Author's Note: This is very dark. I'm actually disturbed at myself for writing it. It's not unusually graphic, I don't think, but if you're a half-way decent person, it'll probably make you feel a little sick. Spelling errors and the like may be more plentiful than normal, because I don't have the stomach to reread it too much. Feedback (good or bad) should be sent to me.
As always, if you're not at least 18 years old please don't read this.
When Leo fucked my mother, he made sure we all could hear. It wasn't enough that we could see the bruises and hear the way he treated her the rest of the time. He wanted her exposed, to his sons and to me, as the lowly slut he told her she was. It was part of being a man, he'd tell the boys, to "put a bitch in her place," and he lived by example.
I used to hide in the basement and bury my ears. The boys, though, were all bigger than me and they liked the show. They thought it was fun to make me listen. At first they'd just pin me down or hold me in place while they laughed and joked about what he was doing to her, and what a slut she was. They'd stroke their cocks like it was some sort of porn show, and make a game of getting their spunk on me or making me lick it out of their hands. I'm not sure what ever stopped them, all those nights, from pinning me down and raping me—maybe they actually thought their father would've somehow cared or maybe they just didn't want to be accused of fucking their sister, even if I was only a step—but before I'd even filled out a bra they'd taken to undressing and groping me while they had me pinned there.
Leo, I think, liked that I heard, too. It was like he was warning me, letting me know what he was capable of and willing to do. Long after my mother stopped caring about the pain and humiliation, she still cared about me, and so I became his leverage. Whatever twisted humiliation he demanded, she could only protest so long before he'd threaten to drag her "little slut daughter" up to suffer instead. My mother always relented, to the great amusement of the boys who'd then taunt, as she screamed, that it was all my fault.
So many times, I pleaded with her to leave him. There were times, lots of times, when she'd break down crying, apologizing for things she wouldn't name, and begging my forgiveness. But she never left. "Leo's been so good to us," she'd say, as though the big house and the expensive clothes somehow made up for the abuse that she never acknowledged.
When I was 13, I tried my best to break away. For the promise of a place to spend the night, I let a horse-cocked bouncer from the local pool hall deflower me in the back of his car, and nearly passed out from a panic attack mid-coitus. He ignored my hyperventilating until he'd cum, then waited impatiently for me to "calm the fuck down" and declared me a "frigid bitch." He didn't even give me a ride home, much less take me to his place.
When I came home, Leo made sure I'd learned my lesson. I couldn't ignore the welts on mom's face, or the way she winced as she walked. "I knew your mom'd get your ass home in the end," he sneered at me. " I just had to convince her extra hard." The same way he knew mom wouldn't let him hurt me, he knew I couldn't be the reason he hurt her. I never stayed away again.
I was 15 when my aunt Nicole told us she was coming to visit, and I was terrified. Nicole was my dad's sister, my real dad's sister, and for year's when I was younger she felt like my own sister. She was 20 years younger than my dad, and always joked about having been an accident. Her mother, my grandmother, got stomach cancer real bad when I was 6 and Nicole was 16, so Nicole came to live with us, and she stayed after grandma died until she left for college two years later. I absolutely adored her as a kid, and still did. The last thing I wanted was for her to see what a wreck our lives had become in California. It was bad enough having to live it, I didn't want people to see it.
But she said she was coming and even Leo knew better than to refuse her a bed. That'd be too weird and improper, and Leo, however vile he was, was very concerned about outward appearances.
Once Leo and the boys saw Nicole, though, they didn't regret the decision. My aunt was gorgeous. At 25, she was slender and tall, with long shiny hair the same color as my dad's. When she was out of ear shot, Leo ogled and mumbled about the "fantastic tits" that seemed almost too big for her narrow chest. They flirted with her, all four of them, and she was so charming that she could flirt right back with 55 year old Leo and his 17 year old son without it ever seeming sick.
Somehow, that week, we actually had fun.
Of course it shouldn't have been shocking, that Friday night, when Leo dragged my mother into the bedroom. We were supposed to go out, to show Nicole more of the city, but Leo was horny. They fought, the way they always did. Mom pleaded with him to wait a couple of days, until Nicole left. Leo insisted it was unfair to deprive him like that, and he loudly ordered her to "spread her fucking legs."
"Maybe we should go somewhere," Nicole said. "They need their privacy."
Even the boys, who normally relished these ordeals, were shuffling around awkwardly, embarrassed to have pretty, sophisticated Nicole exposed their dirty little secret. I tried my best not to break down sobbing, but I couldn't manage it, and humiliated tears managed to sneak their way down my cheeks.
The five us left before the shouting stopped, escaping to the Dairy Queen for ice-cream that, in my memory, tasted like chalk. I couldn't look my aunt in the eye, and I guess she could tell because she didn't push it. We talked about dumb stuff like music and sports with my step brothers, and managed to act like my mother wasn't being beaten and raped back home.
After an hour, we chanced the return trip. Leo and mom were on opposite sides of the living room. There were bruises on mom's face, and a deep gash below her eye. Leo was sipping a bottle of beer and watching baseball, coldy nonchalant about the episode.
"It's about time," he said, barely looking up. "You mom needs someone to ride with her to the hospital, Tiffany."
Nicole, still a stranger to this sort of thing, was alarmed. "Oh my god, Joyce, what happened?" she said as she rushed to her sister-in-law's side. "I've got my car, let me drive you."
"No," said mom, too quickly as she moved silently past Nicole. "I can drive. Tiffany can ride with me."
Nicole's expression was an odd blend of hurt and confusion, but she didn't argue. She just stood there sort of dumbly, the way any normal person probably would have under the circumstances.
"It'll be fine," said Leo. "We'll keep you company here, Nicole."
My aunt smiled politely, but you could tell she wasn't happy. She looked at me, as if she was pleading for some sort of rational explanation, and I just looked at my feet because there wasn't one to give her.
Four hours we spent in the emergency room. I'd been here with mom before, and I knew the drill. Social workers got called, and they ignored mom's falling-down-the-stairs story. They'd ask me round-about-questions about being beaten, and I'd play dumb. On at least two occasions, they'd dragged me back physical exams, and been disappointed to find that I didn't have a bruise on me. I knew, every time, that I should tell someone the truth, but I knew it wouldn't matter. Mom was a grown woman, so social services couldn't make her leave, and Leo never actually laid a hand on me. All telling would do, I knew, was enrage Leo.
They stitched up her eye and prescribed pain killers for the rest. X-rays revealed that one of her ribs had been previously broken, but it was starting to heal and there wasn't much they could do at this point. We left with an armload of pamphlets about hotlines and shelters, but mom tossed those in the parking lot trash can without reading them.
.... There is more of this story ...