Promises Broken

AUTHOR: Kris Ginn
CATEGORY: JC/ensemble
RATING: NC-17, for sexual violence. This may be disturbing to some, due to the nature of the violence.
SPOILERS: Several spoilers for the end of Season 6.
DISCLAIMER: I own Beth Clark and Nicole Reed. Other than that, I don't own any of these characters. They belong to Warner Brothers and all their pals.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I want to apologize in advance. This is not an example of my best work. I just had this idea in my mind that wouldn't leave, and I had to write it. Although I just didn't feel the urge to write, I wrote anyway. So sorry. Don't feel bad if you don't want to read it or if you have to stop before you finish. :o)
SUMMARY: This story takes places one to two years after Carter returns from rehab. He finds someone very special to love, who made a special promise to her mother and herself. One night, her promise is forcibly broken.


"Friends and family," Father Michaels said, "Allow me present to you Mr. and Mrs. John Carter!" The congregation arose as one body, clapping for the happy couple. Tears were running down the face of John Carter and his new bride, Elizabeth (Beth), as they walked down the aisle and out of the church. Their wedding party, consisting of a few close friends, followed closely behind. They piled into the waiting limousines as the guests went to their cars and began leaving for the reception.

The reception was beautiful but simple. It was held in the garden at the home of Millicent and Robert Carter. John and Beth had opted not to have a receiving line, and had instead walked around, chatting with each of their guests. The beautiful lanterns hanging at intervals in the garden had leant just the right amount of light to the occasion, intimate without keeping everyone from seeing each other. The lovely rosebushes gave off a sweet scent, adding to the magic of the day.

When 8pm rolled around, John and Beth said their good-byes and left, heading for the airport. John had wanted to surprise Beth, so had not allowed her to know where they were going on their honeymoon.

Upon arriving at their gate, Beth saw that they were going to take a Caribbean cruise. Hugging John and laughing, she said, "Thank you so much! This means the world to me!" John leaned down to kiss his beautiful wife and said, with a twinkle in his eyes, "So I take it you like it?" In answer, Beth Carter put her hand on the back of his head, pulling him down to her lips. As she kissed him gently, a small moan escaped his lips.

Hearing someone clearing his throat behind them, John and Beth broke away from each other and looked sheepishly at the airline attendant. "Newlyweds?" he asked with a smile. "How did you know?" Beth gasped. "I've seen the look on your faces on many people in the 30 years I've worked here. I can always spot a newlywed. So in love that your face glows. There is an air of peace about the two of you," the man said.

The two honeymooners smiled back at the attendant and were about to say something when their flight was announced. Collecting their carry-ons, they hurried onto the plane and sat down after putting away their bags. Picking up his wife's hand, John kissed it and said, "Do you have any idea how much I love you?" Beth smiled at him and said, "Do *you* have any idea how much *I* love *you*? He smiled back and leaned over to kiss her while running his hand along her jaw line. Shivers coursed through her body, the sensations wonderful as Beth kissed John back.

Suddenly, she yawned. "Well, I'm sorry you find me so boring," John joked. "Should I be insulted?" Beth laughed and said, "I am so so so sorry John! I am just so tired!"

"That's okay sweetheart. Why don't you lay your head back and close your eyes? You'll feel better after getting some sleep." Beth kissed her husband once more and agreed to take a brief nap. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes. However, she found she couldn't sleep. She looked over at John, and saw that he was sound asleep. Looking at him, she thought about the circumstances that had brought them together, and all that had happened to them since.


Two Years Earlier

"Beth," Nicole Reed yelled, "I'm leaving now." Beth Clark poked her head out of the kitchen, drying her hands on a dish towel. "Okay," she said, "Enjoy your day, I'll see you when you get home."

Nicole looked at her best friend and said, "Wait. You are supposed to come to lunch with me today, remember?"

"Oh," Beth said, slapping her hand to her forehead. "I am so sorry! It completely slipped my mind. I *will* be there, though, I promise! What time again?"

Smiling, Nicole said, "Probably 1pm. I'll call you if I can't make it by then, though." "Okay," Beth replied, "I'll see you then." Nicole headed out the door to the El stop, which was right near their apartment.

Getting off of the train at County General, she ran into Dave Malucci, one of the residents in the ER, where she was a nurse. Dave was also her boyfriend. Grabbing her by the waist, he pulled her close for a deep kiss. "Mmmmm" she said. "I missed you!"

"I missed you, too," the resident replied, touching his forehead to hers and looking into her eyes. The tall, blue-eyed brunette was the woman of his dreams. He felt so blessed to have found her. He was in the process of telling her his feelings when a sarcastic voice invaded their little reunion. "Awwww, isn't this sweet?"

"Dr. Romano!" Dave exclaimed. "The one and the same!" Robert Romano replied. "You just saw each other last night when you were working. How could you possibly miss each other?" Dave sighed and said, "Right. We'll see you later." Then he quickly grabbed Nicole's hand and walked away.

Later that day at lunch, Dave persuaded John Carter to join him and Nicole. "I'm telling you man," he said, walking over to Doc Magoo's, "Nicole's best friend is a real hottie! She's 5'7" with blond hair and blue eyes. I think you'll find her very pleasant eye candy." Something about the way Dave had said. 'eye candy' made John a little nervous. "What are you holding back, Malucci?" he asked. "Uh, nothin'! Nothin' at all!"

"Dave..." Dave could tell he wasn't getting out of it this easy. "Well," he said, "You aren't going to get any because she's a virgin who wants to stay that way."

"Malucci, not everyone has a one-track mind like you. Besides, I am not looking for a girlfriend. We can just be friends."

"Whatever you say, Hoss!" Malucci said, opening the door to the small diner next to the hospital.

Carter walked in ahead of Malucci then waited for him to lead the way. Walking up to the table, Malucci called out, "Hey, Babe!" Nicole turned her head and, seeing that it was Dave and John, she stood up. Putting her arms around him, Nicole sensuously kissed Dave, embarrassing both John and Beth. Breaking off the kiss, she turned to John and said, "John, this is my best friend and roommate, Beth Clark. Beth, meet John Carter." Beth and John shook hands, exchanged pleasantries, and sat down to order. Throughout the meal, Beth and John kept sneaking peaks at each other. They had both instantly felt comfortable with each other, as if they'd known each other forever. The end of the meal came much too soon for the two, and they had exchanged phone numbers.

A couple of days later, John had called her. "Hey, Beth, this is John Carter. Do you remember me?" he asked. "Of course I do. I am so glad you called!" she excitedly exclaimed. *Stop acting like a love struck teenager!* she mentally reproached herself. "You are?" he exclaimed, surprised at her response. "I mean, great!" he corrected himself. He had asked her out on a date, and she had gladly accepted.

After they had been dating for a month, John finally got up the nerve to ask if he could make love to her, remembering what Dave had said about her being a virgin. The smile had quickly left her face and she had looked away, sure this would be the end of their relationship. "John," she said, "I know this will be hard for you to understand. I want to make love to you, too. However, I can't." She stood up and walked a little ways away as the tears filled her eyes. Beth didn't want John to see her cry, especially when he was just going to leave, anyway. Her pride wouldn't allow that.

John waited for several seconds, then quietly walked up to her. "Beth," he said, "Look at me." She wouldn't, and he sighed, frustrated. "I just want you to know that I won't force you. I'm not mad. Can you tell me why you can't?" Beth was surprised at the gentleness, the caring in his voice. Past boyfriends had just started yelling at her, and left when she wouldn't change her mind. She turned to face him, looking him in the eye. "My mother first told me about 'the birds and the bees' when I was ten years old. It was a little young I suppose, but she wanted to make sure she talked to me before I learned false information somewhere else. She told me that love between a man and woman could be wonderful. She said that when she had married my father, she had gone to him a virgin. It was the best gift she felt she could have given him and herself, because it could only be given away once. It sounded so beautiful that I made a promise to her that I would do the same.

"As a teenager, I found it hard to keep that promise. However, when I felt like giving in, I would remind myself that I would never be able to give my virginity away again, and I needed to save it. That would always help. I am still a virgin, even at age 25, and I plan to remain that way until I am married!" With that, she turned back around, avoiding his gaze. Putting his had on her arm, he turned her around. "Listen," he said, "I respect that very much. I respect you and your decision. If that is what you want, that's fine. I love you." Beth had started crying again, and he had pulled her to him, kissing her head and gently holding her. That was when Beth had known she was in love with John Carter. John had planned on telling her that night about his stabbing and everything surrounding it, but he changed his mind and decided to wait.

They had been dating steadily for three months when John decided he wanted to share the details of his stabbing, addiction to painkillers, and subsequent recovery in rehab. He had told her about all of it, fearing that she would leave once she knew the *real* him. Beth had cried as she listened, hugging him, telling him how grateful she was that he had lived. In that instant, he had known he was in love with her.

When they had been dating for six months, John proposed. He knew it was quick, but he had never felt this way with anyone before. He loved her with everything that was in him, and wanted to be with her for the rest of his life. He had never been this happy, and wanted it to go on forever.

The night he proposed had been a very special night for both of them. He went over to her apartment while Nicole was working at the hospital and Beth was working at her job as a Public Relations Coordinator. He brought over the dinner that his grandparent's housekeeper, Corrine, had cooked especially for tonight. While he started warming up the food, set the table, and put on a CD by Kenny G. When Beth arrived home, she smelled the delicious aroma coming from the kitchen, and gasped when she walked into the living room. The table was set with beautiful china, borrowed from John's grandmother for the evening. In the middle of the table where two white candles, already lit. Beth looked up into John's eyes, smiling, as she kissed him. "Thank you so much," she whispered. This is wonderful! What a nice surprise!"

"You are welcome!" he quietly answered her, gently kissing her back. "I have another surprise for you. Do you want it now or do you want to eat first?"

"Weeelllll," she said, "I'd rather have the surprise first, but I need to eat. I'm famished." Laughing, he said, "Well then, eat you shall," then pulled her chair out for her. Sitting down, she waited while he served the meal. A steak, pasta salad, baked potato, and glass of white wine completed the meal. Finishing the last bite, she said, "Whew, I'm stuffed! That was absolutely delicious! Please thank Corrine for me!"

"I'll do that," he said. "Do you have any room for pie? Corrine made your favorite, pecan."

"Oh man," she said, "I'll have to find room for that. It will have to wait until later, though. I want my next surprise pronto, Dr. Carter. Otherwise, I'll die of anticipation!"

"Okay, okay!" he said, laughing and pulling out her chair. "You've got to go into the living room. I'll meet you there." Beth laughed too. Though slightly bewildered, she went into the living room to wait for him. Entering the room, he crossed to her and promptly dropped to his knees. "Beth, I have fallen in love with you. I love everything about you, and want to be with you forever. Beth, will you marry me?" He said all of this in a rush, knowing he couldn't take his time or he'd never get it all out. Gasping, tears pouring silently down her face, she said, "Yes, I will!" then threw her arms around him.

John put his arms around her waist, and picked her up, spinning her around the room and laughing. They finally collapsed into a heap on the floor. When they got their breath back, John looked deep into her eyes and kissed her passionately. Kissing him back just as passionately, she felt wonderful tremors passing through her body.

Opening her mouth, she accepted his tongue, loving the feel of it gliding over her lips and inside her mouth. She did the same to him, and he felt as if he were on fire. Suddenly, he abruptly pulled away, sitting up. Stung, she looked at him with wide eyes, wondering what she had done. Taking her hand, he said quietly, "I'm sorry, Beth. I wanted to keep kissing you. I just knew that if I continued, I might not be able to stop, and I would never want to take the chance of hurting you." Beth felt her love for him flow through her, becoming even stronger. They sat on the couch and talked for the rest of the evening until Nicole had arrived home with Dave. John and Beth shared their happy news. Nicole and Dave had both cheered, with Nicole jumping up to give Beth a huge hug, and Dave slapping John on the back and shaking his hand. They made plans to get together and celebrate, then John and Dave quickly left.

The next few weeks had flown by quickly. Beth and John were busy making wedding plans. The time not working or with him Beth spent shopping for wedding dresses and bridesmaids dresses with Nicole.

Beth was cooking dinner one evening soon after she had found the perfect wedding dress when a knock sounded at the door. Wiping her hands off, she hurried to the door and looked out the peephole. Recognizing John, she quickly unlocked it and let him in. They kissed, then John asked, "Yum! What is that delicious smell?"

"Just hamburgers and french fries. I'm cooking them. Nothing fancy," she replied. "Whatever you cook is fine with me," he smiled. They had spent a pleasant evening talking and kissing. Finally, at 10:30 pm, John said, "Well, I'd better get to work! Thanks for dinner!" Beth smiled, "Anytime. Oh, please remind Nicole that she needs to call her mother," she said, kissing him. Kissing her back, he said, "Will do." Then he opened the door and left.

She locked it, and a few seconds later there was another knock on the door. Looking out the peephole again, she saw that John was back. Unlocking and reopening the door, she smiled. "Can I help you?" she teased. "Yes," he said, "I need another kiss." Laughing, they kissed again and he left. She had just closed and locked the door when he knocked again. This time, she opened the door without checking, and said, "You are going to be la--" Then she stopped, realizing the man at her door wasn't John.

The man smiled and said, "Hi! My name is Ben Mashburn. My phone is out downstairs and I need to make a quick phone call to my girlfriend. She just went to the store and I need to have her pick something else up we forgot to put on the list." Seeing the look of hesitation on her face, he said, "I'm sorry. I know it is late and you don't know me, so it's fine if you don't want me to use your phone. I'll just ask somebody else." He turned to walk away, and Beth instantly felt bad. "No," she said, "Please, come on in. The phone is in the kitchen."

Beth felt very nervous, and told herself to snap out of it. "He is just a nice man who needs to use the phone," she said to herself. "Stop acting like such a baby. It's never bothered you before to let strangers in!" As hard as she tried, Beth couldn't overcome her feelings of nervousness. Concerned that it was taking him so long, Beth walked towards the kitchen, wanting to find out if he needed help. Rounding the corner, she discovered that the kitchen light was out. "Ben?" she called. "Where are you?" Getting no answer, she started to walk past the kitchen doorway into the living room, every muscle tense, a feeling of unexplainable fear gripping her.

Suddenly, she felt a hand clamp over her mouth, and another arm go around her waist. Her eyes widening, she tried to scream. Her scream was muffled by his hand pressing tightly over her mouth. "Now, listen to me," he hissed. "I'm going to take my hand off of your mouth, but remember, I have a gun. One sound from you, other than pleasure, and BANG," he yelled, making her jump, "You're dead! Do you understand?" Numbly, she nodded her head. "Good," he said. "You and I are going to play a little game. You will beg me to screw you, and I will when I'm good and ready. You will do everything, and I mean *everything* I say. Is that clear?" Beth just stared at Ben, an expression of horror on her face. "I SAID, IS THAT CLEAR?!" he yelled, taking the gun out of his pocket and holding it up for her to see.

"Yes," she whispered. "Wonderful," he said. "You *must* do everything I say the first time I tell you. If you don't, I won't be patient like I'm being now. Now, lay down on the floor." Trembling, she did as she was told. Making sure the gun was out of her reach, he knelt down beside her. Leaning over, he squeezed both breasts. She closed her eyes, tears leaking out the corners. "Take off your shirt," her tormentor commanded. She moved her hands to follow his orders. Ben decided she was going too slow for him, so he slapped her hands away. "I'll do it myself," he said. Grabbing the top of her shirt in both hands, he pulled, ripping the fabric down the middle. He then grabbed her bra, ripping it off as well. Leaning down, he took one nipple in his mouth.

Beth moaned, not from pleasure but from pain. He had taken a nipple between his teeth and bitten down on it. Ben misunderstood, and said, "Oh, baby! You like it. I knew you would! You are making me too hot, I can't wait any longer!" With that, he pulled her pants off, ripping her underwear. "No!" she screamed. "Please, I'm a virgin. Please don't do this!"

"You bitch!" he screamed. I told you not to make any sounds. He then slapped her so hard her head flew to the side and she saw stars. He slapped her again and said, "A virgin, huh? Well, well, well. It is my lucky day!" He smiled an evil smile, and Beth suddenly couldn't take it anymore. The fear was too much for her to handle. She screamed again, hysterically, "No! Get off me!" Fury contorted Ben's features as he balled his hand into a fist and punched her in the nose. Pain exploded in her head. The last thing Beth saw before she passed out was his penis, poised and ready to enter.

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