Chapter 65—Yep, Still Doing…
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.
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.
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.
“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!
“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
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
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
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!