"Oh." Rene studied her hands, clenched together so tight her knuckles turned white. "Sorry. I thought I woke up before…"
She had forgotten about her nightmare in the greater problem of her handsome, sweet partner being chased by husband-hungry women. At Bekka's words, it came back.
The hands slapping her when she protested. Punching her right under her sternum so she couldn't breathe to scream. Tearing at her clothes. The rich, lazy voice that told her she deserved it because she wouldn't "pay up."
During her stay in the hospital, those words had haunted her, and she had calculated how much money Jefferson Williams had spent on her during their four dates. Her virginity had been worth just under $180. Slightly better than most prostitutes on the street charged -- but then, she had never been for sale.
She slapped his hands when he tried to pull her blouse open. When she struggled -- screaming -- from his car, he chased her through the park, knocked her down, beat her and raped her.
The head deacon's son and the new pastor's daughter.
"Hey," Bekka whispered, and dropped to her knees in front of the couch. She caught hold of Rene's hands. "It's in the past."
"Yeah." She swallowed hard and tugged a hand free to wipe away the chill sweat that always came when she thought of that unreal night. The recriminations, the lies, the accusations and spiritual destruction that followed.