Chapter 9

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I slowly opened my eyes as I felt the morning sun shining on my face before cringing as I tried to sit up because of the pain I felt in my stomach and the area between my legs. I glanced around the room and realized that Kerrick wasn't there so I pulled myself out of bed, the sheets that barely covered my body crumpling to the floor.

As soon as I made it to my feet, I went and got a towel to wrap around myself before quickly stumbling out of the room and making my way to the bathroom, my breaths hazy as I remembered what had happened.

As I showered, recalling what happened, I eventually had to slump down to the floor of the bath because I couldn't stop thinking about it.

My breathing was heavy and flashbacks of what had happened came crashing back into my mind, the sound of the water beating down on my body fading.

As soon as he began, the pain I felt was so horrible I almost fell apart. I wasn't even sure how everything had ended because my mind had eventually sunk away from the mental stress because I couldn't handle it.

Under the sting of the cold water, I silently held my feet and unable to focus on anything else. It was embarrassing to have panicked and reacted that way but I knew Kerrick was to blame.

I was sure many other women would have handled the situation  different than I had and wouldn't have been sitting in the shower as I was. Regardless however, this was my life and I had to pull myself together.

With that thought I pulled myself up and turned off the water. I had to be strong. I couldn't afford to let myself break down over this. I needed to be strong. I wanted this marriage and I was willing to make it work. I didn't want to be weak, I didn't want to be pathetic and wallow in my own self-pity.

I didn't want to cry over something that had already happened and couldn't be changed, I needed to be strong enough.

***

If my mother had been alive I wonder what she would have thought of me. One thing that was clear is that she would have told me what to expect when it was my time to be taken to bed.

I would've been prepared and it  wouldn't have ended the way it did.

I should've acted differently but I had to admit that I wouldn't have known what to do. Sex wasn't a conversation I could talk to my father about especially when it came to men because I would flush whenever I heard the topic. I wasn't flushing now but pale as I shivered under the thought of it.

But what did it mean to sleep with someone?

Being that I was his wife, I didn't know why I was so nervous. He was only my husband by title but he was still my husband and I held no other relation with him other than being his wife.

I didn't feel any different being married to him, I still felt like me. I didn't feel like someone's wife but just Delancy.

But being married meant that I had to be there for him. As much as I couldn't understand him, he was still a part of my life.

As difficult as he seemed he was my husband.

As terrible he seemed to be, I was still his wife.

I was still dressing myself when I realized that Kerrick might have been waiting for me downstairs as he did the day before so I hurried out of the room. I nearly stumbled over my feet as I rushed down the stairs, the look he had on his face the last time I had him waiting still evident in my mind. However, when I saw him his face was as apathetic as ever.

He was sitting at the table with sheets of paper and documents while working. He didn't seem to take note of me at first - or possibly he did but soon enough my gaze was locked with his void empty one.

I had expected to see something, something that indicated he was thinking about what had happened between us in the night, but he didn't seem like he cared because he turned back to his work.

My chest burned a little with hurt at how easily and silently he had discarded the tension of what had happened between us, as if it was nothing and we were right back to where we were the day before.

"Kerrick..." I ran my hands over each other as I tried to find the words to express how I felt. "Good morning." I managed to say as it was all I could.

He paused and looked at me silently before turning back to his work.

"Go make breakfast."

"Okay," I said before stopping myself. I felt a ball of anger building up in my chest as I realized that he had no particular interest in me. "Is that all I should do?"

He left his seat and came to stand in front of me, the deadly silence around him intimidating.

"No, I want you to do everything you did yesterday."

"Oh," I replied, thinking back to my previous tasks. "Does that include everything?"

"What?" He dully asked but with enough venom to kill.

"Do I have to sleep with you again?" I asked hotly as I stared at him, the anger in my voice clear.

A loud pop sounded in my ear as his hand whipped across my face, my head thrashing to the side at the impact.

I gaped at him with panic and shock as I felt the throbbing pain of the side of my face but I couldn't speak.

Never in my life had I been slapped like that before.

My father never once hit me and yet he did.

Tears stung my eyes as I turned away from him, my body shaking with hurt at being hit like that.

For the rest of the day I quietly worked and did everything he told me to do without question but in my mind the ever haunting thought that he hit me followed.

Before long, night had fallen and I was in his room with him. I ran my hands down my silk night gown before flinching when he drew near me.

I couldn't help panicking when I recollected on the memories of the night before, my heart racing with fear when I looked at him.

"I was gentle."

"What?"

"Last night, I was being gentle with you."

My air ways felt like they were closing up when I heard that, disbelief causing my heart to shudder in my ribcage.

"B-But It hurt so much."

He stared at me deeply for a moment before drawing closer to where I was.

"If I wasn't gentle," he said in an almost whisper, his voice scrutinizing. "You wouldn't have been walking this morning."

Confusion colored my body brightly taking in his words.

If he had been gentle, why did he have me thinking he wasn't all this time?

Had he in fact been testing me or teasing me?

It made me angry when I thought about it because he had been playing with my mind.

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