Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 66—The Day After

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I didn’t get a chance to thank or respond to everyone personally, but I read each and every one of your messages and I responded to a few. I’m glad that you all loved the wedding so much and I appreciate your patience and understanding while waiting for the next chapters. I see a lot of people are concerned about “Creepy Uncle Herman.” Without giving the story away, I will only say don’t worry. I’m not that cruel to have a predator show up in the form of family. He has a story and I haven’t yet decided when to reveal it, but he’s not a creeper. He’s going to give you that impression, though…

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 66—The Day After

ANASTASIA

Christian is leaning over me kissing me deeply, his left arm around my neck and holding my shoulder and his right hand rubbing the thigh that is thrown over his hip. My left arm is pressed between us and my right hand travels from his deliciously, mussed hair to his cheek. He moans into my mouth, his kisses taste of satisfaction and contentment. I have no idea what time it is, but both our bodies have been wrung to the breaking point, reaching climax after climax over the last several hours flying over the Atlantic.

He made love to me forever, but we never fucked. It was slow and deep and meticulous and intense all night long and left me in such a stupor that I have no idea how many times I came. He gave it all to me last night and loved every cell of me, down to my very soul. I awoke to find him kissing my neck and my cheek, caressing me softly and declaring his love to me. A few moments later, he was buried inside me again, bringing me to yet another dizzying orgasm.

“No one has ever kissed my feet before,” he says between kisses. That’s not true. Surely I have… haven’t I?

“No one?” I breathe.

“No, Baby, not even you,” he says, answering my silent question. How is that possible? I thought I had kissed him everywhere. He has kissed my feet dozens of times.

“Why is that?” I ask, as his lips travel from mine to my neck and back.

“I always take off my own socks,” he says while showering me in more sweet kisses. “You did it only once before that I can remember.”

“Why?” I pant, remembering that he wanted to take off his own socks last night and shivered when I kissed his feet.

“I don’t know. Just a hang-up of mine I guess.” He runs his tongue deliciously through my mouth, causing me to moan.

“Mmmm,” I purr as our lips part. “I’m your wife now. I reserve the right to remove your socks and kiss your feet whenever I want.” I lean my head back giving him more access to my neck.

“Duly noted,” he responds as he tastes the skin on my throat, eliciting yet another shiver from me. “We need to eat.”

“What time is it?” I ask.

“I have no idea.” His lips move down to my nipple. Good God, does this man ever tire?

“Christian, no,” I whine. I’ve been stretched beyond my limits. “I can’t…”

“I can’t help it,” he says around my nipple before moving to the valley between my breasts. “You body calls to me. You’re so damn irresistible.”

“Well, resist, please,” I say closing my eyes. “I can’t take anymore.” I instinctively thrust my hands into his hair. Fuck, don’t encourage him, Steele! I mean, Grey! Ooooo, that sends a delicious tingle down my spine.

“Mmmm, your mouth is saying no, but your body is saying yes. Which is it, Mrs. Grey?” he asks as he sucks the other nipple into his mouth.

“Ah! I always love it when you touch me, Christian. I just can’t have sex anymore right now.”

“Mm-hmm,” he says before popping my nipple out of his mouth. “Then no sex, just let me touch you…”

*-*

“Mr. and Mrs. Grey, welcome to Paris, France. We will be touching down at Charles De Gaulle in approximately 20 minutes. It’s about 6pm here in France and we will be departing tomorrow at 8pm for Athens. Please buckle your seatbelts and prepare for landing.”

France. Of course, I want to see France. I heard him mention it to Jason, but I didn’t think we would be staying. I thought we’d be moving on right to Athens after a refuel or something. I’ve never been here and I’m so stricken with the language that I think I may have been French in a past life. Well, I don’t really believe in that sort of thing, but if I did, I would have been French.

We’ve had a fairly large breakfast of croissants, scrambled eggs, sausage, crepes, orange juice and coffee. I feel like I’m going to burst as we are trying to get through this huge city this place calls the airport. Suddenly, my stilettos don’t feel as comfy and I’m wondering if all of that sausage and shit are going right to my feet.

After we make our way through the airport, Christian is approached by two official looking men in black suits. I’m nervous at first, but Christian appears to be expecting them. They quickly dispense with formalities and begin to discuss protocol as we walk towards the parking area. They are carrying on the entire conversation in French, but of course, I speak French. They discuss where we may be going for the evening, where we will be spending the night, tourist attractions that we should see during our day trip—that sort of thing. Christian informs them that he has been to France before, but this is my first time. One of them immediately says something that gets on my bad side, something along the lines of keeping an eye on the little lady or she might get hypnotized by the “pretty lights” and wander off somewhere. Seriously? Christian throws a look over at me, but he’s too late…

“Excusez-moi” I say to the bald, Bruce Willis-wanna-be, “elle parle Français.”

His face goes pale and his friend laughs at him a bit. That’s right, you pompous asshole. I’m more than just a pretty fucking face. Is that all that they see when they see us, a rich handsome man and his bracelet? I mean, it really doesn’t matter what they think of me in the long run, but seriously—will everyone just see me as a dimwitted boob?

Christian put his hand on my arm and tries to soothe me, telling me not to let it bother me and that the idiot wouldn’t be speaking of me that way again. I’m already heated and can’t be consoled. My attitude has gone from zero to 60 in about three seconds, and I let Christian know exactly what I think of this chauvinistic asshole, careful to insert that I am not some scattered-brained bimbo, so he should be more careful what addlepated nonsense he allows to fly out of his mouth in my presence—all in French, of course. I top the conversation off with a good stiff insult in English—something about meat-headed Neanderthals and being able to take him down with a chop to his throat.

“Madame, I do speak English,” he says in a heavy French accent, trying to use my own tactic against me, no doubt.

“Good!” I snap at him. “That way, I don’t have to worry about anything being lost in translation!” I stand with my hands on my hips waiting for a snappy comeback. I’m left waiting when he looks at Christian then back at me.

“Pardonnez-moi, Madame. It won’t happy again.” I just bet it won’t. I shake my head knowing that Christian is glaring at him behind my back and turn my attention to the City of Love… or is it the City of Lights? Who cares? I’m here and I don’t have time for this asshole. I’m in Paris!

“We’re only here for 24 hours?” I say to Christian, effectively ignoring “Bruce.”

“Yes, but I promise that we will make the most of it,” he says.

“Well, let me start by saying that I don’t want to spend a moment inside of a stuffy old museum. If I know you, we’ll be back here with more time to spare. Right now, I want to see the sights and be a tourist.” Christian pulls me close to him.

Meathead was right about one thing, Baby. You do need to be careful. Paris is full of scam artists, con men, and pickpockets—and they target tourists. So stay close.”

“Now, see? There’s a way to say that so that I don’t feel like a mindless trophy wife. That was it.” I sigh heavily. “I just hate having to prove myself everywhere I go. I have to prove that I really love you; that I’m not out for your money; that I have more sense than a watermelon. It’s gets so tiring.” He kisses me on the forehead.

“You don’t have to prove anything, Butterfly. Who are these people and why should we care?”

“That’s easy for you to say,” I mumble. Nobody is ever questioning his motives when it comes down to me, only mine when it comes to him. Will I be under this type of scrutiny forever?

“Yeah, I can understand that.” He kisses me gently on my neck. “I promise to make the ride worth your while,” he says, smiling a full 32-teeth smile at me.

“Oh, cut it out,” I say, hitting him playfully. “I’m not mad at you. It’s the ‘meatheads’ of the world that are getting me down.” Shit, I miss Chuck and Jason already. “Can we go now?”

“Yes, Baby,” he says, taking my hand and leading me to… what? Of course, a black Audi.

“Of course you can find an Audi in France,” I say stepping into the car while Christian holds the door. I look around for the Eiffel Tower, but I can’t see it. We’re in France… Paris! How can I not see the Eiffel Tower?

“You’ll see it later, Butterfly,” Christian whispers as he climbs into the car behind me. “It’s on the other side, about an hour southwest of here.”

“An hour?” I ask. “We’re pretty far away.”

“Far enough, but once we get into central Paris, everything is right there.” That’s good enough for me. Stay close, he says. That won’t be hard. I snuggle right up to him and get ready to enjoy the ride. From what I could tell, the hotel is approximately 20 to 25 miles away from the airport, but it was still an hour-long ride. I couldn’t figure out why that was the case until we got off the highway. Then I figured out why. The speed limit in Paris averages 30 to 50 kilometers per hour. That’s about 18 to 30 miles per hour if you’re lucky. We were driving at a crawl.

A little over an hour later, we drive into central Paris. The energy changes immediately—beautiful architecture and hordes of people and cars around like it’s the middle of the day. I hate to admit that Meathead was right, but the lights are truly beautiful. I look out of the window like a kid in a candy store.

“Christian! Look!” I exclaim as I spot the Eiffel Tower. Finally! I remember looking at pictures of the Eiffel Tower when I was a kid and talking about how badly I wanted to go there one day. And now, here it is! Right in my line of vision! It looks to still be a few miles away, but I can see it!

“It is pretty remarkable, isn’t it?” Christian says as I beam at him, looking from his smile to the tower—two of the world’s wonders, as far as I’m concerned. “Wait until you see it up close.” Now I feel like a tourist—a full-on, giddy, stars in my eyes, wandering-off-with-the-twinkly-lights tourist, and I don’t give a damn what Meathead thinks! Maybe this is why the speed limit is so slow. They don’t want you to miss anything.

People are walking everywhere on the streets of Paris. There are probably more people walking than there are cars. It’s still daylight and the architecture is phenomenal. The Eiffel Tower is coming closer and closer into view and I’m getting more and more restless. To my dismay, we don’t continue on to the Eiffel Tower. However, we do turn into one of these Parisian architectural masterpieces—a five-story, white mansion with pillars and wrought-iron gates complete with a doorman in a full-length green velvet coat. He opens the door to the Audi with a flourish.

“Madame, Monsieur, bienvenue à l’hôtel Shangri-la,” he says, waving his hands like they do in the movies, beckoning us to exit the car and enter the hotel. Christian steps out first, thanking the doorman, then reaches in for me. In true, starry-eyed fashion, I take his hand and step out of the Audi.

It’s beautiful.

Christian tucks my hand into his elbow and leads me up the stairs and through a set of tall, white, paned-glass double doors into the hotel. We walk through the foyer and another set of tall double doors—black this time—into the lobby, which is a grand hallway with brown and white marble flooring with beautiful designs. Doors on my right and left boast luxurious lounges reminiscent of the late 18th century, as are the tables, chandeliers, vases, and artwork that deck the main lobby.

“Now, I know how much of an intellectual you are, so I thought you might appreciate that in addition to being Paris’ premier hotel—the only one with such an exquisite view of the Eiffel Tower—the Shangri-La was once the home of Roland Boneparte, Napoleon’s great-nephew,” Christian tells me. I must admit, I am impressed. “It’s only been a hotel for the last few years. It’s said that although Prince Roland could appreciate this tasteful little corner of Paris and the importance of the location, he loathed the fact that it was in the shadow of the Eiffel tower. For that reason, he had his bedroom placed near the front on the mansion since the rooms in the rear had a view of the river and the tower.”

“Really?” I say, seductively, enjoying the sound of my stilettos landing on the polished marble floor. “You’re very learned on the history of this hotel, Mr. Grey. I’m quite impressed.”

“We aim to please, Mrs. Grey,” he says, leaning down to place a soft kiss on my lips. It sends heat right through me. I don’t know what’s going on with me lately. I can’t seem to get enough of this man. I control myself as he leads me to the front desk that’s hidden off in one of the wings that branch off the main hallway.

“Bonjour Madame. J’ai une réservation sous le nom de Christian Grey.”

“Oui, monsieur,” the clerk says, looking down at her computer and typing away. “Vous êtes dans la suite Shangri-La…”

She gestures to a bellhop and gives him instructions to take us and our luggage to the Shangri-La suite. Meathead and his sidekick wait for us in the main lobby. We are taken down hallways and up marble staircases and elevators to this lovely room with extremely tall doors. The doors take a real key! We are escorted into a suite decorated in beautiful fall colors—comfy couches and chairs, a dining area that seats eight, and a kitchen–all in the large main room. It is decorated in brown, tan, and ecru with touches of gold. I haven’t seen the bedroom yet as it is behind closed doors down some hallways and I am mesmerized by what I see before me…

There are glass walls that stretch the length of the room and wrap around the corner to meet the kitchen. There is a beautiful wooden terrace with a glass rail that wraps around the suite all that way back until I can’t see where it goes. There is a sitting area and a dining area out there and I think I can see a lounging area around on the side. Standing there in all its glory staring back at me is the Eiffel Tower. I can see it standing right here in my suite and it’s close—very close. Christian comes behind me and puts his arms around my waist.

“You like?” he says softly in my ear.

“Yes,” I breathe, mesmerized by the structure in front of me against the slightly dusk sky. “I like… very much.”

“Mmm,” he says, sniffing my neck and pulling me closer to him. “You sound so sexy. Too bad we’re only here for one night or I’d fuck you all night staring at that thing.” Fuck, that sounds hot! I take a deep breath and lean back on his shoulder.

“Christian,” I whisper, putting my hands over his around my waist. My voice must have set something off in him, because I feel his body stiffen and he quickly spins me around to face him. I gasp as he pulls my body against his—hard! He’s gazing down at me and his look is feral, hungry. He grabs a healthy handful of my hair and pulls hard, causing me to gasp again, and pant this time. While I’m looking at the ceiling with my head pulled back as far as it can go, his tongue is traveling over my neck, up my throat, and across my jaw. I swallow hard when his lips get to mine but he doesn’t kiss me.

“Your hair is so goddamn long,” he hisses.

“Yes,” I reply. It’s longer than it has ever been.

“Don’t cut it,” he commands me.

“Okay,” I breathe almost immediately, before he closes his mouth over mine, devouring me in succulent kisses.


CHRISTIAN

Although I wanted to fuck her right there in the hotel, we didn’t have time. I have plans for tonight and I don’t want them to be ruined. Certain things have to be saved for nightfall in Paris, and if you miss your chance, its gone.

We leave the Shangri-La on foot to get the full effect of the Paris experience with our French security in tow, Norbert and Adrien—or as Butterfly refers to him, Meathead. I keep her close to me as I am only too familiar with the thieves and pickpockets in Paris. I pay particular attention to her as we stroll down Rue Boissière, keeping her on the inside of the sidewalk away from the curb. Anyone who tries to walk by on her side is met with a menacing glare and the wall of Meathead behind and to the right of her. Everyone that passes us has to go by me and Norbert, a concept that I think dissuades hopeful pickpockets.

Butterfly seems blissfully unaware as we stroll the half mile to our destination. The street is very narrow and there isn’t a lot of pedestrian traffic until we get closer to Avenue Klèber, where I tuck Butterfly under my arm and she snuggles in for the last hundred or so feet of our stroll. A left turn on Klèber and a right on Saint-Didier brings us to Le Dokhan’s Hotel, which houses Le Dokhan’s bar—an exceptional champagne bar with expert sommeliers to aid in your wine-tasting experience.

“A little more history for my beautiful intellectual,” I say to Butterfly as I pull out a chair for her. “La Dokhan’s is Paris’ first champagne bar. As you can see, it’s elegant yet cozy,” I gesture around us at the paneled walls and comfortable chairs. “It’s decorated in Baroque style I think…” I pause for confirmation.

“Yes,” she says in a sultry voice with a sultrier smile, “this is Baroque… late 18th century, evidenced by the gold-framed paneling and the chandeliers. It’s stunning, Christian.” I have to admit that I pleased that she’s pleased. I take my seat next to her and a sommelier is by our side in no time. I request bottles of three high-quality champagnes and caviar along with bread and cheese, cashews, and sweet cakes. I chose bottles instead of a degustation in case Butterfly tasted something that she liked and wanted more.

“Have you ever done a proper champagne tasting, Butterfly?” I ask as I tilt her glass and pour an ample sampling of our first selection, a Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2004.

“I’ve been to a wine tasting or two, if you recall,” she purrs, no doubt referring to our weekend in Napa. I have to admit that my dick twitches a bit at the recollection. I turn a seductive gaze to her and her squirm and lip biting tells me that she immediately gets my meaning. No use in sitting here hot and bothered all alone.

“Don’t bite your lip,” I warn softly, and her tongue momentarily replaces her tongue. Oh hell, that’s not much different. I turn my attention back to our flutes. “It’s not much different than wine tasting, but there are slight nuances to appreciating a good French champagne.” I hand her the flute and begin to demonstrate in a low, mellow voice. “First, you tilt the flute like this, and examine the bubbles. You’re examining their persistence… regularity… and finesse.” I look over at her and she’s watching me with hungry eyes. “You’re not looking at your champagne, Butterfly.”

“Huh?” she says, a little dazed.

“The champagne. You should be examining it,” I croon.

“Oh. Oh! Yes… right. Like this, right? You said persistence… and finesse?” She’s attempting to recover and trying to focus on the wine. I slide my free arm around her, eliciting a shiver and a gasp. She would fuck me right here on the floor if I let her.

“Yess,” I whisper, extending the “s” just a little, “finesse. Now, you want to examine the dress of the champagne.” I say suggestively, bringing my lips a little closer to her ear on the word dress. “The dress is the color of the champagne. What would you say is the dress of this champagne, Butterfly?” She sighs softly and examines her glass.

“Gold,” she says, softly. “Almost amber.”

“Very good,” I commend her. “The darker the color, the longer it has been aged. Seeing that this is a 2004 bottle, I’d say that you’ve gotten the dress precisely. Now, I want you to swirl your glass like this,” I swirl the glass gently, allowing the wine to lubricate the glass then fall. “You’re looking at the tears now, the drops that fall down the inside of the flute. What do you see?” She swirls her glass and examines it carefully.

“They look… heavy,” she says.

“Yes,” I whisper again. “That’s right. This means this promises a smooth flavor and flow. Now, you are going to smell it. Now, watch me. This is not for wimps.” I smile and wink at her. I cover my entire nose with the glass, leaning my head forward so that all parts of the rim are touching some part of my face on the right side. I inhale deeply into the right nostril then repeat the move on my left side. Closing my eyes, I try to identify as many aromas as I can. “You are looking for familiar aromas. Anything that can tell you what flavors you might taste in the wine. Try it.”

More diligent in her task, Butterfly sniffs the wine like an experienced taster and closes her eyes. “I smell peaches,” she says, “and something citrus…”

“Excellent,” I say. “Bergamot.” She turns to me with an accomplished smile. I reward her with one of my own. “Now, you’re going to swirl it a little harder to release the molecules of the Pinot. Then, you’re going to sniff it again.” She swirls again, mimicking my move, and smells it again. “What do you smell now?”

“Wow!” she exclaims softly. The Bouquet has been released and the champagne in more voluptuous and full-bodied. The flavor promises to tantalize the tongue. “I can detect vanilla and… apricot, I think… and… bread?” she asks at the end. I was wondering if she would pick that up.

“Brioche, to be exact,” I tell her. “Your nose is impeccable, Mrs. Grey,” I say softly, eliciting a blush from her. “Now comes the fun part—the tasting. This should bring the final flavors and aromas out of the champagne if you do it properly.”

“I didn’t get them all?” she asks, disappointed.

“You got more than most, Baby,” I tell her, kissing her suggestively on the cheek to maintain our playful atmosphere, “but yes, there’s a few more. Now, you want to take a small amount in your mouth and grumer the wine. You tilt your head forward just a bit and allow small amounts of air into your mouth before you swallow or spit the champagne. It allows you to exhale the aromas while they stimulate the nasal path of the mouth and the receptors of the nose. It’s called retro-olfaction.” She smiles.

“I understand that part,” she says.

“Good. In our case, we swallow.” I say seductively.

“We certainly do,” she suggests. Oh, fuck, she’s killing me!

“Do you understand about the attack, mid-palate, and final palate?”

“I do a bit, but why don’t you explain it again?” she mewls, leaning closer to me… she smells of heat and it’s starting to get to me, but I love our game, so I just keep going.

“The attack is the taste of the champagne the first moments you taste it. Is it pure, ample, elegant, or disappointing? The mid-palate will help you identify if the acidity balances with the softness. It will also help you with the Bouquet—to identify new aromas that you couldn’t determine with just smell.” I look into her ocean-blue eyes and I see nothing but intense desire that matches mine. Has she heard anything that I said? She is so hot, I’m having a hard time not slamming her on my lap and thrusting into her right here and now. Her lips are parted and she’s panting a bit, so I know that she’s thinking the same thing.

“You… um… finished with the mid-palate. Is there more?” she asks, breathy. I return my focus to what I was saying though I know that Greystone is a little angry and a tad bit hard to control.

“Yes,” I nearly groan, “the final palate—the lingering of the flavor. Is it brief… or is it long and intense?” I pause and let my words sink in, watching her shiver a bit at the innuendo. “Is it acidic, or is it elegant? Harmonious…? Mellow…?” Each word elicits a wanton stare from her. I take a drink of my champagne and grumer it three times before I allow it to slide down my throat. “Taste your champagne, Baby.”

Without taking her eyes off of me, she takes a drink of her champagne, grumers it perfectly, and swallows. I instinctively swallow with her, attempting to taste her wine in my throat as well as mine. When she does, a small drop escapes out of the corner of her mouth. I don’t know if she did that on purpose and I don’t care. I lean forward and clean the drop of champagne that has slid down her jaw before closing my lips over hers and kissing her deeply.

“Delicious,” I whisper. “What do you taste?” Her eyes are still closed.

“It’s crisp… full and silky… almond and… jasmine…” She opens her eyes and looks at me. “It lingers.”

“You like it?” I croon.

“Yes, very much,” she breathes.

“There’s two more.”

“I know.” She gets the words out before I close my lips over hers again. For a few precious moments, we are the only ones in the room. I disappear in her kiss and sate myself the only way that I can at the moment. Her lips and tongue taste divine, of vanilla and peaches… and Ana. I taste her until I’m satisfied to release, but only for right now. Public displays of affection aren’t as taboo in Paris as they are in the States, as evidence by the fact that our cheeses and treats are on the table when we snap out of kissing stupor.

“Let’s try the next one, shall we?” I say, softly.

We snack on various cheeses and French breads with the caviar and blini. Our other two champagnes are an Alfred Gratien Cuvee Paradis Brut and a Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Chardonnay. The Chardonnay has hints of pear and honeysuckle—clearly not aged as long as La Grande Dame, but pleasant nonetheless. The Alfred Gratien is a pleasant surprise for both of us with a Bouquet of honey and nuts and the lingering palate of gingerbread! It goes well with the sweet cakes, which were very sweet, but we both admit that we prefer the La Grande Dame overall as it is the only glass that we both finished.

Nightfall has finally come to Paris, which is perfect timing for my second surprise. When we leave Le Dokhan’s, a beautiful lighted carriage awaits us. It looks like Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage and it’s being pulled by a white race shire. The company normally does its last tour at 9 and doesn’t go where I want it to go. However, the adage holds true—money goes a long way. Seeing Butterfly bounce up and down like a little girl makes it worth every penny.

I help her into the lighted ball carriage and off we go down Raymond Poincaré Avenue and onto Victor Hugo Avenue. The night air is brisk and Butterfly is loving it, evidenced by one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen on her face. Paris lights are fascinating and I have my wife snuggled contentedly under my arms, kissing me gratefully and smiling like a kid at Christmas. Our ride is peaceful except for the occasional car that wants us to get out of the way, and Butterfly comments how she expected the traffic flow to be on the left side of the street instead of the right like she sees on television. I told her that not all countries outside of the United States drive on the left side instead of the right, and remind her about when we were in Anguilla last year. She snuggles in again and we enjoy our ride.

While we are riding down the streets of Paris in our “ball of light” Norbert and Adrien have gone back to the hotel to get the Audi and the meet us at our next destination. We travel up the Boulevard de Clichy and make a U-turn.

“No!” Butterfly gasps when she sees the unmistakable lighted windmill come into view. “You’re kidding!”

“No, I’m not,” I tell her as the carriage travels down the road.

“Oh, my God! I’ve always wanted to come here!” She exclaims. The carriage stops and Norbert and Adrien approach.

“Madame, Monsieur,” Adrien greets with a nod. I nod in greeting as well, but Butterfly is having none of it. I guess I better tell her that they will be coming with us to Greece as well. I get out of the carriage and help Butterfly down. She smiles at the driver who returns her smile, tipping his hat. Butterfly takes my arm and we proceed to the incredibly long line to get into the Moulin Rouge.

“Monsieur Grey!” I look around to see who is calling my name. Adrien is tipping the carriage driver who is having a hard time leaving as patrons leaving the last show are trying to hire him. “Monsieur Grey!” I follow my name and find Norbert coming toward me. “Vous ne avez pas à attendre, monsieur. Votre table est prête. Suivez-moi se il vous plaît.” We follow Norbert into the cabaret to the disapproving eyes of many of the patrons in line. A hostess guides us through the dinner theater and shows us to our seats. I asked for a table that was close to the stage but not too close so that we could look forward at the show instead of looking up. He assists Butterfly with her chair and announces that he will return with our champagne.

“More champagne,” Butterfly says. “I don’t think I should. I won’t be able to walk by the time this night is over.”

“Don’t worry, Baby. It’s only a half bottle.” She frowns.

“What do they do with the other half?” she asks. I frown back.

“That’s a good question.”

It turns out to be a moot question as we are so engrossed in the show that neither of us even touch the champagne. The title of the show is Féerie and it’s been playing at the Moulin Rouge since 1999. It’s a fantastic show with elaborate costumes, wonderful singers, fabulous dancers, and skin… lots and lots of skin! The introduction is composed of all of the performers in the show. They are wearing white sequined tuxedos and singing and dancing. Not far into the song, while the men show their fancy dance steps, the women remove tear-away pants and dance around in thongs boasting buns of steel. Now, I know what’s coming next, just not to what degree.

I mean these women are gorgeous, and there are men up there too, but I don’t notice them much. As the introduction finds the dancers filtering off the stage, the next scene displays these beautiful women with angelic voices that are parading around in what looks like red balls of feathers. Their asses are displaying flimsy thongs and are connected to mile-long legs and shiny stilettos. They are singing—in French of course—about dancing and about the amazing Féerie when their lovely red feather ball costumes plume out become red feather skirts… and here come the tits—tits as far as the eye can see. There are at least twenty women walking around on the stage, singing and dancing, in draping body jewelry, dramatic headdresses, lots of red feathers, sexy stilettos, and tits—beautiful pink tits that look like they’ve been sitting on ice for the last three days.

I look over at Butterfly and she looks stunned and starry-eyed… yes, starry-eyed. Her gaze is locked on the stage at the beautiful topless women parading around singing and dancing and shaking their asses in the most famous cabaret in the world. When the song is over, she claps wildly and smiles at me before quickly turning her eyes back to the stage to avoid missing any of the show.

Now… I’m a happily newly-married man. My wife is sitting across from me at a burlesque show immensely enjoying the performance. What’s the performance—beautiful hard-bodied, scantily-clad women with endless legs shaking their bare asses on stage with nipples that are a mile long. I have no desire to take any of these women home, but I am a man, and dammit, I’m going to watch!

The show goes on and the Doriss Girls and the Doriss Dancers perform amazing dances and beautiful interpretations of the splendor of Moulin Rouge from yesteryear through today. From the description and the precision of the dance, I would say that the Doriss Dancers are as famous in Paris as the Radio City Rockettes are in New York—maybe even more so. They interpret an Indonesian pirate show, a circus, and dances throughout the decades for an hour and a half, still in beautiful costumes and perky tits. The last half-hour or so was acrobats, ventriloquists, and a spectacular Roller Pilar performance. Butterfly is on her feet applauding energetically at the end of the show. Good God, what more could a man ask for?

“I take it you liked the show,” I say as we walk out of the theater with Norbert in tow. Adrien has gone to get the car.

“Oh, Christian, it was fantastic! I’ve never seen anything like it!” she raves.

“You know they have these types of shows in Vegas all the time,” I tell her.

“Nothing like this, I’m sure,” she says. I’m not sure what she means.

“You know that movie Showgirls with Elizabeth Berkley?” I ask and she nods. “That’s real.”

“Oh, I’m sure it is, but that’s nothing like this,” she protests. “This is real entertainment! Precision! Detail! Plot and Performance! Not just some naked woman gyrating on stage for a bunch of horny men.” I raise my eyebrow at her.

“Butterfly, the Vegas showgirls aren’t much different than this. As a matter of fact, they aim to be very much like this,” I tell her.

“I still think it’s different,” she says flippantly, dropping her eyes to the floor. I examine her for a moment.

“Have you ever seen a Las Vegas show?” I ask her and she shakes her head without raising her eyes. Of course she hasn’t. The only time she has spent in Vegas is with the Mortons and with you, you moron. “Well, I’ll tell you this,” I say putting my arm around her and pulling her to me. “Like most burlesque shows, they do endeavor to be as fabulous as the Moulin Rouge, and like most burlesque shows, they don’t quite make the mark.” She looks up at me.

“Are you saying that just to be agreeable?” she asks, a smirk threatening her lips.

“Yes and no,” I tell her. “I’ve been to a Las Vegas show before. They are good, don’t get me wrong, but not as good as Moulin Rouge,” I concede. She raises her eyebrows at me now.

“Had nothing to do with the fantastic tits?” she asks, skeptically.

“Had everything to do with the tits,” I say shamelessly. She gasps. “Hey! I’m a man. Would you even believe me if I had said anything else?” She eyes me for a moment then playfully elbows me in the side.

“Asshole,” she says as Adrien brings the car around and we climb inside. A few minutes into the ride, Butterfly snuggles in close to me.

“You’re tired, aren’t you?” I ask.

“Mmm, just a little. I didn’t get much sleep last night… this afternoon… you know what I mean.”

“Yes, I know what you mean,” I kiss her forehead. “Do you think you have the energy for one more stop?” She looks up at me.

“We have one night in Paris. I’ll go wherever you take me.”

“That’s my girl. We’ll be there in just a few minutes…”

As promised, a few minutes later, Butterfly is staring straight up at a golden lighted Eiffel Tower. She is speechless, and I can’t help but recall Adrien’s words about the little lady and the bright lights. She’s just staring at it and I can’t help but wonder what is going through her mind right now. A few minutes after we get there, it begins—the late night light show. Butterfly squeals like a school girl, clapping her hands and bouncing around on her stilettos. She looks glorious. The lights are twinkling in her gorgeous blue eyes and joy is emanating from her every pore. She is happy and carefree and beautiful. The breeze catches one of her super-long locks and whips it behind her every now and again. I can see her in my mind’s eye, running around like a carefree child, skipping and happy and laughing, until she comes upon a cage. There’s a heart inside. It’s whole and intact, but it’s dead. She hugs it to her chest and cheek—like a favorite stuffed toy—and it comes to life, beating feverishly and hard, pumping loud and red and powerful. She tucks it under her arm and continues to skip and laugh, carrying this once dead heart around with her.

I watch the dead heart, pumping and pumping, harder and harder, until I can hardly breathe. Of course, it’s my heart. She gave me life and love and happiness and asked for nothing in return, but her spirit beckons me, calls to me and alerts me that nothing less than all of me is acceptable. I will give her that. I will give her all of me, because I know that she will take care of me and my once dead heart.

“It’s beautiful, Christian,” she breathes. “It’s everything I dreamed it would be.”

“Yes, it is,” I say, never taking my eyes off her. She turns to me and catches me staring. I don’t know how long I watched her, but the light show is over and the Eiffel Tower is now back to its nighttime shade of gold.

“Je t’aimais avant d‘être créé,” I say to her. “Tu es mon début et ma fin. Sans toi, je ne suis rien. Je vais t’aimer jusqu’à mon dernier souffle et même mon âme continuera à t’aimer au-delà pour l’éternité. Tu me complète. Tu m’as apporté la vie et l’amour. Tu es tout mon être, Lady Anastasia. Embrasse-moi, mon amour.”

She gasps twice and quickly releases her breath. She looks as though she might lose her balance for a moment and I am set to catch her. A single tear falls out of each eye and down each cheek. Longing blue eyes stare at me as I brush away the tears from her face. She grabs the lapels of my jacket and pulls me down to her. We share a kiss, deep and soulful—one of those cliché, once-in-a-lifetime kisses under the Eiffel Tower.

I open my eyes and I’m in bed alone. It’s about 3:30 in the morning. Butterfly was unusually tired when we got back to the hotel room and since we need to adjust our inner clocks anyway, we went straight to bed. Now in the wee hours of the morning, she’s not here. I get out of bed dressed only in what God gave me and go in search of her.

I find her easily enough. It’s not like she could really go anywhere, but she’s standing at the glass wall, looking out that the still-golden Eiffel Tower. The room is completely dark and something from outside is shining inside—the moon? We’re up too high for streetlights. I don’t know. I do know that I can see her silhouette through her long-sleeved, full-length nightgown. I had wondered why she brought that thing on our honeymoon. It covers every part of her and at first glance, doesn’t look sexy at all. Now, I can see just how thin it is with the light from the night shining through it, and Greystone instantly goes from interested to quite attentive. Like a compass pointing the direction, he guides me right to her. She is aware of my presence and starts to move to face me.

“Don’t turn around.” Her breath catches slightly. “Tell me what you see.”

“I see a beautiful city with people still walking down the Avenue d’Iéna way too late but enjoying to the night air and each other’s company.”

“What else?” I slowly approach her, closing the distance and aching to touch her.

“I see a most beautiful edifice… lit up against the night sky… something I’ve wanted to see my whole life and never thought I would.”

“Never?” I ask as I finally close the space between us, my erection pressing against her butt and back. She inhales sharply.

“I thought I’d be much older before I ever got the chance to see it. I thought I would be alone when I got here… not unhappy, but alone, enjoying the splendor of it all.” Her breathing increases.

“What are you thinking now?” I ask, sliding my hands under her arms and around to her beautiful breasts, teasing them mercilessly through her nightgown.

“Ah!” she gasps. “That I’m glad I’m not here alone. I’m glad that I’m here with you.”

“Oh, no, Mrs. Grey, you’re not getting off that easily. Tell me what you’re thinking.” She’s panting and I pinch and tease her nipple.

“Mmmm!” she whines. “Mmmm…that I wanted you to fuck me under the Eiffel Tower… in the Eiffel Tower… on top of the Eiffel Tower.”

“Now we’re talking. Hands on the glass.” She puts her hand flat on the window. “Higher.” She raises her hands and spreads them further apart on the glass. “I can’t fuck you on top of the Tower, so we have to do the next best thing. Open your eyes.” As she opens her eyes, I lift her gown so that she can feel my skin against her, how hard I am, how deep I plan to fuck her against this glass. I lift her leg and place her foot on the wooden ledge that lines the glass wall. I position myself at her opening, bend my knees and slide into her. She whines loud and hard and the quivering begins almost immediately. This is going to be quick.

“Look at the people,” I tell her, still tormenting her breasts through her nightgown. “Do you think they can see us?”

“I…” She’s panting again. “No! No! They can’t see us!” She’s rising higher and higher and losing control of herself.

“Do you want them to see us?” I taunt, sliding deeply into her from behind as I hold her against me by her breasts, careful not to put too much weight on the glass.

“I don’t know…” she pants. “I don’t care…” She reaches back to grab my hair.

“On the glass!” I tell her, and she plants her hands flat on the glass again. I’m still cupping her breasts, still torturing her nipples, still driving into her pussy wrapping around me, grabbing me, and threatening to empty me at any moment.

“Fuck, your breasts are so goddamn perfect,” I growl as I feel her nipples pebble in my hand. Fuck, I’m going to blow. She feels so damn good and she’s whining and panting like crazy.

“Talk to me,” I hiss. “Tell me where we are.”

“The Tower!” she breathes. “The top of the Tower!” She’s shaking.

“Open your eyes!” I tell her, knowing that she has closed them again. “Do you see it?”

“Yes! Y-yes!”

“There’s a couple watching us… in the corner,” I breathe in her ear. “He’s touching her breasts, like I’m doing yours.” I pinch harder and she cries out, trembling against me. “She groans as I fuck you. She wants him to fuck her the same way.” I stroke into her knowing that neither of us will last much longer.

“Ah! Oh God!” she squeaks. She is grabbing my dick so tight that I know it’s time, and I’m right behind her.

“Do you see the grate, Baby?” I ask, referring to the grate at the top of the Tower to keep idiots from jumping. “Do you see it, Baby?”

“Yes,” she says.

“No you don’t, not yet.” I say, sliding in and out of her. I grab her breast hard and pull her against me and onto me, her nipples unforgiving through her nightgown. She cries out again, her orgasm moments away.

“Close you eyes. Do you see them? Do you see him playing with her breasts?” In response, her breasts pebble harder against my hands as if they could.

“Yes! Yes! God, yes!” Yes, I know, Baby. You are so fucking hot and tight and getting wetter by the stroke.

“Do you see the grate?” I growl slowly, now thrusting into her.

“Yes! Fuck! Yes!” she screams.

“Grab the grate! Come for me, Baby! Come on, give it to me!” A few moments and strokes later, her fingers curl behind the glass as she groans loudly and her body stiffens with her orgasm.

“Oh, fuck, yes, Baby, come all over my dick,” I growl as I push into her chasing my hovering orgasm. Right when it’s about to strike, I reach under her gown and pinch her clit. She literally screams my name and grabs my hair as she is jolted into another orgasm or wild and crazy aftershocks—I don’t know which—and I am emptying hard inside of her.

“Fuuuuuuuck! Anastasia, fuuuuck!” I call out, my face buried between her neck and shoulder with her gown muffling my cries. Shit, that was intense. I am literally holding her up against me and I have no idea how I held this position, because my legs hurt like fuck now! I grab her by the waist and, still inside her, walk to the sofa and sit down with her on my lap. That was so damn intense, I could fucking fall asleep right here.

“It looks like… you liked… the visuals,” I pant, trying to catch my breath.

“Yes,” she breathes, chasing her own.

“You like… for people to… watch?” I ask, curious.

“I don’t know,” she admits. “I just know… that it was… hot as fuck… when you said it.” I half-chuckle.

“No one… can see my wife come,” I say, wrapping my arms around her and kissing her neck.

“That’s comforting,” she says, groggily, “although I’m sure someone… saw me come at the BDSM club last year… and She-Thing followed us to every room.” She yawns. Yeah, she saw us in the park on the hood of the car, too, but I don’t tell her that.

“That was different,” I say softly. “That was discreet and in the dark. Everyone was playing with someone. I can guarantee that no one saw us. No one was even paying attention… except for maybe She-Thing.” She giggles.

“Okay, enough about She-Thing, Mr. Grey. Take me to bed. I’m sleepy,” she says. I scoop her up bridal-style. “And thanks for Eiffel Tower sex.” I smile at her.

“You’re welcome, Mrs. Grey.”


ANASTASIA

I awake in Paris with my husband’s naked body wrapped around mine. Did we fuck in the Eiffel Tower last night? Was I dreaming? I could swear…

Grab the grate…”

Shit! My nipples respond immediately. I see a young couple. He’s standing behind her. His hands are under her shirt pinching her breasts.

Do you see them…?”

We were at the Tower…

“I can smell you.” His voice only partially brings me back to the here and now. The sun is up. It’s no longer dark and I’m not at the Eiffel Tower… but I am burning up—completely naked, and I am burning up. He looks up at me from his position on my chest and I know that it’s evident.

He can smell me.
He can smell my arousal.

Without a word, he slides down the bed and buries his head between my legs, opening my lips with his and deliciously tonguing my clitoris.

“Aaaaahhh…”

*-*

I’ve learned a lesson about breakfast in France. It’s usually a light affair—croissants and coffee, maybe. Normally, I’m okay with that, but I had one meal yesterday and that was breakfast on the plane. We nibbled on some treats at the wine tasting, but that was nothing substantial. Although my “day” consisted of about seven or eight hours with the time zone change, I am freaking starving! Bread and coffee simply will not do! So croissants and coffee quickly became bacon and eggs, baguettes, crepes, French muffins, lots and fresh fruit and cream cheese, orange juice… and blood sausage. The moment I see the black, greasy creation, my stomach began to turn and I had flashbacks of the murder burger. Christian has to remove it completely from the suite as the smell of it just makes me want to hurl. Once it’s gone, we hungrily dig in to our not-so-French breakfast before getting dressed for our last day in Paris.

At Christian’s urging to wear something comfortable, I wear a flowy white blouse with a pair of jeggings and my high-healed boots. I only brought two outfits to the hotel with me, so this is the winner, but it’s a bit of a struggle to bring the jeggings over my butt. Dammit! I hope today’s activities involve some walking since I just ate half of the kitchen and my ass looks like it covers two damn area codes! Thank God these things are stretchy!

“Is there music playing and I just can’t hear it?” Christian asks when he walks in and I am doing the jeans-stretch dance. I throw an impatient glare at him.

“I’ve been eating like a cow, Christian,” I lament, thinking of all the emotional eating I’ve been doing in the weeks prior to the wedding. “My clothes are tighter and my butt’s going to explode out of my pants any second.”

“You got that right,” he says in a low voice, and I don’t think I was meant to hear it. Son of a bitch!

“I mean that in the best way, Baby,” he says noting my sharpened glare. “Your ass is rounder… and fucking delicious!” He’s gazing at my ass in the jeggings and I don’t know if he’s serious or kidding.

“I don’t know how I should take that,” I say, not sure if I believe him or not.

“Take it however you want, but I want some of that.” He walks behind me and cups my ass roughly. “And you’re wearing stiletto boots. That ass is going to be rocking all day and I have to control my dick,” he laments. He groans as he presses his already hardening dick against my ass. Okay, I believe him.

“Are you going to be comfortable walking around in those all day?” he asks. I look at my boots then over my shoulder at him.

“Have you met me?” I ask him incredulously. He chuckles and releases me and we head for the door.

The architecture in Paris is indescribable—pillars and statues and fountains everywhere. I’ve seen pictures and read about Paris plenty, but seeing it live and in color is extraordinary! It’s like the entire city was built specifically for you to look at it in awe. From a port just behind the Shangri-la, we take a short cruise down the River Seine past such sights as the Museum of Modern Art, the Palais de la Découverte, and the Musée d’Orsay. As soon as I see the beautiful Louvre on our left side, the boat pulls into a port to let us off. Now I know quite a bit about Paris. One thing I know is that there are oodles and oodles of famous museums here, but the Louvre is the crown jewel. We can’t possibly go to the Louvre today. There’s not nearly enough time. I haven’t done my research and I have no idea where in the Louvre the Mona Lisa is and I’ll never find Venus de Milo! I can’t go to the Louvre without seeing Venus de Milo! It’s sacrilege!

No doubt noting my anxiety and reading my mind like he always does, Christian says, “You can’t enjoy the Louvre in a day. You need at least three. We’ll get to it next time.” I sigh heavily, relieved that I won’t be clicking around the marvelous museum like a mad tourist looking for once-in-a-lifetime masterpieces and crying because I can’t find them. Once we disembark and find our way out of the port and up to the street, I finally see why we are here at this particular location that connects Institute de France to the famous Musée de Louvre.

We are on Pont des Arts… Love Lock Bridge.

I turn to face Christian in awe and there is a solid gold Louis Vuitton lock hanging from his finger. I never would have pegged him for a romantic. He shows me the back of the lock and it is engraved with our names—Anastasia and Christian Grey—and our wedding date of June 29, 2013.

I will not cry. I will not cry.

Silently, we unlock the lock and Christian finds a place for it on the bridge with the other locks of lovers who have come before us. I take a picture of it there on the bridge—the Love Lock Bridge in Paris. My heart is nearly jumping out of my chest.

“Shall we?” He holds the key up and I nod. He palms the key and holds it out to me. I kiss it then he kisses it, too, before launching it far out into the River Seine.

I stand there looking at our lock. To the passerby, it’s one of many locks on Love Lock Bridge. To me, it’s as bright as the sun, as large as a dinosaur and surely more beautiful than the Louvre itself. The Louis Vuitton insignia is on the underside of the lock so that you can only see the side with our names and wedding date. I’m gazing at the lock thinking that I once thought I would never be here, and if I did, I would be alone—looking at the declarations of others. Yet here I stand, having placed my own lock on the bridge with my husband the day after our wedding. Those tears that threatened to fall are burning my eyes, but I smile and shoo them away. This is an incredibly happy time, and Lord knows I’ve cried enough.

The Audi is waiting for us at the Institute de France to take us back across the river. We stop at the Place de la Concorde. I turn into a total tourist taking pictures of the Ferris Wheel and making Meathead take pictures of us at the Luxor Obelisk. I guess I should stop calling him Meathead since he’s going to be with us for the entire trip, but that’s not likely to happen. In his first encounter with me, he insulted me. He did attempt to make amends—he apologized. I guess I just feel a little slighted by the “just a pretty face” syndrome. It’s something that I rarely encountered before I met Christian—except at the shooting range, with the court ordered attendees in group therapy, and only once at the gym. I’m not looking forward to getting used to that treatment.

The last thing I want to do is piss off security. The last time that happened, I ended up handcuffed to a bed for several days.

We start our slow drive down the beautiful Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The first part of the Avenue is extraordinary landscaping, museums, and theaters. The ride is slow as is most of the automobile travel in Paris compared to the United States, but it’s quite enjoyable looking at the beautiful green trees and lovely architecture hiding behind them. Once you pass Franklin D Roosevelt circle, there’s another kind of landscape…

SHOPPING!

Shopping in Paris… on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées… I think I’m going to explode. I can hardly wait for the car to pull over. There’s an Amex Black burning a hole in my pocket!

I discover that although there are lots of places to shop on the Champs-Élysées, most of the places that I would expect to find on this famous road are actually lining streets that branch off of this famous road. It’s like this huge “Village Square of Shopping” of sorts, and the main vein is the Champs-Élysées. Instead of going down this road from Franklin D Roosevelt, we go down Avenue Montaigne. Christian informs me that since we are limited on time, this would probably be where I would get the most of the Paris shopping experience.

Dear Lord, I think I have died and gone to heaven! Dior, Armani, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and good God, the Chanel of it all! I think I’m going to faint.

Our first stop is Dolce & Gabbana. Oh my God, the clothes are dreamy. I decide to only purchase one dress because I would have to be going to the Prince’s Ball every night in order to be able to wear most of the clothes. Even their more casual clothing look more like something that “ladies who lunch” or someone straight off the Paris runway would wear. I know that’s the whole idea, but even as a billionaire’s wife, I think they were a bit too eccentric high-end for my taste—at least this particular location. The clothes are stunning, but they are the kind of clothes that would make you stand out in a group like a sore thumb unless everyone in the group was wearing the same thing that you’re wearing.

Ralph Lauren was a fun trip. I love their cashmere sweaters, so I bought four of those. I bought three pairs of the catskin stilettos sandals and two pair of the famous velvet Matalyn loafers with the embroidered crest that I plan to wear as slippers. I couldn’t leave without a couple of pairs of the ultra-soft over-the-knee socks. Not only are they fabulous for winter, but I know I could get into a lot of trouble with those puppies! Surprisingly, none of the jewelry or bags caught my eye. I did see a pair of boots that I liked, but I have a pair of Louboutins that look just like them. Christian tried to convince me to buy them anyway—he’s the king of excess—but I decide against them since the shopping day is young and there’s plenty more to see.

Fendi is about to open a new store on the Avenue Montaigne, but it’s not opening until the next day and we’ll be in Greece by then. Note to self, see if there is a Fendi somewhere in Greece.

I bought a really cute black and tan clutch from Chloé. However, this was the year of PVC, spikes, and mid-calf boots for Versace. Not quite my taste, I must admit, although there was one floor-length PVC dress with clear panels snaked throughout that I couldn’t help but see a fabulous domme night in my future… oo la la!

Deciding to save Chanel for last, we travel down the Avenue past Nina Ricci and Valentino to Armani, where I buy lots and lots of dreamy things including a pair of seriously sky-high stilettos and a sheer dress that Christian swears will never make it out of the penthouse. Norbert and Meathead had to bring the car to this stop because there was no way we were going to get these wares down the street.

“We were in Armani. Why didn’t you buy anything?” I ask Christian.

“None of the accessories caught my eye and I very rarely buy clothes off the rack,” he states matter-of-factly. I frown at him. I know he has the money to do whatever he wants, but isn’t that a bit elitist? Reading my thoughts, he answers, “My shoulders are quite broad, my chest is very wide and my waist is narrow. They don’t fit right if they fit at all. If I buy something, it has to be tailor-made or I have to get it tailored. Hence, I rarely buy off the rack unless it’s something that I really want.” I make a face, then rub his chest through his shirt.

“Very wide,” I say softly. He pulls me against him and I feel his dick twitch slightly in his jeans.

“You are a vixen, Mrs. Grey,” he growls in my ear before biting my earlobe and grabbing my ass right out in the open on the Avenue Montaigne.

“Behave, Mr. Grey,” I scold. “I can’t fuck you right here on the street.” He chuckles at me and kisses my nose.

“Come, Mrs. Grey. The Avenue awaits.”

Christian drags me over to Prada only to promptly leave me in the hands of Meathead when he sees Cesare Paciotti in Bottega Veneta. I can’t complain because he hasn’t purchased anything for himself. So off I go into Prada to buy more delicious dresses and to search for a pair of glasses that look more Jackie-O and less like Elton John. I found the cutest high-heeled fur-lined kidskin leather booties. They’ve got rugged soles like they are made for the snow. I can wear the in Seattle and not slip on the ice. Meathead is carrying my bags to the car just as Christian is exiting with several boxes. I swear I’ve never seen that man wear the same shoes twice.

“How often do you wear a single pair of shoes?” I ask him. He shrugs.

“Whenever the mood hits me,” he says. “I don’t really keep track.” I shake my head. “What?”

“You have shoes in your closet that I’ve never seen you wear. I can only assume that you’ve already worn them and don’t want to wear them again.” He shrugs again.

“If it becomes a problem for me, I’ll get rid of them,” he says.

“And do what with them?”

“I don’t know, donate them to charity, I guess.” I chuckle at his answer. I can see it now, a homeless man pushing a cart and wearing a pair of Cesare Paciotti leather shoes. Maybe that’s not what he meant, but that’s the picture that came to my head.

I thought I was going into Louis Vuitton just to buy a backpack and messenger bag. I was wrong. The styles in this store are utterly divine. These are the fashionista things that I would wear to work, to lunch with friends, to dinner with my husband. The jackets, the bags, the dresses, the sweaters, the boots, the pants and skirts—I am in love and have to stop myself from buying one of everything, but I certainly give that Amex a workout and begin to wonder if all of this stuff with fit on the damn plane! Christian put my out of my misery by arranging to have all but a few choice pieces shipped to Seattle. We had a similar experience at Dior, so we didn’t bother to bag anything. Everything is going to be shipped back to the States.

I have to say that I’m a bit tuckered out by the time we reach the House of Chanel. The exhaustion flies right out the window once I step inside. Holy Cow Batman! I am completely blown away by the splendor, opulence, and sheer richness of this place. The clothes are still a bit “one of a kind” for me, but the perfume and the jewelry… yes, yes, a thousand times, yes. May I please have a vat of Chanel No5 delivered to Escala on 4th in Seattle? Thank you ever so.

The diamonds… good Lord, the diamonds. I am drooling when Christian tells me to pick what I want.

“I can’t pick, Christian,” I whine. “It’s all too beautiful!” He chuckles at me.

“Wait here, Baby,” he says before going off with the woman who is helping us. I don’t want to call her a salesgirl. More like a diamond hostess, I should say. A few moments later while she is inconspicuously drooling over my husband, the three of us go to a separate room where Christian and I are greeted by a gentleman in a black suit. He smiles at me and guides me to a luxurious tan loveseat in front of a very large flat screen television. He says something to the man and after reaching into his wallet, hands the guy his Amex Black. Hmmm… I guess this particular purchase will be for his eyes only.

“Okay, Butterfly. I understand that there are lots of beautiful pieces to choose from and it’s going to be difficult if not impossible to choose what you like. So let’s take a look at the entire current collection and see what grabs you.”

What grabs me? Is he serious?

I sit in front of the flat screen and try not to drool over every single piece in the collection, particularly the Midnight and Charleston collection, but the Tuxedo and Cruise collections were stunning as well. Then there’s a Sunrise and a Sunset collection, a Muse collection, a Morning in Vendôme collection, Bubbles, Broadway, Symphony… I’m going to die trying to choose one.

“The time has come, My Love,” Christian says when the exquisite display is over. “Pick a collection.” A collection! Well, that makes me feel a little better. The Love Collection cost him $100,000. I know Chanel definitely won’t be any cheaper.

“Um…” I’m trying. I’m really trying to pick one. I can eliminate the Morning in Vendôme collection. I didn’t really like the yellow. The blue in the Muse and Cruise collections took away from the diamonds, but the pop of black in three of the collections really set off the sparkle. The other all-diamond collections were stunning as well which is making it hard to narrow it down. I think I’ll eliminate the Sunrise and Sunset collections, too. While they were very pretty, the color combinations seemed…

Suddenly all thoughts are wiped from my brain as my husband’s lips meet mine. Oh wow! His kiss is deep and makes me forget everything that I was thinking. He pulls his lips from mine, gently tugging at my bottom lip as we separate. “The first one that comes to mind,” he whispers looking in my eyes.

“Charleston,” I breathe.

“Good,” he says, kissing me gently again before turning to our host. “Send the Charleston collection and the Cométe necklace to my hotel in Greece—the Hotel Grande Bretagne. I will let them know that I am expecting an armored car delivery. Send the rest of the pieces to my address in Seattle.” Armored car? The rest of the pieces?

“Christian?” I can’t even form the question. Exactly how much did we spend? How many pieces did we buy?

“Every time we have a special occasion, you’re either wearing costume jewelry—very nice pieces, I might add—or the Love Collection. You really, really should have more to choose from.”

“But… armored car?” He leans in close to me.

“Baby, this is Chanel. There are a lot of diamonds going back to Seattle, and the amount of jewelry going to Greece is nothing to sneeze at. Yes, armored car.” I think it would probably be better for me not to know how much I’m going to be wearing.

“Cométe? The one that opens?” I ask. He nods. “Wow,” I say like a small child.

“We’re quite wealthy, Ana. It’s okay to live like it,” he says softly and I nod. I’m rich. I won’t let it go to my head, but God, do I love it!

“Okay,” I say with a smile.

“Good. Now it’s late and I want to get you fed,” he says, standing and reaching for my hand.

“It’s late? How late? I wanted to see the Arc de Triomphe.” He looks at his watch.

“So much later than I thought, but we can eat and we should still have time to see the Arc before we have to get back to the plane.” I take his hand and stand and not only do I get a little dizzy, but my feet hurt like hell!

“Shit! How long have we been walking?” I ask as Christian catches me in his arms.

“Several hours,” he answers. “It’s well past lunchtime—almost dinner. I know you wanted to see all of the shops and I didn’t want to interrupt you, but we won’t do this again.”

“Yes, Sir,” I say with a salute.

“Careful,” he warns, looking down at me. I stick my tongue out at him and after he has retrieved his credit card, we leave Chanel in search of sustenance.


A/N:

“Excusez-moi, elle parle français.”—”Excuse me, she speaks French.”

“”Pardonnez-moi, Madame.”—”Pardon me, Madam.” (He was apologizing.)

“Madame, Monsieur, Bienvenue à l’hôtel Shangri-la.”—”Madam, Sir, welcome to the Shangri-la hotel.”

”Bonjour Madame. J’ai une réservation sous le nom de Christian Grey.”—”Hello, ma’am. I have a reservation under the name of Christian Grey.”

“Oui, monsieur. Vous êtes dans la suite Shangri-La.”—”Yes sir, you are in the Shangri-La suite.”

“Monsieur Grey! Vous ne avez pas à attendre, monsieur. Votre table est prête. Suivez-moi se il vous plait.”—”Mister Grey! You don’t have to wait, sir. Your table is ready. Follow me please.”

“Je t’aimais avant d‘être créé,” I say to her. “Tu es mon début et ma fin. Sans toi, je ne suis rien. Je vais t’aimer jusqu’à mon dernier souffle et même mon âme continuera à t’aimer au-delà pour l’éternité. Tu me complète. Tu m’as apporté la vie et l’amour. Tu es tout mon être, Lady Anastasia. Embrasse-moi, mon amour.”—”I loved you before I was created. You are my beginning and my end. Without you, I am nothing. I will love you through my last breath and even my soul will continue to love you for eternity. You made me whole. You brought me life and love. You are my whole being, Lady Anastasia. Kiss me, my love.”

There is a new board just for Paris. I find that too many pictures on one board gets to be overwhelming and the wedding had A LOT! The honeymoon will, too. The day trip to Paris is here: http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/mending-dr-steele-a-day-in-paris/

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

Love and handcuffs!
Lynn x

Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 65—Yep, Still Doing…

Chapter 65—Yep, Still Doing…

ANASTASIA

The old witch’s husband came over to apologize for his wife’s behavior and he was more concerned about whether he would be able to continue his business dealings with Christian than he was about her. No wonder she feels neglected. She obviously is!

Christian does everything that he can to assure me that this will never be us—that we will end up like Carrick and Grace, like Auntie Cyn and Larry… not like Mr. and Mrs. Ringhold. He spins me across the floor in a magical dance to our song, and I can barely feel my feet touch the ground. He holds me close to him after beckoning me to hold him while he keeps my train from hindering our movement. Tears swell up from my soul and burn my cheeks as my love for him becomes more than I can contain. Every expression of love and desire that I have ever made are not enough to explain what I feel for him in this moment. I didn’t think I could love him more than I already did, but what I feel now is enough to consume me and take me away.

Breathe, Anastasia… breathe…

“Dry your eyes, Lady Anastasia. I’ll protect you, and I’ll love you forever.”

Oh, good God, I’m going to die!

I can’t hear or feel or see anything beyond my own weeping. I know that he is holding me up, but when he starts to play just above the garden… FIRE! It was certainly enough to calm my tears and he just held me and danced with me for an eternity.

After we slowly eat pieces of our delicious wedding cake, the time arrives for me to dance with my father. I have been looking forward to as well as dreading this moment because I know that Daddy will be emotional while we dance. Over this last year, he has been more emotional than I have ever seen him—except when Carla took me away to Nevada. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing that he’s being more emotional. In many ways, he’s just like Christian, although maybe for different reasons. I just hate to see him cry.

Daddy picked the song for us to dance to—Cinderella. While it is a beautiful song, it’s so sad. I remember the story about this song, that the singer’s daughter was killed in a tragic accident.

“Daddy, can I ask why did you pick this song?” I ask while we are gliding around the floor.

“Why do you think I picked it?” he inquires. I shrug.

“It makes me feel like… like you think I’ll leave you behind. I mean, I know the story behind this song—that he lost his daughter.” Daddy looks strangely at me.

“Then you don’t know the whole story,” he says. Daddy quickly explains to me that Steven Curtis Chapman wrote the song because he was rushing his two daughters to go bed after he had bathed them one night. He quickly thought about how he should cherish those moments with his daughters while he still had them because they go by so quickly. It wasn’t until after this song was released that he lost his 5-year-old daughter. Everyone thinks the song was written because of her death, but it was written to remind him to live and enjoy his girls.

“I’ll admit, though, Annie. It does feel like you’re slipping away from me—growing in ways that I never knew possible and… maybe leaving me behind just a bit.” I frown.

“Daddy, no,” I say softly.

“As much as neither of us will admit it, Sunflower, there is a new #1 man in your life. He’s given you his name. He’s going to give you children. Although I am smart enough to know that he will never take my place, you two will share a love that can’t be rivaled. I would be lying if I told you that it didn’t make the old man just a little jealous…” He trails off and I just hold him close to me and let him compose himself a bit.

“I cried the night that you got married,” I tell him. “I thought I was losing my Daddy, but I was so wrong, and I got so much in return… and now, so are you.”

“I’m going to try to convince myself of that, Annie, because it sure as hell feels like I’m losing my little girl.” His voice cracks on the last words and he begins to weep. I cling to him while he cries on my shoulder.

“You’ll always be my Daddy,” I whisper in his ear. “Nothing will ever keep us apart again.” He embraces me and holds me close to him. He’s never been one to show his emotions in public, but this time, they got the best of him. The song is short and I ask the DJ to play it one more time so that I could dance with my Daddy and listen to the words as he heard them instead of how I heard them. I understand why he feels like he’s losing his little girl. I’ll make sure that he knows that’s simply not true.

When the song is over, I kiss him on the cheek and assure him that I am still Daddy’s little girl. When he seems to have pulled himself together, he goes back over to Mandy and a fussy little Harry who is, no doubt, ready for a feeding and to go to bed. After I look over at Christian who appears to be deeply lost in thought, I stroll over to the DJ and take the mic.

“I need to request one more dance tonight, so I will ask that you all bear with me.” I turn to Al and as Stevie Wonder begins to play his harmonica through the speakers, I tell him, “I need my Man of Honor please.” Al looks at me with those big brown eyes and makes his way to the floor. I can tell that he’s emotional, too. He takes my hand and clasps it close to his chest while holding me around my waist. I lean on his shoulder and he leans against my head as Dionne Warwick sings about friendship.

“Why did you threaten my husband?” I ask him softly.

“Because I love you and I thought he hurt you, and I would have made good on my promise and you would have forgiven me later… after you sewed his dick back on for him.” I laugh out loud when he says that.

“You threatened to cut off his dick?” I laugh.

“I certainly did, and he had better be glad that you were beaming and happy when I got to that room because if you weren’t, he and Agent T would have had one psycho, gay motherfucker on their hands.” I shake my head.

“You realize you would have lost that fight,” I say.

“Maybe so, maybe not, but it wouldn’t have been for lack of trying,” he says, finitely. I shake my head again.

“I love you, Al.”

“I love you, too, Jewel. You know if it weren’t for this whole gay thing, you would be my wife, right?” he asks looking me in my eyes. I nod.

“Yeah, I know,” I say, knowing that he’s serious and laying my head on his shoulder again. David wasn’t my first love, Al was. Al was the first person that I loved outside of my family and our love has only grown throughout the years. I would die without him and he without me. We sway to the last few words of our song and Stevie Wonder’s harmonica again before he kisses me gently on the lips. Anyone who doesn’t know who we are to each other are probably wondering who the hell this guy is on the dance floor kissing the bride. Hell, if you didn’t hear the announcement of the very gay couple at the beginning of the reception, you should pay more attention.

From where I’m standing holding Al’s hand, I can read Christian’s lips as he holds out his hand to Grace and says, “Dance with me, Mommy.” Grace attempts to compose herself and not cry as she takes her son’s hand and he leads her to the dancefloor. He takes the mic from the DJ and announces that he won’t make Grace cry. The next thing I know, they are ballroom dancing to one of the quintessential party songs from the 80′ right before they break off in freestyle and start dancing like crazy fools. Grace really has some moves!

We all join the dancing right after Christian and Grace finish their celebration and the party is in full swing. My gorgeous husband danced with me until my feet hurt, fast and slow songs, taking every opportunity to hold me, grind against me, touch my back and bare arms… the man has me on fire! I’m panting most of the time that we are on the dancefloor while he tells me every way that he wants to make love to me. I don’t think I’ll ever shake the vision or feeling of eight-handed Christian and right now, he’s talking like he plans on using all eight of those hands to do deliciously sensual things to me.

We break only long enough for the bouquet toss and the garter ritual. Marilyn catches the bouquet to Mia (and Gary’s) dismay and James catches the garter. Josh gets a harmless picture of the two of them and we are back on the dance floor. I swear I feel like we’re doing a Rumba to Usher’s Dive and all decorum flies out of the window. I nearly expire when his fingertips brush underneath my jawline gently beckoning me to raise my head to him.

“You are so hot,” he says only loud enough for me to hear, his breath caressing my lips before he kisses me gently. “Do you want me?”

“Yes,” I breathe, closing my eyes. How am I supposed to wait for the honeymoon to have him? I’m on fire right here on the dancefloor. My father is probably 50 feet away and I couldn’t care less. I push my hands under his lapels as he leans down and kisses my shoulder. The shiver has to be obvious.

“Mmmmm… is that Chanel?” he asks, sniffing my skin.

“Gucci,” I say, trying to control my panting. He sniffs again, running his fingertips up my arms and causing goosebumps to appear.

“I definitely approve,” he breathes on my neck before placing a gentle kiss in front of my ear. “I’m going to stop now, Baby, before I give our guests a show they won’t soon forget.” Instead of pulling away from me, he pulls me closer to him. Holding me against him, we sway softly to the music. “I can’t wait to be inside of you,” I says, gently kissing my forehead. “Breathe, Lady Anastasia,” he says, brushing his lips against my temple.

I take in deep breaths to compose myself as I know that he will be releasing me soon and I don’t want to be all flustered and wobbly when he does. All too soon, the song is over and I have to stand on my own.

“Okay?” he says, looking into my eyes and holding my shoulders. I nod.

“Yes, I’m good,” I assure him. “I… um… I’m going to give out a couple of gifts, okay?” He nods and kisses me on the temple.

“Okay, Baby. I’ll be around,” he says with a wink then saunters off in the opposite direction. I can see that fine ass under that perfectly cut jacket and it’s making me hot all over again. Good God, I’m having a hard time controlling myself.

I shake off the thought of gripping his steel butt cheeks and scratching his back while he pounds into me, grab three boxes from the back of the gift table and go in search of Mandy. I find her at the table alone rocking Harry in his baby seat.

“Hey! Ana! I didn’t think you’d make it over here tonight,” she says with a pleasant smile. “This is really some spread.”

“I know. It turned out fantastic, didn’t it? I don’t know half of these people. Most of them have been introduced to me, but I’m not going to remember who they are.”

“I don’t envy you with that,” she says. “If you don’t mind me saying so, you and your husband have sexual energy like I’ve never seen!” She’s looking at me kind of wide-eyed and stunned and I can’t help but laugh. “I mean, Ray… but you and Christian… whew!” She fans herself. This is hilarious that I’m having this conversation with my stepmother at this moment.

“Yes, he can be quite intense,” I say looking over at my husband who is talking to some other wedding guests.

“Intense is not the word!” she elaborates. “I’ve seen intense. Ray is intense. The two of you are combustible!” I laugh heartily.

“Yes, we are.” I sit next to her. “How’s Harry doing?” I ask looking over at my baby brother.

“He’s fine for now. I think I’m going to have to put him to bed soon. Too much party for this little guy.”

“He does seem a little restless,” I observe. “Well, I just came over to give you this.” I hand her one of the gifts. “I meant to give it to you before the wedding while we were getting dressed, but it slipped my mind.” She takes the box from my hand.

“Ana! You didn’t have to, you know.”

“I know. I wanted to. You make my dad so happy and you really are a wonderful person and such a good mom to Harry. I just want you to know that I appreciate you, too.” I say with a smile which she returns.

“Thank you, Ana. Should I open it now?”

“Please do.” She tears off the white wrapping paper and ribbon, then opens the box to reveal a silver 8×5 vanity tray.

“Oh, Ana, it’s beautiful,” she says. She turns it over and reads the inscription. “‘Thank you for being my mom when I didn’t have one.'” A single tear falls down her face as she reaches for me and we embrace. “If I had to have an adult daughter, I thank God that it was you.”

“Thank you, Mandy,” I say, pulling her back to look at her face, “for everything.” She nods as she tries to wipe her tears away.

“I’m… going to take Harry on up to the room. I think he’s had enough for the day and I don’t want him to be antsy.” I smile at her.

“Where’s Dad?” I ask.

“He’s around somewhere. I know he wouldn’t leave without saying goodnight since you guys are flying to Greece later.” I look around the room and catch my father speaking to Carrick. I wave him over as I am sure that Mandy will need some help with Harry. He shakes Carrick’s hand and comes over to our table.

“Hey, Annie. This is some party,” he says with a wide smile.

“Yeah, I think it’s starting to wind down now, though. Speaking of which…” I point to Harry. “I think your wife may need some help getting my little brother to bed.” Daddy smiles down at Harry.

“Is my little man all tuckered out?” he asks no one in particular.

“Yes, and so is your little woman.” His smile extends to Mandy.

“Well, we can’t have that, can we?” he says. “Annie, I’m afraid we’re going to have to say our goodbyes now and call it a night.” He kisses me on the cheek. He decided to stay at the castle tonight instead of making the hour drive back to the city. “I want you to have a wonderful time and take lots of pictures, okay?”

“Okay, Daddy.” I hug him tight. “I love you. Take care of Harry and Mandy.”

“You know that I will,” he says returning my hug before lifting Harry’s carrier seat. I give Mandy another hug.

“And you take care of our men,” I say with a wink.

“My pleasure,” she says, winking back at me. I look into the carrier at my angelic baby brother.

“Bye, little Harry,” I say, kissing him on the forehead. “I’ll see you when I get back. I love you.” Harry doesn’t stir but just keeps doing his little baby snore. I smile at his innocence, then send him on his way. I look over to where Christian was standing, and now he’s gone. Where did he go? I quickly scan the marquee and I don’t see him. Oh, well, he couldn’t have gone far. I scan again to find the next gift recipient.

“Ana, Darling, how are you holding up? I saw those shoes when you got dressed. Your feet must be in agony. Sit.” I wave her off with a smile but take a seat next to her.

“Don’t worry about me, Grace. I can do anything in stilettos. Besides, I’ve been walking on clouds all day, so I can’t feel a thing.” I hand her the second box. “I wanted to give this to you earlier, but I was a little caught in the moments of my wedding. You can open it now if you like.” She takes the box from me and begins to unwrap it.

“Oh, Ana, how sweet of you,” she says as she removes the white paper and ribbon. Her box contains a silver memory box with the engraving “Thank you for mothering the man that I love.” Her hand goes to her mouth and she stifles a sob.

“Please, don’t cry,” I tell her. “Christian would never forgive me if I made you cry.” She looks up at me and throws her arms around me.

“My boy has found the best girl. Thank you, Ana.” She pulls away from me and puts her memory box back in its box. “I was worried about him, you know,” she says without raising her head. “Such a big commitment. He’s always been such a loner. I didn’t know what to expect.” Is she saying that she expected him to run? She couldn’t have, not after all this time. “He seemed so nervous. I could only hope that he would make the right decision.” She lifts my hand displaying my engagement and wedding rings. “It looks like he did,” she finishes, closing my hand in both of hers.

“I didn’t have a doubt,” I say with a smile. She smiles sadly back at me.

“Take care of his heart,” she says. “He’s all yours now. He’s so fragile even though he won’t let on. No one knows what he’s feeling inside—his nightmares and his fears. I protected him the best I could, now he…” Her voice trails off as she tries to find her words. “You are a dear, sweet, girl, and I am so glad that you found one another. Take care of my baby boy, Ana. Take care of his heart.”

“I will,” I reply to her beseeching eyes. “I promise.” She squeezes my hand and nods.

“That’s all I can ask. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to freshen up just a bit.” She stands and excuses herself from the table with a smile. This must have been difficult for her, loving him from the age of four through all of his problems and his nightmares. Watching him grow, sharing his triumphs, and learning the horrors that he faced at that horrible woman’s hand, then having to hand his heart off to yet another woman, praying that she will take care of him.

I look around the marquee again. Still no Christian. I get Carrick’s attention and ask if he has seen Christian. He says that he hasn’t but he will let Christian know that I am looking for him the moment he sees him. I nod, resigned to the fact that my husband has disappeared during our wedding reception and I just have to wait until he chooses to re-emerge.

I shrug and go in search of Al.

I find him and James in the corner canoodling. They don’t care who knows that they are a couple, but the do try to keep their public displays of affection not-so-public for the sake of any homophobes who may have been invited to the wedding. James has that look that Christian has with me, like his whole world begins and ends in Al’s eyes. Allen gazes just as lovingly at him as James gently caresses his lover’s cheek. It’s all very touching and I find myself sighing and smiling at my best friend and his boyfr… partner.

They share some intimate secret before looking up to see me standing not far away. Al blushes and it never ceases to amaze me how shy he gets around James. He is a shark in the courtroom and the boardroom, but when it comes to James, he’s a giggly little boy. He shrinks a bit into his lover as James plants a gentle kiss on his temple.

“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to intrude,” I say, finally approaching the table.

“You’re a very beautiful bride,” James says in a deep, honey-smooth voice, reminding me why I wished he wasn’t gay when we first met. Now I know why Al blushes all the time around him.

“Thank you, James,” I say with a blush of my own. “I just want to have a word or two with my best friend. I promise I won’t keep him long.”

“No problem,” he says. He turns to Al and whispers something in his ears, eliciting a large and genuine smile from him. After kissing Al tenderly and suggestively on the lips, James leaves us to talk. I sit down and watch Al as he gazes longingly after his partner.

“You said he’s the one,” I tell him as he slowly turns to look at me.

“He is,” he says wistfully. “He’s it for me. He makes me feel things I never thought I could.” He holds his head down. “I live in a world based solely on attraction. It’s been my experience that if someone doesn’t look at you and immediately want to fuck you, there’s really no chance for anything else. I don’t know if it’s the same for all gay men, but that’s been my experience.” He looks back at James’ retreating form. “Yes, when I saw him, I immediately wanted to fuck him, but he wasn’t having it… not right out the gate. We met at the grocery store and I felt him before I saw him. Sexy ass jeans and a T-shirt—I just wanted to admire him. I didn’t even think he was gay and I can usually spot them a mile away. I turned to look at him and couldn’t stop staring. When he turned those luscious brown eyes on me, I was frozen. He saw right through me and I. Couldn’t. Move.”

He sounds a lot like I feel around Christian although our first meeting went nothing like that.

“I can never remember what we were looking at that day… wine… olive oil… something in a bottle, but he stared at me for a moment and I was lost. Then he smiled. Oh, Jewel, he was breathtaking. I don’t know how long I stood there gaped-mouthed before he asked if I liked what I saw. I think my dick got hard instantly.” We both laugh at his revelation. He’s never really told me how he and James met. He just told me that he was in love and that was enough for me. “He asked me out to dinner with him and the rest is history. We didn’t sleep together until our fifth date, right after I brought him to your apartment for the first time. I didn’t expect it, but it was magical. You know me… I wasn’t lacking for dick. I could get it anytime, anywhere I wanted it, but when he got a hold of me, I knew there would be no one else after him.”

“I know what you mean,” I say with a sigh. I don’t even know how I could possibly ever think about being with another man after Christian. Al finishes his drink and rubs his eyes.

“I know weddings make you all sappy and emotional and romantic and shit, especially this Cinderella get-up,” he says, gesturing around the tent, “but we know who’s the emotional one in this relationship—who’s the top and who’s the bottom. He’s my lover, my protector, and my soulmate, and I want him to be my husband.” My mouth falls open.

“Does he know that?” I ask and he nods.

“He knows, but gay marriage isn’t legal here. So, we have just vowed to be faithful to one another until it is. I would change my name to his if I could. I love him so much.”

“No doubt, he feels the same about you.” Al quickly wipes away a tear.

“No doubt in the world,” he says softly. I take his hand and squeeze it gently.

“Well, I came over here because I want to give you something.” I put the small white box on the table. “You are the bestest best friend in the whole wide world. You have always, always been there for me and I expect for you to be there forever and ever, especially to name your first godchild whenever her or she is born.” I touch his cheek gently. “You are my split-apart, Allen Forsythe. I don’t know if I could survive without you. Please don’t ever leave me.” His eyes go from glassy brown to serious.

“I love you, Jewel. Please don’t ever forget that. I’ll never leave you. I swear.” I quickly have to wipe away my tears before I nod wildly.

“Good enough for me,” I say, trying to hide my emotion. “Now, open your present.”

My best friend tears away the white paper and ribbon to reveal a gray box. He opens it to find a Woodford full hunter dual time skeleton mechanical flip-open watch. It’s made of stainless steel and sterling silver. The outer case is engraved “Split-Aparts: the supreme state of human love is the unity of one soul in two bodies.”

“Jewel,” he whispers before he even opens the watch, “it’s beautiful.” He opens the watch and examines the craftsmanship of the timepiece. “Oh, Jewel, it’s exquisite,” he breathes. “I’ll cherish it always.” I smile at him.

“Now, I want you to do something for me,” I say taking his hand. “I want you to find that gorgeous man of yours, and I want you to go out onto that dancefloor, hold him close to you, and enjoy the time that you have together. Good times are gone before you know it.” I squeeze his hand again before I walk over to the DJ and request a song. I beckon him to the dance floor and just as the song begins, I make eye-contact with James and beckon him as well. A few moments later after joining my best friend’s hand with that of the man that he loves, I walk away and leave them to have their dance. Fuck the homophobes. My friend deserves his moment just like anyone else.

I step back and watch as James and Al are lost in each other’s eyes, just happy to be together as they dance to K-Ci and Jo-Jo All My Life. Slowly, other couples join them on the floor and celebrate the love of the moment. Right now, I’m wishing that Christian would pop up. Instead, I enjoy the moment of watching my best friend lost in love. The song plays out and the DJ plays another to keep the mood flowing. Just as I am beginning to get a little antsy about where my husband has gotten off to, I see him pat his father on the back and begin to head in my direction.

“There you are! Way to leave me at our reception. Where did you go?” My voice is a little whiner than I would like. Christian gestures to Carrick sitting at a table. I could have sworn I just saw him head in the other direction.

“Do you see that man over there?” He asks.

“The old man talking to Mia and Carrick?”

“That’s not Dad,” he says, shaking his head. Okay, so I’m not crazy. I did see Carrick going the other way. So who’s the Doppelganger? “That’s his brother, Herman and the old man is his father, Burton.”

Holy cow, Batman! That is fucking creepy.

“They could be twins! I thought Carrick’s family wasn’t coming to the wedding…”

Christian proceeds to tell me about how sick his grandfather is and that they plan to keep Mr. Grey and Herman here at the Grey Manor. I think it’s a wonderful idea, especially after what I just said to Al about how the good times seem to be gone so quickly. He takes me over to his grandfather and uncle and I still get that creepy feeling around his uncle. I dare not tell Christian. All bets will be off if I do. He never does or says anything inappropriate. He even releases my hand quickly after the shake and introduction. There just something behind his smile. A woman knows when a man desires her. I just won’t tell Christian.

“Well, aren’t you a pretty little thing,” Mr. Grey says. “Isn’t she just the cutest thing, Herm?”

“Yes, Dad, she’s very pretty,” Herman answers, careful to keep his eye on his father when he says it. His glance is only fleeting when he looks at me before he turns to Christian. “You’ve done well for yourself, Christian,” he says. “I wish you both a long and happy life together.”

“Thank you, Uncle Herman. She means the world to me.”

“Make sure that she knows it everyday, Son. You don’t want to realize what you have after it’s gone. Cherish every moment.” My heart breaks for him a bit because I can tell that he speaks from experience.

“Thank you, Sir. I plan to do that,” Christian says with sincerity before squeezing my hand.

“What’s this I hear?” Grace’s voice splits through the seriousness of the moment as she approaches the table. “You’re giving Cary a hard time about living with us?”

“Cary?” Herman asks.

“Rick,” Mr. Grey says to Herman. Rick? Oh! Carrick! Duh! “No, Gracie…” Gracie? “I wasn’t doing that. I was just telling him that I had to have your okay before I invaded your home.”

Invade? Nonsense! The manor is enormous! There’s plenty of room for you and anyone that you need to make you comfortable. I have staff that can assist with your everyday needs and I’m a doctor at the best hospital in Seattle. We can find you whatever care you need to get you well again.”

“I feel like such an imposition,” Mr. Grey says. Grace gestures Mia to stand and takes her seat.

“Burt, you are family and you are not well. Please, let us take care of you. There is plenty of room for you and Herman. Let us spend time with you, get to know you again.” I am surely going to cry. My wedding has served to reunite Carrick with his father and brother. I put my arm around Christian’s waist and will Mr. Grey to say yes to Grace and Carrick’s offer. He’s a proud man. You can see it in his eyes. The inner-struggle he is having is quite apparent. His lip trembles but he doesn’t cry.

“Thank you, Gracie,” he breathes. “I’m so tired… the doctors, the hoping, I…” His voice trails off. Grace kisses his hand.

“We’ll take care of you, BJ.” BJ? Oh. My God. I have to keep myself from snickering at this revelation. Is he a junior or something? What a cruel nickname to give someone.

“He knows,” Christian whispers in my ear and I giggle a bit. As I look over my shoulder at him, I see John and his wife approaching us. He’s the only one that I have avoided for the whole wedding. I was kind of hoping that I would escape without having to talk to him tonight. It looks like I won’t be so lucky.

“Darling, Christian, if the two of you don’t mind, I would like to have a dance with the bride if she’ll consent,” he says in his ingrained British accent. He sounds so polite, but I’ve seen the asshole. Nonetheless, when Christian looks down at me, I nod that it would be okay for me to dance with him.

“One dance, John,” Christian says firmly. “It’s about time for us to be changing and leaving and I am very ready to have my wife to myself.” John nods.

“One dance. Anastasia?” John holds his hand out to me and I graciously take it allowing him to lead me to the dance floor.

“You look stunning, Anastasia,” he says, breaking the bubble of silence surrounding us.

“Thank you, John,” I say politely.

“I find that the easiest way to approach a difficult topic is just to jump right in. We haven’t talked in any detail since…” He trails off. I guess jumping right in was not the easiest way.

“John,” I begin. I really don’t want to talk about this at my wedding reception. I’ve seen him several times since Flynngate. Why did he choose now to talk to me about this?

“I know, bad timing,” he admits, “but you avoid me like the plague every other time. I guess I thought I would just take my chances.”

“Dirty move, Doctor,” I say, truthfully.

“I know, and I’m sorry. I also regret the state of our relationship, as it were.” We don’t have a relationship. “I won’t apologize for what I thought when you came to me last year about Christian. It was an honest analysis based on my experience and my gut instinct. However, I should never have presented my conclusions to Christian, nor should I have given him my interpretation of our conversation as opposed to what was actually said. I do understand that I was wrong in those actions, and I do apologize.” I frown at him. What the hell is he trying to say?

“So… you’re sorry… but you’re not sorry?” I say, trying to interpret his “apology.”

“Precisely. I don’t feel that I was wrong to be mistrusting about your motives. I won’t apologize for that. I will apologize for relaying incorrect information to my patient and for causing unnecessary discomfort. I also apologize for being so wrong in my assumptions about you and possibly missing out on this wonderful occasion,” he says with a smile. Okay, now I’m thoroughly confused. I think I just got an apology, but it was conditional in some way… I think… What the fuck did he just say?

“John, that has to be the most enigmatic apology I’ve ever heard in my life,” I say frowning. The music stops and he steps away from me.

“Let’s try this then.” He bows formally and takes my hand. Kissing the back of my hand, he says, “I’m sorry for being an ass.” He stands up and smiles. “Congratulations, Mrs. Grey.”

“Thank you,” I say still stunned as he walks away. Christian very quickly takes his place, slipping his arms around my waist.

“How did that go?” he asks.

“You knew what that was about?” I question him.

“I can imagine,” he says and I shake my head.

“I think I got an apology,” I say, shaking my head in confusion.

“Well, I don’t like that look on your face, so I think it’s time we did something about that.” He gestures to the DJ who announces that we will be leaving soon. He starts to play I’ve Had The Time Of My Life and Christian and I lead the last dance of the night. Just like that, I’m walking on a cloud again in the arms of my husband. It seems like it took lifetimes to get here, and we have lifetimes ahead of us. The song is over all too soon it seems and the DJ announces that we will be going to get ready for our journey. We make our way back to the castle to change our clothes. Our guest will meet us in front of the castle to see us off for our honeymoon.

The moment we get inside of the castle doors, Christian kisses me passionately, causing my knees to get a little weak. We have to change and leave, I think to myself. He’s getting frisky now?

It is his jet, you know.
Yeah, there is that.

He leads me up to my room and closes the door behind us. “I’ve been wanting to get you out of that dress all day,” he says, slowly walking over to me. My throat is dry as he masterfully undoes the buttons holding my collar in place. His fingers brush over my skin and I shiver. I am pressed against him so that the dress doesn’t fall while he reaches behind me and undoes the buttons at the bottom of the dress.

“Christian…” I protest weakly.

“Sssshhhh,” he quiets me while kissing my shoulder causing more goose bumps. “I just want to undress you, Baby. I want to touch you and kiss you. I’ll make love to you later, when we are alone and have more time.” When he finishes the last button, he slowly peels my dress from me, revealing the silk stockings and lingerie underneath. He holds my dress and allows me to step out of it before lying it gently across the bed. He steps back to look at me.

“You are breathtaking,” he says as his hand travels between my breast, over my stomach, across my belly button and down until he dips into my sexy underwear and finds my clit.

“Ah!” I gasp, holding onto his arms as his free hand reaches around my waist. He is working me into a frenzy in no time. “Chris… tian, we don’t… ah!… have time…”

“There’s always time for an orgasm, Baby,” he says as he thrusts his tongue into my mouth and strokes me to the edge of insanity. I am panting and trembling when he suddenly stops and grabs my hand.

Oh, fuck! I was almost there.

He thrusts both our hands into my panties and situates me where he was before. Moving my hand with his, he quickly works me up again before saying, “You finish,” and removing his hand. His eyes are lustful as he waits for me to stroke myself. I gently massage my clit like he was doing moments ago, my breath coming in short burst.

“Yes… yes… make yourself come for me, Baby. That’s it,” he coaches. My fingers move harder and faster and harder until…

“Aaahh!” He takes my mouth in a sensual kiss while he grabs my ass hard and I come wetly all over my hand. I am trembling and panting when he removes his mouth from mine.

“Please… let me taste. Please, to pacify me, until I can have you later.” I raise my hand to his mouth. He licks my fingers clean, moaning in pleasure, and closing his eyes, nothing like the episode last night. “So good,” he kisses me. “So beautiful.” He presses me against him. “I can’t wait to have you to myself, to be inside you, to love you, finally as my wife.” He kisses me again, softly and sensually before he slowly releases me. “Please, hurry. Don’t be long, my love.” And he’s gone, leaving me panting and aching for him.

Hurry up and put on your damn clothes so you can get the fuck out of here!

After freshening up and changing into a fresh pair of underwear, I hurriedly put on my traveling clothes—a white halter wrap-around dress that is a perfect replica of Marilyn Monroe’s famous white dress from The Seven Year Itch and a pair of Louboutin jeweled heel Butterfly stilettos that almost look exactly like my wedding shoes, but the butterfly on the toe is larger. I decide to go stockingless since these shoes actually look better without them. I grab a white satin wrap for my shoulders and my purse and leave the room. Al is on dress duty so he will be back later to get my dress.

Christian is waiting at the bottom of the stairs for me wearing a soft gray, almost white two-button suit. He reaches for me and just as he takes my hand, Josh snaps a picture. I didn’t even know that he was there. I’m still wearing my jewelry as I didn’t want to leave any of it behind, and I’m glad that I did. I feel like a troll standing next to him sometimes. He’s so hot and handsome.

“How can you possibly get more and more beautiful? You take my breath away,” he says so that only I can hear. What do you say to that? I can only smile as I allow him to lead me the rest of the way down the stairs and over to Joshua.

“We’ll be on the plane to Greece at midnight. You can release any of the pictures I chose and an announcement that we are married after that,” he tells Josh who nods and smiles.

“Have a safe trip and I’ll see you two when you get back.” I nod at him as does Christian, and we head to the front door.

“Ready, Mrs. Grey?” I smile.

“Ready, Mr. Grey.” We open the door to a cheering crowd and a mass of bubbles. Apparently, our guests started the bubble-blowing without us. It was perfect, though. The lighting from the castle and down the walkway leading to the Bentley captures the bubbles and Christian and I find ourselves walking through hundreds of tiny rainbows, hugging our guests and saying goodbye. Fireworks explode behind the castle to see us off as we won’t be celebrating the 4th of July on these shores. There is laughter and a few tears as we get into the Bentley with Jason and Chuck in the front seat. The privacy window is already raised and I can’t help thinking what does Mr. Grey have in store for our hour-long ride to the airport.

Once inside, we turn around and wave to the revelers who will be enjoying the reception for at least another hour before they call it a night. Once we wave to the guests slowly disappearing behind us, our laughter fades and we look at one another.

We’re alone… at last.

His eyes hold mine captive as he stares into my soul. My breath quickens and I feel goosebumps rising on my skin for the hundredth time today. He turns so that his back is nestled in the corner where the seat and the door meet. He just stares at me for several moments. I feel exposed, naked, though his eyes never leave mine. His look is carnal, primal, and full of lust. After an eternity, he mouths two words to me.

“Come here.”

I slide across the seat closer to him. At first, he doesn’t touch me. He just continues to stare at me. Then he leans in and kisses my collar-bone. It’s the only part of us that touch—his lips to my skin. I shiver involuntarily and close my eyes. His lips move to my chest and he places a single kiss just below my throat. My God, he’s torturing me. Using just his finger, he caresses my cleavage then traces the skin at the edge of my dress, up my breast and along my shoulder. He gently caresses my shoulders with his thumbs as he pushes my curls to my back to expose my shoulder and neck. Using both thumbs, he brushes them gently—just once—across my protruding nipples through my dress, causing me to shudder madly.

Fuck! It burns so good!

I release a gasp and begin panting when he’s kissing my neck and shoulder, seducing me on our ride to the airport. My breathing is embarrassing.

“Christian, please,” I breathe. It’s more than I can take. Will he fuck me here? On the plane? Will he wait until we get to Greece? Oh, God!

He cups my face with his left hand, his thumb brushing across my lips effectively silencing me while he continues his trek up my neck to my ear then my cheek and the corner of my mouth. He pulls back and our eyes meet as he cups my face in his hands. I’ve noticed that several times tonight, he has framed my face. It’s like he’s trying to commit the moment to memory, which isn’t a bad thing. Actually, it’s kind of sweet. I let him hold me there and try to relay as much love for him through my eyes as I can.

You’re my world, Christian… my soul, my everything.

He sighs a half sigh as if he heard my exact words, then closes his eyes. Bringing his lips to mine, they barely touch as he brushes his against mine, breathing deeply and gently rubbing our noses together. I can’t take it anymore.

“Kiss me,” I whisper. “Please…”

His lips are on mine immediately, gently but intently kneading, tasting my essence. His tongue caresses mine and I relent to his will. Sensing my surrender, he wraps his arms around me and pulls me into him, continuing with the gentle, hungry kisses. His hands are spread over my back and he wraps one leg around me as I lay across his lap, pinning me to him.

“Oh, Butterfly,” he breathes without opening his eyes, “I love you so much.” The kisses continue forever it seems before he shifts and positions me on his lap, straddling him. I know I have the look in my eyes of a hungry bear because I could just devour him right here in the back seat with Chuck and Jason just beyond the privacy window. Still looking in my eyes, he parts my dress where it wraps and gently caresses my thigh. I grip his shoulder to steady myself as his teasing hand works its way up… up… up… until… I gasp.

“You’re so wet,” he says, never taking his eyes off mine, his fingers tormenting that special spot inside of me that only he can reach. “You want this.”

“Yes!” I breath as he works me higher and higher and I try not to scream. “Christian…” I whisper.

“Yes, Baby,” he says, pushing me into him with his free hand while he continues his massage. “Lean into it, Baby,” he instructs. I lean into him and my legs part slightly, allowing him to probe deeper inside of me and his thumbs to torment my clitoris.

“Ah!” I whimper as my release creeps up on me and begins to tighten in my thighs and pelvis. I am gasping and whimpering and he never stops his rhythm, never slows or changes. He knows it’s coming.

“That’s it. Let go, give it all to me, Baby.” With those words and a few more delicious strokes, I am trembling and shaking on his lap lost in intense euphoria. I shudder through my orgasm as he treats me to open-mouthed kisses devouring my neck, shoulders, and throat. I grip his suit jacket, heaving and panting before I collapse onto his shoulder. When I catch my breath, I partially unbutton his shirt and kiss his neck and chest. He closes his eyes and lays his head back on the seat, moaning as I devour his skin, hungry for so much more. I get down to his pants and start to fumble with his belt buckle. To my surprise, he stops my hands.

“No,” he says. “No, not me, Baby. Not yet.” I pout visibly. I feel like someone took away my lollipop… literally. He smiles coyly. “I promise you, there will be plenty of opportunities for us to indulge in each other and explore limits we never thought possible, but right now, I just want to touch and kiss you.” He gently brushes his fingertips over my arms and says simultaneously with my response, “…and watch you shiver.”

Oh, God, I’m going to die.

“Christian,” my voice is breathy and whiny at the same time—wanting… aching, “I want you. I need to feel you… I need to taste you.” His pupils dilate so that the black nearly encompasses the gray. I know he wants that, too. Why is he holding out?

“I know, Baby,” he says after a steadying breath and closing his eyes to restrain himself. “And you will have me… all of me… until we have both had our fill. Then, you will have more of me…” He kisses me gently. “…and more…” He kisses me again. “…and more.” He kisses me once more. “But not yet. When I make love to you, when I am inside you, I want to bury myself there. I want to get lost inside of you… die and be resurrected over and over again until we are both wrung and our bodies are pulsing with exhaustion and satisfaction. I can’t do that in the backseat of a Bentley.” He takes my hands and puts them on his chest. “But you can touch me.” His hands slide around my waist and meet behind me where he caresses the garden through my dress. Dammit! “And you can kiss me.” Fuck, I’m panting! “Kiss me, Butterfly.”

I slide my hands up his chest to his shoulders and kiss him passionately. He tastes like Sunday morning and cool breezes and a boat ride on a calm, clear, stream. I melt into him again and he dips me over his lap once more, taking me on yet another sensual ride with his touch and his kisses.

*-*

The secret is still safe as we have no trouble whatsoever boarding the jet for our honeymoon. I can’t believe we were able to pull it off without anyone having a clue that we were getting married today. Jason and Chuck board the plane before we do, making sure that our overnight carry-ons are situated appropriately since our luggage is already here.

When I ascend the stairs and clear the door, I see the same flight attendant that traveled with us to Anguilla. Oh, what is her name? Serena or Selina or something. Shit, did she remember my underwear in the oven? She probably does. Who forgets something like that?

“Welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Grey, and congratulations. Please make yourselves comfortable. We should be taking off in just a few moments,” she says politely.

“Thank you, Samantha,” Christian says. Samantha. That’s her name. I was close. Christian shakes Jason’s hand. “We’ll see you in Athens,” he says. Athens? They’re not flying with us?

“Yes Sir. It looks like we got you on board just in time. The press are in the airport now looking for the story. I don’t know who leaked it. Josh hasn’t posted anything yet.” Christian shrugs.

“That will make it a little harder to get your flight, I suppose,” he says to Jason. I guess they aren’t flying with us.

“We’ll be fine,” Jason assures him. We’ll rendezvous in Greece with the two detail that will meet you in France.” France? Oo la la! “We have a brief layover at London Heathrow, but we’ll be in Greece when you arrive. You know who you’re looking for?”

“I do, of course.” Jason nods.

“Good. Text me when you meet up with them. I will call you sometime after. I swear if you don’t answer, I’m calling Interpol.” Christian frowns.

“You don’t trust these guys?” he asks.

“No offense, Sir, but I would just rather have you in sight, that’s all.” Christian smiles at his friend.

“Have a safe trip, Jason. Davenport.”

“You, too, Sir. Your Highness.” He and Chuck disembark. He’s never going to stop calling me that.

“How are they getting to Greece?” I ask.

“Another private flight,” Christian tells me and I frown.

“Why didn’t they just fly with us?” He raises his eyebrows and closes the space between us.

“Because we’re going to be on this flight for 10 ½ hours. Do you really want them on the flight with us on our wedding night?” Holy cow, Batman. How can he make such a seemingly harmless statement so fucking hot.

“N… no,” I stammer, remembering the hot kisses and fondling in the Bentley. Good God, what are we waiting for? Oh yeah, take off.

“Mr. and Mrs. Grey, welcome aboard. Please sit down and fasten you seat belts. We will be taking off in approximately 10 minutes…”

About 25 minutes after that speech, I’m standing in the back of the jet—in our bedroom—with my husband staring at me and undressing me with his eyes. I already feel so exposed as he eyes me hungrily causing my skin to spark from several feet away. He closes the space between us and touches me so softly, his fingers brushing gently across the skin of my arms, my elbows, my forearms.

“Undress me,” he whispers against my temple. I try to control myself as I slide my hands under his jacket and push it off his shoulders. I let it fall to the floor, then start on his buttons. Take your time, Ana. I know you want to rip off his clothes and leave them in tatters wherever they fall, but be sensual about it—seductive. I open the last button to see that he’s not wearing a T-shirt.

Breathe, Ana…

I remove his cuff links and place them on the night stand before turning back to face him. He still has that hungry look in his eye, but he won’t touch me yet. I smile when I see the ID bracelet on one wrist and the Hublot watch on the other. I meticulously remove them and place them on the nightstand with the cufflinks. I pull his shirt from his pants and bring my lips to his chest. He tastes delicious. His breathing increases just a bit when my lips and tongue touch his skin. Once his shirt joins his jacket on the floor, I quickly fall to my knees in front of him and he gasps. His gray eyes are locked on mine as I undo his belt and zipper, then allow his slacks to drop to the floor. I rub his semi-hard erection through his black boxer briefs and he hisses loudly, then releases the breath in staccato as I kiss his inner thigh.

“Baby…” he tries to protest and I know that he wants me to wait.

“Sit,” I command him softly. He sits on the side of the bed and I proceed to remove his shoes, then his socks.

“No, I’ll do that,” he tries to stop me.

“Ssssshhh,” I say as I remove his socks and gently kiss the tops of both feet. He actually squirms a bit when I do that. I remove his pants from his ankles and now he’s sitting before me in just his boxer briefs. I take a single step back and remove my tiara, earrings, and bracelet and place them on the nightstand with his jewelry. Slowly, I untie the bow and unwrap my dress. With a single move, it is off and on the floor with my husband’s clothes.

He looks at me in awe as I stand before him in only panties and shoes. He puts his hands on my hips and gently brings me to him. Bringing his lips to my stomach, he lovingly and sensually kisses my belly button. My breath catches as I am trying to control my arousal, but it’s no good. He knows what he does to me. In a swift movement, I am on the bed on my back and he is hovering over me, kissing my belly button again. My bare breasts rise and fall as I fight in vain to control my breathing. Each hand grabs my breast firmly as his lips torment one then the other nipple.

I squirm underneath him as a strangled whimper squeezes out of my throat. My God, I can’t stand this. Even though he has already made me come twice, I want him so badly that I’m aching. His moves are so deliberate that even his thoughts are tormenting me. It’s like I can feel them… hear them…

I love you, Anastasia…”
“You’re so beautiful…”
“You taste so good…”
“I ache for you…”
“I want you so much…”
“Love me, Anastasia… love me…”

Oh, God, I do, Christian. I do love you…

He slides down my body and slowly and painfully pulls my panties down my legs and off my feet. He slides each shoe off, kissing the instep of each foot before moving up both legs and kissing both inner thighs. Locking his arms under my legs and over my hips, he nestles his head between my legs. His lips and tongue are like hot fire to my core and I cry out shamelessly, thrusting my hands into his hair as he licks and sucks me over and over. The burn is so deep that the orgasm surprises me when it pulses through my core. He holds me steady as I tremble wildly against his mouth, squeaking some unknown mating call as my heartbeat thrums through my clitoris.

He blows gently on my center to calm the pulsing, and that’s now three orgasms that I have had and he still hasn’t had one. As my breathing returns to normal, he begins to lick again—slowly and softly—bringing me to a rise once more before he crawls on top of me and looks me in my eyes. I’m breathing like a wanton animal, practically begging him to take me. I smell my arousal on his breath… and it’s so damn hot, I nearly combust!

I don’t know when he rid himself of his boxer briefs, but I feel his erection against my skin. He positions himself at my opening and sinks slowly into me, as far as he can go. He just waits there for a moment.

“Oh, God, you feel so good,” he groans, his eyes closed and his head down. He almost looks hopeless. Then he moves, one slow, grinding stroke. I gasp, then he stops. Is he torturing me on purpose? He pushes his leg up, opening mine further and giving him better traction, then strokes into me again. It’s already burning, already rising. Then he stops again. I almost cry.

“C-Christian… please…” I whine and he groans in his chest.

“What do you want?” he says.

“You… I want you,” I beg.

“You want me?” he taunts softly.

“Yes, please.”

“You want me?” he repeats and grinds into me again. I groan loudly.

“Uuuuugghhh! Yeessss! Pleeeaase!” He matches my cries with a tortured groan of his own and grinds into me again… and again… and again… It’s intense, and insane, and so, so good!

“Christian! Aah!”

“Take me, Baby,” he grunts. “Take all of me!” And taking him I am! I try to match his strokes, to meet him, but they are so intense, so deep and burning that most often I can only stay still and absorb them. “Look at me.”

I open my eyes and he’s right there, all over me, inside of me, holding my hands next to my head with his fingers entwined into mine. My lips are parted and I can barely breathe. He pushing into me, deeper… deeper… examining me with every stroke.

“So beautiful,” he breathes as he looks into my eyes. “Hold on, my love. Let me love you.”

“I… can’t…” I pant, feeling the tightening begin in my pelvis. “Christian… you feel… I can’t.”

“Yes, Baby. Yes, you can,” he croons. “Don’t fight it, just breathe through it… hold it… and feel it. Don’t let it take you over, not yet.”

I follow his instructions as he digs into me—deep and searing. I concentrate on feeling the stroke and breathing through it, trying not to come. I feel that familiar coolness that comes with the sweat on my skin right before I come.

“Christian,” I whine. I can’t take much more.

“That’s it, Baby. Feel it. Feel it way deep down inside. Feel me the way I feel you.” He kisses my neck and tastes my sweat.

“No,” I whimper. If his lips touch me anywhere, I’m going to explode. “Please… harder… please…”

“No, Baby,” he protests, kissing my neck, “We can fuck forever, all night if you want. Right now, I need to love you.”

His strokes are deliberate—deep, burning, intense, grinding, and control. My core is on fire. Oh, God, I’m coming again any second.

“Christian… it’s… coming…” I pant.

“Give it to me, Baby,” he coaches. “I want you… to feel good.” His voice is tortured and I feel him beginning to tense. He’s grunting, fighting his climax.

“Come with me, Christian,” I keen as my orgasm begins to creep up on me.

“I’m not going to come,” he pants. “I… just want… to make you… feel good…” He’s fighting for all he’s worth not to release.

“Please, Baby!” I cry, my climax rushing over me. “Please, come for me! Come with me!”

His resistance breaks immediately and he grunts loud and deep as he freezes and buries himself inside of me. The feeling is so intense that I shut my eyes tight and squeeze out the tears, grasping handfuls of his hair while he shudders through his orgasm launching me into the most powerful aftershocks. I wrap my trembling legs around him as he presses so hard, I think he’s going to push us through the bed.

“Ana… J-Jesus, Ana… I… love you…” His words are pained and heavy with his pleasure and his surrender. I enjoy the burn until his body loosens and he is trembling in my arms, gasping for air, his hair drenched in sweat.

“I love you, too, Christian,” I whisper, as I cradle his head in my arms.


A/N: We have finally gotten them down the aisle (hurrah!)! I have compiled a list of songs—some of which were not in the wedding; others inspired some of my writing and would possibly have been played at the reception:

Black Eyed Peas – I Got A Feeling
Lifehouse—You and Me
N’Sync—This I Promise You
Aretha Franklin & George Benson—Love All The Hurt Away
Faith Hill—Breathe
Celine Dion—Because You Loved Me
Steven Curtis Chapman—Cinderella
Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder, Elton John—That’s What Friends Are For
Kool & The Gang—Celebration
KC & Jo-Jo—All My Life
Usher—Dive
Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes—(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life
Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera—Moves Like Jagger
Billy Currington—When She Gets Close To Me
Michael Bublé—Save The Last Dance For Me
Beyonce—Single Ladies
Shania Twain—From This Moment On
Garth Brooks—Friends In Low Places
Extreme—More Than Words
Ronan Keating—When You Say Nothing At All

FYI: Usher—Take That Dive. I knew that I would use this song because I really love the song. For those who may not know, “taking that dive” is slang for making a commitment and getting married. Not to be confused with “taking a dive,” which relates to deliberately failing in a competition for whatever reason. “That” dive relates to diving into something, like the deep end of the pool, which has been loosely related to making a long-term commitment. “A” dive relates to throwing a fight in boxing, where one of the fighters fakes being knocked out, indicating that the fight was fixed.

This is the final chapter of the wedding. You actually ended up with a bonus chapter since it turned out to be three chapters. Please remember that because of the immense amount of work that went into get this right (or as close to “right” as possible), there won’t be a chapter next weekend. The next chapter will be posted on the weekend after Christmas to give me an opportunity to get some more written and to spend the holidays with my family. Please remember that I love you all and don’t forget to tell me what you think of the wedding as I will still be checking the posts on the blogs.

Don’t forget to check out the wedding album at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/mending-dr-steele-the-wedding-weve-all-been-waitin/

There will be a separate album for the honeymoon, so stay tuned.

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list. Until the 27th…

Love and Handcuffs!
Lynn x

Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 64—We Still Do!

Chapter 64—We Still Do!

ANASTASIA

I still have a butterfly in my hair when we begin the receiving line. I thought the poor little fellow was caught on a curl or something, but someone manages to wave him away and he just flies in a few circles and lands up there again. It must be my conditioner or perfume. He stays until just after the last person greets us in the receiving line then flies back to the garden. Incredible! I will call him Monty—my monarch butterfly that stayed with me while I greeted our guests.

I met Christian’s grandparents in the receiving line. That was an experience. Grace’s mother examined me like I was an alien being. I felt a little strange around her, but even stranger around his uncle… Henry? No, Herman. It could have just been me, but I felt like he was looking at me like a T-bone steak. It’s a feeling that soon passed when I met Carrick’s father and Christian told me that this was their first time meeting. From the looks of Mr. Grey, it may be their last. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he doesn’t look well at all.

“What’s wrong with him?” I whisper to Christian. He shrugs.

“I don’t know, but I’m sure that we’ll find out.” He seems a little sad about it. I can imagine—to meet your grandfather then have him snatched away from him just as quickly. I guess that’s what happened with Alexandria, but not really. She insulted my father and that’s a deal-breaker. As I am trying to rid my mind of her, I raise my head to see a welcome sight.

“Auntie Cyn,” I say with a warm smile as I embrace her. “I’m so glad you came.”

“Anastasia, I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” she says as she returns my embrace. “I can’t believe how far you’ve come. I’m so proud of you.”

“Thank you, Auntie Cyn,” I say as we part and look at each other.

“Oh! This is my husband, Larry. Honey, this is Anastasia Ste… Grey, the young woman that I was telling you about.” Larry looks at me then at his wife.

This is her?” he asks. She nods. He takes my hand and gives it a gentle shake. “My wife tells me that you are quite an extraordinary young woman,” he says with a smile.

“If I am, I have her to thank for all that she did for me,” I reply. He looks adoringly at Auntie Cyn.

“Yes, she is pretty amazing,” he says. I look up at Christian who holds me close to him and gives me a little squeeze and a smile. I hope we are still that loving in 10 or 15 years.

“Forever,” he whispers in my ear as if reading my thoughts.

“Congratulations, Christian. Ana, you are a beautiful bride,” Luma approaches next. Christian leans down so that she can kiss his cheek.

“Thank you, Luma,” he says kissing her hands. “I’m so glad that you could make it.”

“Miss Ana, are you a princess?” Mariah asks and I giggle.

“I am today, Sweetie,” I say, cupping her cheeks.

“You’re a pretty princess,” Celida says, smiling widely. I look at these happy, beautiful girls who just lost their mother not long ago, now wearing bright-colored dressed with beautiful ribbons and curls in their long, brown hair, most likely looking at me and thinking of their own future Cinderella story. I squat down to meet them at eye level.

“What a wonderful thing to say. That makes me very happy coming from the two prettiest girls I know.” They both embrace me and make me anxious to have a daughter of my own. I kiss them both on the cheek as Luma looks on, smiling widely.

“Thank you for inviting us, Ana,” she says sincerely.

“Nonsense. You’re family. Of course we would want you here.” I stand and kiss Luma on the cheek. “Thank you for coming. You all look so beautiful.” We chat a few moments more before the receiving line continues and I can’t help but wonder at the fact that my family has grown so much over the past year.

Christian and I can’t keep our hands off each other when we start taking pictures by and inside of the Bentley. We take several pictures all over the garden and castle grounds with the parents and the wedding party, but when we get to the Bentley, it’s just us. God, I want him and I don’t know how much longer I can wait. Eight-handed Christian worked me into a frenzy and now the real thing is standing here looking all scrumptious. I wonder if we can sneak away really quickly and…

“Okay, you two. I have to get you to the reception, so let’s get going.” Fuck! So much for that idea.

There is a cocktail hour in the Great Hall that was taking place mostly while we were taking pictures. Now the guests have begun to file out to where the reception is to be held on the other side of the castle near American Lake. A large marquee houses several tables, the dancefloor, and the band while more tables are set up out in the open across a flawless, velvet-green lawn with a breathtaking view of the lake.

As we come around the castle to the reception area, the rest of our wedding party is waiting for us, ribbing us about what took us so long and telling me to fix my lipstick. I shake my head at all of them while Christian slips his arms around me from behind, pulling me close to him and kissing me on the cheek.

“Okay,” Tammy says. “The MC will announce you all before you enter the reception. James and Al, you’ll be first. Jason, you and Gail will follow, then Elliot and Valerie, followed by John and Maxine and then Ethan and Mia. Then, of course, our bride and groom will bring up the rear.”

“Tamster, did we…”

“Yes, Al, we did.” I wonder if I should ask what that’s all about.

“It’s nothing, Jewel,” Al says. “I just wanted to make sure that when we are announced that James is introduced as my partner and not my boyfriend.” I raise my eyebrows at him.

“Something you want to tell me, oh best friend of mine?” He smiles shyly.

“No. I wish. I just think that saying he’s my boyfriend sounds too trivial. He’s more than that to me.” I raise my eyebrows to him again.

“So are you saying that when Christian and I referred to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend, that relationship was trivial?” I rib.

“You know as well as I do that was different,” he says. “When people see a guy and a girl together, they can easily see Romeo and Juliet or Snow White and the Prince. They don’t see that with me and James for obvious reasons. Besides, your relationship progressed and you became fiancés. Until Washington makes gay marriage legal, that’s not happening with us. So until we can progress like you two…” He throws a look over my shoulder at Christian that I can’t quite read. “…James is my partner and not just my boyfriend.” I nod once and he looks at Christian again. “I meant what I said,” he says flatly.

“I know,” Christian replies. Now I want to know what transpired between them.

“Al, did you threaten my husband?” I ask, partially playfully and partially serious.

“Yes,” he says, without pausing. I’m taken aback momentarily. Did he say “yes?” “Don’t worry, Jewel,” he adds, “I didn’t have to go through with it.”

I don’t know what to say to this. Did he really threaten Christian or is this some kind of joke? Before I get the chance to ask, the MC is announcing the Man of Honor Allen Forsythe and his partner James Flemings.

“Come on, Allie,” James says, taking Al’s hand. “Put Rocky away for now and let’s enjoy the party.” Al turns his attention to James and they walk hand in hand into the marquee. I turn expecting to Christian.

“Don’t worry about it, Baby,” he says, his voice soothing. “He had something that needed to be said and he said it. I don’t fault him for it because he was totally justified.” Oh, God. Did he…?

“Did you… tell him…”

“No,” he cuts me off, “and I don’t want to think about it today at all… please…” That’s why Christian looked like a ghost when I saw him in the garden before the ceremony. It’s probably been eating at him all day. I want to say that I’m glad it did because I want him to remember that feeling—but I’m not. This is his wedding day, too, and I want him to be happy. I put my hand on his face and plant a lingering kiss on his cheek. When I look in his eyes, there’s that longing again. Oh, Christian…

“Pay attention,” Elliot warns, “you might miss them announcing the bride and groom,” he says before he and Val walk to the marquee. I turn to look at the lake and lean back into Christian’s arms. I really love the water. I could live here. Well, maybe not here, but by the lake, definitely. We haven’t talked about where our house will be or even if we’re buying a house, except for that conversation that we had in wine country. That was a wonderful time. I can still remember everything I said to him about our home. It’s a permanent picture in my mind—but I’m getting ahead of myself. Escala is beautiful and we have no reason to leave there right now. We haven’t even started a family yet. It’s just the two of us… well, the four of us, but Escala is huge!

“Come on, Baby, that’s our cue,” Christian says as he guides me towards the marquee. They must have announced us… and I missed it. We walk around the tables set up on the grass and into the tent. It’s pretty large and one entire side is open to the tables on the lawn while two sides are partially open to allow long banners in our wedding colors to hang and blow in the breeze. Blue, silver, and white fabric is billowing softly out of the tent on both sides and the inside is spectacular. White linens and chair covers, each table alternating between royal blue and silver accents, bows, and covers. Tall centerpieces bursting with tulips adorn each table along with table numbers on white cards with bold black script lettering and blue satin ribbon. Silver chargers and crystal stemware complete each table setting.

A blue runner makes a path into the tent that leads to the bride and groom’s table which is set slightly up on a podium while the wedding party is slightly below us, but still up on the podium/stage. A backdrop of columns, white curtains, and swags of blue and silver complete the décor behind our table, which happens to be lighted underneath, as are the desert tables, the gift table, the favors table, and the cake table. Speaking of the cake table, it is off to the side, but is a spectacle all by itself. The square table is situated inside a gazebo made of four arches of what looks like an aluminum frame wrapped in tulle with twinkle lights inside. It’s really very beautiful and it’s the first time I seen something like this. What’s more confusing is that there are three cakes on the table—our wedding cake, the groom’s cake, and a third smaller cake. I’ll investigate when I get closer.

Ambient blue and soft white lighting inside the tent gives it a twilight feel though it is still early evening. I step over to the MC and make a quick request. When I get back to Christian and take his hand, the MC announces again,

“Ladies and Gentlemen, may I announce for the… I guess, second time…” There is laughter in the reception before he finally says, “Mr. and Mrs. Christian Grey.”

There it is!

My heart leaps at the sound of my new official name. Mrs. Christian Grey. I could dance all the way down this runner at this moment but I just throw my hands in the air with my bouquet and smile so wide I thing my face will break. Christian takes my hand and leads me down the blue runner, his smile equally large, and I direct him to the cake table.

Our wedding cake is a combination of our flavors, but the set-up is enough to bring you to tears. It’s three layers, our icing choices covered by white fondant and intricate white piping, beading, jeweling and designs. The display consists of an embellished silver platform that holds the largest cake. Each of the two tiers above it are supported by clear square podiums with lights inside. On top of the third layer is another little round, lighted podium that houses Cinderella’s glass slipper. That podium in turn supports this cake’s topper, which is an old-fashioned Cinderella castle complete with the pointed battlements. Each upper layer—including the castle layer—has large Swarovski crystals dangling from it and capturing the light.

I actually ordered the second cake which is the groom’s cake. It’s about the size of a half-sheet cake on a black and white marbleized platter—a perfect replica of Christian’s piano.

“Ah!” he says, when he realizes what it is. “Look at that!” A model Christian with flopsy red hair sits at the piano cake in a business suit ready to play. He laughs heartily when he see his surprise and he is very pleasantly pleased.

My eyes are now drawn to the third cake. I immediately got the clue when the model Ana with long, brown hair and wearing a blue skater dress complete with glasses and stilettos has both of her hands dug into the coconut frosting.

It’s German Chocolate.

Wouldn’t you know it? I have him all distinguished sitting a piano in a business suit and he has me in a mini dress digging fist-first into a German Chocolate cake!

“Christian!” I scold him.

“Oh, no,” he says through his laughter, “as much as I would love to take credit for it, this is not my creation.”

“It has to be!” I chide him. “I remember that exact outfit! I wore it somewhere near the beginning of your group sessions. I remember because I was trying to impress you that day and I didn’t even know it… with that dress!” I hardly ever wear my glasses in public, so I know it had to be him.

“You were?” he says again, still laughing. “Well, it worked!” he says, gesturing to the cake. “However, although I may have had some input on the outfit, that position and that cake were not my idea.” I examine the cake a little closer and the position of Little Ana.

Little Ana…

“Daddy!” I turn around and yell out like a toddler having a temper tantrum. The reception guests erupt into laughter while my father badly feigns innocence. Imagine seeing your daughter march over to you in a wedding dress with her fists on her hips across a large, elaborately decorated marquee.

“What’s wrong, Sunflower?” he says, unable to hide his mirth.

“Don’t you Sunflower me,” I scold. “That’s horrible!” I throw my arms around him. “I love you, Daddy. Thank you.” I kiss him on the cheek and give him a smile. Leave it to Daddy to get my favorite cake and then incorporate the 2-year-old fist-smash into it.

“You’re welcome, Annie Babe,” he says holding me around my waist. “Save a dance for me?”

“Of course, Daddy,” I smile at his obvious question and kiss him again.

*-*

As the sun sets over American Lake, we party our hearts out! I would have expected the party to be a little more reserved considering this is Christian Grey and the Grey Family that we’re talking about, but no. These people really know how to let their hair down. While a band played the music that serenaded us through dinner and the first part of the reception, the DJ took over for the rest of the night playing favorites from every genre. Jason’s best man toast was both touching and funny, while Al’s toast just brought me to tears. There are no scenes, fights, or drunken mishaps, but this reception is alight with revelry and unleashed celebration.

I don’t know more than half of the people here, so in all honesty, this became Anastasia Grey’s Debutant Ball so to speak. I am introduced to most of Seattle society and business élite, much like at the Adopt-A-Family Affair. I shake hands with the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Mayor, members of the City Counsel, several of Christian’s business associates, and even more socialites desperate to get me to back their causes and be on their charity committees.

It’s strange to me because I always thought that it was just a rumor or a stereotype that rich ladies support a charity and do fund-raising and that’s pretty much all that they do. I have come to realize that although they don’t all do that, a lot of them do. Some of them simply sink into the money and hide in their husband’s shadow. After we have had dinner and Christian is off somewhere making his rounds, I find myself in a very interesting conversation with one woman about just this particular topic.

“Surely, you’re not returning to work after your honeymoon!” she asks horrified as if the thought is preposterous. “You’re marrying Christian Grey,” she adds, like that’s supposed to answer all the questions and be the end of my story.

“Mrs. Ringhold, I’m a doctor. Just because I’m marrying Christian Grey doesn’t mean it completely defines who I am. Yes, I am returning to work after my honeymoon and Christian supports my decision whole-heartedly.” I don’t bother telling her that I’m going to only be working part-time because that’s really none of her business. She smiles at me and her expression is laced with… pity?

“You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into, do you?” she says with no malice, but that’s not how I take it.

“What do you mean by that?” I nearly hiss.

“Do get angry, Sweetie. I’m just letting you know. You may think you have this whole independence thing underfoot, but make no mistake. You are no longer Anastasia Steele. You’re not even Anastasia Grey. You are now Mrs. Christian Grey, and they are not one and the same. You will now be defined and described only in terms of him. Everything that you have done before now—except the negative stuff—is null and void. You will be measured by his accomplishments and his failures. Anything that you do in public will most likely be national news. You are Lady Grey, and any of your accolades or misfortunes will be reported as ‘wife of Christian Grey.’ I’m not trying to upset you, but I am attempting to school you. Make no mistake, marrying Christian Grey totally defines who you are from this point on.”

At first, I don’t know how to respond to this. Who does she think she is telling me this at my wedding reception? Is she attempting to plant seeds of doubt in my mind and heart before my marriage even begins?

“I appreciate the information,” I begin. “Let me assure you that I have no problem whatsoever being identified or described or listed or labelled or—fill in the blank—as ‘Lady Grey.’ He’s a remarkable man and I think any woman would be honored to stand in my place and call him ‘husband.’ However, you make it sound like I should just throw away my life and follow my rich husband around like a sick puppy. I’m happy to tell you that’s not going to happen. I was a strong, independent woman when I met Christian and that’s what he fell in love with. This wedding has changed nothing about that but my last name and my net worth.

“Have you watched the news lately? You don’t think I’ve lived as ‘Lady Grey’ since I moved into his apartment? When I went back to my condo to pick up my things, it became a headline. I may not have walked this line for decades, but I’m not new to this ballgame. I’m not a social climber, so I’m not trying to make a name for myself off of the Grey name. I just want to live and be happy. So if that means that a lot of what I do or all of what I do is accompanied by a tagline that says ‘wife of Christian Grey,’ I can certainly live with that, but I repeat—just because I’m marrying Christian Grey doesn’t mean it completely defines who I am. So, yes, I will continue working and doing the things that I love, and Christian whole-heartedly supports me for it.”

I clasp my hands in front of me and give her a full-on phony smile. She returns it with a phony smile of her own.

“I’d love to see you in a few years,” she says, cocking her head to the side. “Just wait until the nights get longer and the whisperings start; when the women begin to show up with babies that look just like your husband; when nothing that you have belongs to you anymore, not even your identity. You’re going to remember this conversation. I wish someone had had it with me, so I’m doing you a service. Be prepared, because all the promises that you see in his money will pale in comparison when you lose his heart.”

This woman is out of her mind. Who the hell is she and who let her in here? I mean, I know her name but that’s all I know. I’m glaring at her trying to control my voice, but I am completely livid. How dare she say something like this to me!

“I’m really sorry that happened to you, but don’t wish that on me,” I tell her. “That’s a horrible thing to say to a woman on her wedding day.” As if she realizes what a mistake she has made, her face goes pale and she straightens her stance.

“I’m only telling you what I know,” she says. “The money makes them feel invincible, like nothing can affect them or touch them. They become cold, distant. You find yourself sleeping alone night after night until…”

“Mrs. Ringhold!” His voice is not loud, but it is forceful. “Have you completely lost your mind?”

She and I both nearly jump out of our skin at the sound of his voice.

“I… I…” Of course, she can’t say anything. She was totally busted telling me that my husband was going to fuck around on me before we even left the reception. Christian’s eyes narrow and she stumbles over her tongue. From nowhere, one of the security detail for tonight’s festivities is by his side.

“Find Ken Ringhold,” he says without taking his eyes off her. “Tell him that he and his wife are being ejected from my reception because his wife doesn’t know how to keep her mouth shut!”

She looks at Christian like she expects him to take it back.

“You can leave quietly, Mrs. Ringhold, or you can be carried out of here kicking and screaming. The choice is yours.” He stands awaiting her decision. She decides that quietly is the best way to go and follows the security detail out of the marquee.

“And it begins,” he says shaking his head. “I was hoping that we would at least be able to get back from our honeymoon before the venom started flying.”

“Oh, she’s a bitter woman in a loveless marriage. I can only feel sorry for her.” I look up at him. “I know those things happen, but please tell me that won’t happen to us. I see Daddy and my mother… but then I see Carrick and Grace. I know that true love can last. Please, just tell me that I won’t wake up one day and…” His lips find mine and silence me immediately. I melt into his arms and he caresses my cheek as I slowly forget what I was saying.

“That won’t be us,” he says softly, his lips only a breath away from mine. “I will love you with my last breath, and I’ll spend every breath between this one and that one proving it to you. I will cherish you for as long as we live and nothing will ever change what I feel for you this moment.”

Oh my God, I think I’m going to swoon. His eyes capture mine and I am lost in his gaze. Good God, I love this man.


CHRISTIAN

The nerve of that woman! I’m doing everything that I can to prove to Butterfly that I’m not an insincere, unfeeling, dominant goat, and this cow comes along and basically tells her that my money will be more important than she is and that in a few years, I’ll be cheating on her and making other families with other women. What the hell is Ringhold doing that this woman feels the need to tell my wife to beware?

I don’t like seeing the uncertainty in her eyes. I’ve worked too hard to make sure that she knows that she is everything to me. Even in my barbarianism, I have only wanted to show her how important she is to me and that the thought of another man having her makes me crazy. God, I know that there will be other hateful women that will try to make her feel like my loyalties lie elsewhere. I just hope she knows that they are truly with her. I once told her that she was the most important person in my life second only to my family. Now, she is a part of my family. She’s carrying my name and soon, hopefully, my children. She has to know what she means to me. She has to…

“Grey, what’s going on? Why are we being removed from the reception?” Ringhold has made his way over to me before the usher was able to stop him. Where’s Jason?

“I see that the usher didn’t tell you, so I will,” I say, pulling Butterfly close to me and tucking her under my arm. “I won’t begin to assume what’s going on in your household or your marriage, nor am I interested in knowing at this time. However, you’re being kicked out of my reception because your spiteful wife decided that it was her duty to tell my beautiful new bride that she—like your wife—will very soon be locked in a loveless marriage where my money will become more important than my family. She even went so far as to say that in a couple of years, I may even be bringing home babies from other women. That’s a wonderful picture for a brand new wife to take on her honeymoon, don’t you think?” I hiss at him. His eyes grow large and he clearly had no idea that his wife had said these things. He looks over at her and she scowls at him before leaving the tent. He drops his head before turning around to face me.

“Mr. Grey, Mrs. Grey, my sincerest apologies for my wife’s behavior. I have no explanation,” he says.

“There’s no explanation needed, but you should probably go find your wife,” Butterfly answers for both of us.

“This… doesn’t change anything… about our business dealings, does it?” he asks, looking at me. Is he on crack to ask me that right now?

“Ask me after my honeymoon,” I tell him. That shut him up. He nods tightly and leaves. “Where the hell is Jason?”

“Well, he’s your best man, so I would say that he’s probably enjoying the reception,” Butterfly reminds me. I take a deep breath and look down at her and close her in my arms again.

“It will only always ever be you,” I tell her with conviction. “Please don’t ever forget that.” She looks up at me.

“You’re a good man, Christian. Please don’t ever forget that,” she replies. She tells me that a lot. She knows that I need to be reminded. I love her so much. “Other families,” she says a little sadly, “It’s bad enough to have to deal with a cheater, but then to have him bring home more children. She’s probably devastated.”

“She has my sympathy, but that was no reason for her to plant those thoughts in my wife’s head. She had no right.” I’m trying not to get angry again. “You shouldn’t be thinking about things like that on your wedding day… or ever. You should be happy and enjoying your day.”

“I am blissfully happy and very much enjoying our day. She’s not the first and she won’t be the last to spit that kind of venom at me or us. It’s something that I just have to get use to.” She lays her head on my chest and holds me around my waist. “You’re stuck with me, Grey. Do you think you can handle that?” I put my finger under her chin and lift her face to mine.

“For the rest of my life.” I kiss her softly, again and again and momentarily forget where we are until…

“Mr. and Mrs. Grey, you’re needed on the dancefloor.” The DJ’s voice floats to my ears, but I’m lost in her kiss. The attention of the reception guests all turn to us and I can hear Elliot say, “You should have known they were making out somewhere.” I smile and touch my forehead to hers.

“Dance with me, Mrs. Grey,” I say, noting the yearning in my voice. She nods, a bit kiss dazed. She puts her wrist through the loop in her train and follows me to the dance floor. Once we get there, I take the loop from her wrist and put it on three of my fingers.

“Hold me,” I say softly as Love All The Hurt Away begins to play. She cannot control her tears as she wraps her arms around my neck. I hold her close to me and rest my chin on her shoulder as we sway to the music. We coast across the floor, our dance much more intimate than any other boring first wedding dance, not raunchy or sensual, just… intimate. I spread my hands across her back and press her body against mine. I close my eyes and feel her warmth, the delicious smell of her skin, and my intense love that feels like it’s going to explode out of me and consume us both. I raise my head just enough to look into her ocean blue eyes. It’s hard to remember that other people are here when she’s in my arms and looking at me like this, like her whole world begins and ends in my eyes.

The sound of the beating of my own heart is rushing through my ears, nearly drowning out the music. I’m softly singing the words to our song in her ear while gently kissing her on her temple and her cheek right in front of her ear. Again, my emotions threaten to overcome me and I need her closer to me. I lift her off the floor and hold her wrapped in my arms. She clings to my neck and we are gliding on our cloud to the song the helped us first realize that we loved one another. I am lost in her love and her embrace, and I only come back to myself when I hear our guests clapping signaling the end of the dance.

“Dry your eyes, Lady Anastasia,” I say softly. “I’ll protect you, and I’ll love you forever.”

Oh, good one Grey. Was that supposed to make her stop crying?

She clings to my neck, still weeping and unable to control it. After a few moments, the DJ announces that the bride is a bit emotionally overwhelmed and beckons the bridal party to join us on the dance floor. I don’t want to let her go. I just want to stay here in her arms forever. She’s as light as a sheet of paper, and I’m holding her with one arm wrapped firmly around her waist and the other caressing her bare back. I can feel the goosebumps rising on her skin as I caress her back and her crying begins to cease a bit.

Why, Mrs. Grey, are you getting aroused—here at our wedding reception in front of all these people?

I continue my caress as the bridal party slowly joins us on the dance floor. She is reduced to whimpers and shuddering breaths as Breathe begins to play and once again, we are floating on our cloud… in each others’ arms.

I don’t know how long I danced with my wife or to how many songs. I just know that we danced until she felt better and it was time to cut the cake. Butterfly and I are both amazed that she thought about getting a miniature Christian to sit at the piano and Ray—with my help—orchestrated a miniature Ana smashing into the German chocolate cake. It goes to show that great minds think alike and that this woman truly is my match in every way. We cut into our cake and fed each other as the DJ plays Because You Loved Me. I can’t stop looking into her eyes the entire time. I never thought she could possibly be more beautiful than she already is, but today, she capativating… breathtaking… downright enchanting.

Her dress is timeless—the lace clings to her in all the right ways and falls modestly just past her hips. I can say that I’m happy that she didn’t get a full, tight-to-the-knees mermaid dress. I’ve always thought those things were so tacky. No, not my Butterfly. Her dress only slightly hugs her hips before it fans out and compliments her gorgeous figure. The way that if frames her sensual back and showcases her flawless arms—back on track, Grey. You’ve got to dance with your mom soon.

I slowly feed her the cake as I want to spend as much time with her as I can.

“You’re stalling,” she says softly as I feed her.

“Yes, I am,” I admit. “I don’t want to mingle anymore. I want to stay here with you.”

“Right here?” she asks, raising her eyebrows.

“Anywhere with you,” I say, kissing the corner of her mouth. She gasps and I can tell—that was the right thing to say. She releases a deep breath.

“I…” She’s panting a bit. “Don’t do that to me,” she says, squirming. “I have to go dance with Daddy.” I kiss her again, reverently, on her cheek.

“Go dance with Ray. He’s waited a lifetime for this.” She smiles at me.

“Have I told you that I love you?” she asks. I smile back.

“A few hundred times… tell me a thousand more.” She gasps again.

“Christian…” she warns. I take her hand and kiss her palm.

“Go dance with your father.” Her eyes twinkle as she stands and informs the DJ that it’s time for the father/daughter dance. He waits for her to go to Ray before he announces that they will be dancing. He begins to play Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman and they start to sway across the floor. I watch her some more as she moves with her father and I can only think of how remarkable she is, how she changed my life so drastically in just one year. She is everything that I never knew that I wanted and I don’t know how I was so lucky to find her. I remember our very first conversation, if you can call it that…

“SIR!”

“Ms. Steele.”

“Um, Sir, it’s Dr. Steele…or Ana, if you prefer… it’s your turn, Sir.”

“My turn? For what?”

“To tell us who you are…and why you’re here.”

“Grey.”

“Just Grey?”

“Just Grey.”

“And why are you here, Grey?”

“Mr. Grey.”

“You said ‘just Grey.'”

“Mr. Grey,”

“Fine! Mr. Grey…why are you here?”

“Court. Ordered.”

“Christian Grey?”

“Yes, Dr. Steele. Christian Grey. And thank you for announcing to everyone in the class that Christian Grey has court ordered group therapy sessions!”

“Well, no, actually you did that, Mr. Grey… And what do you expect to get out of these sessions, Mr. Grey—that is, besides your signed form of completion?”

“I’m not sure, Ms. Steele. What can you offer me?”

Mr. Grey, my name…. is DOCTOR… Steele. And when you’re done counting, I would like to inform you that I would like to conduct this session with some modicum of professionalism and courtesy for all parties involved. So you can either tell us what you would like to get out of these sessions, or I will kindly move on to the next person.”

I remember thinking that she was a real pill back then. That’s because she’s the only one to ever beat me at my own game—and a woman, no less. That’s not something that a Dom can allow or admit to, so she was on the top of my list to go down. I just didn’t think down would mean in my bed… well, not at the time anyway.

I remember our first real fight when she told me that she was going to turn in my completion form to the court and label me a lost cause. I remember feeling like I would walk on water to catch her when I thought she would pass out right after that fight. I remember our first kiss. Fuck, that was hot. That’s the first time I ever remember losing control with a woman. She had me all hot and bothered and I just wanted to swallow her whole. I remember simply having to taste her…

Shit! This fucking woman is standing so close to me. I can smell her—she smells like fear…and anger…and pure primal unmitigated lust. I am furious! And with every breath I take she is invading my nostrils. This fucking, infuriating, unreasonable, desirable, irresistible, sexy woman! I have to have her… now!

Her lips are like ripe strawberries—delicious, juicy. Open your mouth, Baby. That’s it. Oh yes! Hot and soft and wet. Fuck, I can’t get enough. I have to hold her… closer. She’s electric. Her body is so soft, she feels so good. She’s melting into me… we fit together… her smell… her touch… her taste…

Snap out of it, Grey!

Fuck! The spell is broken just as quickly as it is cast. Step away from her, Grey. You’re fucking everything up! Breathe, Man, breathe. Shit! Why the fuck did I just do that? Why the hell does this woman seem to make me lose my good sense when I’m around her? I run my hand through my hair and vaguely remember that I am not alone in the room. Damn! What the fuck must she be thinking? I compose myself to turn around and face the music, but she’s not there anymore.

“Ana!” I step out of my office to see Andrea and Olivia looking at me confused. “Where is she?” I bark.

“In the elevator, Sir.” Andrea answers.

I pick up the phone to call Taylor.

“Sir?”

“Ms. Steele is in the express elevator. Stop her! Don’t let her leave!”

“How do you expect me to detain her, Sir?’

“Just catch her and tell her to wait, please…” I hear him call her name, and I can hear her shoes clicking across the lobby floor at high speed. Shit! She’s running! “Taylor!” I yell.

“Sir!” He yells back. I forgot about the earpiece in his ear. I can tell by the dissipating clicks that she’s already out of the building.

“Have Reynolds follow her,” I say more quietly. “She drives a pearl blue Chrysler 300.”

“I remember, Sir. For how long?”

“Until further notice. Light surveillance. I want reports every four hours and as needed. Tell him to use whomever he needs.”

“Yes, Sir.”

She had already captured me. I tried to pretend that she didn’t, bit I was a goner. I should have known it then, but the great Christian Grey can’t admit to being taken by a woman! Hell, no! Not a chance!

Right…?

I was sweating like a pig when I didn’t hear from her after I left my business card on her windshield the night that she quit as facilitator. Going to that place without her made me sick, and I do mean physically ill. That fucker Carlisle was only too sure that he had my card… and if I’m honest, he did.

“Tell the kid I said hello when she gives you that apology…”

Arrogant ass fucker. He did hit the nail on the head, though. Come to think of it, he would have gotten a real kick out of this. Hell, he still will when he reads it in the paper, if he’s still around, that is. A bottle of wine and a broken heel later, I find myself in her kitchen using my strongest moves to get her to bed…

“I don’t know when it happened and I don’t care when it happened. But I want you, and I know that you want me. So are we going to continue to pretend that’s not what’s going on between us or are you going to let me take you to bed and give your body what it so richly deserves? What’s it going to be, Ana? Do you want me to go home alone and sleep tonight, or do you want me to stay here with you and make you scream all night?”

She was puddy in my hands… and I was anything but puddy in hers. I remember that day like it was yesterday. She was fucking hot! That was the beginning of some of the most mind-blowing orgasms I ever had. I mean, damn! She was more than just a hot fuck. I felt things for her… feel things for her, and that’s makes the sex that much more extraordinary.

I come out of my stupor to see that Butterfly has now changed dancing partners and is dancing with Allen. He was a character from day one, barging into the apartment like he was about to save her from a fate worse than death only to find her curled in my lap in her robe.

“So it looks like you’re free for the evening, Hon, after we have one last drink so…she’ll call you in an hour, Handsome?”

He called David Two Dicks or something like that and I never found out what it meant. I don’t think I want to know. My own secrets were terrifying enough. I was scared shitless when I told her about my lifestyle and the Playroom; about Elena and our strange relationship; about the women who had been there before her. She took it all in stride, loved me in spite of it, and even embraced it because of me. I remember her presenting herself to me for the first time in the Playroom. She withstood a lot that night, allowed me to test her limits and wore her chain-burns like a badge of honor when she showed them to Elena.

Elena. Shit, that’s the last person I want to think about on my wedding day. My family loved Butterfly instantly, but Elena hated her just as quickly. It must have had something to do with the way that they met. Ana was standing between my legs wearing nothing but my shirt with my tongue down her throat when the vinyl-clad Mrs. Lincoln came barging into my apartment one inconvenient Sunday afternoon and left with a bloody nose and a chipped tooth. Yeah, not the best introduction. I have to say that I would love to be a fly on the wall when she hears that the nuptials have take place.

As I watch her and Al having a meaningful conversation on the dance floor, I stroll down Memory Lane a bit more and recall how she stood up for me at my parents’ house, both when Elena outed me and recently when Mia tried to make me the villain when it came to Ethan and the behavior of his witch sister. I think about the times that I almost lost her—when I foolishly thought that she might have been seeing Elliot, and when David kidnapped her right after I returned from Green Valley. I remember wanting to put her in a protective shell when I got her back and never wanting to let her out of my sight. She was so broken, but her spirit and her bruises healed with time. I remember her face being swollen and purple from Harris’ attack and her thinking she was ugly and hideous. I don’t know how to explain it, but I didn’t even see the bruises. I only saw my Butterfly. She was safe and she was back in my arms and that’s all that mattered to me.

I breathe a heavy sigh when I think about those days without her. My chest feels heavy and my stomach feels sick. I quickly wipe away those thoughts and watch my beautiful bride kiss her man of honor as their song ends. She smiles that smile that makes everything right with the world as they walk off the floor together. I watch her for a moment before I realize that Mom is most likely expecting her dance as well. I take a deep breath and walk over to my mother. I need this.

“Dance with me, Mommy,” I say as I hold my hand out to her. She smiles widely as I take her hand and lead her to the dance floor. I leave her there to get the microphone from the DJ to make my announcement.

“First, let me thank you all for coming. As you know, this is my beautiful mother and I would like to dance with her. Now, Mommy, I know that those are tears of joy, but I can’t stand to see you cry.” The room is filled with “aw’s” after that statement. “I’m happy and I want her to be happy, too. So forgive me if I stray from the norm a bit for the mother/son dance. No sad songs for you, Mommy.” I hand the DJ the mic and whisper to him what song I want to hear. As I get back to my mother, we hear the upbeat guitar rhythm of Kool and the Gang Celebration. My mother laughs and bounces while clapping her hands. I take her in a hold and for the first few bars of the song, we dance a lively foxtrot.

And then we boogie!

This was what I wanted for my mother—not the tears and the feeling that she’s losing her son, but the lightheartedness of a celebration and that she’ll be gaining more family. It’s been hard for us over the years and I know that dealing with the new, emotional Christian couldn’t have been a walk in the park either, but she always stood by me. She hugged me and let me cry when I needed to cry and she slapped me upside the head when I fell out of line. The laughter in her eyes makes me feel ten feet tall, and that’s how it should be.

I can tell that she is much lighter when the dance is complete. Her laughter is genuine and her smile lights up the room. I give her a kiss and the party breaks out in more celebration, just as it should be. I find my wife and dance with her until we are both exhausted. Her smell and feel is driving me crazy and I have to remember that we are at our wedding reception so that I don’t steal her away and fuck her in a closet somewhere, but that won’t be the order of business tonight. No, no… the first time that I am inside of her as my wife, I’m going to relish that feeling… make it last as long as I can. I’m going to commit it to memory so that I can spend the rest of our lives recreating it every time we make love.

The thought makes me want to touch her and hold her some more, feel her skin under my fingertips and I do just that on the dance floor. I can smell pheromones seeping out of her pores and mixing with her perfume. It’s driving me wild and I tell her all the ways that I want her right now. God, she is so ready for me and we are going to have to ditch this party soon as it’s taking every control technique I know not to walk around with a raging boner. I’m almost relieved when we part to go greet other personal guests as a few more moments in her presence may have resulted in uncontrollable and inappropriate public displays of affection.

While she goes in search of people that she wants to see before the night is complete, I seek out the woman who’s been avoiding me. I find Mia nursing a glass of champagne and people-watching in a quiet corner alone. It’s very un-Mia-like and I momentarily wonder where Ethan has gotten off to. My presence seems to surprise her a bit. She starts talking before I even sit down.

“It was such a beautiful ceremony, Christian,” she says with a smile. I nod and fold my hands on the table.

“You’ve been standoffish since the brunch.” She shrugs and looks down.

“I haven’t been doing it on purpose. I’ve just been… trying to do things on my own.” I frown.

“What does that mean?” I haven’t interfered in Mia’s life in any way. I’m there if she needs me for something, but it’s never been more than that. I don’t tell her how to live, what to do…

“I just…” she sighs. “I don’t know how to deal with this new you,” she answers candidly. “Every time we come together for something big or important, I manage to piss you off. In case you haven’t noticed, I seem to have a terrible case of ‘foot-in-mouth-itis.'”

“Yes, Mia, I’ve noticed,” I respond, to her dismay. “Did you expect me to disagree?”

“Well…” she trails off.

“That’s the problem, Sweetie,” I tell her. “You can’t deal with being wrong. You can’t deal with not being the center of attention… and you can’t deal with the fact that your protector has flaws and feelings.” She looks up at me, her brown eyes large.

“Did Ana tell you…? I frown again.

“Tell me what?” Now, she feels like she has let the cat out of the bag. She’s struggling with what to say right now and I immediately know that at some point in the last week, she and Ana had one of those heart-to-heart conversations that people always have with my Butterfly. Oh, my lovely wife—everyone is so comfortable talking to her, and she is a vault.

“It doesn’t matter,” I say. “What matters is that you understand those things about yourself. I’m not saying that you need to go as far as I did and have therapy, but I am saying that you should examine yourself and think about how you’re going to treat people in the future. I’m a very broken and flawed man, Mia. I’ve worked for years to hide those flaws and hold myself together and I’ve done a damn good job of it until Butterfly came along. She wouldn’t let me hide. She peeled back layers of me that I refused to show to anyone else and exposed me to the world. She actually did me a favor when she left me and went to Montana.” Mia frowns deeply.

“How did you come to that conclusion?” she asks.

“She made me stand on my own after she exposed me to the world. She opened me up and left me raw and then she said, ‘here, now deal with it.’ I was able to see everybody for who they really were and those who chose to look could see me, too. All of the façades were dropped and there were no more ‘representatives’—what you saw was what you got. Those of you who chose to shun me, ignore me, or chastise me missed a great opportunity to see who I really am.”

“I already knew,” she says softly.

“No, you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did,” she says without raising her eyes. “I knew about the nightmares and the waking up in sweats. I saw you once… only once… when we were kids. You still came to my room that night, but I saw you.”

She saw me? She never said anything. I just look at her stunned and she never raises her eyes to me.

“I remembered thinking that if the Boogie Man was after you, too, how could you possibly protect me? Even then, I…” She quickly wipes a tear away from her cheek. I don’t know how to take this. She knew. All this time, she knew and she still treated my like a heartless bastard at her beck and call. I can see the pain that she’s in now over the whole thing, but I’m having a hard time reconciling all of this.

“Mia, how could you still be so self-centered if you knew what I was going through?” I ask. I’m not scolding her; I really want to know.

“I don’t know,” she says, shaking her head. “I did feel it once—when I found out that crazy bitch molested you. I just…” She covered her face. “I just lost it. I was so pissed that I couldn’t see straight. I just wanted her to die.”

“I remember,” I say, recalling the day that she climbed over the sofa and lunged at the Pedophile upon learning that she had molested me as a child. “What happened to that Mia? Why didn’t she stick around?” I ask.

“This Mia is stronger,” she laments, “the one that likes shopping and sparkly things and for everyone to notice her.” She says the words with disdain. “I don’t know what it is, Christian. It’s how I was always treated and it’s how I’ve always expected to be treated. Little cute adorable Mia always got what she wanted. If she didn’t, she pouted or threw a temper tantrum and it always fell into place… until it didn’t.”

She’s right. We created this monster. During our childhood, I always hid my demons in the closet or under the bed so that I could chase hers away. She learned from routine that she was the golden child and that the world revolved around her and she still expects that treatment now. Should I let her off the hook since I assisted in creating this Frankenstein?

No.

“It’s time to grow up, Mia,” I tell her. “It’s time to understand that you are not the center of the universe. I take responsibility for the role that I played in making you think that it’s okay to act like this, and I’m sorry, but it’s not. You will always be my Meelo, but you need to understand that you’re not the only one who counts. I have feelings, too, and you have hurt them more than once. I can’t tolerate it anymore, and I won’t. I’ve discovered that I have a high physical pain threshold, but a low emotional one.” She flings herself into my arms and weeps.

“I’m sorry, Christian,” she sobs. “I’m really so, so sorry. I was selfish and conceited and I’m really sorry.” I hug her and try to comfort her a bit.

“Sssshh,” I hush her, “don’t cry, Meelo.”

“No,” she says, wrenching herself away from me, but still holding my hands. “I understand now. I really do. I knew that you had monsters following you. All this time, I knew, but I never let it sink in. All this stuff that’s happened, I just… I really need you to know how sorry I am.” She looks down and shakes her head. “The argument at your apartment about Ethan knowing about you and Elena… the whole Katherine Baby-Mama drama… ‘this is Christian Grey’s wedding…'” She mocks what she said at the first meeting of the families about our wedding. “Oh, Christian,” she covers her face. “Please forgive me. I would diss my friends so badly if they behaved the way that I have.”

“I’m not letting you off the hook, Meelo,” I say, rubbing her arms. “You need to make some changes, Hon. You can’t act this way anymore. You’re an adult and it’s unbecoming of you, but I forgive you. I love you and I’ll never turn my back on you. Don’t ever do it to me again. It breaks my heart.” Tears stream down her face as she stares at me before embracing me warmly.

“I won’t. I swear. I love you, too, Cwis.”

*-*

I’ve been so caught up in the reception and the dancing that I completely forgot that I have an uncle and a grandfather. It’s starting to get a little late in the evening and when I spot them, I notice that Pops is looking quite weary. Uncle Herman is very attentive to him, fussing over him and such and it looks like Pops wants him to stop.

“Hey Pops, Uncle Herman. Are you enjoying yourselves?”

“Yes, yes, Son, we’re doing just fine,” Pops answers.

“May I sit?” I ask.

“Of course,” they say simultaneously. I take a seat next to Pops.

“I’m no doctor, but I’m a pretty smart man,” I say, putting my hand on Pops’ shoulder. “What’s wrong?” Pops and Uncle Herman look at each other before looking back at me.

“I can’t lie to you, Son. I’m a sick man, but I didn’t come out here for a handout.” I can see in his eyes that he’s sincere about what he is saying. “I’m diabetic. My kidneys are shot. I’ve been on the transplant list for 10 years, but they can’t seem to find a match. Without it, I’m getting sicker and sicker. I can’t handle the doctor bills and I’m just getting tired of fighting. I just wanted to see my family before…” he trails off. He still hasn’t totally accepted that he’s dying although that’s clearly what he’s trying to tell me.

“Pops,” I say with a heavy heart. I just met him. I like him and he’s going to die?

“We really didn’t come out here for a handout, Christian,” Uncle Herman says. “I really wanted to see the family, too, but I’ll be honest. I tried to convince Dad not to come. He’s not well and he’s due to have dialysis in a couple of days, so we’re only going to have to fly right back out. All this traveling can’t be good for him, but he insisted.” I shake my head.

“Does Dad know?” I ask. Pops shakes his head.

“We… we didn’t plan on telling him. We were just going to come in for the wedding and leave. Dad thought he could do it, but…” Uncle Herman shrugs.

“I can help, you know. There’s got to be something that I can do,” I say. I’ve never felt so helpless.

“You can’t buy me a kidney, Son… well, maybe you could, but I wouldn’t accept it,” Pops corrects himself.

“But I know how this works. Dad could get tested. I know I’m not your biological grandson, but I could get tested, too. I know Elliot and Mia would want to get tested…”

Who is Mia?” Pops ask. My eyes grow large.

“Oh my gosh, you haven’t met Mia?” I ask. They both shake their heads. I scan the room for Mia again and find her leaning against Ethan nearly fast asleep. “Do you see the girl over there with the black hair in the bridesmaid’s dress leaning against the blonde guy?” They both nod. “That’s Mia Grey. She’s my sister.” They look at each other and back at me.

“There are three of you?” Uncle Herman asks. I nod. He sighs and shakes his head. “We missed a lot, Dad.”

“I know,” he says just above a whisper.

“Listen. You’re my grandfather—I’m only just realizing that I had… I can’t lose you now. Please… please let us help you. You have to let us try,” I beseech him. He looks at Uncle Herman who looks at me.

“Dad, can I talk to Christian alone for a minute?” he asks his father. Pops nods and Uncle Herman and I excuse ourselves and step outside of the tent.

“Christian, we’re a proud family. We take care of our own. We don’t take charity or handouts and we don’t ask for them. I have to be honest with you. I’m willing to accept your help, but that’s my father and he’s all that I have left. My children are all grown and gone, my wife and I are divorced. My life is taking care of my dad. If you make us regret this—if you make my dad feel bad in any way—he’ll turn down any help you give him and you’ll make an enemy out of me forever.”

If this were anybody else, I would be offended. How dare you threaten me when I’m only trying to help you? Yet, I don’t know Uncle Herman that well, but I feel like I’m talking to my father, and I understand completely where he’s coming from. His father is his life, and he won’t let anybody hurt him, not even his rich nephew.

“You have my word, Sir. I won’t hurt him or cause him any pain. Please, just let me help him. Please.” Uncle Herman sighs again.

“How would this work?” he asks.

“Well, how would you guys feel about moving to Seattle?” I ask. Before he has the chance to protest, I add, “The waiting list is national, I know. We can all be tested to see if any of us are a match. If all else fails and he is looking at his last days, at least we’ll all be together and we can spend as much time with him as possible, although watch out for Mia. She’s a ball of energy and she can be a bit much to take if you’re not accustomed to it.” I try to make light of the situation, but to my dismay, it doesn’t work. Uncle Herman looks at me for a few moments, then turns away and begins to weeps.

Oh, hell.

“Uncle Herman…?” He holds his hand up to silence me. I’m completely out of my comfort zone here. He takes a few moments to compose himself.

“I can’t let him see me like this,” he says, trying to stop his weeping. “He can’t see me like this.” That’s when I realize just how big a burden this must be on him. He must be taking this on all on his own. I thought my dad had another brother? Two? I don’t remember.

“Is it just you and Pops, Uncle Herman?” I ask. He nods, still facing away from me. “Nobody helps you?” he shakes his head.

“My brothers have all moved away and gone on with their lives. They keep in touch and they’ve been tested, but they all have families of their own just like Rick. My dad needs real help—someone to cook for him and clean and do his shopping. I try, Christian. I really do.” He turns back around to me and his eyes are glassy and bloodshot. He’s carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, trying to take care of his father on his own. “This… is the first time in years that I’ve seen… any light at the end of the tunnel.” It’s worse than I thought. I put my hand on the back of his shoulders.

“Walk with me, Herman,” I say, and we head off for a stroll around the lake.

*-*

“Where did you two get off to?” Dad greets me when we get back to the tent. I don’t know how much time has passed, but I’m hoping a certain Butterfly hasn’t noticed my absence.

“Christian! How could you not tell me we have a grandfather? And an uncle, too?” Mia leaps from her seat next to Pops and nearly skips over to Uncle Herman. “You must be Herman. I’m Mia. I’m your niece.” She looks nothing like the tuckered-out bridesmaid I saw before we left the tent. I lean over to Uncle Herman.

“See? I told you,” I say to him and he chuckles a bit.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mia,” he says as he leans in to her exuberant hug.

“Christian, I suggest you find your bride. She’s been looking for you,” Dad says. My shoulders fall. Shit. I had hoped she didn’t notice that I was missing.

“How long have I been gone?” I ask. Dad looks at his watch.

“Well, Dad said you guys had been gone for about 10 minutes when I came over and we’ve been talking for about 20 minutes. So you’ve been gone for about half an hour.” Shit. That’s all I needed to start my marriage off right—disappear from my reception for 30 minutes. I don’t see her. Where did she go? “She’s wandering around somewhere with her aunt,” Dad adds and I nod. I look at Uncle Herman and he nods the go-ahead.

“Dad, Pops, if you two agree, I’d like for Uncle Herman and Pops to move here to Seattle with us,” I say cautiously. Pops looks up at me and Dad frowns.

“Son, don’t you think this might be a bit sudden?” Dad asks. He looks at his father. “Is this what you want, Dad?”

“I… Herman?” Pops is out of his element here. Uncle Herman takes his seat.

“I think it’s a good idea, Dad. I really do, if Rick agrees.” They both look over at Dad. Dad’s a little shell-shocked at the moment. I have one question that I want to ask for my father.

“Can I… please ask you a question?” I say to Pops and Uncle Herman. They look at me expecting. “Why didn’t you guys come before now?” Uncle Herman looks at Pops.

“I’ve wanted to come before,” Pops begins, “but I was such an asshole to Rick… I didn’t even know how to reach out to him. I was ashamed, and I thought he might have been ashamed of me. I was a fool. I missed so much time…” His voice cracks on his last words and tears start to fall from his eyes. I squeeze his shoulder a bit. “Then I got the invite to your wedding and… well, hell, I thought, why not? It was a chance for me to see Rick and Gracie again, and I could see the grandchildren that I never met… 25 years… I’m such a fool.”

“Pops,” I say taking his hand with my free hand, “you’re here now. We can’t do anything about those 25 years, but we can live right now.” He looks up at me with hopeful eyes.

“I’d like that, Son,” he says. “I would really like to spend time with my family.” I look over at my father.

“Dad?” A small smile creeps onto Dad’s face, the smile that says he’s holding something back.

“Dad, I would love for you to be here. What do we need to do?”

“Well,” Uncle Herman says, “I can make a few calls and try to get the ball rolling tomorrow, but I won’t be able to do too much until Monday.”

“Okay. You do as much as you can tomorrow and we’ll get you settled in to the manor on Monday. You’ll be more comfortable there.”

“The manor?” Pops asks.

“Our home,” Dad says.

“Oh, no, Rick. I’m sure we can find a little place somewhere. I’ve got a little savings left…” Pops protests.

“And if you would like to do that, by all means, please do. Until you find a little place that you are happy with, you’ll stay at the manor. There’s plenty of room and it’s much more comfortable than a hotel. Please, Dad… I’d love to have you,” Dad insists.

“What about Gracie? Don’t you think you should run this by her?” Pops asks.

“We’ll talk about it tonight. I guarantee you that she’ll be fine with it,” Dad says with a smile. Pops smiles the same smile.

“If Gracie says it’s okay, then I gladly accept.” Dad’s smile grows larger.

“Good. Good. Now I need to go and find my wife and Christian, I think you need to go and find yours. Mia, you’ll keep your grandfather and uncle company?”

“Yes, Daddy, I will,” Mia says as she moves in closer to Pops. Her youth is reflected in his eyes and you can tell that he is happy to have her next to him. She starts talking to him about her and Ethan’s wedding next year as Dad and I leave the table.

“What’s wrong with him, Christian?” Dad asks when we’re no longer in earshot. I look over at him. No use keeping it a secret anymore.

“Kidney failure. He’s a diabetic.” Dad nods and I can see the wheels turning.

“We’ll all get tested,” he says, never raising his head. I put my hand on his shoulder.

“We sure will. We’ll find him a match. I’m sure of it.”

“How bad is it, Son?” He asks.

“It’s bad, Dad. He’s been on the transplant list for a decade. They just can’t find him a match. We’re going to have to find someone fast.” He nods again, clearly fighting his emotions.

“Definitely living at the manor,” he says before squeezing my arm and going off to find Mom, no doubt. I watch him walk away and my eye catches the vision in white that is my wife.

“There you are! Way to leave me at our reception. Where did you go?” she whines.

“You see that man over there?” I point across the room to where Uncle Herman and Pops are sitting.

“The old man talking to Mia and Carrick?” she asks. I shake my head.

“That’s not Dad,” I tell her. “That’s his brother, Herman and the old man is his father, Burton.” She gasps a bit.

“They could be twins!” she exclaimed. “I thought Carrick’s family wasn’t coming to the wedding.”

“They hadn’t planned to. They had been a bit estranged. Even so, they had planned on leaving tomorrow and flying right back to Michigan. We’ve convinced them to stay, though. Pops is sick.”

“How sick?” she asks.

“He needs a kidney transplant. He’s diabetic and he’s been on the list for 10 years. He was coming to see his family before he died.” She looks over at him.

“He does look very sick and weak. Where is he moving?”

“To Bellevue with Dad and Mom. He’s a proud man and insists on using the last of his money to buy his own little place. They’re a proud lot. It’s like twisting arms to get them to accept any help. That’s where I’ve been, talking to Herman. The man broke down and cried, Ana.”

“Oh, no,” she says, looking over at my grandfather and uncle.

“Would you like to meet them?” I ask.

“Of course,” she replies and we walk over to the table.


A/N: Be sure to see pictures of the wedding at http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/mending-dr-steele-the-wedding-weve-all-been-waitin/

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

Love and Handcuffs!
Lynn x

And now on to the final part of the wedding. Go on, you know you want to read it!

Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 63—Do You? I Do. Do You? I Do, Too. We Do! Let’s Go!

So, the winner by a landslide is two chapters in the same weekend, and guess what? It looks like it will be three. So congratulations!

I didn’t respond to a lot of the comments because I was busy calculating and writing, so forgive me. I did respond to a couple, but not many, but I do want to respond to a few of the repetitive comments here because I love my readers and don’t want you to think that your comments fall on deaf ears.

In relation to Christian’s Neanderthal behavior, sweet and cuddly Christian 100% of the time doesn’t work for me. Yes, the night before his wedding was a bit much. However, if he had acted any other way than the way that he did seeing another man’s hands on his woman’s bare ass, I would have stopped writing this story because that would mean that I would be allowing outside forces to dictate who my Christian is. My Christian is the fairytale lover, the overbearing Dom, AND a real person and he will react as such. This means that there will be more Christian fuck-ups in the future, so get ready.

Just to clarify, he wasn’t punishing her in the bathroom. Notice that she never said that once. What did she say that he did to her in the bathroom? Go back and read it. She said, “He’s never dominated me in a public place, but that’s exactly what he did tonight.” She never said that he punished her because she knew that she wasn’t being punished, but he did treat her like an object. He didn’t punish her—he owned her. He didn’t punish her because some guy was touching her. He showed ownership because someone else handled his property.

When he owned her, she left the situation feeling bereft and humiliated, even though the act made her come and want to come again. In the dream when he “punished” her, she came like a freight train and it made her horny and wanton all day, desiring his hands on her (all eight of them) and to feel him inside of her.

In terms of Ana’s reaction and what she should do, years ago when my marriage wasn’t so perfect, someone said something about me that infuriated me, but to this day, I have to admit that it was true. Things changed later, but at the time it was a blaring truth and I had to accept it. I’m going to put a little spin on it and use those words now—she knows who she’s marrying. That should be enough with no explanation.

I agree that communication is key, and this issue will come up again, but please let us not forget how CG and Ana communicate. To that end, there will be further communication and maybe not what you may think, but there will be no therapy involved, banging out the many ways that this may have been wrong.

In terms of the comments that mention “one step forward and 99 steps backwards” (there were different numbers of steps backward, so I just used “99”), I have to say that I don’t agree. Even in this Neanderthal act, they are still moving forward because he is still learning lessons and so is Ana. When you stop learning and you become unwilling to learn, your progress is first halted and then you begin to take steps backwards. His reaction was “typical Christian,” so even though she may not have been pleased with it, she’s not surprised. That’s why she sent him away and let him stew in his own brew.

So that’s enough of addressing the last chapter and our favorite Dom’s reaction to his Butterfly being groped. On with Part I of The Wedding of the Millenium!

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 63—Do You? I Do. Do You? I Do, Too. We Do! Let’s Go!

STEELE

“Steele, seriously, what happened last night?” Val asks once we are back in the bridal suite getting our hair and make-up done. We have had a wonderful detox spa day and everyone looks as fresh as springtime. I haven’t told anyone about Christian’s bathroom domination and I haven’t been able to concoct a suitable lie for leaving. I came back to the hotel and locked myself in my room, so no one got any answers last night. When we met up at the spa this morning, I declared that no one talk about it or ask me about it or I was going back to my room.

So Val decides to wait until I am back in my room to ambush me about it.

“Nice, Val. Really nice. It’s not enough that you set me up for possible humiliation and exposure last night, but when I specifically tell you to stay away from a topic or I’m going to my room, you wait until I get to my room. You don’t have a pause button, do you? If you did, you would have paused to think about that particular tactic before you tried it. It’s all fast forward for you, like you’re just running ahead doing shit and your brain got left behind!” Valerie’s kind of stunned by my outburst. I don’t know why. That was a dumb ass move on her part.

“So… you were pissed at us, then.” Is her head rolling down the street somewhere scattering her brain along the highway? “I’m sorry, Ana. I’m not trying to piss you off, really, I’m not. It’s just that… we thought it was going to be harmless fun. We covered your face, you looked like you were having a good time. We didn’t even know anything was wrong until you came back and asked for a drink.” What? I was gone—what, 15 or 20 minutes, and nobody thought anything was wrong? I need to end this conversation soon.

“Yes, I was pissed at you, but that’s not why I left. I was having a good time, but the night just went south. Now respect my wishes, Valerie. I’m not going to talk about it. This one’s going into the vault. I’m not even talking to my shrink about it. So let it go.”

“So, you didn’t leave because we put you on the auction block last night?” How do I answer that? Christian dominated me because they put me up for sale last night, but except for the gropey guys, the night was really fun. So, I sort of lie.

“No. It wasn’t that. Now leave it alone.” Val sighs a visual sigh of relief.

“Al will be happy to hear that.” Shit. I didn’t think about what they would have thought about me leaving like that without a word. I just wanted to get the hell out of there. This must be some kind of sign that I need to stay the hell away from hen parties!

“Listen. I didn’t mean to make you guys think that’s why I left, but I really don’t want to talk about it, so please don’t ask again.” She puts her hands up.

“I won’t. I’m just glad it wasn’t us. The last thing that I would ever want to do is upset you the night before your wedding,” she says.

“You’re not getting off that easily. That was a dumb thing that you and Al did. It could have been disastrous. What if somebody had recognized me? Know that if you guys ever put me in a position anything like that again, I’m going to dump you and leave you where you’re standing. Are we clear?” I’m pointing at her like she’s a kindergartener who just ate the glue.

“Yes, we’re clear. I’m sorry,” she says in a whiny, chastised-teenager voice. All she needs to add is “God, Mom,” and the whine will be complete.

“Don’t give me that tone, Marshall,” I say, keeping in line with our current characters. “Last night could have gone a whole lot worse than it did. I have to be careful now that Christian and I are getting married and I need my friends to understand the importance of discretion. Even though you weren’t the reason that I left last night, you very well could have been.”

“Okay. I get it. I really do. I really am sorry.” I bet you regret your tactics now, don’t you?

“Good. We’re fine. Nothing else about it,” I warn. “Now let’s get this show on the road.”

My make-up is finally done and it’s time to put the final touches on my hair. I haven’t cut it in forever, and the stylist today was only allowed to give me a slight trim. Although I didn’t realize it, apparently I’ve been subconsciously growing it out for just this occasion. My hair is incredibly long and the stylist has worked it into a mane of wiry curls and tresses the likes of which I don’t think I have ever seen! The wisps of hair fall carelessly over my face awaiting the final touch.

I gesture to Maxie to hand me the 19th century black lacquer butterfly cosmetic box from the dresser that houses the final element to my hairstyle. I open the box to the gasps of all the women in the room and remove a beautiful platinum and diamond Cartier butterfly headband tiara. Only the best for my wedding day.

After the stylist places a few pins to hold my hair off of my face, I take the tiara from the box. I take a moment to admire it—a butterfly conspicuously in the center flanked by diamonds and leaves of similar stones and modest design down the length of the tiara. I look up at Mandy and hand her the tiara. Her eyes are large and surprised as I smile at her.

“Please?” I say softly. Her bottom lip trembles madly as she treads over to me, takes the tiara, and places it gently on my head where the stylists directs her. She holds it in place while the stylist arranges masses of curls cascading down my back behind it with strategic tresses framing my face. When they’re done, Mandy comes around to the front of me. “Well?” I ask with a large smile.

“Oh, Ana,” she weeps. “You’re stunning!”

“Call the make-up artist back!” Val says, and we all break out in laughter. Val does the honors and puts on my Cartier double heart drop diamond earrings and I clip on the diamond and platinum art deco cuff bracelet, also by Cartier. Now, I’m ready for my dress.

It still takes my breath away. Gail and Mia bring it down from where it hangs high on the canopy bed and delicately spread the fabric. It’s gorgeous. I will finish the ensemble with a pair of white platform peeptoe stilettos covered in French lace with crystal studded-backs and heels, a large butterfly gracing the toe and the top outside of the shoe near the heel.

“Before we put you in your dress, my son has asked me to give you something.” Grace steps forward with a fairly large box in her hand. It may be a foot and a half tall and I’m so wondering what’s inside. I place the box on the dresser and it actually opens in the front to reveal a tall burgundy and gilt cylinder—round base with doors all around it, six doors in total. I pull it out to reveal what I know is a music box—and exquisite music box! The girls help me open the doors to the box to reveal a dancing couple—brunette and redhead—and when I push the button on the side, the song playing is Love All The Hurt Away.

“Call the makeup artist back,” I say as I begin to weep.

*-*

Daddy and Al are standing speechless just outside the door as Grace opens it to reveal the bride. Josh is taking pictures of my modest train flowing behind me and the bridesmaids pretending to fuss over tiny details of my appearance. I knew that my hair would be dramatic and the tiara is perfectly showcased nestled in my coif of curls, so I opted not to wear a veil. My makeup is soft—very springtime even though we are at the end of June. Dainty hands clad in fingerless satin and lace elbow-length gloves hold a bouquet of calla lilies and blue roses. I raise my head to see Al with stunned sparkles in his eyes and Daddy with tears streaming down his face. I smile widely and hold my arms open for him.

“Oh, Daddy,” I say as he gathers me in his arms. “Please don’t cry.”

“I can’t help it, Sunflower,” he says, his voice cracking. “Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe how you look. You’re radiant.” He kisses me gently and I wipe the tears from his cheek. “I have to go give my Sunflower away.”

“No, Daddy,” I correct him. “You may be giving Anastasia away, but I will always be your Sunflower.” He embraces me and weeps bitterly over my shoulder. I can only imagine how hard this must be for him as I was a blubbering mess at his wedding, but I love him so much. He has been my rock when no one else was there, the only constant from as far back as I can remember. No one will every replace my Daddy.

“Please don’t make me cry, Daddy,” I beseech him. “I’m happy and I want you to be happy, too.”

“I am happy, Sunflower,” he says through his sniffles. “It’s just… it’s times like these that a father remembers his daughter’s first steps, her first birthday, the first day she shot a gun on her own…” The entire room laughs at that revelation. “I’m just being weeping and nostalgic, but I know that Christian is going to take really good care of you. So I’m not worried one bit. He’s a good man, Annie.”

“I know he is, Daddy,” I tell him. “He’s a wonderful man. Just… don’t leave me, okay? I may be all grown up and getting married, but I still really, really need my Daddy.” Daddy fights another rash of tears and nods quickly. Taking a deep breath, he says, “If he hurts you…”

I nod. “I know, Daddy.” Daddy smiles and takes my hand.

“Ready?”

“I’m ready, Daddy.”

The bridal party all leave the suite and the castle and proceed to the garden. The weather is perfect! There is a gentle breeze blowing and the sky is blue with just a spray here and there of thin, fluffy clouds. I swear it feels like angels are singing and birds are chirping, but honestly, it’s all in my head because I am walking on clouds. When we get to the entrance of the garden, several people are waiting there. Carrick greets his wife and kisses me on the cheek.

“You are ravishing, Ana,” he says with a big charismatic smile.

“Thank you, Carrick. It’s cheating to be standing out here and see the bride before everyone else, you know.” I smile back.

“Oh, there’s a purpose to my presence,” he says. “Your groom is an absolute nervous wreck. My job is to walk in and signal him that the wedding is about to start. So I am about to go in and take my seat, which is the only job that I have besides to enjoy this wedding.” He kisses me again, then kisses his wife. “Your mother is still giving me the evil eye. You’d think she would have gotten over it after three decades and a successful marriage.”

“She’s still carrying Dad’s spite, Cary. Just… leave her be, I guess. Try to ignore her.” She touches her husband’s cheek reassuringly.

“I have other news, but it can wait until later.”

“Good news?” Grace says hopeful.

“Fantastic news!” Carrick exclaims.

“Oh, wonderful. No bad news today. I won’t allow it. Now, go in and reassure your son that his bride hasn’t flown the coup.” Carrick nods and enters the garden. I had almost forgotten about last night’s Neanderthal moment. He has every right to be nervous, but his visit to my dreams have replaced the details of the restroom encounter and all I can think of is eight-handed Christian grabbing me and pulling me against him… Oh, God, get it together, Steele! You’re standing here holding your father’s hand with every parental figure you have within 50 feet of you. Get a grip!

Grace squeezes my hand and kisses me gently on my cheek before taking the arm of the usher and entering the garden. Mandy kisses Daddy first, then me before falling in line behind Grace with her own usher. Grace and Mandy both chose silver-gray dresses with half jackets for the wedding. However, Mandy’s dress is cocktail length—sophisticated and fitted with asymmetrical pleats, while Grace’s is floor length—stunning and elegant, ruched torso with an A-line flowing skirt. The bridal party follows behind them and my head starts swimming—floating in Euphoria that I’m about to officially become Mrs. Grey. Marlow winks at me and follows the bridal party in with his sister behind him ready to drop the blue rose petals in my path. Allen is the last to walk in before me.

“I love you, Jewel,” he says, his eyes sincere.

“I love you, more,” I reply kissing him on his cheek. He smiles, stands straight, and walks in alone with the regalness of a Nutcracker soldier. Now it’s my turn. I take a deep breath as the song changes and I look over at Daddy and smile.

“Here we go,” I say like a toddler about to board the carousel.


GREY

“I fucking hate you, Christian,” Ethan says as we are all getting dressed in our tuxedos. “How is it that I look like I was jumped by a gang of pygmies and you are only slightly bruised?” I button my shirt and begin to tie my tie.

“You’re the one who suggested paintball and didn’t have the sense to put some sports cream on your battle scars,” I say impassively. “Who does that?”

“Apparently two of you,” Allen says throwing a look over at James.

“I knew,” James says, “I just had a new experience is all. I’ve never been attacked the way these blood-thirsty cavemen attacked me yesterday.”

“Oh, come off it, Fleming! You play that attack-and-hide game for the whole session. You’re just sore—literally—because we sniffed you out,” Elliot says while buttoning his vest.

“You’re all a bunch of pussies,” Jason says. “I took a bullet to the shoulder and I didn’t whine as much as you.”

“Oh, can it, Agent T,” Allen chimes in. “Not everyone is G-I Joe. You all abused my James and I’ll never forgive you for it.”

“Well, you all must have been quite the lively lot,” John comments. “I hate that I missed it and glad at the same time. Allen, you don’t appear to have taken any abuse from the melee. How did you manage that?”

“Me?” Allen says, putting his hand dramatically on his chest. “Running around in the dirt and the mud in the woods being accosted with little hard balls of goo by these ruffians? I don’t think so. I spent half of the day tending to the bride’s dress and the other half tending to the bride. We had an odd night, though.” Oh, shit. Jason shoots a look over at me and immediately turns away.

“Odd? How so?” Elliot asks. “Or is it one of those ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ things?” Please fucking drop it Elliot.

“No, nothing like that. You’re talking about a woman who wouldn’t even hear of a stripper, so the whole night was pretty PG except for the drinking…” until I got there. “No, we were doing this Scottish or Irish or some kind of tradition where the bride-to-be sells kisses for a dollar, only Jewel sold dances.” Everyone turns to look at me, and I have to pretend like I’m hearing this for the first time. “She was actually having a good time. Most of the people were pretty respectful. Women danced with her, too, but as the night went on and the liquor kept flowing, the guys were getting more and more aggressive. One guy was telling her how well he could take care of her…”

“What?” I say, unable to mask my surprise. “She’s marrying Christian Grey. Was he serious?”

“They didn’t know that,” Allen says. “She was ‘Alice.’ You were ‘Tom.’ She was wearing a cape and a Lone Ranger mask and selling dances to pay for her honeymoon… or something…” Oh, yeah. I forgot that part. “Anyway, she tells that guy to shove off, moves on to the next guy and he’s falling all over her. I turn my head for a minute… and I mean a minute. I turn back and she’s giving some guy a kneecap to the nuts and running off to the bathroom.” Every man in the room groans loudly. Even I wince at the thought.

“Poor chap,” John says.

“Poor chap my ass!” I grumble loudly.

“Anyway, I wanted to follow her, but I thought it best to give her some space,” Allen continues. Thank God for that, I think to myself. I had locked the restroom door, but had I not, he would have seen or at least heard probably one of the raunchiest things he’s ever witnessed. “When she came back to the table, she was fit to be tied. The next thing we know, she’s running out of the building and we’re debating on whether we should give her some room or follow her. By the time we decide that we should follow her, she’s gone.”

“Gone where?” Ethan asks.

“She came back here. She left us with the party bus.”

“What did you do then?” John asks him while closing his cuff links.

“We came back, too. Who wants to have a bachelorette party without the bachelorette? We used her ‘earnings’ to tip the party bus and called it a night.”

“Her earnings?” I ask and Allen nods.

“From the dancing. Some of those people took that story seriously. They were putting 10’s, 20’s, and 50’s in the pot. She came away with over 800 bucks.”

“Eight-hundred dollars?!” James exclaims. Allen nods again. “You actually tipped the party bus $800?”

“Yep, and I think security gave them more, but I was a bit tipsy. To be honest, I was glad to be coming back to the castle. I just hope that Jewel is not mad at me.” I frown.

“Why would she be mad at you?” I ask.

“I was the one that put her on the auction block,” Allen says. “Whatever happened with that last dance pissed her off enough to send her running to the restroom for several minutes and then leave her bachelorette party without telling any of us. I’d say she’s pretty pissed. She was in there for so long, I was going to have Val go check on her, but then she came out demanding alcohol and took off.” Jason glances inconspicuously over at me again, but says nothing. Yeah, she’s pissed, Allen, but not at you.

“Well, she hasn’t sent word that you are no longer her Man of Honor, so I think you’re okay,” I say, trying to smooth his dis-ease. He shrugs and continues to groom himself, brushing off his jacket and smoothing his hair. I turn away from the jolly groomsmen and take a deep breath. She hasn’t sent word that the wedding is off, either. So I assume that we are still getting married this afternoon.

“Yo, Bro,” Elliot says softly. “Where you at?” I know what he’s asking.

“At the altar,” I tell him while slipping into my tuxedo jacket, “waiting for my bride.” I don’t tell him that I fell asleep this morning and had nightmares that she might leave me there, waiting and forlorn. It would truly be no less that I deserve.

“Stop freaking out, Bro,” Elliot says. “She loves you. You guys are meant to be together. I’ve never seen two people more perfectly matched.” I look at him.

“Not even you and Val?” I smirk.

“You know that’s a qualifying question,” he says. “Leave me and my Angel out of this.” He straightens my tie even though I know that it didn’t need straightening. “Come on. Our beloved somewhat estranged grandmother is here and we have to go make nice.” I laugh.

“You go on. I need to talk to Allen for a moment.”

“Okay, but don’t leave me with that old biddy. I think she doesn’t like me,” he says frowning.

“She’s old, El. Give her a break,” I say. Elliot laughs.

“If you say so, but don’t be long.” He turns around. “Okay, guys. Lets go get some pictures and laugh at some guests. The groom needs a little alone time.” Jason looks over at me again, but I don’t make eye-contact with him. I’m tired of having the eye conversation.

“Allen, can I talk to you for a minute?” I ask. With that, Jason leaves the room with the other groomsmen. Allen eyes the gentlemen leaving then turns to me.

“What is it, Chris?” he asks. I sigh heavily.

“I really don’t want to go into detail. It’s very private. I’m only going to say this once. Don’t mention it and don’t ask anything… Butterfly was not angry with you or Val. She was angry with me.”

Allen looks at me like a deer stuck in headlights. He doesn’t quite know what to make of what I just said, but realization slowly dawns and creeps over his face before it turns into slight ire and anger.

“How can you tell me something like that and then tell me not to ask?” he snaps. Now, I think I’m a little dear stuck in headlights. “She left her bachelorette party. I’ve been worried about her for most of the night and you tell me that I can’t even ask?” Oh, boy. He’s pissed.

“I only told you because I don’t want you to think that she was angry with you,” I defend.

“Well, thanks a lot!” he spits. “I feel so much better now and I’m sure you do, too.” His fists are balled and I’m certain he’s ready to deck me right now.

“Allen, control yourself,” I say in a non-threatening tone.

“Oh, I am controlling myself, because if I weren’t, you’d be laid out right now!” I see Jason peek inside the door and, hearing Allen’s tone of voice, he quietly steps inside. “You can save that macho bullshit for somebody that wants to hear it because right now, I’m talking to you as someone who loves that woman like his own flesh and blood. I don’t know what happened last night and I really don’t care what happened last night. All I know is that my best friend left her own hen party without even tell me that she was leaving. That’s something unheard of with her and me and you’re telling me that it’s because of something that you did. The last time you made her leave somewhere, she ran to Montana and I had your back that time. Not this time—not the day before her wedding. So, I am leaving this room now and I am going to check on my Jewel. Make no mistake, Mr. Grey. If you’ve hurt her—if you’ve ruined this day for her—I’m going to come back here, cut off your diamond dick and shove it down your billionaire throat!”

He barks the words with a fury that I have never seen from him. I’m sure that he would fight me like two kids in the schoolyard if he was certain at this moment that Butterfly was anything less than alright. As he turns around with anger and purpose and faces off with Jason, I’m silently hoping that Butterfly is okay. I’m not hiding from Allen, but I sure as hell don’t want to fight him.

“You do realize that I can’t let you touch him, right?” Jason informs Allen. Don’t throw gasoline on that fire, Jason. Just let the man pass.

“You do realize that I don’t give a fuck what you can and can’t do. If His Highness over there has ruined my friend’s wedding day, his ass is mine.”

“It’s his wedding day, too, you know,” Jason points out. For the love of God, Jason, don’t poke the damn bear.

“Yes, I do,” Allen says unmoved, “and it would really be a shame for him to get his ass kicked in a tuxedo. Now, are we going to stand here and debate this or are you going to get out of my way and let me go check on my girl?” He’s glaring at Jason, looking slightly up into his eyes, completely unmoved by his size, authority, or position. Without looking at me, he moves aside and lets Allen leave. Shit, I hope Butterfly is okay.

“He’s really pissed. You told him what happened last night?”

“No,” I say, thrusting my fingers into my freshly cut hair, “I only told him that Butterfly was angry with me last night, not him. I was trying to put his mind at ease, but it had the opposite effect.”

“So I see,” he says walking over to me. “He’s ready to beat your ass.” I look at Jason.

“You took a bullet for me. He’d take a bullet for her,” I say. God, I can be so stupid sometimes. I fall into a nearby seat and lament my current situation.

“Well, I’m not dodging any bullets today I hope, but I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you.” He’s standing in front of me holding two small boxes.

“What’s that?”

“Valerie asked me to pass them on. They’re from your fiancée,” he says calmly. I can tell by the boxes that they contain some kind of jewelry… not small enough to be her engagement ring. That’s a relief. I take the boxes and stare at them for a while. “Oh, here’s the card.” He hands me a small envelope. I put the boxes on a nearby nightstand and look at the envelope, my name scribbled across the front in Butterfly’s handwriting. I sigh heavily. Let’s get this over with. I open the envelope and pull out the card…

You’re an asshole. I love you.

I feel the room shift a bit around me. I don’t know what I expected to see or how I feel about the message that she sent me. I open the smallest box to find an ID bracelet—titanium or brushed platinum, I’m not sure which. The ID plate is onyx with a small yellow gold square embedded inside of it holding four square diamonds. I sigh again.

“I need to be alone, Jason,” I say softly. Without a word, he leaves the room. I wait to hear the door close before I instinctively turn the ID plate over.

**Love is patient**

I choke out a sob before I can catch it. Quickly, I remove the bracelet from the box and clasp it onto my wrist. Could her foresight be that perfect that she would know what I needed? There’s no way that she could have known I would have screwed up so badly the night before our wedding—that my heart would be so heavy today! Maybe she could… she knows me better than I know myself.

I almost forget about the second box until I stand and it catches my eye. I open in quickly and blink a few times to make sure that I see what I’m seeing.

“No way,” I breathe, gazing at the object. “No fucking way!” I take the object out of the box and immediately look at the back plate. It’s authentic—not that I expected her to present me with a knockoff, but damn!

I have to find my way back to my seat again as I examine the exquisite timepiece that came in this unassuming little box—Hublot… from the information inside the box, Big Bang King Power Tourbillon GMT Watch. There’s a card inside. It looks like a credit card. It says WiseAuthentic. I know what that it. It’s a digital certificate of authenticity that follows the watch forever.

“Fuck me,” I saw aloud to myself. Hublot. Fuck. I don’t dare ask what this cost her, but I know Hublot—black and gold, skeleton dial, crystal face—no less that $100,000 and quite possibly as much as twice that! I bought her a damn music box!

I happily put the gorgeous piece of jewelry on my other wrist and admire it. As I think about what it must have taken to get this, to get it here in time for our wedding, I’m reduced to tears again.

She loves me. She really loves me. Not because she bought me an expensive watch, but because she invested her time and probably every dime she had into making sure that I felt special on our wedding day.

“God!” I groan. “Oh, God, please help me to show her how much I love her. Please help me to use every day of my life to let her know what she means to me.” My chest feels like it’s burning. Her love is searing through my guilt, pain, and self-loathing, and the fire is all-consuming. I pray that it doesn’t devour me.

After taking a few moments to compose myself, I quickly wipe my tears and open the door. Thankfully, to coast is clear. I need to be alone with my thoughts for a while.

The air is full of the smell of fresh-cut green grass, flowers, water… and summer. I never paid attention to it before now. I noticed it, but I didn’t pay attention. The breeze carries the fragrance of freshness and sunshine and it helps to make my heart not feel so heavy. As I stroll around the grounds, I can hear the prelude music playing in the distance in the garden. I can vaguely hear that Lifehouse song playing. I have to say that I liked it when Maxine and Phillip danced to it at their wedding and when we danced to it after we announced our engagement. I knew that I wanted it somewhere in ours.

The fresh air and sunshine are making me feel a lot better. The breeze is washing away this headache that wouldn’t let go all day and this bracelet and watch will serve as a reminder that I have the most wonderful girl on God’s earth. Elliot was right—she’s perfect for me. She is my compliment in every way. She grounds me when I’m floundering, she’s exciting when I’m too serene…

…and she loves me even when I’m an asshole.

I’m going to make sure that she knows how much I love her, how much I desire her, how much I regret treating her like a piece of meat last night…

I’m going to make sure she knows.

*-*

“Hello, Christian. It’s good to see you again.” She gives me that fake air kiss that the Pedophile used to do. When your grandmother kisses you and you think of a child molester, that’s not a good sign.

“Hello, Grandmother,” I say politely. “Thank you for coming.”

“So, this Ms. Steele… she’s a doctor. Nice choice,” she smiles. I’m trying not to let her irritate me. She’s old and stuck in her ways and she’s been a blue blood since birth. Yet…

“Thank you, Grandmother, but I didn’t choose her because she’s a doctor. I chose her because I love her.” She waves her hand at me.

“Yes, I’m sure. There is that, but marrying well is important when you’re Christian Grey. Love? Well… yes, that’s very sweet.” Again, her conversation is reminiscent of the Pedophile.

“Do you need help to your seat, Grandmother?” I’m ready to end this conversation. She raises her eyebrow at me.

“Trying to get rid of me so soon, Grandson?” she asks. I pause with no answer for her. “She has a beautiful name—Anastasia Rose. That’s going to be quite a mouthful when she takes on the Trevelyan-Grey surname.” And here we go.

“She won’t be taking the Trevelyan name, Grandmother. Just Grey.” Grandmother is a bit appalled by this. “As a matter of fact, she may actually keep her maiden name or hyphenate it with the Grey name.”

“Why would she do something like that?” She can’t hide her ire.

“For the same reason that Mother did,” I say matter-of-factly. “She’s a doctor. She has to continue practicing under the name that’s on her license. She can’t fully change her name to Grey. She has to maintain Steele for licensing reasons.” Grandmother turns her face up.

“Steele-Grey… Why can’t she just hyphenate the entire thing if she’s going to hyphenate it anyway?” She’s nearly whining.

“Anastasia. Rose. Steele. Trevelyan. Grey. Seriously, Grandmother?” I pause and let that sink in for a moment.

“Yes. Yes, I suppose you’re right,” she says sadly. “Well, just make it up to me by giving me a great-grandchild before I die.” I chuckle at her request.

“I’ll do my best, Grandmother,” I say, while gesturing for an usher. I kiss her on the cheek and her eyes twinkle. Oh, yes, I forgot. She hasn’t met the touchy-feely Christian yet. I hold my hand up to the usher to let him know that he’s no longer needed, then extend my arm to my grandmother. “May I show you to your seat?” She smiles widely and takes my elbow.

“Yes,” she breathes, “that… would be lovely.” We walk in silence through the garden, my grandmother smiling the whole way. When we get to her seat, she sits and touches my cheek.

“This girl, she’s good for you,” she says, her eyes glassy. I take her hand from cheek and kiss it gently.

“Yes, Grandmother, she is.” I kiss her on the cheek again. “Thank you for being here, really. I know it’s a long way to travel.”

“Like I told your mother, Dear Boy, I wouldn’t miss it.” I smile at her again, then stand up and catch sight of my father. He’s pale as a ghost and I can clearly read his lips when he says, “Oh. My. God.” I follow his glare and see something that makes me feel like I’ve stepped off into another dimension.

Another “Dad.” What the hell?

We start walking over to this guy at the same time. He doesn’t see me, though. He’s concentrating on Dad who gets to him first. As I walk up behind my father, I hear him say, “Herman?”

“Rick,” the guy replies. Rick? Who the hell is Rick? “It’s been a long time.”

“Yeah,” my dad says, stunned as Herman rises from his seat. The lock eyes for about three seconds, then embrace each other tightly.

“I’ve missed you, Rick,” Herman says.

“You too, Herm,” my dad says, his voice cracking. They hold each other for a moment, then release and shake hands fiercely. Dad’s face is completely covered with tears as he smiles widely. That was fast.

“Is this your son?” Herman says, gesturing to me. I’m still a little stunned.

“Yes! Yes, forgive my manners. Herman, this is my son and the groom, Christian Grey.” Herman extends his hand to me and I take it out of ingrained politeness.

“Nice to meet, Christian, and congratulations,” he says with a firm handshake and a warm smile. I can’t help but return it.

“Thank you, Herman. Thanks for coming,” I reply.

“Christian, this is your uncle and my brother… Herman Grey.”

What the fuck!

My eye’s grow large as I look from my smiling father back to his brother.

“Are you twins?” I ask a little spellbound and they both laugh.

“No, but we used to get that all the time,” Herman says. I grab his hand and start to pump it wildly.

“Wow! Great to meet you, Mr. Grey… uh, Uncle Herm… what should I call you?” I’m completely out of my realm right now. I’ve never had any real family but my parents and siblings. Grandmother has always been so far away and very rarely travelled out to the Pacific Northwest.

“Whatever makes you feel comfortable,” he smiles. He reminds me so much of my dad. I like him already. I look over to my father.

“Uncle Herman?” I ask, requesting permission from my father. He nods and smiles. “Uncle Herman it is,” I say, turning back to a smiling Uncle Herman. “I can’t wait for you to meet my fiancée… wife… Ana. She’s going to think she’s seeing double!” They laugh again.

“How’s Dad, Herm?” Dad asks. Herm’s face falls.

“We’ll talk later,” he says just as an older and much more frail version of my father walks up behind him. Dad freezes again. His expression is unreadable. I know this is his father. He’s very old, or at least he looks very old. He’s obviously laboring a bit with his walking, but he’s trying not to show it.

“Dad,” my father breathes upon seeing his father.

“Hi, Rick,” his father says in a soft voice.

“You made it,” Dad says.

“Yes, we made it,” his father replies. “How have you been, Rick?” he says extending his hand. Dad looks down at it, then takes it in both of his.

“I’ve been fine, Dad, really good. How… about you?”

“I’m still kicking, Son,” he replies. “The old Grey mare ain’t down for the count just yet.” I know that language. Is he sick? “You look great, Rick, just great. How’s Gracie?” Gracie? God, I’ve got to get used to these names.

“Wonderful,” Dad replies, “just as gorgeous as ever.”

“Yeah, she always has been a real looker,” his father says, and the three of them laugh. “This must be Christian.”

“Yes,” Dad says, “My son and the lucky groom.” Mr. Grey extends a frail hand to me and I take it gently. I’m afraid I might break him.

“Christian,” he says, “Burton Jefferson Grey. Everybody calls me BJ.” I can’t help the little snicker that escapes before I can catch it. “Yeah, I know. Imagine growing up with it,” he says with a smile.

“Pleasure to meet you… can I just call you Grandfather?” I ask. No way in hell am I calling this man BJ.

“You can call me Gramps, You can call me Grampa, You can even call me Pops, but don’t call me Grandfather. I hate that,” he says shaking his head. I like him already.

“I think I like ‘Pops,’ I say, giving his hand a gentle squeeze. He nods and smiles. I see Elliot across the garden and gesture for him to come over to us. I’m still holding Pops’ hand when he gets there and I know that he sees the same thing I did when I first saw these gentlemen.

“Gentlemen,” I say beaming with pride, “this is my older brother, Elliot Grey. Elliot, meet Burton and Herman Grey—Dad’s father and brother.” Elliot looks from me to Dad, then to Burton and Herman, then back to me.

“No kiddin’?” he exclaims loud enough for other wedding goers to hear before he catches himself. He grabs Uncle Herman’s hand and pumps his arm just like I did. “Wow, it’s really great to meet you. I’ve heard a few things about you from Dad, but… well, we’re so far away…”

“I know. I know. It’s really great to finally meet you, too, Elliot,” Uncle Herman says. I have so many questions for them, like why they stayed away from us for so long, but now is not the time. Seeing the joy on my father’s face is enough for me to know that I need to welcome them with open arms.

“Quit hogging the hand, Bro!” Elliot says to me, and it’s only now that I realize that I am still holding Pops’ hand.

“Oh! Sorry!” I say, releasing his hand and allowing Elliot to greet his grandfather.

“So you’re my Grandpa, huh?” Elliot says, causing an immediate, wide smile to form on Pops’ face.

“Yes, Son, I am.” His voice is laced with sadness.

“Wow! This is so cool! I mean… wow!” For once, Elliot is at a loss for words. “Please, Sir, sit. This is really great. Look, I have to go… you know, do stuff… but, we can talk later, right?” Elliot looks at Pops and Uncle Herman with big, expecting blue eyes.

“Yes, of course,” Uncle Herman says. Elliot smiles.

“Good,” he says. “Really great meeting you both. Really great!” he says before he disappears to the back of the garden somewhere. He’s like a kid at Christmas and it’s my wedding! I turn back to my family.

“Rick… Son, I…” Pops is getting choked up. “The time… the distance… please forgive me…” Dad takes both of his father’s hands in is own.

“Forgiven, Dad. Not another word. Now, please, sit. Enjoy the wedding. We’ll talk soon, okay?” Contrite, his father nods and labors to his seat. Dad smiles again and goes off to the back of the garden as well. I look at my uncle and grandfather.

“If you need anything,” I say looking at my grandfather, then turning to Uncle Herman, “anything…”

Uncle Herman nods and says, “Thank you, Christian.”

I turn and walk towards the area where we will be saying our vows. The stairs at the end of the garden are decorated with nearly every blue flower in the state and the entire garden is in fabulous bloom. A beautiful archway marks where Reverend Martin will stand. Our bridal party will line the stairs while Butterfly and I will stand on a small landing that looks like it was made just for this occasion as we recite out vows.

Our vows…

I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say to her. I’ve written my vows over and over and though I know the spirit of what I want to say, I can’t seem to get the words quite right. I’m Christian Grey. I’ve given speeches to boardrooms and conferences across the country… the world… and I can’t seem to find the right words to say to the woman that I love. Classic. I had better not screw this up.

“Earth to Christian.” Dad’s voice brings me back to the here and now.

“Yeah, Dad,” I say, acknowledging his presence.

“Christian, you’re shaking like a leaf. Are you okay?”

“I’m just…” …terrified that this wonderful girl is going to come to her senses and leave me standing here in front of all our family and friends.

“Scared shitless,” Dad completes my thought. I let out a breath.

“Yes,” I admit. “I don’t want anything to fuck this up, Dad. It has to be perfect. For her, it has to be perfect.” I hear the tremor in my own voice.

“Okay,” he says, grabbing my hand with one of his and gesturing to someone with his other. “I need you to calm down, Son. You look like you’re about to have an anxiety attack.” I nod feverishly and try to control my breathing. He says something to one of the ushers, but I can’t hear him. The closer we get to the start of the wedding, the more nervous I get.

Stay cool, Grey. She’ll be with you shortly. She gave you the bracelet and the watch, right? I look down at the bracelet and remember the inscription inside: Love is patient. That’s in the Bible somewhere, I know, but I can’t think of where right now. Patience… love is patient… be patient, Grey, she’ll be here soon.

“Are you okay, Boss?” Jason is now by my side and I must be visibly shaken. I nod.

“I’m freaking out, but I’ll be fine,” I tell him, reaching down into myself and going into CEO mode, just long enough to hold myself together. Dad hands me a bottle of water, instructing me to drink it. I down the whole thing.

“I’m going to find out where we are in terms of getting started. You’re fit to be tied,” Dad says before heading out of the garden. I turn to Jason.

“She’ll be here, Christian,” he says, reading my eyes. “Stay cool, she’ll be here.” I nod and try to breathe, try to stay calm, think about the places that I want to show her when we get to Greece. We have a special layover before we get there. I’m really excited about that and I know that she will be, too. I try to think of every good thought I can muster in an attempt not to sweat out this $3000 tuxedo when almost an eternity later, my father comes back into the garden. It seems like the walk from the other end of the garden is a mile long while I wait for him to get around the fountain and back into the ceremony area. He gives me a thumbs up and takes his seat. Then the music changes.

Oh, thank God!

I can see Mom and Amanda being led in from the far end of the garden. This I Promise You begins to play as the bridal party reaches the fountain, which is where the seating for the wedding begins. There’s no march to this procession, just a stroll on either side of the fountain, then back down the center before the walk to the front. Mom and Amanda are seated, then Mia and Ethan are right behind them. I can hardly wait to see her. I swear, I’m going to faint in a moment. Maxine and John are in step behind Mia and Ethan, followed by Elliot and Valerie. When I see James and Gail, I almost think my knees won’t hold me up. I know that it won’t be long now. Marlow comes down the aisle followed by his little sister.

Then the music changes again.

A harp is playing, indicating that Allen and finally, my beloved will be walking out next. I see Allen, walking like a guard at Buckingham palace… then I see her. She’s so far away that I can’t see her clearly, but I can see a ball of white gliding towards me.

Steady, Grey… steady.

The music stops and changes again, revealing one of the surprises that I have arranged for her. Just as she reaches the fountain, Wayne Brady is here in person and begins to sing Beautiful As You. She is close enough now where I can see her expression change. As she comes closer and into focus, she transforms into the most beautiful creature I have ever set eyes on in my life. I would have never thought she could possibly get more beautiful than she already was, but she has proven me wrong once again. I don’t know what my face says, but my heart has stopped and my breath is gone as this magnificent creature approaches to pledge herself to me.

Every word that Wayne Brady is singing rings true at this moment as it takes every bit of restraint in me to keep my feet planted and not run to her. My fingertips are numb yearning to touch and I feel as though I may expire if she doesn’t get to me sooner. She’s not wearing a veil so her flawless face is unobscured as she leans in to accept a kiss from her father before he releases her to ascend the stairs to me. Jason takes her hand as she takes the first steps and leads her to me.

Now she’s here… standing in front of me and gazing into my eyes. I’m speechless.

“My God,” I whisper, and that’s all I can say. Her beautiful 32-teeth smile shows that she knows I approve. To say that she is stunning is an understatement. She is exquisite… utterly divine, and I can’t take my eyes off her—not for a second. I don’t hear anything anyone says. Jason has to nudge me to tell me that it’s time for me to say my vows. I think I was the joke for a second as I scowled at him for interrupting my Butterfly gazing, but quickly recovered when I realize that I was supposed to be saying something.

At that moment, I forgot everything I had written, and the words just flowed from me:

“I had written an entire speech that I was going to give that I felt was appropriate. Appropriate…” I say the word again because it just doesn’t seem to fit. “There’s no such thing for you. I don’t have enough time for an appropriate speech because you are remarkable… remarkable in every way. I have felt things with you that I have never felt in my whole life—my whole life, Anastasia. I feel the same way about you today that I felt the very first moment that I realized that I love you—the night that you cursed me out at the community center and quit.” Her eyes get large and she gasps. “I didn’t want to admit that my feelings ran deep, especially since we had such contempt for one another. That night that I was finally able to make you mine, I remember thinking that I had to get to you by any means necessary. I remember thinking that the entire course of my life was being determined by those moments at that restaurant and that I couldn’t let you out of my sight. I remember that you touched a part of me that I, too, kept hidden away and you actually shook the foundations of everything that I knew. That was the first and only time that I ever left my blackberry behind anywhere.” There are gasps in the garden. I gesture to the crowd and shrug. I’m not the only who knows that this is a big deal. “I can honestly say that I am not the same man that I was a year ago. I am a very new and very improved version and it’s all because of you. You have brought out the best—and the worst—of me and helped shape me into a so much better human being. I am so proud that you love me, and I am so honored to be able to love you. Every single cell of me belongs to you and I will spend my life hoping to be worthy of the love that you give me and endlessly covering you in the love that I have for you.

“So, here we are… about to formally commit to each other before our family and friends. Before we do, I just need to say that love, commitment, and relationship were all foreign destinations I had no desire to travel. Each piece of a jagged past created the rough shell that surrounded my heart. Then, I met you. Your presence, your beauty, your essence, though initially grinding with force to avoid what seems destined, smoothed and—with time—polished a heart that Cupid broke so many arrows on. With that said, Anastasia, on this day, this day of destiny, I commit myself and a polished beaming heart to you with the belief that time will merge two hearts into one.”

I could hear something from the crowd, but I can’t make it out. I only see Butterfly stunned and angelic face, a single tear falling down her cheek as she chokes back a sob.

“How am I supposed to top that?” she says, causing a rash of chuckles across our observers.

“Don’t try to top it, Baby. Just tell me what you feel.” I give her hand a gentle squeeze. She takes a deep breath and nods.

“My life has not been a fairytale. I’ve suffered some things that I thought would scar me forever—and some of them did. I didn’t know what life had in store for me and part of me was afraid to look forward to the future. Then I met you and I thought that hell had unleashed one of its super special demons directly upon me.” Another rash of laughter comes from the crowd. What could I say? I’m hell if you cross me. “I couldn’t figure out why you were so disagreeable and angry, but without warning, you worked your way into my subconscious and I couldn’t figure out how you did it. I found you in the most secret places of my mind and soul and I was angry with you for it. That day that I went to confront you in your office, I knew that I was looking at the man who would change my life forever. I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew. I stayed away from you, even fought with you, but secretly I knew that my life would never be the same. So here we are, now standing here swearing to be together forever, and I can’t think of any of the cliché things that you are supposed to say when you recite your own vows at your wedding—about sunsets and moonlight and forever and being your rock and whatever else—because that’s not us. We were unconventional from the beginning. So I will tell you this. I love you, Christian. All I know at this moment is that I love you with my whole heart and that if I can give your soul the love, comfort, and security that you give to mine, then I will have done my job as your wife and partner. So that is my goal—to be everything to you that you have been to me, to be sure that my presence always brings you peace and never brings you angst, to make life easier and happier for you the way that you have for me… and this is my solemn vow.”

Once again, the air is snatched out of my lungs and I can’t move. She raises her delicate little hand to my face and I only realize that I’m crying when she wipes away my tear.

“Perfect,” I whisper as I gaze into her eyes and see my future there…

The rest of the ceremony is a bit of a haze. I am lost in the eyes of my love. I am coherent enough to know when it’s time to exchange rings, though. Butterfly insisted on picking out my ring and paying for it on her own, so I haven’t seen it yet. When it’s my turn to reveal her ring, I place a Chanel eternity ring on her finger. It’s platinum with 22 round diamonds that match her engagement ring. She is obviously pleased with my choice. Then she reveals my ring.

Fuck. Me.

This band is a 3D creation and looks like three bands geometrically attached and stacked onto each other. I’ve never seen anything like it—highly polished platinum with at least 60 small black diamonds embedded in the band. It’s also an eternity ring. I expected something unique, but this is exquisite! It must have cost her a fortune—all of her savings! She’s broke now… I know it.

She’s marrying a billionaire, idiot.

I know this, but she spent all of her money on me—on this ring… and that damn watch! I smile my warmest smile at her. I will treasure this forever.

It seems to take forever for the good Reverend to finally give me permission to kiss my wife. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. She’s my wife. Good God, she’s finally my wife. I exercise all the restraint that I can when I envelop her in my arms and kiss her with my very soul, this magnificent, incredible creature that has pledged herself to me. I’m so not worthy.

“I love you, Butterfly,” I breathe when our lips part.

“I love you, too, Christian,” she gasps, holding my face. That’s when I remember yet another surprise I had arranged for her. Our guests open boxes and small monarch butterflies are released and fly all over the garden. Because we are surrounded by the most flowers, several of them fly to the landing where we are standing and land on the flowers, eliciting uncontrollable laughter from Butterfly. Three land on her head and one lands on her shoulder, causing her to giggle profusely. Joshua quickly steps in a takes several shots in succession of Butterfly surrounded by and covered in butterflies. It couldn’t be more Cinderella if I had planned it that way.

*-*

“You are so beautiful,” I tell her as we stand next to the Bentley just after the receiving line has completed. Joshua is taking pictures of us and the bridal party taking advantage of the dusk before we lose the sun. “I didn’t think you could possibly get more beautiful, but you have.” I play in her cascading curls as she stares wantonly into my eyes. “Don’t look at me like that. I’m doing everything I can to control myself right now.”

“Did you know that a well-tailored suit on a man does the same thing to a woman that sexy lingerie does to you?” she asks with shameless, fuck-me eyes.

“Mrs. Grey, you’re lighting a powder keg.” I warn.

“I sure hope so,” she answers. Holy fuck! How can she look so celestial and be so hot at the same time? I caress her bare shoulders—her flawless alabaster skin—then bury my hands in her soft masses of flowing curls. Pulling her head to me, I kiss her deeply—and the flash goes wild. I forgot that Joshua was still taking pictures, but I don’t care at this moment.

“You’re my everything,” I breathe against her lips.

“Oh, Christian,” she says before leaping into my arms, wrapping her arms around my neck, and kissing me passionately. I hold her tight around her waist and we share a true Hollywood kiss, complete with the tipping leg behind her. That would later be the picture that ends up on my desk.

“I… really hate to break this up, but I have to stop you two before you start making out on the lawn.” It’s Jason’s voice that interrupts our kiss.

“Start?” Joshua says. I turn to look at him. “Sorry,” he says insincerely. Well, yeah, we were making out on the lawn.

“Okay, you two. I have to get you to the reception, so let’s get going,” Jason says, shooing us along down the path toward the lake.


STEELE

The garden is everything that I had hoped it would be.

Once we get past the wooden doors and the pathway and walls of blooms, I can see the water bearer just beyond the air is thick with the fragrance of flowers—feverfews, daylilies, and a few, lingering forget-me-nots. I’m shaking, but I don’t know why. I want to get to Christian so badly that I just want to break all prompt and circumstance and run across this never-ending green lawn into his arms. I can’t see him yet. Daddy and I are just getting to that large and wide stone staircase beyond that stone walls that lead to the sunken garden.

It seems bigger than the last time I saw it. Lush green carpet beckons me as we clear the final stone stair and begin the trek to the ceremony space on the opposite end of the garden. Beautiful rose arrangements surround the fountain, and I find myself taking in the splendor of the space to calm my anxious nerves as I travel through the garden. The sound of the water lapping accompanied by the gentle strums of the harp lull me into serenity and help me forget that I’m about to make the most important commitment of my entire life.

Why am I nervous? I love him so much…

Glancing from left to right, I take in the summer flora of every color that line the walls and the stone paths on either side of the garden. My steps don’t slow though my heart quickens as we pass the fountain and the water bearer appears to be smiling at me.

The harpist suddenly stops playing, and I hear beautiful piano music followed by the harmonic voice of Wayne Brady. The song is lovely, but I freeze in my tracks when I see the man himself emerge from behind a wall of lupine, irises, and balloon flowers looking right at me and crooning about rainbows and shooting stars and Cinderella. I am immediately overwhelmed and I almost think I won’t make it to the stairs.

“One foot in front of the other, Annie Babe,” Daddy says to me. Yes. Yes, I have to get to Christian. I have to make it to Christian.

White chairs line my path to my soon-to-be husband. Blue and white flower petals grace my path while sashes and bows of blue and silver decorate each row. The girls all line the stairs in glorious royal blue evening gowns while the gentlemen line the other side in flawless black tuxedos with silver vests. Al is on the side with the ladies, his vest a perfect match to their dresses. Exquisite blossoms explode en masse on either side of a white arch at the top of the staircase where Reverend Martin stands, smiling and waiting as I approach.

And there he is.

I think I feel woozy. Good Lord, he is so handsome. His hair has been cut—and styled! It reminds me of a young Richard Gere. It’s neat, kind of sexy. It’s okay for today, but I like mopsy-haired Christian better. I try to concentrate and I think I’m smiling, but I can’t take my eyes off of him. He’s there. He’s waiting for me, and he looks… scared—gorgeous, but terrified.

Christian honestly looks a bit of a fright as he’s standing at the top of the stairs. His eyes are silver-gray and capturing the sun even from this far away. Did he eat anything today? Is he okay? As I get closer, I recognize that faraway look in his eyes.

It’s wonder.

My heart swells immediately and I know that I’m smiling now.

When I reach the bottom of the stairs, Daddy kisses me on the cheek and smiles before going to take his seat next to Mandy. As I begin to negotiate the stairs, Jason takes my hand and helps me to the landing. I turn to my man and take his hand. He confirms what I saw in his eyes when he says two words.

“My God.”

I feel like my face is going to crack I’m smiling so hard. He’s happy… at least I think he’s happy. He’s happy to see me anyway. That’s all I need.

Reverend Martin says some wonderful words about love and enduring the tough times and blah blah blah and all I can see is my man. It takes Christian a moment to come back to himself when it comes time for the vows.

Good God, those vows! I almost swoon! Don’t cry. Don’t mess up your make-up. Dammit!

He looks so far away as he stands there vowing to love me forever. I know that he hasn’t been drinking because I don’t smell it, but I wonder what drug he has taken that has him so euphoric. Granted, we’re getting married and this is a very happy time for us, but he seems almost high! I know that he would never partake in recreational drugs, but I can’t help but wonder… Did he have to be drugged to go through with it? I was worried, but his vows put my fears to rest.

“Your presence, your beauty, your essence, though initially grinding with force to avoid what seems destined, smoothed and—with time—polished a heart that Cupid broke so many arrows on.”

Who comes up with shit like that? I’m like, Damn! I’m glad this is family and close friends or we would hear panties dropping all over the damn garden! I think mine disintegrated! My heart is pounding out of my chest and I’m afraid that the guests can hear the wetness in my underwear. My God, this man… what he does to me.

I think I stumble through my vows the best that I can, afraid that they paled in comparison to the words that he said to me. Again, he dispels my fears when I see tears on his face. I reach up to gently wipe them away when he whispers, “Perfect.”

Le sigh!

We continue to recite the traditional vows and when the Reverend asks if he will protect me and love me until death, he answers with a convicted “I certainly will.” Control yourself, Steele.

Steele… only for a few more moments.

I answer the Reverend with the same conviction before we exchange rings. I was completely prepared for Christian to get me something timeless, which he did—a perfect match to my engagement ring. However, I don’t think he was ready for the platinum and diamond creation that I slipped on his finger. I think I may have momentarily stunned him. I don’t dare tell him what I spent on it, but I can see in his eyes that he already knows. I will say that after these recent purchases, I am effectively personally penniless, so it’s a good thing that I’m marrying a billionaire.

He stares at me for several moments and snaps out of his stupor when the Reverend tells him to kiss me. He takes my face in his hands and kisses me deeply, quickly moving his arms around my body and pulling me close to him. Holy cow! I feel it in my feet! I can only reach up and hold his face as our souls connect in this kiss, binding us together—finally—as man and wife.


A/N:  If you don’t go to the wedding folder to see the pictures on Pinterest, you’re going to kick yourself. Anyone who posts on Pinterest knows that the most recent pictures appear at the top. I have taken great pains to make sure that the pictures flow in the order of the story, which means I had to gather them together and post them backwards. So if you don’t want spoilers for what’s coming next, stop scrolling when you see something that you recognize in the chapter that you’re reading. But you all know that the pictures help tell the story, so here they are… http://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/mending-dr-steele-the-wedding-weve-all-been-waitin/

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

On to part II…

Love and Handcuffs!
Lynn x

Mending Dr. Steele: Chapter 62—Stags and Hens

I have to say that I had so much fun with the paintball. When I wrote it, I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was writing. When I went back to read it, I was crying laughing! I’ve never been paintballing and I had to do my research, but when I did my research and put my spin on what I thought a CG paintball experience would be, when I came back a couple of weeks later to edit, I was dying. I read it twice. If real paintballers have that much fun, I’m telling you… I had a great time and I wasn’t even there.

Chapter 62—Stags and Hens

STEELE

We have managed to hit about three clubs so far without having anyone recognize who I am. It’s been a riot! I refuse to get drunk tonight because I simply don’t want to get hammered the day before my wedding or do anything foolish that might land me in the tabloids. We’ve kept it pretty small—no large nightclubs and no masks. That didn’t work for Maxie’s bachelorette party and I’m certain that it would be even more disastrous for mine. I’m told that many brides-to-be have used that same tactic in an attempt to pass as me on their hen night, but most often the night ends in disaster. It’s great to be a trend setter, but no thanks.

On our way to the next bar, I think back to when Christian said “Goodnight” to me tonight. I don’t know if he was still worried about the incident at the aquarium or if he was concerned that we may not actually get down the aisle or what was going on, but our parting wascautious, for lack of a better word. He told me that he loved me and to be careful, but he cautioned me against the snares that brides fall into the night before their wedding. I didn’t know what to make of that. His demeanor was so strange and his eyes were piercing when he spoke to me. He held me close to him, but it was strange—not like he was embracing me and saying goodbye, but more like he was restraining me and not letting me go.

“Do you think I’ll do something stupid tonight?” I had asked, glaring into his eyes. He must have come back to himself, because his grip loosened and he took a deep breath.

“No,” he had said. “No, Butterfly, I don’t. Go. Have a good time. I’ll see you tomorrow,” and he released me. Hardly the tender “I can’t wait to see you at the castle” goodbye that I was expecting, but I hardly had time to think about it since Al and the girls were rushing me to get on the party bus.

My thoughts are interrupted when I see that we are pulling up to Christian’s club, the McElvoy. I remember coming here last June and dancing the night away. That was before Christian owned it, though. I hope he doesn’t intend to make a stop here tonight or the whole “Don’t see the bride before the wedding day” thing will be ruined.

It’s well past midnight by the time we get inside and yes, the party is jumping! I am dancing my ass off and having a great time when the slightly inebriated Man of Honor decides to make an announcement.

“Hey everybody!” he slurs. Did I say slightly inebriated? “My best friend… Alice… is getting married tomorrow!” Oh shit! Here it comes. The spotlight shines on me and I hide my eyes slightly, pretending to be coy and laughing behind my hand. Fuck, Al! What the hell?

“Now, she and her fiancé, Tom, saved all of their money to have the wedding of their dreams and now, she needs a little spending money for her honeymoon.” What the fuck is he doing? “So, I thought it might be a good idea for her to make a few coins tonight with the old Scottish tradition of selling kisses!”

WHAT?!

The bar erupts in applause and cheers at Al’s ridiculous idea. There’s no way in hell I’m kissing a bunch of strangers!

“Al! Are you crazy?” I protest, but I can’t be heard over the cheering crowd.

“Now,” Al continues with his drunken explanation. “Her beloved Tom would not like it if you lads put your lips all over his lovely Alice. So, for the low, low price of one dollar, you may kiss our lovely Alice on the cheek and have a 20 second dance with her before she walks down the aisle and out of your lives forever!” The cheers erupt again and I must be completely stunned. Val quickly slips a “Lone Ranger” mask over my eyes and ties a flimsy black cape around my neck.

Fuck! They’re all in on it!

“Here’s our Alice!” Val calls out and I’m standing there like a piece of meat ready to be grabbed by the first dollar that floats by. I smile nervously and all I can think about is how I’m going to get each one of them back for doing this to me. Thank God they had enough sense to get me a mask!

“Who’s first?” Maxie sings and a parade of men rush forward waving money in the air. Fucking hell, is this really happening? Maxie starts collecting cash and off I go on a dance marathon, being passed from guy to guy and spun around on the floor until I’m dizzy. I don’t know how long this goes on, but after the first ten guys or so, it’s kind of fun. I get a kiss on the cheek and I get greeted by “Congratulations,” and “Have a happy life,” and “Your fiancé is a lucky man.” Even a few women decided to dance with me, mostly just giving me a kiss on the cheek and wishing me well on my wedding. It was going really well…

… Until…

Some guy steps up to dance with me after giving Maxie his money. “Congratulations,” he says. “You’re very pretty.” He pulls me a little closer to him and alarm bells go off.

“Thank you,” I say nervously trying to put some distance between us.

“Have you had that last hurrah before you say the vows?” he asks, his lips close to my neck.

“No, and I’m not looking for it,” I say firmly.

“Okay. Well, if you change your mind, my name’s Yancy. I’m staying at the Heathman, room 227. Just drop by.” He kisses me seductively at the bottom of my cheek near my neck and releases me. I feel my skin crawling. He smiles at me and walks away and I run my hands over my arms to warm the chill I feel on my skin. None of my friends can be bothered to see that I’m feeling uncomfortable as they are too busy taking shots and pimping me for money. The next guy just runs up and grabs me. He’s drunk out of his skull.

“Hey Baby! No need for you to collect money for your honeymoon! How about a real man? I can give you what you need.” He’s literally falling all over me and he smells like pure alcohol. I’m having flashbacks of Stephen Morton and I wrench myself from his arms.

“No thank you!” I hiss. “Thanks for the dance.” I attempt to make a getaway as this is not fun anymore and I have had enough. I am snatched back into the arms of yet another vermin who is grinding against me like he knows me so much better than he does. I’m fighting to get away from him when he reaches under my dress and grabs my bare ass with both hands.

Fucking hell!

Though this is not hard to do since I’m wearing a thong, he has no business under my dress. I bring my knee up hard and make direct contact with his balls. He lets me go and doubles over to clutch his family jewels. I see Chuck just over his shoulder reaching for him in the crowd, but I take off for the bathroom. The cluster of women around the Ladies Room prompts me to opt for the unisex bathroom instead. I’m breathing heavily when I snatch off the mask and cape and fling them to the floor. What the fuck? People are fucking crazy! One minute, I’m dancing and having a good time and the next minute, some guy is trying to stick his finger in my asshole! I cover my forehead and rock for a moment, trying to calm myself after what just happened. I hear the door open and I am ready to tear into whichever of my dear friends have followed me into the restroom. I take a deep breath and turn around ready to unleash hell.

Oh. Fuck.

He locks the door behind him and he’s standing there glaring at me, his gray gaze cutting through my very soul. Surely he’s not mad at me! If he’s here, he had to see what happened…

Didn’t he?
What is he doing here?

He walks slowly over to me and he has shed the tie he was wearing earlier. His blazer and slacks have been replaced by a soft leather jacket and jeans. When he reaches me, he stands as close to me as he can without touching me. I can feel his breath on my lips, the slight smell of alcohol, but only slight. My breath is coming in short as the closeness is arousing. I’m glad that he’s here. No one else will touch me now.

Or will they?

He never says a word. He holds my wrists and his lips slam angrily into mine. Shit! I hope that doesn’t bruise! What is this? What’s going on? I don’t have time to think before he is deftly tying my wrists together with the tie he shed from earlier this evening.

“Christian…”

Without a word, he spins me around and bends me over the sink, hooking my bound hands over the faucet. I’m breathing really hard now. What the hell is he doing? He lifts my dress and caresses my ass, slapping it hard and then grabbing the meat.

Mother of fuck! That shit hurt!

My thongs quickly become useless strings of material on the bathroom floor and he thrust his fingers into me.

No! No, not here!

Mr. Grey can’t hear me, mostly because I haven’t spoken. He works my wet pussy into a hot and hungry frenzy before removing his fingers. When I raise my head to look at him in the mirror, he’s undoing his pants and getting ready for battle. He pushes my head down into the sink before thrusting himself into me balls deep. I cry out at the invasion, hot and hard, and he is pounding into me. Good God! He feels like stone—so hard and hitting me everywhere! Fuck, my legs are getting weak already.

I raise my head again and watch him. He is savage, looking down at us as we fuck, no doubt watching his dick slide in and out of me as he collects moisture from our meeting sex and rubs it over my rosette, causing me to rise higher and higher. Now, I’m beginning to wish I had had that drink. He raises his head and catches my eyes in the mirror. He snatches my hair hard so that my head bends back. It fucking hurts. He bends over so that his mouth is right at my ear, never stopping his stroke.

“You wanna watch?” he hisses. “Then watch!” He stands up and pounds into me, pushing his wet thumb into my ass with one hand while viciously pulling my hair with the other. It’s fucking hot and scary at the same time. I’m gasping and crooning at the same time while he slams into me bringing me closer and closer to a violent and painful orgasm when he does something that scares the shit out of me. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out his handkerchief, and shoves it into my mouth.

Holy cow, Batman. I guess he wants me to shut up.

I close my eyes and try to withstand the burning pleasure rising up in me. Is he trying to punish me? Teach me a lesson? Thank God the door is locked!

He pivots his hips, grinds into me, and with one final and violent pull on my hair, I am coming so hard that I see stars. I bite down on his handkerchief and breathe through it as he continues to grind into me, drawing out my orgasm. I grab the handles of the sink fixtures, certain that I’m going to pull these fuckers from the plumbing underneath. When my orgasm has waned a bit, he pulls out of my pussy and thrusts himself into my ass. I cry out at the invasion as it is initially painful, but not as painful as it could have been since he was already playing with my ass.

He releases my hair and grabs my hips with both hands, stroking evenly in and out of my ass. My head is down in the sink again as my neck hurts from being held back so roughly. What is he doing? Why is he treating me like this? What did I do to bring this on? This is not my fiancé. This is some angry man hell-bent on making sure that I know who’s boss. Is this what he was trying to relay to me when we left his parents’ house? Didn’t he see me knee that guy in the balls?

All of the inner contemplation does not stop my libido from responding to the delicious slow stroke and self-edging that he’s doing in my ass. Fuck, he is good, but I still don’t understand what brought this on. He’s stroking sensually into my ass and while he’s probing me and yet bringing me higher, he sticks his hands between us, pulling my ass and my legs apart while using his fingertips to caress my clit.

Oh. My. Hell. I’m. Going. To. Blow.

The fire is rising in me as he keeps a steady stroke into my ass, against my clit, into my ass, against my clit, into my ass, against my clit. Just as he has worked me into a fever pitch and I am moments from release, he stops his rhythm and empties into me hard… hard and rough, grunting like the Neanderthal that he is right now.

I fucking want to cry. I was right there…

He rests his hands on the counter on either side of my body and takes time to catch his breath while his dick is still throbbing inside of me. He takes some paper towel from the dispenser and carefully withdraws from me, cleaning himself thoroughly with the towel and putting himself away all nice and neat.

Lowdown, dirty, motherfucker, I want to scream, but I don’t—and not just because his handkerchief is still in my mouth. He looks at me in the mirror. I try to read his expression, but I can’t. It’s not disdain, but it’s certainly not love or remorse. I don’t know what the fuck it is. He removes the handkerchief from my mouth and begins to clean me with it—first my pussy, then my thighs, and then my ass. He’s not caring or gentle, although he is thorough. When he’s done, he discards the handkerchief, then begins to wash his hands in the other basin, all while I’m still tied to the damn sink!

What the hell, man?

After he dries his hands, he looks over at me, my expression no doubt saying what I was just thinking and I see it. I finally see what the expression was on his face a moment ago because it’s blaring from his eyes right now.

Triumph.

And now, I feel small—smaller than I ever remember feeling before. Angry, but small. The anger is not enough to fuel my pride and make me hold my head high. I feel like shit. I drop my head into the sink again because I don’t want to look at him anymore. He unties my wrists and throws the tie in the garbage as well before marching wordlessly out of the bathroom.

I’m lost now. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what that was about. I’m about to marry this man and I just saw a side of him that I don’t know and I don’t like. I lean on the counter without looking at my reflection, afraid that the woman in the mirror is going to call me some terrible name.

Whore.
Slut.
Slave.

I wash my face and hands and resist the urge to cry. I honestly don’t know why I would be crying because I truly don’t know what just happened.

I look over at the garbage. His handkerchief and tie lay useless on top of the mounds of crumpled paper towel. I’m a shrink. I know what this means. Either he wants no possible reminders of this night, or he wants me to know exactly how worthless those items are for him right now.

I’m tending to go with the latter.

I massage my scalp where he pulled my hair. I’m confused. I don’t know what I’m supposed to take from this. He didn’t tell me. He only said one thing…

You wanna watch? Then watch!

I choke on my own gasp. I don’t know what to do. My body is yearning and I feel bereft. I reach between my legs and gently stroke my throbbing clit.

“Ah!”

That sounded loud. I bite my lip to keep from crying out and continue to stroke my clit, just like he did before he left me hanging. My leg starts to tremble as I remember him pounding into me, gripping my hips and pulling my ass back onto his unforgiving shaft. I groan as I remember the feeling of him probing me, pushing me, higher and higher until…

“Aaahh!”

That was really loud! I lean against the sink as I attempt to catch my breath. Masturbating in a public restroom the night before my wedding… after my fiancé ravaged me and left me throbbing—can I get any lower? Looking down on the floor, I realize that I can. There waiting for the whole world to see lying next to the mask and cape are my once-sexy thongs, in tatters and useless—discarded like a prostitute who just serviced her John. Thank God I am alone in my humiliation, but still too damn angry to cry. I pick up my thongs, wrap them thoroughly in paper towel and toss them in the trash with the handkerchief and the tie. He did the right thing… I never want to see that tie again.

I try to compose myself the best that I can before leaving the restroom, foolishly forgetting to wash my hands. I soon realize this will not be an issue.

Leaning against the wall opposite the bathroom door with the same carnal look in his eye is Christian. Again, I’m a bit afraid. He was somewhat savage with me and I didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I still don’t.

“Come here, Anastasia,” he says in a hungry voice that I don’t recognize. I’m frozen to the spot. “I won’t say it twice.” I timidly begin to close the distance between us, but not fast enough for him. Once I am within arm’s reach, he snatches me against his hard, unforgiving body, leaving my breath in the space I previously occupied.

“Let me taste them.” Huh? What the hell? Taste who? “Let. Me. Taste. Them,” he repeats, his eyes aflame. Oh shit, he knows what I did. Obediently, I raise my hand to his face. He takes it gently in his and rubs the offending fingers across his lips. Then his tongue comes out to caress them gently, first teasingly between the two, then up and down the length from the place where they connect all the way up to my fingertips. His eyes never leaving mine, he strokes my fingers a few times imitating the licks he often bestows on my pussy before tightening his grip on me and pulling them salaciously into his mouth.

Fuck, I think I’m going to come again.

He applies pressure to my fingers before raking his teeth across them and I swear I almost cream myself, which would not have been a good thing since I am now pantyless. I feel something hard against my back and realize that he has backed me against the opposite wall. Shit, how did I not know that we were moving?

I gasp when he sinks his teeth slightly into my fingers, the pain going straight to my groin… and he’s still glaring at me. He slides my fingers out of his mouth and, releasing me, brings his lips down to mine. Instead of kissing me, his lips are frightfully close to mine without touching them when he says, “I figured as much.”

I feel rather than see his presence leave me. When I open my eyes, he’s gone and I am left wondering if the entire thing was a dream. But for the cool breeze that I feel in my nether regions, I would have thought I imagined the whole thing. I dash back into the bathroom, intent on composing myself once more. I know that I have washed every bit of my makeup off with the number of times that I had to splash water on my face. Is it even possible to feel so wanton and so dirty at the same time? The adrenaline gets the best of me and a few tears fall, but I dash them away quickly, thinking only that I want his dick in my ass again.

No doubt I look a fright when I get back to the table. The girls look at me like I’ve seen a ghost. I think I have, ladies, except for the fact that I think I catch a glimpse of his back walking out the door as I take my seat.

“Ana, are you alright?” Marilyn asks. I shake my head as if the shake off a thought.

“I need a drink.” A few of the girls look at each other.

“What do you want to drink?” My head is spinning and I just want it to stop, or spin in the other direction.

“Something strong with lots of liquor.”

“Ana, you said you didn’t want to get drunk tonight…” Maxie protests.

“I was wrong!” I snap. “Now get me something strong to drink before I make a scene!”

“Before?” I hear someone at the next table say. That’s my cue. I’m making a fool of myself and I can’t have that. I stand up and dash out of the nightclub. Chuck is right behind me when I get to the party bus.

“Ana, what happened in that bathroom?” he asks. He knows that I went to the ladies room right after Gropey Guy got his hands on me on the dance floor, but I suspect that Mr. Stealth managed to get past him.

“Nothing,” I say, nearly banging on the door of the bus for someone inside to let me in. The doors open only too slowly and I dash into the safety of the bus, praying that no one got a video or a picture of my outburst for alcohol the night before my wedding. Dammit, Christian! He’s never dominated me in a public place, but that’s exactly what he did tonight. Now I don’t know how to behave. Off he goes to finish his stag night and the only thing I can think right now is that I want a bath and a drink. “Did anyone bring one of the cars?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“Leave the bus for the girls. Make sure the driver and the DJ get tipped. Get me back to the castle.” Chuck’s eyes grow large.

“What? This is your bachelorette party… your last night of freedom…” He has no idea how wrong he is with that statement. Whatever freedom I had has been crushed by my Dom. Now, the party’s over.

“Thirty seconds to get me in a car or I’m taking a taxi,” I say calmly. He raises his eyebrows, then begins typing into his phone. A few moments later, a familiar black Audi pulls up next to the bus. I scramble out and quickly back into the Audi. Chuck relieves the guy in the front seat and we take off just in time for me to see the girls coming out of the club.

My phone rings relentlessly while I am in the back seat of the Audi. I ignore it, resisting the urge to roll down the window and chuck it onto the freeway. I erase all thoughts from my mind as I don’t even want to ponder what happened tonight at all. I don’t want to think about the dancing, the groping, the fucking, none of it. I just want to get into a hot tub of water and go to sleep.

An hour later, I leap out of the Audi and walk quickly into the castle. Without smiling at the innkeeper or even making eye-contact, I move as fast as I can up the stairs and into my room, closing a locking the door behind me.


GREY

“She’s what?” I say quietly into my cell phone.

She’s dancing with the patrons at the bar, Sir, several of them, in fact,” Grant says. Grant is one of the additional detail I hired to keep an eye on Butterfly and the girls—and Al—tonight. I trust Jason and Davenport, but I know that by the time I get the information, it’s been reported and watered down. I want to know exactly what’s going on tonight, so unbeknownst to Jason or Davenport, Grant is reporting directly to me tonight. “It’s pretty harmless, maybe half a minute tops and they just seem to be congratulating her on her upcoming nuptials.”

“Upcoming nuptials? Who made that announcement?”

Mr. Forsythe, Sir. He called her by an alias—Alice, I think—and she’s wearing a cowboy mask and cape. Some kind of Scottish tradition,” he says. “I just thought you might want to know.” Oh, I know this tradition. It’s where you buy a kiss for change, only it appears that Butterfly is selling dances. Whose idea was this? At least she’s wearing a cape over that nearly nothing dress.

“Who knows that you called me?” I ask.

No one, Sir, of course,” he responds.

“Good man. Still at the McElvoy?”

Yes Sir,” he confirms.

“Good. Let me know if things get out of hand.”

Yes Sir,” he says before ending the call. I put my phone away and go back to the bar with the rest of the guys.

“Christian, it’s no fun if you don’t get drunk, too,” Elliot slurs. I laugh at my brother and ask, “Fine. What are we drinking?”

“That’s the spirit!” he slurs. “Give my brother a shot of Patron!”

Three shots later, I’m feeling light-headed and unsure, but not unsure enough to miss my name being whispered among the crowd.

“Party’s over, fellas. I’ve been made,” I say softly to the four of them. As dignified as we can, the five of us slip out of the bar and get into the limousine. We manage to pour ourselves into the limo without stumbling or vomiting and the guys decide where we are going next.

I can’t stop thinking about Ana selling dances at the McElvoy.

I discreetly lean forward and inform the driver to go by the McElvoy and make it seem like an accident. He nods at me and the guys and I share another drink.

A few minutes later, we pull up at the McElvoy and Elliot is the first to protest.

“Oh, come on, Christian. We’re not going to this lame joint again, are we?” he whines.

“No. I just want to check something out with Costa. I’ll be back. Hit the bar again, you won’t even know that I’m gone.” Jason leans in to me.

“You want me to go with you, Boss?” he asks. I shake my head.

“This shouldn’t take long,” I tell him. He scans the area quickly, then asks, “She’s here, isn’t she?”

“I just want to check in on her,” I tell him. He looks at me, then pulls out his phone. “Send that text and you’re fired… seriously.” He knows enough to know that I won’t fire him, but that he better not send the text. He puts his phone away and raises his hands in surrender.

The party is quite lively when I enter the bar. It’s always pretty lively in here. I make my way through the crowd looking for Butterfly. I don’t want her to see me. I just want to see her.

I soon get my wish.

She’s in the middle of a cluster of people and some drunken asshole has his hands all over her.

What the fuck? Where’s Davenport? Where’s Grant?

This drunken fuck falls over and another one takes his place. When I see his hands grab her ass, I see red. I can’t even fucking focus. I have to rub my eyes to make sure I’m seeing straight. When I focus again, she’s gone and Davenport has this asshole writhing on the floor. I catch sight of her cape flying behind her towards the bathroom and I am in hot pursuit. No one sees me—not even Davenport. Good. I have a lesson to teach little Butterfly. I am happy to see that she has opted to go into the unisex bathroom. I follow her inside, locking the door behind me.

*-*

As stealthily as I have entered the club, I exit, looking no worse for wear and feeling a thousand times lighter.

I am the Dom.
She is my woman.
She does what I say.

Throwing away the tie and the handkerchief may have been a bit dramatic, but it drove the point home. Behave yourself, Little One, or feel my wrath. She looked so fucking hot bent over that sink… I’m getting visuals all back over again of fucking her relentlessly in the bathroom… and of her face when she looked up at me. That tugs somewhere deep inside and although I know I have clearly made my point, I don’t like the feeling.

I’m back in the limo with the rest of the ruffians, who are now well on their way to drunken disorderliness. I throw back a double-shot of scotch, hoping the burning liquid will sear away the vision of Ana’s alabaster ass bent over that vanity with my dick pounding angrily between her cheeks. Everyone is too absorbed in their own merriment to realize how quiet I have gotten. After several minutes, I catch a glimpse of Jason’s frowning face.

“Jason,” I say quietly enough for only him to hear me. When he raises his eyes to me, he doesn’t look pleased. “What’s up?”

“You tell me,” he says just as quietly. I frown at him.

“What are you talking about?”

“Her Highness just abandoned her bachelorette party—left all of the girls at the party with the party bus and demanded that Chuck take her back to the hotel.” She did what?

“When did this happen?”

“About twenty minutes ago,” right after I left her at the bar. “She demanded a drink and left before she got it. She told Chuck to get her back to the hotel quickly or she would catch a cab.”

“Catch a cab?” What the hell is this? All I did was fuck her. Jason throws a knowing look at me.

“What did you say to her?” he asks. I narrow my eyes at him.

“Really, that’s none of your business, but I certainly didn’t tell her to abandon her party.” Quickly accessing the information and my answer, he nods a curt nod and looks back at his phone.

“Sorry. Forget I asked,” he says impassively, typing away at his phone.

“Something you want to say, Jason?” I hiss.

“Yes,” he answers, his voice still controlled. “I’m your best man and my job is to keep anything from happening that will prevent you from getting married tomorrow. Has anything happened that will prevent you from getting married tomorrow?” His blue eyes are sharp when they look at me.

“No.” That is my only answer.

“Then that’s all I need to know,” he says, typing away at his madly buzzing phone.

“What is going on?” I’m trying not to lose my temper, amazed that no one in the limo has caught on that something is amiss.

“While I’m very happy to hear that there is still a wedding tomorrow, I am asking Chuck to keep me posted on the events—or lack thereof—with Her Highness.” He turns back to his phone, still buzzing madly.

“Jason, I want to know what’s going on!”

“Then with all due respect, Sir, you should really call Ana and find out.” His voice is still impassive except when he says “Sir.” I realize that he is operating in the capacity of my best man tonight and not my bodyguard, though if anything were truly amiss, he would tell me. I sigh heavily. After pouring myself another scotch, I decide to tell him what happened.

“When I got to the club, she was dancing with a bunch of guys. It’s some tradition—dance with the bride for a dollar or something like that. They were all over her, Jason. The dances only lasted for about 10 seconds, but they were everywhere and more were coming. Thank God no paparazzi was there because they would have had a fucking field day.” I throw back the rest of my drink. He doesn’t say anything. He’s waiting for me to finish the story.

“The last one that I saw was groping her like crazy. One more second and they would have been fucking on the dance floor!” I hiss between clenched teeth. Realization comes to Jason’s eyes.

“Did you publicly humiliate her?” he asks, his voice still impassive. No, I just took her to the bathroom, tied her to the sink, fucked her senseless in 20 minutes, then left her without any underwear.

“No,” I say, pouring another shot, “but what I did wasn’t any less humiliating.” He looks at me for a moment, then realization dawns again. He turns back to his phone.

“I don’t want to know,” he says. A few moments later, “the bus is on its way back to the castle as well. The party is officially over.” He puts his phone back in his pocket. I drop my head. She knew she shouldn’t have allowed that to happen, but when I saw that guy with his hand on her ass, going up her dress—fuck, I just lost it. It was everything I could do not to beat his ass on the dance floor and drag her out of the club. I certainly made my point in the bathroom, though.

She is mine! She belongs to me! No one is allowed to touch her that way!

Apparently, outside of the bathroom, I made the point that she couldn’t even touch herself that way.

*-*

The night innkeeper was an easy target and for $100, I had the key to Butterfly’s room. I walk into her room. It’s dark, but she’s not here. I go into her parlor, her bathroom… still no Butterfly. Just when I am about to panic, I see the patio door is open. I walk over to the door and I see her looking across the lawn towards the garden. She is wearing lavender silk pajamas. A gentle night breeze caresses her hair and suddenly, I feel like an interloper. Just as I turn to leave, I hear a delicate sniff and I immediately know that she is crying.

Is it because of me? Of course, it’s because of me. I was a barbarian to her tonight and to add insult to injury, I exploited her final private moment with herself just to prove that I could.

She wipes her face as I begin to walk over to her. She places her hands on the stone railing and drops her head. I immediately sense that she knows I’m here. I feel her tense slightly when I put my hands on her shoulders and it sends a shock of pain straight through my chest.

“Hey,” I say softly. She only nods. I put my arms around her waist and pull her close to me.

“I’m a Dominant, Ana,” I say, attempting to explain myself. “I’m an alpha male who has fallen madly and hopelessly in love with the perfect woman and can’t stand to see anyone… anyonewith their hands on her.” She scoffs at my explanation, but says nothing. She only shakes her head while releasing a sarcastic laugh.

“What is it, Baby?” I ask her, willing her to talk to me and not hold it in. She just shakes her head. “Please, talk to me,” I add.

“You made your point,” she says coolly without moving. I can feel the frost in her soul. I don’t want to say that I’m sorry, not only because I am so tired of hearing those words from anybody’s mouth, but also because I’m not completely sorry. I’m not sorry that I made my point—that she knows that no one should be able to touch her that way except me and that there will be consequences of some kind if it happens. However, I am sorry for how I made her feel. I didn’t mean to crush her spirit or disrespect her, even though I did intend to punish her.

I kiss her gently on her neck. Brushing her hair out of the way, I move to her jaw and then her ear. I need to feel her. I want to know everything is okay. I want her to know that everything is okay. I love her more than I love myself and I know that I do stupid things sometimes. She has to know that I love her more than anything…

“No,” she says, pulling away from me, turning to face me and dropping her head. “You’ve had your fuck for the night.” Holy shit! She has never turned me down… never.

“Butterfly, I’m…”

“I’ll see you tomorrow. Go to bed, Christian.” She never raises her head. I guess she’s tired of hearing those words, too.

“You’ll still marry me?” I’m almost begging.

“Of course, I’ll still marry you!” she shoots. “You can be a brutish, jealous, irrational, selfish asshole sometimes, but I still love you. Now go to bed!” She shoots the insult without looking at me. I walk towards her, and even though she backs away from me, I still close the distance between us. Gently taking her face in my hands, I kiss her reverently on the cheek for a long time, hoping that I can relay to her how sorry I am for being a brutish, jealous, irrational, selfish asshole. Placing my forehead on hers and closing my eyes, I tell her, “I love you, too.” I feel her shoulders relax a bit, but only a bit. After placing another gentle kiss on her forehead, I walk back through her bedroom and out the door, leaving her with her thoughts—and me with mine.

You’re a real asshole, Grey. You’ve got this perfect, beautiful woman and you treat her like shit the night before your wedding—and what’s your solution? Go to her room, find her crying in the middle of the night, and try to fuck her again. Really classy, Grey, really fucking classy. You’ll be lucky if she marries you at all. You better pray to your lucky stars that she doesn’t come to her senses and leave you standing at that altar!

I go back to my room and, once inside, lean on the closed door behind me.

“Shit!” I hiss to myself. Was is worth it, Grey? Was it worth dominating her and making her feel like shit? You’ve made your point, Sir. Now what?

I go to the bar and pour myself a drink. The moment it gets to my mouth, I put it down. Instead, I go to the refrigerator and get a bottle of water. Jason was the only one of us who really remained sober and if my instincts were correct, Butterfly hadn’t been drinking either. That means that she was stone sober when she let that guy touch her. Shit, is that where my mind went? I could only see red when his hand went up her dress and I don’t even remember what happened after that. I know that she went to the bathroom, but I didn’t see her when she left. I saw the asshole on the floor—did Butterfly do that? I assumed that it was Davenport, but it could have been her.

She was completely sober…
More importantly, she was completely sober when you humiliated her.

“Shit! Shit! Shit!”

I thrust my hand into my hair and walk out onto the balcony. I take a healthy swallow of my water. The buzz is starting to wear off and I look up at the clear Seattle sky.

Pray to your lucky stars that she doesn’t come to her senses and leave you at the altar.

I clear my throat.

“I… uh… know we don’t talk much. Well, we don’t talk at all, but… if you’re up there, I did something really stupid tonight. Well, fuck, if you’re up there, you already know. I mean… oh hell… I mean…”

Am I supposed to be all reverent and shit? Because if I am, I’m failing miserably!

“Look, I know we don’t have much of a relationship. You probably think I’m about as worthless as everybody else, just a piece of stone with a pocket full of money and no heart.” I’m starting to feel a little depressed here. Is this how praying is supposed to make you feel? So much for reverence.

“Anyway, if you can see fit not to let here leave me like the asshole that I really am, I would truly appreciate it. She makes me a better person. She always has. I just forget sometimes. That’s why I asked her to marry me. She makes me a better me, if that’s possible. Right now, I don’t like me very much.”

I hate when I make her hurt or unhappy in any way. I look back on what I did tonight and I just want to beat the piss out of that fucker that ravaged her in the bathroom. Knowing that it was me, that I was the one that did that to her, makes me so furious with myself that I can hardly breathe. Really… I can hardly breathe. No matter how many deep breaths I take, I can seem to fill my lungs. It’s painful. My chest is hurting and I’m starting to panic. What’s going on? Am I having a heart attack? Will this horrible night be the last memory Butterfly has of me?

I remember hearing somewhere that if you’re having a heart attack, you should cough really hard. I’m coughing so hard that I expect to see a lung fly out at any moment. I need help.

Jason.

I pull out my phone and text him that I need help. Is he still awake? I feel like I’m dying. The room is spinning and I think I’m going down. A few moments later, he has used his key and is by my side.

“What is it, Boss? What’s wrong?” He is clearly concerned.

“I can’t breathe,” I wheeze.

“What happened?”

“Can’t breathe…”

“What were you doing?” he asks, guiding me to a seat.

“Praying.” He pauses, then stands up straight.

“Praying?” he asks incredulously. I think I nod. “You don’t pray. Gettin‘ cold feet?” I know that I shake my head.

“I think I’m going… to lose her…” I wheeze. I don’t see him, but I sure that he rolls his eyes.

“Put your head between your legs. You’re having an anxiety attack.”

“I need an ambulance…”

“You don’t need an ambulance. You need to breathe before you pass out.”

“Can’t… breathe…”

“You’re talking. You can breathe. Now shut up and put your head between your legs.” I follow his instruction and my breathing comes a bit easier, but still not as easy as I would like. He has disappeared and, like a boy scout, comes back with a paper bag.

“Breathe into this, slowly. Put it around your nose and your mouth.” I do as I’m told and a few moments later, I feel my breathing begin to return to normal. “You’re not going to lose her. She’s still here. You and I both know that she could have been long gone if she didn’t want to be with you… but you are going to lose her if you keep pulling this macho-man-king-of-the-hill-head-man-on-campus-I-own-you-do-what-I-say bullshit. Ana loves you and she plays your game because she does love you, but she doesn’t have to. She never had to. She chose it because she wants to be with you and it’s a part of you, but how many times do I have to tell you that she’s not one of those non-feeling, mechanical, human whipping posts that you used to spend your weekends with? You can’t do that to her. She’s different.” I drop the bag without raising my head.

“I treated her like shit,” I lament, almost to the point of tears.

“I know, and I don’t want to hear the gory details,” Jason says. “This woman is about to be your wife.. you know, have your children, share your name, care for you when you’re sick—real life shit. How women allow you to beat them and do that crazy shit that I know you do in that room, I’ll never know and I don’t want to. It’s none of my business, but you’ve found one that will love you forever and do that shit with you and you’re so busy trying to exercise your ‘dominance’ over her that you don’t even think clearly half the time. You’re probably the only man that I know that when you fuck up, you fuck up all the way. There’s no middle ground for you. You need to bring it down a gear, Christian, or one of these days, you’re going to fuck up so badly that you won’t be able to fix it.”

I know he’s right. That’s why I’m in this damn therapy, to try to get a handle on things. I’m just so intense when it comes to Butterfly, much more intense than I am or ever have been with anything in my life.

“She’s my life, Man,” I murmur.

“Yeah, yeah, I know…”

“No, you don’t understand,” I interrupt him raising my head. “She’s my heartbeat. She’s my whole life. I’m nothing without her.” He pauses and looks at me.

“Should I be worried about this, Boss?” he says, seriously. Should he be? I don’t know. I’ve never felt this way before. My hesitation must have been too long. “She’s not a possession, Christian. You. Can’t. Own her. She is a living, breathing thing with a will of her own and a very strong one at that. If you can’t remember that, you need to step back and think about what you’re doing because if you’re trying to tame her, that’s never going to happen.”

“Are you suggesting that I leave my fiancée at the altar?” I almost growl.

“What I’m suggesting is that you remember that your fiancée is a person, not an object; that you can’t treat her like a toy that is there simply for your pleasure, nor can you expect her to be at your beck and call; that this relationship is unlike any that you have ever had and this woman is unlike any that you have ever met; that her love is hard and fearless, but so is her disdain and if you find yourself on the wrong side of that coin, you’ll never be the same again.”

I fall back in my seat. I could really use that drink, now, but I won’t. I’ve had enough tonight and I have a feeling that the alcohol intensified what I did and how I felt when I saw Butterfly earlier.

“I don’t want to lose her… but I’m not trying to treat her like a possession. She is so much more than that,” I say defeated.

“Are you obsessed with her?” he asks me.

“Yes, Jason, I am,” I say without hesitating, “I hope not in an unhealthy way, but yes, I am obsessed with her.” He sits in the chair across from me and folds his arms.

“Well, admitting it usually means that it’s not too unhealthy, but be careful. If you let this get bigger than you, you’ll become Edward David and she will run away from you screaming and hide for her life. Stories like that always end up with somebody dying and I’ve told you, if she aims a gun at you, you’re on your own.” I run my hands through my hair.

“I went to her tonight,” I confess.

“I figured as much.”

“She turned me away.” He cocks his head at me.

“Well, that’s got to be a first,” he says, and his amazement doesn’t go unnoticed. “No wonder you’re sitting here pissing your pants. Were you trying to fuck her?”

“Yes. No. Ye… I was trying to connect with her, to love her. I wasn’t trying to get laid, I was just…” I sigh heavily. Jason waves his hand flippantly at me.

“Yeah, I know. You fuck up, you want to make them feel good, they don’t want shit to do with you. Can you blame her? I don’t know what you did, but she left her bachelorette party. That shit must have been pretty big.” I shake my head.

“It was,” I groan, scratching my head. It’s Jason’s turn to shake his head.

“Get some sleep,” he says. “Quit being such an asshole. I never thought I’d live to see the day you would take the vows, much less be your best man. Now you’re ruining the experience for me. Carry your ass to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning for the run—and good luck getting those drunkards out of bed.”

“Fuck that shit! I’m the groom this time—that’s your job!” I snap.

“There he is,” he says, standing with a smirk. “Goodnight, Boss.” I roll my eyes.

“Goodnight, Jason.”


STEELE

I am bent over a tall, padded table. My wrists are shackled to the other side and my feet are bound to a spreader bar, my legs so far apart that I can barely stand. I’m blindfolded and completely exposed.

You look delicious,” his voice says from behind me, and he caresses my ass before landing a hard slap there. I cry out at the pain. “You’ve been a bad girl, Anastasia. I have to punish you.”

But I didn’t do anything wrong,” I protest, but he can’t hear me. He is stroking his massive length between my ass cheeks. What is he going to do? Fuck me up the ass again? Leave me hanging and wanting like he did in the bathroom? Humiliate me? Before I can think of anything else, he grabs my hips and plunges deep into my core—balls deep—grinding into me hard and around like he’s doing some kind of sexy Latin ballroom dance.

Holy mother fuck of all fucks! It’s fucking incredible. I groan loudly at the intense sensation.

Yes, Baby. That’s right. Feel me. Feel me make you feel what nobody else can. Feel me going where no one else is allowed.” He pulls out of me and thrusts in again, and again, grinding deep and hard each time. I cry out again as his hand lands hard on my ass-once, twice, three times—mixing the pleasure with the pain.

Yes!” he grunts with each thrust and blow. “You like it! You know you like it!” His words spur my orgasm and I feel the wetness make him more slippery inside me.

That’s it, Baby,” he growls. “Wet me. Make that dick wet, Baby. Yeah, just like that.” His stroke doesn’t change, deep and hard and intense and rubbing me in every area of my core. His hands are on my hips… and they slide under my ass cheeks and between my legs, holding me open and exposing me to him like he did in the bathroom. How is that possible? Four hands?

He lifts me a bit and holds me open, exposing my pussy to his relentless, merciless, grinding stroke.

Aaaaahhh!” I cry out. The pleasure is incredible. At the same time, the second set of hands holds my hips against him, preventing my escape as he torments my core pushing me to another orgasm.

Aah! Aaaaahh!” I whine as my hands grasp the chains that are attached to the shackles on my wrists.

Yes!” he commands. “Again!” His rhythm never changes as he pushes and pulls and grinds and holds me open. Another hand comes from God only knows where and slaps my ass again, HARD! A second orgasm pours from me and causes him to groan loudly.

Fuck! So tight! So wet and so tight!” I don’t think I can take anymore. Come already!

Christian, please…” He can’t hear me. His stroke becomes more intense, more sensual, deeper as if that’s possible. Shit, he’s pushing me again. One set of hands on my hips pulling me onto him, a second set of hands under my ass and between my legs holding me open—a third set reaches around me and cups my breast, using them for leverage as he continues to dig into me.

Oh, fuck, this is insane!

Christian! No!” He doesn’t stop. His dick is diving and rubbing and grinding and pulling me into yet another sensual rise. No! I can’t! Not again. I can’t do it.

His hands dig into my breast, squeezing roughly as he growls, “you have perfect tits. I wish I could suck them right now. Do you feel me sucking them?” Once he says it, I actually feel him sucking them! Am I high? This is impossible!

Christian, please,” I mewl as his lips torture me like only he can.

Mmm,” I feel him groan against my nipple as his hands hold me roughly and his lips and tongue bring it to a painful, pleasurably pebble… and he’s fucking me from behind… and holding my hips… and holding my pussy open so he can pound into me! This is completely impossible, but the pleasure is so intense and almost unbearable.

Christian… please… stop…” I pant, unable to control any part of my body anymore.

Oh, no, Baby. We’re just getting to the good part.” He moves his fingers down to my clit and strokes me with his fingertips like he did in the bathroom.

No…!” I mewl, remembering how bereft I felt when he left me wanting. “No…!” I feel my legs stiffen, my pussy is pulsing, and he is thrusting relentlessly—deep, deep, grinding. God, it feels so good.

Christian, please!” I almost cry. Two more hands wrap in my hair, holding it like reigns as he pulls me against him and rides me with abandon. Christian with eight hands fucking me fantastically from behind, sucking my tits to orgasmic soreness, holding my hips so that I can’t get away, holding me up and open to allow for maximum penetration, stroking my clit like a master, holding my hair like a wild boy trying to tame a stallion, and slapping my ass every now and again like a damn savage!

Fuck, I’m going to die.

I give in to my fate and allow him to direct my body any way he wants. Sensing my surrender, his hips rock and grind into me, pulling me against him and spurring me towards yet another orgasm. I whimper as I feel it rising, my wetness getting thick and slippery once more.

Yes, Baby, that’s right. You know what to do.” As if his hips could get any more masterful, he does some kind of move that hits right in the hot spot and causes me to shiver, making the climax imminent. He’s groaning loudly with each stroke and I’m certain he will come any second.

Fuck, Baby… fuck… looks… so good… so good…”

He intensifies that deadly stroke and my entire body stiffens.

Shit… yes… big one… it’s… big…” You’re telling me. “Fuck! Baby! Fuck! Oh, fuck!”

He’s coming—exploding? Disintegrating? Something! His fingers digging into me, pulling my hair ferociously, he sounds exactly like a panther in the wild, growling loud and marking his territory. He groans loud and long, holding himself inside of me, shaking, rocking, and grinding, but never withdrawing. My feet are off the ground as eight-handed Christian holds me against his massive dick, paralyzed by his orgasm.

I feel his massive, rock hard cock dancing, throbbing, pumping, emptying inside of me…

I detonate fantastically, stars and skyrockets and firecrackers, blinding flashes of light—intense burning, painful explosions, and deep, deep, orgasmic euphoria, throbbing and clenching and vibrating and tearing my body apart…

Christian…! Oh Gooooooooooooooooooood!”

My voice echoes in my head as I sit up in bed, drenched in sweat, breathing heavily… and still coming! I throw my head back and ride it out, imagining eight-handed Christian still tweaking my tits, grabbing my hips, holding me open, stroking my clit, grabbing my hair, slapping my ass, slamming into me…

“Fuck!” I call out as I squeeze my thighs together and tremble through my orgasm. I fall back on the bed and enjoy the aftermath once the orgasm starts to wane. Fucking hell! Eight hands! Or was it nine? He drives me crazy enough with just two! Good God!

The sun is shining through my balcony window. I don’t know what time it was when I finally got to sleep and I don’t know what time it is now. Judging by the position of the sun, I’d say it’s about 8 or 9 o’clock. I need a shower… like, now!

I let the water run over my hair, rinsing away my conditioner. I can hardly focus. My body is so sensitive. I feel Christian’s hands all over me and I can’t shake it. If I hadn’t come so hard, I’d be masturbating again right now. This man has turned me into a fucking sex fiend! I want to be mad at him for what he did last night, but all I can think about is slamming him against the wall of this shower, climbing him like a fucking tree, and screwing the shit out of him until neither of us can see straight! That’s what I get for turning him away last night. He was determined to get one more fuck, so he invaded my fucking dreams.

Unlike the bathroom scene at the McElvoy, my dream left me feeling sensual and sexy. Maybe that’s what I needed after the way Christian made me feel last night. I don’t even think I minded the act so much as the why of the act. The Dom in him is sexy and controlling and even though I didn’t get the second orgasm, the first one was hot; but if he was there at that moment, then he was there for the drunk gropey guy and the one that put his hand up my dress. He was marking his territory. The only problem was that he was marking it with the wrong person. I gave the guy a nut shot that he won’t soon forget. Yet, instead of beating the hell out of him or getting him fired from his job or whatever filthy rich Neanderthals do to other men who touch their women, he came into the restroom and punished me! No, I didn’t want him to touch me last night after that. I wanted him to go away! I mean, what was the purpose of that?

Oh, and let’s not forget the whole ceremonious degradation of throwing away the tie and the handkerchief. I mean, seriously? The night before my wedding? That’s what you want to send me to bed with, Mr. Grey? He’s lucky I didn’t call the whole thing off! So maybe fate saw fit to give me a better picture to put in my mind besides the one that I took from the McElvoy. He’s lucky… somebody up there is looking out for him.

I think about the sexy lingerie that I will wear under my wedding dress. The dress has built-in support, so I won’t be wearing a bra, but I will be wearing a high-waisted pair of white French lace thongs with a matching suspender and white silk stockings with a thick lace trim. Everything I’m wearing today is special, nothing that I’ve ever worn before. Even the robe I don after my shower is brand new. White silk with a blue sash. I took a bath before bed, but the nocturnal BDSM session required that I take a shower to wash away the evidence.

I take my coffee out onto the balcony and look across at the garden. I’ll be getting married there this afternoon. I really should be waking the girls, but I decide that if they don’t make it to the spa for detox and they look like shit in the pictures, it’s not my responsibility. I’m the bride this time and I don’t plan on babysitting these women today. If my wedding pictures are ruined, I will just crop them out of the shots and rag them about it for life.

He’s haunting me. I hear his voice… well, his cough. Where is he?

I look to my left and see Jason mercilessly pushing him and the other groomsmen in a run. They are too far to see me, but I can see them.

“You bunch of pussies!” Jason barks. “Shut the hell up and run! I’m not having my ass chewed sideways because of you drunken fucks! Lift those knees! Let’s go!” I don’t know who looks worse out there, Elliot or Christian. James is trailing behind a bit, but not as badly as those two. Ethan looks like he can barely stand. And why do they all have big red and pink blotches on their legs and arms? They look like they’ve been bitten by mutant mosquitoes. Ethan looks the worst as some of his are purple. James’ darker skin tone camouflages his better, but you can still see the bruises. The other three are just kind of pink. Did they encounter a swarm of bees on their hike?

“Come on, Kavanaugh! You’re holding us up!” Jason barks before slapping him squarely on the back. Ethan squirms in pain and stops in his tracks.

MotherFUCKer!” Ethan yells. “Hit me again and I’ll break your jaw!”

“You wish! Pick up your knees and get going, Pretty Boy!” Jason barks unphased. Ethan throws a look of death at Jason, then runs to catch up with the others. I snicker to myself. No cushy spa day detox for you guys, not with best man drill sergeant Taylor around.


A/N: So, Mr. Grey is ever the Neanderthal. The wedding is next. Not to worry, nothing bad happens at the wedding and the story promises to have some smooth sailing for a moment or three. There is a slight dilemma, though…

The wedding is long. When I say long, I mean LONG! It is going to take quite some time to tweak this puppy. This means that I won’t have any time to work on anything else. So I’m taking a poll:

The wedding is too long to post as one chapter. It has to be broken into two. So, we can–

1) Post one chapter on the weekend of the 12th/13th and one chapter on the weekend of the 19th/20th. I will try to split the chapters at a reasonable place so that it doesn’t seem weird or mess with the flow of the story, but I can’t make any promises–OR

2) Post the entire wedding on the weekend of the 12th/13th (still two chapters) but there most likely won’t be another chapter until after Christmas. That gives me time to work on other chapters because the wedding was a BEAST! I think you guys will enjoy it though. At least I hope you will.

I tried to make the wedding one chapter, but the story kept growing and I couldn’t stop it. For people reading the story on their phones, one chapter would be impossible. So–respond in a comment, send me an email, go to the contact page–whichever you like. I’ll tally up the votes and do what you guys choose.

“Mending Dr. Steele” is actually coming to a close. I think we are going to make it to that 70-chapter mark like “Paging,” maybe a little further. I don’t know for sure because I haven’t written the last chapter yet. I really need to get back to editing the first book because I realized after having another few sets of eyes look at it that it’s going to require some major changes. I will take a little break between Book II and Book III just like I did before, but hopefully not as long. We will have to see. In the meantime, make sure to comment (I know that several people will have something to say about how badly Christian acted or how foolish Ana was, so have at it) and make sure to vote or I’ll have to put the options in a hat and choose blindly.