Wow! So the reactions to Chapter One were varied and quite powerful. There were even some accusations of rape! I knew that there would be, and I address that in my end author’s note. I will say that I didn’t see it that way.
I will say that I understand that I can’t satisfy everyone at the same time. Many times, Christian has fucked up and people have called Ana a bitch. I guess it doesn’t surprise me that the feelings change when the tables are turned and Ana is the one who made the big mistake.
Let me say that I truly love that the reactions were so on different ends of the spectrum, pissing some people off while make others nod in understanding. That means that I’m doing a good job and I’m making you think, and contrary to some people’s analysis, nobody’s perfect–not Anastasia, and certainly not Christian.
Will they be able to mend these decimated fences? The story continues…
I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. I hope you—as a fellow fan—enjoy it, too.
Chapter 2—Bad, Bad Christian Grey!
“Gail… I… want to cook dinner tonight, if you don’t mind.” Gail raises her head to me and I don’t know what look I give her, but she smiles and nods, drying her hands and removing her apron. Without a word, she leaves me in the kitchen to mull around and find something for dinner. She has thawed some chicken breasts and there are a million things I can do with those.
I stayed on the chaise all day. No one bothered me or brought me food or water. I slept most of the day. It’s a defense mechanism that kicks in when I’m really depressed or forlorn. Being pregnant doesn’t hurt either. When I woke and saw where I was, I just sang to my babies until we fell asleep again. I finally got up and took a shower, trying not to run into Christian but realizing that I didn’t really need to be concerned about it.
His moves have been calculated today, too. He didn’t come near the bedroom until I had left it. He spent most of the day in his study except for when he left to go for a run. He and Jason have been gone for quite some time now and I don’t know when they’ll be back, but I figure I’ll make dinner for him and leave it in the oven.
I don’t want him to have to avoid me until he’s not mad at me anymore, so I’m considering moving into the guest room for a while. Would I be running if I did that? Am I just avoiding the inevitable by sleeping in another room? The truth is that I don’t have any fight left in me and I can’t stand the way he looked at me earlier. He has never looked at me with disgust. It’s something that burns all the way down to your bones.
I feel kind of stupid for not checking my phone when Chuck signaled me yesterday. It turns out that he was trying to warn me that Christian was on his way. I didn’t want to hear him scolding me, so I refused to check it. By the time I checked it when I took my shower, I had 6 unread messages all from Chuck:
**Christian is on his way.**
**Turn it down. Christian is on his way.**
**I know you hear the phone buzzing.**
**Fine, but when he gets here and he goes nuclear, don’t you dare try to blame this on me!**
I guess I should have checked my texts after all.
I butterfly the chicken and pound it flat. I season it with Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, chives, and rosemary, then stuff it with roasted red peppers, mozzarella, and asparagus. I roll the chicken breasts and add a few more seasonings to the top before I put it in the oven. I boil and drain linguine noodles before tossing them with basil, garlic, and butter. I steam a few of Gail’s freshly snapped green beans before slicing the stuffed chicken valentino on a slant. I place several slices over the freshly tossed linguine and just as I’m about to add the green beans, I hear the front door open.
I hear their voices and they’re talking about what smells so good. Without even knowing that I did it, I squeeze into the space by the pantry, out of sight of the breakfast bar. He says something about checking to see if the coast is clear so that he can shower.
Yes, the coast is clear. I’m in the kitchen, I think to myself as I dash away one more of a thousand tears that I’ve cried today. Guest room it is… no use in him not being able to sleep in his own bed.
I hear him tread to the bedroom, I think, and I release the breath that I was holding. I shudder through my tears, but try to pull myself together quickly as his dinner doesn’t need any more salt. I almost shit my pants when the kitchen door opens and scares the living fuck out me. I cover my mouth to keep from screaming, clutching the wooden spoon to my chest.
“You!” Jason exclaims. “I thought Gail…” With my hand still over my mouth, I start weeping again, just because he broke my resolve and I’m more startled and rattled inside than I thought.
“Ana…” I wave my hand to silence him. I take a deep, painful breath and swallow my cries.
“I’m fine,” I whisper, going to the sink for the hand towel to dry my eyes.
“We thought… I thought it was Gail,” he says, apologetically.
“I know,” I say, my voice soft. “She’s back in your suite. She’s… probably making dinner for you.” I put the steamed green beans on the plate and rush past him to the dining room. I’ll only set one place–fork and knife, placemat, water glass, wine glass, napkin. I walk back past a stunned Jason to get Christian’s dinner and put it on the place I set for him. I’ll come back and clean up when he’s done.
“Not doing so good, huh?” he says, as I brush past him. I don’t want to talk about this. I know that I was wrong–I just don’t want to be where Christian can see me, so I’ll just set his place and move out of the way.
“Ana… are you okay?” Jason asks again.
“I’m fine,” I whisper again.
“Yeah, you said that. Now are you okay?” I look up at him and I don’t know what he sees, but his expression changes.
“I’m fine,” I say again. “Go have dinner with your wife. I interrupted her so I know she’s cooked for you.” I try not to sound harsh or pathetic. I think a mastered part of that, because his eyes are filled with pity when he looks at me. Please, don’t give me that look. I’m at the point where I don’t want anybody to look at me right now. “Please, go have dinner with your wife.” Don’t ask me again… please. He stands there for a moment and I wonder if I’m going to have to stay in the kitchen until Christian is done with his meal. Jason finally nods and leaves to join his wife.
I stick my head out of the kitchen and the coast is clear. I fill his water glass and go to the cooler for wine. I put a crisp white on the table and realize I forgot the corkscrew. I’m running like a headless chicken to get his dinner set and when I get back to the table, there he is–wet hair in jeans and a sweatshirt, looking sexy and quite forbidden. I’m frozen in my steps and I feel every bit of a troll standing there staring at him with a corkscrew in my hand. Besides my chef’s apron, I can’t remember what I’m wearing. Then I remember the lecture, and my eyes drop to his chest.
Anywhere but his eyes… Don’t look at his eyes…
“You made dinner,” he says, flatly.
“Yes,” I say, just above a whisper.
“Is that for me?” he asks, and I look at the corkscrew. Without a word, I hand it to him. He dutifully takes it from my hands and proceeds to uncork the wine. What do I do now? I had planned to serve his food and escape to the guest room before he was out of the shower. Now what—wait for him to dismiss me? If Jason hadn’t held me up…
“Where’s yours?” His voice snaps me out of my inner turmoil. Mine. Mine? Where is mine? I hadn’t even thought about me.
“It’s… in the kitchen,” I say. There’s plenty for me, but I haven’t made a plate for myself. I didn’t expect to eat with him.
“Bring it out,” he says, his voice very matter-of-fact. Oh, hell. I have to eat with him. I thought he said he was checking to see if the coast was clear. Why does he want to eat with me?
I turn around and go back to the kitchen to get another place setting–fork and knife, placemat, water glass, napkin, skip the wine glass. I set my place to the right of him as he sits at the head of the table. He stands at his seat until I have loaded my plate and filled my water glass, then he pulls my chair out for me. I sit dutifully and begin to put my napkin on my lap when I realize that I’m still wearing my apron. I lean forward and reach around and untie it. I pull it over my head revealing my baby bump and my two little beans who have been keeping me company all day.
We eat in silence and Christian finishes one glass of wine, then fills another. He sips on the second glass as I finish my dinner, then I proceed to clear the dishes. Wrapping myself back in my apron, I clean the kitchen and put the leftovers away. I take my time, trying to give him the opportunity to go to his study or to the bedroom, but I get the feeling that he knows that’s what I’m doing. When I’m done with the kitchen, I give the babies a squeeze for strength and step out of the kitchen.
He’s drinking water now and looking out at the Seattle skyline. When I enter the dining room, he wordlessly turns his head to look at me.
“I’m sorry,” I say, just above a whisper. “What I did was stupid and thoughtless and I’ll never do it again.”
“What did you do, Anastasia?” he says, his voice impassive.
“Flaunted myself in front of those men that way looking for attention.” An unknown emotion flashes briefly across his face, but it’s quickly replaced by his impassive CEO stare. He nods once that he acknowledged what I said, and turns back to the wall of glass. I feel physical pain in my chest at his lack of response or acceptance. Dejected, I walk to the hallway and, after pondering my options, slowly rise up the stairs.
Sunday was a haze. I avoided Christian again, but realized that I didn’t need to. He stayed hidden for the whole day. I choked through broiling him a steak and a baked potato and managed to escape before he emerged for dinner—and before I emptied mine into the guest room toilet. Every moment is filled with angst and pain, regret… he’s punishing me. He’s punishing me for what I did. Part of me knows I deserve it, but the other part wants this to stop. I’m hurting and I want it to stop.
Monday morning, we go to see Dr. Culley to find out the sex of the babies. What should be a very joyous occasion is marred with resentment, anger, and pain. It doesn’t slip past Dr. Culley, either. She tries to play therapist and tell us how unhealthy negative feelings are for the babies. In a completely out-of-character moment, it was I who told her to please just tell us the sex of our babies so that we could get on with our day. It was the shortest—yet longest—appointment we’ve had since I’ve been pregnant. After Dr. Culley announces that we’re having a little boy and a little girl, Christian waits for her to leave before wordlessly walking out of the exam room.
When I get to my office, I call each of the businessmen and apologize for Friday’s dinner. I admit to them that I acted inappropriately for reasons that I don’t care to discuss, but pleaded with them not to let my behavior be a reflection of Helping Hands. It’s a reputable charity with an honorable purpose, even if its assistant director may go a bit off the rails at times because of her corked pregnancy brain and unpredictable emotions. Luckily for me, they all have wives and understood what I was going through. One took the liberty to tell me that even though I’m a very attractive woman, no one would dare cross Christian Grey that way and that I shouldn’t cheapen myself for attention or a bigger paycheck. He was kind in what he said, but the words did cut deep. They all agreed to make substantial donations to Helping Hands and two of them even agreed to future pledges. Crisis averted… well, this one anyway.
My marriage is a different subject. Five days later, and Christian still won’t speak to me. I’ve cooked his dinner every night and allowed him to eat alone… the nights he ate, anyway. Twice, food stayed on the table and went bad, forcing Gail to throw it out in the morning. I haven’t been able to keep anything down either. My nerves are totally shot. When a week passes and he’s not even coming home at night, it seems, I stop cooking dinner and prepare for the worst.
I’ve truly fucked up and he doesn’t want me. I’ve shattered his perfect little Butterfly image and he can’t forgive me. What I did was worse than cheating. I went in search of attention… in a public place… from several men. My intentions were clear and he was front and center to see the whole thing. I’m not desirable to him anymore. Maybe he’s found someone else. It would serve me right if he did. The late nights started even before the fiasco with the charity dinner. He hasn’t touched me, kissed me, or even looked at me in a week, and I can’t remember the last time we had sex, not counting the punishment fuck, much less made love. I’m as big as a house and he doesn’t want me, but he doesn’t want anyone else to want me either. It’s 2:00am and quiet.
Certain that I’m alone, I break the silence with a blood-curdling wail from deep in my soul. I cry so hard that something in my back pops, but I don’t stop. The beans start to wiggle wildly. I grab my stomach, and wail some more, mourning the loss of his love and trust. His issues were bigger than mine, and I’ve blown it. I cry so hard that it feels like my heart will burst. Moments later, I hear scrambling up the stairs and a figure bursts through the door. I only cry harder when I realize that it’s not Christian. It’s Jason, and Gail is scrambling behind him. I collapse into a mound on the floor and I just want to die. I don’t know which of them comes over to get me off the floor, but I feel like I’m going to just expire. I hear stomping down the stairs and before I take to crying myself into exhaustion, I hear someone yelling, “What’s wrong with you!?” before a door closes in the distance.
“I’m moving back to my condo,” I say, defeated.
“You can’t do that. You’re married,” Ace says during our session two weeks after the fiasco. “Married people have issues. You have to work through it.”
“He wouldn’t miss me!” I say, definitely. “He wouldn’t even know I was gone. He doesn’t talk to me. I wouldn’t know if he’s in the apartment or not. He doesn’t care about the babies. I don’t even think he loves me anymore. He hasn’t touched me in weeks. I wouldn’t either. Look at me! I’m disgusting! I’ve destroyed his trust and he wants nothing more to do with me.”
“That’s not true and you know it! You’re a beautiful woman who made a stupid decision and your husband is angry—although you look like you’ve lost some weight.” I frown at him. Lost some weight? Is he blind or trying to be a smart ass? “Give him time, he’ll be fine. You did the same thing when he believed Flynn over you.” Oh yeah, I forgot about that, but so far his silent treatment is days longer than mine.
“Fine,” I say defeated. “I won’t move back to my condo, but I’m only coming home to sleep.” The loneliness is killing me and I can’t stand it anymore. Chuck can come along, but he can’t give play-by-plays of my whereabouts or I’m ditching him at my first possible opportunity.
I spend most evenings at the house on Mercer, sitting in the unfinished room that we chose for the beans and singing to them. I don’t want to be around anyone and even my friends are wondering where I’m disappearing to. The middle of the night sometimes finds me restless and sitting in this room with the beans, like tonight. It’s been four weeks or so. I kind of lost count somewhere after day 20 and just fell into despair. I haven’t even been at Helping Hands for the last week and I’ve given up hope of Christian caring about me again. I’m a receptacle for his babies and that’s it. I’ve become Mrs. Ringhold and it’s my own fault. Damn that woman for cursing me with her fucking predictions. It hasn’t even been a year yet.
My head aches, my throat aches, my eyes ache, my whole body aches from this incessant wailing and crying. Quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing my own voice. I said I wouldn’t do it, but I think it’s best if I just move back to my condo after all. At least there, I can nurse my broken heart and lament my circumstances without everything reminding me of what I foolishly threw away by acting so selfish and irresponsible. Christian doesn’t want to be around me and I’m sure not going to wander around his penthouse, haunting the rooms and corridors and hoping that he’ll remember that we’re married.
Hoping that he’ll remember that we’re married… Who am I kidding? Butterfly is dead, mostly from her own doing, but what was left of her fragile wings lay broken and shattered on the ground—crushed by an ever so stylish Cesar Picotti Italian leather shoe. My heart breaks again and I can physically feel the pain as I wonder why he didn’t twist the heel and kill the bug completely. At least I would be put out of my misery. No use in feeling sorry for myself. There’s no one to blame really but me.
My stomach growls from hunger, but it’s much better than the barf-chow sessions I have when I try to eat something. Nothing stays down… absolutely nothing. Gail has tried everything—fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade broths and soups, organic foods… nothing. I try to eat and we just hope that some of the food stays with the babies. The vomiting is so violent that the thought of eating actually makes my head and back hurt. Were it not for the babies, I would avoid it completely, but I do my very best to hold something down for them.
I wrap my too-big sweater around my body and try to imagine the nursery when it’s finished—decorated in pink and purple and blue and white for our little boy and little girl. Even though my throat hurts, I manage to squeeze out a hum of my lullaby for my little angels, attempting to remember happier times and patiently waiting for the day I’ll get to hold them in my arms and they make everything right with the world…
I open my eyes and realize that I’ve slept on the floor in the babies’ room. It’s morning, and the sun is shining into the window. I better get home and shower. Home… hmm. I better get back to the penthouse and shower. I don’t even know if I want to pack anything… just go to the condo. There’s certainly no concern of him following me there unless he’s afraid that I’ll run off with his babies. In that case, I decide that maybe it’s best if I just go straight to the condo. I don’t care if I’m running. I just don’t want to do this anymore. At least I’m not driving to the mountains.
Resigned to my fate and hoping that he’ll just let me go quietly instead of adding insult to injury, I step out of the front door and lock it. Just as I’m about to walk to my car, three vehicles are tearing into the gate and up the gravel driveway—Audis, one of them is Christian’s. What the hell is this?
Oh, shit. Maybe he already thought I was running away with his babies.
He jumps out of the car and nearly sprints over to me. I must look a fright. I’ve unwittingly slept on the floor of a construction site all night. My back is killing me and I haven’t tidied up at all. I’m sure I look as bad as I feel. I almost reach back to smooth my hair, but think better of it. Why bother?
When he gets over to me, he grabs both arms firmly. He’s touching me! He’s touching me! The breath goes out of my body and I’m at a loss for words. All of my senses go directly to those spots on my arms where he’s touching me—the warmth, the gentle pressure like he’s holding me up. My mind is reeling.
“Ana! Are you okay? What are you doing here?” His voice is a little desperate. What’s this? He cares?! No… it’s the babies. I’m carrying his babies. That’s what it is.
“Ana! Say something! Are you okay? Why are you here?” I try. I try to form my lips to speak, but nothing comes out. What’s wrong with me? I want to scream at him that he doesn’t care about me—that as long as I delivered his babies, it wouldn’t matter if I lived or died—but I can’t. He’s touching me and that’s all I can think of. It seems like I haven’t felt him touch me in so long. There was the punishment sex those weeks ago, but my mind just blocked that out because it wasn’t Christian… it wasn’t my love. It was someone else. I haven’t felt my love in… months.
“Ana?” He says my name. No desperation, no anger, just a question. His grip on my arms loosen and I fear he’s about to let me go. My heart breaks and everything in me seems to dissolve into mush. Even the babies feel like they’re mourning.
“I’m sorry…” I choke out. I can barely hear the whisper myself.
“What?” he says, frowning and squinting deeply.
“I’m sooorrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” I wail from my soul. Everything hurts. Absolutely everything hurts. Every bone, every cell, every pore hurts. Even my hair hurts. I can’t feel anything but pain as I wail the words over and over again, so loud that they echo through the trees. I honestly don’t know what happens next. I feel his warmth against me, I know that it’s him. I can’t stop crying. I’m trying, but I can’t stop, and now I’m shivering. We’re in the car and we’ve been in here for a while, but I’m shivering. My cries have become those messy hiccup cries, but I can’t stop. I can’t form any words. I can only cry.
“Sssssshhhhh,” he soothes, while he carries me to the elevator. My trembling body melts into his and I recall his smell. It soothes me. I had almost forgotten it. I inhale deeply to try to remember his scent for when he’s gone again—when he shuns me and can’t stand the sight of me or being in the same room with me. It’s only a matter of time before he forgets how pathetic I am right now and remembers what I did… or what was pulling him away from me in the first place, before I did what I did.
My arms are crossed over my chest, my fists pulling my sweater closed over my babies. My babies. They are the only things that have kept me strong in all of this. I have to focus on my babies. I have to protect my babies from the big, bad world. I squeeze my arms tighter—to protect my babies, keep them warm…
I feel the soft cushion of my bed… our bed. It feels good. It sure feels better than that floor. He’s gone now, and Gail is here. He remembered. He remembered what I did and he’s letting Gail take care of me now. She tries to take my sweater, but I’m clinging to it.
“It’s okay, Ana. I won’t hurt you. You need a shower and some clean clothes, dear.” Her voice is comforting. She sounds like she’s talking to a frightened child. I’m no child, I’m a woman. I’m just weak and tired and lonely, and I’m trying to draw some strength from my babies because they are the only things that keep me strong. I haven’t even seen my handful of patients in weeks, or my friends, just me and my babies. Gail kneels down in front of me and I look into her eyes, ready to burst again.
Why does he hate me? Why doesn’t he love me anymore? Was what I did so bad that he stopped loving me?
Come on, Beans, give Mommy some strength. I’m fading fast here.
There’s so much pain in my soul that even the good times seem to pale in comparison right now. Paris, Greece, Napa, the wedding… nothing seems to ease the pain I’m feeling.
“Ana? Come on, we need to get you cleaned up. You look like you’ve slept in a barn.”
That bad, huh? Well, it doesn’t matter. I could look like the Queen of Egypt and he wouldn’t come near me right now. I’m a pestilence as far as he’s concerning, a bug to be avoided or squashed.
“Christian?” she calls to him. Oh, God, please don’t call him. He already hates me. Seeing me again might make him ill at this point. He must not be far, because he comes right into the room when she calls. “She… something’s wrong.” He looks over at me. I turn my head away when I see his piercing gray eyes. I don’t want to see the look of impassive disgust again. I can’t take it. I’m crumbling and fighting to hold myself together for my babies.
Please, Beans, help me hold it together.
“Ana?” He calls to me, but I don’t turn around. I don’t want to see it. I don’t want to see his hatred. “Baby?”
Baby? Did he just say Baby? Am I hearing things? I take a chance to turn and look at him. His eyes are soft, full of concern.
Concern. Yeah, I’ll take that.
I look up at him, my heart and mind screaming what my mouth and throat can’t anymore.
I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry. Please forgive me. I swear, I’ll never do it again.
A look of realization comes over his face and his shoulders drop slightly.
“I’ve got it, Gail,” he says. She looks at me, then at him, then nods. “Please get my phone. Call my mother, Dr. Culley, and Lordis Avery. Tell them what’s going on as best you can.” No use in calling them—I’m not talking to anybody. Gail leaves and closes the door and Christian turns back to me. Instinctively, I turn away. I don’t want to see the look of disgust, but more important, I don’t want him to see me right now.
I didn’t mean to do this to her. I was stuck in my own anger and feelings, how she had always been so self-righteous when I did something wrong and now perfect little Anastasia has fucked up big time. I had her over a barrel, too, because she was wrong in every way. There was no excuse for what she had done and I was hell-bent on making her pay for it, just like the many times she made me pay for my sins. I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would. It hurt not talking to her or touching her, not kissing her or being with her, but I was determined to make her feel what she had made me feel so many times when I had fucked up.
It wasn’t easy. I love her. I love her very much, but my anger fueled my need for revenge, to teach her a lesson. When I felt like I might give in, the “bigger purpose” always prevailed. She needs to learn. She’s always trying to teach me some goddamn lesson. Now, it’s her turn. So I turned on the CEO, turned off my heart, and tuned out the pain–hers and mine.
The first night she slept in the guest room, I was torn. Part of me felt remorse for setting loose the Neanderthal again while the other part of me was pissed as hell that she had the nerve to act all bruised after flirting with a table full of businessmen in a skimpy dress in a crowded restaurant. After I mulled over that last part for a while, I grabbed her robe and waited outside of that damn room until I fell asleep. This fucking merger and trapping this motherfucker hacking into my company has been taking all of my energy and time and I have been just too damn tired to deal with a pouting Anastasia who had brought this all on herself.
I felt absolutely no remorse as I told her how I felt, and when she was about to turn on the tears, I let her know that in no uncertain terms. I’ll wait for you to get your cry out, then we can finish, I had thought to myself. It’s my turn to be displeased, and you are the object of my displeasure. My, how the tables have turned.
I had no desire to see her wallow in self-pity, so I just made myself scarce. Yes, I was avoiding her. I couldn’t deal with her and this damn catastrophe at work at the same time. It was just too much damn energy. She cooked dinner for me several nights, even the nights when I didn’t make it home to eat it. She didn’t know, but many nights I went into that room to check on her. There were several times when I watched her cradle her stomach and sing to the babies–always the same song, “Goodnight, My Angel.”
I watched in silence as she held her stomach, cradling our babies and singing. I know that right now, it’s the only place where she can find comfort and I know in this moment, that’s the place she will always escape when she doesn’t know where else to go… to the arms and unconditional love of our children.
That night she shattered the house with her screams, I thought I was going to fucking die. I knew what she was doing. I just couldn’t bring myself to climb those stairs and comfort her. I don’t know what was happening to me. My soul was pulling me to that room, begging me to take her in my arms and hold her and tell her that all was forgiven, but the moment it looked like I might break and climb those stairs, the picture of her in that restaurant was front and center again. The anger boiled up in me and fought with the love and sympathy, and it was a galactic battle. I’m still not really sure who won. I do remember that Jason could have killed me that night.
“What’s wrong with you!?” Jason shouts as he barges into my study slamming the door behind him. “You’ve made your fucking point! She’s tormented! Are you enjoying this shit?”
No! As a matter of fact, I’m not! She’s always talking about how I need to think before I act. What the hell was she thinking flaunting her ass in front of those men like that? My wife! Pregnant with my fucking babies! How’s that for forethought! I’m fighting like hell with these latest issues trying to save my company and keep the hard work of hundreds of people from going down the drain, and she’s shaking her tits and ass and flipping her hair for a fucking dollar! Then she admitted that she was doing it for attention. That shit cut like a knife and it’s everything I can do not to lose it and go fucking primal on everything in a 100-mile radius!
“Jason, I can’t hear you,” I say through gritted teeth.
“You’re going to hear me now…!” I stand quickly, slamming both hands hard on my desk.
“No! The fuck! I’m not!” I roar. “Now get the fuck out of my office!” I will tear you fucking limb from limb if you don’t leave now—not because I want to, but because I can’t control it. He glares at me, his anger at the current situation, no doubt battling with what he knows of me. He is seething when he snatches the door open and slams it shut behind him. I raise my fists and slam them so hard on my desk that I swear I hear wood splintering, and this desk is solid oak. It’s nearly 2:30 in the morning and I need a workout… now. I don’t even bother to change my clothes before escaping to the downstairs gym.
I think I stayed in the gym the rest of the night that night. I remember sneaking back into the apartment to shower and change before going back to the office. I didn’t check on her that morning, either. I was afraid that she might be awake.
Then came this morning, when I went to the room and she was gone. The bed hadn’t been slept in, and I immediately knew something was wrong. She didn’t just get up and go somewhere. She hadn’t been here all night. My mind immediately went to Montana, when she snuck away and no one knew she had left. I immediately call Charles.
“Sir,” he says into the phone.
“Where are you?” I try not to sound worried. It didn’t work.
“I’m on my way to the penthouse. What’s going on?” he says after a short pause.
“Ana’s gone,” I say flatly. I hear a whispered “fuck” on the other line.
“Is her car gone?” he asks. I hadn’t thought of that.
“I haven’t checked.”
“Check. If it’s gone, she’s not running… at least I don’t think she is. Turn on the tracker. I’m five minutes out. What’s J say?” Damn! Jason. I didn’t even notify him yet.
“I haven’t told him. I was hoping that you were with Ana.”
“You called me before you called J… that’s a first. Car. Tracker. I’ll be there in a minute.” He ends the call. I call back to Jason’s suite.
“Ready to go, sir?” he answers.
“Ana’s missing,” I say, trying to control the terror rising in my stomach. He pauses, too.
“What?” he says in disbelief.
“She’s missing. She hasn’t slept in her bed and she’s not with Charles.” This time I hear a whispered “shit” on the other line.
“Here I come.” He ends the call. I’m already dressed to go to the office, so I just stand there waiting for someone to give me instructions. I’ve chased her away. She’s always so strong, but no one can really withstand the bulldozer that is Christian Grey. I pushed way too hard this time. I wanted her to learn her lesson. Did she? Or did I just make a bad matter worse?
“Her car is gone.” Charles breaks me from my train of thought. “She knows not to go anywhere without me, sir. She’s good at following those instructions. Have you turned on the tracker?”
“Done,” Jason’s voice says from behind me. “She’s at the house on Mercer.”
“At the house on Mercer?” I say with a frown. “The house isn’t finished yet. Could someone have lured her there?” They both shrug, but Charles’ look of uncertainty leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I am out of the door and in the elevator before either of them can catch me. In seconds, the RS7 is roaring out of the parking garage and I am on my way to Mercer Island.
She looks like shit. She’s wearing a way-too-large white T-shirt, some gray jogging pants and a huge gray sweater that wraps around her whole body and nearly drags the ground, and she looks like shit. It looks like she’s been sleeping in the dirt. There’s sawdust and other debris in her hair and when she turns to me, her eyes are red and swollen, carrying bags and dark circles. She looks like she hasn’t slept in days. Was someone holding her hostage in there?
Jason and Lawrence run inside to check the house while Charles stands behind me and I’m desperately trying to get Ana to tell me what’s happened. I think she’s in shock because she can’t speak. I realize that I’m probably scaring her and I loosen my grip on her arms, trying to find out what’s wrong.
“I’m sooorrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!” She’s wailing again, and the sound burns my ears and pierces my heart like a two-edged sword, slicing it to bits and causing the blood to pour into my stomach making me nauseous. The shock—and pain—causes me to release my grip on her and she drops to the ground, taking handfuls of gravel like she’s trying to find something to hold on to, still screaming her apologies loud enough to wake the dead. I squat down to her and take her face in my hands.
“Baby?” I try to talk to her, but she can’t hear me. She’s still screaming that she’s sorry. Jason and Lawrence come running from the house just as I lift her off the ground and take her to one of the waiting SUV’s. Without a word, Charles gets into the driver’s seat and rushes us back to Escala.
She cries the whole way. She goes from wailing to weeping to shivering to hiccuping. When I get her into the elevator, she calms just a bit, and I’m hoping the worst is over. She’s clearly exhausted, most likely hungry. I lay her in our bed and she’s semi-conscious. She’s going to need a shower. If I do it, I’m not going to be able to keep myself from making love to her. I ache for her even now, even in this state. I go in search of Gail.
“She needs a shower,” I tell her when I find her. I look longingly off into the room. “She needs clean clothes. She probably feels horrible and…” I try to tell her why I can’t do it without telling her. She smiles and puts her hand on my shoulder.
“Okay,” she says with a nod before going into the bedroom. What do I do now? The cook just went to give her a bath. Who’s going to feed her?
“Jason?” I turn to my best friend with my hand in my hair. When I remove it, there are a few copper strands between my fingers.
“What do you need, Boss?” he says, all prior ire from the last few days—or weeks—forgotten.
“She needs food. Something healthy, substantial. No beef… beef makes her sick…” He grabs my flailing hand.
“I know, Boss,” he says. “Why aren’t you with her?” I drop my head.
“I can’t be in there right now,” I admit. “She’s naked and I haven’t been with her in weeks and I’m a Neanderthal… I can’t be in there with her right now.”
“Christian?” I hear my name as Jason pats me on the shoulder. I step into the bedroom and Ana is curled up on the bed at the headboard. She’s clinging to this sweater like she’s afraid someone is going to violate her. Gail tells me that something’s wrong. I look at Ana and she turns away. I call her name and she doesn’t respond.
“Baby?” Is she in there? She turns around and looks at me like a frightened child, contrite and beseeching. I can’t stand this anymore. “I’ve got it, Gail. Please get my phone. Call my mother, Dr. Culley, and Lordis Avery. Tell them what’s going on as best you can.” She nods and leaves and I turn back to Butterfly, who turns away from me again. I take off my jacket and sit next to her. She must have slept on the ground or in the middle of a worksite or something, because she is absolutely filthy. I put my hand on her cheek and raise her face to me. I move very slowly as I brush her stringy hair from her face and bring my lips to hers, kissing her softly.
She doesn’t respond at first. Her eyes are still open and she looks at me strangely. I kiss her again, and again, and again, until she finally closes her eyes. Her lips are limp and she’s panting, absorbing my kisses… and this is why I couldn’t be in this room with her, because now I want her. Her fragility and vulnerability are making me crave her, making me want to love her over and over. I feel her tears falling silently down her cheeks, and I wipe them away with my thumbs as I caress her lips with mine.
Oh Butterfly, I’ve missed you so much…
I put a rein on my raging hormones and bellowing feelings to pull away from her so that I can see her eyes.
“I’ll be right back, okay?” I say softly and she nods. I rise and go to the en suite, quickly starting a bath and situating towels and shampoo. I come back to the bedroom and she’s sitting on the edge of the bed now. That’s progress. I come over to her and reach for her hand. When she gives it to me, I help her stand and lead her to the bathroom. I brush my fingers through her hair to remove the debris and some of the surface dirt. Good God, how does she care for all this hair? It’s past her waist. Has it been that long since I’ve washed her hair?
Yes, asshole, it has. Think hard.
Yep, it’s been a while. She lets me remove her sweater and she still has small amounts of gravel in her hands. I brush it out, holding her hands gently before searching for her eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she says again, the only words she’s said all morning. I nod.
“I know,” I say, gently brushing her cheek before removing her shirt. “I know.”
I finish undressing her and help her into the bathtub. She doesn’t react to the water at all. I hope it’s not too hot or too cold. I tried to make it warm enough for her but not too warm for the babies. She tries to wrap her arms around her knees, but I think she forgot the babies kind of prevent that now. So she wraps her arms around them instead, looking for that unconditional acceptance, and stares at the water.
I definitely pushed too hard.
I use her freshwater sponge to clean her from head to toe. I’ve missed this body. It’s so beautiful… delicate and petite, swollen with my babies. She allows me to touch her and it’s soothing, to both of us—not sexually, just soothing. I wash, detangle, and condition her incredibly long hair, and she finally begins to relax. When I’m done, I wring her hair of the excess water, then retrieve her bath robe. I help her out of the tub, then wrap her in the robe. Her eyes are full of gratitude when she looks up at me. She always says that my eyes give me away, but hers are truly the window to her soul—no pun intended.
I decide against trying to dry her hair and instead, opt to braid it in one long braid that drapes over her shoulder. I’ve seen it like that before and I think she likes it that way. I know I do. The damn thing drapes all the way down over the babies. I don’t bother with underwear for her. I just grab a super-long comfortable flowing maxi-dress. I figure she would protest if she wanted a bra and panties and she didn’t, so c’est la vie. I’ve ruined my suit pants on my knees in the bathroom, so I go to the closet and change into a pair of jeans. As I’m pulling my T-shirt over my head, I come into the bedroom and my mother is there with Butterfly.
“Hello, Christian,” my mother says, her voice firm.
“Mother,” I respond. “I didn’t hear you knock.”
“Well, I did,” she says, “and Ana allowed me in.” I look over at Butterfly and she drops her gaze from me, not like a submissive, just away from me. “Is… everything okay?” She looks from me to Butterfly and I feel the need to make an exit.
“I’m going to leave so you two can talk,” I say, more to escape my mother than anything.
“Christian?” Butterfly’s voice—the only thing she has said this morning besides “I’m sorry.”
“Just come out when you’re ready, Baby. I’m going to go see how the food is coming along.” She gives me a half-smile which I return before I leave for the kitchen. Gail is preparing enough food for an army. “Gail?” She jumps when she hears my voice, clearly startled. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” She rolls her eyes.
“It’s fine,” she says a bit curtly. “I didn’t know what to cook, so it just… kind of took on a mind of its own. Then Dr. Grey showed up and… Well, anyway, I’ll take whatever you don’t eat back to Jason and the guys.” I nod.
“What did Dr. Culley and Dr. Avery say?” She twitches a bit.
“Well, I didn’t exactly know what to tell them. So, I told them that Ana may have had a dramatic morning and that you were concerned about her and asked me to call. They were both quite concerned, but both have pretty full days. Dr. Culley said for you or Ana to call her when she was out of the bath with an update, and that if there was any real cause for concern to go to the hospital and she would meet you there after her patients today.”
“Well, from what I can see, there’s not cause for concern. She’s not bruised or anything like that and she doesn’t appear to be in physical pain or anything. She just looked like she slept with the horses. Maybe my mom can find out what’s going on,” I rub my face.
“She still won’t talk to you?”
“Not really. She just keeps saying ‘I’m sorry.’ What did Ace say?” She frowns.
“Dr. Avery.” She nods.
“He said that one of you needs to call him at noon to tell him exactly what happened and what kind of condition Ana is in and he can make a better judgment call at that time. He knew I was holding something back.” I nod. I really don’t have time for his or anyone else’s judgment, so if that’s what’s coming, he can shove it back in his little notebook.
“Thanks, Gail,” I tell her.
“Can I get you anything?”
“No, I’m hoping Butterfly will be out in a minute and then we can eat together.” She smiles at me. “What?”
“You’re calling her Butterfly again.” Again? I ponder the thought for a moment as Gail goes back to finishing this monstrous meal.
“Gail?” She turns around to face me. “When do I stop?” She makes to answer, but then she has to ponder it herself. She frowns.
“It’s been a while, Sir,” she says, which means even she doesn’t know. When did I stop? Was it before I saw her in the restaurant with the men? Did I do it on purpose? Shit, that says a lot. Butterfly has all kinds of implications and if I stopped calling her that to other people… shit.
“Is this silly standoff between the two of you over? Please forgive my saying so, but it’s doing more harm than good.”
I would have to say that I agree. It had its desired purpose, but maybe a bit too much so.
“Yes, it’s over,” I respond. Butterfly and my mom come out of the bedroom. She is holding Mom’s arm and limping a bit.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, immediately sliding off of the stool. “Why is she limping?” Mom puts her hand up to halt me. She must know that my immediate intention is to scoop her up in my arms and carry her where she needs to go.
“Her back,” she says, “it’s a little sore. She slept on the floor of the baby’s room at the construction site.” Mom is not pleased.
“On the fl…?” I look down at Butterfly, completely bemused. Anything could have happened to her out there! There was no security except for the night watchmen who are supposed to keep people off the site. What a bang-up job they did! She averts her sight from me again and I touch her cheek to bring her back to me.
“Are you okay?” I ask. “Do you need me to carry you?” She shakes her head.
“I’m fine,” she says in a small voice. More words, that’s a good sign. I thought I had broken her. I certainly wasn’t trying to do that. I go to the dining room and pull out a chair for her. Mom leads her in and she takes a seat.
“I hope you’re hungry,” I say, with a smile. “Gail cooked enough for a small village.” She smiles back, a small, coy smile.
“Famished,” she says.
“Mom, do you want to join us?” I ask.
“May I have a word, please, Christian?” she says, marching into my study. I lean down and kiss Butterfly on the cheek.
“I’ll be right back. You go ahead and get started. I won’t be long. Gail! She’s famished!” I call out before walking into the study with my mother and closing the door.
“What is going on here, Christian?” she starts right in on me. “That girl looks terrible! Her skin shows obvious signs of dehydration. She’s clearly exhausted—have you seen the bags and dark circles under her eyes? I can’t tell for sure without a scale, but I would wager that she’s lost some weight… has she been taking care of herself?” I sigh heavily.
“To be honest, Mom, I don’t know.” My mother’s eyes widen. She is horrified.
“You don’t know?? How can you not know?? She’s six months pregnant with twins! Your twins! How could you not know?” I fold my arms ready to square off with my mother if I have to.
“Mom, we had a falling out. It was big, and we didn’t speak for a while. We were basically ships passing in the night. I don’t know what she has been eating or what she has been doing for the last few weeks. I just knew that she was alive and okay and that she was here—until this morning. When I went to check on her…”
“To check on her?” Mom is still horrified.
“Yes, to check on her. She was sleeping in the guest room. It was her choice and I didn’t argue. Like I said, we had a falling out and it was pretty big. My meals were left in the oven or the microwave when I got home. I assumed that she was eating, too.”
“You assumed!” My mother is livid. “For Christ’s sake, Christian! She’s pregnant!”
“Yes, Mom, she’s pregnant.” I say firmly. “Not an infant and not infirm—pregnant. She lives in a palace with plenty of food and if she wasn’t eating properly, she made a conscious decision to do so. So while I appreciate her condition and your concern, please do not scold me because she didn’t eat. You didn’t scold her when I starved myself!”
My mother is clearly affronted, but I’m a bit affronted, too. She has no idea what has been going on in this house and the first thing she does is come in and blame me!
“I’m not privy to the intimate details of your and Dad’s marriage, and I know that the two of you have had many disagreements that I’m not aware of. This was a disagreement between me and my wife. When I saw that there may be a problem, I called you, her doctor, and her shrink. You have all been made aware of her circumstances to the best of my knowledge, and you have apprised me of her medical and physical condition. If she has not confided in you the specific details of why she is in this state—and I really thought that she would—please don’t be so quick to point the finger at me.”
“Well!” she says in that offended mother-socialite tone.
“Knock it off, Mother!” I say before I can catch myself. “I finally decide to speak up for myself, for my feelings, and now you’re offended?” A light goes off in her eyes and I don’t know what to make of it.
“Although I’m not privy to the intimate details, am I allowed to know the gist of what happened?” she asks, her voice controlled. I raise an eyebrow at her.
“We had a falling out. Ana did something wrong, very wrong, and she knew that it was wrong. I was extremely hurt and disappointed. I told her how I felt, but chose not to berate her every moment about how I felt.” My mother nods.
“So… she was sleeping in a separate bed and you two weren’t speaking. For how long, if I may ask?” Where is she going with this? I had to think about it.
“Three weeks… I think.” My mother nods again and purses her lips. I’m sorry I pushed so hard, but I’m not sorry for the lesson she had to learn, so I’m not apologizing.
“Okay,” she says, searching in her purse for her keys. “You win. She told me Flynngate only lasted 10 days. I’m sure that you feel vindicated now.” She goes to walk past me, but I stop her. Vindicated? Is that what she thinks this is?
“This isn’t about Flynn… She told you about Flynngate?”
“Ages ago. She has to work with the man,” she says matter-of-factly. “You made a comment about not being privy to the disagreements that Carrick and I have. Let me make something perfectly clear. My husband and I have been together for over 30 years, and we have never subjected each other to the mental warfare that you young people seem to think is commonplace—surprise babies that you try to palm off on ‘not-the-father,’ running out on each other, live in the house together and you don’t speak for three weeks!” She shakes her head as if to shake off the thought of it. “She didn’t speak to you for 10 days… I guess turnabout is fair play. I always thought two wrongs didn’t make a right, but I guess I’m just an old fuddy duddy that way.”
“I didn’t do this to get back at her, Mother. I was hurt. Everybody understood when she was hurt, but now I’m hurt and you’re angry with me?” I ask incredulously.
“I’m not just angry with you, Christian,” she says calmly. “I’m angry with you and with Ana and with Kate and with this entire generation that thinks this behavior is okay. No wonder divorce has skyrocketed. The kind of hurts that you people inflict on each other are insane. If what she did to you warranted you being this hurt, then I am unbelievably disappointed in her as well. Maybe I just don’t understand, and I hope that you will forgive me, but I choose not to. There’s nothing logical about her condition or this behavior. So please, don’t ever compare this situation to me and Carrick again, because we would never in a million years do anything like this to each other.”
“And Christian gets scolded again,” I say, rolling my eyes in disgust.
“Oh, please!” she hisses. “Spare me your ‘poor little billionaire’ self-pity this time. There are times when I have to agree that we may have been hard on you and we may have expected too much from you. This is not one of those times! Whatever that girl has been through that left her in this state is unacceptable… and fret not, young one. You weren’t scolded alone. Yours just came late.” I jerk my head over to her in surprise.
“I know more than you think I do, Son. Ana has been well and duly chastised for that stunt she pulled with those donors. Luckily, she was able to smooth things over and the damage was minimal, but she’s all too aware of the repercussions of her actions and now I’m certain that you have driven that point home as well. And by the way, that was almost a month ago—not three weeks.” She adjusts her purse on her shoulder. “Physically, she’s fine. She needs to be sure that she is taking her prenatal vitamins and iron. She will need to eat healthy, vitamin-rich, hydrating foods for the next several days to get her skin color and pliability back. She should definitely see her doctor soon because I can’t tell what condition her babies are in. Can I go now?”
I step aside to let her pass. At least I wasn’t scolded alone—it looks like she laid into Butterfly as well. This whole situation is such a fucking mess that I don’t even know where to begin to try to fix it. I still don’t feel like I was wrong, and I’m not changing my mind. She flaunted herself in front of those men and I was hurt. I needed time to no longer be hurt from what she did and I let her know how she made me feel. She’s done that to me countless times, but when I do it…
The important thing here is that she understands the severity of her actions. Fuck everybody else.
I go back to the dining room and she is heartily eating a fruit salad and some chicken, baked I think. It’s 9am and she’s eating baked chicken. I sit in my usual seat and she slows down her chewing. I think she feels subconscious.
“My mother is angry with me,” I say, folding my hands on the table. She swallows the food in her mouth and looks up through her eyelashes at me, then back down at her food. “She thinks this generation treats each other particularly badly and she’s pretty disgusted with it. What do you think?”
She rests her hands in her lap and doesn’t say anything.
“Do you agree with her? Do you think we treat each other badly?” she looks up at me again, then down, placing her hands on her swollen stomach and saying nothing. I reach across the table for her hand. She gently put the tiny thing in mine. Mom’s right, her skin has lost some of its healthy color and it feels a bit clammy. I stroke her fingers with my thumb and her breath hitches. I wasn’t looking for that reaction, but I’m glad that I have that effect on her.
“I wasn’t trying to get back at you, Butterfly,” I tell her. I feel her eyes burrowing into the top of my head as I look at her hand. “I was hurt and I needed time. I didn’t fall apart, I couldn’t. There was work to be done. There still is, but I was terribly hurt by what you did.”
“I know,” she says in her soft voice. “I’m sorry.”
“I know,” I stop her. I can’t hear her say that she’s sorry one more time. “Can you tell me why?”
“Why I’m sorry?” she questions.
“No… why you did it.” I raise my eyes to hers. “I know you said something about attention, but… that seems so superficial, and that’s just not a word that I’d use to describe you.”
“I…” she drops her eyes. “I was lonely. I felt rejected and… ugly.” Ugly?? She’s kidding, right?
“Why didn’t you talk to me?” I ask her.
“I tried, remember?” she raises her eyes to mine. “I tried to tell you and we started fighting about me versus the company and what was more important.” Oh yeah, I remember that. “I thought my marriage was over before it even started. I thought you had found someone else.” Ouch, now that hurt.
“You’re kidding, right?” I ask out loud this time. How could she possibly think I could want someone else? She rolls her eyes and a single tear falls.
“Christian, you hadn’t touched me for weeks before this happened. I was masturbating in the bathtub.” I can tell she’s embarrassed to tell me that. “Then there was the punishment fuck and you didn’t even look at me for a month after that.”
“I looked at you,” I correct her.
“No, you didn’t,” she protests, using her free hand to wipe away her tears.
“Yes, I did—once at night before I went to bed and once in the morning before I went to work.” She looks at me again, surprised. “I didn’t look in last night, so when I checked on you this morning and you weren’t there, I panicked. I thought you had had enough and left me or someone had taken you again. What made you go to the house?”
“I go there often,” she says, “when I can’t sleep. I wake up at night and I go lay in my babies’ room. I imagine that it’s finished and I’m rocking one of them to sleep or I sing to them…”
“‘Goodnight, My Angel,’” I say. Her eyes meet mine again.
“Yes,” she whispers.
“How many times?” She looks at me questioning. “How many times have you been out there?” She shrugs.
“I don’t know,” she says, shaking her head. “Ten, twenty… I don’t know.” Ten or twenty? She’s been out there on an unfinished worksite ten or twenty times alone and nobody told me?
“I got a key from Elliot a while back, before any of this happened. I told the night watchman that I was coming in to take measurements or see how a certain piece of material looked in a certain room. He thought it was strange that I was coming at 2am, but I blamed it on pregnancy insomnia and…” she trails off.
“And?” I coax.
“And my husband working late,” she shrugs. I sigh. “He said he’s seen it a lot. After a while, he didn’t even bother me.”
“Charles?” I ask. Where was your damn security?
“Chuck was with me once, at a more reasonable hour. One evening, I went down to have dinner on the bank of the lake. He followed me, but left me alone with my babies and my thoughts.”
“I see you escape to the babies when things get tough,” I tell her. She puts her free hand on her stomach.
“I’ll try not to hang the weight of the world on their shoulders. It can destroy a person, you know.” She looks down at her swollen belly and I can’t help but wonder if she’s talking about herself or me. “Mostly, I just sat there singing to them, plotting what to do with my life.”
“What do you mean ‘what to do with your life?’” She looks up at me.
“Right or wrong, I was convinced that you didn’t want me anymore,” she says. My heart breaks for the… oh, hell, I’ve lost count. “It was my own fault. I knew better, I just… I don’t know. I don’t have an excuse. I was alone and lonely and I wanted to be noticed, but not like this. In a way, I was pleased that I could still turn a man on, even with my big pregnant belly. It just… wasn’t the right man.”
“Why do you keep saying that?” I ask her. “I may have gotten too caught up with my work, but I’ll never stop loving you or wanting you.”
“But I didn’t know that at the time,” she whines, beseeching me to hear her. “All I knew was that my husband—my very virile, sexual, handsome husband—had not touched me in so long, I hadn’t seen him except for a few minutes here and there, and then after the incident, none at all.” Both hands fly to her face and my hand feels empty without hers. “I felt like my life was ending, and all I had left was my babies.”
Yeah, Grey, go big or go home. You truly made your point.
I move to the chair next to her and hold her in my arms. She doesn’t sob, but tears peek out from her fingers. I can imagine that most of her dehydration comes from crying. I sit her up and dry her eyes with my napkin.
“Mom says you need hydrating fruits and vegetables and lots of fluids.” I take a piece of melon from her plate and hold it to her mouth. “Eat.” She opens her mouth and takes the piece of melon from my fingers. It’s innocent enough, but it still manages to turn me on. She’s right. We haven’t made love in months, and the punishment fuck doesn’t count. I won’t jump her bones, though I want to so badly.
“Sir,” Jason emerges from his office. “Andrea is calling about your 11:00 meeting.” I look at Butterfly who has stopped chewing again and swallows her mouthful of food.
“Tell her to reschedule it. I need to be home today,” I tell him. Butterfly raises her eyes to me and I look at her. “Eat,” I urge her, bringing more fruit to her lips.
We talk for a long time throughout the day about everything and nothing–her cry for attention, my neglect and preoccupation with GEH although I didn’t go into detail about what’s going on. It’s not the right time yet. She’s still pretty reserved with what she’s saying and I have to ask pointed questions to get her to open up to me. Unlike most people, she understands the concept of a punishment fuck as I am a Dominant and led in that direction more often than not. Though it’s not abuse when used in context, it borders on abuse when not used properly–like when I’m angry or when I insist on doing it in public places. She knows that she can safeword and stop that process immediately, but she admits that part of her not only liked it but also felt like she may have deserved it. I admit that I knew that I was treating her like a piece of meat as was my intention, more so after the fact than during the act. That’s okay with a submissive, but not with your wife… even though she’s also your submissive. I was angry with my wife, not my submissive. Once again, context…
Later on, I take her to the hospital just as a precaution and to check on the status of our son and daughter. Dr. Culley assures us that everything is okay and sends us home with the same instructions that my mother gave. She wants to see Butterfly back next week and wants her to look a lot better than she did today. She confirmed that Butterfly had lost a little weight, and Butterfly told her that eating was a bit harder than it had been in the past months. The doctor gave her some recommendations, but I have no doubt that her appetite will return to normal in no time.
We called Ace and briefly talked about what was going on. It turns out that Butterfly had told him about what was going on and, at one point, had even thought about moving back to her condo. I had a feeling that during all this, it had crossed her mind. I kept telling myself that we would cross that bridge when we got to it. I didn’t know how close to it we actually were. When we return from the hospital, Butterfly is completely exhausted. I carry her to our bed where she falls asleep before her head even hit the pillow. I mean literally—she’s snoring the moment I lay her down. I climb in bed behind her fully dressed and indulge in something that I hadn’t done in a month—falling asleep holding my wife and our babies.
I awake in our bed alone. It’s about 10:30 and I am facing the floor-to-ceiling window. I see the outline of the chaise, and a small body lying on it in the dark. I hear her song floating over to my ears and I know that she still hasn’t completely chased the demons of the last month away. I quietly get out of bed and walk over to the chaise as she hums the songs to the babies, looking out over the Seattle night skyline. I climb onto the chaise behind her and spoon her, putting my hand over hers and our babies.
She stops humming when I join her and feel like I’ve imposed on her private moment with the beans. I kiss her neck and shoulders and I want her to know that she never has to only look to the babies for love again. I will always be there, and I will always love her. So I start to sing…
Goodnight, my angel
Time to close your eyes
And save these questions for another day
I think I know what you’ve been asking me
I think you know what I’ve been trying to say.
I keep singing and she hums along while I sing the words. Her smell assaults my nose and my body’s response is immediate. I’m trying to ignore it, but her skin near my lips… good God, I don’t know what to do. I stop singing and she keeps humming. I caress her arm gently with my fingertips and kiss her shoulder and neck. She stops humming and turns to look at me over her shoulder. I can see her eyes even in the dark. They are boring into me and tearing my defenses down. Our lips meet softly… and again… and again… and when our tongues touch…
FIRE! Uncontrollable explosions and bursts of heat from every direction. I don’t even know how it happened, but somehow she’s straddling my lap, my arms possessively around her back and her hands tangled in my hair, and we are kissing hard—like we’re trying to suck the life out of one another.
Oh my God, this is huge! I can’t stop it if I wanted to. Monstrous flames lapping over our bodies and working us into a burning frenzy. She’s clawing at my shirt trying to get it off. I reach between us and free my erection, pulling my pants and boxer briefs down just enough to get my dick past them. Now, I’m pleased that I didn’t bother with underwear when I got her dressed earlier. I position myself at her opening and work my way in. My God, she is tight! She almost sobs when I enter her, her body shuddering immediately. I gasp as I feel her wrap around me. Fuck, it’s been too long.
“Baby… Baby, I love you so much. The thought of any other man near you, touching you, loving you… it drives me insane.” Her mouth finds mine again and she is wheezing with pleasure, rising and falling on me and matching my every stroke. Oh God, it’s so hot, so tight. I’m not going to last. In an attempt to fight off this wildly approaching orgasm, I zero in on her breast, seeking her nipple through the thin material of her dress. Finding it, I clamp down on it with my mouth, teasing and sucking with just enough pressure. She grinds into me, her passions cries coming quicker and higher. Now I have a task, something to distract me from my tightening testicles and burning penis. I bite down gently on her nipple, imitating a nipple clamp as I graze it with my teeth. She shudders again and cries, bouncing on my erection and tormenting me.
Fuck, the other nipple, quick!
I seek out the neglected nipple and finding it immediately, clamp down on it while my fingers pinch the first and my arm holds her against me. In no time, she squeals, then weeps as her body stiffens against me, holding my head to her bosom. Her entire body tightens and her core sucks me in relentlessly, pulling the fight and semen out of me with cosmic force. I choke on my own breath as she clenches around me, weeping helplessly on my shoulder. Fuck, that was intense!
I stroke her back gently while we catch our breath and she continues to weep. God, I love this woman. How could she possibly think I could want anyone but her? I pull her face back wipe her cheeks with my thumb. She continues to cry and I kiss the tears as they fall.
“I w… won’t do th… that to you a… a-gain,” she weeps. I brush her hair from her face.
“And I won’t do that to you again,” I say, holding her face in my hands—the late nights, the neglect, the punishing silence, none of it. My mother was right. It’s cruel on both our parts. We’ve got to stop this and find a better way to deal with our issues. You’d think we would have learned by now. Butterfly nods and continues to weep on my shoulder. Her movement causes a flurry between my legs and I try to pretend that Greystone is not waking up again at this moment while she’s so vulnerable. She reads me and begins to rock gently into me. My breath catches as I feel the burn begin to rise once more. Damn, it’s been way too long!
Her cries give way to shallow breaths and whimpers as her body responds to mine. I burrow under her dress and find my way to the garden. She gasps when my hands reach the small of her back and struggle a bit with her dress, finally getting it over her head so that our skin touches. She feels so good. I rise just enough to slide my jeans off one hip and then the other—one of my hands staying in the garden at all times while the other works my jeans and boxers down and off. Finally we are both naked and wrapped in each other on the chaise. If it weren’t for the friction that I feel against my erection, I would swear that we were one person, breathing the same air and feeling the same heartbeat.
“I love you, only you…” I breathe as I lose myself in her once more. “Oh God, I love you so much…”
A/N: Yeah, yeah, I know. They always make up with sex. I like it that way. You’ll notice that I didn’t respond to too many comments from last week. You’ll also notice that I “liked” some and some I didn’t. That’s because I chose to let people speak their minds without rebuttal even if I didn’t agree with them. No one was offensive and no one attacked me or my characters, even though some opinions were aggressive (yes, there’s a difference), so I just let everyone speak. I will give mine now.
I think Christian did exactly what he was expected to do. They are in a Dominant/submissive relationship with the added dynamic that she is his wife, and he gave her a punishment fuck. I don’t even think it’s wrong that it happened in the garage, because if the circumstances had been different and he had said “I love you, I want you now” and she had wrapped her legs around him and said “yes,” then public sex would have been okay. Why? Because it would have been in the context of a “normal” relationship. Surprise, surprise–punishment fucks are common in a lot of D/s relationships.
D/s relationship–let’s review that for a moment. More than once–even during intensive playtime–I have heard people berate Christian because they are not pleased with some action that he takes. More than once, even before this chapter, I have heard someone refer to his treatment of her as rape. I’m just curious if people have forgotten that this IS a D/s relationship and that Ana has a SAFEWORD? She does remember it. She has used it before. It’s “whistles” for those who forgot. She could have even used “bells” if she felt like it was too much for her. So for those who constantly get angry with Christian for his actions, you’re getting angry with the wrong person. If you want to get angry, get angry because Ana chose not to safeword.
In the chapter, Ana’s “second voice” said “Mentally, I feel like a piece of meat, a possession—not a loved and cherished wife, not even a faithful and obedient submissive—just a piece of meat. I can’t stop my body’s reaction to him, though.” This means that the punishment fuck worked. It’s usually a mental thing, and she’s not supposed to like it. Guess what? He’s most likely going to punishment fuck her again sometime in the series. However, when she was being raped by Cody, her second voice made it very clear that she was being raped. For future clarity, if her second voice is not screaming “Oh my God! Stop! No! Don’t!” she’s not being raped. Call it what it is, a punishment fuck. Granted, she didn’t want a punishment fuck in the garage, but it was still a punishment fuck, not rape.
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Love and Handcuffs!