Welcome to Book IV of the tetralogy… so far, that is. We never know how far the story is going to go. We just have to see what life has in store for us.
THERE IS NO EMAIL FOR THIS POST, at least until I post chapter 1, so only those connected to me on social media or who have actually “liked” this blog are getting this early sneak peek. It’s very short, but it’s a taste. Having said that, on with the story…
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…
Marilyn and I are sitting in my office going through the calendar for the rest of the week and the mail from yesterday. The month has been a bit wild, what with the Broadmoor Meet and Greet—which was bearable, Sophie’s first birthday while living with us, Val’s final radiation treatment all out of the way, and my little brother’s birthday fast approaching. I almost hate to open the mail.
I open each envelope, putting things in piles for Marilyn to handle, a household pile for Gail, and a third pile of personal items. A letter from the licensing board marked “confidential” catches my attention halfway through the pile. What’s this? Nothing from Helping Hands comes to my home, so I know it’s not for the accreditation. It may be concerning my continuing education credits or volunteer requirements, but Helping Hands would have assisted with both of those… although that notice would not have come in an envelope marked “confidential.”
I turn my attention away from the other mail and focus on the envelope in my hand. Using the letter opener, I slice open the envelope and remove the notice. I’m immediately horrified by its contents. As I scan through the letter, I’m certain that I must be mistaken about what I’m reading. So, I read it again to find that I’m certainly not mistaken and someone, somewhere has completely lost their rabbit ass mind.
The document enclosed is informing me that I must appear before the licensing board to defend a claim of medical sexual misconduct.
What the hell? Who would accuse me of something like this? I read the papers over and over before I finally put them down on my desk, the words in print now swirling through my head…
Exploiting the patient…
“But I haven’t had a sexual relationship with any of my patients!” I say out loud. Marilyn’s voice snaps me out of my trance.
“What?” she says, in a disbelieving tone. “What are you talking about?” She picks up the envelope and examines it. “Is that what that’s about? One of your patients is accusing you of sexual misconduct?”
“It looks like it,” I say bringing my attention back down to the God-forsaken documents. “I’ve been called before the medical ethics board for possible sexual misconduct with one of my patients. Who would accuse me of that? I’ve never been intimate or inappropriate with any of my patients! Who could this be?”
I stopped seeing patients one-on-one last year and I didn’t have many male patients, although I know that doesn’t mean anything. I feverishly scan the documents to see if there’s any hint of my accuser, but there’s only an accusation of misconduct and instructions to contact the board.
“What is this about?” I say to no one in particular.
“Could it be that bitch, Ms. Hightower trying to get back at you for dropping her as a patient… or someone from the Center?” Marilyn asks.
“Right now, it could be anybody,” I say, slumping in my chair before dialing Al’s number.
“Hey, Jewel,” he answers, sounding a bit tired. Now, I’m sorry I called.
“Bad day?” I ask.
“Not so much, just busy. What’s up?”
“I hate to impose on you, but I need you.”
“Okay, what’s the problem?” he asks.
“Before I tell you, I need you to keep this between you and me.” He sighs.
“Secrets, Jewel?” he says, exasperation in his voice. What the fuck? I’m already scared as hell and my lawyer is giving me flack about confidentiality! Before I know it, I snap.
“Goddamn right, secrets!” I retort, loud and sharp. “I’m not contacting you as counsel for GEH; I’m contacting you as my attorney! Is there a problem with our confidentiality?”
“Jewel, no! Calm down, what’s going on?”
“I need your fax number,” I bite between my teeth. He rattles off the number and once I write it down, I hang up without a word. I hand the number and the papers to Marilyn.
“Fax this,” I say. She wordlessly takes the papers from my hands and sets to her task. I have gone from zero to nuclear in less than three seconds and I couldn’t even control it. What Al said wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but these accusations suddenly have me so wound up that I can’t even focus. I’m so upset that I’m shaking and before I know it, I’m weeping—adrenaline tears, I know. So, I just bury my head in my arms and cry on my desk.
I must have been crying for a while because when Marilyn puts her hand on my back to rouse me from mourning, she has a cool, wet hand towel and a cup of the gourmet coffee I used to drink when I was pregnant. That took some prep time, so yeah, I’ve been bawling for a while.
“Thank… you…” I say in those terrible shuddering breaths. I take the towel and cover my face, trying very hard to stop the adrenaline tears while she sets the coffee in front of me. She sits in one of the chairs in my sitting area, saying nothing. When my phone rings, I can’t even answer it, so she answers for me.
“Dr. Anastasia Grey’s phone… yeah, she’s right here. One second.” After a pause, she says, “It’s Al.” I try to pull myself together, but it’s no use.
“Put it… on… speaker,” I tell her.
“You’re on speaker, Al,” Marilyn says.
“Jewel?” his disembodied voice calls.
“Y—yeah?” I say, tears evident in my voice. He sighs.
“I contacted the licensing board. There’s only so much information they can give until they meet us in person. They could tell me who the victim is since it’s not a juvenile and that information is actually public record, but I couldn’t find out who the informant is. The complaint was made anonymously.”
“Can they do that?” Marilyn asks incredulously. “Can any old nut call in and make a complaint against any doctor without proof?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Al says. “If someone feels that a patient is being taken advantage of—even if the patient doesn’t think so—that person can lodge a complaint with the Federation of State Medical Boards. They have to investigate because any allegations of any sexual conduct between a doctor and a patient. It’s not only a matter of patient safety, but also about the protection of the public at large.”
“This is such bullshit,” Marilyn hisses. “So, an anonymous caller says I killed someone, and the police can come and arrest and interrogate me without any proof.”
“Kind of, yeah, but no. With a murder, they need a body and evidence, and you can’t be arrested without evidence—some kind of probable cause. With this case, Jewel will get to plead her case against the complainant, but there still has to be an investigation.”
“Whoever is doing this simply wants to ruin me,” I say, finally getting my breathing under control, though the tears keep falling. They know that even if nothing comes from it, the complaint will always be a black mark on my record. Worst case scenario, I could lose my license.”
“Not only that, but did you take a good look at these papers, Jewel?” he asks.
“Why? What did I miss?” I ask.
“You’re being accused of sexual impropriety and sexual violation,” he says.
“Oh, just fucking great,” I laugh incredulously through my tears.
“What does that mean?” Marilyn asks.
“It means that I talked the talk and walked the walk,” I hiss. “In other words, not only did I say something, proposition someone, or behave inappropriately in a sexual manner, but also, I went balls to the wall and fucked them, too.” I throw the towel down on the floor. I can’t even begin to assume who brought these charges.
“Jewel, there’s something else…”
There’s fucking more?
“The informant is anonymous, but the complainant is not. When you hear who it is, you’ll know why I can’t keep it a secret.” I roll my eyes. This has to be good.
“Who’s the complainant?” I ask, totally deflated.
My brow furrows as I let this sink in. I must have had something jammed in my ears. The sound of my blood rushing through my head must be affecting my auditory senses, because…
“I could swear I just heard you say that my husband is accusing me of sexual misconduct,” I protest.
“He’s not accusing you,” Al corrects, “but whoever is accusing you is naming him as the victim.”
And the blood rushes to my head and most likely out of my ears.
“He’s my goddamn husband!” I shriek, standing quickly from my chair. “How the fuck can I be sexually inappropriate with my goddamn husband? Not to mention that I’ve never been his fucking shrink! What the fuck is this?”
“Um, Jewel… group therapy.” Shit. Shit shit shit!
“Somebody is saying that I was inappropriate with him during group therapy?” I ask.
“It looks that way.”
I don’t even remember what happens next. I remember seeing black and red and hearing Marilyn screaming, “Get Christian here, now!”
I’m driving so fast I think I’m going to break the sound barrier. Jason had to jump into the passenger seat to not get left behind. He’s sitting silently next to me, plastered to his seat like the statue I need him to be right now. We make it home in record time and I’m moving so fast into the house that my feet barely touch the ground. Marilyn is standing in the mudroom when I enter and she looks a total fright.
“Where is she?” I ask.
“Downstairs… the office…” I’m headed for the back-access stairway before she completes her sentence. “Christian…?”
She’s too late. I’m already down the stairs and headed for my wife. I don’t look left or right. I do a beeline right to her office and throw the door open.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I see.
The room is unrecognizable. Furniture is flipped over—some of it broken. Files and papers are strewn about. Broken knickknacks are everywhere. It’s looks like a train ran through here! Marilyn makes it down the stairs or the elevator, I don’t know which, and is panting behind me.
“What happened in here?” I ask horrified. “Where’s Butterfly?”
“That’s what I was trying to tell you,” Marilyn says, slightly out of breath. “She got some really bad news today and she did this in a matter of five minutes. She’s in the parlor. You need to go talk to her… now.” Marilyn’s look and sound of concern lets me know that I don’t need to ask questions. I just need to find my wife.
I find her in the parlor, alright. Her hair is a fucking fright, but besides that, she’s sitting there looking perfectly normal, looking at an unlit fireplace like she’s contemplating life.
“Butterfly?” I say, tentatively, while cautiously entering the room. She sighs heavily.
“You’ve heard,” she says without raising her gaze to me.
“No, I haven’t,” I tell her. “Al came into my office with his hair standing on end telling me that I needed to get home right now and running out of the building telling me that he would meet me here. Now, I’m here and he’s not. Marilyn is so upset that she’s shaking, and your office looks like a tornado blew through it. Please… please… tell me what’s going on.” She doesn’t move for several seconds, then she speaks.
“I got a letter today,” she said. “I have to appear before the Federation of State Medical Boards.” I frown deeply.
“For what?” I ask, bemused.
“I’ve been reported for unethical behavior with a patient.” All I can feel is horror right now. What is this all about? Why would someone claim that her behavior was unethical?
“Unethical in what way?” I demand. “By whom?”
“Sexual misconduct, and I don’t know by whom… it doesn’t say. The accusation is anonymous.”
“That’s bullshit!” I say. “Even in a criminal case, you have a right to face your accuser. So now, you have to go before the board and you don’t even get to know who’s accusing you?” I ask incredulously.
“I don’t know who’s accusing me, but a victim has been named,” she says.
“Who?” I demand. Her face pales and she looks up at me with tears in her eyes.
What. The. Ever. Loving. Fuck?
“WHAT!?” I roar. The tears are flowing freely now. Who the fuck would do this? Who would say this? “I’m a grown ass man! Who the fuck can make this kind of report? Who can make this allegation? You’re my goddamn wife!!” I declare feverishly.
“Anybody can. Anyone who thinks that my behavior is unethical can report me. Whether it actually goes to the Board and becomes a hearing or not depends on if the allegations can be proven.”
“They can’t be proven, though. I pursued you.” I protest.
“… And that will help me when the time comes for me to present my case, but it can be proven,” she says through her tears.
“How? How can something you didn’t do possibly be proven?”
“You were in court-ordered group therapy at the Community Center. I was the facilitator. I have turned in several reports to the court that show past practice and documents that I was the facilitator of those group sessions. When you’re assigned to the group sessions, I suddenly quit and a week later, we’re dating. Our relationship is very public, but only someone that knew about the group therapy would have been able to call foul on our relationship,” she says, her breath shuddering. “One of those catty women that wanted you in the group, Brian, Flynn, anybody! You started therapy on June 11. On June 29, we were fucking. It’s suspect enough to call attention to my behavior as a medical and mental health professional.” I sit down next to her.
“We’ll straighten this out, baby,” I say softly wiping her tears away. “We’ll find out who did this and I’ll make them regret the day that they were born. When is your hearing?”
“Two weeks or so. I can’t remember exactly.” Boy, they’re fast.
“Tell me, what’s the worst that could happen?” I know what it is, but I want to hear it.
“I could lose my license,” she weeps. I pull her into my arms. The last thing I ever wanted was for her to have to choose between me and her career. I would never make her do that, but it looks like the State of Washington just might.
“What can I do, Butterfly?” I ask, cradling her in my arms.
“Be there for me. Testify when they call you, because they will call you… and find out who did this. I know you can.” My girl never takes anything lying down… except maybe a good fucking… and a good flogging… and a nice licking… Okay, we’re straying from the subject.
“I will Butterfly. When I do, we’ll ruin them. I promise.” She nods at me and tries to stop crying. My sole purpose now is to find out who the hell is trying to ruin my wife, and why.
A/N: So the drama begins. Any guesses who could be at the root of this first drama in the life of the Greys?
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