READ CHAPTER 15A FIRST!!!!!
READ CHAPTER 15A FIRST!!!!!
READ CHAPTER 15A FIRST!!!!!
If you are on my email list and you received an email from me today, PLEASE READ IT!!! Some things are going to change. As always, if you notice you haven’t gotten an email from me for RAISING GREY (not “Golden”), let me know.
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 15—Anchors Aweigh!
I love my boat.
God, do I love this boat.
I don’t want to blame my wife for the time I’ve spent away from my boat, but I blame my wife. This was once one of my escapes, my refuge—but since I met her, I haven’t needed to escape. Even when we fight, she’s been my happiness. As a result, I haven’t seen my beloved Slayer in over two years.
The Slayer is a highly-modified, one-of-a-kind, customized version of the Richmond Status Quo. At 150 feet long, my tri-deck Superyacht stands over two stories tall and has six staterooms—five double berths and one with two twin berths as well as additional crew quarters that sleeps eight. With four levels, a family or two could live on this baby and not run into each other for days until bedtime! She’s a stunningly gorgeous, ridiculously expensive watercraft with high-end mahogany furnishings and trimmings, granite and marble counters, flooring, and basins, gold fixtures, stainless-steel columns and railings and top-of-the-line appliances and accessories.
The only thing more stunning than my gorgeous, ridiculously expensive watercraft at this moment is my exquisitely hot wife in a daringly sexy, white, plunging bathing suit and hip wrap strolling onto the deck of my gorgeous, ridiculously expensive watercraft. If my brother weren’t so in love with his wife, I’d be a bit worried.
“You can navigate this monster?” Butterfly asks as she and Valerie cross the passarelle. I chuckle.
“I can and have, many times,” I confirm. “I’ll have help today, though.” She shakes her head.
“You never cease to amaze me,” she says as she removes her sandals and places them in the basket for street shoes before stepping onto the aft deck. Valerie follows suit, but takes a pair of the boat slippers instead of going barefoot.
“Cargo shorts, Christian?” Valerie teases from under her large sunhat. I smile.
“I like to be comfortable on my yacht,” I retort. Her shoulders shake with laughter.
“So, I see. Maybe you can give my husband some pointers to get him out of those jeans.” I raise my eyebrow at her.
“I think that’s your job,” I counter. She touches her fingertips to her palm in a small clap.
“Touché, you’re getting better at it.” I frown.
“At what?” I ask.
“Having a sense of humor,” she says with a wink before heading off towards the main salon. I laugh inwardly that she and I can rib each other so easily when a few months ago, I thought she was the spawn of Satan for how she was treating my wife. I head off behind her and we nearly bump into my wife just beyond the sliding doors.
“What’s wrong, Steele?” Valerie says. I lean over my wife and realize that her expression is a bit tense.
“Butterfly?” I ask. She looks up at me as if she had no idea I was standing there. I think she didn’t.
“It…” She pauses. “It looks like… a parlor.”
Ah, yes. The total masculine Superyacht with feminine touches. Tread lightly, Grey.
“I think that’s what it was supposed to be,” I answer honestly. She looks around the room again.
“You’ve… entertained here?” she asks carefully.
“Yes,” I say, “but only my family.” She nods. She walks over and leans on the piano—the only piece in the room that appears to reflect my taste. She seems afraid to venture any further, so I gently guide her by cupping her elbow.
“I had a very talented decorator that came highly recommended,” I tell her as I guide her through the feminine-decorated room. It absolutely looks like a parlor, like I would never spend a moment in here, but the woman in my life would lounge in here for hours at a time, eating bon-bons and reading the latest gossip column. “There are several lounge areas on the yacht, but since I gave her carte blanche…”
“Her…” Butterfly turns her gaze to me as we pass the large entertainment center that separates the main salon from the elegant dining salon. My little blue-eyed goddess is letting her green-eyed monster show.
“Yes,” I continue, while gesturing around the stylish dining salon before guiding her to the galley, where a few of the staff have set up shop for our day—and possibly, night—trip. “Since I gave her carte blanche with only instructions for what kind of woods and materials I wanted to be used, she felt that some areas definitely required a woman’s touch.”
“Did you plan to entertain on this boat?” she says while examining the gourmet kitchen. I look around and realize that Valerie has conveniently disappeared. Either she knew this would be a difficult conversation or she just decided to tour the yacht on her own.
“I hadn’t before, but I could see it happening now,” I say, quietly. Her eyes soften when she looks up at me, but she quickly diverts her gaze before turning back to the dining salon. “Talk to me, Butterfly.”
“It’s a beautiful kitchen,” she says, fingering one of the place settings on dining table. “This entire deck is beautiful… like it was made just for the little woman, only…” She trails off.
“Only there was no little woman,” I finish for her. I take her arms in my hands. “I don’t know why she did it, but I like it. I was hoping you would like it, too.” She drops her head. “It didn’t make sense to me before, but now it does… because you’re here. I rarely ever spent any time on this deck at all… not even to sleep, but now that you’re here, it all makes sense.” She frowns at me.
“Why would you sleep on this deck?” she asks. I take a deep breath and gesture to the doorway on the other side of the dining room. We walk through an opulent foyer straight across to the master bedroom. My wife’s mouth hits the floor.
“Those two doors are his and hers bathrooms, but I’ve only used the ‘his’ bathroom and only when I sail with a skipper, or else I sleep in the captain’s quarters upstairs.” She turns to me gape-mouthed.
“His and her bathrooms.” It’s an appalled statement, not a question. I nod. She walks to the doorway of the ‘hers’ bathroom and I wait in the bedroom for her to return.
“And no woman has ever slept in this room.” It’s a statement again.
“No,” I respond. “You’ll be the first.” She sits on the bed for a moment.
“Well, that sounds promising,” she says, softly. I almost don’t want her to see the sigh of relief I release, but I’m glad that part is over.
I show her around the rest of my boat—the other luxurious decks, the hot tub, the bars… By the time we’ve set off for a day on the lake, it appears that the “woman’s touch” crisis has been averted. Since the lake is more shallow waters than the ocean, we’re on a slower sail today, like a drift, just enjoying the sunshine and the cool breeze. My boat is really too big for the lake and I can’t do anything much more than coast in these waters. Even though I said I wouldn’t do it, I’m most likely going to have her moved back to the marina so she can really stretch her legs.
But that’s not a concern for today.
Today, I just want to enjoy my time with my wife… and Valerie and Elliot, of course. The skipper doesn’t really need me since we’re traveling at the slowest speed imaginable and once I make sure everything is okay at the helm, I go in search of that sexy, white bathing suit.
I find Butterfly and Valerie lounging in the mahogany chaises on the upper aft deck just off the Skylounge. They’re sharing some private joke and I can see them laughing through the glass doors. Valerie has gotten comfortable around us, as I see that she has removed her sun hat and is showcasing the small amount of hair that has grown back on her head. It almost looks like a very short and stylish pixie cut, just without the long bang.
“Has she thought about wearing her hair like that all the time?” I ask Elliot who, to my surprise, is behind the Skylounge bar. He shakes his head.
“I tell her that it’s beautiful all the time, but I think she thinks I’m only saying it to make her feel better. It really looks nice, doesn’t it?” he asks. I nod.
“I suits her,” I say, turning back to him as he fills a glass with ice, then pops open a Pepsi. I’m suddenly overcome with a rush of melancholy. I brush my hands over my face to try to wipe away the feeling.
“What’s up, bro?” Elliot asks, zeroing in on my change of mood. I sigh.
“I miss the old guy,” I say honestly, resting my arms on the bar. “I’ve been talking to my shrink and she and Butterfly have been trying to help me through my… grief… It’s a slow process, though. Some days, I’m okay and other days, I just want to go to Mom and Dad’s and sit on the patio and talk to him like we used to. That man crawled into my heart in no time and snuggled in tight and now… it’s hard to imagine life without him.”
“I know how you feel,” he says. I look up at him and he’s gazing into his glass of Pepsi. “I didn’t have as close a relationship with him as you did, but…” He trails off for a moment. “I was really young when my parents died—really young, but I still remember them like it was yesterday.” He smiles sadly. “I remember my dad throwing me up in the air and catching me, and I would laugh and laugh. It felt like I was flying. I remember the night I woke up screaming from a bad dream and my mom came bursting into my room like Wonder Woman.” He laughs openly at the thought. “Here I come to save the day,” he sings the Mighty Mouse tune and I don’t bother correcting him, because I’m sure that’s exactly what he meant to do, but then his face falls.
“I remember the day the social worker told me that they were never coming back,” he says, his voice low. “I remember her saying that I would have to go to foster care because neither of them had any family.” He looks up at me. “Both of my parents were foster kids, too.”
“I… never knew that,” I reply. He nods.
“I never told anyone,” he confirms. “I mean, Mom and Dad knew, but… who else really needed to know?” He looks out at Valerie. “I want to make her so happy,” he says, “but I’m so glad that I have a family even though hers is shit, so that if anything ever happens to us…” I reach over the bar and grab his shoulder.
“You know you never have to worry about anything,” I assure him, “and nothing’s going to happen to you.” He sighs heavily.
“I don’t live in gloom in doom, Christian,” he says. “I’m sure you already know that, but losing my parents at an early age and then seeing the start that you and Mia had… almost losing my Angel and now Pops… It just has a way of making you look at life more soberly.” He lifts his glass of soda. “Pun intended.” I run my hands through my hair.
“Will the feeling ever get… any easier?” I ask. My brother raises glassy eyes to me.
“It’ll get easier,” he says, “but it’ll never go away, and it’s not supposed to. You’re supposed to remember them and never forget the lessons and love they blessed you with. Sometimes, I miss my mom and dad so much that it seems like I can’t bear it, but then I think about Mom and Dad—Grace and Carrick,” he clarifies, “and how lucky I was… am… that they adopted me. I think about you and Mia and that I didn’t have it nearly as hard as you guys, not even in foster care… that at least I had parents that loved me and cared for me even though they were ripped away from me. I think about how far you guys have come and how proud I am that you’re my family…”
That tear that’s been threatening his eye finally falls down his cheek.
“I think about how wonderful my life turned out in spite of the bad, and that makes it easier to bear… that, and time.” He smiles up at me and I return his smile. I have a treasure trove of experience at my disposal to help me through this process and I didn’t even know it—my beautiful, intelligent wife; surprisingly wise brother; a very good shrink; my loving parents…
“Thanks, Lelliot. I didn’t mean to bring you down, man,” I say apologetically. He wipes the tear away and waves me off.
“It comes and goes.” He raises his gaze to me. “You’ll see.” I nod.
“I’ll be right back, okay?” I say. He nods. I squeeze his hand and make sure he’s okay before I head off to the Master’s office. I take out my cell phone since I know I still have reception on the lake.
“Christian, hi. What’s going on, son? Enjoying this Sunday morning?” He sounds in good spirits.
“Yes, I am,” I reply. “How are you, Dad?” I hear him sigh.
“As well as can be expected,” he says. “Thanks for asking.”
“How’s Uncle Herman?”
“He’s holding it together,” Dad replies. “It’s still so new.” I nod as if he can see me.
“Yes, I know,” I say, my voice soft. The line is silent for a moment.
“It’s a big world without him in it, isn’t it?” Dad says, his voice sympathetic.
“Yes,” I say, noting his tone, “but I was calling to check on you.”
“I know, son, and now I’m asking about you. How are you doing?” My turn to sigh.
“Ana’s been an angel,” I tell him. “She’s my rock. I don’t know how I could get through this without her.”
“Yes, I know what you mean. You know what your mother means to me and Luma… my God, I think Herman would be a basket case without her.”
“I’m glad he has her,” I reply. “I’m glad we all have loving women to help hold us together.”
“I can’t tell you how happy you mother and I are that you’ve found someone to spend your life with,” Dad interjects. “We had hoped, but… well, we never thought anyone would be able to get through your shell. We knew that it was there to protect you, but we thought that you’d never let anyone in. Now, look at you—a husband and father… two grandchildren for me and your mom! Son, we couldn’t be prouder of you.” I laugh.
“A lot better than the day I told you I wasn’t going back to Harvard, huh?” I jest. Dad laughs, too.
“Worlds better,” he confirms through his laughter before it fades. “We just didn’t know what to expect, son,” he adds. “When you said you weren’t going back to school, I saw it as rebellion. I was at the end of my rope. I felt like we had done all that we could do and…” He trails off.
“I know, Dad,” I tell him. “I wasn’t the easiest kid to deal with, I know.”
“It wasn’t your fault, son,” he interjects. “There was so much going on in your life, in your mind… and with that crazy woman seducing you and feeding you God only knows what…” He trails off again as the anger rises in his voice. He’ll never forgive Elena for taking advantage of me after I had already been victimized. “Well, that’s all over now. You’ve done well for yourself, Christian, and I’m very happy about that.”
“So am I, Dad. So, you and Uncle Herman are holding up?”
“Yes, we are. Thanks for your concern,” he says sincerely. “Hey, what are you doing today? I’m firing up the grill and Grace is making that crab dip that you like so much. We needed something to lighten the mood around here.”
“Is the dock clear?” I ask. He pauses.
“Um, yeah. Esquire is in the boathouse.”
“Good. We’ll sail over in an hour or so.” Another pause.
“You got that monster on the lake??” he asks, surprised. “How the hell did you get it inland?”
“It wasn’t easy,” I confess, “but at the end of the season, I think I’m going to ship her back to ocean waters. She’s going to lay pretty dormant on the lake.”
“You’re telling me!” he exclaims. “What is that thing—130, 135 feet?”
“One fifty,” I correct him. He whistles.
“So right now, you’re just floating,” he observes.
“Pretty much,” I confirm. “I won’t be able to take her over a few knots or I might capsize some of the smaller boats on the water.”
“I could’ve told you that, son.” I twist my lips even though he can’t see me.
“And how could you have told me that, Dad?” I ask, a bit sarcastically.
“Why do you think Esquire is in the boat house and The Judge is at the marina?” The Judge. Hell, I forgot all about The Judge. I didn’t even think he still had that boat.
“Do you ever get out to her anymore—The Judge, I mean,” I ask.
“Not for a while,” he answers. “A lot’s been going on in our lives in the last couple of years.”
“Tell me about it,” I concur. “I don’t think I’ve been on my boat since summer of 2011.”
“Since when did you start calling it a ‘boat?’” Dad teases. I chuckle.
“Nasty habit I picked up,” I say with mirth. “Throw a couple more burgers on that grill. We’ll be there shortly.”
“Who’s with you?”
“Just me and Elliot and the girls,” I tell him.
“Okay then, we’ll see you shortly.” We say our goodbyes and I end the call with my father before going back to the bar with Elliot. He’s still nursing the Pepsi, or maybe it’s a new one, and he’s gazing out the glass doors at our wives lounging on the chaises. I’ve never seen my brother so smitten in his life, and he was pretty damn smitten with Kavanaugh.
“Hey,” I say, garnering his attention. He slowly turns his gaze to me. “I’ll teach you how to make a Cosmo. Remember how wild they drove our wives at that night club?” Elliot frowns at me.
“When the hell did you learn how to make a Cosmo?” he says.
“Something I picked up,” I say, “after I saw what an animal my wife became at that nightclub.” He raises his eyebrow at me.
“I’m all ears, man,” he says, stepping aside as I unlock the liquor cabinet and pull out a wooden box. Inside—a $3000 bottle of vodka made with Himalayan water and Russian winter wheat.
“You’re breaking out the Stoli for cosmos?” Elliot asks in amazement. I throw a knowing look at him.
“You lookin’ to get laid later or not?” I ask matter-of-factly. He shrugs and grabs the martini shaker.
“So, this is how the rich and famous live,” Val jests while we lounge on the deck of Christian’s boat, Motown music piping from hidden speakers.
“Stop acting so surprised,” I tell her. “Elliot’s been treating you like a queen and I know it. When that house is finished, it’s going to rival the Crossing. There’s nothing that man won’t give you if you ask.”
“Yes, I know,” she replies, her voice sounding melancholy. We don’t say anything for a moment. We just sit there in momentary silence.
“Do you ever worry that you might lose it all?” she asks after a long quiet moment. I look over at her.
“Lose it all?” I ask, “like… how?”
“Like you’ll wake up one day and it’ll all be gone… like you’ll open your eyes and it’ll have all been a wonderful, beautiful dream that must now come to an end.” I turn to face her on my chaise.
“What’s brought this on, Val?” I ask. “Nothing’s going to happen to make you ‘lose it all.’ Elliot loves you; you’re building a house—or rebuilding, I should say. We’ll be having Thanksgiving at Grey… whatever you guys are going to name that place. And right now, we’re cruising on the lake on a luxury yacht looking like the two rich hotties that we are, and you’re talking about losing it all?” She shrugs.
“I got cancer, Steele,” she announces. “I never in a million years would have thought that I would get cancer—not in a million years, but I got it, and it almost killed me. It almost cost me everything and everyone that I love. Ask me back in college if I could have told you that this would happen, if I could have even predicted the slightest chance of it happening, and I would have said, ‘Hell, no!’ I was kicking ass and taking names—getting my degree, being all I could be… I was counting the money from my great marketing job before I even started making it. Ask me if I thought Mom would die and Dad would become an asshole and my brother would become a worthless piece of shit. I’m just glad my father has money so that he doesn’t come looking for me!”
She sighs heavily and sits back in her chaise. I know my friend and I know more is coming. I’m just waiting for her to reload.
“You can’t imagine what it meant to me that Mom put away my college fund,” she says. “Not only was I able to live comfortably and finish school without worries, but I was able to get out on my own and make my own money—be my own success… and I was able to meet you… and Al, even though he called me Ice Pussy for the first year.” She laughs a tragic sounding laugh. “Not yet, Mom. Not yet.”
We’ve only talked about Val’s mom once or twice in the decade that we’ve been friends. I know that some disease took her, too, but that’s all I know. She just… won’t talk about it.
“Now, I have this great husband that’s so much more than I deserve. I can choose to go back to my fantastic career any time I want… or not. We’re about to move into this fabulous house. I got all my friends back and they’re all happy and married or in loving relationships. Everything’s coming up roses… for all of us, so why do I have this horrible feeling of impending doom?” I reach out and take her hand.
“It’s normal, Val,” I tell her. “Your brush with death was barely six months ago. If you didn’t see your life flash before your eyes, you should be seeing it now. This is so… ordinary. How long have you felt like this?” She shrugs.
“I don’t know. I think just since Burt died.” I hold my hands out in a “tada” kind of way.
“There you have it,” I tell her. “Someone else’s death almost always brings your own mortality to the forefront. The Greys have just gone through something extremely traumatic and you were there to see it—the entire time, battling your own tumor without even knowing it. That has a way of causing one to take a serious self-inventory. I wouldn’t worry about it too much, Val. Don’t let the anxiety overshadow the bigger picture. You made it! All is well and it’s going to stay well. Enjoy this time. You deserve it and everything you’re getting right now. To be honest, I’d be a little concerned if you didn’t have this kind of reaction at least once after everything that’s happened to you.” She looks over at me through her cat-eye sunglasses.
“You really think so? I’m maybe just being a little melodramatic?” she asks. I put my index finger and thumb close together.
“Just a tad, but hey, you deserve to be, and that’s my professional opinion.” She smiles at me and reaches out for my hand. I return her smile and clasp her hand in mine. “By the way, your hair actually looks cute like that if you can get used to it being short for a while.”
“After the fiasco this weekend at the country club, I’m leaning towards only wearing the wig on very special occasions,” she giggles. We sit in silence for several more moments before our husbands come out of the sliding glass doors.
“Oooo, holding hands—a little girl on girl action?” Elliot jests with two glasses in his hand.
“Nah,” Val says. “You’re hot, Steele, but you don’t have the equipment.”
“Ditto,” I deadpan. “What’s this?”
Christian walks over to me with two drinks in his hand—his beloved Scotch and what looks like the perfect freaking Cosmo!
“You’ve got a bartender on board, too?” I ask, in surprise.
“Nope,” Elliot says, “my brother and I made these with our own two little hands.” I look at Christian and he nods. I throw a knowing look at Val and I know we’re both thinking the same thing.
What the hell have they brought us?
They’re both standing over us holding these pretty pink creations like the cats who caught the dead mouse and is now bringing to its owner for praise. I sigh and try not to show my trepidation, which doesn’t get past Christian, who’s hiding a smirk.
“Just try them,” he says, handing the crystal-clear glass to me, now sweating from the cool drink inside. I take the super-large martini glass from him and take a sip.
Wait a minute… I take another sip and turn to Val.
“This is good!” I exclaim with wide eyes. “Try it!”
She raises an eyebrow to me, but takes the glass from Elliot and takes a sip.
“Oh, my,” she says before taking another sip. “These are delicious!”
“I know, right?” I say, taking a large swallow of the fabulous concoction. “You made these? Really?” I ask my husband. He nods.
“I saw how much you liked them at the Havana, so I learned how to make them…”
“And he taught me!” Elliot announces proudly. “Using elixir from the gods, of course.”
I have no doubt that my husband’s choice of four or five-digit vodka and triple-sec is responsible for the fact that this has to be the best Cosmo I’ve ever tasted in my life!
“Well, keep ‘em comin’!” I exclaim, taking yet another drink.
“Ah, ah, ah. No inebriation for you just yet, my pet,” he says, sitting on the chase next to me. “We’re having lunch with my parents first, then the afternoon will be ours to lazy around in the sun.” I frown.
“Lunch with your parents? When did that happen?” I ask. Not that I wouldn’t enjoy lunch with Grace and Carrick—I just didn’t know that it was on the agenda.
“I called to see how Dad was doing and he told me that he’s got steak and shrimp on the grill. So, we’ll cruise by there for an hour or so and then be on our way.” I nod.
“Okay. Sounds good to me.” I sip my Cosmo again. “Keep feeding me these and I’m likely to agree to anything.”
“That’s my plan,” he says, waggling his eyebrows before closing in for a sensual kiss.
“Who wants steak?” Carrick asks as he brings another round of grilled sirloins to the picnic table by his dock.
“I do!” Christian declares, spearing a huge hunk of beef off the plate.
“Count me in,” Elliot follows, his mouth already full of food. I’m enjoying a tasty sirloin burger—added to the menu at Grace’s request—and some of her delicious homemade potato salad.
“Now, what are you going to do with the food the crew cooked?” I ask Christian. He shrugs.
“We’ll eat that, too. There’s still dinner and a whole gang of security staff if we can’t finish it.” Carrick freezes for a moment.
“Fraternizing with the help?” Carrick says mockingly.
“Things change,” he says, taking a healthy bite of his steak. “Dad, this is so good.”
“It always is, son,” Carrick says with a smile before going back to the grill. Christian leans in to his mother.
“How’s he doing?” he asks. Grace looks off at her husband turning meat on the grill.
“As well as can be expected,” she says. “He’s keeping busy—cases and all, you know. He feels so guilty for wasting so many years not speaking to his father. After talking to his brothers and seeing what the true basis was for all the animosity, I’m afraid he might kill Freeman if he ever sees him again.”
“It would serve him right,” I say over a mouth full of sirloin burger. Christian and Grace glare at me, surprised. “Sorry, too many Cosmos.”
“They bring out the truth,” Grace says, folding her hands on her lap. My turn to glare. “He’s a wretched, horrible man. Look what he’s done to his family. He alienated his daughter, damn near killed his own son, came across the country to fight his brother in his own house, nearly had his nephew arrested, stressed his father out in his last days… the man is a menace! He’s worthless in every sense of the word and I don’t know how no one has beaten him to a pulp way before now!”
“Hear, hear,” Carrick says, adding more meat to the mountain of beef already on the table.
“Dad, there’s plenty of food. Why are you still cooking?” Elliot says.
“Because Mia got wind of steaks on the barbie and she and about five of her wedding party will be descending upon us any minute.”
“Oh, hell,” Christian says aloud, and he’s up and on his way to the boat with his plate. I roll my eyes.
“Wait for me,” Elliot calls to him and falls in line behind his brother carrying his plate of food as well.
“Dad, you and Uncle Herman come on board for some cards when you’re done grilling!” Christian calls back to his father.
“Will do!” Carrick calls to his son. I frown.
“Did I miss something?” I ask Grace. She chuckles.
“Surely you remember the fundraising meeting where we first met. Most likely, the girls willing to give up their Sunday afternoons are doing so with hopes of getting a glimpse of my sons. They don’t think I notice that they become scarce every time the committee comes around.” I shake my head.
“They’re both married now!” Val exclaims. “Don’t these skanks have any shame?”
“I guess not,” Grace says. “I haven’t seen any of them ‘turn it down’ the slightest bit even after the boys got married.”
“You must be talking about the wedding girls,” Luma says joining the conversation.
“We are indeed,” Grace says. Their behavior must be pretty bad for Luma to have noticed.
“Ladies do not behave that way where I come from,” she says. “I never understand why American girls treat their bodies like buffets… this boy and that boy, I just don’t understand.”
“Not all American girls,” Val corrects her and Luma concedes.
“Forgive me, you are right. Not all American girls, but some I have seen. It’s so sad. And they are so pretty.”
“That’s relative,” I say. “Honestly, a lot of their beauty is store-bought.”
“I think we’ve cooked enough meat, darling. Go and join your sons!” Grace calls out to Carrick as he’s taking the last of the steaks and burgers off the grill. He nods to her and turns the grill off.
“Herman, get the hat off your face and let’s go teach the boys a lesson,” Carrick tells his brother.
“Will do,” Herman says, stretching while removing his hat from his face. Just as Herman and Carrick disappear onto the passarelle, I hear the incessant giggling… or I should say cackling… of girls off in the distance.
“Don’t look now, but I think we’re being ‘descended upon,’” Grace says as I notice that Mia’s group of five or six has expanded to her whole fucking wedding party.
“Just fucking great,” Val says as she dons her sunglasses. I join her and close my eyes in an attempt to block out these crowing bitches. I soon learn that it’s going to be an impossible task. I don’t even understand how Mia can tolerate the company of these women for more that a few minutes at a time, let alone request—or even allow them to be in her wedding!
Mia has never struck me as one of these girls… except when she made the crack about the homeless when she was insulting Courtney. I think I’m just a little too close to the situation, because even though it irritated the fuck out of me, I still never considered her snobby or entittled. This group, however, is dripping affluenza and it’s driving me batshit. My attempts to meditate and block them out only work for about fifteen minutes. Grace is the first of us to tap out.
“If you ladies will excuse me,” Grace says. She makes her exit as these hungry heifers start gnawing on sides of beef like starving dogs. Funny, I thought debutants and sorority girls were taught how to eat like ladies in public. I guess that’s only when billionaire suitors, self-made millionaire entrepreneurs, and trust fund boys are around. This crowd is acting like it’s feeding time at the zoo.
The zoo… that would be a nice, normal day for me, Christian, and the twins… I would hope…
“Holy shit, look at that boat,” one of the girls say, as if they just noticed the Slayer moored at the deck. They probably did just notice it—too busy shoveling quarters of Bessie down their throats.
“That shit is hot. It screams power,” another girl says, throwing a knowing look back at the first.
“Thank you,” I say conspicuously, drawing the attention of a few of the girls in the group.
“Excuse me?” The second girl says, eyeing me in a manner that questions how I dare invade her space, let alone her conversation.
“I said, ‘Thank you,’” I repeat, looking at her without removing my sunglasses. “You said my boat was hot, and you’re right, it does scream power. So, thank you.”
She turns her nose up like she’s smelling something bad, and she and her cohort go back to join the other girls sucking down cow leg quarters. Val and I turn to each other and giggle.
“We should probably just go on back to the boat,” she says, through her snickering. “I’m certain that current company would rather we weren’t here in the first place.” We were here first; they descended on us! But considering the fact that I don’t want to be around them anyway…
“I think you’re right. Let’s go,” I say, getting up from the lawn chair and gathering my shoes and sunhat. Almost on cue, my husband comes out onto the main aft deck.
“Butterfly!” he calls out. “Your phone is ringing like crazy! I think you should come and get it!”
“You can answer it!” I call back. “I’m coming!” I watch as he answers my phone and I hear the collective sigh behind me.
“There he is,” one of the crowd says, I have no idea which one. I look over my shoulder at the salivating girls who don’t bother to acknowledge my presence even though they all know who I am.
“Yeah, that’s mine, too,” I say, and one by one, they tear their gazes from my hot husband and land death glares on me. I roll my eyes and begin to walk towards my boat.
“Jesus, what a bunch of classless cows!” Val says as we walk towards the boat.
“Cows sucking on cows,” I snicker. “How appropriate.” I look up just in time to see Christian walking down the passarelle towards me, looking model perfect in his aviator sunglasses with his copper curls blowing in the breeze. I can’t help but lick my lips and I watch him walk towards and when he notices, he does this little come hither thing with his hands.
Mr. Grey, are you trying to get fucked on your parents’ lawn?
I run the few feet of distance between us and he bends his knees just as I approach. I leap into his arms and he doesn’t even stumble. With two handfuls of ass and me wrapped around his body, he shoves his tongue down my throat in one of the most passionate public displays of affection I’ve ever known.
And now I’m horny.
“Time for more Cosmos,” he says seductively when he pulls his lips away from mine.
“You’ll get no argument from me,” I concur. “Who dare call me on a Sunday afternoon?”
“Marilyn. It’s about tomorrow’s radio spot. I told her you’d call her right back.”
“Good man,” I say as I shove my tongue in his mouth again. He squeezes my ass harder as he groans into my mouth.
“Okay, you two, plenty of rooms on the boat,” Val scolds. “Let’s take this party away from prying eyes. Besides, while you’re mauling each other, I want my man.”
“You rang?” Elliot appears from nowhere, scooping Val into his arms. Before she can respond, he cups her nape with one hand and tilting her head a bit, plants his lips firmly over hers in a long, luscious kiss. Christian just stands there with me still in his arms as we both gape at Elliot and Val mouth fucking on the lawn… with a large audience. Val gasps when their lips part and her eyes are glazed over like she doesn’t know where she is.
“Hi,” Elliot says in a soft voice. “Miss me?”
Val’s mouth is hanging open and she’s trying not to gasp like a school.
“Uh-huh,” she squeaks. I have to cover my laughter. I thought I was bad…
“Damn, brother,” Christian says. “If I didn’t have my hands full, I’d applaud right now.”
“You should talk,” Elliot says, “with that oral porno you just put on.” He releases Val’s nape and slides his arm around her waist. “Come on, Angel.” He holds her protectively close to him as he walks her back to the boat. Christian looks at me.
“Walk… or ride?” he says suggestively. I smile coquettishly.
“Ride,” I respond with the same promise he had in his voice a moment ago, and he carries me back to the boat.
Three Cosmos and maybe seven hands of Poker later, I’m laid out on the loveseat in the main parlor, barely able to hold a conversation with Val. KNZT wanted to move my radio spot to the break of freaking dawn to make space for someone else that they had been trying to snag. Marilyn tried to convince them to leave the schedule as is, but they insisted that if I wanted my concerns heard, it would have to be on the 5am spot. Tomorrow is the day I planned to talk about my sexual misconduct hearing and how badly I was treated. While it is a message that I want to be heard, I’m not willing to be pushed to 5am when the rooster crows to spread that message. I turned into a bit of a prima donna and told her to tell them, “Maybe some other time, then.” I don’t even want the spot now, even if they kept it at the regular time. I’m too pissed that they broke into my lazy Sunday afternoon with this bullshit, so I hope the other person that they have to fill the spot is worth it.
I’m nicely inebriated when Val excuses herself and walks out of the sliding doors. Now, I’m not stumbling drunk, but I’m more than slightly impaired… not so impaired, though, that I can’t see a coven of the wedding girls on the aft deck with my husband. One of them—I don’t know which—is wearing a red bikini that shouldn’t even be seen in public. Not only is it not covering her ass at all, but even from here, I can see where she’s freshly waxed and her bra is only covering the nipples of her $10,000 boob job.
I struggle a bit to get to my feet, hoping that my presence will at least make this bitch back the fuck up off my man. I get to the sliding doors just in time to hear Val talking to the naked girl.
“You look hot,” Val says. What the fuck, oh friend of mine?
“Thank you,” the girl wearing the red Band-aids says to her.
“No, really… you look hot.” Val gives her a good solid push and she flies through the back gate and off the Aft Deck. She’s flailing in the most unladylike manner trying to catch herself before she lands very ungracefully into Lake Washington. I nearly fall over myself in the most hideous laughter. I can’t even stop myself. Christian is trying—and failing—to hold the serious CEO face as he watches the performance of a drowning woman in the lake.
“Somebody better go get her,” I choke. “She might drown from that performance alone.”
Nobody moves to save her as apparently these swimsuits are for show, not for flow. Christian grabs the life preserver from one of the lockers of the yacht and throws it out to her.
“If you’re really drowning, you better grab it, because your friends will let you die,” he says over the edge. We watch as she swims—yes, swims—over to the life preserver and clings to it for dear life.
“Did you see that?” I say pointing to her like a five-year-old tattling on a talker. “Did you see her swim? You’re such a faker!” and I’m so drunk.
“Anybody else feel like coming on to my brother-in-law?” Val says with her hands on her hips.
“There’s plenty of lake!” I throw my arms open and giggle unceremoniously.
“There’s only two of you and a lot of us,” one of the girls points out.
“And I’ve never fought a girl before, but if any of you put your hands on either of them, I’ll make an exception.” The voice belongs to my husband and once again, I want to stop, drop, and fuck him—even more now than before.
“What’s going on?” Elliot says, coming down the stairs from the upper deck. “I thought you were coming to get more gin.”
“He was, but he was intercepted by a litter of stray kittens…” Val begins.
“And one wet one!” I giggle, pointing at the girl who has finally decided to stop her water aerobics and get out the lake. “I thought cats didn’t like water.” I make hissing and scratching noises like an angry kitten before breaking into another fit of giggles.
“Steele, you’re toasted. I hope you didn’t have plans for tomorrow,” Val laughs at me.
“Not anymore!” I declare happily. “I want another Cosmo!”
“Coming right up,” Christian says. “Mia’s friends were just leaving. Ladies?” He gestures to the passarelle and several women turn disbelieving gazes to him, horrified that he’s actually throwing them off the boat. Hell, they weren’t invited in the first place.
“I’ve never been so insulted in my life!” one of the girls says.
“You’re young yet! There’s plenty of time!” I yell and Val’s laughter bursts across the deck and part of Lake Washington. Once the last of the kittens have disembarked, Christian retracts the passarelle to prevent them from coming back onto the boat.
“Bye!” I yell conspicuously. “It’s been a blast. Well, except for her—more like a splash!” I laugh maniacally at my own corny joke.
“Oh, my God, Steele, stop, please…” Val says, chuckling to herself. “Get this woman a drink or something. Put something in her mouth.”
“I’ve got something to put in her mouth,” Christian says and I gasp wide-eyed at him.
“Too much information,” Val says. “Get her another Cosmo…”
So much fun! So, so much fun on the boat! Since my morning appearance was cancelled, I decided to take the day off tomorrow and spend the entire afternoon drunk out of my mind. My husband didn’t have that luxury since he likes to make sure his boat is being handled properly, but he wasn’t alone since Elliot doesn’t drink.
I wasn’t alone either. Carrick and Herman had a few more than usual and repeatedly kicked the boys’ asses in Poker. I have a feeling that Elliot and Christian let them win a hand or three, but as it turned out, they needed it. As afternoon turned to dusk, Herman and Carrick sank into maudlin about their father, and the four men took a melancholy trip down Memory Lane—something that I’m sure at least three of them needed. Elliot admittedly didn’t get as close to Pops and Christian did, but he confessed that he still misses the old guy. We all do.
Grace and Luma were granted access onto the Slayer and the ladies chewed the shit about everything and nothing while the two sober gentlemen assured that there was a steady stream of Cosmos coming down to the Main Salon. I admittedly drank the most with Grace coming in second and Val close behind her. Luma doesn’t drink much, so she nursed one or two. We were singing and dancing and acting like total fools until Luma—the level-headed one—declares that they should call it a night. It really was a lot of fun, but she’s right. I’m dead on my feet.
“There’s no getting her into the house tonight,” I say to Elliot. “She’s out cold.” He nods.
“Ditto, but I’m going to get Angel to bed. She doesn’t like waking up in strange places.” He scoops his sleeping wife into his arms. “Goodnight, Bro. Great times.” I smile.
“Yeah, it was.” He carries Valerie down the passarelle and across the lawn. I go back to the main stateroom where my wife has fallen asleep in her bathing suit, not having swam once all day. I sit on the edge of the bed and just watch her sleep. I so wanted to make love to her in this bed. She would be the first woman I ever fucked on my boat, ever allowed on my boat besides staff and family, but I guess that’ll just have to wait for another day. It was a wild afternoon, to say the least, what with Mia’s catty friends inviting themselves onto my boat and Valerie’s ceremonious “das boot” of one of the girls right off the deck into the water. I had to stamp down the chivalrous gentleman in me and refrain from jumping in after her, but I did throw her the life preserver. All of Mia’s friends can swim and I know that. They made a point of getting into the pool with the slinkiest swim suits throughout high school, sticking their asses in the air to entice me and Elliot. I don’t know if it ever worked with Elliot, but I was interested in an entirely different flavor at the time… and none of them could even slightly fit the bill.
Dad and Uncle Herman let loose a bit. Even when they got a little melancholy about Pops, we were still having good times. God, I miss that old man, even more so now hearing about his younger days from Dad and Uncle Herman. Apparently, Pops was a bit of a Casanova, and Ruby found some of his pictures from his younger days of his many admirers and thought they were current. It wasn’t a happy day in the Grey household that day, but fortunately, they straightened it all out. Uncle Herman and Freeman were still kids when it happened and Dad wasn’t born yet.
Uncle Herman and Luma make a really nice couple. She seems to care for him a lot and he leans on her tremendously during this difficult time. He gets this look in his eye when she’s around like… I don’t know, like a teenager falling in love for the first time. That’s the best thing I can compare it to. It’s new love, fresh and untainted. I’m really happy that in the midst of all this sadness, he’s able to find some joy.
I look over at my sleeping Butterfly and remember the feelings of first realizing that I loved her. It was scary as shit. You’re vulnerable and open to whatever hell the other person wants to put you through. I wasn’t ready for that. I was independent and strong. I had no intention on allowing one of the pretty little brown-haired girls to have that kind of control over me…
Until she came along.
Even now, I couldn’t tell you how it happened… how I let it happen. I mean, yeah, she was gorgeous and I wanted her, but I wasn’t trying to fall in love. If anything, I wanted to conquer her, to make her submit so that I could knock her off that damn high horse she was on when we first met. Dr. Steele. My name is Dr. Steele, I mock her in my head. Insolent little sawed-off…
Now, she’s my whole life… her and my babies… my whole fucking life.
Christian Grey, family man. Had you asked me just three short years ago, I would have said, “No way in hell.” Now, I can’t see it any other way. I run my hands through my hair and rest my elbows on my knees.
“You look sorrowful,” her soft voice says from behind me. I look over my shoulder and she hasn’t changed positions. She’s just looking at me, looking all edible and delicious.
“You’re supposed to be sleeping,” I say, remembering that she was drunk out of her mind not an hour ago.
“Well, I’m not,” she says in a sexy, come hither voice. I can tell that she’s still a little liquored.
“You need to rest, baby,” I coax, turning to her a bit. “You’ve had a lot to drink.”
“What if I don’t want to rest?” she says, curling her arms over her head and resting one wrist on top of the other. Fuck!
“Baby, I remember when you were wine drunk. You could barely remember what happened the next day.”
“Drunk sex is fun and I guarantee you, I’ll remember fucking you.” Shit, Anastasia, you’re making this harder and harder for me… literally!
“I don’t want to take advantage of you, Butterfly,” I warn. She sits up and unhooks the halter around her neck. Two pieces of material fall down to her waist and two gorgeous mounds of flesh spill out before me.
They’re swollen and full of milk and I love them when they’re this big! All full and bursting with life… and sexy.
“Baby, if I touch those things, they’re going to explode,” I growl.
“You got a problem with that?” she questions.
“Fuck, no!” I reach for her and she lunges at me at the same time. She’s devouring my lips and tongue and I’m grabbing handfuls of her tits and ass. She’s mauling me in every way possible, like she can’t get enough of me, and it’s making me hornier and hornier—but I have to let her lead this game. I said I won’t take advantage of her and I mean it. She’s pulling my hair and biting my lip and it’s taking everything in me not to slam her onto this bed and fuck her “to infinity and beyond.”
She pulls away from me just enough to snatch my T-shirt up my body and over my head before descending on my lips again. She has climbed onto my lap straddling me now and is grinding her body into my hardening dick. Fuck, she’s so goddamn hot, I can’t even control her. I groan into her mouth while squeezing her luscious ass.
“Lie down,” she whispers against my lips. I lay back and try to take her with me, but she wiggles from my grasp and out of my lap. She moves with the speed and agility of a cat as she undoes my shorts and slides them and my boxer briefs off my body. I don’t even have time to raise my hips to help her get them off. When she rises from removing my clothes, her lips lock tight onto my dick and she sucks the damn thing like a fucking straw.
“Fuck-ing-shit!” I hiss loudly, my hips nearly rising off the damn bed. She’s on her knees between my legs and her head is bobbing slowly as she torments my dick with one of the hottest, tightest blowjobs I’ve ever had in my fucking life.
“Baby! Fuck!” I groan loudly. She’s fucking killing me here! Slow, hard sucks and slurps on my dick feel so good, I’m damn-near mindless! I thrust my hands in her hair and it only makes her speed up, bobbing harder and faster and I can’t stand this shit. I try to think of anything I can besides this magnificent blowjob to prolong the situation, but it’s no use. I have to tell her.
“Baby… please… stop. I don’t want to come yet!” I throw my head back as I’m certain that I’m about to lose the fight, and she heeds my warning and releases my dick. Apparently, she doesn’t want me to come yet either. I take deep breaths to compose myself while she kisses my inner thigh over and over again, then my pelvis and up my torso. When I can see her eyes, she stands and slides her bathing suit off her hips.
Shit, she looks fucking delicious.
She climbs on top of me, thrusting her tongue in my mouth again and grinding her body against me, just enough to keep me hard and not enough to get me off.
“I fucking love you,” I growl into her mouth.
“I love fucking you,” she responds between kisses, “and I fucking love you, too.”
She sits up on my lap and raises her hips, positioning me at the opening of her core. I’m damn near breathless waiting to enter her and she slides down onto me without moving her eyes from mine. Her pussy sucks me in hard and I’m nearly ready to explode again. She doesn’t move. She just sits there with me inside of her, wrapped around me, warm and tight.
Don’t come, Grey. Don’t fucking come.
“If you move…” I try to warn her while squeezing her thighs.
“I know,” she says, still gazing in my eyes. “Calm down. I wanna fuck you.” I groan loudly.
“That’s not helping,” I lament, dropping my head back in defeat.
“Suck it up, Grey,” she growls. “I wanna fuck,” and she starts to move. Fuck! Fucking hell! Fuck! She feels so fucking good! I groan and squirm, count and try to think about other things—anything! Anything at all! But what she’s doing to my dick is criminal. She’s rolling and bouncing and grinding and I fucking want to come so badly that I could cry. I almost want to safeword this shit is so unbearable. Instead, I grab her ass and start pumping hard into her, trying to bring her to orgasm with me.
“I can’t stop it! It feels too good! I’m gonna come, baby…”
“Wait!” she says, and she halts her movements. I yowl in frustration, my orgasm burning in my balls and fading away as she sits atop me, holding my dick prisoner in her vise-like walls. I sit up with her on my lap, still inside of her, glaring at her hungrily. I dig my fingers into her back, the frustration becoming too much for me. She cries out and I worry that I’m too rough with her. Her tits are spilling on my chest, milk leaking down both our bodies.
I really need to suck those.
I put my mouth on her leaking breasts, alternating between licking and sucking her wet, taut nipples. I feel her shiver in arms as she watches me intently.
God, I want you to fuck me… I want to come hard inside you… This shit is more than I can take.
She pushes her hands into my hair and licks her lips as I lick her nipples. My dick is getting harder and more anxious inside her. She’s fucking torturing me. I want to grab her hips and lift her up so I can fuck her… push her down onto me so this burning in my shaft can release… something! I’m fucking dying here!
She has mercy on me and starts to move, slowly… very slowly. I groan deep in my throat when I feel the friction against my cock and the pressure slowly start to build in the base of my balls and in my lower back. She doesn’t speed up, though. She keeps stroking me, keeps fucking me, slow and deep. I’m about to lose my fucking mind. Instead of grabbing her and pressing her hard down onto me like I want to, I grab the sides of each tit with both hands, letting the milk flow out of one while I continue to lick and suck the other.
She gasps, whimpers, and groans in her chest as she thrusts her hands in my hair—and her pussy onto my dick. Yes! That’s it, baby. I won’t stop you this time. I won’t say a word. This torment is too much. I move my mouth to the other nipple that’s making us a sloppy, milky mess while she fucks me so sensuously. Good hell, my dick is going to supernova inside her when this is all over.
And why is this milky mess turning me on so much?
“Fuck me, baby,” I growl. “Fuck me good… make me come…”
So much for not saying a word. This shit is so good that my mouth has a mind of its own right now. She moves infinitesimally faster and I feel my cock getting thicker and harder inside of her. Suddenly, the mind of its own is silent and I can only concentrate on this searing pleasure in my dick and balls and pelvis. I can’t even move. I can only enjoy.
Fuck, this feels so good.
I can tell when she gets her rhythm and it starts to get good to her, because she puts her hands on my shoulders to steady herself and starts to bounce—a little at first, then harder and faster.
Hold on, Greystone. It won’t be long now.
I hold my head back and look up at her—my goddess, wet from sweat and leaking milk, riding me meticulously and slowly, her eyes open and staring at nothing… or at the heavens… or Nirvana just about to descend upon both of us. She’s celestial as she rises and falls on top of me, so beautiful—so fucking beautiful that I can’t stand it.
I love you… God, I love you so much… so much… so fucking much…
Her breath catches in her throat and her eyes close. I don’t know where she is now. I just know that she feels so good against me, on top of me, wrapped around me, in my arms…
I wrap my arms around her and hold her against me. It doesn’t hinder her rhythm, so I slide one hand down to her ass and slip it between her cheeks, fondling her rosette.
Her breath quickens and she tightens slightly around my cock, threatening to syphon my seed from me any second and I push past the barrier of her rosette into her anus. She shivers a bit and her hips roll just a little more against my shaft.
Shit, baby, you better come soon…
I’m trying to hold out, squeezing her hip and pushing my finger deeper into her ass. She’s bouncing faster and harder on top of me, against me. My hands full of cheeks, my finger in her ass, her bouncing like crazy on my dick.
It’s about to be over.
I finally press my finger in as far as it can go from this angle and move it around just a bit. In moments, she digs her fingers into my shoulders, stills her movements, and starts to shake. She’s whimpering and panting in a mindless orgasm that pulls me deep into her and squeezes my aching dick between her heavily and violently pulsing walls.
It’s. A. Wrap.
“Oohh-ho-ho, baby, God!” I lament, and I fall back onto the bed, taking her pulsing body with me while I empty fantastically inside her.
Now, that’s the way you christen a boat!
A/N: “To infinity and beyond” —Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story.
Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/raising-grey/
You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.