WARNING: The following chapter contains graphic themes involving forced acts of intimacy. If you are someone easily triggered by what you read/see or simply do not wish to read this material, please follow the ♠ symbol, I will place one at the start of the scene and at the end.
As it turned out, removing the poison capsule from my shoulder was no simple task. I had to take three different antidotes over thirty minutes before a physician injected me with lidocaine and removed the device.
Santi wasted no time getting me back to his base in Michigan. Arrangements were being made to fly us back to New York; apparently, he didn’t have access to a private jet the way Luca did.
I briefly wondered if that meant he was less powerful, but I knew better than to believe that. Just being associated with the cartel made him a huge threat because there were more of them than I could possibly imagine.
Luca’s family was huge, but it was just that; a family. Their numbers could only extend so far. I knew there were other Italian mafia families in the area, but he had mentioned that there was still beef among the Moretti clan and one of the others.
My thoughts ran away with me as I went through everything I had learned these past couple of months in my head. For some reason, trying to break down the hierarchy of the mob was a better distraction than remembering my last night with Luca.
I sat in the center of the large bed; my knees drawn to my chest as I tried to escape with my thoughts alone. I wasn’t ready to face the horrors of my new reality. It was only a matter of time before Santi came in here and reclaimed me as his property.
I’d already emptied the contents of my stomach into the attached bathroom at least four times.
I eyed the skimpy lingerie my husband expected me to slip into. Against my better judgment, I refused to put the thing on. I knew I would probably get a beating for it, but I’d rather he wasted his energy slapping me around than actually fucking me.
The door handle jiggled, and he walked in – his broad frame filling every inch of the doorway as he looked at me with dark, empty eyes. I held my ground, staring back. Shutting the door behind him, he began removing his coat, shoes, socks, and shirt.
He turned to face me as he unbuttoned his jeans, pushing them down his muscular thighs. Clad in only a pair of black boxers, he approached me on the bed. Instinctively, I scampered back – my legs pushing me against the headboard.
“This doesn’t look like the cooperation you promised me,” he said calmly, tossing the scant gown at me. “Get naked. Now.”
I scowled, hugging my knees tighter against my chest.
“Or I can make a call and launch an attack on your boyfriend and his entire family. Is that what you’d prefer?”
I shook my head in the negative.
“Then do as I say.”
I stood on shaky legs, stripping down to my underwear as he commanded. My actions were robotic, automatic. My mind was somewhere else entirely; with Luca.
We were in bed, sweaty and spent – happy. He looked down at me with those pretty hazel eyes. His fingers caressed my jaw and mine played along the grooves of his muscled chest.
My fantasies were shattered as Santi pulled my attention back to the present. I walked over to him; my head held high because I refused to be the meek creature he once tortured.
His calloused hands took hold of my upper arms, stroking them roughly. He had no clue how to touch a woman – as handsome as he was. He was rough, demanding, and sloppy.
Luca touched me like he planned each move meticulously. There was purpose in the way he held me and each sweep of his fingers over my skin felt calculated – drawing pleasure from my very pores with every caress.
Santi tore my bra away from my body and shoved me back against the bed. My tits bounced with the movement, and I watched the way his oily stare dragged down the length of my torso. I still wore my underwear, but it was only a matter of time before he divested me of those as well.
“I’m gonna go easy on you tonight, but only because it’s been a while and I wanna savor you.”
I closed my eyes and tried to escape the only way I could. As I felt his weight climb over me – his knees sinking the mattress in on either side of me – my heart began to palpitate.
I didn’t want this.
Not in the slightest.
“Look at me,” he growled quietly.
I forced my eyes open, meeting his amber gaze. He stared at me, his brow furrowed and his jaw hard. He really was handsome, but I couldn’t make myself feel attracted to him. I couldn’t pretend I wanted this.
There was only one man I wanted to be with, and I’d never see him again.
“You can either act like my wife – in which case I’ll fuck you as such – or you can keep this shit up and get fucked like a slave. What’s is gonna be?”
I scowled. “What do you expect from me?”
Snatching me by the jaw, Santi tilted my face back, forcing my head into the covers. “I want you to fuck me like I’m the only man in the world. The way a wife is supposed to fuck her husband.”
I breathed heavily through my nose, waiting for him to release me. His fingers tightened, making my teeth grind against the force. “You can’t be serious.”
His eyes flashed with murder. “As a heart attack,” he spat, “that’s what the fuck we agreed on – or are you already backing out on our deal?”
“I agreed to cooperate. This is me cooperating,” I hissed, jerking my face out of his grip. He let go, but his gaze continued to hold mine. “I’m naked under you, what more do you want?”
The hardness in his eyes faltered for just a millisecond, but I saw it. I know I did.
“I want my wife,” he said flatly, darting his eyes between mine. “I want the woman that married me because I was the only man in her heart.”
My chest rose and fell heavily, the silence stretching between us as we continued to stare at one another. “This is as much of me as you’re going to get. I have your name; you have my body…but I can’t give you my heart. Not anymore.” I wiped the tears from my eyes. When had I started crying? “Santi…” It was difficult to put my emotions into words at this very moment. “Please…let me go.”
His gaze hardened – all traces of vulnerability gone. “I can’t do that,” he said evenly, “I’m gonna do right by you this time, baby. Everything’s gonna be okay.”
My stomach roiled and my eye lids got heavy as I began to feel sick. He really was insane.
He coaxed me onto the bed, ignoring my weak attempt to resist and exerting more force to get my back against the sheets. I crossed my arms over my chest, but he pulled them apart easily – holding me down against the mattress.
My heart kicked into overdrive. No. I arched myself off the bed, my legs kicking him madly. “Santi…stop. Don’t do this.” My words came out as desperate gasps – all my energy spent on wiggling underneath his weight.
“Shhh,” he cooed, pinning my legs with his knees and spreading them apart beneath him. “Let me remind you how perfectly we fit together.”
I shook my head; unable to accept what was about to happen.
I bucked harder against the bed, nearly dislodging him from my frame. He held firm, effortlessly transferring my arm into his left hand so he could pin my wrists down with one arm and push down his boxers.
I felt his member press against me and gagged, my face automatically turning to the side with the movement. Nothing came up – just a painful dry heave because I’d already emptied my belly before he came into the room. He slipped a condom on.
Tears burned my eyes, blurring my vision and burning my nose as they poured out in steady streams that rippled down my cheeks. My chest ached with the force of my sobs.
“Stop, Santi…” I kept fighting, but my body was exhausted. He pinned me easily with his weight, his strength overpowering my pitiful fight to escape. I could no longer move – my short, heavy pants the only sound made between us.
“You done?” He watched me; his face detached, emotionless.
I cried harder, too spent to fight back.
He pushed my underwear to the side, and I began to thrash wildly. I heard the fabric tear as he yanked them off with force. “I’ll erase Luca Moretti from your body…you’ll only remember me.”
Santi stroked his rough fingers along my slit, finding me as dry as a desert. It didn’t seem to faze him in the slightest. He spit onto his fingers and pushed them into my core harshly.
I bucked again, a new wave of energy seemingly coming from nowhere as I fought with everything I had. He brought his member to my entrance and nudged at my lips with the head. I gagged again, tears streaming down my cheeks endlessly.
He pushed into me.
I looked away, shame rocking me from the idea of him touching me alone. It felt like such a betrayal, and I cried the entire time.
Santi kept his movements even, ignoring my ugly cry and endless pleas for him to stop without so much as batting an eye. He angled himself deeper and I yelled out in shock, horrified to find myself getting wet.
I felt disgusting and ashamed.
It didn’t matter that I knew I didn’t want this. At the end of it all, I was still a flesh and blood woman, and my body reacted to his movements the way it was designed too – which was most shameful of all.
He finished quickly, groaning as he deposited his load into the condom. When he pulled out, I rolled to my side – my knees close to my chest as I took a fetal position.
I felt… used.
I stared at the tops of my knees as Santi dressed quietly and made his way to the door. He stopped in the doorway, and I could see him staring from the corner of my eye.
“You’ll come around, Muñequita. Soon you’ll realize the benefits of pleasing your husband and staying by my side. Get some rest…I have a surprise for you in the morning.”
He shut the door and I bawled into the sheets – uncaring of how loud or obnoxious the sound was.
I woke with a thirst for vengeance.
I never thought I’d feel this sort of raw anger and unhinged energy after being raped. In the past, I used to hide inside myself – detach myself from the rest of the world and pretend nothing had happened at all.
I tried to convince myself it wasn’t rape – he was my husband, so how could it be?
I would no longer lie to myself or deny what had happened. Husband or not, he took me against my will. I would make him pay for each and every time he forced himself onto me.
I was going to kill him. I had to get away, and Santiago would pay in blood for what he did to me.
I would have to gain his trust if I ever expected to get out of this room. As emotionally unstable as Santi was, it was clear he had gotten smarter – more powerful. He calculated his moves more carefully and had endless resources at his disposal.
I needed to be very careful.
Making my way to the bathroom, I stood before the mirror and gazed at the bruises forming on my thighs and around my wrists. I stared at them, letting the reality of what happened to me sink in.
Rather than submit to self-pity, I allowed the evidence of my recent abuse to fuel my anger so I could channel it toward my plan to escape.
Despite my newfound inner strength, acid crept up my throat and I fell to my knees before the toilet – emptying my stomach of bile and whatever liquid had been there.
I took a shower – making sure to wash my intimate bits twice. Logically, I knew it wouldn’t erase what happened, but it made me feel slightly better all the same.
I brushed the remnants of vomit from my teeth and twisted my hair into a tight bun. I hadn’t been given any new clothes, so I went commando and slipped back into my clothes from the previous night.
Taking a seat on the bed, I stared at the door – waiting for my enemy to arrive. Until then, I would use this time to meditate and carefully plan my escape from this hovel and lousy excuse for a marriage – permanently.
A/N: Phew, okay so I know that was hard to read because it was especially hard for me to write, but it plays an integral part in Calliope's character and the development of this story so I had to!
I want to start by saying if you or someone you love is a battered woman, please seek help. There are endless resources at your disposal and an entire team of people willing to dedicate their time to help you get out.
Another point I would like to make is that FORCED intimacy, even in a marriage, is still RAPE! Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. There is no such thing as "consensual rape" or whatever else you'd like to call it. No means no!
Thank you to all my readers for sticking this story out with me, as I mentioned last week this first book of the series is soon coming to a close. I appreciate all your support and feedback. Please don't forget to leave comments and of course reviews when the story concludes. I haven't started the second book yet but I always take my readers' input into consideration when beginning a new work! See you next week!