Laura Ch. 01byshandal©
A scared wife dreams of escape. This is a romantic story with various characters and lots of twists and turns. There is a smidgeon of violent sex in this chapter, but I have tried to keep it to an acceptable level for those that do not like such things.
As usual in my stories there are lots of people that touch and swirl around the lives of the central characters.
Please read and enjoy.
The make-up just wouldn't hide the bruise from last night. It was starting to turn that colour that fresh bruises turn, and the slight swell made the left side of her face slightly out of kilter with the rest of her delicate features. Staring into the eyes of the lost soul in the reflection looking back at her, the hopelessness of her situation tightened the aching band that pounded her brain, as she ran through her limited options.
Stay and be used as a punch bag, humiliated and trapped, or run with no-where to go, and no one to go to.
How did it come to this?
Just five years ago the possibilities seemed so sweet before them. He seemed to want her, need her, care for her. He promised so much, but now, the promise had become a nightmare, and her dreams were mocked by the reflection in the mirror.
"You fool, why didn't you see, why didn't you guess? Why would he have wanted you?" she castigated herself yet again.
Going through the motions, pulling herself together, she finished getting ready for work. On the bus she kept her head down, letting her light brown hair fall forward, hoping that no one would notice her mark of shame. Alighting at the stop just yards from the old lady's house, still keeping her head averted she bumped into someone, nearly falling over, and then hurried past the large male form mumbling her embarrassed apology as she half ran, half lurched up to the front gate, and then through the front door, letting herself in to the house.
The dark gloom of the hallway coupled with the sweet smell of the furniture wax, helped to relax her as she removed her jacket, and called out "Mrs Jackson, It's me."
"In here love...."
Wandering down the hall, past the staircase to the sitting room filled with the photos of a life lived, and the many accumulated nic nacs, she found the frail body nestled on the sofa filled with the big squishy cushions, a photo album open on the old lady's lap. "Just wandering down memory lane love." Her eyes slightly moist with the memories, the grey haired and frail woman looked up, her pale blue eyes filled with pain from a life coming to an end, and the sadness that remembering always gave her. "He always called me his princess, treated me like a Queen he did", she sighed as she turned over the page. "If he only knew how she has treated me these last couple of years he would die of shame."
Laura looked down at the picture in the album. The photo of Mrs Jackson's only grandchild stared back at her, a pretty young woman, smiling with a knowing smile, long black hair and a confidence that Laura envied. The thought ran through her mind, "She wouldn't take anything from a man except what she demanded."
"No love, your right, my Becky was a demanding girl. Demanding and selfish. Took, took, took, and then when I could give no more, went. Just like her mother, went and found some poor sap to give her more I expect."
Laura glanced up, realising she must have spoken her thoughts out loud. "So you have no idea where she is then? ........... had no contact from her Mrs J?"
"No! Not these last 2 years. Left and didn't look back, the ungrateful girl. She's about five years older than you. I looked after her from the age of twelve, since my daughter died. " and the old lady sighed as she turned the pages of the album.
Moving to the kitchen, Laura called over her shoulder, "Tea or a glass of water to take the pills?"
"Water love, and bring in the ticket and let's check the results from Saturday's game."
Grabbing a glass from the draining board and filling it with water, she wandered back in to the sitting room, holding out the glass and picking up the bottle containing the small white pills, she shook out the first two of the day.
"The paper's over there on the table ...... take the ticket over and see if I have won another tenner"
Laura sat down at the lovely walnut table at the end of the room, the smell of wax strong, the shine on the wood glossy and warm, she picked up the newspaper that lay next to the boxes of medicine and hypodermics ready for the day ahead's schedule of pain relief.
Laying like a scar on the lovingly polished wood surface.
It seemed so unfair that the old lady should come to the end of her time with no one else to care for her but a hired nurse and home helps. No family that would take the time to visit, no friends that survive to sit and talk, a life lived giving love but devoid of love at the end.
Laura realised she was getting maudlin as she opened the paper to the page showing Saturday's lottery results. The old lady did a lucky dip every Saturday which Laura picked up for her on her Friday visit whilst getting the weekend groceries. Mrs J seemed to get a real kick out of the anticipation and occasional £10 win. Half heartedly she looked at the results whilst her mind still pounded with the pain of last night's beating.
She never knew what set him off each time.
Sometimes the meal was not to his liking,sometimes her lack of putting things back as he liked after tidying up the house. And sometimes there was no reason except he came home from the office in a bad mood. Those were the worst ones, as he would scream obscenities at her as he hit and kicked her. Screaming about how she looked, her lack of sex appeal, her lanky hair, her poor house-keeping, his disdain for her tiny breasts.
As she checked off the first number, and noticed Mrs J had it, she glanced down at her breasts. They were small, but not as he screamed last night, like a boys. Besides when they first met, he would tell her that her breasts were so lovely, just a handful, or a mouthful. And now he didn't even touch them when he occasionally lay over her for sex, preferring to use her quickly and then roll off, no affection, no cuddling, no kissing ....... no love.
The second number came up, and Laura idly noted that one more and Mrs J would get her tenner.
Oh how she wished she could just find a way out of this situation. With nowhere to go, no real friends left anymore; she realised that he had cut her off from her friends gradually, even before they were married.
He would make arrangements for the two of them to go elsewhere on her usual nights out with the girls. At first she thought he wanted to be with her, and revelled in the thought that he wanted to spend all their time together. It was only in the first year of their marriage that she realised she had gradually lost touch with the girls, and now he hardly took her out, not even on company dinners like the one he went on last night.
The one he came home from, and dragged her out of bed by her hair, screaming at her lack of attraction for him, hitting her repeatedly across the face with his large hand.
Shouting in her ear that he wished she was dead. The third number came up and she looked up and smiled as she said "Another tenner for you Mrs J. You are the lucky one!"
"Why don't you take the money when you take the ticket down to the shop and treat yourself love. It looks as if you need some pampering." The old lady paused and then continued carefully in a quiet voice, "I don't mean to pry love but that was no door you walked into was it. That bruise on your cheek looks painful, and only last week you had a swollen and cut lip. Why don't you leave him? It will never get better, only worse. Take advice from an old woman who has seen it happen before to others, get out, get away and get a new life."
Laura's eyes started to water, "Please let's not talk about it......Please" and the tears fell like a release, as the sobs poured out. "I just don't know what to do, Oh God I just don't know what to do."
"Just go, find somewhere else to live, and start again. You're young, you're pretty and you will make a good life if you get away.No man is worth this, no person should be used this way." Again a pause as the old woman watched as Laura's shoulders heaved as the sobs poured out." I've watched you over the past five months....... the bruises you try to hide.......the look in your eyes...... the slump of your shoulders. Sweetheart, get out before he does real damage. Make a new life for yourself and get out."
"But I have nowhere to go! No money except what I earn as a home help, which is not nearly enough to support me. Besides he always threatens me that if I run he would come after me and find me". Laura looked up, with a shaking of her head "and I know that if he caught me he would really hurt me then, even kill me!"
With a sob her head lay down across her arms on the table, her tears dropping on the newspaper, "I just don't know what to do. I just don't know what to do."
The old lady watched the young girl cry for a short while, and then in an attempt to divert her said in a gruff voice, "Come on now, you haven't finished checking my numbers. I could be a millionaire right now, and you're just making my ticket all wet and soggy. Come on now, head up. That's right, give me a smile."
Laura lifted up her head, gave a weak attempt at a smile, did a sniffle and looked down at the ticket lying on the newspaper in front of her. "Oh Mrs J you have another number, that's four....and another. FIVE," she exclaimed with raising excitement in her voice as she checked the last number "No that one doesn't match, hard luck. But five. FiVE. That should pay quite a bit I should think."
Both women laughed as the pleasure of the win wiped out the past few minutes' conversation.
"I guess I should try and find out for you how much you've won -- I think there is a number we can call." Laura looked down at the paper to see if there was a contact number. "Oh wow, the last number is the bonus ball, Mrs J, you have five numbers and the bonus ball, I can't believe it." And in one graceful swoop, Laura got up from the table and crossed the room to give the old lady a hug.
"Now Laura let's not rush this, I need to think this through!"
Laura looked down, a puzzled frown on her brow, the bruise, her problems and her pain forgotten as the old woman looked up and said. "How long is it before the lottery ticket expires if I don't collect it straight away?"
"But why wouldn't you collect it straight away? Think of the things you could do with some extra money."
"Laura, my life is coming to an end, within weeks they will probably put me in the hospice. Now don't start crying again girl, I am just facing facts, I live alone and although the nurse comes in to give me my pain relief, and you come in to look after me during the day, along with the night home help, there is no getting away from the fact that I am getting much weaker, I live alone, and it's only a matter of time."
Laura got down on her knees "But you could hire a nurse to be with you round the clock. Live-in with you so you could stay here in your home. Be surrounded by your things. The money could be your last little way of spoiling yourself."
Mrs Jackson smiled at the young woman, then looked around her at the many things in the room collected with love from a lifetime lived and then back at the girl as she knelt in front of her.
"Sweetheart things don't matter, possessions don't matter, and they're only small reminders. It's the actual memories behind them that count. What does matter are people. People you love, people who care for you." And looking straight into her eyes she whispered "People you care about." An unsteady old hand reached up and carefully stroked the soft brown hair back behind the ear of the young woman kneeling in front of her to reveal the ugly bruise. "This could be your chance. I have no use for the money. I only play the lottery for the small thrill of anticipation each week. But a real win, with real money, no I don't need it where I'm going. As for staying here in my home, I would rather be in the hospice surrounded by the bustle of lots of people, with things to watch, and lots going on to distract me. No, Laura this is my gift to you. Your freedom and your chance to get away, to make a new life, to make a new start.....Now, now, don't start the waterworks again. My mind is made up."
Laura threw her arms around the old lady, her face buried against the soft grey cardigan that smelt of lavender and quietly cried as the hand that had moved her hair back behind her ear gently stroked her head, calming her, giving comfort, giving hope.
"Laura, I am leaving my home to the hospice, but I can leave you the lottery ticket and any money that you get from it is yours. You make the claim, but if as you say your husband is vindictive enough to search you out, you need to change your identity."
She quietly continued "Here's what I suggest we do, and we do it as quickly as we can. Upstairs I have my Granddaughter's birth certificate; we can use this along with a copy of a utility bill from this address to open a new Bank Account. You put the money in the account and have all the letters sent here. I will give you the bank card that arrives, and then you sort out somewhere to live in another town under my granddaughter's name. Take the certificate and anything upstairs that will help you to establish yourself in that name. Get all mail sent here and then redirected to your new address, and start that new life. But I ask just one thing of you."
In a voice cracking with emotion the old lady whispered "Don't move to the new life until I die, set it up but don't go straight away.....I have come to think of you like a Granddaughter and I don't want to die with no one around to visit me that I don't really know. Please don't leave me all alone."
"Oh Mrs Jackson, how could you think I would" and Laura hugged the frail body and kissed the hollow cheek.
Smiling at each other as co-conspirators, the two women both felt a wave of relief wash over them. In their misery they had both found the support, friendship and compassion that they needed.
"Oh but Mrs J, how can I use a Utility Bill for this address if it isn't in Becky's name?"
"Ahhhhh but it is. You see her real name is Rebecca Jackson. And so is mine!"
Just looking at her made him hot, as she walked across the office in that quiet but sexy little girl way of hers, the familiar warmth and tightening of pleasure in his groin made sitting down and watching her almost torture.
Memories of last night, when he pushed into her hard and fast against the wall in the back alley behind the pub swirled in his head. Her face had been a mixture of shock and delight, her enormous brown eyes vulnerable and yet excited, and the tightness of her body as he entered her had sent him in to a frenzy. Just the memory increased the pulse between his thighs and he smiled a smile that the girl returned shyly as she walked by his desk.
He didn't care that others in the office had noticed his interest over the last couple of months since she had started working for the company, as office junior. This was her first job on leaving college and the man liked fresh young meat, untouched by any hard cynicism, unsure of herself, childlike and easy to bend to his will. And she was perfect.
He sensed her lack of confidence that first day, and like a tiger sensing its kill, she became his obsession. To have her, to use her, to bend her to his will, and have her for his own needs whenever he wanted.
He glanced across his desk to see Julian opposite smiling at him with a knowing smile, and then that wink that said it all between them. A slight nod acknowledged the unsaid message, and the two men laughed quietly as they got on with their work.
Continuing to reflect on last night's events, the man's smile tightened as he recalled his return home to that little cow he was married to. It made him feel so good as he pulled her out of bed, her long silky hair twisted around his hand, pulling her along the floor, watching her try to gain a foothold to ease the pain in her scalp. She was so easy to dominate, to control, to terrorise, that he knew he could keep her and have the other as well to fulfil all his needs.
Two stupid women, to do with what he wanted. The perfect solution. He looked across the room again at the girl, her small frame demure in the black skirt and white blouse, her glances at him asking for some form of approval. He smiled at her again and he noted to himself to book a room at the Hotel across town and take her for the night there, to teach her just what he expected from her to give him pleasure.
And as she smiled across at him he imagined just what he was going to do to that sweet little mouth, and just how good she was going to look on her knees in front of him.
As the man sat at his desk, his eyes following the young woman move across the room, the two secretaries at the end of the open plan office stood watching the scene play out before them. Arms crossed over their chests and heads close together they whispered as they watched. "Just look at him at it again, every time we get some new office junior he's onto them like a dog on heat. I feel so sorry for that wife of his; he just can't keep it zipped inside his pants."
"I know, and you know what ..... each time this happens we lose the junior. They never seem to stay for very long once the affair is over. And this one is good. Shame really as she seems like she's straight out of the convent."
Both girls laughed and sat down at their desks. "You know what, I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole. Too cock sure of himself, and too pushy. Knows he's good looking."
"You think he is good looking? Hmmm not my type. Prefer my men a little more rough and ready, he is too, too smooth for me. Too well groomed, with not one hair out of place. Give me a man that looks like you could touch without him brushing himself down straight afterwards."
Pam grimaced and said "You also would have to compete with him for the mirror every morning. Loves his own reflection does Robert!" and the two secretaries laughed as they started to get on with the day's work.
She still ached from the rough sex last night. It was nothing like she had experienced before. Not that she had much experience, just the one relationship with Dave.
Dave her boyfriend in college. So nice. Too nice.
Young and inexperienced, with gentle fumbling, heavy breathing, and silly giggling afterwards. The hot looks and flirting that she had been on the receiving end for the last couple of months from Robert made her feel so grown up, and last night was so passionate, like in the movies. One minute they were flirting in the bar, drinks in hand and people swelling around them, the next outside, her skirt pulled up and his mouth and tongue pushing hard and fast into her mouth, mirroring what was happening down below.
She blushed at the thought.
Do the others in the office know? Have they guessed? She looked across at Pam and Linda, sitting at their desks, laughing with each other over some comment Pam had made. "Well he wants me, not them!" She thought, and an inner glow settled over her as she smiled to herself and walked gingerly over to the file cabinet to file the reports.
To her Robert was mature, smart. Clever.
So what if he was a good fifteen years older than her, she preferred more mature men. Men with style. And Robert certainly had style. With his lovely well cut suit, and the light grey tie that matched his eyes, to the professionally styled dark blond hair layered down the back of his head, he was her image of what a man should be. She knew he was fit, he went to the gym regularly and she had felt his strength last night as he grabbed her arm and pulled her outside. His body hard and strong against her small frame as they made love pressed against the wall, taking her breath away.