Before we start, I feel the need to point something out. I share a lot of things in my author’s notes—something that may be going on in my life (because several of you have agreed that we are friends), something that I may want to point out about the story or a previous chapter, translations, song titles, disclaimers, links, etc. You guys do know that you have the options to just skip the author’s notes and read the story, right? I just wanted to make sure that everyone knew that…
ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: I pointed out in the first “Down Undah” chapter that you most likely saw a “bad imitation of an Australian accent” and I asked not to be beaten over the head about it because I was doing my best. Then today, I see a comment about my bad imitation of an Australian accent… DIDN’T I SAY THAT?? ISN’T THAT WHAT I SAID??? So, as I am not trying to offend anyone, I’m going to say it again, and it will now be a disclaimer in every chapter that I post that involves the trip to Australia—not in the ending author’s notes like I did in the last chapter. It will be in the beginning author’s notes from now on:
Please do not beat me over the head too badly for my bad imitation of an Australian accent. I’m doing the best I can.
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…
Chapter 74—Sydney Sidewinding
I’m drenched in milk and it takes me about 15 minutes or so just to dry my dress. Some of the girls look at me with raised brows as I’ve removed my dress and bra and I’m standing there in just Christian’s jacket and my panties and stilettos trying to dry my clothes.
“Did yah huhl, dahlin’?” one of the girls asks. I smile tragically.
“Not so glamorous,” I reply. “I’m breastfeeding, and the bats scared the milk out of me.” Her friend laughs unceremoniously, and my gaze goes to her. She stops immediately.
“Sorry,” her friend says sheepishly. I shrug.
“Actually, it is kind of funny,” I tell her. “Most people piss themselves when they’re frightened. I shoot milk.”
We all stand there and have a laugh at my expense, and the girls keep me company while I’m drying my dress. We talk about nothing for a while and they ask if the “bloke” outside the door is my sweetie. I tell them to describe him and deduce that it’s Ben that standing out there waiting for me, prompting me to wish that this dress would hurry up and dry. My bra was quick work. The dress, not so much.
When I finally get it to “just under damp,” I give up on totally dry and slip back into my clothes. I thank Ben for waiting so long when we exit the bathroom and head back out to the bar. He acknowledges me with a nod.
When I get back out to the bar, Li’l John is gleefully describing his perspiring testicles and I, along with my bathroom companions, break out into dance moves reminiscent of the days in the school gymnasium… if you had that kind of highschool life, that is. I high-five my recently acquired Aussie friends and head back to our table to explain the delay to my husband. I’m probably going to ditch this dress before we even leave Sydney. It’s been my experience that breast milk stains can be pretty stubborn, and this puppy is destroyed. I wasn’t that attached to it anyway.
I’m so glad to see food on the table when we get back—three mondo platters full of cured meats, fresh cheeses, mixed olives, figs, roasted red peppers, crustini, slices of various breads… Dear God, I am so ready to eat.
Round about 18 hours ago or so, I had a breakfast full of breakfast meats when what I really wanted was the classic mixture of breakfast and lunch that is “brunch.” During the course of that 18 hours—notwithstanding the vigorous workout involved therein—I was given a moderate dinner, just enough to keep my stomach lining from digesting itself on the flight over here. I’m now ready to gnaw my fucking arm off.
I’ve been taunted with unspoken and assumed promises of exclusive food in Beverly Hills; I’ve been terrified and nearly accosted by bats; and my boobs have mutinied on me to the degree that no one can see my really cute pink sheath dress because it’s drenched in milk and has to be covered by a way too big Tom Ford blazer…
I’m ready to rip off the leg of a zebra with my bare hands, sit down, and eat it in front of everybody in this room.
Also on the table is a respectable serving of Cabernet Sauvignon. Yeah, that’ll never do. I swallow the wine in nearly one gulp, then begin to make quick work of this antipasto tray. I learn quickly that the restaurant portion is famous for its cheeses, and good God, are they delicious! As I’m scarfing down the yumminess laid out in front of me, I hear the Macarena start to play. I resist the urge to stand up and start dancing, but I don’t let the opportunity to poke fun at Jason pass me by.
“Jason, they’re playing your song!” I exclaim gleefully. My husband looks bemused as I do the Macarena from my seat.
“That is not my song,” Jason says coolly, and I can’t suppress my giggle.
“Somebody care to let me in on this?” Christian asks. I wave him off with a smile.
“You had to be there,” I dismiss, chomping on more meat, cheese, bread and veggies.
“Not a good answer,” my husband says, and I realize how it could be construed that I know something about Jason and the Macarena that I’m not willing to share.
“Okay, do you remember a while back just after the accident when I was pregnant with the twins and we did a ‘reveal’ of the house?” I ask.
“Vaguely,” he says.
“You wouldn’t remember too much because you weren’t there, but let’s just say that Jason pissed the Boss off and as a result, Gail and I were treated to quite the display.” His brow furrows.
“The boss?” he says. “I’m the boss.”
“Careful,” Jason warns.
“No, not you,” I tell him. “The Boss.” He still frowns for a moment, then realization dawns.
“Oooohhh, the boss Boss,” he says, turning to Jason. “What the hell did you do?”
“I’d rather not discuss it,” he brushes off. I giggle again.
“He got a little mouthy,” I say, “and we were subsequently blessed to see his dance moves.”
“Just the Macarena?” my husband prods.
“No, there was…”
“Your Highness,” Jason interrupts. “Please.” It’s a request that sounds more like an order, but I’ll let him off the hook.
“Alright, alright, I’ll leave what’s left of your modesty intact,” I say as I wave down our server.
“Yeah, whadya hahve?” she says as she comes to the table. “Another Cab Sav?”
“No, I want something stronger, something with a little kick that won’t knock me completely on my ass.” She laughs.
“Well, let’s see,” she says as she pulls out her drink menu. “Hmm, fah you, I rehcommend the Tequila Me Softly. Got a noice little keek but it won’t lehve yah plastahed as long as yah don’t drink foive of ‘em.”
She shows me the menu. It’s tequila, sweet vermouth, Montenegro, lemon, pineapple syrup, and a pineapple paper curl on top. It sounds delicious.
“What will two do to me?” I ask.
“Leave yah with a noice buzz,” she says.
“Then Tequila Me Softly it is,” I say. She takes the menu.
“Shuh thing. Anything for you blokes?” Christian raises his barely-touched beer and Jason shakes his head while Ben waves his hand indicating “no.” I go back to munching on the appetizers.
“So, you said that we had more food coming,” I say. “I know you didn’t order this whole thing for me, did you?”
“No,” Christian says, “I’m just enjoying watching you eat.”
“Well, I’m pretty sure we’ve been together for the entire day. Unless you were treated to some food that I didn’t see, if I’m starving, you three are ready to resort to cannibalism. Eat, for crying out loud.”
Jason and Ben don’t need a second invitation. They tear into these trays like bears waking from hibernation. Christian just gazes at me.
“What?” I ask.
“I’m sorry our vacation started with a possible bat attack and a milk-ruined dress,” he says, his voice accommodating. I scoff a laugh.
“Actually, our vacation started with a somewhat anticlimactic brunch in Beverly Hills, but at least I can say that I’ve been to Beverly Hills now and it’s not the worst brunch I’ve had. And this—the bats and the milk—this will just be another funny story that we’ll tell people about our visit to Australia. I mean seriously, did you see those things? The damn things are huge. When their wings are spread, they look like fucking eagles! I thought they were going to swoop down, pick me up, and take me back to their goddamn nest! Are those things everywhere?”
“I don’t know,” I tell her. “I don’t think so. We didn’t see them until we got to the park. And they weren’t outside the bar when we got out of the cab.”
“Like most bats, they feed at night,” Ben says, scrolling through his phone. “They’re called gray-headed flying foxes, which is why the cabbie kept calling them ‘foxes.’ They’re looking for plants, fruit, and nectar. They may travel long distances, but they stay in the trees in packs and sleep during the day. You might see them moving at night, but that many at once, you usually only see at dusk, because that’s when they come out.” He raises his eye to me.
“They’re harmless,” Ben adds, comfortingly. “They’re endangered here and pretty important to the ecosystem. They pollinate over large areas. Just think of them as giant bees without the stinger.”
Not a very comforting visualization, there, Ben.
“Thanks, Ben,” I say with little enthusiasm and turn my attention back to the food. Where the hell is my drink?
The four of us have put a serious dent in the antipasto tray by the time the food starts to arrive. I use the term starts to arrive because there is a continuous flow of food to our table every few minutes for about a solid hour. When the first few dishes show up, I’m a little disappointed because the servings are so small, but then they just keep coming…
Porchetta with parsnip purée, roast Brussels sprouts and braised fennel…
Risotto-stuffed spatchcock with rainbow chard and a Parmesan biscuit…
Slow roasted lamb breast with an herb crust, white bean puree and chicory…
Jerusalem Artichokes pan tossed with broccolini, chives, chili, and shaved parmigiana…
Cacio de Pepe prepared in a cheese wheel right in front of you and then served hot…
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the food brought to the table, and the flavor—divine! Decorum is tossed to the wind and the four of us just eat like Neanderthals. Now, I’m accustomed to being myself and feeling at ease when Chuck is with us because he knows me so well. Ben is our backup when one of our usual detail is unavailable. He’s seen some of me, but he probably hasn’t seen me in all my Ana glory. He better get used to it fast because I’m not going to change who I am, and I plan to let loose on this trip. It’s been a really fucked-up autumn. Now we’re coming into winter and it’s starting to look a little crabby, too. So, I plan to shake myself loose a little bit before I go back to the hell that is Seattle these days.
We’re well into our meal and I take note that every so often, Christian looks around the room in confusion.
“You look perplexed,” I say to my husband as the evil hunger monster begins to subside, tamed by delicious Australian food and a bit tranquilized by a smooth Tequila Me Softly.
“I am,” he admits. “The artwork has me mystified.”
“In what way?” I ask.
“I can’t figure out what the words have to do with the pictures.” I look around the room at the pieces of artwork.
“They don’t,” I tell him. “I don’t know what the concept is behind the classic art, but the words are lyrics.”
“What?” he asks bemused. “Lyrics to what?”
“To the music you’ve been hearing,” I say matter-of-factly.
“’Oops there goes my skirt’ is a lyric?” he asks bemused. I nod.
“Oops Oh My by Tweet,” I inform him.
“And what about that?” he asks, pointing to another picture.
“That’s a name of a song by Kendrick Lamar,” I say.
“Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe is the name of a song.” It’s a statement, not a question. I nod. “So, what about that one?” I look up and to the right where he’s pointing.
“Jay-Z, Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” I tell him. “’The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice’ is Keep Ya Head Up by Tupac. That picture there that I’m assuming is Napoleon with ‘I call all the shots, rip all the spots,’ Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems by Big Poppa himself with Diddy and Mase.” My husband gazes at me.
“How do you know songs—old songs—just by the lyrics?” I laugh.
“I like a lot of music. Music has always been my escape. I mean, think about it—Al and I were misfits from day one, we just didn’t mind being misfits in our own town. Then I moved to Vegas and… boom.” I do the explosion gesture with my hands.
“Music and books, these are the things that didn’t judge me. I traveled a lot of places through pictures and books, and I escaped the horror of my current realities through music. I may not have retained a lot of knowledge about the places I ‘traveled’ because a lot of that was done when I was a kid, but music, it’s true what they say… it soothes the savage beast.
“So, I would close myself in my room or go off to some remote place and listen to my music for hours. At first, it was Motown, because that’s what Daddy listened to. Of course, that was the best music ever made, but then I was drawn to hip hop and more R&B because I really liked the music—great beats, fantastic hooks. The love songs had meat to them, words you could really sink your teeth into and feel. The hooks to a lot of the hip hop—you get it stuck in your head and it doesn’t let go. ‘H to the izzo, v to the izzae…”
I start singing the hook to Jay-Z’s H.O.V.A. It’s a perfect example of what music does to you. Although the beat and the music are addicting, in the words he was too close to comparing himself to God—Jehovah—which was a huge dilemma for me. Nonetheless, I still couldn’t stop singing the song because the hook was so catchy. The meaning of the song sticks in your head and you either love it or hate it for the meaning. But you can’t beat a good hook.
“So, to answer your question, when I saw the words, my brain immediately asks, ‘Where have I heard that before?’ So, I quickly play the words over in my head, and then I hear the music and identify the song. Once you know that one of the pictures is lyrics, then you know the rest of them are lyrics, too.”
“So… you’re telling me that there’s a song somewhere that says, ‘My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard?’” he asks perplexed. I laugh.
“Milkshake by Kelis,” I inform him.
“And what about that?” he asks, pointing at another one. “’Stacking up cheese…’ who makes a song about stacking cheese up?”
“Hip-hop artists do,” I reply. “Lupe Fiasco, Hip Hop Saved My Life. And for the record, ‘stacking cheese’ is slang for making money. I’m surprised you didn’t make that connection because cultures all over have called money ‘cheddar’ forever, my billionaire lover.” I pop a square of some cheese, I don’t know which, into my mouth after the last statement and chase it with the rest of my Tequila Me Softly. My husband’s pupils dilate quickly.
“Well, that was hot,” he says. I furrow my brow. This man could get turned on by a stiff wind—what did I do?
“What?” I ask bemused.
“You calling me your billionaire lover—that did something to me.” Oh, that.
“It speaks to your virility and dominance,” I say matter-of-factly, sitting back in my seat and playing with my necklace. “One of the things I’ve learned about subliminal messaging.”
“And you need to cut that out,” he nearly growls, his voice changing. The liquor is making me a little bold and somehow, I’m hitting the right buttons without even trying. “You want to see Sydney tomorrow and we’ve got a boat to catch, so you’re going to need some sleep.”
“Yes, Sir,” I say coyly, looking at him through deliberately slithered eyes. He licks his lips, then sucks the bottom one in an attempt at restraint.
“Alright, I’ve warned you. Keep it up,” he cautions.
“That’s your job,” I remark, waggling my brows. He stares at me for a nanosecond and before I can protest, he has snatched me into his lap. I’m cradled in his arms—more like pinned—and he’s kissing me, licking so deliciously into my mouth that I want to gobble him up right here in this chair. My entire body is on fire from this kiss and I fucking feel like I’m floating. I don’t know how long it lasts, but after some unknown span of time, I can vaguely make out the sound of catcalls, whoops, and cheering through my alcohol-and-kiss-induced haze. I’m panting embarrassingly when his lips leave mine and his eyes are black and steely gray staring back at me, his pupils nearly as large as his irises.
“I will. Make you come. At this table. In front of our security and the world, if you don’t chill out.”
I’m trying unsuccessfully not to pant in his lap and my panties are now wetter than my dress was after the bat-dance. His semi-hard erection is poking me in the ass cheek and I’m certain that he’ll make good on the promise just for his own satisfaction. Don’t poke the damn bear.
“O… okay,” I breathe uselessly. He victoriously raises a brow at me, then releases me and helps me back to my seat. Once I’ve somewhat controlled myself, I bellow for the server.
“Carla! I’ll be needing that second drink now!”
I vaguely remember our Sydney cabbie, Noah, getting us back to the hotel, not only because I’m suddenly wiped out after the adrenaline from the near bat attack has finally worn off, but also because I actually had three Tequila Me Softly’s. They didn’t knock me on my ass, but they have me quite loopy. Christian carries me up to the room to be sure that I don’t take a spill on the way, and I’m too damn tired to pump, so I just take off my clothes and fall into bed.
Miraculously, I awake before my husband a few hours later, the sun blaring in my eyes from curtains that we forgot to close the night before—or I should say, in the early morning hours. Not so miraculously, I awake with a slight hangover. I crawl miserably out of bed and go to the mini bar. I take a bottle of water and down the entire thing, then grab another one and head to the bathroom.
I start the shower and as it’s getting hot, I thank God for the travel packs of Advil that I remembered to pack in my purse. I don’t know what kind of foresight I was having, but there it is. I take two more of them and head for the shower.
The water is scalding, and I couldn’t be happier. I feel like the milk from last night is still sticking to my skin and the steam will help to sweat out some of the alcohol from last night. I let the water massage my scalp and run through my hair while my overly full breasts begin leaking into the shower. They’re so heavy that they hurt, and I just stand there for several minutes, allowing them to leak into the shower while the water helps to rinse away my headache.
I have no idea how long I’ve stood here before the door opens and my husband steps into the bathroom. I don’t say anything while he relieves himself as I’m somewhat doing the same thing. He drops his boxer briefs on the floor without flushing—most likely since I’m in the shower—and slides the shower door open.
“You okay?” he asks. I nod slightly.
“A small hangover,” I admit. “My head is feeling better. My breasts, on the other hand, feel like boulders. I think I may have to pump.” He steps into the shower with me.
“Allow me,” he says and latches onto one of my aching breasts.
“Christian,” I protest. “You know what that does to me when you do that. I want to see Sydney!” He releases my breast.
“Then you’ll just have to control yourself,” he says, and latches on again, Apparently, the running water had relieved some of the fullness, and now the ache isn’t so bad, but the relief is immediate when he drains what’s left of the milk from one breast before latching onto the other. I’m trying to control my raging hormones as my husband relieving my swollen tits has always turned me on. When we’re having sex, I usually leak milk anyway and that’s when he latches on. So, of course, it feels erotic as fuck even though we’re not fucking.
Or at least we weren’t.
Once my breasts are empty, he lifts my leg, presses me against the wall and impales me. I want him so badly that when he lifts the other leg to hold me up, I’m bouncing on his dick in one of the most strenuous strength and cardio workouts I’ve ever done. My body turns to complete mush when, a few minutes later, I orgasm fantastically on his cock and he has to wrap his arms around me to keep me from sliding down the wall. A minute or so and more than a few strokes later, my husband explodes into me and we both have to catch our breath under the running water.
As I choose our clothes for the day, I toss the dress from last night into the trash. I have no intention on toting around a milk-soaked dress for an entire week, nor do I have any hope of salvaging it once I return to Seattle. I do, however, remember to pack my portable breast pump in case the girls get too heavy before I find myself in a comfortable and convenient place to relieve them properly.
I’ve convinced my husband to wear his Seahawks jersey and a pair of jeans, much to his bemusement, because I’m wearing a green Seahawks jersey with a pair of blue leggings with the matching green trim. When I step out of the bathroom after doing light makeup and adding a pair of Louboutin denim wedges, my husband’s mouth hits the floor.
“I’m going to kill that woman,” he says, examining my ensemble.
“What?” I ask.
“Is this what she meant when she referred to ‘buying from the rack?’” he asks, and he sounds perturbed.
“Uuuummm… could be. What’s the matter, Christian? It’s cute,” I say, my voice a bit whiny.
“That’s not cute,” he corrects me. “That’s hot! Your ass looks fantastic. Fuck bats, I’m going to have to beat Aussies off you with a goddamn club!” I giggle. I love when he makes me feel irresistible.
“Thank you, dear,” I reply. “That’s why I packed your jersey and those jeans that make your ass look so yummy. No use in you having all the eye candy.” I smile and head for the door.
We head down to the breakfast buffet, and I have worked up an appetite again after having spontaneously fucked in the shower. I also need something greasy to help curtail the remnants of my slight hangover and headache, which are mostly gone, but I don’t want them to make a reappearance.
Now this is brunch!
Veggies, salads, pastries, potatoes, eggs made to order, chicken congee, eggs benedict, Belgian waffles, veal, baked beans, avocado, smoked salmon, yogurt and superfruits… and that’s not everything! Who needs Beverly Hills?
Christian and I partake of our fill of the deliciousness and I have a couple of mimosas for a bit of the “hair of the dog” while we discuss what the day is going to look like. The mimosas are made with local wine and I must admit—they’re some of the best I’ve ever tasted.
“Our cruise leaves at four,” Christian says. “That doesn’t leave us much time to see Sydney. I know you’ll at least want to see the Opera House, but since the ship is leaving from Sydney Harbor, we can do that just before we sail. What would you like to do this morning?”
“I don’t know,” I admit, while sipping my mimosa. “You sprung this on me last minute. The only thing I know to look for is the Opera House.”
“Well, I thought about the petting zoo, but it’s over an hour away, so that’s a no go. Yes, I know we’re adults, but natural Australian habitat—koalas, kangaroos, Tasmania devils…”
“Oh. Yeah, that would have been fun,” I admit.
“Maybe next time,” he says. Next time? “They’ve got this thing where you can climb the bridge.”
“What bridge?” I ask.
“The Harbor Bridge,” he says, swiping through his phone before he hands it to me. I begin to read the description.
“’Absorb a 360-degree panorama of Sydney as you journey to the summit on our original climb experience. Like an exposed spine, the outer rim delivers you to the peak, as the sky remains just beyond your outstretched fingertips.’”
As I continue to examine the website and pictures, I realize that Christian isn’t talking about crossing the bridge. He’s talking about climbing the bridge—up and over the top! My husband has officially lost his fucking mind!
“Are you insane?” I exclaim loudly, unintentionally drawing the attention of the other diners in the restaurant. “I’m not scaling a bridge, Christian!”
He stares at me for a moment, then covers his mouth with his napkin, trying to stifle his laughter and not spew his food all over me. What the fuck is so goddamn funny?
“You…” he begins after swallowing his food while pointing at me. “You just lost all the color in your face,” he laughs.
I don’t know what color my face is now, but my ears are starting to burn.
“Would you like to wear this mimosa, Grey?” I threaten. He’s still laughing when he capitulates.
“Okay, okay, no bridge climb,” he says, still chuckling as he holds his hand out for his phone. I begrudgingly give it back to him. I almost want to drop it into my water glass just to spite him, but then I’m sure he’d find a way to summon the plane and we’d be on our way back home. He scrolls through the phone again. “There’s the Sydney Tower Eye, but it’s pretty much the same as the Space Needle…”
“It’s not the same as the Space Needle,” I protest. “It’s Sydney, not Seattle.” He does that back and forth nodding thing with his head.
“You’re right,” he says, poking his lip out contemplatively. “So, Tower Eye and then the Opera House? I’m told there’s quite a bit to see down at Circular Quay.”
“Where’s Circular Quay?”
“It’s pretty much the town square—the shopping and entertainment hub down at the harbor,” he says.
“Good,” I reply, finishing my mimosa and standing. “I’ll go get my purse and my portable pump and we can go.” I see Ben sitting a few tables over finishing his breakfast alone. “Where’s Jason?”
“He’s exchanging currency and securing transport for the day.”
“So, we have to wait for Jason to get back before we can go to the Tower Eye?” I ask.
“Not really. The Tower Eye is less than half a mile from here. We can walk if you feel up to it.” He looks at my shoes.
“We’ve had this conversation about me and high-heels, Grey,” I challenge.
“Stop calling me Grey,” he says, wiping his mouth before throwing his napkin down and rising to his feet. “And our stroll is going to take us close to Bat Park. Are you going to be okay?” he asks sarcastically.
“It’s daylight,” I point out just as sarcastically. “They don’t come out in the daytime, right?”
“For the most part, no,” he retorts.
“Then I guess I’ll be fine, won’t I?” I say, rolling my neck. He glares at me.
“Keep up that smart-ass attitude,” he warns. “You won’t see much of Australia because you won’t be able to walk or sit for the rest of the week.”
“Promise?” I say before snapping my head, turning on my heels, and walking away with a distinctive sway in my ass.
Oh, she’s going to get it on this trip.
I’m going to fuck her every time she blinks, and as soon as she thinks she’s getting a break, I’m going to fuck her some more.
It’s a clear day outside and I’m really enjoying the fresh air. What’s more, I’m enjoying the view tremendously—not just the city and the sites, but my wife’s beautiful ass wrapped in spandex and rolling from left to right… beautiful round mounds of meat plumping and flattening with each step causing me to fight continuously to talk my dick down. I don’t know how the hell I’m going to get through this day.
I can’t expect men not to look at her ass. It’s too unrealistic. I see several of them doing double-takes as they pass, and I don’t bother looking behind me, because I’ll probably see a trail of horny fuckers following us and it’ll only serve to piss me off, so…
“Maybe I shouldn’t have worn this,” she says, noticing the eyes on her. Seriously, what did she expect?
“Yes, you should’ve,” I scold. “I know I can be possessive sometimes and yes, that ass is on lovely display, but you’re hot and you’re beautiful, and you shouldn’t feel bad about that. You’re not dressed inappropriately, and you’re with your husband. So, let ‘em look as long as they look from a distance. I have to say, though, that I get how you feel when women are gawking at me because good God almighty!”
She giggles and loosens up a bit as we continue our trek to the Sydney Tower Eye. She looks a little squeamish as she looks across at Hyde Park—the location of the Great Bat Encounter—but she’s easily distracted once we reach our destination.
We enter a glass building labelled Westfield. It turns out that the entrance is inside of a shopping center. We wait while Lawrence buys our tickets and we have to go through a security checkpoint like at the airport. After that, we proceed through an opening and pass a wall that says “Welcome” in at least twenty different languages.
We enter a large room with pink and white walls that contains pictures of the Sydney cityscape and bits of information and trivia written on the walls. Some of them are purple as well with black and white vintage pictures of old Australia along with wide oval-shaped floor-to-ceiling beams with monitors that display more information about the continent and the tower.
On one of the walls, there’s a comparison of the heights of several similar towers in several countries and I can’t help but notice that the Space Needle is not among those towers.
How tall is the Space Needle anyway?
I think it’s only about 600 feet and the shortest among these is about 1000. I guess it wouldn’t stack up, huh?
“Thinking about the Space Needle, aren’t you?” my wife correctly deduces.
“Yeah,” I admit, “not nearly tall enough.”
“How tall is the Space Needle?” she asks.
“About 600 feet.” She looks at the comparison wall again.
“Yeah, no competition unfortunately.”
We continue our brief tour around the ground floor of the Sydney Tower Eye and we stumble on a guy taking pictures. They’re those pictures that you take where there’s nothing behind you, but they end up superimposing you onto some corny backdrop. We take a couple of pictures and pose like he tells us just to be good sports before we head over to the tower elevators… and the elevator operators. They help to keep traffic moving along because, if they didn’t, I would imagine it would be mayhem to get to the observation deck.
The express elevator ride up the tower is a solid 42 seconds to the top. There’s a screen at the top of the car that shows our ascent and Butterfly watches it attentively.
“You alright?” I ask, slipping my arm around her waist.
“Uh-hmm,” she says quickly, still never taking her eye of the tiny screen. I don’t know if it’s the tiny box that we’re in that’s making her nervous or the fact that we’re inside this tube for nearly a full minute, but she’s definitely not alright, and I just stick close to her until the doors open.
She tries not to show her relief when the attendant appears outside of the elevator doors and instructs us to keep to the right. We walk onto the observation deck and it reminds you of a spacious conference room. It’s large with lots of room and there’s a clear view of the whole of Sydney. My girl visibly relaxes and walks over to the glass walls to get a look at the city. She becomes the view as she gazes out over the tops of the buildings in the Central Business District, or the CBD as the locals call it, and I take out my phone and snap a picture of the back of her gorgeous frame against the cityscape.
There are viewfinders and telescopes at nearly every window—very touristy. There are even screens with fun facts and info about Sydney. Each monitor shows the view through the window in front of you. You select your language, then a location or a landmark, and the monitor gives you detailed information about your selection. You can see everything, and I mean everything from up here from the entire span of the CBD to the Ferris wheel at Luna Park and the Harbor Bridge.
We can even see the Blue Mountains, the Sydney Cricket Ground and even the airport from up here. The view of the Opera House is a bit obstructed, however. It’s a spectacular view, extremely beautiful with incredible views of the water and the harbor. Nonetheless, I find myself comparing it to the beautiful simplicity that is the view from the Space Needle.
I love to travel, but let’s face it… There’s no place like home.
Butterfly spends quite some time admiring the view of the city and reading the tidbits of information on the monitors around the observation deck. Although the Opera House is a bit obscured, we learn that there’s a gorgeous span of lawn and trees to the right and behind it known as the Royal Botanic Garden. Our stroll to the Opera House will take us through this beautiful trek of land, and I have a feeling that Circular Quay may have to wait for another trip.
I’m also wondering if those shoes my wife are wearing will stand the test of an entire day of walking and being a tourist. I see some carrying in my future.
There are vending areas and souvenir shops up here, complete with boomerangs, but nothing particularly catches my wife’s eye.
If you’re really brave, you can don a blue jumpsuit and harness and partake in the Skywalk, which is basically a glass-bottom ledge where you walk outside and get to see the aerial view of Sydney up close and personal. My wife wouldn’t even walk on the metal frame that is the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Nothing but a plate of glass between her and a three-hundred-meter drop? I didn’t even suggest it.
After we’ve seen all 360 degrees of the Tower Eye and garnered some very interesting information about Australia and Sydney, we decide that we want to head over to the Botanic Garden before time gets away from us since it’s on the way to the Opera House. My wife is just as attentive of that screen during our elevator descent as she was during the ride up to the observation deck. I won’t pester her about it. She’ll tell me if she wants me to know.
Another gift shop greets us once we exit the elevator. Still nothing catches my wife’s eye, not even those corny pictures we took before we went up to the observation deck.
It’s an illegally beautiful day outside and I immensely enjoy walking with my wife down Macquarie Street towards the Garden. She doesn’t even mind the shortcut we take through Bat Park to get to the main road. We pass the Parliament building and the State Library, but we just take note of what we’re seeing as we walk the short distance that brings us to the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
The walk is just what I expect it would be—a trip through a majestically beautiful stretch of land that leaves you somewhat speechless as you commune with nature. I allow my wife to lead me around through the variety of unbelievably tall trees, sculptures, and fountains as we admire the garden’s tranquility. We see this huge tea tree that looks like a cluster of trees entwined in one, and I couldn’t help but think of Home Tree from the movie Avatar.
There are people with blankets spread out over the grass near the large fountain enjoying the late morning weather, and my wife removes her shoes to walk barefoot in the grass. Normally, this would concern me as Butterfly has made it clear that she can do anything in stilettos and the only time I’ve known her to falter was when we had that terrible spat years ago and I thought she was cheating on me with Elliot, which was absolutely ludicrous—but that’s another time entirely.
Right now, she’s smiling contently as the grass caresses her toes. I don’t dare remind her that we don’t have much time before we have to start boarding the ship, so if we want to see the Opera House, we should probably get going. She begins her trek across the grass in the direction of the Opera House without my prompting, her shoes hanging leisurely from her fingers…
And I take another picture.
Sydney is built on the world’s largest natural harbor and they make sure that everywhere you go as a tourist, you don’t forget that Sydney started as a penal colony. I guess they’re proud of that if for no other reason but how beautifully the city turned out.
There are public pools in several locations here and it’s during our walk from the Botanic Gardens around the harbor to the Opera House not far from Circular Quay that I learn that the most prominent swimwear here—or at least in my immediate eyesight—is the speedo, or as the Sydneysiders call them, “budgy smugglers.” Now, let’s be clear about this. There’s no discrimination in the budgy-smuggling department. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teeny-bopper or a senior citizen, if you’re 120 pounds or 520 pounds. Budgy smugglers are apparently for everybody… and you just can’t unsee that.
Also, apparently, the drink of choice is beer, even at 11am. Bottoms up, folks… literally.
Needless to say, we move a little faster around the harbor on the outside of the Botanic Gardens to the Opera House. Butterfly didn’t even bother to put her shoes back on.
Now… here we stand at the base of the Opera House, and I’m seeing lots—and lots—of stairs. Jesus, this is unreal. There are a million stairs—well, maybe not a million—but once again, I’m having flashbacks of another time, this time of the Arc De Triomphe and the spiral staircase that made me ask, “Is this trip really necessary?” I have no idea how many stairs there are to the front door, but there’s a whole fucking lot of them. Without a word, Butterfly puts her shoes back on and begins taking the stairs like a stair climber.
I take a deep breath and follow that ass up the stairs, glad that she chose Chucks for me to wear today and wondering how she’s effortlessly taking these stairs in what has to be three-to-four-inch wedge heels while carrying a leather backpack purse. I hear Lawrence behind us sigh heavily and fall in step himself. I expect her to pause at the second landing, but she doesn’t. She keeps going all the way up to the main platform of the Monumental Steps. When I finally catch up with her, she’s standing in the middle of the platform slowly taking and releasing deep breaths. I watch her mesmerized as her beautiful breasts rise and fall and she hasn’t even broken a sweat. I’m a tiny bit winded, and Lawrence isn’t winded at all, but he has broken a sweat.
We turn to the voice that has beckoned and there’s two young women standing next to Butterfly. They appear to be American.
“Yes?” she replies, turning her attention to the ladies.
“Just a cool, leisurely stroll up the stairs just now nearly took all the wind outta me. If you don’t mind me asking, what is your exercise regimen? How did you do that? In high heels, no less?”
Butterfly chuckles and explains her regimen to the ladies which consists of variating through Krav Maga, yoga, sparring with the heavy bag and any unlucky person who wants to wear the hand mats, and some occasional dancing. One of the ladies looks over her shoulder and asks suggestively, “What’s your regimen?”
“Sparring with her,” I say, sliding my arm around her waist and resting my hand on her hip. The woman raises an eyebrow, then diverts her gaze from me. We say a few parting words to the ladies and then proceed into the opera house.
We arrive with a few minutes to spare before our tour, and the inside is exactly as you would expect it to be—majestic vaulted ceilings everywhere. The architecture is unbelievably stunning—the symmetrical overhangs and hallways. The impact is difficult to explain; you have to see it. I’m a bit stricken by the general splendor when our tour guide interrupts my thoughts and begins our tour.
“The Sydney Opera House location is on Tubowgule, the land of the Gadigal Clan,” our guide informs us as we head to the lower Colonnade of the Opera House. Three of the theatres are down here—Playhouse, Studio and Drama—and he directs our attention to one of the large windows in the Colonnade set inside angled wells that make the windows appear larger as well as cuts down on glare. We’re able to visit the foyers of several of the theaters even though we can’t visit each theater, not that we have time to do that. Each foyer has slanted windows that give you surreal views of the harbor and can be used for intermission from a variety of shows or rented out for private affairs.
I thought the Sydney Opera House was strictly for operas—shows how much I know.
The landmark boasts extremely grand concert halls and theaters, the largest of which—I think—is the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. The stately concert hall boasts a capacity of 2700 people, 700 of which can fit onstage. With walls and seats made of white birch wood, the hall is built specifically for instrumental sound. Along with the acoustic precision offered by the birch wood, the lit glass saucers over the stage raise or lower to optimize sound. The pipe organ utilizes more than 10,000 pipes—only 138 of them are visible, though.
Locals and tourist will tell you the Opera House is famous for the sails. I beg to differ. The stairs leave more of an impression on you—lots and lots and lots of stairs. There are stairs everywhere—front side, back side, upside, ‘round the side… and not just outside. I wanted to know where the elevators and escalators were, but I didn’t want to be a punk.
Like I said, Arc De Triomphe, just not spiraled and all in one place.
We continue the tour admiring the impressive architecture, each portion of the structure built to precision and purpose from the acoustic wood and glass in the theaters to the angled windows and the fact that the dramatic overhangs and bulging wooden walls never touch the concrete of the outer frame. There’s even a Sydney Opera House store where you can buy the Lego Sydney Opera House and the model Sydney Opera House… my wife buys the Lego… and a magnet.
Finally comes the highlight of the tour for my wife, and if I’m honest, for me, too—a closer look at and description of the iconic roof of the structure. If you look at it from the sky, it’s actually three sails—two large ones and one small one. I seek out the aerial view on my phone when the guide brings it up, and it appears very unimposing compared to the remarkable reality of the “up close and personal” that we’re seeing right now. It’s made of over one million ceramic roof tiles of seven varieties, two different colors, and matte and shiny finishes—little squares like the kitchen or bathroom tiles you see, only… not.
The seashell slices of dome that look like billowing sails on the harbor took fourteen years to build, the concept originating from taking four symmetrical slices from the same sphere and arranging the to form the structure.
During the tour, we learn that there’s a “lighting of the sails” at sunset and at 9pm each night where a psychedelic light show is displayed on the sails of the Opera House roof. I’m told that it’s pretty damn spectacular and I’m sorry that we won’t be able to see it live, but our guide informs us that there are several places online where we can see the show. My wife isn’t willing to wait and pulls up YouTube on her phone while we’re looking at the massive and impressive network of tiles that composes the famous Sydney sails.
“How do you cover the entire roof that way?” Butterfly asks. “I can’t even begin to imagine how that would be done.”
“Projectors,” the guide says. “Lots and lots of projectors. Special software works in conjunction with several high-powered projectors that meticulously align and crop the images so that they fall perfectly into place next to and on top of each other to accurately cover the shape of the sails. The intricate network of projectors is actually controlled from the Overseas Passenger Terminal on the other side of the Quay.”
“It covers the sails so well,” Butterfly observes while looking at the pictures and presentation of the lighting of the sails, “from all the way over there?” The guide nods.
“Don’t try to understand it,” she shrugs. “I work here, and I still don’t get it.”
At 1:00pm, a fort in the middle of the harbor shoots a cannon. We discover that they do that every day, but today, it signals the end of our tour. We thank our tour guide and say some pleasantries to the other members of our tour group before we disperse. I look across the harbor and see a cruise ship docked at the terminal. Since it’s so close to the time for us to sail, I’m assuming it’s our ship. I check my texts and see that Jason has already exchanged cash for us, checked us out of our hotel, and is in the process of checking our bags on the ship. So, it’s safe to assume that is indeed our ship and we should get over there soon.
“We’re going to be shoving off soon, baby,” I say to my wife. She sighs.
“I know,” she says and puts her hands on her hips.
“Sad to leave?” I ask. She looks up at me.
“Truth?” she asks. I frown. No, lie to me. “Coming up is a lot easier than going down.” She looks in front of her.
Oh, the stairs.
“We can make it,” I tell her.
“I know,” she says, and begins the trek down the stairs. This trip isn’t nearly as effortless and graceful as the first one. Her footfalls are heavier and I’m almost afraid that she’ll tweak her ankle in those shoes. We finally make it to the bottom of the stairs and we have to walk all the way around the Quay to the other side of the harbor—there’s no other options. She’s obviously winded and she’s been on her feet all day since the early morning—in those shoes. I pull out my phone and call Jason.
“Yes, sir?” he answers.
“I see you’ve been busy,” I say into the phone.
“Yes, sir. I’m trying to ascertain the procedure for priority boarding at this time.”
“Good. Any idea where Noah is? Has he finally kicked off to get some sleep?”
“No, sir. He’s here with me. He decided to take a break here and see if you would need a ride.”
“That’s exactly why I’m calling. We’re at the Opera House. It’s a short walk, but Butterfly is tired. We’ve covered quite a bit of ground today.”
“He’s here in the terminal somewhere. Do you want me to find him or do you want to text him yourself?”
“You do it,” I tell him. “Just let me know where to meet him.”
“Will do, sir,” he says and ends the call.
“Come on,” I say, stooping down with my back to her. She pauses.
“You’re not serious!” she exclaims.
“It’s either this or I throw you over my shoulder, now don’t argue with me.” I can almost see her shrug in my mind’s eye before she climbs onto me for a piggyback ride. I don’t think my wife understands just how light she is.
“Comfy?” I ask.
“I’m fine, are you?” she retorts.
“Don’t worry about it. We’ve got a boat to catch.”
My wife and I receive more than one sideways glance as I carry her on my back from the stairs of the Opera House back towards Circular Quay. I love the feel of her leaning on my back, her body warm and pressed against me. Almost on cue of my contentment, she presses her nose into my neck and takes a deep breath.
“I love the way you smell,” she says, kissing me on the neck.
“The feeling’s mutual, baby,” I say suggestively, “and I love the way you taste.”
“The feeling’s mutual, baby,” she says huskily, gently sinking her teeth into the skin of my neck.
“Butterfly,” I warn, “it’s going to be very hard to carry you with a raging woody.” She giggles.
“Okay, okay, I’ll behave,” she promises. I feel my phone buzz in my pocket, then realize my hands are full.
“Wrap your legs around me,” I instruct.
“Mr. Grey!” my wife scolds. “I thought you wanted me to behave!” I can’t help but laugh.
“I can’t reach my phone,” I excuse. “I don’t want to drop you.” She giggles again.
“Alright.” Her legs are a death grip around my waist and I swear to God, my dick is thumping in my boxer briefs. Settle the fuck down, Grey! I reach into my pocket and retrieve my phone. It’s a text from Jason. Noah says he’ll pick us up at Allen Lewis Fountain. I only see one fountain—it’s just beyond the entrance gates to the Opera House outside the wall of the Botanic Gardens. It’s only a few feet away. I hope that’s it.
“Noah wants us to meet him at the fountain. I don’t see anywhere for you to sit over there.”
“Sheh needs ta get ‘er loyzie ahs off your bahk and wawlk!” some female voice says from behind us.
“Piss off, ya tossah! Ya just mad it’s not yeeou!”
Now, I would have thought that comeback was from one of the locals, only I heard it from behind me in my wife’s voice. What’s more, I felt and heard her slap that juicy ass of hers right after she said it. Holy Mother of God…
… But wait…
“What did you just say?” I ask in amused horror. “Did you just call somebody a tosser?”
“I sure as hell did,” she says proudly. “If you want to give me a piggyback ride, chauffer me around on a bicycle, or pull me in a goddamn rickshaw, It’s none of her damn business!”
“I’ve been with you all day!” I laugh in disbelief. “Where did you hear that? I don’t remember hearing anything like that!”
“I don’t know, I just picked it up somewhere… and not a moment too soon.” I turn around with my wife still on my back to see who’s behind us. Nobody’s paying us any attention or looks particularly horrified, so I don’t even know who she was talking to.
“Did you scare her away?” I ask.
“I guess so,” she says. “Maybe she’ll shut the hell up from now on.” I laugh again just as I hear a horn and see a taxi coming around the fountain.
“Your chariot awaits, my dear,” I say as Noah pulls up. Lawrence gets in the front seat with Noah, and Butterfly and I get in the back. I had almost forgotten he was with us.
“My wife is offending the locals,” I say mirthfully to Noah once we’re on our way.
“I was not offending the locals—the locals were offending me!” she defends.
“What ‘appened?” Noah asks.
“You saw—my husband was giving me a piggyback because I’m tired from walking around all day. This is my husband and that’s our business—he carries me all the time. Some cow called me lazy and told me that I should get off his back. So, I called her a tosser and told her to piss off!” Noah laughs heartily.
“Spoken like a true Aussie!” he says joyfully. “Ahl ya needed was the accent!”
“She had it!” I tell him. “At least for the first part of the sentence! When she said, ‘Piss off, you tosser,’ I thought it was somebody else!” Noah laughs again.
“Ya moight pick up a little somethin’ as ya wawlkin’ ‘round,” he says. “Ya mahy not even know ya picked it up. Ya jus goin’ about cha bizness an the next thing ya know ya tawlkin’ like an Aussie… ‘appens ahl the toime.”
“Well, that must be what happened, because it just flew out of my mouth and I wasn’t even thinking about it!” Butterfly admits.
We take note of the shops and the various scents of the different foods available as we ride through Circular Quay. It’s been a few hours since breakfast and we could stand to eat, but we decide against it since we’re heading to the boat and there’s going to be more food aboard than we know what to do with.
Our trip will take us through New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia. I would love to see the Great Barrier Reefs and the Northern Territory, but we just don’t have the time to cover the whole continent. There are so many things to see in Australia that there’s absolutely no way we could possibly see it all. The exclusive sites that we want to see require that we abandon the cruise for the last two days and take a detour… which is not cheap, by the way. As it turns out, if you don’t finish the cruise and you disembark at one of the ports of call, you have to pay something of a fine, and the price could be as much as the cruise itself. That’s why when you take a cruise, they tell you not to miss the boat at any of the ports of call because getting back home is going to be the least of your problems.
Luckily, this is not an issue for the filthy rich.
A few short minutes later, Noah drops us at the Overseas Terminal. When I offer him something for his trouble, he assures me that Jason took very good care of him. So instead, I give him something for his honesty and Butterfly makes him promise to go and get some real rest. I think we just made his week.
From the outside, the Overseas Passenger Terminal, or OPT, looks like an older bus depot. Once you get inside, it’s like a bustling airport. I can’t help but wonder if all these people are going to be on our cruise. I’m so accustomed to our privacy that this is going to be quite the adjustment for me. As I planned this somewhat hurriedly and left the details to Jason, I’m not really sure where we should be right now. I text as much to Jason as we’re standing near the information area in a crowd of people masquerading as a line.
And then I remember why I’m so accustomed to my privacy.
“Ayyyye, mate, look at deh ahss on ‘er.”
Now, yes, I’m a jealous guy, and I think everybody wants my wife—boys, girls, puppies, komodo dragons, zygotes not yet formed into humans, everybody… everybody wants my Butterfly. But this time, I’m right.
I look over at my wife standing next to me and scrolling blissfully ignorant through her phone. Her weight is supported on one leg while the other is bent, and her ass is on glorious display—as it has been all day. I raise my gaze to the blokes standing behind us and their eyes are so trained on her ass that they don’t even see me glaring at them. I gently take my wife’s arm, coax her over in front of me and put my arms around her waist. One of the guys looks at me sheepishly and diverts his gaze. The other doesn’t show an ounce of shame.
“Won’t ‘elp, mate,” the guy says from behind me. “She’ll still ‘ave that ahss,” he chuckles. I turn around and look at him.
“And she’ll still be my wife,” I say, my voice low. Don’t make me get arrested before I even board the boat. The jerk just laughs at me, and my wife looks over her shoulder to see what’s going on, not having heard the comments about her ass. Like an angel from heaven, Jason makes his way through the crowd and over to us.
“Sir, your luggage is on board and priority boarding is this way,” he says. I’m glaring at the asshole who disrespected me and my wife while Jason and Lawrence close in.
“Sir?” he asks. “Is everything okay?” I’m still glaring at the two assholes who have now fallen silent at Jason’s appearance.
“Yeah,” I say, taking my wife’s hand without breaking eye contact with them, “everything’s fine.” I gently coax my wife to walk ahead of me with our security as I throw one last threatening glance at the uncouth buffoon. Make sure you keep your asses away from me on the boat, boys.
“Crikey, Max,” I hear one say as we’re walking away, “Yah nevah know when tah shut yah fayce, do yah? D’yah hafta be such a bogan all the time?”
Max had better learn soon.
“What did I miss?” Butterfly asks as we head toward priority boarding.
“Nothing, baby, trust me,” I say, keeping step behind her. This is the first commercial cruise I’ve ever taken, and now I remember why. It’s the same reason I own a private jet. I don’t like people—they’re too damn unpredictable and I can’t stand being in situations that I can’t control.
A/N: When the guide at the Sydney Opera House explains the projectors, you just have to imagine the Aussie accent. When I tried to put that explanation in an Aussie accent, I was like, “That’s hard for me to read,” so I didn’t do it. Conversation, maybe… Explanations? No.
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