This is a work of creativity. As such, you may see words, concepts, scenes, actions, behaviors, pictures, implements, and people that may or may not be socially acceptable and/or offensive. If you are sensitive to adverse and alternative subject matter of any kind, please do not proceed, because I guarantee you’ll find it here. You have been warned. Read at your own risk.
I do not own Fifty Shades Trilogy, or the characters. They belong to E. L. James. I am only exercising my right to exploit, abuse, and mangle the characters to MY discretion in MY story in MY interpretation as a fan. If something that I say displeases you, please, just leave. If you don’t like this story or me, please don’t spoil this experience for everyone. Just go away. For the rest of you, the saga continues…
Season 5 Episode 14
Lunch manages to end on a high note with Butterfly showing Cynthia and Larry pictures of the twins at Christmas and their first birthday and talking about the accreditation at Helping Hands and all the things the Center will be able to do now that they’re licensed. I’m very happy to move the conversation away from the trial. We’ve decided to stay, and now we need to make the best of our time while we’re here awaiting this damn verdict. Much to my surprise, Butterfly suggests that we all go to Karaoke since most of our party will be returning to Seattle tomorrow. Cynthia and Larry decline, but it looks like our party will be going to make fools of ourselves on stage.
Although we’re in better spirits as we watch the living statues perform in the middle of the mall/casino, our spirits take a nosedive the moment we see him.
“Brian? What the…?” Ray begins.
“I swear I’m not following you,” he says with his hands up. Butterfly and I are both glaring at him like we could shoot him where he stands.
“What, did you come for a shopping trip?” I nearly hiss. He turns his glare to me.
“As a matter of fact, I did,” he says. He reaches into his jacket and just as Jason is reaching into his, Cholometes pulls out a mirrored box. Inside the mirrored box is another box—blue… Tiffany blue to be exact. He opens the box to reveal what looks like a 2-carat solitaire stone set in a platinum band with eight round brilliant diamond set in the band.
“I’m going to ask Shawna to marry me,” he says to Ray.
“Thank God,” my wife says, probably a little louder than she intends and never making eye-contact with Brian. He brings his gaze down to her and I’m immediately on guard.
“I see that’s good news to you, Ana,” he says. “I’m glad to hear that.” Butterfly raises a hateful gaze to Cholometes that doesn’t even faze him.
“You’re here in Las Vegas to attend the trial of the bastards that beat and burned me 15 years ago. Yet, you say that you’re here to support my father. The last time I saw you, you tried to announce to a room full of my family and friends—particularly my father—that I and my husband engage in an alternative lifestyle. Forgive me if I question your motives, Mr. Cholometes!” she spits, her voice full of venom, before she turns to her father.
“We’re going to the car, Daddy. You can meet us there when you’re done talking to your friend.” She marches away with Chuck right behind her. I glare at Cholometes for a moment, then fall in step behind my wife. I hear Ray talking to him as we leave.
“Bri, I appreciate your support and friendship, but in the future when you want to drop into town, you may want to call first.”
“Good idea,” I say to myself as I catch up with my wife.
“I don’t want to talk about it,” she says. “I want to go to the Fashion Show Mall and buy a skimpy dress to wear to karaoke tonight.”
“We’re in the middle of a mall right now, baby,” I point out.
“I don’t want to risk running into him again!” she says. Duly noted… then I pause.
“How skimpy?” I ask.
“Nearly non-existent,” she says. “I’ll be with my husband.”
And she wasn’t kidding.
She bought a short cobalt-blue, spaghetti string dress that fit her like a second skin that she plans to wear without a bra. What’s more is that she found a pair of cobalt-blue thigh-high soft suede stiletto boots to wear with the barely-there dress. To make matters worse, she bought a white bridal cape trimmed in fur with a hood, so that you were sure to see her coming.
“Your dad is going to be there,” I protest, trying to get her to reconsider her wardrobe choice.
“And I’m a grown ass woman with twins,” she replies. “If he’s never considered the fact that I’m a sexual being, now would be the time to get over it.”
I had to buy something, too, because I hadn’t planned on attending any social events. So, all I brought are suits and sweats, and hell if I’m wearing either of those out with her tonight. So, what do I buy?
I find the most Beckham-esque pair of black slacks that I can find in that they fit a man’s muscular legs, ass, and groin area very nicely and leave nothing to the female imagination. I pair them with a thin muscle turtleneck T-shirt and a pair of Mahogany brown ankle boots that pretty much sends the message that my wife is not the only one who’s going to look tempting on the streets of Vegas. She examines me with a scrutinous eye before we leave the suite and simply laughs as we head for the elevator.
Everyone comes out with us tonight, including Mac’s husband, Fergus, which unfortunately means that Marilyn is the only dateless person this evening. At first, that gives me cause for concern, but she assures me that she’s okay and plans to have a good time. She even intends to sing a song.
Jason’s eyes bulge from their sockets when he sees my wife’s attire. Ray is equally speechless when she removes her cloak. Of course, Allen can be counted on to fan the flame.
“Well, well, well, Hot Mama, what’s gotten into you?” he asks.
“A little bit of hell from Sin City, that’s all,” she replies taking a seat. Jason looks at me and I just raise my brow and shrug. He, on the other hand, sighs and rubs his forehead. He knows that dress has the makings for a long night.
We’re at a local bar in a casino called Ellis Island in downtown Las Vegas, as if we hadn’t spent enough time down here already, but this place is rumored to be one of the best karaoke spots in town. If I’m honest, the food’s not bad either. We arrived early and commandeered one of the large tables that look like picnic tables. We’ve deliberately skipped dinner to partake of the greasy bar food, because that’s what Butterfly wants—chicken wing dings, loaded steak fries, jalapeno poppers, fried mushrooms… all the things that usually mean a night of indigestion, not to mention a steady flow of a drink called “Adios.” Hopefully, I won’t have to carry her into the suite at the end of the night, but even if I do, she deserves to let loose after the week that she’s had.
When the massive amount of food arrives, everyone digs in and I’m thrilled beyond words to see that Marilyn takes a few bites of a wing ding! That was worth the trip all on its own.
More than one man has eyed my Butterfly in this delectable fucking dress with her nipples at full attention. I’m trying not to go all Neanderthal on the fuckers, but they’re getting on my fucking nerves. The women eyeing me are a bit more discreet, but the gesture offers me little to no comfort.
The first to be called up from our little group is Fergus. He gives his wife a kiss and mounts the stage.
“Hold on a minute there, lad, before ya start,” Fergus turns to the crowd. “Do any of ya Americans know anything about good Irish drinkin’ songs?”
I don’t know anything about Irish drinking songs. I look over at my wife and she shakes her head and shrugs, but his question receives a bit of a reception from the crowd.
“Well, let’s give it a lil shot. If I say, ‘And it’s no, naaaay, neveeeerrrrr…” He pauses and several people in the bar clap four times.
“Oooooohh! I see ya do!” he says with his jolly Scottish accent. “Well, let’s do a round of The Wild Rover!” He turns to the DJ. “Okay, lad, let’s give it a go.”
A rousing introduction of what sounds like banjos and violins pipe through the speakers, and Fergus begins singing about spending all his money on drinking but coming home with gold in store. When he gets to the first round of the “No, nay, never” chorus, a few people in the bar clap with him.
Now, here’s the thing about Irish drinking songs… well, I should say this Irish drinking song, because I haven’t heard any other ones. It’s a very happy song. In fact, in a room full of drinking karaokers, it’s infectious. So, by the time he gets to the second round of the chorus, more people are clapping with him. By the third chorus, my wife and I are clapping with him. By the fourth and fifth chorus, the entire bar is singing along with him.
He gets a rowdy round of applause when the song is over and an enthusiastic roar to sing it again… which he does, and it’s just as much fun the second time around.
After a few other performers, Ray goes to the stage and sings Lionel Ritchie The Only One. Apparently, Mac hasn’t had enough to drink yet to show her vocal skills, but James is beckoned to the stage a while later and belts out a very good version of Michael Bublé’s Save the Last Dance for Me.
To my dismay, three or four songs later, my scantily clad wife is called on stage and sings a very animated version of Katy Perry’s Roar.
And Christ, did she roar!
I’m sure that a good portion of the power behind that song was fueled by alcohol, but she doesn’t seem impaired at all. Of course, the catcallers are yelling shit like, “Yeah, baby, roar on over here,” and “I’ve got something to make you roar,” but they were largely drowned out by the power of She-Women waving through the crowd and “roaring” along with my wife.
No sooner the little “tiger” is ready to take her seat that the DJ beckons her back to the stage with Al. They cling to one another and sing That’s What Friends Are For. I see my wife getting misty-eyed when the song is over, and she hugs her best friend. So, I’m happy when one of the other patrons belts out Sweet Caroline, which is one of those songs that unites people across all genres.
A few songs later, Amanda produces an amazing rendition of Celine Deon’s Because You Loved Me, and now Allen is looking for a song to sing for James since everyone seems “so sappy and sentimental” as he put it—everyone, that is, except…
At first, you can’t tell what the song is because you just hear the guitar strumming a single tune for a few beats, but when she opens her mouth…
“There’s a fire starting in my heart, reaching a fever pitch and it’s bringing me out the dark…”
Marilyn’s voice has so much soul in it that everyone at the table is taken aback. We’re all listening intently as she finishes the first verse, and if you close your eyes, you don’t know that this isn’t Adele.
“The scars of your love remind me of us, they keep me thinkin’ that we almost had it all…”
I look over at Butterfly and she’s staring at the stage like she’s never seen this person before. Marilyn’s eyes are closed as she sings the song and when she hits the chorus, her voice reverberates through that place like she’s giving a concert—and the crowd reacts as such, but Marilyn is in her own world belting out this song like a pro.
“Did you know she could sing like that?” I ask, leaning over to Butterfly.
“Not a clue,” she says, still gazing at Marilyn, who continues to captivate the crowd.
“Turn my sorrow into treasured gold. You’ll pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow…”
She’s clapping with the rhythm of the clapping in the song as she sings this part, almost like it was rehearsed, but each time she gets to that chorus, she belts it out and the women in the bar transform into backup singers.
“You played it, you played it, you played it, you played it to the beat.”
She ends the song perfectly as the music ends and steps quickly off stage to thunderous applause. She proceeds pass the table, not stopping to look at any of us.
“Marilyn!” Butterfly calls behind her.
“I’m fine,” she calls back. “I just need the restroom.” Butterfly moves to stand, but I prevent it, shaking my head when she looks at me strangely.
“Let her go,” I tell her. “She obviously needs a little alone time.”
Butterfly at first gives me a look that screams how dare I hold her down like that, but deflates when I point out that Marilyn needs to be alone.
“Well, that explains a lot,” Mac says, taking a sip of her drink. I frown.
“What do you mean?” I ask.
“I knew that crying was more than just a bad dream,” she says. “I just didn’t want to be intrusive. Bad breakup?” I look at Butterfly who shrugs. I can see Ray looking over at us expectantly, especially after he saw Marilyn kiss me on the cheek.
“The worst,” Butterfly says. “It’s not like we can keep it a secret anymore. I can’t reveal the details, but… it’s pretty brutal.”
“Physically brutal?” Ray presses. Butterfly purses her lips.
“Daddy, I love you, but that’s none of your business. Bad break-up, that’s all you get, which is more than I should have said.”
“No offense, Ana, but it’s the elephant in the room,” Amanda says. “I don’t know her very well, but every now and then, a bit of personality shines through. She’s not usually this quiet girl that everybody’s seeing now, is she? And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that she doesn’t eat. I thought she was bulimic, but like Vee, I didn’t want to intrude.”
“What made you think bulimia if you hadn’t seen her eating?” Mac asks.
“I don’t know, maybe I’m thinking anorexia…” Amanda says.
“Can we please not talk about her this way?” Butterfly interjects fervently. “It’s rude and intrusive, not to mention narrow-minded to draw conclusions without knowing the entire story!”
We all turn to see Marilyn standing just at the end of the long table where we’re sitting. Amanda’s face pales and she chokes out her apology.
“Marilyn! I’m sorry… I didn’t mean…” Marilyn holds her hand up to silence Amanda.
“It’s okay,” she says. “It’s easy to get the wrong idea. I and my boyfriend didn’t see eye-to-eye on a very important matter and it resulted in our break-up. I wasn’t ready, not that I think I ever would have been, but it can’t be fixed now. I’m doing better with it now than I was before, but as you can see, I’m still not taking it very well. I’m ingesting what I can—doctor’s orders—but apparently, the first thing to leave after you lose your heart is your appetite… along with a bit of your sense of self-preservation, so…”
She trails off, and Mac and Mandy look more than a bit sheepish.
“So, I’m not bulimic and I’m not anorexic. I’m just broken-hearted,” Marilyn says with a shrug.
“I’m so sorry, Marilyn,” Amanda says again.
“Really… it’s okay. I totally understand. To be honest, I’ve become a bit accustomed to being Sideshow Bob… and I know Bosslady’s not going to tell you guys anything, so you heard it from me.” She mocks a half-bow. “Jason? Can one of the guys take me back to the hotel? I think I’ve had enough fun for the night.”
“Maybe we should all go…” Mac begins.
“Oh, please, don’t,” Marilyn protests. “I already feel bad that I put a big damper on the night. If everybody leaves because of me, I’m going to feel really shitty.” She turns to Jason and he nods to Lawrence.
“Christian, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll take you up on that separate room for the night,” she says. I look over at Mac who’s staring at me wide-eyed and beseeching. I clear my throat.
“I… took the liberty of getting a separate room for Mac and Fergus,” I say. “I know how it can be for married couples who haven’t seen each other in a week, so I thought… you know… just in case?” She nods.
“Goodnight, everyone,” she says as she retrieves her coat and purse and leaves with Lawrence. Mac releases a breath she was holding.
“Thank you, Christian!” she sighs heavily. “I feel twelve types of shitty now.” Butterfly doesn’t say anything. She just leans back into me. Everyone is quiet now and the tension can be cut with a knife.
“Okay,” I announce. “We’ve all had a pretty shitty week, and although what has happened to Marilyn is indeed tragic, she has requested that we don’t end the night on her account. So, Jason, please flag down a waitress so that we can get another round of drinks, and Mrs. McIntyre, I believe since you initiated the event that has thrust us into this current state of melancholy…” I’m speaking with an exaggerated tone to lighten the mood of the revelers, “… that it’s only fair that you turn in one of those little sheets and get up there and get to performing.” Mac twists her lips and snatches one of the song books from the table.
“I didn’t see you grace us with a performance, Mr. Grey,” she shoots.
“Oh, my request is already in,” I correct her. “I’m just waiting for them to call my name.” Butterfly turns to look at me.
“Really?” she asks.
“Yes, really,” I reply. “Did you think I was going to let you have all the fun?” She rolls her eyes.
“I’ll prepare myself,” she says.
“For all the women that are going to rush the stage when you start singing,” she replies.
I think I owe an additional debt of penance, too,” Amanda says as she begins to thumb through the song book.
I watch as Amanda and Mac begrudgingly submit their selections and Butterfly thumbs through the book. I don’t think she plans on singing another song. I think she’s just trying to find something to do with her hands.
“Jewel?” Allen says, garnering her attention. When she looks up, he just gazes at her. She looks back down at the book.
“I don’t know what to do,” she says quietly. “She’s so sad and I know this will pass, but I know from experience that it could take a really long time. In the meantime…”
She trails off and she continues to thumb through the song book. I slide my arm around her waist to try to comfort her.
“I know it’s not the same, Jewel, but she’s got you. She couldn’t ask for a better friend or Bosslady at a time like this…”
“But is it enough?” she interrupts, firmly but quietly. “I swear to God, she looks like she’s dying.”
Allen can’t counter because he knows that she’s right.
“We’re doing everything we can, baby,” I tell her, “and she’s doing what she can to get through this. I know it’s hard to watch, but we’ve just got to give her time.” Butterfly sighs and nods. Just as I’m about to say something else encouraging, the DJ calls my name. I kiss my wife on the cheek and go to the stage.
I chose a song that’s clearly out of my range, but I’ll make it work. The familiar intro plays, and my wife raises a questioning gaze to me as I begin to sing…
“I could stay awake just to hear you breathing, watch you smile while you are sleeping, while you’re far away and dreaming…”
Butterfly’s mouth falls open as I croon the lyrics. After a few lines, her face softens, and she sinks into the music.
“Lying close to you feeling your heart beating, and I’m wondering what you’re dreaming, wondering if it’s me you’re seeing…”
I’m no Steven Tyler, but I adjust the high keys to fit my voice and continue singing to my girl.
“I don’t wanna miss one smile, and I don’t wanna miss one kiss…”
She’s looking at me with those big ocean blue eyes that I could just fall into and I’m trying very hard to finish the song. It’s just a song, I know, but it reminds me of how much I love her and how lucky I am to have her.
“I don’t wanna close my eyes, I don’t wanna fall asleep ‘cause I’d miss you, Baby, and I don’t wanna miss a thing.”
As the lyrics end and the music is still playing, I can hear someone saying something over the applause, but I just want to get back to my girl. I sit down and pull her onto my lap, and she kisses me sweetly on the cheek. It’s tender and special and if I’m honest, I’m a little verklempt by the gesture.
“Jesus, Chris, you could’ve said ‘excuse me’ before you nearly knocked the poor girl down,” Allen scolds as he returns to the table after turning in more song requests. What the hell is he talking about?
“I didn’t knock her down! She’s on my lap!” I protest.
“Not that girl… that one.” He points to some girl just on the other side of the stage. She’s with a group of what I assume are her friends and she does not look happy.
“Who the hell is she?” I ask. I look at Butterfly and she shakes her head and shrugs.
“Oh, don’t ask her,” Allen chides. “She was just as moonstruck as you were. She was one of the fan club that gathered at the stage when you started singing.”
“Oh, you can’t be serious,” I say and Butterfly laughs.
“I told you,” she says, still giggling.
“I wasn’t even that good,” I point out.
“You were good enough,” Allen says. “You had a party of about five meandering at the stage.
“Couldn’t they tell I was singing to her?” I ask, gesturing to my wife.
“I’m sure they could, but I don’t think it mattered,” Mac says. “When you finished your song, that girl threw herself right in your path, and you politely pushed her right out of the way like a saloon door.” Butterfly sputters a laugh again.
“And I missed it,” she chuckles.
“You were otherwise occupied, dear,” Mandy chimes in.
“I should go apologize,” I say.
“No, you shouldn’t,” Butterfly says. “Vee says people could tell that you were singing to me, but she obviously didn’t care. So, I’ll tell you what. I’ll try to smooth things over since it was rude to knock the girl out of the way, because if you go over there, she’s going to see it as an invitation.” I raise a brow at her.
“It’s that or nothing,” she says. “I’ll be happy to sit here and drink and order more wing dings and watch my family sing.” She shrugs. I guess it couldn’t hurt to let her try to apologize for me. She didn’t shove the girl.
“Chuck is going with you,” I condition.
“Chuck can stay right where he is,” she retorts. “It’s 30 feet away. If she’s got a gun, she can shoot us from here,” she adds, throwing back her drink, then strolling over to the table with the women. I watch as she animatedly talks to the women and the one in the pink and white dress sneers at her a bit. They have a brief exchange then Butterfly shrugs, says something else and proceeds to leave.
She looks like she’s about to come back to the table when I vaguely hear something come from one of the women at the table that makes her stop in her tracks. Her mouth opens slightly in surprise before she turns around and takes the two steps back to the table. She says something to the girl, whose face transforms into a mask of horror. Her friends’ faces all range from shock and awe to badly hidden amusement. Butterfly stops the waitress and says something to her, and the waitress nods and leaves. Butterfly then smiles, waves, and walks back to the table.
“Do I even want to know what just happened?” I ask. She shrugs again with a smirk on her face.
“I apologized on your behalf, or at least I tried,” she begins. “She was surprised that you’re my husband; I didn’t bother to ask why. She didn’t accept my apology, so I just shrugged and said, ‘Well, I tried.’ Just as I was about to leave, she said that my husband shouldn’t have let me leave the house like this.”
“Oh, Lord,” Mac says.
“Oh, don’t worry,” she tells Mac. “I just told her that her friends shouldn’t have let her leave the house like that. Then, I bought them a round of drinks.” Allen nearly chokes on his drink and James has to pat his husband’s back and hand him a napkin.
“I guess I missed the thrust here,” I say.
“That, my dear Chris, is called shade,” Al says. “Friends don’t let friends go out looking like crap and that pink and white dress that she’s wearing looks like it came from the dollar store.” I shake my head.
“I can’t take you anywhere,” I jest to my wife.
“Hey, it’s not my fault that other people don’t know how to act around me,” she says.
“None of this has anything to do with the number of ‘Adios’s’ you’ve consumed, right?”
“Maybe,” she replies, “a little bit. Hey, you were the one who swerved her on stage. I was just trying to soften the blow.”
“The hell you were!” I accuse. “You were trying to rub it in.” She smiles.
“Maybe… a little bit,” she repeats.
“And what the hell is a ‘swerve?” I ask. She and Al laugh.
“Google it,” she says, “along with shade. Be sure to look for the urban dictionary definitions.” She resumes her perch on my lap.
“You really can’t blame me,” she says. “You do this to women wherever we go. It’s like they’ve never seen a handsome man in their lives, and they don’t know what to do with themselves when they see you.”
“Oh, like you don’t have the men in here sniffing the floor just to get a whiff of the soles of your boots,” I counter. She laughs heartily.
“More chicken wings,” she demands mirthfully, “and another Adios… and a glass of water.” The waitress actually waves at her from across the room and Butterfly nods.
“Did she just actually take your order?” I ask and she nods.
“We have an agreement,” she replies. “Daddy, are you having a good time?”
“Actually, I am,” Ray says. “It’s been quite a while since we’ve been out… what with the business and Harry. I thought I’d feel a little out of place with all these young people, but this is really fun, as long as no one says anything about the old coot sitting at the table with all the youngsters.”
“They better not,” Amanda says, leaning over to kiss Ray tenderly on the lips. “If they think Ana defended her man, they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Ray smiles at his wife suggestively as she caresses his cheek, and I kind of get what Jason means when he says we need to get a room.
After a few more drinks and a lot more chicken wings, Mac is finally called to the stage to… grace us with her version of Hit Me Baby One More Time… and now I know why she had to be tipsy to sing, because she can’t carry a tune with a bucket!
Not long after that, Amanda gives us a moving rendition of Come Away with Me, although that song is already a bit melancholy and moving on its own.
We sit and listen to several other songs—both good and bad—and I’m really ready to call it a night when the DJ calls my wife’s name again.
“What?” I ask. “When did you turn in another song?”
“Al took it up there for me,” she says, rising from my lap. Oh, dear God, here come the catcalls again. She goes up to the stage and a song begins that I’m familiar with, but… there’s no way she can sing this song alone.
“I finally found someone who knocks me off my feet, I finally found someone who makes me feel complete…”
She effortlessly begins to sing a song—a duet, no less—and she’s singing both parts! Of course, she sounds fantastic, even singing the guy’s part. I don’t think the crowd really knows what to make of it.
“My favorite line was can I call you sometime…” Although she sounds good, the song sounds empty. She’s looking at me and singing and… Okay, I know what she’s doing now. Why didn’t she just say so? I rise from my chair and walk up to the stage and begin to sing with her on the second verse.
“Did I keep you waiting?”
“I didn’t mind…”
“Baby, that’s fine.”
It’s funny that this is where I came in on the song because I actually did keep her waiting while I was trying to figure out what she was doing. I’m getting flashbacks of us doing the impromptu duet at Mia’s wedding. We really surprised everyone and it’s not an experience that I’ll soon forget.
“This is it! Oh, I finally found someone, someone to share my life…”
I slide my arm around her waist and pull her to me in this nothing shred of a dress. She feels fucking divine. I can inconspicuously caress her curves as we sing the song, but it’s getting a little hard to concentrate… literally.
“My life has just begun, I finally found someone.”
I nearly want to jump her fucking bones as the music dies, but her father would probably beat the hell out of me. Instead, I plant a passionate kiss on her lips right there on stage. There’s a reason to catcall, you fuckers.
“They didn’t have Love All the Hurt Away,” she breathes against my lips.
“Just as well,” I reply, kissing her softly. “Things might have gotten indecent.”
I step off the stage and take her hand, helping her down as well before we hear the dreaded and predictable suggestion about a room. We’re just sitting back in our seats when the DJ calls Allen to the stage. I nip and nibble at my wife’s ears, neck, and exposed shoulders while Allen sings to his husband about starting Back At One. When the song is over and Allen returns to the table, Ray confesses that he’s ready to go back to the hotel.
“This is really a lot of fun and I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, but I really need some shut-eye.”
“So, do I,” I concur. “Being merry and shoving off girlfriend-hopefuls is hard and stressful work and I’m beat!”
The rest of the karaokers concur that it’s time to call it a night and we head for the cars.
She drops her cape right on the living room floor when we get back to the hotel. She doesn’t even bother to turn on any lights. She just walks over to the window where I can see her silhouette. I retrieve her cape from the floor and toss it over the back of a nearby chair, my jacket joining it. I close the distance between us just a little, leaving a few feet so that I can admire her body. She turns around and slowly walks toward me, closing the remainder of the space between us.
Neither of us speaks, and she never looks into my eyes. She only raises her gaze to my lips. The moon or the lights from the Strip or something is shining into our suite. I don’t know and I don’t care. I only know that it’s just enough light for me to see her—watch her tempt me.
She leans in just a bit, closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. She holds it for a few seconds, then blows it softly out of her mouth. She’s… smelling me. Shit, that’s hot.
I still don’t move because I want to see what she does next. She opens her eyes, still focused on my lips.
Don’t breathe, Grey. Don’t fucking move.
She raises her hand and moves to touch my lips… but she doesn’t. Instead, she touches her own, her fingertips barely ghosting over the skin before she replaces them with her tongue, only faintly licking where her fingertips have been before disappearing back into her mouth.
Fuck, this is unbearable.
Her teeth worries that same lip only for a moment and her hand drops back down to her side. She leans in as if she would kiss me, but stops—a breath away from my face and her mouth not quite high enough to kiss.
She just stands there with her hooded eyes still looking at my mouth and licking her own lip. I’m so busy concentrating on her mouth as much as she’s concentrating on mine that I don’t realize where her hand has gotten to until she nearly breaks me. She reaches out and teases my dick with a single finger, stroking it only once from tip to base. Her touch is like hot fucking fire and it’s one of the most grueling endurance exercises I’ve ever experienced not to react to her surprise caress.
Without saying a word, she turns away and walks toward the bedroom, her ass a magnificently animated display in that illegal dress. As she struts across the floor to the boudoir, she slowly removes her dress with her back to me, skillfully sliding the thin material down her torso, past her hips, and off her luscious ass, bending over to pick it up just as she crosses the threshold of the bedroom and tossing it somewhere off to the side. She’s still wearing those sinful suede thigh-high boots and a nearly nonexistent blue thong.
I walk to the room behind her pulling my shirt over my head as I go, totally intent on a wild, hard, and deep stand up and deliver when I get my hands on her. I won’t even need to take off my pants for the first fuck.
“Christian…! Please…! No more…” I beseech as I’m panting beneath him. We both came so many times last night that I completely lost count, and now, I’m awakened by an incredibly hard dick and my husband’s need to pound into me once more… or, I should say several times more.
“No more…” he pants into my neck, his hands entwined with mine as he’s resting his weight on me and chasing his own breath. The room is silent for several moments, save the sound of our breathlessness. Then, he turns his head and plants tender kisses on my cheek.
“What’s gotten into you?” I ask, finally able to speak, but still a little winded.
“You know what got into me,” he says, planting open-mouthed kisses on whatever part of my face and neck he can reach. “That goddamn dress… I wanted to fuck you right there on stage. That shit drove me fucking crazy. That damn thing was barely brushed onto your body and your damn nipples were sticking out of it like you were fucking freezing the entire time. I had to talk my cock down for half the night.”
“Mmmm,” I purr both at his words and his kisses. “Maybe I should wear it more often then.”
“No, the hell you won’t,” he threatens. “Not unless you want me to follow you everywhere you go with a medieval mace. Then I’d literally be beating them off with a stick.” I scoff gently.
“Says the man who physically shoved a woman out of his path last night,” I tease.
“She liked my voice,” he jests.
“Oh, I’m just so sure that’s all that it was,” I retort. “It had absolutely nothing to do with those Triple H pants you were wearing.” He raises his head and looks at me.
“What the hell is a Triple H?” he asks.
“Not what,” I giggle. “Who… Triple H is a professional wrestler.” He frowns.
“I didn’t know you liked wrestling,” he says.
“I don’t,” I reply, “I just know who Triple H is.”
“Well, how do you know who he is if you don’t like wrestling?”
“I saw him somewhere,” I admit, “on a poster or a commercial or something… and he can really fill out a pair of jeans!” Christian growls at me deep in his throat.
“Oh, come on,” I accuse, “there’s some starlet somewhere that gets your boxer briefs in a wad.”
“No, there’s not,” he says confidently. I twist my lips at him.
“You’re telling me that you never had a celebrity girl crush?” I say incredulously.
“Well, yeah, but they’re all old now,” he says.
“Well, Triple H is no spring chicken,” I jest.
“But he’s not as old as mine… and I bet he’s in better shape, too,” he defends.
“I’ll be the judge of that,” I say playfully. “Who are yours?” He clears his throat.
“Mine were Katherine Deneuve and Jane Fonda—when they were both much younger,” he confesses.
“You’re an old soul, Christian,” I say.
“And you’re not, Ms. Motown?” he defends. I shrug.
“Yeah, but… is Katherine Deneuve even still alive?” I ask. He shrugs.
“I think so,” he says. “I hadn’t heard that she died. If she is still alive, she’s like 80 now.”
“Well, Jane Fonda still looks good,” I say.
“Not as good as she did when she made Barbarella!” he points out. I laugh heartily.
“So, you don’t have any current girl crushes at all?” I inquire.
“Yeah, you,” he says, going back to kissing my neck and jaw.
“Very cheeky, Mr. Grey. I guess I should find that dress in red, huh?” he raises his head again and gazes at me.
“Okay, keep it up, Mrs. Grey,” he says, grinding his hips with his cock—though flaccid—still inside of me.
Okay, okay,” I surrender. There’s absolutely no way I can withstand another round, much less a possible punishment fuck.
When he finally rises off me, the separation is agony. I have been thoroughly well-used, and I can barely walk. I’m in need of some cold water in my nether regions, but who the hell wants to sit in a cold bath?
Me if I want to cool the fire in my loins.
I sit on the edge of the tub and use the shower head to spray some cool water on my crotch. Jesus Christ, that feels good. That man isn’t going to be able to touch me for a week if he keeps this shit up.
Once I’m cooled down a bit, I don a terrycloth robe and go to the bedroom. I check my phone since I haven’t spoken to the twins this morning and I see that I have an instant message from Laura. She probably wants to know how the trial went. I didn’t call her on Friday with any updates. I swipe the phone and check the message.
You made the tweets again, my dear. Nice dress!
Oh, shit. I click on the link Laura provided and there I am—several pictures of me, in fact—singing with Al, singing with Christian, singing alone, even talking to the table of girls before I ordered their drinks—and that dress is screaming “fuck me!”
What was I thinking?
Oh, well, it’s done now. I’m sure I’ll hear some hell from Vee or Christian any second now. I suddenly realize that there are no pictures of Christian in his come-hither gear besides the picture of us singing together—just me. And there’s that damn double standard…
Fuck ‘em. I look good.
I unwrap my hair and pull out the hair dryer. It takes forever to dry this shit now, but I let it grow this long, so…
Christian enters with wet hair and draped in a towel, so I assume he used the other bathroom while I was dousing my pussy in the en suite. He chooses a pair of jeans, some boxer briefs and a T-shirt, and he’s ready in about 10 minutes. I silently curse him for being able to allow his short hair to air dry, but my only other option is to cut mine, and that ain’t happening.
Fifty-eleven-trillion years later, I’m finally done with my hair and I’m now wearing a jersey and yoga pants as we have no plans of going anywhere today. I go to the kitchen to see if there’s any coffee in there, pondering what I want to do for breakfast. Christian isn’t out here, but there is a pot of coffee.
Egad! His Highness can work a coffee pot! I never knew!
I pour myself a cup—black—and allow the warmth to flow through my body. It feels good, but I need food. As I’m reaching for the room service menu from the dining table, Christian comes from the other side of the suite where I assume the office space is.
“Mac is on her way over,” he says, looking at his phone. “Apparently, someone at the bar knew who we were and now, we’re on someone’s Facebook feed.”
“Yeah, mostly me,” I say, drinking more of my coffee. He raises his gaze.
“You already know?” he says. I nod.
“I saw them when I got out of the shower. Laura sent them to me.” He scoffs a laugh.
“Why do we need Mac when we’ve got her?” he laughs.
“I tend to believe that, depending on the source, things hit social media before they hit the mainstream,” I reply. I take another sip of my coffee and there’s a knock at the door. No doubt, it’s Vee. Christian walks across the suite to open it and she breezes in with her tablet in her hand.
“I knew that dress would be trouble the minute I saw it,” she says as she and Christian join me in the dining room.
“Trouble in what way?” I ask. “I’m not running for office!”
“No, but you are the representation of a multibillion-dollar conglomerate,” she retorts, “not to mention that we’re here waiting for the verdict on a very sensitive case.”
“From a sequestered jury,” I point out.
“And the fact that you had to point that out means that if they had seen you last night, you know that there would be a problem…”
I’m trying not to look gape-mouthed at this woman as she seems to be lecturing me on my choice of dress! No one has ever lectured me on my choice of dress! Even Christian, who may have a word or two to say every now and again, didn’t lecture me last night. He just got in on the fun.
“Understand something, Vee,” I interject, attempting to diffuse the situation before I really begin taking it too personally. “I dress for no one. I never have and I never will. The only time I wore what someone besides my husband suggested I wear was when I came out of the closet as his girlfriend. Fifty to 75% of my wardrobe is imitation or genuine vintage. None of my shoes rise less than four inches—preferably six—including my wedges and some of them are platforms, more affectionately in some circles referred to as stripper heels. If I wore what other people thought I should wear, I’d never wear anything I liked!”
“Well, that may have to change…”
What? What the fuck did she just say?
I’m flabbergasted. She’s droning on about something and Christian his completely mum. Have I stepped off into the fifth dimension or something? Signed a prenup—check. Legally changed my name—check, check. However, the memo that indicates that PR gets to tell me how to dress must’ve gotten lost in the mail.
I’m certain that my husband’s silence means that he’s waiting to see how I’m going to react. He’s about to see right now.
“Okay, Vee? Stop,” I say, putting my hand up in the “halt” position. I think she’s stunned.
“I. Am a grown woman,” I begin. “I went out on a Saturday night to a bar in Las Vegas. I wore a party dress to that bar in Las Vegas. I had a good time at that bar in Las Vegas, which is something that I didn’t expect to do in Las Vegas. I don’t regret anything that I did, wore, or said last night. Although I have no intention of dressing like a hoochie every night, I may decide sometime in my lifetime to once again wear something provocative!
“I wasn’t acting unseemly. I wasn’t drunk in public. I didn’t get arrested. I wasn’t in a girl fight, although the possibility was pretty good. If I wore a habit or a burqa, someone would still have something to say. So, whatever damage control you feel you may have to do for ‘Anastasia’s Sultry Little Blue Dress…’ do it!”
I think she’s even more stunned than she was when I told her to stop. When she looks over at Christian, his hands quickly fly up in surrender, so she turns back to me.
“You do realize that if you dress like that on a regular basis, I’m going to be putting out fires all the time,” she advises me.
“Number one,” I say, crossing my arms, “I don’t dress like that all the time and you know it. You’re just uneasy because, as a consenting adult, I see nothing wrong with what I wore last night and because I won’t agree with you that there was something wrong with it. Number two, if I do decide to dress like that all the time, get your buckets ready. Nobody tells me what I can and can’t wear, not even him,” I say pointing to my husband.
“I know how to behave in public, Vee. I didn’t wear that dress to a country club or to meet the mayor. I wore it to a bar. J-Lo and Beyoncé have both worn less, on the red carpet, no less—in front of many entertainment cameras and national news outlets. We all talked about how scandalous it was, said our ‘ooo’s and ah’s’ like Smurfs and got over it. If my dress is the talk of Wall Street today, there’ll be another story tomorrow. Get a grip!”
Vee is still stunned, and I know why. I don’t want her to think I’ll be difficult, but we’ve got to get one thing straight.
“Vee, in most cases, I lean to your expertise and I will continue to do that, but unless I’m walking down 4th Street in a string bikini bottom and pasties on my tits, don’t tell me what to wear.”
She finally seems to be coming around to the crust of the conversation.
“Well, then,” she says, pursing her lips, “think I’ll just go on back to my room and… fuck my husband.” She makes some kind of goofy face and just leaves after that. I turn to Christian who’s making a face of his own, more like, “It wutn’t me.”
“Well?” I say defiantly.
“Well, what?” he asks, trying to hide his mirth.
“You don’t have anything to say?”
“I didn’t have anything to say last night. Why would I have anything to say right now?” he points out. I roll my eyes.
“What I don’t understand is why every little thing we do ends up being front page news before we’ve even had our coffee!” I say, throwing my hands in frustration. “You were on the other side of the world holding a giant reptile and the news was stateside before we were. Twice now, Laura’s told me about my day—from Australia—and I’m still here in Vegas!”
“I think you said it yourself, baby, it’s the nature of the beast,” he says calmly while refilling his coffee cup. He’s awfully cool for a conversation centered around my state of dress—or undress, as it were.
“Hey,” I say, “what gives? You’re usually in a tizzy about my Lindy bop dresses and you’re not having a cow over this?”
“Well, first, when I saw the bobble-head, I knew the conversation was already over.” I furrow my brow deeply at him, so he does this wild shaking thing with his head that looks like he’s having a fucking seizure!
“What the fuck is that?” I ask, wide-eyed.
“That’s what you do when someone says something that you can’t believe,” he says. My mouth gapes.
“I do not do that!” I defend.
“Ask. Anyone!” Christian says, firmly standing his ground. “The minute that neck starts working, I step back… even if I’m the reason that neck starts working.”
“Asshole,” I mumble.
“Be that as it may,” he says unfazed, “there are also a lot of other reasons I’m not flying off the handle, not the smallest of which is that you were with me,” he begins. “Not only that, I was with you when you bought the dress and the boots. I knew what to expect. I also had another realization.”
“And what’s that?” I ask. He sips his coffee.
“I think I’ve always known it, but I’m still amazed to see it in action. Women are very brazen when they see something they want. I’ve seen men try to make a move, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them as brazen as I’ve seen women. You could be at the park with your woman and your entire family and some female will come right up and try to put the moves on you.
“From what I’ve seen, men are subtle. They’ll wait until your guy’s not looking, then they’ll try to slip you a number or get you alone. As soon as the guy steps up beating his chest and telling them, ‘Woman, mine,’ they generally go away, but not women. Women will argue with you and taunt you, try to get the man at a later date… what’s that all about?” I shake my head.
“I don’t know,” I tell him. “I’m a shrink and I don’t fucking know. I’m one of those women who feel that there are certain things that should say that a man is off limits,” I begin counting on my fingers, “a wedding ring, an announced commitment, the fact that a woman is hanging on his fucking arm… but no. They do it with you all the time, they did it with David—they just walk right up like they don’t fucking see me! The girl on the wine train, Greta, Deanna, this bitch at the bar. Or I become America’s Most Hated just because I’m with you.
“There’s no way to combat that shit, and these women are becoming more and more brazen as time goes on. They look at me and convince themselves that I’m nothing and no one, that I’m a trophy wife and they step right in.” Christian sighs.
“Well, the point that I was making was that your dress, although it got a lot of attention, it wasn’t a threat to me. The catcalls came from the audience just like they came from the pool when you were in the bikini contest on the cruise. Except for the crazy couple that approached us—and the female approached us first—I didn’t have to worry about it. Nobody walked over to you, sending you margaritas; nobody asked you to take walks with them on the promenade, and even last night—nobody sent a drink to the table with ‘regards.’ Even earlier this week in the Skybar, the moment I made my presence known, that guy thanked me for the drink and went on his way.”
“He was harmless,” I say, waving him off, “and your presence didn’t make him leave.” He scoffs.
“Really?” he says. “And what did?”
“When he noticed that you were there, he made a comment about how intense you looked. He acknowledged that he thought you might have wanted him to leave, but he didn’t leave. When I told him that you were my husband, that’s when he left,” I say.
“Exactly!” Christian says. “The presence of your husband. Made. Him. Leave. And baby?” he leans in to my ear. “They’re never harmless. Women may be brazen, but men are smooth. No matter how polite they are, they have one goal, and Westwick should have shown you that.”
He raises a quick brow to me, then kisses me on the cheek before he goes back to the office area. I want to be pissed, but I can’t. If I can use Greta, Deanna, and a random stranger bitch in a pink and white dress as an example, he can certainly use Liam.
I sit at the table with my coffee looking into the cup, and somehow transport back to a time when I realized that women were brazen…
We were meeting a large group of friends at a martini bar. I had arrived first and sat at one table with a group of friends. More of our group were sitting at various other tables. Eddie arrived shortly after I did. Even though we were living together, we had driven separate cars because we were coming from separate locations.
Chelsie was there. She had disappeared for a while, right after I caught them the first time. Well, I hadn’t caught them. I saw the evidence and I confronted her with it. Her guilt made her leave, but she returned. And when she came back, she was stronger, different…
He greeted her before he even greeted me. He leaned down and whispered a conversation in her ear. I watched as her hand with insanely long acrylic nails reached up and caressed his face next to hers. I watched them for a long time, wondering and knowing at the same time that she was fucking my man again. I asked myself, “Could this be true?” But I knew that no one behaved that intimately if they were just friends.
I still played dumb to it, all the way until some of my other friends said that she was bragging about having him, that I knew who I was living with—knew what I had gotten into. I played dumb for the longest time, but she flaunted it in my face, and when I confronted her about it again, she threw a veiled threat at me.
She was brazen and I had lost.
My reminiscence of one of the many women my ex had fucked is broken by my husband’s voice. I was a different woman, then, too. I was weak, and tired, and I couldn’t fight anymore.
“Are you okay?” I nod.
“Yeah,” I say, abandoning my now cold coffee. “I’m going to check on Marilyn,” I add, standing from the table. I move pass him and he catches my arm.
“The dress really wasn’t that big a deal, baby,” he assures me. I nod.
“I know,” I say, and I do. “What’s she gonna do—issue and apology for my attire?” He still examines me.
“You haven’t eaten anything,” he presses.
“I’m going to order something in Mare’s room… see if I can’t tempt her to eat a little something.”
Unable to argue with that logic, so he kisses me on the cheek and releases my arm. I smile tightly as I go to the bedroom to retrieve some shoes.
A/N: I don’t know if anyone else does this, but when my thoughts begin in Vegas and end up in Germany, I call that a “domino.” I start with one thought that leads to another one and another one and another one until I end up somewhere completely different than where I started. Ana and Christian started with a dress and Ana ended up in a recollection of her no good, lying, cheating ex-boyfriend.
Pictures of places, cars, fashion, etc., can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/grey-continued-misadventuresseason-v/
Pictures from the trip to Las Vegas can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/ladeeceo/grey-continued-las-vegas/
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