Raising Grey: Chapter 22—Submissive

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 22—Submissive

CHRISTIAN

I can feel myself rising to full height before I even get out of the car. The ride back to the Crossing was silent and I haven’t heard a word from my wife, which is a bit surprising considering she spent part of her morning with one of my prior submissives. I, on the other hand, spent the afternoon grilling an uneasy Jason on how Sandra Beasley was able to get so close to my wife so easily. I also set Alex to the task of finding out exactly what the hell happened to one Ashanda Beasley—information that I plan to keep on tap in case I need it to deal with Sarah Bradley in the future.

My wife isn’t home when I arrive—another fact that I find surprising, but it’s still a bit early. I head to my office to try to finish some work, but I’m widely distracted by the events of the day and the fact that Anastasia still isn’t home yet. Early in the evening, Jason requests an audience.

“I have an answer for you, sir,” he says, as he marches across the open area of my office. He hands me the file on Ashanda Beasley, a preliminary background check requested about ten days ago as protocol for the interview. Initially, everything is standard and nothing is cause for concern except for a red flag for age and date of birth. Further investigation required was returned as the outcome. I raise my gaze to him.

“This report came in this morning, sir, right before the interview. She decided to do it anyway.”

She… my wife.

“Why wasn’t I notified?” I ask.

“We didn’t know who she was,” he says. “As far as we knew, she was Ashanda Beasley with a flag on her birthdate. It could’ve been a typo. We were still investigating and as quickly as the information was filtering in, I was processing it and giving it to you. The moment I discovered that Beasley was Bradley, I turned on that cable channel. That’s when I came to your office.”

“So, we knew something wasn’t right before she went to the interview. We just didn’t know what it was.”

“Correct.”

“And because we didn’t have all the information, and this small thing got past us, she made the final call to do the interview,” I summarize. Jason sighs quietly.

“Correct.” I nod. I can’t blame him. It was a small security issue, so we thought, and he was working to handle it. My wife, who can be a force to reckon with, is the one who decided to break protocol and proceed with a yellow light on the background check.

“Thank you, Jason.”

“Sir…” I raise my gaze from the report. “You should know that this happened before.” I glare at him.

“What?” I nearly hiss.

“We had one other instance where Her Highness proceeded with an interview before a final report came in. We had a preliminary background check and we were awaiting confirmation of a few more details. It was one of the larger networks where security definitely wouldn’t be a concern and in the end, the complete background check came through okay—after the fact—and there weren’t any issues. It turned out to be a situation of a judgement call which worked out in her favor, but nonetheless… sir—protocol.”

“I get it, Jason,” I say, turning my gaze back to the blaring red flags on the preliminary background check in my hand. “Thank you.”

He leaves me alone in my office to wait… so I wait. Wait for my wife to arrive so that I can hear her side of this story.

I don’t have to wait long.

“I’m surprised you didn’t call me,” she says as she marches a bit indignantly into my office.

“I’m surprised you didn’t call me,” I retort coolly, and she’s a bit taken aback by my tone.

“You sound displeased,” she says, crossing her arms as she reaches the front of my desk. Displeased… I test the word.

“Curious,” I say. Displeased doesn’t quite describe one of the emotions that I’m experiencing right now. “That was a very uncomfortable situation with Ashanda Beasley.”

“Very,” she confirms, her voice sharp, and now I know why her tone didn’t sit well with me when she was in the studio right before she left.

She knows. And she’s cross with me. Interesting. I rest my elbows on the armrests and entwine my fingers in front of my chest.

“So, what’s your take on it?” I ask. She scoffs a sarcastic smirk.

“My take?” she says, sardonically. “Well, how about yet another catty little misinformed bitch trying to get information?” I nod.

“Perhaps,” I concede, “not to mention the curiosity of a spurned ex-submissive,” I add. She raises her brow.

“Oh,” she says, in surprise, “we’re being forthcoming.”

“I see no reason not to,” I say matter-of-factly. Her eyes narrow a bit.

“I had been saying that I had an interview with Ashanda Beasley for days. It might have been useful to know that I was facing off with one of your ex-submissives,” she says, her voice crisp.

“Well, I might have been able to forewarn you had I had any clue in the world who Ashanda Beasley even was,” I say nonchalantly, my hands still casually clasped in front of me. “That’s not even her real name, but then again, those kinds of things are revealed in thorough background checks.”

I gaze knowingly at her and wait. I can see the moment the penny drops. Thorough background checks.

“Right now, I’m trying to ascertain who’s responsible for this,” I say calmly. “I agreed that you be able to do these interviews if we take the necessary precautions so that you aren’t exposed to danger, discomfort, emotional blackmail, or being ambushed and in one way or another, I think you’ve gotten some of all of those.” I know I’m right and she can’t even argue with me. She’s standing there trying to find a rebuttal, but she’s knows I’m right, too.

“Right now, what I want to know is who dropped this ball.” She doesn’t know that I already know who dropped it. She’s going to have to tell me. “Rapping with Rob, there was no way to know that asshole was going to sit there with a pussy in your face. The ratings whore, they’re everywhere. That’s a chance that you take sitting in anyone’s seat. But an ex-sub… that can be found with a little digging. It apparently didn’t take you or me long to figure out that’s who you were sitting with this morning and a little due diligence would have told us that before you sat in that seat… so who dropped the ball, Anastasia?”

My voice is eerily calm and even and she raises her eyes to me.

“You already know,” she says.

“Do I?” I ask. “What is the protocol when you plan to do an interview? Who gets notified first? What’s the chain of communication? What’s the approval process so that we know that it’s safe for you to be sequestered in a booth with another person… or other people? Who gives the go-ahead or the red light on such actions? How do we know you’re going to be okay? Who. Dropped. The ball?” She takes a deep breath and releases it.

“I did,” she says, though unapologetically.

“You were adamant about being a part of your own security,” I remind her. “You wanted to know the protocol; you wanted to be informed; you even wanted to be present in some of the security meetings. Suddenly, you’re going into the public eye to discuss intimate details of your life and security isn’t important anymore?”

“It was a small cable station in Lynnwood. It was the last interview I agreed to do. I wanted to reach a small community of people who may have thought there were no resources available to them. I didn’t see the harm in it…”

“Except that there was harm in it,” I say finitely. “There was a predator lying in wait for you and although she wasn’t aiming to physically harm you, she was aiming to harm you—to defame you on her little show and expected you to sit there and take it. It could have been avoided had you followed protocol and waited for the clearance, and now I find that you did this more than once.”

I sit quietly and wait for her response. She stands defiantly gazing at me, not challenging me, but not taking down either.

“That’s twice,” I say, standing from my chair and walking around my desk, “twice this past life has come back and smacked me in the face in less than two weeks, not to mention the many times it’s smacked me in the face before now.” I clench and release my fists and pop my neck while looking at the floor, my control hanging on by a thread. I’ve got to do something about this.

I’m weighing my options carefully. My old methods aren’t effective anymore. Out of sight, out of mind means that opponents—in this case, these fucking ex-submissives—grow more and more brazen when you’re not in their faces all the time. Sarah Bradley was married and had moved on. She was supposed to be the least of one of my fucking worries. Hell, I have two ex-submissive that I don’t even know where the fuck they are! I’ve got to do something I haven’t done before. I’ve got to throw some water on this fire somehow or it’s just going to get bigger. But tonight…

I raise my eyes to my wife. My wife, who can’t follow simple instructions put in place to guarantee her safety. Her expression is a bit more contrite now that mine has hardened slightly, but only slightly.

“We agreed on a protocol when you decided to do these interviews and you didn’t adhere to it,” I say, flatly.

“I did adhere to it,” she retorts. “I only strayed a couple of times.”

“It only takes once to fall into the wrong hands, and you did,” I counter.

“I had Chuck with me the entire time,” she defends. “You saw that.”

“And what if this had been someone desperate, like Elena when she had your gun?” I shoot back coolly. “At that close proximity, would Chuck have been able to save you?”

Her face pales and I know that I’ve made my point. I turn away from her to indicate that I won’t take a rebuttal to my next statement.

“We’ll address this more later,” I say finally and wait to hear her leave the office. It takes a moment, but she leaves. I release the breath I’m holding and pop my neck again, that fragile control still teetering on the head of a needle. I sit down at my desk, steeple my fingers over my lips, and ponder my next move.

*-*

“Activate two-way communications.” Ding. “Locate Anastasia Grey.”

“Ana.”

“Mrs. Grey, may I see you in our bedroom, please?” After a long pause.

“Okay.”

“End two-way communications.” I go into my dressing room and retrieve a box that I’ve had for a while containing an object that I’ve only recently acquired. I come back into the bedroom and wait for my wife. She enters a minute or two later, a curious expression on her face.

“I am who I am,” I begin. “I won’t change. I’ll always require structure and control. When something interferes with that, I struggle to maintain balance.” I pause. “You broke the rules today in a big way. What’s more, you’ve done it before and you know that’s unacceptable.” I hand her the box in my hand—a large, black velvet box that can easily be mistaken for jewelry. However, she jumps in surprise when she opens it to reveal something quite different.

“Oh!” she gasps. Then she examines the object inside carefully. “It… looks like… you,” she says, her voice soft and incredulous. What she sees is a life-sized dildo—a perfect replica of my semi-erect dick.

“Yes, it does,” I confirm. “I’ve had a mold for years. I only had them made for… special submissives. I’ve done some pretty deviant things with them in the past and now… I’ve had a fantasy for a long time of doing some things to you… with you. This is the perfect opportunity.” She swallows hard. Yes, my love, you should. “I want you to shower—thoroughly—with the natural coconut body wash and the microfiber towels. Miss nothing, and I mean nothing! When you’re done, your garments will be on the bed. Put them on and come to the playroom.”

She swallows again, then drops her eyes before walking to her en suite. Good girl. I go to my closet and retrieve the bag of items I purchased a while ago for just such an occasion—a pair of black lace thongs, a short black silk robe—deliberately too short to cover anything, and a pair of sky-high black Louboutins. Yes, I know that she has several pairs, but this pair is mine! Solely for my use, pun intended. It’s a simple pair of shoes, really—whole pumps, patent leather, red-bottomed platforms. I take the rest of the items in the bag to my dressing room to change into my uniform.

If she’s as thorough as I told her to be, I’ll have plenty of time to set up. After I’ve changed, I go to the playroom to make sure all of the new items that I’ve been dying to use on her are ready to be broken in. I have a shit-ton of new toys that have been crying for my attention and today, I’m going to finally put them to use.

I’m a patient man. I place my oils, flogger, crop, wrist restraints and various other items in clear view. I want her to know that her body is mine and I plan on playing every inch of her skin like my goddamn piano tonight. Oh, the things I plan to do to her… the anticipation is succulent!

I hear her before I see her—those sky-high stilettos announcing their approach across the wooden floor outside the door. It slowly opens and there she stands. I can smell the coconut all the way over here, or maybe it’s the coconut oil I brought in with me. Nonetheless…

“Come in, Anastasia,” I command her. She walks into the room and her eyes nervously dart to the floor as she attempts to see whatever she can see without raising her head.

“You can look around, Anastasia,” I tell her. “I want you to see what I have in store for you.”

She raises her head and her eyes scan the room. She’s seen most of the things before, but I don’t think the sex sofa or the spanking bench were here before. The sex chair, the bondage chair, and some of the mechanical masturbators may be new editions as well… all waiting for you, Mrs. Grey. We won’t use them all… tonight, anyway.

I approach her and as I get closer, her eyes drop to the floor. I stroke her nipples, protruding from the silk robe and her lips part. I pull the belt holding the robe together and untie it, allowing it to fall open and reveal her beautiful breasts and that sexy thong. I begin to circle my prey.

“If you have never believed me before, believe me now when I say… I’m going to fuck you senseless.” She gasps loudly at the revelation. “I’m going to have you in every way possible, in every orifice that I can fill—several times. I’m going to bring you to your very wits ends. This will be like no workout you have ever had in your life.”

Her breathing increases as I pull the robe from her shoulders from behind her and let it fall to the floor. Yes… that ass… that beautiful, juicy, alabaster ass… well, not for long.

“You’ll feel pleasure and pain, ecstasy and torment. You can make noise—you’ll have to, trust me—but you can’t speak unless you safeword. Only two tonight. You won’t need the third, because you’re going to come so many times that you’ll be delirious before the night is over.” I lean into her and speak right in her ear. “What are your safewords, Anastasia?”

She jumps when I ask her, then in a breathy voice, says her safewords.

“Bells and whistles.”

“Bells and whistles. Very good.” I quickly attach leather and fur cuffs to her wrists. “Now, I’m going to punish you a bit for your disobedience. Then, I’m going to use you and fuck you until I’m satisfied. Don’t. Forget. Your safewords, Anastasia.” I say the words firmly. I’m going to take her to the very edges of pain and pleasure, of control and insanity. If it becomes too much for her and she doesn’t say so, I’m going to be fucking pissed. I believe my tone has communicated my drift.

“Yes, Sir,” she acknowledges. “Bells and whistles, Sir.”

“Very good.” I move her to the portable deluxe bondage frame and attach her wrists to it above her head. I twist her hair in a messy bun and secure it with a hairclip. Time for a few lashes…

“Ah!” she cries out as the first lash of the flogger wraps around her body. It was a bit of a surprise. I should have warned her, but I wanted the element of surprise. Her body responds immediately. Her breath is wild and ragged. She’s flushing in parts of her body that I haven’t even struck and she has already started to sweat… that erotic sheen that shines over her body when she’s aroused.

Anastasia likes the flogger.

She told me from the very beginning, from the first time we discussed my involvement in the lifestyle, that the flogger fascinated her. Every time I’ve used it since that day, she has responded spectacularly.

I strike again, allowing the straps to wrap around her hip and slide off her ass. She jerks in her restraints, but gasps and moans like the sexual nymph that she is. I strike again, two times quickly. Her fists clench and he head falls back. Her mouth is open, gasping for air. I strike her again and again and again, reigning blows on her back and ass. Her skin is slightly pink… and beautiful. Fuck, I’ve missed this! We haven’t been in the playroom in so long and I have fucking missed this. I strike her a few more times until her moans sound a bit tortured, then I drop the flogger, my dick literally about to explode out of my goddamn pants. I walk to the front of her panting body hanging from the frame.

I’m horny to the point of pain. She’s panting and I take her chin in my hands, lifting her face to mine. I think she started to enter subspace and I need to bring her back. I need you lucent for this session, Mrs. Grey.

Wakey, wakey, Mrs. Grey. We haven’t even started.

“Open your mouth.” She obeys without opening her eyes, and I insert a fairly large item into it.

“Suck,” I command as I walk behind her and admire her now hot pink skin—not yet as red as I want, but getting there. I pull a blindfold from my pocket and apply it to her eyes, depriving her of sight. This should be interesting… and intense.

“Stick your ass out, Anastasia,” I command. She bends slightly and sticks out her ass.

“Farther!” I bark. I know she has to stand on her toes a bit and stretch her arms to stick that ass out like I want it, so do as I fucking say! Like magic, her ass is out and ready for me.

“It’s so fucking beautiful,” I tell her, caressing the cheeks and squeezing hard. “Yes… it’s lovely.” I kneel behind her and kiss each cheek. Then I rip the lace thong from its place and toss the pieces somewhere out of my way. I kneed and kiss her ass, parting the cheeks and blowing a long gust of air against her rosette. She gasps and it puckers then pushes back out to greet me. I like that. I blow again and somehow, the heels of those sky-high stilettos lift off the floor. I knew you could bend over more, Mrs. Grey. Let’s see how far you can go.

I lick the rim of her rosette with just the tip of my tongue. She gasps loudly and lets out a surprised whimper. When I do it again, she trembles a bit. Yet another thing I know that she loves—anal play, but she’s never had it like this. I open her wide and lick deep, massaging her rosette repeatedly with my tongue. I’ve never done this to her before and she gasps, and squirms and pulls on the restraints. Her voice is high pitched, ecstatic, surprised. She loves it, but doesn’t know how to handle it. When she seems like she can’t take it anymore, I stop and come around to the front of her.

“Open your mouth,” I tell her, hardly able to contain my own arousal. She opens her mouth and releases the large butt plug I put there, one with the big black fluff ball on the end. The last time she had one of these things in her ass, she drove me out of my goddamn mind! I can barely contain myself now. I hope I don’t come in my goddamn pants.

I walk around to the back of her and slowly start to insert the large plug into her ass.

“Huhh, huuuhhhh,” she starts to whine a bit, trying to relax and remain still. I slowly push it in a bit farther and a bit farther, watching her nipples getting harder and harder until they’re almost red. When her ass accepts the plug and swallows it up to the fluff ball, I have to stop and take a moment. I’m breathing almost as hard as she is.

‘Oh, that’s beautiful,” I groan, rubbing my dick through my pants and admiring her ass. I pick up the flogger again and run it up her legs and between her thighs so that she knows what’s coming. I reign a few strikes over her body—just her back and the back of her thighs—occasionally pulling and twisting the butt plug. Her noises are so fucking carnal that I almost come just listening to her. It’s time to move on.

I release her from one frame and attach her to the adjustable frame that I have over the sex sofa. Not really a sofa at all, this wonderful piece of machinery is a super hands-free sex machine, made to accommodate two women at the same time. Though I never intend to have two women on it, I liked its versatility better than the one-person machine. It’s fitted with a masturbator, but not just any masturbator. This custom baby has 27 settings, ranging from moderate vibration to damn near electric shock, slow and circular stroke to rabbit fuck, and not only can the ribbed base move independently to massage her clit in the right position, but the shaft can be adjusted to any angle to accommodate whatever position I place her in.

Oh, but here’s the best part—it accommodates any dildo with open-end attach ability, and it has expanding sides and a lube release function. I have attached the ChrisDick dildo to it, so she will truly have the sensation of my live dick inside of her. This damn thing cost a fucking fortune, but I’m hoping it’ll be worth every penny.

“Climb aboard,” I instruct her. She can’t see anything, so I have to guide her, verbally and physically, to climb on to the sex-horse portion of the sex-sofa, then guide a dick to her opening that’s technically mine, though not attached to my body. I position her backwards on the horse and very close to the edge as the front of the machine has the seat for the second “girl,” and I want to have access to all sides of her.

“Slide down on it, Anastasia.”

Her breathing is rapid as she slides down on the life-like dildo. She has to take her time because although it’s the same size as my semi-erect dick, when it swells, it may be a bit bigger than me.

“Sit,” I command her. “All the way down.” She swallows hard and sits on the dildo, and I know that it’s filling her. Now that she’s on the horse, her arms aren’t stretched as much as they were before. Now, it’s time to test the settings.

With the controls in my hand, I start with a low hum and a small circular grind.

“Haahhh!” she breathes passionately. Fuck, she’s so goddamn sexy. I only leave the setting there for a few moments before I intensify the vibration and the stroke. She whimpers helplessly and throws her head back. I experiment with several combinations, watching her body squirm and listening to her cry out as she pulls on her restraints. Occasionally, I push and pull and twist the black puff ball hanging out of her ass, and watch her shiver.

“God, I wish you could see yourself,” I groan. “You are so fucking hot!”

I set the masturbator at a medium stroke and vibration with no clitoral stimulation. I don’t want her to come too soon. While she’s still bound I move the restraints on the frame so that her arms are straight out to the sides and slightly raised. The ChrisDick is slowly circling inside her. She tries to regulate her breathing, but watching her and knowing that she is so turned on that she can barely stand it is making me hard as a fucking rock. I oil my hands thoroughly with the coconut oil so that I can touch her. I can’t wait to get my hands on that body. I’m going to torment the fuck out of her tonight; use her sexually in every way possible; make her come until she completely surrenders and then, if I’m not quenched, make her come some more.

I stand next to her trembling body. Her legs are open on the horse, so she has no other choice but to absorb the pleasure, absorb the punishment. I look over the front of her and see ChrisDick—pink and veiny just like when I’m ready to fuck all night—sliding in and out of her, slowly teasing that sweet pussy. The way that I have her bound on the horse, she has no purchase to move. She can only sit there with her legs open and let the dildo fuck her… or so I thought.

I slide one oily hand behind her upper back, stabilizing her. She gasps at my touch. Oh yes, sweet girl, we’re just getting started. With the other hand, I spread the oil generously on her breasts, kneading and massaging them expertly by cupping the mound and with a gentle squeeze and upward rub, caressing the oil into her skin and closing my hand over the nipple before allowing each finger to run over the nipple against my thumb with a brushing pinch before I release the breast. I repeat this move several times on each breast and her breath quickens uncontrollably, pushing those soft, ample mounds into my hand with each pant. I can feel the electricity surging through her body every time my full, oily hand rolls over the nipple. I know I can make her come this way, and I torment her for several minutes while I watch her breasts pink up and pebble in my hands. She slowly starts to grind her hips into ChrisDick, imitating—and I can imagine, complimenting—its circular motion. So much for no purchase to move.

“You like that,” I groan in her ear and my voice causes an immediate tremor.

“Yes… Sir,” she pants.

“Still,” I command softly as I admire her breasts in my hand. She stills immediately, panting as if she’s run a marathon and whimpering in frustration. Oh, I could do this all night—watch her tremble and her beautiful glistening breasts, but I guess I should move on. There are so many other ways I want to torture her.

I indulge myself a little more with her breasts as I move the other oily hand from her back to her ass, spreading the oil across the cheeks and into the top of her crack. The puff hanging out of her ass is bobbing with each heated breath and I pull on it, just enough to make her rosette pucker outward a bit with the pressure. She throws her head back and cries out in unfettered ecstasy. I push the butt plug back in and turn it, then pull gently again and hold it against her puckering ass. She cries out again, like a trapped animal.

“Sir… please… ladybug!” she squeals.

“I told you not to use that one,” I warn her, still pulling on the plug and massaging her breast while ChrisDick rolls inside of her. “If you come, you come, but if you come before I tell you to, I’ll punish you.”

I hear her whining in her chest, fending off her orgasm which I make her do for a few more long minutes—not long, but probably an eternity to her. I guess it’s time for her first orgasm. This body has been through a lot and I don’t want her to be too wrung for what I want to do next.

I adjust the bondage frame and move her restraints so that her arms are above her and bent now. She breathes and audible sigh of relief when I release the butt plug and cease the breast massage. Only a brief moment to catch your breath, Lady Anastasia. She’s now slightly tipped back and I have to adjust the masturbator so that it tips with her or the stroke can be quite painful. She’s leaned back like she’s in a reclining chair, not a lot, just enough so that the horse can push against the butt plug and her clit is exposed.

“Oooooohhhh,” she laments, no doubt feeling the sensation of the butt plug inside of her.

Hold on, Mrs. Grey. I’m about to blow your mind.

She will have to use her muscles to counteract discomfort in this pose. She picks up on that quickly and grabs the frame to hold herself up. I adjust ChrisDick to a slow stroke and swell—the orgasmic pulse she’s accustomed to when I’m about to come.

“Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!” she cries, long and loud, her ab muscles tightening and her own juices beginning to coat the dildo. She’s so close.

“Fuck it,” I command. “Let me see you grind it.”

She moves her hips and that beautiful ass against the slowly pivoting dildo that looks like my dick. I could just watch this for hours, it’s so fucking hot! I quickly step out of my shoes and socks, drop my pants, and unbutton my shirt. Taking my dick in my hand, I stroke it gently, mimicking the move of the dildo and pretending that it’s my actual dick sliding in and out of her making that delicious wet sound. There’s still a little oil on my hand, so when I run it across the head, the sensation is torturous! I don’t want to come in my hand, so I stop the stroke and roll my examination stool right up to her trembling body on the horse.

“You can come, now, Mrs. Grey,” I command, and I latch my mouth onto that tender throbbing, waiting clit. The sound that rips from her is feral and primitive as I watch her ab muscles tighten and she shamelessly strokes into my mouth and against the dildo and the butt plug, restraints be damned! Oh, my fuck, this is too much even for me! I reach up and massage and pinch those aching pebbled nipples. With the sensation onslaught—her pinched nipples, the butt plug being pushed into her ass by the horse, ChrisDick slowly pulsing and fucking her like I would, and my hot mouth clamped down on her pulsing pussy while my tongue flicks her pebbling clit—she erupts into one of the most violent and explosive orgasms I have ever seen. Her biceps and forearms flex impressively as she pulls herself in a continuous chin up. You could break bowling balls on her tight abs right now, and I can visually see the muscles thumping in her pelvis.

I move her body back to an upright position after the first orgasm and the cock moves with her. She’s wheezing and breathless as I remove her blindfold. I take a few moments to admire her gorgeous body, covered in sweat and wrung from her first orgasm. Having her at my mercy revives a bit of that control I felt slipping earlier… and arouses the fuck out of me.

“Look at me,” I nearly growl as I touch my body, she slowly raises her head a bit and her hair splits like a curtain as her eyes land on my body. My muscle tone isn’t as sharp as it could be, but I’m still very well defined, and her eyes feast hungrily on me as I outline the sinews of my abs. I caress my stomach with one hand while pouring the coconut oil down my chest with the other, allowing it to drip slowly down my body undisturbed until it reaches my dick.

Her head bobs with each breathless pant, and she raises it a little more to get a better view of me. Still bound to the frame, she’s looks like a starving, horny, wet nymph hanging from a cross and gazing at a feast. I rub the oil over the skin of my stomach, causing it to glisten and my abs to look more defined. Even from here, with her hair partially blocking her face, I can see her pupils dilate. I pour more of the oil down my stomach while she watches and I see her hips start to move. The dildo is still fucking her.

My dick starts to pound, so I take it in my hand. I grip it hard and spread the oil up my shaft starting from the base and all the way up and over the head. Fuck, it feels so good as I fuck my oily hand, and I close my eyes for a brief moment to feel the burn in my cock. I can’t help but groan as I reach down and caress my tight, aching balls while pumping my rod slow and hard, punishing the sensitive skin of the head with every pass.

I open my eyes to see her focused on my cock, literally drooling and licking her lips and still fucking that dildo while she watches me masturbate. It’s almost my fucking undoing.

I quickly release my cock and watch it jut upward angrily, spilling a bit of precum in protest.

I adjust her position on the sex-horse and angle her body and the dildo so that she’s still bound to the frame, but she’s now lying forward, face down with her head hanging off the horse. Perfect.

While I set ChrisDick to an upward Doggie-style circular grind and thrust behind her with an occasional squirt of female lubricant and a gentle vibration on her clit from the ribbed base, I adjust my examination stool directly in front of her so that my dick is right at her face. I have a joyous time fucking her mouth in this position. She’s completely helpless and I get to watch her body sensuously and wetly thrusting and grinding on a hard, pink replica of my dick. I gather her hair at the nape and guide her head over my cock, thrusting slowing into her mouth and feeling my orgasm burning hot and fast in my balls. I watch that pretty round ass and that ball of fluff bouncing on the horse and I know that she’s about to come at any moment. I want to reach down and grab that butt plug one more time, but I’m too busy concentrating on these masterful jaws locked on my cock. I cup her chin and cheek at the same time and bring her mouth down onto my dick over and over, the sensation causing a freezing stillness in my spine until…

“Good God!” I grind out of my throat as I explode hard in her mouth, my knees shaking hard with the release. I squeeze my eyes shut as my dick pulses in her mouth and when it’s finally over, I open my eyes and bring my gaze down to see my wife coming a second time. Right in the middle of her orgasm, I reach down and pull the butt plug from her ass, causing her to scream and nearly weep around my dick. I always wanted to do that while she was coming. It’s such delicious torment and ecstasy at the same time and I know it intensifies her orgasm.

Her body is convulsing as she begins to descend from her climax and my cock is reloading for the next round. The Dom is alive and well and ready for action. Although it’s obvious that she’s my lover—and I’m loving the fuck out of her—tonight, she’s completely my submissive and no matter what we do, she’ll spend this night in cuffs.

I climb on the horse behind her and hear her whimper in what sounds like dismay. I squeeze the coconut oil on her ass and watch is slide over her cheeks and down her split. I rub the oil in, paying attention to her sensitive rosette and her skin still pink from the flogger. Now, that shit turns me on.

I grip my cock and spread the oil on my hand over the pink skin. I concentrate on the head for a moment, then direct it to her rosette, using her asshole to increase the stimulation of my sensitive skin. She’s a bit open from the large butt plug and I groan as my head slips in—a slow, but easy, wet, oily, hot insertion.

“Ugh!” I lament as she closes around me, enveloping my head and causing the rest of my dick to harden instantaneously. I love Anastasia’s ass. When I say I love Anastasia’s ass, I mean I fucking love, love, love Anastasia’s ass!

I grasp her hips and sink my fingers into the meat, pulling her ass back onto my dick over and over and watching the head reappear and disappear inside that gorgeous tight hole. When my dick is hard and thumping and has to be deeper inside her, I adjust her to sit up and lean back against me.

“Fuck us both,” I command her, and she grinds against my cock in her ass and the dildo in her pussy the same time. The whole time, I’m grasping her hips, rubbing her body, and tormenting her nipples at the same time, enjoying the feeling of her coming apart in my hands… which she does, exploding in orgasm once again around both my cocks.

I keep my dick in her ass, but I lift her from ChrisDick from a moment. I’m still not done torturing her, though. With my dick still pulsing inside of her, I’m able to reach to a nearby table and retrieve more tools—nipple clamps and a smooth, silver vibrator. I torment her nipples from behind her for a while, making sure the nipple clamps are one setting too tight to heighten each orgasm from this point forward. She’s more sensitive now, so she’ll need more stimulation in order to come. Once her nipples are ready to pop like squeezed berries, I turn the vibrator on and stroke it up and down her tender clit—stroke, then remove… stroke, then remove… stroke, then remove. Too much stimulation, and it’ll hurt instead of arouse.

I can hear her getting wet again; I can smell her arousal; and my dick is still hard and buried in her ass. So, I start to stroke. I thrust deep, fucking her ass, stroking her clit with the dildo, and tormenting her tits. I’m so ready to blow that I rise very quickly and, to my surprise, so does she. She’s keening with each stroke, then moaning, then crooning. Several strokes later, she tightens like a fucking vise on my dick and comes quite violently—tears springing from her eyes and sweating like crazy. I grab her tits and hold her down onto me as I blow hard into her pulsing, gripping ass.

Now, I have to wait. Her ass always knocks me out for the count, but not this time. Oh, it was magnificent and explosive, but Dom Dick is still alive and kicking. He’s just pulsing like a fucking monster. She could use a break and I need to clean up before Dicky Boy can see any more action. I slide out of her ass and adjust her—restraints and all—to lie down on the sex-horse. I use the leg rests to get off the horse and come around to her face.

“Don’t get too comfortable,” I say to her panting, weeping face before I proceed to the en suite. I almost feel a little guilty for putting her through the paces this way… almost. I close the door and take my time, washing and sanitizing my dick with soap and water and personal wipes. It doesn’t stand down, but it relaxes a bit, and the pulsing stops. I really don’t want it to stand down. I’m just trying to give her clit a little break. I moisten two clean washcloths with cold water and go back into the playroom.

bdafcb1a1580b33a0b8113faa16fb629She’s not panting anymore. She looks motionless. Is she asleep? I approach her face to see that she’s awake, but quite subdued. I adjust her on the horse again so that she’s sitting up. I scan the floor to find the clip that has long since escaped her hair, leaving her ridiculously long tresses falling wildly over her head like that girl in that one horror movie.

We can’t have that.

I find her clip over by the wall underneath the table that holds an assortment of toys. God only knows how it ended up over there. I retrieve it and gather her hair behind her head again, clipping it loosely in the hairclip.  Her eyes are downcast and her arms hang listlessly from the wrist restraints. She’s shredded, but submissives often are during a good workout. I lift her chin and wipe her face with one of the moistened washcloths. Her skin comes back to life as I clean the salty treks of tears from her cheeks.

I move behind her and remove ChrisDick from the sex-horse. It’s time for position two, my friend. I attach it to the second masturbator at a right angle to the “sofa” portion of the sex-sofa. I imagine that it’s only called a sex sofa because the seat reclines a bit. Nonetheless, I get ChrisDick into position and oil him up so that he can take her ass while I enjoy the walls of her succulent core.

I come back to my wife and release her from the bondage the frame. While she’s still on the sex-horse, I retrieve ankle cuffs and attach them to her ankles. I take her hand, help her off of the sex horse and lead her to the sex sofa.

“On your knees, Anastasia.”

She situates herself on her knees on the seat and I attach her ankle cuffs to loops the leg rests on either side of the sex-horse. There are slots in the headrests that were perfect to insert a chain, so her wrist cuffs are fastened there.

I slap her still-stripped-pink ass and command her to back up onto ChrisDick as I guide it into her anal opening. She inhales sharply as the head of the dildo breaches her rosette.

Now, it’s my turn to get into position.

I attach the control to ChrisDick to a slot on the seat next to where I’ll be sitting and crawl into the seat underneath her. Now, she’s no longer on her knees. She’s lying on top of me, in my arms, and she’s looking very vulnerable. This is intimate… too damn intimate to just be fucking, and just like that, the submissive is gone.

I gaze at her for a moment, into the eyes of the woman that I love, and I kiss her softly. Surprise registers on her face, so I kiss her again, and again, and as I deepen the kiss, I starts the dildo in a slow, torturous motion, in her ass. She moans softly in my mouth and I grasp her cheeks, opening her more to the dildo and its penetration. She whimpers and her body responds, her tongue tangoing sensually with mine. I’m getting hard against her belly and I feel her grinding against me. I don’t want her to go without me, so I adjust, pull my hips back, and slide into her. She gasps in my mouth and I gasp right along with her as I thrust into the heat of her core.

“Oh, good God, this is fucking perfect,” I hiss as I cling to her hips, find the right position, and thrust up unto her. She writhes on top of me so perfectly, so lusciously, my dick aching inside her almost instantly. She’s so hot and so beautiful and we fit together so perfectly on this goddamn machine.

“Talk to me,” I say, softly. “Tell me what you feel.”

“So good,” she breathes, “it feels… so good…”

“Good,” I say with a quick wet kiss. “Good,” another wet kiss. “That’s what I want.” I kiss her deep and sensually and continue the slow fuck in front while ChrisDick runs that beautiful ass. I can feel the push and pull through her walls; the tremor of her ass and I wonder if the front and back orgasms will be simultaneous.

I don’t know if they’re simultaneous, but I feel one of them in this position. I think it’s vaginal, but I can’t tell. I just hold her close and keep fucking her because her body feels so good against me. I don’t move into a faster stroke. I maintain a slow, deep grind and keep the same grind with ChrisDick in her ass, unrelenting even when she comes a second time on top of me. Her body is weak and I know it, but she won’t tap out. She won’t give in, and I’m glad that she won’t because I’ve only had one orgasm in this position, and I want to keep loving her this way until I’ve had my fill.

I don’t know how long we’ve been at it, staring at each other when she could hold her head up; kissing softly, then sensually; me rubbing her hips, her back, anywhere I could touch her; deeply and slowly sexing her pussy and holding her cheeks open while ChrisDick fucked her ass; marking her on her chest, shoulders and neck below her collar-line. I swear I’m nearly ready to tap out when I feel that familiar ache in my lower back that signals the approach of a paralyzing orgasm.

Fuck, we’ve been working towards this one all night.

I fight not to quicken the pace, but can’t help deepening the stroke. My wife responds immediately. I have unwittingly clamped my hands tighter on her hips and ass cheeks, holding her immobile as ChrisDick and I drill relentlessly and deliciously into her. She closes her eyes tightly and moves the only part of her body that she can. Pushing off the back of the headrest, she lifts her upper-body from mine and throws her head back, her face frozen in a horribly painful sex grimace.

She stays that way for several long moments as the growing ache in my back now traveling through my tailbone and my rectum to my prostate causes my hips to thrust a little harder. Just as the ache begins to burn lava in my nuts, she stiffens like steel and releases a blood-curdling scream from her very soul. Her body tightens around me and I only have moments to pump wildly into her and chase my own pleasure before we lock together like mating dogs and her vacuum syphons pulse after agonizing pulse of madly climaxing ecstasy from my body. I can’t even describe these sounds I’m making. I hear them, but I can’t describe them…

Long, primal animalistic, grunts? I have no fucking idea.

I hear momentary popping in my ears, probably from my wife’s screaming, or maybe from my own primitive noises, but my body is spent. If she doesn’t safeword, I’m going to.

I float down to Planet Earth and realize that I won’t have to. My wife’s body has fallen limp on top of mine. She’s no longer in any kind of kneeling position and ChrisDick is no longer inside of her. He’s just thrusting uselessly back and forth, occasionally kissing an ass cheek with the tip of his head. I push the controls to stop his thrusting and turn my attention back to my wife. She had an orgasmic tear-burst earlier, but now, her full weight is pressed against my body, her head turned so that she’s lying on my shoulder facing away from me, and she’s weeping freely and deeply, her body shaking slightly with her sobs.

I slide my arms around her to comfort her, my dick still pulsing inside of her vibrating walls, and allow her to weep.

*-*

“You’re quiet,” I say to my wife as we ride into Grey House on Tuesday morning. She’s looking out the window at the scenery as it passes by before she turns to me. I can tell that she’s searching for her words, but instead, she shrugs one shoulder and turns back to watching the buildings pass by out the window. I reach over and gently caress her hand, garnering her attention once more.

“Are you okay?” I ask, concerned. “Did I hurt you?”

“No, Christian,” she says, “of course not.”

“Did I upset you?” I ask, still searching for the answer to her melancholy mood.

“No, you didn’t upset me,” she replies.

“Then, what did I do?” I ask, “because I know I did something.” She throws a quick glance at the back of Jason’s head, a gesture that tells me two things. One, she doesn’t want to discuss anything in the car with Jason and two, I’m right… I did do something. Resigned to the fact that I’m just going to have to wait to find out what’s bothering her, I bring her hand to my lips and place a gentle kiss on her skin, which elicits a small smile from her. I place our clasped hands in my lap, where they remain for the rest of the ride into Grey House.

She’s quiet the entire time—through the walk through the lobby, the long elevator ride up to the top of the ivory tower, down the hallway to my office… and I never release her hand, afraid of what I’ve done to put her in this mood. We stop momentarily at Andrea’s desk where I give her instructions to have Mac meet us here in half an hour and Butterfly greets Andrea and Luma with a wave and a smile.

I usher my wife into my office and close the door. She finally releases my hand and walks over to my desk. Even though we were both thoroughly well-fucked last night, watching her walk in these suits that she wears to Grey House that are supposed to be business suits turns me on to no end. The fact that she pairs these suits with the sexiest stilettos known to man doesn’t help the matter, either. That Hugo Boss suit looks as if it were tailor-made for her body and that jacket is cut just short enough to give me the perfect view of that ass.

Focus, Grey.

“Tell me what’s wrong,” I say, cutting the silence. “What have I done?”

She sets her purse in one of the chairs in front of my desk and releases a sigh.

“I don’t know what to think about last night,” she says, her voice uncertain. My brow furrows.

“What do you mean?” I ask. “I thought you enjoyed yourself.”

“I did… for the most part…” I cross the room and close the space between us.

“There was something you didn’t enjoy?” I ask. She shrugs one shoulder.

“Not as such,” she says hesitantly. “I felt… and you said…” She sighs. “There was some punishment,” she says finally. “I don’t really know why.” I raise my eyebrows at her.

“You don’t know why?” I ask. “But we discussed it. You clearly broke protocol…”

“But is that why I was being punished, Christian?” she says, turning around to face me. “This meeting that we’re having, the conversation that we had yesterday, the entire tone of our scene last night and the fact that I slept in cuffs—all of that speaks to a larger intent, not a breach in protocol.”

She’s getting flustered as she speaks. I’m looking for some kind of defense and I’m finding none. I was angry that we didn’t know beforehand that Butterfly was going to be interviewing live with Sarah Bradley, but angry with whom? Sarah Bradley, yes; maybe my security staff for not keeping a closer eye on her; maybe myself for not being more diligent about background checks before Butterfly made appearances, but she’s right. Her breach in protocol may have been what brought this to light, but it wasn’t what really set me off. What really set me off was my lack of control over the whole situation…

Over these subs who keep popping up like recurring fucking nightmares…

Over my security staff who would have alerted me the second that inconsistencies showed up on a background check, but didn’t because there were only moments to make a decision and Anastasia had already made it…

Over my wife, who didn’t follow simple instructions put in place for her safety and as a result, put herself directly in the line of fire…

For one moment, I missed the unquestioned order of my old life and I needed to have it back. My wife is a smart woman. She’s a doctor—a psychiatrist at that, and as I play back the conversations and events of last night, besides what she’s already pointed out, I know what the clues were that led to how she’s feeling right now.

“I am who I am. I won’t change. I’ll always require structure and control. When something interferes with that, I struggle to maintain balance.”

“I’m going to punish you a bit for your disobedience. Then, I’m going to use you and fuck you until I’m satisfied.”

My thoughts about how much I missed flogging her, about being with a submissive. They obviously came out in my actions. I even made a mental note that she would be a submissive all night and subsequently had her sleep in the wrist and ankle cuffs. I know the moment I felt my control slip and the moment I got it back… but I wasn’t open with her about the reason for the scene, and she knew it.

I fucked up.

I run my hands through my hair. I don’t know how to explain this. I could easily tell her that it was my need to regain control over the situation—but that’s not what I said. I said something else and that’s not what she felt… and that’s not good at all.

“I’m sorry,” I breathe heavily, leaning against my desk, my chin in my chest. I feel like shit. Our relationship is never supposed to have this type of undertone—never—even when then physical outcome may be pleasurable. I can feel her staring at me, but I can’t even look at her right now.

“I should have said something,” she says, after a long silence. Yes, you should have. I wasn’t in the right mind and yes, we both enjoyed ourselves, but last night could have gone wrong in so many ways and if it left her feeling this way, it did go wrong. I don’t know if I’ll be able to use any of the toys or apparatuses on her from last night again.

“I’ll… be more careful,” I say. It’s all I can think of, but it hardly seems like enough. I almost feel like I’ve battered her or something.

“Look at me, Christian.” I can’t. I can’t even raise my head. “Christian, look at me!” I know I have to or I’m punishing her for my bad behavior again. So, I turn my head to meet her gaze.

“You didn’t hurt me,” she says, trying to assure me. “It was intense and very pleasurable, but your reasons… you have to be careful.” She walks over to me and puts her hand on my cheek. “As your submissive and your wife, I have to be able to know why you’re doing the things that you’re doing to me. I have to be able to draw the line in my mind between our activities.” I nod.

“I accept that,” I say firmly, “but as your Dominant, I need you to tell me when you’re unsure. Just like you have a problem with me imposing something on you after the fact, revealing something like this to me after the fact is unacceptable. That’s why you have safewords, Ana.” I drop my head again. This is one of the fundamental rules of BDSM—trust. She trusts me with her body and limits and I trust her to tell me when I’m going too far or breaking the rules… and she didn’t.

“I’m… sorry, too,” she says, her voice small. I can’t comfort her right now. As her husband and Dominant, I’m a combination of angry and disappointed… in us both. Neither of us handled the mechanics of this situation well at all and although it could have turned out much more disastrously than it did, the psychological impact on our relationship could be a bit intense. What’s going to happen the next time we decide to play? The next time a punishment is issued? Has her trust in me been shaken to the point of questioning my intentions each time we engage? What about my trust in her to tell me if something is unacceptable or beyond her limits?

Am I reading too much into this?

We must have stood there pondering the concept for much longer than we thought, because my intercom buzzes and Andrea tells me that Mac and Josh are here for our meeting. I tell her to give us a minute and stand up straight to face my wife. It’s only now that I realize that she’s been crying.

“I didn’t mean to do this to you,” I say, wrapping my arms around her waist. “It’s a sorry excuse and I know it, but that fucking control thing, and I didn’t exercise it the right way.” She nods as she takes in a shuddering breath.

“I know,” she says. “I know you well enough to know that’s what it was. I just needed you to realize that… and recognize that’s what it is before we start… and not label it as a punishment, because it’s confusing for me. I don’t know what to think and I don’t know how to process it… and when I question punishments…” She trails off and looks up at me, letting me know that I haven’t made it easy for her second-guess my decision to punish her, and she’s right. I nod.

“Point taken. We’ll both do better… okay?” I say, my voice beseeching. She nods and I kiss her gently on her lips. “Now, go wash your face before Mac and Josh think I’m a monster.” She nods and I kiss her again before sending her to the bathroom. When she’s in the restroom, I summon my publicity team to my office.

“Well, either you’ve just been fucked or you’ve had a rough morning,” Mac says. What the fuck?

“What?” I nearly hiss at her.

“Your hair looks like a goddamn Wildman,” she says, pointing at my head. I run my hands through my hair in a futile attempt to tame it.

“The latter,” I say, taking a seat behind my desk. “You’ve seen Ana’s interview by now.”

“We have,” Josh says, moving Ana’s purse to my desk and sitting in the chair. “I would ask what that was all about, but there are so many answers to that question.”

“I don’t think my wife is going to be doing any more appearances,” I say, “by her own choice. However, I feel that if we allow that to be her final public appearance, it sends a negative message to the media—that she can be frightened away, and I know that’s not what she wants.” Mac twists her lips and nods.

“I see what you mean,” she says. “She needs to do at least one more.”

“It needs to be strong, controlled,” I tell her. “We can’t have any more Judd Rossiter, Random Ratings Whore, local cable chicks trying to piggyback off of her. This has got to stop. She’s going to have to lay low for a while until I can find a way to gag Rossiter. With charges against him for assaulting Ray, he’s going to be talking to anybody who’ll listen and getting a gag order is proving to be harder than I thought.”

I’m considering gagging this fucker my own way.

“We could do a taped interview,” Mac suggests.

“That’s what I was thinking, but I have a bigger agenda in mind.” Butterfly comes out of the restroom, looking refreshed and ready to face the world—nothing like she did moments ago.

“How do you make everything you wear look so good?” Mac says. Butterfly smiles.

“It ain’t easy,” she replies. “So, I know my husband has a plan in light of the bitch who cornered me yesterday. Has he let you in on it yet?”

“No,” Josh says. “I think he was waiting for you.”

“I was,” I say as I bring her over to me and coax her onto my lap. “There needs to be one more interview—television. Local or national, I prefer national. It’s going to be pre-approved material; it’s going to be pre-recorded; and it’s going to be both of us.” Mac’s eyes widen.

“Are you serious?” she exclaims. “Why would you want to do that?”

“For a lot of reasons,” I begin. “First, if we give them a little of what they want, we take away some of the splendor of what they’re looking for. Remember the press conference in 2012? Things got a little quiet after that. Now, my wife has been doing these appearances and dropping little tidbits. All the while, other cans of worms are being opened along the way. Give them a tiny peek into our lives, how we met, who we are—take away some of the mystery. At the same time, press a couple of our own agendas.”

My wife looks over at me and realization dawns. She gets what I’m trying to do. Not only do we need a unified front, but we also need to send a message to stop fucking with us.

“She knows something I don’t know,” Mac says about Butterfly. Butterfly turns to Mac.

“Just like GEH knows that the Greys stand together as an impenetrable unit and enemies and oppressors will fall at our feet, my husband wants to send that message to the world.”

“And you agree with this?” Josh asks.

“Wholeheartedly,” she responds without hesitation. “I’m tired of being under attack—emotionally, physically, and figuratively—so much so that I’m willing to stand at the front gate of my mansion with a loaded AK-47 to prove it.” Mac frowns.

Physically?” Butterfly’s eyes widen.

“Hello? Car smashed into me in November? Coma for twelve days? Lost memory?”

“Oh… yeah… sorry,” Mac apologizes. “So, you’ll have your choice of networks. Any preferences?”

“I’ll let you get started on that, first. Let me know what you come up with and we’ll narrow it down,” I tell her. She nods.

“Let’s start putting together a platform, then,” she says and takes a seat in front of my desk. “This should be interesting…”


A/N: 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.

~~love and handcuffs

 

Raising Grey: Chapter 21—Changing Faces

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 21—Changing Faces

ANASTASIA

“Please, Ana, talk to him,” Grace begs at the Center the next day. “He can’t boycott his sister’s wedding.”

“I have,” I say, with no malice, “but he just can’t deal with this. He’s in the public eye whether he wants to be or not… whether you guys want to accept that or not. There’s way too much going on in his life on a regular basis for him to slip up. Look what just happened to me last weekend. My father spent the afternoon in police custody last Sunday and it was all over the news. How’s it going to look if that happens to Christian?” Grace sighs.

“I’m only asking him to put his ego on a leash for one day while his sister walks down the aisle,” she says, flustered, and again, I see the Grace that Christian was describing last night. I shake my head and turn my attention back to my computer. I’m waiting to hear from Courtney about her meeting with admissions from the college while corresponding with Marilyn, who walked into my condo to find the cleaning crew sitting in my living room with their feet up on my furniture eating the food that security had stocked in the fridge. She’s now coordinating another cleaning service.

“Ana, I realize this isn’t of any great importance to you, but can you at least pretend to listen?”

She’s got me dead to rights. One, it’s not of any great importance to me and two, I wasn’t listening. I remove my glasses and put them on my desk. I’m about to betray a confidence that probably should have been betrayed a long time ago.

“Did Christian ever tell you why we met?” I ask firmly. She sighs.

“A hundred times,” she says. “You hated each other at first, then you fell in love and…”

“No,” I interrupt, “that’s kind of how we met. That’s not why we met.” I stand and gesture for her to take a seat while I walk around to the front of my desk and lean on it. She sighs and plops—literally plops down into her seat like a petulant child. I’m doing my best not to lose my temper as this is something that she needs to hear.

“You may not remember this, but a couple of years ago, your son had a sports car that was totaled while he was driving it.” She things about it for a moment.

“Yes, I do remember that,” she says thoughtfully. “I remember thanking God that he wasn’t killed in that accident! That car is so small and offers very little protection. He really should slow down…”

“Is that what you heard?” I say horrified. “That he was speeding?” She pauses.

“I think so,” she says, uncertain. “I mean, control-freak son, super-powered sports car…”

“So, you didn’t hear that, you just assumed… you never actually heard what happened.” She sighs again and there’s that fucking petulant child.

“I hardly see what this has to do with Mia’s wedding…” and off she goes again.

“I see what he means now,” I break in to her tirade. That got her attention. “You can listen to this story if you want… or don’t if you don’t… but stop acting so damn childish while you’re doing it! If I want to deal with toddlers, I can go spend time with my twins!”

“Excuse me?” she says, appalled and horrified by my description.

“You upset me so badly while we were planning our wedding that I had to be sedated. I walked into the room while Elliot was telling you about his wedding to find him with his head down, morose and forlorn, trying not to upset is cancer-stricken wife-to-be. Your behavior was so deplorable that I nearly had to ban you from the Crossing. Now, you’ve got full reign over your daughter’s wedding and you’re making big decisions that could affect other people and instead of considering how it might affect them, you’re walking around trying to crack a proverbial whip demanding that people accept the arrangements without even listening!

“Contrary to what you believe, you can’t just wave a quill and get what you want without consideration for others, Your Majesty. I know you think that’s what my husband does, but I’m here to tell you that you are very wrong on many levels! Christian has to consider every eventuality, every situation, and every person involved before he makes the slightest decision—even personal decisions about himself or our family! Before, he only had himself to worry about. Now, he has me, the children, there’s another child living in our home, and even you and his father and siblings. One false move and the Grey name is smeared all over the gossip rags. The only reason that the paparazzi are going to be en masse at the theater is because of Christian, and Mia’s relationship to him and you know this.

“So, if you want to throw this spectacular, ostentatious, ridiculous gala for your daughter and invite people that you apparently haven’t spoken to for years without any consideration whatsoever for anyone else, then, fine. Go right ahead, but you can’t force any one person to participate and Christian has decided that he doesn’t want to be a part of it and I support his decision, because unlike you, I listened to him, and I know why he made it!”

I storm out of my office and leave her sitting gape-mouthed in the chair to go make good on my promise to spend time with toddlers—in this case, infants—that I actually like.

*-*

By mid-afternoon, I’ve managed to get another letter sent off to the licensing board and I’ve met with a few of the residents at the Center today. John’s son is in the hospital with a bout of pneumonia—at least that’s what they think it is—and he hasn’t been at the Center all week, so I’ve taken over the duties of sole psychiatrist on staff until he returns. I did send him a text asking how his son was doing and he said that they were running tests. We’re still not the best of friends since Flynngate still stings a bit when I think of it, but our relationship has improved over the course of time.

Courtney is like a kid at Christmas, showing me her backpack and some of the supplies that she got from the school. She was able to get some of the classes that she needed, but because she made her decision so close to the start of the term, she was forced to sacrifice her entire Saturday for the first semester with only one glass falling during the week. That’s going to be a test in fortitude.

Her grant is still pending, but the financial aid office assures her that being on public assistance, living in subsidized housing, having very little income, and no personal tax returns from last year make her a shoe-in for grants, student loans, and any hardship scholarships that might be available, although the latter most likely won’t be available until next term.

“I don’t start until late next month, so that gives me plenty of time to go clean the condo for you… me… you… oh, what-the-hell-ever,” she says, waving me off.

“Um,” I begin, “I had the condo cleaned already.” She throws a disbelieving look at me. “You had a rough afternoon yesterday,” I defend. “It was written all over your face! I know you still have to pack and clean the apartment that you’re leaving. It’s one more thing I didn’t want on your plate.” She throws her hands up.

“That’s it. I’m paying you rent,” she says, folding her arm. I frown, horrified.

“What?” I ask. “You’re kidding, right?”

“No, I’m not,” she says firmly. “Please understand this,” she says clasping her hands together. “This is so, so cool of you. I appreciate this so much, but you have to let me do something—pay my own way somehow, feel my own worth, or I’m not moving into that apartment.” I hold my hands up in surrender.

“Okay, okay, I get it,” I say. “Let’s talk about some things. You won’t need furniture. The condo’s completely furnished. So, what do you want to do with your furniture—store it?” She scoffs.

“Please,” she jeers. “That stuff is held together by duct tape, wood glue, and wishes. It can go in the garbage. All I need is my personal stuff, but…” She trails off.

“But, what?” I ask.

“I… don’t know if you want me to bring my things into your apartment,” she says. I frown.

“Courtney, I’m not a snob,” I defend, “I’ve never…”

“It’s not that,” she says, embarrassed. “I have… a pest problem.”

At first, it goes over my head. Then, I get it.

Roaches! Oh, no!

“That’s it,” I grab both arms visibly fending off the goddamn heebie-jeebies. “I’m taking you shopping.”

“Ana, no…”

“Courtney, yes!” I insist. “I’m making you throw all of your shit away except for things that you simply cannot live without which will most likely have to be fumigated…”

“Which is nothing,” she interjects.

“Good,” I continue without missing a beat. “We can shop wherever you want. We can go to the mall; we can go to boutiques; we can go to Walmart, if you want, but none of your stuff can come into my apartment, because I can’t do critters!”

I’m sitting there looking at her with a begging look on my face and she’s returning a befuddled-horror mix expression to me.

“Listen, you can fill out an I.O.U. for whatever we buy. You can be my indentured servant for a year. You can sign your soul over to me if it’ll make you feel better, but please, don’t make me deal with critters!”

Her expression doesn’t change for several moments, then out of nowhere, she bursts into uncontrollable laughter. I don’t know whether it’s safe to sigh, yet, because I don’t know what she’s going to say.

“Okay, okay, you win,” she says, waving her hands in front of her face. “I can do an I.O.U. That means that I have to pay you back every cent, but I’m still paying rent.”

“Okay, we’ll make a deal. What are you paying where you’re living now?” Her mouth flies open.

“Not nearly enough to reimburse you for your condo!” she exclaims.

“I already know that,” I say matter-of-factly. “If you want to pay market rent for my condo, it’s $3500 a month. Do you have that?” I wait for her response and watch her swallow hard. “What do you pay for rent right now?”

“Six hundred,” she mumbles. I twist my lips. It’s subsidized housing, Court. Try again.

“I can find out,” I say flatly. She rolls her eyes.

“Two-ninety,” she confesses. That’s more like it.

“Good. Now, here’s the only deal I’ll accept. You pay me half of what you have saved as a security deposit, and then you take the amount of rent that you’re paying right now in that dump that you’re living in and donate it back to Helping Hands.” Her eyes widen.

“Ana, come on, that’s ridiculous,” she protests.

“Number one, can you afford any more than that?” I wait. No answer. “Number two, what am I going to do with $290? Seriously?”

“Put it towards the association fees,” she suggests.

“Which I pay anyway and I don’t need help,” I tell her. “The association fees have been paid on my condo for a year. I don’t need it, but Helping Hands does. We need all the help we can get.”

“They pay me,” she says.

“They pay me, too,” I tell her, “and I give my entire salary right back. We need to stay legitimate and let’s face it. I don’t need that money… and I don’t need your $290. The Center needs it more. That’s the only deal I’ll take.” She sighs.

“I would be giving back,” she concedes.

“Yes, you would, and it would really mean a lot to me. This place means a lot to me, you know that. And now, you mean a lot to me.” She smiles.

“I’ve gotten under your skin and now, I don’t even want that hot little body anymore,” she jests.

“I knew she was in there somewhere,” I say, pointing at her and laughing. She laughs with me.

“Yeah, she’s still there, but hopefully she’s a little…” she trails off.

“More refined?” I offer. She shrugs and twists her lips.

“Less crass?” she suggests. I pat her on the shoulder. We continue hammering out a deal for her to move into the condo and a plan to go shopping. We agree to go by the condo and she can leave the things she got from the college there instead of taking them back to Joe’s Apartment to get acquainted with the current tenants, so to speak. We’re right in the middle of planning our first shopping trip when we get visitors in my office.

Grace and Mia.

Okay, I don’t feel like having this battle right now and I will not be ganged up on.

“Courtney, can you please excuse us for a moment?” Grace asks. Courtney looks at me and I just sigh.

“Sure thing, Miss Grace,” she says. I give her my keys so that she can load her things into my car and she leaves my office. I turn to Grace and Mia, entwining my fingers and preparing myself for a showdown. Grace sits in the chair in front of my desk while Mia stands.

“If Christian doesn’t come to the wedding,” Grace begins, “you’re not coming either?” I just look at her.

“I haven’t decided,” I tell her. “Besides the disrespectful bridesmaids that invaded our boat a couple of weekends ago, there’s no one to antagonize me at the wedding, but I can deal with catty women. My dilemma lies with my husband and how he’s going to feel about it. Remember, I have to live with that man. Also, it’s going to be quite the story if Christian and I are not in attendance at his sister’s wedding. It’s going to be an even bigger story if I’m in attendance without him,” I point out. Grace drops her head.

“Tell me what the problem is,” she says softly. “I’m willing to listen.” I sink a bit in my chair.

“Christian wasn’t speeding when his car was totaled. He was sitting still.” Grace’s head pops up and Mia’s sporting a look of total confusion.

“What?” Grace says.

“Christian’s car was totaled?” Mia asks. “With him in it?” Her voice relays worry and concern. Grace hasn’t shared our conversation with her.

“Yes,” I say, “not recently, Mia. The year we met. His Audi Spyder.” Realization dawns.

“Oooohh, yeah… I remember that. The drunk driver.” Grace looks over at her.

“Drunk driver?” Grace asks.

“Yes, I confirm. Christian wasn’t speeding when his car was totaled. He was sitting still—at a stop sign or stop light, I can’t remember which. A drunk driver ran into him and nearly pushed him into cross traffic. When the police arrived and Christian identified himself, the drunk driver then claimed injuries and tried to blame Christian. Of course, we know this wasn’t the case, but somewhere in the exchange, Christian decked the guy… in front of a cop.”

“Oh, good Lord,” Grace says, holding her head down and putting her fingers on her forehead, and now, I’m trying to figure out how Mia knows about this, but Grace doesn’t. I know Carrick knows.

“So,” I continue, “Christian was taken in for assault and yes, he has a record now.” Grace rolls her eyes, but drops them to her lap again. “He was ordered to do community service and to take anger management classes at the community center or serve time. Guess who facilitated the classes?” They look at each other for a moment, then look at me.

“Is that what this ridiculous sexual harassment charge is all about?” Grace asks in horror.

“Yes, but that’s a different story. We’re getting off topic,” I tell her.

“Okay, but, the guy totaled his car,” Mia protests. “He was drunk. He could have killed my brother. I remember this, now. All I kept asking was why would the cop arrest him seeing that the other guy was clearly drunk? And what judge in his right mind would…” Horror and shock, along with realization, mars Mia’s lovely face as her hand flies to her mouth. I nod.

“Hammerstone,” I tell her. “If Christian is in the room with that man again, he might end up in jail for real this time.”

“Wait, what did I miss?” Grace says.

“He’s off the list, Mom,” Mia says finitely.

“What? Who? The judge?” Grace asks.

“Yes. He’s off the list,” she repeats.

“Wait a minute. Janise is a dear…”

“I don’t care, Mom!” Mia interrupts. “My brother could have been killed! This asshole was drunk! He shouldn’t have been on the street in the first place. He’s lucky Christian only decked him, and this fucking judge wanted to put him in jail for it?”

Now, this is the Mia that I met. This is the Mia that took off on Elena and beat her to a pulp in her parents’ great room. This Mia is violently protective of her brother and his livelihood, and she will face physical danger to protect him.

“I’ve already invited them,” Grace says, her voice small. “They’ve already RSVP’d…”

“Then uninvite them,” Mia says firmly. “I don’t want him there. Had I known…” she trails off. “Why didn’t he tell me this was the same judge?” I shrug.

“I don’t know. You know your brother is private,” I tell her. “He doesn’t share everything. He doesn’t share most things.” She turns her attention from her stunned mother to me.

“Tell Christian to call me,” she says. “Once he’s gone over the list, anyone else that he wants removed will be uninvited.”

“Mia, we can’t do that!” Grace protests. “We can’t just uninvite people! It’s really bad form.”

“Mom!” Mia barks. “Ethan’s parents and sister will not be at his wedding! Yes! We can!” She glares at Grace for a moment, then glances at me before marching out of my office. Grace looks as if she wants to cry.

“I didn’t know,” she says in a small voice.

“Now, you do,” I say with no malice.

“I just want the best for them… that’s all I’ve ever wanted.” I sigh again.

“I understand that, Grace, but you get so carried away,” I say. “I’m a mom now, I know how that feels, but you need to take what you want and temper it with what your children want. Elliot had a grasp on what he wanted. Christian had a rein on what we wanted. Let’s face it—Mia’s always been the princess at the ball. It’s up to you to be the voice of reason. If both of you are out there looking for unicorns and dragons…” I shrug. She nods sadly and stands.

“Tell Christian to call me, too… please… after he’s spoken with his sister,” she says, her voice cracking. I nod.

“I will,” I reply, and she walks out of my office.

*-*

“Oh, no, no, no, no, I don’t do Walmart panties. We’re going to Vickie’s,” I say to Courtney as she picks out various items of clothing to rebuild her wardrobe. Unfortunately, I can’t see bringing anything from that apartment to the condo. The thought of it gives me the willies. Since I’m making her leave all of her things behind, I was able to convince her that I’m obligated to buy her new things. She agrees and picks out various simple pencil skirts and shirts—things that I know I’ve seen her wear before. So apparently, this is where she shops regularly.

“Walmart panties are fine for me,” Courtney protests. “They really have some cute panties.”

“Yeah, okay… and you’re dating one of the premier personal stylists to the rich and famous.” I take a pair of cute panties from the rack. “Hello Kitty cotton tighty-whities, or Victoria’s Secret lace boy shorts, thongs, and French cuts?” I raise my eyebrows at her.

“Vickie’s it is,” she says without further argument. I’ll have to ask her about her and Vickie’s relationship. It seemed to move so fast, but who am I to question the speed of falling for someone?

I talked Courtney into ten bra and panty sets, and I do mean talked her into them. She was willing to launder the same three items in circulation until I told her that they wouldn’t last for a month if she did that.

Once we’re done shopping and I’m satisfied that she has enough personal items to last her for the month, I take her to dinner at a little Greek restaurant in the mall with gyros and kebabs and those huge French fries that look like they come from mutant potatoes. The poor girl is eating like she hasn’t eaten in a week—not gross or distastefully, but… fast.

“When did you last eat?” I ask, curious. She shoves a French fry in her mouth and waits to swallow it before she speaks.

“I had breakfast,” she says, eating more of her kebab and drinking her soda.

“Why didn’t you get lunch from the kitchen?” I ask.

“I didn’t work in the kitchen today,” she says, frowning.

“So?” I say. “Do you think that means that you’re supposed to starve?” She doesn’t answer. She just dips her fry into some ketchup and keeps eating. “Do you think that by denying yourself certain pleasures and privileges that you’re paying some kind of penance for your past behavior? Because if that’s the case, I hate to tell you, that’s not the way it works.” She dips another fry in the ketchup and shoves it into her mouth and her silence tells me that’s exactly what she’s doing.

“I went from total poverty to having everything handed to me,” she begins. “Not once did I appreciate it. Not even when my grandparents showed up in that big car and took me away from that shack in Chuktapaw did I think, ‘Wow, I’m getting a chance to do more, to be more than my parents.’ Sure, I was young, but I was old enough to know what I was leaving and where I was going. I didn’t know how to handle having anything; how to deal with people being nice to me. No matter how much I got, I wanted more. I understand how people can hit the lottery for millions and end up broke a year later. They don’t know how to handle it. That’s why they don’t give starving animals enough food to eat until they’ve had their fill, because they’ll eat until they burst.

“Mia’s not pissed at me for stealing that blouse. She’s not even pissed at me for nearly letting her take the blame for it. She’s pissed at me because she was my friend. She was the only friend I had in Washington and I shit on that. So, yeah, I may have been a little emotional yesterday when I went off on her, but the truth is that if she wants to spit on me every time she sees me, she has that right. I was fucking awful, and yes, I meant what I said to her about changing for myself, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I wish she could see that I’m not the same person that I used to be.”

Now, she’s just playing with her fries. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that she’s lost her appetite.

“That’s not true, you know,” I begin. She raises her eyes to me. “That she has the right to spit on you every time she sees you, that’s not true. We all deserve an opportunity for redemption and even criminals are not punished indefinitely.”

“What about those people who get life sentences?” she interjects.

“Did you kill someone?” I retort. She drops her head. “My point exactly. I don’t know how long you think you should stay in purgatory, but it’s not going to change anything. Yes, you were shitty to a lot of people—Mia, your grandparents, me, people I don’t even know—but I’ve got news for you, honey. Contrary to what they believed, self-flagellation didn’t bring the Christians or the Catholics get any closer to God in the 14th and 15th century and it won’t help you now. After you’ve thoroughly beaten yourself down for the person that you used to be and you’ve punished yourself until you can’t figure out how to punish yourself anymore, all that’s going to be left is low self-esteem, not feeling like you’re worth anything, and how can you help anybody else if that’s how you feel about yourself??” She raises glassy eyes to me.

“I… was really very shitty,” she says, her voice cracking.

“Yes, you were, and you’re not anymore. Now, forgive yourself, or you can’t move on.” She drops her head, shaking it at the same time. “If you don’t, you’re going to school for nothing, because you can’t help anybody else.” She swallows hard.

“Where do I start?” she says without raising her head, her voice barely audible… and her dinner being ruined by her tears.

“You start by looking the mirror and telling yourself every day that you’re a better person than you were before. Don’t skip a day… in fact, don’t skip an opportunity. Anytime you see a mirror or a reflective surface, say it. ‘I’m a better person than I was before.’ Say it and mean it. Say it until you believe it. Then you add to it, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

“I don’t need a psychiatrist…” she says defensively, “… do I?”

“Yes, Courtney, you do,” I tell her. “You’re not crazy, but you need help getting past your self-hatred. It runs so deep that I don’t think you can do it without instruction, and you have to do it if you want to be able to help kids. You have to do it even if you don’t think you deserve it. You have to do it for yourself.” She nods.

“I’ll do it,” she says through her tears. “I really hate feeling this way. I just don’t know how to get past it.”

“Well, first, you’re going to graciously accept all the gifts that I’m giving to you because I wouldn’t give them to you if I didn’t think you deserved them, but know that you have to continuously earn that favor and trust. It’ll give you something to strive for.

“Next, you have to catch yourself when have feelings of self-deprecation. Identify them and learn to combat them in a healthy manner. We’ll work on some techniques together. Know that you don’t want to be the person that you were before and don’t allow yourself to fall into that, but going to the other extreme isn’t going to be any good for you either.

“Commit to talking to me once a week. No judgment. Be completely open. I’ll be talking to you as a professional, which means our conversations are privileged. Any time you need a conversation like that, just let me know… anytime.” She nods quietly.

“Now, you’ve cried all over your kebab and your fries are cold so you can’t eat that. We’ll stop and get you something for a late supper in case you’re hungry later. I don’t know what’s at the condo that’s fast to eat. However, we have one more place to stop before I take you to spend the first night at your groovy new apartment.”

b07080308eac0555437dd2e6d0823b50On our way to the condo, we stop at Silberman Brown in the Fairmont Hotel where I purchase a beautiful, expensive leather-bound journal and matching pen and turn it over to Courtney. She looks at the gift and sighs heavily.

“May I ask why I’m holding a 100-dollar-journal?” she says, her voice a bit defeated as she examines the thing of beauty.

“Because you’re going to start journaling, and you’re going to take it seriously, and if I hand you a hundred-dollar journal, you’re going to feel obligated to write in it. This isn’t for me; this is for you. For your eyes only, so you don’t have to worry about who’s going to see it unless you choose to show it to someone. Journaling doesn’t help in every situation and sometimes, it doesn’t help at all, but you have to start getting your feelings out and you never know if it will help or not until you try.”

She traces the medallion on the front of the journal with her fingertip. It almost resembles the “Seed of Life,” which would be pretty symbolic for her possible rebirth.

“It really is very pretty,” she says softly. I nod and allow her to admire her latest gift.

“Let’s get you home,” I say as I guide her towards the door.

I don’t think anything could have prepared her for the condo. I think she tried to prepare herself for what she might see, but she’s still in shock and awe when she enters. A lot of people expect that my story in marrying Seattle’s wealthiest and most eligible bachelor was one of “rags to riches,” even though I’ve constantly said that I’m a doctor and that I was doing pretty well before I met Christian. My condo was and still is my pride and joy—stylishly decorated and every piece handpicked thoughtfully by me. If you didn’t know me intimately before Christian, you would be taken aback the first time you see the décor.

“Holy fu…” She catches herself before she finishes the sentiment. “Good God, Ana, this is incredible.” She hugs her journal to her body, the only thing she carried in with her as she walks around the condo. Chuck will recruit the assistance of security to help with our shopping wares while I acquaint Courtney with the apartment.

“Yep, there’s food,” I say, opening my large refrigerator, “so no more damn starving. You understand?” She sighs heavily again.

“Yes,” she says, her voice small. “I don’t know how I’ll ever live up to deserving any of this.”

“Keep doing what you’re doing, go to school, get good grades, follow the rules, and give back like you promised. Baby steps, Courtney.” She looks at me for a moment, then the damn breaks. She’s weeping so bitterly that I think she’s going to hyperventilate. She leans against the wall and cries so hard that her body shakes. I put my arms around her and hold her as she sobs.

“I wish… she could see me,” she cries. “I know… she hates me… like Mia… but I wish she… could see who I am now,” she chokes between her tears.

“She can if you just let me call her…”

“No… no…” she chokes, shaking her head feverishly. “You don’t understand… and I can’t make you understand… just… don’t mention me to her.”

“What if something were to happen to your grandmother?” I ask. “How would you feel about that?”

“I’ll love her til I die… but I still can’t see her,” she replies, her voice cracking. As I’m about to rebut, Chuck bursts into the doors with two members of the security team from the condo and several bags containing our wares from the day. I direct him to put the things in the spare bedroom.

“Will Vickie be here tonight?” I ask. “You probably shouldn’t be alone.”

“I’m supposed to call her and tell her where I am…” I hear that but I think I’d rather be alone tone in her voice.

“Call her,” I urge. “When you’re feeling bad—and guilty—is the time you need people around you. Don’t make me stay here and wait. My husband really won’t like you then.”

“Oh, hell, I’ll call her,” she says quickly. “I know you don’t believe me, but that man came into the ladies’ room after me!” I roll my eyes.

“I know,” I finally confess. She examines me. “I know my husband. Rules are just suggestions to him and when it comes to my safety, all bets are off.”

“Dammit, Ana!” she exclaims. “You had me convinced that you didn’t believe me!”

“You were a bitch and I didn’t like you. It was easy to pretend.” I shrug. “Besides, you’ve changed now, right?” She nods meekly.

“Right,” she says softly. “I think I want a bath. I’ll text Vickie and tell her where I am, I promise, but I don’t know about her coming over tonight. I’m a little worn down by the day and I just don’t know. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you instead of lying to you.” I raise my eyebrows at her.

“Okay,” I say. I can only respect her wishes, and the fact that she came clean with me.

*-*

“I have something for you,” my husband says when I fall onto the sofa in the family room, exhausted. My son and daughter are quietly lying in their separate playpens listening to Sebastian telling Ariel how life is so much better “Unda Da Sea.”

“Me, first,” I say. “Your mother and Mia came to see me today.” He sighs.

“And?”

“Mia says to look over the guest list and let her know who has to go. Anybody that you say is out, is out.” He stares at me incredulously.

“You’re kidding,” he says. I shake my head. “How did you pull that off?”

“Well, it wasn’t very pretty,” I admit. “First, I called your mother a toddler…”

“Yoo-hoo-hou what?” he laughs. I nod.

“Yep. I said something along the lines of ‘if I want to deal with infants, I’ll go be with my children…’ and then I did.” He scratches his head, still laughing.

“You told her you’d rather deal with the twins and then you left her and went to the twins?” he asks with mirth.

“Pretty much,” I reply. “Then, she and Mia came back a little while later and I told them the details about why you and Hammerstone can’t be in the same room. Mia already knew about the accident, but not about Hammerstone. Grace had no clue. I hope I didn’t misspeak.” He shrugs.

“I was going to tell her, but she pissed me off when she lied, so I said, ‘fuck it.’”

“Mia immediately changed her tune. She was really pissed that the judge tried to throw you in jail after the guy rear-ended you and nearly killed you. She uninvited him, told her mother to do the deed and uninvite anyone that you said couldn’t attend.” His eyebrows rise.

“You don’t say?” he asks. “How did Mom take that?”

“Not well,” I reply. “I have a feeling that your mother is very concerned about her place in society, because she was more bothered by the fact that she may have to uninvite some people than she was by the fact that you wouldn’t attend the wedding with this judge.” He sighs.

“I can’t believe I’m saying this,” he begins, “but in her defense, she has to be concerned about her place in society because of who she is and what she represents. She’s the director of one charity. She’s on the planning board of several other charities, and she does fall in a certain pecking order on the social ladder. The problem is that she needs to think before she acts. She wouldn’t have to worry about the protocol of uninviting someone to her daughter’s wedding if she hadn’t indiscriminately invited the whole of Seattle society in the goddamn place!” He scrubs his face in frustration and I rub his shoulder.

“I’ll look at the list and I’ll see who I absolutely cannot deal with. We’ll keep casualties to a minimum, but the Hammerstone fucker is a definite deal-breaker and I don’t care how many invites my mother misses out on because of it!” I raise my hands.

“I don’t need convincing,” I tell him. “I’m on your side, remember?”  He rolls his eyes.

“Enough of this shit,” he says and hands me a manila envelope. I open it to find the protection order he promised against Judd Loser.

“One-thousand feet,” he says. “You, me, Ray, Marilyn, anyone in our camp. I’m working on a gag order. Unfortunately, that’s a little harder.” I wave my hand.

“He’ll talk to the gossip stations, I know,” I say. “He’s pegged as an asshole, now.”

“Oh, yeah, about that… guess who the freelance reporter was that started that trend?” I look over at him and wait. “Joshua!” My eyes widen. “I guess anonymity has its perks.”

“I guess it does!” I laugh. He points at the manila envelope.

“There’s more,” he says. I reach into the envelope to find another envelope. Inside, tickets to the Seahawks game for next Friday night against the Chicago Bears—seats on the 50-yard line.

“I figure you and Ray deserve a do-over,” he says. I raise my eyebrows at him.

“And what if a certain blowhard shows up again?” I ask.

“He has surveillance,” Christian says. “Let’s just say that he’ll be… persuaded to change his plans.” I twist my lips and ponder the thought.

“I won’t argue,” I say. “That fucker put his hands on my Daddy.” I lean in and kiss my stunned husband. “Thank you, baby,” I say softly.

“You’re welcome,” he replies, his voice relaying his surprise. I snuggle into his chest just as Flounder surprises Ariel with the statue of Eric.

*-*

We skip “normal” this weekend as it wasn’t likely to happen anyway with everything that’s going down with Judd Loser. No matter where we would have decided to go, a hush would have fallen over the crowd and we would have most likely had to make a quick getaway—assuming the paps wouldn’t have already followed us to our destination. So, instead, the girls go to Miana’s for pampering—the girls being me and Val, Gail, Keri, and Sophie. We have our usual package of manicures, pedicures, massages, and hair treatments. Val’s hair has grown a little more and it’s starting to get its shine back, which makes her happy. Grace and Mia didn’t join us for spa day, so I’m not quite sure what’s become of the whole wedding invite situation between them and Christian, but I’m sure that I’ll find out soon enough.

The weekend continued without incident and my final scheduled interview comes around on Monday morning. Since the interview will be simultaneously broadcasted for a local cable channel, I wear a blue Madeleine short blazer and matching trousers with a white blouse and blue scarf. My hair is in full, bellowing waves and my make-up subtle. I want to look professional, but not snobby.

I soon discover that it wouldn’t have mattered what I wore to the interview. It was going to proceed nothing like I planned.

“Anastasia.” A tall brunette greets me, Marilyn, and Chuck as we enter the studio. “I’m Lauren.” She extends her hand and a warm smile to me.

“Nice to meet you, Lauren,” I say, shaking her hand. “This is my assistant, Marilyn and that’s my bodyguard, Mr. Davenport.” She and Marilyn briefly exchange pleasantries and Chuck gives her a formal nod before she turns her attention back to me.

“Of course, you know, you’ll be interviewing with Ashanda. The interview will be broadcast live on KZCB cable as well as KZCB FM radio. If you’re ready, I can take you on in, you can meet Ashanda and you guys can talk.”

“Sure thing.” I nod and smile, and Lauren leads the way into the booth. A petite blonde sits behind this huge octopus of microphones with her head down, examining some cards and papers on the table in front of her.

“Ashanda,” Lauren says to get her attention. She raises her gaze to mine and smiles at me.

“Anastasia,” she says in a soft voice, extending her hand to me. “We finally meet. Ashanda Beasley.” Her greeting is a bit guarded, not warm—professional, maybe, for lack of a better word. It’s cautious, like you would approach a dog before you know if it’s going to bite you or not. I reach out to her and we take each other’s hand in the same manner, in that Katherine-Kavanaugh-fingertip “enchanté” manner. Marilyn and I exchange a look as I take the seat opposite her and this octopus of microphones. Marilyn and Chuck sit on a nearby sofa inside the booth.

“Must your entourage be present?” she asks, her voice a bit condescending. I keep my glare impassive though my blood is starting to get a little warm.

“I would hardly call them an entourage, Ashanda,” I reply, my voice just as placating as hers. “That’s my assistant and that’s my bodyguard, but to answer your question, yes—they must.” She sighs impatiently.

“Very well,” she says, looking back at her notes or whatever is so interesting on this document in front of her. I’m already arming myself for a confrontational interaction and I can tell from the sighing behind me that so is my entourage. Ashanda keeps her snide remarks—and all other remarks, for that matter—to herself for the next ten minutes. There’s no preparation, no review of the format of the questions or content of the show ahead of us, just her silently reviewing these documents in front of her and me preparing for battle. We get the signal that we’re about to go on air and her demeanor immediately changes like we’ve been getting to know each other for the last several minutes and are now about to chop it up for the viewing and listening audience.

“Good morning. You’re tuned in to KZCB FM and cable, Lynnwood and Seattle and I’m Ashanda Beasley. We’re here live this morning with Anastasia Steele-Grey, local girl who made it big by landing billionaire entrepreneur and Seattle’s most eligible bachelor, Christian Grey. Welcome to the show, Ana!”

What the fuck?

Yes, I’m a bit stunned by the introduction. She basically discredited anything and everything I am by tagging me as the bitch who snagged Christian. I can only imagine what the cameras are capturing at this moment.

“It appears our guest may be suffering from a bit of stage fright,” she laughs as she stares at me tauntingly.

“Is this why you brought me here?” I ask astonished. “To paint me as some gold-digging rags-to-riches story for your sorry little cable show?” Ashanda laughs.

“Anastasia,” she says my name in a way that makes my skin crawl, “You’re here, so our show mustn’t be that sorry.”

“An audience is an audience,” I retort. “They can’t be held accountable for the behavior of the hosts.”

“Or the guests!” she shoots.

“Oh! Those are tall words coming from someone who lures a respected professional and doctor to her show only to portray her as a common fortune-hunter!” I counter. She scoffs.

“As expected, you’re being a bit dramatic,” she says. I fold my arms.

“Oh, really?” I say sarcastically. “’Local girl who made it big by landing Seattle’s most eligible bachelor.’ Tell me, what does that mean to you?”

“Isn’t that what you did?” she asks shamelessly.

“Baby, I was big before I even if I wasn’t big in your eyes. I was and still am a respected and successful doctor who owned a condo overlooking Elliot Bay. Did you?” Her face flushes and she looks back down at her papers.

“Let’s get back on topic, shall we?” she hisses.

“Yes, lets, not that we ever were,” I counter, while rolling my eyes.

“Christian…” she continues.

“Christian’s not the topic,” I interject.

“I beg to differ,” she retorts. “While we know you would love to talk about yourself, my listeners want to hear about that gorgeous hunk of man. We can all tell by that walk what he’s working with. We just need confirmation from the source how well he works with it. So, tell us, does he throw it like he walks?” She smirks coyly at me and it’s taking everything I have not to make the appalled church-lady face at her. Is this really happening?

“You’re not serious!” I nearly gasp.

“Don’t be such a prude, Anastasia!” she shoots. “Look at him. He’s walking sex and power. He’s the fuel to fantasies all over Seattle and surrounding areas. You’re the bullet that shot him out the sky—you owe it to the women of Washington to give them something fill their empty nights! For the girls that dream about him, the girls that hoped to be the one…”

Suddenly, everything else she said after that was a swarm of garbled nothing. Either my eyes are playing tricks on me or her last words are making me see things that aren’t there. Those blonde eyebrows and that blonde hair don’t fit and I’m suddenly wondering if the drapes match the carpeting.

“Do I fascinate you?” I hear her say and it snaps me out of my observation. I smile widely and decide to play a hunch.

“In fact, you do,” I say, curiously. “I find you extremely fascinating and I don’t know why I didn’t see this before. Then again, yes, I do. We all like to make little changes every now and again, right, Ashanda?” I fluff my hair on the word “changes” and wait for a reaction… and I get it. Her face turns to stone. I’m fucking on to something. I lean in and laugh.

“The preoccupation with my husband,” I say with mirth. “How he’s throwing it and hoping to be the one… how crude.” Go ahead, sub, hang yourself. She smiles again, thinking she’s lured me in.

“I’m not going to make it any secret,” she taunts. “I’d love to have some time alone with than man. Plenty of women would like to show him what we’re made of.” She glares at me. I entwine my fingers and throw a knowing look at her.

“Oh, I’m sure you would,” I reply, looking at her straight on. “I’m sure that you would love for him to test your limits; see how far he can take you; see if you can go the distance; see what you’re made of; make you…” She pushes a button and although my mouth is still moving, you can’t hear my voice. Her eyes narrow and she glares knowingly at me and I glare knowingly right back.

Yeah, bitch, I know what you are.

“You’re suddenly very chatty now, aren’t you?” she says, her voice low. There’s no need for me to say anything else. It wouldn’t matter anyway since my mic is turned off. I stand from my seat and head for the door.


CHRISTIAN

Jason walks into my office unannounced. When he does this, I know he has news that I need and won’t like.

“Sarah Bradley has shown up on the radar, sir,” he says, picking up the remote from a nearby table and activating the monitor behind my desk.

“Okay. Where?” I turn around to see a local cable show with a live feed… and my wife removing her headphones.

My wife… and Sarah Bradley… what the fuck?

“Come on, Anastasia. Stop being a baby,” Bradley says. “They’re just questions. It’s not the Spanish Inquisition.” My wife, who is on her feet, turns and looks fiendishly at my ex-submissive. With the speed of the tiger that she is, she quickly pulls Sarah’s microphone over to her.

“Let’s get this straight,” Butterfly says, “you call me here on the pretense of talking about two causes that you know I’m championing right now. When I agree and sit in your seat in good faith, first you insult me and then, you begin to ask me personal, delving, and intimate questions about my husband and our sex life which are clearly none of your business. When I refuse to engage you in a conversation about stroke rhythms and penis size, then call you on your inappropriate comments and bull about how you want to work my husband—or for him to work you, I should say…” Her eyes roam distastefully up and down Bradley’s body, “… you deactivate my mic. After everything I’m already enduring from this guy at the other radio station, you want to try something like this? Good luck getting anybody else to sit in that chair!”

Butterfly angrily thrusts the microphone back at Bradley and begins to storm out of the booth. Had the mic not been attached to some apparatus on the ceiling or the wall, it would have hit Bradley right in the face.

“Well!” Bradley begins indignantly, reloading to say something before my wife turns on her again. Although my wife isn’t in the mic anymore, you can still hear her clearly.

“And be careful what you say on the air in my absence. I’m sure he’s listening and watching and you already know, he has a short temper and really good attorneys… and creative ways of making you regret doing something you shouldn’t.” She glares long and hard at Bradley who instantly loses all the color in her face. My wife’s eyes narrow as she walks indignantly out of the booth. Bradley stares in front of her and some recorded show begins to play instead of the live feed. Jason mutes the television.

Why did the tone of that last sentence make me feel uneasy?

“And how did we not know this?” I ask calmly, trying not to lose my cool.

“Ashanda Beasley,” he says. “She changed her name very shortly after Lincoln was arrested. She wanted to separate herself as much as possible from the lifestyle and the publicity that was Elena Lincoln and there was no way to link the two.”

“Let me see if I understand this correctly,” I begin. “You find a man in witness protection who used several names and faked his own death, and you couldn’t find her?”

“The names Myrick used weren’t real except his own. She’s assumed someone else’s identity. Ashanda Beasley was a real person…”

“Was?” I ask.

“Dead now. Ever see The Talented Mr. Ripley?” My turn to pale.

“Are you saying that she killed someone?” I ask.

“No… I can’t say that for sure. I can only say that she’s using a dead woman’s name.” I slam my hands on my desk hard enough to nearly shatter the damn thing.

“And she had a meeting scheduled with my wife—a meeting that I know for certain has been on the books for at least a week and probably two and we didn’t know this? How the fuck did we not know this?” My head of personal security can’t seem to provide an answer for me and I feel my stomach starting to boil. I’m out of my seat in a moment.

“Get me to that station, now!”

*-*

This is getting to be ridiculous. It’s getting to the point where I can’t even breathe without somebody aiming for us for some reason. I don’t understand people. I get following someone to get the story—the scoop, but we’re not breaking news! Yeah, my grandfather died recently, but who wants to dwell on that?? Judd Rossiter became news because he antagonized my wife. He’s part of the problem! That doesn’t make us news. Butterfly wanted to bring light to two very important topics and people are going all over the spectrum on completely unrelated topics for God only knows what reasons. I don’t get what the purpose is of making my wife look like a gold-digger in the eyes of the public. And I really don’t get why my ex-submissives keep rising up like mold on spoiled food years after our interactions are over. I get what Charity said about the curiosity of the enigma that is me. But dammit, it was years ago. People change. It’s over! Get over it!

I sit impatiently outside this little station in Lynnwood waiting for Ashanda/Sarah to emerge. She’s changed her appearance and her name, but she can’t hide. I know exactly who she is. When she exits the rear door of the station, I don’t wait for Jason to open the door for me. I step out of the Audi immediately. Her back is to me as she walks to her car and I stride up quickly behind her. She’s blonde now, but it’s her and she foolishly walks the entire distance across the parking lot without looking back. She doesn’t even realize that someone is behind her until she gets to her car and sees my reflection in the window.

She spins around and gazes into my eyes. Of course, she knows who I am, a point clearly driven home by her current expression. I close the space between us and she backs further against the driver’s side door.

“The entire trip over here and the entire time I sat in the car waiting for you, I asked myself, ‘Could she really be that stupid?’” I say, my voice low and controlled. “’She knows my M-O. She knows how much I value my privacy… to the point of destroying people who invade it. I publicly threatened the press at my grandfather’s funeral, for God’s sake… she had to know that.’

“’I’m protective to the point of obsession, I’m sure she knows that,’” I continue. “’After all, she knows me intimately. I was ghastly possessive with women I didn’t even love, including her… but now, I’ve taken a wife—and she thought it was a good idea to antagonize the woman I love? She can’t possibly be that stupid.’

“I’ve seen ambitious before. I’ve even seen careless and reckless, but this was just plain stupid. Then I watched you casually exit that door without looking around and walk a good 500 feet across a parking lot without looking behind you once after you tried to humiliate the beloved wife of a powerful and volatile billionaire on a live cable show. Then I said to myself, ‘Self, yeah… she is that stupid.’” Her pupils constrict as she leans frightened against her car.

“There are surveillance cameras everywhere,” she says, her voice shaking.

“Good,” I say. “I can explain my presence, confronting the woman who deceived my wife and was trying to pry into our personal lives. Can you explain yours… Sarah?

“It’s just a stage name,” she says. “Nobody knows who ‘Sarah’ is,” she explains. I raise my eyebrows.

“Really?” I say. “So, if I go inside and let the general manager know that Ashanda Beasley is really Sarah Bradley, no one would have a problem with that?” Her eyes are glassy now.

“I… I have a new life now…” she says, her voice pleading.

“A new life,” I say as if testing the words. “What happened to Sarah’s life? Her husband? Is he still around? What about Ashanda’s life?” I ask, my voice deceivingly calm, “I know she’s from another city and state completely, but I find it curious that you’re walking around using a dead woman’s name. I wonder what her family would think about that. I wonder how much I would discover if I dug into her life… and her death.” Her eyes pierce and she swallows hard.

“You wouldn’t find anything,” she says, trying to convince me.

“Then why are you frightened?” I taunt.

“I just wanted a fresh start…”

“In Seattle… where you have all this history. Yeah, that’s a fresh start, alright. You don’t change your identity and your appearance, then come back to the place you left for a fresh start, Sarah!” I demand.

“Please, don’t call me that,” she says, her voice small. “I’m not Sarah anymore…”

“Well, you are to me!” I hiss. “And you were Sarah in the goddamn studio when you were accosting my wife!” She closes her eyes tightly, then opens them again.

“I didn’t mean any harm… I was just… desperate for details. You were so… aloof! No one could get to you… no one could crack your shell. I just wanted to know how she did it, that’s all. Everything was business with you; there was no tenderness. When you’re with her, it’s different. Believe me, we all want to know what she did, what she has… how she broke through. You not only fell in love, you married her. You have children. Anybody who can do that to you must be remarkable!”

“I don’t know what is wrong with you crazy bitches,” I growl, slamming my hand on the top of her car. “It was pain and sex and that’s it. When it’s over, you move on. Yes, the face may have been distracting, but I don’t bother you. Why the fuck do you see fit to bother me?”

It’s a question that I want to pose to all the crazy submissives and submissive hopefuls that continue to harass and stalk me long after the relationships have ended. Naomi was my last submissive—over two years ago—and she came back last year and used a car as a damn missile trying to kill my wife! Shawn Gibson shows up at my father-in-law’s baby shower; Cassie Hamilton tried to ambush me while attempting to plan my wedding; I didn’t even fuck Greta Ellison; and we won’t even discuss the crazy that is Elena Lincoln!

And now this bitch! Charity gave me a good explanation, but it still doesn’t wash that these women couldn’t find another dick in the whole of Washington to satisfy them. I’m good, I know this, but I’m not the only one.

“It’s more than that,” she defends. “Women everywhere are looking for ‘happily ever after,’ and she achieved the impossible. They want to know how!”

“That wasn’t your line of questioning, and you know it!” I hiss. She jerks back at my closeness and tone, indicating that I didn’t have to see the entire interview to know that I’m right. “You know that I can have your entire story in less than twenty-four hours, including the dirty details of why you had to change your identity in the first place. Either you killed someone and took over her life or you had something to do with her death and neither of them scares me!”

I open my suit jacket to show her the harness strapped to my body and the Glock secured inside it. Her eyes widen and her mouth falls open.

“You… have changed,” she breathes.

“You already know this,” I hiss. “She carries one that looks almost just like it. In fact, she carries three. Her father taught me how to shoot it. So, don’t get any bright ideas.” I close my jacket and button it.

“At the very least, you’re guilty of identity theft, all the way to the tune of using your stolen name on public media and to secure employment. So, you’re in deep with the Feds on that one. Stay the fuck away from my wife. You leave me the fuck alone and I’ll leave you the fuck alone. Capiche?”

Clearly afraid, she clutches her bag close to her body. Good. I need that fucking fear. I need her to know that I mean business.

“Y… yes, Sir,” she says, trembling. “I won’t bother you again… either of you. I swear.”

I don’t even care that she addresses me as a Dom. I just want her the fuck out of my life. I turn and walk back to the car, leaving her standing there shaking in the parking lot.


A/N: Joe’s Apartment is a movie made in 1996 about an apartment invested with talking, signing roaches. I never watched the movie, because I can’t stand roaches. I just know what it’s about. 

Ariel, Eric, Flounder, and Sebastian are all characters from The Little Mermaid. Christian was watching this Disney cartoon with the twins when Ana returned home.

The Talented Mr. Ripley is all about a guy who covets another guy’s life, so he kills the guy and assumes his identity.  

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.

~~love and handcuffs

 

Fifty Shades Golden: Chapter 5

This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.

Explicit details of sex and BDSM scenes from here on out. Some may be hot while others may not be to your taste… and not necessary CG with Ana together. Proceed at your own discretion, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

This ain’t your everyday Christian and Ana story. Don’t expect anything. Just read it as it goes along or go away. 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 new saga continues…

Chapter 5

9c89007060cf8e0f4e827710449aa333

GOLDEN

I’m still panting against the wall long after he closed the door behind him. My chest is heavy and I can barely get any air into my lungs. My clit is tingling, burning from a rough dry fuck that I haven’t felt in… have I ever? A soft wet tongue, a vibrator, a dildo, my own fingers and long ago—it seems like forever—a wet dick inside my walls… but a hard cock restrained in clothes and masturbating me painfully to a dizzying orgasm? No, I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. I’ve made men come in their underwear, but they haven’t made me come in mine.

It seems like eons have passed when I hear the throaty grumble of a sports car and tires screeching away into the night. Good! Good riddance! I can’t let this happen! I can’t allow him or any man to have control over me. I’m the one in control. I choose!

“I choose,” I breathe, as I nearly stumble to the bar and pour myself a double-shot of that blasted gold-infused vodka. I down it in nearly one gulp and pour myself another without measuring, drinking half the glass’s contents before taking a break.

“Mistress?”

I close my eyes and take a deep breath before focusing on Blake’s voice.

“Yes, Blake,” I say, my voice still breathy.

“Are you okay?” he asks cautiously.

“Yes, Blake,” I respond.

“Mistress… did he…?” he trails off, careful not to ask the entire question.

“No, Blake.” It’s a partial truth. He didn’t penetrate me. He pauses for a long moment.

“Do you need anything?” he asks, his voice concerned.

“A bath, please,” I reply, the breath finally flowing into my lungs.

“Yes, Mistress,” he says, and he’s gone from the parlor doors. I can never be alone with that man again. I can never let him have to opportunity to do that to me again. Elena can have Crimson. It’s only one club, but I can’t risk it. What, does he think I’m going to come looking for him now? Not in a million years.

I take a few deep breaths to compose myself and leave the parlor to go to my bedroom.

*-*

“Ana, you can’t avoid me forever.”

My uncle’s voice plays through the voicemail in my office. Chanelle had to take her son to the doctor this morning and I gave her the day off. Now, I wish I hadn’t. She would head off these messages for me, giving me just the little pink slip transcribed with the words…

Richard Steele called.

I don’t hide from anybody and I’m not really hiding from Uncle Richard. I just don’t have anything to say to him. I haven’t opened the office today and now, I don’t think I will. I don’t know why he’s trying so hard to speak to me. He wasn’t there when I needed him; why is he trying to track me down now?

I remember leaving the courthouse that day all those years ago with no direction as to where I should be headed. I told the attorney that I knew my way home, but home wasn’t there anymore. Home was nowhere now. I made my way back to the house where I had lived with Mommy and Daddy. Of course, another family lived there by then, but it still looked basically the same. I never got the chance to go back to that house after Mommy and Daddy died. Everything was “collected” for me and I really didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to my childhood home.

That day, I trespassed into the backyard, looking around and remembering playing with dolls and laughing and running with Daddy. I cried at my predicament, knowing from the look in his eye that I couldn’t go back to Uncle Richard and Aunt Sheila. I didn’t even do anything horribly wrong, but what I did was enough for my uncle to abandon me. After a final look at my childhood home, I left and spent the night in a vacant house.

The next day, I got up and went to school in the only thing that I had to wear—Jake’s yellow jumpsuit. I didn’t see Jake though, thank God for small favors. I just kept coming to school in that same yellow jumpsuit for a few days, being ridiculed by some of the other kids. After about two weeks, I lied about my age and got a job in a restaurant working nights, after school, and weekends as a laundress. I wasn’t making enough to live on, so I stayed in that vacant house and focused on school during the day, saving every penny that I could.

I was able to get a few things from the second-hand store and from “Five-and-Dimes,” as my mom used to call them—discount stores that sold things cheap. I washed my clothes at work and got dinner at the restaurant, too. I even saw my cousins at school, but I get the feeling that they had strict instructions not to engage, because they never approached me… never asked where I was living or how I was doing. It was like I never existed in their lives before—was never part of their family. They just kind of looked at me funny, a mixture of sympathy and curiosity. I shrugged it off. My heart was getting harder and harder because of the things that had happened to me.

All I had every known was Mommy and Daddy. When Mommy and Daddy were gone, all I knew was school, Uncle Richard, Aunt Sheila, and my cousins. Then, in the blink of an eye, all I had left was school. I learned at a very early age that everything in life is fleeting. Nothing—absolutely nothing—is permanent. You can lose everything you have, everything you love, everything you treasure before you can release a sigh, and you don’t have to do a damn thing to cause it. Just life and circumstance can pop up and say, “Ha ha, jokes on you!” and everything you ever knew can be gone—your life snuffed out of you before your body even hits the floor.

I had no home, no family, no one who cared for me—and I had done nothing to deserve any of it. I wasn’t a bad kid. I didn’t lie. I didn’t cheat. I didn’t steal… except for a candy bar. My biggest crime was liking this boy who happened to have a whole lot of girls who liked him, too—spiteful ass bitches who were mad because the cute black guy fell for the only white girl in the neighborhood. I never even saw any of those girls again. I don’t know if they went to juvie or what, but they sure as hell disappeared.

I did see Jake again, and he acted like he didn’t know me. I couldn’t really blame him, now could I?

Nonetheless, I stayed true to my mission. I had to finish school, but my senior year was that worst year ever. Eventually, I had to leave the job because I couldn’t do both and maintain my grade point average. I was able to survive off my savings since I was living in a vacant house with no expenses. I entered creative writing contests, essay contests, anything that had a cash prize, no matter how small. Surprisingly, it helped to support me—except for the prizes that paid me in savings bonds. I held on to those for later, of course.

It was fucking grueling, but eventually, my hard work paid off and I got my scholarships and was able to go to University. Although scholarships were paying for my room and board, I still had to work to make ends meet. I got sidetracked in my sophomore year by the cute white boy who paid attention to me and became my boyfriend. He was considerate and sweet, right up until I gave him my virginity.

Then he dumped me.

I was downtrodden for a while, but instead of falling into depression, I channeled that frustration into my studies, just like I did when my parents died and when my uncle deserted me. After all, I was accustomed to disappointment and betrayal. Kindness was an anomaly to me; that’s why I fell for him in the first place. Unfortunately, the fact that I was always being let down made it impossible for me to forge any real relationships, because I didn’t trust anybody.

Shortly after that break-up, I met Paxton Olivet and surprisingly, we very quickly became good friends. Paxton was an English student in the United States on a student visa who didn’t want to go back to England once his studies were over. His family was broke and lived in the slums of England and he didn’t want to return to that.

Our stories were similar only to the degree that he, too, understood what it was like to live with constant disappointment and expected the worse before he expected the best. We connected through our cynicism and our mutual understanding not to expect too much from each other. Like me, he was in college on scholarships, and would have to return to his country in two years unless he found a way to stay.

So, I suggested that we get married, move in together and pool our resources. We could split the living expenses and both be able to save some money. I would change my name, we would be seen on campus canoodling and kissing like a real couple and stay married as long as was needed for him to secure citizenship. We would live our own lives and no one would be the wiser. It was a means to an end that worked out for both of us.

I didn’t really want any emotional attachment to anyone. I certainly wasn’t looking for love, but I wasn’t a recluse, either. I think my interest in relationships—if you could call it that—could best be described as “detached indifference.” I could do with or without a relationship, but I definitely wanted erotic companionship and physical satisfaction. I began seeking alternative methods of entertainment besides frat parties and dating sites, which were totally not my thing. To this day, I have no idea what led me to that BDSM website, but I was fascinated with the first “click.”

It was a Femdom site, and these women had total control over these men. They made these poor suckers come in some of the strangest ways… and they loved it. I don’t know why it capture me so—captivated me, you could say. I wasn’t a woman scorned. I wasn’t in love with the guy that broke up with me. It was sad, but not tragic. The only person that really upset me was Uncle Richard, and for the most part, he just disappointed and deserted me. Fucking bastard. So, why did the concept of completely dominating the male form consume my thoughts?

I took the opportunity to delve into the topic a bit more, into alternative lifestyles and the reasons people may engage in such activities; into what makes people tick and the physical and psychological effects of lifestyle decisions and sexual preferences.

It was a fucking lot! It was so much, in fact, that by the time I graduated with my four-year degree in pre-law, I had also minored in human sexuality.

I went to my first BDSM club at 22 in Seattle. I mostly watched, played a little, but very little… but trust me, there was a lot to do and see on the Seattle scene. That’s when I met Elena. She was big shit, then—mysterious and beautiful. She was famous, one of the most popular Dommes in the Seattle area. I wanted to be like her to some degree, but for some reason, she struck me as “just like everybody else,” even though she was on the top of the hill.

Her technique didn’t relay sadomasochism to me. It was more like a cat tormenting a mouse before she ate it. I didn’t see any pleasure in it. Domination, I feel, should be more mental than physical. Anybody can inflict pain, but what does it do beside hurt? That’s what I wanted to know—how did the women in the Femdom videos that I had seen bring these men to their knees and keep them coming back for more?

Elena didn’t show me that. What I saw observing Elena was a lot of discipline and control. I felt like there was no give-and-take, just a big performance… and I felt that it should have been the other way around. I felt like the scene should be about the experience, about discovering what each person needs from the interaction, and that the fascination of watching—the performance, if you will—arises from observing the act of each person’s needs actually being fulfilled. Elena’s subs seemed like they tolerated what she was dishing out until the show was over. Not the Femdoms—the subjects or submissives craved what they received, and the Dommes relished and savored their total domination.

That’s what I wanted. From day one of seeing that first Femdom video, that’s what I wanted… but I wasn’t willing to pay for it. I was never going to pay for it.

So, for the most part, I watched. But I watched carefully, and I learned a thing or three. For one thing, I learned from Elena what I didn’t want to be. There had to be more than what she presented… I’d seen it for myself, but which was the performance, Elena or the Femdoms?

My sexual encounters began to exhibit the need to be dominant. I slept with the occasional guy here and there, and turned some of them off. Others, I turned out. As I observed those guys who were enthralled by my alpha-female aggression, I came to understand their need for a dominant woman in an erotic setting. It had a strange effect on me. For the first time, I felt like my life and my destiny were really in my own hands—not boys who wanted to fuck me and leave me and not judgmental uncles who just wanted to leave me.

My hands.
My power.
And what’s more, I found out where their power resides—that little joystick between their legs. Control that and you control the world.

I could totally understand why that little joystick held so much power. It’s a fearsome creation—beautiful and mesmerizing. Nothing in the world smells like it, feels like it, or tastes like it… that’s why it’s so strong.

I wanted to find a way to harness that power without falling for anyone. It was akin to submission and I couldn’t afford that in my life; I never really wanted it anyway. It was too messy, too distracting. My focus was to continue working—and writing, and studying, saving the money for my bigger plan…

Law school.

After graduation, I enrolled at U-Dub’s law school. It was year four of my marriage to Paxton, and he had blossomed socially, allowing a beautiful young coed into his inner circle. They had been dating for two years and he had fallen in love with her after laboriously convincing her that ours was a marriage of convenience. During his plight, they had broken up for a while and Paxton had returned to the apartment literally in tears over the split. When he explained to me what was going on, I immediately visited the object of his affection—Amelia Holbrook—and explained our arrangement to her. She didn’t want to believe me at first, but then I told her that soon, I would be leaving the state to attend law school and that Paxton would be all alone. He really was a dear friend to me and I could tell that she loved him very much. She just couldn’t deal with him having a wife.

“I’ll give him a divorce,” I told her. “We’ve been married and living together for four years now. He’s already gained his citizenship. He loves you; he wants to be with you. He’s broken without you, and I adore him—but only as a friend. I can’t see him like this. Please… we’ll file for divorce tomorrow, just don’t leave him. I only ask that you allow me to still be his friend.”

That night, I drove Amelia back to our apartment where she reconciled with Paxton. The next day, we filed for divorce and he and Amelia went shopping for an engagement ring. Six months later, our divorce was final and a week after that, he married his love. We’re still friends to this day, and he and Amelia have a beautiful family.

I kept my married name because I like the sound of it… Anastasia Olivet. I hoped that Daddy wasn’t too disappointed in me, but hell—he had to know that I’d get married one day anyway, even though the marriage was solely for convenience on both parts.

Throughout that very eventful year in law school at U-Dub, I was able to find additional funding in small scholarships, grants, student loans and work study. So, the next year, I transferred to Emory in Georgia. I needed a change of scenery and I really wanted to get away from Seattle.

That’s where I met Lanette… in my second year of law school.

Lanette was an advisor to one of my law professors. She never went by anything else but Lanette… no last name. If I had to describe Lanette, I could only say beautiful, blonde, pin-up girl from the forties, only with red hair. Lanette waited for me at the end of class one day and simply asked, “How long have you been in the lifestyle?”

I thought it was very intrusive, but also very intuitive, and my curiosity was killing me.

“About a year or so,” I answered honestly, “but not actively. I’m not willing to pay for it.” She laughed at my answer.

“Sweetie, if you’re paying for it, you’re in the wrong arena,” she revealed. “You have something special, I can see it,” she said to me. “You’re all tangled inside… there’s something there that you just can’t figure out—not tortured, just… you need to release differently… and you have a special taste. Let me teach you.”

And teach me she did. I felt the power of Dickens’ Estella, taught to wring the hearts and souls from men by her delusional and heartbroken adopted mother, only I didn’t want their hearts… just their souls… and their dicks.

My teaching also came with a detailed lesson in male anatomy, which I loved! It was during this time that I discovered my fetish for penises—not just their power, for the organ itself. The diagram of how the male genitalia works and the 3D instructional videos that show what actually causes the penis to become erect made my mouth water. I watched the cutaway of a penis stroking inside of a vagina in fascination, enthralled as the sperm proceeded from the epididymis in the testicles through the vas deferens with muscle contractions to the ampulla right above the prostate gland. It picks up secretions from the prostate and the seminal gland next to the ampulla to create semen and is ejaculated from the penis through the urethra.

It was better than any porno flick I had ever seen in my life… and I was hooked. All I wanted was to make that dick get hard and watch it come and pulse wildly through orgasm. Learning to do it through pain was even better—my two biggest taboos satisfied at the same time through the same act.

I learned the finesse, the delicacy, the joy of being a Femdom while at the same time, learning to be a shark. I discovered how the techniques and mental conditioning from one could easily transfer to the other. I learned to be particular about my clients. Yes, I called them submissives… I still do, but they were and are clients. People don’t like that term because it makes me sound like a prostitute and it makes them sound like Johns…

But Dominants shower their subs with gifts and money all the time, so what does that make them?

I had a good gig in Georgia. Once I graduated from law school and passed the bar on my first try, I became part of a very successful practice in Savannah. Oh, the secrets to be kept in Savannah! I had more clients than I knew what to do with, and I was already special because I had the best teacher, I had a dick fetish, and I didn’t like that black shit. I played with different concepts, but nothing seemed to stick out to me. When I considered gold, at first, I didn’t want to do it because of the connotation of Jake’s yellow jumpsuit. The similarity was too close and I wasn’t some damaged person running away from my past. Even though knowing him changed the course of my life, he was still just some kid that I used to like. Then, I thought of the other connotations of gold.

A precious metal often associated with prosperity and wealth.

A color that designates glitter and beauty, extravagance and value.

It’s use in terminology adds value to the mundane—or reduces value of something seemingly priceless… as in “fool’s gold” meaning something that appear to be valuable but is actually worthless.

A “gold star” is used for praise or accomplishment.

“Solid gold” referring to the best of the best or something of superior quality.

“Gold standard” being a measure excellence.

“Good as gold” meaning that something is true, positive, or priceless.

“Golden child” referring to the favored son or person.

And of course, there’s an entire economy built on what? The value of gold.

63f9d0ec73831eb51a5c9b2974340f1cSo, gold became my signature… and it caught on quickly. In a prudish society where everything was hush-hush, Golden’s popularity spread like wildfire, like golden lava flowing through the forest and coating the ground with unmistakable power. The problem for me was this.

The lifestyle is heavy in Savannah, but it’s all underground. No one will admit to it and no one will introduce you. You just should know. These same women who frequented the same clubs that I did, but didn’t know who I was, talked shit about them all day long. I couldn’t take the hypocrisy and quite frankly, I missed being able to visit Mommy and Daddy’s graves. Had I had my way, they would have been cremated so that I could take them with me wherever I went, but it was too late for that now. So, even though Savannah was basically a money pot for me, I took all my money and moved back to Seattle.

Little did I know that the same opportunities—and more—would be waiting for me once I arrived.

I contacted Elena to introduce me back into the scene, only to find that she had aged poorly and sincerely lost popularity in a very short period of time. Her beauty—or what was left of it—and her notoriety, if you could call it that, stemmed only from her wallet, but it still gained her access to the places that I needed to be. I attended one club with her, however, then realized that I would do better on my own than to be associated with her.

Which turned out to be true. I’m even more successful in Seattle as an attorney and a Domme than I ever was in Savannah, and I was there for several years.

I’m glad I kept the name Olivet. It allowed me some small amount of anonymity.

Until now.

“You’ll have to talk to me at some point, Anastasia,” the voice on the voicemail says. “I’m not going to just go away.”

“Why not? You did before,” I say, erasing the voice message.

*-*

“Are you ready?” I ask Wilma as we ascend the elevator into Grey’s lair once more. After last night’s altercation—if you can call it that—I’m not sure that I’m ready.

“Let’s do this,” she says, standing straight and preparing herself to go into the lion’s den. Game face on… let’s go.

The same flawless blonde greets us when we exit the elevator, but she leads us instead to two very imposing wooden double doors. Wilma and I both look at each other as she opens one of the doors and gestures us inside. There, we find Christian Grey sitting behind a large wooden desk on the phone.

“I have to go. My eleven o’clock is here,” he says curtly and ends the call with no pleasantries. “My apologies,” he says rising from the chair. “That call went longer than I expected.” I look around and no one else is in the office.

“Mr. Rockford won’t be joining us?” I ask.

“No.”

And that’s all he says about the matter before gesturing to the chairs in front of his desk.

“Please, have a seat,” he says. No conference table, no cocky legal counsel, what’s his game. “Andrea, can you come in and take minutes, please?” he says into the intercom of the phone at his desk.

“Yes, sir,” the disembodied voice says and moments later, the flawless blonde joins us in the office with an iPad on her lap.

“You’ve had an opportunity to consider the proposition, Mrs. Cross. I’d like to know what you’ve decided.” He opens the floor to Wilma as he crosses his hands over the same portfolio we examined yesterday.

“I think that depends on you, Mr. Grey,” Wilma says. “I’m definitely concerned about the longevity of my company, but I also realize after thorough discussion with my counsel that it won’t be my company anymore. So, I must stand on one shore or the other. I can’t stand in the middle of the river. My question is this—has my need to consider my options resulted in your deciding that my company is suddenly not worth the original price you were offering?” Nice move, Wilma. Grey speaks without hesitation.

“I’m willing to stick to the original terms of the contract if you’re willing to proceed, Mrs. Cross,” he says in a firm, even tone. Wilma looks at me. I don’t think either of us expected for things to move this smoothly, or this quickly.

“Ana?” she says questioning.

“As long as you understand and accept that this will be his company and he can do what he wants with it, I say take the deal.” It’s the same point that I was trying to make the day before. She returns her gaze to Grey.

“It looks like we have a deal, Mr. Grey…”

Wilma and Grey discuss particulars once more over the next half hour and sign the contracts sealing the acquisition of Cross Sells to Grey Enterprises Holding, Inc. The entire time, he never speaks to me, never looks at me, never even acknowledges my presence. Anything he says that could have included me is said to no one is particular, save his monosyllabic answer to my question about Rockford.

He wants me to feel alienated, like I’m not good enough even to be spoken to. And it worked. It fucking worked. My skin is crawling to get out of that office once the contracts are signed. I don’t even pretend. I excuse myself from the office once the deal is sealed and allowed her to bask in Grey’s pleasantries. When I see the door open to the office, I turn around and call the elevator to avoid contact with him, only to discover that he never leaves his office. He only opens the door to let her out. There’s really no need for him to come out, now is there?

I fight to hide my ire, which I’m very good at. Wilma is smiling and very pleased with the outcome of the meeting. I, on the other hand, am fuming.

“Well, Ana, we did it! Here comes another huge signing bonus for you,” she says gleefully.

“You did it, Wilma. You played your final cards perfectly. Well done,” I say with a plastered-on smile. I told him that I choose. I played his game until I didn’t like the rules and when I tried to back out and show him who’s boss, he changed the game on me. I choose, I keep repeating in my head, but the truth is… he chose. He made me come, then he shut me down. He chose.

Once I drop Wilma off and arrange for the wire transfer of my bonus, I drive to the yoga studio for my workout with Kevin.

“You’re quiet today,” he says as he bends me into impossible positions. I don’t respond. I’m quiet every day. I’m just brooding today. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” I say, as I twist myself into yet another impossible position with his help. When we’re done with the session, we’re both sweating and a little spent, but that doesn’t stop him from doing his same finale after he stretches my back. I’m again in one of those impossible positions where I have to negotiate with him to release me… which he does… and I fall flat on his body again… and his hard dick.

This time when he cups my breasts, I don’t move. I lie there on his chest, his hands cupping my tits. When I don’t move or protest, he begins to massage them gently. His strong hands are somewhat comforting. I can’t remember the last time a man actually held me. I don’t allow myself to miss it.

Noting no resistance from me, he moves one of his hands down to my yoga pants. He pushes his hand inside my pants and underwear and quickly find my clit. I close my eyes and gasp as he immediately and masterfully begins to manipulate my pleasure center. It feels good… him holding me… caressing my breast… caressing my clit…

I sink back into him and enjoy the feeling, absorb the pleasure… it feels so good… then I see his face.

Chopper.

Fuck!

I leap from Kevin’s body and scramble to my feet. He doesn’t stop me from rising, but he protests as I start to move away from him.

“Ana! Wait… please!”

I stop in my tracks and turn around to face him. He’s on his feet now, observing me, question in his eyes and confusing marring his face. I walk quickly back to him and push him hard against the wall behind him. Without a word, I pull his shorts and boxers down quickly and his dick springs forth. It’s big and black… and beautiful. I knew it would be from every time the head peaked out of his shorts after he dropped me down onto him. I take the head into my mouth, tasting the skin on my tongue and he moans deeply. When I do it again, he touches my head. I take both of his hands and slam them back on the wall, giving him a warning look. He gazes down at me, hungry and horny, and doesn’t move his hands.

I take him in my hand and guide his dick to my mouth—his beautiful, black dick. I taste his skin and savor the texture against my tongue. He groans deep in his chest as he fights to keep his hands against the wall.

“Grab your shirt,” I command as I give him a momentary reprieve from the blowjob. “Hold it up.” He grabs his tank top with both hands and holds it against his chest. His dick is so hard that it’s jutting out in my face. I use the opportunity to apply pressure to his pelvis, freeing my mouth to feast on my favorite part of the human anatomy.

I start with short sucks, savoring the flavor of his head once more. Then, I push him further into my mouth, his dick jerking and pulsing as I pull him in and increase the intensity of the suction. Various profanities escape his lips as he grips his shirt in his fists and fights to keep from thrusting into my mouth. It wouldn’t help, though. I’m holding him firmly against the wall and even though he’s stronger than me, his pelvis will be weak from the pressure and the pleasure of this blowjob.

I sink further and further down on his dick, taking more and more of him into my mouth and eliciting more tormented pleasure sounds from his throat. I deepthroat him as far as I can and even though I can’t take all of him, it’s enough of him to get the job done.

“Ana! Ana!” His breathy voice is a warning, but I don’t need one. I know how to read a man’s body. The steeling and thickening of his dick, the pulsing of the meat in my mouth and the hardening of that vein underneath lets me know that I have seconds to act. I grab his balls and roll them in my hands as his dick rises hard in my mouth.

“Gaaaah! Aaaahhh!” he groans loudly, and I move my mouth in the nick of time. One hand cupping and massaging his balls and the other squeezing tightly on his dick, I watch as the helpless, magnificent thing pulses hard in my hand, throbbing madly with each wild spurt of come shooting from the head. It’s a masterpiece that I love to watch over and over, and the contrast of the thick creamy liquid shooting from his chocolate head shiny and slick with my saliva is one of my best works of art yet.

His body is stiff, motionless as he squeezes his eyes shut and suffers through his orgasm, his fists actually tearing his tank top as the cum shoots wildly from his shaft. He’s weak and breathless when the fireworks have finally subsided.

“Fuck… fuck… fuck…” he pants as he tries to catch his breath. The floor and my shirt is covered with his cum and his head is laid back on the wall while he fights for equilibrium. He winces as I tuck his shaft and balls back into his boxers and gym shorts. I rise to my feet and grab the back of my shirt, pulling it over my head. I’m wearing nothing but my bra and yoga pants as I turn to walk out of the room.

“Ana!” his breathy voice stops me. I turn to look at him.

“Why… why did you do that?” he asks. I have no answer for him. The truth is that I have no idea. I didn’t let him finish the job, but I made him come. I’m a hardnose about making sure I have medical clearance on someone before I even touch them, yet I just had his sweaty dick in my mouth… and I have no fucking idea why. I turn around and walk wordlessly out of the room.


c50b50fe03562a62f3e07c4fdd3dfb38

TREY

I still want her. I fucking hate to admit it, but I still want her. I can’t have her. I won’t pursue her, but I still want her. She’s worse than the worst kind of drug and tasting her only makes me want her more. She’s poison and I know it. She holds more power than any woman, any opponent I’ve ever faced. I couldn’t even look at her during negotiations. I was rude when she asked questions and I never addressed her directly. I needed to get her out of my space as quickly as possible because my actual skin was craving her. All I did was jack off against her body while I tasted her hot mouth, and it still makes me want more… makes me want to bury myself inside of her until we’re both mindless with pleasure, until she craves me like I crave her, until she can’t get me out of her mind…

… Like I fucking can’t get her out of mine.

I was relieved when she left my office today. It was utter torment being in the same room with her. My body reached for her on a cellular level every moment that she was in this office. Whatever it takes, I have to distance myself from her—physically and mentally.

So, ask me why I take my ass back to Crimson on Friday night.

Part of me wants to see her again. Another part of me is praying for the contrary. I get one of my wishes.

She doesn’t show up.

I’m not so lucky with Elena.

“Trey…” she says, approaching me almost cautiously. “How are you?”

They’ve talked. I don’t know when, but I can tell from her demeanor that they’ve talked about me. Now, she’s justifiably trepidatious in my presence. You should be. I want to fucking wring your lifted neck!

“Why do you care?” I say, coldly. You basically threw me at that woman and you know it, taunted me with something you knew I couldn’t have even though I didn’t know yet. It’s not her who tried to destroy me… it’s you.

“I just…” she pauses, searching for her words. “I was concerned,” she says finally. I twist my lips and take a swallow of my Scotch. I just bet you were.

“Whatever for?” I ask, injecting as much sarcasm into the question as possible without attempting to mask my ire.

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay,” she continues, and her presence is irritating me more and more.

“Why wouldn’t I be?” I deliver the words with growling fire and her response is immediate. Her skin pales and there’s a bit of fear in her eyes. Spit it out, bitch. I don’t have all day.

“Golden told me what happened,” she responds quickly, as if she heard my thoughts.

“Which part?” I ask. Her eyes widen as if to say, “Shit, there’s more?” She swallows hard.

“The unfortunate incident with the gun?” she confesses. I twist my lips.

“Mm,” I grunt, disinterested, taking another drink of my Scotch.

“I was worried about you, Chri— Trey,” she says, sincerely, at it doesn’t move me one bit.

“Why?” I ask. “I’m sure she told you that she didn’t shoot me,” I add sardonically. She looks down and toys with her bracelet.

“There was this guy,” she says, not making eye-contact with me. “His name is Lester. Last year, when she first got back to Seattle, he—contracted her services, for lack of a better word. They engaged for a while, but after a few sessions, he didn’t appreciate her methods. He felt like he should get more than the Golden treatment, as we see it. At that time, she was sexually active, but not immediately. And Lester wasn’t looking for what she was offering… he just wanted her. So, after a few sessions of not getting fucked, he… took what he wanted. She maintains that he didn’t rape her, so to speak. He just… forced himself on her…”

Like I did.

“And?” I nearly growl.

“And… just as he was ejaculating, she… shot him in the side.”

I try not to react. Inside, I’m staring gape-mouthed at this woman as she tells me that the last person who fucked Golden—pushed himself on her—got shot for it. Outside, my face is impassive as I sip my Scotch.

“He’s fine… well, he’s alive,” she says, “but he’s paralyzed from the waist down. I never got the details of how things played out in the legal system, but…” she shrugs, “she’s… well, she knows people.” Yeah… and she’s a lawyer. While there’s no law against being an incessant tease, there is a law against rape. I shake my head infinitesimally.

“You knew this, and yet, you pushed me at her anyway.” It’s a statement, not a question. Her eyes widen.

“You’re handsome and rich and powerful and irresistible,” she defends. “I just thought the right man would be able to…”

“Get her out of your way… right?” I’m nearly growling in my confrontation. She’s panting now, but not in arousal. She knows that she’s looking into the eyes of fury. I didn’t know that I was stepping into the path of danger for a piece of ass, but she did. She knew what I was going up against, but she thrust me into this woman’s path anyway. She dangled a Golden carrot in front of my face and I wanted a bite so badly that I could already taste it. But she knew… this bitch knew that if I came off all Dominant—like I am—that I could end up dead. No matter, as long as her nemesis went down, what’s a little collateral damage, right?

Bitch, I will fucking destroy you.

“Goodbye… Elena.”

I bottom out the last of my Scotch and leave her standing at the bar with her mouth hanging open. I don’t look back at her as I don’t want to see again. As a matter of fact, I don’t want to see either of them ever again. This will be my last time in this club, so I might as well make the most of this trip. I work the room very quickly, finding a submissive willing to go to the private rooms, where I gag her, hogtie her, and fuck her from behind until my dick hurts.

*-*

“You must have gotten your shit together,” Bastille says after one of our workouts. He’s still salty about that ass beating he got a while back. It’s been weeks since I’d seen Elena or Golden and I must admit, I’m feeling more like myself again.

“You just stay on your toes and let me worry about my shit,” I warn, drying the sweat from my face.

“Your shit is my shit when you come to my gym intent on beating my ass for something someone else did to you,” he retorts. “Know that I’m a professional, but I can defend myself. The next time you pull that shit on me, I won’t go easy on you.” I raise an eyebrow at him.

“You’re trying to say that you went easy on me?” I say in a disbelieving tone.

“You walked out of here,” he says flatly. “If I had given you what you deserved that day, you would have been carried… probably to an ambulance.” I narrow my eyes at him, then realize that I’m talking to my trainer whom I did really beat the hell out of that day.

“Is that a challenge, Claude?” I counter.

“A warning,” he replies, without fear. “Pull that shit on me again and find out.” He stares at me for a few moments to drive his point home, then walks past me headed to the locker room. He’s right. As pissed as I am that anyone would take that tone with me, I was out of line that day. I won’t let it happen again.

I drive home pondering which submissive will get fucked tonight. A strange dynamic has played out in my “private” life, so to speak. I now have Joyce and Caramel as my submissives. One simply wouldn’t fit the bill. I need them both for different reasons. Joyce fits the bill for my regular kink—fuck and play, and she has the most magnificent mouth my dick has ever felt. Caramel is a different story.

Caramel is the closest thing to a girlfriend that I’ve had in years, only because she’s steady and because I mostly just fuck her. I don’t take her out anywhere. I don’t spend special moments with her. I just call her when I want to see her and we fuck like rabbits. I figured that since I paid for her, I might as well use her.

I haven’t seen Golden in nearly two months, but that hasn’t lessened my craving for her. I think about her constantly and in a strange way, Caramel is my connection to her. It was Golden who brought Caramel to my attention. I fucked her senseless the day I wanted Golden so badly that I was nearly mindless. Her hips and ass round out shapely almost just like Golden’s. Most of all, she lets me fuck her any which way I want for as long as I want. She’ll take it in any orifice in any position for hours at a time. And though I’ll never speak her name aloud, I think it every time my dick is blasting hard in Caramel’s ass, pussy, mouth, or between her tits…

Golden.

It’s the only way I can satisfy my need to have her and resist the urge to go back to that damn club… and it’s working. I’ve been able to quench my thirst for a woman who means nothing but disaster for me—vicariously feeding my addiction without actually partaking of the harmful, brain-eating, body-devouring drug. It’s the best of both worlds and as I pull into the parking garage at Escala, I dial her number.

“Hello?” she answers.

“Be ready in twenty minutes. I’m sending Taylor for you…”

*-*

She had tried reaching me a few times in the first weeks after I left her standing gape-mouthed in Crimson, but that soon fell to nothing when she figured out that I was most likely the one at the base of her most recent calamity. Elena Lincoln is probably… no, not probably… definitely in the worst condition that she’s ever been in since I’ve ever met her. I hadn’t heard from her for months, but I had put my plan in motion mere weeks after I discovered that she set me up as bait for her competition.

She should know that she’s no competition for Golden. Even though I loathe the woman for the way things turned out between us, she’s still hot, delicious, and irresistible. Elena’s just old, washed-up, and delusional.

And she most likely regrets ever meeting me… or at least ever crossing me.

Propaganda can often do more damage than any financial harm you could inflict upon anyone. Little whisperings of unclean, unsafe practices at her salons grew into a huge wildfire of mishaps and bad experiences. People imagine that see or experienced something they never experienced if it’s suggested to them convincingly enough. Since bad news travels quickly, Elena saw her clientele dwindle significantly in a matter of just a few weeks.

Sending the health department to investigate her very shortly after the rumors took on a life of their own was the poison pill. They didn’t find anything… at least, as far as I know, they didn’t… but the rumors were enough to nearly destroy her before I really put the guns to her financial backers and reputation. She finally mustered up the nerve to see me after a few months of trying to put out impossible fires.

“I have no idea why you’re here,” I say to her once security escorts her into the first-floor conference room at Grey House. “I thought my last conversation with you made it clear that our friendship—such as it was—is now over.”

“Christian, please,” she says, looking older than I’ve ever seen. The stress is really taking its toll on her. “Horrible things have been happening to me!”

“And I should care because?” I ask stoically. The only reason I even agreed to see her is because I wanted to see for myself just how far the mighty have fallen.

“Oh, God,” she says, weeping bitterly into her hands. “Christian, it’s terrible. I don’t know what the hell is going on. Someone started some horrible rumors that were completely untrue and I haven’t been able to recover from them. I don’t even know where they’re coming from, and at this point, it doesn’t matter because they’re everywhere!”

“What is this, some ploy of yours for attention?” I say, feigning ignorance.

“Of course, not!” she nearly shrieks. “I’m going to lose everything! I’m fucking going to lose everything! Linc doesn’t even know and he’s going to fucking cut me off when he finds out!”

Linc—Elena’s virtually absentee husband. I forgot about him. There’s a deathblow I hadn’t considered. I wonder if Linc knows what she does with her evenings while he’s globe-trotting? Does he even care? The rules of the lifestyle dictate that I can’t blatantly tell him what she gets up to when he’s not looking, but surely some insinuation of extracurricular activities from an unrelated source wouldn’t be a violation of any rules, would it?

Nah, even I can’t stoop that low.

“What the hell are you going on about?” I say, disinterested.

“Oh, of course you wouldn’t know!” she weeps. “What would you know about salons anyway?”

“Nothing, except that one woman walks in and a completely different woman walks out and right now, you’re wasting my time.” I move to stand.

“You can at least listen,” she says, still sobbing.

“You’re not saying anything that I want to hear, nor are you making any sense.” I could tell her that the demise of her business and reputation were both at my hands, but it’s so much more fun watching her squirm.

“Someone started a rumor that one of my salons had bedbugs and scabies!” she shrieks. “It was a total fabrication—the health department even cleared me, but people started thinking they saw them and scratching and itching when they came to the salons. The next thing I knew, clientele started thinning and many of them stopped coming altogether. I even got bills sent to me for the costly extermination of client homes! People would get mosquito bites and bee stings and send me a bill for bed bugs!”

She’s damn near hysterical now and I’m fighting not to laugh sinisterly at her misfortune. My plan went better than I could have even hoped and I didn’t have to spend a nickel. Then, I discover that not only do I have yet another avenue to cause her distress in Linc if I so desired, but that her troubles are still not over.

“I’ve lost all of my clients and one by one, my staff deserted me. They’ve all gone to Alfonso’s or Gary Manuel or Allure. I gave those ungrateful cunts and flamers a job and they all left me at the first sign of trouble!”

“Well, what did you expect?” I ask flatly. “People have bills to pay, responsibilities. By your own admissions you lost all your clientele because you had a pest problem. What, did you think your staff would just stick around and go broke with you out of loyalty?”

“I didn’t have a pest problem!” She’s coming completely unglued.

“Apparently, you had some kind of problem. You lost all of your clientele,” I say matter-of-factly. She’s sobbing almost uncontrollably now.

“As if I wasn’t having enough trouble, someone set fire to my Medina location!” she cries. “All I have at this point is my locations and my equipment, and someone set fire to my goddamn salon! What’s worse is that the insurance company won’t pay because they think I did it!” She’s a total mess. Can she still be a Domme at night like this? If they hate each other as much as it appears, Golden must be loving this current development.

Golden.

My blood immediately and simultaneously burns hot and runs cold at the thought of her.

“What makes you think I would give a fuck about what’s going on with you?” I say, my voice dropping several octaves to relay my disgust. Her eyes rise to mine—bloodshot and drenched with tears. “Did you forget that you nearly sent me to my death over a golden-clad piece of ass? That psychotic sadist almost killed me because you convinced me that she was just another conquest without warning me just how insane she really was. I. Could’ve. Died. Or at the very least, ended up like that guy Lester, and you didn’t think to warn me. You just threw me into the ring like some expendable toy, and you think I really care that you’ve lost everything? You haven’t lost everything, yet, Elena. You still have your husband and your life. Come back and see me when a bullet goes flying past your head. In the meantime, stay the fuck away from me, because I think you deserve every fucking thing you get!”

“I see you never sealed the deal,” she hisses through her teeth. “I thought you could do anything. I thought you were the all-powerful, all-seductive Christian Grey, shaper of destinies and able to make panties drop with a single word! I had no idea how wrong I was. That’s what I get for sending a boy to do a man’s job!”

Wow. She quickly forgets her place, doesn’t she?

“At least I still have my business,” I taunt. “What do you have? Bed bugs took your day job and Golden took your night job and you’re standing here trying to be superior over me? You better call Linc and tell him what’s going on before he kicks you out on your ass, Blondie.”

The rage that rises in that woman, I don’t think I’ve ever seen before—not even when Golden was aiming that gun at my head. She finds the strength of Hercules, picks up a nearby potted plant and lunges it at me. The vase is some kind of pottery and I don’t have enough time to react as I’m in utter disbelief that she was even able to lift the damn thing! I can only put my arm up in front of my face to protect my eyes and head. It did very little good. The damn thing shatters on my arm, sending moist soil into my hair, face and all over my clothes.

That. Shit. Hurt!

“You’re fucking crazy!” I roar, shaking dirt out of my hair and nursing my throbbing arm. “Have you lost your goddamn mind?”

“You!” she cries. “You had something to do with this! I know you did!”

Several members of my security come rushing into the conference room just as she grabs the largest chair at the table and hurls it through a nearby plate-glass window.

This woman is certifiable. She has gone completely over the edge.

“Goddammit, Christian! How could you?” she shrieks. “How? God, how?”

These fucking idiots are still standing around watching!

“I realize that it’s probably pretty incredulous to watch a little blonde woman throw a 30-pound chair out of a window, but what am I paying you fuckers for? Get. That. Bitch!”

They suddenly spring into action, but Elena is faster and dashes out of the broken window—in stilettos!

Yeah, she’s crazy.

Some of my security staff follow her out the window while others scramble out the door they just came into, most likely to try to head her off. I stand there shaking my head and holding my arm, covered in dirt and whatever fucking plant was in that vase. A few moments later, Taylor and two other members of the security staff come through the door. Taylor is momentarily stunned, but quickly regains his professionalism.

“What do you need, sir?” he asks.

“Get me a change of clothes and call the police,” I say stiffly. He nods and gestures to the two men standing next to him, who both leave the room as I turn to face him.

“And Taylor?” He turns his gaze back to me.

“Call an ambulance. I can’t move my fucking arm.”


A/N: So… the plot thickens! Trey and Golden have now vowed to stay away from each other, but in the process, are taking their sexual frustrations out on other people. And what do you think will happen to poor Elena next? What about Christian’s arm? Stay tuned!

The Pinterest board for this story can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/fifty-shades-golden/.

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~~love and handcuffs

 

 

 

 

Fifty Shades Golden: Chapter 4

This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.

Explicit details of sex and BDSM scenes from here on out. Some may be hot while others may not be to your taste… and not necessary CG with Ana together. Proceed at your own discretion, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

This ain’t your everyday Christian and Ana story. Don’t expect anything. Just read it as it goes along or go away. 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 new saga continues…

Chapter 4

Gold Woman Small

GOLDEN

He’s fascinating—handsome… gorgeous, in fact… powerful, seductive—but I still don’t want to fuck him. Know what makes him tick, maybe just a little. Fuck him? Nope. And I’ll be damned if I let him think that his good looks will grant him purchase to push himself on me and then his money will buy him some crafty lawyer like me to get him off. I’ll drop him right here in my parlor first, defend myself, and win!

Ten seconds ago, he was mesmerized with passion—that, along with a few shots of liquid courage that I smelled on his breath, gazing at me with such lust that I’m sure he couldn’t see straight. Now, he’s staring at me with sober gray eyes—steel shards that could stab me and leave me for dead if he could. Nothing like a hot bullet from a 380 whizzing three centimeters away from your head to bring you back to reality.

“You’re crazy!” he says. “You could have killed me!”

“But I didn’t,” I say, my voice menacing, my gun focused on my target.

“You almost shot me!” he roars. “What if you hadn’t missed?”

“I didn’t miss,” I inform him, activating the laser grip so that he could see the beam aiming straight for his head. “Trust me, Trey, if I wanted to hit you, you’d be on the ground already. The last man who took what didn’t belong to him ended up in a wheelchair. I didn’t miss with him either, and that’s why I don’t fuck.”

His gray eyes pierce and some unknown emotion flashes across his face. I couldn’t care less what it was. I just want him away from me… now! I snatch the gorgeous gold creation from my neck and throw it at him. He catches it effortlessly in one hand. Cocky bastard!

“Get. Out. Of my house,” I say, my voice controlled. He glares at me for a while before backing away from me. Before I know it, two men come barreling through the door—Blake, and some other wall of man dressed in black.

“Mistress?”
“Sir?”

They speak at the same time. I keep my gun trained on the copper-hair stunner staring at me like I’m some exotic beast he’s never seen before. Believe me, asshole, I am! He gestures behind him to the wall of man, but I can’t see what he does. I won’t move my gaze from his. I’ll turn him into a vegetable if he comes any closer to me.

“Trey was just leaving, Blake,” I say, calmly. “Will you please show him and his man out?”

“Yes, Mistress,” he says, stepping bravely into the room. “Sir, if you would?” The consummate gentle-servant, he gestures for “Trey” to go with him instead of putting him in a submission hold and dragging him from the room. I can tell that his man is packing, too, and none of us wants a shootout, but this gorgeous hunk of man will be pissing in a bag if he doesn’t comply soon.

He stands straight and slowly reaches for his jacket. Blake and I both watch unblinking as he slides into the tailor-made blazer and casually shuffles his shoulders a bit to adjust the fit.

“Until we meet again, Golden Girl,” he says, his voice smooth as velvet.

“I wouldn’t count on it,” I reply, just as confidently. I’ve dealt with his type before—cocky, handsome, rich… thinking every woman will bow down to them because of money and power. Well, I’ve got them both, buster, and you don’t scare me. The corner of his mouth rises in a knowing smirk before he turns to join his man at the door. I watch as they exit with Blake walking dutifully behind them, then I listen for the front door to close.

I sit back on my chaise and put my 380 back in the drawer of the end-table. I fold my legs comfortably under me and unwrap a lollipop from the tray. Blake is entering the den again just as I slip the confection into my mouth.

“Mistress,” he says, awaiting instruction.

“Total,” I tell him. “He’ll have my real name and everything about me by sunrise. I want the same thing on him.”

“I don’t need to look far, Mistress,” he says. “That’s Christian Grey.”

Christian Grey. Well, I’ll be damned. His reputation precedes him… at least in the power circles, it does, but I couldn’t have picked the man out of a crowd. He’s got a bigger surprise coming his way that he thinks. A coy smile crosses my lips. I should’ve let him fuck me…

The moment the thought breezes through my head, I get a horrible chill. I won’t allow anyone to touch me like that again… ever!

“Everything you can get by sunrise,” I say. “It’ll probably take a year to get a full dossier on his ass.” Blake nods and leaves the den. I press play on the sound system and 2Pac “Gangsta Party” fills the room. I spin the lollipop over my tongue as I contemplate the events of the evening. I guess inviting a man to your home nowadays gives a fucker carte blanche! I really should have known better. Nothing in our interactions indicated that he could come to my home and negotiate a contract and I would allow him to fuck me. What in the world could have possibly led him to believe that shit was okay?

I only need to ponder the thought for a few more minutes before I have my answer.

“Hello?” Her cat-like voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard coming through my vintage princess handset.

“Hello, Elena,” I say in my normal impassive tone. “You’re sounding a bit self-satisfied.”

“Whatever do you mean?” she croons into the phone, and I immediately know the game is up. I bite back my anger at this treacherous bitch and continue the conversation.

“Trey just left,” I tell her, using his alias even though I already know his real name.

“Really?” she says in the worst mock surprise I’ve ever heard.

“Yes,” I respond non-committal.

“How did it go?” she coos.

“Not as well as I would have hoped,” I say. “You don’t like him very much, do you?”

“Why would you think something like that?” she asks in the first sincere tone she’s used since she answered the phone.

“Because apparently, you’re trying to get him killed,” I respond coolly. “I’ll have to call someone tomorrow to remove the bullet from my stucco.” She gasps on the other end.

“Bul…” she trails off.

“What did you say to him?” I ask, my voice firming into Domme tone.

“W… what to do mean? Is Christian okay?” and she’s coming unglued. I don’t even think she realizes that she let his real name slip.

“He’s alive. Now, what the fuck did you say to him? I won’t ask you again!” My voice strengthens to full Domme growl. She sighs and some of her phony resolve comes back.

“You’re paranoid, honey,” she says. “I didn’t say anything to him. What Trey wants, Trey gets.”

That shit doesn’t fly with me for a moment. Mrs. Fucking Lincoln, the only reason you have received any notoriety in the last year is because you’ve been seen with me. Don’t make me ruin you. My extended silence is enough for her to confess her transgression.

“Okay, okay, I told him what you said… about you being out of his league. He adores a challenge, and you, my dear, are a challenge. He’s gagging for you… and he will have you, no matter how long it takes.”

Oh, Elena. I don’t think you know what you’ve done, my dear, but you have fucked up royally. She knows that my appeal mostly comes from the fact that I’m unobtainable, inaccessible except on my terms. If some pretty boy with a bank roll comes sashaying my way, waving his good looks and money and I allow him to crawl into my pants when no one else could, there goes my novelty… my mystery…

My power.

I release a sinister laugh into the phone. I can hear the unease even in her silence.

“Fucking amateur,” I say after my laughter. “You’ve been doing this almost a decade longer than I have, and you’re still acting like a fucking amateur. You know what, Elena? I can tell you my secret, because if you haven’t gotten it after all this time, you never will. I can tell you why my fortune is growing exponentially while yours is dwindling just as quickly; why businessmen, aristocrats, and politicians pay me to beat the hell out of them and withhold their orgasms while you have to finance your little pets to crawl on the floor around you; why your submissives live off you while if I wanted to, I could live off my submissives.”

She’s silent again and I think she thinks I’m going to give her my techniques.

“I’m something they can’t have,” I tell her. “I’m a level of perfection that they wish, hope, and pray that they can obtain… just a moment in my presence gives them immeasurable joy. To have me mistreat them, touch them, say the right things to them—make them bow down to me and feel like kings at the same time. Allow them to smell me, to feel my body rub against theirs in the slightest way. To fuck them with my feet or if they’re really lucky, my hand—or my best clients, my mouth—but never my body.

“The fact that the body is unattainable drives them fucking wild. And if some big dick billionaire were to come along and sweep me off my feet—make me fall in love and take me away, you still wouldn’t be able to take my place, because you’ll never be me. You’ll never be able to do what I can do. I’m sure you remember Elvin.”

I can almost hear her teeth grinding on the other end at the mention of our mutual submissive. Elvin was a free agent—no contract with no Domme. He played where he wanted, and I had no problem when he partook in Dommes who supplied what I didn’t. When he wanted masochism, I was his sadist—but when he wanted baby play, he had to find that somewhere else. When he wanted to be a slave, he had to look elsewhere for that, too. I have enough slaves. I, however, am his sadist.

Or at least I was.

There are a few Dommes with whom I will share a submissive. Elena Lincoln is not one of them. She specializes… hmm, I should say that she tries to specialize in sadomasochism, but she still hasn’t got the skill and finesse, the je ne sais quoi that I possess. When she convinced Elvin to sub for her in my absence, he made the unfortunate discovery that not only did she not hold a candle to me, but also that once he crossed the Lincoln Bridge, there was no returning to Goldie Land.

It was disastrous… for Elena, anyway.

He set out to ruin Elena and make her about as miserable as he could. For about six months, he had her on pins and needles, afraid to leave the club or her home alone. As the story of one currently paraplegic gentleman and how he came to be that way follows me everywhere I go, people pay handsomely to enjoy my skills and company, but they won’t cross me… with good reason.

“Yes,” she says through clenched teeth, “I remember.”

“I’m sick of these high rollin’ mother fuckers thinking everything has a price. Well, he’s right. I do, but even your billionaire bitch boy can’t afford me. I’m worth more than he can possibly give, and if he comes at me with unwanted advances again like he did tonight, he’s going to end up like Lester only I’ll make sure that he can’t move all four of his limbs. You got it, Blondie?”

Elena is silent for a moment before she responds. I don’t give a fuck what game they’re playing, but they better find another goddamn toy!

“Yes,” she says, her voice chastened and cross at the same time. “I got it.”

“Good. Make sure he does, too.” I hang up the phone. Tupac is now singing about California Love and I get up from my chaise and shake my ass to the thumping base beat while rolling my champagne lollipop around my tongue.

*-*

“How do you feel, Wilma? Can you do this?” I ask Wilma Cross and I navigate my Range Rover into a space in the underground parking garage.

“The question is, can you?” Wilma counters. “Half of this shit is flying over my head and I’m trusting you to take it home.” I nod and exit the car. Wilma has a deal on the table to sell her joint venture organization. She has made a lot of money by having a hands-on approach to business and one of the most successful formulas for company culture and team-based hierarchy structures ever practiced. Her comparatively small company was ranked one of the top one-hundred places to work west of the continental divide. Now, she’s looking to pass the reins to someone else and enjoy the rest of her years in retirement.

I didn’t know until last night that her potential buyer may present a fucking problem.

We exit the parking garage and walk a block or so down the street until we see the big steel letters above the door.

Grey House.

So, we’ve played this pole-positioning thing in an erotic setting. Now, we play on the corporate chessboard. Let see what you’ve got, Trey.

The building is imposing enough—glass and steel and screaming of power. We enter automatic revolving doors and walk the seemingly long distance to the security desk. I look up and identify the eyes in the sky—four of them, in fact. They make sure that they get a good look at you from every angle before you gain access to this building. Smart. An excellent intimidation tactic… to an amateur. For a strategist, we’re setting up our moves the minute we walk in the door. My current appearance may aid the element of surprise, but the surveillance may dismantle it. We’ll have to see.

“Wilma Cross and counsel to see Mr. Grey,” I say. The military-looking security guard asks for identification, then gives us each a visitor’s pass. We’re instructed to take the elevator to the 19th floor, where the receptionist will be waiting for us.

A professional blonde gestures for us to have a seat and offers us something to drink, which I decline for us both. We’re a bit early, so I understand the wait.

“I need you to trust me,” I say to Wilma as I begin to tweak my strategy. She looks over at me.

“I trust you completely,” she replies.

“That means that you need to walk away if I say walk away,” I press. She sighs.

“Okay. I trust you.” I nod.

After a few minutes, the receptionist instructs us to follow her. As we proceed down the hall towards a conference room with glass walls and a glass door, I see Grey sitting at the head of a conference table with ten chairs, facing the door. To his right is one gentleman, probably his attorney—and to his left standing just behind him is his bodyguard from last night.

A conference table with ten chairs, and he’s taken the prominent positions on the far end and the immediate right-hand seat… the king, his advisor, and his sergeant-at-arms over his shoulder. The game has been set before we walk into the room. He would have done better not to have glass walls.

Men.

The receptionist holds the door for us as we enter. I stop just inside the door and to the side, allowing Wilma enough room to step in and take her place beside me. There’s about three seconds of silence before the gentlemen stand and make their way towards us.

No, Grey. We’re not walking the Green Mile over to you. He extends his hand to Wilma.

“Wilma, it’s good to see you again,” he says in a smooth and soothing voice. I’m not impressed.

“Christian,” she says, taking his hand. He kisses it and gives her an award-winning smile. “This is my attorney, Anastasia Olivet.” He turns his gaze to me and nods.

“Ms. Olivet,” he says, and there’s no recognition in his eyes. My professional gear is so different than my Golden garb that you’d never know they were the same person. So, I still have the element of surprise.

“Mr. Grey,” I say in a crisp, professional tone. He gestures for us to come further into the conference room, which we do, but once we reach the conference table, I let him pass us and of course, he takes the prominent seat at the head of the table again.

White moves first, and you just did.

I gesture for Wilma to take the position at the far end of the table facing Grey. The kings are corner to corner in the most protected positions. The key to winning this game—avoid moving your king!

“Why do you choose to sit so far away?” Grey says with a frown. I speak before Wilma.

“These are final negotiations, Mr. Grey,” I say. “We should be facing one another, not on your left side.” His brow furrows.

“But you are on my left side,” he clarifies.

I am,” I concede, “but Mrs. Cross is facing you.” He raises an eyebrow but makes no move to adjust position. Avoid moving your king.

This is what I do, Grey. The night gig is fun, and exciting—lucrative, but only a means to an end. This is my arena, just like it’s yours. Let’s play.

“As you will see, Mr. Grey’s offer is more than fair, Mrs. Cross. I’m certain you should be very satisfied with the amount.” The attorney starts speaking without even introducing himself.

“And you are?” I interrupt him. He turns his gaze to me.

“Mr. Grey’s attorney,” he replies matter-of-factly. I fold my hands over the portfolio in front of me.

“I see,” I say crisply. “And should I just refer to you as ‘Hey, you?’”

Be a smart ass if you want to, but I’m better at it than you are. Wanna see?

“My name. Is Rockford,” he says, clearly irritated.

“Fine,” I say, opening the portfolio in front of me. “Rockford, while this…”

“It’s Mr. Rockford,” he interrupts me. I raise my eyes to him.

“You said, ‘Rockford,’” I say, calmly.

Mr. Rockford,” he says again, haughtily. I close the portfolio and fold my hands on top of it.

“Gentlemen,” I say in a firm and even tone. “We have something that you want. We have come here to review and negotiate your offer. We did not come here to be condescended, looked down upon, or disrespected. Nor did we come here for posturing or positioning. We are under no misconceptions—we know where we stand…” and who the fuck we’re dealing with.

“Ms. Olivet, I assure you…”

“Having said that,” I say, interrupting Grey’s placating tone and introduction, “we can either handle these negotiations like professionals, or Mrs. Cross and I can get up and walk out the same door we just walked into.”

Grey’s eyes become a piercing gray… almost white, and I’m certain he has pinned who I am, but I don’t flinch. This is my board; I play this game every damn day of my life. I won’t take down.

“Ms. Olivet,” Grey says again, “I fail to see why you’re getting so upset.” That’s because you fail to see that your attorney is an asshole… and my cover still isn’t blown, so that’s good. I pause for about ten seconds before speaking.

“There are two options on the table, Mr. Grey,” I say, refusing to be cornered into explaining my position when the situation is quite clear. “The choice is yours.” Grey sits back a bit in his seat.

“I’m sure that we can handle this situation like professionals,” Grey says, his voice more professional.

“In that case, I think you need to confer with your counsel,” I say, sitting back in my seat, “because at the moment, he’s acting like a real jackass.” Rockford pops up in his seat.

“What?” he barks. “I hardly think we need to result to name-calling.”

“What would you call it, Mr. Rockford?” I retort. “I’ll be happy to reconsider my description if you would be so kind as to give me the correct terminology for your behavior moments ago. And please, spare a room full of intelligent people the insult that you were just giving me your name.”

My voice is so crisp and firm that I know it’s digging under his skin like a hammer and chisel. His ears are turning red and I just keep going.

“I don’t mince words, Mr. Rockford,” I say, still maintaining my calm firmness. “I don’t say things to put people in positions where I want them to be. I tell it like it is. I call it like I see it. And I can 100% guarantee you that if you take that tone with me one more time, you will cost your boss this deal.” His eyes grow large. Jesus, has this guy ever heard of a poker face?

“And your boss would be saying goodbye to a significant amount of money!” Rockford retorts.

“But she’ll still have her company and other suitors still waiting in the wings, so she still has a bargaining chip. However, my purpose is not to debate which of our bosses would be worse off if this deal goes sour. My purpose is however to ascertain whether or not you can behave like a grown-up.”

Oh, he didn’t like that, and just as he’s reloading his guns, Grey interjects.

“Mr. Rockford will behave professionally,” Grey says, throwing a sharp glare at Rockford, instantly dousing the fire that was about to ignite. Rockford looks from him to me and back to him. With his lips tight, he opens the portfolio in front of him and begins to examine it.

And the pawns are falling… the game has barely started.

I nod once and move back to the portfolio. I’ve studied it thoroughly—several times. It’s extremely lucrative, but the language surrounding the future of the current employees and the future longevity of the branding is vague enough for me to know that Wilma’s company won’t withstand a Grey takeover for long.

“Mr. Grey, may I ask how you came to the amount that you’re offering for Cross-Sell?” I pose the question to Mr. Grey instead of his horse’s ass sidekick.

“As we indicated, the price is more than fair,” Rockford says. “It’s nearly three times her original asking price.” I glance at him and turn my gaze back to Grey.

“Is that your answer, Mr. Grey?” I say, leaving an uncomfortable silence hanging in the room. Rockford glares at me, but I don’t return his gaze.

“I’ll be honest,” he begins. “She has a market share that I wish to acquire—it will be a wonderful extension of GEH’s professional portfolio. The image speaks for itself and when I learned that she was in the market to sell, I jumped at the chance. As Mr. Rockford indicates, I would hope the price would make our offer most attractive.”

“Oh, make no mistake, it’s a very attractive offer,” I reply. “My question was how you came to make the offer and the initial answer I received concerned how attractive the offer was. So, I thank you for rephrasing the response and actually answering my question.”

“Fucking ballbuster,” Rockford mumbles in a voice that I wasn’t supposed to hear.

“Well, Mr. Rockford, since I’ve already expressed that I think you’re a raging jackass, I’ll give you ballbuster, because you’re right!” After delivering the sentence calmly with the only “cut” coming in the final word, I again allow the words to hang in the air as I glare at obnoxious dickwad in the Hugo Boss suit. It just goes to show that you can wrap it up in a nice shell, and it’ll still be a pile of shit.

“If you can’t say anything constructive, shut the fuck up,” Grey says, his voice even lower than Rockford’s and his lips barely moving. Rockford’s lips form a thin line as his eyes cut to directly in front of him.

What is with these boys?

“Can we continue now?” I ask, not acknowledging that I heard his comment.

The conversation, if you can call it that, goes on for about twenty more minutes with me trying to dig the particulars out about exactly what will happen to Wilma’s company once it’s under Grey’s control. The truth of the matter is that once he buys it, he can do anything he wants to it that’s not expressly forbidden in the contract. However, Wilma’s never been a part of negotiations like this and she’s had this company for over twenty-five years. She needs to know what she’s agreeing to and I didn’t want to make any assumptions before I talked to Grey’s camp.

Now I know.

After making a comment or three about Wilma’s concern for Cross-Sell’s future, Rockford decides to use one of my own tactics against me.

“Is that your answer, Mrs. Cross?”

I show no emotion or reaction to his maneuver. Wilma has spoken her comments or introduced a concern or three throughout the negotiations, but I’ve been doing most of the talking. What he doesn’t know is that although Wilma has no experience in negotiations, she’s a shrewd businesswoman, an excellent judge of character, and nobody’s pushover.

“My attorney well knows my answers and wishes and that’s why she speaks for me,” Wilma says softly. “When I disagree with anything she says or feel the need to add something, I do—and will—interject.” Powerful words from a very soft-spoken woman. Take that, Rockford! His ears turn a little red at the scolding, but he says nothing else.

After a few more questions and answers about particulars, it’s time to set the board.

Black knight to g3.

“The deal is excellent, Wilma,” I tell her, sitting back in the large chair at the imposing mahogany conference table. “He’s offering you several times what your company is worth, and with your current management and business plan, it would take you about ten years to make this kind of profit.”

Both the white king and white queen are in position to be taken by the black knight in g3. His choices? Move one and sacrifice the other, or take out the knight and expose his king to the board.

“Unless you want to invest that kind of time in a ‘maybe’ situation,” I continue, “I would say you would do well to take the deal.” I close the portfolio while the corner of Grey’s mouth rises slightly.

White pawn to g3, and the knight falls… but I’m not done yet, you arrogant asshole.

“But know this,” I say, folding my hands over the portfolio. “Everything that you’ve built and love will be gone. Once your company is in the hands of this man, he’s going to strip it clean and start over, building on the goodwill of the name. It doesn’t fit into his infrastructure as is and there’s no reason for him to keep it intact.”

Black pawn to g3. The assassin pawn falls and the white king is exposed to the black rook. Check.

“I have no reason to pick the company apart,” Grey protests. “It would serve me well to allow it to run as it is with hopes of maintaining the current client base and momentum.”

White king to g1—out of danger and safe… for now. 

“Which is exactly what he’s going to do, probably for the first two or three years. This will give him opportunity to slowly inject his business plan and operation into the company culture that you’ve built. After that, the company will be gutted, and everything that you’ve built will be gone. Your company will be a full subsidiary of Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc., and its structure, branding and operations will reflect that.”

Black rook to h1—face to face with the white king. Check.

Wilma looks horrified, her gaze flashing between Grey to me. I lean forward on the table and turn to Wilma.

“There’s something you should know,” I tell her. “I’m not trying to discourage you from taking the deal…”

“You could’ve fooled me!” Grey hisses.

White king to g1—and the rook falls. I turn an unaffected to gaze to him.

“If you don’t mind, Mr. Grey, I’m trying to advise my client.”

Second black rook to h8—déjà vu. Check.

He scoffs at me and sits back in his throne. I turn back to Wilma.

“Like I said, I’m not trying to discourage you from taking the deal, but you don’t pay me to sugarcoat things. You didn’t agree to my outrageous fees for me to spend countless hours pouring over these contracts to come to you with a line of bull. He’s going to do what he wants to do with this company to fit his needs. You built this company brick by brick, with the blood and tears on your back because you were too damn tired to sweat. You did what a lot of people couldn’t and you made a small basement business into something highly successful, and now you’re tired. You’ve spent a lot of time nurturing this baby, and now it’s all grown up and the suitors are coming to call.”

“Which is why I can assure you, Mrs. Cross, that GEH will do its best to maintain the vision that you’ve worked so hard to instill in your company,” Grey says with his silky-smooth voice.

White king to g1… again. He’s on the run.

“He’s going to tear your baby apart,” I continue as if he has said nothing. “It won’t be like sending her off to college and coming back in a few years to see how she’s faring. If you do, you won’t recognize it upon return. I’m telling you this so that you’ll know what to expect. Expect the worst. Expect to send the baby bird out of the nest and never see it again.

Black rook to g1… again. Do you see it, Grey? One castle, two castle… Check!

“You need to know your opportunity costs. With the right investments, you’ll be able to retire and live handsomely on what he’s offering you…”

White king to g1—and the second rook falls. Hey, Captain Obvious, are you really going to make this that easy for me?

“… But don’t do it with visions of grandeur of coming back to visit and ‘see how things are going.’ It won’t be your company anymore. You won’t even recognize it. If you’re letting it go, don’t look back. For better or for worse, she’ll have a new daddy.”

Black queen to h8—a new opponent. Check! Run from this, Mr. Billionaire. 

“A very colorful analogy, counselor, but hardly correct. Like I said, Mrs. Cross‘ company would be more profitable for me just the way it is.”

White king to g1… the same moves back and forth for the last three moves. What is this, the foxtrot?

“You also need to know this. No matter who you sell it to, the same thing is going to happen. Some may even break it down before the ink is dry on the paper. Be. Ready for it.”

Black queen to h2. Check. He can’t move to h1 or he’ll still be exposed to the queen. With a white pawn in g2, that’s not an option either. With a black pawn still in g3, he can’t move to h2 and take the queen or f2, because the pawn will get him either way. He only has one move.

I’ve said enough. I gave Wilma the straight and ugly truth and in the process, I’ve let Grey know who has the real power in this exchange.

“This is…” Wilma swallows as she struggles to find her words. “This is… bigger than I expected. May I have a day to digest this, Mr. Grey?”

I don’t look at him, but I can feel the shift in the room, so I turn to look at his attorney. The guy leans in to Grey and they have a brief exchange of words before the attorney sits up and speaks.

“You may have a day to reconsider. However, the price will be reduced by ten percent,” the attorney says. Wilma gasps. That’s a fucking lot of money. You’re feeling very confident, Grey, but I know Wilma. I’ll go into my own pocket before I allow you to railroad her.

White king to f1… and the vultures are circling. His queen is blocking him in e2 while the black pawn is guarding f2 and his pawn is blocking g2, which wouldn’t be an option anyway because of the black queen. He’s trapped by his own camp and there’s nowhere else for him to go.

“If he goes down on the price, don’t take it,” I say firmly without turning my gaze to Grey at all. “He wants you to sign that contract right now. It’s a bullying tactic. If he can’t give you twenty-four hours to consider letting go of your 25-year-old baby—something you’ve been nurturing for half your life, then let him keep his money. We’ll look at the next best deal, and if the deals all fly away like they tend to do when a power-player is involved, I’ll get in touch with some of my contacts and get you a kick-ass management team to run the business so that you can take some time to yourself and wait to see if the market sways in our favor again. It’s a chance that you’re taking, but it won’t cost you any more than what he’s trying to chop off the purchase price.”

A calm settles over Wilma, and it’s what I like to see. She’s confident in what I’m telling her and she won’t allow this powerful suit to push her around. She looks past me at Grey.

“While I agree that your offer is very generous, Mr. Grey, I’m going to take twenty-four hours to consider it. We can meet at the same time tomorrow if it’s convenient for you, and if at that time you decide to reduce your offer, I’ll completely understand and decide accordingly.” She stands from the table and proceeds toward the door. I gather my briefcase and the portfolio with the contracts and fall in step behind her.

“Until tomorrow, Mr. Grey,” she says calmly. He doesn’t say a word and I don’t bother to look behind me to capture his expression. I know he’s pissed. Black queen to h1…

Checkmate.

I follow Wilma out the door and to the elevators. Neither of us say anything as we descend the elevator to the parking garage, get in my SUV, and leave Grey Enterprises.


 

200_s

TREY

“They walked all over us!” Rockford hisses once Cross and her ball-busting attorney has left the conference room. “We’ll be lucky if we get the company in one piece without having to promise those people ten years of longevity!”

“Keep your fucking shirt on,” I hiss. “You almost cost me the entire goddamn deal with that posturing shit you were doing. I keep telling you to tone that shit down and know when to use it. Any idiot knows that a woman who shows up as counsel in these kinds of negotiations is a goddamn shark. You feed into them, you asshole. You don’t try to run over them!”

I push my chair away so hard that Taylor has to catch it behind me. I’m fucking pissed. This little library kitten with a bun so tight that it looked like her eyes were going to pop out of her fucking head just walked onto my turf and ran us over like a freight train and I. Am fucking. Pissed!

Rockford is silent as a mouse right now, as well he should be. When they return tomorrow—and they will—he won’t be in that meeting.

As I storm to my office, I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen that ballbuster somewhere. She has a coolness about her that I’ve felt before. I would know if I’d seen her in prior negotiations. I haven’t, but she leaves me with an ominous feeling, and I’ll be glad when these negotiations are over.

I run my hands through my hair and think about last night and another infuriating woman in my life… or I should say that I want to get into my life. She’s exquisite—fucking beautiful and hot and sexy in every way. And she a fucking Dominant. What the fuck? Life is fucking cruel. She turned that guy in the cage into a squealing bitch, and he came so hard that I fucking felt it. Now, she thinks I’m going to stay away? She could have killed me last night, and I still want her… more than I did before, I still fucking want her. But she won’t let me fuck. How can I have her if she won’t let me fuck?

I almost hate my father for bringing me into this shit. I haven’t been able to have a normal girlfriend since. Normal girls don’t even appeal to me anymore. Monogamous, long-term relationships are boring and I would only break someone’s heart. I could see it now. I’d end up dead like that guy in that movie that fucked all those women and they got together and shot him in the chest.

I think he died and came back as a woman.

Shit, if I came back as a woman, I’d fucking kill myself and go to hell.

Dad and I aren’t too close after I convinced him to introduce me to the lifestyle… more like blackmailed him into introducing me. Mom was at work at the hospital one night and dear old Dad thought it was a good idea to shackle and fuck one of his submissives in the guest bedroom. Yeah, that wasn’t a good night for him, having to untie that little hottie and send her off into the night while his dick was still rock hard.

He tried to convince me that it wasn’t cheating because he didn’t have an emotional connection with the sub. I didn’t want to hear it. I wasn’t some kid who walked in on Daddy with his wee-wee hanging out. I was a grown ass man who came to my parents’ house, followed the noise since I knew my mother was at work, and walked in on my very married father fucking another woman.

I had just broken up with Juliet and was ready for some fresh action, and his excuse in trying to explain the whole thing away made it sound like just what I needed at the time… which it was. So, I made him take me to the clubs, introduce me around and show me the ropes. In return, I would keep my mouth shut about Bonnie Bimbo in the guest room.

Did I do my mother a disservice? Yeah. My father, too. That’s why we’re not close now. He doesn’t hate me, but we’re not close… like my siblings, but that’s another story. Mom later found out anyway and made Dad move out of the house. He didn’t tell her that I knew about it and used the information to coerce him into introducing me to the lifestyle. He knew that revelation would only make a bad matter worse. Although they’ve been separated for years, she never filed for divorce. She still loves him, and he knows it… So, he left the BDSM scene five years ago and now, he’s working on a reconciliation with her. He’ll most likely get what he wants. He’s left the lifestyle and, like I said, she still loves him.

And here I am, stuck in this vortex where I want this extremely hot, extremely desirable woman in the lifestyle, but she’s a goddamn Dominant and won’t let me near her. Dad got out and went back to normal. I’m stuck trying to acquire the impossible…

“Sir.”

Taylor’s voice brings me out of inner musings that I’ve been lost in for at least an hour or so while staring out my office window. Shit, I need to lighten up. After Golden’s mind games and this semi-disastrous negotiation, I need a workout—and a hard and fast fuck.

“What is it?” I say, turning around to face him. He has a file in his hand and I can clearly see that it’s a dossier. I hold my hand out, but he hesitates.

“Sir, something I need to tell you before you see this. I know you don’t like surprises.” I frown.

“What?”

“Wilma Cross’s attorney? She’s Golden.”

I can’t hide my surprise. That brain-squeezing-bun-wearing bitch and gun-toting Golden are one and the same? What the fuck?

“How did we not know this?” I hiss, snatching the file from his hand.

“There was no way to make the connection,” he replies. “Even after last night, we didn’t know her real name. We had no license plate, no history, no nothing. The only thing we had was an address and that’s how we linked the two. Even now, looking at the two women, I still wouldn’t say that their the same person…”

“They’re the same goddamn person,” I say, my voice low. I examine a picture of Golden—Anastasia Steele, now Anastasia Olivet—in her college years. She’s fucking gorgeous without that bun and even without her choice of wig and golden eyes. Beautiful brunette hair falls over her face and one gorgeous brown eye peaks playfully back at you… the perfect nose and pouty pink lips…

“Leave me,” I growl, going back to my desk with the file. I flip through the contents and see picture after picture of this gorgeous woman, and not even a hint of gold in one of them—not even gold jewelry. Taylor’s right. There’s no way we would have known they were the same person. Except for that frosty, confident demeanor, I would still doubt it now.

Just when I thought there were no pictures with a hint of gold, I see one. She’s still not in her other persona, but the picture casts a golden hue around her—golden lights cast on golden walls. It’s a bust picture only, but her cockiness—yes, cockiness—shines through in her expression, and she looks to be wearing a gold-embellished tank top or bra of some sort, brunette curls cascading over her shoulders. Golden is hot in and out of character, and I want her so badly that I can taste it!

“Fuck!” I launch the file across the room, papers and pictures flying everywhere. So, now I know who she is. What the fuck do I do with this information? I can’t make her want me, make her fuck me, and it appears I can’t even negotiate with the bitch. The desire to have her is in my fucking blood and I can’t even quench it! Fucking motherfucking hell!

I summons Andrea through the intercom.

“Yes, sir?” she answers.

“See if Bastille is available to meet me in the gym this afternoon…

*-*

I’m in the shower of my penthouse after a vigorous workout with my trainer. I beat the hell out of Claude—so badly that he told me that if I’m this angry to take that shit out on a goddamn heavy bag or find a new trainer. I feel like I’m out of control. This isn’t me, and certainly not over a piece of pussy. I fantasize about this woman, about her on her knees between my legs in some slick, golden jumpsuit, her round ass spread over the floor while her head bobs madly over my dick as I fuck her mouth. That’s exactly what I was thinking of when I plundered Joyce’s mouth the other night and I came so fucking hard that I could see stars.

I see her in a golden micro-mini creation, underboob peeking out at me while that skirt is pushed just high enough around her hips to expose that luscious pussy. I’m naked underneath her, licking those mounds and holding her down on me as I pump my dick hard up into that unforgiving pussy that hasn’t been fucked in God only knows how long. I’m salivating just thinking about it!

And she’s driving me out of my fucking mind… again.

I grab my pounding dick and squeeze, the vision of her body bouncing every time I thrust into her causing me to pull harder and harder on the shaft and head until…

“Fuck!” I stop right before the blast. I’m making it worse. I’m feeding the fucking fantasy of a woman that I’ll clearly never have. This is torture! I can’t keep doing this to myself and I can’t keep letting her do this to me either.

I don jeans, a linen shirt, socks and boots and grab my leather jacket out the closet. I need to drive this shit off or something before I lose my goddamn mind.

“Taylor!” I call out so loud in the penthouse that the glass walls rattle. He comes out of his office and meets me in the great room.

“Yes, sir?” he says, unaffected.

“I need to drive,” I tell him as I walk towards the door.

*-*

“I don’t know that this is a good idea, sir…”

“When I want your opinion, I’ll ask for it,” I retort as I ring the bell. Mr. GQ answers the door and stares at me expecting.

“Is Anastasia home?” I say, using her real name. He doesn’t flinch.

“She is. Is she expecting you?”

“No,” I say flatly.

“You’ll have to wait here until I find out if she wants to see you, sir.”

“Fine.” He nods once and leaves us at the door. He goes to the room that I now know is the parlor and disappears inside. I can’t help but wonder if that bullet is still in the wall behind where I was standing. Taylor stands silently beside me while we wait to see if Her Royal Goldness is going to allow us entry. A few moments later, GQ man returns, leaving the parlor door partially open. That’s a good sign.

“Mistress has left it up to me to assess the situation,” he says formally. Okay, maybe not so good. He turns his attention to Taylor and examines him.

“Army?” he asks.

“Green Beret,” Taylor responds.

“Navy Seal,” he counters. “While I respect your position and your skill, please know that I can take both of you down in less than 20 seconds.” He doesn’t flinch when he says it.

“Understood,” Taylor says. I’m not looking for a military standoff here and even I have to admit that this setup looks ominous.

“Wait for me in the car,” I tell him. His brow furrows slightly.

“Sir…” he begins to protest.

“She was defending herself, Taylor. Wait for me in the car,” I reiterate. He pauses, but acquiesces and turns to walk back to the car. I turn back to Golden’s man and wait. He steps aside to allow me into the house.

“Follow me, sir,” he instructs after he closes the door behind me. He walks to the parlor door and peeks inside.

“Mistress,” he says, looking inside. After a pause, he steps aside and allows me inside. I surprise to see him leave and close the door behind him. Then again, he knows that Mistress can blow my dick off if I step wrong.

“I was wondering how long it would take you to figure it out,” she says calmly, rising from her perch. “What are you doing here? You’ve already accosted me once. After last night, I would think I was the last person you would want to see.” If you only knew.

“What the fuck can I do?” I say with a shrug. “You’ve already shown me you can shoot me! Your personal slave out there has made it more than clear that I and my bodyguard are no match for him. You mopped the floor with my attorney. At this point, I think I pretty much know where I stand!”

My irritation and sarcasm are evident in my voice. She examines me like a tiger in a cage and that irritates me, too.

“I didn’t get to where I am—professionally or otherwise—by allowing anybody to intimidate me. Just because I pick my battles doesn’t mean I’ll run away from a fight, Mr. Grey.” She walks over to the bar, that golden dress framing her ass and highlighting every move in the most sinful manner. My dick is getting hard again.

“Would you like a drink?” she asks. I grind my teeth. She’s taunting me, and she’s doing it on purpose. She does know what she does to men. She knows exactly what she does to us and she uses it like a weapon. It’s infuriating! For the first time since I saw her, I wish I’d never met her at all.

Before I know it, I have her pinned hard against the nearest wall. She’s helpless between me and the wall, her eyes showing more surprise than fear.

“Scream,” I say, breaths away from her face. “He’ll come and save you, and I’ll release you, but at least I finally get to touch you!”

Her sharp intake of air is almost unnoticeable, but her eyes tell it all. She’s affected by me. This is the first time I’ve seen her effected by anything or anyone, except maybe an infinitesimal reaction here and there, or her facial expressions when she’s smothering one of her submissives with her pussy and they’re making her come.

That was more than my mind could take.

“You love it,” I whisper, “the power you wield over men. You know what you do to them and you do it on purpose, driving us crazy!”

In those insane stilettos, she’s almost eye-to-eye with me and I glare into her brown orbs. If she was anybody else, I could get lost in them—anybody else—and it pisses me off even more.

“You walk around smelling all hot and looking hot, making men salivate over you, want you, dream about you, obsess over you! You ooze sex in everything you do and everywhere you go, even in that fucking harmless secretary bit that you wear during the day. You send pheromones out to every man in a fifty-fucking-mile radius and then you have the nerve to tell us that we can’t have you. Sex seeps through your pores and you know it. You make men want to take you, kill for you, do anything for you, and you wield that power like Tinkerbell sprinkling fairy dust! You’re a tease… You’re a goddamn tease in the worst way! And the best thing any man could do is to stay the fuck away from you!”

I say the entire speech through my goddamn teeth. This woman is insufferable… and irresistible… and I have to leave her alone. She’s poison, and one way or another, she’ll destroy me.

Her face materializes through my angry, passionate haze. Her pouty lips are parted and her chest is rising and falling in quick pants as she gazes into my eyes. She’s hot… she’s fucking hot! You fucking dick tease.

I slam my lips into hers, probing my tongue into her mouth before she has the chance to protest. I kiss her deep, tasting the corners and crevices of her mouth and sucking her tongue to capture all of her flavor. Goddammit, I’ve wanted to taste her for so long and she tastes as good as I thought she would. Her hand pushes against my shoulder and I grab her wrist and pin it against the wall over her head, still devouring the flavor of her kiss. Her other hand pushes my other shoulder, but in seconds, she’s grabbing my jacket and returning the fervor of my kiss.

Goddamn dick tease.

I press my body hard against hers, my jeans getting tighter and tighter by the second. I’ve got Golden against the wall in her own lair, something I’ve wanted for so long that I can’t remember not wanting it. I keep my mouth pressed into hers, keep my tongue in her mouth—gagging her. No talking for you… no protest… no resisting…

I grind my pelvis into hers, back and forth, left and right. She won’t let me in, so I snatch her leg with my free hand and lift it over my hips. She gasps her protest into my mouth, but continues to devour my kiss as much as I’m devouring hers. The split of her dress falls open, giving me full access to her lace-clad genitals. I rock my hips again and feel it… I smell it… her sweet, sweet pussy. Even through my jeans, I feel her lips part and imagine the bare skin of my cock rubbing against her soft, wet clitoris.

We may not fuck, but you’ll fucking well come tonight!

I grind into her harder and deeper, holding her leg up over my hip and her arm up over her head. Her breath quickens to a pant in my mouth and my dick is getting harder and harder against my jeans, against her soft clit. The friction is burning and burning and I break my mouth from hers to taste the skin of her neck.

“No, no…” she whimpers in a soft, sexy voice. There… you said ‘no.’ Now, shut the fuck up.

I grind my hips against her, circling, up and down, back and forth, teasing that clit and urging my dick in a sensual dry fuck. My fingers press into her thigh, holding her steady while my lips travel down to her nipple. I bite firmly through the material of her dress causing her to cry out passionately and fueling me to grind her harder against that wall. Her breath quickens and I feel her legs part, and since I’m holding one of them, that means she opened the other one to give me better access.

Fucking yes!

I’m grinding her so hard that I feel her rising up the wall with every push. I release her thigh and pin her other hand against the wall. When she locks her legs behind me, I completely lose it. My tongue is buried in her mouth again and in my mind’s eye, these jeans and those useless lace panties are gone…

And we are fucking!

I grind harder, harder, deep circles that manipulate her clit and my dick until I hear her whimpering in my mouth. My tongue probes deeper, caressing her tongue and tasting her passion until she moans deep in her throat and I feel her body shiver and her thighs tighten around me.

Goddammit, I think to myself as I explode in my pants, my dick beating a vicious tattoo against the cotton and denim. Sweet fucking hell. Even a dry fuck with this woman was phenomenal. I pull my lips away from hers and rest my head on the wall to catch my breath, still slightly grinding against her to squeeze out the last of both our orgasms. Her legs finally loosen from around my waist and I allow her to put her feet on the floor. When I’ve caught my breath, I slide my hands down her arms and body so that one rests on her waist while the other on the wall beside her head. She drops her arms to her sides and I pull my face back to look at her. Her lips are still pouty, now kiss-swollen, and there’s an unnamed emotion in her eyes as she gazes back at me. My hand moves to her neck and chin and I hold her face steady. I want to kiss her again. She wants me to kiss her again. I can see it in her eyes.

But she’ll fucking destroy me.

“Goodnight,” I say as I push myself away from her and quickly make my way out the door.

I wanted her. I wanted her so badly. I still want her. I can still taste her kiss and feel her body pressed against mine. I can taste the tang in her saliva when she came. I can fucking smell her right now. She’s a drug. She’s a bad, bad drug, and I can’t become addicted.

I lost control. I never lose control. I can’t let that happen again.

I get in the car without saying a word to Taylor. I turn the ignition, drop the gear, and speed off into the night… away from this place… away from Golden.


A/N: The Pinterest board for this story can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/fifty-shades-golden/.

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.

~~love and handcuffs

Raising Grey: Chapter 20—Le Gasp    

I see that a lot of people couldn’t get with introspective, sensitive Christian. I actually lost readers because of it! I guess I should have left him a hard-nosed, uncaring, brunette-beating Neanderthal and maybe they would have stayed. It was still in the single digits, but I had more people unsubscribe after reading a chapter where Christian showed a little insecurity, sensitivity, and introspection on his behavior than I had unsubscribe after the chapter that was labeled as the “rape” chapter! Oh, well, C’est la vie.

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 20—Le Gasp       

ANASTASIA

“Ana, do you have a minute?”

I raise my head from my laptop and the 14th letter that I’m composing to send to the licensing board to see Courtney standing inside of my doorway.

“Sure. Is everything okay?” I ask, gesturing to the seat in front of my desk.

“Yeah, everything’s fine. I just want your opinion on some… well… I need to talk to you.” She sits in the seat in front of me. I can see she’s a bit agitated.

“What is it?” I ask, removing my glasses and entwining my fingers. She sighs.

“I think I know what I want to do,” she says, focusing on her fidgeting fingers.

“With what?” I ask. She raises her eyes to me.

“With my life!” she announces.

“Oh.” This is big. “Do tell.” She sighs again.

“I think I want to go into social work,” she says. I raise my eyebrows and she raises her hands in defense. “Don’t think I’m getting all Florence Nightingale and shit,” she adds. The thought might have crept briefly across my mind. “I’ve been thinking about this ever since Jack, Jr.”

I remember Jack, Jr., and our encounter with Monster Bitch, which led to my subsequent early maternity leave.

“That kid was in really bad shape. I’ve seen some kids come through here that are pretty screwed up by their circumstances, but Jack, Jr., was on his last leg and it took everything to bring him back. I kind of know how that feels.” She drops her head. “I know it’s a bad thing to say, considering the fact that my grandparents gave me damn near everything, but I still know how it feels to want to curl up and die… to think that your whole world is crumbling around you…” She’s silent for a moment and I can tell that she’s in deep contemplation.

“Do you need a session?” I ask. Courtney and I don’t have a schedule. I just let her talk when she feels like talking. She shakes her head.

“No,” she says, her voice laced with sadness. “I just… didn’t know I’d miss her this much.” A single tear falls down her cheek, but she wipes it away quickly. “Anyway, I want to be a social worker. I want to help kids. I mean, I want to help anybody who needs help, but mostly, I want to help kids. Kids are truthful—brutally honest, but they still don’t judge you on sight. They’re what’s good in the world before the world corrupts them with biases and prejudice. Any way that I can help them or protect them… that’s what I want to do.”

I. Am. Stunned.

“Wow,” I say in genuine amazement. “That has to be the most profound thing I think I’ve ever heard you say.” She shrugs.

“I’m not trying to impress you,” she says. “I mean, I want to impress you, but I’m not trying to.”

“Mission accomplished,” I reply. “Have you looked into classes?”

“That’s why I wanted to talk to you. I don’t know where to start.” I nod. Someone who never considered school wouldn’t know where to start.

“How do you plan to pay for it?” I ask. She shrugs.

“I’ve heard that you can get financial aid, but I don’t know how that works.”

“Let’s narrow down schools for you first. Then, you can apply for financial aid and see what you’re eligible for.” I open Google. “So, I’m a U-Dub girl myself, but even I started at community college. I really think that would be best for you, too.” She nods and brings her chair around my desk to sit next to me. She retrieves a notepad and pen and turns her attention to the monitor. “I went to Bates, but I didn’t know what I wanted at the time. So, any college would have sufficed. Not that Bates wasn’t a great school, but if you already know what you want to specialize in, you’ll want to do your research on the best choices—and on what financial aid they offer…”

We spend most of the afternoon researching schools and Courtney appears to be very serious about her decision. She’s narrowed her choices down to two schools and with the financial assistance available, I think she’s going to go with Seattle Central. She has scribbled so much in that notebook that I think she’s nearly used all the remaining pages. That’s when she makes a confession to me that I never would have considered.

“Why didn’t you just copy and paste the information into an email?” I ask. She twists her lips.

“I haven’t been in my email in months,” she says. “I don’t have a computer.”

One of those not-so-small things that you take for granted.

“Courtney, you can’t go to college without a computer,” I say. She shrugs.

“Colleges have libraries and computer labs…”

“… That every other kid who doesn’t have a computer will get to before you do. Trust me, I speak from experience.”

“We’ll have a lab here soon… won’t we?” she says, her voice hopeful.

“Why don’t you have a computer?” I ask. “You had one before, didn’t you?” Didn’t she?

“I had one at my grandmother’s house,” she says matter-of-factly. “You can imagine that I didn’t get to take it with me when I left.”

“You haven’t had one since then?” I ask. She shakes her head. “Are you afraid to have one in your apartment? Do you think it would be safe there?” She shrugs.

“Nobody really bothers me,” she says. “I know the guys in the neighborhood. They’re not the best sort… you know, not like gangs or anything, but… well, you know…” Yeah, I know. “They kinda look out for me, though. I haven’t had any trouble.” I nod.

“I’m going to get you a laptop,” I tell her, “something small and functional that you can carry inconspicuously.” She raises her eyebrow at me. “You can’t attend college without a computer.”

“My pride wants to tell you not to do that, but the real me is jumping up and down inside like, ‘Hot damn!’” she confesses. I laugh openly. At least she’s honest. “I’m saving my money to move anyway,” she adds. “Sure, the guys look out for me, but there’s just too much that happens in that neighborhood. I feel safe in my apartment, but getting to my apartment is a different story.” I sigh.

“You don’t have a car, and you’re afraid to walk home?” she pauses.

“It’s only a few streets that make me nervous, but yeah, it can be an adventure.” She tries to laugh it off.

“How much do you have saved?” I ask.

“I’m working on enough for security and first and last month’s rent in a better part of town—not the best, but better,” she says.

“You didn’t answer my question,” I say. “How much?”

“About $800,” she says, her voice small. Eight hundred? What is that going to cover?

“Where are you trying to move?” I ask horrified. She pauses again.

“No, Ana!” she says firmly. I haven’t said anything.

“What?” I ask.

“No!” she says again. “I know you! I know what you’re thinking, and no! I’ve been okay so far. I’ll be fine.”

“And things are about to change,” I tell her. “You can’t stay there and go to school and work. You don’t even feel safe walking home!” She sighs heavily.

“Ana, I can’t…” she begins.

“Courtney…”

“Ana, I can’t!” she says again. “I have to earn what I get. Financial aid, okay. Laptop—shaky, but okay. Large sums of money, new apartment… no! I can’t. I can’t explain it to you, but I can’t do it.” She drops her gaze to her lap.

“What if there was a way for you to earn it?” I ask. She raises her head.

“What? Are you going to come up with some crazy scheme where I play hopscotch with a kid and make ten grand?” she says skeptically. Well, maybe not something so fickle, but I had plans of the sort.

“Listen, Courtney,” I begin, turning to face her. “You’ve lived in crumby subsidized housing for nearly a year. You never complained once. You started in a shelter, and you didn’t even wave a red flag for help. You’ve worked your butt off, and you haven’t asked for attention, reimbursement, or any extra privileges. You won’t even let me call your grandmother. You’ve worked here part-time and you’ve only taken your salary and an occasional meal and that’s it. Now, you come to me and tell me that you want to go to school for social work—a job that gives back to the community on every level. Anything that can be done to get you to that point is not a gift—it’s an investment, because you have a responsibility to succeed. You can’t do that if you don’t feel safe getting to your own home. You’re going to be keeping some late nights. How are you going to feel walking home from school trying to get to your apartment after the library has closed?”

She drops gaze to her lap. She knows I’m right.

“Goddammit, Ana,” she says just above a whisper, “I can’t be that girl again. I can’t…”

“Then don’t,” I tell her. “Be better. Show me, show yourself that you can be better, that you deserve more.” She shakes her head.

“I’ve got a lot of debts to repay,” she says, “emotional debts… I was a bad person…”

“And you may never repay all those debts, it’s just the way of life. You deciding that you want to go to school and be more is the first step to shaping a better future for yourself. Don’t spend your time living in regret while you’re trying to get there.” She sniffs and I can tell that she’s desperately fighting tears.

“Safer,” she says softly. “That’s it. I’m not letting you pay for some grand place with a view of Elliot Bay and try to say it’s your way of paying it forward…”

Grand view of Elliot Bay…

Oh, shit.

“You’re gonna hate me,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“What?” she says, furrowing her brow.

“I’ve got a place you can stay that wouldn’t cost me an extra penny,” I say. “It’s perfect for your needs and I wouldn’t have to pay security or first month’s rent or any of that.”

“Where?” she asks, surprised.

“My condo,” I tell her. “It’s centrally located; it’ll be easy to get to the Center, easier to get to school and one of the safest places you’ll ever live—and I already have a computer and Wi-Fi. It’s Cristalla Condos, though, and yes, it overlooks Elliot Bay. You would just have to deal with security dropping by every week. I’m already paying association fees on the damn thing. Somebody might as well use it.” Her eyes widen.

“You’re out of your mind!” she exclaims.

“You’re out of your mind if you turn it down!” I retort. “You were willing to take my money if I wanted to spend it on a hole in the wall somewhere. Now, I have a great place for you to live at no extra expense for me and you won’t take it!” The whole thing really sounds ridiculous… ridiculous enough for her to give in.

“This can’t be happening,” she laments.

“Nobody’s living in it. I love that place, but it’s just going to waste. It probably needs a good cleaning. You’ll honestly be doing me a favor.” She looks at me with that yeah, right look in her eyes before dropping her head to her hands again

“God, Ana,” she says, rubbing her forehead. “I mean, it’s really great, but…” She trails off.

“I get that you don’t want to become the person that you were before,” I tell her, “but we need you safe, and you need you safe. Now, I would hope that once you become a social worker, you would put some of your time in here…”

“Of course!” she says, clearly offended that I would even question her. I smile.

“Which is why I’m making this investment. This place is very important to me… more than I can tell you. Its vision and mission were created and are now perpetuated by a woman who is the sole reason that I have the man that I love and my beautiful children. If I had someplace like this available to me when I was younger, I’m sure that I wouldn’t have suffered what I did. So, yes, it means a lot to me, and anything that will help this place grow and help more people is worth anything I’m allowed to invest in it. So, you don’t want to be that girl again. That’s going to take some serious work with the package I’m offering you and I’m going to be watching you… very closely, believe me.” She scoffs.

“Well, that’s enough to make me keep my shit straight,” she says, her voice cracking. “I wouldn’t want you thinking I’m worthless, too.” Her voice gets very small with the last words. I want to hug her, but I know that’ll only cause the water works to flow.

“I have rules, though,” I tell her.

“I expect you would,” she replies.

“No parties, nobody sleeps in my room, and don’t fuck up my house. I come by when I want and I’ll do my best to announce myself before I do. Sometimes, I just sneak in when I need some type of normal for a little while. Other than that, we can get you moved in as soon as you’re ready.”

“Can we go now?” she laughs, her voice still cracking.

“School first, beautiful ocean-view condo later.” She takes the mouse and begins clicking on the links on the page, then feverishly scribbling on the notepad again. “Oh, God, stop.” I tell her. She looks at me strangely and moves her hand from the mouse. I take the mouse and maneuver back to Google, then to Gmail.

“Set up a new email,” I tell her, pushing the mouse towards her. “It won’t be a problem after this.” She smiles.

“Right,” she says, taking the mouse and setting up her free account. She set up something easy to remember, then begins to copy and paste key information into an email. She’s gotten pretty far in her research on my desktop, making calls to Seattle Central and setting appointments to meet with advisors and the financial aid department while I click away on my laptop. She’s in the middle of a phone call when I hear stilettos clicking down the hall. I’m expecting to see Marilyn peek into my office, but instead, I see long, smooth raven hair.

Mia.

Why the hell does she always show up when Courtney’s around?

She starts talking before she even enters the room—as usual—like everything should stop because she has arrived. Courtney turns in to the phone to better hear whomever she’s talking to, and Mia immediately gets offended by the gesture.

“I was looking for Mom,” she says in a low, growly, bratty voice that makes me want to leap across the desk and tell her to cut that shit out.

“Okay,” I respond, feeling the air getting thicker by the second.

“Well, I see that the next semester begins in about a month. Am I too late to register for some of the prerequisites?” Courtney says into the phone. Mia’s disgust seems to amplify.

“She’s going to school?” she asks in disbelief.

“Yes, she is,” I say matter-of-factly.

“Thank you, I’ll see you tomorrow at eleven, then,” Courtney says before replacing the receiver to my desk phone. Mia scoffs as Courtney scribbles something on her notepad, apparently forgetting about the email we just set up.

“That’s rich,” Mia says. “We’ll see how long that lasts.” Courtney raises her head to Mia, but just rolls her eyes and looks back at her notepad. “So, Mom and I were supposed to go over the final seating arrangements for the reception.”

“Um, I think she might be in the dorms,” I tell her. She smacks her lips and rolls her eyes.

“Ugh!” she grunts. “I told her I would be here. She’s knows that we can’t sit the senator anywhere near Judge Hammerstone or there may be a fight.” I rubberneck at her like someone just hit me. Not only is this Hillary Banks “Daddy, I need $300” voice getting on my fucking nerves, but she just said something that may be a deal-breaker for my husband.

“Hammerstone!” I say horrified. “Did you say Hammerstone? Marvin Hammerstone?” She looks at me a bit distastefully.

“Yes, Mom invited him,” she replies with a frown.

“You gotta be kidding me,” I say, putting my hand on my forehead.

“What?” Mia asks. I sigh heavily and raise my eyes to her.

“Your brother loves you, Mia, but if Marvin Hammerstone is at that wedding, he won’t be.” Her eyes grow wide and her mouth falls open.

“Why not?” she nearly squeals. Nails on a chalkboard.

“You’ll have to ask your brother,” I tell her, and she sighs like a petulant child.

“Christian can’t dictate my guest list!” she hisses. I shake my head.

“No, he can’t,” I say, “and I can’t tell you who to invite to your wedding, but I can tell you this. If you don’t want to risk your brother standing up and walking out before you even get to the receiving line, you might want to get him a copy of the guest list.”

“This is so not fayer!” and she actually stretches the word “fair” out into two syllables while physically stomping her feet like a six-year-old who has just been denied a lollipop. “I didn’t tell him who to invite to his wedding!”

“But you did see the guest list,” I remind her. “Because of who he is—in the community, in his industry and in this state—you owe it to him to at least let him see the guest list and decide if he wants to attend. Hammerstone is a deal-breaker, I can guarantee you that, and he should know if there are any other deal-breakers on that list.”

Courtney is listening attentively to the exchange, a fact that doesn’t get past Mia. When I stop talking, she stares Courtney down as if to ask, “Shouldn’t you be somewhere else?”

And Courtney stares right back.

“I think I’ll go wait for Mom in her office,” Mia shoots, while turning to leave. “There’s one too many unwanted elements in this room.”

“Don’t let us stop you,” Courtney shoots back. Mia spins on her heels to face off with Courtney, who would dare respond to Mia’s blatant disrespect.

“Excuse me, non-person?” Mia snarls. “Did you dare attempt to address me?” Courtney stands to her feet while shaking her head.

“You know, Mia,” she begins, “I put up with your snide comments and your little catty remarks because you have a right to be angry with me. What I did to you when we were fourteen was really pretty shitty and I haven’t been the best person in my life since then, but we’re adults now. If you need an apology, then I apologize. I’m sorry that I was such a horrible and selfish person to you when you were just trying to be a friend to me, but you really need to get over it!” Mia’s mouth falls open.

“Oh, you must be kidding me!” Mia exclaims. “What? You’ve turned over a ‘new leaf’ and we’re all supposed to just accept you now?” Good God, Mia, you’re being a little bitch.

“I couldn’t care less if you accept me,” Courtney retorts, firmly, but matter-of-factly. “You think I’m changing my life for acceptance? To be your friend? Look who’s shallow now!” She puts her hands on her hips and squares off with Mia. “I’ve ruined any hope we had for any kind of relationship. That’s fine. I get it. You’re not the first or the only and definitely not the most important or most painful. I’m turning over a ‘new leaf’ because my life was fucked up, I was a fucked-up person, and I don’t like it!” Her words are forceful and bring the ever-chatty Mia to silence. Grace has now stepped into the doorway and is silently observing the exchange.

“Except for my grandparents, the people who I had in my life were just as horrible, hateful, selfish, and destructive as me and I don’t need them in my life either if that’s the ‘we’ you’re talking about that needs to accept me. It doesn’t matter, though. I don’t care who does or doesn’t accept me, because I’m not doing this for any of you! I’m doing this for me… so that I don’t look in the mirror and see ‘nothing more than spare parts!’”

Then it hits me. What her grandmother said to her really sunk in. It wasn’t that she lost the money or even her grandmother’s favor. It was what her grandmother said—that it really hit home. It sunk in and she felt it and she could see it… and it still burns her to the core.

She’s shaking now; her eyes are glassy and her resolve is hanging on by a very fragile thread.

“I was offering you an olive branch,” Courtney says, her voice deep and shaking, “just a ‘hello’ and ‘I understand how you feel’ whenever I saw you, but if you don’t want it, I’ll take my branch back and leave you the fuck alone.” She literally pushes Mia out of her way and rushes past her only to come face to face with Grace. Her fist are clenched and she’s really shaking.

“Excuse me, Miss Grace,” she says, her voice small and trembling and her fists shaking in front of her, that fragile thread getting weaker and weaker by the second. Grace steps aside and allows her to pass. She disappears out the door and you hear her heels clicking down the hallway in a sprint. Grace watches her only for a second before she goes after her.

“She was really, really shitty to me,” Mia defends, her own voice shaking now, “to a lot of people.”

“I know,” I say and nothing else.

“She just says ‘hi’ like it’s nothing, like we’re old friends, like she never almost got me arrested and then spent years after that sitting on her high horse until her grandmother knocked her off and took that silver spoon out of her mouth!” she hisses. I nod contemplatively.

“That sounds about right,” I reply. Mia raises glassy eyes to me.

“Are you judging me?” she asks accusing. I know not to get offended. I know that she’s gripped with anger and indecision and a bit of guilt and self-righteousness.

“I love you, Mia,” I say with my hands clasped in front of me. “I’d never judge you, especially in situations like this. I don’t speak to my mother, remember?” She breaks her gaze and drops her head again.

“I don’t understand how she can expect me to be her friend,” Mia says, her voice cracking. That’s your problem, Mia. You assume too much… she never asked you to be her friend.

“I don’t think she’s expecting you to be her friend,” I retort gently. “In fact, I think she knows better than that. She hasn’t asked anything of anybody yet. She’s just walking around doing her job and learning. She lives in horrible, subsidized housing and she won’t accept help from anybody besides what she earns. She insists on doing everything on her own. She used our resources to find what she needed and apply for whatever assistance she could, and she did that begrudgingly. She’s doing everything else herself. The only thing she’ll really accept from the center is food and even then, only on the days when she helps out in the kitchen and cafeteria. Jessie used to hate her; now, they’re friends.

“I don’t think she was looking for any kind of acceptance from you, Mia. I just think she was trying to be friendly. Even if she did or does have an ulterior motive, you holding on to this anger and hatred all these years and it comes out every time you see her—who do you think is hurt the most by that?” Mia raises her eyes to me again.

“Are you shrinking me?” she asks.

“Yep,” I say in a peppy shameless voice. “It’s what I do.” I put my hand on her shoulder and hold her gaze. “And if I didn’t care, I wouldn’t bother.” She smiles a sad smile and I embrace her warmly for several moments.

“Stop beating yourself up,” I say, pulling her back to look at her face again. “If you don’t want to embrace her, you don’t want to be her friend, that’s fine. Nobody’s going to force you—it’s not necessary, but let go of all that spite. It’s not good for you. You see her, you don’t want to be bothered, you go the other way or just ignore her, but don’t lash out at her every time. It’s not healthy or ladylike.” She nods.

“Mom tries to tell me that, but I’m so full of fury when I see her that I can’t even hear it.” She shrugs.

giphy“Well, hopefully, you’ll hear it now. Let it go,” I say with a shrug. “If you really don’t like her, is she even worth that much of your energy?” Mia still looks a little crestfallen. “Let it go… let it go… can’t hold it back anymore.”

She giggles sadly as I sing the only line from the song that I know and embraces me warmly again.

*-*

Courtney has slipped off somewhere in the Center after Grace manages to talk her off the proverbial cliff. I typed her notes into the email that she started and sent it to her. Grace, Mia, and I had a civilized talk about Mia’s guest list—about as civilized as it can get with a whiny 20-something-year-old bride and an irritated mother with a bottomless budget who has been waiting to throw the wedding of a lifetime for at least one of her children. How did I win this battle? Simple… I put my hands up and said, “Okay,” then turned to walk away.

That was too tame for Grace and Mia.

“Oh, no,” Grace says, halting my progress. “What’s up your sleeve?”

“Not a thing,” I tell her. “I offered you the simplest solution to what could be a massive problem—show Christian the guest list so that he won’t have any surprises…”

“And so that he can whack away at who I can have at my daughter’s wedding!” she retorts. I put my hands up in surrender again.

“And that’s why I said, ‘Okay,’” I reply. “This is not my battle to fight.”

“So, what are you going to do?” Mia whines, “have Christian pressure me for the guest list?” I shake my head.

“No,” I say, calmly, “but I am going to tell him that Judge Hammerstone is invited… and then, I’m going to back away… slowly.” I back slowly out of the room to prove my point and head over to the nursery to see my babies. It’s almost time for us to go home. When I get there, I see that we have an unexpected visitor.

“Vickie! Hi, what are you doing here?” I say when I see my stylist in the nursery.

“Right now, I’m adoring this gorgeous little fella!” she says, bouncing Mikey in her arms. “Hello, little man! You are so handsome! You’d make a gay girl go straight!” she whispers the last part to him and he giggles as if he completely understood what she said. She coos at him a little more and he just loves it. My baby boy is already a little ladies’ man.

“Do you want kids of your own?” I ask her. She smiles at Mikey.

“Probably not,” she says. “I thought about it, but it’s not like I date anyone with the right equipment,” she jokes. “Who knows? I’m not putting my eggs in that basket, but who knows what’ll happen before I die?” she says, winking playfully at me. “Mommy’s trying to get you some new friends,” she says to Mikey. We laugh and talk some more and just as I’m about to ask Vickie again why she’s here, Mia comes breezing into the nursery.

“Hi, Vickie,” she says in that pouty, spoiled voice again.

“Mia,” Vickie greets, unable to mask her confusion at Mia’s behavior. Mia silently hands me a flash drive.

“Tell him to try not to veto everybody on the list!” she says snottily. I try to hide a laugh.

“Okay,” I say, trying to be sincere. She kisses Mikey on the cheek.

“Your daddy’s a tyrant,” she says to him.

“Don’t say that to my child!” I chastise. She shrugs.

“Sorry,” she says flippantly. I just roll my eyes. “You wanna come, Vickie?” Mia says. She’s inviting people to her wedding like it’s some kind of backyard birthday party.

“Come to what?” Vickie asks.

“To my wedding next month. If Big Brother doesn’t ice the entire guest list, it should be a blast.” Vickie smiles.

“Thanks, but I’m still nursing my broken heart from you shooting me down,” Vickie jests. “Besides, I don’t think my ‘plus one’ would suit your tastes.” Mia waves her off.

“You can’t possibly think I would have a problem with you bringing a same-sex partner to my wedding,” she protests. Vickie just smiles again.

“I know you wouldn’t have a problem with that, Mia, but I also know that you would have a problem with… Hey. You okay?” We follow Vickie’s gaze to see who she’s talking to. Courtney has just entered the room. She’s more composed than she was earlier, but she looks like she been a bit run-through today.

“Yeah,” she says, softly. “Emotional day.” She walks straight to Vickie and doesn’t acknowledge Mia’s existence at all. She reaches for Mikey who, in turn, reaches for her.

“Hey, there, handsome,” Courtney says, smiling at Mikey who pats her cheeks playfully. “I’m going home now, but I’ll see you tomorrow afternoon.” She kisses him softly on the cheek and hands him to me. “I’ll be in after my appointment,” she says to me and I nod.

“Appointment?” Vickie asks, leaning in for a kiss. I should’ve known. They’re a couple now. Courtney gently places her hand on Vickie’s shoulder to halt her progress.

“Not in front of the kids, Vic,” she says softly.

“Oh, okay,” Vickie nods and blows a kiss to Courtney who gives her a small, sweet smile.

“If you’re talking about my children, they’ve seen a whole lot of smooching,” I tell her. It loosens her up a bit.

“Yeah,” she smiles, softly, “but they probably haven’t seen a lot of same-sex kissing,” she points out.

“You’ve never met my best friend and children’s godfather,” I tell her. “Just married his husband in April.” Her mouth falls open.

“I never knew that!” she says. I wink at her.

“Now, you know.” She smiles, exhaustion marring her face.

“Can we do the ‘condo’ thing another day? I’m wiped out,” she says. I nod.

“You say when,” I tell her. She nods and takes Vickie’s hand, leading her out of the nursery, and still never making eye contact with Mia.

“What appointment, baby?” Vickie says as they head towards the door and their voices fade.

“Her and Vickie?” Mia says stunned. I shrug.

“I didn’t know, either,” I respond. She looks at Mikey.

“She wouldn’t kiss in front of the babies,” she says softly. “Hell, I kiss in front of the babies.” I shrug again.

“So, do I,” I say. “To each her own, right?” I pull my phone out and text Marilyn.

**Get a cleaning crew to the condo tomorrow morning. I’m subletting it. **


CHRISTIAN

“Judge Fucking Hammerstone! Did you know that Mom invited that asshole to the wedding?”

The fact that I’m talking to my father flies straight out the window when I look at the guest list that my wife handed me that was so damn big, they just put it on a flash drive.

“No, son,” my father replies in that patiently impatient voice that he uses with me at times like this. “Those women don’t tell me anything. They just ask for my checkbook.” Sheesh! I wonder how Butterfly managed to get them to give her the guest list. I would have thought it would have taken an act of God to pry it out of her hands. I’m glad to see that none of the Kavanaughs have been invited, but there are certainly some people on this list that could turn her reception into a business meeting.

“Did you ever tell Mom about that?” I ask him.

“It wasn’t my place,” he says. I figured that if you ever wanted her to know that you would tell her yourself.” I sigh. I wish he had just told her so that I don’t look like the Grinch who stole the wedding reception. Shit, half of Seattle is on this damn list. It’ll be a wonder if some of the people I knew from the fetish clubs don’t show up.

“I’m going to call her and tell her…” I begin.

“No need, she’s right here.” As if he couldn’t wait to get me off the phone, I hear him call my mother.

Coward.

“Yes, Christian?” she says impatiently, and it pisses me off immediately.

“What did Ana tell you, Mom?” I ask.

“That I should give you the guest list so that you could decide who was coming to your sister’s wedding and who wasn’t,” she shoots. I know that’s not what my wife said and I know my mother is just being catty, just like she was with my wedding. If I told my wife what she just said, it would hurt Ana’s feelings. Instead, I’m about to turn the tables on my catty ass mother and my bratty little sister.

“I won’t tell my wife that you just lied on her,” I say, coldly. After a pause, my mother tries to back-peddle.

“Okay, maybe I misspoke,” she says. “What I meant to say was…”

“Save it, Mom,” I cut her off. “You all can invite anybody you want.” There’s silence for a while.

“We can?” she asks amazed.

“Yes. This is Mia’s day, so she doesn’t have to remove anybody from her list… except one.”

“I knew it was too good to be true,” my mother hisses. “I guess one isn’t so bad. Who… Hammerstone?”

“No. Me.” I end the call with no closing.

*-*

“You can’t ignore them forever,” my wife says as we feed our children before putting them down for the night.

“I can ignore them for a while,” I reply. I turned my cell phone off right after I hung up on my mother, prompting her to repeatedly call Butterfly’s phone until she had to turn off her phone, too. Then, the house phone began to ring incessantly, and we can’t turn that off. Gail knew it was my mother each time she called, and each time she called, Gail had the same response.

“I’m sorry, but Mr. Grey is unavailable right now. I’ll be happy to take a message for you… Yes, Mrs. Grey, he knows that it’s you and he’s still unavailable… I’ll tell him that you called again. Goodnight, Mrs. Grey.”

Of course, my mother has a way of making your life miserable—or trying to—until she gets what she wants. The problem is that my mother has never had to deal with high-nosed submissives for several years, having to store up her comebacks or throw them at the wall for fear of losing her job. So, she doesn’t know that Mrs. Taylor has a rebuttal for everything. When Gail had finally had enough of my mother’s tirading, ranting, and demands every ten minutes, her final respond was nothing less than priceless:

“Mrs. Grey, do you currently have a spot in your employ for a live-in house manager, her high-risk security husband and her 12-year-old stepdaughter…? No…? Then I respectfully ask that you stop demanding that I get my boss to the phone. He may be your son, but he’s my employer. He signs my checks, and no matter how many times you call back, whoever answers the phone, he signs their checks, too. As none of us have any desire to find ourselves unemployed, none of us are going to hand him the phone or inform him for the twentieth time that you are calling. I have no idea why he doesn’t wish to speak to you, but at this time, Mrs. Grey, he doesn’t wish to speak to you. Now, you can call back tomorrow and see if the climate has changed. If so, and if Mr. Grey is available, he will speak to you at that time. If not, then we’ll be having this conversation again. Now, is there anything else I can do for you, Mrs. Grey?”

I imagine that you could have fried an egg on my mother’s forehead after that conversation—either that, or her face is a perfect replica of the Scream Painting.

I don’t know what I hope to prove by this action. I don’t know if I’m trying to prove anything at all. I just don’t feel like fighting with them. I don’t know why my mother feels the need to invite half of Seattle to the nuptials of her children, but every time this happens, she becomes an unreasonable attention whore, or worse yet, an ill-behaved toddler. I just want my sister and my mother to see how crazy they’re getting over this wedding; and for my mom to say what she said about Butterfly, that was completely unnecessary. Sure, it wasn’t vicious or anything, but it was a lie—it wasn’t a twist on or a stretch of the truth. It was a blatant lie, and I don’t appreciate it.

“Maybe she just translated what I said to mean that you were going to hack up the guest list,” Butterfly says, trying to placate the situation. Or maybe her twisted-but-accurate foresight put words in your mouth.

“Is that what you said?” I ask, frankly.

“No,” she says, rocking Minnie to sleep in the rocking chair.

“What did you say?” I ask, after I put my little man in his crib. She sighs.

“When I found out that Hammerstone was on the guest list, I told them that you wouldn’t be there if he was invited. Then I told them that they should let you see the guest list so that you wouldn’t be surprised by anybody at the wedding or the reception.”

“Did you, at any time, insinuate that I would remove people from the guest list?”

“No,” she says softly while putting Minnie to bed. “In fact, it was the opposite. I told them that you wouldn’t come, or if you saw someone in attendance that you didn’t want to associate with that you would leave.” She put a blanket over Minnie, who sucks contentedly on her binky. “They alluded to you whacking up Mia’s guest list several times, but I never did.”

“Then, like I said, she lied,” I say, walking out of our children’s room and waiting for Butterfly to follow me. She does and closes the door behind her.

“I’m not going to lie. I’m looking for a reason not to go to this wedding,” I admit. “To see my sister walk down the aisle towards the man that she loves, to celebrate their union and the beginning of their new life, I wouldn’t want to miss that for the world. But this? This isn’t going to be a blessed, beautiful event. This is going to be the Mom and Mia Show with a cast of supporting actors and actresses. They’re putting warm butts in every seat so that they can have a packed house for their performance. If that’s what they want, far be it from me to interfere, but you and I both know that my life—our lives—are complicated enough not to have to spend the entire afternoon with anyone that I’d rather punch in the mouth than toast my sister’s wedding with. What’s more, I can’t deal with my mother when she’s like this. Mia’s a little brat who’s accustomed to getting her way and believe or not, I’m used to that, but my mother…” I trail off and put my finger up in the air to emphasize my point before walking into our bedroom. My wife follows me, then proceeds to her dressing room while I proceed to undress in the bedroom.

“She’s only been like this a few times and when she is, she’s insufferable. I can’t even describe how unbearable she is,” I say as I remove my slacks. “She has total tunnel vision, and she can only see what she wants. As much as I can see Mia going along with just about any ridiculous idea my mother comes up with, I know there are going to be some wildly ostentatious and preposterous things that Mia didn’t even see coming… even if she does like it in the end.” I walk into my dressing room to put my clothes on the valet and remove my T-shirt.

“Well, I’m sure that I’ll have a mouthful to deal with once I get to the Center tomorrow,” I hear Butterfly say as she enters the bedroom. “You know how your mother can be.”

“I’m sorry to put you in that position, but I hardly ever put my foot down where Mia is concerned. That’s probably why she and my mother think I’m some kind of trained pony.”

“I don’t think that’s the case,” she protests. “They both know that you can’t be forced to do anything you don’t want to do by anyone.”

“Oh, but you’re wrong,” I retort. “The Grey women have secretly manipulated me for years. That’s why Mom thought she could pull a trump card with our wedding when you protested the guest list.”

“Well, Mia’s probably pouting like an injured puppy right now. On top of the current guest list situation, she got an earful when she came to see Grace at the Center. She and Courtney finally had it out in my office today.” I come out of my dressing room in just my boxer briefs.

“You’re shittin’ me,” I say. She’s got her hair over her face and is brushing it forward.

“Nope,” she says from under her hair. “Courtney was in my office looking up course schedules, and you know how her mere presence puts Mia in a bad mood. So, Mia made a crack; Courtney cracked back; they went back and forth for a minute after which, Courtney annihilated her… and then ran out of the room in tears.”

848b4c987672cefdbe7648e0ad3b6609“Mia ran out of the room in tears?” I ask, leaning against the door frame and watching my hot wife brush her incredibly long, beautiful hair.

“No, Courtney did. She was ready to blow. It was really emotional for her. Every time Mia comes around, she’s got something horrible to say to Courtney. I know why she feels that way, of course, but it’s not like Courtney goes looking for her. She comes to the place where Courtney works and then she antagonizes Courtney while she’s on the job. Courtney had just had enough of Mia. I know Courtney was shitty and she’s most likely never going to be able to make up for the shitty person that she was. But seriously, Christian, how long do you make someone pay for something? I mean, if she wants to hold on to the grudge, fine, nobody can change that, but I guess I’m that person where if I don’t like you, I’m just going to stay out of your face. I’m not going to antagonize you every time I see you.”

She does this whoosh with her hair and I swear, she looks like she’s in one of those shampoo commercials where the girl’s hair is all shiny and luxurious and moving in slow motion. She’s wearing this adorable vintage nightshirt and I swear, my mouth is watering. But I’m going to behave. We’re having a conversation at the moment.

“So, the princess got her feathers ruffled,” I say, folding my arms and still leaning on the door frame of my dressing room.

“To say the least,” Butterfly says, still concentrating on her glorious mane. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen Mia broken up about something Courtney said.”

“You mentioned course schedules,” I begin.

“Yeah, Courtney’s decided to go to scho…” Her words trail off as she raises her head and looks at me, and that salacious look in her eye tells me that my standing here in nothing but boxer briefs has the same effect as her sitting there on the bed in that night shirt with that silky pelt of hair flying all over the place.

“Focus, Mrs. Grey,” I tease, and she momentarily pops out of her trance, narrowing her eyes playfully at me.

“Asshole,” she says while continuing to brush her hair. “She’s decided to go to school for social work. Being around the kids that come to the Center has had a profound impact on her. She’s really good with talking to the troubled kids and getting them to open up. I think she’s found her niche. Plus…” she trails off.

“Plus, what?” I ask.

“Addie made her feel really shitty when she put her out. Granted, Courtney had it coming and then some, but it’s left a lasting impression. That parting was a massacre that cut pretty deeply. She’ll mention it every once in a while, but nothing more. When she does mention it, she goes right down the rabbit hole. From what I understand, she feels like she’s taken enough and she really wants to give back now. And the fact that she’s found love doesn’t hurt the situation either.”

“Ho-oh, you’re kidding?” I say. She shakes her head.

“Nope… with Vickie.” My mouth falls open and my eyes widen.

“Vickie? Your stylist Vickie?” She nods.

“I had a feeling something was going on, but I wasn’t sure. Then today, Vickie came to pick her up from the Center and Courtney had to stop her from engaging in a little PDA.” I frown.

“Why? I kiss you all the time… in public. I don’t give a fuck.”

“She felt like the children shouldn’t be exposed to girl-on-girl action,” she says, raising her brow. I scoff.

“Has she met Allen?” I say with mirth.

“My sentiments exactly,” she laughs, “and no, I don’t recall that she has.” She puts the brush on the nightstand and stretches in that way that I love to see her uncoil her little body. She crawls up on the bed and lies on her side with her elbow on the mattress, her arm propped against her head.

“Anyway,” she continues, “she’s going to attend Seattle Central. She’s really good with the kids and she’s decided that she wants to pursue social work.” Well, knock me over with a damn feather!

“Courtney Wilson, a social worker? You’re fucking kidding me!”

“Now, you sound like Mia,” she pouts. I sigh and walk over to her.

“I don’t mean to disparage the girl,” I say, sitting on the bed, “but you have to admit, it’s a huge transformation and kind of unbelievable.”

“I know,” she replies. “I just feel like there are only a handful of people in the world who are completely unredeemable, and Courtney’s not one of them. I honestly feel like she learned her lesson the minute she ended up in that shelter, and knowing how badly she alienated her grandmother has really taken a toll on her.” She sighs heavily and looks down.

“There’s something else,” I probe.

“Yes, there is…” She turns those big blue eyes to me and I get the feeling that this is going to be something I’m not going to like. “She’s living in subsidized housing. She’s afraid to walk home some nights. She’s going to be going to class and she doesn’t have a car, which means that there will be more times than not that she’ll have to maneuver the streets after dark…”

“You bought her a car,” I say. The wheels start turning in her head and I see that’s not what she wants to tell me, but that Courtney may soon own a new car. What the fuck is it, then?

“No, but…” She pauses. “I told her that she could stay at my condo.”

Oh… is that all?

“Okay, and?” I say, waiting for the really bad news.

“And… nothing. I don’t want her in that bad neighborhood while she’s trying to finish school. She gave me some push-back about it because she’s determined to earn her own way as much as she can, so there are rules and requirements of her staying there, but I think it’s for the best… at least until she gets her degree.”

“It’s your condo, Butterfly,” I tell her, pushing her hair from her face. “If this is what you want to do with it, I’m okay with that, as long as she understands that security is still going to be coming by there.”

“Yeah, I’ve already made that clear to her. To be honest, I just want to be sure that I’m not chasing a lost cause. You know me—people in need are like stray puppies. I just want to help them and make the world all better.” I look in her eyes and realize that I need to tell her what happened after my conversation with Cholometes. He’s long gone with no further incident, but I don’t like keeping secrets from my wife.

“Do you remember when you went to R&D to talk to Rollins about the XRC90 transmitter and I went to Alex to discuss the whereabouts of my past submissives?” Her eyes widen a bit with that “where is this going” look.

“Yes,” she replies.

“Well, we found some of them. Others we’re still looking for…” I look down at my hand. “Cholometes said something to me the other day. It… made me think.”

“Surely, you’re not taking anything he said to heart!” she asks incredulously.

“Normally, I wouldn’t,” I tell her. “Normally, I wouldn’t give a fuck and you know it, except… what he said rings true, and I had to find out how true it was.” I look over at her.

“I’m listening,” she says.

“He talked about the women I’ve ruined… or nearly ruined. Elena’s in jail, Naomi’s dead, Cassie’s in Timbuk-Buffalo-Fuck, and you were nearly killed—all because of me… directly or indirectly…”

“You’re kidding, right?” my wife says. “Did you really allow him to Jedi-mind-trick you like that? How could you possibly hold yourself responsible for Elena being a murderous pedophile, Cassie being conniving whore, and Naomi being a mental case?”

“Just hear me out, okay?” I say, trying to calm her rising ire. “I thought the same thing at first—that I can’t be responsible for the way these women behave. I was open with all of them. Our relationship was a means to an end for all of us, but then…” I run my hand through my hair. Here comes the hard part. “I had to know what they thought about me… about our interaction when it was over, so… I… called one of them.”

I look over at her and surprise registers on her face—not horror, just surprise.

“You called one of them?” she asks. I nod.

“Yes. I called one that I knew had been married for a while. Her name is Charity. We… parted affably. I asked her… what the deal was. I mean, I had to know. I never made promises to any of these women! Never! Not until you! I had to know why… what made them lose their damn minds!”

“Wait a minute,” she says, sitting up in the bed. “You called an ex-sub that you clearly hadn’t talked to in years who’s now happily married to ask her why your other subs are so fucking crazy?” It sounds so bad when she says it.

“Um… yeah.”

“And she talked to you?” she continues.

“Yeah,” I respond. She laughs sinisterly.

“She’s a better woman than I am,” she replies. “I would have told you to take a flying leap into a dark, murky lake, keep swimming ‘til you hit the bottom and don’t bother coming back up.”

Okay… is she angry? I can’t really tell.

“Pray, what did she say?” she asks.

“I… don’t know if I should tell you,” I answer honestly.

“You’ve gone too far to stop now,” she exclaims. I shake my head. My neck is already in the noose—might as well jump.

“She… talked about how good a Dom I was… the best, she said… and that I do these things to women, and then I take it all away. She told me that something like that is traumatizing to a woman who may already be on the edge, but then they watched me fall in love with you when I swore that I could and would never commit. When you look at Elena’s behavior and Naomi’s instability—even Cassie’s last-ditch effort… it makes perfect sense.”

“So basically, she told you that you turned these women out and that they flipped their wigs because you found a steady girl,” she summarizes.

“In laymen’s terms, yeah, but it was more detailed than that,” I reply. “She told me to imagine after being with you, you telling me that you couldn’t be what I needed and moving on… and then finding out that you had settled down with someone else.” There’s that physical shiver again. Her silence is almost deafening, so I look over at her. “I guess… some of them had hopes hung on me, even if they were unrealistic.”

“And Charity?” she asks softly.

“Charity had hopes, but not with me. Charity wanted more and she knew that I couldn’t give it to her. Hell, she knew the lifestyle couldn’t give it to her, so she left completely. That’s why she was safe to talk to. Exposure would be costly for us both.” I run my hand through my hair again.

“My takeaway from the conversation is that I’m partially responsible for the crazy,” I tell her. “Apparently, these fragile women weren’t strong enough to handle what I was dishing out even though I did everything in my power to prepare them for what was coming. Somehow, I still should have known that they weren’t able to handle it and I should have held back—not released the dragon on anyone until I was in a committed relationship because doing so gave them a glimpse into Fairyland and they couldn’t leave even when I was done with them, so…” I whistle and twirl my finger next to my temple in the “crazy” gesture.

“So, you pretty much fucked them crazy,” she says. I nod.

“Yep, pretty much.”

“Well, I could’ve told you that,” she says, lying back on the bed. I glare at her.

“Well, why didn’t you?” I retort.

“You didn’t ask!” she counters. “Your wife is a damn psychiatrist! You didn’t think to ask your wife why a woman who is already partaking in an alternative lifestyle for reasons that you are not aware wouldn’t easily fly over the cuckoo’s nest after you fuck her within an inch of her sanity? Couple that with the facts that you’re powerful, rich, and gorgeous, and you combine body-numbing sex with this crazy pleasure/pain thing and massive, explosive orgasms. Then to top it all off, you’re the king of mind games and you require total compliance from your submissives. They’re like children! They don’t stand a chance! And then you take it all away. Yeah… I could have told you this.” I shake my head.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think I could have heard it coming from you,” I lament. She looks over at me.

“No… I don’t suppose you could,” she says, resigned. She looks so sweet and so delectable lying there in nothing but this sheer nightshirt. I love that vintage shit on her and she knows it. It makes her look all damsel-like. Maybe she wore it on purpose to soften me up for what she thought would be the “Courtney” bomb. I probably shouldn’t let her efforts go to waste, then, should I?

I crawl over her and she lies down on the bed underneath me with her hands over her head and her delicious round breasts popping up through that nightshirt, her nipples taut to pretty little points. Oh, yes!

“Is she going to be sleeping in your bedroom?” I ask, my voice low.

“No… that’s one of the conditions of her being able to stay there.” Her voice is soft and longing. I lean down and lick her neck while untying the strings that hold the top together and expose one of her breasts. She gasps slightly as I take it in my mouth and suck hard, letting it pop from my lips and pink up, pretty and perky.

“Is there any left for me?” I say softly as I lick her nipple.

“I don’t think so,” she breaths as her fingers entwine above her head. “You know the babies come first.”

“Oh, no,” I correct her. “They eat first… you come first.” She laughs in her chest.

“Christian, you’re so bad!” she squeals.

“Not yet. Now, be a good girl and keep those hands above your head.” She nods while looking down at me still licking her breasts. I travel down her torso and push her gown up to her mounds, allowing me to taunt her navel with my tongue and nip her pelvic bones with my teeth. She gasps and her body jerks at the sensation, and I’m delighted to discover that she’s not wearing any panties. I travel further down her body and waste no time lapping hungrily at her delicious core. She groans in her chest and arches her back so that her pussy is pushing harder against my hungry mouth. Her hands instinctively find my hair and I stop tasting her.

“Hands,” I say, waiting for her to obey.

“Sorry,” she breathes and puts them back above her head. I press down on her pelvis to keep her from moving and torturously lick that clit softly for a few minutes. When she’s shaking in pleasure, I delve into her core and lap up the juices that I know have collected there. She whimpers and wiggles as much as her body will allow her to with me holding her down and when I look up at her, she’s gripping the sheets to keep from moving her hands. I torment her clit and core a little longer while sliding out of my boxer briefs, my dick so hard that it’s beating a tattoo against my stomach and precum is already seeping from the head.

I need to fuck her now!

I move quickly, crawling back up the bed and taking her knees with me so that she’s open by the time my cock reaches that area of the promised land. I release her knees when her thighs conveniently wrap around my hips and she’s so damn ready for me that my shaft sides right into her once my face reaches hers. It feels so good that I almost want to weep and she gasps with pleasure once I’m nestled inside of her. I entwine one hand with hers and grope her beautiful breast under her gown with the other. I only look in her eyes for a moment before starting to stroke into her and kissing her deeply. Fuck, it feels so damn good.

Her hips curl with mine and her free hand thrusts into my hair, her sighs and whimpers signaling to me that she no longer has control of her reactions. The more aroused she gets, the wetter she gets and the tighter she gets around my cock, causing me to thicken inside her. Fuck, I would swear I was fucking her for the first time.

“Goddamn, baby, you’re always so fucking tight!” I grunt, as I push deeper and deeper into her, her walls tightening more and more around my pulsing dick, her thighs clamping hard around my hips as she matches my grind.

“I work at it,” she breathes, pushing her hips up into me. “I’m coming, Christian.”

“So soon?” I lament, and stop moving my hips.

“Fuck, don’t stop!” she demands and I move my hips again, thrusting into her as she throws her head back and comes hot, wet, and quick around my wanting dick. Well, damn!

“Well, I guess that means I have to make you come again,” I say, thrusting deeply into her.

“I guess… it does…” she pants, trying to catch her breath.


A/N: Hillary Banks is the entitled, ignorant, rich daughter from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. A video of her first “Daddy, I need $300” is included on my Pinterest page.

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.

~~love and handcuffs

 

Fifty Shades Golden: Chapter 3

Explicit details of sex and BDSM scenes from here on out. Some may be hot while others may not be to your taste… and not necessary CG with Ana together. Proceed at your own discretion, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

This ain’t your everyday Christian and Ana story. Don’t expect anything. Just read it as it goes along or go away. 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 new saga continues…

CHAPTER 3

8d55b4d99a3f817e687d465992731aed
GOLDEN

**There’s another package for you. Let me know when you’ll be in to pick it up. **

Cirruc’s text comes right after I’m leaving court one day—another package at Crimson. This guy doesn’t give up. He’s been sending gifts to the club every day for two weeks since he observed my last session, and Cirruc says that he hasn’t even been back. I send a text back to him.

**How does he even know I’ll get these packages? **

My phone chimes with a response as I get to my car.

**He has some kind of agreement with Max. **

Well, of course he does. I wasn’t born yesterday. I know he and Blondie are up to something. He hasn’t been back to Crimson since I turned him down and she’s been a bit incommunicado since that night, too… not that you can really consider daily gifts from a rich stranger “incommunicado.”

**I’ll be there in a bit. **

My hair is pulled back into the tightest bun I can muster. Plain blue knee-length skirt suit, glasses, and neutral makeup. When I step into the club during daylight hours, you would think I was their accountant. You don’t know which look is the disguise—this one or Golden.

“Ms. Olivet, your package.”

Cirruc’s daytime look is nothing like his after-dark persona either. While I may look like a schoolmarm, he looks like a college professor in a white shirt, tweed suit, and bow tie.

“He’s really hoping to be chosen, isn’t he?” Cirruc asks. I shrug.

“It’s not likely to happen,” I respond. “He seems… desperate.” Cirruc chuckles.

“That’s never a word I’ve heard used to describe him,” he says. I raise my brow at him.

“What can you tell me that won’t violate confidentiality?” I ask. He rubs his chin.

“Been a part of the scene for a while. He’s a regular—never caused any problems. He and Max go way back, but I don’t know how far back. He doesn’t break any of the rules, but he gets just about everything he wants.”

“That would explain why Stone didn’t stop him from approaching me.” Cirruc shrugs.

“You know the rules,” he says. “We’ll make sure nothing happens to you on the premises, but we can’t stop anybody from approaching.”

“He’s done it before,” I point out.

“Probably because he knew that you wanted him to,” Cirruc says, “or he sensed a threat.”

“So, if I tell him to keep Rich Boy from approaching me, he will?” Cirruc shrugs.

“He might,” he says. “It would really depend on the circumstances.” I nod and hold up the box he’s given me.

“Thanks,” I say before I exit the club.

Chopper’s first gift came the day after I saw him at the club. It was a six-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac Brut Gold Champagne, complete in a gold bottle. The price… just under seven grand. I guess because I eat champagne lollipops, he assumes that means that I’m a champagne drinker.

The next day, Lussory’s 24-Karat-Gold, alcohol-free wine. He sent twelve bottles, made in Spain with the alcohol content removed and infused with lots of 24K gold specks. It runs $100 – $200 per bottle… and no alcohol. At least he’s keeping with the concept.

The gifts from the following two weeks also include two gold floggers—one made of gold chains and one of gold leather with a solid gold handle—an exquisite gold chainmail Roman cuff, and another pair of gold mirrored sunglasses from a company called “Luxuriator…” 14k gold and diamonds. I couldn’t even find a price for them.

Somewhere during the beginning of the second week he found gold-laced vodka; that’s when he got my attention.

1428457014235

I didn’t open the box I received today until I got home. Inside, gold-laced truffles that melt in your mouth. You can’t blame the guy. He’s putting forth every possible effort to get my attention.

“More gifts?” Blake asks when he sees me eating the truffles.

“Yes, more gifts,” I say, swallowing the decadent creation.

“You know you’ll soon have no need for me,” he says, his voice a bit melancholy. I raise my eyes to him. Nothing lasts forever, I know, so I won’t lie to him.

“But that day hasn’t arrived, so let’s not fret about what has not yet occurred… okay?” I reply softly. He smiles at me and retrieves my shoes and briefcase, taking them from the parlor. Yes, Blake is a submissive. He’s a slave and he pays me to allow him to take care of me. I almost turned him down, because his story is very sad, but he’s harmless for the most part and in desperate need of someone to care for. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say harmless—excellent martial artist and kickboxer, Desert Storm veteran, and more fit and able than most men half his age… and he takes good care of me.

He’s paying penance according to him. He committed an act for which he can never forgive himself. He has more money than he knows what to do with and so, he gives. He gives of himself; he gives of his money; he gives and gives and gives and gives, much to his wife’s dismay. Yes, Blake is married—twenty-two years with no intention of getting a divorce. His wife lives her own life and he lives his own life—in the same house. She can’t forgive him either.

He killed their daughter.

She died in a car accident involving a drunk driver. He was the drunk driver and he walked away without a scratch while he watched her scream and burn to her death while helplessly trapped inside the car.

She was 14 years old.

He says that he sees her tormented face every night when he closes his eyes and it’s been that way since the day she died. His wife’s love immediately turned to bitter hatred and because she signed a prenuptial agreement, she won’t divorce.

He doesn’t care.

He lets her live and he comes to take care of me. He gives me money. He buys my groceries. He keeps my house. He does everything so that I don’t have to. I keep all the money that he gives me in a separate account. I don’t know what I’ll do with it yet. I really don’t need it and it seems criminal to spend it. We’ll just have to see.

Tending to me gives him a small bit of comfort. I don’t know why as he says that I don’t remind him of his daughter in the slightest… I look nothing like her. He doesn’t take advantage of any of my services. He’s very kind and even a little sexy in his own way—and he’s seen me in action, so there sure as hell isn’t any parental transference going on there.

I can’t figure out the dynamic of our relationship. I can only say that it works for him and it certainly works for me, and if he left me anytime soon, I would be worthless. So, while he sees a potential end to our relationship, my intention is to keep him around for as long as possible…

… And to one day make him stop paying me.

*-*

“Someone is here to see you,” Chanelle says as she pokes her head into my office door.

“Who?” I ask. “Do they have an appointment?”

“No,” she says. “He says he’s from the district attorney’s office.” My brow furrows. I don’t have any pending cases in criminal or juvenile court. Why would the D.A. be…

Juvenile court.

My uncle.

“Bald black man?” I ask. She nods. “Tell him to make an appointment.” Chanelle nods and leaves the room. How dare he come here! He must have tracked me down after that day in juvenile court. Looking for Anastasia Steele would have gotten him nowhere since I’m going by my married name and I was married and divorced out of state. I sure there’s a record of it in Georgia, but he would have a hell of a time finding it unless he knew where to look. Chanelle sticks her head back into the door.

“He made an appointment for three this afternoon,” she says. I nod.

“Good. Wait until after I’m gone and then call him and cancel it,” I tell her. She nods again and leaves the room. Chanelle never questions my instructions. She just does what she’s told. She’s from my old neighborhood and when I came back to Seattle and advertised for a receptionist, she was one of the first people to respond. When I saw where she was from, I quickly called her in for an interview. She caught me up on what was going on in the neighborhood, which is pretty much the same shit as before, and then told me her story.

Baby daddy knocked her up, left her with the kid, and disappeared. Yes, it’s stereotypical for young black women, but unfortunately, it’s Chanelle’s story. Even though I was a white girl in a black neighborhood, I’m sure it would have happened to me, too… had my path been different.

My story is only tragic in the fact that I lost my parents. The rest of it is just one big disappointment.

I loved my Mommy and Daddy, and they loved me… and each other. Even at an early age, I’d often wondered how one would survive if the other died first. They never had to find out.

My mom had me very young and I was one of the stereotype baby-daddy stories, too. We never knew if the guy skipped town or died, but Mom met Ray when I was about two. Mom was having a really bad time of it and Ray liked her a lot. He tried to help her as much as he could, but there just some things they couldn’t accomplish since Ray wasn’t family. Not to mention that a black man bringing a little white girl to the doctor’s office for a check-up raised many eyebrows at that time, and it didn’t matter that Ray was an active duty cop. They were already turning heads as an interracial couple before anyone knew our circumstances. So, they just decided to get married so that Mom and I could live with Ray without all the fuss—well, most of the fuss—and get the benefits of being his family. Ray immediately filed to adopt me, and the request was granted a year later. Ray became Daddy, and I don’t even know what my name was before I was Anastasia Steele, because it was changed on my birth certificate.

By my fourth birthday, our little family wasn’t so much of an anomaly. True, there were still people who looked at us funny. There always would be, but we were fine. My parents were in love and planning to have another baby. The fates, however, would not be so kind… or so cruel, depending on how you look at it.

After several years of trying, doctors informed my mom that she couldn’t have any more children. She was heartbroken. With Daddy’s caramel skin and chiseled good looks and her natural beauty and curves, she knew that they would produce beautiful mixed-race children. She was broken to discover that it wouldn’t happen, and I was disappointed that I wouldn’t have a little brother or sister.

Nonetheless, we moved past the disappointment and lived our lives happily as a small family of three. I knew the risks of having a cop for a father, that one day, I and my mother may get a call or a visit from some of Daddy’s cop friends that he was never coming home again. So, every day, when he left, I would hug him tight around the neck and say, “I love you, bunches and bunches, from this life to the next.” He would smile an accommodating smile at me and reply, “And the next… and the next… and the next.”

I never knew the day would come where I would lose them both.

I’ll never forget the night that my life changed forever. I was at a sleepover with my friend Sam when her mother woke me to tell me that my uncle had come to take my home. I already knew that something was wrong. Uncle Richard was coming to get me and not Mommy or Daddy. I prepared myself to go to the car and hug my mother and hear the news that my father was gone, but when I packed my duffel and sleeping bag and went to the car, it was aunt Sheila in the passenger’s seat waiting for me, not Mommy.

“Aunt Sheila,” I said. “Where’s Mommy?” My aunt’s eyes filled with so much sympathy and she tried to give me a comforting smile.

“Ana, baby,” she said sweetly, “there was an accident, sweetheart. Carla and Ray…”

I was only ten.

I went to live with Aunt Sheila and Uncle Richard that night. They were nice to me. They treated me like one of their own children. Their children were as nice as you can expect them to be to the arrival of a white cousin coming to live with a black family. No one was unkind to me and their son, Ricky, was a year older than me and very protective of the girls in his family. Nonetheless, I mainly kept to myself, studying hard and focusing on my schoolwork. I was brokenhearted and I missed my parents terribly, crying myself to sleep many nights. The crying began to disturb my cousin, who shared a room with me, so I would weep silently until Tracy fell asleep, then sneak out of the room and down to the laundry room, where I would weep openly while looking at pictures of my parents.

Time healed the wounds a little, at least to the point of being bearable but I still think of them often and sometimes wonder what they would think of my lifestyle. I don’t dwell on it, though.

206d1edaaf7b85499011c310c7a7680aI encountered my first love when I was 15. We were just kids and it was nothing serious, but I liked him a lot. His name was Jake. He was black and, as it turns out, a little more popular around the neighborhood than I knew. He often wore a yellow jumpsuit and rode around on a yellow dirt-bike, like he was part of a bike club or something, but he wasn’t. That was just his thing. I was smart and doing very well in school, so I had skipped a grade. I was set to graduate the next year and had scholarship hopes so that Uncle Richard wouldn’t have to pay for my college even though he was a successful attorney and was making plenty of money. I knew that he would do it if it came to that, but he had four children of his own that he needed to be concerned about and the last thing I wanted was to be was a burden.

Jake liked me, too, and he was very sweet. He even let me wear one of his jumpsuits. I snuck out of the house early one Sunday morning and went to Jake’s family’s party store where he kept his bike. I went inside, got the bike, and took it for a spin. I knew Jake wouldn’t mind—he told me I could ride it anytime I wanted. I was having a great time, popping willies and everything!

Apparently, he—or I—should have cleared it with some of the neighborhood hoodlumettes…

“Does Jake know you ridin’ his bike?”
“Little white girl trying to be a’ inside-out Oreo—ain’t she cute?”
“Who the hell she think she is, ridin’ his bike and shit?”

Apparently, these were ex-girlfriends, admirers, wannabes, and various other members of the “Jake Harem and Fan Club” that weren’t too happy to see me wearing Jake’s jumpsuit and popping willies on his dirt bike. My first inclination was to get the damn bike back to the party store and ask Jake what the fuck was going on the moment I saw him.

Ask me how the hell did these bitches on foot got to the party store before I did!

By the time I got there, they were vandalizing the place. I put Jake’s bike back in the storage room where I got it from, and they went back there and vandalized his bike, too. I didn’t know what to do. Not only did I not know who these girls were in the first place, but I also had no idea why they were doing what they were doing… and I didn’t want them to beat me up.

When they’ve finished the deed, they started taking stuff from the store. They were all looking at me and, yes, by then I was fearing for my life—I’m stuck in this store with a gang of mad black girls cursing and destroying property, angry because I was riding Jake’s bike. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. So, in my brilliance, what did I do?

I stole a candy bar.

As we were making our getaway, somebody saw us and asked what we were doing in the party story. The girls just kept walking so I did, too. Then, there was this lovely thing in the party store called surveillance… The only white girl in a bright ass yellow jumpsuit—who do you think got arrested first?

The police picked me up before I even got to where I was going. Of course, I called for help.

Enter my adoring uncle—attorney and blood brother of my beloved, deceased father. He had the guns loaded, ready to defend me. After all, I was a good kid, a stellar student, I had a clean record and never got into any trouble. Uncle Richard was all set to rescue me.

“There has to be some mistake,” he argued. “Check your records; check with the school. Ana doesn’t do things like this!”

The clerk was giving him just a part of what happened; not even a full blast of all the damage that was done. Somehow, he was under the assumption that the incident had happened during one of my lunch breaks at school and they just picked me up.

“This was early Sunday morning,” the clerk and I said at the same time, neither of us paying attention to the fact that it was still Sunday.

My uncle’s face changed. His expression instantly morphed into total disgust. He looked at me like I was a complete stranger, and I didn’t even get a chance to explain my side of the story. He shook his head and started walking towards the door. I was horrified. I remember asking, “You’re just going to leave me here?” He just turned that disgusted gaze back to me and walked out.

I was taken to this holding area with some other kids and I saw Jake there. I don’t know why he was there and I couldn’t even pay attention to him. My heart was pounding so hard and I was fighting tears, trying to figure out what had just happened with my uncle… and my attorney. I was stunned and shocked and horrified all at once and I didn’t know what to think. I had opened the top part of Jake’s jumpsuit and was wearing it as pants with my T-shirt; so, the sleeves were dragging the ground. When he saw me, he asked, “You just gone let my jumpsuit drag like that?”

I didn’t register what he said at first because all I could think was, “Who the fuck cares about your jumpsuit?” I just started screaming. I couldn’t control anything that was happening at the time. Everybody around me thought I was crazy—the other kids, the staff, everybody. And I was. I really was. I was destroyed… wailing and crying because after all that had already happened to me, the moment my uncle heard that I had snuck out on Sunday morning and this whole thing didn’t happen during a school lunch break like he thought, he wrote me off and didn’t even give me a chance to explain. My biggest real crime—my actual crime—stealing a candy bar. To this day, I don’t even know if I ate the damn thing.

I spent the night in Juvie since Uncle Richard left me there. I stayed awake all night, hoping that he was coming to get me. I thought he was trying to teach me a lesson. I soon learned that he had washed his hands of me.

Since I had no priors, they brought me before the judge the next day. I was about to plead guilty to anything they charged me with until the public defender came running in and told me to keep quiet. I did. I kept my head down and didn’t say a word. I had cried all night and I was exhausted and broken. The public defender got me released, citing that there’s no evidence that I had anything to do with the vandalism. I confessed to stealing the candy bar and the store owner knew who I was and didn’t want to press charges for that. They ended up letting me go. Nobody showed up to court—not Uncle Richard, not Aunt Sheila, nobody.

The public defender asked if I needed a ride home. I don’t even remember her name. I don’t even remember everything that happened in court that day. All I remember is that they walked me outside. I thanked her, but turned her down.

“I know my way home,” I said, but I knew home wasn’t Uncle Richard’s house and never would be again.

Now, here comes Uncle Dearest, showing up at my office unannounced after I mopped the floor with is ass in court a few weeks ago. It couldn’t have taken him that long to find me. Maybe it took him that long to get up the nerve to contact me. Either way, I don’t fucking care.

I discover that I had strolled down Memory Lane longer than I wanted when my phone buzzes with a text message. I see the alias of a very high-profile individual.

**Mistress, can you meet me at my mansion this afternoon? **

I sure the fuck can. I put the files away that I was previously examining—a corporate case for an old friend of my mother’s, a divorce for a woman with a bullying husband who thinks he’s going to take all the money from the marriage and run off with his hot, younger girlfriend, and some evidence I need to turn over to the FBI for an identity theft case. I retrieve my purse and leave the office, reminding Chanelle to call dear old Uncle Richard and cancel our appointment. On my way down to my Range Rover, I text my client back.

**One hour. **

*-*

This afternoon’s session only fueled my desire for Domination. So, imagine my elation when I get to the club and yet another of my willing victims is eagerly awaiting my arrival. He can take a lot. He’s into complete degradation and he likes his punishments hard, just like his orgasms. It’ll be the cage for him tonight. I’m dressed in a tiny strapless gold lamé micro-mini dress and high-heeled boots that look almost like my PVC jumpsuit. “Stephan” doesn’t do safewords, but we’ve been at this long enough that I know if he’s reaching his limit. He can’t even fake it… and that’s when I make him come.

Clothed from head to toe in a black nylon gimp suit, Stephan is bound face-first and upright by his wrists, ankles, and waist with gold rope to a BDSM cage. The rope is only for effect and to give Stephan the sensation of total immobilization, because although he can stand upright in the cage, it’s narrow and allows no purchase for movement. His dick is the only exposed part of his body and is hanging lifelessly through the bars of the cage…

But not for long.

The wand, the penile masturbating adjustment, oily hands, latex hands, bare hands, the bullet on the frenulum, ball-beating, dick-slapping—continuous torment and ruined orgasms, and this man is nearly crying. I don’t time his torment, I just play until I’m tired… or until he’s screaming.

Sure enough, I don’t know how much longer after I’ve started, his hard, pink, beautiful dick has taken all the torment it can take. His balls are shiny and hard and he’s breathing rapidly, whimpering, nearly crying, and I know he’s at his limit.

I open his favorite toy—the Tenga egg—and lube it up really nice. I love this part of the game, because I get to stroke him and stroke him and watch him squirm, listen to him squeal, and torture that dick until he’s completely mindless and on the verge of passing out.

The last bit of torment is all Stephan. I’ll wrap that Tenga egg around that dick and give him my best handjob… and he’ll deny himself, and resist, and hold out… longer and longer and longer. He’ll let the orgasm build and build no matter what I do to make him come, and I love it. I love it because I’m obsessed with dicks.

Not sex, dicks.
Beautiful dicks of all shapes and colors.
Even small dicks that disappear in my hand and reappear in my fist, making me crazy, making me salivate over their smoothness…
Their veininess…
Veiny dicks are the best… pink and angry, hard and chocolate, or totally white… those veins popping out all over that dick right before it blows its load is the second-most beautiful thing in the world to me.
The first—throbbing, helpless dicks jerking madly and shooting long streams of cum into the air, on the bed, on their chest, in my hand, wherever it may land.
A whimper or a tortured moan adds to the excitement, but all I need is the dick…
The throbbing, jerking, vibrating, ejaculating dick.
That’s my vice… my addiction…

I have a dick fetish.

And Stephan is about to give me what I want.

The cage is shaking and if it wasn’t attached to the wall, it would be on the ground right now. I can tell by the shininess of his tightened testicles and the uncontrolled pulsing of his rod in my hand that he’s about to blow in 3, 2…

“Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Mmmm! Mmm! Mmmmmmmmmmm! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!”

The noises are shrill screams from his throat and I quickly remove the egg on the upstroke so as not to miss the show. I replace the egg with my hand and stroke vigorously while cum shoots repeatedly out of the head of his cock. I slap his aching balls over and over, each blow presenting another squirt of cum from his jerking dick. Long after the ejaculation is finished, he continues to scream, and I know from experience that the orgasm isn’t over. I continue to jack him off, squeezing his balls hard until the screaming finally stops and his body falls limp in the cage. The lights go down and rise again, signaling me that the two-way observation mirrors have been deactivated.

I undo the ropes on Stephan’s wrists and ankles while two large male slaves enter the room. When I see that they have arrived, I undo the ropes on Stephan’s waist and open the cage. He pours out into one of the slave’s arms, unable to stand on his own two feet—a combination of standing too long and energy drain from a life-zapping orgasm. The slaves flank him on either side, putting one of his arms around each of them while they hold him up. I pull the nylon hood up to expose his mouth and nose.

“Good?” I ask, softly. He tries to nod, but can’t lift his head.

“Very good,” he breathes. “Phenomenal… Thank you, Mistress…”

“You’re welcome,” I say, giving him a small peck on the cheek and signaling to the slaves to take him somewhere to rest.

I feel like myself again and go out to my table, take my shot, and enjoy my lollipop… only…

He’s not here.

I don’t think he’s here.

I was sure that he would be here.

I wait for several minutes to see who may still be in the private rooms. I scan the club for his copper highlights. I suck that lollipop until my tongue is covered in gold specks and it’s certain.

He’s. Not. Here.

“Looking for someone?”

I don’t even noticed that Elena had slithered up to my table until I hear her irritating voice.

“I’ve had what I was looking for,” I reply coolly, “or did you miss the show?” She smiles a knowing smile.

“I just thought with you sitting here like a golden statue chewing on that stick like you’re trying to shred the paper that you might have been waiting for someone.”

“I wait for no one; they wait for me. And I see that you’re still sniffing up my ass as usual. How does it smell?”

The visual makes her grimace and she quickly decide to change tactic.

“Well, I don’t think I would have noticed too much tonight anyway,” she croons. “I know a few of the regulars might have passed through tonight looking for something interesting, but I was… preoccupied with other things, so I might have missed them.” She smiles again and I want to scratch her fucking eyes out. She and I both know that when I’m in the exhibition room, everything in this place stops—music, fucking, scenes, everything.

You wanna play, bitch? Let’s play.

“Then go back and preoccupy yourself, Blondie,” I say, my voice even. She sneers at me and squares her shoulder.

“You need to watch out because you’re getting too big for yourself,” she hisses confidently. I try not to scoff at her.

“Don’t mistake me for you,” I retort sharply. “You got too big for yourself. You put yourself on a pedestal that nobody else put you on and you found out that when you fell, it was a long fucking way down. Now, you’re trying to live vicariously through me or dethrone me because you think we’re the same. We’re nothing alike and it’s not because I wear flashy gold colors and rainbow wigs. It’s because I offer something you don’t and I’ll never tell you what it is. You keep watching me until you figure it out and by then, you might just be right. The thrill may very well be gone and when they don’t want what I’m offering anymore, then I’ll stop doing it and find another way to tickle my fancy. Until that time, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and I’m going to keep loving it

“In club after club, my theme song is queued up just in case I walk through the door and the poles clear just in case I want to swing. A room is always available and waiting, and if I want to play, there’s always someone ready. I don’t give a fuck about you, who you are, or what you’re doing, but you’re watching me so closely that you can smell my pussy before I enter the building. You’re sniffin’ up my ass so hard that if I suck a dick, you can taste the cum. You drop little innuendo about who you think I am and what you think is going to happen to me based on your fall from grace, but I’m only going to say it one more time—I. Am not. You.

“You can talk whatever pathetic little shit is going to make you feel better about a trinket stealing your spotlight, but be forewarned, Elena…” I damn-near growl her real name to her horror and surprise. “I’m sick of this shit and I’m sick of your games. I. Am a sadist. I take pleasure in inflicting pain. I love to watch their dicks get hard when they don’t know whether to come or cry. It gets me off. Now, keep fucking with me, Lincoln, and I’m coming for you next and when I do, I’m going for tears.”

Keep it up, Blondie. I’ll rip your black heart right out of your chest and hold it in front of your face while it’s still beating. I glare at her to make sure that she knows that in the time that she’s known me—before I left Seattle and after I returned—if she never thought I meant business before, she had better believe it now.

She sits there gazing at me—ponder her options? Planning her attack? Her escape? I don’t know, but after a moment, she wordlessly slides her ass out of my booth and goes to play with her little friends. This shit is irritating me, and I don’t want to engage anymore.

Trey sends these gifts day after day in succession, but won’t make himself seen. I told him that I choose, and the asshole doesn’t even have the courtesy to be around to be chosen… or rejected. I slide out of my booth and head for the door.

“Golden,” Cirruc stops me before I leave as I’m fastening my cloak around my neck. “Another package for you.”

He hands me a beautiful velvet box—large. It’s heavy, too. The package wasn’t here when I arrived or he would have given it to me then. This means that Trey had it delivered so that it would be here when I left.

He’s playing games, and I don’t have time for fucking games. It’s probably some cat-and-mouse thing he and Elena have going on, or some Cruel Intentions bullshit bet. I won’t be fuel for their folly.

“Send it back,” I say to Cirruc, handing him the box without opening it. He frowns as he takes it from my hands.

“You didn’t even open it,” he wonders. “You’re not even curious?”

“I don’t care—send it back, and anything else he sends me. I don’t want them, and I won’t come and pick them up.” Cirruc examines me.

“Did you two have a fight?” he asks.

“We don’t even talk, Cirruc. That’s why he’s sending gifts here.”

“You don’t even talk when he’s here?” he asks confused.

“When is he ever here?” I retort.

“He was here tonight,” he counters. Tonight? He couldn’t have been here tonight. I didn’t even see him.

“When tonight?” I ask. Cirruc thinks for a moment, then that classic I’ve-said-too-much expression comes over his face.

“I thought you were here at the same time—that’s why I thought you might have quarreled… but I could be mistaken.”

No, you weren’t. This fucker is playing games, just like I thought.

“Send it back,” I say, before walking out of the club.


Trey Chapter 03
TREY

I’ve got her attention now.

She’s pissed and she sent my gift back. She didn’t say fuck it and leave it at the desk. She sent it back. She wants me to know that she doesn’t want it. She’s sending me a message that she’s not pleased. I’ve finally broken through that impenetrable shell.

Last night when I watched her torture that fucker in the cage, I almost nut myself. That was intense play and not many people can withstand it, let alone withstand it repeatedly. I wasn’t surprised when his dick fired like Old Faithful after she masturbated him with whatever silicon creation she was using. I’m going to have to do some research and find out what the fuck that was that she was using. That shit drove that poor bastard crazy and it was driving me crazy, too. In fact, it drove him to girly, cheerleader screams.

I made sure that I made a hasty getaway the moment the lights went down. It was hard not to jack off to the show, but I want to save my testosterone for tonight. I’ve got plans of my own.

“Make sure she gets this before she leaves,” I instructed Roc before I left the club. He looked at me with the same questions I know Golden had when she got the gift.

“Why didn’t he wait?”

I’m going to make you want me as much as I want you, you golden tease.

So, I’m not surprised when Roc calls me and informs me that Golden “wishes to return my gift.” When I get to the club, I tell him to hold it until I leave. I lead Joyce to one of the exhibition rooms. It’s my turn for a fucking show.

I chain Joyce to the ceiling and give her one of the most tormenting and sensual floggings of her life. Using all my skill, I strike with the flogger, allowing the tails to wrap around her tiny body before I pull them away, leaving the most delicious pink stripes all over her torso.

Next, I cuff her thighs and hoist her legs open, her thighs now hanging from the ceiling. I bring her to three forced orgasms—one with my fingers, one with a dildo, and one with a wand. Watching her squirm from the intensity and hearing the chains rattle with her movements give me a perverse thrill that I’ve missed over the past few weeks.

While she’s still trembling and panting from her last orgasm, I drop my pants and boxer briefs and thrust into her, groaning as her pulsing pussy tightens and squeezes my cock. Fuck, I nearly forgot how good the inside of an orgasming submissive feels.

“Squeeze it,” I growl in her ear. “Squeeze that cunt on my dick.”

I don’t even know if she tries, since she’s still vibrating in the chains, but I hammer up into her with thrust after punishing thrust and right when I’m about to blow, I stop.

A simple fuck is not the show for tonight.

I pull out of her, my ample rod hard and glistening with her juices and jutting out impressively for all onlookers to admire.

I remove my pants and boxers then open my shirt. I release Joyce from her hanging prison and attach a leash to her collar. Leading her to the large chair in the room, I attach her wrist cuffs together behind her back before I take a seat in the chair and command her to get on her knees beside me.

“Make it come,” I command in my Dom voice, and she obediently bends over and wraps her lips around my waiting cock.

Fuck, her mouth his hot! Literally hot!

I hiss when she sucks me in, and that’s the last sound I’ll make.

She sucks my dick masterfully, taking it deep from base to tip and I watch her mouth closely, sliding up and down then teasing and sucking the head just like she knows I like it. I feel my orgasm tightening my balls and I pull her leash hard so that her lips press hard against my pelvis, her mouth full of my shaft. I grab her hair and hold her in place, never putting slack on that leash, and I fuck her mouth. I fuck that mouth so hard and deep that my dick barely comes out before I’m thrusting it back in—maybe an inch or two and that’s it. Only my hips move as I plunder her mouth with my cock, over and over again. I can’t take my eyes off her lips as my dick goes in and out, in and out, in and out. Joyce is always magnificent at head and tonight is no different.

I grit my teeth as my tightening balls explode through my dick and into her mouth. I torment myself and draw out the agonizing orgasm by slowing my stroke significantly and allowing her lips to torture my pulsing shaft from base to tip while I empty into her mouth. I fight not to groan through this fucking hot orgasm, and the cum slipping out the corners of her mouth and streaming down my dick isn’t making it any easier to keep quiet. I’m trying not to tremble, but my dick jerks violently in her mouth as the lights go down.

“Don’t move,” I say to her in the dark, and eek out the rest of this fabulous climax.

Shortly thereafter, I get dressed and allow her to don the flimsy dress that she wore tonight before I lead her out of the exhibition room.

I don’t even look over at her table. I go to the bar instead.

“Gin and tonic and make it fast.” I look over Joyce.

“Shot o’ Jack,” she says, her voice a little breathy. The bartender quickly serves our drinks and I toss him a c-note. Joyce throws hers back immediately and I finish mine in three swallows before we head to the door.

“Is she here?” I ask Roc when I get to the foyer. He nods.

“She came in about forty-five minutes after you,” he replies. I look at Joyce.

“Go get in the car,” I tell her. She nods obediently and walks out of the club. Once she leaves, I look back into the club and watch the private rooms from the shadows of the door. About five minutes later, I see the magnificent flash of gold exit the area of the private rooms.

Yeah, Golden. I knew you were watching me. That’s why I could fuck her mouth so good. And it was good.

I slip out the club and out the front door before she can see me, only stopping at the foyer to retrieve my spurned gift.

*-*

I let a few days pass before I return to Crimson. I’ve sent no more gifts and made my presence scarce. Now it’s time to see what the yellow kitten is up to. I call Roc to see if I should even make the trip.

“Yeah, she’s here. She just got here about ten minutes ago. She’s still on the pole.”

I get to the club and enter the private observation room just in time to see her whipping a guy bound to a spreader spanking bench, his genitals exposed. She’s wearing something I bought her… a structured, gold, royal bustier with attached collar—silk, ribbing, sequins, and lots of gold chains. She’s coupled it with a pair of gold lamé short shorts so short that they look like panties, especially when she puts a little bend in her back to administer the lash to her subject’s back. Her boots are really insane stilettos with shimmering gold material that nearly comes up to her ass. Her stance is deliberate—one foot in front of the other so that when she slightly shifts her weight to deliver the blow, the hip of the non-dominant foot shift allowing the beautiful globe of that ass cheek to rise for display.

And my jeans are tight again.

I’ve been fucking for a long time, and I’ve fucked a lot of women. I can’t remember ever wanting someone as much I want this golden morsel of white chocolate.

I lean over with my elbows on my knees as I watch her stripe her submissive’s back with a carriage lunge whip—gold handle and short tail for easy handling. I imagine that thing stings like a motherfucker. He jerks each time she strikes, pausing between hits to let the agony sink in before she strikes again. He groans or maybe squeals, but you can’t tell because he has a wooden horse bit in his mouth, held in place with golden leather straps.

Her technique is flawless… her wrist snaps so that the full blow of the whip is felt quickly on the subject’s back only after the whip has hit and been removed. No lingering like with the flogger. You feel like something bit you… and something has, only more intense.

His back is striped in even patterns when she’s done with the whip and she moves on to a paddle—leather and small. It’s perfect for her hands but big enough to do the job. She’s different with a paddle, like any good Domme would be. She lands the paddle across his ass and it sits there, allowing the sting sink in before she pulls back and delivers another blow. He groans and I’m only just now seeing the golden ball in his hand. I know that it serves two purposes.

Grip to help bear the pain… and safeword.

Right now, he’s gripping it like there’s no tomorrow as Golden delivers blow after painstakingly slow, torturous, meticulous blow. Once his ass is glowing red, even redder than the dark pink stripes on his back, she stops and reaches between his legs, fondling his genitals. He groans loudly.

“Mmm, nice and tight,” she purrs. “I think you like that very much. Well, you’re going to love what’s next.”

God, her voice. How does she do that? It’s like hot caramel and it makes you just want to slide all your clothes off and stand before her. She’s fucking magnificent. No wonder she wields so much damn power over these poor souls. They don’t stand a chance.

Finally, she produces a riding crop. She walks around his body, dragging the crop across his skin in various places. Sweat begins to bead on his body. His breath is coming in short pants.

And his dick is as hard as a fucking tree truck.

Once she makes her round of his body, she stops behind him and strikes his outer thigh hard with the crop. He jerks at the sensation and his panting becomes harder. She snaps the crop on his other thigh and he jerks and groans this time. Once more again on either side before she moves to the inner thighs. She teases the sensitive skin there by rubbing the braided rod against his thigh. Then, a quick strike.

Thwap!

He jumps and pants, the sweat on his back and forehead more prominent now. She quickly moves to the other inner thigh.

Thwap!

He jumps again. She moves quickly back.

Thwap!

He moans loudly as she moves back again.

Thwap!

And again.

Thwap!

And again.

Thwap!
Thwap!
Thwap!
Thwap! Thwap! Thwap! Thwap!

Back and forth between his thighs and he can’t close his legs. From where I’m sitting, I can see his dick bobbing up and down and his entire body flushes the red of his ass and back. She skillfully, meticulously moves that fanning crop tip up his inner thighs, smacking back and forth at a practiced speed—almost like hummingbird wings—and I can tell the moment that the tip brushes his balls.

If he could stand up from that bench right now, he would.

He cries out in his throat, but squeezes that golden ball like he’s hoping to get juice from it. She doesn’t stop with the ball flutter and soon, the flutter becomes full-on strikes of his balls—still fast like hummingbird wings, still only the tip of the crop, but the agony is written all over his face and the muscles tensing all over his body…

… And the angriest, veiniest dick I think I ever seen in my life—in real life or in porno.

He’s fighting to get out of his binds and he struggles for an endless three or four or twenty or ninety minutes—I don’t even fucking know—until…

He drops the ball.

Golden stops the moment the ball falls from his hands and he simultaneously cries out from behind the gag like a dying man refusing to let go of his last breath…

… Or in this case, his last nut.

This man is coming harder than I ever want to see any man ever come in my life. I swear on everything I love that I never want to see that much cum from a cock that’s not attached to me ever again… ever again!

This poor sucker is coming and squirting and throbbing and bobbing and bouncing so hard, I didn’t know the human body even held that much semen. She stands there watching him, watching his dick bounce and throb in probably the most painful orgasm I’ve ever seen in my life. I can’t feel this one, but goddammit, I know it hurts.

He’s still throbbing like a beating heart when she walks with purpose around to his head. He’s lying on the bench now, saliva dribbling from his mouth, in no control of his body yet.

She kneels down in his face and tries to remove the gag, but his teeth are clenching too tightly to it. She waits for a moment before she gently says,

“Release.”

He slowly opens his mouth as much as he can to allow her to take the bit and let it hang on the spanking bench. I could swear there are teeth marks in that thing, but I can’t really tell from here. He’s still panting and out of breath.

“Are you alright?” she says firmly, but softly. He’s still trying to catch his breath when he says…

“Yes… Mistress… It was… magnificent… Mistress… thank you… thank you…”

He’s sweating like a pig and panting like a marathon runner. She allows him to lay his head down on the leather of the bench as she gently strokes his hair from his forehead while he catches his breath.

And the room goes black.

Fuck… she never even jacked him off. He came from the beatings. Fuck.

I need a fucking drink.

I’m out of that room and at the bar in record time. I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life. I’ve heard of it, but I haven’t seen it. The amount of cum that man produced from her whipping his ass defies logic and nature!

“Double-shot of Martell,” I tell the bartender. He looks at me with wide eyes and I put a c-note on the bar.

“Make it two,” I hiss. “Fast!” He takes the hundred-dollar bill and returns in less than a minute with two double-shots of cognac. I throw one back quickly, feeling the burn of the liquid slide down my chest.

She made him come from nothing but a goddamn beating.

I throw back the other drink and move to the doors leading from the exhibition room. It takes fifteen minutes, but the golden temptress finally emerges from the room.

“Another captivating performance,” I say as she moves past me once she exits the doors. She turns around quickly, obviously not expecting to see me there, then her cool demeanor settles in.

“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself,” she says, turning away from me and going to her table. She knows that I’m going to follow her. Who wouldn’t follow that gold-clad ass in those tiny ass shorts?

“You returned my gift,” I say once we get to her table and she downs her vodka. She places the empty glass on the table and turns to face me.

“I have plenty of jewelry,” she says matter-of-factly.

“But you don’t have this,” I say, pulling the box from its hiding place under my arm and inside my jacket.

“Not here,” she says quickly and slowly begins to walk towards the door. I fall in line behind her as she enters the foyer. Roc retrieves a gold velvet cloak when he sees her enter and hands it to her. She looks up at him and nods before exiting the club. I follow her outside and a Lincoln Town Car drives up to the curb just as I exit. The driver comes around to the passenger side and opens the back door. Golden gets in and disappears inside. The driver turns to me expecting.

“Sir,” he says. Oh, I’m holding up progress. I get inside and quickly text Taylor to track my phone and meet me at the destination for transportation and security.

We ride in total silence for nearly half an hour as the Town Car takes us to a spacious home in Sammamish. When we arrive, the driver now opens the driver side door and helps Golden out of the car. I get out on the passenger side instead of waiting. I look around and see Taylor pulling up behind the Town Car.

“Thank you, Waldorf,” she says. “Until next time.”

“Ma’am,” he says, tipping his hat and getting back into the driver’s seat. We walk up the walkway, up the stairs and to a set of double doors that open before we actually get there. Another man—very well-dressed—is on the other side of the door.

“Mistress,” the imposing looking man says as he takes her cloak. Mistress? He’s dressed like a damn GQ model and he’s calling her Mistress? What is she paying this guy? That tailored suit could rival one of mine! And what is he… like 50?

“Show Trey to the parlor,” she says. His eyebrow rises slightly, but then he nods once as she disappears up the stairs.

“Right this way, sir,” he says and begins walking in front of me. He opens a set of double-doors and I discover that she has a real damn parlor. Who has a real damn parlor nowadays?

“May I offer you a drink, sir?” he says.

“Jack and Coke, if you have it.” He nods and wordlessly goes over to the bar. I take a seat on the sofa and he brings my Jack and Coke over to me. I plan on nursing the drink or just letting it sit there… I had two double-shots of Martell before I left the bar. I’m still a little buzzed. He turns and walks out the parlor without another word and closes the doors behind him.

I must have waited for twenty more minutes for this woman to come into the room. I don’t like to be kept waiting and I’m sure that she’s doing it on purpose. When she comes into the parlor, she’s wearing another short dress—a combination of white and gold embroidered panels trimmed in gold leather laced together to create a sleeveless dress. The boots have been replaced with matching gold stiletto sandals embellished with leaves across the top of her foot. I assume that this would be considered “something more comfortable” than what she was wearing before, but she still looks sexy as hell.

And I’m in her house.

She walks over to the bar and pours herself a shot of vodka neat… my vodka. She takes a sip of it instead of drinking it down and turns around to face me.

“What is it that you want exactly, Chopper?” she asks expecting. I raise a brow at her. I had forgotten about that name.

“It’s like I said before,” I say, “I’d like to know what to do to have the pleasure of your company.”

“You have been afforded the pleasure of my company… right now. Now, what is it that you want?”

“Have I been chosen?” I ask.

“Did I say that?” she retorts. I chuckle, still feeling a bit warm from the Martell.

“Well, first,” I say, rising from the sofa, “I’d like for you to accept my gift.”

“I’ve accepted many of your gifts,” she points out. I walk over to the bar and pull the box out of my jacket.

“But not this one,” I say, standing so close to her that I can smell her perfume, even if I can’t place it. She raises golden eyes to me, then takes the box from my hand. She walks around me and strolls over to the sofa to take a seat.

Okay.

I turn towards her while she opens the box to reveal a Giuseppe Zanotti gold back hinge, curved cuff choker snake necklace that drops open in the front, the two ends curving downward.

“It’s… very beautiful,” she says, looking at the necklace. Her voice is even and stoic, but I can tell that she’s a bit affected.

“You like it?” I say, walking back over to the sofa. She raises her eyes to me and closes the box, placing it on the coffee table in front of her.

“It’s an exquisite piece of jewelry, Trey, but like I said, I have a lot of jewelry.”

And now, I’m Trey. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I sit next to her on the sofa.

“And now, you have this one,” I say, opening the box and removing the necklace. “May I?”

She stares at me for long moments, then lifts her hair to allow me to put the necklace on her. Her tresses are silver today, and with these many lengths and color changes, I know that she must employee the best wigmaker in the country. I open the back hinge and wrap it around her neck, inhaling deeply as I prolong laying the tails on her breast. I don’t know if it’s the alcohol or Golden, but I’m so turned on right now that I can barely stand it.

“It’s beautiful on you,” I say in a low voice.

“Thank you,” she says matter-of-factly, but softly. “So now, you’re in the presence of my company and I’ve accepted your gift. Exactly what is it that you want from me? You’re a Dominant and you clearly know that I’m a Dominant. So, what can I possibly do for you?”

“You made that guy come without really sexually touching him,” I point out.

“It’s what I do,” she says.

“How?” I ask her. “How did you make him come that hard by beating him?” She raises her eyebrow at me.

“Do you plan to make a man come by beating him?” she inquires. I almost want to laugh, but I’m a bit insulted.

“I just don’t see how a man can come from just an ass beating,” I retort.

“Different people have different kinks, Trey, you know that,” she says. “I pay attention. I find out what they are and I exploit them.”

“What if their kink is sex?” I ask.

“Sex is not a kink,” she replies. “You may like sex. You may want a lot of it, with a lot of women, but it’s not a kink. People like to come; it feels good, but if you like it too much, you may want to see a shrink.”

“I don’t see anything wrong with liking sex,” I say.

“Is it all you think about?” she asks. “Can you go a day without it?” My brow furrows.

“Of course, I can,” I retort, “and I have. You can’t function in life if all you think about is sex.” She nods.

“Well, congratulations, you don’t need a doctor, but sex is not a kink.”

“You’re a tough nut to crack, Golden,” I say softly.

“I can’t be cracked, Trey,” she says confidently. “My appeal lies in my mystery—when the mystery is gone, so am I.” She examines me momentarily. “I know you’re accustomed to women falling at your feet, but it’s not going to happen with me.”

“Then why am I here?” I say, seductively. “You brought me here; I didn’t ask to come.”

“You wanted me to accept your gift. I don’t accept personally presented gifts in public. That’s why you’re here.”

“Women don’t just fall at my feet,” I correct her. “It takes work… finesse…”

“You have plenty of company when you come to the club,” I say. “The moment I suggested the beautiful black woman on Elena’s chain and the golden-hair goody who propositioned me, you had them both before the night was over, and it didn’t take a lot of finesse!”

What’s this? She sounds a bit irritated.

“I won’t lie and tell you that I’m monogamous, but I will tell you that I insist on my women being clean and I know that anyone in the club is clean. That’s why I don’t fuck outside of the lifestyle. One bad experience and you’re banned in the circle for life. I would say that a sexually transmitted disease would be a very bad experience.”

“Well, that’s one problem that you won’t have with me, because I’m sure that your little blonde friend has told you, I don’t fuck.”

“She told me,” I say flippantly, “but the sexuality that you ooze, I thought she may have been mistaken.” I lean closer to her.

“She wasn’t,” she says flatly.

“Do you have any idea how much I want to fuck you right now?” I say, unable to bear her closeness and her aroma much longer without touching her.

“Well, then, I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place, Trey,” she replies.

“You’re not even curious?” I say, closing the space between us.

“Not even slightly,” she confirms as I take a long sniff of her, committing her smell to memory. My control slips and I touch her thigh. She jerks away from me.

“I didn’t give you permission to touch me!” she says firmly. Her fire makes her so hot and I know that if I just kiss her once, she’ll be mine.

I lean in for the attack, but she’s fast and leans back before our lips meet. It fuels me to snag her, to taste her and kiss her lips just once… just once…

“No!” she protests, slapping me and squirming from my grasp. It’s only then that I even realize that I had pinned her beneath me. She wiggles away from me and flees to the area behind me near the bar. I recover quickly, but not quickly enough, because just as I turn around to pursue her again, my Martell buzz and Golden-desire-driven haze is completely washed away by a loud crack and a bullet flying right past my head.

Okay. Stop. Stunned.

“I. Said. NO!” she hisses loudly, aiming the gun right between my eyes.


A/N: Cruel Intentions was a 1999 movie where a rich, heartless, and bratty stepbrother and stepsister make a bet about the new headmaster’s virgin daughter. It’s an adaptation of a French novel that translates into Dangerous Liaisons.

The Pinterest board for this story can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/fifty-shades-golden/.

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.

~~love and handcuffs

Raising Grey: Chapter 19—So Much For Normal…

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 19—So Much For Normal…

ANASTASIA

I don’t know what the big deal is about leaving us the fuck alone. Yes, I’m still looking for a little bit of normal in a whole lot of crazy. Yet, somebody somewhere feels like I’m not entitled to that.

Judd Loser went on a total tirade in the days after the Pacific interview. I addressed everything he could possibly throw at me, so every time he tried to cut me down or retort, they’d just throw a sound bite at him from the interview. It just made him angrier and what’s worse—for him, anyway—even more women came out with sexual harassment claims. One woman at his old job even went past sexual harassment and said he actual physically pushed himself on her. There was no sexual act or penetration, but it was enough to shed a really bad light on the current allegations and may result in some sort of criminal investigation.

There’s been no peace this week. Radio and local television shows are now trying to get me to make appearances, and I know that all they want is to rile me up over Judd in hopes of getting a bad reaction from me. As a result, I’m refusing any new appearances and only agree to do the three that I already had scheduled over the next two weeks with strict instructions that there would be no addressing the Judd Rossiter issue.

Al has kept a close eye on mine and Daddy’s adoption petition and so far, there’s been nothing from Nevada. I know that the court won’t contact Carla, but hell, there’s just no telling what might happen between now and the time that everything becomes legal. I’ve come to hope for the best, but expect the worse in light of everything that has happened to me in my life. It doesn’t matter, though. I don’t care what my mother does; this adoption is going through. Daddy will be my legal father and that’s that.

I’m doing my best to ignore Judd Loser for the weekend. Any time I see his name in the news or someone brings him up in conversation, I ignore it, change the channel, go to another website, or change the subject. In other news, Helping Hands receives some kind of form-letter-cookie-cutter response from the licensing board about the letters that I’ve been sending them—something about the process of approval or whatever the case may be. In response, I send two more letters on Friday with different wording, but the same questions… what’s the damn hold up?

Sunday is mine and Daddy’s big date—behind the dugout at the Mariners game versus the White Sox. Oh, my Daddy and his baseball. He gets quite passionate when his team is slacking, and quite colorful, too. If I wasn’t partially raised with a sailor, I’d be blushing the entire time.

“I’m gonna freeze with that breeze! Hit somethin’ for Christ’s sake!”
“You asshole! The plate hasn’t moved in 100 years and you still can’t find it!”
“Hey Morse, they killed a cow to make that glove! You could at least try to use it!”
“The ball is behind you, fuckhead!!!”

Even the bullpen isn’t safe…

“Shut up! You been sittin’ on that bench for so long, you should have enough splinters to make your own goddamn bat.”
“Yeah, I bet it’s hard sittin’ around for nine innings and twelve games. Stand up and stretch your legs.”

The best one is after a strikeout while gesturing to his torso…

“Just in case you forgot, when the ball comes in this area, you swing!”

It’s really fun to just let loose with Daddy at the game. I can understand his frustration, though. We’re in the fifth inning and the only scoring in the whole game was when a rookie hit a line drive down to left field with bases loaded, allowing the Mariners to score three runs. Thank God it was our team that scored or Daddy would have had a conniption. Just before the bottom of the sixth, I have to use the restroom, but I’m almost afraid to leave Daddy on his own. I nod to Chuck sitting a few rows behind us and he gets up to follow me to the ladies’ room, signaling Ben and Chance to keep an eye on Daddy.

Of course, there’s a line at the ladies’ room and I have to sing songs and think of ridiculous things to distract myself so that I don’t pee on myself. It was a close call, but I made it. After I wash my hands and join Chuck to return to our seats, I swear that I see Judd Loser get a beer at one of the stands, but when I look again, the guy is gone. I assume that I must have imagined it since the asshole seems to be flooding my conscious and my subconscious mind and just go back to my seat.

Of course, I get there just in time to miss the same newcomer knocking in another run for the Mariners. I thought this would make Daddy happy—his team is winning! Instead, he has more heckles for the seasoned players…

“Hey Seagar, rough night? The newbie’s makin’ you look bad.”
“Hey Miller, that’s a $200 bat. If you’re not gonna use it, can I have it?”

I’m in pain with laughter by the end of the game and very happy that the only four runs made possible by a newcomer name Jackson was enough to give us the win. The final score—Mariners, four, White Sox, two.

We stop at the souvenir shop on our way out and I can’t help but buy an 18” Mariners souvenir bat to give to Daddy after the crack he made to Miller. Just as I’m paying for my wares and I’m about to leave, I hear a voice over my right shoulder that I don’t recognize, but it still gives me a fucking chill.

“Wanna see my tattoo?”

I whip around right into the face of Judd Rossiter. I fucking knew it was him at the beer stand. Shit. I gotta get out of here. I turn and look for Daddy, anxious to get away from this asshole as quickly as possible.

“What’s your hurry, doll? That ass looks a whole lot better in those jeans than it did in that get-up you were wearing before!”

Do not engage. Do. Not. Engage. Where the fuck is Daddy?

“Not so big and bad with no mic shoved in your face, huh?”

Oh, this is bad and it’s only going to get worse. Just when I’m getting desperate to find my father, I run right into him.

“Annie! What’s the matter?” he asks, holding my arms.

“We have to go—now, Dad,” I say quietly.

“Aw, Annie, that’s so cute!” Loser taunts. My father raises his eyes to Loser, clearly not amused.

“Something I can do for you?” Daddy says coldly. Oh, shit. This will not end well.

“What happened to your billionaire?” Loser hisses. I can tell he’s had a few beers. “You like ‘em older now? He’s old enough to be your father.” Daddy moves me behind him.

“That’s because I am,” Daddy growls. Loser laughs loudly, drawing attention to himself.

“You should’ve asked for a blood test there, Pops! She looks nothing like you!” His two friends laugh heartily at his tasteless joke.

“Daddy, let’s just go, please?” I beg.

“I make it a point not to allow anybody to chase me from anywhere,” Daddy says, facing off with Judd Loser. He’s taller, bigger, younger, and drunker than my father. Daddy’s going to get hurt.

“Daddy, it’s fine. He’s not worth it, please, Daddy…”

“Fuck you, bitch!” he hisses. “Listen to your bitch daughter and leave, Daddy…” Judd Loser is poking my father in his chest, which infuriates me, but immediately sets off the Marine in my father. Daddy moves so quickly that I don’t even see what he does. I think he grabs Loser’s finger, because the next thing I know, Loser is kind of bent over going in the same direction as his hand, yowling in pain. Once Daddy releases his hand, he recovers quickly and comes back at my father with a clenched right fist.

… And all hell breaks loose.

I don’t know what exactly is going on, but all I can see are my father’s fists flying and two men about to jump him from behind. I have immediate flashbacks of the fight in Anguilla and the drunks jumping my husband in the barfight… and I have a bat in my hand that’s half a meter long. It’s about to go upside somebody’s head.

“Get away from my Daddy!” I scream, pulling the bat back for action. A hand catches my wrist before I’m able to swing.

“Whoa! Settle down, killer! We got this!”

I turn around to see Chance disarming me while Ben and Chuck quickly subdue the two men that were about to attack my father. Daddy has beaten Loser Boy down to the floor and has him face down on the concrete. One hand is holding his neck down so that he can’t move his head. The other hand has Loser’s arm bent in some kind of really uncomfortable-looking submission hold behind him while Daddy’s knee is pressed firmly in the small of his back.

I breathe a sigh of dread as the whole thing plays out before me. Chuck and Ben have produced cuffs from I don’t know where. Daddy doesn’t need them. Somebody’s calling the cops. Everybody here will be detained until they get to the bottom of what happened. In the meantime, Loser is still trying to get from under my father.

“Get off me, you old fuck!” he demands. “You’re hurtin’ my goddamn arm! Get the fuck off me!”

“Son, the more you fight, the more it’s gonna hurt. Wait for the cops,” Daddy says calmly.

“I’m gonna fucking sue you!” he threatens, his voice muffled since his cheek is pressed into the concrete.

“Good luck with that,” Daddy says calmly. “You’ll have to wait until after I press assault charges against you. There are witnesses and surveillance cameras that saw you poking me in the chest and taking a swing at me.” I roll my eyes and take out my phone.

“Ana! What is it?” Vee’s voice is frantic. It should be. I’m calling her on a Sunday.

“Vee, call Al, call my husband. We have a situation.”

“Why did you call me before you called them?” she asks horrified.

“Because the press is everywhere, and they’re going to see it first, so he might see it live.” Vee sighs.

“Give it to me…”

*-*

I’m sitting on the same bench in the same spot at police headquarters that I sat when we came to get Sophie the night that Shalane was arrested. I want to just bury my head in a hole and disappear. I keep my face covered since the sea of paparazzi outside have a bird’s eye view right into the precinct doors. It’s not hard to do since I’m so sick with anguish that my dad is back there in a cell with that asshole that I can’t lift my head anyway.

A commotion at the door causes me to look up and I see an angel burst through the crowd.

Christian. Please hold me. I feel like I’m going to die.

I can’t even find the strength to stand when he walks into the door. Sensing my weakness, he strides quickly over to me and squats down to me, gathering me in his arms. I can’t even speak. I just cling to him like life itself and lay my head on his shoulder, trying to find a way to cope with all this bullshit. My father’s in a cell along with Chuck and Ben and this asshole and his drunk friends who accosted us at the ballgame. A normal day out with my dad has turned into an utter fucking nightmare.

“We had such a great time,” I mutter into Christian’s shoulder. “Daddy was a total nut, and the Mariners won.”

“I know, baby,” Christian says softly, caressing my back and hair.

“He made a crack at Miller about the bat. I just wanted to get him a bat…” My voice is shaking.

“Sssshh,” he soothes. “This is not your fault…”

“It’s totally my fault,” I weep. “If I had kept my mouth shut in the first place, none of this would have happened!”

“I’m not going to even address everything wrong with that statement,” Christian says. “Let’s just get Ray and the guys out of here.” I nod into his shoulder and he reaches into his jacket and retrieves his ever-present handkerchief. He lifts my head and gently dries the tears from my cheek. Even though I’m already crying, I feel the adrenaline rushing through me at a back-breaking speed. I can hear my blood rushing through my ears. It’s sounds like a baby’s heartbeat and just as fast…

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!

I don’t know how much longer I sit on that bench while Christian and Chance and Al talk to whomever they talk to over and over and over. Christian had Marilyn call Mandy, but we insisted… somebody insisted… that she stay with Harry while we straighten things out. I’m not weeping anymore, but the tears haven’t stopped falling. And the blood hasn’t stopped rushing.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!

I put both hands on my forehead in pure frustration. Yet another open case in the life of Anastasia Grey. Dear God, will I live to see a year without a courtroom?

“This is getting ridiculous! Should I have just let the guy sit there with the pussy in my face?” I ask aloud to no one in particular. I want to scream. This whole thing is so fucking ridiculous. He was clearly trying to antagonize me and I called him on it, and somehow, I’m the bad guy?

The sun has gone down… and the two guys who tried to jump my father from behind are released. They walk right pass me. They don’t even look over at me. I really don’t think they even know who I am. I wonder how it feels spending Sunday afternoon in jail simply because your friend is a classless, arrogant, uncouth piece of…

“Sunflower?”

I think I get whiplash snapping my neck in the direction of my childhood nickname. The only other time I remember my father looking this good to me was when he showed up in the hospital after the Green Valley beating. My body is moving before my brain and I only remember being on the bench, then being in his arms, squeezing him for dear life and saying his name over and over again.

Daddy… Daddy… Daddy… Daddy… Daddy… Daddy… Daddy…

“It’s okay, Sunflower,” he says into my hair. “I’m okay.”

“I’m sorry, Daddy,” I say softly, my voice barely audible.

“No,” he replies, just as softly. “That blowhard ran his mouth the entire time he was in the cell. There’s no way I’m letting you take responsibility for that. He’s a real piece of work and my only regret is that I didn’t break his jaw so he would shut the hell up.”

“Everybody’s out now,” I hear my husband say. I release my grip on Daddy to look over at him.

“Everybody?” Daddy asks.

“Yes, everybody, so let’s make it quick.” I take the hint and try to walk to the door, but my head starts swimming and I feel like shit. I’ve been crying for hours and the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh has only just now started to calm. Daddy’s on one side of me in a moment and my husband is on the other. Trying to look as normal as possible—as normal as two large men can look holding up small woman—we head for the door.

The flashes light up the night like the first dawn of morning and the questions fly like crazy as Daddy and Christian maneuver me down the stairs and to a waiting Audi. Daddy gets in on the street side of the car while Christian helps me into the back-passenger seat. Just as I sit my butt down on the leather, I hear that loudmouthed fucker projecting from the top of the precinct stairs.

“That bitch is trying to ruin my life! Just because she can’t take a picture of a pussy!”

Christian’s neck jerks in the direction of the voice and before I have the chance to say a word, he has put me in the car, closed the door, and is now running back to the stairs… towards that horse’s ass. The crowd splits immediately, leaving a straight path right to Judd Loser. Fuck! You won’t let us out of the hospital when the babies are born, but you’ll make a fucking pathway for Christian to get up there and kill the guy!

In the mayhem with cameras flashing, I can see a fight ensue in my mind’s eye, one or both men being beaten to a pulp in front of the police station, and my three-second funnel produces the inevitable outcome.

Christian spends the night in jail.

I could barely stomach the thought of my father in a holding cell without vomiting all over the precinct floor, but the idea of Christian doing time is more than I can handle.

The tears start before I can stop them. I can’t take this shit anymore. I have to think fast before my husband finds himself with another assault charge. I leap out of the car with clenched fists. It’s time for another sacrificial lamb.

Me.

“I have had enough of this shit! Christian, get in the goddamn car!”

My sobbing, screaming voice pierces over every sound in what seems like a 50-mile-radius and all eyes are on me… including my stunned husband’s. Don’t lose your nerve now, Steele… um, Grey.

“Nooooooooooooooowwww!” I scream through my tears, shaking my fists like a toddler having an uncontrollable temper tantrum. My husband is horrified and everyone else is frozen in place until…

“Yeah, Christian, get in the goddamn car…” he says in a taunting voice. Christian turns his gaze back to Judd Loser, but before he can move or speak, one of the reporters close to him says,

“You’re a real asshole, you know that?”

I’m almost shocked that someone came to my defense, and like lemmings often do, the others fall in line behind him, criticizing Judd Loser and snapping pictures of his shocked face, but I don’t have a chance to enjoy it. The adrenaline is getting the best of me and I feel myself going down. I don’t know who catches me. All I know is that I see flashing cameras, I feel strong arms, then muffled sounds, then darkness.

*-*

“There she is,” he says softly. I’m cradled in my husband’s arms in the back seat of the slowest moving Audi on the bridge. My head is fuzzy and my vision is blurred, but I feel him stroking my cheek and kissing my temple… and I feel like there are leprechauns tapdancing on my skull.

“Wha…” The word is a breathy sound, and that’s pretty much all I can muster.

“I didn’t panic,” he says. “I remembered… crying or fainting.”

I think I nod, glad that he didn’t waste the rest of the night rushing me to the hospital just to hear that I had one of my adrenaline fainting spells. It’s been a really rough, very emotional, extremely fucked-up day. It’s a wonder that all I did was cry and faint. I wouldn’t have been surprised had I given birth to a unicorn on the precinct stairs. That would have given the press something to talk about.

The press… fuck!

I think I’m going to hide in the mansion for a few weeks. As if reading my thoughts, my husband quickly addresses the issue.

“I think we moved too fast for them to get pictures of you,” he says. “They were too busy taking pictures of the asshole.”

I don’t know what I do after that… I’m too damn tired…

Christian and I had the same idea Monday morning… no work for me. I’m certain the paps are camped at the end of the driveway and I just can’t deal with it today. I won’t stay in bed all day, though, although I’m certain that my husband would like to convince me otherwise.

“You’ll see it anyway, so you might as well see it now,” he says as I join him for breakfast in the dining room. He hands me the paper and who do I see on the front of the local page.

Judd Rossiter. What bullshit is he spewing now?

The headline reads, A Real A**hole. Priceless! This I gotta see…

A stunned Judd Rossiter stood at the top of the stairs in front of the doorway of police headquarters yesterday after a reporter called him out for unseemly behavior. Rossiter allegedly assaulted Raymond Steele—local small-businessman and stepfather of Anastasia Steele-Grey—at the gift shop of Safeco Field after the Mariners game. Rossiter, Steele, two members of Grey’s security team and two other unknown men were all detained at police headquarters after the incident. Pictures below depict a clearly distraught Anastasia waiting at the precinct for her stepfather along with a very caring Christian Grey trying to calm her.

The paps had a field day with the cameras yesterday. The pictures could have told the story without any of the narrative.

Me with my hands over my face sitting on the bench lamenting the entire situation.
Christian squatting in front of me holding me protectively in his arms.
Christian wiping my tears as I sob.
Daddy on one side of me and Christian on the other side, both of them basically holding me up as we leave the precinct.
A not-so-flattering picture of Rossiter taunting us from the top of the precinct stairs—they didn’t even bother to blur out his horrible tattoo.
My husband rushing the stairs.
Me with my mouth open, fists clenched, and screaming—also a very un-flattering picture.
A stunned Rossiter staring into the camera.
Christian carrying me, my head on my husband’s shoulder, my face shielded.

How did he get to me so fast? He was easily half-way up those stairs when I started screaming at him?

Rossiter was charged with assault while the other men face no charges. All men involved were released late last night. Rossiter continued to taunt the Greys after his release, prompting Christian to charge him on the stairs of the precinct. Anastasia clearly suffered some kind of breakdown, screaming for her husband to “get in the g**d**m car” before he tore Rossiter to shreds. Rossiter continued his taunting, prompting a freelance reporter on the stairs to call him out as a genuine donkey’s poop chute. Anastasia lost consciousness after her screaming fit and can be seen here once again cradled protectively in her husband’s arms before the Steeles and the Greys are whisked away in a fleet of Audis, leaving Rossiter to face the angry press alone.

Rossiter and Steele-Grey have an ongoing feud about Rossiter’s inappropriate behavior during a live taping of “Rapping with Rob,” and the subsequent fallout. So far, a total of ten women have come forth with allegations of lewd and lascivious behavior on Rossiter’s part—a situation for which he continues to hold Steele-Grey responsible as she dared to speak up about his X-rated tattoo.

There’s a close-up of the same picture of him at the top of the stairs with a zoom-in of that disgusting tattoo. The photographer—or the paper—had the decency to blur out the woman’s clit, but the rest of it is in grand detail. So, one can easily imagine what the entire thing looks like without even seeing it.

Rossiter tried to defend himself, taking another moment in the spotlight to degrade the Greys and their relationship, but to no avail. For the most part, he just came off as a drunken, cursing buffoon defaming a distraught woman for calling him out on bad behavior. Exactly how many beers did you have at Safeco Field, Judd?

I bet his inebriation is going to be my fault, too.

I fold the paper closed and place it on the table, not even bothering to finish reading the story. I pick up my cell phone and dial Daddy’s number. I’m so hurt and humiliated that he had to be brought into this. The phone is answered on the first ring.

“Hello?” What the fuck? Who the…? Oh, shit.

“Brian?”


CHRISTIAN

We could barely get out of the driveway with the paps blocking the street. I thought I’d get used to this shit after a while, but I have to admit that I was falling blissfully into my wife’s quest for “normal.” So, I’m resenting the presence of the noisy press more now than I ever have before.

“So, when did he get into town?” I ask Alex during the drive to the office.

“As near as I can tell, yesterday evening. It looks like Mandy may have called him once she found out that Ray had been arrested.”

It appears that our friend, Brian Cholometes, is in the Seattle area visiting Ray and Amanda. I can’t say that I blame him. His best friend was being detained at police headquarters, but I still don’t fucking trust the guy. We’ve been keeping an eye on him and his Ana-look-alike girlfriend, but nothing has given us cause for concern… until now.

I just don’t like him being here.

“What’s he been doing since he’s been here?” I ask.

“Nothing that gives immediate cause for concern,” Alex says. “He got in last night and went straight to the Steeles’ home. He stayed there until Ray was released, and then he left about an hour after Ray returned home and went to the Fairmont. He’s at Ray’s office right now. I would just say he’s checking on his friend and he’s no cause for us to be worried, but I know if he’s here and you don’t know, somebody’s head is going to roll.”

He’s right about that shit.

“Let’s hope that’s all it is. Keep your eye on him,” I say. “Is she with him?”

He knows who I mean… Colostomy’s Ana look-alike.

“No,” Alex says, “Not that we can tell.” That means that either he doesn’t plan on staying long or that he’s hoping to get a glimpse of Ana.

“Just keep your eye on him,” I reiterate. Out of respect for my father-in-law and my wife, I will not engage, but I need to know if he tries to. At that point, all bets are off. My next call is to Allen.

“I’m on my way into the office. I want a restraining order on Judd Rossiter. I don’t want him to be able to come anywhere near my wife, me, or any of her family.”

“Do you really think that’s necessary?” Allen protests. “After they massacred him in the news, I don’t think he wants to see any of you guys any time soon.”

“That man attacked my wife and her father in a public ballpark. He continued to harass and taunt us on the stairs of the police station in front of the press after he had been charged with assault. I don’t know if he’s desperate, unstable, or just plain stupid, but whichever it is, you’re getting a restraining order for his protection. I’m ordering my security to shoot to kill if he comes anywhere near my wife or our family again. Hell, I’ll shoot him myself!” Allen sigh.

“’Nuff said. I’m on it,” he says, before we end the call. “Cholometes is in town,” I say to Jason. He sighs.

“Yeah, I got the text this morning,” he replies.

“How soon before he speaks to Butterfly? Any bets?” Jason shakes his head.

“I’ll give it until noon,” he says while pulling into the parking garage at Grey House.

*-*

“Did you know that Brian is here?” my wife says when I call to check on her. I look at my watch. Ten thirty. He didn’t even make it to noon.

“Yeah, I found out on the ride in,” I reply. “How did you discover?”

“I called Daddy’s office and he answered,” she says. I’m quiet for a moment, waiting to hear the rest. “He didn’t dawdle,” she continues. “He asked how I was and about the twins. I told him that we were all fine and he handed the phone to Daddy.” I sigh and try not to say anything about what I think of the asshole. Instead, I just change the topic.

“I’m getting a restraining order against Rossiter,” I tell her. “I don’t want him to come anywhere near you or our family. I shudder to think what might happen if the twins are with you and that guy approaches you again.” She’s quiet for a moment.

“I suppose it’s for the best,” she says. “I would imagine that he wouldn’t have a single friend in the city willing to be seen with him after yesterday’s fiasco, so I can see him feeling the need to settle a vendetta now. My question is why does everybody feel the need to come after us? The things that people do or want to do to us are so damn drastic, I just don’t understand it. I had people who didn’t like me when I was just Anastasia Steele, but nobody came after me. It can’t be the money, because nobody has tried to get any except my mother and Ginger Creepy Guy, so what the hell?”

“It is the money, honey,” I tell her. “They may not want money, but the money makes us a bigger target if for no other reason than that people think that we can buy our way out of any situation. You know, ‘More Money, More Problems,’ ‘With great power comes great responsibility,’ and let’s not forget ‘What’s she got that I don’t.’ The list is endless as to why they want to come after us—we have everything, or we’re capable of having everything—and they’re not. They had one of us or want one of us or want something we have or are upset that we’ve got something they don’t or don’t think we deserve what we have or are angry that we can get whatever we want. Fill in the blank, baby, but trust me… in the end, it boils down to the money.” I hear her sigh.

“I’ve got one last radio show that I’m doing next Monday, then I’m done,” she says. “It’s one of those live shows that runs simultaneously on camera on a local cable channel. I think I’ve gotten enough publicity for my causes for now… I need to let it rest. I need to focus on the accreditation of Helping Hands anyway. The process is taking way too long.”

“I can make some calls if you want,” I offer.

“Oh, God, no, please don’t do that. We already know that Gloria Felton is holding us up somehow. If you get involved, it’ll just throw fuel on the fire. No, we just have to figure out what needs to be done to get this thing moving the right way.”

“But here’s the thing,” I protest. “If you know that she’s holding you up, then the reason is obviously personal and there’s going to have to be some sort of outside involvement or interference, if you will. If this is a personal vendetta, she’s going to run it into the ground. She’s going to wait until you give up or she’s going to hold you back forever.” I hear my wife sigh.

“Just… don’t do anything, please,” she beseeches me. “Being on this side of things, I understand now why Grace didn’t want you to give money to the center. You’re a very powerful man and the last thing we need is the impression that you somehow bought or finagled our accreditation… and believe me. That’s exactly how she would make it look if you got involved.”

I understand what she’s saying, but she doesn’t understand that people with the slightest bit of power and an ax to grind are going to grind it in your ass until there’s no blade left. Whether she knows it or not, at some point, I’m going to have to get involved, but for now, I’ll respect her wishes… and just wait.

“Whatever you want to do, baby,” I say. “So, what’s on the agenda for the rest of the day?”

I listen to my wife talk about what she plans on doing with her afternoon, the entire time thinking about Cholometes presence in this part of the state and the Felton woman that’s holding up the accreditation for the center. I make a mental note to talk to Allen about exactly what’s needed to acquire accreditation and to discreetly look into whether there could actually be a legitimate delay in the approval. We should just wait it out for now, but I want to know first-hand exactly what the delay is.

Now, Cholometes.

I know from experience that waiting to see what move someone is planning to make can often be disastrous. I want to know what his intentions are and I want to know now—how long he plans on staying in town, what he’s going to be doing while he’s here, if he’s really here in support of his friend or in hopes of getting a glimpse of or a moment or two alone with my wife. I still don’t trust him. I’ve seen determination before—I’m the epitome of it. I’ll burn down cities for that woman and so will he. I know he will, and some Ana doppelganger isn’t going to change that. David was living, breathing proof of that.

“Put another tail on Cholometes,” I tell Alex. “Have him conveniently be discovered.” He’s silent for a moment.

“You’re playing with fire, Christian,” he warns, “or have you conveniently forgotten your last encounter with that man?”

“Just do it,” I reinforce. He sighs into the phone.

“Yes, sir,” he agrees skeptically.

*-*

“You’re leaving breadcrumbs again. What do you want?”

His voice is impatient over the phone and even though I engineered his contact, I fucking hate this arrogant asshole and really could do without talking to him.

“I don’t know what you mean, Brian. I’ve kept my eye on you ever since my wife kicked you out of our house and our lives. You’re a wildcard and I don’t trust you, so just like you’re watching me, I’m watching you.” He’s silent for a moment. Yeah, I know, asshole. “So, if you’re just now finding breadcrumbs, you haven’t been paying much attention…” I wonder just how overt Alex made the men I had him put on Cholometes? It’s only been a couple of hours and I didn’t tell them to go and wave at the fucker.

“Are you that insecure in your relationship, Grey?” he asks. “I realize that your world begins and ends with your wife, but here’s a news flash for you. There’s life after Ana.”

Did I mention that I hate this arrogant asshole?

“You could’ve fooled me,” I retort. “You followed her around for years sniffing her ass and hoping she would fall into your arms, even after we were married and she was pregnant with my children, and now you’re going to pretend that you’re suddenly disinterested?”

“And now you’re following me,” he counters, “and what am I doing? It was okay when you thought your men were being covert, but then you stick them right in my face to summon me like errand boys. And now, you’ve got my attention, so tell me, Grey. What the fuck am I doing?”

“Well, right now, you’re hanging out with a woman who looks exactly like my wife. So, while your mouth says you’re over her, your actions say that you’re not. In fact, your actions say that you’re dangerously close to obsession and that you’re trying to recreate a woman that you can’t have. Ana’s important to you and I know that she is,” I continue, “To you and to me. She gets into your blood and you don’t just shake her off. So, don’t try that coy shit, because it doesn’t work with me. I know exactly what you’re doing, and trust me—I’m keeping a really close eye on you and your new girlfriend.” Another pause.

“Is that what this is about?” he says, his voice actually rising an octave. “This is about Shawna? Oh, boy, I could have saved you some trouble,” he chuckles. “I have a type, Grey, just like you. There are things that I find attractive—that I’m drawn to—just like you, and I find Ana attractive. What’s the matter? Your feelers all up in the air because my girlfriend looks a whole lot like your wife?” he accuses. Yes, asshole, that’s exactly why my feelers are up in the air.

“Take a good look at all of your past submissives, you ass,” he continues. “How many of them could be sisters? Some of them twins? Don’t try to find something wrong with me having a relationship with a girl who looks a whole lot like the girl I fell in love with. Sha knows all about Ana, all about how I pined over her for years and was forced to finally let go. We don’t have any secrets. And yes, I know some of your subs changed to fit the bill…”

How the fuck did he know that??

“… But to answer your unasked question, no—Sha didn’t change. She didn’t dye her hair. She doesn’t wear contacts. She’s exactly three inches taller than Ana and she looked like that when I met her. So, stop thinking you have the monopoly on brunettes. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I don’t covet your life, even though I may have coveted your wife at one time, and there are other attractive women in the world that don’t want you!”

I know that’s supposed to be a stab, but for some reason, it’s not. I only want my Butterfly. As long as that sucker isn’t trying replicate her, which can only turn out badly when he discovers that the person he’s connected to is not Ana, I’m fine. He can get as many fembots as he wants. Hell, he can have my ex-subs—all of them, since he appears to know who they are.

“It might surprise you to know that I really don’t care who you fuck, as long as it’s not my wife. My only concern is for the people you might hurt and who might be hurt because of you.” He scoffs into the phone.

“You’re one to talk,” he jeers. “You’ve got one dead sub—because of you, one living in total obscurity—because of you, one off her fucking rocker in jail—because of you, and your wife was almost killed—all because of you, and those are just the ones you know of. If you don’t want me nosing and poking around in your life like I was before, get the fuck out of mine.” That leaves me uneasy. What the fuck don’t I know? “Listen to me carefully, because I’m only going to say this once. You’re harassing me, Grey. Don’t make me show you just how untouchable you’re not. Stay the fuck out of my life.”

“Don’t give me a reason to go nosing and poking around, and I won’t,” I retort.

“Keep it up, Grey, and you’re going to get more than you bargained for!” he ends the call without another word.

I fucking hate it when people hang up on me. It gives them that superiority that they’ve put me in my place. That shit does not sit well with me at all. I call Alex.

“Who the fuck did you put on Cholometes?” I demand.

“Is something wrong?” he asks.

“He just called me basically taunting me for incompetence!” I retort.

“You told me to make sure they were discovered…”

“What did they do—wave a flag at him?” There’s silence for a moment.

“Look, sir, I’m confused,” he begins. “I told you that this was a bad idea before we even embarked on this endeavor. You told me to do it anyway, and I did. I followed your directions exactly as you said and now you’re yelling at me. Did I miss something?”

No, you didn’t miss anything. I’m just fucking pissed! And I want to hold somebody responsible for me being pissed!

“No. Nothing.” I end the call. There’s no use in dwelling on this. I might as well get some work done or this conversation is just going to niggle at me all day.

I manage to forget my conversation with Colostomy and dive into some documentation and projections about a Spanish company that I want to acquire. I spend the better part of the afternoon picking apart the financials and synopses of the company when I’m interrupted by a text from Butterfly.

**Check your email. **

Well, this can’t be good.

I open my email and go to the folder that I have specifically for emails that come from my wife. And there’s a forwarded email:

To: Christian Grey
From: Anastasia Steele-Grey
Date: Monday, August 11, 2014, 16:14
Subject: FW: Curiosity Killed the Cat

Do I even want to know what this is about?

Dr. Anastasia Steele-Grey, M.D.
Assistant Director, Helping Hands

—————————————————————————————————

To: Anastasia Steele-Grey
From: Brian Cholometes
Date: Monday, August 11, 2014, 15:59
Subject: Curiosity Killed the Cat

I’ve respected your wishes. I haven’t bothered you. I haven’t called or emailed you. I haven’t even spoken to Ray unless he initiated contact until he was arrested. Tell your husband to stop poking around in my life and my business unless he wants me to go back to poking around in yours.

Brian Cholometes

What the ever-loving fuck? I’m dialing his number faster than I can even think. He answers the call, but doesn’t say anything. He knows who it is.

“You threatened my goddamn wife? Seriously?” I bark into the phone.

“I didn’t threaten her,” he hisses. “I told her to keep you out of my goddamn hair just like I told you and you’re in it again. I don’t want your fucking wife anymore and I don’t give a fuck about you! Ray is my friend. He was my friend before you ever fucking came along and he’ll be my friend when you’re gone. I’m going to see about him when something is going on with him, and you can’t fucking stop that. Now you and I have nothing else to say to each other. Call off your fucking dogs and get out of my goddamn business. I’ve already told you that I’m not going to repeat myself and I’m a man of my fucking word. Don’t push me!”

The call ends abruptly—again—and I find myself at a crossroads. I. Am. Pissed. I want to drag this fucker through the mud just because I don’t fucking like him, but what’s worse is that I hate for people to get the last word on me! And he did it twice in one day!

However, I’m a smart guy. Yes, I’m a hothead, but I didn’t get as far as I am by doing dumb shit. Cholometes has something on me. He’s got information on my past submissives which is damaging enough, but more so, he’s got information about the outcome of a certain hacker situation last year. There are three guys who conveniently disappeared off the face of the earth and I have no idea what happened to them or where they are, but I’m certain that he does. So, even though it goes against every Alpha-male cell in my body, this is one time that if he says that he’s willing to stay out of my life if I stay the fuck out of his, I should stay the fuck out of his.

I sit back in my chair and think about what he said to me earlier. Part of me knows that I shouldn’t take what he said to me to heart, but this time, I can’t help it…

One dead sub…
One living in
total obscurity…
One off her fucking rocker in jail…
My wife was almost killed…
All because of me.

I don’t get it. All I did was fuck ‘em and beat ‘em and that’s the truth. The only tenderness I showed was aftercare. I didn’t show any true emotion until I met Ana. Yes, there was a time when I thought I had feelings for Elena when I was a teenager, but she beat and fucked that out of me, made sure that I knew that it was all about pleasure, pain, and sex and nothing else. I learned. I learned from the best… or the worst, depending on how you look at it, but I learned. So how is it that all these women losing their mind is my responsibility?

And why is it that I feel like he’s right?

I open the file containing the information on my prior subs. One has a Dom. One is a Domme. Four have moved on and are married. Three worked for Elena until she was arrested—not 100% sure what’s going on with them right now. One was chased into obscurity… by me. One hopeful is sitting on the sidelines, most likely losing her mind and plotting my demise as we speak, and three are dead—one as a result of trying to kill my wife. Two of them seem to have disappeared into thin air.

“It was just sex,” I say aloud. “I never promised them anything more. I told them I didn’t want anything more. How is it my fault?”

Is it my fault? Can I really be held responsible for someone wanting more than I could give them when I told them I couldn’t give them any more from the very beginning? Look at Ellison, for Christ’s sake. She went completely rogue and all we did was talk!

Would my wife check out like this if we ever split up? Of course, she would. I’ve unleashed all kinds of sexual, passionate, emotional hell on that woman. She’d go completely out of her mind, just like I would if she left me. It’s a good thing we’ll never find out.

I couldn’t have been all bad. Some of these women have moved on with their lives and forgotten all about me. Others… well…

I really have to know.

I click on one of the names and scroll down to the contact information. This is something I never expected to be doing in a million years.

“Hello.” I swallow hard.

“Hello… is this Charity?”

“Who’s calling?”

“It’s… Christian Grey.” There’s a pause.

“One moment.” I hear her talking to someone in the background before then a door closes a few moments later. “Well, I can’t say that I expected this call.”

“I can imagine,” I concur. “I never expected to make it.”

“Are you looking for a submissive? Because I’m not in the lifestyle anymore…”

“No. No, that’s not why I called. I’m married now.”

“I know,” she says. “The whole world knows,” she adds facetiously. “Christian Grey, married. I never saw that coming in a million years.”

“Trust me, neither did I. I… heard that you were married, too.”

“I am,” she replies, “very happily.” I nod.

“That’s good. I’m glad to hear that.” I really am… one less psycho bitch to worry about. I run my hands through my hair. “I…” I trail off.

“Well, this is definitely a first,” she acknowledges. “Mr. Grey is at a loss for words.” I sigh.

“I wouldn’t say that,” I say. “I just don’t know how to ask this question.”

“It’s the same thing,” she says, and I can tell that she’s smiling. “Just ask it. What’s the worst that could happen?”

You could tell me that I’m a living, walking, breathing, real-life monster and totally responsible for driving these women batshit crazy.

“When we were… together, did I ever give you the impression that I wanted more?” She scoffs.

“Not in the slightest!” she responds, “and for the record, we were never ‘together.’ I was your submissive. It was nothing more. I served a purpose in your life and you served a purpose in mine. When it was done, it was done. When I wanted a relationship, I left the lifestyle because I knew that I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for in that arena. What is this, some kind of ‘come to Jesus’ moment?” I nod as if she can see me.

“Yes, it is,” I admit. “There are several women that I engaged that seemed to have just lost their fucking minds. You’ve seen what happened to Elena. It was all over the news.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t know that you engaged Elena!” she retorts. “That explains a lot.”

“It’s a long story… and like what?” I ask.

“Like why she was always so particular about your girls. Like why she was always around. Like why she fawned over you and pawed at you when nobody else could touch you. She pissed all over you and anybody in the lifestyle knew that getting close to you meant going through her first. Girls were auditioning to be under her just to get to you. Being Christian Grey’s submissive was almost like being a part of this weird ménage à trois.”

How did I not know that?

“Are you still in the lifestyle?” she asks, curious.

“Not as such, no,” I reply. “I’m in a monogamous relationship now.”

“You were monogamous in the lifestyle,” she retorts. “At least that’s what you told me.”

“Well, yes, but you all were contracted… temporary…”

“So, your wife is your only submissive now.” I’m silent. Do I want to answer that question? “Don’t worry, Christian. I have as much to lose from exposure as you do.” It’s strange to hear her call me Christian when I was accustomed to her calling me Master or Sir.

“Yes, she’s my only submissive,” I confess. “I love her very much.”

“Oh, trust me, the world knows,” she replies.

“If that’s the case, then why are they acting so crazy?” I blurt out before I think about it.

“You’re asking me?” she says, puzzled. I sigh.

“I really need the point of view of someone that used to be my submissive,” I say honestly. “I told you all that I didn’t want anything more, and I didn’t offer anything more until I met my wife. So… why the crazy?” There’s another pause.

“I can only explain this from my point of view and from what I think I know,” she says. “You bring out feelings in women that they’re not accustomed to feeling. Your technique as a Dominant keeps a woman on the edge of her sanity, and for those who are already teetering on the edge of reality, that’s a dangerous combination. It’s very easy to topple over the edge and when you go over one of them, you go over them both.

“You were looking for something when you wielded that cane or when you cracked that whip. We were looking for something, too. Some of us are and were not willing to admit that we were hoping that you would fall in love with us. You’re a powerful man, Christian, not just in your money and your position. You’re powerful in every way. You overtake a woman, and when she turns her body over to you, you can best believe that she’s turning her mind over to you, too, and sometimes, her heart.”

“But I told these women,” I protest. “I didn’t have a heart, and if I did, there was no way that I was giving it to them.”

“And then you proved yourself a liar and gave it to Anastasia!” she retorts. “You clearly found everything that you ever wanted in Anastasia. Now, imagine finding that, having it for a period of time, and then being told that you can’t have it anymore. Would it matter when or how many times she told you that she couldn’t give herself to you, that she couldn’t give you anything more? Would it matter that she told you that she was incapable of loving you? How would you feel?” 

“I’m not sure I could imagine that,” I admit. “Anastasia’s ability to love me despite how fucked up I was, is what drew me out. So, if our relationship had been solely physical, I don’t think I ever would have fallen in love with her in the first place.”

“You couldn’t see yourself falling in love with anyone, Christian, so just go with me for a moment,” she counters. “If after you realized that you were falling for your wife, she told you that she couldn’t be with you, would you have been able to just walk away?” I physically shiver at the thought.

“No,” I reply finitely.

“Now, imagine her giving to some other man what she claimed that she would never be able to give to you…”

I don’t only shiver—I actually squirm at that thought. I can feel my teeth grind inside my mouth.

“You and I both know that Dominance and submission is a totally different animal than these flighty ass relationships with these people talking about ‘I looooooove you….’”

She drags the word “love” out in a comical manner to demonstrate her point.

“The amount of trust that goes into a D/s relationship is often deeper and more intimate than some marriages. You were a master, Master, and then you snatched that away from women who were probably hanging on by a thread and told them to just get over it. You told them that you couldn’t give them what they wanted and then they had to stand by and watch while you publicly gave it to someone else.

“I didn’t pine for you, Christian. I just wanted more. If I could have gotten it from you, I might have taken it, I don’t know… but I just wanted more. Not so for other women. I’ve had some before you and a few after you and trust me, you were the best. You can’t turn a woman’s body inside out and expect her heart not to follow. If that happens and she’s rejected and her mind is already fragile, what do you think will be the end result?”

“These women aren’t fragile!” I retort. “They’re psychotic! Possessive of something they never had…”

“But they did have you, Christian!” she counters. “We were your submissives, but you were our Dom… exclusively. That small part of you belonged to them and then you told them they couldn’t have it anymore. You took them on the ride of their lives. Then when it suited you, you stopped the car and told them to get out. I know from experience that some of those women are hanging on to sanity like a rubber band ready to snap, and you cut it. You gave them a drug and then you cut off the supply.

“You’re obtuse and unattainable, but what you do offer is magnificent and completely out of this world. Women would give anything to have it—that kind of passion and devotion, even if it’s not real. A dream is real while you’re in it until you wake up. Oftentimes, when you wake up, you’re broken-hearted that the dream has ended, and when you’re faced with your reality, it’s too much for you. That’s when they snap. That’s when they look for the object of their dismay… or affection. It may not be logical, but it’s true. You leave an impression on women that can never be removed or undone. You have stalkers that have never even touched you…”

Don’t I know it.

“… Imagine what it’s like for someone who has experienced the full impact of your passion or your fury… or worse yet, both. Imagine what it’s like for a woman who’s barely holding on to herself to withstand a Christian Grey punishment fuck, or one of your never-ending infernal orgasm-denial sessions.”

Shit. I remember how that left Butterfly the first time I did it to her in Anguilla. It was almost unbearable to watch her reaction. I had to make her come.

“So, it really is my fault that these women lose their minds,” I conclude. She pauses again.

“Not totally. You can’t take it all on yourself,” she says, “but there is a responsibility when you impose yourself upon someone the way that you do. You’re remarkably superb as a Dominant, but when someone has the skill that you do, it’s not something that should be passed out like a deck of cards. You did it because you couldn’t commit to one person, but with your talent and ability to consume someone the way that you do, with the passion that you have and the seduction that you emit, you did right to get married. You can’t hand that out like party favors and then tell people they can’t have it. In your defense, you took precautions—or at least you thought you did—to avoid attachment or expectation. But fragile or hopeful or even delusional minds can’t see that. They see happily ever after and one day, he’ll be mine no matter what he says.”

“Did you ever see that?” I ask. She laughs, a little sadly, I think.

“Not even once,” she replies firmly. “Which is a good thing, don’t you think?” I nod as if she can see me again.

“Are you allowed to say things like this?” I ask. “That I’m seductive and passionate and the best you ever had… and you’re married to someone else now?”

“I didn’t say that you were the best I ever had,” she clarifies. “I said that you were the best, meaning that you were the best Dom. You were passionate and powerful and you made me feel things that I had never felt before and will probably never feel again. But it was different… much different than it is with Niko and I sure that you know how that feels.” I nod again. She has effectively answered all of my questions, and maybe left me with a few more, but her last statement brings to mind the times that I told my wife that my dick knows “the difference.”

“Yes, Charity,” I say, “yes, I do…”


A/N: Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/raising-grey/

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~~love and handcuffs