A Kiss Before Lying(5)

By: M. SKYE


Looking in the mirror, Draya ran her hand over her red cheek and sighed. Pulling out her makeup bag, she went through her usual routine of covering up the evidence of his ongoing abuse. Sometimes the spots were much bigger, so this time, she felt lucky that all she was going to need were a few dabs of concealer and foundation.

Sweeping the makeup brush over her otherwise flawless caramel cheeks, she let out a sigh when she heard her front door open and close. Struggling to get the mark hidden, she was almost there when she heard Brittney’s loud, bubbly voice. “Come on, Draya. You know I’m ready to go.” In the middle of all the madness, Draya had forgotten she had promised to go to the gym with Brittney. They had been doing the Insanity workout for over three months now, and although Draya was committed, Brittney was much more enthusiastic than she was.

“One second, Britt, I’m fixing something.” As soon as she said it, she looked up to see Brittney standing behind her in the doorway, with her arms crossed.

“Fixing something, huh?” Brittney walked over and grabbed her wrist. “Dammit, Dray, you let him hit you again? When are you going to learn your lesson about that good for nothing bastard? What happened, did you remind him that he has a damn house with his wife and kids to go home to and he went upside your head again? How long are you going to take this shit?”

“I’m not taking anything,” Draya sighed. “He’s gone, isn’t he?”

“Not because you made him go, I’m sure. I don’t get you; you are beautiful. You could have any man you want, but you keep sticking it out with this old bastard that is never going to leave his wife.”

“Britt, it’s nothing. We had a disagreement, but it’s over now. He’s at home and I’m ready to go workout with you.”

As Draya turned around, going back to hiding her bruise, Brittney lifted her shirt and ran her hand over Draya’s back. When she winced in pain, Brittney shook her head and let out a deep breath. “It’s nothing, but it hurts. Dray, he’s doing this because you let him. He’s hiding behind his wife, kids, and the church, but deep down, he doesn’t love anything or anyone; not even you. I know you feel like you owe him because he stuck in there with you, but sooner or later, the price is going to be your life. He’s only going to keep escalating and one day…” She paused; her eyes were wet with tears as Draya turned to look at her only friend. “One day... he might just kill you, Dray. I love you, I really do, but I won’t stand by for this.”

Dropping her head, Draya tried to hold in the tears, but they flowed faster than she could stop them. While she cried, Brittney walked closer, wrapping her arms around Draya’s shoulders. “I know, sweetie. I know it hurts to hear, but you have to protect yourself. I just want you to be safe and happy.”

“What if he makes me happy? Am I supposed to just walk away?”

“Sweetie,” she lifted Draya’s chin, “him putting his fist to your face shouldn’t make you happy. I know you don’t have many people, but if he has to be one of them, I would rather you be lonely.” When Draya looked at her, she quickly noticed that Brittney must have realized what she said. “Oh, damn, I didn’t mean that. You have me; you will always have me. I’m never leaving you, but I won’t watch you self-destruct. I need you to take better care of yourself.”

“I want to get out, I really do, but I just... he loves me. It might not be traditional, but he loves me in his own way.”

Shaking her head Brittney walked away, switching the subject. “Get dressed, please. I’m dying to get to the gym.”

“Why are you so anxious?” Stepping from around the corner, Draya witnessed a funny look on Brittney’s face and crossed her arms. “What’s up?”

“I stopped in today, and there was this guy there, uh, Liam, I think.”

“Okay, so what about him?”

“He’s new to the team; they say he’s going to be working with us.”

“And?”

“You know I usually don’t do white guys, but, girl...”

“What?” Draya yelled, finally getting tired of the suspense.

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