I received different views about crossing the employer/employee “line” this week. Some were in favor of crossing the line and some were against it. I would say that once you take your housekeeper on a trip with no intention of her being a housekeeper and every intention of her being moral support for your girl, you’ve already crossed that line. Ana has blurred more lines for this man than he cares to admit. At this point in the story, it is well too late to talk about crossing that line. That line was cracked and thrown in the trash when Davenport became “Chuck” and Ana became “Your Highness.”
That line was destroyed the many times that Christian “fired” Taylor (because Taylor knew he was joking), when Taylor calls him “Boss,” (I indicated that Christian knows that Taylor reverts from “Sir” to “Boss” as a term of endearment), and that “line” was destroyed and flying across Puget Sound when they were in Taylor’s office CLUTCHING EACH OTHER trying not to laugh too loud when Ana was whipping Elena’s ass wearing nothing but Christian’s shirt. He sent his mother to comfort Gail when Ana was missing. So even though Christian may have brought it up the night before they left for Anguilla when he was talking about dinner, with Taylor and Gail… that line is non-existent and has been for a quite a while.
I tested my hand at one POV per chapter… I don’t like it. It won’t happen again.
So… will CG grovel? Is he any good at it? Will his long-term employees and—dare I say—friends forgive him for being a first-class ass? Let’s find out!
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 53—More Fences To Mend
As much as I don’t want to do it, I have to put a raincheck on private time with my sure thing Butterfly. I make it my priority to find Jason and Gail this evening and fix this whole messy situation. I can’t let it go on one more minute. Either Jason doesn’t know or simply doesn’t care that the tracking software was active on his phone. Davenport reluctantly locates him on the island and is told that, with threat of unemployment, Jason had better not discover that I’m on my way to his location before I get there. To be sure that he follows directions, I make him drive Ana and me to the location.
He and Gail are at an Anguilla nightspot called The Pumphouse. It looks like three refurbished barns lined up next to one another. One is a Heineken warehouse, so we know which beer is being served inside. It’s nearly full to the walls for a Sunday night, mostly tourists and a handful of locals. Some guy who I discover is named Omari Banks is playing live reggae music. I want to say that he was the same guy that was playing at DaVida’s last night, but I’m not sure. The place has a real island feel and it seems friendly enough.
Ana and I enter, and I immediately spot Jason and Gail on the dance floor. They look so happy together, not a care in the world. Jason is looking at Gail with adoring eyes as she laughs and flows smoothly around the dance floor in his arms, her blue print sarong dress swaying freely around her knees. Her sun-kissed blonde hair, normally pulled into a ponytail or a bun, is cascading down her shoulders making her look ten years younger. I feel that pang of jealousy again that reminds me why I’m here, but I want to turn around and leave instead of ruining their evening. Butterfly must have read my mind as she squeezes my hand.
“I’ll try to soften Jason up. You talk to Gail,” she says. I take a deep breath and nod. She kisses me on the cheek before walking over to the couple.
Their joyful and carefree expressions fall when they see her, no doubt because they know that I’m here with her. They stop dancing but continue to hold each other close as Butterfly says a few words to them, then points in my direction. They both follow her gesture and look at me. She says something else before Jason nods and releases Gail who marches off to her right to a table. Jason takes Butterfly in his arms… and again I’m jealous. I’ll never be able to see her in the arms of another man… any other man… except Ray… and maybe Al. I digress. I walk over to the table where Gail sits, her legs and arms crossed in an obviously defiant and protective pose.
“May I sit?” I ask. She hesitates before gesturing to the seat across from her. I remind myself why I’m here. I have to fix this. I have to talk to these people like my friends and not my employees.
“I’m a real idiot,” I say with no preamble. “You mean a lot to me. I don’t want to lose you. Can you ever forgive me?”
Her face remains impassive. After several moments, she finally says, “Why? Just tell me why.”
“Because I was jealous… am jealous. I want what you and Jason have for me and Ana. I want it right now, but I know it’s too soon. I didn’t know how to handle the feelings—this is all still really new to me. I know that’s no excuse for hurting you. I didn’t know how to say what I meant… but I didn’t mean what I said.”
“Do you know how to say it now?” she says. I sigh.
“I’ll try, but if I come off sounding like an insensitive idiot, please don’t hate me!” I say. Gail nods. “I don’t think it’s a mistake for the two of you to get married, but I am afraid that if things don’t work out for some reason, I might lose one or both of you. Secretly, I’ve been concerned about something like that happening for quite some time,” I say without lifting my head.
“Why didn’t you say this before now? It would have made all of this much easier to understand,” she asks.
“Because I don’t know how to say these things. Before Ana, if the two of you had broken up, I would have told Taylor to go get a piece of ass and I would have told you to get a glass of wine, have a good cry, and go talk to somebody,” I say. She gasps.
“So, you would have told Jason to go get laid, but not me,” she says a little affronted.
“Well, yeah, that’s just what guys do, but don’t you see the problem with either one of those? Because I sure do,” I say puzzled. Surely this couldn’t be getting past Gail’s level of comprehension.
“Of course, I see the problem with it,” she says. “I just don’t understand what was so hard about you saying this before.” I run my hand through my hair.
“How do you tell someone that you don’t want them to be happy because you’re afraid that it will mean that you won’t be happy?” She looks at me at first then just shakes her head.
“You poor man,” she says, almost with a chuckle.
“Don’t pity me. What I did was wrong, and I know it,” I respond.
“That’s why I pity you,” she begins. “You’re afraid that you were going to lose me or Jason if we ever broke up, yet when we tell you that we’re going to solidify our commitment, you do something that could possibly cause you to lose us both. What’s more is that you didn’t know it was wrong until it was almost too late. What finally turned the light on for you? Was it Ana?”
“Partially,” I sigh, “but even she couldn’t do it. About two hours on the treadmill turned the light on.” She looks at me and frowns.
“I don’t know what to say about that, Mr. Grey,” she says. That feels funny in this context.
“Can you call me Christian?” I ask, as I gesture for the waitress. Her eyes get big like marbles.
“Who are you!?” she asks, completely shocked and almost appalled.
“I’m someone who realizes that for the past several years, you’ve been more to me than just a housekeeper and a cook and I’ve been too caught up in my own bullshit to notice,” I respond. I turn to the drooling waitress and ask, “May I have a beer, please and whatever the lady wants?” I immediately turn my attention back to Gail so as not to encourage the teenager—or at least she looks like one—standing next to me.
“Beer please!” Gail barks. I can see the waitress flinch and Gail actually glares at her until she leaves the table.
“What was that all about?” I ask.
“Well, first of all, you have a woman who happens to be on the floor with my fiancé. I like her very much, so while you are in my presence, I will swat the flies away. Second of all, you’re sitting at the table with me, clearly making eye contact with me. She didn’t know that we weren’t ‘together,’ so why was she standing there gawking at you like that? Now I know what Ana was talking about,” she sneers.
“Oh?” I say, again pretending not to have heard their conversation. “What was Ana talking about?”
“Girl talk,” she says dismissively. “Back to you…” Before she could get her words out, the teenager is back with our beers and two glasses. That was fast.
“Do you do tabs here?” I ask.
“No, sir, we don’t,” she responds, apologetically. I pull out a 100-dollar bill.
“Can you run one with this?” I ask handing it to her.
“I don’t think it will be a problem, sir,” she says, taking the money and leaving the table. I turn back to Gail.
“Back to me… you were saying?” I say, drinking my beer, straight from the bottle. She pours her beer into her glass.
“I’ve never said anything about your… relations… before this morning, but I am now. I am not one to judge. I’ve watched you for years change women like you change socks. Some stay around for a month, some stay for a few months. The last one was… a week, I think? I clean that room… I know what goes on in there, but I never judged. I don’t know what kind of person needs that kind of ‘motivation’ or why. I know it has something to do that contemptuous woman, but I didn’t know what.
“I only recently—over the last few months—got a picture of what the whole concept could possibly be because I didn’t dare ask. These women only came over on weekends which I was very happy to disappear because when I did encounter them, they were horribly rude. The youngest ones would call me things like Aunt Bee, Mrs. Roper, Mrs. Garrett, Mrs. Cunningham, Endora. Half of them weren’t old enough to even know who these people were, but they knew them enough to be able to use them as insults.”
I don’t want to tell her that I don’t know who some of those people were, but since I did like to watch reruns of Three’s Company when I was a kid and I know who Mrs. Roper was, I get the thrust of the conversation.
“I never complained because I knew it just meant that you would get rid of that one and bring in another one, who would most likely be worse than the one you had just dismissed. There were times when I accidentally saw things that I didn’t really want or need to see. You often carried girls out of that room and they were damn-near unconscious. I accidentally walked in on one of them in the shower and her back was striped like a damn tiger. I was horrified! I was sure she wouldn’t come back after that, but like clockwork she was back the next Friday night. Oh, and the way they were dismissed, it was ‘now you see me, now you don’t.’ You never even seemed to mourn the loss. You just kept going until the next one showed up.
“It wasn’t until Ana arrived that I realized that there was never an emotional connection for you… ever! I thought at the very least that these girls came around because you liked them in the beginning even if you quickly lost interest, but I saw the way that woman changed you from day one. She’s standing in the great room in nothing but your shirt apologizing to me because Jason was there. I immediately knew that something was different… immediately! I was happy and afraid at the same time because I didn’t know what she would bring out in you. It’s been a roller-coaster ride, that’s for sure, but I would take this roller-coaster ride with the blonde bimbo blood on the marble and the impromptu dinner parties and the emergency room visits and the kidnapping any day… repeatedly… to having to deal with just one of those brunette basket boneheads that I’ve been subjected to all of these years.
“With that history under your belt, I’m more than appalled that you had anything whatsoever to say about me or that you had any insinuation at all about my feelings for Jason or for Douglas. You were so far out of line, you couldn’t even see the line. I don’t know what kind of mechanics are at work in your head that you had to cause yourself some discomfort to be able to come to a logical conclusion about this, but Mr. Grey—Christian—you need to fix that! I know that you’re dealing with some emotions that you cannot identify, but if that’s the case you need to make that clear before you do irreparable damage to relationships that you claim to hold dear, because I’m here to tell you that if I had to leave this island on a rowboat, I was getting the hell out of here!”
Well! That was a mouthful, but I had to let her get it out and I somehow feel like this is not the end. I would normally never allow staff to talk to me this way, but again, I’m trying to salvage a friendship here.
“I’ll work on trying to communicate my thoughts better in the future if you remember this conversation,” I begin, “that I may not say the right thing, that I may even say something hurtful because I don’t know what to say yet. I’m expecting you, Ana, and Jason to tell me when I’m headed in the wrong direction, but don’t expect me to be perfect and don’t expect me to stop being Christian Grey, because that’s not going to happen. I’m working on a new, improved version of me, but I will never be Mr. Super-Sensitive because I’m not cut from that cloth. I guess what I’m trying to say is… meet me halfway.” Gail takes a large gulp of her beer.
“We’ll see how it works out. I’m still extremely hurt over what you’ve done and ‘I’m sorry’ doesn’t make that go away. Because you are my employer, I felt the only way to rectify this situation was to quit, and I. Was. Ready. Having said that, I see a noted change in you all the way around… most particularly that we’re even having this conversation. So… we’ll see where it goes. I do accept your apology but know that I am still hurt,” she says looking at me with painful blue eyes. I cautiously take her hand.
“I really wish I could take that pain away, because I truly didn’t mean to hurt you. Even if you decide not to forgive me, know that I am so, so sorry and I really didn’t mean to hurt you,” I say sincerely.
She smiles sadly and drops her head before a lone tear falls from her eye. I really feel like shit. This woman has never done anything but care for me and my home, feed me, wash my clothes, care for my girl—never harmed me in any way, and this is how I treat her… this is how I make her feel. This is why I feel like everything that I touch, I destroy. I don’t know what my expression says, but she must have seen me headed towards the edge. She grasps both of our hands with her free one and says,
“I’ll find some way for you to make it up to me.” Her words shatter the darkened glass that was quickly building up in front of me and I start to feel better about what the future may hold… just a little bit. We sit there for a few more minutes silently holding hands and pondering the mysteries of life I guess before Butterfly shows up and put her hand on my shoulder.
“Is everything okay?” she asks with a smile. “Should I be worried?” Gail releases my hand with a chuckle.
“He’ll be fine,” she says drinking more of her beer.
“Will you?” I ask her, hopeful. She rolls her eyes a bit.
“We’ll see… but it looks good,” she replies. I sigh, knowing that I have wounded this relationship seriously, but hoping it’s not damaged beyond repair. I stand and kiss Gail on the cheek. Pure, unadulterated shock registers on her face. I turn to Butterfly.
“At the bar,” she says, a smile forming on her lips again.
“What?” I ask.
“I’ll tell you later,” she says giving me a peck on my lips. “Go. Go to Jason.”
I release her hand and walk to my head of security like I’m headed to the gallows. I see him sitting at the bar and the bartender brings him a beer. He reaches for his wallet.
“He’s on my tab, as well as the lady over there in the black dress,” I say, pointing to Butterfly now sitting with Gail.
“We don’t have tabs here, sir,” he replies. The “teenager” shows up and whispers in his ear. “My apologies. I stand corrected, sir,” he says, walking away.
“I see that your power extends all the way to the Caribbean,” Jason says sarcastically. Okay…
“Not power. I just prepaid for the drinks.”
“Not a good idea to give a Caribbean bar your credit card,” he warns without making eye contact.
“That’s why I gave her cash,” I respond… and now the conversation has stalled. I gesture to the bartender and ask for another beer.
“Ana put you up to this?” he says, drinking more of his beer.
“I’ll admit, she tried, but she couldn’t convince me. I had to see for myself what I did wrong.”
“And what was that?” he says, less than convinced. He’s not making this easy for me at all.
“Act like a complete asshole when I should have been happy for you—feeling resentment because I feel like you’re getting your happy ending before I get mine.” He’s about to put his bottle to his mouth, but he stops and turns to glare at me.
“Oh, so you thought you were the only one allowed to be happy?” he says incredulously.
“Yes.” That answer throws him for a loop and he’s momentarily taken aback.
“Do you realize how ridiculous that is?” I’ve heard that a lot today.
“Yes,” I say honestly.
“Then what the fuck?” he spit. My friend… not my employee…
“I didn’t realize it when I was putting my foot in my mouth. I didn’t even understand what I was feeling! You gave your woman an engagement ring; I gave my woman a promise ring. We’re taking baby steps, you’re running marathons. I’m ready to marry her now, but I know it’s too soon. I’m trying to pace myself, but all I could see was standing in front of an officiant being a part of a wedding and it’s not mine and Ana’s.
“Don’t tell me how stupid it is because I already know—it’s fucking outrageous! More than anything, though, I need you to know that my statements to you this morning was no reflection on you or Gail or your relationship. It was me being stupid and jealous and not knowing how to say what I felt. It was me handling you like a GEH negotiation instead of admitting that I was feeling sickly jealous about you having the complete happiness that I yearn for with Butterfly.” He shakes his head at me.
“Man, you got real problems. I thought you were seeing a psychiatrist. Flynn? What the hell is that guy doing for you?” he asks, finally taking that drink of his beer.
“I can’t tell you,” I say running my hands through my hair. “He can only help me as far as I allow him and up until a month ago, we couldn’t even talk about Elena.” I hear a small growl in Taylor’s throat. “Yeah, I know, but I can’t hear what I don’t want to hear, and we have only touched on these brand new ‘feelings’ that I’m having.” I wave my hands in the air at the word feelings. “I don’t know what to say, Jason. I know it was a fucked up move and I probably won’t be able to fix it, but I am sorry.” He turns to me again.
“Well there’s something new.” He’s looking at me weird.
“What, the apology?”
“Yeah. Before this morning when you apologized to Gail, I have never heard you apologize to anybody—not to mention that you’ve probably called me ‘Jason’ maybe three times in my entire life.” He’s still looking at me. I sigh.
“It’s the Butterfly Effect,” I say, drinking some of my beer. He nods.
“She makes you a better man and as far as I’m concerned, you don’t deserve her, but I didn’t see that man today. I saw that same heartless, thoughtless, selfish, son of a bitch that I had been working for before she came along,” he says placing his beer on the counter. “I don’t know what Gail said to you, but I’m telling you that we’ve put up with a lot of your shit. Those soulless, brainless, brown-haired, Barbie-doll whipping posts that you brought through that place month after month after month—they were rude and classless and tasteless and crass, and I couldn’t help but wonder who the fuck raised them. Their attitudes and what they put up with made them unattractive and every time one of them was rude to Gail, I just wanted to bounce them out on their icy little asses!
“When Ana put you in your place at that community center, I knew that you were going to try to woo her… if for no other reason but so that you wouldn’t have to do those damn sessions. I had no idea you would succeed. She cut you off at every turn. Everything you tried failed. You kissed her, and she fled the building! We got a good laugh at your expense that day,” he chuckles. “The great Christian Grey was unable to bring a woman—a little woman—to her knees in a blubbering mess. That must have been so hard for you,” he teases mercilessly.
“Actually, it was,” I say, drinking more of my beer. “I was a goner from the first moment she put me in my place and I didn’t even know it.”
“I did,” he says. “I knew it the minute you stepped on the elevator. Once the background check was in process, I knew it was only a matter of time… her time, that is. That night you threatened her job and she nearly passed out in the parking lot, I thought you were going to jump out of the car to catch her.” I almost did. I remember that night. “She was the only person besides Lincoln and your mother that I had ever seen put you in your place, and you were the only person who didn’t seem to realize what kind of hold Lincoln had on you. It reminded me of that movie about the love potion, where the guy had to speak to the girl every two hours or the love potion wore off. You met with her every week without fail. She called you, texted you, showed up at GEH, at the penthouse. Every time you changed a girl, you changed the access codes and every time you changed the codes, she got them.”
I guess it’s time for Jason and Gail to finally get everything off their chests that they had wanted to tell me for years. We’re pulling back all the layers and it’s not a very comfortable process for me, especially when I’m accustomed to being in control. I look over at Davenport gyrating like crazy with some little beauty on the dance floor.
“How much has he had to drink?” Jason follows my gaze to Davenport then looks back at me—nearly appalled.
“Boy, you really don’t know shit, do you?” Oh, what the hell did I miss now? “Chuck doesn’t drink. He’s a recovering alcoholic,” he says. What the fuck! These people know that I don’t tolerate substance abuse of any kind, not even alcohol.
“How the hell did he pass the background check?” I ask.
“Hell if I know—it was there. It could be because when I hired him, you said you needed good, reliable men. At that time, he was 11 years sober. Although I may have dropped the ball with Harris, I would stake my life on the fact that Chuck is one of the best men that I know—and I think he has already proven that to you. If there’s anybody on this earth that can understand someone deserving a second chance, I would think it would be you.”
Ouch! Touché, Mr. Taylor. I just nod and try to drink more beer until I realize the bottle is empty. That’s two beers… I think that’s enough for me. I gesture to the bartender.
“Bottled water, please,” I say. He nods and goes to get the water.
“That’s something else I noticed since Ana has come around. You say please. I never even knew that word was part of your vocabulary,” he spit.
“Jason, how long do I have to be abused before I know whether you forgive me or not?” I understand what I;ve done, but I’m not going to just sit and be a proverbial punching bag. I’ve been raked over the coals by Gail until my skin is raw… I don’t have any more skin left for this particular endeavor.
“I don’t know,” he says, his voice deepening. “You can do whatever the fuck you want to me, I can take care of myself—but you hurt her. That’s unacceptable. If this had been any other man but you, I would have beaten your ass right there and then. I don’t know if you knew this, but we’re ready to leave, immediately! We would have packed our things and left you and your ivory tower and your money and your issues alone! We would have gotten ourselves a little place somewhere, I would have gotten a job with regular hours, and she would have gotten a job where she didn’t have to be offended or insulted by little tricks with daddy or boyfriend issues damn near fresh out of high school with not enough self-respect to demand to be treated like a lady!”
There’s that un-BDSM-educated narrow mind, but this is not the time or place to hash this out.
“I’m not going to sit here and try to explain to you how wrong you are about the lifestyle or those women and why they do what they do,” I say in a controlled voice. “I will note that when you speak about leaving, you’re using the past-tense. Is it safe to assume that you’ve changed your mind?”
“Give me one reason why I should,” he replies coldly. Oh, fucking hell! Enough of this fucking merry-go-round!
“Jason, you are my friend,” I say, my hands flailing in the air in frustration. “You and Gail, you are my friends. I couldn’t see that before because of my lifestyle… because of that crazy, blonde bitch who blinded me to everything good in my life. I’m certain that I will be completely dysfunctional if I lose you, or her, or both of you. You have to forgive me, but you also have to understand that my emotional growth is years behind yours… decades even. I don’t know if you ever considered me a friend before this or if you would ever consider me a friend after this. Consider me whatever the hell you want… just don’t leave!”
I’m nearly yelling now. This man has pushed me to the edge of my patience. This must be what Butterfly meant by groveling, because I’m at the point where I want him to either tell me that they’re not leaving or put me out of my fucking misery.
“You asshole, of course I considered you a friend. The only one that didn’t know that I considered you a friend was you. You and your drawing-your-lines-with-the-staff bullshit. You tried to kill your fool self over Ana, who went and got her? You want to run 25 miles to forget some deal you lost or some sub that pissed you off, who’s running behind you? You need some crazy bimbo dragged out of Escala because she’s hysterical that you terminated her contract at a moment’s notice, who’s doing the dragging? Do you think I put up with all your shit all these years because of a dollar? You’d drive a nun to drink, man!” Jason snaps before drinking the rest of his beer.
“So… where does this leave us now?” I ask nervously.
“What does my fiancée say?” he asks, tilting his head to the side.
“I may have a little more convincing to do with her, but she’s on board,” I say, taking a long drag of the bottled water. Jason sighs.
“In that case…” He proffers his hand. I take his hand and he holds firmly. “If you ever insult my woman again, I’ll take you down,” he says, seriously and without blinking. I return his grip.
“Duly noted… but I think she would take me down first,” I admit as we shake. Just as peace is restored to our area, commotion starts just a few tables away… where Butterfly and Gail are sitting. The women are surrounded by men who seem to have been drinking too much and the ladies’ faces say that they are certainly not pleased. Before I can speak Jason is up out of his seat and on his way to the table.
“Oh shit! Davenport!” I call out to the guard dancing with a young lady on the dance floor. He takes two seconds to assess the situation and makes a beeline straight to the table where the ladies are sitting. I’m right behind Jason walking across the club. When we get there, we can hardly get through the crowd of guys—about five of them—who have basically made a wall around our women.
“Excuse me,” Jason says. One of the guys slightly acknowledges Jason but turns back to the very uncomfortable ladies. Jason puts his hand on the guy’s shoulder and repeats, “I said ‘excuse me.'” The guy turns around and looks up into the face of the 6’2″ bodyguard and decides that it’s probably a good idea for him to be anywhere else but here. Fuck excuse me. I grab the guy closest to my Butterfly and shove him out of the way.
“Are you okay?” I ask her, shielding her body with mine.
“It’s not me, it’s Gail,” she says, pointing to a highly perturbed Gail who’s caged in by a drunken tourist. Jason leans down into the guy’s ear and says very loudly, “You might want to back up off of my fiancée.”
Drunken Tourist Guy looks over at Jason leaning on the table and says, “If she’s you fiancée, why weren’t you over here with her?”
“I’m over here now. Step. Back.” That’s two warnings, Junior. His buddy, just as drunk as he is, comes behind Jason saying, “Yo! We just havin’ some fun. She might want to know what it’s like to be with some real men.” To prevent Jason from killing Drunken Tourist Guy #2 and taking his concentration off of Drunken Tourist Guy #1, Davenport steps between him and #2 and gives #2 a good shove in the other direction.
“Are you fucking deaf?” he spits at #2. “He said that’s his fiancée!”
Drunken Tourist Guy #1 still hasn’t made any movement away from Gail. I still have Butterfly caged between me and the wall. One guy of the crew is still standing quietly idly by, and I don’t know what happened to the guy I pushed out of the way.
“I’m going to tell you one more time to step. The fuck. Back,” Jason says in a menacing tone. Now #1 decides to stand up straight to face off with Jason. At the same time, Jason stands up straight and now #1 realizes that Jason is a good six to eight inches taller than him. He pauses for a moment, but not to be made a wimp, he sucker-punches Jason straight in the chin.
Oh, fucking hell!
Drunken Tourist Guy #2 takes this moment of distraction to launch an attack on Davenport. Davenport is wailing into this guy within a matter of seconds. Tourist Guy #3—I don’t know if he was drunk or not—makes eye contact with me. I’m still covering Butterfly, but I’m a bull ready to charge… bring it on, Motherfucker.
Remember when I said that I don’t know what happened to the guy I pushed out of the way? Well, he chooses this moment to resurface. Since I’m bent down over Butterfly, he gets me in a headlock. I’m pushing off the wall to take the fight away from Butterfly, and as I’m doing this, Guy #3 starts wailing on my ribs. I’m not at 100% after today’s grueling workout and two beers, but I’m enough to get in a few good solid blind hits.
None of us account for my secret weapon.
A shrill voice comes from somewhere behind me and all I hear is:
“Get your hands off my man!” CRASH!
Suddenly, the weight on my neck is gone and I turn around momentarily to see Butterfly standing there with a broken Heineken bottle and Guy #4 out cold on the floor. She knocked the stars out of his ass! I shrug and turn to Guy #3 who now realizes he’s on his own. Before I even give him a chance to think about it, one good punch and he’s on the ground with his buddy.
“Thanks, Baby,” I say breathlessly and give her a quick kiss. I grab her hand and look to my bodyguards. Davenport has beaten #2 down to the floor—not unconscious, but on the floor—and Davenport is standing over him waiting to see if he wants to get up, which it seems that he doesn’t. Jason is banging #1 up against the wall and I swear if he lets the guy go, #1 will slide to the floor in a mound of flesh.
Still holding Butterfly’s hand, I step over to him and say, “Jason, I think he’s done.” He looks over at me and looks at Guy #1. Sure enough, he lets him go and Guy #1 drops in a mound on the floor. He turns to Gail.
“Are you okay, Love?” he says to his fiancée. She nods. He takes her hand and pulls her from the chair. I notice at this moment that although the tables cleared around us, the music never stopped. I wonder how often this happens in this place? Jason looks down on the floor at Guy #2.
“She already has a real man!” he spit. Gail and Butterfly are both giggling like school girls as the five of us run from the club, jump in our cars and drive back to the villa.
I talk to Davenport about the altercation and the outcome—it was a good fight for what it was. I look at the window at the passing scenery. Angry businessmen, I can handle that. Boardrooms full of department heads and heated negotiations for mergers, deciding the fates of hundreds of employees and eliminating redundancies in acquisitions—no sweat off my back whatsoever. Admitting that two of my longest-term employees are actually friends and that losing them would be devastating, subsequently having to apologize and grovel and beg for their forgiveness; coming face to face with my reaction to the improbable loss of Anastasia and a future unborn child—yes, I’ll admit it… I have no idea how to process this onslaught of emotions and I’m absolutely out of my element. I’m feeling completely off-balance and a total and utter loss of control.
The ride back was mainly Chuck and Christian talking about the idiots at The Pumphouse who effectively blocked me and Gail in at our table. I remember us talking about the conversation that she’d had with Christian and the fact that Jason didn’t really want to quit, but he would make Christian work to get him to stay after all that has happened and the years of uncomfortable crap that they had to endure in the wake of Christian subs. I’m so sure that Gail no longer cares about the NDA since she had planned on leaving anyway and Christian just basically begged her to stay. I was just commenting on how beautiful and young she looked tonight when these five assholes wandered over to the table like two classy ladies would want to be approached by their drunk asses. I immediately got flashbacks of Stephen Morton and I was ready to hurl all over their shoes…
Gail is being nice and trying to turn the first guy down gently, but the minute his buddy reaches his hand out to make a move in my direction, I’m hit with an immediate wave of nausea. The response is completely involuntarily when I squirm away from him, shrink up in my chair and start screaming, “Ew! Ew! Ew! Get away from me!” It’s one of those totally creepy, crawly feeling like being afraid of spiders and seeing on run across the floor. He’s actually kind of horrified by my reaction.
“Well, fuck you then!” he exclaims in a drunken slur.
“Oh, God, please don’t,” I say, sarcastically. Needless to say, none of them try to come on to me after that. Gail’s suitor takes her kindness for attraction and appears to be closing in on her further and further. By now, Gail is starting to get a little pale. Our table is against the wall, so even though no one is bent over me like this guy is bent over Gail, they still have us basically blocked up against the wall.
“You know, you guys are making us really uncomfortable and you should really back up,” I say, trying to get them to leave.
“You’re just mad because your girl is getting some attention and you’re not.” This comes from the same guy who just tried to come on to me.
“You really are drunk, aren’t you? You forgot just that quickly that you just tried to come on to me and grossed me the fuck out?” I reply. I’m more concerned about Gail, who’s starting to fidget in her seat with this guy closing in on her just about to kiss her.
“Leave her alone!” I yell and break him out of his amorous pursuit. Gail is now trying to push him away from her because she is clearly uncomfortable and a little afraid.
“Oooo, you got balls. No wonder you don’t have a man.” My would-be suitor says. I was about to show him my ring to correct him when I hear a voice bellowing across the bar.
“Oh shit! Davenport!”
I hiss because I know what’s about to happen. I look at Gail, she looks at me, and I turn back to the Counterfeit Casanova. I just shake my head.
“You’re about to find out just how wrong you are,” I say to him. Just as I finish my statement, he’s flying off to the left somewhere, his spot quickly occupied by Christian.
“Are you okay?” he asks me, concerned.
“It’s not me, it’s Gail,” I respond. My only concern is that they get this guy off of her. I could have handled the Drunken Don Juan, but Gail’s having a bit of a problem. Luckily, Jason has come to her aid and I take this time to assess the situation. There were five of them, but now there are three—one of the them is on the floor somewhere to the left of me and one of them just disappeared. The next thing I know, it’s like a chain reaction—first Jason, then Chuck, then Christian… fists flying, those awful cracking sounds when someone’s knuckles hits someone’s face. I manage to slide out when Christian pushed off the wall with the intention of getting to Gail and running for cover… when I see two men ganging up on my boyfriend.
Oh, the fuck you are!
I can’t find anything to use as a weapon. The nearest thing to my hand is a bottle. Here… have a beer!
“Get your hands off my man!” I bring that bottle down with all the force I can muster. The green bottle shatters over Vomit-Worthy Valentino’s head and he falls over in a mass on the floor releasing Christian’s neck. I’m a little dazed about what happened next, but I remember him saying thank you and grabbing my hand as I grabbed my purse and the five of us just scurried out of there. I’ve never in my life been in a barroom brawl and I’m infected with a rash of giggles as we leave.
When we get back to the Villa, we’re all pretty quiet entering the great room. Jason and Gail had ridden in the second car that they took earlier that evening, and no one knows exactly what to say now that we’re all in the same room. The sun had long since set, I’m nowhere near sleepy, and the tension of this entire day is wearing on me. I can feel my inner defenses starting to break down for some reason. I hadn’t fought with anyone this day, but I was running between all parties involved and it was exhausting! I look at my friends and my boyfriend all fidgeting with their fingers, purse, hair, each other, and I look at the crystal-clear water of the pool out beyond the patio. Fuck this shit—the hell if adrenaline is getting me today. I take off my ring and put it in the side pocket of my purse. I drop my purse right there on the floor and step out of my shoes as I run full speed through the sliding doors down the stairs and launch myself off of the edge of the pool, into the air, and into the water with a “Geronimooooooooooooooooooooooo!” SPLASH!
I swim to the far end of the pool, only too sure that everyone will think I’ve completely lost my mind, but not caring at this point because this day has just been too much on my psyche. I emerge at the far end of the pool, push my hair out of my face and turn around, prepared to see four faces standing in the great room staring at me like a little green man from Mars. Imagine my surprise when I turn around and see a gorgeous woman with beautiful, sun-bleached blonde hair flying through the air at full speed screaming “Cannonbaaaaaaaaall” before she, too, hits the water fully clothed.
That rash of schoolgirl giggles has returned the moment I’m splashed with cool pool water and once Gail emerges, we’re unable to control ourselves. Moments later, five fully grown, fully dressed adults are in the pool at a villa in Anguilla at 10:00 at night playing Marco Polo.
We all stay out at the pool for quite some time that night. We turn it into an adult fully dressed pool cocktail party. It’s actually pretty fun. We can more easily talk about Gail and Jason’s wedding since the hatchet has been buried. Christian offers them some time off to take a proper honeymoon, but they decline reserving the right to revisit the offer at a later date. Things flow pretty smoothly, and it’s just like a bunch of friends sitting around talking—even Chuck—but I can tell that something’s a little off about Christian. Not completely off, but just a little bit like he’s struggling to find his center.
As the moon begins to work its way to the other side of the sky, we start to make our way back into the villa to go to bed. Christian shakes Jason’s hand again and kisses Gail on the cheek before they go inside. He exchanges pleasantries with a tired Chuck and then sits down on one of the chaises.
“You’re not coming in?” I ask, rubbing his shoulders. He jumps a little like I startled him.
“Oh, yeah, Baby. I’ll be up in just a minute,” he responds absent-mindedly.
“Are you okay?” I ask, running my hand through his hair. He leans into my hand then brings it around to his lips and kisses it gently.
“Yes, Butterfly. I’m fine. I’m just working a few things out. I’ll be up soon,” he says with a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. Something is wrong… not terribly wrong, but wrong. I won’t push him, though. I don’t want this—whatever this is—to be harder for him than it is. I lean down and kiss him on the lips.
“I love you,” I say softly, holding his face in my hands.
“I love you, too, Butterfly,” he responds. I turn and walk inside to the elevator.
I’ve showered and washed my hair and put on a bathrobe when I come out of the en suite to find that Christian still hasn’t joined me yet. I can see the pool from our balcony and he’s just sitting there with a tumbler in his hand. It’s empty and there’s no bottle around him so there’s no telling how long it’s been empty. I turn around and go back to the bedroom. Part of me wants to go down and get him.
What is he working out? It must be really rough for him.
Will he go to the piano? It could disturb Chuck being on the same floor.
How long will he be down there?
The questions in my head leave me wide awake and unable to relax. I decide that I want to wear one of his shirts to bed tonight and I go to his drawer to get one. I’m frozen in place for a moment. I don’t quite know how to process what I’m seeing.
In his underwear/T-shirt drawer are two sets of soft leather fur-lined wrist restraints and four long adjustable straps. I see various other items—a blindfold, some massage oil… The thing that catches my attention is a flogger with a silver handle with a ball on the end and tails that are nearly two feet long. Incredibly, seeing the flogger immediately makes me wet—extremely wet!
Why didn’t he mention this to me? Did he not want to? I look at the wrist restraints and then at my wrists. Surely, he didn’t think I would relate our playtime to… Edward? That man held me captive against my will! Maybe he thinks I’m not ready. I can totally see why he would think that. I’m not 100% sure myself, but I honestly feel like I should just rip off the band-aid—and with the way he looks right now, I think I may have to do just that. I have the perfect outfit, too. I was saving it for… I don’t know what. Maybe I was saving it for this. He needs this right now—so much that he doesn’t know how to say it, and he’s not going to ask. So, it’s up to me.
This is the second time I’ve had to top him from the bottom. The first time was our very first time in his playroom. Like now, that time he was clearly at the edge of his control sanity. Each time I could hear it in his voice, see it in his face—but this time, it’s clouded with another emotion… one that’s taking him away from this place. Also, both times were—are--full of uncertainty. He wasn’t sure I was ready to go into the playroom even though he needed me there. When I showed up, he took me to levels of ecstasy I had never experienced before. Our lovemaking is fantastic, but I adore our playtime. He has to know that I won’t give it up just because he thinks I may not be ready.
I quickly dry my hair and brush it thoroughly until has a hazy halo look to it—full fluffy JBF hair and I haven’t even been fucked yet. I go to the closet and pull out the small garment bag that I had hidden back there for just such an emergency. Inside are a pair of white lace panties, a white boned corset with an embroidered lace pattern and frilly trim, a white suspender garter belt and a pair of white lace top silk stockings. In my shoe carrier was a pair of white Louboutin peep toe mesh platform stiletto slingbacks with a bow at the toe. Once I’ve donned my angelic, seductive costume, I apply a small amount of concealer to the barely visible bruises around my eye, a light amount of mascara to extend my lashes and a soft pink barely-there lip gloss… just enough to plump them a bit.
I take the restraints out of the drawer and, knowing that Christian won’t be able to bring himself to do it, I attach the four restraints securely to my wrists and ankles. Now… which position? I could do first position, but I don’t know where the night will lead us… I better save my strength. Second position… hmmm. Again, I could end up on my knees later—at least I hope I do. I guess it’ll be third position, then. I send a quick text to Christian:
**Can you come here for a moment please? **
I plug my iPhone into the charger and quickly select a jazz station on internet radio. I sit it on the night table. The level is perfect… not too loud. I turn off all the lights in the bedroom and except for the one right next to the bed. I put the four adjustable straps, the magnificent flogger, and a pink studded blindfold on the bed. Sitting in third position, butt on the edge of the bed, head down and hands in my lap, I wait… and wait… and wait.
At first, I think he may have fallen asleep at the pool. Right when I’m about to rise and throw on a robe, I hear the elevator indicating that he’s coming to the master suite. My heart starts racing and I have to control my breathing. He didn’t come to me immediately… what does that mean?
“Ana?” he calls out from the hallway leading to bedroom. Don’t move, Steele… and don’t speak. I hear him sigh heavily and then I see his feet inside the door. He takes in a loud gulp of air as he no doubt takes in my appearance—all white “fuck me now” lingerie and restraints on each appendage—in position three waiting for instruction. Please don’t let this backfire on me.
He walks into the room until his feet are right in front of mine. I can hear his breathing over Paul Brown’s melodic guitar.
“Stand,” he says, his voice low and controlled. I find the strength in my weakened knees to rise to my feet. He brushes my hair over one shoulder and then the other.
“You look magnificent, Anastasia,” he breathes. I can tell that he’s barely able to contain himself. Not only has his breathing become uneven, but he’s starting to rise in his jeans. He puts his hand under my chin to raise my head, but I only raise my eyes to look at him through my lashes. His lips part as he takes in a breath again, trying to control himself.
“Why?” he asks in that same controlled voice.
“Because I want it, Sir. I need it… and I think you do, too,” I answer softly.
“I don’t need this, Anastasia. I don’t want this if you don’t…” But you do need this, Christian. Your body is betraying you and so is your mind and emotions. You do need this.
“May I ask Sir a question?”
“What is it?”
“Why did you bring the toys?” If he didn’t think I was ready, why did he bring the toys? Do they have clubs on Anguilla? Oh God… did he bring them to play with someone else? He must have read the look on my face when he answers,
“No, Ana, only you, I swear. I just… wanted to be ready when you were.”
“I’m ready, Sir. Please…” I don’t know why I need it, I just need it. I know why he needs it, though, and he needs to stop beating around the bush and get on with it. He closes his eyes momentarily and when he opens them again, they’ve changed… piercing and demanding but hooded. I immediately divert my eyes to the floor.
My Dom is here.
“Good girl.” His voice has changed to that deep commanding sound that makes my heart beat faster and my panties wet. Don’t move. Wait for instruction.
“Take two steps forward, Anastasia.”
I step forward away from the bed. He then disappears behind me and I hear him adjusting the straps. Breathe, Anastasia. We’ve had some heavy sex and touches of kinky fuckery, but we haven’t had any real playtime in almost two weeks and even then, I wasn’t the sub. I called him Sir in the en suite in his childhood bedroom two weeks ago, but that only resulted in a hard fuck in the shower. Even this morning was just hot, hard sex. Honestly, I haven’t subbed for him for three and a half weeks… since that first time in the playroom. He’s been subbing for me.
Needless to say, I’m a little nervous.
Scratch that… I’m a lot nervous.
After a few moments, he comes around the bed to where I am standing.
“Turn around, Anastasia.” I turn around and my breath catches in my throat. He has removed his shirt and is only wearing his jeans. Although they aren’t the same jeans that he wore that day in the playroom, they fit just as well, and he has them pulled all the way down to where his pelvis starts to form that little “V”… and the top button is undone.
Fuck, he is so hot!
“What should I do, Anastasia?” he asks, his voice dark and expectant. What should you do? I have to pick my punishments now?
Pick my punishments. Dammit! I set myself up for this one, didn’t I?
“Spank me, Sir,” I say, remembering that I came when I was instructed not to.
“I can’t hear you, Anastasia,” he says sharply. I close my eyes and take in a deep breath. Part of me is angry because I planned on dictating when I got this spanking, but I inadvertently offered myself up like a sheep to the slaughter because he needs it right now. I choke back that small amount of spite and say in a clear, contrite voice, “Spank me please, Sir.” He sits on the bed in front of me.
“Very well,” he says. He pulls me down and I land across his lap. “Hands behind your back,” he commands. I bring my hands behind me and he clips the wrist restraints to one another. “What are your safe words, Anastasia?” he says as he caresses my behind.
“Bells and whistles,” I say, a little too sharply. I feel a hard, stinging slap on my ass that causes me to yelp and gasp involuntarily.
“What was that?” he demands. Shit, I forgot this hurts!
“Bells and whistles, Sir,” I choke out, duly chastised.
“Good,” he responds, rubbing my ass again. I have become so accustomed to his tenderness that the brutality of the initial blow shocks me a bit and a tear escapes. I’m glad he didn’t see it, or he would have stopped. I just need to prepare myself—remind myself of what this really is. With my face away from him, I have enough time to collect myself. It might be a good thing that the spanking came first. It’s like a warm-up to heavy exercise.
“I plan to push your limits tonight, Ms. Steele. You will use you safe words if you need them, correct?”
“Yes, Sir, I will,” I answer softly but clearly.
“What are your safe words again, Anastasia?”
“Bells and whistles, Sir.”
“Bells and whistles,” he repeats. “Very well.” He caresses my butt again then his hand leaves and SMACK!
Fu-u-uck me! I gasp in air to keep from crying out. There’s no pillow to smother my cries so I simply hang over his lap and bite my lip, absorbing the hits until one blow stings into the next. These are not erotic hits… he is spanking me. I am being punished. The blows are hard and crisp… nothing like the sexual sensual slaps that he uses that actually make me come.
You saw what he was like down there. You knew what he needed after the day he had. Are you going to wimp out, or are you going to take it like a woman?
I stopped biting my lip somewhere around blow #7 or #8. I clench my fists behind me and hold my breath. He continues my punishment—left cheek then right, then left thigh, then right. Fifteen blows. When he stops and starts to caress my butt again, I can’t relax. I’m prepared for him to hit me again. Once he releases the restraints from one another, I know this part of the night’s festivities are over and now it’s on to the next activities.
Why are you acting pissed? He didn’t ask you to do this. This was your idea.
Yes it was. So, I might as well stop acting Bitchy and suck it up.
Hey! Was that a crack at me?
Yes, it was.
My mama is your mama!
I slowly and quietly release the breath that I was holding as he instructs me to stand to my feet. I follow directions and stand in front of him, my head bowed and my hair covering my face. I make up my mind right there and then that when he tells me not to come, dammit, I’m not coming! He pushes my hair back over my shoulders. Please don’t look in my eyes, I silently beg. I know that all of my feelings—uncertainty, a bit of anger and spite, determination—would all show in my eyes and I’m determined to give him what he needs this night. Part of me is protesting, saying that I shouldn’t continue because this is supposed to be enjoyable to some degree for both of us. The other part of me is cheering me on, saying that the uncertainty will dissolve as soon as we get deep into playtime and I remember what I’m doing and why.
I hardly breathe as he pulls the ribbon at the top of my corset to untie the bow that was only there for show anyway. He deftly and easily releases the latches that it took forever for me to attach and frees my body from the boned restraint device. Although I’m a bit relieved to be free from it, I don’t let it be known. I’m his puppet this evening… er, morning now. I will only do as he asks. He runs his hands up my body from my thighs to my hips around my butt up my back around my waist across my breasts and up around my shoulders. Yes, he ignites me… he always ignites me… but I won’t do anything, feel anything, until he says so.
“You came today when I told you that you couldn’t,” he says, his voice almost a growl.
“Yes, Sir,” I say, my voice soft. Here it comes.
“You will not come tonight,” he commands. There it is.
“Yes, Sir,” I say, without hesitation or reaction. He pauses for a moment. I think he’s shocked, but I’m not sure since I’m not looking at his face.
“Do you understand?” he asks.
“Yes, Sir, I understand,” I say quickly without raising my head.
“What am I saying, Ms. Steele?” he sounds like a stranger.
“Sir is saying that I will not be allowed to come tonight,” I say clearly before involuntarily clamping my hands in front of me, almost like I’m covering myself. He pauses for a moment, then says, “Exactly,” and walks to the other side of the bed. I can hear in his voice that he sees my answer as an act of defiance. It’s strange because I mean it as an act of ultimate obedience, but I know that’s not how he’s taking it. It’s okay, though. I’m not here to battle wills with him. I’m here to give him what he needs… whatever it may be.
A/N: Aunt Bee, Mrs. Roper, Mrs. Garrett, Mrs. Cunningham, Endora—all of the names that previous bitchy little subs were calling Gail were all older ladies from very old sitcoms. Many were too old at the time that they were in the sitcom to even be compared to Gail who, in my story, is 38 years old.
Aunt Bee—The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968—still in syndication)
Mrs. Roper—Three’s Company (1977-1984); The Ropers (1979-1980)
Mrs. Garrett—Diff’rent Strokes (1978-1986); The Facts of Life (1979-1988)
Mrs. Cunningham—Happy Days (1977-1984)
Love Potion No. 9—This is the movie that Jason was talking about where a nerdy guy visits a gypsy who gives him a love potion that makes women instantly fall in love with him for two hours, but he has to talk to them again every two hours or else the potion wears off.
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