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The ache blooming in Mia’s depths had become such a relentless presence in her life—a bone-deep ache meant to remind her each morning as she woke of the hell that she would soon come to endure again. As she removed the covers from her bruised body, she took in her flesh. Black and blue bruises dotted her legs and thighs, morphing into faded marks; a red and raw bracelet of rope burns circled her ankles. An ache developed in her chest as she took in the state of her body. However, Mia didn’t have time to think of the misery that had become her life. Glancing at the clock that read six a.m., she knew she had a limited amount of time to shower, dress, and get breakfast ready.
Standing, Mia limped to the restroom and showered, tracing the bandage covering the stitches on her side as she lathered as best as she could. She closed her eyes as she placed a hand on her quivering stomach and slowly lowered her hand to clean between her legs. He left his marks on her again, but this time it wasn’t the usual bite, bruise, or cut. This time, he actually lost control and came inside of her, leaving her filled with his seed. The expression of pure ecstasy on his face as he consumed her had astonished her. Nothing she did ever pleased him, not even while he raped her, but last night was different. The tides had changed, and with the metamorphosis came a darkness she sensed she wouldn’t survive. His anger, loathing, and hate were the only emotions she’d wrought from him and nothing more.
Last night, the glint in his eyes as he pushed inside of her body made her stomach clench. She was never allowed to close her eyes because doing so always elicited his large hands around her neck until she passed out. At first, itbeen a mercy on his end to take her away from her suffering, but soon he realized his error of permitting her the unconscious reprieve, and the last time, she woke up covered in even more bruises. So, no, nothing she ever did elicited anything but pure rage from him … except the horror in her eyes as he came inside of her. Pure unadulterated fear had lanced through her at the thought of carrying his child.
There were things that used to horrify Mia. In the past, reading the newspaper or watching the news about missing women, Mia felt empathy for the victims, but it’d never been more than a glancing emotion. The possibility of seeing her face on CNN had never made it into the realm of possibility for Mia. No, she didn’t think herself invincible, but out of reach and safe. After the first abduction, that small world had shattered and her old life became shards of glass, too sharp and small to place back together. She’d awaited rescue to no avail. No one was coming for her, they mocked. She was so green, naïve, and fearless. That was until the first rape.
She’d feared rape and death. No woman, no matter how brave, lived without the fear of rape. Perhaps there were some who prepared for the likelihood of it happening, so their fear would lessen, but Mia had never been one of those women. And maybe, this was why she became such an easy target. After months in a shack, used and abused, death and rape had no longer become a fear, but the norm. Soon, her worst enemy became time. How much longer would they let her live? When would they tire of her, and when they did, where would they dispose of her body? Would her family claim her bones or would they see her ravished body? How would it embarrass her father?
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