Raising Grey: Chapter 42—Unbreak My Heart

I have to admit that I was surprised to see so many people express a tone of disappointment in Ana’s feelings. I’ve had times and events in my life where I had to get up every day and push myself just to get to the next minute—where I felt like the world was just going to gobble me up, and I couldn’t talk about it. Talking about it gave it life and I was just trying to deal with it so that I could have the strength to open my eyes the next day. I really thought most people would be able to relate to that… to that feeling of, “My God! What else can go wrong in my life? The minute I sit down and get comfortable, something else happens.” I guess I’m the only one, or at least in very lean company. It’s sad that I appear to be one of the seemingly very few that can empathize with that, but I guess it’s a good thing that the vast majority apparently hasn’t had that experience.

So, this is my second to last prewritten chapter, but the Muse is finally stirring a bit, so I wouldn’t worry about the future.

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 42—Unbreak My Heart

ANASTASIA

I spend more time venting and crying with my friends, trying to release the anguish and the hopelessness I feel about the situation. I cry and cry and cry with my best friends holding me for I don’t even know how long. I’m exhausted when it’s all done and glad that Christian didn’t walk in on the display. I’m broken from the self-pity and mourning by the two-way coming to life and telling me that one or both of my children have stirred.

“I’ll go,” Val offers as she stands from the sofa.

“No, I’ll go,” I say, standing behind her and drying my eyes with my sleeve before Al gives me a handkerchief. Those two little bundles of love are the light and joy of my life. Right now, I don’t want to miss a moment with them… even if some evil monster is waiting in the wings to snatch them away from me.

“I’ll come with you, then,” she says with a smile before looking at Al.

“I’ll clean up and put the leftovers away,” he says, his brow furrowed as he examines me. “I’m worried about you, Jewel,” he adds. I smile sadly, my eyes tender from crying.

“I’ll live, Al,” I reply before leaving the parlor.

I’m glad that Keri and Gail didn’t get to the nursery before I did. I really didn’t want to enter into the room to inquiring minds about my obviously red and puffy eyes. We walk in and both children are unsettled. Val gestures me to Minnie’s crib while she goes to Mikey.

“Hey, little man,” I hear her say. “What’s all that noise?” She lifts him out of his crib and quickly checks his diaper before taking him to his changing table. I do the same with Minnie, cooing at her and taking comfort in her beautiful cherubic face with my blue eyes staring back at me under a mop of Christian’s red hair. I had noticed that just in the last month or so, both my children gained their eye color, and Minnie definitely has my eyes while Mikey sports his father’s under my deep mahogany hair. Minnie is happy to get that soiled diaper off her bottom and I let her skin air out a bit before putting another on her.

“Mmm,” Val says, “I love changing diapers.” I grimace as I look over at her and she laughs. “Not the dirty diaper part,” she says. “The part where they’re all clean and you get to use the powder and stuff and they have that new baby smell.” It causes me to chuckle and I welcome the warmth of laughter. As I’m closing Minnie’s onesie, Gail and Keri enter with fresh warmed bottles for the babies. Val throws a look at me and I keep my back to the door. Reading my actions, she takes over.

“Take a break, ladies,” she says, sweetly, heading them off at the door. “We’ve got this watch.”

“Oh,” Gail says in surprise. “You’re fine?”

“Sure,” Val says confidently, “but thanks for the vittles!” The ladies all laugh good-naturedly before Gail adds, “Okay, call us through the two-way if you need us.”

Not wanting to seem rude, I look slightly over my shoulder without revealing my face to them and say, “Thanks, guys,” as normally as I can and attempt to throw them off by concentrating on cooing at my baby. “Is that Mommy’s precious girl? Yes, you are…”

It works.

When Keri and Gail clear the room, I sigh in relief that I didn’t have to convince more people in my life that I’m okay when, in fact, I’m not.

“Thanks,” I say to Val, lifting Minnie into my arms and setting up shop in the window seat with my baby and a bottle since I just had wine. The window seat is what I’m accustomed to, now.

“Don’t mention it,” she says, sitting in Mikey’s rocker and testing his bottle before giving it to him. “Why don’t you come and sit in the rocker? It might help to break old habits.” I look down at my nursing daughter.

“Maybe next time,” I tell her. “I don’t want to disturb Young Miss when she’s eating,” I lie. The truth is that the seat gives me some form of familiarity and comfort now that I’m no longer watching the bridge. I just don’t feel like explaining that to everyone. It would be like telling them that the cliff where I fell is now my favorite spot. It was once, but now, I’ll just be reminded that I could have fallen to my death on a drunken binge.

Val distracts me from my own problems by telling me more about her and Elliot’s Caribbean cruise. I wasn’t surprised that the cruise took them to St. Maarten but not to Anguilla. The boat would probably be larger than the island. She told me about Harrison’s Cave and the beautiful 17th-Century plantation houses and it made me long for our trip to Anguilla. I definitely need a vacation right now to cleanse my body and soul of what’s going on in my life. We had to postpone our Italian vacation, probably until next year since we plan to stay for quite some time. I can’t lie, though. A cruise to anywhere for a week or two would be right up my alley right now.

There’s a tap at the door and Val and I look at each other. It’s one of the men, we already know, but Christian would have just walked in. So, it has to be Al or Elliot. Jason and Chuck would already know that their women are not in the nursery. The door opens and sure enough, there’s my best friend, but behind him is my husband—my tall, beautiful, muscular husband… the cause and cure for my distress all wrapped into one.

“Hey, ladies,” Al says. “How’s it going?” His bad attempt at nonchalance coupled with Christian’s deeply examining gaze on me lets me know that these two gentlemen have been talking… about me. Al is only concerned about me and I love him for it, so I sigh in resignation.

“Better,” I say, unable to hide the crack in my voice from my earlier crying. Christian is obviously uncomfortable looking at me, and I think it’s the window seat. It has definite connotations, and he and Val would much rather that I not sit in it. He stops at the rocker on his way over to me.

“How are you feeling, Val?” he says, placing his hand on her shoulder. She smiles up at him.

“Good,” she nods. “The vacation was fantastic—just what I needed.”

“I’m happy to hear that,” he says to her, genuinely. “You look very well.”

“Thank you,” she says, sincerely and they both turn their eyes to Mikey.

“Hey, Mikey,” Christian says. “Have you been taking good care of these ladies?” Mikey squirms and coos as if in response to his father’s question. Christian gently strokes his hair and turns his attention to me. He walks over to the window seat where Minnie and I sit, Minnie gazing dreamily up at me after being fed and changed. That look would make me move mountains for her. Christian looks intently at me before turning his attention to his daughter.

“Hey, Mouse,” he says, softly, stroking his daughter’s hair like he just did his son’s. He looks longingly at her for a moment before kissing her forehead. Then he gazes at me and does the same, stroking my cheeks where tears stained earlier. He examines me wordlessly before saying, “Al, can you take over? I’d like to talk to my wife.”

“Absolutely,” Al says. “Give me that bundle of pinkness!”

“Oh, no,” Val chides. “You take our godson. I want a little time with our goddaughter. I haven’t seen them in a month!”

“Fine by me,” Al says, relieving Val of Mikey before she comes over and takes Minnie from my arms. I ache a bit when she leaves my grasp but follow Christian out of the room nonetheless as he leads me by the hand. When we get to the hallway and he closes the door, he embraces me solidly and kisses me deeply, catching me totally by surprise. I gasp at the longing, giving nature of the kiss, my hands falling lazily at my sides as his hand flattens against my back, pressing me firmly into his body. My head lulls back and I let him have my lips, my mouth, my tongue—feeding me while he feasts on my kisses. I don’t know if I’m breathing or not, but I bask in the warmth and safety of his arms, the tenderness yet firmness and possessiveness of his kiss… giving and taking at the same time. When our lips part, I can feel the breath between us. I keep my eyes closed to commit the moment to memory—for cold nights when…

“You know how much I love you, don’t you?” he says, his lips only brushing mine.

“Yes,” I breathe, my eyes still closed, drunk and a bit wobbly from his kiss and his presence.

“Good,” he breathes, taking my lips again.

After an intense, but quick impromptu make-out session in the hallway, Christian leads me to our room. I moved back in a few days ago, realizing that it didn’t really make much sense to sleep in the guest room anymore. I still have problems getting to sleep, but it’s getting better. It’s especially easy when Christian finds that I can’t rest and finds some way to worship my body until I’m tuckered out. I can really see that he’s trying. I wish I could just settle into the comfort.

Instead of stopping at the bedroom, he leads me right into my bathroom and lifts me up onto the marble vanity. He turns on the cold water and retrieves a clean washcloth. After wetting the washcloth and wringing most of the water out of it, he stands in front of me, lifts my chin and begins to sponge my cheeks.

Can’t hide anything from Mr. Grey.

I close my eyes and the cool cloth moves to my eyelids. The relief on the swollen orbs is immediate. I hear him moistening the cloth again and this time, he holds my head all the way back and places a compress over my eyes. A few moments later, a second cloth is sponging my cheeks, my jaw, and my neck again.

“Your cheeks are still tear-stained,” he says softly, “and your eyes are red and puffy. You look tired.” I don’t respond. I just sit on the vanity and let the protector and caregiver have his way, savoring these moments and committing them to my mental Rolodex. He let me sit there for several minutes—or at least it felt that way—replacing the compress one time, and letting the cold water soothe the ache from my eyes as he gently sponges my face with the other washcloth. He stops at my lips and sponges them gently. He’s now caressing my lips with his fingertips and the cloth and my breath catches. He adds gentle kisses to the mix and I melt at the sensation. My senses are all hyper-focused on my lips and his lips and his fingers when his mouth softly covers mine again, molding gently into them and against them.

Somehow, I feel this is not enough for him.

His arms move to my waist then quickly up my body, lifting my arms and placing them demanding over his shoulders. I immediately take my cue and wrap my arms around his neck, thrusting my hands into his hair. He gasps into my mouth and wraps his arms around me again, curling his body around mine while taking and giving feverish kisses. My body is alight again as he holds me and kisses me, melding into me and devouring me and I wrap my legs around his hips. He pulls my shirt out of my jeans and caresses the skin on my stomach and back.

My back… the garden.

I blaze like fresh, new embers as my body fires with arousal. My breath quickens and his tongue leisurely and sensuously explores my mouth until I feel that I can’t take it anymore. He pulls back from me and gazes into my eyes. Seeing whatever it is that he needs to see, he lifts me from the vanity, my body still wrapped around him, and takes me to our bed.

Lying me down on my back, he removes my hands from his neck and places them on the bed, holding them down in both of his while he kisses me. I can barely stand it; I’m suddenly so goddamn needy again. His lips travel from my lips to my neck while his hands slide down my arms to the buttons at my breast. I leave my hands by the side of my head. I keep my eyes closed as his lips follow his fingers, unbuttoning my shirt, down my breast, my torso, my belly.

Christian…

That familiar yearning swells up in me and I can hardly breathe. I want him to make it right—take away this feeling of fear and sadness… make it like it once was between us… please, make it like it was…

He unhooks the clasp of my bra between my breasts and pushes the cups aside, gently cupping my breasts while he kisses the mounds. His tenderness is driving me mad. I’m almost dysfunctional with need.

He kisses along the waistband of my jeans as he opens the button and unzips my pants, kissing along the waistband of the hip-hugger panties underneath. I bite my lip to keep from making a sound, taking deep breaths to control my passion and my body. There’s a bit of movement on the bed, and then he pushes his hands into my jeans, grasping the waistband and pulling them and my panties off at the same time, pushing my ballet flats off my feet before my pants and underwear pass my ankles.

There’s a pause for a few moments, but when he climbs back up to me, I feel his skin against mine—his whole body. He’s naked. I feel his erection against my thigh as he lifts me from the bed, kissing me deliciously while pushing my bra and shirt off my shoulders. He lays me back on the bed, his face never more than a breath from mine. He kisses me again as his hands run down my body, caressing my sides and hips until he reaches my thighs.

He pulls them up, roughly opening me to him, his rock-hard erection pressing into my stomach. God, I want him so badly. I need to feel him, need to put another moment in the reservoir—another cherished time… please… hurry.

He slides his arms under mine until he’s cupping my shoulders in either hand, then he nestles his erection between my legs, between my lips. God, he feels so good. I throw my head back as his lips find the valley of my breasts and he grinds the length of his shaft up and down along my lips, my labia, my clit…

Oh, my God… Oh, my God, this is torture.

Neither of us says anything or makes a sound. He just continues to drag his length up and down as he kisses wherever his mouth can reach. When he clamps down on a nipple, then teases it with his tongue, I feel my orgasm building, knocking at the door in no time flat. Just as I think it’s about to blow, he stops and rises off of me a bit. He looks hungrily into my eyes and pushes my legs open farther with his body. Simultaneously, he takes both of my hands and plants them above my head, my arms bent with his fingers entwined in mine, while raising his hips to position the head of his long hard cock at my vaginal opening.

He pauses for a minute, holding my gaze while his hips are suspended in the air. Without warning, he thrusts all the way into me, balls deep, pulling my hands down at the same time for leverage. A searing pain rips through me like I’m losing my virginity all over again, but it’s quickly replaced with the pleasure that left my loins only moments ago. He trembles at the first drive into me, both of us still managing to remain silent through what was obviously a very powerful feeling in our nether-regions. Three strokes later and I’m gasping through my orgasm as Christian pushes slowly and deeply into me, kissing my cheek, my neck, the corners of my mouth.

I’m whimpering out the aftershocks as he settles his weight onto me and begins to make love to me, holding my hands down and pushing into me, his full body lying over mine, his skin rubbing against me as if he needs as much of it to touch as possible. His mouth covers mine and he bestows upon me the most delicious, succulent kisses my soul can take. I’m lost in him and he’s owning me, pushing himself into me—mind, body, and soul. I relish in the feeling, absorbing every stroke and every emotion—the hot, hardness of his dick; the meticulous concentration in his stroke; the possessiveness of him holding my hands down; the luscious kisses that give and take from my lips. It’s only minutes after the first orgasm that the second one begins to creep into my loins. The onslaught of sensations overwhelms my senses and my second orgasm burns against his cock once more, this time leaving lots of juices to coat his erection.

He finally releases my lips and I can feel his gaze on me even though my eyes are closed.

Open your eyes.

I think I heard it, but I’m not sure. Nonetheless, I open my eyes, my gaze no doubt swimming in satisfaction from my prior two orgasms.

You’re so beautiful.

Again, not sure if I heard it, but I see it in his eyes and feel it in his delicious grind. I feel myself rising again and wonder how many times I can come in quick succession. God, it feels so good, and this one decides to give lubrication before it strikes.

“Oh, God, baby,” he says softly in my ear, “your so wet… so hungry for me…”

“Yes, Christian,” I breathe as my third orgasm quickly creeps up on me, “only you.” He raises his eyes to me, never losing his rhythm.

“Say it again,” he whispers.

“Yes… Christian…” I gasp as the feeling crawls through my thighs and up my pelvis, “only you.”

“Again… please…” His stroke deepens, and my pelvis threatens to implode. I throw my head back in sweet agony as it approaches quickly… almost… almost…

“Only… Christian… only you…” He groans, sweet and deep, his face buried in my neck, pushing me so high, so deep, my God…

“Please…” he beseeches me deep from his chest, “… again!”

I can’t withstand it any more.

“Ho… ho…” I try to speak as my third orgasm crashes down on me. I grip his fingers tight to force the words out of my mouth. “Ho… honly… y-you…Christian… only… only you… only you!” I cry out as my orgasm rips through me again, bringing passion and relief that I didn’t feel with the first two. My back arches and my hands tighten as I helplessly repeat the last two words through a climax blasting through my extremities and leaving me helpless to its wrath.

“Jesus!” he bites out as I feel him stiffen and empty hard, throbbing, and thick into me. His teeth grit and the same noise comes from his throat as he presses hard into me, unable to move through his paralyzing orgasm. He squeezes my hands until it feels like the blood flow stops and I lay there, allowing him to use me as the vessel that he needs right now and savoring every moment of it—his weight pressing down on me; his hands painfully gripping mine; his breath caught and held in his chest as his body is pulled taut, stretched like a rubber band and helpless until his passion releases him.

“Jesus… Jesus, Jesus…” he gasps as the orgasm finally releases his muscles. He showers my neck with kisses as he catches his breath, his cock still throbbing inside me, my core still throbbing around him.

“I didn’t…” he begins as he gently massages my hands. “Did I…?”

“No, no,” I silence him as he continues to catch his breath. He still kisses me as he moves to roll me on top of him.

“No, please,” I beg, wanting to feel his weight on me a little longer. He looks down into my eyes and I gaze back at him, beseeching him not to move. He lies back down on top of me, one hand cradling my cheek, the other still holding my hand over my head while he kisses my exposed cheek softly.

“And only you, my love,” he says softly, between kisses. “Only ever you…”

*-*

“This wasn’t my intention when I pulled you away from our children,” he says, caressing my stomach gently in our post-orgasmic haze.

“No?” I say, turning my gaze to him. He shakes his head.

“I really did want to talk… really do,” he replies, “but I saw you in the window and at first, I just wanted to get you out of there. Then, when the light hit your face, I knew that you had been crying. Al told me that you were upset, and he told me why, but he didn’t tell me that you were crying. I just wanted to wash your face and get rid of the puffiness in your eyes… but most of all, I just don’t want you to cry anymore.”

That’s not likely, dear. The fates are even using you against me right now. That’s why I’m internalizing every good moment, every precious and tender moment, every sensual moment, so that I don’t lose my mind when they decide to attack again.

“Jason and Gail want to have another… session with us, if you’re up to it. They were waiting in the den when I came to get you. They’re most likely off doing something else by now. Do you want to talk or would you rather not?” I sigh. Again, I know he means well, but right now, I don’t see that talking will help me.

“Sure,” I concede, wanting to appease him. I move to get up and he stops me.

“Not yet,” he says. “Just a few more minutes.” Fine by me.

“Okay,” I say softly, relaxing into his touch.

As agreed, a few minutes later, we rise and get back into our clothes. He takes me by the hand and leads me to the elevator. He stands behind me with his arms protectively wrapped around me while we ride to the ground floor. We go to his den, intent on calling Gail and Jason, only to find them tangled in each other’s arms, kissing passionately on the sofa. Though they are fully dressed, the distinct smell of sex hangs in the air. Christian stands there frowning for a moment and I’m in stunned awe. They didn’t even hear us come in. Christian clears his throat and although Gail jumps a bit, Jason just looks over at Christian.

“You better not have fucked on my piano,” he says, leading me into the room and examining his piano for—I don’t know, ass marks?

“No, we didn’t fuck on your precious piano,” Jason says. Gail hides her face while I stifle a laugh. “I won’t bother asking what took you so long. You look fresh as a bunny.”

“You should talk,” Christian says, satisfied that there was no coitus on his baby grand. “Don’t fuck in my den, Jason.”

You should talk,” Jason retorts. “Is there any room in this house you haven’t fucked in?”

“Yes, there is, and that’s beside the point,” Christian replies. “I fuck in my den. You don’t fuck in my den!”

“Okay, boys, that’s enough,” Gail says, after her face has turned fifty shades of red from pastel to crimson. “We got in a quickie while we were waiting we’re sorry it won’t happen again!” She spit it all out in one breath without raising her eyes to me or Christian and I’m fighting with all my might not to break out in hilarious laughter. I’m immune to this. Among other things, last year, I walked right in on these Neanderthals settling a bet on whether or not Christian and I were upstairs fucking. I remember leaving Chuck with a visual he’ll never forget. I also won’t embarrass her with the time that I was shoved under Christian’s desk pleasuring him when Jason walked in unannounced and it was my disembodied voice that convinced him to leave. I’m not modest about our sex life, but apparently, Gail is modest about hers.

“You should take a page from your wife’s book about humility, Mr. Taylor,” Christian says. “Thank you, Gail. It’s quite alright. Butterfly and I did take a while. We apologize.” She nods quickly, obviously anxious to change the topic. “As requested, we are here, though a bit detained.”

Gail straightens her clothes and sits up on the sofa. Jason sits up, too, and zeroes right in on me.

“You don’t talk much anymore, Your Highness,” he says, examining me. “Are you afraid that you’ll say too much?”

I shrug. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t talking. I just don’t have much to say.

“I… uh, it’s not intentional. I just don’t have much to say.”

“That’s not the Ana I know,” he says. “The Ana I knew before this whole mess was outspoken and had a lot to say. You’ve turned into a bit of a mute and you’ve missed four appointments with your therapist.” My eyes widen, and I glare at him.

“Are you keeping tabs on me?” I accuse. He looks at me with a surprised, horrified look on his face.

“Um, yah, that’s my job!” he retorts. “I knew what you were doing even when we weren’t here.” He gestures to himself. “Head of personal security? Everybody reports to me? Chuck, Ben, Chance, Rebe, Tate, Lurch… they all report to me?” He’s saying this waiting for me to catch the hint on how ridiculous my question was, which I do… I shrug and shake my head, murmuring my apologies.

“Accepted, but you still haven’t answered my question,” he says. “You haven’t seen Ace and you haven’t seen Dr. Baker,” he points an accusing finger at Christian. “What’s going on?” I turn my gaze to Christian. He hasn’t seen Dr. Baker?

“I see Dr. Baker on an as-needed basis, not regularly,” he defends.

“You don’t think it’s needed?” he asks.

“She can’t help me in terms of my marriage,” he protests. “Butterfly feels that she has a completely distorted view of what’s going on with her and that affects what advice she can give me about our relationship.”

“But what about what’s going on with you?” Jason asks him. Christian frowns.

“What do you mean?” he retorts.

“You thought your wife was cheating on you. You cut her off and ran away to the other side of the world without giving her the chance to explain. You don’t think that’s a problem on your part, like for instance, your trust issues? Your ability to give the woman you love the benefit of the doubt? Being able to control your anger reflex and ‘snap’ response?”

“I’m dealing with those things,” he says, running his hands through his hair. “I admitted that it was the wrong thing to do…”

“But it doesn’t stop it from happening again,” Jason says, interrupting his excuse. I hold my head down and wait for him to tear into me. I didn’t have to wait long.

“And you,” he begins. Here it goes. “You were seeing your therapist weekly before any of this happened. You shocked him so much that he showed up at the door! What gives?” I shrug again, noncommittal.

“I haven’t found the words,” I say, honestly. “I’d be wasting his time and mine.”

“So, you’re just going to sit here and let this thing tear you apart day by day where we can all see it,” he says. “You think I’m the only one who’s noticed that you’ve changed? You are a force of nature, Ana. You have the ability to move mountains with the flap of your little Butterfly wings, but lately, you’ve been as mute as a church mouse and as affective as a drizzle. You’re not talking to anyone, not even your therapist, and you as a mental health professional don’t see this as a problem?”

I don’t know how to answer him. The feelings that I have right now, nobody can fix, and talking about them just lays them out on plane for everyone to see and makes me feel like shit. When I don’t answer, Jason turns back to Christian.

“You say that you don’t need your therapist,” he begins. “What do you say about her not seeing hers? Is everything honky-dory between you guys?”

“I wouldn’t say honky-dory,” Christian admits. “I know she’s holding something back.”

Holding something back… you all want me to release? Fine, I’ll release…


CHRISTIAN

“Things aren’t terrible, but I can still feel a little distance between us,” I say honestly.

“Ana?” Jason prods, “What do you say to that?” She doesn’t raise her eyes.

“I would never want to leave him or anything like that, but…” She trails off.

But? There’s a but?

“But what, Ana?” Gail presses. “You have to be honest or you’ll never move forward.” She sighs and drops her head.

“I’m scared,” she says, softly, barely audible. “I’m afraid that as soon as I let my guard down and try to be happy, something horrible is going to happen. I never would have thought for a moment that something like this would happen between my husband and me. I thought our bond was unbreakable and unshakeable and could withstand anything. I thought that no matter what, no one would ever come between us—that when and if that crucial moment ever presented itself, we would both know that there was no room for anyone else and there was no way that someone would be able to work their way into our space. But when the time did come, I was wrong…”

“How were you wrong?” Jason asks. “That someone did work their way into your space?”

“No,” she says. “Liam never worked his way into our space. My eyes may have been stricken with what I saw, but that man never made it to my heart. Hell, he barely made it to my mind until he was in my sight or unless I was pissed about his presence. He never stood a chance. There was no room for him. So, what? He’s attractive. He’s not the first attractive man I’ve ever seen, and he won’t be the last. Have you met my therapist? My best friend’s husband? My brother-in-law? All attractive men that made me do a double-take when I first met them, but I never ended up in their arms or in their beds.

“When that man made a move on me, I stopped him. I did not see my husband and I stopped him. I didn’t have my arms around him pulling him in for a kiss—I stopped him. And the reward I got was that my husband left me for two and a half weeks and didn’t speak to me. The truth is that I can beat myself over the head for what I could have done differently over and over again, but it won’t mean anything. It won’t do anything. I didn’t meet this man at a hotel or even make a date for dinner. He invited me out to lunch and I turned him down for just this reason… for the speculation it could have caused. I can pick this situation apart more than I already have, and you know what I’ll get from it? The same thing that I already got…

“Don’t step wrong, Ana.
“Look straight ahead, Ana. Don’t look left or right…
“Don’t get comfortable, Ana. The moment you do, all hell is going to break loose.”

“You’re sounding a bit like the martyr, Ana,” Jason says. Butterfly laughs ironically and does a disbelieving nod.

“Of course, I do,” she says, defeat and resignation lacing her voice.

“Don’t discount her feelings, Jason,” Gail defends. “She has a right to her feelings.” Jason turns to look at his wife and back at Butterfly.

“You’re right,” he says. “I’m sorry. Maybe you can help me understand what it is that you’re feeling.” That’s pretty insightful. Butterfly looks up at him with a sad smile.

“I can understand why you feel that way, because if I wasn’t sitting in this body—in this life and mind, experiencing this shit first hand—I would feel the same way. This is one of the reasons why I don’t want to talk about it… none of it. It won’t make a difference.”

“Please, Ana,” Gail presses. “Tell us.” Butterfly shakes her head.

“Every time I got comfortable, something happened,” she says, still smiling. “Every time I thought I was going to be happy and I could sit back and take a breath and relax, something happened. Every single time! I’m a walking tragedy,” she says with a laugh. I don’t see what’s funny, but I think she may be going a little hysterical.

“It can’t be every time, Ana,” Jason protests. She laughs again, this time, with tears threatening her eyes.

“No?” she says, still sporting a wide smile and threatening to cry at the same time. “Let’s review, shall we?

“Right when I thought my mom and dad were happy, my mom suddenly became dissatisfied and left my dad. It only got worse—she ripped us apart deliberately, so set on hurting him for not being what she thought he should be that she didn’t care that she was destroying me, too.

“I was miserable at first, but I coped with it until I was able to settle comfortably into obscurity. Then what happens? The most popular boy in school pays attention to me and I was foolish enough to believe that he liked me… until he raped me. We all know how that turned out.

“Yes, I wanted to die, but I didn’t. Then Daddy came and got me, took me away from the horrible nightmare that I was living and nursed me back to health for a few months. I was right at the promise of tranquility—it was right there in arm’s reach—and they came and snatched me back to hell.

“I finally escape—finally escape—come back to Washington and start my life back over again… from scratch… all on my own. During that time, I meet this guy. He treats me like a princess. The cutest, most considerate guy I had met to that point and what happens? He turns out to be the goddamn spawn of Satan! My already shredded heart was put through such hell that it took years—years—for me to let anybody near me.

“Enter Christian Grey. After a tumultuous beginning, we fall in love only for me to find out that he has a psycho, stalker, pedophile ex-lover and—oh, yeah, Satan’s spawn is hanging in the bleachers waiting for his chance to attack!

“Crazy pedophile wreaking total havoc on our relationship and me and Mr. Grey have a brief falling out. The moment I come to my senses about the cause of the fallout, Satan’s Spawn kidnaps me and his fucking psycho sidekick damn near beats me half to death while I’m cuffed to a bed.

“I’m rescued! Yay, right? Only we go to Anguilla and shit happens where I lose my mind there, too—more than once!

“So, we get back and announce our relationship to the world, and the crazy blonde pedophile continues to wreak total fucking havoc on our lives for months… restraining orders; crashing my father’s wedding; kissing my boyfriend; trying to kill Jason; trying to kill Christian; trying to kill me…”

This is playing out like a goddamn Greek tragedy. If I hadn’t been present for most of it, I’d swear she was exaggerating.

“In between there somehow, I apparently mistakenly thought my wedding was called off and escaped to Montana, rethinking my entire purpose in life, only to return to the whole aforementioned murder-death-kill scenario.

“Oh, and let’s not forget Mommie Dearest!”

Yes, let’s not forget her.

“Once we finally do get married, halfway through our honeymoon, Satan’s Spawn pulls a hole card and we have to come back and I discover the most joyous revelation of my life after vomiting on the prosecuting attorney and passing out on the goddamn stand.”

At least she didn’t mention me having a spy at her bachelorette party.

“Then comes the hacker and the fundraiser fiasco, and immediately after we put those things to rest, I get T-boned by a fucking ex-sub who almost kills me and Chuck! Nearly a year later, I still don’t have all my memories back.

“After more hiccups than I care to count, I finally bring two healthy babies into the world, a joyous occasion that was overshadowed a few months later by Val’s tumor and Pop’s unfortunate passing—not things that directly happened to me, but deserve inclusion due to the fact that a) when Pops’ died, my husband turned into an emotional infant and locked me out of the bedroom that we shared, b) I sat for days wondering if my best girlfriend was going to die after we had treated each other like shit for months and c) they were both cause to postpone our Italian vacation.

“A few months later, I find that all my hard work for Helping Hands is being questioned by a spiteful, vindictive bitch with an ax to grind and then, the last thing… the very last thing I ever thought could happen happened! I feared that maybe one day, my husband would seek something that I wouldn’t be able to give him and might look for it in the company of another, but I never, ever thought that another man would come between us. It was never on my radar, not even in the furthest recesses of my mind. And then…” She holds her head down and shrugs, shaking her head and still chuckling sadly.

“I know I’ve forgotten something, but I think you get the idea,” she adds, still laughing tragically. “I. Am a walking. Fucking. Tragedy. I’m the goddamn damsel that’s always getting tied to the fucking railroad tracks in those badly made, corny, black-and-white silent films. And what a horrible thing to happen—being tied to the railroad tracks and seeing your demise coming at you full speed and hoping and praying that someone’s going to save you because you can’t save yourself. And trust me, the train has run me over more times than I’ve been rescued, yet there I am… dismembered on the railroad tracks, trying to put myself back together again. Those attacks and accidents weren’t even merciful enough to kill me… just scar me forever—physically, mentally, and emotionally—then set me back in this ragtag, patchworked body with my ragtag patchworked heart and my ragtag patchworked mind to fight another day.”

She laughs again, but by now, tears are streaming nonstop down her cheeks. She shakes her head and drops it before she adds, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

Now she’s quoting scriptures? This is really getting bad.

“Ana, can’t you see that this is exactly why you need to talk to Ace?” Gail tells her, leaning in like it’s a one-on-one conversation. “You can’t stop bad things from happening. You might be right, the fates may be cruel, and they may be waiting for things to get great so that they can drop another test on you, but you can’t spend your life waiting for that. You can’t do that to yourself… or your children. What kind of freedoms can they have if you’re always waiting for them to get run over by a bus?”

Butterfly sighs, now fully weeping while listening to Gail.

“I lived in mourning for many years after God gave me a wonderful man and then decided to take him back. We have no children and now, I can’t bear any children of my own. Lo, and behold, another wonderful man happened into my life.” She looks over at Jason.

“He was the worse person for me,” she laughs. “We work together; he has a dangerous job… but those damn fates…” She looks back down at her hands before she raises her eyes to Butterfly.

“He was almost killed, and I thought that destiny was going to punish me again, but he wasn’t. He came back to me and even though it happened in a pretty cruel way, he even brought me a daughter.”

Jason’s gaze softens, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen more love in his eyes… except on their wedding day in Anguilla.

“And then you welcomed me into your family—even against the wishes of my employer…” I drop my head and twist my lips. She’s right. I didn’t want to blur any lines between me and my staff, but Butterfly had different plans from the very beginning. “…And you had two beautiful babies, and I get to help raise them. So, I didn’t get to bear any children of my own, but I sure as hell have a family.

“One thing that I learned from losing my Douglas and living in mourning for all those years before I found my Jason, gained a beautiful daughter, and a beautiful family is that yes, bad times are always going to happen for as long as you’re alive. But think about it really hard… The bad times don’t follow the good times. The good times follow the bad.”

Butterfly raises her eyes to Gail, her lip trembling. She swallows hard.

“I want to believe that so badly,” she says. “It would make all of this so much easier to bear… I just can’t see how to get past this huge, crashing abyss I feel in my soul.”

“I just want us to get back to being us,” I say, disappointed, “but… from what you’re saying, that might not happen.” She shrugs, smiling sadly.

“I love you too much to lie to you,” she confesses. “Give it time. You never know. Maybe I’ll see what Gail is saying. I’ll go back to Ace and maybe… maybe I’ll get comfortable enough to forget this feeling of impending doom.”

It’s not until this moment that I fully realize what my leaving really did to her. It shook her foundation in everything she believed in. Maybe there was too much of her inner security wrapped up in me, but didn’t I make it that way? Didn’t I make her the most important thing in my life, bumping heads with her several times on matters of her security, safety, and well-being? I’m Christian Grey—self-proclaimed possessive and controlling asshole. I must have everything important to me encased in this protective bubble so that I know that it’s safe. She was in that bubble—figuratively and literally—and that’s what she became accustomed to. I took care of her life, her body, and her heart, and she expected me to keep doing that…

And then, one day, I didn’t.

I left her out there in the elements without any shelter and she had to fend for herself against the foul weather. As a result, she got a really good look at just how bad the hurricanes, tornadoes, monsoons, typhoons, blizzards, avalanches, sandstorms, wind and hail could really be. Every bad thing that ever happened to her all came back at     once and all the progress that she had made in all of her therapy sessions went down the drain. A lot, if not all, of her safety and progress was directly linked to me and I took it away in one fell swoop…

I was the one who opened the door to finally finding out what happened in Green Valley.

I was the one who swooped in with my whirly-bird and rescued her from the clutches of the bad guys.

I was the one who held her as she cried when she cut ties with her mother.

I was the one who stood by her side and fought her friends when she was catatonic for several days.

I was the one who was there for twelve days when she was in a coma and waiting when she woke up, even though she didn’t know who I was.

Then, she turned around looking for that safety net at a very crucial moment in our relationship, and I wasn’t there… I was gone… and she fell, and she might still be falling.

I’ll make it up to you, baby. I swear I will.

“I guess I just have to work harder at showing you that everything’s not impending doom,” I say, matter-of-factly, “at making sure that you know that I realize that I wasn’t there when you fell and I’m really sorry for that; letting you know that I know I’ve shaken your trust to the very core and it may take me the rest of my life to get it back, but I’ll fight that long if it means that in the end, you know that I’ll never let you fall again. I don’t care how long it takes… I love you and I want you to trust me again, trust us again, trust life and love again. I’ll do any and everything to restore that trust. It may take a really long time, but I don’t care. You won’t have to forget that impending doom, because I’m going to chase it away. I’m going to spend every day of my life chasing it away until you trust again. I made a horrible mistake, Anastasia. I ran when I should have listened. As a result, everything we’ve built has been destroyed. Please, forgive me. Please, please, forgive me.”

“Not… everything,” she says, her voice small. I raise my eyes to look at her. “I still love you… with all my heart…”

“But you don’t trust me,” I say. “That is everything, but I’m not giving up hope. I’ll do everything I can to make you trust me again.”

I suddenly ache inside. That pull—that connection that we’ve always had suddenly feels stronger than it ever has, and I feel that if she doesn’t come to me now, I just may pass out. She leaps from her seat and launches herself into my arms. She’s as light as a feather and as heavy as lead at the same time and it feels like the wind has been knocked out of me as I hold her to me with all the inner strength I can muster.

“I don’t know…” her small voice begins, her face buried in my neck.

“Sssh,” I soothe, rubbing her back and holding her close to me. “I do…”

*-*

I’m sitting at the breakfast bar resting my face in my hands and watching Gail put the finishing touches on an exquisite homemade seven-layer German chocolate cake. Only moments after our emotionally taxing discussion, Butterfly excused herself and went to take a nap before dinner. I immediately felt that hopeless feeling again and only wanted to make things right in her life… when I suddenly made a horrendous discovery.

“Today is Butterfly’s birthday,” I lament right after she leaves the den. Gail and Jason look at each other and back at me.

“Fuck! It is,” Jason responds, slapping his hand to his forehead. “We fucking forgot. How could we fucking forget?”

“Look at everything that’s been going on,” Gail interjects. “My birthday would be the last thing I would be thinking about in the midst of all this shit!”

“I’ll bet that’s not how Butterfly feels,” I say, pulling out my phone to see if Al is still in the house.

“Yep,” he says when he answers the phone.

“Today is Butterfly’s birthday,” I say into the phone.

“Yep,” he says, with no surprise. I roll my eyes.

“You didn’t think to remind me of this when we talked?” The line is silent.

“Are you serious?” he asks. “Are you fucking kidding me? You’re her goddamn husband and you forgot her fucking birthday? Now you wanna blame me? Seriously?” Oh, shit, I’ve pissed the man off.

 “Look, I’m sorry. There’s a lot going on, okay?” I apologize.

“No shit, Sherlock,” he replies.

“Did she mention anything while you all were visiting?”

“Not a word,” he says. “I think it’s the furthest thing from her mind.” Like Gail said.

“Are you still here?” I ask.

“Yes, but she just went up to bed. I think she’s down for the night…”

“No, she’s not. She’s taking a nap. Come to my den. I need your help…”

I used to sit in the kitchen and watch my mother like this on those few occasions when she would make something special. She was a very busy doctor and she didn’t get to cook much until we got older. She spent as much time with us as possible when we were kids instead of in the kitchen. She’s the reason that I don’t want my children raised solely by nannies. My mom was the best, and even though I may not have acted like she was the world to me, she really was. There was this one time when she made this chocolate cake for me from scratch. It was just for me, and I remember how special she made me feel making that cake just for me…

“I need you to do me a huge favor and I don’t want you to laugh at me.” Gail’s eyes widen as she puts the cake spatula down on the counter and turns her attention to me.

“Okay,” she says, waiting for my request. I sigh heavily and spit it out.

“I want you to teach me how to cook a nice meal for my wife,” I say finally. “I’m not trying to be a master chef. I just want to cook her a nice meal and I’m afraid that if I try to do it alone, I’ll burn the house down.”

I raise my head to look at her and she’s glaring at me like she’s just seen a ghost. I try to understand that this is a strange request but give me a fucking break here. I’m trying to do something nice for the woman I love.

“You want to cook?” she finally says, astonished. I nod.

“Yes,” I reply, already afraid that this will be an impossible task. Gail sighs.

“It takes patience, Christian,” she says. “You’re not a very patient man.”

“I at least want to try,” I say. “I just want to do something nice for her. I buy her shit all the time. This will be different, something I can do myself. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal—I know that would take forever, but something nice… and edible.” A small smile plays with Gail’s lips.

“We’ll try,” she says. “When do you want to do this? You all are always home at the same time, unless you don’t care if she knows.”

“No, it has to be a surprise,” I tell her. She nods.

“Sophie has been asking to learn to cook a few dishes. You’re in luck, we’ve only just started. I can kill two birds with one stone if you don’t mind a teenager in your cooking class.” I sigh again. I don’t care who’s in the cooking class as long as she agrees to help me… and Butterfly doesn’t find out.

“Thank you,” I breathe. “I’ll come home early, when Sophie is getting off school. We’ll work out some form of communication so that I’ll know if Butterfly is at home…”

Just like that, Gail becomes my co-conspirator.

Having unlimited resources affords you the luxury of not only being able to put together a birthday party in only two hours, but also to be able to secure the perfect gift that’s not only thoughtful and somewhat extravagant to the average person, but also utterly necessary. As luck would have it—bad luck, that is—I’m the only person in the inner sanctum that forgot it was Butterfly’s birthday. Everyone else had presents at the ready and was only looking for a good time to “engage,” so to speak. So, when Al activated the contingency and managed to get Butterfly’s closest friends to the Crossing on short notice, everyone came bearing gifts. Mine is an Australian cruise that we’ll be taking in December, no excuses or postponing.

At 7pm sharp, I send Val to rouse my Butterfly from her slumber and bring her to the dining room. As much as I’ve promised that birthdays will no longer be a day of angst for my wife, this one was nearly ruined again—this time, because of me. Three birthdays this woman has spent with me and not one of them have gone off without a hitch. Oy vey!

After fifteen minutes have passed and still no sign of my wife, I begin to worry until I see a beautiful vision in sunshine yellow bend the corner around one of the large columns.

“Surprise!” everyone yells. The gathering is small, not everyone that I would have hoped but enough of our closest friends and family.

“Wha…?” Butterfly is stunned. An impromptu Food and Libations with the Scooby Gang and plus ones, the extended family from the Crossing, and my parents made it, too. A small table is set up with the gifts and the German Chocolate cake made by Gail and decorated with large chocolate flowers and the words “Happy Birthday Mommy.” The twins sleep in their Pack-n-Plays on either side of the table, guarding the cake and gifts from possible interlopers. Little Mindy occasionally peeks into the Pack-n-Plays under her mother’s watchful eye. Little Harry had just been put down to sleep and as I am told, has been battling a small cold. So, even though Ray is here, Mandy and Ana’s little brother couldn’t make it.

“I couldn’t let her come down when she first awoke,” Val apologizes. “She looked like she had been attacked by wolves. She never would have forgiven me.” I walk over to my sweet, stunned bride and put my hands on her forearms.

“I want to say that we had this elaborate plan, but we didn’t. We all just wanted you to know how much we love you.” She looks around the table at her friends and the family we could gather before she throws her arms around me and buries her face in my neck.

“I totally forgot,” she breathes in soft sobs. “I love you, too.”

*-*

She had a wonderful time. She spent the evening listening to what was going on in everyone else’s life since it was already known that the last month of her life had been a complete disaster. Having spent most of the summer taking care of Val, then being there for me and my family when Pops died, followed almost immediately by Mia’s wedding then yet another event that we’ll come up with some horrible nickname for, there hasn’t been any time to connect with her friends on the frivolous and fun level that friends should.

After two years together, Marilyn and Gary have decided to move in together. There are still no wedding bells on the near horizon, but they’re both so busy that they don’t spend nights apart at all and, according to them, it makes no sense to pay rent in two places when they most often only stay in one.

So… Courtney and Vickie are a real-life couple. Yeah, that’s news to me. I wouldn’t have been surprised that they were fucking around, but a couple… yeah, I’m surprised. Courtney’s going to school for social work, which is a real shocker to me since she was truly a lost cause a year ago as far as I was concerned. But, I have to admit—Aunt Tina, Mom, and Butterfly were right. She has changed significantly. I don’t think her grandparents would even recognize her now.

Valerie and Elliot will be moving into their house next weekend. The house is ready, but they didn’t want to come straight home and then have to prepare for packing and moving. Valerie’s things are all in storage since she let her apartment go right after her diagnosis and Elliot’s refusal to let her out of his sight. Elliot still has his apartment, but he’s going to be shedding most of his bachelor gear—as is my understanding—for new furnishings in the new house. They should be ready for a housewarming in a few weeks.

Maxine announces that she has decided to open her own practice. She feels that it’s time that she offers her services in a different arena without being under someone else’s payroll. Butterfly encourages her to do that and jokes that she will come and see Maxine should she find herself in need of a job again. A scoff and a dirty look come from both my mother and me to the party’s amusement. Butterfly also informs her friend that she owns an office building downtown with empty office space. I had completely forgotten that I had gifted Butterfly’s office downtown to her and there is currently space for rent. So, Maxine now has the new location of her practice.

There’s no sex tonight. The day was just too heavy, even with the successful joviality at the end of the evening. Butterfly and I watch Disney movies in the family room with the twins in their Pack-n-Plays. She finally falls asleep somewhere after their midnight feeding and I lay in bed with her in my arms staring at the ceiling, thinking how close I came to losing it all over a terrible misunderstanding.

My wife could have died when she fell off that cliff. Chuck saved her life yet again. She may never recover from this impending doom syndrome. I can see it in her eyes. She used to be such a free spirit and now, she’s approaching everything with a level of emotional caution that’s clearly visible to everyone around her. She’s agreed to start seeing Ace again. I’ll give Dr. Baker a call, too. Somebody’s got to help us out of this situation in which we’ve found ourselves or we’ll never be able to get ourselves back.

Having laid awake next to my wife for about three hours with no hope of falling asleep, I slide out of bed and go to my old faithful companion in hopes of calming my nerves enough to find slumber. I stop at the bar in the entertainment room and pour myself a brandy, then stop in my office to get my voice recorder before escaping to my den and my baby grand.

I never know how to verbalize my feelings, which is why I ran my cowardly, selfish ass to Madrid instead of staying here and communicating with my wife. I thought I had come so far during the time that we’ve been together. I’ve come a long way, granted, but not nearly as far as I need to if I can come this close to losing her because of this. I start the voice recorder and just start playing. At first, I have no idea what I’m doing, what I’m playing, or why I’m recording… but I do. I just keep playing, keep recording… and keep singing.

You look at me and I begin to melt, just like the snow when a ray of sun is felt…

She’s so broken, and I broke her. Just like she always does, she put on a good face for the rest of the world, but deep inside, she’s fragile and afraid. Somehow, I—or something else—always exploits that fear and that vulnerability. I have to make sure that she knows that I’ll never be the one to do that to her again. I have to know that I’ll never do that to her again. She can’t take it. She won’t survive going through this too many more times.

And now that your rose is in bloom, a light hits the gloom on the Grey…

Yeah, I know that’s not the Grey the song meant, but that’s how I feel—lost without her and so found when she’s near me. Song after song flows from my soul, my fingers, and my mouth. I don’t really know the purpose. I just sing and play what I’m feeling, what I need her to feel.

And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while…

How I could have thought that for one second her thoughts and heart would stray to someone else is beyond me. Even now, playing the probable kiss over and over in my head, I no longer see her gazing in his eyes. I no longer see him closing in to touch his lips to hers. I only see her hand on his chest, pushing him away, fending him off from our bubble, our life and our love…

I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life…

I have to get her back… back to the sassy Dr. Steele that I met in that community center, the woman who calls me Grey when she’s cross with me, the woman who cries adrenaline tears when she’s pissed and wants someone to pay for whatever has her feeling that way instead of shrinking into sofas or in fetal positions on the floor—not for myself, but for her… and yes, for me, too…

If ever I believe my work is done, then I’ll start back at one…

She has to know that I love her, what she means to me, what she’ll always mean to me. She has to know that, yes, there will be some bad times—some shadows and some tears, we can’t avoid them—but I’ll always be there to love her and hold her, to make sure that she’ll never feel the way she feels right now ever, ever again. God, I love you, Butterfly. I love you so much. I’ll spend the rest of my life proving to you that I love you and I’ll never let you down like this again… never again…

I never knew what my life was for, but now that you’re here, I know for sure…

I have died every day waiting for you, Darlin’ don’t be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years…

You make me feel so brand new and I want to spend my life with you…

All of me loves all of you, love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…


A/N: Ana’s quote about sudden destruction comes from the Bible: I Thessalonians 5:3

Here are the songs that are referenced in Christian’s midnight serenade.

On the Wings of Love—Jeffrey Osborne
Kiss From A Rose—Seal
Just The Way You Are—Bruno Mars
I Knew I Loved You—Savage Garden
Back At One—Brian McKnight
Spend My Life With You—Eric Benet ft. Tamia
A Thousand Years—Christina Perri
Let’s Stay Together—Al Green
All Of Me—John Legend 

Other songs that were on the recording, not mentioned in the chapter:
Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You—George Benson, Glenn Medeiros, Westlife… take your pick
I Will Be Right Here Waiting for you—Richard Marx
Thinking Out Loud—Ed Sheeran
Because You Loved Me—Celine Dion

Not sure if anyone cares, but years ago, I used to watch a sitcom called The Facts of Life. One of the characters—Tootie—wrote and performed a dramatic reading that I never really understood until I became an adult and people were always expecting something of me. When my Muse deserted me (and believe me, y’all, she deserted me—I thought I was going to be wrapping up the Butterfly Saga), Tootie’s dramatic reading came to me. To me, it translated into, “You can’t expect for me to just keep churning out shit when you need it and just take what I can get when you’re ready to give it to me.” 

These last few chapters, my Muse took a beating… and she shut the fuck down. 

Now I know people may look at this and say, “We can’t say what we want to say or she’s going to stop writing.” That’s not necessarily true, but people do need to understand that creativity is a lot of hard work, and I’m feeling what’s being said. As many times as I’ve tried to explain things logically, my Muse—as is anybody’s—is as “at will” as they come. She was like, “I don’t have to explain shit! and took the fuck off. 

For those who think she’s overly sensitive, do me a quick favor. Start from chapter 37, and don’t read anything else but the comments(suspicion started in chapter 33; the “embers” started in chapter 37; the blaze started in chapter 38) . Start from the first comment in chapter 37 to the last comment in chapter 41. Read it first with an open mind, then picture that this was a piece of clay that you worked on months ago for several weeks, and these people are talking about your piece of clay. No matter how thick your skin is, no creative soul can walk away from that unscathed. 

If you’re interested in Tootie’s dramatic reading, it starts at the 15:45 mark and it’s only about a minute long. 

I’m done. I apologize for subjecting you all to my diatribe. I’ve actually lost readers for that. 

Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/raising-grey/

The new question and answer thread is always open for questions about the story. be sure to read it and please adhere to the rules when asking questions. You can find it on the left, second from last in the menu our you can click HERE.

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

 

78 thoughts on “Raising Grey: Chapter 42—Unbreak My Heart

  1. naturallyblonde1221 says:

    dam they have been though so much.
    and ive read those comments they are bad

  2. junebride says:

    Was getting ready to go to sleep, but saw this new chapter was out and had to read it. It’s 5 a.m. now! You never disappoint; another meaningful and well written chapter. Loved it!!

  3. shazjackmeg says:

    What a brilliant chapter – I was nervous to read at first thinking how bad it could get. Christian has hurt her deeply and she deserves to feel the way she does but I’m so glad he sees it now and can start trying to make her feel secure again. Can’t wait for more.
    You are an amazing writer and your stories are compelling I hope you know how much it means when an alert comes in if a new chapter – everything stops until it’s read -THANK YOU xxx

  4. Jennifer Timmons says:

    And that ladies is why I love this story. No matter what, this story is larger than life. It’s larger because not everyone is gonna find a fine ass billionaire with a big dick and knows how to use it. There are a lot of women in the world that would take a man that loved his wife the way Christian loves Ana. Buecauae they do love each other. Through all the bullshit, they don’t stop loving. They may lose faith and trust, but they don’t lose their love. These characters are imperfect; but beautifully imperfect when they’ve got it together. But let’s face it, even the original Christian and Ana didn’t have it together much of the time. He’ll ill admit that after 14 years of marriage I can’t conclusively say I’ve got it all together. It ebbs and flows. That’s life. That’s what makes it real. Tell the Muse that she has my applause, and tell the other bitches to kiss her ass. She should be proud, invoking such emotional responses from a reader is a sign of talent. Not all of us can do that.

    • Yeah, I do know and appreciate that. I try very hard to understand that people get passionate because the story, draws you in, but sometimes, it just gets a little tiring. And it was SO brutal for the last few chapters that the Muse was like, “yeah, I’m out.” She’s the creative force–she keeps the juices flowing–so if she tucks tail and all you have left is BG/Lynn working upwards of 10 – 12 hours a day weekends included, there won’t be that much of a story. I’m glad to see her poking her back in because my next chapter is my LAST PREWRITTEN CHAPTER, but she’s been shaping the ideas, so we’ll see what’s coming. I have outlines clean into the next year and some of them are very juicy, but they’re just bone… the Muse puts the meat on the bone.

  5. Please keep writing. Even if we sometimes do not understand why you take this path and not that one you still have a plan. So do not let some people discourage you.

  6. Honey says:

    Dear Lynn,
    I’m not one to comment often. And with you I realize I never once did. I apologize. My lack of affirmation is in no way a testament to how ineffective you are as a writer. Or less engaged i am with your work. Not by a long shot.

    You have made me cry more times than i can remember compared to any other Christian and Ana fanfic writer that I’ve ever read. And i do read a lot of them. You have a way of twisting my heart and breaking it into a million pieces just with your words. And bec of that i feel more human…i feel i empathize more.

    You have shared with us your stories, your soul, and your time. I’m afraid we will never be able to appreciate you enough.

    Thank you Lynn.

    You are a blessing to all your readers.

  7. Connie gould says:

    I love this story I hope you don’t end it to soon I can’t wait for the next chapter

  8. Lovesfiftyshades says:

    You rock my world with every chapter…I physically feel their pain and love. No one can understand how comments affect an author until they write a book themselves, and put it out there. Writing is almost like being an organ donor…you decide to donate, freely and voluntarily a piece of you heart, mind, body and soul with each word and chapter. And while you don’t donate expecting anything in return, you welcome and appreciate the gratitude of the recipient. But never do you expect the recipient to respond with a wish for something different or better and you absolutely never expect to hear complaints and ungratefulness. I have no words…Hoping your muse recovers; can’t wait to read more. I love this story and these characters; so much so, I often forget they aren’t real! :-). Take care BG!

  9. Loveme says:

    Excited your Muse is back! She was greatly missed! This is your clay, mold as you see fit, to hell with anyone else…they can stop reading or go write their own 😁

    Your genius that creates the twists and turns of this story is what draws us in and keeps us coming back, quite frankly has most of us waiting anxiously to get that “BG new post” email. The love and angst are what make this saga sooooo good.

    You never disappoint! THANK YOU!

  10. Ann Shearer says:

    Amazing chapter sweetheart, i loved it, it was well worth the wait, hope your doing ok, and all is well with you, take care of yourself and when your ready to send another chapter i will be here waiting, just as i always will be thank you love ann xxxxx

  11. Thank you for making my Monday so special. Ana’s feelings are so real and honest. Feeling like that is so tiring. Giving up is the only option. I know. At least she has the spark left to not give up and Christian has realized his part. You truly are very talented at bringing the reality of life to us readers. Thank you so much.

  12. falalalynx says:

    You’re here! Goddess!!! Joy Oh Joy!

    The bands back together and creation is chaotic but I have NO DOUBT they will become better and better. I can metaphor us all crazy about this but I won’t waste my time. Love will NOT let them down. They are only perfect when they are together. Separately he is ruthless and lost and she is an angry frighten bitch with wonderful fashion sense. They can’t be great without the other there. It’s wonderful to see neither of them have actually given up. Christian recognizes his mistake and is working to repair the damage and Ana is hanging on and not letting go of her love for him. What do we all expect from two people who have such damaged life baggage? MISTAKES that’s what. Brilliantly drawn by you Goddess.

    Now Miss Muse you; I’m so happy you are back from vacation. grin You know these peeps who come in and blurt out crazy ass hurtful shit they are, I think, just venting there immediate emotional response to the situation. They want Ana to be super woman and Christian to be that demigod. They want the fairy tale. You and the Goddess give a gritty more real life, lol as real life as can be imagined by you, so they dump there discontent and split. I don’t think they think about how hurtful they are being. I’ll bet they don’t even read the replies. They are of the opinion “Hey I can say or feel whatever I do. It’s a free country.” This is the disconnect of the internet I think. If they were face to face with you I think they might take a moment to think about the impact of there thoughtless words. It’s easy to say crap when you don’t have anyone looking you in the eye. I for one am so thankful for you and what you give us. I sometimes don’t want what happens in the story to happen but I do want you to go where ever you go, otherwise I’m just getting the same old same old fairy tale which I’ve already read and that stuff is just plum boring by now. So you keep on dancing to your own song and I will just enjoy the hell out of it. Just think of it like this. Okay that one was a bitch but oh hey look over there all of those peeps like us and some even love us. They make me strong. I will ignore those negative nellys and embrace the love that is being offered by those who are in my corner, who have my back, would stand beside me, and LOVE us. This is YOUR HOUSE we are just guest and some of us have bad manners. grin

    Peace, Falala

    • falalalynx says:

      Sheesh okay I just came back to see if you Goddess had come by and while here I reread myself. grin I feel I need to clarify one thing. When I called Ana a bitch I didn’t mean like ‘bitchy’. No no I meant ‘Bitch’ like the Meredith Brooks song. grin Whew okay I hope I made myself clear now. giggle I love Ana. No Ana bashing here. big grin xoxoxoxo

    • My dear Falala, because you address the Muse directly and so passionately, in a one-time-only appearance, the Muse has decided to respond to your comment.

      MUSE:
      We know we can count on you for the pep talk that we so desperately need. And we love you for that. Please forgive me for using your comment as a forum for my expression.

      Have you ever been talking to a room full of people and you felt like nobody was listening? Out of hundreds of people, someone waves or responds every so often, but the vast majority are talking amongst themselves, sneering or jeering at you, or just giving you the general vibe that they wish you would hurry up and sit the hell down… so you do?

      Have you ever been an employer or seen an employer who watched her employees constantly breaking the rules and kept telling them, “Stop breaking the rules!” and they kept breaking the rules because they didn’t believe that they were going to get fired… until they got fired?

      Have you ever been in a relationship where you told your significant other, “Stop doing this; stop treating me like this,” and they didn’t and you tried and tried to stay, but you finally decided, “I don’t need this,” and left?

      That’s how it was for me.

      BG talks about Tootie’s dramatic reading, and I don’t know if anybody bothered to look at the video, and it wouldn’t surprise me if nobody did, but I was that player piano—grinding and grinding and grinding, and that Victrola—music and music and more and more and music and music and more and more. Over the years and after giving freely of myself, I would see little jabs and hear people say little nasty things, but that wasn’t the vast majority of what I was seeing. So, I would just go back to grinding.

      Then, I create this storyline that was so huge, it could actually stand alone. In fact, it did. I stopped giving content on anything for quite some time and only gave this storyline. BG’s little fingers had to go and go and go, and when we were done, it was one big ole hunk of content that was over 100 pages by itself, nothing but Ana’s POV.

      Now, imagine doing that, then having to figure out when in the year it was going to happen, having to insert Christian’s point of view including the Madrid trip, having write and insert a crazy, over-the-top wedding that had not been written yet, and then having to break everything down into chapters and present it in a manner that was coherent.

      That’s a lot of work just to have to stand there and let people throw darts at me for the first three chapters. And I was back to being that damn Victrola…

      “We don’t like this song!”
      “This music sucks!”
      “I hate the words… change them!”
      “If you already have the music, why are you making us wait?”
      “That singer sounds terrible!”
      “Play another song; this is awful!”

      BG was reading things all horrified but staying quiet because there was nothing that she could say. I’m the one that gives the wit. So, while she’s sitting there with her little feelings hurt, wondering why people are chopping us up so badly, I was pissed! I was like, “What the hell? I don’t need this shit!” And that’s when I checked out.

      We had not received that bad a beating from that many people EVER… not even on Fanfiction—and remember, we left Fanfiction completely.

      I was immediately reminded of Ana’s pregnancy revelation. All we kept getting and kept getting and kept getting was…

      “When are you going to tell us Ana’s pregnant?”
      “When are you going to tell us Ana’s pregnant?”
      “When are you going to tell us Ana’s pregnant?”
      “When are you going to tell us Ana’s pregnant?”

      …like there was nothing else in the story to be told. That storyline was prewritten, too, and BG knew when it was going to come! But when it finally did, I felt like somebody had spoiled my wet dream. It was so anticlimactic for me—the creator—that I guided BG to a video of a crazy redhead holding a firecracker in her hand and waiting for the explosion. When the firecracker fizzles into nothing, she laughs and says, “Ha! Dud!” not realizing that her crazy ass could have lost her hand had the damn thing gone off.

      That’s how we announced the chapter…with the “dud” video. I felt like an MC walking up on the stage in front a crowd that’s dressed in their Sunday best while they’re angrily demanding popcorn. So, he takes a giant bucket of greasy ass popcorn and dumps it out over the entire crowd and their expensive clothes and says, “There’s your fucking popcorn,” and walks away.

      BG is not lying to you when she tells you that she has from five to twenty scenes and storylines just written, waiting for a place to be inserted, because that’s how I work. I’ll paint the pretty picture. You figure out where to hang it. But if I paint the picture and you just randomly hang them all over the house, that’s going to look like shit. And if after you find the perfect place for the picture, there’s somebody constantly coming in saying, “That picture looks like shit,” after a while, I’ll stop painting.

      The only reason I came back is because she started working on other things, and I wanted to get into those things. She sees that I’m back and now she’s back to working on this. We’ll have to see how long I hang around.

      And the Muse walks out.

      BG:
      So, there you have it. Once again, I don’t want people to think they can’t say what you feel, but I do want people to understand that saying what you feel comes with consequences. Just like I understand that writing this and posting it in a public forum exposes you to whatever people are going to say, I understand that I have a right to pull back and say, “This is a bit much for me.”

      I realize that out of the thousands of people—and I do mean thousands—of people that are following me, that are on my mailing lists, that are on my social media… maybe one-eighth to one-twelfth of them will see this comment, if that many. But if you take nothing else from this dissertation, take this.

      I used to wonder what in heaven’s name would cause people to stop writing their stories. Now, I get it.

      • falalalynx says:

        Oh holy holy moly! lol

        I’ve talked with the Goddess.
        I’ve talked with Ana.
        I’ve talked with Christian.
        And now I’ve talked with you Muse. sigh I’m in fangirl heaven right here.

        HUGS HUGS and more HUGS sugar pie. I get it. I’ve seen it. I’ve read it. I’ve even done some screaming about it myself. It seems quite true that the artist does suffer for there art. Slings and arrows, sticks and stones, mud and dirt clods, blood and guts, Falala! get a grip!. Okay. Oops I’m sorry another run away train of thought there. grin No thought police in this neighborhood. grin I think I can speak for all of the Goddess loving readers in the world when I say I just want our collective love and respect to be enough to shield you and lift you up out of the muck a muck of the negativity that comes your way and yet sometimes I feel that we still fail you. Hate is truly strong but you know what I FRIGGING REFUSE to give in or give up. I’m that little plant that grows up through the crack in the cement and you;

        You are my sunshine my only sunshine
        You make me happy when skies are grey
        You’ll never know dear how much WE love you
        So PLEASE don’t take my sunshine away.

        Of course this comes with the usual disclaimer to be grateful you aren’t actually hearing me sing this. giggle Smile for me sweetie. I need me some teeth. lol XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXXXXXX

        Peace, Falala

  13. DEBORAH HALLOWELL says:

    As always, brilliant. You are so talented and I know that writing is an art that needs to develop and grow. I so look forward to a new chapter. Take as long as you need, you keep your followers enthralled. Happy writing, I will await patiently.

  14. Sherree says:

    Wow, your muse is making up for lost time. Brilliant chapter. I appreciate you sharing your talent with us and do understand that anything creative is personal so if I have made a comment that has upset you I truly am sorry. I did get a little frustrated over her reaction to Christian but it took having the rundown of her life written out in that amazing monologue to realize that one never gets over that amount of trauma. It’s not exactly like you can ‘put on your big girl panties and deal with it’ is it?

  15. Christian618 says:

    So now we can add marriage counselors to The Taylor’s job description. This is much needed for them and I feel the Taylor’s are the best people for the job. They spend way too much time with them. They know both of them inside and out. They are close enough to be brutally honest with them and not offend them. His was great and I feel like they are actually working on their rocky and fast relationship. Nicely done as always Bronze Goddess!

  16. Darla says:

    Thanks for another great chapter.

  17. LOVED this chapter. I TOTALLY get where Ana is coming from. I’ve been there several times. I call it the ‘waiting for the other shoe to drop’ feeling. The anticipation is numbing. As soon as something good happens to you, or you receive good news, BAM!! The bad news is lurking around the corner. You want to feel hopeful and rejoice, but…So, I get it. I know Christian will move heaven and earth to get her back to her old self. They love each other. However, emotional/mental damage takes much longer to heal than physical damage 😦

    LOVE the banter between Christian and Jason at Jason and Gail’s expense over the quickie, lol 🙂

  18. Jane Pyle says:

    I was waiting with bated breath for this chapter. You never never fail to blow me away. It it makes me so sad that you are getting hurtful messages. This is your story Your Blood Sweat and Tears and I would be devastated to lose you. Please just keep writing your stories your way turn a deaf ear 2 hurtful things. It is a privilege to read your stories. I get swept up in them and can forget any worries that I have for those few precious minutes. Please keep writing there are many of us here that love you and love your stories and we are many. Christian and Ana are always going to be together I think all of us know that. They may have bumps in the road but they can’t be apart. I’m excited for your next chapter whenever you decide on your own to do it. Used to have a life too and we all need to remember that. Thank you for your beautiful stories

  19. Darcy says:

    Oh Sweetie, you are definitely not the only one. The title of this chapter did me in immediately. That song was popular during a major heartbreak in my life. I can still remember driving down the road bawling while this song was playing. I literally had to pull over till I could get it together.

    Your writing is so evocative, sometimes I can’t breathe from the emotions you stir up, and yes it sends me into a major crying jag but it is cathartic & cleansing.

    Always be true to yourself, I am taken aback sometimes how you can describe an emotion so clearly, I am awed by your gift. ❤

  20. muñecomama says:

    This story is the bee’s knee’s. CG is taking responsibility like a boss! It’s like I can see him going through all the “12 steps” in these past few chapters. Now he is pulling up his boot straps and fixing the snowball of a mess that he started! The way he finally had his A-ha! moment and realized how he truly let her down, just made me love him more. Now, I will confess, I don’t review as much as I’d like, but that’s mostly because I don’t feel I can adequately address how well it is written, the way it feels real, anything really, and I also had no idea there were awful reviews that could make your muse close up shop like this. But I would at least like you to know, personally, my real life is in shambles, where I almost have similar feelings to your Ana(except for the whole married to a billionaire sex God thing, I feel like I can relate to her.) When I saw my email notification that you posted a new chapter, and finally sat down and read it, this was the first time I’ve genuinely smiled in days. If you were to tell us that this was the last chapter you would ever post, although i would be devastated, I would appreciate all you have given us. This story is better than where the original characters came from. You should be proud of what you’ve done thus far. I wish the hateful people could just…….fall off the cliff Ana nearly fell off.

  21. Annette Tomplait says:

    First I want to say thank you for this brilliantly written chapter. A marriage is work and it takes two people to make it work. I believe that Christian and Ana may just see that now. Pointing fingers never helps. I am so glad Ana finally let loose with all of her pent up thoughts. I am glad Christian finally sees what a catastrophe his actions were. Now let’s get these two souls the help they need to move on together into a much more healthy loving relationship. I’m glad your muse is finding her way back. I hope you are well and see all the love your readers have for you and your story. Have a wonderful week. 😊

  22. Barbara says:

    Another amazing chapter. My heart breaks for Ana & her outlook on life at the moment. I know I have been there & it’s very hard to see the good when the bad keeps popping up. I loved the songs, they evoked SO many memories. Hope you are doing good!

  23. S. Hodgson says:

    What a beautiful break through finally all out in the open and it was very much needed. It’ll be beautiful to read the healing.

  24. Lori says:

    Your story is always well worth waiting for. You write Ana’s feelings so well I could feel her anguish and the sense of impending doom she felt shadowing her. Wonderful, emotional chapter. Thank you!t

  25. Valarie Mathis says:

    I am so glad that Anastasia really let it loose. I truly understand what you and her went through; there was a time that I went through the same thing. Just getting out of bed took all of me. I was a single parent too. You are truly a creative writing Goddess. This story is even better than the original. I was not impress with the EL James books or the movies, but with your version I am totally in awe. Keep blessing us with and I will be here. Love You Too Miss Muse ❤

    • Wow, that’s high praise. You weren’t impressed with E.L.’s books? I would never insult her, but I do think they could have been written just a little better (please forgive me, Ms. James), but I do like them, you know? I hope she does book three in Christian’s POV.

  26. kirithyblog says:

    You know, I finished the chapter with that kind of pain you get in your throat when you are trying to hold back the tears. I was at work (alone in a room, but still) so I had to get myself together.
    Now I’m home and decided to re-read again and couldn’t even make it past your introductions in the beginning (the note in bold letters, I love reading them too) without crying. I totally get it what you said there and think it is what got me more this week. Maybe that’s why I can relate and understand Ana so much, I’ve been there, just like you said.
    I’m glad she finally spoke up.
    When Jason said that thing about her sounding like a drama queen and Ana was just: forget it, you don’t understand.. and then started to fast track on the worst things that happened to her, seriously, I have no words. beautifully writen ❤️
    I hope you have a great week and that your muse is alive and kicking in no time! 😏

  27. LisaKabb says:

    Thank you Goddess for continuing to share your talent with us even when we are less than grateful or don’t always get it. While I understand why Christian left I’m still mad he didn’t check on his kids. Poor Ana is broken. He is back now and understands the damage he did. They both live life fiercely and I have no doubt they will get back there. They just have to 😉

  28. Pam rawson says:

    Don’t give up! When the muse returns, I’ll be waiting.

  29. Michelle B says:

    I feel like I’m not allowed to comment because I’m not 100 percent in Ana ‘s corner but I do feel like the situation could have been handled better on both sides as I said before Christian was wrong for leaving like he did no communication none what so ever not even to check on the kids I also feel like Ana has to be right about everything they both have had some tradgies in their lives horrible ones at that I’m thrilled that they are communicating which they should have done anyway but I stand by everything I have said in the comments because its my opinion its how I feel about the situation I love reading the comments to see how everyone feels and if I ever saw you person I would hug you tell you what a great writer I think you are and then have along conversation about the saga and some characters and we would agree to disagree lol but I love each and every crazy lady on this board even though we have never met I wish nothing but happiness for everyone until next week

  30. Ginger says:

    Thank Goddess the muse is back!
    I love your brutal honesty, lack of sugar coating straight from the hip sharp shooting! Do I love every word you write? No I don’t.
    I do however RESPECT THE BEJESUS out of you for doing what you love and doing it well.
    I don’t know how the words “LEAVE A REPLY” equate to please leave a disrespectful, condescending comment. THAT YOU NEVER WOULD SAY IN PERSON!
    THANK YOU FOR BEING YOU and staying true to yourself!

  31. Bernadette Zavala says:

    I’ve just read the past three chapters…That hurt to “hear” them and their feelings just feel desolate. So sad I feel bad for them :'(. Oh gosh give them something good to look forward to 🙂 and hey your a brilliant writer. Thumbs up!

  32. Elaine Palmer says:

    I Love your story…. Please don’t let other people put your story down… I think they are jealous because they can’t write a story like you can… I wish I could get up enough courage to do it but I wouldn’t know where to start anyway lol!!! Don’t let other people get you down and please don’t stop writing this story. After you are done with this story I plan on reading the whole story over again starting at the beginning (Paging Dr. Steele) 🙂

  33. grey1125 says:

    amazing chapter! I have to say that I myself have been in that position where I am in a state of dread and feeling that impending doom. I totally understand Ana and how’s she’s feeling and I also understand how Christian is feeling too. They both have a lot to learn still. They both are struggling with their own issues that sometimes they don’t realize how much damage it’s doing to each other and themselves. I always look forward to your new chapters, I love this story very much, all of it. The bad, the good, the sexy, all of it. And I am so excited that the Muse is peeking back up again! I can understand how those comments can really affect someone. We all have feelings, of course we are going to be affected by them. The good and bad, not matter how much we try to ignore the bad, it always get to us. So I don’t think the muse was over sensitive. In fact, she was right. But I’m glad she’s slowly coming back and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us ❤️

  34. MichelleCheri’ says:

    I have an idea…We need a “like” and “dislike” button for comments on your chapters! :). It is obvious by some of the comments of readers that they are only looking for sex or BDSM scenes. Or some of the readers have not felt the type of love or this type of breakup in their own lives and cannot relate to the feelings Ana has.
    The chapters are written so well it transforms the reader into the space of the characters and I think we get lost from the fact they are your character s.

  35. Chayo says:

    Goddess, I finally thawed a wee bit towards Grey. Twas colder than the devil’s tits here. All I wanted was for him to admit what he did was fkd up. I think he’s there now. Poor thing. And Poor, Poor Ana.
    The comments here frustrate me too and I am not the writer 😑. We’ll take whatever you and les muse extraordinaire give us. TY.

  36. Camille Henley says:

    Thanks Lynn for a beautiful well written chapter. I love that the Taylors are there for our favorite couple. So much was shared in this chapter by our couples that it really makes your heart hurt for both. Their love for each other will make them strong again. Just like in real life. It will takes time, maybe even a life time. They have each other and with them together they will weather the storms. Goddess you and your muse have given us so much for four possible five years and you have only asked that we your readers, followers, fans, the list goes on Give you one thing. Respect your characters and not abuse your characters. I think after all this time we should know our author by now and do the only thing that she has asked of us. RESPECT .Bronze Thanks for all that you do for us. You’re talented, extremely created and We your fans loves you. Thanks Again.

  37. Debbie says:

    👏 on the chapter. Resolution on the horizon!?! Kudos to the Taylor’s. Al & Val, too. All instrumental in A opening up & realization hitting C.
    I have to say, I read other authors on Ff. But they are not you. You give a story LIFE! Not just sex, BDSM, erotica, butterflies & flowers, puppies & kittens, love ’em, leave ’em etc. YOU put me there. YOUR take on most things in life, resonate with me on a level that is uncanny. Like looking in a mirror. And I’m pretty sure I’ve got a few years on you. You & your muse keep me so invested. If/when you no longer do C&A, I pray you continue to write something. I have read everything you have written here & Ff in the last year. If you stopped, I would feel like I lost a very dear friend. It would be such a loss.
    I hope, BG, the positive fans out weigh the negative ones. Some people just have no concept of respect. Sometimes we just have to say, “Fuck ’em” & go on our way. Have faith in those that do respect & appreciate the fruits of your labor. I hope we give you food for thought.
    Ok….I’m done. Didn’t intend on this being a rant. But geeze, wtf.
    I hope your week is going well. Don’t over extend yourself, please.
    TTUL…..

    • Oh, my heart feels like it will burst. Thank you so much. Most of the time, the positive ones do outweigh the negative ones, but with this storyline, people just seemed like they were so, so, so displeased with so much stuff and it just weighed on me. A dancer can’t dance with a weight around her neck, and that’s what was going on with me and the Muse was like, “I just can’t take it no more.”

      • Debbie says:

        Oh girl, I get it. It hurts me to know people hurt you that way. Just hate how the asshole cowards use social media. Don’t give merit to their bullshit. They give me ass cramps!
        I do not do social media. I have your site & one other author, I comment on. That’s it. But I see no point in tearing someone down when they are sharing their gift with me. As you have pointed out to the haters, don’t read it. Go find something else or write your own.
        So please, do not take it to heart. Hell, stop reading when you see where it’s going.
        You are so gifted. It blows me away how you do this.
        Thank you, BG. You always have me,
        Book, Line & Sinker 😉💖

  38. jjgoldmann says:

    Good for Jason to get them started because they both need to vent this all out in order to have a chance to move forward, which they both want and need. Christian acknowledged that he knows that he’s at fault for the insecurities that Ana is feeling. Boy did Ana lay everything out and yes she has gone through a lot and some of it Christian has been by her side bringing her back from that black hole and he will continue to do so. She just has to give him a chance again to do it. He made a mistake but then don’t all men although his did make her spiral out of control!? I so pray for them both to get through this and back to each other again. Hopefully their therapists can help?

    Good party after forgetting her birthday. 🙂 Have to love that contingency plan of theirs, it so comes in handy.

    Is Christian going to let her listen to his recording?

  39. valentinesgenie says:

    I pray all is well with you loved the chapter see you next time take care…..

  40. kirithyblog says:

    BTW I watched the clip by The Facts of Life and the monologue was really something. I had to stop at times to translate it in my head the real meaning of what she was saying (it sooo much harder to listen to another language then reading and even harder if it is poetry). Now I want to turn back time and recite it to my old boss when I finally moved on 😂 The joke is that he would never get it!

  41. Beachycolor says:

    Excellent writing. Your disappointment and sadness over reader’s comments probably helped you write Ana’s feelings so well.

    Sorry, I can’t remember if she’s ever taken SSRIs. Wouldn’t now be the time just to help her to feel normal again while working with Ace?

    • Well, she hasn’t actually been diagnosed with anything where it would warrant her taking SSRIs just yet, so no she hasn’t taken those. Although I know medication has its place, having been on medications myself, I always look at those as a very last resort.

      • falalalynx says:

        Well damn, here I was checking the latest replies and missing you Goddess when I read this last one. grrrrrr sigh Please please please for the love of goodness do not put drugs in this situation. I’ve been the victim of being prescribed 3 of these SSRIs and IMO they are nothing but awful awful awful. No no no no no do not do this to Ana. They need to talk and reach out to each other. She DOES NOT need to be drugged out of her mind. ARGH!!! This has me rocking in my seat. Drugs will not help this situation. They will only isolate her further and every time she does something someone doesn’t understand they will then say “Oh it’s the drugs.” Ana’s vibrant. Drugs will make her a flat line. Is this what we/you want? What an awful awful idea. No NO No She can’t she’s nursing her children. OMG I’m having a panic attack. Please DON’T do this.

        Frightened, Falala

      • That’s not my intention. Medication should only be used when needed. If there is an element that requires medication, I feel like that’s when it should be used. I am one of those people who feel like there are a lot of times when doctors just medicate you because they can and that won’t be me and it won’t be in my story.

      • falalalynx says:

        OMG! I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am to read you say that. grin Sorry if I over reacted. Personal experience sent me off. IMO Ana won’t figure anything out if she’s seeing everything through a drug induced veil. You can’t tell what feelings are real this way. And our sweet Ana needs to feel everything to work through it. Our girl is strong. She can do this. sigh ok ok I need some iced tea. grin Thank you Goddess for answering me. How is your weekend? Getting any sun on Sunday? grin Maybe we should name it picnic day. lol

        Peace, Falala

      • Girl, stop getting yourself all worked up, LOL. ❤

      • falalalynx says:

        giggle What can I say, this is a hot topic button for me. Throw some pills down her throat. Don’t bother with sitting and listening to her woes. And then there are issues a person simply must work out for themselves or with there partner. Drugs get in the way. Been there. Done that. Don’t recommend it. It’s an uphill battle too when it’s the alleged professional with the opposing opinion. I know of no pill that mends a broken or bruised heart. Love love love. All you need is love love love. Or maybe a gallon of your favorite ice cream. big goofy grin here. Thank you Beatles

        Peace has come to the kingdom once again. Falala

  42. bichonmomma says:

    GGGi was 3 chapters behind and finally I have caught up on my back reading. Excellent chapter. Sometimes I just want to smack them both. They both have suffered such physical and emotional damage that I truly believe it is difficult for them to behave in a rational way versus reverting back to their prior way of reacting and acting out. Sometimes I wonder if they love each other too much. Such an all encompassing love. They are just like the rest of us, they have to learn for their mistakes and try to do better in the future. They are a powerhouses when the are in sync. Love their characters so much and love how far they have come and how much they have grown.

    As to your muse, well she still seems to be working as the chapters are amazing. I imagine that real life can zap your muse. There is always so much research evident in your chapters and without a doubt full of emotion. When one reads it you can see the people and feel the emotion. That is true talent. We all love you Bronzy and love your writing. Thanks so much for sharing your talent and creativity with us.

  43. falalalynx says:

    Heads up Goddess,

    Caution sweetie. I don’t know whats going on but several of the fan websites I visited have had there twitter accounts suspended without notification on any way to find out why. I personally don’t have an account but I have checked out yours and there postings on occasions. I know people use the twitter accounts to get to your story. Anyway I just wanted to warn you so you could be aware.

    Peace, Falala

  44. 1962 says:

    I love the way these 2 are playing out. I don’t know what anyone else is talking about these chapters are great! Keep them coming!

  45. Mariposa says:

    Wow, that was almost as had to read as the song with the same title is to listen to. It makes my heart bleed!! This breaks my heart to see them go through this. Thank God for Taylor and Gail and their insistence on helping them talk or Ana specially.

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