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“A what?” Howie asked not sure if he had heard her correctly.

“A human punching bag.”

“How long did she live like that?” Nick probed.

“The whole time they were married. Once Ryan got ahold of her, we didn’t see her for six months. Then, out of nowhere, she shows up at our door covered in more black and blue than your album cover.”

AJ paled as she continued.

“She had two black eyes, handprints on her arms and neck and bruises covering most of her body. Ryan must have been abusing her since the day they married.”

“And the scars on her back?” AJ asked softly.

His four brothers’ heads turned to stare at him and Brian spoke up. “What scars?”

“I walked in on her one day in the bathroom and I saw all these thin scars all over her back. She never told me what happened and I didn’t push.”

Sarah shook her head. “Those scars were from one of Ryan’s favorite games. He used to have her stand in front of a mirror and he would point out all of the places on her body that she needed to work on. She made the mistake of telling him once that she didn’t see anything and Ryan put her through the mirror, back and head first.”

“I think I’m gonna be sick.” Brian said and dashed out of the room.

“Oh my God.” Kevin uttered.

“It got worse.”

“There’s more?”

“Yeah. We convinced Sami to call the police to report the abuse and she did. She answered all their questions and sat through the pictures and the exams and told them all the humiliating details. Two days later, a couple of state troopers show up with Ryan in tow.”

“What?!?” AJ yelled.

“Apparently being an ADA earns you some friends in the police department. The two troopers and Ryan convinced the city cops to ignore the reports saying that Sami had mental health problems and inflicted the injuries on herself.”

“They can’t do that!”

“Actually they can. And, to top it off, he got a fifty-one fifty order that allowed him to put her into the psych ward until she agreed to come home with him. That was the last time we saw her until we watched the news and they showed the arrest warrant.”

“I can’t believe all of that!” Kevin exclaimed. “No wonder she killed him.”

“I don’t think she did.” Sarah said bluntly.


“Because Sami hated guns, she didn’t even know how to use one.”

“Maybe she had to learn to protect herself?” Howie asked.

She shook her head. “I don’t think Ryan’s dead at all. It seems funny to me that the state of California issued the warrant for her arrest even though the supposed murder took place in Massachusetts.”

“That was weird.” Nick mentioned. “I thought the state where the crime occurred had to do it.”

“That’s what I mean. I think Ryan is alive and he figured out exactly where Sami was and what name she was living under. He had some friends do this to flush her out in the open so he could get to her.”

AJ’s heart dropped into his stomach and he felt like throwing up. “Do you think he found her?”

Sarah’s eyes filled with tears and her voice cracked as she spoke. “I hope not because if he did, the only thing anyone else will ever find is her body.”
Chapter End Notes:
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