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 56—Total Breakdown
Well, this is just turning out to be the best vacation ever…not! First, I alienate and damn near lose two of the closest people in my life. Then, I debase the woman that I love so badly that not only wouldn’t she have an orgasm this morning, but she nearly couldn’t even when I wanted her to. Now, I’ve sent her ambling off somewhere, most likely hurt and confused… again! She’s already fragile as fuck because of all the other shit going on, then I go screaming at her about my damn cell phone.
I go to the office to check my phone and see if she has called me. Fourteen missed calls… not one from Butterfly. All from… Elena Lincoln? Fourteen missed calls from the Pedophile!? How many of the calls did Butterfly witness? Shit, it’s no fucking wonder she answered the phone. Fourteen damn calls!
“Shit! Shit! Shit!” I pace for a few minutes wondering if I should call her. This is so fucked up. I call her and her phone rings then goes to voice mail. I don’t leave a message. What do I say…?
I was an asshole… again?
I didn’t know the bitch called me fourteen times.
“Shit!” I call her again. Again, it goes to voice mail. “Ana. It’s Christian. Call me please.” There. Short and to the point.
I pace the floor for fifteen minutes or so and still no Anastasia. What the hell? I call her again. I can faintly hear her ringtone for me. Maybe they’re back. I end the call and go to the front of the villa. Still only one car. I call her again. Now I can’t hear the phone at all. Did she come back into the house while Gail and Jason were on the patio? I call her phone again and start to climb the stairs. It’s getting louder. She can’t hear that? Maybe she’s asleep. I call the phone again and climb the stairs to the master suite. It’s up here somewhere, but where’s Butterfly? I call it once more and follow the ring to the sitting room off the master suite where, on an end table plugged into the charger next to her open laptop, I find Butterfly’s phone.
I hang up my blackberry and look again at the 14 missed calls from the Pedophile. This is the last time I’ll let this woman disrupt my life this way. Welch has to make his case on this woman very soon, and I’ll press him hard when I’m stateside again. For now, I block her numbers from my phone—her cell, her home, and all of her salons will now all go straight to voice mail. If she calls me from a blocked or unknown number, I’ll hang up immediately. If she wants to reach me, she can call the office.
She’ll never get past Andrea without an appointment, and she’ll only be able to contact me until I can lower the fucking boom on her ass and be done with her forever. I send off an email to Andrea to contact Sound Community and inform them that I’ll be pulling my backing from Mrs. Lincoln as soon as I’m back in town. I’m feeling sick to my stomach that I chastised Butterfly after all that she has already been through. True, I still maintain that she shouldn’t have answered my phone without my permission, but I certainly could have handled it better than I did.
It’s about 6:20 when I realize that Jason said she left with Davenport. Talk about delayed reaction. I go back down to the patio where Gail and Jason are standing now, talking to one another.
“Jason, call Davenport. Butterfly left her phone here.”
“Oooh,” Gail covers her face then looks back up at me. “I brought her purse, Mr. Grey. I didn’t know her phone wasn’t inside.”
“It’s okay,” I respond as Jason pulls out his phone and calls Davenport. He immediately snatches his phone away from his ear when Davenport answers. What the hell…?
“Chuck!” He’s yelling into the phone. “Yeah, where are you?… Where?… Why, what’s going on?… Oh, okay. What’s the address?… We’ll be there in a few minutes.” He ends the call. Do I really want to hear this?
“They’re at an ice cream parlor,” he says.
“Okay.” That doesn’t sound bad.
“We should go, Boss. He says that Ana’s not acting like herself and you should get down there. A place called Kel’s in the middle of the island,” Jason says.
“The middle of the island,” I repeat. The middle of the damn island. Damn it, Anastasia! I know she’s not in any danger here but nonetheless…
“Let’s go,” I say, trying to hide my irritation.
About twenty minutes later, we’re in the middle of a calypso yard party looking for Davenport and Butterfly. Jason calls Davenport again who directs us towards the path leading to one of the beaches. We find Davenport standing by a pier while Butterfly is several feet away standing at the water’s edge.
“What’s going on?” I ask Davenport.
“I couldn’t tell you, sir. One minute she’s up, the next, she’s down. She’s all over the place. She ate so much food… I don’t know how that much food can fit in that little body. She ate more than I did, sir. There’s so much candy in the trunk of the car, I don’t know if it’s going to make it back to the villa.” I turn to look at him.
“Candy!?” I honestly don’t even remember ever seeing Butterfly eat junk food.
“Bags and bags and bags of it, sir. She’s got enough candy in that car to feed everybody at that party and still have enough left over for trick-or-treat,” he says. What in the hell does she plan to do with all that candy?
“What is she going to do with it?” I ask.
“She said eat it, sir,” he answers.
“Has she been drinking?”
“One drink, sir, and that was hours ago. She bought the candy before the drink and she ate so much, that drink was surely absorbed quickly. If that didn’t do it, the dancing sure did,” he says.
“Dancing?” In my head, I can see my little Butterfly gyrating to calypso music having a grand time… without me. She hasn’t budged from the spot where she’s standing.
“The people are very friendly, sir. She was in no danger whatsoever.”
I didn’t think so, I just don’t like the idea of a bunch of people pawing my girlfriend.
“How long has she been standing there?” I ask. He looks at his watch.
“Twenty-five… 30 minutes maybe, I’m not sure—since before dark.”
“Why didn’t you call sooner?”
“Because I didn’t see a problem until she got out there and by then, Jason had already called me,” he answers. “She didn’t give me any details, but she told me that there had been a disagreement. At the point that I even made an inclination towards mentioning your name, her mood changed again, and she ended up out there,” he says, gesturing to Butterfly.
“Shit!” That seems to be my word of choice right now. I run my hands through my hair and start making my way towards her. I walk a few feet in her direction and stop. I still don’t know what to say to her…
I’m here to get you but you were still wrong for answering my phone?
Yeah, that’ll go over like a clown at a funeral. I run my hands through my hair again and stare at her for a moment. For the first time in a long time—if ever—I don’t know what to do.
“Aaahh, you de young man.” One of the locals approaches me as I stand on the beach watching Butterfly in the water. He has a full gray beard and he’s wearing a hat or a turban—it’s too dark to tell.
“Excuse me?” I ask. What the hell is he talking about?
“She not say it, but I see it in her eyes. You de young man,” he says, examining me through his wire glasses. He pronounces his “t’s” very hard and the words all run into each other. I don’t respond to him as I’m trying to figure out what he’s talking about. He points to Butterfly standing in the water.
“Veddy, veddy tortured soul,” he says, looking at Butterfly. “Too much for one young life,” he says shaking his head.
“She talked to you?” I ask. He shakes his head again.
“She dance with me.” He puts his right hand over his stomach and bends his left arm in the air and wiggles his hips, imitating a lambada-salsa-something or other. He moves pretty well for an old man.
“She dance for long time with many people,” he says. “She dance like she run. She run from hurt and fear and demons. Veddy, veddy tortured soul.”
He looks at her and I run my hands through my hair. A stranger is telling me this—someone who couldn’t have known her for more than an afternoon, and probably less than that.
“You de young man. You stop her running, now. Long, long life together,” he says pointing to Butterfly.
“How do you know that?” I ask, honestly curious.
“Aaaahh, old man,” he says tapping his temple. “I see many things. Many, many things. I see it in your eye. Go to huh. You de young man. You stop huh running.” He puts his hand on my shoulder and gestures to Butterfly with the other hand. I flinch from his touch, but he doesn’t remove his hand.
“You have demons. You wear dem on your back. She heal you. You stop huh running. Go to huh.” He continues to gesture towards Butterfly and gives my shoulder a little push. I start walking towards her and he says, “Tell huh Ken say, ‘dank you fo’ de dance!'” He smiles a full beaming toothy smile and imitates his lambada-salsa again before turning and walking away.
I turn back to Butterfly and begin walking towards her. The closer I get, I can see her shivering. I see her shoulders shaking. She’s crying. I remove my shoes and walk closer to her. I feel the water brush against my feet as I stand behind her. It’s kind of warm—but she’s shivering… and crying… not violent, but deeply… soul wrenching. She has cried so much… so much. It’s time for the crying to stop. I wrap my arms around her quickly, pinning her arms to her body because I don’t want her to fight me.
She drops her head and continues to weep. Neither of us says a word. Her dress is drenched at the bottom and I want her out of the water. I lift her into my arms and her hands fall into her lap—still crying. I carry her all the way back to the car. A few of the locals eye me curiously… most likely more of Butterfly’s dance partners. They continue with their merriment as we pass by, some smiling, some frowning, all dancing. Davenport goes to the trunk and pulls out the blanket and one of the towels we keep for impromptu beach trips. I sit her in the back seat and instruct Davenport to go back for her purse and our shoes.
Jason watches as I wring the water out of her dress and onto the ground while she sits with her feet hanging out of the car… still crying. Jesus Christ, did I break her? I gently dry her feet and try to wrap them in the towel. She turns away from me and curls her body very small in the seat—still crying.
I exchange a glance with Jason, then climb into the car beside Butterfly and wrap the blanket around her. She’s still crying when Jason starts to drive us back to the villa. I can’t leave her like this. I pull her into my lap and cradle her there, rubbing her back and trying to comfort her but she’s inconsolable. She has cried for so long, I just don’t know how she can have that much water in her!
When we get to the villa, Gail has run her a bath in the master suite. Since Davenport has assured me that she has eaten, I take her straight to the Jacuzzi bath. After I remove her clothes, I help her step into the tub. A few minutes after she settles into the tub, she stops crying. Good. The end of her hair gets wet in the water. I put a touch of lemongrass in the water since the Jacuzzi will result in lots of bubbles. She had a bath only a few hours ago so this is just to relax her.
“I’ll be right back,” I say. She doesn’t answer. I come down to the second floor to make a call to Welch and I see Davenport and Jason emptying bags from the car. There are several bags in the great room and Gail’s standing there shaking her head.
“I thought you said you didn’t go to the mall. What’s all this?” I ask, descending the stairs.
All three of them answer at once: “Candy!”
What. The. Fuck.
“You gotta be kiddin,'” I say. “No one person could possibly want all of this candy.”
“She did, sir,” Davenport says as I descend the stairs and Jason comes in with yet more candy. I start to look in the bags and there has to be every candy known to man in smaller twisted plastic bags inside… chocolates and chewies and gumdrops. There are nuts and hard candy and sprinkles… who buys a bag full of sprinkles!? I pull one of the smaller bags out that seems to be filled with sugar-coated almonds. What in the hell…? I sit down on the floor amidst all the candy—completely confused and bewildered.
“What the hell am I doing?” I say more to myself than anybody. What is this all about, Butterfly? What good am I to her if I keep causing her so much distress? She’s already got a shitload of things on her plate; I can’t be making this any easier for her. Me with my fucked up past and control issues and crazy, delusional, pedophile stalkers—this can’t be good for her in any way. She’s fighting with her monsters, now Harris is haunting her damn dreams… you can only deal with so much at once and then here I come… Mack Truck Grey, to finish the job. I hadn’t noticed that Jason was stooping next to me.
“Boss…” I turn to look at him. “She doesn’t want all this candy. It was an impulse.”
“I wouldn’t count on it,” Davenport says. I look up at him. He looks from me to Jason and back to me. “You didn’t see her today!” he exclaims. “She ate a hotdog big enough for two people covered in fries and toppings in something like two minutes. Then the lady brings out these banana splits this big.” I look at him skeptically when he demonstrates the size of the banana splits.
“I’m not kidding… they were this big!” he reiterates at my expression. “I suggested we share one… she almost bit my fucking head off! She slurped that thing down like a damn milkshake. I completely expected to find her doubled over somewhere. She’s like a bottomless pit!” I can see Jason out of my peripheral giving Chuck the evil eye.
“Look. Be mad at me all you want, but second to Mr. Grey, I think I spend the most time with her and I know her pretty well over the course of this last month. If you don’t want a meltdown, let her decide what’s going to happen to that candy.”
“Well, speaking of meltdown, where do we put all this? The refrigerator is stocked, and this house is made of glass,” Gail points out. “With the first midday sun, this will be a very colorful puddle of nuts and sugar.”
“I think the television room on the second floor doesn’t have any windows. That’ll be our best bet until she decides what she really wants to do with it,” Jason suggests. I sigh heavily and get off the floor. I start to gather some of the bags when Jason puts his hand on my shoulder. He has only done that to stop me from hitting someone.
“Boss, we’ll take care of this. Go to her. Make sure she’s okay.” His voice is softer than usual, and I don’t even want to know what expression I must be wearing to make him look at me so pitifully. I simply nod and put the bags down and take the stairs to the fourth floor. I feel the elevator would take too long.
She’s still sitting in the bathtub. She hasn’t moved a muscle. I don’t even think she blinked. It’s time to get her out of there.
“Come on, baby,” I say, holding my hand out to her. Without looking at me, she takes my hand and steps out of the water. I wrap her immediately in one of the bathrobes and dry her hair. I take her hand and she meekly follows me out to the master suite. I dry her thoroughly, then go to the closet to choose some sleepwear for her. I slide off her bathrobe and gently instruct her to raise her arms which she does… but she won’t raise her head. I slide on her nightgown—a La Perla Maison silk visone-colored full-length gown with white lace ivy leaves on the breast.
I quickly change into pajama pants and a T-shirt before turning the lights off and leading her to the bed. She meekly follows me and immediately draws into herself… again… once we lie down. I sigh heavily as I wrap my arms around her and pull her against me. She doesn’t resist, thank God. We lay there for quite some time—several minutes I think—before her breathing starts to regulate and I know that she’s asleep. I watch her by the light of the moon shining into the bedroom window. She looks so peaceful.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done to me?” I say softly to her sleeping body. “I can’t function without you anymore. I’m lost without you.” I stoke her hair gently and pull her closer to me. She whimpers softly, then coos.
“I’m sorry…” she says, never waking. My heart breaks at those words. She had to cry for 45 minutes straight this evening—maybe even longer—and this is what she says in her sleep. I did break her. I’ve never yelled at her before. I plan to be with her forever, so I know there will be some yelling in the future… and yet…
There’s only so much even the strongest of us can take before we break. Only a week outside of being kidnapped, her parents, Green Valley, that near-disastrous session we had… it’s a wonder she’s not a complete basket-case by now.
“I love you, Butterfly. I’ll help you through this. We’ll get through this together, I promise.” I hold her close to me and, after I feel her body settle into mine, I fall asleep.
I awake in the same position in which I fell asleep. We never moved the entire night, except now, my legs are wrapped possessively around hers and I have managed to somehow get both arms around her in my sleep, her hands clamped together in mine. My arm is asleep, but I don’t want to move. I want to stay like this forever, with her cradled in my arms, my body protecting her from the world. Her breathing changes and she whimpers a bit. She’s awake now. She doesn’t move and she doesn’t speak. She lies perfectly still in this spot for several moments.
“I’m sorry that I yelled at you.” I’m the first one to break the silence. She sighs softly.
“Okay,” she says weakly, still not moving.
“I should have talked to you instead of berating you.”
“It’s hard to think clearly when you’re angry,” she replies, her voice soft like a child.
“Please forgive me,” I beg, my heart clenching at the tone of her voice.
“I do,” she says without a pause. “I’m sorry for answering your phone without permission. I won’t do it again,” she promises.
“Okay,” I say, pulling her close to me again and inhaling the sweet, sweet fragrance of her hair.
“I think I want to go home,” she says. What? It’s only Tuesday! I planned to stay for ten days… it’s only been four. Have I ruined the trip for her, too? Nice going, Grey!
“Are you sure?”
“No,” she answers honestly. Thank God for that. I have time to change her mind.
“Why don’t we see how the day goes and if you still feel this way by tonight, I’ll arrange for us to go back to Seattle tomorrow. Deal?” she nods.
“Deal,” she says, flatly. If I pull her any closer to me, I’m going to squish her. So, I just move her hair from her neck and kiss her gently.
“Are you hungry?” I ask. She nods. “Then why don’t we go and find you something to eat, okay?”
The whole idea for this trip was to get Butterfly away from Seattle and the things that were stressing her, and it seems that we brought the stressors with us… or at least I did. Butterfly should never have been put in a situation on this trip where I needed a session to regain control. She never should have had to deal with me having to fix things with Gail and Jason because I put my foot in my mouth. She never should have had to deal with me yelling at her about answering my blackberry—most of all because that Pedophile Bitch shouldn’t be calling me in the first place! I have effectively ruined this trip for her not even halfway through when the purpose of the trip in the first place was for her to decompress.
It didn’t take much convincing for her and Gail to go to the spa and shopping for the day. That made me happy since in the last 48 hours I have brought both women to tears. With instructions to please spend a ghastly amount of money, I send them off under the watchful eyes of Jason. When I suggest that Davenport go to the beach or somewhere nearby in case I need him, he asks if he could invite some local girl that he met to the villa and they would stay by the pool or on the beach for the day. I see no harm in that, since I plan on doing some work and calling Flynn.
“Christian,” John greets on Skype once I settle into the master suite on my laptop. “I thought you were on vacation. What’s going on?”
“I don’t know, John. I’m having a hard time with everything right now,” I say honestly. I don’t think I’ve ever been this forward with John but there was no sense in beating around the bush.
“Tell me, what’s happening?”
“I haven’t spoken to you since the kidnapping. That took a real toll on Ana—not only for the obvious reasons, but also because her parents showed up and because she found out that the fucker that held her captive is claiming temporary insanity.”
“You know, I really hate when people do that. It shines a really bad light on those people who actually do need help.” His voice is full of disdain. “But I would think her parents’ visit would make her feel better… unless their relationship is less than ideal.”
“Oh, John, you do have such a way with words,” I say sarcastically. “Ana has a fantastic relationship with her father, Ray. Her mother and stepfather—they could move to Timbuktu and she wouldn’t blink. That’s all I can tell you about that. She would have to tell you more, but I brought her to Anguilla because she was literally about to implode. This is our fourth day and two of those days have been hell on her already.”
“Do you want to be more specific?”
“I’m an asshole, John. I don’t think I’m good for her,” I say honestly. John gets quiet.
“Continue.” I sigh.
“I gave her a promise ring on Saturday, and she gave me this.” I pull my necklace from under my T-shirt to show John. He leans into the screen and he looks a little strange when he’s concentrating.
“Is that tungsten?” he asks incredulously.
“I don’t know… neither one of us knows what this is.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a tungsten necklace.” Hmm, someone who knows what this is.
“Okay, I’ve heard of tungsten, but only in terms of tools. I’ve never heard of it in terms of jewelry.”
“Well, that’s because it’s rare. It’s such a heavy metal that you can’t use it in its purest form to make jewelry. You have to add carbon to it to make a different compound. It’s three times stronger than steel and I bet it weighs a ton.”
“Well, it is kind of heavy but not uncomfortable…”
“They usually only make rings with that… and then only men’s rings because it’s too heavy for a woman’s hand. It’s easier to polish a ring. I have no idea how they made that necklace… or that key. Where did she find that?” He’s talking like what I’m wearing is a complete anomaly… like a unicorn or something.
“I don’t know. She said that she found it at a booth in the marketplace while she was in college.”
“College? She bought that while she was in college?”
“Yes… now tell me what’s the big deal.”
“Well, you’ll find a lot of black tungsten jewelry now… mostly rings, some necklaces. They’ll mostly be white tungsten, very highly processed—flaxen white like platinum or jet black, chains with very large, very heavy links… nothing like what you’re wearing. You’re wearing a two-toned, small-link chain with a custom key. Somebody made that by hand with a hand-pressed mold. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap. You’re not likely to find another one like it.”
I look down at the key. I already felt that it was the most valuable thing that I own before he told me that. Now, even more so.
“How much would something like this cost… like five years ago?” John has to think about it.
“Let’s just say that she most likely would have paid Tiffany money for that piece.”
She said she spent her whole savings on it… and now she’s given it to me… after which I proceeded to ruin her vacation.
“How do you know all this, John?” I ask.
“I minored in chemistry.” Figures. “Where is she now?”
“I sent her to the spa… to give her a vacation from her vacation.” I run my hands through my hair.
“Okay, and we’re talking now because…”
“Because I honestly do feel like I’m going to ruin her life. This is not that Christian Grey self-loathing thing that you’re always talking about. I honestly do feel like I’m going to ruin her life.”
“What happened that makes you feel this way?” I tell John everything from Jason and Gail’s engagement to the play session that should never have happened to Butterfly standing barefoot in the Caribbean Sea crying her eyes out and some 100-year-old man telling me that we have problems. I included the 100 pounds of candy currently in the second-floor theater room and the fact that Butterfly repeatedly curls into a ball in my presence… something that she simply does not do.
“That woman is larger than life, John. She’s tiny in stature but she’s by no means a small woman.”
“As much as I hate to agree with you on this one, Christian, you’re adding a lot to Anastasia’s plate right now. She’s very vulnerable and emotional, and she needs to be as much of herself as possible during this time. She can’t be the glue that holds Christian Grey together in this state. She needs Christian Grey to be her glue. If you love her like you say you do… and I’m certain that you do… you need to put playtime on hold for a while and learn to control yourself. From our conversation, your love life doesn’t seem to be lacking…”
“Not at all. She’s just as insatiable as I am if not more.”
“Well then, it’s time to graduate a bit, Christian. It’s okay to exercise the lifestyle that the two of you enjoy, but the moment that one of you doesn’t enjoy it, it’s not okay anymore. Even with your submissives, you didn’t do anything that wasn’t consensual or in some way desired or enjoyable to them, correct?”
“Yet when Anastasia showed dislike or distaste for something, you took it as an act of defiance. Instead of trying to pinpoint the problem, you further exercised your will over her—tightening the restraints a little more, more intense flogger play, extensive stimulation to force her to come when you told her not to. It’s amazing to me that she didn’t stop you or safe word, Christian. You treated her worse than you would treat one of your subs.”
“Oh, come on, John. That’s a little severe, don’t you think?”
“No, I don’t. You made an agreement with her and then you broke your word. She agreed to your terms even though she felt forced into doing so, and you became angry about that. She did everything that you told her to do and you still talked to her deplorably. Every coping technique that she used, you snapped at her and told her to stop. Even the first time that she drew into herself, there were no bells, no red flags, and your moral compass was still spinning out of control. You were more concerned with the fact that she pulled herself into one of your precious submissive positions after she stayed in that face-down-fetal-position for… how long?”
“About twenty minutes.” My voice is full of the shame I felt when I discussed this very thing with Butterfly yesterday.
“I’ve never seen one of your sessions, but from what you’ve told me you’ve never treated any of these women this way. Yet, you take these horrible liberties with the woman that you love…”
“Stop, John, please…” I feel shitty enough as it is. I don’t even know what to say now.
“She loves you, Christian. If she didn’t, she’d be long gone by now. If you leave her now because you feel like you’re not good enough, she’ll be devastated. She needs your strength now and your love to get through this horrible time that she’s going through. But that means that you need to take a page from this remarkable woman’s book and start handling your demons in a more productive way.”
I sigh heavily. I don’t want to lose my Butterfly, but I can’t seem to stop pulling her down into my darkness.
“I don’t know what to do,” I say honestly.
“Start by making everything on this trip completely about her until you have to get back on that plane to come back to Seattle. You brought her there to decompress, then help her decompress! Do whatever you must to remind her that this is about her—because right now, it’s all about you.”
He’s right about that. Everything is all about me and it was supposed to be about Butterfly from the very beginning.
“I’ll do that, John. Thanks for talking to me on such short notice.”
“I’m always available. Let me know how this goes.”
“I will,” I say, and we end our session. It’s time to call Welch. This shit has to end now.
Although I spent most of the day away from Christian yesterday, the idea of spending more time on my own today leaves me feeling a bit more relaxed than I think it should. Although Jason accompanies us to the spa, he agrees to leave us to our own vices since he’s coming in an official capacity. This means that instead of the three of us being a couple out and about on the island with the boss’s girlfriend tagging along, Gail and I are two girls loose in Anguilla with a very attentive bodyguard. I can live with that.
Christian has arranged for us to spend a spa day at the Viceroy Resort, which turns out to be one of the swankiest resorts on the island, precariously located on a cliff right on the edge of the water. I don’t know who he spoke to or what Christian Grey magic he worked, but the moment we enter the resort, we’re treated like royalty. We’re escorted to the private penthouse villa which has been transformed into a full-service spa for Gail and me. Apparently “all booked up” doesn’t apply to Christian Grey and for him, there’s always “room at the inn.”
We sip on Spanish Sangrias while perusing the “menu” of services that we want for the day. I truly want one of everything but quickly decided that might not be the best idea since a massage sometimes releases toxins into your body from your muscles and can cause you to become ill. So, after stripping naked and wrapping ourselves in the most luxurious bath blankets known to man, we pick our choices from the menus and let the pampering begin. Gail starts with the Viceroy Trilogy which is basically an awesome foot exfoliation combined with a back massage, veil body wrap and healing aroma therapy—the process lasts 75 minutes.
I opt for a treatment called Heaven and Earth—a process that lasts 90 minutes and includes a head to toe simultaneous massage by two therapists, a welcoming back ritual with a 30-minute reflexology treatment, and the Inner Glow facial which is actually a separate service. It’s a customized deep cleansing facial that consists of an aroma pressure facial massage to help eliminate toxins from the skin and a hand-blended nourishing and purification mask. Lord knows I need that to refresh the skin on my face after finally healing from the bruising. Gail and I both do the facials. Right in the middle of the 30-minute masks—and after three delicious Sangrias—I decide that I need to talk.
“Gail… I need a friend.” I say as the estheticians leave us alone to marinate.
“You have friends, Ana. What do you mean?” she asks, bewildered… and much more relaxed than I have ever heard.
“I mean I need to talk to someone… like… right now,” I clarify. There’s a pause.
“Okay.” I can hear the hesitance in her voice. I’m beginning to think I should just keep this to myself and just explain the whole thing to Maxie when I get home, assuming I can hold on to my sanity that long. “Ana? You okay?”
“Yes. I don’t want to put you in an uncomfortable situation,” I say.
“I won’t be uncomfortable. Like I said, I’ve seen that room. I just don’t know how much help I can be,” she responds. Me, either, and the fact that she has alluded to the Playroom lets me know that she knows exactly where I’m headed. I take a deep breath.
“I’d say we’ve crossed just about every line that we can cross at this point… at least I feel that way… so if I do or say something that you feel is…” I trail off.
“I’ll let you know,” she says. I sigh.
“So, no doubt you know about Christian’s lifestyle… his unorthodox relationships…” I begin.
“If you want to call them relationships, yes, I’m aware of them.”
“Well, yes… they are relationships, just not in the sense that you and I would consider them a relationship. Well, anyway, I’m familiar with the lifestyle as well. I studied it in college as part of my curriculum and I’ve always been curious, especially after this one scene I saw in a club…” Gail can see that I’m having a hard time expressing myself, especially after the Sangrias.
“I get it, Ana,” she says gently. “So, you and Mr. Grey, you… partake in the lifestyle?” she adds, helping me along.
“Kind of… well, yes… but none of that caning and whipping shit!” I spit before I think about it. Gail laughs at me.
“Well, thank God for that,” she says with a chuckle. I smile under my mask.
“Don’t get me wrong, it can get to be pretty intense in other ways, but I’m not a big fan of pain—not in and of itself anyway.”
“What’s the attraction, Ana? I never understood it,” she asks cautiously.
“Oh, Gail. We don’t have enough time for me to explain why people do this sort of thing. I know that Christian was doing it to work out some of his demons… to regain control when he feels like he has lost it, or to hand it over to someone else when he needs to relinquish it in a safe environment.”
“I was always under the impression that he… dominated others, not that he was dominated,” she says. I turn my head to face her.
“I’m only telling you this because you’ve signed an NDA and I know you won’t repeat it, and also because I trust you,” I caution her.
“I understand,” she nods, facing me.
“Besides that bleached blonde bitch, I’m the only one who has dominated Christian. I was never in the lifestyle before him, and we haven’t practiced any hardcore S/M-type things, but we have done some kinky sex play and some bondage and discipline.” She just glares at me for a moment.
“Discipline?” She seems a bit put off by the word. I bite my lip and nod, turning to look at the ceiling again. “Ana, has he hurt you?”
“Not physically, no. We’ve done some spanking and some light flogging—things that, for the most part, enhance the experience. In that sense, I have definitely ‘hurt’ him more than he has ever hurt me.” I use the finger quote around the word ‘hurt.’
“Okay, so I note that you said he hasn’t hurt you physically…” and thus the heart of the conversation.
“Christian Grey shows weakness to no one,” I say after double-checking to be sure that our estheticians had not joined us again yet. “Yet his stupidity… in the horrible way that he treated you and Jason… put him in a position where he had to bare himself, probably more than he has to anybody in a long time if at all… except maybe me. He sat at that pool for hours that night. He had gone silent long before we went inside, and I had time to shower, dry and style my hair, and get into ‘costume’ before he even came into the house and I had to summon him for that.”
“Costume?” She giggles a bit. I smiled.
“Nothing crazy, just white lingerie, but besides the dress and the veil, I was in a full-on bridal trousseau.” She makes a face and nods.
“Yes, it was,” I admit. I look at the ceiling again. “I knew that he was losing a grip on his control and he doesn’t know what to do with himself when he gets that way. I certainly don’t want to see him go to other sources for release if I can’t fulfill his needs…”
“You don’t think he would do that, do you?” she asks.
“Not inherently, no—but positively, I’m not sure,” I admit. “We’ve had some powerful revelations in our relationship. In light of those revelations, I would say 100% no, he wouldn’t do that… but if he ever needs more than I can give him…”
“Ana,” Gail sits up from the massage table, “Christian is a completely different man since he met you. He’s pleasant and sociable. He smiles more often. His face looks more like a painting now instead of a statue. He’s alive and vibrant and… human! There’s no way he would want to lose that now,” she says with urgency.
“I know that, Gail, and I don’t want to lose him either, but the other night…” I trail off again. Just then the estheticians come back into the room.
“Ladies, will these masks damage our skin if we leave them on a little longer?” Gail ask holding up her hand to halt their entrance.
“No ma’am. They are all natural,” the lovely mocha woman responds.
“Then we need just a few more moments of privacy please,” Gail says gently.
“Yes, ma’am. Just fifteen minutes, now. You don’t want to clog your pores,” she nods before leaving.
“Thank you, Miss,” Gail says to their retreating backs and turns back to me expecting after hearing the door close. “The other night…” she prompts.
“Without getting into the gory emotional details, he did something that shook my trust. It set a bad tone for the entire session and it was the first time that I felt like I may not be able to meet his needs.” I’m trying to push back the tears before they fall and contaminate my mask.
“What made you feel that way, Ana?” She’s better than a therapist right now. I need more Sangria. As if she were reading my thoughts, Gail refills our glasses while I continue.
“The way that he talked to me, the way that he treated me, the way that he touched me… everything was wrong,” I say as the tears escape my eyes and I sip more Sangria. “I felt like the amateur that I am, that I couldn’t give him the control that he needed because in the end, he had to comfort me. Then I back it up by answering his phone yesterday and testing his control once again. I knew that it was the Lincoln bitch when I answered, but that didn’t make it okay and I knew that. He was so furious with me and when he started screaming, I knew that I had undone everything from the night before… or the morning, I should say… what was left of it anyway.” I sniffle and try to control myself before a full-on waterfall ensues.
“I felt like if he saw me again yesterday, he would have taken off on me again. He would have started yelling or losing control or… I didn’t know what the hell he was going to do. I just didn’t want him to do it to me.”
“So, you ran away,” Gail says knowingly. I nod taking another drink of my Sangria.
“I wasn’t so much running away as I was hiding. If I felt that I could hide somewhere in the house without being subjected to his ire, I would have done that. If I had hidden in the house and he had to come looking for me because he couldn’t find me, when he finally did find me…” I sip some more of my drink. “If I was out of the house, as long as I had Chuck with me and I told someone where I was going, then I would be okay. I needed to get to myself, to try to find my center… to figure out what the hell is going wrong here. My thoughts are all over the place, my fears are laid out there for everybody to see and witness. I’m trying to effectively deal with all of this at once and then Christian…” I trail off. Gail sighs.
“It’s a strange time for him, Ana. This is all so new to him.” I know all of this, but for some reason I still can’t help this feeling of doom and failure inside. “With everything that has happened to him… and to you… it’s a wonder you two aren’t in straitjackets by now!”
My shoulders are shaking with tears now and Gail just holds my hand. I love Christian so very much, but right now, I don’t want to be around him. I can’t hide from him on an island, and I really don’t intend to, but the reason I told him that I wanted to go home is because I need space. I need space to regroup and find myself which is what I thought I would do on this trip… until I bumped heads with the unsinkable Mr. Grey.
At this point, the estheticians walk back into the room. Mine didn’t even blink when she walked in and saw that I was crying. They each walk around the outside of the tables so that Gail didn’t have to break her hold on my hand. My weeping serenade us as the ladies gently remove the masks from our faces.
“Ya close ya eyes nah, Dahlin’,” my esthetician says with a much heavier accent then the first lady. “I do someting take away dat puffy, make ya feel betta.”
She smiles a beautiful smile at me, and I close my eyes… still weeping. I relax my eyelids as she put a cold compress over them.
“You stay right dere… I be right back,” her soothing voice says to me.
I open my eyes and I’m now in one of the very comfortable beds. How did I get here? My hands are each in a nail dryer and a get a look at my toe nails…
How the hell long have I been sleeping? What the hell happened?
I look over at the other bed in the suite and Jason is smiling at Gail while they share a private joke. It makes me miss Christian, but not enough to want to face him yet.
“Well, hello Sleepyhead,” my manicurist says to me. “Did you rest well?” As a matter of fact, I did. I was able to sleep off the Sangria, my eyes feel fine, and I don’t have the slightest hangover.
“Yes, I did. Thank you,” I say smiling at her. I see that my hands have the same dainty design as my toes, so I ask, “Um, who decided on my nail designs?”
“You did,” Gail says from the bed next to me.
“I did?” I say surprised. I mean, they’re very pretty, but I didn’t even know that I could get butterflies on my nails.
“Yes. Jason put you in bed since they had to remove the massage tables and these lovely ladies came in asking what color we wanted. You said ‘butterflies.’ So, there you have it,” she explains.
“You don’t like?” the manicurist says, concerned.
“Oh, no, they’re beautiful,” I say to her with a reassuring smile. “Thank you, I love them.”
“You welcome, ma’am,” she says as she puts her tools and polishes away. “Be dry in five more minutes. You stay, yes?”
“Yes,” I say with a nod as she smiles and leaves the room. I admire my nails while I try to figure out how long I was asleep.
“What time is it?” I ask the lovebirds.
“It’s about three o’clock,” Jason responds. Oh, good Lord! I’ve slept for two hours? I sit up straight.
“This is your day to relax,” Gail scolds. “There is no time limit on how long you are allowed to relax. Now lie down and let your nails dry,” she says, sending Jason out of the room. I lay back down on the bed. “Jason said Christian called… three times.” He’s probably calling to make sure I’m behaving myself.
Stop it, Steele. He could be calling to make sure you’re enjoying yourself.
Yes, I guess he could be.
“Ana,” I look up at her. “I really think you’re over-thinking this,” Gail says. I nod. She’s probably right, but he didn’t spank her, or degrade her, or yell at her… “He really loves you. He wanted to speak to you, but Jason told him that you were resting so he said not to wake you. He told us to be sure to get some new things from the boutique.”
Well, that was sweet of him. I did see a black and white dress in the window that I wanted. I pull out my phone and call Chuck.
“Ana, is everything okay?”
“Yes, Chuck, everything is fine. I was just wondering if you would mind doing me a favor. Call Ma and get the recipe for her rum punch and then text it to me so that I can get the ingredients. I’m thinking I’m going to skip shopping once we’re done here and just relax for the rest of the day.” My brain is going in frantic circles and I just want to rest.
“Sure thing, Ana. I’ll be in touch.”
“Thanks, Chuck,” I say before ending the call.
“Rum punch, huh?” Gail says.
“Oh yes, you’ll love it. It’s very fruity with just enough rum.” My esthetician comes back into the room as I’m discussing Ma’s rum punch. “Oh! I’m so sorry I turned into a blubbering mess on you earlier.” I apologize to her. She waves me off.
“People cry many times after treatment. Open mind, release toxins, renew Chakra. Good for you!” she cheers. “We get you heer did nah and you be good as new!” Okay… I didn’t follow that last one at all. I look over at Gail who says, “We’re getting our hair done.”
“Oh!” I exclaim. “Fantastic!”
A couple of hours later, we’re pulling up at the villa. The other car is gone, so I assume that Chuck had to take Christian somewhere. My hair has been washed, conditioned, trimmed, polished and fluffed out with huge barrel irons, resulting in huge, shiny chestnut waves. Gail’s beautiful sun-bleached blonde hair has been smoothed in the front and pulled up with curls cascading down the back like a 1940’s pin-up girl. She’s wearing a bandeau dress that she got from the boutique—indigo blue at the top and strapless with two metal rings holding the beast together. The empire waist flatters the flair white chiffon at the bottom, decorated with large splashes of color and flowers.
I decided this time to go with something calmer. My dress is a mini-maxi of sorts, where the inner layer of the dress is a mini that cuts very high on my thigh and the outer layer is also chiffon—full length with splits coming up the legs to the thigh on both sides. The dress is black at the top then fades into cream in the center then back into black to the bottom. It glides with me when I move.
We go inside and I can clearly hear a woman laughing. The second car is gone… who’s voice is that? I look at Gail and Jason who only look to each other as I follow the giggling and splashing water. I find Chuck in the pool with the beauty from Kel’s that had asked him to dance yesterday. Jason makes our presence known with his signature throat clearing, and Chuck looks up at him while his companion halts her giggling.
“Oh, hello again!” I say upon recognizing her, and she smiles at me.
“Hello, Miss. I am Keri. Ma send de rum punch!” she says enthusiastically. I frown a bit.
“She sent the recipe?” I ask.
“No,” Chuck says. “Ma send de rum punch,” he responds, badly imitating Keri who splashes him in retaliation. He rises out of the pool and helps Keri out as well.
Good God, she is hot!
She’s built like a damn Barbie doll—very curvy—and she looks fabulous in this green bikini!
“Ma does not have a recipe for rum punch. She just makes it. So, Ma sent rum punch.” He points to two gallon pitchers on the counter. I turn to see Ma’s famous rum punch ready for consumption.
“Oh, you’re kidding me!” I laugh, walking over to the counter. “God, I love that woman.”
“She’s very fond of you as well. She asked me if you ‘fixed dat’ yet,” he says imitating Ma’s accent perfectly. “She says you would know what she meant.” Yes, Ma, I know what you mean. I just don’t know quite what to do about it yet, speaking of which…
“The car is gone. Where’s Christian?” I ask.
“He said he was going to get some sunshine and exercise,” Chuck says, following me into the house. “He spent the entire day on the phone and the laptop and decided to get out about an hour or so ago. Keri showed up right before he left and he just told me to have a good time and took off.”
My heart clenches a bit wondering where he took off to alone, but of course I was at the Viceroy all day, crying under an organic mask. I shake off the thought and go to the cupboard to get glasses.
“Let’s all have some of Ma’s punch, shall we? Very soon we will be enjoying a lovely sunset,” I say, trying to lift my spirits.
“Yes to the sunset, but no rum punch for me, thanks.” I look at him bemused.
“Are you still on duty, Chuck?” I ask, puzzled. “I officially declare you ‘off’ for the day… it’s not like I’m going anywhere, and you’ve got that beautiful girl here.” Chuck blinks twice and blushes, but then says,
“No, Ana. I don’t drink. I’m a recovering alcoholic.” I gasp and my hand flies to my mouth.
“Oh, Chuck! Please forgive me. How insensitive of me!” I lament. Chuck laughs heartily.
“Ana, you’re the most sensitive person I ever met. Don’t worry about it. You had no way of knowing.”
“Well, now I have to ask you a question, but I don’t want you to get angry,” I say, cautiously.
“Um…okay,” he says, just as cautiously.
“Gail mentioned… the other day that… she may have seen or heard you stumbling in alone one night and… we thought you might have been drunk.” His eyebrows furrow and he shakes his head slightly, completely oblivious to what I’m talking about. “It was the night before the Gail/Jason fiasco.” He still momentarily looks lost then the light bulb comes on.
“Oh, that!” he says with a loud chuckle. Okay, let me in on the joke. “Yeah, that would have been me bumping into an ottoman in the dark and stubbing the fuck out of my toe because I didn’t want to get caught watching my bosses groping each other by the pool like a couple of horny teenagers.”
Oh. My. God. I don’t know if I turn white or beet red. Everybody saw us! Good grief. I briefly roll over the night in my head trying to remember if anything went beyond PG…
Christian’s hands running all over my body…
That tight red dress hugging my hips in my attempts to crawl into Christian’s soul…
His erection rubbing against me…
Handfuls of each other’s hair…
My hands under his shirt touching his muscular chest and back while he moaned into my mouth, my ear, my neck, my breast… I’m getting hot just thinking about it again.
“Oh, God.” I throw my hand up to my forehead in utter humiliation. Next time, we should just sell tickets!
“You guys are hot!” Chuck exclaims. I throw a horrified glare and gasp at Chuck. “I’m sorry. I’ll probably never get a chance to say this again, but you guys were fucking hot! And you owe me.”
“For what!?” I ask affronted.
“For making me take you away that day in that other red dress! It’s a wonder I didn’t get fired! I don’t know the whole story between you two, but damn, Girl!” Oh, yeah that ‘other’ red dress. Yeah, that day was a cause for some commotion… delicious commotion.
“Okay, alright, so we’re even if you never bring this up again!” I snap in embarrassment pointing my finger at him.
“I will if it doesn’t happen again… which is not likely,” Chuck laughs. I drop my head into my forehead again. “Ana,” he begins more softly, his voice still full of mirth, “you guys are young, hot, and in love and obviously enjoy each other’s company. That’s all that matters. Don’t worry about what other people say. Have a good time. Life is too damn short!” He nudges my arm with his. I sigh heavily.
“Yeah, okay,” I say not completely convinced.
“Oh, and one more thing. We’re not even. You actually owe me another one… and Jason, too,” he adds.
“What the hell did I do to you and Jason?” I ask horrified.
“Don’t ever… ever… do that thing with the pancake in the presence of another man again!” he scolds. What the hell is he talking about?
“Chuck, you said you didn’t drink but you’re sounding drunk right now.” He folds his arms.
“Anastasia Rose Steele…” What the fuck…? “That next morning, you rolled up an entire pancake and made it disappear in a second!” What the hell is he… oh, the day with the pancake. Well, what’s the big de… oh shit! I gasped loud and long when I get the phallic representation of the pancake in my head disappearing effortlessly into my mouth.
“Yeah! No! Never do that again! Ever! What, is there like a condo in there!?” He’s gesturing at my mouth as he says that.
“I wasn’t try… he’s always fuss… I didn’t…” I can’t even finish a whole sentence. I’m completely mortified. I just wanted Christian to shut the hell up about breakfast. Oh, fuck of all fucks! I did that in front of Jason and Chuck. Blue Savior, please roll magically into the villa and swallow me whole this moment.
“Ooooooh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God,” I murmur more to myself. “What did Christian say?”
“Not a damn thing! As a matter of fact, his words were ‘We are NOT talking about this!’ You should be on Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Would you please refrain from pulling any more surprises on me?” he scolds further.
“I’ll try,” I whimper, now needing that rum punch more than ever.
“Let me just warn you,” he says again, “anything going into a woman’s mouth, especially if she’s wearing lipstick, reminds a man of sex. So, don’t do anything like that again if you two are not alone… unless you want to see that man roll through a fancy restaurant like a raging bull!”
I look up at him and laugh. I’m still not comfortable with the idea of Chuck and Jason getting that visual, but it’s offset by the look on Christian’s face and the thought that now I know he was most likely picturing his dick going into my mouth… in front of his employees.
“Duly noted. Now, you’ve embarrassed me enough. Will it bother you that the ladies are drinking?”
“Not at all. Enjoy yourselves. It doesn’t bother me one bit!” he says, patting my arm before going back over to Keri. I’m surrounded by wonderful people. Even with the unease between us, I can’t help but wish that Christian were here. I load a tray with four glasses and a pitcher of rum punch set forth to shake off the melancholy.
An hour or so later, I’m floating around the pool with my friends and our house guest laughing hysterically at me. The sun has set and I have had… I don’t know how many rum punches, and I’m singing loudly and happily to the 90’s station on the iPod in the docking station on the patio.
“I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky! I think about it every night and day! Spread my wings and fly away! I believe I can soar! I see me running through that open doooooooooooor! I believe I can fly! I believe I can fly! I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!”
I’m singing at the top of my lungs and I sound pretty good if I do say so myself. Gail has tears in her eyes she’s laughing so hard.
“Don’t take flight now,” Jason says through his laughter.
“Leave me alone, Jason,” I say, noticing the slightest slur before I take another sip of my rum punch.
“No, I won’t be doing that, Your Highness,” he laughs, and I smile at the use of our nickname.
“I’ve always wanted to know… where did that come from?” Gail asks. I relay the story to her about the hospital and “Ma’am” and the plethora of names we tried including Pookie before we settled on Your Highness as a joke and it just stuck. As I’m finishing my story, I hear one of my favorite 90’s tunes start playing on the radio.
“Oh, this is my soooooong!” I say, dancing around the pool like the happy drunk that I am as nightfall sets in over Anguilla. I float around the pool as I envision the Backstreet Boys doing those little choreographed sways that all the boy bands used to do back then. AJ was my favorite. He had a bad-boy look to me and I thought he was hot.
“You are my fire, the one desire, believe when I say, I want it thaaat way!” Al and I used to sing this song when we were still very wet behind the ears and I find myself missing my best friend. I was okay with everything, for the most part, until my favorite part of the song came up…
Now I can see that we’re falling apart
From the way that it used to be, yeah
No matter the distance
I want you to know
That deep down inside of me…
I don’t want to make a bigger fool of myself, so I plaster a smile on my face and excuse myself. I take my drink and my phone and head off to find some alone time. I find myself in the open patio where Christian and I made love a few days earlier. I quickly dash away the tears that fall from my eyes… nothing worse than a maudlin drunk. I look at my phone… 7:30. That means it’s still early in Seattle.
“Jewel!” Al answers in his usual chipper voice! “How goes it in sunny Anguilla?”
“Oh, it’s so beautiful, Al. I’ve never seen bluer water in my whole life. And the villa… oh! It’s fabulous! This place is amazing.” I can never get anything by my best friend. I don’t know why I try to hide anything from someone who has known me for 14 years.
“What’s wrong, Jewel? You sound a little off.”
“I’m not off, Al. I’m drunk,” I say honestly. “Our song came on the iPod and I just needed to hear my best friends voice.”
“Which song, Hon? We have so many…”
“‘I Want It That Way.'”
“Oh, God. You’re listening to 90’s music? You are drunk!” he giggles. I hear James yell “hello” in the background.
“Tell my other gay boyfriend that I said, ‘hi.'”
“She says ‘hi,’ Lover,” he yells to James. “Are you sure you’re okay, Jewel?” I sigh.
“I’m… a little nervous about the future. Things sometimes seem… a little scary… uncertain…”
“I expect that right now, Jewel. Things are uncertain, but don’t worry. I truly feel like things are going to work out just fine. Where’s Chris?”
“Well, I spent the day at the spa, so he went out to catch some sun.” In other words, I have no idea where he is since the sun is gone now.
“Ooooo, the spa! How was it?”
“Glorious!” I respond, nearly orgasmic. “I have cute little butterflies on my fingers and toes,” I say, smiling. Al laughs at me.
“Girlie, to the end. Listen, Babe. I’ve got to go… me and my honey have plans for the evening, but I’ll postpone if you need to talk.”
“No, please… don’t. Go, have fun with James. I just wanted to talk for a moment. I’ll see you when we’re stateside and just humor me if I drunk-dial you again, okay?” Al’s laugh heals my aching soul a bit.
“Anytime. I love you, Jewel.”
“I love you, too, Allen,” I say with a smile before I hang up the phone. Alcohol—especially too much alcohol—has a way of intensifying your feelings, good and bad. Right now, I’m a ball of unknown emotions and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry or be angry or what. Instead, I just look down at my iPhone like it’s going to magically give me the answer and sigh heavily. Maybe I should ask the almighty Siri. I push the button and Siri asks me, “What can I help you with?”
“What should I do with my life?” I ask.
“Let me think about that…” Siri responds before she returns a book with that title and says, “This might answer your question.” Yeah, no thanks. I reach back and pull my hair over my shoulder, still soft and floaty from today’s treatment. It’s so long, even after the trim.
“I cut my hair today,” I say to Siri. “Should I cut it all off?”
“I’m sure I don’t know,” Siri responds. Of course, you don’t… you’re a phone.
“Don’t you dare.”
His baritone voice hums to me from the entrance of the patio… our patio. I don’t raise my head to his voice, only to his feet and legs clad in tan cargo shorts and hiking boots. He’s got a few scrapes where I can see that he’s been rock-climbing or something, but nothing where the skin is broken. His feet move over to me and now he’s squatting in front of me.
“How was your day? Did you enjoy the spa?” he asks softly. Without a word, I throw my arms around his neck and hold on for dear life. He gasps as I bury my nose in his neck and inhale deeply. He smells like the outdoors… and his own unmistakable scent. I don’t want to think, I just want to hold him, and I want him to hold me.
Hold me, please…
In response to my silent cry, his arms slide around me slowly and powerfully. One hand travels up my back under my hair to my neck while the other wraps possessively around my body, crushing me to him. I gasp at the force with which he’s holding me, but I don’t let go. When he stands with me in his arms, I wrap my legs around him and cling to him like a vine. I can’t see where he’s taking me, but I assume that we are walking past the prior pool party when I hear familiar voices suddenly fall silent. He stops walking and I hear the ring of the elevator. I don’t want to concentrate anymore. I just keep my eyes closed, hold on tight, and disappear into this moment with this man who I love so much.
A/N: I’m not 100% certain because the site doesn’t tell me, but I think that the necklace that I used as a reference of Christian’s commitment gift is made of tungsten. The only other thing it could be is blackened silver, but silver doesn’t cost as much as this necklace does—so for the sake of the story, it’s tungsten.
“Room at the Inn” is a Biblical reference. When the Virgin Mother Mary was carrying the Messiah Jesus, she and Joseph traveled back to Bethlehem for a census (the King James version says “taxed.” Either way, he had to go back to Bethlehem). Everyone had come to Bethlehem for the same reason. As a result, Joseph and Mary had to sleep in a manger that night because there was no room at the inn, which is why Jesus was born in a manger.
I don’t know if “PG” is universal, so I’m not going to assume. The last time I did that, I got slammed for Marco Polo. “PG” is a trademark used for a movie rating indicating that admission will be granted to persons of all ages, but that parental guidance is advised in the case of children. Of course, Ana’s make-out session with Christian that night couldn’t be considered “PG” (maybe PG-13), but she mainly wanted to make sure it wasn’t rated “R”…
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers and viewers might question the claims. It’s a show that comes on in America and I’m sure it’s probably shown outside of the States as well in other countries. They have museums and other attractions as well.
I Believe I Can Fly by R Kelly
I Want It That Way by The Backstreet Boys
Make sure you check out the Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-the-trip-to-anquilla/
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