Am I wrong to say how much I LOVED everyone’s comments on their own sexual frustration? Hee hee hee…
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. 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 62—Reality Check
His voice is raspy, tormented as he drills into me. I don’t know where we are. The room—I think it’s a room—is dimly lit. My hands are bound together at the wrist, over my head and behind me so that my arms are slightly bent. It feels like rope—velvet, soft. I’m bound to a vertical pole or bar of some kind. I’m partially dressed… in one of my wrap crop tops, my bust propped up on beautiful display and shimmering with sweat. Whatever skirt I’m wearing is bunched up around my hips and I’m wearing sky-high platform stilettos. I’m standing, well, tiptoeing, on some kind of platform and Christian is in front of me, naked except for the white linen shirt open and hanging from his shoulders.
“I want to touch you!” I protest, the words high in my throat, steeping in the pleasure of an orgasm that I’ve been fending off for I don’t know how long.
“I know,” he groans deep in his chest. “We’ve both been bad, Anastasia. We’ve denied each other… so now, we have to deny ourselves.” He’s holding one leg up to allow himself unfettered access to my hot pussy. He drills into me, slow, deep and purposefully, my pussy swallowing him all the way to the balls. His thrust is slow, steady and delicious when he withdraws, harder and deeper when he pumps inside of me to the hilt, one hand gripping the cheek of the leg still planted on the platform. It would gently smack then grip with each thrust to ensure maximum penetration, then slide between my ass cheeks and up my ass with every other stroke just to repeat the process over and over, drilling inside of my tight pussy, my lips wrapping around his dick and the walls so tight that he has very little purchase to move. His hips move like a meticulous sexy dance, a deep stroke, then a slow, delicious, agonizing pull, the smaller wiggle and circle as he thrusts, but a concentrated long, slow withdraw that gives me the full effect of his long, thick cock hitting every part of my pleasure center—the hungry lips that caress his shaft; the spongy inner walls that suck him into their warm tunnels and coat his skin with my wet, creamy arousal; my throbbing clit that pebbles and trembles every time he wiggles his hips and thrusts into me.
“I’m not coming yet, either, baby,” he groans. “I’m going to push into this tight, hot pussy until I can’t stand it anymore.”
“Oh, God,” I lament as his dick continues to drive into me. I open my mouth to try to breathe, but he covers my mouth with his, owning it entirely, his lips and tongue performing the same agonizing movements in sync with his hips and dick. He’s fucking my goddamn mouth and moaning hungrily into it with each stroke, each lap of his tongue. I’m dizzy when his lips slowly pull away from mine.
“My God, you’re delicious,” he says, licking across my lips before moving down my jaw to my neck and the exposed mounds of my breasts. This is a goddamn sensation overload.
“Christian… please…” I squeak.
“I know, baby,” he says. “Feel it. I feel it, too… the burn… Let it burn, baby…”
And burn, it is; I feel it everywhere, radiating from the origin in my core to every little aching hot spot on my body. When he leans over to bite one of the nipples protruding from the material of my crop top, I nearly lose it. I scream in pleasure and leap a bit, away from his grasp, but inadvertently shifting our positions.
“Mmmm, you like that,” he growls low before biting the other nipple.
“Christian!” I cry out. It sounds surreal, though, like someone else is doing it. I shift again and end up landing straight on his dick, my leg wrapped around his hip.
“Mmmmmmmmmm,” he croons, “that’s much better.” Where I was angled for him to thrust forward into me before, my repositioning had now angled him to thrust slightly up into me. He has a firmer grasp on my ass and since my leg has wrapped around his hip, he now uses both hands to grip my ass, steadying me and pushing me down onto his drilling dick. Oh God, I’m going to die.
“Yes, baby,” he grunts, passion in his voice. “Right there… right the fuck there! God, this fucking ass!” His new angle and new stroke are making me dizzy, my pussy burning and throbbing, pulsing with pain and pleasure. I can’t… I can’t take anymore.
“Christian, I… I can’t stand it… I’m going to come…”
“No,” he breathes, “Feel it. Feel me moving inside of you, filling you, burning for you so bad that it’s painful. Aaah, God, it’s so hot, so tight…” His stroke never changes as his left hand cups my ass without letting go and his right hand grabs the cheek anew with each thrust, one hand holding me and one hand pushing me in and down hard on his dick with each thrust. I feel every vein as he sinks into me and pulls out with painful deliberation, the new position causing his crown to stroke sensitive spots that I didn’t even know I had.
“Please…” I breathe, now delirious with pleasure. “Please let me come…”
“No,” he breathes, the torment of his own orgasm thick in his voice. “Feel it!” he chokes. “Hot and hard for you; my balls, thick, full, and heavy for you! The burn of me inside you; I feel you contracting. Hold it… hold it, baby. Gah!”
The feeling is agony for him just like it is for me. I don’t know how to stop the contracting once it starts, and he’s not relenting, pumping inside of me, the same maddening pace.
“Christian!” I beg. “I can’t! I can’t!”
“Hold it!” he growls into my neck. “God, this ass! This fucking ass!” He’s clutching the cheeks tighter, grasping firmer with each stroke, pushing me harder down on his dick. “So goddamn round and juicy and sexy and you still fit perfectly into my hands.” He buries his face in my neck, grunting with each stroke before he starts to lick and suck my skin.
“This is what we deny each other, baby,” he says, feasting on my skin and pumping mercilessly into my weeping pussy. “This is what we deny each other when we stay away from each other, when we refuse to satisfy each other.”
“Yes! Yes!” I pant, delirious and completely out of control.
“Fuck! Fuck! Ana!” He almost sounds feminine when he says my name and I know he can’t take it anymore. He struggles to maintain the stroke, but I feel him coming hot and wild inside of me.
“Ana!” he whines again, still stroking through his orgasm, in physical pain from holding out so long. I know the feeling. I’ve totally lost control and I don’t know what to tell my body to do now. I feel his erect dick pop out of me, still spurting juice, the moisture inside my pussy seeping out and running down my leg. He only takes a moment to compose himself before he’s inside of me again.
“We won’t… do that… again…” he pants, and I know he’s talking about the denial we’ve done by not coming to each other… but this can’t be happening now. I haven’t had my checkup. I haven’t been cleared…
“Come for me, Ana.”
I have no control over my body. I don’t know if I’m coming or not. I’m so lost in pleasure that I can’t think. Can this be happening right now? Can we be having sex right now?
Just as I try to make sense of what’s going on, the explosion begins painfully in my pelvis and causes me to sit straight up in my bed. I feel Christian’s hands nearly violently squeezing my ass and his copper curls cover the space between my legs. I scream through a detonating orgasm as he licks and sucks hungrily at my core, grunting like a starving man. I can still fucking feel him inside of me. Damn, that was hot! When I’m reduced to high-pitched whimpering and panting. He quickly releases my pussy and scoots back on his knees. When I raise my head, his dick is hard and veiny and ready to blow and he’s pumping it with his fist, unable to withstand the pressure anymore. Remembering his words in my dream…
“We won’t… do that… again…”
I scramble out of the blankets and forward to my husband, quickly latching my mouth onto his angry dick. He gasps quickly, loudly, the surprise and pleasure grabbing him like a vise.
“God…! Ana…! Fuck…!” He’s totally surprised at first, but it only takes seconds for him to surrender and fall back, sitting on his feet and cupping my head, unable to stop himself from pushing it down on his dick.
“Anaaaaaaaaa…” He makes the same nearly feminine sound that he makes in my dream, only he draws my name out more this time as he comes hard and strong in my mouth. “Gooooooood!” He almost cries as he sits paralyzed on the bed and I drain his aching balls and penis of every drop of their sensual offering. He’s breathless and weak when it’s over, breathing and wobbling like he’s hanging from invisible puppeteer’s strings. I crawl up to my knees, facing him, his gray eyes sleepy and grateful. I must have the same look in my eyes, because my body feels like spaghetti. He cups my face and kisses me with all the strength he can muster. I feel a slight twinge of eroticism when our juices mingle in our mouths. His moan and deep licking says he feels the same thing. We’re both too spent to do anything more about it right now.
It’s just past dawn and my trembling husband takes me in his arms and lies down in bed with me. We wrap ourselves in the blankets and snuggle into their warmth and each other.
“What happened?” I ask, once he catches his breath. He pauses for several moments.
“You were dreaming,” he says. “At least I think you were dreaming.”
“I was,” I confirm. I feel him nod before he kisses my hair.
“You were moaning… and writhing. I almost woke you until I realized…” He trails off. “I thought it would be cruel,” he says with an ironic laugh. I feel a little shy that he watched me have an erotic dream. “You were so sexy. You looked like a little nymph, just lost in pleasure. Your nipples got hard, then my dick got hard. I could smell you. God, you smelled so good.” He starts kissing my neck. “You were calling my name.”
I feel a small shiver run down my spine. It’s been four days since we agreed not to deny each other and yet, I have this dream.
“I was dreaming of you,” I confess.
“What was I doing?” he asks, gently cupping my breast. My breath catches in my throat.
“Loving me,” I breathe. “Fucking me. You were driving me wild—grabbing my ass and pushing me down onto you. You told me not to come…”
“I did?” He rolls me onto my back and brings his mouth to my breast, biting the nipple like he did in the dream.
“Christian!” I breathe.
“What else did I do?” he coaxes.
“That!” I pant. “You did that!”
“You weren’t dreaming,” he says. “I did do that.” He pinches my nipples between his finger and thumbs before kissing me gently. “What else did I do?”
“You… grabbed my ass…” I pant.
“Well, we know I did that,” he says, his voice husky.
“You said it was… juicy and round… and still fit… in your hand…”
“I really said that, too,” he says, kissing my breast. “I know you’re going to be working out, but do me a favor and try not to lose your ass. You know I’ll love you no matter what, but that thing is beautiful. When I was holding it that day in my office in those genie pants, and a few minutes ago, while you were coming, there was no way I could avoid blowing my load. You’re gorgeous and your body is coming together without you really trying. And you look fucking scrumptious!”
That did me a world of good!
“We can’t have sex, Mr. Grey, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to fuck your brains out right this minute!”
“Twelve days, baby,” he says. “Twelve more days and we’ll lock the doors, close the curtains, and rip the walls out of this bitch! But in the meantime…” He takes two fingers and lusciously licks them with his long tongue. When they are good and wet, he slides the moistened fingers under the covers, between my legs, and over my clit. I only have a second to gasp before he covers my mouth with his.
“Hello, beautiful girl.”
Christian is captivated by his four-week-old daughter, quietly staring up into her father’s loving gray eyes. He has a ritual with his children. Every day, he sits on the floor in the family room with his legs crossed, holding one of them in his large hands like the treasure that they are, gazing down into their eyes, and talking to them about everything and nothing. He tries to get to them both, but sometimes, baby number two is asleep before his conversation with baby number one is complete. So, he’ll try to pick up the conversation later, or the next day, so that neither child gets more Daddy Time than the other.
Today’s story brings me to tears.
“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess named Anastasia. She had shiny mahogany hair that was three feet long and the bluest blue eyes in the whole world that sparkled like sapphires in the sun. She had a kind heart and a loving soul and brought joy and happiness to nearly everyone she met.”
I’m coming through the kitchen looking for a snack and some water after doing my yoga. He’s in front of the sofa and can’t see me. I tuck myself behind the archway between the kitchen and family room to listen to his tale.
“One day, Princess Anastasia was walking through the land and met a curmudgeonly king named Christian. He was a grumpy old sort—mean and unhappy, and his subjects were afraid of him. None of them liked him and King Christian didn’t have any friends. He was only surrounded by people who wanted to do him harm.
“When Princess Anastasia met King Christian, well, she didn’t like him much either. ‘You’re an evil narcissist,’ she said. ‘I will tell the high council and they will throw you into the dungeon and take away your kingdom!’”
I have to cover my mouth to keep from laughing at his interpretation of our first fight.
“Well, King Christian couldn’t have that, so do you know what he did?” He pauses for a moment. “He frightened poor Princess Anastasia. He threatened her and made her afraid, so she had to call the Duke of Fleming and the Earl of Forsythe to come and escort her back to her cottage.” His voice is soft and full of remorse.
Did I… Did I ever tell him that?
“But soon,” he continues his story with a sigh, “King Christian fell in love with the princess against his will. He didn’t want to tell her, so he sent his knights to guard and protect her until he could find a way to tell her how he felt. At first, King Christian himself didn’t even know how he felt, but I can tell you now that it was love.”
I feel the tears burning in the back of my eyes.
“Many things tried to hinder King Christian and Princess Anastasia’s love—the evil Duchess of Pedo-Land, the wicked Midget of Mortonville and her Pickled Piper sidekick—even had the horrible Count David who kidnapped the fair princess and locked her in his dreary tower. There were even times when King Christian himself did things to sabotage their love, but they were meant to be and against all odds, they were married and King Christian made Princess Anastasia his queen.
“But then, one day, tragedy struck. Right after the dastardly Viscount Myrick was captured and sent to the stocks for trying to crumble the kingdom, a new threat would rear its ugly head in an attempt to rip our fair couple apart. For a poor peasant girl pining for King Christian and jealous of the fair Lady Anastasia attempted to the destroy the queen and her valiant knight Sir Davenport in their carriage. And while the poor peasant met her untimely demise, Lady Anastasia fell into a deep, deep sleep.”
His voice sounds tormented and Minnie’s eyes are pinned to him as if she knows exactly what he’s saying. I can just see over the sofa, and Mikey is in his napper—eyes open, sucking a binky, also mesmerized by his father’s tale.
“King Christian was devastated,” he continues. “He called on the best physicians and apothecaries in the land to stir his beautiful bride, but nothing could be done. He was content to wait for her to wake, but alas, the practitioners told him that their sorcery was only allowed to sustain her threescore days.”
He swallows hard trying to make the truth of the accident sound like a fairytale, and I can’t hold my tears back anymore.
“King Christian vowed to spend her last days with her and never left her side. All of his trusted advisors tried to get him to leave her, but he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t stand the thought of being without her for even one minute. He sat with her. He read to her. He talked to her. He cried with her. He laughed as if she could hear him. He barely slept for fear that she would awaken and he would not be there.”
I have to cover my mouth to muffle my sobs. I can feel his pain radiating across the room and wonder why he decided to tell this story at this moment.
“She smiled sometimes. She even spoke, but she didn’t wake. For days, she didn’t wake. It felt like forever, and he counted the seconds. One million. Thirty-six thousand. Eight-hundred seconds… or… something like that.”
He whispers the last three words, shaking his head as if to shake the thought and pausing for a moment.
“But…” his voice cracks a bit as he continues, “two days shy of a fortnight later, Lady Anastasia opened her beautiful sapphire eyes. King Christian was ecstatic, but alas, the fates were cruel because the beautiful queen didn’t recognize her king,” he whispers.
And I’m weeping again.
“King Christian was devastated all over again. How could this be? He had sat by her bedside for twelve days and couldn’t remember getting twelve minutes of sleep. How could she not know him? But fret not, young Michael and Mackenzie fair, for true love always knows its counterpart. While King Christian ached for his queen, Lady Anastasia’s soul called for her love and pulled her from the grasp of the dragon amnesia, returning her to the cradle of the arms of the man she loved.”
My chest is heavy and I ache all over again as I hear him tell the cruelest story in the kindest way that he can to his children about the horrible twelve days that he almost lost me; about thinking that I wasn’t coming back only to have me awaken and not recognize him. How the pain of those moments tore at him and the relief he must have felt when I finally remembered who he was.
He’s still cooing at his baby girl when I enter the room. His gaze breaks for a moment and meets mine, a deep frown forming on his face when he gets a good look at mine—tearstained and broken. I kneel beside him and use my thumbs to gently stroke his furrowed brow, pushing away the frown I see there before cupping his face with my hands.
“Queen Anastasia. Loves King Christian. With her whole heart and soul,” I breathe through my tears. His beautiful gray eyes focus on me, full of more emotion than I can identify—love, gratitude, fear, admiration… a plethora of things. I stroke his face with my hands and plant a tender kiss on his lips before gently stroking his hair, then back to his cheek as I pull my lips away from his and look into his eyes again.
“I adore you, Anastasia,” he says, his voice deep and a bit raspy, still holding his daughter. I close my eyes and lean my forehead to his.
“I know,” I whisper. “Thank you.” I sit down next to him and lean on his arm, gazing at our children. Mikey has drifted off to sleep, his binky occasionally bobbing in his mouth. Minnie’s little mouth makes a very small “O” and I know she’s not far behind her little brother. At this moment, as cliché as it sounds, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
I put two portfolios and the tiny box containing my gifts inside the double-fold leather gift box and snap it shut. I needed my gifts to be appropriate and in light of our life together and how things are changing, I think… I hope… I’ve made the right choices. I take the black leather box and go in search of my wife. I don’t get very far. I find her at Atlantis watching her favorite fish, Marty, swimming among the ruins and I’m immediately concerned.
“Butterfly?” I ask as I cautiously approach her. She turns to face me, smiles softly, then looks back at her fish. I walk over to her and put my arm around her waist. “Are you okay?”
“Did I ever tell you that Allen and James had to come and get me from the center that day?” she asks. That’s a strange question. Is that why she’s standing here?
“I don’t know,” I tell her. “I don’t remember if you told me, but I was there. I wanted to confront you. I was waiting for you, but the moment I saw you, I knew how I affected you… I think… that’s when I fell in love with you.” She turns quickly to face me, apparently shocked at my revelation, then tiptoes and slides her arms around my neck kissing me deeply. I embrace her and return the kiss, feeling the heat transfer from her body to mine and hating that I have something in my hand and can’t hold her properly.
She’s a bit breathless when our lips part, and she brushes hers against mine.
“Things just… come back,” she breathes. “It’s like… I’m living them all over again… the feelings, the love,” she whispers, brushing her cheek against mine. “It’s so fresh and new, yet so familiar.”
“You… forgot… loving me?” I ask, a little bruised.
“It’s a constant struggle, Christian,” she says, tortured. “I never forgot loving you. It’s the only thing I never forgot. I forgot our wedding. I forgot meeting you. I forgot who you were, but I never forgot loving you,” she weeps. “Most of my life came back to me in the hospital. Thankfully, I knew who you were, but even now, there are small bits still missing… and… not so small bits. As they come back… they can be a bit overwhelming.”
I gather her in my arms and try to comfort her. I don’t know what memory has caused her to feel so lost, but I just want her to know that I’m here.
“Twelve days,” she breathes, her mouth buried in my neck, “1,036,800 seconds not knowing if you would ever come back to me… I don’t think I could survive it.” Her voice cracks and she weeps again.
“Sssh,” I soothe. “You came back to me, though. I didn’t lose you. You’re here with me now.”
“But the torment… of not knowing…” She squeezes me hard. “I just… I don’t know. Maybe the emotions of post-partum depression are starting to sink in.”
Oh, we can’t have that.
I take her hand and walk her away from Atlantis, leading her to one of the barstools.
“Sit.” I gesture to the stool and Butterfly takes a seat, attempting to wipe the tears from her cheeks. I pull my handkerchief from my jean pocket and hand it to her, waiting for her to clean her face. I put the box on the bar between us. It looks like one of those leather boxes that hold expensive jewelry, like large necklaces, but there’s no jewelry in this box.
“I wanted to get everything right when I did this, and I hope that I did,” I say, sitting on the stool next to her. “I need you to know that you mean the world to me, and that I will never be able to match the two precious gifts that you have bestowed upon me…” My throat gets a little dry as I’m suddenly choked up with emotion thinking of our children, so I clear my throat. “However, in an attempt to begin to express my immense gratitude, please accept these small tokens of my appreciation, my beloved.”
I slide the box over to her and she cleans her face, grasping the handkerchief while looking at me, surprised.
“Tokens?” she says. I nod. “Push gifts?” I nod again. Her delicate fingers stroke the box before popping the snap and opening it to reveal the “tiny box” and portfolios inside. She opens the tiny box on top to reveal the obvious Audi key and a wide smile grows across her face.
“You bought me a car?” she giggles cutely. I smirk.
“You might want to look at the specs first,” I say, gesturing to the first portfolio in the box. “We never replaced yours since the…” I swallow hard and sigh. “Well… you…” I drop my head. We were just talking about the accident and this was supposed to get her mind off it, and now I’ve brought us full circle, so much so that I’m feeling the effects of it myself. In true Butterfly fashion, she puts her hand on top of mine to comfort me and graces me with a wide and beautiful smile. I return her smile with one of my own and she takes the portfolio out of the box and opens it.
“Scuba blue metallic 2014 Audi Q7,” she reads aloud. “Twenty-inch, 10-arm-turbine design wheels with Anthracite bicolor-finish; fine Nappa leather and cloth interior with Piano Black inlay; driver and front passenger dual-stage airbags; front thorax side airbags and Sideguard head curtain airbags; rear side airbags; lower anchors and tethers for children in rear seats; panoramic sunroof; Bluetooth wireless technology; keyless start…”
She begins rattling off the many physical and safety features of her new Audi before throwing her arms around me and laughing heartily.
“Only Christian Grey could think to make me the sleekest, hottest, Audi minivan mom on Mercer Island!” she says giggling profusely.
“Well, technically, it’s an SUV, not a minivan.” She lets out a genuine but incredulous laugh.
“It has built-in car seats, a rear cargo cover, and a tailgate! It’s a minivan, Christian!” she laughs. “And it’s perfectly beautiful! I love it! Thank you!” She’s still giggling with tears in her eyes. “Where is it?”
“It’s in garage number two.”
“I wanna see it!” She leaps off her seat. I grab her arm before she escapes.
“Ah, ah, ah, not yet,” I tell her. “You have to see your second gift first.” She pokes her lip out at me. “Come on, Mrs. Grey. You can play with your new toy later. I want you to see this one first.” She mocks a pout and climbs back onto the stool.
“Two gifts,” she says removing the second portfolio.
“Two babies,” I say matter-of-factly, and she smiles at me. She opens the portfolio and begins to examine its contents.
“Christian, this is…” She reads further, then starts to flip through the pages. “Christian!” Her hand flies to her lips as she realizes what she’s looking at. “Oh, my God, Christian, are you serious?”
“Yes,” I say softly as I watch her eyes dart across the pages in the portfolio. “Quite serious.”
“How…?” Her voice is barely there. “Christian… this is… Rome… Venice…” She covers her mouth and gasps loudly. “Villa… Anastasia?” she says, barely able to get the words out of her mouth. She raises glassy eyes to me. “Christian, you didn’t…”
“I did. I want us to go in June… for our first anniversary. Our honeymoon was interrupted. We won’t allow anything to interrupt us this time.” She bolts into my arms before the words are out of my mouth, winding herself around my body and weeping.
“It’s too much,” she cries into my neck.
“It’s never too much,” I croon. “Nothing is too much for you.”
“Oh, Christian,” she weeps, “I love you… I love you so much…”
Marlow and I are sitting in the deli Monday morning going over his most recent progress reports and some ideas that he has for improvements to some of the areas of his old neighborhood. I have to admit that this young man has come quite a long way since that first year I decided to mentor him at GEH. Seeing his growth firsthand has made me want to become more involved in programs that assist underprivileged children—especially since I started out as one of the forgotten myself. I know that my mother and my wife have Helping Hands and they do a lot of good work for abused families, and the Faces of Abuse PSA—which is still running—has a lot to do with bringing attention to the Center and getting the word out that there is help for those who thought there was none. However, I want to help in a different capacity, so I’m brainstorming with Marlow to come up with ideas for a more hands-on approach.
Our meeting today has a dual purpose. I also want to meet with Radcliff to see his progress and to move on to the next steps in his program, for lack of a better word. He’s been liaising through Andrea since I’ve been on paternity leave and I haven’t seen him in weeks. I barely recognize him when he walks into the deli.
“Jim?” I say questioning when he gets to our table.
“Hi, Christian,” he says, proffering his hand. He looks a hundred times better than he did when we last met. His coloring is healthier and he’s put on some weight.
“You’re looking well,” I shake his hand and gesture for him to sit. “This is Marlow Whitehead. He’s my protégé, so to speak. Marlow, this is James Radcliff.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Radcliff,” Marlow says, shaking his hand. Jim greets him with a smile. “I have to get back to school, now. I’m going to be late for Calc. So, I’ll see you later, Mr. Grey.”
“Don’t forget to ask Mr. Hemsley about that last proposal,” I remind him. He nods and waves as he leaves the deli. I turn my attention to Jim. “So, how have you been?”
“Better,” he says. “I was sick for a while, but you already know that.” The waitress brings him coffee and he orders a burger and fries. “I’m doing much better now, though. I was on some meds and rest and now I’m back to work. I got a studio close to the job. It’s all I can afford right now. I’m paying child support to Thelma and trying to put some money away to get us another place so…” He trails off and takes a sip of his coffee.
“Have you spoken to her yet?” I ask. He shakes his head.
“Not since just before Christmas. It’s not that I don’t want to. I just… I want to make sure I have something to tell her.”
“You have something to tell her,” I say and he raises his eyes to me. “Start with ‘I’m sorry.’” He drops his head and nods.
“I know you’re right, but I don’t know how.”
“What do you mean you don’t know how?” I ask, appalled. “Are you saying you’ve never apologized to anyone?”
“No, I’m saying that I don’t know how to put into words that I put her and my son in danger and I want her to forgive me for that,” he says. I nod.
“Well, I’m no shrink, but that’s a good start,” I say. “Speaking of which, have you thought about talking to one?” His eyes sharpen.
“I’m not crazy!” he snaps. Why does everybody think talking to a shrink makes you crazy?
“Do you think your wife is crazy?” I ask.
“No!” he snaps.
“Well, she talks to one. Do you think I’m crazy?” He glares at me.
“Rich people always talk to shrinks,” he says, waving me off.
“No, they don’t,” I retort. “People who need help always talk to shrinks, or at least they always should—but they don’t. But, hey, it’s your life. If you don’t need any help, by all means, just keep muddling along.” I take a sip of my coffee. He sighs.
“How do I talk to a shrink?” he says, sort of resigned and defeated.
“Look, don’t do this for me, man. You’re the one who needs to approach your wife and tell her that you put her in a life-threatening position and don’t know how. So, if you think I’m beating you down about this, don’t do it because it’s not going to help you.”
“I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I completely agree with you, but I do need help talking to my wife, so I’m going to talk to somebody, okay?” he says, begrudgingly. His voice has an edge to it and I respect the fact that he’s being honest.
“Fine. So, what’s next?” He shrugs.
“I don’t know,” he says. “I guess I have to find somebody to talk to.”
“I’ll ask my wife,” I tell him. “I know she won’t take you on, not only because she’s treating your wife and it’s a conflict of interest, but also because she really doesn’t like you.” I say honestly. He cocks his head at me.
“Your wife is a shrink?” he asks. I glare at him.
“Didn’t you know that?” I ask incredulously. He shakes his head.
“I thought she was a social worker.” My turn to shake my head.
“Shrink.” He looks into his coffee.
“That’s strangely comforting.” How so? “To know that Thelma had somebody—a professional—to talk to,” he says, answering my unasked question. There’s hope for you yet. I pull out my phone and dial Butterfly.
“Well, hello handsome. Miss me already?”
“Always, but I’m calling in a bit of an official capacity.”
“I have a friend who needs some professional guidance and I was hoping that you could point me in the right direction.”
“Can you give me a little insight so that I can make an educated recommendation?” Oh boy.
“No experience whatsoever with talking to shrinks. Alpha personality, looking for an emotional and mental makeover, and needs to formulate a very difficult apology.”
“Is he an alcoholic?” she asks.
“Okay, so AA is out. No other addictions, I assume.”
“No, nothing like that.” I confirm.
“Not as such,” I evade.
“Elaborate,” she presses.
“Not physically abusive, per se, but… oppressive,” I admit. She gets quiet.
“James Radcliff?” she pings. Goddammit!
“Will I ever be able to keep anything from you?” I ask.
“No, and why didn’t you just say it was him?”
“Because I didn’t think you would help him,” I say honestly.
“I wouldn’t,” Jim admits. I raise my eyes to him and put my finger over my lips to silence him, but it’s too late. Butterfly’s silence tells me that she heard him.
“I’m a professional first, Christian,” she says, and at first, she says nothing else. I’m chastised and remain silent. “He needs to speak to someone who specializes in family therapy. He needs to understand his role as a husband and a father, as head of household and protector, not dominator!” Her words bite a bit and her tone is sharp, but she reels it back in. “Tell him to call CCFW and ask for Maxine. I’ll tell her to expect his call.”
“Okay,” I say, my voice soft. “Thank you… I’m sorry.”
“For questioning your professionalism.” She pauses again.
“Don’t do it again,” she says softly.
“I won’t… I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
“You’re still making that trip?”
“We’re about to take off now.” I clench my fist and my chest tightens.
“You know that I will.” I nod as if she can see me.
“Call me when it’s done.”
“I will.” We end the call. I swallow looking at the phone. Jim is looking into his coffee, at his watch, anywhere but at me. Yes, I will share tender moments with my wife no matter who’s listening. We’re granted a reprieve when the waitress brings his lunch. I scribble Maxine’s name and CCFW on a napkin and hand it to him. I had completely forgotten that Maxine was a psychiatrist. In fact, she used to be Ana’s psychiatrist.
“Call this woman. She’s at the Center for Child and Family Well-Being. I don’t know the number—you’re going to have to Google it. She’s actually a close friend. She’ll help you or at least point you in the right direction.” He takes the napkin and shoves it into his pocket before taking a large bite of his burger. “I see you got your appetite back.” He nods and chew his food.
“Lunch is the one meal I splurge on, since it’s the middle of the workday,” he says after swallowing his bite. “Everything else is dry cereal and those noodle packets. It’s okay though. I’m not starving and I do fine.” I nod. I reach into my suit jacket and pull out an envelope. I put it on the table and push it over to him. He raises his eyes to me while chewing his lunch.
“You know the house is worthless,” I tell him. “The land… I don’t think they’re going to be able to do anything with it for a long time. It’s pretty much a total loss, Jim. I’m sorry, but I figure you should walk away with something.” He sighs and wipes his hands on another napkin. Tearing open the envelope, he pulls out the cashier’s check inside and sigh heavily.
“Ten thousand,” he says. “That’s not much to some people, but it’s a mint to me.” His voice is drenched in disbelief and gratitude. “Ten thousand dollars for that deathtrap.” He covers his mouth and valiantly fights back tears. “Thank you, Christian,” he says, successfully choking down his tears.
“I’m… going to deposit this into an interest-bearing account and start looking for a house, see what I qualify for.”
“That’s a good idea,” I tell him.
We talk for a while longer about his plans for work and where he wants his family to live. He’s feeling better about talking to Maxine to help him talk to his wife. I can tell that he’s missing her terribly and it’s a trial just getting through each day without her, but he’s basically punishing himself for what he put her and the baby through, convinced that if he can’t get himself together—emotionally and financially—that they’re better off without him. I can’t argue with that logic, but I remind him that she married him because she loves him. She had his baby because she wanted to raise a family with him. Being without him would be more painful than being with him if he just gave up, so he can’t afford to do that. He leaves our meeting with new determination and a promise to call Maxine before day’s end.
I leave our meeting with a slight feeling of dread. After getting some long-awaited news this morning, I conceded to my wife attending a final conference that I never thought would have to occur in a million years. The encounter makes my stomach turn, and I can only sit idly by and wait until the meeting is over because I know that it’s something she must do.
“Follow me, Mrs. Grey, Mr. Davenport, Mr. Lawrence.”
Carrying only a manila envelope containing necessary documents and having turned in just about every other worldly item that we own except the clothes on our backs, we’re escorted down a well-lit hallway with large, plainly marked doors on either side. The guard opens one of the doors and steps aside to allow me to enter. Beyond the door is a nondescript gray room with one large caged window and a caged light recessed into the ceiling. Another guard stands in front of the window watching over a lone gray table with three chairs—two on my side and one on the opposite side facing me… its occupant, one scruffy, unshaven Edward David.
Quite the contrast to Mr. David, I’m vamped in a white mock tuxedo pants suit with a plunging black mock neck wrap halter top, white pumps, my signature straight Cher hair, contrast dark make-up and dark burgundy lipstick. I had fresh henna applied to my hands and halfway up my forearms yesterday, so it’s a beautiful shade of dark orangey-brown. His pupils dilate when I walk into the room. I raise a brow and smirk at him.
“Hello, Edward. You’re looking fit,” I say, my lip rising in the corner.
“Hello, Rose. You’re looking fat,” he replies with a smirk of his own. I scoff.
“You wish,” I chirp, “but that’s okay. I’ll give you the extra pound or three. I just delivered twins as I’m sure you’ve heard.” I remove my suit jacket and drape it over the back of the chair, showcasing my ample breasts in the mock halter and tiny waistline precariously held in by a remarkable pair of spanks. The French cut gives way to round hips and ass cheeks that would make Barbie jealous and my slacks fall nicely over my curves, just enough to accentuate my shape and not so tight as to give it that Kim K distorted look. His smile fades at the display and his lips part, and I know that I’ve had the desired effect. “But we’re not here to talk about me. We’re here to talk about you.”
“I don’t have shit to say to you,” he says defiantly, sitting back in his seat.
“That’s okay,” I tell him, sitting in the seat across from him. “I’ll do all the talking.” He looks at the guard over his shoulder.
“You can take me back to my cell. I don’t want to hear anything she has to say,” he says, but the guard doesn’t move.
“You know, Edward, I normally do things by the book, but I’m slowly beginning to realize that I’m the only fucking person who does! So, you know what? I’ve learned that money and power are beautiful things to have. And this time, I’ve used my money and power to pull a few strings of my own. So, I bought your time today, and your ass is mine. Do you know what that means, lover?”
I spit the last word with so much disdain that it bounces off the walls and makes him and the guard behind him flinch.
“It means that you’re going to sit still, shut up, and listen to what I have to say, and if you don’t, then I’m going to use that same money and power and make the rest of the day pretty fucking hard on you. Do I make myself clear, Eddie?”
Edward frowns at me, then looks back at the guard, who folds his arms, crosses his legs, and leans against the window. Edward turns his attention back to me.
“What exactly do you want, Bitch?” he hisses. I raise an eyebrow.
“Is that any way to speak to a lady?” I say, mocking hurt. “I think not.” I look over my shoulder and nod to Chuck, who walks around the table and stands right over Edward. Edward eyes him warily, then turns his gaze back to me.
“You may have seen the news. Last year around Thanksgiving, Chuck and I were in an accident. We both nearly died. He’s been out of commission since then. Just now getting back on his feet. He’s been suffering from a bit of… cabin fever—just itching to get back to work, see some real action. On top of that…” I put the manila folder on the table and entwine my fingers on top of it. “… His girlfriend went back to Anguilla a few weeks ago, and he’s a bit on edge right now. So, if I were you, I’d be nice to me.”
“Or what?” Edward says, defiantly. “He can’t do shit to me in here!” I nod at Chuck, who hauls Edward out of the chair and lands a gut punch so hard that his lungs most likely catapult out of his chest and into the next room before pouring him uselessly back into the chair. I lean forward on the table, taunting him while he’s choking in pain and gasping for breath.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” I pause while he wheezes. “Oh, I thought you were saying something.” I sit back in my seat and cross my legs. “See, you don’t get it. I have no conscience when it comes to you! There are no rules in this room. Do you need a further demonstration or do I have your attention now?”
I wait for a few more moments while he ceremoniously coughs and gags and when his performance is finally over, I continue my tale.
“You’ve been a bad boy, Edward,” I begin.
“What the hell are you talking about?” he chokes out, his voice raspy.
“Well, it looks like I’m not going to get my settlement from you after all, because your business is riddled with criminal activity.”
Various emotion flash across his face in an instant before he quickly recovers, sits up straight in his seat and declares, “I’m sure I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, sure you do,” I say casually, “extortion, money laundering, identity theft—just to name a few. It’s quite the racket you’ve got going on… emphasis on the racket.”
“Not my racket anymore,” he says, smugly.
“True, you sold the business to me, but you still committed the illegal activity.”
“Your problem now, not mine.”
“No, lover, not my problem. Still yours. You see, when you own a house and you commit a crime in it, just because you sold the house doesn’t mean you sold the crime.”
“I didn’t sell you a house.”
“You didn’t sell me a crime, either.” I fold my arms and lean back in my chair.
“What happened? Did someone come to collect?” A knowing smile creeps across his face. I shrug.
“If anyone comes to collect, I’ll send them to you,” I say sweetly.
“They’ll know I don’t have the money, lover,” he taunts, using my word. “They’ll follow the cash and come to collect from the business.” I twitch my lips and nod.
“Hmm, that’s too bad, because if they do, then they’ll have to collect from the Feds!”
I say the last word so hard that it echoes through the room and causes a silence that resonates like death. Edward turns pale white as a ghost and I swear he looks like he’s going to faint. With a freshly henna-clad hand, I push the envelope over to him, knowing what’s inside. It’s a copy of the United States’ Attorney General’s preliminary report delivered this morning, indicating that suitable evidence has been found to pursue criminal charges for violations of the RICO act. Also in the letter is a declaration clearing me of any charges as I was not the owner of the business during the criminal activity, but also indicating that the federal government will be seizing Edwise pending further investigation.
“The Feds…” He repeats the word like he can’t believe I said it or he doesn’t know what it means. You stupid fuck, you know exactly what it means!
“Here’s what happens now, Edward,” I say, sitting back in the seat again and placing my arms on the armrest. He’s a bit distracted by my impressive cleavage now on display through the oval opening of my shirt. I deliberately run my fingers across my exposed mound and then point to my face. “Eyes up here, lover,” I say. His jaw tightens.
“I haven’t had a woman in over a year,” he growls. “You come in here with your goddamn tits on display and you don’t expect me to look?” I giggle sheepishly.
“Of course, I expect you to look. Why do you think I wore this get-up? I need to be sure I have your attention,” I taunt, standing from the chair and stepping away from the table. I hold my hands up as if to model my outfit. I know I look good. My blouse dips in at the waist, accentuating my flattening stomach and flaring out demurely over my hips and ass and the flowing white pants that cup my frame. Nothing is too tight; everything falls just right to allow you to see the goods and leave just enough to the imagination. I spin slowly that he can take it all in. Look at what you’re missing.
“Commit it to memory,” I say, framing my body and showing of my henna hands and arms. “I’m sure you already have, only this is not the body you remember. So, yes, please… get a really good look.” He ogles me for a few moments longer before I take my seat again, then his eyes are back on my boobs. “Show’s over now. I need your attention.”
Chuck smacks him upside the back of his head like an errant child, and he throws Chuck a hateful glare.
“So, here’s my theory.” I entwine my fingers on the table again. He still hasn’t opened the envelope. “You thought you could give the business to me and not have to deal with your… partners anymore. You’ve now pushed that responsibility off onto me because—as you said—they’re going to follow the money, so they’re going to try to collect from me, or so you thought. In addition, you’ve cleaned up your debt with me because you’ve turned over all of your assets to me, effectively killing two birds with one stone. You have veritably paid one debt with another and thought you could wash your hands of them both.
“In effect, part of that is true. Your debt to me is settled. You used your assets on hand to settle your lawsuit. So, we’re even in the eyes of the law. However, in the process of trying to push your rotten eggs off into my lap, you have effectively turned over all the evidence that almost since the day you started your business, you’ve violated just about every RICO act and regulation in existence, and if they keep looking, the Feds might find that you’ve violated the entire thing.
“The evidence runs so deep that I’m certain they’ll find that your business was mainly a racketeering ring and the software and hardware company was just a front. Your dumb ass kept a paper trail and electronic records and I have spent most of your money following that trail… and I turned every single bit of it over to the Feds. All of your emails, all of your telephone records, text records, financial reports, banking information, tax returns, contacts, asset reports, correspondence, communications, properties, everything. If you had a sticky note under a desk in a storage closet in the basement, they’ve got it!”
Looking at him now, I’m sure he’s about to pass out. He’s broken out into a visible sweat and his hair is sticking to his face.
“What’s the matter, Eddie?” I ask with contempt. “Was this your last attempt to make a stab at me and yet again, it backfired on your ass? When are you going to learn that you can’t break me? Everything that you try to do to me, you might as well do it to yourself—you’ll be better off that way and it might hurt less. I have no idea who any of the people are that you were dealing with. Everything is coded and the Feds are going to break the codes; you know that… and your people know that, too. So how was this supposed to hurt me? It couldn’t be the money; I’m already a billionaire. You couldn’t have expected to stick me with this crime because you were an LLC… or is that what you expected to happen?”
His eyes are darting around and he looks like a caged animal trying to escape. I’m not sure he heard any of the last few things I said. I think he’s having an anxiety attack.
Get the fuck outta here…
“Son of a bitch,” I say incredulously, just above a whisper. “You did! You did expect for it to fall on me. How could you possibly expect this to fall on me?” I’m really talking to no one in particular now, just kind of speaking into the air. “This is Business 101. LLC—your act doesn’t follow me… how could you not know that?”
He still looks sick. Now, I’m really glad I came because I really needed to see him face-to-face for this. I take a deep breath so that I can finish this death blow.
“Bring that fucker back,” I say to Chuck.
“Pay attention!” Chuck says, slapping Edward hard in the back of his head. Edward’s hands hit flat on the table to steady himself and when he raises his eyes to me, his glare is death… and it doesn’t move me at all. I get up and walk over to his side of the table. His glare follows me as I lean down into his face.
“I’d soften that gaze if I were you. You wouldn’t want to make me nervous,” I threaten, employing Christian’s patented stare. He swallows and his gaze softens only slightly. That’s all I needed, just to see that chink in the armor.
“So, let’s weigh your options,” I say, walking back to the other side of the table and taking a seat. “You can find some kind of way to warn your contacts so that they can cover their asses, but know that the Feds are probably watching you now. Or you can turn state’s evidence and tell the Feds who those people are. They’ll probably put you in protective custody. Either way, once you’ve served your term here, you’ll most likely spend the rest of your life in federal prison. You have no money left to pay the numerous fines you’re going to accumulate for your multiple crimes, so… get comfortable, Eddie, because life as you knew it is over.
“Even though I didn’t see a penny of my settlement, you gave me an even better gift. You gave me the ammo to fry your ass for the rest of your motherfucking life. Thank you, you miserable piece of shit. If you weren’t such a selfish fucking asshole, you could have saved yourself all of this. All you had to do was not be a narcissistic piece of shit, but no, Eddie had to get his way. Eddie had to fuck everything walking. I left you alone. I walked away and you couldn’t leave me in peace. No, you had to come back and stalk me and harass me and kidnap me, cause me pain and hold me responsible for your fucked up, sadistic behavior. And look where it got you. All you had to do was leave me the fuck alone and walk away.
“When you saw me at that party, you should have kept walking, but you saw another victim. You saw another Camilla, you sick fuck! You tried to recreate that girl you victimized and it cost you everything! You should have left me alone. How does it feel now, Edward? How does it feel that you fucked with the wrong one? So, get used to it, because the best you can hope for now is to end up somebody’s jailhouse bitch!”
I stand up, smooth my shirt and put my jacket back on. I take one last look at Mr. Edward David, the man that once held my heart and at one time, could pluck my strings like no other man alive. That seems like such a long time ago, like it never happened. I don’t even recognize him anymore. He’s slumped over in the chair almost face down on the table, his shoulders heavy with utter defeat. His hands are clasped one on top of the other on top of the still unopened envelope. He doesn’t have to open it. He knows what’s inside. He knows his fate is sealed just like that envelope, and if he opens it, it will only bring the reality to light.
“To coin a phrase from one of my favorite movies, ‘I want you to know that I will forget you after this moment and never think of you again. But you, I am quite certain will think about me every single day for the rest of your life.’”
With those words from my mouth, his head falls to the table with a thud. He’s powerless and vulnerable. He has nothing left. The only thing he can possibly hope for after this is if someone takes some kind of pity on him. The only thing he has left is this institution. He can’t even go back to his parents. This is his life now. Ben knocks on the door and the guard on the other side opens it and lets us out.
We retrieve our items from reception and the warden is waiting for me when I’m just about to leave the prison.
The Warden? Christian… of course.
“Mrs. Grey?” He extends his hand to me. “I’m Ronald Holstein, superintendent of Washington State Penitentiary.” I take his hand.
“Mr. Holstein, a pleasure to meet you, sir.”
“I was informed by your head of security that you would be visiting us today. I was again contacted by your husband voicing his concerns about your safety and well-being. I do hope your visit was… bearable.” I smile. How politically correct. “I don’t dare presume to say ‘pleasant.’ No one ever wants to visit this place.”
“I appreciate your candor, Mr. Holstein,” I tell him. “Yes, my visit was bearable, and quite necessary. Thank you for accommodating me on such short notice. As you know, the situation was very delicate and could not be put off.”
“I’m not aware of the intricacies of the situation. However, the details are unnecessary. I’m glad we were able to meet your needs.” He pulls a card out of his pocket. “Let me know if I can be of any further assistance and please give my regards to Mr. Grey.” I take his card and nod.
“Thank you again, Mr. Holstein,” I proffer my hand once more and he accepts the shake.
“Mrs. Grey.” He nods at me and we part ways as I head to the front gate with Chuck and Ben in tow. Pedo-Bitch is somewhere in these walls… I think. I don’t know. Her trial is coming up soon. Next month, I think. I’ll have to look at my calendar. Hell, I don’t even know if I would make a credible witness anymore. I’ve suffered memory loss.
The ride is silent from Washington State Penitentiary back to Walla Walla Airport and the GEH jet. None of us say anything until the pilot tells us that it’s safe to move about the cabin.
“Can I get you anything, Mrs. Grey?” I’m daydreaming when Constance—GEH’s newest young flight attendant—comes to offer us refreshments.
“Do you have any dry red wine?” I ask.
“Yes, ma’am,” she responds.
“Cabernet Sauvignon?” I ask, hopeful.
“Of course. Mr. Grey insists,” she smiles.
“The biggest glass you’ve got,” I say. She nods.
“Mr. Grey also insisted on large bowl glasses.”
“God, I love that man!” I sigh heavily as I lay my head back on the seat. I feel Chuck’s hand cover mine, but I don’t open my eyes.
“You okay?” he asks. I nod.
“I’m closing the book on a chapter of my life, Chuck,” I tell him. “There’s nothing else that I have to do with that man, ever.”
“Let’s hope not,” he says. “You declared total war. That’s a dangerous game. You didn’t just destroy him; you tormented that man in the process. Yet more proof that I never want to piss you off.” I sigh heavily.
“I loved that man once. I once looked into those big, brown eyes and saw my future there… my entire life.”
“You were young…”
“I was blind!” I snap, glaring at him. “I was blinded by his charm and the need to be desired by someone—genuinely desired by someone. He saw that. He was searching for that and he saw it me, just like the predator that he is. I was wearing like a goddamn banner and he groomed me just like a pedophile grooms a child. When I was ripe, he plucked me.” I turn away in disgust. “I walked right into danger just like I did with Cody Whitmore—willingly—only this time, I slept with it… for years!”
I sigh again wondering how I could have been so gullible, so stupid as to just wander aimlessly right into the mouth of the beast, not once, but twice. Constance cautiously approaches and hands me a large bowl wine glass of my beloved Cabernet. I clutch it for a moment, staring into the concoction and the answer comes to me like as if I’m staring into a crystal ball.
I was lonely and hurt. For years, I was made to feel like I was nothing and no one. I was brought up in a home of love and kindness for the first part of my life and then, out of nowhere, it was ripped away from me and I was traumatized. The foundation of security that was laid for me was torn from under me and I was cast into the wilderness—literally—with no direction, no affection, and no instruction. I could have died. I thought I would. I wanted to. I reached for any bit of hope and love that was offered to me, even if it was offered by the devil, and twice, it was.
Now, I have a daughter.
“Make sure your daughter knows what a jewel she is,” I say, turning my gaze back to Chuck. “Make sure she knows how important she is. Don’t throw her to the wolves.” He furrows his brow at me for a long moment, but the nods wordlessly. I turn and look down into the deep bowl of burgundy liquid in my hand.
“Adieu pour toujours, Monsieur David,” I say, taking a large swallow of the comforting elixir.
A/N: The quote that Ana says to Edward comes from a movie called “Ever After.” It’s a Cinderella story where Danielle—the Cinderella character—gains the favor of the prince before the ball, but when she presents herself to him, her stepmother outs her as a “slave” in her household. Having lost the prince, the stepmother sells Danielle to another evil man, but she escapes just as the Prince has come to his senses and comes to rescue her. The stepmother and the bitch stepsister that “Mom” was trying to hook up with the Prince were summoned to the castle and once there, convicted of lying to the Queen and sentenced to be stripped of her baronness title and sent to America penniless unless someone was willing to speak for her. Danielle emerges as the Princess and “speaks” for her stepmother, who is forced to bow to her and call her—of all things—Your Highness. Danielle says the infamous quote above about never thinking of her again before asking the King to send her and her daughter off to a life of servitude in the castle. The younger daughter, who had been nice to Danielle, moved into the castle with Danielle and a young knight that she had fallen in love with. Ever After Scene
“Adieu pour toujours, Monsieur David”— “Goodbye forever, Mr. David.”
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Love and handcuffs