Seven years ago, a serial killer targeted me as his next victim to send a message to the detective trying to catch him—my husband, Wayne.
Now, Wayne watches my every move. He knows where I am and who I’m with. He warns me about provocative clothing, prevents me from inciting another attack. He looks out for me. He loves me. He protects me.
I need him to protect me. Left to my own devices, I make every possible mistake. I’m stupid and talentless, and I can’t get anything right. I know this because Wayne reminds me all the time.
No one believes me when I say my bruises are my own doing. It’s as though they know I’m fleeing from Wayne’s temper when I injure myself. But I was a victim of sadistic violence. I know what pain looks like. I know how it behaves. I know what it sounds like. How it smells. How it feels. That’s not my husband.
Nevertheless, my life is now a prison. The person I fear the most is the man lying at my side. I know he’s trying to protect me but I’m not sure my life is worth protecting anymore.
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Erin Cawood & Kiara Cawood are the pen names for fiction written by Carrie-Anne Wood.
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