I woke up the next afternoon in my own bed with my chambermaid sitting in the chair beside me. She immediately stood and offered me a drink of water while I waited for the kitchen to send up something to eat. Confused, I declined her offer, and waited to get my wits about me. It took only a few seconds to remember Faolan throwing me about the room, verbally branding me a whore, among other things. Shocked and senseless, I took it hoping this was a dream I’d survive. The end of the tirade was lost after a higher power took pity on me and allowed me to back out. While sipping my soup, I listened to the chambermaid tell me the gory details of a country wife stitching me up and adding instructions on how to further care for the wounds. I was told to stay in bed for at least a few days, which needn’t have been said, the thought of leaving my room and seeing my husband had become something to fear.
It didn’t occur to me, that things could get worse. I didn’t think that Faolon was stewing, plotting, or whatever it was he was doing. In fact, before the stitches had a chance to heal and the bruises had barely begun to fade, Falon sought me out, in the dark of the night. I was not lying peacefully in my bed. I was fighting the temptation to sleep, for fear of reliving those terrifying moments. There was no knock announcing my husband, as I would have expected, had he ever entered my room in the past. Instead the door was abruptly swung open, his silhouette lit by a light from somewhere in the hallway. I reacted with a childish instinct and pulled the covers over my head. I’m not sure if I thought he wouldn’t see me under there of if the blankets would soften the blow, but I learned quickly that it didn’t matter.
Faolan tore me from my bed and used my arm to throw me against the wall. There was about three seconds for me to take in my assailant. He was my husband, in a new form. Hunched, shrunken, but some how larger, his face was tight with rage I had never witnessed before and in his hands there was a belt. A flood of tears erupted from my eyes, though I didn’t have time to beg, it was in me. I wanted to plead or reason or bargain my way out, but there was no time to speak before the first strike. With every lash he reminded me that I was his wife and not a whore. I survived this beating and every one that came after without loosing consciousness.
He came to me nightly, at various times, with different degrees of anger. I had stopped sleeping at night anticipating his entrance and had started sleeping through the days in a safe, drug induced coma. While the first of his tantrums ended up with me needing stitches, they slowly began to taper off and become, oddly, softer. I can only say now that they carried an aura of lust. In one of his more tender moments, he scolded me like a school girl, lecturing me on the merits of purity and then instructed me to lye across his lap so he could spank me.
The last of them came close to a fortnight later. He crept into my room. It wasn’t necessary. I was long aware of his movements before he’d even begun to open my door. I lay still, unsure of what to expect. I prayed that whatever was to come would be quick, painless and a humiliation I could suffer through. He watched me for a moment, calculating his next move. Daring himself to proceed.
Eventually he straddled me, still safely under my blankets I tensed. He pinned my shoulders against the mattress and began to salivate. He licked his lips and reached for something in his back pocket. He allowed the letter opener to trace the wounds he’d left on my face over the course of his long lived tantrum. Until he found a fresh spot somewhere near my collarbone. Roughly he drilled a whole in my skin. I cringed, trying not to cry out. Faolan pushed more of his weight on to me, to still my movements and I did my best to comply. He watched the blood spring forth and paused. Like a child who was unsure of the consequences he assessed the situation before diving in and devouring his treat, before he was caught.
I was shocked. I tried to convince myself that he had not drawn blood to drink it. I had determined I was married to a monster, but I had no idea the darkness ran that deep. I lay very still, hating the man on top of me for making me feel so powerless. Reminding myself that in these moments of doing nothing, I was the strongest I had ever been. For every form of abuse this man had brought to me I knew that I wanted to live and had learned that the only way to do that was to lie very still and wait for it to be over.
With a suddenness that surprised me he removed himself. I uttered a gasp as if I’d just taken my first breath, he watched me with a sly smile on his face before he confidently left my room. To continue….
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