The Golden Bachelor

Chapter 13

"My biological father was abusive." Samantha murmured in an unconscious whisper. She had no idea why had she let that out, maybe her tongue had slipped, or maybe, after so long, she needed to say it out loud, tell her story to someone. Someone that, hopefully, would keep up with his promise, and not leave her just because she was too complicated.

Yet, pushed by the numbness his embrace had lulled her into, she blurted out the whole truth: "When I was four, my biological father killed my mother, and he would have killed me, hadn't our neighbor intervened."

Lucas remained speechless. What was he supposed to do? He'd considered anything, but ... not this really. In truth, the sole explanation to her traumas to him had been only one ... totally far from the truth apparently.

"I was entrusted to my mother's sister." Sam continued, and, inhaling deeply, she brushed the rawest nerve: "Aunt Lorena had a boyfriend."

Lucas gasped, unable to retain himself, and in a rash impulse, he squeezed her against him, as if those five words had been enough to confirm his first presumption. He'd assumed it ever since she'd showed such repulsion towards physical touch ... to him, it could have only been one thing, he just always hoped it wasn't.

"He didn't touch me, don't worry." Samantha mended, feeling his hold on her tighten, as if he were trying to squeeze those painful memories out of her. She was grateful for it. Especially as reminiscences came flowing, as if finally ready to be brought to light. "The guy had a temper. A really bad temper. Not like my biological father, whose misdeeds are mostly to blame on alcohol intoxication. No. Fabrizio was ... he was angry. All the time. And when I arrived, it only got worse."

She bit her lip, thinking back to those dark days. "I probably spoiled his plans. He was ... very possessive of his girlfriend, wanted her all to himself, and of course, a child around ruined his perfect life. A life made of pointless days spent mostly at the bar with friends, a girlfriend that worked three jobs in order to maintain him, and that was at his service, whatever whim he might have had."

Samantha sighed, pitifully rethinking about her aunt, about the choices she made, so wrong, yet so determined, and a tear escaped. "He loved her too much, he always said. That's why she always took him back. Despite ... everything."

"Everything?" Lucas asked in a whisper, afraid to know.

She inhaled painfully, better hiding her face in his chest as she briefly explained: "He beat her. She would hide it to me, pretend everything was fine, but I knew he beat her ... I could ... I could see on her the same marks my mother used to have every time my biological father got drunk. When I was 6, I came home to Fabrizio crushing my aunt against the wall."

"You didn't ..."

"Of course I stepped in." Lucas inwardly cursed. "But I was only a child, he was a big angry man."

Lucas choked a desperate sound. It was excruciating for him to listen to the story, how could it have been for her to live it? He'd always known his Sam hid something deep, he'd just hoped it wasn't this bad. Finding his voice had never been so hard. "What ... what did he do?"

"He pushed me away when I tried to help my aunt." Samantha closed her eyes, reliving again that haunting moment in her head. "Thirteen inches lower, and I would have died on spot."

"Y-You knocked your head?"

She nodded slowly, pulling back merely in order to reach behind her scalp. "Here. When he pushed me away I wound up against the kitchen counter."

"M-May I?" Lucas asked unsurely.

Samantha nodded, and lowered her head. "If I shave, you can still see the scar." She mentioned, mostly in order to dissimulate the light yelp that wanted to erupt as soon as his fingers brushed that delicate piece of her scalp, not because it hurt, but because it felt like a healing balm burning just that tad bit enough to be effective.

Lucas Grant was that to her. He was the balm that might heal her broken soul, Sam thought at tears filled her eyes, but to what cost?

"D-Did it ..."

"No, it didn't damage any important functions. I just lost some ... space for my memory, so sometimes I forget little things, like ... did I turn the TV off? Did I feed Sky? Thingies like those." Unconsciously, she let herself go to his embrace, as if seeking shelter in his arms. Tears welled in her eyes as her heart ached. He was touching the untouchable, Samantha was aware, and the consequences would be devastating on her.

Yet, she didn't abandon the battle field this time either. It was her sacred weekend. She would deal with the consequences later, for now ... he had to know. She needed to say it out. He needed to know. Maybe knowing her story would drive him away. She just wished he would be sensitive enough as to comfort her through the recount first, because, she had to admit to herself, those arms around her were the sole thing that allowed her to speak up without giving in to panic attacks as reminiscences flowed through her.

Hence, Samantha went on speaking, her arms tightly wrapped around his torso, her face, half hidden in his neck, as if she were clinging onto him for dear life, which, in her case, might sound quite literal. "My English teacher, Ms. Leopardi, came to know from her brother, who worked at the hospital, that a little girl my age had been brought to them with a cranial trauma. Because I missed a week of school, it was easy for her to put two and two together.

I'd have never spoken up, but ... she convinced me to. Or rather, all I told her was that my injury wasn't due to me falling through the stairs, as my aunt had claimed." Sam inhaled a shaky breath. "She'd seen bruises on my aunt now and then, she'd always had the suspect, talked to aunt Lorena, but ... nothing could be done until there was a report."

Artemis Wolf

Edited: 21.01.2021

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