Raising Grey: Chapter 78—Traipsing to Tasmania    

I’m assuming that anyone reading my fanfic has read the entire FSOG trilogy and most likely seen all the movies. By now, I’m certain that you are fully aware that BDSM is an entire lifestyle practiced by an ENORMOUS community of people. To that end, if you do not agree with the lifestyle, I’m pretty certain that you knew that you didn’t agree with it by the time you finished reading the original trilogy. As such, why would you continue to read FSOG fanfiction knowing that it’s based on the trilogy and that the trilogy is based on a BDSM relationship if you don’t agree with the lifestyle? 

This is nearly the end of book four—BOOK FOUR! You didn’t know when you read that conversation between Christian and Ana in BOOK ONE, PAGING DR. STEELE, that this story would be about BDSM?

If you don’t agree with the practice of BDSM (not you, Falala, I know that you’re still trying to grasp it), that’s your prerogative and that’s okay, but don’t use my forum to slam it. First of all, you knew what you were reading when you started reading an FSOG fanfic and second, it’s not my responsibility to defend an entire lifestyle that was being practiced EONS before our great-grandparents were even a sperm in their great-grandparents’ DNA.

I’m certain that there are plenty of forums out there that share in your point of view about how inappropriate BDSM is in any relationship—marriage, casual, sexual, or otherwise. I Googled it came up with ten pages of forums that will welcome your anti-BDSM comments. This AIN’T one of those forums, and your comment has been deleted—no disrespect intended. Please post your anti-BDSM comments elsewhere. This is a REQUEST, not an ATTACK. Thank you. 

Danger—Aussie accent ahead. Turn away now.

All other previous disclaimers still apply.

Chapter 78—Traipsing to Tasmania    

ANASTASIA

Hobart is a beautiful city in Tasmania, built on rolling hills with Mount Wellington as its backdrop. Even though we’re on a ferry, it’s easy to see the beautiful 19th Century architecture throughout the city. The ferry driver is spouting several statistics about the location—second oldest capital after Sydney, mostly Anglo-Celtic despite the increase in immigrants from other countries, home port for Australian Antarctic operations, blah, blah, blah.

Should this interest me? I guess it should as a tourist, but sadly, it doesn’t. I’m not really sure what I should be interested in, but I know I don’t want to hear a bunch of stats.

“Some people compare the colonization of Hobart to the colonization of America,” Laura says to me when she sees that I’m completely uninterested in our tour guide’s stats and figures. “There are differing points of view concerning what wiped out Tasmania’s original inhabitants, the Aboriginal Tasmanians. Some schools of thought blame disease brought by the English when they built the convict settlement here. Others point to warfare and violence while there are still others that say that many died in what we would consider concentration camps.”

She looks out at the water for a moment.

“Being the spirit soul that I am, I tend to look at things a little differently than others.” She scoffs a laugh. “Who am I fooling? I look at things a lot differently. My ancestors are largely English. I have some Polish and a spot of German, but mostly English. Yet, I could never wrap my head around the European concept of manifest destiny. I realize the words were ‘born’ in America, but the concept was the same everywhere. No matter how they tried to explain it, what it basically meant was that the whole world was theirs and nobody else mattered. If that meant going across the land on several different continents and wiping out the natives, then so be it. Genocide was and is still justified as long as they got their piece of the land.” She turns around and leans on the railing.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get all philosophical,” she says. “I’m only one opinion. What does it mean? It just irritates me to hear someone spouting off about the depth of the harbor at the Hobart pier when there’s so much history here—so many untold stories. I can’t imagine that these people have traveled from so many different parts of the world to hear that the mountain there is 1300 meters tall. Is that why you’re here?”

“Certainly not,” I concur.

“There are barely any native Aboriginals left—Palawa, they’re called. I’m not sure that there’s any left of purely Aboriginal descent. And yet, here we are skating across the hillside like ‘This land is your land, this land is my land…’”

She seems very passionate about this and I wonder why she’s taking it so personally.

“Again, I’m just one person,” she sighs. “There’s one other heritage that I didn’t give you. I’m largely English, and some Polish, and some German… and I’m quite a bit Native American.”

My eyes widen and I purse my lips. Hence, the reason for taking things so personally.

“My ancestors know of being forced from their land, and their descendants—my grandparents and great-grandparents—talk about it a lot. They never let you forget. I’m of the Sac and Fox Nation. We were a merged tribe of the Sac and Meskwaki peoples. It didn’t help, though. We lost our land—most of it—and they tried to assimilate us completely in the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Some of us survived, though—I’m still here to tell the story.

“I didn’t mean to give you an ‘American’ history lesson. I just feel like a tourist attraction like this would be better served by hearing the history of the land—maybe even as told by one of the true natives—instead of this whole ‘Look at us, look at what we did’ spouting of statistics that I’m hearing from this guy.”

I’m not so sure that the entire gory details of colonization would be story material for tourists. However, I have to agree that a bit of true history would be a lot better than hearing about how deep the water is in the harbor.

I’m relieved when this leg of the trip has ended, and we arrive at the MONA—an underground lair full of art dug into sandstone cliffs a short ferry ride from Hobart. The ferry ride that trip sent Laura down a very morose road and I’m hoping she doesn’t travel down it again. Of course, she would empathize with the Aboriginals given her heritage, but for some reason, I get a feeling that it’s more than that.

We order a breakfast of champions at the restaurant there and Christian and I tell Jaxon and Laura about our eventful night. We leave out the buck-wild spanking-and-sex-session that resulted in all the love bites, and I conveniently skip the encounter with that horrible couple at the pub who thought it was perfectly normal and natural to ask if we wanted to wife-swap. I don’t know or care what kind of “free love” vibe we’re emitting, but I’m absolutely certain that we’re not sending out signals that we want to share.

While I recount the events of the previous night to Laura and Jaxon, Christian keeps looking at his phone, occasionally typing on the screen. I want to ask him if we’re interrupting his work, but I don’t bother. It goes with him everywhere and I’ve long since gotten used to it, except right now, I kind of feel like he should be more engaged with current company than concerned about his organization back in Seattle.

“So,” I say to Laura and Jaxon, “I wasn’t with you when you planned the excursions, so what’s on the agenda today?”

“Well,” Jaxon begins, “fuhrst, we’ll trip around tha ol’ MONA hehre for an houh or so, then we’ll tayke a droive bahk down ta Kettering an’ catch tha fehry across tha wattah. Through Nohth Bruny we go, down ta Advencha By, an’ hop tha Bruny Oiland Cruise. Thehre’s plenty ta see on an’ around the oiland behfoh we hedd bahk to the big boat. Then we’ll staht ovah in tha mornin’ on Port Ahthuh. We’ll only have a few houhs but we’ll get a lot done.”

“It should be a scenic drive,” Laura says. “It’s sounds like about two hours if the shuttle is driving slowly, which I wouldn’t count on.”

I nod and finish my coffee, trying to ignore Christian and his tap-tap-tapping on his phone.

“Great. Well, let’s get going. I’d like to see what there is to see.” I wipe my mouth and stand without looking to my husband. If he wants to sit here and work, he can. I’m going to go look at the art of the MONA.

The MONA is located on the Moorilla Estate, which is a winery and brewery on the Berriedale peninsula of Hobart. I should really say that the MONA is located under the estate, as the museum itself is a labyrinth of displays that burrow three levels into the side of the cliff. There’s a small and unassuming building on the main level that you enter to get to the good stuff. The front is totally mirrored, and the entrance makes you feel like you’re walking into a vortex. After we’ve had our breakfast, it’s now time to see the meat of things.

Upon entering the museum, we’re given these iPods called “The O.” If you want to know what the pieces are that are on display, you follow them on “The O” as there are no wall texts in the museum. “The O” offers lots of information and the ability to interact more through information, interviews, and music without affecting the aesthetics of the museum experience. Basically, as you get close to the artwork, you get content on the piece, and two people standing next to each other can get different content on the same piece. If you have an iPhone, you can download the app to your phone without having to borrow one of MONA’s iPads, and you can save and retrieve your trip at any time on either device or even when you leave the MONA.

I particularly like the feature that allows you to get your information in detailed scholarly language, lovingly referred to as “curator’s wank,” or in simpler text that speaks more to your emotional, creative side. I chose the latter. I’m always in some kind of scholarly, intellectual situation—I don’t want that shit today. I’m intrigued to see what this little device will offer, although I’m not necessarily thrilled with the idea of looking down at a mobile device the entire time, considering the fact that I’m still harboring a little resentment for Christian being buried in his blackberry during a portion of our breakfast. Nonetheless, I take my little device and head into the museum as does Jaxon. Laura and Christian decide against the iPod. I can’t help but think it’s because he wants to be able to look at his phone instead of admiring David Walsh’s multi-million-dollar art collection.

Ben and Jason appear equally as “interested.”

It’s a bit underwhelming when you get inside. You have to descend this long and winding flight of stairs to the lower level of the museum and work your way back up through the art and exhibitions—or there’s a cylindrical glass elevator to take you back up, but there’s only the stairs down.

“Great,” Christian murmurs. “More stairs.” I groan inwardly.

“They help to work off all the food we’re eating during the trip, like that magnanimous breakfast we just had.” He spent a good portion of breakfast on his phone, so even though it would be uncharacteristic of him, I don’t even know if he finished it. I’m not sure if he catches the sarcasm, but I begin my trek down the stairs without a concern for it.

It looks very ominous once you get to the bottom. The architecture is very organic, nothing like the traditional art galleries I’ve seen—a far cry from the pristine displays in Greece.

I was yet to discover just how far.

You don’t really have any idea of which direction you should go as nothing is really labelled. There are no specific sections for “expressionist art” or “abstract art.” You just have to find your way based on desire or instinct. I decide that this is going to be one of those experiences like when I go to the aquarium… or when I used to go to the aquarium—just me and the fishies.

As I begin to work my way around the museum, the GPS inside The O gives me brief descriptions of the masterpieces. I explore the mobile device and find that I can listen to interviews, Walsh’s opinions and stories about a particular piece, music, poetry, or even differing ideas to spark conversation—all in context of what I’m viewing.

Jaxon and I talk a lot about what we’re seeing since we both have The O. He explains to me the significance of a giant mural on one of the floors called Snake by Sidney Nolan. It’s a Rainbow Serpent consisting of over 1,600 individual paintings. The Rainbow Serpent has significant meaning in the various Aboriginal cultures—all largely religious. I’m just amazed by the level of dedication it took to create a work comprised of so many paintings. I discover that the museum was specifically designed around this and other pieces, like an iron bookshelf with large glass shards called Sternenfall housed in its own zinc cube back up on the surface and an illuminated sarcophagus called Mummy and Coffin of Pausiris—one of the older pieces.

I’m particularly—and morosely—drawn to a piece called Cloaca by Wim Delvoye, an artist who seems to have a lot of pieces in the museum. In simplified medical terms, the cloaca is the combined intestinal, urinary, and reproductive organ in various species, including humans. In laymen’s terms, it’s the part of the body that produces shit.

That’s what this piece does—literally! It produces shit.

It’s a contraption made of eight distinct pieces. Seven of those pieces are tanks and hoses and such attached to a steel frame hanging from the ceiling. The last piece is the “asshole,” the shit-producing apparatus. Someone stands at a table situated at the head of the machine, prepares food, and “feeds” it to this device. The food proceeds through the machine where the different tanks remove the nutrients and fluids, mimicking different stages of the digestive process and at the final stage, it produces turds. Real fucking turds! It’s fascinating and disgusting at the same time.

Who the fuck thought this was art??

I wander past another piece called Formations of Silence: Freudian Flowers and read that the work is about life and death by an artist who was fascinated by the human body. Each piece of the art could either represent a flower or a human organ.

More bodily functions… for Christ’s sake.

And yet another body metaphor—Artifact, a giant head that displays a light show inside to simulates your consciousness at work. I have to admit, that piece looks kind of cool, though.

I stop and get a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Void Bar inside the museum and continue on my expedition, invariably thinking about the “shit machine,” of all things, while I’m drinking it.

Partially through the exhibits, I ask Laura why she opted not to get The O. She explains that she likes for art to grab her. She often visits museums without looking at the wall plaques. According to her, they take away from the art. That’s most likely what Walsh had in mind when he set up the MONA—no windows, just you in this artistic dungeon of sorts being forced to commune with each piece. I look around for Christian, wondering if he’s still communing with someone at GEH or something in his email, and I can’t find him. I look around and see Jason trailing me…

Odd.

That must mean that Ben is with Christian. Since I can’t visually locate Christian immediately, I look for Ben. I find him standing outside the narrow doorway of a room, so I walk in his direction. Just inside the doorway, I spot my husband… communing.

He’s standing there gazing at a mural of… drawers, I think. He’s entranced, like he’s reading one of his spreadsheets and trying to find the pattern or the formula for his next merger.

Not a bit bitter, are we?
Well, you picked a fine time to show up.
Stop acting like a ‘tosser” and go over there and communicate with your husband. He’s “communing” with the art.

Why must this fucking cow be fucking right all the fucking time?

I begrudgingly walk over to my husband who still hasn’t taken his eyes off the piece. He’s totally transfixed. His head doesn’t move, but his gray eyes dart from one drawer to the next. The pictures on each drawer are illuminated. They’re black and white circles that look like cyclones. In the middle of each cyclone is a face… in color.

The drawers open like drawers of a morgue, and of course, the piece is invariably about sex and death. The sex part, I don’t get, unless it has to do with the wall of records on the opposite wall in the narrow room behind us—actual vinyl records that appear to be breathing. We just had a conversation about how much death we’ve been confronted with and now we’re in a museum looking at various pieces that cause introspection about what? Death.

He opens one of the drawers and it says, “I love you” in a young boy’s voice. I open another one and the same sentiment is heard in a woman’s voice. It’s one of the creepiest things that I’ve ever experienced… or so I thought.

“What do you think she felt?” he asks. I frown.

“Who?” I ask.

“Her,” he says. “The crack whore—what do you think she felt? When she slept with strange men, prostituted herself for her next fix… When she got that fix… When she let that monster burn and beat me… Do you think she ever loved me? Even once? Why didn’t she just abort me if she didn’t want me? Why didn’t she just take me to the hospital or the police station and just leave me there? She couldn’t take care of me, so why did she make me stay?”

I don’t even know how to answer his questions. Anything I say right now could set him off, and I can’t afford to let that happen in a public place—much less in the middle of the MONA.

He opens another drawer and yet another voice says, “I love you.”

“She killed herself,” he says. “She didn’t have enough money to feed me, to clothe me, to find a fucking baby sitter while she turned her tricks, but she had enough drugs to overdose. How is that possible?”

I move in closer and just stand next to him, looking at the faces staring back at us and wondering what they mean. Were each of these people in a drawer at one point—in the morgue? Are these random faces or are these people close to David Hall who passed away? Who are the voices saying, “I love you” and why?

“What do you think she felt as she was dying?” he asks as he closes a drawer. “Did she feel any pain? Did she see anything? Was there even the slightest moment of clarity… or regret… before she kicked over?”

I don’t examine the work anymore. I don’t need to know what it means. I only need to know that Christian is spiraling down each one of these little black-and-white cyclone holes with these little faces thinking about death…

And the crack whore.

It’s time to bring him back to the here and now.

I slowly slide my hand then my arm into the bend of his elbow. I then hug his arm with both of mine and wait for him to emerge from that dingy place of squalor in Detroit and come back to me… to our children.

He looks down and over at me and I give him a soft smile. It doesn’t matter what she felt. She’s not here anymore and she doesn’t have any answers for you. Stop torturing yourself.

“That little boy… he wants to know. He’s got questions that nobody can answer because she’s dead… but he still fucking wants to know.”

Yeah, you’re torturing yourself.

He sighs and looks down at me, coming back to the here and now for a moment. He moves the arm that I’m hugging, and I release it. He wraps it around my body and pulls me closer to him.

“What’s this piece called?” he asks. I touch the thumbnail on The O and pull up the information.

Well, that explains it.

“’When My Heart Stops Beating’ by Patrick Hall,” I inform him. He scoffs.

“Well, that explains it,” he says, repeating my sentiment. He turns us both to the door and we leave the tiny room.

We walk around the museum, arm in arm, hand in hand, or with me tucked under Christian’s arm—whichever makes him feel more comfortable. He confesses to me that he got a little baby time before I woke up this morning. I confessed that I, too, had some baby time yesterday while checking my emails, so we’re even. We agree to make sure that we talk to them together later if it’s not too late.

We happen upon a water piece, words made out of falling drops of water illuminated by tract lighting—a lot of work in this museum seems to be illuminated—called bit.fall by Julius Popp. We stand there in silence for several minutes reading random words as they fall and listening to the water splash at the bottom of the installation. It’s very comforting.

There are several more pieces to marvel at—or question—the room full of white books with no titles and blank pages, the bike on the rack that spews dirt on the wall, the exquisite sculptures hand-carved out of tires. But the one that invariably catches our attention was a seemingly harmless piece consisting of three white—probably plaster—casts on a black background. My mouth falls open and Christian’s head tilts to the side like he’s not completely sure he’s seeing what he’s really seeing.

Pussies. Yep, that’s what I said—pussies.

Appropriately labelled Cunts… and other conversations, the piece is three perfectly cast snatches—one in full bush, one in the typical pussy-mohawk with hair at the top and clean lips, and the one in the middle is completely Brazilian… clearly not all the same coochie.

“Are those…?” Jason begins.

“Yep, yes, that’s what they are,” Christian says, cutting him off before he finishes the question. My mind immediately goes to the Pussy DJ… and we paid to see these. I can’t help but see the humor in the irony of the situation, and I choke out a snorting laugh. Christian rolls his eyes and tries to stifle his own smirk, and thus, some much-needed levity is added to a pretty tense situation.

When we emerge from the MONA into the “bright light” once again, I take a moment to reflect on the hours we just spent in the cave. I had no idea this place was so macabre. It’s strange and awful and wonderful and fascinating all at the same time. It’s a contradiction in and of itself because it has subtle spiritual undertones and disturbingly anti-religious themes. Walsh describes the Amarna by James Turrell as “what God would do if he wanted to build a gazebo,” yet he declares himself a rabid atheist. How does one reconcile that—a reference to God mixed with a blaring belief that God does not exist?

Not to mention the parking space reserved for “GOD.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who parks there as there’s a second one reserved for “GOD’S MISTRESS,” so… what’s the thrust here?

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This entire experience and all this crazy, beautiful, nonsensical art has revealed one fact to me. It’s not a small world. It’s a big world, a very big world, and there’s a lot of it that I haven’t seen. Tucked on this little island on the other side of the world is this museum that’s so unconventional that it truly shows you just how much of a speck you are in the universe.

Who crashed that damn car between those two walls?

What man records every single day that he spends in his studio until his death? And did he do it specifically for it to be displayed that way in that bunker?

What kind of mind thinks to burrow into the ground—deep into the ground—to build a museum that holds priceless, existential works simply to maintain the integrity of two existing structures on the land, in effect making them a part of the art exhibit?

I saw a sculpture of a dead horse; illuminated drawers of a morgue that speak when you open them; and one piece of art made from 1600… 1600!

And all this after experiencing the splendor that is the Sydney Opera House.

I am nothing!

We take some time to view the art pieces that are outside the MONA before we must take the 45-minute ride to Kettering to catch the Bruny Island Cruise. I guess living in Australia, particularly in Tasmania—you should probably get used to water travel.

There are beautiful—and strange—sculptures and pieces to see outside just like there are inside. Wim Delvoye is apparently a pretty popular “bloke” in these parts as his pieces are all over the place, but I’m extremely impressed with his Gothic Temple that sits on the grounds near the water with a backdrop of Hobart and his Flatbed Truck, Trailer and Cement Truck, which defies words and you simply must see it to believe it.

There’s an adult-sized trampoline, a tennis court, and the aforementioned car wedged between two walls with “sex, death, & bogans?” carved or written on the trunk, and I’m having another one of those “was this trip really necessary?” moments.

And a lovely platform and with a roof called the Amarna sits prominently on the ground, providing a lovely colored light show over the course of time. I’m told that the Amarna is quite beautiful and best viewed at sunrise or sunset. First, it is quite beautiful. Second, I wasn’t here at sunrise. Third, I won’t be here at sunset. So, I guess I’ll just have to take their word for it.

I truly think I’ve had about all the “art” I can take today, not to mention Christian’s brief trip down Hell Street, and I’m more than prepared to bid adieu to the MONA. It was an enlightening experience, but I’ve had enough. Jaxon and Laura were enthralled by the place and keep sharing their perspectives of the various pieces of art. I interject an opinion every now and then on the pieces I found interesting, and the rest of the boys just kind of listen until our excursion shuttle arrives. It doesn’t take long before our ride to Kettering is pulling up outside of the Moorilla Estate and we board to head to our next destination.

And Christian pulls out his phone again.

“May I ask why you keep pulling out your phone?” I ask, attempting to hide my ire. He looks over at me and raises a brow.

“Yes, you may,” he says matter-of-factly, “and there are a couple of reasons. First, it keeps vibrating and I keep getting messages from Holstein, the warden at the women’s prison who wouldn’t take or return my calls?” My turn to raise a brow. “He keeps leaving me messages apologizing for not returning my calls and asking me to call him back. He’s called me about five times in the last 12 hours. So, I can’t help but wonder what has set him off.”

“Ooookay,” I reply.

“Subsequently, Josh went up to the prison to do an interview with Lincoln to try to get some footing on the progress, purpose, and the actual author of this book. He’s gotten some solid information and he’s been corresponding with me on his findings. I’m wondering if Holstein has put two and two together, although I don’t see how since there’s no way to tie Josh to me.”

“He works for you,” I say with an unsolicited yawn. Where did that come from?

“To maintain his autonomy as well as his anonymity as a freelance journalist, he works for me under an alias. Only certain people inside the company know who he really is.” I nod, take off my glasses, and rub my tired eyes. I had to wear my glasses because they were a bit irritated from sweat running into them last night probably mixed with a little mousse.

“You’re sitting,” he says. I nod. I know what he’s referring to. I didn’t sit down on the ferry ride to MONA because my butt was still tender from the spanking and the water was a slight bit choppy. I was careful with my sitting at breakfast and didn’t sit down again after that until now.

“How do you feel?” he asks.

“I’m okay,” I say, softly.

“You brought eucalyptus lotion with you,” he points out. “Did you think something like this might happen?” I shake my head and lean over on his arm.

“I didn’t want to risk working out or swimming too vigorously and ruining my vacation,” I say with a yawn, resting my tired eyes. He lifts the arm that I’m leaning on and puts it around me. I nuzzle into his chest and absently listen to the conversations going on around me.

“Butterfly?”

My husband’s voice drifts through the fog of my brain. I open my eyes and realize that I fell asleep during our ride.

“Hmm?” I say, trying to pull myself out of the extreme comfort I feel snuggled here in his arms.

“We’re almost there, baby. You might want to get the sleepy dust out of your eyes.”

I stretch my arms over my head. Gosh, that was a really good nap, even though I missed the scenery. My eyes even feel better. I stretch both arms over the other side of my body, then bend down between my legs to stretch my back. I hear what sounds like the normal chatter of various conversations on the shuttle, so I sit up and continue my stretches.

“Mmm,” I hear someone say sitting across from me, “OI guess Americahns don know how ta keep thehr bedrooms in thehr bedrooms.”

I don’t react, but I’m sure she’s talking about me. I let her have her little comment and put my hands on Christian’s shoulders to get a good twist and stretch my lower back.

“Huh, look, moh on tha bahk,” she points out. “OI guess this koind a’thing is on display in tha Staytes.”

Geez, what a stupid cunt. Christian is looking at me and waiting for me to react, and I don’t, but when I turn around, she’s glaring at me with distaste. My eyes immediately go to Laura, who’s also sitting across from me next to the verbose bitch.

“Part of your new attitude?” Laura asks. I scoff.

“She doesn’t bother me,” I say, loud enough for the woman and the people around her—whomever she was talking to—to hear, “because the fact that I have a ginormous tattoo on most of my back to hide the brutal scars from a vicious act committed upon me as a teenager doesn’t offend or affect her or prompt her to speak on the origin of the art, but these hickeys give her cause for pause. I think she needs to get her priorities straight.” I quickly locate my Jackie-O’s and put them on, never making eye-contact with the object of my current displeasure. Say something, bitch. I will shred you.

“Butterfly,” Christian says, taking my hand.

“I’m not naked,” I say firmly without yelling. “I’m not indecently dressed and what’s more, I’m not ashamed of the fact that I’m a beautiful woman and you love my body. A good portion of my back is covered in woodland creatures and goth letters and all she saw was the hickeys?

“I’m not going to wear a turtleneck in 80-degree weather—that’s about 27 Celsius to my metric listeners—because someone who doesn’t understand the concept of passion might be a little sensitive. We just left the MONA where we saw a sculpture on the wall of three bare anatomically-correct pussies, and this offends her?” I say, pointing to myself and now turning my gaze to the woman who was glaring at me a moment ago, who’s now staring gape-mouth at me. Laura doesn’t make the situation any better. She leans over and says something to the woman that nearly makes me lose my composure.

“Close your mouth, dear. You might catch a fly.”

The woman gasps and quickly closes her mouth, turning her gaze away from us and out the window. I conspicuously hold my hand up to Laura, who victoriously gives me a high-five.


CHRISTIAN

Even on the other side of the world, we can’t seem to catch a break. They despise us for being rich and then they despise us for acting like normal people. Once the shuttle arrives on Bruny Island, I take my beautiful wife’s hand and walk away from the twat that was talking shit about her. We have a quick lunch of fish, chips, and slaw at the Bruny Island Cruises Seafood Restaurant before we head into the Adventure Bay Visitor Center to get ready for our cruise.

“’Hehr, Chris,” Jaxon says, handing me two red jackets with hoods, two beanies, and two pairs of gloves. The jackets are a nice weight and have a yellow patch that says “Bruny & Tasman Island Cruises.”

“It moight get a little chilly on tha boat. It would have been a buhden carrying jackets ‘round the MONA.”

Well, he’s right about that, but I don’t intend to wear this beanie unless I have to. I grab two more jackets and hand the lot to Jason. Butterfly’s looking at the digital cameras.

“Are you looking at those for the cruise?” I ask, she nods. “No need. I picked up a couple at the gift shop on board yesterday when I found out where we would be going today. Jason has them.” She smiles.

“You think of everything,” she says. “And when’s the last time you gave that man a raise? You would be completely helpless without him.”

That’s a good question. He lives with me. I’ve always paid for Sophia’s schooling. I’ve never thought about giving him a raise and it hasn’t come up… at least not for the last few years.

“I’ll talk to him about it,” I say, seriously. “It may be time to do that.” We pay for the jackets, leave the visitor center, and prepare to board the boat for the cruise. It has already gotten cooler, so Butterfly puts her new red jacket over her sweater. She actually likes the beanie a puts it on over her braided hair, shoving the gloves in her pocket. She turns around to model for Laura, who is donning her own red jacket when I catch a glimpse of the woman who made the comments to her on the shuttle and pray that Butterfly doesn’t see her.

Too late.

“Is this better?” Butterfly says, holding her arms out for the woman to see. “You can’t see my hickeys now. Is this less offensive for you?”

The woman does this gasping thing and walks away from us, no doubt looking for her friends. Her best bet is to stay out of our way, because Butterfly is not going to let up.

A few minutes later and it’s onto the boat we go for the Bruny Island Cruise, away from Adventure Bay and around the southeastern side of Bruny Island. There really is so much to see on this cruise. It’s not really a cruise, though. It’s actually more exciting. We’re on an open boat skimming across the water like a speedboat around the large dolerite cliffs—a stone tougher than granite.

Where the Tasman Sea meets the South Pacific Ocean, our small boat rides the swells of the water and dolphins leap out of and back into the water alongside us. Some swim and dive separately while others swim in groups of three, four, or even five leaping out of the water all at the same time. It’s a synchronized dance between them—like they’re trained to do this, although you know they’re not because they’re free. It’s like something straight out of National Geographic, and it reminds me of swimming with the dolphins in Anguilla.

Next, the tour guide informs us that we’ll be seeing what is known as The Monument. What he really meant was that we would be skating over the water at top speed through a seemingly narrow passage between a gigantic dolerite formation on the right and the ominous dolerite cliffs on the left. Now, I did mention that dolerite is tougher than granite, so had our boat hit either the cliff or the formation, it would have been smashed to smithereens. I trust no one like I trust myself to guide a boat—except the captain of the cruise ship, of course—so I’m sitting on the edge of my seat the entire five seconds it takes to get around the cliff.

I must admit, however, that the photo ops of this trip are endless. These majestic cliffs carved out of these beautiful rocks are simply awe-inspiring, and I’m not easily awed. We see this phenomenon called The Blowhole. It’s not really a phenomenon—it’s really very simple. There’s a hole in the base of one of the dolerite cliffs. As the water rises and falls—as it always does, the pressure builds inside the hole, forcefully pushing the air and water out so that it flies high up into the air like a whale’s blowhole. But the water also flies out across the surface, so we have to keep our distance to prevent being sprayed.

We discover that we really need our jackets because some parts of the cruise are colder than others. There are some parts where we could just open our jackets and let the wind blow in our faces. There were other parts where we needed our beanies and gloves and actually should have purchased scarves as well. My wife teases me incessantly as she knew that I had no intention of putting that beanie on my head… until that cold air hit me.

Watching the fur seals play was an interesting event, and there are a lot of them! Many of them were just lounging along the rocks—natural beds along the cliffs that appears to be made just for them—while others took dips in the cool water. If we get too close to the cliffs, we have to let the boat coast a bit to keep from hitting them. One seal follows us around the cliff, leaping from rock to rock to keep up with the slowly cruising boat until a wave reaches up and douses his most-recent landing pad, pulling him into the water. He emerges a few moments later and abandons the idea of keeping up with the boat.

On another cliff, we see a gaggle of nests, each occupied by an albatross or two. Watching them fly reminds me a lot of soaring… and the fact that I haven’t been in a glider in years. Shit, I’m going to lose my wings if I don’t get in the air soon.

There were a few times when the cruise slowed to a crawl to travel through natural tunnels in the cliffs, allowing for the aforementioned photo ops. The entire trip is extremely majestic, and I find myself feeling slightly more spiritual than I’m accustomed to being.

I look over at my wife, laughing and enjoying the trip with our new friends and even with our security detail, and I realize why she was crying when we left the docks in Sydney, even though I knew it then. We’re so lucky—not because we’re rich, but we have each other and this beautiful family, and opportunities, and an entire world to explore. I’m sitting here mulling over my past and the crack whore when I’ve got my entire life ahead of me and nothing but opportunities—to live, to grow, to help other people… to have experiences besides those that money affords.

I need to put some things in motion when I get back to Seattle—besides dealing with the Pedophile and her impending book, and the warden who appears to be running scared now. My mother took me from hell and from squalor and even though I remember the terror and it’s had a lifelong effect on me, I spent most of my life in a bubble and I’m still in that bubble now. It’s time for some changes.

The cruise takes us from the north end of Bruny Island from Adventure Bay and back up the coast the way that we came. We enjoy a repeat of the sites and our group is treated to the migration of a few humpback whales. The tour guide informs us that humpback whales travel north up the coast through May and June. However, they migrate back down towards Antarctica from September through December, and we were just so lucky to witness the southern trek.

We get back to Adventure Bay mid-afternoon and take the shuttle again to Inala, a conservation property, that holds nature tours, where we learn about the endangered birds and wildlife on the island. From Inala, the shuttle takes us to the Hotel Bruny Bistro, a pub where we have dinner and talk about the day. Most of the ingredients used in Tasmanian dining are grown or harvested locally. We discover that their specialties are chocolates, cheese, and wine.

Looking around both here and Sydney, I realize that I didn’t really need to book a separate trip to “Wine Country.” The whole damn continent is “Wine Country” in one way or another. Nonetheless, I’m hoping we can capture the same magic in the Barossa Valley that we did in Napa.

We start dinner with an assortment of oysters from nude to grilled with bacon and Worcestershire sauce to beer battered with lemon accompanied by pitchers of Coopers Pale Ale. For our main course, Butterfly has chicken Parma with smoked leg ham, Bruny Island cheese and house Napoli sauce, with a salad and fries… or chips, I should say. I have the Tassie beef Scotch Fillet steak with vegetables and honey brown mushroom sauce.

Once we finish dinner, our last stop is to the Bruny Island Neck Lookout for the penguin walk. Just on the other side of the Bruny Island Neck, which is the narrow isthmus that joins North Bruny Island and South Bruny Island, is the penguin lookout. There are viewing and observation platforms that can be reached by—what else—a fucking lot of steps. Butterfly looks over at me as we step off the shuttle when she sees the stairs.

“There must not be an obese person on this entire continent,” I say before she speaks. “I sure haven’t seen any, and if they are here, they’re few and far between. I haven’t visited anywhere that hasn’t been an exercise in stair-climbing.”

“There were no stairs at the Tower Eye,” Butterfly disputes, “or in our hotel, or at Big Poppa’s. Okay, there were a few at Big Poppa’s, but it wasn’t an ‘exercise in stair-climbing.’”

“There were stairs in Sydney,” I correct her, counting off on my fingers, “there were stairs in Hobart at the MONA, and now there are stairs here on Bruny.” She folds her arms.

“Would you rather wait here at the bottom for us, old man?” she teases. What the fuck? I’m not that much older than she is.

“If you can do it, I can do it, girly,” I retort. She puts her hands on her hips.

“You know I can do it, Grey,” she challenges, popping her neck from side to side.

“Well, what are you waiting for?” I taunt. “Less talking, more climbing—chop, chop!” I gesture to the stairs. She shakes her head and scoffs at me.

“Stop whining, you little crybaby, and get your ass up the stairs,” she says before turning around and beginning her climb. Part of me wishes that she had worn her heels so that she wouldn’t be talking so much shit after all the walking and climbing we’ve done. The other part of me is thanking the fates that she didn’t, because I’d have to carry her down these steps. I pause for a second at the foot of the stairs and watch her climb. She turns around to find me and stops.

“Well, these stairs won’t climb themselves, Grey,” she chastises. “You throwin’ in the towel?”

“Nope,” I say calmly. “Just enjoying the view.” She raises her brow and purses her lips.

“Get your ass up here…”

Once we get to the top of Mount Everest, the guide there gives us some instructions and information about the march of the fairy penguins, as Butterfly calls it. Fully grown, they’re only two pounds and measure about one foot long. They’re nocturnal and during the nesting season, they make their way inland to the nesting grounds and their burrows just beyond the beach after dark to protect themselves from predators.

“Finally!” Butterfly exclaims softly, “Something that I want to see at sunset or dusk that I get to see!”

In order to see the penguins, we have to use flashlights covered in red cellophane and stay on the boardwalk or the stairs. If there are any people on the beach, the penguins won’t come ashore. Once again, I’m reminded of Anguilla and the night the turtles hatch and made a mad dash to the sea. It scared the shit out of my wife, who wasn’t my wife at the time. She later told me that she had flashbacks of the movie The Mummy, where the scarabs all swarmed out of his burial site. She swore that the world was ending, and the Mummy was coming up from the great beyond to claim our souls!

The wild sex on the beach that followed calmed her nerves enough to not be concerned, however.

The march of the penguins isn’t quite the same, though. There are several of them, granted, but it’s not a swarm of them. Though they’re small, they’re much larger than the turtles we observed running to the water. They clearly don’t like the light during this trek, and an idiot or three opted to shine bright lights on one or two of them, causing them to flee to dark places under the bridge and steps, and prompting heavy chastising from the rangers and guides.

Assholes.

Our little group is able to see several of the little critters make it to their burrows with our cellophane-covered flashlights, and Butterfly is even able to get a picture or three of the journey.

The time has come to make the trip back down the stairs and, as usual, Butterfly gravitates towards Laura to discuss their adventure. She doesn’t hang out with her female friends as much since we got married. I mean, Valerie is around often enough, but she used to have Food and Libations with her friends every weekend. Then they all—we all—got married and started having kids and… it just hasn’t happened nearly as much.

I take this opportunity to have a little chat with my head of security.

“Jason, do I pay you enough?” I blurt out where only he can hear me. His brow furrows. “I mean, have you gotten a raise recently.” Now, his brow rises.

“Sir, I get a cost of living raise every year,” he says.

“Oh,” I say. “I didn’t know. Is it sufficient? Did you get a raise when…?” I trail off. I’m hoping he knows what I’m asking without me actually having to say it. Even in the dark, I can see his face soften.

“I don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, sir,” he says. “I don’t even have to pay child support anymore. You pay me quite handsomely. If there were a problem, I definitely would have let you know by now. And no, I didn’t get a raise when the blonde bimbo shot me. I got hazard pay, which is more than a raise—not to mention I got to lay up in your penthouse, eat your food, and be treated like a king without lifting a finger.” I chuckle.

“This is true, you freeloader,” I say with mirth. I’m suddenly a bit overwhelmed with emotion thinking about the day that Jason was shot. That bitch truly did almost take everything from me, including my best friend.

“Thanks, Jason,” I say, controlling my voice, “for everything.” He examines me for a moment before he answers.

“You’re welcome, Boss.”

As we’re riding in the shuttle back to Hobart, I look over at the woman who made the comments about my wife earlier. She has moved her seat and she’s not sitting across from us anymore, but she’s still facing us. I honestly attempt to decipher what her home life must be like.

Is there any passion in her marriage?
Is she even married?
Does she have a significant other at all or just this friend she’s sitting next to?

Laura is leaning on Jaxon catching a nap over what will be a nearly two-hour ride and I look over at Butterfly. She’s looking down at the digital camera, reviewing the pictures that she took throughout our day trip.

“Hey,” I say, quietly enough for only her to hear. She looks up at me and I jerk my head and add a soft, “C’mere.”

Her brow furrows at first until I jerk my neck in that “come hither” fashion again. She puts her camera in her coat pocket and zips it shut. I help her crawl into my lap, wrap my arms around her, and kiss her softly.

“Did you enjoy yourself today?” I ask softly.

“It had its moments,” she admits, “but overall, yes, I had a really good time.”

“What do you say we piss off some of our more sensitive shuttle-mates?” I ask. She smiles coyly.

“What did you have in mind?” she asks

“PG only,” I confess, “but I can’t guarantee that I won’t cop a feel or two.”

“Carry on, Mr. Grey,” she says suggestively, and I cover her lips with mine.

*-*

“Sir…”

This time, I had to be roused from sleep. The shuttle has arrived at the dock and it’s time for us to re-board the ship. I feasted on Butterfly’s lips until we had both had our fill and then… we fell asleep. She’s still asleep on my lap when Jason wakes me, and I have to rouse this angelic creature from sleep.

“Butterfly?” I say, softly giving her a shake.

“Hmm?” she responds, pulling herself from a deep sleep.

“We’re back at the ship, baby,” I say. I look across the seats and see Jaxon having the same problem with Laura. He cups her face gently and says something in her ear. She rouses a bit, but is having as much difficulty coming out of her fog as my wife. Butterfly uncurls in that way that makes me want to eat her alive, but I swear, I’m totally exhausted and can think of nothing but getting this woman to bed… to sleep! That’s odd.

When we finally wake our wives and get them to the platform to board the ship, Jason and Lawrence stay close in case either of them looks as if they may faceplant and we negotiate the gangplank. We make it safely back onto the ship and check-in before heading to the elevators. I push the button for our deck while Jaxon pushes the button for theirs. We ride in silence with two half-conscious wives unable to keep their eyes open and barely able to walk. We get to Jaxon and Laura’s deck first and he puts his arm firmly around his wife.

“Shall I walk them to their cabin, sir?” Lawrence asks, clearly concerned about Laura’s ability to walk. I’m about to answer when Jaxon speaks up.

“Thaynks, mate, but don’t trouble yaself,” he says cheerfully and sleepily at the same time. “I’ll nevah let ma Lahrie fall.”

“If you’re sure…” Lawrence presses. Jaxon smiles.

“Yoh a good egg, but no, I got ‘er,” he says. “See ya at brekky, Chris?” he adds.

“Brekky,” I say before the door closes. Jason turns to me.

Brekky?” he asks.

“Breakfast,” I tell him. “I only learned this morning—from context clues and process of elimination,” I add with a yawn.

“Oh,” he says and flattens his lip. When we get to our deck, the door opens, and I begin to walk. Butterfly doesn’t. Her feet stay right where they are, and she nearly goes down.

I’m not that damn sleepy. I’ll nevah let ma Buttahfly fall, eithah! I bend down and effortlessly scoop her up in my arms.

“I can walk,” she protests sleepily, never opening her eyes.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” I say as I carry her to our stateroom…

Butterfly is awake bright and early on Thursday morning. She didn’t pump after we left the ship yesterday, so she was pretty swollen when she got out of bed. God knows I wanted to partake, but we don’t have the time.

Similar—but in contrast—to what she wore yesterday, today she wears a hot pair of black skinny jeans and a black and white halter tops identical to the yellow one that she wore yesterday, with all black sneakers and another black sweater tied around her waist. She has taken her hair down and put it in two pigtails, the waves from my braid cascading down her breasts.

Dear God in heaven, why is she tempting me?

Dressed similarly in black jeans, a black T, and black hiking boots, I take my wife’s hand and we head to brekky to meet Jaxon and Laura.

Like yesterday—when Butterfly thought I wasn’t listening—Jaxon informs her of what we’ll be doing. Since we don’t have nearly as much time as we did in Hobart, we’re going to do a quick tour of Port Arthur, then catch a shuttle to the Tasman National Park. We have to be back on the ship early this afternoon to sail to Melbourne, so today’s port of call will begin early and end early.

Our breakfast this morning is quite sweet and starchy. Aside from the poached eggs and “bangers,” we had waffles made to order with assorted toppings, mango French toast, and apple sticky buns. Butterfly has some kind of gourmet roast frappa-latte or something with her sweet, starchy brekky.

As Butterfly loads her fork with a slice of banger and some poached eggs, I notice that same woman walks pass our table that antagonized her on the shuttle yesterday. Butterfly is looking down and doesn’t notice her. She has joined some friends already sitting at a table near ours and unless she’s just getting an early start on her day, she’s taking an excursion, too, and I can only hope it’s not ours.

Her friends are not being discreet at all by pointing out that Butterfly’s the one with the hickeys that let the woman have it yesterday. I can tell that my wife can hear them.

“Butterfly,” I warn gently.

“Yes?” she says, loading her fork again, this time with waffles and French toast.

“Don’t let it get to you,” I reply.

“What?” Laura asks, blissfully ignorant of what’s happening.

“Same shit from yesterday,” Butterfly says before stuffing her mouth with food. Laura looks around and spots the group and the woman.

“She’s glaring over here again,” Laura says. Well, damn, way to fan the fire, Laura.

“I haven’t heard her say anything and I better fucking not,” Butterfly says with a mouth full of food. “I’ll stab her with this goddamn butter knife.”

“Butterfly!” I exclaim at the same time that Laura and Jaxon exclaim, “Ana!”

“Didn’t we come on this trip to decompress?” Butterfly says, raising her voice slightly. Oh, shit.

“Yes, dear,” I reply.

“Well, on that note,” she says in the same tone, “I’m not going to let some jealous, stuck-up, insecure, puritanical, unhappy bitch ruin my trip. So, like I said, she better not say anything to or around me today, because I’m not in the fucking mood. If she wants to say anything about me today, she’d better say it outside of my earshot, because I won’t be responsible for my actions and we’ve got bail money!”

Whoa! Butterfly doesn’t bother looking at her, but I do, and she swiftly buries her face in her plate, paying attention to her brekky like it’s the most interesting thing she’s ever seen. Her friends are clearly asking if Butterfly is talking about her, but the woman doesn’t acknowledge their questions.

“Won’t that ruin your trip?” I ask my wife once she swallows her poached eggs.

“It’ll be worth it,” Butterfly says before sipping her coffee.

“Ya got a little spitfoire on ya hands thehr, Chris.” It’s a statement, not a question.

“That I do,” I reply, “and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

*-*

Apparently, the ladies must have had other plans, because they don’t debark with us nor go on our excursion. Our ship doesn’t actually dock at Port Arthur, just inside the harbor near the island. There’s this platform call the Magic Carpet that rises up and down on the outside of the ship between decks 2 and 16. It serves as a restaurant and bar hovering over the water when it’s not in use for debarkation and embarkation for various excursions if the ship doesn’t actually dock, which is what we’re doing now.

The excursion boat actually takes us to the historic site. We debark at the ferry dock and begin our tour with a guide from the visitor’s center—a young guy with a hard and heavy Aussie accent like Jaxon’s, who’s a little too friendly with the younger women in the group, my wife included. He doesn’t do anything overtly disrespectful, so he gets to keep his life.

As we walk among beautiful English trees and lush manicured gardens, the guide gives us background concerning what we’re about to see. Port Arthur is a convict settlement. It started as a timber station in 1830 and went through a transformation or three until it closed in 1877. For the most part, it’s now an open-air museum. Much of the settlement still survives. Some of it has been restored. However, most of the buildings are roofless ruins of the Port Arthur penal colony.

Although it opened in 1830 as a timber station, there were so many convicts cutting the trees down that they made it into a prison in 1833. Our first official stop is the Penitentiary building. There’s a huge gravel yard in front of the building and many of the windows still boast the iron bars that prevented prisoners from escaping. The building looks large and looming from the outside, but once you get inside, they are large scaffoldings and landings that make it appear much smaller. Though I can’t imagine what it looked like in the mid-19th century, it looks pretty gloomy right now, even with the absence of a roof and all the sunshine shining in.

According to our guide, the first two stories were maximum security and the upper level was minimum security. I guess it makes sense, because if you have less supervision on minimum security, it may be easier to escape. However, to get out of the building, you have to get through the maximum-security floors first.

The trip from England was eight months by sea for convicts. Convicts also came from Ireland and North America, but most prisoners were English. As the Alcatraz of Australia, Port Arthur was virtually an island. So even if you did escape, there was nowhere to go. Most English prisoners at the time couldn’t swim.

Political and gentlemen prisoners were housed here as well, but it was simply like exile for them as they lived in cottages somewhere in the 30+ buildings that made up the settlement.

In the first part of its existence, Port Arthur’s convicts were not only involved in timber, but also in brick making, ship building, smithing, and shoe making. Later, there was a flour mill and a granary. A hospital soon followed, and as I listened, I couldn’t help but wonder what they did with the sick before the hospital was built.

We visit several ruins, including the shells of the aforementioned hospital, a large church, officer’s quarters, the guard tower, and an insane asylum, all constructed by convict labor except the insane asylum. The hospital has a plaque inside that says, “There is not the space required for the health of inmates.”

Ironically, the insane asylum has been converted into a museum, study center and coffee shop. Not so ironically, the “separate” prison is right next door to what used to be the asylum.

The “separate” prison was started in 1848 and opened in 1853—built for the worst and most violent prisoners who were housed in the A and B wing, and the C-Wing was for the criminally insane. The criminals were all deprived of human contact.

Initially, punishments were physical—horrible corporal punishments consisting of leg irons, cat o’ nine tails, that sort of thing. The year 1849 brought the psychological punishments and the Quaker concept of solitary confinement called “separate treatment.” The idea is based on the premise that a man with no distractions would become closer to God.

To that end, prisoners in the separate prison were locked in a cell for 23 hours of the day in total silence and only released for one hour for exercise. They were taken separately to separate yards, but every so often, there were two prisoners being transported at the same time. If this happened, one of the prisoners was forced to face the wall until the other prisoner passed. To further make sure that they didn’t recognize each other, they were required to wear special uniforms with hoods and masks. In addition, the guards spoke to each other in sign language to maintain the silence of the punishment and to keep the prisoners from hearing the sound of another human voice.

It makes me think of Elena.

Solitary wasn’t harsh enough for her to keep her mouth shut and leave us the fuck alone. Neither was a few weeks with Big Bertha or whatever the hell her name was. When I get back to Seattle and get the information from Josh, I have a few ideas for her and the not-so-loyal Warden Holstein. Couldn’t accept your bird in the hand, huh, gov’na? You had to go after the two in the bush. Have it your way.

Inside the separate prison was the punishment cell. The punishment cell or the dark cell was a room with one door and no windows. Men were placed in the cell for undetermined amounts of time and were literally driven out of their minds due to the darkness. Even the most hardened criminals were broken after a few months in the separate prison and even less in the punishment cell

Between the A and B wings of the separate prisons, a staircase led to the chapel, which contained tall, upright cubicles. Prisoners were led in one by one and placed literally in a box where they could sing the hymns and look at the preacher, but they couldn’t look at each other because the box was confining and the walls between them were too tall.

“It almost seems cruel that such a beautiful place could be so brutal,” Butterfly says. “Do you think it was this beautiful when it was a prison?”

“I can’t really say,” I reply. “Even with some of the buildings restored and the shells that remain, clearly some of the buildings that were here at the time are gone, so this wasn’t all rolling green hills like it is now.”

Even without the rolling green hills, the convicts in the main penitentiary got to see the water that would never again take them home and the poor unlucky souls in the separate prison saw the sky—and only the sky—for one hour out of a 24-hour day.

And in one of the cells in the C wing, I could swear I could faintly hear a man coughing…


A/N: Part II of the Port Arthur excursion will be in the next chapter

Although all the pieces that I describe were on display at some point at the MONA, I didn’t bother trying to find out which pieces were on display at the time that Ana and Christian visited. I found myself falling down too many rabbit holes as I was trying to put the storyline together, so I’ve used creative license for this trip, too.

Ana talked about preserving two buildings on the property. There are two Roy Grounds buildings on the estate, and the entire estate and museum were built in a fashion to connect and preserve these two buildings, located on opposite sides of the peninsula.

Ana references a guy who has his whole life recorded. Christian Boltanski made a deal with David Walsh to record every day of his life as he works in his Paris studio and have it live-streamed to a bunker on the grounds of the MONA.

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

There has been yet another development where if you feel the need to talk to fellow readers about personal issues, you need a sounding board, you want to vent about something in your life, please feel free to visit the link on the left in the menu entitled “Do You Need To Talk.” No subject is taboo. I just ask that you approach the link with respect for those who have concerns as well as those who respond. You can also get to the link by clicking HERE

The Australia Picture Board can be found here: https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/raising-grey-the-trip-to-australia/ and the pictures from today’s chapter are in the “Hobart,” “Bruny Island,” and “port Arthur” sections.

And of course, the regular Pinterest board is here: https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/raising-grey/

You can join my mailing list on the “Contact Me” page. Just click the link and it will lead you to a form to join the list.

~~love and handcuffs

 

 

83 thoughts on “Raising Grey: Chapter 78—Traipsing to Tasmania    

  1. naturallyblonde1221 says:

    great chapter as always

  2. Ann Shearer says:

    Thanks for the email sweetheart i loved all three chapters. There incredable as always i still cant get enough of this story i’ve loved it from the very beginning its bloody fantastic, its 100 times better than the original FSOG, your incredable sweetheart thank you x 😉

  3. 1bernadette says:

    Hi Butterfly,

    I am a born and bred Aussie, living in Melbourne and I am not offended by your typed accent. Just one tiny bit of feedback that I think might be a type in the opening couple of lines of this chapter (that is if your trying for the authentic even in this fiction) we don’t have any buildings for the 9th Century, our country is just not that old, did you mean to type 19th century??

    Thanks for reading my comments, a big fan that came over from fanfic,

    Kind regards,

    Bernadette

    From: Butterfly Saga
    Reply-To: Butterfly Saga
    Date: Friday, 5 April 2019 at 6:00 pm
    To: Bernadette Kirkwood
    Subject: [New post] Raising Grey: Chapter 78—Traipsing to Tasmania

    divinebronzegoddess posted: “I’m assuming that anyone reading my fanfic has read the entire FSOG trilogy and most likely seen all the movies. By now, I’m certain that you are fully aware that BDSM is an entire lifestyle practiced by an ENORMOUS community of people. To that end, if yo”

  4. falalalynx says:

    Good morning everyone,

    I’d like to clarify something here before I read this chapter. No I don’t practice bdsm. BUT I have NO problem with people who do. My feelings about bdsm is ‘Whatever floats your boat.” It’s not up to me. I follow the Safe Sane Consensual idea about bdsm I found in this story in trying to understand it. If the participants choose to partake in this activity I see nothing wrong with them. If you think that that is all there is to this story you are out of your fucking mind. The Goddess gives me the opportunity to glimpse something I would never do. She has told us over and over the lifestyle is whatever the players choose to make it. Gees Louise! Stop judging. Go somewhere else and leave this alone. grumble grumble I didn’t even get a chance to drink my first cup of coffee and now it’s cold. Falala go get a new cup and sit down and enjoy this. Yeah okay but I’m hot under the collar now. Falala there is no collar on your gown. yeah yeah technicalities

    • falalalynx says:

      Finished reading.

      I don’t quite understand the fascination with visiting prisons sites, here or there. They are depressing as all get out. Look look come and see just how awful we can be to one another. But I did learn when I went to OZ that people take pride in there degree of prisoner ancestry. I suppose it does speak to the strength of the survivors. But the fact that the ‘civilized’ world, England, sent these ‘convicts’ around the world to pay for some really minor infractions boggles my mind.

      Ugh! this museum sounds atrocious. I guess it true what they say “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But to call some of this art, yeah No no not at all. grin imo grin Where’s the beauty? I guess I’m too simple of art.

      Christian damn near broke my heart. sob! Oh man I just can’t stand the idea that he is so haunted by his past. Darling boy you are a survivor just as your Ana is. Not only did you survive but you have prospered and flourished. And you have found something I think we all look for in life and often never find, the love of your life. Embrace it. Treasure it. Defend and protect it. grin That’s my boy! You are a wonder.

      Goddess I kind of wish you hadn’t mentioned that this story is coming to an end. That thought just makes me so so sad. Where will I go when my fantasy land closes? I just can’t think about it.

      Sad and lost Christian, picked on Ana, destruction of societies by the ebb and flow of immigration whether voluntary or forced, trolls, cold coffee first thing in the morning, ending of my favorite place all makes for a rather sad Falala today.

      Brilliant work my Goddess. You invoke such emotions in me. Now next time leave me with a smile okay? grin

      Peace, Falala

      • falalalynx says:

        sheesh That should be, to simple ‘for’ art. typos! I hate typos.

      • PS–Port Arthur is two chapters — the hardest chapters I had to right and almost made me ditch the Australia trip. You’ll find out why in the next chapter.

      • Sheila Tems says:

        FALALA… I’ve seen you share so many of your thoughts from the beginning…
        YOU, to me… feel almost as much of the Butterfly World as BG 🙂 I I can agree with SO much of what you’ve said…
        And, my views on art may differ, but that is OKAY!!! Everyone has their own idea of what it is! Do you want to see something REALLY DISGUSTING about “ART” look at this:

        https://nypost.com/2013/05/15/43-8-million-for-this/

        But I will add that I LOVE visiting historic sites, even prisons… maybe it’s weird, but I think we learn a lot from seeing in REAL life what our forefathers/ancestors/past humans have done to each other. Even if it’s aged and broken down, the intent is still there to be learned from… Just my take. The more REAL history I can get, the better, no judgement…

        BUT, yeah I TOTALLY agree with the end of this coming near it’s end is ;(

      • WHAAAAAAAAAAT??? Pretty blue, but $44M??? Seriously????

      • No, my friend. This BOOK is coming to an end. BOOK FIVE is already in progress and I’ll have an announcement about it soon.

      • falalalynx says:

        Shelia Good morning,

        What a nice compliment but I’m no butterfly. grin The Goddess is the butterfly. I’m the moth that flutters around her flame. Peace, Falala

    • Sheila Tems says:

      THUMBS UP….. LIKE…. FAVORITE… HEAR, HEAR!!!! Whatever you would like to call it since we don’t have similar option! 🙂

    • Valarie says:

      Lol! Nicely Put

    • I hope you don’t think I was saying that about you my friend. More than once, you have made it clear that you are only trying to understand about it, but I had a comment that was just chastising the entire practice blindly as abuse. I know that’s what they did to E.L. when the original books were released and I also know that’s what some people feel about BDSM. People are entitled to their opinions and I don’t disparage that, but why would someone subject themselves to a fanfic written about BDSM based on a series of books about BDSM if they feel this way? That’s what I don’t get. And by all means, they’re not allowed to come to my page and berate BDSM because they knew what they were getting into three books ago. Who does that? After four books?

      You ask questions. You try to understand. I admire that. This is not what that person was doing.

      • Junebride says:

        To each his/her own. Live and let live. Those who mind reading about BDSM should not read about it. Stay away. You are doing a great job, Goddess, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

        I know you do your research well beyond the call of duty so, again, feel free to go somewhere else if you don’t like what you find here. The rest of us enjoy your wonderful writing. You put your heart and soul into it.

        Thank you, thank you.

      • falalalynx says:

        Good morning,

        I tried so hard to stay up late last night so I could play with the big kids but alast it wasn’t to be. grin What can I tell you, I’m a morning person ever since I had my children. I was actually struggling as to where I should leave a reply. lol We are tangled together in our comments.

        Soooo today is all about the numbers, in no particular order. giggle

        Someone is out of there ever loving tree to pay $44M for blue paint. I agree Goddess it’s a lovely shade but someone somewhere is having a good laugh over this. And to have this entire organization (the art world) in on the hoax is crazy. imo evil grin Someone try and explain this to me.

        The average number of chapters for a fanfic story is 31 by my ruff Falala calculation. grin The average number of chapter’s for a Goddess creation is 80. grin I’ve actually been aware that we were coming up on this magic number but I put my head in the sand and just pretended it wasn’t there. Endings make me sad. What can I say? I know there is sooo much unresolved. Ana and Christian have so much more to do. evil grin First and foremost they have to kick Elena’s ass for good and forever. If ever there was an individual who DID NOT practice safe sane and consensual bdsm its this person.

        I don’t have to practice bdsm to want to read about it. I can only learn if I ask questions. There is no shame in admitting I don’t understand something. It would be a shame if I pretended I understood it just to maintain my coolness factor, that superior ‘Oh I KNOW everything’ attitude rather than say “Huh? What? I don’t get it.” Why do you think there were over 100,000,000 copies of E L’s book sold? ONE because it could be bought for E reader’s and people wouldn’t see you with the book in your hands and TWO people wanted to know about bdsm. evil grin It’s too bad EL’s version of bdsm was such a poor example. giggle imo And Elena IS imo the worst example of a bdsm player. lol I’m not going to believe all 100,000,000 copies of this story was bought by only bdsm practicing people. Can’t be. I bought it. lol For my daughter in law who lent it to the babysitter across the street. lmao BUT regardless I wasn’t attracted to the story for the sex. giggle No really! lol Well maybe 30% was for the sex but what has held me here is this is a freaking “LOVE” story about broken people overcoming all the ugliness in there lives to make this wonderful beautiful glorious relationship WORK. grin And I get to go along for the ride without having to deal with all the messy bodily fluids. evil lmao

        Goddess I know you weren’t chastising me. I was just arguing for the defense of YOUR story. There loss. They don’t get the enjoyment you give to us. So basically they are LOSERS. lol Falala! what have I told you about name calling? Yeah well if the shoe fits. evil grin

        FIVE we have a winner #5. I think my response yesterday was maybe shaded by my cold coffee. grin You don’t want to get between Falala and her first cup of coffee in the morning. I like 5. 5 is good. 5 fingers on a hand can make a fist and smash the nay sayers into last week where they can be old news. lol

        Hi Junie and also hi to Valarie and Shelia, new people who spoke to me. Nice to meet ya. Have a g’day. giggle I couldn’t help myself.

        Peace, Falala

      • You are so easy to love, my friend. If your comments ever disappeared, my life would never be the same. No worries, no endings yet–just continuations. 😉

  5. S. Hodgson says:

    Super cool chapter. I love getting a glimpse of Australia, makes me want to visit even more!!! Honestly I feel bad that they can never catch a break from catty women. Honestly. It’s just depressing.

  6. LisaKabb says:

    Great chapter as always.

  7. bookaddict86 says:

    Loving your story as usual! I’ve had a question on my mind for a while now, especially since I’m rereading Mending Dr. Steele for the 4th time! Do we ever find out what’s up with Ace? Why does Ana always think of Christian when he says or does something? I need to know how they are related!! Stay fabulous!

  8. sillie j says:

    I am not sure if I have seen a complete movie. I know I’ve seen snippets but whether they combine, I don’t know. I find a lot of the fanfiction better than the book. This one too. Also I really don’t like Dornan.

    On the other hand, I have no problems concerning what consenting adults do behind close doors. Risk-aware and consensual. I hate pain myself, but sometimes crave it for the cathartic and grounding effect it has on me. And that is just one aspect of BDSM. I think each practitioner defines themselves what it means for them.

    Anyway. Dunno what I wanted to say. That some people are rally weird? That I just can’t understand them? Or that I still enjoy reading this story even though I rarely say anything about it.

  9. Teri says:

    Both Christian and Ana had survivor moments in this chapter. Sad, yet compelling. I love your work Bronze!

  10. Sophia says:

    Amazing chapter, thank you.

  11. Better2BeLoved says:

    I’m not gonna lie, I chuckled at Christian mimicking the Australian accent lol that was cute! I really like Jaxon and Laura too, Jaxon is very perceptive!

  12. Lori says:

    Same jealous, catty bitches…different continent! They handled it very effectively for sure! Great chapter. Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Sheila Tems says:

    Thank you for sharing!!! I AM ALWAYS SO HAPPY TO SEE A NEW CHAPTER POSTED!!! I will just add that I agree with all of the other comments I’ve seen… we had similar thoughts so I won’t repeat 🙂

  14. Valarie says:

    Another awesome chapter Goddess. Hope you are better. Sending love and prayers
    ❤ and,🙏

  15. Junebride says:

    Dear Goddess, anyone having read Fifty Shades trilogy knows that it’s about BDSM but to me it is mainly a love story. Any way, we should not be concerned what anyone does behind closed doors. Others may disagree with me, but to each his/her own. I was reading your story when you were in fan fiction and followed you here. Love, love your story. I have often said it is better than the original–in fact, even if some disagree with me here also, I believe that the only thing that saved that trilogy was the acting of Dakota and Jamie.

    Any who, moving on… I know this is coming to an end of Book IV, but I am really concerned with what Falala implied. I just want reassurance from you that this is not the end of your story. It would really break my heart if so. You promised you would keep on writing… (whining here). There is still so much to cover…

    I felt sad for Christian and how he got thinking of his mother and what he went through. They both have gone through so much hell and are survivors. They found each other and can’t be without each other. Wonder what he has planned when he gets back home, especially with the bitch and the warden.

    I enjoyed today’s chapter and all the work you put into it. I remember many, many years ago visiting Alcatraz. You kind of feel out of your skin sometimes. They even put us in a cell, locked the door, and turned off the lights to show us how the prisoners felt at the time. For those few seconds it was hell!! Really would not wish that on anybody.

    Thank you for sharing with us your gift, your hard work, and giving us of your time. Your story has done a lot for me at a time when I have really needed it. Please don’t abandon us! (more whining…)

    Have a great weekend.

    xoxoxoxoxo

    • Junebride says:

      Oh, I just went back and read that Book V is coming up. Yeah!!! I am so happy now I can go to sleep in peace!! Thank you, Goddess, you’ve made my day!!! I can stop crying now. I’ll go back and keep on reading your new comments.
      xoxoxoxoxo

      • falalalynx says:

        Junie, Dry those tears. grin You are such a cute whiner. lol I didn’t intend to mislead you. grin I get all misty eyed at the end of every story. We’ve got FIVE to look forward to. giggle Lovely to see you. Peace, Falala

    • Book Five is already in progress. 😉

      • Junebride says:

        Thank you, Goddess! I am glad I read that before I tried to go and cry me to sleep (lol). Love ya, love ya, love ya… Uff, one thing less to worry about (yes, I am a worrier…).

        Hope you are having a great, relaxing weekend with hubby. You deserve it. Have some chocolate covered strawberries, a glass or two of wine….
        xoxoxoxox

  16. Junebride says:

    Hi, Falala, you are forgiven, you gave me quite a scare….

    Reading Goddess’ story keep me sane and looking forward to something to daydream. I so enjoy her writing.

    It’s good to learn about (almost) everything. BDSM is no different. I don’t think I would have practice it, but it’s ok for whomever it rocks their boat… (grin) Some just prefer some “kinky fuckery” like they said in the 50’s stories, that’s fine, too. Whatever makes anyone happy!

    I really enjoy your comments and look forward to them. You have a way with words!! Love it!!

    And yes, I heard that FSOG was fanfiction from Twilight and when EL decided it would actually bring her money for her writing, she pulled it out and the books came out, then the movies. She still has one more book pending which I don’t know if she’ll ever start/finish it–Freed Christian’s POV.

    I can’t wait to see what Goddess has in store for us, so many things pending. First and foremost, the bitch and the warden. Can’t even say her name, makes me mad…. (lol)

    Stay safe and talk to you soon. Have a great weekend!!
    xoxoxoxo

    • falalalynx says:

      Good morning Sweetface,

      I’m sitting here trying to imagine you saying kinky fuckery. lol Yep makes me laugh when I do.

      I’m only good for max a week without my Goddess or her work. Then I get surly and pace my house. I keep coming and checking to see if she’s surprised me. Sometimes I think it’s a form of withdrawal.

      Uhhmm isn’t that book already out? GREY I think it’s called. A Christian pov of FSOG. Are we talking about the same book?

      I’ve never cared for ‘she that shall not be spoken’ name either. Wouldn’t want to make you mad. grin Look away if you see I’ve typed it. giggle

      Have a lovely day. Peace, Falala

      • seralynsmom says:

        I think she’s talking about the final book of the trilogy. EL wrote Grey and Darker and has said once all the stuff for her new book, The Mister, is done she’ll go back and see if Christian talks to her and she’ll write the final book of the trilogy from his POV. Grey and Darker are his POV for the first two books.

      • falalalynx says:

        Ahh just goes to show how out of the loop I am. I’ve seen Grey, the book. I didn’t know there was a Darker or that she’s working or going to work on a Freed. Oh boy is she milking this for every penny or what? lol She needs to retire this and let the other kids play with these peeps. lol My personal take on her story is the premise was interesting but the characters lacked depth. They were only two dimensional. Now Goddess knows how to draw a character. Her original characters are so finely crafted they ‘breathe’. Yeah, Chuck, Keri, Marlow, Sofie, Allen, James, Brian, Courtney, Vicky, Edward David even Winston are full bodied. I can keep naming them. grin I wonder if her’s are so shallow because she originally used the character of Edward and Bella as the template for her characters. Also she isn’t of the same caliber of a writer as Goddess is. I can’t tell you how many times I scoffed at it as I read it. I always wonder where the hell her editor was, out to lunch? There was so much that could have been improved but wasn’t. I’m talking technically not story wise. Peace, Falala

      • Oh how I love you, Falala…

      • “Grey” is FSOG in CG’s POV. “Darker” is FSD in CG’s POV. “Freed” is supposed to be released eventually as FSF in CG’s POV.

      • falalalynx says:

        Goddess, I only speak the truth. Falala truth. grin Peace, Falala

  17. Wally Cruz says:

    Great!! Just never is too much.

    Waiting next chapter!

    Wally

    El vie., 5 de abril de 2019 3:00 a. m., Butterfly Saga escribió:

    > divinebronzegoddess posted: “I’m assuming that anyone reading my > fanfic has read the entire FSOG trilogy and most likely seen all the > movies. By now, I’m certain that you are fully aware that BDSM is an entire > lifestyle practiced by an ENORMOUS community of people. To that end, if yo” >

  18. seralynsmom says:

    On one hand, I’m with Ana and wish he hadn’t been on his phone. On the other, it wasn’t actually work and considering the damage Elena’s book could potentially do to them, I think keeping abreast of the situation is something they need, especially Christian. I think it’s the only thing that’ll really give him peace of mind.

    Totally with Ana about that bitch. I don’t get why women have to bring one another down. If it had been Christian walking around with hickeys on display would she even have cared? Somehow I doubt it. It’s that lovely little double standard and it pisses me off.

    The MONA was intense! Christian’s mini break down had my heart aching. I don’t think he’ll ever stop asking why, and what if. I’m just glad he has Ana there now. Some of those displays though. Who in the hell thinks literal shit is art? *shudders*

    I’m wondering what Christian has planned. Lots of developments this chapter and I can’t wait to get to them! Great chapter as always.

    • seralynsmom says:

      Oh and that shit about the BDSM. Idk why anyone would read this and not be ok with the lifestyle. While the original trilogy wasn’t true BDSM, he may have been a true Dom and really practiced it before Ana, it did have elements of it and if the person read that trilogy surely they’d have to realize that any fanfiction based on the trilogy might have the lifestyle in it as well.

      For me, FS wasn’t ever meant to be true BDSM. It was supposed to be about Christian’s growth and realization that he didn’t need it to have a meaningful relationship. It was about his change and growth with a side of kinky fuckery. It always irritates me when people bring the trilogy down because supposedly idiots are getting into BDSM strictly because of the books. It’s not EL’s fault or the book’s fault people do that. No one should ever get into anything they haven’t done before without proper research and anyone who does is a grown ass adult who has no excuse for being an idiot. Just sayin’

      So whoever left that review needs to get over themselves and just step off and away from a story that they clearly shouldn’t be reading.

      Rant over

      • falalalynx says:

        And what a beautiful rant it was. giggle Good morning Ash. You are sizzlin. giggle And those bitches with there snide comments that’s an easy one, JEALOUSY. They can’t physically attack Ana so they throw verbal darts. Socially they can get away with it. Imagine if Ana reacted with her skills on these wenches, Christian would be spending all kinds of money on bail. Allen would be so busy. So Ana does the next best thing. She wipes the floor verbally about there holier than thou attitude. grin It’s a giant game of oneupmanship, jostling for a superior position in society. I hate to say it but woman can be as awful as the next group when it comes to who’s on top. grin But we know who’s on top, Ana! No Christian! No Ana no Christian and and sheesh now there sideways. lol xoxoxoxo Peace, Falala

      • seralynsmom says:

        I think they’re on top together. Lol. And that’s why I don’t have many female friends, women don’t need men to drag them down—they do it all by themselves. They bitch about men objectifying them, about men and inequality, about how men are all assholes and then turn right around and drag one another down because they can’t get passed their jealousy and bullshit. Sad part is, I bet a lot of the women acting that way with Ana are beautiful in their own rights, but their ugly ass attitudes ruin it.

      • falalalynx says:

        You’ve got a friend in me. grin And last I looked I was still female. lol Peace, Falala

  19. Camille Henley says:

    Thanks Goddess for amazing update! “The Mona ” I honestly had no ideal. That was educational all on it own. Need I say Christian broke my heart. I was like ” the little boy-he just wants answer” ok I’m crying again. I have really enjoyed this journey and exploring History through this wonderful saga. Jaxon and Laura are peoples that you only hope to meet on any trip. Some peoples are so long and miserable that the only thing that they have to offered. That why I believe Ana got so much attitude. She’s smart, beautiful and holds her own. Not to mention she has one of the riches man in the world and she I would say owns him.

    Goddess after all these years of following you, I know for a fact that you will not ignored anyone who insults your story, your characters. So I’m not going to say ignore the haters because that’s simply not you… But please understand who and what you’re dealing with.

    Your Fan

    Camille

    • falalalynx says:

      Yeah jealous envious airheads with moral superiority complexes. grin Good morning Camille Looking lovely as always. grin Peace, Falala

      • Junebride says:

        Love you guys, always a pleasure to hear all your comments. You are right on… Keep them coming…

        Falala, EL left pending the Freed CPOV. She’s taking her sweet time and it seems to me that she won’t do it (maybe I’m wrong). And yes, she needed an editor… (won’t say anything else). If only she hadn’t insisted on co-directing the movies would have been a blessing too (my opinion only). OK, I’m done and silent on this subject (lol). Don’t get me going please…. (grin)

        Have a good week you all!!!

      • falalalynx says:

        Junie!

        After talking to everyone this weekend I did some googling and E L’s book “The Mister” is being released on the 16th of this month. What timing. grin Can’t say much about the title though. “The Mister” reminds me of “Be Best”. They feel like dangling participles. Why isn’t it Be your Best? And The Mister yeah I can’t even figure that one out or what to add to it. How about Hey Mister? giggle She’s even reused some of the names from Fiddy. And why are every recent hero character named after condoms? Maxim? Really!! Maxim Trevelyan. lol Oh yeah there’s a name that excites me. Oh boy my blood is pumping now. lol Uh-oh I’m ranting nonsense. Sweet dreams Junie.

        Peace, Falala

  20. Michelle B says:

    Don’t even get me started on colonization if anyone have time please look up and see what France is still doing to the Africian countries that are under them great chapter as always everyone have a bless work week

  21. Junebride says:

    You’re too much, Falala. I may be wrong, but don’t think this one is going anywhere. Time will tell. Recycling doesn’t do it.

    Talk to you soon. You always make me laugh. Thank you.
    xoxoxoxo

    • I tend to agree with you, Junie. I guess we’ll have to see.

    • falalalynx says:

      Falala here looking for trouble. giggle

      Sooo whom among us will buy this book and read and then review it for the rest of us? evil grin Falala looks around. Well lets not all volunteer at once. Well I’m not going to do it. I’m not doing to. Don’t look at me. I know! We’ll have Mikey do it. lol I think I’m too biased. I already don’t hold her in very high regard. I do value your opinions though. grin

      Happy lump day everyone. That’s hump day Falala. pfft! To you maybe but not in my reality.

      Peace, Falala

      • I’m not sure I’m even going to read it. The fact that she couldn’t come up with another name speaks volumes.

      • falalalynx says:

        Maybe it’s the name of her first love and she just can’t let him go. Her hero will always have that name. Condom Trevelyan grin That’s kind of creepy Falala. I know the hair on the back of my neck just gave me a shiver. My psych powers sent me an alert. Move towards the exit in an orderly fashion. grin I’ll have to settle for the generic reviews I’ll get online. Oooh here’s a thought, uh-oh here it comes, no no I just flashed on Trey. You know Trey Goddess, from Golden. Oh boy her new guy doesn’t stand a chance if I compare him to Trey and your Christian. lmao Two of the yummiest characters in all creation and divinely different. lol smug smile
        Sweet dreams Goddess. Peace, Falala

      • Junebride says:

        How did I miss these comments? If you were looking for a volunteer to read this book and then report to us, please be assured it won’t be me. Sorry I’m late for the comment.

        I will reserve my opinion(s) of her, but thanks, but no thanks is all I will say.

        And I’m with Goddess’ comment about the name. How original! No more comments for me on this. Like I said, I don’t think it’s going anywhere….

        xoxoxoxoxo

      • falalalynx says:

        I think you missed them because they happened later than the original post. grin I checked Amazon and ‘The Mister’ has 3 1/2 stars out of five and the price has dropped already. Has it made a best sellers list? I don’t know. How are you cutie pie? Missing everyone here. Peace, Falala

  22. falalalynx says:

    Good evening Goddess,

    grin I won’t keep you but a moment. But something was bothering This is an example of how my mind works. grin

    Something kept blinking “That’s not right that’s not right” so I owe you a wee apology. It’s Windsor Falala not Winston. Sorry sorry my bad. giggle When I added his name to the list of ‘your’ characters in my post I got it wrong. I think I can find any number of excuses to come and talk to you. grin But this one was buzzing my brain. All straight now. grin

    Peace, Falala

  23. Stuart says:

    Hi, great chapter as always..

    Tbh museums bore the living daylights out of me.. I try and I honestly try to stay interested in what the guide is saying or what the planks read.. But after 10 minutes, my mind always starts drifting back to the icecream shop I saw while buying the entry ticket!! lol

    Also, the thing about prisons and forts – we have prison in Andaman islands and many forts across India, but the only thing that I am interested in is fresh coconut water vendor outside them! giggle..

    But I read through this one and was left fascinated, disgusted and intrigued and I don’t know.. It was like I wanted them to exit the place *right now* and also look what would be next in this bizarre place! But it sure felt good when they were back on the boat!

    BDSM – I don’t know what brought about your disclaimer. But an author shouldn’t have to say these things as disclaimer! Its a given.. A very wise someone once said “I might not agree to your words but I will defend, to death, your right to say them”. Never more appropriate for books and their authors.. And yes, like you said, you read till this stage and don’t get it that it will be about BDSM because throughout the story Christian has been THE Dom, not just a Dom?! BG, Please don’t be bothered by people who don’t understand that!

  24. Tina Lonsdale says:

    Thanks again for the very good read I now go to the next chapter.

  25. Tina Lonsdale says:

    I seem to have lost chapter 79 it crashed because here at the hospital the internet is not secure and some one was trying to get into my data so your website shut me down. Please could you send me the link again and when I’m home I’ll be able to read it again and finish it off I only just started it anyway

  26. valentinesgenie says:

    I’m sorry I’m just now getting to read sand review this chapter but I loved it awesome work per usual see you next time take care…

  27. jjgoldmann says:

    Is Christian texting his reinforcements while out with Ana, Laura and Jaxon?

    I was getting a kick out of Ana and her explanations of that artist that was interested in the human body and its functions. LOL

    Poor Christian was going down the rabbit hole for a bit there reminiscing about his mother. I’m glad they got out of that room at the museum and then they just so happen to find a pictures of pussies. Thank goodness because that certainly changed the mood of things. LOL

    I absolutely adore when Ana reads nosy women the riot act and that woman on the bus certainly deserved it and got it too. LOL

    Christian hasn’t given Jason a raise in years? The man took a bullet for him. Although, Christian is right both Gail and Jason live with him and want for nothing and have really no expenses either. Apparently Jason does get a cost of living raise every year that Christian didn’t even know about but bottom line Jason is content and happy with the way things are.

    What does Christian want to change in his life now that he realizes he has so many opportunities ahead of him and that he shouldn’t dwell in the past?

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