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 fanfic in MY interpretation as a fan. I hope you—as a fellow fan—enjoy it, too.
Chapter 36—There’s That Damn Piper Again
Christian and Gerald walk out the door of the hospital room and I suddenly feel very vulnerable and alone. Except for Gerald, I have come to realize that I don’t like cops very much—and I sure as hell don’t trust them.
“Ms. Steele, I must inform you that this is an official statement to be used in an official capacity in an open and ongoing investigation. Having said that, please note that anything you say will be used as evidence in this matter even if it is self-incriminating. As such, you have the right to remain silent. However, this does not mean that you are under arrest. You have sought legal counsel which is also your right and I assume that he will be here for the duration of your questioning?” I nod. This is already starting to make me ill. The system… the police… what good have they ever done me? As honest and diligent as Gerald is, he still may not be able to get that fucker David locked up.
“Where do I start?” I ask defeated.
“Just tell me what happened,” Detective Fischer says in an accommodating tone. I look up at Allen and he nods.
“I had just finished seeing every damn gaudy wedding dress in the city of Seattle and I was about to join my fiancé for lunch. I get to his office at Grey House and there’s screaming coming from behind the door. I burst into the office to see that loony woman standing there—pointing my gun at Christian.” The thought sends me into shivers. I know I’m going to have nightmares from this. Allen puts his hand on my shoulder to calm me.
“Your gun?” the detective asks me. I nod.
“About a month ago, something happened to the phone lines at Christian’s penthouse, so we spent the night at my condo. We went to check out our wedding venue the next day and when we got back, I noticed that my Beretta was missing. I reported it stolen immediately,” I inform him and he scribbles into his little notebook.
“Has anything come from that investigation?” he asks. I shake my head.
“Not that I know of. Christian owns the security company that was supposed to be watching my condo and he has someone reviewing the tapes for evidence, but the police haven’t asked anything about it or done anything about it besides take a report and take fingerprints.” I rub my forehead. Jason was shot and Christian could have been killed… with my gun. I’m really feeling sick now. “I guess they were waiting for someone to end up dead. They almost got their wish.”
“Ms. Steele?” I look up at the detective calling my name. “I get the feeling that you’re not too fond of the police.” I glare at him.
“You have to forgive my hostility, Detective Fischer, but while I lay in a coma for three weeks, spent months trying to put my life back together, subsequent years in fear, torment, and unhappiness, the officer in charge of arresting the monsters that put me in a coma in the first place was too busy hiding and ignoring evidence in order to protect his brother. Now, the gun that I reported stolen weeks ago was used to shoot a dear friend and almost killed my fiancé, but the police haven’t even questioned any of the residents of my apartment building or requested copies of the tapes from Vansteen. I would have known if they did.” I shoot a look over at Al and he nods. “So yes, at this moment, I’d have to say that you’re right. The police are not on my list of favorite people.”
“We’re not all like that, Ms. Steele,” he says, nonthreatening.
“I’m not saying that you are. I’m just not happy with my current encounters.” I shake my head. He examines me for a moment then goes back to his notepad.
“For the record, who is ‘that loony woman?’” Wha…? “You said you saw ‘that loony woman’ pointing your gun at your fiancé…”
“Oh, Elena Lincoln. Elena Lincoln was pointing my gun at Christian. She made him move to the other side of the office so that she could see us both. She said that she would shoot him and then herself just to get him away from me. Then I heard the gun go off and… and…” What the hell happened next? Allen squeezes my shoulder. I’m shaking my head trying remember… shake loose a memory, maybe…
“Ms. Steele?” I frown. Fuck. What happened next?
“I…” I look up at Al whose brow furrows as he observes me, waiting for an answer. “I don’t know,” I say just above a whisper. Al’s eyes grow sharp and large as I turn to Detective Fischer shaking my head. “I don’t know what happened.” I’m horrified! I don’t know how many seconds—or minutes—I lost in this incident. “I… know I heard someone scream… and then… then next thing I know, I’m singing ‘the Itsy Bitsy Spider’ and putting pressure on Jason’s chest.” Detective Fischer frowns.
“What?” he asks bemused. I turned to Al.
“Al, what happened?” I ask him. I need answers. How much time did I lose?
“I wasn’t there, Jewel,” he says apologetically. Now I’m scared. First, I clock the fuck out after I watch the Green Valley video, and now I black out after I think this bitch shot Christian. Good God, I saw my whole life flash before my eyes when I heard that gunshot. I remember Christian looking at me… like he was saying goodbye. Oh, God, I thought I would die. Where is he? I need him now! I cover my mouth before a choked sob escapes my chest.
“I think we need to take a break, Detective,” Al says, instantly cradling me in his arms. After a pause, Fischer says, “I’ll go take Mr. Grey’s statement, then I’ll be back to see if Ms. Steele wants to add anything.” I grab Al’s forearms.
“Al…” I’m sobbing. I can barely breathe. “Al… what… am I… crazy? What… happened! I know… I know… she tried to… sh-shoot Christian… why can’t… I… remember?” I am terrified. I can’t have lost this much time. I can’t!
“Jewel, I need you to breathe,” Al coaches. I want Christian. I need to see him now!
“Oh, God, I’m losing my mind!” I wail. “How could I not remember that crazy bitch trying to kill my man? I could I not remember!?”
“Jewel, calm down, or I’m going to have the doctor give you a sedative,” Al says calmly. Right now, I don’t care. I really couldn’t care less. I want my man and I want him now! I’ve lost time and I don’t know how to stay calm. My mind can’t even comprehend it right now. “Jewel, I’m going to get the doctor. You’re scaring me…”
Al opens the door and I see Detective Fischer standing there with a uniformed female cop.
“Detective, I thought you were going to talk to Mr. Grey,” Al says, his voice dripping with suspicion.
“I had to wait for another officer to come down. It’s procedure, Mr. Forsythe. I’m sure you understand. If you don’t mind, I would like to speak to Ms. Steele for just a moment longer.”
“She’s quite upset, Detective,” Al protests.
“Just a moment, Mr. Forsythe,” he presses. Al reluctantly moves from where he stood protectively blocking the door. Fischer comes back inside. “Ms. Steele, this is Officer Daly. She will stay around until I get back and we conclude the questioning. Again, you are not under arrest, but you and everyone associated with this incident are being somewhat… detained. I just… wanted you and Mr. Forsythe to be informed.” I don’t respond. Officer Daly comes over to my bedside as Fischer leaves.
“Ma’am, I know this has been a very emotional day for you,” she begins, “but I wouldn’t worry. Things will come back to you over time, and it will be like you never lost any time at all. I’ve seen it happen… but prepare yourself, because recalling the incident can be more traumatizing than forgetting it.” She looks at me with large, guileless brown eyes and her blond hair pulled back in a tight professional bun. She has a kind smile on her face and it calms me a bit.
“Thank you, Officer Daly,” I whisper.
“Call me Kim,” she says. “Is there anything you need?”
“Yes,” I say, dropping my face in my hands, “my fiancé…”
We sit in the vending room on the third floor and Fischer pulls out his notebook. Gail and I just got an update on the damage to Jason’s shoulder and I’m not pleased with the possibilities.
“Can you tell me how this came about, Mr. Grey? I’d like to have a better understanding of what’s happening.” I’m not offering any information to this guy that will allow him to draw any forced conclusions.
“What exactly do you mean ‘how this came about?’ You saw the video. I had them turned over to your forensics department just a few moments ago. What else do you need?”
“Yes,” he adds, “I did see the video. However, it only starts when you pushed the panic button. By then, the assailant…”
“Elena Lincoln,” I inform him, as if he didn’t already know.
“Yes, Mrs. Lincoln, was already standing there with the gun. I’d like to know what happened before then.” I sigh.
“I was looking at some plans for renovations in my office. Butter… Ms. Steele called and said that she was having a bad day and I told her to come to my office and join me for lunch. Workers had been in and out of my office area all morning and during that time, Mrs. Lincoln must have slipped in because when she confronted me, she was dressed in a workman’s uniform. She confronted me about the fact that one of her victims had been counseled by my father—who is an attorney—as a friend of his family. She blamed us for her arrest and the predicament in which she now finds herself. When Ms. Steele showed up, she positioned us in the room so that we couldn’t readily get close to her, but she didn’t know that she positioned me very close to one of the panic buttons that are installed in my office for just such an emergency. As she was talking to Ms. Steele—or more like shrieking at Ms. Steele—I pushed the panic button and, well, you saw the rest.”
“She was talking about wanting you. Am I to assume that the two of you were once lovers?” he asks.
“You don’t have to answer that,” a familiar voice says to me from my right. I turn to see Allen and Carrick standing in the doorway with Gerald, who had been standing outside all of this time to keep anyone from interrupting us.
“I did say no interruptions, Jerry,” Fischer says.
“Yes, but I couldn’t very well let the gentleman’s attorneys stand outside while you questioned him. Sorry, Fish,” Gerald shrugs. Fischer nods.
“Two attorneys? I thought Mr. Forsythe represented Ms. Steele.”
“It’s a long story and not relevant to the events at hand. By the way, it’s Dr. Steele,” I tell him, brushing him off for the most part. “This is my father, Carrick Grey.”
“Ah,” Fischer says, “the plot thickens. Mrs. Lincoln said on the tapes that the two of you plotted her demise.”
“I’ve already explained that to you, Detective. Some of her victims are children or grandchildren of close personal friends of the Grey family…”
“Which leads us back to you, Mr. Grey. Were you one of her victims?” he asks.
“You have to know that whether or not that is or isn’t true, he couldn’t answer that for you,” Dad says to the detective.
“Exactly why is that, Mr. Grey?” Fischer questions my father curiously.
“Because the damage to his name and reputation would be irreparable,” Allen adds, “and anyone who would allow a slanderous and unproven statement like that possibly leak to the press would be in line for one of the largest, most painful, and most tedious never-ending lawsuits this country has ever seen.” Detective Fischer nods.
“Well,” he begins, “you’ve just answered my question, and even though I may not be able to pursue it or even speak about it, I know the truth now and I know how to proceed. Mr. Grey, you have to know that one way or another, this situation is going to be brought to light. You should probably be the one in control of how that happens,” he adds with no malice.
I know that he wants me to come clean and tell him that the Pedophile molested me as a child so that he can make the announcement to the world without fear of litigation… but I’m not doing that, Fish. When and if this little secret leaks, it will be on my terms, and I will start with the Faces of Abuse PSA which will be released as soon as Butterfly is able to shoot her segment.
Shoot… I should never want to hear that word again.
“I’m sure I don’t know what situation of which you speak, Detective,” I say calmly. “I will tell you this much. With whatever you think you know, it’s clear for you to see that Mrs. Lincoln has an unhealthy obsession with me. She has for quite some time. She has quite a long history with my family and was—for God only knows what reason—under the assumption that she and I would end up together. For several months now, she has been blaming my fiancée for ‘ruining me’ and ‘ruining our relationship,’ and today she planned on putting an end to it. She is a sick and twisted woman and I don’t know if there is any hope for her, but she put a gun in my face and she pulled the trigger with intentions on taking my life. She is now an enemy of mine. She is a mortal threat to me and her presence anywhere near me will be treated as thus.”
“Mr. Grey,” he says, his face firm, “are you threatening Mrs. Lincoln?”
“Not at all,” I say with a straight face. “I’m saying that if anyone ever comes near me again with intent to harm or kill me, I will protect myself by any means necessary. That is my right, isn’t it, Detective?”
“That’s enough, Christian,” Dad says. I never break my gaze from Detective Fischer. I want to know his answer.
“Yes, Mr. Grey, it is your right to protect yourself… as long as you don’t initiate contact to instigate an altercation.” Fischer warns.
“Now why would I do something like that? Why would I knowingly put myself in imminent danger?” I say flatly.
“Christian…” Dad warns again.
“No, Dad, I really want to know,” I say rising from my chair. “Every time she has caused mayhem or problems, she came to me! My apartment, my office, your house, the New Year’s Eve party…”
“She was at the New Year’s Eve party?” Dad interrupts. Allen nods.
“Yes, she was at the New Year’s Eve party!” I snap. “She has pissed and shitted all over my life in every way that she possibly can and these fuckers can’t even keep her in jail. Now, she shows up at my office with my fiancée’s stolen gun…”
“Ana carries a gun?” Dad interrupts again horrified. Allen nods again.
“Try to keep up, Dad!” I shoot before I realize that I’m barking at my father. “She shows up at my office and shoots at me. I would be dead if it weren’t for Jason. The doctor told Gail that the bullet nearly tore his shoulder off! He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t have to have the whole damn thing replaced. She was aiming that thing right at my chest! What do you think would have happened if she had hit her mark? Do you think we would be sitting here having this conversation about me threatening that wicked old lying murderous pedophile bitch!?”
The room falls quiet and I am getting angrier and angrier. I beginning to believe that the police are more on the side of protecting the criminals than they are of defending the victims.
“You’ve got everything that you need to lock that bitch away. Put her in jail and don’t let her out again! She’s a menace to society in every way possible and you all are letting her run the streets. Put that witch behind bars and throw away the key before she does some real damage!” I storm pass the stunned men in the room and only turn around to say, “If you want to speak to me again, you make an appointment through my attorneys—and by the way, I don’t have two… I have several, and my dad’s not one of them!”
I burst out of the doors and down the hall away from the vending area. I am on fire! I desperately need fresh air but the paparazzi have the place surrounded. I lean against a nearby wall trying to tame the beast in me but I want to hurt someone or something. I could have died today. My life with Butterfly—over just like that, before it even started, all because of this evil, bleached blond bitch! God, I want to scream.
“Follow me!” I hear hissing behind me and nearly turn around and deck the source of the voice. It’s Gerald, and he’s walking fast, not waiting for me to catch up. He’s pissed. I guess I better follow him. The fuckers are probably trying to find a way to arrest me for extremely harsh and threatening language. I fall in step behind him as we walk down this long corridor, through a set of utility doors and into an elevator in the back of the hospital. I remember this elevator… only, I was coming from it the last time I saw it, I think.
Gerald hits a button and taps a code and a few moments later, the elevator arrives. It’s large like a freight elevator and the lighting inside is green. We get inside and the elevator starts to rise. When the doors open, I remember the last time I was in the elevator. When I brought Butterfly here in Charlie Tango. We’re on the roof.
I breathe a welcome lung-full of cold, fresh air. I don’t think I breathed since I realized that bitch was in my office. Oh God, all the ways that this could have turned out… Butterfly could have been hurt. I could be dead, and Jason… Jason got shot! Oh God, this woman must be stopped.
“Christian, you can’t do that again,” Gerald huffs. I look up at him through non-seeing eyes. “You can’t threaten someone in front of a cop. Hell, two cops.” He throws his hands up and walks away from me. “Dammit Christian, if something happens to that woman…” he turns back to face me. “I know how serious this is. Really—I know how serious this is, but you can’t do that, Man!” Gerald scolds, loudly clapping the back of one hand to the palm of the other. “I can’t protect you if anything happens to that woman. They’re coming for you, Christian. If a mosquito lands on that woman the wrong way, they’re coming for you.” I know that he means well, and I hear him… but I can’t hear him.
“I want to see her,” I say flatly. His head snaps over to me.
“Ana?” he asks.
“Lincoln,” I respond. His brow furrows and he frowns fiercely.
“Are you insane?” he asks, furiously. “You wouldn’t be able to get within 40 feet of that room.”
“I can if you help me,” I say to him.
“Oh, hell no. No way in hell am I letting you near her,” he says.
“I won’t hurt her in this hospital,” I tell him, “but I need to see her.”
“For what?” he barks.
“To have my say.”
“What the fuck can you possibly have to say to that woman right now? No. No, you’re not getting near her.”
“That woman almost killed me, Gerald!” I yell, nearly out of control. “She shot my best friend! I have something to say to her and goddammit, I’m going to say it! Now are you going to help me or do I have to do this alone?” His eyes narrow as he examines me before he shakes his head.
“Fucking asshole,” he says before walking back to the elevator.
She’s lying in the bed, both of her hands in restraints. She looks like hell. Good. Hell is too good for this bitch. She looks to be asleep. The closer I get to her bed, the more I feel the anger boiling up in me. I’m a few feet from her bed when she rolls her head over and catches a glimpse of me. She focuses her eyes and a smile spreads across her face.
“Christian,” she says, weakly. “I knew you would come.” Even now, she’s still delusional—tied to a bed after she tried to kill me, she thinks I’m here for her. As I look at her, I can see nothing but her demise.
“I called you ‘friend’ once,” I say, coldly. Her face falls. “I was even intimate with you once upon a time. I desired you. I gave my body to you… and my mind. I gave you free reign over it, and in the process, you lost yours. You taught me some very valuable lessons, Elena, but you didn’t learn them yourself. You lost control—completely lost control—and look at you now, tied to a bed like a sub. How does it feel, Mistress?” I hiss. I walk closer to her and she leans away from me. Good, you should be afraid, Bitch, because I want to cause you exquisitely excruciating pain right now until you go insane from the agony!
“I hate you,” I growl. Her face turns completely white… well, white under the bruises. “I hate you with the kind of burning, searing, all-consuming hatred that rises up out of your body and strikes people down in a 10-mile radius. All I see is a snarling, blood-sucking, hideous beast before me, and every cell in my body hates every cell in yours.
“I. Will. Kill. You.” My voice is such a fearsome growl that I scare myself. “The only reason why I am not taking your miserable life at this moment is because there are too many damn witnesses in this hospital. You better hope they lock you up. You better PRAY that they send you to jail, because if they don’t, I will find you. I will find you the moment you step foot out of this hospital and I will kill you myself. I promise you that I will be there the second that you walk out of this building. The very moment that they release you and you walk through those doors, you’re going to look up and see my face—and if you’re not in handcuffs, you better start running.
“I want you dead. I want you dead so badly that I could kill you with my bare hands and then bust a nut all over your grave. I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure they lock you up for a long, long time. If you ever do get free, the very first day that you breathe fresh air as a free woman, I’ll be waiting for you. I will chase you to the very ends of the earth just so that I can have the pleasure of ridding this realm of your presence myself. The world will be a better place without you, and one way or another, I’m going to make sure that happens.”
I didn’t realize I had closed the space between us and now, I am a breath away from her terrified face. She is trembling and her face is wet with tears—and I feel nothing but pure and utter, soul-searing hatred for this wretched creature before me. I hate her with a loathing that I have never felt for another human being in my entire life, not even the crack whore or her pimp. I ache to snap her scrawny little neck right now and rid the world of her presence, but something pulls me back.
Butterfly’s words—don’t do anything to ruin our future.
It takes every bit of self-control in my body and mind to pull myself away from her without killing her. The angry beast in me is snarling to get free, to rip her limb from limb and leave her a bloody mangled mess in the middle of this bed, but I achingly back away from her, scowling the whole time and nearly praying for her to lunge at me so that I can catapult her ass out of one of these windows to the concrete below.
I step out of the room and face Gerald. I know he wants to know what I said, but I can’t even mimic that kind of intensity and hatred now that I am out of the room and away from her presence.
“I’m going to see Butterfly then I need to check on Jason.” He nods at me and, without a word, I’m off to find my reason for breathing.
Butterfly was never released from the ER and when I get downstairs, she’s sitting on the edge of the bed wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a hooded flannel jacket and a pair of sneakers. She looks like a teenager.
“How’s Jason?” she asks, her eyes full of concern.
“I don’t know yet,” I admit. “The last I checked, he was still in surgery. The bullet hit him square between the humeral head and the glenoid fossa. They don’t know how much damage it did before it took a right turn and grazed the subclavian artery. I should really get back up there and see how he’s doing.” Butterfly gasps then nods. Gerald is running his hands over his face and Allen looks like we’re speaking Greek… which we probably are.
“The bullet hit him right in the major joint of his shoulder,” Butterfly explains to him. “They will have to see if it rips his shoulder off, which could result in a shoulder replacement. Because I don’t use sissy ammo in my gun, it has most likely shattered Jason’s shoulder before it ricochet off the bone and punctured the subclavian artery, which is the artery that runs directly off the heart and feeds the other arteries of the body.” She turns to me. “That’s why he was bleeding so fast.”
I nod. Gerald has already told me that Jason’s quick thinking has saved my life in more ways than one with the least amount of damage possible under the circumstances. With a shattered fucking shoulder, I don’t see how this is the least amount of damage, but hey—nobody’s dead. It could have been much worse, because Butterfly’s “non-sissy ammo” normally results in a “through-and-through,” which means that even though it hit Jason, it could have kept going and hit me. That’s also why it did so much inner damage bouncing around inside him. He simultaneously lunged in front of me and pushed me out of the way, which is why he took me down after he was hit. The momentum of the lunge would have caused me to fall anyway.
I look over at Butterfly and she’s trembling. I lift her off the bed and hold her in my arms. She seems so tiny right now… even tinier than usual.
“Where’s Gail?” she asks, her voice thick with tears.
“She’s on the OR floor waiting for news about Jason. I think I’m going to arrange for Charlie Tango to get us out of here when we are ready to go home. The vultures are all over the place and we’ve already had one hell of a day.”
“Where is that bitch?” she hisses, her whole body shaking with anger as she says the word.
“She’s shackled in a room on the other end of the hospital recovering from her injuries,” I tell her. “I went to see her.” Butterfly’s eyes shoot up to mine, hurt and questioning. “I wished her dead. I let her know that the moment she breathes her first breaths of fresh air as a free woman that I’m going to personally snatch it out of her body, and I don’t care who knows.”
Butterfly’s expression goes from hurt to concerned and she throws her arms around me, pulling me close to her body again.
“I want to see Gail,” she says softly. I nod as I inhale the fragrance from her hair. “I could have lost you today,” she whispers. “For one terrifying moment, I thought my whole life had ended. I couldn’t even see going on without you. When that gun went off…” She squeezes me harder and I return the embrace. “I don’t know what happened, Christian,” she weeps into my neck. “I heard that shot and I felt my soul separate from my body… then I don’t remember what happened next. It’s completely blank… completely… like I was asleep…” She’s afraid, I can tell. She’s worried about losing those precious minutes after the gunshot.
“It’s not uncommon for someone to blackout during a traumatic situation.” I hear an unfamiliar voice behind me saying to Butterfly. I turn around to see a doctor come into the room looking at a chart that I assume is Butterfly’s. “Extreme emotion can cause the brain to protect itself even if the body continues to function. I can run an MRI if you are concerned, but honestly, I don’t think that you need to be.”
Butterfly looks over my shoulder at the doctor with no recognition. “Oh, I’m sorry. I’m Dr. Valentine. You haven’t seen me because you really didn’t need me. The interns cleaned you up and gave you your tetanus shot. It looks like you have a bit of a sprain, but that should be much better in a day or so. You’re going to ache a bit, but for the most part, I hope the other guy looks worse because you’ll be just fine.” Butterfly nods.
“Thank you, Dr. Valentine,” she says.
“I can give you something for pain if you like, but ibuprofen should do you just fine,” he adds. She shakes her head.
“No need for that,” she says. “I’m numb anyway.”
“Well, you’ve got some nasty scratches so just keep those clean. Come back in a few days and we’ll look at those stitches.” Butterfly nods as Dr. Valentine hands her discharge instructions.
“I want to see Gail,” she says again.
It’s been six hours. Butterfly is literally curled up in a chair holding Gail’s hand. I can’t keep still. I keep seeing the look on Butterfly’s face and then the flash from the gun, having no idea what had happened and briefly thinking to myself that this wicked woman ultimately won. I’m trying to figure out how I will ever be able to make this up to Jason… or to Gail… or to Butterfly. This woman is a pestilence, and my only regret is that she didn’t actually get the chance to make good on her promise to take her own life…
…but I vow on everything that I hold dear that I will make her wish that she had.
Mom and Dad have been through here once or twice—Dad to make sure that I hadn’t said anything else stupid to the police and Mom because she was on duty this afternoon when they brought us all in. Lawrence and one of the new guys went out to get something edible for us and some decent coffee since I hate hospital food. Allen is sticking around to keep us company and in case the police come back.
“Six years,” Gail says softly. “For six years, he tried to prepare me for this. He tried to tell me that it could happen… and then I got that call. Getting here was the most terrifying few minutes of my life.” She shakes her head. “I tried to tell myself that everything was okay, that I wasn’t going through losing my love… again… but it was so scary–so, so scary. I hate that woman.” She looks up at Butterfly with eyes dripping with tears and anger. “I’ve never wished anyone dead in my life, but I wish that woman was dead!” She bursts into tears and falls into Butterfly’s arms.
“You are not alone,” I say under my breath.
We all look up simultaneously at a very tired looking man in dark green scrubs. Gail stands and looks expectantly at him. “I’m Dr. Holmes. You husband is resting peacefully. The surgery went very well. I will tell you that it was touch and go for a moment due to the blood loss, but once we were able to stabilize him, it was smooth sailing. We quickly patched the pierced artery, removed the bullet and set the shoulder. He’s in a hard cast right now and he’s going to have some pain and discomfort, but that’s the worst of it. No permanent damage and no reconstruction. After some recovery time and a little therapy, he’ll be good as new.”
Gail releases a long breath and collapses again into Butterfly’s arms.
“When can she see him?” I ask the doctor.
“Let’s give him a little time to rest. I’d say about thirty minutes and the anesthesia should be wearing off, then you should be able to see him in recovery, but don’t stress him out and don’t let him stress himself out. I get the feeling from his muscle tone that he may have the tendency to be a little… intense.”
“So say the least,” Allen says under his breath. Butterfly gently leads Gail back to a seat where she weeps relieved tears. I swear I’ve left half of my hair volume on the waiting room floor and I am still wearing the suit stained with Jason’s blood. I am burning inside. I am fighting to combat the anger and hatred and lust for vengeance that I feel right now. I’m almost wanting to pray for these feelings to subside. I want to be wrapped in the warm and fuzzy that is Butterfly’s love, not this seething, searing, all-consuming hatred and fury that I feel right now.
“Um, Gail… I need to leave,” I mumble. Gail sniffles and looks up at me.
“W-what?” she says in disbelief. Even Butterfly is glaring at me.
“I… want to get some things in place for Jason’s recovery. I want to make sure that the two of you have everything that you need. Will you want some time off to spend time with him… to make sure his recovery is on track?” Butterfly knows me well enough to know that I’m shooting bull from my ears, but Gail is too distraught to put two and two together.
“Oh! Christian… y-you’re wonderful. Thank you… yes… Yes, I’ll need… some time off. I don’t know how much, yet but…” I put up my hand to silence her.
“Think nothing of it. I’ll be back very shortly, okay?” I say with a forced smile. She smiles back.
“Thank you, Christian,” she whispers. I nod and escape Butterfly’s glare. I need to put some things in motion, but at this moment, there’s something I need to do. First, I find my way to the officer guarding Lincoln’s door.
“Is there any indication when she will be released?” I ask the female guard at her door.
“I can’t tell you that information, Sir,” she replies. I roll my eyes.
“Fine. Then get on your walkie talkie or your phone or whatever you need to do and contact Detective Fischer. Tell him that Christian Grey is on his way back to his apartment at Escala and that he is still wearing the blood-stained suit from the crime scene. Let him know that he has exactly 20 minutes to meet me at my apartment and retrieve the suit if he wants it as evidence or he can retrieve it from Escala’s trash.” I turn around without a word and walk away from her.
What the hell is he doing? He thinks I don’t know by now when something is cooking in that brain of his? Shit! If I weren’t holding Gail together, I would follow him and force him to tell me what the hell is going on. I throw a look at Al and he just shrugs. Oh, you’re no help…
Several minutes later, Gail and I are in the ICU standing over Jason. I hate the hum and beep of these machines. You always hear them go crazy right before someone dies. Then there’s that terrible long beep… and then silence… I fucking hate these damn machines.
“Jason!” Gail gasps quietly, pulling my attention from the humming and beeping. I look down at Jason and his eyes are fluttering in her direction.
“Hello, Love,” he says weakly to his wife, and her tears start anew.
“H-hi…” she croaks, pulling his hand to her face. “You scared me.”
“I know,” he whispers. “I’m sorry.” They sharing a loving smile and his head turns over to me. “Your Highness.”
“Jason,” I say trying to keep from crying and failing miserably. “You’re fired,” I add before bursting into tears. He groans a weak laugh.
“I know,” he replies. “He’s out walking… or running somewhere, isn’t he?” I shrug and shake my head simultaneously.
“I don’t know where he is,” I croak. Jason nods.
“That’s… where he is… don’t worry… he’ll be back… when he’s ready.” He takes a deep breath and lets it out, closing his eyes.
“Jason?” Gail says, panic lacing her voice.
“I’m still here, Love,” he says without opening his eyes. Seeing him so weak, knowing that we almost lost him… it’s more than I can take.
“You’re an idiot, Jason,” I say through my tears, “a crazy, deranged, careless, impulsive, wonderful, magnificent, idiot!” I hold on to the railing and weep. This whole thing is getting to be too much for me. I’m going to die from the stress that is my life now… and I was supposed to be meeting dress designers tomorrow. That shit is out…
“Flattery will get you nowhere, Your Highness,” he says and we burst into gentle, nervous laughter.
It’s several hours later before I see Christian again. He has changed clothes and he’s wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. He looks a little like the Angel of Death again. I want to ask him where he’s been, but it’s clear to see that he has been taking care of business. Not only are the hospital staff scrambling to get a second comfortable bed set up in Jason’s recovery room for Gail, but Chuck and Welch are both flanking him wherever he goes, that is until they get to me and now Chuck is flanking me. I guess it’s safe to say that he’s back on the payroll. I’ll have to ask him how that came about.
He looks a lot less stressed than he did before… more focused but still as intense as ever. Al apparently had strict instructions to keep me at the hospital until Christian returned. He tells me that Christian has put together several pieces of the puzzle and he wants to share them with me later. I must admit that I’m feeling a little nervous.
Two of the security detail are going to stay at the hospital with Gail and Jason while Al and the others leave out the front door to distract the press. Christian and I along with Ben and Chuck are going to escape via Charlie Tango the moment she lands on the roof.
“Where is She-Thing?” I ask. I haven’t heard anything about her all night and I still don’t recall our cat fight that left her unconscious and me needing stitches and bandages.
“She’s gone,” Christian says. “In custody. She left in cuffs about 20 minutes ago. She’s headed to the county jail tonight and then Gig Harbor to the women’s prison to await trial since she violated the conditions of her bail.”
“Yeah, I’d say attempted murder is a definitely bail violation!” I spit. “It’s bothering me that I can’t remember my altercation with Skankasaurus Rex,” I add. Hmm, a new nickname.
“Well, Dr. Valentine says that your MRI is okay, so it will come back to you when it’s ready,” he says.
“How do you know She-Thing is going to Gig Harbor?” I ask him.
“Gerald told me. I don’t think Fischer likes me, which is okay because I don’t really like him either—but that’s no indicator because I don’t like many cops.” I don’t respond to that last revelation since they aren’t my best friends either. “I watched her perp walk, so I know that she’s gone. Now I just want to get you home.” I can’t argue with that logic either.
It’s basically a hop and a skip from the hospital to Escala in Charlie Tango. It took more time to take off and land than it did to fly the distance between the two. That had to be the most expensive taxi ride ever!
I take off my shoes when we get back to the penthouse. This whole day has been a wash, because I can’t remember what happened during most of it. Even my David Tutera experience is drawing a blank right now. I go to the kitchen, look in the little drawer at the bottom of the refrigerator, and locate one of Gail’s magic teabags. I knew that I would need it, but I just don’t know where yet. Looking at my reflection in the guest mirror off the guest bedroom, I would have to say that my right cheek needs it most. There’s quite a bit of bruising there but nothing like the kidnapping fiasco, so I would probably only need it for one night. As I head back to the kitchen to find something to eat, my phone rings and I see Ray’s number.
“Daddy?” I say, answering the phone.
“Annie? Goddammit, Annie!” Oh, he’s mad. “You leave town for nearly a month and I find out that you’re back because of a shoot-out? Are you trying to give me a damn heart attack?” Shit! I didn’t call anyone and tell them I was back. I got… caught up in other things.
“I’m sorry, Dad,” I say like the chastised child that I am. “It wasn’t a shoot-out, Daddy… it was a shooting…”
“Technicalities! There was a gun present!” he snaps. I sigh.
“Yes, Daddy… there was a gun present.” I don’t bother telling him that it was my stolen gun. That would be a whole different lecture.
“Don’t you take that tone with me, Anastasia Rose Steele!” Oh shit. Time to shut up. “You sneak out of town. You worry all the people who love you to death. We don’t know where you are or if another psycho has gotten his hands on you. Yes, Christian made a dumb move, but yours was dumber! What’s gotten into you that you would just run off like that and not tell anyone where you were?” I don’t respond. “Do you think I’m talking to hear myself talk, Young Lady?” Fuck, I’m being scolded.
“I was hurt, Daddy…” I begin.
“That’s not an excuse to hurt everybody around you, Annie! Your friends were upset. I was worried. Christian’s an asshole for that decision he made, but he was still beside himself, and Mandy… did you forget that she’s going to be delivering a baby soon?” He is in full-fledged father mode.
“No, I didn’t forget,” I whimper.
“Then what were you thinking? Huh?” I’m silent again. “That’s a question, Annie!”
“What do you want me to say, Dad? I told you I was hurt…”
“And that doesn’t give you the right to forget about all the people who care about you and go running off to God knows where. Didn’t all of those college books you read teach you any better than that? Didn’t I teach you any better than that?” Now, I am silent. Nothing that I say is going to be good enough. I get that I hurt Daddy and Christian and everybody else, but today has been just too much for me.
My father goes off on me for a full 25 minutes without taking a breath about having consideration for others’ feelings and facing up to my problems instead of running away all the time. I know that he’s right, but it’s like I told Christian—it’s not just black and white. There are lots of gray areas, too. Maybe that’s why I fell in love with him. He’s like my father in that they both have a hard time seeing things outside the box—and that’s the only way that I have ever been able to live.
If everything was always just black and white for me, I would have been like Christian’s crack-addicted mother… or I would be a promiscuous heart-breaker destroying men left and right… or a gold-digger looking for nothing but money out of men… or a broken-hearted and lonely recluse unwilling to let anyone near me. Most likely, though, I would have been dead because I would have committed suicide a long time ago from all the things that have happened to me.
I don’t bother trying to explain any of this to him. When he’s this angry, he can’t hear anything that you say. This is compounded by the fact that I haven’t called anybody but Allen and Tammy since I’ve been back. It simply slipped my mind that I didn’t call Daddy. He’s right, it was very selfish of me… all of it, but it doesn’t make the words hurt any less. He goes on and on, berating me about my bad decisions and actions, while I lean against the kitchen sink and let the tears fall silently down my face.
My father hasn’t been angry with me in years. Years! Right now, I really don’t know how to handle it. I’m reverting back to my 12-year-old self, being scolded for staying down by the lake past dark and all the crazies that could have snatched me along the road during my walk home. Just like then, there was nothing I could say to him about knowing every single person in the small corner of Montesano and being able to get to safety if needed. Hell, the whole town is 10 ½ square miles! But no, Daddy had a point to be made, and I had to stand there and take it. Just like then, I hate it when my father yells at me.
Christian comes out of… wherever he was, and stops on the other side of the breakfast bar.
“Butterfly?” he says, his voice questioning. I wipe the tears from my face with my free hand before putting it up to silence him without raising my head. I know that Daddy is finished with this part of his lecture when he barks, “Do you understand me!?”
“Yes, Sir,” I say softly. These words and tone bring different reactions from my two men. Daddy gets quiet on the other end and in a moment, Christian has strode around the breakfast bar–or leapt over it, I don’t know which–and across the kitchen to see who has brought this reaction out in me. He snatches the phone from my hand.
“No!” I protest uselessly as he puts the phone to his ear.
“Who is this!?” he barks. His face falls immediately. “Oh… Ray… I’m sorry. It’s just that Ana is standing here in the kitchen crying and—is something wrong? Did something happen?” I wish he hadn’t told Ray that. After several moments of silence, he says, “Oh… well, I’m sorry that I interrupted your conversation. It’s just… well… I’m sorry.” I wipe more tears from my eyes as Christian hands me the phone.
“Yes?” I say, my voice cracking.
“I’ll… talk to you tomorrow, Annie,” is all that he can say.
“Okay,” I squeak.
“Bye.” I end the call and toss my phone on the counter. It bounces with a loud clatter and I could care less if it’s broken.
“Are you okay, Butterfly?” Christian adds. I nod. “Do you want to talk about it?” Talk about what—the fact that my father just reamed me a new asshole? No thanks. I shake my head. “Do you want to be alone right now?”
“Do you mind?” I ask softly without raising my head. He puts his hands on my shoulders.
“Of course not,” he says kissing my forehead. “I’ll be in my study. You’ll let me know if you need me?” I nod. He kisses me again and goes to his study. I walk to our bathroom and quickly fill the tub with bubble bath—which one, I don’t know. I shed my clothes and sink down into the tub, thinking about everything my father just said to me…
“You need to deal with your problems better than this instead of hiding all the time. Life is not easy for any of us, Annie, but we don’t all have the luxury of running away and hiding every time the going gets rough, not to mention that it makes you look like a coward. Did you forget that’s how that sicko got a hold of you last year… because you were running away?”
A coward—yeah, in your black and white world, I’m a coward, Daddy. I’m sure that a lot of people would agree with you. I should have just stood there and argued with him while my heart was shredded so badly that I couldn’t form a coherent sentence. Oh, or better yet, stay here in the apartment with him but give him the silent treatment like I did with Flynngate because—once again—my heart was hurting so badly that I couldn’t form a coherent sentence. No use in telling him that I wasn’t running away, that I just needed time to myself. Although he’s right—I can’t run away from my problems—he also needs to understand that sometimes you just need to be alone. There’s that gray area… Like many people, my father wouldn’t be able to hear that I WAS FUCKING HURTING—BUMPING INTO WALLS CAN’T KEEP ANYTHING DOWN CAN’T SEE IN FRONT OF MY FACE SOMEBODY GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE HURTING!
However, like so many others, Daddy will look you in the face after you try to explain to him that you were suffering from blinding pain and say “Yeah, I understand that but…”
There is no fucking but! I was dying in my own pain and quite frankly, I don’t care what Daddy or anybody else has to say about it… I couldn’t stay here! Of course, I couldn’t say that to Daddy, now could I?
“I don’t think you’ve ever really dealt with your issues. You’re shocked and stunned and taking off every time the storms come!”
No shit! When did this little realization hit you, Daddy? I’m a shrink seeing a shrink, for Christ’s sake! I carry three guns… well, two… and I ball up into a roly-poly when the world gets scary, assuming I don’t check out completely. What would ever give you the idea that I haven’t dealt with my issues? I’m the first person that would tell you that I have more issues than most and that I haven’t dealt with them, especially since most of them are rearing their ugly heads right now… all at the same time!
“I don’t know how your job works, but you must be good at it to be so successful and to have a waiting list so long. Mandy told me that you helped her a lot when she told you about the baby—yet you were outside bawling that same night because you wanted to Christian to marry you. You seem to know the right thing to say to other people, but not to yourself. What I want to know is how you can help everyone else so well and not take your own advice.”
Oh, Daddy, is it really that much of a mystery? In what perfect world do you live in where everyone takes their own advice? I’d love to do that, Daddy. I’d love to be perfectly balanced and let go of all the issues that plague me in my daily life. I’d love to look at all of my fears, insecurities, and mishaps and say “Hey, I went to school for this—this is what I need to do” and just be able to fix it. Don’t you know that as a therapist, you have to be a little over the cuckoo’s nest in order to listen to these people? However, apparently, I’m not allowed to be a little unstable or unbalanced like every other human being alive because I am a head doctor. A surgeon can’t perform surgery on herself but I’m supposed to be able to shrink my own head and make everything all better.
I accept that I have made some decisions that I should have known better than to make, but I get so tired of hearing narrow-minded people—Daddy included—question my ability as a therapist because I am able to separate myself from someone else’s problem and help them with their issues, but because my problems are my own and I can’t separate myself from those issues, then I need someone else to help me with mine. Since when did being a therapist mean that I’m not allowed to have problems? And since when did having problems mean that I’m not a good therapist?
“Mandy tells me that Christian was pulling his hair out worrying about you. Did you think about his feelings? I was angry at him and so was everyone else. Did you think about that before you left? Didn’t you know that everyone would attack him and hold him responsible?”
As a matter of fact, no, Dad. I didn’t. I didn’t even think about my feelings, Dad. If I had, I would have driven that damn Tahoe off one of those damn mountains and ended it all. Why can’t you see that in the game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” emotions beat logic? There is no thinking involved here, Dad. My only concern was to burst out of the pain bubble and breathe! As far as everyone being mad at Christian, that’s not my fault! I can’t control how other people treat him! This wasn’t some intricate plot to make Christian out to be the bad guy. I’ve never made Christian out to be a horrible person! I have only painted him in a good light to everyone that I know. I have only talked about the wonderful person that he is and all the marvelous strides that he’s made, including to my shrink! But when we have a fight, people are going to choose sides. Surprise—that’s life! It’s not my fault if my friends choose my side! I hate that they shut him out… again… but I didn’t do that. Even you were mad at him, Dad, and that’s my fault because I was suffocating in grief and had to clear my head? Okay—whatever. By all means, blame me for how other people reacted—including you! Yeah, sure… that was totally my fault.
Of course, I can’t say that to my father.
“I don’t know many men—much less many billionaires—who would put their lives on hold while the woman who claims to love them tries to get her stuff together.”
Oh, really, Daddy? You mean like I waited for him and supported him through the changes that he had to make in his life? Just because my transition seems to be taking longer than his—partially because I had to change therapists—my waiting for him through his transitions doesn’t mean anything anymore? No, I’m not perfect. In fact, I’ve made it pretty clear that I’m fucked up! However, although my man has made many, many changes in his life and throughout our relationship, I have supported him in his changes and I have waited for him to make decisions that he felt was right. What in the hell is wrong with expecting him to accept my crazy just like I accepted his? I wish to GOD that I could be all whole and healed as quickly as Christian can—sorry, but I can’t! Take it or leave it!
I sink down into the bathtub, submerging my head in the water and the bubbles. I just had an entire conversation with my Dad in my head that I dare not have with him aloud. I wonder how many other people feel like I’m so damn selfish for hurting and being fucked up? How many other people really think I’m so wrong for considering my own pain before Christian’s? When the oxygen mask falls from the ceiling on an airplane, aren’t the instructions to put the mask on your own face first before trying to help anyone else? So when I hurt and I am floundering, I’m a selfish bitch for trying to stop my own pain before being concerned about someone else’s, including the all-powerful, oh-so-wonderful, made-every-change-in-the-world-for-me Christian Grey?
But of course, I can’t say that to my father.
I look into the face of the man who has given me nightmares for several years now… Anton Myrick is his name. Yeah, his son is the spitting image of him. I don’t know how I didn’t see it before, and neither of these fuckers look like me, thank God. I can only guess that the crack whore must have had a thing for gingers considering that this fucker’s hair is almost orange and I have a color combination that is mostly red muted by brown. I’ve never pondered the thought of who my real father was. I didn’t care. He didn’t want me and that’s all that mattered. This picture put something else to rest for me, though. The DNA test only proved that Junior Myrick wasn’t my brother. It didn’t necessarily prove that the pimp wasn’t my father. Looking at his mugshot side by side with Robin’s, there is no mistaking that these two are father and son, clearing all of my concerns that the pimp could possibly be my father.
Myrick is currently serving a term in Ionia Correctional Facility in Michigan. His first sentence was for possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance and was only for five years total. He would have been out in three and a half, but he was caught dealing in jail and got another 10 years added to his sentence. How the hell do you deal drugs in jail? I don’t even want to know.
That additional 10 years to his sentence means that he had to serve out the full 15. This also means that he would have been eligible for release some time last year. Yet, he still serving yet another stint for aggravated assault on a prison guard. How the hell does his loony ass son seem to think any of this shit is my fault?
My thoughts have been broken several times by the unmistakable sounds of a saxophone coming from the kitchen. Butterfly’s ringtone is Dr. Sax, so I know that her phone is ringing and she has abandoned it on the kitchen counter. I walk into the kitchen to see who is calling, but the saxophone stops as I pass the breakfast bar. I pick up the phone.
Two calls from Ray.
One from Maxine.
One from Valerie.
The phone rings again, and now it’s Allen. We have established that it was okay to answer each others’ phone after the Anguilla incident, so I slide my finger over the screen and answer it.
“Hey, Allen.” There is a momentary silence.
“Chris… did I call you by accident?” I can imagine him looking at his phone.
“No, you called Jewel,” I say to him. He chuckles.
“That sounds so funny coming out of your mouth,” he says. Yes, I must admit that it does. “How are you guys doing?”
“Not so good,” I tell him. “I’m answering her phone because she left it on the kitchen counter. She must have had some kind of fight with Ray. I came in here and she was crying on the phone with him. Then she left her phone in the kitchen and has wandered off to parts unknown.”
“Hmm…” He pauses again. “That doesn’t sound good.”
“Let me see if I can find her. Her phone’s been ringing like crazy…”
I go straight to our bedroom and there’s no sign of her, but there is a strong fragrance of my Armani body wash.
What the hell…?
I quietly open the door to the en suite and see a bathtub full of bubbles, but no Butterfly. Did she use the shower gel as bubble bath? I begin to step inside when the sight of her emerging from the bubbles and pushing her wet hair out of her face stops me in my tracks. She lies her head back on the tub, never opening her eyes… and yes, she did use my Armani shower gel as bubble bath. I quietly back out of the bathroom and silently shut the door.
“Allen, activate the contingency. Tell everybody that she doesn’t need to be disturbed tonight. She’s in bad shape.”
“Um… okay, but why the contingency and what makes you think she’s in bad shape?” he asks.
“Contingency because Valerie and Maxine have already called. She’s in bad shape because she’s using shower gel as bubble bath.”
“That doesn’t seem like a cause for concern, Chris.”
“She used my Armani,” I add. He pauses.
“Well, not the worst that could happen but I guess she could use some peace. Why don’t you just activate the contingency?” I was afraid he would ask that. Like a savior—but not—Ray calls again on Butterfly’s phone. I step out of the bedroom so that there’s no chance that she can hear me.
“Ray’s calling again. Please activate the contingency,” I tell him. He sighs. He’s been around me long enough to know that there’s more, but he won’t push it.
“Okay. Tell her to call me tomorrow… early.”
“I will. Bye.” I switch over and answer Ray’s call. “Hi, Ray.” There is another pause and I can see him in my head looking at his phone, too.
“Hi… Christian. Did I call you by mistake?” I shake my head. I guess it’s strange for someone else to answer Butterfly’s phone.
“No, it’s But… Ana’s phone. She left it on the kitchen counter.”
“Oh. Left it?” He doesn’t want to ask, so I’ll let him off the hook.
“Yes, she’s in the bath.” There is another pause. “Look, Ray, I apologize again for interrupting your call earlier. I wasn’t trying to be rude or anything. She was just crying and, well, I’m sure that you understand.”
“I do, Son. Don’t worry about it. In fact, I was calling to apologize to her. I was kinda hard on her. I mean, I meant what I said… but I can be a little rough in my delivery. Hell, I didn’t mean to make her cry. I don’t think I’ve made Annie cry in 10 or 15 years.” I can hear the contrition in his voice and I understand what he’s saying, but I have to think about Annie tonight.
“I got you, Ray. I’ll tell her that you called when she gets out of the bath. You know that cell phones and water don’t mix.” I laugh. I’m not giving the phone to her right now even if she wasn’t in the bath. This way, she can make the decision to call him back if she wants. “Is that okay?”
“Oh, yeah… sure, that’s fine. Yeah, I dropped my phone in some water a couple of months ago. I tried everything to fix it… letting it sit for a couple of days, that rice trick… I finally just chucked the damn thing and got a new one,” he laughs nervously. “Just… give her my message, Christian. Okay?”
“I will, Ray,” I assure him. “I don’t know how long she’s been in there, but I imagine that it shouldn’t be much longer…”
“It’s fine. No matter how late it is, tell her to call me back.” His voice is slightly pleading.
“I’ll be sure to tell her,” I say.
“Okay. Goodnight, Christian.”
“Goodnight, Ray.” I end the call. Damn! What did he say to her? He’s nearly begging for her to call him back. Then again, she was crying. It must have been pretty rough. I turn around and go back to the en suite.
She’s as still as a statue, the bubbles near her breast dissipating with every breath.
“Butterfly?” I say softly. No response. “Butterfly?” She’s asleep. I quickly call Ray back.
“Annie?” he answers on the first ring.
“No, Ray, it’s Christian again,” I say just above a whisper. “Ana has fallen asleep in the bathtub. I’m going to get her out of here before she catches cold, but I just wanted to call you back and let you know just in case she didn’t call you back tonight.” There’s a pause.
“Oh! Oh, okay. Thanks, Christian.”
“If she doesn’t wake up and call you tonight, I’ll tell her first thing in the morning. To be honest, I’d count on the morning.”
“Yeah, me too,” he relents. “When Annie’s upset, she either sleeps like a log or she doesn’t sleep at all. Goodnight, Christian. Thanks again.”
“Goodnight, Ray.” I put her phone on the nightstand and go back to the en suite to retrieve my sleeping beauty from her Armani bath.
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Love and Handcuffs!