This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.
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 46—True Love and First Blood
For the first time in a week, I wake up with the sun shining in my face in my wonderful bed at Escala, with my Butterfly wrapped in my arms. I rub my eyes and look at her. Even with her lying on her side as still as a statue and the sleep mask over her eyes, I know she’s not asleep. Her breathing is giving her away.
“How long have you been awake?” I ask her.
“How did you know?” she asks.
“I know you. I know your body,” I reply.
“Hmm. I don’t know, but not long. I wanted to stay under the tea for as long as possible.”
“Baby, you can stay ‘under the tea’ for as long as you want…”
“Oh, no I can’t!” she interrupts me. “I’ve been lying in some bed for five days. It’s a wonder that I don’t have bed sores!”
“Oh, okay, well…” I pull her close to me. “You can at least stay under the tea for a few more minutes, can’t you?” I say as I pull her nipple into my mouth and manipulate it intensely until it quickly comes to a point.
I’m rinsing the shampoo out of my hair after quick morning sex with my hot girlfriend that brought us both to surprisingly powerful orgasms. I turn off the shower and wrap a towel around me, drying my hair with a second towel. My Butterfly is still stretched out on the bed when I come out of the bedroom, naked and smiling with her eye mask still in place.
“Are you trying to tempt me again, Butterfly?” I ask. She giggles. Oh, how I have missed that sound.
“I wanted to wait and let you take off the mask since you can see, and I don’t want to irritate anything,” she replies.
“You won’t irritate anything, baby. It’s just a sleeping mask. But here, I’ll remove it for you. Sit up.”
She sits up and I gently remove the mask. I can’t believe my eyes. I’m staring at her, gaped-mouthed and her face falls hard.
“What?” she says, her voice obviously prepared for bad news.
“What the hell is in this tea!?” I say, looking at the mask like it’s some foreign object which right now, it is.
“Christian, please, tell me,” she implores.
“You have to see, baby.” I take her hand and lead her to the en suite. I place her in front of the mirror and she gasps. Her right eye is almost completely back to normal and the swelling in the left eye has gone down significantly—almost by half. Her left cheek, which bears Harris’ hand prints has gone from purple to slightly pink. The bruising and swelling on the other side of her face still looks pretty bad. I’m thinking it was too painful for her to lie on that side. She notices it, too.
“What do you say you get cleaned up and we get you situated somewhere comfortably besides the bed and we ask Gail to make a bag for the right side. It must have been murder trying to lay on that side.” I kiss that black and blue bruise gently like your Mom would kiss away a boo-boo. She looks up at me through her lashes and blushes, showing me a beautiful smile through her not-so-swollen lips. I guess they’re going down on their own.
“How do your lips feel, baby?” I ask.
“Better than before,” she responds. “They still look hideous.”
“Do I need to have you open your mouth again?” I ask, scolding. She looks up at me and visibly shivers, no doubt remembering the delicious tongue-play we had last night so as not to aggravate her swollen lips while we were making love.
“You were on fire last night, baby, and this morning was delectable,” I say closing the small space between us by slipping my arms around her and cupping her ass in my hands.
“Are you trying to start again, Mr. Grey?” she says, her voice soft and sexy.
“Mmmm, careful,” I warn, my head buried in her neck devouring her scent and kissing and nibbling her skin. “Would that be such a bad thing?”
“Mmmm,” she moans and throws her head back. “But I’ve had four deliciously intense orgasms and I’m a little sore. I might need to rest for a while.” I pull my head back to look at her.
“Oh, baby, I’m sorry!” I’m so glad to have her home, to be able to love her, I didn’t even consider that she might not be able to take it.
“Oh, goodness, please don’t apologize,” she purrs. “It’s a delicious soreness and a scrumptious reminder of our passion. I just may need a moment to recuperate.”
“Okay, Butterfly,” I say as I stroke her hair and look into her beautiful blue eyes. They change quickly, and they she launches herself into my arms, embracing me intimately.
“Baby?” I inquire. Is she okay? What’s wrong?
“Thank you,” she says. I can hear the tears in her voice. “You make me feel so beautiful… so loved and desired. You make me feel like a goddess.” I wrap my arms around her and lift her from the floor, embracing her close to me.
“It’s easy to do, Anastasia,” I say softly as I breathe in her scent. “You are exquisite. I don’t have to pretend.” She wraps her legs around me—oh good Lord. She pulls her face back from mine to look at me. “When I look in your eyes, I’m lost. You’ve captured me, Anastasia. You are a goddess. You’re my goddess!” Suddenly her eyes are hooded and full of lust… but she’s sore. Fuck.
“Open your mouth,” I hear myself growl, my own voice thick with desire. She obediently opens her mouth wide the first time, and my tongue dances a feverish tango with hers—more easily accessible since some of the swelling in her lips has gone down. I really like when we do this. It’s different than a regular kiss—more intimate, and we don’t close our eyes. We look at each other… giving ourselves to each other. Her hands clutch tightly in my hair as she tightens her legs around me and breathes hotly into my mouth. Fuck, this is torture.
“Oh, baby, please. I can’t take it,” I protest. “You’re sore…”
“I don’t care! Oh, God, I don’t care!” she says in a lustful wail. I quickly snatch the towel from around my waist and drop her hard onto my awaiting erection.
“Aaaaaaaahhhh! Oh, my God, Christian!” she wails as she tightens her legs around me and begins to rise and fall on my staff.
“Oh, fuck, Ana, fuck!” She feels so fucking tight. I know I just had sex with this woman this morning… not even an hour ago… but the way her muscles are tightening around my shaft—fucking hell!
“You feel so good, baby,” she says steadying herself on my shoulders and increasing the tempo in her hips. “Oh God, you’re so hard for me…”
“Ana… fuck… if you keep this up, I’m not going to last long.” I breathe.
“I can’t help it,” she says with a sensuous lick of my lips. Oh, hell… “I miss fucking you. I love fucking you…” she mewls, increasing the stroke even more and throwing her head back. “Oh, God, I love fucking you. I love how you feel inside me.” Mother of fuck!
“Oh, baby, please have mercy,” I growl, burying my face in her breast and inhaling the scent of her sweat, that sheen that appears when she’s highly aroused.
“Yes, baby,” she whispers. “Bite my nipple.”
I pull her nipple into my mouth and suck hard then bite just enough to bring her to that pleasure/pain threshold.
“Aaaah!” she cries, and shit is happening down below.
“God, God, oh yes!” she’s breathing, now grinding her hips feverishly into me. I love it when she’s like this—savagely chasing her orgasm and me desperately fending off mine.
“Oh yes, baby, fuck me!” I growl, smacking her ass hard with my right hand.
“Fuck, Christian!” she gasps. “Oh, fuck!” She grabs my hair and pulls hard and it sends shock waves right to my dick.
“Oh God, Ana!” I growl as I start to pump into her, matching her strokes.
“You like that, baby? Mmmm, your dick is getting harder. I can feel it.” She’s breathing frantically. “Can you feel my pussy squeezing your dick, baby?” Oh shit, I’m a goner.
“Yes… baby… yes… you feel… so good…” I choke, burying my cock deeper and deeper into the soft velvet vise that threatens to juice me for all that I’m worth.
“That’s it, Baby. Feel it with me… yes… oh fuck, yes… it feels so good… so… good…” She’s losing her control and I know that she’ll come any minute, which is good because I swear I’ve only got seconds left.
“Aaaaaaaaaahhhhh! Fuck! Me!” she screams as she digs her nails deep into my back and scratches as she comes heavily squeezing the ever-living fuck out of my dick.
“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!” I wail loudly as I drop her hard onto my shaft balls deep and hold her there, letting her pussy grip and suck the juice from me. Oh hell, it feels so good that it burns, and I’m paralyzed by this orgasm, leaning against the sink so that we both don’t end up on the floor.
thedwlkfad”Aaaaaahhh… fuck… Aaaaaaannnaaaaa!” I moan, and she whimpers several times as her body trembles violently against me, squeezing me with every tremor.
This is fucking outstanding! Yes, baby, yes! Juice that damn dick! Drain it dry, you hot, sexy minx!
“Oh, baby, yes!” I moan as I’m finally able to find some movement in my lower regions and I thrust into her again, eeking out every bit of both of our aftershocks. “Yes, yes, yes, yes…” I say, holding her close to me and kissing her shoulders.
“Oh, God, Christian… you are so hot…” she breathes as she lays her head on my shoulder trying to catch her breath. “I couldn’t help it. I had to have you inside of me… Soreness be damned.”
“Like I could resist you,” I respond, still peppering kisses on her shoulders.
“I’ve bruised your back,” she says softly. “No blood this time, but you look like you’ve taken the bad end of a tiger,” she laughs. Perfect choice of words.
“The good end, you mean.” I say, licking her tender lips and kissing the corners of her mouth.
“Careful,” she breathes. “That’s how this all started in the first place.”
“I know,” I breathe, “and since I know for sure that you’re sore now, I’m going to take your beautiful body over to the shower where I can clean and caress you with body soap, and then I’m going to dress you and carry you to the great room so that I can feed you and we can talk. Okay?” She runs her fingers through my hair.
“Mmmm, Christian that sounds delightful,” she purrs.
After a wonderful shower where my boyfriend lovingly cleaned every inch of my body, I’m escorted back to our bedroom where he opens the top drawer of his chest of drawers.
“This drawer is yours.” He opens the drawer and there is my lingerie that had previously been left in the guest room since I couldn’t find room for it in here. “If we run out of room, I’ll clear another drawer. If that doesn’t work, I’ll buy another dresser.” He’s serious.
“Okay,” I giggle, again. He looks at me and gives me our special swollen lip peck, which is just a hair deeper than it was before. He’s testing to see what I can take since my lips have gone down a bit.
“Is that okay?” he asks softly. I nod, my eyes closed.
“Kiss me again,” I whisper. He puts his hand in my hair and kisses me again, wet and soft. Mmmmmm… you never miss a kiss until you can’t get one.
“Thank you,” I breathe. When I open my eyes, he’s smiling at me.
“You’re welcome,” he replies as he turns back to the drawer. When he turns back to me, he helps me step into a pair of beautiful white lacy boy shorts with a blue and white waistband and lace hearts in the center of the front and back. They fit like a glove! Out of the same drawer he pulls a beautiful embroidered lace, white support bra which I slip into and he latches in the back. The girls are sitting up very nicely. Are we expecting company? He can’t be dressing me to sit around and talk! His next revelation comes from the closet, where he reveals a Gunne Sax vintage hippie Bohemian mini dress—cotton with crochet lace angel sleeves and a crochet lace front panel overlay, empire waist and a bell skirt. The panel laces up the front and ties with a drawstring, and the dress zips up the back.
“Over or under?” he says softly as he walks toward me with the beautiful little dress in his large, lovely hands.
“Over,” I say just above a whisper. I raise my arms and he slides the dress onto me and zips it in the back. Again, it fits like a glove. He releases my messy bun and runs his hands through my hair, allowing it to cascade down my back and over my shoulders.
“I have something that I got for you before this whole ordeal started. I wanted to give it to you when I got back from Nevada, but…” He trails off and I could hear his voice cracking. “I thought about waiting for a special occasion, but after… what happened… I just want you to wear them around the house with me for a while.” Around the house… yes, I guess it is bigger than some people’s houses. He reaches into the nightstand drawer and pulls out two Cartier boxes.
I know, right!? Hee hee hee!
He hands me the long box first. Inside is a beautiful platinum and diamond butterfly on a chain. I will not cry. I will not fucking cry!
“Oh, Christian! It’s beautiful!” I breathe. He takes it out of the box and I hold my hair while he clasps it onto my neck. I run to the mirror to look at it. It’s exquisite. A butterfly… because he calls me Butterfly. And Edward tried to let that word come out of his mouth. Silly boy.
While I’m still admiring the necklace, Christian hands me the smaller Cartier box. Oh, I almost forgot there were two. I smile at him and open the second box to reveal a gorgeous pair of earrings that almost match the necklace. These are diamond and platinum half butterflies sitting on a pearl. Very unique and just as exquisite as the necklace. I gasp. He takes them out of the box one by one and puts them in my ears.
“Perfect,” he says as he steps back and takes in my entire appearance. “You’re so beautiful, baby.” He brings me into an embrace and strokes my hair. I don’t often stand next to Christian in my bare feet. He really is a damn tree…
He lifts me in his arms, as promised, and carries me into the great room. He sits me on the sofa and turns on the fireplace along with some music. I hear someone talking about kissing and then a beautiful flute takes the lead. Christian goes to the kitchen and, after a few minutes, returns with a tray of antipasto and another tray of fruit and cheese.
“Don’t start without me,” he warns as he dashes back to the kitchen. He returns with a vegetable tray and an assortment of hummus. He disappears once more and comes back with two of my famous cranberry spritzers. Once everything is set out on the coffee table, he sits on the sofa next to me and pulls my legs over his lap.
“Who’s this… playing?” I ask.
“Nestor Torres. He’s a flautist. Latin jazz. You like it?” he asks.
“Yes, very much.” That’s when I realize that it’s 10:00 or so on a Wednesday morning. “You don’t have to work?” I ask.
“I’ll be doing some work from home for the next few days or so. I want to be close to you for a while.”
“I’m alright Christian, really. I can just take a few days and relax. You don’t have to watch over me. I’ll be fine, baby.” I say touching his cheek.
“I know you will, Butterfly,” he says putting his hand over mine, “but I won’t. I almost lost you.” I see the pain deep in his eyes and the fear of loss he must have felt when I was missing. It’s sometimes hard to consider what someone else is going through when you’re in that type of situation.
“Okay,” I whisper and smile lovingly at him. I understand now. While he’s taking care of me, he’s taking care of himself at the same time. He begins to feed me from the antipasto tray. I’m utterly ravenous, and the prosciutto and olive are just divine. I look over at the coffee table and see a copy of Eye On Seattle.
“Is that from today?” I ask, pointing at the gossip rag. Christian follows my hand and sees the picture on the cover.
“Do you really want to see that?” he asks. I shrug.
“Yes. I might as well see what the world is saying so far,” I reply. He shrugs and gives me the paper. There’s a picture on the front page of Christian in his Rayban sunglasses with me cradled safely in his arms. My head is of course covered by Christian’s jacket and you can see my hand sticking out, clutching the jacket tightly around myself. I look like a small child next to his massive body, his head tucked protectively over mine. Small pictures of Edward and Harris are inset in the bottom right hand corner. The story reads:
Lancelot Carries His Guinevere To Her Chariot
Hearts broke all along the west coast and parts beyond when well-known Seattle billionaire CEO and entrepreneur Christian Grey simultaneously announced Sunday that not only had he relinquished his bachelor status, but also that the object of his affection was missing. Careful not to subject himself to claims of slander before information could be confirmed, Grey’s spokesperson Allen Forsythe indicated that Anastasia Steele—a Seattle psychiatrist and Grey’s new love interest—was “last seen by witnesses” with Edward David and Robert Harris. David (pictured above in inset—left) is an ex-boyfriend of Ms. Steele; there is an outstanding protection order requiring that he remain 1000 feet away from her at all times. Harris (pictured above in inset—right) is a former employee of Grey’s. Monday morning, Ms. Steele’s cell phone was traced to Vashon Island and sources say that, upon identifying Ms. Steele’s voice in a 911 tape, police along with Mr. Grey and members of his security staff proceeded to the location and rescued Ms. Steele, who, as it turns out, had allegedly been abducted by the two men. Ms. Steele, battered and unconscious, was taken to the hospital while David was taken into custody without incident. Harris exchanged gunfire with police officers while attempting to escape and was shot five times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Today, Grey takes his mending princess back to their castle in the sky to recuperate from her ordeal. Prince Charming has rescued the princess from the tower and it looks like “happily ever after” for the young couple… Well, at least for now, anyway.
“That’s not bad, actually,” I say. “I mean, it could have been really horrid.” He nods.
“It’ll get worse before it gets better, baby,” he warns.
“I’ve been through worse, Christian,” I reply. He smiles at me and nods.
“You are one of the bravest, strongest women I have ever met. You truly amaze me sometimes, Butterfly,” he says, gazing into my eyes.
“Ditto, Mr. Grey,” I say, lovingly stroking his face. He kisses me gently on my cheek, then we continue our brunch. Christian patiently feeds us both from all three trays—delicious melon slices and fruit dip, celery and sun-dried tomato hummus, fresh provolone and mozzarella cheese… oh, I’m in heaven! I sit back on the sofa once I’ve had my fill.
“This is quite the spread, Mr. Grey,” I tease. “It’s delicious.” He smiles briefly, but then his smile fades. “What’s wrong, Christian?”
“I wanted to make sure that you had enough to eat… that you weren’t hungry,” he says softly, looking at the food. I know what he’s talking about, and I knew that we would have to address it. “Anastasia, you punished me for doing this to myself, and then you turn around and do the very same thing…” I owe him an explanation, I know. I swallow hard.
“I’m sorry, Christian, but this was so different. One way or another, I had to force David’s hand. I couldn’t sit there and wait to be rescued. No one knew where I was… I don’t even know where I was. I didn’t think I would see the people that I love again. I really didn’t think I was going to get out of there alive. He’s a fucked-up bastard, but he didn’t want me to die. He would have had to get me to a hospital,” I explain.
“So, this was all part of the escape plan… in case nobody found you,” he says. I nod.
“Harris hated my guts, but in his own sick way Edward loved me. He wouldn’t have let me die.” He doesn’t respond. “I had to do something, Christian. I had to…” He runs his hands through his hair.
“You can never do this again… never!” he says. “I don’t care what’s going on. You have to have faith in me… in Allen… in the people that love you, to always come for you; to always look for you; to never give up on you. Please, swear to me that you’ll never do this again.” I can’t swear it to him. There’s something else that he doesn’t know.
“Christian, there’s another reason why I refused to eat anything Edward brought me,” I say. His eyes widen.
“What is it?” he asks. I sigh. I guess now is the time. I try to remove my legs from his lap, but he won’t let me move. “Anastasia, tell me!” Anastasia… yeah, I better start talking.
“How did you know it was Edward and Harris that took me?” I ask. I need to know what he knows.
“Lojack tracked your car to the aquarium. The guard told us what time you had left. A security guard at the parking structure across the street let us see the video of the camera that faces the aquarium exit. Taylor identified Harris, Allen identified David.” Al… of course!
“So… you saw when he drugged me,” I say. Christian nods.
“My heart broke that I couldn’t stop them, Ana. Our entire security staff is being investigated because this never should have happened. The only reason I didn’t force Davenport to follow you that day and risk castration is because someone should have been watching both of those assholes!” he spits. Oh, dear. Now may not be the best time to spill the beans about Edward. “You haven’t told me the other reason why you wouldn’t eat, Anastasia.” Oh, hell.
“Would you stop doing that please?” I pout.
“Doing what?” he asks bemused.
“Calling me Anastasia. You make me feel like I’m being sent to the principal’s office!” I fold my arms. He runs his hand through his hair.
“I didn’t realize I was doing it,” he responds. “I resort to formal names when I’m irritated, and I very rarely call anyone by a nickname anyway… It’s a habit you may have to endure. Now, please…tell me why you wouldn’t eat.” I sigh again.
“Whatever he drugged me with, it was very hard to come out of it. When I did… when I…” I feel my throat closing as I’m trying to tell him this. I see the dingy yellow walls of that room again and the faded grayish-lavender curtains. I smell the mildew of the pillows. I drop my face in my hands and gasp. Spit it out, Steele. He’s trying to pull my hands from my face and I just sit up and spit it out.
“When I came to, I was handcuffed to the bed. We were both naked and he was on top of me. I felt him kissing me in all of my private places… he was about to… have sex with me…”
Christian freezes. I don’t dare look up at him. I can’t stand what may be in his eyes. I know we sit there in silence only for moments, but it feels like hours. I can’t raise my head. The tears begin to fall as I remember waking with this asshole on top of me, hoping it was Christian, but knowing that it wasn’t, feeling like I was laying down pinned under Cody fucking Whitmore all over again.
Suddenly, I’m in Christian’s arms and he’s holding me close against him.
“I’m sorry, baby. I’m so sorry,” he says, his face buried in my neck. “I said I would never let anybody hurt you again… and I failed. I’m so sorry…”
I know that there’s nothing I can say that’ll make him feel differently about this, but I try anyway.
“Christian, Edward is a sick fuck. If it didn’t happen now, he would have just waited for his chance later. You have no idea how deep his depravity goes. It’s unbelievable. He knew when I went to the hospital with you, he knew when we were in Bellevue. He even knew what clothes I was wearing on different days. Someone on your team was feeding information to Harris the entire time. They knew our every move. Edward called me Butterfly.” Christian stiffens again, then looks me in the eyes.
“He did what?” he asks.
“He called me Butterfly. There’s no way he could have known that. I heard him and Harris argue a lot about Harris getting faulty information and Edward was paying him for it.”
“There is a mole,” he says under his breath.
“Huh?” I ask. He runs his hands through his hair again.
“We found evidence of a mole while you were missing. We killed everybody’s security clearances. Nobody has anything above a level one except for me, Taylor, Welch, and Barney… and even Barney had to be cleared.” I frown.
“When did this happen?” I ask.
“Sometime Sunday… afternoon, maybe.” I nod. “Why do you ask?”
“Harris took my cards sometime late Sunday night.” That reminds me… I haven’t reported them yet. Their evidence now, anyway. “He must’ve known that his information well had dried up, so he took money from me.” Christian is getting hotter and hotter while he’s sitting there. “There’s no use getting angry about him, Christian. He’s dead now.” It’s like someone threw ice water on his anger and his face just falls.
“Yeah, that’s true,” he admits. I sigh again.
Answer his question before he asked it again.
“The plan was that Edward was supposed to win me over in five days. After that time, he was going to take me to another location… most likely Richmond Beach… and Harris was going to leave town after Edward paid him the rest of his money.”
“How did you know it was Richmond Beach?” he asks.
“When we were together, we were looking at a house out there. It was a nice little house, but our plan was to tear it down and build another house on the land. Well, apparently someone bought the house. But in all his stalkerosity, Edward watched the damn house and discovered that it was back on the market. So, he was talking about buying it for us and getting me away from Seattle.
If that wasn’t where he planned on taking me, then I don’t know where, but I was afraid that he would drug my food—to move me, rape me, I don’t know. But even if I died from starvation, I was not eating a thing he put in front of me. So, even though I would never do that to myself on purpose, I can’t swear to you that if I’m in a situation like that ever again…”
“You will never again be in a situation like that!” he spits. I nearly glare at him. He takes a deep breath.
“Ana, baby, listen to me. You’re safe from Edward David because he’s in jail and most likely won’t be getting out. You’re safe from Harris, because he’s in hell and definitely won’t be getting out. But you’re now in the public eye. You’ve been stamped ‘Christian Grey’s Girlfriend’ and you know that K&R insurance that I originally lied to you about?”
“Yeah.” That’s something else that we need to discuss, Mr. Grey!
“Well, I didn’t lie to you about it. It’s real, and I’ll be adding you to it today,” he says flatly.
“What?” I gasp. “Christian, you can’t do that! We’re not even married!”
“Oh yes I can. There are any number of reasons that someone would want to harm you to get to me, not the least of which is money. And in order to get you back, I had to go public with our relationship. If you think for one second that someone wouldn’t try to use you to get to me, you’re wrong. And those fuckers in Green Valley did a fan dance when this shit went down, I can guarantee it.”
Shit. He’s right. I can try to deny it, but if two guys come up on me and I don’t have my gun, I’m screwed… and if Chuck had been with me on Friday, this never would have happened.
“Ana, you might not like this, but you need to have security with you everywhere you go.”
“You’re right,” I say softly, and he does a double-take.
“What? You mean… you’ll do it?” he asks, surprised.
“Look at my face, Christian,” I say, pointing to the not-at-all flattering mask I currently display. “If I needed a building to fall on me, it just did!” I pause. “So, Chuck will be my Jason?”
“Um, yeah,” he says a little dumbfounded. I stare at him.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“I won’t lie… I expected you to fight me on this,” he admits.
“A week ago, I would have. But now…” I shake my bowed head, trying unsuccessfully to rid my mind of a thought before I burst into tears. “I don’t know when I’ll ever get back to myself, Christian,” I say weeping. “I cry all the time, I can’t look in the mirror, I’m a fucking wreck!”
“Baby, you just went through one of the worst experiences in anybody’s life. You’re expected to cry.” He’s holding me and gently rubbing my back. “I’ll take care of you while you’re pulling yourself back together if you let me… and you will, baby… pull yourself together, that is.” I look into his eyes and see the man that I love so much. I hold his face in my hands and pull it to mine.
“I love you so much,” I say, leaning my forehead on his and closing my eyes.
“Oh, Ana. If you only knew how much I love you…” he says, putting his hand on the side of my head and gently kissing my bruises. I’m melt at his touch. I breathe in deeply as he continues to shower kisses on my eyes, my cheeks and he begins to travel to my neck and my ears. I moan quietly as his kisses warm me all over. This is where I dreamed of being the entire time that I was held captive—here with my man, with him touching me, kissing me, loving me…
“Ahem! Ahem!” Oh, wow, Jason, really?
“You’re fired,” Christian says while his face is still buried in my neck.
“What was that, sir? I didn’t hear you…” Jason says.
“I said you’re fired,” Christian replies after gently kissing me on the cheek.
“Yes, sir. While you’re writing out my pink slip, I should tell you that Detective Crab is on his way up the elevator,” Jason informs.
“Oh, yeah. Shit, I forgot he was coming today.” I look at him questioning. “Gerald. He wanted to talk to you yesterday, but I told him that today might be better. I’m sorry, I completely forgot. I was…distracted.” He smiles at me and I blush bright red I’m sure. “If it’s still too much for you to deal with…”
“Oh no, please. Let’s just do this and get it over and done,” I say. Jason goes to the door to let Gerald in. I notice Christian calls him by his first name. That seems odd.
“Why do you call him Gerald?” He looks at me bemused.
“That’s his name, baby,” he says like it’s the most obvious thing in the world—which it is, but that’s not why I was asking him. I roll my eyes.
“I figured out that much, Christian. I mean, why do you call him Gerald instead of Crab?” I shoot. Smartastic ass!
“Oh! Because he was very helpful and very courteous… and here he is.” He stands as the gorgeous black cop walks into the great room. Ho-ly cow Bat-man. He is hot! I’ve got a boyfriend. I’ve got a hot, rich, sexy boyfriend… but damn! I stand up.
“Ana, this is Gerald Crab. Gerald, you finally get to meet my girl officially… and conscious!” Gerald takes my hand.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Steele,” he says with a gentle shake.
“The pleasure is mine, and please call me Ana,” I respond.
“Ana, call me Gerald. You’re looking so much better than when I last saw you.”
That makes me feel better—I probably looked like a troll the last time he saw me. Hopefully, I have at least graduated to garden gnome!
“Thank you, Gerald, I’m working on it. Please, sit. Have something to eat. Would you like a drink? Coffee, water, cranberry spritzer? I know you’re still on duty…”
“That cranberry spritzer sounds good,” he says.
“I’ll get it, baby,” Christian says as he heads off to the kitchen. I sit down.
“He won’t let me do anything,” I say with a smile.
“That doesn’t bother you, does it?” Gerald says with a laugh.
“Oh, no, not at all,” I respond. “I mean, I’m usually pretty independent, so it feels kind of strange… in a good way, but I know he needs it.” I look over at him busily mixing cranberry spritzers. “We had a fight on Friday and I walked out. The next thing I know, I’m captive to my psycho ex-boyfriend and his even more psycho sidekick. This,” I say, gesturing to my face, “is all courtesy of the not-so-dearly-departed Robert Harris.” I turn towards the kitchen. “Christian, please bring a plate and some flatware for Gerald… and a napkin!”
“Yes, dear,” he says, mocking me. I turn back to Gerald, who’s looking at me in awe.
“What?” I ask bemused. He shakes his head.
“I watched that man throw orders—at men often bigger than he is—for the last three days. No offense, Ana, but I have a niece still in high school bigger than you, and this man is at your beck and call and taking orders from you… I’m just amazed,” Gerald says. I blush a little and giggle.
“We have a strange relationship, Gerald. It would take too long to explain it. The best I can do is tell you that there’s a regular exchange of authority between us. I know when to shut up and listen…” I wave my hand at Christian, “…and so does he.”
“So, tell me, what happened Friday?” He pulls out his little notebook and I realize that we’re now on the record. I put my hand on my forehead.
“Well, he didn’t listen,” I say, still feeling perturbed about the Green Valley incident and making a note to bring it up later. “He did something that I asked him not to do. I became angry and stormed out.”
“May I ask what he did?” Gerald asks. Oh, God, I really don’t want to talk about this.
“It has nothing to do with the investigation. How would it help?” I ask.
“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but every detail counts. You never know…” he says.
“I know this time,” I reply, putting my hand on my forehead again. “Christian is the king of the background check. He went deeper into a very painful part of my teenage years when I asked him not to.”
“This wouldn’t have anything to do with Mr. David, would it?” he asks.
“No, nothing at all.” I’m rubbing a fire into my forehead. “I didn’t meet Psycho Boy until college.” I put my hands in my lap again.
“So, tell me about Friday. What happened after you stormed out?” I sigh.
“I told Christian that I didn’t want anybody to follow me. I usually have a security detail, but this time, I just wanted to be alone. That turned out to be a bad move.” At that moment, Christian comes back into the great room with the spritzers and a plate, flatware and napkin on a tray.
“Here you go, Gerald.” He hands the drink to Gerald after sitting the tray on the coffee table. “Are you okay?” he says, sitting next to me, concern etched all over his face. I nod. Gerald is quiet and raises his eyebrow at Christian.
“This,” he’s stroking his forehead, “is her tell. Whenever she’s particularly flustered, she rubs her forehead.” I gape at him as he turns to face me. “What?”
“I didn’t know you noticed,” I say, surprised. He smiles.
“Well, I did. I notice a lot, and you’ve had that hand on that head at least five times in the last two minutes. Are you sure you’re okay to talk about this?” he asks.
“Well, no, I’m not, but I have to tell him… just stay with me, okay?” I look into his eyes, beseeching. He takes my hand and kisses me on the forehead.
“Of course, I’ll stay, baby,” he says giving me a drink. “But I’m going to tell you what Gerald would say. Don’t sugarcoat anything because I’m sitting here. He needs to hear every ugly detail so that we can put this fucker away. Okay, Butterfly?” Hearing him use my name after he knows Edward tried to soil it fills me with new strength. I nod and straighten my back.
“Okay, Ana. Tell me what happened after you walked out,” Gerald says.
Christian sits as still as possible as I recount the nightmare I suffered over the weekend. They were both happy to know that Edward never penetrated me, each for different reasons, but Christian stiffened each time I spoke about Harris hitting me or either of them watching me naked and chained to the bed.
They began filling in the blanks for me that once Edward and Harris were identified on tape, Al and Christian did the internet feed that was subsequently picked up by the major networks. So, Harris was losing his mind by the time the news hit the airways.
First, he loses his inside contact which means that he had no way of being able to keep tabs on Christian. This is probably one of the reasons he panicked and took my credit cards. Then he sees his picture plastered all over the news as one of the last people seen with me. That explains the argument that he and Edward were having on Monday morning as well as the “discussion” he had with me that made him knock me out.
“I know this may seem insensitive, but I have to know.” I say rubbing my forehead. I look up at Gerald. “Did you see his body?” Gerald’s expression changes. I can’t quite read it, but I don’t care. I need to know that bastard is dead!
“Yes, Ana, I saw his body. He lay there for a long time,” he says heavily stressing the word long. “The medical examiner takes longer to get to Vashon than the police.” I nod.
“How did it happen?” I ask. Christian and Gerald exchange a look. “The paper says he was shot five times, but that’s a gossip rag. I deserve to know!” I insist. Gerald nods.
“Harris attempted to escape from a rear exit when a uniformed police officer spotted him. They were driving a borrowed or stolen car with false plates. As the black and white had the fraudulent car blocked in, he tried to escape on foot. The officer called for him to stop and fired a warning shot in the air. Harris stopped running, turned around and pulled a revolver on the officer. The officer took one shot in the leg before she emptied five bullets into Harris—four in the torso, one in the head.”
I gasp and sob for an instant, just at the sheer violence of the whole thing. Yes, I can and will shoot my gun, but shooting to kill takes a different mindset. I have no doubt that I could do it in a second if necessary, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t affect me. Christian reaches for me, but I put my hand up to stop him. I don’t want to fall apart completely.
“Thank you. I’m fine,” I say to him just above a whisper. “She. So, it was a lady cop that took him down.”
“Yes, it was.”
“What is her name? Where is she now?” I ask.
“Officer Carolyn Fennell. She was in Seattle General with you. I think she may still be there.” I look over my shoulder at Christian.
“Please send her some flowers,” I request.
“Will do,” Christian responds. I turn back to Gerald.
“Where is Edward now?”
“Mr. David is at the King County Jail. He was arraigned yesterday and charged with first degree kidnapping. He was denied bail because he’s a flight risk…”
“Bail? He plead ‘not guilty?'” I ask appalled.
“Yes, he did,” Gerald replies. I gasp again.
“Are you fucking kidding me!? How could he possibly plead not guilty!? Don’t you guys have video?” I squeal.
“We do, but…he’s claiming temporary insanity and mental distress.”
“Wha… ca… hu…” I can’t even form a coherent sentence. Gerald takes a deep breath.
“In his statement, he blamed Harris for the whole thing. Harris isn’t here to defend himself or stand trial—dead men tell no tales.” Gerald answers apologetically.
“So, he’s still at county,” I spit, more of a statement than a question.
“For now. Since bail was denied, he’s being transferred to Shelton on Friday. He’s in solitary confinement right now… supposedly for his own protection.”
“So, he could get off. If a jury believes him, he could get off.” I say.
“In its simplest form, yes, but it’s not that easy…” Gerald begins.
“Maximum sentence for first degree kidnapping,” I inquire.
“Twenty years to life depending on the severity.”
“And if they buy his crock of bull?” I ask.
“He could do some time at a high-level mental facility.”
“Some time?” I ask. “What is ‘some time?'” He shrugs.
“It all depends on the jury,” he replies. “They could give him from a few months to several years.” I leap from my seat like a piece of popcorn.
“A FEW MONTHS!?” I yell in horror. “He drugged me on a city street in broad daylight, chained me naked to a bed, and allowed an asshole who hated me to beat me until I don’t even recognize myself. He tried to rape me when I was unconscious and only stopped because I screamed another man’s name. I don’t know how long he really would have let me starve when I refused to eat, and he planned on moving me to somewhere no one would find me and you’re telling me that he could get a few months!?”
Gerald is silent now. I’m starting to fidget and pace and shake. Christian tries to calm me and I can tell that he’s in full protective Christian mode. He’s talking about justice and closure… fuck justice! Justice has done absolutely shit for me! I don’t fucking care about justice any fucking more!
“I don’t want justice or closure. I want satisfaction,” I say coldly, folding my arms. Christian’s face becomes grave.
“What do you mean?” he asks me.
“I want him dead, and if I ever see him free, he will be!” I say, making direct eye-contact with him. He and Gerald fall completely silent. I turn to Gerald.
“I want him dead. I don’t want him to come near me ever again and the only way that he’s never going to come near me again is if he’s dead. I want him dead. If you want to make sure that man stays alive, you better keep him where he is, because if I get to him, he’s going to die,” I say coldly.
“Ana, you can’t say that around me. That’s premeditation. If something happens to Mr. David, you’re going to be the prime suspect,” Gerald tries to warn me. I point to my face.
“Do you see this face? Does it look like it cares?” I respond. Christian is getting nervous. He knows that if I can get to Edward at all, I’m going to kill him. Gerald closes his notebook.
“Ana please… please give me a chance to bring him to justice…” And there’s that fucking word again! Before I know it, I pick up the fruit plate and launch it to parts unknown. Both Christian and Gerald are on their feet now.
“I have fucking done everything by the book! Everything!” I’m screaming now. “I trusted a fucking cop to get me justice 11 years ago and I never had a chance, because he was too busy protecting his damn brother!”
Christian’s eyes are wide as saucers. Either this is news to him, or he didn’t know that I knew.
“The woman who birthed me into this world and the bastard who swore to love us sold my freedom and peace of mind for $750,000 ensuring that I would never get justice! I got a restraining order against that fucker in jail talking about mental distress and not only was his ass watching me every damn day, but he slipped past private security, paid an accomplice, and was able to kidnap me! And now you’re telling me that he may only get a few months! I’ve been following the fucking rules and doing everything that I’m supposed to do, and this shit keeps happening to me. So, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t have any faith in your fucking justice!”
I take off in a run out of the room, leaving a stunned Gerald and an even more stunned Christian behind me. I need to be anywhere but in this space right now.
Fuck! Me! What the hell just happened? Hurricane Steele just whipped through this place and left us both in complete astonishment.
“I take it from your reaction that’s never happened before,” Gerald says calmly.
“Never!” I say, amazed. “I’ve never seen her react this way in my life… not even when we were fighting. I’m telling you I’ve watched this woman pull a Glock on one man and subdue another one almost twice her size and I have never seen her this angry in my life!”
“This is not good, Christian. If she goes after David, her whole life is ruined.”
“Then I think you better make good on your promise to get her justice,” I say to him as I look off in the direction that she ran. “I need to take her away for a while, Gerald. She needs to get away from all this and regroup. If she doesn’t, she’s going to self-destruct.”
“I need her close, Christian. You can’t disappear on me,” Gerald warns.
“My cell is international. You can find me anywhere. And I’m only talking a few days… look at her, Gerald. She’s not going to make it if she doesn’t get a chance to decompress.” He nods, reluctantly. Taylor emerges from his office and I looked at him questioning.
“Again, sir, they heard her in Bellevue,” he says. Now Gerald is looking at me.
“Again?” he questions.
“Oh, she was pretty pissed off when she yelled at me on Friday… but nothing like this,” I respond running my hands through my hair. “I better go make sure she’s okay.”
“Well, please, just… don’t go where I can’t reach you,” Gerald says.
“I have a private jet. I can be back here at any time,” I respond. He smiles and shakes his head.
“A helicopter and a private jet. Can you fly that, too?” he asks.
“I’ve never tried, but I can fly a glider.” He snickers loudly.
“Must be nice being you,” he chuckles as he proffers his hand. I give him a shake.
“Most days,” I laugh, and he leaves the apartment. “Taylor, please ask Gail to clean up our brunch. Ana had a temper tantrum.” I fire off a quick text to Allen.
“Yes, sir… but can you blame her?” he asks.
“Not at all,” I say as I go in search of my Butterfly. Instead of searching the entire apartment, I start with the balcony this time. There she is, facing the high noon sun, the summer wind blowing her hair. It reminds me of the night I watched her standing outside of the New Orleans waiting for Allen’s Jag. She looked so beautiful and carefree then. Now, she’s Atlas again. Allen texts me back with the answer I was waiting for. I respond with quick instructions and put my blackberry away before going out onto the balcony.
“Butterfly?” I say softly. I hadn’t noticed her shoulders shaking gently. Her arms wrap around herself and the tears are falling freely down her face. I step behind her and cautiously wrap my arms around her and let her finish having her cry. After several minutes, she wipes her face with her hands and says,
“You lied to me, Christian.” Oh, shit, it’s my turn now.
“Yes, Ana, I did,” I admit.
“You didn’t change your mind because you always intended to pursue the matter even though you told me that you wouldn’t,” she accuses flatly.
“I told you that I could not tolerate dishonesty,” she says. This is it. Am I losing my Butterfly?
“Yes, you did,” I say, dropping my arms from her and preparing for the worst. She turns around to face me, fire and determination in her eyes.
“Don’t ever lie to me again,” she threatens. There is no mirth or softness in her voice. She means business.
“I won’t,” I reply, chastised.
“I mean it Christian. If you ever lie to me again. I’ll know that I can’t trust you. And I absolutely cannot be with you if I can’t trust you. Are we clear?” she says, glaring at me through ice blue eyes. Don’t fuck this up, Grey.
“We’re clear, Ana. I’ll never lie to you again,” I promise, and I mean it. I can’t take the chance of losing her. So, no matter how bad the truth may be, I’ll have to find a way to tell her. She turns away from me again. I don’t even know how to approach her right now.
“Have you done the background check on Mandy yet?” she asks, her voice still ice cold.
“I put Welch on it this morning. We should have something soon,” I respond.
“Good,” she says before taking a breath. “I want to know David’s net worth.” You want to know what?
“May I ask why?” I ask bemused. She turns back around with an accuracy and a glare that would frighten a gladiator.
“Are you going to give it to me or do I have to find it on my own?” she spits. Of course, she knows that I have it.
“I’ll give it to you. I just want to know why you want it,” I say, curtly. Her glare freezes. “I know that you’re upset, Ana. I know that you’re even upset with me and I completely understand that. But I’m not the enemy.” She turns away from me.
“Christian, I’m very angry and very upset right now. And yes, part of it is because of you. But I don’t want to take anger out on you that you do not deserve. For that reason, I need you to please leave me alone for a while and let me collect my thoughts. Whenever you’re ready, I’d like thorough financial information on David. When I’ve composed myself, I’ll tell you what I plan to do with it.”
Her voice is sharp, like she’s conducting a business meeting. If I didn’t know better, I would swear that she’s putting on her impassive face… like I do when I don’t want someone to know what I’m thinking—but it’s different with her. I can tell. I don’t know what’s going on in her head right now, but it’s not good. I want to push—make her tell me what she’s thinking. I’m not accustomed to this. If I ask a woman a question, she fucking answers it! However, this woman standing before me will push back—hard… and if I push too hard right now, I might push her away. I swallow the small amount of anger brewing in me right now and answer, “Very well.”
I walk back into the apartment and head for my study. When I fire up the computer, I send an email to Welch to get David’s most recent financial information. Our information is about a month old. I might piss her off worse if I give her that. I see that he’s gathering more information on our Green Valley suspects as well—but I can’t even stomach reviewing the information on that just yet. He assures me that we’re just a few steps away from gathering enough information on the Pedophile to lower the boom on her ass. He and Barney have also been able to eliminate all our security staff—personal and GEH in-house—of syphoning information out to Harris or to anyone else. Unfortunately, this means that it’s someone on my staff and that’s going to be a lot harder to find.
Fuck! This day just keeps getting better and better.
I spend some time going over projections that Ros sent to me for a manufacturing company that we plan to acquire. It has plants in China, which can be very complicated. I’m trying to focus on the reports and spreadsheets, but after several hours and a distracted mind, I’m suffering MEGO. It’s now midafternoon, and I haven’t heard a thing from Butterfly. Is she still standing on the damn balcony?
Taylor announces to me that Allen has arrived, and I stand and leave my study to greet him. When I finally leave my cell, Allen is standing at the balcony door most likely about to approach the enemy.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” I warn. He looks over at me.
“What is she doing out there?” he asks.
“She’s planning the world’s demise,” I respond.
“I don’t know, Allen. If you set David in front of her right now, she’d push him over the balcony, watch him fall to his death, and still get a good night’s sleep.”
“Oh, good hell, she’s gone Rambo,” he says, turning back towards Butterfly.
“I’m sorry… what?” I ask, bemused.
“Edward drew first blood. One way or another, he’s going down.” I look at Allen strangely.
“You’ve seen this before,” I say. He sighs.
“Only once,” he says. I fold my arms waiting for the story. “In her first year at U-Dub, Jewel decided to take self-defense—Krav Maga to be exact. She didn’t really need to because Ray had taught her how to take care of herself. I guess she was just curious or she wanted to fill in the blanks with her skills or something, I don’t know. With her small frame, speed, and flexibility, it was a perfect fit for her.”
I’ll say. She looks fucking great doing Krav Maga. Although any sized frame could do it, smaller frames seem to master it faster and more easily.
“They had this sort of exhibition fight in one of her classes and I came to see it. It was nothing big, but there was a small audience. It turns out that there was a martial arts master observing in the crowd and word apparently got out. Well, Jewel had always taken the class simply for self-defense, but apparently there was this blonde who had taken the class for other reasons—to get noticed, maybe, I don’t know. She was a good six inches taller than Jewel. She drew Jewel to spar for one of the rounds and decided to make an example of her.
“The first few hits were textbook between the girls, but then Blondie decides to do a palm strike to Jewel’s face. The ref called a time-out and Blondie walks away all victorious. They check Jewel’s face and do a little first aid and the match continues, but I know my Jewel and that wasn’t the same Jewel. Her stance changed, the way she moved on her feet, everything. The match was 10 minutes. When the bell rang, Jewel let loose hell–complete hell! Out of that entire 10-minute match, I don’t think Blondie stayed on her feet for 60 seconds total. Jewel beat her ass—thoroughly! She never hit Blondie in the face once, but Blondie had to be carried off that mat.
“I met up with her after the match and asked her what had happened. All Jewel said was, ‘She drew first blood.’ Whoever that guy was, he ended up training Jewel for a while. I think he wanted her to go pro, but I knew that she wouldn’t. She’s too pretty for that.” That explains why Klevna was so angry with her when she quit. “So, if she’s been out there on that balcony in that stance for more than 20 minutes, somebody’s life is about to change.” He finishes.
Oh, hell. What in the fuck is about to happen now? I guess I should be happy that I am not the object of her ire.
A/N: “She drew first blood.”—In the 1982 movie “First Blood,” John Rambo was a decorated war hero from Vietnam. He came upon a small town with a Whitmore-like sheriff and flunky deputies who arrested him for no reason and proceeded to try to torture him. He went completely special-ops ape-shit on these people and for the rest of the movie, they are trying to draw him out and capture him and he’s picking them off one by one (mostly injuries, not killing them). When his commander from the war shows up and tells him that he’s fucking up severely, he responds, “They drew first blood, not me,” which is a big ass equivalent to “they hit me first.” So, Al is telling Christian to beware because Ana is about to go “Rambo” on David. By the way, if you didn’t know, “First Blood” is the movie that spawned Rambo I, II, and III. Just a little useless trivia. 😉
Make sure you check out the outfits, places, vehicles, and characters on the Pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/ and http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-characters/.
Can little Butterfly really go “Rambo” on David even though he’s in jail already? What do you think she has in mind for her “justice?”
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