Holly wiped the tears from her eyes as she cleaned up the mess her boyfriend had left all over the floor. It was their second fight in 2 days and before he stormed out he had thrown so much around, it looked like an earthquake had come through. In their small and shoddy apartment there was broken glass in the kitchen, and a pan full of noodles she had made for him all over the wall and floor. All this was because she asked him if she could go out with her friend Sara tonight.

Pete had his own ideas about where she should be. In his words he wanted her home to cook her usual crap she makes for dinner. He said that it's shit but at least it's food. This is as close as she could ever expect for a compliment.

The whole thing started when she became enamored with him after high school. She had lost her parents when she was really young and spend 8 years between facilities and various foster homes. At age 17 she was given special permission to live on her own after her latest foster family up and left one day without a word. She had been close enough to a legal age that they approved. Then of course without much guidance in her life, she went right into the arms of an abuser.

"I guess I'm kinda stupid," she sniffed as she wiped tears from her eyes.

Holly looked at herself in the mirror and began to count her blessings. At least this time he did not pound her or get his belt out again. He just left with a warning. But she knew something was coming. Either it would be a beating, or else he would get her wasted and let his friends take turns with her. But she looked at her 26 year old face that seemed to her to be twice that with the burden she carried.

She nearly starts crying when she thinks of the even dozen of his friends that had her that night last fall. As Pete looked at her pounding his fist, she knew what she had to do. On her knees, and her back, she endured it all. Standing now in her little kitchen she shivered a little as she could almost feel the penetrations, and of course everything else. Back then with it was over, drunk and falling over, she went into the bathroom to either clean or kill herself. She just wanted it to be over. But she pressed on, thinking that maybe he would change or that she could just leave. But he said he would kill her slowly if she ever did. He found her once when she tried to escape. The result was nothing she wanted to think about.

"I'm stuck," Holly sobbed. "I just have to take it."

After Holly cleaned the mess in the kitchen she got ready for work. She was after all the only one supporting them. She had acquired a job caring for an elderly man. It paid well for not even a full day. She loved going there because of his kindness, and it's her escape from the life she has in this place. It's the only time she ever smiles. Sometimes when she goes there he can tell when she has had a bad time. He tries to get her to talk about it, but while she is there she just needs the escape. Plus, Pete would kill her or worse if he found out. On her long walk to his house each time she tries her best to perk herself up.

"Hey there's my sweetheart," Henry smiled as she walked in his house, "Come on over and sit in my lap. I've got something in my pocket."

Oh and there is that too. He is a vicious flirt. But she lets it go because he is harmless and she knows he would never do anything. But she has fun with it as well and throws it right back at him, calling it therapy for her mind. It helps her get thought the hard times.

"Oh big boy if I did that I'd want to sit there all the time," Holly winked.

"Oh don't I wish," Henry smiled kindly. "So how are you today?"

"Well ok I think," Holly smiled, "Let me tidy the kitchen then we can hang those drapes I didn't have time for yesterday."

As Holly cleaned up the kitchen they talked back and forth about various things. Henry always had a lot to say. But he would often want Holly to talk. Sometimes she would make things up. He really knew nothing of her past and present. Somehow she thought that he might have less of an opinion of her. She couldn't stand to lose this job and her therapy. She also didn't think it would make a difference.

"So how did you escape?" Holly asked.

"Well actually we got really lucky and they just moved on," Henry said, "That tells you what a little patience can do for you. Sitting in a cave completely still for 7 hours saved our lives. Patience."

"Patience," Holly sighed. "I wish everyone had it."

"Honey when are you going to tell me something about yourself?" he asked, "I tell you all about these war stories and other things, and you don't have any. Or at least you don't talk about it."

"Not much to say," she sighed.

"Oh come on," Henry prodded, "There has to be something more to my dear Holly other than the obvious."

"What's obvious?" Holly asked nervously.

"Well the fact that you probably look beautiful in a short white nightgown," Henry laughed.

"Ha ha," Holly said relieved as she looked out the window.

For a moment she wondered how it would feel to be looked at by someone who actually cared about her. She could only dream about it. But the thought felt so warm. She even smiled a little thinking how wonderful it would be.

But just in the midst of her daydream it was flung away. Her heart froze as she looked at the very end of the long driveway to Henry's sprawling property. She saw her boyfriend's car and him stepping out of it. Her heart raced as he leaned against the car and met her gaze in the window. She could hear Henry talking but all around her was muffled almost as if she was underwater.

She began to shake a little as he just stared. Then he punched the palm of his hand with his first and pointed at her. She felt her fear rise to the surface. The blood raced away from her face as her fear surged. She knew right then that she was going to get a beating when she got home. Just as quickly as her anxiety was elevated, he got back in his car and left. For several minutes she stared frozen in fear at what she must endure later. Would it be a beating, or some form of sexual degradation.

"Well they didn't have any more so I had to go to the grocery store to get them," Henry said. "Damn things cost more there."

"Sorry Henry," Holly said trying to compose herself.

"Well while you finish up, I'm going to take a shower," Henry said. "Then we can hang those drapes."

"Ok hon," Holly smiled. "Need any help just holler."

"If only I did need help getting in the shower," he laughed. "I might enjoy that."

"Probably too much," Holly smiled.

"Well you could always come in for the heck of it," Henry smiled. "Got a nice handle to hang onto."

"Funny," she grinned at him.

"Doesn't hurt to try," Henry said as he left the kitchen.

Holly knows that to the observer this might seem like some dirty 70 year old man that likes much younger women. Well the truth is that he is attracted to her. But he is a kind and harmless gentleman, with of course a nasty side to him. They have fun, and even once in a while dance to his favorite Arias. She can't help thinking that if he were only thirty or so years younger. Her fondness for him is so overshadowed by her own problems that she has to try so hard to not think about them when she is here. If only she could just tell him about it. She knows he would try to help her. But what can he do as one elderly man besides give her compliments and of course his flirts every day of the week. If only her life were as simple as his.

His flirts are innocent enough. But there have been a few times where she has been tempted to answer them fully. She has even imagined it before. Once after a particularly difficult evening with Pete as he laid passed out on the floor with a bottle in his hand, she imagined being with him. Her thoughts of his kind words and smile soon turned to other things.

As she had gone into the shower got the stink of Pete off of her she thought of taking up on his offer that he so often mentioned. She thought about joining him. So gently she would take a bar of soap and lather her hands. She would wash him carefully.

But with a smile on her face, her soft hands wrapped themselves around his manhood. It would seem like she was doing a complete job of cleaning him. But he would react and it would grow. She looked into his eyes as she lowered herself to rinse him off carefully. With hits full length in front of her she would look up at him again as she opened her mouth and took him in. Gently she would lick his shaft up and down, and trail small kisses over him. A small pleasure for a kind man over twice her age.

But she wouldn't end there. After leaving the shower she would carefully dry him, and lay him down on his bed. She imagined him whispering something to her before she would get on top of him. Lovingly she would do all the work, bouncing up and down, moaning and sweating. He had been so kind that she wanted his pleasure to be absolute. Of course she would have it too. He would willingly give that to her. She would see the love in his eyes as he tensed and released. Then she would take care of his output in various ways. Because of real love it would not be a burden.

As she spent that long time in the shower and with her thoughts wandering, she touched herself all over and felt liberated. As her fingers explored inside and out, she had the only orgasm she had in many years. Then the guilt set in as she thought of what she had done and her passed out boyfriend. After all he had done she still felt the guilt. Compensation came in the form of picking him up and putting him to bed, only to be violated later.

"Oh done already," Holly said as she was finishing up the kitchen and turned to face him.

"Yes, it's quick because no one is there to scrub the good parts," Henry smiled.

"Well lets get those curtains up," Holly smiled thinking that with her recent thoughts she might do something she shouldn't.

The two of them went into the sprawling family room where she had set out the curtains on the couch yesterday. They were exactly where she had left them. She took one of the curtain poles from against the wall and started to thread a curtain through it. It was very long, and Henry held the other end, feeding it through. When they were finished they each took an end, and Holly stood on a chair to attach the post to its holder.

"Too bad your not wearing a skirt," Henry laughed from below from a few feet below her.

"Sure you could handle that?" Holly laughed.

"Handle?" Henry asked. "I think you're reading my mind."

"You think you could handle me?" Holly asked knowing right away she shouldn't have said it.

"One way to find out," Henry said.

"That would be too much information for you hon," she giggled.

"Would give me more to think about when I go to sleep," he said.

"Oh like you think of me that much, right," she smiled.

"Well I miss you when your not here actually. No one to talk to," he said.

Holly looked down at him for a moment and saw his expression. She could see for the first time right on his face. She knew he would never hurt her. She quickly turned away from him and resumed his work. Then she nearly stumbled as she wondered how long he had had these feelings for her. She thought it was just harmless fun they were having. But his feelings are more. She sees that now. Perhaps she would have before if she had not been so caught up in her own life. He has shown her so much kindness so she feels like she owes him a little.

"Well hon, I look forward to seeing you too," Holly said.

"What does your boyfriend think of you hanging out with a dirty old man?", Henry said as he watched her tighten the post.

"I don't tell him you talk like that," she said trying to hide her feelings of distaste for Pete.

"I think I know why but you're not going to tell me so I won't ask," he said.

"Thank you," Holly said.

More than a few times she had thought about creating that memory with Henry. Creating a secret that she would have to keep would be a kick in the teeth to Pete. Sometimes she imagined being gentle, sometimes not. Sometimes she could even feel him entering her as she moaned with pleasure. Their skin would slap together. Her loud moans would not be fake and she would tell him she loves him.

She felt the urge even now. Holly remarked inwardly that he had just showered and she could really show him some pleasure. She had accidentally seen a small glimpse of him once as he got out of the shower. She was on the floor cleaning at the time and wonders if this is why many of her fantasies of him involve oral pleasure.

All it would take would be one small move of joining him in the shower after he was already there. Or even just simply saying yes when he talked. Holly wondered how he would react. Would he go for it or just maintain his gentleman-like stature? One thing for sure, she was aroused and had to stop thinking about it.

Holly had been so relaxed like she always is here with him. But he had brought out thoughts of her home life and she couldn't help thinking of what Pete had just done in the driveway. She felt the pain already even though it hasn't happened yet. Seen her head was filled with those thoughts. She had to fight it off and get back to the here and now. Then suddenly she started to slip and Henry grabbed her leg. But in her mind and in her thoughts it wasn't him. It was far worse. She flung herself off of the chair and slammed into the floor as Henry tried to help her.

Though Holly seemed capable of handling all that was done to her, it seems everyone has their limits.

"Noooooooo! No Pete don't hurt me! Please," she screamed.

"What, wait," Henry said as he went over to her, but all she could see was Pete.

"Please don't hit me again!" Holly screamed with tears rolling down her face and curled up in a ball.

"Holly it's me Henry, your safe," Henry said with concern as he tried to approach her.

"I'll do anything. Please just fuck me instead. Just don't hit me!" Holly sobbed.

"Son of a bitch," Henry said as he backed off, "Holly sweetheart its Henry."

"Please," Holly sobbed, "Lets have a party. I'll be good. Good to your friends. You know."

"Holly please calm down," Henry pleaded.

"Hen...Pete...please don't," Holly sobbed, as her mind tried to grasp her surroundings.

Knowing he was a bit out of his element, Henry backed off as Holly slowly came back to reality. He sat on the couch watching her with complete concern. There was sweat on his brow. But he gave her that space to come back. After what seemed like an eternity to him, she finally seemed like she knew where she was. Slowly she stood, and sat on the other end of the couch from him.

"I'm sorry," Holly said as she wiped the tears and hair off her face, "I'm going to quit now."

"No your not," Henry said, "I won't accept you quitting. You did nothing wrong."

"So now you know who I really am," Holly sighed.

"I know who you are already," he said softly, "Someone I care about, who takes care of my house...and me."

"And who just had her first psycho crazy attack," she sighed.

"I can see that it's not your fault," Henry said.

They talked for the next few hours and Henry even got her to laugh again. But he did insist that she tell him what has been going on. She knew that the risk was high that she would be is trouble later, but she let it all out. But suddenly she realized that I was fast approaching her time to leave.

"I'm sorry. We can finish this tomorrow," Holly said as she stood, "I have to go home."

"No you don't," Henry said quickly, "You need to stay right here, and I'll fix dinner this time."

"But I have to be home by 5:30 or...," she started.

"Or he hurts you," Henry said, "No Holly, not anymore. Stay here and escape all that."

"I don't know how to escape. It's all I've ever known," she said as she took her jacket.

"Please Holly," Henry said. "Don't go back to that. You have more strength than you realize."

"I have to," Holly said as she went out the door.

"Holly," he sighed, "I love you."

"I know," Holly said trying to fight off tears as she ran down the driveway.

Holly ran quickly and looked back at him and his concerned expression. Then she looked forward with the fear of what was to come. She thought so many times about going back and being safe with him. She cared a lot for him and for some reason his revelation did not surprise her. But she cared too much to put him in harms way.

Pete was vicious. She couldn't go anywhere without him becoming suspicious. He even grilled her every time she returned from work. After picking up the case of beer he told her to get on the way home, she was off again heading in that direction, but thinking about going back to Henry.

Holly's heart began to race as she approached the apartment building and looked at the light on in the kitchen. He had gotten home before her so she knew she was in trouble. Sighing a few times she went to the door and opened it. She crept inside and heard the TV on. She peeked around the corner expecting to see him standing there with his belt or something. But he was nowhere in sight. Looking around and even in the bedroom he was not there.

Going back in the kitchen she hurriedly started to make the hamburgers he had ordered for dinner, thinking that he had just stepped out for a bit. If she could get them done before he comes back she might avoid the trouble. But the time went on and on, and even after she had finished making it, and cleaning up he was still not home. Quickly she ate a little as she looked out the window. She knows he is not supposed to eat until he sits down. Hours went by and he still did not come home. She began to worry and wonder if he had just left. Or maybe he went out drinking and the beating would be far worse when he got home. Suddenly she jumped as there was a knock on the door.

"Who...can I help you?" she said as she peered at the Sheriff.

"Ma'am may I come in?" he asked.

"Ok," she said quickly.

Nervously she asked the Sheriff to have a seat in the hovel she called home. He sighed then began to speak. Holly listened in intensity and complete shock as the Sheriff told her what had happened. It turns out that Pete had been stopped by them for speeding like he usually does. They had found $20,000 dollars worth of cocaine in his car and that he was now arrested for felony drug charges and 2 counts of assault on law enforcement.

"But he never," Holly started to say then stopped.

She had always thought that he hated drug use, selling and so forth and didn't know how this could have happened. Then she thought of Henry and his mysterious riches. Could it be him that did this? She thought she knew the answer.

"He never what ma'am?", the Sheriff asked.

"I mean...I never knew," Holly said.

"I know that," the Sheriff said, "He said you had nothing to do with it and we are inclined to believe him. But just in case not...this is your one get out of jail free card. Understand?"

"Ok," Holly said as she watched him head for the door.

"Oh and one more thing," he said as he left, "Tell old Henry I said hello."

"Son of a...," Holly said as she turned as white as a ghost.

She stood in the hallway for what seemed like an hour trying to let sink in what had happened. She wondered even more about the man she knows as Henry. She has been all through his house in every possible space and never saw anything out of the ordinary.

"How?" she whispered.

She already knew why so she didn't need to ask. But she still stood in her kitchen for nearly an hour before the reality of the situation had sunk in. In that time the phone had rang 3 times and she didn't answer it. All three messages were from Pete's friends. They were wondering what time the party would be starting. She knew all too well what she would have had to do at that party. But she smiled briefly as she realized that she would not have to be passed around like that anymore. But what would she do now? Obviously she still has a job. But she knows she can't stay in this place for a few reasons. Most importantly it was the bad memories. But also before long his friends would probably come around. It isn't safe. Just when she thought that, the trouble started again.

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