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 59—Holy Epiphanies, Batman!
We all go to the Ferryboat Inn for lunch since it’s right by the Dolphin Discovery. Gail and Butterfly laugh over the pictures of our dolphin adventure while I fool around with my blackberry. Butterfly scolds me for working during lunch. I don’t tell her that I’m inconspicuously taking pictures of them laughing and enjoying themselves. Pretending to be chastised, I put the phone away. Nothing else will upset my Butterfly for the rest of this trip, and I plan to do everything in my power to make sure that nothing disrupts her life once we return to Seattle.
“So, Chuck, no Keri today?” Butterfly asks as she digs into her garlic shrimp and sweet peppers over white rice. Davenport swallows his chicken Marsala before answering.
“She had to go back to work,” he says. “She works all weekend so we most likely won’t see each other again before I leave, but we’ll email and Skype, so…” He shrugs it off.
“It never ceases to amaze me how men seem to be able to let go so easily,” Gail pipes in. “I mean, I didn’t expect you guys to get married and ride off into the sunset or anything, but I guess I didn’t expect it to be so… you know… no strings attached,” Gail says, taking a forkful of her fish.
“Eh. We both knew what we were getting into when we met,” Davenport adds. Gail just shakes her head. “You don’t approve?” He sounds a little affronted.
“Oh, please, Charles. This isn’t the middle ages, and you’re both consenting adults. It doesn’t matter two shakes whether or not I approve. You just have to forgive me. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the concept of casual sex because it’s nothing that I’ve ever done. I’m not judging you, I’m just uninformed.”
That’s a nice way of putting it.
“You’ve never played the field or sowed your wild oats?” Butterfly asks Gail, who casually shakes her head.
“Douglas was my first love. When he died, I wasn’t interested in love at all, let alone interested in that sort of thing. It wasn’t until Jason came along and swept me off my feet that I was even willing to entertain the idea of being with another man.”
“I’m sorry,” I interject. “Are you saying that you’ve only been with two men your whole life?” Gail nods.
“Is that so hard to believe?” she asks.
“In this day and time, yes. No reflection on you, but you’re a beautiful woman and I guess I just thought you would have… gotten around a little more,” I add. She shrugs.
“Ehem! Ehem!” Butterfly does a bad imitation of clearing her throat by actually pronouncing the words. What? She opened the door… I just walked in.
“I didn’t say anything wrong this time… Did I?” I look over at Gail, who shakes her head confused.
“Not to me,” she says. Butterfly is still glaring at me.
“What?” I ask, affronted. “She said I didn’t offend her.” I’m clearly missing something.
“That’s not why I’m ‘ehem-ing,'” she says, and her glare has turned into the death gaze. I had better catch on quick… and then the light bulb goes off and I gasp and point at her.
“Ooooh, Butterfly, I’m so sorry, I’m such an idiot, I…” I’m saying everything all in one breath when Butterfly grants me a reprieve.
“Oh, quit your rambling, Grey, before your foot goes deeper down your throat!” she says with a snicker. Oh, thank God she’s not mad. I’m working hard not to piss her off for the rest of the trip.
“Did I miss something?” Jason says. Butterfly swallows her last bite.
“Yes, you did. I’ve only been with two men, too,” Butterfly says, and Davenport nearly chokes on his chicken. I throw him a death glare because one look at him and I know he’s recalling that pancake incident from Saturday. Jason’s fork stops in midair before he finally says, “You’re kidding.”
Butterfly shakes her head. “I don’t count Whitmore and we all know why. After that tragedy, I—like Gail—wasn’t interested, until the smooth snake devil incarnate Edward David showed up. I wasted nearly three years of my life on him and he mentally abused me to no end so, again, I wasn’t interested. Just when I decided I wanted to get back in the game, Grey shows up…”
“Lucky bastard!” Jason interjects, causing the table to break out in laughter.
“You’re fired,” I tell him between snickers.
“Sure,” he says, still eating his steak.
“Ana, if I may interject, who exactly is Whitmore and what happened?” Oh, shit! It hadn’t occurred to me that Gail wouldn’t be in the loop on this. I quickly grasp Butterfly’s hand and she smiles.
“It’s okay, baby,” she says, squeezing my hand. “I’m fine.” She turns to Gail. “Cody Whitmore is part of the Green Valley gang. He raped me when I was 15 and took my virginity. That’s why I don’t count him, because it wasn’t consensual.” Gail’s hand flies to her mouth.
“Oh Ana, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean…” Butterfly waves her hand.
“Don’t worry about it, Gail,” she says. She looks over at me and squeezes my hand, her eyes unmistakably full of love. “It’s not so hard to talk about it anymore,” she says, still gazing at me. I bring her hand up to my lips and kiss it gently and she blushes… the most beautiful shade of pink. I can’t help but smile at her.
After lunch, we all pile in the car and decide to do some sightseeing. This is a strange event in Anguilla, I think. Just imagine that you’re sitting on your front porch, and someone drives by and just starts taking pictures of you. If you really think about it, that’s exactly what’s going on. To us, it’s a Caribbean island vacation, full of beautiful white sandy beaches and turquoise waters for snorkeling and yachting and scuba-diving and swimming with the dolphins. For the locals, it’s home.
At times, I feel like we’re intruding, but they’re so friendly. I’m a so-called “celebrity” in Seattle and I can’t stand for the cameras to be in my face, but they get flashes snapped at them all the time. I can only assume that it’s something that they’ve become accustomed to, but I don’t think I could take it.
Our first stop is right off the main road to Back Street. It’s a little road that runs parallel to the main road along a cliff and it gives you a beautiful view of Sandy Ground and Sandy Island. Butterfly takes several pictures of the village below us with her cell phone. We both kick ourselves for not bringing a camera, but it was short notice and I don’t take enough vacations to think to bring a camera. Nonetheless, the scenery is quite breathtaking, and I find myself taking yet another opportunity to snap a picture of my Butterfly while she’s not looking.
She’s standing against the rail along the cliff overlooking Sandy Ground. Her hair is blowing in the wind behind her just like that night I watched her waiting for Allen’s car outside of the New Orleans. She’s just as captivating and beautiful now as she was then. I’m remembering the hard time that she gave me when I first met her—boy, her balls were bigger than mine! I had never met a woman who I couldn’t conquer until I met Anastasia Steele. Even now, in her weakest moments, she’s stronger than I am because my fate is in her hands. She has the ability to bring me to my knees with only one word…
Besides that, she has faced some of the most horrific demons I have ever thought anyone would have to confront in their entire life… and she’s still standing. I see her struggles—her tears and confusion, her fears—I’ve watched her nightmares much like I’ve watched my own. Even in her weakness, she’s strong. Even when she’s facing her monsters, she won’t let them consume her. Even in those unfortunate moments when I attempt to exercise my will on her, in reality she’s the one in control and she knows it. She holds the reigns—all of the cards—and I will gladly give her and only her that power over me.
I know that she’s feeling weak and fragile at this moment, but I’m certain that she’ll conquer those feelings very soon especially with her will and determination. I hadn’t noticed that while I was staring at her and admiring her strength and beauty, she had turned her head to face me and is now looking directly in my scope. I snap the picture of her coyly gazing at me with the coastline far off in the background behind her. It’s better than a postcard.
“What are you thinking, Mr. Grey?” she says as I snap the picture and put my blackberry in my pocket.
“That I’m a lucky bastard to have someone in my life as strong and beautiful as you,” I say taking her into my arms. She looks at me skeptically.
“Were you really thinking that?” she asks. I lean down and kiss her gently on the lips, then rub my nose along hers, my eyes closed.
“Yes, Butterfly,” I say softly, opening my eyes. “I was.” She looks up at me with those amazing blue eyes and again, I can feel the tremendous amount of love that she has in her heart for me. I so adore this woman. There’s nothing that I won’t do for her. If I can just put a leash on the asshole in me, maybe I’ll get a chance to show her that.
“We had better join the others,” she says softly, still gazing into my eyes.
“I know I’m an asshole, Anastasia, but please be patient with me… please don’t give up on me,” I beseech her. I can’t help it. I feel so full of love… and fear… that I had to say it. She reaches under my shirt and pulls out the key that Flynn has identified for me as tungsten. She places it gently on my chest and outlines it slowly with her finger.
“I won’t give up on you, Christian. I’m not going anywhere,” she promises. I pull her into me and hold her close.
“Thank you,” I whisper, as I kiss her hair.
Though I would much rather have stayed in this moment with my Butterfly, I begrudgingly agree to rejoin the others and continue with our afternoon of sightseeing. After admiring it from the cliff, we pay a visit to Sandy Ground, which we discover is actually a historic district in Anguilla. It’s the small strip of land between the salt pond and Road Bay lined with businesses eager for tourist money. This is the district where the infamous Pumphouse can be found. Needless to say, we stick to historical residences and architecture and choose to avoid that particular locale as our last visit found us beating down drunken assholes.
Sandy Ground is the location of the Anguilla Carnival or “August Monday,” the first Monday in August. There’s usually quite a lively bunch down here, we’re told. Sandy Ground is also the largest port in Anguilla, so we stay for a little while and watch the boats come and go. Again, I’m just happy just to spend some time with my Butterfly, even if I’m simply sitting on the beach with her between my legs, her back to my front and mindlessly watching boats go by.
Since we want to see more of the island, we continue our lazy walk down Sandy Ground and stop at a place called Johnno’s. Once we refresh ourselves with smoothies, we go back to the car and begin the Anguilla Heritage Trail. It starts at the east end of the island at the National Heritage Museum. This place is deceptively small, as Jason and I discover that the women can spend hours in this little place if not prompted to leave. Butterfly is fascinated listening to the curator talk about the history of the Arawaks, which is one of the original Caribbean tribes, and the geology of the island. She becomes lost in the tales of the island’s history of slavery and the sugar industry artifacts of the islands first settlers.
For some reason, I’m drawn to the story of the island’s revolution. As Jason steps behind me reading the various articles, I take this moment to ask him a personal question.
“Were you active during wartime, Jason?” I ask.
“Yes, sir,” he answers, a little solemn.
“How many times were you deployed?”
“Four. I even had stop-loss orders once,” he says. I frown.
“Stop-loss?” I ask bemused.
“Long story short, I was forced to stay in the military beyond my term of service. It’s sort of like being drafted, but you’re already there,” he says.
“Did you resent that?” I know I would have.
“Not so much. A marine serves his country… no questions asked. I didn’t reenlist, though. I had done my duty and I felt like it was time for me to go. Strange thing is that I don’t know if I would have made the same decision had I not gotten the stop-loss order, but I did 10 years, so I really felt like I served my country well. I learned a lot from my tours and my training, made some friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life, watched a lot of good men die… but I still think I’m a better man for it,” he says proudly.
“I think you are, too,” I say putting my hand on his shoulder. “Thank you.”
“For what, sir?” he asks.
“For sharing that with me… and for your service.” I proffer my hand to him. I’m not usually a particularly sentimental guy, but just looking at these articles and this history makes me really proud to be an American right now, and even more proud of people like Jason and Ray who fought for me to have the freedoms that I do. Jason smirks and shakes my hand.
“You’re going soft, Boss,” he teases.
“I know,” I admit as we rejoin our women.
We continue our self-guided tour to another of Anguilla’s historic villages, Old Valley. There we see Anguilla’s oldest building, the island’s first hospital, and the Old Valley well. We even saw the ruins of the old courthouse and jail up on Crocus Hill. The location has a beautiful view all the way across to St. Marteen. However, for those prisoners who didn’t escape, the cells below are dark and humid and often drove their occupants to insanity.
We find ourselves headed back toward Sandy Ground and the Pumphouse which is part of the tour according to the Heritage Trail brochure. Now, why are the forces trying to get us to go back to that place? I gave those fuckers $100 and only drank probably $50 worth if that much, then I had to fight my way out of the joint. No, we shall not be visiting that particular haunt.
Instead, we move on and take a few pictures of the Wallblake house, which was once the economic center of the island. The house has been there since the late 18th century, when it functioned as a plantation and has since been restored. We aren’t able to tour it, much to Butterfly’s dismay, because it’s closed, and you had to have advanced notice for tours.
After visiting the last stop on the Heritage Trail—the Cotton Factory, which now housed a realtor’s office upstairs and The Stone Cellar Art Gallery downstairs—we go in search of sustenance since it’s well into the dinnertime hour. As we’re making our way back down to the West end, Butterfly demands that we stay the course on the main road as something has caught her eye several feet in the distance and she was told by the curator at the museum not to miss it. We pull by the side of the road because, for some strange reason, Butterfly simply must get a picture of the famous pink cottage… with the goat. There’s absolutely nothing special about this building. It’s just a little charming Caribbean cottage… with a goat. That’s it.
For once, we decide on cuisine that we could get in the States, in this case… Italian. We have dinner at a restaurant called Trattoria Tramonto, which is very close to the villa. However, once we get there, we discover that this isn’t an Italian restaurant altogether. It’s more of an Italian and Caribbean mix. I don’t think anyone is particularly disappointed by this discovery, although we did expect an Italian restaurant. The food is very good, and the restaurant sits right on the beach.
While we munch family style on prosciutto di Parma & melon, antipasto, half-moon mozzarella & ricotta ravioli in a shrimp sauce, lobster filled ravioli in a cream and white truffle sauce, penne in a tomato and basil sauce, grilled yellow fin tuna filet with Rosti & caramelized onions, lamb & vegetable rolle in a Merlot sauce with sliced herb potatoes, and Sautéed Saffron Crayfish Tails, we all talk about the trip so far and what we plan to do when we return to Seattle. My part of this conversation is pretty pointless because everyone pretty much knows what I’ll be doing. I think the conversation is more to find out what the Taylors’ plans are and where Butterfly’s head is.
“I don’t know,” she admits after swallowing her lamb. “It’s hard for me to figure out what I’m doing tomorrow these days, let alone when I get back to Seattle. I need to jump back into my practice, of course, but part of me wonders why I think I can help others when I’m so screwed up myself.”
“Come on, Ana. You can’t believe that your tragedies mean that you can no longer be an effective psychiatrist. Do you really think that?” Davenport scolds her. Quite frankly, I was thinking the same thing.
“I don’t know, Chuck,” she says, putting her fork down and sipping her wine. “I want to believe that I can still do my job. All I can really do is try, but if someone comes in with a kidnapping issue, I don’t know how effective I’m going to be.” Eat, Butterfly.
“I can understand that. It must be scary having to counsel other people when you’re fighting demons of your own,” he adds, and Butterfly’s face starts to turn a little pale. It’s time to change the course of this conversation. I take Butterfly’s hand and kiss it gently.
“I’m sure that Ana knows what she’ll be able to tolerate,” I begin. “Whatever the situation, if it becomes too much, my baby knows to step back and re-evaluate. She’s brilliant that way.” I smile a full grin at her. She smiles back at me and the color returns to her face as she picks up her fork and begins to eat some of her pasta. Mission accomplished!
“I’m sorry, Ana. I didn’t mean to…” I throw a glare at Davenport, who appears to be about to take this conversation right back where I tried to cut it off. Apparently, the Christian Grey Death Glare stops him dead in his tracks and he immediately drops the thought.
“Sorry, Ana,” he says, like a chastised puppy. The next thing I know, Butterfly whacks the hell out of my arm. I mouth “ow” at her while flinching and rubbing my soon-to-be-bruised bicep.
“Christian!” she scolds while whacking me. “Stop antagonizing Chuck! He has valid questions!”
“Well, he may have valid questions, but it’s obviously upsetting you. You put your fork down and stopped eating!” I protest. I said that if I could help it, nothing else was going to upset my Butterfly and that’s what I meant! She must have seen it in my eyes because she put her hands on my cheek and smiled at me.
“Thank you,” she says, gently stroking my cheek. “I’m fine.” Aching for a change of subject, Davenport turns to Jason.
“So, what about you guys? I know that you’re staying on, but are you planning to get a place of your own now or what?” he asks Gail.
“There’s really no need,” she responds. “There’s only me and Jason and the servant’s quarters has plenty of room…”
“Oh, God, I hate that phrase!” Four sets of eyes wait for Butterfly to explain her protest. “Servant’s quarters,” she says with no small amount of disdain. “Why can’t we just call it staff quarters or guest quarters or Gail and Jason’s place… anything but servant’s quarters. It makes it sound like you’re indentured!” she shivers. Gail laughs a bit.
“Why don’t we just call it… our apartment?” Gail suggests. “We don’t own the penthouse, but that little part of it is allocated to us.”
“Oh, that sounds so much better,” Butterfly agrees. I love how they’re making these decisions and nobody asks me what I think. Would now be a good time to approach Butterfly about moving in with me? I’m already talking about building her a waterwall. There’ll will be renovations to the penthouse when we get back to Seattle that’ll assure her that I want her to stay with me. She called it “her home” before we left for Anguilla. I don’t want to ambush her in front of everyone, though, so this is a conversation best had at another time. Butterfly’s phone rings and she looks at it and frowns.
“It’s Val,” she says as she answers it. “Hi Val… I’m still in Anguilla… we’re having dinner now and I’m at the table with four other people. Is everything okay?… Oh… really… wow… Well, I’ll tell you what, you’re three hours behind me, so why don’t I call you when I get back to the villa and we can talk then… Okay, I’ll talk to you then.” She ends the call.
“Val?” I ask. “As in Valerie that Elliot is crawling all over?”
“One and the same.”
“Is everything okay?” I ask. She nods.
“Mm-hmm. Just girl talk.” I raise my eyebrow at her.
“Butterfly, ‘girl talk’ wouldn’t have that woman calling you in Anguilla.” She cocks her head at me.
“Since when did you become an expert on girl talk?” she asks, skeptically.
“When I became an expert on girls,” I respond matter-of-factly.
“Well,” she said, rolling her head in the most defiant manner, “This is definitely ‘girl talk,’ Mr. Grey. So, don’t worry your pretty little head about it. Okay?” Ah, Ms. Steele, you are playing with fire.
Or is she?
The strangest thing just happened. Normally, that behavior would automatically have me thinking of different ways to punish her for her defiance: spanking, flogging, orgasm denial. A sub wouldn’t dare roll her head at me or take that tone with me… but Butterfly is definitely not a sub. I’m feeling… differently about this situation, now—that’s the best way that I can describe it. There is a conflict going on inside of me right at this moment. The synapses that I have become accustomed to are saying that Anastasia needs to be punished for her attitude and behavior. New synapses, however, are battling that Butterfly can’t be punished for being Butterfly.
And now, I’m at an impasse.
I never expected to feel like the thing that has been engrained in my composition and behavior for so long would feel like the wrong thing to do, but after that disastrous session a few days ago and that conversation with Flynn…
“You need to put playtime on hold for a while and learn to control yourself.”
“It’s time to graduate a bit, Christian.”
“You need to take a page from this remarkable woman’s book and start handling your demons in a more productive way now.”
“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.”
It becomes blazingly clear the things that used to work for me won’t work for me anymore—not only because of the conversation with Flynn, or how horrible I felt after Butterfly told me that she felt degraded, or even how she couldn’t relax that night after playtime until I showed her tenderness. Selfishly, I’m going to have to change because of the conflict that I’m feeling at this very moment… because of how uncomfortable I feel with causing Butterfly any discomfort. I mentally kick myself for managing to make even a supposedly selfless act all about me.
“Baby? Are you okay?” Her sweet voice breaks me from my train of thought and causes warmth to flood my entire body. I can only imagine what my facial expression must have been. I take her hand and kiss it gently.
“We’ll talk later, baby,” I say softly kissing her on the cheek. She’s not convinced and her brow furrows.
“You’re not upset about the ‘girl talk’ comment, are you?” she asks concerned.
“Absolutely not,” I say, leaning in closer to her. “I just need you to work through something with me. It just came to mind while we were having the conversation about Valerie.” I look into her eyes trying to reassure her. Her face softens but she still looks concerned.
“Are you sure that’s all it is?” she asks. I stroke her cheek.
“I promise, that’s what it is,” I respond, purposely replacing her word all with my word what. This isn’t a small thing for me, but I’m definitely going to need my Butterfly’s help to work through this, especially since this is our relationship we’re talking about here. I never want to do anything again to make her feel uncomfortable or unhappy with me… with us. So, I think it’s time for Christian Grey to make some serious changes.
Is he worried about his brother and his relationship with my friend? Did my little crack set him off? He has a tortured look on his face like he has had some frighteningly painful revelation and it’s scaring the hell out of me. He assures me that everything is okay and that he just needs my help with something, but I’m not so sure about that. That expression says a lot more than he’s letting on.
During the short ride home from dinner, he holds my hand in his, stroking the skin softly like he’s petting a cat or something. He never looks at me, though. He keeps his eyes trained out of the window looking off into nothing. Luckily no one notices but me, and if they do notice, they don’t say anything. When we get back to the villa, he helps me out of the car and leads me inside with the others like normal.
“You give Valerie a call. I’m going to do a little time on the treadmill, and we’ll talk later, okay, baby?” he says softly.
“Okay,” I say, still feeling trepidatious as he kisses me on the cheek and takes to the stairs—not the elevator—on his way to our suite.
“Is everything okay?” Gail asks as I watched him climb until he was out of sight.
“I don’t know,” I respond. “He says he’s fine and he just wants to talk to me, but I’m a little worried.” This week should have been relaxing, but the first part of it was a damn powder keg. So, I don’t know what to expect now. I guess the first thing that I should do is return the call that started all of this.
“Hey, Ana. I’m sorry I called during dinner much less on your vacation, but I’m just a little out of my realm here and I need some help.” Val sounds a little desperate.
“Okay, well, why don’t you tell me what’s up?” I ask, folding my legs lotus-style in one of the chairs in the great room.
“Well,” she begins hesitantly. “I think Elliot is the one.”
Hold the phone. The One? Valerie Ann Marshall is talking about any man being The One? Am I in the Twilight Zone here!?
“Um, Val, are you sure about that?” Somebody’s going to get hurt here if these two are not absolutely certain about what they’re saying.
“Ana, he’s the sweetest guy I’ve ever met. He’s funny, gorgeous, and fabulous in the sack!” she raves.
“More than I need to know, there, Val,” I scold.
“I’m sorry,” she says contritely, “but he really is a wonderful guy. Can you fall for someone in a matter of weeks?” Oh, my God, is she seriously asking me this question?
“Valerie… seriously? You’re really asking this question of a woman who’s across the world in the British West Indies with a man that she met just over two months ago… and we haven’t even been together that long.”
“Uh… yeah, okay. I see your point,” she says before sighing heavily. “I’ve never felt like this for anyone before in my life… ever. What do I do?”
“Val, you’re acting like this is a bad thing. This is wonderful. Someone has finally pierced the heart of the Ice Queen!” I cheer.
“It is a bad thing if he doesn’t feel the same,” she says forlornly. Oh, I have it on good authority that he does.
“There’s only one way to find out…”
“Oh, please don’t say it,” she pleads.
“I’m going to say it.”
“Ana, I can’t!” she protests.
“Tell him,” I push.
“Ana. Seriously. I can’t. I’ve never done anything like this before. I wouldn’t even know what to do… where to start. Seducing a man, I can do that with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back. Feelings? Not my forte at all!” Good God, she’s a female version of Christian! “I simply can’t ask him, Ana. I can’t take the chance that he doesn’t feel the same… I’d be crushed.”
“So why did you call me, Val? You knew that I would tell you to confront your feelings, but you don’t want to. When you called earlier, even Christian referred to you as ‘Valerie that Elliot is crawling all over.'” The line is quiet for a while.
“He did?” she asks, and I can hear the smile in her voice.
“Yes, he did. You’re blind if you can’t see that man feels something for you. Everybody else sure can.”
“Well of course he’s crawling all over me!” she declares. “I’m gorgeous, hot, sexy, and brilliant… they all crawl over me! That doesn’t mean that he has feelings for me.” She’s starting to sound desperate again and I just want to get the two of them in a room and bang their heads together!
“Valerie, will you please just ask the man!” I say, flabbergasted. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Oh, only that he doesn’t feel the same way and he runs away from me screaming, leaving me completely and totally crushed and humiliated,” she says sarcastically. I want to scream at her, but he won’t, you airhead, just fucking ask him! “He just broke up with that Kate girl. He can’t be ready for a relationship so soon.”
Yeah, I thought the same thing until he called me four days ago, professing his feelings for you.
“Valerie, you won’t know if you don’t ask,” I say, my voice controlled.
“I’m scared, Ana. I don’t think I could take it if he rejected me. I’ve never been rejected… not romantically anyway.” Yep, she’s Christian.
“I know. It’s scary, but I still think you should tell him. You’re in limbo right now wondering how he feels about you. Do you want to stay in limbo? Because if you do, we’re having this conversation for nothing.”
“No, I don’t want to stay in limbo,” she says reluctantly.
“Then put on your big girl panties and go ask that man how he feels about you. You said it yourself—you’re gorgeous, hot, sexy, and brilliant. Any man would want you given the chance. How many men have you given the chance to have you… not just be with you, but have you?” I ask.
“None,” she answers meekly.
“Well, you obviously don’t know until you try, right?” I press.
“I guess so,” she responds.
“Valerie, talk to the man. He’s a good person… really, he is. If it turns out that you feel the same way about each other, this could be a beautiful relationship—and you could be very happy together.”
“Do you really think so, Ana?” I can hear the hope seeping back into her voice.
“Oh, Valerie… I really think so. Look at me… I got the emotionally stunted brother with all the baggage that we won’t discuss, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life… even with all the bullshit going on around me. And come on, we never thought Anastasia Screw-‘Em-All-I’m-Through-With-‘Em Steele would ever get back in the game, now did we?” I can hear her smiling.
“Okay, Ana. I’m going to talk to him—but I swear, if he turns me down, I’m camping out on that big white couch in that palace in the sky that you’re living in with his hunky brother for three weeks wearing nothing but sweats and a tank top and gorging myself on Haagen Dazs, do you understand me?” She’s quite serious as she’s breaking down her plan in great detail.
“Just do it, Val. I doubt that you’ll need the white couch in the palace in the sky,” I assure her, and she sighs.
“So how is your trip going? You must be having a great time down there on that beautiful island where the rich and famous go to unwind.” Do I tell her the truth… that at this very moment, my boyfriend is in the workout room sulking or thinking or whatever he’s doing while I sit here on the phone trying to figure out what’s wrong with him; that this trip has been an emotional roller coaster ever since we got here; that half the time I don’t know what the hell is going on because I’m a certified basket case? I decide to go for honesty.
“It’s been some up and some down, Val. I’ve had some pretty rough times, but some pretty good ones, too,” I respond.
“Well, of course you have, Sweetie. After what that snake-ass bastard Edward and his even snakier sidekick did to you, it’s a wonder you still have your sanity intact! How’s Christian holding up?” Always my supportive friend.
“Again, some good and some bad. This is all pretty new to him and he really wants to be there for me, I know, but he’s a little out of his element here… much like you are with Elliot. It’s going to take some patience and love on both our parts, but I think we’ll be okay. I… gave him the necklace.” She gasps.
“Oh my God! You did!?” she exclaims. I nod before I realize that she can’t see me.
“Yes, I did. It felt right… feels right. It’s where it belongs now,” I say contented.
“Wow… Annie Rose… this is serious,” she says. She has resorted to that name that she used to call me in college when she really wanted to get my attention.
“Yes, Valerie Ann, it is. He gave me a ring, too.”
“Oh, my God… a ring!?” I know what she’s thinking.
“Not that kind of ring, Val. He gave me a promise ring.”
“A promise ring? Don’t you think that’s a little old-fashioned?” she asks.
“Not for me… it’s perfect. It’s something to solidify our commitment without everybody staring at me and wondering why we got engaged so fast while waiting for the due date!” I laugh.
“Well, describe this ring to me,” she asks giddily. I describe my beautiful platinum and diamond promise ring to her, and she nearly swoons.
“Oh, Ana, I can’t wait to see it,” she croons. “It’s sounds dreamy.”
“It is dreamy. This is it for me, Val. If he’s not the one for me, I don’t want anybody else.” My chest tightens momentarily at the thought of being without him, but I shake that away immediately. “He’s my walk into the sunset.”
“Ana, this is such a serious step. I mean, you sound like you are obsessed with this guy,” she warns.
“To a degree I am,” I admit. “It’s not an unhealthy obsession, but yes—I’m obsessed with his love, his touch, his presence, his health and happiness… and I don’t care who knows it or what they think of me.” Val giggles.
“Well, then, I say go for it!” she says. “Hell, if anybody deserves some happiness these days, it’s you!”
“I’m grabbing it with both hands, Val. We’ve got some obstacles to overcome, though.”
“Let’s just say I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with him,” I say bitterly.
“Oh, good grief, not a psycho ex!” she laments.
“Yes and no. I can’t say much without betraying a confidence, so I won’t, but this bitch is batty as fuck. They were involved many years ago and they still stayed in touch. Now there’s no room for her and she is not pleased!”
“Did you tell him that he had to choose?”
“No, I didn’t. I had nothing to do with it… except to maybe help him see how unhealthy the relationship was, but he had already come to that conclusion on his own.”
“So, she’s just sour grapes now,” Val points out.
“In the worst way,” I admit. “She just can’t let go and their relationship hasn’t been romantic for many, many years. He’s pretty wonderful after all. I can see why someone wouldn’t be able to let go.”
“I’ll say he’s wonderful! Rescues you in a helicopter, protects you in one of the most coveted buildings in Seattle, whisks you off to a tropical paradise so that you can regroup… he’s a dream come true!”
“He’s my dream come true,” I say wistfully. “Sure, we still have some things to work on, but I’m here to stay.” She sighs dreamily at my confession.
“Well, let’s hope I find my dream come true in his brother.”
“Here’s hoping, right?” I smile.
“I’m going to let you go and get back to having a great vacation. When are you supposed to be back in Seattle?”
“Probably Tuesday afternoon, barring any fires, floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters.” Or unnatural disasters for that matter.
“So, will we be doing ‘Food and Libations’ next weekend?”
“Oh, that is so my plan!” I confirm.
“Good. I’ll tell the gang that I talked to you and you are doing fabulously, and I’ll see you when you are stateside again.”
“Okay, Babe. I’ll see you then.”
Emma strikes again!
Now would be a good time to give Elliot a little push. It’s Friday night, around 6:30 west coast time—no doubt they’ll be seeing each other later. I dial Elliot’s number.
“Ana Montana! What’s good! You sick of my brother and his billions already?” Ah, Elliot—the only person that I know who has a joke for every occasion.
“Ha, ha, very funny. Actually, I was calling to see how it went with Val.” I already know my answer, but I let the heavy silence make him think that I’m clueless. One, Mississippi… two, Mississippi… three, Mississippi… “Elliot?”
“I haven’t told her yet,” he confesses.
“You haven’t told her yet!?” I ask, sounding affronted. “Why the hell not? It’s been four days.”
“I don’t know, Ana. I’m scared.”
“Scared of what?” I ask.
“Rejection! Of losing her! I don’t want to chase her away!” Oh, good Lord, would that I could teleport through this phone and choke my boyfriend’s brother…
“Elliot. Tell. Her!” I say through clenched teeth. These two are going to let their lack of action cost them something that they both desperately desire.
“Ana, what if she doesn’t want that?”
“Then wouldn’t you rather know? Or would you rather just wander through this thing waiting for the axe to fall?” There’s another pause.
“If I can be with her, I’ll take what I can get.” Oh, this is worse than I thought. How can I get these two together when they both want each other, but I can’t tell them?
“Elliot, you’re going to give me premature gray hair, I swear,” I say exasperated. “Tell the woman how you feel. You’re a grownup. If you say that she could be the one, why would you deny her by not telling her how you feel? Or are you still nursing feelings for Kate and you don’t want to admit it?”
“No, that’s not it, honestly,” he sighs. “Losing Kate hurt, but it wasn’t because I lost Kate. It was because I lost what we had… or what we used to have. It died a long time ago. We just finally decided to give it a proper burial. I know I’m not making any sense…”
“On the contrary, you’re making perfect sense—but now I have to ask you this. Are you transferring those feelings that you once had for Kate onto Val or is what you feel for Valerie genuine?”
“Shit, Ana. I think I love her, and I sound like a damn stalker. Valerie is fucking gorgeous. She’s everything you would want in a woman. I normally go for blonde and the occasional redhead—but the minute I saw those dark curls flying at me at Christian’s that night, man, I was gone before I even knew who she was. It was like somebody hit me in the chest—hard—and knocked the damn wind out of me. I was a goner before we even had our first date. Even I convinced myself that it was residual feelings for Kate just so I could have an excuse to enjoy it guilt-free without getting attached, but it’s not! I know it sounds crazy…”
Actually, it doesn’t sound as crazy as he thinks it does, but it doesn’t sound really healthy. I pick up on something in that rant that he may not think I have. I rise from the living room chair and grab my purse. I take out a small notebook I keep there and a pen and sit at the dining table, moving one of the place settings to give myself some room. This has become a bit of a session for the elder Mr. Grey and I need to take a few notes.
“Elliot, I just heard you say that you convinced yourself that your reaction to Val was residual feelings for Kate so that you could avoid getting attached. Is that true?” Again, silence. “Why, Elliot? Why do you want to avoid getting attached?” Out of his mouth comes the words that I find most men have the hardest time saying…
“I don’t want to get hurt again.”
I now know that he may not be ready for another relationship because although he may have gotten over the love he felt for Kate, he hasn’t gotten over the pain of the breakup. Like Val said, it’s only been a few weeks… and I just spent the last twenty minutes or so convincing Valerie to tell Elliot how she feels. Fuck me. My hand goes to my forehead.
“If you want to love someone, Elliot, you have to be prepared for the possibility that you may get hurt. You hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That doesn’t mean that you live your life waiting for the other shoe to drop, but it does mean that you accept the fact that there could be some rain on that journey when you’re always hoping for sunshine. If you can’t do that, if you can’t accept that there could be some heartache in your future and know that this is a healthy part of life… then you’re not ready to move on yet.”
Shit. Shit. Shit. I hate to do this, but I have to do what’s best for my patient in this case… and prepare for sweatpants and Haagen Dazs. I hear Elliot sigh on the other end.
“I don’t want to live like this anymore, Ana. I don’t know what to do. Kate and I were over weeks… no, more like months before we finally put that horse down… and I feel like she’s still running my life.” I can imagine him holding the back of his neck. “I don’t need to force her out of my life and my heart because trust me, she’s already gone, but the fear of giving my heart to someone else and they hurt me again… maybe I’m paying for all of those women I dogged in my life.”
“Well, I have to say that I do believe in Karma, but I won’t live my life waiting for her to bite me in the ass, and neither can you, Elliot. I mean, look at me. I’ve lived what I consider a good life. I haven’t purposely harmed anyone for any reason…” yet, “… and I still seem to run upon spells of bad luck, whereas my fucking psycho ex-boyfriend has parted more legs than a gynecologist, brutally beaten two women that I know of and kidnapped a third…” me, “… and the only reason why he may be facing any justice for his crimes is because my current boyfriend came running in with a helicopter, body guards, and police—and the fucker still might get off if they buy his ‘temporary insanity’ bullshit. Where’s the Karma in that?” I ask flatly.
“Shit, Ana. That’s some tale.”
“You haven’t even heard the worst of it, and I don’t have any time to tell you. I’m just saying that if the fear of getting hurt is what’s holding you back, then you’re never going to experience anything worthwhile again for the rest of your life. Everything worth having has a risk attached to it—some kind of opportunity cost, something that you have to give up or risk losing altogether in order to have it. You have to ask yourself if you want to play it safe—for a while or forever—and never move forward. You can’t do anything you’re not ready to do, though. You have to be ready to take a leap before you jump.”
“How do I know if I’m ready?” he asks solemnly.
“You’ll know that you’re ready when what you could stand to lose by not taking action is more detrimental to you than your fear.” That’s it. That’s all I can give you.
“I can’t lose Val, Ana.”
“But you’re too afraid to tell her how you feel,” I say.
“That’s why I’m afraid, because I can’t lose her.”
“If she doesn’t know that you don’t want to lose her, she has no reason to stick around. If she’s afraid of you wanting to be with her, do you really want her to stick around? Can you deal with her being another ‘wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am’… or ‘sir’… and then leaving for the next guy?”
“We agreed there would be no strings attached…”
“And how’s that working out for you?”
There’s that long silence again that speaks louder than words.
“You could tell Valerie how you feel, and she decides that it’s not what she wants, or you could tell her how you feel and discover that she feels the same way that you do. I can’t tell you what will happen…” not because I don’t know, but because you are my patient and I can’t tell you, “… but I can, in good conscience tell you this. Valerie is my friend, and she is a good person. She has never mistreated anyone, misled anyone, or deliberately hurt anyone in all the years that I’ve known her. She’s a beautiful, confident woman, but she’s not cruel, conceited, or self-centered. She’s a straight shooter and whether she tells you what you want to hear or not—she will never blatantly hurt or misuse you. She’s a wonderful catch for any man, and you might as well throw your net in the water if she’s what you want. Hell, Elliot, some lucky guy is going to win that woman’s heart one day… why not you?”
“You and my brother have a perfect relationship, don’t you?” he asks, his voice filled with mirth.
“You know better than that,” I scold. “We’re working on it though. We’re a work in progress,” I say stifling a yawn.
“I heard that, Ana Montana. I’m going to let you go now. I know it’s late on that side of the world. I need to meet Val shortly anyway.”
“Think about what I said, Elliot. You only live once, man.”
“You’re a great shrink, Ana… and a great friend.”
“I do my best,” I say with a smile.
When I get to the master suite, it’s nearly 10:30 and Christian is already in the shower. I’m not completely exhausted but playing Dr. Love has taken a bit out of me. I forego the shower, strip naked, and step into a Joquil In Bloom pink pleated chemise with embroidered top and a sheer empire waist with a drawstring. After I plug my iPhone into my charger, I bring my laptop to the bed and decide that I need to begin to work out my schedule for next week. I need my glasses for this since I’ll be looking at the computer screen for a while, so I fish them out of the case where they’ve hidden the entire vacation and pull my hair back into a high ponytail. For some reason, those small gestures are comforting and make me feel more like myself again.
I look at my schedule and realize that I’ve missed four sessions with Luc. For the past few days, there has been no swimming, no running, no yoga, certainly no Krav Maga… no nothing. I’m going to have to rectify that and soon. Maybe I’ll hit the punching bag in the morning and follow that with a few laps around the pool. In the meantime, I send off an email to Luc apologizing for missing my sessions and explaining that after the kidnapping ordeal, I went straight out of the country on vacation. I assure him that I’ll be in touch when I’m back in Seattle as I don’t want to get flabby or lose any muscle tone.
I catch an email from Raymond Steele. I didn’t even know Dad had an email address. We never communicated that way. I’m assuming that he did so to keep in touch with Mandy while she’s in Seattle and he’s in Montesano. He says that he just wants to check on me and to give me his new “electronic mail” address. This is going to be cute watching Dad’s learning curve. He’s a hands-on kind of guy… hence the letter he sent me a month ago instead of a phone call or “electronic mail.” I think Mandy will make him more youthful, more hip… and that makes me happy.
I respond to my father to tell him that I received his email and that I’m so glad that he has joined us in the 21st century. I tell him that I love him, and I’ll be back in the States next week. As I’m starting to puzzle-piece my week together once more to get back to some sort of normal, Christian comes out of the en suite wrapped in a towel and drying his hair. I didn’t even hear the shower go off. He freezes when he sees me sitting on the bed with my laptop.
“Hey,” he says softly, coming over to the bed and sitting on the edge, still drying his hair. “What are you doing?”
“Answering some emails, looking at my schedule for next week—just preparing myself to get back to work,” I reply.
“Are you sure you’re ready?” he asks, concerned.
“We’ll see. I can’t hide forever,” I say, turning back to my computer and updating my schedule so that it simultaneously shows up on Marilyn’s calendar. For some reason, I had her pegged for Chuck. I wonder how she and Gary are making out… making out, interesting choice of words.
Yeah, I know.
I continue tapping away at my laptop, answering emails and feeling a great sense of accomplishment as my inbox starts to dwindle down to double digits instead of triple digits as Christian dries the last of the water from his hair.
“I miss your glasses. They’re sexy,” he says as he leans into the bed, still wearing just his towel.
“You like them, huh?” I say, teasing.
“Yes. It reminds me of the first day I saw you at the community center. The way they sat on your nose and you looked at me over the frames… I thought my dick was going to explode.” Is he serious?
“That far back?” I say, looking at him in just the way he just explained. “It went back all the way to the beginning?” I ask in disbelief and he nods. “You were such an asshole! How could that be?”
“From day one… and remember, I wanted you as a sub first. Cocky Mr. Grey thought he would be able to get you to heel. When he couldn’t, he had to do a background check to find out what planet you were from.”
“Ah, the planet of women who could stand up to Mr. Grey’s charms… or lack thereof at the time… and you sound very strange talking about yourself in the third person,” I jest.
“And you’re looking over your frames at me again,” he says, putting his hand on my cheek and gently taking my lips with his—a soft, tender kiss that satisfies you and makes you want more at the same time. “Would I be presumptuous to tell you to put that away? I need to talk to you.”
Ah, yes, here it comes. I close my laptop and put it on the night table, my glasses on top of it.
“Today at the restaurant when Valerie called, you rolled your eyes at me and you took a very defiant tone.”
Oh hell, where is this going? Does he want to punish me for my tone? I’m not sure I can let him do that.
“Normally, my first instinct is to punish you for your insolence.”
I knew it… wait a minute… normally?
“When you did it today, I did think that way for a fleeting moment. Then I imagined you curling into yourself like you did that night during playtime… and shaking uncontrollably, trying to fall asleep.” He sits up on the bed and runs his fingers through his sexy wet hair. “For the first time, I realized… I couldn’t do it.”
“You couldn’t do it,” I repeat, more of a statement than a question. What does he mean he couldn’t do it? He couldn’t do it with me? He couldn’t do it at all? What does this mean for our relationship? “What are you trying to say, Christian?”
“I talked to Flynn the other day.” Oh, good Lord. “He brought some things to my attention that I didn’t see before… or maybe I didn’t want to see them. I could clearly see that you were suffering, Ana, not enjoying what was going on… you were tormented, bearing the brunt of what I was doing for my benefit, for my enjoyment, to help me regain control. If you remember, our first playtime was nothing like that.”
He’s right. It was sensual and sexy and orgasmic. He introduced me to new heights and tested my limits, and when we were done my body and soul were singing! This time, I was aching… mentally and physically… so much so that the hint of it just a moment ago made me want to deny him for the first time in our relationship.
“I have to be honest and say that I still love how it makes me feel and that it gives me the control that I seemed to lose in certain situations, but it just doesn’t feel right for us… not for that reason anyway. I still love to play with you and test your limits and have you dominate me when the time is right—all of our horny, kinky sexy-time is amazing… but in the end, when I need to regain control… the trade-off doesn’t seem like it’s worth it. After the session on Monday morning, I felt like we were pulling apart instead of coming together… it’s just not worth it for me, Butterfly. It’s not worth it if I feel like there’s a chance that I might lose you because of it.”
Okay, I got a mixed message from what he just said. On the one hand, I hear clearly that he doesn’t want to go too far and risk losing me or our relationship over the need for control. On the other hand, I hear him saying that he loves the feeling of regaining control through playtime. These are conflicting messages and I’m not sure what to make of them.
“Talk to me, Butterfly. I need to know what you’re thinking right now.” I sigh.
“Well, you know that I was never into this before you. This is all very new to me, but I was… am willing to try it… not only for you, but also to explore my limits and the pleasure that it brings me. When you told me why you do it, I wanted to do it for you… to help you regain control when it was slipping through your fingers… like the other night when you sat out at the pool for hours. What was going through your head all that time, Christian?”
“I asked you first,” he scolds.
“I know you did, and I swear I’ll answer you, but I really think it’s relevant to what I want to say.” He looks into my eyes, examining them for a moment.
“I was thinking that everything that I knew was unraveling and I didn’t know how to bring it back together; that I was beginning to lose myself in all the crazy events that have happened over the last weeks and I wasn’t sure how to ground myself again.” And that’s what I was afraid of.
“So, if I can’t play the role that you need to release those feelings of helplessness and confusion—to help you ground yourself again—where does that leave me? What happens when you lose control again and I’m unable to help you regain it?” His face contorts in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s like pain and anger and fear all in one.
“Butterfly, are you trying to tell me that you’ve been doing this because you’re afraid that if you don’t do this for me, I’ll go somewhere else?” he asks.
Hearing the words come out of his mouth hurts me more than my own fear. That’s not the only reason I’m doing it, but it has a huge influence on the situation. I drop my head, unable to answer his question. I suddenly feel… shame. Why, I don’t know, but it’s consuming me at this moment.
“Oh, my God,” he groans, and he pulls me into his arms. “Why did you never say anything?” Tears are falling as I’m trying to find my words.
“If I’m afraid that I’ll lose you because I can’t be what you need, exactly how can I tell you that without risking losing you?” I answer honestly.
“Talk to me. Please. Tell me everything. I need to know,” he begs me. I shudder a moment, realizing that this is going to be a turning point in our relationship one way or another. “Please. Butterfly. I love you. I need you to tell me.”
I screw my courage and tell him.
“I can’t do another session like the one we had this weekend,” I spit out all in one breath. “I lost a lot of myself and I was confused and unhappy. I didn’t enjoy myself at all. Yes, you made it all better in the end and I loved that, but I just can’t go there again, Christian. I can’t. Everything was wrong about it. Just… everything. When I woke a few hours later and everything hurt… it wasn’t just my body. I had so many questions in my head that I couldn’t answer and feelings that I couldn’t verbalize. I think that might have been part of the reason that I fell apart Monday night, I don’t know.” I choke a bit as he holds me close to him and my tears fall on his shoulders. “Christian, I love you and I don’t want to lose you, but I can’t do that again.”
“Then we won’t,” he says tightening his arms around me. “John is right. It’s time for me to graduate. I’ve used the same coping techniques since I was a teenager—taught to me by a fucking pedophile—and now I’m trying to impose them on the woman that I love.” He buries his face in my hair.
“It can’t be that easy, Christian. You can’t just decide that you don’t want to do this and not do it anymore. Besides, I don’t want to push the lifestyle away completely, just the intense part that causes me to feel like I’m losing myself, like I can’t cope,” I sniffle.
“Well, then,” he pulls me back to look at my face, “we’ll have to find some compromise so that we don’t lose the things that enhance our relationship, and we don’t do the things that could weaken it.” He wipes my tear-stained cheeks with his thumbs.
“How do we do that? Where do we start?” I ask.
“We’re going to have to do some research together… look into some things and try some new stuff. It’s going to be new for me because I never explored the scene as part of a couple—only as a Dom. As a sub, the Pedophile wouldn’t let me out of her sight. I was even on a pretty short leash when I went to college for a year—pun intended. This way, I’m looking at things from a completely different perspective… and like Flynn says, I need to find new coping mechanisms when I’m losing control.” He runs his hands through his hair. “Good God, that scares me. I’ve never known anything else, I don’t even know where to begin to deprogram that thinking.”
Hell, I don’t either, and I’m the professional. I know the first part of deprogramming is recognizing the problem and all the damage it has caused or can cause, but I’m not his shrink, and I hate to cross that line with him.
“Maybe you should talk to John some more about what you want to do and how you should go about doing it,” I suggest.
“I’ll need your help, Butterfly,” he confesses. “It affects you, too, and I couldn’t do this alone if I tried.”
I sigh because I know that he’s right, but being a psychiatrist, I know how dangerous this can be if the lines get blurred between us. I’ll have to approach this situation very carefully.
“I’ll be right there with you every step of the way, baby,” I assure him. I’ll be there in whatever capacity he needs me. There’s no question about that. He sighs, relieved.
“Well, since we still like our playtime, we’ll have to examine some of the rules that we’ve established. You’re one of the strongest people that I know, and you were at your complete wits end with that last session—emotionally and physically. You clearly didn’t know what to do with yourself. You woke up the next day unable to move without pain. You’re a master at withstanding orgasm refusal, and I would love to have a repeat performance of your skills, but we agree that it can’t be to that extent ever again. There are times when you have to withstand it—like when I’m inside of you and I’m about to come—but to have to withstand it for hours is clearly not something that you can do without dire consequence, and it’s certainly not something that I want to put you through ever again. So, I have the perfect solution, the solution that you gave me, and we should have thought of this long before—a sexual safe word.”
“Won’t that diminish the pleasure for you though? I don’t want to be right back where we started with the whole ‘lack of control’ thing,” I ask.
“Does it diminish the pleasure for you… giving me a sexual safe word?” he asks seductively.
“Hell no!” I exclaim.
“Exactly. Knowing that pretty little clit is throbbing, and your insides are shaking and clenching and burning so badly that you have to ask me to stop so that you don’t come… that shit makes me hard,” he says, closing the small space between us. “Choose your sexual safe word, Anastasia.”
“Ladybug,” I breathe.
“Ladybug,” he repeats.
“Yes,” I breathe, “ladybug.” He kisses me gently running his tongue through my mouth only once while moaning his approval.
“Why does that sound so sexy coming from your lips?” he says, breathing on my lips and sending sexy chills down my spine.
“I don’t know,” I say, breathless.
“Well, no matter, because now, I want to fuck you, and I want to make you come… several times… really, really hard,” he says as he stands from the bed and the towel drops from around his waist.
A/N: Emma is Jane Austin’s character who constantly played matchmaker—very unsuccessfully—in the book “Emma.”
I had more pictures of the Heritage Trail, but they somehow got lost and looking for them would mean that my chapter would have been posted even later. So maybe I’ll look for them again later. Until then, I have other pictures on my Pinterest page for your viewing pleasure at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/paging-dr-steele-the-trip-to-anquilla/
For all the Elena haters, if you haven’t checked it out already, check out my one shot, “They Still DO That?” It’s a response to my Facebook group on gruesome ways to kill the Bitch-Troll, or as my Ana affectionately calls her…”stank-ass, slutty, nasty, filthy, slimy, Pedo-Bitch She-Thing demon from hell.” 🙂
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