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I wake up to the sound of my beloved-turned-hated calling my name. I rose out of the bed, all the world feeling like a ghost. I looked out the frosted window to see him approaching the door.

"Max, Isabella. Run to the Fir cabin and bring Mathew. Hurry," I signed to them, not risking talking. They slipped out the back dog door silently. As Isabella's tail disappears, he bangs on the door.


I open the door, praying that he wouldn't kill me this time. A couple of bruises and fractures would be better than what he surely must mean to do to me.

As soon as I open the door, his hand goes for my throat. He slams me against the wall, his face only inches from mine. I can see the fury in his eyes, smell his alcohol-laden breath and the flare of his nostrils was pronounced.

"You humiliated me in front of your friends for the last time, my dear. This time, you will not be seeing them ever again.

My eyes widen in fear. This was worse than I had imagined. He did not intend to kill me, but it was much worse. He intended to lock me away. Forever. I gasped for air. I struggled to think of a way to escape. I now regretted sending my dogs away. They would have protected me from this savage.

He tossed me onto the floor and proceeded to punch and kick and slap me with all of his strength. I was used to this, so I did what I normally did: I escaped into myself, withdrawing from the pain. There was no where else to go when he was in one of his moods. He never hit me in the face or left bruises on my forearms, because i always bared my arms to the elbows. I hated long sleeves.

I felt a few of my ribs break and I knew I was bleeding. I could also feel the bruises forming under the force of his fists. This wasn't so normal. It took a lot of force to bruise me. In fact, when I was 10, I broke both my ulna and my radius, and I didn't have one bruise. Then when I was 12, I broke my toe. It only bruised a little bit.

When I came out of my reverie, the beating had stopped and i glanced about me, dazed. I was still in the stage before pain would cascade over my body. I picked myself up and went into the bathroom to relieve myself. I only glanced at the mirror, but I quickly looked again. That jerk had bruised my face!! I could not believe it. He seemed not to care anymore what people saw. They would now know that I was his punching bag.

"Why? Why now? I could have went the rest of break without this." she said, tears quietly leaking out of her face. She heard someone stirring in the bedroom next to the bathroom.

She quickly checked to make sure Nicolai was still sleeping, then went into the kitchen to prepare a meal for him. He would be hungry after the energy he had exerted during the beating. I scrambled some eggs, fryed some bacon and brewed a carafe of coffee for him. Then I went to shower. I wanted toget as much of the dirt off as possible. He would be pleased, and then he wouldn't hurt me anymore. Or so I hoped. I stepped out of the shower, only to find myself face-to-face with him.

"I'm hungry." He snapped.

"Your food is on the counter." I said, looking down at the floor. I was trying to please him as much as possible, so as not to get another beating.

He hurrumphed. "We'll see how well you did." He turned and stormed into the kitchen and started to scarf down the food.

NOT the Blind Marriage
I walked from the cold, snow-covered campground into the warm cabin. The television was on. Somebody was playing the Wii, again.

"Andrew, do you never get outside?" I asked, a little miffed. I was dripping with melting snow, having just been the victor of the first major snowball war of the season.

"Ayla, of course I do. I like playing this more though." He answered, not even looking at me. Rolling my dark, chocolate brown eyes, I walked over to the stove, putting a pot of water on to boil for some hot chocolate.

"So, who won?" Andrew asked, sneaking up behind me. I was used to having him do this, so I did not jump as he intended.

"Me, of course. Those wimps out there can't hit the broad side of a barn." This made him laugh. He was always telling me that I was a hick.

"You are soooo a hick," he said, sparking another argument about this.

"I am not, you oversized ape!" I exclaimed, turning to him in anger. I was tired of his teasing and mean comments.

He leaned over and kissed me. It was a surprise. He had never done that before. It made me melt at the knees.

Breaking the kiss off, he smiled."Ha," he said." I finally got to you, the Ice Queen."

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