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 11—Your Time Has Come!
Welch is upon me the moment I get to the office on Friday. I’ll admit that I still have pictures of my angelic Butterfly asleep in my arms as I attempt to explain the psychological significance of Dumbo. “Sir, we’ve got the word from James. With your permission, we need to get the teams in place. We’re close enough. It’s time to move on Dodd.”
This is music to my ears. I’m so tired of waiting to put this thing to rest. I’m anxious to get this behind me.
“What do you need me to do?” I ask. Like I said, I’m anxious, but I have to be careful to follow instructions or I might blow the whole thing.
“We need to get him separated,” Welch says. “He needs to be away from Grey House. We have somewhere that he can be interrogated and the Ops team is ready, but judging by his appearance and demeanor, we won’t need Ops for him.” I nod.
“So you’re saying that I need to lure him to this other location.” He nods. “Any suggestions?”
“We looked into his work history and of course his background check. He’s had several ideas that he’s brought to the table that got axed before they even got to the planning stages.” This means I never even saw them. “I would use one of these to get his attention.” He hands me a list of Dodd’s rejected business ideas.
“No wonder they were rejected. These are really awful. I can’t even pretend to be excited about any of these!” I’m nearly gagging at how bad these are.
“You have to try, sir. We need to get him to that warehouse.” I’m feeling a bit nauseous about these ideas.
A robotic painter. Not an automated or android painter. No, a real robot that paints. The damn thing looks like a transformer.
Voice-activated alarm system—is he serious? There are so many of these already on the market, I can’t begin to name them all!
Fingerprint technology that operates your computer—now he’s just being ridiculous. Even if GEH had accepted any of these ideas when they were originally presented, we would have been technologically years behind the competition in research and development. There’s many, many more on the list that are just as bad and from what I can see, he’s been trying to get ideas on the R&D table for years.
“Is this why this guy agreed to conspire against me—because we wouldn’t support this drivel?” Welch shrugs.
“It’s highly likely, sir, but you’re going to have to pick something in some of that drivel that’s going to make him comfortable enough to leave the premises without tipping anybody off.” I twist my lips. I can probably do something with that robot, but not as a painter. That’s just ludicrous.
“The robot,” I say. “Maybe we can pitch it as something to assist with security.” As soon as I say it, Robocop immediately comes to mind. It’s just as ridiculous, but no more ridiculous than the other ideas he’s presented. Welch shrugs.
“I don’t know how a robot would assist with security, sir,” Welch protests.
“That’s because you’re an expert. We don’t really want the damn thing to assist with security. We just want him to think we do, right?” Welch twists his lips and nods. “It fits in perfectly. With everything going on right now, of course I would be looking into methods—even unconventional methods—to secure the safety of my family and my home. Sure, we know it’s ridiculous, but he doesn’t have to know that.”
“That’s actually pretty genius,” he says. “Now, how do we sell him on it?”
“Well, I’ll need your help on that. I know basically what to do to stay safe and I can just about tell you the watered-down version of what you guys do, but I don’t know anything specific about security protocol in terms of what a new person would be doing. I guess we would treat this thing like it was a person—with special abilities—and go from there.” The more I talk, the more this sounds like a bad science-fiction movie.
“Weapons, armor, size would be a factor—you know they already have things like this,” he says.
“Who does?” I ask.
“The government. Ever heard of drones? It’s the same technology.” Drones. Of course.
“We’ll convince him that it’s something different,” I say. “Let’s be real—two of his original ideas include voice-activated alarms and fingerprint technology. How smart could this guy really be?” Welch nods again.
Welch and I quickly bang out some ideas and draft a few plans for prototypes from Dodd’s illustrations that look like real plans for a real product. We even put it in planning folders and Welch takes the liberty to jot a few notes on the copy that we will show to Dodd. After a few hours and certain that our mock-up is complete, he goes to set the wheels in motion to make sure the site and necessary staff are in place. I call Jason on his burner.
“Richard Maverick. What can I do for you?” he answers.
“Henry Walsh here. We need to move forward with our dinner plans. Let’s get going and tell Godiva and Rapunzel.”
“You got it. Meet you in five.”
We’ve rehearsed that so many times that it sounded odd saying this time. Dodd is dinner since I plan to chew him up and spit his ass out and Godiva and Rapunzel are Gail and Butterfly. We don’t know what this operation is going to lead to or what’s going to be required or come from it. So, now, all communication has to be on the burners and we might be away from home for a while. The ladies will not be pleased.
Gail is there when we get to the apartment, but Butterfly hasn’t made it home yet. I’m not surprised. It’s only four in the afternoon, but I’ll admit that I wanted to see her before I go “undercover.” I don’t want to call her because I don’t want to tip her off and I know that I will. I change into jeans and a T-shirt with hiking boots and grab a jacket before leaving the bedroom. I was trying to stall a bit, but we don’t have any more time. By the time I get to back to the great room, Gail is quite pale and holding two burners.
“We’ll be fine, Love,” Jason assures her. “We are more protected than I have time to explain to you.” She doesn’t look convinced, but she nods anyway. I stand there looking at them, longing to hold my wife, but trying not to look so forlorn. Jason kisses his wife deeply before heading in my direction.
“Did he give you the names?” I ask, and she nods uncertainly.
“Yes, I have them right here.” She shows me a small piece of paper. I nod.
“Good. Tell her… tell her I’ll call and that I love her.”
“I will,” she says forcing a smile. I feel like she’s the only connection that I have with Butterfly right now and I don’t want to leave yet, but I know that I have to. It’s the unknown that makes this shit so scary.
“Boss, we can handle this without you, you know,” Jason says, giving me a chance to back out. I shake my head.
“No, but give me a minute. I need one more thing.” I turn around and walk to my office. I open the safe and the lockbox, then the attaché. Removing my gun, I put it in one pocket and the loaded magazine in the other before joining Gail and Jason back in the great room. I was caught unprepared once before. It won’t happen again.
“Let’s go. The sooner we get this started, the sooner it’ll be over,” I say, walking pass Jason and Gail and out the door to the elevator. The damn thing seems to take forever, but it finally arrives and we step inside.
“You got your piece, didn’t you?” he asks. I turn to him and say nothing. He just nods and doesn’t say anything else. When we get to the car, he opens the trunk and pulls out what looks like a belt.
“That’s a pretty big piece to have in your pocket. Take off your jacket.” Um, okay. I remove my jacket, but I don’t put it down since my gun is in the pocket. Jason straps this thing around my shoulders and I soon discover that it’s a body holster. He takes the firearm out of my pocket and loads the magazine.
“How does that feel?” he asks once he puts the gun in the holster. I squirm a bit.
“Loose,” I tell him. He tightens the holster.
“Draw,” he says and I pull out my firearm. “Now put it back.” I sink it back into the holster. “Easy enough?”
“Yeah, that’s a better fit,” I tell him while putting my jacket back on. We’re in the parking garage, for God’s sake.
“Good. Close that,” he says, gesturing to my jacket. ”You haven’t mastered how to conceal yet, so you’ll just have to hide it under your jacket.”
“Not a problem,” I say, zipping my jacket and getting into the car.
“Ben and Chance and going to be stationed at the penthouse in my absence,” he tells me as we drive back to Grey House. “I just talked to Chuck and he said that Her Highness is at the hospital with Philip and Maxine Guest. Apparently, Mrs. Guest had her baby.” Well, that’s good news, and now I don’t feel so bad about not waiting around to see her as she’ll probably be at the hospital until visiting hours are over. “Chuck is going to stay at the penthouse, too…”
“Do we need that many people?” I ask, knowing that the sheer magnitude is going to scare the shit out of my wife.
“We don’t know what we’re walking into. Better safe than sorry. And just so you know, there are a couple of mobile units at the apartment, too. I know how you feel about Her Highness and I feel the same about Her Majesty, so to answer your question—yes, we need that many people.” I see the slightest crack in Jason’s normally unshakable resolve and I realize that he’s just as uncertain as I am about leaving his wife to do this. I won’t give him a hard time about it.
When we get back to Grey House, Welch meets us at the door, indicating that everything and everyone is in place and Dodd is giddily waiting in the conference room. I take a moment to go over everything that Welch tells me about our performance before I enter the conference room.
There he is, sitting there looking over his plans like he doesn’t have a care in the world. He stands when I enter the room and smiles at me. I want to pull his teeth out one by one.
“I don’t think we’ve formally met outside of the department head meetings,” I say, coolly. “Christian Grey.”
“Maurice Dodd. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you one-on-one, sir.” I would be moved by his reverence if I didn’t know the fucker was stealing from me and potentially threatening the safety of my company and family. I gesture for him to sit and I take the seat at the end of the table with him to my right. “I was surprised to hear from you, sir. This particular project was submitted over a year ago.” That’s because it’s a piece of shit.
“Well, you never know what little tidbits you find right up under your nose,” like a traitor in your own camp.
“Yes, indeed.” He smiles wider.
“As you know, I have an intruder in my network. When I find the son-of-a-bitch, I’m going to make him wish he had never heard of Christian Grey.” I glare into his eyes and see his resolve break, a bit of uncertainty creeps up and his posture falls a bit. Welch clears his throat to get my attention and get me back into character. He pours himself a bit of water and utters an apology for the interruption. “To that end,” I continue, “I will need to upgrade some of the security protocols.”
“Security, sir?” he says, puzzled. The asshole was sitting here looking at the plans and couldn’t ascertain that it had something to do with security? I don’t know how Myrick picked him out of everybody in the company, but he sure picked the right idiot.
“Yes,” I reply rising out of my chair and walking around a bit. If I stay in close proximity of this piece of shit, I’m surely going to hit him. “This fucker is threatening my life’s work, my company, my fortune, the safety of my wife and children… for a few extra bucks.”
“I…” He pauses and swallows, taking a gulp of water. “I’m sorry, sir. I hadn’t realized that things were this… serious.” Yeah, you’re not sorry now, but you will be. “How can I help?” You can tell me where that fucker Myrick is so that I can choke the living shit out of him and rid the world of him once and for all.
“Apparently, Mr. Welch feels like your robot here could be useful in the overhaul,” I lie.
“For security?” he asks surprised. “I never thought of that.”
“Yes. As you can see, with the correct modifications and some appropriate outfitting, your little creation could be quite the unique piece of machinery.” Unique as in useless.
“Thank you, sir. I can see how it would be. I couldn’t imagine an automated painter being used as a security droid.”
“Nor could I,” I say honestly. I let a little too much time pass after that statement and Welch jumps in.
“We actually have a prototype built already and we’d like your take on it. You know how it’s supposed to function and we just want to see what you think about what we’ve done to it.” He smiles widely again.
“Yes! Yes, that would be splendid!” He’s so easy. If I were face-to-face with the man who I am currently stealing millions of dollars from, I would show a little caution—maybe just a bit of trepidation. No, this idiot is walking right into the lion’s den with the King of the Jungle circling him and preparing for his next meal.
“You’ll have to forgive me if this whole thing seems hush-hush and undercover, but I don’t know who I can trust these days and I have to be careful,” I throw in.
“Of course, Mr. Grey, I completely understand. You can never be too careful.” I want to snatch his teeth out of his mouth. You can never be too careful. You should know, you sniveling little piece of shit.
“The prototype is in another location. I don’t want anyone to have a clue what I’m planning, so I had to be very discreet about it. I’d like to take you there so that you can see exactly what comes next.” Welch throws a look of caution over at me, but this is the best I can do without beating this little weasel to a pulp right here and now.
“I’d love to see what you have planned, sir.” Actually, you wouldn’t, but that’s okay.
“Good. I’ll have you follow us in your vehicle to a secured location and we’ll go from there. Is that okay with you?”
“Yes, sir, absolutely!” he nods frantically.
“Mr. Welch will ride with you and we’ll rendezvous in a few short minutes.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, again, sir. I didn’t think anyone was paying attention to any of my ideas. It’s a little disheartening to be the Director of Planning and can’t even get one of your own plans onto the production floor.”
“Well, persistence pays, Mr. Dodd,” I say as I leave the conference room. Jason is standing just on the other side of the door and I nod at him, signaling him to the car. I take a deep cleansing breath and prepare myself for what’s about to happen. It’s very likely that someone may not come out of this ordeal alive—I’m unusually okay with that. All I have to think of is the fact that anything or anybody in this operation could have jeopardized my family—my beautiful Butterfly and the beans. After a few moments, Welch and Dodd walk out of the conference room.
“I’ll see you gentlemen in a few minutes,” I say before leaving.
A few minutes later, we’re outside of an empty building waiting for Dodd and Welch. I’m impatient for the asshole to get here. I couldn’t chance him riding alone just in case he might decide to call Myrick. Any idiot with two nickels worth of good sense would know that this jackass is walking into a setup…
Except for this jackass.
After Dodd pulls around the back of the building where his blue Lincoln is out of sight, he and Welch meet me and Jason at the SUV.
“The need for secrecy is very important, Mr. Dodd. You and Mr. Welch will ride with us from here. Where I’m taking you is going to be pretty dirty. I should have warned you in advance, sorry about that.”
“It’s no problem at all, sir,” he says, chomping at the bit.
“You’re not about to walk into some CSI sparkly clean top-secret shiny lab. These guys get down and dirty with what they do and where you’re about to go is just that—down and dirty.”
“A little dirt won’t hurt me. I’ll be fine, Mr. Grey…” or so you think. I nod and we all pile into the SUV.
Several minutes later, we are outside of a warehouse that happens to belong to Welch located just outside of Seattle. I have no idea what else may have gone on in this location, nor do I want to know. Welch leads us into the warehouse that is very dimly lit on the inside. He bolts the door behind us and we walk through a large empty area to a platform at the far end of the warehouse that turns out to be an elevator.
Up we go to the second floor and a well-lit room in the middle of another room. A few chairs and a table are inside along with what appear to be two of Cholometes and Welch’s friends.
“You’ll want to take a seat there, Mr. Dodd,” Welch says, pointing to a chair near the middle of the room. Dodd sits like he’s about to see a Broadway show.
“These are the gentlemen that I was telling you like to get down and dirty,” I say, gesturing at the two ominous figures standing at the far side of the room who now make themselves known. “They’re handling a particularly delicate situation for me. Now, you did say that you were willing to help in any way. I certainly hope you meant that, because this is where it gets a little sketchy.”
“Absolutely, Mr. Grey. What can I do?” Dodd says eagerly.
“As you know, a few months ago, we discovered that there is an intruder in GEH’s systems,” I begin.
“Yes, sir, I’m well aware of that,” he replies.
“Oh, I’m sure that you are,” I comment. “You see, we’ve been watching the activities of these hackers very closely. We’ve been able to map their patterns, determine their destinations, and for the most part trace their current locations.” Some of the color leaves his face.
“You have?” he says nervously.
“Yes, we have,” I continue. “We have a few blanks to fill in, but we’re certain that we’ll get the answers that we need very soon.”
“Well… the last that I heard, there was possibly another intruder in the system,” he says nervously.
“No, that was just a piece of propaganda fed to key players to see how quickly it would filter down to our hackers. It moved very quickly because we could even see a change in their patterns when we released that story, just like we did when we released the lie that we had arrested someone else for the crime.” He swallows hard. He remembers all of this because he was deliberately present for every meeting.
“If I may ask, sir, where do I and my robot come in with this?” he says nervously.
“I so glad you asked. Mr. Welch?” He nods.
“Gentlemen, would you please bring the prototype of Mr. Dodd’s robot so that we can show him our plans for it?” Without a word, the two gentlemen disappear out of the room.
“I need you to pay close attention because you will determine where we go next with this project,” I tell Dodd. “I’m a bit stumped and I don’t like being in the dark. In fact, I particularly fucking hate it. But with your help, I’m certain that I can get to where I need to be.” He’s silent now, waiting for the finished product of his creation to be brought to him. I sit on the edge of the nearby table examining him while he takes in his surroundings.
“Um, sir… there must be some mistake. That’s not my robot.” I look at it curiously.
“It’s not?” I question, feigning surprise. He shakes his head.
“No, sir. That looks like… a child’s toy.” I twist my lips.
“Hmm, so it does.” I take the thing by the feet and bang it on the table several times until it shatters into tiny pieces, throwing the legs across the room before turning back calmly to face a very startled and afraid Mr. Dodd.
“You want to know something?” I say as I remove my jacket. “I saw it in your eyes. I saw it more than once. You were questioning my intentions. You were wondering what was really going on, but you didn’t have the common sense or the self-preservation to think about your current situation and step back and look at all of the possibilities.”
He’s justifiably afraid now. His face is as white as a sheet and the expression of horror painted on it at this moment is priceless. His eyes don’t leave mine, but I know he’s already seen the weapon. I lean closer to him.
“You walked right into danger based on the hint of a promise. You had no guarantees, nothing concrete, but some phony mock-up of your pictures. I gave you several chances to see what was going on and you couldn’t see the forest for the trees. I gave you innumerable hints just tonight and you ignored them all. Every phony meeting you sat in on, you had an opportunity to pull out or come clean, but you chose to continue—to follow blindly into the depths of hell. Well, welcome… you’ve arrived.”
I can see him eyeing my gun in my holster. Go ahead. Try it. I’ll have you on the floor before you can blink. Just as I thought, he lunges for my gun. I only wanted an excuse to hit him since I plan on leaving that work to the professionals. With little effort, a good right cross lands him on his ass.
“Tie his ass up,” I say, and the two guys drag him back to the chair and secure his hands with a cable tie.
“Mr. Dodd, you haven’t worked for me for very long, so you don’t know me very well. You haven’t seen the worst of me… but you’re about to.” I take a chair from the wall and place it in front of him. I take a seat and cross my legs at the knees.
“What I really want to do right now is torture you slowly—me, with my bare hands. I want to watch you beg for your miserable fucking life because you have no idea what I’ve been through these past few months… no idea what you nearly cost me. I want you to suffer physically what I’ve suffered mentally and emotionally.”
“Please…” he says, his voice trembling, “think of my wife.” Before I could catch myself, I plant my foot squarely in his chest, sending him and the chair sailing several feet backwards. He’s gasping for breath when I get over to him, still bound to the chair and lying backwards on the floor.
“Your wife?” I hiss, looking down at him. “Your fucking wife? Did you think about my wife when you gave that asshole access to the pictures of her pregnancy? Did you think about the stress that she’s been through because of this whole ordeal? Did you think about the fact that she’s carrying twins, which is stressful enough on her body without having to deal with this shit? Did you think about the fact that helping that asshole get into my system threatens her future? My children’s future?” I snatch him and the chair off the floor and sit them upright—hard!
“No,” I say so close to his face that he can feel my breath and spit. “All you thought about is that nobody paid any attention to those ludicrous and useless ideas of yours–things that have been in production for years already, if not decades. Nobody licked the literal shit out of your ass, so you thought of me as nothing but another fucking dollar sign. A few measly pennies won’t hurt billionaire Christian Grey! Well, you’re right about that. A few measly pennies won’t. Too bad this is not about money!” I smack him hard enough to knock a tooth loose—I hope.
“Sir.” Welch chides gently. No bruises. We agreed. Well, too bad, because he’s already got a few. I stand up straight and count to compose myself. I’ve got a mission here and I have to tame my anger to accomplish it. When I’ve composed myself, I turn to Welch.
“I reserve the right to knock the shit out of this motherfucker anytime I so choose,” I growl, “but I’ll pull the reins back.” Jason wisely brings me a chair. I’m slower to hit him if I’m sitting.
“I don’t give a fuck about your wife, Dodd, and I don’t give a fuck about you. Let’s get that clear. You’re a traitor in my own circle and treason is punishable by death. For right now, I choose to spare you, because I need information. I know who’s behind this and I need you to help me get him. Don’t mistake that word ‘help,’ because as you can see, I have ways to persuade you if you resist, and if I don’t get what I want from you, I’ll just rid the world of your miserable existence and find the fucker on my own.
“Yes, I will admit that the success of this entire situation lays in your lap. This means that if that fucker gets away, I will take my revenge for him out on you. I don’t know what he’s told you or what he’s led you to believe, but even if the police fuck up and he gets away, you get to suffer his share of my wrath. He keeps coming after me. He’ll come again. He’ll just find another expendable fucker like you to get inside. Believe me, I know there’s plenty of you.”
He’s breathing hard and sweating, completely panic-stricken and probably about to have a fucking heart attack.
“Any health concerns?” I ask Welch.
“None, sir, he’s healthy as a horse.” I turn back to Dodd.
“Good, because if you just so happen to develop asthma and have a fatal attack, I will gladly let you die.” I lean my arms on my knees. “Now, this is how this is going to go. I’m going to ask you some questions, some very direct questions, and you’re going to give me very direct answers. If I feel like you’re holding anything back from me, I’m going to redirect my question. If you continue to hold back from me, then I’ll resort to more persuasive measures. Like I said, you will determine where we go next with this project. Is there anything unclear, Mr. Dodd?” I ask like we’re holding an average job interview.
“No, sir!” he gasps, his eyes wide and wild.
“Good. Now the first thing I’d like to know is how you got involved with this in the first place.” I fold my arms and wait for the story.
“This guy approached me in the coffee shop down the street,” he begins, his voice trembling. “He just started talking to me out of nowhere. He seemed friendly enough.”
“What did he look like?”
“Young, red hair…”
“That’s enough.” Myrick approached him in person. “What did he call himself?”
“Victor,” he answers. Another alias, no doubt.
“He asked what I did and I told him. It was harmless at first, but then he started talking about how far I had advanced in the company and I started thinking about…” he trails off. I don’t say anything. I want him to finish the sentence, but he’s already been warned about withholding information. So we wait for a few moments. “I started thinking about all of the ideas I submitted and no one even looked at them.” I didn’t bother to respond to that comment. I’ve already told him how ridiculous and antiquated his “ideas” were. If he’s that unimaginative, I don’t even know how he was hired.
“So, basically, he talked to you until he found your vulnerability and you allowed him to exploit it. Got it. Continue.” That took the wind out of his sails. I think he was looking for some sort of sympathy and now he realizes that there is none here for him. He drops his head.
“He… he convinced me that he had done this many times before and never got caught, that there was plenty of money in it for me and if we did get discovered, we could get out before anybody actually caught us…”
He continued with his story about how he only met Myrick in person once, but has constant contact with the other two sides of the triangle, whom he calls Nick and Roc. The information he’s giving me still seems sketchy and there’s a lot missing, but I think he fills in some of the blanks as much as he can. We spend quite a bit of time together that night and I realize that he’s particularly exhausted after our… discussion. He’s going to have to be in better form for his performance tomorrow, so somewhere in the wee hours of the morning we decide to call it a night. Mr. Dodd is fed some kind of oatmeal porridge mush shit and handcuffed to the wall in another room where he can get some sleep and ponder his circumstances.
“We’ve got a lot more to go on than we did before, sir,” Jason says in an attempt to calm my angst.
“We still don’t have Myrick,” I say, unsettled. “I’ll breathe easy only when we catch that fucker.”
“Hear, hear,” Welch concurs. My staff has been invaluable during this time. I’m tempted to give them each all-expense-paid vacations to the destination of their choice when this is over, but I know that many of them won’t accept it—particularly Welch. I’ll offer it anyway, though.
“I guess there’s nothing else for me to do here tonight, is there?” I ask. Welch shakes his head.
“No, sir. Let us analyze the information that he gave us and calibrate our next move. Try to get some rest. I would say come back around eleven or noon. I’ll call you if anything develops before then.”
“Good man,” I say. “Um, we’re taking the only car.”
“No, you’re not,” he says and smiles. “Goodnight, sir.”
“Christian!” She leaps into my arms and I’m almost afraid that we’ve hurt the babies. I hold her close and breathe in the fragrance of her hair. I hate being away from her, even for a day.
“Butterfly,” I breathe before I close my lips over hers, devouring her in a sweet, sensual kiss.
“I was so worried,” she says when we stop to breathe. “Is it over?”
“No, Baby, it’s not over.” Her face falls. “We still have some work to do, but there’s nothing else that Jason and I can do tonight and I had to see you.” Her eyes travel down my chest and she opens my jacket. I’ve gotten used to wearing the damn thing and forgot that I had it on.
“Your gun,” she says, softly, with a sigh. “I don’t know whether to concerned, terrified… or turned on.”
Oh shit! Greystone jumps to attention in my jeans immediately and need to fuck her—not make love, we’ll save that for later. Fuck!
I grab her hair and slam my mouth into hers. Reading and responding to my need, she challenges my tongue with her own, pulling my hair at the same time. I groan into her mouth, lift her by the ass and carry her to our room. She hastily gets me out of my jacket and doesn’t remove anything else. She pushes me down on the bed and swiftly undoes my jeans, freeing my aching dick. She grabs it and strokes it—hard—while treating me with more sensual kisses. She is on fire! Over a gun holster?? Damn. She quickly slides down my body and treats Greystone to the warm caress of her mouth. I’m so hard that I almost can’t take it. She climbs back on top of me and I’m pleasantly surprised to find that she is naked under that robe. She throws it open and slides down onto my throbbing cock.
“Aahh!” I gasp as she wraps around me, tight and warm. Shit, she feels so fucking good. When she rolls her hips, it’s everything I can do not to blow immediately. I groan in agony trying to control my orgasm.
“You look so hot wearing it,” she breathes. “So hot…” and she grabs the holster with the gun still in it. Thank God I unloaded it or the damn thing just might go off in all this heat.
“Baby, shit!” I hiss, the heat between us almost too much to bear as she grinds into me, harder and faster. I’m watching those round tits wobble and I’m rising and losing control. “Yes, Baby. Fuck me!” I command. “Fuck me harder!” On command, she uses the holster for leverage and begins to bounce wild and fast on my dick.
“You’re so hard,” she breathes. “You feel so good.” I’m holding her ass and with her head held back, I can feel her hair brush against my fingers. It’s so hot and I am going to come. I grasp her ass hard, separate the cheeks and play with her asshole. She shudders at the sensation.
“Stick it in, Baby,” she coos. “Stick it in.” I gladly thrust my finger in her ass and she cries out. With each stroke on my dick, her rosette tightens around my finger. It’s unbearable.
“I’m going to come, Baby,” I growl. “Fuck me, Baby. Make me come.” She holds the holster more firmly and rides with purpose. I stick my finger further into her ass and in no time, I’m gushing endlessly inside of her, my dick burning as she continues to bounce on my viciously ejaculating member. I want her to stop because the pleasure is unbearably blinding, but I know that she can’t because that last deep thrust of the finger has her well on her way to her own orgasm. I hold my breath through the pulsing and burning and moments later…
“Aaaahhaaaahaaaaa!” she cries out as she convulses on top of me. I have to hold her down to keep her from gyrating off the bed. I don’t mind holding her because my dick is still pulsing and I really need her to keep still. Now comes my favorite part—the steady contraction of her muscles. That shit feels so good, even better during an orgasm, but I couldn’t wait. The babies make it impossible to reach her mouth unless she leans down to me, so I take her nipples in my mouth instead since she’s holding her head back. She’s breathing hard and my dick is still cocooned inside of her, enjoying the warmth and the vibration. She starts to moan as I suck her nipples, first one, and then the other. Her hips start to roll, alerting me that we’re not done yet, and she’s already ready for round two.
Who am I to deny my wife?
The sun is rising now and Butterfly looks gorgeous lying next to me. I would do all this and more to keep her and my children safe. They mean the world to me and nothing is more important to me than they are, especially not worthless thieves following behind a madman hell-bent on my ruin because he has an imaginary bone to pick with me. It’s like I told Dodd last night—it’s not about the money. That fucker tried to kill me by orchestrating the delivery of Ana’s gun to that psycho blonde bitch. Now he’s up the ante by extending the threat to my family. We hadn’t even discussed additional security for Ana or the children before it was leaked to the press that she was pregnant. It’s bad enough that you attack my company, but my family—he better hope I don’t find him when he’s alone.
Butterfly snuggles into me and I hold her close, enjoying her warmth and essence and watching the sun come up. This is a tough position to be in. I have no idea where I would draw the line when it comes to her safety. Is one life more important than another? When it comes to Butterfly, yes, it is. Her life is even more important than mine. I’m fully aware that everyone involved in this could end up dead, and I don’t care. To them, their lives were more important than Butterfly’s. To me, her life is more important than theirs.
Butterfly finally rouses around 9am and does that lovely every-bone-in-her-body stretch that I love to see her do in the morning. She uncurls like a cat, then lies flat on her back to let her body settle into the bed again.
“Good morning,” she says sweetly.
“Good morning,” I reply. “How did you sleep?”
“Like the dead,” she says. “The beans didn’t even wake me with early morning soccer,” she laughs. I smile and kiss her.
“You know I love you more than anything in this world, don’t you?” I say. She examines my eyes.
“Yes, Christian, I do,” she says honestly. “I know that there’s nothing that you wouldn’t do for me and the babies, and I love you for that.” She touches my face reassuringly. I turn my face to kiss her palm. “What time do you have to leave?”
“In about an hour,” I respond, and she sighs.
“Well, that’s enough time to get you some breakfast,” she says before getting out of bed and heading to the bathroom. I watch her walk away and again, remember why Cholometes calls her Helen of Troy. I lie in bed for a few minutes and she comes out and of the bathroom in a super large Seahawks jersey. She retrieves a pair of leggings from the chest of drawers and quickly winds her hair into a messy bun, securing it with some hairpins.
“Get up. You don’t have much time,” she says before leaving the room. I roll out of bed and take a quick shower. I’m in the kitchen after donning more jeans and a T-shirt with my boots. In the short time it took to get dressed, Butterfly has pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, coffee and orange juice all waiting for me.
“How did you do that?” I ask, sitting at the breakfast bar ready to tear in.
“I multitasked,” she says sweetly, laying the plates in front of me piled way too high for one person. “I’m going to eat with you while you tell me what you can about what happened yesterday. Leave out any gory details.” I look at her as she pours the coffee and juice and takes a seat, smothering our pancakes with syrup.
“Dodd sang like a canary with little persuasion,” I begin, while loading my fork. “We’ll most likely be confronting the hackers before day’s end.”
“Well, that’s good,” she says filling her mouth with food.
“We don’t have Myrick yet.”
“That’s not good,” she says around her food and I nod.
“We’ll have to see what information we can get from these guys when we apprehend them—or from their computers and phones. The night shift is regrouping and planning the next course of action, which is why I came home.” She nods.
“Does he know you’re on to him?” she asks, eating more.
“I don’t know, yet, but he will soon. The way Dodd was talking, he thought this was all about money.”
“Did he try to use that as a bargaining chip?” she asks. I shake my head and swallow my food.
“No. I made it pretty clear that it was a futile attempt. By the time I left, he was a mixture of uncertain and afraid. I’m hoping the team will have something for me this morning.” She smiles faintly.
“I’m sure they will,” she says softly. “I won’t pretend that I don’t know what’s going on, but hopefully you’ll be able to get the information you need from the computers and phones if these guys are not forthcoming when you catch them.” She eats more of her food and she appears to be concentrating on chewing. I cup my hand around hers.
“Are you okay?” I ask, concerned. She swallows her food and pauses for a moment.
“I don’t like this at all,” she says honestly without raising her head, “but that man declared war on us, and I understand and concur that all bets are off. So, you do what you have to do and don’t worry about me. I’m behind you one hundred percent.” She looks up at me with those last words to make sure that I heard and understood her. She’s not pleased with the tactics, but she supports me in doing what I need to do.
“I swear that we’ll wrap this up as soon as we can,” I promise her. She smiles and nods.
“Eat your breakfast before Jason comes out.” I soon decide that I don’t want breakfast. I want to kiss her and hold her as much as I can before I have to leave. Walking around the breakfast bar, I hoist her up on the counter and kiss her feverishly. She wraps her arms around my neck and returns my fervor, our tongues dancing a sensual tango. I need her strength and her love, and she’s giving me every bit of it. Our souls speak to one another, proclaiming our love as we seal it with our kisses. I feel his presence before I hear him as his essence is an intrusion on our connection.
“I’ll be with you in a minute,” I tell Jason before he gets a chance to clear his throat, never turning my head to him.
“Yes, sir,” he says, and I hear him disappear off somewhere. Butterfly is clutching me tightly, holding me close to her and the babies and saying nothing.
“Please be safe,” she whispers while clinging to me. I hold her tight and kiss her hair.
“I belong to Anastasia Grey,” I breathe. “I am not allowed to take chances. This is your body. This body belongs to you.” I move her hair and kiss her ear. “I must follow instructions and stay safe. I’m not allowed to take chances and I’m not allowed to get hurt.” I kiss her neck. “I belong to Anastasia Grey.” She chokes out a sob and swallows it.
“And don’t you fucking forget it,” she says tearfully, still clinging to me.
“I fucking well won’t,” I say returning her embrace. A few moments later, she calms herself and takes a deep breath.
“You better go,” she says releasing her death grip, but still embracing me and stroking my nape.
“I love you, Butterfly.” I don’t want to let go.
“I know,” she breathes. “Believe me, I know. I love you, too, Baby.” With those words, I take a deep breath and release her, kissing her once more before I get her off of the counter and go back to our bedroom. I put my shoulder holster back on and go to the study to retrieve my gun and clip. Jason is waiting for me at my desk.
“Have you checked your emails?” he asks, looking blankly at my computer screen.
“I haven’t had time,” I confess.
“Scroll through them. See if anything requires an answer. You need to establish location—show normal routine… just in case.”
“Have you?” I ask.
“I have. Come on, we need to get going.” He rises from my desk and gestures for me to sit. I fire off an email or two to Ros, some to Andrea, and a few to department heads and board members of committees expecting meetings this week. About twenty minutes later, I holster my loaded weapon and grab my jacket from the bedroom. When we walk through the great room to leave, Butterfly is still in the kitchen.
“I’ll meet you at the elevator. One minute—no more,” I tell Jason. He nods and leaves. I walk over to the breakfast bar.
“Baby?” She looks up at me like I startled her.
“I thought you were already gone,” she says.
“No, I’m leaving now.” I look into her eyes.
“I’ll be fine, Christian,” she says. “I was… just daydreaming.”
“For half an hour?” She looks at me and fights the tears.
“I just want to be in our new home with our babies and our new life. I just want all of this to be over,” she sniffles.
“It will be, and we’ll have all of that. Don’t worry. I promise you that this is coming to an end. Do you trust me?”
“You know that I do,” she says, catching a tear before it falls.
“Good, then try not to worry. It’s bad for you and the babies.” She purses her lips and sighs.
“Okay,” she says reluctantly. I cup her face and kiss her lips once more.
“I love you, Mrs. Grey.”
“I love you, Mr. Grey.” I kiss her forehead and her hand before walking through the great room and out the front door.
I don’t know why even bothered trying to sleep. I’ve been staring at the ceiling for I don’t know how long trying to calm the babies and it’s not even midnight yet. Even they know something’s not right. Jason has already proven that he’ll protect my husband with his life, but I don’t want Jason to get hurt any more than I want Christian to get hurt. I’m terrified that they’re going to get caught in some kind of crossfire or something and I keep having the worst visions in my head of my husband lying dead somewhere. I hope I’m just being paranoid, but I can’t help it. He’s my everything and right now, he’s on some kind of undercover mission to confront the guy who hacked into his computer systems.
It’s no use. I’m not going to get to sleep. I get out of bed and go to the bathroom, hoping that a warm shower will help to calm my nerves.
Feeling no better than I did before the shower, I go to the kitchen to make a cranberry spritzer. It’s dark and quiet except for the lights above the breakfast bar. I tie my robe tight in case one of the security guys are on the night shift doing patrols or something. I don’t know that Chance guy very well, but he’s been on duty with Christian a lot and I don’t doubt that he knows what he’s doing.
I make my spritzer and sit at the breakfast bar. Maybe I should watch television or read. I know it won’t make a difference. All I’ll do is think of Christian and what might be going on with him. I don’t want to think about it, but I can’t help it. If I could will him home with me, I would. I don’t want him out there chasing the bad guys. I want him here with me.
I must be daydreaming because moments later, I see him walking towards me. Am I delirious? I blink my eyes a couple of times to adjust to the light. He is coming towards me.
“Christian!” I run over to him and jump into his arms. I just need him to hold me. I need to know that he’s real. My elation is dampened by the news that the ordeal is still not over, but while he’s talking, I see the holster under his jacket.
He carried his gun. Fuck! He really could have gotten caught in some kind of crossfire. I’m suddenly awash with fear and concern, but the most prevalent thing I feel is… lust! He looks abso-fucking-lutely hot in that holster—hotter than I ever remember him looking before. It does something to me and the next thing I know, I’m on top of him holding on to that holster and riding him like a fucking rodeo princess! I don’t know what I was thinking! Was the damn thing loaded?? I don’t know, but three orgasms later, neither of us had taken a bullet, so I guess not.
I don’t know how long I stand in the kitchen the next day after he and Jason have left. He tells me that he’ll be careful. He even recites my mantra to me—the one that I made him memorize. I know that he’ll do everything in his power to stay safe, but I just can’t shake the feeling of impending doom. I try to clear the dishes, but all I can do is stand there and cry. I have to be strong for him, but when I’m alone, I don’t have to be strong. I can cry all I want.
The problem is… I’m not alone.
“Come on, dear,” Gail says putting her arms around me, no doubt trying to get me to sit down. I don’t move. I don’t want to be taken care of right now. I want to cry. I’m afraid that something terrible is going to happen to my husband and I want to cry.
“He’ll be fine, Ana,” Gail comforts, realizing that I’m not going to move. “He has so many people to protect him and he’s a smart man. He’s not going to do anything to put himself in danger.”
“He has his gun!” I wail, weeping from my chest and letting the tears fall.
“Well… you carry yours. Every day!” she tries to retort.
“That’s right!” I tell her. “I carry it every day. He doesn’t! He never carries it! Ever!” I weep harder.
“Darling, you’re going to have to calm down,” she warns. “Your blood pressure is going to shoot to the roof.” I hold my babies and cry right there in the middle of the kitchen. I want my husband. I want Christian. I want him here—safe with me. I don’t want him out there fighting the bad guys. I want him in my arms so that I can love him and tell him what he means to me. I don’t know what it is, but something bad is about to happen and I know it. I feel it deep inside, not because I want him here and he’s in a dangerous situation, but because there is the feeling of impending doom floating all around me and I can’t shake it. Gail wraps her arms around me and lays her head on my back and shoulder, trying to comfort me, but I’m inconsolable. Something’s coming. Something really bad.
“Please, God,” I weep from my soul, “Please, keep him safe… please…”
I spend the day doing some of the most ridiculous things to keep my mind occupied, one of which was putting together absolutely out-of-this-world names for my baby boy—names that I know Christian would never agree to…
Einstein Hillsboro Grey
Wallingford Fitzgerald Grey
Charleston Eggbert Grey
After about an hour of that, I thumb through this app on my phone that sells a boatload of useless things and try to find something to buy. Something for the house, maybe…
I’ve picked out all the tacky things I can think of, then empty my cart, certain that I won’t purchase any of them. By lunchtime, I’m going stir crazy wondering what’s happening with Christian. I can’t talk to anybody about it. All I can do is sit here and lose my mind. Then, like angels falling from heaven, Mandy calls and asks if I felt up to babysitting Little Harry for a few hours.
Oh, boy, do I!
In twenty-five minutes, she brings him over, declaring that she has a bridal shower to go to for one of her friends and forgot to find a sitter for him. My heart is lifted immediately when I see his cute little pudgy face.
“Hi Harry,” I coo and she smiles.
“You’ll be alright?” she asks and I nod.
“Gail’s here if I fall on hard times. Besides, it’s good practice,” I reply, bouncing my baby brother on my hip.
“Okay, well, my cell is on. There’s plenty of breast milk in his diaper bag and I’m only twenty minutes away if you need me.”
“No problem. Go. Have fun. We’ll be fine.” She kisses Harry then give me a half-hug before leaving. “So, little guy, I guess it’s me and you, huh?”
I show Harry around the apartment as if he has any idea what he’s looking at. I look longingly at the playroom door as I pass by. We haven’t been in there in months and I miss it. I know Christian wouldn’t dare do any scenes with me in my current state, but still…
I rip myself from the melancholy of wanting to go into the playroom and turn my attention back to my active and playful little brother.
“Do you want to go see what’s happening in the kitchen?” I ask him and he just smiles obliviously up at me. I take him downstairs and into the kitchen where I find Gail preparing deli sandwiches, and lots of them!
“Are we feeding the homeless?” I ask, and I clearly startle her. She turns to me and makes to say something before she settles her eyes on Harry.
“And who do we have here?” she coos with a genuine smile. “Hello, little fella. I haven’t seen you in a little while.” She smiles and pokes his little stomach and he rewards her with a smile of his own.
“What is it about babies that make things right with the world?” I ask, admiring my little brother.
“They’re untarnished,” she says. “They represent fresh starts and new life… and they’re so damn cute!” She tweaks Harry’s cheeks and he giggles again. I have to agree. Having Harry around makes me feel all fluffy and hopeful inside.
“It’s wonderful having him here,” I say, kissing his soft cheeks. “He gives me comfort.” She smiles.
“Are you hungry?” I look at her deli trays. Actually, they’re just plates with sandwiches and crudités, probably lunch for the guys. Another little platter is covered with various little cakes and cookies.
“I want that,” I whisper to Harry, pointing at the cakes. “How about you?” More oblivious smiling. I’m certain he’s too small to have the sweets, but it’s fun to play anyway.
I sit Harry in his bouncer and take my sandwich and goodies to the great room. He’s sucking on his binky while I’m eating a delicious turkey and Swiss sandwich in front of the fire. He’s a captive audience while I talk about anything that comes to mind—the babies, the house, Helping Hands. Thanksgiving is coming soon and we are supposed to be having it at our house this year since Elliot and Aaron assure me that everything will be ready by then. Harry gets a little fussy after lunch and I deduce that he might need a diaper change and a feeding of his own. The diaper change goes more smoothly than I thought it would. Gail warms a bottle for him while I cuddle him on the sofa. The entire time he’s nuzzling and trying to get under my shirt.
“Sorry, buddy,” I tell him. “Nothing there just yet.” He fidgets a bit almost like he understood what I said and wants his instant gratification. I can’t help but laugh, wondering what Daddy must have been like as a baby. Probably just as adorable as Harry.
He devours his bottle when I finally give it to him and follows his lunch with two healthy burps. Almost immediately, he releases a huge yawn and I lament over the fact that I have to release my little companion to the Sandman.
“Okay, Harry,” I say rocking him in my arms. “I can’t sing my lullaby to you, so what should I sing?” I think for a moment and the perfect song comes to mind:
Sonnez les matines,
Sonnez les matines,
Din, din, don!
Din, din, don!
Are you sleeping,
Are you sleeping?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.
Two more choruses of Frère Jacques and little Harry is out like a light. I can’t bear to put him down yet. I don’t want to be alone again. So I hold him for a little while and just watch him sleeping. New life and fresh starts… hope… That’s a lot to put on a kid.
“I wonder if your mom felt the same way about you,” I say to my sleeping baby brother. “I know I’ve already lived a wonderful life, some good and some bad, but I feel like I won’t even start living until the babies are born. That’s a pretty big responsibility to hang on their shoulders and I try not to do it, but it’s no use. You guys have a power over us that make us helpless and useless. Might as well get used to it.” I sit there for I don’t know how long holding little Harry until a familiar voice breaks me out of my trance.
“Getting in some practice, huh?”
I look up and see my best friend standing there in his casual best—jeans and a polo shirt. How did I not hear him come in?
“Hi, Al,” I say before turning my attention back to Harry. “I guess you can say that. I love this kid so much and he’s not even mine. I think it’s the fact that he’s part of Daddy.” Al sits next to me.
“Yeah, he is a cute little guy, and he looks just like Ray.” I finally decide to put little Harry in his bouncer and let him rest.
“So what brings you by, Darling?” I say, taking my seat back on the sofa.
“Bored,” he says. “We’re always kind of doing something. Now that our significant others are all tied up with cracking this… thing, I figured we would keep ourselves occupied.” He pulls out a bag of my most favorite chocolate.
“Lindor!” I exclaim quietly so as not to wake Harry. “Give it to me!” He snatches it away from my grasp.
“What do you say?” he taunts.
“Give it to me now or I’ll break you face!” I say stoically. He jerks his head.
“Alright, alright,” he says in his whiny voice. “Testy!” He gives me the chocolates and I quickly open one of the individually wrapped truffles and bite into it, moaning with ecstasy as the smooth center coats my tongue. “Damn, Jewel, you make that sound like sex.”
“It’s a close second,” I say after allowing the chocolate deliciousness to slide down my throat.
“You look right at home with the little guy,” he says as I finish my truffle.
“He’s easy to love,” I say, looking admiringly at my little brother, “and it’s a distraction.” Al nods.
“I heard,” he confirms, “as much as I want to hear anyway. Anything he does with me is protected by attorney/client privilege, but there are certain things that I still don’t want to know.”
“And things that I already wish I didn’t know,” I add forlorn. “He’s carrying.” Al frowns.
“Carrying what?” My turn to frown.
“His gun!” I announce matter-of-factly.
“Christian has a gun?!” he exclaims in surprise.
“How can you be his lawyer and not know that he has a gun?” I ask.
“I don’t know what he doesn’t tell me, Jewel,” Al defends. “How long has he had a gun?”
“Since right after Jason was shot in his office,” I inform him.
“Okay, so not that long, and how often does he carry it?”
“Never,” I respond.
“That would be why I don’t know,” he says. “Attorneys are just like wives. We’re either the first to know or the last to know.”
“Goddammit, Allen,” I whine as I go to the kitchen to get some water. I didn’t need that analogy, at least not right at this moment. I can’t think about what I don’t know. I have to trust my husband and let him do what is best for our family, even if I may not agree—but I have to admit. The waiting—and the not knowing—is agony.
A/N: Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/becoming-dr-grey/
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Love and Handcuffs!