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 23—With You, I’m Born Again
I’m on my way back to Anastasia’s apartment. The meeting with Carlisle went better than I had expected, even though that smug fucker seemed to read me just like Flynn.
“You seem affable today, Mr. Grey,” Carlisle said.
“Actually, it’s been a rough day,” I replied.
Of course, I was affable. I proclaimed my love for a woman that truly means the world to me. Well, she was asleep at the time, but I don’t want to scare her away. So, this will move as slowly or as quickly as she wants.
“What’s different that makes you so happy?”
“Actually, I think I had better discuss that with my own therapist,” I responded.
“You see a therapist. Is it Ana?” Funny he had asked that. I laughed at the thought.
“No!” I snickered, although she is helping to bring closure to one of the most difficult areas of my life. “His name is Flynn.”
“Hmm… I don’t know him,” Carlisle said.
We turn into Ana’s parking structure and I see that the glass has been cleared from the ground and her car is covered with a canvas vehicle cover. No use in allowing the rest of the residents to see how incompetent their security is. So far so good, boys. Let’s see what tomorrow brings. Taylor parks in one of the visitor spots and turns off the car.
“Should I wait, sir?” he asks.
“Yes. If I’m staying, I’ll send Davenport down with instructions.”
“Yes, sir,” he responds.
As I’m riding in the elevator, I think about the one breakthrough that I could discuss with Carlisle.
“I was angry today and I wanted to hit somebody,” I stated.
“Really?” Carlisle asked.
“Yeah, but then I thought that’s what got me here in the first place, so I thought better of it. But since he is an employee of mine, I did fire him.”
“Well, that’s healthy… in a way. You found an alternative solution to the problem, but what are you going to do when the person is not somebody you can fire?” I shrugged.
“I don’t know. Think about this again?” I answered uncertainly.
“Again, good start. You’re thinking about the consequences of your actions. What brought about this change Mr. Grey?”
She did, I think to myself as I exit the elevator onto Ana’s floor. She makes everything better, and I want to be better… for me and for her.
“Ana says, ‘hi,'” I said without answering his question, although I’m sure that the response was answer enough. If not, the huge smile on my face brought on by the memory of what transpired while she was giving this salutation had to be a dead giveaway.
“Aaahh. So, you got that apology, did you?” he said with a smirk.
“Huh? Oh yes, she apologized. I think it might have been a trying day for all of us. She explained to me how she was losing hope in the ‘power’ of group therapy all along and that it was inevitably going to happen sooner or later. I was just the lucky sucker that got chosen.”
I don’t know if he had caught my pun, but he didn’t let on if he did. The session went on for another half hour, and Carlisle is satisfied that I am beginning to make some progress that will appease the court. He has agreed to meet with me again on Wednesday at 4:00 so that it doesn’t run into the team sessions and we can get on with our nights a little earlier. I was thankful for that. I knock on Ana’s door and Davenport answers.
“Sir,” he says, stepping back and letting me in. I look around conspicuously before Davenport answers, “She’s in the kitchen, sir.” I walk through her great room and there she is in the kitchen, humming some tune I’m not familiar with. She has changed into another sundress and some slides—a favorite combination of hers when she’s at home, I see. I stand and watch her for a while, puttering around the kitchen and preparing little things for dinner. She’s wearing a cook’s full-frontal apron, not those frilly little things that the women of the fifties used to wear. She’s a serious cook! She turns around and sees me standing there and she nearly jumps out of her skin.
“I’m sorry, Baby. I didn’t mean to startle you,” I say.
“Christian!” she says, her hand on her chest. “You scared me to death! Why are you standing there all creepy-like?”
“I was watching you,” I say softly, and her whole demeanor changes.
“You were?” she squeaks.
“Yes, I was,” I say coming around the breakfast bar. “I’ve wanted to hold you from the moment I saw you this afternoon,” I say taking her in my arms.
“Oh?” she asks, her hands on my forearms.
“Um hmm. I’ve wanted to kiss you… here,” I kiss her cheek. “… And here…” I kiss her earlobe and her hands travel up my arms.
“Mmm…” she moans as I leave open mouthed kisses on her neck and shoulders.
“Your skin is delightful, Ms. Steele.”
“That’s because you do delightful things to my skin, Mr. Grey,” she purrs. Arg! That went straight to my dick. The things she does to me.
My lips travel under her chin savoring her flavor, lapping her up so that I can taste her when she is not around. I make sure that I caress her once forbidden zone, so that she feels my love through her scars. As if she could feel my purpose, her arms dart around my neck, pulling me close to her. Yes, Butterfly, feel all that I have for you. Feel it like I feel it for you. There’s a sudden surge of heat and passion between us and I’m almost dizzy from its effects.
“Christian… hold me… tighter… please!” she almost whines. I take her in my arms lifting her off the ground. She wraps herself around me clinging to me like I was her lifeline, and I’m clenching just as tightly. Her face is buried in my neck and I just hold her there, protecting her from the world from all the bad that can get to her… and take her away from me…
“Christian…” Her voice is strained.
“Am I hurting you?”
“No… I…” Again, she’s struggling with her words.
“What is it, Baby?” I say still holding onto her.
“I want to say something… but I’m afraid,” she squeaks.
“You can tell me anything, Butterfly.” Say it, Ana.
“You won’t run?” she asks, clinging tighter to me.
“I’ll never run from you, Ana.” Say it, Baby. She takes a deep breath.
“I think I love you, Christian,” she says burying her face deeper in my neck. I inhale the scent of her—her hair and her skin. I want to remember this moment forever… the first time she told me that she loved me—awake anyway—hopefully the first of many.
“I know I love you, Ana,” I say softly. As if she could, she holds me tighter. I feel her body shake and I know she’s crying.
“What’s wrong, Baby?” I don’t dare let her go.
“I… I didn’t think I could… I didn’t think…” She’s starting to get a little weepy. I sit her on the breakfast bar so that I can look at her. I take her face in my hands and wipe her tears with my thumbs.
“Talk to me,” I coax gently. She slowly catches her breath.
“I didn’t think… I could love again. I didn’t… know where to start… or what to do…” She tries to look down. I raise her head.
“You are perfection, Anastasia,” I say looking into her eyes. “You are beauty, and intelligence, and independence, and strength, and sensuality and every desirable and good thing all rolled into one package. He damaged you. He took you for granted, but you came back from that—and now here you are presenting yourself to me… a damaged, confused, battered shell of a man…”
“Christian, no…” She takes my face in her hands and kisses me deeply. Aaaahhh… she gives my soul life and her kiss is healing. My Ana… my Butterfly. She breaks our kiss and brings her forehead to mine. “You are so much more than that. You’re tender, and gentle, and caring, and compassionate…”
Is she talking about me?
“You dropped everything to come and see about me—twice—even though I wasn’t in any danger.” Yes, Baby, you were. You just don’t know it, yet.
“You sent your goons to look after me, even though one of them doesn’t know his asshole from a hole in the ground,” she laughs through her tears.
“And when you saw the brands…” She goes silent. I know this is a hard topic for her. I kiss her cheek where the tears are falling. She doesn’t have to say anything—I already know.
“I’m afraid, too,” I confess. Her eyes get large.
“Of what?” she whispers.
“Of losing you. Of you leaving me. Of not being worthy of you. Of being so damaged that I can’t be fixed…”
“Christian, please… stop…” she interrupts me and pulls me into an embrace again. “Please, Christian, you mean so much to me. You showed me that I can love again. And if you’re damaged, confused, and battered, then we can be damaged, confused, and battered together. I’ll never leave you. You’ll never lose me…” She’s crying again.
“Please, Baby, stop crying.” I rub her back. “I can’t take it when you cry.”
“I’ll stop crying if you stop saying those horrible things about yourself,” she sniffles. “I can’t take that.”
“Ok, you’ve got a deal,” I say, pulling her face away so that I can see her. I kiss her lips tenderly. They’re so soft. “No more crying now, okay?”
“Okay,” she says, smiling through her tears.
“So,” I say lifting her from the breakfast bar and setting her on the floor. “What’s for dinner?”
“Oven-seared pork loin with rosemary, butter garlic cheesy crushed potatoes, and butter basted Brussel sprouts… say that three times fast!” She winks at me as she cleans her face with a napkin.
“Good grief, that sounds like Sunday dinner,” I say. She snickers.
“You see, that’s why I’m good at what I do.” She opens the oven and removes the pork loin. It looks absolutely mouthwatering. “I cook things that are quick and easy, but look like they take a long time and a lot of effort.” She winks at me and bends down to get the cheesy potatoes… Ana ass all in my face. I would grab it, but I don’t want her to drop her masterpiece. And what a masterpiece, it is! Did I tell her I love cheesy potatoes? I don’t think so.
“What made you decide on this menu?” I ask. “It looks delicious.”
“Well, there are two security members here who I can guess haven’t eaten dinner yet. Pork loin pretty much is cook-and-serve unless you’re doing some magnificent recipe, which I didn’t… just garlic salt, lemon pepper, and rosemary. Brussel sprouts simmered in butter are a no-brainer; and I was out of cheesy potatoes. It’s one of my favorites, so I always have to have it around. I usually make it on Friday night so I can eat it all weekend, but I went out with the jerk… and then afterwards… I was… distracted,” she says with a blush. Cheesy potatoes are one of her favorites. Oh, good Lord, I’m falling in love.
“You are amazing,” I say as I kiss her nose. I notice that Davenport discreetly disappeared. “Did you see where Davenport went?” She smiles at me.
“Again… distracted,” she says coyly. Yeah, I guess we both were. She wipes her hands and takes her phone from her purse. She pushes a button and says, “Dial Chuck.” I hear Siri say, “Calling Charles Davenport, Chuck.” Geez! Should I be concerned? She says she loves you, Asshole. Give her a break!
“Chuck… where’d you go?” she says. “No, we were just wondering where you went… hold on, I’ll ask him.” She turns to me. “Taylor wants to know if you’re staying the night.” That was classy. Davenport went to wait with Taylor so that I could have some time alone with my girl. Hmm, he keeps an eye on her, she gets along with him, and he knows when to get lost… Definitely need to keep him around.
“Can I stay?” I ask. I don’t want to assume.
“Of course, you can stay,” she says softly.
“Then I guess I’m staying,” I answer, just as softly. After a deep breath, she says,
“Yes, he’s staying. Can you please come back up to the apartment for a moment, Chuck?… Okay, I’ll see you shortly.” She ends the call.
“Chuck, huh?” I say. She sighs.
“I am not calling that man Davenport unless we are in public… and even then, only if it’s necessary. He’s worth his weight in gold. He never lets me out of his sight. He was on Edward before I had a chance to say anything… and I know he’s personal protection now—not surveillance.” My mouth falls open.
“How did you know?” I gasp. She smirks.
“It’s not rocket science,” she says, pulling out placemats from under the bar. “He came inside when I went to the Apple store instead of staying in the car. He got out with me when we discovered my car had been vandalized. He immediately subdued Edward the moment we saw him—like a bodyguard, instead of calling in the incident—like surveillance. He took orders from me when I told him to let Edward go—which Harris seems to resent, so I knew he was surveillance and not personal protection.” She hands me the placemats. “He did everything I told him even when he was contemplating disarming me.”
Yeah, I forgot about that! I need to talk to her about that! She takes two plates down and hands them to me. Hey! When I did I get on table setting duty? “When I came up to my apartment and told him to stay behind and call you, he never talked back to me. He just did what he was told. Harris, on the other hand, doesn’t know when to shut the hell up. The flatware is in that drawer right there.” I laugh to myself. No special treatment for you here, Grey, I think to myself. I grab the flatware while she gets two plastic takeaway plates with flatware attached. Boy Scout, I tell you!
“After he called you, he came upstairs and stood guard at my door. I would bet the ranch that was his idea and not Harris’.” She begins carving servings of the pork loin and putting them on a serving platter, putting two large servings into each of the takeaway plates. “Then, the entire time Harris was in the hallway, making excuses and calling me defamatory names, Chuck was going over the protocol trying to figure out what went wrong and trying to get Harris to shut the hell up.” She spoons heaping helpings of the cheesy potatoes into the plates followed by ample servings of the Brussel sprouts. Good God! She looks like she’s feeding an army! She snaps the tops onto the takeaway plates just as Davenport knocks on the door. “Will you get that for me, please?” She says without missing a beat.
“Yes, Mistress,” I say under my breath.
He thinks I didn’t hear what he called me. I bet he thinks I didn’t hear him call me that earlier. Keep it up, Grey, I’ve got your Mistress.
Chuck comes into the kitchen led by Christian. “Yes, ma’am?” I have just finished packing the takeaway plates into one of my reusable shopping bags. I include a few disposable napkins since they just might eat in the car.
“Here, take this. Careful, it’s hot. I know you haven’t had anything to eat all afternoon and I don’t know about Taylor so… Sorry, there’s nothing to drink, but I think I would have had to resort to juice boxes or something,” I laugh. He laughs with me.
“Thank you, Ms. Steele,” he says graciously.
“You’re welcome,” I smile. “Well, I’m going to go over here and finish getting my dinner ready and I’m going to let you deal with the boss.” I say as I turn back to my meal. I put the cheesy potatoes in a small serving bowl since it’s just me and Christian and leave the rest to cool before I put it away. I take the pork loin and the cheesy potatoes to the table and come back for the Brussel sprouts. Christian dismisses Chuck and comes back to the kitchen.
“Chardonnay or Cabernet?” I ask.
“Chardonnay, please,” He says huskily. A flash of heat and desire runs through me at the change of the tone in his voice.
“Chardonnay it is,” I say, desperately trying to control the wanton nymphomaniac squirming around inside me. I remove a Le Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay from the wine cooler—not a $1500 bottle, but it will just have to do. I take two wineglasses from the cupboard and hand them across the bar to Christian. Then I bring the Brussel sprouts and the Chardonnay to the table.
“Would you like some music?” I ask.
“Definitely,” he purrs. He has got to stop doing that, or we’re not going to get through dinner. I take another deep breath to steady myself and find the remote to my docked iPod. I have the bay hooked up to my surround sound. So, when I press play, Al Jarreau pipes through the dining room.
“Very nice,” he says. “I haven’t heard this one. What is it?”
“Waters of March.” I say, taking my seat. He sits down after me.
“There’s so much we don’t know about each other,” he begins. “I want to know everything about you.”
“Like what?” I ask, serving the food.
“Well, I know your favorite color is blue and that you like jazz—not Dixieland…” He’s talking about what I said in group. Suddenly, I remember that embarrassing thing I said about Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
“Oh, please don’t say it,” I plead.
“What? The tiara?” he teases.
“Oh, God, he said it.” I shake my head, handing him his plate. “I was just trying to break the ice.”
“I thought it was kind of cute.” I’m sure I blush five colors when he says that.
“I always thought it was so romantically tragic. She always looked at the jewelry like something she wanted but could never have.” I sigh a little. “It’s the story of my life… only the thing I was chasing wasn’t material.”
“What was it?” he asks, uncorking the Chardonnay. I shrug.
“Peace. Closure. The lack of fear. Love.” I freeze on the last word. Christian Grey said he loves me. Not just he loves me… he knows he loves me.
“Well, we’ve taken care of one of those things. All that’s left is to cover the others,” he says sensually. “So, Ms. Steele, how do you suggest we go about doing that?” He pours me some wine. I sigh again. How can he be so damn dreamy?
“Time, I guess. I don’t really know, exactly. I do have closure on the whole Edward thing, thank God.” His face grimaces when I say that. “What’s wrong, Christian?”
“Not now,” he says. “I promise I’ll tell you. But right now, I want to talk about you, and us, and enjoy our meal.” I smile.
“Fair enough,” I say.
“So, tell me about you and Allen. How did you meet?” He takes a bite of his pork loin and nods his approval. “Very good,” he says. I smirk.
“Would you tell me if it wasn’t?” I ask. He laughs.
“Probably not,” he says honestly, “but I certainly wouldn’t tell you it was ‘very good.'” I laugh with him. “So, you and Allen, how did you meet?”
“Well, we sort of just happened,” I begin taking a sip of my chardonnay. “He was a student aide in my keyboarding class in 7th grade and we were both misfits. One day we just started talking, and then we talked the next day, and then the next day, and then just about every day for nearly 14 years.”
“Just about?” he asks. I knew he caught that.
“We didn’t talk for some of the time that I was in Henderson. I got in touch with him when I came back to Montesano with Ray, but when Carla and Husband #3 came back to get me and bring me back to Hell, they didn’t even give me a chance to say goodbye. Luckily, we kept in touch as often as I could get to email. I couldn’t tell him I was staying in a battered women’s shelter when I came back to Washington, so I waited until I got my own place to even tell him that I was here. He was so upset with me.” Christian’s expression changes. I look at him questioning.
“I never knew that you stayed in a battered women’s shelter. It’s not on your background check,” he says, almost apologetically.
“Well, I can only assume that it wasn’t a matter of public record because it was, after all, a shelter for battered women and there was most likely some level of anonymity to allow protection for the women that were staying there.” It makes sense and it’s the only reason I would think that it didn’t show up.
“Okay, but, battered women. Had you been beaten again, Ana?” I know where he’s going with his line of questioning. I swallow my food, and put my fork down.
“I showed them my brands and they let me stay.” He gulps audibly. “He was very, very cruel to me mentally and emotionally, but he never physically hurt me,” I say softly. “Although I don’t know which was worse—the beating and the branding or the horrible way my guardians treated me. Either of them could have broken me. Husband #3 always said I was too stubborn for my own good. I guess it worked in my favor this time.” I pick up my fork and continue to eat.
“I don’t know if stubborn is the right word,” Christian begins as he puts his first forkful of cheesy potatoes in his mouth and freezes, closing his eyes. I look up from my plate to see what he’s doing.
“Christian?” I say after a few moments of silence. Still nothing. What is he doing? “Christian, what are you doing?” He holds up his finger. Did he just shush me!? His tongue is rolling around in his closed mouth. I squirm a little thinking of the things that tongue has done to me, but then I bring my focus back to Mr. Grey. I put my fork back on my plate and cross my hands with my elbows on the table, resting my chin on my hands, waiting for Christian to let me in on whatever’s going on. He opens his eyes slowly like he is in bliss.
“Please don’t tell her I said this,” he begins closing his eye again and taking another forkful of cheesy potatoes, “But this may be better than Mrs. Jones’. I think this is the best cheesy potatoes I’ve ever tasted.” I smack my lips.
“Oh, Christian, please,” I say unbelieving. “That’s a bit much, don’t you think?”
“I’m serious.” Then his face fell. “You sent some with Taylor, didn’t you?”
“Of course, I did,” I answer.
“Oh, hell,” he laughs, as he pulls out his blackberry. “Just a minute… I’m sorry.” And he starts typing away. What the hell is going on? For a few moments, he is playing with his phone, then he breaks out in laughter.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake, what is it?” I ask.
“Taylor and Davenport had planned on taking dinner to their respective places, but when Davenport brought the food to the car, the smell was irresistible for too long. They actually pulled over somewhere between here and Escala to eat.” He’s laughing and I’m smirking a bit.
“Okay, so they’re hungry. None of you have eaten since before lunch, that’s understandable,” I say.
“But I told him that I hadn’t tasted the potatoes yet. This was his response.” He hands me his blackberry.
**It’s a good thing you found her first, sir. I’d fight you for her to get these potatoes every night. **
Okay, so that’s funny… and cute… and flattering—but surely Mrs. Jones would not like that. “Okay, okay, I believe you. The cheesy potatoes are good,” I say, returning his phone to him, picking up my fork and continuing my meal.
We continue talking through our meal and I tell him about the formidable years and the horrible things that Husband #3 did to keep me in line. He constantly tried to get my money from working the odd jobs that I worked, but I flatly refused. He had told me if I didn’t give it to him that he would put me out and I told him to do it—I would just go to Washington with my real father, even though I was fully aware that Ray wasn’t my real father. He was real enough as far as Dads go.
You’re still leaving out that one crucial piece of information.
I know, but I just can’t tell him that now.
When, then? The longer you wait, the worse it will be.
I’ll tell him… just not now.
We’ve finished our meals and I’ve put the leftovers away by the time I tell him everything about Carla and Stephen Morton. I refill our wine glasses when Christian says, “There are a couple of things that I need to discuss with you and they’re very important.”
“Okay,” I answer, a little nervous.
“You know that I do background checks on everyone that gets close to me or if I feel I need to keep an eye on them, right?”
“Yes,” I answer, expecting.
“How much do you know about David?” he asks. I shrug. I’m trying to think what he told me about his upbringing.
“Well, he comes from a small town in Oklahoma. His parents were farmers and he didn’t want to work the farm. He wanted to get out and see the world. So even though he stayed around for a while after high school, he left and came to Washington because he had some friends here. He said that he had a scholarship waiting for him—he just had to pick the school he wanted to attend. I always asked him why he picked U-Dub when he could have chosen MIT or Stanford, UC-Berkley or Harvard or Columbia… he said that he had friends in Washington and he wanted to come here. He had even done his research and U-Dub is in the top 20 schools worldwide for its Computer Science program. I couldn’t argue with the logic,” I answer.
“Have you ever met his family? Anyone from his life before he moved to Washington?” Christian asks cautiously.
“Um, I met his sister once, maybe a year after we started dating. She came to town briefly and their meeting seemed a little strained, but he told me that his familial relationships were strained anyway, since his family was angry with him for leaving and not staying to tend the farm. So other than that, no, I haven’t met any of his family,” I answer. “Why are you asking me this, Christian?” He sighs.
“I’m trying to get some more information on the last few years since you two broke up, but nothing that he told you is true,” he says.
“Well, honestly, I don’t care if it’s true or not. He’s not my concern anymore.”
“But I think he is your concern, Ana. If everything that he told you about himself was a lie, why didn’t he come clean sometime during the two and a half years you guys were together?” I’m still waiting for him to tell me how this concerns me. He pushes his empty plate away from him and folds his hands on the table. “David comes from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, not some small town in Oklahoma. His parents are not farmers—they own a sporting goods store. He has two brothers, no sisters. And he didn’t leave home to keep from going into the family business. He left as a deal with the parents of a young girl named Camilla Johannson. He assaulted and raped her his first year in college and his family paid her and her family off with the guarantee that he would leave town and they would never see him again.”
I gasp when I hear this news. Assault and rape? I knew he was a liar and a cheater, but a rapist, too? And he lied about everything? Who the hell was this man that I fell in love with for 2 ½ years?
“He didn’t choose to come to U-Dub, Ana. He’s living in exile.” Christian says.
Butterfly’s already pale face has turned completely white. She’s trying to take in air and it looks like she’s hyperventilating. I jump from my seat and run over to her. I kneel in front of her. “Breathe, baby.” Her wide eyes shoot up to me, her hand on her chest. Please, baby, breathe. “Deep breaths, baby. Slow down.” She’s whimpering with each breath, but she manages to slow her breathing. “Talk to me, baby.” She has tears flowing down her face and she just shakes her head as she clings to my arms. I take a deep breath. “I need to ask you something, Ana. Do you think you can answer it for me?” She’s still looking wide-eyed at me.
“Yes,” she chokes.
“How did you and David meet?”
“At a party,” she says quietly.
“Okay. A frat party?”
“No. A d… dorm party,” she says, taking a deep breath.
“Did you frequently attend dorm parties?” I ask.
“All the time,” she answers, her eyes trained on mine.
“Do you remember seeing David at any of these parties before, or anywhere else for that matter?”
“I don’t know… I don’t think so. It was a long time ago, Christian.” So, he could have profiled her, or it could have been just a sick coincidence.
“When David started cheating on you, did he choose a specific type of woman?”
“Yeah, anything with a pussy.” I almost laugh when she says that, but this situation is very severe and I need to be serious.
“I need you to think, baby. Did anything stand out about the girls? Were they all a certain height? The same hair color? The same circle of friends?” She shakes her head.
“Christian, he screwed anything! I mean, they were all attractive…”
“How did you know? Did he bring them around you?” I ask in horror. Her hand goes to her forehead. I know that’s her tell that this is hard for her, so I take her other hand.
“Sometimes. Sometimes they were friends of ours, or friends of friends of ours, or even women I had never seen before. But you know how you go into a room and there’s someone there who has slept with the one you’re with, and there’s this silent standoff—this soundless pissing contest? That happened to me quite often.” I can’t say that I know that feeling—never had a girlfriend. “Other times I was inundated with pictures and videos and emails and strange phone calls. I knew most of the women. He didn’t have a type, Christian. He truly screwed anything!” It’s looking more and more like creepy coincidence, but I still have to tell her.
“Ana, baby, I need you to listen to me, okay?” She nods. “You’re going to have close covert protection along with Davenport, at least until we can pinpoint what’s going on with David.” She looks at me like I have two heads. “Butterfly, do you remember when I told you that I had a type? Petite brunettes just like you?” She nods again. “Well, the woman that David assaulted—Camilla Johannson—she could be your twin.” She starts shaking.
“But he was never violent with me. If anything, he neglected me until I was forced to face the fact that he didn’t want me.”
“So why the change? Why now?” I ask. She gasps. “Baby? Baby, what is it?”
“He never answered me,” she says. Now I’m confused.
“Baby, what do you mean?”
“I asked him the same question… why me, why now… and he never answered me.” She stands up and starts pacing. “He said he didn’t want me, that I was used and second-hand. I told him that I didn’t want him either, so why didn’t he just go away? He said because he wanted to make my life miserable because no one said ‘no’ to him. When I deduced that he must have fucked half of Seattle and that’s why he came back to me, he wouldn’t confirm or deny. But when I told him that I knew that this wasn’t simply about rejection because I know other women had rejected him, and asked again what this was about… he never answered me. He kept calling me a ‘whore’ which irritated me because of the brand, but I couldn’t figure out why. She rejected him! That’s what happened! But did she cheat on him? Did she leave him for someone else?” She’s searching for answers, too now.
“Baby, I don’t know. I’m trying to find out everything that I can…Will you please agree to close covert personal protection? I’ll make sure they are as covert as possible, except for Davenport, who I want with you as often as possible.” The two-heads look became a wide-blue-eyed stare before she slowly nods. She agrees! Oh, thank God. I damn near rush her taking her in my arms. “Thank you, baby.” I said crushing her to me, kissing her face and hair.
“Christian,” she says sweetly, pulling her face away from me, “you do love me.” She’s awestruck.
“I would die if anything happened to you, Butterfly. I don’t think I could live without you.” I say, gazing into her beautiful sapphire eyes.
“But it’s so soon. Doesn’t it seem too soon for us to feel this way?” She questions. I rub my cheek against hers.
“How long is love supposed to take?” I say, softly, still relishing the feel of her skin on mine.
“I don’t know. As long as it takes, I guess… or as short.” She says as she grabs my head and pulls me down to meet her lips. With the music still piping through her iPod surround system, we sway to Al Jarreau talking about the using stars to write “I love you” across the sky. She’s so tiny, yet so powerful—I am in awe of her strength as well as her vulnerability. We continue to sway as the song changes and Al sings my words to my girl as I continue to sway with her in her dining room.
Let me hold you, I can hold you longer
Let me feel you, till my heart is stronger
Let me love you, I can love you tenderly
It’s about a guy saying goodbye to his girl, and trying to get her to stay—so I’ll just take the part that applies to us… I love her. I dance her over to the sofa and we sit. She crawls into my lap and we kiss…
… and kiss…
… and kiss…
… and kiss.
The more I kiss her, the more I want of her… and she seems to feel the same way. She stands up and I instantly feel bereft of her presence. She takes my hand, and I stand with her. She leads me to her bedroom.
She puts her hands under my suit jacket and gently rubs them up my chest to my shoulders, her eyes following her hands as they push my jacket off and down my arms. Laying my jacket on a nearby chair, she removes my left cuff link, then my right and places them in my jacket pocket. She then kneels to remove my shoes and my socks. The sight of her meticulously undressing me is causing my skin to tingle and some kind of unfamiliar mental and emotional overload. All I can do is obey her unspoken commands—lift your foot, put it down, lift your other foot. I don’t touch her because right now, she’s taking care of me, and I can see that’s what she wants to do.
Her eyes haven’t met mine once as she delicately and lovingly goes about her task—unbuttoning my shirt… slowly… pulling it from my slacks and pushing it off my shoulders like she did my jackets minutes earlier. Gently unbuttoning my slacks and unzipping them before gliding them slowly down my legs, kneeling once again to remove them at my feet and lay them in the chair with the rest of my clothing. She then puts her hands under my T-shirt and gently strokes my skin as she pushes it up my body. My skin is ablaze from her touch… mmmm. It’s almost impossible to stay calm, but I know I need to follow her lead. This is her movie and although I’m the leading man, I don’t know how much longer I can go without touching her. When she pulls my T-shirt over my head, her eyes finally meet mine. I feel almost bashful as she looks at me with sensual, wanton, lust-filled deep blue eyes. She leads me to the bed and guides me to lie down, still wearing my Calvin Klein boxer briefs.
And now she stands next to the bed. She reaches behind her and unzips her dress. She slowly slides the straps off her shoulders and lets the dress slide delicately from her body. Oh God, thank you for not letting her wear as many articles of clothing as I did. I think I’m going to explode as Greystone is twitching feverishly in my underwear. How cruel of you to leave me in my underwear, Mistress.
Her hands drag back up her body and now Al Jarreau is singing about dreaming. I have got to get this playlist! She cups her hands around her breast still constrained in her strapless bra. She reaches around and expertly unhooks her bra pushing it gently off her breast and letting it fall to the floor while she pinches and pulls her own nipples in front of me. I swear my mouth is watering and I have to subdue a whimper. But I’m going to remember my Dom control and lay my ass on this bed until she tells me to move… or is that sub training? I don’t know, but I’m going to do it. I involuntarily lick my lips and she continues to tease and pull her own nipples until they are pert, pink, and hard. Then she runs one of her hands down her body to her navel and then her panty line. Please, don’t do it. If you do, I’m going to lose this fight.
Yep, she did it.
She parts her legs while she’s standing and slides her hands in her panties and I can see her touching herself. My dick is so hard that it’s painful. Oh, hell, she’s torturing me. When she throws her head back and makes herself moan, I can’t take it anymore. I reach down to rub my aching erection through my boxer briefs. When she raises her head to look at me, I hope I haven’t ruined our voiceless game of control by touching myself. When she makes eye contact with me, she only nods.
I reach into my briefs and pull out my cock. Oh, hell, it needed to be free! I begin to stroke myself. Shit, this is good! She briefly watches my hand going up and down my erection and her breathing changes. She’s panting as she parts her lips and her eyes meet mine again. She’s still standing next to the bed, just out of reach. I grip my manhood tighter. She is magnificent! I can tell her hand has disappeared into her flower and she’s fingering herself while I stroke harder and faster, my guaranteed release only moments away. When she pinches her nipple and throws her head back again, I almost lose it right there and then. I have to control it, have to time it right… when… she… fuck, this is hard!
When she raises her head, the carnal look in her eyes is driving my hand harder and faster. Baby, please, come for me, I beg her with my eyes. As if she read my thoughts, that sheen of sweat appears on her body and her breathing is no longer controlled. I stroke my dick at the same pace that she is thrusting her fingers inside of her. When she bites her lip to keep from screaming, I lose the fight. Three more thrusts of my hand and I’m shooting cum all over my stomach, grunting so as not to break the silence other than Jarreau still serenading our sex game. As I let out a breath I was holding, I watch my beautiful, sensual, sexy Butterfly make herself come so that she is shaking and leaning on the chair where she has laid my clothes to keep herself from collapsing onto the floor. I watch as she rides out her orgasm breathing heavily. Without looking at me, she takes her hand from her panties and puts it in her mouth, greedily licking her fingers and moaning in delight.
Oh. Fuck. Me.
I just came. Hard! And my dick is twitching again! What the hell?
She disappears into her en suite still wearing her panties and I hear water running. She comes back with a warm washcloth and gently cleans my juice from my stomach. Oh, hell—where have you been hiding all my life? She’s standing by the bed again, but now she’s closer and she removes her delicious black lace panties and proceeds to pull my Calvins down my legs.
Oh, Baby, do what you want to me! I’m all yours!
She climbs on top of me, but does not put my begging dick where it wants to be. Instead, she puts her hands in her hair and pushes it over her head so that when she drops down and we are nose to nose, her hair covering both of our heads. “Touch me,” she whispers, a breath away from my lips.
“Where, Mistress?” Did I say that out loud? She smirks lasciviously.
“My thighs, Mr. Grey,” she says just as softly. I run my hands from her knees up her thighs to her hips and back down again.
“Mmm,” she says as she sticks her tongue out and licks my lips. “Oh, Mr. Grey. I like that.” She purrs and then bites the lip she just licked. Fuck! Is she top or bottom? I don’t even know right now! Reflexively, I dig my nails into the tender meat of her thighs. She gasps and takes my mouth with hers, ferociously and deeply massaging my tongue with hers, consuming all the passion I’m emitting to her. What else do you want from me, my Mistress? Anything for you…
She releases my lips and runs her teeth over the stubble on my chin, gobbling my Adam’s apple with her luscious tongue and lips, her hair draped over me the same way it did the first time I pulled it. Does she want me to pull it now? I can’t… not unless she gives me permission. It caresses me everywhere her lips did not… my eyelids, my earlobes, my cheeks—and even some of the places where her lips have been… my lips, my chin, my neck.
“Stroke my torso, Mr. Grey, gently,” she says softly into my chest.
“Yes, Mistress,” I say, totally lost in her caress and the caress of her beautiful brown locks on my face, my neck, my chest… Mistress, I am not worthy… I am yours…
She peppers gentle kisses on my chest as her hair continues to caress me, and I gently caress her body as she asked. She licks my nipple and pleasure shoots through my body all the way to my toes. I open my mouth wide, but dare not let any sound come out or my Mistress may stop. I have a mouthful of her hair and I use it as a mental gag to keep me from crying out in pleasure. I sniff it deeply and allow the scent to calm me a bit. I continue to stroke my strong hands delicately over her petite body. I want my Mistress to be happy with me. I’m gone. I have never felt like I could give myself over completely to anybody… ever… not even her—the unmentionable one. But this Mistress, she won’t hurt me. I can trust her… she can have me… do anything she wants to me… and I will do whatever she asks. Then she does something I have never felt before. She bites my nipple. “Ah!” I cry out from the pain and the sensation that goes right to my groin, causing my penis to stand at attention once again.
Oh, no! I made a sound! Mistress, I’m sorry!
But she doesn’t punish me.
“Ssssshhhh,” she hisses gently against my nipple causing ripples of pleasure to run down my legs again. Oh, God, I’ve died and you have accidentally taken my dark soul to heaven. She slowly makes her way over to the other nipple where she gives it the same treatment as the first, licking and teasing it with her lips and tongue. I’m panting heavily from the pleasure, trying not to move or come before she gives permission. I’m ready this time. When she bites the other nipple, I gasp loudly, but I don’t make a sound, I wasn’t so successful in not moving. My hips thrust forward looking for some friction against her delicate skin. She hums softly as she kisses down my torso, my abs, my stomach, her long hair still caressing my body and the ends caressing my face as she moves.
“Do you like that, Mr. Grey?” she asks just above a whisper.
“Yes, Mistress,” I choke. She’s going to give me a blow job… I know it. I won’t be able to resist.
“Mistress, please,” I protest as she gets closer to her prize.
“Yes, Mr. Grey?” she says softly.
“If you kiss me there, I’ll come. I can’t hold it, Mistress,” I plead.
“Yes, you can, Mr. Grey, and you will. If you do, I promise to reward you greatly. Do you understand?” she says gently. Her voice and all her commands are so gentle and soft. I must resist… for my Mistress, I must…
“Yes, Mistress,” I try to control my breathing as she gets closer and closer to my manhood.
“Mr. Grey?” she says softly.
“Can you do what I say, Mr. Grey?” I gulp audibly.
“Good. Cup my head with your hands, but don’t move my hair.” I do as I’m told. She puts one hand on my thigh and the other on my manhood. I close my eyes to the warmness of her touch.
“Open your eyes, Mr. Grey.” How did she know? I open my eyes quickly. “Now lift your head and watch.” I lift my head and look down at her. I can’t see her face, but her head is right at the magic spot, my hands cupped on either side of her head, and her tresses are splayed across my chest like a fur blanket. It’s the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Oh, Mistress, I apologize in advance. I won’t be able to hold out.
“Yes, Mistress?” I squeak.
“You may make sounds if you want. No words, just sounds. And you may thrust, but don’t come.” Oh, my God.
“Yes Mistress.” I squeak again. She takes me in her mouth, and I hiss. So warm, so soft, so good. Oh, God. I won’t thrust. If I thrust, I will come.
Come on, Grey. Hold on. You’re still Christian Grey. You can do this.
Yes, I can do this.
Her lips circle gently around my shaft and she sucks, not too hard—just enough to make me want more.
Oh, Fuck. She’s going to draw it out. I know she is. This stroke is divine—it’s not supposed to make me come, it’s just supposed to stimulate and make me crave her more. My Mistress wants me to enjoy this. And enjoy I will.
I start a very slow stroke inside her mouth. She gently matches my tempo. “Aahh!” I can’t hold it in anymore. It feels too good, and she has me watching her head bobbing up and down on my pelvis while her locks hold me prisoner. “Ah… oh… aaahh!” I’m thrusting into her hot, soft mouth and she’s only gently massaging my dick. When she pulls her mouth back and caresses the head suckling and licking, I have to stop her.
“Mistress!” I shout desperately, and she stops. The physical, emotional, and visual assault is too much for my senses. A moment longer and she would have been swallowing my seed. She lifts her head and pulls her hair from my chest and allows it to fall on her beautiful back. I feel so cold and lonely without her hair covering me.
“Mr. Grey, you did well, better than I expected,” she says, her beautiful body straddling my thighs and knees. “Would you like for me to reward you now?”
“If you think I deserve it, Mistress,” I say softly.
“Oh, I do.” She stands up. “Sit up for me.” What is my Mistress doing now? She takes several pillows and puts them behind me. “Scoot back against the pillows.” I’m scooted back until I’m almost sitting upright but not completely. She climbs back over me and positions my head right at her opening.
“Are you ready?” she asks softly, sensually.
“Yes! Please! Please, Mistress!” I beg. She slides slowly down on my length and I can’t help but cry out when her hot core envelopes me. “Oh, my God!”
“Yes!” she hisses as she steadies herself on my shoulders and rides me so, so slowly. “Feel it, Christian…” She called me Christian. I snap somewhat out of sub mode, but not out of all the love and tenderness I felt while she handled me. For once, I felt protected. And now, as she wraps herself around me, slowly and deliciously, I feel loved. She rises slowly and drops just as slowly, looking me in my eyes. Her hips are controlling me. This is why she wanted me to sit up, so that I could watch her take me… watch her love me. I don’t want to break our blessed silence, but this revelation fills me and I can’t hold it back. Just the litany that is her name, that’s all and I’ll be content for now….
“Ana,” I say in a strained voice.
“Touch me,” she says just above a whisper, her voice husky and dripping with passion. This time, I don’t have to ask where. I caress her waist, her stomach, her back, her beautiful breasts. I won’t thrust because her rhythm is exquisite. But every so often I will rock my hips just to get—and give—deeper penetration. And one of those rocks was almost my undoing.
“Ah, Ana…” I moan, as the one motion finds my sweet spot, and apparently Ana’s too. She grabs my face with both of her hands.
“Yes, baby,” she whispers, her explosion hiding in her voice. She presses her lips to mine and pours every bit of love and desire into her kiss as she slowly grinds into me pulling me further and further under her spell. She has drawn out this pleasure train as long as anyone possibly could for me. I’m raw with love and emotion and I feel like every orgasm I have ever felt in my life was nothing before this, nothing before Ana taking me places I never knew I could emotionally or mentally go. This is my cleansing—from the filthiness of Elena, from making the experience dirty, shameful, mostly painful, and something that had to be hidden. I have a new Mistress now—My Delicate Domme. She has saved me. And if I don’t come, I will still be more satisfied with this experience than any other in my life. No scene, no TPE, no punishment fuck has ever left me feeling more sated and content than I do right now. She let me know that it was okay to let go—to give her the power, to give her the control—and she would take care of me. And now, she’s making love to me… passionately, deeply, slowly, and sweetly—and I don’t have to worry about not getting my release because I. Am. Going. To. Come. Very. Soon.
She pulls me closer to her and I’m sitting up now, her hands still on my shoulders and she’s looking into my eyes. Oh, God, it’s coming.
“Hold me,” she says softly. I wrap my arms around her gently. “Yes, Baby,” she encourages. Oh, fuck. “Do you feel it?” she whispers.
“Yes, baby,” I breathe, barely holding on.
“Do you feel my love?”
“Oh, God, yes!” It’s flooding over me like a tsunami, drowning my fears, doubts, and self-hatred. It’s consuming. It would drive a lesser man insane.
“Do you feel how much I want you? How much I need you?” With that statement, she breaks my defenses. I explode into her violently, the surge burning through my chest and into my manhood so that I can barely move.
“Oh, God! Ana… Baby…” I cling to her and she continues to ride me.
“That’s it, Baby,” she says, her voice quivering with her own passion. “Give it all to me.” My hands are splayed across her back and my face buried in her chest as I give myself to her. “Aaah!” she yells as I feel her head go back and she finds her own release.
“Oh, my God!” I cry as she squeezes every single drop from me. “Oh, Ana, baby. I love you so much.” Her arms wrap protectively around me and her hands tangle into my hair, pulling me closer to her. Her legs are quivering as she catches her breath.
“Oh, Christian,” she says breathlessly as her fingers run through my hair. I don’t want to move from this spot. I want to stay here forever, in the cocoon that is Ana. I don’t know if I do it or if she does, but we gently start to rock. She lays her head on mine. I couldn’t hear it before, but the music has now changed to Boney James proclaiming his love. Oh, I definitely need this playlist. Subliminally, I remember every song that facilitated my ride to freedom tonight, and I’ll never forget the day my Butterfly set me free. “Christian… my love,” she whispers as we settle into one another. We stay that way for a long time… silent… rocking… wrapped in each other’s love.
I’m gently stroking the picture with my finger as if it would come to life. Rosie. My Rosie. I’ve always loved her. I never stopped loving her. I just thought there was more out there for me to have. I was young and that’s what I wanted.
And now she’s gone.
Now it feels like I’ll never get her back.
I have a restraining order saying I can’t even get close enough to hear her voice.
Or her laugh.
Fuck, Ed—why were you so fucking anxious? You should have taken your time, man!
But I will get her back. I will! She’ll be mine again and that rich fuck won’t be able to do anything about it. I just have to get her alone. I just have to remind her of what we used to be and what we used to have. Then she’ll understand that I was her first, and that no other man will ever love her like I do.
Yeah, I did some stupid shit, made some rash decisions, and of course, this last episode with Phyllis put me on a list forever of not being able to frequent my usually haunts and stomping grounds. But I never stopped loving Rosie, and I should have never let her get away.
Now, she’s all I think about. And even this deep amber liquid can’t remove my feelings or the memories that we used to share. I wish I had listened to her. I wish I had treated her better. But now I have to find a way to get her alone.
Away from him.
Away from the guards.
Away from her faggot friend.
Away from everybody—just me and Rosie, so that I can remind her of what we were together, before the women and the ego and the cheating… when things were good.
“It won’t be long now, My Love,” I say aloud to the gorgeous picture of my beloved, “We’ll be together. I just have to wait—wait for an opportunity for somebody to slip. And I’m a patient man… I can wait as long as it takes.”
A/N: The title of this chapter comes from a 1979 song by Billy Preston & Syreeta Wright—”With You I’m Born Again.” There are a gazillion remakes of this song, but I like the original. Pick whichever one you like, and listen to the words.
Yes, Edward has flown over the cuckoo’s nest. Y’all know crazy don’t just go away… (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey)
Ana and Christians Dinner, Dancing, and Delights Playlist
AL JARREAU SONGS:
Waters of March
We’re In This Love Together
Teach me tonight
Let Me Love You
You Send Me
(A Rhyme) This Time
Your Precious Love
BONEY JAMES SONGS:
I Still Dream (with Al Jarreau)
I Get So Lonely
All Night Long
Are You Ready
I Will Always Love You
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Love and Handcuffs!