*WARNING: This blog is intended for a mature audience. Its contents may include adult situations, violence and sensitive issues that some people might find disturbing. Please read at your own discretion.

19 January 2015

A Pair of Brown Eyes: Chapter 27

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*WARNING: Not for the faint of heart.

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"Your wife, sir?" Andrew was puzzled by this strange man and his even stranger query, and he was by no means in the mood for riddles –what with Claire having arrived a while earlier for collecting her belongings– "You must be mistaken." He said after a while, not letting his thoughts run too wild. "There's no Mrs. Richardson working here." In fact, no woman at all was working there, come to think of it! Claire would be starting her job at Williams' in but a few days.

"That's because she, hmm, apparently, she's not using her real name," was the man's quizzical response. His voice, Andrew then noticed, betrayed a foreign accent, one which was not wholly unfamiliar to him.


And, when the door opened behind them, he remembered –and in a circumstance he would have readily wished never to occur– where he had heard that way of speaking before. "Claire!" That name might have been uttered by his own imagination, but he soon found out it had been the stranger to speak thus. Bewilderment and disbelief took possession of Andrew.


But those feelings were nothing compared with what he felt a moment afterwards, when the foreigner darted towards her, and took her in his arms, whispering, "my dearest Claire! At long last I've found you." The familiarity with which he embraced Claire displeased Andrew most thoroughly, a furious jealousy burning inside him.

"Is that true?" he asked her. Her face being turned away from him, it was by her silence alone he could gather her recognition at seeing this dark-haired man. "Is that true?" He repeated, this time shouting, but still she didn't answer, didn't move a single muscle. "God knows I've often felt baffled by your ever changing behaviour towards me, but I had never taken you for a flirt. You must have had quite a few laughs at my expense, watching how I made such a fool of myself."

He regretted his words the minute they escaped his lips; why had he chosen such cruel, nasty language? Shame on him! The harm was already done, however. And he never got the chance to apologise because, within the minute, both Claire and her –still very much alive– husband were vanished; they had disappeared, not only from the room itself, but from his life. Forever.

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Claire didn't feel surprised, or shocked. She couldn't even say she was frightened. And that was all because all her attention was caught at the back of her neck, listening to what Andrew was shouting at her. She was to be parted from him forever, and the last phrase she would ever hear from him was one of scorn; not that she could blame him, anyway.


All the rest happened in quick succession: being held in his arms, having him drag her along the street, clearing out her room and having her luggage delivered to his hotel, signing there under a name she had naively thought would never use again... He was, doubtless, in a hurry to get to his hotel room, and Claire perfectly understood why; her body convulsed for the first time.


He didn't waste any time. As soon as they were locked in their room, he cornered her against the wall and started to nuzzle her neck. And there she was, again, like so many times before. Again hearing that voice, breathing that scent, seeing that face... Claire felt nauseated.

"I've been so desperate, I thought I would never again hold this beautiful, goddess-like body of yours," he said, calmly. Too calmly. "Don't look so panic-stricken, my dear; I've finally understood why you did it, and I assure you that, from now on, I will be a much gentler husband to you." He could no longer fool Claire with his meaningless words, she had heard them too many a time.


"I want you so much," he whispered in a lustful manner, which was more in accordance with the man Claire knew but too well. In a moment, he disposed of her coat and pushed her onto a nearby table, his arm possessively encircling her waist. Fondling her back and thighs was his next move, and Claire was quick to remember what must be done in these situations: nothing. Nothing at all. She went still. "No one can love you as I do, my sweet little flower."


The next minute, she felt herself lying on the floor, dressed only in her underwear, all his weight pressed against her body. The swelling of his loins was unmistakable.

A wave of memories came to her at once. She was reminded of the first time he abused her in her own room, of the day her father told her she was to marry him, of their wedding day... She was reminded of her many bruises, of that jealous outburst that had caused her unborn child to be killed, of her suicide attempt, of the countless music contests she had entered to save money for a passage, of Canada...

With one finger, he traced a line across her face. "I had almost forgotten this lovely frame, and your soft skin. God, I need you so much!" He was drooling by now. "Your body is too tempting to be denied me any longer..." He reached for her petticoat, trying to gain access to her inner thighs.

Canada! Another wave of memories linked her to a completely different man. She remembered Andrew's willingness to give a stranger an opportunity, his patience, his kindness... She remembered the way in which he looked at her, the breathtaking kiss they had shared on a magical night, the deep love she felt for him, the last despising words he had addressed her... Andrew!

Andrew! Much as she knew he hated her, she couldn't betray him, she couldn't yield now. She was done! She wouldn't allow him to have her body. He wouldn't have her body. Not like that. Not any more. Claire knew what would come afterwards if she dared to oppose his desires, but, scary as it was, far worse would it be to think she had betrayed Andrew in any way.


"Let go off me!" She managed to break free for a second and push him with all her might, bringing both of them to a standing position.

"How dare you? Now you refuse to comply to my wishes? That's what you've learnt from these savage people? To challenge me? It's been that doctor of yours, right?"

"Don't even mention his name," Claire said. Her voice sounded defying; her countenance looked composed. Her spirit, instead, wavered.


"Ah, so that's how things stand, right?" He grabbed her wrists, shaking her most viciously. "Do you think he cares for you? You heard him, he thinks you're an adventuress! You're still the gullible child you've ever been to think he could love you."

"I know he doesn't love me. I know he hates me! And yet, I'd rather have ten times his hate than your love."


His first slap wasn't at all surprising; Claire knew it to be his special treatment of her whenever he was jealous. "That will teach you. And now, you are going to be a good girl."

"No." No, Claire was not going to be a good girl. She wouldn't have this; she wouldn't be unfaithful to Andrew. "You won't take me ever again. I'd rather be dead."

"Judging by how you presently choose to be dressed, one would say it's me who's dead," he spoke, in so stiff a voice that even another outburst would have been preferable. "What's with your posing as a widow?"

"A widow is what I've been since the day I married you!"

That last remark ignited his fury once again. A second slap pushed her backwards, and she hit the floor one more time.

"Am I to be so disrespected?" he shouted, as he took a poker from the fireplace. "And right after I've told you I would treat you more nicely from now on? You're certainly not one to be trusted!"


"But you'll yield to me." He raised his arm over his shoulder. "As my wife, you owe me."

Upon the first stroke, Claire discovered that her old trick wouldn't work any more. She couldn't pretend it wasn't her lying on that floor, facing that green carpet, being beaten senseless; because if it wasn't her, neither was she the woman in love with a wonderful man she had hurt so much. Upon the second stroke, she thought of a young girl lost within her fairy-tale realm, waiting for a knight to rescue her; no, not of a young girl, but herself, wretched and alone in the world. Upon the third stroke, she imagined how wonderful it would feel to be in Andrew's arms again. Upon the fourth stroke, she promised herself to cherish forever all the gentleness he had shown towards her; memories were, after all, the only thing left for her to hold on to. Then she lost count...

Later on, when he was done, he stormed out of the room as if he had never been in there at all. Claire laid on the floor, wincing in pain, for a few minutes –or hours, she wasn't sure. When, after a while, she tried to stand on her feet, her legs barely supported her.


For once she had succeeded, yet how little comfort could be derived from her triumph; the punishment for having denied him intimacy was a pain in her stomach, so sharp and piercing as to made her breathing nearly impossible. Stumbling, she went to her discarded coat and reached for her bottle of sedatives, which she always kept hidden there. She didn't know what to do, but she was certain as to what she wouldn't do: she wouldn't endure to be treated like that ever again. She could, perhaps, attempt a second escape –her money was still safe from him–, and if all else failed, those painkillers would provide the final answer.

But her pondering came to an abrupt resolution when, as she neared the table, a fit of dizziness overpowered her senses, and a bout of coughing caused her to sputter blood...

It was then that–,


the room–,


and the whole world–,


went black—.

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Fortunately, no urgent calls had requested Andrew's attention in the course of the work day, he would have been of ill-service to his patients. The afternoon being now over, he could spend the remainder of his time sitting idly at his desk and drinking. His broken heart asked to be drowned in a glass of whisky, only so far it hadn't succeeded in its request: four shots already, and the blasted muscle kept beating as usual.

She could never love him, she had said: the hell she could, if there was a husband waiting for her back in England! A lovers' quarrel, that's all that had been! Andrew made no effort to suppress the sneer that escaped his lips. The way she had teased and tormented him, all the time knowing her husband was still alive! It was no wonder she had so many reserves in offering him her kisses. And yet, and yet... Offer them she did! Warmly, eagerly. He shook his head... Married! She was still married! She was still ma—


His attention got arrested by something lying on one of the shelves in the farthest end of the room; or, rather, by something not quite lying where it should be. And, upon approaching the cabinet, a sneaking suspicion began to form in his mind, a preternatural intuition of knowing the identity of the person who had stolen that missing bottle. But, to what purpose? And how come he hadn't discovered it sooner? If only he hadn't drunk so much! His mind was not fit at the moment for coherent thought.

Ethel! Yes, she might shed some light on the matter. She definitely needed to have a talk with his sister, at once.




A Pair of Brown Eyes; Chapter 26



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Author's note.- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Hmmm, did I say that I am sorry? It had to happen this way :'-( :'-( :'-(...

16 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, I know... :-(

      Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  2. Well shit!!!! I...I just. NO! NO! NO! I refuse to believe this is the end for Claire and Andrew. He's pissed right now, but once his head clears he'll start to piece things together. PLEASE LET HIM PIECE THINGS TOGETHER! Claire is lying on the floor dying, Andrew has to save her! Someone has to save her! Think Andrew...why would she want those pills? Why would she go through such lengths, it's more than a lover's quarrel, he has to figure that out!!! And where did the bastard go? I don't think he's gone far and Claire will be at his mercy again. :(

    I have to say I LOVED she stood up to him even knowing what that would mean for her. She wasn't going to let him have her without a fight! Andrew's love gave her strength, now we just need him to get his head out of his ass and go get his woman!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, I know, I KNOW! Andrew is not the cleverest man when he's angry... and drunk! >:-( Have you heard that, Andrew? Go and figure EVERYTHING out? Are you dumb, or what?

      Claire has found her lifeline, it seems: the one thing worth fighting for ♥, and the one thing her husband can't take away from her... If only Andrew knew that already...! :-(

      Thanks for reading.

      Delete
  3. ~ Oh,no, I could not believe it,in the last chapter,but he is most definitely back to claim his property back, after beating her I guess he went looking for relief,this kind of man has no morals,so would think it very wrong & unheard of for his wife to do what he himself is about to do,& that is satisfy his needs outside of the marriage!
    ~ I am glad she did stand up to him,but it may be her death if no one checks on her! She knew this would happen,but in her way of thinking she only has one way out of this! Death!
    ~ Andrew hurry up & sober up,& think,please think, a lovers quarrel would not make her run so far from her husband,it shows she meant to put enough distance between then that he would not find her!That he would have a hard time finding her!
    ~ Claire needs Andrew now more than she ever has,she needs her knight in shinning armor,to save her,& fix her & show her that someone does care what happens to her!
    ~ She used Andrews love to give her a backbone & to say no to her husband, & to endure what she must,but now she needs Andrews love to come through for her,to save her & fix her!
    ~ He is the only one that can help her heal!
    ~ I hope he realizes before it is too late!
    ~ I need more,ASAP! No rush,just yesterday will be fine!LOL! (',)

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    1. Oh, yes, that stupid double standard! Whatever he is about to do next, it would have seemed improper for a wife to do the same...

      She thinks herself devoid of friends, so death is probably the only answer that "makes sense" to her... Now, how sad is that? :'-(

      Yes, Andrew, come on, put things together! Can't you see that Claire needs you the most now?

      Andrew's love gives Claire strength, even though she thinks he hates her :-(.

      Thanks for reading, I'll try to have next chapter ready in no time :-).

      Delete
  4. Marta, please repeat after me -- "Andrew is going to save Claire. Claire will be fine. Claire and Andrew will be fine ... together." Thank you. That is all. Well, not really -- you're killin' me here! Please don't leave us with this cliffhanger too long.

    P.S. Claire, I'm proud of you. You were very brave to face up to that bastard husband of yours, knowing what would happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I'm not good at repeating things :-P, LOL!

      Claire has been very brave, and perhaps all that she needs is for someone to be proud of her, so thanks in her behalf ;-).

      And thanks for reading.

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  5. This packs an emotional punch. A heartbreaking -- but at the end hopeful -- chapter in this story.

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    1. The chapter was meant to be both, so thanks :-).

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  6. I'm trying to understand something. Did she poisoned herself?
    I'm not worried as I know this is a pivotal moment for both Claire and Andrew. Something has to change now and it won't be for the worse, what can be worse than this?

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    1. No, she didn't poisoned herself: perhaps that's what she intended to :'-(, but... she never got the chance to do it as she fainted before reaching the bottle. I agree, it's hard to imagine things getting any worse than this :-(.

      Oh, and it IS a pivotal moment, thanks for reading :-).

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  7. Oh dear. I hope Claire is okay, but I don't know if she just fainted from her beating or if she has something else more dire that's wrong with her. I am a bit angry with Claire for being so elusive with Andrew because by shutting him out, it left her vulnerable to not getting help she needed in a desperate situation. Did she steal pills from Andrew's office because she thought this was the end? That once her husband found her, she'd either die by his hand or her own? Despite me being angry with Claire regarding how she handled Andrew the last time they were together, I do understand because Claire is so damaged from her life with Geoffrey that she doesn't know how to handle a nice man like Andrew. I just wished that Claire wouldn't have used such harsh words with the kindest man she'd ever met. *sigh* Claire... LOL.
    I wonder what Andrew will do now that he knows the pills are gone...

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    1. Well, we'll see what's the matter with Claire in a short while: I have done my homework ;-), and for once I think her symptoms are correct with what I had in mind as to the cause of her falling unconscious. As to the reason for taking those pills, you're probably right, she must have thought something along those lines :-(. And you're right again in saying she doesn't know how to handle a nice man; it's so sad, come to think of it...

      Let's hope Andrew can put all the pieces together now...

      Thanks for reading :-).

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  8. Oh, Claire. Poor, poor Claire. Also, she had better not have consumption. I might cry if she did, lol! Andrew needs to stop being a "you know what and go get her!" I can't wait to see the justice that will come to that horrendous husband of hers … because justice always comes for the bad guy!

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    1. I know, poor Claire :'-(. The cause for her having fainted will soon be revealed, but she is not consumptive, that much I can tell you ;-). And that %&%#@ husband of hers is in every need of a horrible punishment.

      Thank you for reading.

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