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 21—More Confrontations
“Leave him alone.”
I manage to convince my Butterfly to stay with me one more night. Since she doesn’t have any patients on her Monday rotation yet, it’s an easy task. We had literally been fucking nearly non-stop since Friday, and damn it, Greystone needed a break! So, I was only too happy when Ana suggested that we cuddle near the fire and talk about some more of our “skeletons,” so to speak. Now, I’m kind of wishing we hadn’t done that.
“Stop. Get away from him.”
Did I mention that my Butterfly talks in her sleep? I noticed it the first night that we slept together, when she was mumbling something about Margaret Thatcher and somebody named Stoley. I attributed it to nighttime babbling, but now, I’m hearing something far more disturbing.
“No. Leave him alone, he just a boy…”
It’s bad enough that I have to fight with the nightmares of my childhood. Now I’ve put the burden on my Butterfly. She has her own demons to fight, and now she’s fighting mine, too. I feel like pure shit. I go to rouse her when I hear something that makes me stop dead still.
“Get your claws off of him, you bitch! I love him!”
Did I just hear her correctly? Did she just say she loves me? Is it me that she’s talking about? Can it be? So soon? This is insane! We’ve known each other for three seconds, she can’t love me! I shake my head. I’m not going to say anything about it if she doesn’t, but I do want to wake her out of whatever nightmare she’s having. I gently stroke her arm.
“Leave him alone…” I stroke her arm again.
“Ana, baby, wake up.” She whimpers a bit, then rolls over to face me. Throwing her arm around my waist, she snuggles into my chest and falls back into a contented sleep.
I’ve never had anyone hold me like this before—except Mia, when she gives me a hug. I can feel the rise and fall of her chest against mine, the warmth of her breath. It feels… strange, but… good, like she needs to be here… like I need her here. I wrap my arms around her and cradle her close to me. Whatever nightmare she was having has left her mind and she relaxes against me in rhythmic breathing.
“Oh, Ana,” I say softly as I rub her back, “I want you with me always. I need you.” I kiss her forehead and lay down on my pillow, thinking about my life before her—or my lack of life, I should say. I was a shell of a man—all alone with no idea that I was walking a lonely path to nowhere. How does that quote go? A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner… secret and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. Grace used to love to read the classics to us. She never understood why my face grew so stony when she got to this part of A Christmas Carol. I recognized myself immediately in Dickens’ description of Ebenezer Scrooge with no hope of the redemption afforded him by the three specters that visited him. I felt no fear for the fate that awaited Mr. Scrooge at the end of his life—hell was too kind for me. I was the worthless son of a crack whore—no one could love me. Despite the kindness and affection shown to me by Grace and Carrick, by idiotic Lelliot and darling Mia, I was valueless—an unnecessary waste of flesh and bone….
… Until now.
Now I feel like tomorrow could have some meaning, like there may be a purpose for me after all. I feel as if this beautiful Butterfly in my arms—this bruised and damaged angel with a heart of gold and a soul of sunshine—could very well be the key to my Dickens transformation. She could be my past, present, and future all rolled into one. She has taken every horror story I’ve given her over the past few days in perfect stride—including coming face to face with Elena and teaching her a lesson I’m sure she’ll never forget.
A lesser woman would have run away screaming… but not Ana, not my Butterfly.
I pull her closer to me and I swear I can hear her purring. She’s deliciously adorable.
You’re falling hard, Grey. You’re falling hard and fast.
Yeah, I know.
I stop the alarm and rise out of bed trying not to wake Ana. From what I can tell before I drifted off for a couple of hours myself, she seems to have slept pretty soundly after that one minor disturbance in the middle of the night. I’ll be sure to ask her about it when she wakes.
I take a quick shower and grab my blue pinstriped Anderson Sheppard and my burgundy tie before quietly escaping to my study. I’m at a crossroads. I told Ana that I would let go of the Green Valley incident, but with everything I have in me, I want to find out who did this to her. Welch’s carelessness tipped her off before. No doubt that snooping around would tip her off again. She had some very unkind things to say about her mother and stepfather. They don’t even speak now. The story she told me about how they forced her to return to Green Valley after all she had been through has left a sour taste in my mouth. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if I never met either of them, and from what Ana says, that’s not very likely anyway.
I could look at the police report and talk to the reporting officer. I’m sure that he’s the one who told her that someone was looking into the case in the first place. I’m also sure that face-to-face powers of persuasion can most likely be effective in preventing him from letting the cat out of the bag this time. I need to give this some thought. I can’t just jump the gun and go charging into this without a plan. I don’t want to lose her—I can’t lose her—but this can’t be another instance of the pimp who scarred me for life disappearing into the backdrop like nothing ever happened.
I open my email to see if anything needs my immediate attention since I don’t plan on going in until after Butterfly leaves. Lots of reminders of meetings this week, and of course I have that fucking group thing tonight—terribly dull without Anastasia but a necessary evil nonetheless. Dinner with the family on Saturday to discuss the Helping Hands fundraiser—can’t I just write a check? Good grief. Three emails from Elena since yesterday. Do I want to even bother? I still have the investment in her salons, so there will be some kind of contact with her, but I can always assure that any contact between us takes place with a second party always present… during business hours… at Grey House. We are certainly no longer friends and I definitely don’t need to be alone in a room with that woman because I may just kill her. I open each of the emails and read the various lies about this all being a misunderstanding and how we really need to discuss this so that our friendship doesn’t suffer further damage and Ana obviously poisoning my mind against her and all the little Elena-isms that she once used to keep me in check that no longer have an effect on me. Sorry, Oh Creepy One, it’s not going to work this time.
I think better about responding to any of her emails because the last thing that I want to do is encourage her. I do notice that there is an email from Welch concerning Mr. David. It’s his preliminary background check. Edward Robert David is 27 years old, soon to be 28. He owns a web design business here in Seattle, one which did very well last year by the way. Mr. David has more than a few pennies to rub together, I see… not as many as I do, of course, but he’s pretty set. That could add to the fucker’s cockiness. He’s from Cedar Rapids, Iowa—talk about Nowheresville! He graduated from the University of Washington a year before Ana, which is where he met her. What in the hell made him come to Washington? Maybe he was hoping to fall in with Paul Allen and Microsoft. He started his education at the University of Iowa, but withdrew in the middle of the first semester and transferred to U-Dub in the spring. Parents are Evelyn and James David, still alive. They own a specialty sporting goods business in Cedar Rapids that does very well. Two brothers, Marcus and James Jr., both older than he. Nothing stands out too much except… what brought him to Washington from Cedar Rapids?
I hear her before I see her—thick heels clicking along marble tile. I look up just in time to see Butterfly leaning against the door frame. Oh, fuck. My breath catches in my chest when I take in her full attire. Very short black denim shorts and a tank top, covered by another one of my shirts—worn and not laundered, no doubt—tied around her petite waist and a pair of black strappy sandals with thick heels. Her hair is cascading over her shoulders in beautiful chestnut waves and she is looking completely and utterly fuckable right now!
“Good morning,” I say, turning my chair to face this delectable morsel standing before me. She saunters into my study with this sensual look on her face and I know my dick is getting hard. Down, Greystone.
“Good morning, Mr. Grey.” Oh, fuck. “Working hard?” She bends down and puts her hands on my armrests, her breasts at perfect eye level.
“Hardly working,” I say as I grasp her around the waist and snatch her into the chair with me. This woman could ask me for anything right now… anything… and I would move heaven and hell to get it for her.
The Taj Mahal? Sure!
The Mona Lisa? No problem!
The Hope Diamond? Coming right up!
She adjusts herself on my lap, straddling me, her legs under my armrests on either side. With one hand on her back and one hand grasping the hair at the nape of her neck, I kiss her feverishly, devouring her lips and tongue and savoring the taste and warmth of her mouth. Sweet Anastasia, I could just eat you up!
Oh, good God, this man can kiss! He’s got me locked down on top of him in his office chair and he is consuming me like I’m his last meal! Oh, the ecstasy! He always awakens the sleeper when he touches me, and I feel the flood between my legs as I entangle my hands in his soft copper locks. He’s kissing me so deeply and so passionately that I swear I feel like I’m about to pass out. He breaks contact with my lips only to devour my chin, my cheek, my neck…
“Oh, Christian…” I breathe heavily as I hold my head back to allow him access and to drag in precious air. He releases a guttural moan and I completely surrender. I am the marionette and he holds the strings.
“Baby,” he says as he greedily licks the skin on my chest and right at my cleavage.
“Please, oh God, please.” I grab his face on both sides and pull his head back to rest my forehead on his. “Christian, you’re insatiable.” I say between breaths, my eyes closed trying to regain my composure. I open my eyes to see his staring back at me with a little mirth.
“Baby, you haven’t seen the half of it, yet.” He laughs fiendishly before placing another gentle kiss on my lips. “We better get something to eat,” he says as he slaps my behind to get me to stand. I jump at the smack.
“Mr. Grey!” I say, feigning disapproval as I stand and rub the spot where he struck me. “You’re not supposed to treat a lady thus!”
“There’s a whole lot more I want to do to this lady,” he growls sensually as he walks towards me. I back up with each of his steps until I meet the wall. He puts his hand on the wall next to my head, grabs my chin to tilt my head up and… there’s that damn kiss again. Holy fuck! My knees start to buckle and he takes his free hand and closes the door to his study, then wraps it around my waist. The hand that was holding my chin is now roaming over my breast, my ass, and now undoing my shorts.
“Christian,” I say against his lips. “We don’t have time…”
“There’s always time for an orgasm, baby,” he purrs in his sexy baritone voice. His knee separates my legs and his hand slips down into my shorts and underwear.
“Aaahh!” I moan as his fingers make contact with the magic spot.
“Quiet!” he scolds as he separates my folds. “You don’t want Mrs. Jones to hear you, now, do you?” he says teasingly as his teeth graze over my chin and my neck. “Fuck, Ana, you’re so damn wet,” he exclaims as his fingers slide inside. I whimper as quietly as I can.
“Oh!” I squeak as he fucks me with his fingers and massages my clit with his palm. “Christian…”
“Oh, Baby, you’re so sexy,” he moans. I open my eyes and he’s watching me as I fall apart. My lips are parted as I try to breathe. I feel a slight quivering. “That’s it, baby,” he says as he continues a delicious rhythm with his fingers and palm.
“Christian,” I breathe, “I’m going to come.”
“I know,” he says as our eyes lock on each other, sensual gray to salacious blue—and the rhythm continues.
“Christian,” I whimper, “I can’t keep quiet!”
“You better try,” he says mercilessly, and the rhythm continues. If I hold back, it’s going to be explosive and draining. I relax into it, both arms down at my sides as he strokes unyieldingly and masterfully at my core, pulling up every so often to spread my juices on my clitoris. I almost tip over the edge the next time he anoints my clit with my wetness, but once he shifts his hand deeper inside and his thumb replaces his palm, it only takes a few more strokes and the expert ministrations of his thumb before I detonate wetly all over his hand.
“Christia….” He covers my mouth with his before the scream of passion is complete. I moan and whimper endlessly into his mouth as his tongue feeds my passion, and his thumb and fingers wring it out of me. His arm holds me against him until I’m shivering with aftershocks. He pulls his hand from my shorts and licks his fingers greedily as he looks hungrily into my eyes.
“Mighty fine, Ms. Steele,” he says, his voice husky. He zips my shorts and buttons them, and kisses me again. I can taste my juices on his tongue. When he pulls back, he put his fingertips delicately on his nose and inhaled deeply, moaning his approval. “Smells like heaven,” he says, smiling mischievously at me as I catch my breath, coming down from my orgasm. “I’ll tell Mrs. Jones that you’ll be ready to eat in a few minutes,” he says, kissing my nose and stepping away from me. He smiles and winks at me as he leaves the study and I’m standing there trying to get my bearings about me.
That bastard. Get me all weak in the knees, then go strolling out of here like Mr. CEO while I have to compose myself before I can face Gail. That’s so dirty.
You realize you are silently scolding this man because he just made you come.
Eh! Think about that for a second.
He’s still a bastard.
Whatever you say.
I take a few deep breaths and straighten my clothes before I leave the study. I approach the breakfast bar where Christian is seated eating an omelet with an English muffin and orange juice. I put my hands on his shoulders and he turns to look at me.
“Feeling better?” he says with a naughty smile on his face.
“Much,” I say as I plant a sweet kiss on his cheek and sit on the stool next to him.
“What would you like, Ana?” Mrs. Jones asks. I’m so glad she remembers to use my nickname.
“I don’t usually eat much for breakfast, Mrs. Jones. Usually a bagel or a piece of fruit is fine.” Christian glares at me and I glare right back. “What?” I ask.
“Anastasia, you have to eat more than that for breakfast,” he scolds.
“I’m doing fine so far.” I say, gesturing to my lovely girlish figure. “Or have we forgotten my victory over She-Thing yesterday?” Mrs. Jones unsuccessfully hides a loud whimpering laugh in her throat as she turns away from us. I chuckle lightly, then look over at a not-so-happy Christian.
“Christian, I’ve never eaten large breakfasts… well, only on occasion. But most days, it’s toast and a cup of coffee or a bagel with cream cheese or some fruit.” He sighs heavily.
“Will you eat breakfast today… for me?” I sigh.
“Fine, but only because I don’t have to see patients today. Heavy meals right before I have to listen to someone’s life story is a definite no-no!” I say shaking my finger.
“Yes, ma’am!” he says, with a mock salute.
“Ugh! Stop it!” I whine. “I get enough of that from Taylor!”
“What can I get for you, Ana?” Mrs. Jones asks again.
“Do you have anything already prepared?” I don’t want to inconvenience her.
“Bacon,” she answers.
“Would you add some eggs and toast to that for me… and a glass of orange juice? And I’d love some of that coffee!” I ask.
“No problem,” she says with a smile.
“Thank you.” I return her smile. “Speaking of Taylor, when do I get to meet the guy that you have spying on me… formally, that is?”
“You can meet him after breakfast,” Christian answers. “What’s on your agenda for today?”
“Well, I have to meet Al at my apartment later. He’s going to be bringing over my copy of the restraining order. Then he and the sheriffs are going to serve Edward with his.”
“Why doesn’t Forsythe just serve it? Isn’t he an attorney?”
“Call him Al or Allen. You sound so strange calling him Forsythe all the time. Nobody in the world calls him Forsythe. I have to adjust my brain just to figure out who you’re talking about when you say that!” I scold.
“Fine. Why doesn’t Allen just serve him?” Even that’s sounds weird coming out of his mouth.
“Because Edward wouldn’t take it from Al. He knows Al and he doesn’t respect him because of Al’s sexual orientation. So, to avoid a fight or any contesting of the service, we opted for sheriff service instead.”
“He still leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth,” Christian says, taking a forkful of his omelet.
“Well, we won’t have to worry about him after today,” I say.
“I’ve got a feeling you’re wrong, Butterfly.” Butterfly? Huh? “I’ve seen his type and they don’t let go easily. He’s nursing a wound, a bad one. And it’s been made worse by the fact that you don’t want him, somebody else wants you, and you basically embarrass him every time you meet.” Well, he hit all those nails on the head.
“He can make it so much easier for himself if he just leaves me the hell alone. I don’t get it, Christian. He had me. I loved him, but I wasn’t enough. So, I left him alone. I left him to do what he wanted to do… roam the streets of Seattle. Why the hell is he back?” Mrs. Jones sets my breakfast in front of me.
“I can’t tell you what made him decide to come back now, but I don’t trust the bastard.” Christian takes a swig of his coffee. “So, tell me, why does Al call you ‘Jewel?'” I tell him the diamond/coal story.
“Now you tell me,” I begin, “Why did you just call me Butterfly?” He freezes as he’s drinking his orange juice. Did I say something wrong?
Did I call her that out loud? So far, it had been my special subconscious name for her… did I let it slip?
“Um…” Do I tell her why I really call her Butterfly? There are so many reasons, but one in particular. I don’t think now is the right time to tell her that one, so I wait. “There are a lot of reasons, but the most prevalent is because you’re beautiful and delicate—when you’re not beating the hell out of someone.” She laughs at that one. “And have you ever had a butterfly cross your path and it not make you stop, look, and adore its beauty? Has seeing a butterfly ever made you unhappy?” She walks over and puts her arms around my neck.
“And what happens when I do something to upset you or piss you off?” she asks. If you knew the other reason why I call you Butterfly, you would know that none of those things matter.
“You’ll still be my Butterfly,” I say as I kiss her gently on the lips. “Finish your breakfast.” She smiles and quickly finishes her breakfast.
“Okay, now I’m ready to meet Davenport,” she says as she bounces out of her seat. I like this Ana. She seems carefree and young and fun. I want her to teach me to be those things. I want to experience the things that I’ve missed out on being Elena’s prisoner all of these years. I’m going to let her take me wherever she wants, travel all the journeys that her little heart desires.
I want to feel for her what she feels for me.
“Ana,” I ask cautiously. “Can I talk to you for a moment before you meet Davenport?” Mrs. Jones discreetly makes her way out of the room to give us some privacy.
“Sure,” she says, sitting back in the seat. How do you ask someone if they meant it when they said they loved you in their sleep?
“Did you know that you talk in your sleep?” Her face falls. The carefree Ana that bounced out of the chair a moment go has been replaced by the solemn and serious Dr. Steele.
“What did I say?” she asks, flatly. Let’s slow-walk into this, shall we?
“You were talking about Margaret Thatcher and Stoley?” I say. She lets go of a breath that she was holding.
“Oh, that,” she says. “It’s actually Flashdance Thatcher and Stoley. They were actually two group participants that I had—both on completely different ends of the spectrum.” She rolls her eyes at the memory. I’ll let that one slide.
“Flashdance Thatcher?” I ask incredulously. She sighs.
“It’s a long story,” she says, throwing her hands in the air. “But why was that such a cause for concern for you?” She looks at me questioning.
“Because it lets me know just how deep in your thoughts you are when you’re talking,” I say as I take her hands in mine. “Did you have any dreams last night?” I ask. She thinks for a moment.
“None that I can remember. I mean I always wake with pictures in my head of what I must have dreamt about. I’m sure if I think about it long enough, it may come to me,” she replies casually.
“Do you remember any pictures?” She looks at me strangely, but then she starts to try to remember.
“Um, I remember blue sky and I was running somewhere… playing I think… are you sure I talked about Thatcher and Stoley last night?” she asks. I think she’s catching on that her dream and late-night ramblings had nothing to do with her prior group participants.
“Just humor me for a few minutes and tell me what you can remember,” I say softly, still holding her hands, stroking them gently with my thumb. I can see she’s a little hesitant, but she continues.
“Um, I don’t know, Christian, I… uh… I remember a thunderstorm. I think it was raining on a playground or something.” She shakes her head, “I really can’t remember anything else.”
“Are you sure, Ana?” I ask. She’s becoming impatient.
“What did I say, Christian?” she asks. I don’t want to tell her any of it. I don’t want to stir up a bad dream if she can’t remember it. I drop my head in defeat. Hurting her in any way is something my soul can’t tolerate, even something as small as this. “Christian?” She says putting one of her hands on my cheek. “Baby, did I say something horrible?” She asks with concern. I look into her questioning blue eyes and shake my head.
“No,” I reply. “You said something beautiful,” I say before I can catch myself. She said she loved me. At least I think it was me. I hope it was me as much as I hope it wasn’t me because I don’t want to be the cause of her having nightmares. “You were protecting someone,” I add.
“Protecting someone?” she asks puzzled. “Protecting who?” When all I can give her is an uncertain glare, she drops my hands and begins to pace.
“There was a thunderstorm… and I was trying to cover someone up. I was trying to… keep them from getting wet, I think.” She’s twisting her hands, trying to think. “These two people showed up. I couldn’t see their faces. They were coming for the child.” The color is leaving her face as she recounts the dream. “As they approached us, suddenly, my arms and legs were broken. They weren’t before… and then they were. I couldn’t move… I couldn’t help him. All I could do was sit there and watch.” Her hand goes to her forehead like she’s trying to rub away a headache. I know that this is her tell that she’s unhappy or stressed, so I stand, but she doesn’t notice. She rubs and rubs and rubs, looking for the answers to the last part of this dream. “They took him. They took the little boy. He was so afraid. One was a woman… I know that… the other one, a man, I guess.” She’s pacing again. “I kept telling them to leave him alone… but I couldn’t do anything… I couldn’t move…” She’s starting to get very agitated.
“Ana…?” I say walking over to her.
“They each… they each took an arm… and they were pulling. Not fighting over him, just pulling. And I told her to stop—but she wouldn’t. They kept… pulling… until they were ripping the little boy in half.” Both of her hands are on her face now, wiping as if to scrub away the memory. “I told them to stop… I told them to leave him alone. He was so small… and they were… he was… he was….” She gasps loudly and her hand flies to her mouth. She spins around to look at me where I stand a few feet away from her. Her eyes are full of tears that are going to fall any second. She points at me and just before breaking into sobs, she cries, “He was you! Christian, it was you!”
In two long strides, I’m in front of her scooping her up in my arms. I knew it. I fucking knew it! Are you happy now, Asshole? You couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you, Grey? I carry her over to the couch and sit her on my lap. “Ssshhh. Baby, don’t cry,” I soothe. “Please don’t cry, baby.” I can’t stand that I pushed her to this, but I had to know. I had to know that it was me that she was talking about. I remembered that she calmed down and went to sleep after that.
“Ana, can you remember what happened next?” I brush her hair from her face. She sniffled heavily.
“They left you… they l… left you there… torn in h… half… and the… woman said she w… would be back and… I told her t… to leave you alone.” She takes a deep breath and continues, her tear-stained face looking very confused. “The next thing I know, it’s not raining anymore… and we’re in each other’s arms… you torn in half and me with broken arms and legs.” She said she loved me… in her sleep, she said it. I heard her! I put my hands on either side of her face.
“Ana. Baby, please, don’t make my nightmares your own. I have to fight these demons. And I have you here to keep me strong, but you have your own cross to bear.”
“But I…” She wanted to say something, but she shook her head. “Okay.”
“You promise not to carry my pain around with you?” I’m almost pleading.
“I’ll try, I promise.” She gently strokes my face. Her hand feels like silk against my skin.
“That’s all I can ask,” I say as I pull her into an embrace. “Are you okay now? I’m sorry I put you through that.”
“I’m fine.” She smiles and she stands from my lap. “I really need to get going, Christian. I have to meet Al about the restraining order.” She squeezes my hand and goes to the bedroom to retrieve her things.
“Taylor,” I call for my head of personal security who is never too far away.
“Sir.” Taylor emerges from his office.
“I’ll be ready to go in about fifteen minutes. Call Davenport to my study… What is his first name?”
“Charles, sir.” I nod and send him off.
A few minutes later, Davenport arrives in my study. “Mr. Grey,” he greets as he enters the office.
“Davenport, have a seat.” He sits in one of the leather chairs across from me. “I’m assigning you as personal security for Ms. Steele. Right now, she thinks you’re still just surveillance, but she’s very personable and she wants to meet you formally.”
“Yes, sir.” I lean in.
“Take good care of her. Do I make myself clear?”
Moments later, I introduce my Butterfly to Mr. Charles Davenport. Afterwards, we say our goodbyes and I send her and Davenport on their way. It’s going to be a long day!
“I need to make a stop at the Apple store. Is that okay, Charles?” I ask Davenport as he is driving me home.
“No problem, ma’am.” Egh! Another ma’am. I’m going to have to break this now!
“Charles, can you please call me Ana?” I ask. He frowns a bit in the rearview mirror.
“Taylor was specific that I should refer to you as ma’am,” he retorts.
“Well, Taylor’s not here,” I reply. He nods with a smirk.
“Chuck,” he says.
“Chuck?” Is he trying to call me Chuck?
“Nobody calls me Charles. It’s either Davenport or Chuck.” I smile.
“Chuck it is, then,” I add. “So as not to cause any problems with your bosses and my boyfriend, when we’re in their company, it’s ma’am or Dr. Steele and Davenport. When we’re alone, it’s Chuck and Ana. Deal?”
“Deal,” he says, smiling warmly. “Dr. Steele?” he clarifies. I raise my eyebrows.
“Mr. Grey didn’t indicate that part, I see.”
“I’m afraid not. He said you were personable, but nothing about the ‘doctor’ part.” Personable? That’s actually pretty sweet of him to say.
“So, you’ve been partially briefed about me?” I ask, amused.
“Just a little,” he responds. Christian is serious about this “surveillance.” I guess I’ll cooperate for now if it will make him feel better.
“Well, don’t worry. There’s no blood and guts involved in what I do. I’m a shrink.” He nods.
“That’s good information. Thank you.”
I’ve decided that since I must change my phone number, I think it’s time to rid myself of my old blackberry, too. I thought about getting the cool updated version that Christian has, but decide against it and opt for the iPhone. I really want to see what all the fuss is about. If it doesn’t serve my purposes, I’ll go back to the blackberry. The rep helps me get my contacts, calendar, email and service transferred to the iPhone and even gives me a few cool ringtones. Not that I couldn’t do all of this myself, but hey, let him earn his wage, right? I send my new phone number to all my contacts—Edward excluded—and set about playing with my new phone on the ride back to the apartment. The moment we enter the parking structure, I notice something ghastly wrong.
“Chuck, stop!” I yell, jumping out of the car before it even comes to a complete stop. “What the hell…?”
“Ana!” Chuck is running behind me and we both stop in our tracks, gaping at my car. What once was my windshield is now shattered glass covering my front seat, dashboard, hood, and the ground surrounding my car. “What in the hell is this?” I scream.
“Tsk! Tsk! Tsk!” I hear from behind me. I turn around to see Edward has come from behind a pillar in black jeans and a black T-shirt. It only takes a moment to understand that he’s at the bottom of this. “It looks like someone had an accident,” he mocks.
“You did this?” I hiss. He just smiles. Of course, he’s not going to admit it, but this Black Ops outfit that he’s wearing is completely giving him away. I feel my adrenaline rising again, but fuck if there’s going to be tears this time. I am feeling anger—pure, bona-fide, genuine, 100%, undiluted, unadulterated, unmitigated anger! Davenport snatches Edward’s arm as he gets closer to me. I don’t think I’ve ever been this angry in my life… not even when I discovered that Christian was doing a background check on me. My breathing is getting heavier and I swear I’m seeing red.
“Ana?” Chuck’s voice is calling to me in the midst of the anger haze. I am trying with all my might to wrangle in these feelings, and it’s taking every coping mechanism I’ve ever known—counting backwards, mantras, controlled breathing, pacing—nothing seems to be working. This is going to stop and it’s going to stop today!
I raise my head to see a worried Chuck and a somewhat stunned Edward. There’s another “Tree in Black” holding Edward’s arm. This must be Edward’s tail. What are they paying you for, Dude?
“How did he get to my car?” I ask Edward’s guy. He’s taken aback that I’m addressing him.
“Ma’am?” he says, confused.
“Do you know who I am?” I snap. He looks at Chuck and back at me.
“Yes, ma’am,” he says bemused.
“Then can you tell me how he got to my car?” I ask again, not nearly as kindly as the first time.
“I don’t know, ma’am,” he says a little affronted. My eyes go narrow at this asshole and he visibly shivers a bit.
“Let him go,” I growl. Davenport and Incompetent Guy look at each other.
“But ma’am…” Incompetent Guy begins.
“I said let him go!” I yell. They still don’t move. “He’s in the damn parking structure! He vandalized my fucking car. Why are you holding him now?” They throw another look at each other and let him go. Edward shrugs his shoulders arrogantly as if he had anything at all to do with his release. Davenport stands behind me near the front of my car while Incompetent Guy stands a few feet behind Edward. I hold my head down in a final attempt to gain control of my anger.
“What the hell are you doing?” I say, slowly raising my eyes to Edward. “What. Are. You. Doing? What do you hope to accomplish? What’s supposed to be the purpose of this campaign? What is your intended end result? Please tell me because I’m confused and I would really like to know! You can’t possibly want me back at this point because the terrible insults, the stalking, and this childish behavior only assures that I never want to see you again!”
“Fuck, no, I don’t want your used and reused ass now. What the fuck would I want with you now?” he shoots.
Ignoring the insult in the response and concentrating only the important bits, I respond, “Great! Fine! We’re in agreement! You don’t want me and I don’t want you. So why the fuck won’t you just go away? Why are you still hanging around? Game! Point! Match! Why the hell are you still here!?” His voice gets cool and his eyes narrow.
“Because I know you can’t stand it. I know that every time you see me, I make you sick. He says he’ll make you forget about me. Well, how’s that working out for you? Good or bad, I remind you of what once was. That’s reason enough for me to never go away. Everywhere you look, I’m going to be there somewhere. You can change your number; you can fucking leave the state if you want, but I’ll follow you. I’ll find you no matter where you go or who you’re with. And since your pretty boy billionaire boyfriend can’t get his ‘hands dirty’ with me, well then he doesn’t cause me much concern.” What? Christian can’t get his hands dirty? But Christian said he would never let anyone hurt me. What is Edward getting at?
I must have let the seeds of doubt show on my face because Edward’s smirking at me now. That’s what he wanted. Whatever his twisted reasoning, he just wants to torture me. I see now. He’s really not going to go away. I’m utterly confused as to why he’s completely obsessed with my unhappiness. So, I ask…
“Why? Why are you doing this? How does this serve you? What do you get from this?”
“Satisfaction,” he answers flatly. What the hell…?
“Nobody says ‘no’ to me… whore!” he says coolly.
Fuck! Are you kidding me? Is that what this is? All this is simply because he can’t take rejection!? Not because he lost the ‘love of his life,’ not because he was publicly humiliated—twice—not because he’s pining away for me, and not because Christian threatened him… but because he can’t take rejection. And the fact that he used that word snaps me out of every bit of anger and every bit of hurt that I was feeling. My thoughts become cold and calculated just like his. My change of expression must have said something to him because he clearly looks like he shudders for a moment. I tilt my head and glare at him a bit.
“Gentlemen, was I mistaken in what I just heard, or did Mr. David just verbalize that he intends to harass me incessantly indefinitely, even if I cross state lines? Did I hear that correctly?” I say, coldly. Edward is glaring back at me, waiting for my next move.
“Yes, ma’am,” they agree.
“That’s all I need to hear.” I turn my back on this bastard and walk to my car. After battling with the Pedo-Bitch yesterday, I can pump his ass full of lead right now without even thinking. I open my car door and reach into the glove box.
“Ma’am, I don’t think you should touch anything until we’ve called the police,” Chuck begins.
“It’s my car, my fingerprints are everywhere,” I say, my voice venomous. Chuck takes two steps back at my tone of voice. His eyes flare when he sees me pull My Boo out of the glove box. “What is his name?” I say without ascending from my car yet.
“I’m sorry?” Chuck asks.
“Mr. Incompetent Guy over there, what is his name?” Wanting to laugh at the address, but clearly seeing how serious the situation has gotten, Chuck remains solemn.
“Robert Harris, ma’am,” he responds.
“Tell him to stand down,” I almost growl, and Chuck nods. He makes some signal to his colleague who takes a couple of steps back. I look over my left shoulder and Edward is still standing there, smirking at me. That’s right, Bitch. Stay right there. In my right hand is my Glock G19C. In my left hand is the magazine that I keep next to the gun until it is necessary to lock and load.
I turn around and face Edward, who has that same smug ass look on his face. I’m fire-breathing mad. He needs to see this. He needs to know that this is not a fucking toy and I know exactly what I’m doing. I’m done with his bullshit.
As I’m walking towards him, I let him watch as I pop the magazine into the Glock, slam it in hard with the ball of my hand, and release the slide lock. The whole process takes about five seconds. I stop walking about ten feet away from him and he has turned about four different shades of white. Once he passes ecru, I say “Listen carefully, you low down, dirty, sneaky, slimy, low life son of a bitch. If you ever come near me again, I’m gonna pop a cap in ya ass. Do you understand me?”
Complete and total shock and horror registers on this man’s face. “What the fuck?” Is all he can say.
“That’s a yes or no question, Fucker! If you ever come near me, my home, my car, my street, my job, my friends, or anything pertaining to me, I will drop you where you stand. If I see you out of the corner of my eye anywhere in the vicinity of me or anything important to me, I will go Saigon on your ass and empty the clip. Do I make myself clear?” I say through clenched teeth. He’s still standing there a little stunned. My Boo is still at my side. “I’m not going to nod this time, Edward, because I want to make sure that you understand what I’m saying.” I say, my voice still cold and venomous.
“Ana, this is not you. You wouldn’t do this,” Edward says, his voice softer and lacking the malice he showed moments before. I pull the slide back on My Boo and load a round into the chamber. I raise it up, take stance and aim it right between his eyes. Edward takes a step back and slightly raises his hands.
“I’ve changed!” I snap.
“Ms. Steele,” Chuck says from behind me. “Please, put the gun away.”
“Davenport I’ve held a CCW for five years I know what I’m doing stay the fuck away from me,” I say all in one breath.
“Ana,” Chuck continues, hoping the familiarity would go a little further, no doubt, “I don’t want to have to disarm you.”
“You wouldn’t do that, Chuck, because you would risk the firearm discharging, especially since my finger is on the trigger and there’s a round in the chamber.” I’m still glaring at Edward, who appears to be getting more and more nervous as the moments go by.
“Ana, please. I’m going to be forced to restrain you.” Chuck tries a last-ditch effort.
“You do that, Chuck, but before you do, ask your boss what happened to the last man that tried to restrain me.” Still cool… still glaring at Edward.
“Ms. Steele…” Harris begins.
“YOU,” I cut him off sharply, “have nothing to say to me.” I’m pointing my finger at Harris, but my glare and my Glock are still trained on Edward. “If you were doing your job, I wouldn’t be talking to this fucker right now!” I can see just over Edward’s shoulder, and Al’s Jag is coming into the parking structure. I stand right where I am. This mother fucker has not said that he’ll leave me the fuck alone.
Al stops right behind Edward and jumps out of the car. “Jewel?” he says, his voice shaking a bit. “What’s going on, Hon?”
“I have two witnesses that this asshole is never. Going. To stop. Harassing me. He said it out of his own mouth. So, he can either leave me alone or I will drop him on sight. And I want him to know that I’m serious.” I’m still glaring at him. His fear is full blown now. He’s sweating and everything.
“Anastasia, I’ll leave you alone,” Edward says. Somehow, I don’t believe him, so I still haven’t lowered my weapon or moved my gaze.
“Ana, he says he’ll leave you alone,” Chuck says, calmly.
“I don’t believe him!” I say, sharply before Chuck finishes his sentence.
“Jewel, I need you to put that firearm away. King County Sheriffs will be here any minute to serve him his papers.”
“How did you know he was here?” I flash a look at Al, but only for a split second.
“I didn’t. They were coming to give you your copy, first. And when I tell you they are right behind me, I mean…” I see the sheriff’s car at the gate. “… Right behind me,” he finishes, looking at the gate. I lower my weapon.
“Go let them in,” I say to Al. I turn around and put My Boo back in the glove box after locking the slide as Al opened the gate for the sheriffs. “I mean it, David.” I’m still glaring at him as he puts his hands down. “All bets are off. Stay. The fuck. Away from me.” He looks like he wants to say something, but he thinks better of it. The sheriffs drive into the parking structure and pull right next to Al’s car. Edward and I are still glaring at each other. Two officers get out of the car—a tall Caucasian gentleman and a shorter African American woman. She looks from me to Edward and back to me and says, “It looks like the party already started.”
“She pulled a gun on me,” Edward says calmly. They both look at me.
“Is that true, ma’am?” I take a deep breath.
“Yes, Officer, it is,” I begin. “I have a concealed weapon in my glove compartment and a license to carry in my purse,” I say calmly. The officers look at each other.
“May we see your license, ma’am?” The lady officer asks.
“Yes, you may, Officer…” I wait for her name.
“Officer Lewis. How would you like to proceed?” The officers looked at each other again. Yes, I know the protocol. If I make any sudden moves, it’s shoot first, ask questions later.
“Would you mind if we search your purse, ma’am?” Officer Lewis asks.
“Not at all. My identification and my CCW are in my wallet.” I hand my purse over to Lewis.
“Do you mind if Officer Richards searches your car, ma’am?” Lewis asks. I hesitate.
“I don’t know. It’s up to you. My car has been vandalized and I haven’t made a police report yet.”
“We can handle that for you, ma’am,” Richards says. Curbside service. Now that’s what I’m talking about. Edward is standing there looking at me like the cat who caught the canary like he’s about to catch me in something.
“Be my guest, Officer Richards. In the glove compartment, you’ll find a loaded Glock G19C with a round in the chamber.” I fold my arms still glaring at Edward. Lewis rummages through my purse while Richards searches my car. Just as Richards announces that he has the firearm, Lewis calls out my name.
“Anastasia Rose Steele?” she says.
“Yes, Officer,” I answer.
“She’s licensed, Bill.” She calls out to her partner. I look over my shoulder as he puts My Boo back in the glove box and begins to survey the damage to my car. Edward’s canary look falls. Yeah, wipe that smug look off your face, Asshole. I’m licensed.
“Can you tell us what’s going on here, ma’am?” Lewis asks as she returns my purse.
“Well, this is Charles Davenport and that’s Robert Harris. They’re both members of a personal protection detail assigned to me by Christian Grey.”
“Christian Grey?” Lewis asks. “Why would Christian Grey assign you a protection detail?”
“We’re dating,” I respond.
“Whore,” Edward mumbles so that only I can hear him. I ignore him. He doesn’t exist anymore.
“You’ve met my attorney Allen Forsythe, and you are more than likely here to serve a protection order against this asshole!” I said pointing to Edward. Lewis makes a funny face and continues to write.
“And who is this… gentleman?” she asks. No one responds. Then I speak.
“Oh, you mean him?” I said, pointing to Edward. “That’s Edward David. You said ‘gentleman.’ You confused me for a second.” A couple of the guys clear their throats to mask their snickers.
“And what’s his relationship to you?” Lewis continues.
“A terrible mistake,” I say through clenched teeth. “My ex-boyfriend.”
“How long have you been apart?”
“Four years.” She does a double take.
“Has he been harassing you all this time?” she asks incredulously. I had to think about it.
“It depends on how you define ‘harass.’ About two years ago or so, he started asking if we could get back together. Calling constantly, showing up unannounced at my home. This went on for quite some time. It didn’t become vicious until a couple of days ago when he discovered that there was no way in hell that we were ever getting back together.”
“Because she’s fucking around on me.” This time Officer Lewis heard him. My hand flies up to my mouth. Christian said it! Christian said that he felt like I was cheating on him. I couldn’t believe that Edward was that delusional, but now it just came out of his mouth!
“I thought you said you guys haven’t been dating for four years.” Lewis says, confused.
“My point exactly!” I yell, throwing my hands up in the air. “He wanted to go be Don Juan of Seattle. I let him go! Now he’s crawling back to me. What happened? Did you run out of women?” Just as it comes out of my mouth, I gasp. Oh. My. God. Is it possible that this man has covered so much territory in the greater Seattle area that he now has a bad reputation? Could that be it?
“That’s it, isn’t it?” Everybody’s looking at me waiting for me to let them in on the discovery. “Have you covered that much ground, Edward? Is that even possible?” I ask incredulously. His silence answers my question. “Why me?” I snap. “I’m not the only one who said ‘no,’ why me?” Still no answer. Oh God, I think to myself, he really is an asshole. “I don’t know what I ever thought I saw in you, but I’m so glad it’s over.” I look at him and shake my head, then I walk over to Al. “Don’t you guys have something for him?” Richards goes back to the car.
“I have one more question, Ms. Steele,” Lewis says. “Do you have any other firearms in your possession?”
“Not on me, no, but I keep two others,” I answer. Edward’s head snaps over to me when I say this.
“What are they, ma’am, and where do you keep them?” she asks. Richards walks back over to us with papers in his hand.
“I keep a Beretta Px4 Storm Type F Sub-Compact in the apartment and I normally carry a .44 Magnum 629 S&W Special on my person, but it’s in the apartment right now as well.” Richards is impressed.
“Are you proficient with those weapons, ma’am?” he asks.
“Yes, I am. My father is a Marine expert,” I say proudly.
“Semper Fi, do or die,” Richards says.
“Oorah!” I add, without missing a beat.
“And you need a protection order against him?” I raise my hands in a demonstration manner.
“Look around. Where are we?” I say, gesturing around the structure.
“At your apartment, ma’am,” Richards responds.
“And who’s here?” I say now gesturing at Edward. “Am I at his apartment? Am I stalking him? Am I busting the windows out of his car?” Richards nod.
“Yes, ma’am, I understand. It’s just painfully obvious that you can take care of yourself,” he says with mirth. I chuckle with him.
“Oh, I can. In self-defense situations, shoot to kill… but who in their right mind really wants to kill?” I ask. “That’s an experience I could really live without.” I look past his shoulders at a bemused and somewhat forlorn-looking Edward David, who looks back at me, almost begging. Yeah, he’s bipolar… or something… “Although in this case, I’d be willing to make an exception.” I turn back around to Al and away from Edward, determined to fight the adrenaline tears this time, but still feeling quite emotional over this whole fiasco. “Please make him go away,” I say, waving my hand dismissively. I see Al nod before he puts his arms around me and protectively pulls me to his chest. The next voice I hear is Officer Richards.
“Edward Robert David, in accordance with The Revised Code of Washington chapter 26.50, you are hereby served with a temporary domestic violence protection order concerning Anastasia Rose Steele, also known as the plaintiff. As the defendant in this case, you are ordered to immediately refrain from contact with the plaintiff. This means that you may not knowingly come within or remain within 1000 feet of the plaintiff, her place of residence, her place of work, or any location that she is occupying at that time. You may not contact the plaintiff personally, through electronic means, in writing, or by proxy. You may not harass, follow, or cyberstalk the plaintiff. You may not monitor the actions, locations, or communications of the plaintiff. You shall be notified by the King County Superior Court of the court date for a permanent domestic violence protection order via summons or publication if you are unservable. If you fail to appear, a default judgment will be issued in favor of the plaintiff. Violation of this order will result in your arrest without a warrant and is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and $5000 in fines as well as contempt of court punishable with sanction and fines at the discretion of the court. If you have any questions about this order, please contact your attorney or the King County Superior Court.” I can hear him fold the papers and I assume that he hands them to Edward. I breathe a huge sigh of relief that causes Al to squeeze tighter.
“Consider yourself served. Please remove yourself from the premises immediately.” Richards concludes. After several moments of silence, Al says, “He’s gone, Jewel.”
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