I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. I hope you—as a fellow fan—enjoy it, too.
Chapter 17— I Can’t Let Go
“Jewel!” Al says in amazement after Christian closes the door. I cover my face, blushing.
“I know. I’m a slut!”
“Well, wouldn’t have used that word, but what the hell, Jewel? How the hell did you go from turning him in to the court to fucking him? This I must know.”
“It’s a long story and I was just about to take a bath.”
“Well, you do that. I’m going to watch some television and raid your refrigerator and when you come back, you can tell me how I saw one man leaving your apartment and then walked in and found you sitting on another man’s lap!” Oh, what a screwy 24 hours this has been!
Luckily, I hadn’t filled the bath too far before the disaster that is Edward David interrupted me. I turn the hot water on full steam to heat the bath and pick out my underwear. My blackberry buzzes a text message. Must be Val looking for juicy details. Wrong.
**If I had known an expensive bottle of wine was all it took to get you in the sack, I’d have tried it a long time ago. **
This bipolar son-of-a-bitch. I minute ago, it was “Ana, I love you, I can’t live without you, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” Now, he’s fucking calling me a slut!
Wait a second, didn’t you just call yourself…
Do I need to remind you about my imaginary friend?
It’s amazing to me how easily men conveniently forget how they were the low-down, dirty, rotten cheaters breaking women’s hearts when they discover that she doesn’t want them back.
**That’s okay, asshole. I’m sure you tested that theory enough times without me, so you already knew the answer to that one. **
A few moments later:
**He’s a handsome, rich billionaire. What would he want with damaged goods like you? **
Oh, he’s hitting below the belt, now. I know he only does this to lash out when he’s incredibly hurt, but I really don’t fucking care anymore. You want to swing low, you got it!
**He wants the same thing you do, darling. The only difference is that he’s getting it and you’re not! **
I turn off the water in the bathtub. I can shoot a few more at him if that’s what he wants.
** He’ll use you up and throw you away like the sloppy seconds that you are. **
You think so, huh? Well:
**Hmm. Sloppy seconds? It that why you were just standing in my living room sniffin‘ up my ass and begging like a sick puppy… hoping to get some of those sloppy seconds? **
It’s silent for a while and I think our exchange is over, until:
**You’re a real fucking bitch, Anastasia. You’re going to pay for this shit. **
Okay, I’ve had enough of this.
**And thank you so much for that. I’ll make sure that I let the judge see this when I file for my restraining order on Monday! I never EVER want to see your fucking face in my life EVER again! You are dead to me! **
Still trying to get the last jab:
**You were dead to me when I fucked Charlotte in your bed. **
Why doesn’t that surprise me?
**No problem, Edward. I got rid of that contaminated thing right after I kicked you out. No matter, though… Christian and I christened the new bed twice—as well as the dining room wall and chair, and there are plenty of other surfaces that we need to cover before we’re through. And while I’m riding and sucking my billionaire lover’s big billionaire dick, I won’t be thinking of you at all! Goodbye, David. **
I tap send and immediately set my phone to block all calls and texts from his number and to send him a generic text that my number cannot be reached. I’ll send out a mass message to all except Mr. David when I change my damn phone number on Monday, too. I’m going to take my bath.
“Ooo la la, mon cher, magnifique!” I have emerged from my bedroom in my Victoria’s Secret pink maxi bra top dress that halters around the neck and has an empire waist and a cutout back—just enough to cover the brand. I am also wearing a pair of Sigerson Morrison nude Fabiana wedge shoes. These are one of my more expensive pairs of shoes, but I feel special today. I’ve always known that I was fairly attractive, but Christian makes me feel pretty—and today, I want to look the part.
“Merci, Monsieur,” I say with a light curtsy before joining Al on the couch.
“Okay, chick. Spill the beans.” Al has gone into gossip mode. Hell, where do I start?
“I don’t know where to start, Al…”
“How about starting with how the delicious ginger hottie ended up in your apartment!” Al says, oozing impatience. I sigh.
“Well, as you know Edward called me early in the week and I agreed to meet him for dinner last night.” Al throws a very sour look at me. “I know, bad idea! As you can imagine, it didn’t go well.”
“I’ve been wanting to ask—why did you meet him at all, Jewel?” Al inquires.
“I was trying to close the book on us once and for all. To be honest, I felt like I didn’t have any closure. He couldn’t seem to take ‘no’ for an answer—the whole ‘we never really said goodbye’ thing. So, I figured that if we sat down, had a meal, and talked like civilized human beings and I let him know under no uncertain terms that there was absolutely no chance for us that he would finally get it and go away.”
“Yeah, and how’d that work out for ya?”
I shake my head. “I couldn’t get past the hurt. Every time I opened my mouth, venom flew out. It wasn’t cruel, but it wasn’t pretty.”
“Well, it serves him right,” he says. I kind of nod my head back and forth. “What is it, Jewel?”
“He was pouring his heart out to me, Al, and all I could feel was spite and contempt. I never knew that I could feel that way towards anyone but…” I close my eyes and flex my hands trying to find my words and shake the feelings that were bubbling up inside of me. “All of the apologies and the explanations—it was such bullshit; spoonful after spoonful of Edward David’s charming ass bullshit. Just when I thought I couldn’t take another mouthful of this crap that he was feeding me, the owner of the restaurant comes to our table with a $1500 bottle of Cabernet.” Al gasps and his mouth flies open.
“Oh, my God, I am so jealous!” he squeals.
“Al, it was magnificent! Napa Valley 2004 I think he said. I tell you, the angels must have crushed those grapes!” Al smirks his lips a bit.
“I guess the bastard does have taste,” he says begrudgingly.
“Oh, Edward didn’t buy the wine.” Al frowns at first, then gapes at me as realization hits.
“Christian?” he says in disbelief. I nod.
“He was sitting a few tables away the whole time. Supposedly, he sent it as an apology for being such an asshole in the group sessions. I think he sent it as an apology for much more than that.” I say the last part as an afterthought, but that doesn’t slip by good old Al.
“What else would he have to apologize for?”
“Oh, you have no idea… but try to focus; there’s more.” I clear my throat. “Good old Ed was more than a little perturbed that another man sent over an expensive bottle of wine while he was pouring his heart out. What he just couldn’t understand was that his mission was doomed for failure before he even made the reservations. So, I drink a couple of glasses of the liquid orgasm, say goodbye to Edward as civilly as I can, letting him know in no uncertain terms that he will never get another whiff of this, and then I ask the valet to give me my keys but call me a cab. Christian comes up behind me and tells the valet that he will see me and my car home safely.”
“And did he see you home safely?” Al smiles a huge Cheshire grin.
“Oh, boy, did he.” I throw my head back on the sofa and kick up my leg. “Several times!” We both laugh like cackling hens.
“Did he take advantage of you, Jewel?” Al says, a little more soberly than before.
“No, Al, he didn’t. I was slightly impaired, but by the time anything happened, we had come back here, had coffee, water, and dinner, and talked for a while. He didn’t do anything without asking me repeatedly if it was okay. He was a real gentleman… in the sense that a gentleman can fuck you like you’ve never been fucked before and make you come so hard so many times that you can’t speak properly.”
“Oh, Jewel!” Al says, a little breathy, “Talk about getting your pipes cleaned!”
“Al, these pipes have been cleaned, snaked, dusted, flushed, oiled, and polished!” I say with a sensual smirk on my face.
“Well, good for you, but that doesn’t explain why I saw the double-dicker leaving your apartment.”
“Ugh!” I throw my hands up in the air, and go to the bedroom to retrieve my blackberry. “Edward knew Christian was here. I don’t know if he happened to show up as Christian was leaving or if he sat outside all night, but just as Christian left, Edward showed up—and I tell you, it was brutal. By the time Edward left, I was screaming and crying, Christian had come back to get his cell phone… it was awful.” I drop my forehead into my hands. Al gently rubs my arms.
“It’s okay, Jewel. It’s over now,” he says comfortingly.
“No, it’s not.” I hand him my blackberry set at the eviscerating texts Edward and I sent to each other an hour earlier.
“Shit,” he says in awe. “This is really fucked.”
“I know,” I reply. “It was okay for him to screw anybody he wanted, even while we were together, but the moment I find someone, it’s Chernobyl!”
“Are you really going to get a restraining order against him?” Al asks.
“Don’t you think I should?” I gesture to the blackberry. Al shrugs.
“Well, all you’ve got are some pretty harsh words so far…”
“I beg to differ. As far as I know, this man stayed outside in front of my home all night waiting for my male companion to leave at which time, he ambushed me. I don’t know what would have happened if Christian hadn’t come back. On top of that, he sends me a text telling me that I’m going to ‘pay for this shit.’ True, he has been blocked from my phone and I’ve even considered getting a new number, but what’s to stop him from harassing me—from stopping me on the street and making me ‘pay for this shit’ as he so eloquently put it? Aren’t I completely within my rights?” I’m almost squealing.
“Yes, dear, you are. Just realize that once you do this, you’re going to be declaring war.” Oh, hell, I don’t want a war with Edward, but he’s conveniently forgetting which one of us is the bad guy here. And anyway, if he starts feeling too froggy, I have a Glock with a full magazine and one in the chamber waiting to help him see reason.
“Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do, Al.” I look at him solemnly. He squeezes my shoulder.
“Do you want me to get this rolling for you on Monday?”
“I would really appreciate that, thank you.” I smile.
“Good. Now, how would Mr. Gorgeous know who I am?”
“Okay, so there are several long stories that I must tell you. We need sustenance and maybe a few more friends because this is going to be the story of a lifetime—of my lifetime anyway… well, one of them…”
“Heifer, are you really going to make me wait until the troops get here to tell me what’s going on?”
“No, I’ll tell you some of it, but I just don’t want to have to repeat everything, so I’m not going to tell you all of it. I’ll call Maxie and Val, you call Gary… see if they’re available and tell them we’ll meet at Tat’s. We haven’t been there in a while…”
An hour and a half later, the entire original crew—including Phil—is all meeting up at a little deli in Pioneer Square called Tat’s. It’s just like an episode of “Friends.” Now, all we told them to get them here was that there’s something that needs to be discussed, but the moment we push three of those tables together, Maxie looks at me and announces, “You got laid.” I gasp as my widened eyes dart from her to Val to Al and back to her.
“And you two knew,” she points accusingly at Val and Al. They look to each other and Al asks Val, “How did you know?”
“I called her last night and she answered the phone damn near mid-stroke.” Val responds. Phil laughs.
“You never answer the phone mid-stroke!” he scolds.
“I wasn’t mid-stroke!” I defend.
“How did you know?” Val asks Al.
“I got there this morning just as the double-dicker was leaving,” Al responds. Thanks, Al.
“Holy fuck! It was Edward!?” Gary gasps.
“NO!” Al, Val, and I all scream in unison. I turn to Al pointing my finger in his face.
“You need to qualify that answer! You made this mess, now clean it up!” I almost yell.
“It was not the double-dicker, okay?” Al exclaims to a very angry group of people.
“Well, who was it, then?” Val asks impatiently.
“It was Christian Grey.” I answer. Okay—everything after that happens very quickly…
Al—”Yes, Christian Grey.”
Gary—”Billionaire Christian Grey?”
Me—”One and the same.”
Val—”CEO bachelor Christian Grey?”
Al—”Yeah, and he was the hottie from the club?”
Gary and Val together—“That was Christian Grey!?”
Me—”Yep, that was him.”
Phil—”I feel so left out.”
We lunch on subs, hoagies, and corned beef sandwiches while I tell the crew the saga of the story of Christian Grey. Hell, they might as well know. I’m hoping they’ll see him around a bit more.
“But how did he always seem to know where you were?” Maxie asks. “I mean I know you were a little nervous about the background check and now…” she trails off. Did she say a little nervous? I was terrified! But I know Maxie is trying to respect my wishes because our conversation last Thursday.
“Well, the night club and the gym, I‘m sure was just coincidence. Hell, I even saw him at the courthouse, but he didn’t see me. At the risk of sounding creepy, it was like fate was pushing us together. Everywhere I looked, he was there… he was even there when I wasn’t looking. I think after the kiss, though, he was having me followed. That’s the only way he could have known that I was at those restaurants.”
“Doesn’t that freak you out just a bit?” Val says.
“Yeah, a little bit, but not a lot. If they are following me, you can’t tell they’re around. They’re covert operations like Green Berets or something, who knows.”
“Well, I don’t think I would want a man knowing my every move,” Maxie protests.
“Hey!” Phil jabs her gently in the side.
“What’s he going to do with the information? ‘Gee, Ana went to the market today. I hope those mangoes are ripe!'” I tease.
After I tell them everything about Christian, I recap the horrific events with Mr. David, starting with our disastrous date and ending with his unflattering exit from my apartment this morning and the nasty texts that followed.
“Well, hell, what did he expect?” Phil asks as we settle the bill for lunch.
“I don’t know what he expected,” I begin as we leave the restaurant. “We broke up nearly four years ago because he wanted to sow his wild oats. I left him to do that. Go. Sow! When he had me, he didn’t want me. But once I was gone, I became the ‘Heart of the Ocean.’ And once I move on to someone else—the only man that I’ve been with since him, mind you—now I’m a bitch and a slut. If you can explain that to me in a rational way, I’d really like to know, because I’m the one with the degree in human behavior and I got nothing!”
“Well,” Maxie breaks in, “I’ve got the degree, too, and I can’t help you either.”
“Anybody?” I say, sarcastically.
“Sorry,” Gary begins. “I don’t speak ‘asshole.'” Thanks, Gary. We needed a little laugh.
“So… Phil and I need to go to the Marketplace. Anybody game to go?” Maxie asks.
“I’ll go,” I pipe in.
“Me too,” Al is right behind me. Gary and Val shrug and we’re all on our way to the Marketplace.
Al and I are picking out some fresh vegetables for a special dinner that he wants to make for James while Val is getting a little juicy gossip on this Jose character. It turns out that James was doing the same thing with Jose that I was attempting to do with Edward, but that didn’t go well for either of us.
I always bring my flower basket when I come to the Marketplace because they have the most beautiful rhododendrons. I always look for the fuchsia and violet hybrid because they’re so rare. As I’m standing there picking my flowers, I’m positive that I’m being watched. I scan the Marketplace for a familiar face, or even one of Christian’s famous “Trees in Black.” Nothing. Gary notices my head darting back and forth and comes over to me.
“Ana, what’s wrong?” he asks, his words getting the attention of the others.
“Somebody’s watching me,” I say, still scanning the area.
“I thought you said Grey’s guys were watching you, hon,” Maxie says.
“Somebody else is watching me,” I say, rubbing my thumb over my fingernails. I dig in my purse and pull out my blackberry and Christian’s business card. I guess I should save his number in my phone, huh? I send him a text.
**Am I still being watched? **
“Who are you texting, Jewel?” Al asks.
“Christian,” I say, impatiently waiting for a response.
**How did you know? **
**Because I feel like someone is watching me. **
“What is he saying, baby?”
**How long have you felt that way? **
**About the last twenty minutes. **
After another pause:
**Are you alone? **
**No, I have five other people with me. **
After a few moments, I hear my familiar ringtone, Michael Franks “Dr. Sax.” I look at the phone—it’s Christian.
“Hi,” I answer timidly.
“Where are you?” he asks
“What’s going on, Christian?” Oh, I’ve got everybody’s attention now.
“If you just started feeling like somebody’s watching you, and you trust your instincts, then someone else is watching you because I’ve had the same guy watching you for days.” I could hear him asking someone “Who’s on Ana?” Damn, I’ve got my own detail!?
“Shit, what’s going on, Christian? Am I in danger?” I ask. I’m starting to freak out and Al comes over and puts his hands on my arms.
“Not from me, you’re not…” There’s a pause. “Where the fuck is David?” I hear him yell.
“You’re asking me?” I squeal.
“Ana, what’s going on?” Val demands. I hold my finger up for her to wait. David… Edward! I quickly scan the Marketplace and sure enough, about 40 feet away, there’s Edward’s smug ass standing there looking at me.
“I’ll call you back, baby,” I say to Christian.
“Ana, are you in the Marketplace?” Christian asks earnestly.
“Christian, I’m fine, and I’ll call you back,” I repeat.
“Ana…?” he says my name in that sing-songy scolding manner. Sorry, Grey, but I’ve got this one under control.
“Christian, I promise, I will call you back,” I say gently. After a pause,
“Right back, Ana!” he says with enough force to mean it, but not to order me.
“Right back.” I end the call and glare directly at Edward. He comes sauntering over to me like he’s still the man of my dreams. I taste bile in my throat and I’m afraid I’m going to vomit. It seems he’s been triggering that reflex in me quite a bit lately.
“Well, you look good,” he snarls, “Being a billionaire’s bitch must agree with you.” Gary is ready to lunge at him but Al holds him back.
“Don’t do it, Gary,” Al says, looking at Edward. “After Monday, he won’t be able to come within 1000 feet of her.”
“Yeah, hold your boyfriend back because it’s not Monday yet, is it, Faggot?” Edward sneers. Al doesn’t pay him any attention, but that word cuts through me every time I hear him say it. I flinch a bit. “Does that bother you, Ana?” he goads. Two more days and I won’t have to deal with this ever again. It’s time to go. I turn to leave and he grabs my arm. “Where are you off to so soon?” he barks.
Before I know it, I drop my bag, my purse, my phone, my basket, and my flowers on the floor. I swing around with my free hand and grab his balls in the tightest vice-like grip my little hand can muster.
“Let. Me. Go,” I say quietly through clenched teeth. Edward is now crouched down trying unsuccessfully to hold his legs together. He’s holding on to my arm like the Jaws of Life and I think it’s a reflex—but I have given him a command that he has not yet followed. So, I adjust my fingers a bit and tighten the grip. “Let. Me. Go. Or my next move, I’m going to twist.”
My friends are behind me stifling laughter—those that aren’t standing there with their mouths hanging open, that is. Needless to say, Edward lets me go.
“If you ever put your hands on me again, I’m going to rip these off, put them in a box, and mail them back to you UPS!” I growl. He stands there looking off into the distance, his mouth hanging open, in obvious pain. “Nod with me!” I bark, clenching my hand, even harder on his balls and nodding. “You got it?” He nods obediently like a good little puppy. By now, we have a small crowd gathering. “Now listen carefully. I see you as a threat—a threat to my personal safety. You call me terrible names and you bully my friend in public. You show up at my apartment uninvited and then you proceed to threaten me for something that you did to me. And now, you’re following me around Seattle. Do I have your attention, Mr. David?” I nod and he nods with me.
“Good boy. Now, as you have heard, Monday I’ll be getting a restraining order against you. You won’t be able to contact me or come within 1000 feet of me. I will be changing my phone numbers and letting building security know that you are not welcome near me. That’s two little days from now. I’ll be counting them.” I hold up my free hand. “See? One…” I show him my index finger. “And TWO!” I flip him the bird. “Until that time, you are going to stay the fuck away from me, because if you don’t, this…” I give his balls a tiny little twist a squeeze, eliciting a painful yowl from him, “Is the nicest thing that I could do to you. Do I make myself clear? Nod!” He nods feverishly. “Good! We understand each other now! We won’t need to have this conversation again, will we? Shake your head…” I instruct like I’m talking to a five-year-old. Once he shakes his head like a good little Neanderthal, I let him go and he falls to the floor in a little ball, clutching his little twigs and berries. “Now go crawl back into whatever hole you crawled out of and leave me alone!” The faces in the area look at me in amazement.
“I need hand sanitizer… now!” As Maxie digs feverishly in her purse for my request, Mr. David is trying desperately to save some small bit of face.
“Bitch, you used to suck this dick!” he squeaks, using all the air that he can muster while still holding on to his family jewels. I turn around to retort, but Phil beat me to it.
“Dude!” he says harshly, gaining the attention of even more spectators. He crouches down to Edward. “You are in the public Marketplace, on the ground, in the fetal position, squirming in pain, holding your nuts, talking two octaves higher, with tears in your eyes…” he points to me, “…and that little lady in the cute little pink dress and the high heels… put you there! You can’t even stand up and she didn’t break a nail. Did you break a nail, Ann?” I dramatically look at my hands after I thoroughly rub them with hand sanitizer.
“Nope, not even a chip,” I respond.
“You hear that?” Phil continues. “You’re wondering about the future of your bloodline and she doesn’t even need to touch up her manicure! You’re heaving and trying to catch your breath and she didn’t even break a sweat. She had you noddin‘ and shakin‘ yo’ head like a puppet… in public… with an audience! You need to just be quiet. You’re on the ground and she’s picking flowers. She’s every bit of half your size. You have no dignity left, dog. Shut the fuck up!” Phil stands shaking his head. Edward makes some kind of sound like he wants to retort. Phil turns back around and makes the chopping sign across his throat.
“Eh. Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh. Shut the fuck up, dude!” Phil reinforces. As Phil walks over and helps me pick up the items I had dropped, Al steps over to Edward and says, “Oh, and by the way, if I were you, I would ease up on the whole ‘faggot’ thing, because not only is it illegal and considered ‘bullying’ in the state of Washington, but I also now have a new big, beautiful, black boyfriend who would just love to get his hands on you and beat you within an inch of your life. Have a nice day!”
When Al comes back over to me, I quietly inform him, “You know that bullying law only applies to schools, right?”
“Yeah,” he whispers, “but he don’t know that.” He winks and I laugh aloud. Once we have gathered all of my items and I pay for the flowers I accidentally ruined as well as a few whole ones, I see the infamous black suit start making his way towards me. “Oh, great!” I exclaim. “The tree approacheth! Where were you ten minutes ago?”
“I was over there, ma’am.” I follow his pointing finger to a black SUV with a stunningly beautiful man leaning against it, his legs crossed at his ankles and his arms folded over his chest. He’s still wearing his T-shirt, jeans, and Kicks, but now he’s also sporting a pair of Ray Bans, copper tresses blowing in the wind all sexy and shit. He’s so fucking hot. I could just…
“Why are you still standing here!?” Val breaks me out of my trance. I literally jump at the sound of her voice. I look over at Al.
“Don’t look at me,” Al says, “I was thinking the same thing.” I smile and hand off the bags and flowers I’m carrying and walk over to the waiting Adonis.
I don’t know why I’m trying to get any work done today. I’m sitting in my study staring blankly at the screen thinking of Ana’s thighs in my hands. We seem to fit together perfectly. She smells, feels, and tastes just as fine as I thought she would. And her moves… she doesn’t disappoint in any way. I didn’t get a chance to test her oral capabilities, but that’s because I wanted to touch and taste that body in every way I possibly could last night, just in case the Fates are unkind and I don’t get to touch her again. I plan to make sure that’s not the case. However, I’m concerned about how she’ll react to my playroom. I know I’ll probably never get her to be a sub. Right now, I just want her to agree to be with me.
What the fuck are you saying, Grey?
I know exactly what I’m saying. I want this woman. I wanted her before, but now I’ve tasted her passion—she has to be mine. I’ll do whatever it takes to make her mine. I can still smell her scent. When I walked back into her apartment and that asshole was standing there watching her cry, I could have broken his fucking neck. And when Ana jumped into my arms, it was like heaven opened up and gave me a gift that I knew a degenerate like me didn’t deserve. I’ve seen her strong enough to make a grown man tap out, sexy enough to make an experienced sex machine see stars, and vulnerable enough to cry in my arms. She is Venus reincarnated. I will give her anything… anything…
My blackberry buzzes and it’s a text from Ana. Missing me too, huh Baby?
**Am I still being watched? **
What the hell? So much for discreet surveillance. I type back:
**How did you know? **
**Because I feel like someone is watching me. **
She’s just now feeling like someone is watching her? We’ve been watching her for over a week!
**How long have you felt that way? **
**About the last twenty minutes. **
Shit. Something is wrong. “Taylor!” I call before responding:
**Are you alone? **
“Yes, sir?” Taylor comes into the study. As I’m about to start talking, Ana responds:
**No, I have five other people with me. **
Okay, at least she’s not by herself. There’s a little strength in numbers, but this is not sitting well with me. “Just a second, Taylor.” I dial Ana’s number.
“Hi.” Her sweet voice brings my anger down just a notch.
“Where are you?” I ask. I can’t let any harm come to her. I’ll die if any harm comes to her.
“What’s going on, Christian?” Her voice is forceful. She’s afraid, I can hear it.
I had to come clean with her and tell her that the same person has been watching her for a while. I want her to know that this is a serious matter. “Who’s on Ana?” I ask Taylor. Before he gets the chance to answer, Ana becomes upset and asks if she’s in danger.
“Not from me, you’re not…” I assure her, and then it dawns on me. “Where the fuck is David?” I yell at Taylor. He is in his earpiece trying to locate Ana and David as well as the details that should be following them. I rise out of my chair. I need to get to her.
“You’re asking me?” she yells, thinking I’m asking her about David’s whereabouts. This is getting out of hand very quickly. I hear some commotion going on so I don’t know if she’s talking to me or to one of the members of her party.
“David is in Pike Place Market, sir,” Taylor informs me. Fucking hell. I’ve got to get to her now!
“I’ll call you back, baby,” Ana says sweetly over the phone. Did she just call me ‘baby?’ Fuck, I think I’m lightheaded. Focus, Grey! Shit! That’s right, I’m on a mission here.
“Ana, are you in the Marketplace?” I ask.
“Christian, I’m fine, and I’ll call you back,” she says. What do you mean you’re fine!? She must’ve spotted the fucker.
“Ana…?” I say a little demanding. I don’t want to leave her at the mercy of this asshole.
“Christian, I promise, I will call you back,” she says softly. I want to order her not to engage that son-of-a-bitch, but I know that’s useless. I have to trust her. I hate surrendering, but I don’t want to chase her away.
“Right back, Ana!” I concede reluctantly.
“Right back,” she says before she ends the call. I’m squeezing my blackberry like I’m hoping it will give blackberry juice.
“Sir?” Taylor pulls me out of my trance.
“Somebody’s getting fired,” I say calmly. Taylor’s jaw tenses.
“Sir, we didn’t know they were in the same place.” I clear my desk with one quick swipe of my arm, sending my blackberry with it.
“I gave you two instructions this morning. What did I say?”
“I don’t think…” he begins.
“What the fuck did I say?” I growl. Taylor immediately straightens his back and looks at me impassively.
“Correspond with Welch, you want to know where David was 25/8,” he responds stoically.
“And…?” I bark, ready to chew through his neck if he says the wrong thing.
“If he goes anywhere near Anastasia Steele, take his ass down.” I throw my hands up in the air.
“That’s what I said! So, does someone want to tell me why Anastasia is talking to that motherfucker right now? Because I know she is!” No answer from Taylor. “Somebody’s getting fired. I just need you to tell me who!” I fish through the mess on the floor and pull out my blackberry. “Let’s go!”
I’m standing outside of the SUV watching Ana in this beautiful flowing pink dress and I just want to run in there and take her on the orange stand, but I stand my ground because there’s a crowd of people gathered around her and Forsythe and I want to see what’s going on before I go charging in there to save the day. Ana is rubbing her hands together and talking to another guy in the market and someone is on the ground at her feet. Fuck! It’s David! I’m having flashbacks of Ana sitting on Luc’s back and three burly guys trying to coax her off. I see someone walking over to me in a black suit—one of the guys from the detail, no doubt. I don’t know them all personally.
“Who are you?” I say without turning my gaze from Ana, who’s now starting to gather her things from the ground.
“Davenport, Sir. I’m assigned to Ms. Steele.” That’s when I look at him.
“How did this happen?” I sneer.
“I was never informed to engage Ms. Steele in any way, sir. I was only informed moments ago that there was a possible threat in Mr. David and, as you can see, he was no threat, sir,” Davenport responds.
“Did he touch her?” I ask, looking back at Ana. Davenport clears his throat.
“Once, sir.” My head snaps back to Davenport. “He grabbed her arm and she grabbed his… jewels.”
“She what?” I snicker a bit.
“His jewels, sir. She grabbed his jewels. I don’t know what she was saying to him, but he was just nodding the whole time.”
“She grabbed his jewels,” I repeat, trying hard not to laugh. “Congratulations, Davenport. You get to keep your job. The next time you see that asshole near Ms. Steele, break his fucking neck. Any questions?”
“None, sir,” Davenport answers.
“Bring her to me.”
“Sir?” Davenport looks at me puzzled. No, you asshole, I’m not telling you to throw her over your shoulder and drag her to me like a caveman.
“Go over to her and point to me.” I almost want to slap him. As he walks to the Marketplace, I take this moment to snicker to myself that my delicate little butterfly was holding this man by his balls! I’m wearing sunglasses so I know she can’t see my eyes—and I have to say that I’m glad. The moment she looks over at me, I feel like I could melt into the concrete. We stand there staring at each other for a moment until her friend asks why Ana is still standing there. I don’t know who she is, but I like her already.
Ana is walking across the street towards me, her dress billowing beautifully in the wind, making it appear as though she’s floating like the goddess that she is. “Hi,” she says softly.
“Hi,” I respond just as softly. “You said you would call me right back.”
“This is my first opportunity,” she says, waving her blackberry at me.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t sit still knowing that he was down here with you… not after this morning.” She smiles beautifully at me.
“It’s okay,” she says sweetly. “I’m glad you’re here.”
“Are you okay?” I ask, touching her cheek gently. She leans into my hand. Oh, God, what she does to me.
“Yes,” she breathes. Okay, she’s going to have to stop doing that.
“Can I kiss you?” I say softly, gently pulling her closer to me.
“Do you really have to ask?” she answers, her eyes already closed and her lips parted. I put my mouth on hers and taste the sweet nectar from her lips and her tongue. She moans gently into my mouth as she puts one hand over mine covering her cheek and the other in my hair. It’s taking everything—and I mean everything—not to scoop her up and take her in the back seat of the SUV. I hear someone’s throat clearing and try to decide which of my staff will be getting fired for this interruption.
I reluctantly break the kiss with my beautiful butterfly to discover that it’s not my staff disturbing us at all, but one, two, three, four, five people have followed Ana out of the Marketplace—one of them is Forsythe. Ana is clearly attempting to catch her breath before turning around to face her friends. The girls—and Forsythe—are giggling profusely. Ana is able to gather herself before she turns around.
“Christian Grey, this is Garrett Pope, Maxine Saunders, Phillip Guest, Valarie Marshall, and you already know Al.”
“How does he already know Al?” Valerie snaps.
“I told you, Darling,” Allen says with a smile, “I was there this morning.”
“Well, I called last night!” Valerie says, trying to one up Allen.
“Oh, that was you!” I exclaim. Ana turns a beautiful shade of crimson.
“Ugh!” she grunts before burying her face in my shoulder.
“Come on out, baby,” I coax her, gently lifting her chin. She raises her head to look at me. “There she is,” I say, kissing her gently on the lips, and she blushes again like a schoolgirl. I think it’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. “So, have you decided the plan for this evening?” I ask.
“Well, it’s like I told you, I normally spend Saturday night with my friends,” she says, gesturing toward the mini-mob.
“Oh, no,” Allen says, stepping forward. “You already know I’m cooking dinner for my Chocolateness. Maxie and Phil are always all over each other. Gary and Val both have new boo–thangs I’m sure they are itching to get back to.” She looks at Pope.
“Texting now,” he says, looking at his phone. She looks at Valerie, who pauses a moment.
“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Valerie says. “I’ll have my legs up in the air before you do.”
“Oh, I highly doubt that,” I say in a deliberately sexy voice that clearly makes all three women pant a bit—sorry, Guest.
“So, it looks like you’re free for the evening, hon,” Al states, “after we have one last drink so… she’ll call you in an hour, handsome?” Oh, that’s cute… the little gay guy is flirting with me. He hasn’t seen my gay blush yet. I’m ashamed to say that my gay blush will make his dick get hard.
“In an hour, then,” I say to Ana, before kissing her again deeply, leaving her wanting more.
“I’ll call you as soon as I’m free,” she says, her head down looking up at me through her lashes. Concentrate, Grey. You don’t want to have a woody as she’s walking away. She and her friends walk towards the parking area and she holds my hand until the very last minute. I watch her walk away before I turn my attention to David, who has apparently recovered from his attack and has been watching us the entire time. I knock on the window of the SUV and Taylor gets out. “Where’s his guy?” I ask without breaking gaze with David.
“Right behind him, sir,” Taylor responds.
“Bring me David.” Davenport and Taylor walk over to David. Although I can’t hear what’s being said, I can see that he’s declining the… invitation. As he turns to leave, the third security detail closes the triangle. Taylor then says something else to David and soon he’s walking in my direction.
“Have to get your goons to do your dirty work?” he snaps. That’s a juvenile shot.
“That’s exactly right, David. Why should I dirty my hands with trash?” I say calmly. His jaw tenses.
“Hmm, but you choose to dirty your dick with it, I see,” he snaps.
“Oh, I know your type. You like to fight with words. You have a lot of below-the-belt shots that you throw that would intimidate and antagonize the average man, but here’s the thing.” I take off my sunglasses. “I’m not the average man. I don’t play those ‘my dick is bigger than your dick’ games because I don’t need to. I don’t say anything to anybody that doesn’t need to be said, because my time is too damn valuable for that shit. So, the mere fact that you’re standing in my presence right now means that I probably have something very important that I want to say to you.”
“Why the fuck would I want to hear anything you have to say? You’re just the punk that’s fucking my sloppy seconds!” he shoots.
“I can understand why you can’t let her go,” I say calmly, ignoring his last statement and watching Ana and her friends walk away, now far off in the distance. “She’s breathtaking. She’s exquisite in every way. She’s intelligent, independent, strong, and beautiful—and she’s vulnerable, compassionate, and sexy. Any man in his right mind would fight to have her and keep her. So, what the fuck was wrong with you that you had this beautiful prize of a woman and you let her get away? Better yet, you chased her away, and now you can’t accept that she doesn’t want you anymore.”
“Man, I can have any woman I want!” He’s losing his composure. I got you now.
“Except Ana,” I reply calmly. His fists are clenching and I know he wants to explode.
“I’ve already had Ana,” he says, with a smug smile.
“Which is why you want her now,” I reply, wiping that smug look right off his face. “You ran around with whatever hoes you could get your hands on when you had that at home. And when you finally realized that quantity doesn’t equal quality, you came back for the prime cut that you threw away only to find that someone else was sleeping in your bed.” I pause to give that last statement a chance to soak in. “You know as well as I do how passionate she is. The sound of her voice makes you want to do wicked things to her body. And she’s so responsive. She’s an absolutely incredible lover.”
“She’s got you sprung, man. You’re talking all this big shit, and she’s got you sprung!” David starts to laugh a bit. I laugh a little with him.
“That might be true. But you were sprung, too—or at least you’re sprung now. The difference between me and you—I’m still springing.” And that smug look is gone again. “And I plan on springing for a long time—against the wall, in chairs, in the bed, on tables, on the floor, in the car, on boats, planes, and hot-air balloons—wherever she plans on springing, I’m going to spring. So, you say I’m sprung? You’re probably right, because I’m craving her body right now. But that’s a craving I can fulfill later. You know that feeling. You know how it feels to want a woman so bad that your dick aches; to feel her wrap around you and watch her almost come just from sucking her breasts; to fuck her so hard and so long that your whole body aches and you still want to fuck her some more. Yeah, you know that feeling… that’s why you’re chasing her. Your loss is my gain, limp dick. You want her to come back to you, and when she doesn’t, you want to humiliate her and make her feel like shit.”
“She is shit.” He’s trying to egg me on again. Not going to work, little man.
“Well, you apparently don’t know her then. But guess what? You won’t have to worry about her anymore, because I’m going to make sure she forgets all about you. I’m going to make sure that you can’t reach her for the rest of the weekend and I’m going to love every inch of her body. I’m going to sex her in ways that are illegal in 28 states. I’m going to work that body so well that you are going to be the farthest thing from her mind. I’m going to make her call out my name so loud and so many times that you’re going to be able to hear her anywhere in King county! And when I’m done, I’m going to take care of her. I’m going to treat her like the lady that you should have, and let her be the woman that she is. So, you can rest assured that from this day forward, you’ll be the very last thing she ever thinks about because after today, you won’t be able to get to her physically; and after Monday, you won’t be able to get to her at all.”
“I can get to her wherever she is. I don’t know who the fuck you think you’re talking to. She’ll always love me—I was her first. You’ll never be able to get rid of me. I’m gonna always be on her mind no matter what you do. She’s always going to be thinking about me!” This guy is really delusional. I don’t know if he just can’t let her go or he really thinks Ana wants him. Whichever it is, it’s time to end this conversation.
“You think so, huh? Well, I must be mistaken. Your name must be Christian, too, because that’s whose name she was calling all night. And I vaguely remember her yelling at you to get the fuck out of her apartment while she was in my arms. And I wasn’t the one just lying on the ground because she tried to rip my balls off. I was the one with my tongue down her throat five minutes ago. All that aside…” I stand up off the SUV and get right in Mr. David’s face. That’s when I realize I have to look down at him… he’s shorter than I thought. “She will be getting a restraining order against you on Monday. So, we won’t have to worry about this anymore anyway. Now will we?”
“A restraining order don’t mean shit to me, man,” he snaps. Now that doesn’t make me happy, because that means this bastard is going to keep coming no matter what. I sigh heavily.
“That’s too bad, Mr. David, because that means I have to resort to other measures. So, let’s try this.” I square my shoulders and stand so close that my breath is hitting his eyeballs. Here comes the voice that makes grown men quake.
“Stay the fuck away from Anastasia. I have eyes everywhere—that’s how I knew where you were today. If you call her, try to contact her, try to have someone else contact her, breathe in her direction, think about her, drive down a street in her neighborhood—Your. Ass. Is. Mine! I will fuck you up so bad, you won’t be able to remember your damn name. And while you’re considering that, consider this. I’m a very powerful man with unlimited resources, an active imagination, a very bad attitude, and a large security staff made up of ex-CIA, FBI, Special Forces, Navy Seals, and Green Berets. I really don’t think you want to get on my bad side!”
“Mr. Grey,” he says, feigning sarcasm, but his voice is shaking a bit, “Are you threatening me?” He can’t be trying to intimidate me. He just can’t be…! I lean down to him—he’s only an inch or so shorter than me—I look from left, to right, and then back at him.
“I’m going to say this in a language you can recognize.” I look him in his eyes, and I nod several times. He’s really pissed now, but there’s not a whole lot he can do or say. I put my sunglasses back on and get back into the Audi. “Oh yeah,” I say before closing the door. “I watched Ana beat the shit of a 6th Dan black belt Krav Maga martial arts master last week. It took three men to get her to release him. She could’ve killed him. So, you better watch your step because she can probably fuck you up before I even get a chance to get my hands on you. And if she has a restraining order against you, anything she does to you is self-defense. So, you should probably take heed to that little piece of paper that ‘don’t mean shit to you.'” I close the door and Taylor drives off.
“Who is the guy on David?” I ask Taylor.
“Harris, sir,” Taylor responds.
“Give me one reason why I shouldn’t fire him,” I snap.
“Let me talk to him, sir… find out what happened.”
“You do that. I plan on spending all of this evening and as much of tomorrow as possible with Ana. By this time tomorrow, I want to know what the hell happened that Ana had to defend herself against that asshole. I’ll make my decision about Harris’ future then!”
“I’m curious, Taylor,” I begin as we approach Escala.
“You were having a conversation with David before he came over to me. What was that all about?” Taylor clears his throat.
“He declined the invitation to talk to you, sir.”
“I gathered that much, Taylor. What happened after he declined?” I close the door to the SUV and we are walking to the elevator. Taylor pushes the button to call the elevator.
“I made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.” I laugh at The Godfather reference.
“And that was…?” I press.
“I told him that he could walk or be carried. The choice was his.” I’m laughing heartily as the elevator doors close.
A/N: Okay, so, someone commented, “I’ve never heard of a gay blush. Is there really such a thing?”
The answer is yes and no.
The fact is that gay, effeminate men tend to blush more that straight men or masculine gay men. That’s not to say that straight men don’t blush. I’ve seen some of the most manly men turn beet red under the right circumstances. However, just like women tend to blush when we get a compliment or we get all fluttery inside, effeminate gay may tend to do it sometimes, too. Is it a “gay” blush, no, but it would be for Christian, because he’s straight. I know it would be hard to picture masculine, Dominant Christian doing a “gay blush,” but my Christian knows how, so… You may have to just get over that one. 😉
It is very important that you realize just how large Pike Place Market or the “Marketplace” really is. There are two main streets and five or seven side streets or smaller in the area that is considered “the Marketplace.” Keep in mind that Christian got a HINT that Ana might be in danger because Edward was in the same place that she was. Within minutes, he had not only located her, but he was standing there looking at her—in the huge ass Marketplace. Keep in mind that he doesn’t have any tracking devices on her yet. So, as you can see he is already very protective of her. Pictures of Pike Place (as well as a map to the market) can be found on my Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/
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Love and Handcuffs!