“Hello, may I speak to Lady Stane please?” Emma said breathlessly into the phone. She wasn’t nervous but had just chased the last of the twins into their preschool and was briskly walking back to the Range Rover, ready for a few hours to herself. “Yes, yes, I am a friend of Kate’s, Emma Snow. Yes, yes I know Kate isn’t there, that’s why I want to speak to Lady Stane. Emma waited as she heard footsteps click across the marble floor and then a heavy wooden door opening.
“Hello.” An authoritarian voice said.
“Oh, Hi Lady Stane. My name is Emma Snow,”
“Yes, yes I know your name and I know you’re looking for Kate. She is not here, and as I told her other friend, Elaine, she hasn’t been here all week!”
“Oh, well that’s why I’m ringing, she’s not answering her mobile and in light of the stabbing incident we’re a little worried about her.”
“You don’t need to be worried about her! You are obviously not such a close friend as you would know she does this all the time, disappears for days, doesn’t tell anyone and then suddenly shows up. She usually does it when there’s some sort of dead line or something she can’t face coming up, probably on one of her benders!” Lady Stane spat into the phone, and then promptly hung up.
Emma looked disgustedly into her phone, as if she could see spit dripping from it and sighed.
Well she tried, she thought to herself. Now off to the clinic for her ultrasound, she couldn’t wait to see her new addition to the family and finally tell everyone.
Emma loved being pregnant, Robert was always so mesmerised by her growing belly and the movement inside. She was hoping for another girl, she smiled, Kaylee, she thought as she touched her belly.
Her thoughts were drawn back to Kate, where was she and why didn’t her mother worry about her in the same way her friends were?
Emma took out her phone again as she pressed the Range Rover’s remote and was greeted with two familiar beeps and the interior light coming on.
“Hey Ellie” Emma said to the voicemail, “I called Lady Stane, don’t think it’s such a good idea going by today, she’s not very receptive to our concerns. Wait until Monday and call the police again.” Emma advised starting the Range Rover’s engine.
+ + +
Kate stood in front of the mirror and looked at her neck. It was ringed in blue and black, clear finger marks forming. She closed her eyes and recalled the evening before when Ryder tried to kiss her and she pulled away, she rubbed her head again.
Kate peered into the mirror at the bruising and then noticed the red teeth marks on her neck, above the bruising, they were deep and when she pressed them they smarted. She couldn’t remember, Ryder biting her the evening before and then recalled his comments of her being a good girl. She immediately touched her groin and winced, it was tender.
Kate retched over the sink, bringing up her tea and toast. Tears sprung from her eyes. What had she got herself into. Suddenly her craving returned and Kate looked at her grey face in the mirror, she looked hopeless and had no idea how she was going to get out of this situation.
She hit the mirror with her fist, splintering the glass, she picked up a large piece and began to cut along a vein on her wrist.
Before she could pierce the skin, Ryder burst into the ensuite and slapped her across the head.
“What are you doing you stupid bitch. You’re going to ruin everything!” He pulled her up by her hair and slammed his fist into her face, blood splattering from her nose, he pulled his fist back and punched her again, letting her go so she crumpled to the floor. He began to kick her over and over again. Kate lay in foetal position, arms over her head waiting for the next blow.
“Don’t you know what I am doing for you? And this is how you repay me?” Ryder flung the broken glass into the sink over her, small shards piercing her skin.
“I’ve got to go to work and now I have to clean this up! You stupid bitch. Well you can clean this up when I get back!” he turned the shower on and heaved her across the floor by her hair placing her under it.
“A cold shower for you, you slut! Wake you up and knock some sense into you,” he slapped her again before tipping shampoo into her hair, pulling it roughly.
“Get up you bitch.” He dragged her by her wet hair and pulled her along the floor to the bed. “Get up you lazy cow.”
Kate pulled her legs under her and shakily tried to lift herself to the bed.
“I haven’t got time for this you stupid bitch!” he lifted her and violently threw her onto the bed, stretching out her legs and arms as Kate screamed in pain. “Well next time you will think about what you’re doing and how it ends. I am only doing this for your own good!”
He strapped her into the bed the nylon straps cutting into her already raw flesh.
“And now you can go without your forget me juice, see what kind of day you have now!” Ryder disappeared into the ensuite and returned a few minutes later.
“Look, now I have to get changed out of this shirt,” he pulled at his shirt to show drops of blood, Kate’s blood. He then bent down and kissed her forehead. “I’ll see you tonight my love. We have a whole weekend together, I’m sure you’ll see the sense of all this after that.” His lips touched hers before he straightened and left the room.
Kate lay on the bed, in agony, her ribs hurting, she could feel one eye closing, her head throbbed but the constant craving consumed her the most.