Life with: Kiana and Sawyer Ep. 13

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Kiana parked her car directly in front of the house’s walkway. She hopped out and practically sprinted to the front door. Carefully, she opened it and shut it behind herself. The house was pitched black and Kiana instinctively held a firm grip on the pepper spray in her jacket pocket.

She walked up the steps and tried to see which room had a light on. She couldn’t tell. She strolled past all the family photos on the wall and approached a door farthest from their bedroom.

“Allison?” She whispered to the bedroom she knew to be their daughter Christine’s. Allison didn’t reply. Kiana grew a little panicked but tried her best to stay calm. She walked up to the next door that was Sean’s. Just as she was about to whisper against the frame, it cracked open.

Kiana opened it just wide enough for her body to slip through and she closed it with a light click. Allison had been packing their things with only her phone’s flashlight. Christine was asleep on the rocking chair in the room’s corner and Allison was in the midst of putting Sean in his carrier.

“What do you need me to do?” Kiana asked. Allison flashed the light into the corner of the room to showcase an empty backpack waiting to be filled. Although, as she turned the light, she flashed just a little light on her face.

Kiana instinctively tried to snatch the phone from her hand to shine it on her but Allison had let out a gasp. Allison pulled away and reached for her wrist in pain.

It was purple and about three times the normal size it should’ve been. Kiana’s heart clenched in her chest at the sight. It looked agonizing.

“Oh god,” She whispered to herself. Kiana had the phone in her hand by mere accident. Allison had let it go when she pulled away and the only way to stop it from clashing against the floor was to catch it. “What did he do?” Kiana asked more to herself than to Allison. She didn’t even want to know what he did because she knew it was something that would make her stomach churn and her head throb.

Kiana slowly put the light up to Allison’s face. Her mouth fell wide open.

Her lip was completely busted. The gash was swollen and the bleeding had only stopped because the existing blood had dried. Her eye was blackened, swollen and visibly painful. She instinctively looked away from the bright light, squinting and then moaning in pain from the muscle movement. Kiana could catch a glimpse of her eye ball and see that a vessel had popped—a common result from being without oxygen for an extended period.

“I’ll do it, just stay still.” The thought of her moving her wrist around made her own wrist ache. Kiana quickly went to work with packing the backpacks and diaper bags. She went from drawer to drawer pulling out diapers, wipes and clothing for Sean.

When the bags were packed, she turned to Allison and put them over her shoulder so that she wouldn’t have to physically hold anything in her hands. Kiana swiftly turned around and focused her attention on Sean. She held him as he slept and put a jacket over his body. She shushed him sweetly, zipped it up and secured him in. She was careful not to stir him too much and successfully placed him in the carrier. She worried that any light would wake him so she pulled down the visor and placed a blanket over the handle.

She grabbed Christine’s jacket off the back of the rocking chair and pulled the sleeping girl into her chest while she sat. Kiana pulled her arms through each sleeve and tugged it over her shoulders. She grabbed her by the back of her knees and lifted her high on her chest. Christine sighed in her ear and instinctively wrapped her hands around Kiana’s neck to hold herself steady.

Her soft hair practically blinded Kiana and blocked the bit of light coming from the flashlight. She slowly moved it to the side and made her way to Sean. She put the carrier into the crook of her other arm and successfully juggled the kids.

“Ready?” Kiana asked. Allison nodded with an expression etched with nervousness. “You have nothing to worry about, honey. I’m here.” Kiana told her. Kiana believed her own words completely and she hoped Allison could see that. “Can you get the door?” Kiana asked. She did and they carefully made their way downstairs. Kiana took each step one at a time to make sure she was cautious with all the extra weight she had. Allison walked past the front door and toward the garage door.

“You don’t think that’d be too loud?” Kiana whispered. She didn’t want to risk waking up Declan before Allison was safely out of reach. The noise would be amplified in the garage.

“I need to drive, just incase—”

The light in the kitchen abruptly came on and Allison intuitively let out a yelp.

Kiana’s adrenaline had kicked in and she stepped to the forefront. She and Allison were leaving this house and there weren’t any alternatives. Declan strolled out of the kitchen and into view. He was shirtless but wearing loose sweatpants.

The contours of his chest and arms were intimidating and Kiana suddenly wondered Betturkey just when he’d started to look so terrifying. Only the outline of his body could be seen when he stood in front of the light’s source. He waited to speak, leaving the room chillingly anxious.

“Where are you going?” His voice was so casual—nonchalant. It was absolutely disgusting. As if she were running errands in the middle of the day and he just wanted to know which stores she’d be going to.

“She’s staying with me.” Kiana spoke up, her voice strong and sturdy. She was not easily frightened and she was certain Declan knew that. He knew her well. She felt five feet taller than she actually was and over 100 pounds heavier too. Kiana was ready to do whatever she needed to get out of the door.

“With my kids?” He asked, a devilish tone and a smile in his voice.

“Of course; you’re dangerous. Just be grateful the cops aren’t here.” She chanted across the space between them. The loaded insinuation put him on edge. His demeanor changed tremendously.

“I apologized to you, Allison.” He pleaded, finally turning his body in her specific direction. He was clearly very intoxicated. “I’m sorry I hurt you—I want to get help.” He took a few steps in their direction. Kiana made a sound of disapproval—like something she’d do if she were chastising the twins. He stopped walking.

“If you take another step in this direction we’re going to have some fucking problems—do you understand me?” The warning in her voice was more than evident and backed with thick conviction. When he had moved, Kiana could hear Allison’s breathing hitch behind her. It made Kiana sick to know he was still traumatizing her even with Kiana present.

“Kiana, this has nothing to do with you!” He bellowed. Kiana was solid in her resolve. She let no emotion show on her face.

“I’m leaving. With your wife and children. We are walking out the door and you will stay exactly where you are.” She warned in a monotone voice. “Allison, you can open the door, load the bags and start the car.” Kiana kept her eyes tightly on his.

He knew better than to move. She knew, deep down, he was afraid of her and even more afraid of her husband. She would be Allison’s shield.

Allison took a beat and then frantically walked toward the garage door. Kiana heard the ignition start up and she quickly thought of what she’d do next. She didn’t want to leave Declan by himself but she had to get the kids in the car first.

Allison walked back into the common area and stood beside Kiana.

“Take them one at a time and load them in.” Kiana told Allison. Allison used her good arm to grab Christine first. Kiana supported the child’s weight in her mother’s arms as much as she could until she was out of reach.

Kiana continued staring at Declan, waiting for him to do or say something she didn’t like. She was eager for an excuse to put him in jail for the night.

She heard the car door slam loudly and she knew Christine was strapped in. She extended her arm for Sean.

“Once he’s in, leave.” Kiana told her. Allison was hesitant.

“Kiana, we can leave together—”Allison tried to convince her. Kiana was planted firmly.

“I’ll be just fine. Go ahead.” Kiana looked in her direction to show her the confidence in her orbs. She spoke to her sweetly, trying to make sure she felt safe.

She paused for a second but eventually she went to go put Sean in his seat. As soon as she was out of sight, Kiana turned her attention back to Declan and her heart sank when she didn’t see him in the last place she left him. Chills ran over her body and she searched the area fleetingly—her adrenaline already kicking up a knotch.

She spotted a bit of his frame stumbling drunkenly through the garage door. He had snuck through the kitchen’s alternate exit and slipped by her when she wasn’t paying attention. Kiana was off after him with her pepper spray held firmly in her hand.

“Declan!” She called. Kiana rounded the corner with her heart racing in her chest. She heard Alison’s yelp before she saw what was. Kiana stood on the elevated threshold and looked down on Declan and Alison from where she stood. They were near the back passenger door and it looked like Alison had been putting Sean in his car seat when Declan grabbed her tightly by the back of her head.

She stumbled backwards while trying to make sure Sean was safely inside the car before she lost her balance. She ended up nearly tossing him in his seat and the motion startled him awake. His crying filled the garage. Kiana sprinted toward them and instinctively used her hands to hoist herself up the length of Declan’s back. She coiled her legs around his waist and held on tightly. She used the strength of her forearms around Declan’s neck. After a few seconds, she could hear him choking out his breaths and she hoped he was loosening his grip on Alison’s hair.

Alison eventually freed herself and roughly collided with the back of car from the force. Kiana was still plastered Betturkey Giriş against Declan’s back while he clawed at her arms and face in an attempt to catch his breath. He pulled at her hair and slapped at her arms. Declan threw himself around, hoping that the movement would force Kiana to lose her hold on him. But she was sturdily secured and had no plans on letting him free.

Declan threw his back against the garage’s concrete walls and Kiana screamed from the pain. Her head collided roughly with the surface and the breath was smacked out of her from behind. She tightened her hold on him and he fell to one knee.

“You’re going to kill him, Key.” Alison warned from where she stood. She could hear the concern in her voice and Kiana was disgusted by her over love for a monster. Kiana hopped down and allowed Declan to breathe for the first time in a full minute. His bear back heaved and hunched as she watched him from behind. She gave him a firm kick in the back just to make sure he was as weak as he seemed. He fell onto the floor and she knew she was much more comfortable with his new position.

“Get in the car,” Kiana told Alison in between her deep, frantic breaths. Her head was on fire and her chest ached from the pounding of her back.

“Your face…” Alison approached Kiana in the dimly lit garage and Kiana wondered what she was looking at. Somewhere within the struggle, he must have done something to mess up her face and it had Allison mortified. “Sawyer is going to kill me.” Alison mumbled to herself with slight terror on her face.

“No, he’s going to kill me.” There was no way of hiding this anymore.


Kiana dabbed the cotton ball of alcohol on Allison’s swollen lip. She flinched initially and then settled into the toilet lid’s seat. Kiana closed the door of the guest bathroom to keep from disturbing Sean and Christine who were sleeping in bed.

“What happened?” Kiana whispered, somewhat afraid to know. Alison sighed and let her eyes cast downward. Kiana was patient with her; she knew it must’ve been hard to talk about.

“I told him I wanted to start working again. He was pretty upset about it while sober but then he got drunk and just started picking fights with me.” Alison’s lip trembled and Kiana knelt in front of her. The bathroom’s tile floor was cool on her knees.

Alison grabbed a piece of toilet paper to dab at her eyes—careful of the swelling. Kiana soothingly rubbed her thighs and tried her best to comfort her.

She felt unbelievably guilty. Over two weeks had gone by since Allison first told Kiana Declan was abusing her. If she had acted sooner, she could have prevented her kids from seeing their mother this way She could’ve saved Allison from the pain she was in. They would be in their home and Declan would be getting the help he needed before it had ever got to this point.

“It was like he wanted a reason to hit me.” Allison could hardly get the words out; the cry was sitting at the back of her throat just waiting for a moment to her to feel vulnerable enough. Kiana reached her arms out to gather her into a deep hug.

“I’m so sorry.” Kiana whispered and flinched through the pain the embrace brought her. She felt like she was in need of forgiveness. Kiana couldn’t shake the feeling she had failed as a friend, mother, wife and as a woman. It was her place to protect the people she cared about and she had fallen short for Alison.

Janelle’s words from a few days ago played in the background.

“What are you sorry for?” Allison asked incredulously. She pulled Kiana back from their hug to look inquisitively into her profile. Kiana looked away, completely ashamed and unable to look her in her eyes.

“I should have stepped in sooner.” Kiana’s own tears threatened to turn her voice into a whimpering mess. “I wasn’t there for you.” And it wasn’t a question as to whether Alison would’ve been there for Kiana.

“Of course you were. I told you I needed time and that was exactly what you gave me.” Allison took a new cotton ball full of alcohol and dabbed it on the gashes Declan made when trying to get Kiana off of his neck. There were two three inch scratched against her cheek and a smaller one above her eye. They were all sure to leave scars. “I am so glad I could trust you to follow what I thought was best. Whether it was the best choice for me to make or not is debatable. But you listened to me.” Kiana wasn’t falling for it. So many women end up dying at the hands of their abusers because of people listening to the victim instead of doing what was right.

Kiana was no different.

“That doesn’t mean I did the right thing—just because it was what you wanted.” The sentence came out so much harsher than she had intended it to be. “You could’ve died, Allison. He could’ve killed you. What—” Kiana’s tear fell.

“What would I have told your babies? That death was what you wanted?” She was unbelievably angry with herself. The hypothetical scenario was all too close to being reality. Her death would be something she’d have to live with every day.

“But he didn’t kill me because you were there for me.” Allison said sternly. Kiana sighed; this conversation was a dead end. There was no way of talking her out of her guilt because she had every right to feel remorseful. This situation, even in all its horrors, was the best-case scenario given her weeks of inaction.


Kiana kissed Sean and Christine goodnight and went to go get towels for Alison in the hallway’s linen closet. She brought up bottles of water from the kitchen and a few cookies she’d made earlier that day just in case the kids needed something throughout the night. It was close six in the morning and Kiana would need to wake up soon to feed her girls; they usually woke up on their own around eight.

She showered and changed into her sleeping t-shirt which happened to be one of Sawyer’s old shirts. She padded up to her side of the bed and carefully pulled back the covers. Sawyer seemed like he was still deep in his sleep so she slid in beside him. Her spot was cold and she snuggled into his chest to warm herself up.

She sighed into his chest and melted into his body. Her eyes drifted closed after she was suddenly overcome with exhaustion. She hoped these couple of hours of sleep would be what she needed to feel remotely well rested. She inhaled his scent and ran her lips across the thin hairs on his chest.

“Go turn the light on and sit on the couch.” Sawyer’s whispering bass was like a thief in the night. Kiana’s breath was stolen from her body and she was in a state of temporary shock. She was literally paralyzed for a moment. But eventually, she grew conscious again and panic settled in. She took a beat but eventually got out of bed.

She tugged at the hem of his t-shirt and walked over to their bedroom’s seating area. The leather was cold on her bare legs and she nervously rubbed a section of her thighs for comfort.

She had been trying to prolong the inevitable at least until the next morning. But Sawyer had other plans. He’d make her get everything out in the open now. She wouldn’t be able to enjoy another night in his arms for a while after this.

Sawyer got out of bed with a groan. He languidly strolled into their bathroom and Kiana could hear the loud sound of an overdue release. He flushed the toilet and cleared his throat. The sink’s water ran and then he had resurfaced. Sawyer stopped by the bedside table and drank his full glass of water until it was empty. He placed the glass back down with a thud.

Kiana kept her eyes downcast when he walked by her to sit in the seat adjacent to her. She didn’t want him to see her face but she knew that was unrealistic; he’d see it eventually. From where she looked, she could see his feet stop in their tracks. His path was suddenly halted and that was when she knew he saw the cuts.

“Look at me.” He commanded, his voice full of anxious suspicion. She did. He was silent as he ground his teeth and his eyes ignited. “What the hell happened to you?” Kiana took a breath as she contemplated how to answer the question. Whatever the answer was, she took too long to give it. “Who the fuck did that to your face, Kiana!” There was no simple explanation that would do the situation justice.

“Let me explain everything, please.” She begged. She didn’t think he’d let her get very far in her explanation but she would try. “Sit.” He sat but he didn’t look interested in the context behind the culprit, just in finding out who was responsible for whatever had blemished his favorite face.

“A couple weeks ago Allison told me Declan was abusing her and she made me promise not to tell—”

“My brother?” Sawyer asked in an incredulous rage. Was there a hint of a smile on his face? She missed her opportunity to denounce the accusation and her silence told him all he needed to know. He jumped out of his seat and Kiana nearly sprinted after him. She grabbed at his arm and used her body weight to keep him in place. Sawyer tried to free himself from her grip.

“Sawyer, let me fucking finish explaining!” She knew this would happened. As soon as she gave a name he wouldn’t care about anything else she had to say. She got ahead of him and used her frame to block the exit. He would never forcibly move her out of the way but Sawyer’s patience was growing thin and she wouldn’t have been surprised if he had tossed her aside this once. She needed to find another approach.

“Baby,” She was gentle with her tone and she could sense him softening. He was always more sympathetic to her when she was submissive and vulnerable. Even if it was a ploy to get what she wanted. That was something she learned to capitalize on very early in their marriage. “I want him to pay for what he’s done just as much as you want him to. But let me tell you everything first.”

Sawyer shifted on his feet for a few seconds. He turned away from her in frustrated defeat. Kiana relaxed against the door’s frame and released a sigh. She placed her hands against Sawyer’s arms and physically pushed him back toward the seating area. He leaned forward in his seat and put his elbows over his knees. That put him only a few inches away from Kiana adjacent to him.

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