Sorry for the late post… my internet went out last night.
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 necessarily CG with Ana together. Proceed at your own discretion, but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
“I knew you couldn’t live without me.”
“Fuck you, Jesse.”
“Sorry, that’s not part of the contract.”
Blake closes the door behind me as I leave the house and Jesse follows me to my Range Rover. He drives when he’s shadowing me, and I only take my Range Rover—bullet-proof glass.
“So,” he begins as we’re on our way in to the office, “what has you calling me this time?” I open the file I’ve prepared for him.
“Her,” I say, holding up a picture of Elena. “You won’t be able to examine the file in any detail until we get to the office, but that’s Elena Lincoln. She used to be big shit in the scene and then she got old.”
“The scene?” he asks, his brow furrowed. I raise my brow at him. “Oh. How old is she?”
“I don’t know exactly—40ish,” I reply. He twists his lips.
“That’s not old, Ana,” he says.
“I don’t mean ‘old’ as in age; I mean ‘old’ as in ‘spent.’ Her techniques are antiquated and stale, and she thinks that I pose a threat to her longevity as a Domme, but that’s not why I called you.”
“Blake is running backgrounds on her as we speak. I didn’t see the need before yesterday, but now…” I trail off. “Anyway, she’s come upon a spell of bad luck and somehow, she’s blaming me for it. She concocted a plan in hopes of getting rid of me and it backfired. She dangled a morsel in my face, intent on me falling in love and dropping out of the scene. Instead, we struck an agreement. So, I got the morsel and I’m still in the scene.”
“And now, she’s pissed,” he finishes.
“There’s more,” I tell him. “Something transpired between her and the morsel—I don’t know what. Whatever it is, she’s on the receiving end of some very bad shit and for some reason, she thinks I’m part of it. Our conversation last night didn’t end well. Hence, my need for you.”
“I see, and should I know about this morsel?” he asks.
“I don’t know, yet. I might need you to sign a new NDA,” I inform him.
“Since when do you need me to sign a new NDA?” he asks, his voice surprised.
“Since I don’t know what the old one contains or how long it’s been since you’ve signed one. Now, bring your hot ass into the office so we can get it taken care of and I’ll tell you about the new morsel.” He shakes his head.
“I don’t know why the hell you think you need me. You’re hell on wheels all by yourself.”
When we get to my office, I’m in dismay to find that my uncle is in the lobby with my receptionist.
“I need to talk to you,” he says before I get the chance to react.
“I have nothing to say to you, Richard.” I proceed past him toward my office.
“Well, I have something you need to know…”
“Don’t you get it?” I say, looking over my shoulder at him. “I don’t want to hear anything you have to say. Seventeen years, Richard. Nothing you have to say can affect me now. I made it. I survived, without you—without knowing if you were dead or alive. I’m fine. I’ll be fine from here on out, without knowing if you’re dead or alive. Now, please leave my office.” I turn back to my office door.
“This is about your family, Ana!” he retorts.
“I don’t have a family anymore, Richard,” I counter without turning around.
“My brother would be so ashamed of you right now!” he seethes. That does it. I whirl around and get in his face.
“No!” I bark. “Your brother would be ashamed of you! You left me when I was fifteen! Fifteen! You turned your back on me over a candy bar. A goddamn candy bar! Did you know that? The last memory that I have is of you looking at me in total and utter disgust, like I had committed a murder, over a damn candy bar. Maybe I deserved to be grounded. Maybe I deserved some kind of punishment for my misstep, but did I deserve to be deserted? No! Did I deserve to spend my senior year in vacant houses scavenging for food and praying not to get molested or beaten by gang members or drug dealers? No! You abandoned me! You left me cold when you knew I had nothing and no one else to turn to and then you have the nerve to stand here and try to pass judgment on me, you self-righteous asshole? Try to guilt-trip me by throwing my dead father up in my face? You’re one manipulative son-of-a-bitch, you know that? My father has rolled over in his grave a hundred times watching how you treated me—how you turned your back on me! If anything is causing my father’s immortal soul mortification at this point, it’s your behavior, and the very sight of you at this moment makes me physically ill. So, I suggest that you carry your sanctimonious ass out of my presence right this second!”
Uncle Richard gazes at me in shocked horror, his mouth gaping for several moments.
“Ana,” he breathes. “Ana… I’m so sorry…”
“Way late,” I bark. “Way too late. Can’t hear you. Won’t hear you. Don’t want to see you. Don’t want you in my life. Don’t want closure. Don’t care who’s dying. Don’t want anything from you. Don’t want a relationship. Don’t want to be near you. Don’t want to hear anything you have to say. Get the fuck out of my office and don’t come back, and I mean don’t come back or I’ll have you arrested for trespassing and if that doesn’t work, I’ll have this big guy physically throw you out on your ass!”
“Ana, please… I didn’t know…” His voice is desperate.
“You didn’t care,” I cut him off, “and now, neither do I. Believe me when I tell you that I’m over what you did to me, but I don’t need you around as a reminder. Now, for the last time, get the fuck out of my office.”
“Please, Ana, just let me tell you…”
“Jesse, get him the fuck outta here.” I tune out my uncle’s protests and enter my inner office with Chanelle close on my heels, handing me the day’s mail and messages. My uncle’s visit did nothing more than interrupt my morning, except for maybe the small blip of bringing my parents to mind. I have no emotional ties to the Steeles anymore. They were all cut nearly two decades ago. Even my trinkets and keepsakes of my parents were all left at their house, so I have nothing—nothing but the memory of my Mommy and Daddy and their grave sites at Lakeview Cemetery. Someone had the foresight to put a picture of them on their shared grave marker, and I have since saved that picture to my phone as well as blown it up and had various mementos made of it, but that’s all I have. The cross Daddy gave me, the earrings, my teddy bear, birthday cards, all my little special things… gone, years ago. I’ve cried those tears and I’ve moved on. I remember my parents in my own way now, and I’ll be damned if I let that asshole piss on that memory.
“This came for you today,” Chanelle says, breaking into my thoughts. I take the large box from her along with the other items of mail. She goes back to her desk and I’m curious about the box. Jesse walks in the door just as I’m about to open it.
“Wait!” he says. I stop. “With you having a newly-acquired nemesis, do you think you should be opening your own packages?” I examine him.
“I don’t think Elena is that sophisticated,” I tell him. “She wouldn’t send a bomb or an anthrax-laden package.”
“You’re sure of that?” he says, raising an eyebrow.
“Sure enough,” I say, “but you can have extra security measures installed if it’ll make you feel better.”
“It will,” he says. I hand him the package.
“Do you want to check it?” He takes it and twists his lips.
“You can open it.”
“That was fast,” I say with a frown.
“It’s been opened already.” I chuckle.
“Chanelle.” I open the package and immediately recognize the box inside. Jewelry. I even know what’s in it. I open my drawer and pull out an updated non-disclosure agreement.
“Look it over and sign it,” I say, handing it to Jesse.
“I don’t need to,” he says, retrieving a fountain pen from my desk. “I’d never talk to anyone about what I do for you anyway. You’re an attorney, for God’s sake, and a damn good one, too.” He signs the NDA without looking at it.
“Start reading that file,” I instruct him, pointing at the file I brought in with me as I open the box. He starts reading the file as I remove the Giuseppe Zanotti choker snake necklace that Trey tried to give me six months ago. There’s a card inside.
The last time I presented this gift to you didn’t go so well.
Let’s hope we can get off on a better foot.
I turn the card over.
Open the center panel.
I didn’t even know the box had a center panel. I feel around the felt rim and find a small latch. Releasing the latch causes the center panel to pop open, revealing more items tucked inside and nestled in black satin.
“Whoa,” I whisper, before I catch myself. Inside the little compartment is a pair of earrings and a cocktail ring. The cocktail ring is heavy gold with a large emerald rimmed with diamonds. When I say large, I mean like Victoria Beckham engagement collection large! It’s absolutely stunning and the earrings are just as extravagant—diamond upside-down teardrop studs with emerald drops attached also rimmed in gold and diamonds. They are a creation befitting royalty.
“Christian Grey?” Jesse says in surprise. “He’s the morsel?”
Shit! I’m so engrossed in this gold, emerald, and diamond deliciousness that I totally forgot I’m not alone in the room.
“Yes,” I tell him, placing the items back in the box and closing it. “He and Elena used to be friends. Elena—or he and Elena, I haven’t figured that part out yet—had this Dangerous Liaisons plot of some kind going on for him to turn me out and get me out of the BDSM game. It didn’t work. Like I said, it backfired. Near as I can tell and from what Blake and I have pieced together, things went very sour between Tr… Christian and Elena. Elena’s business has suffered tremendously, and she thinks Christian had something to do with it. What’s more, after finding out that her plot didn’t go as planned and that Christian and I struck a deal as opposed to him sweeping me off my feet and taking me out of the game, she’s completely convinced that I had a part in whatever he supposedly did that resulted in her ruin. As a result, last night’s conversation was filled with a lot of threats and ‘you’ll get yours’ and you know the rest.”
“Ah,” Jesse says, looking at the file, “the quintessential ‘fall into your own trap then blame the intended victim.’”
“Exactly,” I confirm. “The last time I underestimated someone, I had to sever his spinal cord. I would much rather not have a repeat of that particular situation.” Jesse grimaces.
“Yeah, I remember that,” he says. “Speaking of which, has anyone else… fallen from grace, so to speak?”
“Only one,” I reply. “Elvin.” Jesse frowns.
“What happened to Elvin?”
“He sought services elsewhere,” I say flatly, thumbing through the rest of my mail.
“Wow, really?” he says, surprised. “How’d that happen?” I shrug noncommittal.
“I was unavailable, and he had a scene with someone else—Elena, in fact—so I wouldn’t see him again.”
“I thought you weren’t exclusive.”
“It’s conditional,” I point out. “If you’re seeing another Domme or someone else for something that I can’t or won’t give you, then that’s fine. I can’t argue about that.” I walk around my desk, take my seat, and turn on my computer. “But if you’re seeing a Domme for something that I do simply because I’m not there, then you can keep seeing that Domme.” He twists his lips.
“I’ve seen Elena Lincoln,” he says. “She doesn’t do what you do.”
“But she’s a Domme,” I clarify. “He went to her to fill in for me, to get what I couldn’t give him that night because I was doing a scene with someone else. Now, if he did that because I was unavailable, then he was impatient and he couldn’t wait for me to finish or schedule an appointment like he was supposed to. If he was angry or uptight because I was doing a scene with someone else and he decided to go to another Domme out of spite or to teach me a lesson, lesson learned. Go with the other Domme.”
“How’d he take that?” Jesse inquires.
“Not well at all,” I inform him. “He claimed that Elena tricked him—that she convinced him that she fills in for me all the time and that I never indicated to him that we were exclusive, and he might be right. I may not have told him that we were exclusive on our S&M relationship, but it didn’t matter, because what I wasn’t going to do was have him go back and forth between me and Blondie comparing techniques. You found someone else to scratch your masochistic itch. Now, go on over there and get scratched. It’s not like we had a contract, literal or implied. The relationship was at-will and I willingly sent his ass back to Elena.
“I did, however, inform him that Elena knew the rules before she offered her services. It’s bad form to approach another Domme’s submissive, pet, plaything, or client, and I could have had her banned from the club for what she did, but I didn’t. I have other clients and the first lesson that needed to be taught was taught to Elvin and anyone else who felt they wanted to skip off to another sadist. You be my guest—it’s a free country, but don’t come back to me.
“The second lesson was for Blondie. The message was loud and clear that if she could take a client from me, then they belong to her, not me—and I won’t lose sleep over them. She flaunted and gloated for about a week and I let her, until Elvin showed up at the club and discovered that I wasn’t going to play with him anymore… and why.
“He declared war on that bleached blonde bitch. He humiliated her that night in front of the entire club. He made a public and highly embarrassing announcement about how her techniques were substandard at best and that she tricked him into a scene with her just so that she could experience one of my clients. He was so pissed off that he had to be forcibly removed from the club that night.”
“So, does he pose a threat to you?” Jesse asks. I shake my head.
“Not to me, but Blondie was walking on eggshells for about six months,” I say, typing into my computer and examining my court schedule. It looks like I’ll be facing off with Uncle Richard or someone from his office again soon. Another juvenile case with shoddy evidence where a kid was pulled in off a basketball court because he “fit the description.” He wasn’t mirandized, he didn’t get an opportunity to speak to his parents or an attorney for seven and a half hours while police interrogated him. Even if he confessed to the Kennedy assassination, nothing he said could be used against him in court. The case is a formality to have his record completely stricken of the wrongful arrest to begin with.
“Still doing pro-bono cases?” he asks, looking over my shoulder. Normally, I would scold someone for this—not only because the information he’s looking at is subject to attorney/client privilege, but also because I fucking hate for people to read over my shoulder.
“I’m going to be nice and just tell you to go sit down,” I say looking up at him over my shoulder. He smiles knowingly and sits in the seat in front of my desk.
“Just trying to get reacquainted,” he says.
“Yes, I still do some pro-bono,” I say answering his question.
“How do you afford the lifestyle you live if you don’t charge anyone for representation?” he asks, his brow furrowed.
“I do charge people,” I correct him, “I just only charge the people who can pay. My corporate clients pay handsomely for my legal services and some of them have me on a non-refundable retainer they’ve never used. My pro-bono clients are usually juveniles that are getting a raw deal.”
“What about rich kids?” he asks. “I’ve never seen you take one of them.”
“That’s because when it comes to the juvenile system, black kids and poor kids from underprivileged neighborhoods often get caught in the system and get lost. I’ve had affluent families approach me to represent them and most of the time, I don’t take them, because seven out of ten are full of shit and have done what they’re being accused of and they just want somebody to get them off.”
“Aren’t you being a little judgmental?” he asks. “I know you grew up in the hood, but isn’t what you’re saying the same as reverse discrimination?” I scoff at him.
“How so?” I ask. I can’t wait to hear this explanation.
“You’re refusing to represent someone because they have money and you’re imposing a prejudice on them because of their social status.” I try hard not to laugh at my bodyguard.
“No,” I clarify. “If I refused to represent someone simply because they had money, I’d be broke, dear. I refuse to represent a guilty client. And I’m not imposing anything on them because of social status. I’m an excellent judge of character. I can tell in the first few minutes of speaking to someone if they’re full of shit, and it doesn’t matter if they’re from the hood or the middle of Belleville. I can guarantee you, if I can tell, the judge can tell. So, how do I look putting some entitled troublemaker on the stand that Mom and Dad have cleaned up and letting him make a fool of himself and me in front of judge, prosecution and jury?
“Case and point—I had a case of a kid who fell in with the wrong group. He knew that they were into bad shit, but he wanted to belong. He wanted to fit in. He thought he could fade into the background and ride the coattails of the bad boy image without being caught up in their shit. He wasn’t so lucky. They went to the mall and hit a store that was a common target for shoplifting. He was with the group when they did this, so when they took off running, he pretty much knew that they had done something they weren’t supposed to be doing and he took off running, too. Problem was, they were all wearing the same jacket—so, of course, they all got clipped.
“He and his mother came into my office and he told me the whole story. He even admitted to knowing that they were probably up to no good, but that he wasn’t a part of it. I listened to his story. I listened to him tell me that he knew his friends were no good, but he was hanging with them anyway. He didn’t know that I had already summoned his school records before he and his mother got to the appointment that morning. I had also requested the surveillance from the mall that was used to solidify his arrest. I knew they couldn’t identify him in the surveillance and he didn’t have any stolen merchandise on him.
“His entire case was circumstantial. He was guilty by association, and had he been left at the mercy of the public defender, he’d be a ward of the state right now. He could have been a lookout. This could have been his initiation into their little crew and he fucked up or just got cold feet. But I listened to his story, and I looked at his transcripts, and you can’t bullshit a bullshitter. No matter how many oaths we take, any lawyer worth their salt knows how to bend that law until right before it breaks. We can soft-shoe and razzle-dazzle you until you don’t know if you’re coming or going. So, you can’t pull the wool over my eyes.
“I went into the courtroom to argue his case—against my uncle, in fact. He expected the public defender and I was just as surprised to see him at the prosecutor’s table. In all the cases I’ve done in family court, he was never there, then bam! One day, he’s at the prosecutor’s table. Their case was so shabby, they basically made my case for me—but that kid was not guilty. Based on the premise I laid forth, any one of those kids could have gotten off, but most of them were carrying stolen merchandise, so…” I shrug.
“So, your client got off.” It’s a statement, not a question. I cringe at that statement. I don’t know if all the others were guilty. I’m certain that some were, just like I’m certain that Tommy wasn’t, which is why I used the phrase gotten off with them and not with Tommy.
“The judge saw that the case was flimsy and that Tommy was being charged based on association and circumstantial evidence and the case was dismissed if that’s what you’re asking me,” I correct him.
“So, you’re okay with any of the other boys getting off using his argument even though your client admitted to knowing that they were up to no good?” he asks.
“I’ll tell you just like I argued in court. Those other boys are not my concern. I wasn’t arguing their cases. I was arguing my client’s case. And to answer your question, all I can say is that I believe justice would be served by an innocent person walking free with four other guilty people than with four guilty people being convicted with one innocent one. I’m a true believer in Karma. I have to believe that what goes around comes around, and that if you put negative energy into the universe and you do bad things, that stuff is someday going to come back to you. If I didn’t believe in Karma, I’d be a serial killer right now. As such, I don’t believe in collateral damage. If I can avoid it, I will not sacrifice one for the common good of the whole unless we’re talking about chess.” He shakes his head.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how many things are wrong with that statement, Ana,” he laments.
“You don’t have to,” I reply. “It’s not a perfect world. You have to be on one side or the other of that imperfect fence and at some point, neither side is popular. Imagine going into court and saying a prayer before you enter the doors. When you say that prayer, you don’t pray to win the case. I’m going to represent my client to the best of my ability, but when I step into that courtroom every single time, I say a prayer. I don’t pray to win the case. I don’t pray that my client gets off. I pray for justice. I don’t know everything and I don’t claim to know everything, but I pray that justice be served every time I walk into that courtroom. And from what I can tell so far, justice has.” I pause for a moment and ponder something Jesse said a few minutes back.
“And let’s be clear about something—there’s no such thing as reverse discrimination. Discrimination, by definition, is the unjust, unfair, and prejudicial treatment of a person or a group of people most likely based on race, nationality, or gender, but can include other factors. Discrimination is discrimination—if I reverse discrimination, I’m now treating you fairly. I am treating you like any other human being deserves to be treated or considered based on the fact that no matter what our physical or moral differences, if you cut us, we’ll both bleed the same color blood.
“That terminology came from some blue-blood, Ivy League, high-nosed, entitled fuckface who wanted to put a label on affirmative action and consideration being given to otherwise qualified candidates and individuals who would not have been given an opportunity in various situations and circumstances had not some law, statute, or referendum required that they be offered the chance.
“So, some kid somewhere with a college fund that Mom, Dad, and both sets of grandparents were paying into since Becky pissed on a stick that turned blue got bumped out of a scholarship that was given to some poor black kid who’s the first in his family to go to college. And just like that, Biff McBifferson from Hahvahd came up with this reverse discrimination shit because little Chase couldn’t follow in Daddums’ footsteps and get the coveted “We Are Important” Scholarship because it was given this black kid with the 10.9 grade point average.
“Never mind all the other thousands of students that were considered and declined that semester. No, his scholarship went to the black kid. If it wasn’t for Jerome and his endless studying, spectacular display of intellectual capacity, and impressive transcript of extracurricular activities, poor Chase would be walking the hallowed halls of whatever university wouldn’t give him this scholarship because of this one black kid. So, please do me a favor. Don’t throw that term reverse discrimination around unless you know what you’re talking about, because what it really is is a crock of shit.”
Jesse is looking at me like I might leap from my desk, attach myself to his neck, and suck his life’s blood dry. The problem is that I was that scholarship kid and I met other scholarship kids. We were all fighting for the same thing and had someone gotten the scholarship over me, what could I say? These people have been struggling and fighting for centuries, and when they finally catch a break, here comes that reverse discrimination crap. Go somewhere and sit down with that Brainpox shit.
“Are you this intense in the courtroom?” he asks cautiously. I raise my brow at him.
“I’m this intense at all times,” I reply.
“Even in the dungeon?” he asks frankly.
“Especially in the dungeon,” I reply crisply.
“Mmm. Well, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll stay on this side of that Red Door,” he says, sitting back in his seat.
“That’s a good idea, Jess,” I say, turning back to the case that I’m certain I’ll face against my uncle.
I don’t take days off, but I am so. Fucking. Tired. My body aches like no workout I’ve ever had in my fucking life. My arm is throbbing and every time I rolled over last night, the damn thing felt like someone was beating me with a fucking sledgehammer. Goddamn Elena Lincoln, I swear to God, I will see you burn in the very depths of the darkest, scariest pits of hell for this.
Sparkle gave me hell for leaving her at the club last night. Submissive or not, that was really bad form of me. I normally don’t apologize to submissives, but I felt inclined to give her some kind of explanation.
“Yeah, so, I met that Golden morsel that you were substituting for last night and watched her work over a sub. My dick got so hard that I followed her home and then she worked me over. Sorry, I forgot all about you…”
I told her that my arm just started hurting out of nowhere and that I was in excruciating pain. I explained that I told one of the dungeon monitors to tell her what was going on and that I would call her later, but I had to get some pain killers or get to the hospital immediately because the pain was blinding. I was so disoriented that I didn’t know which dungeon monitor I talked to and I regret that she didn’t get the message.
She bought it.
The only problem is that now I am in blinding and excruciating pain from hanging from the ceiling of Golden’s playroom while she rang my past, present, and possible future children from my dick. Good fucking hell, that woman is amazing. Even my ass still hurts.
I detest taking any kind of pill—prescribed or over-the-counter—so I still have the Lortabs prescribed by my doctor when that crazy bitch broke my arm. I could tolerate the pain from the fracture as it was often just sore as hell, but not this. Shit, I probably should have said something about my arm still being a little weak, but unfortunately, other body parts were center stage last night, and not just my dick, either. Yes, he was the swan song, and what a fucking finale… but he really wasn’t the main event.
The painkillers have me just a bit loopy and I feel a bit dreamy as I play last night’s scene over again on the ceiling of my bedroom. I couldn’t see, but the mind trip was such that I could visualize every single thing she did to me last night. I know she used that whip with the stinger on my back. Even though I’m not familiar with how the whip feels, I know what the scars look like, and when I examined my body in the three-way mirror in my closet last night, I could see the long whelps and the V-shaped markings from the multi-pronged tail. Fuck, I needed aftercare last night—that bruising is brutal.
Maybe that’s what the caretaker was there for, but the hell if I was going to let him take care of me.
I have to admit that I’m a little confused—disjointed might be a better word—about what I’m feeling right now. I walked into the situation as an act of sexual play, a way into Golden’s world when she wouldn’t let me in. There was no other way, because we’re both Dominants. One of us would have to submit, and it wasn’t going to be her. I love the feeling of power involved in taking over a woman’s body—of controlling her pain and her pleasure, dictating her orgasms and watching her writhe from the strike of a cane or a whip. I love testing her limits and pushing her so far to the edge, burying myself inside of her until we both go over with mindless climaxes. The entire experience is an emotional and physical relief that leaves me immensely more satisfied than a simple fuck with a lover and a meaningless nut.
I lay here in a daze as the Lortabs begin to dull the pain of the stinging in my back, the soreness of my ass, and the agony of my arm. I almost feel a bit melancholy that the sensations are leaving—except this fucking arm, that is. I couldn’t even lift the damn thing when I awoke. I don’t know how to categorize what I’m thinking and feeling right now. All I can say is that I feel like I’m having a bit of an out-of-body experience. I’m in no condition to immediately repeat last night’s activities. Yet, I find myself looking forward to the next time I’ll be in Golden’s dungeon.
What does that mean?
I’m a Dominant. I don’t submit. I’m not a submissive by any means. So, what does it mean that I want a repeat of last night’s performance?
“Do you think any of those fucks that I torture and make them come until they’re mindless do so because they think they’re submissives? They want to transcend—they want more, they need more than a mindless fuck and a ten-second squirt into a black hole. That’s why they come to me. That’s why no one else will do.”
Is that what this is… just another extension of the excitement that I need that I could never get from merely having a girlfriend?
Fuck, I don’t like this introspective, self-examination, touchy-feely shit. She made you come like a geyser because you wanted her so bad, Grey. Don’t you remember the dry fuck? Would you have rubbed your dick against any random woman and shot your load in your jeans? No, you asshole, it’s because it was her. You lusted after her and desired her and every little bit of her that you got, you wanted more. Everything you do with her is leading to the ultimate prize—fucking that tight little cunt. Don’t read any more into it than that.
So, if she wants to play and heighten my senses while we continue this charade that I’m not going to one day sink my dick into that hot Golden pussy, that’s fine. I’ll play. I just don’t know how often, and I may have to set one hard limit while my arm is still not 100%.
Motherfucking Elena Lincoln.
“Well, at least there are a few days out of the year where I can expect to see you.”
“Happy birthday, Mom,” I say, leaning down to kiss my mother on the cheek. I’m making my obligatory appearance at our family home for Mom’s birthday. It’s a trip that I could do without since our family isn’t the closest knit on the block. Granted, we don’t hate each other, but we’re certainly not the Von Trapps. I spent the entire day in bed in preparation for this dinner. Having rested, watched television, thought of Golden and her reaction to the gifts I sent her today and our scene last night, and allowed the painkillers to work on my aching body and butt, I’m now ready to deal with my family… for the most part.
“So, what did you get me?” she asks, sipping champagne.
“I got what you asked for,” I reply.
“I asked for the one unattainable timeshare in Belize,” she says, raising an eyebrow at me. I produce a portfolio.
“No longer unattainable,” I say, handing the portfolio. She gasps and takes the folder from my hand, setting her drink on a nearby table.
“Christian, you didn’t!” she exclaims, opening the folder and examining the contents. “How?”
“I was at the top of the waiting list for when it became available,” I tell her. I don’t want her to know the truth. When you want a property as coveted as a luxury beachfront home in Belize, you contact the owners and then you strategize.
First, you make them an offer—most of them can’t be bought. They know the value of having this property even if they don’t live in it year-round. It’s available for them to use or move into at their leisure, but when it’s not in use, it can be rented out to tourists for extreme amounts. So, once they get their hands on it, they’re not really quick to let it go unless something extreme happens, which is the second strategy.
You watch and wait. It doesn’t always happen, but somebody falls upon hard times—bad decisions, gambling, divorce, the housing bubble, Bernie Madoff… you get the idea. They have to unload assets for whatever reason, and you can usually get the property for a song. Part of this strategy also lends to the third strategy.
Wait for someone to die. It sounds morose, but if the owner of a property passes away, the property has to be disposed of. Either it passes down to another family member or a joint owner or it has to be sold or both. Most often, when somebody dies, the property rises in value—sentimental value, that is—and the family never wants to sell, but you approach anyway. You never know.
In this case, someone died. The family couldn’t afford to maintain the timeshare, even with the pending rents. So, Mom got her piece of Central America, complete with income potential if she so desires.
“Christian,” she says wistfully, covering her chest in that clutches pearls manner than women do when they’re verklempt, “I can’t believe it!”
“I can,” Mia says, making her usual haughty entrance into the room. Always demanding an immediate audience, Mia Elizabeth Grey, Ph.D., often charges into a room at that precise moment that lends itself to controversy. If nothing is afoot, the good philosophical doctor will gladly conjure some cause to argue. This is no exception.
“Leave it to my brother to invest in real estate in a Central American country where the land certificates are in question,” my ill-informed sister offers as she strolls into the room without even a “hello” or “happy birthday” to our mother. I roll my eyes.
“Hello, Queen Mia,” I greet my know-it-all sister sarcastically. “As usual, you have arrived with statistics enough to support only your theories. I won’t bother explaining the great lengths I went to in order to verify the certification and ownership of that land before I purchased it and gave it to our mother, because you’d find a way to shoot that down, too.”
“Don’t be so dramatic, Christian. I don’t shoot down your accomplishments,” the good doctor protests. “It just never ceases to amaze me how people like me spend time trying to find ways to strengthen the economy while people like you have funneled obscene amounts of money to a chosen few by dismantling family businesses that are the result of years or even decades of someone’s hard work. People have started these companies from nothing, built them on their backs, and along comes some heartless mogul in a suit and rips away their legacy!”
I laugh at my sister’s attempt to compare what I do with flipping houses and demolishing them for the raw materials.
“The great financial analyst has spoken!” I declare. “Have you forgotten who you’re talking to? Have you forgotten how I started? Have you forgotten who’s back my company was built on, or is it the fact that I invested so well, made great decisions, grew so quickly, and made so much money that’s pissing you off?” I glare at my sister for a moment, but tear right back into her before she gets a chance to retort.
“In a capitalistic economy, growth is inevitable and the small man will either adapt or get eaten. It’s that simple. In every facet of life, there is some form of recycling and rebirth! Pruning, weeding, upgrading, downsizing, detox, weight loss, rehab, divorce, graduation, death—name one area of life… one—where change is not inevitable. Go ahead, I’ll wait.”
“Math,” she says. “One plus one with always equal two.”
“But you can always add one to that number and it’ll keep getting bigger,” I protest. “You can’t be that naïve. Math is the very essence of change! In attempting to prove your theory of stability, you’ve given the exact example of growth. Try again!”
“You’re one of the two percent,” she says dismissively. “Of course, you never see the real damage of what you do and how it trickles down into the trenches. That’s my job. I’m the one that crunches the numbers and provides the statistics for just how your high living and disregard for the working man is destroying the morale of our nation.” Now, how did she manage to change the subject like that?
“With an education that was paid for by your parents’ capitalistic money,” I shoot back.
“Oh, we are certainly not going to get on the topic of wasted money and education, are we, Sir Christian?” she says, turning around and facing off on me with her hands on her hips.
“We certainly are not, Queen Mia, because my fortune didn’t require an education and still doesn’t. I’m still making money hand over fist and all it took was good old-fashioned know-how. While you spent 10 years in school and a good hundred-thousand dollars of your parents’ two percent chasing a Ph.D., I discovered that I didn’t need to spend Mom and Dad’s money to be successful. You’re not angry with me because of what I do and how I make my money. You’re angry because I didn’t finish college, and I’m still making more money than you.”
“You think I care about your money?” she asks incredulously. “I make plenty of money, you moron, so much that I paid my parents back for my education. Can you say the same?” She smirks. I laugh heartily in her face.
“Several times over, Grasshopper. Can you say the same?” I fold my arms and wait for her response. She narrows her eyes at me, having been smacked down once again. I don’t know why she always tries to play this game with me. She always loses. She’s like Charlie Brown trying to kick that damn football.
“Of course, you could. You never got the full deal,” she retorts.
“Maybe not, but I could still pay my debt several times over, and yours, too. Now, how long do you want to play this game today?”
“You’re not doing anything to serve the environment or humanity,” she resorts to her judgmental tone and attitude. “You’re only serving yourself.”
“The hell I am!” I reply. “I’m serving the economy—locally, nationally, and internationally. And if it wasn’t for big, bad capitalists like me, you bleeding-heart analysts and problem-solvers wouldn’t have any issues to chase.” I lean down and get in her face. “So, you’re welcome.” She’s really pissed now.
“To be so smart, you really are dumb, Christian.” She shoots, she misses.
“Well, my eleven-figure net worth disagrees with you, but nice try, little sister,” I retort.
“It’s not all about money, big brother,” she counters.
“You’re right, it’s not… but a lot of it is.” Finish her! Even my self-righteous, know-it-all sister must admit that although she’s not money-driven, her research and breakthroughs would be nothing but pipe dreams without monetary support.
“Now, this is exactly what I want on my birthday,” Mom laments. “Can we please not have this at one family gathering?”
I shake my head at my sister. Ever since I dropped out of Harvard, she’s made it a point to prove that she could be better than me—more than me, mostly because she wanted to go to Harvard, too, but by the time her chance came, Mom and Dad’s relationship was struggling and they couldn’t send her. As far as she was concerned, Harvard was wasted on me, and she never forgave me for it. Never mind that I turned out to be one of the richest men alive, even without a full Harvard education. She couldn’t and can’t forgive me for shrugging off a college education that I didn’t need, but that she wanted.
She’s been competing with me ever since—not for money, but for prestige and recognition, and she’s running neck-in-neck. She loves our mother, but never blamed our father for cheating on her. She’s a bonified Daddy’s Girl and we all know it, especially her, and Dad.
I’m not sure what to make of Elliot. Elliot went to college before all of us, graduated, has his master’s degree, and is doing nothing with it. I have no idea how he makes his money, but he’s making it. The family is pretty certain that he’s into something illegal, but we can’t prove it. All of his accounts are offshore in shell companies and he spends most of his time out of town in the coastal states—California, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, New York, New England. He hangs around with other guys who put you in the mind of Mad Men—not mobster types, just walking money that you can’t really put your hands on.
He doesn’t entertain Mia’s comments at all.
While Juliet was the last girl I brought to my parents’ house, Elliot is always presenting some new scatterbrained bimbo to the family. We have no idea his purpose behind this exercise. It’s not like we’re expecting him to settle down and start a family, so the parade of putrid punany is totally unnecessary. And yet, he enters right in the middle of Mia’s dissertation with a redhead—no, redhead is an understatement. This woman is a walking supernova. You know that kid from Brave? Princess Mamadamada or whatever the fuck her name was? Yeah, that’s who the hell just walked into our house.
“Bright light! Bright light!” Mia mocks under her breath. I twist my lips, trying not to laugh. We don’t see eye to eye on much, but on this, we agree.
“Mia,” Mom scolds gently, but without much intent. Even she can’t deny the comedy of the situation.
“It’s okay,” the extreme ginger chirps. “It can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. My hairdresser calls it lava explosion!” She follows the statement with a chesty giggle. Poor thing. Her attempt at self-ridicule has the exact opposite effect as what she hoped. Mom actually looks on in pity before sipping her champagne while Mia just rolls her eyes in distaste.
“Don’t bother trying to win her over, sweetheart,” I advise. “She’s cold as ice and you won’t be around long enough to thaw her.” I don’t observe her long enough to see her reaction. I don’t know why Elliot subjects these women to this torture. Is he on some kind of crusade to alienate the entire gender?
“Still making friends, I see, Christian.” Ah, dear old Dad. Only just getting back into my mother’s good graces after that unfortunate Bunny situation… or whatever the fuck her name was.
“Yes, Father, still,” I jest sarcastically. “We’ll always be the best buds, won’t we?”
“True blue to the end,” he concurs with just enough bite to match mine before sipping his scotch.
“And the code talk begins,” Elliot announces. “One day, you’ll let the rest of us in on the big secret.”
“What big secret?” Dad says, putting his hand on my shoulder. “I have a special bond with each of my children that I don’t have with the others. Isn’t that right, Christian?” He smiles widely at me. That’s Dad’s way of saying that he has something on all of us.
“You do?” I say, my eyes wide like an inquisitive schoolboy. “Spill, Dad, spill!” Quite frankly, I could give a fuck less if he reveals that he introduced me to the lifestyle. I’m a grown ass man. I make my own money and I answer to no one, not even my damn parents. If society has a fucking problem with what I do, they can kiss my ass. Do I want it publicized? Not really, but do I fucking care if I’m discovered? No.
“Go ahead, Dad. Share that special bond that you have with all of us. We’re all ears.” Don’t ever fucking try to play that game with me, old man. Scandal will only scratch me and I promise, that scratch will heal. Mia, on the other hand, looks as if she’s going to pass out if Dad says something. Elliot’s brow only raises slightly.
“Lighten up, son, I’m just kidding,” he says, patting my back and moving over to my mother, kissing her gently on the cheek. “Happy birthday, darling.”
“Thank you, Cary,” Mom says softly. She still loves him very much in spite of his infidelity. I can’t fault her for loving him. You can’t pick who you love. He’s not a bad man—he just made a dumb decision. We all feel that way.
“As usual, Christian couldn’t wait until after dinner like the rest of us to give Mom her present,” Mia tattles. “Mom is now the proud questionable owner of land in Central America.” Dad’s brow furrows as he turns his gaze to me and I roll my eyes.
“Mom wanted a timeshare in Belize. I managed to secure a prime piece of coastal vacation property.” Dad’s brow rises.
“That’s quite the coup, son. How did you manage that?” he asks.
“Watched the market for a sale that needed to be unloaded,” I reply, pouring a shot of Jack Daniels for myself.
“Oh, good God,” Mia groans as she falls onto the sofa.
“What?” Elliot’s date chirps, oblivious to Mia’s dismay. Mia scoffs impatiently.
“That’s code for he waited for somebody to die, Red,” Mia informs the room.
“Oh,” Red replies.
“Well, thank you, Mia,” Mom says. “I’m sure that we’re all very grateful for your enlightenment of the situation.” She places her half-empty glass of champagne on the mantle and heads toward the dining room. Mia’s haughty expression changes immediately to crestfallen.
“Mom… I’m sorry…” she begins.
“You know,” Mom says, turning on Mia, “after all this time, I still don’t know what the problem is and why you feel the need to one-up your brother every time he comes around, but once—just once, I’d like to enjoy a family gathering without having to hear you bicker like a cat caught by its tail. Whatever bug is still in your ass, I wish you would shit it out once and for all and get it over with because quite frankly, it’s getting fucking old!”
Mom whirls around and her fresh golden highlights blind us as she storms out of the room. Dad follows behind his wife and Mia sits in stunned silence, still as a statue on the sofa.
“Nice one, Mia,” Elliot says, taking his little chirper by the hand and leading her out of the room behind Dad. There’s no one left now, but her and me.
“Go ahead,” she says. “You don’t get this chance often.” I shake my head,
“I’m sorry you missed Harvard,” I say. She raises confused eyes to me. “But you have to fucking stop blaming me for that shit. It wasn’t my fault. Harvard wasn’t for me and I found another way to fulfill my dream. If I had still been in school when Mom and Dad split up, then I still would have had to drop out. So, the truth is you’re not angry with me because I stole your dream from you, because I didn’t. You’re angry with me because my dream wasn’t stolen from me. You’re constantly proclaiming about how greedy and selfish I am, but who’s really the selfish one here? Think about that, Doctor. Would it have been more acceptable had I stayed in Harvard a few more years and had to drop out and had my dreams crushed once Mom and Dad split up? Would that have been a more acceptable outcome for you?”
For the first time in ten years, my sister is struck silent in my presence. We’ve been fighting and nipping at each other forever over this issue and I never bothered explaining my side because I felt like I didn’t need to. I sat down and explained to my parents that I felt like Harvard wasn’t for me and they understood. Elliot was blindly going through Berkeley at the time, and not only did they not want to throw good money after bad, but they also didn’t want to force me to do anything that I didn’t want to do. Dad helped me get the small business loan to start GEH so that success or failure would be all on me, and that’s how I wanted it. But Mia’s Harvard opportunity and Mom and Dad’s breakup came right at the time that the housing bubble started to explode and the money just wasn’t dictating a Harvard education, so she had to go with her second choice.
Somehow—I’m still not sure how—this translated into Christian stole her Harvard opportunity, and she’s been blaming me ever since.
She became a financial analyst, a money wizard, and somehow uses her compiled data to show how capitalism—me, in particular—is destroying the world. It’s a personal vendetta with no clear purpose but to prove that I’m the devil. Her sole purpose in life is to villainize me and to show how I’m out to destroy the fabric of our nation and the working man one small business at a time. Never mind that I started as a small business, that I was once one of those entrepreneurs that worked long hours to build a corporation on my back. No, I’m now big bad corporate America out to eat and kill the little guy. Well, fuck this. I don’t have time for her bleeding-heart bullshit anymore.
“Mom said put the sabers down and come in to dinner. This conversation is going to have to wait until another time,” Elliot announces as he reenters the great room. He examines us closely as I think he expected more carnage when he came in.
“Hide your assets, Elliot,” I tell him. “However you’re making your money, you’re the target from now on, because I’m not taking her shit anymore.” I throw a look at my sister before leaving her and my brother in the great room and walking into the dining room with my parents.
“Is my house still in one piece?” my mother asks when I take my seat.
“Yes, ma’am,” I reply. “She’s right, though, Mom. The owner did pass away and the family couldn’t afford to keep the property. If you’d rather not have it under those terms, I can put the house back on the market…”
“Are you kidding? And let someone else have my piece of paradise? I mean, it’s sad that someone passed away, but I’ll take good care of the property. Isn’t that what they would want?” I smile.
“Yes, Mom, I would think that’s what they would want,” I confirm. Dad reaches over and gives her hand a gentle squeeze.
“You’ve finally got your Central American vacation home,” he says.
“Finally!” she sighs. Smiling widely. Elliot returns to the dining room and takes his seat next to Red.
“Well, I say let’s eat,” he says. Mom looks at the door.
“Where’s Mia?” she asks.
“Pouting,” he says, putting his arm around his date. I shake my head, but say nothing. Mom puts her napkin in her lap.
“Fine. Let’s eat.”
As I’m driving back to my penthouse apartment, I find myself pondering something that I hadn’t thought about until just this moment—something that should have struck me as strange ages ago, but it didn’t.
That damn necklace.
I gave her that necklace six months ago.
She was wearing that necklace when she took a shot at me, and then she gave it back to me.
I dry-humped her and walked away from her, fully intending on never seeing her again.
Yes, I fantasized over her. I obsessed over her. I thought about her constantly. I even tried to make other women into her. But I had every intention of never fucking seeing her again. When I did fucking see her again, it was an accident… a chance encounter. I was shocked, appalled… and pissed.
So why the fuck did I hold on to that damn necklace for six months?
A/N: Dangerous Liaisons was a novel later made into a movie in 1988 that is basically a mishmash of scorned lovers, booty calls, wagers, and revenge sex, the central plot of the story being one old cast-off bitter bitch waging, “I bet you can’t get her to fuck you.” The story was remade in 1999 in Cruel Intentions.
Brainpox—imaginary virus from a novel called The Cobra Event.
“Bright light! Bright light!” is a reference to the movie Gremlins from 1984. One of the three rules—don’t expose them to bright light or sunlight as it will kill them. When the Mogwai/Gremlin/Gizmo was exposed to light, he cried, “Bright light! Bright light!”
The Pinterest board for this story can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/fifty-shades-golden/.
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