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  1. #51
    Peter and Pamela Allerton

    "I've always been very fond of her too", Pamela replied sincerely to her aunt's words. Aunt Bethany was such a sweet lady, she felt a bit bad for not keeping in touch as she should. If she were to be honest, she hadn't really been keeping in touch with anyone other than grandma and aunt Bess, because she had to speak to them. It was almost a miracle that Peter had allowed her to get a job, and she didn't want to rock the boat and lose that little bit of independence she had acquired.

    She was almost feeling secure and assured that she could take care of aunt Bess and keep working at the school. At least until Peter came around. His presence made her feel that a weight had been tied around her neck, and Pam felt herself lose that sense of security. She looked like a deer in headlights when she looked at Peter and then at her uncle, praying that her husband would keep the charade going at least until the funeral. At least it seemed like he was sober, which was good enough. But she really didn't want to see her relatives involved in her mess of a marriage, not now. Not when everyone was dealing with a loss.

    Feeling like a Christian martyr about to be sent to the lions, Pamela sighed and stepped aside. "It's okay, uncle Johnny, I... this will only take a minute", she murmured, keeping her gaze down. "You're at home, I won't be long. We're gonna have grandma's favorite hymn sang at the funeral, so... maybe we should all practice a little?", she suggested, wanting to make her time alone with Peter as short as it could possibly be.

  2. #52
    Johnny & Bethany Carmichael

    "We know."

    Bethany said with a smile and her husband nodded his head. His sister wasn't always the easiest woman, but he knew how much she adored Pamela. They all did. Johnny realized in hindsight he should have been there more for his niece. He was so wrapped up in his own life, he forgot about his extended family. Maybe if he had been a better uncle, she wouldn't have been involved with Peter. A man he was seeing in the same eyes as his daughter was now. Peter had put on a good show when he first came around, but it seemed as he got more comfortable, his true nature was showing.

    Johnny looked at his niece, she might try to hide it, but he could see the deer in the headlights look and it broke his heart. How long had this been going on? He wondered and what could they do to help. He sighed and nodded his head.

    "Okay, don't take too long, dear. We do have a lot to do before the funeral."

    He should talk to Bess, he thought. See what she thought of their nephew in-law.

  3. #53
    Peter and Pamela Allerton

    "I won't be long at all, I promise," Pamela replied to her uncle, doing her best to appear and sound calm. "It'll just be a minute."

    After a soft sigh, Pam excused herself and followed Peter out of the kitchen. She could feel her heart race as they walked up the stairs and went to the room they'd be using for their time there. When Peter closed the door, Pamela stepped back a little, feeling nervous.

    Before she could say anything, his hand was gripping her arm hard. Sometimes Pam could still be surprised by how strong Peter actually was, especially when he was angry.

    "You're not going anywhere. Understood?"

    Pamela felt her throat get dry, and her answer was a nod. "Did you understand, Pamela?"

    She knew he wanted to hear her answer, so she made an effort and nodded again before speaking. "I do, Peter. Of course I do. I... don't know what came over me to say that. I wasn't thinking. I'm sorry."

    Her answer seemed to satisfy Peter enough to get him to let go of Pamela's arm, but before she could even say anything, the back of his hand connected to her face. She closed her eyes, feeling like someone had just set off fireworks in the room. It took her a moment or two to open her eyes and touch her face. "Oh, God, Peter. You shouldn't have. It's gonna leave a bruise." She could barely believe her own words. Here she was, worrying about the possibility of someone seeing the bruise on her cheek. "It's too late to do anything about it now."

    Peter didn't say anything for a while. He seemed to be thinking while he looked at her face. "It doesn't look that bad," he finally said, before shrugging. She simply shook her head. "Okay. Let's go back downstairs. I'm not going anywhere. I'll see what I can do later." While she moved out of the bedroom, Pam felt like she was dreaming. When had she changed this much? When had she become this person who was standing there and trying to rationalize having just been smacked.

    Keeping silent, she let Peter go downstairs first and followed him. For a second, she was so tempted to push him down the stairs she touched his back, catching herself on time and letting her hand rest on his shoulder, keeping silent until they went back to the kitchen. Peter went to get a seat, and Pamela tried to sound cheerful, her eyes practically begging everyone in the kitchen to not say anything and play along. "Do you all have what you need?," she asked, sliding into the host role again.

  4. #54
    Johnny & Bethany Carmichael

    "All right, dear."

    Bethany told her niece. She didn't think things were good in Pamela's marriage and that made her sad.

    "We should offer her a place to stay."

    Bethany told her husband quietly when it was just the two of them in the kitchen. Johnny immediately nodded his head.

    "I agree."

    He wished he had seen it sooner, but he was always so focused on his own life and with Alexis. He didn't see how badly Peter was treating her. After the funeral...Things would have to change, he thought. He should pay more attention to his niece and help her anyway he could. Johnny got himself and Bethany a cup of coffee. He was going to see how Bess was holding out, when Pamela returned. He frowned seeing her face and Bethany stood up and took her hand. Wanting to say something but didn't. She felt like a call to the police would be appropriate. Especially seeing her face but...It was Pamela's eyes that made her not bring it up. Not that she was going to forget about it either.

    "We're fine, dear. Take a seat. You've been so busy playing the role of hostess, I'm sure you haven't just rest for a little while. I can gather everyone and we can discuss the rest of the plans."

  5. #55
    Pamela Carmichael

    Pamela was really relieved when her aunt and uncle didn't say anything. She could feel her cheek burn and it was probably bruised now, so she was pretty sure that it would be visible to everyone. Pamela could only hope, for her own sake, that nobody would make a fuss about it right now. She had her plans made already. She would leave after the funeral, no matter what. Peter wouldn't have a hold on her for much longer.

    When Bethany held her hand, Pamela nodded and squeezed it gently. "Okay, that would be nice. Thank you, Aunt Bethany."

    She let out a soft sigh, her eyes still pleading. She really hoped her aunt could get everyone else to play along until she could safely leave her husband, but she wasn't sure what would happen, and this really scared Pam. Slipping her hand softly away from Bethany's, she went to sit down and took a deep breath. This was a nightmare, it had to be.

  6. #56
    Bethany Carmichael, Alexis Carmichael, & Travis Holsinger

    It was hard for both Bethany and Johnny to not say anything. There was so much that should be said, but right now was not the time. After the funeral, then they could talk to Pamela and make sure she knew she had options. That they loved her and that she was family, that she didn't need to keep living the life she was living with Peter. That she shouldn't live this type of life. That she deserved better then him.

    "You're welcome, dear."

    Bethany told Pamela with a smile. She got her a cup of tea and went to get her daughter and her boyfriend. Alexis and Travis had taken a nap. They had arrived late the night before and had needed some sleep. Although both were worried about Pamela as well.

    "Mom, you know Peter hits her."

    Alexis said quietly as they headed down the stairs. Pamela sighed.

    "I know."

    She hadn't known before, Pamela and Peter usually put on a good show, but she saw it now. It wasn't something she was going to forget.

    "What are we going to do about it?"

    Alexis asked, wanting to fix it. She wanted Peter gone. He didn't deserve to be a part of their family, especially not when they were going to lay her grandmother to rest soon.

    "I'm not sure yet. First, we worry about the funeral, then Pamela."


    Alexis didn't like the response but Travis said.

    "Your mom's right."

    Alexis frowned even more until her boyfriend added.

    "Pam's going to worry too much about the funeral and it won't help matters if Peter thinks we're judging him. Afterwards, though, before we all head home, we can deal with him."

    Alexis nodded her head, not liking the idea of waiting but understanding why.

    "Good. He deserves to have his ass kicked."

    "That he does."

    Travis said and Bethany also agreed. All three dropped the subject when they went to get Bess so she could join everyone in the kitchen to finalize the funeral plans.

  7. #57
    Peter Allerton, Pamela Allerton, Bess Carmichael

    Pamela was really relieved when her relatives went to look for aunt Bess. She could feel her heart break and a cold rush of fear when she was sitting there alone with Peter. She’d loved him, a lot. A part of her probably still did. But she was now so scared of him.

    “When did we change?”

    “Hm?,” was Peter’s distracted reply.

    “Nothing, I was just thinking.” Pamela sighed and went to sit by her husband, her head resting on his arm. This was really hard. She wanted a happy life. A happy home, children, everything. But not with this man who would hit her and probably the children too if they ever had them.

    She opened her mouth to speak, to tell Peter she wanted a divorce. Still, she knew it would be too dangerous, and fell silent again. She needed to wait, she had to be patient and figure something out.

    While Pam contemplated her fate, Bess was in the linen room working. It was just like Bess, to work like she had a timeline whenever she was sad. It had been the same back when her father had passed.

    She stopped her work when she noticed she wasn’t alone. Bess looked a lot like a younger version of her mother. Her eyes were Grandpa Joe’s, though, and the way she looked at Alexis was friendly and fond. “I’m so happy you all are here,” she stated, before moving to offer everyone a hug. By the time she got to her sister-in-law, Bess was tearing up a little. “Thanks for coming, dear. It would have meant the world for her to see all of you here.”

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