Freeing Felicity

Walter and Felicity were never searching for love. Felicity was abused by her husband while Walter was sick of women throwing themselves at him. When they meet, they seem like an unlikely duo. But when evil rears its ugly head, Felicity will have to trust Walter.

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1. Prologue

Felicity opened her eyes as she heard stomping. His footsteps were heavy so he was most likely tired or drunk, but one couldn't be too cautious. If he wasn't angry now, then he would be when he found that she had propped furniture on the door. It was one thing for him to beat her, but it was another to have him invade her bed.

 

Quietly, she crawled out of the bed and scampered over to the closet. It was the only place where she could hide. The floor croaked beneath her just as the footfall stopped. She froze as she stared at the doors with wide eyes.

 

"Please don't come in," she said silently. Suddenly, a hard knock came slowly. She really had to hide. Swiftly, she dropped beneath some calico dresses that fell to the floor. Felicity pulled her knees close to her as another knock sounded. He was going to be furious. 

 

"Felicity, please let me in," his voice came through. Henry's voice itched with anger. She clamped a hand over her mouth to prevent screaming. "Let. Me. In!" Suddenly, she heard the slam as she supposed he rammed into the door. Wood splinters tossed to the ground, one landing nearby her feet. 

 

"Come out. I know you don't like me when I'm angry," Henry chuckled humorlessly. No, she hated him when he was angry. That was when he would take her against her will, not that she would ever want him to take her. But it had been a while since he had stolen her purity. Their wedding night was when Henry showed his true abusive side. He had ruined her. He had hurt her.

 

Within days, he kept asking if she was with child. Everytime she said no, he had smacked her with whatever was in his reach. She started lying, but months after her lie, she couldn't lie anymore. Her stomach remained flat, and that gave her away. Then, came the disgrace. He called her barren. 

She felt terrible. He would take mistresses. Several times, she had passed then in the hallway. Their hair would be ruffled, and their dresses were messy. They also would sadly smile at her. Felicity couldn't believe herself. She was faulty. She couldn't do what any woman was meant to do.

"Where are you, wife? I want to give you another chance to produce an heir," he hissed suddenly before it was followed by a crash, most like a piece of furniture. She bit her hand to keep from giving away her location. Several times he had left her, burning with failure and hurt. And she hated him for that. 

After all, she wasn't the one that choose him for a spouse. She was young when he had saw her. Felicity was only seventeen, and her dowery was small. But he had approached her parents and offered a large sum of money. Within days, he dragged her to the clergy after forcing her parents to leave London. Perhaps it was better if they never saw her again. She was a failure. She allowed herself to be ruined, beat, and belittled. 

"Where are you?" Henry roared. She bit her hand to keep from screaming. Suddenly, she felt the ground shake as Henry's boots stopped right in front of her. His hands appeared as they latched to her ankles. She shrieked as he dragged her out of her hiding space. 

"There you are," he chuckled, but his anger was obvious. "So, give me an heir. Now." He ripped out his knife. It's blade glinted in the night before he pointed it into her arm. She tried not to shake as he dragged the knife down her arm. Blood glistened in the moonlight as he threw his knife to the ground. 

"You're mine," he growled before shoving his lips against hers. She fought him off best she could as he tried to remove her nightgown.

"Stop!" Felicity screamed as she shoved him away. Her feet fell out from under her as he kicked her legs. She landed with a grunt, but her eyes quickly found the glinting dagger. 

"You will give me what I want," Henry screamed at her before kicking her side. Her fingers wrapped around the dagger as he tore off her nightdress. She spun around and held the knife out just as he leaned down over her. She felt pressure on the blade as it pierced his skin. 

"And you will give me what I want," she growled as she shoved the knife deeper into his chest. "Freedom." 

Henry choked as she pushed him off of her. He fell to the ground and didn't move. But she suddenly felt regret plow through her. She had just killed a man, her husband no less. She was a murderer. 

"Marian," she choked as she gathered the remnants of her white gown. She felt positively dirty as she stared at the listless body of her husband. 

"Yes, milady?" A maid named Marian called as she scampered into the room. "Oh, Lord." Suddenly, Marian looked away from the body. 

"Help me dress," she whispered as she grabbed a dress. "I'll leave at once."

"Milady, what happened?" Marian gasped while Felicity closed the closet door. 

"I fought for my freedom," she murmured. Marian quickly buttoned up Felicity's dress. "I shall leave without his name tainting me. If he does live, you must find me at once." 

"Where will you be?" Marian asked as she gathered a heavy cloak and a bag of coins that Felicity hid in her dresser. 

"I don't know, but somewhere in England," she answered as she took the cloak. "Let's pray he doesn't wake. I wouldn't wish death upon anyone, but-" Felicity pulled her arm into view. "He marked me like cattle. He has hurt me beyond fixable. But he has stolen more from me than a thief."

"You must go now," Marian finally whispered. "I'm sorry this has been your fate."

"I pray that I have changed my fate. Goodbye Marian," she murmured before giving her a hug. With a small smile, Felicity stole away to the barn where her chestnut mare was. Maroon was the only good thing that Henry spent his money on for her. Felicity quickly saddled her and slid into her seat. With in seconds, she pressed the chestnut mare into a trot away from what she deemed her prison. She stole away like a thief in the night. 

As Maroon galloped, Felicity was thankful for the heavy cloak. But she was also thankful that she had Maroon. She trusted Maroon and her footing. With in days, it would be a memory, Felicity thought. Tears stung her eyes as Maroon galloped. Whether it was from the wind whipping her dark hair about or from the thought that she had killed a man, she could not tell. But one thing remained on her mind. That she was free.

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