Email to come later…
So, I guess my biggest flight from reality in the last chapter was the “92 ½ months pregnant” statement. I was certain that mothers would get that, but it seems like it just flew over everybody’s head. I was sitting at my computer cracking up because I just kept getting emails and comments and IM’s that said, “Did you really mean to type that?” I was like, “Was I the only one that felt that way later in the pregnancy?” You know, that, “This kid ain’t gone never come!” feeling. I was expecting people to do a double-take and go, “92 ½ months pregnant? What? 92 and a… Ooooohh! Yeah…” but… no, that didn’t happen. Anywho, welcome to my twisted sense of humor. 😉
I wrote this chapter when my hand wasn’t working, so a lot of it was dictated into the computer. I edited it the best that I could, so please excuse any grammatical errors you may find. I have someone that looks things over and catches those for me—I just didn’t want you guys to think I threw the chapter together and didn’t care. ❤
This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.
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…
“So, the big ‘to do’ this morning is the interview that aired with Christian and Anastasia Grey on Monday night.”
I had been keeping my eye on the internet and the local morning shows to see if anyone had anything to say about our interview. After an enlightening conversation with Courtney yesterday, I really want to know what the rest of the world is thinking. Of course, Wake Up, Seattle doesn’t miss its chance to weigh in on the topic. It’s one of the usual local shows with primary male and female co-hosts and right now, the female has the floor.
“After a veritable lifetime of discretion, sneaking in and out of the country without the world’s knowledge, relationships that remain in question or completely in the dark, and a dramatic life worthy of a movie deal, the Greys came out of the billion-dollar shadows and opened up on network primetime television. The interview was an intimate look into their lives, careers, and family. As usual, Christian oozed power and sex-appeal all over the screen while Anastasia remained the picture of poise and independence, able to hold her own next to her billionaire husband.”
The segment was more of the same, recapping various portions of the interview, highlighting issues that still may raise questions, but an overall unbiased report…
“So, the day of the interview, I learned from a very reliable source that Maria Sanchez wasn’t the only broadcast journalist in line for this story. There was also Danika Farrell and Raynell Stanton.”
“Once the interview was over, I took to social media and our friendly Twitter to see what each woman had to say about the outcome of the interview. Maria was silent, most likely opting to let Twitter have its way and see what the viewing public felt before interjecting her thoughts, if she so chose to do that. Danika and Raynell, not so much.
“Danika chimed in first with a hearty congratulations on a job well done, commending Maria on getting the right mixture of business and personal in the interview, ending with a friendly jab, ‘I’ll get you on the next one, girl.’ And that was pretty much it.
“Raynell was not so gracious in the slightest. In my humble opinion, if you don’t like a piece, you talk around it or you say nothing at all. By criticizing another reporter for a piece that they did, you’re opening Pandora’s Box. You’re basically telling the rest of the journalistic world, ‘Here I am, take your shot.’ That’s okay if that’s your plan, but I’ve got a feeling that wasn’t what Raynell was aiming for.
“Now, some say that Raynell may have been bitter because she was passed over for the interview. Hence, her attempts to discredit the subject. Other sources, however, indicate that she actually threw the audition so that she wouldn’t be chosen for the interview at all. Her first shot hit Twitter right when the interview was airing in the Eastern time zone.”
Each time she reads a tweet, it’s plastered across the screen for the viewers to read.
**Auditioning for an interview—how stuck on yourself can you be? #eccentricorparanoid **
“Now, because she’s a well-known television journalist and does a lot of interviews, nobody was really sure what she was talking about. It started to become clearer over her next few tweets and as the segment played out on the east coast…”
**Little boys and their toys, including their little girls. #itsgoodtobetheking **
**That boat is bigger than most people’s houses. Overcompensating much? #justbuyasportscar **
**Oooo, guns! Classy! Loved the speech to deflect from the need for gun control. #NRAunite **
“Now, in general, you’re not watching Twitter while you’re watching television, but people like us—yeah, we do that. As you can see, the shots are quite personal and getting a little vicious as time progresses. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to put all that together and realize that she was talking about the Grey interview that was currently in progress in her time zone. The only thing that she left out was her blatant mention of AnaChris, but she rectified that situation in her final tweet of the night…”
**As I suspected, a flamboyant display of ostentatious largess with little to no substance whatsoever. I predicted it would be a total waste of my time; I was right. #dodgedabullet #greyinterview **
“Now,” the host says as she puts her cards on the table in front of her, “it could just be me, but this tweet pretty much drove the nail in that she actually threw the interview. Am I wrong on that?” Her male co-host shakes his head.
“Nope, that’s what I’m seeing, too,” he says.
“So, to that, I just say this. Ray, are you trying to get the reputation of being hard to work with? Rumor has it on the wire already that you threw the interview and then you tweet something like that? You do know that celebrities and influential people have Twitter accounts, too, right? Do you want them to see your name and say, ‘Hmm, she threw the Grey interview because she felt like it wasn’t worth her time?’ They’ll stop calling you, honey. And quite frankly, even if you feel your subject matter sucks, the sign of a good investigative journalist is that they take the material that they have and they make it the best story possible. That’s what I always thought.” She turns to her co-host.
“That’s what they taught me. Remember that story on failing vendors at the Marketplace?” he chimes in.
“How could I forget?” she laments. “It turned out okay, though.”
“Yes, it did. We were talking to people who were losing their spots at the Marketplace because they weren’t getting enough business. While some people were quite engaging, others had already given up and had nothing to say. It could have been a real disaster, but instead, we used what we had and filled the rest in with valid statistics and information with some customer interviews thrown in and it turned out to be a good piece—even saved some of the failing vendors.”
The female host nods as the audience applauds.
“But I digress,” the male host recovers. “Tell me, what happened on Twitter after this? Did AnaChris chime in?”
“Honestly, I’m not sure that they have Twitter accounts. They probably haven’t even seen this.”
“Until now,” the male host laughs.
“Yeah, until now,” the female host chuckles. “Nonetheless, tweeters came back with mixed reviews—as we thought they would—but the AnaChris fanbase was in full force all night Monday night and all day yesterday, bashing the poor Raynell with hundreds of tweets like:
**@raynellstanton Yeah, that’s right. When the opportunity of a lifetime passes you by, pretend that it didn’t matter. #haternation **
**@raynellstanton Do you think we don’t know you threw this story away and Maria grabbed the chance to get the story that you wanted? “Big mistake… big… huge!” #sourgrapes #youblewit **
**@raynellstanton Exactly what’s the bug up your butt? That you didn’t get the interview or that the interview was actually good? #youcouldabeenacontender **
**@raynellstanton You were this close. You’re sh***g yourself that you threw away that opportunity, aren’t you? #almostdoesntcount **
**@raynellstanton Keep saying it over and over again until you finally believe it #imeanttodothat #imeanttodothat #imeanttodothat #imeanttodothat **
“And my personal favorite…”
**@raynellstanton Are you on drugs? That was quality television and excellent journalism. Pissed because you tripped at the audition? Grab your hem, your Haterade is showing. **
“Well, I’m sorry,” the male host interjects, “but this one is my favorite…”
**@raynellstanton Don’t worry. There’s always Bill Cosby. #jellopudding **
The audience groans as he raises his head and shrugs.
“What?” he asks. “Too soon?”
The female host shakes her head and laughs.
“Turn his mic off,” she demands facetiously as the audience follows her in laughter. “Turn. His. Mic off!”
Once the laughter dies down, she continues with the segment.
“Eventually, Raynell removed her tweet after having been hashtagged, retweeted, and basically decimated within a 24-hour period, but the damage had already been done. For just such an emergency, several tweeters screen-printed her tweet to live on in infamy and be passed around the internet for years to come… or at least until the next trend.
“AnaChris isn’t without their share of criticism, however. One tweeter agrees with Raynell saying…”
**Largess is right. I expected to see Robin Leach slide down the banister at any moment and I’m surprised we didn’t see a maid or a butler. You tried to come off looking like a power couple, but you look more like the Seattle Beverly Hillbillies to me. **
“And another tweeter remarked…”
**True American love story. Right, if by American love story, you mean “Playboy billionaire lands gold-digging trophy wife and now, they try to convince the world that they’re happy.” #letsseetheprenup **
“And this one…”
**Why does she still have her condo if they’re happily married? She has a million square feet on Mercer Island and still has a condo on Elliot Bay? What’s the real story here? #howsitreallyhanginggrey #lovenest **
“So, both sides have sounded off, AnaChris lovers and haters. I will say that the lovers, however, are much more vocal, so we’ll give this round to them. But in terms of the consensus of the interview, overall, it was a good interview—a concise exposé with peeks into their business, their personal lives, their passions, their beautiful children and even their struggles.”
“Yeah,” the male host says. “Who would have thought billionaires had struggles? But they do… valid everyday issues as well as large, life-changing things, just like the rest of us mere mortals.”
“Exactly,” the female host replies. “Now, like I said before, I’m not one to criticize another journalist. However, when you open the door to that kind of criticism, I’m going to walk in. So, here’s my take on it.
“These people are putting themselves out there and you don’t expect them to be cautious about who they let tell their story? You can call it an audition if you want to, which in effect, it was—you are going to be on television. It’s a job interview, Ray. Even if you had been the only candidate, you still would have had to interview for that position. We all have to meet with the subjects and discuss our direction, hoping they’ll be satisfied with our vision. You disparaging that fact was just petty and I don’t have to tell you that.
“They obviously made the right decision in not choosing you because you didn’t want the story and had you not gotten the exact material that you wanted, there’s no telling how you would have portrayed them on television. So, if you felt like it was such bad material and a waste of time, why are you going on about it? If what you said had any truth to it, the classy thing to do would have been to sit back with a Cheshire cat smile and bask in your ‘I told you so’ moment. Social media, the press, and the public would have ripped them apart and you wouldn’t have had to lift a finger. Instead, you’re looking like the scorned senior who got stood up for prom trying to convince herself that she didn’t want to go in the first place.
“And let’s face it, Raynell, you can’t talk to a billionaire without talking about his money or have you conveniently forgotten Oprah’s interviews with Kim Kardashian in her beautiful home, Michael Jackson on the Neverland estate, George Lucas on the Skywalker Ranch? And let’s not forget all the rich and famous people interviewed by Ms. Barbara Walters. You’ve been in this business for a while, Ray. Why are you suddenly acting new to this? Do yourself a favor and don’t try to make Grey out to be the bad guy because you didn’t want to talk about his money.
“You turned down a golden opportunity and now you’re talking about dodging a bullet. No, my dear, that wasn’t a bullet. That was an egg, and it hit you square in the face. That’s why you took that tweet down. We’ll be right back.”
The audience applauds as the screen fades to black and goes to a commercial. I chuckle to myself at the outcome of the synopsis—a little bit of this and a little bit of that. We’re loved and hated all over, which is what I expected.
I finish my coffee and croissants and go down to my office. Lately, I’ve been doing a few hours at home before going into Helping Hands. It gives me time to have breakfast, feed my babies, meditate, write in my journal, and organize and plan my day. I don’t have any plans on doing any real work at home today, just preparation for the most part—which is when I caught the morning show talking about our interview. I know there was probably a whole slew of speculation on the talk shows yesterday, but I didn’t bother to watch. Anything really horrible—or juicy—would get to me eventually.
I enjoyed watching the segment the second time around. There were a few parts that I thought were a little cliché, but they really couldn’t be presented in any other light. We’re a wealthy, powerful, beautiful couple with a beautiful home and beautiful children… cliché, yes, but it’s the truth. Nonetheless, I already knew that bloggers, Facebookers, and tweeters were going to have something to say about it. Hell, they slam President Obama on a regular basis—we’re certainly not immune.
I’m packing things up and preparing to head to Helping Hands when the two-way comes alive.
“Ana,” I say into the air.
“Dr. Grey, this is Warton at the front gate. There’s someone here to see you. He won’t give his full name. He just said, ‘Gary.’”
Well, this guy must be new. I don’t recognize his name and he doesn’t know members of the Scooby gang.
“Let him in,” I say. “I’ll be right up.” There’s hesitance in the air before Warton says, “Okay.”
What the…? It’s Gary, let the man in.
I make my way up to the first floor, through the dining room and to the portico to meet Gary. On the days when I spend part of my day at home and part at work, I let Marilyn decide if she wants to come to my house or wait until I get to Helping Hands. Today is one of the days she decided to go to the Center, which is probably why Gary is here.
When I get to the portico, Gary is exiting the driver’s seat and there’s a guard standing behind the car.
“Ana,” Gary says confused. “Is this a new protocol or something?” I frown looking at the guard that I don’t know.
“Not that I know of,” I say, staring at him and waiting for an explanation. He takes the stance with one hand over the other in front of him.
“He didn’t give his full name, ma’am,” the guard says in an authoritative, matter-of-fact kind of way.
“So, why did you follow him up to the portico after you let him in?” I ask.
“Like I said,” he begins, “he didn’t give his full name.”
“Were you going to follow him through the house if I didn’t come out?” I inquire. His concrete resolve appears to break a bit.
“Um, well, it’s protocol, ma’am,” he stutters. “I have to log who visits…”
“Who else is in that booth with you?” I ask. “Everybody who works here should know who Gary is.” He stutters a bit and says somebody’s name, but I really don’t even hear him.
“Listen, Warhol,” I say, not because I’m being funny, but because I really can’t remember his name. “You don’t know who Gary is because you’re new, and that’s okay—I understand that. But how dare you follow someone up to the portico like a guard walking the green mile after I’ve instructed you to let them into my home!” He tries not to appear shaken when he responds.
“Ma’am, we have to take certain precautions when someone refuses to give their full name,” he responds.
“Do you do that to Val, Al, or Elliot when they show up?” I ask, folding my arms. He’s silent, and I’m certain that none of these people have showed up on his watch. “Nonetheless, I informed you to let him in. Is this how you’re going to be treating my guests? Like suspects?” He clears his throat.
“It’s… for your safety, ma’am,” he says. “You could have been under duress.”
“Did I use the panic word?” I ask. His brow furrows. Oh, dear God in heaven. “Do you know the panic word?”
His face blanches a bit.
“Please, leave,” I say before I even know the words are coming out of my mouth. After a pause, he turns around and heads back to the guard’s booth. “Come on in, Gary,” I say, walking into the house and pulling my phone out of my pocket.
“I hope I haven’t cost someone their job,” he says after he walks in the grand entrance.
“Oh, you didn’t cost him anything, but he might have cost himself his job,” I say putting the phone to my ear.
“Your Highness,” Jason answers.
“I want this Warthog motherfucker off my property,” I say firmly into the phone.
“Warthog? What?” he asks bemused.
“This guard at the gate—I want him gone.”
“May I ask what he did wrong, ma’am?” and he’s fully formal. That’s what I need right now.
“Well, first he asked Gary for his full name. That’s fine, but Gary told him to just tell me that it was Gary and I cleared him to come into the gate. When I come out to the portico, this asshole is following him like a sentinel. When I ask him why, he basically questions the fact that I let someone into my house. His first mistake was questioning me in my house. His second and largest mistake was trying to lecture me on protocol when his ass doesn’t even know what the fucking panic word is!”
“How does he not know the fucking panic word?” Jason hisses to himself.
“My sentiments exactly. Get him the fuck off my property.” I try to be accommodating and understanding, but there are times when I do feel like Her Highness and this is one of them. “And Jason? I don’t want him fired. I just want him properly trained. But if you do see the need to fire him, make sure that he knows that if he tries any of that Harris shit, I’ll shoot him in the fucking balls.” Jason clears his throat.
“Yes, Your Highness,” he says, and I end the call.
I almost forgot that Gary was there.
“I’m sorry about that, Gary. Is everything okay?”
“I just need to talk to you,” he says. I nod and gesture to the living room.
“What’s wrong?” I ask as I take a seat on one of the sofas.
“It’s Marilyn,” he says with his head down. “Has she talked to you?”
I sigh. I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t want to lie to him, but I can’t tell him what we talked about.
“That’s okay,” he says. “Your silence speaks volumes.” He sits down on the sofa close to me. So, I guess I inadvertently told him without telling them anything at all.
“I can’t understand why she’s not more excited about having his baby,” he says. “This is like the best thing that can happen to us. It’ll make us into a family. I love her more than anything. So, what’s the problem?”
I still really can’t tell him what we talked about. So, I sit there silently just looking at him. He raises his eyes to me.
“Ana, are you seriously not going to talk to me about this? We’ve been friends forever!”
“I’m sorry. It’s not that, Gary. Some things that are said to me are said in confidence as a psychiatrist. And I can’t reveal what’s been said. So, even though you’re my friend…” I trail off. He nods.
“I get it… but I don’t. You’re my friend and I’ve always come to you and talked to you about anything and I can’t talk to you about this. That really fucking sucks.” I sigh again.
“I can always talk to you as a friend about how you’re feeling, Gary. But I can’t tell you anything about Marilyn.” He stands up and begins to pace.
“I know she’s pregnant,” he says. “She hasn’t taken a pregnancy test, but I know she’s pregnant. I can tell by the way she looks, by her demeanor… but she’s acting like it’s the end of the world. I wouldn’t leave her. Of course, I’d stay by her side. And even if for some ungodly reason we didn’t work out, she’d never be raising this baby alone. I’ll always be there for my child. But, for some reason, she can’t seem to wrap her mind around the joy that we can have together raising our baby. I don’t understand it. We’re not teenagers. We’re both gainfully employed. We’re in love. What’s the problem?”
“Well, speaking as a woman and not as Marilyn,” I point out emphatically, “our body has to go through some crazy things to endure pregnancy. Hormone changes, body changes—you look at yourself in the mirror and you feel like hell, all kinds of things, and that’s a whole year almost of going through that. That’s a lot to take on to decide I want to become a mother.
“And then there’s a commitment, and don’t get it twisted. It’s not an 18-year commitment, it’s lifelong. So, the minute you decide to have a baby, your entire life changes that very second. It’s not just, ‘Hey, let’s bring this life into the world and yeah it’ll grow up and I’ll be there…’ No. You’re invested all in. That’s a huge decision, and it’s scary no matter what your plight in life. I was married to a billionaire when I found out that I was pregnant with twins, and I was still terrified! What if I bring them into this world and some strange speck of dust falls on them and causes them to have some kind of strange illness or disease and they die? What if the world does the same thing to them that it did to me and they don’t survive it? That’s the kind of fear I had while I was carrying my children, not to mention just the everyday life shit that was going on. And believe me, Gary, I’ve only scratched the surface of what goes through a woman’s mind when she’s considering whether or not to have a baby…”
“Considering whether or not to have it?” he asks in horror. “Are you telling me that Marilyn is considering not having my baby?” Oh shit, think fast, Grey!
“Will you stop putting words into my mouth, you moron?” I exclaim. “I told you when this conversation began that I was telling you about a woman in general, not Marilyn! Don’t you dare go harassing my friend because of something I told you about my personal experience!”
He deflates immediately, and I almost feel bad. Marilyn is actually considering terminating the pregnancy, but I can’t tell him that I know that or that she told me that. And I feel awful that I just snapped at him to cover my own faux pas, but I honestly don’t see that I had a choice.
“I’m sorry,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to offend you.”
“Don’t apologize…” I should actually be apologizing to you, “Just, please, see my comments for what I’m saying, for what I went through when I was pregnant. Don’t read anything into it and don’t take that nonsense back to Marilyn. You’ll only make a bad matter worse, I can guarantee it.”
“So, what do I do?” he asks.
“Just be there for her, I say. Every woman goes through a phase of terror and fear and uncertainty. You have to let her go through it. It’s hard for her. It was hard for me.”
“Do you think she’s considering getting rid of my baby?” he asks sadly. I feel horrible for him… and then I deflect.
“Gary, I wouldn’t tell you that if I knew. My speculation is of no importance whatsoever.”
“I should be happy, Ana,” he says pacing around the living room. “We should be happy. This should be one of the best times of our lives. I love her, she loves me, and we created a baby from our love. What could be more special? And yet she’s walking around in this cloud of doom like the world is about to end. And I just don’t know what to do. I don’t want to pressure her or make her feel bad, but if I reach to touch her, I instinctively reach for her stomach and that seems to irritate her. So, I try not to do it but then my hand instinctively goes down there anyway. What am I supposed to do?”
“I wish I had an answer for you, Gary,” I say. “You just have to be patient. One way or another a solution is going to surface and this thing will work itself out.” He twists his lips at me.
“You and I both know that a baby doesn’t just work itself out. Things have to be done, plans and decisions have to be made, this doesn’t just go away like a pimple or rash. And if that’s what she’s expecting or waiting for… She’s got to be fucking smarter than that!”
And I’ve pissed him off again. I rub my hands over my face.
“There’s really nothing I can tell you that you want to hear right now,” I admit. “What you want to hear is that Marilyn will come around and everything’s going to be fine and you two are going to have a baby and live happily ever after. I can’t tell you that because I don’t know that. And if Marilyn hasn’t taken a pregnancy test, she doesn’t know that either. So… you’re just going to have to be patient. If she hasn’t taken the test yet, convince her to take the test.
“You guys can’t make any decisions on anything or make any plans until you get that little blue plus sign. Until then, everything, and I do mean everything, is speculation. She could just be under some kind of stress and just missed her period or something. It happens. And you’re planning for a baby whether it’s a happy baby time or gloom and doom baby time, we don’t even know. She’s got to take that test. So, if you want my advice, this is what I say. Stop everything—stop the rubbing of the belly, stop the dreamy baby talk, and impress the importance of taking that test. Nothing can be done either way until she takes the test.”
He falls down onto the sofa and drops his face into his hands. I can see that he’s miserable and I really want to be there for my friend. There’s a thin line between having two friends on different sides of the fence. And I’m about to cross that thin line.
“Is there any way that you can humor me and tell me something that’ll make me feel better?” he asks. I put my hand on his back.
“Whatever happens Gary,” I begin, “when the time comes—if it’s now or if it’s later—you’ll make a great father. And if Marilyn is pregnant and you guys do have a baby, that baby will have two of the most concerned, caring, loving parents in the world. Please remember that whatever happens, you two are in love. You fell in love almost at first sight and you love each other endlessly. Don’t let anything come between that love.”
“I never thought I could love anybody the way that I love Mare,” he says, “and I would love our baby even more, if that’s even possible. A part of her and a part of me? That’s amazing!” he adds in awe.
“I’m not an idiot,” he says, “and I’m not being selfish. I know that I’m being one-sided about this because I’m not the one that’s going to be carrying the baby. But I can only imagine how beautiful she’ll be carrying our child. Just like you were…”
He thought I was beautiful?
“… All glowing and swollen doing this labor of love that’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Who couldn’t love someone who does that?”
“You’d be surprised,” I tell him. “That’s why there are so many single mothers in this world. Everybody doesn’t feel the same way you—and Christian—feel. We’re very lucky to have men like you guys.”
“Well, I don’t know, maybe I’m naive, but any man who can scoff at a woman who puts her body through this to bring his child into the world as a fucking idiot.” I chuckle
“You should teach a class,” I say with mirth. He smiles sadly.
“Thanks for listening,” he says. “I’m at the end of my rope and I just don’t know what to do, but you’ve given me a little insight and I’ll do what I can to make sure she gets that pregnancy test.” He stands. “I’m playing hooky from work, so I got to get back. I don’t mean to dump on you and run, but…”
“Don’t worry about it,” I say. “I have to get to the Center anyway… How did you know I was here?”
“I went to the Center first and they said you hadn’t come in yet, so I took a chance on stopping by here.”
“Marilyn wasn’t there yet?” I ask. He nods.
“She was,” he says. “I checked on her, too, and she got mad at me for doing it.” Yeah, she’s pregnant. “I hope I didn’t get that guy in trouble,” he adds, referring to Wart-ass. I shake my head.
“I don’t know how much trouble he’s in, but I asked for him to be retrained. There are some things that he doesn’t know about being at Grey Crossing, and he’s going to have to learn them if they allow him to stay.” I stand with him and walk him to the door.
“You can always talk to me about anything, Gary. Don’t forget that. But please remember, if it’s something about Marilyn and she’s spoken to me in confidence, I wouldn’t be able to share anything with you that I know. And I’m not admitting to knowing or talking about anything at this time.”
“I get it. It’s a bad place to be in and I’m sorry I put you there.”
“I’m sorry I snapped at you,” I reply. He nods, and I escort him back to his car and watch as he drives away.
Midway into my afternoon after working through some notes from meetings and a few key emails, my phone rings. I don’t recognize the number.
“Grey,” I answer.
“I knew you’d be too cocky to change your damn number.” I know the voice, but I can’t place it.
“Who is this?” I ask impatiently.
“You know who it is,” she says confidently. “You’ll figure it out soon enough, but I’ll give you a hint, Master…”
“’Hold it… right there… that’s it… that’s my good little Myshka… don’t come now, Myshka…”
“Myshka… I’m not even Russian, you asshole.”
“If you had been, you might have lasted longer,” I hiss. She laughs.
“You’re hardly in any position to antagonize me right now, Grey. You have absolutely no idea why I’m calling, so you have no choice but to shut up and listen…”
I open the panel on my desk and press the button to summon Alex. He’ll start surveillance on the office, see that I’m on the phone, and immediately trace the call.
“Why the fuck are you calling me? I don’t have all day.”
“There he is,” she says confidently, “There’s that asshole I know so well… keep me on the phone long enough to trace the call and get me to tell you what you want to know. You don’t have to trace the call, Master, I’ll tell you where I am. I’m at your club downtown, not even a mile away from you. I’m enjoying a delicious lunch while overlooking Elliot Bay, and this is my personal cell phone—not a burner. If you turn your head to the right, you would be looking right at my table with a good set of high-powered binoculars. So, you can tell your goon that he’s wasting his time. You know exactly where I am.”
This bitch knows me too well to have been my submissive for such a short time.
“What do you want… Myshka?” I hiss. She falls silent, but only for a moment.
“Call me that again, and I’ll release a certain flash drive to the press. With the publicity your little wife has been getting and your most recent television appearance, that should make for a great story. Tell me, is she a good submissive behind the scenes, because there’s not a submissive bone in her body in public.”
Fucking hell… more fucking blackmail. Butterfly and I are in too delicate a position right now to withstand something like this. I’m already beginning to regret doing that exposé.
“What do you want? Money?” They all eventually want money. She laughs again.
“Far from it,” she taunts, “but you’ll have to come to the club to find out.”
“Are you out of your fucking mind? I’m not meeting you anywhere,” I bark.
“Fine. Don’t.” And she ends the call. What the hell? I dial the number back and it goes straight to voicemail.
“The Club,” is all the voicemail says. Fucking bitch. Can I afford not to meet her? Can I afford to call her bluff and allow whatever she has to hit the press? I don’t even know what it is… is it a playroom scene? Is it a copy of the contract? What the hell is it? I’m sitting there pondering my next move for I don’t know how long when my phone chimes with a text.
**I won’t wait forever. Last chance, Master. **
I suddenly hate this woman. Just as I stand from my desk, Jason and Alex enter the office.
“Natasha Gaines?” Alex asks.
“Yes,” I hiss through my teeth, “I don’t even know what the fuck she could have. Could that bitch somehow have hacked my private video information from my home?” Alex raises his eyebrow.
“Is it connected to the network?” he asks.
“Nowhere,” I tell him. “Not a network anywhere. This information is specifically on hard drives all their own that aren’t even connected to the internet. The only thing more secure than this is a single print of a polaroid. No one even knows where it is. If it malfunctions, I don’t repair it. I rip the whole thing out, secure the hard drive, destroy the rest of the hardware and start over.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty secure,” Jason confirms. “She’s got to have something of her own.” I thrust my hands into my hair.
“How?” I ask. “Our contract was so short, and I never let her out of my sight!”
“I don’t know,” Alex says, “but can you afford not to look into it?” I shake my head in defeat.
“Get me to the goddamn club,” I hiss to Jason.
“So glad you could make it,” Natasha purrs when I get to the booth where’s she’s having her lunch. She has abandoned the brunette dye job and is fully blonde, wearing a slinky blue dress that demurely hugs all her curves. Blue… the bitch would wear blue.
“I’m here. Now what the fuck do you want?” I hiss.
“I want you to sit the fuck down and stop standing over me like you’re my goddamn Dom…. Sir!” She injects so much venom in her words that I’m irritated to the utmost height of my irritation.
“Listen to me,” I say, leaning down to her face. “I’m not going to jump when you say jump. You better tell me what the fuck this is about, because I’m losing my goddamn patience.”
“Then sit. The fuck. Down,” she says calmly, her resolve never slipping. This is certainly not the same submissive that I sent away years ago. I don’t know this woman, and I have no idea what she’s capable of. I slowly slide onto the furthest end of the booth from her. “That’s a good boy.”
That’s it, fuck this shit. I move to stand.
“Not so fast,” she says, wiping the corner of her mouth with the napkin from her lap. “I haven’t really told you why I brought you here.”
“You have about five minutes to get to the fucking point, then you can release whatever you have to the press and I’ll just destroy you.” She smiles.
“You don’t mean that,” she says, sweetly.
“Try me,” I threaten. She leans in.
“I already have. And here you are.” She sits back in her seat. “No matter. I’ll make it quick. I have a plane to catch.” She throws her napkin onto her plate. “I’ve come to collect my due.
“Money. I knew it,” I bark. “How much?”
“God, you’re so fucking dense,” she retorts mockingly. “It’s not money. I’ve come to collect what I should have gotten from you years ago.” I frown. What the fuck can she be talking about?
“You owe me,” she says with a sinister smile.
“I don’t owe you shit,” I retort.
“Yes, you do,” she says. “You owe me an orgasm. In fact, you owe me several, but I’ll take just one.”
I can’t believe my ears. She’s out of her fucking mind.
“You want me to fuck you?” I ask incredulously. She laughs again.
“No,” she says, as if the answer is obvious, “but you will be giving me an orgasm.”
“I’m not giving you anything, Natasha,” I hiss. “If you don’t want money, then I’ll prepare my wife for whatever’s on that flash drive.” She reaches into her blouse and pulls a flash drive out of her cleavage. It’s connected to a necklace around her neck.
“You sure about that?” she asks with a confident smile. I think about the fucker I was before I met Butterfly. I was a sadistic, kinky asshole. The trip down Memory Lane that I had a few months ago with Alex just trying to catalog and locate these women would be a Disney movie compared to the shit that I did to them. And if she has it on video…
She smiles victoriously as she leans back in her seat.
“I won’t do this, Natasha,” I tell her. “I haven’t touched another woman since my wife and nothing that you say or do will make me change that.”
“Ooooooohhh, isn’t that sweet!” she croons insincerely. “Well, don’t worry. I wouldn’t let you touch me with somebody else’s hands, you narcissistic ass.” She reaches into her purse and pulls out a small box. It looks like a treasure chest. I recognize it immediately as the box that holds Ben-Wa balls. I frown at her.
“You want me to spank you?” I ask in the same incredulous voice. “I will not play this fucking game with you!”
“You will! Or I’ll personally give your wife a show that she’ll never fucking forget, and that’s a promise!” she hisses.
“How do I know you don’t already have copies ready for the press?” I test.
“You don’t,” she counters, “you just have to trust me. You know that concept, don’t you, Master? You exploited it very well.”
This whole thing sickens me. I have to do what she asks… but can I?
“What do you want me to do?” I nearly growl.
“That’s it,” she smiles. “That’s what I want right there… that voice.”
Dumb bitch. She’s mistaking my I’m pissed the fuck off and I want to kill you voice for my Dom voice.
“All you have to do is sit there and talk to me… in that voice… but we won’t be having just any conversation. We’ll be talking about that last time you used me… that time that you flogged me, and sucked me, and fingered me, and fucked me… for hours… and told me not to come. You used every orifice gloriously, and then you sent me away… because of hair color.”
“You lied,” I say through my teeth. “You talk about me exploiting trust when you exploited my trust, and now you’re angry because you were found out?”
“Not angry,” she clarifies. “Pissed! Pissed the fuck off, in fact—and not because you found out about my hair color. If you’re not man enough and you need mousy little brunettes over fiery blondes, that’s fine with me. What I’m not fine with is being tormented for hours while you used me like a rubber fucking sex doll and then threw me away like a used piece of tissue!”
Oh, yeah, she’s pissed.
“So,” she says, opening the box and taking the Ben-Wa balls from the box, “you’re going to give me that orgasm that you withheld from me years ago—right here and right now.” Her hands go under the table and I can see her hips moving a bit. Moments later, her hands are back on the table and it’s obvious where the balls are.
“I’m not giving you shit, Natasha, and I don’t care what you do,” I say.
“Well, there’s a start,” she purrs, and I can see her legs cross under the table. “I’ve managed to get rid of that Myshka bullshit. Now, let’s talk about that night…’
“We will not,” I hiss.
“Yes, you will,” she says softly, her voice oozing with sex. She’s hot already. “And if you don’t want the rest of the late lunch crowd to hear you, you may want to scoot a little closer.”
I fold my arms. I’m not sitting any closer to this trick and I’m not going to let her get what she wants from me.
“That’s fine,” she says, “I don’t care who hears us. I’ll start.” She leans closer to me and I don’t move.
“I arrived at your apartment at about 7 p.m. dressed in that nothing dress that you told me to wear—no underwear and no bra. You ripped it from me and left it in tatters on the floor. I remember hoping that Taylor wouldn’t walk out of the back and see me standing naked in your great room.
“You ordered me up to your playroom and like a good little submissive, I went. I stood at the door in nothing but those stilettos for about 15 minutes before you decided to ascend the stairs. I have no idea when you discovered that I was a blonde and not a brunette, but you would make sure that I remembered my malfeasance.
“You ordered me into that room, chained me to the ceiling, and flogged me until my skin was hot. You knew that would set me off…”
I sit at the table watching her and listening to her describe our final scene. I can’t even focus on her face. All I can focus on is that fucking flash drive around her neck.
“And now you’re wondering how you can get the drive,” she deduces correctly. “You could always just snatch it off my neck, but then I would just scream, and then the poor little billionaire would have to explain why I’m sitting at the table crying and clutching my neck and he’s holding my gold chain.” She smiles
Well, that idea is out the window. There’s always a pap or three sitting somewhere and waiting to get a photo op. I’m dying to know what this encounter is going to look like in the papers.
“You see, Mr. Grey,” she mewls, and from the tone of her voice, I would swear that we were fucking, “I’ve got you figured out more than you think I do. Now talk!”
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” I tell her, “because I’m not going to sit here and sext with you at this table and I don’t give a fuck what’s on that drive.”
“Well,” she says, “you can either describe our encounter or I’ll have the biggest crying and screaming fit you’ve ever seen and draw some very much unwanted attention to us just like a scorned lover. Then, I’ll take my flash drive and leave you to explain that scene to everybody.”
Shit. She’s got me over a barrel. Either I do this or one way or another, I end up in the paper and not in the good way.
“You were the worst fucking submissive I ever had…”
“I told you to describe that night,” she hisses.
“I am!” I retort viciously. “Take it or fucking leave it.”
She falls silent and glares at me.
“I should have known something wasn’t right in the first place. You couldn’t follow instructions, you kept topping from the bottom. You were worthless. And then I find out that you were really a blonde. That fucking pissed me off!”
“You should have just let me go, you asshole!” she pants, angrily.
“And I did,” I shoot victoriously, “but I decided that first, I needed to teach you a lesson. And teach you a lesson I did!”
I’m going through the gory details of that night, about how I fucked her and flogged her and treated her like the piece of meat that she was—the lying little cunt that weaseled her way into my playroom and totally betrayed my trust. There’s nothing sexual or sensual about the conversation. It’s the most demeaning description of any encounter of any kind that I’ve ever had with anyone about anything… and she just sits there grasping the edges of the table and staring at me. I’m taking joy in letting her know that she was just a hole or three to jack off into and that she would never get the satisfaction from me that she wanted; that just like that night I would leave her hanging… and then I got the surprise of my life.
She throws her head back and has a wild orgasm right there at the table, reminiscent of that scene from When Harry Met Sally. What the hell? Is she crazy? There was nothing seductive whatsoever about that conversation! And she came? Is she faking?
I sit there glaring at her for at least a minute horrified, along with the diners from about four or five other tables. I make eye-contact with one or two of them and our eyes all say the same thing… What the fuck is going on with her? I’m sitting so far away from her that it can’t be mistaken that I’m not touching her at all, so we all think she’s just losing her fucking mind.
If that does make it to the paper at all, the headline would say something like:
Christian Grey Having Lunch with Nutcase Having Out of Body Experience.
About a minute after her display begins, it ends. And she’s breathing heavily at the table trying to compose herself. I sit there just looking at her for a few moments.
“Are you insane?” I ask. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
She begins to smooth her hair and she fixes her lipstick, dabbing her face with her napkin from the little bit of sweat that has accrued there.
“That was perfect, lover. Thanks,” she says softly, closing her compact and putting it back in her purse. “That’s exactly what I needed.”
I’m convinced that she has totally lost her mind.
She removes the flash drive from her necklace and pushes it across the table to me, a satisfied grin plastered all over her face.
“Enjoy,” she purrs. “You earned it.” What the hell…? Then it hit me…
She needed the asshole. She needed the asshole to ring the orgasm from her that he denied her all those years ago to serve her purpose. She got me exactly where she wanted me, and then I gave her exactly what she needed. Fucking hell fuck fucking shit fucking hell fuck.
“What about copies?” I growl.
“Trust me, that’s the only copy. It’s the only one I needed. When you see it, you’ll see why. It’s one of a kind, baby.” She stands and retrieves her purse. “You can take care of lunch. Goodbye, lover.” She straightens her barely-there dress, blows me a kiss, and walks out of the club. I palm the flash drive and leave the club hastily.
“She spoke to me before she got into a taxi,” Jason says when I get downstairs to the car. “She said to tell you that you can stop looking for her. She’s in New York and she’s not hiding from you.” I sigh heavily. Of course, she’s not hiding from me. She had incriminating evidence that could destroy me one way or the other and probably still does.
“Get me back to the fucking office,” I growl. I need to see what’s on this goddamn drive.
The ride back to Grey House takes for-fucking-ever. I’m nearly running to the elevator when I get inside. What the fuck does this bitch have on me and how did she get it? Every second of the elevator ride is driving me out of my fucking mind. I feel like I’m riding to goddamn Judgment Day!
I dash out of the elevator and nearly sprint to my office without a word before slamming the door behind me. Everything is moving in slow motion, including my normally lightning-speed laptop.
“Come on, come on,” I urge the fucking thing to wake up. When it finally comes alive, I nearly smash the drive into the USB port and wait for it to read.
There’s only one file on the flash drive, and it’s very small. What the fuck is this shit?
It’s a movie, but it’s a room that I’ve never seen before. It’s very well-decorated and very well-lighted and there’s no one sitting in it. And then, Natasha comes into the frame. She sits in this very large chair, crosses her legs, and looks into the camera.
“Hello, Lover. If you’re watching this, it means that we’ve already met, and you’ve given me what I need and now I’m giving you what you need. You’ve given me something that you held from me for several years—my orgasm—and I’m giving you what you deserve. Absolutely nothing.
“Years ago, you brought me to that pretentious glass palace of yours and you mistreated me and misused me to no end. And then you sent me away like a discarded piece of garbage, like I had no feelings whatsoever… like I was nothing. I never really knew a man could treat a woman like a piece of meat the way you did. I can’t even begin to tell you how I felt when I left your apartment that night. To say that I was humiliated is a massive understatement. It would never fully cover the level of self-loathing and self-hatred that you unleashed in my life. The utter mortification that I felt at your hands was and always will be completely unmatched.
“And you are so fucking self-righteous that you most likely had no clue or care that you had demoralized me to the degree that I questioned who I was, everything about myself. Wasn’t it the job of a good submissive to be everything her Master wanted and needed? If he had a fantasy, wasn’t it her job to fulfill it? If you had to change something of yourself to be what he wanted, that was a small sacrifice. So, going from a beautiful sunshine blonde to a dull and boring brunette was no big deal. It was what you wanted… but it wasn’t.
“I felt like an abomination. You changed my whole life that night. You made me re-evaluate everything I thought I was.
“All those years ago, I berated myself for wanting to be what I thought you wanted. I don’t know if it ever once occurred to you that I did what I did because I wanted to be what you wanted me to be. Instead, you treated me like a mutt… not a thoroughbred, because I wasn’t your precious natural brunette. God, you are such a fucking asshole and you didn’t deserve me in the first place. I was a perfect submissive. I was just what you needed, but you were too dense to know it and you were too blind to see past the blonde hair. It took me a long time to understand that this was a shortcoming on your part, and that was your loss—not mine. Now that I know that, I realize that there was a small but large piece of me that you ripped from me that day… and I had to get it back.
“I took what you owed me. If you’re still dominant, I know that it’ll eat you up that all these years later, I lured you in with a threat… no real material. I just walked in, took what I wanted from you, and walked out. That’s all I needed. You’re still so fucking egomaniacal that I could record this shit already knowing what the outcome would be. You’re predictable, just like all the rest of them. That’s why I can’t be a submissive anymore. We’re not the puppets—you are. You ‘sitting-on-top-of-the-world’ motherfuckers, running your little empires and making the world think you’re so powerful when most of you are nothing but scared little boys running from something. You go home at night and batter your wives or girlfriends or significant others, knock your kids around a bit or ignore them altogether, or in my case, beat a little submissive… taboo in the eyes of society, but acceptable because I consented.
“It’s pathetic. A method to cope… What a fucking crock of shit.
“So, here’s what I’m doing, Christian….” I hate my name on her lips. “I’m becoming a Dominant… a real Dominant, not that ‘mind-game, play with little girls’ bullshit that you’ve been doing. I’ve trained intensely for over a year, and you can trust and believe that I’m going to be the best there is. I’m not pining over you or watching your every move because you found love with a new little Myshka!”
She says the words so mockingly that it makes my skin crawl.
“No, I learned. I learned what it means to inflict pain so exquisite that my submissives are gagging for me. I learned to draw pleasure out to the point of unconsciousness. I’ve got tricks even you’ve never seen, Sir, and I’ve done the last thing that I needed to do. I finally broke your control over me and got you out of my system, and thanks to you, I’ll be a fantastic Domme—even better than Elena, maybe even better than you.
“I knew the moment I saw that ‘look-at-me-I’m-sitting-on-top-of-the-world’ tell-all piece of bullshit that you did with the little woman that really didn’t tell anything, I knew this was the perfect time to take what I needed from you—right at that moment when you thought you were the biggest shit ever. How does that victory lap feel now, Christian?
“You want to ruin me? Go ahead. Ruin me. Ruin the little submissive who pissed you off because she made you make her come. That’ll make you feel like a big, powerful man, won’t it? It was good for me. I got what I wanted from you. Thank you for closure. You won’t hear from me again. Have a nice life, lover.” And she blows a kiss to the goddamn screen again.
I… Am… Fucking… Livid…
I fell for the oldest goddamn trick in the book. This bitch lured me in with a carrot—and a plastic one at that—and I let her. I fucking let her! I couldn’t afford for her to release something that would set Ana off after everything that has happened. I couldn’t risk it, and at the slightest mention of the possibility, I let everything I know fly out the fucking window.
“Fuck!” I yell. I’m not angry that the fucking cunt came. She needed a nut that bad, so be it. I’m mad that I let this shit happen. I mad that I allowed her to lure me away from my office to a private place for some bullshit. Now, I have to tell my wife because it’s going to eat me up if I don’t and if anything does come from this, she needs to know before it happens.
I damn near rip the flash drive from my laptop and storm into the en suite. I crush the damn thing under my heel—several times—then throw the pieces ceremoniously into the toilet. Snatching my jacket from the back of the office chair, I storm out of my office, nearly breaking the door on my way out.
“Sir?” Jason says as I breeze past him to the elevator, him quickly falling in step behind me.
“Nothing! Fucking nothing! Abso-fucking-lutely nothing! Get me the fuck out of here.”
A/N: So, in case you didn’t catch it, Raynell was getting hit with a lot of one-liners from movies and songs in the hashtags and tweets. She used one and social media came back on her with a vengeance!
#itsgoodtobetheking—History of the World, Part I. Mel Brooks also made a song out of it later.
#dodgedabullet—common phrase used often, but my favorite was Beyoncé, Best Thing I Never Had
“Big mistake… big… huge!”—Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts), Pretty Woman
#youcouldabeenacontender—it’s actually “I coulda been a contender,” Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando), On the Waterfront. It’s pretty old.
#almostdoesntcount—song by Brandy
#imeanttodothat—used to death along with “I’m okay,” but it originally came from Pee Wee Herman in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
I recognize that this is a controversial and upsetting time for victims of sexual abuse and assault as well as for Cosby supporters everywhere. However, we live in the real world where real stuff happens—thus, the reference to Bill Cosby. Please note that the case that has now come to a head with a conviction and sentence was first brought to public scrutiny and began to pick up momentum in October of 2014 when a comedian referred to Cosby as a rapist, causing several women to come forward with their accusations. As such, please note that at this point of the story, we are in November of 2014, which is why the male host jested, “What? Too soon?” It may (or may not) have been in bad taste on his part, but that’s what happens in entertainment whether we like it or not.
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