Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 52—Grey Reflections

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy or the characters. They belong to E. L.James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. I hope you—as a fellow fan—enjoy it, too.

Chapter 52—Grey Reflections

GREY

I get to the back patio door just in time to hear what sounds like two bickering women. What the hell is going on?

“Wait a minute! We can’t both talk at the same time.” I hear Butterfly say. “Tell me, what is this?” I peak around the corner just in time to see Gail hold up her left hand. I really have to stop eavesdropping on these women.

“Jason’s asked me to marry him.” Gail answers with a girlie giggle. Butterfly gasps and grabs Gail’s hand. Shit! Did this just diminish my promise ring in Butterfly’s eyes? I sure hope not. Butterfly carefully examines the yellow gold and diamond creation before asking, “What is that, a carat?”

“One and a quarter.” Gail corrects her. Butterfly smiles openly at Gail and sighs heavily. I can tell that she is genuinely happy for Gail.

“Gail, it is beyond beautiful.” She says holding Gail’s hand. “Congratulations!”

“Thank you, Ana. You’re the first person to know.” Gail squeals happily. Butterfly and me, that is.

“Well, I am very honored!” Butterfly says bowing slightly in her chair. Gail now reaches for Butterfly’s hand. Uh-oh, moment of truth. I make sure they can’t easily see me.

“So… have I jumped the gun in my assumption, or is there a specific meaning behind that very beautiful butterfly on your left hand?” Gail asked.

“Well, yes and no.” Butterfly responds. Huh!? “You may have jumped the gun just a bit… but not too much. It’s a promise ring.” I see Butterfly extending her hand so that Gail could get a better look at it.

“Oh Ana, it’s exquisite. I know Mr. Grey… this is platinum and diamonds!” She says.

“It is.” Butterfly confirms, proudly. “We agree that announcing an engagement this soon into the game seems like an unwise decision for both of us, but we are certain—even now—that this is forever. So we exchanged gifts to solidify our commitment.” It sounds so wonderful coming from her lips. I’m glad to know that Gail’s happy moment didn’t dampen Butterfly’s news.

“So you two planned to do this.” Gail says.

“Actually, no, we didn’t. The gift that I gave him, I had in my possession for something like seven years. I just felt like this was the time and he was the man that deserved it. My ring, he just had it commissioned a couple of days ago with no advance knowledge of my intentions. We exchanged commitment symbols yesterday on the beach.”

“Yesterday? How did I not see it?” Gail asks.

“I don’t know, but it was there… maybe you were a bit distracted.” Butterfly says, pointing to Gail’s ring. Gail laughs.

“Maybe… and then that little tart had the nerve to pick that day to try to sway Mr. Grey. Not that there’s ever a good day to do that but oh boy, was her timing awful!” Gail jests.

“Truer words have never been spoken, M’lady!” Butterfly laughs. “I can’t help but wonder if I’m going to be beating them off with a stick for the rest of my life. I mean, I can’t be upset that they look at him—let’s face it, he’s gorgeous—but these women are just plain disrespectful. It’s insane, Gail. They get caught in the stare and when you bring it to their attention, they get angry because you broke their concentration! They don’t even have enough sense to feel ashamed! Not to be vulgar, but I could be standing there sexing him and they would still be staring at him.” Wow! Very candid, Ms. Steele! Gail gasps.

“Oh, Ana, it can’t be that bad.” She exclaims.

“Oh, but it is that bad. When he was in the hospital, the nurse looked at him and was stupefied! She was completely struck dumb… not even stutter-dumb, just dumb. When my presence was brought to her attention, she was actually offended that I dare interrupt her ‘Yummy Mr. Grey’ gawking time.”

“You are not serious!” Gail says in disbelief.

Very serious. It’s actually really sad, but very true.” Butterfly says, pouring a cup of coffee. “Supposedly, she was reprimanded, but when I came back eight days later, she was my nurse!”

“Oh my God, what did you do?”

“Nothing. Christian kicked her out.”

“Go, Mr. Grey!” Gail exclaims. I guess now would be a good time to announce my arrival. I did a fist pump from behind the patio doors accepting my unexpected praise from Gail.

“Christian Trevelyan Grey, are you eavesdropping on us?” Butterfly demands.

“If I were eavesdropping, you wouldn’t have seen my fist.” I say, laughing, emerging from my hiding place. “I just didn’t want to interrupt the conversation.” I bend down to kiss her.

“Mmm-hmm,” She answers skeptically allowing me a chaste peck before I take a seat.

“Is Jason hiding back there, too?” Gail asks.

“No, I haven’t seen him.” I respond. Just then Taylor and Davenport emerge laughing at some private joke.

“Would you like to share with the rest of us?” Butterfly says, acting affronted.

“Actually, no,” Davenport replies. “It’s not something that should be said in front of ladies.” He says clearly. I follow the strange glare on his face to Butterfly’s, and she examining him very closely. I look from Davenport to Butterfly waiting for someone to let me in on it when Davenport says, “Earth to Ana, are you okay?” Turns out he’s just as baffled as I am by her behavior. Butterfly shakes her head as if she is trying to rid herself of a loose thought.

“I’m sorry… daydreaming.” She says. For some reason, I don’t think that’s completely true. She didn’t look far away or lost in thought. She looked like she was concentrating. I may need to ask her about that later. “So Mr. Grey, do we have anything on the agenda for today?”

“No, nothing in particular today. I thought we might catch a beach walk so you will need your bathing suits.” I say just as the chef staff is bringing out breakfast.

“Oh really?” She asks. “So I may actually be able to catch some sun today.” I throw a knowing look at her. I stopped her from catching sun yesterday in that tiny little bikini she was wearing. She looked so hot, I just had to be inside her. Apparently reading my facial expression, Taylor clears his throat to break the conversation. Butterfly just smirks and shakes her head.

“I hear congratulations are in order, Jason.” Butterfly says. I have to act like I don’t know as I heard the news while eavesdropping, which I have decided this moment to stop doing… unless it’s utterly necessary.

“Oh?” I say faking ignorance of the matter and looking from Butterfly to Taylor. I look over at Taylor who looks at Gail who then announces, “Mr. Taylor has asked me to marry him.” I throw a look across the table at Taylor.

“You sneaky bastard,” I say playfully, extending a hand to Taylor.

“Thanks, Boss,” Taylor says, accepting my hand and shaking vigorously. Davenport extends his hand as well.

“You son of a bitch,” he says to Taylor, who laughs heartily and shakes his hand. Gail and Butterfly are just looking at each other, completely confused. I guess they are trying to figure out the banter between the men. I don’t have time to explain it.

“Don’t try to figure it out, Honey. You’ll hurt yourself,” Gail says to Butterfly before taking a bite of her toast. Butterfly just shakes her head.

“So you’re going to make an honest man out of him… when’s the big day?” I ask before taking a sip of my coffee.

“Um… Friday.” Taylor says calmly. I had to turn away from the table to keep from spraying coffee all over Gail. You could catch flies in Davenport’s mouth and Butterfly is choking on pancakes. She and I prove once again that we are perfectly in sync with one another as we manage to compose ourselves at the same time and exclaim,

WHAT!?”

Gail looks a little shocked, but probably not as shocked as us. “Well, there’s no reason to wait. I mean neither of us are really particularly sentimental about the wedding. We’re more sentimental about the marriage!” Gail says sweetly as she gives Taylor’s hand a squeeze.

“Well, yeah, but…” Butterfly sighs, whining like a little girl. “What about the wardrobe and the flowers and the bridal shower? Do you even have a white dress?” Gail laughed.

“Ana, dear, I’m hardly a virgin bride,” she chuckles.

“Well… I… know… but… look! My friend is getting married and we don’t have a dress and we didn’t get to plan anything, and… and… I feel slighted!” she spits. I wonder if she realizes how ridiculous that sounds? She’s acting like someone just stole her cookie! This time Taylor lets out a laugh.

“Well, You Highness, the next time we get married, we’ll be sure to run it past you first.” She folded her arms and sat back in her chair.

“It’s not funny, Jason! Stop teasing me.” She turns to Gail. “Okay, we don’t have much time. There’s a million things to do.” She gulps down the rest of her orange juice as Gail takes the last bite of her breakfast. Butterfly has hardly eaten any of hers. “I have a dress that will work wonderfully. Come on, you should try it on.”

“Ana,” Gail protests. “There’s no way I’m going to fit into one of your dresses. What are you, a size six?”

“Four, but don’t worry, it’s a maxi, and since you’re…” Butterfly pulls her from her seat and examines her closely, “…5′ 9″ it will hit you about mid-calf.” Gail looks from Taylor back to Ana.

“How did you do that?” She says, surprised. She looks at me. “How did she do that?”

“It a gift.” I say taking a fork full of eggs. Butterfly begins to drag her away.

“You’ll need jewelry. Do you have any pearls? No, wait, you can’t wear pearls with this dress. Do you have any diamonds? Don’t worry about it, you can wear mine. What about shoes? Do you have any white shoes? Or sparkly shoes? We may have to go shopping. You should definitely tan before then. It’s a good thing we’re doing beach walk today, but don’t burn. Just tan…” Butterfly is talking a mile a minute. I don’t think she took a breath.

“Um…Butterfly?” I call out to her before she clears the door. She turns around to face me. “That’s all you’re going to eat?” Butterfly narrows her eyes at me. She defiantly walks back to the table and takes a full-sized, thick pancake from the plate, rolls it up like a burrito and effortlessly slips the entire thing in her mouth before cocking her head sarcastically at me and folding her arms. No gagging, no choking, no chipmunks cheeks… just… gone. Now I know her mouth is full, but looking at her now and the way that she just sucked that pancake in her mouth, you would have no idea.

…And there are three awestruck men sitting at the table now.

Without a word (or a chew), she does a near perfect military about-face and walks into the villa with Gail. The three of us sit silently for a few moments before Taylor says, “She didn’t just do that, did she? Did she really just do that?” I finally tear my gaze from the patio doors that Butterfly just cleared and looked at Taylor, his eyes saying everything the three of us are thinking, but only I know.

“Don’t you say it!” I threaten.

“I wouldn’t dare!” he defends quickly.

“I feel dirty,” Davenport says dropping his head. I want to be mad at him for saying that, but I can’t because he sounded so defeated—like someone had taken complete sexual advantage of him. I just cracked up.

“We are not having this conversation,” I say between my chuckles.

“No Sir,” both gentlemen say simultaneously. I look at them sarcastically and continue with my breakfast.

“Taylor, why so quickly? You don’t want to take the time to plan the wedding?” I ask.

“Why wait? We’re on this beautiful island, it’s convenient, we want to get married…it’s perfect.” He responds.

“You don’t want to take the time to think about this decision? It seems kind of sudden.”

“What is there to think about?” He voice is becoming defensive. “And what do you mean by ‘sudden?’ We’ve been dating for years.”

“Taylor, you’re in this romantic setting. You’ve never mentioned anything about marrying Mrs. Jones before now…”

“Oh… now she’s Mrs. Jones. She’s been Gail at least as long as ‘Butterfly’ has been around, but now she’s Mrs. Jones.” He says curtly.

“Taylor… careful.” I warn.

“Oh, I see. We can talk about my girlfriend, but we can’t talk about yours.” He spit.

“She’s not just your girlfriend, Taylor. You are both my employees. I just want you to be sure because marriage can complicate things if it turns out to be the wrong decision.” I state. Oh, now he’s on fire.

“What?”‘ He barks. “Complicate things? Are you kidding me?”

“Watch your tone!” I spit.

“No! I will not! This is my life you’re talking about, and the woman that I love! From what I’m hearing, it’s okay if I fuck her but not if I marry her!”

“Taylor!” I yell! “That’s not what I meant and you know it!”

“Well, exactly what did you mean… Sir?” I don’t think I ever heard him spit that word with that much venom in my entire life. Davenport sits silently waiting for one of us to make another move, but the ball is actually in my court. I think we are both too angry and I better defuse this situation.

“We should probably calm down and talk about this at another time,” I say, flatly.

“You’re right about one thing… we should calm down,” he says impassively. “But we won’t be talking about this.” I glare at him. “There are a lot of things you can tell me, Sir. You can tell me where to be, when I need to be there, who to watch, what to drive, who to follow, and in some cases, what to do. One thing you can’t tell me is who to marry, and I am marrying Mrs. Gail Jones. If you don’t like it, don’t be there. I really don’t care.” He stands from the table pushing his chair back so hard that it falls on the floor. He leaves it there as he storms back into the Villa. Davenport followed him two seconds after he cleared the door. No way he wanted to be outside alone with me.

Nice going, Grey. What the fuck is my problem? Taylor is right—they’ve been together for years. Why shouldn’t they get married? First, I’m afraid that Gail’s engagement will overshadow mine and Butterfly’s commitment exchange and now I basically tell my head of security that he shouldn’t marry my housekeeper. What is wrong with me? I stand and walk to the end of the patio, looking at the beach slightly in the distance. What does it mean that I would take any offense whatsoever to Gail and Taylor getting married? They are both very good people. And what does it mean that I called Gail Mrs. Jones while we were having this conversation? I don’t know what the issue is. I don’t know why I did that. Why wouldn’t I want them to be happy? I’m happy, but I don’t want anyone else to be happy? Could I really be that big of an asshole?

“Christian.” Butterfly’s uncertain voice breaks me from my self-interrogation. I turn around to face her questioning eyes. “What’s going on?”

I sigh heavily. “Sit.” I say and we both take a seat at the table. “After you left, I questioned Taylor concerning his certainty about marrying Gail.” Her face fell.

“Don’t sugarcoat it, Grey. What did you say to him? He’s furious!” She demands. I glare at her.

“What did he do?” I ask.

“Well, he came to our suite and snatched Gail away without a word. There’s steam coming from that man’s head and I know that I left him here with you. So what did you say?” She repeated.

“I just told him that the decision was very sudden and I wanted him to think about it.” I reply. She narrows her eyes at me.

“Is that all that you said?” She asks skeptically. “Is that exactly how you said it?” Good grief, this woman knows me well. I run my hand through my hair.

“I told him that I wanted him to think about it, that they were both my employees and that marriage can complicate things if it turns out to be the wrong decision.” I say.

“Oh my God, Christian, you didn’t.” She says in horror.

“Yes, I did. I have a right to be concerned about this.” I say, trying to defend myself.

“That’s not concern. You’re trying to exercise your authority as his employer over his personal life! You just turned their engagement into an executive decision. Don’t you see that?” Oh good God, it’s not that horrible… is it?

“I did no such thing.” I don’t even sound convincing to myself. “I could lose one or both of them if this turns sour and I don’t want to see that happen.”

“It could have turned sour way before now, Christian. They’ve been dating for years and you didn’t have a problem with it until now?” God, she sounds like Taylor now. “Do you not want Jason to marry Gail?”

“That’s not it at all.” At least I think that’s not it.

“Do you have a problem with them being together?” She continues her interrogation.

“Of course not.”

“Then what is it? What happened between the handshake with the crazy-backward man jargon and now that made this an issue?” I don’t know what happened. All I know is that when it sunk in that they were getting married, something felt very wrong. I felt a chill down inside of me where I should have been happy for two of my longest-standing most faithful employees and—dare I say it—friends. I felt like a total shit.

“Did you say something else to him? Something has really set him off.” She asks.

“The only other thing that I said was that we were on a romantic island and I didn’t say this but I did insinuate that he might have jumped the gun because of the romantic atmosphere. I had told him that it did seem sudden to me because he had never talked about marrying Mrs. Jones before and now…”

“Whoa! Whoa! Whoawhoawhoawhoa!” She cut me off. “Did you say that? Did you say Mrs. Jones?” Okay, what am I missing that’s so wrong about calling her Mrs. Jones?

“Okay, that’s the same reaction that Taylor had! I’ve called this woman Mrs. Jones for years. Years! And nobody had a problem with it. Now, in this context, it’s a problem. Somebody really needs to tell me why.”

“Oh my God.” She groaned again with her head down. I’m beginning to lose my patience.

“Anastasia, just spit it out!” Her head shoots up and she glares at me. Bad choice, Grey.

“Hey! Don’t take that tone with me, Grey! You fucked up!” She spit pointing at me like an errant child. At that moment I knew that not only was I dealing with Dr. Steele, I was dealing with an angry Dr. Steele. “You have fucked up in ways that you can’t even fathom. Do you know anything about Mr. Jones?” She asked. I couldn’t let on that I knew the whole story because that would have meant I had to admit to eavesdropping. I’m batting a thousand today.

“I know that he died in a car accident,” I say truthfully.

“Well, there’s a lot more to that story, and I don’t doubt that Jason knows it. In the process of you trying to make whatever point you were trying to make, you have aggravated an already sensitive situation by calling her Mrs. Jones to the man who plans on marrying her in five days. You haven’t called her Mrs. Jones in, what, a month or so?” I nod. “And now… at this moment… you remind him that she actually is Mrs. Jones, because they weren’t divorced—he died—and if she could have her way, they would still be married right now.”

“Well, don’t you think that was reason enough for pause?” I ask. If she’s still holding a torch for her dead husband…

“Is that why you called her Mrs. Jones? Is that the point you were trying to make? Are you really that blind or are you just making this up as you go along?” Fuck, I’m arguing with the shrink. I’m not going to win this one. Plus, it does feel like I’m making this up as I go along.

“She lost her husband and her baby in that accident—her first love. If she didn’t still feel something of that loss, feel something for them, I would think something was seriously wrong with her.” Butterfly scolds. Oh fuck, I didn’t think about the baby when I put my foot in my mouth.

“She lost a baby.” I said so that it sounded like more of a question than a statement.

“Yes, and now I’ve betrayed her confidence.” Butterfly’s hand flies to her forehead again. I take her hand from her forehead.

“I swear I won’t say a word.” I assure her.

“I know that you won’t Christian, but I still betrayed her confidence. I just don’t do that, but you can be so insufferable sometimes!” She shakes her hands and sighs. “She has learned to live with it which is all you can ask, but you never get over that. First of all, you hardly ever get over your first love. Mine cheated on me incessantly and I still wanted him back. Mr. Jones was ripped from her in a cruel and untimely way along with her baby that she didn’t even get a chance to hold. I’m sure Jason knows all about this, and you took that situation and cheapened it to try to make some point about how they shouldn’t get married and you can’t even tell me why. You’re trying to use her ability to love against them. You’re lucky he didn’t hit you!” she spit. Taylor wouldn’t hit me… I think.

“I see that this is making everyone emotional and I understand why, but Taylor wouldn’t hit me,” I declare.

“No, Taylor—head of personal security for and employee of Christian Grey—he wouldn’t hit you. Jason—fiance of Gail Jones who had to sit and listen to you insult the woman that he loves and their relationship—he would knock you senseless!” At that moment, I realized why Davenport stayed at the table until Taylor left when, at any other time, my employees know to leave when a personal conversation ensues. I have managed to piss everybody off. “Where exactly is this coming from, Christian? I know you to be a hardnose—even skeptical and cynical—but this is too far even for you. What’s going on?”

At that moment, I hear a commotion in the stairway just off the great room. From where we are sitting, I can just see the curve of the staircase and Gail and Taylor having a heated conversation. Oh no, don’t tell me I’ve caused a fight between them. “Let me go, Jason. This is ridiculous and I won’t have it!” She is warm. I want her to stop struggling on the stairs. If he lets her go at just the wrong time, she going to fall.

“Gail, Baby, please.” Taylor tries to comfort her. “You’re going to hurt yourself. Please calm down.”

“Calm down my ass!” Ooooooh, I don’t think I’ve ever heard that woman curse in my life. “He has no right, Jason. No right!” She is screaming! Butterfly sighs heavily and drops her head into her hands with a pronounced “oh fuck.”

“Christian, you have hurt this woman.” She says, her mouth partly covered. “You remember that, no matter what she says right now, do you understand me?” I look from her to a struggling Gail trying to get out of Taylor’s grasp. I close my eyes and nod. She turns around and faces them. “Please let her go, Jason.” She says in a controlled voice loud enough for him to hear. They freeze on the stairs at the sound of Butterfly’s voice and Jason quickly releases Gail who storms out to the patio.

“Do I need to tender my resignation, Mr. Grey?” She is nearly screaming.

“No, of course not.” I respond, already feeling chastised.

“How dare you tell him it could be a mistake to marry me!” She barks. Butterfly’s hand flies to her forehead and she groans almost painfully.

“Ugh!” She groans while shaking her head. “My God, Christian.” She says almost inaudibly.

“Butter…” She puts her hand up in my face.

“Don’t talk to me! Talk to her!” She snaps, pointing at Gail. She rises from the table and begins pacing on the other side of the patio, still within earshot. I turn to Gail who clearly has steam coming out of her ears.

“When did you become the expert on relationships? I’d really like to know!” Gail barks folding her arms and shifting her stance. “I understand that you have fallen in love with a wonderful girl, but before that your track record was shit! Where do you get off trying to dictate what’s right for us? How could you possibly think that you could say anything—anything at all—about what we choose to do!? You with your trail of brunette Betty-Boo-Bucketheads parading through our lives all these years—you now have the audacity to suggest that our getting married might be the ‘wrong decision?'” She does the finger quotes to indicate that she knows this is exactly what I said.

“Gail, I’m sorry.” I say, trying to show some contrition, but she is unreachable.

“No, it’s Mrs. Jones, remember?” She spits. For some reason, I feel daggers in my chest when she says that. I would never hurt Gail. I really didn’t mean to do any of this.

“Okay, Mrs. Jones. I’m an idiot. I am very sorry. I had no right to say those things. It was cruel and insensitive of me and right now, I have no idea where they came from. I have the utmost respect for you and as I value you as an employee and a person, I am positive that any man should consider himself fortunate to have you.” Although I observed that Taylor could see and was shocked by my sincerity, my tone still sounded too clinical to me. “Mrs. Jones… Gail… I’m sorry.” I add, my voice considerably softer.

Gail just stares at me for a bit. I don’t know if she wants to hit me or run away screaming. After she looks over at Ana and back at me, she takes option two—though there was no screaming, but a lot of weeping. Taylor’s eye narrow at me before he goes off behind his fiancee. I really, really fucked up this time… really, really fucked up. Outside of Butterfly and my family, these are the two people who I trust most in the world, and I have managed to piss them off to the highest level. Ana walks over to me but doesn’t say anything.

“I supposed you’re pissed at me, too,” I say defeated.

“No, Christian, I’m not pissed. I’m disappointed. It’s not the first time I’ve been disappointed in you and it’s not a feeling that I like.” She says, a little sharply. I don’t even want to think about all the times that I’ve disappointed her.

“What just happened?” I ask her. She’s the psychologist, maybe she can explain this to me. “I said that I was sorry. I don’t expect it to instantly wipe the slate clean, but she ran from the room in tears. I don’t follow.”

“She has to sort all of this out. She’s feeling angry, hurt, betrayed and disappointed. I don’t think you understand the impact that you have on people when you go from one extreme to the other in a matter of moments. No one can keep up with you. Although I don’t doubt that gives you an incredible edge in business, it’s shit when it comes down to personal relationships. One moment you’re trying to convince Jason not to marry her and the next moment, you’re contrite, remorseful, and repentant. She’s full of fire and no doubt ready to quit because as your employee she crossed a line talking about your array of brunette bimbos while I was still in earshot… but as a woman, she went easy on you. No doubt when you are penitent and regretful, she now sees the line that she has crossed. So now, she’s like a shaken soda bottle ready to explode.” She explained that so clearly. I sigh heavily.

“Why, why, why do I keep hurting the people who mean the most to me?” I say shaking my head. She walks over to me and puts her hands in my hair. I almost swat her hand away again, but I learned my lesson from the last time I did that. She noticed the impulse and used her other hand to gently brush the hair out of my face.

“Because you’re just learning to feel, and it’s new for you. It’s confusing and foreign and scary, and with all my education, it’s something that I couldn’t even imagine. You need to understand this and think before you speak and act. You also need to let those people who mean so much to you know that you are fighting with this or you are going to be introduced to another new emotion—complete and utter heartbreak.” I look into her unassuming blue eyes and lean into her touch. I need the comfort right now.

“I’ve felt that pain, Butterfly, both of the times that I thought I lost you.” I say just above a whisper. She climbs into my lap.

“But you didn’t lose me, so you haven’t felt that pain. You only felt a hint of it. The second time, you held hope that you would get me back or you never would have found me. What if there was no hope? What if I and your unborn child had died in a car accident?” My chest clenches with an almost unbearable pain when she says that. Butterfly and my unborn baby. I could imagine us buying a house somewhere. She would have picked it out and had it decorated. We would have already been decorating the nursery for our new son or daughter… then one rainy or snowy night, I have it all snatched away from me. My happiness right there in my grasp—Mrs. Anastasia Grey and a bundle of love that we created—and then it’s gone in an instant.

“No!” I squeak and I don’t recognize me own voice. I pull her tightly to me and bury my face in her chest. I can’t lose her, not now… not ever. She can’t die. I rub my hand over her stomach as if it already carried life inside… our child. Losing her and our child. It seemed like every part of me hurt at the thought.

“Christian!” I hear the shock and concern in her voice as she looks down at me. “Ssshhhhh.” She is running her fingers through my hair, and I start to calm. It isn’t until now that I realize that I had been crying… sobbing is more like it… and I didn’t know. I just wrapped my arms around her until the shaking stopped. Just the thought of something happening to Butterfly—to our unborn child when that day comes—it felt like a vise was squeezing my whole body and I couldn’t breathe.

“H-hard limit. Hard limit, Ana,” I squeaked, my face still buried in her chest.

“Okay. We’ll talk about it later,” she says.

“No! No! Hard limit!” I’m not where I can talk about Butterfly dying at all. I don’t know if I ever will be, but I’m not there now.

“Okay, okay. I understand,” she says cradling my head in her arms. I take deep breaths trying to calm myself, relaxing in the comfort that she is here now… not dead, here in my arms, warm and safe.


I open my eyes and the morning sun is blazing. I try to stretch, but Butterfly in curled into my lap sleeping peacefully. I look at the table and the breakfast dishes have been cleared and replaced with a sweating pitcher of ice water and two glasses. How long have we been sleeping in this blazing sun? I look at my watch… 10:30. An hour maybe, I look at Butterfly’s exposed skin. She has definitely caught some sun, but she hasn’t burned yet.

“Butterfly?” I gently rouse her. “Butterfly?”

“Hmmm?” she says sleepily.

“Wake up, Baby.” I say rubbing her arms. She groans in protest and then makes to stretch her legs.

“Whoa! Where are we?” She says sleepily as she realizes we are not in bed.

“We’re on the patio. We fell asleep.” She looks around and realizes that we did, in fact, fall asleep in one of the chairs on the patio. She stood up and stretched and immediately checked her skin. “You haven’t burned, Baby, but I think you may need a little moisturizer.” I say, stretching my back.

“I think you’re right.” She says, getting in one last stretch while I pour us each a glass of water. She drinks it down quickly then says, “I’m going to go and see where everyone is. This is going to be a difficult week if we all hide out from each other.” I nod and Butterfly disappears into the villa. I scratch my scalp and go inside. I’ve been in the open sun long enough. The villa is graveyard quiet. I walk straight to the elevator and push the button. Exiting at the master suite, I almost felt a sense of freedom. No one will come up here except for Butterfly. I go into the sitting room and pick up my Blackberry charging on a side table. I haven’t been in touch with anyone since late Friday evening and there are a zillion emails on this thing. I forward many of them to Ros as they are things that need attention for GEH. Butterfly makes her way into the suite. Her face looks a little solemn.

“What is it?” I say as she drops on the bed.

“Gail and Jason are gone for the day.” She says.

“Gone for the day?” I ask. What the hell does that mean? Technically, they are both still on duty. As if she were reading my thoughts, she said, “Chuck’s message to me was—and I quote—’I am taking the day off and spending it with my fiancee. She wants to go shopping and try to forget what has happened this day. This should be one of the happiest times of her life and it’s been ruined because of a selfish bastard who is only just finding out what love is. You are on Grey today and if he wants to fire me, he can. Just let me know.'” I sigh heavily and have to keep myself from launching my blackberry across the room. I look over at Butterfly who is lying on the bed staring at the ceiling, her hands behind her head.

Is she mad at me, too? She said that she wasn’t, but I can’t tell. I need to touch her, not fuck her, just touch her. I go to the en suite and find her lemongrass body lotion. She looks at me questioning when I crawl on the bed and lay her arm across my lap.

“How do I fix this?” I ask as I apply lotion to her arm and hand.

“You have to grovel.” She says, closing her eyes and enjoying the massage as I move across her chest to her other arm.

“Um, Ms. Steele. I think you know that Mr. Grey does not grovel.” She opens her eyes and looks at me.

“You have insulted—deeply insulted—two of your most trusted employees. Jason did not ask you if he could have the day off. He did not send a message and wait for a response. He left. And Gail, who is also your employee, didn’t even leave you a message. Those two could find a flight back to Seattle, go to Escala, pack their shit and leave you cold and not blink an eye. They don’t give a fuck about you right now, Christian.” There’s something she’s not telling me. It’s all in her language and demeanor.

“There’s something else… what is it?” She looks at me for a moment and doesn’t answer. “Anastasia, what is it?” I ask, a little demanding, a little desperate. She sighs and sits up.

“Jason found out the hard way just how far in advance you have to book a suite here. They were going to just leave, but Jason is determined to go through with the island wedding that he promised Gail when they got engaged. This meant that he needed to find out what was the fastest time that they could get married. His next plan was to apply for the license tomorrow and get married tomorrow. He would pay for two witnesses if I and Chuck were not available, but after very little research, he discovered that the license takes two days to process. So they couldn’t get married before Wednesday.

“Gail agreed to wait that long but only if she didn’t have to stay here. So Jason went about trying to find them a hotel. As you know, it was impossible. He even went so far as to try to find someplace on St. Maartin. So they have begrudgingly agreed to stay here until Wednesday so that they can get married. However, because they would rather spend their wedding night on a plane than to spend it here with you, Jason is making arrangements tomorrow for them to fly out of here after they say ‘I do’ on Wednesday. They know that the flight will most likely cost them two weeks salary each, and they don’t care. So, Mr. Grey, although you may not be accustomed to grovelling, if you want any hope of keeping these people in your life, you fucking well better learn.” I move behind her and put lotion on her shoulders and back.

“So how does one do this grovelling?” I ask. She turns to look at me while I am finishing her shoulders and back.

“You want me to teach you how to grovel?” She says incredulously.

“Well, yes. Can you do it?” I ask. She laughs at me.

“Well, hell, you have to feel it. You have to be sincere.”

“Well then I’m screwed!” I exclaim. “I’m just learning about all of this feeling shit and unless it’s you, I usually get it wrong!” She throws her hands up.

“Wait here.” She leaves for a moment and comes back with her iPod. She puts the earbuds in my ears and starts searching for something on YouTube. After a few moments, I hear James Brown lamenting in my ears.

“What the hell is this?” I ask her.

“That’s grovelling.” She says.

“You want me to sing to them?” I ask incredulously.

“No, I want you to listen to that song. That’s grovelling at its very best!” She replies. All I see in my mind’s eye is James Brown falling down onstage, his backup crew coming to pick him up and throwing a cape over his shoulders. I fail to see how this is supposed to help me. “The woman that he loves is about to leave him. He can’t do anything but cry and beg her not to go. You can hardly hear him singing over the cheering of the crowd because they get it… they feel what he’s singing. They know the words to the song, but…” She hands me her iPod and sure enough, there’s a young James Brown—his face is contorted and he looks like he’s crying. His head is thrown back and he drops to his knees in mournful lament. “They feel what he is portraying. He doesn’t even sing the entire song in this performance—it’s just six minutes of ‘please,’ and the crowd is going wild.”

I can get a better idea of what she means by watching the YouTube video, but I sill don’t think I can do this.

“I’m not that good of a performer, Butterfly.” I respond.

“Well, that’s good because you can’t perform this, you have to mean it.” I sigh in frustration. “Christian, you’re going to lose these people and they are not going to look back. You have really crossed the line this time, like never before, and it’s going to take a huge gesture that not even your billions can buy to sway them back to your side.” I still must have had a look of utter confusion on my face because she got down on her knees in front of me.

“Do you remember how you felt when I talked about losing me and your unborn baby?” She began. What the hell?

“I told you that this was a hard limit! Why would you bring this up again?” I snap.

“Christian, you just need to listen and let me finish my thought…” she began.

“No! They are not the same thing! I accept that I crossed the line with Taylor and Gail, but they are not the same thing. How could you do that, Anastasia? How could you use something that I clearly told you was a hard limit just to try to make a point?” One of the basics rules of my lifestyle and she’s breaking it.

“Because there is a difference between a hard limit and something that is just difficult and painful, and I don’t think this is a hard limit for you! I think you’re just using that term so that you don’t have to face it. If I really felt like this was a hard limit for you, you would never hear about it from me again!” She said strongly before taking a deep breath and letting it out. “You don’t want to talk about it… fine. We won’t talk about it. I’m not going to fight with you, Christian, because this is not my fight. You asked for help, I tried to help you. You can’t grasp it and I understand that. You’re stumbling over new feelings and you don’t know what to do with them, but you are about to lose two of your closest friends—whether you admit it or not—and apparently, there’s nothing that you can do about it.” She turns around and walks out of the room. Great! Now she must be mad at me, too.

There was nothing in the room to throw and I don’t want to damage someone’s villa so I think the best thing for me to do right now is exercise. I would normally go for a run with Taylor… but he’s mad at me, too. So I just go to the gym on the third floor. I set the treadmill for a punishing pace and almost began to feel the burn immediately from all of those days that I fobbed off working out. This is what I need… to run and try to figure this shit out. I am pounding on the treadmill for quite some time before any answers come to me.

They have been with me for so many years. I have always feared that their relationship would go sour and they wouldn’t want to be around one another anymore, meaning that someone would have to resign. I have always feared losing one of them. Now I might lose them both.

Listen to yourself, Grey. Listen to what you’re saying. You don’t lose. People may leave but you don’t lose.

And that’s the thinking that got me here in the first place… but why does she keep trying to get me to think about losing her? I understand how she’s relating it to Gail’s situation, but I don’t see how it relates to their situation as a couple and my concerns about the marriage failing. I just can’t connect the two. I’m pounding the treadmill more when a question comes out of nowhere, though it’s been swimming in my head all day…

What’s your problem, Grey?

I’m an emotionally cut off man who has recently had a bombshell of a woman introduced into my life who has completely turned it upside down and I don’t know what to do with myself.

What’s your problem, Grey?

I’ve opened up myself up to all these different people and all these different feelings that I don’t know how to handle or express.

What’s your problem, Grey?

I’m still fighting with the intimacy of having people around me, this close to me, in my personal space mentally and physically when that space previously was only occupied by very few… if anybody. Nobody knows how I function. Nobody knows how I work. Nobody knows what makes me tick except for those people who are closest to me. Taylor and I are like a well-oiled machine. Gail knows all of my preferences and how I operate from day-to-day. Losing that would be devastating. It takes years to train someone to that level of perfection.

Losing that would be devastating…

Losing that would be devastating…

“Fuck!” I say, as I turn off the treadmill and sit on the bench press bench. I don’t so much hate when she’s right... I just hate when I’m wrong. And still…

What’s your problem, Grey?

Well, it’s obvious that I don’t want to lose them, so I’m going to do what I can to keep from losing them… but losing them was always a risk if they broke up. I knew this and I never said anything. So…

What’s your problem now, Grey?

Now, they want to get married. If they get married, they’re clearly not breaking up, and neither of them mentioned anything about leaving after they were married… until I put my foot in my mouth. So, in the big scheme of things, as long as I let them keep their apartment, their getting married would actually work out better for me in terms of them staying on. I mean, no fear of them breaking up and going their separate ways if after all of these years they now want to make it official. This is not rocket science… why didn’t this come to me sooner?

Didn’t it?

I saw the way that they looked at each other yesterday. I saw the way that they were looking at each other today. I watched him when she talked about her feelings for him… he is completely smitten. I listened to Butterfly tell Gail about the way he looks at her. I’ve seen this, too… well before now. I knew that there was no issue with their feelings for each other or concerns about the longevity of their relationship or a potential marriage so…

What the hell is your problem with them getting married, Grey?

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” More and more, I realize how much of an asshole I really am. I go to the master suite to sit in the jacuzzi for a few minutes since I have given my muscles the workout from hell. I don’t know how I allowed so much time to pass or why I was trying to kill myself on that damn treadmill. I take some ibuprofen and sit in the jacuzzi for a little longer than I should have, still pondering the fucked-upedness of this whole situation.

It’s about 3:00 when I emerge from the jacuzzi, my tightened muscles feeling much better than when I left the workout room. I put on some shorts and go in search of Butterfly. I find her doing laps in the pool. I watch her for a moment from a perfect vantage point of the second floor balcony. Her body moves so fluently across the pool and she looks just luscious in a two-piece blue halter bathing suit with boy shorts. It looks like one of those bikinis that the pin-up girls in the 40’s used to wear. I am so glad that I brought her to Anguilla if for no other reason but to see her in these divine bathing suits. When she finishes her laps and decides to rest on the side of the pool, I leave the balcony and join her at the pool’s edge.

Her feet are still in the pool as she wrings the water out of her hair. I sit next to her and put my feet in the pool.

“I’m sorry.” I say contritely.

“You don’t owe me an apology, Christian.” She says softly.

“Yes, I do. I accused you of something that you didn’t do. Respecting hard limits is detrimentally important to me, and even though I don’t fully take part in the lifestyle anymore, it’s still something that I take very seriously. Disregarding a hard limit in a D/s relationship is cause for termination of a contract, so imagine the impact that it could have on us. For me to insinuate that’s what you were doing to avoid talking about a difficult topic—very difficult, mind you, but just a difficult topic—was very insensitive of me and I’m sorry. It seems like I’m doing a lot of that today.” Butterfly looks at me in awe.

“Apology accepted.” She says, still awestruck. “Boy, that must have been some run.”

“You saw me?” I didn’t even know she knew I was on the treadmill.

“Yeah. I came looking for you after I hadn’t heard from you for a while. The fact that you didn’t know that I was there confirms that you were really gone and I was right not to disturb you.” She says, drying the excess water from her hair.

“So you decided to do some laps?” She’s a very good swimmer. I didn’t know.

“Well, I have to keep my girlish figure and I haven’t been to the gym since before… well, you know.” She drops her head. “I didn’t want to disturb your run so I thought I would take advantage of this lovely pool.” She is toying with something on a heavy silver link chain around her neck. It takes a moment for me to notice that it’s a ring… my ring!

“Why is your ring on that chain?” I ask, controlling my voice and trying not to sound panicked.

“So that I wouldn’t lose it in the pool. If it’s not in my sight, I get nervous and if I lose it in the water, call an ambulance!” She says, instantly lightening up my mood. Keep calm, Grey. I put my arm around her waist and kiss her neck.

“Can you tell me when the day will come when I will stop being an asshole?” I say, laying my head on her shoulder.

“Probably never, but what’s this about?” She says. I sigh.

“I wanted it to be us. I want us to move at the right pace… everything on our time, when it’s right for us. I want to make sure everything is perfect, that when we are ready to take that step we know everything that there is to know about each other—or at least the really important stuff—that everything is right for us… the timing, where we are in our lives, everything. I don’t want to rush anything. I want us to enjoy our courtship and then our engagement and then our wedding and then our marriage… but when I looked at them and the love in their eyes and how they looked at each other, I saw us. I wanted it to be us and I resented the fact that it wasn’t.”

“But you know that I love you, Christian.” She protests. “When the time is right, it will be us.”

“I know you do, Butterfly, and please don’t take this as a reflection on our relationship. This is just me being a jealous asshole—wanting all of the happiness in the world for myself.” I run my hands through my hair again. “I’m still new at this, you know. My mind can’t comprehend that there’s enough happiness in the world for everyone. I’ve seen so much heartache and pain that I keep thinking that there’s a limited supply of peace and joy and I don’t want everybody to take it before I get mine.”

“You do realize how ridiculous that is, right?” She says, kind of laughing at me.

“It’s not that ridiculous.” I defend.

“Oh yes, Mr. Grey, it is.” She corrected me. “Luckily, your girlfriend is a therapist and I understand why you feel that way, but the whole world doesn’t think like I do. Except when I was dealing with those idiots in group therapy who didn’t know what the hell they wanted, I’m a damn good therapist and I know it. I am a good therapist because I have an uncanny ability to put myself in other people’s shoes. You are just being introduced to empathy… I’m swimming in it.” She’s right. Before now, empathy was something to which I could barely relate if at all. I couldn’t have given less than a damn about how the next man felt, as long as I got mine.

“People cannot read your mind, Christian. They can only go by your actions and what you tell them. You don’t have a full staff in your home. This is not GEH. If that were the case, then it would be understandable for you to have such a formal relationship with those people who share your home. However, these people know you more intimately than even your parents. They know all of your idiosyncrasies, how you function from day-to-day. Hell, Christian, they even know how you fuck! You can keep that ‘staff-separation’ line with Chuck… and Ben… Williams, whatever his first name is, but just like you’ll never be able to draw that line with Al, you can’t keep that line with Gail and Jason anymore. Three people on your staff that I am certain cannot be replaced are Gail, Jason, and Welch—Welch because he is invaluable to you and Gail and Jason because they are your friends! They are your second skin. You need to admit that and you need to understand that when people are valuable to you, you can’t just assume that they already know it.” This is beginning to be a bit more than I can chew. “What made you realize what the problem was?”

“I finally understood what you were trying to tell me when you told me to imagine losing you and my baby,” I responded. “Of course, the feeling would be nowhere near the same as losing you—I don’t know if I could go on living—but I would be pretty handicapped without Gail and Jason.” She leans back and looks at me strangely.

“What did you just say?” She asked. What did I say now?

“I said I’d be pretty handicapped without Gail and Jason.” Which I would… did I say something wrong? She just smiled at me.

“Yes you would. Now I think you should tell them that… and make sure that they believe you.” She replied.

“Do you believe me?” I asked hopeful.

“Well, yes, but I’m a sure thing.” She says with a coy smile.

“Oh, are you?” I say seductively.

“Yes, I am.” She responds before I close my lips over hers.


A/N: So, do you think Christian is capable of groveling to win his newest “friends” back to his side? I read someone’s fanfic… I can’t remember which right now… but they said that there is a definite line between employer and employee and it should not be crossed. Do you feel this way about CG, Gail and Jason? If that is the case, should he even brother begging them to stay?

Be sure to check out the pinterest page at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-the-trip-to-anquilla/ 

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

Feel free to review—it is greatly appreciated.

Love and handcuffs,
Lynn x

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 51—Steele Introspections

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 51—Steele Introspections

STEELE

I thought my brain was simply going to explode right out of my head. What I’m feeling for Christian is scaring me to death. I have all these crazy emotions and thoughts about what has happened to me—David and Harris and the Mortons and Green Valley… and Christian has told me that bleached-blonde bitch tried to connect with him before we left Seattle. I take in a deep breath as we ride through the beautiful trees and trails that line the beach, but my mind is still a jumbled mess. I catch Christian looking at me a few times as I examine the flora along the trail. I had better put on the happy face before I fall victim to the Spanish Inquisition!

The wading is magnificent—to have this glorious beast between my thighs as I bask in the cool sea water. It’s fantastic. I’m told that horses can read the moods of their riders… that they can tell when you’re afraid or angry or uncomfortable or unsure. I don’t know how true it is, but the moment we emerge from the water—from my calming kindred element—all I can think was that I want to be free… free from all the crazy shit that’s floating through my mind and all the plans that’ll be put into action when I return to the states. I’m on my first day of a possible 10-day vacation, and all I can think of is the hell waiting for me when I get back to home.

I need to be free—if only for a moment.

Without much prompting from me at all, Jazz breaks into a steady gallop and we’re flying down the beach! I snatch my hat off and crush it into my bag hanging on the saddle. I bend my knees and raise my butt, leaning into the stately creature and holding on to her reins. We’re moving as one—nearly in flight—coasting down the beach. I know that I can’t run her like this for too long, but it feels like she’s taking in the same breath as I, feeling the same freedom and having her cares washed away by the fresh Caribbean air. I’m only basking in this feeling for a few moments when I catch a glimpse of Christian and his horse out of the corner of my eye… and he does not look happy.

Oh shit, I wasn’t thinking. Here we go. Jazz and I enjoy our gallop for a few more moments before I bring her down into a canter, then a pace, then a trot and a walk before having her stop completely.

“Easy, girl,” I say, just loud enough for Jazz to hear me. “Good girl,” I encourage while stroking her mane.

“Do you want to tell me what that was all about?” Christian barks at me. Actually, no, I don’t want to tell you. I needed just a few moments to clear my head and I don’t feel like explaining it. He’s content to just ask me not to take off like that again without letting him know something. I dismount my horse. I know she could use a little rest. I walk over to some rocks, leading Jazz behind me. This went off just great, didn’t it?

“Butterfly, please tell me what’s wrong.” Christian is begging. He knows something is up, and I promised not to shut him out anymore. We’re a team now, remember? After a few meaningless, jumbled words, I hand him the package Al had retrieved for me from my apartment… where it sat for years… and in apartments and dorms before that… for seven years, in fact… waiting for Christian. I wanted to give him this big meaningful speech. Instead, I sit there speechless as he opens the handcrafted box I had found for it once it was the last thing left of my jewelry.

My heart is in my stomach and my stomach is in my throat. I tell him the story behind the necklace… that it spoke to me and it knew who it belonged to, but it was up to me to find that man and give it to him. As much as I thought it was David at the time, it most certainly was not… it was Christian—dark, mysterious, magical and beautiful, just like the key. The catch was that he had to accept it. I couldn’t just give it to him and say, “Here’s this pretty little trinket.” He surprises me when he gives it back to me and tells me to put it on him.

I guess I do have to give it to him after all—the proper way.

Once I fasten the clasp, he nearly snatches my breath out of my body bending me over his lap in a passionate Hollywood kiss and oh… my… God! I can’t breathe. The next thing I know, I’m wearing this fabulous… and I mean fabulous… butterfly-shaped promise ring! He tells me that he doesn’t think I’m supposed to wear it on my ring finger—probably because it’s not an engagement ring. The hell I won’t! You just asked me to declare that I’m yours—basically proposing to me, but not officially because it’s obviously too soon—and then tell me not to wear the ring on my ring finger? Are you insane? We once again seal our commitment with a kiss before going off in search of the rest of our party and our long past due lunch.

A short way down the beach, we finally get to Gail, Jason, Chuck, and some unknown woman who’s talking to Chuck. She looks like a tourist—blonde, very pretty, and young… too young. For shame, Chuck!

“Well, hello, Chuck,” I say as Christian and I approach the group on our horses. Christian looks a bit displeased by the extra company. “Who do we have here?”

“This is Tiffany,” Chuck deadpans. He doesn’t seem too happy with his newfound company. “Tiffany, these are my bosses—Mr. Grey and Dr. Steele.”

Okay, he’s definitely not happy with his newfound company. Chuck never—and I mean never—introduces me as Dr. Steele. I’m about to extend the usual pleasantries to Tiff here when I, of course, see her ogling my man. Okay, I can’t blame her. He’s all sunkissed and sweaty, looking sexy in a pair of cargo shorts and a wet ass T-shirt clinging to every crease and sinew of his chest; his beautiful, unkempt copper hair looking redder than ever in the Anguillan sun. Thank God those gorgeous panty-twisting gray eyes are hiding behind an I’m-sexy-and-I-know-it pair of Raybans. Yeah, I’m on vacation. I guess you can look for a while…

Just a while…

Okay, that’s long enough!

“Um, Trixie?” I say, and every member in my party snickers. Her prior lustful gaze at Christian turns into a hateful glare when she looks at me.

“My name is Tiffany,” she spits in a full-on angry valley girl accent.

“Oh… my God.” I couldn’t even resist. I was going to tease Chuck about snagging a preschooler on the island, but this is worst. “Well, Tiffany,” I say, mimicking her valley accent, which didn’t get past her, “when you’re done eye-fucking my boyfriend, you can tell us what brings you to the island,” I say in a sickly false pleasant voice.

“I’m here on vacation with my friends,” she retorts, still 100% valley and completely ignoring the fact that I called her out. I just shake my head at her. I’ve had all the valley I can take. She has to be 18 or 19 at the very most and even though I know nothing of Chuck’s tastes, I know my man is not the slightest bit interested in teenyboppers.

“Throw this one back, Chuck. It’s not done yet,” I say, leading Jazz around the piece of driftwood that Chuck has turned into a seat.

“Coming from someone who’s old enough to be my mother,” she snaps. Oh, she’s got a little fire in her.

“Only if your mother was five when she had you,” I say flatly before turning to Chuck. “She acts like a toddler, but I didn’t know she actually was one.” Jazz and I stand there for a while in case Ms. Fire in The Mouth has something else that she wants to say. She just glares at me again but says nothing. What… nothing to say after the toddler crack? That was too easy. When I see that she had no more witty comebacks, I walk Jazz over to where Gail and Jason have tied their horses for some shade and I dismount. I tie the reins to the post and smooth Jazz’s coat.

“That’s a good girl.” While I am calming Jazz, I hear Christian conspicuously tell Chuck, “If your little friend can’t behave herself around your employer, you probably need to send her back to the sandbox.”

Christian rides up next to me, dismounting and tying Biscuit to the post as well.

“That was interesting,” he says, also smoothing the coat of his steed. I look up at him and roll my eyes. Interesting… yeah. Tiffany Teenager would screw you on the beach while I watched if you let her and then has the nerve to think she’s old enough to run zingers with me… and that’s interesting to you.

“She’s still watching,” he says. I’ll just bet she is. I’m not giving her the satisfaction of looking over at her to see. He starts to undo his sandal.

“You want to give her something to look at?” I turn to look at him. What the hell does he have up his sleeve? He’s still fumbling with his sandal.

“I’m trying to give you a head start.” He gets one sandal off and starts on the other. Oh my, Mr. Grey wants to play.

“You should be running,” he says seductively.

I break into involuntarily loud giggles and sprint towards the water. He’s behind me in seconds. He moves silently, like a panther—I didn’t even know he was back there until I looked. I do a couple of fake-outs when I hit the water, barely managing to escape his attempts to grab me. He finally catches me around the waist from behind and hoists me into the air, causing me to squeal in surprise. With one arm fastened securely around me, he starts to tickle my ribs.

“Christian! Stop!” I giggle trying to choke the words out between my laughter.

“Say please,” he says, still tickling my side.

“Please! Please!” I choke.

“Oh, you’re so easy,” he says, turning me around in his arms and lowering me to the ground underneath him. We lay at the water’s edge, the tide coming in and occasionally brushing our feet.

“You’re so beautiful,” he says seductively licking my lips. Oh, what this man does to me. “I find it so hard to control myself around you… and these tiny little tight ass shorts. Damn, woman!” I feel his erection growing slightly against me. Damn, Christian. One day, I’m going to see just how many times you can come before that thing stops rising!

“I’ve noticed,” he begins carefully, “that you didn’t wear a shirt or anything to cover your back.” I know that he’s talking about my brand. Part of me wonders why he’s so preoccupied with it, but the other part of me knows that he’s aware that all my clothes cover it—even the back-out clothing—so this is nothing more than concern for my comfort.

“Christian, I’ve decided that I just don’t care anymore. You’ve made me feel so loved and so beautiful and desirable that I truly realize that these scars are no different from any other scar I’ve had. I want to thank you for that. For so long, I really let them define me, in a way. I don’t feel that way anymore and I never will again. So, it doesn’t matter if they show or not… I’ll wear what I want to wear.” He presses his lips against mine passionately then rubs my nose with his.

“Thank God. I’m so happy to hear that,” he says breathily. “I never wanted anyone near my chest until you, but I never purposely hid it. I didn’t allow anyone to touch it, but I didn’t take great pains to hide it. Of course, my scars are significantly smaller, and I do have hair to camouflage them. People will look… and they’ll see them… but those scars are just an indication that you survived. They don’t define who you are.” I can see his eyes gazing at me through his Raybans.

“Yes,” I say softly, touching his face. “I understand that now.” He sighs.

“I knew something had changed when you dropped your dress for the Mortons. I could see it in your eyes at that very moment. I don’t know what happened to you when you showed it to them, but something happened,” he confesses.

“I don’t know what happened either. I don’t know if anything happened. All I know is that it just doesn’t have the power that it used to have over me.” He looks up past my head and kisses me again.

“You absolutely know that there is no other woman in the world for me, right?” he says looking lovingly into my eyes, “especially not a child.”

“Yes, Baby,” I say softly, holding up my promise ring. “I absolutely know.”

He kisses the tip of my nose and rises off me, holding out his hand and helping me get to my feet. He brushes the sand off my back and hair before tucking me under his arm and walking me over to the tartan blanket laid out for us next to Gail and Jason.

“Well, that was interesting,” Jason says as we sit next to them.

“Is that everyone’s thought? That’s interesting?” I say as I open a canister of fresh fruit and dig in.

“I thought we were going to have another girlfight!” Jason says, and Gail punches him in the arm. “Ow! Well, I did. The little tart comes sashaying her ass up to Chuck… didn’t dare look at me, thank God.”

“She knew better,” Gail growls, taking a healthy bite of a tuna salad sandwich. Jason looks over at her then continues talking.

“When the Boss came trotting up, I knew I was granted an indefinite reprieve. I need someone to explain the logic of the female brain to me. She comes over to talk to Chuck, but she’s been eyeballing every man who goes by.”

“That’s not something that you need to understand about women, Jason, because we don’t all do that—only the skanky ones,” I reply. He shakes his head. “Oh, men do it, too. As a matter of fact, men are worse than women. Women are usually kind of coy about it. Men are pretty doggish—they’ll be in the same room with two women that they’re sleeping with at the same time and not break a sweat over it.”

“That’s insane,” Christian declares. “Why would you be sleeping with two women at the same time that could actually be in contact with each other?”

“See, you my dear are an anomaly,” I say after I swallow a mouthful of salad. “Even with your unconventional relationships, you’ve always been monogamous. It has unfortunately been my experience that a lot of young men who are sowing their wild oats, as well as a few older ones that don’t know when to quit, look to divide and conquer as many women as they possibly can. They don’t care if the women are sisters, best friends, enemies, or play with the same bridge club. If they can get away with it, they’ll do it; and if one is a girlfriend and the other already knows it, the other woman will cover like nothing’s going on.”

“Now that’s what I never understood,” Gail chimes into the conversation. “Why would any self-respecting woman want to sleep with another woman’s man?”

“The situation varies,” I say, chewing on some more fruit. “I, personally, don’t condone it… ever. I don’t think there’s ever a reason that a woman should be sleeping with another woman’s man, but that’s just my opinion. Others feel like it’s justified depending on the situation. I don’t put anybody in judgment for it unless it’s my man that they’re sleeping with—then, we have a problem. But in my profession, I see it all the time. I have patients that tell me that they’re cheating on their spouses or significant others or that they’re cheating with someone who’s already attached, and they want me to tell them that this is okay. I won’t do it.

“I’ve lost patients because although I am open-minded, and I won’t judge them for extracurricular activities or extramarital affairs, I won’t condone it. That’s not the kind of doctor I am. I’m not going to tell you what you want to hear; I’m going to tell you what you need. What kind of therapist would I be if I told people that it was okay for them to do destructive, hurtful, amoral things just because that’s what they want to hear? That would be like sending someone with a broken leg home with a band-aid.” I take a healthy swallow of water.

“Without betraying any confidences, what are some of the reasons that you hear people cheat?” Gail asks me. I have everyone’s undivided attention, now. Even Chuck has dismissed his toddler, come over and grabbed a sandwich to partake in this conversation. I shrug.

“‘My husband or wife doesn’t understand me,’ ‘he or she is always working and doesn’t have time for me,’ ‘he or she is cheating on me so I’m cheating on them,’ the list goes on and on.” I think of Edward and the times that he left me at home alone—how many opportunities I had to find someone else, but I didn’t. “In my case, my boyfriend was just a hoe. He wasn’t talking to anyone about any problems, didn’t have any self-esteem issues or anything like that. He was just a hoe. He was a real charmer and he could quickly get into any pair of panties that he wanted—and did. He had the women trained to tell me that nothing was going on. For a while, he had me completely convinced that I was paranoid and delusional. That’s a whole different discussion.

“The fact is that no matter who’s cheating or who’s involved, they always somehow or another feel justified. The woman who sleeps with a married man feels justified—either she loves him, or he has convinced her that his wife is a nut. Either way, she sees no wrong in what she’s doing and even if she did see the wrong in it, she has no consideration whatsoever for the wife because that’s not her concern. She doesn’t care about the negative Karma that she’s putting into the universe for herself. Her only concern is the gratification that she feels from being with this man. She’s not the one who vowed in front of God and friends to be faithful to this woman, he is. So, as far as she’s concerned, her responsibility in this situation is completely expunged. Then when she can’t find a man of her own or her husband turns around and does the same thing to her, she’s crying and asking why.” I shake my head and pop a grape into my mouth.

“People don’t want to hear it, but it’s the truth. It’s reality. One of my favorite quotes comes from a neuroanatomist named Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor…”

“A neur-what-a-who?” Chuck asks me.

“A doctor who studies the anatomy of the brain after you die. Anyway, she said, ‘Please take responsibility for the energy that you bring into this space.’ Each of us occupies a space in time for a limited amount of time. During that time, we come in contact with other people thereby occupying the space of someone else. In some way, you leave something with each person that you contact—directly or indirectly—and you have to take responsibility for what you leave with that person… in their space. A woman who takes a man’s time away from his wife is indirectly affecting that wife’s space, and she needs to take responsibility for that.” I explain.

“I disagree. She doesn’t owe anything to this wife, the husband does. You said it yourself—she didn’t make the vow, the husband did.” Chuck defends.

“And the day that you come home and find your wife or girlfriend in bed with another man, try that rationalization while you’re choking the shit out of him,” I deadpan. Chuck’s face flushes a bit.

“That’s one of the biggest misconceptions of the mistress,” I continue. “She holds herself blameless because she doesn’t owe the wife anything. A lot of times, she feels like the husband owes her over the wife—don’t ask me where that logic comes from, but I’ve seen it more often than not. I personally don’t know how anybody manages to get past a cheating spouse or a situation involving infidelity. It’s such an ultimate act of betrayal that I can’t wrap my mind around how you recuperate from something like that. I know that forgiveness is powerful and very possible, especially if you love someone, but I’ve never been able to understand how you get past the shattered trust. It’s completely beyond me and that’s why I don’t do marriage counseling. I have not yet mastered the ability of looking a man or woman in their eyes and telling them to forgive a lying cheating spouse or significant other for breaking their promises.”

The group falls silent for a moment after this revelation. It’s Gail that breaks the silence.

“You speak from experience,” she acknowledges. I can see Christian’s gaze turn to me in my peripheral. I nod to her and swallow the last of my sandwich.

“Edward. He was a bona fide hoe. After I left him, I wanted him back immediately. After it sunk in, I wanted nothing to do with him. He kept pursuing me, I kept denying him. I thought that if I spoke to him like a human being to tell him why we would never be, he would go away quietly. I was wrong—but I never fully forgave him for what he did to me and I never forgot how he made me feel. Do be mistaken, the person that tells you that they have completely forgiven someone for some horrible thing that they’ve done is lying to you and they are lying to themselves. We get to a point where we may not hold a grudge, or the pain of the act doesn’t consume our everyday lives or dictate our actions. However, as much as we like to believe that we can exercise the forgiveness of Christ, we can’t.

“That’s why the saying goes ‘to err is human; to forgive divine,’ because only divinity can forgive completely. We are humans, we are not divine. We do not have the ability to offer perfect forgiveness because the pain of what happened will always be there… even if we don’t exist or dwell in it. We can get past or get over what happened to us… and to the degree that we are able to put things behind us is how we measure forgiveness, which is why smaller crimes or malfeasances are easier to forgive because they are easier to overlook. The larger the misconduct, the harder it is to overlook, and the more likely it is that you won’t receive what we feeble humans call forgiveness.”

“You have a lot of wisdom for one so young,” Gail says kindly.

“Thank you, Gail,” I say with a sad smile. “Some of it is education but unfortunately, a lot of it is experience.” Christian pulls me into his arms.

“My girl is pretty remarkable, isn’t she?” he says, sweetly.

“Sorry about the toddler, Ana,” Chuck says finishing his lunch. “She just kind of showed up and I let her stick around while I waited for you guys. She really did turn out to be quite annoying.”

“I really wish you had brought someone with you, now,” I say, feeling guilty about the two couples here snuggling on tartan blankets. Chuck waves me off.

“There’s a reason single people don’t bring a date to the islands,” Chuck says. “You guys are in committed relationships, so this would be something that you would want to share. Notwithstanding the toddlers, the islands are a smorgasbord of beautiful woman of all different shapes, sizes, and colors. For somebody like me, bringing a date here would be like going to a live concert and listening to your iPod!”

We all burst into laughter at his comparison. I guess he’s right about that. I just hope he gets the chance to have some fun while we’re here.

We gather the remnants of our lunch and pack the basket and blankets back into the car. It’s well into the late afternoon when we get the horses back to the stable. I didn’t realize how tired I’m until I fall asleep on the drive back to the villa. Hell, it’s only three miles! I assume that the water and the ride—particularly the gallop with Jazz—relaxed me enough that I just need a nap to rejuvenate. This is actually a good idea since I’m no doubt still suffering from jet lag and don’t want to be early to bed early to rise for the entire trip. Christian carries me to the master suite bedroom when we get back, and I decide that a nice nap is exactly what I need.

Hello, Bitch!” I open my eyes to see whose snarling voice has awakened me. It can’t be! You’re dead! It can’t be!

Did you think you could get away from me that easily? A couple of bullets and I’ll be gone from your life forever? You wish! I may be in hell, but I can take you with me!”

No! No! This can’t be happening! This is my imagination! He’s not here… he can’t control me like this!

You don’t think so? Watch me! I’ve got you right where I want you. Hell isn’t so bad if this is how I get to spend eternity,” he snarls. I reach out to slap him, but I can’t move. I look at my arms, and I’m chained to the bed… that bed. Oh my God, please don’t let this be happening.

You can’t win, Harris. I won’t let you win,” I say, my voice shaking.

Oh, it looks like I’m winning right now!” he says, and I feel the slap land viciously on my cheek.

“Oh my God! No! No!” I’m screaming and flailing my arms, desperately trying to get this monster away from me.

“Baby! Baby! Stop!” That’s not Harris’ voice. That’s Christian. “Butterfly! Wake up! I’m here, Baby!” He has me in a bear hug, my arms pinned against his body. No Harris. There’s no Harris here. Oh, please, no… please, this can’t be happening. I finally get a grip on my scars and this bastard is terrorizing me in my goddamn sleep. My body goes limp in Christian’s arms and I cry into his chest.

*-*

Christian is determined to get my mind off the terrible nightmare I had about the attack and Harris, so he tells me to get dressed in my finest and we go to dinner—just him and me. I like the idea very much since we spent all day with the group. I also just feel the need to be alone with my man. So much seems to be happening at once and even though I know that dreams are largely a product of your subconscious, I never underestimate spiritual importance and power. I don’t know if my Feng Shui is out of balance or something is off with my chi or the planets aren’t aligned properly, or the gods aren’t listening, or I’m surrounded by negative Karma or however you want to label it, but I don’t scoff at the power of energy and spirits in your life. No doubt, my ride through the brush at Cove Bay and the negative thoughts of all the people who hurt me invited this parasite into my dreams. I just don’t know what to do about it right now.

Christian is clinging to me like plastic wrap. He won’t let me out of his sight. He has kept me protectively under his arm close to him all night, covering as much of my body with his as possible. He would protect me from the air if he could. I know that he feels helpless to protect me from the ghosts that haunt me in my sleep, especially since I told him that the ghost was Robert Harris, but it could also have something to do with my attire for the evening. I’m wearing a Michael Kors crimson draped dress with a cowl neckline and capped sleeves. It has ruching around the hips and meet in the front just under my abdomen and the dress fits me like a second skin. I accessorized with Christian Louboutin Very Riche Swarovski embellished pumps and a matching gold Swarovski clutch. I find that ever since I’ve been given the beautiful new nickname that I’m obsessed with everything butterfly! So, I am wearing my hair in a messy bun and swoop bang with two embellished Swarovski butterfly hair combs. I complete the ensemble with my butterfly jewelry that Christian bought for me—my third time wearing it in a week and it compliments my promise ring very nicely. I only needed a small amount of concealer to cover the bruising around my eye thanks to Gail’s miracle tea.

Christian has arranged for the shuttle to take us to Da’Vida, a beautiful five-star restaurant on Crocus Bay. We’re almost immediately the center of attention when we enter the restaurant. It’s no secret that you did not come to Da’Vida if you can’t afford it, but apparently Christian and I may be a tad overdressed for an island dining experience—even a five-star island dining experience. Christian is looking edible in his Alfani gray sharkskin slim fit pants and Arrow New York black dress shirt with Stacey Adams Valencia sandals. Men and women alike are silenced as we’re led through the restaurant to our table. Oh, well… don’t hate us because we’re beautiful.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is very welcoming. Wind chimes sing from beautiful wooden beams, the rich smell of which complement the soft music coming from a live band. I am, of course, drawn to the soothing water wall—a floor-to-ceiling stone creation where water cascades down the stones and are collected into the pool at the foot of the fountain. Ambient light cast a yellow-orange hue into the warm setting—like a sunset. You can hear the waves from the beach as you enter, and you can choose to go to the bar on your left furnished with sofas and comfortable chairs for lounging and socializing, or to the elegant dining area on your right, dimly lit and accented by candlelight.

Christian and I feast on Asian shrimp dumplings and tropical seafood chowder as appetizers. The entire time, he gazes at me like he wants to take me on the table right there and then. He kisses my hand several times, twirling the ring he had placed there earlier that day. I can tell that he’s so proud to see it on my finger. It solidifies for him that my heart is his and no one else’s. I love being tagged as Christian’s. I love that he feels that possessiveness over me that makes me feel desired and cherished. I love that he would protect me from the world if he could. I know that I made the right choice in loving this man, not that I had an option… my heart made the decision for me.

We gaze longingly and lovingly into each other’s eyes while playing with each other’s hands and fingers and sipping delicious aged Caribbean rum from sifters. Since my alcohol tolerance is pretty low, I’m careful to only take a small amount of the delicious libation. By the time our entries are served, I could swear that everyone in the restaurant is captivated by us. I try not to pay too much attention, but it’s hard not to notice a room full of people attempting to go unnoticed while stealing glances in your direction. Christian and I share half servings of coconut crusted scallops, Little Bay pan seared snapper, grouper, Katouche crayfish tails, blackened Fiji shrimp, and grilled vegetable salad with goat cheese fritters. The food is utterly divine. We feed each other from various plates until we have had our fill of the tastes of the sea.

Christian leads me to a clearing on the floor where we make our own makeshift dancing space while the waitstaff clears our entries. The band plays a smooth island sound with calypso undertones while Christian and I sway softly in each other’s arms.

“Did I tell you how beautiful you look tonight?” he says, one arm protectively around my waist, the other clasping my hand and holding it close to my chest.

“Several times, but don’t let that stop you,” I coo, matching the sexy, coy smile that he’s giving me.

“I just want to hold you in my arms and never let you go. Protect you and shield you from all the bad in the world.” His eyes whisper promises to my heart.

“I would love nothing better, Mr. Grey, but we live in the real world and we both know that’s not going to happen… though it’s a wonderful thought.” I tiptoe and kiss him tenderly on the lips. He puts his forehead on mine and closes his eyes.

“I love you, Anastasia Rose Steele. I’ll never let anything happen to you again.” I know he’s still feeling the guilt of what happened last weekend… the kidnapping and the beating. This is complicated by the fact that I have now had a nightmare about Harris. There’s really nothing he could do to prevent that. If anything, it was my fault for foolishly leaving security behind when I knew that a psychopath was out to get me.

“I love you, too, Christian Trevelyan Grey… and I believe you.” I know he needs to hear it. He needs to know that I totally understand that he will do everything in his power to protect me and to keep me safe, and that makes me love him more.

“Thank you,” he whispers pulling me closer to him and bringing his lips to my cheek where they rest the entire time we dance. I really do feel safe and loved when I’m in his arms. I lean into his lips as he repeatedly places tender kisses on my cheek. Both arms now move around me and he splays his hands over my back, pulling me closer into him.

“My Ana,” he whispers into my ear and I gasp for the closeness and the warmth, his breath and his words sending shivers down my back as I slide my fingers into his hair. I feel like I’m literally floating on a cloud as the summer beach breeze blows through the building and we glide softly in our own world to a smooth calypso melody.

*-*

“Dinner was wonderful, Christian. Thank you.”

“Anything for my girl,” he says as he tips the shuttle driver and closes the car door once I get out. We realize that we’re the first to return from our evening out as Christian gave the staff the night off so that we could dine together.

“Would you like some wine, Ms. Steele?” Christian asks.

“Yes, Mr. Grey, I would. Thank you.” I smile at him as he goes to the kitchen for wine. I take off my shoes and leave them in the great room with my clutch. I walk out the sliding doors and sit on the wide chaise near the pool, leaving the doors open so that Christian will know where I went. The silence of the night is very comforting, and I lay back on the chaise like those women in the roman art sculptures from my art history class. I’m living in the lap of luxury, vacationing where the rich and famous go… in the company of the most gorgeous and wonderful man on God’s green earth.

“There you are.” Speaking of whom…

He brings me a glass of sparkling champagne. I never know what we’re drinking here. I only know that imported wines cost a pretty penny here on the island, so you must be careful not to waste any. We take a few sips in silence. I know him well and he knows me. He’s thinking about my dream. He pulls my feet onto his lap and massages them deeply, first the pads and toes, then the heel, and finally the instep. The massage isn’t sensual, it’s relaxing… although any touch from Christian has the potential to make me want him. He moves up to my legs and massages my calves, paying attention to any tightness there. He moves his hands up to my thighs outside of my dress and quickly slides me across his lap.

“I just want to touch you… and kiss you… nothing more. Can I do that?” he asks, his arm around me, his free hand caressing various parts of my body, his lips brushing against mine. Surprisingly, that’s exactly what I want… for him to touch me, hold me, and kiss me.

“Yes, Christian, please,” I whisper, my hand on his cheek beckoning him to make good on his promise. He closes his lips over mine, sensuously molding my lips before his tongue begs entrance. I welcome the skilled, wet intruder that has brought my body so much pleasure in so many ways and is now caressing my mind in a way I haven’t felt before. His hands travel everywhere, exploring and kneading and discovering my body in different ways, as if there’s any part of my body that he doesn’t know very well and quite intimately. Somehow in our exchange, Christian has managed to get his shirt open and pulled from his pants.

“Touch me, Baby… please,” he breathes. My hand still on his cheek, I move it slowly and methodically down his face to his neck and then to his chest where I run my fingers deeply through the hair there, gently scratching the skin underneath. He lets out a fast gasp of air and sucks it in again. His lips are slack, and his eyes are closed, his face registering complete ecstasy. I move my hand to his nipple and tease it gently, feeling it stiffen under my touch. He hisses as if I am directly touching his erection, which coincidentally is growing under me now. I wiggle a bit to acknowledge its presence and he grabs my hips stopping the gyration.

“Ah! No, Baby. No.” Huh? “I just want to touch you… to feel you touch me… please.”

“But… I want you, Christian,” I mewl softly. He groans in his chest.

“I want you, too, Butterfly… so much, but tonight, I just need us to touch each other. Can you do that?”

Oh, this will be torture. My body craves this man on a regular basis and tonight has been an absolutely perfectly perfect night—the date and the romance, the attention and the emotion. As I sit on his lap, I think about dancing at Da’Vida—making a dance floor where there was none so that we could share that moment in each other’s arms. Our love spread through the restaurant so that other couples eventually joined us, getting lost in each other the same way Christian and I did. We could finish this night with him buried inside me, both of us chasing our release… but he needs a different kind of connection. I don’t know why, but he needs to feel me in a different way tonight. It’ll be hell denying myself the benefit of his sexual symphony, but I can do this. I can give him this connection that he needs and enjoy his closeness at the same time. I take a deep breath and steady myself—coaching my libido to please, please take the night off.

“Yes, Baby. I can do that,” I whisper, trying to find strength in my own words because I want this man… so much… but I’ll be strong tonight and seek the connection that he’s looking for. He covers my mouth again with his and my hands travel to his hard, muscular back. He moans in my mouth as I run my hands up and down his rhomboids. I thought he would expire completely when I gently dig my fingers in and pull my nails across his back.

“Ah! Butterfly!” he breathes into my mouth and rewards me by taking a healthy handful of my ass and squeezing hard.

“Hah! Ah!” The sound is involuntarily. My libido is beginning to win but I push her back down again. It’s not time for you tonight, sister… maybe tomorrow. I can almost feel my body pout in protest. I grab his sweaty back and sink into his delicious kiss, moaning into his mouth as he moans into mine. I don’t get to release tonight, but I can’t deny the benefits of a full-on, no holds barred, make-out session with Christian Grey.

*-*

I wake the next morning completely naked and tied up in Christian Grey. We agreed to sleep naked because we needed the skin-to-skin contact after the passionate touching and the borderline sexual insanity that we were suffering by the end of the night. It was magical, though. Just being touched my him and simply allowing him to explore my body while I explored his. I never knew his legs were so defined… I mean, I knew, but I didn’t know. They’re like chiseled stone with a coating of velvety skin. The hills and valleys on his exquisite chest and back… and watching him roll his six-pack while he was trying to control his nature—it was magnificent. I sigh my contentment recalling the entire experience as I sink my body into his.

“What are you thinking about?” he mewls in my ear.

“Touching you last night. How much I enjoyed it,” I answer honestly. He moans.

“You make me feel so good,” he says, kissing my shoulder and pulling me into him. I don’t know if we’re continuing our restraint from last night, but the steely erection that’s beating a tattoo against my back is beckoning me in every single way.

“Why didn’t you want to make love last night?” I ask. He kisses my shoulder again, gently sinking his teeth into my wing and causing me to moan involuntarily. Shit, man, you have to stop that!

“I needed to just… feel you. I needed to have you close to me, to just feel your body with no other distractions. I didn’t know if I could do it. I had no idea it would be so hard for you, too,” he confesses. He can always read my body well and I know that he was aware how badly I wanted him last night.

“It was wonderful,” I admit. “Difficult, but wonderful… getting to feel you, to touch you, and having you touch me…”

“I need to touch you now, Butterfly,” he interrupts me as his hands reach around me and squeeze my nipple, the jolt of desire going straight from my breasts to my core. I’m instantly hot and wet for him, and if he expects me to hold out again like last night, he’s going to be disappointed.

“Oh, Christian, please…” I moan, pressing my breasts further into his hands.

“What is it, Baby? What do you want?” Oh, to hell with this.

“You! Inside me… I need you, now!” I almost wail. I don’t know how he does it, but somehow, I’m now on top of him, pressed hard against his chest and straddling him. He’s kissing me deeply and passionately and I feel his unyielding erection sliding inside my folds and relentlessly teasing my sex. I moan hard into his mouth.

“Christian, please!” I squeak when he pulls his lips from mine. My hands are resting on his pecks, my body pulled close to him and held in place by his strong arms.

“Keep your chest on mine. Don’t sit up,” he says, his voice a low, baritone whisper thick with lust and desire.

“Okay,” I breathe, barely able to contain myself. He reaches around me and positions himself at my opening. Simultaneously rocking his hips forward and pushing me down onto him, he enters me easily sliding into my super wet, hot center and filling me completely. We both cry out at the contact.

“Are you okay?” he croaks, his voice betraying his desire.

“Yes! Yes!” I breathe, afraid if I move too quickly in any direction, I’m going to come immediately.

“Don’t. Move,” he orders me, and I hear it in his voice. The Dom is there. Again, it shoots right to my center and my legs start to tremble.

“Yes, Sir,” I whimper. I feel his erection jump inside me at the address.

“Don’t. Come,” he continues. Oh, hell. I take a deep breath and again, close my eyes, try to steel myself and keep my libido at bay.

“Yes, Sir,” I whisper.

“Open your eyes,” he commands. My eyes shoot open and I look up into lust-filled storm gray nearly black dilated pupils. “Don’t close your eyes. Look at me.”

“Yes, Sir.” I’m going to implode from the anticipation. He opens his legs wide, causing mine to open as well—very wide. He grabs my butt with both hands and while his arms still hold me against him, he starts a deliberate, grinding, burning rhythm—in and out, in and out, deep and hard. It feels so good that I can barely breathe. The way my legs are wrapped around his, I couldn’t really move if I wanted to. The way he’s holding me against his body doesn’t give me much purchase either. The way he has me positioned so that my legs are open wide, and his erection is impaling me, I’m completely at his mercy… and it is glorious! His hands are digging into my ass cheeks and he is grinding into me viciously, pushing me down onto his pelvis and making me absorb all the pleasure since I am unable to move.

“Sir…” I whimper. He’s going to make me come. I can’t stop it.

“Quiet!” he growls as he continues to punish my throbbing pussy. He groans as he feels the quiver begin and starts to concentrate his movements. He’s trying to make me come.

“Ah! Sir… I…” my voice is so high, I don’t recognize it. This is torture… fabulous torture. I can’t speak, I can’t close my eyes, I can’t move, and I can’t come. My legs start to tremble violently.

“If you come, I’m going to spank you, Anastasia.” Okay, is that supposed to make me not come!? Have you met me!? I squeeze my hands on his chest, digging my nails into his pecks attempting to regain some control over myself.

“Ow, damn!” he says, slamming himself into me harder for my transgression. He brings his hand up to my mouth and forces his middle finger inside.

“Suck it!” he demands while still impaling my nether regions. I suck his finger hard trying to distract myself from the hot, hard fuck he’s giving me and the fact that I am about to come any minute. It’s not helping. It’s only making me think of sucking his dick… which is making me hotter.

“Open!” he breathes, his own imminent release heavy in his voice. I release his finger and he moves his hand back to my ass, now torturing that sensitive bundle of nerves with his newly wet finger.

“Ah, yes,” he says as he feels my body respond. “How much longer can you hold out, Anastasia?” he says, still masterfully holding me in place while his dick and his hand execute erotic torment. “I feel you squeezing my dick, baby. It feels so good.” he says as he grinds his pelvis into me.

“Haaahaaah. Oh God! Ooooh…!” I can’t take much more of this.

“You look so sexy trying not to come. Your eyes are begging me to let you release.” His voice is growling deeper. He’s racing to make me come before he does. There’s no way that I’m going to win this. I can already feel the burning and tingling starting in my toes and my pelvis. He knows that I’m trying to resist, so his wet finger breaks the barrier and slips past my sensitive rosebud into my ass. Combined with the punishing pounding of his throbbing dick, I’m seconds away from detonation!

“Uuuuugghaaahh!” I cry, signaling to all body parts that there will no longer be any fighting from this moment forward. In T minus 10… 9…

I close my eyes as the pleasure becomes too much for me to bear and my body starts to stiffen.

8… 7… 6…

The burning is wrapping around my hips following the trail of his fingers as he squeezes tightly, and I hear the primal grunting sounds of his pending orgasm.

5… 4… 3…

“Open your eyes!” he growls in a voice I don’t recognize. My eyes shoot open in shock at the sound of the stranger about to wreak total havoc on my pussy. As soon as I see the hunger in his eyes, the veins tightening in his forehead and neck indicating his imminent release, the party is over.

We have lift-off!

I howl in pleasure as a highly intense orgasm rips through my body. “Aide moi!” I cry as my entire body goes stiff against him and my pussy clenches violently while my legs tremble.

“Gah, yes!” Christian groans as he buries himself in me a few more times, then forcefully finds his release.

“Aaaaaahaaahaahaha shit!” He’s squeezing my ass and pressing me hard into him as his hips raise us both off the bed. I feel his hot cum spill into me and it has an almost dizzying effect on me. “Baby… fuck, baby!” he cries as he’s pumping into me in midair. “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” he grunts as we both jerk out the rest of our release. I collapse on his chest as he continues to stroke, grunting and coming for quite some time. His hips finally fall to the bed as he fights to catch his breath.

“Fuck, that was intense!” he pants.

“It was building all night,” I reply, exhausted.

“You came,” he admonishes.

“I know,” I breathe. “I couldn’t help it. I don’t know how I could resist.”

“I owe you a spanking.”

“I know.” I couldn’t fight right now if I wanted to.

“I think we are both too sated right now to even enjoy it,” he laughs.

“I think you’re right,” I concur.

“I will reserve my spanking for later. Agreed?”

“Agreed… although I don’t think you play fair,” I accuse. He raises my head to look at me.

“What do you mean?” he says, looking into my eyes.

“I had no chance of not coming. You pulled out a new position, new moves, and you were relentless—after you worked me up last night and then made me wait. I didn’t stand a chance,” I inform him.

“That’s the whole idea, Ms. Steele, to push you to your very limits to see how long you can hold out.”

“Yes, but you pushed me past my limit.” I point out. “I wasn’t even prepared for the possibility of denial until you were inside me telling me not to come,” I argue my point with logic and not malice. I mean, honestly, how can you truly argue with someone for making you have an orgasm that threatens to explode your head?

“I seem to remember a certain minx who shall remain nameless bringing me to my sexual brink many times before I was allowed to release,” he says, reminding me of our TPE two weeks ago.

“You are correct, Mr. Grey. But if you remember, I gave you a sexual safe word.” Realization dawns on his face. “You just launched a surprise attack on me with delectable sexual prowess and exploited my undeniable desire for you, unleashing sensuous hell on me and my burning, hot, horny body… and then told me not to come.” He squirms underneath me.

“I just came hard as fuck, but the way you just described that was so fucking hot!” he growls. I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Exactly… and that was just the description. Imagine being subjected to it!” I finish. He nods.

“Point taken, Butterfly. I’ll compromise. You have a spanking coming… but you have to ask for it.” I can deal with that.

“You’ve got yourself a deal.”

*-*

We’re taking breakfast on the patio again. It’s later than yesterday since we all went out last night and slept in… or fucked in… a little this morning. I stick to regular orange juice this morning as Gail comes floating out of the villa wearing an indigo goddess dress that crisscrosses over her breasts. She actually looks kind of hot in it. Did someone get laid last night?

“Good morning, Ana,” she chimes as she takes a seat at the table and pours herself some orange juice from the carafe.

“Well, good morning yourself! You’re in a good mood.” I smile at her and she blushes.

“I don’t know what you mean.” She says, coyly. I briefly examine her closely.

“Oh, you know exactly what I mean.” I say knowingly. “You’re glowing like a Christmas tree, and I certainly don’t remember hearing you and Jason enter last night.” She scoffed playfully at me.

“That would be because you were a bit distracted at the pool last evening, young lady!” she announces. Oh my god, they saw us. Now, I’m blushing.

“Well, it was very PG, thank you very much!” I defend.

“Just barely!” she clarifies. “If you two are that passionate at the pool—fully dressed—I don’t know how you manage to keep your hands off of each other.” I laugh loudly.

“We don’t!” I exclaim. “All he has to do is walk into a room and I’m a useless mound of goo!” I say, recalling our delightful morning session. Gail giggles at me.

“I’ve learned to control it as of late around Jason. After all, we do have the same employer, but it’s not easy,” she says, her voice husky. I giggle a bit, thinking of the times that I have seen her and Jason steal glances at one another when they think no one is looking. I think it’s wonderful the way that they look at each other and they work so well together in their separate capacities.

“So, where are the fellas this morning?” I ask. I know Christian should be down any minute and I have no idea where Chuck and Jason are.

“Jason was still getting dressed when I came to breakfast and I think Chuck may have had a bit too much fun last night. Mr. Grey is not going to be happy about that,” she says.

“What do you mean? What happened?” I ask.

Well, Jason and I heard him come in last night and it sounded like he was stumbling. I could be wrong…” she says.

“Oh, God. I hope you are. Christian will not be pleased with that at all if you’re not,” I concur, drinking some more of my orange juice.

“No, he wouldn’t. I realize that yesterday was his day off, but in his line of work, he always has to be ready to function. I would not call ‘hung over’ ready to function and neither would Mr. Grey!”

“Indeed,” I agree. At that moment, Gail gasps and her hand flies to her chest. What the hell is wrong? I’m about to ask if she’s okay when I catch a flicker of brilliant yellow and the unmistakable rainbow reflection of carats. My hand flies up to my chest, mimicking the action she had performed moments before. We’re both in a state of shock as we simultaneously point at each other and exclaim,

“Is that what I think it is!?”


A/N: Rhomboids are muscles along the back. I didn’t know so someone else might not know either.

Aide moi!”—”Help me!”

Make sure that you check out the pictures of the trip at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-the-trip-to-anquilla/ 

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

~~love and handcuffs

Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 23—Wedding Shenanigans

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. I hope you—as a fellow fan—enjoy it, too.

Chapter 23—Wedding Shenanigans

GREY

Where did you learn to do that?” I asked last night after Butterfly took me on the wildest ride I have ever had in my own Playroom. She had led me mindlessly to the shower in the en suite and washed me lovingly after she beat my ass and made me come so hard and long that my brain was scrambled. Afterwards, we lay in our bed in our bedroom, me on my stomach after she gently rubbed my aching butt with Arnica massage oil. “That’s something that you don’t learn overnight,” I continued nervously, not sure that I wanted to know how my Butterfly learned to master a cane so well.

She was fondling my back, and then she stopped at my question.

Michelangelo,” she responded. Micha-what? I leaned up on my arms and looked at her, frowning. She sighed heavily. “From the club? Michelangelo? I told him what I had in mind and he… she… he…” Okay, what the hell? “Fuck it, he taught me a few things.” I tried to sit up, but my butt hurts and my body aches. “Stay down, Christian…”

Excuse me, but…” I tried to interject.

Stay. Down. Christian.” She menacingly pronounced every word and I wasn’t really sure who I was dealing with. She didn’t call me Mr. Grey, but she had that voice… and my mind told me that it might be a better idea to stay down. I reluctantly laid back down on the bed never taking my eyes off of her. I needed to know details and I needed to know fast, before my imagination got the best of me.

I did my research when I saw how much pain turned you on. I saw your canes and I saw how you responded to the crop. I didn’t know how much you would be willing to take, but I wanted to try. I knew that I would punish you and I knew that I would use the cane on you. The paddle was trial and error, but I practiced on industrial strength latex water balloons. If they burst, I knew it was too hard.”

And the cane?” I asked. Anybody could swing a paddle. It’s takes a pro to wield a cane and elicit the feelings that she brought out in me. I should know… I am a pro.

A second-hand velvet cushion,” she said. “It shows the intensity and damage of each blow. Wolfgang likes pain with his pleasure, too, so Michel is very good with the cane.” I breathe a huge sigh. I’m not really sure how I feel about a man teaching my girl—my Domme—how to swing a cane, but the guy is gay and she practiced on pillows and balloons.

You didn’t think I practiced on a person, did you?” I stiffened when she asked that question. I had hoped that she hadn’t, but to be honest…

No… I didn’t. I knew that you wouldn’t do that to me. It’s just that you are so good at it. It’s like you have done it for years. I didn’t know how someone could be that good at it and not practice on another person, but you…” I laid my head back down on my folded arms and closed my eyes. “You never cease to amaze me…”

I am snapped back to the here and now and this damn rehearsal dinner by the sound of these fuckers drooling over my girl…

“Oh, shit, she is hot!”
“Damn, who dives into that every night?”
“I’m going to meet her in my dreams!”
“I bet I can tap that…”

Seven groomsmen. Seven fucking groomsmen and I only know three of them—Gary, Allen, and James—and the rest of them are ogling my woman. They’re not even being discreet about it. They’re all acting like horny ass dogs making comments right in earshot of me, and I can’t do a damn thing about it but sit here and listen. Butterfly, of course, is Maxine’s Maid of Honor, but some guy named Quincy is Phil’s Best Man. He went to school with this joker and they’ve been friends since they were kids. No amount of begging or convincing could get me into this wedding, and believe me, I tried—but I’ll have the last word. So enjoy it while you can, boys.

Butterfly is the last one to walk down the aisle before the flower girl and then Mandy walks down with Maxine’s father, standing in for Maxine as they are sticking to the tradition that the Bride will only walk down the aisle once when it’s her time. Mandy and Butterfly are very close since before she married Ana’s father and now, she’s almost like an honorary member of the “Scooby Gang” as Ana calls them… well, about as much as your pregnant stepmother can blend in with your friends, I guess.

The wedding planner has the wedding party run through the ceremony three times to make sure that everyone knows where they should be tomorrow, but by the third time, the bridal party—and Ana—look like they have had enough. I don’t know what happened back there in the vestibule, but Ana is sour-faced and a couple of the women almost look like they would rather be anywhere but here.

Butterfly wears the most provocative clothing and with these fuckers eye-fucking her tonight, I wish I could wrap her in a blanket and carry her out of here! She is wearing this gorgeous black lace sleeveless cocktail dress… not too much cleavage, cut about three inches above the knee, totally appropriate—and hot as hell! I feel like a troll compared to her in my midnight black jeans, black blazer, and white turtleneck. I’m beginning to feel like I should have worn a suit!

The rehearsal is nearly over and we’ll be going over to the Trellis in the Heathman for the rehearsal dinner. Tonight is the bachelor/bachelorette parties and I am sure that we all want to get to the festivities as soon as possible. However, I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to be social to the assholes that are drooling over my girl. She doesn’t seem too happy standing up there with the other bridesmaids, either. I suddenly get the feeling that she is going through the same thing I am when I see two of them look at me with salacious eyes. This is going to be a long ass wedding.

When the wedding planner finally dismisses us, that Quincy character makes a beeline over to my woman in an attempt to escort her from the church. That’s your job tomorrow, Sport… not tonight. Go grab one of those other horny women. This one is mine.

“I’ll take it from here,” I say to his back as he is trying to put the moves on my girl. She smiles widely up at me as Quincy looks over his shoulder to see where the voice is coming from.

“Can I help you, Friend?” he says, like I am interrupting him, which I am.

“No, but she can,” I say extending my hand to my Butterfly. She gladly takes it and walks around Quincy like he’s one of those orange construction cones in the street. “Surely you didn’t think she was here alone?” I added, matter-of-factly.

“Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know,” he says, tipping his head slightly at Butterfly and walking back to the other horny, drooling dogs. Butterfly sighs.

“Is it over yet?” she laments, dropping her head in her hands. I frown at her.

“Hey, what’s going on?” I ask. She shakes her head at me.

“I have to spend my night with a group of the most disrespectful women that I’ve ever met in my life.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, oh! Hell, those two on the end don’t even have enough class to feel ashamed of themselves,” she declares pointing obviously at the two salacious-eye women.

“You should hear what the men are saying about you,” I tell her. Her head jerks back.

“Excuse me?” she says, softly. I nod.

“Butterfly, you look absolutely delicious in that dress. Any one of those men would climb over me to get to you right now.” She smiles coyly at me then very deliberately outlines my lips with her forefinger while trailing her own with her tongue. Oh, fuck.

“Well, they would be wasting their time,” she says, seductively and my pants get tight in the groin area. I slip my arm around her waist and snatch her against me so that she can feel my erection. She gasps.

“Keep that up and I swear I’m going to fuck you right here,” I whisper the threat in her ear and feel her shiver in my arms when I gently kiss her neck, then her lips.

“Oh for God’s sake, you two, get a room!” Allen announces, turning all attention to us that wasn’t already focused in our direction. I kiss her again.

“Well, I would,” I retort, “but I have to spend my evening with you losers instead of wrapped in my girls arms…” I turn to look at her, “…and legs,” I add and I can almost hear panties—and spirits—dropping all over the room. “So, I’ll have to put a rain check on the room for tonight.”

“Promise?” she whispers in my ear.

“Oh, most certainly,” I say, my hand sliding down to her lace-clad ass. Eat this, fellas.

“Alright, alright, let’s get to dinner before Ana and Christian bang each other in the aisle,” Maxine adds with a laugh.


STEELE

“So that’s Christian Grey. He is even sexier in person.”
“Do you think he has a big dick? He looks like he does… look at his pants.”
“I bet he’s an incredible lover. He looks like he could fuck all night.”
“Oh my God, he has such a great ass! I would ride him to until the sun came up!”
“I bet I could give him a night he would never forget!”

Are you fucking serious? These bitches are standing right behind me talking this shit? And I have to spend the whole night with these whores? Give me a fucking break! This has been going on ever since Christian and the rest of the guys got here and these women have absolutely no shame. They know that he’s my boyfriend and they are still acting like uncooth hussies! I turn around and face all five of them and look each one in the face as I address their rude and inconsiderate statements.

“Yes, that is Christian Grey and he’s very sexy. Yes, he does have a big dick. Yes, he is an incredible lover. He can and does fuck all night. Yes, his ass is outstanding, but you will never get the chance to ride him… and you…” I glare at the last girl, “…would lose that bet!”

I understand that women want my man. Look at him, he flawless—but can you at least have enough home training to not disrespect me while I’m standing here?

“Ladies, can we agree that we know that Christian Grey is off limits and that you will attempt to try to control you wagging tongues, dripping panties, and out-of-control hormones so that we don’t ruin Maxine’s wedding?” Valerie questions the five horny hoes. They immediately start throwing dirty looks at me. “Oh, no! Don’t start throwing evil eyes at Ana. You were verbally molesting her man while she was three feet away from you! How would you feel if she did that to you?” Three of the girls immediately look chastised, but two still remain firm in their attitudes. Val walks over to the two and gets in their faces.

“Get it together, Girls, or we will throw you off of the party bus and you get to tell Maxine why.” She has pulled out a voice that I swear sounds like a Domme. almost heel to her tone. While she’s putting her foot in their asses, the other three are looking at me with eyes that clearly show they are ashamed of their actions. One of them even mouths “sorry” to me. That’s good enough. I don’t need a pound of flesh for this, not even from the bitches back there that won’t heel. Just don’t let this shit happen again.

I was only too happy when Christian came to rescue me from Quincy once the rehearsal dinner was over. I was sure that he knew that Christian and I were a couple, but he disavowed any such knowledge when Christian whisked me away from his possible clutches. Now, after that last display for “hungry cat” and “machismo” we just gave the wedding party, we are off to the rehearsal dinner at the Heathman.

I have to say, we are even worse sitting at the table with at least 30 people consisting of the wedding party and various members of Maxie and Phil’s families. I’m sitting so close to Christian that I am nearly in his lap. Every time I try to move away to be more appropriate, he pulls me back to him and kisses me somewhere just barely appropriate—my neck, behind my ear, my shoulder, my hair. Fuck, I wish I could ditch this damn hen party, but my duties lie with the bride. I’m sure we have thoroughly made our point to all of the hopefuls standing in line to get a crack at either of us—it ain’t happenin’.

“So, Anastasia,” Selena nearly barks my name from across the table. She is one of the bitches that never apologized for eye-fucking my man. “When are you and Christian going to make the big commitment?” Oh my God, I want to die. The table falls silent. Thirty damn people and the table falls silent while this bitch sits there smirking at me. My body tenses immediately and I was going to say something back to her, but Christian puts his hand on my arm bringing me to immediate silence.

In that combination CEO/Dom voice of his, he asks her, “Who are you and what business is that of yours?”

Whoa! Stand back, folks, there a blazin’ about ta happen! She just pissed him off. Various people react in silent awe of what just happened, and my friends all look at each other, silent signals passing between them. What the fuck just happened?

I turn my glare back to Selena and wait for her response.

“I’m sorry,” she says barely above a whisper. “I wasn’t trying to be rude.”

“Oh, but you were trying,” he retorted. “You just didn’t expect me to call you on it.” Now, she’s shrinking in her chair.

“Baby…” I say, reaching over and touching his hand. He squeezes mine in return.

“It’s okay, Butterfly. I won’t eviscerate her, but at least now she knows that if she ever tries to publicly undermine someone’s relationship again, she publicly deserves whatever she gets.” He’s glaring at her and she never raises her head. Needless to say, no one dare make a comment like that towards us for the rest of the night, but I know that Christian won’t be there to defend my honor as we go hopping around the city this evening. So I prepare myself for a not-so-fun night out with the girls.

“Behave yourself,” I whisper into Christian’s ear as we are saying our goodnights after the rehearsal dinner. He gently brushes his lips against mine before kissing me softly, leaving me longing.

“You, too,” he says. “I’ll see you tomorrow. Try not to kill anyone tonight, Tiger.”

“I’ll try, and I know the men can get raunchy, too, so don’t blacklist anyone or ruin anybody’s business or whatever you rich, powerful, CEO types do when people piss you off.” I smile and he kisses me again.

“Okay, okay, you love him, he loves you. Let’s go. You’ll see him in 16 hours. You’re holding up the party!” Val literally snatches me out of Christian’s arms and drags me to the party bus. I want to slap her, but Christian’s just smiles and waves at me.

We have rented the extra, extra large Executive party bus from Creative Bus and it is fantastic! It holds 26 people—plush seating and funky creative lighting. I fully stocked the bar and actually hired a bartender to serve us. I’ve loaded up my iPod and plugged it in to the bus’s docking station and we have a party going on—complete with high end hors d’oeuvres and desserts. We ride around for a little while, playing games, letting loose and acting crazy. After about 40 minutes, Maxie stands up to make an announcement.

“Okay, my lovelies. Now that we are pretty well… lubricated…” The girls howl at her choice of words. We are all beginning to get a bit tipsy and the party hasn’t even started yet. “We are going to go to our first destination. Now, I have my well-known, fairly famous maid of honor here…” More howling from the ladies, “…and I don’t want my hen party crashed by the paparazzi. So, to that end, we will all be wearing masks tonight.”

The girls begin to frown and question among themselves until Maxie starts to pull out the masks—the most beautiful assortment of Moulin Rouge style masquerade masks you have ever seen…

And the howling starts again.

“Oh my God, these are fabulous!”
“I want this one! It’s perfect for my skin tone!”
“Who came up with this idea? This is genius!”
“I want the little one. I don’t want to mess up my hair…”

Maxie and I had already chosen our masks. Maxie’s is a white and silver Venetian mask with clear and silver beads hanging down the sides, rhinestones around the eyes, and beautiful beadwork across the top. My mask is black with filigree-like designs on the left side while the right side front is decorated in rhinestones around the eye, and the far right, top, and bottom of the mask bursts out into a black hollowed butterfly… what else?

Our first stop—KARAOKE!

To be honest, I don’t even know where we were! I looked around, I saw Chuck, I didn’t care. Of course, we were the center of attention when we got inside—a bunch of hot women wearing Venetian masks and making a lot of noise. We were cheering on the singers and dancing and acting a fool! That’s when I noticed that we were having way more fun than I expected… where’s Selena?

“Maxie?” I say leaning into her and gaining her attention. “Did Selena get lost?”

“No,” she says, her voice slurring just a bit. “After her foot-in-mouth-itis at the rehearsal dinner, she suddenly ‘fell ill’ and agreed to meet us all at the Four Seasons after she ‘rests.'” Neither of us believed that garbage and it was clear that Maxie wasn’t missing her so, on with the show!

Speaking of show, right before we left Karaoke, we all got on stage and sang Count On Me. Not even one of us sounded like Whitney Houston or Cee Cee Winans.

We are back on the party bus and off to another locale, a little place called Brouwer’s Cafe—lots of dancing, great crowd, and Maxie ended up sitting on the bar drinking shots. No, not at the bar… on the bar. After a while, one of the security detail had to get her down because she was surrounded by men trying to get a kiss from the “bride to be.”

We danced and drank for quite a while at Brouwer’s before boarding the party bus again and making fools of ourselves on the pole in the back of the bus—a bunch of drunken, non-coordinated women trying to pole dance in a moving bus. It’s a wonder none of us ended up in traction!

We visited maybe six clubs—one of which we were thrown out of because the clientele didn’t appreciate our masks. They thought we were being separatists or elitists which, in a way, we were, but not because we didn’t want to mingle. We just didn’t want to be recognized, and we weren’t bothering anybody. Needless to say, the bulky bodyguards in black suits didn’t help. We started literally getting heckled by the guests just for sitting at the table. After about ten minutes, someone who I suppose is the owner comes over to analyze the disturbance and tells us that we had to leave.

“Excuse me, Sir,” Val says, “but we’re not doing anything wrong. We haven’t ordered a drink, we haven’t said anything to anyone… we just sat down.”

“I’m sorry, but you’re disturbing my customers!” he says, forcefully.

“How!?” Val protests. “We’re not doing anything.”

“Your presence is causing a disturbance,” he says, clearly putting on a show for the other patrons, who have now began to take on the “ugly mob” mentality. Val wants to argue more, but I put my hand on hers. I swear I must have drank enough to lay to lumberjacks on their asses tonight, but at this moment, I am cold sober.

“We’ll leave. Let’s go.” I say quietly. She looks at me and stands, realizing that it’s better to just leave than to cause a scene.

These fucking bastards start cheering. Maxie is near tears. I let the other ladies leave before me and purposely wait until the last of them is on the party bus. I turn around still inside the establishment and gesture Chuck to follow me. I march back into the bar where Mr. Owner Guy stands with his arms folded glaring at me. This is one time that I hope this fucking media fodder has done its job. I gingerly untie my mask and take it off.

Yep—somebody knows who I am.

There are a few gasps in the room, and yes, Mr. Owner Guy knows, too. I can hear my name, Christian’s name, Green Valley, that fucking AnaChris—yeah, they know.

“So, now you know why we were wearing the masks. I couldn’t very well wear one alone, now could I?” I say to the speechless man with his mouth gaping open. The party has stopped… even the music stopped. I speak very softly to him.

“You say that we were disturbing your patrons. We don’t know how or why we were disturbing them, but we were aware that our presence was disturbing. We would have left anyway. We didn’t need the added humiliation of you throwing us out for no reason whatsoever. My friend is getting married tomorrow. This was part of her bachelorette party. We just wanted to have a couple of drinks without being mobbed by paparazzi. I’m just glad that the clubs we went to before this didn’t treat us this way.” I turn to Chuck. “Make sure Christian knows about this.” I say to him.

As I am indignantly marching out of the club, I heard Chuck tell him, “Man, you have no idea who you just pissed off, but you will by tomorrow.”

Within moments, I was back on the party bus and the mood was somber at best.

“Oh, the hell with this! Turn on the music. Frank, start pouring drinks! This shit is not going down like this. If those fucking bastards don’t want our money and don’t know how to handle themselves in a presence of a gaggle of gorgeous women, fuck ’em!” I declare loudly. The ladies cheer in agreement and just like that, the party is live again. “Justin, get us the fuck out of here!” I yell to the driver.

“Yes Ma’am!” he says, and the party is on its way to the Four Seasons.

*-*

We have rented out two floors—one for sleeping and one for a combination of sleeping and partying with security spread out on both floors. Once my inebriated friends and the rest of the bridal party get inside, I gesture for Chuck and my purse.

“Justin, Frank, thank you for everything. Its was a wonderful night and you both did a fantastic job to deal with 12 drunken women.” I hand them each $500.

“Ms. Steele, the gratuity is included in your payment, Ma’am,” Frank protests and Justin nods.

“I know, but the gratitude is here,” I say closing both of their hands over the money. “Thank you.” I smile and they smile back and nod once politely.

“Our pleasure, Ma’am,” Justin says. I turn around and walk into the hotel with Chuck.

Up on the 10th floor, the party continues in the largest suite on the floor. The drunken ladies are at it again and there is no reminder of the events that happened not an hour earlier. We’ll let Mr. Grey handle that, as I know that he won’t let this go by quietly. I hadn’t even gotten my first re-inebriation libation down when one of the damn guards is knocking at the door. What the fuck is it? I’m not really pleased at what I see on the other side of the door.

“Ms. Saunders?” The officer asks. Two of them, in fact.

“Nope,” I say, opening the door and pointing over my shoulder with my thumb to the rowdy crown of women behind me. They breeze past me and they don’t fool me for one second. I stand there and watch them talk to the gaped-mouth women and the moment Officer What-The-Fuck-Ever-His-Name-Is rips off his tearaway pants, I am out of there.

I don’t know who all of these guards are, but there is one standing outside of our door.

“Where’s Chuck?” I ask him. He points down the hall.

“The elevator, Ms. Steele,” he says.

“Thanks,” I say. He nods.

“You’re welcome, Ma’am.” I walk towards the elevator and see Chuck standing there typing away at his phone. He raises his head and frowns when he sees me walking toward him.

“What are you doing out here?” he asks. “I know I just sent two fake cops to that room.”

“Yeah. Strippers aren’t really my thing,” I say, remembering with horror the fiasco that was my birthday party last year. I never really was a big fan of male strippers, but that incident turned me off forever. “There will be no strippers at my bachelorette party—whenever it may be. Anyone who even suggests a stripper will be banned from the wedding.”

“That bad, huh?” he says. I nod.

“That bad, but no use in stopping everyone else’s fun, right? Who are they?”

“Valerie ordered them—a couple of Med school students. Harmless.” I nod leaning against the wall.

“That’s good to know. Besides that asshole at the last bar, did we have any problems tonight?” I ask.

“You mean besides the nightmare of following 12 rowdy, drunk, and now horny women around all night? No, it was a piece of cake,” he says, and I laugh.

“Well, at least we’re all in one place now and we will most likely sleep until noon!”

“Well, yes, there is that,” he says. I sit in one of the seats placed in the hallway for the security patrol.

“What’s been the word from Christian?” I ask. I know he probably blew a gasket when he heard what happened to us at that club. I’m surprised he didn’t call me.

… Unless he’s having too much fun.

Unwelcome thoughts of that nasty strip-o-gram come to mind and I push them away. I’m not going to police this man’s behavior and I’m not going to worry about if some scantily-clad bimbo is gyrating on his lap right now. I shake my head in an effort to shake the thought.

“I rarely hear from Mr. Grey directly, Ana. It’s mostly Jason. He called right after I sent the text about what happened in the bar. Near as I can tell, that place is going to be persona non grata in less than a week.” I nod.

“I won’t lose any sleep,” I say. “We were potential paying customers just like everyone else in that establishment and we didn’t deserve to be treated that way.” I push my hair off of my forehead to make room for my hand. The elevator rings and another member of the security team reports something to Chuck about the girl downstairs who fucked the bellhop and sent him away.

That must be Selena. She’s the only “girl downstairs” right now.

“Classy,” I say aloud.

“I’ll say,” Chuck repeats. I hear the elevator ring and it’s Ben. He’s clearly surprised to see me in the hallway.

“Is everything okay?” he asks, covertly but not-so-covertly questioning my presence.

“Ms. Steele doesn’t do well with strippers,” Chuck says.

“Oh?” he says, surprised. I look up at him. “I’m sorry. I just don’t know of many women who wouldn’t at least watch.”

“Well, now you know one,” I say impassively, rubbing my head again. I hear Ben report something to Chuck and he leaves down the hall.

“So, you’re in charge tonight,” I say, more of a statement than a question. He nods.

“Just over here with you and the ladies. You’re going to rub a fire into your skin if you don’t stop, Ana.” The elevator rings again… more guards to report to Chuck, I think to myself.

“Oh… just trying to rub away some old ghosts, I guess…” Actually, not so old.


GREY

I don’t do titty bars. I never have and I never will. So there was no amount of coaxing that could be done that could convince me take this crew to a strip club. I could see Butterfly gasping at the headlines now…

Grey seen in local strip club. Is this the end of AnaChris?

They have been brutal with digging for details on Green Valley. She has been handling things pretty well so far. How in the hell do they plan to do the party route tonight with Ana in tow and not get clipped by the paps? She doesn’t know she has a small fucking army following her. Twelve women, eight guards. She thinks it’s only five. I thought she knew me better than that. Jason is with me tonight but he is on duty. I felt like I should at least have him and Williams, but all of these men can take care of themselves.

“What’s the word?” I ask him.

“Karaoke was uneventful. The women are getting pretty pickled. They are all wearing those masquerade masks, so no one knows who they are.” Good one! I never would have thought of that.

“No gropey idiots?” I question.

“Well, there’s always one or two, but nothing to be concerned about. The biggest thing is that Ms. Saunders had to be removed from off of the bar a little while ago.” I throw a questioning look at him. “She wasn’t dancing on it or anything like that. She was just sitting on it, but a few more shots and there may not have been a wedding tomorrow due to a blootered bride.” I laugh a little. Maxine is letting her hair down. That’s pretty funny.

We take the party to the McElvoy—harmless enough since I own the club. Of course, the atmosphere changes when I walk in. Nearly all of the staff know that I’m part owner, but not all of them. Elliot always likes to throw his weight around as my big brother, trying to get VIP treatment, but it doesn’t always work. I can just about hear panties dropping as we walk through the club. There are about 14 of us and none of us are unattractive. This place can be sort of meat-marketish on Friday and Saturday nights and believe me, I see the “baby-daddy” look in more eyes that I want to right now.

I make eye-contact with absolutely no one.

“Elliot!” I hear some woman shriek from off to the right. Elliot turns to follow the voice and grimaces immediately.

“Um… hi… um…” Fucked that many, have you, Elliot? I remember the name of every single woman that Greystone has ever encountered.

“Cheryl!” she hisses putting her hands on her hip.

“Okay, Cheryl,” he says, noncommittal.

“You never called me,” she says, pouting.

“Sorry.” He doesn’t even remember who you are, Lady.

“Any chance we can pick up where we left off?” she says tracing the buttons on his shirt.

“Um, sorry, Cheryl. I’ve got a girlfriend.” What? Did he just say that out loud? Cheryl huffs at him.

“Well, what are you doing here?” she snarls.

Well, first of all, it’s a free country. The last I checked, this was a nightclub, not a ‘come and fuck me’ club, so I am free to come here if I want to… especially since my brother owns it. However, if you must know, I am here for a private bachelor party.” That got her attention, especially since she’s watching all of this man meat parading past her.

“Oh! Can my friends and I join you guys? I have some really good-looking girlfriends,” she flirts. Good God, have you no shame, Woman? Are you pimping out your girlfriends!? Time to end this conversation.

“Thank you, um… Cheryl,” I interject, putting my hand on the shoulder of a relieved Elliot, “but we’ve got it covered. Like he said, it’s a private party.” She glares at me.

“And who are you?” she spits at me as if she were appalled that I dare speak. Elliot drops his head and chuckles.

“I would be the brother that he mentioned—you know, the one that owns this club.” I say, glaring at her. Without waiting for a response, I add, “Before you start throwing that misplaced righteous indignation around, you should probably remember that you just offered yourself and your girlfriends up on a silver platter to a bunch of strangers.” I’m frowning at her now. I look over to Elliot. “Where do you find these women?” I ask him right in front of her.

“In your club!” Elliot laughs. I shake my head.

“Well, maybe I should talk to security about a blacklist,” I say looking over at Cheryl one last time and then proceeding to the VIP area.

“Bye, Cheryl,” I hear Elliot say behind me. “It’s been… well… bye.” Wow. That was quietly harsh, and funny as hell.

We get to the VIP room and the servers are already there taking drink orders. The ladies’ shirts are open a couple of extra buttons, but hell, whatever you have to do to get a tip, I guess. The drinks are flowing and the bragging and talking begins. That’s when we discover that some of our gentlemen have no filter.

“Man, no offense but your girlfriend’s hot!” One of the groomsmen say. I didn’t bother getting to know them by name—except for Quincy since he’s walking my girl back down the aisle. Security knows everything about them, but there’s nothing I needed to know.

“I know she is,” I say, taking a swallow of my drink.

“How’d you manage to land that?” he keeps going. I look impassively at him.

“No need for you to be concerned with that.” I’m trying not to cause a scene, but this guy keeps pressing me. Luckily, Philip is nearby and can hear the conversation.

“For the love of God, Man, they were all over each other all night,” Philip says. “Are you really having this conversation right now? Really?” His voice is full of disbelief.

“I’m just saying, Man…” the guy weakly tries to defend himself. “She’s hot.”

“No. What you’re just saying is that you would like for me to beat your ass for egging me on and then you would like for my bodyguard over there to beat your ass, and when we’re done, you’d like for us to pour your ass into a plane and send you back to wherever the fuck you came from.” I respond. A smirk comes over his face.

“Go ahead. I’ll just sue your ass,” he says. I lean in to him.

“It’ll be worth ever dime to beat your ass, and trust me, I will beat you within an inch of your life and I’ll leave the scraps for him.” I gesture to Jason. At this point, I remove my suit jacket, just in case he wants to take me up on that offer. His eyes widen a bit and I realize that my suit jacket was a bit of a camouflage of my physique underneath.

“Shit, Fred,” Philip exclaims. “You’re ruining my fucking night! You’re the goddamn King of Inappropriate. I knew I shouldn’t have invited you. Now shut the fuck up before you get thrown out of the party and the wedding!” Fred takes another look at me, trying not to show that his resolve is slipping, but finally shuts his big mouth. Asshole.

Did they open the doors to the goddamn loony bin and let the crazies out on furlough tonight? It’s not bad enough that both Ana and I have to deal with the eye-fucking all weekend, but on top of that, people are saying the most inappropriate things to us tonight. What the hell—is there a full moon!?

As I am pondering my thoughts, more drinks arrive along with more women. It looks like Phil’s groomsmen got him one of those cheesy cake strippers. I’ve never seen one myself—a woman popping out of a cake—but I just sit back at the bar and let the men have their fun. As it turns out, Candy brought her friends… and lots of them. I don’t know if that is her real name, but most often where you find strippers, somewhere you’ll find a “Candy.” Phil, of course, enjoys a good show I can tell, even though he won’t touch the young lady. One of them did saunter over to me, but I thanked her and politely declined her invitation. She was classy enough and respected my wishes, smiling and wishing me a good evening.

She has more poise than that Cheryl chick. Go figure…

Allen comes over to the bar area with me and orders another drink.

“Allen, you have to explain something to me,” I say, drinking more bourbon and getting a little tipsy by now. “You were all over that stripper, giving her money and doing catcalls… do you swing both ways?” Allen giggles—yes, giggles at my question.

“No!” he says laughing. “Even if I did, I wouldn’t grope some woman while my boyfriend was here. Plus, I could never cheat on James. I’m in love with him.” I don’t know if that’s TMI or not, but it’s pretty obvious that they are quite smitten with each other, so it’s not like this is news. “What was the question? Oh! Yeah! No, I’m not bi, but believe me. I do appreciate a fine specimen of woman. A hot girl is a beautiful sight to behold—a naked hot girl, even more so, even though I have no desire to fuck her.” Oh boy, he’s drunk. He’s funny when he’s drunk.

“I don’t get it though,” now I’m getting a little drunk. “It’s like a diabetic going to a candy store. It’s something just out of reach.”

“No…” he says like he’s thinking really hard. “It’s more like a diabetic going to a candy museum…” Oh, he is toasted—a candy museum? “He admires the beauty and form of all of the candy even though he’s not going to eat any.” Okay, I must be a little snockered, because that made sense.

“Um, Sir… are you okay?” Jason asks as he approaches the bar.

“A little on the ‘happy’ side, but yes, I’m fine,” I tell him.

“A word?” Oh hell, what now?

“That’s my cue.” Allen rises from the barstool. “I’m going back to the Candy Museum. Try not to kill anyone, Chris,” he says as he walks away from the bar. Jason turns to me.

“Candy Museum?” he questions, tilting his head.

“Don’t ask,” I wave him off. “What’s up?”

“It appears that the ladies had a bit of trouble tonight.” What?

“Be more specific, please,” I hiss. Ignoring my ire, Jason continues.

“They were kicked out of a bar called the Heirloom. Apparently, the other guests didn’t like the fact that they were wearing masks and began to jeer at them… in masse—you know how the mob mentality works. Anyway, the owner noted the situation and kicked the ladies out, stating—and I quote—’you are disturbing my customers.'” I frown.

“Let me see if I understand you correctly. The customers were angry because they were wearing masks and started to verbally attack them?”

“Yes, Sir,” he confirms.

“Then the owner comes out, blames the ladies for the barbaric behavior of his customers and kicks them out.”

“That sounds right, Sir.”

“Did he even ask them what the problem was? Did he request that any of them remove their masks since they were causing such a disturbance?” I’m getting angrier and angrier by the second.

“Not that I can tell, Sir. They wouldn’t have taken their masks off anyway. They were trying to protect Her Highness’ identity, which turned out to be futile because she took off her mask anyway.”

“She what!?” What the fuck?

“Apparently, Maxine left the venue crying which pissed Her Highness off. After she put them all back on the bus, she and Chuck went back to the owner where she removed her mask in the middle of the joint, thus explaining—without explaining—why everyone was wearing masks. A lot of the patrons as well as the owner recognized her, after which she scolded him for humiliating Maxie during her bachelorette party and quickly left the scene. They are back at the Four Seasons now.” Shit. Their party is over because of some haughty bastard bar owner. He won’t be too haughty by the end of next week.

Remember that loony bin comment? Yeah…

“Is she okay, now?” I ask.

“As far as I can tell, yes. There has been no update from Chuck that things are going badly.” I shake my head. I don’t want to leave the party, but I can check on Butterfly and be back before these drunkards notice that I’m gone.

“Let’s go Jason.”

*-*

Five minutes away from the Four Seasons, I have Jason text Lawrence to get an update on if I will be mobbed by staff when I get there and to tell Davenport to get Butterfly alone so that I can talk to her. As we are entering the lobby, Jason tells me that she is already in the hallway with Davenport.

“Why?” I say, knowing that my voice sounds cross.

“Well, the strippers showed up about 10 minutes ago, and she wanted none of it. She’s sitting in the hallway fidgeting and rubbing her forehead as we speak,” he says. God, you’re such an asshole, Grey. Not only did my mind immediately go the suspicious route, but me and my “teach-her-a-lesson” attitude at our birthday party in October has made it so that she can’t even enjoy the night with her friends. I know that she would never be unfaithful to me and, like Allen says, harmless admiration doesn’t hurt. Instead, she’s sitting in the hallway, no doubt reliving the whole damn thing over again.

The elevator announces its arrival at the 10th floor and I hear her before I see her.

“I’m sorry. I just don’t know of many women who wouldn’t at least watch.” I don’t know which voice that is, but it had better be one of my security staff since no one else is supposed to be allowed on this floor.

“Well, now you know one,” That’s my Butterfly. I about to step out of the elevator when she says, “So, you’re in charge tonight.”

“Just over here with you and the ladies. You’re going to rub a fire into your skin if you don’t stop, Ana.” That’s Davenport. The elevator rings and I realize that the doors are about to close and take us back down. When I step off, her hand is on her forehead—her tell—and her head is down. She hasn’t noticed that I’m there.

“Oh… just trying to rub away some old ghosts, I guess,” she says, slightly mournfully.

“Anything I can do to help?” I ask softly. Her head shoots up immediately. She makes eye-contact with me but doesn’t say anything. “Aren’t you happy to see me?”

She bolts out of her seat and launches herself into my arms, just like she did that day at her apartment when I kicked David out.

“I guess that’s a ‘yes,'” I say, wrapping my arms around her and inhaling her scent. She doesn’t say anything and she’s not crying. She just holds me for several moments.

“What are you doing here?” she finally asks, her face buried in my shoulder.

“I wanted to make sure you were okay. I heard about Heirloom,” I respond.

“I knew that you would,” she says, her voice still muffled. “Aren’t they going to miss you at the McElvoy?”

“No, they’re pretty well occupied right now.” She pulls her head back.

“What going on?” she asks.

“Pretty much the same thing that’s going on here,” I say, looking into her questioning eyes. “You can participate, you know. I was an asshole. I should never have reacted that way. I don’t want to spoil your good time because I acted like a fucking caveman one stupid night.” Her expression softens.

“I’ll admit honestly that the incident soured me forever to male strippers, but I was never really a fan. There’s no appeal to it for me. There never has been… even less so, now.” Was that supposed to make me feel better? My girlfriend has such grace and poise…

“So now you can’t even sit in the room with your friends and watch them make a fool of themselves over a couple of hardbodies?” I say with an insincere smirk. She giggles a little at that.

“Don’t fret over me, Christian. Besides, I have my own hardbody,” she says, running her nails across my pecks over the turtleneck. Woman…

“That you do, Ma’am. That you do.” Down, Greystone. Jason, Davenport, and Lawrence have all discreetly decide that a private conversation a few doors down is much more interesting than mine and Butterfly’s exchange. I sink my hands into her hair and kiss her deeply. She drives men crazy, almost to the point of wanting to be beaten senseless and placed on a plane to No Man’s Land. She drives me utterly insane, making me totally unaccountable for my actions. I won’t fuck her… I won’t fuck her…

I reluctantly pull my lips back from hers and rub my nose against her nose. “I… just wanted to make sure you’re okay. I’m going to make sure that fucker never forgets the day that he threw you out of his bar,” I say, trying to control my hormones.

“I’m normally not a vengeful person, but this time, I’m counting on it.” She looks up at me. “I could have taken it if it were just me, Christian—people are just rude sometimes—but this is the night before Maxie’s wedding. She should be celebrating and that place brought her to tears. She was humiliated. Quiet as it’s kept, I’m glad the strippers showed up. They are not my cup of tea, but they helped to get the party back on track.” I stroke her face.

“See? I told you, not a selfish bone in your body, Doctor.” I lift her chin and kiss her gently. “Thank you for loving me, Butterfly,” I breathe. She takes handfuls of my hair and pulls my lips back down to hers, kissing me hungrily.

So much, Grey,” she whispers, her eyes closed and her forehead resting on mine. “So much.” We stand there in that position for a while, just breathing each other in.

“I really need to get back,” I tell her reluctantly. “We’ve had an interesting night, too. Nothing as dramatic as your night, but I would like to get these gentlemen back to the Fairmont in one piece.” She nods.

“Christian, I have a burning question that I need to ask you. Why the sudden interest in this wedding? You weren’t this involved with Daddy’s wedding, but you stole this reception right out from under me.” I laugh nervously. Divert, divert, divert.

“I wouldn’t say that I stole it, Butterfly. I promise that it still has all of your basic nuances. I just made a few key changes to… enhance the evening. You are going to love it.”

“That still doesn’t tell me why,” she presses. I shrug.

“We needed it.” She looks at me, bemused. “Me and your friends, we needed it. You and Valerie never fell out, and she’s under Elliot 25 hours a day. I see her all the time. It’s easy to mend fences there. Garrett and Philip, and even Maxine after this last situation, we needed some more… bonding time, if you will. A weekend every now and again wasn’t cutting it. I had some ideas, Al and I collaborated and presented them to Maxine and Philip and they loved them. Garrett, well, friend and groomsman, so he was always around.” I shrug. She puts her arms around me.

“You’re a good man, Christian, though I still won’t forgive you for stealing the reception from me.” We’ll see about that, Butterfly. She tiptoes and kisses me on the cheek. “Go back to your cavemen. Make sure they get to the ‘church’ on time.” She uses the little quote marks with her fingers since she is well aware that the wedding is not at a church. I kiss her lips once more.

“Don’t stay out here all night, Baby.” I put my forehead on hers. I’m sorry, Butterfly. The last thing I wanted was to be a source of a bad memory for you.

“I won’t,” she assures me, “and stop worrying about me. I’ll be fine.” I close my eyes and nod, then kiss her once more behind her ears.

“Jason.” I call to my bodyguard and leave the Four Seasons headed back to the McElvoy.

“What did I miss?” I ask, walking back into the VIP room.

*-*

“No fair, Grey!” Philip slurs. “If none of us get to see our women tonight, then you don’t get to slip off for a quickie!” The party laughs.

“It wasn’t a quickie,” I say, laughing with them. “We had a bit of a situation, but it’s okay now.”

“What kind of situation?” Allen asks, trying to be official but drunk out of his skull and holding on to James for dear life.

“Settle down, Counselor,” I say. “The ladies were kicked out of a club that will most likely no longer be in operation by this time next week.”

“Why? What happened?” Elliot says, joining the conversation.

“They were all wearing masquerade masks to avert the paparazzi. Apparently, the patrons didn’t like this and the whole thing became a public spectacle resulting in the ladies being rudely forced to leave.”

“Well, what did they do wrong? Why were they asked to leave?” Garrett asked.

“You heard it. They were wearing masks. That’s it,” I respond.

“Son of a bitch.” Allen slurs. “That’s fucked up.”

“Is Max okay? Should I call her?” Phil asks, his high partially blown. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“She’s fine, Philip. Ana took care of it and got the party back on track. From what I know, they were all back to being the rowdy women that we know and love.” No one caught on to the fact that I didn’t see these women, only Butterfly. Crisis averted. I wander around the club for a bit until I see the gentleman that I am looking for.

“Quincy.” He looks up at me.

“Christian,” he responds. I nod.

“May I have a moment of your time please?”


STEELE

My head feels like lead. After the strippers left, I came back to the room and had more drinks with my already drunken friends. It will be a wonder if any of us will be fit for human viewing by the time of the wedding. I’m not even trying to play with this hangover shit. After a few moments of praying to the porcelain god in my hotel suite, I go down to the gym to burn off this damn alcohol.

An hour and a half later, I am showered and dressed and knocking on the doors of our wedding party to get them out of bed and down to the spa. They were informed when they checked in that I would have keys to their rooms in case they couldn’t wake up so that I could get them down out of bed after our night of merriment. Most of them were just pissed that I looked so fresh face. I didn’t bother to tell them that this was after two hours of combined regurgitation and working out. A girl can’t reveal all of her secrets, now can she?

Somewhere in the middle of the block of rooms, I walked in on one guest giving some lucky fellow a magnificent blowjob.

“Whoa!” I turn around quickly and face away from them. “I knocked… several times,” I defend.

“Do you always just walk into people’s rooms?” Oh, I know that snotty ass voice. I’ve only known her for one day and I know who it is. I am immediately angry because I am really sick of this bitch. Ever see that movie Made of Honor? There’s a character named Melissa who basically sabotaged everything that she could with her friend’s wedding because she was angry that she wasn’t chosen as the maid of honor and wanted to make the current “maid” of honor look bad. That role has Selena’s name written all over it.

I turn around unashamed and face Sourpuss and the guy with the mini-fly.

“Selena, you know what time everyone is supposed to be at the spa for detox. You also know that I have a key to everyone’s room and that I was coming in if you didn’t answer. So stop acting all surprised and indignant like you didn’t see this coming. Now quit being a little sour-faced bitch, get the dick out of your mouth and get your ass down to the spa—or don’t. I really don’t care, but know that Maxie is going to be upset if you are not there. Sir, I apologize. I don’t normally go bursting into people’s room, but don’t be surprised if she set this up just for my benefit, because she knew that I was coming.” I turn around and march out of the room.

“Who was that?” I hear the guy ask. I guess that was the wrong question to ask, because Selena says, “Zip up your pants and get the fuck out.” I just shake my head and close the door.

“Was what I think was happening actual…” Chuck began.

“Yep,” I interrupted him, continuing to the next room.

*-*

“What was that call with Christian about?” Maxie asks while we are at the Four Seasons spa getting our bachelorette party detox.

“Just an idiot man being an idiot man, that’s all.” I tell her, dismissing the conversation that I had with my boyfriend right before we entered the spa. Look, I think you may have to ignore Selena today,” I tell her. She frowns.

“Why?” she asks. I sigh.

“I don’t know if she’s going to behave herself and she’s most likely going to blame me for it.” Maxie and are are in the room with Val and Marilyn having a sea algae wrap. It’s one of the spa processes from Los Angeles where you are wrapped in Klamath blue-green algae blended with French green clay and pure lavender essential oil. It’s one of the most powerful detoxifying body wraps the draws out impurities and increases lymphatic function. After the night we had last night, we need all of the cleansing that we can get!

“She and the other bridesmaids were ogling Christian and saying things about him during rehearsal last night… I mean, really vulgar rude things, like the size of his dick. Well, I informed them that I was his girlfriend and for the most part, they were apologetic except for two of them. One of them was Selena. That’s why I think she called us out last night at the rehearsal dinner.” I could have just crawled under a rock and died when she asked about me and Christian and our plans for marriage. I mean I know that weddings get single people thinking about marriage, but she put us—or I should say me—on the spot on purpose. Thank God Christian put her in her place.

“Anyway,” I continue, “I was going door to door to the girls’ rooms to wake them for the spa day. I mean who wouldn’t want a free spa day, right? Lord knows we need the detox. There’s only so much that make-up can do, and there’s some vomiting in our future. How about we get that all out before the wedding?” Almost on cue, Val is hurling into one of the buckets that I requested be near each lady. They are being well used and quickly emptied and replaced.

“Anyway, I had to go into just about everyone’s rooms because, well, we were all comatose after last night. I get to her room and she’s on her knees with a mouth full of dick.”

“Oh are you serious?” Maxie asks. “God, she is such a slut!”

“Now, wait a minute, because I didn’t care about that,” I interject. “I don’t care about whose dick she’s sucking. As long as it’s not my man, have at it! I was just angry because the whole thing looked like it was staged for me to interrupt. She knew what time I was going to be coming to the rooms. I made sure that everyone knew. Yet, I walk into her room and she’s sucking the sausage. I mean the guy was standing there fully dressed. It’s like she grabbed the first person that she saw, pulled him into the room, and stuck his dick in her mouth so that I could walk in and catch her. Seriously, why would I care? I don’t even know the girl, but she seems hell-bent on trying to make me feel uncomfortable. She’s probably telling the bridesmaids right now that I stood there and watched while she gave some guy a blowjob!”

“No, she’s a slut because she has a boyfriend and I can bet she wasn’t sucking his dick since Greg is away on a business trip!” Maxie says. I gasps.

“No!” I exclaim.

“Are you serious?” Marilyn asks.

“As a heart attack,” Maxie confirms and we giggle. Val moans.

“Val, I promise, this detox will help get all of that out of you. That’s one of the reasons why you’re vomiting. Just please, drink plenty of water,” I caution her.

“Yes, Doctor,” she groans and we chuckle again.

After a magnificent facial and hair detox and cleansing, I send the ladies up to the Presidential Suite where Franco and some of the staff from Miana’s are waiting to make us beautiful for the wedding. I knew what the spa staff was in store for before we got there, so I made sure that Chuck had a little something waiting when we were done. I had already used my Amex Black recently gifted to me by Christian to make sure that we weren’t disturbed during our detox, but these ladies had a lot to deal with considering the mob of hungover women they had to contend with. I ask the manager to please gather the women so that I could talk to them before I go upstairs to get beautiful. There are eleven of them and they look like they have been put through the wringer!

“Ladies, I and the bride would like to personally thank you for your treatment of us and our friends today. What you did and how you catered to us while most while most of us were tossing cookies the entire time… you went above and beyond the call of duty. You were professional in the face of disgusting circumstances.” The ladies let out a bit of nervous laughter. I laughed along with them to signal that it’s okay—I completely understand.

“Anyway, you probably have to fumigate this place to prepare for more customers, so I won’t keep you long.” More laughter. “I just wanted to give you each a gift for your hard work, your patience, and your professionalism.”

Chuck begins to hand out envelopes to the ladies and before he gets to the last of them, the first one has opened the envelope and gasps loudly. Each envelope contains a $300 tip.

“Ms. Steele! Thank you!” the first woman exclaims.
“Oh my God, Ms. Steele, this is wonderful!”
“Yes! Thank you! Thank you so much!”

They are full of gratitude for the money but I am full of gratitude that these ladies are not going to be falling down at the wedding today… or seeping alcohol through their pores!

“No, thank you, ladies. You were all magnificent.” They nod, continue to thank me, and each of them shakes my hand before they turn to clean up the spa from the “Saunders Party.” I turn to the manager, Georgia. “I didn’t forget you,” I say with a smile, handing her an envelope as well.

“It’s really not necessary, Ms. Steele. The ladies did all the work,” she protested.

“Um-hmm… and how many fires did you have have to put out today? How many people screamed at you and cursed you because you couldn’t let anyone else into the spa today?” I ask and she nods.

“It was interesting,” she says with a weary nod. I wink at her.

“I’ll bet it was.” I press the envelope into her hand. “Thank you.” Her eyes are full of admiration.

“You are one of the most gracious and classy women that I’ve ever met, Ms. Steele, and I’ve met a lot,” she says softly.

“Thank you, Georgia,” I say with a smile and hug her. As we are leaving, I give Chuck instructions to order lunch and dessert for 12 from Canlis and get it back here to the spa with my regards as quickly as possible.

Hair and makeup was a much smoother process than I expected. Selena didn’t make it to the spa because we were supposed to be down there at a certain time, which is why I was making sure that everyone was awake. She was too busy being a bitch. So when she got down there, they wouldn’t let her in. It turns out that those of us that got the detox didn’t need as much makeup because our skin was positively glowing. She, on the other hand, needed a vat.

Maxie warned the rest of the party of her attitude and demeanor and, like I suggested, she was mostly ignored—particularly when she was making little snide comments. I made it my business not to pay any attention to her for the rest of the day. If she was on fire, I wouldn’t piss on her. I would point at her and say “fire” and walk away.

It’s nearing five o’clock and the sun is setting on the Sound. Maxie and her court have just stepped out of the limousines pulling up to the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland. Under the cover of a canopy at the door, each of us exit the limos in baby blue knee-length chiffon goddess dresses with an empire waist, crisscross breast, and single over-the-shoulder strap. Our feet are adorned with silver high-heeled sandals with a single jewel-studded strap across the toes and a jewel-studded ankle strap with rhinestone designs that drape down the top of our feet. Our hair is pinned up in the front but cascading down our backs, showcasing our simple stud earrings and zircon necklaces—although Christian secretly had a diamond replica delivered for me. That was totally unnecessary, but try telling that to the great Christian Grey.

Once we are all inside the lobby, the bride enters. Her dress is the stuff that little girl’s dreams are made of—sweetheart neckline, sparking crystal and rhinestone-beaded chest with ruched, crisscross bodice, and the skirt… oh the skirt! A-Line twinkly-light iridescent sparking organza from Alfred Angelo’s official Cinderella line. She had her nails done in a delicate pale blue tip with the same iridescent sparkles that are in her dress.

She is wearing elbow-length fingerless gloves and her hair is pulled back and up in the large bouffant bun with the beautiful zircon headband, regal dangling zircon and crystal earrings with a matching flowery draping necklace. She even has her glass slippers—clear vinyl closed-toe stiletto sandals with a silver steel heel and a cut-out heart at the instep.

She approaches her father who is already in tears. He gives her a gentle butterfly kiss on her cheek as the wedding planner begins frantically waving her hands that it is time for us to begin. We start to hear the quiet tones of Norah Jones Come Away With Me and the groomsmen appear in champagne tuxedos with baby blue ties to escort the ladies down the aisle.

It’s time to get Cinderella to her Prince Charming.


A/N: So, Maxie and Phil are on the way to their HEA. Will Ana and Christian have to endure more drunken amorous admirers at the reception? You can see Maxie’s wedding dress and the bridesmaid’s dresses on the Pinterest page of course.  

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

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

Feel free to review—it is greatly appreciated.

Love and Handcuffs!
Lynn x

Mending Dr. Steele–My Departure From Fanfiction

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

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

This is not a chapter, but one of my beloved readers suggested that I post it over here for my faithful friends to comment on. This is what Fanfiction got as chapter 20 of Mending Dr. Steele…

It’s Official…

“Butterfly, have you seen this?” Christian comes out of his study looking at his blackberry in search of Ana.

“Yes,” she says, scrolling through her iPad on the sofa in front of the fire. He looks skeptically at the back of her head.

“What exactly am I asking you if you have seen?” he asks skeptically.

“Bronze Goddess’s latest announcement,” Ana replies, scrolling through the announcement and smirking to herself. Christian’s lips form a thin line and his eyes narrow. “Oh, loosen up,” she says without looking at him. “If you got the notification, you knew that I would, too.” He rolls his eyes as she points out the obvious.

“Well, I guess no more Fanfiction,” he sighs, sitting next to Ana on the sofa. “I feel… melancholy about that. I really liked it there before the trolls took over.”

“Me, too,” Ana replies, “but everything must change, I suppose. I guess this is our change. Look, she even has links to the new backstory for the rewrites here. I’ll admit that it’s kind of sad, but it’s also kind of exciting.” Christian nods.

“I guess. I still think it’s a shame it had to come to this… oh, look!” Christian shows his blackberry to Ana. “Did you know that you can Google her, now? This link takes me right to the story.”

“Yep. You can find her by Googling ‘Paging Dr. Steele,’ ‘Mending Dr. Steele,’ ‘Bronze Goddess,’ and even ‘love and handcuffs.’ That’s really cool.” Christian laughs aloud. “What’s so funny?”

“You sound like a teenager, Butterfly. ‘That’s really cool!'” he says, overemphasizing Ana’s girly voice.

“Keep it up, Mr. Grey, and you and Greystone will be very lonely tonight,” Ana threatens. All humor leaves Christian’s face as he pulls Ana into his lap. She gasps at the surprise as she finds herself laying over his thighs and ensnared in his arms.

“Oh, I can definitely keep it up, Ms. Steele, but Greystone will get what he wants…”

So while this scene fades to black just as Christian and Ana’s lips meet and they disappear into one of those hot ass lemons that I love to write, I am now announcing that I won’t be updating Mending Dr. Steele on Fanfiction anymore. If you would still like to follow the story, (1) you can get on my mailing list with the link on my fanfiction profile page, (2) you can email me to the email address on my fanfiction profile page and I can add you to my mailing list or (3) now you can Google me! 😉

Many of my faithful readers have already followed me and I thank you all for showing an interest in my writing, but my time here has frightfully come to an end. I may be back with new stories, I may not, but I will definitely keep reading on fanfiction because there are so many writers and stories that I adore over here. I thank you all for giving me a chance to share my story and I even thank the trolls for “encouraging” me to strike out on my own. If I don’t see you in the new digs, know that I appreciate your support to this point and…

Love and handcuffs!
Lynn x

(Bronze Goddess takes a bow) I will be posting my chapter tonight instead of tomorrow. I might change my posting days to Friday instead of Saturday. I haven’t decided yet, but I will let you guys know! 🙂

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 50: The Adventure Begins

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 50—The Adventure Begins

STEELE

It is Saturday morning, bright and early on the island of Anguilla. We have a couple of days yet before we completely reset from jet lag, so the entire villa is awake at 6 am. We were so wrung out from the traveling last night. We hadn’t arranged for chef service for dinner on the first night and there was no way that we ladies were cooking after having been traveling for the better part of 12 hours. Our choices were to go to a restaurant or to order in. I was not very excited about ordering in and neither was Gail, but we were too tired to argue.

Little did we know that ordering in on Anguilla is not like ordering Chinese food in the States. There are two restaurants that deliver in Anguilla. Un Amore Cafe is Italian—mostly pizza, calzones, and such for those of us who are missing America already… I wasn’t. The other option was a place called Blanchard’s which seemed to have something from just about every corner of the world.

Now we’re talking!

We had a veritable taste fest of curried chicken salad, grilled Cubano sandwiches (roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, chipotle mayo, dill pickles in grilled pita bread), lobster rolls, coconut-curry mussels, and blackened Mahi bites. I think we were all thoroughly fed and ready to turn in after that meal. Well, I was anyway, and I slept like a baby!

Chef service starts at 6:30 so I take a shower and don my Calvin Klein sleeveless printed maxi dress in anticipation of what would be on the breakfast menu. At 7:00, Gail and I meet in the great room to discuss what may be on the agenda for the day. I have no idea what Christian has planned and neither does Gail. It’s nice to see her in some of the tropical clothes that we picked for the trip instead of her usual white shirt and some professional bottom—usually a pencil skirt or some slacks—that she wears while on duty at Escala. She’s wearing a strapless yellow and white zigzag maxi dress that not only catches the sun brilliantly, but also compliments her skin tone quite nicely.

We opt to have breakfast on the patio which is really nice since it’s such a beautiful day. Gail and I are giggling like schoolgirls while fawning over each other’s dresses as we proceed to the patio. I notice that Jason is watching his girlfriend from afar… just examining her, it appears. He has a longing look in his eye—I recognize it from when Christian is gazing at me. One can tell that he’s completely smitten with Gail, and I can only imagine the effect that seeing her carefree and beautiful like she is now must be having on him. I wonder if he has told her yet that he’s in love with her? A blind man could see it…

“So, have you and Mr. Grey made any plans for the day?” Gail asks as we sit at the outside dining table waiting for our men and our breakfast.

“I don’t know. I’m sure that he has planned something, but he hasn’t told me yet. Can you believe this?” I say, gesturing to our surroundings and the stunning view of the sea from the patio. “I mean, this is outstanding! I never would have thought I would find myself here… not that I even knew what here was before two days ago,” I laugh.

“You know the bruising on your face is very nearly gone and your lips are completely normal now,” Gail observes.

“Well, it’s that fabulous miracle tea you made,” I exclaim. “I can only hope that one day you’ll give me the recipe… I know that there are some secret ingredients in there.”

“You’re right. And I’ll never reveal my secrets.” She smiles.

“Oh well, I guess that means that I’ll have to keep you around,” I say, and we burst into laughter. “I don’t even pay attention to the bruises anymore, Gail,” I say, turning serious. “There’re just so many bigger things that these seem small in comparison… even before they went down.” I drop my eyes to the table as I remember those pictures of my 15-year-old battered and bruised self. Gail reaches over and squeezes my hand.

“Life is short, Ana,” she says. “Every time I look at the news or on the computer and I read that someone died, I just want to grab life by the horns and live to its fullest. When Mr. Jones died all those years ago, I felt like the best years of my life were over. We were so happy, and I loved him so much. Still do, in fact…” A look of nostalgia comes across her face and I’m surprised. Reading my face, she says, “Yes, I know what you must be thinking. How can I have a relationship with Jason if I am still holding a torch for my first husband.”

“The thought had crossed my mind,” I say, honestly.

“Douglas was my first love,” she says, sitting back in her chair. “He was supposed to be it for me and I threw my whole self into our relationship… and our marriage. He was wonderful! He was tall and handsome… sweet.” She sighs heavily. “We were going to have a baby. It seems so long ago now.” It’s my turn to squeeze her hand, now.

“It was one of those icy evenings in Seattle. We were driving home from dinner and Douglas hit a patch of ice. I remember spinning and screaming and that was it. I woke up in the hospital. My baby was gone… and so was my Douglas.” I could hear the pain in her voice as she recounted the night she lost her entire family. “I didn’t want to go on. It was bad enough to lose one of them, but both of them… at the same time… it was more than I could bear. I went into a severe depression and my mother had me committed, for my own safety… I would have easily ended it all to be with Doug and my baby.” She sighs. “Anyway, eight months later, I was ready to join the world again, although I lost my ability to have children.”

“Oh, Gail. I’m so sorry,” I say, holding her hand tighter. She nods and smiles a sad smile.

“I don’t think I would have been able to handle it anyway, Ana. Losing my baby took me to the very edge of my sanity. I’m not sure how or if I would or could handle being pregnant again after that. Anyway, I can share darling little Sophie with Taylor, and it takes away a bit of the bite. Everything has a purpose, right?” she says, tucking away some of her blonde hair that has escaped from her ponytail.

“How does Jason deal with… the memory of Doug? You know, living up to a legend can often be the poison pill of a relationship,” I warn.

“Oh, I would never expect him to do that,” she says, waving me off. “Jason understands that Doug will always hold a very special part in my heart, a part that no one will be able to fill. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. He was my first love, my first lover, the father of my child, and a beloved and perfect husband. I never want to forget that, and I never intend to, but I can’t live in that. I will always have love in my heart for Doug, but that’s what my life used to be. It’s not that anymore. My life now is my family and my friends… my sister Angela and her children, Mr. Grey, you… and of course, Jason and Sophie. Doug and my baby were a wonderful part of my past that was ripped away from me all too soon, but you all are my future.”

She’s so well-rounded for what she has been through. I wish half of my patients could find this kind of tranquility. Hell, sometimes I’m even searching for it, especially now.

“How long has it been?” I ask.

“Oh, a long time, dear. Thirteen years. My mom really helped to pull me through that tough time in my life, God rest her soul. We lost her to cancer a few years back, but Angie and I managed to hold it together and not fall completely apart.”

This woman is remarkable. I envy her for having the help of her mother during her rough times. What I would have given for Carla’s love and support while I was suffering.

“It’s a sad story, yet… not,” I say, hoping that I’m accurately portraying the point that I’m trying to make. Apparently, I am because she nods.

“I know, but now look. I have a wonderful new friend, and I’m sitting on the beautiful beach of Anguilla about to have breakfast with people who I’ve come to love very dearly.” We smile at each other before she continues. “My love for Jason is very different from my love for Doug. No one would ever be able to take Doug’s place, and Jason knows that. If he tried to take Doug’s place—tried to make me forget what I had with him—we wouldn’t work, just like I respect the fact that he had a wife before me. Even though they’re divorced, he loved that woman once, and I have to respect that. I have to understand that if anything happens to her, he’s going to be hurt—whether he understands it or accepts it right now or not—and that’s okay. When I look back over my life, I see Doug… and our baby… and what we had… and unfortunately, what I lost—but when I look ahead, I see Jason.” She smiles. That sums it up very nicely.

“He loves you very much,” I say. She blushes.

“Now how would you know that?” she asks sweetly.

“Because when you’re not looking, he looks at you like you’re the only woman in the world.” She tilts her head at me.

“Kind of like Mr. Grey looks at you.” My turn to blush.

“Well, that feeling is mutual,” I say, shyly. She chuckles at me.

“I don’t know, Ana. I’ve seen him watch doors when you leave to see when you’re going to come back through them. I’ve never seen him behave that way before,” she says.

“Well, his prior relationships didn’t really allow for that, now did they?” I say with a bit of sarcasm. She looks a little uncomfortable and looks down at the table. I quickly put her out of her misery. “I know. NDA. The question was rhetorical.” I chuckle.

“Thank you!” she sighs. “I like you a lot, but we all know what I can and can’t discuss if I want to stay employed.”

“Yes, I know, and don’t worry. I would never put you in that position,” I say. “We’ve both had pretty bumpy rides. Hell, I guess we all have. I don’t know Jason’s story, but I know that Christian’s start in life was horrendous and my bad luck just seems to be following me around lately. Now your sad story… I just think we all deserve some happiness… and lots of it!”

“Here! Here!” Gail cheers and we laugh again.

“I try very hard to stay focused,” I begin. “You would think with my training—the magnificent Dr. Steele—I would be the most well-adjusted person in the world. However, it’s very true what they say about advice… it’s very easy to give it, but harder to follow it, even your own. Have you ever noticed that some of the most screwed up people in the world can give some of the most sound and solid advice? You often find yourself asking, ‘Why the hell won’t you follow your own advice?’ That’s because it’s very easy to point out what’s wrong in someone else’s life, and even though we’re our own worst critics, it’s still damn near impossible to correct our own imperfections sometimes.” I look out over the beautiful turquoise sea. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that my past demons are coming back to bite me in the ass, what with my obsessive, kidnapping psycho ex-boyfriend and the unwelcome appearance of my crazy ass mother and her crazier ass drunken husband,” I put my hand on my forehead, “and Christian going to Green Valley… right into the belly of the beast.” Gail rubs my arm.

“I guess we’ll all just be screwed up together,” she says with a smile. “None of us are without our demons, dear. I never in a million years thought that Mr. Grey would let someone into his heart or his personal space. Some people are just not molded that way, you know? And from what I saw, he just wasn’t that person, but you blew through here like a breath of fresh air. Now, we’re rearranging the apartment and more people are in my kitchen. We’re having dinner parties and that horrible woman is gone, ugh! I knew something wasn’t right about her from the very start. Do you know how someone walks into the room and you immediately feel queasy?”

“Oh God, yes! The first time I met her, she showed up in this leather or pleather or rubber suit and a pair of thigh-high boots… in the middle of the day, no less… on a Sunday! I couldn’t even imagine going out in public like that, much less in the middle of the day! I guess she was trying to be intimidating or something, but all I could do was laugh…and good Lord, what’s with all the black?” I ask.

“It matches her soul, I guess,” Gail says, and I shake my head. “Whatever you did, I’m just glad that she’s gone! I mean, she couldn’t have been any good for Mr. Grey.” Oh, you have no idea. “I expected a forked tongue to pop out every time she opened her mouth.”

“Well, here’s hoping that we’ve seen the last of her!” I say, just as one of the kitchen staff comes out to the patio.

“Breakfast is just about ready, Ladies. Would you like something to drink?” I know exactly what I want.

“Yes, I would like a Mimosa if you have it,” I say.

“Oh, that’s sounds fabulous!” Gail exclaims. “Can you make a Mimosa?” she asks the beautiful mahogany woman with gorgeous long braids in her hair.

“Yes, ma’am. Coming right up,” she says in a lovely island accent. Gail and I fall silent for a moment after she leaves and in no time at all, she was back with our Mimosas, chilled to perfection with the right mix of champagne and citrus.

“What kind of fruit juice is this?” I ask.

“Orange-tangerine mix with a touch of pineapple,” she says.

“This is delicious!” Gail says.

“Thank you, ma’am,” she responds.

“Oh, please. I’m Ana and this is Gail.”

“Ana, Gail.” With her accent, my name sounds like Ah-nah, and Gail’s name sounds like Gell. I rather like it. “I am Sarah. You let me know if you need anything else.”

“Thank you, Sarah,” Gail says as she leaves. Once again, things fall silent between me and Gail for a moment, until she decides to ask me something that I never expected to hear.

“Ana, can I ask you a personal question?” she says, and I nod with an um-hmm. “I can see that you are very fond of Mr. Grey, but do you love him?”


GREY

Taylor and I stand just out of sight as we listen to Gail recount the story of the loss of her husband and child. I knew the basics of the story—from her background check and from the bits that she has told me—but now she sits on the patio telling Butterfly the whole tale, details and all. I’m not surprised. Like I said, it’s the Butterfly Effect. I can’t help but feel like we are kind of eavesdropping though.

“Maybe we should give them some privacy,” I say to Taylor.

“I’ve heard the story,” he says a bit curtly, but then he softens. “I sometimes feel I’ll never compare to him. He was her first… everything. I can’t give her children… she can’t have them after the loss of her son. She loves Sophie dearly, but it’s something that I wish I could have given her… shared with her…”

“You want more children, Taylor?” I asked, surprised. He shakes his head.

“Not as such, sir.” He says. “I… just wish it was something… that I could have shared with her.”

I nod. I want children with Ana. We’ve never talked about it and I would be devastated if it turns out that she couldn’t have any. We continue to listen as Gail explains that she has accepted her plight in life and wants her future to be with Taylor. I can see the relief clearly on his face at that statement.

“Something on your mind, Taylor?” I ask. He looks at me like I’m an alien… probably because I’ve never asked him anything about his personal life or about his and Gail’s relationship. “It’s just that you seemed a little surprised and a lot relieved about that last statement.”

“It’s nothing, sir. It’s just like Her Highness says—it’s hard to compete with the perfect memory. It’s good to know that I’m not,” he says.

“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that,” I say. “Her Highness,” I clarify. He shrugs.

“It comes along with the job. Code names are easier—there are usually no mistakes. This was her idea… have you tried to say ‘no’ to her?”

As a matter of fact, I have. It usually doesn’t work. I look out at our women. They’ve just finished talking about past demons and ghosts and have now moved on to discussing the Pedophile.

“I have to agree with Gail on that one… I’m glad she’s no longer a factor in the big scheme of things,” Taylor says.

“Oh, she’s still a factor, just not like before. She tried to contact me before we left Seattle. She sounds like she’s getting desperate. I really don’t care, but I hate to see what that translates into for her latest victim.” I run my hand through my hair.

“How’s the investigation going?”

“It may have stalled,” I reply. “Every time something happens in my life, she lays off of the kid. I hate to put him through this, but we pretty much have to catch her red-handed to make these charges stick.”

“I know. Those boys are not likely to roll on her,” Taylor says, disgusted. I shake my head.

“We think with our dicks… even if it kills us.” I look at my Butterfly, her beautiful hair blowing in the Anguillan breeze and that print dress falling gracefully on her frame as she drinks her cocktail. She could lead me off a cliff and I would gladly and blindly follow… not the smartest thing, I know, but it’s true.

“I can see that you are very fond of Mr. Grey, but do you love him?”

What? Did Gail just ask her that!? I look over at Taylor, who makes to go to the patio, probably to rescue Gail, but I put my hand out to stop him. I want to see how she answers it… and yes, we’ve moved from kind of eavesdropping to shamelessly eavesdropping! I’m a bit nervous because it takes Butterfly a while to answer the question.

“I don’t mean to pry,” Gail continues, “it’s just that it’s clear to anyone that Mr. Grey was not what one would call personable… until you arrived. He’s a completely different person now. He’s happy and sad and strong and vulnerable and I’ve worked for him for a long time. I’ve come to care for him. I haven’t had anyone to care for all these years but my men… Jason and Mr. Grey. He’s always had a handle on those other women—generic nutchasers and money grabbers including that blonde Bride of Frankenstein and damn the NDA, I want to know if you love him!”

She spit the last part out very quickly almost like she was ashamed to say it but desperately needed to know. Taylor and I exchange a look like we have no idea who this woman is in Gail’s body… which we don’t. Butterfly registers momentary shock, then says the magic words.

“Gail, I love him so much that it scares me.”

I have to cover my mouth to prevent the gasp of surprise from betraying our position.

“I don’t feel like myself anymore. I feel like a whole person and half a person at the same time. I feel like I can take on the world, and I also feel like I could fall apart at any second. I feel everything and it’s wonderful and then I feel too much and its weakening and frightening.

“Ever since my last break-up, I’ve been horrifyingly self-sufficient. Edward ripped my heart to shreds, and it was hell putting it back together again. He never could understand that even though I may have still had feelings for him in the beginning, I could never let him near me again. As time progressed, he became the enemy and I just wanted him to leave me alone.” She starts to wring her hands a bit then they go to her forehead again.

“I had learned to be alone and I didn’t even know that’s what I was doing. I didn’t realize it until the gang got together and I was the only stag in the group. Even my father had a girlfriend and I was alone. Edward was pursuing me heavily, and I could have easily gone back to him. I had just decided that I didn’t want to be alone anymore, and he was right there… but I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t take the chance of subjecting myself to him and his lies again.

“Christian and I agreed to a mutually satisfying relationship… if you know what I mean… and in no time flat it just took off from there. It’s like neither of us had any control over it… or at least I know I didn’t. It’s like a runaway train… going on full power, forging ahead on a track with no idea what direction we’re going in, where we’re going to end up, if the bridge is out, is the tunnel finished, or is there a brick wall at the end of the track.” Her voice begins to crack, and Gail reaches for her hand again.

“This is it for me, Gail,” she says, wiping away a stray tear that has fallen. “I can’t go through this again. I love this man with every cell in my body, and if this doesn’t work out, I’ll never be with another man as long as I live. Since I don’t like women in that way, I guess that means I’ll be alone.”

I’m stunned into silence as Butterfly finishes her cocktail and I realize that she feels the same way about me that I feel about her. I almost lose my balance in the euphoria that I’m feeling right now. I look over at Taylor, who’s just as speechless as I am. What do you say to something like that?

“I’m sorry, Gail. I didn’t mean to unload on you like that. That was probably more information than you needed this early in the morning.” She looks out at the water and sighs.

“No, I asked… and pretty forcefully, too. I got my answer,” Gail responds.

“Probably pretty silly and girly, huh?” Butterfly plays with her now empty glass. Gail smiles at her.

“I told you. When I see my future, I see Jason… however he’ll have me. I think that says it all.”

Now, it’s Taylor’s turn to wear that dopey, sappy expression. “I’m going to go get Chuck for breakfast,” he says and turns to make a speedy getaway. I’m going to go join my girl.

I walk out onto the patio and kiss Butterfly on the forehead. “Good morning, ladies.” I greet them both. “What are we having?” Butterfly quickly tries to pull herself together.

“Good morning, Mr. Grey. We’re having Mimosas,” Gail says, finishing hers. If I don’t ask, she’ll know that I know something.

“Are you okay?” I put my arm around her chair. She nods and smiles.

“Gail and I were just getting a little sentimental,” she answers truthfully. I sit next to her and kiss her deeply on her cheek near her ear. Oh, Butterfly, I love you too—more than mere words can say. A few moments later, Taylor and Davenport join us at the breakfast table.

“Well, Sarah says breakfast should be here any minute, so you slow pokes are right on time,” Gail teases. Almost on cue, the kitchen staff begins to bring a gourmet island breakfast to us: Spanish frittata, Nova Scotia smoked salmon and bagels, French bread French toast, buttermilk pancakes, Johnny cakes, fresh fruit, and omelets made to order. Of course, there’s coffee, juice, and more Mimosas.

“So, what’s on the agenda for today?” Gail asks, tucking into her French toast.

“Well, I thought I’d take Butterfly horseback riding and have lunch on the beach. You’re all welcome to come along, but I plan to have her to myself for dinner.” I smile at her and she blushes as she swallows a mouthful of her Spanish frittata.

“Oh, that sounds wonderful,” Gail says, turning to Taylor. “Chuck, Jason, what do you think?” Taylor shrugs.

“Been a while since I’ve been on a horse. I hope I remember how.” He takes a healthy bite of a smoked salmon bagel. “This is really good,” he says, his voice muffled by the food.

“Hmm, horses, I’m not too sure about that,” Davenport protests while devouring a pile of Johnny cakes.

“Are you afraid of horses, Chuck?” Butterfly says, her voice a little squeaky.

“No, I’m not afraid of them. I just don’t like them… and I don’t think they like me,” he retorts.

“These are some of the gentlest horses in the world,” I affirm. “Babies ride these horses.” Chuck shakes his head.

“I’ll give it a try,” he says, “but if that beast starts acting like a beast, I’m getting off… and you can laugh all you want!” He pours himself another cup of coffee. Butterfly smiles that priceless smile the nearly splits her face in two as she teases her personal security. Part of me wants to be jealous of their relationship. The other part of me is happy that I have someone to keep her safe when I’m not with her—someone that she trusts. I can’t imagine my life without her. I nearly lost my mind when David and Harris had her… wondering what they were doing to her and imagining the worst. I wish I had been the one to take that fucker Harris down. I would have taken great pride in watching the life slip from his worthless eyes for what he put my Butterfly through.

“Christian, did you hear me?” Butterfly’s sweet voice brings me back from my dark daydream.

“I’m sorry, what?” I say, shaking off thoughts of choking the already dead Robert Harris with my bare hands.

“Are you okay?” she asks, her brow furrowed. I dig in to finish my omelet.

“Yes, I’m fine, baby. Just thinking of things I shouldn’t be,” I say.

“Well, stop it,” she scolds. “We’re on vacation.” Her voice is a little urgent and a tiny bit whiny.

“Yes, ma’am,” I say playfully, finishing my omelet. “Were you saying something else?”

“I was asking should I wear jeans or shorts to go riding on the beach?”

“Probably shorts. The horses like to go into the water,” I respond. She nods and finishes her frittata and fresh fruit.

“Well, I can’t swim just yet with all of this food on my stomach, but I think I’ll lie around the pool anyway. I can assume that we won’t be going horseback riding for at least another four hours,” Butterfly announces, stretching her sexy legs.

“You assume correctly,” I respond.

“Well, in that case, I will see whomever decides to join me at the pool in about 20 minutes.” She stands, leans in and kisses me quickly on the lips before going back inside the villa. I watch as she walks into the great room and disappears up the stairs. She’s so beautiful and graceful, and she loves me so much that it scares her. I don’t want her to be afraid of her love. I want her to embrace it. I have to do everything that I can to make sure that she does.

“Permission to speak freely, sir.” Davenport breaks my train of thought. I turn to him and furrow my brow.

“What?” I say.

“You got it bad,” he says, sipping his coffee. Gail and Taylor snicker at the same time.

“Keep it up. I’ll fire you all,” I say.

“I wish I had a camera to catch your face,” Davenport continues. “She went into the house, sir, not across the country. She has promised that she will reemerge at the pool in 20 minutes. Forgive my candidness, but you looked like somebody just snatched your puppy!”

I hate hate HATE it when my staff sees me in a weakened state.

“Okay, that’s enough free speaking,” I say, flatly.

“Yes, sir,” he says, rising from the table. “But you still got it bad.” That last part was mumbled and I wasn’t supposed to hear it.

“What was that?” I snap.

“Nothing, sir,” he says, continuing into the villa. Smart ass. This is why I like to keep the lines drawn between staff and employer. Butterfly has now blurred all those lines and I can’t complain or blame everyone for feeling so comfortable with her around.

“Well, I think Ana has the right idea about sunning a bit so if you gentlemen will excuse me, I think I will go and change as well. Mr. Grey…” Gail nods in my direction, then kisses Taylor on the cheek before going into the villa as well.

“Everybody’s awfully comfortable on this vacation, aren’t they?” I say to Taylor once everyone has gone inside. Immediately getting the thrust of what I’m saying, he responds, “I’ll talk to him, sir.” I finish my coffee and stretch in my seat.

“Don’t bother. We’re on vacation. But when we get back to Seattle…” I look at him.

“Yes, sir.”

*-*

Butterfly is out by the pool with Gail and Taylor. Davenport has decided to take a nap. I’m in the bedroom, wearing my swim trunks and sitting on the bed looking at the piece that I ordered from Cartier and wondering how she’ll react to it. I have to pick just the right moment to present it to her and, after her conversation with Gail that I wasn’t supposed to hear, I can’t wait to give it to her. I’ve decided that I’ll give it to her today and hope that she’ll be happy with it. I put the box back in the drawer of the nightstand and go down to the pool to join the others.

I sneak up on my beautiful goddess spread out on a chaise wearing the tiniest black tankini and a large straw hat. I lean down so that I can see her eyes under the hat.

“You’re beautiful,” I say, kissing her gently on the lips.

“Thank you. You’re not so bad yourself,” she says softly, with a smile. I sit on the side of her chaise.

“This is very small.” I run my fingers over the frilly edges of the tiny bikini bottoms at the crease of her leg. “Are you okay with it… with your brand?” I gently caress her thigh so that she’s comfortable. She gives me a small smile.

“I thought of that. I wanted to wear it at least once and decided that I would just wear it around the villa… not to the beach,” she responds. I gently stroke her stomach where the bottoms meet her pelvic line, then I circle her navel.

“You look fantastic,” I say, my voice as full of lust as I can get it. She starts to squirm on the chaise.

Bingo!

I lean over her, resting one hand on the chaise to support my weight. I use the other hand to caress her cheek, chin, neck, shoulders, and chest while I softly and sensuously massage her lips and tongue with my own. She lets out a soft moan.

“If Gail and Taylor weren’t out here with us, I’d make love to you right here on this chaise,” I say into her mouth, seductively devouring her sweet, sweet kisses. Her hands travel from my abs up my chest and rest on my shoulders. I shiver involuntarily at her touch.

“Christian, you have to stop that or I’ll never catch any sun,” she says, her weakness and arousal evident in her voice.

“Yes, you will, baby,” I say, still feasting on her luscious mouth and tongue. “I wouldn’t bring you (kiss) to this island paradise (kiss) and not let you tan (kiss, kiss) that delectable body.” I kiss her deeply then run my nose along hers. “Just know that I plan to sex you every chance I get. I can’t help it that you are so irresistible, and I love you so much.”

A small puff of air escapes her pouty lips as she tangles her body around mine. I scoop her into my lap and shamelessly make out with her sitting at the pool on the chaise, wrapping my arms around her body and covering her brand so that she won’t feel subconscious about it. The way that she’s vined around me, her arms clasped around my neck and her hands thrust into my hair as she devours my mouth with hers—I don’t think she gives one good damn about that brand right now!

“Oh, Christian!” she gasps, as our mouths separate, burying her lips in my neck and planting open-mouthed kisses there from my ear to my shoulders.

“Baby… we better stop… or I’m going to make good on my promise and do you right here.” I pant, my eyes closed, trying to talk Greystone out of convincing me to move her bikini bottoms to the side and slide into my happy place. She pulls back and looks at me with deep, carnal blue eyes…

…and that doesn’t help.

“Baby, damn!” I can’t take it anymore. I look around and Taylor and Gail have made a discreet exit. I can’t chance them coming back out to the pool and catching us in flagrante delicto. I stand with her in my arms, her legs wrapped around me, and dash to the side of the house where there’s a large, covered patio. This will have to do. I must have her now.

“Do you care?” I ask, kissing her hungrily and grabbing her ass.

“No,” she breathes, still vined around me, breathing heavily. I sit on the white wicker love seat with her on my lap—Greystone standing at full attention, his head poking through my trunks. She looks down and sees my cock sticking out of my trunks. She rises and moves her bottoms to the side—just like I saw in my head—moves my waistband down and takes Greystone in her hand. She positions me at her opening and very slowly slides her wet pussy over my hard, waiting shaft—a little, then a little more, then a little more until she is wrapped around my entire member. She’s so sexy, so hot. She moans when I have filled her completely.

“Oh, Christian, baby,” she says as she drops her head on my shoulder and slowly begins to grind into me.

“Oh, yes!” I breathe, rocking my hips into her each time she drops her soft, velvety core onto me. “Baby, you are magnificent!” I growl into her neck. We are trying to keep quiet, just in case someone passes by on the beach or one of our staff comes looking for us, but she’s so hot, so wet… I have no idea how I’m going to be silent when I release. I stick my hands into the legs of her bottoms and pull her ass cheeks apart, effectively separating her folds more.

“Uuuuuuuuuugh!” she moans deep in her chest. “Yes, yes, do that, do that!” she whispers, throwing her head back and losing her hat. Shit, she’s pumping me for all I’m worth.

“Ana, shit!” I groan, holding on to that delectable ass while she drops masterfully and viciously on my dick, grinding so that it rubs against all her vaginal walls, then rising so that the head gets long stimulation on the ride out and the ride back in as she drops and starts the torturous process all back over again. “Ah, good damn, Baby that shit is so good,” I breathe. She’s definitely going to unman me any second.

“Back. Sit back,” she whispers as she pushes me back onto the loveseat. She adjusts her knees and her ass and…

“Fuuuuuuck… oh, fuuuuuck. Ana… I-I’m going… fuuck…”

“No, Baby. Not yet… hold it… wait…” she says, her release hiding in her voice. Wait? Is she fucking kidding me? She’s rolling and grinding this tight, sexy flower on my defenseless, rigid cock and she’s telling me to wait!?

“Ana… fuuuck… Ana… I can’t… aahh!” She’s got to be kidding me.

“Yes… yes… yes, you can…” she mewls as her body and hips continue to roll over mine. Hell, hell, hell! This is torture! I damn-near want to safe word! I dig my fingers into the tender meat of her ass, spurring her to push into me harder as her legs start to tremble.

“Ah, yes, baby. Almost… hold on, baby… you can do it…”

Her breathy voice sounds as tortured as I feel. Her insides begin to clamp down on me and I feel that deep, painful burn that comes from holding back my orgasm and that accompanies intense release.

“I can’t… Ana… I can’t… I’m gonna… Ana… I’m com… Ana…”

“Aaaaahh!” she mewls loudly and covers my already open mouth with hers, holding my face against hers so that I can’t move away as she hungrily consumes my lips and mouth.

Goooooooooooooddddammit!

I whimper like a girl over and over again as I explode viciously, violently, and repeatedly into her eager, hungry core. I sound like a damn canary, but with the way she is grinding into me right now…

SING, MOTHERFUCKER! SING!

I’m completely out of breath when I begin to kiss her wherever I can find skin, claiming ever piece of flesh that I touch.

“Baby, oh God, baby. I love you. You are mine. Only mine.” I say between kisses and breaths.

“Only yours. Always only yours,” she whispers, her eyes closed and trying to find her own breath. I grab her and hold her close to me, nearly squeezing her to death, I know. I rock back and forth with her in my arms, still buried inside her, my head pressed against her chest.

“Oh, Ana, baby, Butterfly. I love you so much.” I feel like my chest will explode. She has to believe me. She has to believe that I love her more than anything, that I’ll give her anything, do anything to have her by my side forever. I can’t find the words to say to her. All I can say is, “I love you so much.”

“Oh, Christian!” She lays her head on mine and I can hear the tears in her voice. Her body shakes with her sobs and I just pull her closer into me.

I know, Butterfly. I know. My heart knows. My soul knows. I know.

I continue to rock her, holding her so close to me that I’m sure she can’t move. When her crying begins to subside, I pull her back enough to kiss the tears from her cheeks.

“Mine.” I say between kisses. “My love. My Butterfly. Mine.” I kiss her face over and over again until her crying stops and she looks at me with beautiful, vulnerable, sapphire eyes. Her words come back to me:

I love him so much that it scares me.

It used to scare me, too, Butterfly, but not anymore… not anymore, because you are the answer. I’m not uncertain anymore because the answer is right here… in your eyes, in your arms, in your kiss, and in your love.

“I will protect you with my life,” I say to her. “You are everything to me.” Her lip starts to tremble again, but instead of crying, she takes my face in her hands again and kisses me—softly and passionately. She’s giving her energy to me and I’m giving her mine. I can feel the exchange and I start to stiffen inside of her again. Neither of us move our lower regions, but I still feel her tightening around me.

“Butterfly,” I whisper.

“Baby,” she responds breathlessly. I don’t know what she’s doing to me, but I can’t move. It feels amazing and I can’t explain what’s going on. I feel it everywhere… everywhere… and we’re not even moving. Oh God, what is this? Her breathing is getting heavy and I swear she is a vise on my penis! Now, I’m losing my breath. We’re breathless… in sync. We sit there like this forever it seems… I don’t know how long… but the feeling is rising in my pelvis… like I’m going to come!

It can’t be! We’re not even moving!

“Ana?”

“Aaah!” she mewls. What the hell is happening? She rubs her hands on my back, and I swear the feeling sends chills through me—down to my knees and my legs start to shake.

“Baby!” I moan.

“Christian!” she whimpers, still trying to catch her breath. Anastasia… what’s happening? She starts to whimper with each feral breath and then… the sound starts as a groan, deep in her chest… then a higher-pitched moan… then a cry of pure abandon as she throws her head back and shifts only slightly on my lap—riding out her release? I think? I don’t know. All I know is that shift grabs my dick and pulls and oh good God in heaven!

“Ah! Oh my God!” I don’t recognize my own voice. I can’t keep myself from thrusting just once and my juices spill into her once more. Even as I still, my dick is pulsating with the force of an earthquake bouncing off the sides of her sex.

“Anastasia… oh my God!” I don’t know where I am. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where my face is. All I know is that this is insane! I’m glad that I’m underneath her and not on top of her because my legs are useless. We both sit there and breathe through this strange occurrence, neither of us quite knowing what to say right now. My face and chest are drenched, and she’s dripping in sweat, both of our hair sticking to our faces, both of us look at each other like strange alien creatures, both of us breathless.

“What… in the world… was that?” she asks incredulously.

“I don’t know… Oh God, I don’t know… I can’t breathe.” This ain’t like the squirt, Baby. I can’t explain this one!

“So that’s… never happened… to you before?” she asks, still trying to catch her breath. I shake my head feverishly.

“Uh-uh,” is all I can grunt. She has some kind of magic vagina or something. I was sure that I had seen it all… done it all… with a woman, anyway—but this!? I have no fucking idea what the hell just happened here! She wasn’t sucking me; she wasn’t fucking me; we weren’t moving or grinding; there were no vibrators involved. Yet that feeling was phenomenal.

“Well, what did you feel, Butterfly? What happened to you?” I’m just as curious about this experience as she is.

“I don’t know really,” she says. “When I kissed you… I just wanted you to know how much I love you. Everywhere our body touched, it was warm and… hot and… where you were inside me… it was unreal! I couldn’t move. It was so… intense and amazing and… I just don’t know what happened!” I could tell she had the same experience I did and had a hell of a time trying to describe it.

“Yah!” I said, unable to find any other words to fit the situation.

“Are you telling me that you had the exact same experience?” she asks, her voice laced with disbelief.

“You have to ask?” I declare. “Did you not feel me come!? Good grief, I couldn’t even curse!” I remember! I remember this orgasm! “Not a fuck, not a shit, not a damn in sight. Just Oh my God!”

A look of realization comes across her face and she bursts into uncontrollable laughter. I mean, she can’t even catch her breath. What the hell is this? I watch her like some psycho escaped from the loony bin and the next thing I know, I’m laughing, too! What the hell am I laughing at? I don’t know, but it’s cathartic! She winces a bit as she rises off of my thoroughly juiced member, but never stops laughing. I tuck Greystone back into my swim trunks and I am now in tears from this ridiculous laughter.

“What exactly is so damn funny?” I choke out between my laughter.

“I don’t know. You tell me!” she cackles. I don’t think either of us is quite clear on what just happened. I don’t know if we ever will be. All we know for sure is that we just shared a rare moment of pleasure and joy and now, we’re basking in the happiness of it. We stop laughing but gaze at each other with true sincere smiles on our faces. Then she kisses me again.

“Thank you, Christian,” she says, still smiling.

“For what?” I ask through my apple-pie grin.

“For loving me,” she responds. I brush her wet hair off her face and kiss her.

“Thank you, Anastasia.”

“For what?” she laughs, coyly.

“For letting me.”

*-*

Around noon, we drive the three miles just around the bend to Cove Bay where the Seaside Stables were located. Since the horses are rented by the hour, we get four horses for four hours so that we can ride together a bit and then the couples can spit up for some alone time. Since Butterfly and I had already partaken in some alone time after breakfast, we just want to do some riding and exploring. Davenport’s chicken-shit ass decides against the horseback riding after all and agrees to meet us on the other end of the beach with our picnic lunch.

There is a short orientation when we get to the stables… the rules for riding and how to treat the horses so that the experience is enjoyable for the horse and the rider, that sort of thing. The ride is a combination of a brush trail and a ride along—and in—the water. We are introduced to our horses and Butterfly takes to hers immediately. Butterfly’s horse is Jazz—a beautiful creamy stallion with gray eyes.

I wonder what drew her to that horse?

The moment she starts to bond with the horse, I somehow get a vision of her walking along the water in a beautiful white dress, holding the bottom so that it doesn’t get wet and leading this magnificent equine by the reins… the ocean beside her and a dynamic sky above and behind her…

Don’t ask me where that came from… I have no idea.

Gail takes a liking to the other pale horse, Tango. This horse is gray with a white mane. I can’t help but wonder where that combination of color came from. Taylor and I both take the brown horses—Biscuit and Zemi. They’re fine specimens accept for the fact that one of the stable kitties—yes, stable kitties—is sitting on Biscuit’s back when it’s time to me to ride him. I hate cats—well, maybe not hate them, but I’m not particular for them at all! The only “pussy” I intend to touch is connected to Butterfly’s body, so someone else has to rid my horse of its previous rider.

My cute Dr. Doolittle comes over and lifts the evil-looking gray and white fur ball from off my horse’s butt. The fucker is huge! The damn thing was almost as big as Anastasia. The handler tells us that the cat’s name is Twinkie and its little tabby companion with the same coloring just inside the barn door is Lulu.

Do I really care about these damn cats?

Not that I’m too concerned about the dollar amount per se, but at $100 per hour per horse for the whole afternoon, I’m not particularly interested in felines! When Ana put the cat on the ground, I’m certain that Twinkie noted my distaste… and I would swear that the hideous little beast was snarling at me! Yeah, whatever… beat it, Fuzzy!

I love watching Butterfly. I love watching her in everything she does… the way that she moves, how she interacts with people, the way that she smiles. I love the way that she makes a room shift when she enters it—that all the people around her are affected in some way by her energy. Animals even seem to respond to her in a mysterious manner…

Yes, you too, Fuzzy!

Most of all, I love the way she wears her clothes. She’s wearing a pair of faded pink cut-off denim shorts with a crotchet spaghetti-stringed half blouse that hooks and drapes in the back with one of her straw hats. She has removed whatever shoes that she was wearing since she knows that the horses will be wading. She’s walking away from me towards Jazz and her ass looks fantastic!

Butterfly puts her foot in the stirrup and daintily throws her leg over the horse, gracefully landing in the saddle with every bit of the weight of a pillow. Horses sometimes dance just a bit after you mount them—you know your body signals the horse to move in different directions and in different ways—but not Butterfly’s horse. It just stands there majestically holding my love, not moving one way of the other until she signals it to do so.

Gail has a bit of a harder time mounting Tango. She needs the handler to help her out. You don’t get to do too much horseback riding when you live and work in a penthouse in Seattle. I mount Biscuit and Taylor mounts Zemi and we’re on our way along the few brush trails on the deserted beach. Now, I don’t know what the hell is happening with these animals, but Biscuit and Jazz couldn’t stay away from each other! Butterfly and I can barely control them—they’re all over each other!

“Are you doing that?” I ask Butterfly when Jazz falls in line so close to Biscuit that they’re walking in sync and mine and Butterfly’s legs are nearly touching.

“Nope, that’s not me,” she replies. “I keep pulling her to the right, but she’s just going to wander back over here. I thought they were trained not to walk this closely.”

“Are they mates?” I ask the handler who is riding a bit ahead of us.

“No, they’re not. All the horses get along, but none of them are attached, so to speak. This is strange behavior for them as a matter of fact,” she says. Butterfly shrugs.

“As long as their legs don’t get tangled, we’re fine,” she says. I believe our two steeds have been bitten by the love bug myself. See, Butterfly? You have the same effect on everything.

We spend a little while trekking through the trees and along the trails, taking pictures of the sun as it peeks through the palm leaves. At times, Butterfly seems to be relaxed and enjoying herself—the sunshine, the cool breeze, the smell of the salt water on the beach not far from us. Still, at other times, she seems a million miles away. I want to ask her where she is and what she’s thinking, what ghosts she’s chasing, but I think better of it for now.

Once we come out of the trails, the horses gladly take us for a wonderful dip in the Caribbean Sea. They apparently love the water and will go in nearly up to your seat and wade for a while. This is where Butterfly seems most natural, but Gail nearly panics until she’s sure there’s no danger being in the sea with a horse belly deep. A few minutes later, we’re out of the water and splitting up in different directions. The handler mentions to us that the horses often gallop, trot, or run down the beach and the moment the handler is gone and Taylor and Gail ride off into the afternoon sun, Butterfly’s horse take off in a mean stride down the beach!

What the hell!

“Fuck! ANASTASIA!” I don’t know if she’s doing it or the horse is out of control. She’s not turning around of even acknowledging that I’m calling to her.

“Shit!” I say as Biscuit and I take off full speed behind her and Jazz. Damn, that horse can fucking move! Then again, it’s probably only carrying 110 pounds on its back, if that much. The closer I get to her, I realize that she has the horse under control. So, why didn’t she respond to me when I called her? Why did she just take off flying up the beach without me? After her little afternoon ride which only lasted a few minutes, she signals Jazz to slow to a walk and then stop. I bring Biscuit up next to them.

“Do you want to tell me what that was all about?” I ask, perturbed. Her expression is unreadable. I can’t tell what’s going through her mind at all. “What’s wrong, Anastasia?” Her expression now looks a little crestfallen.

“I just wanted to ride,” she answers softly, a little unsure.

“Why couldn’t you just tell me that? You just took off… I thought your horse was out of control!” I say. She just smooths her horse’s mane, not making eye contact with me. I run my hand through my hair. “Could you please just not do that again? You could have been killed. You scared me to death!” I say, still flustered but I don’t want to fight about it. She just nods, still not making eye contact with me. She dismounts her horse and walks along the water until she gets to some rocks. She sits down, keeping Jazz’s reins in her hand. Something is on her mind. I don’t want to push her, but I can’t help her if she doesn’t let me in. I dismount Biscuit and sit next to her on the rocks, taking her hand in mine.

“Butterfly, please tell me what’s wrong,” I beseech her, tracing circles on her hands. She sighs.

“Well, this isn’t how I thought this would go.” She says. Huh? How she thought what would go?

“Care to elaborate?” I ask, bemused. Her shoulders fall.

“I’m nervous,” she admits. Okay, now I’m really lost.

“What are you nervous about?” I ask, my voice controlled and even. She sighs again and reaches into her bag. She pulls out a bundle of yellowing tissue paper. What the hell is this?

“Just… here.” She hands me the wad of tissue; her voice is a bit tortured. I take the wad from her and begin to unwrap it. Inside there is a small wooden box—it looks like mahogany, but I’m not sure. It’s about four inches long and two inches wide with a slide top on it made of five different color woods assembled in an Aztec-like design. I know the box is hand-made. I look up at Butterfly and she just stares at the box, clearly a bundle of nerves. I open the box to reveal a necklace, made of some kind of silvery-black metal. It’s a heavy rope chain… and a key. The key is made from the same metal as the chain. It looks like an antique skeleton key. I have no idea what it’s made of… but it’s beautiful! I look to Butterfly for an explanation.

“When I bought this piece, I was drawn to it,” she begins. “I bought it from a Japanese vendor at the Marketplace. She’s still down there, too… the same place I got the Butterfly chopsticks. I had very little savings and it cost everything that I had. I knew when I bought it that it wasn’t for me. I knew that it was for the man that I loved… the man who would hold my heart. I kept wanting to give it to Edward, because I thought it was him but at the risk of sounding crazy, the necklace wasn’t having it. I don’t believe it’s witchcraft or black magic or anything like that, but I’m telling you that at the age of 19 this piece spoke to me.

“So, I spent my entire savings and I bought it. Both Al and Val thought I had lost my mind… but knowing why I purchased it, they were even more shocked to see that Edward never wore it. At first, I thought that I was insane or something—I mean, a necklace speaking to you… sounds a little cuckoo… especially since when I got the necklace home and put it in my jewelry box, it was silent.”

She looks out over the sea like she’s searching for the next words that she should be saying. I could tell that she hadn’t planned this out any more than I planned out the Cartier box that I’ve been carrying around all day since we left the villa.

“My dorm was broken into three times and my first apartment was broken into twice. I didn’t have anything of much value… all my jewelry was costume. Each time they broke in, they cleaned out my jewelry boxes… I mean, really cheap tin shit. I don’t think I owned diamonds—even very, very small ones—until well after I finished my internship, and I couldn’t afford gold. In terms of cost, the most valuable thing in the box was this necklace… and they left it every time. Once, they took the whole box and left the necklace on my desk.

“About a week or so ago, I was feeling the pull again, but I didn’t know what it was. So, I waited… and then I was kidnapped.” She pauses and sighs. “Once I was rescued, the pull came back, but I still didn’t know what it was. Then it occurred to me.” She turns and looks at the necklace still lying in the slide box. “This is the first time since I had to put the necklace in a new jewelry box that I’ve touched it. I sent Al to bring it to me and he felt nothing. I want you to have this… but I can’t just give it to you. You have to accept it. In accepting it, you accept my love, my heart, my flaws… all of me. And here’s the thing. It’s meant for life, but if for some reason we don’t make it, it’s still meant for you… because I will never love anyone the way that I love you.”

I swear on everything that I hold sacred that the heavens open, and I hear celestial trumpets and choirs serenading this moment. I have never had anyone make me feel like my chest would literally burst wide open and my heart would jump out and land in her lap declaring that it had found its new home until this woman. I am speechless. I look from this exquisitely detailed key in a metal I have never seen before and couldn’t identify back to Butterfly’s expectant blue eyes.

“You’re giving this to me?” I say, my voice hopeful and incredulous. After that entire speech, I need her to say it again.

“Yes, Christian. I’m giving it to you… if you’ll accept it.” Her nerves have returned and I can hear the tremble in her voice. I pull the chain from its handmade box and examine it more closely. The moment I touch it—feel the metal on my fingers—I know that it, like Butterfly, is mine! I hand the necklace to Butterfly and turn away from her.

“Will you put it on me, please?” I ask, needing her to put it next to my skin. A few moments later, I see the key appear on my chest and, after a few moments of adjusting, rest there like it had truly found its home. I quickly reach around and pull her into my lap, kissing her deeply. She whimpers from the surprise and then from the passion. I slowly pull my mouth away from hers, our faces only breaths apart. She’s lying in my arms, her head nestled in my elbow looking up at me… breathless.

“Thank you,” I whisper. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” she breathes. I don’t want to let her go and I don’t want to steal her thunder, but if I wait another moment, I’m afraid it’ll cheapen the sentiment behind her gift and mine. She’ll think I only bought it because she bought me something. I need her to know how I feel—that I feel the same way that she does, and that I have felt this way all along. I look up at Biscuit and Jazz, and they’re quietly nuzzling one another. Go figure.

It’s the Butterfly Effect.

I sit her up, pulling her further into my lap. “I didn’t have a plan for this, I was kind of playing it by ear.” Now it’s my turn to be nervous. I reach into my pocket and pull out the Cartier box. I can feel her heart racing through her thighs!

“I know that we haven’t known each other long, and that asking you to marry me right now would be utterly ludicrous since we still really need to get to know each other better. Having said that, I love you, Anastasia. I don’t see anybody else in this place—your place—but you. Until that time that we decide we want to take that next step and make this legal, I’ll wear your necklace to symbolize that I belong to you. Will you wear my promise ring to symbolize that you belong to me?” I open the Cartier box to reveal a diamond encrusted platinum ring in the shape of—you guess it—a butterfly.

I swear, she took in enough air to suck in the ozone layer!

“Oh my God! It’s gorgeous!” she squeals like a little girl, her eyes filling with tears and her face nearly split in two by a full 32-tooth smile.

“Is that a yes? You’ll wear my ring?” I ask with an expectant chuckle.

“Are you kidding!?” she squeals again as she thrusts her left hand in my face.

“It’s a promise ring. I don’t know if you are supposed to wear it on your ring finger,” I say.

“It’s my ring, right?” she asks.

“Of course, it is!” I respond. She sticks her left hand out with her ring finger separate and looked at me expectantly. I chuckle as I slip the ring on her finger, a perfect fit and right where it’s supposed to be. She admires her latest piece of jewelry and sighs heavily before putting her hand on my cheek and kissing me gently.

“Thank you,” she says, her eyes closed and her forehead leaning against mine. I feel that current that always passes between us, wrapping around us and pulling us closer together.

“You’re welcome, Butterfly,” I say, softly, kissing her cheek in front of her ear while she fingers the key around my neck.

My man,” she says softly, laying her head on my shoulder and nuzzling into my neck.

“Yes, yours, always.” I respond. I caress the hand wearing my ring before I tangle my fingers in hers.

My woman,” I breathe, kissing her ring finger, then bringing our entwined hands to my chest.

Only yours,” she whispers. I gaze into the eyes of this woman who has so completely captured my heart and soul. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. My world is hers; my fortune is hers; my body is hers; my life is hers. She holds the key to my happiness and my very existence, which is ironic since she just presented me with a key. I will wear it forever—to always remind me of the precious gift that I have in this woman, even when we are apart. She is my heart’s song and my soul’s melody—the remaining notes that connect the two to complete my life’s symphony.

To say that I love her doesn’t cover what I feel at this moment. To say that she’s my breath and my soul sounds too cliché. To say that she completes me sounds too common—but these things are all true. She’s the tether that keeps me from floating away into nothingness—delicate as a hair yet strong as iron. She makes me feel, want, need, cry, hope… love. Before her, I was nothing. Without her… I’m even less. I look down at her and get lost in those ocean blue eyes, indulging once more in her welcoming kiss as we wrap ourselves around one another, our skin being caressed by a warm afternoon sea breeze.


A/N: In flagrante delicto – It’s Latin and it translates into “in blazing offense,” but it has come to just mean “caught in the act” and is usually referred to catching someone mid-stroke.

That “orgasm” moment happened to me many, many years ago which I am still unable to explain. This was the best explanation I could give. Has anyone else ever had this experience? Please share if you have! I would love to hear it. Mine was so long ago that my partner at the time could only exclaim “Fahrvergnügen!” I know it’s ridiculous, but at the time, Volkswagen’s motto was Fahrvergnügen, which supposedly meant “Driving Pleasure.” And right after we came, that’s the first thing that came out of his mouth because we couldn’t figure out what the hell had happened. We both laughed hysterically, and I never looked at Volkswagens the same. Just another look into my twisted life.

Christian never asked her, but FYI, that necklace cost Ana $800 in 2005 when she was 19. Nobody knows exactly what the alloy is.

Make sure you check out the Anguilla trip board at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-the-trip-to-anquilla/  There are lots of links there to take you to the islands with our couple!

You can also see who I envision as MY characters in PAGING DR. STEELE (not FSOG-PAGING DR STEELE) onhttp://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-characters/.

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

~~love and handcuffs

 

Paging Dr. Steele: Chapter 49: Preparing For Sunnier Climes

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 49—Preparing For Sunnier Climes

STEELE

We all climb into the Audi SUV since we have to stop at the police station first to retrieve my belongings. It’s my hope to never have to deal with the Seattle Police Department in this capacity again. I know that I received special treatment—most likely because of a certain copper-haired, gray-eyed Adonis that I know and love—and yet, it’s still a damn nightmare getting my things back!

First, there must be a petition and a background check for me to retrieve my guns. Luckily, that process started the day that they retrieved me. I’m at the evidence warehouse and the guy is treating me like a toddler. By the time it’s all said and done, I’m flailing my hands about asking this guy who’s older than Jesus, “I have a CCW! I had to get a background check for the CCW! What’s the problem? Just tell me what I need to do to get my guns!” Instead of being helpful, this jerk prefers to stand there and make jokes about my height and my guns being bigger than I am.

Wrong move, Moses.

By the time it’s all said and done, I’ve called Gerald and then Christian and they called somebody else and the next thing I know, Christian, Williams, Gerald, and some other cop—chief, I think—are all down at the warehouse. Gerald and this Chief guy are screaming Moses down, who’s now shaking and shivering and trying to find my guns and my car. First, my car was at the impound, and then they took it somewhere else and now it’s here and blah, blah, blah… just give me my shit! By the time I get my guns, I have now wasted an hour of shopping time—thank God, we left early—and when I go out to my car, it looks like pure shit. It’s filthy. It’s covered in dirt and white dust and there are fingerprints all over it. There’s black gunk on the inside and they damaged it when they towed it.

“What the fuck happened?” Christian demands. “I was at the aquarium when they put this car on the truck. It didn’t look like this!” he shouts, looking from Williams to Gerald.

“I know. I saw it, too,” Gerald says.

“What the hell did they do to her car!?” Christian is screaming now. I tune out anything they’re saying. I look at what once was my beautiful pearl blue 2012 Chrysler 300 with matching suede interior. It’s now a dusty, dirty, grimy, damaged hunk of junk. It doesn’t even look like my car anymore. I turn away from the car and walk silently out the garage doors and to the nearby Audi SUV. Fuck it, I think to myself. First, Edward bashes the windshield out and now the police get a hold of it and treat it like a useless piece of tin. I’m still paying for the damn thing! Whatever. I get into the back seat and close the door. I fold my arms and silent tears fall down my face.

Fucking cops.

In a moment, Christian is opening the door. “Butterfly?” I wipe my tears quickly, like I’m ashamed for him to see them. “Do you want to make a report?”

“No,” I say quietly. “I want to get out of here.” The tears are still flowing as I look straight ahead.

“Are you still paying for that car, Butterfly?” he asks. I nod. “Then you should really make a report.”

“I don’t care anymore, Christian. I want to get out of here. I want to go shopping with my friends,” I reply, still trying to wipe the tears from my sore face. Christian takes out his handkerchief and gently dabs my tears dry.

“I’ll talk to Gerald and we’ll make the report. We saw the car when they loaded it.” I just nod. I don’t think he understands that car is not my car anymore. Whatever happens, I’m just going to trade the damn thing in or something, I don’t know. My beautiful 300.

“I’ll make sure it gets detailed and repaired for you, okay?” he says. Detailed. Again. Sure. I nod. I don’t care what they do with it. I didn’t even put my Boo back in it. “Are you okay, Baby?” I nod again. Gail and Maxie come back over to the SUV.

“Ana, are you okay?” Gail asks. I give her a tortured, tearful smile.

“I’ll be fine, but we have less space to fill since my car is destroyed,” I croak, trying and failing to make light of the situation.

“Lawrence can drive the other SUV. You guys can take the two SUV’s with you,” Christian says.

“What about you and Williams?” I ask.

“Don’t worry about us, we’ll be fine. You don’t have many more shopping hours left—I want you to go. Okay?” He smiles at me and I suddenly feel better.

“Okay,” I reply as he dabs my eyes again.

“I’ll take care of this. No more crying,” he scolds. I nod.

“Okay.” He kisses me on my lips and the girls climb into the SUV. Lawrence gets into the other SUV and follows us to Nordstrom. We have about five hours to make a big dent in this store, and that’s exactly what I plan to do. I give my firearms to Chuck to secure in the glove box and proceed into Nordstrom to give the “Holy Grail” a workout.

When I say that we put a hole in Nordstrom, I mean that we put a hole in Nordstrom! First, we head to the summer dresses. We need tropical colors and flowing materials. Once we put a dent in that department, we wander over to blouses, then pants and leggings, swimwear, then shoes… ah, shoes! After we choose our accessories, poor Gail turns several shades of pink when I tell her that we can’t leave without lingerie.

“I’m comfortable in nightgowns and pajamas. I’ll be just fine,” she tries to protest.

“Oh, no,” I say. “We’re going to Anguilla. You’ll be wearing silk, lace, or satin every night that we’re there.”

“I’m too old for that stuff,” she says.

“You most certainly are not!” I disagree. “I’ll have you know that I’ll be wearing this stuff when I’m in my sixties and beyond. As long as Mr. Grey’s eyes work, I’ll give him something to look at. Now move your patootie!”

“Patootie?” Maxie whines. “Really Ana?”

“Just… come on you guys.”

I’m helping Gail pick out her spread for 10 days just in case. We choose a white Joquil Casablanca Satin and Lace nightgown, a Cosabella Never Say Never black stretch lace chemise, an Oscar De La Renta white print satin chemise with black lace trim, a Honeydew Intimates Emma Elegance Coral nightie with black lace bosom and trim, a Calvin Klein sultan purple nylon chemise with lace trim, a Joquil In Bloom orchid lace trapeze nightie (I bought the same nightie in black and turquoise), and the Natori Zen Floral chemise with lace bosom in heathered sea grass, which is kind of like seafoam green (I got the same nightie in black). I made sure to get her the Natori Kabibi Robe as well. Nothing too risqué—we don’t want Jason having a heart attack, but we do want him to find her utterly irresistible on this lovely, romantic, tropical island. I purchase a few pieces for me as well and a couple for Maxie… I don’t want her to feel left out.

We’ve got the poor salesgirl carrying armfuls upon armfuls of clothing and shoes and costume jewelry, nighties, and hats and bags. I even purchase luggage because I knew Christian would forget that I had none at his apartment… and I’m just not ready to go back to my condo, yet. Lawrence and Chuck are very efficient in carrying the items out to the SUVs as I watch the cash register sing higher and higher while most of Nordstrom’s inventory walks out with my security. “Is that everything, ma’am?”

Isn’t that enough? I think to myself as I observe the astronomical number on display.

“Yep, I’d say that’s everything,” I reply. Lawrence and Chuck have finally gotten the SUV’s loaded and we walk out of Nordstrom only to find that the paparazzi had been hiding and waiting for me to emerge. Oh, enough of this hiding. I put on my sunglasses to hide the worst of the bruising and walk to the SUV.

“Smile for the cameras, ladies,” I say, as I wave at the crowd of photographers a few feet away… and the cameras go wild.

“How are you feeling, Ms. Steele?” one of them yells.

“I’m doing well. Thank you for asking. Good night,” I yell back. I hurry and get into the SUV to avoid the frenzy of more questions that will follow. Chuck looks back at me.

“That might not have been the best idea, Ana,” he says.

“Well, Christian’s not here, Chuck, and I have to play it by ear. With what’s going to be happening over the next several weeks and probably the next several months, I’m going to be getting a lot of exposure whether I want it or not. With what Christian and I have planned, I need the press to be on my side. I don’t need them pegging me as a disagreeable bitch.” He nods skeptically, turns around and starts the car.

“Where would you like to go to eat?” Chuck asks.

“With paparazzi in tow, we should probably just go home. I’ll whip us up something when we get there,” I say to Chuck, and he proceeds to drive us back to Escala.

We have so much stuff that when we get back to Escala, Chuck and Lawrence just drive around to the service elevator. We help them by unloading some of the smaller bags while they unload the luggage and the larger parcels. Maxie made sure that her things were bagged separately so that she could leave when we got back and return to her beloved Phil. I give her a hug and kiss because I know it would be at least a week before I see her again. As Lawrence and Chuck are putting the last of the packages in the service elevator, I retrieve my guns from the glove compartment.

“If you don’t mind my asking, ma’am, what are you working with there?” Lawrence asks when I pull my guns from the glove compartment.

“I’ll tell you if you stop calling me ma’am,” I reply. “Ask Jason and Chuck, I hate it.”

“You prefer Her Highness?” he snickers, and I laugh with him.

“That was a joke that just got carried away,” I chuckle. “So now I’m stuck with it. I actually prefer Ana. What’s your first name anyway?”

“Benjamin,” he responds.

“Benjamin,” I repeat. “That’s even more formal than Lawrence,” I say closing the glove box.

“Ben for short,” he corrects himself.

“That I can do. Ben, this is my Boo. She’s a 9mm Glock G19C with a slide lock and integrated compensator. I usually keep her in the car. She’s the ride along.” I hand him my Glock.

“Impressive,” he says testing the weight of it. “Light,” he observes.

“What can I say? I’m small.” I shrug. I pull out my revolver. “This is my carrier… .44 Magnum 629. It’s a double-action Smith & Wesson Special.” I hand him the Magnum and he returns my Boo. I check the lock before I put it back in my purse.

“Heavier metal,” he says, again testing the weight.

“Yep. Less ammo. Back at home, I have a 9mm Beretta Px4 Storm Type F Sub-Compact with a reversible magazine.”

“Whoa! Now that’s the one that means business!” he says, returning my Magnum as we walk back to the elevator. I put it in my purse with the Glock.

“Hey, I figure if you’re walking into someone’s house, you get what you deserve,” I say unapologetic.

“The Glock is your favorite.” he says as we join Chuck and Gail in the elevator and ride to the penthouse.

“What makes you say that?” I ask.

“It’s obvious, you call it your Boo,” he says, laughing. I shrug.

“Yeah, I do. I guess it’s because it’s midway between the other two. No reversible magazine like the Beretta since I’m not trying to empty two clips into anyone, but a little more fire power than the Magnum,” I say. He nods.

“Very impressive, Ana,” he says and smiles at me.

“Thank you, Ben,” I respond, and we ride the rest of the way in silence.

When we get to the penthouse, I go straight to my office. Christian has the lock box sitting on my desk with instructions that there’s a hideaway compartment in the wall behind me once I have safely locked away my firearms. I open the lockbox, take my Boo out of my purse and begin to inspect her. I release and remove the magazine. I remove each round and inspect it for tampering and damage. I pull the chamber back and release the bullet that’s inside the chamber. The carriage pops back indicating that the gun is empty. I must inspect it carefully since she has been out of my possession for the last few days. Those idiots fucked up my car; there’s no telling what they did to my guns. I check down the barrel. No obstructions. No smell of gunpowder, so it hasn’t been fired. I pull the trigger, popping the carriage back in place and engage the slide lock before I put it in the lock box. I reload the ammunition back into the magazine and place it next to my Boo in the box.

“You really know what you’re doing there.” His honey voice caresses my ears and draws my eyes to him, standing in the doorway of my office looking all delicious. His eyes are filled with wonder.

“I better—these are not toys, you know.” I wink at him as I pop open the chamber on the Magnum and empty the bullets into my hand. He comes into my office and pulls a chair beside me while I inspect the rounds I just removed from the gun.

“What are you doing?” he asks. I look up at him… he’s curious.

“I always know where my guns are—Beretta secured in my nightstand; Glock secured in my glove box, Magnum secured on me. If, for any reason, they’re not in one of those three places, I have to inspect them carefully to make sure that they’re in correct working condition,” I say while I continue to inspect the bullets.

“Do you think they broke them?” he asked.

“Well, not necessarily broke them, but they could have been mishandled or something,” I say while inspecting the chamber and the barrel. “See, look here.” He nervously leans over to me. I smile. “There are no bullets in the gun, Christian,” I say, spinning the empty chamber. He nods and moves in closer. “Look down the barrel there. Do you see the debris?”

“Yeah,” he says examining the gun.

“Now, I have to clean it before I fire it. I was going to do that anyway,” I say as I put the loose rounds in the lockbox—no use in loading a dirty gun. “When a gun is fired, the bullet doesn’t go straight through the barrel. It goes around. Each barrel is unique, so when the bullet goes around in the barrel before it is discharged, the barrel leaves markings on the bullet. That’s why ballistics can match a bullet to a particular gun.” He raises his eyebrows and nods.

“Can that debris change the markings on the bullet?” he asks. I shake my head.

“It’s not likely, but depending on the debris, it can cause the firearm to malfunction and I could get hurt.” Oh, he doesn’t like the sound of that at all. “That’s why Ray made sure I knew everything there is to know about a gun before he put one in my hands.” I pull the hammer back and pull the trigger once. Christian jumps. I told you the gun’s not loaded, Baby.

“Why do you do that… fire it with no bullets?” he asks.

“Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t want me to fire it with bullets in your glass tower. That wouldn’t be good,” I tease. Christian doesn’t find that funny. “I’m sorry, Baby. I do that to make sure it’s engaging properly… and I smell it to make sure it hasn’t been fired.”

“You smell it?” He frowns.

“Yes. If it’s been fired recently, it smells like gunpowder. Another forensics lesson… Gunpowder residue on your clothes and hands indicates that you were the shooter. Dun dun duuuuuuunnnnn!” I make the sound of ominous music to lighten the mood. It works—Christian’s shoulders relax, and he smiles. I close the chamber and put the Magnum in the lock box, then pick up my Boo and the magazine.

“This is the ammunition for this gun.” I hold up the magazine before putting it back into the box. I slide open the chamber to show him that the gun is empty. Then I pull the trigger.

“Do you see how that carriage rocks back and forth when you pull the trigger?” I say.

“I didn’t see it. Do it again.” I repeat the process so that he can see it moving. He nods.

“If you don’t know how to hold the gun properly or the gun isn’t calibrated properly, this carriage can snap back and cut your hand. Have you ever heard of recoil?” I ask.

“I’ve heard of a person recoiling,” he responds.

“It’s kinda the same thing. When the bullet is discharged, the force pushes the gun back. It can be light recoil or heavy recoil, depending on the gun and the ammo. I’m strong, but I’m still a little person, so I wouldn’t try to fire an Uzi. It would literally knock me on my ass on the first attempt. That’s why they hold them in the movies like this.” I demonstrate how the movie stars hold a large automatic weapon. “They’re not that heavy, but they hold them like they weigh a ton. That’s because they are firing multiple shots at once and the recoil is insane!” I say as I put my Boo back in the box and lock it. Christian opens the compartment behind me in the wall and I put the box inside.

“You weren’t really interested in all of that, were you?” I ask him as he secures the compartment.

“Yes and no,” he admits. “I came up here for another reason, but then I saw you taking the gun apart. I told you that I detest guns, but I was fascinated watching you and thought, well, maybe I should ask you about it. All I’ve ever known from guns is that they kill people. I’ve never tried to learn anything else. If you had asked me last week, I wouldn’t have been interested. Watching you dismantle the gun, I was interested.” I laugh.

“Oh, I haven’t dismantled it yet. That comes when I clean it,” I say. He chuckles and takes me in his arms.

“I wish you had it on you last Friday. I never thought I would hear myself say that, but I really wish you had,” he says, his eyes sincere and sad.

“Me, too,” I say, pushing my face into his chest and holding him close to me. “But I’m okay, and I’ll be all better soon,” I add, looking into his loving eyes. “Now I have to go and fix my people something to eat since we didn’t get a chance to eat while we were out,” I say giving him a peck on the lips and walking out of the office.

“Oh yeah, that’s why I came up here.” He’s following me down the stairs and to the kitchen. “Davenport said that you spoke to the paps. What was that about?” I look in the refrigerator to see what I can cook quickly. Gail had taken pork chops out for dinner, but we went shopping instead. I quickly dial back to Gail’s quarters.

Yes, Mr. Grey?” she answers.

“It’s me, Gail. May I use your pork chops? I’m going to throw something together for us to eat since we don’t have much time.”

Sure, do you need me to help?” she asks.

“No, you’ve got packing to do and so do I, come to think of it.”

I’ll do your packing, Ana. You don’t have to worry about it,” she says.

“I’ll tell you what. Come and help me with dinner and we’ll pack together.”

Okay, be there in a moment.” I hang up the phone and go back to the fridge. I take out the pork chops and begin preparing them to cook. I turn around and Christian is sitting at the breakfast bar expecting. I forgot he was there.

“I’m sorry, Baby. What did you say?” I ask.

“The paparazzi, you spoke to them…” he begins.

“Well, you weren’t there. I was on my own. I expect for us to be in the news quite a bit in the coming months. I figure it’s better to make the media a friend than an enemy.” I fill a pot halfway with water and put it on to boil. Then I put some olive oil in a pan on the stove top for the pork chops. Gail comes around the corner and grabs her apron.

“What do you need me to do?” she asks.

“Can you make a nice salad, please? We’ll have some seared pork chops with a quick pasta,” I respond. She nods and begins making the salad. “Have you and Jason eaten yet? It’s late,” I ask Christian.

“No. What did you say to them?” he says.

“Tsk, tsk, tsk, why didn’t you eat?” I ask.

“You had my cook, now answer my question,” he responds flatly. I lean on the breakfast bar in front of him.

“First of all, that’s no excuse. You know better. It’s after 9:00. And before you try to use my words against me—I was shopping, we were pressed for time, and the paps were following me. You, my love, were at home.” I say pointing in his face. He does the shaking head nod as he knows I squashed that conversation. “Second, I waved to the paparazzi. They asked how I was, I told them I was very well, thanked them for asking, and said Goodnight. My dress didn’t fly up so that my cooch would end up on the front page of a tabloid and I didn’t say anything that could be used as a sound bite. Okay?” I await his approval. He smirks at me.

“Okay. Just be careful. They’ll say things to try to get a rise out of you then use your reaction against you in the media,” he warns.

“I will,” I say as I go to the stove and put the chops in the frying pan with a little lemon pepper. Since there will be six of us, I start another pan to fry the remaining chops so that I’m not in the kitchen all night. Gail is just about done with the salad. “Gail, please set the table for six when you’re done.” She nods.

“Six?” Christian asks as I put whole cloves of peeled garlic and spaghetti in the boiling water.

“Yes, six. You, me, Gail, Jason, Chuck, and Ben.”

Ben? Who the hell is Ben?” he asks.

“Lawrence! Do you know anybody’s first name besides Jason and Gail?” I ask.

“I try not to. These people are my employees, Ana. I only started calling Gail by her first name since you got here, and I’m not too keen on sitting at the dinner table with all of them. It’s not always appropriate. Gail and Taylor, yes, they’ve been with me the longest. But Davenport and Lawrence…” He trails off.

“Where was Chuck going to eat anyway? He has to be here tonight to leave with us in the morning,” I point out.

“He was going to eat in the servant’s quarters.” Ugh, I hate that term. Gail and I were going to eat together, chew the fat and talk—but I can’t shove Chuck and Ben in the servant’s quarters like butlers while the four of us sit out here having a gay old time. I sigh.

“Gail, please set the table for two. In fact, just set the bar, and you can take dinner back to your quarters for everyone else. Is that okay?” I say to her, my voice subdued.

“Of course, Ana. Do you still want me to help you pack?” she asks. I’m feeling a little Christian-crushed right now, so I just say, “No, just have Jason or Chuck bring the little things and the luggage that I bought for myself to our bedroom and I’ll take care of it.” She nods.

“You bought luggage?” Christian asks. I really don’t want to speak to him right now.

“Yes,” I say in a controlled voice. “I didn’t have time to go back to the condo to get mine.”

“I have plenty of luggage, Butterfly,” he says.

“I’m sorry. I should have asked. I really don’t need it, I just didn’t know. I can return it…” I begin.

“No, it’s perfectly fine. You should have your own. Is it nice?” he asks, still trying to make conversation.

“It’s functional,” I reply dryly. It is rather nice, but I don’t want to sit here and talk about luggage. Gail notices the tension in the air and finds a reason to excuse herself after she sets the breakfast bar for Christian and me.

“I’m going to go set the table in the servant’s quarters and I’ll be right back,” she says softly. I nod, and she makes a fast getaway.

“And now, you’re angry with me,” Christian observes as I drain the pasta and turn the chops. I sigh.

“No, I’m not angry,” I say truthfully… disappointed, but not angry. I toss the pasta with oregano and olive oil, then cover it so that it’ll stay warm. “I understand that you have lived this structured life with order and formality all of this time and then here come with my guns and my Your Highness and my Chuck, Jason, and Ben and rattle all of your structure. I’m not trying to change you or the way you do things. I just have to remember where I fit in.” I say, downcast. I realize that didn’t come out like I wanted it to, but I don’t know what else to say. I turn my chops once more and add lemon juice, honey, and a touch of soy sauce and let them simmer.

“Butterfly,” he comes around the breakfast bar into the kitchen and puts his arms around me, “you don’t just fit in here. You’re my life, now. Everything has to fit around you, or it has to go. I’ve never been that friendly with my staff. I like to keep the lines separate. I understand how you feel and that you’re more personable than I am, but I’ll probably never call Davenport or Lawrence by their first names and I’ve called Taylor Taylor for so long, that is his first name to me. I don’t want you to be unhappy or ever think you have to fit in. We’re a team… remember?” He says the last words with hope in his voice. “And if it means that much to you, they can eat at the table with us.”

“No, I’m fine,” I cede. “You’ll be grinding your teeth with security sitting at the table with us… be honest.” He does that yes/no nod/shake that he does, and I know that he would be doing just that. “Might as well go on and let them eat with Gail and Jason, as long as I don’t have to send Ben home hungry.” I say, taking the chops off the fire and putting enough on a serving platter for the staff. “But know this, I plan on having some meals with your staff while we’re in Anguilla. I respect that you don’t want to break bread with them all the time, but sometimes…” He cuts me off.

“Totally acceptable. I just want you to be happy and have a good time,” he says. I turn around to face him just as he goes to kiss my cheek and his mouth hits mine… and it didn’t hurt! His face is a hair away from mine and he stands there waiting for my reaction. The moment I gasp out the breath I was holding, he snatches me in his arms—my feet dangling in the air—and closes his lips over mine. The kiss is gentle, deep, and passionate. I tangle my fingers into his hair and sink into the kiss. We have been waiting days for this! I whimper into his mouth and fight the urge to wrap my legs around him. We’re mauling each other like two starving dogs… tongues and lips and teeth and oh my God! I gasp when his mouth releases mine and his lips travel down my cheek to my jaw, then my neck… fire!

“Christian…” I breathe. My loins are burning, but we don’t have time. We have to board a plane at 4:00am.

“I know. We have to stop,” he breathes into my neck. He halts his assault and I’m still stroking his hair.

“Yes,” I whisper, clearly out of breath.

“You’re hot, Baby,” he says, bringing his face up to meet mine.

“So are you,” I breathe.

“No,” he says, brushing his lips against my cheek and I shiver. “You see that? You’re hot. We may have to alleviate that later.” He blows a hot breath on my neck and I feel my nipples stiffen.

“Ah… Christian, please. We don’t have time,” I whine.

“There’s always time for an orgasm,” he says… in that voice. Oh, fuck. I shake my head and regain my senses.

“We must eat. Now. And then I must pack… and shower. I probably won’t even sleep tonight since we’re leaving here so early.” He kisses me gently on my cheek.

“You’re right,” he says as he places me back on the floor. Thank God. I was losing that battle quickly. “Wine or spritzers?” he asks.

“Spritzers. I don’t want to get too relaxed and then I can’t pack,” I say. He makes us two spritzers as I serve up our dinner. Gail comes out and takes the food back to the rest of the guys. No doubt she wandered out here during our make-out session. Her timing can’t be that perfect.

I enjoy a fast meal with Christian, then dash back to my office to make sure that all my travel documents are in order. I toss my cell in my purse with my charger. I decide to run through my mail quickly and I see a postcard from… Kate! Get outta here! It’s addressed to the office, so I can only assume that Al must have gone by there as well.

Hi Ana,

Doing some brain cleansing on the beach at St. Tropez and I thought of you. Yes, I know… strange. But you were the catalyst that let me know that I need to get myself together and now I’m thinking more clearly. Please let Elliot know that I’m fine and I think of him and hope that his life is now going the way that he hopes. Hoping that you and I can have a drink or something when I am stateside again. Until then, à bientôt!

Kate

I literally laugh aloud when I read the card. Our entire relationship started—badly, because she threw a French term at me and now she’s in the French Riviera! Speaking French! I think… How ironic.

There was nothing else for me to be concerned about in the mail that couldn’t wait until I get back. I intended to call some of my patients today, but I didn’t have a chance. There was no indication from my service or Marilyn that anyone had any emergencies, so I have to assume that all is well unless someone notifies me otherwise. I send an email to Marilyn that I’m going out of the country and will most likely not be back for at least a week. She can contact me by phone and email if there are any issues that need my immediate attention. I take the package Al brought to me earlier out of my desk and put it in my purse. I’ll need it in Anguilla.

I go into our bedroom and it looks like a garment boutique exploded in here. In addition to the pieces I bought for myself from Nordstrom, apparently my vacation wardrobe has been delivered. Good God, does this man plan on staying in Anguilla for a whole damn month!? Where am I supposed to put all of this? I can’t take it all! I go to the closet and apparently, Christian has made more room for my things in here. Not only are there more clothes hanging in here for me, but there is also plenty of room for that wardrobe he just bought me. I wonder what he did with his things? His words from earlier come back to me…

You don’t just fit in here. You’re my life, now. Everything has to fit around you, or it has to go.

I feel a little giggly when I think of it. I begin to go through the lovely things that he bought for me—dresses and shorts and blouses and skirts, shoes, lingerie, even accessories. He thought of everything… or the personal shopper he hired thought of everything. I don’t care! All I know is that I’m going to look hot in Anguilla!

I’m finally done packing everything that I plan to take with me and it is just after midnight. I’m glad I bought a separate hat carrier since I didn’t know I had so many hats. A standard hat box would be sure to be crushed by some clumsy baggage handler.

This flight is destined to be 10 to 12 hours long and I plan to be comfortable. So, I decide on my new Bailey Tower of Babel bandage tank. It’s a long black tank top with white designs that travel up the shirt like the “Tower of Babel.” I’ll compliment this with a pair of white shorts and one of Christian’s linen shirts. I’ll wear my Christian Louboutin Almeria 120 white wedges. For jewelry, I’ll wear my silver necklace with the multiple yin yang symbols, my simple yin yang earrings and some white fashion bangles to cover the healing scars on my wrist. I must say that my face is looking fantastic. My lips are totally kissable, my eyes can be covered with concealer and my cheek is almost completely back to normal. Oh, shit! I better remember to pack some of Gail’s tea. I dash out of the door and I’m stopped just outside of the door by a wall of man… gorgeous man.

“Where are you off too?” he says, slowly walking forward and walking me backwards.

“I’m… going to get… um…” The proximity is making me lose my train of thought. “Tea! I’m going to get tea!”

“You’re thirsty?” he says, seductively, still walking me backwards into our bedroom.

“No,” I whimper. Oh, good Lord, his presence alone makes me hot. “I… uh… Gail’s tea… for my face.”

“I’ve packed it already,” he says, stepping inside and closing the door behind him.

“Christian,” I breathe. “I have to change… we have to leave for the airport shortly…” I try to reason with him. If he touches me, I’m gone.

“We have time, Baby,” he says before he pulls me against his hard body.

I’m gone.

GREY

That sheen is showing up on her skin and I haven’t even touched her yet. I won’t drag this out. She’s right, we only have about two hours before we have to get to the airport. Since I won’t fuck her on the plane.this time.… I‘ll have to get my fill of her now, and quickly. When I close the space between us and grind her with my erection, her moan and escaping breath let me know that I have her. That kiss in the kitchen set me on fire. Even while I was organizing renovations to the closet while we’re gone, checking the quality of her promise ring, tying up loose ends at GEH and making sure that her car will be as good as new when we return, I could think of nothing else but that kiss… that searing, sensuous kiss that I had been craving for over a week. Yes, our sore-lip alterations are fantastic, especially the open-mouthed tongue-play. We’re going to have to keep that one around. But Ana’s kiss…

Fuck. Me.

There’s nothing in the world like Butterfly’s lips. She can do amazing things with her mouth—her oral skills are unparalleled. But when she kisses you… really kisses you… you feel it in places that you didn’t know existed. Nothing and no one has ever touched me the way this woman has. This is why I have to make sure that she knows that she’s mine… and I have to kiss her.

I bend my knees so that I’m eye level with her and kiss those delicious lips again. Mmmm… so good. When her arms wrap around my neck, I waste no time lifting her by her ass and crawling onto the bed with her in my arms. She wraps her legs around me and I almost lose it right there and then. I feel her nipples press against my chest through our clothes as I lay her down and my hands go immediately to her perfect mounds. I tease her breasts through the thin material of the dress and she trembles, moaning a tortured moan as she pulls my hair gently.

Butterfly, I warn mentally. Fuck!

I continue to assault her mouth and breasts and she starts to grind against my erection. Fucking hell… I’m about to nut in my jeans and I can tell by her body that she’s about to blow. I stop the assault on her breasts and lift her off the bed with one arm, raising her dress with my free hand. She is so impatient that she begins to remove her panties before I can get the dress off. Fuck it. I lay her back on the bed and make quick work of her panties, throwing them off somewhere to Pantyland. My mouth moves from her lips straight down to her flower. She squeals in pleasure as she thrusts her hips into my face. She is dripping wet! Absolutely dripping! I greedily devour her juices and move quickly back to the clitoris. I moan in satisfaction of her delectable sweet flavor. She has crossed her feet behind my back and she is riding my face viciously. Fuck, this is hot! She has handfuls of my hair, grinding my face into her and I’m sucking and licking that fruit like my very life depended on it. I reach my hands back around to her hungry screaming breasts, her nipples sitting up like two large, hard pebbles. Oh, hell, Baby, you are just too damn horny. When you come, it’s going to be loud and hard.

She’s writhing insanely under me, so aroused that her engorged clitoris starts to throb and stiffen. Oh shit, I know what’s coming. It’s never happened to her before–not with me anyway–but it’s about to happen now. I stick my index and middle finger into her core and massage that spongy, rigid tissue on the front of her vaginal wall. She’s making completely incoherent sounds as her body stills and she absorbs the pleasure. That’s right, Butterfly, any second now. I look up at her and I can’t see her head at all. She’s lost in the throes of this pending orgasm and her head is thrown back as far as it can go. I probably should have warned her what was coming, but my mouth is full.

“Christian… wait a… min… ute…” she protests. Relax into it, Baby. I’m told the feeling is incredible. “Ah… Christian… wa… ah…” She’s sweating profusely, trying to catch her breath. I continue with my assault—her tender nipple, her hardened clitoris, and her g-spot. The more aroused she gets, the more it pushes back against my finger.

“Christian… please…”

Here it comes, Baby. I can taste your juice… it’s sweeter. I can feel you tightening around my finger. Let it go, Baby. I can’t stop and tell you… let it go… I extend my tongue to massage that spot just underneath her clitoris on the outside of her g-spot. Her breathing is heavy, labored, and loud. She can’t protest anymore… she can only ride. I pinch her swollen nipple and continue the g-spot massage and her clitoris gets rock hard against my lips and tongue.

Oh, Baby!

The deep, guttural cry that I heard damn near scares the shit out of me. I feel the vibrations start in her stomach and they must have moved in both directions because her throat sounds like she’s gargling, and her pussy is vibrating so hard, it could probably suck in a 10-pound-weight. I suck her welcoming clit as her body trembles violently and seconds after her orgasm starts, she squirts in my mouth. I knew it was coming, I just couldn’t tell her. I taste her sweetness, but there is too much for me to catch. It’s running down my mouth, squirting on my chin and my shirt and down her core to her ass. It’s glorious! She’s wet and glistening and beautiful—the product of her earth-shattering, mind-blowing orgasm all over me, her, and my bed.

Once she has ridden out the waves of her release, I can’t get out of my clothes fast enough! My pants, shirt, and boxers take off for whatever mysterious land claimed her panties. I snatch her dress off quickly and flip her over like a pancake. She yelps at the speed and accuracy of my movements as I swiftly position her on her knees and impale her hot pussy balls deep. She is so wet, I slip right in all the way to the hilt.

“Ssssssssssssssssssshit!” I hiss, her muscles still contracting from her orgasm. “Oh, fucking hell!” I exclaim as my dick seems to dance in her walls though I remain completely still. Shit, she’s a perfect fit. It doesn’t matter if it’s a finger or two, a semi-hard erection or a completely stiff rod, she always wraps around me completely perfect… like she was made for me. I start to move—slowly, trying to savor the feeling of being inside her. She’s not having it. Her insides almost begin immediately to quiver again, and she’s whimpering as she pushes herself back against me, slapping her ass on my pelvis and pumping my pink, veiny dick for all it’s worth.

“Oh, baby, shit!” I can see the veins throbbing on the skin of my shaft, shining from her juices and sliding in and out, in and out of her hot, wet pussy.

“Baby, fuck!” I’m going to explode any second with her stroking me at this pace. I can’t even try to stop it. I grab her hips and let her run, watching as she squeezes and caresses my erection with her juicy, sexy core. Her continuous, sensual, expert movements bring me right to the edge and just as I am about to reach around and massage that tender, sweet button, she falls over into her second orgasm, her body thrusting onto mine with fervor and purpose. I put both hands on her shoulders and begin my fall into ecstasy. Right at that moment, she reaches between her legs and strokes my balls.

Holy volcanoes Batman!

“Son of a bitch!” Every single part of my body goes stiff. I can’t even scream. I can only lean in and jerk out this damn-near painful, hot, long, burning release that’s sure to leave me dizzy when I’m done. I continue to empty into her and she continues to stroke my balls. When I am finally able to make a sound, I say, “”Fuck, yes, Baby! Yes! Yes!” I thrust into her a few more times, riding out each little squirt until I collapse on top of her, pushing us both down into the bed.

“Fucking hell!” I say as I try to catch my breath. I know that I’m heavy on her. I try to roll off, but she stops me.

“No. Please. Stay,” she says between breaths.

“We can’t go to sleep, Baby,” I say softly in her ear.

“I know. I know,” she says, still breathless. We’re both sweating like we just ran a marathon. I move the hair back that’s sticking to her forehead.

“We need a shower,” I say as I kiss her temple, her ear, her neck, her back. God, she has been almost as insatiable as I have these last couple of days. Talk about carpe diem!

“What happened?” she asks, her eyes still closed. “What was that?”

“You squirted, Baby,” I say, kissing her shoulder. “I’ve tried to get you to do it before and you’ve come close, but you went all the way this time and it was delectable.”

“Oh, Christian, it was fantastic. I thought I peed on myself,” she says with a little chuckle.

“I’m sorry, I should have warned you, but by the time I knew it was happening it was too late. If I had stopped, you would have gotten your Glock and shot me.” She and I both burst out in laughter at that statement. “It starts in your bladder; that’s why it feels that way.” I kiss her shoulder again and we both wince as I pull out of her.

“Come on, Butterfly. We have to get ready.” She sighs heavily.

“Okay.”

We reluctantly drag ourselves from the bed and go to the en suite. We opt to shower together since we’re fairly certain that neither of us will jump the others’ bones as we have both been thoroughly well-fucked. We clean each other thoroughly, hair and all. By the time I’ve dried her hair for her, it’s very close to the time for us to leave. With 11 -13 hours of travel time, I opt to go casual with a Malano two-piece white linen pants set and white Baynard sandals. When I emerge from the closet, I can’t help but laugh at Butterfly.

“What?” she asks, a little affronted.

“I just bought you a whole wardrobe and you still choose to wear one of my shirts,” I laugh. She shrugs.

“That’s because your shirts look best with my shorts,” she says. I can’t argue with that. She’s wearing these white shorts that make her legs look long and these wedge shoes that make them look even longer. The fact that she’s wearing a man’s shirt lets the vultures know that she belongs to some man. The fact that I’ll be stuck to her like glue will let them know that I’m that man!

“It’s hot, Baby.” I kiss her on the cheek. “I love when you wear my clothes.” She smiles at me. Who in the world can look that good at 2:00 in the morning… after no sleep?

“Come on, let’s go.” I lead her into the great room. Davenport and Taylor are coming out of the security office and I instruct them that her luggage is in the bedroom. They take the luggage down by the service elevator. I confirm that Lawrence and Williams will be on shifts at Escala and we we’re off. We take the service elevator as well to avoid any lurking paparazzi. As we pull out of the parking structure, we notice that there’s not a pap in sight. Nothing like sneaking out in the middle of the night.

We get to SeaTac in great time, with an hour left before takeoff. Butterfly looks a little lost as we pull into the terminal for private and charter flights. “Where are we going?” she asks.

“To Anguilla,” I reply bemused.

“No, I mean… what are we doing, sneaking in the back door?” I chuckle a bit.

“No, Baby. Private planes have a completely different loading procedure,” I inform her. She nods.

“Ah. Okay.”

Taylor pulls up to the plane and lets us out while he takes care of the luggage and Butterfly examines my private jet. It’s a Gulf Stream IV with the name Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc across its fuselage. She whistles at the site.

“That’s pretty,” she says. I smile.

“One of my many toys. Come on, Butterfly.”

I take her and Gail up the stairs and into the jet. It’s decorated in neutral tones just like my helicopter—tans, creams, and browns.

“This is a flying house,” Butterfly says.

“Something like that,” I reply. “There is a restroom up front. Chairs and tables here. These sofas let out into beds.” I say as we walk towards the back. “This is the galley, and beyond this door,” I open the door to reveal a full-sized bed, “is the bedroom. The bathroom is there,” I say, pointing to the en suite. “All the comforts of home… but in the air.” Butterfly nods.

“It’s very beautiful. I’m impressed,” she says, walking back to the lounge and sitting on one of the sofas. “So, this is how the rich and famous live.”

“Yes, I have to say that I’m proud of it. It’s one of the perks of money,” I say taking the seat next to her. Gail sits at one of the tables and makes herself comfortable.

“This is why She-Thing thinks I’m after your money. Regular people don’t see things like this every day,” she points out, gesturing at her surroundings. “You decide to take me to a luxurious villa on an exclusive island on Wednesday and on Friday morning, we’re in the air… in a private jet! Who does that?”

 

“Not many people,” I say, suddenly feeling a little sour at the introduction of the Pedophile into the conversation. “She sent me an email this morning,” I confess.

“Who did?” Butterfly asks.

“The Pedophile.” Butterfly’s face turns cold.

“What did she say?” she asks, flatly.

“She saw the news coverage of your kidnapping. Told me how you were disrupting my structured life and together, she and I could rebuild it,” I reply. Butterfly’s face doesn’t change.

“And what did you say?”

“I told her that she was delusional if she thought I would ever choose her over you and not to contact me ever again without an attorney.”

A smile splits Butterfly’s face as she crawl into my lap and kisses me deeply.

STEELE

After 12 hours and a stopover in North Carolina, we’re finally landing on the island of St. Maarten. Because Anguilla is so small, large jetliners can’t land on the island. The flight and layover were actually only nine hours, but we lost three hours with the time zone change. So, it’s effectively 12 hours. I didn’t understand the stopover, but Christian explained that the pilot needed to refresh himself since the flight was pretty last minute and in the wee hours of the morning.

Rather than take the public ferry to Anguilla, Christian chartered a smaller flight to get to the island. We meet up with a guy named Rinaldo Rogers, who makes sure that our bags are checked from Christian’s jet to the charter plane so that we don’t have to go through customs again and we we’re off to the tropical island of Anguilla. The flight is only 10 minutes from St. Maarten which is fine by me. Quite frankly, I’ve been on a plane long enough for one day!

Christian looks so yummy in his two-piece linen pants suit. I kind of feel like a troll next to him. No problem, though. I have beautiful tropical dresses to wear for the rest of the trip!

While the shorter plane ride was quite delightful, driving is… unique. The rental cars are American with the steering wheel on the left-hand side. Since we have five people with enough luggage for ten, we need two rentals. The uniqueness of the driving situation is that you must drive on the left-hand side—unique only to Americans, I should add—in a car that’s made for driving on the right. You also have to pay a fee to get an Anguilla driver’s license while you’re here. Gail and I let the men deal with that as she and I unequivocally decide that we won’t be driving in Anguilla.

Even though Jason and Chuck are both technically on duty, Chuck is effectively the fifth wheel on this trip. He swears that he doesn’t mind, but we know that there’ll be occasions when he wants to go off on his own during his downtime. It’s too beautiful a place to spend the entire trip alone.

This island is 17 miles long and has one main road that runs up its center. There are little feeder roads to get to various destinations on the island, but you sure as hell can’t get lost. No matter where you go, if you ask for directions, it’s “up the road.” It reminds you of driving through a city neighborhood. Locals are strolling along the road and people are always blowing their horns at you. I thought Chuck was breaking every traffic law in Anguilla until I later learn that’s just how they greet you.

The villa is owned and decorated by private owners and rented out to tourists throughout the year. All the villas and the upscale resorts are on the west end of the island. The locals are in central and east Anguilla. I wondered why it seemed like we were traveling in two different worlds on the way to the villa as the airport is closer to central Anguilla.

The villa Christian has rented for us is only a 15-minute drive from the airport and holy cow, Batman! This place is huge! It’s called the Brazilian Emerald and I thought it was a hotel when we drove up to it. It’s a large contemporary white and glass structure that sits directly on the Shoal Bay West Beach… five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and glass walls everywhere… just like home. Gail and I run around the house like giddy children, in and out of rooms just to see what’s inside. The place has housekeepers and chef service, so we don’t really know what Gail is going to be doing besides having fun. I’m glad we bought her the new wardrobe!

True to its name, the villa is decorated in jewel-tones… mostly a very tropical pastel green accented with various shades of blue and purple on stylish bamboo furniture. The green is a little too green for me, but I don’t mind since it goes so well with the beautiful trees and the view of the ocean out of every window. The great room is two stories tall and opens into a cove, the dining room and another lounge with a view of the kitchen. The two-story glass wall makes the tropical furniture look more appropriate. There’s a lovely sandalwood piano in the cove off the living room. I wonder if Christian will play at all while he’s here?

The lounge is decorated much like the great room—bamboo furniture with jewel-toned cushions and pillows. The dining room is opposite of the great room with a modern triangular glass table set with bronze chargers and flatware, crystal stemware, and the same quality bamboo chairs with green cushions. Amazingly, I like the green at the dining-room table better than I do in the great room. It seems to fit better in here.

The kitchen is full of stainless steel appliances and glass cabinets, but I don’t hang around in there for too long since I don’t plan on spending any time in that room during this trip except for maybe a midnight snack! Off to the end there’s a bedroom on the first floor that opens onto the patio.

Up the stairs to the second floor is a small office. Even though it’s out in the open and not closed away in some obscure room, hopefully, Mr. Grey doesn’t spend too much time in this area during our trip. There’s a lounge on this floor as well that overlooks the great room. It’s decorated the same as the living room and has a pool table and a game table. There’s also an entertainment room with a large screen television and another bedroom on this floor.

On the third floor, there’s a state of the art in-house gym, yet another lounge, and two more bedrooms. Finally, the fourth floor—yes, this house has four damn floors and an elevator, thank God—is a suite unto itself. The master suite has its own lounge with another large screen television along with the master bedroom suite. It has a separate sitting and changing room, a balcony, and an en suite. Although all the bedrooms have private en suites except for the first-floor bathroom, which is separate, the master bath has a sunken two-person Jacuzzi tub. The bedroom is sparsely decorated, but it has the basics—chest of drawers, dresser, night stands, a huge king-sized bed and a stunning view of the beach. I may never leave.

While Gail and I peruse the house that we’ll be inhabiting for the next four to ten days, the gentlemen deliver our luggage to our respective rooms. Chuck has decided to take the room on the first floor. Gail and Jason will take the room on the second floor. No surprise no one wanted to be on the third floor with Christian and me on the fourth floor in the master suite. As I begin to unpack my things, Christian slides his arms around me from behind and kisses me on my neck.

“You like?” he says, his voice smooth and sexy as usual.

“Oh, Christian, it’s beautiful. Have you seen the view off the balcony?” I lead him over to the balcony where you can see clear down the coastline of a semi-private beach. “It’s breathtaking. I can hardly believe I’m here.” He turns me around to face him.

“I’ve been in this villa or another villa on this island five times, and I can’t remember enjoying myself once,” he admits.

“With your subs?” The words were out of my mouth before I could catch them. He looks hurt at first, but the look in my eyes must have told him that I didn’t intend to say that. His expression softens as he kissed me on my cheek.

“With my family, but I mostly stayed inside and worked. I would join them for dinner at whatever restaurant they chose, but that was it,” he replies.

“I’m sorry, Christian. That was so thoughtless and inconsiderate of me.” I close my eyes and shake my head. He holds my chin and forces me to look at him.

“If it were me, I would have asked the same question,” he says, kissing me on my lips again. “I’ve never taken a sub on a trip with me… or any woman for that matter. Another first for me.”

“Exactly how many firsts do you think we can conquer over this vacation?” I say, mischievously. He smiles as he pulls me closer to him.

“I can think of a few,” he replies as he presses his lips to mine.

A/N: So, lots of pictures on the new board http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-the-trip-to-anquilla/ and a few on the original board http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele/

You can also see who I envision as MY characters in PAGING DR. STEELE (not FSOG-PAGING DR STEELE) on http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-characters/.

Nothing to add down here this time, except… FUN IN THE SUN IN THE NEXT CHAPTER AND…

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

~~love and handcuffs

Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 22—From One Extreme To The Other

Secy leg

I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. I hope you—as a fellow fan—enjoy it, too.

Chapter 22—From One Extreme To The Other

GREY

I’m not looking forward to this meeting that I have called of my mother, father, sister, and brother, but I have to tell my family about the latest discovery. I can’t let them possibly find out in the news. Mia is the last to show up on Sunday afternoon and I sit them all down in the great room to tell them what’s going on. If Butterfly weren’t here, right now, I’m not sure that I could do this, but here goes…

“I don’t quite know how to say this gingerly, so I’ll just say it. The police has found pictures in Lincoln’s library—quite a few pictures. There’s a strong likelihood that some of those pictures… are of me.” Grace gasps.

“You mean… pictures in her… torture chamber?” she asks. A lump forms in my throat.

“Yes, Mom, that’s what I mean.” A hand flies up to her mouth. I can tell that she wants to say something, but she doesn’t know what to say. “I don’t know what to do about it so I called you all here just in case something… happens. I mean, it’s going to be a nightmare for our family if this gets out.” I add.

“Good God, Christian. Are we talking about pictures where Blackheart molested you?” Elliot asks. I nod. “That could get out?”

“I don’t know. I was hoping Dad could shed some light on the situation since he knows how the law works.” My father looks a little distracted and quite taken aback, but quickly goes into attorney mode to answer my question.

“Well, in an ideal world, the pictures contain images of underage children and are part of an open case—which is why Morgan and Shane’s names have not been released. However, you are an adult, Christian. Even though the pictures of you can never be released, that doesn’t mean that the story can’t be leaked. The rumor alone could have devastating effects.” Carrick’s words are not what I wanted to hear.

“This has the potential to go completely nuclear, then,” Mia says. “It’s bad enough that she abused you, but she even took pictures of it. What a sick bitch.” Mom would normally scold Mia on her language right now, but I have an idea that she is thinking the exact same thing.

“So, I’m sure you can see how this can possibly affect us all,” I say.

“Well, in all honesty, Christian, if the effects are going to be that far-reaching, I don’t understand why Ethan couldn’t be here today,” Mia states with a little fervor in her voice.

“… Or Val,” Elliot adds, but with less fervor.

“Because I want to tell my family. This has nothing to do with Ethan or Valerie,” I say, trying not to lose my temper.

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Big Brother, but it does affect Ethan. We are living together and engaged to be married. Anything that affects me certainly affects him!” I think she is going to stomp her little feet any moment!

“Well, I may not be engaged to Val, but she’s damn near living with me so I’m certain that if this affects me, it will affect her, too.” Elliot says. “Besides, Ana is here, so why can’t the rest of our significant others be here?” I think I hear Butterfly gasp behind me.

“Surely you can see how that’s different. This involves me so it directly affects all of you and it directly affects Ana. It doesn’t directly affect Ethan and Valerie… indirectly, maybe, but certainly not directly.”

“I beg to differ,” Mia argues. “I’m going to marry this man. I’m wearing his ring. We live together. If it directly affects me, then it directly affects Ethan,” Mia argues.

“Again, I don’t have all of that in my defense,” Elliot says, “but mine and Val’s relationship is no less significant than either of yours and she should be included. We’re going to go home and tell them anyway. Let’s face it, Man, this is big.” What in the hell?

“Tell me this is not happening!” I bark. “Tell me that my brother and sister can’t possibly be this selfish! I can’t believe how the two of you are making this about you! This is not about you! This is about me! If this gets out, I could lose all of my credibility—my company, my reputation, everything! I brought you here to inform you and for moral support, and you’re jumping down my throat because I didn’t invite your boyfriend and girlfriend? Seriously? You really can’t see anything wrong with that? You can’t understand that I don’t want this publicized outside of my family and the woman that I lo…” I turn around to gesture to Butterfly and she’s not there. I look around the great room and she’s gone. Where did she go? I look back at Mom and Dad, my eyes questioning.

“She left right after the ‘significant others’ comment,” Dad says. I glare at Elliot.

“Nice going, Elliot!” Mia snaps. My head snaps over to Mia. Did she really just say that? She started this shit.

“You know what? Never mind. I’ll figure this out on my own,” I say throwing my hands up and falling down on the sofa.

“There’s no need to be so dramatic, Bro,” Elliot quips… Flame on!

“Do you want to see dramatic? Get the fuck out of my house. How’s that for dramatic? Get. The fuck. Out. Now. Both of you!”

“What did I do?” Mia complains. I don’t even have time to explain everything wrong with that question.

“Get out now!” I say, pointing to the door.

“Elliot, Mia, you need to leave. We want to talk to Christian,” Dad says.

“But I didn’t make Ana leave, Elliot did…”

“Mia Allison Grey, leave now!” Mom barks. “The two of you have caused enough commotion now, get out!” Mom is on her feet. She hardly ever raises her voice, so when she does, we all listen. Elliot and Mia stand to their feet and scramble to the door, dragging their coats with them.

“How the hell did that happen?” I ask, leaning my elbows on my knees with my head in my hands. “They can’t really be that selfish, can they? Can I be that unreasonable that I want the woman who shares my life standing next to me while I reveal this crap but not his girlfriend or her boyfriend? Exactly what is wrong with that?”

“There’s nothing wrong with it, Christian, but unfortunately your brother is right. This is very big and people can only see how it affects them. Right or wrong, Elliot sees how this will affect him and Valerie and Mia sees how it will affect her and Ethan…”

“I’m sorry, Dad,” I interrupt him, “but I can’t hear you. Nobody—and I mean nobody—is going to be impacted by this as much as I am, and the ones that will be most affected are Ana and you guys—not Ethan and not Valerie. Now you have to excuse me for a moment, but I have to go and see if Ana is okay.”

I walk to our bedroom and she’s not there so I go up to her office. She is sitting on the loveseat with her legs underneath her, looking at her phone.

“Butterfly?” She looks up at me.

“Are they gone?” she asks, impassively.

“Mia and Elliot are, yes. Mom and Dad are still downstairs.”

“Maybe you should talk to them alone, Christian. I’ll wait here,” she suggests. I shake my head.

“I want you with me, Butterfly. That’s why I put them out.” Her eyes grow large.

“You put them out?” she asks, surprised. “Oh, Christian, no! That’s why I left. I never want to put you in a place where you have to choose between me and your family, but I will never, and I mean never allow anyone to use me as a weapon against you. They feel slighted because Ethan and Val are not in the room and I am, so now, I’m not in the room. It’s as simple as that.”

It not as simple as that. This is not their dilemma. This is not their issue. It’s mine, and I choose who I share it with. The fact that they made this about them pisses me off because I can’t understand why they would even think that way. First and foremost, this conversation should have been ‘how are we going to handle this as a family’ not ‘why is my boyfriend not in this conversation.’ You live in this house with me—methe person who is directly going through this shit. What am I supposed to do—tell you to leave to make them feel comfortable?” I’m getting angrier with every word. They are so full of shit to make this whole ordeal about them! Butterfly comes over to me and puts her hands on my arms.

“They’re confused, Christian. You’ve been dealing with this in one way or another for several years. They are just really coming face to face with it in the last few months. You want to cling to me during this time. They want to cling to Val and Ethan. People only relate to a situation in terms of how it affects them…”

“… And I understand that,” I interrupt her, “but I could quite possibly be about to go through hell, and I have to deal with these two acting like entitled, self-important…” I run my hands through my hair. “I don’t even know how to handle this yet! I’m not holding their hands! Fuck, they should be holding mine!” I am so angry that I am shaking. Butterfly wraps her arms around my waist and lays her head on my chest. It instantly calms me. Good move, Baby.

“They will, Christian, when they realize what’s going on. Until then, you have Grace and Carrick, who love you very much.” She looks up at me. “And you have me, and I will adore you no matter what happens. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” She winks at me, causing me to chuckle—and just like that, my sour mood is instantly broken.

I lead her back into the great room to find that my brother and sister have returned. Don’t push me…

“I told you two to leave,” I say in a low voice. Butterfly squeezes my hand.

“We know, and we will still leave if you want us to, but we have to say something first,” Elliot begins.

“We didn’t make it out of the garage. I can’t believe how incredibly selfish we were about this whole thing,” Mia adds.

“You must be feeling terrible about what this could mean and how bad this could get and we go off acting like spoiled little idiots about Val and Ethan.” Elliot drops his head. “We are so, so sorry Christian. We only want to be here for you. Whatever you want, we understand.”

“Ana, we are so sorry we acted so childish and made you leave the room. Please forgive us. We know that you love Christian and that this would definitely affect you more than it could possibly effect Ethan or Val. Please forgive us for our selfishness. Please…” Mia pleads.

Butterfly looks from Elliot to Mia to me and back to them again.

“I love you guys. I really do. Please don’t ever put me in a position again where it feels like you are using me or my presence against Christian. That’s a deal-breaker. I love him and I will stand by him through this thing, whether I am in this room during this conversation or not, so please think before you speak. Having said that, I forgive you because I sort of understand where you are coming from—sort of—but delivery is everything. You could have made that point without using me to do it… okay?”

Elliot nods and Mia starts to tear up. She embraces Butterfly, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“I’m sorry Anakins. I didn’t mean to be so rude and selfish.” Butterfly returns her embrace.

“Don’t cry, Mia,” she says, “we all need to be strong right now because we may have a rough road ahead, okay?” Mia pulls back from her and nods. Butterfly takes her hand and they return to the sofa. Elliot sits next to my parents.

“So can we continue now, because I’d really like to move forward and find a solution to this mess… if there is one,” I say, taking my seat next to Butterfly again.

“May I make a suggestion?” Elliot says, raising his hand like he’s in school. I nod to him. “Is there any way to find out if you are even in any of those pictures without raising suspicion? I mean, someone who recognizes you would have to look at those pictures, and it’s not like your legal team could march in there and ask for them.”

“Al, maybe?” Butterfly suggests. I shake my head.

“This is too personal even for Allen,” I tell her.

“I could do it.” Our gazes all shoot over to my father. “I’m acting as outside counsel on behalf of the two victims that came forward. I know the defendant personally. I could tell them that I want to see the pictures to see if I recognize any of the children. No doubt they are going to want to know who the children are, and it’s not like they can just make a public announcement for the victims to come forward. I mean, they can, but it has to be very general. There can be no specific mention of the photographs—as well there shouldn’t be. They will never even have a ‘jumping off point’ if someone doesn’t try to tell them who the children are, at the very least.”

“Cary… are you sure?” Mom asks, feeling the same trepidation I am feeling, no doubt. My dad nods without making eye contact with her.

“Dad, I couldn’t ask you to do that.” There’s no telling what horrors he’s going to see when he looks at those pictures. If the thought of what happened to me rips him apart, what’s going to happen when he sees it in glorious technicolor?

“I don’t see that we have a choice, Christian. It’s the safest way… the only way…” Carrick informs me. My head feels like it’s swimming a bit. I feel Butterfly’s hand on my back as I put my head between my legs.

“Dad… I don’t want you to see those pictures,” I manage to choke out. “I don’t know exactly what’s in them, but I know they are going to be horrible.” I can’t subject my father to that. I would rather go and see them myself than to subject him to that. The room has fallen deathly silent. It’s a silence that I welcome right now because horrible voices and demons from my past are screaming in my head right now. The self-loathing is burning inside of me again and making me want to run full-speed back to Flynn… yesFlynn! The monsters have returned and I’m having a hell of a time fighting them off.

“Christian…” At the sound of her voice, the monsters hiss and begin to shy away, like the vampires of old when presented with a cross.

“She’s the monster here, not you.” She’s reading my thoughts. She’s standing there in front of the hideous beasts in battle armor, carrying a sword twice her size.

“She’s the one who victimized you, Baby… stole several years of your life…” They strike at her attempting to intimidate her, but she progresses forward with her weapon at the ready, never taking her eyes off of the terrifying monsters. They take different forms—scaly beasts with forked-tongues; demons with grotesque, fatal claws; slimy poisonous creatures; even deadly mists that threaten to invade my pores and lungs.

“She’s a wicked, horrible woman with a black soul and no heart.” She doesn’t retreat. They try to attack her, but she is protected by an invisible force field. She is impervious to their evil.

“You need to know what’s in those pictures so that you can be prepared. There is no reason for you to be blindsided by this.” She swings her weapon, and the carnage is brutal. Several of the beasts are sliced in half by the force of her strike—the rest are in retreat. Even the evil mists are retracting… but they won’t escape so easily.

“We will be here for you. No matter what’s in those pictures, we will stand by you. We love you… all of us, no matter what.” With her finally words, fire shoots from her delicate palms and devours the rest of the fiends. They disappear into nothing and my mind is freed, once again, from the hideous, self-destructive thoughts that have plagued my dreams on many occasions throughout the years. There’s nothing left there right now… except my Butterfly. I sigh heavily.

“Do what you have to do, Dad,” I say without raising my head.

*-*

I fight to find solace over the next few days. Maxine and Phillip’s wedding is this Saturday. Valentine’s Day is Thursday, and the rehearsal dinner and bachelor/bachelorette parties are Friday. Believe it or not, looking forward to these events is the only thing that is keeping me sane right now. That proverbial sword is hanging over my head once again until I find out what the hell is in those pictures seized by the police. On Tuesday, Carrick tells me that he was able to pull some strings and discretely get an appointment to look at the pictures the next day. I didn’t sleep at all that night.

On Wednesday, after lunch, Dad comes into my office. He is the picture of the distinguished attorney in his black suit, his black, wavy hair combed back off of his face with more hints of gray in it than I have seen in the past… or maybe I just wasn’t paying attention.

“Andrea, I don’t want to be disturbed.” I close the door to my office and Carrick takes a seat in front of my desk. I normally sit behind my desk in this setting, but I think it’s better to take a seat next to my father.

“The authorities want people to come forward since they can’t identify the children or the dates on most of the pictures. If they can at least verify the dates and ages, they can figure out which ones are still within the statute for molestation,” he says solemnly. “They were actually glad that I showed up because they can’t identify anybody in those photographs… thank God.” The last part was said as an afterthought and mostly under his breath. It answers my question for me.

“How bad, Dad?” I ask. Let’s just rip off the band-aid. My father looks up at me and I already see a shot of bourbon in my future, although Dad is a scotch man. I walk over to the bar and pour a couple of shots.

“Make mine a double,” he says, and I know that it’s bad. I bring him a double-shot of single malt scotch and he throws it back without blinking.

This is really bad.

“I identified the children that I could. It goes so far back, Christian… so far back.” I drop my head.

“So… how many of me, Dad?” I ask. He sighs.

“Several. Your face is somehow obscured in all of the pictures. Was that your doing?” I nodded.

“The times that I did know that she was taking pictures, I told her that she couldn’t take any of my face. I knew that I would someday be more than I was back then, not this much more,” I gesture to my surroundings, “but more. Even then, I knew that I couldn’t be caught in compromising situations, but most of all, I didn’t want you and Mom to ever find out.”

He runs his hands through his hair and looks at his empty glass. Is that where I get that from? I don’t recall him doing that before. “Another double?” I ask and he nods. I take his glass and make it a point to arrange for someone to take him home when were done. He wouldn’t dare drink like this if he had court this afternoon, so I venture to believe that his workday is over.

“It didn’t get past the detectives that you were her favorite, even though they have no idea who you are. Most of your pictures are black and white, the ones in color are…” he clears his throat, “artistically blurred, if you can call this shit art.” I put the drink in front of him and he throws it back again. Okay, Dad. That’s enough for you.

“I had to hold a straight face the entire time I went through those photos. I couldn’t afford to give anything away. They are calling you their ‘goldmine.’ They think you are still a minor. They are completely thrown off the scent that it could possibly be you.”

“Well, at least there’s that,” I say, taking very little solace in his words.

“The pictures, Christian… the scenes, they’re… horrible.” And here it is, time to pay the piper.

“I know, Dad.”

“How could anybody do those things to a child? To another human being? Son, I’m going to have nightmares!” he declares. I sigh heavily.

“This is why I didn’t want you to go and see these pictures,” I lament.

“Well, we really didn’t have a choice, did we?” he retorts. “You couldn’t go down there, and we had to know. Now that I do…” his voice trails off. Oh, God, I wish I could have spared him this.

“There are so many pictures of you, Christian. So many… She has one or two pictures of some children, several of the others, but so many of you. It’s clear to see that she was completely obsessed with you.”

Is, Dad, she is completely obsessed with me. I don’t know what made me so different, but what’s keeping me safe right now is that so many of her pets after me look so much like me. She was trying to recreate me. Losing control over me is something that she still hasn’t come to terms with. Her silence right now frightens me. She has to know they’ve found these pictures and she was quite desperate when she crashed Ray and Amanda’s wedding on New Years Eve.” My dad’s eyes are glassy and distant. “Just how many pictures of me are there, Dad?” I ask.

“From what I could tell, of the kids that have the most pictures besides you, yours trump them four to one—combined.”

“If you can’t see my face, how do you know that it’s me? Can anyone else tell that it’s me?” I ask, terrified.

“I raised you, Son. I know it’s you. No one else would know, but someone close to you. In the pictures where I thought there was any doubt, I looked…” he heaves like he’s going to vomit, then bursts into tears. Dad… no… “I looked for your scars. It was you, Christian! It was you! The pictures were horrible. Oh, God, they were horrible! No child should go through that… but my son! Oh, God, my son!” He buries his face in his hands and weeps bitterly. I quickly lock the door to my office and hurry back to my father’s side.

“She’s a witch, Christian! She’s a flesh-eating, soul-devouring pestilence and she should be destroyed!” My father is full of painful rage. I would have hoped he would never have had to be exposed to this—never have even had to hear about it, but he has now seen the painful, ugly truth of it all. He has now seen the horrible things that this woman did to me in her playroom and her dungeon. What were in those pictures? The collars and leashes? The St. Andrew’s cross? The chastity devices? Did she take pictures of the stripes she laced across my back several times? Did she have someone else photographing us? What did my father see? I can’t ask him for details.

“Dad, please don’t talk like that. Why would you say something like that?” I can’t have him take this on his soul and heart this way. It would truly drive him to vicious action… or insanity.

“For my family!” he wails! “For the sake of my family! I want that woman dead! I have never wished death on anyone in my life, but I want that woman dead!” His cries are tortured, angry, and mournful. He is still fighting with the fact that he couldn’t save me. He doesn’t understand that no one can save someone that doesn’t want to be saved.

“Dad, please. You have to understand. There’s no way that you could have stopped this. I was a willing participant. Yes, I was led astray, but I would have found a way to get to her even if you and Mom knew. I wanted it that badly…”

“That’s bullshit, Christian!” Dad snaps. “You were handed to that evil bitch on a platter. She was molesting boys for years… years before she got her claws into you. Someone should have seen it. We should have seen it!” he sobs. How can I convince this man that there was nothing that he could’ve done to prevent what happened? He really doesn’t realize how powerless he was in this situation. There’s nothing that he could have done. It was up to me to say something, and I didn’t. Elliot could have said something, and he didn’t. All of those boys could have said something, and they didn’t.

Oh, God. When this story breaks open, there are going to be families all over the place that are going to be feeling the same way as my Dad. There were times—times when the Pedophile went too far—that I wanted to stop, I wanted to say something. There were times when I was in so much pain, wound so tight because she fondled and fucked me for hours but refused to let me come, brought me to my wits end with punishments or denials and I just wanted it all to end. It was physical torture and emotional warfare. I approached her one time to end it—only once—and she punished me so badly that I never approached her again about it. I couldn’t tell anybody. I was in too deep. I liked the rewards too much and feared the punishments even more. She made horrible, vicious, brutal threats, and she made good on them.

And I was just a boy.

“Dad, you couldn’t have done anything, believe me. No matter how much you think you could have, you couldn’t… but I could have, and I still can,” I say to him. My father’s body is shuddering as he raises his head to me.

“W… what are… you t-talking about, Chr-Christian?” he asks, stuttering through his tears. This has to be more publicized. This can’t keep happening.

“This has been swept under the rug for too long, Dad, way too long. This woman has gotten away with this for years…probably decades, and we know that she’s not the only one. I mean, hell, I was abused twice—afraid to tell anyone. I thought I was alone; I thought that I was such a horrible person that no one would believe me. Hell, the crack whore’s pimp had me convinced that I was a wretched human being, a useless, worthless piece of flesh. I was just a toddler, for fuck’s sake!” I stand and run my hands through my hair. “I could have saved the kids that came after me. The kids before me could have saved me. All we had to do is speak up.”

I go over to the window, look out over Seattle and shove my hands in my pocket. Speak up—two little words that can ruin me completely, but quite possibly save so many others in the process in similar situations.

“Christian,” my dad’s voice behind me is sobered and devoid of emotion now, “are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?” I don’t look at my father.

“So many people would come out, Dad, I’m sure of it. If the world knew that the great Christian Grey…” I spit the words out, “was an abused child, they would know that they are not alone. Remember when Oprah Winfrey openly admitted that she had been molested? Remember how many people came out and admitted it, too? Can you imagine how many cases were most likely brought to light at that time… how many children were saved from further abuse and possible future children saved from the fate simply because someone famous spoke up?

“This is an epidemic. Ever since I realized how many children were victimized by this bitch, I began to do my research. Do you know how many women and children—even some men—are abused and sexually assaulted every day? Just in Washington alone? Thousands and thousands. Nationwide, that number increases to millions, Dad. Millions!” I want to put my fist through the window, but I won’t for fear that I might follow it and end up on the concrete several stories below.

“Christian… you could lose everything…” His voice is soft, almost beseeching. I put my forehead on the glass and close my eyes.

“What else can I do?” I ask. “I stayed quiet and that demon got her hands on God only knows how many children after me. What if I had said something? They would have gotten her before now. At the very least, I would have saved one boy—one boy—from what I went through. How many children can be saved if abused children are just encouraged to speak up? How many people can be helped if they truly understand that there is help out there? Think about it… how many families go through Helping Hands each year? How many Edward Davids, Damon Johnsons, Elena Lincolns, and crack whore’s pimps are there out there terrorizing women and children who don’t know—or don’t believe—that anyone with listen to them?”

My chest aches at the thought that somewhere in Detroit, another child—or maybe even several children—may have suffered my same fate sometime over the last 26 years at the hands of the same monster that abused me. I get physically ill and I have to resist the urge to vomit at the thought. As if he knew what I was thinking, Dad is behind me with his hand on my back, patting like he’s trying to burp a baby. It’s surprisingly soothing.

“I understand, Son,” he says softly. “I understand the need to do something about this, to not feel so helpless, but if I’m not allowed to go find that She-Devil and put a bullet in her botox-filled face right between her beady little eyes, then you’re not allowed to shoot yourself in the foot either.” I look over at my father. He doesn’t know that statement made me even more determined to do something about this situation.

“I will talk to my PR department. I won’t do anything too hasty, but Dad, I’m going to do something. I’m in a position where I can, and I’m going to do something.” He nods. He knows I won’t budge on this. I don’t want to ruin myself anymore than he wants me to, but I won’t keep quiet anymore. I’m as much responsible for the kids that came after me as the kids that came before me are responsible to me. Elliot could have said something, but since nothing happened to him, he wasn’t sure—but I was. I was positive!

“I’m going to step into the restroom, Son.” I nod. As Dad goes into the bathroom, I call up to PR. “McIntyre, I need you in my office now. Whatever you’re doing, drop it. We’ve got a situation…”

———————————————————

STEELE

I have plans for Mr. Grey. Today is Valentine’s Day and I need to alter the mood around here. Christian came home yesterday after talking to his father and his demeanor was absolutely horrible. He was completely ready to come out as one of Elena’s victims if it meant that it would convince other children to speak up against abusers. Elva, his head of PR, convinced him to build on his “Oprah Winfrey” idea and come out as a victim of abuse with several other celebrities in some kind of benefit or something. Christian didn’t like the sound of that. He said it looked too much like he was capitalizing on what Elena did to him as some sort of publicity stunt.

Okay, so then how about you include some everyday, average people? You know, have some well-known faces and some not-so-well-known faces on the forefront of the event?” I asked.

Christian nodded. This idea seemed a little more palpable to him. “Yes. That actually humanizes the message a little more, but I don’t want to do a benefit. I’m not trying to raise money—I’m trying to raise awareness.” After thinking about it for a bit, he said, “The media could help with this a lot. Maybe a newspaper ad or some spots on talk shows…?”

Whoa, Soldier! Put that gun away! That thing’s loaded! Christian Grey on talk shows discussing child abuse? How many different directions can that go?” I questioned. Christian shivered.

Yikes! Yeah, no talk shows.” He pondered the thought for a moment. “A commercial?” I twisted my face at the thought, and then it hit me.

Oh good God! We have the perfect avenue right at our disposal! I don’t know why neither of this thought of this before…”

Well, don’t keep me hanging, what is it?” he asked, expecting.

A public service announcement. We could do a 30-second or 60-second slot with actual sufferers of abuse—no actors or professional spokespersons—who are willing to come out as victims of abuse. Like Vee said, not ‘this is what happened to me,’ just ‘I suffered from abuse.’ You could spread the word to people that you know and see what shakes out. I’m sure that you are not the only person in your circle of influential people who has been abused by someone. Hell, technically, I’ve been abused by someone,” I reinforced. He looked over at me.

You would do this?” he had asked. I nodded feverishly.

Absolutely! Consider me your first recruit. Of course, everyone will have to be screened and agree to a background check… except for the already well-known people. Judge Yu, for example… It’s common knowledge that he was a victim of abuse. It was part of his platform in his last campaign.”

What did you mean by us having the perfect avenue at our disposal?” he asked.

Helping Hands! We can ask if anyone there wants to be a part of this. Some of them are ‘in hiding’ from violent spouses or one-time significant others, so there are not options, but there are others who would most likely welcome the opportunity to be heard—even if only for a few seconds; and the clients are so diverse, you won’t have to worry about getting stuck in one ethnic group. There will be faces represented from every nation… if they agree,” I said. A light went on in Christian’s eyes.

Faces… the faces of abuse…” he said, and waited for my response.

That’s brilliant, Christian!” I exclaimed. “And at the end, after the anchor’s message, we display the phone number for Helping Hands.” He almost leaped from his seat.

Oh, this is genius! This is perfect. We just need to find the best anchor.” The best anchor? Is he serious, I thought to myself.

Christian… the best anchor is you. This should be your baby, your message, only told by many people so that we can reach a larger demographic—but you’re the anchor, Christian. It has to be you.” His face was all of a sudden filled with fear. I couldn’t understand it. A minute ago, he wanted to go on talk shows. “What is it, Christian?”

I don’t know,” he said honestly. “It’s a great idea, but…”

But what?” I pressed him.

All of a sudden, I feel terrified,” he admitted. I knew what it was. It was all of the old ghosts and monsters that he was afraid of. He was becoming that little boy hiding in the closet praying for his oppressor to go away, but knowing that, inevitably, he would be found and attacked once more. I put my hand on his shoulder.

You don’t have to make the decision now, Christian. There is still a lot to do to get this off the ground. We have to find our other costars first,” I smiled, trying to reassure him.

Couldn’t you do it?” he asked. “You are one-half of this AnaChris bullshit. Your face is almost as well-known as mine these days.” I laughed at him.

Not even close,” I told him. “Christian, this is my 15 minutes of fame, and it’s going to be up soon. At best, I will always be known as ‘Christian Grey’s significant other’ and most often, only when we are seen or photographed together. You are Christian Grey. You are the unmistakable face of Seattle, of business, of wealth, the once-unattainable and most-coveted bachelor… you have influence that even you don’t know you have. It has to be you.” He nodded.

Let me make some calls. I… need to figure this out.” With that, he kissed me on the cheek and disappeared into his study.

I know that he talked to Vee last night and she thought it was a fantastic idea and very easy to pull off. I called Grace this morning and ran the idea by her, at which time she told me that Carrick was in such a state that he got drunk last night and didn’t go into the office this morning. I can only imagine what horrible things he witnessed happening to his son in those pictures. No father should have to be exposed to that and, once again, I want to kill that bitch!

However, tonight, I have other plans.

I have coordinated with Gail and Jason to plan my evening to perfection. Jason will keep Christian at Grey House until 7pm while Gail and I prepare the meal and the apartment for Valentine’s Day. We make enough for both couples since she has some plans of her own with her husband. Mr. Grey has never celebrated Valentine’s Day, he tells me. Tonight, we’re going to celebrate—our way.

Promptly at 7:25, Christian walks into the great room, lit only by a few scattered candles and the faint light from the kitchen. Soft music plays on the sound system and I can hear his footsteps pause when he steps inside the door.

“Ana?” he calls out as he enters the apartment. I knew that he would. He doesn’t know what to expect right now… which is good. I am wearing a long-sleeved, floor-length red wrap dress that is sexy enough to show a lot of thigh and cleavage, but not what is hiding underneath—besides the tops of my black thigh-high stockings with a thick lace top panel and my sky-high black patent-leather Louboutins. I used big barrel curling irons to give me big hair with large waves and wild curls at the ends. I have smoky eyes and light lip gloss to complete my ensemble.

I step out of the shadows into view, very slowly, so that he sees my legs first and then the rest of me. He gasps as I walk toward him, and I am not sure if its because this sexy outfit and my “fuck me, come hither” eyes took his breath away, or because I am holding his woven metal and leather collar in my hands.

“Position two, Mr. Grey,” I command him softly but firmly. Without hesitation, he is down on his knees, his head down. I walk slowly and deliberately over to him, listening to my shoes echo against the marble floor. His breath quickens only slightly, almost unnoticeable…

…Almost…

“Good evening, Mr. Grey,” I purr while fondling the collar in my hands. “How was your day?”

He is completely and utterly speechless.

“It was…” He swallows heavily and tries to speak again. “It was… bearable, Mistress,” he responds.

“Hmmm,” I say walking around him, “bearable. Let’s see what we can do about that.” I run my hand through his hair and I hear his breath catch again. Fear? Anticipation? I am behind him when I say, “remove your tie.” He tears at the tie, releasing the knot and nearly rips it from his neck before tossing it uselessly on the floor. Good boy. I stand behind him and admire his frame. He is so funking well-built, so damn sexy. Even on his knees in a dark gray designer suit, he’s making me wet.

“Your shirt… unbutton it, just the top three buttons.” He quickly unbuttons his shirt and holds his head down. I set the collar down for a moment and allow my hands to graze over his body—his strong shoulders, his firm chest, his muscular back. He is controlling his breathing again. There’s something about when we take on these roles. He becomes another person. He anticipates my every move, my every touch, and when it comes, he is highly aroused and must control himself.

I walk back around to the front of him, my hand still tracing his shoulder. I put my hands under his suit jacket and push it off of his shoulders, caressing him the whole way down his arms as I do. His lips are parted and he is slightly losing control over his breathing. Oh, poor Mr. Grey. We haven’t even started yet.

I lay his suit jacket on the sofa and pick up the collar. “Look at me,” I command him. He raises his head slowly, taking in my attire as his eyes rake hungrily up my body. Well, I didn’t tell him to look at my face, although that’s what I meant. I told him to look at me, and he is salaciously during just that.

“Are you deliberately trying to irritate me, Mr. Grey?” I say with just enough impatience in my voice to make his head snap up and his eyes obediently meet mine.

“No, Mistress!” he says, duly chastised. “I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” We’ll see. I glare at him for a moment and he swallows again… hard, this time. I bend down so that my very exposed cleavage is prominently displayed in his face. At this moment, I am very certain to make sure that my fingers don’t touch him… only the collar. I attach it around his neck, securing it firmly in the back—no room between his skin and the collar but with no intention of choking him.

“Too tight?” I ask.

“No, Mistress,” he whispers still looking up at me. “It’s perfect.” His eyes are now filled with longing, and something else. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was gratitude! He often gets that look in his eye when I collar him, the only exception being that day at the BDSM club. That day was filled with lust and hunger.

“On your feet, Mr. Grey,” I command him. He rises effortlessly to his feet and I admire his grace. He stands in front of me, expecting, obediently looking in my face and awaiting instruction.

“Position three,” I say, pointing to the sofa. “There.”

“Yes, Mistress,” he says, walking over to the sofa. I watch as he walks over to the sofa and sits on the edge, his hands on his knees. I walk behind him and go to the kitchen, retrieving my tray of goodies for the first part of my Valentine’s Day Domme seduction. I walk up behind him and command him softly, “close your eyes.” Without waiting for a response, I walk around to the front of him and put my tray on the end table. I take a velveteen sleep mask from the tray and put it over his eyes.

“Do you trust me?” I ask.

“Yes, Mistress,” he breathes.

“Good. Sit back.” He moves back on the sofa so that he is sitting up straight against the back of it. Perfect.

“Hands to your side, flat against your thighs.” After he obeys, I open my dress and straddle him, pinning his hands to his thighs so that he feels my stocking tops against the backs of his hands. He gasps again. His perfect, parted lips call to me, so I lick them—just once—around in a circle, across the top lip and then the bottom, very slowly. I moan quietly as I feel his sex respond, only slightly, but it still responds.

It’s time to feed my man.

Our appetizers consist of various ripe fruit—squared sweet watermelon and honeydew, slices of mango, and whole strawberries—which I feed him from my lips so that each bite is shared with a sensual kiss. Each time the fruit juices escape down his chin, his cheek, his neck, his chest, I hungrily lick him clean. His instincts tell him to hold me, but he can’t—not only for the obvious reason, but also because his hands are pinned to his thighs… by my thighs. The bowl of fruit is small but he is squirming and moaning by the time we get to the bottom.

Next is our main course-roasted lobster with Verjus and tarragon and pasta with rabiola and truffles (the smell of truffles is an aphrodisiac), with champagne mojitos. I feed us both from the oversized plate, much like he did this weekend at my apartment. Besides being touching and romantic, the experience was so satisfying and erotic that I made up my mind there and then to do the same thing for him; to make him feel as cherished and sexy as he made me feel… and then, I’ll bring him to his wits end.

The creamy rabiola sauce made its way to his cheek and chin more than once, requiring that I lap it up lasciviously while grinding my hips into him. He moaned deeply as his erection gets harder and harder, and I know he will be only too ready for what I have planned next… at least I hope he will.

I finally tempt him with our Valentine’s Day dessert—chocolate soufflé with crème anglaise—decadent and delicious, and just messy enough to be smeared on his lips and sucked off. He is nearly trembling when our meal is over. I remove the blindfold.

“Are you well fed, Mr. Grey,” I purr.

“Yes, Mistress, very well fed. Thank you,” he replies, his voice satisfied, but dripping with not-so-hidden arousal. I rise from his lap and take his hand.

“I want to take you to the Playroom, Mr. Grey. I have something in store for you.”

“Yes, Mistress,” he says without hesitation. I beckon him to follow me. As he rises, I notice that his pants are wet where we rubbed together. Was that him or me? Probably both.

“Go on up, remove your clothing—all of it. I will expect you naked in position one when I get there.” He turns obediently and ascends the stairs. I quickly clear the dishes and load the dishwasher. That should give him enough time to wonder what’s about to happen. I take the stairs to the second floor and open the door to the Playroom…

… and there he is, standing there in his naked glory, still partially erect. Good.

I choose my musical selections and walk over to him.

“What are your safewords, Mr. Grey?” I ask. He gasps again.

“Sails and knots,” he says, just above a whisper. I nod.

“…And?” I prompt him.

“Wings, Mistress.” I put my finger under his chin and lift his head slightly.

“Sails, knots, and wings” I say softly, planting a gentle kiss on his lips. “Face down on the bed, Mr. Grey. Arms up.” For a fleeting moment, a questioning look comes across his face before he takes his place on the bed.

After a few moments, he is restrained—wrists and ankles, face down, slightly eagle-spread, with his genitalia tucked safely underneath him.

“I’ve been doing my research again, Mr. Grey,” I say taunting. “I have noticed that you seem to like a bit more pain with your pleasure. As it is my duty to give you what you want while getting what I need, we will be trying some new things tonight. Our first experiment will be a combination of things. I notice how much you enjoy the crop and the flogger. Tonight will be a bit about punishment and a bit about pain. Do you know why you are being punished, Mr. Grey?” He pauses for just a beat.

“No, Mistress, I don’t,” he says, his voice nearly impassive. Let’s see how long you keep that up, Sir.

“Think really hard, Mr. Grey. I’ll give you a moment.” I pace a bit while I obtain my weapon of choice, away from his eyesight.

“Was it my hesitation in looking at you, Mistress?” he asks.

“No, Mr. Grey. Although I should punish you for that, I won’t. It’s something else entirely.” I can hear the wheels turning and moments later, he responds, “I’m sorry, Mistress. I can’t seem to remember an infraction that requires punishment.” I walk to the head of the bed so that he can see me, but not my weapon.

“Let me help you… something about ‘parting pussy…'” I say softly. His eyes grow large and then he utters an almost silent expletive. “Were you saying something, Mr. Grey?”

“No, Mistress,” he says, defeat clear in his voice.

“Are you ready for what I have in store for you?” He breathes in a deep, cleansing breath and lets it out.

“Yes, Mistress,” he says. I gently rub his ass cheek with my free hand. I feel his cheek clench as he doesn’t know what’s coming next.

—————————————————————–

GREY

WHAP!

What the ever-loving fuck! I damn near bite my tongue off when I feel that! My Mistress has just hit me—hard—with something on my ass… and she is serious. I sure the fuck wasn’t prepared for that! She crawls onto the bed next to me.

WHAP!

Fuuuuuck me! This hurts like hell. What the hell is that, Grey? Think, Man, think. You need to prepare yourself for the next blow. She massages my ass gently and just as the sting from the last strike almost dissipates…

WHAP!

Fucking hell! I grunt when that one hit me! What is this? Flat… hard… feels like plastic, or rubber…

WHAP!

Paddle! It’s a fucking paddle! Whoa, she’s good at this. Me and my big mouth. I knew when I said it, that statement would somehow come back and bite me in the ass. I didn’t know that it would be literally.

WHAP!

I bury my mouth in the mattress. I won’t cry out. I have certainly suffered worse than this. If I control the pain, I may be able to channel it… now that I know what the fuck she’s using.

WHAP!

Again, I must ask… what the hell has she been reading!? I’m lying here analyzing the strikes, the way that they hit my ass square on and then…

WHAP!

Shit! …And then slide off quickly right at the end. I wonder how many strikes my malfeasance warrants?

WHAP!

Oh good God! Apparently, at least eight. This shit stings like hell… and yes, my dick is getting hard.

WHAP!

The sting is torture. Okay, Mistress, I was wrong! Please forgive me!

WHAP!

Ten! Oh, shit, we’re up to ten. I let out a breath that I didn’t know that I was holding and prepare for the next strike. Her hand is on my ass again.

“Mmm,” she purrs, “just pink enough for our next activity.” Our next activity? What the fuck? I can hear myself panting. “Are you okay, Mr. Grey?”

Am I? When is the last time I was truly spanked? Years and years ago, back when… and she surely didn’t care how I felt afterwards. I immediately feel myself settle into contentment.

“Yes, Mistress,” I respond softly, catching my breath. “I’m fine.” She sits on the bed just out of my sight.

“Have we learned anything from this exercise, Mr. Grey?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“What have we learned?”

“I humbly beseech you to forgive me for being disrespectful in your presence, Mistress. I will never do that again,” I say, thinking of the exact words that I would want to hear if I were the one with the paddle in my hand. She pauses for a moment, then kisses me on my spine and my shoulder blade, sending an immediate chill through me.

Tenderness. Tenderness after punishment… something I learned, but was never shown to me. She is perfect… Perfect in every way, even in her discipline.

“Excellent, Mr. Grey. I am very pleased.” She rises from the bed. “Are you ready for the next journey?” I breathe deeply again, and relax into the bed.

“Yes, Mistress,” I say, closing my eyes. I hear Robin Thicke singing about dreaming and I swear that I’m off to this dreamworld of which he speaks. I feel her straddle my lower back and her hot naked sex against my skin. Shit, I can almost smell her! She begins to gently massage my shoulders and then my back. I relax even more into the bed as if that’s possible. She works her way down my back and moves to the side of me when she gets to my butt, then my thighs and legs.

Mmmmmm…

She stands and I get a glimpse of her… in what looks like a slick black nightie or dress and those sexy ass stockings and heels—nothing else. She has something else in her hand. Is that what I think it is?

I feel a light tapping… on my ass… the backs of my thighs. That can’t be! She doesn’t know how…

Before the thought is finished in my mind, the blows variate from taps to feather light, quick single blows to two or three at a time—in different areas. It almost tickles at one point and then arouses at the next. I need my dick out from under me—it’s starting to get harder… and painful!

I hear my own breathing increase as the blows become slightly heavier, slightly stronger. Where did she learn? How? She’s caning me! She’s fucking caning me!

Her blows are getting harder on the meaty cheeks of my ass and at the tops of my thighs. She still variates from a harder blow to several feather soft ones. Oh shit, this is hot! I feel sweat forming on my skin now and I so want to fuck! I’m feeling euphoric and the pleasure/pain divider has disappeared once again. She strikes me harder…

“Ah!” Oh shit! I made a noise! She didn’t tell me that I could! I won’t do it again. I’m sorry, Mistress. Please don’t be angry…

The cane strikes again…

“Ugh!” I tried to be silent, but at least I managed to muffle my cries into the mattress. The mattress… it feels good against my dick. Fuck! Stop it! Don’t move! She tells you when to come, not you.

She continues to tease, tantalize, and torture me, for I don’t know how much longer and now, my balls are full and ready to blow. I want to touch her so badly, but I dare not. I dare not look at her or even speak to beg her for the release that her skillful torment has left my body begging for. I hear the instrument drop to the floor and I almost lament that this part of the journey has ended. I will be sure to tell my Mistress how much I enjoyed this so that if she ever decides to grace me with a reward, this will surely be my first choice.

Is that me? Am I breathing that heavily? I have to control myself. Control your breathing, Grey. Remember your training. That evil witch taught you one useful thing—control. Now get it together.

“How do you feel, Mr. Grey?” she asks me, softly.

“Wonderful, my Mistress,” I breathe wistfully, and I hear the content longing in my own voice. She rubs her hand against my tender bottom and thighs and I wince. The pain… again, exquisite. My Mistress. Only mine. How did she learn so well? I know that there is no one else. My Mistress wouldn’t do that to me… not even just for practice, but how did she learn so well? She rubs my tender ass some more and I moan into the mattress again. It’s painful and soothing at the same time.

“I want you to turn over, Mr. Grey,” she says as she releases my restraints. I obey and oh, fuck… twice! First, my ass hurts like hell, but I suck it up and sit my ass on that bed like I’m told, partially sitting up, partially lying down, with several pillows behind me. She reattaches my wrist straps to the headboard and she also attaches my collar so that I can’t move my head. Second, this outfit that she is wearing is illegal! I get a better look at it and the dress—if you can call it that—is some sort of shiny leather or rubber in the front and nylon spandex in the back. She is bending over attaching my ankle restraints and she has no panties on under this thing. Oh my God, Mistress, what are you trying to do to me?

My Mistress looks over her shoulder at me and I realize that she knows exactly what she’s doing to me. Oh, cruel, cruel Mistress.

“Mr. Grey, now that’s impressive,” she says, gesturing to my fully-erect soldier who is reaching for the ceiling without assistance and ready for action. “He’s too ready, though. I know that you have your sexual safeword, but I’m only too sure that he will give out before I want the party to end.” No, he won’t, Mistress. I’ll make sure he behaves. Please don’t torment me further! Please…

She has an even better idea… I think.

She approaches with me with a cock-ring. Fuck, do I want to do this again? The last one had to be ripped off of me. “This one is different, Mr. Grey,” she says reading my mind. “This one is a harness. It will serve the same purpose as the one before—to hold your massive, incredible, impressive erection in place until I am done with you. However, this one goes over your dick and your balls, so it can be quite painful at the crucial moment. When you are certain—and I mean certain—that you cannot take anymore, you will use your sexual safeword, which is…”

“Wings, Mistress,” I say, obediently.

“Yes, Mr. Grey. Wings, and I will release you, like this.” She shows me how quickly and easily the harness can be released with the pull of a snap, but my dick and balls will remain prisoner until she’s ready to set me free. Breathe, Grey. This will most likely be the most excellent torture you have ever felt, and she will let you come when it’s over. I nod anxiously.

“Yes, Mistress.” She smiles at me and restrains my dick and balls in the harness. It is already a tight fit because my balls are completely full and my dick is totally erect. When she has me restrained, she stands up on the bed and walks up the mattress to my face.

“Let the games begin,” she nearly growls before turning away from me. Placing one Louboutin-clad foot on either side of me, she bends over so that her beautiful ass is right in my face and her luscious, wet flower is right at my lips.

Oh, somebody help me!

“Kiss me, Mr. Grey,” she purrs, pushing her pussy right up to my lips. Oh, Mistress, with pleasure. I dive into that delectable core with the intention of sucking every bit of juice out of it I can get… until…

“Uuuuuuhhhhhh!” I groan into her pussy as somehow, it this standing-bent position, she bends down and clamps her lips ferociously on my dick! I mean, it is insane! I am truly gnawing at her trying not to pay attention to this magnificent blowjob she is giving me. It’s utterly incredible! She is pulling and tugging and gripping and sucking and it’s so damn good that I can feel my eyes cross. Happy fucking Valentine’s Day to me! I intensify my efforts on her pussy, determined that if I concentrate on bringing her to orgasm first that I might be able to last without safewording. After a while, it worked, thank fuck. I can’t do anything about the never-ending hard-on and the super-full nut sack, but I could channel my focus to one of my very favorite parts—if not my very favorite part—of her body. I did a quickfire French kiss that has my Mistress howling by the end of it. She put forth her best effort, and I mean her best effort because she was sucking like her life depended on it—but she made the mistake of giving me a task, and I always complete a task.

Once she catches her breath from her insane orgasm, I watch as she slowly removes every piece of clothing that she is wearing including the stockings and drops them on the Playroom floor.

“It’s your turn to scream, Mr. Grey,” she says seductively as she climbs over me and rubs the head of my dick against her sex. Oh, shit. No task this time, how long will I last? “Do you remember your instructions?” She asks, her voice thick with arousal already.

“Yes, Mistress… safeword… when I am certain… that I can’t… take anymore,” I reply through clenched teeth. Shit, I’m almost there now!

“Mmmm,” she says, closing her eyes, obviously enjoying the feeling. “Yes, you understand.” She opens her eyes and glares at me. “Only when you are certain,” she threatens again and I nod. She turns away from me again and straddles me… Oh my fuck!

I watch as she lowers herself onto my throbbing dick. In this position, I have the perfect bird’s eye view of the whole thing. I gasp as her body envelops me. She fits so perfectly and she has never ridden me this way before. Reverse cowgirl—she is facing my feet and her ass is pointing right at me.

Then she starts to roll her hips…

Robin Thicke has serenaded the entire scene, but now he is appropriately singing about being taken to the sky and I am right there with him!

Back and forth, circling over me, barely lifting, but grinding into me like there is no tomorrow. Fuck it looks so good… feels so good… Her perfect ass rolling over me while she torments my swollen member, her cheeks clenching when she pushes forward and down hard on me. I want to cry out, this shit is so good. My balls are straining in this cock ring almost to the point of pain and my dick is so engorged that it is hitting every wall inside of her.

She throws her head back and sensuously lifts her hair with both arms as she fluidly rolls her body over me. I can only watch as she continues this agony. I groan loudly as I feel the ache and pull in my pelvis and balls that signal my eminent release, but I am being denied by not only my Mistress, but also this fucking cock-ring that’s holding back my ejaculation.

She continues to grind into me, skillful and relentless, and my balls are throbbing more than my dick. I’m panting now and inadvertently close my eyes to try to lessen the assault on my senses. Baby, Baby, Baby… you are truly killing me.

“Do you like this, Mr. Grey?” she purrs as she reaches her hand down and caresses my loaded, swollen balls through the harness.

“Aaaahh!” I cry out and squeeze my eyes shut. “I can’t… take much more… Mistress…” I choke. The ring is quite painful on my balls, but added with the skillful working of my dick, it’s excruciatingly intense. She may have to get off of me because I’m certain that I’m am going to fill her up until my cum squirts out of her fucking ears.

“Good. Hold on, Mr. Grey. You can do it,” she coaches, her voice thick with pleasure. No, I can’t! You put me in this chastity contraption then torture me endlessly until I want to shoot the head of my dick off into outer space, and then you ride me hard where I have no choice but to watch the muscles of your beautiful, round ass flex and contract while your perfect pussy chokes the life out of Greystone. No! No, I can’t do it, Mistress!

I groan loudly, lamenting in my helplessness and savoring it at the same time. To think that someone who didn’t practice the lifestyle a year ago could bring me this much pleasure as a sub is mind-boggling. She is perfect as a Domme—just the right amount of pleasure and pain; not too soft and just rough enough; masterfully controlling my orgasms until…

“Aaahh,” she moans as she supports herself on my thighs and tightens her kegels. Oh, shit! I am panting! This is insanely intense. Fuck, I don’t want it to end, but Greystone has other plans. I grit my teeth, grunting loudly and she changes tact and leans down all the way so that her hands are near my ankle cuffs… and she begins to bounce.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

That round ass is thumping up and down on my hips and I am watching Greystone—purple and veiny and Hulked-up once again—sliding wet and glistening in and out of her pretty pussy, enveloped by those beautiful milky-white lips. Shit, I’m going to die. I am fucking going to die. I can do nothing but watch the agonizing sight as she bounces harder and faster on my shaft, chasing her orgasm. I groan mournfully as I am losing this fight and my balls are getting tighter and tighter. The tingling at the head of my dick is so intense that I can’t feel the stroke anymore—it’s just continuous. Am I coming? I can’t tell. It feels so good and it won’t let up—like an orgasm. I am making sounds that even I have never heard before.

“Please, Mistress…” Was that me? “Please, I can’t…” I know better than that, but this is torture. I’ve never felt this before. I’m helpless and I can’t move… and I don’t know if I’m coming or not. It’s painful and pleasurable and fuck and I can’t control my body anymore. I’m sweating like a pig, clenching my fist and my feet and my whole body is wound tighter than a rubber band.

“Did you… say something… Mr. Grey?” my Mistress hisses through her pleasure, but I can’t concentrate anymore. I can’t focus. My mouth is open, gasping for more air. I am pulling away from the bed causing my collar to pull against my neck. The sensation goes right to my dick.

“Aaaahhhh!” I cry out again as I am certain that I am coming now… but I’m wrong. My balls are going to explode any second and I feel sweat pouring down my face. I pull against the collar again for the choking effect and I can feel my dick get harder inside of my Mistress.

“Oh… Mr. Grey… you are so ready,” she taunts as she bounces harder and faster on my cock. That’s it. I’m not going to make it. I moan hard and long as I await the painful orgasm that I know I am going to have if she doesn’t remove this cock ring. Just as I think the pleasure can’t get any more intense…

“Aaaaahhhhhhhhh!” My Mistress drops down on me and grinds feverishly into my hips as her muscles tighten around me and she comes powerfully—and that’s it. I can barely choke the words out before I can feel the burning…

“Wings! Wings! Wings! Wings! Wings! Wi…” My Mistress quickly rises off of me and releases the cock ring. I began the painful orgasm while still in the restraint, causing me to cry out in agony. When she releases me, she quickly and masterfully starts to jack me off, leaning her head down and caressing the side of my dick with her mouth. I can feel her outlining the veins with her tongue as it wraps around my shaft, and the tingling non-stop burning I felt before becoming a scorching, searing stream of white lava barreling out of me with force, anger and intensity.

“Mistreeeesssss! Oh Gooood!” I wail. I sound like I’m crying. Shit, I feel like I’m crying! My eyes are open only long enough to see two extremely long, thick streams of white semen fly up from my protesting, angry dick and shoot over her landing on my shoulder, down my chest and across her back. It is a glorious display and feels as painful, intense, and euphoric as it looks. I squeeze my eyes shut as my Mistress continues to work my dick with her masterful hands. I know that I’m crying now, because the sounds that I hear can only be likened to weeping. She works me for a while and it seems like forever before my throbbing penis finally calms down and gives up the fight. She lifts my balls and I can tell that—as painful as they are right now—they are light and empty. Once I open my eyes, I can see that the “white lava” party continued for a while because we are both simply covered in my seed. I am panting for breath, trying to drop my head as I can’t hold it up anymore, but I am being hindered by my collar.

My Mistress crawls up my body and straddles me, shamelessly mixing our sweat and my cum into our skin. It’s one of the hottest things I have ever seen. She releases my collar and my head falls forward. She examines my neck, then looks into my eyes, concerned. I don’t know what my eyes tell her, but I am wrung out… literally. No woman has ever worn me out! Well, at least not sexually. She didn’t even wear me out in Anguilla and that had to be one of our most intense sessions ever!

She kisses my neck several times and I am way too weary to even respond. She holds my head up and looks me lovingly in the eyes.

“Well done, Mr. Grey,” she says and gently kisses my lips. “Very well done.”

Thank you… Mistress…” I breathe.

——————————————————————

A/N:

Some of the Playroom music:
Robin Thicke–Dreamworld, Sex Therapy, and 2 The Sky

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

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

Feel free to review—it is greatly appreciated.

Love and Handcuffs!
Lynn x