Chapter 3

She was cooking her husband his favorite meal. Tim always liked ham roast the best. It seemed to put him in a better mood. She had just finished setting the table, fixing their plates, and pulling out a bottle of wine when he came through the door.

Celeste went to meet him eagerly, thinking about how nice he would be when she told him what she had cooked for him. "Hey, honey, come see what I made you." She said excitedly before she gave him a hug and grabbed his hand. He had a pleasant smile on his face. But, then again, he always did.

She tugged him to the dining room. "Look." She said happily. "I made your favorite." His face darkened and she moved around to the other side of the table. "What's wrong?"

"You're only doing this because you think it will get you out of trouble, but guess what. It won't."

Tim lunged at her from across the table. She moved out of his reach and ran to their room. Once there she ran inside and locked the door. She could hear Tim banging on the door. She ran to a corner and sat down putting her knees against her chest. Suddenly, the door broke through. She watched Tim walk slowly into the room and slam the door behind him.

He stalked toward her and she couldn't breathe, didn't dare breathe, she couldn't even move away. He picked her up with one hand so that she was standing. "Don't you ever run from me! Do you understand me?" He screamed in her face.

To her horror Celeste realized she couldn't speak either. One slap. Bloody lip. "Do you understand me?" Second slap. Bruise. "Do you understand me, Celeste?"

"Yes." She choked out.

"Good." He said as he threw her to the floor.

She sat there for hours and only one word escaped her mouth then. "Yes." She repeated the word over and over again, afraid he would come back.

"Yes!" She woke up screaming and immediately felt arms around her. She looked up and could see nothing but Jaren's beautiful eyes. "What are you doing in my room?" She asked him in a choked voice, humiliated that he had seen her weak side.

"I was watching you sleep, I could tell you were having a nightmare, I attempted to wake you up, but you wouldn't wake. So now I am trying to comfort you?" He explained to her calmly, slowly.

She fell on him in sobs the real world of her dream haunting her. He immediately wrapped her in his arms, whispering sweet nothings and wonderful lies like, "It'll be alright." He didn't seem as bad as everyone was saying. He seemed sweet and gentle. Everyone must be wrong. He can't be killing people. She had not even known him for a day and yet he still tries to comfort her.

I won't believe it. She thought. I just won't believe it. And she drifted off to sleep again for the second time that night. Only this time there were no nightmares waiting to close in on her. She is a firm believer that the reason for this was because she fell asleep in his arms.