• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 10

Domestic Violence

His face looks like a mask to her, sometimes. Especially when he sleeps—everything is drawn tight, everything is closed off.

She watches him, his face cast into darkness by the dappled, shifting light coming through the window. Squinting through the gloom, she catalogues every twitch of an eyelid, every wince of his mouth. She feels almost insane with wanting. She wants everything of him, all his emotions, and he won’t give them to her. He’s a man’s man, always in control. If only she could crack him like an egg, shatter his defences, drag her grasping fingers through the helpless mess of his forced vulnerability.

Just once, in all the time they’d been together, had he cried. He wouldn’t tell her why, but even so, as she held him, as she murmured comforting nonsense and stroked his hair, her thoughts had been brassy and triumphant. Finally, she’d thought. Finally.