Kate was anxiously waiting for Ryder’s return that evening. She felt both excitement at spending their evening in the basement along with fear.
Over the past few weeks he had acted like the dutiful father to be. Asking how she felt, touching her belly and kissing her gently. He commented on her dinner which she always prepared before he got home.
When Ryder returned he came through the door and kissed her roughly, pulling her to him.
“Oh God I haven’t been able to concentrate on the football, thinking about us in the basement tonight.”
Kate let him squeeze her tightly his hand massaging the back of her hand before pulling her hair as his teeth scraped across hers. She tasted a faint tinge of blood.
“Let’s go.” He said pulling her down the stairs.
+ + +
Before she could eat, Kate needed to shower, she wanted to check her injuries and dress them.
Once upstairs, Kate went to the bathroom to clean up. She looked at herself in the mirror, her hair standing up where he had pulled at it roughly, her face swollen and red from where he had hit her, a bruise forming on her jaw from the punch.
She turned to look at her back in the mirror seeing long red welts from the belt he had used to whip her over and over again cuts on her legs from the belt buckle.
Kate was feeling aroused again and turned the shower on before stepping in. As she allowed the water to wash over her she began to play with herself again, as she recalled the last few hours.
“Hey Kate, where’s the…?” Ryder called as he walked into the ensuite. Immediately he saw her in the shower and knew what she was doing.
+ + +
“Come on let’s eat.” He said releasing her, Kate’s legs were wobbly and she slid to the floor of the shower, blood running down the drain.
“Where’s the ketchup?” he said casually leaving Kate crumpled on the shower floor.
Kate stood, bracing herself on the shower wall. “If it’s not in the fridge there’s a new one in the pantry.” She replied as if nothing had happened.
+ + +
Downstairs they ate at the breakfast bar. It was after midnight but they were both famished.
“Kate that was amazing.” Ryder gushed, “we’re going to work out.” He looked across at her, a large split on her forehead, one cheek red and swollen and her lip split.
Kate nodded, watching him. She was so confused by her feelings but somehow she felt happy, happy in this strange relationship.
“I think we should get married.” He said.
Kate’s head lifted immediately.
“Let’s wait until your face looks a little better but let’s do it? I can arrange the registry we can get an independent witness. I’ll buy you a new dress.” He said breathlessly.
Kate just nodded again, unsure and yet certain.
“Let’s do it next Saturday, I think you’ll be better then. We’ll go to the doctors and then the registry.” He continued excitedly. “I can take our baby’s picture with us, show everyone there.” He smiled across at her and then leant forward and stroked her hair, touching the split on her forehead.
“It’s not too deep, it’ll mend.”
+ + +
The week seemed to race by. Ryder was almost manic with the plans for the wedding, getting forms signed and planning their honeymoon.
It was Thursday morning and they were in the kitchen having breakfast together before Ryder had to go to work.
“I’ve got a week off. Where do you want to go?” Ryder asked, thumbing through some travel brochures he had brought home the previous day. “No skiing, I know you can but too dangerous. Somewhere warm. What about Barbados?”
“No, I’ve been there.” Kate answered.
“Ok, St Barts.”
“No, been there.”
“Where haven’t you been?”
“How about Fiji. They have those huts above the water with glass floors.”
“Sure, sure. I’ll book it today. Fly out on Sunday.”
Kate nodded. “I’ll need some clothes.” She said.
Ryder nodded. “I’ll get some for you, or how about I leave my credit card and you buy them online. Only get things that will be delivered by Saturday?”
Kate nodded again. “I need to tell my mum.”
“Yeah, I know. Can you wait until we’re back. We’ll get them over for dinner, how’s that?”
Kate nodded again. Her life seemed to be made up for her and she was just nodding. Somehow it didn’t matter, she was happy with his decisions.
“I’ve got an excellent present for you, well it’s for us. I’m not giving away any hints, just enough to say that you’ll need to clean the basement.” He winked at her. Ryder stood and went to her, stroking her hair and kissing the pink scar on her forehead. “Almost good as new.”
He threw his credit card on the counter and left.
Kate stared at it and then thought about what he had said. She felt herself become aroused at the thought of the basement.
+ + +
The next morning Ryder left Kate the key to the front door. She took it off him, her hands sweaty.
“You’ll need to open it for the your clothes deliveries today.”
Kate watched Ryder leave from the top of the stairs that led down to the basement and the garage. She went to the front door and with the key opened it, looking out onto the narrow laneway.
She had looked out the front window almost daily since she had been out of the basement, she knew his house was in an old industrial area because of the surrounding buildings looking like warehouses across the laneway. Now she could see that the laneway was only short and a ended next to Ryder’s house. At the top there looked like shops along a busy street, which looked familiar.
Ryder’s red Porsche emerged from the underground carpark she watched it stop, whilst the automatic garage door closed before driving away. Kate was alone again and the laneway empty, she began to panic, her hands sweaty and heart racing, she turned and ran inside slamming the door behind her.
Kate went about her usual chores, now she included a quick surf of the net, logging into her Facebook account but not posting, just checking on everyone. Once she had showered, she went to the front door again. This time she opened it and stood outside, the air was cool as autumn had arrived, the weak sun in the cloudy sky not giving off much heat. Kate pulled the door closed behind her, pocketing the key. She walked to the end of the laneway, looking up and down the familiar street. She couldn’t remember the street name but relying on the signpost to tell her, Plender St. Kate knew the street it ran into, Camden High St, only a short walk from her mother’s house. She willed herself to run toward it, to go to her mother’s house not even two miles away but her feet wouldn’t move.
She began to feel light headed, the all to familiar feeling of panic returning. Kate turned and ran back to Ryder’s house, her hands shaking as she inserted the key into the lock.
Kate shut the door behind her sliding down it, sitting on the tiled entry way with her back to the door.