Three long years of law school and I’m finally a lawyer. I couldn’t be happier. Faith, my precious baby girl, is three years old already and I am still with Hector and we live in San Antonio. We live close to his amazing family and I get to work with his sister Camilla. My aunt basically gave me the law firm so she could go live on the open sea for some reason. I feel something tug on my skirt. I look down and see Rowan looking up at me.
“Yes, baby girl?” I ask Faith. She smiles at me and I pick her up and sit her on the counter.
“Where daddy?” Faith asks. I smile and kiss her forehead.
“Work, baby...he left before you woke up,” I reply.
I look in the mirror and see the faint bruise on my eye and cheek. I grab my make up and cover it up as much as I can. “Did you put all the stuff you need today in your backpack?” I ask Faith.
“Yes, mama,” Faith replies.
I look over at Rowan and see a bruise on her shoulder. I pull her shirt to the side and see a large handprint. “Did daddy do this?” I ask Faith. I point to the bruise as she looks at it. Faith’s eyes start watering and I pick her up and wrap her in my arms. “You can tell me, baby girl...”
“He did mama and it hurt rweally bad,” Faith murmurs.
“I know, baby, I’ll make it stop,” I state. I feel her nod and sniffle into my shoulder.
We walk out of the bathroom and I grab all of my stuff and Faith’s backpack. We leave the apartment and go to my car. I put her in her seat and set all of our stuff in the front seat as I get in. I look back at her and see her tear soaked cheeks. I sigh and start the car. We get to the office and we go up to where my office is when we see Camilla walking out of her office. Faith gets happy and runs to Camilla.
“Milla, up!”Faith yells.
Faith holds her hands out waiting for Camilla to pick her up. Camilla picks her up as I reach them.
“Where’s Hector? I thought he was going to watch her today,” Camilla says. I look over at Faith and then back to Camilla.
Camilla is the same height as me but chubbier. She has the sides of her head shaved and a little left on the top. She is in a nice black jumper. She always looks stunning.
“He left to ‘go work’ this morning,” I reply. I use finger quotes as Camilla looks between Faith and I. “Do you think Reyna can watch her for a little bit today...if she can’t I totally understand.”
“I can ask her...is everything okay at home?” Camilla asks. Camilla places her hand on my shoulder and I flinch. She raises a brow at me and I look at Faith as she plays with her shirt. “Is he hitting you?!”
“Can we not do this out here, please?” I ask.
Camilla nods and we go into my office that’s down the hall. Camilla sits Faith on the couch and I set her backpack beside her. Camilla and I move over towards my desk and we both sit.
“Please don’t tell anyone, but yes, he is hitting me. He has been for the past three years but it just started getting worse. It used to be just a slap to the face but now it's the kicking, punching, and the occasional burn,” I reply.
Camilla sighs as she looks back at Rowan, who is playing with her Barbi’s. “Is he hitting her too?” Camilla asks.
“There is a hand print on her shoulder where it looks like he grabbed her too hard,” I reply. I sniffle as tears try to flow out of my eyes. “What do I do? I can’t leave. We have no place to go. Everything but my car and Rowan’s stuff is in his name."
Camilla turns to me and I look at her as a tear slides down my face.
“I’ll give Reyna a call and tell her what’s happening. Faith can stay with my mom tonight and you can confront him tonight and if he tries to lay a hand on you, call the cops,” Camilla says.
I nod and Camilla gets up and walks over to Faith and quietly talks to her.
My phone starts ringing and I pick it up. “Hello, Dallas Miller speaking,” I say.
“Hi, I’m Brett Nichols and my daughter needs a lawyer to represent her and all of the other lawyers in your firm are all tied up,” The man says. I write down his name and number. “My daughter’s name is Grace.”
“Okay, sir, can you and your daughter come in sometime this week?” I ask. I tap my pen against my desk as I patiently wait for his response.
“Yes, is Wednesday good?” He asks. I look at my calendar and write his and his daughters name down.
“Yes, I am available throughout that day,” I reply.
“Thank you, so much miss Miller,” Mister Nichols says.
“You’re welcome, sir,” I reply.
We hang up and I look over at Camilla who is looking at her phone as Faith brushes her Barbi’s hair. “Reyna is coming to get her,” Camilla says. Camilla looks up at me. “She said that she could keep her for however long she needed to.”
“Okay, thank you so much!” I say. Camilla nods and walks to the door.
“There’s a guy I want you to meet. He works here too and might want in on with your case,” Camilla says.
“Who is it?” I ask.
“He just walked into his office. It’s right across from yours,” Camilla says.
I nod and stand up. I walk over to Camilla and then look over at Faith.
“Faith, you want to come to meet somebody with me?” I ask. Faith looks up at me and smiles brightly. She quickly gets off the couch and leaves her Barbi. Faith runs to me and I pick her up. “Say bye to Camilla.”
“Bye, Milla!” Rowan yells. Camilla kisses her cheek and we walk out of my office and Camilla follows and goes to her office.
Faith and I walk across the hall and knock on the door and then walk in. I look up and see Eli sitting in his chair looking at his computer.
He's still the same tattooed man I met in college. The same hairstyle. The same everything.
“Mama, he’s cute,” Faith whispers in my ear.
Eli looks up and his eyes go wide as we stand there looking at him. He takes in my skinny frame and dull appearance. I'm very pale and my bright blue eyes are still the same.
“Dallas?” Eli asks. I nod and he quickly gets up and walks to us. “So you’re the new owner of this place. Who’s this little cutie?”
Eli pinches her cheek as she turns a pretty pink.
“This is Faith, my daughter,” I reply. Eli looks over at me and then at Faith and smiles.
“How old are you Faith?” Faith holds up three fingers and hides her face in my neck. Eli chuckles and looks back at me. “Looking beautiful as ever. Faith looks just like you.”
“I know. Anyways, do you want on the case I just took on? I don’t know what it is yet but I will know by Wednesday and I will let you know if you want,” I start rambling on as I look at him and his tattoos that are showing. Eli crosses his arms over his chest and smirks as if he finds this amusing. “So, um, Faith and I are going to go back to my office.”
Faith and I go walk out into the hallway where we see Reyna walking towards us. Faith smiles and starts getting happy as she gets closer. “Hey beautiful, you wanna go spend the night with Emilio and me?” Reyna asks.
Reyna is short and skinny but a very beautiful latina woman. Her black hair cascades down her body and her brown eyes turn into honey in the sunlight.
Faith nods and reaches for Reyna. Reyna takes her and we go into my office. I get all of Faith’s stuff back into her backpack and hand it to Reyna. I kiss Faith on the check and tell her goodbye as they leave. I go sit in my chair and stare at the picture of Faith and me on the computer screen. A light knock comes from my door and a girl with bright red hair sticks her head in then walks in with a bright smile.
“Hi, I’m Sage Bennett, your new secretary,” the girl says.
She walks to me and sticks her hand out. I stand up and shake her hand and then pull away.
“Nice to meet you, Sage,” I respond.
“I just wanted to introduce myself and to let you know that if you needed anything that I would be happy to get it for you,” Sage says.
I nod and leaves my office. I sit back in my chair and spin around.
Twelves hours of filing paperwork and filling out papers. My hand hurts and so does my back. I drive back to the apartment and go in to see Hector on the couch with a beer in his hand. I sit my bag on the counter and slide my heels off. I walk into our room and change into some night clothes and come back to see Hector leaning on the back of the couch as he takes a drink of his beer.
“How was your day?” I ask. I look at him waiting for his response. I cross my arms and lean to one side.
“Where’s Faith?” Hector asks.
Hector is short with black hair and deep brown eyes and very tan but very intimidating. His anger gets the best of him no matter how he tries to control it.
“With a friend for the night. Why?” I ask. Hector moves away from the couch and walks to me.
“Why isn’t she home?!” Hector semi yells. I step back as he gets angry. “Dallas, fucking tell me why she isn’t fucking home!?”
“She isn’t home because I don’t want you hurting her,” I murmur as I try not to show fear.
Hector steps closer to me and I just stand there looking at our feet. Hector grabs my chin and yanks it up. I wince at the pain as I look him in the eyes.
“I want her home now!” Hector yells.
“No,” I murmur.
“What the fuck did you just say to me?! You fucking whore!” Hector yells.
Hector moves his hand from my chin and strikes me across the face. I hold my face as I look at him.
“She’s not coming back here!” I yell.
Hector pushes me on the ground and I hit my head. My vision goes blurry for a second but clears up as I see Hector standing over me. I look up at him and he kicks me in my side. I grab my side and slightly cough as he continues to kick me.
“You know what you whore?! I know what you need,” Hector yells.
Hector rolls me on my back and rips my shorts off and grabs his empty beer bottle. I try to move away but he slams my face into the ground. I start getting dizzy as he rams the beer bottle up my butt. I scream out in pain as he repeats his actions over and over again.
“You like that you whore!” Hector yells.
I let the tears slide down my face as he takes the beer bottle out of me. Hector grabs me by my hair and drags me down the hall to our room where he picks me up and throws me on the bed and ties me up. I just lay there as he slides a condom on his dick.
I feel him position himself between my thighs as tears flow through my eyes. I feel him push himself inside of me. Hector grunts as he thrusts hard and fast inside of me. My vision becomes blurry again and I completely pass out as he continues to pound into me.
I shouldn’t have come back tonight. I should've left. This was a big mistake.