subI 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. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…
Chapter 50—On With the Newness
She’s beautiful, she loves me, and she’s a good fuck. What more could a man ask for?
I saw in her eyes last night when she remembered what happened last year—right before she kissed me so deeply that she stole my breath and reason and made me want to fuck her right there by the empty pool. I don’t exactly know what she recalled, but I know her well enough to know that she didn’t want a repeat of Lincoln-Crash-and-Burn any more than I did.
She looked so luscious sleeping on the sofa in the entertainment room, contentment gracing her beautiful face. It wasn’t the smoothest of evenings, beginning with her crying spell over Marshall and then getting all snippy about the whole Mistress thing. Then by the time we came full circle back to Marshall again, Elliot shows up and commands mine and Mia’s attention until Butterfly is fast asleep. He asked to stay the night, which I gladly obliged, but I was more than curious to know how Mighty Marshall was going to feel about that.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I expect my cell to be exploding in the morning when she finds out that I’m not back yet.”
“Don’t tell me she doesn’t know you’re gone,” I lamented.
“No, she doesn’t, but she’ll have an idea where I am when she wakes up,” he replied. “I’m getting tired of her putting me in a position where I have to choose between her and my family on important days. It’s getting old and it’s not going to keep happening.” I could hear the frustration in his voice.
“I really don’t know why you stay, Elliot,” Mia said. “I swear, she’s worse than Kate… Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. Nobody’s worse than Kate, but she’s becoming a close second.”
“Please, M,” Elliot chided, “I know nobody understands what’s going on with her. Hell, I don’t understand what’s going on with her, but I really love her… more than Kate, and I’m going to find out what’s going on.”
“What if it’s the same thing that it was with Kate?” I pointed out. Elliot looked at me and frowned. “You know… Roger?” He dropped his head and rubbed the back of his neck.
“Then I’m swearing off women,” he said with no mirth. Mia and I waited for the punchline, but none came.
“You’re kidding, right?” Mia pressed. Elliot shook his head.
“You would swear off women because of the actions of two harpies?” I asked.
“No, I would swear off women because if the two women that I fell in love with both turned out to be raging bitches using me until they got to the next ride, then I really am living out some horrible karma for my past behavior and I choose not to continue! I refuse to believe that my Angel is some vapid, raving shrew who just put on bitch panties for no reason or is just riding me and resenting me because she can’t quietly move on to the next dick, especially since I give it to her when she wants it, how she wants it, and as long as she wants it!”
Okay, that’s too much information.
“Elliot, it’s not always about sex,” Mia intervened.
“I know that, Mia,” he answered, a bit perturbed. “And for your information, we’ve had this conversation. I’ve opened the door to her more than once to leave if there was someone else that she wanted with no hard feelings and no explanation needed. I’m sure that I’m the only one. It’s something else.”
I wish I shared his certainty.
“I appreciate your concern,” he continued, “but I just want to spend some time with my family and not think about this anymore, and wake up to one of Montana’s great New Year’s Day brunches or some kind of substitute. So can we please change the subject?”
His eagerness to get off the subject of the woman he loves drove it home for me that I had to be sure that Marshall wasn’t just another hoochie that was going to break my big brother’s heart. Granted, I don’t doubt that the manwhore has a few broken hearts coming to him for the trail that he has left behind in his day, but I can’t help it. It won’t happen on my watch. I quickly dropped the topic and moved on to Pops’ condition and Mia and Elliot’s take on it, but at my earliest opportunity, I snuck away from the party and put a call in to the ever-conscious Alex Welch to put a tail on Marshall immediately and start reporting her habits to me as soon as anything material surfaces.
I didn’t have the heart to wake Butterfly until all of the other guests decided to start calling it a night. I had the distinct feeling that Allen and James were looking forward to some serious alone time, so they were the first to retire. Chuck is walking around on his cast now, so we’re expecting him to be out of it on his next visit doctor’s visit, but he has that hungry “first fuck of the year” look in his eye towards Keri as well. I directed everyone towards the guest rooms and sent them on their way while I took a few more moments to gaze at my sleeping Butterfly.
It’s hard to explain what I was feeling for her at that moment. There’s the same overflowing love that I always feel, the same reverence for her carrying my children, but there’s something else… there’s this warmth that I want her next to me, inside of me like one person—not sexually, though that’s there, too. But it’s something else. Something more psychological, more emotional, more… primitive. I don’t know…
I don’t know what she saw in my eyes when I carried her to our room and laid her in our bed, but whatever it was reflected in her expression and I was suddenly very hungry for her—in every way. Tasting her only made me want her more and when I finally entered her and she closed around me, pulling me into her more and more, then pushing hard against me satisfying her own carnal need, I was like a pubescent boy totally unable to control my erection and my first ejaculation was fast and hard! But I wanted her so badly and she was nowhere near finished. So when she started playing with herself—and me—I was more than ready for round two.
It was exquisitely mind-blowing edging myself in that beautiful pussy. She won’t admit it, but I know she loves it, too. I watch how her body responds even though her mouth may say something else. Her voice was begging me to let her come, but her body was puddy in my hands—delicious, hot, searing, sexy puddy. Her sex was hungry for me, as hungry as I was for her, and we spent the wee hours of the morning in shivering, trembling, uncontrollable, Star-Spangled orgasms.
I open my eyes to discover that she’s not in the bed with me anymore. Only a little concerned, I roll out of bed, put on my robe and go in search of her. I find her in the sitting room on the loveseat, staring at the fire. I only know that it’s morning, but I have no idea what time it is. She’s wearing one of my shirts—she hasn’t done that in a while, and there’s a very obvious reason for it. She can only button the first three buttons and the rest of it falls open seductively around her baby bump. My dick twitches just looking at her, but I can tell by her expression that she doesn’t feel the same way about the fit.
I quietly walk over and stand next to her. She inconspicuously tries to close the shirt over her baby bump.
Oh, no. There’ll be none of that.
I kneel in front of her and part her legs, positioning myself between them and placing my hands flat on the loveseat before placing a soft kiss on her lips. She gasps softly, the response I was looking for.
“I didn’t hear you get up,” I say, my voice smooth and low as one hand travels over the bare skin of her baby bump. Her breath catches infinitesimally in her throat.
“I didn’t want to disturb you,” she replies softly. “I wanted to go help with brunch in whatever way I could.”
“Really?” I ask, my voice inviting as my hand travels up her baby bump to barely graze her breast on the outside of my shirt. She shivers… that’s three. “In only my shirt?”
“I was…” she pants and swallows, “I was going… to get dressed first.”
“So what was the purpose of this?” I ask, bringing my face closer to hers, so close that we nearly share the same breath as one hand caresses the bare skin on her thigh and the other fondles her nipple through my shirt. I won’t take it off. I want her to know how incredibly hot she looks in it. “To force me to make love to you again?” I whisper.
She’s looking at my lips now, her own parted with small breaths in and out while her nipple pebbles under my thumb.
“I won’t stop you,” she breathes, and that’s all I need. I undo my robe and free my erection. Pulling her luscious hips to the edge of the loveseat, Greystone seeks her sex and I gently slide into her again.
We all try to ignore that poor Elliot is the only one at brunch that doesn’t look completely and totally sated this afternoon. Mia and Ethan, Maxine and Phillip, even Gail and Jason along with our other guests, all look like they’ve spent the night in the utter throes of ecstasy and have joined us this morning with not a care in the world. Marilyn looks as if she’s utterly floating on air while Gary sports the proud stud expression, and Allen and Keri are positively glowing as their significant others sit protectively close by. I already know that Butterfly and I look like we’ve made several trips to Seventh Heaven—as we have—and I only hope that Elliot doesn’t feel too out of place. If anyone else in the room feels like I do, we just can’t help our expressions.
It’s a pleasant brunch, delicious as always, even though I wouldn’t allow my beloved wife to assist this time. She is very pregnant and we have cooking staff for just this reason, so she begrudgingly sat this one out. She does, however, enjoy the meal immensely without being exhausted.
Allen and James announce their wedding date of April 5 and Allen informs Butterfly that she will of course be the matron of honor, but he doesn’t want a really big ceremony. He wants something tasteful and small with just a few friends and family and a wonderful party to follow—much like what Amanda and Ray had. At the break of spring, Butterfly asks if he wants it indoors or out.
“We should have two venues just in case,” he says. “I want it outdoors, but it may rain. It is Seattle in April, after all.”
“How about having it here, then?” she suggests. “The backyard is perfect if the weather allows, and if it doesn’t, we can convert the family room and the connected patio. What do you think?” I can tell Allen is mulling the thought over in his head before he turns his gaze to James.
“Whatever you want is fine by me, Allie,” James says. “I think it’s a good idea. This place is Fort Knox and we don’t have to worry about anybody crashing that we don’t want to see.” Allen turns and looks at me. I shrug.
“Fine by me, too, Allie,” I tease.
“Hey!” James protests, playfully. “I don’t call her Butterfly, don’t call him Allie.” I hold my hands up in surrender.
“Point taken,” I secede. “It’s fine by me if it’s what you all want, Allen.” He and Butterfly look at each other.
“I guess it’s a go, then,” he says. Butterfly claps like a schoolgirl.
“Have you decided on colors?” she asks, almost squealing.
“I figured I’d let you help me with that part,” he confesses.
“Um. Sir?” Jason gets my attention and I notice the formality immediately, which doesn’t get by Butterfly, either.
“We have a visitor,” he says.
“Who?” I ask. He looks at Elliot and before I can put the thoughts together, Marshall comes rushing into the dining rooms.
“Elliot?” she says, her voice cracking and her face tear stained. He looks over at her, perturbed at first, then immediately concerned.
“Angel?” He rises out of his seat and walks over to her, taking her in his arms. “What’s wrong?”
“I woke… and you were gone… and I waited… and you didn’t come back… and I thought…” She trails off hiding her face in his chest and weeping. I haven’t seen this Valerie in a while.
“Baby, why didn’t you just call me?” he asks, closing her in his arms.
“I didn’t want… not over… the phone…” She’s panic-stricken. She thought he left her and she’s completely panic-stricken. I’m keeping the watch on her so that we may be able to get some kind of idea of what’s going on with her, but I’m fairly certain that it’s not another man, unless she’s the best actress in the world. I look over at Butterfly who is observing the exchange with just as much interest as everyone else.
“You thought I was leaving you?” he asks her incredulously. None of us can see her response and she is shielded by Elliot’s body, but I assume that she nods against him. “I just wanted to spend some time with my family,” he chides. “I’m not leaving, Angel.” She continues to weep and won’t raise her head. “C’mon, let’s go home,” he says, before looking over at me.
“I’ll come back for my car later if that’s okay, Bro,” he says.
“That’s fine, or I can have one of the staff drop it off to you later,” I tell him. He nods.
“Thanks, that’ll be great. C’mon, Angel.” He wraps a protective arm around Valerie’s shoulder and leads her out of the dining room. It’s silent for a while.
“I’d like some of that spice coffee I had on Christmas,” Butterfly says. “Can that be arranged?”
“I think it can,” Gail responds. “Would anyone else like anything?”
“Regular coffee for me,” I say.
“Decaf if you have it…”
“I’ll have some orange juice…”
“Can I get another Mimosa…?”
I’m sitting in my study after everyone has gone home, attempting to plan my year and get my mind off of my wife’s thighs. It’s a very difficult task since everything that I’m looking at inadvertently or directly has to do with her.
No new news on Myrick’s wife.
We have to do further investigation on Edwise’s business dealings so that Butterfly and GEH doesn’t inherit a mess.
Helping Hands will be getting a check for approximately $1.3 million from David’s—now Butterfly’s—liquid assets.
Aragon is back in Detroit and quiet; no red flags flying in our direction for now.
Probably the most interesting thing I’ve seen is the report about the Melon Bitch’s activities. I can hardly believe my eyes when I see what has happened to her. Boy, I bet she absolutely hates coming on to my wife in the worse way. It has set in motion probably some of the most traumatic moments of her life.
“Activate two-way communications… locate Anastasia Grey.”
“Where are you, Butterfly?” I ask.
“In my recliner watching a movie. Do you need me?” I chuckle.
“I always need you, but right now, I have something to show you.” There’s a pause.
“Where are you?”
“I’m in my office.”
“Do you want me to come down there?”
“No, I’ll come to you. I’ll be there in a minute.”
“End two-way communications.” Picking up the report, I take the elevator to the first floor and go to our family room. She’s snuggled in her recliner with her favorite throw and some potato chips watching some old black and white movie that I immediately recognize as I Was a Male War Bride.
“What is it?” she asks as I pull an ottoman over to her seat.
“Your friend, Courtney,” I say, handing her the report. “Have you looked at the reports that security give you for her?”
“I haven’t had a chance,” she says. “I don’t see her as a real threat anymore, Christian, so I didn’t bother. Was I wrong?” She takes the report from my hand.
“No, but you might be surprised,” I caution. She takes the report from my hands and looks it over.
“Oh good Lord, really?” she says with disdain, shaking her head. “I knew something was up, but this? Her grandparents can’t know…”
“I don’t think her grandparents care,” I tell her. “She has no car, no money, no phone, no resources, nothing.”
“Well, that would explain why she begged me not to call Addie,” Butterfly says, sitting up in her seat. “I’m taking security and we’re going down there tomorrow.”
“What are you going to do?” I ask cautiously.
“I don’t know, but don’t worry. I don’t have any intention of bringing home any stray puppies,” she says.
Operation Babymoon is a definite go for this weekend. New Year’s Day was pretty uneventful except for Val’s impromptu visit to collect Elliot where she spoke to no one else in the room—weird, but perfectly fine by me if the alternative is to be subjected to her endless insults.
Early Thursday morning, Ben and I go to the address that Christian gave me yesterday. I might as well get this out of the way now since we plan to leave for our babymoon tomorrow morning and we won’t be back until Monday afternoon. It’s not a terrible place. It’s like the Center—clean and well-kept, but it’s temporary housing, and I know that Courtney will have to go somewhere else very soon. I enter the lobby and ask for her at the front desk. The attendant tells me that she’s in the community room. That’s good, because if she had been in one of the private areas, she may not have come down to see me. After she gives me directions, Ben and I head down the hallway, pass a couple of running, laughing children, and reach the community room.
I see her sitting at a table in the same jeans and sweatshirt I’ve had to see her in at least five times. She has the end of a pen in her mouth as she toils over a newspaper. She looks positively flustered. When I see her circling something, sigh, and lean her head on her hands, I realize that she’s looking at the classifieds. I tell Ben to hang back at the door before walking over to her, surprised that she doesn’t look up and notice that a whale is walking in her direction.
“How’s the search going?” I ask.
“Not so good,” she says, looking up at me. Then she does a double-take when she realizes who she’s talking to. She sits up straight like she’s talking to the principal. I sit down at the table next to her. It’s a task, but I do it.
“What are you looking for?”
“Anything that’ll hire someone with no skills and no work experience,” she says truthfully. I look at what she’s circled already.
“Can you dance?” I ask. She shrugs.
“About as well as the next person,” she says.
“I mean exotic dancing,” I add. She frowns.
“No!” she states emphatically.
“Then you’re going to want to scratch that one… and that one… and that one, too,” I say, pointing at three of the choices she has circled. She quickly crosses out the jobs I’ve pointed out. “Unless you want to be a paid escort to some greasy old man, you want to scratch that one, too.” She crosses out another ad. “That’s a fish-slinger at the Market.” She tosses her pen down and covers her face. “Do your grandparents know that you’re here?”
“No, and don’t tell them. It won’t matter,” she laments. “They think I went back to Chuktapaw.”
“You’ve spoken to them?” I ask. She shakes her head. “So, you’re going to let them worry about you? And then what? Just show up and everything’s going to be okay again?” She chuckles sadly.
“Yeah, I’d expect you to think that of me, but why not? Everybody else would.” She turns away from me and just scratches her head like we’re talking about the weather. “No, my grandparents aren’t worried about me. Once they discovered that I was just waiting for them to die so that I could get their money, they washed their hands of me completely. They said that I was just like my mother and they wanted nothing more to do with me.”
“So, your mother is their child.” She nods.
“My grandmother’s child… You didn’t know?” she asks with a frown.
“It never came up,” I tell her. She shrugs.
“Well, apparently, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree… but I can’t turn out like my mother. I should have seen it sooner, but I didn’t. So now, here am I praying that it’s not too late for me to do something with myself.”
“It’s never too late, but why didn’t you just volunteer here? Why come to Helping Hands?” She drops her head.
“Something Christian said, if you can believe it,” she laughs sadly. “When he had me hemmed up in the ladies’ room at the Hookah Lounge… I know you still don’t believe it, but he did. He loves you a lot—a billionaire risks being arrested in the ladies’ room of a Hookah Lounge…” Another tragic laugh. “Anyway, he said that you had the power to make me a better person if I allow it because you did that for him and I wanted to see if that was true.” Her voice cracks at the end. I examine her carefully. I’ve seen a big change in her over the last week, but I still find it very hard to trust her.
“I’m a rotten person,” she continues. “I don’t know how not to be rotten. Nobody ever taught me. So, right now I just… shut up and watch. I stay to myself and I just shut up and watch. I’ve been around rotten people all my life. Even my so-called friends deserted me as soon as my grandparents disowned me. And when I look back on it, they were all just like me… rotten to the core. So, I just watch. I just watch how regular people act. I don’t say much. I just do what I’m told… and watch.”
That’s pretty much what Jessie said. The only word that she could use to describe her was “humble.” God, I love it and hate it when someone I have pretty much vowed to despise somehow sees the light and I am bound by my inner good conscious to pay it forward.
“The classifieds are the hardest way possible to find a job, Courtney,” I tell her, struggling to get into the seat next to her, “especially if you don’t have any job experience. How much longer do you have to stay at this shelter?” Her eyes form a confused frown for a brief moment, then quickly return to normal.
“I’ve only been here for about a week. I think I still have about a week left before they start to give me a hard time about being here… maybe two before they just make me leave altogether. So, it’s pretty important that I find a job. I’ll do anything.”
“Will you dance?” I ask sarcastically, and the frown is back. “Then don’t say that you’ll do anything. You’re starting from ground zero—no skills at all, nothing in customer service, no social skills in dealing with people, no life skills, nothing. Looking for a job is not where you need to start. I assume that you graduated from high school living with your grandparents.” She nods.
“Yes, I have my high school diploma,” she says.
“Good. Then the first thing you’re going to need to do is apply for some public assistance.” Her brow furrows deeply and she looks as if I just hit her in the stomach. “Correction! The first thing you’re going to have to do is swallow that damn pride that I see all over your face!”
“It’s not pride, Ana!” she snaps. “I don’t want to be anything like my mother! All I can remember is welfare and food stamps and public aid and nothing more! I don’t want to live like that! It’s not pride, I just know that I don’t have to live like that!”
“Then don’t!” I snap back. “Public assistance was never meant to be a ‘living!’ It was meant to be exactly what the name says… ‘assistance!’ Allow them to help you while you have no other means of support and you’re trying to get on your feet… or should I just call Kitten’s Cabaret and forget about it?” She sighs heavily.
“I’m sorry,” she shoots like a petulant child, thrusting her hands in her hair and resting her elbows on the table. I can tell she’s been at this for the last few days and, having no experience with being on this side of nothing and having to fend for herself, she’s quite flustered.
“It’s not going to be easy,” I tell her, “but you’ll be alright if you just make a few changes and do a few necessary things. You don’t have any life skills, Courtney, we’ve got to start there. What do you want to do with your life?”
“I have no idea,” she says, honestly, her head still down and her face somewhat buried. “I’ve never had to think about it.”
“Well, now you have to,” I press.
“Ana, can’t you tell I don’t even know where to start?” She raises hopeless eyes to me and for once in my life, I’m looking at someone with whom I can’t even empathize. Even as a child, I’ve always known that I wanted to do something… anything. I wanted to travel when I lived at home with Mommy and Daddy. More than anything in the world, I wanted to get the fuck away from Vegas when I lived with Steven and Carla. Once I was free, I was rudderless for just a moment, but then I just wanted to help people—make sure that no one felt lost and alone like I did ever again. Everything I ever did was an end to justify a means… but I always had a purpose, and she seems to have none except not to be like her mother.
“Well, you’ll need some goals, honey. Without them, there’s no way to know what you can do. You’re of legal age, so we’ll see if there’s some kind of position that we can give you at Helping Hands so that you can get some work experience, but it won’t be enough to support you. So you will still need to apply for public assistance.” She sighs.
“How do you get around?” I ask.
“The shelter gave me an ORCA card to get to and from interviews. I’ve been using it to get to Helping Hands until I could decide what I was going to do.”
“How much is left on it?”
“About ten days or so,” she says. I nod.
“Have you teamed up with a social worker here?” She rolls her eyes.
“Yeah, but I told her pretty much the same thing that I told you and she just handed me the classifieds.” I frown. Hmm… I’ve met that type. I know they won’t help you if you’re not willing to help yourself, but there are some that won’t go an inch further than they have to, let alone the extra mile. Unfortunately, Courtney doesn’t quite give the first impression as someone for whom you would want to go the extra mile.
“What are your plans for the day?” I ask. She gestures to the classified ads. “Get your coat. You’re going to need a better game plan than this. I’m not going to hand you anything, Courtney, but you’ve got nothing, and I can get you going in the right direction.” She twists her lips. “What?”
“How did you know I was here?” she asks. I sit back and fold my arms.
“You threatened me,” I say matter-of-factly. “My security team is watching you.” Her head jerks then she twists her lips again.
“I don’t know whether to be grateful or offended,” she says with no malice.
“I know what you mean. Ponder it later. Let’s go.” I struggle out of my seat.
I’m leaning back in the recliner as Christian renders the most decadent foot massage I think I’ve ever felt in my life. Chuck went to the doctor today and had his cast removed. He couldn’t be happier. He’s deliberately bending and twisting it in every possible direction to get ready for therapy next week. At this moment, he joyfully has it twisted around Keri as the two of them cuddle on the love seat while Maddie and Nelson listen attentively to his tale.
“So Allen says that the lawsuit against Joe has been filed, but it was hard to tell which court has jurisdiction,” he says. “I may have to file it back home. I think that’s what I’m going to do.”
“Couldn’t that get to be expensive, son?” Nelson asks.
“I don’t care what it costs, Dad. After what he’s put me through, I need this.”
“What do you really hope to gain from it? Joey doesn’t have any money. It’s not that I’m defending him, because he was certainly very wrong—but honestly, he’s flat broke.”
“I don’t want any money from Joe,” Chuck says. “I have more money than I know what to do with, and that’s the truth. My hazard pay from the accident was nothing less that obscene! Christian and GEH took care of all of my medical needs and even my personal needs thereafter. My only expense has been utilities for the house. Believe me, I could retire right now and live a very comfortable life, but that’s not it. I didn’t have my parents—my family—for nearly 15 years. That was a horrible feeling. He was my only connection to you, to all of you, and he hated me. He made me feel like you all hated me or worse, that you were possibly dead. He’s not listening to anyone. Mom damn near had a nervous breakdown telling him how wrong he was and how many people he hurt and he still didn’t hear her. He still blamed me! Maybe if the courts tell him that he’s wrong—even if I don’t get a judgment—then he’ll hear them.”
“That’s all you want? For someone to tell him that he’s wrong?”
“No, I want him to know that he’s wrong,” Chuck says. “I want him to understand why he’s wrong. You can’t do this to people and think it’s okay and he needs to understand that.”
“Is it worth it to go through all of that, Chuckie?” his father asks. “He’s already lost everything and it hasn’t changed him for the better one bit, it seems. I know Joey needs to know that making everybody think you were dead was wrong, but I just see a judge seeing things your way.”
“Something has to be done, Nelson,” Maddie says. “I can’t put Joey through what he put us through or what he put Chuckie through, but he can’t get away with this. I wish I could just take him over my knee and beat the hell out him!”
“Momma…” Nelson chides.
“It’s true!” she spits. “What he did was selfish and childish and disrespectful and several other words that I can’t use because I’m a lady. Then he has the nerve to act all bruised about it, like he’s the one who’s been wronged all these years. All the people he’s hurt—all the lives he’s affected… His own children were without their uncle. I didn’t have my son—my son! And he blamed Chuckie for that! He blamed Chuckie because he intercepted Chuckie’s every effort to contact us and then convinced the entire family the he was dead and convinced Chuckie that we wanted nothing to do with him. That’s not the son that I raised. I don’t know what’s gotten into him, but that’s not my Joey! Chuckie’s right. Something has to be done, and if we can’t take him out to the back forty and give him the flogging that he so rightfully deserves, then this is the next best thing!”
Maddie is clearly displeased. Ever since her breakdown on Christmas day, she has been steadfastly inconsolable when it comes to the situation of her two sons. She’s not crying and weeping all the time, but she’s dug in about the harm that Joey has done to her and her family.
“In fact,” she continues, “you all might want to know that Joey will be quite surprised when he is served the notice of the lawsuit.”
Okay, she’s got everyone’s attention now.
“Momma, what are you talking about?” Nelson asks. A few of us look over at Chuck, who is giving nothing away.
“I’ve added my name to Chuckie’s lawsuit. My case may be dismissed, but I want Joey to know just how serious what he did really is. I swear, if he doesn’t come around this time…” She trails off.
“Mom,” Chuck says, sitting up a bit with Keri still in his arms. “I don’t want you to disown Joe. That’s not what this is about. If you do, I’ll be no better than he is. You will have swapped one son for another, and then how will you feel? That’s why you’re hurting now. True, this time it would be your choice and in my case, he took that choice away from you—but I’m certain that if you did that, you would regret it, so please don’t. He’s an asshole, but he is still your son, and you would hurt if you turned your back on him. I don’t want him causing you any more pain.”
“You’re hurt and angry right now, Maddie,” I interject. “Don’t make this decision while your emotions are so raw.” She huffs like a petulant child.
“I’ll think about it,” she says, conceding for the moment without fully giving in.
“That’s all I ask,” I say with a gentle smile.
“Anyway, Dad, Allen thinks he may have found a spin to put on the case so that a judge will hear it as slander. If he does, that will open the door for personal injury for me and for Mom. Again, I don’t want anything from Joe, but he needs to know that his actions have consequences. What happened to him with Sonny and the boys and his financial situation, that’s just him being an asshole. So far with this situation, he’s gotten off Scot free. He thinks that once you and Mom get back to South Dakota, everything is going to be just fine. He’ll be able to fill your head with garbage again and everything will be like it was before. Rest assured, that’s what he’s hoping.”
“Well, he’s in for a rude awakening,” Maddie says. “I love Joe, I truly do, but I swear that I’ll never be able to forgive him for this.” Nelson squeezes his wife’s hand and brings it to his lips, pressing a gentle kiss on her fingers before placing their joined hands in his lap.
“Da mon is evilous,” Keri says. “No one tweet ya family dat way. Ya nevah noh wen ya don hab dem no moh. Him don care who he huht. Him madda and fadda go tru dis pain all dese yeahs—and fah what? Nuh ting! Him bad mout mi Choonks, den bawl out and bruk out and get all bringle wen dibbi dibbi ting come to light. Him need backsiding like Madda sed!”
Keri’s angry again—and I don’t understand a word she said… well, maybe a word.
Maddie tries to hide her mirth as the rest of us look at one another, then at Chuck for translation.
“Easy nuh,” he says, wrapping his arm around her and pulling her close to him. She sinks into him immediately and it’s the cutest thing in the world to hear him speak on her terms… one that we understand, anyway. He turns his attention to the room and translates her rant.
“She rightfully says that Joe is evil,” he begins. “That no one should treat their family this way because you never knew when you’re not going to have them anymore. He apparently doesn’t care who he hurts because he put Mom and Dad through this for no good reason, and then he comes around acting all bruised and butt-hurt because he’s lies came out and he needs his butt whipped, just like Mom said.”
Maddie can no longer hold her laughter and bursts out before covering her mouth. Keri chuckles to herself as she is no stranger to the fact that her language is very colorful when she gets mad.
“You forgot the part where he bad-mouthed her ‘Choonks,’” I tease.
“No, I didn’t forget,” Chuck says. “You’re just like an annoying little sister, you know that?”
I stick my tongue out at him to drive the point home and the room fills with much-needed laughter.
I almost think I’m more excited for this babymoon that Butterfly is. I can’t wait to get her away from all this drama and headache we’ve faced over the last two months and just relax and think of nothing else but ourselves and those beautiful babies growing inside her. I’ve got to send Ace a thank you card or a bottle of wine or something for convincing her to stop and take some time away sooner rather than later. It had the potential of being a little bumpy when I wanted to break some news to her this morning before we left the crossing.
“In the spirit of complete honesty, I want you to know that I put a tail on Valerie Marshall.” I tell her. She frowns deeply.
“Now, why on earth would you do something like that?” she inquires.
“To see if my brother just turns women into raving lunatics, or if—like Kavanaugh—she has simply transformed into an utter bitch because there’s someone else.” As if it could, her frown deepens even more.
“She wouldn’t cheat on Elliot!” she defends vehemently. “She adores Elliot! If Val is nothing else, she’s loyal to a fault!” I raise my eyebrow at her.
“Is she, now?” I ask matter-of-factly, just leaving the question open so that she can realize for herself what she just said. Realization dawns almost immediately, and she is suddenly crestfallen. That wasn’t the reaction that I was going for, but I did need her to see that she might be wrong about Marshall, although…
“What have you found?” she asks flatly, looking down at her hands in her lap. I sigh. I didn’t mean to upset her. I just wanted to keep her informed, and now…
“Nothing, yet,” I confess. “We’ve only been watching her for a short time.”
“Do you expect to find something?” She sounds hurt. I sit on the ottoman in front of her and take her hands in mine, forcing her to look up at me.
“I have no idea,” I say honestly, “but like you, I just want answers. I examine every possibility with every resource available to me. You saw that Kavanaugh was a wretched bitch by the time everything went down. If Elliot is heading for the same type of a train wreck with Valerie, I’d like for him to know that the light at the end of the tunnel is a locomotive heading in his direction so that he can get off the tracks before it mows him down.” She nods, a sad expression marring her face.
“That’s only fair,” she says in a small voice.
Luckily, the conversation didn’t go any further than that and, with Dr. Culley’s ‘okay,’ we are on our way to the Sonoma Coast for three nights and four days of relaxation for my girl and our babies. She’s sleeping comfortably in one of the reclining chairs on the jet while I go through some preliminary information on Edwise that confirms what James and Allen suspected. He’s got some shady dealings and has been using his business as a cover-up for those under-the-table operations. I shoot off an email to Allen to make sure that the internal audit begins as soon as possible and to get the information to the proper authorities once we find out the extent of his illegal activity. With any luck, maybe we can get him in jail for life once he’s tried for his white collar offenses.
I’m not surprised to discover that several of the members—also past, current, and possible future business associate—of Broadmoor Country Club have emailed me to request that they be allowed to sponsor me and Butterfly for membership. I haven’t approached her with it yet and just decide to put it on the back burner until after the babymoon. I’m not too particular about who sponsors us, as long as we’re not dealing with any closet pedophiles or possible rapists, thieves or murderers or…
In fact, …
To: Alexander Welch
Subject: Background Checks
Date: January 3, 2014, 09:31;15
From: Christian Grey
I will be forwarding you some emails over the next few minutes. Please initiate background checks on each of the original senders as well as their spouses and significant others. Go as deep as you need to if you find anything questionable and let me know as soon as you get the results.
Happy New Year,
Christian Grey, CEO, Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc.
I look up to see Butterfly gazing sleepily at me.
“You’re working,” she accuses, groggily.
“Only while you’re sleeping,” I confess, looking at her over my laptop. “Are you still sleeping?”
“I’ll let you know in a minute,” she says, closing her eyes and slipping quickly back to sleep.
“Well, that was a quick minute,” Jason says, tapping into his phone without looking up. He’s only along for the trip just in case. The babymoon is at an inn and it’s all-inclusive except for one or two possible outings. Jason’s going to be pretty bored for the most part. I turn my attention back to my laptop and begin approving the final distribution of what’s left of Fairlane LTD.
A little over two hours after we leave Seattle, the jet lands in at the Schultz Sonoma County Airport where a black Escalade awaits to take me and my precious cargo to our resort hideaway on the Sonoma coast. After an hour-long drive along winding roads in some of the most beautiful Redwood country you’ve ever seen, we arrive at an ocean-side resort on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. Even this early in the year, you can take a deep breath and fill your lungs with relaxation.
Butterfly closes her coat around her as she exits the SUV and smiles widely as she takes in the scenery. I come behind her and put my arms around her.
“You like?” I ask softly in her ear.
“I like,” she says wistfully as she snuggles against me.
Our room is simple—comfortable double-bed with a seating area, fireplace, and deep above-the-floor bathtub with a full glass wall that offers a spectacular view of the ocean. The large balcony with hot tub boasts the same view with plenty of privacy from other rooms or hikers on the trails below.
The inviting bathtub and hot tub are almost a tease for my poor wife who adores hot baths, but can’t take one until after the babies are born. Most of our time will spent out of this room, however, as the babymoon is meant for Mom to be pampered and learn different techniques and information to help her cope with being a new mother. There are activities for Dad, too, as well as Mom and Dad, but I’m more focused on making sure that Butterfly gets to decompress as much as possible before we return to Seattle and real life.
We unpack before examining the babymoon “menu” and decide that we would both like massages and pedicures before a late lunch and the evening meet-and-greet of the other parents that are here for the weekend. Butterfly, of course, enjoys her massages in her condition and I withstand as much as I can before she slips into ultimate relaxation. However, I have to stop the masseuse as I can’t stand for anyone to touch me that way except for a few chosen people. I’ve come a long way from where I used to be, but not far enough to withstand a massage on my bare skin from anyone else but Butterfly.
I apologize to the poor crestfallen little thing as my wife has now slipped contentedly into slumber again and I am able to explain to the masseuse that it’s not her fault. Because of the nature of the retreat, I’m not allowed to give her a tip, but I assure her that it’s a personal phobia that keeps me from being touched on my back and nothing that she has done wrong. She seems content in the explanation and leaves me to gaze upon my beautiful Butterfly in her contented bliss. I love seeing her like this. She’s lying on her side, her hand draped over our children and her face the picture of ultimate peace. I lay on my side just staring at her. I want to reach over and touch her flawless skin so that I can feel the softness under my fingertips, but I’m so sure that I will wake her and I don’t want to do that, so I just stare. I hadn’t noticed we had been left in the room alone until I hear a voice calling my name.
“Mr. Grey? Excuse me, Mr. Grey?”
I raise my eyes to see two young ladies standing there with trays full of products.
“We can do your pedicures here, sir, or we can wait and do them in the reclining chairs in the salon,” one of the ladies says. I look at Butterfly and back at the ladies.
“Can we wait just a little longer?” I ask. “I really don’t want to disturb her just yet.” She smiles and nods.
“No problem, Mr. Grey. We’ll check on you in fifteen?” I nod and she turns to leave. Then I hear something that I probably wasn’t supposed to hear. “Pick up your tongue and close your mouth, Liz. That one’s a goner.” I chuckle to myself as they leave.
“Sure is, Liz,” I say to myself once they’ve left.
Butterfly is happily refreshed and ready to see what the weekend has in store for us when she presents herself ready for the Meet and Greet with the other expectant parents. I can barely believe how luscious she looks in this emerald green maternity maxi-dress—sleeveless, with a knot right under her bosom, showcasing her gorgeous breasts along with the plunging neckline. Thank God she’s on my arm tonight!
“You look deliciously ravishing, Mrs. Grey,” I whisper in her ear.
“Really?” she says, looking down at her dress. “I was just going for comfort.”
“Well, I love your concept of comfort” I reinforce, kissing her gently where her shoulder and neck meet. She shivers slightly. “I love that your hair is up,” I kiss her again. “I’ll be able to do this whenever I want.”
“Christian, behave,” she keens. I kiss her once more.
“I’ll try,” I say. “That’s all I can promise.” I slide my arm around her waist. “Let’s go, baby.”
The main room of the small resort looks more like a hunting lodge, with large milk-chocolate-brown leather chairs around round oak tables, a large bar with similar wooden bar chairs, vaulted ceilings with log-cabin wooden beams, a second floor balcony, dining area overlooking the main room—also made of wood—and a floor-to-ceiling burnt cobblestone fireplace near the center of the room. Butterfly and I take to one of the large armchairs near the front of the fireplace and wait for the other couples and the facilitators. It appears that we’re a bit early, but that only gives me time to partake in my wife’s company.
“How are you feeling, baby?” I ask, once I have her snuggled comfortably in my lap.
“I feel the decompression beginning already,” she says, contentedly, resting her head on my shoulder as I caress her baby bump.
“Have they been behaving?” I ask, kissing her forehead.
“So far, so good,” she replies. “Am I too heavy?”
“You’re as light as a feather,” I coo.
“You’re a liar, I weigh a ton,” she says with mirth.
“You do not weigh a ton,” I chastise. “You’re beautifully swollen with my babies and to me, you’re as light as a feather.” I outline her face with my fingertip before placing it under her chin and lifting her face to plant a tender kiss on her lips.
“You always make me feel like a schoolgirl,” she giggles sweetly.
“Damn! You must work out like a linebacker!” I look past Butterfly to see that some gruff asshole has actually directed that statement to me… and Butterfly’s schoolgirl glow has faded as quickly as it grew. Motherfucking son of a…
“What?” I snap, unable to hide my ire.
“I’m just saying, my legs would have cracked under that pressure a long time ago,” he says with a loud guffaw. I glare at him, ready to rip his fucking tongue out.
“Has anyone ever told you that you have the tact of an elephant?” I hiss at the intruder who has so rudely interrupted our tender moment. He doesn’t even have the conscience to be taken aback, so I try a different tactic.
“No offense, ma’am,” I direct to his female companion before I turn my attention back to this fucker. “I don’t know or care how you refer to the woman who’s carrying your child, but if you ever say anything like that about my wife again, you will have to deal directly with me!” He raises an eyebrow at me.
“A bit henpecked there, aren’t ya, fella?” he says, still refusing to take me seriously. I sit up to move Butterfly off my lap.
“Christian,” she cautions and I meet her gaze.
“Baby,” I respond. Let me handle this asshole. She sighs infinitesimally and rises gracefully from my lap. I’m just slightly over eye-to-eye with the fucker when I stand just a foot away from him with my wife behind me.
“I’m assuming you misunderstood what I said, so I’d be more than happy to have a private conversation with you outside,” I nearly growl at him. His resolve is shaken only slightly, but he’s determined to be a Class-A asshole.
“Damn… that pussy must be dipped in gold,” he says, his voice low, and now I’m in his face.
“After you,” I hiss, my fists clenched. He puts his hands up defensively.
“Take it easy, man,” he back-peddles. “I was just kidding. No harm, no foul. You’re supposed to be here to relax—lighten up, for Christ’s sake.” He quickly takes refuge next to the woman whom I assume is his wife, and who appears thoroughly embarrassed. Butterfly slides her hand into mine and I immediately calm. “I didn’t mean nothing by it, lady,” he says to Butterfly and I’m instantly defensive again. “It’s just that pregnant women get big. I’m sure you were a real bombshell before the baby…”
“She’s still a bombshell!” I interrupt and his glare snaps to mine. He finally waves me off.
“Oh, fuck it,” he says, and walks over to the bar. His companion’s eyes follow him dismally before she turns her attention back to us, protectively holding her baby bump.
“I’m Kiley Daniels,” she says with a sighing tone. “The gorilla who just went to the bar is my husband, Arthur. Please forgive his crassness. His tongue just takes off before his brain gets started.”
“My condolences,” I say, before I have a chance to catch myself.
“Christian!” Butterfly scolds.
“I’m sorry, Butterfly,” I apologize insincerely. “My tongue took off before my brain got started.” She rolls her eyes.
“It’s understandable,” Kiley says. “He brings out the worst in people before he brings out the best in them.” Again, my condolences.
“I’m Ana Grey and this is my husband, Christian,” Butterfly introduces us.
“I meant no offense, Mrs. Daniels,” I say, recalling what I said to her husband earlier about how he refers to the mother of his child. She waves me off.
“Think nothing of it,” she says with no malice. “And please, it’s Kiley. After being married to Arthur for three years, you develop a thick skin. How long have you two been married?”
“Newlyweds,” Butterfly says proudly, showing Kiley her ring. Wow, we’ve been through so much together—the kidnapping, the murderous blonde pedophile, the hacker, the accident—it seems like a lifetime has passed already when it’s not even been two years since we’ve met… in fact, not even six months since we were married.
“My God, that’s beautiful! You must have saved every dime you had to pay for that thing!” Kiley exclaims.
“Yeah, it cost me a pretty penny or three, but mine is just as exquisite.” I show her my beautiful art-deco ring given to me by my Butterfly.
“Wow,” Kiley says wistfully, “I’ve never seen anything like that.”
“Yes, my Butterfly is very good to me,” I say with a smile. She throws a knowing look at me.
“Butterfly,” Kiley repeats wistfully. “That’s really sweet… Arthur used to call me Cupcake once upon a time.” Geez, what did the guy do—impregnate her and suddenly didn’t want her anymore?
More couples begin to fill the main room and we are granted a reprieve from Kiley’s melancholy. I take my seat again and place my wife conspicuously back up on my lap, daring anyone else to make a comment about her size. Hell, there are women in this room twice the size as my Butterfly. What—are they having triplets?
I notice that some of the couples look at us strangely as they enter the room, but I keep my attention focused on Butterfly, asking if she’s comfortable and placing gentle kisses on her temple while she’s cradled in my arms.
“Newlyweds,” I hear Daniels say to one of the other fathers. “That lovey-dovey shit’ll fade soon enough.”
At first, I want to get up and slug him one, but then I realize… that fucker must really be miserable.
He wasn’t in the room when we told Kiley that we were newlyweds, so she must have passed the information on to him when he came back. How she lives with this character, I’ll never know. He gives a whole new meaning to the word “caveman.”
“Hello everyone, and welcome.” My attention is drawn to the two women standing at the fireplace—facilitators, no doubt. “I’m Cindy from Mellow Mommy and this is Hannah from MamaLove. Everyone here has booked a babymoon with one of the services and you either have the weekend, 5-day, or 7-day package. As the first three days and nights of both packages are the same, we thought why not combine the packages for the weekend and just do one orientation? You’ll also get to mingle with more couples and maybe make a few new friends.”
She seems so damn friendly, almost too friendly, and I want to tell her that if the Daniels’ were part of the other group, she could have kept this whole “join-together” idea to herself and let me and my wife enjoy our weekend without his cynicism.
“Hopefully, you’ve all had an opportunity to indulge in the decompressing massage,” Hannah continues. “In about 20 minutes, dinner will be served and our special guest speaker is a lactation expert and will be on hand to answer your questions.”
“There goes my appetite,” Daniels declares crassly, gaining questioning looks from several of the fathers and dirty looks from even more of the expectant mothers—including Butterfly. “What?” he says, feigning ignorance.
“He’s a real jackass,” Butterfly whispers to me.
“I can think of a few other choice names for him,” I respond, wrapping my arm tighter around her.
“Following dinner,” Hannah continues after a conspicuous eye roll at Daniels, “there will be a class for the mommies on the benefits of belly binding. You daddies are welcome to attend if you are interested.”
“That’s something I’m definitely interested in,” Butterfly says softly. “It helps you to get your pre-baby belly back once the babies are born.”
“If you’re interested, then I’m there, baby,” I tell her, earning me her beautiful smile.
“If you’re still up for spending some time with us after the binding class, we will have belly mapping, belly casting, and birth movies at 9pm.”
“Oh God, I think I’m going to puke,” Daniels exclaims again.
“Man, why are you here?” one exasperated father finally asks. “This weekend is a babymoon! ‘Mellow Mommy?’ ‘MamaLove?’ Do you see a bit of a trend here? Did you see that in the brochure or on the website when you booked the trip? We’re here to learn about the birth of our children and to help our wives and girlfriends relax before the babies get here. If that’s not why you’re here, then why did you come?”
This Napoleonic conflictionist motherfucker hell bent on causing problems this weekend turns around and tears into this father much like he tried to lay it on with me. Before we know it, three men are in his face telling him to shut the hell up with his wisecracks or get the hell out of the huddle while the rest of us try to enjoy the packages that we paid for. Butterfly stays firmly planted in my lap and I know that she doesn’t want me to get involved in the exchange as I was the first target of his ire this evening.
“I paid good money for my wife to enjoy this weekend and you are not going to ruin it,” one father says.
“You need to get it together, man, because if you don’t want to be here, you can always leave, but don’t ruin it for the rest of us,” another says.
“What woman in her right mind would have your child?” a third declares. By now, I’ve noticed that poor Kiley had already left the room and has not been privy to any of this exchange. I can’t help but wonder if she left at the puking comment or if the three-man tag-team chastisement chased her away. Realizing that his sole purpose for being at this soiree has deserted him, Daniels begins to leave.
“Hey Arthur,” I call after him. I don’t look back to make eye-contact, but I hear him pause. “Tell Kiley Mr. Grey says she’s a saint.” After a few more moments of silence, I hear Daniels’ footsteps proceed on to parts unknown.
“That poor woman,” Butterfly says quietly. “What she must endure behind closed doors.” I hold her tighter.
“So,” Cindy says, “shall we proceed to dinner?” She gestures toward the dining room. After Butterfly rises gingerly from my lap, I stand and take her hand. As we proceed to the dining room, I feel a tap on my shoulder. I turn to see an African American gentleman standing there, the first to tear into Daniels.
“Can I talk to you for just a second?” he asks. I turn to Butterfly and kiss her hand.
“I’ll be right there, baby,” I tell her. She smiles and proceeds to the dining room. I turn my attention back to the gentleman. “What can I do for you?”
“My name’s CJ,” he says, proffering his hand to me. I accept the shake.
“Christian,” I say.
“I mean no disrespect, but I just want to know… how do you do that?” he asks. My brow furrows.
“Do what?” I ask.
“Sit that long with her on your lap.” Oh fuck, not another one. He puts his hands up in defense. “Hold on, let me explain what I mean,” he adds. Stand down, Grey. “I don’t know if you saw my wife, Sheila, but she’s the most beautiful flower God ever created. She’s due to deliver in February and honestly, she’s never been this big in her whole life. She’s so self-conscious about it and I try to tell her that it doesn’t matter—she’s still so beautiful, but she can’t get past the size. If I’m honest, she is very heavy—very heavy—but hell, she’s carrying another person inside of her! Your wife is very beautiful—not as beautiful as my Sheila, at least to me, but beautiful. And I can tell that you two honestly love each other very much. She seems okay with her size and body changes and the fact that she’s… how many months?”
“Eight,” I tell him, “with twins.”
“Shit, man, you’re my hero,” he says almost wistfully, and I don’t know if it’s a compliment or a crack at Butterfly’s weight because she still sits on my lap. “All I can say is that it’s a trial getting Sheila out of a chair sometimes, let alone her possibly sitting on my lap. Your wife is eight months pregnant with twins and she looks so beautiful and so confident, and I know that being able to sit on your lap this late in the pregnancy has a little to do with it if not a lot. And I just want to know… how? I need Sheila to know how beautiful she is, no matter what she weighs.”
After his explanation, I finally see where he’s getting. It’s not about Butterfly’s weight at all—it’s about wanting his wife to know that she’s a goddess even with her changing body.
“Well, CJ,” I begin, “Butterfly has always been very light before she was pregnant, so carrying the twins only put her maybe slightly above the weight of an average woman. She’s extremely physically fit—yoga and Krav Maga before we even met and she can rip a body bag out of the ceiling. Only 5’3”, but don’t let the small package fool you. Then I work out several days a week, so holding her weight is pretty much nothing for me.” His shoulders fall.
“I don’t think you give yourself enough credit, CJ. Do you tell her that you love her every day?”
“Yes!” he exclaims, “several times a day.”
“And you tell her and show her how beautiful she is? You touch her often and kiss her often? Hold her every chance you get and rush to her arms when you see her after a long day?”
“Well, I try to get to her after a long day, but my daughter often gets me at the door as soon as I get home,” he says sadly. “She’s actually Sheila’s daughter from a prior relationship, but as far as we’re concerned, I’m her dad.” He’s a real stand-up guy and I have no doubt that he’s showing his wife all the love that he can.
“Keep doing what you’re doing, CJ. It sounds like you’re doing a great job. As long as you make her feel like she’s the only woman in the room, she won’t focus on the weight as much. Unfortunately, it does come with the territory. How involved are you in the baby’s development and birth?” He gestures around us.
“Isn’t it obvious?” he says. “I’m watching every in vitro milestone. I’m very anal about what she eats and what she does. I’m at every doctor’s appointment…” He sounds like me.
“I really would say that you’ve got this thing taken care of and you’re worried for no reason. Relax. Enjoy your baby’s development with your wife. Continue to show her that you love her and that precious little girl and that’s all you can really do. Be a good husband and father. From what you’re telling me, you’ve got this thing all wrapped up.” He sighs heavily.
“I sure hope so,” he says. “The woman is everything to me…”
A woman’s voice interrupts our conversation and I look up to see an African American woman standing in the entrance to the dining room with my wife.
“Jesus, Calvin, you interrogate every father you meet,” she says, walking over to him and kissing him on the cheek. “I hope he wasn’t too annoying, Mr. Grey.”
“Not at all, ma’am, just new father stuff as you would expect,” I respond to CJ’s relief.
“I knew it,” she says, twisting her lips at her husband. “Come, my beloved. Your wife needs nourishment.”
“Yes, my enchantress,” he responds, and his wife giggles playfully. Yeah, he’s got it all wrapped up. Butterfly slides her hand into mine and gives me a sweet smile as the four of us proceed to the dining room.
A/N: The resort where they stayed is not an actual resort. I kept finding resorts with perfect locations, but less-than-substandard accommodations. Then I would find resorts with excellent accommodations, but the location sucked. So I created my own space for their getaway out of accommodations and locales that I wanted. Don’t try to find it because if you do, you may locate a similar location and a room from one hotel and then another room from a hotel on the other side of the country… or the world!
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 🙂