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 25—What You Want
Good God, I thought this day would never end. I planned on being out of here at least an hour ago, but the meeting with the Pedophile and the subsequent revelations about David and the Mortons took more time than I thought. I’m still wondering if I should tell Ana about Phyllis Studdard. My decision not to say anything is nagging at me a bit. She already knows the guy is certifiable. He was One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest before he met Ana. No doubt losing any chance he had with her was the last straw. Like I said, the power of Ana’s love would drive a lesser man crazy. It did. It drove David crazy to be without her. Now he’s unstable. I’m already checking into the Green Valley situation without her knowledge. I think I better tell her this one or it’ll be hell, fire, and brimstone if I don’t.
I step into the great room and I see my flowers arranged masterfully on the dining room table. She’s here. “Hello, Mrs. Jones,” I greet.
“Mr. Grey.” She smiles. “Dinner is ready whenever you are, sir.”
“Thank you. Has Ms. Steele eaten already?”
“No, sir. She’s been in the bedroom for about the last hour. I haven’t heard a peep out of her,” she answers.
“Is she well?” I ask concerned. “She didn’t seem sick or anything when she came in, did she?” Mrs. Jones shakes her head.
“Not at all, Mr. Grey. She came out of the room with this huge blue bouquet, bouncing like a teenager and asking me to please find something to put them in,” she laughs. I smile too.
“Let me go see what’s keeping her.” I say before walking to my bedroom.
When I walk into the bedroom, it’s empty except for the invitation and the empty Cartier box on the bed. The light is on in the en suite, so I check there. No Ana. Where did she go? Mrs. Jones said she’s still in the bedroom—and she left every light on. I reach into the closet to turn off the light… and there she is, sleeping soundly on the floor wearing my ocean blue Tom Ford sport coat and her tiara, and holding a blue rose. I can’t resist. I pull out my blackberry and snap a few pictures of my Sleeping Beauty. She is so adorable and I want to remember this moment. I crouch down and lift her sleeping body from the floor. She whimpers a bit before laying her head on my chest. Just before I get to the bed, she very softly and sleepily says, “Hi, baby.”
Thank God, I’m a strong man because her delicate, beautiful voice can truly make you weak.
“Hey,” I respond softly.
“I love my flowers,” she says, eyes still closed and voice still sleepy. I would think she was talking in her sleep again if she weren’t talking directly to me.
“I’m glad. I couldn’t decide which one to get, so I got them all.”
“That sounds like you,” she chuckles a bit and kisses me gently on my neck. Mmmm. Oh boy… “Christian, the tiara. It’s exquisite… why?” I know what she’s asking. This is how I show affection—besides the obvious—I shower you with gifts.
“Because I want you to know that you can have whatever you want… and not the knockoffs.” She opens her eyes.
“You know you don’t have to buy me, right? I’m already yours,” she says. Don’t give me a hard time about this, woman.
“Yes, Ana. I know that you’re not for sale,” I say, a bit chastised.
“Good,” she says, now wide awake. “As long as you know, I would love some of those Louboutin platform stilettos.” I laugh as I place her feet on the floor.
“Oh really? Holly Golightly didn’t wear those,” I tease.
“No, but Anastasia Steele does!” she says, rolling her neck a bit, and I laugh. “Or she would like to, anyway. I’ve always wanted some, but I would have to take out a second mortgage on my condo to afford them!”
She could have asked for anything—a new condo, a new car, more jewelry, cash—she asks for shoes. She’s going to be so much fun!
“If it’s Louboutins you want, my love, it’s Louboutins you shall have,” I say. She squeals.
“I’m finally going to own a pair of Louboutin shoes!” So much fun.
“Come, Ana. Time for dinner.” I take my sport coat off of her and lay it on the bed. I delicately remove the tiara and put it back in the Cartier box. Then I slap her ass hard and she freezes. Oh, shit.
“You okay, Baby?” I ask, approaching with caution.
“Uh huh,” she answers.
“Did I do something wrong?” What’s this?
“Oh, no. Not at all,” she says, her voice shaking just a bit and her breath coming in short. “We’ll talk about it later. Let’s eat.” And she walks out of the room. Get outta here—she liked it!
So much fun…
I find myself using the fireplace more in the last few days than I have since I moved here. Ana likes the fire—even in the summertime—and I like Ana. So here we are sitting in front of the fireplace after dinner. Ana is nestled between my legs, her back to my front, and we are each enjoying a nice Bollinger. Perfect time to talk about a few things.
“Remember when I said I had a business venture that I needed to discuss with you?” I begin.
“Um-hmm,” Ana says, sipping her wine, “though I have no idea why you would want to discuss it with me. You’re the businessman, Christian.”
“Well, the venture is financially sound and very profitable, but there’s more to it than that which is why I need to talk to you.”
“Okay, I’m listening,” she replies. I take a breath.
“Elena came to my office today.” Ana stiffens.
“She just doesn’t learn, does she?” Ana spits.
“Well, no, she doesn’t. Of course, she was trying to tell me how wrong I was about her and that you had poisoned my mind against her and a whole lot of other nonsense, but that’s not the issue at hand.” I sit up a bit and Butterfly turns a little to face me. “Elena lent me the money to start my business after I dropped out of school. I paid her back, of course. But after she and her husband were divorced, she was pretty much left with nothing because of the prenuptial agreement. She’s a licensed beautician and she owns a chain of salons. Her business was suffering due to the divorced, so…. I financed her salons.” Butterfly is looking up at me like there should be more to the story. She’s right, there is. “I’m still a silent partner in the business.” Realization dawns.
“Oh,” she says very matter-of-factly. “I see. What’s the name of her salons?”
“Esclava,” I answer. Butterfly nods.
“‘Salon to the celebs.’ I’ve been there before. You’re right, with the prices she charges I could pay a car note. The business is very lucrative,” she says flatly.
“And in light of recent developments, I don’t know what I should do with my end of the business.” I finish. Butterfly twists her face in deep thought.
“How often did you have to see her to discuss business before now?” she asked.
“Not often that I remember, but now since I’m not speaking to her, she’ll find a reason for those encounters be more frequent, I’m sure,” I answer.
“So here are the questions that you need to ask.” She sits up and turns to me. Oh, hell, she’s serious, though her voice is very controlled. “First off, you’re in the business of making money, and this venture is making money for you, correct?”
“Yes, the salons do very well,” I reply.
“Now, that’s about the only pro that you have in your list of pros and cons. Here are all the cons.” She begins counting off on her fingers. “One—she’s a pedophile. How many children has she molested? Do you want to be associated with that if this comes out? Everything you do in the dark is one day brought to the light, Christian. Don’t think she’s going to get away with this forever.
“Two—you have severed every other relationship with her. She’s going to try to find reasons to get in touch with you. She will use those opportunities to attempt to sway you back under her control. Any weakness that she can exploit against you, she will. Any trump card she has to play, she’ going to play it. Do you feel like dealing with that?
“Three—I had to sing in your ear to keep you from killing that woman. I’m not going to be there to sing to you every time she shows up.
“Four—I hate her fucking guts. She treats me like pond scum because I had the nerve to fall in love with you. When she walks in, I can smell evil, and I don’t want to be anywhere near that woman. If you decide to continue to business with her, that’s going to be your decision—I just hate her, and I know that’s one of the reasons that you are presenting this to me.
“Finally, this woman is a friend of your mother’s which makes the whole thing doubly disgusting, but that’s an altogether different conversation. You’re going to have to keep up some kind of decorum when she’s around your mother or the cat will be out of the bag.
“She’s not going to give up, Christian, I know it. She’s like a parasite and she feeds off your need for her and the power she once held over you. I watched this woman scream for her life, obey my orders until I could get you to let her go, and then sit right on that stool and wait for you. She is absolutely, positively convinced that she can sway you back to her side and she’s not going to stop until she does it. Now, there it is in a nutshell.”
“There’s one thing you forgot to mention. Besides the fact that you hate her, how will it affect you and us if I stay in business with her?” I ask.
“Well, I would never tell you how to run your business, just like you can’t tell me how to treat patients. But know this—I won’t let it affect me that you are doing business with her. I trust you, Christian, and I will trust you until you give me a reason not to; it’s her that I don’t trust. So, if you so choose to remain in business with her, keep her away from me,” she says with finality.
“That opens up another problem, then.” I scratch the small amount of stubble on my face.
“What’s that?” she asks.
“She’s a friend of the family. She’s always at the house for family functions or even just because. You will see her again—most likely this Saturday for the Helping Hands meeting.”
I can see it in her face. She already wants to ditch. Should I ask her to endure Mrs. Lincoln for my sake? Hell, I don’t want to endure Mrs. Lincoln. I don’t want to uninvite her, but on the other hand, I don’t want her to feel like she has to attend just for me. Just as I’m about to let her off the hook, she speaks.
“I’m not in the practice of hiding from anyone,” she says. “It’s unfortunate that she’s friends with your mother, but it’s a necessary evil that I can endure for us.” For us—she didn’t say “for me;” she said “for us!” I like that.
“Have I mentioned how incredible you are?” I say, softly.
“Hmm, not today,” she says playfully. I kiss her gently on the cheek.
“There’s something else I need to tell you.” She sighs heavily.
“Oh God, there’s more?” she asks.
“I’m afraid so,” I answer. “You know that we’re keeping an eye on David and what he’s doing as well as what he was doing over the last few years.”
“Okay,” she says expecting.
“A few months ago, he was… dating, I guess… a woman who ended up in the hospital, badly beaten like Camilla Johannson. She claims that he didn’t rape her, but he paid her off to get out of town. She destroyed his reputation before she left.”
That’s what I get for thinking I was going to have a quiet evening alone snuggling with my boyfriend. He bought me those beautiful flowers and that to-die-for tiara—I’m going to have to ask him what it’s made of—and we had a fabulous dinner. Now I have to sit here and endure conversation about She-Thing.
Why the hell would he want to go into business with her? I understand that she helped him when he wanted to start his business, but why couldn’t he just do the same thing—just lend her the money and let her pay him back when she was back on her feet? I know what it is, but I don’t want it to affect his decision about a potentially lucrative business. This was just another way to keep him close… to be able to watch him.
No doubt, his subs all used her services. Of course, they did; they were her girls. She was keeping tabs on Christian in every way that she could, and this is just another method. I explain to him that she’s a parasite trying to get under his skin and hold on any way that she can. I think he heard me and I’m not sure what he’s going to do about it, but I won’t tell him to let go of a profitable venture just because the business associate is a demon from hell. It has to be his decision.
I could live with that. There’s no reason for me to come into contact with the nasty, low life pedophile—until he reminds me that she’s a friend of his mother’s. Fuck, I forgot about that! I’ll definitely see this silicon-filled, pulled, plucked, lifted, skinned, colored and stuffed Thanksgiving Turkey again. Well, Christian and I are a couple and the offensive pedo-bitch is not going to cause me to tuck tail and hide.
“I’m not in the practice of hiding from anyone. It’s unfortunate that she’s friends with your mother, but it’s a necessary evil that I can endure for us.” I think he’s very pleased with that answer.
“Have I mentioned how incredible you are?” he says in a soft, sweet voice that warms me right down to my toes.
“Hmm, not today,” I reply, my voice filled with mirth as he kisses me on the cheek.
Just as I’m about to settle back into the comfort of his arms, he informs me that a few months back Edward assaulted another woman pretty much that same way that he assaulted that girl back in Iowa; that he paid her off, but his reputation has been ruined in the Seattle circles.
“I knew it! I knew it was something like that!” I say, recalling the conversation that I had with Edward in the parking structure where he refused to answer my questions. Christian looks at me questioning. “I asked him in the parking garage ‘why me?’ He never answered me. I deduced that his reputation had been ruined in the circles that we travelled in but he never answered. I knew something had happened.” I turn to Christian. “Do you see what I mean when I say that everything you do in the dark will one day be brought to the light?” Christian turns pale as a ghost and his eyes turn almost white.
“I’m going to liquidate my interests in her business tomorrow. I’ll gift her the shops so that I have nothing else to do with them,” he says. I examine him closely.
“Are you positive that’s what you want to do? I want you to make this decision based on what you want to do,” I say sternly. He sits up again.
“Do you remember when you read me that report at our third meeting?” Boy, do I!
“Yes,” I say with a small chuckle.
“I saw everything that I built, my life’s work, crumbling at my feet. I freaked out at the possibility that my reputation could take a hit. The business world is brutal, and the business I’m in is particularly brutal. I have a whole PR department and a very extensive legal team that regularly fends off rumors before they start. I felt like I would never be able to recover from having to do jail time—the possibility of it sent me into a tailspin. My business would have been ruined! How could I possibly spin the fact that I’m in business with a pedophile? She came on to my brother 17 years ago and I found out. Somebody’s going to find out what she’s doing—and I don’t want to be on that sinking ship when they do.” He gathers me up in his arms and kisses me on the temple. “Thank you, Butterfly.” I breathe a huge sigh of relief as I slide my arms around his waist and snuggle into his chest.
“Now I have something that I want to discuss with you,” I say.
“And what’s that?” he asks.
“Mistress?” He stiffens.
“You don’t like it?” he questions.
“Oh, quite the contrary. I love it.” I feel his body relax again. “It’s just… I don’t know what it entails—what it means for us. I’ve never done anything like that before. I know each relationship is defined by its participants and I just want us to define ours, so that we know what to expect.” He rubs circles on my back. It’s very soothing.
“In a D/s relationship, the Domme or Dom is responsible for the well-being of the sub. The things that are practiced are not to harm the sub or put them in jeopardy in any way. There’s pleasure and pain involved—but pain only to the degree that it evokes pleasure or induces punishment, whichever is intended. There are times when one wants to exercise control and there are times when one wants to relinquish control. I’m predominantly a Dom. I haven’t subbed for many years since…”
He trails off and I immediately know what he is talking about. He’s talking about the She-Bitch and that she was his Domme. I take his free hand in mine and kiss his palm, then entwine my fingers with his and snuggle back into his chest. He takes a deep breath and relaxes significantly, then continues.
“I didn’t feel comfortable submitting once I became a Dom. I didn’t trust anyone… until you.” He drops his head in this shy way that I’ve never seen in the weeks that I’ve known him. I can tell that he has never had this conversation with anyone before.
“So… as a sub, is it your sole purpose to please me?” I ask.
“Yes, and to be punished if I don’t,” he responds.
“Punished? How!?” I say aghast. If he expects me to use one of those whips or some of that torture shit I saw online, he’s crazy!
“However you see fit,” he responds. “Most D/s relationships start with an agreement, as you know, about hard limits and soft limits, what’s allowed and what’s intolerable. My relationships have always been in writing.”
“You mean, like a contract?” I question.
“No, not like a contract, it was a contract, clearly spelling out the parameters of the arrangement. It was strictly business, and the contract was retractable at will by either party. This way my subs knew what was expected of them as well as what they could expect from me,” he states. Good God, he even handled sex like a merger. No wonder he’s so hungry for love now. I turn around to face him on the sofa, on my knees between his legs. I gently rub his chest and his breath becomes labored.
“So, when I was giving you oral pleasure, and I told you not to move my hair or I would stop, stopping would have been your punishment—not letting you come, correct?” I don’t know where I dig that voice from but he responds to it immediately.
“Yes, Mistress.” His voice is raspy and he chokes out the words.
“And if I tell you that you cannot touch me while I caress you, like this,” his breath hitches as I straddle his body with mine, running my hands gently up and down his arms, his fingers clenching the cushions of the sofa, “would that be considered a punishment as well?”
“Not always, Mistress,” he responds, still trying to control his breathing.
“Elaborate, Mr. Grey.” He looks like he’s going to combust, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows.
“Mistress may be testing my limits, seeing how much I can exercise control. It would only be punishment if I have done something that displeases you,” he says, his voice breathy and his eyes hooded. Oh, Christian. You make me so hot, but we have to bring the conversation back. I kiss him gently on the lips.
“I need my Christian back. I have a lot of questions,” I say softly. He blinks and takes in a deep breath, then lets it out as his arms slide around me.
“What is it that makes me worthy to be your Domme? You’ve never had anyone but the Unmentionable One and now after all these years, you chose me…” I say.
“Well, first of all, I think worthy is definitely the wrong choice of word. A more appropriate word in this instance would be trustworthy. I have to trust you to take care of me when I submit to you; not to take advantage of me in a vulnerable condition.”
That’s what I was feeling last night, like I was responsible for him—and he almost seems to zone out a bit on me, like he’s someone else, somewhere else.
“Secondly, I didn’t choose you. I didn’t wake up that morning and just say, ‘hmm, guess I’ll submit to Butterfly.’ Something inside of me chose you. Whatever it was, it knew that you were the one; I could be totally free and let go, and I don’t have to worry what’s going to happen because ultimately, it’ll end in our mutual pleasure unless I have displeased you and you choose to punish me. And that’s perfectly acceptable.”
Punish Christian. I’ll have to give that some thought. He’s got one thing right, though, about not being the one to choose. My Inner Mistress chose him—I personally would never choose to dominate anyone… ever! But with Christian, as soon as he called me Mistress, she rose up from wherever she was hiding and seems to appear whenever she’s needed. Hell if I have any fucking idea what I’m doing. The slightly scary thing, though, is that there’s another side hiding in there as well.
“I’ve never been a submissive, Christian,” I start slowly.
“I know,” he replies.
“So, what happens when we change roles?” His pupils dilate a little and I swear I feel a little throb in his groin area. Mr. Grey!
“You mean, you sub for me?” I nod tentatively. “You would do that?” he asks. I swallow hard.
“If you trust me to take care of you when you’re being submissive to me, I have to trust you, too… right?” I hear my voice squeaking nervously. He gives me the same tentative nod that I gave him moments before. “And even though there’s pain involved in the experience, you know that I would never hurt you beyond your limits and I have to expect the same from you, right?” He nods again. “So how would we know when the time is correct for one to be the sub and the other to dominate?”
“Oh, trust me,” he says, his voice deep and sure, “we’ll know.”
I cannot explain the joy that I felt when Butterfly’s eyes lit up when I asked her about being my Mistress. I need to learn to trust again and to open up—not that I ever really did; the only person that I somewhat trusted outside of my family was that wretched blonde woman. So, the best place for me to start to begin to break these walls down and become a semi-normal person is with someone that holds my heart and makes me weak in the knees anyway. If I turn out to be wrong about her and she hurts or mistreats me, I’ll never want anyone else in that way again anyway.
It’s refreshing and rejuvenating to be able to let my guard down and submit to someone else for a change. Not to have to be in charge for a few precious moments. To know that the vital decisions are being made by someone else—it’s euphoric! I almost transcend this plane of life and existence and I’m someone and somewhere else completely, though I am still able to function perfectly—to obey commands and enjoy the pleasure she brings me, even when she’s torturing me. She’s incredible, exquisite… fuck-mazing! She makes my heart want to burst open with love and affection.
Since she’s a novice to all of this, notwithstanding her previous studies in college, I start to explain to her the basic concept of BDSM. Before I can get too conceptually deep in the conversation, she questions me about a sub’s objective. It’s always the sub’s objective to please the Master or Mistress—whatever that may entail—and be punished if they don’t. I can see the wheels turning when the topic of punishment arises, but she quickly deduces that not all punishments are painful. She slides into Domme mode so effortlessly, like she was born to dominate to some degree, and it immediately triggers submissive Christian. It’s her voice. It’s something in her voice—I don’t know what it is—but she could ask me to do anything and I would. I knew the moment I heard it that she was my Mistress. It couldn’t be any other way. I would have to say, though, that the most shocking thing is when she asks about subbing for me.
Is it Christmas already? My birthday has already passed so it can’t be that. How did I get such a gift? How did I get to be so damn lucky?
You’re a lucky son of a bitch, Grey.
Yeah, I know.
In Butterfly’s eyes, the D/s relationship as we define it should be quid pro quo. We should be Sir/sub or Mistress/sub as needed. She’s unsure as to when we’ll know what’s needed. I’m positive that we’ll be 100% certain who needs to be in charge and who needs to submit as the situation arises… especially as we get to know one another more. We spend the rest of the evening discussing hard limits, soft limits and D/s expectations. Though I have a high pain tolerance, Butterfly is averse to intense pain—giving or receiving. We’ll experiment with different devices, toys, techniques to see which ones work best for us. I was over-the-moon to discover that she was open—pun intended—to anal. It turned me on immensely and completely sent her over the edge when I initiated ass play during our last sex session.
This conversation leads to our going to the playroom and my introducing her to all the toys and devices therein, as items are purchased new when a sub’s contract is ended. It just feels strange to use the same toys on different subs—except for my dick, of course, as long as they check out. Ana has informed me that she has recently switched birth control methods from the pill to the IUD, so I know that she had a check-up before they inserted the device. I never knew, though, when she was on birth control if the last man that she was active with was David four years ago. I’m really curious about that… is it bad form to ask?
Anyway, she winced at the idea of the genital clamps, but thought that the adjustable nipple clamps might be fun. When we got to the punishment devices, she was an unequivocal “No” on whips, canes, and belts. She doesn’t mind being bound, but she doesn’t like ropes and she’s not very fond of gags. Neither one of us wants any of that radical cattle prod/blood play/needle crap that we saw online, but both of us have decided that we want to experiment with collars. I’ve never collared a sub though I have been collared before. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for me, so I’m hoping I can replace that memory with a good one from my Butterfly. We reserve the right to introduce new items and aspects with the approval of the other as time goes on.
No three-month terms.
Just me and my Butterfly, loving each other and meeting each other’s needs.
It doesn’t get any better than this.
Wednesday morning, I quickly set the wheels in motion to sever my ties with The Pedophile. Once I review our business arrangement—if you can call it that—I quickly have legal draw up the papers to return my portion of the business with no strings attached… except one. I have covertly included a morality clause with two parts.
First, if Mrs. Lincoln is arrested, any assets associated with the Esclava Salon chain are to be frozen and maintained by an outside executor pending the outcome of the arrest.
Second, if that arrest becomes a conviction—conviction of a crime being defined as all felonies and any misdemeanors except for traffic violations—that the salons and all assets are to be liquidated and the proceeds turned over to the Helping Hands foundation.
Someone is going to get that woman and I’ll be damned if she’s going to continue to use profits acquired from the assistance of one of her victims to help with her defense against others.
I’m banking on the fact that she won’t even read this clause, but even if she does, it really doesn’t matter. Either she’ll accept my terms or I’ll simply liquidate my interest with the financial institutions and let them know that I’ll no longer be backing Mrs. Lincoln. That will officially leave her bankrupt since most of her business is cosigned by me, and all of her loans will become due immediately. By signing this agreement, I pull out my interest in her business, but she gets to keep the financial backing. I sent her a text asking her to meet me in my office at 2pm and bring her legal counsel. She was unsure about the legal counsel, but of course, agreed to meet me.
I discover that I may have to wait a little longer than usual for the information on the background checks that Welch is doing. The Pedophile, of course, is not going to leave a paper trail of her illegal child sex activities. Whatever evidence there may be is most likely under lock and key. Even her phone records are coming up empty. Explicit texts concerning sexual activities are made to disposable phones… phones that she probably supplies for her subs until she’s finished with them. I tell him to concentrate more on her financials. See where she’s spending her money. There has to be some evidence somewhere, and I’m going to find it. I have a feeling that I’m going to need some leverage in the future—but more importantly, I want her to stop fucking little boys!
The information from Nevada proves much more fruitful. Cynthia Morton still works for the Clark County School District, but is now remarried as Cynthia Crestwood. She has no children, but supports many abused children’s charities. That will be my way in to talk to her about Anastasia. I wonder if Anastasia’s ordeal is what fueled her passion to rally behind this particular cause? She’ll be one of the stops on my visit to Nevada. I haven’t decided when I’m going yet. I need to get my ducks in a roll and a game plan, first.
A little more poking around on Morton uncovered that he’s an alcoholic. He has unsuccessfully been to rehab three times. His third failure resulted in his dismissal from his position at the water board—no severance, no pension, no unemployment compensation. He hasn’t been able to find work since. Older man in this economy, fired from his old job for drinking—he’s likely to never find work again. So now it’s up to Mrs. Morton to take care of the household expenses on a nurse assistant’s salary—living in Green Valley. They won’t be living there too much longer. I tell Welch to put a tail on Morton and see what his activities are over the next few weeks. He’ll be an easy berry to pop.
Now for the Whitmores. Amber hadn’t spoken to her family in years—supposedly a disagreement over whom she decided to marry. I guess it didn’t matter to them that she moved to New York and is making good money in the fashion industry. She actually has her own line of women’s clothing. I need to have Andrea find out how I can set up a phone interview with her… nothing like a little animosity to fuel the giving of information.
Landon left Green Valley in 2001 after he graduated and has only gone back sporadically—for the occasional holiday gathering and even then, not every year. He was engaged to be married in 2006 but the bride never showed up to the wedding. That had to hurt. The fact that he was in such a hurry to leave after graduation reeks of the exile in which David currently finds himself. The situations are eerily similar—young girl gets assaulted and raped; well-to-do family pays off the victim’s family; the accused leaves town. The only thing that doesn’t add up is that Landon left for UCLA immediately after graduating and appeared to have returned to Green Valley for the holidays in his freshman year and for summer vacation the next year. That doesn’t sound like a guilty kid in exile. Also, what was the need for payoff and bringing Ana back to Henderson if the threat had now gone to UCLA? Bearing those thoughts in mind, arrows now point to either young Amber or our last candidate, Cody.
It appears that Cody never made it to the altar either, but not for lack of effort from a certain young thing named Carly Madison—also once a student at Green Valley High School. I may need to check her out, too. They were to be married in 2007, but two weeks before the wedding, Cody decided he needed to spend some time in Cabo—and didn’t return for six months. This was just after he dropped out of college for the second time. I have no problem with choosing to drop out of college. Hell, I dropped out of college and I’m one of the 10 richest people in America—I think I may have moved up to five now, but I digress. Cody is definitely not making his family proud at the moment. It appears he had no prospects when he dropped out of college and no real concern for his future, so he just went back home and went to work for dear old dad.
Probably the best news I receive from the background checks concerns one Everest Billings—Mr. David’s college roommate from University of Washington. As it turns out, armed with a degree in telecommunications, Mr. Billings applied and was accepted as an intern for a very reputable company in the Seattle area. He moved up the ranks quickly and was soon granted an upper-management position at Noticon Mobile Communications—a subsidiary of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.
This small bright spot is marred by the news that there was a fire in one of my smaller businesses today—a restaurant in Algona—and I already know what this means. The news won’t read:
Fire in Restaurant in Algona
Christian Grey’s Algona Interest Goes Up in Flames! Insurance Fraud? Is Grey Enterprises in Financial Trouble?
One of the main reasons why I need to get the hell away from Elena Lincoln. Once again, a headline that should say:
Salon Owner and Seattle Socialite Elena Lincoln Arrested on Charges of Child Molestation
would actually read
Christian Grey’s Close Personal Friend and Business Partner Involved in Child Trafficking Ring
I know it’s sounds paranoid, but I speak from experience. Any second now, PR is going to ask me how I want to handle the Algona situation. Oh, the horror!
At 1:45pm, Andrea informs me that the Pedophile has arrived. I summon Marshall from legal to bring the revised business agreement as well as Taylor to keep me from killing the bitch. Once I have all my people in place, I activate the recording device in my office that I had installed for all business dealings I thought may be shady, and tell Andrea to send her in. She marches in and stands in front of my desk, waiting for me to dismiss my staff.
“Have a seat, Mrs. Lincoln. Where’s your legal counsel?” I say. Her face falls. Yeah, Bitch. It’s not a ruse; this really is a business meeting.
“We’ve never needed attorneys in our dealings before, Christian,” she says, affronted.
“Clearly you have forgotten the rules since our last meeting. You will address me as Mr. Grey, and I would suggest we reschedule this meeting until you can secure your legal counsel.” I say flatly. I don’t even know if she has legal counsel. She has always deferred to me and my legal counsel… or Carrick.
“What’s this all about, Chri-” She starts to do it again.
“Mr. Grey!” I bark cutting her off, glaring at her, and causing everyone within the sound of my voice to jump, including Taylor. She gawks at me for a moment.
“Fine!” she spits. “Mr. Grey, what is this about?”
“Are you waiving the option to have legal counsel present at this meeting, Mrs. Lincoln?” I ask.
“What is going on?” She’s clearly losing patience, straightening her back and obviously getting into her Domme stance. Oh, no, Lady. This is CEO Christian Grey you are dealing with now. That shit definitely won’t work.
“Are you. Waiving the option. To have legal counsel. Present at this meeting, Mrs. Lincoln?” I ask, slowly, indicating that something may be wrong with her hearing after all. When the Domme stance doesn’t work, she walks over to my desk and does the same “boob move” that Butterfly did for me on the counter… only now, I have a face full of silicon.
“Do we really need these people present… Mr. Grey?” she purrs. Bitch, step back before you give me cooties!
“Mrs. Lincoln, please step away from my desk,” I say sternly. She doesn’t move, but continues to bobble her fake boobs at me. “Mrs. Lincoln, step away from my desk and sit down or I will have Mr. Taylor remove you.” Her face, once again, turns whiter than usual and she straightens herself and takes a seat. “Once again, I ask if you are waiving the option to have legal counsel present at this meeting, Mrs. Lincoln?”
“Yes, I’m waiving my right to counsel. I just want to know what the hell this is about,” she snaps. I nod at Marshall who hands her the documents, in triplicate, already signed by me. She starts to read the heading and recognizes it as the severance of our business arrangement.
“Christian…” I glare at her. “Mr. Grey, fine. What is this?” She’s confused and angry.
“What does it look like, Mrs. Lincoln? I am severing our business agreement and gifting you my portion of your salons,” I reply.
“Gifting me… Why?” she inquires.
“It’s not my intention to see you in financial hardship, Mrs. Lincoln. I simply no longer want to be in business with you.”
“Why not?” she snaps.
“It’s no longer a desirable venture for me,” I say flatly. She scowls.
“It’s because of her, isn’t it?” she spits.
“Mrs. Lincoln before you say anything else, I need to let you know that this meeting is being recorded.” Her face falls again. What did you think this was—an excuse to see you? As delusional as she is, she probably did!
“Why is the venture undesirable, Chri… Mr. Grey?” she sneers.
“Being in business with you is no longer in my best interest, and that’s all that I have to say on the matter. Please read the agreement.” She looks down at the document and pretends to scan it. I know she has little to no idea what she is reading.
“If you pull out of the salons, I’ll lose everything. As you know, most of my business is based on your goodwill with the financial institutions.” She knows that much.
“If you read the contract, Mrs. Lincoln, you will see that I am only pulling my interest in your salon chain, not my backing with the financial institutions. However, if you refuse this new agreement, I will liquidate my interests and pull my backing with the financial institutions. That is also there if you read the contract.” I make sure that I repeat that phrase. The bitch should have brought a lawyer, but no. She’s so busy thinking that she still has control over me that she doesn’t see I’m the man holding the cards right now.
Silly little Pedophile.
She sits for several moments scanning the contract and still mentions nothing about the morality clause. Either she didn’t see it, wasn’t looking for it, or just didn’t care. She sighs heavily and closes the folder.
“Is everything to your satisfaction, Mrs. Lincoln?” I ask, formally.
“Well, honestly, no.” Shit! Did she catch me?
“What do you take issue with?” I ask.
“I take issue with severing our business arrangement,” she snaps
“Unfortunately, that’s not one of the options offered,” I say in full CEO mode. “You have two options. Option A—I gift you my interest and you sign the contract. Option B—I liquidate my interest and pull my backing. And because I’m not interested in any of your stalling tactics, one of those options will be implemented by the end of business today. The choice is yours, which one it will be?” She looks at me in horror.
“She’s making you cut me off completely.” No longer willing to bicker with this woman about her own actions having consequences, I fold my hands on my desk and wait for her decision. This bitch is draining me, and one way or another, I’m going to be done with her today.
“A friendship that has lasted for many years and you’re just going to throw it away,” she continues.
“I deserve better than this, Christian. I can’t believe you would do this to me.”
Got nothing for you, lady.
“She has you so brainwashed, you can’t even make sound business decisions anymore!” she spits. Oh, I’m about to make one right now, bitch.
“I see you’ve chosen not to sign the contract, in which case, you’ve chosen Option B. Mr. Taylor, will you please remove Mrs. Lincoln?”
Just as Taylor makes to remove her, the Pedophile protests, “No. No. No. I’ll sign the damn contract!”
She snatches her arm away from Taylor and proceeds to angrily initial page after page after page of the contract, finally affixing her signature to the final page. After reviewing the contract for her signature, I give a copy to her, one to legal and I let her watch me conspicuously put a copy in my safe.
“One more thing before you leave, Mrs. Lincoln. You may want to take a good look at page four.” She flips to page four and reads.
“A non-disclosure agreement!?” she gasps. “You think you need an NDA against me?”
“I certainly do!” I spit. “And you had better read it carefully, because it’s retroactive.” I warn. “It covers our business dealings as well as any personal dealings you may have had with me and my family.”
“Is this reciprocal?” she asks.
“No, it’s not!” I snap. She’s seething now.
“You don’t need one for me! You better get one for that little bitch!” she snaps. I won’t let her see that I want to rip her throat out right now.
“That’s no longer your concern. Goodbye, Mrs. Lincoln. Taylor…” Take out the trash! Taylor walks over to the Pedophile, who throws one last look at me before leaving. I breathe a sigh of relief that she’s finally out of my midst and turn off the office’s recording device.
“She is one piece of work,” Marshall says.
“Tell me about it,” I respond. Before I get the words out of my mouth, my desk phone rings.
“Mr. Grey, it’s Sheila in PR. How do you want us to handle the Algona situation?”
See what I mean?
Most of my day has been pretty fucked up. I’m pissed that I’m getting nowhere in my search for evidence against the Pedophile. I know that it’s only been one day, but I’m just too damn impatient to bring this situation to a close. I also have to see Carlisle this evening in lieu of those damn group meetings. He has agreed to give me the standing appointment on Wednesday at 4:00. However, his schedule won’t accommodate anything else for the second session, so I’m stuck with Monday at 6:30 after the group. Two more weeks and I’ll be done with this shit. We were supposed to spend Wednesday night at Butterfly’s, but I was so damn wound up from the stress of the day that I just go back to Escala and text her, telling her that I need to go for a run. I’m glad that she doesn’t call because I know she’s disappointed—I am, too, but I have to work off this stress.
Taylor and I run our usual route to Flynn’s office. I haven’t talked to Flynn since last Thursday, and I’m not in the mood to drop in on him, especially after I had to fluff up some shit for Carlisle to put in his report. It’s amazing to me how most shrinks don’t see right through me… except for John…
… And Butterfly.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that she’s a psychologist. I just see this beautiful, sexy, woman that is the culmination of all I could have possibly hoped for—not a fucking shrink.
One day, that’s going to bite me in the ass.
As I’m trying to rid myself of today’s stress, my blackberry starts to ring in my ankle-band. I slow down to a fast walk and look at my blackberry. It’s Butterfly. So much for not having to hear the disappointment in her voice.
“Hey, baby,” I answer breathlessly.
“Hey,” she says, slowly, her voice concerned. “Are you still running?”
“Yes, I am. I’m sorry, I should have called you…”
“No, it’s fine. I just… wanted to make sure that you were okay,” she says, tentatively. I wish I could say that I’m okay, but I’m not. This is one of those days where I would come home and work over a sub, but I’m not in that kind of relationship anymore. I don’t have the need to inflict the pain, just the need to control. I won’t tell her that. I don’t know if she’s ready yet—or if she’ll ever be.
“It’s been a really fucked up day, Butterfly. Things just… didn’t seem to fall into place,” I say as my fast walk turns into a stroll.
“I see,” she says softly. “Well, I don’t want to interrupt your run. I understand what you need, now.” I can’t help but feel like her voice sounds a little rejected.
“You know this has nothing to do with you… don’t you, baby?” I ask.
“Yes, I know,” she says, her voice still soft.
“I love you, Butterfly.”
“I love you, too, baby.” I reluctantly end the call and finish my run home with Taylor right behind me, feeling like a piece of shit because I rejected the one person that I need the most right now. I immediately take to my shower the minute I hit the door and stand under scalding hot water, hoping to wash away the scent of “Asshole.”
I’m taking a big chance by doing this. I really don’t know what I am setting myself up for, but I could hear it in his voice. I’m going to take this chance, though. I’m scared as shit, but I just need to jump. I throw on my coat and set out on my task. When I arrive at my destination, a familiar face greets me and gives me the key that I need. After leaving a trail, I go inside, remove my coat, sit down, and wait.
The shower did little to help my mood. I would call Anastasia, but I think I’ve left her feeling bad enough tonight. I grab some flannel pants and a T-shirt and head out of my bedroom with intent to get some work done. What the fuck…?
Is that a rose petal? What the hell is this?
Single rose petals lead a trail from my bedroom door, up the stairs, and end at the playroom. Is this what I think it is? Taylor and Mrs. Jones have conspicuously disappeared. I slowly open the door… and there she is—sitting on the large playroom bed, her head bowed and her hands folded in her lap. She’s wearing black lingerie that makes her look like she is already bound and my dick immediately jumps to attention. She’s extraordinarily perfect. I walk over to her and stand in front of her. She doesn’t raise her head.
“Ms. Steele,” I say, in that voice mainly reserved for this room.
“Yes, Sir,” she says, her breathing quickening.
“Why are you here?” I ask. She swallows audibly.
“I thought that Sir may need me,” she answers timidly. I can’t believe this. How could she know? We’ve never done this before. How could she know?
“Stand!” I command, and she stands without hesitation. “Walk to the middle of the room.” She obediently walks to the middle of the room and awaits instruction. “Turn around and face the back of the room.” She turns and I get a look at her beautiful ass, peaking out of the sheer negligee that she’s wearing, the “binding” thong putting everything on display. Okay, Ms. Steele. The Dom is here.
“Stay there,” I say before I go to change.
It’s time to play.
Cooties: Remember when you were a kid and Mom and/or Dad told you not to kiss the opposite sex because they would give you cooties? Yeah, Christian is talking about that.
Reciprocal: She-Thing wanted to know if the NDA was reciprocal, which meant that not only could she not say anything to anyone about their past relationship, but Christian couldn’t say anything either. Christian let her know that he can tell whoever the fuck he wants to, but she can’t tell anybody.
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Love and Handcuffs!