(Content Warning: This story discusses abuse, mental, emotional, physical and sexual. If this is something you’d prefer to not read I do understand. Keep yourself safe. Love, Livvy)
Brittany hadn’t been involved in a romantic or sexual relationship in years, not since the night her ex-husband left, leaving her beaten and violated in the process. The trauma had been enough to scare her away from any dating, even though there had been a time in her and her husband’s relationship where they had both enjoyed going out together and picking up pretty young women or handsome men. But as they grew older and Frank gained a bit of weight and felt like his wife was more attracted to other men than to him, the abuse started. It was little things at first, she barely noticed. But by the end, every thing was a fucking train wreck for her. She felt that was lucky she got out when she did and was able to start over. But being alone was…well, lonely.
She’d been through therapy and it helped some and she was on medication that was supposed to help the nightmares go away, but it only made her gain weight, which made her laugh bitterly at the irony there. Frank would’ve beat her and probably worse if she’d let herself go while they were together and now that she was free of him, here she was twenty pounds heavier and still terrified to reach out to anyone for anything. Her co-workers had finally given up on trying to make friends with her and the few friends she’d had before the divorce had drifted away afterwards when they couldn’t reach her through the fog of her own mental anguish. As the darkness ascended, her own terror became palpable every single night. Nightmares full of a hell that she relived over and over, of being held down and raped while he slapped her and called her a whore, waking up tied down and being forced to suck his dick until her shot his come across her face and left her there, immobile until he was ready for her again, and those were the tamer nightmares that she had. The mental and emotional hell had been worse because she couldn’t just disassociate herself from the name calling, the fights used against her, the gaslighting; it was all burned into her brain.
Rarely did she go out, except to handle necessities like groceries and other sundries, but when she was out she was constantly on high alert. Even seeing a man that had the same build as Frank was sometimes enough to leave her backing away in fear and hoping it wasn’t him, even though she knew he’d moved away after the divorce. On one of her trips she spotted a man, about her age, who looked nothing like Frank and watched him covertly as they both did their shopping in the small store. She was lonely she admitted to herself, but could she ever be that vulnerable again?
David watched the pretty, plump brunette that was watching him and wondered how to get her number without seeming too forward. He’d noticed her shopping before and she behaved like a frightened animal might if something unexpected crossed its path. He’d noticed it was always certain men who frightened her and he wondered who had hurt her so badly. He shook his head in frustration, knowing that, while, in his eyes, the good outweighed the bad, there was plenty of bad to be afraid of. It made him angry that a man could be so cruel to a woman, to anyone else, but he wasn’t naive enough t think the world was sunshine and roses.
After Brittany realized she’d been caught watching him, she hurried away, quickly finished her shopping and left. But by sheer coincidence they kept finding themselves shopping at the same time. David dared to smile at her and one time she gave him a tremulous smile in return. It was a good sign he thought. Next time he saw her, he posed a question about the best apples to buy and she took a deep breath before telling him that Fuji apples were her favorite. Her voice was so soft and quiet, he could barely hear her. He didn’t know that her heart was pounding so hard she could practically hear it or that he was the first man she’d spoken to outside of her job in longer than perhaps she cared to admit. Her therapist called this progress. Still the nightmares plagued her. She woke in a cold sweat one night, recalling how Frank had forced her to fellate the barrel of a gun that might or might not have been loaded while he jerked off to the scene before him, occasionally threatening to pull the trigger.
Weeks passed and each time David stopped her with a warm smile to say hello she grew less nervous about the tall, auburn haired man with his wire rimmed glasses; she realized she looked forward to seeing him. When he first suggested coffee she nearly turned and ran, but was able to stay calm and before she could think heard herself agreeing to an afternoon coffee date at a nearby cafe. Their relationship progressed slowly, with her setting the pace of things for the most part, although David dared to prod gently now and then, wanting to learn more about her. She indicated that she’d been though a bad divorce, but gave no other details. That alone was enough for David to fill in a few blanks.
After a solid year of coffees and dinners and the occasional trip to the movies, Brittany felt that David truly meant her no harm and she invited him in for a drink one night, wondering if she could handle where things might lead. She didn’t think he would push her to do anything, but there was a residual amount of fear still left in her. They shared a half a bottle of wine, rehashing the movie and talking about whatever came up. Before he left David turned to her, quite seriously, “Brittany, I don’t know what happened in your past or how I can help, but I’d very much like to be part of your future. And I’m going to ask you something I’ve wanted to ask for months. Can I give you a kiss?”
Brittany blinked in surprise; she couldn’t have looked more like a startled rabbit than she did right then and took a deep breath. Stepping closer to David she placed her hands in his and tilted her face to his. “Yes you can.” And their lips met, gently at first, and Brittany had to force back the tiniest feeling of panic. This was David and he wouldn’t hurt her. She trusted him. And slowly the kiss moved from gentle and tender to something a bit hotter, until Brittany pulled away gasping. She took a deep breath to steady herself and David smiled at her. “Goodnight Britt.” And he left her at her front door wanting more and realizing that maybe she could have it after all.