Okay, so I have realized that no matter how much of yourself and your heart that you put into something, someone is still going to pick it apart, tear it up, and find something conceptually wrong with it. To that end, I have decided that I’m going to DO MY BEST to just not respond to it anymore after this. I put a lot of research and work into my story and I find that someone will still read it and find that date where I said sunset occurred at 5:27pm one day in Seattle and it actually occurred at 5:21pm.
If you can’t just read the story and enjoy it, please leave. Although I do try to make the story as realistic and fact-based as possible, please remember that this is actually supposed to be AN ENTERTAINING WORK OF FICTION! Just like in real life, a billionaire sadist most likely will not fall in love with a virgin and get married in three months, some of the stuff in my story may or may not be something that will happen in real life. GET OVER IT! Enjoy the story or move on… please… you‘re killing my muse here!
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 45—Baby Blues
I’ve been sweating buckets to find out which of my subs could be showing up with a baby and who the fuck do I see sitting in the conference room but Katherine fucking Kavanaugh. I was so sure that it was one of my subs that I didn’t even bother to ask for a description of the woman who was asking for me. I don’t know whether to breathe a sigh of relief or slap the shit out her. How could she not tell us that she was pregnant?
“Christian, what’s going on? What’s wrong?”
“Don’t ask, just get down here. How fast can you be here?”
“Um, 10 minutes. You’re scaring me, Bro.”
“Trust me, you should be. Get over here.”
“Stop fucking asking me questions and get your ass down here!” I end the call and walk over to Kavanaugh. Her face is paler than usual and she looks like she hasn’t gotten any sleep. No doubt, the baby is keeping her up at night.
“Why now?” I ask. She frowns.
“What?” she says.
“Why now?” I bark. “Why didn’t you show up when you found out that you were pregnant? Why are you showing up now—at my office, while I’m planning my wedding?”
“I… I’ve been calling Elliot for months!” she protests.
“For lunch!” I snap. “This isn’t lunch! This is a baby! A fucking life, for God’s sake. What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re obviously here because you think Elliot is the father, and you didn’t think he deserved to know that you were carrying his child? To see his child be born?”
“I tried to tell him,” she cries.
“You didn’t try hard enough!” I spit. “You wanted the shock value. Congratulations, you’re going to get it. What’s wrong with you? Are you really that much of a harpy that you would put my brother through something like this?”
“I’m not trying to hurt him, I swear, Christian,” she pleads. “I’m here to tell him, because…”
“Because what? What stopped you from telling him all these months? What made you decide that he didn’t deserve to be in the loop for the development of his own child?”
“Because I don’t know if he’s the father!” she spit. I freeze. What the ever-loving fuck?
“You… what!?” I roar. I could rip this little scrawny, spiteful bitch limb from limb.
“I don’t know if he’s the father.” She’s weeping now. My anger is boiling to epic proportions.
“You are really some fucking piece of work, you know that?” I ask her. “Do you have any idea what you are about to put my brother through?”
“Yes, I do, and I’m sorry… really, I am…”
“The fuck you are! You don’t even know if the baby is his. My God, I don’t know how someone with a heart like his ever fell in love with someone like you!” I stomp around the room some more. “He has blond hair…”
“So do I. So does Roger.”
“Roger. That’s the name of the other guy you were fucking?” She raises shocked eyes to me.
“Elliot didn’t tell you?” she asks. Oh, now I’m horrified.
“He knew!?” I nearly shriek. She nods.
“That’s why we broke our engagement,” she says. “I was in love with both of them…”
“Oh, spare me the gory details!” I snap. “You were fucking my brother and this other asshole at the same time!?” She drops her head. “Oh, fuck me sideways!” I turn away from her. Every moment I am in the room with this woman is making me sicker and sicker. Hasn’t it been 10 minutes yet? “Where’s this asshole? Haven’t you told him yet, or are you holding out hope that Elliot is the father?”
“I have told him, but he won’t speak to me,” she says. I can’t help the laugh that escapes my chest.
“So basically, you break off your engagement with my brother—one of the best men you will probably ever find—for this loser. Now, you tell him that you might have his baby, and he leaves you high and dry and won’t even return your calls. Talk about Karma!” My laughter quickly turns to rage when I realize that this fucker was part of the reason that my brother’s heart was broken and now he won’t stand up to his responsibilities. “Give me your cell phone.”
“Your cell phone, give it to me.” She reaches into her purse and pulls out her cell phone. I go straight to her contacts and find Roger’s number. He’s the only “Roger” in her phone. I dial him from my blackberry.
“Is this Roger?” I bark.
“Yes, who is this?”
“Never mind who this is. You had unprotected sex with this woman and now this baby may be yours. Now you need to take a paternity test!”
“Oh, this must be Grey. What’s the matter—afraid it might be yours?”
“It can’t be mine, I never fucked her! You’ve got the wrong Grey!” The line is quiet.
“So this must be Christian Grey. You’re fighting your brother’s battles now?” he asks, his voice more subdued.
“This is not a battle to fight,” I hiss. “He doesn’t even know yet. He’s on his way down here now, and if this is his baby, he’s going to take care of it. You, on the other hand, are hiding somewhere like a little chicken shit afraid to come out and take responsibility for your actions.”
“Be that as it may, this is not my problem,” he says calmly.
“You fucked her, you son-of-a-bitch. Now get your ass out of whatever hellhole you’re hiding in and take this paternity test or I’ll come find you and drag you out myself!”
“Nope. No fucking way I’m linking myself to that shrew for 18 years. No way in hell. I don’t care who you send down here. You can send the fucking CIA if you want, I’m not doing it.”
“Well, you may not have a choice, you fucking deadbeat, because if that test comes back saying that my brother is not the father, she’s suing you for paternity. If you didn’t want to have a baby with her, you shouldn’t have fucked her without contraception. This is what happens, you idiot. I kind of hope my brother is the father, because I would hate for any kid to be stuck with a father like you!” I end the call and try to compose myself. I turn back around to Kate, who is rocking the baby in her arms to settle him.
“What do your parents say?” I ask.
“They’re… supportive. They agree that I need to find out who the father is, but they support my choice to keep him.” Her voice is meek now.
“How could you keep this from him?” I ask her. “Nine months—at least—and you kept this from him.” I turn my back to her.
“I tried to tell him,” she says.
“Lunch!” I hiss at the wall. “This is going to break him,” I lament dropping my head. I lean one hand against the wall. Poor Elliot. “He’s a good man with a good heart. You broke it once. You made him think you loved him and then you cheated on him and made his life miserable for it. He’s fallen in love with someone and is trying to put his life back together again, even though you’ve scarred him. Now, you show up with a baby and you don’t know who the father is. After the baby is born, after all of this time, after he’s trying to heal from the fucking damage that you’ve caused to his heart and mind, you show up with a baby that could be his.”
“I really tried to tell him.” She’s crying again.
“You keep telling yourself that, Kavanaugh!” I bark, still not facing her. “You keep telling yourself that for months, you called my brother and asked him to lunch—lunch—without telling him that there’s a possibility that he could be a father, and that’s the same as trying to tell him!” I take a deep breath. “If you think for one second that I’m going to allow you to hurt my brother again…” I turn around to face her, but stop mid-sentence when I see Elliot standing behind her staring at me. Apparently, neither of us heard him come in. Kavanaugh turns to look over her shoulder and freezes when she sees him. Elliot still hasn’t looked at her. He’s staring at me. I’m wondering how much of this conversation he has heard. Sorry, Lelliot, now is not the time for the stare game.
“Congratulations,” I say, solemnly, “it’s a boy.”
He finally breaks his gaze from me and turns it down to Kavanaugh. “What is his name?” he asks.
“Kevin,” she says. “Kevin William Kavanaugh.”
“Did I hear him correctly? There’s a possibility that this may be my child?” he says softly. Kavanaugh swallows.
“Yes,” she breathes.
“And what exactly do you expect me to do about it?” he says stoically. I frown. He’s not going to be like that fucking Roger guy, is he?
“Elliot…” I interject. He holds his hand up to silence me, but never takes his eyes off Kavanaugh. Fuck… Elliot has ever done that to me.
“Kate,” her name escapes his mouth like hot, bitter medicine, “what exactly do you expect me to do about it?”
“I was… I was hoping that…” She drops her head and hides behind the baby. Fuck. It’s all clear now. I know exactly what she was doing, and why she didn’t tell Elliot over the phone that he may be the father.
“How long has Roger known that you were pregnant?” I ask her. Elliot throws a death glare at me. “Yes, I know,” I hiss, “I talked to the asshole.” I look back at Kavanaugh. “Kavanaugh, how long?”
“He… um… a few months.” Oh hell, I was right.
“Were you trying to trap my brother with this kid?” I ask her. Tears burst from her eyes.
“I would never do that. I knew that you… that he would want a paternity test. I would never do that!” she protests.
“But if he saw you pregnant—possibly with his baby—at one of these lunches that you were trying to arrange…” I trail off. Realization comes to Elliot’s eyes and I just shake my head. “You knew! You knew that he would fall in love with that kid if there was even the slightest chance that it was his. That’s what you were counting on. You’re only here because you ran out of options. My God, you are a horrible chunk of flesh.” Welch is standing in the corner, ever silent and watching the show. Elliot draws himself up and takes a deep breath.
“I’ll be right back,” he says and walks out of the conference room. I have nothing else to say to this woman. I’ve seen worse, God knows I have, but she is really a conniving, selfish, human being and I don’t want to look at her. I sit at the opposite end of the conference table, take out my blackberry and start checking my emails. We sit in silence for about 15 minutes before she speaks.
“Where did he go?” she asks, her voice forlorn.
“I don’t know,” I say without raising my head from my blackberry, “but if you have any hope of finding out if he’s your ‘baby daddy,’ then you just want to wait quietly until he gets back.”
“You’re really a judgmental, pompous, arrogant asshole, Grey!” she hisses. She’s not even worthy as a sparring partner anymore. I still don’t raise my head.
“That may be true, but you’re the one sitting in my conference room trying to find out if your bastard baby has a father.” She gasps.
“Did you forget that you were born a ‘bastard baby,’ too?” I finally raise my head.
“No, I haven’t forgotten, which is why I would never try anything as sneaky, slimy, low-down, dirty, and rotten as what you’re doing now.” I hiss. “Do you want to continue with this conversation, because I’ve got a million of ‘em!” She finally decides that it would probably be best to sit in silence while we wait for Elliot. A few minutes later, he comes back into the conference room… with Valerie.
“This is Valerie Marshall,” he says, “my girlfriend. Anything said in this room will affect her as much as it affects me. I love her with all my heart and when I see any future, I see her. I won’t let anything jeopardize that. She came along when I was broken-hearted and confused and she put me back together again. She is all that I want and all that I will ever need and nothing and no one is going to change that. So whatever plans you may have had, you need to rethink them right now.” Valerie is a mix of enamored and confused by Elliot’s words. He turns to face her.
“Angel, this is Katherine Kavanaugh. You already know who she is. It turns out that she was trying to get in touch with me all these months because this may be my baby. I want you to know that if this is my baby, I will take care of it and I will be a father to my child, but it will change nothing—and I mean nothing—about how I feel for you. Will it change how you feel for me?” Valerie looks at Elliot, then at Kate, then the baby, then back at Elliot. She chokes back a sob, then nearly buckles to the floor. Elliot catches her in his arms and holds her close to him. “I only want you, Angel. I only love you,” he assures her. She mumbles something into his neck and he rubs her back. “Are you okay, Baby?” he asks her. She nods, but never releases him. Still holding her, he turns his attention back to Kavanaugh.
“We are having two paternity tests, one in a lab of your choosing and one in a lab of my choosing. When both tests come back with an agreeing result, I will believe that result. If this is my son, he will be a part of my life, my family’s life, and my girlfriend’s life. He will go to the best schools and I will actively raise him and spend time with him. I will not, however, spend any time with you. There will be no family outings with the three of us where we are spending quality time together with the child. Our time will be split appropriately by the courts, and I will pay whatever is required for his care.
“You need to know something that I should have told you months ago,” he continues. “I hate you for what you did to me. I hate you for how you made me feel and for the fact that you made me lose faith in people in general. I won’t let you or your selfishness ruin my life anymore. I thank you for setting me free, because if you hadn’t, I never would have found the true love of my life—the woman here in my arms. She is everything I hoped you could have been at one time, but I now know that was impossible. You only think of yourself, and we never would have been happy together—ever. I can’t believe that you thought for one moment that you could pull me back into that lie of a life by using a poor, innocent child. I’m glad that this beautiful woman beside me got to see you for the self-centered witch that you are so that she will know that there is no way in hell, and I mean no way, that I would ever go back to you.
“I will find out the truth, Kate, no matter how you try to hide it from me. No matter what you do, if that child is a Grey, he will be raised as a Grey. I won’t allow you to poison him. I will be all over you like white on rice if you try to do anything untoward in any way. I will not talk badly about you to him, but if you try that shit with me, I will fight you for full custody. Believe me, I will fight you and your whole fucking family if it comes to that. I want you to know what can of worms you opened by bringing this poor child into this world this way.” Elliot looks up at me and the anger emanating from him is palpable. “Christian, can you please…”
“I’ll take care of it,” I tell him. He nods.
“I need to go see Mom and Dad,” he says, still holding Valerie in his arms.
“Maybe you should wait until we know for sure,” I protest. He shakes his head.
“We’ve had enough secrets, Bro—enough to last a lifetime. I don’t want them to be surprised by this. If it turns out to be false, no harm no foul. If it turns out to be true, I want them to be ready.”
“We’ll need PR control.”
“You’re the pro at that. Do what you think is best,” he says. I nod. Kavanaugh finally chooses this moment to speak.
“I’m sorry, Elliot, for everything. I really wasn’t trying to be cruel…”
“Save it, Katherine,” he says. “I don’t want to hear anything else from you until I find out if that baby is mine. Even then, I’ll see you in court.” He releases Valerie and looks down at her face. “Are you ready?” She nods as I can see her wiping her face. He hands her the handkerchief in his pocket and she dries her tears. She turns around to look at Kavanaugh.
“To think,” she says incredulously, “I was worried about you…” Kavanaugh looks confused.
“I think that’s her way of saying that you were never any real competition,” I clarify for the confused Kavanaugh. Valerie looks up at me.
“Thank you, Christian. That’s exactly what I was saying.” She looks back at Kavanaugh, then allows Elliot to take her hand and lead her out of the conference room. Kavanaugh looks like she’s been hit by a freight train.
“When you decide which lab you would like to do the paternity test, you can let me know where and when. I will make sure that Elliot gets the information and my office will let you know who we have chosen to do the test as well.”
“I’m not dealing with you!” she snaps. “I’m only dealing with Elliot!”
“You’ve got that half-right. You won’t be dealing with me, but you won’t be dealing with Elliot either. Unless you were asleep for that conversation that just happened, Elliot wants nothing to do with you. He just wants to know if that baby is his and, if it is, he’s going to make your life a living hell. If it’s not, he’s going to forget you ever existed.” I call up to PR. “McIntyre, I need you to put together a press release. My brother may be the father to a child born of one of the heirs to Kavanaugh Media, Katherine. There is also a second possible father, but we are waiting for the results from a paternity test, pending the cooperation of the baby’s mother.”
“You wouldn’t dare!” she gasps.
“I don’t trust you as far as I can throw you!” I snap at her. “You need to know that I am pulling out all the stops to protect my family. Haven’t you been reading the news? Don’t you know what we’ve gone through these past few months? What we’ve got ahead of us? My fiancée is on the verge of a nervous breakdown because of all the shit that’s been going on! Do you think any of us have time for your foolishness?” She gets quiet. “You do whatever it is that you need to do, but know that I am pulling out all the stops to protect my brother. I won’t allow anything to be printed but the truth, and if you defame him or my family in any way, I will see you rot!”
“Still shooting threats, I see,” she scoffs.
“It would be in your best interests to shut the fuck up and take me seriously. Don’t contact me or my family again until you have chosen a lab. Do it quickly, or your stalling tactic will be front page news as well—right after I get a court order for you to present the child.” She narrows her eyes at me. “You really didn’t think that you were going to stroll in here and you and Elliot were going to walk away and live happily ever after, did you?” I smirk. That’s exactly what she thought. I look over at Welch. “Please escort Ms. and Master Kavanaugh out.” He moves next to Kavanaugh.
“Ma’am?” he says to her. She looks up at him, then proceeds to swaddle the baby. After placing him into the stroller, she dons her coat and walks quietly out of the conference room.
“One hundred and seven,” I sigh to myself as I text Jason and Butterfly.
“You’re not serious!” Butterfly gasps as I tell her the story of Kategate.
“Unfortunately, I am,” I tell her. “The baby is blonde, but that doesn’t say much. I had the lab of our choice lined up before I left the office today. I’m just waiting for Kavanaugh to present Kevin and the lab of her choice now.”
“Good God, I thought she was going to turn things around when she came clean about Roger.” I look at her.
“You knew, too?” She nods. How did everybody know but me?
“She told me that night that she and Elliot broke off the engagement. I promised not to tell Elliot because it wasn’t my secret to tell, but that she needed to come clean with him. I guess she did.”
“Yeah, except about the whole baby part,” I hiss.
“Yeah, except about that.” She begins to clear the table. I wait for a moment before I take some of the dishes from the table into the kitchen.
“What is it, Butterfly?” I ask as I hand her the dishes. She sighs.
“Eighty days,” she says, her head bowed while she’s leaning against the dishwasher. “We are getting married in 80 days and shit just keeps happening. I’m breaths away from being committed, you almost get killed, this crazy Strauss bitch shows up, Edward’s latest court date is up in the air, and now Kate shows up with a maybe-Grey-baby. God, it just can’t get any worse.”
“Elena’s trying to take a plea,” I say. Now why did I decide to say that at this moment? Butterfly spins around on me.
“What!?” she nearly screeches. Yeah, I know… bad timing.
“I talked to my dad. Even though she has a lot of charges against her, if the victims agree and she pleads out, she can get a lot of those charges lessened or even dropped. It looks like the parents of the victims are going to agree because they don’t want the children to be put on the stand. I mean, look at me. I’m very much a grown man and I don’t want anybody to know.”
“Well, what does this mean?” she asks horrified.
“It means that she could get fines and about 25 years on all charges—paroled in 15 for good behavior.”
“Fifteen!? All of those boys she molested and she could get 15 years?” I nod. Butterfly shakes her head. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. What about the attempted murder charge?”
“That’s one of the reasons she is taking the plea. They are hoping to show remorse for her actions, thereby driving home this ridiculous insanity plea that she didn’t know the consequences of her actions. If she knows that she can get parole in 15, that’s better than life on top of life if she beats the murder rap.”
“Fifteen years,” Butterfly shakes her head again. I put my arms around her.
“Look at it this way. No matter how much time she gets, 15 years will be 15 years hard time for her because she not accustomed to this. She’s not in day camp, you know. She’s doing time for molesting little boys. A lot of those women—hardened criminals, though they may be—are mothers… aunts… somebody’s sister. On top of that, she doesn’t have her money and she’ll be flat broke and 65 when she gets out if she’s lucky. Fifteen years without cosmetic maintenance is going to do a number on her. She’s not going to walk out of prison into the charmed life of Elena Lincoln. If she does manage to beat this wrap, she’s going to walk out into halfway houses and, if she’s lucky, a nice, quiet nursing home.” I assure her. She seems to take a little comfort in that.
“I’m going to have one more regression therapy session. You really may not want to be present for this one,” she tells me.
“I told you that I would, but I thought you didn’t need to see anymore.”
“I need to see one more… the day that Jason was shot. I need to know what happened to the time that I am missing. I keep having flashes of the situation in my dreams and I don’t need anything affecting my sleep. I just want to open the box, let the snakes crawl out and shoo them away.” I twist my lips. That is certainly an appropriate analogy for it.
“I’ll… be there,” I say hesitantly.
“Think about it, Baby. If you change your mind, I promise that I will understand,” she says.
“I know that you will, but…” My sentence is interrupted by the ringing landline. I know that can only mean that someone is in the lobby. I look at my watch. Nine thirty. “Are you expecting anyone?” I ask. She shakes her head. I answer the phone.
“Hello… yes?… Oh, okay. Send her up.” I replace the receiver.
“Send who up?” she asks.
“Valerie. She’s hysterical. She can’t get two words out of her mouth.”
Grace and I had long since posted notices and personally notified people that I would be her assistant and soon the assistant director of Helping Hands. However, Gloria failed to heed warning about “the mountain that she was trying to climb” and has already planted venom in the minds of much of the other staff, making my battle an uphill journey. I just have to remember that I am here for the families and not to make friends, and that I will make sure that anyone not doing their job will be replaced.
As a result, I practice what I preach at Helping Hands. I come in on the days that I am not seeing patients wearing jeans and a T-shirt and immediately inspect the neglected areas of the building—places where housekeeping failed to clean or hasn’t cleaned in forever because no one is using it, parts of the building in need of repair, things like that. I’m not afraid of getting dirty, so more than once, the staff who have made things hard for me have walked in on me cleaning someone’s office or taking out the trash. One of them asked me if I was a compulsive cleaner.
“No,” I had answered her. “No one deserves to work in dirty conditions. This is something that the housekeeping staff should be doing, but apparently they got away with not doing it. I will talk them about this after I have reviewed and noted all the areas they are neglecting. Until then, this person still deserves to work in a clean area.”
She stood there watching me for a moment. I think she was stunned. Yeah, I know you’ve fallen under what Gloria said before she left—c’est la vie. After a moment of stunned silence, she had asked, “Could you use some help?” I had looked her over and she was dressed pretty casually, in comfy shoes, so I warned her, “It could get kind of dirty.”
“That’s okay,” she had said. “I don’t mind.” I couldn’t help the smile that had spread across my face.
“If I’m not taking you away from anything else, I would love some help…”
With that, I made my first ally today. I was resigned to just do what I needed to do and operate in the capacity that Grace needed me, but luckily the stars aligned properly and someone saw that I wasn’t just there to “kiss my future mother-in-law’s ass and make a social name for myself.” Social climbers don’t voluntarily mop floors unless the press is watching.
Only today when I got back home was I able to finally greet Gail without blushing. She put two-and-two together yesterday and asked if I had seen them Saturday night. I couldn’t lie…
I’ll admit, I was tender from Daddy and Christian teasing me at the firing range… and yes, Christian had said that the whole “shooting” thing was something that he wanted to share with me. Yet, Daddy is teaching him. I don’t know if jealous is the word I would use to describe my feelings—pushed aside… excluded… looked over… I don’t know. The teasing didn’t help, though, and I wasn’t going to stand there and take it. It wasn’t running away per se so much as it was leaving an unpleasant situation. Running would have been more like dashing to the car and leaving all of those fuckers to fend for themselves.
So, yes, I went to bed, still a little bruised—not a good idea. One of the things I will be sure to work on is to never go to bed angry at Christian. It’s an old saying, but a good mantra nonetheless. When I awoke with him wrapped around me in our familiar way, I was glad that even though we didn’t eat dinner together, he still didn’t let him affect our sleeping together. I wanted to get some orange juice, so I sneaked out to the kitchen. That’s when I saw them.
They were talking at first. Gail was wearing that white nightgown we bought from Nordstrom last year for the trip to Anguilla. She had also told me that she was going to wear it on her wedding night. I wanted to leave, but from where she was standing, I was afraid she would see me if I moved.
“I hate when we fight. We never fight,” she said.
“I know,” Jason responded, “not like this anyway. I’m just… I’m losing my mind here. Please don’t take it personally…”
“I’m not,” she interrupted him. “I understand. You’re out of commission right now and it’s driving you insane.” She looked around. “Why are you out here?” Jason sighed.
“When he used to wake in the middle of the night and play his piano, I used to sit here and listen to him. I was just out of sight and I could make sure that he wasn’t going to sneak out or do anything equally stupid. He would wake from one of those horrible screaming fits… somewhere around one or two in the morning, like clockwork. So I would just sit here and listen until he calmed down. Sometimes he would play for hours and I would fall asleep. Sometimes he would play for a little while and I would plan my day or think something through. He hasn’t done that since she came along… maybe once or twice, except for that week when she wasn’t speaking to him and he was damn-near glued to the thing.”
“You came out here to think?” Gail asked. He shook his head.
“I have plenty of time to think,” he answered. “Just looking for a bit of familiarity.” I could see Gail’s face fall from where I stood hiding just behind the stairs. So could Jason. His tone softened when he held his good hand out to her and said, “Come here, Love.”
Gail floated over to him and sat on his lap. He cradled her with his good arm and I could no longer hear what they were saying. I didn’t mind watching this tender moment and thinking of Christian, but before I could process another thought, Gail was straddling him and kissing him hungrily. Jason protested that one of us might emerge and see them, but Gail declared that she didn’t care.
I could only assume that she was undressing him from the waist down and her body movements indicated that she was getting into position. Jason’s sensual groan signaled that she had found her mark and from my vantage point behind him, I watched as she clasped her fingers behind his neck partially in his hair and began to ride him. Jason’s moans were tortured, like he was in utter ecstasy, and Gail kept her eyes on his the entire time. Her mouth was slack, her passion written all over her face… and I was mesmerized. I had seen sex scenes in movies, D/s scenes in the club, but nothing like this—nothing like this pure, primal, real passion and love between two people.
I don’t know how long I watched them, but I couldn’t move if I wanted to. I was getting so hot and turned-on, shit, I felt like I was on fire. They were in their own world and wouldn’t have stopped if a marching band came blaring through the great room. As she leaned down to kiss him, I know that they have reached the point of no return and were both in a race to Nirvana. I can even see Gail’s movements change and I know what she is feeling. The heat between my legs is making it nearly impossible to stand still and now, I can hear my own aroused breathing.
Leave! For God’s sake, leave! I heard a voice that I hadn’t heard for quite some time. The Bitch was back—but I couldn’t hear her. If I knew that I couldn’t be discovered, I would have walked right over and sat right next to them. This is something I had never seen before—two people sharing pure love and passion, giving themselves to one another. I’ve experienced it with Christian, but I’ve never seen it.
Just when my libido and brain started working together to tell me to leave before they share their ultimate moment, Gail threw her head back in a sensuous delicate whimper letting me know that I was too late. She wheezes repeatedly as Jason wrapped his good arm around her and I watched their bodies jerking as he thrust into her several more times. She finally dropped her head on is shoulder as he continued to sex her, faster this time, and I swear that I thought I would come from watching them. After having said nothing the entire time, Jason finally comes releasing only the words, “My Love.”
He sank back with her still in his arms… or arm… and her blonde hair draped over the back of the sofa as they both struggled to catch their breath. There was no hope for me. I was on fire! I took a few steps backwards only to bump into our bedroom door. I thought I was escaping until while trying to compose myself, I heard Christian ask, “Are you okay?”
There goes those pyrotechnics again. “I must have him now” is the only coherent thought that my brain could formulate.
So when Gail had asked me if I was the one who saw them, I confessed the whole thing to her—that I heard the conversation, that I tried to leave but I didn’t want them to hear or see me. I was so humiliated and begged for her forgiveness. She just laughed it off and confirmed that nothing short of Armageddon would have stopped the passion that she was feeling for Jason that night. She also added that with the hot necking scene they witnessed between me and Christian at the pool in Anguilla, she probably owed me one.
“But we weren’t making love, Gail,” I protested. She shook her head.
“Oh, yes you were, make no mistake,” she corrected me. “You weren’t having sex, but you were definitely making love.”
Her statement had filled me with a warm feeling—making love without having sex. I love him so much, I wouldn’t deny it for a second. I would make love to him anywhere… in front of a crowd if he wanted it. So I understand why wild dogs couldn’t have prevented what I saw on Saturday night.
Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the text that I got this afternoon and the explanation that followed during dinner. Kate had a baby and it might be Elliot’s! She waited all this time to spring it on him with hopes that she could get him back. Val was right in her fear on Christmas day. She wanted Elliot nowhere near that slut and for good reason. What a dirty, conniving thing to do! I thought she had a breakthrough when we talked. Turns out that my first impression was correct—c’est une vraie salope!
Speaking of Val, I am shocked beyond hope to see her make-up free and strolling into my great room, sobbing uncontrollably and hiding big, red, puffy eyes behind way too big sunglasses at 9:30 at night.
“Come in, Valerie,” Christian says softly as he opens the door for her. She weeps something inaudible to him and walks past the door. She walks straight into my arms and I hug her while she leans on my shoulder crying.
“Sssshhh,” I comfort her, gently rubbing her back. “It’s okay, Sweetie. It’s going to be okay.” She weeps something inaudible again as Christian leaves the room. She stands there crying for several moments before Christian comes back to the great room. He nods to me to let her go, which I do. He helps her remove her coat and gently guides her to the sofa. I see that he has brought out a bottle of wine and two glasses along with a small tray with some fruit, cheese, and crackers. He knows that I just had dinner so this must be for Val. He has also placed a box of tissue on the coffee table.
“Call me if you need me,” he says softly before kissing my cheek. He gives Valerie’s shoulder a gentle squeeze, then goes off towards his study. She’s saying something inaudible again and I just hold her hand. I have never seen her this upset in all the years that I’ve known her. I fucking want to kill Katherine fucking Kavanaugh right now!
“I’m… s-so… confused!” she cries.
“Did you guys fight?” I ask. She shakes her head.
“I can’t… take it… anymore.” Oh shit, is she talking about breaking up with Elliot?
“Talk to me, Val.” She’s breathing shuddering breaths and trying to pull herself together.
“He’s… I don’t want to lose him, Ana!” she cries. “He’s hurting… he’s hurting so much and… I can’t make it stop! First with Christian, and now this snaky bitch. He’s not going to survive much more.” Whew! So no breakup in sight, at least not for now.
“Where is he now?” I ask. She shakes her head.
“I don’t know. He left hours ago to clear his head. I don’t know where he went. Is he drinking? Did he go to her? Am I always going to feel this way when I don’t know where he is? Am I crazy?” I let Val ramble on and on and on for several minutes. She bottomed out the wine bottle and ate a bit of the cheese and crackers.
“He really is a good guy, huh?” she throws into the conversation out of nowhere.
“You’d have to tell me that,” I say.
“I mean, Christian,” she clarifies. Oh… um, okay.
“He’s the best,” I say with a smile. She gives a half-hearted chuckle.
“I’d have to say he’s a close second,” she says. “His big brother is pretty fantastic.” With that statement, she’s a weeping mound again. Who would’ve thought we would ever see the day. Man-eater Valerie Marshall is in love—honest-to-goodness, head over heals in love. I hold her up and keep her from toppling over when we are both shocked by his voice.
“Angel?” He sounds completely crestfallen. When did he get here?
Christian is standing behind a forlorn Elliot and neither of us saw either of them enter the room. We both bolt upright when we realize he is here and Val gasps. He’s been crying, too.
“How… how did you know… I was here?” Val asks.
“Christian called me,” Elliot says softly. They look at each other for a moment. Val’s whimper is almost inaudible, but it was enough of a cue for Elliot to dash to her side and fall to his knees. She takes his face in her hands and he gently holds her waist.
“I was so scared. When I got home and you were gone, I thought you left me,” he confesses.
“No! No! I love you! I can’t leave you!” She throws her arms around his neck. He lifts her into his arms and crushes her body to his.
“I love you, too, Angel,” his voice is muffled. “I can’t survive without you. I can’t get through this without you. Please don’t ever leave me… please.”
“Never, El… never,” she weeps into his neck.
I walk over to Christian who wraps his arms around my waist, my back to his front. “Why did you call him?” I whisper to him.
“Because she was the first person that he called when he found out about Kevin. I heard what he said and I saw the look in his eye. He’s never felt like this about anybody, ever… especially not Kate. If she was here crying, he would want to know why.” I nod.
“Same here,” I tell him. “Man-eater Marshall only cried over one guy and he was a real asshole, but she has never been reduced to this. She’s a goner.” I look back over to Val and Elliot, and he is wiping the tears from her face and kissing her cheeks over and over trying to get her to stop crying. I think now would be the time to make the getaway that I should have with Gail and Jason. I take Christian’s hand and guide him into the kitchen. “Has Elliot been drinking at all?”
“Not that I can tell. I would hope he wasn’t that careless to drink and then get behind the wheel,” he says.
“I think they should maybe stay here for the night—if they want to, that is. They are both so emotional. I know they both have work in the morning, but I can lend Val something of mine and I’m sure that you have some jeans or something that your brother could wear to the work site. If not, I’ll throw his clothes in the laundry…”
“Okay, okay, you don’t have to convince me, but they may just want to go home. They might want some privacy.”
“They’ll get privacy. The guest rooms are on a different floor.” He shrugs.
“We’ll see what they say, okay?” he says with a smile. I smile back.
“Val’s right. You are a good guy.” He pulls me close to him.
“She said that?” he says with a smirk. I nod and look up at him with longing eyes. He closes his lips over mine while pulling my body into his. The fire in me ignites almost immediately as I surrender to his searing kisses. I steady myself against his arms as his hands travel under my shirt and caress my bare back. I whimper into his mouth and the touch of his hands on my skin and he rewards me with a responding moan. I thrust my hands into his hair and kiss him with equal fervor as he tips his head to get a better angle and deeper penetration with his tongue. Holy cow, Batman! I feel like I’m going to explode. We almost get lost in our reckless abandon when one, or both, of us realize that we have a distraught couple on the sofa in our great room. We break our kiss and touch foreheads, breathing like we’ve just worked out.
“It looks like we may be the ones who need privacy,” he breathes, desire evident in his voice.
“Uh-huh,” I pant, trying to squelch the fire he has ignited inside me. He kisses me again, gently this time, while moving his hands down to my backside and caressing it gently. “You’re making it worse, Mr. Grey,” I whisper against his lips, my eyes closed.
“I certainly hope so,” he taunts, licking my lips and squeezing my ass. I gasp. “I don’t know how to control myself around you.”
“We have to,” I pant. “My friend and your brother need us.” He nods, then moves his hands up to my back.
“You’re right,” he says, controlling his breathing. Looking me in the eyes, he says, “You know, when security called me to tell me that there was a woman in the lobby with a baby and she was ready to call the press, I was sure that it was one of my ex-subs. I could see my whole life flash before my eyes and all I could think was that I was going to lose you. Just when I had found happiness, I was going to be thrust back into darkness.” I gently stroke his tortured face.
“Unless you make a baby while we are together, that will never happen. If an ex-sub shows up with a baby claiming that it’s yours, we will handle it together. I would be more angry with the witch that kept that from you than I would ever be with you. Okay?” I assure him. He nods and sighs.
“Okay. It’s not that I think that would ever happen. I was very careful to use protection or contraception and I was always monogamous, but this incident just showed me that you never know what’s going on in people’s minds and you just have to be ready.” I nod at him.
“I know, Baby,” I kiss him again. “But I’ll never leave you again… Chris.” He smiles at me.
“For some reason, I really like the sound of that coming out of your mouth. Then again, I think I like the sound of anything coming out of your mouth.”
“That sounds so perverse,” I say with a chuckle.
“It did, didn’t it?” he laughs. “Let’s go make sure they’re okay. It’s been pretty quiet for a while out there.”
“Okay.” I kiss him once more before we separate. “You… might want to adjust that.”
“I know,” he says, adjusting his pants so that his semi-erection is not so prominent.
We leave the kitchen and walk into the great room to total silence. Elliot is cradling Val in his arms and when we walk around to the front of them, we discover that they are both asleep.
“I’ll get a nightie,” I say.
“I’ll get pajamas.”
We get Val and Elliot safely off to work the next morning before we head to our separate offices. “Good morning, Cal,” I greet the day guard at the newly installed front desk of my office building.
“Good morning, Ms. Steele,” he says, waving as Chuck and I walk by.
“Anything to report?” Chuck asks him.
“All’s quiet so far, Sir,” Cal says. Chuck nods and joins me at the elevator.
“Have you seen this?” Marilyn asks when I get up to my office. Handing me the paper, I see that Kate and Elliot’s possible love child has made the news.
“No, I haven’t, but I know about it.”
“Is it his?” she asks. I shrug.
“It could be. They’re going to get two separate paternity tests. They don’t trust Kate. Apparently, she tried to trap Elliot with the baby knowing that it may not be his.”
“Wow. People are wicked,” she says, shaking her head.
“Tell me about it.” I walk into my office and get ready for my first appointment. My cell phone rings just as I am sitting down.
“Hi Tammy,” I greet.
“Jewels, good news! The designers have agreed to collaborate on your dress. I know it’s early, but I couldn’t wait to tell you!” I clap like a kindergartner. I have to get used to the fact that she has semi-adopted Al’s name for me, but they spend so much time together and he doesn’t seem to mind.
“Oh, that’s fantastic news! I’m so excited!” I exclaim. “I was a little worried that they wouldn’t do it.”
“Are you kidding? The princess and her castle? I told you people would sell their souls to be a part of this wedding.
“That you did, and now I get my dress.” I say. My happy mood is immediately busted by an ominous looking Chuck standing in my door. “Tammy, let me know when the designers are ready to meet and we’ll set this sucker in stone. I’ve gotta go, Babes. The penthouse, this evening?”
“I’ll see you there. You know this wedding is going to make me famous, right?” she says.
“Absolutely fucking famous!” I confirm with laughter. “I talk you later.”
“Okay,” and she’s gone.
“What is it?” I ask him. He comes into my office with an envelope in his hand.
“It’s been tested and x-rayed,” he says. I look at the envelope. There’s no return address. I look up at him. He nods once, so I remove the contents. It’s a receipt for a wire transfer into an account in my name. I look up at him again and frown.
“This is for $20 million. Is this some kind of joke?” I ask him. He shrugs.
“It came to the security desk with the mail,” he responds. We both know who it’s from and what it’s for.
“That’s risky, just transferring $20 million to an account for someone’s without knowing that they’re going to do what you want them to do. There has to be a failsafe of some kind.” Again, he shrugs. I hand it back to him. “Get it to Christian. Tell him where it came from and let him decide what we should do with it.” Chuck takes the paper and smiles. “What?”
“You’re one in a million, do you know that?” I frown.
“Yes, I do, but to what are you referring?” I ask him.
“Many women would have taken that money and been long gone by now. Twenty million is a lot of cash. You could very easily live quite comfortably off of it.” I just look at him for a moment.
“Not without him,” I say, without blinking. He gives me the slight nod, still smiling, and leaves my office. I send Christian a text that “the funds are on the way,” telling him that we’ll talk about it later and finish getting ready for my next patient.
Friday evening, we are back in Ace’s office waiting for my session. We’ve decided to trace the source of the transfer and see if it’s actually a valid account backed by $20 million and if I am the actual Anastasia Steele that can access it. If it is, it will be a nice donation to Helping Hands. Grace doesn’t use any money for the charity except donations, so the charity will be getting an anonymous donation from the family that has caused the kind of heartache that Helping Hands hopes to circumvent.
“Ana, Christian, come in,” Ace greets us and ushers us into his office. As we take our seats, he says, “I see you’ve decided for one more regression therapy.” I nod.
“I need to unlock the memory of what happened when Elena shot Jason. I’m having nightmares that are only flashes of it. I want to know what happened so that I can deal with it.” Ace nods.
“That’s a very healthy attitude, Ana. Christian, you’re okay with being here for this?” he asks.
“How can I leave without disturbing you if this gets to be too much for me to hear?” Christian asks.
“Good thinking. No one else for the evening. Ana is always my last and Amber always stays as quiet as a mouse. You can leave through the lobby and just close the door quietly on your way out,” Ace instructs him and Christian nods. “Okay, Ana, tell me what you do remember of the shooting. You don’t have to start from the beginning if you don’t want to. It’s the end that’s more important.”
“Um… I came into Christian’s office because I heard him arguing with a woman and I wanted to know who it was. When I opened the door, I saw…” My chest starts to hurt. Do I really want to do this?
Yes. Yes, you do.
So, that wasn’t a one time occurrence. You’re really back?
Why, did you miss me?
A little… maybe…
“Ana?” Oops, forgot I where I was. I take a deep breath.
“I saw Elena aiming my gun at Christian from across the room. She made him switch places with her and then she started droning on about them being together and how I ruined him—the same old song and dance. I didn’t know whether she was going to shoot him, me, or all of us. Finally, after all the theatrics, she said that she would shoot him and herself so that they could be together in the afterlife and I could be left here to mourn the fact that he was killed with my gun.” I take another deep breath.
“Was that it?” Ace asks. I shake my head.
“No. She said ‘goodbye’ to Christian, he said ‘goodbye’ to me, and the gun went off. That’s it. That’s the last thing that I remember.” He nods.
“Okay. You know the drill. Sit back, relax, close your eyes. Imagine you are on a roller coaster…”
“I’ve never been on a roller coaster,” I tell him.
“No talking,” he chastises. “Not until I tell you. You are in a sports car. A very, very fast sports car…” Okay, I can do that. “It’s going faster and faster. No brakes. You are going up and down hills and around curves—very fast. Now, there’s no steering wheel. The car is still moving fast and now, there’s no roof, doors, or windshield. There’s just you and the metal box with the wind blowing in your face and hair. Now, your little metal box it at the very top of a very steep hill. You don’t know what’s at the bottom of the hill. You begin your descent down the hill. You are not in control of the vehicle. As soon as you get to the bottom of the hill, you hear the gunshot…”
“Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” She shot him! She shot Christian! She really shot him! I can’t look! I can’t look!
“You fucking bitch!” Some force that I am not aware of drags me across the room and straight for that bleached blonde halo. With a handful of a bleach job in my left hand, I am punching this woman ferociously with my right fist.
“I’ll fucking kill you!” The hell you are going to die by a nice clean bullet! I am going to beat you until you can’t think for yourself and when I’m done, I’m going to beat you some more until I’m sure that you’re dead. I feel the cold, blunt end of my gun hit me in the head. I momentarily see stars, but then I just take her armed hand and hit her in the head with her own hand. She screams and drops the gun.
Why the fuck didn’t she just shoot me? Why didn’t she let me die with Christian? She was right. This is a punishment worse than any other and when she crosses over to meet Satan, he won’t even recognize his own daughter when I’m done with her.
“You sick, crazy fucking bitch!” I scream as continue to punch her in her face. It’s not doing enough damage! I have to let her go. I pull every move out of my arsenal that I know—drop-kicks, roundhouses, elbow strikes, knee strikes, punches, smacks, even a few girlie scratches, hair pulls, and windmills. She was giving it right back to me, too. I didn’t know that she had it in her, but it won’t be enough to save her. She wanted to die and I am going to grant her wish. She shot my man. She killed my love. She will surely go after him, but not to the same place he has. He’s going to meet my biological father and tell him about how his little girl grew up and learned how to love in spite of adversity.
This bitch, on the other hand, is going straight to hell.
She makes one last attempt for the gun, which had landed somewhere behind her. Oh, no, you don’t, Bitch! I do an elementary trip and she falls flat on her plastic face. I’m sure that it cracked with the fall. I do a similar move on her that I did on Luc when he attacked me from behind. I sit on her back and place my right arm around her throat and my left arm across her head. I grab my left elbow with my right hand and squeeze with all my might. The sound of her gagging for breath is music to my ears. I can’t even see her face, but she’s still moving so I know that she’s still alive. I squeeze harder. Die, Bitch, die. Her body falls limp under me, but I know that she’s still alive. I heard Christian say that it takes three minutes to die by choking.
I lose some of the strength in my arms when I think of him. She shot my man. My man is gone. Maybe I can save him. Fuck this bitch, I’ll kill you later…
I turn around to see… Christian! Christian! He’s okay… I think… he’s… he’s holding Jason. Oh my God, Jason! How did this happen?
“Jason!” I crawl over to him and Christian. “Jason, where are you hit?”
“Right… shoulder…” His voice is weak. He’s losing a lot of blood. Fuck! It’s gushing out like a damn fountain! Christian. Christian. Are you okay, Baby? Is Christian okay? I reach out for him and he jerks away from me. My heart skips. Does he think this is my fault? I try to stop the tears from falling. I have to focus. I have to help Jason. My hands are shaking. My whole body is shaking. Did he just fire Jason… again? I must be hallucinating. I have to help Jason.
“Lie him flat, Christian, on the floor, please.” I have to move fast. He’s losing a lot of blood, which means the bullet has hit a major artery. A tourniquet would be best, but I don’t know where the bullet is and there’s no way to tie this off. I go to the bathroom to look for towels. There are washcloths. These will do. She shot Jason… and Christian won’t let me touch him. The well bursts and I am sobbing like a baby, but there’s no time for this. I have to help Jason.
I hear Jason call Christian a pussy for crying on him. I instruct Christian to get a bottle of water and drink it. Of course, he’s giving me a hard time. I’m sorry, Jason, but this is going to hurt…
“Aaaaaaahhhhhh!” he cries as I push down on the wound.
“What are you doing?” Christian yells. I can tell that he’s terrified.
“I have to stop the bleeding,” I say, leaning into Jason’s wound and trying not to pay attention to the agony in his face. He knows what I’m doing. He knows that I have to, but that doesn’t help with the pain. “Christian, come over here. I want you to sing with me.”
He can’t believe his ears, but I repeat the request and start to sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider. I need to be distracted and so does he.
“Oh, Ana, come on, seriously?” Motherfucker! I just tried my very best to kill She-Thing and I’ve got her blood all over my hands. Now, I’m trying to save Jason’s life and I’ve got his blood all over my clothes and my hands. Do you really want to argue with me right now?
“Sing the goddamn song!” I scream at him. A few moments later, we are all singing the song…
“Get out of the car, Ana,” the voice says.
The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout…
I’m in the car again—the car with no roof and no windshield.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out…
The car is sitting idly at the bottom of the hill.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain…
I get out of the car and open my eyes to see Ace right in front of my face.
“So the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again.”
A/N: So I couldn’t even surprise you guys! Nearly everybody figured out that it was Kate, and those who weren’t sure strongly suspected that it was her. I have to stop being so damn predictable, lol.
Literally translated–C’est une vraie salope—it’s a real bitch. Talking about Kate, “she’s a real bitch.” If you remember, Ana and Christian had a short tête-à-tête in French in Paging Dr. Steele when Ana first met Kate and this was Ana’s analysis of Elliot’s then fiancée.
Before I forget–Camille, I couldn’t answer before I posted the chapter because I didn’t want to give the story away. 😉
You asked why CG’s office instead of the Greys house. That’s a good question (and an easy one)… more exposure. She could make good on her threat to go to the press more easily in downtown Seattle at Grey House than she could in suburban Bellevue. Not to mention, Grace would have most likely slammed the door in her face and quickly called Elliot and told him what was going on. She knew that CG would hold her there and get Elliot because 1) CG wants nothing to do with her and 2) he doesn’t want her to go to the press. An illegitimate Grey baby is a disaster for the Grey family no matter whose baby it is, so it had to be handled properly.
Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc. can be found at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/mending-dr-steele/
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Love and Handcuffs!