Angeline Carter thought she had the perfect life after she met Nathan Snyder. He guaranteed her love, happiness and safety. Anything a woman could ever dream for, he made it into reality. He was the perfect gentleman. She and Nathan fell in love in their sophomore year at The University of California. Angeline was taking courses at UCLA to become a patissière, while Nathan was determined to achieve his criminal justice degree. A few years later Angeline and Nathan accomplished their dreams. Angeline became an owner of a small Los Angeles bakery while Nathan was a detective for the LAPD. Six months later, Nathan proposed to Angeline, and she said yes. She was officially known as Mrs. Angeline Snyder.
Over the course of their marriage, Angeline noticed Nathan was becoming more aggressive with her. She began to recognize the signs. She knew them all too well, for her mother was a victim of domestic violence, who ended up suffering a terrible fate. Angeline didn’t want to believe it at first. She just assumed Nathan had a rough day at work and was just exhausted. It started off with minor name calling at first and then progressed to something far more malicious.
There was nowhere for her to run. She was trapped. He’d threatened her countless times. If she went to the cops, it would be her word against his. He would plant drugs in her bakery, or in her car for the authorities to locate. And if she decided to run from him, he would hunt her down and make her regret every bit of it.
She didn’t want to go home, but she didn’t have a choice. She couldn’t tell anyone, in fear Nathan would hurt them or that her punishment would become more severe. Every day she’d glance across the street from her bakery and notice a patrol unit parked outside. She was disgusted. He’d even gotten one of his closest friends in on this, just in case she decided to make a run for it.
People had noticed she’d changed. She didn’t talk much these days. Her friends tried to coax her into talking with them, but she kept her mouth shut. The beatings had gotten so bad she couldn’t wear skirts and short sleeve blouses due to the bruising on her thighs and arms. So she had to substitute for slacks and long sleeves.
She hated him. She hated herself. She hated the fact that she was too weak to leave him, too scared of what he may do to her if she left. After the employees left for the evening, she was no longer able to hold her composure. As soon as she locked the front door, she fell to her knees and sobbed loudly.
After she managed to stop crying, a firm rapping on the door caught her attention. To her horror, it was Officer Chavez who was parked across the street. He motioned her to unlock the door. She stood up and wiped a few stray tears in her eyes before unlocking the door.
“Nathan wants you home, now.” He commanded, stepping across the threshold. He smirked and crossed his arms over his chest. He looked so damn arrogant right now, she wanted to grab the nearest thing and bash him across the head.
“Yeah, okay.” She confirmed through the lump in her throat. She willed herself to be strong as she turned around and grabbed her purse from the counter. As she got level with Chavez, she looked at him with as much hate as she could muster. “This is low, even for you.” She growled angrily, before walking past him.
Chavez made sure she went straight home after work. She turned off the ignition and he opened the driver’s door, pulling her out of the car. He had his hand roughly around the back of her neck as he dragged her helplessly up the walkway to the front door. Angeline’s breath hitched in her throat when she saw Nathan standing on the porch with a scowl on his face.
“Get your hands off me, you pig!” She hissed, as she pulled away from Chavez.
Nathan grabbed her by her arm with bruising forced and pulled her to him. She let out a yelp as pain shot through her arm. Angeline turned to glare at Nathan, but his face made her heart stop. He looked murderously angry, angrier than she had ever seen him and frankly, it scared the life right out of her.
“Get inside, now.” He ordered and turned back to Chavez. “I’ll be sure to remind her where she stands in this marriage.”
Chavez waved off his pre-apology. “Have a good night, Nate.”
Nathan nodded and slammed the door, making sure it locked behind him.
Angeline jumped when she heard the door slam in the foyer. A tear rolled down her cheek as Nathan stepped into the room. All the color drained from her face and she could feel herself sweat from anxiety.
“What did you call him back there?” Nathan’s voice was low, the threatening tone unmistakable.
The order settled into the silence between them. The words physically chilled her, a shiver working its way up her spine.
“Nathan,” she pleaded
He stood in front of her, staring down into her eyes. He seemed taller, more intimidating than she’d ever remembered. She lowered her shoulders, his posture seeming to demand that she do.
“What did you call him?”
She snapped her jaw shut. Anything she said now would be futile. He wasn’t interested in her excuses.
He threaded his fingers into her hair, gripping it by the roots to pull her an inch closer. She whimpered at the small pain. Her hands found his chest, the leverage holding her up as her knees weakened slightly.
“Answer me, dammit.”
“I called him a pig,” she whimpered. Though it wasn’t a lie. Most of those men on the force were corrupted through Nathan. They followed him around like lost puppies, it disgusted her.
He backhanded her with his hand, causing her to fall down onto the ground. She instinctively placed a hand on her face and saw white spots dancing around as she closed her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she cried softly as she struggled to sit up.
Nathan raised his right leg and delivered a sharp kick to her side, extracting a pained cry from Angeline. She gasped as she tried to scramble away but was easily deterred by Nathan delivering another blow to her side.
Several thoughts flooded her mind a mile a minute, but she was unable to process any one of them. The only thing she could think of was surviving. She tried several times to make a run for the door, but it was futile. He always managed to drag her back and continue his ‘punishment.’
Nathan stood up and panted heavily as he wiped the sweat off his brow. He sneered at the broken woman who lied helplessly on the floor. “Angel,” he said, nudging her in the side with his foot.
Angeline grudgingly opened her eyes. “Please…stop.” She begged. She was fighting to stay awake, but the pain was so unbearable she wondered how long she could hold out for.
She whimpered as he lifted her off the ground and carried her over his shoulder to their bedroom. “No…please, no more.” She pleaded as she used every bit of strength to fight Nathan off. He threw her down onto the bed and pinned her wrists above her head.
Straddling her hips, he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a pair of handcuffs and cuffed her to the headboard. “Nathan, no!”
Nathan removed his gun from his holster and pressed it to her forehead. “I set the rules here Angel, not you.” He said. “Do you understand?”
Her lip quivered as she held back a sob and nodded. “You make the rules.” She agreed.
Angeline’s eyes were closed as she trembled beneath Nathan. She had lost track of how long she had been in this room with her husband, of how long he had been raping her. He stayed in her for a few more minutes before he managed to pull out of her and reached for his boxers beside the bed. He bent over her and kissed her lightly on her forehead and she turned her head away in disgust. As she did, he slapped her one last time. She couldn’t feel her face any longer. He pulled her by her hair and forced her to look into his eyes.
“Remember Angel,” He spoke quietly. “Not a word, understand?” She made no reply and Nathan jerked her head even harder. “You better answer me dammit! Do you understand?”
She whimpered and nodded her head quickly. Nathan kissed her once again, as if nothing happened and pulled on his pants. Her eyes followed him as he pulled on his shirt, but she did not move, too exhausted after being used by him. Fully dressed he returned to her side and sat at the edge of the bed, blue eyes admiring his handiwork as he took in her figure, bruised and filled with his essence.
“I can’t...I refuse to live without you.” He frowned, pushing a damp strand of hair away from her forehead with surprising tenderness. “I think you understand what I’m saying, don’t you Angel?”
She nodded mutely, signaling that she did.
He reached into the nightstand and pulled out a key, removing the cuffs around her wrists. He gently laid her hands down to her side, and she made no effort to move.
“I love you, Angeline.”
A tear fell slowly down her cheek. “I love you, too.”