Monday, July 14, 2014

No, Daddy, No: Part 2: Love-Craft

Kate stared vacantly at the small green tiles of the shower wall as the spray continued to gently batter her chest. The weak light of the early morning spilled through the small window above their heads.  Drake was behind her, pressed against her back, his hands reaching around to play roughly with her breasts.  His skin, cold compared to the heat of the water, felt good on her bruises, but she was too scared to enjoy it.  Her body ached with the marks that painted her from back to calf.  They looked worse than they were. It had never taken much for that belt to hurt like hell.  It didn't take much for it to bruise either, and he'd spared a small sliver of her back where the kidneys were, like she'd taught him back in the beginning.  She hadn't taught him to use that belt, though. He'd picked that up on his own, but even when he drank, he'd always been careful about damage, where and how much.  After all, he didn't want to break his toy.

He took his hands from her breasts and stroked her shoulders.  It was all she could do not to teeter forward.  She was torn between the desire to moan and the impulse to cry.

"I'm sorry about last night, sweetie," he said, resting his chin on her head. "But you know better.  How could you burn it?"

"You abandoned me," she said in a small, desolate voice.

He grabbed her hair.  "I'm back now," he said, stressing each syllable.  "That issue is over and done with.  I don't wanna hear it out of you again." He pushed on one of her bruises.

Kate winced.  "Yes, Daddy."

He turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, brushing his fingers against her cheek before leaving her there to dry herself off.  The urge to just stand there and drip dry forever was overwhelming. At least that didn't require her to disturb the bruises…and it would keep her away from him for a while.  She doubted that he would take kindly to that, but, still, she did milk it for a few minutes, just hovering there in the bathtub, dripping quietly.  When she figured she couldn't waste any more time without pissing him off, she stepped gingerly out of the bathtub and wrapped herself in a towel.

The floor of the tiny bathroom was soaked.  Water slithered across more of the fake hardwood, dripping into the rectangular ventilation hole where the cover plate was missing.  That was par for the course when they showered together, although she had generally been an enthusiastic participant in the past.  Now she simply followed orders and valiantly resisted the urge to bite his cock in half when he'd shoved it down her throat. Kate was rather proud of herself for that feat.

After throwing down a towel from the hamper to dry up the water, she left the bathroom and wandered down the short hall to the living room.  The dry, brittle carpet scraped against the rough skin of her feet. The sound made her uncomfortable.

Drake was sprawled out on the couch, wearing nothing but a pair of loose, dark plaid pajama pants.  One of his pockets had a phone-shaped bulge.  It had been in her room, but he had been sure to scoop it up. He looked odd, sitting there in the soft glow of the light filtering in through the thin white sheets she used for curtains, with all that hair on his face but none on his chest.

He straightened a little when he saw her to make room for her beside him.

"Get me a beer."

She went to the kitchen and reluctantly got a bottle of Sam Adams out of the case he'd put in her fridge some time this morning. Sitting it on the bar to pop the top off, she noticed a small pile of her pills were sitting there next to a bottle of water. She looked up at him. He was staring at her. She took the beer to him and went back to down the pills.

"Still on the anxiety stuff?" he said, referring to the yellow ones she'd just popped into her mouth.


"You got an odd number of the twice-a-days." He took a swig of the beer.

"I don't take them when I drink," she said.

"You drink a lot?"

Kate stiffened. "Do you?"

"I asked you a question."

"So did I."

"You know the answer."

"So do you."

Drake turned back to the T.V. "You shouldn't take so much medication. Too dependent on that shit. The B.C.'s all you need."

"You shouldn't drink so much."

He glared at her. "Sit," he said. "Now."

Kate smiled softly when his gaze left her again and put the water back in the fridge before going to curl up under his arm.

It was strange, being in this position again.  He had only been gone for a few months, but it had been nearly year since they had sat on a couch together in just this way.  That was back when they had been happy.  Now, back in his side, leaning against his smooth chest, she felt immediately better.  The thought disgusted her.

She closed her eyes, blocking out the warmth of him and the stupid prattling of cartoons coming from the T.V.  What was wrong with her? This man had neglected her for months, toying with her mind, making her feel bad for wanting to spend time with him, beating her when he bothered to pay attention to her, and then he'd left without a word.  That was bad enough, but now he'd come back, and some sick part of her liked it.

But, it was hard to ignore the hand idly stroking her hair.  It felt good. Even the small exchange about the pills had felt good. She had missed those little moments of banter, missed the small acts of kindness that interrupted everything else, even the strange compulsions he had, like counting her pills.

The worst part was that she knew she should hate him.  She was falling into that same old trap, where you loved the things you hated and hated the things you loved.  She had denied all of the abuse while it had happened.  But she couldn't deny that part of her enjoyed him, and it was hard to be angry about the sex. Their sex lives had always been violent, so she could barely distinguish last night as rape, because it was so like everything she had become used to. In her mind, she knew it was, but, then, she knew a lot of things. In the middle of nowhere, surrounded by people who couldn't understand half of the words in her books, that knowledge had never done her much good.

Drake shifted to get more comfortable, knocking over one of the stacks of books in the process.

"Put 'em up," he said. "Gonna kill myself."

Kate got up and started picking up the ones he had knocked over first.  Before she had delved into the Barnett's last night, she had been sorting through her little library.  Two-thirds of the books on the floor had yellow yard sale dots stuck to the spines with a hastily scribbled H for Horror in ink pen.

It wasn't like she'd had anything else to do last night.  She had applied for a long term substitute job at the high school in Alma—the World History teacher was about to go on maternity leave—but they were being wishy washy about making a decision.  Kate had the feeling that they were going to turn her down. The new resource officer out there was Jake Coomer, who had been a Kibler cop not too long ago.  He'd made more than a few trips out to her trailer last year when the neighbors had called about the noise.  She could only imagine what he might have told them during the background check.

Clutching a fat H.P. Lovecraft hardback to her chest, she took it back to her room and put it lovingly on the black shelf in the corner by the other bathroom door.  After a few minutes and a few trips, the living room floor was empty again, but for the little plastic package of neon-colored yard sale dots.

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