Jessie stalks down the hallway; timidly, alert of every sound, every movement. She gazes over her shoulder to Jack's room; catching a glimpse of the chadelaiere glistening in her
periphrial. What had happened? They had been so happy... until he proposed. Suddenly, the days became longer, and the nights streaked with fear. For in the morning she
knows that she can always rely on their being a new bruise.
Now, as she tip toes through her fiancee's mansion, her only thought is to get away- to escape. Jessie brushes her left hand gingerly across her jaw, feeling the scarred results of Jack's
latest tantrum... “Wow Jess, Jack hasnt called, paged, or texted you all day, is he feeling well?” Myranda teased nonchalantly. Jessie looked at her best friend in amazement.
It was true. Jack hadn't tried to contact her at all, something that is way out of his character. Curiously, Jessie reaches in her purse for her phone- it wasn't there.
“Shit..” Jessie groaned as she leaned her head against her chair. “It's not on me..”
“What's not on you?” Mandi asked, concern creasing her brow.
“My phone..I must have left it in the car-” Jessie gasped. She hadn't been in her SUV in hours. Her phone was probably filled to the brim with text messages and voice mails.
Jessie scrambled to her feet, panic cursing through her body as she raced to the car. With trembling fingers she picked up her phone and groaned again. “Thirty-five texts, and
twelve messages..he's gonna fucking kill me..” Jessie cringes- remembering the fury that had overcome Jack when she had arrived home that night... Jessie
Jessie closed her eyes against the tears that welled up beneath her eyelids. “WOMAN!!!” Jack screeched, twisting his fingers into her hair and throwing her to the ground. “WHAT
HAVE I TOLD YOU ABOUT THAT FUCKING PHONE?!?!?!?”
“I..I must k-k-keep i-it on m-me at all t-times..” Jessie stammered inaudibly. He back hands her hard- the impact taking her breathe away. Jessie felt the warmth of her blood ooze
from her lip. Still stunned she reaches to wipe it away just as Jack pulls her up by her throat, choking her.
“ANSWER ME YOU USELESS PIECE OF SHIT! WHY DIDN'T YOU HAVE YOUR PHONE ON YOU?!” Jessie couldn't speak. Fear paralyzed her, all she could do was stare into his cold, black eyes as tears
flowed freely from her green ones. His grip was too tight- she couldn't breathe, Jessie could feel herself slipping into unconsciousness. Suddenly, his eyes softened and he loosened his
grip. “Well it doesn't look like I'll be receiving an answer eh? Maybe you should get some sleep darling.”
letting go of her throat he let his hand trace the shape of her jaw, her neck..her collarbone. Then he kissed her deeply-forcefully. Jack turned his back and Jessie felt a relief.
Usually Jack was much harsher-than she felt the bones of his knuckles crash into her jaw with a splintering CRACK! Everything went black.
Tears roll down Jessie's face as the memories flooded her brain. Jack had broken her jaw that night, and the surgery left on her a permanent scar. Once again touching her cheek, Jessie
traced the scar that wrapped around her jaw like a snake; forever marring what used to be a beautiful face. Picking up her pace, Jessie hurries to the front door. The huge oak wood door
only made a soft “click” as she closed it behind her. Looking around the massive wrap-around driveway she spotted a black BMW and waved; Mandi had been patiently waiting outside. Jessie
sighed, grateful to have a friend like Myranda. Now both of them 25 years old, they'd known the other since they were babies. Quietly hopping into the car, Jessie is automatically
bombarded with questions. As they drove away she couldn't help but feel terribly guilty that she had hidden her circumstance from Myranda. They knew everything about eachother, had
always been the first person the other would go to for a smile or much needed hug. Except for this. But it was high time that she let Mandi in on her situation.
“Mandi..manda...MYRANDA!” Jessie finally yelled, shocking her best friend into silence. “I promise to tell you everything when we get to the house, okay?”
“O-okay..” Myranda replied shocked and obviously hurt. But she could sense Jessie's need for silence, they drove soundlessly the rest of the way to Mandi's house.
Silver Lining Chapter 2
“Oh HELL NO! That bitch is fucking DEAD!!” Myranda screamed, jumping from where she and Jessie laid on the guest bed. Jessie's eyes grew wide. Never, in all their years
together had she seen Myranda this outraged, and though she had the right, Jessie needed to keep things quiet for now.
Jessie quickly jumped up, going to where Myranda stood fuming and cussing into the air. “Mandi please calm down. There's nothing we can do for now. What matters is that we are
safe, and what we need to focus on is keeping us safe. There is no doubt in my mind that Jack will be looking for me, so I need to stay hidden for a while”. After a moment or two,
Jessie could see Myranda visibly calm down, and the anger disipitate into hurt. Tears flowing freely, she pulls Jessie in for a fierce hug.
“Why didn't you tell me this before...” Myranda's question cut Jessie to the quic; she knew why, she was scared. Scared of what Jack would do to her, or worse- what Jack would do to
Myranda for knowing. Jessie hugged Myranda tighter, letting all of her tears fall free before she explained it to Myranda.
“I did it for your safety.. If I knew for sure that Jack would only hurt me, I would have told you a long time ago. But..he wouldn't. He would go after you to punish me and
silence you, and I couldn't let that happen...” Jessie let her hands fall limp by her sides, exhaustion finally taking it's toll.
Myranda's eyes turned to saucers. “WHOA! You mean to tell me that Jack would come after ME? I'm married to the chief of police for Christ's sake! Jessie you have nothing to
fear, we're safe here. But we should probably get out of here by tomorrow. Say..you up for a spicy vacation to Brazil??” Myranda said as she wagged her brows and sported a
mischievous grin. “I know a couple of sexy Brazilians over there that would looove to keep you company...” Jessie pushed her friend away playfull, blushing firecely. Yawning, she
threw herself back onto her bed and laughed.
“Fine, Brazil it is. But for the time being, we should probably get some sleep.” Looking at the clock, Myranda nodded in agreement.
“You gonna be okay, or do you want me to sleep in here tonight? I'm sure Dave won't mind.” Jessie was grateful for the darkness that enveloped her and her friend. The tears had
once again began to flow and she didn't want Myranda to worry about her any more. Jessie couldn't have asked for a better friend.
“I'll be fine lov, now get thee to bed! We've a long journey ahead of us, and are in need of some rest!” Smiling, Myranda played along and saluted. She knew the effort Jessie was
putting fourth in keeping the mood light, and Myranda was determined to make Jessie do nothing but smile until this storm passes and she is safe again. Leaving the room with a playful click
of her heels, Myranda left Jessie with her wandering thoughts and dreams.
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