Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 20—NOT A Victim of Circumstance… Anymore

PLEASE DO NOT USE THE DIRECTIONAL BUTTONS BELOW (PREVIOUS OR NEXT) TO GET TO PAST OR NEW CHAPTERS UNTIL YOU GET TO BOOK III. I WAS WRITING BOOK II ON THIS SITE WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY EDITING BOOK I FROM FANFICTION. AS A RESULT, THE CHAPTERS WERE NOT UPLOADED IN ORDER UNTIL BOOK III.

If you are coming over from Fanfiction and have already read “Paging Dr. Steele,” please know that this version of the story has been updated and many events and names have been changed. You may want to start over from the beginning. 

A guest on the other site asked why I insist that people join my mailing list when you can just Google the story and find me. Guess what? You couldn’t do that before–my blog had no Google presence to make it to the search engines! Thanks to the traffic from–ehem–my MAILING LIST, now I have a Google presence, so as Christian Grey says, now you can Google me. I still want people to join my mailing list because I’m going to be sending stuff to people that may or may not make it to my blog, especially when I start publishing. So please, if you haven’t joined the list yet–you just Googled me to get here (yippee!) or was referred by a friend–please click on the link on the “Contact me” page to the left and get added.

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 20—NOT A Victim of Circumstance… Anymore

GREY

Jason is standing over Johnson and I make my way to the counter.

“Where is she?” I asks the waitress behind the counter.

“Where is who?” she asks, truly bemused.

“African American, curly hair…”

“Angie?”

“Bring me Angie.”

“Angie! Somebody out her to see you!” Angie comes timidly from the back.

“I ain’t got nothing to say to you, Mister.” She is quite frightened, as well she should be.

“You don’t have to say anything to me, but I hope you’re satisfied. You called that man because that boy was here. That man has a restraining order against him which he just broke because not only did he come within 500 feet of that young man, but he just injured him. The police are on their way and they will most likely want to know how he knew where to find that young man!” It’s a terrible bluff and scare tactic, but it appears to be working.

“You can’t prove that I called him,” she says, her voice shaking.

“I don’t have to prove it—you’re shaking like a leaf. I’ll let the police deal with you.” As I’m walking away, I hear someone ask, “You called him?” I have a feeling this is not the last that Angie is going to hear of this matter. I know that she hasn’t broken the law in any way by calling this bastard, but hopefully this incident will at least give her something to think about.

I sit at the table with Marlow who is sitting in front of a massive sandwich and not eating a bite. After what happened to him, I won’t press him to eat it. I wave at the first waitress I spoke to behind the counter.

“Can you please wrap this up so that we can take it with us?” I ask her.

“Sure thing.” She looks sympathetically at Marlow before taking his left over sandwich away to wrap it up. Marlow is rubbing his arm where his father squeezed it.

“We’ll get you some ibuprofen for the ache,” I say. He nods, looking at the table. “What are you thinking, Son?”

“I want to know why he hates me so much,” he says loud enough for his father to hear. “I don’t do drugs, I get good grades, I’m not a bad kid. I do everything that he tells me to do. Most of my friends don’t even know who their fathers are… and I’m jealous of them, because at least they’re not getting beat up all the time!” he barks, his eyes filled with tears. I look down at Johnson who only seems to have disdain in his eyes as he glares at Marlow.

“Some people are just broken, Son,” I say to Marlow but still looking at his father as the police arrive. “He needs help, and until he gets it, he’s going to always be as hateful as he is right now.” I turn back and look at Marlow. “Never let your guard down when it comes down to him… never.”

Yes, Sir!” Marlow hisses, still rubbing his sore arm. The police walk in and examine the man on the ground with the bloody nose and the bodyguard guard standing over him.

“He assaulted me!” is the first thing that came out of Johnson’s mouth.

“Is that true,” the first officer asked.

“Well, I don’t know. Angie, is that true?” I ask the loose-lipped waitress that alerted Johnson of Marlow’s whereabouts. She looks from me to police, and then her shoulders fall.

“No,” she says, her voice full of defeat, “he wasn’t assaulted. He grabbed the boy by the arm and that man hit him to get him to let go.” The officer frowned.

“Why am I having a hard time believing her?” the officer asked pointing at Angie.

“I would, too,” I say, and he turns his sour face at me. “She’s just deflated because she contacted this man and alerted him that this young man was here having lunch with me. I’m assuming that she was unaware that there is a standing protection order against him saying that he must stay 500 feet away from that young man.” The officer’s eyes rise.

“Were you aware of the protection order, Sir?” the second officer asks.

“No!” he lies. “No one told me anything about a protection order!”

“Oh?” I say to Johnson. “You mean when they released you from jail for breaking his mother’s eye socket, they didn’t tell you that there was a permanent protection order in place against you?” I ask, mocking surprise. The first officer just shakes his head.

“Stand up, please,” he says to Johnson, more as an order than a request. Johnson gets to his feet and is cuffed by the first officer. The second one comes over to me.

“Sir, until we can straighten this out, I’m going to have to restrain you as well.” I obediently stand and put my hands behind my back. Boy, Hammerstein would get a kick out of this!

“No!” Marlow is out of his seat now. “What he’s telling you is right! That’s my dad. He beat my mom and they put him in jail. We left and my mom got a protection order against him. Mr. Grey asked him three times to stop squeezing my arm and he wouldn’t stop.” Marlow is undoing his tie and unbuttoning the first two buttons of his dress shirt as he is saying this, then subsequently pulls it over his head. “Look!”

The once red bruise has started to turn a little purple. It looks really bad. “Anybody in here can tell you—anybody can! If Mr. Grey hadn’t stopped him, he would have dragged me out of here and God only knows what would have happened to me!” Marlow is nearly screaming now and I sincerely want him to calm down. “You can’t put Mr. Grey in cuffs for trying to protect me! You can’t do that!” The second officer looks at Marlow and then around the diner.

“Can anybody else vouch for this kid’s story?” A few people nodded though not all of the patrons of the establishment, but none of them know that I’ve already seen my saving grace.

“That can,” I say, gesturing to the eye in the sky. They both look up at the camera as does Johnson.

“Shit!” he says once he realizes that he has been caught on camera. The officers simultaneously turn to Johnson.

“Something you want to say?” The first officer asks. Johnson is sweating just a bit.

“I… I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I was only trying to talk to him!” he defends.

“You call this trying to talk!?” Marlow shrieks thrusting his arm out in front of him. “This is your idea of trying to talk!?” Marlow lunges at his father but Jason catches him around the waist just in time. “Why do you hate me so much? What have I ever done to you? I didn’t ask to be here! I didn’t ask for Mom’s eyes!” He’s struggling the entire time to get away, but Jason has a good hold on him as he continues shrieking at his father. “If you hated us so much, why didn’t you just leave? Why did you stick around? Why do you keep begging us to come back? You beat us until we leave and then you beg us to come back so you can beat us some more! What’s wrong with you? If you hate us so much, why don’t you just leave us alone?”

Angry tears are burning down Marlow’s cheeks as he struggles uselessly to free himself from Jason’s grasp. I think we’re all a little stunned by the scene that is unfolding before us. All of his repressed anger is coming out on his father at this moment in this public diner and no one is trying to stop him. My arms fall to my sides as I am shocked at the barrage of insults and accusations flying out of this young man’s mouth towards his father. He berates this man for—hell, I don’t know how long, until he is a useless mound hanging in Jason’s arms, exhausted and sobbing.

“Get him out of here. Take him to the car,” I instruct Jason who all but carries a sobbing Marlow out of the diner. I turn to the officers. “What do you need me to do?” I ask them. If they still want to cuff me after that display they’re insane, but hell, I can’t do anything about that.

“Sir, do you still maintain that this man assaulted you?” the first officer asks Johnson. He dropped his head halfway through Marlow’s tirade and hasn’t raised it since. He just silently shakes his head. I put my suit jacket back on and pull a business card from the card case in my inside pocket.

“That young man is Marlow Whitehead. This is Damon Johnson, his father. His mother is Marcia Whitehead and she has the PPO to keep him away from her and the kids. I only got parts of the story as Marlow was telling me when Mr. Johnson walked in.” I tell them.

“How do you know this family?” The second officer asks.

“My girlfriend is his therapist and I’m mentoring him. We were just sitting here eating when all of this happened. I work in the business world so I bought Marlow some clothes so that he can be presentable when he is at my office. His father is not pleased with that, though I don’t know how…” I have a sinking feeling in my stomach. “How did you know that I was buying things for Marlow? You’re not supposed to be near them.” He still doesn’t raise his head. Shit, is he stalking them? Does he already know where they are staying now? Where is Marlow’s mother? A million thoughts roll through my head and I was ready to beat this bastard until he gives me answers. I hand my business card to the officer. “Is there anything else that you need from me?” I ask.

The officer looks at my card then does a double take. “Christian Grey,” he says in disbelief. I nod. Johnson’s head flies up. “Christian Grey as in Grey Enterprises Christian Grey?” the officer repeats.

“Yes?” I say a little annoyed. How many “Christian Greys” are there in Seattle?

“Well, okay. We probably won’t need you unless Mr. Johnson protests the charges that will be filed against him, but we’ll be in touch if we do, Sir,” the officer says. “The fact that he violated a standing protection order is enough to take him in.”

“Can I leave now? I really want to get Marlow home to his mother,” I say.

“Yes, of course.” That’s my cue. I retrieve the wrapped sandwich for Marlow and leave the diner.

————————————————————————————————-

STEELE

I have managed to secure Club Cielo again for Maxie’s bridal shower. They were only too happy to appear in the social section of the newspaper as the club that hosted AnaChris and the private wedding of my father and Mandy, even though it was a relatively small column and it was after the fact. This time, I didn’t dare employ an outside decorator. Mia, Val, Gail, and I did the decorating ourselves, all in Maxie’s colors of baby blue and champagne.

The one thing that I discovered while we were trying to find our decorations is that a lot of people can’t seem to tell the difference between baby blue and Tiffany blue. Tiffany is a lot more turquoise that baby blue. However, items labeled “baby blue” still appeared Tiffany blue to me. Maxie still thought the colors were close enough—on some occasions—so we ended up with a baby blue, Tiffany blue, and champagne bridal shower.

Nonetheless, the decorations were still quite beautiful. Blue and champagne balloons float in various areas while streamers in the same color are tastefully draped from the ceiling over tables and the bar combined with blue round paper lanterns. Individually wrapped and labeled blue macaroons are placed at each setting to welcome each invited guest. We decorated half glasses with rounded bottoms with intense blue glitter, added a ribbon and a candle and voilà! You have a dainty little centerpiece.

The dessert table is insane—cake, candies, cookies, more macaroons, and cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcakes! The dinner menu was chosen by Maxie and consists of an avocado, papaya, and watercrest salad followed by chicken cordon bleu, herbed basmati rice, and crisp green beans. For the “libations” part of our soirée, we have opted for two modest Riesling wines—the locally grown Château Ste Michelle Eroica for dinner and Dr Heidemanns Bernkastel Auslese of German origin for dessert. We also have blue sparkling cider in champagne glasses for those who opt for something non-alcoholic as well as blue martinis for those who wish to have something a little stronger.

Christian is having the guys up to the penthouse for drinks. All of the pre-Christmas drama seems to have all but disappeared completely. We actually hosted our first F&L of 2013 this past weekend and it was fantastic. The Scooby Gang is back in full force… plus one! I couldn’t be happier.

Even Christian and Maxie’s relationship has weathered the proverbial storm and come out a bit stronger than before. That’s a huge surprise since I look at Maxie slightly differently these days. Christian is quite active in helping with the final planning and setup of the reception. Maxie and Phil have even made changes to long-standing plans at Christian’s suggestion. Christian and Elliot are even taking charge of Phil’s bachelor party. It’s like they are new best friends. I wouldn’t have thought he would have been interested in planning their nuptials, but he actually seems excited about the event.

The wedding in on February 16—two days after Valentine’s Day and 15 days away. The girls and I have just finished decorating the club when Christian and Elliot decide to make an appearance. Christian looks a little worn.

“Nice. Very nice,” he says, looking around the club. For some reason, I get the feeling that he’s teasing me. “Tiffany?”

“You tell me,” I say jabbing him in the ribs. “You practically stole my job planing the reception. You know what the colors are.”

“Yeah, but I was too late to get in the wedding, so now some loser will be escorting you out of the church and into the reception.” He pulls me roughly into his arms.

“Does it matter since it will be you who will be escorting me home?” I smile seductively.

“Not one little bit,” he says, leaning in and kissing me on my neck. “As long as he doesn’t try to put the moves on my girl.”

“It wouldn’t work anyway. I’m all yours, heart and soul, Mr. Grey.” His expression suddenly becomes serious.

“I’m going to hold you to that, Ms. Steele,” he says softly, and I see uncertainty in his eyes.

“Christian… what’s wrong?” He normally has his impassive face locked on and I have to guess what’s going on, but these past few weeks his emotions and thoughts are written all over his face—except in those rare moments when I see him running his business. Then, it’s poker face as usual.

“Nothing, Butterfly. Being around a jittery groom is just getting to me, that’s all. I never thought I would be glad to see someone else’s—anyone’s wedding day come.”

“Oh, come on, it can’t be that bad,” I say. He shakes his head.

“It’s a tad bit taxing—the planning, the anticipation, hoping everything goes smoothly…” I’m quite surprised.

“Christian, I never pegged you for the hopeless romantic. You surprise me more and more every day! However, you wouldn’t be having these concerns if you had allowed me to plan my friends’ reception as I had intended.” I flutter my eyelashes at him and kiss him on the cheek.

“I’m going to surprise you,” he says. “Everyone is going to have a fantastic time and it will be the talk of the town—’Maxie and Phil’s fabulous wedding reception, were you there? No? Then you missed the event of a lifetime!” He mimics gossiping girls—hand waves and all—eliciting a giggle from me.

“Bro, is there something you want to tell me?” Elliot asks, doing Christian’s little wave.

“No, you simple fuck,” Christian says, “and even if I were gay, I have still divided and conquered more pussy than you.” What the…?

“Okay! Okay! TMI!” I announce, waving my hands in the air and leaving the room. For fucks sake, Grey, what woman wants to hear that her boyfriend was once Seattle’s greatest pussy-parter? Geez! Way to make your girl feel shitty. I’m going to make him pay for that statement.

I’m walking to the other end of the club when Val runs face first into me. “Oh, good. I was just coming to get you. You need to come here and see this.” She pulls me over to the side of the bar area. What the hell is wrong now? We’ve got everything decorated the way that we wanted. What could possibly be the problem?

Gail is sitting on a bar stool drinking a soda and gazing at the television screen above the bar. There were installed for someone’s Super Bowl party this Sunday. Mia has disappeared and the three of us are staring at a commercial.

“You rushed me in here to see a computer-generated polar bear commercial?” I ask bemused.

“No. It’s coming up next. You better sit.” Val informs me. Oh shit, what’s about to happen? Another commercial plays about pizza in the office and I try not to get perturbed as a wait for whatever bomb is about to drop. Why doesn’t she just tell me? A few moments later, I realize why she didn’t.

KING5 has learned that Seattle billionaire Christian Grey has a link to a suicide in downtown Las Vegas on Christmas Day. Franklin Whitmore, a Nevada insurance executive, was found hanging in the Placid Motel last Christmas. Grey’s girlfriend, Anastasia Steele—one half of the now-trending “AnaChris”—was in Nevada last month attending her step-father’s funeral. Sources say that she paid a visit to the Nevada attorney general’s office in Las Vegas. The Nevada AG is currently investigating a brutal attack on Ms. Steele in 2001, in which Whitmore was implicated for possible witness tampering and obstruction among other charges.

Another turn of events in the case involves Henderson Detective George Sullivan. Sullivan is currently incarcerated and awaiting trial for obstruction and other charges related to the case. It appears that two videos concerning the night of the attack on Ms. Steele have surfaced that will prove to be quite damning to Sullivan’s defense.

This is a video of Melanie Coleman recorded last month in her Kent, WA home. In the video, Coleman confesses to filming the incident involving the torture and beating of Seattle psychologist Anastasia Steele which resulted in the death of her unborn child.

There’s no reason for me to lie about this or keep it a secret any longer. I am dying and I don’t have much time left. I was afraid for my life which is why I never came forth sooner. That’s no excuse, I know, but there is absolutely no reason to keep this a secret any more.”

Melanie’s voice is labored and her breathing sounds like she’s going to fall over and die any second. She submitted the video and a confession. This had to be recorded weeks—if not days—before she died.

Although Ms. Coleman submitted the original video of the incident which is now in analysis to verify its authenticity, Investigator Herbert Larson says that Ms. Steele has also submitted a copy of the video in question to the Nevada State Attorney General’s office, identifying all but two participants in the assault and murder. Due to its graphic nature, KING5 has chosen not to air the video.

We are taking this case very seriously. It is a tragedy and a huge blemish on the justice system when one of our own fails to uphold the law in any case, but especially in a case where one child was brutally assaulted and beaten and another unborn child was murdered. We are very close to establishing the validity of the first video. Once that is complete, this case is pretty open and shut and we will begin making arrests of the other perpetrators identified on the video.”

Coleman has since passed away from Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, making her video a deathbed confession, which is taken very seriously by police. It is believed that people feel they are going to meet their Maker, so their confessions just before death are done to purge their souls of hidden secrets and sins before they go to the afterlife. Coupled with the video submitted by Ms. Steele, Ms. Coleman’s confession could very well be the nail in Sullivan’s proverbial coffin as well as many other people in the Henderson community.

The now Mr. Sullivan, who has been discharged from the Henderson Police Department, was previously a 17-year veteran on the force but has now forfeited his tenure and benefits in light of the charges against him. Mr. Sullivan remains in protective custody at the Clark County Jail for fear that his safety will definitely be in danger if he is intermingled with prison population.

Sullivan maintains that he performed his job duties to the best of his abilities. However, sources say that Sullivan had the motive for hiding the evidence as his little brother, Vincent Sullivan, appears to have been among the attackers that evening.

Well, I guess Val couldn’t very well deliver that message to me, now could she? I turn to walk away from the screen and, as always, bump into the wall of man that is Christian Grey. Of course he would be standing behind me during this announcement. He gently strokes my arms.

“Are you okay?” he asks. I shrug.

“Yeah. They’re not saying anything I didn’t already know, except that Melanie submitted the confession.”

“The only difference now is that it’s here. The story is in Seattle, and of course they always want to make it about me and not you. Either way, paps are going to be on alert again. They’re probably already outside, and we have a wedding shower happening here in about an hour.” Shit! I forgot about that.

“Have someone out there to guide guests to the garage. They can come in through the elevator. The garage is private property, so the paps can’t come in there.” I say. Christian nods and gets on the phone, most likely to Jason. I fold my arms and sigh. This is what I signed up for… let the mayhem begin.

“Are you sure you’re okay, Steele?” Val asks, putting her arm around me. I nod.

“Yes. I’m fine, really. I’m more concerned about the paparazzi blocking Maxine’s bridal shower than I am about that,” I say gesturing to the television. “I’m going upstairs to change. Who’s coming with me?”

“I am,” Mia appears, wiping her hands on her clothes.

“Me, too,” Val says. “I just need to freshen up a bit.”

“Gail?” I ask.

“I’ll stay here in case any guests show up early,” she says. “Maxine will be coming to the penthouse, right?”

“Yep,” I say, heading for the door. “We’ll be right back…”

Every time I hear something or see something or do something involving Green Valley, I feel the need to wash… profusely! After a nice, hot shower, and shaving all of my necessary parts, I go to the closet to find something to wear. I should have done this sooner. Now I have to think fast. I choose my Paper Dolls mirrored lace cream and black dress with a plain pair of black Louboutin peeptoe stilettos. I style my hair in a simple Eva Longoria French roll and decide on a plain pair of diamond studs. Christian comes into the bedroom and nearly falls onto the bed, releasing a heavy sigh just as I am applying my lip gloss.

“Christian, what happened today?” I say turning around to face him. He raises his head and frowns.

“You know me a bit too well, Ms. Steele,” he grumbles.

“Yes, I do. Besides the fact that you are not being very subtle, I’ve known that something was wrong from the moment you walked into the club. Now, what is it—something with Grey House?” He shakes his head, looking down again.

“I wanted to wait until after the shower to tell you. I didn’t want to ruin your night.” Okay, now I’m scared.

“It has to do with me?” I ask, my voice squeaking on the last word. Shit, I don’t need any more bad news.

“Well, not directly, but yes. Marlow and I were having a late lunch at a diner and we had a major run-in with a guy named Johnson,” he says. Johnson. That’s a common name. What does that have to do with me? He looks at me waiting for me to connect the dots. In a quick mental review, I go over the facts. He and Marlow were having lunch. Some guy named Johnson shows up. I still don’t see—oh, fuck! Marlow! Johnson!

Damon Johnson!?” I nearly scream. Christian nods. “Fuck! Fuck! Where’s Marlow?” Now I am screaming. Christian jumps up and grabs my arms.

“Calm down, Baby. That’s why I didn’t want to tell you. Marlow is fine. His arm may be bruised a bit the next time you see him but he’s fine,” Christian tries to assure me.

“Bruised? Why? What did that asshole do to him?” I want to find this fucker and rip him limb from limb! I am so damn angry that I’m shaking!

“Tiger, settle down!” Christian says firmly. “If you don’t, I’m never going to be able to be truthful with you again because I’ll be afraid that you’ll react like this.” I take a few deep breaths and glare at him.

“What. Happened?” I say through clenched teeth. He takes a deep breath and lets it out.

“He came into the diner where we were having lunch. Apparently, he has hotlines all over the city. Whenever one of his PPO’s run out, he comes looking for his family. One of his hotlines tipped him off that we were at the diner and he came in trying to take Marlow with him. I subdued him and Jason kept him… safe… until the police got there,” he says. I feel my body relax a bit.

“So he’s back in police custody then,” I ask, but it’s more of a statement than a question.

“For now, yes, although I don’t know for how long. I did let him know that I would kill him if he came near Marlow and his family again without getting some help and that they will have covert surveillance with instructions to take his ass down on sight.”

“You’re actually putting surveillance on them, Christian? All of them?” I ask and he nods.

“I want to try to get Marlow into one of the college prep schools—maybe SeaPrep or Clearwater. He wants to go to college and he’s really smart. I think he would have an excellent chance of getting into a good college, but he has to go to a better high school.” Oh no, you’re not getting off that easily.

“Don’t change the subject, Grey!” I say. “I want to know if you are serious about surveillance for Marlow’s family. That guy is volatile, unpredictable, and unstable. I don’t know what would have happened to Marlow if you hadn’t been there.” I shudder at the thought.

“Well, I’ll see if I can find out how long he’ll be locked up and yes, I do plan on having surveillance for the whole family. They won’t know it, except for Marlow, I think. He’s being seen a lot with me and I think he may need close personal protection anyway. I’ll have to talk to Jason about it and see what he says about how we should handle it. How do you think Marcia will feel about all of this?” he asks.

“About the surveillance?”I ask, sitting on the bed next to him.

“Yes, and the schooling… I’m accustomed to telling people ‘do this’ and they do it or ‘take that’ and they take it. I’m not sure how I would feel if someone wanted to mentor my son and give him all of the things that I can’t.”

“Well, you have to remember that you and Marcia are two different people,” I tell him. “Marcia has spent many years in a violent relationship with an oppressive man who often took his frustrations with his shortcomings as a husband and father out on her and Marlow. No doubt, it feels great to step out on her own and finally be away from him, but she is having a hard time of it. I would say that she wouldn’t have a problem with you affording Marlow every opportunity to grow, except for the fact that Maggie may be overlooked in this process.”

“Yes, I had considered that. I’m not really sure what to do about that. Maggie is much younger and would certainly benefit from attending a private school early on, but I’m not trying to traumatize her. I know that she is most likely aware of what is going on with her family, but maybe not so exposed as Marlow. Ignorance may be bliss when it comes to Maggie. If we make her change schools, her bliss may be broken.” He falls back on the bed. “Shit, this is fucked up.” I lie next to him and run my hands through his hair.

“You are a wonderful man, Christian Grey. I am certain that you will find a way to work this all out. Would you like for me to talk to Marcia and see how she feels about all of this?” He raises his head.

“Would you mind? I know that you have a better rapport with her, so she certainly might take this better coming from you.” I nod.

“I’ll talk to her next week. I’m most likely going to be tired after this shower. I’ve got a lot planned and I want everyone to have fun.” He pulls me into his lap.

“I’m proud of you, Butterfly. A lesser woman would have just let this whole thing go after Maxie quit on you, but you stuck with it making sure that she got everything that she wanted. I know that your sessions with Dr. Avery are a little rough. Is that getting any easier?”

Well, first, Maxie is my friend and I love her very much. I hate what she did and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to confide in her that way again, but I still love her—that hasn’t changed and I don’t think it ever will. Second, the session are going… better. We’re addressing some of my deep-seated issues and he’s helping me explore more conducive ways to respond to stress and fear. It’s a slow process, but I really think he’s going to help me.” Christian grunts. “What is it, Christian?”

“He’s a good-looking guy,” Christian says.

“Yes… and he’s married and I’m taken,” I state. He looks up at me with searching gray eyes.

“I’m trying to deal with my jealousy, but it’s hard,” he says, sitting up. “It was a big thing for me to step back and not have a conniption while you spilled your intimate secrets to a handsome, distinguished, older man.” I sit in his lap and kiss his cheek.

“You’re the only handsome, distinguished, older man that I want. You’re the only one for me, Christian. Don’t let anyone make you think differently.”

“Promise?” he asks, he eyes clearly longing. I kiss my promise ring, then his key, and then his lips.

“Always. Only you, Christian, only you.” He slides his arms around me and holds me close to him, burying his face in my neck.

“You mean so much to me,” he breathes, and I feel uncertainty coming from him. I thrust my hands in his hair.

“I love you with everything, Christian. If I ever gave you reason to doubt that, please forgive me. I am yours only and always,” I beseech him. I don’t know why he feels like I would go anywhere else, want anyone else, but whatever the reason the only thing important to me right now is making sure that this man knows that he is my life and my love. He’s holding me so close and so tight that I am sure I will have his handprints in my skin.

“I want to make love to you so badly right now,” he whispers.

“Not now, my love, but later. There are people waiting for us, okay?” I say softly, brushing my lips against his.

“I’m going to hold you to that,” he says, his voice oozing promise and seduction.

“I certainly hope so,” I breathe.

*-*

The paparazzi never cease to amaze me. The story is now all over Seattle—Washington, maybe—about how I was beaten as a child and lost my baby, and these bastards are huddled outside of Escala trying to get a comment. Notwithstanding the fact that I can’t talk about it because it is now an open case all back over again, but why would I want to say anything about it on the air on the sidewalk in front of Escala? What is wrong with these fucking people?

Sure enough, we had to escort the guests into the garage and then have them escorted to the club to avoid being mobbed by the paps. I was utterly humiliated, but Maxie seemed to take it all in stride. Sometimes, I don’t mind the publicity. Other times, I hate it. However, today is about Maxie.

I have taken time to catch up with so many people from CCFW, including the bitch from adolescent care who never liked me and always thought that she could snatch Phil away from Maxie if given the chance. I so didn’t understand why Maxie invited her to any of the festivities, but I discovered that it had something to do with wanting her to be front and center and seeing that Phil is taken, once and for all. I miss working for CCFW. I’ve helped a lot of people in my own practice, but I still don’t feel like I’ve helped as many people as I helped at CCFW. I truly miss that lot, and I was very happy to catch up with them at Maxie’s shower.

After about 40 minutes of mingling and catching up over drinks and hors d’oeuvres, we sit down and start the shower games. We played a game called “toilet paper bride” where three teams got to dress Maxie up as a bride using toilet paper while she was blindfolded. We took pictures and she chose the winner from the pictures. The winning team received gift certificates to Miana’s for a spa day. It was really fun to see how creative these ladies could get with toilet paper. Not surprisingly, Adolescent Care Bitch sat this one out.

We play “quick-fire questions” where the guests fired questioned at Maxie and she had to answer them in five seconds or less. That became lots of fun when the questions got naughty. We discovered that Maxie has a birthmark of some kind of bird on her ass. She and Phil once spent five days fucking and sleeping and had it not been for the ice-cream in the freezer, they would have starved. They actually have a safeword for sex. I almost choked on that one. It doesn’t have the exact same meaning, but when one of them is definitely not in the mood for sex, they use the safeword. She didn’t tell us what it was, but the fact that they have one blows my mind.

Maxie starts to open her gifts as we play the “timer” game. This is one of the prize games where we set a timer and the person whose gift she is opening when the buzzer goes off gets a prize. Maxie got everything from wine to bath baskets to fun journals, sex journals, lingerie, a stamp with her married name on it, kitchenware, his-and-her robes, personalized items of all shapes and sizes, and gifts certificates to various stores. I thought that the blue sheer panties that say “The Mrs” were quite funny. The timer went off when she was opening Mia’s gift of luxury champagne flutes for the wedding night. However, Mia politely declined the gift because she felt she should be disqualified since she helped to plan the shower and passed it to the person whose gift was opened before her. It was a ladies charm bracelet with a bell on it as the first charm.

We had a wonderful time during dinner. We had eaten so many desserts and hors d’oeuvres that I am completely surprised that we had any room for dinner. The drinks were flowing, the food was outstanding, and the company was fantastic. Little did I know, it would get to be more fantastic before the evening was over.

“So, Ana, when will we be hearing wedding bells for you?” Sylvia asks. She’s one of the doctors from CCFW. I try not to appear uncomfortable when she asks the question, but to be honest, I’d like to know that, too.

“In due time, Sylvia, in due time. I’ve only just completed my dad’s wedding and now Maxie’s. My plate is a bit too full at the moment to be thinking of my own trek down the aisle,” I lie. The truth is that I think about it almost every day. Mrs. Anastasia Grey. I adore the sound of that.

“Well, don’t wait too long, Honey. With the way he looks at you and the pictures of you guys in the news, I’m only too sure you won’t be too far behind Maxine.” She winks at me and I smile. A girl can hope, right?

We all sit around the bar and the community sitting area again and decide to play another game since we all have a bit of alcohol in our system and have lightened up a little more. This time, we play a game called “Who knows the groom?” This should be kind of easy since Phil has been doing document services for CCFW for years and everyone in the room knows him well. What we didn’t realize is that Adolescent Care Bitch has stalker tendencies. She yelled out the answers to the first nine questions before anyone else had the chance to answer, including the question “boxers or briefs.” Maxie glared at her when she answered that question, so I politely told her that she couldn’t answer any more questions as we are all quite aware that she knows everything there is to know about Phil. Hell, she probably knows his damn birth weight. The party took a turn when the question was asked about Maxie and Phil’s first kiss.

“May 14th.” All heads turn to the sound of the male voice coming from the doorway to find Phil gazing at Maxine. “You were wearing a green dress with gold sandals and I watched you walk to the food truck in the parking lot.” He starts to walk slowly towards her and the room falls into total silence. “I remember thinking that you had the best legs that I had ever seen as I watched that dress brush up against your thighs.”

Oh shit, is it getting hot in here?

I look over at Maxie and her lips are parted as she gazes at Phil in a stupor. “I walked up behind you as you were paying for your turkey wrap and you turned around and bumped right into me.” He continues, standing right in her face now, looking down at her seductively. The rest of the guys are all standing inside of the door watching Mr. Guest at work. “I put my arms around you, and all I knew was that I wanted to kiss you.” He slid his arms around her waist slowly and I could feel Christian touching me, watching me, even though he was on the other side of the room. “I didn’t care if you slapped me or never spoke to me again. I had to kiss you… just… once…” He puts his hand on her cheek and gives her the most sensual kiss I have ever seen in my life… well, at least that I didn’t receive anyway.

After about five seconds, the room erupts in thunderous applause and cheers—and that was the women! Everyone except of Adolescent Care Bitch, anyway. She sat silently in the circle, brooding and no doubt sick to her stomach that it wasn’t her locking lips with Phil right now. But good God, Phil, talk about a Christian Grey move. Holy. Cow. Batman! That was hot!

A few moments later, I feel a kiss grace my neck and I turn around. “What are you guys doing here?” I ask him.

“The game is over and the beers are gone. We thought we crash your party for doggie bags,” Christian says pulling me into his arms. To be honest, I’m glad they did. All of the fun stuff is about over and there is a boatload of food that will just go to waste if no one eats it, so why not feed it to the hungry men? The bridal shower turned into a Friday night party with drinks still flowing, music playing, and people laughing, dancing, and having a good time. We had only booked the club for a few hours, so we ended up moving the party back up to the penthouse. The caterers were kind enough to bring the food up and everyone else grabbed whatever they could—decorations, presents, even trash. We had the club clean—as promised—in less than 20 minutes before going up to the penthouse to party the night away.

*-*

I am so proud of Christian. A year ago, no one could breach his palace in the sky, but last night he hosted one of the biggest parties this apartment has ever seen—for my friend’s bridal shower. We were both exhausted after it was over and, after a hot quickie, fell into a coma-like sleep.

I am more than a bit hung over and the sun is not being nice to me at all. Christian is not in bed next to me and I don’t bother trying to figure out where he is. I put the pillow over my head and moan as my head is pounding relentlessly.

“Wake up, Butterfly.” Oh, good Lord, is the sun even higher in the sky? What time is it?

“Nooooo… lemme alooooone…” I moan from under my pillow. Why do I have to wake up? There’s nothing to do today.

“Come on, Butterfly. You can’t sleep the whole day away. I let you sleep for longer than I should have now wake up.” I roll over looking at him.

“Why do I have to wake up?” I protest. “I don’t have anywhere to be. What’s the problem with me staying in bed all day if I want to?”

“Because it’s late, you haven’t eaten, and I’m lonely. Now get up.” He slaps my thighs hard and leaves the room. Ow! Fuck! What the fuck, Man?

I get out of bed and go to the shower. Oh my God, what did I drink? Wine, champagne, those damn blue martinis… shoot me now. I wash my hair and brush my teeth and I only feel marginally better after my shower. I blow-dry my hair and walk back into our bedroom where two ibuprofen and a cranberry spritzer await me. I gladly take the ibuprofen and almost drink all of the cranberry spritzer. I turn around to find Christian standing behind me.

“You might want to hurry. The Whiteheads are here.” My eyes get large.

“Marlow? Is something wrong? Are they okay?” I fire questions at him one after another.

“Everything is fine. It was a last-minute decision. Marlow was coming anyway to help me with some things and I just wanted to see him to gauge his state of mind. I asked him to bring the rest of his family so that we can discuss his plans for the future and, in light of yesterday’s incident and my desire to give them surveillance, I thought it would be a good idea to have you present,” he says.

“Way to prepare me, Grey!” I hiss at him. “I thought you were going to let me talk to Marcia next week.” He shrugs.

“I know. I’m sorry. I should have done better. Please don’t be mad at me. You know how I am. I wave my hand and things happen. I’m still trying to understand that doesn’t happen in everybody’s world,” he says apologetically. I sigh.

“Bring me some orange juice and crack a raw egg in it. Blend it thoroughly. I’ll get dressed.” I go into the closet and don’t even wait for his reaction. I grab a pair of soft pink skinny jeans with a boyfriend cuff with a pink tank top and a white off-the-shoulder blouse. I am brushing my hair when Christian comes back in with my orange juice. I down the whole glass before the egg gets a chance to separate. That’s when I realize how hungry I am. I finally take a moment to look at the alarm clock. Shit! It’s nearly one in the afternoon. I can’t be too angry with him for demanding that I get up. I dab a little lip gloss on and go greet our guests.

“Hello everybody,” I say cheerfully as I enter the great room. Marlow and Marcia stand while Maggie waves from her seat.

“Ana, hi,” Marcia says as I embrace her. “This place is really something!” she gestures around the room. I smile.

“I could say ‘thank you’ but he actually decorated it. I just moved in and now I enjoy the pretty!” We laugh and I look over at Marlow. “Hey.” He smiles weakly.

“Hey.”

“How are you doing?” I probe.

“Okay, I guess.” He shrugs.

“How’s your arm?” He looks down at his arm, covered by a long-sleeved sweatshirt.

“It looks pretty bad—hurts some, but it’s okay.”

“Does Maggie know?” I whisper to him and Marcia.

“Some of it,” Marcia answers. “She knows that he father is out of jail,” well, not anymore, “and that we have to watch out for him and why, but she doesn’t know that he hurt Marlow again.” I sigh and shake my head. That asshole.

“Well, I just realized how hungry I am. Anybody else?”

Thirty minutes later, I have prepared fast patty melts on rye with grilled onions, swiss cheese, and steak sauce and baked french fries for lunch. We are all sitting around the dining table with lunch, snacks, drinks, and fruit as Christian lays out his plans for the family, asking how they feel about the changes and requesting Marcia permission to proceed.

“I appreciate everything that you want to do for us, Christian, but there’s no way I could possibly pay you back for all of this,” Marcia protests.

“I don’t expect to be reimbursed for any of this,” he says, “except that Marlow and Maggie will have to keep their grades up in school and college, and that Marlow will have to agree to work for Grey Enterprises for a specified period of time after he completes his education.”

“Okay, but why? Why my little family?” she asks. Christian sighs.

“Without going into too much detail, I had it rough as a kid, too, and someone looked out for me. I don’t know if you know this, but I’m adopted. Things could have been a lot different for me. While I can’t save every struggling family, Ana took a liking to your family and to Marlow… and he came to see her at one of the worst times of her life, to make sure that she was okay. He was even ready to challenge me had I been the one that did that to her. I won’t forget that. He has strong character and a brilliant mind. Even though I realize my actions are philanthropic, they are not completely selfless. I see a real diamond in the rough here. I would like to be able to reap some of the benefits of what he could become while hopefully assisting him to fulfill his greatest potential.”

“Okay, then, so why Maggie?” Marcia is inherently mistrusting, much like Flynn but for good reason this time. A kind face reeled her in, gave her two children, and then terrorized them constantly.

“I don’t want her to feel left out. I don’t want her to be left out. I just don’t want her to be shell-shocked either, which is why I am of course asking what you think is best for her, for them.” Marcia looks from Christian to me and back to Christian.

“I’ve moved them around so much. I think Maggie should at least finish out the school year where she is because she’s so young. If you plan on moving Marlow, it should be soon. That school is doing nothing for him and he fits in nowhere. I don’t know about the bodyguards, though…”

“Marcia,” I interject, “it would be covert surveillance. You wouldn’t even know that they are there. They are only there to protect you from Damon. You already know that he can find you anywhere and he clearly hasn’t changed. Please… for you own safety, for the kids, please…” She still looks skeptical.

“They wouldn’t bother me?” she asks.

“Only if you need them or if you wanted them to help you,” Christian responds.

“And how would they know to help me?”

“They’re highly trained professionals. Believe me, they’ll know,” he reinforces.

“But he hurt my boy yesterday, and nobody stopped him…”

“I stopped him,” Christian says. “I should have moved faster, but I didn’t know who he was and I didn’t know that there was a restraining order against him. By noon Monday, I will know everything there is to know about him and he certainly won’t be back out of jail by then since he violated the PPO. I promise you that he won’t hurt you or your children again if you agree to have protection.” She is still pondering the idea. Maggie is a little confused by the whole conversation, but Marcia looks to Marlow for guidance.

“Do it, Mom,” he says. “I don’t want to ever have to see him again… ever. He won’t bother us this way.” She nods.

“And what about this school thing?” she asks him. “Fancy prep school? Do you think you can do it?”

“I really want to go, Mom. I can take getting ragged if that happens. It happens where I am all the time, but I really hate it there. Nobody there ever goes to college. They always end up unemployed or living back with their momma—no offense—and I just want more than that. I know I can do it, Mom. Please?” Who can say “no” to that face?

“Okay, Christian. We’ll try this, but if ours lives get turned upside down, I’m pulling the plug on this whole thing,” Marcia relents. I silently breathe a sigh of relief.

“That’s all I can ask,” Christian replies and Marlow smiles the biggest smile I seen from him all day.

“Thanks, Mom. You won’t regret it.” He’s very excited about the new course his life is going to take and clearly relieved about not having to see his father again.

“Well, now that that’s settled, Marlow, will you please help me clear these dishes?” I ask.

“Sure thing, Ana.”

Marlow and I are in the kitchen, clearing the dishes and putting them into the dishwasher when I take the opportunity to feel him out about what happened yesterday.

“So, Damon found you yesterday,” I begin. He shakes his head.

“You’re not very creative, Ana. ‘Marlow, will you help me clear the dishes?'” he says mimicking my voice.

“Okay, so I’m not creative. So start talking.” I lean against the sink. “What’s up? What did you feel when you saw him?” He sighs and leans against the counter, folding his arms.

“Scared. Mad. He’s like… everywhere! How does a guy like that make so many friends?” he hisses.

“I don’t know. People like him prey on others in many ways. You never know what he has told them. He is most likely making Marcia out to be the villain, you know, which is why it is a good thing that she agreed to the security. He will still have people everywhere keeping tabs on you guys and he will try again to get close to you guys. I think I want you to take some self-defense classes. How do you feel about that?” I ask.

“Hell, that would be great!” he exclaims.

“You wouldn’t have a problem hitting your own father if he attacked you?” He glares at me.

“Are you serious? With all of the hits that I took at his hand, I think I’ve got some catching up to do!” He says as he rubs his sore arm. I point at it.

“Can I see it?” I ask him.

“Are you sure you want to?” he says. “It looks pretty bad.”

“Yes, I want to see it.” He pauses, then takes his arm out of his sleeve. It is literally black and blue… and purple—a huge bruise where I can vaguely see the shape of Damon’s hand but it is more of a large contusion now.

“That fucking bastard!” I say before I think about my words. “I ought to kick his fucking coward ass!” Marlow glares at him.

“Whoa! Back up, Ana,” Marlow warns. “He’s way bigger than you and besides, Mr. Grey kicked his ass anyway.”

“Size doesn’t mean a thing. I can still kick his ass.” Marlow’s face fills with worry as he pulls down his shirt sleeve.

“Ana, please, don’t go after him. I don’t want to see you in the hospital again… please…”

“The only reason I was in the hospital is because I was attacked from behind and drugged… and that asshole hit me while I was handcuffed!” Marlow’s is horrified. I don’t remember if I shared that information with him or not, but it is clearly too much for him to hear. I need to put this fire out, now. “Don’t worry, Marlow. I won’t go after your father. I will leave that to the professionals, but I can’t guarantee that I will be on my best behavior if I ever run into his ass!” I say pointing in his face. Marlow’s eyes are large and he swallows hard.

“They handcuffed… and beat you, Ana?” he says softly. My shoulders fall. I never should have told him that. He is so protective of the women in his life and now, he feels that way towards me, too. I sigh.

“Yes, Marlow. Harris beat me while I was handcuffed—but he’s dead now, okay? He took five bullets in return for what he did to me, so you don’t have to worry. I have my bodyguard now, and my guns—both of which I didn’t have with me when I was abducted, so it won’t happen again, okay?” He drops his head and nods. I see a tear fall from his eye and I walk over to him. “Talk to me, Marlow.”

“Why do guys do that?” he asks, his voice just over a whisper. “Beat on women and kids—why don’t they pick on somebody their own size?”

“Because they are weak and it makes them feel strong,” I reply.

“My dad’s not weak. He’s as strong as a bull,” Marlow protests.

“But he’s weak here,” I put my hands on his chest, “and he’s weak here.” I put my hand on his temple. “He has physical strength, but he’s weak in his heart, his mind, and his soul. Promise me that you will never let that happen to you.”

He nods. “I promise.”

“You will take care of Marcia and Maggie, get good grades, never do drugs or turn to crime, and I will always be here for you whenever you need me. We will always be friends, right?”

He nods again. “Yes, ma’am,” he says his voice cracking.

“Good, and if you feel like you can’t talk to me or your mother about something, promise me that you will talk to Christian… okay?” He laughs a bit and I can only imagine some of the conversations that he has had with Christian.

“Yes, ma’am, I will.”

“Good, now give me a hug.” He bends his tall body down and embraces me. The moment his head hits my shoulder, he begins to weep bitterly. All of his anguish picks this moment to release. He has been so angry, so tormented for months, and even though he has opened up more and more to me and his mom, I think he was never really able to let his guard down until now. Christian told me that he really let loose on Damon in the deli yesterday and I really think he needed that. Even though he didn’t get the answers that he needed, he was able to let his father know what was inside him. He was stewing in hatred and he had to let it out. Now, it’s time to let it go, but that will be a much harder, much longer road for him.

He cried for several minutes and I just let him get it out. I heard someone come into the kitchen a little while ago and I think it may have been Christian, but he wisely left us alone. Marlow cried himself into exhaustion and I led him to the sink to wash his face. I fixed him a cranberry spritzer and told him that everything was going to be okay, now.

“Ana… I never blamed Mom for any of this,” he began. “I know that she was going through a bad time and trying to figure out what to do, but… I was going through a bad time too, and… nobody was there for me. I never had anybody to… well, thanks, Ana.” He drops his head again. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“Anytime,” I say with a smile.

*-*

I watch the door after Marlow and his family leave. Christian steps cautiously over to me, eyeing me curiously.

“Butterfly?” he says trepidatiously.

“What have you found out about Damon Johnson?” I say, impassively. I feel the energy change in the room. I know you’re checking him out, Grey. What have you found?

“He’s still in jail for violating the protection order, not sure how long he’ll be there. His background check hasn’t come back yet, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t say much except that he’s an asshole. I’ve seen his kind before.”

“You swear to me… swear to me that he will never get within 10 feet of that young man again.” The conviction in my voice startles even me. My eyes shoot up to him. “Swear it, Christian!” He steps back from me.

“I swear it. If I have anything to do with it, he will never see or touch Marlow again,” he vows. I try to nod, but my body seems to not be cooperating. Before I know it, Christian has me cocooned in his arms and I am weeping. “Please, Baby, please don’t cry. I hate it when you cry.”

“It’s not fair!” I wail. “He’s a good kid! He’s a really good kid! It’s not fair!”

“I know, Butterfly. We’ll take care of them now, okay? I promise you, Johnson won’t be able to hurt them again.”

“Thank you, Christian,” I say, clinging to his neck. “Thank you so much. You’re such a good man.”

“I have a good woman,” he says, kissing me on my cheek as I continue to weep. Some people are just so damned evil and I just don’t get it. Carly Madison-Perry, Robert Harris, the Mortons, the Whitmores, Elena Lincoln—how do you live being so damned evil inside? Not just bad, evil! I don’t even understand how you survive surrounded by so much blackness. I’m so glad that there is redemption for some people—like Melanie… and Christian… and even Kate—but still a bit forlorn that there seem to be no hope for the Damon Johnsons and Edward Davids of the world.

Dear Lord, whatever happens in my life, I will never allow myself to fall into that sort of darkness. I will fight tooth and nail to always see the light at the end of the tunnel, to always find the good in a bad situation, and to never lose hope no matter how hopeless a situation may seem. I survived Green Valley, Edward David, and Robert Harris. I’m ready to live—really live. I’m ready to enjoy my life and my love and my friends. This man holding me has shown me what real love is, and I’m going to bask in it every day of my life.

Ace told me that we make our own bed in life, that we can’t control all of the circumstances that come our way, but we can control how we react to them and what we do with them. At the end of the day, it’s our attitude, actions, and interpretations that make all the difference—not those of others or of people around us… ours! That young man has showed me through his pain that I truly need to make every day count… and that’s what I plan to do.

———————————————————————————————

A/N: 

Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc. can be found at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/mending-dr-steele/

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Feel free to review—it is greatly appreciated.

Love and Handcuffs!
Lynn x

Timing–It’s All In The Timing (Out of the mouth of Christian)

So… anybody who is on my Facebook page knows that Christian and Ana were having a disagreement in my head the other day about the contents of a future chapter that hasn’t even been written yet. It wasn’t even the chapter that they had a problem with… it was the idea of the chapter. Ana thought the motivation should be one thing and Christian respectfully disagreed. However, while they were respectfully disagreeing about the motivation—the motivation… geez—I couldn’t write the damn chapter. I finally gave up and told them to carry their asses to sleep—which we did—but unfortunately, I lost the idea for the chapter.

Having said that, it’s important for you to know that these people are very alive and well and living in my head on a regular basis! They talk, they fight, they fuck, they have ideas, and I get the front row seat to it most of the time. So if you didn’t think I was crazy before, welcome to my world… I’m completely certifiable!

So now, Christian is standing here with his hands in his pocket—much like he’s doing up there—telling me that he has something he wants to say. Now, I’m a little warm with him right now, because if he had just shut the hell up and let me get the chapter on paper… or docx… or voice memo… we could have argued about motivation later. Patrick-Swayze-image-patrick-swayze-36319883-1500-1029However, being the arrogant, dominant, I-don’t-give-a-fuck-I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now CEO that he is, he reminded me that I have allowed Butterfly to say her piece and he wants to say his now (heavy sigh—he’s being a pain in the ass). He has informed me that if I don’t give him his say that he will keep me awake like Patrick Swayze did to Whoopie Goldberg in “Ghost” singing “Henry the Eighth I Am.” Bastard.

So, as if Ana’s oration wasn’t enough, here’s Christian’s…

CG: Gee, thanks. That was such a warm introduction.
Me: Don’t give me shit, Grey. You cost me a chapter and I’m angry about it.
CG: Excuse me, I wasn’t alone in that disagreement!
Me: No, you weren’t, but Ana’s not in my face trying to get me to “insert her point of view here” when I should be editing tomorrow’s chapter.
CG: That’s because she already said her piece!
Me: Keep it up, okay? I’ll get wine drunk and won’t type a word, and you can go scream “Henry the Eighth” from the top of Mt. Charleston!
CG: (folding his arms) You sure can be a pissy little thing, can’t you?
Me: (reaching for my wine glass and heading for the Sangria)
CG: Fuck, fine, okay. Let’s get on with it.

An address from Christian Grey (happy now?):

Yes, I am hopelessly in love with her.
Yes, I am shamelessly obsessed with her.
Yes, I desperately want to marry her…
But I have learned some valuable lessons in the 30 years that I have been on this earth, the most valuable being that there are three key factors involved in making a big decision:

Location…
Method…
And most importantly, timing.

I didn’t become a multibillionaire by jumping the gun, and I’m not about to start now.

Things are finally falling into place for me and Butterfly. We still have some hurdles to jump, but I am more certain than ever that we will come overcome all of these adversities with flying colors! She is an exceptional, brave, magnificent woman and she deserves nothing but the best.

When I choose a gift for her, it is often custom-made—intricate details, the best materials, lots of thought… and presented at the right moment.

When I make that beautiful body sing, I take my time—savor her flavor, her smell, every crease and dimple in her skin. That process can’t be hurried.

The perfect grapes are crushed to make the world’s finest wines. The nectar is then aged from several months to several years in quality barrels—preferably super-fine grain French oak—to produce that je ne sais quoi that distinguishes a $2000 vintage from a $50 bottle. When I made my move on this precious flower, I presented her with a bottle of her favorite wine, aged in the French oak and waiting for her. Though I never got a chance to sample it, I know that it wrapped her taste buds in luxurious flavor and slid down her throat like a liquid orgasm.

Location—one of the most exclusive restaurants in Seattle, though I must admit that I didn’t pick it.
Method—her favorite wine, an exquisite vintage, delivered by the owner of the establishment while I sat a short distance away, looking out of the window over the Sound as if the gesture were an afterthought and not the entire purpose of my evening.
Timing—right when the asshole pissed her off (did I mention that the bottle he picked was less than $100); and once she left him sitting at the table holding his balls in his hand along with his pride, I swoop in and escort her and her car safely back to her apartment, where we subsequently had hot sex all night.

Timing… it’s all about the timing. I could have picked a lesser vintage of Cabernet. We could have been at a different restaurant. But the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

When he showed up at her apartment, I waited to hear the context of the conversation instead of charging into the apartment to save the day. Right at that moment when I heard her make it clear that she didn’t want him there, I made my presence known prompting her to catapult herself into my arms at that very moment. A few seconds earlier and she may have just stood there enraged, staring at him. A few seconds later and she may have run out of the room crying, leaving me to handle the psychopathic, delusional asshole.

Neither of those happened.

I walked in just as she was having the biggest part of her adrenaline breakdown. When she heard me re-enforce that it was time for him to leave, she launched herself at me in pure relief. He left that day with the image in his head of the woman that he wanted in my arms clinging to me and tearfully ordering him to leave her home. That outcome couldn’t have been more perfect.

Timing… it’s all about the timing.

When I am tormenting that body, I know just when to stop my lick, my stroke, my ministrations so that her orgasm builds, then wanes, then builds, then wanes, then builds until she explodes in maddening pleasure becoming a limp, whimpering, sexy ball of flesh in my hands.

Timing… it’s all about the timing.

When it’s time to make a move, I move. Very few opportunities—business or personal—slip through my fingers. I am not perfect, and every so often something gets by me. Shit happens. However, in most situations, I am proudly the predator and most often the victor.

I make boardrooms quiver and executives sweat while I wait until the last possible moment to reveal if I am going to be the White Knight or the hostile bidder. By that time, there is nothing they can do but accept their fate or go into bankruptcy.

I have made many women wonder if they would be that special someone—never by deception, but by perfecting my skills as an artist. Yes, artist. What I do to a woman’s body—in pleasure and in pain—can only be described as art… magic, if you will. I’m not modest. I know what I want, and I know what I have to do to get what I want. I am monogamous. If I wanted a sub to be faithful, I had to treat her right and make her body quiver like a tuning fork.

That’s not timing… that’s skill. However, skill is often based on timing.

Sometimes, timing needs a little help—the right people at the right places, the right information, the right tools. But believe me, none of these things are any good if your timing is off.

Timing is everything… it’s all about the timing.

And when it’s time, I’m going to put a ring on it. So don’t rush me… I fucking hate being rushed.

Christian Grey
CEO, Grey Enterprise Holdings, Inc

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 40: Drawing to a Close

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 40—Drawing to a Close

GREY

Mrs. Crestwood didn’t tell me much of anything that I didn’t already know—except that I didn’t know that Butterfly had depended on her so much during those last two years, and I can truly see that Mrs. Crestwood cared about her. This wasn’t just a favor to “family;” she was genuinely concerned about Butterfly. I’ll be happy when the time comes that I can tell Ana about this trip. I think it would do Mrs. Crestwood some good to see how well Butterfly really is doing.

Williams has taken Taylor and me to a little bar on the east side of Vegas called Dylans. It’s nothing spectacular or even seedy. It’s just one of those neighborhood, side street bars and gambling halls that the locals frequent to unwind. There is one particular local here that has my interest this evening… Stephen Morton. He’s a fair distance from home tonight. In fact, he’s closer to Mrs. Crestwood’s neck of the woods. I’m wondering if Whitmore may have tipped him off that someone is snooping around. He would certainly want to get his money’s worth… and my little trip to the bank will insure that I get mine.

Once again, Taylor is positioned at the end of the bar and I have taken a seat closer to Morton.

“What’ll ya have, friend?” The bartender asks.

“I’ll have what he’s having.” I say pointing to Morton. The bartender looks over to Morton, who looks at me suspiciously, “and I’ll buy him a refill.” After an expectant pause, Morton murmurs, “Gin and tonic.” As the bartender goes to fill our drinks, Morton asked, “Do I know you?”

“I don’t know,” I reply, “Do you? Christian Grey.” Morton turns back to his drink.

“Can’t says I do.” He says, bottoming out his glass. “So to what do I owe the pleasure of your company? I’m sure you want something. Not accustomed to seeing expensive suits wander into this place.”

Stephen Morton is a shell of a man. I can’t really gauge his height, but whatever it is, he’s shortened further by the stance of a man who appears to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. His skin is that clammy gray color that comes from too much alcohol and not enough nourishment. He looks like he slept in his clothes—they’re wrinkled but not dirty. He has the stale smell of alcohol that has saturated his body and now seeps through his pores. I can tell that he’s harmless enough, he’s just not there anymore. He’s one of those people who just floats in and out of a day with no particular purpose. The bartender brings our drinks to us and I send him away with a $50 bill.

“You look like you could use a meal.” I say. He raises his head slowly after swigging his gin and tonic.

“What’s it to you?” He says, his voice clear and concise. He appears to have just crossed over into the Land of the Drunks in that his appearance and language has not completely deteriorated, but he clearly doesn’t care anymore.

“Nothing really,” I said, sipping on the grotesquely watered-down drink made with obscenely cheap gin. Yeah, I won’t be finishing this. “But we have a mutual acquaintance in common… a few in fact.” He turns on his bar stool.

“I’m friends with someone who is friends with you?” He says, incredulously.

“I didn’t say friend, I said acquaintance.” I say, turning to face him. “Before I tell you that, I’d like to know something. What do you hear of your stepdaughter these days?” Morton’s head jerks back quickly.

“My stepdaughter!?” He asked. “I haven’t seen her for years! It’s a shame she doesn’t even call her own mother.” He adds. I wonder why that is, Asshole?

“Why do you think she wouldn’t want to speak to her mother? Could it have anything to do with the incident at the bonfire?” I ask casually. His eyes narrow.

“What do you know about that?” He asks coldly.

“Everybody knows about it. Young girl horribly beaten at a bonfire… no suspects. That’s no secret.” I continue.

“Yeah, but that happened 10 years ago. Why are you so curious about it now? What are you, a reporter? Looking for a story?”

“No, I’m no reporter.” I fold my hands on the bar. “But I am looking for information.”

“For what?” He says.

“I want to know exactly what happened to Anastasia. I can’t for the life of me figure out why something this bad happened in an affluent community and you were all willing to sweep it under the rug—particularly you and her mother.” I say the last word with more disdain than I intended. He looks at me and back at his drink.

“All I know is that Carla called me to the hospital telling me that the girl was there and she wasn’t waking up. She didn’t wake up for a few weeks. She didn’t finish that school year either.” He swigs his drink again. I gesture to Taylor, who comes over and occupies the stool on the other side of me.

“I’m sure you know more than that.” I say to Morton and Taylor pulls a ream of bills out of his jacket and puts it on the counter in front of me. Morton eyes the bills and then looks at me.

“How are you?” He asks.

“I told you. I’m Christian Gray.”

“What is this to you?” He presses.

“That is of no consequence. What’s important here is that I want to know every single little thing you know about this situation, including how it involves Cody Whitmore.” Now Morton sits up straight and has that Green-Valley-ready-to-run look on his face.

“I don’t know nothing about Cody Whitmore.” He says quickly, like the phase is a rehearsed answer to the question; practiced, ingrained, and perfected over 11 years—name, rank, serial number, and I don’t know nothing about Cody Whitmore.

Oh yes you do.” I say calmly. “I have a record of $750,000 that guarantees that you do. You want to try again?”

“Look!” He says, leaning in to me and looking over his shoulders to see if anyone could hear him. “If you know about that money, then you know damn well that I can’t say shit. Nobody has asked me anything about that shit in 10 years. So tell Whitmore that his fucking secret is safe with me!” He spits. I didn’t think I could dislike this man anymore than I already did. I was wrong.

“Morton, I already know your kind.” I sneer. “You’d sell your soul for a dollar and you sold your stepdaughter for three quarters of a mil—part of which I’m told was supposed to have been her college fund. Now she’s buried in student loan debt because you, what, drank away her future? I don’t work for that phony, fake, small-time, fucking poser Whitmore. When I’m done with that asshole, he won’t know what hit him, and if you’re afraid of him then you should be fucking terrified of me!” I am glaring in his eyes and he is completely devoid of arrogance or haughtiness of any kind. I only see uncertainty and fear. “I’m making two lists of people to take with me when I leave Vegas. Which list will you be on?” I say, picking up the stack of bills and slamming them down on the bar in front of him.

Morton looks from the bills to me a few times, then begrudgingly asks, “What do you want to know?”

“Where to begin? Ah, how about your first meeting with Whitmore, when Anastasia told you that little shit raped her. Let’s start there.” I growl. He swallows.

“Well, we went to Whitmore’s and confronted him and the boy. The kid swore he didn’t rape her… that they went to the desert and had sex and that she was trying to blackmail him or something. I was suspicious at first, but then, Whitmore starts talking about how his kid was an honor student and on the football team, well-known around school. While we were talking, the kid’s girlfriend shows up—gorgeous little blonde thing that shouldn’t have been in high school! It’s illegal the way these girls look—like grown women! And their mothers don’t have the good sense to make them put on some damn clothes!” Well, that’s new—an asshole with some morals.

“Anyway, one look at that Carly girl and I thought there’s no way this kid would have raped Ann. Rich, good-looking, popular kid with a hot little girlfriend is taking this poor little dusty nobody to the desert to rape her? Come on, Man…” He finishes his drink and gestures for another. My blood is boiling.

“So you took the word of some stranger over your stepdaughter because he had money and a hotter girlfriend? Did you expect the lecherous little dick to wave his hands and openly admit to it?” Is this guy for real? He suddenly turns to glare at me.

“I’m not going to let you sit here and put me in judgment for this shit. I’ll tell you what I know, but you are not going to cut me down for my decisions. Whether they were right or wrong, you don’t get to judge me and I don’t give a fuck who you are, Mr. Grey!” You have to admire the man—he’s got a pair. I respect his chutzpah, but that’s all I respect about this guy.

“By any chance, did you take a look at Anastasia when you left that day? Did you pay any attention to her behavior after that day?” I ask, coldly. He shrugged.

“I was pissed that she was trying to pull me into this—whatever game she was playing with Whitmore. I wasn’t paying any attention to her. She was always kind of a quiet kid, but if you’re asking if I noticed a broken little girl that turned into a recluse because she had been raped and nobody believed her, no! I didn’t notice that!” He was very sarcastic, spitting the words at me as he knew exactly where I was going.

“Listen, you sarcastic worthless piece of shit. I already have enough information to ruin the lives of a whole lot of Green Valley’s good citizens, including you. My only reason for speaking to you today is to try to understand the mechanics of this situation because I already have my primary targets! To say that I am losing my patience with you would be a lie. My patience for you was gone before I even took a seat. I want to try to fill in some blanks, but I don’t fucking need to sit here and listen to your shitty ass attitude because you don’t want anybody drawings conclusions about your feeding a young girl to the dogs! Contrary to how you feel I should judge this situation Mr. Morton, I do hold you responsible for what happened to Anastasia. Now are you going to talk to me with some manners and behave like a good little boy, or do I take my wads of cash and go?” Almost on cue, Taylor takes out another ream of bills and places it in front of me on the bar. Morton reaches for the first ream that I placed in front of him.

“Touch those bills before I tell you that this transaction is concluded and my bodyguard here will break your fucking arm… assuming that the one at the door doesn’t shoot you first.” His hand freezes midair and he turns to see Lawrence sitting at a table near the door watching him.

“Are you mafia or something?” He asks, his voice unsure. Are you kidding me!?

“Why would I tell you that?” I spit. “Are you a slimy little man that marries divorcees then effectively sells their daughters’ virginity to young violent rich pricks with hot girlfriends?” His shoulders deflate at this statement. Fuck the kid gloves, this asshole is getting on my nerves. I just want to see if he can fill in any blanks for me. As I could see that he was duly chastised, I continued with my questioning.

“How soon after your meeting with Whitmore was Anastasia attacked?” I ask through my teeth. He paused to think.

“I don’t know… a couple of weeks, maybe. Not too long.” He answers.

“And let me guess—you had your head stuck so far up your ass that you never thought the two could have been connected.” I sneer.

“I was sure that they were connected. That’s how I got the money from Whitmore.” He says. What the fuck!? It’s very hard to maintain the CEO impassive face right now.

“Elaborate.” I say, placing the second set of bills in front of him. He licks his lips and bottoms out his drink, gesturing for another one. Good Lord, his liver must be pickled.

“When Carla called and told me that Ann was in the hospital and she had been beaten, my mind went immediately to Whitmore. I went to the hospital and saw her beaten all to hell and I was scared, okay? I didn’t know if she was going to die or wake up and start talking or what the hell was going to happen. The doctors told us that she had lost her baby. I didn’t even know that she was pregnant. Something changed in Carla that day. She sat there by Ann’s bed for three days not saying anything. On the fourth day, she left the hospital and only came back a few more times to check on her before Ann woke up.” So basically, Ana woke up all beat to hell in a hospital, alone. No doubt, she thought they blamed her for what happened to her and she still feels that way. No doubt, they did blame her for what happened.

“When she woke up, she didn’t remember anything that happened. She didn’t even remember being pregnant.” That’s because she didn’t know, you asshole. “Once she was released from the hospital, Raymond came and got her. He said he would take care of her if Carla allowed him. They went off to Washington somewhere and that’s when I approached Whitmore.”

He approached Whitmore? All this time, I thought it was the other way around.

“I told him how much of a coincidence it was that my daughter had been beaten so badly on the Madison Ranch weeks after she accused his honor-roll son of raping her.” The Madison Ranch! Carly fucking Madison!

“How do you know it was the Madison Ranch?” I ask coolly.

“You hear things. It was the Madison Ranch.” He says. The alcohol seems to be getting to him a bit. He’s starting to sound a little maudlin. I better get everything out of him that I can before he’s a useless mound on the bar.

“Madison, as in Carly Madison—Cody’s hot little blonde girlfriend?” I ask. He nods, still looking into his drink.

“I brought that to his attention, that it all seemed so strange that nobody had any information about what happened to her, but the cops found her on the Madison Ranch a couple of weeks after she accused his son of rape. I mentioned that they did a rape kit because of the violence of the act and that even though it came back that she had not been raped that night that they kept the embryo and could run DNA if Ann were to give them a suspect.”

“They had to know that meant nothing. That just means that Cody got her pregnant—it didn’t mean that he had anything to do with her attack.” I point out.

“Apparently, they didn’t know that—or they were too frightened or too nervous to think about that. All of this stuff put together gives the police probable cause…” Except the police had their own reasons for not pursuing the matter. “… That was enough to take to Whitmore. I originally went for answers. Ann was gone and Carla has changed. People were looking at us like some circus side show. Yeah, the community was shaken since everybody claimed not to know what happened. But hell, I had to go outside of the city just to buy a bar of soap! It was fucking ridiculous.” I guess not as ridiculous as a young girl being beaten nearly to death and never seeing justice.

“What happens next?” I keep my voice flat. Morton is still throwing back gin and tonics like water.

“Whitmore tells me that he needs some time to talk to his kid and find out how true this shit could be. I thought I had lost my meal ticket. About a month later, he comes to me telling me that we had a deal, but I had to get Ann back to Nevada so that we could be sure that she wouldn’t talk. Carla and I had a terrible fight about that. She didn’t want Ann to come back. She wanted her to stay in Washington with Ray so that both of them could have some kind of normal life.” He said.

“Ray and Ana?” I asked.

Carla and Ann.” He corrected me. “She talked about how young she was when she had Ann and how it basically ruined her whole life and now that Ann was gone and Carla was still somewhat of a young woman, she could have a life now. Carla was being accepted into some of the social circles before this shit happened with Ann, and she was fighting to get back what little standing that she had with the snobs of Green Valley. Ann had picked up where she left off in Montesano, so according to Carla it was working out for everybody… except for me, that is.” He’s taking another swallow of his drink and I am getting sicker and sicker listening to this man.

“What finally convinced Carla to bring Ana back here?” I ask.

“The money… and the fact that I wouldn’t let up on it. We showed up at Ray’s and told Ann that it was time to go home. That was the fight from hell. Although Ray had given Ann his name, he never adopted her and he wasn’t on her birth certificate, so he didn’t have any legal rights. Just like I couldn’t force Ann to come to Nevada, Ray didn’t have any rights to fight for her to stay in Washington. Ann begrudgingly came back to Nevada and she was an unbearable little shit from the moment she got there.”

“Fuck! Wouldn’t you be?” I spit before I could stop myself. “Just consider this just for a second. You’re a young girl and you’ve been raped and nobody believes you. Two or three weeks after you’ve been raped, you’re brutally beaten by unknown assailants in the community in which you live. You manage to escape the community only to have the people that should be protecting you come and get you from your safe haven and bring you back to hell! How would you feel, Mr. Morton? Erase that whole money thing you’ve got going on and the fact that you had to go to Walmart in Sunrise Manor instead of Green Valley and consider for a moment how that young girl must have felt. Think for one second—just for one fucking second—that she may have been telling you the truth about what happened to her! That she was the undeserving victim of a violent crime twice in one month and you sold her like a piece of cattle!”

“I know that she was telling the truth.” He has the nerve to have a little shame in his voice… and again, I’m shocked.

“How did you know?” I spit.

“He was too willing to pay me off. He was too willing to shut me up. He would have given me anything that I asked for, I knew it. I asked for 750 and he agreed immediately. I did plan on giving some to Ann, but she acted so fucked up when she got back…” He trailed off.

“That you decided to punish her further.” I finished, steam coming off my forehead. He didn’t respond.

“I probably could have gotten some money from that Madison kid, too, but I didn’t want to press my luck.” He mutters.

“What happened after she came back here?” I spit, seething.

“Nothing. She went to school in Vegas. She got a job. She was never home. Her mother and I rarely saw her and when we did, she was aloof on good days and a terror on bad ones. Carla stopped dealing with her completely.” Neither one of you would have had to deal with her if you had left her in peace in Montesano with Ray.

“Any idea why nobody was ever arrested or even questioned about this?” I ask.

“I don’t know. Maybe somebody paid off the cops, too. That one cop kept coming around asking if Ann remembered anything, but she didn’t.”

“Oh, she did. She remembered everything.” I said. A look of pure horror came over his face. “She remembers being attacked from behind, thrown into the trunk of a car, dragged naked to a bonfire, and being brutally beaten and burned with no idea as to why this was happening to her! As I listen to this atrocity—this complete and utter travesty of justice—I can’t believe that something like this could happen in 21st century America! This has the look and smell of the brutal lynchings of the 50’s and 60’s. I can’t believe something this monstrous could still be happening in my lifetime! If I hadn’t seen it unfold with my own eyes, I would believe this was the conspiracy theory of a sick mind running around with a tin-foil hat! I hope you got your money’s worth!” I said, pushing the bills into his face and standing to leave.

“This is not my fault!” He defends and I walk pass him. “I didn’t rape her, and I certainly didn’t tell her to go swinging her ass around some young kid! These young girls are out here being prick teases and then want to scream rape when they are expected to deliver!” I realize this is probably the alcohol talking… or maybe he’s just being an asshole again. Unfortunately for him, my fist couldn’t tell the difference when it made a clean connection with his face, sending him sailing out of the barstool and landing on the sticky saloon floor. I stand over him as he is lying on his back holding his jaw.

“Now you get to know the importance of who I am. I am in love with Anastasia. I hope that one day in the future, she will consent to be my wife, and spend the rest of her life with me. I plan to bring down every single person involved in her attack. I plan to have Whitmore and his snide little rapist son begging me to release my clutches from them, which by the way, I won’t. I haven’t decided what you deserve yet. I do know this… that little comment just cost you one.” I took one of the stacks of bills off of the bar and threw it over my shoulder to Taylor without looking. I have absolutely no doubt that he caught it.

“You fucking asshole!” Morton shoots, trying to get off of the floor.

“Do you want it to cost you both?” I say glaring at him. Morton purses his lips so tightly that it almost looks painful. “My regards to your wife!” I sneer as Taylor, Lawrence and I leave the bar.


DAVID

I just about have my plan in place, but I hate having to depend on this asshole Bob. I’m still not sure if I really trust him, but so far, he’s come through with everything that I need so I don’t have much of a choice. As long as I keep syphoning money to him, I can buy his help and loyalty, but I don’t doubt for a second that he would sell me out to the highest bidder—even Grey if Bob wasn’t so pissed with him.

I’m ready to get things moving. I’m normally a patient man, but I’m not sure that I can be without my Rosie for one more minute.

“We have a development.” Bob says coming into the house.

“What?”

“Grey is out of town until Friday night. If we want to move on this, we probably want to do it before he gets back. Not much he can do from a distance, but it’s going to be all hell when he gets back.” I couldn’t care less about that fucking Rich Boy as long as I can get to my Rosie, but Bob’s right—it will be easier if he’s not around to influence her in any way.

“Friday, then, before Grey gets back. You’ll take care of her guard.” I confirm.

“Friday it is, then.” He nods. One more day, Rosie. Just one more day.


STEELE

Christian and I were both completely exhausted when he Skyped me last night. Not only had we both had terribly trying days, but it was after 11:00 when he finally got a chance to call me. I know that he bought a beautiful new desk and filing cabinet for the library for me and I was pleasantly surprised when I got back to Escala this evening. It was wonderful not to have to use the small table that I had commandeered for my laptops and files—and I had somewhere to put important documents. He’s such a wonderful man. He doesn’t make room for me in his life—he makes sure that there is room for me in his life, which is completely different. I told him about my visit to Helping Hands and my breakthrough with Marlow. He informed me about tracking down one of Whitmore’s shady business deals that’s making him more and more certain that Christian won’t be doing business with him.

Thank fuck for that!

I ask Christian when he will be home tomorrow and he informs me that it’s looking more like late afternoon or early evening than tomorrow night as he had originally planned. That makes me happy as my soul is aching for him. Even though we were both too tired for Cyberplay, he still stayed on Skype with me until I fell asleep.

Friday, I am refreshed and ready to face my day, thrilled beyond thrilled that my man will be home this afternoon. I see my regular Friday patients and I am sitting at my desk when my iPhone rings. It’s Ray.

“Hey, Dad. How are you?” I answer the phone. Maybe he’s coming down for the weekend again. I’m wondering if I should introduce him to Christian. Is he ready for that? Hell, he introduced me to Mandy.

Hey, Annie. You got a minute?” Oh hell, please don’t ask me if you can marry Mandy. I’m all for happily ever after, but give me a chance to absorb the whole Dad’s got a girlfriend thing before we start hearing wedding bells.

“Sure. What’s up?” I brace myself.

What do you hear about Green Valley these days?” Green Valley!? What the hell!?

“Absolutely nothing!” I spit, Whitmore’s name bubbling up in the back of my throat like bile. Why in the hell is Green Valley rearing its head at me right now? “Why do you ask me that? What do you hear about Green Valley these days?”

Well, I got a call from Carla this morning.” I gasp.

“What the fuck does C… I’m sorry, Dad. What does Carla want?” I spit. Why the hell is this woman calling my father?

I was wondering the same thing. She called me trying to find out if I had someone down there looking into that incident that happened to you all those years ago. I have no clue what she’s talking about. She told me that there’s some suit down there asking questions about your attack. You know how I hate talking to that woman.”

“Dad, I need you to tell me exactly what you’re talking about because right now I’m a little clueless.” Somebody is digging into Green Valley again? What the hell? Why can’t this nightmare just fucking die already?

Some guy cornered Carla’s husband in a bar. She said the guy roughed him up to get information out of him about your attack. I don’t know how true that is since Stephen is heavy on the bottle these days, but Carla says he came back bruised and beaten talking about some guy named Grey digging into the… situation.” Christian.

“What the hell? What do you mean? I know that he went down there and I know that he was talking to Whitmore…” And then the light bulb goes off. The last time someone was asking questions in Green Valley, Christian was doing a background check and where is Christian now—in Nevada!

Who is this guy and why is he in Nevada? And who is Whitmore?” Ray has gone many years without any answers to these questions. Now I think the chickens are coming home to roost.

I sink back in my chair and tell my father everything about Green Valley—the rape, Stephen’s unsuccessful confrontation of the Whitmores, what I remembered about the beating. Ray fell deathly silent listening to me tell the horrifying tale that was the last two years of my childhood. I informed him that Christian was the one that initiated the background check that scared me half to death, and why he did it. I think I knocked the wind out of him when told him that Christian and I were now dating.

You’re dating again? I think that’s wonderful.”

“Thanks, Dad.” I respond, less than enthusiastic.

What’s wrong, Annie?” Ray presses. I sigh.

“He lied to me, Dad. He told me that he was going to see Whitmore about K&R Insurance. He knew the whole time why he was going down there to talk to that snake, and he lied to me.” Some Mistress I am! I can’t get him to tell me the truth about something so vital… we’re just playing games here. Of course, I didn’t ask him about this in Domme mode… it might have turned out differently—but that’s beside the point. “I asked him not to pursue this… and he said that he wouldn’t. Now he’s down there stirring this pot all over again.” I put my hand on my forehead. This shit will never just die, will it?

He must care about you a lot to single-handedly try to find out what happened to you.” Ray points out.

“Dad, you don’t understand. The cornerstone of our relationship is trust. It’s extremely important.” More important than even you know, Ray. “If we can’t trust each other, we simply can’t continue.” I am fighting back the tears that are threatening my eyelids. “I have to be able to trust that he is truthful with me and he needs that same guarantee from me.” I sigh. “I gotta go, Dad.”

Annie, before you make any rash decisions, just hear him out, okay? I don’t know this guy, but if he’s willing to take on a town to find out what happened to my daughter, then he’s okay in my book.”

“I will, Dad. I love you.”

I love you, too, Annie.” I hang up the phone and resist the urge to scream. I snatch my purse and phone and breeze out the door, telling Marilyn that our day is over. Chuck is nearly running, trying to keep up with me. I get to elevator and punch the floor before he can catch me. I’m not trying to get away from him, I just need to get the hell out of here. He must be wearing Mercury’s winged shoes because he is on the ground floor before the elevator gets there.

“Ana?” He questions, but I just run past him and out the door to my car. He is hot on my tail in the Audi as I break several traffic laws to get to my apartment. I am damn near out of my car before it stops moving to get to the elevator. I stop Chuck before he gets in.

“I need to be alone. You don’t have to leave, but right now, I need to be alone.” I say, fighting back angry tears.

“Let me ride up with you and I’ll stand outside. Is that okay?” He bargains. I nod. We ride up the elevator in silence and I dash to my apartment once the doors open, slamming and locking the door behind me. He can’t be down there doing thishe can’t be. After the whole ordeal we had last week… he couldn’t possibly betray my trust this way. I feel like my chest is going to cave in on me. There must be some mistake. Someone is mistaken—that’s what it is. If Christian had gone to Green Valley, George would have called me. I’ll call George. He’ll know what this is about.

My heart sinks when I get George on the phone and he doesn’t want to talk to me.

“Why would I want to talk to you once you sent your dogs after me after all of this?” George says.

“I have no idea what’s going on, George. I just got a call from my dad. What’s happening?” I yell. After a pause,

“You really don’t know, do you?” George asks incredulously.

“No, I don’t! Every time something happens, you call me. Why didn’t you call me this time?” I bark.

“Because he threatened me! He told me that if I called you that there would be problems for me. So whoever you tell him that you heard this from, you didn’t hear it from me. Are we clear?”

“You got it, but you have to tell me what’s going on.” George proceeds to tell me that Christian is down in Green Valley questioning anybody and everybody that he can get his hands on to find out what happened with my attack. I can’t believe what I am hearing since I asked him not to pursue this matter.

“He said he wouldn’t do it,” I say, my voice squeaking. “I told him not to dig this up. I told him to leave this alone!”

“Well, you need to call him off,” George says. “He’s making a lot of people nervous and angry down here.” What the hell? He must’ve forgotten to whom he was speaking!

“Well, they should be nervous!” I exclaim. “They beat me and they burned me. And you may not know this, but one of them raped me—and that’s why I was beaten and burned!”

“Well, why didn’t you say any of this!?” George exclaims, horrified and something in me snapped.

“Because I told one person—one person, my stepfather—that I got raped and look what happened to me. What happens if I tried to take him to court? My word against his… a poor girl who happens to live in a nice Green Valley house against a Whitmore. I can’t even imagine what would have happened to me if I had identified anybody from the mob that tortured me, not that I really could since the fucking cowards all wore masks and only one of them spoke to me. Oh, they could all beat the shit out of me, but none of them could fucking say shit to me.

“But now the tables have turned—and those pompous, self-absorbed, entitled, rich little brats are now dealing with someone who has just as much money and power as they do if not more. This man owns more companies than they have vacation houses. Now they are shaking in their boots because they are dealing with one of the most powerful men in America now trying to get to the bottom of who attacked me 11 years ago.”

“Well, you’re going to have to do something, Ana, because he’s getting pretty close.” I fall silent for a moment. What the hell does he mean by that?

“Getting pretty close?” I ask. “Close to what, George?” George wouldn’t answer my question. “George, close to what?” Still silence on the line. And then it hit me. Mother fucking demons and bitches from hell! George knows something. “George, what do you know?”

“Ana, I don’t know anything.” He says, flatly.

“Don’t give me that, George!” I spit, my voice shaking. “If you didn’t know anything, you wouldn’t have said that he’s getting close. You’ve kept in touch with me all these years…” And the next shoe dropped. He kept in touch with me to see if I was doing anything on the case, to see if I had gotten any closer to finding out who attacked me. He always needed to know what I knew; and when anyone went digging into my past, he knew that I would do anything in my power to stop them to keep the Lambert/Steele saga under wraps. He knew that I didn’t want that to be public knowledge. So even though the law says that I had to be notified of any developments in the case, I didn’t have to be notified personally. George has a personal stake in this. All of this time, I thought he was doing this for me—but he’s not. There’s something else. I feel so fucking betrayed!

“George, I think you better give me any information that you have, because if you don’t, I’m going to set the full fury of Christian Grey loose on Green Valley. And if you think feathers have been ruffled now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, Buddy!” I hear a long pause. “Don’t think about it too long, George, because I am out of patience.”

George sighs heavily before telling me, “Vince was out past curfew the night that you were attacked and Mom called me at the station. I hated chasing that little bugger down, but I had to find him so that Mom could get some sleep. He knew that we had installed the tracking system in his car in case of theft or car trouble, and the idiot still took his own car.”

“What does your little brother have to do with me?” I say, impatient and confused. George sighs again.

“When I found Vince’s car, he was at a bonfire. When I went to the bonfire, everybody scattered like roaches so I couldn’t see who all was present… but I knew my brother’s car was there. I don’t know all of the details, but when everybody left, Vince’s car was still there. I really believe that he thought he was at a harmless bonfire and he took off somewhere to get laid or something. I don’t know if he was actually there when everything was going down—he swears that he wasn’t there and he had nothing to do with it… I had to protect my little brother, Ana…”

Am I hearing what I think I’m hearing!?

“Wait! Wait! Wait a minute!” I yell. I feel cold, pure, undiluted horror rise up from my stomach, into my chest, and start to take over my thought processes. I have to fight to form my words as my brain-to-mouth functions seem to be failing. “Are you telling me that the same bonfire where you found your brother’s car is the same bonfire where they were mutilating my body?” George was silent for a moment.

“Yes.” He says, solemnly. “I had to know if any information would lead to my brother. He swore that he had nothing to do with it, Ana, but if I pursued anybody, I would have had to pursue Vincent, too.” I’m feeling a little dizzy hearing this story. I fall down onto the sofa simply because my legs couldn’t hold me up anymore.

“You know who did this to me, don’t you, George?” I say with as much conviction as I could muster. He pauses… he’s stalling again.

“I’m not 100% sure, Ana…”

“Don’t fucking play with me, George!” I snap. My wits are at their complete end and I can’t take many more secrets at this point.

“I recognized some of the cars there, Ana. I can’t say for sure who all was there—but I knew some of the cars. But just like Vince claims that he had nothing to do with it, they could claim that they were just in the area, too. I know Vince, Ana. He’s not that kid and he’s not that man.”

“But you know who was there. And you know that some of the people that were there were that kid…” George has fallen silent again. “… and you just let them go?” Still no answer. “You found me! You saw what they did to me! You know the whole story. How could you just let them go?” I say, my voice quivering.

“I tried, Ana.” He says, desperation in his voice. “I tried to pursue them the best that I could, but somebody knew that Vincent was there. Every time I went to go investigate a lead, I got a threat against Vincent. Ever since my father died, my mother made me swear to protect him… I had to protect him Ana… I had to…” his voice trails off.

Was the whole world against me? I was the victim. I was the one that was raped, beaten, and burned. Was everybody against me? Did I have no one in my corner? Not my parents? The school? The community? The owner of the ranch where I was tortured? Not even the fucking police? Would the doctors there have even bothered to try to save my life if they hadn’t been bound by the Hippocratic oath? This can’t be real. This absolutely, positively can’t be real. Who did I piss off in a past life to deserve this kind of treatment? At 15, no less?

“I could have died, George. I could have died out there. Did you see what they did to my back? Those weren’t burns, George. Those were brands! I still have the word on my back!” There is a sharp intake of air on the other end of the line. Apparently, George never knew that the burns were actually a word.

“Ana… I…” Yeah, I would be at a loss for words, too, you bastard.

“You let an entire community of brutal bullies get away with damn-near killing me—with murdering an unborn child—to protect your brother, and you are not even certain that he didn’t have anything to do with it. Are you proud of that, Officer Sullivan?” I spit the last two words out at him. I know he can’t respond to me. What can he say to that?

“I was raped, Officer Sullivan,” I say, flatly. I hear an almost inaudible groan on the other end. Yeah, I know. I didn’t tell anybody but dear-old-pretend-Dad, and look where that got me. So of course you didn’t know. “I was raped by the son of one of Green Valley’s upstanding well-off citizens. And when I told my stepfather and we went to confront my accuser, he denied it. He said it was consensual. He told his girlfriend that I lied on him, and she told her friends, and they told their friends, and the next thing I know, I’m being dragged naked from the trunk of a car to be beaten and burned by hooded strangers.

“The only reason why I was able to connect the two incidents is because one—only one—of my attackers spoke to me and told me why this was happening to me… and I recognized her voice. They spit on me, they laughed at me, they urinated on me. I remember every slap, every kick, and every punch. Thank God I only remember one burn, because I passed out from the pain—and woke up in the hospital three-weeks later. The doctors told me that I had been attacked and that I had lost my rapist’s baby—a baby I didn’t even know I was carrying. I tried to get away, and even my parents couldn’t afford me that luxury.

“I’ve had so many nightmares about that night that right now, here in the state of Washington, I hold a license to carry a concealed weapon and I own three firearms. I’m wondering where in the world these people are and if I’ll ever have to see them again—not that I saw any of them the first time, but they would sure as hell know who I was when they saw me.” The tears are falling freely down my face as I spit the words at him.

“Now you know the full extent of my nightmare, but I am so glad that you were able to sleep soundly at night knowing that you protected your brother from such a horrible fate. Goodbye, Officer Sullivan, and good luck with Christian Grey.” I end the call. I stand up from the sofa, walk to my room, bury my face in my pillow, and scream until I have no voice.


GREY

It’s about 11:00am on Friday morning and I am only too ready to get the fuck out of Nevada. My bags are packed and I am checking out of the Bellagio. I can’t wait to be back in my Butterfly’s arms. With all the shit that I’ve learned being down here and all of the new leads I now have to follow, I don’t know how these people have been able to live with themselves. I would be just as outraged by this action if it had not been the woman that I love. How could this happen? The entire community conspired against her and she never found justice. Well, that shit is over now. I will take her to dinner tonight at Rover’s and tell her everything. It’s not going to be easy, but I don’t want to keep any more secrets from her and I want her to know that we can now bring these bastards to justice.

We are on our way to McCarran when I realize that I have settled affairs with everyone except one person in particular. All of the parties involved that have met me pretty much know where they stand—except for one person.

“Taylor, contact Sean and McCarran and let him know we will be slightly delayed. Williams, we’re making a detour…”

Security at this place sucks and if this ever happened at GEH, I would fire an entire department full of people. But I strut right into the work area of Daddy’s Little Boy, and my determined stride along with the two CIA-looking gentlemen assured that we had the attention of everyone in the office.

“I know who you are, and I know what you did. I’m going to make you pay for it. And not Mommy, Daddy, the Governor, or the fucking President is going to be able to save your ass.” I say glaring down at him in his seat.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Cody Whitmore responds, not making eye contact with me.

“I’m sure you do!” I bark. “Or after all of these years have you finally convinced yourself that it was consensual? Have you rewritten the story to make yourself believe that she wanted it? Did Daddy’s little payoff make you think rape would go away? Did the fact that you and a mob of hooded cowards have been able to frighten her into silence for a couple of years make you think that you would never have to face this again? She was 15, you sick fuck—15! And you and a heartless bunch of animals beat her damn near to death because she didn’t want to fuck you!”

I could hear various people mention Ana’s name. Yeah, the story is still alive and well in Green Valley. The Golden Boy here has finally been forced to see the levity of his actions. I can see the fear in his eyes and hear it in his voice when he speaks.

“You got it all wrong, Man. Girls say ‘no’ all the time when they really mean ‘yes.’ You know that…” He protests.

Oh no the fuck he is not trying to convince me that Ana wanted him to screw her in the back of his jeep and dump her in the middle of the desert after he has clearly admitted that she said, “no.” I try very hard to swallow the bile that is rising in the back of my throat seasoned with the flavor of sheer contempt for this man as I stare coldly into his eyes and say:

“Go back into the recesses of that sick, twisted, fucked up mind of yours—back to that place where you won’t let anybody else go and you’re afraid to go yourself—and recall that fateful day that’s about to change the rest of your fucking miserable life. Recall that day that you have no doubt recalled hundreds of times between then and now. Look at her face. Look at it good. Observe her carefully—observe her screaming and crying and most likely begging you to stop while you forcibly ripped her virginity from her, and try to tell me that she wanted it. Go ahead… try!” I growl that last word at him and I am willing the words to come out of his mouth as I would like nothing more than to kill him… right here… right now.

The office has fallen completely silent… even the phones have even stopped ringing. Whitmore has turned a sick shade of greenish-gray as I glare at him and wait for him to speak.

“The only good thing that came from this whole ordeal is that she lost your baby in the process.” His face goes from gray to flaxen white with this news. “Oh, you didn’t know. Yeah, she was pregnant. And thank God that she doesn’t have to spend the rest of her life raising a reminder of your sick ass, but what’s more is that I can sleep a little better at night knowing that your ass hasn’t procreated!” At that moment, I feel a hand on my shoulder. Without turning around, I say, “Since I haven’t laid my hands on this man, this had better be my bodyguard with his hand on my shoulder, because if it is not, you are about to have a bevy of attorneys on your ass.”

The hand quickly moves from my shoulder as simultaneously I hear Taylor’s voice say, “It’s not me, Sir.” I turn around to look into the familiar face of one Officer George Sullivan.

“Sullivan! You have got to be kidding me! They sent you?” I say with disgust.

“Mr. Grey, this is private property. You will have to leave.” He says, flatly.

“Are you the only cop in Green Valley? Is that why this whole thing has been swept under the rug all of these years? Is that why the police department has failed to do their job and has allowed a group of teenage murderers to roam the street? Is that why Anastasia was made to suffer the physical and emotional pain and humiliation all of these years? All to protect one person? All to protect Vincent?” I shoot. Sullivan is now turning the greenish-gray shade I previously witnessed on Whitmore’s face. “Oh, yes. I know all about it. You didn’t think I’d find out?”

“Mr. Grey, you need to leave.” He repeats, his voice shaking, and now I step to him.

“That’s fine. I have everything that I need now. And I’ve already warned you, I will pick this little piece of shit town apart until I get to every single person who is responsible for what happened to Ana—including your little brother.” I spit. I throw a look back at a sickly looking Cody Whitmore and then make an announcement to the office.

“Congratulations, citizens of Green Valley. Your little city is about to be the most popular place on the map…” I look from Whitmore to Sullivan, “… again!” With that, Taylor, Lawrence, and I walk out of the office.

Las Vegas is a beautiful city full of color and lights. People come from all over the world to visit the Oasis in the Desert—Sin City—What happens in Vegas… you know the rest. Money is spent and drinks are flowing, good food and gambling. There’s something for every taste in Vegas… and yet, I can imagine that the people that live there must be pretty miserable. Yes, it’s an oasis in the desert, but it is just that… a desert! A barren land with barren people who muddle about in their barren lives. The only thing I found pleasant about Las Vegas… was leaving.

When we landed at McCarran Airport in Nevada two days ago, I couldn’t help but notice the view and wonder how it was possible for people to live there. All I saw was brown… dirt and sand. Gray buildings, no life. There were tall buildings off in the distance, but there seemed to be nothing vibrant anywhere. Nothing but desert…

Landing at SeaTac this beautiful early afternoon, I am greeted with Puget Sound and the wonderful Pacific Ocean. Rows of coastal houses and businesses on beautiful green grassy hills surrounded by trees in full bloom. Here was a scene that spoke life when you saw it… and I have never been so happy to be home.

It’s about 2:30 Seattle time when we land and I immediately take out my Blackberry and call Butterfly. Her phone rings, then go to voicemail. It’s odd for her to have Friday afternoon appointments and that’s the only time that she doesn’t answer her phone. Maybe she’s doing something with Grace at Helping Hands. I send her a text so that she will see it as soon as she’s free.

**Back home in Seattle. Can’t wait to hold you in my arms. Love you.**

Lawrence and Williams are putting our bags in the SUV when Taylor comes to my side. “Sir, I think there may be a problem.”

“A problem with what?” I ask, my eyebrows furrowed.

“Ms. Steele. I got a text from Chuck that just says ‘something is wrong with her highness.'”

“Well, did you ask him what was wrong?” I bark. What the fuck is going on.

“Yes, but he doesn’t know. And this text is time stamped at 12:18… while we were in the air.” He responds.

“Shit.” I say, scrambling to get into the SUV. That’s why she’s not answering her phone. I pull out my blackberry to check my texts. Nothing. “What else did he say?” Taylor is scrolling through his texts.

“She left the office very upset and went back to her apartment…”

Her apartment?” I ask.

“Yes, sir, her apartment. She told Chuck to wait outside, but she went inside alone and locked her door. I’m waiting to see what else he says.”

“Williams, get us to Ms. Steele’s apartment. Quickly please.” What the hell has happened now?

“Wait!” Taylor exclaims and Williams pauses. “She’s back at Escala. Still very upset, but Chuck doesn’t know why.” I run my hands through my hair.

“Get me home. Now!” I order and Williams proceeds towards Escala. She was fine when I talked to her last night. What the hell happened? “Did Chuck say that anybody came to see her at the office?”

“No, sir, but I didn’t ask. I’ll ask him now.” I don’t want to alarm anyone trying to find out what is wrong with Butterfly, but it is taking everything in me not to call every one of her friends and find out if someone has spoken to her today. “No unusual visitors, Sir. She had two appointments this morning and was staying in the office to do some work. All of a sudden, she got up and left. Chuck had to run to keep up with her and ran several red lights following her to the apartment. So we will probably be getting some traffic tickets.”

“I don’t give a fuck about traffic tickets. I’m trying to find out what’s wrong with Ana.” The ride from SeaTac to Escala is only 20 minutes, but I swear it is taking hours.

**Butterfly, please answer me. **

I am racking my brain to figure out what is wrong. If someone were hurt, she would have told Davenport. She wanted to be alone in her own apartment, and she locked him out. She’s upset about something, but nobody knows what it is, and from her behavior, she’s really upset.

“Sir… could she know?” Taylor asked.

“Know what?” I ask, bemused.

“Where we’ve been?” Could she?

“Who would have told her?” I ask. No one that we spoke to knew how to get in touch with her except…

“Sullivan?” Taylor suggests. It’s a possibility, but why would he tell her? He has more to lose by telling her than he would by keeping it a secret.

“That man was scared shitless. There’s no way he would have told her.” I say. Taylor shrugs.

“Maybe not, but I have a feeling that she knows,” he says, solemnly. I tell him to ask Davenport if there is any indication that Butterfly know the details of our trip. Taylor confirms that there is no indication, but that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know.

After the longest ride in the world, I burst from the backseat of the Audi SUV and sprint to the elevator, leaving my security staff behind. When I walk into the apartment, Gail greets me like everything is just fine.

“Well, hello, Mr. Gr… Mr. Grey, are you okay?” She asks, obviously taking in my demeanor.

“Where is she?” I ask. Gail frowns.

“Who?” She asks bemused.

“Anastasia!” I bark.

“She’s here!?” Gail exclaims. I sigh heavily. I call Taylor who is still in the parking garage waiting for the elevator. “I thought you said she was here.” I snap into the phone.

“She is. Her car is here, Sir.” He says, calmly. I end the call and go through the apartment. This is a lot of space, but not that much, and I can’t find her—the bedroom, the library, my study, the playroom. I check the guest room and panic immediately when I see that most of her clothes are gone. Taylor is bringing in my bags when I come back out to the great room.

“Gail, did Ms. Steele take her things back to her apartment?” I ask, almost timidly. Taylor freezes in his spot.

“No, sir, she moved what she could fit to your closet on Wednesday.” She replied. I breathe a huge sigh and go to my closet to confirm that Butterfly’s clothes were still there.

Good. She hasn’t left me… but where is she?

“Sir?” Taylor’s voice interrupts my thoughts. “She’s on the balcony.” I quickly run to the balcony to see her standing there looking out over the city of Seattle, facing away from me, her arms folded. When I open the sliding door, she doesn’t move.

“Butterfly?” I say, stepping out onto the balcony.

“Hello Christian,” she says, her voice thick with tears. “How was your trip?”


A/N:

Among his many titles Mercury was the Roman god of communication (the Greek is Hermes… and OMG here she goes with that damn mythology again!) He was also messenger to the gods, so he wore magical winged shoes that gave him super-godly speed.

You don’t want to miss Pinterest this time… that’s all I’m saying. http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

Feel free to review—it is greatly appreciated.

Love and handcuffs,
Lynn x

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 39: Good News/Bad News

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. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 39—Good News/Bad News

STEELE

Dinner smells delicious when I get back to Escala after the seemingly never-ending day I had. He hasn’t been gone for 12 hours yet and I feel dysfunctional already. It’ll be a good exercise for me—to be accustomed to his having to go on business trips and learning to cope with his absence—but this is different. He’s in that place—the place I swore to never cross again, turn away from it and never look back. That place that nearly killed me physically and almost destroyed me mentally. He’s there among the very people that shook the foundation of my world.

He has most likely spoken to them by now, shook hands with them, smiled and conversed over drinks while they try to romance him for his business. No doubt, he’ll be having dinner with Senior Whitmore—probably at some fancy casino on The Strip; or worse yet, in Whitmore’s dining room while the little wifey serves them and acts as the perfect hostess. They may even try to thrust Amber down Christian’s throat, assuming she hasn’t already found her fortune attached to some other little rich boy’s pocket.

The whole scene makes me physically ill and I don’t know if I’ll even be able to stomach my dinner. I can’t be a hypocrite, though. I’ve threatened Christian with severe punishment if he doesn’t eat properly or causes himself harm like last week ever again, so I won’t foolishly skip a meal either.

I go to the guest room to find a sundress and slides for dinner. I hate changing in here. I feel so separated every time I come in here to get my clothes. Would Christian mind if I put just a few of my pieces in his closet? I mean, I won’t take over his space, but right now more than ever I feel the need to be close to him. I gather a few pieces, as much as I can carry, and take them to the bedroom that I share with Christian.

When I get to his closet, I discover that looks are quite deceiving. I commandeer what appears to be a corner of the closet. As I begin to arrange my clothing there, the corner is like a clown car—the more I hang there, the more space I seem to have. I decide to retrieve a few more pieces and bring them in here as well. By the time I’ve retrieved enough “pieces” to fill the space without crowding it, nearly all of the clothes Al brought for me have been transferred to Christian’s closet—minus my shoes and my lingerie. Let’s see if I can find some space for those things.

I was easily able to find spots here and there for the shoes Al brought over for me. However, I discover that all of Christian’s dresser and chest of drawer space is occupied. Hmmm… I guess undies and lingerie will have to stay in the guest room. After my little closet escapade, I realize that I only have 10 minutes before Maxie is supposed to be here. I quickly change my clothes and go back to the great room.

We enjoy a delicious beef stroganoff for dinner. I insist that Gail join us since Jason is away with Christian, which means that she would be eating alone. She assures me that it’ll get easier as time passes—being without your man for these necessary business trips—but that you never get completely used to it. Give me hope then snatch it back, why don’t you! She mentions that Jason informed her there was extra security with them on this trip. I asked if that was normal.

“You never know with Mr. Grey,” Gail says. “There’s really no such thing as normal with him. One day, he fine riding in one of his sports cars with an escort. The next day, he has four guards in an SUV.” We laugh. Yes, that’s my beloved Christian… always keep you guessing.

Gail excuses herself after dinner while Maxie and I enjoy a La Ricolma Tuscan Merlot near a fire in the great room.

“So… what’s going on, Steele?” Maxie begins as she sips her wine. I sigh.

“Well, as you know, Christian had to leave town for business. He left this morning and he’ll be back on Friday.” I sit my wine glass on a coaster on the coffee table and fold my hands.

“You’re having a hard time with the separation?” she asks, being more of a friend with that question than a therapist.

“Yes, I am, for a lot of reasons,” I put my hand on my forehead, “not the smallest of which is that I’m in love with him.” Maxie gasps.

“Ana! So soon?” Maxie leans in closer to me.

“I know, Maxie, but I’ve been in love before. I know what it feels like… this is better!” I say with certainty, looking into her eyes. She examines me for a moment.

“You are in love,” she says, softly. I nod.

“Yeah. It’s a little rough on me. These feelings that I didn’t expect to feel again… I mean, I didn’t dismiss them forever. You know, like, running around the house, stopping the clocks and wasting away in a wedding dress… but, I just wasn’t really expecting them.” I take another drink of my wine. “It knocks the wind out of you when it finally settles in that it’s true, that you love another person this way. You can’t wait to wake up in the morning or finish your workday so that you can see him again. You need their closeness to survive, to feel whole. And let’s not even discuss the sex…!”

“No, let’s!” Maxie encourages, laughing.

“No, let’s not!” I reinforce with a giggle. “Anyway, it’s not even about that.” I tuck my hair behind my ear. “He has affected me down to my soul, Maxie. He’s startling and frightening and still so vulnerable. He’s an oxymoron in and of himself.” How do explain that this magnificent man is both my obedient and adoring submissive as well as my powerful and superior Dominant? “I can’t see myself without him, Maxie. It’s not that ‘he’s so dreamy, I can’t live without him’ kind of thing… I really can’t see myself without him.” She examines me even more carefully.

“Is it unhealthy, Ana? Are you obsessed?” she asks. Am I? No, I can recognize obsession all the way down to the clinical definition. This is not obsession.

“No, I’m not obsessed, but I can say that I recognize the development of defining myself in terms of Christianafter two and a half weeks! I know it’s unhealthy, but it’s there. I know that I am still Dr. Anastasia Steele. I haven’t lost my identity, nor do I think I ever will, but…” I sigh and look at Maxie, defeated. “Maxie, he’s all I think about. I can barely function. I want to sell my condo and move in here with him and never leave. I love my condo… you know that… but if it meant that I could be with him every minute of every day, I’d sell it in a heartbeat!” I confess.

“Oh, Ana,” she says, mockingly, “falling apart at the seams for a man…” she teases.

“Oh, not just any man. Christian fucking Grey… the source of wet dreams for women of all ages across the greater Seattle area! And beyond! Hot, rich, worldly, brilliant, sex-on-a-stick Christian Grey!” I’m squirming in my damn seat just thinking about him.

“Settle down, killer. You’re going to combust any second!” Maxie says, handing me my wine glass and I finish it off.

“He only has to look at me and I’ll do anything he asks. His eyes are so powerful and haunting. Have you seen that man’s eyes?” I say, breathily.

“Yes, I’ve seen them. Have you seen that man’s ass?” she declares.

“Maxie!” I exclaim, slapping her quickly on the arm. “That’s my man you’re talking about and you have a boyfriend!”

“Ow! Cut it out! Look, I’m not dead. I’m just recognizing and appreciating some serious man meat here, okay? And I don’t know if you noticed, but… Phil’s not my boyfriend anymore.” My head snaps to Maxie and I look at her in horror. How could this have gotten past me? Two of my best friends break up and I don’t know? Where have I been?

“What?” I exclaim. “What the hell?” Those two are inseparable! How could this be! I want to cry! And now she’s smiling. Why the hell are you smiling? Maxie produces her left hand and shows me a Petite Trellis solitaire princess cut white gold engagement ring. I gasp long and loud, then scream as my hands fly to my chest.

“Maxine Elaine Saunders, how could you to do that to me!?” I yell, nearly in tears.

“I’m sorry!” she lies through her laughter.

“How did I not see this all night?” We’re yelling like we are not sitting directly in front of each other.

“I just put it on. I wanted to surprise you! I wanted you to be the first to know!” she squeals.

“Oh Maxie!” I crush her in an embrace. “It’s wonderful! I’m so happy for you! Don’t you ever scare me like that again!” I wail.

“Oh, Ana, please forgive me! I need you to be my maid of honor!”

“Of course, I will, you cow!” I say as we cackle with laughter-tears. I release her and take her hand in mine, examining her ring as I wipe my tears. “Oh, Max, it’s beauuuuutiful,” I say in a soft, singy voice.

“Thank you, Ana,” she says, wiping away her own tears. “We were sitting on the deck and he just took my hand and put the ring on my finger. When I looked up at him, he just said, ‘I’m not asking because I’m not taking no for an answer…’ as if I could possibly deny him anyway!”

“Oh, this is wonderful,” I say softly. “Who would have guessed that two of the Awesome Threesome would be getting married when we met a few years ago?” I say smiling.

“You know,” she says, looking down. “We often wondered if our relationship would affect our friendship. We were so afraid you would pull away from us…” Her voice cracks a bit.

“Are you kidding? I could never be without you guys. I was thrilled that the two of you got together. Now all is perfect with the world because I’m in love—seriously in love—and my best-couple-friends are getting married! I couldn’t be more pleased.” I look adoringly into the eyes of one of the two women that I consider a sister, and she returns my gaze with matching affection.

“I love you, Ana,” She says, tears forming in her eyes again. I squeeze her hands.

“I love you, too, Maxie.”

Once we’re able to compose ourselves, Maxie apologizes for hijacking the conversation and get us back on track with the necessary content at hand.

“So, I can see how this level of affection can be scary right now, but I really wouldn’t worry about it. As your doctor, I can tell you that it’s really normal for you to feel like this—especially right out of the gate, and most certainly after the nightmare that was Edward David. As your friend, I can tell you that that hot, powerful, sexy, whatever the rest of the words were that you used to describe him, hunk of man meat is madly in love with you. It’s written all over his face… a blind man could see it. So, have fun, Ana. Live a little. Hell,” she gestures to our surroundings, “live a lot!” I laugh at her last statement.

“I know, Maxie. The biggest reason that I needed to talk to you tonight is because of where Christian is right now.” I fall back into the sofa. “He’s in Nevada… more specifically, he’s in Green Valley.”

“Whoa… shit!” she responds. “What the hell is he doing in Green Valley?”

“Yeah, that’s the worst part. He’s meeting with Cody Whitmore’s fucking father.” I spit. Maxie gasps.

“What?” she screeches. “What in the blue hell…?”

“Apparently, he needs this special insurance that reimburses the company if he or one of the higher-level executives are kidnapped or if their employees or executives are kidnapped in volatile countries or something…” I try to explain.

“K&R,” she says. I frown deeply.

“Am I the only person that didn’t know what that was?” I snap.

“Probably not, but what does this have to do with Whitmore?” Maxie asks.

“Whitmore sells insurance. He’s very, very, very high up in one of the largest independent insurance firms in the Pacific time zone. That’s probably how he acquired GEH’s attention.”

“You don’t think it has anything to do with you, do you?” she asks. “Maybe Whitmore found out that you’re with Christian somehow. Some sort of shakedown maybe?” I shake my head.

“I don’t see how. Our relationship isn’t public. I mean, it’s not private, but it’s not like we’re in the news or anything. I don’t speak to anybody from Green Valley, not even my prior guardians. I spoke briefly to George, but he doesn’t know that I’m with Christian. Even so, what could they possibly hope to gain from Christian?” I shrug.

“Does Christian know this is the father of the guy that raped you?” she asks, horrified.

“No, I never told him. He would kill Cody with his bare hands, I just know it. I almost let the cat out of the bag on Monday, though. He told me where he was going and he mentioned Cody’s name and I went into some kind of subconscious conniption fit. It was horrible.”

“Oh, Ana,” she says, sympathetically.

“Yeah, it was awful. He was looking at me—so helpless—like he desperately wanted to erase all the bad in my life. I wanted to tell him so badly, so badly Maxie, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t risk him going after Cody and then I lose him.” I bury my face in my hands.

“But he does know about…” She trailed off and I knew what she was asking me.

“He knows,” I say, my voice muffled. “He’s knows the what just not the who. Do you remember when I told you that Edward had seen it, and I told him not to ask me about it and he didn’t…?

“But you secretly wanted him to ask because it would have meant that he cared.” She finishes my sentence. I nod and raise my face from my hands, involuntary tears starting to fall.

“Christian asked…” I squeak and Maxie smiles at me, taking my hands.

“He did?” she asks softly and I nod.

“Repeatedly. He begged. He wouldn’t let me hide.” I drop my head. “He kissed my brand when he thought I was asleep,” I say just above a whisper. “He stroked the scars and called me ‘Beautiful.’ He’s my Prince Charming,” I choke, wiping my tears.

“Wow,” she says in a dreamy voice. I sigh.

“And now, he’s fraternizing with the enemy—not just any enemy, the ultimate enemy. I should have told him…” I say, mentally kicking myself for not informing him who he was going into business with. “Of all the insurance companies he could have used… get a piece of the rock, the good hands people, the good neighbor folks, even the little fucking lizard! But no, he had to go to Daddy Whitmore—’we raise rapists’ Daddy Whitmore. I should have told him.” I bury my face in my hands again.

“Are you certain that he would have gone after Cody if you had told him about this?” Maxie asks.

“Yeah, I’d bet the ranch that he would have gone after him… or had someone else go after him,” I reply. She sighs.

“Ana, I’m never one to promote deception or cover-up of any kind. You know as well as I do that it always comes out in the end.” Don’t I know it. “But I have to say that I think you did the right thing this time by not telling him.” I look up at her, surprised. “You found out… whattwo days before he was leaving? How could you possibly drop a bomb like that with your knowledge of how he would respond and expect to be able to do any kind of damage control in that small amount of time?” She sounds logical, but I don’t feel any better.

“I could have told him not to go, and he would have stayed,” I inform her. “But I’m sure that I couldn’t do that without telling him why. It’s such a mess. Every moment that he’s down there, I’m just sick to my stomach,” I say, determined not to have a repeat of Monday night and the amazing reappearing dinner.

“How did you justify letting him go?” she asks.

“By telling myself that I couldn’t run his life or his business and telling myself that it was for the best that he didn’t know about Cody,” I respond.

“Well, you’ve got that half right,” I say. “You can’t run his life or his business. He has to make those decisions and he’s been doing very well up until now. Unfortunately, you do have to tell him about Cody.” A look of horror must have spread across my face because she quickly adds, “You don’t have to tell him right now, especially not while he’s down there within arm’s reach of the bastard, but you are going to have to tell him eventually,” she says, putting her hand on my knee.

“Well, what do I do in the meantime, Maxie? I’m going crazy,” I beg.

“Well, in the meantime, you take comfort in knowing that you did the right thing for the immediate future. You should definitely stop worrying about it because there’s nothing you can do about it right now… not to mention that worrying is bad for your complexion. Finally, you help me get some ideas for my wedding because I don’t know where it’s going to be, when it’s going to be, what my color scheme will be, how many people will be there… all I know is that I love this man and want to marry him as soon as possible. And he has left it all up to me,” she says, more than a little flustered. I smile at one half of my best-couple-friends.

“Those sound like fabulous suggestions, Max,” I say grasping her hand on my knee.

*-*

I shower and change for bed, deciding on one of Christian’s T-shirts since he’s not here. I need as much of him near me as possible. I haven’t heard from him since he landed in Vegas. I hope those wolves haven’t killed him and dumped his body somewhere. I wouldn’t put it pass them. I’m sitting on the bed blankly looking at my laptop when my iPhone sings that I have a text.

**Skype? **

It’s Christian. Thank God. The wolves haven’t disposed of him yet. I open my Skype and text him back.

**Doctorlady206 **

Moments later, I get a friend request on Skype from CEO1920. I snicker to myself as I add him to my friends list, then almost immediately get a call from him. My hands tremble as I click the mouse to answer the call.

“Hello, Beautiful.” His voice soothes me immediately. He looks deliciously wonderful propped up bed in a T-shirt and pajama pants.

“I miss you,” I say before I can get anything else out of my mouth. He sighs.

“I miss you, too, Butterfly,” he says, somberly. “You’ve been crying,” he adds, after a pause. Shit, how can he tell? That was at least an hour ago.

“Oh, don’t pay me any attention,” I say with a nervous laugh. “Maxie came by for dinner and announced that she and Phil are engaged,” I say as a reason for my tears. It was almost true.

“Really?” he says, sounding just as pleased as I am.

“Yes. She played a terrible trick on me. She told me that she and Phil weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend anymore, and I flipped the hell out,” I add.

“You cried because you thought they broke up?” he asks, bemused.

“Noooo,” I said, rolling my eyes. “She showed me the ring, then I cried,” I answer. Christian shakes his head.

“Sappy girls,” he teases.

“Don’t tease me, I’m having a hard time here by myself,” I caution gently. His expression softens.

“I’m sorry, baby,” he says. I shrug.

“It’s okay. So, how are things going down there?” Do I really want to know? He shifts a bit on the bed.

“I’ve got a lot of information,” he says. “Waiting for more to be sent over by Welch. I don’t think I like this guy, Whitmore.” Oh, good Lord, that’s music to my ears.

“Do I even want to know why?” I actually should have thought that statement instead of saying it aloud.

“He’s a poser. His son is even worse,” he says, disdainfully.

“His son?” I ask. Did you meet that bastard? Please tell me you hated him.

“Cody,” Christian says after an uncomfortable pause.

“Are you okay, Christian?” I ask. He shakes his head as if to release a bad thought.

“Yeah, I’m fine. First impressions are quite important to me and the Whitmores were less than presentable in my book,” he responds.

“Did you meet any other members of his family?” Like Amber?

“No, just Junior and Senior Whitmore. If these two are any indication of the rest of their family, I don’t think I could stomach any more time with them.” He shakes his head.

“So, why not just cut your losses and come home?” Please?

“Because I still haven’t finished gathering information on the company. Granted, he’s not my first choice for someone that I would put out front to represent my business, but I always want my decision to be educated… even if I decide to say ‘no.'” And that’s why he’s the brilliant businessman.

“Okay, that makes sense to me.” He relaxes a little at my statement. You don’t have to explain your business choices to me, Christian. I just don’t want you anywhere near those snakes, that’s all.

“So, what brought Maxine by today?” he asks. I can tell he’s concerned.

“I asked her to come over. I was lonely,” I say honestly, well, mostly honestly.

“How was your day?”

“Long,” I admit. “I’ll be fine, Christian. I just have to get used to those times when I have to be without you,” I say trying to quell his obvious concern. Hopefully, I’ll never have to worry about you talking to the fucking Whitmores again. That’ll make it a whole lot easier!

“I thought our experience yesterday would have made the separation a little easier,” he says, seductively. I giggle.

“If anything, it made it worse,” I say, laying down on the bed. His breath catches a bit.

“I know what you mean,” he says, and I can see his hand moving a bit. I know what he’s doing.

“Let me see…” I say. He pulls the laptop back and adjusts the webcam so that I can see him stroking his erection over his pajama pants. Fuck, that’s hot. I bite my lip and my hand immediately goes to my nipple. I tease it gently over my shirt and gasp when a jolt of pleasure shoots straight to my core.

“Take off your shirt, baby,” he says, his voice deep and hungry. I slowly remove his T-shirt and I’m naked underneath. “Oh shit. You look so good.” He’s reaching into his pants now.

“Your turn,” I breathe as I continue to stimulate my nipples. He accommodates me by removing his T-shirt to reveal his sexy, muscular chest. I let one of my hands wander to my stomach, then tell him, “your bottoms, Mr. Grey.” My voice reveals the ache inside. He groans before he raises his hips to remove his pajama pants, releasing his erection into the webcam. I whimper involuntarily as he springs forth. My mouth actually waters for him. I immediately slide my hand down to my clitoris. I don’t think I can take one more second without satisfaction. I’m so hungry for his closeness and his touch, I could just burst.

“You’re a little anxious, aren’t you, baby?” he says, his voice a mixture of mirth and arousal as he fists his shaft.

“Very,” I breathe and I open my legs to reveal my hot, wet pussy to the webcam. “Talk to me,” I prompt him as I stroke my folds. He moans loudly and his dick seems to stand taller with each stroke. God, he looks so good.

“You’re so wet, baby,” he moans. “I can see you dripping for me. Stick your finger in it, baby. Spread that wetness around.” I do as I am told and plunge my finger into my hot core.

“Ah!” I gasp as I pull the wetness out and spread it around my core.

“Yes… yesthat’s it… massage that clit, baby,” he says, his voice labored and sexy. I feverishly stimulate my clitoris and my nipple as I watch his hand stroke mercilessly over his throbbing dick.

“Oooooo, you like that, baby?” I purr as I feel my release coming.

“Yes, baby,” he chokes, “I… like that a lot.”

“Show me,” I say, plunging my fingers into my pussy again. “Ah! Show me how much you like it.”

“Oh fuck!” he hisses as he quickens his stroke, keeping his eyes glued to the screen, his breath quickening.

“Tell me how it feels…” I mewl… any second now…

“Oh, baby… so good… it feels… sogood,” he croaks.

“Yes… yes, Baby… it feels… aaaaahhh!” I throw my head back as my orgasm takes over me. I am squirming wildly on the bed, pinching my nipple and riding out my release, unable to keep my eyes open. “Christian!” I croak.

“Look at me!” he growls, causing my eyes to fly open and my head to dart to the screen. He has moved closer to the computer and he is pulling ferociously at his dick. The sight causes another small wave of pleasure to flow through me—a mini-gasm, I like to call them… Delicious aftershocks that prolong the pleasure.

“Ah! Christian!” I whimper again, breathless.

“Gah! Ana… baby… fuck!” I love to watch him make himself come, or even watch me make him come. He has pushed himself back against the headboard and his seed squirts up and back down over his dick as he squeezes and holds it up to jerk out his release.

“Yes, baby, spread it for me. Spread it over your cock like I would,” I tell him. He spreads his cum up and down his dick and over the head, writhing with each stroke and grunting as I know the tenderness is almost too much to bear. “Oh, yes, baby, that looks so good.” I coo. Once he stops jerking and grunting, I know that he has worked out every bit of his release. His breathing is starting to slow and he begins to relax.

“Damn, Ana. Even from 1100 miles away, you still make me come hard as fuck!” he says between his calming breaths.

“Ditto, Mr. Grey,” I say, my body still tingling from its release. He raises his head and looks at me adoringly.

“I think we both may need a trip to the bathroom to clean ourselves up.” He smiles.

“I think you may be right,” I coo.

“Back in five?” He bargains.

“See you then…”

I was able to sleep okay through the night only because Christian stayed on Slype with me until I fell asleep. I wake this morning to a Skype picture waiting for me—a still of Christian holding a hand-written sign that says, “I love you, Butterfly.” Now I can make it through my day.

Today, I have an appointment with Melanie again, the one patient that I have for dignity therapy. Some days are better than others for her, and today seems to be one of her weaker days.

“So, why are we here today, Melanie? You seem like you’re so tired, we could have done this next week,” I say sympathetically.

“That’s the problem, Ana. I never know when there may not be a next week for me,” Melanie says, her breathing labored.

“Okay, I understand that. I’m not your doctor in that sense, but I’m sure that in this type of discomfort, rest will be better for you.” I try to reason with her.

“No offense, Ana, but I’m dying. I’ll rest when I’m dead,” she says, smiling weakly. I nod. It’s her decision if she wants to continue.

“So, where did we leave off last time?” I ask.

“No regrets. Number 7, marrying my first husband…”

Melanie and I laugh through her session this time. She discusses how marrying her first love seemed like a good idea at the time, but that they were too young and neither of them had done any living. They have a child who is now living with her father since Melanie is too sick to care for her anymore. It seems that every time she talks about her teenage years, she gets a feeling of remorse and regret—which is strange since the dignity therapy is primarily to help her release those feelings. Every time our session is over, I just want to run to Christian’s arms and hold him and thank him for being a part of my life. Unfortunately, he’s not here right now.

After lunch, I go over to Helping Hands headquarters to see the facility and meet with some of the families as scheduled. Of course, I see John there and resist the urge to call him a quack. He seems to work well with the families, though, so I guess he can’t be all bad. As Grace takes me around introducing me to various staff members and families, I keep getting a glimpse of a teenage boy who stares blankly out the window. Anger is emanating from this kid and everyone seems to avoid him, including the staff.

“What’s his story?” I ask Grace, pointing to him. Grace sighs.

“He’s a very angry young man. His father abused him, his mother, and his little sister. His mother ended up in the hospital—she nearly died. That’s when they finally decided to leave. He feels like he should have been able to protect her, but he couldn’t even protect himself. So now, he’s dealing with the fallout from abuse as well as the guilt from not being able to rescue the women in his family. Like I said, very angry young man,” she explains.

“No one’s trying to help him?” I ask.

Everyone has tried to help him,” she exclaims. “He’s belligerent, uncooperative, and sometimes violent. We’ve found it best to just leave him alone while his mother and sister are able to get assistance.” I look at her bemused and she puts her hand on my shoulder. “I think sometimes the company is enough for him, even though he doesn’t say anything, but you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.” I look over at this very angry young man about to be unleashed on society one day.

“Do you mind if I try?” I ask. She eyes me suspiciously.

“He hasn’t struck anyone recently, Ana, but that’s not to say that he won’t strike you,” she warns. I laugh. Oh, trust me, Grace, he wants none of this.

“I’ll take my chances,” I say and she nods. I walk over to Little Mr. Angry and sit on the window-seat next to him.

“Hi,” I say. He turns to look at me and every angry and hurtful emotion imaginable is hiding behind his shocking green eyes.

“Who the fuck are you?” he says, coolly. Oh… okay. This is how you want to play it? Fine by me.

“I’m Ana. Who the fuck are you?” I respond flatly. There’s an emotion I didn’t see behind those green eyes… surprise.

“You work here, don’t you? You’re not allowed to speak to people that way,” he says, matter-of-factly.

“But you are?” I ask. He just stares at me. “You get what you give, buddy.” He turns his head and looks out the window again. “See anything interesting?” I ask. He turns to me again.

“Why don’t you just leave me the hell alone?” he snaps. I shrug.

“Fine. Fuck it.” I stand and proceed to leave.

“Are you supposed to do that?” I hear Little Mr. Angry ask from behind me.

“Do what?” I ask in the snottiest, high school voice I can muster.

“Walk away,” he says like he’s scolding me. I fold my arms

“You said ‘leave you alone,’ I was leaving you alone,” I reply, snapping my head on every word and glaring at him. He stares at me like I have two heads. “What?” I snap, the snotty high-schooler returns.

“Nothing! It’s just… everybody else tries to get me to talk.” He drops his head. I walk back over to the window seat.

“Well, it’s kind of clear that you don’t want to talk. I just want to know why you’re sitting here, looking out at… nothing.” I turn to the window and look for something to catch my eye. “Pretty fucking boring.” He looks over at me again.

“You’re strange,” he says. I turn and meet his eyes, not so angry anymore.

I’m strange? Hey, I’m not the one sitting here looking out the window at nothing,” I throw back and roll my eyes. He snickers. Holy cow, we’re getting through.

“You must be new,” he says, turning back to viewing nothing out the window.

“Well, besides the fact that you obviously haven’t seen me before, why do you say that?” I ask.

“Because nobody here talks to me. They’re afraid I’m going to go all ragey and scratch their eyes out or something,” he says without looking back at me.

“I’m not worried about that,” I say, flatly.

“Why not?” he snaps, looking at me again. “What makes you so damn special?”

“Oh, because if you go all ragey on me, I’ll beat your little ass.” I say, doing the finger quotes around the word “ragey.”

“You will not!” he says, incredulously.

“Oh, yes, I will!” I retort, snapping my head again. “I train with a 6th degree black belt martial arts master and I have had him on the ground begging for mercy. I will beat. Your little. Ass!” I say definitely. He laughs aloud and the few people in the room fall silent. I turn around and look at them, afraid they are going to undo all the work I just did.

“What!?” I yell, irritated at the gawkers. They look at me surprised. I’ll apologize later. Right now, I’m on a mission. They go back to conversation or whatever they were doing.

“They’re not going to like you very much here.” I turn and look at him, my gaze dripping with sarcasm.

“And this should bother me because…?” I spit. “This ain’t my day job!” He laughs again.

“So, what are you doing here anyway?” he asks.

“Right now, trying to find out who the fuck you are,” I say glaring at him again. He pauses.

“Marlow. My name is Marlow,” he finally confesses.

“Well, I’d say ‘nice to meet you, Marlow,’ but it wasn’t that nice. So, what’s your deal? Who pissed in your Cheerios?” I ask.

“It’s just the way I am,” he says, looking out at nothing again. Okay…

“So, Marlow, do you prefer ‘black’ or ‘African American?'” His head snaps at me.

“What!?” he shoots.

“I’ve got a question for you, but before I ask, I need to know. Do you prefer ‘black’ or ‘African American?'” He looks at me like he completely doesn’t understand what I’m asking him. “It’s not rocket science, dude,” I shrug. “‘Black’ or ‘African American?'”

“Black,” he spits at me after a pause. “I prefer black. I ain’t no fucking African American. I was born here. I ain’t never been to Africa in my damn life.”

“Yeah, that’s been my experience with most black people.” He glares at me again. “Look, I don’t know where the fuck my people came from, so I have no idea what kind of hyphenated-American I would be!” I shoot.

“They wouldn’t hyphenate you. You’re white,” he says, a little disdainful.

“Yeah, but as far as I know, the only people that really come from here are the ‘na-tive‘ Americans,” I do the finger quotes again with the word “native” and deliberately split the syllables. “The rest of us landed on somebody’s shore, voluntarily or involuntarily.”

“So, what was the question?” he asks.

“Oh, yeah. I’ve never seen a black person with green eyes,” I say, leaning in like his eyes are the most interesting thing in the room—which right now, they are. “How does that happen?” He leans back a bit and takes a deep breath.

“My mom is white, and my dad is black. My mom has green eyes…” he says, his voice low. I stare in his eyes.

“You don’t like them,” I say, tilting my head.

“I don’t know,” he answers. “They cause me problems,” he says, still looking at me. I snap my head back.

“Problems?” How can your eye color cause you problems?

“Yeah.” He looks back out at nothing. “The kids at school used to say that I was trying to be white. They thought I was wearing contacts—like every other bitch in school wasn’t wearing them already. And then my dad…” He trails off. I wait for a moment before I ask, “What about him?” Marlow sighs.

“He used to beat me… because he was mad I got my mom’s eyes and not his… like that was my fucking fault!” he spits.

“Damn,” I say, shaking my head. “That’s fucked up.” I turn back to look at nothing with him.

“They teach you a class in this shit?” he says, turning to me.

“What shit?” I say, looking at him.

“Relating to somebody. Getting on their level,” he answers sarcastically. Oh shit, you got me. I shake my head.

“I don’t think you can teach something like that. Either you relate or you don’t. It is what it is,” I say with a shrug. I relate, because I could have very well been Marlow if I had decided to stay angry for what happened to me.

“It’s just that… every time they send somebody to talk to me, they send some fucking phony…”

“Okay, who are ‘they’ and why are they sending people?” I ask, mimicking confusion. He laughs again.

“You really are strange, Ana,” he says.

“Look who’s talking,” I reply. He smiles and rolls his eyes.

“I’m just tired of people trying to ‘fix’ me,” he says.

“Why? Are you broken?” I say with one raised eyebrow. He narrows his eyes. He can’t figure me out.

“They think I am!” he says, waving his hands and pointing at nobody. I catch a glimpse of Grace out of the corner of my eye standing just outside the door with another woman. Oh, forgive me, Grace.

“There you go with ‘they’ again. Who the fuck are ‘they?'” I say with my hands open, looking flustered. And he’s still trying to figure me out. “Do you think you’re broken?”

“No, I’m not broken!” he declares.

“Fine, so you’re not broken. What’s the damn problem?” I say, hands still open, flustered.

“I want people to treat me like a person, not a fucking charity case,” he yells.

“So why don’t you just say that?” I yell back, and now he’s shocked. “Is there something wrong with your mouth that you can’t tell people ‘I am a fucking person?'” I stare into his green eyes, now guileless and somewhat confused. I hold my hands out wide and stare. “Feel better now?” I snap. His whole body relaxes. I put my hands down.

“People will only treat you the way you allow them to treat you,” I say definitely. “‘They’ have been trying to help you, but ‘they’ can’t because they don’t know how. They don’t know what you need and apparently, they don’t know how to treat you. But Marlow, you can’t make them feel bad for trying to help you. We’ve all got a story, believe me, and none of us really wants to tell it. Hell, I wish I could bury mine forever and never fucking say it again.” I say, doing a patented Christian-Grey-fingers-in-my-hair gesture. “You don’t have to constantly tell your story to get past your story, but you do have to get past your story!” He drops his head at this statement.

“Maybe I can help you get past your story, get a little peace in your life, stop being so damn mad all the time. But I won’t shove anything down your throat. I don’t know what the hell ‘normal’ is,” air quotes again, “and if there a such thing as fixed and broken, then I’m somewhere in between!” I say making illustrative gestures with my hands.

“No, you’re strange.” He laughs.

“Whatever,” I say, leaning in to him. I put my arms on my knees and fold my hands in front between them. “I’m going to leave here tonight, go home, eat my dinner, watch some TV, and everything will be everything. I’ll help you if you want me to, and if you don’t, I’ll get up and carry my happy ass outta here. I won’t lose any sleep if you decide you want me to get the fuck out of your face. The choice is yours.” I sit there waiting for Marlow to make a decision.

“Lady, the minute I feel like you are trying to run some kind of game on me, I’m done,” he says.

“That is always your choice, Marlow. I just want to see you not be so damn pissed. Can we work on that?” He nods.

“Yeah, we can work on it. Will you be here next week?” he asks.

“I’ll be here next week.” I nod and proffer my hand to him. He shakes my hand just as Grace and the other woman enter the room. Marlow shoots up and puts his hands in the air.

“I wasn’t doing anything!” he nearly shouts. I stand up and turn to him smacking my lips.

“At ease, soldier,” I say sarcastically snapping my head again. He looks at me and then at Grace, then puts his hands in his pockets and drops his head. I notice he’s a lot taller than I thought, maybe about 5′ 8″ or so, but stress can make you look and feel very small.

“Ana, this is Marcia, Marlow’s mother,” Grace introduces the green-eyed brunette to me and I shake her hand.

“He’s right, he does have your eyes,” I say.

“It’s nice to meet you, Ana,” she says sweetly.

“Same here,” I respond. Marcia is about the same height as Marlow, with healing bruises on her face. Her last encounter must not have been that long ago.

“I see you’ve met my son,” she says, cautiously.

“Oh, yes, he’s just a bundle of joy and laughter,” I say, sarcastically looking at Marlow, who chuckles again.

“Yeah, and you’re short,” he says with mirth.

“Whatever. I’ll still kick your little ass,” I say, playfully punching his arm while he continues to laugh at me. “Next week? Same place?” I ask. He nods.

“Next week,” he says and he walks out with his mother. Grace watches them leave and turns to me once they have cleared the door.

“He hasn’t spoken to anyone in months! What did you do?” she asks in wonder. I shrug.

“You do whatever you have to do—within reason—to get through to them. He’s a very angry child, and none of that psycho-babble-mumbo-jumbo was going to work with him. He needs to be seen. He needs for people to see him, and that just hasn’t been happening.” She looks at me, her eyes still full of wonder.

“He doesn’t see me as a threat. I’m not shoving anything down his throat, I don’t have anything to sell, and the door is open for him to leave any time he wants,” I say to Grace. “It’s like you said, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. They have to make the decisions. We can’t do it for them.” She shakes her head.

“You’ve been here, what, two hours? Maybe? Do you know how many people have tried to help that young man?” I shrug.

“I can imagine,” I reply.

“I was coming in here to investigate since one of the workers said the new girl yelled at her.” My hand flies to my mouth.

“Oh, my God! Please apologize for me, I’m so sorry! I had to get on his level and it required that I get a little brusque,” I squeak on the last word. “I didn’t mean to offend anybody,” I say shaking my head.

“I wouldn’t worry about it, dear,” she says. “If you can turn that one into a success story, everyone here will be eternally grateful.”

“Do you have prior files on him? I want to find out as much about him as I can, but I don’t want to push him to talk about anything that he doesn’t want to discuss,” I say. Grace nods and I follow her to her office.


GREY

I spend most of the day trying to weave together the information that I already have from Billings as well as the unspoken information I’ve gotten from Sullivan and the Whitmores. While sitting at the desk in the penthouse of the Bellagio, I’ve made a list of the people who are definitely responsible:

Cody Whitmore and his asshole father, Franklin
Kevin Van Dyke—identified by Billings

There are some strong possibles that need to be examined:

Carly Madison—Whitmore’s high school girlfriend
Mary Wiseman, Rhonda Yick, and Lana Milligan—most likely guilty by association; flunkies that hung around Madison.
Michael Underwood—Identified by Billings as “Michael and them guys”
Brian Moleham, Richard Swanson, William Wood, and Justin Roundy-“them guys”

Strong evidence points to Madison because although Whitmore claimed that Butterfly lied on him and that the sex was consensual, that would not instigate the need for him to brand her a whore… literally or figuratively. He may have assisted in pegging her as a liar, but not a whore. That particular label is personal and would have been granted by someone who felt particularly slighted by the situation—hence, the woman scorned.

If that’s the case, Madison would not have carried this out without her closest partners in crime—again, literally and figuratively. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that, among other possibilities, those partners would certainly have been Wiseman, Yick, and Milligan. Madison was photographed over 20 times in the 2001 yearbook—not even her year of graduation. Whomever else may have been in the shots with her, these three were always there.

I only have Billings’ information to follow Michael and his crew, but something still doesn’t sit well with me with Sullivan. I can’t figure where he would fit with this puzzle. There’s no payoff according to Welch, so we know that Whitmore didn’t get to him—unless he used some untraceable assets and nothing at all even points in that direction. I think it’s pretty safe to say that he wasn’t paid off. He was the cop at that time, so he certainly wasn’t one of the students that took part in the attack. There’s absolutely no evidence that he knew the Steeles/Mortons before any of this happened. So, what is he hiding? He has covered every track possible that could lead to that ranch or that night, and nobody questioned him. He clearly doesn’t want anybody to see the evidence. Why would a cop want evidence to be covered?

I look at the picture of my Butterfly again. The beautiful, fresh-faced, bright-eyed girl reminds me why I’m doing this. They stole her innocence and put her through hell when she should have been going on dates and to movies, picking a dress for the prom. No, she was working crazy hours at odd jobs, saving her pennies and planning an escape from her own personal hell. You would never know what she went through by looking at this beautiful picture. You would also never know that, quite possibly, anybody on this page could have taken part in her attack—a page full of shiny-eyed, pimply-faced teenagers. I look at the different expressions and make a game out of trying to figure out what they could be doing now.

Kevin Schau—he probably went to Hollywood and became a movie star.
Danielle Titus—probably the president of the PTA after punching out a couple of kids.
Robert Sol—oh, he is so gay.

I see one picture that has an air of familiarity and I have to do a double-take. Right there on the same page—as a matter of fact, right next to Butterfly… how did I not see that?

“No fucking way!” I exclaim aloud, causing Taylor to appear in the doorway from the bedroom on the other side of the penthouse.

“Sir?” he greets cautiously, but I’m feverishly opening the folders to access the background checks and information on the Green Valley suspects. I open a file and read carefully, and there it is. There’s no mistaking it. The resemblance is uncanny and it’s right there in black and white. I’m glad it only took me a day to see it and I don’t know if I would have ever made the connection if I hadn’t been staring at Butterfly.

“Fuck!” I exclaim again as I stand quickly from my seat, knocking the chair back onto the floor behind me. This discovery is completely infuriating me! I walk away from the desk, cursing and ready to kill someone with my bare hands. I pour myself a bourbon from the wet bar and immediately throw back the double-shot. Taylor approaches cautiously.

“Boss… what is it?” he says, his voice forceful. We cross a certain line when I go from “Sir” to “Boss.” The latter is more of a term of endearment… if you can call it that. When he needs to get my attention for something—or bring me back from the cliff—he calls me “Boss.”

I look over my shoulder at Taylor, trying to gather my thoughts to explain what I have just figured out. “Pick up the chair and have a seat, Taylor.” Bemused, he places the chair in front of my laptop and looks at me expecting. I come back to the desk and move the mouse. The picture that I was studying pops up. “In the yearbook, the kid next to Anastasia—hold it up to the screen.” It only takes a few moments for Taylor to see the resemblance.

“Ssssssssshit!” he hisses viciously, looking up at me.

“I’d bet my next acquisition that little fucker was at that bonfire,” I spit.

“I’d bet my pension that you’re right,” he confirms. I launch my glass at the nearest wall and it disintegrates into dust.

“She never had a chance for justice here, not a fucking chance! There was never a hope or a prayer that anybody would be brought to justice for this shit. Yet this asshole calls her anytime there’s a hit or an inquiry on her case. What the fuck is that about!?” I’m beyond all levels of livid that I have ever reached in my fucking life! I’m so pissed, you could fry an egg on my head right now.

“What do you want to do, boss?” Taylor asks, his anger levels evident in his voice as well. I’m so angry that I’m shaking.

“I have dinner with Crestwood in three hours. I’m going to the hotel fitness center for a while to try to curb my current need to kill someone!” I bark the last two words through my teeth. “Find that bastard. I want to know every fucking thing about him and I want to know what he knows. I want to know where he is tonight! If he’s dead, I will exhume his body, hold a fucking séance and question his goddamn ghost!” I say as I pick up the vase of flowers from a nearby table and launch it at the wall as well, the vase meeting the same fate as the bourbon glass, before I retreat to the bedroom in search of gym attire.

At 4:50pm, I am showered, changed, decked out in Paul Stuart gray and black lightweight tweed and Crockett & Jones black leather shoes, and seated in Jasmine facing the door and sipping on a cranberry spritzer prepared to Butterfly’s specifications. I’m early, because I hate being late. At five minutes to the hour, I watch as the hostess points a woman to my table. Cynthia Crestwood is in her mid-forties and very fit. Her hair is a very light brown with obvious natural blonde highlights. She’s very attractive and wears very little make-up. Her dress is modest and tasteful. I stand as she extends a well-manicured dainty hand to me.

“Mr. Grey? I’m Cynthia Crestwood.” I kiss her hand.

“A pleasure to meet you Mrs. Crestwood. Please have a seat. Would you like a drink?” I offer.

“A lemon breeze with mint, please,” she says to the server.

“Cubed or crushed ice, ma’am?” the server asks.

“Crushed, pleased.” The server nods and retreats to prepare her drink. “So, Mr. Grey, I’m anxious to hear about your organization. I will confess that I Googled you last night and I’m aware of your philanthropic endeavors. So, the fact I am being honored by this charitable organization supported by such a prestigious company is a bit of a surprise to me. I’ll admit that I’ve helped more than a few troubled children in my time, but none that I would think would gain any acclaim outside of my little community.”

“Well, this is nothing like the Nobel Peace Prize, granted,” I begin. “It’s something that we do that recognizes smaller contributions that would otherwise go unnoticed. You come highly recommended by one of our psychologists.” This has piqued her interest.

“All the way in Seattle?” She smiles. “Who is this psychologist?” Showtime.

“Her name is Anastasia Steele,” I answer casually, taking a sip of my spritzer.

“Really?” she says, her voice showing particular interest now. “How do you know Anastasia Steele?” I guess it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. After a pause, I answer,

“She’s my girlfriend.” Crestwood’s expression changes and she looks as if she will make a mad dash for the door any second, ready to run just like the rest of them and wanting to do anything in the world but talk to me right now.

“Before you clam up on me and run away, Helping Hands is a real organization. My mother Dr. Grace Trevelyan Grey is really the Chairperson—this is her baby. Anastasia really is a psychologist that works with the families there. She’s really quite remarkable with people in light of what has happened to her.”

A myriad of emotions cross Ms. Crestwood’s face. “That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?” she asks with conviction. I nod.

“Yes, ma’am, it is. No one was ever brought to justice for what happened to her. She doesn’t know that I’m here, but with my resources, I’m sure that I can bring her some kind of closure.” Ms. Crestwood is no doubt weighing the pros and cons of talking to me. Will she run like everyone else? Someone has got to be willing to give me some answers. I’m good, but I don’t think I’m going to just stumble on to too many more leads like the one that presented itself earlier this afternoon.

“Seattle? A psychologist, huh?” she asks.

“Yes. She has helped quite a few people through some pretty rough times. She even helped me and my family. I can tell you with all honesty that she has a profound effect on everyone that she meets,” I answer. She smiles and nods. The look on her face can only be described as pride.

We pause for a moment while the server brings her drink and we place our order for dinner. Once she leaves, Ms. Crestwood starts talking.

“That same year, Stephen got a large sum of money from one of the kids’ father—Whitmore. I’m pretty certain the culprit there was Cody. He’s always been a problem—spoiled, entitled little brat. And his girlfriend Carly was even worse. Her father owns horse ranches in the area…” That ties right in to what happened to Butterfly. Ms. Crestwood notices the change in my posture. “You know exactly what happened to her don’t you?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say, “I do.”

She sighs. “The only person that I can give you with any certainty is Cody. From talking to my brother-in-law and to Ana, he’s your prime suspect.” She has just told me that Cody is the one that raped Butterfly but she doesn’t want to say the words—and she doesn’t know that I already know this, but I’m glad to have someone confirm it. “His girlfriend was quite malicious. I would bet my retirement that she had something to do with Ana’s attack, if she wasn’t the ring-leader. From there, you want to focus on her ‘crew.’ They were the typical snobby, arrogant bunch that picked on the not-so-wealthy kids. I see it all the time.” She holds her head down and toys with her flatware.

Throughout dinner, she gives me several names as a starting place of who could have been involved. “I’m not 100% sure about this. I do know that if there was trouble in this area, these kids were usually involved. They’re notorious for stirring things up and getting away with it because their parents have money and could always buy them out of it, or Daddy knew someone that knew someone that knew someone that could fix it. I’m sure you’re aware of this sort of thing, Mr. Grey,” she says with some contempt.

“Yes, Mrs. Crestwood, I am aware of this sort of thing. The difference is that I always try to operate within the letter of the law,” I state flatly.

“Try?” she questions. I fold my hands on the table.

“The law hasn’t been very kind to Anastasia in this matter. I’m going to gather as much information as I can and I’m going to do my best to operate within the letter of the law. However, someone that I love has been grossly mistreated and badly hurt. Although she has overcome what occurred, I will spend every dime of my fortune if I have to in order to see every person involved in this incident pay for what happened to her,” I say sternly. She nods.

The server has cleared our dinner dishes and is now serving after-dinner coffee before Mrs. Crestwood starts to tell me about her brother-in-law.

“Stephen and I were never that close. I was married to his brother Justin. Justin was very good to me, but he died in 2000.” She takes another sip of her coffee. “The house is a family house—Justin and Stephen’s parents. I didn’t want to live there alone without my Justin. So, I took the money from his life insurance and, after I paid all of Justin’s medical bills and burial costs, I bought a condo in Las Vegas. That’s the address that Ana used to attend Chaparral.” She looks out of the window of the restaurant.

“I was very angry with Stephen for bringing her back here after everything that had happened to her, poor girl. I don’t know how she survived living in that city after that. I’m not sure how she avoided running into anyone that had attacked her. I got her lots of little odd jobs with my friends—babysitting, cleaning, running errands. Many times, I brought her back home—if you could call it that—at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning… on school nights. I didn’t want her catching the bus that late and she was determined to do whatever she needed to do get away from those people.

“I knew there was money involved. Justin was the salt of the earth, God rest his soul, but Stephen is one of the most unscrupulous men I have ever met. He never did anything to me personally, but the way he treated Ana. And Carla—his wife, Ana’s mother—I don’t know, she just seemed… detached from the whole thing. If that had been my daughter, I would have been screaming from the mountaintops for justice, but not Carla. She was content to sit by and watch whatever was going to happen just… happen.” She sighs.

“Anyway, little Ana left the minute she graduated from high school… and I do mean the very minute that she graduated. She told me that she was leaving, but she never told me where she was going, and I haven’t seen her since. I haven’t talked to her folks since then either. I married my husband Larry a few years later and never looked back at that part of my ‘family.’ I’ve often wondered how little Ana fared.” She looks at me. “Looks like she’s doing pretty well,” she says before finishing her coffee.

After dabbing her lips with her napkin, Mrs. Crestwood says, “I’m not sure that there’s anything else that I can tell you, Mr. Grey. I think I’ve covered everything that I know about the situation. I know that you should probably talk to the officer that discovered Ana that night because if anybody is hiding anything, he would know what’s hiding. He would certainly be remiss to tell you, but he would know.”

“You’ve been more than helpful, Mrs. Crestwood. I do thank you very much for the information,” I say extending my hand to her. She shakes it before standing to leave. When I stand with her, she asks, “Where were you raised, Mr. Grey?”

“In Bellevue, a suburb outside of Seattle.” She nods.

“I’m sorry, I just don’t see a lot of chivalry anymore. It’s very refreshing—especially from one so young,” she says, with a matronly smile. I return her smile.

“Thank you, ma’am,” I say with a small nod. She takes a few steps, then turns around.

“When you get to a point where you can talk to her about this, will you please tell Anastasia I said ‘hello’ and that I think of her often?” she asks. I smile.

“I will,” I assure her. She returns my smile and leaves the restaurant.


A/N:

Ana talks about running around the house, stopping clocks and wasting away in a wedding dress. This comes from a character in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Miss Havisham was jilted on her wedding day and basically stopped time, never left her mansion and never changed her clothes—a wedding dress and one shoe—because she was so heartbroken.

Ana broke into insurance company slogans in case that was confusing to anyone:
“Get a piece of the rock”—Prudential Insurance
“The good hands people”—Allstate Insurance
“The good neighbor folks”—State Farm Insurance
“Even the little fucking lizard”—the Geico gecko… they are mostly known for car insurance, so she was just being sarcastic here.

A lemon breeze is basically lemonade made like Ana’s spritzer—Lemon juice, simple syrup made with soda water (soda water and sugar) and mint leaves over cubed or crushed ice. You can use concentrated lemon juice or real lemons, whichever you prefer.

As always, pictures can be found on Pinterest including Maxie’s engagement ring at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

Love and handcuffs,
Lynn x

 

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 38: A Tangled Web

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. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 38—A Tangled Web

DAVID

“Keep your head down, damn it!” he snaps at me. Well, shit, we’ve been driving forever. I need to move around.

“Look, I don’t mean to sound like one of your crazy children or nephews or whatever, but are we fucking there yet?” I spit.

“If we were there, you wouldn’t have to stay down. I know these assholes. I used to be one of them. We have to be careful and make sure they didn’t follow us. Now shut the hell up or I’ll turn around!”

“Don’t talk to me like a child, motherfucker. I don’t dig that shit, and if you want to turn around, be my fucking guest!” Granted, I want to pull this off, but I’m not kissing this guy’s ass for shit.

“Just stay the fuck down until I’m sure that the coast is clear, okay?” he says finally.

I already regret teaming up with this guy, if that’s what you want to call it. He approached me on Monday outside of the apartment and invited me to coffee. He looked a little different than I remembered, but if this is supposed to be a disguise or something, it sucks. His hair is longer and a different color, but I could still tell immediately that it was him.

So, what’s your fascination with this chick? I mean, yeah, she’s hot and makes a little money and everything, but you got it bad—and I know your background story. You haven’t fucked her in years. So, what’s the deal, man?” Bob had asked sitting across from me.

We sat in some dinky little coffee joint a few miles away from Rosie’s apartment.

What does it matter? I love her and I want her and I’m going to get her. End of story.” I stirred my coffee. For all I know, Rich Boy could have sent him to befriend me and find out my plan. Well, I don’t have one, but I don’t care what Rich Boy knows. Rosie will be mine again. I will definitely see to that.

So, what do you plan to do—just keep stalking her while Grey fucks her brains out and hopes that she just gets tired of all the sex, money, and expensive gifts?” Bob retorted. “Planning to just wait her out, are you?”

I just need to get her alone,” I responded. “Every time I try to talk to her, we get into a fight. I just need to remind her of what we had together. Once I do that, I know I can make her mine again.”

When have you seen her alone?” he asked. “She’s never alone. Someone is always with her.”

Well, something’s up because she’s back at her apartment tonight and she hasn’t been there since last week. I wonder if they broke up?” I said, hopeful.

No, they didn’t break up. Chuck was there when we left.” He took a swallow of his coffee. “Look, all you’re trying to do is get her alone? She hates you, man. I watched her pull a gun in your face, and you still want to get her alone?”

Look, I’m telling you that’s not my Rosie…” I began.

“Rosie?” he sneered. “Who the fuck is Rosie?

Ana. I call her Rosie.” He laughed at me.

Whatever floats your boat, man,” he said drinking some more of his coffee. I continue.

I just need to get her away from all of this shit… even if I can just get her to myself for a few days, just a few days… away from the fucking security and her faggot friend and that rich prick Grey. I just need her to myself for a little while. I know that if I have her to myself for a little while, I can win her back.” We were so happy when we first got together. She was playful and funny, and I knew everything to do to her bite-sized little body to make her scream. Grey can’t be doing her like I did. I touched that kitty in ways nobody else knew how. I just have to remind her of those days—not the shit that came later, those days. “I know this woman like the back of my hand. If I can get her away from all of these fuckers whispering in her ear, I know I can win her back.”

So, that’s your plan… get her away from everybody so that you can turn on the charm?”

Yeah, that’s what I was hoping, but I can’t see it happening because, like you said—she’s never alone,” I answered defeated.

Well, I know these guys and they’re good. They’re not going to turn their back on her for one minute. What’s more, they’re not going to turn their back on you,” he informs me. “If you approach her, they’re going to be on your ass like white on rice before you breathe the same air she does. If what you need is alone time, you have to be able to get near her.”

And where do you come in, because this get-up that you’re in ain’t fooling nobody.”

It’s fooling somebody. Nobody’s tailing me, whereas if you look out of the window and to your right about 20 feet, you will see your latest tail.” Smug ass bastard. “You need to shake your tail—for lack of a better phrase—and once you do that, you can more than likely move a little more freely.”

So, what do you suggest?” I asked sarcastically.

We get you away from your surveillance, get you a disguise, and wait for your chance to get close to Rosie.” He said her name with pure disdain.

What’s in it for you?” I asked suspiciously.

Well, first of all, you may not want me to call her a bitch, but the bitch cost me my job. Second, Little Dick Grey has arranged it so that I can’t find another job in the state of fucking Washington, so I have to relocate to someplace where this fucker isn’t so damn powerful. Anything that I can do to trip him or her up—make their lives a little miserable—runs well with my blood. And third, like I said, I know your story. You got money, and you’re going to pay me.”

Why would I do that?” I spit.

Because I need money to get the hell out of town and start the fuck over. Without it, I have to stay here and maybe get a job at a fast food restaurant. That’s where you come in. I know how his security works, what they’ll be looking for, and how to shake them. That’s what you need. Without me, you can go back outside, pick up your binoculars and have fun with your 1001-foot stolen glances.” He glared at me.

How much are we talking and what exactly can you do for me?” I asked.

Oh, you are going to pay pretty, and pretty frequently, but if you want your magic moment with your precious Princess Perfect, then it’ll be worth it. Quite frankly, I don’t know what the fuck she’s working with in that deadly twat of hers, but whatever it is, it’s going to stay a thousand fucking feet away from my dick,” he spit.

Shut the fuck up, Asshole. You don’t even know her!” I shot.

I know that she’s got a restraining order against you and pulled a gun in your face and you’re still gagging for her ass. And Grey? I hadn’t worked for him for that long, but I know he’s a very powerful man. He makes grown ass men piss their pants on a regular basis. That man has the kind of money that can turn rain into sunshine—but one sniff of Princess Perfect, and he turned into a pussy. She’s got two grown ass men panting after her ass like sappy, stupid little lovesick puppies. Do you know how much money that man spends to keep you away from her? You have somebody tailing you 24 hours a day. They get paid well, including benefits, paid vacations, and hazard pay. They are strapped with the latest equipment and endless expense accounts and all drive late model Audis—and there are at least three or four of them on you every day, seven days a week. Man, they know when you take a shit—all for a piece of pussy. Like I said, whatever she’s got going on in that twat should be listed as hazardous material!” I sat up straight.

I won’t deny that I probably need your services, but you obviously need my money. So, I’m going to listen to what you have to offer and then I’ll decide if I’m going to hire you. But you need to understand something. You can feel whatever the hell you want, but you are going to stop talking about her in that fucked up way around me since—if I do choose to employ you—I assume I’m going to be paying you a pretty fucking penny to get me close enough to Princess Perfect and her toxic pussy to get her back. And you will watch how you talk to me since I’m the one that’s bankrolling this shit. Otherwise, I’ll go back to my binoculars, and you can go back to McDonald’s. Capiche… Bob?” I spit his name with as much disdain as he did Rosie’s. He glared at me for a moment and then said,

Deal… Ed.”

Now we’re traveling by car to some remote location after a long ass ferry ride and 45 minutes later, I am still crouched down in this fucking back seat. I’ve dyed my hair blonde, I’m wearing blue contacts and a phony blonde beard. Bob wouldn’t tell me where we were going to keep from telling anybody else before we left. Who the fuck would I tell? I’m paying this man a small fortune to help me get Rosie alone. Why would I tell somebody my plan so that they can follow me or trip me up? It turns out that Bob knows a guy who knows a guy who has a place on Vashon Island. It’s completely untraceable to Bob or me and is the perfect place to hide out and decide my next move. Maybe Grey’s goons will think I’m dead in that apartment and leave me the hell alone.

“Alright, the coast is clear. We weren’t tailed.” Bob says and I am finally able to sit up.

“Damn, I’ll be glad when we can get the hell out of this car. I’m stiff as hell from not being able to move on that damn ferry.”

“Quit your whining. We’re almost there now,” he says. I look around and all I see is grass and fields and a cluster of trees every now and again. This is perfect. They’ll never find me out here. Now how will I get Rosie here?

“So, what’s the latest we hear on Grey?” I ask, stretching as much as I can in the back seat of the borrowed Ford Taurus.

“He got out of the hospital yesterday. I couldn’t find out what was wrong with the guy, but it couldn’t be too serious for just an overnight stay,” he replies. There was nothing wrong with that prick. Rosie wouldn’t speak to him so he faked an illness to get her to come running back to him. Oldest trick in the book.

I had continued to watch Rosie for a couple of days after I met with Bob to see what, if anything, was happening with her. Grey never showed up Monday night. He showed up on Tuesday night but didn’t stay long from what I could tell. Even though his goon stuck close, he didn’t show up for the rest of the week and Rosie didn’t go to his place either. Bob confirmed that they were having some kind of fight. I can’t help but wonder where he’s getting his information if he doesn’t work for Grey anymore. That’s why I have to keep my eye on this guy. I don’t really know whose side he’s on, but I haven’t done anything illegal, so they can’t pin anything on me.

I was hoping I would be able to use this opportunity to get close to Rosie, but before I had the chance to make my move, she was running to that asshole’s side again and the next thing I knew, she’s at Seattle General sitting lovingly by his bedside. Well played, Prick, but I will have the last laugh in this little game.

Bob turns down another road that seems to go on forever and then another road lined by trees that—you guess it—seems to go on forever. It could just be me… I feel like I’ve been in this damn car forever! Finally, we get to a clearing and a nice-sized bungalow and a farmhouse on lots and lots of land. This is so much more perfect than I could have imagined. “Welcome to Vashon Island,” Bob says as he pulls the car to a stop. I’m only too happy to get out and stretch my legs. It’s very peaceful out here. Maybe Rosie and I can buy some land out here once we get things all straightened out.

We walk to the bungalow and it’s a little neglected inside, but no worse for wear. “The fridge is stocked thanks to you, and we get the basic cable channels out here. No use paying for premium cable if nobody lives here.” He throws his keys on the coffee table. “You should get reception to your cell if you need it. This is an island, but the Municipal Airport ain’t that far from here. There’s no such things as in town around these parts. There’s one little street that runs the length of the island where you can get just the basics if you need them. Everything is pretty much spread out here and there. If you want to go to town, get on the Fauntleroy ferry and head back to Seattle,” he instructs. I nod my head.

“This will work just fine.” I sit down and stretch out on the sofa. “So, I have a few ideas. We need to work out our next plan of action.”

“Fine by me. No offense, but I don’t want to be around you more than is utterly necessary. So, if it’s all the same to you, let’s get this plan in motion so I can get paid and get the hell out of here and leave you with Princess Perfect.” I throw a threatening glare at him. “Hey, I didn’t call her a bitch. If you don’t want me to call her a bitch, I’m calling her Princess Perfect. Get over it!” I shrug. He’s right, he didn’t call her a bitch. I don’t really like when he calls her Rosie—especially the way he says that name. So, I guess I just have to be content with that sarcastic Princess Perfect shit.

“Fine. So, obviously, the first thing we need to do is get her away from Pencil Dick. He’s with her whenever she leaves either apartment, and he either stays at her office or somewhere nearby when she’s at work.” I say.

“Man, how do you know this? Don’t you own a company or something? When do you find time to follow her around?” Bob asks.

“I don’t have as much money as Grey but, like him, I don’t need to be present every second for my company to run,” I respond. “How do you know everything you know if you don’t still work for Grey?”

“I have my ways and you’re just going to have to trust me, now aren’t you? Oh, and just so you know, they probably know that you were watching her up until at least Friday,” he says.

“Yeah, I know. You think you’re telling me something when you say that they’re watching me, but I’ve known all along, all the way back from when you were watching me. And for the record, Rosie didn’t get you fired. You and those damn prostitutes got you fired. All I had to do was sit still and wait for you to get a blowjob before I took off.” I walk into the kitchen to find something to eat.


GREY

“Sir, Manchester indicates that Mr. David hasn’t left his apartment for four days.” Taylor says to me as we’re getting ready to leave for SeaTac. I frown.

“Not that I care about the fucker at all, but are you sure?” I ask. What the hell did he do—decide to end his suffering and kill himself in there?

“There’s been no movement, sir. He was still watching her through Friday morning, but keeping legal distance. Since Friday evening when I brought her here, his car is parked at his apartment and hasn’t left since. Manchester hasn’t seen him coming or going.” Maybe the fucker doesn’t want to cross her while she’s here. She hasn’t been back to her apartment since I got back from the hospital.

“Thanks, Taylor. How much time before we leave?”

“Thirty minutes, sir,” he responds. I nod and he leaves the study.

Well, I’m about to set off on a fact-finding expedition about what happened to my Butterfly during those fateful teenage years that left her scarred for life. I feel completely bonded to her now—after yesterday. If I could propose to her without scaring her the hell away, I would do it in a heartbeat, then marry her before she had a chance to change her mind. That woman is mine, forever. She’s stuck with me and I plan to never let her go. It’s early and I know that she’s still asleep, but I need to wake her so that I can tell her that we’ll be leaving soon.

I lay next to her stroking her hair and watching her sleep. She’s breathtakingly beautiful, even more so when she sleeps. I love her so much it feels like my heart will burst open sometimes. I bring my forehead down to hers and inhale deeply, trying to hold her scent in my nostrils to tide me over for the next few days. I softly sing to her sleeping form:

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.
I’m standing here outside your door.
I hate to wake you up to say goodbye.
But the dawn is breakin’ it’s early morn
The taxi’s waitin’ he’s blowin’ his horn
Already I’m so lonesome I could die.

She surprises me by joining in the next verse with me, her eyes still closed:

So, kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go.
Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh baby, I hate to go.

She opens her beautiful blue eyes and smiles at me. “Hi,” she says, softly.

“Hi,” I respond. “I didn’t know you were awake.”

“I heard you singing. I know it must be close to time for you to leave.” I pull her face to mine and kiss her gently,

“It is. I have a few minutes.”

“Leaving on a jet plane, huh?” she says with a chuckle.

“A private jet plane,” I say, rubbing my nose on hers.

“Oooo, fancy.” She giggles.

“Oh, I love that,” I say taking a deep breath.

“What, baby?”

“Hearing you giggle,” I respond.

“Then I’ll do it more often,” she says in a sweet voice. “You would never catch a taxi,” she adds.

“And I’m not standing outside your door, either,” I point out.

“And you do know when you’ll be back again,” she breathes.

“Yes, I do,” I say as I pull her to me and kiss her passionately. “I love you, Anastasia.”

“I adore you, Christian,” she whispers as she thrusts her hand in my hair and we’re lost in our kiss again.

*-*

We land at McCarran around 9:00am. I want to talk to this cop, George Sullivan, this morning as soon as possible. Lawrence was able to secure an SUV with bulletproof glass as requested and we proceed to the Bellagio.

Once my bags are brought to the room, I open my blackberry to see if there’s any news since this morning. Still no movement from David. No news should be good news, but this bastard makes me nervous. Butterfly has agreed to stay at Escala while I am gone in light of this new information, which makes me feel so much better. I can’t stand worrying about her while I’m gone. I left instructions for another man to be put on her, discreetly, while I’m not there so that I can concentrate on the task at hand. I call her to let her know that I’ve landed safely and that my meetings should start in about an hour and should run almost back to back straight through until Friday, but I promise to call her in the evening to say Goodnight. Her voice is still full of hesitation and I know that she hates me being here. I assure her that I’ll be home soon and send her all my love.

An hour later, Taylor and I arrive at the Henderson Police Department. Officer George Sullivan is a distinguished-looking gentleman, early 40’s at the most. After I introduce myself, he invites me into his office and offers me a cup of coffee.

“So, how can I be of assistance to you, Mr. Grey?” He’s very friendly, initially at least. I soon learn that this is about to change.

“Officer Sullivan, I am very interested in a cold case from your jurisdiction. It’s about 11 years old now. A young girl named Anastasia Steele. I understand that you were the officer that responded to the attack.” And the room instantly gets chilly.

“May I ask what your interest is in this case, Mr. Grey?” he says with a frown.

“I’m going to be honest with you, officer. I’m one of the wealthiest men in America and I’m in love with Ana. I want to know what happened to her.” He shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

“I don’t know how much I can really help you…” he says.

“Any small bit of information you can release will be helpful,” I say. “I understand that you were the first officer on the scene of the attack as well as the leading officer in the investigation. Can you tell me why no one was ever arrested?”

“Well, all of that was in my report, sir. We had no suspects and Ana couldn’t identify anyone,” he responds

“Well, what about the Ranch? Ranch hands, the owner. You can’t just walk onto someone’s property that I know of, acquire brands, brutalize someone, disfigure them, and nobody knows or sees anything.” This guy can’t be that dumb.

“The brands that were used on Ana were either homemade or personalized, like barbecue brands, so they weren’t registered,” he explains. “You can order them online.” Well, that would explain a few things. The burns are brutal, but small compared to an animal brand.

“I’ve read the report, Officer Sullivan, and there was no indication how you were drawn to the scene. Did someone call it in?” I question.

“No, sir. Officers often check the sites of bonfires, particularly with high school kids to make sure that there’s no underage drinking occurring.” Hmmm…

“That seems a little strange, Officer Sullivan. I mean, I know that occurs with desert bonfires—or so I’ve been told—but on private property? That’s like crashing someone’s backyard barbeque,” I say. Sullivan doesn’t have a ready answer for me, so I continue questioning. “Did you have a reason to believe that there may be a problem with this particular bonfire that you felt it necessary to investigate?”

“It’s like I said, Mr. Grey, officers often check the sites of bonfires…”

“… To prevent underage drinking. Yes, you said that. And just how bad of a problem is it to find underage drinking at a bonfire on private property in Green Valley? I mean, is this something that happens regularly? Occasionally? Not very often?” He eyes me suspiciously and I can tell that he is being purposely evasive.

“I’d say not very often,” he says hesitantly and I nod.

“So, what made this particular bonfire suspicious to you?” I ask. He thinks for a moment, then answers, “I heard a girl screaming.” Oh, did you now?

“I’m sorry, Officer Sullivan, that’s not in your report. Your report only says that when you arrived on the scene, several school age children ran away.” Sullivan shifts nervously.

“I’m not completely sure. It was quite some time ago, Mr. Grey,” he responds.

“Well, let me help you.” I produce a copy of the report from the inside pocket of my suit coat. “You reported, ‘there were several school age children surrounding the victim. When I arrived, they dropped her and ran away. Upon closer investigation, I discovered that she was unconscious and unresponsive.'”

“May I see that?” I give him the copy of the police report and he pretends to look it over, then he puts it in a drawer in his desk. “Like I said, Mr. Grey, it’s been quite a while.” What the fuck?

“May I have my document back?” I ask.

“I think I’ll keep it, to try to refresh my memory of the event.” Smarmy ass bastard. Does he think he’s dealing with Amateur Night here?

“That’s fine,” I say undaunted. “You might want to pull it back out then.” I pull out my blackberry and open the file on the network that has the police report and keep reading. “Again, you’ve crashed this bonfire and children all ran away. There’s no indication in your report of the name of the ranch.”

“I’m sure that there is, Mr. Grey,” He says smugly. I scroll through the report on my blackberry.

“Nope, there’s not. Please, feel free to check your copy. I’ll wait.” I sit back in my chair. He doesn’t bother to check his copy because he knows that it’s not there. Did this guy really think I was going to come in here unprepared? I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt before I got here. It never really occurred to me that the investigating officer would be part of the cover-up. Now I have to handle this differently.

“We never really did bonfires where I come from. It seems like it would be like a beach party. Kids laughing, talking, drinking maybe…” I begin.

“Yes, that’s what a bonfire would be like,” he says.

“Music, dancing. Maybe some sneaking off to the barn…” I say with a smirk.

“Yes, all of those things,” he confirms.

“Yeah, I remember those days,” I lie. “We did little campfires at the beach,” I say, pulling on Elliot’s memories and stories to help me out. “I remember my battery died and I had to call my parents to come and get me. They always use my car for the music.” Sullivan has relaxed a little bit—wrong move George.

“They’re smarter here,” he says. “They all keep battery cables in case a battery dies.” I nod.

“I wish I had thought of that. It would have saved me getting grounded a lot. Oh well…” I shrug. “So, from your own description, no one called you, you just saw a bonfire on private property which you decided to investigate. You heard a young girl screaming over a thrashing crowd of violent teenage girls and boys and music no doubt blaring from cars that must have been left behind since you said that the children all ran away. There’s no address of the ranch, no indication that you’ve spoken to the property owners, no license plates taken from the cars that were left behind, not a drop of DNA from a girl who was brutally beaten and almost killed, and no questioning of any witnesses whatsoever. Did I about sum it up correctly, Officer Sullivan?”

Sullivan is watching the entire story fall apart in front of him and now, I’m seeing the lie.

“Have there been any developments on the case since it occurred?” I ask.

“No, except for the fact that someone was looking into Anastasia a few weeks back,” He answers flatly. Surprise! Nice to meet ya!

“That somebody was me because I was trying to find out why the woman I love had two years missing out of her life.” Now, he gets the thrust of my inquiry. “Being in the public eye like I am, you can’t be too careful about who you come in contact with. Being an important man, I have to make sure that nobody’s ghost is going to come back to bite me, but it looks like they’re coming back to bite Anastasia.” The color leaves Sullivan’s face and he’s becoming more than a little nervous. “I’m going to find out who did this to her. I have unlimited resources and I’m going to throw them all into finding out who’s responsible for what happened to the woman that I love. And when I do, anyone involved in this attack is going to pay dearly for what they did one way or another.”

Sullivan squares his shoulders, straightens his back, and glares at me.

“Are you threatening me, Mr. Grey?” he says, his tone menacing. Now we’re getting somewhere.

“I don’t know, Officer Sullivan, am I?” I ask. “I’m threatening anybody who had something to do with the attack on Anastasia Steele. Did you have something to do with the attack on Anastasia? It was my understanding that you were her savior. Are you now telling me that you had something to do with her attack?” By the look on his face, I can tell that he now knows that he has not only stepped in it, but he has also tripped, fallen, and is now swimming in it!

“No, I did not,” he answers, almost sneering.

“Why, then, would you feel that I was threatening you if you had nothing to do with Anastasia’s attack?” Sullivan falls silent and I know now that I need to quickly look into this guy. I tilt my head to the side, narrow my eyes and examine him. “At least I’m sure I don’t have to worry about you telling Anastasia about this little visit.”

“What makes you so sure?” he spits.

“Well, for one thing, I’m sure you don’t want her to know just how badly you botched this up. A preschooler could have done a better job investigating this assault and murder than you did.” He straightens at my description of the crime. Yeah, jackass, assault and murder—or did you conveniently forget that a fetus was killed during this attack? “Make no mistake, Officer Sullivan. I am not a preschooler, and I will find out what happened—no matter how many police reports you hide or roadblocks that you think you can put in front of me. If you’re a good boy, and leave my girlfriend out of this until I’m ready to bring her into it, you may be able to hold on to your job for a little while.”

“What makes you think my job would be in jeopardy?” Does he really have to ask that question!? Who hires these people?

“Call Anastasia and we’ll find out for sure.” I stand. “I’ll be in touch.” I say before I leave his office. I walk out of the police station and call Welch.

“Welch, I need an immediate background check on George Sullivan. He’s the investigating officer on Ana’s case. I need relatives, friends, financials for the last 11 years, properties that he owned in the Henderson area at that time. Whatever you can get your hands on quickly. He’s hiding something and I need to know what it is before I leave Henderson—preferably today.”

“Yes, sir.” I end the call with Welch.

That little meeting takes me just about into lunchtime. I’m about to track down something to eat when I’m informed that Cody Whitmore is temporarily stationary in a public place. Since I have no specific time to meet him, now would be a good time to confront this particular demon.

Cody’s tail discovered that he has women in three cities. Today’s woman is in Summerlin. Since he technically doesn’t work, he has decided to go see Girl #2. Lawrence informs me that he has finished his midday tryst with the tramp and will most likely check in at Daddy’s office after a drink at one of his favorite afternoon spots, a place called JC Wooloughans. It takes us nearly 30 minutes to get to this little Irish pub inside of a Summerlin resort.

I was sure that we were going to miss him since it took so long for us to get there, but apparently, Girl #1… or 3… or a candidate for #4… waits tables at this establishment. He’s seated in the corner chatting her up. I sit in the center of the bar and instruct Taylor to sit at the far end, where we can both keep an eye on him. I order soda water and lime and watch while he chugs two more beers eyeing the girl’s ass at every opportunity. Did this guy drive? Has he been drinking this steadily since he arrived?

I can look at him and tell from his stance and posture that he’s a cocky son-of-a-bitch. I know this, because I’m a cocky son-of-a-bitch. He stands and makes his way to the restroom. I look over at Taylor, who nods that he’s on alert for whatever may happen. Whitmore comes back out of the bathroom and proceeds back towards his comfy corner.

“Whitmore,” I call out, loud and sharp enough to be heard without shouting. He stops and looks over his shoulder.

“Who wants to know?” he shoots.

“Temper, temper,” I begin turning around to face him. I examine the man standing in front of me. He has the look about him of someone who works hard to try to impress you. “I’m sure Dear Old Dad has already told you to expect me,” I say, sipping my soda water. He laughs in my face.

“So, you’re Grey?” he asks casually. “Yes, Dad did tell me that you were coming to town.”

“Ooo, my reputation precedes me. That makes me very happy. So, tell me, Cody, why would you be concerned about my visit?” I ask.

“Oh, I’m not. I could fucking care less,” he snaps.

“So why did your Dad warn you of my arrival, that is, since you’re so unconcerned?” I ask, flatly. He takes out his phone and hits a number.

“Because you’re harassing my entire family, and I really don’t think you know who you’re dealing with.” Oh, you have got to be kidding me. These people still haven’t looked me up? Talk about being delusional about your own power. “Dad, yeah, he’s here… no, he’s standing right here in front of me…” He hands me the phone. “My father would like to speak to you… Christian.” Oh, little boy, you are playing with fire. I take his phone.

“Grey.”

“Do you plan on harassing my wife next, Grey?” Whitmore spits.

“If she can give me the answers that I’m looking for, yes, I will,” I say, impassively. I hear his breath catch on the other end of the phone. Wrong move, Jack-off…

“I thought it was understood that all future dealings would be directly with me!” he spits.

“You thought wrong!” I growl, looking at the man who raped my Butterfly while I prepare to eviscerate his father. His eyes narrowed and he swallowed hard as he tries to decipher our conversation. “I’m going to get the information that I came for, Whitmore. And if that requires that I interrogate your whole fucking family, then that’s what I’ll do.”

Whitmore laughs loudly in my ear. “You’re a cocky bastard, aren’t you, Grey?” he snaps in my ear.

“I can afford to be,” I respond.

“You know I can have you run out of town, right?” Whitmore threatens.

“You and what army?” I retort. And the line is quiet. “Since you seem to have run out of witty repartee, let’s get to the point. You know why I’m here and you suggested that we meet. I’m a busy man and my time is valuable—I don’t like it wasted,” I spit. It’s now or never, Asshole. I don’t need you. I’m sure that I am face-to-face with the fucker that I want, but I’ll take the opportunity to strike a little fear in the town of fucking Green Valley.

“I’ll be at the M this evening after 8. That’ll be the only time you can meet with me,” he says like he has to squeeze me in.

“Works fine for me—I have plans for the rest of my stay.” I hang up on him and turn my attention back to Cody. If I could get away with it, I would rip him apart right here on the spot with my bare hands and drop his mangled body in the middle of the desert—leave him to the vultures, the snakes and the desert vermin. He still has the nerve to stand there looking at me with this superior glare. My work here is done.

“I’ll tell you what. You can wipe that cocky ass smirk off your face, because if I find out that you are who I think you are, I’m going to have your nuts platinum-plated and give them to my girl as a Christmas gift.” I drop his phone into my unfinished glass of soda water before I signal to Taylor that we are leaving. “Roll that around in your head for a while, Asshole.” Taylor and I leave him standing there with a not-so-smug look on his face.


STEELE

Four hours. He’s only been gone for four hours and I’m sick to my stomach. Why oh why did it have to be Whitmore? Anybody but fucking Whitmore. I look out of my window at Grey House. He’s not there today.

“I miss you, baby,” I say aloud. “I wish I had told you not to go.” I go to my desk and speed dial Maxie from my iPhone.

“Hey Max… Are you busy for dinner tonight?… Can you meet me at Christian’s? I need a session… No, everything’s fine, but there has been a development and I need to talk it out… Thanks, Maxie. I know it’s short notice and I really appreciate it. Would you prefer anything in particular?… Okay, well, I’ll be out of here by five so I should be back at Escala at about 5:30. Shall we say six?… You are a life saver, Maxie. Thank you. I’ll see you then.” I hang up and call Gail.

“Hi Gail, my friend Maxie is joining me for dinner and… Yes, she is one of the Fabulous Five.” I laugh. “Would it be too much trouble if… Oh, Gail, thank you… No, she said nothing special, so whatever you were already planning should be fine… 6:00?… Thank you, Gail, I would be lost without you.” I end the call.

I love Christian. I love him so much. I don’t question my feelings for him, or the fact that we’ve only been together for such a short time. I’ve never felt this way in my life for anyone… evernot even Edward. And as much as I hate him now, I did love Edward once—truly love him—but not like this. Christian is my heartbeat, my pulse, my love song… my reason to wake up in the morning.

Oh, I got it bad…

I scrub my hands over my face and get ready for my next patient.


GREY

“Hello, may I speak to Cynthia Crestwood, please?” I meant to call Mrs. Crestwood yesterday from the office, but I got caught up in a little thing called TPE and all things Green Valley completely slipped my mind.

“This is Mrs. Crestwood. How can I help you?”

“Mrs. Crestwood, this is Christian Grey. I am calling on behalf of an organization in Washington called Helping Hands. Our organization offers assistance to battered women and abused children who have recently left or are trying to leave abusive situations. Recently, your name was submitted to receive recognition for your assistance to children in the community. We actually sent you a letter requesting a conference with you, and my assistant tried to contact you last week, but we received no response. We were going to send another notification to you. However, I happen to be in the Las Vegas area on a business matter and was hoping I could possibly meet with you. Is that a possibility, Mrs. Crestwood?” I’ve rehearsed that speech several times to make sure I got it right the first time. I can fill in the blanks as needed from here on out.

“Oh, how nice!” she exclaims, sincerely. “What’s the name of your organization again?”

Helping Hands of Seattle, Ma’am. Families come to us from all over the country, having somehow or another made their way to the City of Goodwill.” I laugh to break the ice and it works like a charm.

“Well, Mr. Grey, um, what do I need to do?” she asks.

“I would love to discuss this further with you, Mrs. Crestwood. Would you possibly be available to discuss it over dinner tomorrow night? I will be leaving on Friday and I’m staying at the Bellagio. We can meet at one of the restaurants here if you like or at any one you choose.” Yes, the Bellagio, one of the more upscale hotels on the Las Vegas strip. Of course, that would pique her interest—not because she’s superficial, but because let’s face it… certain hotels on the strip mean money. The Bellagio is one of those hotels.

“Oh, no, Mr. Grey. The Bellagio is fine.” Of course, it is. “Where shall we meet?”

“How about the Jasmine? Five o’clock? Reservations under Grey,” I say sweetly.

“That would be perfect. I look forward to seeing you then.”

“The pleasure is mine, Mrs. Crestwood.” Thank God that went off without a hitch. I completely forgot to call the woman. That could have been a disaster!

In the rush to meet catch young Whitmore, I fail to eat lunch. I can see Butterfly shaking her finger at me and then I shiver remembering my punishments from yesterday. Though the sexual deprivation was agony, the spanking and flogging were superb discipline and the ultimate release was cosmic. Though I would never let on to anyone, my butt cheeks are still tender from the crop, my thigh throbs where she scratched me, and I still have stripes to admire on my abdomen and legs. I smile as I rub my thigh, then promptly cease before causing myself the worse boner in the world and no hope of Butterfly to release it. I enjoyed her so much. I have no fond memories of subbing except that I knew I would eventually fuck… maybe… until last night…

That beautiful petite Goddess wrapped in a red and black corset and nonexistent lace panties and those insanely high black stilettos… and the collar… standing next to me, legs spread apart and whacking me with that riding crop. I actually jump as I anticipate the blows I’ve already taken… and he’s up.

Down, Boy. We’ll Skype her later.

Now I have to get something to eat or I am likely to relive my punishments from yesterday. As tempting as the riding crop and flogger were, I’m in no hurry to test my limits on her expertly executed orgasm deprivation. Also, I just don’t want to disobey my Mistress.

“Taylor, have room service deliver an early dinner immediately!”

“Yes, sir.”

My Butterfly has rewritten my history. Twice. I no longer relate being a submissive to that horrible woman. I now relate it to my sexy, sensual, and irresistible Mistress. And I look forward to subbing for her.

Also, I don’t feel the need to eat because of my prior food issues anymore—or because I was left alone with a dead crack whore for four days unable to find food—or because I spent so many days hungry and hurting and only wishing the pain would end. Now, I must eat because I foolishly harmed myself and my body for five days and I almost died… and this would have hurt my Mistress immensely. I’m not allowed to hurt my Mistress. I don’t desire to hurt my Mistress. So, to that end, I am not allowed to cause myself harm ever again and must remember to eat and take care of myself… for myself… and my Mistress.

The M Casino and resort is an impressive establishment that opened in Vegas in 2009. Although it is on Las Vegas Blvd, it’s not on the part of the street that is known as The Strip. It’s about 10 miles south of The Strip—and just as far from the Bellagio. Where The Strip—the Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, Caesar’s Palace—would all be geared towards the spending tourist, the M is more geared towards attracting lucrative locals… at least that’s the impression I got of it.

Taylor and Lawrence are on high alert and conspicuously wired. I don’t want this fucker to think for one second that he is playing with small-time business here, or that I don’t have back-up. Sure enough, this asshole is in the high-rollers room, surrounded by call girls and three trying-to-look-like-tough-guys bulky security guards. This is so fucking cliché—it’s like one of those badly-written gangster movies.

I know his type. He’s been watching the door all night, waiting for an unfamiliar face to enter—and here I am. So now, he’s going to play like he doesn’t see me—as if I’m going to crawl to him like some lackey. Okay, Whitmore. Let’s see how this works out for you.

I position myself in that stance that Taylor knows well—feet apart, hands clasped in front of me, staring at this asshole who is laughing loudly and grabbing on the ass of some scantily clad cheap slut. Taylor and Lawrence both take the CIA stance behind me…

And I stare…

It only took three minutes. What a pussy! My Butterfly outstared you the first day I met her.

“Grey! That must be you. Come in. Grab a girl. Make yourself comfortable. Can we get you gentlemen a drink?” he says, gesturing to a cocktail waitress like he’s hosting a party.

“No thanks, Whitmore. I only drink socially, and this is not a social call and as for the girls, well,” I look around at the desperate tarts offering themselves like hors d’oeuvres and praying that they will be the chosen one, “I have a woman, so I have no use for girls.” Whitmore laughs loudly.

“You can’t be talking about that lying bitch Anastasia Steele?” he barks. I move to close the space between us in three quick strides. His bulky security men leap into action to subdue me. One is quickly taken down by Taylor, who is now pointing a firearm at the guy’s head who lies prostrate on the floor. The second managed to get to me right before I got to Whitmore. The hand he intended to make contact with my jaw is now crunched in my fist. I bend it back swiftly until I hear bones cracking and the man screams in pain while I hold him there. The third doesn’t bother to move at all as Lawrence already has his firearm drawn and trained on him.

“Mr. Whitmore,” I say, leaning in inches from his face, still holding his bodyguard’s broken hand, “I should inform you that I’m a bit sensitive about how you speak about my woman. So, you may want to think twice about calling her a liar and a bitch.” I say through clenched teeth. He shows no overt signs of fear or cowering, but I can see the sweat on his forehead in this very cool casino. I release his bodyguard who is now clutching his hand in pain. “When you’re done posturing for your friends, I’m staying at the Bellagio.” I pull out a wad of hundred-dollar bills and throw it at the bodyguard with the broken hand.

“You should get that checked out,” I say before leaving the high-rollers room.

As Taylor, Lawrence and I make our way back to the front of the hotel, Williams brings the SUV around. Just as I am getting in, Whitmore comes out of the front door with his two uninjured tough guys.

“Grey!” Oh, it appears that he has grown a new set of balls! I step back out of the SUV. Taylor and Lawrence are back at my side, hands already on their firearms.

“What the hell was that? You broke that man’s hand… for what? For protecting me from a stranger who comes into the hotel and threatens me?” he shouts.

“How did I threaten you, Mr. Whitmore?” I say with disdain, assuming the stance once again. I wait patiently for an answer that I know I’m never going to get, then I step to him again without dropping my hands so that the poor little insurance executive doesn’t feel threatened. I’ve always known that I was a tall man. I just never understood why the rest of the world seems so damn short. Now here I am again standing nose-to-eye with and looking down at yet another small man—in stature and manhood—that wants to prove that his balls are bigger than mine.

“We don’t need to meet, Whitmore. We already have, and I already know what I need to know about you. You’re a grimy little dirty, sorry excuse of a man who likes to throw money at his problems and hope that they go away. I know that tactic, Whitmore. I invented it! And when I throw money at problems, I throw the kind of money at the right people to make sure that they never show up again.” I close the space between us. In my peripheral, I can see his guards jump to attention again, but they don’t make a move in my direction.

“You told me that I didn’t know who I was dealing with, but it’s painfully obvious that you don’t know who you’re dealing with, Whitmore. You are grotesquely out of your league, and too arrogant and ignorant to even know it. You should have done some more research on me before you attempted to throw your ‘weight’ around. If you had, you would have known that I’m one of the wealthiest men in America—and I mean Bill Gates kind of wealthy not Oprah Winfrey kind of wealthy. So, if you really want to talk about being a power player, you better remember that in the Deep Blue Sea, you’re a guppy and I’m a shark. You don’t want to fuck with me.

“I’m going to find out what happened to Anastasia Steele, and when I do, the people involved are going to pay for what they’ve done—one way or another. And by all means, if you want to come at me, please do. You go right ahead. You know where to find me.”

This little man still doesn’t seem to get the picture and still wants to try to jockey for position. To the passerby or a casual observer, Whitmore is calm and collected and could possibly be dominating this conversation—that is, if he didn’t have Goliath standing in his face looking down on him while he’s trying to and failing be David. However, I’m not the casual observer. Those beads of sweat are still present on his forehead. His ears are red, but his face is pale. His fingers twitch slightly and his breath is short. His pupils are constricted and keep darting from my left to my right eye, trying but failing to read my thoughts. His fear and uncertainty are so thick, I can smell them. He’s clearly shaken. If this was any worthy competition, I’d have him on the ropes.

When you’re accustomed to being the Big Man On Campus and the real Head Man In Charge shows up, you don’t know what to do with yourself. You don’t become second-in-command; you become the last man on the totem-pole. This is proven every time your boss’s boss shows up at your job. There’s someone else in top seat and your boss is immediately turned into a gopher. In this case, Whitmore has been turned into a mouse and is still fighting to scurry back to the top of the pyramid.

“As you can see, Grey, I’m a very powerful man in this city.” Whitmore says, his voice shaking just a bit at his one last attempt at a power play.

“No, Whitmore, I can’t see that… but it really doesn’t matter to me. You may very well be powerful in this city, but I’m a very powerful man in this country!” I spit. “I have hands in pots that you can’t even imagine. My reach goes further than your little brain can even conjure. I can make it so that you would wake up in the morning and have nothing left to your name but those cheap leather shoes that you’re wearing right now.”

“I beg your pardon!” Whitmore snaps. “These are Bexleys!” Oh, you have got to be kidding me. I shake my head at him. Even one of his bodyguards behind him has a slight reaction that I register as embarrassed dismay. I am truly wasting my time here.

“And the fact that you felt the need to tell me that right at this moment goes to show just how small your little mind really is.” I say with pure contempt and disdain. I stand up straight as I no longer want to stoop down to this little man—figuratively or literally. “Let’s go. We’re done here,” I say backing away from a shocked Whitmore and getting into the SUV once again. As we pull away from the M Resort, all doubt has been erased that Cody is the man that raped my Butterfly and that his weaselly father paid off her family to hide it. I have my primary targets. Now I have to find the rest of the offenders.

It’s about 9:30 when we get back to the Bellagio. We are stopped at the desk when the clerk informs us that there was a package left for me. Taylor and I look knowingly at each other. I wasn’t expecting anything to be delivered—and Whitmore knows where I’m staying. Noticing the look on my face, the clerk says. “We can scan the package for you if you like, Mr. Grey. It’s not something that we normally do, but I’m sure that we can make an exception.” I nod curtly at him and he disappears for a moment. After a few minutes, the clerk returns with the package.

“It’s clear, Mr. Grey. It’s a book,” he says, placing the package on the counter.

“A book?” I ask, bemused.

“Yes, sir,” he responds. Taylor takes the liberty to open the package. A knowing look comes over his face. Without removing the contents, he says, “You’re expecting this, sir.” I nod at him and hand two $100 bills to the desk clerk thanking him for his services before retiring to my room for the night. I have a lot to consider. The day was very productive in terms of getting information and I now have yet another suspect to examine—George Sullivan. All this time, he was considered one of the few good guys. He’s hiding something and I know he is. Could he be sleeping with the devil, or just dancing with danger?

“Grey,” I say as I answer my buzzing blackberry.

“Did you get the package, sir?” Welch asks

“Yes, I did. Next time, let us know to expect it so that we don’t have to scan it for explosives. I am in the lion’s den down here, you know. Now I may have made a potential enemy out of a cop,” I inform him.

“I’m sorry, sir. I was calling to tell you that I have uploaded that cop’s preliminary background check to the network. Nothing really stands out about him, but I’m checking to see if there is anything deeper that we may have missed. So far, he just looks like your everyday, average citizen… no payoffs or huge influxes of cash, no undisclosed assets, nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary whatsoever.”

“Remember, we thought that about Anastasia, too…” I remind him.

“Duly noted,” he responds.

“Besides, that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have anything to hide. He could just be scared shitless of Whitmore, who clearly has a puffed-up, delusional, high impression of the power that he wields over people since he apparently has quite the reach in Henderson… though I haven’t seen it yet.”

Oh, one of those,” Welch says, knowingly.

“In the worst way,” I respond. “Inform legal to prepare for a possible lawsuit from one of his bodyguards.”

Sir?” Welch inquires.

“I broke his hand.” He chuckles a bit in the phone.

“That’s actually a direct hazard of his employment, sir. He may not have grounds to sue you,” he says.

“Well, I threw more cash at him than he probably makes in a month, so he may not have the balls to sue me, but tell legal to be prepared anyway.”

“Yes, sir.” I end the call and open the envelope that Welch has forwarded to me. The 2001 Green Valley High School yearbook. I can see that there are several pages bookmarked, but honestly, I just want to see one right now. I turn to the appendix of names in the back and, as expected, there is only one page number next to her name. I go to the page in the sophomore section of the yearbook and find her near the end of the page… in the S’s…

My Butterfly.

Huge, blue unassuming orbs too big for her face. Her teenage skin is remarkably flawless, unmarred by make-up or the embarrassing pubescent acne I see in some of the other pictures. Her smile is innocent, unblemished, and a little sad—reflecting the loneliness of a naturally beautiful outcast. Her hair is pulled back into a ridiculously long ponytail with perfect bangs shaping her beautiful eyes. This picture was obviously taken before the attack, and I feel a little strange for the desire that I feel for this teenage girl that stares back at me. I take comfort in knowing that it is only because this is the younger version of my darling Butterfly—the woman who holds my heart and fate in her hands—but I can clearly see how her beauty could drive someone to untamed desire. Rape, no—but desire, absolutely.

I now have the burning need to touch her and be with her, but for right now, I have to be satisfied with Skype.


A/N: The goodbye song was “Leaving On a Jet Plane by John Denver (or Peter, Paul, and Mary depending on your preference). Very, very, very old song.

Be sure to check out the fashion on my Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

Love and handcuffs,
Lynn x

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 37: Are You Game?

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. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…

Chapter 37—Are You Game?

STEELE

I missed all of my appointments last Tuesday, so I’m leaving before Christian wakes up so that I can get a jump on them today, but I have a little surprise in mind for him. I don’t know how comfortable he’ ll be with the concept, but I read a little bit about it before we had our “falling out” and I had planned on trying it out with him this past weekend. Of course, that little thing called a hospital stay changed those plans… and of course, that visit from Mother Nature didn’t have me feeling too sexy either. However, after last night, I feel like a sex goddess ready to explode. Too bad he’s about to go out of town for three days. Oh well, I guess we’ll have to make this day one he shall not soon forget.

I leave a manilla envelope with a certain object and instructions on the chair in his study, say goodbye to Gail and head down to the parking structure, texting Chuck to meet me down there. When the elevator doors open, Chuck’s mouth falls agape.

“Uh… Ana?” he says when he sees my attire. I have never followed the rules of “Before Five/After Five” attire, but today, I am breaking them all.

“Chuck?” I say, in the same flat questioning tone.

“Has the Boss seen you today?” he asks cautiously.

“No, but he will,” I respond.

“He’s going to have my ass for this,” Chuck says, dismally.

“No, he won’t,” I say, but he very well may have mine. “I’ll ride with you today.”

“Must you?” he laments, as I get into the passenger seat of the Audi fleet car assigned to him. This outfit is really making him uncomfortable—which means I picked the right ensemble. I am wearing a red Patty Woman off-the-shoulder long sleeved fitted dress with red cage strappy peep-toe platform stilettos. The sexy silicone backless, strapless invisible bra and red thong make me look like I’m not wearing underwear at all.

“Chuck, I’m sorry if I’m making you feel uncomfortable, but I have specific plans for today. Would you rather I drive myself to work?” He sighs.

“No, I’ll drive you, but how are your patients going to concentrate with you dressed like that?” he asks as he starts the car.

“Oh, they’ve seen worse,” I say with a snicker. He looks at me then shakes his head.

“I don’t even want to know.” He pulls out of Escala’s parking structure and heads toward downtown.

“Hot-chi-wah-wah! What’s this all about, Boss!?” Marilyn says when I get to the office.

“I have plans for Mr. Grey,” I say, picking up the mail from her desk. “Anything important?”

“Not at all. What’s up with these plans? Don’t leave me hanging!” she squeals.

“I could tell you, but I think it would burn your young innocent ears.” I smile devilishly as I go into my office.


GREY

Fuck, my thigh hurts like hell this morning. I smile, remembering the cause for the sharp shooting pain there. I reach over for my Butterfly and realize that the bed is empty. What the hell? I never sleep longer than she does. I sit up and examine the room. She has long since left, it appears. Damn! So much for a morning replay of last night. I’m going to have to make today special for her somehow since I have to leave for Green Valley first thing in the morning. Part of me really wants to tell her what is going on, but the biggest part wants to have some answers before I open that painful conversation with her.

I throw my legs out over the edge of the bed, stand and stretch. She didn’t leave me a note or anything? I feel a little rejected. I look at my watch on the nightstand… 8:12am. Nothing on my agenda today until 10:00 then maybe I can take Butterfly to lunch.

Remember how well that went the last time you tried to do that? Well, yes, but I was a stupid idiot then and now I know better. When I stand to my feet, I see a suit in front of me on the valet near the closet. I never use that thing, so I know that I didn’t put that there. I walk over to the valet and examine the black Gorgio Armani suit there with the crisp white dress shirt. On the shoe display of the stand are a pair of black Gorgio Armani calfskin leather Balmoral dress shoes and nylon dress socks.

What in the hell? I must have slept like a damn log… and who has decided how I needed to be suited today? There is a manila envelope atop the valet with my name craftily scribbled across it. I open the envelope and read the note inside.

Good Morning Mr. Grey,

I hope you slept well last night. I know I did. I can only assume by your current content expression that you must be dreaming of me and our incredible night of passion. Alas, the day has dawned and it is back to business. This is what you will be required to wear today. Prepare yourself with your Armani shampoo, body wash, and cologne before donning this magnificent creation. Do not add anything or subtract anything from this ensemble. Once you have adorned yourself, proceed to your study for further instructions.

Awaiting your compliance,
AS x

Prepare myself? She sounds like she’s stuffing a turkey! What in the world—she must have had Valium in her ass because she is showered, dressed, and gone, laid out my clothes and shoes, and apparently had time to watch me sleep and write a note and I didn’t hear a thing! Although, I must admit… there’s something meticulous and familiar about this process:

She has chosen my clothes, down to my nylon socks…
I’ve been instructed not to alter the ensemble…
I’ve been told to “prepare” myself with specific grooming products…
Her tone is formal. Except for the “kiss” in her signature, there’s nothing particularly playful about this letter…

It finally dawns on me when I see the two key components of this letter—the opening and the closing:

Good Morning Mr. Grey…
Awaiting your compliance…

She’s in Domme mode! Fuck!

Okay… if I remember nothing else as a submissive, I remember to follow instructions. I proceed to the en suite where I find a T-shirt and a pair of black Hugo Boss boxer briefs neatly folded on the counter, my Armani grooming supplies lined up behind them. I swallow, noting her care and attention to detail and wondering exactly what this day will encompass. I waste no time in thoroughly showering and brushing my teeth. She didn’t tell me to shave, so I won’t. I often leave a little stubble on some days and she has not instructed me to remove it.

I dress myself in the suit and shirt that she has left for me and I notice that she has failed to include a tie or cufflinks. I never wear a dress shirt without a tie—a linen shirt, maybe, but never a dress shirt—and I can’t run around with my cuffs flapping all day! I double check the valet and the floor around it to make sure I didn’t drop them. I am almost tempted to pick a tie and cufflinks and stash them in my pocket, but a submissive is required to obey. This is not my time to make decisions; she must make the decisions. I pick up my blackberry and proceed to my study as instructed.

… And this is why a submissive must remember to obey without question.

In the chair in my study, I find my scarlet red silk Armani tie, pocket square, and cuff link set atop another manila envelope. We definitely have a theme here—this is an Armani day for me. I can’t say that I mind. The moment that I pick up the envelope, I can tell that it contains more than just a note. I remove it’s contents and place them on the desk. I am now certain that this is going to be quite a memorable day.

You follow directions well, Mr. Grey. I am assuming that you are wearing the exquisite Armani suit and shoes that I have chosen for you and that you are now smelling incredibly edible after utilizing the grooming products as I have instructed. I can tell you that I was incredibly hot this morning watching you sleep and imagining you preparing yourself for this day, but I managed to control myself as I have better things in mind for you.

Put it on… slowly. Imagine my hands are fastening it against you, caressing your skin as I gently tighten it, kissing your neck and your back and caressing your chest as I mark you as MINE. You will wear it all day under your clothes. Text me when you have completed this task.

Awaiting your compliance,
AS x

The other item in the envelope is the thin black collar with the red hearts—one of the collars that she chose for me on our shopping spree. Now, I know why she separated the tie from the rest of the clothes. I have to put the collar under my shirt, then cover it with my shirt collar and the Armani tie. I trace the collar with my fingers. There is a small jolt in my chest… hesitation. The last time I was collared, the Pedophile collared me. It wasn’t a tender moment for us, not that there were ever any tender moments for us. I was reluctant to explore this avenue again, but Butterfly was curious, so I agreed to help facilitate her journey. The problem is that I thought she would be with me when I wore a collar again for the first time. A submissive hardly ever attaches a collar himself.

I do as I am told. I open the collar and slowly put it around my neck. I close my eyes and imagine that my Butterfly is buckling the collar behind me… touching my skin and kissing my shoulders. I finger the collar around my large neck and it almost seems to disappear. I touch it and fondle the silver leash loop in front of it and remember what it means. I hear her voice in my ear…

You are mine.

I open my eyes, still fondling the collar. It suddenly feels like a valuable and priceless piece of jewelry… the most valuable thing I’ve ever worn in my life. I caress the soft leather and the leash loop repeatedly with my fingertips, pressing it against my neck. I undo the buckle and tighten the collar one more loop. I want to feel the leather against my skin, to know that it’s there. I suddenly realize why she had me perform this little collaring ceremony on my own. She could very easily take me—I would not resist. In fact, she knows I would welcome it.

She wants me to give myself to her.

When the Pedophile collared me, I was taken—whether I wanted it or not. I was crushed and subdued and I had no choice in the matter. This time, I make the decision to submit. I make the choice. I can very easily have chosen to say “no,” to not wear the collar. No doubt she knew that this would be difficult to do on my own, but she had to know how I would feel once the collar was attached per her instructions… something that I didn’t expect to feel.

Submission, compliance, obedience, yes… even reverence.

Desire, yearning, and need to be possessed by someone… no, I hadn’t expected this. Moreover, I certainly hadn’t expected to feel…

Relief.

The teacher is becoming the student.

I reluctantly tear my hands away from the better-than-gold-platinum-diamond-encrusted treasure around my neck and proceed to button my shirt. I tie the Armani firmly around my neck and touch my tie, knowing that my collar—her collar—is underneath. I put on my cufflinks and insert the pocket square into my chest pocket… and although today, I am the sub, I feel taller. I open my blackberry and send a text to Butterfly.

**I am dressed as you instructed. **

I don’t move from my spot until I receive a response.

**Very good, Mr. Grey, but you have your first infraction. I’m sure you know what it is. Don’t let it happen again. **

Oh shit, what did I do? I quickly run through the letter and the text to figure out what I did wrong. I donned the clothes and collar like my Mistress instructed. I texted my Mistress to tell her that I had obeyed her instruction… what did I do…?

Fuck! Rule number fucking one, Grey!

**Please forgive me, Mistress. **

Another moment later, she responds:

**Today, we are going to try a form of TPE. Be assured that I understand that I cannot control every aspect of your day or you will be unable to effectively run your company and do your job. However, I will be in control of certain aspects of your day today. I’m aware of your schedule. You do not need to know how I acquired this information. I expect you to answer my texts without delay and to follow my instructions without question or hesitation even if I’m not physically in your presence. You will respond to me appropriately for the entire day until I inform you that we have completed TPE. Are you game? **

Fuck me… TPE. Holy cow…

Shit, she’s rubbing off on me!

Once again, I haven’t subbed in total power exchange since the Pedophile. It takes a hell of a lot of trust to let someone completely control everything that you do—which is why she got me dressed this morning and didn’t tell me that we were doing TPE until after I had collared myself.

**Yes Mistress. **

To say that I’m nervous as fuck about this is the understatement of the century. In fact, I’m scared shitless! But this is my Butterfly—my Delicate Domme and my Mistress—and I know she wouldn’t hurt me or take advantage of me. I do wonder what she has decided to do today. I’m almost gagging to see what this day will hold and how it will end… what delicious memories I will have to take with me into the bowels of hell tomorrow.

**Very good. Go eat your breakfast, now. I know that you have a 10:00 and if you don’t hurry, you will be late. **

**Yes, Mistress. **

*-*

I repeatedly and reflexively touch my collar and tie several times throughout the course of the day. I know that my Mistress knew I would be doing this all day. She wants me to know that even when she’s not there, she is there. I’m sitting in the department heads meeting this morning fidgeting like a nervous teenager. More than one of these suits has noticed that although I am a little uneasy, this is not the usual bored tension that I bring into these meetings. I try not to jump out of my skin when my blackberry buzzes.

Fuck, Grey, get a fucking grip!

I remove my blackberry from my pocket and read the text from my Mistress:

**Rub your thigh where I scratched you last night. Remember me bouncing on your dick and pulling your hair while we were both screaming in ecstasy. **

Oh, heaven help me. I rub the scratches on my thigh and think about the burning pleasure we experienced last night. It was our first anal intercourse together and it was fucking amazing. I came almost immediately upon entering her luscious ass and she was so tight, that it only took moments for me to be hard again and fuck that gorgeous derriere to two more mind-blowing orgasms for her and one earth-shattering release for me. I moan involuntarily as the pain in my leg sends a signal to my brain and a shock directly to my cock as a reminder of last night’s escapades.

“Mr. Grey?” Andrea’s voice reminds me that I am still in this fucking meeting. Thank God it’s nearly over.

“I hurt my leg last night. The pain is distracting. Is there anything very important that we need to address?” I say. It’s not a lie.

“Um, I think we’ve covered everything,” Ros interjects. She’s my second in command and if she says everything is covered, it’s covered. “Go take care of your leg, Christian. We’ll wrap things up here.”

“Thank you, Ros. Gentlemen,” I say curtly before escaping the conference room to the privacy of my office. I have to respond soon or my Mistress will think I’ve hesitated.

**Thank you, Mistress! **

I fall into my chair and I have to take a few deep breaths. I think not knowing what comes next is what is making the anticipation so agonizing. I am the king of delayed gratification, but I have rarely been on the receiving end of that particular concept.

**Did you enjoy that memory, Mr. Grey? **

**Yes, Mistress. Very much. **

**Did you pleasure yourself, Mr. Grey? **

Oh, hell, no. Do I look crazy?

**No, Mistress. **

**Good. You are not to touch yourself or pleasure yourself in any way without permission. Your release will come from me. Is that understood? **

Of course it is, but I dare not question my Mistress’ tactics.

**Yes, Mistress. Completely understood. **

**Good. Where are you now? **

**I am in my office, Mistress. **

**Excellent. Sit in your chair and open your legs. Grab that big beautiful cock of yours and rub it through your pants. Rub it hard five times. That’s my hand clenching you and rubbing you, hard. My hand is cupping your dick HARD. Rub that dick for me. Thrust your hips into my hand and feel me grabbing and rubbing that luscious hard cock. Five times, Mr. Grey. Five hard, deep strokes. I will contact you again in an hour. **

Oh fucking shit, she is good.

**Yes Mistress. **

I close my eyes and see my Mistress standing in front of me and grabbing my member in her hands. Greystone starts to twitch before I even get my hand down to him. I can feel it pressing hard against my boxers and I take it in my hands. I’m so hard that the moment I touch it, it almost feels like I’m going to come.

“Shit.”

I thrust my hips into my hand, rubbing my cock strong and deep just like my Mistress instructed me. I almost cry out from the sudden jolt of pleasure.

One.

I stroke again, pushing my palm into my erection and matching the stroke with my hips—deep and long.

Two.

Fuck, this is torture… exquisite fucking torture. I repeat the process, this time gyrating my hips against my hand like I would if my Mistress were doing this.

“Fuck!” Three.

Almost as if she has taken possession of my hand, it grips my rod tightly through my pants, stroking downwards, then cupping my balls in a massage and feverishly gripping on the upstroke.

“Ah!” I have to muffle that cry a bit. That’s four. I can do one more and not come. I can do one more…

Once more, I rub my now pulsating cock, imagining my Mistress and her talented hands and fingers gripping my Johnson as I stoke against her hands. That almost did it. My injured leg is now shaking from the attempt to suppress an impending orgasm.

“Five! Five! Fuck! Fuck!” This woman is turning me the fuck out and she’s not even here! This is definitely a first for me. I’m clutching the arms of my chair and gasping for breath as the throbbing in my dick slowly subsides. Shit, I need a drink! If I smoked, I’d need a cigarette right now!

I take a few sips of bourbon, then settle down at my desk with some spreadsheets. I have to get some kind of work done before this woman completely kills me. If she’s doing this to me and she’s not even present, I’m truly afraid of what’s going to happen when we get together! I’ve just gotten myself calmed to a certain degree when my phone buzzes again. My dick twitches immediately and my hands are shaking as I attempt to retrieve my blackberry.

**How do you feel, Mr. Grey? **

**Fine, Mistress. **

**How does your leg feel? **

**Fine, Mistress. **

**Good. Now I want you to sit back in your chair, take a few deep breaths and relax. Put your hands on your armrest and don’t move them until I tell you to. **

Oh, this is an easy one. Even if she makes me sit here all afternoon, I think I can do that just to calm my damn nerves.

**Yes, Mistress. **

I put my blackberry on the desk and follow my Mistress’ instruction. I take deep, cleansing breaths and relax. I find that it’s easier for me to relax since I met her. I was always wound so tight and needed some sort of outside stimuli to unwind—hence the need for the weekend subs. She actually soothes me when I am angry or anxious. I close my eyes and sink back into my chair. I have settled into a comfortable silence for several minutes when my meditation is broken by someone entering my office uninvited. I open my eyes, ready to tear out the asshole of the unfortunate idiot who dares to disturb me and I nearly have a stroke.

Oh. My. Hell.

My Mistress locks my office door and stands there in the most delectable red dress I’ve ever seen—simple, but it looks like a second skin on her. She’s strutting in a pair of sky high red stilettos that I swear are only suitable to be wrapped around my ears. Her hair is pulled back tightly around her head into a frighteningly efficient bun, but her make-up and jewelry almost sends me into convulsions. Her eyes are dark—black and dark gray shadows and eyeliners that make her blue eyes look almost clear. She’s wearing crimson red lipstick and she has adorned the Glamorous pearl choker with the matching earrings that I picked for her.

She’s collared, too… and looking like the fuckable Dr. Steele that I saw that first day at the community center. She’d turn a straight woman gay in that damn dress!

Greystone is now beating a tattoo to get out of my pants as my Mistress stands at the door observing me and biting her lip. Has she been dressed like this all day!? Has the world been able to ogle my beautiful Butterf… Mistress looking this irresistible for the last five or more hours? My heart is almost beating out of my damn chest. She is my Mistress. I dare not question her attire at this time. She is my Mistress. She is my Mistress…

“Something wrong, Mr. Grey?” and there’s that voice. The voice of my Mistress. Um… I had a thought a minute ago…

“No, Mistress,” I respond, my throat is a little scratchy. I swallow and clear my throat as she slowly strides over to me. I cling to the arms of my chair like my life depends on it.

“You’ve had some infractions that require restitution, Mr. Grey,” my Mistress says as she comes around the desk and stands in front of me. I can smell her—her perfume mixed with lemongrass and the distinctive smell of Butterfly. I watched her as she walked around my desk, but now obediently stare at these remarkable red shoes that I hope will one day find their way on my shoulders as my erection is buried deeply and senselessly in the tunnels of passion in the valley of my Mistress.

She runs her fingers through my hair and my breath quickens immediately. I adore her touch on me, and right now, I’m at my most vulnerable. I’m at my Mistress’ mercy. I gasp as she clutches a handful of my hair and snatches my head back, forcing me to look at her. Oh, fuck, my pants are getting tighter and tighter and my dick is going to make me pay for this denial.

“You harmed yourself last week for five days, Mr. Grey.” Ah, now the preoccupation with the number five comes to light. “You deprived your body of food, water, and rest for five days and could have caused yourself irreparable damage. Do you understand that you can never do that again, Mr. Grey?” she says firmly.

“Yes, Mistress. I understand,” I reply, obediently.

“Good. We will be sure that you don’t forget it. For these five infractions, I plan to unleash myself on you, Mr. Grey. I will not be delicate. I will not be merciful. I will not be gentle. I will bring you to the end of your wits. During this time, I will find my pleasure and my release as often as I like and I will bring you deliciously and temptingly close to yours five times before you are allowed to come even once. Do you understand?”

My eyes almost pop out of my head at this announcement, but her face remains firm and impassive as she grasps my hair and awaits my response. Does that near explosion an hour ago count as one of the five? Damn! She snatches my head back hard, pulling my hair viciously.

“You’re hesitating, Mr. Grey,” she growls and I cry out in surprise and pain. Oh, fuck me, my dick is about to jump out of my pants and fuck you all by itself, Mistress.

“I’m sorry, Mistress. Yes. Yes, Mistress, I understand.” My breath is coming in short. I remember this arousal from the first time I was a submissive, only now, it’s being replaced with a deep desire for the woman who has promised to punish me. I will take whatever my Mistress will give and erase the remnants of the cruel woman who stole my life and my teenage years.

What do you wish of me, Mistress?

She releases my hair roughly and my head bobbles uselessly before I drop my eyes back to her feet. Without warning, she reaches down and grabs my erection, hard.

AH!” I gasp, still clinging on to the arms of the chair.

“Have you had lunch yet, Mr Grey?” she asks as she strokes my dick the same way I imagined she would an hour ago.

“Not yet, Mistress. I was about to order something when Mistress graced me with her presence,” I choke out around the pleasure she is giving me.

“Good. Don’t forget to do that,” she says. She unzips my pants and my erection springs free. Oh, good God, it feels so good to be free! The veins are bulging and pulsating viciously as my one-eyed snake stares back at me—ferociously threatening revenge for whatever I have done to release the sexual prowess and fury of this Vixen upon us.

“Mmmm,” she says, standing above me. “Now that’s a beautiful sight.” I continue to stare at my erection, getting some relief from being freed from my boxers. “Look at me,” she commands. I raise my eyes slowly to her face and she’s biting her lip, standing mere inches from me and I can’t touch her. “Do you like what you see, Mr. Grey?” she taunts.

“Yes, Mistress, very much,” I reply, the relief in my loins short-lived as Greystone is begging for permission to engage the Mistress. She slides her dress up her thighs until it’s almost to her hips giving me the slightest peek of a small red triangle of her underwear.

“How about now?” she teases as she strokes her panties standing right in front of me.

“Oh yes, Mistress, I like that,” I respond reverently. The smell of her arousal is attacking my nostrils and impairing my senses. All I can think of is her precious, sweet pussy and all the things that I want to do to it. I’m losing this battle quickly. Thank God she’s my Mistress and no one else’s… ever.

“Ah…” she mewls softly as she pleasures herself in front of me. Fuck my life, I can barely stand this. I watch mesmerized as she climbs atop my desk and spreads her legs, planting her feet in my chair on either side of my thighs. The smell from her sex threatens to possess me and make me forget that I’m her sub. She knows this… and if I disobey, she will punish me further. Oh, cruel, sweet Mistress…

“You will need a safe word, Mr. Grey.” What? We’re playing? Here? Oh, boy. I’ve never played in my office before. I don’t know how this is going to work out… “You will need more later, but for right now, you will only need one.” She tries to control her voice as she becomes more and more aroused, and it’s driving me fucking crazy. “You are going to experience some of the deepest pleasure that I can release upon you…” oh, fuck, “… but you cannot come. If you do, I will discipline you for your weakness and disobedience,” and I believe her. “If you feel that you are at your highest threshold—that one more slight movement will cause you to explode—you may use this safe word.”

Oh my God, what has she been reading? This is the ultimate in orgasm denial. I’m almost afraid of where she will take me with this, but Christian Grey never turns his back on a challenge. Like I said, all of my ultimate sexual experiences have been with that wretched woman. I would like nothing more than to replace those memories with intense torturous moments of stamina and passion with my Mistress. Bring it on!

“And don’t try to fake to gain mercy or lenience because I will know and I will discipline you for that as well.” Not a chance, Mistress. I welcome this experience.

“Yes, Mistress. I understand,” I respond.

“Choose your sexual safe word, Mr. Grey.”

“Wings, Mistress,” because I love to glide and right now, I feel like I’m flying.

“Wings,” she repeats. She’s good. She’s been studying. She knows to repeat the safe word.

“Yes, Mistress. Wings.”

“Very good,” she replies as she drops her head back and massages her kitten through her panties for me. My mouth begins to water as I watch the useless silk thong become wet under her ministrations. “Ah…” she moans again as I inhale her fragrance deeply, taking whatever pleasure I can from the experience as I am not allowed to touch her or myself. Her breath catches as she abruptly stops touching herself but proceeds to slide to the edge of my desk, causing her dress to ride up to her hips. She pulls her thong to the side revealing her hot, pink, dripping fruit underneath.

“I want to come. Kiss me, Mr. Grey. Pleasure me to my release, but you can only touch me with your mouth and that very hot tongue. Do not move your hands.” Oh, thank you, Mistress!

I scoot my chair all the way up to the desk and dive in like the starving man that I am. My Mistress cries out in passion and I’m very pleased to please her. Please, Mistress, do it again. I lap her juices greedily, tasting and swallowing every drop so that I can taste her when she is gone for as long as possible. Fuck lunch—I got what I need right here. She cries out again and I’m spurred to love her deeper, sweeter, harder. Her feet move to the back of my chair where my head would be and she grabs my hair once again, pressing my mouth deeper into her sex and grinding roughly against my tongue. I moan as fight to keep my hands planted on the armrest and not touch her beautiful, soft, milky skin.

“Oh yes!” she cries as I feel her clit throb against my tongue and her juices spring forth into my mouth. Oh, baby! Again, my dick is beating mercilessly against my stomach, cursing me with every thump. My Mistress pumps out her release, then commands me, “Stop!” I pull my head back and tear myself from my feast, watching my sated Mistress descend from her orgasmic high leaning back on my desk. I sit back in my chair and attempt to control my breathing and my thoughts at the sight before me is enough in and of itself to send me on a magic carpet ride. Before I have a chance to gather myself, she drops her legs over my arms effectively pinning them to the armrests and slides quickly, smoothly, and athletically onto my dick.

I hiss long and loud, pushing myself back against the chair. The feeling is hot, searing… my dick has a mind of its own right now and is trying to crawl up into her heavenly space and stay nestled there. He’s mad at me… mad for putting him through the torture that I have all day after last night’s romp in Wonderland. Scream, Bitch, scream, he wills me as her intimate tightness squeezes him without remorse. Oh, shit, fuck, and hell, I’m going to come. No! Count backwards from 100 and relax. You will still get the pleasure, but you can control the orgasm.

99…

98…

97…

My breathing starts to calm a bit, but my dick is still hard. I don’t move my hips because she didn’t say that I could, so I must sit here and absorb the pleasure.

84…

83…

82…

I groan as I feel my release hovering on the horizon. She raises and drops her hips masterfully on mine. Oh, fuck, Ana! I can’t call her name. I want to… but I can’t. Fuck, Ana!

70…

69…

68…

She starts to whimper as she rides and I know her release will come soon. You can hold out, Grey. I know she’s hot, and delicious, and beautiful… but you can do it. She loosens my tie and undoes the first two buttons of my shirt. Her collar stares back at her. She touches it gently with her fingertips, gently sliding along the leather as she continues to ride me. She is revering it much like I did this morning. Both of her hands caress my neck and I stop counting. Shit, I don’t think I’ll make it much longer.

She kisses my neck above and below the collar, massaging it gently with her lips and tongue. I close my eyes and bask in the pleasure of being possessed by this beautiful, extraordinary creature. My breathing quickens again as that elusive orgasm threatens to rear its ugly head. Not yet, please, not yet…

She puts her mouth over mine—not kissing me, just brushing her lips with mine, breathing my air and sharing hers with me. I can feel her start to quiver and I have to control my hormones as that is usually my cue that we are about to release together. The lines are getting blurred between my Butterfly and my Mistress as I continue to clutch the armrests of my office chair and hold my hips still. Oh hell, it’s coming… it’s fucking coming…

99…

98…

97…

At that moment, my Butterfly—or my Mistress, one of them—grabs the leash loop of the collar and snatches me to her by my neck.

“Mine!” she growls into my open mouth.

I release a strangled moan as her word goes through me and strokes the delicate pins that connect my sanity to my emotion and reason. Again, I’m full of love and desire and some unknown emotion for my Mistress…

Longing?

Gratitude?

She looks into my eyes and releases fantastically, grinding and pulsating relentlessly on my dick.

Oh, fuck, Grey, hold on! 99… 84… 12… 51… 18…

Just as I am about to safe word, she rises up from me and takes three deep breaths. Then she drops to her knees between my legs and blows gently on the head of my dick.

Oh, you have got to be kidding me! Look, Mistress, I’m trying to abide by the rules, but this is so not fair! She gently takes the head between her lips and slowly pulls the shaft into her mouth.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

“Mmmmm… I taste you… and me… it’s so hot,” she says, before she pulls me into her mouth again.

“Ah!” I whine high and don’t recognize my own voice. It’s been a hell of a day and even more of a hell of a session. My body is begging for release and my mind is fighting against it. Quite frankly, Greystone and the Twins are about to win this battle. This became a definite forfeit when her hands crept up my chest under my open jacket, her nails digging into the tender flesh there as her mouth repeatedly drops down on my erection—hard! My heavy breaths are matching her strokes and now I must succumb.

“Wings!” gasp, “Wings!” gasp, “Wings!” gasp, “Wings!” I swear it’s too late and I’m about to explode in her mouth when she grabs the base of my dick and releases me with a loud, wet pop of her lips. I start to ejaculate just a little, but thankfully, it stops before my orgasm gets a chance to take over. Oh, boy, I’m going to have to go into the recesses of my mind and pull out the concentration that I exercised during stamina training all those years ago, because this Mistress is going to put me through my paces!

My hands actually hurt now. I have been holding on to these armrests like the jaws of life for I don’t know how long and the more intense the sensation to Greystone, the harder I held. Mistress holds my dick for a moment to make sure that I won’t come while I cough air back into my collapsing lungs. She licks the small amount of come off my dick and I moaned mournfully. Please leave him alone, Mistress, or I. Am. Going. To. Come.

“That’s all the cleaning he’ll get. Don’t touch him anymore,” she commands.

“Yes, Mistress,” I choke. She stands and goes to the bathroom off of my office. Greystone is glaring at me angrily, vowing to me that my next orgasm will be one to leave me unconscious. I try to reason with him that it’s not my fault, but he just stands there, unmoved, pissed off and staring at me. What can I say?

My Mistress returns from the bathroom and stands next to me. “You may move your hands now, Mr. Grey,” she states. I release the armrests and flex my hands several times to get the circulation going in my fingers. My dick is still standing at attention and I can’t get it back into my pants. She lifts my chin and kisses me gently twice on the lips.

“I’ll make sure that you are not disturbed until you are ready, and I will get you some lunch,” she says.

“Yes, Mistress,” I say softly, still trying to compose myself.

“I will see you later, Mr. Grey.”

“Yes, Mistress.” And she strolls—fresh-faced, hot, and beautiful—out of my office. I probably look like I was run over by a fucking semi. Her delectable ass looks damn near naked in that dress and I can’t believe she’s been working all day in that outfit… and now she’s on her way back to work and her patients get to see her walking around looking like sex on a stick! Thank God Ros didn’t see her today—she might have tried to transform my Mistress! She might have left her wife for my Butterfly! The thought has me sitting here with clenched fists, frustrated with my Mistress but at the same time, impressed with her for leaving me drenched in her smell and wanton vicious desire and need…

This is fucking agony! Then again, that’s what punishment is supposed to be, isn’t it?

I so need a few moments to myself. I hear her tell Andrea to order me some lunch and make sure that I am not disturbed. Thank God for that! There’s no way to explain this position and it’s going to take me a while to get rid of it. I can’t even attempt to put my dick back in my pants yet, much less my boxer briefs. I can’t even splash cold water on it because I know that she left her lipstick rings on purpose. So I just sit here, waiting for a natural deflation and thinking about her words to me when she walked into my office.

I plan to unleash myself on you, Mr. Grey. I will not be delicate. I will not be merciful. I will not be gentle. I will bring you to the end of your wits.”

No fucking kidding!

My sexual frustration is so high, I begin to bite random people’s head’s off because I’ve been walking around with a perpetual woody for the last three hours of the workday and I can’t do anything about it. Greystone has set his mind on getting back at me for denying him release… like it was my idea… and has decided to pay attention to everything that everyone had to say for the rest of the day—the key word here being attention. I spend the rest of the afternoon irritated and hiding in my office.

She tortures me further by not contacting me anymore that afternoon until after I arrive back at Escala, at which time she sends me a sexy ass voice memo telling me how she can still feel my dick in her mouth and taste my cum. Greystone is still standing at full mast, so he just throbs and kicks me in my balls to remind me that he’s pissed.

Fuck! I want my Mistress!

Her voice memo continues with instructions not to eat until she gets home and to change into something more comfortable. What the hell can I put on that’s more comfortable? I sure as hell can’t wear any jeans—I’ve got this massive boner that I can’t put into any kind of restraining clothing. I can’t wear sweats because, well, the whole tent effect. If I’m still wearing my Armani when I get home, my Mistress will think I disobeyed her.

This is fucking agony… sweet agony…


STEELE

I had a little more fun this day than I should have, I’m sure. I had never dominated Christian in this way before, but I just knew that I could do it—assuming he agreed to TPE. I knew half the battle was won once he agreed to wear his collar to work, but I had no idea how far he would be willing to take it beyond that. The only way to find out would be to give him instructions and see if he would follow them. I knew that I had hit the mark when he responded to his first real TPE command:

**Thank you, Mistress! **

Oh, game on!

I had intended on just going to his office and making him suffer by watching me saunter around in that red number and my collar, which I only just added just before I got there. However, the whole idea of having Christian Grey—delectable, delightful, delicious, delucious, deyummy, divine Christian Grey—at my total sexual beck and call, had me hot and panting like a bear in a fur coat in the middle of the Sahara Desert at noon! Christian looks great in any suit, but when I coupled that illegally sexy black Armani with that red silk tie to match my clothes for the day—hell, I was torturing myself, let alone Christian.

On top of that, this collar has a chilling effect on me, so I don’t know what it does to him. I’ve never felt the possession that goes with a collar… until today. I felt like that was my man, my mate for life… and I was his. It was primitive, like time or space or consequence couldn’t keep up apart and… Okay, I’m starting to sound like a stalker…

But hell, that’s how it felt.

Thank God I was smart enough to bring extra panties with me or I would have been walking around in a wet, sex-funky thong for the rest of the day. If I know my man, he’s knocking down light poles with his dick right now. When he started calling out his safe word earlier, I was sure he was going to take flight. So, I decide to send him a voice memo reminding him how good he tasted. That should hold the fire until I get home.

When I walk into the apartment, Gail and Jason are whispering in the kitchen. They both freeze when they see me.

“Your Highness,” Jason greets me.

“Smart ass,” I greet back.

“So glad you two are getting along,” Gail pipes in.

“What did you do to that man?” Jason asks. I frown. “Did he see you in that?”

“Yes, why?”

“That’s what’s wrong with him! He’s been fit to be tied all afternoon!” Jason declares. I laugh.

“That’s not what’s wrong with him.” I put my purse and briefcase on the counter. “Is dinner ready yet?” I ask.

“Yes, you’re all set,” Gail responds.

“Good. I’ll take it from here. Where is he?”

“Where else? He got an email from GEH and he’s been at his desk ever since,” Jason answers.

“Okay. You guys can call it a night.” I turn to go to the study. “Oh, and, no matter what you hear, if the apartment is not on fire or we don’t dial 31, you might not want to come back out here tonight,” I add.

“Um, Your Highness?” I turn to Jason. “Remember that brief conversation we had about TMI?”

“Oh, please!” I wave him off. “He’s in a pissy mood and I’m dressed like this. What the hell do you think is going to happen?” Gail pushes Jason out of the kitchen.

“Come, Jason,” she says as they disappear into their apartment. I straighten my dress—and my back—and walk into his study without knocking.

“Change the shipping from Dramaco to Ocean International. Dramaco can’t guarantee the condition of the shipment and won’t insure the value of the contents. How fucking hard can this be?!” Christian barks into his blackberry looking at his laptop at a spreadsheet. He holds his finger up at me to wait a moment. I’m tempted to punish him for doing that, but he hasn’t turned around to see that it’s me standing here, yet. Day hasn’t been hard enough for you already, Grey?

“Have you seen these numbers?!” he continues berating the poor person on the other end of the phone. “We’re losing money every second that cargo sits on the dock. Get it fucking shipped!” Okay, work time is over. They’ve got their instructions. I belligerently clear my throat and Christian’s head snaps over to me like a kid that just got caught past curfew.

“Do what I said. I gotta go,” he says, monotoned, before ending the call and dropping his gaze to the floor.

“Good evening, Mr. Grey. So nice of you to make time for me,” I say, impassively.

“I’m sorry, Mistress,” he answers chastised. “I didn’t know you had entered. I’ll pay more attention in the future.” Very duly chastised. Nicely done, Mr. Grey.

“Why haven’t you changed clothes, Mr. Grey?”

“Again, my apologies, Mistress. I was hoping to be finished with work before you returned.” I knew that was it. I just wanted him to tell me.

“As you have not had a chance to change, I can be assured that my dick is still marked, correct?” I command. He swallows hard.

“Yes, Mistress, it is,” he responds.

“Look at me.” He raises his beautiful gray eyes to me, completely dilated and full of lust. He’s still as hard as he was when I left him this afternoon. “Show me.”

He takes a deep breath and stands, gently opening his pants and gasping as he frees his erection. Fucking gorgeous.

“Sit.” He sits back in his office chair. “Hands on the armrest.” He takes a deep breath and obeys. He knows what’s coming. I let him watch as I remove my panties in front of him, slowly. I walk over to him and straddle him in his chair, my pussy atop his erection, but not allowing him to enter me. I know that it takes a lot for a man like Christian to surrender to anyone. Although he’s still being punished, I think it’s time for a little reward.

I undo his red silk tie and pull it gently out of the collar of his shirt. I unbutton three buttons of his shirt and reveal my collar. His breath catches as I touch it, gently stroking his neck as I caress it.

“You are beautiful, Mr. Grey,” I say, softly, and I watch his eyes change—from slate to storm as he takes a deep breath and releases it. His lids fall to half-mast and I can tell that he desperately wants to close his eyes. I take his face in my hands and gently kiss one eyelid, then the other, giving him the permission that he seeks. “Beautiful,” I repeat.

“Thank you, Mistress,” he whispers without opening his eyes. I bring his face to mine and kiss him gently on the lips—delicate and chaste, not deep. I start to move, rubbing my bare wet core against him, but still denying him entry. He moans deep in his chest.

“Hold me, Mr. Grey.” His arms slide gently and slowly around my body, his hands splayed open on my back. “Yes,” I breathe, “that’s good.” I continue to rub against him. He feels wonderful against me—hard and hot—but I won’t come. I won’t come again until he does, and he has four more denials before he can come. He’s breathing heavily again, this one coming upon him much faster than before. We still have time to play and if I don’t bring him down, playtime will be over far too quickly.

He moans again in my mouth, clutching my back in a strained attempt to stop my movements but not stop my movements. When I shift myself and cause him to slip inside of me, it only takes three strokes to break him.

“No… Mistress… wings… wings…” he pants, laying his head on my chest and pressing me against him. I still my movements while he breathes out his impending release. I stroke his hair as he begins to relax.

“You are very aroused, Mr. Grey,” I say seductively.

“Yes, Mistress, I’ve been thinking of you all day,” he chokes. Good answer! I rise quickly off of his erection so as not to prolong his agony. It still almost proved too much for him as he gasped in pleasure and spoke without permission.

“Shit! Shit! Shit! Shit!” His eyes are screwed tightly shut, his hands have gone back to the armrest and he is white-knuckled pushing back in the chair and grimacing. His head is pressed back so hard against the back of the seat that if his eyes were open, he’d be looking at the ceiling. After his minor oh-God-please-don’t-let-me-come verbal infraction, he is now holding his breath. I get off his lap and stand over him.

“Breathe,” I softly command him and he releases his breath like a drowning man. Yeah, he’s going to need some kind of relief. “I want you to go and take a shower, Mr. Grey. You can clean my dick, but remember—no self-satisfaction. Understood?”

“Ye… yes, Mistress!” he chokes, still fighting the impending orgasm.

“Change into jeans and a T-shirt only, no boxers. Meet me for dinner in 30 minutes. Don’t forget your collar.” I turn and walk out of his study. It’s going to take him that long just to compose himself. I go to the guest room and change into the little ditty I bought for this evening.


GREY

Okay—that was really close!

I thought I had this under control! I’m the one that brings women to the brink of explosion and back down again. I’m the one that has them begging for release. This woman has me begging not to release. I know turnabout is fair play, but damn! I would bet my fortune this was an experienced Domme I’m dealing with here! Thirty minutes to shower and change and be ready for dinner? I won’t get my dick back in my pants in 30 minutes… or shall I say her dick because it certainly is her dick tonight!

I take off my suit coat and pick up my tie. I peek out of the study to see if anyone is around. No one… but it would be just my luck that Taylor pop up like a Jack-in-the-box just as I’m trying to get to the bedroom. I would literally curse him down and most likely fire him if he shows up right now. I cover the protruding appendage with my suit coat and dash to bedroom like I’m being chased. I close the door quietly behind me.

Greystone is still sticking out, more defiant than ever after that last encounter. Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, but I’m still the boss, so you just have to fall in line. I strip and step into an arctic blast shower, removing the shower head and aiming the water directly at my defiant dick. It took a full 10 minutes of spray-rest-spray-rest for him to finally give up the fight. I’ve had some form of erection—either partially up, half-mast, or full throttle—for the last six hours. I never thought I’d say that it felt so good to be flaccid, if only for a little while. I breathe a heavy sigh of relief as I clean myself… including the now “at ease” little soldier… and get ready for dinner.

I should have known there was a catch. When I come into the dining room, I am wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and my collar as instructed. She is wearing an off-the-shoulder peasant style dress—or I should really say shirt—with a pair of black peep-toe platform stiletto booties that lace up around the feet and ankles… and her collar. Fuck, she is hot! It’s okay. I’ve got Greystone under control. We can do this, now!

“Mr. Grey, have a seat,” she says in that seductive voice of hers. I stride purposefully to the table and take my seat. I can see that it has visibly affected her. Although I am pleased to have this kind of effect on her, I don’t want to provoke her right now. So hopefully, she won’t see that as insolence.

“We’re going to have a conversation, Mr. Grey,” she says as she serves me oven roasted shrimp and garlic over herb wild rice with Parmesan roasted broccoli. “Jason seems to be under the impression that you had a bad day.” She says as she pours the wine, a David Family Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. Yeah, Jason needs to keep his fucking mouth shut before Jason quickly finds his ass unemployed.

“Not at all, Mistress. I’ll admit that I was wound a little tight this afternoon, but far from a bad day,” I assure her.

“Well, that’s good to hear,” she says as she starts to eat her dinner. “Why don’t you tell me what you’ve thought of today so far.”

“Permission to speak freely, Mistress,” I ask obediently.

“Permission granted,” she replies.

“I only had a hard time with the collar, Mistress. Not because I didn’t want to wear it. In fact, it’s quite…comforting.” A small smile threatens the corners of her lips. “It’s just that… it’s very distracting. I thought of Mistress all day while I was wearing it, which I know is the purpose of wearing the collar. I just…” I’m not sure how to verbalize the next thought. She lays her fork down.

“Tell me,” she says softly.

“You consume my thoughts,” I say, dropping my head. “I think of you and little else when I’m wearing it, and I don’t want to make a bad business decision when I’m under my Mistress’ control. I don’t want to… push the proverbial button, so to speak,” I tell her. I don’t want to appear weak, like I can’t function while wearing the collar, but I have to be sharp when I’m in a business setting. I can’t be distracted or sidetracked… and today, I was both.

“I see,” she says, picking up her fork again. “This is the reason for the collar, Mr. Grey. Today was TPE because of your serious infractions last week. However, I’m not insensitive to your position—to your need to be focused and to make crucial decisions—which is why I checked your schedule in advance to be sure that I wouldn’t pick a day in which you may have, how did you put it… pushed the proverbial button.” She takes a forkful of her shrimp and rice. I watch her chew daintily.

“Of course, I respect the fact that you have a company to run, and I would never undermine that with an exercise in Domination. However, I will require that you wear your collar and possibly be subjected to TPE in the future should you commit an infraction of this magnitude ever again. It was not meant to be pleasant, although I am aware of the psychological effect of the collar in most cases—I felt the same way wearing mine even though I wasn’t the one under submission.”

She drops her eyes momentarily and I know that she’s telling the truth. I know that she feels the same sense of possession and ownership from her collar that I feel from mine.

“However, as a seasoned Dominant, you must know that the purpose of this particular exercise is punishment and control. You’re being punished and I have the control, and you trust me not to put you in a position where you would ever ‘push the button.’ I’m not particular for all forms of punishment, though we will be experimenting with some of them tonight…” I swallow hard. Experimenting? With which ones? Okay… now I am nervous as fuck. “…but I chose the smallest collar because I knew that you could wear it under your shirt, and no one need know what we were doing.”

I can see that she has put some serious thought into this. The choice of clothing did not slip by me today either. I may not have been marked by my collar, but I was clearly marked by my accessories. Hell, anyone who saw me today probably thought I was going to the fucking prom! What I just realized is that I attempted to negotiate my punishment with my Mistress, which is something that a submissive should never do. However, I’m relearning this position and she did ask me how I felt about today as well as give me permission to speak freely.

“Yes, Mistress, I understand. It was a good choice, thank you.” She smiles at me again. Okay, a little less nervous about the experimenting now, but hey, I’ve suffered the worst at the hands of someone who abused me and called it “help.” I’m sure that whatever Mistress has in store can’t be worse than that…

We finish our meal and have dessert of Irish chocolate mint layer cake with mint chocolate chip ice-cream. After she has cleared the dishes, Mistress instructs me to go to the Playroom, strip, and wait for her there.

Fuck! The Playroom!

I’ve never subbed in my own Playroom.

My stomach does flip-flops, but I do what I am told and go to the Playroom. She has not told me what position to take, so I strip and stand obediently in the middle of the room with my eyes to the floor. My heart is beating heavily and my breathing is uncontrolled.

“Get it together, Grey, ” I say quietly to myself as my heart and breathing slow to regular rates. My Mistress and I have talked in detail about the things that I like and do not like, what I can and cannot tolerate, my hard and soft limits. I know that she won’t violate my trust, but she has already told me that she is going to send me to the end of my wits and she will not be gentle. To that end, the anticipation is still quite nerve-wrecking.

A few minutes after I’ve undressed, I hear her enter the room. A few steps later, her black stilettos stand in front of me. “Look at me, Mr. Grey.” I let my eyes roam up her body… and Greystone twitches again.

Fucking hell…

Mistress is wearing a structured red and black corset with an illegal pair of red and black lace thongs. My mouth actually waters when I look at her.

“Do you like what you see, Mr. Grey?” she purrs.

“Absolutely, my Mistress,” I say, trying to control my voice. She raises her eyebrow at me, noticing the fluctuation that is normally used to seduce her. Oh shit, I’m going to pay for that.

“We have discussed restraints, have we not, Mr. Grey?”

“We have, Mistress.”

“To the cross—face away from me.”

Okay… this is going to be weird. My cross is not built for me. I’m way too tall for it. Surely, she knows this…

Of course, she does, Asshole.

I turn around and walk over to the cross. She attaches my wrists to the upper restraints but not my feet. She steps away from me and I hear her pull something from the wall.

Oh, shit. This is going to be physical.

She’s behind me again, gently caressing my ass and my balls between my legs.

“You will need your last two safewords now, Mr. Grey,” she says, softly. “Choose your safeword for when you are reaching your limit.” I clear my throat.

“Sails, Mistress,” I respond.

“Sails,” she repeats.

“Yes, sails, Mistress.”

“Okay. Choose your safeword for when you want me to stop immediately,” she instructs.

“Knots, Mistress.” Both sailing terms.

“Knots,” she repeats.

“Yes, Mistress. Knots.”

“Very well. Walk backwards, Mr. Grey.” I take two steps backwards. “Stop. Now feet apart.” I spread my legs a bit. “Wider.” I spread them wider and find that I am standing with my ass sticking out in almost an eagle-spread position. “That’s it,” she purrs as she cups my balls from behind.

“You had another infraction this morning, Mr. Grey. Do you remember what it was?”

“Yes, Mistress. I failed to address you properly,” I respond.

“That’s correct. I am going to spank you, Mr. Grey.” Fuck! “What are your safewords?”

“Sails and knots, Mistress.”

“And your sexual safeword?”

“Wings.”

“Very good.” She caresses my ass the same way that I caress hers before I spank her. Then I see her feet to the left of me, spread apart. She is taking a stance. I feel a soft, rhythmic slapping on my ass cheeks… fast and repetitious. That’s a riding crop.

Oh, hell. Now, I’m scared.

Deep breaths, Grey.

She rubs the stem along my thighs where they meet my ass and then gently flick my balls. Shit, she’s pretty good with this. The gentle flicking commences on my ass again and then…

WHAM!

Oh shit! Not the hardest I’ve been hit, but a good solid whack on my right butt cheek that surprises the fuck out of me and causes me to jump. A shock of pain runs through my ass and down my leg. Damn! It’s been a while since I’ve felt this. The crop is flicking again, gently over my thighs and around my back and butt and…

WHAM!

The left butt cheek gets it this time. Fucking hell! The cells are awake now, boys. The same familiar jolt of pain shoots down my leg and now… Greystone is alive again. He’s slowly curling from his frost-induced hibernation when…

WHAM! WHAM!

Hello! Did someone call me?
Yeah, Buddy, it’s time for action. There’s nothing I can do to help you here.

This process continues for a while… caressing, then the flicking of the crop, then the heavy, snapping strikes. Yes, it’s punishment, because the pain is quite stinging. At the same time, I am transcending my thresholds again and the pleasure/pain line that I so easily cross is causing beads of sweat to form on my skin and Greystone is jumping madly between my legs. I try to count my blows, but lose track somewhere between 12 and 20, too absorbed in the pleasure of the sting to care anymore.

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed the crop. The cane and the whip, not so much—but the sting of the crop, handled properly, I like. I don’t know where she learned, what she watched, what she read, or who she talked to, but she’s working the fuck out of this crop. At that moment, Greystone yelled up at me that party time is about to commence and I have to stop the inevitable flow that was about to proceed…


STEELE

“Sails!” he declares, loudly, and I stop the motion of the riding crop.

“Talk to me,” I say, gently.

“The pain was exquisite and I almost came. If Mistress had struck me once more, I’m afraid I would have come. So I didn’t know whether to say sails or wings, Mistress,” he confesses, his breathing labored.

“But I haven’t hurt you past your limit?” I ask.

“No, Mistress, you have not,” he replies. I stroke his muscular pink ass and admire the stripes there. His dick is standing at full attention, pink and purple and so suckable, pre-cum dripping from the tip and his balls large and tight and screaming for release. I gently caress his genitals to admire my handiwork. I have barely touched him when he speaks.

“Wings! Wings, Mistress, wings,” he whimpers, dropping his head back, his voice tortured. Oh, yes, he’s right there. The breathy ache in his voice can’t be imitated.

“Very well, Mr. Grey. I will allow you a momentary reprieve.”

“Thank you, Mistress,” was his breathy reply. I go to the en suite and retrieve the Arnica cream. While his impressive third leg starts to deflate, I apply the cream to his incredibly pink ass and thighs.

“The crop likes you, Mr. Grey,” I say as the designer crop has left little imprints of it’s Chanel emblem across his butt cheeks.

“I like the crop as well, Mistress. It’s pain and pleasure for me.” I figured as much. He has a high pain threshold and finds satisfaction in exercises that would normally cause discomfort—hence his happiness at the possible “battle scars” on his thighs from last night. I release him from the cross and order him face up on the bed. He lies on the bed and I inform him that I am going to shackle him the bed. When he agrees, I attach restraints to his wrists and ankles. His ankles are attached firmly at the foot of the four-poster bed, spread wide while his wrists are attached with quick release restraints. I’m going to want him out of those at that crucial moment.

“Mr. Grey, do you trust me?” I ask.

“Yes, Mistress,” he says definitively.

“Good. I’m going to blindfold you,” I say. After only a momentary pause, he responds,

“Yes, Mistress.” I produce the blindfold from the drawer in the chest where I placed it earlier and put it over Christian’s eyes. His breathing picks up marginally, but for the most part, he remains calm.

“This is for your pleasure, Mr. Grey, but remember that you cannot come. Use your sexual safeword. You are going to hear music in a moment ”

“Yes, Mistress,” he says, breathily.

I go over to the iPod dock and choose my music—Slow by Depeche Mode. I watch his reaction as the music starts—a bluesy, almost dreary, sensual tune with sexual undertones and overtones. He licks his lips and waits for what’s coming next. I remembered how much I enjoyed this and I know he needs a heavier hand to appreciate it the way that I did. He used a deerskin flogger with me. For him, I’m using a braided leather flogger with wooden skull beads on the tips. I start at his left foot and pull the flogger slowly from his toes, up his leg, over his knee, and past his thigh. There is a sharp intake of air when it touches his feet, then the rise and fall of his chest quickens as it travels up his leg.

“Do you know what this is?” I ask.

“Yes, Mistress. It’s a flogger,” he says between breaths. I start the process on his other leg.

“You may make sounds, Mr. Grey, but you may only speak when you are spoken to or to use your safeword. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Mistress,” he breathes. I rake the flogger across his body like he did mine two weeks ago—gentle wrapping then pull. His breathing is audible. When I strike him harder across his legs, he pulls on his restraints.

“Ah!” he cries out, then breathes heavily… and his dick is rising again. Oh, Mr. Grey, you’re so easy. I tease him some more with the wooden beads, then strike him again, this time on his thighs careful of the scars from yesterday. He cries out again. When I rain the playful strikes again over his torso, they’re a little harder this time… and his cock does a dance for me, flexing each time I connect. Christian moans a sensual tormented sound from his chest, pulling again on his restraints until I’m sure he’ll will break them. I pull the flogger between his legs so that the wooden beads and braided strands drag across his swollen balls and dick.

“Aaaaaahhhh!” He almost can’t stand the contact but manages to maintain himself—his fists clenched and his legs bent pulling on his ankle restraints. I’m glad we used leather restraints or he would surely be bruised for his trip tomorrow. I continue to rain the blows on his torso, legs and thighs, in succession from top to bottom with no relief from one blow to the next, increasing in intensity, his member growing and hardening to massive and impressive proportions until…

“WIIIIINGS!” he cries out. I stop just in time to see a repeat of the near ejaculation I saw in his office this afternoon. I understand why he likes doing this. Watching him squirm and seeing his pleasure has made me so fucking hot, I’m chastising myself for saying that I won’t come until he does. I’m fucking ready to explode watching his tortured body fight off this orgasm, his dick sticking straight up begging for me to ride him—but if I jump up there now, it’ll be over in seconds. He’s growling to calm his arousal, but it doesn’t seem to be doing any good. This man has withstood four extremely impressive orgasm denials. In my research for these scenes, most men could only withstand one or two of these intensities because while it’s an intense experience for a woman (and uncomfortable if taken too far), my understanding is that it can be quite painful for a man—especially if it’s taken too far. I’ve decided that his final denial won’t be a denial…

… but he doesn’t know that yet.

The super-impressive boner still is not receding and Mr. Grey looks very uncomfortable. I go to the en suite and get a very cold rag. I return to the bed.

“It’s cold, Mr. Grey. Are you ready?” He takes several deep breaths and says, “Okay. Yes, Mistress.” I put the rag on his balls and, to my surprise, he squirts a small amount of pre-cum!

From a cold rag!? I thought that was supposed to calm this thing down.

Well, hell, the man has been ready to come for at least 12 damn hours! What the fuck do you expect?
Oh, no! This is my party! No threesomes up in here. Your ass gotta go!

After duly dismissing the bitch, I notice that the impressive erection is going down and Christian’s breathing is returning to normal. I go to the en suite and wet a second rag with cold water. When I return to his side, I quickly replace the first rag, this time covering his dick and his balls. I sit on the bed next to him and remove his blindfold.

“Can you continue, Mr. Grey? We can stop anytime.”

“No… no… I’m fine, Mistress,” he says controlling his breathing now, as if Christian Grey would ever accept defeat.

“Good,” I say seductively, unlacing and removing my shoes and then slowly sliding down my panties, “because I want you, and I need to come.” I declare as I remove the now warm washcloth from his genitals. He stands just about at half-mast, so I know he has some control over it now. Let’s see how much.

I climb on top of him the same way I did in his study this evening, and his seductive gray eyes capture me the same way they did at that time. I rub my hands on his chest as I straddle his body.

“Beautiful,” I say as I caress and admire his stomach, his abs, his arms. His breath relaxes again. I lean down and kiss him passionately, my tongue exploring the crevices of his mouth while his tongue battles seductively with mine. I hear a moan escape his chest again and when I release his mouth, he gasps once for air like he was holding his breath all this time. I feel his erection rise against me again.

Showtime.

I release the wrist restraints. “Hands above your head,” I command. He looks both determined and tortured as he follows my instructions. It’s very easy to slide onto his erection because he’s very hard now and I’m very wet. I spread my legs and drop down on him balls deep and sit there for a moment, savoring the fullness. He growls gutturally and almost reaches for me, then remembers his position and tangles his hands into the intricate woodworking of his Playroom bed headboard. He lies flat on the bed as I begin a slow, ruthless grind… not a stroke, I don’t bounce up and down. It’s a grind—round and round, back and forth, balls deep.

His mouth is hanging open and we moan together nonstop as my hips move in fluid motion, grinding my pelvis against him and giving his penis no respite from the exquisite torture. His head drops back in pleasure, I observe my collar around his neck and reach for it once again, this time with both hands. He raises his head and his eyes capture mine. In my ecstasy, my eyes ask a question my lips can’t formulate.

“Yes, Mistress!” he growls in answer to my unspoken question… and I squeeze, gently at first, then a little harder, just enough pressure to…

“Ah!” he cries out, arousal thick in his voice as he stretches his neck to me.

“You can move your hands!” I breathe heavily as I feel my stomach quickening and a familiar burning in my core. Christian untangles his fingers from the headboard and, still looking me in my eyes, grabs my arms to push my weight down and apply more pressure to his neck. I comply while I intensify my relentless massage of our lower regions. Nearly forgetting myself and my purpose, I throw my head back, welcoming the release that is peering at me just out of reach.

“Ah! Oh… God… Mis… tress…” I know there is no going back for either of us now. There is a violent rumble in my loins and I scream.

“Aaaaaaaahh! Come with me, Christian!” I wail.

“G-God… a… ah… ah…” I think I broke him. I can barely talk myself. My legs and feet have stiffened in the orgasm and I can’t move.

“C-Christian… come… n-now!” A fire shoots through me and I tighten my kegels to wring the rest of my orgasm out.

He lets out a visceral, primal combination of a growl and a cry, almost like he’s weeping, wheezing. He sits up quickly and is clutching onto me and squeezing me like a grape, pressing me down onto his erection burying himself in me until I feel his balls bumping involuntarily on my ass. He is holding me still, emptying hotly into me, his head buried in my chest, his legs shaking violently, still wheezing as his release goes on and on. I run my fingers through his hair as he begins to come down from his extra-terrestrial orgasm. Hell, he’s been holding it in all day… coming so tantalizingly close so many times that the buildup must have been unbearable. Take that to Vegas with you!

He’s still breathless as he turns his head to kiss me without releasing me. He kisses any part of me that he can reach without letting me go… my breast, my chest, my neck, my face, my shoulders…

“Oh God, thank you,” he says softly between kisses. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” He continues repeatedly between chaste, reverential kisses. Somehow, I get the feeling that he’s not just thanking me for a massive orgasm.

Neither of us can move for several moments and we sit there, holding each other and rocking the same way that we did the night that I made love to him in my bed. A few minutes later, I gently rise off of him, recognizing how tender he must be, and release his foot restraints. I pick up our clothing, turn off the iPod, and lead him to our room.

Once we are there, he takes the clothes from my hands and puts them in a chair. He meticulously unlaces my corset and helps me out of it. Neither of us say a word, though we exchange several smiles and loving glances. Once he removes my corset, he retrieves the T-shirt that he had been wearing that evening and slips it over my head. It still carries his smell. Then he grabs some pajama pants from the drawer and put them on. We climb into bed and he turns off the lamp on the nightstand. Somehow, I knew tonight is not a night for spooning. I need to face him, to look into his eyes. He pulls me so close to him, so close, I get that feeling again… that we were one person.

“I love you, Ana. I love you so much. Thank you so much for today. It was magnificent. Liberating and healing. I’ll always remember it as long as I live and I’ll never try to hurt myself again.”

My heart swells larger than ever at his words. He had given himself to me—trusted me completely with his body, heart, and mind… and he’s thanking me… and again, I see that unnamed emotion in his eyes… that same emotion I saw in his office earlier today…


GREY

I hold her close to me, once again wishing I could meld her into me, still relishing in what is likely the most wonderful experience of my life.

“Christian… what is it?” she asks softly, gazing into my eye.

“I never particularly enjoyed being a sub—until you. Today was everything being a submissive should be about… about relinquishing control and obeying your Domme unquestioningly. About trust and possession and punishment and satisfaction. About pushing limits, but knowing that there is a reason for every action. About knowing when to stop, and knowing when to keep going. About knowing your role and your place and about reward when you have performed your duties. I never felt cherished or cared for or protected or completely safe as a submissive… until you. Today was extraordinary. Thank you.”

She smiles that beautiful smile at me and snuggles into my arms. Moments later, she’s asleep. As I slowly begin to follow her into contented slumber, I only have one thought:

If I made my subs feel the way that she made me feel today—even in punishment—I now understand why they fell in love with me.


A/N:

Push the button—references the mythical “button” that the President of the United States can push and launch nuclear weapons. One of the reasons that sexists claimed to not want a woman President is because she would get PMS one day and “push the (red) button.” There actually is no such button that the President can push. There is, however, a briefcase called the “football” that contains the launch codes and instructions for or following a nuclear attack. However, it has to be confirmed by the Secretary of Defense. Christian is nervous that if he is wearing his collar and thinking of Ana, he may do something irresponsible and effectively “push the button” on one of his companies.

Don’t forget to check out the pictures at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/ Ladies, I was actually DROOLING as I was getting Christian dressed!

Green Valley begins next, so get ready for it…!

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

Love and handcuffs,
Lynn x

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 36: More Reckoning

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. LJames. 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 36—More Reckoning

GREY

If you’ve had a well-rounded primary and secondary school education, you have at some point heard of the twelve labors of Hercules. If you have not, here’s a crash course.

According to Greek mythology, strong man Hercules killed his children in a fit madness and was sentenced to serve his arch enemy Eurystheus for ten years. During this time, Eurystheus set twelve unearthly tasks for Hercules to perform, the most difficult being to capture Cerberus and bring him to Eurystheus.

Who’s Cerberus? I’m glad you asked (stay with me now).

Cerberus is the ungodly huge beast that guards the gates to the Underworld to prevent souls from escaping that have managed to make it across the river Styx. It’s a hell-hound that belongs to Hades with red and black fur, glowing eyes that change color at will, and three headsand if you’re really unlucky, one of those heads just might talk to you. Having found a way in and out of the Underworld without being condemned to stay there for eternity, Hercules asked Hades if he could take Cerberus to the surface as the completion of his twelfth task. Hades agreed on the condition that Hercules could defeat Cerberus in a fight… without using any weapons.

I would have gladly taken on this impossible task as well as Hercules’ other eleven tasks if I could have averted the special ass-ripping that Grace had saved for me. I would have endured 50 scorned women to avoid the wrath of my mother. I thought I had gotten away with it. I somehow thought the episode with Carrick yesterday had expunged me of the imminent reaming my mother had saved for me.

I should have known something was amiss when she asked me to meet her in her office at the hospital. She was sure to have lunch delivered so that I would not miss a meal in the midst of my chastisement. She made me bite and chew the delicious Italian submarine on French bread, reminding me with each bite that “This is how you eat!” Letting me know that all human beings require this particular activity to live and that most of them learn how to do it on their own when they’re toddlers. The fact that I have roamed this earth for nearly three decades insinuates that I should have mastered this particular skill by now. However, if I need Mommy to come and feed me daily, she will do so at lunchtime in the lobby of GEH, complete with a bottle and a bib!

She was merciless! Her sarcasm knew no bounds, and no amount of nodding and “Okay, Mom, ” was going to release me from this sermon. I ate every crumb of that sub, and a fruit salad, and a bottle of water while she continued to berate me for being the most inconsiderate son, brother, boyfriend, and employer ever for causing all these people to worry about me so badly. She told me about Butterfly’s conscious blackout, which I didn’t know. She informed me of Gail and Taylor’s concern and support as well as the fact that after she had gone home after her shift, she had to come back to the city to find her son emaciated and unconscious, his body feeding on itself.

Now, I really feel like shit.

I sat in my mom’s office for a whole hour while she fed me, cried, eviscerated me, hugged me, and then proceeded to make me sign a contract stating that if I ever did anything this stupid again that I would be required to volunteer at the soup kitchen for a minimum of twenty hours of community service per month for three months to be served for at least five hours per week spread over at least two days each week. She wouldn’t let me apologize. She said her piece and politely kicked me the hell out of her office. I would have done anything to avoid that conversation. To say that I was thoroughly chastised, berated, disciplined, and verbally skelped would be a massive understatement. I was only too happy to return to the brutal, vicious, cutthroat world of mergers and acquisitions when my mother had finished with me.

Taylor has sent Lawrence and Williams ahead to Green Valley to tail Cody Whitmore and Stephen Morton so that I don’t walk into any surprises. Welch is busy gathering information on the Pedophile so that I can hopefully get young Mr. Hemstead out of her clutches sooner rather than later. I have teams of people gathering information on possible members of the mob that attacked Butterfly. With all this in motion and having to run a multi-billion-dollar company, there’s still only one thing that keeps popping to the forefront of my mind…

How do I tell Butterfly that I’m going to Green Valley in three days?

I can’t tell her the true reason for my trip—after I already told her that I wouldn’t pursue this matter. I hate lying to her, but I have to. I have to get to the bottom of what happened to her. This thing keeps me up at night sometimes—knowing that, unlike my situation, the people that did this to her are within arm’s reach and no one has been brought to justice. The deeper I dig, the more I smell a conspiracy of mammoth proportions, and there’s no way in hell that I’m going to sit around and let Butterfly carry this alone with no hope of justice for her suffering. I just hope that when it’s all said and done, she’ll understand why I have to do this.

I’ve had my final session with Carlisle and now, hopefully, the city of Seattle and the State of Washington will leave me the hell alone for exacting revenge on the drunk driver who totalled my car. I’ve calmed down significantly since I met Butterfly, but now I’m going to have to tap into that angry motherfucker to deal with these Green Valley assholes, particularly with these arrogant ass Whitmores. I wonder if people see me the same way that I see this self-important prick? I don’t doubt it one bit—the only difference is that I’m about to knock a few pegs off this asshole and there’s no one in the world that can do that to me…

Except Butterfly.

When I get back to Escala, she’s in the library looking over her schedule for the week. Apparently, she and my mother are working together to fit some of the clients from Helping Hands into her week for some counseling sessions. Butterfly is very excited to be working with the families there and has set up a makeshift office in the library to help organize her days when she’s here. I haven’t told her that I have ordered an oak desk and filing cabinet to be delivered for her on Thursday. I love having her here with me. I would love to have her move in, but I wouldn’t want her to have to give up her condo—not that she ever would. I don’t mind shuttling between both places for now. I was pleasantly surprised last night when she made the cutest little presentation to me:

It’s not as dramatic or romantic as your presentation, but I would like for you to accept the key to my condo.” She had said sweetly as she handed me a key on a handcuff keyring. I know this was a big step for her since the last person besides Al to have that kind of access to her home was that fucker David.

Butterfly—thank you! This means so much to me.” I replied, proudly accepting the key to her home and immediately attaching it to my keyring.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever had the key to anyone else’s home but my own. This is a big step for us. I truly hope that I don’t fuck it up—in light of what I am about to do later this week. I know that one of the Whitmores is directly responsible for what happened to Butterfly. I don’t know what role they played but I’m pretty certain that one of the males may have been her rapist. I can’t just come out and ask her, but I have to know if I’m at least on the right track.

I launched an impromptu mini-attack on her in her “office” before dinner. I didn’t mean to—hence the “impromptu” part—but the tone of her voice indicated that she may have needed a little satisfaction. I only gave her a little taste of what I hoped the evening would hold… beyond the unfortunate dinner conversation…

“Well, I’m going on my first business trip during our relationship, Butterfly,” I tell her during dinner on Monday night. Her face falls when I make the announcement.

“When?” she asks, her voice sounding akin to an abandoned puppy. Oh, Baby, I wish I could tell you everything.

“Wednesday. I have to go to Vegas, but only for a few days.” I try to pretend not to see her stiffen.

“Why do you need to go to Vegas?” Her tone has changed. There is a tone of abhorrence present.

“Have you ever heard of K&R coverage?” I ask.

“No, I can’t say that I have,” she responds.

“It’s kidnap & ransom insurance.” Her eyes crinkle. “I have companies in volatile parts of the world. The executives of these companies are often in danger of being taken for ransom—myself included. K&R replaces losses incurred involving kidnapping.”

“So, if you’re kidnapped, and GEH has to pay a ransom for you, K&R pays it back,” she concludes.

“Exactly.”

“So, what does this have to do with Vegas?” she asks.

“There’s a company down there that wants to acquire our policy. I want to get a good look at them and see what they have to offer.” I can see the skepticism in her eyes.

“So why do you have to go for a few days? Surely it doesn’t take that long to decide if you want to change insurance companies or not,” she says.

“Baby, this is not like buying car insurance where you pick your coverage, get your rate, sign your policy, shake hands and walk off into the sunset. I’ve already started my background checks on the upper level executives. They are going to know a lot about me and my companies if I choose to use them—more than my attorneys. I have to check them out personally, see how legit they are. I need to meet with their officers, and we’re not just talking about shaking hands and taking a tour of the facility. There’s a lot involved in this kind of decision. I have to make sure that this is not some mom-and-pop operation that I’m dealing with.” I try to make the process sound as complicated as possible to justify being in her dreaded stomping grounds for three days. She’s dripping with apprehension as she picks at her food.

“It’s seems like a bit much that you have to go all the way to Vegas for this. Don’t they have a satellite office here that you could deal with?” she presses.

“Yes, they do. But this needs to be a face-to-face transaction. It is just that important,” I respond impassively. She frowns and drops her head, still picking at her food.

“What is it, Butterfly?” I know exactly what it is. I just can’t let on right now that I know. I’m very close to getting some information on who put her through that terrible trauma she had to endure, but there’s only so much that you can do by telephone. Some things have to be handled face-to-face.

“It’s nothing,” she lies. “I just hate you having to leave, much less having to go there.” She says the last word with pure disdain. “I won’t be a child about it, though. I know that who you are requires you to travel to handle your business sometimes, so I’ll put on my big girl panties and suck it up,” she says with a smile.

“Big girl panties?” I say seductively. “Do I get to take them off after you’ve worn them?”

“Christian!” she says, playfully scolding me. “I guess I walked into that one, huh?”

“Right in.” I laugh, taking another bite of my chicken. Well, we’ve gotten past the hard part—telling her that I was going and when. Now, I have to do something that I really don’t want to do, but I have to if I’m going to get any answers. “I’m meeting with the company’s executive manager on Wednesday. He comes highly recommended—some guy named Whitmore.”

And here it comes.

Butterfly’s fork freezes in midair as I can see the emotions fly across her face at warp speed—surprise, anger, fear, sadness, disgust, pain, confusion, angst, terror. For a moment, I thought she was going to swoon. I hate to do this to her, but I have to keep going.

“I’ve spoken to him over the phone once or twice. All the guy ever talks about are his kids. I understand pride, but this guy can really get on your nerves.” I watch her out of the corner of my eye while pretending to continue enjoying my meal. Watching her reactions is making this delicious chicken taste like pure sawdust. I’m so sorry, Butterfly, but you’ll see. It will be all for the best in the end.

“How old are his children?” she asks, her voice barely above a whisper.

“They’re all adults. Two boys and a girl, I think.” No use in wasting time. Go right in for the kill. “His oldest is a sportscaster somewhere… Texas, he said. I think his name is Brandon or Landon.” No reaction. Okay, here we go. “He’s priming his younger son to take over the business. The kid doesn’t seem too much to be proud of as far as I can tell, but Whitmore seems to think so. His name is… Cody! That’s his name!” I say like I’ve made some grand discovery.

That did it.

All of the color leaves Butterfly’s face and she starts to hyperventilate right in front of me. I jump from the stool and step over to her.

“Baby! Baby, what’s wrong? Tell me, what’s wrong?” She can’t speak. She is starting to sweat, and not in that good way to which I have become accustomed. I pick her up from the stool and carry her to our bed. I lay her down and retrieve a cool washcloth from the en suite.

“Breathe, Baby. Come on, breathe with me.” I mimic slow breathing while I gently wipe her face with the cool rag. It takes a few moments, but she starts to calm down and breathe more regularly. Just when I think she’s about to come back to normal, she dashes to the bathroom and I hear the familiar wrenching sounds of vomiting.

Nice going, Grey. Are you happy now? Could there possibly be a reason why she wants you to leave this shit alone? You know there is; that’s why you won’t tell her the truth about your trip.

I go to the bathroom and hold her hair back out of the way. She has vomited to the point of dry heaves. I give her a glass of water to rinse out her mouth. She has completely exhausted herself. She gladly succumbs to my arms as I carry her back to the bed.

“Baby what is it? Please tell me,” I plead. Tell me not to go, Butterfly and I won’t go.

“I’m sorry, Christian,” she says in a soft, strained voice. “I’m just not feeling very well. Just let me lie here for a moment. I’m sure it will pass.”

“Okay, Baby,” I say, kissing her forehead. “I’ll go get you some soda water and a few crackers to help settle your stomach.”

Damn straight, it’ll pass. It’ll pass when I make this motherfucker pay dearly for what he did to you.


STEELE

“So, I’ll be at the center on Thursday afternoon to meet with the new families and we’ll go from there,” I say to Grace as we discuss the plans to handle the counseling schedule for Helping Hands. We say our goodbyes as I hear Christian walking through the penthouse. I’ve become comfortable in the short time I’ve been here—maybe too comfortable. I like that we are so close even in this large, luxurious space. I’m about to close my laptop in the commandeered office space I have made of his library when he peeks his head in the door.

“Hey,” he says in that deep, sexy honey-toned voice of his.

“Hey. How was your day?” I ask, closing my laptop.

“Long and tedious,” he says entering the library. “How about yours?”

“Not so tedious,” I say, rising from the seat. “I just hung up from Grace. I’ll be meeting some families on Thursday to evaluate their needs from the center.” He pulls me into his arms.

“Do you know that you are good for everyone that meets you?” he says, gently nibbling on my neck. Oh, Mr. Grey…

“Well, maybe not everyone,” I say breathy as a certain flaxen blonde pedophile briefly comes to mind.

“Then they don’t count,” he replies as his lips travel up my neck, around my jaw, and to my lips. He moans into my mouth as his lips mold to mine and his tongue caresses my tongue. His hands are splayed possessively across my back, pressing me firmly into him, my arms trapped between our bodies. I am reminded of our first kiss, in his office at GEH, how he made my knees go weak and my body ready to combust—much like right now. As if he could feel me melting in his touch, he gently pulls away, breaking the kiss.

“You are incredible, baby,” he breathes in my ear.

“You know, the last time you kissed me like that, I masturbated for the rest of the day.” He looks at me with amused curiosity.

“And when was this?” he asks, not even attempting to hide his mirth.

“Our first kiss… at GEH…” I say, dreamily closing and reopening my eyes.

“Mmm…” he says, deliciously kissing me once more. “Well, I didn’t masturbate, but you certainly kept me awake that night.” He grabs my ass and pushes me against his semi-hard erection.

“Ah,” I gasp as his member tortures me through our clothes. “Christian…” He’s had release in the past couple of days. I’ve been pent up since way before my period started, and now thatthe bleeding has ended, I’m more than ready for action.

“What is it, baby?” he teases as he continues to dry-hump me, holding my ass tightly in both of his large hands so that my legs are slightly open and my feet are dangling just above the floor. “Were you saying something?” he taunts as the burning in my core increases with the delicious friction.

“Ah… ah…” I gasp again. “Christian… ah…” It only takes a few moments for me to detonate under his undulations. I bury my face in his chest to stifle my passionate moans. We are on the second floor, but the library door is open and Gail is finishing dinner in the kitchen.

“Look at me!” he growls as he rubs my orgasm out of me. I throw my head back and gaze into his eyes, his pupils dilated almost completely to black. “That’s it, baby. Give it all to me,” he commands. I breathe through the remaining waves of pleasure so as not to alert the whole apartment to what we are doing. When the final shockwaves have pulsed through me, I close my eyes and take a deep breath to compose myself. Christian lifts me higher, his arms now wrapped tightly around me, so that we’re face-to-face.

“You are so beautiful when you come,” he breathes, his lips brushing against mine.

“Oh, Christian, what you do to me,” I say, weakly.

“I know, baby,” he says, his lips on my cheek, my neck… “It’s the same thing you do to me…”

*-*

I’m basically walking on air as I tell Christian about Grace and my plans for Helping Hands during dinner. I’m thrilled that I am finally going to be doing what I want to do with the ridiculously expensive degree that has me swamped in 10 years of student loan repayments. My victory is very short-lived as the conversation turns toward an impending business trip Christian has scheduled. I knew this day would come and I would just have to power through being without him for a few days. However, I had no idea that the worst was yet to come.

He has to go to Vegas! Fucking Vegas!

“Why do you need to go to Vegas?” The idea of him anywhere near that abysmal place makes me physically ill. He says something about having to investigate an insurance company for some special high level coverage that his company requires.

“Baby, this is not like buying car insurance where you pick your coverage, get your rate, sign your policy, shake hands and walk off into the sunset. I’ve already started my background checks on the upper level executives. They’re going to know a lot about me and my companies if I choose to use them—more than my attorneys. I have to check them out personally, see how legit they are…” I have to admit that I’m zoning out a bit. It’s not bad enough that he’s going to be gone for a few days, but he’s going to be in that fucking place—the real Death Valley as far as I’m concerned.

I can’t dictate what this man does with his company. He was doing fine before I got here. Hell, he’s a billionaire; he must know what he’s doing. Get a grip, Steele!

“I just hate you having to leave, much less having to go there.” I admit, distastefully. “I won’t be a child about it, though. I know that who you are requires you to travel to handle your business sometimes, so I’ll put on my big girl panties and suck it up.” I mean, seriously, what’s the likelihood that he will run into Carla or Stephen… or worse yet, Cody? Slim to none… right?

Wrong!

He begins talking about the man he has to meet, and whose name flies out of his mouth somewhere in the course of this conversation but none other than Cody fucking Whitmore?

Fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuckeroo! Fuckity fuck! Fuckerific! Fuck it to all hell. Fuckity fuck! Fuck me and fuck my life!

I don’t know what happens next. All I know is that I’m in Christian’s bed now and I taste dinner in the back of my throat on its way out. I make it to the toilet just in time to pray to the porcelain god.

This cannot be happening. This fucking cannot be happening. I fucking thought I would fucking never have to fucking hear about this fucking guy in my fucking life ever a-fucking-gain!

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck the world!

Fuck!

My stomach is wrenching violently at the mere mention of his name—the thought of his corruptness being in the same room… the same citybreathing the same fucking air as my precious Christian! He can’t do business with Cody Whitmore. He just can’t!

You have to tell him!
I can’t tell him! He’ll kill that man.
Since when do you care what happens to Cody fucking Whitmore?
I don’t! But if something happens to Christian, I’ll die.

My stomach was empty quite some time ago but has continued with the violent wrenching for a while trying to rid my body and mind of all remnants of the vile and wretched Cody Whitmore. Christian helps to clean me up, then carries me back to bed.

“Baby what is it? Please tell me.” His eyes are pleading with me. Suck it up, Steele. The man you love will surely end up in jail if you give him the slightest inkling that he’s walking right into the den of the fucker that almost cost you your life.

“I’m sorry, Christian, I’m just not feeling very well,” I lie. “Just let me lie here for a moment. I’m sure it’ll pass.” His face falls. An unknown emotion hides behind his eyes. If I didn’t know better, I would swear it was… disappointment. He kisses me on the forehead.

“Okay, baby. I’ll go get you some soda water and a few crackers to help settle your stomach.”

When I see him clear the bedroom door, I break down in tears. I can’t believe he’s going to Vegas. Fucking Vegas! And somewhere during that time, he’s going to be in the den of Whitmore! This is my worst nightmare come true—well, maybe not my worst nightmare. Underneath the rape, the beating, and being forced to return to Green Valley, my worst nightmare would have been having to raise that bastard’s child—again, no offense to the child. I have to pull myself together. I can’t let Christian see me like this. He’ll certainly know that it’s more than an upset stomach…

You really need to tell him! What if he goes into business with this man and later finds out that this is the man that raped you?
What if I tell him and he flies to Green Valley and kills this man on sight?

The battle continues in my head and I make the painful decision that I can tolerate Christian doing business with this snake if it means that I can keep him out of jail and in my arms. Hell, never have to see him, and as long as he does what he needs to do for Christian, that’s fine by me.

Well, not fine by me… but never have to see him…


GREY

She doesn’t think I can hear her, but Butterfly is weeping mournfully in our bedroom. It’s ripping my heart out of my chest to hear her crying like this and I am truly reconsidering digging into this matter any further.

But with everything I have found out so far—I can’t turn back now. This goes so deep that people literally run when I talk about it. That’s more than just urban legend… Taylor comes out of his office and joins me in the kitchen.

“Is she alright?” he asks upon hearing Butterfly sobbing in the bedroom. I shake my head.

“I told her about the trip to Vegas,” I confess.

“You told her why we’re going?” He asks. I shake my head again. He sighs.

“Cody is the one that raped her,” I state. He straightens up.

“She told you that, sir?” he asks. I point towards the bedroom.

“That reaction? All I did was say his name!” I inform him. “She got a little nervous when I mentioned Whitmore. No reaction at all to Landon. As soon as I said Cody, she damn near passed out and she regurgitated her entire dinner. That’s the bastard that raped her, I’m sure of it, Taylor.” He folds his arms.

“Does this change our plan of action, sir?” he asks. “Do we still want to pursue this considering her reaction to the news?” I run my hand through my hair.

“I thought about that, but with everything we’ve discovered so far, I can’t turn back now. And that reaction… that just makes me want to get to the bottom of this even more.” I pour soda water into a glass and put a few crackers on a small plate. “I don’t ever want her to cry over this again. I don’t want some random background check that could be triggered by applying for a home loan to catapult her into nightmares and .44 Magnum-Land. I don’t want her to have to wonder if the fucker she dated in college was roommates with one of the bastards that tried to kill her when she was 15. And I don’t want her to worry about if her children may have to suffer anything close to what she did because these fuckers never paid for what they did to her. No, Taylor, we do not change our plan of action and we most certainly do still want to pursue this… now more than ever.”

I re-enter our bedroom and Butterfly has fallen into a fitful slumber. I gently remove her shoes and pull the duvet over her. I leave the soda water and crackers in case she wakes and I go to my study, leaving the door open so that I can hear her if she calls.

I open my laptop to the folder on my desktop labeled “Third Quarter Projections.” In that folder, I click on the folder labeled “Probabilities.” In that folder, I click on the folder labeled “Information.” And finally, in that folder, I click on the folder labeled “PFB” for “Project Free Butterfly.” Here are all of the background checks, pictures, police reports, statements, financial information—anything that I have gathered about the Green Valley situation such as it is. This folder has network access so that Welch can update it as needed and I can have up to the minute information about the situation from anywhere in the world. I have a similar folder with information on the network labeled “PDP” for “Project Destroy Pedophile” which is also accumulating impressive amounts of information. Right now, I have to focus on Butterfly.

Williams has provided information about Morton that suggests that he very well may be an alcoholic. He spends most of his time and any money he can get his hands on at local bars—side street dives and watering holes. His license has been suspended and he has had so many DUI’s, I’m surprised that he’s still a free man. Hell, he lives in Green Valley. The cops there clearly don’t know how to do their jobs.

Speaking of cops, I need to speak with the officer that responded to the scene—George Sullivan. I’m no crime scene investigator, but I’d just like to know who called it in and were the proper precautions taken when they were handling the evidence. It’s completely beyond me how a mob of people could do something like this and not one person is charged… not one. I don’t know what Sullivan’s shift is at the Henderson Police department, so I decide to give him a call.

Henderson Police Department, Officer Chandler.”

“Hello, may I speak to George Sullivan please?”

I’m sorry, Officer Sullivan’s not here. Is this an emergency or is this something I can help you with?” Chandler asks politely.

“No, Ma’am, thank you. I really need to speak to Officer Sullivan. It’s concerning a case that he worked a few years back.”

Is it a pending investigation?” she presses.

“No, Ma’am. I think it’s a cold case. I may be able to provide some new evidence, but I would really like to talk to Officer Sullivan,” I lie. “When do you expect him back?”

He’s actually gone for the day. He’ll be back at 10:00am tomorrow. May I ask which case it’s concerning.” Hmmm… hell, why not.

“Anastasia Steele,” I say and wait for a reaction. I can hear her talking to someone in the background and saying Ana’s name.

What’s that case like 7, 8 years old?” she asks someone in the station.

“Eleven,” I correct her. She clears her throat.

I’m sorry. I was hoping that I could maybe help you with it, but unfortunately it’s a bit before my time,” she admits. “Would you like to leave a message for Officer Sullivan or do you want to call him back in the morning?”

“I’ll call him back, Officer Chandler, no message. Thank you so much for the information.”

You’re welcome, Sir. You have a good night,” Chandler says before ending the call. I’ll have to track Sullivan down in the morning.

Welch has also forwarded Lawrence’s reports on Cody Whitmore’s comings and goings. Twenty-seven-year-old philanderer doing absolutely nothing with his life. That has to make Daddy proud. He has women in different areas of southern Nevada and rarely finds himself at the desk that Daddy provides at the corporate offices. I will need up-to-the-minute intel on this guy to catch up with him since he has absolutely no regular schedule. I’m a little curious what that says about you that an alcoholic has a regular schedule and you don’t…

I fire off an email to Andrea which she’ll see first thing in the morning to set up a dinner with Cynthia Crestwood on Thursday. Crestwood’s information indicates that she’s passionate about children, which is probably why she chose to work for the school district. I’ll see if I can use Helping Hands as an edge to talk to her. I close my laptop and turn off the light in my study. I need to check on Butterfly now.

When I step into our bedroom, Butterfly is just waking up. She impatiently kicks the duvet off of her. “Hey, hey,” I say coming into the room. She raises her head to look at me sluggishly.

“Christian,” she says, rubbing her eyes. “What time is it?”

“About 8:00.” I say pushing her hair out of her face. “Are you feeling any better? How’s your stomach?” She puts her hand on her stomach.

“Better, I think,” she says softly. “I’m wound so tight and… I just hate that you’re leaving town so soon…” I can tell that she is getting upset again. “I just need to relax. I’ll be fine.”

“Do you want to try to eat something?” I ask, sitting on the bed next to her, “Or would you rather not?”

“I think I’d rather not,” she replies weakly. I stroke her hair. I know my intentions are pure. I know that once we can lay this thing to rest… or even partially to rest… Butterfly will feel much better. She’ll have some form of restitution… some form of justice for her suffering. I wish I could just kill that fucker! However, I know that’ll cause more problems than it would solve. Instead, I give her one more opportunity for relief… one more chance to confirm that I am doing the right thing…

“I love you, Butterfly. If you prefer that I don’t go, I won’t go…”


STEELE

He won’t go. If I tell him not to go, he won’t go.

He deferred to me and my judgment when it came to doing business with She-Thing… but his decision was an educated and informed decision. I gave him all the information, he weighed his options and made his decision. He doesn’t have all of the information this time. I have conveniently left out one crucial piece that could very easily—would very easily—affect his decision. I simply can’t put him in that position. I love him and I know he loves me, and if I tell him that Cody Whitmore is the man that raped me, the man that lied on me and orchestrated an attack on me with his bratty, bitchy, snobby-ass girlfriend Carly Madison and a group of brats, snobs, and bitches that nearly cost me my life and did cost the life of an innocent child, there will surely be body parts of one Cody Whitmore spread across the United States if not the world by sunrise. And he wouldn’t let Taylor do it… he’d do it himself.

I can’t. I can’t do that to Christian. I’ll bear this burden myself.

“You’re a sweet and wonderful man,” I say, reaching up to stroke his cheek. “I promise, I’ll be fine. You take care of your business, Christian. I’ll be okay,” I say with a sincere smile. He pulls me violently into his arms, snatching the air out of me as he crushes me to his body.

“I love you so much,” he says into my hair. “I would do anything for you…” Yes, Christian, I know. That’s why I can’t tell you about Cody.

“And I would do anything for you, baby,” I say, returning his embrace. He sits there holding me. I feel the possessiveness in his grasp. It’s powerful… frightening… almost weakening. My soul is whimpering… yes, Christian, I belong to you

“Bath,” he says, his voice deep, nearly growling sensually in my ear.

“Yes,” I reply, just above a whisper. He slowly releases me, as if I would fall apart if he moved too quickly.

“Stay,” he commands as he moves to the en suite. I hear the water running as the smell of lemongrass fills the room. The aromatherapy is already doing wonders to soothe my soul. I hold my head back and close my eyes, deeply breathing the delicious scent and determined to rid my mind of all things Cody Whitmore. The smell of the lemongrass massages my senses as I raise my head and begin to remove the hairpins holding my chignon together.

“Don’t move a muscle.” His honey voice floats across the room towards me as he stands there in nothing but his trousers, having removed his shirt, T-shirt, shoes, and socks. His chest subtly rises and falls with his breathing and I can’t help but think how much I want to run my tongue through the light dusting of reddish-brown hair there.

My lips part involuntarily betraying my arousal. He responds only by moving slowly over to me and standing in front of me, looking down upon me like he’s the king and I am one of his faithful servants… which is pretty much how I feel right now. I’m frozen to this spot, my hands pressed against the bed and my arms holding me up, lest I collapse on the floor into a useless, horny mound of flesh. He slowly removes the pins from hair and gently massages my scalp until the brown locks cascade in careless curls down my back. He gently removes my jewelry—earrings, necklace, and bracelet—and sets them on the nightstand. He’s moving slowly and meticulously, and I’m mesmerized—watching his eyes as they watch me, his hands as they touch me, his legs and arms as they move his body into different positions to perform his tasks.

He is remarkably, deliciously exquisite in everything that he does. His body is a masterpiece and he has spent every conscious moment of his adult life perfecting every single thing he does. I’m helpless, defenseless against him… completely at his mercy… I would do anything to satisfy him, to make him happy…

But right now, he seems bent on my comfort.

He holds out his hands to me, beckoning for mine and I oblige, of course. He pulls me to my feet and reaches his arms around me to unzip my dress. He pulls the sleeves off my arms and the dress falls to the floor. He takes my hand to help me step out of the dress, which he picks up from the floor and lays it across the chair. He reaches around me again and unhooks my bra. His fingertips gently caress my shoulders as he slides the straps away and down my arms. My breath catches in my throat. A small whimper escapes and my nipples harden and protrude as his lips replace his fingertips on my shoulders.

I close my eyes, still unable to move unless he tells me or directs me where I should go. Oh, his lips are so soft, so skillful as his hands travel down my body. He very slowly descends to his knees in front of me, his hands on my hips… his gray eyes staring salaciously up at my blues through long, dark eyelashes… his shorter flopsy unkempt hair calling to my fingers…

Oh, doux Jésus aide moi, je vais mourir!

His fingers delicately move to my stockings and release each of the belts holding them up. I nearly expire as he slowly glides them down each of my legs and gently removes them from my feet, placing them in the chair with my dress and bra. Next, he grasps my panties and my suspender garter belt together and teasingly slides them down my legs to the floor. His nose starts at my ankles and moves slowly… slowlyup my calf… past my knee… up my thigh… and stops right at my sex, where he inhales deeply.

I nearly swoon.

He stands to his feet again and cups my face in his hands, again very possessively. He looks longingly into my eyes and then kisses me—deeply, passionately, gently, his tongue taking liberties into my mouth… not asking permission, but claiming what belongs to him. There is something so different about him tonight… so deliciously different… I like it! I like it a lot!

“Oh, Ana… baby…” He’s breathless between kisses. “I could take you… right here… right now…” He takes slow, deep breaths to compose himself. “But not now… not yet, baby.” He puts one arm under my legs and carries me into the en suite. He sets me gently on my feet in the warm tub full of luxurious bubbles. “Is that okay?” he asks, referring to the water temperature. I take his hand and he helps me descend into the tub.

“Mmmm. Yes. Perfect,” I purr as I lean back into the tub. He removes his pants, but not his boxer briefs, his erection beginning to show through the tightening gray material. Fuck, he looks scrumptious! Control yourself, Steele. This is his show, not yours.

“Do you like what you see, Butterfly?” he asks in that sexy, sultry, I’m-about-to-blow-your-fucking-mind voice of his. I’m a bit speechless from having been caught eyeballing the merchandise.

“Um… yeah…” I squeak, weakly.

“Patience, baby. Patience,” he says as he puts only his feet in the bath behind me, not removing his boxer briefs.

Oh, why must you tease me so?

Sitting on the outside of the tub, he wets the bath sponge and gently begins to caress my body with it. I lean my head on his thigh and allow him to wash me, caress me, care for me. He is a wonderful man… and he’s all mine.

His head leans over my shoulder as his hands gently caress my calves and legs with the sponge. I moan my approval at his closeness, his breath on my shoulder, his caress on my skin. My body calls to him, so in tune to his touch. I move my head from his thigh to his shoulder and lean into him, trying to control my breathing.

“Relax, baby,” he coos.

“I’m trying,” I say in some voice I swear that I don’t even recognize myself. His response is primal. He slides into the tub behind me—boxers and all—and captures my breasts roughly in his hands, his palms kneading them as my nipples are tortured between his index and middle fingers.

“Don’t do that!” he growls into my ear, obviously trying to control his arousal. I know what he’s talking about, but hell, even don’t know how I did it! I push my aching, hungry breasts further into his hands.

“Ah! Don’t do that!” I beg as I feel I will climax in the water any second. He loosens his grip and his hands move to my stomach as I try to catch my breath. I’m relieved and disappointed at the same time. I don’t know what his plans are for this evening, but I am burning the hell up!

“Oh, baby,” he says into my neck “you are a fucking siren…” No shit! How about lights and sirens? “I can barely resist you…” Then don’t! You’re killing me here!

“Don’t you want to get rid of those?” I say referring to his boxers. He laughs in my ear.

“Relax, baby,” he teases. Okay, fine. This is his game. I’m only going to prolong the torture by trying to rush things along. I take a deep breath and relax back into his chest.

“Good girl,” he says as he continues to caress my skin with the bath sponge, exploring every inch of me until my body tingles. After several minutes, he says, “Slide forward, head back.” I do as I am instructed and he uses the sponge to wet my hair. I moan softly as he applies the shampoo and gently massages my scalp. I have forgotten everything… and I do mean everything… that has happened this day. All I can concentrate on is this man’s magical hands and fingers that meticulously washes away all my fears and concerns. He uses the sponge again to carefully rinse my hair and then he squeezes the excess water out.

“Stay here.” He rises from the bath and takes a towel from the warmer, wrapping one around his body after removing his drenched boxer briefs. He disappears into the bedroom with the other towels and I squeeze more of the water out of my hair. It’s not dripping anymore by the time he comes back into the bathroom. He has removed his towel and is dry now—standing in front of me in all his glory.

I will not stare at his dick. I will not stare at his dick. I will not stare at his dick.

I look up at his eyes and smile at him. He returns the smile and opens a towel in front of him, reaching down to help me out of the tub. I walk willingly into the waiting towel and Christian gently dries me from head to toe, finishing by rubbing the towel through my hair to dry any wetness that may remain. It is still damp, but not dripping anymore as he leads me to the bedroom.

Various citrus candles are lit in the room, the only other light afforded is the soft light on the nightstand, its shade covered with an orange scarf to mute the glare. A familiar, sexy instrumental tune plays through the iPod and immediately makes me warm for what the evening might hold. I follow him to the bed. He sits me on the edge and gently combs the tangles out of my hair. I’m being perfectly pampered by a beautiful, naked sex god.

Breathe, Ana, breathe…

He has spread two towels over the bed in a T-shape—one lengthwise for my body and one across a pillow for my hair.

“Lie down, face up,” he instructs me. He holds my hair while I lay on the pillow. He has splayed my hair over the pillow completely away from my body, I assume so that it can dry undisturbed. I close my eyes and relax into the warm towels and a few moments later I feel warm oily hands roaming my shoulders. I smell the familiar smell of lemongrass and wonder how he got the oil so warm.

“Mmmmm,” I moan as his hands travel over my body—not teasing like the last time he did this, but massaging, with the express intent to relax… or arouse. It’s doing both. I take deep breaths and relax into his touch, focusing on not trying to anticipate where his hands are going next.

The music is affecting me strangely. He has the song on repeat and it starts with a delicate piano then falls to silence. It then goes into a soft, almost tribal bongo beat and a deep baseline behind it followed by slow, soft strings that pull you into the sensuality of the tune. Strangely, a xylophone comes into the mix playing only one key at a time—like each strike should be a word singing a song all by itself. After a four-beat pause of silence, a synthesizer takes over the melody with outer-worldly sounds enhancing the music. Shortly into the combination a woman occasionally speaks only two words…

“This is…”

My responses follow the music. You don’t know what’s going to happen next. The music swells, then stop, then comes back. Will there be fingers snapping, women’s voices, horns dragging melodically, strings, drums? I’ve heard all of these things at some point in the song and then none of them during others. It’s sexy and the anticipation grows with each new element introduced into the song. As I’m trying to relax and allow Christian to take me where he wants to go, he has chosen music that’s taking me on a ride all its own. I can feel his hands kneading my skin, but the music is kneading me, too.

In through my nose, out through my mouth. In through my nose, out through my mouth…

My man is possessive… jealousnothing is allowed to have my attention when I should be concentrating on him. He knows he’s battling with another masseur. Just as the music begins to swell and combine again, his hand is at my core.

“Ah! Christian!” I gasp without opening my eyes. He knows he’s triumphant. His hands are unforgiving, his movements intentional between my folds, against my nub, inside my sex. No teasing, no taunting…deliberate, deep massaging and strokes fully intent on my release.

“Christian!” I whimper helplessly, clawing at the sheets. He wants results and he wants them now! He’s successful in nearly no time at all as I moan loudly, my nails digging into the mattress as I fist the sheet.

“Good. That’s good, baby,” he soothes. “Now relax,” he says softly, his hands traveling along my legs and thighs as I catch my breath. I release the sheets as I whimper, biting my lips to quell my trembling.

This man has touched me sexually twice today—for less than three minutes—and I damn near flew through the ceiling each time. What the hell? Good grief!

I guess once you let the genie out of the bottle, there’s no putting that bitch back in! Damn!

“Turn over, baby,” he says, softly. Hell, maybe I’ll be safe on my stomach… maybe

Wrong! Again!

His magic hands and the magic music begin to take me on a ride again. I have no idea what it is that is causing me to react this way. It’s like the combination of his touch and the melody is releasing something in me—a craving, an urge—that needs satisfaction. Although I try to calm it and control it, it calls to him and his responding touch sends fire through me in a way that I never thought possible. All the breathing and control techniques in the world can’t stop it because it’s not meant to be controlled. It’s that thing that calls a man to a woman on an instinctual level… and it’s calling him to me.

He straddles my thighs and the entire back of my body is coated with the wonderfully aromatic lemongrass oil. His hands now slide up my back and spine to my shoulders. I close my eyes again. I feel his erection on my thighs.

Oh, mon Dieu…

While heat rises in my core, I feel Christian freeze and slide up my body a bit. Now his erection is on my butt.

That didn’t help.

I can’t fucking take this anymore—I need him inside me! It’s been more than a week and I’m ready. He can take my ass or he can take my pussy, I don’t care, but take me, dammit! I raise my ass a bit, just enough to rub against his cock. His hands stop stroking my back and his breath hitches. I can feel him trying to control himself.

Fuck control! I need to fucking feel you now, Grey!

As if he heard my body scolding him, he slides his length between my ass cheeks, his head ruthlessly teasing the sensitive nerves of my hole. “Ooooohhh,” I moan, muffling my tortured cries with the towel and the pillow, clutching onto the sheets once more. My breathing is uneven and erratic as he continues to stroke his stiffness between my cheeks and against my bud. His breathing has changed and increased and I can tell his pleasure is rising as he tries to control his sensual grunts with each stroke. When he pulls back, I raise my hips so that his head collides with my hole, breaking through just enough to tell him what I want.

His hips freeze as he supports himself on his hands. He doesn’t move forward or backward, almost like he is unsure what to do next. I wiggle gently, then push back only a fraction… just enough for the head of him to slip inside.

“Oh, fuck,” he whispers, his member getting stiffer inside of me and his breath coming heavy from his chest. He’s hovering over me as he pushes himself into me further only a bit. I whimper and he groans loudly, “Aaw, fuck!” The feeling is excruciatingly exquisite and I need more… now… stop fucking teasing me!

I push back against him a little more, then pull forward—a very small stroke to massage and loosen things up a bit. Oh God, he feels wonderful inside me back there. Baby… baby…

“Yes… oh, yes…” he moans. That’s it, baby. I need you… I push gently against him again… I need this so badly. Oh, God, I need him deeper. I push again and he grabs my hips.

“Ana—stop… I can’t—I’m going to come…” he confesses between breaths as he tries to hold me still.

I have to feel him inside me. I have to have him all the way inside me… even if it’s only for a moment. I push back against him… slow and deep, just once… and he invades my anal orifice, filling me deliciously. My muscles involuntarily contract around him, welcoming him, pulling him deeper.

“Ana, baby, fuck, stop!” His tortured voice begs as I feel him start to tremble behind me. I drop my head as his fullness radiates from my anus and through my pelvis and hips.

“I’m not doing it,” I pant, helplessly. “It’s my body. It wants you… it needs you, Christian… it’s yours. Don’t deny me… please…” A guttural moan rips from his body and his fingertips dig viciously into my hips as he releases into my ass, his cock jerking powerful as it empties into me.

“Ana… God! Ana!” His voice bounces off the walls and the sound alone washes through me, filling my chest with the same satisfaction that an orgasm would give my core.

“Christian…” I whimper as I feel him filling me with more than just his seed. He is filling me with his soul and taking pieces of mine with him.

“Don’t move,” he whispers, still shaking behind me and clenching my hips tightly against him, his erection throbbing gently inside me. “Please don’t move.”

“Okay,” I promise, trying not to move a muscle as waves of pleasure radiate through me from the emotion that fills the room.

He starts to move his hips… slowly, methodically. Short strokes that fill me without emptying me. I feel it in my hips and pelvis again.

“Christian…” It’s barely audible. His hands move from my hips and slide up my back to my shoulders. He steadies himself there for a moment and thrusts gently into me again.

‘Oh…” I hear myself whimper as I feel the sensation start tickling my toes. He pushes my legs further apart and settles on the bed between them, gently withdrawing himself from me then stroking slowly back into me, tormentingly smoothly and sensuously, controlling my reaction to him—not allowing me to rise too quickly and never allowing me to fall. I whimper in my throat as I realize what he’s doing and lay my head sideways on the pillow. His hands now move slowly up the bed down my arms until he reaches my hands and his fingers tangle into mine.

“You are mine,” he declares in my ear. “This body… is mine. Mine and mine alone. You belong to me!” The words float off his breath and into my soul as he slowly and deliciously loves my anus.

“Yes… yes… yes, I am…” I surrender.

“Only mine…” He lays his head gently on mine and pulls our hands close to our bodies. His stroke deepens. He is burying himself in me… gently. No one has ever loved me this way. Fucked, yes. Loved, no. My body is supporting him… he’s not heavy—yet I’m holding him up as he sinks himself deeper and deeper into me. The tingling in my feet is moving up my legs and the radiation in my hips and chest is intensifying. I know what’s happening and I’m afraid that when it does, I may not be able to take it.

He has me cocooned by his body, and he’s merging with me—not just our sexual organs, but all of us… almost on the cellular level. I can see into him… feel into him… his love, his fear, his vulnerability…

“Baby…!” I croon as his feelings for me flood my essence and threaten to consume me completely.

“Butterfly…” he breathes, and I swear he feels the same thing.

“Ah!” I whimper as I clutch his hands tightly, the feelings from all extremities beginning to converge on my center. Our bodies are one… there’s no more Christian and Ana—there is only we. I don’t know where he begins and I end… only we. The pleasure finally converges on the center of me and my voice comes out in short, shrill spurts. The feeling is indescribable… my head, my hands, my arms, my stomach, my legs, my feet, my heart, my soul, my core… all of me, lost… lostlike I am swimming in warm subconsciousness, completely taken away from this place as my body and soul collide in a mind-and-body-gasm of epically, previously unexplored proportions.

If my brain has been involuntarily sucked from my body, I will gladly be a happy, mindless ball of goo for the rest of my life.

Christian has pulled me onto his lap in the midst of my implosions, our hands still clasps together as he cradles my body with both our arms.

“Oh, my God, you are so beautiful… so beautiful…” he breathes as he continues to rock his hips into me, still stroking my rectum and causing the pleasure to begin anew.

“Oh, Christian, baby…” I coo as I turn my head so that my lips meet his face. He moans as he thrusts into me again…deeper, stronger, and a little faster.

“I love you, I love every single little part of you…” he says into my shoulder.

“Mine,” I breathe.

“Yes, Baby. Yours,” he says, releasing my hands and pulling me against him, his embrace unforgiving. “Touch me. Touch me, please…” he begs.

I reach up and thrust my fingers into his hair, my other hand grasping his thigh, anywhere that I can find skin. I kiss his ear and whisper, “mon amour.”

“Oh, God, Baby… damn!” he cries soulfully as he really starts to move inside me. Oh, this isn’t going to last much longer.

“Christian… oh, God… Christian…” I gasp as my release starts to hover dangerously close to the surface. He reaches down and begins to stroke my clitoris—long and deep strokes with his skilled fingers and his ever-hardening erection continues to pleasure my rectum. Holy. Cow. Batman!

“Say it again…” he growls. “Say my name!”

“Christian!” I whimper as he rubs that magic spot… the pleasure from the back and the front culminating in what promises to be a thrilling duet.

“Again!” he commands, thrusting into me viciously.

“Ah, fuck! Christian!” I squeal. Shit… it’s coming… I can’t stop it, not that I want to.

Again!” he demands. Fuck, he is so hot!

“Christian! Christian! Christian! Christian…” Each time results in another thrust…deep and hard… and the accompanying ministration of my nub. When his fingers stroke down the length of my folds and into my center, his thumb still tormenting my clit and his hips simultaneously burying that steel rod in my ass—I lose the battle… Well, I really wasn’t fighting now, was I?

“Fuckshitdammittohellohgodfuckfuckfuckputainmerdef outremerdeputainenfer!” Stars and mountains and unicorns and clovers and fairies and, oh yeah, I grab a handful of copper hair and dig my nails into his thigh as I effectively attempt to levitate off the bed.

“Oh, fuck! Oh, yes, yes…” He thrusts into me violently as I’m still coming. “Yes! Yes! Pull, Baby, PULL!” I reach as far back as I can, grab a hold to soft copper and PULL… as requested.

“Fuuuck!” he growls, choking out the word as I feel him pulsing inside me. “Fuuuck! A…na, BABY!” He rises to his knees, holding me against him, jerking into my ass with his release and still stroking my core. It’s now that I realize that I had come anally… and not vaginally.

“Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!” I scream loud enough to wake the dead. “Christiaaaaaaaaaaan! Stoooooooooooooooop! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!”

“Oh, no!” he grumbles, still jerking out his release and rubbing out mine. “Give it to me! Give it all to me!” he demands. Tears spring to my eyes as he mercilessly rings out every bit of pleasure from my body. He is breathing heavily into my neck, short thrusts into my ass, juicing his orgasm to the very last drop.

“My good God in heaven, Woman, where do you come from?” he exclaims in one breath, his face still buried in my shoulder, our bodies stuck together by our intermingling sweat. I’m fighting to catch my breath. Finally! Finally, I am sated! Good grief. Each time he made me come, it just made me want him more and more! Without letting go, we fall onto the bed on our sides, completely out of breath, sex-funky and our hair sticking to our faces.

“Where did that come from?” He asked, his voice exhausted.

“I don’t know.” I said, equally gasping for air. “I think they call that make-up sex.

“You think? You don’t know?” he questions. I shake my head. “You’ve never had make-up sex?”

“No. Have you?” I respond, matter-of-factly.

“Well, we know haven’t…” he says, meekly, and I feel like a heel again. Of course, he hasn’t. I slide gently and slowly away from him as his softening cock was still inside me. We both groan a bit at the separation, then I turn around to face him.

“Of, course, you haven’t.” I say, softly. “And I don’t think Edward ever cared enough to even bother with make-up sex with me. So, I have another first with you.” I smile. I kiss him gently on his lips and he squeezes me close to him again. “And as wonderful as it is, let’s try not to have it too often, okay? I love the end result… but I hate getting there.” I say gazing into his eyes, pleading blue to longing gray.

“Agreed,” he says, kissing me gently on the lips. “I love you so much, Anastasia.” Oooh. Anastasia. He truly wants my full attention.

“And I love you, Christian Grey,” I say stroking his cheek. I jump back when traces of blood leave my fingertips and streak down his face. “Christian!?” I say nervously gazing at my hand.

He snatches my hand in his and examines my fingers. “Baby, where did it come from? Are you hurting anywhere?” he asks, checking over my body.

“No! Nowhere!” I say, my voice full of anxiety as I begin to check my own body for injury. We’re both on our knees and I am holding the offending hand away from me like it’s contagious as I get a glimpse of Christian’s thigh. “Christian!” I say, pointing at the dark red bruises on his leg, “It’s you!”

Christian’s eyes follow my gaze and my point to his own leg. “Stay right here, baby,” he says as he goes to the en suite. I hear water running and then the opening of the medicine cabinet. When did this happen!? I think back to as much as I can remember of our animalistic coupling and I recall the last orgasm—when I grabbed his hair… and his thigh. I drew blood.

Fuck! I feel awful.

Christian comes into the bedroom with a cold washcloth. He has cleaned his leg and applied some antibiotic ointment to the scratches.

“Let me see your hands, Baby. Do they hurt? Did you break any skin?” He lovingly cleans my hand and checking them both for bruising or blood… besides his own.

“No,” I answer weakly. His eyes go immediately to mine and he cups my cheek with his hand.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” he asks, his voice full of concern. What’s wrong? Is he serious?

“I hurt you,” I squeak. “I drew blood… I’m sorry.” He starts laughing heartily. Okay… is he hysterical?

“You’re sorry!?” he laughs. I stare at him confused. I’m waiting for the punchline. “Are you fucking kidding me? I love this! These are battle scars! Fucking battle scars, Baby!” He proclaims proudly, admiring the bloody welts on his legs. “I hope they’re permanent!”

I sit there stunned for a moment. I finally sit back on my feet and drop my arm, shaking my head. He is so damn strange, I think to myself.


A/N:

Oh, doux Jésus aide moi, je vais mourir” – “Oh sweet Jesus, help me, I’m going to die!

The familiar sexy instrumental tune that Ana hears on repeat from the iPod in the bedroom is Moments in Love (Quiet Storm Version) by The Art of Noise.

Oh, mon Dieu” – “Oh, my God.”

“mon amour.” – “my love.”

Fuckshitdammittohellohgodfuckfuckfuckputainmerdefo utremerdeputainenfer!” – Um… don’t try to translate that… just don’t… just know that Ana is coming and cursing, okay?

A couple of pictures are on my Pinterest to accompany the story at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/

Guess what? Another big ole juicy lemony chapter is coming your way on Saturday!

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

Love and handcuffs,
Lynn x