moan as my arms snaked around her had me damp and eager. The feel of her hands on my waist had me tugging at the neck line of her wrapper ineptly.
"Cara..." she breathed against my lips, easing away slightly, pressing her forehead to mine as if needing a minute to catch her breath.
"Yes?" I questioned, ignoring her hesitance to slip the satin off her shoulders and down to her elbows to free her breasts to rub lightly against my own with each trembling ragged breath she took.
"I don't want to hurt you. You're covered in bruises. I don't know what happened to you tonight... I don't want to make things worse. I don't want to put you in any more pain than you're already in." she said honestly even as her body squirmed closer to mine, straining to get closer to me.