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Improbable Cause

By LittleDancerGirl

Other / Romance

Chapter One: Mistaken

Caitlyn Marcus self-consciously looked around before she stepped onto the street. She knew people found it strange, but in the eight months since she'd left her violently abusive husband, she'd learned these necessary survival skills. The counselors at the women's shelter had all assured her that this was normal, that she'd be looking over her shoulder for him for a while. She hated it, but it wasn't like she had much say in the matter.

Then a hand grabbed hold of her shoulder, and she felt something hard pushed into her back. "Don't turn around. Scream and it'll be the last sound you ever make, got that?"

She nodded, trying not to panic. She'd been so worried about what her ex might do, she hadn't been thinking about random strangers being a potential danger.

"Where's your car?"

"On the street. Half a block."

"Walk to it. And I can pull this trigger faster than you can get away, so don't even try it."

She walked there, numbly, on autopilot. She stopped beside it.

"This is it?" he asked, jabbing her in the back with the gun.

"Y-yes."

"Get out your keys. Slowly. Now unlock the front passenger's door."

She pressed the button and the lights flashed. She waited for his next instruction, but he just shoved the gun into her back again. "I said unlock it!"

"I - I did," she whispered, now even more frightened. "Look, I'll - I'll open the front door, okay?" She pulled open the front passenger's door.

"All right, now get in." He shoved her into the front seat. "Give me the keys."

She handed them over silently. He slammed the door, locking it with the manual lock from the outside, and keeping his gun trained on her as he walked around to the driver's side. "Hello, Margaret. Know who I am now?"

"My name's not Margaret," she whispered.

He hit her over the head with the butt of his gun. "You don't think I'd know you? You owe me, Margaret. You emasculated me, you humiliated me. You were my wife; you were supposed to submit to me. Now I'm going to take what you owe me."

xxxxxxxxx

The strange man stood over Caitlyn's battered, abused body. She stared up at him, barely able to comprehend what was going on, even after the years of abuse she'd suffered. She didn't even know this man, and he was behaving like her ex in one of his worst rages.

"It's been fun, Margaret," he said in a whisper that sent shivers up her spine. "But it can't go on forever. You'll never stay with me, and if I can't have you, no one can."

She heard the gunshots as if they came from some faraway place, and she felt the bullets strike her body. I've been shot, she realized.

It was her last thought before oblivion took over.

*~*~*~*

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