Battered Ch. 03


Hey guys. Sorry it’s taken me so long. 🙂

“He sang. We walked. We talked. We had a really good time.”

“That’s so romantic!” Sabrina exclaimed dramatically around a mouthful of pancakes.

“Oh hush up, Sabrina. It’s not like that. And don’t talk so loud. Santana’s still sleeping.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m getting a head of myself. You’re not ready to admit it yet.”

“Admit what?”

“You like him,” Sabrina said matter-of-factly.

“I’ll admit it. I kind of like him a little,” she said lowly, “but I barely know the man. And I can’t like him too much. I’m m–.”

“Married. I know. I’ve heard that song and seen that dance before, and frankly I’m tired of it,” Sabrina said hotly. “Get it through your thick skull. This happy home, perfect marriage, wonderful husband shit does not exist. Not with Jeremy.”

“Damnit Sabrina. Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I wake up every frickin’ morning and wish I could redo it all? I love Santana with all my heart, but I wish I’d never met his father. This is my life, Sabrina. I get beat…”

“Hal, I–“

“No. Day in and day out I get beat. You don’t have to tell me how ridiculously unhappy my life is every time you get the chance. You’re supposed to be my friend, Sabrina.”

“I am your friend, Hal. I’ve been there. I’ve been there since the beginning. I’m the one you came to the first time he hit you. I’m the one who was there when you found out you were pregnant. I was there for you. I will always be there, but I hate this. I hate him. When you and little guy hurt, I hurt. I love you like you were family. I hate reminding you how shitty your life is all the goddamn time, but if that’s what it takes to get through to you, then that’s what I’m gonna have to do. You’re married? You think that’s what he tells all those girls he’s messing around with? I can’t ’cause I’m married? Please, Hal. Wake up.”

“You watch your language. My son’s in there,” Hal said angrily, pointing down the hall to Santana’s room.

“My language?” Sabrina scoffed. “I’m sure he’s heard everything under the sun thanks to his daddy. Do you hush him?”

“Sabrina, I’m tired, okay? I’m gonna go lay down with Santana. When you leave, lock the door,” she said calmly.

“See? That’s exactly what I’m talking about, Hal. This,” she said gesturing with her hands. “You not standing up for yourself. Always being calm while people talk shit to you,” she said to Hallee’s retreating form.

“And now you’re walking away. Go ahead. Walk away from me! But you won’t walk away from the one you need to walk away from, huh?!”

Hallee slammed the door. She didn’t mean to. She was just angry. She didn’t mean to wake Santana.

“Mommy?” he said, blinking groggily with uncertainty in his voice and eyes. “You okay? Is Daddy here?”

“Mommy’s okay, sweetheart. And no, Daddy’s not here.”

“Oh,” he said in a calmer voice before drifting back to sleep.

Outside, Sabrina opened the door and peeped into the room before walking all the way in.

“Hal. I’m sorry if I upset you, okay? But I’m not sorry for what I said because it’s true and it’s what I feel. I love you, understand? Call me when you feel like talking to me again.”

She kissed Santana on his chubby cheek and walked out, quietly shutting his door behind her.


Santana was persistent. He wanted to visit the music room, and he’d be damned if that wasn’t what he was going to do. After begging and pleading, and shedding a few tears, Hallee caved. Besides, some of what Sabrina had lectured her about, clicked.

“Mommy! Mommy! Look! Drums!” Santana said, tugging on Hallee’s arm frantically. “Can I play them, please?”

“Santana. I don’t know. I don’t want you to break anything. This equipment looks expensive.”

“It’s fine. Go ahead, little man. Beat your little heart out,” Lucas encouraged.

“Yay!” Santana cried, running over to the shiny drum set.

She’d called Lucas and they’d talked, and he invited her and Santana to his music room at the center.

They both smiled and watched as Santana beat on the drums and symbols until he got bored with them, then he ran to grab a tambourine.

“He’s having the time of his life right now,” Hallee said.

“Yeah. He can come by anytime he wants.”

“That’s sweet. Thanks,” Hallee said, giving Lucas a smile.

“No problem, Hal. Like I said, I grew up with music. My mom made sure of that.”

“Did she sing too?”

“She did. She sang a lot until she got sick.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Nah. I’m sure she’s singing in heaven now. She died of cancer a while back. She was a good woman. A good mother.”

“I’m sure she was. She did a good job with you.”

“Yes, she did. Taught me a lot of things. She was very loving. You remind me of her.”

“Thanks, I guess,” she said quietly.

“No problem.”

Lucas offered to take Santana and Hallee to lunch. She told him no a gazillion times, but when she saw the frown on Santana’s face, she accepted. They went to a little diner to appease bağdatcaddesi escort Santana. The waitress walked over and asked for their order.

“Do you know what you want, Santana?” Hallee asked.

“Yes, but I want to tell her.”

They all smiled and waited for him to order.

“I want pizza,” Santana said happily kicking his feet.

“Aww, I’m afraid we don’t have pizza baby.”

“What do you have, then?”

“We have lots of stuff.”

“You don’t have pizza, though,” Santana quipped.

“No, we don’t, but we have yummy sandwiches.”

“Yay. I like sandwiches, almost as much as I like chips.”

“Sandwich it is, little fella. And you ma’am?”

“I’ll take a sandwich, too. Thank you.”

“You don’t have to get a sandwich Hal. You can get anything on the menu you want.”

That was something Hallee hadn’t heard before. On the rare occasion that Jeremy and Hallee did go out, he always ordered for her. Hell, he spoke for her too.

“Thank you Lucas, but a sandwich is fine. I’m not really all that hungry anyways.”


Lucas had so many questions to ask Hallee. Sabrina had just given him the big picture: Hallee was unhappily married to a man who abused her. Lucas still didn’t understand it though. Hallee was beautiful. She could have any guy she wanted, yet she chose to stay with a man who mistreated her.

It didn’t matter how long it took, though. He’d wait for her. Eventually, she would be his, and he would treat her like the princess she truly was.


Hallee was doing her routine cleaning when her phone buzzed. She really didn’t feel like talking, no, listening to Jeremy. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw it was Lucas.

“How would Santana like to go on a trip?”


“The kids and I are going down to the towns common. Lots of great stuff down there, so how about it?”

“Uh…sure when?” she asked looking around absent-mindedly.

“Later this afternoon actually.”

“Luke! This is such short notice.”

“I know, Hal. I wanted to wait to tell you at the very last minute so you wouldn’t have time to think up an excuse not to go or change your mind.”


“You can come too if you’re not comfortable leaving him. As long as you aren’t a party pooper.”

“I’m not a party pooper. Santana says I’m a cool mom.”

“Yeah. Okay,” he said disbelievingly.

“Really. I’ll show you. When and where?”

“Great. Meet me at my place around 11:30. We can ride to the center together.”


“If you’re not comfortable with that, you can meet me at the center…”

“No, its fine. I can meet you at your place. It’s closer.”

“Good. The bus should be ready by then and the kids should start arriving. We’ll go from there, okay?”


“Great. See you in a few hours, Hal.”

“See ya.”

With Jeremy going out of state for “business”, he left the other car’s keys with Hallee. They had, no, he had two cars. He rarely let Hallee use either. He always talked about how women make lousy drivers. He left it because he wouldn’t be around and something might come up and she’d have to run out and get something. He was smart, though. He always knew how much gas was in it, what station it was turned to, how many miles were on it, how far up or back the seat was.

Hallee got Santana and herself ready, and was out the door.


“What’s it gonna be like? Are there lots of kids?” Santana asked from the backseat.

“About fifteen.”

“Are they nice?”

“Yes they are. And if they’re not, you let me know,” Lucas warned.

“Are we gonna sing?”

“No. Not unless you want to.” Santana then started to sing his and his mommy’s favorite song.

“So how are things?” he asked.

“Things are fine. I’m kinda excited about this whole towns common thing. It sounds fun. I’ve wanted to take Santana before, but…”

Hallee felt her phone buzz around in her purse.

“I’m sorry. I have to get this,” she said quickly. She rummaged through her purse. She had a hard time finding it, though. It had managed to slip through the large hole in her bag. She’d begged Jeremy to let her get a new purse to no avail. Jeremy had told her she didn’t deserve one. Lucas watched her struggle.


“What took you so long to answer the phone?”

“I couldn’t get to it,” she said softly.

“Why not?” he asked angrily.

“It was in my purse.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m uhh…going to the town commons to the Imagination Station.”

“For what?”

“To take Santana.”

“Damnit Hallee. I don’t give you money to run around like a damn kid, wasting money…”

“But Jeremy,” she cut him off.

“What did I tell you about interrupting me when I’m talking?” he asked hotly.

“I’m sorry.” Lucas looked over at her and saw the tears in her eyes well up and threaten to fall. Jeremy spoke so loudly, he could hear the whole conversation. He heard Jeremy belittle beykoz escort her, yell at her, and embarrass her. She deserved so much better.

“Who are you with? You’d better not be driving my car. Especially not to go to a fucking town commons. I left that car for emergencies only.”

Hallee just sat there and listened, waiting for him to finish. She didn’t want to interrupt him again and risk being yelled at again. She knew Lucas had overheard everything. She felt so low, but the feeling wasn’t new to her. She’d grown used to it.

“I’m riding with…” she looked over at Lucas. “Sabrina.”

Lucas’ eyes fell on her and gave her an unreadable look.

“That bitch? You know I don’t like you hanging around her.”

“Yes, I know. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, well, I gotta go.”

“Hey Daddy!” Santana yelled from the backseat.

“Yeah,” Jeremy said quickly and hung up.

Hallee put her phone away and turned around to Santana. “He said hi, baby.”

Santana looked at her knowingly. He knew his daddy didn’t say that.

“I’m sorry. I couldn’t tell him. I had to…”

“I understand,” Lucas said looking ahead at the highway.

“Umm… do you mind holding my phone for me? I don’t wanna take this big old ratty purse in there.”

Lucas looked at her unsurely.

“It’s okay. I’m sure he won’t call again.”

Lucas thought it over before taking it and slipping it in his pocket.


They had a blast downtown. Santana felt at home as he blended in and played with the other children. He rarely had anyone else to play with. Jeremy didn’t want other kids coming over to their house and he hated it when they went out, so that left Santana to play by his lonesome.

Before long, it was time to go, and with all the people at the Imagination Station, it was hard to spot Hallee. Lucas gathered all the kids before he dug out his phone and called her, but suddenly realized he had her phone in his pocket. ‘Elle’ popped up on her screen.

Elle? He thought to himself.

“Santana have you seen your mom?” Lucas asked.

“Yes,” he responded quickly before turning back to the cute red-head girl to continue his conversation.

Lucas laughed inwardly.

“Do you know where she is right now?”

Santana pointed to a far wall and Lucas saw Hallee. Hallee had wandered off by herself to check out some of the exhibits. She looked like a big kid, but a happy one. He didn’t want to disturb her, but it was time to go. He felt bad having to interrupt the little bit of happiness she had. He wanted her to be happy. He wanted to be the one to make her happy.

Hallee made eye-contact with him and smiled brightly. She managed to tear herself away from the planet model and sauntered over towards him.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know it was time to go. I got caught up over there,” she said sweetly.

“No problem, Hal,” he said, entranced by her features. She really was beautiful. Her dark eyes were lit up with excitement, and she wore a beautiful smile on her full, pink lips. Her dark hair was pulled back in a girlish ponytail. She made looking beautiful so effortless.

“Okay, now that everyone’s here, to the bus everyone!” Lucas yelled in his best Ms. Frizzle voice from the Magic School Bus series.


Hallee spent time really getting to know Lucas. It wasn’t that she had a change of heart. She still loved Jeremy. She still wanted their marriage to work, but something felt different. The talk that she and Sabrina had, had worked. It took a while for her to admit it. She understood where Sabrina was coming from. Sabrina had been there for her through it all.

Hallee had learned to tune out both things and people over the years. She felt she had to. It was the only way she saw to survive. She’d come to terms with the fact that Jeremy didn’t love her.

The more she found out about Lucas, the more she liked him. He was really good with kids. That both upset and made her happy. It made her angry and sad because she wished Jeremy was as good with kids. He wasn’t. Half of the time, he ignored Santana. The other half, he was yelling at him for simply being a kid. She hated that. It hurt her that Jeremy didn’t care bout her son. Their son.

Santana was a good kid. He was really bright. He had manners and was very friendly, a trait he inherited from his mother. Jeremy always called him a sissy mama’s boy. She wanted to scream, ‘you can’t expect him to be a daddy’s boy. You don’t act like a daddy towards him’.

It made her happy that Lucas took up time with Santana. He had some male figure to talk to, and maybe learn some things from.

They went to the park. Lucas took them to see Transformers. Santana loved it. He even took his Optimus Prime man to see it, too. Lucas took them to concerts his kids put on. It was always Hal, Santana, and Lucas. Hallee loved it. Not only did he want to spend time with her, but he took up time with her son. As much as she was afraid to admit, she loved him for that.

At first, she thought it caddebostan escort was crazy, loving a man she’d only know for what—a little over a month? But Sabrina had reasoned it was probably because he cared about her, but more importantly, he cared for Santana. That, he did in a big way.

Lucas made her feel good in every way. Ways she never thought were imaginable. Ways she never felt with Jeremy.

Sabrina would volunteer to baby-sit Santana on days just Hallee and Lucas went out. The more she hanged around him, the bolder and more comfortable she became.




“Lucas, please. Let’s just stick to easy. I don’t like the blue button. I can barely play just green, red, and yellow.”

“Just try, Hal.”

“Okay.” Hallee sighed loudly.

“What song?”

“I don’t care… ‘When You Were Young’.”

“Excellent choice.”

They played a few more songs on Guitar Hero until Hallee complained of a sore wrist and fingers.

“Aww, poor baby,” he teased. “Let me kiss it for you.”

Hallee stared at him wide-eyed as he kissed her fingers. They got wider when he stopped and started kissing her lips.

Lucas gently caressed Hallee’s face into his gentle hands. As he pulled her in closer, they both stared deeply into each other’s eyes, as if they are reading the other’s mind. Hallee smiled sweetly and shyly before Lucas pulled her in towards him and, kissed her gently.

It was a nice kiss. Hallee hadn’t been truly kissed in a long time. She’d forgotten what it felt like to be wanted. Her head swarmed, but realization suddenly kicked in.

“I can’t do this, Luc,” she said pushing herself away from him. “This isn’t right.”

“You’re right, Hal. I’m sorry. It’s just… I can’t help it. I’m attracted to you. It feels right. Does it feel right to you?” he asked quietly.

“Yes but that doesn’t make it right, Luc.”

“I understand, Hal. You’re right,” he said while placing a friendly kiss on her cheek. “Next song.”


“Hal, we’re friends right?” Lucas asked her from across the table. Lucas and Hallee had decided to go out again. They went to a swanky restaurant that Lucas had picked out.

“Right. I would say so,” she stated while cutting her steak, never taking her eyes off her plate.

“Can I ask you something?”

“Sure.” Hallee didn’t like where this conversation was going, but she figured he would ask about it sooner or later. She’d prefer later.

“Why? Why are you with him? I mean, I’ve never actually met the guy, and I doubt that I would want to. God knows what might happen. But, you don’t seem happy. Yet, you’re still with him. I don’t get it.”

“I love him. He loves me. For Santana,” was what she thought about saying.

“I don’t know,” she answered honestly. “I loved him at first. We were young. He was different then. I got pregnant and everything kinda took a downwards spiral. He started calling me names. He said I was fat, and I had let myself go. He didn’t seem to understand that with pregnancy, you gain weight. I gave up everything. I had to. I had Santana my senior year of high school, and I didn’t go to college like I had planned. My mom was so disappointed in me.”

Lucas watched as she told her story. She seemed to space out and only blink every few minutes. He listened quietly as she continued.

“I remember the first time he hit me. It was the weekend before graduation. Many of the seniors were getting together to take a trip to the beach. Sabrina thought it would be fun and I wanted to go, too. I had everything planned and packed. He asked me where I was going and I told him. He told me I wasn’t going, and I told him I was. I mean, I had one dad, and he wasn’t it. And I told him that. A second later, I was on the floor and he had his hands around my neck telling me to never disrespect him like that again. I had to call Sabrina and tell her that I wouldn’t be able to make it.”


“I had a huge bruise on the side of my face where he hit me. My mom asked what had happened to my face. Do you know what I said?”

Lucas shook his head no.

“I lied to her. I told her that I fell.” Hallee let out a bitter laugh. She didn’t know if it was the alcohol she’d had, or just Lucas’ aura of comfort, but she felt like she could bare her soul to him.

“And you stayed with him?”

“Yes, I did. He sent me flowers and swore he’d never do it again. And like an idiot, I believed him. My life’s been hell since. So to answer your question, I don’t know. It’s not like I’ve never thought about leaving him. But I watch TV. I know what happens to women who try to leave. I don’t want that to be me.”

“Hal, imagine what’ll happen if you stay with him, though.”

“I know, Luc. I’m to the point now, where I’m not even afraid anymore. I look for the beatings. Its inevitable. I’m tired. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve tried to be a good wife. Nothing’s good enough. It just makes me so mad when he questions my parenting skills. I’m a damn good mother.”

“Yes you are.”

“Thank you for agreeing,” she softly chuckled.

“Seriously though, Hal,” he said reaching across the table, grabbing her hand. “You are. You deserve to be happy. I can make you happy. I know you’re married but I want to be with you. Sorry if I’m being so forward.”

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