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Once Upon A Time

Whenever Katie thought of her life, she always started it with "Once Upon a Time," like the stories her mother used to tell her before she faded off to sleep. In those stories, the damsel or the heroine always had a perfect prince come rescue them, or did wondrous things that changed people lives. They also ALWAYS had a happy ending. Katie longed for happily ever after.

Who was to know that Katie would grow up so differently. When her mother read her those bedtime stories, Katie would envision wonderful things for her life. She saw the man next to her as someone she could always share with. Someone who she would long to reach out and touch, no matter where they were and what they were doing. Someone who would turn toward her as they were driving down the parkway and catch her looking at him, and smile.

Katie had a man next to her now. But unlike her dreams, this man would never notice her touch, much less turn to look at her. Katie wondered what she'd ever seen in him. How had her dream man become so callous? How had he become someone who yelled at her for no apparent reason, and the touch of passion become a slap of anger? Katie wondered mostly why her life was nothing like the stories.

As she walked through the local grocery store, her mind wandered freely. Picking up the staples of which she fed her family, she thought of her fairy tale man. He seemed a myth. There wasn't such a person. There couldn't be. Any man she had ever been with always fell short of her dreams. Perhaps in the beginning there would be a feel of wonder, but it would quickly fade as she began to realize that the person she was with wasn't considerate at all, wasn't caring of her feelings. She doubted herself eventually. She evidently wasn't worthy of Prince Charming.

As she reached for the shining red apple, her mind was elsewhere. As her hand closed around it, she felt a jolt of electricity flow up from the floor and tingle through her body. Blinking and shaking her head she turned and bumped into another shopper. Mumbling her apologies, she looked at the man who stood so close to her. His green eyes seemed to sparkle with laughter, and his voice flowed to her ears as would a melody meant to calm and soothe her. A flush of embarrassment colored her face, making her seem younger than her 37 years, and she felt childlike all of the sudden.

"Are you going to buy that apple, Snow White?" he said. It was then that she saw she still had the fruit in her hand. Another shiver went through her body as she smiled and laughed at his joke. "I had planned to but I hear apples aren't the best fare for us princesses." She quipped back at him. It was then that he laughed outright...the most sincere and wonderful laugh she had ever heard. "Its OK" he said, "If you faint dead away after eating it, I promise to deliver the kiss that awakens you." It was then, that Katie realized that perhaps there were men who might fit her princely description and perhaps....he was standing in front of her that very second.

With a kindly nod, he said, "Watch out for witches bearing fruit," and started to walk away. Katie was torn by the desire to follow him, knowing that the hand that held the apple she had chosen also bore the gold band that held her firmly to this world. But her gut instinct was not to let this prince get away. As he turned the corner onto another aisle, she quickly grabbed a plastic bag to put half a dozen quickly chosen apples into, and then followed quickly. She turned onto the aisle that she thought he would be on to find no one but a mother and her young child bickering over cereal choices. Her heart was racing and aching all at once. She had to find him. She had to make sure that the lifelong dream she held within her was realized.

She wandered the store, aisle after aisle searching for him, occasionally stopping to grab something off a shelf. As her basket filled, her heart despaired of ever finding him. Had he been yet another manifestation of her daydreams? But looking down into the basket she saw the red apple she had chosen, and knew he had to be real. Another five minutes of wanderings failed to turn up this prince and she began to realize that perhaps she never was fated to have the life she was raised to believe in. Perhaps all her dreams were unrealistic. She berated herself for even wasting her time chasing a stranger. She had things to do and if dinner wasn't done when she got home, there would be hell to pay.

She marched up to the checkout, now determined to keep her mind in this world and started placing her purchases on the conveyor belt. Milk, bread, spaghetti noodles all marched by her, much like all the opportunities she had missed. "Just once," she thought, "just once I wish I had the nerve to reach out and grab onto something that I know would make my life better." As she stood there mesmerized by the parade of food, her mind drifted once more to the stranger from the vegetable aisle. How could someone have such an immediate effect on another person, and how could that person just disappear?

After paying the cashier for her groceries, she left the store. Once she got to her car she began searching through her purse for her keys. Her husband always snarled at her for never having then ready ahead of time. He hated waiting while she fumbled through her belonging looking for them. Just the act of waiting for her seemed to irritate him lately. As her hand closed around the keys, she felt herself despair of ever having a healthy relationship with him. That thought led to the next one which was even more depressing, that being that she truly never had a healthy relationship with him at all. Sure he was good looking when they met, and she had been flattered that someone like him would even consider dating her. But even in the early days, she recalled herself always being the one to cave in on any issues of importance to her. He never once saw her point of view as valuable. As she loaded the grocery bags into her trunk she felt a tear of frustration roll down her cheek.

Just as she reached up to close the trunk lid, she felt a hand tap her on the shoulder. Turning quickly to see who it was, she was surprised to see the Prince of Fruit standing before her. He looked into her face and saw the sadness there, and said "What's wrong Princess?" and at the same time lifted his hand to her face to wipe away one of the tears. As his hand connected with her cheek, she once again felt the jolt of electricity run through her. She tried to step back and away from him but found herself pinned between him and the car. She stammered out some inane excuse, and quickly covered her disquiet by asking him "What can I do for you?"

His reply came as a complete and utter surprise to her. Her heart even seemed to skip a beat as she heard him say "I couldn't help but come over here. When I saw you in the store I seemed drawn to you, and for once in my life, I decided to act upon my impulse and reach out to grab that which seemed so perfect." Katie couldn't believe his words, the very words she had wanted to use so many times before but never had the nerve for. She knew her next statement would be one of the most important ones she ever uttered. She fought her usual response to turn from anything that seemed too perfect, and instead she found the courage to say "I know, me too." His eyes seemed to light up upon hearing her words and his smile stretched across his face, so pleased that she hadn't turned from him. "Hi," he said, "my name is Lance." Lance, Katie thought, what a perfect name for a prince. "Hello Lance," she said, a flush of pink heating her skin, "My name is Katie." He shook his head and as he reached for her shoulders, he said "No...you will always be Princess to me."

Katie could feel the heat of his hands through the thin cotton fabric of her shirt. She looked up into his face, and without thought, stepped forward toward him, into his embrace. With her head pressed shoulder, she brought her arms up around him, and whispered softly into his ear, "Where is your white horse, Prince Charming." He then stepped back, now holding her at arms length, looking into her face, and said "Let me show you how life should be Princess Katie...Let me take you to my castle." In response, Katie stepped back into his arms and kissed him. The world around her faded as her lips touched his. The heat of his mouth radiated through her, and as she pressed herself to him, she knew that for a moment, for a short time, for eternity, this was her fairytale.

She walked with him across the parking lot. His hand was against the nape of her back, guiding her toward his car. As they came to it, he pulled her back into his embrace, and between kisses, he murmured, "Princess, are you real? Will you disappear on me at midnight?" She answered his queries with kisses, her knees growing weak from the intensity of passion that was gripping her. She had never known anyone to have this effect on her. Breaking away from her, Lance opened the car door, and as he motioned for her to be seated, he looked straight at her, green eyes glowing, and said "Are you sure?" Katie paused only for a second, and as she sat in the passenger seat looking up at him, she said "How can I fight a fairy tale?"

The drive to his place seemed to take only moments, the entire time filled with caresses. He seemed unable to keep from reaching over and touching her. He seemed to want to keep one hand on her at all times, and Katie could almost see that he too, was afraid she might vanish...the product of his deep longing for the same dream she held close for all these years. When his hand came to rest on her thigh, she placed her own hand over it...pressing down, feeling the solidity of him...holding it firmly to keep from letting him slip away.

Upon arriving at his home, she sat for a moment looking out the window of the car, as he came around to open her door. She was almost surprised to see him standing outside the open door, so lost in thought she had been, gazing out the windshield. His home was well cared for. She could see that he was a man who paid attention to detail, who cared about minor things. The fern on his front porch was moist and had new tendrils opening that indicated careful watering and tender nurturing. Her husband barely knew where the hose was kept. She climbed from his car, wondering what she was walking into, but no longer caring. She had been scripted for this adventure and she played the scene out with wonder and anticipation.

As he struggled with the bags of groceries, balancing them, and trying to open the front door, she stood back watching him. All at once, one of the bags tipped and a cascade of food tumbled from it. Katie jumped forward to try and catch what she could as it fell to the ground. As she looked up at him, she could see a broad smile on his face, and hear him laugh. Looking confused for a moment, Katie too, began laughing. In her hand was a red apple, the only thing she had managed to catch. Setting the remaining intact bag down upon the table at the entry door, he squatted down before her, and as he leaned toward her, gathering the scattered food, he kissed her. Arms now full of groceries, he somehow managed to stand, drawing her up with him, their lips still locked together. Pressing against him, Katie could feel the cans and fruit that were in his arms crushed against her chest.

As he stepped back, entering the house, she followed closely. She had no idea what to expect upon arriving but she knew that whatever it was, it would be perfect. He broke from the kiss, smiling, and said "Could you grab that bag? My hands are a little full." Katie laughed, and gathering the brown bag in her own arms, followed him to his kitchen where he had allowed the armload of sundries to spill across his countertop. He then turned and took the bag from her, brushing aside things to make room for it. That done he once again reached for her, gathering her up into his arms, and kissed her passionately. His lips pressed against hers, and Katie could feel herself melting against him. Her mouth opened to his questing tongue, and as they kisses, the heat of the moment spread through Katie's body. Her arms went up around his neck and she ran her hands through his hair.

All of the sudden she felt herself lifted off the ground, and kissing still, Lance carried her from the kitchen into the living room of his home. He gently sat on his couch, carrying her down with him, and she found herself sitting in his lap, his arms around her. His lips now kissed softly over her face. Tenderly he kissed her eyelids, her forehead, his hands now cradling her head. He pressed her back against the arm of the couch, laying her there. She was filled with desire as he carefully began unbuttoning the front buttons of her blouse. She watched his face as he unbuttoned the last button. He seemed as amazed with her as she was with him. As his fingertips brushed along the edge of her unbuttoned shirt, she was breathing deeply, shivering as his fingers brushed her skin. He slowly traced upward until his fingers held the shirts top edge and pushed it off her shoulders. She felt the soft cotton spill down her arms as his hands followed, palms down, sweeping down her arms.

She now sat before him, shirt tossed to the floor beside their feet. He swung around to kneel beside her now. He lay his head upon her stomach. Kissing it lightly then just resting it there. He looked up past her breasts and into her eyes. She was enthralled by his eyes. They were filled with longing, passion, lust, but also something else. She had never seen another man look at her with the wonder that Lance now did. She reached down to touch his face, tracing her fingers lightly over the bridge of his nose. Trailing over his eyebrows. Running the back of her hand over his cheek. All the while he stared up at her. What should have been disconcerting was so natural, so right. She felt that in his eyes she held no secrets, nor did she need to.

Swinging herself up she sat before him...her legs straddling his kneeling body. Tenderly she pressed her body to him, turning her head slightly to kiss him. As she ran her hand down his back, she grabbed the hem of his T-shirt and quickly pulled it up over his head. He helped her by raising his arms, and as the shirt freed itself from them he brought them down around her back, holding her firmly to him. He knelt there holding her for what seemed forever, both of them resting against the other, peaceful and content at one another's nearness. ***

After what seemed an eternity, Lance began sliding his hands over Katie's bare back. His palms pressing hot against her skin. She could feel his fingers pause and quest at the latch of her bra until he finally freed the hooks and she felt the fabric loosen around her. His hands then climbed upward to her shoulders and as he pulled the straps off of them, he leaned back from her, now sitting on his legs in front of her. As her bra fell from her breasts he stared intently, and a look of ecstasy came over his face as they fell freely from their confines. She had firm breast with small rose colored aureolas. Her nipples were already tight and firm. He reached out tentatively to touch them, seeming almost afraid that she was a figment of his dreams and touching her would bring him awake.

Katie sat still, her hands on the couch at her sides. As she watched Lance, she was amazed that such a man truly did exist. His tender touches were so much different from the frenzied gropings of her past experiences. His fingers barely tickled across her nipples, his hand softly caressed and cradled the weight of her breast in his hand. Just the act of reaching out to her, made her aroused and excited. Is this what it is supposed to be like, she wondered? As her breathing starts to deepen and catch in her lungs, she finds she can no longer ponder things like her past, as the present is so overwhelming. With quick ease she slips from the couch and settles herself down upon her knees before him. Taking him into her arms she presses herself to him. The warmth of his bare skin, and the softness of the fine pelt of hair on his chest sends a deep charge through her body, settling in her groin, a twinge of need.

Upon finding Katie in his arms, Lance envelops her with his arms and holds her close, kissing her neck. Together they both rise and he stares deep into her eyes, searching for a sign that she was ready for this. "Sweet Princess" he asks, "would you let me carry you away from whatever caused those tears earlier?" Katie, at a loss for words, merely nodded and with that, Lance picked her up, cradling her in his arms, and carried her through the living room into his bedroom. Setting her gently down upon his bed, he stood before her.

Looking up at this man, this gentle perfect dream of a man, Katie smiled. She then leaned forward to kiss above his navel. A soft gentle kiss, lingering there with her lips pressed against him. She then began unbuttoning his pants. Tugging him playfully toward her, she maneuvered the button from the hole. Looking up into his adoring face, she slowly pulled the zipper down, loosening his pants further. As they start to fall from his hips, she follows then downward, her hands sliding over his hips and down the outside of his thighs. Once his pants are free of his legs and lying in a bunch at his feet, Lance sits down upon the bed and presses Katie downward, so she now lies back upon the silky bedspread. Lying next to her, he rests his arm over her stomach, and turns her toward him. Pressing forward, his head resting on his arm, he pulls her into a kiss. Starting slowly at first, then abandoning control and sinking fast into pure relentless passion.

Lance suddenly breaks free from the soul melting kiss and sitting up next to Katie, begins undoing her pants. Pausing to seek her approval, he unzips her pants and feels her hips lift from the bed as he slides them off of her. With one quick motion he drags her pants from her body, and she kicks them free of her feet. Laying there next to him, Katie feels no shame or embarrassment. Never before has she been with a man who made her feel so comfortable. Nakedness seemed a perfect and natural state.

Lance sat beside her gazing at her, eyes trailing over the curve of her thigh, the soft mound of hair between her legs, the dip of her stomach and the swell of her breasts. He stopped only when he reached her face, and there he bestowed a look of utter and complete happiness. Katie was amazed to see such love reflected upon her. It seemed like she and he were a perfect match. No doubts raced through her mind. Nothing but peace and longing raced through her head.

Reaching out a hand to him, she invited him down next to her. He took her hand, and instead of laying there beside her, he dragged her upward to sit beside him. Her legs hanging off the side of the bed, her torso turned toward him. Wrapping his arms around her, he pulled her into a strong embrace. In his arms she felt so safe. So welcome. So loved. She would willingly remain forever there. His lips tickled the edge of her ear as he whispered "My princess, God, you are a beautiful woman."

With a tight hug, he released her, then slipped from the bed to come kneeling in front of her, her legs on either side of him. Placing his hands upon her hips, he gazed up at her. He then rested his forehead against the hollow between her breasts, and held it there. Breathing deeply, she placed her arms around his head, pressing the sides of her breast against his head. He then dragged his hands along the sides of her legs, until they both rested upon her knees. Looking up once more at her, he started to trail tiny kisses down between her breasts, and along the center of her belly. Pausing at her navel, he slipped his tongue into it, and sucked upon it, playing with it, running his tongue around the edge and dipping it in. She sat there still, one hand behind her supporting her weight as she leaned back some, the other running through his hairKatie felt his tongue trail across her belly, then feeling pressure upon her knees, she allowed him to push her legs open further. She laid back upon the bed, closing her eyes. She could feel his gaze upon her, felt his fingers as they trailed up her inner thighs. She shivered as he ran his fingers over the lips of her cunt, playing with the curls of hair there. He ran his cheek against her thigh, rubbing against her like a cat. His face was rough from the growth of stubble, not quite the five o'clock shadow that some men got, but still enough that his cheeks tickled over her sensitive skin.

"My sweet princess, you are so wet," he murmured as his finger dipped between the lips of her cunt. Katie moaned in response, her fingers digging into the quilt. As Lance began to spread her lips open further she shuddered in pleasure. His touch was so gently, so careful. Not at all like her husband who thought nothing of just shoving a finger down there and rubbing without care of whether she was wet or enjoyed it. The act of foreplay was foreign to him and he felt that just shoving his fingers into her dry cunt was enough to get the job done.

Lance's fingers slowly opened the folds revealing the glistening skin, each fold seemed to cover a treasure he sought to unearth. He softly ran his finger from the base of her opening upward, until he found the hard knob of her clitoris amongst the folds there. Katie could not help but shudder and shiver under his touch. Then suddenly she felt his tongue lapping over her, as Lance began exploring her with his mouth. He would lap roughly over her clit, feeling it swell in response until it stood out from its hidden den, glistening and red. When it was fully extended he took it into his mouth and sucked at it, his tongue darting small circles around it. Katie's hips pressed upward toward his mouth, pressing herself tight against his mouth. She cried out in pleasure as he began running his lips up and down on the small knob. Quickly he would suck it in and out of his mouth...sucking and lapping at it all the while until Katie cried out, "Yes, oh my God, Yes!!" He could feel her body tense and press upward grinding herself against his face.

As Lance could sense she was nearing orgasm, he slipped two fingers deep into her. They slid so easily into her, gliding over her velvety walls. He sunk them in deep until the knuckles of his hand were lost in the folds of her. He kept lapping at her, his tongue darting over her clit, his fingers now sliding into her as she pumped herself against them. He felt the muscles of her cunt gripping and holding his fingers as he slipped then in and out of her. He could tell she was close to the top when she brought her legs up off the floor and crossed them around his shoulders, pulling herself forward, her hands now holding the lips of her cunt open for him. Her moans were so loud now he could barely hold himself back from climbing up onto her and sinking deep into her, joining her on her climb.

Her body shook with ecstasy, until finally she grabbed his hand and made him stop. She lay before him, still shaking, and said "Had I known it could be like this, I would have hung around the grocery store a lot more often." He laughed, and climbed up onto the bed to lie on his side next to her. He caressed her stomach, and leaned in to kiss her. She responded immediately to his lips on hers, she turned toward him. Wrapping a leg over his hip she pulled herself in close to him. He could feel her breasts pressed to his chest. He reached for her and pulled her into his embrace, holding her tightly, until both of them were resting quietly.

He could feel her body next to him go relaxed as she faded off to sleep. He lay there beside her holding her. He looked across at her sleeping face, the soft hair cascading over her forehead, the light fringe of eyelashes, the slope of her nose, and the perfect shape of her lips. He longed to reach out and touch those lips but dared not in fear of rousing her. Katie turned slightly and snuggled her head closer. He felt the soft puffs of her breath on his neck. He lay there like that for a while, until he could see the sunlight fade.

Reaching across her, he gently rubbed his hand down her arm. She awoke with a start, and upon seeing him, smiled. She was surprised to see that he was there and that it hadn't been a dream. Her hand went up to his lips and traced them, and she then leaned forward to kiss him. It seemed impossible to her that someone she has just met could cause such a sense of arousal within her.

While kissing him, she maneuvered him onto his back, following with her body to rest astride him. Her body leaned forward, resting on his chest, both arms supporting her as she kissed him passionately. She could feel his cock stiffening under her as he responded to her advances. She pressed herself tight against him, feeling his cock slipping into the folds of her pussy. Once she felt it there, she started to rock back and forth upon it, feeling it slide over the folds of skin, feeling the head of his cock gliding across her clit. She continued slowly sliding his back and forth within the folds of her pussy until she felt him start to moan and thrust upward. It was at this point that she sat up, raising her body up slightly, and as his cock slid past her opening once again, she shifted her hips and felt the tip dip inside her.

Looking down at Lance, his face tensed in pleasure, she slowly rose and lowered herself over his cock, now sitting astride him. Teasing him and herself at the same time. It took all her control not to slam down upon his cock, driving it deep into herself. She was dying to feel it pound into her, and grind it against the back wall of her hot cunt. Katie wanted this man more than any man she had ever been with, and denying herself immediate pleasure was a test of will.

She could feel the tip of his cock enter her, feel the lips of her cunt close around it as it slipped into her, and as she lowered herself down onto him, she shivered with intense pleasure. It was something new to her to be in control, and she felt that Lance was a special man to allow her this. She could feel his body shudder with pleasure and feel his hips lift slightly trying to press more of his cock into her, but she could also tell he held back, allowing her to set the pace. Slowly she lowered herself down upon him...each stroke would take his cock a little deeper into her, until finally, she succumbed to the feeling and in one fell blow, sunk his cock all the way into her. She felt the back walls of her cunt stretch as his cock filled her.

It was then that Lance lost control of his composure and grabbed her hips, holding her on him as he drove his cock deep into her. She felt it grind deep inside her, and as he fucked her, she met his thrust with her own. They slammed together in a rhythm of pleasure. Her body arched forward to rest on her arms, her breasts swaying back and forth as she slammed his cock deep into herself. Lost in animal like passion, she and Lance drove one another to the brink of orgasm, until suddenly Katie felt a wave wash through her, and she groaned in pleasure. Lance could feel her pussy tighten and grip at his cock as she came. He continued sliding it into her, holding it deep inside her for a moment then dragging it out, to start the process again. He fucked her through her orgasm until she collapsed on top of him, still grinding her cunt onto his cock, breathing in huffs of pleasure. He wrapped his arms about her, and held her to him. Her body shuddering with bliss as he drove his cock deep into her.

Swinging her to the left, he rolled her over onto her back, hooking his arms beneath her knees, he drove his cock deep into her. Over and over he pounded it deep, feeling it slide against the silky slick walls, feeling the heat of her, the wetness sloshing around his cock. He could feel his passion peak as his balls tingled. The first arch of cum spurted from him deep into her, as he slammed himself over and over into her. Pulse after pulse of hot cum spewed from him bathing the walls of her cunt. He groaned as he shot the last bit of cum deep into her, grinding his cock tight into her. He then collapsed over her, his weight pressing her into the bed.

They both laid there for a while, locked together, his cock still within her, breathing heavily, recovering. He then rolled off of her, and snuggled up close to her, kissing her shoulder. She looked over at him, as he tenderly caressed her hip. Katie had never had a man who was so tender and loving. She couldn't stand the thought of leaving his embrace. As she thought of going back to her sorry life, he sensed her sadness. He lifted her chin and kissed her, as he said," Princess, you deserve a castle, you deserve to be loved and cherished. Don't ever settle for less. Promise me you won't, Princess. Promise me." Katie heart skipped a beat and she swallowed back a sob. She knew that it was time for her to go.

Slowly she rose from the bed, her hands caressing him. She wanted to remember the feel of his skin under her palm. He rose to stand next to her, and pulled her close, holding her until both of them were ready to part. They dressed quickly, knowing that if they paused, neither of them would have the strength to go.

On the drive back to her car, he reached across to hold her leg, and once more she held her hand over his. She tried to memorize the feel of his hand on her. Nothing had ever felt so right as this moment. As he pulled in next to her car, and turned off his engine, she turned toward him in the carseat. "Will I see you again?" she asked. He smiled at her, "Of course Princess, I am your knight in shining armor, remember?"

He got out and walked around the car to open the door for her, and it took all of her will to get out. She stood there in front of him, tears dripping down her cheeks, and he once again lifted his hand to wipe away the wetness. "I found you crying, and now I leave you the same way...Princess, don't ever let anyone make you cry." He then pulled her close to her and kissed her. Her knees went weak as their lips met, only his arms around her kept her from sinking to the ground. With a sob she broke free of his embrace and turned. "I have to get home, Lance. It's late." She walked over to her car and opened the door, not even realizing she had left it unlocked all this time. As she climbed into the car and seated herself at the drivers wheel, Lance handed her a scrap of paper. On it he had written his phone number. "Call me Princess, if you need rescuing. I will be there in a heartbeat" and upon saying that he turned away from her and got into his car.

Katie drove home in a daze. She pulled into her driveway and parked her car behind her husbands. Walking up the path to her door, she could still hear his words in her ears. Opening the door to the kitchen, she was greeted by the snarling face of the man she married. "Where the hell have you been, Katie?" he snapped. She walked past him setting a bag of groceries on the counter and calmly said "What do you care? I could have been home hours ago and you wouldn't have noticed." Reaching into the bad, she pulled out the bag of apples. She took one out and turning to her husband she bit into it. She looked at him with indifference and thought to herself that she had been wrong all along. Like the sweetness of the apple she now chewed, there were men out there whom she was deserving of. The man standing in front of her fuming wasn't what she would have to settle for the rest of her life. He continued to yell at her, accusing her of things which in fact were now true, but she no longer cared. His words were nothing to her anymore. Finishing the apple and tossing it into the trashbin, she put her hands into the pockets of her jeans. Her right hand fingered the scrap of paper that had Lance's number written on it. As her husband started to approach her in anger as he had so many times before, she picked up the phone. He paused confused at her non submissive stance and she turned to him "You ever lay another hand on me and you will be arrested, I suggest you get your things together and get out."

Katie then turned from him and walked from the kitchen. She felt empowered now. She was the heroine in the fairytales. She was someone's princess, and she loved knowing that a new life was beginning for her. As she climbed the stairwell to the second story of her house, she thought of her child who was asleep upstairs. She entered the room where Melissa was and leaning on the doorjamb she saw her stir in her sleep. Melissa woke and saw her mother standing there. Wiping the sleep from her eyes, she said "Mommy, where were you? You weren't here to read to me." Katie walked over to her and sat next to her on the bed. Melissa snuggled up to her as Katie reached for the tattered book on the table next to the bed. She opened the book to the beginning and began to read, the story one Melissa had heard so many times before. "Once Upon a Time..." Katie began.

End of Story