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 24—Digging Dirt and Cleaning House
I awake in a strange position. Christian and I are facing each other, holding each other. His head is nuzzled into my chest and he’s holding me around my waist. I’m holding his head close to me with my hands in his hair and my legs wrapped around him. Although I don’t remember it and I don’t know how, we’ve fallen asleep in the same position that we were in when we made love, only now, we’re lying on our sides—and we never moved all night. I just want to stay here and hold him—block the world out, the Edward Davids, the Robert Harrises, the Elena Lincolns… I just want to love my man with every bit of me. But I know we both have responsibilities and we have to leave our little cocoon.
I gently run my fingers through his messy copper locks. “Baby?” I say, gently trying to rouse him from his slumber. His breathing changes slightly. “Baby?” I say again, stroking his face.
“No,” he moans, pulling me closer to him. “I don’t want to get up.”
“We have people that depend on us, dear,” I say kissing his forehead. He sighs heavily.
“Yeah, I know,” he says kissing my breast. Oh, Mr. Grey, that’s wonderful, but…
“Christian…” I say, my resolve slipping fast, “we really need to shower and get dressed.” His tongue sticks out and runs salaciously over my breast before he takes the nipple into his mouth.
“I know, baby. We won’t be long,” he says as he crawls up the bed to meet my mouth.
“Christian,” I whine. “I have patients to see today.” His hands slip to my butt and he starts to fondle my rosette. Now how would he know I would like that? I reflexively move my hips against his hand.
“Oooo,” I say before I can stop myself. That was Mr. Grey’s cue to make his move, and I’m already perfectly positioned for his morning wood since my legs are wrapped around him. With one smooth move, he’s inside of me. I gasp as he rocks gently inside me, massaging and applying pressure to my clitoris with his pelvis.
“Do you still want me to stop?” he says, his voice deep and smooth like caramel.
“No,” I breathe, pressing myself against him, his length filling me from base to tip.
“Are you sure?” he taunts, his voice controlled and he sticks his index finger in my ass, massaging gently.
“Aah! Yes! Yes! I’m sure!” I exclaim, panting now.
“Oh, baby! This turns me on so much!” he says as he begins a deeper stroke into me, his finger massaging me closer and closer to orgasm. I don’t know which one to focus on, his finger deliciously stimulating my ass or the incredible stroke of his cock.
“Kiss me, Christian,” I say, my voice raw. His lips seize mine, his tongue playing lusciously with mine. He moans into my mouth and I feel his length get harder and his stroke quicken. He’s racing to his release and driving me to my own.
“Oh, Ana… shit. I’m gonna come… come with me, Baby,” he growls and sticks his finger further into my ass.
“Oh, fuck!” I scream as I explode around him and he’s right behind me, pumping his seed into me. Oh, I’m so glad I didn’t have to tell him I like anal!
“Shit, Ana. You are so hot!” he says, breathlessly. He pulls his finger out and I grab onto his arm. Shit, I almost came again! “We’re going to have to explore that avenue when we have more time,” he says fiendishly.
“Yes… by all means…” I say, just as breathless as he is. He pulls out of me and I whimper a bit at the tenderness and the emptiness. He plants gentle kisses on my lips.
“My Ana,” he says, between kisses.
“Yes, Mr. Grey,” I reply, tasting his delicious lips. “Only yours.” He groans into my mouth.
“We better get up now or I’m never letting you out of this bed,” he says, grabbing my ass and pulling me against him.
“Yes, yes. You’re right,” I say as I reluctantly unwrap myself from around him. I stretch my stiff limbs. Being wrapped around Christian Grey is a lot of fun, but it can leave you needing a massage when it’s done. “Do you want the shower first, baby?” I ask. “Or you can use the guest shower if you like.”
“What? No shower together?” he says, tilting his head.
“Not if we want to get to work,” I say, matter-of-factly. He nods in agreement.
“True. Taylor is most likely downstairs with a change of clothes for me. You go ahead—I’ll use the guest bathroom.”
Half an hour later, I’m in the kitchen in my Lindy Bop “Delores” Red Vintage 1950’s pencil wiggle dress with the sweetheart neckline, capped sleeves and ruched with buttons at the bust and a kick pleat in the front left with decorative buttons at my thigh. My hair is in a tight bun and I’m wearing my black suede platform stilettos with the snakeskin heel. I whip up some eggs scrambled with cheese and mushrooms and some bacon and toast. Christian comes out of the bathroom in a light gray suit—Cesare Attolini, I would say—with a white dress shirt open at the collar, no tie. He’s wearing Cesare Paciotti gray leather shoes and his hair is still slightly wet, mussed up…
I’m so busy trying not to drool over him that I hadn’t noticed he’s frozen in his spot eyeing me with the same lust that I’m giving him.
“Ms. Steele, has anyone ever told you that you dress way too sexy for work?” he says, his voice low and sensual. I look down at my dress. Nope, just fine.
“You just don’t want anyone else to see me,” I say, putting his breakfast on the breakfast bar. I turn back to the refrigerator and pull out a bagel.
“That’s true, but you’re still sexy as fuck,” he responds. I look over my shoulder after I put my bagel in the toaster.
“You’re pretty delectable yourself this morning, Mr. Grey.” I turn back to my bagel to add cream cheese and jelly.
“How do you cook in those?” he asks, and I know he’s referring to my shoes.
“I can do anything in stilettos. It’s one of the benefits of having to compensate for being so short.” He raises his eyebrow.
“Anything?” he says, seductively. I walk over the breakfast bar and lean over to him so that he gets an eyeful of my cleavage. I put my hands on the counter spread out so that my upper arms push my bosom together and up.
“Anything,” I confirm, my voice dripping with sex. He tries, but he fails. His eyes dart down to my hoisted breasts and he licks his lips.
“Ms. Steele, you’re playing with fire,” he warns.
“Oh, no, Mr. Grey. You are,” I say in that voice that dominated him during our love making session last night. He recognizes it immediately. His eyes become hooded, his pupils dilate. I smile at him and kiss him across the breakfast bar. “Coffee, Christian?” He blinks once.
“You’re going to be the death of me. You know that, don’t you?” he says, his baritone voice betraying his arousal.
“I hope not,” I say, with a smile as I give him his coffee. I sit down with him and eat my bagel and coffee while he enjoys his breakfast.
“Aren’t you going to eat more than that?” he asks about my continental breakfast. I sigh.
“I told you—no big breakfasts before I have to listen to someone spill their guts. I’ll be asleep by noon.” I know he wants to argue with me, but I think he knows he won’t win.
“I have to ask you a serious question,” he says, after he swallows the last of his eggs. I put his plate and fork in the sink.
“Shoot,” I say, before sipping my coffee.
“Interesting choice of words,” he says, shaking his head. I frown showing my confusion. “Gun, Ana?” I still look at him questioning.
“Yes,” I answer.
“Ana, I am so anti-gun.” I find that hard to believe.
“You told me that people are always after you. How can you be anti-gun?” I ask.
“Because I have the best security force that money can buy.” Except for Harris, I think to myself.
“And don’t they carry guns?” I question.
“Not all of them, and not all the time,” he replies.
“But they’re armed sometimes,” I push. He sighs heavily.
“Yes, sometimes they are,” he replies.
“Good. So, now you understand the need for me to be armed… sometimes,” I say, folding my hands. He sighs, heavily.
“A Glock, huh?” he says, a little disgusted. Might as well get this out of the way now.
“Do you know anything about guns, Christian?” I ask.
“Only that they kill people,” he says.
“Guns don’t kill people, people…” I start.
“Yeah, yeah, I know. People kill people,” he says, sarcastically. I sigh again. I’m trying not to lose my patience with this man. Time to dazzle him with my gun knowledge. Maybe that will put him at ease a bit.
“You should probably know that I have more than one gun, Christian.” Oh, for fuck’s sake. What would she need with more than one gun? The look of horror on my face prompts her to continue. “I’ve been shooting ever since I was old enough to hold a firearm properly, aim, and pull the trigger,” she says.
“I don’t see how that is supposed to make me feel better, Ana.”
“It’s supposed to make you feel better because I know what I’m doing. I’m not out there just swinging the damn thing around because I can!” Okay, I can hear that she’s getting a little irritated, but I’m irritated, too. I don’t want my Butterfly carrying a gun. If she’s likely to point a gun, she’s likely to have one pointed at her. I visibly shudder at the thought.
“Christian,” she says, her voice softer this time, “I don’t pull it out unless I feel threatened, really threatened, like with Edward in the parking garage yesterday. And from what you’ve told me, I should feel really threatened by him. I’m not stupid, Christian. I would much rather not have to shoot anyone, although make no mistake. I’m fully prepared to do so if I must—but it’s not on my bucket list.” I know I’m not going to win this one, though I want to argue her down about the many, many reasons she shouldn’t be carrying that thing… those things. Fuck!
“What do you carry?” I ask reluctantly. She takes a breath.
“I keep the 9mm Glock G19C with a slide lock and integrated compensator in the car. In the apartment near my bed, I keep a Beretta Px4 Storm Type F Sub-Compact with a reversible magazine—also a 9mm. When I choose to carry, it’s a .44 Magnum 629 double-action S&W Special.”
“A Magnum?” I ask in horror. “What are you doing? Robbing stagecoaches!?” She laughs a little.
“It’s a mini-magnum, baby. It’s only about seven inches long.” She smiles. I throw my hands up.
“Fuck. I’m in love with Wild Bill Hickok!” I shake my head. She comes over and puts her arms around my neck.
“I’m a very responsible gun owner. I’m proficient with my weapon and I’m fully aware of all the dangers involved,” she says. I put my arms around her and sniff her hair.
“I would die if something happened to you.” I hold her close to me. Why can’t I just put her away for safe keeping like they do with all the Butterflies on the farm?
“Nothing is going to happen to me, Christian,” she says softly.
“Why do you carry them, Ana? Are you afraid?” She stiffens. “What? What is it?”
“Well,” she begins slowly. “I had stopped carrying them for about two years or so. I even let my CCW lapse, but then something happened that frightened me. So, I renewed my CCW and got my weapons out of storage.”
“What happened?” I snap. I’ll kill the fucker who scared my Ana like this. She shifts uncomfortably in my arms.
“I got word that someone was looking into Anastasia Lambert,” she says trepidatiously.
Shit! The fucker was me.
“I’m sorry, Ana. Why had you never told me?” I ask.
“Well, I did, sort of,” she says. “The day that I came to your office, but we were both in a different state of mind, then.” I hold her close to me.
“Well, now that you know it was me, can’t you get rid of the guns?” I question. I so don’t want her carrying those things.
“Well, now we have Mr. David to be concerned about,” she protests.
“But you’ll have close personal protection now,” I argue. She sighs.
“I still feel safer with my guns, Christian. Look what I had to do yesterday to show that bastard that I was serious.” I’m still seeing her looking like a sexy Charlie’s Angel pointing that damnable thing in Edward’s face. So glad I wasn’t the one looking down the barrel of that piece.
“I’m going to relent for now, Ana, but I reserve the right to revisit this at a later date,” I say in pure CEO form.
“I wouldn’t expect anything less.” She smiles as she pulls me in and kisses me tenderly.
“I fired Harris, by the way,” I say.
“Good riddance,” she adds. We stand there for a few more moments.
“Do you know one of the reasons why I’m so drawn to you?” I ask.
“Because you treat me like a normal guy. From day one you never treated me like Christian Grey Billionaire CEO. Even my subs treated me that way, but not you. You always treated me like… Christian.”
“Just Grey,” she says softly.
“Just Grey,” I repeat.
“Well, when I first met you, you were an ass, Mr. Grey,” she says, as she releases me and goes to her room. She’s right, I was an ass.
“Was I?” I say to Ana, now returning with her briefcase.
“A big one!” she replies. “It wasn’t too hard to treat you like everyone else, except…” She pauses.
“Except what?” I say, closing the space between us.
“Well, it was kind of hard… because… you’re gorgeous,” she breathes.
“And you’re breathtaking,” I say putting one arm around her and pulling her gently to me.
“Mr. Grey,” she whispers closing her eyes, “we have to get to work.”
“I know.” I close my lips over hers. Her kiss is delicious. I could stay lost here forever, but she’s right. We have work to do. I reluctantly pull myself away from her sweetness. “You ready to face the world?”
“Yes,” she said after a deep breath. “Am I riding in with you and Taylor?”
“No, baby. Davenport left the Audi here last night and Taylor brought him back this morning, so he’ll be going in with you today,” I respond, as we leave her apartment and she locks the door.
“Okay… so…” she pauses, as we wait for the elevator.
“So?” I ask.
“We’ll talk later?” she says. I know what she’s aiming at. We haven’t really defined our relationship or how we are going to handle it. How do I tell her that I want to spend every waking moment with her that I possibly can? That I have spent so much of my time locked in a lonely hellish lifestyle under the guise that I was content and in control and now I don’t want to waste another minute? Right now, all I can say is, “Yes, we’ll talk later.” And I kiss her again before we get on the elevator.
I think I’ve caused some people to feel like they are in the Twilight Zone this morning. I’ve been pleasant and happy… I’ve even smiled a few times before I even realized it. It’s the Ana Effect. She makes me happy. She makes me look forward to the future now. Before it was just day by day, going along—each day dragging into the next merger or acquisition… or submissive. After Ana made love to me last night, I have no idea how I’ve gone all my life without it. I have no idea how I’ve survived this long without this connection. Now that I have it—with Ana—I can never go back.
She took care of me last night… completely. We never discussed her being my Domme. It’s just understood. I don’t know how it happened and I don’t care. It just feels right—and she knows exactly when I need it. When I want to play, she’ll let me play. And when she wants to lead, I gladly let her lead. It’s liberating! I never thought I could sub again—especially after the realization that Elena had me under her thumb for all these years. But with Butterfly, it’s different. It’s so different—and I love it! How it that possible? I’m a Dom! Who the fuck cares? When it comes to my Butterfly, I’m whatever she wants me to be.
I go back to my office and wait for the department head meeting this morning. I really hate this meeting, but I have to keep them on their toes or my business will go to shit! I’m scrolling through my emails again. More from Elena—when will that woman get a clue? I will have to talk to her at some point to discuss how we’ll be handling the Esclava salons after this. I don’t want anything to do with her anymore. I don’t want her near me or in my life in any way, but the salons are profitable and I would be a fool to let them go. I’ll talk to Ana and see what she thinks. I never told her that Elena and I are still in business—especially since the last time I saw her, I wanted to kill the bitch and Ana effectively beat her ass without touching her… much. The sooner I tell her that, the better. I think this will be tonight’s discussion.
Tonight. Her place or mine? Will she want to spend the night with me again after spending four nights with me already? Am I crowding her? Shit, this is all so new to me. I’ll have to ask Butterfly how this is done. I’ll follow her lead. She’s had a bad experience, and I’ve had no experience, so she’s a better teacher at this sort of thing.
I’ve just talked to Mr. Walker and Ms. Sims about the bungling idiots that they have working at Ana’s condominium. Although I don’t want them fired, I do want them replaced—all of them. I want competent guards watching over my Butterfly and her belongings. I also informed them that I want to know how none of these officers had a clue what was happening for nearly two hours and I expect answers by the end of the day. I will hold them personally responsible for that structure from now on. Nothing gets you results like holding someone personally responsible for something.
I look at my wall clock—9:54am. Time to go scare some department heads.
This has to be the most boring meeting I have ever attended. These people are droning on about projections and possible projects and I couldn’t care less. I’m into hard core numbers and results. I don’t want to see what you think is going to happen—I want the bottom line.
“How much time and effort have we put into marketing research on this project?” I ask the suit babbling at the other end of the table. Get me down to some dollars and cents, man, and stop with all the not-so-impressive jargon. As he’s going into a gaggle of information that I can easily—and more effectively—get from a spreadsheet, my blackberry buzzes. I have a text from my Butterfly.
** Just finished my second patient. Thinking of you. **
How sweet is that? She lightens my mood immediately, but I can’t break into the Cheshire grin that I want in front of the suits. So, my face remains impassive as I respond:
** In a room full of suits and all I can think of is kissing you. **
That ought to give you something to think about while you’re seeing your next patient. My phone buzzes again.
** I’m thinking about kissing you, too, in many, many different ways. **
No boners in the boardroom, Grey. I shift in my seat as I look up and see a few of the department heads looking at me with interest. I glare at each of them momentarily and they each clear their throats and pay attention to the suit currently speaking.
** No fair making me squirm in front of all these men. You know how you affect me, Ms. Steele. **
I put my blackberry down and stand causing the room to get quiet. “Mr. Anderson, did I just hear you say that the product didn’t score well with the 21 to 30 age demographics and only marginally better in the 31 to 40?” Anderson adjusts his tie. I don’t understand why these people still haven’t figured out that I can do several things at once. It’s called multitasking, you assholes. That’s why I’m the Chief.
“Um, y-yes, sir, that’s correct,” he stutters.
“And how much money have we thrown behind this?” He fumbles with his paperwork. “Never mind. I don’t need to know. I didn’t make it to where I am today throwing good money behind bad products. What I would like to know, Mr. Anderson, is why you continue to push a product that didn’t test well in two of the highest paid demographics in Seattle.” I lean forward on the table, my glare focused solely on Anderson. He’s starting to sweat now. Every so often, you have to make an example of one person so that the whole team falls in line. Today, that person is Anderson, and rightly so. “What’s more, why am I only just now hearing about this? Last week…” As if on cue, Andrea hands me her iPad with last week’s notes and key points. “You were testing in Tacoma, Montesano, and Bellevue. Seattle testing had been done and you were about to test in Kirkland and Newcastle. Are you telling me that between last week and this week, the results were so bad that you had no advance warning that we were wasting our time?” My blackberry buzzes again. Give me a moment, Butterfly.
“Um, no sir… um, yes sir… um…” Did I hire this guy?
“Get this stuttering idiot out of my face,” I say, standing up straight. “Does anybody have any news on any projects or developments that’s going to make me very happy this morning?” I look from face to face and a timid hand goes up next to where Anderson has vacated his seat.
“Yes, Ms. Simpson?” I say, impatiently. She clears her throat.
“The three buildings that you purchased for half-way houses in Highland Park and Cass Corridors have been fully renovated. We have a contract in place with Detroit Receiving and Babesworld for counseling and outpatient medical treatment,” she says quietly. This is good news. I have no love lost for Detroit after my horrific experience there as a child, but if I can prevent one child from suffering the abuse and neglect that I did, then I will do whatever is in my power to make that happen—short of adopting the lot myself.
“Thank you, Ms. Simpson. That is good news.” I reward her with the 32-teeth smile and of course, she blushes. “Anyone else?” Either there’s no more good news or these lemmings don’t have the balls to speak up. “Go back to your departments and bring me something I can work with. I have no problem replacing the management that can’t get me solid results, as Mr. Anderson may soon discover. Meeting is adjourned.” I sit down at the conference table and watch the heads leave the conference room. These are the people to whom I entrust the fate of my empire? I will have to get with Andrea to set up some individual meetings with the departments and then possibly bring in an outside auditing team. I may be letting some things slip by that need my attention. There might be some restructuring in GEH’s future.
I pick up my blackberry and I am reminded that I have a text. Ah, yes, the lovely Ms. Steele.
** Would I be too presumptuous in asking my place or yours tonight? **
“Yes!” I say, as I do a fist pump in the air. She wants to see me, too.
** Of course not, Butterfly. Either is fine with me, as long as I get to see you. **
Does one man deserve this much happiness? I see that I have another text—from Elena. This woman, I swear.
** Why are you avoiding me, Christian? We need to talk! **
No, we don’t, Elena… or what was it that Butterfly called her? Oh yes, Pedo-Bitch She-Thing. I love that. Just as I’m chuckling to myself, Taylor steps into the conference room.
“Sir. Mrs. Lincoln is here to see you,” he says.
“Is she up here or down in the lobby?” I ask perturbed.
“She on this floor, Sir.”
“Let security know that Mrs. Lincoln is no longer allowed in this building without an appointment… and that Anastasia never needs one,” I say as I rise from my chair and head to my office. I see Elena standing there at Andrea’s desk in her normal funeral garb, a large black purse tucked under her arm.
“Christian,” she says upon seeing me. “This is ridiculous! We really need to talk about this!” I walk over to Andrea without looking at Elena.
“Does Mrs. Lincoln have an appointment?” I ask a bewildered Andrea.
“Um, no, sir.” I turn to Elena.
“Make an appointment with my assistant,” I say to her. “Andrea, if my girlfriend Anastasia Steele shows up here, always send her right through. If she calls, find me wherever I am.” Both Elena and Andrea are awestruck.
“Your… girlfriend, sir?” Andrea repeats.
“Yes. My girlfriend. Make sure all of the required people are informed. Is that clear?” Andrea fights a smirk.
“Yes, sir,” she says in her usual professional manner. I turn to my office, go inside and close the door. Elena storms into my office two steps behind me.
“You can’t avoid me forever, Christian. We have to discuss this,” she says.
“Andrea, get me Welch and Taylor, please,” I say through the speaker.
“Yes, sir,” Andrea’s disembodied voice calls back.
“There’s nothing left for us to talk about, Mrs. Lincoln,” I say curtly. “We are no longer friends. That topic is not up for discussion. You have nothing to do with my personal life anymore. That topic is also not up for discussion. As for our professional relationship, I haven’t decided its fate as yet.” She turns pale.
“What do you mean?” Her whole life is the Esclava salon chain since her divorce from Linc. I’m a heartless bastard, granted—except when it comes to Butterfly—but I wouldn’t dream of taking the salons away from her. I’m not that heartless.
“Don’t worry, Mrs. Lincoln. You get to keep your salons. I just don’t know if I want to be part of that venture anymore.” My blackberry is buzzing again.
“Christian… why?” I can see that she is shocked and maybe a little hurt, but I don’t care.
“Because you’re a fucking pedophile! And I don’t want anything to do with you. I don’t even want to be associated with you. The thought makes me sick, don’t you understand? As much as I don’t want my parents to know about my lifestyle, I’m tempted to tell my mother what happened just so that she knows what she’s dealing with!” I snap. As if her face could get any paler under all that make-up, Elena turns as white as a sheet.
“She really has turned you against me!” she says, tears in her eyes. I throw my hands up.
“And. You. Still don’t get it!” I say flustered. “Listen to me carefully—assuming all of that plastic surgery hasn’t affected your eardrums.” Her head pops back in surprise at the insult. “You came on to my brother when he was 14-years-old. I found that out on Thursday. I talked to you on Friday and gave you a chance to come clean about it. Not only did you lie about it happening, but then you turned around and blamed my brother! My brother, Mrs. Lincoln. That means that I had to decide whether you were lying to me or whether my brother was lying to me. Do you understand that? Don’t you see the ramifications of that statement? Get it through your bleached blonde head that Anastasia had nothing to do with this!” I come around my desk and tower over her. “I love my family over and above anything in my life. These are the only people who loved me when no one else would.”
“I love you, Christian,” she says, her voice shaking. And again, I see the beast with two heads.
“Isn’t that convenient? You told me that love was for fools and now you love me?”
“I’ve always loved you, Christian.” She drops her head. “And there were no other children,” she lies.
“Oh, no, just me and my brother, right?” I say, flatly. She sighs.
“Christian, I…” She trails off. Taylor sticks his head in the door. I wave him off, and he closes it.
“You what?” I ask.
“I… never touched anyone who wasn’t willing.” What the fuck? Well, at least the bitch finally admitted it.
“Are you fucking serious? Horny hormonal teenage boys are always willing, you sick bitch! That’s why I was willing… and you knew that. But you ran up against my brother, and to your surprise, he wasn’t willing. Do you understand that if I had believed you, I would be in a feud with my brother right now? Don’t you get that? Do you even care?”
She’s weeping now. I’ve asked her three times if she understands what I’m saying.
“You need to understand that the breakdown in this relationship is because of you… because of your actions. You could have cost me my relationship with my brother because you have some kind of sick appetite for children. Our lifestyle is taboo enough without involving children! But you know what the worst part about it is?”
I walk up to her and stand in her face. I hear my Butterfly singing in my ear, so I don’t have to grab this bitch and shake her—although shaking some sense into her might be a good idea.
“I thought I was special. I thought there was nobody else like me… that you only did this for me. But you did it for yourself, to fulfill your own sick needs. I had already been abused—and you abused me again and God knows how many others. This was your doing, Mrs. Lincoln. This has abso-fucking-lutely nothing to do with Anastasia Steele.” At the mention of her name, Elena’s eyes narrow and her nostrils flare.
“She’s the reason you didn’t want Greta!” she spits. I nod.
“Yes, she is the reason.” I confirm. “I’ve known her for three weeks, but she wanted nothing to do with me. I thought she hated me. Every time we were in a space together, we were scratching at each other. I threatened to ruin her career. She did a background check on me; can you believe that?” I laughed. “And she’s got good people working for her because they found shit that most people couldn’t.”
“How do you know that she’s not just another opportunist?” she shoots.
“Because she didn’t pursue me. I pursued her! She didn’t even know. The only reason she got a background check on me is because I got one on her and she wanted to know who was digging around in her past,” I say.
“Does she have something to hide?” Elena sneers. It’s time to bring this conversation to an end.
“I’ll tell you this, Mrs. Lincoln. There is a specific reason why other than Grace Trevelyan Grey, Dr. Anastasia Steele is the strongest woman that I’ve ever met. You don’t want to know why, and you don’t want to meet that woman. I watched as she had a martial arts master begging her to let him get up. Yesterday, I watched her make five men grovel while a sixth went running away with his tail between his legs—all while dressed like a teenager. She was able to acquire classified information on me, including who I was before I became Christian Grey. She’s the only woman that I have ever known who has looked me in my eye and taken me on, balls to the walls, without flinching or patronizing me. She’s a remarkable woman, and you don’t want to bring out her bad side. You. Will. Lose.”
“Why are you calling me Mrs. Lincoln, Christian?” she asks, her voice pleading.
“Because we still have a questionable business arrangement and that’s how I address all of my business associates.” I press the button to the intercom. “Taylor!” I know he’s still out there.
“Christian, please. There must be some way we can mend this.” I have never seen Elena beg. It’s kind of refreshing. She almost looks human…
Taylor comes into the office and remains silent.
“I will be in touch about our business arrangement, Mrs. Lincoln. I hope you heard that carefully. I will be in touch with you. Since you can’t seem to hear me each time I say it, let me make this perfectly clear this time. Do not contact me unless I summon you. Do not come to see me without an appointment. Do not come to my home anymore. Address me as Mr. Grey when you see me, except around my mother. I want to spare her the embarrassment of knowing that she had been friends with a pedophile for so long—but make no mistake, Mrs. Lincoln. I value my privacy, but I will publicly out myself before I ever allow you to have control over me again. Do I make myself clear?” I glare at her and await an answer. A single tear falls down her cheek.
“Perfectly,” she says flatly.
“Good. Taylor will see you out.” I turn and go back to my seat and take out my blackberry. Taylor stands aside and waits for Elena. She pauses before leaving.
“When you come to your senses and realize that little tart can’t fulfill your needs, I’ll be here. I’ll always be here, Christian,” she says, softly.
“Address me as Mr. Grey or don’t address me at all. Goodbye, Mrs. Lincoln,” I say without looking up from my blackberry. She solemnly leaves my office and I can hear her weeping in the hallway.
Poor little pedophile.
“Welch!” I yell as I check my latest texts from Butterfly.
** That sounds wonderful. I’ll stop by my place and pick up a few things, then meet you at your place after work. I can’t wait to see you. **
I can’t wait to see you either, Butterfly.
** Strangely, I need your advice on a business venture. We’ll talk this evening. Love you. **
I don’t think I’ve ever written that in a text before… feels good. Welch comes into the office.
“She doesn’t look too happy,” he says about the Pedophile as he closes my office door.
“Yeah, well, I can imagine there are quite a few people that wouldn’t be too happy with her right now,” I respond, thinking of the families of the unknown number of children she has molested over the years, mine included. “What do you have for me today?” Welch opens his tablet and starts to scroll.
“I’m sending you an email right now, sir. I would have sent it sooner, but I wanted to discuss some of the things that I found.” My blackberry buzzes again. I open the email on my touch screen computer instead. Two attachments—one about David and the other about the Mortons.
“Which one first?” I ask.
“Let’s start with the Mortons,” he answers still looking at his tablet. I open the attachment on Ana’s “guardians,” as she calls them. Carla seemed to jump from mindless job to mindless job for many years and then last year she settled in as a nurse’s aide in a convalescent home/assisted living facility in Boulder City. I personally thought she seemed to be a little up in age to be a nurse’s aide, but in these times, you get work wherever you can find it. Stephen Morton worked with the water board for many years and was let go just before Carla started working with the elderly. Unless he has been collecting some sort of unemployment compensation or had one hell of a severance package, they have been living off Carla’s meager wages for the last 13 months.
“What do their finances look like?” I ask Welch. He scrolls through his tablet, then says, “Not too good right now. They were fair to midland for a while. His salary seemed to pay their way for the most part. However, in 2001, they received a pretty big payout from an unknown source. I had to pull in a few favors to get to the bottom of that one, sir.”
“That big, huh?” I ask looking up at Welch.
“I would say so. The payout came from Franklin Whitmore. He’s a high-level executive for an insurance company out there.”
“Why would a man on the water board be getting a payout from an insurance company?” I ask. “Was there an accident or something? Those are usually kept pretty private.”
“You misunderstand, sir. Morton didn’t get a payout from the insurance company. He got a payout from Whitmore’s personal accounts.” I do a double-take on that statement. I’m a businessman and that stinks to me.
“How much was the payout?” I ask.
“Three quarters of a mil,” Welch answers. This was not business, this was personal.
“What did Morton’s finances look like in 2001? Could this have been a loan from a friend? Did he ever pay it back? Was his house in foreclosure…?” I’m firing off questions as quickly as they come to me.
“Sir, slow down.” Welch interrupts. “I don’t see any outstanding debts or problems in the Mortons’ financials at that time. The house was gifted to Morton years before when his father passed away, so he only had to pay taxes and a small home equity loan on the property. From what I can tell, everything was fine until…” Welch trails off. I look up from scrolling the information on the screen and wait for him to finish his statement.
“Until what?” I prompt.
“Sir, 2001 was the same year that Anastasia Steele was attacked.” Okay, now he’s got my attention.
“Give me all of the information without me having to ask you any questions. I need to know exactly where you are headed with this.” I sit back in my chair.
“I have a theory, but I don’t know how accurate it is.” Welch takes a deep breath. “Ana Steele gets beaten and burned in February but doesn’t know what happened to her when she awakes.” Yes, she did. She just couldn’t turn anybody in because she couldn’t see their faces. “Nobody is arrested for the crime. Ms. Steele disappears for the summer and everything is quiet in Green Valley… maybe too quiet for what just happened a few months prior…”
“The locals are getting restless,” I observe.
“Exactly,” Welch confirms. “Somebody gets nervous and maybe talks to Daddy about making this whole thing go away. Whitmore has three children—all of whom were attending Green Valley High at the time. The next thing you know, Morton is getting a huge payout in August from Whitmore and a few days later, Ms. Steele is dragged back to Henderson…”
“To a school she can’t even attend and a bunch of people who don’t want her around, including her parents.” Welch looks at me puzzled. “We’ve talked. Her mother ignored her and Morton treated her like crap. She never went home for more than a few hours at a time in the middle of the night. She left as soon as she was able and they don’t even speak now. Why did they bring her back?” I question.
“To keep her close,” Welch responds. Shit, it makes perfect sense. They didn’t know that she remembered what happened to her, and they couldn’t take the chance of it all coming back to her when she was here in Montesano with Ray Steele. They had to be able keep an eye on her in case details started coming back to her. “It wasn’t a payout, sir…”
“It was a payoff. He fucking sold out his stepdaughter and brought her back to hell for $750,000… and her mother let it happen.” I stand up and run my hands through my hair as I pace my office. “He probably bought their silence. I’m certain Ana doesn’t know about this.”
“How certain are you, sir?” Welch asks.
“Ana repeatedly contends that she doesn’t know why they brought her back to Henderson. It’s a major point of contention for her. Had she known it was money-based, it would have still been a point of contention, but it would have been different. She would be angry for being sold-out… What were the Whitmore children’s names?” Welch scrolls a bit.
“Two boys and a girl—Amber is the youngest at 25. Then there’s Cody, who just turned 27 and Landon who is 28,” he says. So, Amber would have been a grade under Ana, Cody would have in the same grade or a grade over Ana, and Landon would have been a senior. I can’t rule any of them out just yet.
“What are they doing now?” I ask.
“Amber married and moved to New York, now in the fashion industry, but still using her maiden name. Landon is a sports commentator in Texas. Cody went to Harvard, then to Columbia, then dropped out and went back to Green Valley. He’s been working for his dad’s company for the last three years, but he doesn’t appear to be doing very well as most of his money is coming from his father. He is effectively spending his inheritance right now.”
So, which one of these people had something to do with Ana’s attack? Were they all involved? I have no idea how to approach this and I can’t just come out and ask her.
“I’m thinking that I should probably talk to the Mortons. I just need a reason to do it,” I say. Welch shrugs.
“IRS, maybe? They’d want to know about this little gift,” he says. He’s right, of course, but I’m not sure I want to go that far unless it’s utterly necessary.
“Let me think about that for a moment. What happened to the money?”
“Well, the money was spent pretty quickly—cars, clothes, high roller nightlife in Vegas and Lake Tahoe—nothing set aside for Ms. Steele, further emphasizing that your assumption may be correct that she didn’t know about it.” Of course, she didn’t. She stayed at a shelter for battered women when she first moved here. “Besides that, I’m still looking to see if I’ve missed anything.”
“Anything else of any great importance right now?” I ask.
“Not really, except for the relative in Las Vegas. Ms. Steele used Morton’s sister-in-law’s address to zone for Chaparral. Her name is Cynthia Morton and she works for the Clark County School District, so no doubt she probably did some things on the inside to allow ‘Steele’ to finish as ‘Lambert.’ Cynthia and Morton are estranged, though, so it’s possible that she did this solely to help Ms. Steele. She may be worth talking to.”
“She may indeed. Okay, so what about David?” I ask.
“Ah yes… we’ve saved the best for last… or worst I should say.” Oh shit. I open David’s file. Fuck! What the hell…?
“What is all of this?” I ask.
“That is a list of all of the women that David has slept with over the past ten years.” Who the hell has this kind of time on their hands!? Good grief, man! I do a search for Ana’s name and before I can hit enter, Welch says, “She’s number 22, sir.” Good God. She dodged a damn bullet! It’s a wonder he hasn’t been killed by any deadly sexually transmitted diseases by now!
“He’s been a busy boy, hasn’t he?” I say sarcastically.
“Very!” Welch answers.
“Any of these of interest?” I ask.
“Fifth from the bottom—Phyllis Studdard. Ms. Studdard was admitted to the hospital three months ago badly beaten. She had recently had sexual intercourse, but contends that she was not raped—just that her lover got carried away. When the police asked for his name, she refused to give it to them. She was released from the hospital four days later. A transfer of $50,000 was made into her account from Mr. David and she subsequently left town… but not before she had already planted the seeds in the proper circles that David is the pariah that landed her in the hospital. Some of the stories of their encounter are pretty gruesome. I have no doubt that they have gone through the rumor mill a few times and some have been exaggerated, but the basis is pretty sound. It’s almost identical to the attack on Camilla Johannson except that supposedly there was no rape. It’s enough to say that he couldn’t get a date in the greater Seattle area if his dick were dipped in platinum.” Damn! And now he’s after my Ana. Over my dead body, fucker.
“How were you able to single out Ms. Studdard?” I ask.
“After I saw what happened with Ms. Johannson, I cross referenced possible hospital stays and MO’s with the girls and the times they were noted seeing David, and we got this hit. If there are others, they weren’t bad enough to be hospitalized.” I’m wondering if I should tell Ana about this. She has already agreed to close protection, and she knows this guy is crazy already… and she carries a fucking gun! Three fucking guns! No, I won’t tell her. She’s taking enough precautions already.
“There’s more, sir.” More? What more? “Look at Mr. David’s college roommates. I scroll through the list of his roommates.
“What should I be seeing?” I say scrolling through the years… 2004… 2005… 2006…
… 2006… FUCK!
“Do you see it, sir?” Welch says, noticing the change in my expression.
“This is not a coincidence! It’s not a coincidence that this was one of his roommates and he ends up dating Anastasia!”
“I don’t think so either, sir,” Welch concurs.
“Find out everything you can about this guy. Every. Little. Thing. Back at least 15 years!”
“Yes, sir. Will that be all, sir?”
“One more thing. I need any information that you can get me on Elena Lincoln’s personal affairs.” Welch looks questioningly at me.
“Personal affairs?” he repeats. I run my hands through my hair.
“I have it on authority that Mrs. Lincoln has been—and may still be—molesting teenage boys.” Welch’s eyes turn cold.
“Okay,” he says with a bitter tone that I can’t place.
“Will this be a problem for you, Welch?” He straightens his jacket.
“Absolutely not, sir. I’ll get right on it,” he says with conviction in his voice. I don’t ask why.
“I don’t care what it takes to find the information. Hack her computers, search her office, break into her car, hack her cell phone. Hell, climb a tree outside of her house if you have to…”
“I understand completely, sir,” Welch says. I want to know if she’s still doing this sick shit. How and where does she find her candidates? Hell, I was delivered to her on a silver platter, but Elliot wasn’t. He just had the misfortune of being her best friend’s son.
Most of all, I need to know if a check on her would reveal anything about me.
“I don’t need to tell you how delicate this situation is, correct? I can trust you to handle this with the utmost discretion—need-to-know basis only?”
“Absolutely, Mr. Grey.” His demeanor tells me that this means something personal to him, but I won’t ask if he won’t tell me.
“Thank you, Welch. That will be all.” As he closes my office door. I look at David’s roommates:
Fall 2004—Kip Johnson, Sioux Falls, SD
Spring 2005—Marshall Brookings, Des Moines, IA
Fall 2005—Dennis Jackley, Missoula, MT
Spring 2006—Everest Billings, Henderson, NV
I asked Ana if she thought she was profiled and she said no. Could he have known something about her before he met her? It’s certainly possible. I’ll know more once I find out about this Billings guy. I pick up my blackberry and realize that the last buzz was not the email from Welch after all. It was a message from my favorite person:
** I love you too. **
“Hello, Ms. Steele, this is Mr. Robinson at the Cristalla Condos. I’m calling to let you know that your windshield has been replaced and your car has been detailed, ma’am. You may pick up your keys and your warranty paperwork at the security office anytime you like.”
“Thank you, Mr. Robinson. How late will you be there this evening?”
“As late as you need me to stay, ma’am.” Suck up. Christian must’ve scared the pants off this guy.
“I’ll be there between 5:00 and 6:00,” I say.
“That’s fine, ma’am,” Mr. Robinson says. “I’ll see you then.” I end the call.
I haven’t heard anything from Christian since my last text, but the man does have a multi-billion-dollar company to run, and I need to get a grip. We have such fun together and I feel so free. I haven’t felt this way in a long time. It always seems like I have to be on my guard… but not with Christian. He’s just as bruised and guarded as I am, making it easy for us to let go around each other. And when he called me Mistress last night… Oh. My. God! The power was insane. It fueled my inner Nympho more and more! I have no idea where it came from—it felt like I could do anything, but I also had a responsibility. I can’t explain it—he was mine. Not just my man—he was MINE! I had to love him and I had to take care of him—but he had to do what I said. It was amazing, and he submitted so freely. I’ll have to ask him about that. We’ll have to set some parameters. Maybe I’ll do some more research. Each BDSM relationship is defined by its participants—I know that much. He and I will set our parameters. Ours is a relationship without borders to begin with—totally undefined, except that we love each other. I have no doubt that we’ll have a wonderful time discovering our mutual wants, needs, and desires.
I kind of liked it when he tied us up.
Yeah, me too! That’s his Dom side coming out.
That slap on the ass was kind of hot, too.
I know, right?
Okay, now I’m getting horny.
Me, too. Shut up, already! I’ve got another patient to see!
The Bitch finally goes silent just as Marilyn announces that my next patient is here. A few moments later… “Monica, it’s good to see you. Come in and sit down. Where would you like to start today?”
Good grief! My car is spotless! And beautiful! It almost looks better than when I bought it! Good job, Mr. Robinson! Chuck and I run up to my apartment so that I can grab some things before I head to Christian’s—a couple of outfits, tops and bottoms; a dress; several changes of underwear and bras, a few pairs of stockings with garter suspenders and a couple pairs of shoes. I’ll leave everything in my bag so that I don’t scare the man half to death. His blue Anderson Sheppard pinstripe suit lay in the chair where I left it last night. I think I’ll leave it there. I like it there. I pick up his shirt and inhale—it smells divine, like Christian. Suddenly, I need to be near my man in the worst way. I reach in my dresser drawer for My Boo. I pull the magazine out and release the slide to pop out the round in the chamber. I load the loose round back into the magazine and relock the slide. Putting the Glock and the magazine in my purse, I grab my makeup kit and a couple of ponytail holders just in case and Chuck and I are off.
“I want to drive, Chuck. Will you follow me?”
“Sure, Ana. Right behind you.”
Once in my car, I put My Boo and the magazine back in the glove box and head off to Escala.
Once we get there, Chuck has to go in before me since I don’t know the codes to the underground garage. Chuck has been given instructions to have me stop at the front desk before I go upstairs. I get to meet Marc, the clerk who called Christian in a tizzy on Sunday when She-Thing showed up.
“Hi, are you Marc?” I say to the gentleman behind the counter.
“Yes, ma’am. How can I help you?” he says with a pleasant smile.
“I was told to stop at the front desk. My name is Anastasia Steele.” His face lights up with recognition.
“Ms. Steele, yes. Just a moment.” He goes into the office and comes out with two boxes, one large and one small, as well as two envelopes, also one large and one small. “You’ll need to open the small envelope now, ma’am. Mr. Grey isn’t home yet, but he should be here shortly.”
“Thank you, Marc.” I smile warmly. I open the small envelope and it contains a small embossed card that contains the codes to the garage and to the elevator to get to the penthouse. Underneath the codes in the same lovely script as his “I’m Sorry” business card is written:
You have the magic code to my heart. Now here are the codes to my home. Christian.
Oh, that man can really make my heart go thumpity-thump! I run to the elevator giggling like a schoolgirl. When we get inside, Chuck goes to punch in the code.
“No!” I squeal, and Chuck jumps back like I hit him. “I’m sorry. I mean… I want to do it.” I say, kind of whiny. Chuck works hard to force back a smile, but steps away from the console to let me punch the numbers in. I enter the six-digit code and the elevator slides shut and smoothly glides to the penthouse. I hug the boxes close to me, but not too hard as it is clear to see that one of the boxes contains flowers. When the elevator opens at Christian’s foyer, Chuck and I step out and he steps aside with a flourish, allowing me to the front door first.
He’s teasing me.
“Ha, ha! Very funny.” I turn the doorknob and enter the great room. The air is different. I can’t quite place it, but I feel more… welcome—not so much like a guest anymore.
“Ana!” I’m greeted by a chipper voice and a smile.
“Gail, hi,” I pause. “May I call you Gail?” I never asked permission.
“It’s fine by me, but I don’t know about Mr. Grey,” she whispers to me like it’s a conspiracy. “It looks like you have some packages there.”
“Yeah, it looks like it.” I smile widely. “Where should I sit them down to open them?”
“Anywhere you like, Ana. Mr. Grey insisted that you make yourself at home.” Her voice is warm and inviting like the mom I never had… which is pretty sad since I grew up with the woman that birthed me.
“Thank you, Gail.” I smile and decide to take my packages and bag to Christian’s bedroom. I put the huge box and the small box on the bed with the envelope. Which one to open first? The flowers! I open the flower box to reveal a gorgeous assortment of exotic and wild flowers—all in blue! Roses, hydrangeas, morning glories, dayflowers, chaste plants, bluebonnets, bluebells, and of course a few light blue rhodies. The flowers are exquisite and I’m blown away. Of course, there’s a card:
Blue… your favorite color, just like your beautiful eyes. Christian X
Oooohh! He put a little kiss on his name! Before I open the small box and the envelope, I bring the flowers back out to the kitchen.
“Gail, please tell me that there is a vase somewhere large enough to accommodate this magnificent arrangement.” I put the flowers on the breakfast bar.
“Oh, Ana!” she exclaims. “They’re breathtaking!”
“Aren’t they?” I say, breathily. My heart is doing cartwheels in my chest. “Please tell me there’s something we can put them in.” She smiles at me.
“I’ll take care of it for you.”
“Thank you,” I say before taking one of the roses from the arrangement and returning to my other packages. I decide to open the envelope next. It’s an invitation:
Your presence is requested at
The fundraiser meeting of the Helping Hands Association
Saturday, July 7, 2012
At the home of Carrick Grey and Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey
At first, I’m confused because I’m not exactly sure what this means, then it hits me… Christian wants me to meet his family! I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. He wants me to meet his family and that’s a good thing, but what will they think of me? Hell, I’m a doctor and I know that counts for something—but Christian comes from real money. Will they think I’m after his fortune? Well, we’ll just have to see because I am sure as hell going!
I finally reach for the little box that’s left. I pull off the beautiful ribbon and remove the top to find another box inside. The unmistakable red leather of Cartier.
“Oooooo!” I squeal like a schoolgirl. Cartier means jewelry.
Give it to me, Daddy!
I remove the Cartier box and open it and holy. Cow. Batman. There is a perfect replica of the tiara that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I don’t know if it’s silver or platinum, diamonds or Swarovski crystals, but when I tell you that it’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, that would be an understatement. This piece of jewelry is thoughtful… and priceless… and splendid!
“Oh, my God, I’m dating Santa Claus,” I say, stunned at the exquisite creation before me. I wonder how long he had this one cooking. I know even the powerful Christian Grey can’t get something like this done overnight. Well, maybe he could. What the hell does it matter, I think to myself as I run to the mirror to put it on. Oh, my God, I am Holly Golightly and I immediately hear “Moon River” playing in my head. A small smile creeps across my face as I think about the day I told the group about Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
I was wearing that little blue dress—the one that I said was too short for work, but I wore it anyway. I think I was trying to impress him even then. That’s one of the days he tried that awful staring crap with me. Yeah, blew up in your face, didn’t it, Grey? Come to think of it, it blew up in both of our faces. I pick up my bag from the floor and carry it to the closet. Various Christian Grey suits greet me from various designers.
My boyfriend is so hot!
And he knows his fashion… Armani, Paul Stuart, Borelli, Canali… and those are just the ones that I know! Beautiful Caesar Picotti, John Lobb, and Tanino Crisci leather shoes line the shoe shelves—again, just the ones I know. I have a feeling I’ll know a lot more before long. Crisp white shirts pressed to perfection, ties and cufflinks organized by color and style. I think Christian might be just a little OCD on top of everything else, but the neatness and organization are comforting. I run my hands over Prince Charming’s suits as I peruse his closet wearing my tiara. I get to meet his family on Saturday. I will do him proud. I smell one of his suits. If it has been cleaned, it still smells like him. I take the jacket off the hanger and wrap it around me. It is way too large and I can’t roll up the sleeves like I do with his shirts, but I sit on the floor of his closet with my rose and my tiara and cocoon myself in Christian’s jacket—and his smell.
A/N: “That’s why I’m the Chief.” Greys Anatomy, Season 2, Episode 22, said by James Pickens as Chief of Surgery Richard Webber.
Holly Golightly is of course Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and there is a scene where she sits on the balcony with a guitar singing “Moon River.”
Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/
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Love and Handcuffs!