Treacherous Love, a short story of misdirected passion

Married, with a seven-year-old son, Rochelle and Ethan have the perfect family. But when passion escalates into violence that threatens the life of their son, the couple is forced to confront the truth about their relationship. TREACHEROUS LOVE is a short story about the consequences of domestic violence. Sometimes love isn’t enough.

Excerpt from “Treacherous Love”
by
Karen Black

Shocked awake by the splash of icy water smashing onto his face, Ethan coughed as he sat up and struggled to catch his breath. He rubbed his eyes, wiped his hands across his forehead and ran his fingers through the waves of his wet, brown hair. He wondered how many more assaults he could endure before striking back.

After unfounded accusations of infidelity by his wife, Rochelle, Ethan had retreated to the guest room a few hours earlier. Over the past few months, it wasn’t unusual for Ethan to sport scratches or bruises inflicted by his wife during one of her tantrums.

“Ready to talk?” Rochelle purred, exposing perfectly aligned, milky-white teeth.

Silhouetted by the dim glow of a hall chandelier, Rochelle’s dark, shoulder-length mane framed her face and her pale, floor-length nightgown gave her a ghostly appearance. Under arched eyebrows, her brown eyes flashed.

“Are you out of your mind?” Ethan peeled the soggy t-shirt from his chest and pulled it over his head.

Despite his irritation, the long, firm muscles of his wife’s arms distracted Ethan, as her delicate fingers clutched a dripping, stainless steel travel cup. He loved it when Rochelle used those fingers to knead his shoulders, instead of pitching ice water.

Rochelle lifted her chin and squared her shoulders. “You snuck off to the guest room, but I want your attention.”

He used the damp shirt to rub some water from his hair, and said, “Keep your voice down or you’ll wake Alex.”

Their seven-year-old son was asleep in the next room.

“It is three o’clock in the morning, and I’m tired of fighting. I have to be at work in five hours.”

“Always an excuse,” Rochelle shrugged. “Call off work. You aren’t leaving this house until we settle this. I’ll be waiting in the bedroom.”

Before Rochelle turned and stomped away, she pitched the metal coffee cup at her husband. Slow to react, Ethan jerked sideways, but the mug bounced off of the front of his shoulder.

“Another bruise,” he muttered, and fell into a restless sleep.
***

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